Our second helping of real wedding inspiration today comes in the form of Gill and Craig’s colourful summer wedding that took place at West Tower in Aughton.
Cue outdoor ‘I dos’, bright bridesmaid dresses and origami bouquets!
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
craig says: We got engaged on 12th May 2014, at our favourite restaurant in Costa Teguise Lanzarote. Some of my family were on holiday there as well as two of our friends. I arranged for the rest of the gang to follow down to the restaurant half-an-hour later than Gill and I got there. I got down on one knee in the terrace area, then the rest of our group arrived at the restaurant where we had a celebratory meal. It was the most nerve wracking day of my life!
jill says: Our wedding day was on 4th September 2015. We knew we wanted a Friday wedding in September so when we contacted the venue and the 4th was available, we jumped at it.
We got married at West Tower in Aughton, Lancashire, which is the village I grew up in. West Tower was the second venue that we viewed and we both knew as soon as we saw it that our search was over due to its stunning grounds and intimate feel.
We didn’t have a theme but decided we wanted the wedding to be light and summery and so chose to incorporate pastel colours, which worked well with the venue. After a lot of Pinterest research we settled on mint green and coral.
My dress was an ivory Mori Lee full skirted ball gown style dress, with lace on the bodice and hem line and crystal detail on the waist. I bought my dress from The Brides Room of Birkdale, who are a Mori Lee premier stockist and I would recommend them to anyone.
Kerry Baker was my makeup artist on the wedding day and did an astounding job of me, my bridesmaids and my mum – she was a calming influence in the morning, a pleasure to be around and I cannot recommend her highly enough! Lisa, of Michael Victoria Unisex Hair Salon in Appley Bridge, worked her magic creating beautiful hair styles on a somewhat indecisive bride and bridesmaids!
Craig wore a navy blue three piece suit from Slater’s Liverpool, with brown shoes and a mint tie. The groomsmen wore the same as Craig, only with a coral tie. My bridesmaids wore mid-length lace mint dresses from John Lewis.
The transport for our wedding day was provided by Rollers Wedding Cars. We hired a Royale Windsor and an Imperial to first take Craig, his groomsman and parents to venue and then me, my bridesmaids and my parents. We were so happy with Rollers, and in particular the drivers that we had on the day, who were so friendly and went above and beyond to help both the bridal parties – from carrying numerous bridesmaids’ handbags and locking up the house to helping all the men attach their buttonholes.
Our photographers were Suzy and Alex of Suzy Wimbourne Photography. We cannot speak highly enough of Suzy and Alex, they put us and our guests at ease and this shows in our photos. They captured the essence of our day perfectly and we are so happy with the finished pics. They also did a pre-wedding shoot with us a couple of months before the wedding which made us feel more comfortable in their company on our big day.
My bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets, mums’ corsages and men’s buttonholes were all beautifully made out of paper by the extremely talented Anne Murphy at The Blue Orchid in Hoylake. After seeing Anne’s work at a local wedding fair I knew I had to have her make my origami flowers. Being made from paper meant we could match the flowers to our colour scheme and the best bit is we get to keep them forever! My bouquet is currently the centre piece on our dining room table. Anne was wonderful to work with and was willing to personalise our flowers in any way we wanted – adding the Liverpool and Everton emblems to a petal on the men’s buttonholes, a lovely touch as they are all football mad!
Our ceremony was held outside in West Tower’s pagoda, so my mum Brenda, kindly made bunting in our colours to decorate the pagoda and added coloured ribbon to wicker hearts to hang off the chairs down the aisle. For the tables we had hurricane vases with pearl fairy lights sat on a mirrored plate with coral and mint confetti scattered around.
For our table names we chose places that meant something to us including both our home towns, first date venue and where we got engaged, amongst others.
For the favours we had charity pin badges mounted on a card telling our guests a donation had been made on their behalf to Cancer Research UK. It was heart-warming to see all our guests wearing their badges later on in the day and we felt good knowing our money had gone to a wonderful cause.
Craig’s Auntie Jayne very kindly made our wedding cake – a three tier sponge with ivory icing and mint and coral decoration. We chose not to see it until the wedding breakfast so on a day that we had spent hours planning it was nice to have such a lovely surprise – and it tasted beautiful!
After visiting West Tower for our tasting evening we struggled to decide on our wedding breakfast menu as all the food was delicious! We therefore decided we would give our guests a choice of three starters, mains and desserts which seemed to go down very well. In the evening we chose a selection of ‘light bites’ over a traditional buffet. These were waiter served around the room to avoid taking up any precious dancing time!
The music throughout our ceremony was provided by Leos Strings – they also provided background music during our drinks reception. For some extra entertainment we hired magician Ian Knowles, who went from table to table during our wedding breakfast performing magic for our guests – he’s been a talking point to this day!
For the evening reception we hired Steve Mitchell, a specialist wedding DJ. He was brilliant at judging the room and the dance floor was full all night. He took the time to find out ‘our story’ before the day – incorporating snippets of this when addressing our guests throughout the night. We also had incredible live music provided by Rodimus, a three piece band, who, as well as weddings and other functions, have a residency at the world famous Cavern Pub in Liverpool.
We would 100% recommend our wedding venue to other couples. From the minute we booked to when we left the morning after the wedding we knew we were in safe hands. Nothing was too much trouble and the day went by without a hitch. For such a popular venue their standards never slip and all our guests were very impressed with the staff, food and grounds.
Looking back I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day. From the minute we woke up to the last song of the night, everything went perfectly, we couldn’t have asked for anything more and would do it all again in a heartbeat!
For our honeymoon we spent two weeks at El Dorado Seaside Suites in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. We wanted a relaxing honeymoon and this lived up to all our expectations! One of the highlights was swimming with dolphins and sea turtles, we didn’t want the fortnight to end!
It’s a cliché but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to savour every moment – the day goes by so fast so enjoy every second! Try and steal five minutes just the two of you – the time we spent having a drink whilst all our guests were being seated for the wedding breakfast was the first time we could reflect on the fact that we were man and wife!