If the thought of being the centre of attention on your wedding day fills you with nervous dread, then let me open up a world of new possibilities for you. Cat and Paul did things to suit them – completely. Not being a girly, girl or ever wearing dresses, two weeks before the wedding the bride decided to go with what made her feel comfortable. That meant wearing jeans, and not doing a ‘grand entrance’. She didn’t walk down the aisle at all, in fact there was no aisle. She and Paul greeted their guests together as they arrived.
“We really just wanted to have all our family and friends around us for the day and enjoy ourselves”, began Cat. “Neither of us were looking for anything more than that really, just throw a good party for everyone to enjoy. The little quirks all came via family and friends. I think there’s so much expectation around weddings these days, you have to have these favours and this dress etc. It started to get a bit like that for us, especially for me.”
But Cat didn’t want to do what was expected and that meant she wore her favourite jeans! “I had a dress planned which was a big thing for me, I’m really not a dress kind of girl but I wanted to impress Paul and do something really special for him. About two weeks before when all the final bits of planning were getting done I had a bit of a mini moment about the whole thing, entering in a dress with everyone looking at me. After a chat with my mum and Paul they both told me just to be myself and wear what I was comfy in. So the jeans and the sparkly shoes were bought! I’m so thankful for the amazing support from Paul on this, I know he would have loved to have seen me in a dress but he knew it just wasn’t me and it was more important to him that I was comfortable and enjoying myself. So I didn’t make any big entrance or anything. I was there welcoming guests with Paul and the rest of our families which I really enjoyed. There was a few people who came in and thought they were late though I think as I was already in there! There’s nothing more Rock n Roll than just being yourself after all.”
The whole day was held at The Bivouac, a holiday home let in Masham, North Yorkshire. The wedding party also stayed there, in dorm style rooms! The ceremony was in the cafe in the heart of the complex. “I think our vows were pretty unique, we both wrote our own. I got a great laugh for the line ‘I’m going to love you like a fat kid loves cake’. I think I heard it in a song once and it’s always been a phrase I loved. It’s true though I do love him like a fat kid loves cake. Paul used the meaning of our names in his vows ‘humble’ and ‘pure’. I now have a tattoo with those words in on my shoulder. Our celebrant, Shirley, was also on her first gig, she was recommended by someone at Bivouac. Everyone has to start somewhere and we were more than willing to give her a chance. So glad we did because she was totally fab. Had everyone laughing and getting involved.”
“We also changed the normal order of things around a bit. We decided to have the speeches as part of the evening do. We only had so much space and budget for guests at the main part of the day but we wanted the guys who came to the evening to feel like part of wedding too. For them and us. So we did the speeches later so that they could see them. We had to get friendly in one room and put the speech makers up on the balcony for everyone to see but I’m really glad we did. I hope the other guests that joined us later got to feel like part of the day a bit more. They got to see all the embarrassing pictures of Paul and his dad over the past years as well. Jim the best man had them blown up so everyone could see!”
“One of my favourite moments was seeing my grandparents!”, she laughed. “Most of our guests dressed pretty casually and they came as ‘colourful tramps’, which was a surprise! My granny is a bit of a family legend for jokes and fun and she certainly delivered here. As Paul and me are pretty relaxed and also self confessed cycling nuts our wedding invitations featured a picture of a scarecrow on a bike in a muddy field. We wanted people to come dressed relaxed, no suits! So when my grandparents saw and read the invitation they were happy to oblige!”
“To be honest we loved the whole day, but the effort that people put into the pumpkin carving competition was pretty special”, she concluded. “Some of them were completely amazing!! It was pretty hard to judge, I honestly looked at them all and thought how amazing it was that people had got so involved with our day and taken the time and effort to make these amazing creations. We had VW camper vans and real painted pumpkin carriages with Smurf bride and groom. I felt very cared for and loved looking at them all. The winner was an old family friend of ours called Megan who copied a tattoo design that I have on the inside of my arm. It means reach for the stars and I still love it. I hope she enjoyed her huge bar of chocolate as the well deserved winner.”
“We were also treated to a special magic show by our two ring bearers Jack and William, both aged 4. They set it all up and delivered it with perfect poise and amazing showmanship, that was great fun!”