Childhood sweethearts who met at their local hockey club when they were 8 and 10 years old, celebrated their marriage at the beautiful Lympne Castle in Kent on 27th July 2015. Laura and Stuart’s wedding had a unique theme to reflect their shared passion for sports and for their past.
On 1st March 2014 we went to my favourite Italian restaurant in town and I got totally spoilt with a three course dinner and my favourite wine. After dinner we went for a walk along the Folkestone coastline, a beautifully starry night, Stu got down on one knee, said the most beautiful things (that will only remain between us as our gorgeous, special moment) and asked me the most beautiful question. Upon which I burst into tears, squealed, “Yes”, and gave him the biggest hug! We walked along to my parents house where they greeted us with champagne that Stuart had dropped round the night before when he asked my Dad if he could marry me.
Our ceremony was held at Lympne Castle, which I cannot recommend highly enough. The grounds are stunning, with local views of Hythe and Romney Marsh and the sea. Built in the 13th Century, the castle itself is full of character and charm and is such an impressive venue. The ceremony involved readings from my sister-in-law Becky, who read “An Apache Blessing” and my aunty Sue who adapted “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton. Our friends Danny and Suzie signed the register with us which was a lovely touch as we have known them for years and are very close.
David King is a local photographer who we met at a wedding fair. Straight away we were impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm. We got compliments about him all day! David was great with our guests, he did not intrude and struck exactly the right balance, capturing some beautiful moments of guests playing games, the scenery, the weather. He was excellent and we can not thank him enough.
Our theme was sport. Both being PE teachers and having a love of watching and playing sports, the theme seemed obvious. Our tables were named after sports or activities we have played including hockey, tennis, netball, football, cricket, dance and of course the ultimate competition…sports day! We decided to take photos of us playing the sports for the table names which was great fun. The colours were our hockey club colours which is a place where we both have very fond memories.
My bridesmaids were my sisters Rachel and Sophie as they are my closest friends. We’ve annoyed each other in the past, cried together and laughed together, but that made it all the more special. They were an absolute Godsend during the lead up to the wedding, helping us, from making bunting to helping with place settings and organising two fabulous hen dos. My sisters were joined by our gorgeous niece Iona who was our flower girl and scattered rose petals on the way down the aisle.
The groomsmen were Stuart’s three brothers, Matt, Chris and best man Steve. Their help on the morning of the wedding was so appreciated and made sure that Stu survived the stag do! With only seven years between all four boys they have always been close. Joshua, our nephew was our page boy, who tottered down at the age of 16 months with Iona and they definitely had the “ahhh” factor!
The Dress and Accessories
My dress was an absolute bargain! It was bought on the first day out wedding dress shopping with my mum. The material was chiffon with gorgeous beaded detail to the bodice and a sweetheart neckline. I am not a girly girl but this dress was simple and sparkly, just what I wanted. My sister Rachel made me a beautiful blue bracelet from pearls she bought in Dubai where she lived for two years and also made my earrings from natural pearls. Clever thing! I wore a necklace that was given to me by my grandmother which topped off my outfit perfectly.
Hair and Make up
I wanted a simple look for the wedding and didn’t want to look ‘over the top’. My local hair dressers, Head Kandy in Folkestone did my hair on the day. Shaye was the stylist and she was so patient! She greeted me with flowers on the morning which was a lovely touch. I wanted my hair to be down and curled but as my hair was so long I was worried my curls would fall out. But my hair last all day and night! I chose to have flowers in my hair that were the same as those in my bouquet. I had white spray roses and gypsophila, which really finished off my look. My make up artist was Louise McIntosh, again a local supplier who was recommended by a friend. Louise was excellent and I was so pleased with the make up that my sisters, Mum and I had.
Highlights of the Day
We loved how involved we could make our family, this made our day even more special. Mum helped with the flowers, we had our aunty and sister-in-law doing readings and my other sister-in-law created our order of service. Our bridal party was all family and our parents made decorations including collages of us through the years. Iona and Joshua, who are our neice and nephew were page boy and flower girl.
What Made it Unique
Our wedding was totally us! From the silly photo booth, garden games, quiz at the table including useless trivia about us and the hockey theme – our wedding day was perfect for us and a good giggle was had by all. Also our theme was unique. We met at our local hockey club when I was 8 and Stuart was 10. It felt so lovely to acknowledge our passion and past in our theme. Our wedding colours were the club colours of royal blue and white, this was reflected in the bridesmaid dresses, the groomsmen cravats and handkerchiefs, the bunting, the flowers and we also had the club flag flying from the mast.
Most Touching Moment
One of the most touching aspects of the day was how far people travelled to spend our day with us, some from as far away as Australia and Dubai. We were totally overwhelmed and humbled by how many people joined us. Secondly, was how I was able to include my beloved grandparents and uncle who unfortunately had passed away. I decided to have photo charms on my bouquet which had photos of them all in. I was thrilled that they could still be with me in a small way and experience the day with me.
Wedding Breakfast and Cake
Our food was incredible! All the guests had choices of starter, main and dessert. The choices included pork belly, smoked cheese and onion tart and salmon for the starter; chicken wrapped in parma ham, roast beef and a vegetable terrine for main; and finally for desert, lemon meringue (my favourite), a sticky toffee pudding (Stu’s favourite) and a chocolate mousse (everyone’s favourite!) Our cake was a two-tier cake made by our very talented friend Patsy. It was a sponge and fruit cake, decorated in icing flowers that she made herself. Our wedding topper of “Mr and Mrs Green” really set the cake off. One of my best friends Kathryn’s Mum (Anne Cartwright) who I have known for years made us some amazingly tasty cupcakes and decorated them with hand made decorations of butterflies, roses and sparkles. She is starting her own business…watch this space!
Venue Decor, Flowers and Favours
There was a lot of thought that went into the castle decorations. We wanted bunting in the main hall in royal blue and white to reflect our hockey club colours. Candles were in the fireplace and in the fish bowl centre pieces. Our florist created some amazing floral designs which we included on the top table and on all of the tables during the wedding breakfast. We decided to make our favours from one of our childhood favourites…chocolate jazzies! White chocolate and milk chocolate in organza bags. Our page boy and flower girl got some goodies in the form of toys and colouring (all things quiet!)
Advice to Other Brides-to-be
It is YOUR day so enjoy it together. A friend of ours, Rachel who had got married the previous Summer came up to me just before the evening shindig was about to start, dragging Stuart along with her! She gave us a drink and told us to go for a walk together and I am so glad she did. We were able to just take a few minutes to ourselves away from others and enjoy being married, reflecting on how amazing the day had been so far. My advice would be to grab your husband for 10 minutes or so during the day to catch up with each other. The day is so crazy, full of lovely people you want to talk to and thank for coming to the wedding, having photos taken, dancing, and if you are not careful the day could pass by without you seeing too much of each other.
Ceremony Venue: Lympne | Castle Reception Venue: Lympne Castle | Wedding Transport: Jaguar | Wedding Stationery: Designed by ourselves | Wedding Make-up & Hair: Louise McIntosh and Head Kandy | Wedding Cake and Catering: Patsy Allen, Anne Cartwright and the Lympne Castle chefs | Photographer: David King Photography | Entertainment: BJ Entertainment | Flowers and Bouquets: Sharon Foreman | Groomsmen’s Attire: Moss Bros | Bridesmaids Attire: Debenhams | Grooms attire: Moss Bros | Wedding Shoes: New Look | Bridal Dress: Pumpkin and Dragonflies