Sarah and Karl first met in German class at secondary school. However, at 16 they parted ways and went off to University and onto work. Some 12 years later they met again at a reunion BBQ and that is where love blossomed. The proposal took place in 2011 when Karl filled their kitchen with 300 twinkling candles and created a spread of fresh fruit, flowers and Champagne. Upon arriving home, Sarah found him dressed in a suit with his hands black from soot. After being led into the kitchen, Karl got down on one knee and proposed to Sarah with a white gold custom-made marquise cut diamond ring – she said yes!
It was from this moment that they set about planning the perfect day that ticked all the boxes for them both. Sarah had clear ideas about how she wanted her day to be themed, while Karl wanted to ensure that they kept some traditional elements. Once the couple agreed on the venue of Southend Barns, which they chose for its relaxed, informal and fun atmosphere and style but still with a hint of tradition; their theme really took off.
Sarah was keen to have elements of Alice in Wonderland, Country Fete and Summer Fun throughout the day and ended up going for a scarlet red and yellow colour scheme. Not one to shy away from colour Sarah had a local florist prepare flowers in a mix of burnt orange calla lillies, red and yellow dahlias, rudbekia orange seedheads, sunflowers and dark purple smokebush leaves. She then decided to DIY her wedding stationery and table favours by using home-made honey, in little pots with home-made ‘Meant to Bee’ stickers.
The couple wanted to have as many personal touches as possible on the day and not follow the usual trends. So instead of the traditional guest book they had a fingerprint tree for guests to finger sign as well as a post box for their cards. They also gave each bridesmaid a fabulous heart shaped umbrella in case it rained.
On the day of the wedding the groom and the other men in the wedding party wore Sandford style grey suits with two tone brogues, red hankies, ties and scarlet red socks denoting their role in the wedding.
The bride wore a So Sassi gown with button-on shruggette and had gold sparkly trainers to change into after the ceremony. The gifts bestowed on those involved were also quite unique and included sweet trees for the three bridesmaids and engraved dog tags for the ushers while the best man received an engraved pocket watch.
The ceremony took place in the venue’s Dairy Barn. Sarah, who was initially nervous about being the centre of attention, said “the moment I walked in I realised that all those faces watching me loved me and wanted us to get married. A butterfly was dancing around the ceremony room throughout the service and my family were all convinced it was our Gran coming back to see us get married (she died last December and the money she left us went into the wedding)”.
They chose an Alice in Wonderland styled wedding cake, which was made up of three tiers with a chocolate gateau style top layer, lemon sponge middle and apple and toffee bottom layer. This was then decorated using red apples and flowers.
After a Pimm’s reception complete with pink heart straws, the wedding party moved into the Threshing Barn for dinner. To ensure all guests were amused throughout the day Karl and Sarah had an abundance of entertainment including a DJ, Photobooth, Ice Cream Cart and Firedancers, which was their surprise for guests and their big kept secret!