Kate and Robin met at school and it wasn’t long until their relationship blossomed, whilst they were still teenagers. Ten years later the couple were still together and during Kate’s surprise birthday weekend to Alton Towers, one of the couple’s favourite places, Robin proposed. “Of course I said yes; we celebrated by going on Nemesis straight away!” laughs Kate. “Neither of our parents knew about the proposal so when we got home we told them face to face. When they started crying, our engagement really sunk in!” she adds.
A local setting
The couple knew they wanted to get wed near home in the Midlands. Kate wanted to wake up on the morning of her wedding in her childhood home, so the couple began to compile a huge list of venues nearby. “We had strict criteria, such as a civil ceremony in a room without carpets, large space for an evening reception and catering on site. When I found Packington Moor ’s website one evening, I knew it was the place we had to get married,” says Kate. “It was the perfect combination of rustic romance with a modern, purpose-built wedding interior. Plus, it was even more stunning in real life!” she adds.
Kate was keen to enjoy the whole wedding experience. She used blogs and magazines for every aspect of her wedding planning and ripped out her favourite ideas to pop in her wedding scrapbook. Something that was evident from Kate’s scrapbook was that there was no specific theme to the day, rather a day that represented the two as a couple. Kate and Robin named their tables after milestones in their relationship and decorated the tables with literary classics. Inspired by the venue, Kate opted for bright, wild, spring flowers and table settings, finished off with a pretty floral arch under which they got married. When it came to the cake, there was only one element that was important to Kate and Robin – the taste. So there was no doubt the couple would be choosing a chocolate brownie cake, which they had decorated with roses to match their wedding colours. “One thing I got far too obsessed about was having the perfect wedding make-up. I must have wasted hours, maybe days, reading and watching reviews about the perfect foundation. I loved every second of it though and learnt a lot about make-up in the process!” laughs Kate.
Kate and Robin were more than willing to splash out on a great photographer to capture their day. “Photography was the second most important thing to us after the venue and we were looking for someone who could do stunning, artistic bride and groom shots, as well as great group pictures,” explains Kate. “I knew that Packington provided a stunning backdrop, so we were looking for photographers that could make the best use of this,” she adds. The couple chose to hire AE Wedding Photography , upon recommendation from Packington Moor and were more than happy with their decision. “We are so glad we invested in good photography for our wedding. When the pictures arrived, we were absolutely blown away by what AE Photography had been able to capture,” smiles Kate.
Mums know best!
Another wedding must-have was Kate’s dream gown. However, picking her favourite wasn’t so easy. “I started trying on dress after dress and realised I Ioved most of them and I had no idea how I was going to choose,” laughs Kate. With her mum’s help though, it wasn’t long until Kate found the one. “My mum picked out a dress for me to try on but I wasn’t overly keen on it. I really didn't want straps and the skirt looked flat and boring. It was nothing like I imagined, but I agreed to try it on. As I pulled the dress on, I was equally unsure. But, when I stepped out the changing room and my mum gasped, I had to rethink,” recalls Kate. Kate decided to take some time to think about the dress and booked another appointment to try it on again – and the next time she tried it on she felt a million dollars. She finished off her look with a simple veil, an understated pearl brooch in her hair, a simple bracelet with a blue stone for her something blue and her grandma’s ring as her something old.
Whilst the couple splashed out on their venue and photography, they did make savings in areas that weren’t so important to them. Kate managed to bag a bargain when it came to her wedding shoes, they were just £20 from eBay. She also opted to get her wedding hair done at her local hairdressers, which too saved some money. The couple also pulled in favours from friends and family; a family friend made their wedding cake, and the couple’s milkman played DJ for the night!
After 18 months of planning, the couple’s spring wedding day had finally arrived. They had a civil ceremony at Packington Moor and asked the best man and one of their groomsmen to sing with their guitars during the ceremony. “My Dad walked me down the aisle. It was quite emotional, as it's something we've talked about since I was a little girl and it was finally happening!” smiles Kate. After their ceremony, the wedding party indulged in delicious food and drink prepared by Galloping Gourmet. “We started with canapés during the photos, followed by pork spring roll salad for starter, duck for main and cheesecake for pudding. All the food was beautifully presented and everything ran perfectly to time,” says Kate.
The couple’s evening reception was inspired by their love of rock music. They prepared a playlist of songs together with their DJ, which included a number of rock classics. “For our first dance we chose an acoustic version of a song called No Matter What, by Papa Roach. There were probably only a handful of people in the room that knew what it was, but that didn't matter, the lyrics were perfect,” smiles Kate. The rock theme continued right through to the final dance where all the wedding guests were made to rock out to Iron Maiden – the last song of the night. “We wouldn’t change a thing about our day, it was one of the best days of our lives,” smiles Kate.
Kate’s top tips:
- Enjoy every second of it. You only get to plan your wedding once and it's so much fun. Try on a million dresses, spend hours looking at wedding photography and make Pinterest and scrapbooks galore!
- Only do what the two of you want to do. Every single member of your family will have an opinion about what you should do or how things should be done, but at the end of the day, it's your wedding.
- Don't waste money on tiny little details that no-one will notice. They might mean the world to you at the time, but the truth is 90% of the people there won't notice or care about them.
Images © AE Wedding Photography
Want to find out about holding your wedding at Packington Moor? Call the wedding team on 01543 220055.