Katie Wilson and Andrew Forrest, both 35, had been together for 13 years to the day when Andrew popped the question. Katie innocently opened an anniversary card from her beau when she was completely surprised to read 'will you marry me?' inside. A year later on 4th March, 2015, the couple tied the knot at Broadoaks Country House, Troutbeck, Cumbria, and they found the planning process pretty easy. “We're very decisive and organised so we knew exactly what kind of wedding we wanted,” says Katie. “I made it a fun experience rather than stressful by making a day out of attending appointments and visiting the wedding venue.”
The pair did have to overcome the troubles caused by wanting an intimate guest list though. “Neither of us dreamed of a huge, extravagant wedding, we just wanted something small and low-key with immediate family and friends. By restricting our guest list to no more than 40, it was inevitable that some people would be upset about not being invited,” shares Katie.
Here, the bride shares all...
We knew we wanted to get married in the beautiful Lake District as it's a special place for us and we visit several times a year. Broadoaks Country House was the first and only venue we visited – it was perfect and we loved that we could have full use of the hotel.
My bouquet, the bridesmaids' posies and the table decorations were made up of dusky pink vintage roses and gypsophila – roses are my favourite and I felt these blooms would work with the vintage theme. I met our florist Hayley at a wedding fair and she had examples of similar styles to those I had in mind so I knew she was the perfect choice.
The tables were decorated with the same flowers, we had a large arrangement on the top table and glass jars tied with rustic twine along the two long tables.
I couldn't find the style of dress I had in mind anywhere so I decided to approach a dressmaker and have a bespoke gown made. It fitted perfectly, was very flattering and I loved that nobody else would have the same.
I had my hair done at a local salon called Hair by Industry before setting off to the Lakes for our wedding. I opted for a chignon hairstyle with a pearl and diamanté haircomb in the back. I completed my look with a pearl bracelet and earrings, and a small pearl bag.
Our cake was called McCormack Rose and it had a lace design decorated with dusky pink roses. I'd sampled many of our cake maker Stuart Thornley's bakes, as he's a regular at artisan markets I've visited, and ours was delicious!
Andrew and his best man Martin – his friend from primary school – wore suits we hired from Youngs Formal Wear. They differentiated with different coloured ties and pocket squares.
We had a pianist play before, during and after the ceremony. And in the evening we booked a DJ from Cumbria called Stu Rogers who was excellent. He played our first dance song, which was Lucky Ones by Lana Del Rey, as well as all our requests. In our invitations, we asked each guest to suggest a song that would make them get up and dance.
Katie's top tip: Planning a wedding is an exciting and pleasant experience so don't allow it to become stressful and don't panic about anything. It's good to listen to advice from others but ultimately it's your special day so decisions should be made by you and your husband-to-be.
We found our photographer Jenny's website when looking for local photographers and loved the photos from her previous weddings – we'd definitely recommend her!
Bride's bespoke dress
Tracey Shahlavi at Serenity Co
Hair by Industry
Cheshire Bridal Wear
Stuart Thornley Cake Design
Chocolate place names/favours
Hayley's Flower Studio
Groom and best man's suits
Youngs Formal Hire
Jenny Martin Photography
Peter Brown Pianist
Broadoaks Country House