So tell us about how you met and all about the proposal…
Catherine: Sam had grand plans about proposing in France, however he also really wanted to propose before we moved into our first home…and it was 2020 so Covid meant this was impossible! Instead, one lunchtime in the summer we went for a walk and it was the most beautiful sunshiney weather. I had walked those fields for my whole life, and Sam proposed in a tucked away little spot where it was just the two of us. (Once the walkers moved on – we haven’t seen anyone there before or since! Sam was getting very stressed, and I was very confused as to why at the time!)
Sam: It was literally the quietest, most peaceful spot… we had literally never met anyone else there. I was completely thrown off by the army of dog walkers and ramblers that had appeared! Once they had gone, I could not wait to get down on one knee and ask the most important question of my life so far after getting her father’s blessing.
What were your hopes for your big day? i.e. things that you really wanted to happen
We just wanted our family and friends to all be there, and share in the day – as one of our guests said after, “there was a lot of love in that room”, and I think that was the most important thing.
Why did you choose The Granary as your venue?
The Granary ticked every box…several times over! The team were warm and friendly from the moment we approached them, and made planning a wedding in the uncertainty of covid rules fun and as easy as it can be! Charlotte was our chief wedding planner allocated to us at the start and having that continuity all the way through was so important. The Granary had the capacity we needed for our guests, the stunning views over the fields, and the rustic but classy look we really loved. Also the food! We attended our food tasting and honestly the talent, presentation, taste everything – absolutely perfect.
The Bride & her Maids…Tell us about the dress, shoes, accessories, how many bridesmaids etc. (everyone always wants to know this!)
Catherine: I had my best friends by my side! I couldn’t choose between them, so I had six bridesmaids in the end – and one of the best things was having these people who mean so much to me meet each other and get on so well. My twin sister was my maid of honour, and bless her spent the wedding day carrying my dress train around so we could get the perfect photographs! My dress was from the Bridal Boutique in Hampton-in-Ardon, and Maddie the owner was fabulous from start to finish. We created my dress, which was handmade in Barcelona (Jesus Peiro), I loved the long sleeves – I wasn’t cold for a second on the day but I was so happy and buzzing so that might have been why! My veil was borrowed from my mum, who got married 30 years ago, and it was still perfect and matched my dress colour perfectly! It was very special to be able to wear it.
The Groom and his Groomsmen…. What did the groom wear, who was Best Man?
Sam: I actually struggled to choose my best man, as there have always been two of them in my life; my older brother Steven and my younger brother Matthew. In the end they both had plenty to do! But Matt was my best man, and my two new brothers-in-law rounded out the squad. My Father was born in Belfast and wore an Irish kilt to his wedding, so I knew I wanted to do the same for him with mine. Catherine took some persuading! But the folks at Black Tie in Allesley, Coventry found us the perfect Tartan and reassured Catherine we would look fantastic. They are also surprisingly warm, so be brave even if you have an autumn/winter wedding!
Tell us about the theme for the day…
We went full autumnal theme! We had the same designer for our stationary make our table names/table plan, so we had the autumn leaves carry across from the save the dates all the way through. We actually decided pretty late that we wanted burnt orange to be our main colour inspiration, but once we had everything else just tied in! We used fresh flowers on our cake, which also had a marble effect and we loved it.
Flowers, who supplied them and what arrangements did you have?
We had a local florist to where we live – Angela Jones – and were lucky enough to be able to have some truly incredible arrangements. We gave her a swatch from one of the bridesmaid dresses for a colour match, and then decided on the stunning orange lilly as the main flower rather than a traditional rose, both because it was so unique and went so well with our colour choices. We had a stunning half arch leading in to the church, as well as centre table displays which were mounted on large slabs of wood. They looked and smelled amazing!
Photography – who did you choose and why?
We had Darley&Underwood, and were just blown away by the finished results – a perfect way to remember our perfect day. Phil was with us all day and worked incredibly hard to get all the shots we needed, from the morning capturing Catherine get ready to capturing Sam at the church…every moment was lovely. We particularly love the photos taken at The Granary – the confetti throw photos (most in our faces!) – and those taken at sunset around the barn, and against the wood of the barn as well.
The ceremony – tell us about it.
We opted for a church wedding, at nearby Princethorpe Church – which meant our arrival at the Granary was even more incredible! We had not had the chance to speak to our guests, so when we arrived at the marquee for the champagne reception we were definitely in demand. It was great that Charlotte had suggested that whilst the guests were seated we have a moment to just be together and try and take the day in – honestly I know everyone said, but it really did go so fast!
Sam: We knew there was a risk of rain given it was late in October, so having a marquee out on the lawn kept everyone dry (fantastic idea from the Granary!) There was a lot of rain during the ceremony, so being able to have confetti thrown at the venue whilst everyone was nice and dry was perfect.
The Food – what did you eat?!
We dabbled in so many different ideas, and the chef and catering team at the Granary really are top class. Our canapés were served in the central courtyard, alongside a ‘salt table’, which is very recommended! Us, and our guests, were hungry by the time we arrived! We opted for a soup starter, roast beef roast main….crowd pleasers! It was our deserts that went down a really storm though, we went for a selection of deserts including apple crumble, chocolate brownie and éclair – sadly we were so nervous about the upcoming speeches we didn’t have as much as we would have liked. We also had a cheese table, with a selection of cheese and crackers – Catherine’s favorite! We finished the evening with a pizza buffet AND BBQ – honestly we just couldn’t decide which we wanted, so why not have both on your wedding day? The amount of compliments we had about the food said it all.
Sam: I was so grateful that the team had saved a plate of canapés just for us.. we really were starving after that ceremony. Our guests still ask us about where that Salt table came from, I have a feeling we will be seeing them again when we attend their weddings later on!
Entertainment….disco, band, fire-eater, singing waiters? Tell us all about it!
We had a band – the Backbeats – and they kept everyone on their feet, highly recommend them!
What was the highlight of your day?
Catherine: My highlight – and it is difficult to pick one – was probably having our confetti walk at the Granary. The sun had started to shine, we were both so happy and the setting was perfect! Everyone had fun at our expense…the happiness (and love!) at that moment was something I really wanted to box and keep forever! (Sam) It is really hard to choose one thing. Having had our wedding at Church, arriving at the Granary with our friends and family waiting to greet us as a married couple, we will never forget it, it was perfect.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to anyone planning a wedding?
Catherine: Try your best to do things early, we left some things a little late and it ended up being slightly more stressful than it needed to be!
Sam: Absolutely. You don’t have to go overboard, but just having what you need to do down on a list and crossing it off will help you keep track of where things are. We could have spent more of that last week relaxing if we’d done so!