Well, we did it! After all the prepping and planning and counting down we are finally husband and wife. Firstly, a huge thank you to the staff at South Causey Inn for their amazing service and support throughout the entire planning process. Their attention to detail was just superb and we are so pleased we decided to have our big day there. If you haven’t seen the Old Barn yet, you really need to pay them a visit and have a look around. It is stunning and all of our guests commented on what a fantastic venue it is. Our whole experience from start to finish was simply perfect!
The Night Before
I arrived at the Inn the evening before the wedding and was shown to my suite. I love the rooms at South Causey, they are so cosy and traditional. My suite had a lovely little garden area complete with hot tub. Some of our guests, including my family, were staying at the Inn the night before the wedding too which was lovely as everyone was buzzing with excitement for the big day. Once we had settled into our rooms my little sister and I took advantage of the manicure/pedicure and massage for two, which is included in the Infinity wedding package. It was lovely to just relax and have a bit of pampering after all of the last minute jobs that had to be done.
Once we were feeling relaxed and our nails were looking beautiful we met up with the rest of the family for food and a few drinks in the main restaurant. The food at South Causey is always spectacular and the portions are always huge! I decided that with a wedding dress to fit into the next day I would keep it light and went for a beautiful fish dish with mashed potatoes. It was yummy! My sister, Angela, braved the bubble and squeak with giant Yorkshire pudding and boy was it giant. It was so lovely to sit with everyone and have a drink and a catch up and relax before what was going to be a very busy day.
My sister and her boyfriend were lucky enough to be staying in the London Bus for the two nights, so obviously we all had to have the grand tour! If you get a chance to stay here take it. It was so quirky and cool and beautifully finished, I could live in it! It is totally private, with a pretty little garden and, of course, a hot tub.
Upon returning to my suite, which I was sharing with my Mam, we were greeted by two members of staff who gave us a picnic basket full of delicious treats and a chilled bottle of bubbly. In the basket we found fresh bread, fruits, cheese, sandwiches, Eton mess and chocolate brownies! I was still quite full from our dinner but I couldn’t resist. I did invite some of my family round to help me out with all the food, it was such a lovely way to spend my last evening as a Miss.
The Big Day
The morning of the wedding day was actually really chilled out and relaxed. Carli, who was doing my hair and make up, arrived early and started working her magic for me and my three bridesmaids. It was wonderful to be able to spend the morning being pampered with the girls.
Once again, the staff arrived with another picnic basket, this time full of various breakfast treats. There were pastries, fruit, yogurts and cereals along with two plates full English breakfast! These guys don’t mess around when it comes to food.
At about 10am my amazing photographer and videographer arrived and started capturing all the excitement of the final preparations and the florist, Jan Watters of Cleadon, arrived with the most stunning bouquets, I couldn’t have asked for better! By this point my niece and nephews had arrived in their flower girl/page boy outfits and they just looked adorable. They loved grabbing the attention of the videographer and posing for photos.
The last hour or so before the ceremony seemed to fly by, and when I heard someone say they had seen Grant arriving I got so excited and just wanted to go and see him and get the show on the road. Before I knew it, everyone else was ready and my Mam and sisters were helping me into my dress. The feeling of getting ready on your wedding day is just wonderful. I looked in the mirror and saw the whole look coming together and just loved it. I couldn’t wait for Grant to see me in my dress.
Soon our wedding coordinator arrived and started leading the wedding party out to the car to take them round to the barn. All of a sudden there was just me and my Mam left in the room and that’s when the emotion and the nerves started to kick in. We were standing at the door waiting for the car to come back round for us and I could see my Mam starting to well up and it took so much effort not to burst into happy tears! As we were waiting, some of the hotel and restaurant guests spotted us and came to have a look, I felt like a celebrity, which made me even more nervous!
The trip to the barn was a bit of a blur and I didn’t even notice the photographer standing outside getting very candid photos of me trying to hold my dress off the floor as I walked up the steps to the main entrance.
We were introduced to the registrar, who, although lovely, probably didn’t have my full attention as he went through the ceremony process. At this point all I wanted to do was get into the ceremony room and see my husband-to-be.
We were taken to the door of the ceremony room and we got into a line. The flower girl and page boys would go down the aisle first, followed by my bridesmaids and then finally I would walk down the aisle with my Mam. At this point I got the ultimate dry mouth and had to quickly demand a glass of water (this was my one and only diva moment, so not too bad really) before anyone could go anywhere!
Once we were all in the line the music started and the doors opened. We decided I would walk down the aisle to ‘The Book of Love’ by Peter Gabrielle. It is such a beautiful and fitting song and every time my Mam hears it it makes her cry, so you can imagine how emotional we were both feeling at this point. The walk down the aisle was a total blur, I just remember being so happy to see Grant standing there waiting for me. When I got to the end of the aisle I was so nervous I couldn’t stop my legs from shaking. I’m sure all of our guests could see me trying to stand in a comfortable position where I didn’t feel like I was going to fall over!
I soon felt at ease, however, and soon it was time for the readings. We chose two of our ushers and my sister, Angela, to do the slightly different, non-traditional readings and I absolutely loved them. Angela did a beautiful reading from my favourite book as a child, The Velveteen Rabbit. Naill, one of Grant’s ushers, did a very cute reading called ‘The Lovely Dinosaur’ and Ollie, another usher, read out a Bruce Springsteen song called ‘If I Should Fall Behind’. It was lovely to break away from tradition and have readings that meant something to both of us. By this point we were both quite relaxed, which meant that saying our vows was not as scary as we had anticipated.
The ceremony (which I’m told was about 30 minutes long) went by in a blink and soon we were walking back down the aisle as husband and wife to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’ll Work For Your Love’. There may have been a bit of a Bruce Springsteen theme to our wedding day, but what would you expect from a couple who named their dog Springsteen?
Our drinks reception was fantastic, it was so nice to see all of our guests and reflect on the ceremony with a glass of bubbly. It was raining outside but that didn’t matter. Everyone was quite content in the cosy bar area of the barn while we got some family photos. I was even impressed by the private bridal dressing room in the barn, where I could go to freshen up throughout the day.
Soon it was time to go for our wedding breakfast. Grant and I were able to get a sneak peak of the room before our guests came though. IT. WAS. STUNNING. The attention to detail was just fantastic. The centrepieces were beautiful and the florist had created the most beautiful rustic arrangements for the top table. It was breathtaking.
We had the speeches before the meals so that everyone could relax and enjoy their food without any nerves. Obviously, the speeches were very emotional and made us laugh and cry. I was very surprised by Grant, who usually doesn’t do ‘soppy’ in front of anyone but me. His speech was lovely and he told the story of how he had told his friend Ollie that I was the girl he would marry after our second date!
The dinner was, as always, delicious. Our guests all commented on how great the food was. What I love about the wedding package we chose was that each of our guests had their choice of four starters, four main courses and four desserts, so there was something for everybody. I also loved the South Causey Rip Gin favours, which were also included in the Infinity package price and tasted delicious, even if they were very, very strong!
After dinner the rain had stopped, so we took the opportunity to get outside and take some photos in the private garden. It was great to at least get a few photos of the beautiful views. We were then taken to the wedding suite for 20 minutes of peace and quiet to reflect on the day so far while our guests mingled in the barn. We were staying in the French Boudoir room which was just beautiful, with a huge bath big enough for two, a walk-in shower and a beautiful bedroom and living room space. I love the themed rooms, they are all so charming in their own individual way.
We arrived back at the barn and had a chance to once again mingle with our guests before the evening reception started. I couldn’t believe how quickly the day was going, we were having too much fun! Before we knew it the DJ was starting and the dance floor was ready. Our guests could treat themselves to goodies from the sweet cart, which is included as part of the wedding package, as well as a dessert bar which we created ourselves with tasty treats from various suppliers around the region.
Our Cake was just amazing, I couldn’t believe what a good job our cake supplier and florist had done between them. We broke from tradition and opted for 3 sponge cakes rather than fruit. I myself am partial to fruit cake but Grant doesn’t like it and we knew sponge cake would be popular with our guests. We had a layer of white chocolate and raspberry cake, a layer of carrot cake and a layer of lemon and white chocolate sponge. Delicious!!
After cutting the cake it was time for our first dance. You guessed it, Bruce Springsteen! We danced to a song called ‘Tougher Than the Rest’ which was very meaningful for us and I loved that it wasn’t a song we had ever heard at a wedding before. The giant ‘LOVE’ letters (also part of the wedding package) made a beautiful back drop for our first dance as husband and wife and looked fantastic in our photos.
The evening food was a hog roast. My one regret of the day is that I was so busy talking to guests that I didn’t even get a chance to see it. I was still so full from dinner I couldn’t eat any more food, but our guests all commented on how impressive and delicious it was. I was also really impressed by the bar staff, who created some amazing alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails for our guests.
The rest of the night was spent dancing to a playlist of our favourite songs. Everyone commented on how good the playlist was, which was mainly a mixture of old school and classic rock and a lot of cheese! Everyone was up on the dance floor air grabbing and singing their hearts out. It was very ‘us’. Guests also took advantage of the Black Jack table which again came as part of the package and the winner got a free night stay at the Inn.
I have to say, to anyone considering having their wedding at South Causey, go for it! You are in really good hands. The staff are absolute pros and make sure everything is perfect down to the last detail. We can’t thank them enough for making our big day everything we had hoped for and more. Another added bonus to the Infinity package is that you get to go back for an anniversary stay, something we are both very much looking forward to!
Dress: Ettia by Maggie Sottero
Groom’s attire: Master Debonair
Florist: Jan Watters
Photographer – Little Miss Boyco