Real Weddings Southampton: Kate and Stuart’s stylish church wedding
A local church wedding was the ideal setting for this happy couple. Our WED2B Real Weddings Southampton feature reveals more:
Kate first met Stuart when she was working in the restaurant of a social club. “My brother ran the restaurant and Stu’s Dad was the manager of the club,” she says.
A romantic proposal
Stuart proposed during a trip to Rome for Kate’s 40th birthday in 2016. “We’d spent the day seeing Rome and then went out for dinner,” she says. “After our meal Stuart suggested we went back to the Trevi Fountain to see it at night. While we were sitting on the wall of the fountain he proposed! I was very surprised and so happy. It was very romantic! After I said yes a group of young girls started cheering and clapping and Stu got very embarrassed. Then lots of people who sell photos started taking polaroids and charging us for them. When we finally got back to the hotel we realised the fountain wasn’t even in the background of the pictures! He couldn’t ask my Dad’s permission, as my Dad had passed away the year before, but I know he would have been so pleased for us.”
Finding the dress
Kate bought her dress from WED2B’s Southampton store in February 2017. “I’d been to a couple of other dress shops but hadn’t found anything I really liked,” she says. “I took my bridesmaids, my sister-in-law and my Mum and I tried on four dresses before lunch and four after. Emmy was the first one I loved and I still loved it when I tried it on for the second time! I totally fell in love with it the minute I tried it on. I still have the photo of my face when I realised. My Mum cried too so I knew it was the one! The shape of the train, the beading and sequins on the bodice and the lace up back were stunning. It was just my perfect dress!”
Accessories to match
Kate also bought an Alexandra jacket to wear for the church service and reception. “I loved the fact that it gave me two looks without having to have two separate dresses,” she says.
A local church wedding
The couple had a local church wedding, around the corner from where Kate’s Dad lived. “I’d known for the vicar who married us for over 20 years,” says Kate. “Years ago he’d interviewed me for a job in a solicitors where he was the office manager. I got the job and ended up working with him for 12 years. He’s now retired but still works as a vicar, and I was so happy when he said he would do our wedding service.”
A moving ceremony
Kate walked down the aisle with her Mum to ‘A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri. “I chose the duet version, which has slightly different words at the beginning,” says Kate. “My Auntie gave a Bible reading and my sister-in-law did an amazing reading she had written herself. We also had an instrumental version of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ by Guns & Roses and Pachelbel’s Canon in D while we signed the register. Then we walked out of our church wedding to the Bridal March.”
“My favourite memory of our church wedding is walking down the aisle and seeing Stu and also my little boy waiting for me,” says Kate. “It was amazing! When I was signing the register the photographer asked me to put my bouquet up by a candle, which I was then told was in memory of my Dad. It was very emotional but I loved the lovely touch." After the ceremony Stu and Kate also had some photos taken at a special place with views out over the bay that meant a lot to her Dad.
The reception was held at the nearby Hotel Rembrandt and everyone headed there for welcome drinks and more photos. The colour theme was mint, pink and gold and tables were named after various sights in Rome. “I bought candle holders from Ikea and some small birdcage tea lights, which I sprayed gold to go on the tables along with some framed pictures of the places in Rome,” says Kate. “Everyone had a gold wooden name plate that they could take home with them. All of the wedding party also had glasses with their names on, their role in the wedding and the date, which I made by sticking decals on to plain glasses. There were candelabras and flower arrangements on some of the tables too and the other tables had small vases with flowers in the middle. The room just looked beautiful, I was so happy with it!”
“My Dad died from a heart attack so I do fundraising for the British Heart Foundation,” says Kate. “Favours were a pin badge from the BHF and I put collection boxes with a picture of my Dad on a table with a sign saying, ‘Buy Big Al a Drink’. I asked everyone to donate the money that they would have spent on buying him a drink that night and we raised over £70 in my Dad’s memory.”
Let them eat cake!
The three-tier cake was made by Kate’s Auntie and was covered with mint green icing, pale pink sashes and gold beading. It was also decorated with some roses from the florist. “There were layers of fruit cake, vanilla cake and chocolate cake, which were delicious!” says Kate.
After the three-course meal, there were speeches from Kate’s Mum, Stu, Kate’s stepdaughter and the best man. Kate also gave a toast to her Dad. “After this we went for more photos at another place with lovely sea views, and came back in time for the evening reception,” says Kate. “We had another 80 or so guests in the evening for a disco and buffet. The evening do was great with a photo booth, dancing and everyone having fun. The whole day was so memorable I’m not sure I can choose one favourite moment. Although I know I loved the moment my husband first called me his wife in his speech! I just loved having such a happy, fun day with all of our friends and family.”
Kate’s Dream Team:
Photographer: Keith Bridle Photography (bridlephotography.co.uk)
Venue: The Hotel Rembrandt (hotelrembrandt.co.uk)
Hair and make-up: Sian Stone Hair and Make Up (sianstone.co.uk)
Florist: Kingston Maurward College Floral Design (kmc.ac.uk)
Videographer: Jack Aldridge (jackaldridgephotography.com)
Stationary: Jelliceo Creative Stationery (jellicoestationery.co.uk)
Transport:Perfect Day Wedding Services (perfectdayweddingservices.co.uk)
Kid’s Activities: The Wedding Crecherz (theweddingcrecherz.com)
Dres alterations: Chantelle Sophia (chantellesophia.com)
Wedding Confetti: Dollz Confetti (dollzconfetti.co.uk)
Did your wedding have the wow factor like our church wedding feature? If you would like to be a part of our real weddings feature send your favourite photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!