Katie and Mike. I barely know where to begin. They’re the kind of people that bring sunshine to grey evenings and that can look cooler than cucumbers when its 34 degrees outside. I love them. Read on to find out more about their *actually* scorching summer wedding at Rushton Hall!
How did you meet?
We met at the University of Sheffield, studying the same course. Our first encounter was in a pizza takeaway at 3am after a night out at the students’ union – we had previously spotted each other across the lecture theatre though…! So, Mike hatched a plan to get to know Katie a bit better… Katie was head of a committee group at university and Mike asked to join it, just so that he could hang out with her, and the rest is history….
Tell me your proposal story:
We were heading into London for the weekend, to spend some time around the area we used to live. Mike suggested that they go back to their favourite place for dinner – a tapas restaurant in St Katharine’s Dock. Beforehand, he suggested they go for a walk over Tower Bridge and along the river to grab a drink somewhere and it’s here that he got down on one knee and popped the question.
Why did you choose a summer wedding at Rushton hall for your wedding day?
We had always loved Rushton Hall and had been to a wedding there many years ago, before the new Orangery was built. A couple of months after Mike proposed, we went to Rushton Hall for a Sunday roast along with our parents to celebrate. While we were there, we looked around the new Orangery and fell in love with it. We wanted a venue that had everything on-site – for example, the ability to cater and enough rooms for plenty of our guests. Not to mention the staff were absolutely lovely! They just seemed so experienced and had such an air of calm! It had everything we wanted, not to mention being absolutely stunning!
What was it you loved about your outfits and accessories that made you choose them?
I didn’t intend to get a ‘big’ dress. I was looking for something slim-fitting, potentially lace, elegant and low-key. I tried on plenty of dresses but this style just wasn’t doing anything for me and didn’t suit my figure. I loved the material of my dress – having realised that lace wasn’t for me – and I just thought that it felt so unique and fun! It was definitely a dress that I could swish around and have some fun with! Because the dress was such a statement, I opted for quite simple accessories, plus a long simple veil.
Mike always wanted a suit that was sophisticated but simple, so navy was definitely the way to go. We had groomsmen that ranged from 5’6″ to 6’4″ so we also had to pick something that would suit everyone! We didn’t want something too weddingy, but also wanted it to feel a bit more special, so we opted for a three piece suit.
Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers:
We wanted to go with something modern, but also something that suited the venue. Although we had been to some weddings which had a rustic feel with bunting and hessian, this isn’t what we wanted and we wanted to opt for something slightly more refined, to suit the venue.
However, Rushton Hall is very grand and so there was definitely the potential for it to feel too formal, which we didn’t want, so getting the balance between modern, elegant but fun was what we were after.
We went for dusty blues and navy for the colour scheme, with a splash of gold to be used on the stationery, and some pinky blush which was used in the flowers and cake decorations.
For the flowers, we didn’t want anything too structured, but rather we wanted the appearance to be as if our florist had wondered through an English country garden and swept up some flowers. My bouquet also included David Austin roses – one of my favourites – as well as some succulents which was also included in Mike’s buttonholes.
What was your first dance and why did you choose it?
Our first dance song was Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s ‘As you are’. As a couple, we’re not particularly soppy, but having listened to (what felt like) hundreds of songs, we always kept coming back to this one. We liked it’s realism to romance and the message that sometimes life is hard, but that we’ll always be there for each other:
“You raised the lights when it was frightening
You calmed the storm when it was rising
You found me there where I was hiding
All I have is here and now”.
What were the most wonderful parts of the day for you?
We both really enjoyed getting read with our respective bridesmaids and groomsmen. It was a gradual build up but I loved spending time with the women in my life that I love and that made me feel calm. Mike had a less calm start to the day having split champagne all over one of his usher’s shirts – first world problems! But thankfully there was a spare. Besides that, we loved the speeches and of course, dancing our way through the night -particularly as by then, the searing heat of the day had calmed down somewhat!
Why did you choose Hannah Hall Photography as your photographer, and what was your experience of your photography on the day?
We didn’t know of any photographers in Northamptonshire but when we asked around for recommendations, Hannah’s name kept coming up. We looked at the style of her shots on her website and social media and we loved what we saw – as I said, we’re not particularly soppy, plus we wanted to capture people having fun, rather than capturing stiff photos of family – so it was a no-brainer. We ‘met’ Hannah over Skype and we knew that we had to have her!
We also had an engagement shoot with her, which we weren’t going to do at first, but it was absolutely the right decision and I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about whether to or not, to DO IT. You get to meet Hannah properly and get to know her style and how she works. Not only this, but you learn how to feel OK in front of a camera – I will probably never feel ‘comfortable’ in front of a camera but the photos that Hannah captured and the time we spent with her really put us at ease.
It’s worth mentioning that our wedding day was hot – 34 degrees hot. Not only was Hannah professional, relaxed, but she didn’t even seem to break a sweat. She has absolutely perfected ‘the swan’ and just seemed to know what we were feeling throughout the day. When we went off to have our couple portraits done, she knew that we were very hot and got things wrapped up quickly – and even from this, we have the MOST amazing photos from that short time we had with her.
What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?
A few bits of advice I would give are:
1) Take your time to plan it properly – research online, pin things on Pinterest, look at loads of venues. You only get to do this once, so don’t have any regrets.
2) Don’t listen too much to other people. Everyone has a very different and distinct idea for how they want their wedding to be and the experience they want to have and give their guests. This is YOUR day, so if you want to get married on a farm, get married on a farm. If you want to get married in the Autumn, get married in the Autumn. Just make sure that it reflects you and your style as a couple. When we were looking for ideas, everything on Pinterest seemed to be hessian, bunting and blocks of wood, and although this looked awesome at a lot of weddings we’d been to, this just didn’t feel very ‘us’.
3) Take it all in! Everyone kept saying this to me before the wedding and I thought, ‘of course I’m going to take the wedding day in’ but it’s really easy to forget to! I tried my best to take mental pictures but everything after the meal is a bit of a blue – but then, that’s why Hannah is so amazing!
4) Don’t sweat the small stuff… Our speeches overran and the weather was so hot that we didn’t really get a chance to have the hour that we’d planned to freshen up and hang out together. My hair was sweaty and my flowers wilted. We forget to throw the bouquet and there are people I didn’t get round to speaking to. BUT, I had the most sublime day of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. If it chucks it down with rain on your wedding day, or you’re sweating your bits off in 34 degrees, you won’t care. All of those little things prior to the wedding you’d think would ruin in, they sort of make the day!
5) Spead it out! Mike organised a golf day with some friends on the Friday, while I enjoyed some prosecco in my parents’ garden with a couple of my bridesmaids. We then met up at the hotel Mike was staying in the night before the wedding for a few drinks with friends. It gave us a chance to see friends and catch up – and get excited – before the wedding. I really enjoyed this build up!
We spent the day after the wedding hanging out with friends and family in a pub across the road from the venue. It was a great way to catch up with people properly and dissect the day – and hear all of the gossip! We then got to use the Rushton Hall spa and restaurant, before heading off on our honeymoon the following day. It also meant that we got to open all of our cards and look and photos friends had sent us – it was a few hours alone with my husband that I will cherish forever.
Having informal pre-wedding and post-wedding activities for people to join in, if they chose, was really great because not only was it great for us to see everyone properly but it also made it more of a weekend away for people who had travelled to be with us.
6) Choose Hannah Hall! She is amazing and I couldn’t fault her. Just read my Google review and you’ll find out why!!!
Katie + Mike’s scorching hot summer wedding at Rushton Hall happened with the help of the following amazing beans…
Second photographer: Aaron Collett Photography / Hair: Askew’s Hairdressing / MUA: Estelle Make up and Beauty
Dress: Morilee from Stunning Bridal / Florist: By Arrangement / Transport: Warkton Wedding Cars
Bridesmaids: Debenhams / Groomsmen: Next / Band: The Distractions
Planning your own wedding at Rushton Hall? Let’s chat!