Somewhere over the rainbow

Colour was at the heart of Kate and Rob's vintage-themed wedding in Somerset – right down to the button bouquet and the rainbow stripes inside the cake.

The couple met in 2006 when Kate was working as a waitress in her local pub in Martock. In walked her friend Matt with a group of colleagues, including Rob. They hit it off immediately and four years later Rob proposed on a picnic at Durdle Door – Kate's favourite beach in Dorset. He had intended popping the question in London the weekend before but couldn't find the perfect place, so carried the ring around all week.

The couple started organising the wedding about two years before the big day. “I bought all the magazines the day after we got engaged,” says Kate. “They really helped me to decide on the things we did and didn't want.”

The chosen venue had special meaning for Kate, as she'd previously spent time at Haselbury Mill with her late grandparents. “It was a nice connection to have,” says Kate.

The couple both fell in love with the Great Tithe Barn, which had been added as a venue for weddings since their visit. “I started to imagine guests walking in, me walking down the aisle, decorations – we knew it was perfect,” recalls Kate. Read on as Kate shares details of the personal touches that brought their special day to life…

Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 1aI tried on about 10 dresses but kept coming back to the same one. It was really true that I just knew it was the one. It was strapless with a full skirt and covered in lace.

Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 1 My mum made what felt like miles and miles of bunting to hang up.


Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 2
The staff at the venue made us feel like we were the only couple getting married. Each time we rang up, they instantly knew the details of our wedding and that made us feel incredibly special.


Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 3aRob and his groomsmen all wore navy suits with burgundy polka dot ties

Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 3 “I'm most proud of my bouquet because it's an heirloom that I can keep.” – Kate


Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 4
My best friends, Liv, Helen and Laura were bridesmaids, and wore 1950s swing dresses with petticoats. I loved the pattern and all the girls agreed that they complemented the vintage theme.


Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 5aIncorporating the multi-coloured theme was easy. We made tissue pompoms and decided on a six-layer rainbow cake covered in hundreds and thousands. No one expected this and it was lovely to see the surprise on everyone's faces when the cake was cut.

Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 5 I collected buttons and used ones from my nanny, great nan and mum for my bouquet. I even had a button from my grandad's Navy uniform. It was lovely to have something that belonged to them so close to me on my wedding day.


Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 6
“Kate's top tip: Do what makes you happy. Accept help from others but ultimately it's your day”


Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 7aI chose a floral hair grip with a demi-veil, which added to the vintage theme. I removed the veil later in the day and kept the floral grip in.

Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 7 Rob's a graphic designer and designed the save the date, invites, orders of service and table names.


Somewhere over the rainbow: Image 8
Our first dance was quite upbeat and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to move in my wedding gown, so made a last-minute decision to buy a second ivory satin 50s swing dress.


Kate Sparrow and Rob Smith's contact book

Bride's accessories

Bride's dress
Mon Cheri

Bride's hair and make-up
Headrush, Martock
Tel: 01935 822704

Bridesmaids' dresses
Vivien of Holloway

Claire's Cakes

Groom and ushers' suits

Mother-of-the-bride outfit

Kerry Bartlett Photography

Thoughts & Drawings

Haselbury Mill

Venue styling
Chair covers