We were delighted to be contacted by Hilary Binns from Binns Photography. Hilary had recently been a part of Bryan and Karl's big day and wanted to share their story with us. Hilary also runs a wedding blog with some very interesting posts!
It just so happens that, the venue in which the boys celebrated their big day, is also one of our "Gay Friendly Venues" - The Elephant in Pangbourne.
Hilary, kindly, interviewed the boys as you will read below. Sounds like an amazing day was had by all...
“Bryan and Karl got married at The Elephant in Pangbourne in July of last year. They were determined to make their day all about them and the venue lent itself beautifully to this. Their dog Doreen was a star feature throughout the afternoon, with her cute sunflower collar to match the theme running through the day. The whole day was so relaxed and informal and made their guests feel at ease. Every detail had their personality all over it, from their hand-made suits with matching custom converse, the quirky over of service for the day, to the rainbow cake and drag queen DJ in the evening. But let Bryan tell us more about it….”
Tell us about how you met..
"We met through a internet dating website and they met up in person on New Year’s Day 2011. I had had a very heavy night celebrating NYE and worse a little worse for wear and initial said no to meeting that day. Fortunately, the hangover wore off and a spur of the moment date was organised at The Moderation, a Thai-fusion gastropub located in Reading."
And the proposal...
"Karl took me to France for his birthday and booked a lovely spa-hotel on the beach in Le Touquet. Karl asked me to take a walk along the beach, as he planned to propose on the sand in a more private area. There was a lot of people on the beach and Karl wanted to walk a bit further along. However, I was getting increasingly frustrated at walking on the sand and wanted to head up to the footpath. This of course would have spoiled the romantic scenario that Karl had laid out in his head and was encouraging me to carry on the course. Eventually I had enough of sand and told Karl so in no uncertain terms and promptly turned up towards the foot path. Karl raced after me and quickly blurted out a proposal. This is where the versions differ. Karl believes that I said yes and snatched the ring out of the box before he had a chance to finish the proposal whereas my recollection of events was that I was far more calm and composed in my approval of the proposal."
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
"We both agree the speeches were the best part of the wedding. Both best men and the grooms made a speech each. They were fairly brief but they all got a lot of laughs and a lot of tears."
What attracted you to your venue?
"The Elephant, in Pangbourne, was the first and only venue we saw. As soon as we saw it we knew it was perfect. It has a unique décor with a British Colonial Indian influence throughout which sets it out from a typical English hotel/pub but it is subtle enough to not be garish or overwhelming. Like most couples we wanted our wedding to have an individual feel to it and not feel like a carbon copy of every other wedding we have ever been to. Also the beer garden is exceptional. We knew that if we managed to get a sunny day then the beer garden would make the wedding, and we were right! The guests spent most of the time outside in the beer garden drinking and socialising until late in the evening."
Is there anything about your day that you would change?
"The day far exceeded both our expectations, it really was the greatest day of our lives. If I could change anything though I would have like to be slightly less nervous when I walked up the aisle. Apparently I walked so fast up the aisle none of the guests had time to take a picture of me. Karl would have liked to have practiced our first dance routine more as we had a couple of missteps. No one appeared to notice but we did feel moderately embarrassed at the time."
What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding?
"From a practical viewpoint I would strongly advise registering on Pinterest and plagiarising all the amazing wedding ideas from people around the world. I got pretty much all my ideas from that site. From an emotional viewpoint accept that you are never going to be able to invite everyone you want. A smaller guest list with people that you really care about is going to make a far better day than having a larger guest list filled with people you are only moderately interested in."
What was the best piece of advice you received about married life?
"An article online said that married couples should remember that just because they love each other they should allow themselves to not like each other at times. It easy to get caught up in the happy ever after myth where married couples are expected to be in marital bliss forever more. There are times when Karl irritates me and vice versa but it is usually only temporary and for fairly minor things. After reading that I felt less guilty about being irritated at his need to drive faster than makes me comfortable and him being annoyed at my inability to clean up after myself. Of course if you are permanently enraged at your other half then perhaps a trip to couples counselling is in order."
If you can also give me a list of your suppliers that would be awesome.
Our wedding decorator was Claire Cole from Ambience Berkshire. She was also the wedding planner at the Elephant which helped things go smoothly. In fact, the entire team at the Elephant were friendly, flexible and a pleasure to deal with. We had a local magician to entertain the guests for a couple of hours between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, Iain Bailey. He as fantastic and it was also great for reaction shots for the photographer.
We hired a photo-booth for the reception from Trigger-Happy.co.uk which provided props and wigs for people to use for suitably ridiculous pictures.
There was a lot of smaller bits and pieces that we got through eBay and Etsy. The beautiful rainbow cake was made by Karl’s Aunty Anita and the cake topper was made to order through Etsy at AsiaWorld. This was created in Vietnam and sent over within a few weeks. They were very particular about details and colours and the cake topper was one of my weddings favourite features.
Our suits were made by the incredibly talented Carol, from Suit the City www.suitthecity.com. She spent a couple of afternoons with us going through the different designs, colours and fabrics. She has locations in High Wycombe and Savile Row. We got the idea for the yellow Converse shoes with a suit from Pinterest and Carol made the idea a reality.
The team at Pink Wedding Venues would like to say "Thank-you" to Hilary for taking the time to provide us with this, fabulous, contribution.
We would also like to say a HUGE "CONGRATULATIONS" to Bryan and Karl - it looks like you both had an amazing day and we wish you all the happiness, in the world, for your future together... x
If you would like to see more of Hilary's work or get in touch with her, she can be found here:-
Hilary's Website: www.binnsphoto.co.uk
Hilary's Blog: www.hilarybinnsblog.co.uk
Hilary's Facebook Page: Binns Photography
Hilary's also on Twitter: @binnsphoto
Or, simply give her a call! - 07769 775344 - I think you'll agree, she's taken some cracking shots! x