I love a wedding with a sense of humour, and Louise and Steve mix giggles (Cagney & Lacey?!) with gorgeousness (Louise & Steve!) beautifully. Their vintage emergency services wedding in Kent has the best transport I’ve seen yet: a 1960s police car and vintage red ambulance – the perfect way for a policeman and his paramedic bride to travel in style to their wedding!
There’s so much from today’s wedding I think is amazing… The handfasting ceremony (and that Louise and Steve kept the besom on display in their home for good luck); the lovely flowers, Louise’s sign for her Dad as they approached the aisle… and everything from the wonderful moments to the tiniest details was captured beautifully by Sarah Wayte Photography.
Louise told me they planned their budget carefully with a spreadsheet, and it paid off: “It was so satisfying paying the last supplier, we felt we could sit back and finally wait for the big day to arrive.” Together with their daughter Imogene they collected and crafted all of the lovely little details to pull together their wedding style, and the end result is just lovely!
Our wedding story: Louise and Steve
Wedding photographer’s website:
Sarah Wayte Photography at http://www.sarahwaytephotography.co.uk/
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
We know Sarah and her lovely husband Stuart personally, and having already seen examples of Sarah’s work, we were confident in her quirky, relaxed nature to capture our day perfectly and she did. She worked closely with us as a wedding couple and we had several meetings leading up to the big day to ensure that we were happy with all aspects of our photography – she and Stuart were with us from preparation to the first dance.
We chose The Knowle Country House, Higham, Kent. A beautiful countryside venue, completely private for the entire day. Our official wedding was conducted in the garden gazebo, and we also had a Wiccan hand fasting ceremony in the meadow after the legal bit!
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
A combining of hearts and minds, of love and friendship, on a sublime autumn day.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
We were on honeymoon, when Sarah sent us the album and we were sitting in the glorious sunshine in Bali in awe and admiration of the beautiful photographs.
Your wedding style and theme:
Vintage Emergency Services.
Both myself and my husband work for the emergency services, I am a paramedic and he is a police officer. He married in his best ‘number one’s’ and looked just stunning. Our best man and ushers also represented the police service in this way, making use of hand-made wooden truncheons to celebrate us walking up the aisle with a unique truncheon arch!!! We also sourced Vintage Emergency Vehicles to travel to the venue, Steve in a 1960’s police Wolesley Car and me in a Vintage Red Ambulance! We loved it 🙂
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
About a year.
Best bit of budget advice?
DIY….. If you are arty and crafty you can make some of the little quirky niceties that pull together a theme. Steve, my daughter Imogene and myself made all the wedding favours, and also Imogene and I customised some wooden hangers for the wedding morning saving £££s! We framed pretty canvases for the rest-rooms with hessian background. Steve and I also spent a year collecting little perfume samples from some of the local department stores – we had enough for every guest to have one – we made little bathroom baskets which we filled with the perfumes and aftershaves, along with little things like tissues, hairspray, hair wax, plasters, etc.
So we stuck to our budget – Steve and I also had a spread sheet so we could keep tabs on what we were spending. That way, we could also see what we had paid for and when…. It was so satisfying paying the last supplier, we felt we could sit back and finally wait for the big day to arrive.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
Jane Lewis – Wedding Stationery by Jane. Bespoke service, based in Sidcup, Kent. Jane used our colour theme of Cadbury Purple which was echoed on all the stationery, the name cards and Seating Plan which she created for us.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I loved my wedding dress, now dry-cleaned and boxed for austerity…. My style is romantic and flowery and I found the perfect dress for me by the wedding designer Maggie Sottero. I bought my dress pre-loved from a nurse via the internet and then had the dress altered to fit me!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My dress was called Rhianna Royale and was made by wedding dress designer Maggie Sottero.
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
Very simple pearl and gold hair clip and matching bracelet – a bargain find on Ebay!
My wonderful husband bought me a Pandora Bracelet with charms representing us and our honeymoon which I wore with pride. My shoes were from Shuh – cream pearl Mary-Jane’s and I wore a pair of gold sparkly Lipsy boogie boots for the evening!
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Police Uniform – Best Blues and Medals 🙂
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Cadbury Purple strapless gowns for the adult bridesmaids from Taffeta in Gravesend. The flower girls wore ivory and gold dresses from Monsoon.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My friend Becky Brien did my make-up, my hairdresser Holly from Quiffs in Istead Rise did my hair, barrel curls 🙂
Flowers by Paula Frickey – florist in Hextable, Kent. We incorporated purple, gold and creams in the colour scheme which tied in beautifully with our scheme. Paula added a bridal charm picture of my Mum to my bouquet, and wrapped thick cream lace which also adorned our cake to my stems. The bouquets were tied with brooches – cream pearl and gold brooch for me and purple brooches for the older bridesmaids. The flower girls had baskets of blooms to sprinkle.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
My best friend Sheena loaned me her vintage bicycle which Paula decorated, filling the basket with flowers. We used painted vintage jugs, pitchers and birdcages filled with dried lavender stems and fresh flowers to decorate the venue. We also had dried lavender hanging hearts on the aisle seats to tie in the theme.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
Sheena painted some wooden apple crates in lavender wood stain for us, and stencilled our names on – we used one for evening guests flip-flops and one for wedding guests.
I also framed some nice canvases in burlap hessian as a background – one for my Dad which I had placed on a stand just before we walked up the aisle that read “ Dad, of all the walks we have taken together, this is the one I will treasure the most”. He was almost in tears when he saw it and it now has pride of place in his bungalow.
Our friend Vikki Costello had a beautiful wiccan Besum (broom) made with our names for our pagan hand-fasting ceremony. The broom now sits above our front door to ward off evil spirits!!!
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Traditional decoration owing to our formal theme. Four tier cake with different layers – fruit, chocolate, Victoria sponge and carrot cake and cream cheese. To suit all taste buds. Decorated in cream lace, with Cadbury purple bows to match our colour theme.
We were blessed with two of the most gifted entertainers – the talented piano man Daniel Spencer provided live music during the day, ceremony and during the dinner. My daughter Imogene sang with Daniel accompanying her ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ whilst we signed the register. Daniel and another friend Hannah Thomas both sang whilst we walked up the aisle after the ceremony.
The talented band Beer Pressure provided live music for our evening guests.
To ensure our day ran smoothly, the lovely Jim Cattermole, The Kent Toastmaster conducted the day with friendly, calm and reassured style.
On the day tips and advice:
Relax, let the day develop naturally; take time to spend together as a couple. Don’t let anything upset you, and don’t worry about the weather – what will be, will be!!!!!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Date night – spending time together as a married couple is just amazing and we have just booked ourselves a trip to NY to celebrate our first married year.