A relaxed pub garden wedding reception was just perfect for these newlyweds. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…

Colette and Craig embracing during their first dance with their wedding guests watching.

Colette and Craig first met 11 years ago online. “When it wasn’t cool to!” laughs Colette. “Our first date was super casual, Nandos and the pub. At one point, someone asked Craig if I was his girlfriend to which he replied, ‘not yet!'. It felt like we had known each other for years."

BLack and white image of Colette on the morning of her wedding day in her v-neck wedding dress

"A couple weeks in, we spent a few days together and we both realised we missed one another. We knew it was serious then. We went to Lovebox festival a few months later and, hog roast in one hand and beer in the other, he asked me to be his girlfriend.”

Colette posing with her mum after arriving at the church. Back view of Colette preparing to walk down the aisle outside the church with her bridesmaids

A romantic proposal at home

The couple had been together for five years and already had a son when Craig proposed.

“We had spoken about getting married often but it always seemed impossible financially,” says Colette.

"That didn't stop me hinting though! One Christmas, Craig jokingly said if I watched all the Harry Potter films with him, he would propose. I said ‘Let's do it then!’ (not expecting anything)."

Close up image of Colette holding her rustic bridal bouquet outside the wedding church

"Christmas Eve came, our son was in bed, and we sat down to each open a gift, which is something we do every year. Inside my gift was the Up DVD with a card, telling me not to panic, that the day had come! He had a beautiful ring and it was a heartfelt proposal in our home, with our son tucked up in bed. It was so genuinely lovely and exactly our style!”

Colette and Craig outside holding hands and looking at each other. Another image of Colette and Craig holding hands but laughing and enjoying one anothers company

Shopping for the dress

“I'd heard about WED2B loads and planned a visit,” says Colette. “I'd been to a few boutiques beforehand but left feeling deflated. So, I went to the Chesham branch not expecting to find anything (I didn’t even bring my bank card!). The staff were amazing and, after a few questions, they gave me two dresses to try on. The first was a ‘let's just try it', but the second... the two colleagues just knew it was the right one! "

"As soon as I put it on, I fell in love with it. Then the cape went on and I was sold!"

" I loved the walk towards the mirror, the atmosphere in store, it’s like having your own cheerleaders rooting for you!”

Colette and Craig holding hands and laughing during their wedding ceremony
Colette and CRaig and their father taking part in their wedding ceremony

Colette bought Greta, an organza A-line. "I love the cinched in waist, and classical styling,” she says. “The dress was perfect, simple and beautiful. I had looked at cape veils but didn’t think I'd be able to pull off the look. However, I put the Empress cape on and I loved it. It added an edge to a classic dress. I also wore an A-line underskirt. The corset, veil and pockets, it was just perfect." (For similar styles try Amalfi, Fayth or Preston)

A preview of guests reactions during Colette and Craigs wedding ceremony
Craig and Colette hoding hands and repeating their wedding vows

A pub garden wedding reception

“Our local church is a beautiful gothic-styled building where our children were christened,” says Colette. "I had always imagined a church wedding. Our reception was held in a local village pub."

"We wanted a relaxed and informal pub garden wedding reception and what’s better than a pub garden with your nearest and dearest?"

" The staff were amazing, the food lovely and there was a marquee just for us and our guests. It was perfect for what we wanted. We married on August 27th 2022. We were due to marry on our 10th anniversary but postponed due to Covid.”

Craig and Colette holding hands and ready to walk back up the aisle as a married couple
Colette and Craig walking hand in hand outside their church with guests throwing confetti

The big day 

“I got ready with my mum and bridesmaids, in a somewhat cramped and hot room in a local hotel,” says Colette. "But it was a total buzz of anticipation and excitement. The day was clear, and the heatwave had passed, thank goodness! My brother walked me down the aisle, telling me just before walking in how proud he was of me. We walked in to Canon in D played by a violinist and cellist, which was gorgeous. As soon as I saw Craig, it was like no one else was in the room."

"I would have that moment over and over again.”

Colette in her wedding dress and bridal cape holding her bouquet. Colette and Craig posing in the grounds of the church smiling at one another

Let’s party!

“After our photos in the church courtyard, we travelled to the reception,” says Colette.

"That time alone together was amazing and it gave us a chance to stop and process that we finally did it."

"We had a brilliant magician as entertainment and the best DJ ever. We also had a Prosecco on arrival and everyone settled in for the happiest laughter-filled day.”

Close up image of Colette and Craig walkign to their recpetion with Craig holding Colette's wedding train

“Our first dance was a Motown number, 'Heaven Must Have Sent You’ by The Elgins. We didn't want a slow song and we both love Motown!”

A relaxed day to remember

"There wasn’t really a theme, we just focused on how the day felt,” says Colette. "We wanted everyone to be at ease, relaxed and informal and we got exactly that. The one thing I definitely wanted was my favourite jewel tone colours and some old school garage played. Our DJ was amazing!”

Image of Colette and Craigs wedding guests dancing during their wedding reception
Colette standing on the dance floor waiting for Craig to take her hand fo rtheir first dance.

The best bits…

“One of the most memorable moments of the whole day was seeing my sons in their suits, proudly doing their role of ring bearers,” says Colette. “I loved walking in to gorgeous music and everything fading away when I saw Craig. And seeing all our friends and family in one place, filled with laughter.”

Craig and Colette laughing and having the best time during their first dance
Craig laughing and holding hands with Colette during their first dance.

My top tips…

“Make peace with relinquishing control,” says Colette.

“Things will go wrong, but none of it will matter on the day."

"And, if your dress has a train, get a bustle!”

Colette and Craig’s Dream Team 

Photographer: Paul Fuller

Church: Holy Rood Church, Watford

Pub Garden Wedding Venue: The Gate, Bricket Wood 

Wedding dresses Chesham: WED2B

Cake: Tapestry Cakes

Florist: Ivory Flower Design

Hair: Holly Edmonds Hair Artistry

Makeup: Laura Carroll Makeup Artistry

DJ: DJ Edge

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this day with a pub garden wedding venue, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for your nearest store and here for what to expect when you visit.