Theo + Kate by Rockrose Photography

Theo & Kate's classic, British wedding, captured by Rockrose Photography.

We wanted to make the whole weekend feel really grand, for all of those that had never experienced a classic British wedding.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
[KM] Theo isn’t an accountant, I always get in trouble for saying he is, but he does something to do with valuing financial assets for companies. In Rachel Green’s words, I think he is a Transponster. His first true love is a tie between cricket and dogs; I am very aware I would comfortably sit second to an Ashes match or a fluffy Samoyed. He is a great cook, he loves to ski, his whole wardrobe is blue and he is a huge history nerd who thinks about the Roman empire at least once a day.

[TM] Kate works as a strategy manager in IT. She is very creative and always baking, gardening, decorating or creating things for people. She is a big coffee snob. Kate is the planner, everything has a timetable and is organised to the T– during the pandemic she had a little black book with 5 holidays fully planned out so that when we came out of lockdown we could jump on a plane and enjoy a fully organised travel plan without the last-minute stress. She is a Christmas person, it is currently October and she thinks I haven’t noticed but I am fully aware she is slowly sneaking decorations onto the bookshelf.

[both] We love food and we love travel. A perfect weekend for us is walking down into our village and buying unique food produce that we have never heard of before, and then cooking up a feast for our friends. We love a good dinner party, especially when they end with a late-night board game! We are also fortunate enough to be able to travel a lot, both with work and during our holidays. The holidays have to be equal parts activity (for Theo) and relaxing (for Kate), with lots of local cuisine experiences thrown in!

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
[KM] We met at University in the UK and it was dislike at first sight! I (Kate) was on exchange from Australia and immediately thought Theo was “some stuck-up, posh Brit”! Similarly, Theo took one look at me and thought “oh great, a loud, annoying Aussie”, so it took us a little while to have our first conversation. Just before exams, we were both in the library and unfortunately had to share a table to study at. We started with some small talk and after a few hours of unproductive study, we realised we had a lot in common and got along like a house on fire! What a waste of 6 months actively avoiding one another, but we made up for it in my last 7 months of exchange by going on amazing dates, travelling Europe and enjoying each other’s company. According to Theo, before the library incident, I had actually walked straight up to him on a night out and “snogged him”, but I don’t remember this at all. Theo always makes sure to let people know that I pursued him first!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
[TM] After Kate’s year abroad was up, our plan was to go our separate ways. Although we loved each other, we were both so young and felt that doing long distance at 20 years old was not ideal. Dropping her off at Heathrow was one of the toughest moments of our relationship and something we both still hate talking about to this day. Kate cried so much at the check in desk, that she later told me the story of how a flight attendant from Qantas sat next to her for take-off and held her hand because they thought she was petrified of flying. I think we both knew that we had stumbled upon something more than young love, and deep down we both knew that this wasn’t the last time we would see each other.

Kate actually surprised me on the wedding day; she had dug out the first love letter she wrote me, 10 years prior, the day before she left the UK and read it out at the wedding. Hearing the letter again makes me realise, that we probably knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives together, way before we cared to admit it.

[KM] After doing a little bit of long distance, England to Australia, we went our separate ways for a year to see what the world had to offer. Turns out it didn’t offer much; the grass wasn’t greener and I spent a lot of time feeling like we had made a big mistake. After a teary phone call to Theo one night, we agreed to go on a bit of a secret trip to Thailand to discuss if we could make a future together work. We wanted to lay everything on the table from where we wanted to live, was marriage something we valued, views on kids, money etc. I know it was really early to have those conversations but before I upped my life to move to the UK I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. That trip for me was the moment I knew that Theo was going to be my person.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it… (Told by Kate)
[KM] Theo and I had picked out a few rings in September 2020, under the proviso that he wanted the engagement to be a surprise, so if we chose a ring early he had plenty of time to propose. He definitely took the “plenty of time” quite seriously and threw out a lot of red herrings; we Climbed to the top of ben Nevis, took a trip to the Maldives, explored Milos island, spent 10 hours in Pompeii (They had to practically drag Theo away), stayed in an amazing hotel in Positano and went on lots of nice dinners and still no ring. Sensing my growing frustration, Theo calmly told me he planned to propose before I went back to Australia to finally see my family after the pandemic. Each weekend ticked by and I was sure it was never going to happen. The last weekend before I flew home, I was secretly hoping Saturday night was the night. We went to the gym, did the grocery shopping, changed the sheets etc all whilst keeping an eye on the clock to see if he was going to suggest we should go out for dinner. At mid-afternoon he took some meat out of the freezer to make a pie, and I had to hide my absolute disappointment that we were not going out, and he was probably never going to propose. I tried to hide my tears by busying myself with some cleaning, I felt Theo creep up on me and hug me, he whispered in my ear “I’m joking, go and get ready, we are going out”, at which point I burst into tears. He had booked an incredible 18 course meal at Restaurant Story, and as we were walking back under Tower bridge he popped the question – it was perfectly us.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
Classic with a twist – we wanted everything to feel timeless and elegant, with a hidden surprise that makes you say “oooo wow”. Our colour palette was deep reds, blush pinks and creamy oat with a pop of blue. We took our inspiration from the stunning Huntsham Court, which was grand and stately from the outside, a classic British manor house, but surprised you when you walked in the front door by being warm, inviting, relaxed and full of personality. Almost all 100 of our guests stayed at Huntsham Court across the full weekend, so it felt even more intimate and fun!

We wanted to make the whole weekend feel really grand, for all of those that had never experienced a classic British wedding, but we littered it with little moments and twists that made it personal; like home-made cookies and jam on peoples’ beds, drying rose petals from our garden for confetti, home brewed favours on the tables and personalised letters addressed to each guest before dinner. One of our favourite moments from the weekend was the Australia V England cricket game on the Friday which kicked off the weekend with some great laughs! At every turn, we wanted to make sure guests knew how much we appreciated them being there, and how lucky we felt to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends to help us celebrate our love.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Food – we LOVE food and felt it was the one element we wanted to go all-out on. We used an amazing catering business called Fossil Foods Catering, run by a local couple who grow a lot of the produce on their farm or source it locally. We pretty much became best friends with Kirsty and Steve through the process. They sent us a questionnaire asking us about our story, our favourite trips overseas, our go-to restaurants, how we spend our weekends, our most memorable meal and how we want people to feel when they eat our food. They took our answers and turned them into a fully bespoke menu, built just for us which followed our vision of “Classic with a Twist”. We had everything from Smoked Devon Eel with a pickled shallot on wasabi cracker to Monkfish Tail on a Fricassee of garden vegetables with chorizo accompanied by tempura samphire and a lemon balm aioli. It was incredible! Our personal favourite is a close tie between the Chargrilled peaches on Smoked mascarpone with pickled raspberries, truffled honey from our engagement night with a shortbread tuile and the midnight fossil farm pulled pork bao buns made with a spicy emulsion that blew our socks off and gave us a second wind to party late into the night! We washed it all down with a McKibbin Fizz made of homemade sloe gin, lemon syrup and elderflower presse, all home made by Theo’s mum! It was a price that we would easily pay again.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
[TM] Kate is very, very organised, so not a lot could have gone wrong and even if it did, her 19-page document would have ensured it got back on track pretty quickly (Her planner asked her to call off the wedding and marry her, the catering team asked her if she would consider planning their upcoming wedding and the photographer said she had never seen a more organised bride). However, being a history major, our getaway car was planned to be my family’s Hotchkiss M201, WWII U.S Army jeep. My Dad had especially made the journey from our family home in a non-airconditioned, speed restricted transporter for 6 hours to the wedding venue, to make sure we could drive 3 minutes from the church back up to the house. The night before the wedding I decided to take it for a spin around the car park to ensure I didn’t stall or run it off the road as we left the church. In my two laps around the car park, I broke the clutch and the Jeep was towed away. We ended up decorating our car in the end, but it would have been really special to have had the jeep.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
[KM] I found my dress by mistake! I am an Aussie, so after we got engaged I travelled back to Australia to see my family, two years before the wedding. My mum was upset that she was going to miss all the special moments especially dress shopping, so in the three days before Christmas I rushed around Sydney with her trying on dresses. I had told her that I wasn’t going to purchase a dress, and that I had my eye on a London designer but as soon as I tried on the Love Honor (renamed to Ingrid Olic) Florence gown I immediately knew I was in trouble, it was perfect! Nothing ever lived up to that dress, so after a year of shopping I realised I was going to have to fly back to Aus to pick it up, carry it through 3 airports, load it through the security scanners, stuff it into a tiny jacket space on the plane, lug it around Dubai for a 5hr stopover, explain to customs why I had a huge 7kg dress bag draped over my shaking arms… all to have my perfect dress. A few months later they started stocking the dress in London!
Another unique element was that my amazing mum, with the help of my 85 year old Nana, hand stitched my cathedral veil! She painstakingly sewed 12 meters of French lace around the delicate tulle, all whilst watching Escape to the Country.

LOCATION Huntsham Court, @huntshamcourt / PHOTOGRAPHER Rockrose Photography, @rockrose_photography / VIDEOGRAPHER Noah Werth, @noahwerthfilmphoto / ENTERTAINMENT White Velvet / FLORA Miranda Hackett Flowers, @mirandahackettflowers / CATERING & BEVERAGES Fossil Food Catering, @fossil_food_catering; Majestic / CAKE Dreams & Wishes Cake Company, @dreams_and_wishes_cakes / STATIONERY @twist.stationery / REGISTRY The Wedding Shop, @theweddingshopuk / CAKE TOPPER Artful Cake Toppers, @artfulcaketoppers / BRIDE’S ATTIRE Ingrid Olic, @ingridolicstudio; Miphai (Dancing dress) / GROOM’S ATTIRE Ede & Ravenscroft, @edeandravenscroft (Suit); Neal & Palmer, @nealandpalmer (Waistcoat) / RINGS London Diamonds, @londondiamondsofficial / SHOES Charlotte Mills, @charlottemillsshoes / MAKEUP Amy Elizabeth Makeup Artist, @amyemakeup; Lavingia Beauty, @lavingia_beauty / HAIR Hair by Hannah, @hairbyhannahuk; Gritt LDN, @gritt_london / BRIDESMAIDS’ ATTIRE Shona Joy, @shonajoy / GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE Oliver Brown, @shopoliverbrown