Our REAL bride and groom Ruby and Philip Hainsby from St Neots have kindly answered our questions about their wedding planning process including tips and highlights. It’s so helpful to hear what REAL local couples learnt through the wedding planning process and what they felt was the best way to spend their wedding budget. Use your wedding to express yourself, book your venue and suppliers early, and spend your honeymoon on a real adventure, are just some of the great tips that Ruby and Philip share with us.
See what you can learn from their wedding planning experience!
All great weddings start with a great engagement, what was your engagement story?
Back in October 2015, we were staying in a cottage on the Isle of Seil, western Scotland. One night Phil asked if I would turn off the TV, I replied “no I’m watching Strictly”, unaware to me that Phil was wanting to propose. Soon after it finished (and whilst Phil pretended to do some washing up in the kitchen as he was so nervous) he asked me to close my eyes…I opened them again and there he was kneeling down on one knee with a ring asking me to marry him. After me asking “are you joking?” and crying like an emotional wreck it was followed by a big resounding “YES”. The plan was to wait till we walked to the peak of the mountain behind our cottage, but he couldn’t wait that long.
When was your big day?
We got married on the 11th November 2017 at Bassmead Manor Barns.
Did you have a wedding theme?
The Highlands Countryside, Scotland – as we go on holiday there at least once a year
How long did you plan your wedding for?
2 years, I initially booked all the suppliers within the first 3 months, did nothing for a year – then the rest followed in the final 6 months. My Wedding Dress was made and in the shop 15 months before we got married!
What was your wedding budget?
What were the best things you spent money on for your wedding?
Our Photographer Nicki (Nicki Shea Photography), she made us feel so comfortable and at ease throughout the entire day. Helped keep myself, the bride, calm and the groomsman in check as the day went on. She’s not just a photographer, but a person you can rely on. At the end of the day, your photographer will help capture the intimate moments of the most important day of your life as a couple, so make sure you choose right person as it shows in the photos if you aren't comfortable.
I hate shopping, as a woman I know this is a sin. However, the ladies at Honeys Bridals in St. Ives made it one of my favourite moments of planning a wedding. Michelle Honey, the owner and her team made what we spent there worth every single penny. I recommend any future bride to pay a visit, I guarantee it will be worth it
Everyone loves a photo booth, the team at Prop and Pose Entertainment did an amazing job – it also keeps the little ones happy in the evening when the oldy music is on!
Who were your local wedding suppliers?
Anything but Ordinary Cakes based in St. Neots.
Flowers by Sanchia based in St. Neots.
Home grown/made by myself the bride and my Mum
Pallet guest board
Our fern centre piece
Scottish tablet fudge favours
Where did you go on Honeymoon?
We went to Borneo for a 10 day Wildlife Adventure Tour followed by a few days relaxing on the beach, you only get married once, do something adventurous.
What’s the best advice you can give other REAL brides as they plan their wedding?
Get all your SUPPLIERS BOOKED FIRST THING, you then have more choice as they are almost all available and you’ll stand more chance of being guaranteed their prices for that period.
I planned my whole wedding using an APP CALLED ‘Trello’, this allows you to make projects – so for e.g. ‘Confirm Photo Line-up to Photographer’ or ‘Send Payments to Suppliers’. You’re then able to assign checklists, deadlines, images, add family members etc – the modern alternate to spreadsheets and paper planners I guess!
Try and time it so you can BUY WEDDING STATIONARY ON SALE DAYS like Black Friday or the Christmas Clearance, I got our Save the Dates for a bargain on Cyber Monday.
If you can GET INTO YOUR VENUE IN ADVANCE TO SET UP, do it! Luckily for me, but unluckily for someone else, the wedding on the day before was cancelled, giving us time to set up the night before. I couldn’t imagine doing what we did in the morning, so allow extra time where you can so you can relax before the ceremony
All the decisions we made at our wedding were RELEVANT TO ME AND PHIL AS A COUPLE. The groomsman transport vehicle was a Jeep, our cake was also a homage to this with an off-road tyre splatting chocolate up our white tiered cake. As well as the theme, table names and entertainment throughout the day – this is your chance to celebrate who you both are, don’t base it on what would look good or what’s on trend just to please your guests.
GET THE HUBBY INVOLVED, he may not appear interested – but secretly they are waiting to be asked. I asked Phil the regular question ‘you have option A, B or C’ for many aspects of the wedding, it then becomes something you both made a decision on together
Thank you so much for sharing your wedding planning advice with us Ruby! It is so helpful to hear from someone who has navigated the process and learnt so many helpful tips on ways to make your day run smoothly and the whole process fun and relaxing. We wish you and Philip a long lifetime of happiness together!
To find out more about the wedding suppliers in the four counties, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Cambringshire, be sure to come to our next WEDDING PLANNING PARTY in May where you will get to experience the suppliers in action and see their talents for yourself! Of course with a glass of bubbly in hand and a mini make over! Sign up on our facebook page or at Engageweddings.co.uk/party.