The happy couple: Cath Bennett, 33, from Gloucester, and Huw Wilford, 38, from Belfast, both probation officers who live in Cheltenham.
Wedding date: Friday 16 October 2015
Ceremony venue: St Mary’s Church, Bibury
Reception venue: Stone Barn
Wedding theme: Autumn
Photographer: Dan Fisher Photography
Flowers: Go Wild Flowers
Dress: The Cotswold Frock Shop, Stow-on-the-Wold
Bridesmaid dresses: Phase Eight
Groom’s outfit: Hugo Boss
Cake: Made by the groom’s mum
Catering: Stone Barn
Transport: A Hudson Commodore 6 Sedan Little Miss Vintage Cars
Entertainment: Acoustic singer, Dan Greenaway, and a Spotify playlist.
Favours: Homemade marmalade and printed tea towels.
Hair and beauty: Hair by Peter Hickman Gloucester, and make-up by Emily Tarrant
Rings including engagement ring: The engagement ring was from Andrew Scott, Cheltenham; Cath's wedding ring was from RJ Spicer and Huw’s ring was by Fiona Hesketh.
Huw explains: ‘We met at work after I was transferred to an office where Cath worked. We used to make tea for each other and kept a chart to make sure we made the same amount. We also spent a lot of time chatting at the pub over pints of Tommy Tailor and Tribute.’
Huw remembers: ‘I asked Cath to marry me on a city break in Barcelona. I had arranged to have Cath’s grandma’s engagement rings and took them with me. I tried to do it in a romantic restaurant but just as I plucked up the courage, a business meeting group arrived.
Instead I started asking Cath on a bench, but as I’d said, I’ve something important to ask you, which I’ve said quite a few times before as a joke, she didn’t believe me.
I continued trying to persuade her on way back to our hostel, then in the bar I finally got the ring out to show her I wasn’t joking, although she still didn’t quite believe me till I got down on one knee in the bedroom and she said yes.’
We got engaged in October 2014 and got married a year and a day later.
It was the second one we visited. We fell in love with it as soon as we walked in. It was laidback and homely, with an intimate romantic feel, and the layout was open, friendly, quirky and stylish without pretension.
There was no real theme; we just wanted the wedding to reflect us as a couple and it was really important that guests felt part of the day and not spectators. As it was in October, autumn played a role and we had a tree motif that featured throughout, including the tea towel favours, the invitations and a canvas print for guests’ thumbprints.
Dan is a friend of ours and we really like his laidback approach, catching intimate moments without staging them. It was important for us to have a friend rather than a stranger.
Apart from family pictures he was given free rein. He mixed with friends to take pictures unobtrusively so people were really captured in the moment. He was with Cath and the bridesmaids as they got ready and there are pictures of them that they didn’t even know had been taken!
We did it all ourselves as we wanted it to be a reflection of us.
We made the marmalade for the favours and even Cath’s gramps got involved in that. The save the date cards and invitations were design by us and we stamped each one with the stamp we had made of a design by Cath’s friend.
We collected fallen leaves from Pittville Park and spray painted them gold and wrote guests’ names on for place settings. We also bought dried petals from eBay for confetti and Cath’s mum made all the floral decorations for the church.
Both Cath and her mum instantly fell in love with the dress when they saw it. It had a 1920s feel to it; sort of Jenny Packham-style. It was fitted but not clingy and flowed beautifully as Cath is quite tall. It had some sequins and beading without being blingy and had lovely small delicate details that Cath felt were lovely and understated.
We had a necklace made by designer, Fiona Hesketh, from Cath’s grandma’s engagement ring, which was the gift I gave her on the wedding day. We had wanted to use that ring and its diamonds for a new engagement ring but it just wasn’t practical.
Cath wore a bracelet her father gave her when she was 14, her new was pretty much everything else, there may have been a tiny blue bow on her underwear, but if there was it was unintentional, and she didn’t have anything borrowed.
A grey two-piece Hugo Boss suit and brown leather Loakes shoes.
An instrumental version of ‘Pure Imagination’ from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We had no idea what to use and then I had a dream that Cath walked down the aisle to that tune and it’s Cath’s favourite film from her childhood so was the perfect choice.
We had one religious one which was Song of Solomon 2:10-14; 8:6-7. I asked my dad to pick a non-religious reading and he chose and read ‘Scaffolding’ by Seamus Heaney. We had the rings passed through the whole congregation before they got to the best man. We wanted everyone to have an opportunity to hold our rings and wish us well.
We had a selection of canapés; a charcuterie sharing platter for starter; barbecued triple thickness sirloin bricks with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans for main, and lemon tart with thick cream for dessert. The evening food was hog roast baps with apple sauce.
Huw explains: ‘My mum made the cake. She wanted to make a fruitcake but we dug our heels in and she made a three tiered naked cake, with a lemon top layer, a carrot middle layer and a chocolate base. She made it in Belfast and transported it over, putting it together and decorating it on the day.
‘Barcelona’ by George Ezra, partly because it’s where I proposed and also it was a random gig we went to in a dingy little pub back when we were dating.
For me it was seeing Cath walk down the aisle and for Cath it was the whole day, knowing it was the right thing to be doing and being surrounded by the people she knows and loves. Honestly there was no part of the day we’d change; it was the best day.
Pretty much. The bus was late turning up to get guests after the ceremony which caused a bit of an annoyance and meant we had a little less time for photos than we thought, so that felt a touch hurried.
Forget everyone’s opinion and do what you want. Try and do as much together as possible. I wanted to be involved as much as possible as I didn’t want to feel a guest at my own wedding.
Invite the people you truly care about, the others don’t matter. Once the day starts, just enjoy it as the hard works been done. Trust the people you’re employing. For example, we didn’t see the flowers Beth did till the day and they were absolutely perfect.
Make time to speak to everyone but also, at least once, sit with your partner and take it all in. And, most importantly remember what the days about; it’s about getting married and committing to each other.
We had a four-night minimoon in Venice and our main honeymoon was three months travelling in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, with a final week of luxury on the island of Grenada.
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