The Adventures and Tales of TomKat

Welcome to TomKatTales.com In May 2015 Tom proposed to Kat, in May 2016 the couple got married! Find out more about their story below…

Watch the TomKat Wedding Video

The video above includes subtitles. To switch on subtitles start playing the video, then click the CC or, on tablet and mobile devices, tap the subtitles icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video. You may need to full screen the video to see the subtitles icon. If you are given the option of which set of subtitles you want to view, choose the subtitles called: English (United Kingdom) TomKat Wedding SubtitlesClick here for more help with subtitles. This video also includes some British Sign Language.

Wedding Day Photos

Photos of the dresses, the suits, the ceremony in the Quire, the reception in the Town Hall, the amazing cake, and so much more!

Click on any photo to enlarge, and use the Prev/Next and numbers under these eight photos to see more photos

Wedding day photography by Adam Shaw

Watch Tom’s proposal to Kat

This video includes subtitles. You do not need to turn them on as they are embedded in the video. This video also includes some British Sign Language, and three very important letters of the ASL alphabet!

Answers to some of your questions about the proposal

WHY DID TOM PROPOSE IN BSL?

Tom and Kat met three years ago at a Signs of God Summer School (British Sign Language in a Christian setting), and since then BSL has been an integral part of their relationship at every stage.

As friends they supported each other through their BSL NVQs, met up at BSL workshops, attended Bristol Deaf Church, and volunteered together interpreting at Christian events.

When friendship turned to romance, their love for BSL continued, with them regularly slipping between spoken and signed communication (often in the same conversation!)

It seemed only fitting that Tom proposed in BSL.

WHY DID KAT ANSWER IN ASL?

By the time Tom proposed the couple were both fluent in BSL, Tom was training to be a sign language interpreter and Kat was working as a teacher in a Deaf school.

So why, you may ask, did Kat reply in American Sign Language?

Well, Tom is a big fan of the ASL alphabet, a one-handed manual alphabet in contrast to the British two-handed alphabet, and had been patiently trying to teach Kat for almost a year.

Kat had been practising hard and mastered three very important letters… Y E S!

Since their engagement Kat has learnt a lot more ASL having become a fan of the American family drama, Switched at Birth

WHY WAS THERE A BADGER IN THE RING BOX?

Ahhhh, the badger in the box! Well, badgers have become an in-joke between Tom and Kat.

Long distance relationships (Leicester – Somerset at the time) can be tough, particularly the drive home at the end of a weekend.

All too frequently a text would arrive claiming ‘The badger threw a KFC in my mouth!’ or ‘Ate sweets, the badger made me do it!’. Soon that cheeky badger was responsible for numerous antics that we possibly oughtn’t have done!

In 2015 TomKat went to Secret World, as part of Kat’s birthday celebrations, to see the baby badgers up close and watch the older badgers in their set.

Simply put, they love the badgers! The engagement ring box was custom made, for Tom to give to Kat, by Jane at Earth and Air Jewellery who wrote a blog post about the experience.

WHY WELLS CATHEDRAL?

Wells Cathedral was picked by Tom twice in 2015 as a meeting point for the happy couple.

The former as a first tentative date, the latter as the beautiful and important backdrop for the proposal to take place.

The second visit was special not just because Kat said yes to the man she loves, but because she finally got to meet Louis the Cathedral cat!

WHY WERE THE BAND PLAYING CIRCLE OF LIFE?

You may have thought that the tune Tom asked the flash mob HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band to perform; ‘Circle of Life’ from The Lion King, might not be an immediate choice for a proposal.

But for Tom and Kat it signifies a performance of the song they did as a BSL duet the previous summer.

It was a lot of fun, and, with each secretly having fallen for the other, was a perfect excuse for spending time together!

WHY WAS THE PROPOSAL FILMED?

Tom spent months planning all the special details for the proposal on 31st May 2015, even having it filmed by friends and family after Kat had mentioned it might be a fun way to remember the day should he ever ask her to marry him.

Answers to some of your questions about the wedding

WHAT DID YOU DO TO TRY TO MAKE THE DAY ACCESSIBLE AS POSSIBLE TO ALL YOUR GUESTS?

Our family and friends are important to us, so we did all we could to make the day as accessible as possible.

Three wonderful BSL/English interpreters kindly volunteered to interpret the wedding ceremony and then the speeches at the reception, from English into BSL, and in a hand on hand variant for a visually impaired Deaf guest. We also had two BSL ushers at the Cathedral before and after the ceremony itself, and throughout the reception, for those who either wanted guidance from an usher in BSL, or wanted a an interpreter to support a conversation between a Deaf and hearing person.

With so many guests who were interpreters, or could sign to various levels, there was always someone near by to have a conversation with in either English or BSL.

Wells Cathedral Quire has an induction loop, and the order of service was available in standard sized print and in large print.

Service dogs are, of course, allowed in both venues, and we were delighted to welcome a service dog to our ceremony. When the dog started to join in with the songs, we did notice the Cathedral Virgers appearing at one of the entrances to the Quire to check on the commotion, and then enjoy contribution!

The Cathedral and Town Hall are within close walking distance of each other and both are wheelchair accessible so all our guests could access both parts of the day.

Our caterers for the day were Peppers of Shepton Mallet, and all the food at the reception was gluten and dairy free, with vegan and vegetarian options, and options for those who couldn’t eat nuts, chocolate, or allium vegetables.

On every table we put an A4 laminated sheet of useful signs for a wedding and for basic conversation to help get started in conversation those who couldn’t sign and those who could.

We provided a free Pepsi Max bar throughout the reception (our thanks go in part to PepsiCo for making that possible), and a cash bar provided by The Venue, Wells, for those who preferred an alternative soft drink, or alcoholic drinks.

Oh, and both our wedding day video, and our proposal video, include subtitles.

WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THE TOMKAT WEDDING AA ROAD SIGNS?

We had guests arriving from all over the country and we needed somewhere for them to park. Free parking, or indeed any parking, is difficult to find in Wells. However, just a few minute’s walk from the cathedral, and town hall, is Palace Field, part of Palace Farm, owned and run by the Phelps Family (no relation to the Phipps family). We made contact with the Phelps Family and they kindly allowed us use of Palace Field for car parking for our wedding. The Phelps family did not accept payment for use of their field, instead they asked that we make a donation to the Children’s Hospice, South West: www.chsw.org.uk/donate.

Now we had somewhere for our guests to park, we had to be able to direct them off the main road and down to the field. That’s where the AA Road Signs came in. With Tom’s event management background he knew that for a small fee the AA Road Signs Team would create, set up, and take down bespoke road signs. A quick call to the team, and a bit of paperwork later, and they were good to go.

WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THE LITTLE RED CAR?

The day before the wedding Tom headed over to Wells to start setting up things for the reception at the Town Hall. On his way past Silver Street he decided to go and check on the TomKat Wedding Parking AA Road Signs, and send some photos of them back to Kat. A lady saw him taking a photo of one, the one which pointed into what was then an empty field, and asked if it was a joke as their was no wedding in there. Tom explained that they were signs directing guests to parking for a wedding to be held in the Cathedral the next day. She asked whether it might be possible to purchase a ticket to the wedding from the Cathedral. Tom explained that it was a public event, and that, as the groom, he’d love to personally invite her to attend. She was delighted, and offered him a ride in her mobility car, sadly Tom was pushed for time, so wasn’t able to take her up on her offer. However, the next day, the lady did indeed attend the wedding, driving her car right into the Cathedral and parking it next to the entrance to the Quire. After the ceremony she congratulated the couple and offered them a ride in her car. Kathryn jumped at the chance!

Tell us more about that amazing cake!

The cake was incredible; entirely gluten and dairy free, and made by For Heaven’s Sake Cakes in Langport, Somerset, bespoke for TomKat’s wedding. The bottom layers were a vanilla sponge and the top layer was a fruit cake. The front on the cake was elegant white with delicate flowers, while around the back of the cake were Simba and Nala from the Lion King, BB8 from Star Wars, a unicorn, and Minions. Atop the cake were a badger bride and groom.