November 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Forever fans of a festival wedding (have you seen that our WEDFEST’18 tour dates are out?!), we’re thrilled to be sharing the wonderfully relaxed and joyful wedding of David and Alana on the blog today.
Falling in love with the beautiful gardens of Abbeywood Estate, Delamere, they decided to wed outdoors, making the most of the gorgeous surroundings and countryside views beyond.
Keen for an informal rather than traditional celebration, the proceedings were laidback but fun with a prosecco afternoon tea wedding breakfast, garden games, colourful leis for favours and live entertainment.
To remain within budget, David and Alana planned, sourced and styled much of the décor themselves resulting in both pretty and personal touches being peppered throughout their day.
With images by Anna Beth Photography.
alana says: We got engaged during a weekend trip to Venice in March 2016 to celebrate our ten-year anniversary. We went out for a meal in the evening and then for a walk. David had asked during the day where my favourite view was from and I had said the Ponte dell’Accademia over the grand canal. At around 10pm we arrived at this spot and took some photos while David looked around for someone who spoke English to take our photo (I thought this was odd as we had so many photos in that spot from that day). We eventually found a young couple who spoke English and the woman took one photo, David asked for her to take another and when I turned to look at him, he was down on one knee. I said “yes” of course and the woman captured the moment. Such a magical moment. Afterwards we went for champagne at Danieli. Perfect end to a perfect night!
We got married on Friday 1st September 2017. We wanted to get married late summer and this date seemed perfect!
Our wedding took place at Abbeywood Estate, Delamere. The ceremony took place within their gardens and reception took place in the Glasshouse. We chose this venue as it is a beautiful with amazing gardens and close to home. We could have the ceremony and the reception in one place and we could also have our dog with us to share our day. Having our ceremony outside allowed us to have a beautiful backdrop of the Cheshire hills and stunning gardens of Abbeywood.
We decided on a more relaxed style of wedding as it reflected our personalities more than a traditional style. We started off with a festival theme in mind but as time went on it turned into a festival/garden party with lots of music, games and a very relaxed atmosphere.
We didn’t have a colour scheme in mind. David hates everyone wearing the same colour so my bridesmaids wore nude dresses from ASOS, and the best men and ushers wore grey and blue. We wanted it to be bright so had blue, purple and pink bunting, and all our guests were given different coloured leis to wear for the reception.
My dress was an off-the-shoulder design. I tried on so many dresses in various boutiques however, I purchased my dress from Oxfam Bridal on the Wirral. From the moment I put this dress on it felt like my dress – I felt like a bride. The dress I bought was strapless and I bought a bolero (from eBay – still had tags on) to make it into the vision I had in my head since we got engaged.
David designed his own outfit and put it together from various different shops, including Next, ASOS and eBay. He wanted something he could keep. He wore blue trousers, blue and grey tweed waistcoat, a Thompson tartan tie, brown shoes and bright blue laces.
The best men and other groomsmen provided their own trousers and shoes and we provided blue braces from Primark and knitted blue and white polka dot bowties from eBay.
Our friend John kindly hired a car (Audi 17 plate) as a gift to take myself and the bridesmaids to the venue on the day of the wedding – he chauffeur drove us.
Our photographer was Hannah of Anna Beth Photography, who we would highly recommend. From the moment we first made contact with her it felt like we were dealing with a friend and trusted her to ensure that our wedding was captured beautifully. She understood what we wanted and captured the day perfectly with natural style photos of all our guests enjoying the day without being disturbed.
Mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were made up sunflowers with baby’s breath. All our flowers for the bouquets and tables were purchased the day before the wedding from Aldi. My mother-in-law, Gwen and best man’s wife Amy, kindly made them look fantastic by arranging them into the bouquets and wild flowers table decoration to fit our theme.
We wanted the style of the wedding, to be relaxed and ‘festivaly’. The flowers were all styled on wildflowers, with logs and glass jars with shells as centrepieces.
We named our tables after bands we had seen together and we placed CDs on each table.
A lot of planning and design was put into styling the venue, with the idea of trying to bring the outside inside. We spent time searching for a lot of our decorations on eBay, to save money and create the exact look we were going for.
The glasshouse where the afternoon tea was during the day was decorated with bunting throughout to provide colour. During the night it transformed into a fairy light festival. A canopy of birch branches with lights entwined provided the visual spectacle over the dancefloor (all designed and sourced by David and I).
As favours we gave our guests sweets and also leis for them to wear to brighten up the reception.
We chose to have a small cutting cake, 24 cupcakes and a hundred petit fours rather than a traditional wedding cake. These were all provided by Tinakiiana. Our guests loved them!
Keeping things relaxed, we chose a prosecco afternoon tea for our wedding breakfast and chip and sausage sandwiches for the evening to keep our guests fully fuelled.
Music was a very important part of our day, so the entertainment was key. We had acoustic band Rock N Rose outside in the gardens while guests drank and played games after the ceremony.
In the evening we had the band The Review perform and a DJ between sets. We wanted live music for people to enjoy and I had previously seen Rock N Rose perform in Chester and The Review performed at my 30th birthday. Everyone loved the entertainment and had a brilliant time.
Further entertainment was provided by garden games, including giant Connect 4, Jenga and croquet.
There were polaroid cameras with props, and all the guests were given lei’s.
We would recommend all the suppliers mentioned, plus makeup artist Emma Madeup Richards, and hair stylist Adele Hodgin, both from Bromborugh, Wirral, who did an amazing job on the day.
We would also highly recommend our choice of venue, we had a perfect day! The gardens were fantastic, with a beautiful ceremony backdrop and a great place to have photos of our day.
David and I have both have spoken about our favourite part of the day and came up with the same answer. As we had spent so much time on putting all the little elements together to create our vision we loved seeing our guests enjoying themselves from start to finish. We particularly loved dancing our first dance with everybody, without them knowing it was our first dance. Everyone on the dancefloor having a great time!
For our gift list we asked our guests to donate money towards our honeymoon. We decided that for us this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have an amazing holiday. We were searching for an all-inclusive deal and stumbled upon Chester Travel Connection, an independent travel agent. Jenny, one of the agents, suggested Mauritius which we thought was out of our price range. She found us an amazing honeymoon deal with Beachcomber Hotels out in Mauritius for ten nights. We had the most amazing time in a tropical paradise, at a beautiful hotel right on the beach. It was very relaxing and definitely a honeymoon of our dreams.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that you don’t have to break the bank to get the look you want – where you can, source your own ideas and search to get things within a budget. We spent a lot of our budget on the venue, as we fell in love with the beautiful setting. We created our theme around what we love, and decided that we wanted a chilled out, relaxed fun atmosphere. We sourced as much as possible ourselves, and searched for the right style of clothes and decorations which kept costs down but also linked up with our style. It took some of our friends and family sometime to understand our relaxed style for the day because it wasn’t entirely traditional. But once they got it they were all on board, so stick to your guns – it’s your day after all.
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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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