Planned to perfection for Katie And Afthab’s Wedding

Katie and Afthab planned an unforgettable, fun filled day at the idyllic Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire.

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

Planned to perfection

With the festive season in full swing, Afthab prepared a romantic proposal that would make Christmas 2012 the most memorable yet. “When Afthab came home from work on 22nd December, he told me to go to the window and look out. On the grass there was a huge heart made of twinkling fairy lights. In the background he was playing The Power of Love from the John Lewis advert,” smiles Katie. When she turned around, she found Afthab on one knee about to propose – and of course she said yes.

Lucky in love

“Afthab and I actually met at a wedding venue, as I was a wedding coordinator before having our son and he was head of operations and banqueting. We already knew exactly what we both wanted for our wedding before we even got engaged and I had been keeping a scrapbook for years,” says Katie. With firm ideas in mind, she began pinning her dream wedding on Pinterest.  Their backgrounds in the wedding industry also meant the couple had a good idea of wedding costs. With this in mind Afthab’s first task was to create a spreadsheet to keep track of their budget.

Top pick

Having already planned the perfect wedding in her head - including the venue -Katie was reluctant to visit any others, until she decided she wanted to experience the fun of being a bride. “We went to look at Sandhole Oak Barn and just knew that was where we should get married. The views were incredible. I instantly started imagining where everything would go. Bill, the owner, was amazing, so warm and helpful, so we knew we were in safe hands,” explains Katie.

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

Hippy chic

The venue inspired Katie to create a pastel, boho theme. She decorated her tables with a mixture of pretty things of differing heights including lanterns, pearls and flowers, and tall pink metal jugs filled with matching flowers. Their table plan, from Etsy, had a homemade, vintage touch with lace, ribbons and rosettes, and was hung above their candy buffet. The couple also added pastel coloured pom poms from the ceiling for a romantic, whimsical effect. “We decided instead of a guest book we wanted something different that we would see more than a book, so chose a garden bench - which my dad painted pink - for everyone to write messages on,” says Katie. The reception room was finished off with a delicious wedding cake, made by Katie’s mum. “The three tiers included chocolate, Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle. It was decorated with simple cream swirled icing and a wrap of matching flowers,” explains Katie.

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

Finding the one

Whilst sourcing suppliers and styling wedding day décor went to plan, finding the perfect dress wasn’t so easy. In fact, Katie ended up buying three! “I thought I was being really budget savvy and ordered the first dress from eBay. It was awful though, the fit was wrong and it looked cheap. The second dress was also ordered online, but this time from a website. It was lovely but I ordered it too small, determined that I would fit into it,” says Katie. As the day got nearer, she decided to visit a bridal boutique with her chief bridesmaid and shop wedding dresses the traditional way. Luckily she found her perfect gown. “As soon as it was on, I never wanted it off. I felt amazing and adored it completely! It was a bandeau, fishtail lace dress with a grey belt and flower detail,” explains Katie. She accessorised with a Tikka (a diamante clip that dangles down your forehead), a fingertip length veil and diamond encrusted platform shoes.

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

Rainbow brights

Katie’s creativity spread to the groomsmen’s attire. She suggested Afthab wore black chinos with black high top converse, a white shirt, grey braces and a black dickie bow. “At first, he was unsure but he and his groomsmen definitely loved their outfits once they had them,” smiles Katie. The groomsmen (including Katie’s two year old son) wore grey chinos, black high top converse, white shirts, grey braces and different colour dickie bow ties to match the bridesmaid they walked down the aisle with.

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

Perfectly personal

With the perfect wedding day pinned, styled and planned, the couple finally tied the knot on 27th March 2014. “We had our ceremony at Sandhole Oak Barn. I walked down the aisle with my dad to Glasgow Love Theme (from Love Actually) and once we were married Afthab and I exited to to Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,” says Katie. They also chose two readings for the ceremony. Us Two by A.A.Milne, a special poem because of the couple’s personal nicknames, and Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss, chosen and read by Katie’s brother.

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

The fun stuff

Katie and Afthab’s ceremony was only the start of their big day celebrations. During their drinks reception, the couple decided to film a marryoke with their videographer – where all their guests mimed and danced along to the Friends theme tune. “It was hilarious, so much fun,” says Katie. They followed this with a scrumptious three-course breakfast, full of all their favourite foods. “To start we had a small chicken linguine carbonara served with Italian breads; our main was lamb with mash and seasonal vegetables; and we had a trio of desserts, including chocolate berry mousse, strawberry cheesecake and chocolate fudge cake served warm with ice cream and fruit garnish. It was amazing,” says Katie.

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

Something special

Celebrations continued right through the night with rides on a Ferris wheel – set up as a surprise for all the guests - overlooking the beautiful lake and countryside views, and dancing. Katie even changed into a Claireabella personalised white bride hoody, white leggings and pumps later in the evening so she’d feel comfortable dancing the night away!

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

Katie’s top tips:

  1. Make the most of being engaged and being a bride and groom - go to all the wedding fayres, visit lots of venues and try as much food and drink as you can.
  2. Hire a videographer. The day goes so fast and to have those memories captured for you to watch back in years to come is so important.
  3. Remember to have fun!

Katie and Afthab's Real Life Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn | CHWV

To find out more about celebrating your special day at Sandhole Oak Barn, call the wedding team on 01260 540007.

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