Cathy & Ajay – Part one: An English countryside wedding

Cathy and Ajay Part 1 - Debbie Wallwork Photography | Granary Barns wedding

I’m so excited to share the first two-part wedding on the blog today! To honour Cathy’s American upbringing and Ajay’s Indian heritage, the couple had two separate ceremonies, and were married twice! Each day was equally beautiful, but worlds apart in style. Today I’m sharing day one of two, their beautiful British American English countryside wedding, held at the stunning 18th century Granary Barns, part of the The Granary Estates near Newmarket.

Cathy looked every bit the classic bride in an elegant lace gown teamed with natural makeup and gorgeous auburn hair in a side chignon. And I love that she a large bridal party – very American! Cathy & Ajay were ahead of the trend and used Pantone Colour of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz and Serenity throughout their day, down to the personalised macaron favours for their guests. Note the beautiful blooms and that incredible arch… oh and be sure to watch their video created by the wonderful Purple Ribbon Weddings.

Photography by Debbie Wallwork Photography
Videography by Purple Ribbon Weddings

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How we met

Cathy, the bride: Ajay and I met online using OKCupid. I was getting bored with online dating after a string of terrible dates and decided it wasn’t for me – It wasn’t until I was home one day because I was unwell, that I received an email from to let me know that Ajay had ‘liked’ me. We started chatting and met up soon after.

The dress

I went back to my hometown of Cambridge Massachusetts for Christmas and went to try on dresses with my Mom and sister – they still live there. I came across my dress, ‘Honey’ by Modern Trousseau purchased in Country Weddings in Hingham MA, USA. I also got my veil and pearl hair comb from Country Weddings. I bought my shoes ‘Rita’ from Freya Rose in London and accessorised them with the ‘Ariel’ shoe clip.

Something borrowed

The jewellery I wore was my ‘something borrowed’ – The earrings were my late great grandmothers double pearl stud earrings. The bracelet, 4-strands of pearls, was another late great grandmothers. Both of these now belong to my mother.

The groom, groomsmen & woman

Ajay wore a morning suit hired from Moss Bros. Our dads, the ring bearer, groomsmen and groomswoman, all wore hired suits from Moss Bros too. All my bridesmaids wore slate blue cocktail length dresses from Dessy whilst the maid of honour wore a floor length version.

Keeping things traditional & personal

We weren’t trying to have the most original wedding – we were actually very keen to keep some things traditional. Most importantly we wanted to make sure that our interests and personality as a couple were reflected in our weddings. Involving as many friends and as much family as possible was important to us – so many people travelled from across the world to be with us, and we wanted to celebrate our amazing friendships and families and involve them in the day.

The biggest labour of love was the creation of a massive photo timeline that hung on string and clothespins in the Flint Barn. The string started on one end with me as a child, and on the other end with Ajay as a child. It snaked together in the middle to show how our  lives had grown towards each other. We made sure to include at least one picture of everyone at the wedding, mostly from the time when we first met. The result was amazing, the middle was a big mixture of all our friends and family together. We paired it with a Charles Dickens quote from Great Expectations. It was fun to look at, and all our guests got to see pictures of themselves from decades gone. Ajay and I put it together and it was a spectacular way to get ready for such an amazing occasion. It took a long time to bring it together, but it was lovely as it allowed us to reflect on each of the people that had been important in our lives, the role they had played in leading us down the paths that led to each other, and how special it was they were coming to celebrate our wedding.

Travel theme

Travel is hugely important to us, and we kept that as a recurring theme – the tables names were places we’ve visited together, the table markers were pictures of us in those countries, and the table plan was a map. The card box was inspired by luggage and covered in vintage maps.

Our weddings gifts to each other were also travel themed – Ajay had bought me a leather weekend bag inspired from the movie ‘Darjeeling Limited’ to take on weekend trips and adventures. I had bought Ajay and me a weekend away in Vienna.

English countryside wedding flowers

Our flowers were created by Sam French from Wild Poppies, she did an amazing job! Sam created the perfect classic English countryside wedding look we were going for, including the floral arch we got married under.

The ceremony

We really wanted to be married by a friend, who would create a ceremony personal to us. This isn’t legal in the UK, so to get around it we got legally married on the quiet in the Cambridge council two days earlier. We had picked the wording for our vows but our friend Dave, our celebrant, wrote the rest of it. He conducted the most beautiful ceremony we could have imagined.

Our photographer

Debbie Wallwork was one of our venue’s recommended photographers. The photographer was the one thing Ajay REALLY cared about. So he took the lead in selecting her, we could not be more happy with the results!

Final words of wisdom

1. Take the time to make sure the day in special for you and includes something that represents you as a couple.
2. If you need to get any printing done for DIY projects make sure you get it done early!

The videography

Cathy and Ajay had their day captured by the incredibly talented Purple Ribbon Weddings. If your budget allows, I implore you to have a videographer on your wedding day. It is one of those days you will want to relive forever, again and again so being able to watch it back is truly special. You’ve seen the gorgeous photographs from Cathy and Ajay’s first weddings and here’s the beautiful video.

The Suffolk countryside is so darn picturesque isn’t it? I think every wedding venue should have barley fields so couples can take photos during golden hour! Thank you to Debbie Wallwork for sharing her incredible images, Purple Ribbon Weddings for the wonderful videography and of course to Cathy and Ajay. There’s more to come from this pair and part two is their incredible Hindu wedding – I can’t wait for you to see it!

Sarah x

Cathy & Ajay’s Little Blackbook

Photographer – Debbie Wallwork Photography
Videography – Purple Ribbon Weddings
Venue – The Granary Estates
Bride’s dress – Modern Trousseau
Bride’s shoesFreya Rose
Hair and Make-Up – Prim Powder Pout
Groom’s suitMoss Bros Hire
Florist – Wild Poppies
CakeIncredible Cakes of Cambridge
Favours – Deelicious Nazish’s Kitchen
EntertainmentString Trio & DJ: Ear Candy

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