I think you’re simply going to love Catherine and Tom’s nuptials today. They tied the knot on 29th October 2016 at Le Petit Chateau in Northumberland. Elegant and pretty; this gorgeous day starts with an emotional first look and ends with what sounds like plenty of fun on the dance floor, featuring absolutely loads of beautiful details in between.
Chris Randle Photography was on hand to document the day, thank you so much for sharing these brilliant images with us today Chris.
I hope you really enjoy the lovely story of how Catherine found her dress, and I so relished reading every detail of the short planning process. Our pair got right down to business with a great combination of excellent organisation and design style, I think the results really speak for themselves.
The florals are something quite special and the roses just look perfect in the Chateau setting, just look at that top table arrangement. Enjoy WWWers!
New Year’s Eve 2015 – Tom got down on one knee in our kitchen in front of only our puppy Buddy and surprised Catherine whilst we were cleaning up after dinner whilst our friends were in the living room. We then opened a bottle of champagne.
A relaxed day surrounded by friends and family, with a big party on the evening and LOTS of food!
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Tom may as well be an ambassador for Excel so 24 hours after the proposal there was a three page spreadsheet outlining budget and guest lists! We made a list of everything we could think of and highlighted the things we were most interested in (Tom had to be in charge of music/ Catherine needed to be in charge of colour scheme!) Planning a wedding in less than 10 months sounds stressful – but it really wasn’t! It just meant we made decisions quick and stuck with them! Plus, planning last minute meant there was always wriggle room for haggling!
We were so lucky to have engagement gifts of wedding budget donations from all our parents which really helped. Tom’s main brag after the big day is that we actually came in 1% within budget.
Le Petit Chateau – Otterburn. After attending a wedding 4 years ago at Newton Hall we came away both wanting the same relaxed approach to a wedding. So when we heard in January 2016 that the Apartment Group were building a new sister venue we knew it would be the one! We booked it on artist’s impressions alone! We only saw it in the flesh four months before the big day and it was even better than expected!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
Dress was from Amore Bridal Boutique – a local dress shop that was the first and last shop in my search! Shoes were Irregular Choice and were the comfiest things ever! Big Plus! Head piece was from Liberty in Love, the only bit of bling Catherine allowed!
FINDING THE DRESS
Dress shopping was so easy, and a bit spooky! After attending one shop and trying on six dresses in different styles, the seventh mermaid cut gown made one bridesmaid cry so it had to be the one! Small world theory occurred when later in the evening the dress shop messaged Catherine to reveal the owner was actually her and Tom’s neighbour and was happy to give them a discount! One week later Mother of the Bride was brought along to give the seal of approval and shocked everyone by pulling up outside and revealing that the shop was the same dress shop she had got her dress from when she had married Catherine’s dad. Meant to be!
The groom, groomsmen and dads were kitted out by the awesome Mal Searle at Changes Menswear in Middlesbrough. He picked out a gorgeous royal blue three piece suit by Remus Uomo which complemented the colour scheme perfectly.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
Tom pretty much scored the entire day. The entrance music that Catherine walked in to was a beautiful version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps. Still gives us both goose bumps listening to it.
The readings were done by Catherine’s brothers Robert and Chris, Chris took his own slant on what a reading should be and made a short speech. Robert found and read one of Edward Monkton’s short stories; A Lovely Love Story. A gorgeous tale of two dinosaurs that bore striking resemblances to Tom and Catherine’s own love story.
The bridesmaids dresses were also from Amore Bridal. Being made for proms they were show stoppers that made princesses out of the bridal party.
Holly at Fleur Couture was a dream come true! She understood everything we wanted and even suggested things that we hadn’t even thought about. Getting Tom to even show an interest in flowers was no mean feat!
We had decided pretty early on that, as we both weren’t that keen on icing, we would be better with a naked cake. Judy, Catherine’s step mum stepped up and blew everyone’s expectations away! The four tier cake with three different flavours went down a storm. The photos of it look like something from a wedding magazine!
We actually started with the unconventional method of booking our videographer before almost anything else! Michael Sreenan of Moon River Films was a friend of a friend and as soon as we both met him we knew he was the one for us. Relaxed and friendly, plus a big dog lover which always adds brownie points! His videos of the day (we received a three minute version, 20 minutes and unedited footage of the ceremony and speeches) are beautiful. On the day he blended into the background and we have actually had guests comment afterwards on what a professional he was! I cannot count the amount of times we have raved about him to engaged couples we know! We should be on commission!
Chris Randle actually came as a recommendation from Mike! It was important to the both of us that the videographer and photographer could work well together. Chris’ website won us over instantly, his style of photography was so different and arty. And as Catherine isn’t the most confident person in front of the camera it was lovely to see wedding albums so full of relaxed natural photos. As part of Chris’ contract, we were asked if we would like a second shooter. We agreed as Tom always commented how on the important moment when the bride walks down the aisle is always captured from only the groom’s point of view and we thought it would be lovely to get a different perspective of the day with a second photographer.
We hit the jackpot when Chris told us he would be bringing Katie Byram into the team! Hers and Chris’ photography go together like treacle sponge and custard! Just perfect. She made Catherine feel so comfortable, even as Katie snapped her getting corseted into her dress and coping with last minute nerves. Both photographers really just blended in to the day, all the while keeping us up to date where needed. We even stole away for another impromptu shoot later in the night in the chapel room! From a camera shy bride the ability to make Catherine want to do that speaks volumes for how Chris and Katie made her feel on the day, it was like we had known both of them for years!
The final set of images produced blew us away. We knew we wanted to do a ‘first look’ and we were not disappointed with the results. It also enabled us to involve our lab Buddy in some pictures as he was able to be snook in before any guests arrived for some ‘family portraits’
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
To try and keep things as in budget as possible Catherine’s skills in art and design were called into play. The chalkboards used for the order of the day and the table plan were painted up on our dining room table with a glass of wine. The place settings were written by hand on small parcel tags and on the night before the wedding Catherine and the bridesmaids individually tied together a napkin, menu and name tag to nearly 100 place settings! The menus were all personalised to include each person’s dietary requirements for the seven course feast put on!
The invites were designed by our good friend and witness Adam Bligh; they were printed on a printing press from the 1800’s based at a museum he works at so they were completely unique!
On the day we employed the amazing Coco Luminaire to light up our initials for the dancefloor, they made our first dance photos really special. We also used Snaparazzi photobooths to create an alternative guest book, the alcohol infused photos and messages still make us laugh!
All of our guests were so generous with their gifts of honeymoon donations. Due to having such a short engagement we thought we would try and stretch out the excitement for a while longer and plan to book our honeymoon for our first anniversary, so hopefully we can celebrate with a cocktail overlooking a beachy sunset somewhere warm ☺
Our first look, seeing each other for the first time without an audience was such an intimate and beautiful moment.
The ceremony! We didn’t think we would love it as much as we did but it was full of laughter and jokes and love. What a wedding ceremony should be in our book.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Videographer! Get one! You will not regret it!
Always remember – it is your day! Be clear and blunt about what you want, you write the rules.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Chris Randle Photography
Dress & Veil
Wendy at the Fitting Room
Judy Armstrong – Catherine’s amazing step mum
Simply gorgeous, thank you ever so much Catherine and Tom for sharing all the special moments of your big day with us. Rachel x