May 16th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
A romantic venue that dates back to the late 1800s is the picture-perfect setting for today’s beautiful wedding in the heart of Lancashire. Say hello to Imogen and Neil, who tied the knot at the fabulous West Tower manor house in February.
Opting for a classic, elegant theme, the couple’s big day is brimming with prettiness and sophistication in every imaginable way. The ivory flowers, the blossom trees, the buttercream sponge cake, and that stunning Ronald Joyce gown – we think you’ll be coveting all these exquisite details just as much as we are!
Swapping a traditional guest book for a Polaroid camera, serving shots of Limoncello (yes, please!) and even hosting a competition relating to their first dance with a £50 bar tab up for grabs – there are lots of personal touches to inspire all the brides-to-be among you, and so much more besides. We think it’s time to hand the blog over to Imogen to talk us through all the dreamy highlights from their special day. Enjoy!
With images by Ian MacMichael.
imogen says: We got engaged at home. Neil attached the ring to our new Boston Terrier puppy, Michael. He proposed just before our 11-year anniversary.
We got married on 11th February – there was no particular significance associated with this date, but we decided that we didn’t necessarily want a summer wedding because the weather wouldn’t be guaranteed. We chose February half term because I’m a teacher.
We tied the knot at West Tower in Aughton, Ormskirk. We wanted somewhere close to home and this venue is just a short drive away. We went to a wedding open day and thought the venue was lovely. We only viewed two different venues, but it quickly became clear to us that West Tower was the ideal choice.
We wanted to keep the theme classic and elegant. We didn’t want anything that would date too easily, so we kept it simple. Above all, we just wanted everyone to have a good time and look back in years to come and think ‘that was a fantastic day’.
We chose to keep the colour scheme quite neutral. The groom and groomsmen wore grey and navy suits, and the bridesmaids wore dark green as I saw the dresses and loved the colour. We wanted to have lots of green and ivory in the flowers, and both like thistles so a few of those were included. All of this tied in with the dress and suit choices.
I bought my dress from Always and Forever Bridal Boutique in St Helens. It is a local wedding dress shop and the service was great! I went back for a second time and they had taken the dress out of the window for me to try. I loved it. It felt comfortable and was quite traditional except for the scooped back and beading. The designer was Ronald Joyce and the dress was called Jillian.
Neil wore a three-piece Prince of Wales check suit, hired from Whitfield and Ward in Wilmslow. Everyone had navy trousers and a grey waistcoat. Neil wanted to stand out so wore a different jacket to the groomsmen.
The bridesmaids wore an emerald sea green dress from Ghost and the groomsmen wore a blue suit with grey Prince of Wales check waistcoat.
Ian MacMichael was our photographer and he came recommended by West Tower. He did a great job. We chose to go with Ian because of his focus on natural photographs. At previous weddings, we noticed how the bride and groom could be away for hours getting photographs done. We wanted to spend time with our guests rather than getting photographs taken. We were definitely happy with how they turned out!
The flowers by Flowerstyle by Laurie in Formby, were in keeping with the theme of ‘classic white with interest’. My bouquet was simply a mixture of ivory flowers and greenery, and the bridesmaids had thistles in theirs too.
We had six large table arrangements, as well as smaller arrangements around the venue. There were also blossom trees provided by the florist, along with candle features on each table. We also used Childwall Table and Chair Hire to hire Chiavari chairs, which we felt fitted with our theme better than the ones provided by the venue.
As favours, we provided a shot of Limoncello for our guests during the speeches – we wanted everyone to enjoy their night!
We chose a simple buttercream Victoria sponge for our wedding cake made by Saira at the Little Cottage Cakery in Rainford village. It really looked the part, especially once the flowers were placed on the cake.
For our wedding breakfast, we chose a crab starter with mackerel, as we both love seafood and then for our main, we chose pork fillet wrapped in bacon – it was delicious when we went for out menu tasting, For dessert, we had panna cotta as we wanted something light and refreshing. The wines included a White Rioja and a Malbec as these were the ones we preferred and we thought that our guests would prefer them too!
In terms of entertainment, we had magician, Zanda Magic who stayed for a couple of hours after the ceremony – the guests were so impressed and amazed, as were we!
We also had Steve Mitchell as our DJ, who also came highly recommended by West Tower. He made the evening run so smoothly from the first dance onwards – a great choice of DJ!
In addition to this, we had a Polaroid guest book for people to sign and take pictures of themselves – that was a great read the day after the wedding!
We also had a competition for the first dance. Guests had to pick a song randomly from a hat and if they picked our first dance track they won a £50 bar tab! This was great fun – ironically the winner, my neighbour Wayne, was driving so he used it to buy myself and Neil a bottle of champagne – thanks Wayne!
Following our wedding, we would definitely recommend our choice of venue to other couples. The day ran so smoothly; West Tower are so good at what they do. We didn’t have to worry about anything and everyone was so professional and helpful.
As for my favourite part of the day, I would say it’s between the speeches and walking down the aisle. The speeches were amazing; everyone laughed the entire time, which was captured on the photographs perfectly! I loved walking down the aisle and seeing all of my family and friends, it was just brilliant.
For our honeymoon, we went to Tenerife and stayed at Bahia Del Duque for a week. It was a present from Neil’s grandfather and was the ideal way to spend a week relaxing in luxury! We’re also going to America in the summer holidays, and doing a driving holiday around the Mid-West, starting in Chicago!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is, just enjoy it! The planning is stressful but it’s also fun. Enjoy picking everything you want – it’s lovely seeing it all come together on the day. The day goes so quickly so just try to enjoy every moment.
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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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