Today marks the beginning of our new blog series, ‘Real Weddings. We’ll be profiling the weddings that our secret singers have performed at through the eyes of the bride and groom!
To kick things off, we chatted with Sarah and Mark Barratt. They were married in Harrogate last July with a gorgeous ceremony at St John’s Church followed by an amazing reception at The Old Swan Hotel.
It was one of our favourites of 2019, so it was wonderful to catch up with them and reminisce about their special day and our secret singers performance.
It was so amazing to be surrounded by so much love from our family and our friends who had travelled from all over the country to be with us.
The support we had from family and friends was incredible. So everything ran the way we wanted it to, with no hitches.
We were married on the one day it rained in July 2019. But I think that actually made the day extra special as it kept everyone together!
I (Sarah) remember arriving at the church in the car with my dad and seeing the ushers coming to greet me with umbrellas. Usually, I’m the one helping out other people. So it was lovely to be centre of attention for once. It made me feel so special.
Although neither of us are religious, we both agreed that we wanted a church wedding (thankfully!)
We narrowed it down to two choices and ended up going for St John’s Church. It was the perfect choice because it is near to where Mark lived as a child, so his family have a lot of ties to it.
We also loved the layout of the church and how friendly and welcoming the pastor was.
We were in agreement again for the reception. We both wanted it to be held at a hotel. So, I emailed a few hotels in Harrogate to find availability and we eventually looked around two.
We decided on the Old Swan because we both really loved the space and felt it catered for everyone. We liked how spacious it was and because the disco area and the bar area were separate, there was a quiet place for people to talk and a place for people to dance.
Every single member off staff was so friendly and helpful; nothing we asked was ever a hassle. Although we weren’t able to make full use of them, we loved the grounds of the hotel, too. It looked so beautiful as you drove up to the front door. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make full use of them because of the weather.
We actually didn’t have a theme per se; more of a colour – royal blue.
We wanted it to be an elegant day. So we did a lot of research and based our designs on ideas we came across at the wedding fair we attended, as well as from the internet and TV shows.
We both had similar ideas as to how we wanted the rooms to look. We had our designs together but couldn’t have made it work without our team of helpers, led by my Mum’s friend and my brothers. They worked so hard to bring our designs to life on the morning of the wedding at the Old Swan and Mark’s sister did an incredible job of decorating the church for us.
We went to a wedding fair at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. Our only wedding fair that we attended. We had heard about singing waiters before but we weren’t sure about having them for our wedding.
Then, as we were walking around, we saw Michael and Adam from the Undercover Waiters. We got chatting to them both and Michael asked if we wanted to stay and watch their 10-minute demo set.
So, Mark, my Mum and myself went to sit down and watched. We were immediately hooked! We absolutely loved the concept. Their voices and personalities were amazing, and they worked so well together.
It gave us a glimpse of how it would work on the day and we knew there and then that they had to be at our wedding. I don’t think we could have left without booking them!
Afterwards we went straight back to Michael and Adam and said, “we want you at our wedding” and booked them! We had looked into other entertainment, but the Undercover Waiters were such good value for money.
It was incredible! At first, we couldn’t even pick them out from the waiters at the hotel! They blended in so well.
They had everyone hook, line and sinker with their cover story of Michael going into the judge’s house on X Factor. I still remember one of my friends had her phone out recording and was so happy that she had seen him ‘before he got famous’.
Everyone was dancing, including our family friend who had broken her leg and was in a wheelchair. The way they were running their set helped to bring everyone together, and it helped to break up any lulls between courses.
I (Sarah) remember finishing my main and thinking ‘I can’t eat my dessert – I’m too full’. But, by the time we had finished our dancing, napkin waving and congas all around the room, I was more than ready for a slice of cheesecake!
At some events, it can take a little while and some Dutch courage to get everyone up on the dancefloor, but because everyone had already been dancing, as soon as the disco started, the floor was full!
They helped to make the day so much more memorable and everyone still talks about the secret singers.
Their interactions between the waiters and the guests were hilarious! I (Sarah) heard from my Mum that Michael nearly brought out a bottle of wine and a straw for one of our family friends!
And I know the hotel did it for safety reasons, but it still makes me laugh when Michael had to sign a waiver to be able to take some of our wedding cake home!