What a wonderful wedding day jam packed full of wonderful moments and memories for Natalie and Mark at the Slaughters Manor House!
You might well recognise Natalie and Mark from the current issue of Your Glos & Wilts Wedding Magazine. So rather than asking them to complete another questionnaire I have used some of their words from their magazine interview. You can see their wedding story and read about it in their own words. I’ve added some ‘Photographers Notes’ for you. These are new to the blog and will be known as ‘Nikki’s Notes…‘!
Here is their Wedding Story… Enjoy!
Q: How did you meet; what attracted you to one another?
A: We met at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy where I (Natalie) was undergoing my degree in dental therapy. Mark was in his final year at Kings College London, training to be a dentist, where they carry out an outreach programme at the Dental Academy. Although working in different clinics, we were placed in the same practice team, where we got to first meet. For me, Mark stood out from the crowd, not only literally being 6ft 5″, but also his kind and helpful nature with everyone around him
Q: How long after you first got together did you get engaged?
A: We had just celebrated our 3rd year anniversary in the February before getting engaged in March.
Q: Who proposed? How, when, where? Was the timing/date significant in any way? Was it a surprise?
A: Mark was the one to propose, we went away for 2 weeks to Aruba. He had it all planned out, bravely for the first night of the holiday, although I think this was more out of fear of losing the ring!. He had set up a table at a beach front restaurant in front of the sunset. Unfortunately Mark spent most of the time during the sunset taking photos for others, but managed to pop the question after dinner. It was a complete surprise and the fact both sets of parents kept it a secret for a good few months was impressive.
Q: What attracted you to the venue/s you chose for the day?
A: We knew we wanted to get married in a church, so as well as the venue being just our style, the fact the church was right next door meaning no need for transport for our guests was perfect. Alongside this, with both of us not originating from the Cotswolds and having family far and wide, having the rooms available was just what was needed. Not only this, it also had disabled access for the dinner part of the reception to allow for Marks Grandad to be a part of our day.
Q: What dress did you wear (who was it by/what was it called); why did you choose that particular style? How did you accessorise it? What was your style of bouquet/flowers used?
A: My dress was by Suzanne Neville and was called Pegani, I’m a massive lover of lace and wanted something tight fitting as I never really saw myself in a ballgown dress, being 5″2 it’s not the easiest to cope with.
Nikki’s Notes… I have never seen heels like this and Natalie walked in them ALL day! What a superstar! My top though is to have a pair of flats or block heels stashed away for your big day so that nowhere is off limits!
I accessorised with a rose gold and Swarkovski crystal headband, with a cathedral length veil and 6″ light blue stilettos with a ballet pink bow on the back.
Flowers: I have to say I relinquished all responsibility for the flowers over to Shelley from the Broadway Florist as I could tell from the off she knew exactly my vision and where to take it. I only insisted on having David Austen roses because, who wouldn’t? And freesias which were a particular favourite of my Nan.
Nikki’s Notes… Adding little secrets into photographs is something I love doing, things you see maybe on the second or third viewing! In this image of the flowers (below) you can just see the spire of St Mary’s Church where Mark was already waiting for Natalie…
A: Mark wore a custom made, French navy 3 piece suit with a single breasted jacket and waistcoat, which was made by Barrington Ayre in Cirencester. He stood out from the groomsmen as he had a different waistcoat and wore a pink tie and pocket square.
A: The groomsmen wore French navy Ted Baker single breasted suits with a grey tweed waistcoat with a light blue cross pattern within the tweed. Alongside this, they had light blue tie and pocket square.
A: With Mark and I each having a sister we decided to keep the bridesmaid group just the 2 of them to make decisions such as this a little easier. With Marks sister being blonde and my sister being strawberry blonde we all felt both would be most comfortable in light blue. It suited both really well. However, with an age gap of 11 years between the bridesmaids we didn’t want to necessarily insist on the same style of dress. Two Birds to the rescue with their multi way dressed which can be worn in 12 different styles, keeping everyone happy and comfortable.
Their wedding ceremony was held at St Mary’s Church, Lower Slaughter.
Nikki’s Notes… St Mary’s Church in Lower Slaughter like many of our beautiful English churches is fairly dark and needs careful consideration from a lighting perspective. The greyer the day the darker the inside of the Church. Winter weddings should expect some grain on the images due to speed lights (flash) not being allowed during the ceremony.
Nikki’s Notes… Natalie and Mark and I had planned where we were going to take their wedding photographs. We created a little ‘route’ and knew where we wanted to be and approximately when. This meant that although we had many different photographs, they were back with their friends and family within 20 minutes.
Nikki’s Notes… Tricks of the Trade! It was a grey and damp day; what you can’t see here is that Natalie is standing over a puddle on the bridge. Her dress kept dry by one of the numerous white towels we carry precisely for this situation!
Nikki’s Notes… I was delighted that this image (below) won a Bronze Award from the Guild of Photographers (our national industry body). I was called “The Queen of the veil shot” the other day by one of the wedding planners! Its true; I do love a good veil shot!
Nikki’s Notes… Another hidden message in the image bringing together St Mary’s Church and The Slaughters Manor House Hotel – the perfect match – just like Natalie and Mark!
Nikki’s Notes… group shots can be livened up! Try a walking shot!
I hand watercolour painted our table plan in order for it to co-ordinate with the save the date cards, invites, menus and place cards so that all feature a similar design to that of Natalie Malan who creates watercolour to be used for all types of card making projects. I made the place names using a Cricut Explore Air 2 which is a one stop shop for card making, it was great to be able to produce exactly what I wanted and have everything matching.
We took places that meant something to us or where we had gone for our ‘big holidays, including Aruba, where we were engaged and Portsmouth, where we first met etc. The background for these again went with everything else, but each of the tables had a hand drawn outline picture of the main features of each place.
Our table favours were shortbread biscuit teeth decorated with a pink bow for the girls and a light blue bow tie for the boys, we had to find somewhere to get dentistry in!
These included soft pink David Austen and traditional roses , alongside freesias, eucalyptus and all the other lovely things Shelley from Broadway florists incorporated into both the centrepieces and the bouquets. The centrepieces were in low lying circular vases with light birch veneer around the edges in order to keep the country chic appeal of the setting.
The cake was a tricky one for us as I am allergic to eggs, thankfully the lovely ladies at Flamingos bakery were there to help with both the cake and the table favours.
Being a vegan bakery and very accommodating to any allergy requirements, it really put my mind at rest that this would all be ok on the day. The cake itself was three tiers; bottom layer was raspberry and white chocolate, middle was blueberry and lemon and finally my favourite, the top tier was cherry bakewell.
It was ‘semi-naked’ and decorated in hand made (by me) sugarcraft flowers with the topper being an ‘N & M’ again hand painted to match everything else.
Unfortunately the placing of these did not quite go to plan as it was happening 10 minutes before I should have been at the church ……oooops.
Q: How did you entertain your guests?
A: We kept it simple with a free bar (thanks to Dad Francis) and a DJ in the evening.
Q: How did you both feel on the day?
A: I think, thankfully on the day we were both pretty relaxed about everything, we had the attitude that we can’t control anything from now on so let’s enjoy it.
Q: Who/what made your day extra special?
A: All of our suppliers for us felt like they made our day so much smoother, from not having to worry if and when things were going to arrive/be set up. Having Nikki Kirk our photographer on our side helping us through the day. We felt our speeches to the two of us, both the Father of the Bride and the best Mans speeches were fantastic, alongside my mum for taking me to Tesco at 6am for cold and flu!
Q: Where did you go?
A: We went to French Polynesia for 16 days; the island of Moorea, Bora Bora and Rangiroa. It was amazing! Transparent kayaking, jet skiing and off roading were a few of the planned activities. Mark planned it all and was a complete surprise when we got to the airport.
What a wonderful day for this wonderful couple! #TeamNKP had a smashing time working with Natalie and Mark to create these wonderful memories for them. We were delighted to be part of their day. A big thank you to the Team at The Slaughters Manor House for looking after us so well!
Natalie’s and Mark’s wedding team contact details:
Bride’s dress (boutique)
Bride’s accessories (boutique)
Bridesmaids’ dresses (boutique): www.annabridal.co.uk
Groom’s suit (store): www.barringtonayre.co.uk
Wedding cake: www.flamingosveganbakery.co.uk