“Kevin proposed to me under the Northern lights in Iceland on 14th February 2018. It was so romantic and I genuinely didn’t see it coming, especially as I told him not to propose on Valentine’s Day! Haha…
We were away with my Dad and Nan, so it didn’t feel like a normal cheesy Valentine’s Day. After the passing of my Grandad, my Nan didn’t think she would ever see the Northern lights; it was one of the last things on her bucket list to see. Kevin being so sweet suggested we take her to see the Northern lights and perhaps bring my Dad too. I’m so glad we took her; she had the best time and was truly touched by the gesture.
The evening we spotted the Northern lights, Nan went back to the coach to warm up after enjoying them for as long as she could. Dad shortly followed to give us some space. I had no idea what was about to happen but my Dad was in the know how.
Kevin then hugged me from behind as we gazed up at the beautiful view, told me how he was so glad he was here with me and no one else in this world, then popped the ring box in front of me and said “Will you marry me?!” Apparently, it was too cold to get down on one knee, of course the answer was yes and the rest is history.”
What was your first step in planning your wedding?
“The first step in our wedding planning was definitely booking the perfect venue and securing a wedding date. I tried to work from big things first to smaller details. Meanwhile lots of Pintresting!”
Inspiration: Did you use blogs or magazines for ideas?
“Pinterest definitely helped with inspiration for a large part of our wedding.
I bought many things on Etsy as they personalise EVERYTHING on that website, Amazon and Facebook Marketplace!”
What were your wedding “must have’s”?
“The most important factor to us was always to find the perfect venue, where everything was in one place. The Ceremony, the Wedding Breakfast, the Dancing but most importantly somewhere that could provide enough accommodation so that every guest could stay over and enjoy breakfast together the next morning.”
Wedding budget: how did you organise your wedding budget?
“If I’m completely honest we never really set a budget, we just went with gut instinct on what we were prepared to pay for certain things. We had quite a bit of help from family, my Dad bought my dress, our Aunt and Uncle paid for our cake, my Mum and Step Father paid for the Florist. Other family members gave us some money so all in all we just managed. With a two year engagement it definitely helped us afford it all. Although we bought our first house in July 2018 and have been doing it up since the minute we got the keys, so it’s not been an easy ride but definitely a worthwhile journey.”
Wedding venue: how did you search for a wedding venue?
“Knowing our criteria, I searched online mostly on Hitched.com this was a particularly helpful website for venues. Once we found St Audries Park online and mentioned it to family members, my Dad and Aunty had both attended weddings there and recommended it further.”
What made you choose your wedding venue?
“Not only did St Audries Park fit our criteria of “everything in one place plus enough accommodation for all” we also had nothing to find ourselves in the way of Catering and big add on pricey things. You get a Wedding Manager to help you with everything and they offer very reasonable prices for out of season weddings. Above all St Audries Park just felt right for both of us, I did not need to convince Kevin at all, he was all for it.”
Styling your wedding: how did you personalise your big day?
“For me it’s all about ‘less is more’. I think it is important to embrace how beautiful your venue is and go with what suits the venue rather than a theme. This was evident in our simplistic floral displays. I love aubergine purple and as it was a winter wedding, it seemed fitting to have that for our colour scheme.
For the centrepieces, I tried to go as luminous and dreamy as possible. Lots of mirrors, candles and floating candles created a wonderful atmosphere for our winter wedding.
With our cake, we knew from the start we wanted a tower of macarons, however I thought it would be a shame not to have a cake to cut. Kevin stumbled across a cake and macaron tower combo online with his Aunt and I knew that was what we had to have. Best of both worlds!
I didn’t like the idea of paying hundreds of pounds on a photo booth hire so we decided to make our own. My Uncle built us an arch for the Ceremony and then later on in the evening he attached a hanging frame, which was used as the photo booth. We picked up a load of props along our journey of wedding planning, a Polaroid camera with loads of film and used a pallet to display pictures on and it looked really rustic and cute.”
Wedding photographer: how did you choose your photographer?
“They say every cloud has its silver lining and this is true when it comes to our photographer. We paid a deposit on our original photographer and then he ghosted us. Through that process, we contacted someone who had also had a bad experience and they recommended Hannah at Steel & Oak Film Company.
Hannah and her partner Ben, our videographer, were THE single best decision we made apart from of course, choosing St Audries Park as our venue. They are not only talented but so friendly and approachable too. They have a quick turn around on pictures and videos, which is amazing when you are impatiently waiting after your wedding. We had 7 or 8 edited pictures sent over on the night of our Wedding!!! They specialise in candid pictures, which is definitely what we wanted from our wedding day.”
Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?
“Our florist was recommended to us as was our photographer and videographer. Our cake maker was recommended to us after our Aunt saw her feature in a local magazine. Our band was found on a website called Entertainment Nation. Our fun casino company was found via the St Audries Bridesbook.”
Describe your wedding attire
“I thought I was going to go for a tea style dress, no sort of train etc. Being petite, I thought it would suit me best. I went for the complete opposite! When trying on the shorter dresses I felt like a child playing dress up, I did not feel womanly at all! When I tried on my dress, it just felt right. I went for a Mermaid style dress with a really long train and even longer veil that had poppers on the straps of my dress, flowing down the back like a cape. It just goes to show you do not know what suits you until you start trying, so try all styles!”
What accessories did you wear on the day?
“My brother and his boyfriend presented me with a beautiful pair of diamond earrings just before I was getting ready to leave the dressing room and walk down the aisle. I was so touched; they were a timeless classic to compliment my dress. My necklace was a dark blue stoned silver necklace to match my sapphire in my engagement ring. I wore navy blue peep toe heels (my something blue, which of course had a sixpence glued to the bottom) and I was so pleased that I didn’t need to wear a bra or any corset type underwear under my dress, just some nice knickers.”
What did your partner wear?
“Kevin wore a dark grey three-piece suit with a white shirt, an aubergine tie and pocket square. My mother in law suggested grey, which we both approved of. Kevin has the most gorgeous deep blue eyes so we thought it would complement them well, also it felt nice and wintery.”
Tell us about your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and their outfits
“I had my two best friends as my bridesmaids. My oldest friend from school Lucinda and my friend from College, Natalie. Natalie was heavily pregnant on our wedding day, in fact 1 day overdue! So we weren’t even sure if she would be there. The bridesmaids wore an aubergine dress with fur shawls and sparkly gold strappy heels.
Kevin had his four University friends as his Groomsmen and his Brother as his Best Man. They all wore matching outfits to Kevin and the Best Man had a bow tie instead of a tie.”
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
“Our biggest wedding splurge was probably my dress although my Dad kindly paid for that. Other than that it was our venue! We managed to keep costs down quite well.”
What was your biggest wedding saving?
“We were so lucky that our Uncle is a carpenter and managed to make many things for our wedding that saved us buying them. For example, he made us our gorgeous arch for our ceremony, which then got used for the evening event to hang our frame from, for our photo booth. He also revamped some decorative ladders we got on the cheap for our “ladders of remembrance”. Made two ‘A’ frames for the pallets to sit on securely. We really are very grateful.”
What was your ceremony like?
“Our ceremony was kept very simple as we didn’t want the whole day to be too serious, we just wanted to enjoy our day with our nearest and dearests. We had our little 2 year old Nephew as our Page Boy, who walked the ring box down the aisle to the Best Man. I then followed with my Dad and my two Bridesmaids were just behind me. I walked down the aisle to: Songbird by Eva Cassidy.”
Tell us about your drinks reception and wedding breakfast
Our welcome drink choices were:
Country House Gardens * Kir Royale * Winter Mojitos
Our choices for Starters were:
Warm Smoked Chicken Salad * Tempura Battered Vegetables * Fishcakes
Our choices for Mains were:
Roast Beef * Roast Fillet of Salmon * Red Onion, Leek & Portobello Mushroom Hot Pot
Our choices for Desserts were:
Warm Apple Pie with Cinnamon Sugar / Warm Double Chocolate Brownie
“Our speeches were amazing; two moments that will always stay with me were when my Dad said that he couldn’t think of anyone better suited to marry his daughter. The other moment was when my Husband said he could not wait for us to start a family!”
Did you have a band or DJ for your evening reception?
“We had an awesome band called “The Lightmen” who are a folk band and really know how to work the dancefloor.”
Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?
“Haha… our first dance was hilarious, I could barely move without tripping over my dress! We decided on a fun song that everyone knows, rather than a slow ballad. We went with “You are the first, my last, my everything” by Barry White.”
What was the most memorable moment of the day?
“I know it sounds cliché but honestly, I loved every minute of our wedding day for all sorts of reasons. One moment that really sticks in my mind was our friend’s 6 year old daughter coming up to me and asking if she could take a picture of me. We gave the kids gift bags during the wedding breakfast and in hers we put a disposable camera with an “eye spy” sheet, giving her about 10 things to find and take a picture of. One of the things was to take a picture of a pretty lady. It was so cute the way she came up to me and asked to take my picture. It was right before my Husband and I walked into the Banqueting Hall. We were both overwhelmed by her cuteness.”
Did any members of staff stand out to you in particular?
“I think it goes without saying our wedding manager Aly made our wedding day flawless. I may even go as far as saying she might have made the storm go away and the sun come out for us!! She was very organised, so many guests have commented on how seamless the day was and how she was going round the tables making sure everyone had exactly what they ordered and asking if they needed anything. Not only that, dealing with all the suppliers coming in on the morning of our wedding and running around like a headless chicken so I didn’t have to think about a single thing other than getting myself ready! Thank you Aly.”
What did you enjoy the most about St Audries Park?
“What I enjoyed most was how I almost felt at home. Every single guest felt at ease and looked after; everyone had their own room that they could go back to whenever they wanted. What more can you ask for? It was exactly what we were looking for from a venue.”
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“Everyone says it, but it is true; be in the moment on the day because you’ve worked so hard to get to that day and it goes so fast! When it all gets stressful just remember why you’re doing it, to marry the man/woman of your dreams, that’s all that matters after all. If a few things don’t go to plan on the day, no one but you will know so just try and enjoy it regardless.”
“If we could do it all again, we’d…”
“Do everything exactly the same, our day was PERFECT because we have each other!”
Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?
“Kevin is a teacher, so we had a mini-moon during the rest of his February half term. My Mum and Step-Father kindly planned a mini-moon for us straight from St Audries Park on the day after our wedding all the way to St Ives. Our stops were: Clovelly, Padstow, St Ives then a night at Gidleigh Park before going home. It was amazing we got to reveal where we were heading the next day, each night before; by unwrapping a present that had a funky tea towel in it and an itinerary. (We love a tea towel in our family!)
We’re going away on a proper Honeymoon in the Easter break to Thailand, I’ve already started on a packing list – we can’t wait!”
Purchase & Hire – Tell us who your suppliers were:
Wedding attire: Moss Bros for the Men
Wedding Dress: Valerio Luna, Spain
Bridesmaid Dresses: Phase Eight
Bridesmaid Shoes: Next
Florist: Fleur Amour Wedding Florist
Photographer: Steel & Oak Film Co.
Band/Disco: The Lightmen