Terran & Katherine’s vintage country wedding in Dorset, with Emma Gates Photography
Hello there, lovely! I am so excited to be sharing this gorgeous wedding with you this morning. The spring sunshine is guaranteed to warm your day – and Katherine is absolutely stunning in Maggie Sottero’s ‘Deirdre’ wedding dress. Katherine and Terran describe their day as “The best, most fun, day of our lives so far!” – and it really does look like the PERFECT wedding from their photos. The happy pair celebrated at Katherine’s parent’s farm near Wareham, Dorset – their reception was held in a beautiful sail cloth tent in a field. All images are by lovely Emma Gates Photography, who gets a glowing review from the bride and groom in their English Wedding interview below!
“We chose our tent for its beautiful simplicity; it was a white sail cloth tent which was incredibly light and bright with clear side panels and exposed wood poles.
We had long banquet-style farmhouse tables and kept decorations simple with floral table runners (handmade with fabric from John Lewis), a few floral centre pieces, LOTS of candles and festoon lighting – oh, and a big disco ball! Because of the translucent sides/roof, it glowed in the evening and looked amazing!
We then added a few homemade touches, including a pallet strung with fairy lights and photos of us, an ‘order of the day’ pallet, outlining what was happening when, and a welsh dresser that we bought from eBay and decorated to be a whisky bar – another nod to Terran’s Scottish roots!
“We were keen not to have a specific theme or style to our wedding but would probably describe the overall feel as ‘relaxed and simple with a traditional-vintage-come-country twist’! Most of our suppliers were people we already knew or recommendations – such as the catering company which is owned by a close family friend; the wedding video company a friend used a few years ago; and the bridal shop was one three girl-friends had got their dresses from recently! Otherwise, we found suppliers online/via social media – such as our photographer, florist and name places.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We chose Emma Gates having seen some of her previous work on Facebook capturing friends weddings, and instantly instantly fell in love with her unique relaxed and romantic style.
Then, when we realised Emma was based in Dorset and met with her to discuss what we wanted for our wedding, we were confident she was the perfect person to do the job!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Absolutely! We were incredibly pleased with our photographer and our photos which is why we left a raving review on Emma’s Facebook:
“Emma is absolutely wonderful and amazingly talented! She was the photographer at our wedding in May and we could not be happier with the photos she captured for us – meaning we now have the most beautiful images and memories to treasure forever. From our initial meeting, to our engagement shoot and big day, Emma was approachable, personable and fun, whist remaining professional and helpful. Her photographic style is so unique and her attention to detail is second to none. We have received so many compliments on our photos and will not hesitate to recommend Emma to anyone in need of a photographer.”
We honestly couldn’t recommend Emma enough!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We first saw a selection of our wedding photos just two days after our wedding! Emma sent us a preview of about 10 shots on the Monday afternoon when we were at a family birthday party.
After such an emotional few days (and a few drinks!) our photos literally brought us to tears – we were so happy with them and couldn’t wait to see the rest.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We were extremely fortunate not not have a set budget to stick to, however we were conscious not to spend money on things we didn’t need or things we could do/get cheaper elsewhere. We managed this through a spreadsheet where we kept an eye on what we were spending and on what.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Our catering and tent were the two most expensive elements of our day but were totally worth it – even though we could’ve done both for less. Our food, by Rebecca Green Bespoke Catering, went down incredibly well, with our guests raving about everything from the actual food to the service; and our tent, from Coastal Tents, was stand-out beautiful and different to any other wedding marquee we have seen.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
A very talented friend of our designed all of our wedding stationery having found a design online that we liked. They were digitally hand drawn illustrations and included personal touches, including of our dog!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
YES! I absolutely loved my dress and felt special yet 100% comfortable in it all day. It had three-quarter length intricate lace sleeves, a floaty soft skirt with a lace trim around the hem and an open back.
Before I went to the first bridal boutique to try dresses, I looked online at the designers they stocked, then the dresses by the designers. That’s when I found ‘Deirdre’ by Maggie Sottero and I only hoped the boutique would have it in stock as I knew it was going to be a top contender if they did!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Chameleon Bridal Boutique in Boscombe, Bournemouth.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I kept my accessories fairly simple as my dress had sleeves and quite a high neck line. The only jewellery I wore – apart from my engagement/wedding rings – was a pair of earrings that happened to be my 30th birthday present from my parents three months before. They were a vintage style stud with an amethyst stone (my birthstone) surrounded by tiny diamonds.
My shoes, from Rachel Simpson Shoes, were suede embellished cobalt blue with quite a high heel! I chose them as I knew I didn’t want white bridal shoes I’d probably never wear again and they were also my ‘something blue’. I absolutely love them and how they peeped out under my dress – a shock of blue against the white! Plus, they were super comfortable to wear – bonus!
I also had a veil – a one-tier floor length veil with a lace trim – and a half flower crown that matched my bouquet and was a real statement!
And what did the groom wear?
The groom (and best man/ushers) all wore navy lounge suits, hired from Debenhams. As Terran is part-Scottish we had waistcoats and ties made for each of them in their own clan tartan! Terran’s was pink with green, others were blue, purple, red, black… We knew we didn’t want anything typically wedding-ish or too formal for the boys and this was the perfect cool and personal touch.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had two bridesmaids (both grown-ups) and they wore full-length cobalt blue dresses from Hobbs – luckily no guests were wearing the same! They had a lovely pleated panel down the front and both girls seemed to like them. With matching blue shoes, they both looked gorgeous!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
All the girls, including both mums, had hair and make-up done professionally (make-up: Claire Bowring; hair: Kate Eliza Hair).
My sister-in-law had used Claire for her bridal party’s make-up when I was a bridesmaid and I appreciated Claire’s style and approach in terms of helping you to “still feel like you but just that best ever version” – and I would still recommend Claire over and over again!
And I found Kate on Instagram and just liked her soft and relaxed up-dos. She did a great job with my hair and fastening my ‘quite big’ flower crown!
If you want a relaxed and calming environment when getting ready for your wedding – Claire and Kate are the best combo!
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Our wedding flowers were done in two parts… We sourced a professional florist (Martha and the Meadow/Emma Whicher) for the bouquets, hair pieces and button holes, and my Godmother did the arrangements for the church and in our tent.
It was actually my bouquet that kind of set the feel for our day. It was based on my grandmother’s from 1938 and was an oversized shower bouquet with lots of asparagus fern and tones of corals and blues – including peonies, ranunculus, nigella and garden roses.
I had a matching half-flower crown (also quite big and gorgeous) and my bridesmaids had lovely flower combs and smaller versions of my bouquet.
I absolutely loved my bouquet as it was so personal but also an amazing statement in its size and style. In fact, I loved it so much that I made a snap decision three days after our wedding (when the tent was coming down, we were packing up and starting to feel the blues that it was all over) to have it preserved by The Flower Preservation Studio in Wimborne. The whole process takes a year to complete so we should have it back close to our first anniversary!
My godmother very kindly offered to do the church and tent flowers. This included a lovely flower arch, huge church displays and table centre pieces. They mostly matched the flowers in our bouquets etc and were super effective with the masses of fern – we loved them all!
Crafts & makes:
Terran did an amazing job making our table plan. This was based on the South West Coast Path (which we are slowly walking) and was made to look like a finger sign post. On it, he stencilled the date of our wedding and ‘May the fourth…’ and ‘…be with you!’ – yes, we got married on Star Wars Day! It was seriously cool and is now a keepsake in our garden. We bought a flat-pack letter box from Etsy and glued it together/painted it to be our wedding postbox! We absolutely loved the personal and homemade touches but, in hindsight, I’m pleased we kept things fairly simple and didn’t set ourselves too many jobs or put ourselves under too much pressure; having the venue at home means everything fell to us and you can’t do a lot of it until the last minute so if there was much more to do, it probably would’ve felt more stressful.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We had a three tier wedding cake made by a talented friend with a love for baking! It was made up of three flavours – chocolate and orange, lemon, and traditional fruit cake. Each layer was decorated slightly different and included blue macarons dotted around the sides.
It went down VERY well and we have saved the top/fruit cake layer in hope of using it for our first child’s christening – whenever that might be!
And, because it was May the fourth, we cut it with a lightsaber cake knife!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
For entertainment we had a live band – found online via Tailored Entertainment. The band was great and played our first dance (Van Morrison – Days Like This) live. The dancefloor was full all night – even during the band’s breaks and it was just disco music! The sign of a good party…?!
We also hired a caravan photobooth… yes, a photobooth in a quirky caravan! It was called Betsy and my Mum booked it on a whim at a wedding fair. But it was super cute and included duplicate photostrips – one for our guests to take home and one for our guest book in which they wrote messages.
Not strictly ‘entertainment’ but our wedding video was pretty cool… We hired two hand-held video recorders from Shoot It Yourself and it was down to our guests to film the day. The cameras were passed around and then the footage was sent back and edited into our wedding video with songs of our choice. A fun, alternative to the traditional wedding video, for sure!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Our top piece of advice would be “ENJOY YOUR DAY!”. And that probably sounds ridiculously obvious but actually consciously enjoy it from the moment you wake up and you’re just showering and having breakfast, right through to the last minute before you go to sleep! Soak up the excitement, nerves, sheer happiness – whatever it is you’re feeling – because once it’s over, it’s done.
People told us the day would go very quickly and to take a couple of moments to go off together and “have a cuddle and a look back at everyone having fun” – do this!
In the days and weeks after our wedding I was actually worried I didn’t remember it enough or in as much detail as I wanted to (I definitely had the blues). Luckily our photographs and video made up for this, bringing it all back to life when we got them back, but I seriously cannot stress how important it is to be in the moment and enjoy the day you put all your effort into planning!
What’s the best thing about being married?
We have been married almost four months and whilst nothing has major has changed practically – we lived together before we got married, already had a dog etc etc – it definitely feels different to before. It’s hard to describe but it is like we are now a ‘proper’ couple – our own team – in it together, forever!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Emma Gates – photographer: https://emmagatesphoto.com/
Shoot It Yourself – wedding video: https://www.shoot-it-yourself.co.uk/
Coastal Tents: https://www.coastaltents.co.uk/
Martha and the Meadow: https://www.marthaandthemeadow.com/
Claire Bowring – make-up: https://clairebowring.co.uk/
Kate Eliza Hair – wedding hair: https://www.kateelizahair.co.uk/