November 29th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
Today, we bring you Liz and Jon’s special day, set in the beautiful National Trust village of Styal in Cheshire.
Pretty paper lanterns, candles and fairy lights create a charming backdrop to their nuptials, but for us, it’s the couple’s Great Wedding Bake Off that steals the show – with so much cake to tuck in to, what’s not to like?
As a lovely touch, Liz even enlisted the help of her Year One class and the couple made a donation to two charities close to their hearts.
So, sit back and relax as Liz shares all the dreamy highlights.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
liz says: We got engaged in April 2015, in New York. I had wanted to find an Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park that I had heard about and when we got there Jon insisted that I sit on one of the toadstools for a photo. As I turned around to refuse him, he was down on one knee! I was blown away – it was all caught on camera too as Jon had arranged for a photographer to capture the moment!
We got married on 25th March 2016. It was Good Friday and the perfect opportunity for us and our guests to enjoy a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend. As a teacher, I wanted to get married close to a holiday so we could have a honeymoon straight after the wedding.
We tied the knot at Styal Lodge in Cheshire; it was the only venue we viewed. As soon as we arrived we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect – relaxed, spacious but still intimate.
Our invitations and table names featured a New York skyline but apart from that we kept everything quite simple with a relaxed but elegant feel, complete with lots of beautiful fairy lights everywhere.
Our colour scheme leaned towards white, green and grey, from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the flowers.
My dress was from Felicity Cooper Bridal in Knutsford. I knew it was the dress for me as soon as I saw it; something drew me to the dress even though it was everything I hadn’t set out to have! I loved the dress as soon as I put on; it felt like ‘me’ and was light and comfortable, too. Fiona, who designed my dress, couldn’t have been more wonderful and encouraged me to have the dress exactly as I wanted.
Jon wore a grey suit from Next and a tie from Reiss. My very talented mum made the four bridesmaid dresses, and for the best men and groomsmen we hired navy suits from L&J Formal Hire near Middlewich. Colin, who owns the company, couldn’t have been more friendly, helpful and accommodating.
Our photographer for the day was Jonny Draper – he was laid-back, approachable and fun. Jonny listened to what we wanted and he put us at ease. We absolutely love our photos and feel they are the perfect reflection of the day.
We also booked Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Films to film the wedding. Again, Tom was very approachable, listened to exactly what we wanted and was a great support on the day.
The bouquets were provided by Didsbury Flower Lounge. We were very lucky that Jon’s nana, Betty, created the beautiful flower centrepieces for the tables and all of the button holes.
Emma at Special Days decorated the venue – we had paper lanterns on the ceiling, fairy lights on the beams and windows, and lots of candles.
As a teacher, I wanted to involve the children in my Year One class – they made fantastic name cards for all of our guests, thoroughly enjoying free reign of the rainbow pens!
Instead of favours, we donated to two different charities on behalf of our guests, who received a pin badge alongside their name card. Our charities were the Alan Morement Memorial Fund (AMMF) and Cancer Research (to be given to the malignant melanoma research centre).
We decided that instead of a wedding cake we would hold The Great Wedding Bake Off! We invited all our guests to create a homemade bake to bring along on the day. We had three prizes: signature bake, technical bake and showstopper, which we judged on the day and then we served all the wonderful bakes as our desserts. It was a great success and unsurprisingly, not a crumb of cake was left!
We chose the wonderful Pink Pepper as our caterers. They were amazing from the word go, encouraging us to choose our favourite food and then creating a wonderful meal that everyone loved; people still mention how delicious the food was. We had a Lebanese style, spiced lamb shawarma with lots of great accompaniments. It was a sharing-style meal, which was great for socialising!
In terms of entertainment, we booked the band The Deadbeats after seeing them at another friend’s wedding. They were incredible! Our friend, Chris O’Grady, who is a DJ, played sets in between the band’s performances. The dance floor was full all night, we couldn’t have asked for any more.
As a special touch on the day, Jon hosted an Easter egg hunt outside during the drinks reception. He had set up the egg hunt in the morning with the groomsmen and everyone loved it.
After our wedding, we would definitely recommend Styal Lodge to other couples as they were so organised; no question we had was too small or insignificant; and the staff were very understanding.
Looking back, we were very lucky in that we had the most beautiful weather – despite it raining the day before and the day after, so to have our drinks reception outside in the warm sunshine was very unexpected for the end of March! The massive party that unfolded in the evening was another highlight of the day, it was amazing to be surrounded by everyone that you love, all having the best night!
We went to South Africa on our honeymoon, which was incredible. We went to Dubai first, then on to Cape Town and on safari on the Eastern Cape. It was a very memorable trip and so much fun.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, stay as relaxed as possible, especially when it’s a few days before and it feels like everyone is asking millions of questions. It can feel overwhelming but everyone is just trying to help. If you don’t have set ideas of how you want the little things to be and stay quite laid-back, this helps. On the day, people don’t notice all the small things you could spend a long time worrying about!
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Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...
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