WHEN it comes to magical moments, Karen and Ian Farrar created them in abundance when they married and became husband and wife.
The happy couple, who live in Great Sankey, said yes to family and friends at Hayloft in Widnes before taking the stage to perform a duet together and kick off the evening entertainment.
Here, Karen, 47, and Ian, 46, tell us their wedding story, in their own words.
When and how did you meet?
Karen: We met on Ian’s birthday at Stockton Heath in August 2016, with a group of friends in The Slug and Lettuce. Ian told me to bring the drinks!
What did you think of each other when you first met?
Karen: The main thing that struck us both right away was our common sense of fun and humor and even now it’s still one of the foundations that makes us strong. We’re both great at cracking jokes and handing out jokes, but more importantly, we can both laugh at ourselves and not take each other too seriously.
Where and when did you get engaged?
Ian: We got engaged on February 15, 2020 at The Botanist in Warrington. Karen had seen a Facebook post from The Botanist offering free love heart candy on Valentine’s Day, so I booked a table. During the meal, I went to ask about the free love hearts and Karen didn’t know that was all part of the plan. When I came back, I said they had some with Karen and I managed to persuade her to keep them until the end of the meal. After eating I disappeared again and came back saying they also had Ian, Chloe and Jack (Karen’s kids) love heart packs but when I put them on the table they said “Will you marry me, Karen?” . The waitresses were all in on the plan and came over with a huge bouquet of flowers and champagne. I then got down on one knee with a ring and proposed. The restaurant was packed and everyone clapped and cheered when Karen said yes!
Karen and Ian on their perfect day
What was the date of the wedding and reception?
Ian: Wednesday, June 1.
What was the location of the wedding and reception?
Ian: The hayloft in Widnes.
How did you feel on your wedding morning?
Karen: From the moment I woke up, I was so excited to start the day. The sun was shining and the sky was brilliant blue. The atmosphere in the house getting ready with Chloe, Jack and my parents was so calm and everything went according to plan. Even the hairdresser, makeup artist and photographer all commented on how calm everyone was. As soon as I got in the car at The Hayloft, I just wanted to drive down the aisle and start the celebrations.
Ian: I woke up early and felt good right away. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life was going to be complete because of that day and all that it represented. I stayed at the Village Hotel the day before the wedding, so an early family breakfast was a great start and a mid-morning swim and sauna with Mark, my best man, helped set us both up. As we were getting dressed, Mark passed me a present from Karen. It was a nice dress watch for our big day.
How would you describe your marriage?
Karen: Our wedding was everything we wanted it to be and more! It was rustic, relaxed and fun with lots of laughs throughout the day. We would both like to thank everyone who made this day so special – Lynne our celebrant, Jackie our photographer and Lesley from The Hayloft – who all went above and beyond to make it the most magical day. Also, a big thank you to Living Color Florist in Stockton Heath, as the flowers were absolutely stunning, and to Brad Bennett, a street magician who mesmerized and entertained our guests.
The Hayloft provided the perfect setting for this special day
How many guests did you have?
Ian: About 120 families and friends.
What did your guests eat?
Ian: We had a hot buffet including chicken and steak dishes with Mediterranean vegetables and mashed new potatoes. We also gave our guests ice cream tokens to spend after the meal.
Did you do a first dance?
Karen: Our first dance was Perfect by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce. We have always listened to Ed Sheeran songs together and went to see him in concert at the Etihad Stadium in 2018.
The first dance
Did you have any speeches?
Ian: The speeches were amazing because Jack (Karen’s son) had written a speech on behalf of himself and Chloe (Karen’s daughter) which was a total surprise to everyone. My speech was written on a sleepless night at 2 a.m. and told the story of our journey together.
Karen: All the speeches were extremely moving and there was not a dry eye in the house!
What are your best memories of the day?
Karen: A special part of the day was Ian’s band, Plastic Soul, playing a carefully selected set to kick off the nightly celebrations. Chloe, Jack and I had secretly practiced singing with the band for months before the wedding and it was such a special moment to see the reaction of all of our guests when we started singing. Ian had also kept a few secrets up his sleeve, learning Chasing Cars, which is the song I walked down the aisle to, and a few songs from my favorite band, Take That. It was such a personal touch to the day and we will never forget. Many thanks to Mark, Si and Tim, who gave so much of their time for the rehearsals.
A wedding duo
Tell us a bit about your outfits of the day?
Karen: I tried on several dresses with a specific style in mind but as soon as I tried on one, I knew it was “the one” because I didn’t want to take it off in the store! Ian also had a specific style in mind for his suit which was a blue tweed, finished with a green bow tie to tie in with the eucalyptus theme.
Are you going on honeymoon?
Ian: We are going to beautiful Santorini.
Why did you want to get married?
Karen: A shared sense of humor tops our list, along with a set of shared values. Family is very important to both of us and as we got to know each other better it became very clear that we both acquired our similar values and morals from our parents. Our relationship and now our marriage is a life lesson for everyone on a mantra we’ve developed over the years – never settle. We both said we would never settle for anything less than exceptional, and while everyday doesn’t feel like a fairy tale, we try to remember it. It’s about being part of a team, someone who’s in your corner and has your back no matter what. It’s about finding someone you can truly be yourself with and knowing that you are loved unconditionally.
Photography by Jacqueline Balaszek of Jackie Louise Wedding Photography
The happy couple