Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

i do in choo: catherine deane for a garden party wedding in the north west – nic & kelly

February 5th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (37)

There’s something effortlessly cool about an informal wedding, and we just love the garden-party vibe of Nic and Kelly’s wedding celebration. They were even lucky enough to get good weather!

Though guests may have enjoyed a relaxed day, no detail was left to chance. Even the date was planned meticulously so Nic and Kelly’s engagement anniversary and wedding anniversary would be exactly half a year apart, meaning they have something to celebrate every six months. Now that’s forward thinking!

They also had some fabulous details and treats, including a very cute table plan sporting photographs of each guest, a delectable ice cream van, a table topped with a colourful selection of cakes and a civilised game of croquet on the lawn. Over to the groom, Nic, to tell us more…

With images by Shane Webber Photography.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (6)

nic says: We got engaged on 12th January 2015. Kelly always liked the idea of a London tourist hotspot trip, finishing up on Millennium Bridge with a love lock. When we got to the bridge, I pretended to have lost the padlock we had bought for the occasion. I pulled out a special heart-shaped lock that I had inscribed with the words “forever hold the key to my heart”. The engagement ring was attached, and Kelly had to unlock it with the key for the proposal to be complete. We then went to the Shard for drinks – another surprise bucket-list moment for Kelly, who had no idea what had been planned months before!

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (19)

We got married on 12th July 2017. We chose that date as we always wanted something to celebrate every six months to the day. The 12th January is our getting together anniversary/getting engaged day and 12th July will be our wedding anniversary.

The ceremony took place at Didsbury House Hotel and the reception was at Eleven Didsbury Park. The venue was ideal for us as it was both ceremony and reception in one but, as the reception was down the road, there was a sense of ‘arriving’ for the evening do! The venue has beautiful grounds – it was the ideal size for our 50 planned guests and we wanted an informal setting that felt more like a garden party than a traditional wedding. We would definitely recommend the venue: the setting is ideal for an intimate wedding, the food was top and the whole team that worked on the wedding could not have been more helpful. It was like having the best house party you have ever been to.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (32)

In terms of a theme, we both love sunflowers and so they were everywhere. There was no real reason – we just think they’re pretty. Aside from that, the theme was relaxed to suit our non-traditional atmosphere. For our colour scheme, we chose off-whites with a pop of yellow to work with the sunflowers – nothing too formal.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (36)

For my suit, I decided this was my one life occasion where I could go all out! I wore a black wool Givenchy suit, a pair of patent leather Dsquared2 Oxford shoes, a Lanvin black bow tie and a Dolce & Gabbana gold label white dress shirt. I wanted this day to be my red carpet moment!

Kelly wore a blush champagne dress from Catherine Deane. Detailing was vintage lace and it had a small train. Kelly looked beautiful! The dress was effortlessly sophisticated and complemented her skin tone perfectly. Her shoes were from Jimmy Choo. We had always joked that Kelly would say ‘I do’ in Choo!

Two of Kelly’s sisters were bridesmaids and wore grey multiway maxi dresses from Coast. Again, there was no real theme for makeup, nails or shoes – it was important for our guests to all feel relaxed and great on our special day. My brother Toby wore a black suit from The Kooples, matched with a charcoal Dolce & Gabbana tie and shoes.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (5)

Our photographer was Shane Webber. When we were researching photographers for the day, Shane’s website and portfolio were a cut above anyone else we saw. His attention to detail, atmosphere and subtle use of editing techniques to make colours pop really stood out to us. We had to stretch the budget to afford him but he was worth every penny.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (8)

For the flowers, we had sunflowers, white roses and gypsophila. They were provided by Jen Baker from an independent florist in Chester named Lavender Blue. All the table decorations were put together by me and Kelly – a lot of empty Douwe Egberts jars, cans and hessian! Our favours were very simple ‘just married’ sweets.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (11)

Rather than having a traditional cake, we decided that a dessert table would suit our informal wedding. We found an independent café in West Didsbury called The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon, who were excellent. We chose red velvet cake to cut and it was accompanied by salted caramel cupcakes, peanut butter brownie traybakes, a rose and pistachio cake and, finally, Victoria sponge.

For drinks, we chose red and white wine and bottles of prosecco. We also had matching his and hers cocktails – I love a mojito and Kelly loves an amaretto sour. The food was a barbecue with plenty of meat, potatoes and fish. Again, something less formal to tie together the garden-party vibe.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (21)

We struggled to keep the vintage ice cream van from Hyacinth a secret! It was incredible. It arrived as guests turned up for the reception. The sun was shining and this really was a great touch.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (23)

For the music, we found a singer called Jade Sings, who we both fell in love with immediately. After hours of research we found her on Warble Entertainment. Her style is acoustic folk with a contemporary pop twist.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (26)

Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony. For us, it was all about having our nearest and dearest with us to witness our lifetime commitment to one another.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (38)

For our honeymoon, we went to the Amalfi Coast to start – we spent four nights in Positano, four nights in Sorrento and one day in Capri. Then we caught a train to Rome and spent a further four nights there. What a perfect place to go. The Amalfi Coast is so romantic and the views are to die for. We strongly recommend the Hotel Maison la Minervetta in Sorrento – pricey at £300 a night but easily one of our favourite ever experiences! Rome was that perfect blend of culture, sightseeing and restaurants.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (33)

Our top tip is to do everything together. People often say that planning a wedding is stressful. It’s as stressful as you choose it to be! Make all the decisions together, split the workload and be decisive.

A Garden Wedding in Didsbury (c) Shane Webber Photography (35)

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about the author

Aislinn Thompson
Aislinn has a background in journalism, having filled all manner of publishing roles from editor to copywriter to feature writer. She is a former wedding photographer who ran her own business with her husband Michael. Together, they have travelled as far as Australia to photograph a client’s wedding (and spent all their earnings on a campervan trip up the Aussie coast!). Aislinn left wedding photography behind to take on the biggest commitment of her life as mummy to her young son Tom. She has been a bride, bridesmaid and even best woman (she has the speech to prove it!), which is almost all angles covered!

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