#7 Sax Appeal
Our Brides #7 – Cat
Summer 2019 hasn’t exactly been a scorcher, but these wedding-day pics of Cat and hubby Gareth definitely brighten up my day.
Cat’s a pro saxophonist (!), and the pair of them took over Trafalgar Warehouse in Sheffield for an intimate 30-person ceremony, then a celebration bash the very next day. They’re some seriously cool cats, I hope you’ll agree.
Read on for the full playback of this midweek wedding with a big brass bang.
Congrats Cat – you can come serenade me with some jazz anytime!
How would you sum up the style of your wedding?
A very relaxed ceremony followed by a massive party!
Where and when did you tie the knot?
We were married in an intimate ceremony with 30 guests at Trafalgar Warehouse in Sheffield city centre on 24th April 2019. This was followed by a meal at Tamper Sellers Wheel. We had a big party the following day back at Trafalgar Warehouse to celebrate with around 170 guests.
And what was your wedding dress?
I chose the Charlie Brear Isere skirt. I absolutely loved the tassled look and how it elongated my shape.
How did you two first meet?
Gareth and I have known each other since we were very young, when we first joined a youth music organisation in Doncaster.
It took us a while to realise how well we got on and we started dating when we were a little older. We have been together 14 years this year.
What about the proposal? When, where, how?
We had a sunny rare day off together and it was the day before we were flying to Ibiza for a holiday.
We took a picnic to our local park in Meersbrook in Sheffield and Gareth did a little Shloer toast to our holiday, saying ‘Here’s to Ibiza, I think it’ll be our best one yet’.
I said cheers, and then asked him why it’d be the best one yet, to which he replied by producing an amazing sapphire ring and asking me to marry him!
Did you have an idea of what you wanted when you first started looking for your wedding dress? And did you stick to it?
I was very open to suggestions as it wasn’t something I’d ever thought about to be honest.
This made the initial search quite difficult as there were so many styles to consider. I knew I wanted something a little less traditional and more edgy and was against strapless but that was about it.
How did you find the whole experience of searching for the right dress?
It was really great. I loved trying on so many incredible outfits and having that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Jess at Alexandra Anne was fantastic and brought me some stunning options which I would never have picked out for myself had I been left to my own devices. I had my eye on some Eliza Jane Howell dresses initially, though they just didn’t look right once I tried them.
What was it about your dress that made it ‘the one’?
I just loved how it looked on my frame and how it moved with me. The skirt was lined with silk and was incredibly comfortable to wear.
I just knew it was the right balance of ‘bridal’ but still modern and cool.
How did you feel once you’d made the big decision?
Even though I was in love with the Isere skirt, I was actually a bit gutted when I realised I’d need to stop trying dresses on!
I also unfollowed an awful lot of Instagram accounts which featured dresses/designers as I kept questioning my decision. There are some really amazing designs about. But deep down I was really pleased with what I went for and knew it was the right choice.
Do you have any top tips for other brides out there shopping for their bridal gown?
Take a brutally honest friend/family member to the trying-on sessions! Their faces give away a lot when you reveal the styles to them.
And choose something that makes you feel a million dollars. You won’t regret it.
THE BIG DAY
Tell us more about your outfit on the day. How did you complete your look?
As well as the Isere skirt, I chose a Charlie Brear leather belt in rose gold. I found shoes to match this (two weeks before the wedding).
Alexandra Anne stock some beautiful Charlie Brear tops and dresses that can be worn with the skirt, however they weren’t quite right for me so I had a silk halter top made bespoke by KMR Bespoke Bridal. Kelly did a beautiful job, and she also made me a long, simple veil which was a fairly last-minute decision. It just completed the look perfectly.
And your bridesmaids?
My sister Lucy and Gareth’s sister Ellie were our bridesmaids.
For their dresses I was keen for them to be comfortable and on trend. I wasn’t very interested in the traditional bridesmaids dresses I’d seen, so we opted for a floral-patterned, peachy-pink kimono style by Hope and Ivy.
The girls both looked gorgeous.
What do you remember about the morning of the wedding?
The bridesmaids and my lovely Mum came over around 11am and brought the fizz with them!
We all went to my hairdressers for midday so it was a pretty chilled morning. Once we got back I put on a nice playlist and was ready before anybody else!
Who did your hair and makeup?
We all had our hair done at Wigs and Warpaint for the day of the wedding.
I’ve been going there for a few years now and they were so good to us. My hairdresser Chris had organised the upstairs area for us exclusively and had brought us more prosecco! It was really nice and again very chilled.
I did my own make-up both days and my own hair for the big party.
Who took your wedding photos?
The amazing Dani from Maytree Photography. We’ve known Dani through a close friend for a bit now and it was lovely to have a familiar face around.
Dani is really laid back in her personality and so on it with the photography. She was on hand in the morning at the house for a few outfit tweaks and was all over it at the wedding and the party equally.
Did you follow any traditions? Or was there anything unusual about the ceremony?
We chose to have our wedding midweek and over 2 days so it wasn’t very traditional in that sense.
We were struggling for dates when we began planning and it came down to either midweek in April or waiting until November, so we chose April.
Also, we are both musicians and have a lot of friends in that industry, so a midweek wedding allowed us to have the guests we wanted plus some excellent musical entertainment!
How did your dress feel when you were walking down the aisle?
It felt truly lovely. I could see all the faces checking it out.
I was particularly interested in Gareth’s Grandma’s opinion on my outfit, and when I saw her beaming smile I was really pleased.
What are your favourite memories of your wedding day?
Gareth’s speech. Gareth is a man of few words. His best men summed this up well in saying that he is ‘economical with his words’, but he blew us all away with his speech.
He spoke confidently and calmly in front of all of our family and an awful lot of his musical colleagues and friends. He made it extra special by incorporating short lines of songs into the speech at regular intervals. It worked so well and made for a really entertaining and surprising highlight of the party!
My parents speeches were also incredibly special, and I’ll never forget sneaking into a very packed yet silent Winter Gardens in Sheffield for photographs during the BBC snooker filming!
What gave you the biggest laugh?
The best men pulled it out the bag with an incredible speech featuring impressions of the pair of us.
At one moment one of them (not a saxophonist) produced a saxophone and played Baker Street, which he had learned especially for the occasion!
What got the tears flowing?
Our readings at the ceremony. Gareth’s Grandad read the lyrics to the old classic ‘All the Way’ and read it with such thought and feeling. When he broke into song for the final line, he completely caught us both off guard and we had to hold back the tears a bit.
My best friend Lizzie read something Gareth and I had written together which we called ‘What If’, about all the moments that had shaped our relationship over the years, good and bad. It was such a special moment.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to a new bride-to-be, what would it be?
Book me to play at your wedding!!
Sorry… no, seriously, my best piece of advice would be to do what you as a couple would like to do for the big day, and try not to be too influenced by others.
A good friend of mine reminded me that although guests will remember parts of the day, you will remember all of it in so much detail, so it has to be just as you want it.
And last but not least, where is your wedding dress now?
It has undergone a little dry-clean and is hanging back where it was in the days prior to the wedding, at home.
Rose gold belt by Charlie Brear
Veil by KMR
Shoes by Nine West
Hair clips by On Foundations
Hair and makeup
Chris from Wigs and Warpaint (hair)
First dance song
Baby I Love Your Way by Big Mountain (performed by Louis, Louis, Louis)
Are you a less-hassle, more-tassel kind of bride?