Summer Romance in Kent

Catherine and Nick’s romantic country wedding has it all, a romantic engagement, French Chateaux’s, fast cars, dreamy styling and simply beautiful wedding fashion…

These beautiful images are courtesy of the very talented Martin Beddall, our newest addition to our stunning Premier Portfolio.

It was the weekend of Nick’s 30th Birthday and he hired a Châteaux in the South of France so a team of about 20 of us could go down and celebrate in style! We drove there via the Euro tunnel, I was in our 4x4 with my sister –in-law and most of the kit and food we needed to take with us. Nick had hired a bright red Ferrari (He is never one to do things by halves!) and my brother a bright yellow Lamborghini!! My parents live in Kent so Nick said he thought it would be good if he and my brother went via my parents to show my Father the cars and so would meet us at the Eurotunnel. Little did I know while he took my Father for a drive in the Ferrari he also asked his permission for my hand in marriage! Once we all got into France,we made sure we all swapped over the driving and so I too got to ride in the sports cars which was great fun!

On the Saturday I was very busy organizing the party for Nick’s birthday and turned down his offers to walk around the Châteaux’s gardens even though they were beautiful! It came to the evening and I was rushing to get ready and still in the bathroom when Nick said I HAD to come and look at something! So he led me out of the bathroom while I was still in my towel and my hair in a towel turban. He covered my eyes and when I opened them he was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring and a bottle of vintage Champagne (I had kept the Champagne at home for ages waiting for a ‘special occasion’ that he had snuck out to France with him!) Through many tears of happiness I of course said yes and then promptly called my parents to tell them the good news! They had been waiting for the call all day as Nick had told them he planned to take me for a walk and stop with a picnic rug and Champagne to pop the question, but due to my reluctance to go he had to improvise! We then went to join the other guests and tell them the good news! It was a VERY good party and I don’t think I stopped smiling for a second!

We decided to get married in St Mary’s Church, Hunton, Kent, which is also where I was Christened plus my parents still live in the village.  For our wedding reception we chose Marle Place gardens. We went to see the gardens the year before and just fell in love with them! They don’t advertise for hosting weddings, but my mum had heard that they occasionally accommodated weddings, so we enquired and were thrilled they said yes! They have 11 acres of simply divine gardens with lots of sweet romantic areas and an area perfect for a marquee. The people who own them, Mr and Mrs Williams, were so helpful and made the whole experience even more wonderful!

We didn’t hire a Wedding Planner, though I think my mum could have a 2nd career as one as she did pretty much everything, from finding the florist, organizing all the transport for the guests, doing all the flowers for the church, finding all the suppliers to checking out and reserving  all the best local B&B;’s for the guests. I don’t think we could have done it without her, or if we had I certainly wouldn’t have been the relaxed Bride that I was!

An early but inspired descision was to choose Martin Beddall as our wedding photographer who was simply incredible!

I chose Suzanne Neville to design my dress and visited her at her Knightsbridge shop. I had been to one other ‘well known’ designer before arriving and to be honest didn’t enjoy the experience at all! The sales lady was very pushy and made me feel more like I was buying a second hand car than my wedding dress! However when we arrived at Suzanne Neville we were greeted by a lovely lady called Nina who just made the whole experience so wonderful! I liked several of Suzanne’s dress’s but when I came out in ‘the one’ my mum was immediately in floods of tears! Then when Nina asked me if I had to marry Nick tomorrow would I be happy to wear that dress, again through tears, I said yes and that even set Nina off too!  I did try on more afterwards but none made me feel the same as the dress I chose.  The team and Suzanne herself were so helpful and efficient and I really did feel like it was the perfect dress for me!

I splashed out on some Christian Louboutin shoes which had a little white and blue bow on the front as my something blue! I am currently having them dyed black so I can wear them again and am using a lady called Bobbi, who was recommended to me by the Louboutin shop.

My tiara, which I still want to wear every day, was by Andrew Prince. I LOVED choosing my tiara, Andrew is simply charming and made it exactly as I wanted it. It was more expensive than some others I had tired, but just in a different league and very importantly unlike some others didn’t give me a head ache! I am sure I will be back to Andrew for some other pieces; I think he is a genius!

I had my veil made by Christine Kendall, I am not sure how she does it but her veils have an almost ethereal feel about them and she added some tiny little subtle sparkles around the edge for me, again I just didn’t want to take it off!

My hair and makeup was done by Paul Paintin.  He is fantastic and I felt in VERY safe hands, he really helped me to relax on the morning of the wedding! I think it is really important for Brides to look like themselves on the day and not try to do something too different like have their hair up if they normally wear it down. Paul is updating his website but in the mean time can be contacted on or 07850 129672. I wish I could use him every day!

My husband already had his own morning suit and didn’t see the point in getting a new one!! His and the Bestman’s waistcoats were from Favourbrook in Green Park

For our wedding colour palette I wanted very soft, romantic colours and so had very pale pinks and creams.  My flowers and those in the marquee were done by Julia Crosthwaite at The Flower Studio in Crowbourough. I met with Julia and explained the kind of look I wanted to create which she did perfectly!My mum did all the flowers in the church along with a great team of local ladies.She also saved and dried roses from their garden and put them in little organza bags to use as confetti!           We used Ian Storey and his team at Camelot Marquees who we couldn’t fault! Super efficient and very helpful.

Our food was done my Jude at Creative Catering, lots of people commented on how delicious it was. We had Spring lamb as the main which was brought to the tables and given to the person we had pre-allocated as a carver! They were also given a chefs hat with their name on and an apron which made it really fun!

We had quite an array of entertainment! While the guests had champagne and canapés we had the incredible magician Etienne Pradier, who had people stunned in amazement! Through Etienne’s company Butterfly Trix, we also had a Caricaturist who did his drawings on paper that had our names and the date of the wedding so they would have them as a keep sake!

Our Jazz band, Jazz Moods Dixie playing during reception drinks and then The Swinging Little Big Band playing for the dancing in the evening who got EVERY body up and dancing! They were both booked through Alive networks. During the bands breaks we plugged in an ipod to the sound system with all of our favorite songs! In one break from the band we encouraged people to go out of the marquee for something ‘enlightening’ and had a magnificent firework display! We used Classic Fireworks who were just brilliant and you would never had known they have been there the next day as they cleared everything up very thoroughly.

We had a really magnificent wedding car which was a 1947 Jaguar MK Sport and hired it via AA executive cars – I didn’t want to risk an open top car!

For our stationery we used Gee Brothers for the invitation and order of service.Our table plan was made by which we loved so much we have since framed and have up on our wall. They also did coordinating menus and table names. My husband is a keen fisherman so the tables were named after some of his favorite fishing pools!

As we had fairly recently moved out to Essex and are near the Tiptree jam factory, we had mini Whisky and Marmalades for the gents and champagne and strawberry jams for the ladies! We then also used tags around the jams as people name places, my mum painstakingly created all the jam cloth tops and cut up all of the pink and cream ribbons to tie round them that matched the colour scheme. The table candelabras were also done by Julia and as we had lamb (each table carved their own at their table) we had a sprig of Rosemary and ribbon on each of the napkins.

As well as some evening grazing food I bought lots of retro sweets from A quarter ofand filled up pretty jars I bought from ebay with them. So not only did they taste lovely they looked really pretty too! We also had more cupcakes in the evening to add to the sweetie area and they were from, Timeless Treats

We also had a wedding video which I really recommend to have done and the company we used, The Filming Business ware brilliant and very discrete.

Eric Landard of Cake Boy and Savouir design is a friend of mine and also a guest at the wedding! So he came down early and set up the cake for us before going to get ready himself! We also wanted to use the cake as dessert so had a simply scrumptious chocolate cake and serve it with raspberry coulis and vanilla cream. People couldn’t believe it was actually our wedding cake they were eating! We had the top tier as a fruitcake which we hope to use at some point as out 1st child’s Christening cake!

At the end of the evening we gave everyone some giant sparklers and the ushers got them lined up in two rows that we walked between to our car! It was such a super ending to a wonderful day and certainly brought out the child in lots of people!

My top tip is that I ordered lots of heel stoppers and handed them all out to the ladies as we were going to be standing on the grass to save their shoes. They were a great hit! I bought them from Clean Heels. We also had baskets in the ladies and gents with things like plasters, wet wipes etc in them.

Our wedding was fantastic but to describe what I loved best, I don’t really know where to start! I smiled nonstop and loved how it all flowed so smoothly. I have to say one of my favorite parts was the actual church ceremony and taking our vows, hearing everyone sing the hymns as well was spine tingling!

THE most important thing was that I was marrying the man I adore and couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my life with! Even though we were very lucky with the weather and everything went to plan, I kept saying, even if it poured with rain, the marquee had got blown away and no one turned up, I was marrying Nick and that was all that mattered!







Flowers The Flower Studio in Crowbourough

Cake, Eric Landard


Table Plan


Cup cakes


Wedding Favours

Live music




Wedding Gown

  • 1 comments "Summer Romance in Kent"

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  • Clare Ardern says

    19th June 2011 at 7:32 pm

    What a stunning bride! Really beautiful write up... I can't wait to splash out on some fancy shoes myself now! x

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