We’ve played over 30 weddings so far this year and we are lucky enough to have awesome clients who are happy to share photos of their day, and answer a few questions for our blog.
Below is Featured Wedding Number 1 – Natasha and Tom’s amazing day at The Falconhurst Estate in Kent. We played a background set in the afternoon followed by the reception party in the evening.
Here we go…
Tell us a bit about yourselves and what your jobs are:
We are Natasha and Tom. We live in Edenbridge, Kent, but met in London about 7 years ago (via an online dating website called mysinglefriend.com – which sounds a bit dated now in the post-Tinder world!). Natasha is a lawyer, working in London, and Tom works from home in a family property management business.
Is there a good story behind the proposal? Can you tell us about it?
Tom proposed in a cottage in South Wales, which we had visited previously with friends and which is in a really remote and beautiful part of the Brecon Beacons. The proposal was intended to be a surprise but Tom’s scheming wasn’t particularly effective and Natasha guessed what was about to happen (and presumptuously had a manicure the day before in preparation)! Things didn’t entirely go to plan; our car’s Sat Nav refused to recognise Wales and so Tom had to divulge the destination at the start of the journey from Kent, so that Natasha could help navigate, and on arrival at the cottage, it transpired that the cottage owner had expected us to arrive later in the week, so the property hadn’t been cleaned and there was no bedding, heating or hot water (in November!). But the proposal itself (outside on the terrace under the stars – in the amazing dark sky reserve of the Brecon Beacons) was absolutely lovely and it was great to have a few days to ourselves in Wales to take it all in before celebrating with friends and family on our return.
What did you consider were the most important things when you started planning your wedding?
Our main concern was that everyone should feel relaxed and have lots of fun. We wanted the day to be informal but to feel really special, both for us and our guests. The key things for us were the setting, the food and drink, and the entertainment (hence Mister Kanish!). We also wanted to make sure that we enjoyed the planning process itself, so we made time to meet in person with lots of our suppliers, we involved our families as much as possible, we organised an engagement party, and we even made our own rings (with lots of help from the lovely Victoria at http://thequarterworkshop.com/).
Which venue did you pick and what made you choose it?
We decided on a marquee reception and chose to do this in the grounds of Falconhurst Estate, in Kent. Falconhurst has absolutely stunning gardens and is a dry hire venue, meaning that we could choose all of our own suppliers and make the place our own. It is only 3 miles from where we live, which was really handy for pre-wedding site visits, and it is only a 5 minute walk (through gorgeous woodland) from a beautiful country Church, which was ideal for us as we didn’t want our guests to have to travel far between the ceremony and reception.
Can you tell us about some of the companies/suppliers you used? What made you pick them?
We somehow managed to secure an absolute crack team of suppliers and are so grateful to them all for making the day run so smoothly. Our caterer was Home Gurr’own, who were local to the venue and provided us with the most delicious food and drink (as well as being incredibly helpful in the planning process).
We hired a traditional canvas pole tent with a gorgeous roof and wall lining from LPM Bohemia, who also supplied all of our rustic wooden trestle tables.
Our photographer was Rebecca Douglas, who was such a warm and friendly presence on the day (and whose photos are amazing), and the very creative Ayla at Wagtail Productions was our videographer.
We had bespoke stationery from Kate Ruth Romey, who is unbelievably talented and an absolute pleasure to work with, and a delicious cake made by Blossom & Crumb, who we met at The Most Curious Wedding Fair. Our florist was Lara at Darling & Wild, based in Tunbridge Wells, who totally nailed the brief and produced the most stunning bouquets and arrangements.
Morning suits were from David Saxby in Fulham and Natasha’s dress was made by the lovely Sarah Barrett at the Lyn Ashworth studio in Hanbury, which is near to where she grew up in the Midlands.
Hair was by Simply Beautiful and make up by Ellie Gill and Harriet Rainbow; all did an amazing job with about 12 of us to beautify on the morning of the wedding! We sourced lots of bits and bobs (such as getting ready gowns for the bridal party, cake toppers and décor) from suppliers on notonthehighstreet.com and Etsy, and we also had bespoke signage crafted by Made by Wood & Wood. All of our suppliers completely “got” our vision for the day and were not only incredibly talented in their fields but also extremely responsive and efficient before the wedding itself.
Was there anything you did yourself to save money?
Neither of us are particularly crafty, and Tom would vouch for the fact that any plans to save money during the wedding planning process failed spectacularly! Saying that, we did have some lovely personal touches from friends and family, such as the confetti, which Tom’s mum made from roses grown in her garden; and Tom’s dad made a colourful backdrop for our freestanding photo-booth, which looked great in the marquee.
What made you choose Mister Kanish as your wedding band?
We did lots of research online for a wedding band, but just kept coming back to Mister Kanish. Their online videos were brilliant and we loved the fact that they had different styles (Classic and Electric) and that they could offer an acoustic set during our drinks reception. Their set list is really varied and we could tell from the videos and testimonials online that they would get everyone dancing (though even we were surprised on the day at just how amazing they were – the dancefloor was packed from start to finish). They were just fantastic and we have been inundated since the wedding with compliments from friends and family on their performance.
What was your first dance and why did you choose it?
We wanted an upbeat song to match the tone of the day, and we chose Gimme Some Lovin’ by the Spencer Davis Group. We organised a couple of dance lessons beforehand as both of us are terrible dancers and couldn’t handle the pressure of freestyling! Mister Kanish performed the song absolutely perfectly – they kept to the same tempo as the original (so we managed somehow to pull off our routine!) but they really made the song their own; it was just brilliant and got everyone in the mood to party.
What was your favourite part of the day?
It is so difficult to choose a favourite part of the day – it was all so much fun – but walking into the walled garden at Falconhurst after the wedding ceremony, to be met by drinks and canapés and Mister Kanish playing their acoustic set, was just amazing. And looking around the dancefloor late in the evening to see everyone from our grandparents to our friends to young children dancing away was just so special too.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to others planning their weddings now?
Decide on the three most important things to you at the outset and try to keep to that vision (and don’t get too stressed about the little things which only you would ever notice on the day). And choose wisely with your suppliers!
Thanks so much to Natasha and Tom for letting us be a part of their big day. It was great fun. We even found time to film a couple of videos on site. Here they are…
Caterer – Home Gurr’own
Marquee Hire – LPM Bohemia
Photographer – Rebecca Douglas
Videographer – Ayla at Wagtail Productions
Stationary – Kate Ruth Romey
Cake – Blossom & Crumb
Wedding Fair – A Most Curious Wedding Fair
Flowers – Lara at Darling & Wild
Suits – David Saxby in Fulham
Wedding Dress – Sarah Barrett at the Lyn Ashworth studio in Hanbury
Signs – Made by Wood & Wood