We spent our first wedding of 2018 with the awesome Sarah and Matt at Beeston Manor. The couple were amazing, braving the elements as it rained for a large portion of the day, thankfully easing up in the evening so we could head out for some more shots
We always say it’s the people that make good weddings and this was no exception, Sarah and Matt’s guests were fantastic and helped make the day amazing for the couple and very much enjoyable for Suz and I – we had an awesome time!
How did you originally meet?
We both went to Newcastle for university and met at the start of our second year in 2008. One of the standard student nights was at a classy establishment called liquid on a Thursday night. I guess it’s true that you never know where you’ll meet your future wife/husband, we definitely didn’t think that a night out would have led us here.
How did Matt propose?
After waiting quite a few years and mostly giving up on the idea of marriage, Matt finally got around to proposing in 2016. We had lived in different parts of the country, moved away from home again and lived in two more cities until we bought a house and settled in Liverpool in 2016. Matt was finally ready to progress his ‘5 to 10 year plan’! Matt booked us a long weekend away in the countryside and arranged a rowing boat on the lake at the hotel. Every time we saw a rowing boat, Matt would say no to getting one as he would have to do all the hard work. The ongoing joke was that he’d agree to get one if he was ever going to dump me, so he was quite pleased with this plan. We went out on the lake with flowers, champagne and picnic and after a little wobble (literally) Matt managed to get down on one knee and pop the question.
Why did you choose Beeston Manor?
We came across Beeston by chance, it wasn’t a venue we’d heard of before. We viewed some venues that were lovely but didn’t feel like ‘us’. Beeston was the perfect choice – it had the rustic feel we were looking for and being family run, we felt a personal touch which you don’t get at some larger venues.
What did you want your wedding to be like?
All along we wanted the day to be relaxed and fun. Above everything we wanted to spend as much time as possible with our family and friends, and for them to have a really good time. To help with this, we cut out some formalities like confetti and cake cutting, and booked our singer Alex to cover the whole day to keep guests entertained. Nothing extravagant or grand, just a really good party!
What was your favourite part of the day?
Matt – turning around and seeing Sarah walking down the aisle.
Sarah – walking out of the ceremony knowing we had done it! I had been anxious about the walk in and the ceremony and I felt so happy and relieved that we were finally married and it was time to celebrate.
Have you got any advice for future brides?
I think everyone says it, but make sure you do what the two of you want. We had comments along the way, ‘You aren’t having a veil? You aren’t cutting the cake?’… These weren’t important to us and on the day didn’t affect a thing.
I would also recommend that once the venue is booked, determine which other elements of the day are most important to you and allocate a fair amount of your budget to those. Whether that be decor, a singer or a cake. Do your research and book early, it’s never too soon and you’ll be thankful later on when the planning is in full swing. It was important to us to have entertainment for the full day rather than just the evening, and for the day to be fully captured by experienced photographers and videographers, so for us, we did a lot of research on those and got them booked in as soon as we could.
Make sure you take some time to take a step back with your husband and enjoy the moment. I spent such a long time planning and doing all the DIY decor that I wanted everything to be perfect, and to ensure everyone was having a good time. We had the best day ever, but you can still end up very busy and preoccupied with other bits. Relax and enjoy it all!
Tell us about your honeymoon
When you google honeymoon destinations, you’ll find the opposite of ‘us’! Sitting at the beach for two weeks would drive us crazy, so we planned an adventure to tick a lot of boxes. Again, do what the two of you want to do, not what you ‘should’ do. We spent a week in India on a tour of Delhi, Agra & Jaipur seeing some amazing sights and eating far too much curry. We then flew to Sri Lanka to tick off another 3 places. We did cultural sites, safari, hot air ballooning, a fair few treks and finally a few days of relaxation to end an amazing 3 week adventure. It’s been tiring but absolutely worth every memory we’ve made!
What was important to you when choosing your photographers?
The first important factor for us was having someone who knew our venue and had photographed there before. Whilst we knew that photographers would ensure they were familiar with a venue, there’s nothing like knowing it inside out and knowing where to get the best shots if the weather changes etc. Beeston seems to be a second home to Iain and Suzie so we ticked that box straight away!
Having 2 photographers to capture different angles and parts of the day was also big for us – other companies tend to charge more for this or use an assistant that they don’t regularly work with. Knowing that we had two professionals that are a husband and wife team was really reassuring for us.
We aren’t a couple who are great with posed photos so we needed to ensure our photographers could work with this and know how to capture everything for us. Iain and Suzie are so easy to get along with and made us feel comfortable and at ease with everything particularly after the pre wedding shoot. They blend in with the guests and by the time they were leaving it felt like we were saying bye to 2 friends, rather than suppliers!
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