Katie and James first met when they were neighbours and used to see each other as they were heading out most days but never spoke. “Late one evening I was walking home from my parents' house just as James was going out to walk his dog and we got talking,” recalls Katie. After spending a lot of time together, they realised how relaxed they were in each other's company and how much they had in common. So much so, that only a year later James proposed while Katie was pregnant with their daughter Penelope. “It was a complete surprise,” adds Katie. “James took me back to where we had one of our first dates at Windsor Great Park. The first time we went it poured with rain and James really wanted to show me The Long Walk; on our one-year anniversary we finally reached the top to the statue, and James proposed with a ring whilst declaring his love for me. Very romantic and quickly made me forget about the long walk he had just made me do whilst pregnant!”
The happy couple set the big day for 11th February, 2018, and chose the idyllic Field Place Manor House as the backdrop to their day. Here, we find out all about the finer details of their nature inspired nuptials...
We knew Field Place was the one after our first visit there. It ticked all the boxes for us. Not only were the venue and grounds lovely, but we were able to hold the whole day in one place and have the afternoon tea wedding breakfast we so desperately wanted.
Our favours for the adults were bath bombs wrapped in hessian and twine, which also acted as a place name as they had the guests' names on.
We made our table plan from an old fruit crate decorated with daisy garlands, moss and twine which we hung luggage tag-shaped card on to using pegs. We also paired this with another crate that we'd turned into our postbox.
The top table was my favourite; it boasted a real moss table runner with a selection of small bottles and vases holding single stem flowers. Daisies and candles were scattered in the moss and there were two blue lovebirds right in the centre to tie in our woodland theme.
Our centrepieces were dusky pink vases with rabbits on which were placed on a single log slice and held an array of flowers that looked like they had just been picked from a garden including small daisies, blue delphiniums, pink snapdragons and greenery.
Our flowers for the whole day were provided by The Flower Shop in Wick, Littlehampton and the brief was 'rustic, woodland and whimsical'.
We had dried delphinium petals scattered up the aisle in the ceremony room and packets of dried delphiniums on the chairs for the guests to use as confetti.
Our cake was created by Biggs Bakery. It really showed off our theme perfectly with the two lovebirds sitting on the tree and scattered daisies. The detail on the cake blew us away and was more than we expected.
Our tables were named after birds, not only to tie in with theme but the road names where we both live are names of birds, so each table was titled from a road on our estate to highlight the importance of where we live and met.
I accessorised with a very simple chapel-length ivory veil, pearl haircomb, and a pair of dusky-blue court-style shoes for my something blue and to complement the colour scheme. My bouquet was a rustic arrangement made up of daisies, blue delphiniums, pink snapdragons and greenery hand-tied with lace ribbon made to look just-picked.
My dress was by Lillian West and as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one. From the illusion neckline to the stunning lace detail on the back; I loved how it hugged my figure showing off James' favourite feature of me which is my bum! But what really sealed the deal was the daisy detailing on the dress.
James wore a dark grey suit with grey waistcoat, tweed tie and tweed handkerchief to make him different from his groomsmen.
We had a local DJ, Dave Hunt, to entertain our evening guests; we told him to play all the cheese that would get the kids and adults up dancing - we just wanted it to be a real good party.
Our three young bridesmaids wore knee length, pale blue and flowery pleated dresses from Monsoon paired with pink cardigans, pink shoes and flowers in their hair.
We had a candy floss and popcorn stall, and had a kids table with sweets and balloons.
We felt really excited that the day had finally arrived but also nervous about what we were about to do. Once the ceremony was over that was when we really started to enjoy ourselves.
Afternoon tea was amazing, and we had so many compliments from guests about how nice the food was.
The magic mirror that Field Place supplied was probably the highlight of the wedding for many of the guests. Kids and adults loved being creative with the props!
The father-of-the-bride speech was extra special. My dad was so nervous about doing one that we thought it would be quite short and even my mum wrote one as back-up just in case but he did so well and it was lovely.
Millie from Millie and Max Photography was amazing. We hardly noticed she was there when taking all the natural shots which really captured the essence of such a happy and beautiful day.
The journey to the wedding was a real feature of the day for most of the bridal party, it was on board a vintage double decker bus. The children loved sitting at the top waving at passers by.
Bride's and bridesmaids' dresses
Catherine Francis Boutique
Dave Hunt Productions
The Flower Shop
Groom's and groomsmen's suits
Grey Suit Hire
Millie and Max
Hire Your Day
Southdown Historic Vehicles