It’s been a few weeks since The Great Thrapston Wedding Challenge came to its conclusion, and what a day we had!
A year of planning saw us try to use as many Thrapston businesses as we could, our challenge was ‘Anything we buy for the wedding MUST come from Thrapston’.
Why do that? You may ask… In running the Facebook page Welcome to Thrapston we come across people who say “There’s nothing in Thrapston, it’s a dead town” and we wanted to prove them wrong. We love the vibrant little town we chose to make our home and enjoyed using local companies very much.
Our story began in Tasty Bite Thrapston. Owner, Sarah Whiteside was only too delighted to accommodate our wishes. We married in TBT courtyard garden and our reception was an afternoon tea party in the café itself. The Tasty Bite Café is one of the rare remaining cast iron fronted Victorian buildings in the UK, and is a listed building. We loved the fact it had a good history behind it (with the painting behind the counter, we even had Miss Goss at the wedding who we’re sure many of you know!)
On the morning of our wedding, we’d decorated the garden and inside Tasty Bite with hanging hearts, rose garlands, jam jars with flowers and ribbons. The ribbons were bought for us my Lindsey Burch who’d followed the story and enjoyed our updates on Welcome to Thrapston. The hanging flowers and lanterns we had bought from AmbaScarlett, a little company that sells from the shelves in Tasty Bite!
Sarah planned our wedding banquet, I was able to have some tastings beforehand but all the work fell onto Sarah and her team. Our guests gave them a resounding cheer and all said they would return at their soonest opportunity to Tasty Bite Thrapston.
One of our guests is gluten free and Sarah organised with Farmer’s Market regular DonnaLulu Cooks a platter especially for her…. Michelle is a social media guru and proceeded to Instagram and Tweet her DonnaLulu Cooks plate of goodies as she was so impressed!
Our wedding was carried out by Danetree Ceremonies. Rachel of Danetree Ceremonies worked very closely with us to plan our bespoke ceremony. We wrote our own vows with her help and even had a vow for the wedding guest to say I DO to. It was such a personal ceremony, using Danetree as our wedding celebrant was the right choice.
Walking down the ‘aisle’ in the courtyard garden I wore my Gowns & Garters ‘Sorella Vita’ gown. The ladies in Gowns & Garters were amazing, they recommended the size of gown to order. I was a size 16 at the time (well 18 and in denial actually!) so they ordered a size 16 dress. Both knew I planned to diet but said how it was easier to take a dress in than let one out and having my real size meant I was under no pressure to diet.
By the time the dress arrived I’d had a few sessions with Caroline at Inspired to Change Hypnotherapy to understand more about my weight gain. I’d used her CD each evening and it had begun to work……
I then joined Jo Leeson at Slimming World Thrapston. Gowns & Garters wrote to ask me to book a try on session so that any alterations could be made and Julie performed absolute magic turning a size 16 dress into a made to measure 12, removing 5 inches from the dress but still keeping the lines and shape of the dress, no one would ever know it had been altered – again I was seeing an expert at work in Thrapston!
I had planned to look in Frocks for my dress too, but fell in love with the Sorella Vita one, so I recommended Frocks to Mother of the Groom and my Best Woman, and even some of the guests, who all popped in to have a look and try on some suitable attire. The service they received in Frocks they loved! Advice on style and suitability, with just the right amount of ‘leaving you to try and decide’ were all comments we received about them.
On our special day I carried a gorgeous bouquet of pink and burgundy roses. Florae Foray a freelance florist on Huntingdon Road made the button holes and bouquet. They often to the window dressings in Frocks too. Becky knows her stuff! She used Pinterest to recommend various roses plus Stocks and St John’s Wort berries for me to comment on and choose from, telling me the various costs of each one. I ended up with the most beautiful bouquet, which smelled divine and was within budget. I was so sad when it eventually died.
Our wedding favours were little bags of sweets. The fabric was bought from Inspired Interiors on Thrapston High Street, they were made by Rachel at Bygone Days and filled with handmade sweets made by Dave Paiyne at Keraiyne Sweets, now sadly passed away.
Two little girls were at our wedding aged 7 and 10 and so Charlotte at Jollys Toys & Games put together a fabulous gift bag for each of them so boredom was never an issue as the adults were chatting!
Before the wedding we had spoken to Simpsons – the local estate agents about using their cars to drive me and my bridesmaids to the wedding from The Bridge Hotel where we’d got married.
We wanted something funky and different, so they ribboned up their Fiat 500’s and they even provided a photographer – it made everyone smile!
Shopping for the wedding ring was of course at Victoria’s Emporium and each time I look at it I recall our special day and my experience in her shop. The advice given was great, Victoria took so much time going through all the options, ensuring we were in budget but had the look I wanted – My ring was made for me and I truly love it.
…and of course, the surprise for my groom was his Star Trek Wedding Cake from Cindy Alderman Cake Design!
We did have an emergency on the day, as no wedding is complete without an emergency is it? My sister in law was doing my hair on the day, plus the flower girl and my sister’s hair. The Sunday before her sciatic nerve got trapped and the poor lamb was in agony. We all had a bit of a panic, but most importantly we ensured she could get to the wedding! I rang Sue from Flair by Sue at home on the Monday (knowing they were closed but in a panic) Apologising profusely for calling her at home. Sue simply said that she could not see the diary until Tuesday ( I needed the appointment on the Wednesday) but rest assured they would fit us all in, no matter what, they would fit us in and not to worry a second longer. Using local businesses and getting to know everyone really does mean better service – what chain of hairdressers would say that – and on their day off….?
The girls and I all got ready in The Bridge Hotel and our poorly hairdresser did manage to do my hair in the end, Thrapston mobile hairdresser Jasmine York stepped up to the mark to do my sisters hair.
We completed our wedding day at The Bridge Hotel. We all walked from Tasty Bite across Thrapston (seeing a few friends to wave to along the way!) to The Bridge Hotel, where it was such a warm evening we sat outside chatting and laughing into the night.
Our day was so special. We’ve got to know so many Thrapston businesses throughout our year working on our day, no one can ever say “There is nothing in Thrapston” we’d always say ‘You just have to look’. The service we received from every local business was so much better than using a faceless chain of shops plus the cost was no more using smaller businesses and in some cases less.