We won our wedding – but not all went to plan

The very beautiful Vicky and Matt won their wedding day at a Yorkshire wedding fair. They hadn’t planned to get married so quickly, but couldn’t turn down such an amazing opportunity and changed all their plans to bring the wedding forward to November 2011.

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Wedding photographer Richard Wynn-Davies got in touch to tell me their story. He explained, “the organisers [of a regional UK wedding show] promoted a competition dubbed “The Royal Wedding” where they asked for wedding suppliers from each main category to provide their services to one couple for free in return for tons of great PR. We decided to put ourselves forward as the photographers. The winners were Vicky & Matt, an adorable couple.

“Shortly afterwards the event organiser left the company behind the show who then in turn decided to sell the rights to the show onto another party. There was not a further word about the competition, the organisers stopped returning everyone’s calls (the winners and the suppliers) and Vicky and Matt were absolutely devastated as there was no way they could afford to get married themselves so soon. There was however no way we were going to let them down and luckily most of the other suppliers felt the same way including wedding planner Nikki Foster from “I Do Designer Weddings” and the venue (Bagden Hall). We all pulled together and delivered the wedding of Vicky and Matt’s dreams.”

real wedding (1)I really admire the wedding suppliers who were so generous in giving their time for free when the competition organisers let them down. The very least I can do is share their story on my wedding blog this morning. As for the bride and groom, they enjoyed their wedding day and made it truly special – I imagine it was a rollercoaster ride planning the day, but in the end it all came good.

Vicky tells her own story of the wedding. I’ll leave you with Vicky’s words and wedding photographs by Richard Wynn-Davies.

Vicky and Matt’s Bagden Hall wedding

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real wedding (3)We actually won our wedding through a competition run by a regional wedding show organiser. Most of our suppliers provided their services for free or at reduced cost as part of the prize. We actually weren’t planning on getting married for 3 or 4 years (to save!) and when we won this prize last February it completely blew our minds and suddenly we were getting married the following November!

Shortly after we had won the wedding show was sold on and suddenly the organisers stopped returning our calls and we were so worried that everything was off. However the suppliers that had agreed to take part in the prize pulled together, coordinated by Nikki Foster from I Do Designer Weddings, to make sure we got our dream day. Our wedding took place on 11/11/11 at a church in Wetherby and at Bagden Hall in Wakefield.

We both enjoyed the morning of our wedding, Vicky got ready at her parent’s house and had a relaxing morning of pampering with her bridesmaids. Matthew spent the morning with my best men and groomsmen at our house and was treated to a surprise trip in a Bentley to the church.

The ceremony was lovely with the priest delivering a charming and personal service. One of our friends also sang Etta James – At Last during the ceremony which sounded great during the signing of the register.

The guests were treated to a wedding radio show recorded by the groom and his best man to entertain them during their trip to to Bagden Hall where the reception was being hosted.

Upon arriving at the reception, guests were served canopes whilst Miss Magic, a very talented magician, wowed guests with her insane tricks.

Further into the evening after the wedding breakfast was served, more entertainment in the form of a photo booth by Booth Revolution, characaturist and a mini gig performed by friends and family ensured that everyone had the best time possible. All the while, Richard Wynn Davies our photographer displayed a selection of amazing photographs on a projector that he had captured previously in the day.
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The dress was a Ritva Westenius dress called Rio which was a fish tail, strapless gown with silk covered buttons all down the back and lace peeking out at the top and bottom. It was bought from Sophie Louise in Boston Spa, Wetherby.

The fur stole was a Temperley London from Sophie Louise in Boston Spa and the vale was from the same shop. Vicky’s headband, earring, bracelet and necklace were made by Liz Warren of Sundance Jewellery using swarovski and pearls. The shoes were from Schuh.

Matthew and his groomsmen were all dressed in charcoal grey morning suits provided by Slaters Menswear. All groomsmen wore cream waistcoats and gold cravats.
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real wedding (17)Our most memorable moment: Looking out at all of our family and friends during the wedding breakfast and seeing them enjoying their meals, laughing and meeting new people.

Wedding day advice:

Relax, don’t get stressed out as everything will go smoothly.

Building a great relationship with your photographers BEFORE the wedding is so important. It felt like Richard and Caroline were friends at the wedding and we love the photographs because of it.

Don’t worry about trying to run around speaking to different people, they will come to you and you just have to soak up the atmosphere as it all goes SO fast!
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real wedding (21)Recommended wedding suppliers

Richard Wynn Davies Photography – Richard has provided us with the most amazing photographs of the day, capturing very natural and stunning pictures and just the right moments. He understood exactly what we wanted from the photographs and didn’t miss a moment. See the full wedding on Richard’s wedding photography blog

Nikki Foster from I Do Designer Weddings – Nikki made the wedding. She made the day look and feel exactly how we had imagined and made sure everything ran smoothly during the planning of the wedding and on the day. Her attention to detail and ability to tailor the day exactly to reflect our personalities was second to none and we would always recommend Nikki as a wedding planner.

Christine Wright from Horticouture Events Floristry – Christine provided the most beautiful flowers and made the venues so colourful and dramatic. Plus she managed to pick flowers that lasted months and months after the wedding!

Balloonin Marvellous – Ballonin Marvellous were so accommodating and provided a range of decorations for the church and the venue.

And a little advice from your friendly wedding blogger before I end this post… I’d say never enter a competition to win your wedding. It’s a great idea, but jobs change hands – wedding coordinators and event organisers won’t always be there from beginning to end and with a competition like this, they need to be.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen “win a wedding” turn into a potential disaster. (It is the first time I’ve seen things turned around so successfully afterwards though!)

Claire xx


Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Nikki Foster
    8 years ago

    Thanks for posting Clare
    It was a truly lovely wedding and Vicky and Matt were a dream to work with.

  • Jay Mountford
    8 years ago

    WOW what a turn around! So pleased that everything went ok for them in the end, and have such lovely photos to show off their gorgeous day!

  • KtP
    8 years ago

    What a lovely story & a lovely wedding. I’m so glad it all worked out in the end. X

  • Julie Boyd
    8 years ago

    Beautiful photographs. Well done to Nikki Foster and all the suppliers for making this happen x

  • i love the picture of the couple sitting down outside, with the bride looking at the groom. Should be an indie-pop album cover!

  • Victoria Battle
    8 years ago

    Very wonderful photographs and a wonderful story too! I too have been waiting for getting married because of lack of enough finances and I wish I could also win such a treat and save some of my expenses. Everything about the bride was wonderful. I loved her accessories as well as the dress. Yes, it is very important to build friendship with photographers for great photographs!

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