Sarah and Martin got engaged in Spain, while they were on holiday visiting Sarah’s parents. “My mum told me she’d booked a romantic dinner for Martin and I in one of our favourite restaurants, minus the kids. We don't often get time alone without the children so I was really looking forward to it,” says Sarah. “Little did I know that Martin had planned the whole thing. Moments after we’d polished off the starter and a few cocktails he proposed,” she smiles. Before the couple had even got engaged, wedding planning had started behind the scenes. “I found out that my sister had been in on the engagement plans and had already got a hidden Pinterest board that she had been busy filling up. It turned out to be my best friend!” laughs Sarah.
A venue to wow
With Martin’s passion for building and architecture, it was apparent that the venue needed to be something quite spectacular - something old, with a bit of history about it. Having visited a number a venues with little success, the couple finally decided to visit Bassmead Manor Barns, in Cambridgeshire. “I’d actually been there before and loved it, but had originally discounted it due to price. As we’d seen a few venues that weren't suitable, we decided to pay Bassmead a visit and we were both blown away,” smiles Sarah. “Our budget went out the window, we knew we'd just seen the venue we had to get married in.” Luckily for Sarah, Martin had already been saving for the wedding prior to the proposal and had 5k tucked away for their big-day before they even began planning.
A family affair
After securing their venue, Sarah had a much clearer idea of what she wanted in terms of style. “All the Rickety Barn needed was a few bits of greenery. It was beautiful as it was,” says Sarah. The couple styled the rest of the venue with vintage touches, including jam jars decorated with lace, twine and hessian and filled with flowers like avalanche roses. They also had a finger print tree guest book. In memory of the pair’s grandparents, they decided to give out charity badges for their favours, donating to Cancer Research and Alzheimer’s Society at the same time. “Friends and family helped with many of the wedding elements and my friend, Emma, even made us a beautiful two-tiered wedding cake. In fact, we barely used any suppliers at all,” explains Sarah.
The week Sarah got engaged she stumbled across a wedding dress that she fell in love with straight away- a 50's style gown with lace bodice detail and straps. “Everyone was expecting to see me in a long gown and I just knew that wasn't me. I searched high and low for somewhere local to me that stocked the dress and was thrilled to find a shop that had it in stock,” smiles Sarah. Of course, she bought it! Martin and the groomsmen wore a grey suit with traditional cream waistcoat and cravats, while the couple’s son matched the look.
A rustic feast
On the big-day itself, Sarah’s bridesmaids and flower girls – her older sister and two daughters – and her father, joined her to walk down the aisle. The couple chose to get wed at 2pm to ensure they’d capture the remaining light outside straight after their autumnal ceremony. “The guests were served mulled wine and canapés after the main event, followed by a incredible wedding breakfast,” says Sarah. The foodie-loving couple opted for a menu that included a confit pork and apple spring roll, salad of celeriac and grain mustard starter, roast rump of lamb main and a vanilla shortbread dessert. “Our biggest splurge was on food. We had the Galloping Gourmet chefs prepare and cook the canapés, three-course meal and evening spread. We had some amazing compliments about it all – the food was certainly worth it!”
Live music was one of the couple’s must haves – especially since Martin was a keen musician. After originally searching for a solo acoustic performer, the couple decided upon a three-piece band for their evening entertainment. “The band played Thinking Out Loud, by Ed Sheeran, for our first dance. It was brilliant. The words are so lovely and it was the perfect choice for our first dance as husband and wife,” smiles Sarah.
Sarah’s top tips:
- Write down everything you purchase, it’s a good idea to stay of top of where your money goes and on what.
- Consider getting married earlier on in the day. It all goes so fast that the more time you have to savour the day, the better!
If you’d like to find out about getting married at Bassmead Manor Barns, call the venue on 01234 860006.
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