Bride and groom holding blue and white coloured flares

Katie and Andy have known each other most of their lives, as Katie was best friends with Andy’s cousin when she was young. “I would bump into him at family get togethers,” she says. “My parents and his aunty and uncle were also best friends at school. For our first date he took me to The Crown at Wergs, in the West Midlands. From the way we looked at each other, right from that first date, we both knew that this was it. He invited me to his grandad’s log cabin and we even spoke about going to New York on that first date. It was such a pinch me moment, I had butterflies.”

Bride stood holding flowers. Andy written on sole of shoe.

A sunset proposal

The couple had been together almost three years when Andy proposed. “We were on holiday in Dubrovnik, Croatia,” says Katie. “We were going up Mount Srd to see the sunset. The normal way up is by cable car but I’m terrified of heights. So Andy arranged for a tuk-tuk to take us up instead."

Arley House & Gardens wedding venue

"He then asked the driver (who was in on the plan) to take a few photos of us. We had one with our backs to the camera, then he said he wanted one more of us looking at the camera. It was quite rocky, so I got up and felt him hanging onto my legs. When I turned around, thinking he needed help getting up, he was down on one knee! The driver had champagne and a blanket ready for us and took some great photos of the proposal. I cried through the whole thing, it really was magical!”

Bride and father walking down a grass path

Wedding dresses Wednesbury 

“My sister recommended WED2B's wedding dresses Wednesbury, as she bought her dress there,” says Katie. “I went to the Wednesbury store, but I didn't think I wouldn’t get a dress from there because the ones online weren’t speaking to me. The staff were really good, helped me pick out some options and I found the one I loved straight away. It’s true what they say - wedding dresses look so different on! I also loved the changing rooms and the whole experience, plus the staff were lovely. Really good prices too.”

Local church surrounded by trees and hedging

Katie chose the Kennedy dress. “I fell in love with the detail on the body and the 6ft train,” she says. “There was a layer of lace, which is just stunning. The second I saw it in the mirror I just loved every inch of it. There were other people in the changing rooms and they clapped and said that was the one!” (For similar styles try James, Bruna, Kayden)

Groom turning to see Bride walking down aisle with father

A beautiful venue

The couple chose Arley House & Gardens in Upper Arley for their venue. “My husband found it online,” says Katie. “It had only been open around 18 months when we went to see it, shortly before Covid hit. As soon as we saw it we loved it. There was a ‘bride’ room, a bridal getting ready room and a grooms/lads suite with a snooker table. The grounds and venue are modern and stunning, with a church on site. The church sealed the deal for us, as it meant we didn’t have to move anywhere else. It's also next to Arley Arboretum, which is full of hundreds of ancient trees and water fountains, and we had amazing photos taken there. We were supposed to get married 26 June 2021, but due to Covid we got married on 30th October 2021.”

Bride and groom holding hands at the altar in church

The big day

“I got ready with my mum and bridesmaids at the venue,” says Katie. “The weather was terrible initially, with torrential rain and flooding! Then around 10am the blue sky arrived and the sun came out. It was glorious and even warm. This gave me butterflies, I felt so lucky. At the end of October it could have gone either way.”

Katie and Andy stood in church doorway holding hands

“I was poorly unfortunately, with a throat and chest infection, so I had very little voice. But I dosed myself up and carried on. My dad walked me down the aisle in the church to ‘Sebastian and Mia’s song’ from La La Land. It’s my husband’s favourite and the first film we saw together. My husband's sister, also one of my bridesmaids, gave a reading from Corinthians.”

Wedding guests throwing confetti over Katie and Andy leaving church

“I had two special moments,” says Katie. “Walking down the aisle was my absolute favourite, seeing my husband crying was so emotional. While we were stood at the front with my dad, a butterfly came flying round us and touched my husband’s head. My grandad couldn’t be there, as he died a few years ago. I really felt like that was him letting me know he was with us. A butterfly at the end of October is so rare!”

Katie and Andy kissing holding bouquet of flowers
Katie and Andy stood with parents outside church

Drinks, photos and dancing

After the ceremony guests headed to the venue for drinks, while the newlyweds went to the Arboretum for photos. “We had more photos with family and the bridal party, then had our speeches and wedding breakfast,” says Katie.

Bride and groom embracing in gardens next to water features

“Our evening guests came shortly after and we cut the cake and did our first dance. For our first dance, my husband had written me a song called ‘First Dance’ which we had been having dance lessons for."

Groom holding bride with bouquet in hand next to water fountain

"On the day we should have got married, my husband hired out the Lighthouse Cinema and arranged for our families to be there as a surprise. He then revealed the song to me and our videographer put a montage of photos to it. We played this in the background when we were dancing and everybody was in shock!”

Bride and groom and entire wedding party stood on lawn

Pale pinks and blues

The colour scheme was pale pink and pale blue. “I made some frames with Polaroid photos of us and I upcycled a mirror and put vinyl transfers on as a welcome sign,” says Katie.

Framed notice of Katie and Andy sign to wedding breakfsat

“My centrepieces and table plan were hoops with flowers wrapped round that looked fab. For dinner, we had vegetable soup, slow-cooked beef with veg and dauphinois potatoes, followed by white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. Then we had pork baps on the evening.”

Decorative seating chart with leaf garland

“My wedding cake had three layers of lemon sponge, Victoria sponge and fruit cake, and was decorated with glitter and pale pink roses,” says Katie. “I then had a separate chocolate cake too, as I really wanted a chocolate cake but it didn’t taste great with icing! A family friend kindly made both cakes for us. Our favours were personalised Love Hearts - cheap and cheerful! We also hired a fab band, called 5th Street, through Entertainment Nation.”

Bride and groom cutting cake

My favourite moments…

“I loved getting ready,” says Katie. “The excitement and having my hair and makeup done was so nice. I also adored my dress. Wearing my dress was one of my favourite things because I absolutely loved it and I’m so sad I won’t wear it again. I got so many compliments. Walking down the aisle was so memorable and special, the rest of it became a blur as it goes so quickly!"

Bride and groom stood in archway underneath trailing plants

Top tips…

"Don’t stress about the small stuff,” says Katie. “It’s so easy to say, but the less stress you can put on yourself the better. Keep a wedding spreadsheet of estimates, with how much you’ve paid and the total. It helped keep me organised. My main tip is enjoy every single second. Lap it up, because it flies by!”

Bride and groom stood under lit pagoda at night

Katie’s Dream Team

Photography: Charlotte Mail Photograph (with Emily Jayne Weddings and S Butler Photography)

Venue: Arley House & Gardens

Wedding dresses Wednesbury: WED2B

Florist: Bluebell Wood, Wombourne

Videographer: PRSPR Films

Band: Entertainment Nation

Hairdresser: Becky Trayhern

Makeup: Ellie Mills MUA 

Nails and tan: Zoe Marsh

If you would like your big day to be one of our real weddings please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Or click here for more details about WED2B’s wedding dresses Wednesbury