Today I have a real treat for you as I welcome my good friend Tracey...
Hello to you all and happy Tuesday. Today is my darling husband Nik’s birthday, so may I wish him a wonderful birthday. I am looking forward to a night out with him tonight to celebrate. Today on the blog I have a wonderful wedding for you, at a venue I actually planned a wedding at a couple of years ago. Kerry and Adam got married at the rather special Normanton Church at Rutland Water, which is a stunning location. They created a totally DIY wedding that reflects their personalities brilliantly. Lego, Vintage touches, music and lots of DY rustic touches, all go together to make this wedding a truly magical day. Tony at Photography 34 has captured the day brilliantly I’m sure you will agree. What a fun filled day.
Kerry and Adam were married on 4th October 2014 at Normanton Church, Rutland Water followed by a reception at Bedford Hall in Thorney. ‘I (Kerry) had always wanted to get married in Las Vegas (even before our first date) and so after Adam proposed I went about collecting brochures and emailing hotels in Las Vegas for package details and prices. We went to Peterborough over Christmas in 2014 and as we were driving back to Harrogate we passed a sign for Rutland Water and Adam mentioned about this beautiful old church there, that sat on the water. He then showed me a picture and i fell in love. Adam found Bedford Hall too, he used to live in Thorney so knew about it from then, we knew we didn’t want anything like a hotel but something different that we could do up ourselves, because after scrapping the Las Vegas wedding I knew I wanted to make a lot of the decorations and I wanted to dress the room the night before. He showed me some pictures online and at the end of January we went down to check out both places. Bedford Hall was perfect and it was available on the 4th October. We had around 100 guests, everyone came to both the ceremony and the reception, we didn’t have a separate evening guest list as the church held so many people. It took 9 months to plan the wedding. At the start of January Adam got in touch with the guys at Normanton Church to see if they had any dates towards the end of October, they only had the 4th October free, so we put a deposit down over the phone and started planning from there.’
How they met
We both went to live in Canada on a working visa in 2011, we actually met on a Facebook group for people from the UK heading to Canada. We chatted every day while we were in the UK and this carried on once we were over in Canada, I was in Calgary, Alberta and Adam was in Toronto. After we’d been chatting daily for 5 months we decided it may be finally time to meet, so we decided we’d have a 5 day holiday in Las Vegas, meeting face to face at the airport in Las Vegas for the first time.
It had been a miserable August weekend so we hadn’t done much and about mid afternoon on Saturday 17th August Adam said we should go out for a drive. We decided we’d head to Valley Gardens in Harrogate and have a walk round the gardens. We’d been there about an hour when Adam spotted a wishing well and said he wanted to make a wish so he did, he then said it was my turn, I said i didn’t want to but he insisted i had to. So, I made my wish and turned around and Adam was on one knee.
How did you allocate your budget
We didn’t really sit down and put together a budget, we knew we wanted to do the whole day for as little as possible. At this point we knew how much the ceremony and reception venues were and that we wanted to spend a decent amount on a photographer so after finding a photographer we then worked out which areas we could save on.
How did you choose your photographer
I left finding a photographer to Adam, as he is a keen photographer himself. Adam was looking at pictures taken from weddings at Harrogate registry office and saw a picture he liked by Tony at Photography34, he then went onto the website and had a look through some more of his pictures. We went through to Scarborough to meet Tony and have a chat and knew then that we’d made the right choice. We couldn’t have found anyone better to capture our day for us.
I had always pictured myself wearing a 50s inspired tea length wedding dress so when I went shopping this is all I had in mind, I went to a couple of larger shops and didn’t find anything I liked. A couple of weeks into the search I had an appointment at a little shop in Yeadon, The Wedding Dress Agency, I went with my mum, sister and best friend and pretty much as soon as I walked in I spotted a beautiful floor length, chiffon Mark Lesley dress and that was it. I had 2 pairs of shoes, a beautiful pair of Irregular Choice heels for the ceremony and for the reception I had some customised converse that Adam had designed himself for me.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
As I had found a floor length dress I decided I wanted the bridesmaids in 50s inspired tea length dresses. I was so lucky with my bridesmaids as they were open to all the dresses I was sending them. I love floral so was sending lots of floral printed dresses and they were saying yes to them all. In the end we decided on a tea length midnight (although it looks royal) blue dress from Nyla Rose.
The suit was actually a separate jacket, waistcoat and trousers, although the jacket and waistcoat did match, all of that and the shirt was actually from the catalogue company Jacamo, the tie was handmade by Adams mum. The shoes were custom designed converse, that were the opposite of the ones Kerry had for later in the day.
Theme or Colour Scheme
To start with there was no real theme or colour scheme, we just came up with lots of ideas of things we liked and brought them together – floral, lego, vintage, music, rustic. We did end up sticking to orange and blue when picking the bridesmaid dresses and flowers, these are Adam’s favourite colours.
We had the week before the wedding off work so travelled from Harrogate to Peterborough the Saturday before and had to sort out the flowers within this week, my mum was doing the flowers for the wedding party (she’d never done anything like this before, but had done a couple of trials beforehand and I was happy with them) Adam and I had decided that we wanted roses for my bouquet and his button hole and that the other men in the bridal party and the bridesmaid bouquets were going to have orange gerberas in them. We had found a flower wholesale warehouse in Spalding so 6 days before the wedding we went over there to see what they had in, it was then that we made a list of what we’d buy and go back at 7am on the Friday before the wedding. We ended up bulk buying orange and vintage cream roses, orange gerberas, carnations in autumn colours, gypsophila and something that looked like gypsophila but was lots of little daisies instead of little white flowers.
The reason I wanted to bulk buy the flowers was because I wanted flowers everywhere in the reception venue, I had lots of jam jars that I’d covered in hessian and had lots of daisies in all of these. The tables had circular white tablecloths with a hessian and lace table runner, the centre pieces were a slab of tree trunk with a milk bottle style vase (covered in hessian and lace) on top with the autumn carnations in, little jam jars with orange lace around them with a candle in and 7inch vinyl showing the musician of that table. The ceiling was covered in fairy lights and bunting.
It took us a while to decide on what to actually do for food, we went from a vintage tea party, to hiring some sort of van (fish and chips) we finally decided on a hog roast for the meal and did a desert table with a large selection of cakes and buns.
The wedding cake was from Marks and Spencer’s, it was a beautiful 4 tiered birdcage wedding cake.
We went very simple for the entertainment we created 2 playlists on Spotify, one for more chilled music for during the food and one for dancing into the evening, we asked for suggestions from everyone invited and put together a wide range of genres. Adam’s friends sorted out a PA system and some lighting and we played it all through a laptop on stage.
Buy or DIY your Stationery
We didn’t do save the dates, as we only had 9 months to get everything sorted and decided that in the time scale we had, the save the dates and invites would probably go out within a few weeks of each other. We discussed various ideas for wedding invites and designing them ourselves but in the end one of Adam’s friend, a graphic designer, offered to design and print our invites as a wedding present to us. We gave him the information that they would need on them (dates, times and venues etc) but pretty much left him to it and they turned out amazing, better than anything I’d imagined – they were designed to look like a gig flyer for a big band, with versions of us dancing on it.
Personal or Handmade Touches
As we wanted the day to be very much us and things we liked I thought the easiest way to have the decorations and touches to match these ideas would be to make a lot of it. I wanted to add a lot of hessian, lace and floral fabric so decided to make the bunting and table runners, with the help of my mother in law, we made 250 feet of bunting and 10 hessian and lace table runners.
We had tree chunks for the centre pieces, these were given to me by a friend whose family own a farm in Harrogate. I sewed the hessian and lace covers for the vases and jam jars. We created our own sweet table, we bought a few jars but ended up using a selection of jars, cake stands and floral table cloths from a friend of Adam’s who hires out these things. We had a chalk board welcome sign which Adam and I had drawn us as lego bride and groom, we also created our own alcoholic and none alcoholic welcome drinks we had little plastic bottles and card straws, Adam’s brother had made and printed labels to go on each bottle showing the name of the drinks and a description.
As mentioned before my mother spent all of the day before the wedding creating mine and the bridesmaid bouquets and the buttonholes for the groom, the men in the bridal party and the mothers. Adam’s mother also made 6 ties and 1 bowtie for the guys out of a fabric that Adam had chosen. Our table plan was done as a festival poster, Adam created this and we had it printed off as a poster.
We wanted to make ourselves into lego figures and have these as the favours, so Adam ordered 50 pieces of male heads, female heads, hair, torsos and legs to create these, he also made ‘limited edition’ labels to stick onto the mini jam jars that they were put in. We also used our own 1975 VW Beetle as our wedding car. I made some little floral bunting with CARDS glued on for the picnic basket we had on one of the tables. I’d wanted some personalised hangers for my dress and the bridesmaid dresses but didn’t like any that i’d seen so I decided to make my own, I bought 4 wooden hangers and deco patched them myself, I then drilled a hole in each side, made some small bunting and using tippex wrote our names on them, they were perfect.
We had the hall from 4pm the day before the wedding so that we could dress it ourselves, from setting up the tables and chairs to sorting the lights and placing the flowers, we did it all with the help of our amazing friends and family.
The whole day was amazing but I think the bits that are talked about the most are the unplanned parts, from the 2 guests who arrived part way through the ceremony, to the beetle breaking down between the ceremony and reception venue, these parts were unexpected but i wouldn’t change them.
Advice to other couples
Enjoy the planning as much as the day itself, I loved sitting with Adam and bringing both of our ideas together to create an amazing day, that was us in every way.
Don’t stress about the things that you can’t control, our beetle broke down as we were driving from the ceremony to the reception, without this happening we wouldn’t have got some amazing pictures in a nearby field with the sunset.
Enjoy every minute.
One of the managing directors of a subdivision of the company Adam works for is a member of the Rutland sailing club, Adams colleague Jane essentially bullied him (nicely) into showing up after to give us a trip around the water in his boat (only Adam knew about it!) He even brought along a bottle of prosecco.