Stuart wowed Carly with a surprise trip to New York for her 21st birthday, but little did she know he had another surprise in store. Stuart had been carrying a ring around the city in his pocket, which he took out on the last day in Central Park and popped the question.
Finding the venue for their big-day celebrations was the first thing on the couple’s to-do list. They knew they wanted to tie the knot at Thorney Abbey, in Peterborough, but struggled to find the perfect location for the rest of their celebrations. After hearing about a new wedding venue nearby, Bassmead Manor Barns, the couple decided to pay the venue a visit. “Despite it being unfinished – with unpainted walls and a quagmire for the floor – we knew immediately that it was the venue for us,” smiles Carly. “We fell in love with the feel of the Barn, the area, the atmosphere, and the attention to detail,” she adds. “When we saw it on its open day it exceeded what we hoped for. The décor was perfect, the food so tasty and well presented, drinks imaginative, professionalism of staff second to none, and gardens beautiful.”
A source of inspiration
With their venues confirmed, Carly began planning the finer details of their day – Pinterest being a huge resource. “It was a great way to lose yourself for hours. I found plenty of creative ideas and inspiration,” explains Carly. “I would give Stuart options and receive the inevitable answer, “I don’t mind” –so I planned and designed the most important things,” she laughs. Carly also got lots of inspiration from family and friends who were getting married while she was planning her own wedding. “It gave us a great insight into wedding etiquette, church requirements and the norms,” she explains.
When it came to styling their day, the personal touch was key. “I knew that I would want to design and make most of the extras, so all the stationary, card box, and displays, were thought through, designed and made by us both,” says Carly. Just some of the touches included vodka infusions to complement the raspberry and lime colour scheme, and fridge magnet place names, featuring photos of all their wedding guests. “This was a great talking point for the tables and got everyone mixing straight away,” explains Carly.
Bold and bright
The pair’s raspberry and lime colour scheme ran throughout their décor and the wedding attire. The bridesmaids wore lime, the groomsmen accessorised with raspberry accents, and the flowers featured the bright colour palette too. The cake was pulled together from a few designs, plain ivory, with an ombré ruffled top tier in raspberry, and decorated with a contrasting single open ivory peony, offset on the top with scattered lime flowers. This sat as a centrepiece in the lobby on a grand circular table so that everybody got to see the creation.
Finding the one
While styling the day came easy to Carly, finding the perfect wedding dress proved to be more of a challenge. Keen to find the perfect dress, she knew that this part of the planning process would always be difficult. “I only took my mum along to my appointments as I didn’t want to be bombarded with lots of different opinions,” explains Carly. She also visited just three bridal boutiques to limit the number of dresses she was exposed to. “My final dress just felt right. The other contenders were lovely, but the particular dress I chose fitted the venue size and complemented the finish we had started to achieve everywhere else.”
Carly teamed her dress with simple small drop earrings from Links of London, and a necklace and bracelet set from Swarovski, all presents from her parents. A simple ribbon-edged two-tier cathedral length veil finished off her look.
After months of planning, the couple finally tied the knot in May 2015. They enjoyed a ceremony in Stuart’s family church, and went on to celebrate with a drinks reception and three-course meal at Bassmead Manor Barns. “The food and drinks were our most expensive outlays, but they were also one of our top priorities,” explains Carly. “The in-house caterers delivered 110% and we had so many wonderful comments and compliments from our guests and suppliers. We needed to cater for two pregnant ladies, two vegetarians, three gluten free and two dairy free guests. The chefs went above and beyond!”
While tucking into their food, the couple and their wedding guests were serenaded by a live band, playing a mix of chilled jazz and contemporary songs on saxophone and piano. “They created such a great ambience in the large room, another touch that worked just how we had hoped,” smiles Carly.
Live music was also a major part of the couple’s evening celebrations. After seeing them at the National Wedding Show, and being blown away, the pair hired Ashmore Acoustics for the night. “Their entire set list surpassed what we had imagined and their attention to detail was impeccable,” smiles Carly. It wasn’t just the band that proved their worth though; the wedding team at Bassmead impressed the couple and their guests too. “Our wedding coordinator was on hand to help along the way. She made sure she had all the details of our suppliers and was able to ensure the day went as smoothly as possible for us,” says Carly. “She perfectly delivered an amazing occasion without fluster or interruption to our day - everything was more than we could have hoped for."
Carly’s top tips:
- Don’t be swayed by other’s opinions. Lots of people, including our suppliers, doubted that our colour scheme would work. However, I knew it was right for our day.
- Get the photographer and videographer right, and your rings. At the end of it all, once the cake is stale and the tan fades, these and your memories are what are left.
- Get away somewhere afterwards, just the two of you. Recount your day as many times as you can before reality and real life continue.
Images © Pete Henderson Photography
For more information about weddings at Bassmead Manor Barns, contact the events team today on 01234 860006.