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blissed out bride: moddershall oaks

April 5th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

ModdershallOaks-038

Waking up to more snow on Easter Monday only drove home how epically long winter has felt with the relentless cold weather affecting not only our heating bills (we dread to think!) but also our skin and energy levels – both of which could do with an almighty boost.

As a newly-engaged bride-to-be I’m also feeling the effects of trying to keep on top of the early wedding planning, while keeping all in the loop – oh and plan my brother’s stag do and assist on my best friend’s hen do as well. So, all in all a lot on, which super exciting but a little depleting on the batteries.

Moddershall Oaks Indoor Spa

The perfect remedy for a change of season and busy schedule though has to be a spa break, and so when Staffordshire based Moddershall Oaks got in touch with the offer of an overnight stay to switch off from the outside world and restore balance, I took it up quicker than Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing can tell a girl he’s falling in love with her.

Situated in a rural location near the market town of Stone, Moddershall Oaks is a country spa retreat and idyllic wedding venue – so it could tick two boxes for those of you still on the venue hunt. Whilst there I did get to view its stunning and flexible spaces for weddings – including a gorgeous oak gazebo surrounded by tranquil woodland for beautiful outdoor ceremonies – and would certainly encourage couples planning to wed in the Staffordshire area to pay this place a visit.

Reception & Spa Shop 2 - high res

Though not particularly worn out from the wedding planning (though he must be exhausted from all the stag do preparation – a number one priority from grooms it would seem *rolls eyes*), my fiancée Andy was lucky enough to join me on this getaway. We arrived at Moddershall around noon on a Wednesday and was welcomed by a warm atmosphere, friendly staff and a strawberry Bellini (start as you mean to go on, right?)

Having filled in a few quick forms we were given a run through the facilities and our (very relaxed) itinerary for our stay, before being shown to one of the gorgeous ten 5* boutique bedroom suites to drop off our bags. The room was comforting, spacious and beautifully decorated, plus there is access to a shared hot tub, should we want to continue the pampering after visiting the main facilities.

Amazingly, we fell on a gorgeous spring-like day with clear blue skies (I will add that it had snowed either side of our visit) and so we wasted no time in heading to the crème de la crème of Moddershall, its outdoor heated vitality pool. Here we enjoyed bathing in the bubbling hot water in the open air made complete by a countryside views, oh and a couple of glasses of prosecco delivered direct via waiter service – this was our kind of spa!

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We were joined in the courtyard area by other couples, as well as a few small groups of women and a couple of (I assume) mothers and daughters, which demonstrated how perfect the spa is for a romantic getaway as well as much-needed girly time.

After drying off in the Kelo sauna, also located in the courtyard, we retired to the relaxing lounge area indoors to recline on big sofas next to a warming fire and filled up on afternoon treats of cake and coffee.

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Next it was treatment time – having only just managed to convince Andy of the benefits of moisturising daily, it didn’t surprise me that he passed on this, but the metrosexuals out there will be pleased to hear that Moddershall has blissful treatment options for both males and females.

The options ranged from massage, detox and body therapies, carried out by experienced therapists in the cosy treatment rooms, to a full range of beauty treatments undertaken in The Snug. This gorgeous area is available to hire privately for hen dos, birthdays and the like and, for Moddershall brides, it can also be taken over pre-wedding for big day pampering and preening, complete with nibbles, bubbly and music.

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polka dots & petals. a bespoke gown for a relaxed wedding at the ashes – alexe & declan

May 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding in Staffordshire (c) Deborah Stone Photography (43)

We’re continuing to ease you into the week with this wonderfully relaxed real wedding in beautiful rural Staffordshire.

In keeping with their choice of rustic venue, Alexe and Declan planned a laidback and fun day for their guests with nods to their passions and interests carefully built in.

Fine attire was high up on both the bride and groom’s agenda, with Declan and his groomsmen sporting herringbone tweed suits from a London tailor, and Alexe having her beautiful vintage style dress made bespoke in Sheffield.

Now, over to Alexe for all the details…

With images by Deborah Stone Photography.

A Rustic Wedding in Staffordshire (c) Deborah Stone Photography (34)

alexe says: We got engaged in Barcelona, on an Easter mini-break in April 2014. Declan had booked the holiday as a surprise, which he told me about on Valentine’s Day, but I had no idea of his intentions!

Our wedding date was 30th March 2016 – a Wednesday, and just after the Easter bank holiday, just to be awkward! I’m a teacher so it was in the first week of the school holidays and then we had our honeymoon during the second week. I originally dreamt of a summer wedding, but realistically, the price of the venue was more reasonable in March and we both decided that a spring wedding would be lovely, as we couldn’t rely on the good old British weather to be good in the summer so if we did have good weather in March it would be a bonus. In the end, we had a beautiful sunny start to the day, a wee bit of rain during the drinks reception and some snow in the late afternoon during the wedding breakfast.

A Rustic Wedding in Staffordshire (c) Deborah Stone Photography (38)

We got married at The Ashes, a barn venue in Staffordshire, near Leek. We found it while we were Googling alternative wedding venues. It instantly appealed to us as it has the most beautiful grounds and a lake and also the team give you the freedom to decorate the venue as you wish and tailor the day to exactly how you want it. From the very first visit, we felt that the staff would do their best to make everything right for us. Something that really attracted me was that you could arrange the seats in the ceremony barn in an arc setting, so it was more cosy and intimate and everyone could hear what was going on. Another important thing was that you could provide your own drinks with no corkage charge, which meant that we gradually collected booze in order to spread the cost. The only downside was that we did end up with a house full of booze just before the wedding, but we couldn’t drink any of it! Luckily, the venue returned the booze that was not used on the day, so we benefited then!

We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such, but with The Ashes being a rural barn venue we wanted the day to be laidback and fun.

We didn’t consciously choose a colour scheme either, but with the Tour de France bunting (green, yellow and red polka dot) and my parents’ teapots, we ended up with springy greens and yellows as our colour palette.

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