Katherine and Bradley had a vintage-inspired spring wedding. But one day wasn’t enough time to celebrate for this couple, whose guests joined them for a whole weekend at a stunning estate in Cumbria.
How they met
Childhood sweethearts Katherine and Bradley have been inseparable ever since they met at school and started going out at the ages of 14 and 15. “Brad was Mr Popular at school and I thought he was a bit cocky at first, but then I got to know him better and we couldn’t be apart,” Katherine smiles.
Katherine was left disappointed when her friends’ predictions that Bradley would propose to her on holiday failed to come true – but her disappointment didn’t last long. “The following morning, when I walked into our bedroom after my shower, there was a huge rose petal question mark laid out on the bed with the ring box as the dot. I turned round to see Brad on bended knee. It was such a surprise that my first words were, ‘I can’t believe you’re asking me when I have a towel on my head’ – and Brad has never let me forget it!”
The bride’s outfit
Throughout her dress hunt, Katherine’s heart kept getting drawn back to a gown that she had seen years before, when she and Bradley weren’t even engaged. “I rang around a few shops and finally tracked the dress down in a shop two hours away,” Katherine explains. “As soon as I put it on, I knew it was right, and my mum agreed.” The Maggie Sottero gown featured a textured lace bodice and a full skirt that flowed out from the hip. “It was much bigger than I remembered, but I felt fantastic swishing around in it,” Katherine adds. She had the dress customised with halterneck straps, and wore it with a pretty forehead tiara by Amanda Caroline Couture.
The groom’s outfit
“We spent more time choosing Brad’s outfit than we did mine,” laughs Katherine. The groom bought two suits tailored to fit, and only made his final decision the day before the wedding, when he settled on a royal blue three-piece suit from Next. “He looked amazing – I felt proud to be his wife,” says Katherine.
The eight beautiful bridesmaids looked perfect in their mink tea-length dresses, a bargain at £15 each from H&M. “I didn’t want the girls to look too bridal or too matchy-matchy, and wanted them to show their own personalities through their dresses, so we had a seamstress alter each one to make it unique,” Katherine says.
Katherine kept it in the family by marrying at the church where she was baptised, and where her own parents once tied the knot. “I wanted to marry in my hometown, and we chose the church because of the family connection,” Katherine explains.
Margaret Mason worked wonders to achieve Katherine’s vision of a natural meadow theme. “All I knew was that I wanted lots of flowers everywhere, and for the smell to have as much impact as the look,” Katherine says. “I gave Margaret full control, and she was fantastic – we had flowers on every surface!”
The couple opted out of a traditional seated wedding breakfast for their reception at Morland Country Hall, and instead served a ‘posh barbeque’ where they served steaks, Cumberland sausages, lamb and chicken kebabs and king prawns. “We then had a dessert table with different cakes and puddings – it was really popular and people are still commenting on what a great idea it was,” says Katherine.
A natural theme developed throughout the planning. “We were inspired by the beautiful woodland surroundings of Morland Hall,” explains Katherine. They decorated with silver tea sets, antique books, cut glass vases, rustic hessian and lace and lots of candles. “We hired illuminated letters of our initials, and had a giant ‘LOVE ‘ sign over the dancefloor, which was a great feature in the photos,” Katherine adds.
The couple went to town with their wedding stationery, designed by their close friend and fashion designer Kelly. “Because the wedding celebrations were spread over three days, we needed to let our guests know what was in store, and give them a sneak peek into how our day would look,” Katherine explains. They created booklet-style invitations, and enclosed vintage keys with luggage labels attached giving details of the accommodation.
The magnificent five-tier cake featured a mass of sugarcraft flowers in pretty pastel shades, with the top tier sitting on a glass stand. “I wanted the cake to look over-the-top,” Katherine says.
The first dance
The couple chose Loving You by Paolo Nutini for their first dance. “Paolo was the first concert we went to together, and we didn’t want anything too slow and soppy,” Katherine explains.
The guests were entertained with a live saxophonist playing modern dance music during the reception drinks, followed by wedding singer Howard Wing during the wedding breakfast. “He wowed our guests and even had my gran up and singing along,” laughs Katherine. “We then danced into the early hours with a DJ playing old school dance music.” The couple also laid out an Easter egg hunt for their younger guests, and a clay pigeon shoot the following day.
The couple went on a minimoon in sunny Egypt and are planning their main honeymoon to the Maldives.