Catherine and Ben's country wedding included touches of Provençal chic and cornflower blue

It was love at first sight for Catherine Reed and Ben Ward. “We were both working at Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds; I was a waitress and Ben was the barman. As soon as he walked in for his interview, I just knew he was the one and he says he felt the same about me. We got on like a house on fire from the moment we worked our first shift together and the rest, as they say, is history,” says Catherine.

After nearly seven years together, Ben popped the question on 6th July 2014 over a romantic picnic and champagne at the Roman ruins in Windsor Great Park. “He got down on one knee like a true gent,” recalls Catherine. The wedding took two years and two months to organise and they tied the knot on 18th September, 2016 at Chippenham Park in Cambridgeshire.

Here Catherine tells us all about their big day...

Ooh la la: Image 1
The Georgian architecture at Chippenham Park, the vast gardens, lakes and getting married in a little clearing down by the river were all magical.


Ooh la la: Image 2aOur Maltese dog Button was an honorary member of the wedding party. She certainly looked the part on the day and was very well behaved.

Ooh la la: Image 2 We stayed by the river with our guests and had Pimm's, surrounded by roses, with harp music playing in the background.


Ooh la la: Image 3
My Ava gown was made by hand so it fitted me perfectly. I wanted a French style that was elegant and light so I wouldn't feel restricted on the day but could dance and have fun without worrying.


Ooh la la: Image 4aI wanted my wedding blooms to not only tie in with our theme and reflect the gorgeous wildflower fields in Provence, but to also add fragrance and colour to the day.

Ooh la la: Image 4 I chose a very unusual, 1940s-style bouquet. It was styled on my nanny's and was so big I had to hold it with two hands. It was stunning and included wildflowers, herbs, eucalyptus and roses.


Ooh la la: Image 5
The men wore navy blue slim-fit tailored suits and Ben stood out from the groomsmen with an ivory waistcoat.


Ooh la la: Image 6aMy bridesmaids looked gorgeous in cornflower blue, chiffon dresses with lace tops. They carried posies of wildflowers with mint and fresh herbs which smelt amazing.

Ooh la la: Image 6 Ben, his best man and pageboy travelled to the venue in a Hummer Pullman Cabriolet car, which he said was 'awesome'.


Ooh la la: Image 7
Eucalyptus decorated the reception marquee, with flowers and cherry blossom trees dotted all around. Candelabra, hanging lights and homemade wooden tea light holders finished off the look.


Ooh la la: Image 8aBen made his own sloe gin for the favours and we had macarons too to fit with the French theme.

Ooh la la: Image 8 The cake was decorated with soft, pastel blue icing embossed with a floral lace effect – very French. It tasted amazing too; we served it as dessert with cassis cream and summer berries.


Ooh la la: Image 9
Ben's relatives and guests met at his family home and travelled in a vintage bus to the wedding.


Ooh la la: Image 10aWe named the tables after places we've been to including Sydney, Monaco, Dubai, Bangkok, Barcelona, Queenstown and Sharm El Sheikh

Ooh la la: Image 10 Ben and I have always loved travelling; on our third date we booked one-way tickets to New Zealand and ended up living there for a year!


Ooh la la: Image 11
The Jackpots were amazing. They came dressed for the part and the dancefloor was packed with everyone dancing and having a good time.


Catherine and Ben's contact book

The Jackpots

Bride and mother-of-the-bride's hair

Bride's dress & mother-of-the-bride outfit
Melanie Potro

Bridesmaids' dresses
For Her and For Him

Bridesmaids' hair
Bombshell Hair & Beauty

Amazing Cakes by Jean

Crown Catering

Wild Poppy Flowers

Groom and groomsmen's suits
Greenwoods Menswear, Bury St Edmunds

Groom's car
Aye Deneaux

Guests' transport
Jan's Coaches

Geraldine McMahon

Helen Griffin Photography

Chippenham Park

Vintage coach

Wedding night and guest accommodation
The Riverside House Hotel, Mildenhall


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