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An Exclusive real life wedding - Kate and Paul

Getting engaged...

Paul and Kate met in 2011 through mysinglefriend.com... “The shame!” says Kate “In my defence he was the first and last person I met online so I cannot deny it worked for me.”  And perhaps just a sign of modern times.

Their engagement was not what you would call conventional.  The two of them were very happy having been together for a year or so when sadly Kate’s dad fell ill unexpectedly and quickly with cancer, it became apparent that things were bad. Paul, having lost his mum to cancer too, asked Kate if she wanted to get married so her dad could be there. They thought they had months to plan but sorrowfully it became just a couple of weeks; so Paul didn’t hesitate and formally asked Kate’s dad for permission to marry her the day before he passed away.  In Kate’s words her father was “over the moon and high on morphine told EVERYONE so though we weren't officially engaged, I knew it was happening!

A year later, in much happier times, Paul officially proposed on Kate’s 30th birthday over marmite and toast.

Finding THE dress...

Do you know how many people say that you never choose the dress they thought they would or expected to? Well not Kate, she chose exactly what she thought she would.  She made an appointment at the Bridal Rogue Gallery in Marylebone, a boutique featuring the La Sposa collection.  As she tried on a simple but classic A-line dress with a V-neck in ivory satin and saw her mother had tears in her eyes, Kate knew it was ‘the one’.

Laugh and love and live happily ever after

The Wedding itself...

Kate and Paul visited Pennyhill Park early on in their relationship and just loved it.

It was luxury, but not stuffy and I remember listening to the piano in the bar thinking I could definitely get married here! Once I knew we were kind of engaged to be honest I didn't look at anywhere else! We were surprised at the value for money and amount of 'say' we had in the planning of our day. Though advice was given, it was very much down to us to make it our own, and I loved that.”

Kate wanted a classic and timeless feel to her wedding, no theme specifically just something they could look back at in 15 years and know how elegant it was. Music was central to the enjoyment of the day with a fantastic gospel choir for the ceremony, a jazz singer for the reception and a funk band for the evening, all of which helped the celebratory atmosphere and transitions from one part of the day to the next.

One of their favourite and most memorable moments of the day was saying their own personal vows to each other during the outside ceremony in the Terrace Pavillion. Paul, being just a bit of a fan, crammed in 10, yes 10, Phil Collins' lyric quotes into his!

Tables were dressed in beautiful flowers and keeping the day truly personal Kate handmade 'in lieu of favours' cards letting guests know that they had made a donation to the charity Cancer Research while paying tribute to Kate’s father and Paul’s mother, ensuring they were close to their hearts on their very special day.  

But Kate’s father had left a lasting legacy too. Her brother, Ian, stood in his stead, walking Kate down the aisle, giving her away and making a speech. His speech included many things that their dad had asked him to say on his behalf, proving very emotional for everyone present, and truly bringing him into their very special day in a way Kate and Paul never imagined. ‘It was like he was there’ Kate recalls.

To ensure all 132 of their guests were included in the day, Kate also wrote guest feedback cards where they could describe the other guests at their table and write some words of wisdom or straightforward advice for the happy couple. They even had a place to post them! Over the years to come these cards will be great little memories to reminisce over, bring a smile to their faces and yet more moments to cherish.

The Bride and Groom: Miss Kate Bridges & Mr Paul Layte
That special date: 26th of September 2015
The location: Pennyhill Park - The ceremony in the Terrace Pavilion & the reception in the Balmoral suite
Photographer: Murray Clarke of Murray Clarke Photography
Flowers: Blomsters Design

Kate’s tips to Brides-to-be

  • Work out your number of guests first, then search for venues that can accommodate it. There is nothing worse than having to whittle your friends down!

  • Make sure you have a good rapport with the venue. I felt completely comfortable with Sam, our Wedding Co-ordinator and knew everything was under control at all times.

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