Katie and Joe Stammers first met at University in Scarborough, when, like every good Disney film, fate put them together …
Katie: I first saw Joe watching The Little Mermaid in our first-year house – what a catch! Seven years later, at one of our favourite Scarborough spots on Christmas morning, Joe got on one knee and popped the question.
Joe: A Church wedding was a must, but early into our engagement we went to a wedding at Grinkle Park in North Yorkshire for a friends wedding. That venue played on my mind a lot before we even started getting into the swing of it all. We wanted a relaxed family atmosphere, as family is what getting married is all about. No matter where we looked around, I always found myself comparing them to the wedding we’d been to at Grinkle. The experience we had as guests was 10/10, from service to organisation to staff. The relaxed atmosphere I experienced on that day really appealed to me, so when we met with Richard the General Manager, I was sold. He put us at ease, made everything very clear to us, and even helped give us advice on the whole day, but always ensuring it was what we wanted. He even allowed us to run the meal as we wanted – there was no formal 3-course meal. Canapés were our starter during the photographs, the main meal came before speeches and dessert was an afternoon tea of cakes and pastries for guest to have at their leisure. That really helped break the day up and stopped everyone being sat down for long periods of time. He ensured that it was the most personal wedding we could have – which was perfect for us.
Katie: I’ve never been one of these girls who plans their wedding day from a young age, but once we started thinking about it, the most important thing for us was for it to be a relaxed day full of family, friends and fun. I wanted some traditional elements, starting with being married in my Parish Church (Sacred Heart Church, Redcar), where both my Mam and Grandma got married. In terms of look, I wanted a vintage feel, with subtle colours. Grinkle has always had lots of lovely memories for me, as family and close friends have been married there, and when we were looking for a venue, we really wanted somewhere with a homely feel. From the moment we stepped inside, we knew it was the place for us. We immediately felt at home – there was no pressure to fit in with a package. We couldn’t have chosen better – all the staff made our day seamless!
Katie: Pinterest gave us some lovely ideas, but we came up with some really original ideas that suited us as a couple and reflected our personality.
Joe: I found that a lot of our ideas came from weddings we’d been to. I knew that I wanted to have some subtle nods to our interests throughout the day, like involving all our families and friends as more than just a guest. I stole an idea from my Cousins wedding – to have everyone’s wedding pictures around the venue. A lot of people really liked that. The Disney table placements were popular too!
Katie: We had a homemade approach to the day – thanks to my creative bunch of friends and even the children at school! My maid of honour made reams of bunting, I put together the essentials for the ladies and gents restrooms – you never know when you’re going to need a bit of hairspray! And the children from my class wrote gorgeous messages for our guests to read at their tables. Our favours were a CD of all our favourite songs from our wedding, burnt onto a mini-vinyl.
Joe: A few things I really enjoyed making were the chalkboards and the signs leading through the Hotels grounds. We used some floor boards from my old room at my Mum and Dads house to make the signs. My dad and I then put them together and painted them. My absolute favourite though was our wedding guestbook stand, which my Dad made and surprised us with – Kat didn’t even see it until the day! He knew we were struggling to subtly include Disney into our day, so he turned some wood into a life-size Lumiere from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast with a sign saying Be Our Guest. We’ve still got it in our hall now!
Joe: Josh, my best man and brother, told me that she looked beautiful as she came through the door of the Church on the day. I didn’t respond, I just smiled and kept my eyes locked on her. I remember thinking how happy I was at that moment – she was literally glowing – and I couldn’t believe that I was the lucky guy she was walking to. I’ll never forget it.
Katie: I can remember having the biggest smile on my face as I saw Joe. I didn’t feel nervous, just overwhelmed seeing all our loved ones out of the corner of my eye. I took my time walking down the aisle to take it all in.
The First Dance
Katie: After a lot of practising at home to songs we love, we quickly found out that a slow four-minute song is more like 10 minutes of awkwardness. Our first dance was actually a song we used to dance to in our first year of Uni – McFly’s ‘It’s All About You’, so it had more meaning to us than any of the others.
Joe: I really wanted to do a performance first dance, but as we got closer to the day, we ran out of time to rehearse anything. Kat remembered how we used to act in our first year of Uni – we used to sing and dance in the kitchen while we cooked together, one of the songs being McFly’s. We played it and that was it – sold! It created good memories, it wasn’t too slow, and I could bust a move if I wanted (which I did!).
Ceremony Venue – Sacred Heart Church, Redcar
Reception Venue – Grinkle Park
Photography – Diamond Photography