Kate and Gary met at a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house in 2014. “It was like a school disco at first where the girls were on one side and the boys were on the other!” laughs Kate. “But then we got talking, realised we had a lot in common and just clicked. We started messaging the next day and then had our first date at an Italian restaurant two weeks later.”
Romance blossomed, and Gary proposed in Santorini in July 2017. “He wanted to do it whilst watching the sunset in Oia, then realised there were too many people about and I would have hated an audience!” recalls Kate. “So he waited until we got back to the hotel when it was just the two of us. We then celebrated on our terrace with champagne. It was a big surprise, Gary is quite unorganised so I was shocked he had planned it all!”
The happy pair set the big date for 20th April, 2019, at Lillibrooke Manor. Here, we find out all about the finer details of the day...
Looking for a rustic but modern barn, Kate and Gary found this in Lillibrooke Manor, and with pretty groundsand exclusive-use to boot, what more could they ask for? "We had seen a few similar venues but what stood out for us at Lillibrooke was the fact they had aseparate room for the ceremony to take place in so no room changeover was needed," adds, Kate. " As it was spring, there were some beautiful blossom trees as well which looked great as a backdrop for pictures. When we visited, we just could envision how the day would flow and it just felt right.
As the wedding was on Easter Saturday, the couple felt they should acknowledge that in the wedding favours, which were organza bags filled with mini eggs. The place names and cards fitted the barn theme perfectly, and they kept it simple with table numbers.
"We hired a great company called Seventh Heaven Events to decorate the venue," shares Kate. "They took care of the flower arch which we got married under, the candles and lanterns to line the aisle and the jars of flowers. They then moved it all from the ceremony room to the barn for our wedding breakfast centrepieces and the arch was put at the entrance of the barn."
Opting for a springtime colour palette of blush pinks and lilacs, these were also the bride's favourite colours. "The cake was quite simple, a rustic looking buttercream cake decorated with flowers provided by the florist," shares Kate. "The catering was provided by the venue and the choices were really varied and we felt we could pick something that was more 'us' so we selected pie and mash for the wedding breakfast and pizzas for the evening."
Kate looked picture-perfect in a San Patrick gown from Ann Louise Bridal. "I had tried on about seven dresses and then the owner of the boutique suggested this onebased on the feedback I had given on the others – I felt some were too revealing and I didn't feel comfortable in anything too fitted but also felt too swamped in a princess dress! As soon as tried it on, it felt right but I also felt like it was missing something so we added the San Patrick Jacket and the sparkly belt. I loved being able to take the jacket off in the evening and change the look of the dress it was also easier for dancing!"
Gary was keen to wear a navy suit which is quite popular for weddings at the moment so he decided on tails so that the wedding party would stand out from the rest of the male guests. "We added the grey checked waistcoat as felt this made the look a little less formal which suited our style and venue," shares Kate. "Gary had an extra buttonhole to stand out from the rest of the groomsmen."
Choosing four bridesmaids, including one that was pregnant, Kate found something to suit them all and thecolours perfectly fitted the colour scheme. "I couldn't decideon what colour I preferred so we decided to have two inpink and two in purple which worked well."
Neither Kate or Gary had prepared for how nervous they would feel on the day finding it all quite overwhelming, however, they also found it to be a very happy day. "It is very surreal to have all your friends and family in one room and to know that everyone is there to celebrate with you.
My dad seeing me in my dress for the first time was very emotional. I don't know what he expected me to wear but he seemed genuinely shocked that I was in a full on white dress! “Also walking down the aisle to Gary was so scary but
also a very happy and emotional moment and I did cry!”
For Gary, seeing Kate walk down the aisle for the first time was the best moment, "She looked amazing and I was very relieved she was there as she seemed to take forever to arrive!" remembers Gary. "Also just looking around at the reception (after the speeches were over!) and seeing everyone you love laughing and having a good time."
The event coordinator from the venue was brilliant on the day and took care of everything for the couple with lots of people commenting on how helpful he was. "The photographer also did a great job of organising everyone and definitely went above and beyond!" shares Kate. "The speeches were a real highlight too. Gary had his brother and a friend as best men and his brother is quite shy and actually had said he wasn't going to do a speech so he surprised us on the day by doing a great one which was really funny and he did so well."