Of all the places to meet your husband-to-be, a bowling alley may seem an unlikely setting, but for Kayleigh and Dan, it was a definite strike! “I was with my friend Laura, and Dan was with a couple of his mates. One of them invited us over to play, we got talking and made plans to meet them again the following week. Dan asked me on a date to the cinema when we decided to meet up for a third time,” remembers Kayleigh.
After dating for more than eight years, Dan's romantic proposal took Kayleigh by complete surprise. “He went for a run one morning on Monkstone Beach and I'd said I'd meet him there when he was done. Monkstone is my favourite beach and we spend a lot of our summer weekends there. It's a very secluded spot which can only be accessed by walking down steps along the cliff face. I rounded a bend on the way down and when the beach came into view, I saw he had written 'Kay, you're my world. Marry me?' in the sand. When I turned around he was there on one knee. It was very romantic,” she says.
The big day took 15 months to organise and here, Kayleigh tells us more...
I tried on 42 dresses before finding the one. I told the assistant at Brides of Solihull what I wanted and she said she had just the thing. Back she came with what was close to my perfect dress. We stood in front of a mirror, added capped sleeves and extra beaded detail on the back and, hey presto, there it was at last!
I was really happy with my make-up. I wanted to look quite natural, with soft pink tones and emphasis on the eyes.
I really didn't want traditional bridesmaid dresses. The girls are all different shapes so I was keen on them wearing what would suit them – something they'd be comfortable in.
We told the florist about our countryside tipi wedding and took pictures of types of bouquets I liked. We wanted small flowers, not all uniform and perfect looking, but more rustic and meadowy - they were beautiful.
Neither of us are religious so, for us, a humanist ceremony was the best way to go. Our guests loved the group blessing we had at the end of the nuptials where all of our family and friends were involved.
As a surprise for Dan I hired a magician. He was a massive hit, entertaining our friends and family, getting people talking and mingling, whilst we were off having our photos taken.
One of our very talented friends made our wedding cake. We just wanted a single tier lemon cake to cut on the day. My new sister-in-law made loads of cupcakes for people to have instead of a traditional wedding cake.
We made three huge willow hearts to decorate the tipi. We soaked willow for a week, then it took hours to weave each one, but they looked excellent and filled the spaces perfectly. We brought and decorated small hearts to hang all around the tipi, which also looked lovely.
Brides of Solihull
Veils by Roxanne
Choc hog catering
Little Britaly (stone pizza oven)
Sebastian Hunt (magician)
Jamie Knight (acoustic singer)
Aura Dance Studios (dance instructors)
Junction 7 (Band)
Whoops a daisy
Groom and ushers' suits
The letter loft
When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention County Wedding Magazines when making any enquiries.