Friday, 9 August 2013

Real Before the Big Day Bride: Katie & Michael - Reception Details

Time for the wedding reception details! With inspiration from wedding blogs like Before the Big Day, Katie and Michael spent two years preparing their wedding, so you can be sure of some stunning details. My favourites? I've fallen for Katie's incredible David Tutera for Mon Cheri wedding gown, her hand-tied peony and rose bouquet, and her bold bridesmaids' dresses. Nothing like a shot of pink to brighten up a big day! Other fav-picks include the elegant going away car {a Rolls Royce?}, and the super-cute personalised cake topper made by Artlocke Designs. I love how all the wedding details reflect the lace and pearl theme, it creates a really elegant effect you normally only get from a professionally planned wedding. Gorgeous wedding pictures published with thanks to Andrew Billington - don't miss more of his work on his website.

When we were looking around for wedding venues we wanted somewhere with a wow factor, and Waterton Park Hotel fitted the bill. We needed somewhere that would accommodate all 80 of our guests, and have a nice big room with the dance floor in the middle, and plenty of space for all of our DIY ideas. We wanted the decoration to be light and bright to reflect our summery wedding.


Our wedding photographer, Andrew Billington was also a recommendation - I think it's the best way to find a photographer because there are so many out there, which is a bit daunting at first. 


As soon we saw Andrew's work and met him, we knew he was the photographer for us. His style of reportage was exactly what we wanted - our day captured not through posed shots, but as it happens and unfolds. We had so many comments from guests about how professional and friendly he was - most didn't even notice he was taking pictures! Nothing was too much trouble.


To say we enjoyed planning our wedding would be an understatement! We had Waterton Park booked just over two years before our big day, so that we could get a Saturday in peak season, so we had lots of time to look around, research and decide on what we wanted and what we were going to DIY. I spent many hours with bridesmaids sticking things into my wedding ideas book, reading blogs and pinning things on to my Pinterest account for inspiration. I’m going to miss it a lot and would do it all again tomorrow without a doubt.

We decided from the beginning of the planning stage that we would like to make our own wedding stationery, including the table plan, place markers and wedding favours. We searched for ideas, and then put our own spin on it, with our colours and theme. 


We did a lot of DIY wedding projects, which though did get stressful at times {all that stationary!}, it was great to haves projects to do together. We created a photo booth for a bargain, as I found lots of free printables for the props {moustaches, glasses etc,}, and taped them onto cocktails sticks and bought inflatable guitars, etc for £1 each. We used our photographer's back drop and made instructions for how to use our camera, and the photos came out really well. People seemed to have a blast! 


We also gathered our parents, aunties/uncles and grandparents wedding photos and did a small display on the back of our table plan which gave our guests opportunity to reminisce and see how weddings have changed through generations.


I found our cake lady, Carrie at Couture Cake Designs on Facebook through another cake lady’s page I met at a wedding fayre (woops!). When I showed Michael we were both blown away by her work, the amazing detail of icing roses were astonishing. We decided on a four-tier round cake and incorporated our lace and pink theme with ribbon-wraps. We obviously had to have the icing roses and hydrangeas {which matched our flowers}, and these were scattered down the front. Our separate cutting cake was for our cute personalised cake topper made by Cheryl at Artlocke Designs which went down a storm and became a top feature of the day. 

We picked vanilla sponge with strawberry conserve {a lovely traditional flavour], lemon, coconut with raspberry conserve {which even converted Michael as he doesn’t normally like coconut}, and a chocolate mud cake as the top tier for the chocoholics. The cutting cake was fruit. I think we covered most people’s taste and favourite flavours!


My advice for brides? I know everybody says it, but honestly the day goes so fast it's important to stand back, and take everything in. We did an informal receiving line out of the church which gave us the opportunity to speak to all our guests, and we also made sure we went around the tables after our wedding breakfast. Also, do your research and take pictures with you to suppliers as this gives them an exact idea of what you want, without you having to explain in great detail - after all - what you see in your mind might be totally different to what they imagine. This especially helped me at the florists and with my hair and make up lady, Victoria Farr. In the last week don't stress about the smaller details, and enjoy the build-up with family and friends. One of my favourite parts of our wedding was our church rehearsal and a BBQ afterwards with our wedding party.

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