Real Weddings: Ludlow Castle

Photography by Sophie Kerr Photography

I am Katrina and my husband is Barney; we met over ten and a half years ago and we got engaged on our nine year anniversary. When we met it was 2 weeks before Christmas and I was just doing my last little bits of shopping; I walked past Mcdonalds in Shrewsbury, where Barney and his brother Luke (who I was already friends with) happened to be eating breakfast – when I walked past the window for Barney to say to his brother “check out the legs on her”, Luke then text me to say I’d been spotted! We arranged to meet up for a drink and a break from the shopping and that was it – we shared a bag of chips and had our first cheeky kiss! We clicked straight away, started hanging out lots and the friendship and love kept on growing. We even went to University together as mature students and since then we’ve stuck together. After making it through four years of university in Aberystwyth we finally moved back to the Shire and then in that same year, Barney popped the question.

We wanted to keep our wedding quite simple; what bits we could do ourselves we did, and we used local or small businesses as we agreed we’d rather support them – Oh and Pinterest is the best thing for ideas! Forget me not flowers are my favourite flowers so this made the theme and colour easy for us to pick; wild flowers and soft pale blue.

I always wanted an outdoor ceremony if possible as we’re very outdoorsy people, plus we both have big families so we needed to find somewhere big enough to hold everyone. I discovered Ludlow Castle; we went to look on a cold, grey winters day and we fell in love –  it was an open roof ceremony in the Round Chapel in the castle ruins which was ideal! We did’t feel the need to decorate the castle as we decided it had enough of an impact and we didn’t want to distract from the beautiful structure of the Round Chapel and the arch way we stood in for the ceremony. 

We had Castle Lodge Buttery, a café across the road from the castle, supply us with scones and tea after the ceremony while Barney and I disappeared for photographs with Sophie on the castle grounds.

We just needed a venue for the reception that wasn’t to far away- luckily a friend suggested looking at Wistanstow Village Hall which unlike the normal village halls it has the wow factor! It is a beautiful black and white Tudor hall, and with its traditional beams and high roof it was perfect. As soon as we stood in the empty hall I was imagining how we would decorate it. We wanted to add pops of colour and light, we wanted a fun and relaxed atmosphere which we succeeded in doing. We had four rows of cluster fairy lights in warm white along the length of the hall and we then hung honeycomb paper balls in different colours at different lengths.

For the tables I concentrated a lot on the flowers, we grew our own flowers and potted them in small terracotta pots for the table centre pieces. Barney cut logs in 2inch discs for the pots to sit on and we then we finished off with love heart sweets scattered around them. He also cut bigger discs which the wedding cake sat on, I’m lucky as I come from a family who love to bake, so my mum made a traditional wedding cake and decorated it with flowers from her own garden. Barney does not like fruit cake so we also had doughnuts which offered a fun alternative to the wedding cake and seemed very popular stacked up also on wooden log discs, offering a rustic chic look to our wedding.At the reception we had Hammonds Catering Services who did our wedding breakfast and for evening entertainment we had Vintage Wedding DJ,  he was great he spent a whole evening going through songs and artists we like and didn’t like what to avoid and what to play. Music is very important to both of us and we have a huge arrange of taste, so it was great having the likes of Ella Fitzgerald played followed by Ray LaMontagne or Billy Joel to Freddies Drop and Beyonce, which set the party of with a bang and we danced in to the night.

For the wedding favours we kept to the flower theme – we used Ovo Bloom who do wild flower seeds in packets ‘Sow with love’ – these had our colour theme of pale blue flowers printed on the outside. For the children we used Chi Chi Moi who do personalised place mats for colouring which kept the younger guests happy and entertained while speeches where going on. The flower pins and bouquets for the wedding party were done by family friends Downes Greengrocers in Broseley, a small traditional family run shop in Broseley who also do flower arranging, after showing some pictures and discussing colours and flowers Myra did the flowers perfectly, a mixture of rose buds, cornflowers, sweet peas, and for the bridesmaid’s big blooms of hydrangea and a delicate white flower.

I got my dress from Dolly Blue Bridal Shop in Shrewsbury, a lovely little wedding dress shop at the back of Rachams and by Old St Chad’s church (which happens to be where Barney and I shared our first kiss) in Shrewsbury. It was a simple A-Line dress with beaded detailing around the neckline and a bow at the back. For the ceremony I had a veil from Heavenly Bride, which had delicate beading around the edge.

Barney wore a Marc Darcy Sky Blue Check 3 piece from Master Debonair, the ties and pocket squares were from Moss and so were the Bestman and Usher Suits and Barney’s shoes. The bridesmaids wore soft blue with lace detail dresses we found on ASOS, and the flower girls each had different coloured striped dresses from Monsoon reflecting their personalities. We also had our dog Tansy and my sisters dog Pippin involved and I got them flowery collars and lead to match.

Mine and my bridesmaid’s hair was done my a lovely lady called Louise and our make up by Sam Flockhart. I was impressed the makeup and hair lasted the whole day. Both ladies are self-employed and very hard working and I cannot recommended them enough.

Moments that stand out for us include when Barney’s very talented niece Una playing her violin at the ceremony, which was a very moving and special moment for us and all of the family. The speeches were also very entertaining; Sophie managed to capture some great moments of people crying, laughing and cringing as my dad told a particularly funny story about Barney. A very funny moment that I think will always stand out to me was my dad dancing to Low by Flo Rida and he actually got low! 

If we could give advice to anyone out there starting on their new and exciting adventure in their lives it would be to enjoy the process, do not stress the small stuff…or the big stuff! Stick to what reflects the two of you as a couple, you only have yourselves to make happy, so don’t worry what other people think!

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