Fabulous Fridays – Katie + James’ Winter Wedding

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My bright lights of 2020 are Katie and James. Their wedding is the only ceremony I’ve done all year!

From the moment we met last year, I knew we were going to create something very special. There is a genuine love, warmth and quiet assurance to this beautiful couple who makes everyone around them feel welcome and loved. 

Their wedding at High Billinghurst Farm took place in March…a week before lockdown began. In fact, I have a feeling the country was going into lockdown just as they returned from their honeymoon! It’s been a particularly challenging time as Katie works for the NHS and has been a huge part of the effort to help keep this vital service going all these months. What a way to begin marriage! 

I arrived at the farm well before the ceremony with enough time to meet everyone, ensure that those playing key roles in the ceremony knew what was happening and enjoy a chat with James and his Best Men – Alex and Hedley – who all looked very dapper in tweed suits. It was clear James was so ready to see his stunning bride! Katie and James love VW camper vans (one of the reasons I knew we’d get on well!!) so it was only fitting that Katie arrived in one together with her fabulous Dad. It looked as if Katie literally floated down the aisle towards her groom – complete with Converse shoes….BRILLIANT! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room!

Katie and James grew up together and have established their relationship on shared values and interests such as a love of music, books, films, tv and games including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Adventure Zone. Some of the special moments they’ve shared include holidays together, saying I love you for the first time, moving in together and getting engaged at the top of The Shard in London. They look forward to building their life together in farmhouse in the countryside filled with children and animals – including their two cats Brian and Penny and Roger the horse. Most of all they share a deep desire to leave the world a better place than they found it.

Shared values of love, compassion, respect, kindness, fun and lots of laughter bind Katie and James into a wide circle of love that also ties together the many strands of family and friendship in their lives. Because of their love of family and friends it was important to include them in the ceremony as much as possible. Paying tribute to much loved grandparents, a shelf of photos and candles framed their ceremony setting perfectly. Katie carried a small framed photo of her beloved Gran in her bouquet so that she was with Katie throughout the day. And lavender peppered the bouquet and flowers throughout the venue in another nod to Gran. James’ Dad and Katie’s Grandpa both shared readings specially selected with Katie and James in mind.

I love weddings which include highly personal and symbolic elements that truly reflect the couple. In Katie and James’ case, the guests were invited to participate in a Ring Warming.  Their wedding rings, tied together with a piece of ribbon, were passed through the congregation for each person to hold for a moment, warm them with their love and silently make a wish or blessing for Katie and James and their future together. By the time the rings made it back to the Best Men they were infused with everyone’s love and support for Katie and James’ marriage to keep it strong throughout the years. 

High Billinghurst Farm is a stunning venue at any time of year. On this winter day a fire roared in the hearth of the main barn and candlelight peppered the warmth of the Elizabethan barn where the ceremony took place. Katie and James infused many personal elements throughout their wedding day. Together with their families they handmade all the decorations which was marvellous as they could look around all day and see all the contributions. Friends contributed in numerous ways including hair and make up, the wedding cake and photography, decorations and more.

After the ceremony, Katie and James jumped in the back of the van and headed off on a little drive while guests enjoyed a few drinks from the Kombikeg bar on wheels. Katie and James returned from their drive and photo session in time to sit down for a delicious vegan meal cooked by Cel from Global Kitchen Catering before getting down to the serious business of dancing. 

I can’t begin to express how much I enjoyed getting to know Katie and Jim and bring their wedding vision to life! This will go down as one of my all time favourites!

Commenting on their wedding day, Katie and James shared:

“We feel completely blessed to have found Miranda for our wedding day! Our venue recommended Miranda completely by chance, and what a chance that was! She is one of the bubbliest and friendliest people we have ever met! From the first time we spoke we got on so well – with mutual interests very much in common (cough cough, Lord of The Rings!).

She put us as ease and helped us manage a process we were not very knowledgable about at all. She explained each step and what we needed to do in preparation for our ceremony – including our legal ceremony too. She asked us to fill in some questionnaires so she could use the information to write our own bespoke ceremony script, completed catered to us and who we are as a couple. She let us add, remove and change the script as many times as we wanted, so we could make sure it was perfect.

On the day, Miranda arrived early so she could prepare and meet our wedding party. She was instrumental in making sure the ceremony ran smoothly, whilst I was away not being able to manage a thing! Our ceremony was beautiful, and everything we wanted and more. It was intimate, personal and had the perfect balance of humour and emotion. Our guests commented on how moving it was, and how great Miranda was performing our ceremony.

Thank you so much to Miranda for all you did in the lead up, and on our wedding day – without you we couldn’t have had the day we always wanted. We are forever grateful!”

Venue – High Billinghurst Farm, Dunsfold, Surrey

Katie’s Dress and Bridesmaid’s dresses – WED2B 

Hair and Makeup – family friend Emily Mickelburgh

James’ Suit – LeQuest suit hire in Weybridge

Flowers – Longacres Wedding Flowers dept, Bagshot 

Photographer – personal friend Mary Braddock (no website)

Celebrant – Miranda Ash, Celebrations For All

Catering – Cel at Global Kitchen Catering  

Cake – personal friend Natalia Newman(no website)

Van – Borrow Mae 

Bar – Kombikeg 

Music – Joe Humberstone (no website)

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