Catherine and Chris met at school. “Chris is a year older, so we didn’t know each other, but we got talking on MSN and MySpace,” says Catherine. “We hit it off straight away due to our shared sense of humour and love of watching movies.”
Chris popped the question during a holiday to Somerset. “We had always talked about getting married, and although we weren’t officially engaged, we had discussed 2022 as a potential date,” shares the bride. “I was at university until 2021, so we always talked about getting engaged after that. I was surprised when he popped the question during a holiday in 2020. We booked the trip for my birthday and spent the week in a lodge near the town of Wells. We went for a walk to Ebbor Gorge, and overlooking the beautiful scenery, Chris got down on one knee!”
"We wanted a venue that was both elegant and modern," explains Catherine. "We love spa days and had not been to Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat before but had heard it was excellent. When we visited the property, we thought it was stunning and the lake was breathtaking. We fell in love and decided to book it straight away."
The couple gave their guests scratch cards as favours. "We placed them in personalised holders from Etsy," adds the bride. "We also had pick n mix sweets on the tables."
"All of the signs were from Mally's Crafts," reveals Catherine. "For the table numbers, Chris' mum placed fairylights inside wine bottles."
Catherine and Chris opted for flowers from April Days Design. "We had white and blush pink roses with eucalyptus and other foliage," recalls the bride. "We decorated the venue with pink napkins, fairylights, pink voile on the chairs and cake table, lanterns and a post box. The colour of the LED ceiling lights in the venue were personalised to match our theme. Our event planner helped us choose colours to match, and we had one setting for the day and one for the evening."
"We chose a two-tiered cake with white icing from Loren's Cakes and Bakes," says Catherine. "We opted for a cherry and almond and salted caramel filling and had an acyclic sign next to it with the flavours on."
The catering was provided by Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat. "We had canapés during the drinks reception," shares the bride. "We selected pork belly, tomato and goats cheese tartlets and mini cheeseburgers, which were a big hit with our friends and family. For the wedding breakfast, we had a three-course meal. We were allowed to give our guests two different options for each course."
"My dress was a Jennifer Wren gown from Katie's Brides," explains Catherine. "I fell in love with it on Pinterest and found where it was stocked. I always knew the kind of wedding dress I wanted, so I didn't try on many different styles."
Chris wore a three-piece suit from Marc Darcy, which he bought through Suit Direct. "The suit was called Dion," adds the bride. "Chris, the best man, his dad and my brother all wore the same. They had Marc Darcy ties in the same pink colour and pocket squares from JJ's House, who supplied the bridesmaids' dresses, so they were a perfect match. The girls' gowns were an A-line floor-length chiffon design in dusky rose."
"We hired a caricaturist, DJ and saxophone player," recalls Catherine. "Everyone had a great time and especially enjoyed the caricaturist as it was something a bit different. We also had sparklers which we organised ourselves."
"We were overjoyed with how the day turned out," says the bride. "The weather was stunning, and we felt so lucky. Everything went even better than we imagined! Chris was really looking forward to the ceremony, whereas I was so nervous and felt relieved when it was finished. Chris was mostly nervous about the speeches and properly relaxed after that part."
The couple's family and friends helped make their big day perfect. "Having my younger brother walk me down the aisle was one of my favourite moments," shares Catherine. "Chris' cousin, Steph, did a reading for us during the ceremony, and it was so beautiful. One of our friends, Roz, was also particularly helpful on the morning of the wedding and helped put me at ease."
"We went to Sri Lanka for two weeks," explains the bride. "We planned it together, using an independent travel agent. The honeymoon was amazing, it was a jam-packed first week with long days of excursions, but the second week was slower paced with much needed relaxation. We met a few other couples on their honeymoon whilst we were there too! We would definitely recommend Sri Lanka as a honeymoon destination, especially if you enjoy wildlife, exploring and learning about different cultures."
"Our top planning tip would be to organise everything well in advance if you can," reveals Catherine. "I did this, and honestly, I wasn't stressed in the slightest in the weeks before the big day because I had already sorted everything. On the day, take a moment by yourself to soak it all in. See all of your hard work and planning come to life, watch your guests having a great time, take a look at your new husband/wife and see them enjoying the best day of their life and don't forget to take a moment just the two of you!"
DJ and lighting hire