James and Kerry’s Belvoir valley wedding with the loveliest handmade touches, images by The Crawleys
I adore Kerry’s dress and bouquet and how today’s gorgeous bride and groom are both smiling, grinning and laughing all day long. Kerry & James’ wedding was perfect – the sun shone gloriously on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year so far and Kerry looked ridiculously stunning in her blush pink gown.
“We knew that the location was going to just speak for itself, but we did a fair bit of decorating for the tables and the venue with our heirloom bunting (thanks Mary and Pat and ladies at patchwork!) as well as the map which James put together. I designed and made the chalkboard as well as the seating plan and the welcome board. I was pretty pleased with the efforts. The guys at The Chequers did a wonderful job of the tables and venue. I just made sure I was organised! I also had photos of our family from their own weddings which was a nice touch.
The seating plan and card box were made from vintage suitcases from James’ brass band- they were throwing them away! I recovered them and did all the finishing touches. Our map of family and friends was also homemade. We really enjoyed doing all of these little things, they really added the personal touch. I also named all of our tables after planes with facts and figures for our guests to enjoy. We wanted the wedding to reflect our personality and I think it shone through.
Wedding photographer’s website:
Bee, Liam and I (Kerry) have been friends for just about 10 years having met when they lived in Chester and I was an ex-student. Many a night I shared glasses of wine and curries back at their lovely home. Liam had occassionally asked me to help him out with a couple of shots when he was learning a new skill and I remember those fun times firmly with those guys. When it came to our wedding, I asked them for recommendations for a photographer as it was a fair trek from Cheshire to Lincolnshire. I suppose I was a bit shy in asking and also thought they would be booked up well in advance! Turns out not and they were only too thrilled to be a huge part of our day. I would have asked sooner but sometimes you want your friends to be there are guests rather than working!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
OMG where do I start with these guys? They are hands down the best photogrpahy team in the business. I have been looking at their work and admiring from afar as a friend before becoming a bride and often recommended them to friends who were about to tie the knot. Liam and Bee have such a great set up and their love and passion for their work shines through in every single shot. Liam just knows how to put you at ease, knows how to direct a crowd, and also has feet faster than road-runner! I couldn’t believe the shots he managed to capture on the day, they were just brilliant. James and I kept saying we couldn’t wait to see the final versions. Especially when we trekked up the hill behind the pub to get in line with a cow! Liam’s vision is just brilliant. Truly a genius. Bee has got all the talent in the editing studio (she’s also not too shabby behind the lens herself having taken a few candid shots on the day!) and I could not believe the vibrant colours coming out in the shots. I could gush about these guys until the cows come home…… 🙂
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We shed a few tears and were grinning ear to ear. It took around 2 hours to view through them all thoroughly and we were so pleased with them all. We just couldn’t believe how amazing some of the shots worked and also how much we were smiling on the day!
The Chequers Inn- Woolsthorpe. A quiet country inn tucked into the Belvoir valley. It wasn’t our first choice when we started researching venues, but it soon became the firm favourite after a couple of visits. Last year I took both sets of parents there all separately (they didn’t know the plan!) and hoped they were all pleased with the food because we had already made our minds up! The location is just perfect and was exactly what James and I wanted from a relaxed wedding venue. We attended their wedding fayre in May of last year and James and I put a deposit down for our date. They were brilliant from start to finish and were exactly what we wanted from our wedding.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A fun-filled, smiley day with the luckiest April weather!
Your wedding style or theme:
Relaxed and Spring time
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
I had been looking at the English Wedding Blog for a long time (longer than we had been talking about weddings!), Pinterest of course, and my friend Libby (who is due to get married this month!). She loaned me loads of magazines and I created a scrap book of the things I liked and then talked through with James.
The cakes were by a family friend, the decorations were all made by myself, friends and family. The best being the bunting in the wedding venue. It is now a Buckley-Rees family heirloom to be used by other brides! The church flowers came about from a couple of lovely local ladies who attended the same church as I did and were amazing I was beyond amazed walking into the church on the evening before the wedding.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Make everything yourself if time and effort permits
We shopped around for my wedding dress. Mum and I found it in a shop in Nottingham but she is so shopper savvy and managed to find it elsewhere for £500 less- do your homework on the brand and where you can locate it.
We saved hard for 12 months with £1000 going into our little pot every month so it was difficult but well worth it.
Get friends involved with entertainment for the day- I am positive we must have saved £2000 with regards to some of our musicians!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We knew we wanted to spend money on entertainment/music as James and I are both from musical backgrounds.
We decided on a band from Warble Entertainment after listening to many on their website. It was a huge expense, but our other musicians were all playing for free so was well worth it. They were brilliant from start to finish and kept everyone on the dancefloor all night. My dad was in a band as are James’ Mum and Dad. Guests kept telling us how good they were so we were glad we forked out.
Flowers also were an element I am glad we spent money on, I think getting the professionals in for your flowers is very important.
Our photographers also obviously- everyone says you can save some money but definatley not on these guys as they make your memories for the rest of your lives!
No need for loads of bridesmaids or groomsmen either- saves plenty of money there!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
It was a mixture, I designed everything on Vistaprint myself so that was time consuming, but it was a cheaper alternative to having them all handmade. We were really pleased with them.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I went wedding dress shopping mostly on my own. I took my Mum with me a couple of times which is where we found the perfect one. My Mum had offered to pay for the dress and she often says to go for something a bit different. We took the risk and it totally paid off! I don’t think anyone expected what I wore to be honest!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Victoria Kay 1503
http://www.lechellesbridal.co.uk/ Which I think is unfortunately closing down!
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I wore a borrowed diamond ring from my great-grandmother on the day. I didn’t wear a necklace as the detail on the neckline of the dress was far more interesting. I wanted simple and safe so went with some little earrings from Debenhams, and a bracelet from my Mum.
I ended up with 4 pairs of shoes!
1x pair of Jenny Packhams (Ebay!), 1 x pink pair of shoes for later on in the day again from Debenhams, flip flops and wellies!
And what did the groom wear?
James wore a suit made by the guys here
He wanted a non-traditional tails suit and was keen on the tweed theme. He also didn’t want to wear uniform so went for a handmade suit.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I just had the one- my sister Alex. She wore a Dessy dress also from Ebay with a pink chiffon top from Debenhams.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We did spend money on this, I had a brilliant girl from the local area, Emily Johnson come and do my make up and hair at the house for me. She also did my Mum’s make up.
My sister, Bee and my Mum all went to the local hairdressers for their hair so thanks to the guys at Halo in Ruskington for doing that. Alex and Bee also had the girls there do their make up.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Flower Barn did our venue flowers and the flowers for my bouquets and the buttonholes. http://www.flower-barn.co.uk/
I met Jenny’s sister at the wedding fayre in Lincoln back in March of last year and knew they were going to be fantastic. Jenny and I met and she just took all of our ideas on and came up with amazing spring like flowers. She recommended that I could have the church flowers done by her but she was just very honest about the cost and said it would be costly so perhaps look up something local? In the end I asked around at my local church and was recommended tow lovely ladies from the local area. They did everything in the church for £150 which was amazing. It is always worthwhile asking around.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We knew we wanted something to cut on the day (it is still in the freezer!) but we wanted to not have loads of cake waste so decided on cupcakes. Having had Tracey’s cupcakes before I knew they were delicious. Tracey works with my Mum and I used to work with her years ago as well. They all got eaten I am pleased to say!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Wow this really was our main part of the wedding which we were so pleased with. James plays in Tennyson Collective, a brass quintet that was started up a few years back who have been entertaining at events and weddings for that time. We asked the guys how they would feel about performing at our wedding, specifically at the church for the hymns and they were only too happy to help out. All of our guests commented on how different it was and how it made the hymns seem much less boring! They really were stars!
Our neighbour Steve Clarke is a fantastic musician having performed for the Queen and I had played with him on a few occasions myself. After announcing our engagement last year he told me he would be disappointed if he didn’t get to play at our wedding. We asked him then to play for us during the wedding breakfast and he was only too happy to oblige so thank you Steve! The Foss Dyke Brass band came and performed for us during the drinks reception as James had played with them for a number of years. Again this was brilliant to enable something a bit different and to bring elements of our lives into our wedding. The weather was just stunning and so they played in the garden of the Chequers. We were so pleased with this! Finally our evening band was called Soundwave and they kept everyone on the dancefloor all night! They even learned 3 songs that we chose including our first dance choice- Tom Odell, Real Love. James and I actually went for dance lessons!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Just don’t worry about the details because on the day they won’t matter. We were super pleased to be able to have time together in between the church ceremony and the reception of around an hour in the car on the way. It just gave us time to reflect on the run up to things and we were able to share our feelings. Make sure you make time for that on the day! Speak to everyone that you can, even if it is for 5 minutes. Mostly just have fun and enjoy. it is your day and no-one else’s so do what you want to do!
You won’t get any sleep the night before and will probably be awake super early so have a good week of sleeping in the run up if you can.
What’s the best thing about being married?
We get to call each other husband and wife and make a strong team together. But mostly it is about always having that person there no matter what.