Kelly’s surprise birthday in London lead to a proposal, you guessed! It was a YES…
Tell us about the proposal – how and where did it happen?
“Chris paid for me and my mum to go to the theatre in London for my birthday, little did I know he got the train up two hours later with my Dad and his parents. As me and my Mum left the theatre and were walking through Covent Garden, Chris tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around and he was down on one knee! We finished the day off with dinner at the Savoy. It was perfect and was definitely a surprise!”
What was your first step in planning your wedding?
“The very first thing I did was contact St Audries Park, after a few days researching venues I knew St Audries Park was the one. Luckily, they had one Saturday left in October 2019 so we snapped it up straight away and it was all booked within a week of the proposal. We discovered St Audries Park through word of mouth from friends and Facebook/Instagram. We fell in love with St Audries Park as soon as we started driving down the drive. From the gorgeous Orangery to the food to the rooms, everything was just what we wanted. The staff were so accommodating with everything thing we wanted that it was a no-brainer!”
What were your wedding “must have’s”?
“St Audries Park was definitely my first wedding must have; we both fell in love with the venue as soon as we saw it. Other must haves were the autumn themed flower colours and the rustic country theme, from the antler table centre pieces to the tweed suits.”
Styling your wedding: how did you personalise your big day?
“From the beginning we knew we wanted a rustic country themed wedding with vibrant autumn flowers. We gave Jane at Eden Florist in Taunton free reign and only specified that we wanted rich autumn colours combined with a country feel. She did an amazing job and the flowers looked amazing from the antler centerpieces to the decorated main staircase. We didn’t want an over the top cake, just simple with a few gold touches here and there, it looked incredible, better than we’d both imagined. For our wedding favours, we decided on personalised M&Ms with our names on and the date of our wedding, they went down a storm and didn’t last very long!!”
Wedding photographer: how did you choose your photographer?
“We booked Ben as soon as possible. After seeing his reviews and amazing work on Facebook, Instagram and the St Audries Park website we knew it had to be him.”
Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?
“We tried to use all local suppliers to us and St Audries Park as we only live 15 minutes away. Our cake came from Cakes by Samantha in Street and after seeing her work online we went for a tasting and were straight away sold!!”
Describe your wedding attire.
“I always knew I wanted a tight-fitting gown but apart from that I was a bit clueless. After a couple of appointments with Debbie and her mum at Somerset Bridal in Minehead I fell in love with a fit and flare, Chantilly lace Justin Alexander gown. For someone that is always in black for work and outside work jeans and hoodies, it made me feel absolutely amazing. The detail and the train were to die for!!”
What accessories did you wear on the day
“I chose to wear a chapel length veil which was subtly sparkly with a rose gold headband. My mum and dad had given me Swarovski earrings which I wore with a necklace that used to belong to my Nan. During the ceremony and for the photos I wore a pair of white Ruby Shoo’s and in the evening I changed into a much comfier pair of Converse trainers.”
What did your partner wear?
“Chris definatly wanted tweed and we decided to go with a light green tweed suit from Moss Bros. We had all seven suits (Groom, Best Man, Groomsmen and Fathers) made-to-measure so we could choose everything from the lining which matched the bridesmaid’s dresses to the buttons and a personalised monogram inside. They all wore brown shoes, cuff links, pocket watches and burgundy ties.”
Tell us about your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and their outfits
“I had two bridesmaids (my oldest friend of 20 years Katie and Chris’s sister Heidi) and my best friend Abbie as my maid of honour. They all wore burgundy multi-way dresses but all wore them a different way to suit each of them, along with black shoes.”
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
“Apart from the venue our biggest splurge was probably either the suits or my dress.”
What was your biggest wedding saving?
“Our biggest saving was definitely the bridesmaid dresses. I found the same ones online as we’d previously seen in a store for £80 cheaper, thanks to a family friend!! Definitely worth shopping around when it comes to that sort of thing.”
What was your ceremony like?
“Our ceremony was amazing!! Instead of flower girls we had ‘flower men’ in the form of our friend Rhys and Neal. They skipped down the aisle just before our bridesmaids and myself and my dad. Only a select few of our friends knew it was happening so to everyone else it was a very funny surprise. We walked down to ‘Can’t help falling in love’ by Haley Reinhart and walked back out to ‘It must be love’ by Madness which was my parents first dance song at their wedding.”
Tell us about your drinks reception and wedding breakfast.
“The canapes and drinks reception went down a storm, which included the country garden gin cocktail, raspberry fizz and port for drinks. The canapes definitely tided people over until our wedding breakfast. For our wedding breakfast we chose to have Ham Hock Terrine to start, followed by the Pork Belly and then the Chocolate Brownie for dessert. Our speeches were memorable from my dad, Chris and then his best man Steve!”
Did you have a band or DJ for your evening reception?
“We had the St Audries Park DJ for our evening reception and he was brilliant. Everyone was making requests and we even had a few karaoke numbers from a few of our friends.”
Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?
“Our first dance was to ‘With or without you’ by U2 which got everyone up dancing with us during the second half of the song.”
Did any members of staff stand out to you in particular?
“All the staff on the day went above and beyond for us all. But in particular Janette, our wedding manager, was absolutely brilliant. From dropping all the table decoration etc. off with her in the morning, to the timings of everything to the next morning having everything packed up for us ready to go was a massive help.”
What did you enjoy the most about St Audries Park?
“It’s hard to pick just one thing. The bridal suite, the Orangery, the food, the drink all contributed to the best day of our life.”
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“My one piece of advice would be to shop around for everything, don’t just take the first offer as it can be easy to just think you’re getting a good deal when you’re not.”
“If we could do it all again, we’d… We wouldn’t change a thing!!
Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?
“Two days after the wedding we went on a mini-moon to Cornwall for 5 days and stayed in a lovely little cottage and took our dog along with us but we are planning our honeymoon for April/May 2020!”
Tell us about your suppliers?
Photographer: Ben Simmonds
Wedding Attire: Somerset Bridal Minehead
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Samantha
Stationery: Wild Partridge
Jewellery: MG Welch Taunton
Suits: Moss Bros
Florist: Eden Florist