WEDDINGS

real wedding: a summer garden party {kat & matt}

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Afternoon gorgeous readers! As you read this I will be on the train chugging my way over to France with the lovely Anneli, where we’re shooting at a new wedding venue tomorrow!  And as we’re getting to have an exciting afternoon I thought I’d round off the week with a little treat. I know your favourite posts on b.loved are the real weddings, and I also know you’re just going to love Kat and Matt’s summery garden party wedding, captured by photographer Richard Harris.

Kat & Matt’s day is filled with all the things they love, hand-crafted details and scrummy summery food!  They organised their own afternoon picnic, complete with gingham-covered tables for the lunchtime reception, serving up homemade cordial, Pimms and lemonade, sweet and savoury treats served in picnic baskets and all finished off with strawberries & cream (of course!).  Their guests were entertained with games on the lawns in the afternoon sunshine before dancing the night away!

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Today, super talented Kat and Matt share their story in a cute his ‘n hers way ~

K: We met through a mutual friend nine years ago at Durham university when we were looking for a house share.  After getting a bit drunk early in the morning watching the rugby world cup final we had a bit of a kiss and cuddle.  It didn’t take long for us to realise we had something special going on, and we’ve been blissfully happy ever since.

M: Once I’d decided to ask Katharine to marry me I had to find a ring which I thought she might like – unfortunately for me, Katharine works for a big designer jewellery brand so the pressure was really on.  I managed to find a local jeweller who was able to help me with a few ideas for her engagement ring.  He managed to complete the work in under two weeks, only hours before we were due to go away – since leaving university we’d spent a lot of time on holiday in the Lake District so it seemed an obvious place to propose.  

K: I had no idea Matt was going to propose to me when we were away.  Even after my parents had visited us (so that Matt could speak to my Dad) I was still blissfully unaware! Typically, it had been raining all week, but Tuesday morning brought the first bit of sunshine for days.  At the top of a small hill, with no one else around, Matt dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. It was completely perfect – I was so happy and excited I just couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear!

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 K: I loved shopping for my wedding dress but finding ‘the one’ seemed impossible – especially within budget! We then found Kathryn Handscombe, who has an amazing selection of vintage dresses. Trying them on was like being a kid in a sweetshop! Kathryn found two that I loved, and after sleeping on it I  decided on a 1950s dress which fitted absolutely perfectly. It was as if it had been made for me. I fell in love with it’s simple lines and statement bow at that back. The quality of the workmanship was also way above anything modern I had tried on, even from top designers. I wish I could wear it again!

For the bridesmaids I wanted to keep the 50’s edge that my dress had, and one of my fabulous bridesmaids found the answer at Lindy Bop. The dresses picked up the bow detail from my dress, and the girls found flouncy petticoats to finish the look. We kept it classic for the boys with morning suits for Matt, his Best Man and my Dad. For the ushers we kept it informal with white shirts and ties to match the groom.

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K: It didn’t take us too long to find Walcot Hall – we had a very clear idea of what we wanted from a venue; freedom to do what we want, space to accommodate our guests, and a clear and fair pricing plan (with no corkage!).  We went to visit it in February with a provisional date in October in mind and absolutely fell in love with the place.  We received a phone call on the Monday morning after the visit offering us a cancellation date for July – with the chance to enjoy the gardens and some sunshine we jumped at it.

M: With only five months to plan and implement the wedding we had to come up with some good ideas!  Over many walks around Richmond Park we kept struggling to come up with a unified theme.  Instead we decided to just throw in the things we enjoy, the things which are important to us.  We wanted a lot of colour, too much food, summer games on the lawn, and time to enjoy the whole weekend with our guests.  We both really enjoy making things too, so the wedding gave us a great opportunity to make our own personal touches for the day.

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K: We decided to do two meals for the Saturday as most of our guests had joined us from the Friday night; we would put together a picnic ourselves for lunch, and get caterers in for the evening meal.  Friday was spent shopping for all the food before spending the evening with the ushers setting up the picnic tables for the next day.  My mum had made gingham table clothes for each of the tables and the room looked amazing once it was set up.  Weeks before the wedding I’d also had all the girls around to help make bunting – we managed to make over 100 metres which should come in useful for many more parties

A company I work with had kindly designed and printed our invitations, they’d also included a lot of blank cards for use on the day.  We managed to turn these into menus, seating plans and place name cards – I never knew getting married would involve so much cutting and sticking!  Our final DIY project to do at home was the display board for the seating plan – I found some lovely fabric and Matt picked up the hardware; we spent an afternoon putting it together and it’s a great daily reminder of our wedding now it’s in use as our pin board.

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M: Personally, my major DIY project was creating my own wedding ring.  I knew I wanted something a little different to the usual precious metal so searched around for something unique.  I found a company in America selling rings made of meteorite which are older than the earth itself – their pricing was a little excessive so I decided to make my own.  Being able to occasionally escape the wedmin to work on my lathe was a real blessing; you’ll always have too much to do when planning a wedding, so having practical jobs that give you a sense of achievement, and control of your own destiny, is a really positive thing.  Since the wedding I’ve started making meteorite wedding rings for other couples through my website Forged – I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much interest there’s been!

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K: I can’t pick a favourite bit!  The ceremony was amazing, the speeches were fantastic, the meals went well, I enjoyed the sparklers a lot, the grounds were perfect, the weather was unbelievable too.  I just don’t know!

M: For me the ceremony was the most magical part of the day – one of our friends played the Bridal Chorus for Katharine’s entry; due to some miscommunication we had a bit of a false start.  With everyone standing, and me looking expectantly towards the staircase, Katharine was spectacular in her absence.  Somehow I managed to laugh it off and she did indeed make it down the aisle on the second attempt.  Once she was there it was like there was no-one else in the room; I don’t remember a single thing outside of speaking our vows to each other.

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What was your first dance & how did you choose the song?

We chose Comptine d’un autre ete from the Amelie soundtrack – it’s a film that we both really love, and we wanted something that would sound nice played on the piano.  

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?

K: Don’t be afraid to ask suppliers seemingly stupid questions – they’re the experts! And if your budget is tight work out what you can realistically do yourselves, and don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help. Making things with friends and family adds more fun and meaning to all your personal touches.

M: I’d agree – without our friends we wouldn’t have been able to do half as much – it was definitely hard work for my best man and ushers on the day, but you’ll be amazed at how much people want to help you if you just ask.

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Planning your own DIY wedding? See more here

***

Suppliers

Dress: Kathryn Handscombe // Shoes: Pink by Paradox // Veil: Crystal Bridal Accessories // Bridesmaid dresses: Lindy Bop http://www.lindybop.co.uk/ // Stationery: DIY  Venue: Walcot Hall // Bouquets: Elsa Brown  Flowers: From New Covent Garden Market & arranged by family //  Cake: Matt’s mum // DJ: Mister Fox // Piano: Steffan Ciccotti 

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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