Planned to perfection, almost 9 years to the exact date, Gareth took Catherine back to the remote beach on the Thai island where they first met. Admiring the view from the pagoda that overlooked the ocean, Catherine turned around to find Gareth down on one knee!
Although they had been together for nearly a decade, Gareth was so nervous the ring fell out of the box and nearly through the boardwalk into the water! They celebrated with dinner and champagne on the beach, ending the night with a crazy ride in a tuk tuk.
Once they arrived back from Thailand, Catherine and Gareth had to make a difficult decision – which hemisphere were they going to get married in?
Living in Australia with family based in the UK and Ireland, the most important decision Catherine and Gareth had to make was the location for their special day.
Deciding that Cheshire would be an ideal location, they began their search for the perfect venue.
Catherine and Gareth had a clear idea of what they wanted, and Heaton House Farm turned out to be a perfect match!
“We wanted something authentic like a converted barn surrounded by beautiful countryside where the full wedding could be held on one site – with the possibility of doing the ceremony outside. Heaton House Farm ticked all these boxes.”
With the venue booked, Catherine started looking at colours and themes for the big day and created a mood board on Pinterest to keep all her ideas in one place.
“We wanted something rustic but elegant – classic.”
With the help of her mum and Katie from Venue Perfection, Catherine chose a rustic, floral style for the barns with hints of purple, peach and white.
Grey lanterns filled with beautiful flower arrangements, picked by Catherine’s mum from Verdure Floral Design, were placed on top of the log risers to create a stunning rustic centrepiece that was then enhanced by the placement of extra roses and crackle tealights along the hessian table runner.
Gareth’s mother gave a helping hand, putting her experience as a full-time producer of quality crafts to good use, and produced beautiful handwritten place cards. The gold writing and the little sprigs of lavender perfectly encompassed the ‘elegant rustic’ theme Catherine wanted.
Décor organized, Catherine started her search for a dress. After finishing work one evening, Catherine went to the wedding boutique in Sydney with her best friend who was also getting married.
Having a rough idea of what she wanted, Catherine was surprised to find she loved the first dress she tried on!
A fitted, satin ivory dress with subtle diamante straps, the elegant dress by Australian designer Colette Dinnigan looked stunning on Catherine.
As the planning had to take place across continents, Catherine had to rely on her bridesmaids to pick the colour and style of their dresses. Her sister and best friend from school were brilliant with organisation and purchased two different styles of dresses in a light shade of mauve which looked perfect alongside Catherine’s dress when they eventually saw it all together just a week before the wedding.
Catherine purchased all of her accessories for the day last minute with her mum and sister in Dublin the week before the wedding. She chose a pair of sophisticated silver earrings and a diamante hair clip to accompany her blonde curls.
Gareth chose a silvery grey suit with matching waistcoat accompanied with a dusky pink tie, corsage and pocket square for himself and his groomsmen. The addition of a silver pocket watch pulled the whole look together and the men looked exceptionally smart, co-ordinating perfectly with Catherine and her bridesmaids.
With everything organised, it was time for Catherine and Gareth to fly to the UK for their special day.
As Australian citizens, Catherine and Gareth were required to have their legal ceremony before flying back to the UK, so they opted for a small gathering at the beach.
But they didn’t want their guests to miss out, so they decided to have another ceremony for all their friends and family in the Oak Barn here at Heaton House Farm.
Catherine and Gareth had organised for their guests to be transported to Heaton House on a double-decker bus which resulted in an eventful journey…
And one of Catherine’s favourite memories of the day!
“The most memorable moment has to be when nearly all of our guests got lost in the Peak District on their way to the ceremony, when the bus we ordered took a wrong turn… Apparently this was a very hairy journey!”
Once everyone had arrived, they settled down into their seats to watch the stunning ceremony.
Catherine walked up the aisle to a beautiful version of ‘Hoppipolla’ by Sigur Ros performed by one of their friends and her partner who are both musicians.
After their laughter-filled ceremony was over, the newly married Mr and Mrs Ball walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles.
Catherine and Gareth were led outside by the photographer who captured some stunning shots in the garden whilst their guests were enjoying their reception drinks and Asian-inspired appetizers.
As the couple were based in Australia, Vanilla in Allseasons had to take a different approach to the organisation of the Wedding Breakfast. Evening Facetime conversations and a specially prepared tasting session for both Catherine and Gareth’s parents resulted in an exquisite Asian fusion meal that reflected the couple’s time spent travelling in South East Asia.
The guests thoroughly enjoyed their meal which was followed by brilliant speeches courtesy of Catherine’s dad, Gareth and his two best men, Ross and Mark.
“The speeches were lovely, emotional yet funny and not too cringeworthy!”
It was soon time to cut the Cake of Cheese which looked stunning decorated with grapes, figs and two cartoon cat characters provided an amusing little detail.
Catherine and Gareth took full advantage of the benefits of a Springtime wedding at a working farm venue and managed to get away for a couple of minutes to give our little lambs a bottle of milk!
Mr and Mrs Ball joined their guests again for the evening reception, taking to the dancefloor to perform their first dance to ‘Wild Horses’ by The Rolling Stones.
Catherine picked her evening music based on songs her and Gareth could agree to listen to during long car rides which resulted in a brilliant mix of crowd pleasers and songs they both loved!
Everyone was up and dancing until the early hours – the perfect end to a perfect day!
Catherine’s Memorable Moment
Although the double-decker bus journey was one of her favourite moments from the day, Catherine is taking away so many more special memories.
Catherine and Gareth loved spending time with their family and closest friends, having sparklers outside, tasting their custom-made cocktails and drinking champagne in their wedding suite!
Advice for future couples
“Enjoy the time with friends and family, don’t stress about the detail in the run up to the big day – pick what you care about and everything else will come together.”
Suppliers who made their day:
|Bride’s Dress||Collette Dinnigan|
|Bride’s Shoes||LK Bennet|
|Bridesmaid’s Dresses||Joanna August|
|Caterer||Vanilla in Allseasons|
|Evening Caterer||Woodland Rover|
|Flowers||Verdure Floral Design|
|Wedding Cake||The Cheese Yard Knutsford|
|Wedding Hair||Sharron Murray – Ta Dah Hair and Make-Up|
|Wedding Make-Up||Sharron Murray – Ta Dah Hair and Make-Up|
|Evening Entertainment||Singers – Lisa Nolan and Rob McKinney
Evening Band – The Hijackers
|Venue Styling||Venue Perfection
Life on Wood