Wedding at Deer Park Country House, Devon
Long Time Love
Katie and Dale's eclectic and entertainment-packed wedding at Deer Park Katie and Dale first met while working at the same school together. "The first date is one to be remembered," reveals Katie. "Dale's car battery died and I told him I could jump-start it, and nearly ended up writing the car off into a large surrounding of trees. When this didn't work, we had to call his dad. So I met the parents (well, one of them) very early on!" she laughs.
A proposal in front of the couple's three children in the family home prompted by their song, John Boden's 'How Long Will I Love You', set the tone for their fun-filled and family-orientated wedding at Deer Park Country House.
"It was the first venue we visited. We walked in and the piano started up with 'How Long Will I Love You'," recalls Katie. "It was meant to be and we knew it was our venue."
Their colour scheme of blush with a splash of rose gold was carried in everything from the floristry to the film-inspired stationery created by Dale, including a beautiful blush and rose gold foil seating plan. "Each table had a place name from a film and a silhouette of the couple in each, such as Rose and Jack from Titanic, and a romantic quote from the film underneath," explains Dale.
Katie's trailing bouquet featured menta roses, peonies and calla lilies in ivory and blush, with the blooms also taking centre stage on the tables in martini vases flanked by glass baubles filled with tea lights.
After a wet week, the couple were delighted to have sunshine for their outdoor ceremony; the al fresco fun continued with drinks and canapes in the garden, where guests enjoyed games such as Jenga, Connect 4, Buzzwire and 'hook a flamingo', as well as a magician and pianist.
"It was really important to us that everybody could do and enjoy something, so we went all-out on our entertainment," explains Katie. As well as a string of performers, this included board games in the lounge and puppetry, balloon-making and face-painting in the drawing room to keep the kids happy.
A lip-smacking wedding breakfast of Devon beef brisket crispy fritter, roast chicken breast, and strawberry and raspberry pavlova was followed by the speeches - including a poignant oration by Katie and Dale's seven-year old son. The evening party treated guests to more sensory delights including pizzas in the garden, a sweetie table, chocolate fountain and photo mirror.
Meanwhile, an "energetic" soundtrack by live band, Double A and the Bay, provided one of Katie's fondest memories from the day. "As busy parents, we don't get to dance without a nursery rhyme being on! So it was great to share this fun and happy moment," she says.
When it comes to advice for couples in the throes of planning, Katie asserts: "Excel is your best friend. Write down your ideas and root out some costs. Add a budget and see if you are over or under (before you start purchasing). Plus, make sure you add reminders for the important things that need to get done. Book appointments when you are with the people in the initial conversation," she suggests.
"Invite who you want to, not who people think you should," she adds. "This is a challenging one: family politics are up there with the most stressful. Don't sacrifice the invites of the people you and your husband spend time with for those who send you a yearly Christmas card."
Having received some devastating news just a few days before their wedding, Katie and Dale are now focusing their efforts on raising money for a very special charity. "My beautiful best friend's little boy was diagnosed with leukaemia. Getting married without my oldest friend was heartbreaking," she says. "We are now trying to raise funds for CLIC Sargent (clicsargent.org.uk
) in a hope that every child gets the help they need."
Photography Alex Toze alextozeweddings.co.uk
Venue Deer Park Country House deerpark.co.uk
Dress Lovely Bridal lovelybridal.co.uk
Hair Jodi Rice greatlengthshair.co.uk
Make-up Sophie White sophiewhitemua.co.uk
Flowers Poppy's Flower Studio weddingsatpoppys.co.uk
Games & illuminated signs The Prop Factory propfactory.co.uk
Chocolate fountain Absolute Chocolate absolutechocolatefountains.co.uk
Cake Claire Makes Cakes clairemakescakes.co.uk
Entertainment Hannah Williams sherox.co.uk
Double A and the Bay facebook.com/DoubleAandtheBay
Gee Gee Puppets geegeepuppets.co.uk
Magician Gary Jones garyjonesmagic.com
Photo booth South West Photo Booths southwestphotobooths.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2019