We love everything about this wedding! From the story of how Natalie and Josh met to the proposal, and the whimsical vibe on the day. This gorgeous couple chose Rowton Castle at their wedding venue (on first look, might we add), and married on a crisp winter’s day.
Sit back and relax yourself into the weekend with notes from the couple and the most gorgeous images from Mick (the Kensington Photographer).
What are you waiting for? Read on for more…
Having come across Rowton Castle years before even getting engaged, it was my dream venue. I had actually been following on Instagram for some time and enquired about weddings and booked an appointment literally the day after getting engaged. We came with my parents and we all loved it so much we booked our date then and there – I am so glad that we did because later that week the UK went into lockdown.
Josh and I met on Tinder, back in 2014 but knew of each other because our best friends. So when we came across each other on Tinder it was an “I know you…” moment. We went on one date and it didn’t really work out. We stayed in touch but it wasn’t until a NYE party a couple of years later that something changed. We’ve been together ever since and actually moved to Bristol together after just five months.
The proposal was a surprise and happened whilst on holiday, literally just before lockdown in 2020. We had a family trip to Florida booked, it was supposed to be for Josh’s 30th but everyone knew that he was planning to propose. Josh’s plan was delayed by a villa move and a trip to the emergency dentist (for his Mum), everything was going wrong, but I think that made it more of a surprise when it did finally happen in front of the castle at Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
In the run up to the wedding I was excited, stressed, and feeling all of the emotions whilst checking off all the things that we had to do to get ready. Covid was our only concern. It was so strange for us as all our friends who had been engaged longer, had their weddings postponed until after ours, so I guess in some ways I was expecting to postpone ours, too.
Because of covid and lockdowns, booking the suppliers that we needed on the day was a rather strange task. Wedding fayres were not taking place so meeting suppliers in that way was just not possible, and so to get started, we relied solely on what we could find online, and Rowton’s recommended suppliers list…
My dress was a Wtoo by Watters from the gorgeous Ethereal Bridal shop in Penkridge. With its ruffles and florals, it was a romantic princess style gown that I was able to customise with off the shoulder straps and a glittery belt. My bridesmaids wore matching dresses in a dusty lavender – our colour scheme for the day. The suits were perhaps our most interesting purchase as the initial call took place over zoom. It was May 2021 before Josh finally got to try on his chosen check suit, and it was perfect.
Flowers for the day were by the amazingly talented Katie Boardman from Unique Your Wedding. I came across Katie on an online page for weddings and she was so friendly and lovely – she was also so positive about our style and was really accommodating suggesting ways she could do things to come in on budget. She did our bouquets, buttonholes, ceremony moongate, and the little details for our registrar table. For the dressing of the chairs we booked Sorella, but the conversation went onto table designs and our fairy tale land theme and we ended up booking Sorella to supply the bits for the tables too, and the petals and lanterns for the aisle during the ceremony. A lot of the other bits we did ourselves; I made our invitations, favours, and all of our signs we made out of old wooden fence panels, we had great fun creating our own vision. We also had a big hunt for different fairy tale items for the tables, we made our own things too like Peter Pan’s hat for Neverland and Eeyore’s house for 100 Acre Wood – so much fun!
When it came to the cake we were super lucky to have Dianne Swann create our wedding cake. She listened to my crazy idea – to feature all of the elements of our day from the fairy tale theme to the lavender colour scheme – and brought it all to life in the most amazing way, and it tasted delicious too! We still have some in the freezer.
We had The Kensington Photographer booked and the very talented Mick joined us on the day. We actually won a competition to get this Photographer, and had £500 off which was a huge help. Mick stayed with us pretty much the whole day, from 11am to 11pm and he did an amazing job.
The night before the wedding I stayed in the Tower House (Rowton Castle’s bridal party house!) with my bridesmaids whilst Josh stayed home with the best man. We both had a chilled evening and tried to get an early night. Not that I slept!
For the wedding breakfast we kept things simple and chose dishes that we knew everyone would enjoy – roasted tomato soup, chicken with a spinach, mozzarella and sun blushed tomato stuffing and the best-ever chocolate brownie which were absolutely delicious. Evening food was a choice of minute steak sandwiches and hot dogs – which went down a treat. For drinks we took the no corkage option and brought a selection of beers, wines, ciders and soft drinks for our guests to enjoy with dinner. We also had drink vouchers for our guests that would cover the cost of a drink from the evening bar.
Live entertainment was really important to us. I have to mention the amazing Sian Summers who performed during the day. She rehearsed and played our chosen songs for the ceremony and then played for the drinks reception, too. I really wish I could’ve sat and listened to her perform instead of posing for photos, she was that good! We found her online too with an agency called Alive Network. The most friendly, kind and talented acoustic performer.
The band in the evening were amazing! They’re called 5th Street and we found them on a website called Entertainment Nation. We knew we wanted something a little ‘rock’ in style and their repertoire was pretty awesome and covered songs we liked and we knew our guests of all ages would like too. And bonus, they sounded absolutely incredible. They got everyone on the dance floor and even got me up on stage to help sing the female part in Wheetus – Teenage Dirtbag, they also rehearsed and played an acoustic version of our first dance song which was so special.
Best Part of the Day
The whole day I’m pretty sure I was floating on a cloud. Everything felt like a dream and even now 5 months later I’m not convinced it happened and that I dreamt it all! I was in a complete state of happiness and love all day, being surrounded by everyone who is special to us, in the most gorgeous setting. What I’d give to relive it!
There was one moment though, on the dance floor in the evening just standing there surrounded by all our friends and family having a blast and thinking to myself ‘we did it, this is our wedding day, this is what I’ve been dreaming of’ and I did get a tear in my eye. So I think that could be a really great moment to remember in what I can only describe as a day full of best moments. Was just that pause to look around and feel insanely happy and proud of everything we’d got through to get here.
Advice for Future Bride and Grooms
Do all the group photos first – aunties, uncles, other family members – get them in early and then start on the individual shots with people. I honestly thought I’d be able to get all the group shots and some nice single ones with parents and bridesmaids etc. but we ran out of time and now I don’t have any pictures with my aunties and uncles and other extended family on my wedding day which is my biggest regret. I also really wish we had a video of the day to watch back and see the little things that I missed or have forgotten. There is so much of the day that went by so fast, we were so busy for, and I was just in awe of, that I couldn’t possibly capture all of the details, words said, hugs exchanged – so get the videographer. Budget for it and prioritise it.
Venue Rowton Castle
Photography by The Kensington Photographer
Bride’s Dress Ethereal Bridal
Groom’s Attire Dapper Dan
Make Up Harriet Robertson
Flowers Unique Your Wedding
Venue Dressing Sorella Florist & Event Stylist
Wedding Cake Dianne Swann
Ceremony Musician Sian Summers
Band 5th Street