Mary and Graeme married in September 2013, holding their ceremony and reception at Highgate House. With a vision of family, love, humour and fun, their wedding was a relaxed and intimate affair, creating a day they will never forget.
Tell us your story
Graeme and I met on Facebook. One day, Graeme asked me how I knew his friend and we started chatting from there. It was a slow burner, Graeme left for a trip to Hong Kong after we started messaging so we didn't meet until he had returned. Graeme picked the most random moment to propose. He had already got the ring and decided that he was going to ask but hadn't decided how.
One evening, not long after Graeme moved in with us, I was cooking a big meal, wearing shorts and a vest, no makeup, hair in a top knot and it was apparently the way I looked at him and something I had said that made him want to do it there and then. ‘Pure and natural'.
What made you choose us as your wedding venue?
We didn't have a lot of savings and had originally chosen a budget hotel. 12 weeks before our wedding, the budget venue closed. 77 couples would be out there looking for a venue as we were with urgency. We had 4 venues booked to look at on day one and Highgate was the 3rd. The venues were ok but not special. We went along to meet Jo, and I knew I was going to struggle with not falling in love with this place. We were incredibly lucky and will always be grateful for Highgate for doing all that they could to make it possible. I could not believe that I was getting married at Highgate House, and felt really proud when people asked.
On the day, what were the best bits & what made the day memorable?
The staff have every attention to detail, and nothing is overlooked. Sara is at the top of her game, a true professional with warmth and efficiency. Walking in to the drawing room and seeing our family was breathtaking. The room was dressed beautifully! The Baronial Hall was the real winner and our family's reactions made me so emotional.
They could not believe what we had managed to do here and how we'd afforded it. The serving team are a well-oiled machine, with perfect timing and invisibility - you never knew they were there, food just appeared. The chef is the precious diamond at Highgate.
Not one person complained, many saying it was the best food they had tasted at a wedding and Graeme's family had travelled from far and wide.
What was your vision/theme and how did you make it happen?
Our vision was to have a ceremony with quirky readings and our own vows, and create an intimate feel. We wanted our family to feel so taken care of with anything they needed. The aim was family love, humour and fun. We are glad we achieved happiness and fun throughout. It was commented that you could feel the love in the room and the atmosphere was just awesome.
How was the food on the day?
Perfect. Not one complaint. Children and vegetarians were catered for with ease, you'll be hard pushed to find food this good anywhere else.
What/who helped during the planning process?
Jo Kelly was just incredible. She greets you with warmth and sincerity, and is professional in all that she does. She asked us questions that we hadn't even thought of, and knew as much about how we wanted our wedding as we did. Everything was planned, timed and checked to perfection. Jo listens and genuinely tries to help you make it happen with your budget. Jo takes everything out of your hands. All you need to do is to turn up! Jo became a friend to us and we trusted and believed in her completely.
What's the best advice you can give a couple planning their wedding?
It's a stressful time but Jo worked so hard for us and we will never forget that. Enjoy it and don't worry about little things, you honestly don't notice them on the day. Have fun - it's a long day for your guests too so enjoy, celebrate and let yourself go.
What comments would you like to add about us and the staff involved in your big day?
Sara and Jo are our big favourites followed very closely by the waiting staff and that amazing award winning chef! Jo will lead the whole thing and take all the stress out of the day for you. She is so good at her job. Sara is the nicest lady, you will feel so taken care of by her team, and they all worked hard, quietly and quickly. The staff are a huge asset to Highgate, every single one of them.
"Our wedding was more than we dreamt of, more than we thought was possible, it was our dream come true."