When I met Chris and Kate last year, I knew this was going to be an unforgettable day. Chris, a project manager, had spread sheets at the ready. With the ceremony held at Kate's local family church and reception to follow at her parents farm in Thornbury, just north of Bristol, they had a clear vision for the whole day - full of fun, surprises and traditions old and new.
This was the event of the year and not just for Chris, Kate and their families. Villagers came to the church to get a glimpse of Kate on her arrival, surrounding her and her Dad in the Rolls Royce wedding car, eager to get a snap of the bride and pass on well wishes. Chris and Kate, like royalty, caused quite an excitement in the village.
The church was ram-packed, the fullest it has ever been. The sporty couple (Kate, a former Paralympic swimmer) walked out under a Guard of Honour of skis and golf clubs held up by friends, and guests, while family filled the sloped path with handfuls of confetti. The pair left the church following another wonderful local custom, the tying of the lychgate, where Chris threw money over the gate to the crowd as the price of having the gates untied, and being allowed to pass through as newly weds.
Back at the farm, each table had a designated meat carver, complete with matching hats and aprons, ready for serving the farm's very own beef. Into the evening I enjoyed hearing the many stories about Chris and Kate, such as the tale of their first date where Chris' housemates turned up and sat on the table next to them. Freddo bars were given to guests as wedding favours, a nod to Chris' addiction to this classic treat - despite his frustration over their recent inflation. Throwing in (literally) some more family traditions complete with safety goggles, the happy couple even smashed plates (not without difficulty on the grass) in honour of Chris' Greek Grandfather.
Chris, Kate - what a day, thanks for having me. Wishing you both every happiness xx
Marquee: The Country Marquee Company
Catering management: Alastair Currie Events
Flowers: Plans and plants
Band: The Wild Cards