August 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This afternoon we’re featuring a summer wedding filled to the brim with gorgeousness. It starts with the bride and that bespoke dress, which she twirled to full effect until the early hours. She didn’t stop there, though: her lucky #bridesquad girls were treated to matching morning gowns and the prettiest ASOS floral-print frocks you can imagine. And there’s still more – pastel paper lanterns, a glittering headpiece, an adorable flower girl or two, petals strewn along the aisle…the pretty knows no bounds!
The Glasshouse at Abbeywood Estate was the perfect backdrop to their relaxed celebration, with the windows bringing the outdoors in and the early summer flowers complementing the beauty of their big day.
With images by Mike Plunkett Photography.
laura says: We got engaged five years ago when Dean booked a meal at my favourite restaurant, San Carlo, in Manchester. As a surprise, he’d invited some friends and my parents to the meal. It wasn’t until he got up to thank everyone for coming that I realised what he was doing and he got down on one knee to propose! He had asked for my dad’s permission beforehand but my mum and sister had no idea and were totally shocked. Needless to say, there were a few tears!
We married on 3rd June 2016. In all honesty, we chose a Friday as it was slightly cheaper and we chose June because we hoped for some sun – and we weren’t disappointed!
Our venue was Abbeywood Estate in Delamere. A few years ago, when we first got engaged, we went to a wedding fair at Abbeywood and it was such a simple but beautiful family-run venue that it stayed in our minds. Although we looked at several venues, we kept coming back to Abbeywood. We decided that the Glasshouse would be the perfect place for our ceremony and the gardens would be a great place for our guests to enjoy the day.
The whole style of the wedding was centred around the bridesmaids’ dresses – pastel florals with a laidback feel. This worked really well with the venue and with the weather: it was the hottest day of 2016!
I’m not a huge fan of wedding dresses and, being quite small, I found that any that I liked just drowned me. So when one of my friends mentioned that her friend had decided to go freelance as a wedding dress designer/maker, I jumped at the opportunity. Nina was absolutely fantastic and understood what I wanted from day one. My brief was ‘simple but elegant with a floaty skirt’ and that’s exactly what she did for me. It was great having such a personalised service and bespoke dress and I’d recommend Nina to anyone thinking about having a dress made.
I wanted a headpiece as I knew that I wanted my hair down. I managed to source a bargain Halo & Co sample headpiece. My shoes were Charlotte Mills and so comfy. At first, I didn’t want to spend much on a pair of shoes I would wear for one day but the more I looked, the more I realised that only those shoes would do. I’m going to be wearing them again in August when I’m bridesmaid for my friend – expense justified!
Dean wore a navy blue slim fitting suit from Next with an orange tie and pocket square and his groomsmen wore the same suit.
The bridesmaids wore floral 50s style dresses from ASOS and were £75 each. I had a lot of bridesmaids so it was really important for me to get a dress that would look good on everyone and that they felt great in. I saw them online 18 months before the wedding- and knew that they would be perfect – and in the end the whole wedding theme and colour scheme was based on them!
Our photographer was Mike Plunkett and we would absolutely recommended him – in fact, we recommend him to everyone we know who’s getting married! Mike did the pictures at a wedding we attended and we liked what he did so we had no qualms about having him for our day too.
Green Earth Flowers in Poynton provided the flowers for me and my bridesmaids. My instructions were ‘simple and pastel colours’ and she really delivered with a lovely bunch of mixed flowers. The bridesmaids had a small bunch of baby’s breath as they needed something simple that wouldn’t distract from their dresses.
Because Abbeywood is renowned for its beautiful flowers we didn’t feel the need to dress the venue with more blooms. All of the flowers around the Glasshouse were out and really added to the setting.
Our biggest decor feature was the lanterns we hung from the ceiling of the Glasshouse, hired from Hipswing. They really showed off the room beautifully – plus the company put them up and took them down again the next morning, so we didn’t need to worry about them.
In lieu of favours, we donated money to two charities very close to our hearts: Genesis Prevent Breast Cancer and MIND.
We chose a small and simple wedding cake as we’re not big cake eaters. Again, it was a friend of a friend who designed and made it. I found the design on Pinterest and sent it to Charlotte who then came up with the perfect cake.
As entertainment, we had a local acoustic duo, Heerden and Black, to sing at the drinks reception after the ceremony. It was great as they were outside in the garden with guests and really added to our laidback vibe.
Overall our venue was great! Matt and Lauren there were really attentive and made sure that everything ran smoothly in the 15 months running up to the day. Nothing was ever too much trouble, despite the hundreds of emails I must have sent them!
Looking back, it’s difficult to choose a favourite moment of the day, but we both really enjoyed the time just after the ceremony when we could mingle with our guests with drinks and Heerden & Black playing in the background. To me, this really epitomised our laidback vibe of our wedding.
We both decided that we would love to go to Italy for our honeymoon: we’re big food and wine fans, so it suited us perfectly. Therefore, straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Amalfi coast and then seven months later we went to South East Asia and spent eight-and-a-half-weeks travelling around Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore. It was an absolutely amazing, unforgettable experience.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be get organised; you need an Excel spreadsheet straight away! Also, be realistic about how much things cost. At first we looked into doing things a bit more cheaply but, to be honest, it really wasn’t worth it for us. Try not to argue about the guest list and, most importantly, try to take a step back from everyone during the day. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, it’ll allow you to enjoy each other’s company and look on at the amazing day you’ve both managed to create.
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Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.
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