Jamie & Catherine
A tale of getting married in Staffordshire
From getting engaged to being the lucky winners of our wedding competition, join us as we tell the story of how Jamie and Catherine are getting ready to be wed on 28 July 2018 in Staffordshire.
Every once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale...
How did you two meet?
We met through mutual friends that we had and befriended each other as friends on Facebook. When we met for the first time we knew we liked each other and started to grow closer.
We just knew we were meant to be together forever.
How did you decide they were the one?
From the early stages of the relationship when picturing our future life, we couldn’t imagine spending it without each other and just knew we were meant to be together forever.
Whilst visiting a jewellery shop one day, a ring in the corner caught Catherine's eye. Little did she know, Jamie had noticed and went back the next day to buy the ring...
What planning went in to proposing?
We went to a jewellery shop to purchase a watch for myself, whilst I was buying the watch Catherine was having a look around the shop and saw some rings so she was having a look. I could tell that she really liked the one ring so I went back another day and brought the ring. Arranging the proposal was hard as we have a young daughter so I had to arrange for someone to have her whilst we went out and Valentine’s day seemed like the perfect excuse to go out.
Did you ask the parents for permission?
I asked Catherine’s mother for permission before I proposed to Catherine.
Tell us about the proposal
Catherine’s mother knew that I was planning to propose so agreed to have our daughter for us whilst we went out for a meal at the Knot and Plough. Whilst we were waiting for the meal to arrive I asked her to marry me. She said yes of course but admitted that she already suspected it as she could see the ring box in my pocket!
Arranging the proposal was hard as we have a young daughter so I had to arrange for someone to have her whilst we went out and Valentine’s day seemed like the perfect excuse to go out.
Wishing only to be surrounded by those closest, Jamie and Catherine decided to keep their wedding close to home...
Neither of us really had a dream wedding. We both knew we didn’t want a big wedding we just wanted our closest friends and families. We had considered going abroad but we knew that this would mean that some of our relatives wouldn’t be able to come which we didn’t want as we wanted those close to be there.
Our favourite part of the building is the wide staircase, it looks so magical!
Everything was meant to be when Jamie and Catherine were the lucky winners of our competition!
When we first went into the County Buildings it wasn't what we expected from the outside, inside it is so beautiful. Our favourite part of the building is the wide staircase, it looks so magical and we can't wait to have our photographs taken on it.
How did you start planning the other aspects of your wedding day?
We made lists of what we needed to do and started crossing things off as we did them, there wasn't really an order to when we arranged them.
With lists and dreams at the ready, Jamie and Catherine made a start on their wedding preparations...
Was it easy to pick your bridesmaids and groomsmen and decide on a wedding party?
Jamie found it easy to pick his groomsmen, he has his best friend as his best man, his brother and Catherine's brother as groomsmen. Our Page boy is Riley.
Catherine found it harder to decide who to have but asked the bridesmaids and flower girls by using a scratch card, that when scratched revealed the question "will you be my bridesmaid?".
Catherine has got Johanna as her matron of honour and her friend Jade as bridesmaid. We have got 3 flower girls Alice, Lacey and Grace.
We have booked our photographer - Steve Davies Photography. Steve works with the bride’s mother so she recommended us to him. We had a look at his work and were impressed so we booked him, he really got the sort of images that we wanted.
We haven’t booked a videographer for the day as we hadn’t really considered it before.
For the bride, have you always known what kind of wedding dress you wanted? Tell us about how you searched for the perfect one.
I thought I knew what I wanted but when I started looking for one and trying them on I wasn’t sure. I tried dresses on at the wedding show in Birmingham and then two shops in Stafford. I knew the dress was the one when I tried it on, it wasn’t the type of dress I was expecting to like and the opposite of what I thought that I wanted.
Has the Groom enjoyed suit shopping?
We were pretty sure on what we wanted the suits to be like so it made the suit shopping experience easier. We were recommended Dapper Dan’s in Wednesfield so we went there and they were helpful and made it easy to sort out the suits we wanted.
I knew the dress was the one when I tried it on, it wasn’t the type of dress I was expecting to like.
Are you decorating County Buildings room to make it your own?
Yes, we are using a venue decorating service called Two Hearts Venue Dressing and Event Hire. We are having chair covers and sashes to add to the feel of the wedding with elements of our colour scheme.
What music are you going to have playing on the day at the County Buildings?
We have a few ideas but we haven’t decided on any yet. They will all be meaningful songs to us.
We do have a few surprises for on the day!
How are you planning to arrive at County Buildings?
The bride is arriving in a car called Molly from Elite Wedding Car Hire, which Catherine is really excited for. The men and the bridesmaids are hopefully going to arrive in a limo (once we have arranged it).
Have you got anything special planned for on the day?
We do have a few surprises for on the day planned but as they are surprises for the guests we can’t say.
After planning every detail of their day, Jamie and Catherine's guests aren't the only ones in for a surprise! The best man, maid of honour and mother of the bride have got something up their sleeves too...
Have you both had a stag/hen do?
We haven’t had our hen and stag do yet, they are both going to be a surprise. The best man is arranging the stag do and the matron of honour and the mother of the bride are arranging the hen do. So, we are excited to see what we end up doing.
How have you found being in touch with Staffordshire County Council and arranging the booking date/time and visiting the venue?
It was easy to arrange to visit the venue and have had good contact with them when needed. But as we are still a way from the wedding we haven’t really been in contact for a while although, I’m sure the closer we get this will change. When booking the wedding day and time we had a few dates and times in mind and they were really accommodating so we managed to book for the time and day we wanted.
Since we last spoke to Jamie and Catherine, they have now become husband and wife! We got in touch with them to ask about their wedding ceremony at County Buildings.
Firstly, many congratulations! How was your wedding day?
Amazing day to say the least, everyone warns you that your wedding day will go so fast and it really does. From the start of the day your feelings are all over the place, from being nervous to being emotional.
Tell us about your order of service and the secret surprises you had planned?
We had a few things in the speech that we both loved, the reading FRIENDS - the reading of Joey, the lovely dinosaur story. The FRIENDS theme song and the Harry Potter theme song. For signing the register we had ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ as it just fitted perfectly.
How did you find submitting your choices to ourselves? Did you use the online system or call and speak to an advisor?
As we wrote our own speeches we had to get my brother-in-law to submit as we didn’t want to see each others speeches.
Would you recommend County Buildings to other couples looking for a wedding venue in the Stafford area?
[County Buildings is a] brilliant and beautiful place to get married. Amazing building with beautiful decor to be the backdrop for all the amazing photos.
Amazing building with beautiful decor to be the backdrop for all the amazing photos.
You said you were decorating the room with chair covers and sashes to make it part of your colour scheme – how did this turn out?
The room turned out amazing, [it] looked brilliant as we used a venue decorator, she did a brilliant job.
You said you were really looking forward to having photos taken on the wide staircase in County Buildings, did you find there were plenty of photo opportunity locations to use within the venue?
We took every opportunity available to get some amazing photos, from the court room, to the lounge in front of the fire, to the beautiful stairs.
Where did you both go in the end for your surprise Stag and Hen parties?
Catherine was cocktail making. For myself we went to the dog races and placed a few bets then we went to Wolverhampton town.
Any tips/tricks on how to manage, plan and budget for a wedding day you would like to share?
We very much wanted to be involved with everything, such as we made our own invitations and utilised Catherine’s nan’s skills to make our flowers and button holes. I would say it saves a lot of money and everything still turned out brilliant.
What’s next for you two? Do you have any honeymoon plans and/or big plans for the future?
We are planning a family-moon as we do have a daughter and we are soon looking to be buying our first property.
A big thank you to Jamie and Catherine for allowing us to ask all about the prep, planning and thoughts! It’s been lovely to watch it happen and we wish them all the best for a happy future.
If getting married in Staffordshire at the wonderful County Buildings is something that would suit you, find out more information on the venue and costs or contact us to discuss the options available.