From the moment that I met Katy and Lee, their love for each other and sense of fun was so apparent – even before I learned that they had a dedicated GIN Bar in their home! Katy and Lee created their dream of a wonderful and relaxed June wedding, with all of the classic hallmarks of an English summer garden party, including their shared love of gin! One thing that other brides and grooms may be interested to know is the couple’s decision to make their wedding an ‘adult only’ event. After mulling over concerns that friends and family may be upset, the couple tell me of their surprise that so many of their guests confessed how much they had enjoyed a little child-free time to celebrate with them on the day.
Katy and Lee’s wedding was held at The Orangery at Barton Hall Hotel in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The Orangery is a Grade II listed building that provided an amazing backdrop for the day. As the venue’s recommended photographer, I attend more than 15 weddings here each year and what I love most about this venue is the variety that it provides; the incredible domed ceiling of the Orangery, the atmospheric Charles Suite and Barton Hall’s extensive grounds mean that I have endless possibilities to capture unique photographs throughout the day. I always set myself the challenge of finding new angles and interesting shots that I haven’t discovered before!
Katy and Lee were keen to spend as much time with their guests as possible but, like most couples, also felt that capturing the bride and groom portraits were important to them. We waited until after the wedding breakfast and the speeches to steal a few moments for these intimate portraits in the picturesque gardens at sunset. This time really suited the couple as they could relax and enjoy a quiet moment together, knowing that their guests would be enjoying drinks and mingling with each other without missing them for too long! With the dimmed light at sunset, I was also able to create some very dramatic and intimate portraits for the couple.
From a photography perspective, the Orangery’s stunning domed roof also floods natural light into the ceremony room regardless of the weather or the time of year. When choosing your venue, I would recommend somewhere that allows natural light in for part of your day as it helps to create the most natural documentary photography, particularly for summer weddings. I only use flash photography when I really need to or when I am looking to create more drama in the shot.
Take a look at Katy and Lee’s wedding photographs and learn a little about their love story below, as well as their own advice to help you make the most of your day!
Tell us how you first met?
Lee: I spotted Kate at the school I was working at. She was there on a training placement and I walked past her a few times and thought how pretty she was. I was hanging around the staff room and basically doing anything I could to chat to her. I even asked a friend who went on a meal with her to find out everything about her so I could talk to her. Then one day she was brought to the PE office and introduced to me formally and I was told that Kate would be joining us full time. I was so happy to hear this I ran to my next lesson outside singing!
Katy: He came in about four times for coffee and I just remember thinking that it takes a brave man to wear a bright pink top!
When did you know he/she was the one?
Lee: In 2015, we moved in together in the February but I was leaving in the July to go to Borneo for a month. While I was out there I missed her so much and I remember saying then I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and that I needed to marry her. I wrote a huge love letter while I was there and posted it but the bloody letter never arrived!
Katy: The month we spent apart when he went to Borneo made me realise how miserable I was without him and I knew I couldn’t bear to be apart from him again.
Tell us about the proposal?
Lee: The proposal was a scary one because firstly I had to hide the ring in my hand luggage all the way to Thailand and then I had to keep it hidden until we got down to Railay, which is an area in the south of Thailand that is just paradise. On our first night there I was sneaking about and hiding the ring but I eventually got down on one knee at the restaurant that was on the beach and asked if she would be my wife and agree to marrying me. It took a while to get a response due to shock but we got there in the end!
Katy: I was speechless and he had to actually say ‘so what do you reckon then’. I, of course said yes and was so overwhelmed, shocked but super happy!
Tell us the one thing you love most about each other?
Lee: Kate is honestly my best friend. We do everything together and I find it hard to imagine how I ever had fun before her. Kate is outrageously understanding and caring and will do all she can to make sure you’re happy, so her empathy is a huge reason why I love her so much.
Katy: I love Lee’s kind heart. He always puts others first and can always turn a bad day into a good one.
What was the best part of your wedding?
Lee: The atmosphere. We knew we had great people joining us as our guests and we worked hard to ensure we were working with great people on the day too. As a result of all of this, there was a genuine sense of people having fun, and their sincerity and kindness just completely overwhelmed us.
Katy: Having all of our close friends and family in one place having a great time was the best part.
What would be your most important advice for couples planning their wedding?
When planning your timings for the day, pencil in a section of time to just stand and grab a drink with your guests. We had moments but it is so tough to get around to that many people.
Do the hard work early. When you get nearer to your big day this will give you an opportunity to relax more at a time when you will naturally be more worried.
Make sure you are working with people that you can trust. We wanted to make sure that anyone we were working with would take charge in seconds if anything went wrong.
Constantly remember that you are only doing this process once, so enjoy every second of it. From the engagement to the last dance of the night I can honestly say it has been the best experience of my life.
Special Thanks: Wedding Venue | Barton Hall – Kettering Barton Seagrave, Decor | Paige’s Elegant Occasions – Corby, Wedding Planner | Barton Hall – Rebecca Jackson, DJ | Big Bopper Entertainment, Wedding Shoes| Sanders Shoes – Rushden Florist| FlowerTime -Corby,