We just adore the styling of today’s real wedding; bright, classy and elegant!
Building on their chosen theme of rustic romance, Sarah and Daniel used beautiful blooms and log centre pieces to help set the scene before adding pretty vintage touches in dainty china and luxurious lace for an air of elegance.
The couple’s beautiful burnt orange and sage green colour scheme then pulled everything together perfectly, providing subtle pops of colour.
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on Halloween 2010! We were both in university at the time, and I was living about an hour away from Dan. He was visiting me for the weekend and after we got home from a night out with friends, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We both knew it would be a long engagement, and it was some of the best years of our lives as we moved in together and started saving and planning for our big day.
We got married Saturday 29th August 2015. There was no special meaning behind the date, we just wanted a summer wedding and the bank holiday weekend was perfect to give guests an extra day to recover!
We got married at Trafford Hall, on the outskirts of Chester. We looked at so many venues at the beginning, and they all seemed very similar and nothing stood out for us. We then stumbled across Trafford Hall, not a lot of people had heard of it and that made it more appealing to us. When we went to visit, we fell in love with it. The building itself is so grand and elegant, with so many period features it doesn’t need much dressing for an occasion! The grounds were breath-taking; acres of woodland and gorgeous sunken gardens, it was the perfect backdrop for a wedding. As a whole, it was everything we were looking for!
Our theme was rustic romance. We wanted a relaxed ‘vintagey’ feel to our wedding, which suited our venue to a tee.
The colour scheme was burnt orange and olive/sage green. Green is my favourite colour and (at the time I chose it) not a very popular colour for weddings. Teamed with burnt orange to give a pop of colour, the two complemented each other perfectly.
My bridal gown was just breath-taking. It was an ivory Mori Lee gown, which I got from Bellissima Brides in Brimstage. I was looking for a classy, elegant dress that wasn’t too busy. It sounds like a cliché but you really do know when you find ‘the one’! I chose it because it ticked all the boxes. I didn’t want a strapless dress, and this had a gorgeous lace overlay to cover my chest, and a deep V at the back. It was elegant, classy and modern all at the same time.
Rocks for Frocks in Liverpool provided my bridal headpiece and jewellery. They really listened to what I wanted and created beautiful bespoke pieces for me.
Dan hired his suit from Attire Menswear in Wallasey. He wore a mid-grey tailcoat with olive neckwear and pocket hankie. It was finished off with an ivory waistcoat with an olive swirl pattern throughout. The groomsmen wore the same as Dan, apart from a slightly different waistcoat. They had an ivory swirl pattern.
The bridesmaids wore Dessy floor-length olive dresses, which were also from Bellissima Brides.
Dan and the groomsmen travelled to the venue in a red VW camper van. The owner was a friend of the father-of-the-groom Steve Ratcliffe, and he drove the boys to the big day in style!
Our photographer was the amazing Jessica O’Shaughnessy. We highly recommend her to anybody looking for very natural photography. She captures more than just what she can see, she also captures the emotion of the day. We didn’t want a lot of posed photos and she listened to everything we wanted and what were concerned about, and helped in any way she could to make it perfect. On top of all that she is genuinely a lovely person!
The flowers for the bridal party were provided by The Olive Tree in Brimstage. The bridesmaids had small posies of long stemmed burnt orange gerbera. My bridal bouquet also had burnt orange gerbera, yellow roses, white berries and green foliage. They were arranged in a loose, hand-picked fashion, wrapped in ivory ribbon.
We hired the amazing Sweetpea and Ivy to dress our venue inside and the grounds as well. I cannot recommend them enough. Nothing was too much, they really helped us develop our vision on what we wanted, and we genuinely felt like they wanted to help make our day perfect and were just as invested in it as we were!
As a special touch outside the ceremony room we had a photo board. It contained pictures of Dan and I from when we were babies up to present day. It was lovely for guests to see us at each stage of our lives, together and before we met.
Instead of traditional favours, we had jam jars with blackboard stickers on them, so guests could write their name on their jar and use it throughout the day and take home. They were given out during the post-ceremony drinks of Pimms, and were teamed with vintage striped orange and white paper straws.
We had a three-tier wedding cake and each tier was a different flavour! The bottom tier was fruit, middle was lemon and top was chocolate. It was simply decorated with a waterfall lace design, topped with simple yellow roses and yellow ribbon to tie in with the bridal flowers.
We opted for an untraditional wedding breakfast, having afternoon tea instead of a formal meal. This suited the feel of our day and our personalities more, and it went down a treat! We had a variety of sandwiches and quiche, scones with clotted cream and jam and cupcakes. Each table was served with a choice of tea or coffee or wine by the lovely staff at Trafford Hall. In the evening we had a barbecue, which was amazing. We are still receiving comments on how nice the food was from guests!
To provide entertainment during the ceremony and welcome drinks, we hired a classical guitarist to play. We really wanted live music but something subtle, and this was perfect. During the evening we had a DJ play a variety of music from all different genres and eras to suit all guests. Notable Music provided the classical guitarist and DJ. They were really easy to plan with and are a recommended supplier for Trafford Hall.
We would highly recommend Trafford Hall to anyone currently looking for a wedding venue! Putting the beauty of the place aside, the staff are so accommodating and made everything that little bit easier. A special mention to Emyr, the wedding coordinator. He did everything he could to make sure our wedding was everything we wanted, and offered advice when we were unsure about anything. There are no hidden costs within their quotes, and you get so much for your money. An added bonus for us is that when they are not hosting weddings and functions, Trafford Hall is a base for a charity that supports low income adults. Everything we paid goes back into something that helps people.
It’s so hard to pick one favourite part of the day; there are so many! I think when I started walking up the aisle and saw Dan’s face. I will cherish that moment forever. We were both so happy to see each other – I really did marry my best friend.
We went to Mexico on our honeymoon and stayed in the El Dorado Casitas Royale. It was like heaven on earth. Our suite was bigger than the whole downstairs of our house! We had a private pool and bar that was shared with 19 other suites, and were a stone’s throw from the beach. The food was incredible and cocktails were incredible – there wasn’t a fault with any of it! The staff go out of their way to make sure it’s the best holiday of your life. It was a perfect place to relax, unwind and reminisce about our wedding.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t worry too much about what your guests will think. It’s your day. It should be what you and your partner want, not anyone else. They are all there to celebrate you and your love. They really aren’t going to remember if the bows on the chairs aren’t all uniform! I was far too stressed about what guests would think of the venue, the venue dressing, if everything matched etc. and all that mattered at the end of the day was that Dan and I were husband and wife. If you are happy, then your guests will be happy.