Matt & Sara’s perfect wedding day

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Choose three words that best describe your perfect wedding day

Relaxed, Fun, Autumal

Tell us about your story

We met at a house party in Manchester back in 2007 just as Sara was about to go into her final year of university. We dated for that year but after graduation moved to different parts of the country and the romance ended. Over the following decade we remained friends but the stars just never quite aligned for us; one or both would be in a relationship or we lived in different cities.
Seven years after the first romance we did have a a red-wine-fuelled, confessional conversation in which we both admitted we had liked each other and been interested in a relationship over the years. However, Matt was just about to move away to Aberdeen whilst Sara stayed in London, so again the opportunity passed.

It was a further 5 years before we finally got together. One evening, yet again with red wine in hand, mid conversation Matt blurted out “One Day”. Sara was confused so he explained that “One Day” it is a book (also now a film) and the story is of a man and a woman who date at university but the romance ends when they graduate and they spend the next few years as friends. The man in the story thinks he can find someone better for him and it takes him a few years to realise that the girl from university was the one he was meant to be with all along. That night, Matt told Sara she is his “One Day” and finally the stars aligned.

What essential details did you have in mind for your perfect wedding day, including colour schemes, personal touches and running order?

Autumn is Sara’s favourite season- she loves all the colours and kicking leaves and this was the base of the wedding planning. The colour scheme was burgundy and navy, we knew the leaves in the vineyard would create the perfect backdrop and then we had leaves lining the aisle and as name place cards of each of the guests.

We also took some time to look at traditions, both in the UK and abroad to decide which ones we wanted to include. Sara walked herself down the aisle and gave a speech, along with her mad of honour. Then, instead of cutting the cake we included the German tradition of sawing a log. Another way of demonstrating teamwork and unity. It was very important to us that we reflected who we are in the day but I’ll admit, it was difficult to balance this out against other people’s expectations.

It was also very important to us that everyone mingled. We only had 65 people, all of whom we love and knew would get on well together so we split up the tables and created “guess who” games. This was a card with stories about some of the people on the table and everyone had to guess who it was about. Looks of people seemed to enjoyed these games and mostly importantly, it got everyone talking.

Tell us what made you fall in love with the venue?

Matt wanted a venue full of history and Sara wanted one with lots of natural light. We both love wine so Stanlake Vineyard wedding venue was chosen. It was also important to us that we had a different area available for each part of the day as we don’t like it when the guests are ushered outside whilst a room is changed around. At Stanlake we had a beautiful bridal preparation area, a ceremony barn which in our opinion needed no further decorations as it is stunning, a courtyard for canapes, another barn for the wedding breakfast with separate bar, and dance area and of course the vineyard itself!

Tell us how you brought your style, ideas and details to life on the day?

Sara is a champagne fiend and even went there for her hen do. For this reason, the table names were champagne brands and we took on the difficult job of drinking the champagne of each brand before so we could have a bottle with lights on to represent each table. Sara also brought back a champagne cork cross bow from the hen do in champagne which created one of the lawn games. Matt is a rugby player and we both cycle so we had mini rugby balls and little bikes on the tables. The title of our order of service reflected what we had written on our save that dates – this isn’t just any wedding, this is an M&S wedding!

Tell us about your food and drinks selections. What made the biggest impression on the day?

A few people told us it was the best wedding food they had ever had, including a friend who works in the industry! We had trio of duck for starter, chicken main and chocolate desert. I’d been warned the bride and groom don’t get time to eat on the day but the portions meant I was full! Of course, we also had the Stanlake Drinks package, it would’ve felt wrong not to!

Transport yourself back to your favourite moment from the day and tell us why it stands out as a replay moment

We are really pleased we took the time to write our own vows. This felt like a very special moment on the day and is one that a few people have commented on since.
The day was planned down to the smallest detail and we both knew the plan inside out. This meant that on the day we could relax and enjoy the unplanned moments, just as at the very end of the night, when the music went off and the guests sang Mr Brightside at the top of their lungs!

If you can pass on your experience to the future couples what would you share

Speak to the events manager early on in the day and then relax knowing anything that comes up they will handle.

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Wanted to start by saying the biggest thank you to you. You were so incredibly kind and supportive throughout the process even with all the last minute changes. Without such a kind and understanding person/ company to work with I’m not sure we would have been able to carry on and finally get married. Please also pass our thanks to Vincent, who was brilliant throughout the day, and couldn’t do more to support us. There were several compliments from our guests on how accommodating and attentive he was.