What an amazing wedding this one was! Most definitely one of our favourites. Great couple and great venue. Here’s what they had to say:
Matt proposed on the 9th December/10th December 2016. I say the two days as he did it at around midnight in our hotel room in Reykjavik, Iceland.
He had brought me the 3 day trip for my birthday as I had gone on and on about how much I wanted to see the Northern Lights. We had an amazing time, visiting all the usual landmarks and spent one of the best days of our lives at the Blue Lagoon. But Matt was waiting for the perfect moment, he wanted to propose whilst having a picnic under the northern lights surrounded by waterfalls. The first two nights went by with no chance of sightings for the lights as it was so cloudy. However the forecast had been good for the final night so off we went exploring in the middle of nowhere. Throughout the day Matt kept giving me little treats (eg. my fave chocolate bar and drink) I didn’t think anything of this as he has done this before when we have been on days out or date nights. We got to a very clear looking sky and waited and waited to see the lights but had no luck so we gave up and came back to our hotel as we were flying home early the next morning. On walking into the hotel he told me he’d got one more treat for me so when I was in the bathroom taking off my make up he told me to close my eyes as I walked into the bedroom. He then put a virtual reality headset on me and I opened my eyes to the Northern Lights filling my goggles. He then placed a box in my hand and I took off the headset to him proposing!
The engagement ring also has its own story as he brought this when we had only been together 6 months (we had been together just over 6 years when he finally decided to use it!) When we were first together we walked past this ring in a local jewellers window and I joked that if he ever decided to propose I’d only say yes if it was that ring. A few months later I walked past this jewellers and just randomly caught out the corner of my eye that it had gone. So I joked to Matt that he had missed his opportunity as the ring was a one off and never in a million years did I imagine that Matt was the one it had gone to!! He had brought it and asked the jewellers to keep it locked in their safe so that I would never accidentally come across it, which they did and never contacted Matt in between. Then 6 years later just as we were about to go to Iceland Matt was on the phone talking to his best mate about how he didn’t know whether Iceland would be the right time to propose and that he felt like he needed some sort of a sign. He hung up the phone and as he did a call from a number he didn’t recognise came through and it was the jewellers asking whether he still wanted this ring they’d kept for all these years or whether he wanted them to buy it back off him. So that was his sign!!! He then went to ask my Dad’s ‘permission’ and the signs continued as an Iceland (frozen foods) delivery van cut him up as he pulled out of my Dad’s street and then continued to drive in front of Matt all the back to our house to pull up right outside and deliver to next-door! That was his decision made and I still cannot believe he managed to get me that ring and that he knew at just 6 months that one day we would get engaged.
We wanted to go with a rustic, natural theme that wasn’t traditional or formal. We really wanted a chilled out atmosphere where guests felt relaxed and where we didn’t feel stressed out ourselves.
Mostly through pinterest or links through facebook/instagram. We didn’t actually take much time over planning or researching as we had been together a long time and always talked about what we thought our wedding would look like and involve. We always had similar ideas. We have also been to lots of friends amazing weddings over the last few years so after each one we’d discuss which ideas we could steal or how we could make it different to the last one etc.
A friend recommended our venue, Lyde Court in Hereford, to us a long time ago (before we were even engaged) and said she thought it would be perfect for me and Matt but she thought it was very expensive. Therefore when we started to look we initially ruled it out thinking of cost, however when we viewed other venues nothing was jumping out at us as the right one for us.
We booked a viewing at Lyde and had a chat with the owners who then sent us a rough quote. It actually turned out to be cheaper than a lot of the quotes we had received from other venues and they were very accommodating with menu choices (fish and chips with mushy peas and curry sauce for our main and an old fashioned ice cream stand with unlimited scoops instead of canapès) to tailor it to our day and that made it a lot cheaper than other venues too.
We knew we wanted it to be relaxed and chilled out and we had certain ideas/things we wanted to include and Lyde was the only venue where we instantly knew we could achieve this. It was the only venue that actually said ‘It’s your wedding, you can have/do what you like’ (and mostly at no extra cost – unlike other venues)! The onsite accommodation to sleep between 70-80 guests at a cheap price for the guest was also a major factor in choosing this venue.
It is beautiful, the barn is literally breathtaking (without being cheesy) and it was the perfect venue for us.
My dress and veil were from The Dressing Rooms in Halesowen. And the accessories were all my own, I wore old shoes and earrings which just happened to match my dress perfectly. And my bracelet was my ‘something borrowed’ from my bridesmaid from her wedding day. I didn’t use a bag or have anything in my hair, the back of my dress was detailed so I didn’t want to over do accessories as I thought it might become tacky.
How did the dress choice go?
I didn’t have a clue which style of dress I would end up picking so I tried every different style to start with, in a different bridal store, and instantly knew I liked the ‘mermaid’ type. Dressing Rooms have so many dresses to choose from so once I knew my style I went there and picked about 10 different mermaid dresses to try. I tried the first one on and knew I didn’t need to try the rest. I fell in love with the back of the dress, the detail was so amazing.
I did have a small doubting moment of the dress I had picked around 4 months after choosing it and so I went back to Dressing Rooms to try a load more but actually nothing else compared so I knew then I had initially made the right choice. It’s hard because you go so long without seeing it, you forget what it looked like and how you felt in it. I’m sure all brides have doubts at some point! But it was right in the end!
The suits were always meant to be grey. However when Matt went to try them all on, he loved the navy blue tweed suit and I have to admit, it did look the best on him even if it was about to ruin our colour scheme!
The suits were all hired from The Dressing Rooms sister store TDR Bridal (I think that’s what it’s called) and that was one of the cheaper quotes we had for the same suit in other stores.
He picked a grey sort of chequered waistcoat and a patterned tie with sage and green flowers. It all worked really well together and looked so good with the bridesmaids, flowers and the venue.
Although, in tweed, the men were all so hot as luckily the sun was out for our day!
I initially wanted grey bridesmaids but because Matt was having grey suits I didn’t want it all to look too grey! So I was looking for a greyish sage colour. I kept looking online and ordering colour swatches but I have never been a great online shopper so wasn’t really getting anywhere!
One day I took my bridesmaids just to have a browse through the dresses at TDR Bridal however the ones that are made to order were quite expensive so was about to give up when one of my bridesmaids noticed a ‘off the rack’ section which had 4 sage dresses (just the shade I was looking for). They tried them on and felt really comfortable in them and the dress really suited all of them which was hard as they are all so different! They were a reasonable price so we brought them! It was a much more successful trip than I had thought it was going to be. Nearer the wedding the bridesmaids all had slight adjustments made to their dresses by Claire Thomas who has a small business called Material Girls. Prices were very reasonable and she completed them super quick without much notice.
Mine and the bridesmaids flowers were incredible!! They were from Fairley’s Florist, Stourbridge. I had no doubts they would be lovely as she (Amy) had already done wedding flowers for two of my best friends.
I showed her my dress, venue, bridesmaid dresses and matts suit and then showed her a few pictures I’d saved off pinterest. She spent loads of time with me on a number of occasions making sure she understood exactly what style I was looking for and they were gorgeous!
We weren’t bothered at all about a traditional wedding cake. Hardly anyone eats them and we weren’t bothered about storing the fruit cake part away in a random cupboard for years. So we decided to incorporate it into our evening do food and picked a cheese wedding cake which then turned into a cheeseboard with bread, crackers, chutney, etc etc. All of the guests commented on how nice the food was and it was a perfect accompaniment to the bacon cobs which we’d also ordered for the night do.
The cheese cake was provided by our venue and we decorated it (very simply) ourselves. It fit in so well with the rustic theme, we definitely wouldn’t have wanted a perfectly iced cake. However we did want something sweet for guests so my bridesmaid made 100 beautiful looking (and tasting) cupcakes in 3 different flavours and set them up in wooden crates with greenery surrounding them, it looked amazing!
Again, this was due to recommendations from friends weddings. Chloe McCall did mine, my moms and my bridesmaids make up on the day and she did an amazing job (as usual). I was super picky over some parts and kept changing my mind on what I wanted and she didn’t bat an eyelid – she just got on with it and wanted me to feel comfortable. She wanted to do the best she could for me and she did!! She is incredible at her job and all of our make up lasted all day. She also squeezed my mom in last minute as my mom had planned to do her own make up – until she saw how beautiful Chloe was making everyone else look!
Our photographer was Nick Rogers (Nicholas Rogers Photography) and he was recommended by my uncle who is a friend of his. I looked at some of his work through his site and through facebook etc. I noticed that he’d photographed a wedding of an old friend so I got in contact with her and asked if we could have a peek at her wedding album. She sent me her online album and the pictures were stunning! We made an appointment for a consultation with Nick and as soon as we met him we knew he was right for us. We wanted somebody chilled out, who would make us feel relaxed and who was open to using some of our ideas/interested in trying out new things. This is exactly what Nick did for us.
On the day he also brought a second photographer, Sophie (also lovely), to make sure all moments were being captured. They organised our wedding guests so well into group shots (not easy when there is 100 people to get in one place at once) and we sent them over a list of all the important pics we wanted with different people which were all taken on the day. We never once felt like the cameras were too in our faces or intruding on our relaxed day (which was our initial worry when booking a photographer). The price was also cheap in comparison to other wedding photographers of the same quality!
We kept the decorations to a minimum to be honest as Lyde Court is so beautiful on its own it really doesn’t need much sprucing up! There are already fairy lights, candles, bunting, ivy garlands and hanging hops everywhere within the venue which was the theme we already wanted anyway! It just saved us buying it all and putting it all up! They also loaned us tree log slices for the tables, an easel for the table plan, a lockable card postage box, a sweets stand, a prosecco bath and a beer wheelbarrow! We really didn’t need to figure much else out for ourselves. For our tables we used saved up prosecco corks with chalk board effect place cards inserted for each person with a little corked glass bottle of black sambucca. In the middle we had a hanging chalk board heart for the table names and then covered the table in tealights and wild ivy (cut from Matt’s aunty and uncles farm the morning before). We also had photos of me and Matt on each table as our table names were of places we had been eg. New York, Rome etc so we had photos of ourselves with all the iconic sights for each place. From that our table plan was created using a old fashioned poster of a map with strings leading to each destination to show where everyone would be sitting.
Outside we set up a bar shack, which my dad made, and Lyde happily said they would serve from during the drinks reception to stop people from seeing the inside of the barn until the meal. We also had a beer pong table, a coconut shy (also made by my dad!) and the ice cream cart. It worked so well and everyone loved it.
On the evening a fire pit was lit and people gathered around it in the early hours toasting marshmallows.
We didn’t need to decorate outside as it is surrounded by trees, flowers, plants and hills in the background.
So many – the whole day!!! We couldn’t pick! These were probably our highlights….
I loved spending the morning with my Mom and bridesmaids. We had a lovely breakfast made for us by staff at Lyde Court, lots of prosecco and there were many tears and special moments shared when giving out presents etc. The morning wasn’t rushed or stress filled, it was just lovely!
A truly special moment for me was when my Dad first walked in to see me in my dress for the first time (although it did ruin my make up slightly through mascara tears!!) It will remain one of my happiest and most emotional memories for life.
The ceremony is the part I thought I would enjoy the least, with all the nerves and standing up in front of everybody, but actually it was probably my favourite part of our day! To walk down the aisle with all of your most favourite people watching and admiring you is a feeling you cannot explain, I felt so loved in that moment. Then to look up and see Matt (crying!! never thought he would!) was just incredible. Our two readers had written their own poems which were very personal to us (both with funny and emotional parts) and we had one of our friends perform part of our ceremony so this made our wedding a bit different from others. With these personal touches it made that part of our day so special.
Another personal touch which made this part another highlight for us was our Master of Ceremonies introducing us to our wedding breakfast. He included lots of private jokes and memories and introduced us in such a entertaining manner it set the atmosphere perfectly for the rest of our fun filled day.
Then of course, the speeches (all 3 full of laughter and tears), our first dance (Grow Old With Me – Tom O’Dell) and my father and daughter dance (You’re my Best Friend – Queen) were all equally as special as the rest of our day had been. Finally our band – The Liquor and Poker Band – were just incredible and nobody left the dance floor, they were exactly what we’d hoped for.
The whole day was amazing, it just goes so fast! And there is not enough time to get round everybody. Just wish we could do it all over and over again!