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Real Wedding: Sarah and Mike’s Story

Weddings, Real Weddings

After a romantic New York proposal, Sarah and Mike married at Highgate House in November 2015. They chose a navy blue and ivory colour scheme and incoporated many special touches to compliment their engagement story.

Tell us your story (how did you meet, how did he/she propose?)

We met in 2007 in Manchester whilst I was studying at the University and Mike had just finished studying and was working in the city. It was on a Saturday night in September at a grotty Indie club, the kind with a sticky floor but really great music. I was out with one of my good friends and Mike with one of his. Our two friends ended up getting together and so we decided to keep each other company and it turned out pretty well! The other couple in question are also now married with children, so it was a good night for love! After 8 years of being together, Mike whisked me away to New York in December 2014. After a wonderful day out, visiting the Empire State Building and the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Centre, Mike took me up to the roof garden of our hotel and with the moonlight Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was over the moon and said yes straight away!

What made you choose us as your wedding venue?

We only visited 3 potential venues and Highgate House was, from the moment we stepped in, head and shoulders above the rest. The reception we received when we met with the wedding planner was so friendly and welcoming. She greeted up with glasses of fizz and genuine excitement about our engagement and sincere interested in our wants, needs and ideas. We were blown away but the beautiful building from the Baronial Hall to the Bridal Suite and knew before we even finished looking around that this was the place we were meant to get married. What sealed the deal was when Jo the Wedding Planner came to us and offered us a special offer for a date in November which was one of the dates we had been considering. We felt it was fate and signed on the dotted line!

Please tell us the suppliers you used?

  • Party Linen - decor
  • Fondant and Flowers - cake and flowers
  • Equinox Storm - disco
  • Jimmy Brewer - guitarist and singer
  • Bridal Carriages of Northamptonshire - Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
  • Picture Blast - photobooth
  • A Route 2 Hire - London bus
  • Andy Doherty - photographer
  • Amy Rhodes and Hannah from Beehive Salon - hair
  • Hannah Rafferty - make-up
  • Moss Bros - suits
  • Once in a Lifetime - wedding dress
  • ASOS - bridesmaids dresses
  • Debenhams - shoes
  • Honeywell Bakes - wedding favours
  • Bunny Delicious - table plan and table names
  • St Andrew's Church in Yardley Hastings for wedding ceremony

On the day, what were the best bits & what made the day memorable?

The wedding ceremony itself was very special and having all our friends and family around to celebrate with us made the day very memorable. The food was also incredible and we received loads of positive feedback from our guests and many people even said it was the best wedding they had ever been to, and definitely the best food! Unfortunately it poured down with rain all day, but this was no problem as it made our drinks reception in the Baronial Hall even more cosy and inviting for the guests, especially with the fire lit.

What was your vision/theme and how did you make it happen?

We wanted an elegant and understated wedding with an element of fun so we opted for a navy blue and ivory colour scheme. We had a loose New York theme running throughout the day as a homage to our very special engagement story. We achieved this with a New York table plan, with each table named after a famous New York landmark and we also had New York biscuits as wedding favours (yellow taxis and I heart NY tshirts shaped iced cookies). And of course, we finished off our disco with New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. We decorated the Coote suite with drapes supplied by Party Linen, spindleback chairs and navy and ivory ceiling swags and pea lights and I purchased some navy and ivory lace punting which we hung in the conservatory bar. It made it look extra special. The bridemaids wore long, floaty navy dresses and carried some gypsophilia bouquets. The chaps worse navy slim fit 3 pieces suits with a single rose button hole. They all looked wonderful.

How was the food on the day?

The food was incredible. Just like when we had our menu tasting, if not better. We received many compliments about the food and Highgate House were so accommodating about our wishes for the menu, including catering for children, vegetarians and those with food allergies.

What/who helped during the planning process?

Initially we were helped by Jo, who was wonderful. She left Highgate not long after we booked and was replaced by the lovely Lauren. Lauren was utterly amazing. Nothing was too much trouble and she was always on hand to speak to on the phone or contact via email and no query was too small for her undivided attention. She made us feel like our wedding was in safe hands all the way through the planning process and never once made me feel like I was overreacting or being obsessive (although at times I am certain I was!) I knew that with Lauren on the case, the day would go off without a hitch and it really did. Chris was on hand on the wedding day to ensure that everything ran smoothly and he really did. Again, he solved any problems or hiccups we came up against with minimal fuss and gently ushered us along throughout the day to ensure we were on schedule and that everything and everyone was where they should be. We cannot thank these two individuals enough for all they did, and all the staff at Highgate who were always friendly and welcoming and who treated us like royalty from the moment we arrived to the moment we left!

What's the best advice you can give a couple planning their wedding?

Our advice would be to relax, enjoy the day and try not to let the little things stress you out. If you are married at the end of the day then it cannot get better than that, everything else will sort itself out. We would also recommend having people around you (bridesmaids, groomsmen etc) who you know you can rely on as use them to help you as much as possible.

What (if any) comments would you like to add about us and the staff involved in your big day?

Highgate House is a fantastic place. You will not regret choosing them to look after your special day.

"Our wedding was everything we wished for, we will always remember it as being the best and most special day of our lives when we were surrounded by family and friends. We have never felt so loved and blessed. We will cherish the day forever."

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