A long-awaited spring wedding in Lancashire
23 May 2022
Kimberley Swift and Mark Knowles waited two years for their wedding day and finally got to celebrate their nuptials with 88 of their friends and family
How did you meet?
We met at college.
Tell us about the proposal.
It took place on a private boat in Sicily while on holiday. We randomly had the Godfather soundtrack playing and Mark pretended to take a photograph of me looking out to sea. I was getting frustrated at the time it was taking, and as I turned around he was down on one knee. It was just us in the middle of the Mediterranean.
How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?
It was postponed twice; from summer to a spring wedding, and then two years on. It was a very tough time.
Did you have a colour scheme?
Pinks, white and greenery.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We had a church ceremony, followed by our reception at Mitton Hall. We fell in love with the contrast that our venue had to offer. On walking into Mitton Hall you are greeted by a traditional hall and then it transitions into an open plan, light and spacious modern room with spectacular views of the beautiful Ribble Valley. The grounds are equally beautiful. It is a traditional, English venue in the countryside, which is what we wanted.
How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I visited approximately eight stores. I envisaged myself in a fitted dress with sleeves, but when I tried on my first dress, which was fitted with sleeves, I didn’t like it at all. It did not suit my figure whatsoever. After becoming disheartened with my vision I finally visited The Confetti Box in Eccles, Manchester and was completely taken aback by a beautiful dress by Maggie Sottero. It was so far from my original vision that I couldn’t believe it. I loved every second that I wore it.
Who were the bridesmaids?
My two best friends, Louise and Natasha; my sisters-in-law, Anna and Natalie; and my beautiful 12-year-old cousin, Amelia. Louise was also my maid of honour.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mum wore a stunning dress from Veni Infantino.
Where did you find your suits?
The groom and groomsmen, including the father of bride and groom, all wore navy suits from ASOS.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
We wanted real flowers so we went with floral arrangements on each table. We chose years instead of table numbers, which were significant years to us both: from being born, to starting school and becoming engaged. Each table had photographs of both of us from each year to tell the story of our lives. The top table was named 2022, based on the year we finally tied the knot. The top table really was everything we dreamed of: flowers all across the top, cascading off to the bottom.
Our favours were pink and white macarons (raspberry and white chocolate, and vanilla) to match our theme. We had sparklers, a magic mirror and an amazing band, Haze, who we watch regularly at home. The dance floor was never empty, and they immediately got the party started.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was really calm up until the moment when I had to link arms with my dad. I suddenly became really nervous and remember being unable to stop both my legs and arms shaking. I have never experienced anything like it. I was so relieved to make it to the end of the aisle and finally see Mark.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We had our closest friends read prayers and poems in church. We chose hymns that were well known, including ones that we sang at primary school. We also had a string quartet who played our favourite songs, which were also popular ones that our guests enjoyed.
What was your most memorable moment?
Without a doubt, seeing Mark at the end of the aisle and realising that our day had finally arrived. It was surreal after the long wait. The sense of happiness and relief really took over. I was in a state of happiness.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Without a doubt, Covid: the postponements and the fear of our plans changing again. As a primary school teacher, it was a chaotic week leading up to our wedding on the Friday. The risk of catching Covid was also worry.
What was the most important investment for you?
Our dream honeymoon to St Lucia, two days after our wedding.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Gabrielle's Dreams. This is a song we both listened to since we got together aged 18. It has always been special to us and seemed so appropriate. It was always going to be our first dance song, and this was decided very early on in our relationship.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our cake was five tiers tall and was in keeping with the colour scheme. We chose cherry Bakewell, vanilla and lemon drizzle as our flavours. We have frozen a tier ready to have when our wedding video is ready.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Getting ready became a mad rush after us having a chilled morning, enjoying bacon sandwiches. If we could have got ready slightly earlier it would have relieved a little stress, but now we talk about the slight chaos; it is part of our memories. Plus, everything turned out to be amazing, so it was worth it.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
How quickly the whole day would go.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Enjoy every second, even the stress. Watching everything come together is the best feeling in the world.
Steal their style:
Venue: Mitton Hall
Photography: Eighth Avenue Photography
Videography: North West Wedding Videos
Dress: The Confetti Box
Shoes: Sophie Webster
Hair: Roote 66 Hairdressers
Flowers: Blossom's House of Flowers
Cake: Sugar Fancies (Cake and favours)
Entertainment: Haze (band); Liz Hendry (pianist)