Kate & Rob
ENGLISH GARDEN MEETS AMERICAN COUNTRY CHARM | IVORIES AND SHADES OF BRIGHT BLUE | LACE V-NECK DRESS | JANE AUSTEN NOVEL THEMED TABLES | EMBOSSING STAMPS + DIY DETAILS | IVORY HYDRANGEAS
When and where was your first date?
My friend Sara set us up on a date, we went to a pub and had a few drinks. Sara is married to Rob’s brother and I think she wanted Rob to date someone she would get along with so we could have fun double dates. I feel rather lucky to have a sister-in-law who was already my best friend.
How did the proposal happen?
Rob had bought the engagement ring a few months before he proposed and hidden it in his golf bag for the majority of the time. After months of trying to find the perfect time to propose, he took me out for dinner and a walk in my favourite rock garden and proposed there. It was way too dark in the garden to see anything so I only saw his outline as he knelt down and had no chance to survey the ring before saying yes!
I bought my wedding dress at a bridal store in Calgary, Alberta called Ethos. It was a Pronovias gown and was absolutely perfect. The dress was an all lace V-neck dress with lace straps and a long lace train. We altered it slightly to add buttons down the back and remove a layer of lace in the straps.
How did you feel when you tried it on?
I had thought I wanted a lace strapless dress, but everything had embellishments and beads and didn’t flatter my body shape. In the end I tried one on with straps and realised that it was what I wanted even though I had thought the opposite.
My bridesmaid gifted me my shoes for the ceremony from TK Maxx and my sister bought me a pair of blue cowboy boots to change into afterwards. Both were fantastic and comfortable which is a must! My mum made my veil and a good family friend handmade me a beautifully classic ivory lace garter – exactly my style!
The groom and groomsmen all rented their morning suits from Frederick L Mabb in Yeovil, as did the father of the bride and father of the groom. No one really wears morning suits in Canada, but I wanted them to wear them and they all looked absolutely fabulous on the day!
I had seven of them! I didn’t want them to look like a block of blue, though, so I hired a lady who was able to create dresses from them all out of the same fabric in two different shades of blue and styles to suit their shapes. The result was perfect – they all fitted together but were not identical.
We had a Church of England ceremony at St Peter’s Church in Chetnole. We had an amazing organist from a nearby village who played the music for our hymns, processional and recessional. My dad walked me down the aisle and managed not to cry. We did have a little slip up at the beginning because my lace train got caught on a nail in the aisle and ripped – I nearly tripped!
Since Rob and I are from Calgary, Alberta, but my mum is British and my parents live in England, we wanted to have a wedding that was English garden meets American country themed. I’m also quite traditional, so we went with classic whites and ivories paired with shades of blue. I am a huge Jane Austen fan so we named the tables after locations in her novels and each menu card had a Jane Austen quote on the back. We made confetti cones out of pages from ‘Persuasion’ and our thank you cards were quotes from ‘Sense and Sensibility’.
What did you have for your wedding breakfast?
The Foodie Queen provided our sit-down meal that consisted of a starter of locally sourced smoked trout with oat cakes, citrus creme fraiche and rocket salad and herb crusted roast leg of lamb with minted pea puree, dauphinoise potatoes and a summer vegetable medley for main.
We tried to make as much as we could and I got a lot of great inspiration from Wedding Ideas. It was my absolute favourite magazine and my mum put issues in the post to me in Canada – not being able to read it is what I miss about wedding planning being over!
We decorated the church with white flowers. Our reception was held in a marquee in my parent’s garden. We hung candles and lanterns from the oak tree – they were probably my favourite decoration of the day! My mum and aunt grew, picked, dried and pressed enough petal confetti for 125 guests in the year before our wedding.
Our centrepieces were three big jars tied together with ribbon, filled with blue and white flowers grown and picked from local gardens. We added crossword puzzles to the tables relating to Jane Austen or Oscar Wilde quotes, or questions and Rob, myself and the bridal party. The table to complete it first won a bottle of tequila!
We provided a basket of flip-flops for the ladies to change into and bathroom baskets with all the essentials in the toilets for anyone with a wedding emergency. We also gave our overseas guests welcome bags at their hotels.
My mum and I designed and printed our invitations and ceremony program, using embossing stamps to create a lace effect across the top. My brother and sister drew the map that went inside each invitation.
I can’t express how amazing everyone in the village was with the wedding planning. Many of the women purposely planned their gardens that year to grow white and blue flowers for my wedding and came over the day before to make buttonholes and decorate the church!
The bouquets were hydrangeas bought from Global Flora flower market in Bournemouth.
Michelle from Shelley’s Cakes provided our wedding cake. It was chocolate cake with ivory icing, simple and classy. We had it for dessert with berry coulis. My mum and I also bought a fruit cake from M&S which we packaged up and mailed out to guests who were unable to attend the wedding which they really liked!
During the time for cocktails and canapes, Ian and Sally, the duo behind ‘Word Gets Out’ played for a few hours and had rave reviews. We then had a DJ for the reception, playing a mix of country music, top 40 songs and a few Ukrainian polkas for my dad’s side of the family. My bridesmaids and I started off the dancing with a line dance – watching us all kick up our cowboy boots and turn circles into each other got a lot of laughs from the guests!
The first dance
We chose ‘Honey Bee’ by Blake Shelton. It is a country song that we both used to sing at the top of our lungs while driving in the car together and we were able to two-step to it – sort of.
We spent a week in Rhodes, Greece which Rob planned so I didn’t have to think about it amid all the wedding planning – it was a dream come true! If I could, I would have stayed there for months.
Kate and Rob’s top tips
- Try to find vendors you really get on with. Our photographer Philip was one of our favourite ‘guests’, he was such a pleasure to work with and really made a huge difference in the success of the day.
- Don’t underestimate how expensive DIY can still be – all the supplies add up.
- Let go of everything that isn’t quite perfect or finished on the big day. I was up at 5am putting the finishing touches on the marquee and consequently was completely exhausted by the end of the night!
VENUE | St Peter’s Church, Chetnole DRESS | Pronovias at Ethos, Calgary, Alberta GROOM | Frederick L Mabb, Yeovil CAKE | Shelley’s Cakes, Leigh FLORIST | Grown by family and friends ENTERTAINMENT | Word Gets Out and a DJ PHOTOGRAPHER | Philip Hartley, Hartley Weddings