Pastel Garden Flowers and Natural Finishes at a Hampshire Wedding: Robert Waite and Kylie Willsher
18 Nov 2015
Natural details took centre stage at the wedding of childhood sweethearts Rob and Kylie Waite, who took their vows at rustic venue, Sopley Water Mill in Hampshire. Exposed brick, fudge favours, firepits and giant hearts were creative accompaniments to the couple’s dream day.
Photography by Sam Gibson
How did you meet?
Kylie: We knew each other when we were children and used to go to the same birthday parties. We met again 10 years ago through my brother and the local cricket club, before eventually having our first kiss on a very bare dancefloor.
Tell us about the proposal.
Rob: I had decided to disguise a trip to the Lake District as a surprise birthday present for Kylie. Little did she know I was planning to propose. On the second day of the trip we decided to walk to the top of the Langdale Pike. We were completely unprepared, wearing our skinny jeans and Kylie moaned the whole way up, suggesting we turn back after only 10 minutes of walking. However we persevered, got to the top and although I bottled it on several occasions, I finally popped the question and eventually she said yes, after a few expletives!
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
Kylie: We wanted the wedding to have a natural look and therefore let the beautiful venue speak for itself. The venue had a simplistic beauty with exposed brick walls, classic cream decor and wooden beams. We added simple touches like tealights, fairy lights and garden style flowers.
When did you know when you’d found your dress?
Kylie: I spent 11 and a half months looking for my dress and struggled to find a dress with everything I was looking for. I was torn between wanting a bigger dress but the fact that the more fitted styles complemented my figure better. In the end I found a beautiful fit and flare dress with scalloped sweetheart neckline and delicate lace detail. It had a beautiful train which bustled up for all the dancing and jumping in the evening.
On the day I found the dress, I had just popped into a local bridal shop on my own on the way home from work. I was so sure that I’d found the one, that I bought the dress there and then. Calling my mum on the way out of the store, she was shocked to hear I’d found it, tried it, bought it, but also relieved to hear that our search was over.
For the groom, where did you find your suits?
Rob: I found my suits in Next. Instead of hiring the suits I thought buying the suits was more cost-effective and actually the quality and fit of the suits was far better. They had a really good range of suits and it also meant the guys could keep them after the day which they were really pleased with.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
Kylie: We had a mini nightmare with the flowers, with the first three not working out for a various reasons. The fourth and final florist was an absolute legend and created beautiful floral arrangements. Kim from Signature Flowers was amazing and she knew exactly what we were looking for. She created gorgeous garden-styled centrepieces with pastel colours, the most gorgeous bunched bouquets and lovely hair flowers for me and my bridesmaids, including the prettiest gypsophila head garland for our flowergirl.
Tell us about the details of the day.
Rob: Apart from the venue which was really unique, being a water mill, we had lots of personal touches which made it extra special. My mum made fudge for the favours and also made the wedding cake as well as cupcakes which we had for dessert, which were amazing.
Our friend Nina Garcia, a professional singer and fiddler (very handy), played during the canapés which was awesome. My friend James read a personal limerick before the wedding breakfast which had everyone in stitches and got everyone in the party mood. Plus, one of my ushers, Phil who is a DJ played a great set in the evening and everyone absolutely loved the party.
I had also got a few friends to make a giant heart out of wood – they painted it and hung ivy and LED lights around the edge which we had in the garden for a photo feature. This was something Kylie had found on Pinterest so I surprised her with this on the day. A lot of people helped build and paint it so I owe them a lot but it was so worth it. We also hired a firepit from the venue which looked fantastic in the garden in the evening which people crowded round in the evening when it got a bit chilly.
Finally, I have a really sweet tooth so Kylie's mum created an epic sweet stand with all my favourites. There are still so many sweets left which I have to say I am secretly pleased about. So many friends and family helped with aspects of the day from designing wedding invites, playing music, making cakes etc, that everywhere you looked there was a personal touch from the day. We thanked all the people involved with little gifts on their place settings in the wedding breakfast room.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Kylie: I had been the calmest bride ever in the lead-up to the wedding and all morning getting ready. My bridesmaids were even trying to wind me up and get me to cry to get me out of my Zen state. The moment finally hit me when my last bridesmaid walked down the aisle and I was next. The adrenaline hit me and I took a deep breath, feeling exhilarated. My dad and I were so excited that we power-walked down the aisle to my handsome groom with beaming smiles on our faces.
What was your most memorable moment?
Rob: Apart from Kylie walking down the aisle, the flash mob that Kylie had arranged after the first dance. Years ago, I sang the Bay Watch theme tune in a karaoke competition so she had organised a completely surprise flash mob with the same song. The whole guest list was in on it and had been practising for weeks. They nailed the dance on the night and took me completely by surprise.
Kylie: The most memorable moment for me was when I was stood in the middle of the dancefloor jumping up and down with Rob. We were looking around at all of our amazing friends and family enjoying the craziness with us. We felt so lucky to have such beautiful friends and family and be surrounded by such lovely and fun people.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Kylie: With such a long engagement it was challenging in the beginning to make detailed decisions with so many options available. We were lucky that we had a shared vision for the day, but I was the one who would look into all of the detail options for Rob (Groomzilla) to make the final decision.
What was the most important investment for you? Food, drink, honeymoon?
Rob: The venue was probably the most important thing for us because we wanted something different that was a little bit unique. As soon as we saw the mill, we fell in love with it and it was a really easy decision to make. Being from the coast, we both like to be near water and with the sound of running water through the mill and the surrounding wetlands with all the local wildlife, it felt very us.
Outside of that, the food and drink were really important. We wanted people well fed and plenty of drinks flowing to ensure a great party and a fun and lively atmosphere.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Kylie: We chose Ho Hey by the Lumineers. We wanted a slightly country-style song that was positive and mid tempo that all people could enjoy. We have loved this song for a while and would sing along in the car. It was mid-tempo, so not too slushy and perfect for Rob to strut his stuff around me while our guests chuckled on. Everyone clapped and sang along and then joined in for a great start to the evening.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Rob: My mum has developed a love for baking and as a result has become really good. So we took full advantage and asked her to make our wedding cake and the cupcakes which we used as our deserts.
The wedding cake itself was a single tier sponge cake with a rustic frosting, topped with flowers. The cupcakes were a combination of vanilla and carrot cakes, a delicious light frosting with little intricate edible flowers on top all in our pastel colour scheme.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Rob: I wouldn’t change a thing.
Kylie: A simple little thing, but I would make sure that we put our Champagne glasses down for the confetti shot so we would be holding hands while walking down, but in typical us style, the Champagne took priority.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
Rob: Sometimes you can get lost in the small details and worry that you’ve missed little details out. At the end of the day, people often don’t notice these things and everyone is there just to celebrate with you and have a good time.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Rob: We haven’t gone yet but are going to the Maldives in December. It will be great to get some winter sun. We planned to postpone the honeymoon to not be totally overwhelmed with packing etc. over the wedding and also to have something to look forward to. Great decision as we can’t wait now.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Kylie: Use images to communicate with each other as I found when I explained something to Rob, he didn’t like it, but when I showed him an image of it he loved it. I cannot recommend having an excellent photographer and videographer enough. Months on, we are loving reliving the day’s events and little details with our friends and family.
Steal their style:
Photography: Sam Gibson Photography, www.samgibsonweddings.co.uk
Videographer: Plus Pictures Videography, pluspictures.co.uk
Venue: Sopley Mill, Hampshire, sopleymill.co.uk
Groom’s outfit: Next, www.next.co.uk
Caterer: Tickled Pig Catering, www.thetickledpig.co.uk/catering-events
Florist: Signature Florist, www.signature-flowers.com
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