If an elegant, countryside wedding with a hint of vintage is your cup of tea then you’ll love Bill & Cat’s Lake District wedding. The couple tied the knot on 16th August at a local church with celebrations continuing at the beautiful Askham Hall.
Words by: Cat (Bride)
Setting The Scene
We met at Windsor Castle! We were both on a leadership programme in 2014 with the Windsor Leadership Trust, which both of our organisations had sponsored us to go on. The programme includes people from all sorts of different careers in senior positions and was a residential course held in the grounds of Windsor Castle. We stayed in contact after the programme as we got on really well as friends and then met up in London a few months later and the rest, as they say, is history!
Bill took me on a romantic weekend break during February this year just after Valentine’s day to Dublin. He got us tickets on the ferry across because he knows I don’t like planes. We stayed in a couple of beautiful hotels, had fun visiting the sites and then on the last morning before heading back to Manchester, Bill took me to a stunning waterfall called Powerscourt. We had a walk to the waterfall and when no-one was around Bill proposed and of course I said yes!
Finding The Dress & Suit
I think the less said about the 4 different blue suits the better! I think Bill will be mentally scarred about that one for a while… and maybe the array of pink ties that I was buying to get the right colour pink to match our colour scheme!
With my dress, I had researched the kinds of dresses and designers I liked, with my favourite being Maggie Sottero. I found a dress shop called Sense & Sensibility that stocked that designers dresses 20 minutes from where I live, so I organised for myself, my mum and my bridesmaid to go one Saturday in May to take a look. With only 3 months from getting engaged to getting married, I didn’t have the time to get one made, so bought off peg. I tried on 15 or so dresses in the shop, but kept going back to the same dress which I had seen when I first walked in. Jo only had a size 16 in on the rail (I’m a 10/12), but called the stockists and was able to buy in a size 12 for me to try. I am so grateful to Jo for doing this, as it turned out to be THE dress!
Jo also helped me get the right veil and shoes, which I picked from Rainbow Club – they offer a fantastic service where you send them off after your wedding day and can get them dyed to a different colour for free, so you can wear them again and again for other occasions! I’ve just got mine back in black, which are great for black tie events with work.
My parents live in Cheshire and Bill’s live in Alnwick, so we knew we wanted somewhere in between to make it easier for everyone, so we decided on the Lake District. We also both love the Lake District so it made sense! Bill found us our perfect wedding location in a little village called Askham, which he went to see on his own in March. Askham Hall had one free date for the year on the 16th August, so Bill went for it, putting a deposit down there and then! We were able to marry in St Peter’s church in Askham and then have the rest of our wedding day at Askham Hall, which was absolutely lovely.
On the morning of our wedding, I had breakfast with my mum and she gave me her bracelet to wear on the day which matched my wedding dress really well, so covered the something old and something borrowed. My something new was pretty much everything else I was wearing. My something blue was a blue ribbon that Amina at Stockport wedding services had built into my dress in doing some alterations on it. She included a blue ribbon on the inside of the dress to use to tie up the train of the dress into a bustle style, a really clever touch to the dress which transformed it for the evening.
We had a mixed theme of elegance and countryside. Askham has a small village feel to it, which we wanted to be respectful of on our day, so we had soft pinks, greys and greens in our colour scheme with a slight vintage feel.
I actually spent quite a lot of time researching different collections as I absolutely love stationery! I wanted a soft feel to the stationery that reflected our theme and found the ideal style in the Watercolour Flora collection. My favourite flowers are also hydrangeas. I contacted Amanda in the hope that we could change the purple to pink in the design, which Amanda had absolutely no issues with. She sent me a few different samples through, so I could select the best design for us which was really helpful. We then talked through all the different items I wanted to have created, with some of them even being hand delivered to us which was a brilliant service based on our timescales. My favourite items being the table plan and favour cards for our plant favours which were really cute.
We chose Kathyrn White who was absolutely incredible! She did an engagement shoot with us as part of her package for our wedding day, which was really good at being able to practice poses and getting used to someone taking pictures of us. Her style is very natural and there are lots of fantastic shots that captured all of those special moments from our day.
Your Favourite Moment
Obviously the getting married part! Also entering the church and seeing Bill at the altar with my two step sons all smiling.
Your One Piece Of Advice
Definitely do what is right for you and your partner, it’s about you two and celebrating your love for each other. You will never please everyone, so just go with what you want and how you want your day to be and enjoy every moment of it!
The Church-St Peter’s Church, Askham
The Evening Venue – Askham Hall
The Caterers: Askham Hall
The Dress– Sense & Sensibility
The Suits–Marks & Spencer
The Bridesmaids Dresses –Marks & Spencer
The Flowers– Flowers by Arrangement (Kendal)
The Cake – Classic Cakes
The Photographer – Kathryn White photography
The Hairdresser – Hayley Xeonophontos at Xenos Haven
The Stationery- Watercolour Flora
Congratulations to Bill & Cat and thank you for sharing your beautiful elegant countryside wedding with us. Want to share your special day? Feel free to drop us an email on [email protected]– we would love to hear from you!