SARAH AND BILLY’S OUTDOOR WEDDING IN THE ENGLISH LAKE DISTRICT
In the Spring of 2019, as I was about to embark on a very busy Summer season of weddings, it would have been impossible to foresee the circumstances in which so many engaged couples and wedding industry suppliers would find themselves a year later.
It makes my memories of the weddings I planned then even more special. As daily reminders of Sarah and Billy’s perfect day have popped up in my news feed, my heart has skipped a beat at the thought of how much happiness and joy was experienced by all of the people involved in their beautiful wedding day.
My first meeting with Sarah and Billy took place in the Summer of 2018. We were introduced by the lovely team at Unique Home Stays, who recognised that the couple would need support in planning their wedding celebrations, which were to take place at a stunning property in their portfolio called Winterfell in the heart of the English Lake District.
From our first meeting, it was clear we were embarking on a truly special journey together. Sarah and Billy shared a clear vision of the style of wedding they wanted; essentially a small intimate gathering of family and friends in an appropriate setting, reflecting their love of Lakeland life, with remarkable food and entertainment. They put their faith and trust in me to provide a full wedding planning service, which involved sourcing all of their wedding suppliers (with the exception of their Caterer, who was a personal friend) and co-ordinating every detail throughout the preparations for their wedding and on the day itself.
Winterfell (A.K.A Stag Lodge), available to hire exclusively from Unique Home Stays, provided the perfect Lakeland retreat for Sarah and Billy and their immediate family, who made the property their very own ‘home from home’ for an entire week.
Sarah and Billy first thought of a marquee on the lawn. However, it was clear from our first site visit that the dimensions and gradients of the grounds could not accommodate a large enough structure, unless the couple opted for a Tipi. Enter the wonderful people of Papakata, who built the perfect solution. The configuration of two giant Kata Tipis nestled immaculately between the trees. It was a complex build but the end result looked as though the grounds had been designed with the Tipis in mind.
The capacity of the giant Tipis allowed for a Plan B to be implemented if the weather let us down, but Sarah and Billy had set their hearts on an outdoor wedding ceremony, embracing both the natural setting and their adoration of Lakeland scenery.
Thankfully, it seemed they were blessed as the sun shone brightly. At least throughout the most important parts of the day.
Whilst all of the finishing touches were carefully put into place, Sarah had the opportunity to enjoy being pampered.
How a Bride feels about the way she looks on her wedding day is incredibly important. I knew I could leave Sarah in the very safe and capable hands of Bridal Make-up Artist Jenni Ward.
Sarah chose a beautiful wedding dress designed by British fashion designer, Jenny Packham. As she dressed, assisted by her Mum, Sarah was delighted to observe guests arriving and gathering in the grounds below.
As I pinned on his buttonhole, Billy sought reassurance. His primary concern was whether Sarah was feeling OK.
This lovely couple only ever have each others best interests at heart.
Before, during and after the outdoor wedding ceremony, guests were entertained by Pianist David Robertshaw.
Independent Wedding celebrant Charlotte Pennefather wrote and delivered an incredibly bespoke and very personal wedding ceremony, into which Sarah and Billy incorporated their own heartfelt and meaningful promises to each other.
During the drinks reception, guests were offered a selection of cocktails, including one of Sarah and Billy’s favourite tipples, Moet & Chandon Ice, shaken and served by the Yorkshire Bar Tender.
As guests enjoyed drinks in the sunshine, Sarah and Billy made the most of the opportunity to mingle.
Building sufficient time into the schedule on your wedding day to enable you to spend time with your guests is incredibly important.
Whilst Sarah and Billy had fun with their guests, the team and I were busy setting the scene for their wedding breakfast.
Sarah’s floral brief centered around her desire to embrace the natural beauty of the local surroundings and to bring the outside in, using foliage and blooms which were consistent with the flora and fauna found within the grounds of Winterfell.
Brackens of Bowness did and exceptional job of interpreting the brief.
It was fantastic to see the look their faces as Sarah and Billy entered the Tipis.
Every couple’s love story is unique.
Sarah and Billy became friends whilst working in the same building, where they would often make a point of chatting to each other. Sarah has always loved to read and shared some of her favourite books with Billy. One of the books was an autobiography written by Chris Evans in which he talked about finding love, and how you’ll know when you’ve found it. This resonated with Billy. The words written on a particular page of that book motivated him to tell Sarah that he was falling in love with her.
That conversation was the catalyst for the happy life they have shared ever since and Billy has never forgotten the page number of that book. Page 117. He told me he will always regard this as his lucky number and asked me to find a way of incorporating it into the wedding day somehow, in such a way that only he would see it.
I’ve no idea where Billy keeps the locket now but I have a feeling it will be stored safely.
Guests feasted on a delicious menu, designed specifically for Sarah and Billy by their close friend and fellow food lover, Daryl Chadwick of Chadwick & Co.
The two most important men in Sarah’s life payed tribute to her. She then responded with a thoughtful speech of her own.
After dinner, guests were ready to be entertained. The beats came from Redwings, courtesy of AMV Live Entertainment.
As Sarah, Billy and their guests partied the night away, working up an appetite, Chadwick and Co. transformed the old wood store at Winterfell into a pop up kitchen where they created the most authentic Gyros you could possibly expect to taste outside Greece.
Meanwhile, on the dance floor…
At the end of the day, knowing that Sarah and Billy and all of their guests had the most incredible time is my reward! It makes all the hard work and obsessing over every detail worth the time and effort. It was an absolute pleasure to work for them and I was proud to introduce them to an uncompromising team of suppliers, who excelled in the delivery of every single aspect of this wedding. Long may it serve as an example of what can be achieved when precisely the right hearts and minds pull together.
I would especially like to express my gratitude to Wedding Photographer, John Hope for capturing so many beautiful moments and allowing me to share these treasured memories.
“We thought we had a clear vision for our dream wedding, but can honestly say our day was better than we could ever have imagined.
A small-ish affair in the Lake District. We wanted to create a magical day for us and all of our guests.
We had an amazing venue, beautiful outdoor ceremony, outstanding food and drink and music throughout and Helen was the lynch pin to it all. From our first meeting until the final song, she made sure that we and all of our guests had the best time ever.
Behind the beautiful serene flow of our day was a whole load of planning, organising, problem solving and quick thinking and we didn’t do any of it!
Helen gave us complete confidence in her delivery and her presence on the day was not only invaluable but thoroughly lovely too.”
Sarah and Billy
I would love to hear about your wedding plans. If you believe you may need assistance at any stage of the wedding planning process, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 01482 871053/07561 107888 or via e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here to help.