September Celebrations at Cain Manor for Katy and Mills

The romantic wedding story of Katy and Mills who tied the knot at Cain Manor on a sunny September afternoon in 2018. 

The bride and groom in the gardens at Cain Manor in Hampshire

Katy and Mills: A Love Story 

It started in September 2009 when Katy started her first 'real' job at a marketing practice, where Mills was already working as an Account Manager. Every Friday night they would go for drinks at the pub over the road and as time went on, they started to make a habit of being the last two left in the pub! As the weeks passed, Mills and Katy got to know one another better and Mills would regularly offer to make Katy cups of tea at work, even though she sat at the opposite end of the office. In December 2009 Mills somehow managed to choose Katy in their office Secret Santa. Everyone else received chocolate, alcohol and other generic gifts, but Katy received a 'Southeast Asia on a Shoestring' book. She was going to Southeast Asia in a few months’ time so knew whoever had got it for her had thought hard about it. She somehow discovered it was Mills and knew that this was the start of something special...and the rest, they say, is history.

Via word of mouth, Katy had heard that Mills was going to propose so was excited inside for months and months, until eventually, on a mini-break to London and on a Thames River Cruise, Mills finally popped the question with the most beautiful ring he’d chosen himself. Katy was completely speechless and burst in to tears before saying ‘yes’ quite a few minutes later. 

A tall navy blue wedding cake at Cain Manor
Twinkling fairy lights in the ceremony room at Cain Manor

Searching for a Local Wedding Venue 

Shortly after the proposal, Mills was accepted onto a course to become a commercial pilot which would involve him spending almost 10 months in New Zealand. Whilst this was fantastic news, it did mean that the couple had to make sure he was back in the country for their wedding and therefore decided it was best to wait, and book a wedding date for 2 years in advance. 

Katy had secretly decided she wanted to get married at Cain Manor about 3 years before her engagement. She had friends that were getting married and started to dream about getting married herself.  Browsing around online at different venues she discovered Cain Manor which looked so cosy and intimate, with the added bonus of the barn-style country house wedding venue being less than 15 minutes from where the couple live in the Surrey market town of Farnham. As soon as Katy showed Mills Cain Manor, (after their engagement) much to her relief, he fell in love with it too. The couple booked a visit to look around the venue and weren’t disappointed - it was exactly as they had imagined and knew they wanted to secure a date. The couple did compare Cain Manor to a handful of local venues, just make sure that we were happy with their decision; no other venue came close. The staff at Cain Manor were so professional and as someone who likes things to be super organised, Katy knew that The Bijou Team would take care of everything. The couple found the online planner was especially helpful during the run up to the big day.

Hand-made Wedding Stationery 

Creative Katy decided to design the couple’s wedding logo and make all of their wedding stationery, including save the dates, invitations, order of the day booklets, personalised menus, colouring pages for the kids, advice cards to go in the guest book, the cover of the guestbook, the table plan and the thank you cards. They even had a stamp made of their wedding logo so we could put it on the back of the invitation envelopes.

Wedding Fashion, Hair and Beauty

As Mills was in New Zealand for almost 10 months and wouldn’t be able to come home during this time, Katy inevitably decided to go out and visit him, taking her Mum in tow. She had spent at least 6 months looking for wedding dresses in the UK and so far hadn’t found ‘the one’ and was starting to get frustrated by the whole thing. Before she went out to New Zealand she had been doing a lot of searching around on Pinterest and discovered a designer called Rue de Seine, which seemed to have lots of unusual, boho style dresses. After going on the Rue de Seine website she discovered that their flagship store was in Auckland, the first place she was visiting on our trip. It felt like fate and Katy was really excited! She managed to book an appointment at the store and after trying a few dresses, she discovered the ‘Hunter’ gown. The bride-to-be totally fell in love with it because it was so different to anything she’d seen or tried before and it made her feel like something out of a fairytale. “The lace was beautiful and the material was so lightweight compared to some of the stiff dresses I’d tried on previously. Furthermore, it came from the country where Mills was living at the time and I felt like that made it extra special” explained Katy. 

Katy invited friends of 15 years to be bridesmaids and another friend who she’d known since childhood to be her Maid of Honour. Their light grey, floor length dresses came in two different styles from Monsoon which was ideal; this meant that each bridesmaid felt comfortable. The grooms’ party wore matching navy suits from M&S, made famous by Gareth Southgate and the 2018 World Cup England Football Team. 

The Big Day: Friday 21st September, 2018

The bride and her party arrived at Cain Manor at 11am so that they could enjoy getting ready together in the bridal suite ahead of the wedding. The girls had their hair and makeup done and spent time giggling and getting excited for the big event. Wedding decor specialists Party Lights added a touch of sparkle to The Music Room and wedding photographer Paul Fletcher was on hand to capture every moment. Katy’s father walked her down the aisle in The Music Room at Cain Manor at 1:30pm, to the sounds of Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol played on the harp by Bijou Partner Hayley Wild. During the ceremony, two friends read readings and the couple were showered with confetti as they exited the venue doors out on to the patio over looking the wonderful Surrey countryside. A wonderful selection of canapés were served along side celebratory Prosecco, and included an indulgent fillet of South Downs lamb served on a rosemary skewer, Thai fishcakes with red pepper and mango salsa, Asian marinated chicken with pine nut satay, coriander and mint and more…

After romantic wedding photography under the September sun, and mingling with their 93 wedding guests, the newlywed couple and the wedding party moved back in to The Music Room which had been beautifully decorated for a three course feast! 11 round reception tables were decorated with a brass hexagonal lantern surrounded by a floral wreath. Each name place was wooden and hand-made soaps were laid on place settings as favours. 

Wedding Banquet Menu

Starter: Peat-smoked salmon, pea shoots & beetroot with charlotte potato salad & edible flowers 
Main Course: Slow braised sticky Hampshire beef with creamed parsnip mash, root vegetable crisps and olivette carrots 
Dessert: Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce, glazed pecans and mascarpone ice cream 

Once the sumptous banquet and emotional speeches had come to an end, guests mingled in The Library and an additional 39 guests joined the wedding party for an evening full of dancing and celebrating back in The Music Room. The couple had done plenty of wedding band research ahead of their wedding and booked Festival Sons, who didn’t disappoint. The couple danced their first dance to ‘You are the Reason’ by Calum Scott. 

Katy and Mills celebrated their marriage by going on a minimoon directly after their wedding, but are planning a larger honeymoon to Botswana for later in the year. 

Bride – Most Memorable Part of the Day

“Just before I walked down the aisle, my maid of honour gave me a gold bracelet as my ‘something borrowed’ which belonged to her grandmother. Half way through the wedding breakfast I realised that the bracelet was no longer on my wrist. I started to panic but didn’t want to draw attention to it too much. We asked the staff at Cain Manor if they could take a look around the venue and thankfully they found it on the floor outside – I was so relieved!”

Groom – Most Memorable part of the Day

“One of the most memorable things for me was the moment I realised I’d forgotten my trousers! Fortunately, one of the groomsmen was very similar in size so I was able to wear those instead.” 


Katy and Mills’s Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Cain Manor 
Wedding Photographer: Paul Fletcher Photography
Harpist: Hayley Wild
Wedding Dress Designer: ‘Hunter’ by Rue de Seine
Wedding Florist: Lavender Hill
Wedding Hair: Natalie Baker 
Wedding Makeup: Kate Sheldon 
Bridesmaids Dresses: Monsoon
Groomswear: M&S
Fairy Lights: Party Lights
Wedding Cake Designer: Audrey Graham-Bolt
Wedding Band: Festival Sons
Wedding Gift List: Prezola Honeymoon Fund 
Wedding Insurance: Dreamsavers
Wedding Videographer: Dom Balls Productions Limited

Cain Manor near Farnham in Surrey was the wedding venue chosen by Katy and Mills
Beautiful country house grounds at Cain Manor
The bride wore her hair down for her Cain Manor wedding
Hunter by Rue de Seine wedding dress designer
Preparing for the 1:30pm wedding in the barn style bridal suite
The groom preparing for the wedding at Cain Manor in Hampshire
Bridal preparations in the bridal suite at Cain Manor
The bridesmaids wore mix-match grey dresses from Monsoon
A thistle decorating a chiavari wedding chair at Cain Manor
Floral decor on the registrars table at Cain Manor
The groom chatting to his Best Man before the wedding ceremony
Harpist Hayley Wild can perform at Cain Manor in Hampshire
Page boys walking down the aisle at Cain Manor
The start of the wedding ceremony at Cain Manor
The bride walking down the aisle at the barn wedding venue in Hampshire
The bride and groom about to exchange vows at Cain Manor
The bride and groom exchanging wedding vows at Cain Manor
The Music Room offers barn style features at Cain Manor in Hampshire
The bride and groom having their first kiss as husband and wife at Cain Manor
Fairy lights at Cain Manor by Party Lights
Signing the register at Cain Manor in Hampshire
Barn style wedding venue in Hampshire near the Surrey border
Walking back down the aisle as a married couple
The bride and groom having confetti tossed on them at Cain Manor
The groom wore a navy suite from M&S
A tray of canapés for the bride and groom to enjoy at Cain Manor
Canapés served at the barn wedding venue in Hampshire, Cain Manor
Thai fish cake canapés served at Cain Manor wedding receptions
South Downs lamb on a rosemary skewer as a Cain Manor canapé
Cain Manor offers plenty of outdoor space for a drinks reception
Cain Manor offers wonderful gardens with far-stretching views
Geometric table centrepieces with a floral theme
Gold personalised wedding table place names
The full wedding party in the garden at Cain Manor in Hampshire
A personalised wedding table plan with gold and floral detail
Pretty floral wedding reception tables at Cain Manor in Hampshire
The bride and groom invited 93 guests for the wedding day at Cain Manor
Cain Manor offers glorious gardens for perfect wedding photography
The bride and groom having fun playing in the meadow at Cain Manor
The bride and groom spending time alone together at Cain Manor
The three course wedding banquet is served
Smoked salmon starter with edible flowers
93 guests enjoy the wedding breakfast at Cain Manor
Cain Manor is a luxury barn wedding venue on the Hampshire border
Wedding decor specialists Party Lights designed the lighting for the day
The couple chose to serve beef as the main course at their wedding in Hampshire
Toasting the bride and groom at Cain Manor
The couple enjoying the sunset at Cain Manor
The grounds and gardens at Cain Manor in Hampshire
The couple enjoying the country garden grounds at Cain Manor
Guests enjoying giant garden games at Cain Manor
The groom with his best man and ushers in the country house gardens
Bridesmaids approaching the groom's party
The bridal party with Cain Manor behind them
A lovely shot of the bride with her bridesmaids in the country gardens at Cain Manor
The beautiful country gardens at Cain Manor in Hampshire
Cutting the cake in the Music Room at Cain Manor
The couple dancing their first dance to a romantic Calum Scott song
The bride and groom celebrating their wedding with all their guests