Tell us about the proposal – how and where did it happen?
We went to Rome over Valentine’s Day 2013 and the proposal happened over dinner.
What were your wedding must-haves?
We wanted somewhere light and airy that was exclusive use for our wedding venue and Bassmead Manor was perfect for that. We also wanted somewhere that didn’t have that nasty conference room-looking carpet – odd request I know! We are big foodies, too, so the food needed to be amazing!
What was your wedding budget?
We didn’t really budget we just decided if we could afford certain things as we went along – although we did save like crazy to make sure we could afford what we wanted.
What made you choose your wedding venue?
When I first saw it, it was just a large patch of mud with some run down barns, but there was a lovely ‘rickety barn’ set up for weddings and a very enthusiastic owner, Richard. I completely trusted that the venue would be amazing when it was finished. The first time I saw the venue complete on the open day, it was more than we could have imagined. We were so, so pleased with the end result and couldn’t have asked for a better setting for our wedding.
How did you style your day?
The venue is so beautiful it didn’t really need a lot of decoration. We had hearts hanging on the walls in the Rickety Barn with two bay trees either side of the registrar’s table. The ivory chair covers with ivory organza ribbon finished the room. For the reception barn we had pale pink and white flowers in a round bowl on each table, which complemented the look of the barn and the location beautifully. No chair covers were needed as they had just got in lovely new chairs.
Who were your wedding suppliers?
For the cake, we used the same lady from Edible Creations to make our cake as our friends who were married last year, and our other food was from Galloping Gourmet – it was simply the best food we’ve ever had. We found our photographer, Jane Sayers, through a friend too. Our wedding band were called The Charming Skulls, which we found through Warble Entertainment.
Describe your wedding dress
I thought I would have a very simple straight down wedding dress with no train and no veil… I ended up with a long train and the longest veil possible. I went to one bridal shop, Maison De La Bride, in Peterborough and tried on three dresses in total. I felt amazing and the lovely shop manager Sharma knew exactly what style would suit me best. She was so lovely and I would definitely recommend Maison De La Bride to anyone! The designer was Atelier Diagonal which is part of Pronovias.
What accessories did you wear on the day?
I wore a hair slide and jewellery by Amanda Caroline Couture – she was also my bridesmaid and made the most beautiful accessories for all of us. My shoes were very simple, white wedges from River Island and I bought my underwear from Marks and Spencer.
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
The biggest spend was the food at the venue. We paid about £100 per person, but with the amount of food we had, it was actually very reasonable.
What was your ceremony like?
We had a civil ceremony. We had no readings and wanted the ceremony to be quite short because we always find them quite hard work when we are guests at other people’s! Glen Parish played acoustic guitar throughout our ceremony. He played a mix of modern songs while the guests were arriving, Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars as I walked down the aisle, Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight and Michelle my Belle by The Beatles as we signed the register, and then Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours as we exited the barn. He really made it very special.
Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?
We chose Billy Joel Always a Woman to Me because we just loved the song. The band actually learned this especially for us – it was brilliant and my favorite part of the day!
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips!
Don’t panic! Especially if you book Bassmead Manor Barns as your venue. Rebecca, our venue manager, was always on hand to help us on the run-up to our wedding as well as on the day itself. Everything can be fixed. Secondly, do what YOU want to do – it’s your special day so stop worrying about everyone else. If we could do it all again we’d not be so nervous! We were both so relaxed on the run-up to the wedding, on the day I was very calm until about 30 seconds before walking down the aisle. Just remember the room is full of friends and family, so relax and smile.
Want to see more gorgeous real weddings? Take a look at these for inspiration…