August 15th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
We’re kicking off your week with an exceptionally beautiful real wedding that started with a rather impressive proposal (top marks Steve!)
Taking place at Arley Hall in Cheshire, Heather and Steve’s big day features simple yet striking details, inspired by the cosy autumn season.
Cue pumpkin centrepieces, bright bouquets and a totally swoon-worthy lace dress…
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy Photography.
heather says: We got engaged on 8th September 2014, while at El Matador Beach, Malibu. After our first full day of our two-week holiday travelling around California, Steve told me to be ready for 5pm but wouldn’t say what the plan was. When ready, we proceeded to walk downstairs to the foyer of our hotel on Sunset Boulevard. The receptionist giggled, and we were met by a driver who took us to a limo. We were driven to El Matador Beach and Steve told me we were going for a picnic. We walked around looking for a perfect place to watch the sun set when Steve knelt down and popped the question. He handed me a round, white box with a purple ribbon and within side it was purple cookie with “will you marry me” on it. Naturally, I said yes. We turned around and there was a photographer Steve had booked to capture the moment. It was perfect.
We set the date for October 17th 2015, as we wanted an autumnal wedding and also for it to be on a Saturday.
Our chosen setting was Arley Hall in Northwich, Cheshire. The hall had the option of a separate evening venue, which is something we wanted so evening guests felt completely part of the wedding and not thrown into the chaos from the day’s events. The hall and the grounds are gorgeous, and the history of the house makes it a fabulous backdrop for photographs.
As a nod to the season we had an autumnal “Fall in Love” theme, which included pumpkins, hessian and wood. There was no definite colour theme as we wanted a mixture of different hues.
I didn’t have much luck when looking for dresses but after a day’s searching I found the one in the n the last shop we visited, Wedding Belles in Frodsham. When we arrived there was an Intuzuri event on that we were unaware of. We got there at 4.30pm and the event stopped at 5pm with the dresses being packed up as we looked so I couldn’t believe when I came across a dress that I had previously ripped out of a magazine and put in my wedding scrap book. The dress was floor length with a train, very fitted with lace full length sleeves. It was full Chantilly lace and had a low back to it. I also had a Chantilly, elbow length veil to match.
Steve wore mohair tails from L&J Formal Hire with ivory cravat with his groomsmen wearing the same but with a gun metal grey cravat.
My lovely bridesmaids wore grey/mauve floor length chiffon dresses, with caped sleeves that covered the tops of their arms.
On the day of the wedding we had two matching white Regent cars from A. Lamont Wedding Cars to transport us to the venue.
Our photographer was Jessica O’Shaughnessy, who we would most definitely recommend to others. She ensured she checked the venue prior to the wedding to look for photo opportunities. Most of the time we didn’t know she was taking photos and as a result have ended up with perfect, natural photos, which was what we wanted to capture the day.
The flowers were provided by Acer Florists in Frodsham. The bridesmaids had bouquets bursting with colour to match my cascading bouquet.
When it came to decorating the venue we kept the tables white with ivory seat covers and ribbons and had pumpkins as centre pieces with autumnal flowers bursting from them.
Being Welsh, we gave our female guests favours of mini wooden love spoons with our wedding date and initials on and the men had chocolate rugby balls.
Our cake was created by Devonshire Bakery in Frodsham. It was a four-tier, round white design and each layer was a different flavour sponge. As decoration it had a cascade of tiny orange, plum and white flowers from top to bottom. We then had a wooden topper featuring our names and wedding date.
Mosaic Hospitality, Manchester, provided the all he food for the wedding. To keep guests going between the ceremony and main meal we had canapes of smoked chicken and mango blinis, crab, lime and chilli bruschetta and crispy vegetable spring rolls with soy and honey dip. To start the wedding breakfast we had cured mackerel salad with pickled apple, radish, baby leaves, and rhubarb purée, garnished with hibiscus flowers, main was seared medallions of beef with roasted garlic butter on wilted baby spinach, flat mushrooms tiny fondants and vine roasted tomatoes, the for dessert we had blood orange and champagne jelly with Chantilly cream and Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments.
As entertainment we had magician Sam Fitton, who amazed our guests and also helped out with various other non-magician duties, including creating a fabulous video of the day. As my mum didn’t have chance to meet Sam prior to the wedding breakfast when he was performing, Sam stayed during the entire meal so that she could experience some of his tricks before he left.
In the evening we had a disco with specialist lighting provided by Floorfillas, based in Lymm.
Arley Hall was perfect for our wedding and so we would certainly recommend them to others. The staff were so attentive from start to finish and nothing was too much trouble.
Apart from the ‘’I do’s”, I’d say that my favourite part of the wedding was the evening reception, once we had everyone we wanted there to help celebrate with us.
After the wedding we went on honeymoon to Dubai and the Maldives. First we went to Dubai for three nights and did the typical tourist spots and swam with dolphins. Then we went onto The Veligandu Island Resort in the Maldives for ten nights on an island no bigger than 600 metres long. It was a dream with our own water villa, which meant we could wake up and walk into to sea from our steps. Diving there was unbelievable and even though it was such a small island there was so much to do and we hardly ever bumped into anyone. You could have a stretch of beach to yourselves and felt like you were the only people on the island.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax and enjoy the every moment; let others around you ensure the day goes to plan.
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Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...
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