Sometimes the finest plans can get a little – well, rained on. Poured on, even. The fact is, an English summer (as we’ve seen this week) doesn’t guarantee sunshine all day long. Still… Sam and David still proved you can have the most amazing, beautiful day even if the skies have something else in mind! These two are just gorgeous. Their day is full of fun and laughter, with the most beautiful florals and pretty styling touches. All images are by lovely Katie Winter Photography.
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
She was introduced by a friend of a friend, when we looked at her work and social media we loved her approach and relaxed documentary style photography. We then met Katie and were really won over by her passion for photography and excitement about our venue and ideas. We knew immediately that she’d be a perfect fit and one of our favourite suppliers to work with.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Yes! She was amazing, everything from pre wedding meetings to post wedding going through photos and designing albums. Katie was super organised and brilliant and making us feel relaxed about the whole process. She also worked wonderfully with all our guests and even fought a fear of water to get some great lake shots.
We still love flicking through all her shoots on her social media when they pop up, she is a fantastic photographer.
Videographer details if applicable – and any thoughts for other couples about having a wedding video?
Francis Darracott was our videographer and was also brilliant. He managed to capture the atmosphere perfectly and was really professional throughout our dealings. We definitely reccomend any couple hire a videographer, along with parts we had forgotten he also managed to get so many different angles and perspectives that we would never have seen and footage from parts where we were elsewhere or too busy to see.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
Sopley Lake in the new forest was our venue, we wanted an outdoors wedding close to nature, that was important to us. We wanted to have somewhere we could accommodate as many of our guests on site as possible. As well as the yurts, pods and bell tents on site there was also space for tents, campers and caravans.
Fortunately late night/early morning skinny dipping in the lake wasn’t caught by the photographer or videographer!
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
Our outfits were great, the groom and groomsmen had mix and match tan chinos and powder blue jackets & waistcoats with raspberry pink ties and pocket squares.
Sam looked for dresses in a couple of different stores, trying on about 5 or so before finding the perfect dress. Originally she dismissed it due to the neckline, having disliked some similar lace dress styles, but added in to the pile to compare and fell in love! It was a lot more beaded and not lace like she originally wanted so keeping an open mind was key.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
Jennifer Poynter did our flowers, she was perfect, listened to our colour scheme and put together everything for us from button holes and corsage to table flowers and bouquets. She really understood the colour combinations we wanted and the feel of the wedding.
Did you hire a wedding planner?
We didn’t use a wedding planner but hired an on-the-day organiser to make sure everything went smoothly. We were really keen to be able to sit back and relax and let someone else make sure the day ticked over smoothly without our family or friends having to be responsible for organising on the day. This was especially important as we organised everything from the catering suppliers to the posh portaloos so there were a lot of moving parts to consider and no events manager to assist.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Sam made two of our three wedding cakes and her mum made a third. They were kindly decorated by Sam’s mum and Aunty the night before the wedding. We had chocolate with peanut butter icing, a classic fruit with marzipan and icing, and a carrot cake with lime cream cheese frosting. The best part is that if we want to taste our wedding cake again we can just get baking!
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
We did a fair bit of DIY to help keep costs down and make sure our wedding really felt like a celebration of us. To keep with the local nature theme, Sam’s mum and step dad scoured car boots to find little woodland animal toys which Sam then spray painted rose gold and added tags as place names. Our favours were marshmallows on sticks in cellophane bags with colour coordinated ribbons on – our bridesmaids spent a day helping Sam put those together and they were excellent for toasting on the fire pit the evening of the wedding. Sam also had help from her mum and sister-in-law to hand make scented coloured candles in spray painted glass jars to sit on the tables. We made our order of service sign out of pallet wood which DJ put together and Sam used chalk paint to write on. Sam’s step dad is a carpenter and created our wedding arch for us which Sam’s mum dressed with the voile and hydrangeas. One of our bridesmaids, Lizzy, is a brilliant musician and along with her colleague Josh, put together a beautiful set for our entrance and reception music. We had a unique combination of a harp and saxophone which guests spoke really highly of.
At times it was a struggle to see how everything would work together and whether we’d have enough decorations for such a large space but remembering to stick to our colour scheme, the atmosphere we wanted to create and to let the beauty of the venue do the work kept us sane. It was also a big family effort, we couldn’t have pulled it all together without the support of our friends and family. Right up until the day before when we had a production line of David’s mum and dad, uncle, aunty, cousins, sister-in-law poofing pom poms, putting up signs and organising chairs. Knowing our family and friends helped create our perfect day made it all the more special.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
Our celebrant, Hilary Channing was wonderful and helped us organise our ceremony so easily while making sure it felt very natural and personal. We chose to write our vows to each other. Given we had made so many choices to make our wedding really show who we are as a couple, we thought it made sense to make our promises to each other personal as well. We kept them secret from each other and all the guests beforehand but decided to keep to the same format and finish with the same four lines:
“I hope to keep learning and growing with you, even as time and life changes us both. I will love you through failure and triumph, sickness and health, in close proximity and with miles between us. My greatest wish for you is that life becomes all that you’ve dreamt and while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to, I hope you always know I love you and want the same thing too.”
One of my bridesmaids read out ‘Yes, I’ll Marry You’ by Pam Ayres – it’s a light hearted funny poem which got our guests laughing. My mum also wrote a funny but sentimental reading for us. It was really touching.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
We danced to Elvis Presley, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. We had been friends for many years before we started dating and the song really speaks to how we couldn’t help being a part of each other’s lives. It felt like falling in love was inevitable. Plus David is a big Elvis fan!
Favourite wedding suppliers
www.katiewinterphotography.co.uk – Photographer
www.lizzybenniemusician.com – Harpist
www.sorrelscaterers.co.uk – Caterers for our canapes and wedding breakfast. They were so incredible we’ve hired them to cater a birthday party since as well!
www.crepenwafflestop.co.uk – We had sweet and savoury crepes for our evening food, which guests loved
hilarychanningcelebrant.co.uk – Celebrant
www.lucybernier.com– Make up artist
www.Brideshair.co.uk – Hair stylist
www.castle-marquees.co.uk– Marquee hire
www.spendapenny.co.uk – Portaloos
www.rsvpnewforest.co.uk – Venue hire