There was so much to love about Amy & Matt’s wedding day at Rock Village Hall in Worcestershire, they wanted a vintage garden fete theme with lots of fun and games to keep their guests entertained and they certainly achieved that goal. There was a hook-a-duck to find your place on the seating plan, plenty of garden games, a victorian style helter skelter and even a sack race scheduled into the order of the day! With a chippy dinner and beautiful weather it was the perfect English wedding, Matt has been kind enough to offer his insight on the big day so to find out about all the personal touches…and the greatest proposal known to man please read on…
Amy & Matt’s Dream Team
Bride & Groom Q&A
How did you meet?
So rewind to 2005, we met during school doing a school show called Back to the 80s. Sadly it wasn’t love at first sight. Amy was the year above me, this quite loud and bubbly character, doing her best American accent, from that point we just got to know each other as friends and hung out more.
Fast forward another year, we were in another show called Little shop of horrors, (quite the thespians). A play that strangely enough, Amy played my mum. Again our friendship grew further into the following year, now both in 6th form, we saw a lot more of each other. We started going to the cinema, hanging out and bumping into each other at parties. Then one drunken night we crossed the friendship mark, kissed, then didn’t speak to each other for a month cos that’s what you do when you’re 18!
Months of flirting later, listening to Fallout Boy in Amy’s car and stealing grapes from her lunchbox, we finally became an item. 1 short Uni visit for Amy, a 3 year stay in Lincoln together at Uni, 3 homes across the country, 1 cat, our very own house and 11 years later brought us to our wedding day.
How did the proposal go down?
I’d kept Amy waiting for so long. Each December another year would pass, and every year we’d continue to stop and look in jewellery shops and she’d point out specific rings she liked. And every year I’d say we will, but we’re too young or let’s wait until we’ve got our own place. Then in 2017 something just felt right, something inside me was like ‘it feels right and go on, you know what to do,’ so I decided I was going to pop the question. I put the wheels in motion. By this point I knew exactly which ring she wanted, utilising a cheeky screengrab she’d taken on her iPad years ago and safely ‘planted’ for me never to find. I headed to Birmingham Jewellery Quarter and picked out just the one – a 6 claw tiffany style platinum diamond ring. And on the way back, my brother and his partner began to quiz me about any ideas I had bubbling. I knew I wanted to do something that was romantic, special and memorable. She’d always watched proposals of people doing sporadic flash mob dances, but it just felt a little scary. So I explained. I wanted to do a treasure hunt, and I wanted to do it on Christmas Eve.
I sent Amy to various places that meant something to us, the first place we met (school), the place where we had our first kiss (my old house) etc. Each place started with a cryptic clue, which she had to solve and each place she arrived at, Amy was greeted by one of our friends or family. She was handed a single red rose, a puzzle piece and her next clue. Once arriving at her penultimate destination, she was told to change into something fancy and arrange all the puzzle pieces she had collected on her way to complete the picture. All pieced together, these made a Christmas tree – the final destination of the hunt and where I was meeting her. By this point I knew she’d know exactly what I was planning, and all would become crystal clear. As every year since we’ve been together, we go to a nearby village and sing Christmas carols on the green. It was here that I’d be waiting, with a bouquet of roses and of course a special question.
How did you choose Rock Village Hall as your wedding venue?
We started our journey looking at the usual wedding venues. Blown away by acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and stunning barn-like inside spaces. But after visiting several venues, we soon realised that actually this isn’t what we wanted… well what we could afford.
Yes the prices were mega. But more importantly we wanted a place we could really make our own, inject our personality into, and almost takeover. Our visited venues were stunning but almost restrictive in a way to us in their offering. The basic costs were so high, that any additions just made it impossible for us to add our individuality/ stamp. And we were concerned that our wedding was going to look exactly like the brochures being shown to us. We were unable to change the food offer or afford any of the additional ideas we had already planned like a band etc, which were quite important to us. And then we steered our attention to village halls instead. Spaces we could do exactly that.
Our challenge being, find a village hall that was beautiful and nearby for our guests to travel to… and we found Rock Village Hall, a space that ticked all of our boxes and more. A wooden cladded barn-like building, surrounded by beautiful rolling hills, and a stunning local church only a short 2 minute walk away. We just had to have it!
Vibe & Style
Our wedding was all about creating a fun filled day which we’d look back at with fond memories and with plenty of activities to keep our guests entertained, laughing and occupied. We wanted quirky little touches that would make people smile and fill that typical ‘wedding lull’ after the ceremony and before the food was served. So we made various handmade fun games – ‘Hook a Duck to Find your Seat.’ A fun way for our guests to find their name, which involved people finding and hooking their name on the top of the duck, turning the duck over to reveal an illustration on the bottom which corresponded with the name of their table.
Our theme is best described as a ‘Vintage and handmade garden party/ fete feel.’ We made all the games ourselves, a handmade coconut shy game, ring toss, and tin can alley. Popcorn and candyfloss as canapes and lots of rustic hand lettered signs scattered around the venue inside and out. We had a sack race scheduled on the order of the day sign, something we’d hope would bring out everybody’s competitive side, and we were not disappointed. The main attraction was a 35ft victorian red and white helter skelter, something we desperately wanted to hang the whole fun filled day together.
Food was in keeping with our theme, we had fish and chips served from a converted Citroen H van for lunch, followed by an ice cream tricycle serving dessert and a hog roast on the evening. Inside the venue, we had various handmade signs, an arrangement of stained wooden crates on arrival which told the story of our proposal and some of our family who are sadly no longer with us. Down the middle of the room we had 12 runs of fairy lights which highlighted our simple and stripped back table arrangements. All our tables names we’re named after our handmade games, and sat in a cluster of jars holding a stem of gypsophila. We finished our special day off with a live 5 piece band, who played various current, soulful and wedding classics.
What was you best decision during the wedding planning?
By far the best decision was the location. We were lucky enough to have a beautifully sunny day, and that just topped off the already stunning views that were seen from Rock Village Hall. Everything about our day was true to us and our personalities, and that wouldn’t have been possible without having such a flexible and stunning venue/location.
What was the hardest decision?
As Amy would no doubt agree (trust me, I had some serious agro on this), the hardest decision was whether to pay £500+ for some fairy lights or to do it ourselves. We went for the expensive option. As I’m sure you can understand, £500 for a couple of strings of fairy lights is a little extortionate, however, I stand by my decision and say they definitely helped to give the hall that extra sparkle. Amy came through in the end and loved them and thought they were definitely worth the money!! (Husband 1 – Wife 0).
What was you Favourite memory?
Both of us asked each other this question the next day, and we both instantly said the ceremony. We had waited for such a long time to become husband and wife and we both truly meant every word that was said in that church. The build up and the stress had all come down to that moment when it felt like there was no one else in the room but me and the person I couldn’t wait to start the rest of my life with.
What advice would you have for any couples planning their wedding?
Be patient. Everything will all come together in the end, and if it doesn’t, don’t worry, its your wedding day and it will always exceed your expectations because its your day! Make sure that the decisions you make are always you and your partners, avoid trying to please anyone but yourselves… it’s your day after all!