Katie and Sam’s November wedding is traditional, elegant and still has the loveliest home made touches: the gorgeous couple married at Sussex favourite Pangdean Barn. From Katie’s veil to the place settings, every detail came together perfectly – and I’m thrilled for lovely Katie and Sam (who I got to know in the run up to their big day) that it turned out so beautifully.
“I had the pleasure of working with Jane at Flowers & Daughters. She was fantastic as I only had a very vague idea of what I wanted, and being November, there were only a limited selection of flowers available. But she pulled out all of the stops and our flowers were brilliant. The colours worked so well with the venue as well as the bridesmaid’s dresses, and we had so many comments throughout the day on them. They were perfect.”
“Sam designed all of our wedding stationery – from the save the dates and invites, to the seating lists and table numbers. We then got everything printed by moo.com who have lovely paper and print quality. The labels for our favours and the place names were all done by the lovely Claire at Calligraphy for Weddings. We are so glad that we asked her to do these as they looked amazing on the tables, and we had so many comments about them. I think most people took theirs with them as the majority seem to have popped up around people’s homes.”
The images are all by Essex wedding photographer Luke Hayden. Katie recommends him very highly: “Luke was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. He was so relaxed on the day that it put everyone at ease, which in turn produced beautiful, natural wedding photos that we are so pleased with.”
Discover more from Luke Hayden Photography here:
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Katie & Sam
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Sam had followed Luke’s work on Twitter for a few years. When the time came to choose our photographer, it was a natural choice.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Completely! Luke was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. He was so relaxed on the day that it put everyone at ease, which in turn produced beautiful, natural wedding photos that we are so pleased with. The photographer is such a huge part of the day and he really felt part of the celebrations. I’m sure we saw him dancing at one point, trying to blend in whilst capturing some great shots of our guests.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Luke sent us a highlight reel the week after the wedding. We sat down together after work, and watched from start to finish in complete silence. They were completely perfect, and we were so pleased. When the final batch of photos came through, we were so excited to see them, and they were exactly what we were hoping for.
Pangdean Barn, Sussex
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Love, laughter and happiness with our favourite people.
Your wedding style or theme:
Cosy Country Barn
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
A bit of all of the above!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Being able to return unopened alcohol was great as we were able to order more than we needed and get refunded on the bottles our guests didn’t drink. All the predictions about how much alcohol you need are pretty spot on, although they seem quite low. We took back over £250 worth of wine and beer which helped a lot with the post-wedding poverty. Designing as much of our own stationery as possible helped a lot as the prices for save the dates, invites, orders of service, etc, really adds up.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Food, wine and music. Buying dinner for 80+ people is never going to be cheap, but we spent the money well and we felt it was worth it. We got our wine from Majestic and the assistant helped us find wine within our budget and even advised us to buy our champagne a week later because they would be having a sale. Very helpful!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Sam designed all of our wedding stationery – from the save the dates and invites, to the seating lists and table numbers. We then got everything printed by moo.com who have lovely paper and print quality. The labels for our favours and the place names were all done by the lovely Claire at Calligraphy for Weddings. We are so glad that we asked her to do these as they looked amazing on the tables, and we had so many comments about them. I think most people took theirs with them as the majority seem to have popped up around people’s homes.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I’m not a huge fan of shopping at the best of times, and thought that this would be the most stressful part of the wedding planning. But my sister Lucy organised a dress shopping trip very early on, and we found this dress on the first day, in the third shop. It just stood out as THE dress and it fit in so well with the theme we had in mind for the day.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Augusta Jones – The Pantiles Bride, Tunbridge Wells
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Shoes – I had a pair of bright blue kitten heels from LK Bennett for the Ceremony and then changed into a pair of TOMS for the evening’s dancing Jewellery – I just wore a pair of drop earrings with a little pearl, which I bought from the same shop as my dress. Veil – my lovely bridesmaid Claire leant me her beautiful cathedral length veil, which she wore at her wedding a couple of years ago. It was such a lovely touch, and I was so thrilled that she offered it to me as my ‘something borrowed’. Garter – I wore the same one my Mum wore at her wedding in 1982, which she bought in Topshop. It was definitely my something old. My sister is getting married in the summer and will be wearing it too – a nice family tradition there.
And what did the groom wear?
Sam wanted a suit which he’d be able to wear again in the future. After searching for a couple of months, he settled on a suit from John Lewis in blue wool, which he had altered with a local seamstress. He wore a shirt from Banana Republic and Grenson brogues, and chose matching blue ties from John Lewis for all of the groomsmen.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had 6 beautiful bridesmaids, all different shapes and sizes and with different colourings, so I knew dress hunting was going to be tough. However the lovely girls at Maid to Measure really helped us find just the right style for everyone. We had a fun afternoon with them trying on different styles, and settled on three of one kind, three of another, all in the same colour – aubergine, which worked well with our November wedding. They also had faux fur stoles, which a colleague of mine sourced from her friends shop Bojangles, in Loughton, which finished their outfits off beautifully, and were perfect for the chilly November day we had. All of them wore TOM’s in cream (any excuse to force them into dancing all night)
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
A very good friend of ours is a make up artist (Michelle – The Perfect Make Up), and she kindly agreed to do all of the bridesmaid’s make up as well as mine. Another great decision as she is a fab make up artist, and put everyone at ease on the day, and the make up was perfect. The lovely Christina Jessel did all of the hair for the bridesmaids and myself, and again, it was one of the best decisions of the day. It was lovely to take the pressure off everyone in the morning, and a bit of the treat for the girls to get their hair done. It was the best way to get ready – a girly morning with all my best friends and family. The perfect start to the day.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
I had the pleasure of working with Jane at Flowers & Daughters. She was fantastic as I only had a very vague idea of what I wanted, and being November, there were only a limited selection of flowers available. But she pulled out all of the stops and our flowers were brilliant. The colours worked so well with the venue as well as the bridesmaid’s dresses, and we had so many comments throughout the day on them. They were perfect.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Pangdean is a stunning venue – a beautiful old barn which has been lovingly restored by the owners. We were lucky in that it really didn’t need much decoration. The ceiling is covered in tiny, golden fairy lights, which really is all the decoration that is needed. Pangdean were also great at providing a selection of big lanterns, bay trees and ivy boxes around the venue which looked beautiful. The only additions that we made were some star bunting behind our table, and a Mr & Mrs Brolan sign made out of scrabble letters, that my very talented cousin Samantha made for us. We loved them, and it just finished everything off perfectly.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
My mum spent a lot of time in the lead up to the wedding carefully tying hessian and ribbon around jam jars to create our table decorations. Teamed with the fairy lights on the ceiling, it created the perfect atmosphere for the reception. My bridesmaid Claire also hand made all the confetti for us, including the holders made from old sheet music. Beautiful!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We’re BIG fans of cake, and we wanted something that was light and would appeal to everyone. We went for a three tier lemon cake with lemon buttercream, with some simple flowers to decorate. The lovely Elaine Corrigan at JanieMac cakes baked the cake and it really was delicious. No, really. It was amazing.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We’re big jazz fans, so we had a great jazz trio playing during the drinks reception – The Jonny Hepbir Trio. Perfect background music to create a relaxed atmosphere after the craziness of the ceremony. Victoriana provided the evening entertainment – a brilliant band with a “Mumford & Sons” feel to them. We wanted something with a country edge to fit in with the barn setting, and they really did get everyone up and dancing the whole night. Our big surprise for the guests was our “Lucy” – a photobooth in a caravan, which sat just outside the venue all evening. Great fun for all our guests, regardless of age, and we got some great shots of everyone. Definitely worth doing as it was a real talking point, and got everyone exploring the whole venue. Many a joke was made about that caravan being where we were spending our first night as a married couple.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Relax, enjoy it, and spend a bit of time taking it all in together. It’s over so fast!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Knowing that you get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend is an awesome feeling.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Venue – http://pangdean.com/
Photographer – http://www.lukehayden.co.uk/
Dress – http://www.pantilesbride.com/
Hair – http://www.christinajessel.com/
Make up – http://www.theperfectmakeup.co.uk/
Flowers – http://www.flowersanddaughters.co.uk/
Cake – http://www.janeymaccakes.com/janeymaccakes.com/welcome.html
Bridesmaid Dresses – http://www.maidstomeasure.com/
Favours – http://www.biscuiteers.com/shop/special-orders-weddings
Jazz Trio – http://www.jonnyhepbir.com/
Band – http://www.vintageweddingband.co.uk/
Caravan photo booth – http://infinityphotographic.co.uk/vintage-caravan-photo-booth/
Biscuiteerscalligraphy for weddingsChristina JesselEssex wedding photographersFlowers and DaughtersJaney Mac CakesJonny HepbirLuke Hayden Photographymaids to measurePangdean BarnPantiles BrideThe Perfect MakeupVintage wedding band