Derbyshire Wedding

real wedding recap: antlers & heather for a countryside wedding at chatsworth – clare & tom

28th June 2016 | Rachel Hirst

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It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (55)

From the moment we set eyes on today’s real wedding we instantly fell head over heels.

As if bride Clare’s beautiful blush dress wasn’t enough to makes us go weak at the knees, we also found ourselves majorly swooning over the stately venue, stunning styling and beautiful blooms. What we’re trying to say is that we love everything about it – and we’re pretty sure you will too!

With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (16)

clare says: We got engaged while in Split, Croatia. We were in the Old Town in a square on the last evening of our holidays and Tom asked me if I would do him the honour of being his wife. Not massively original, but perfectly low-key!

Our wedding took place on 13th February 2016. We wanted a winter wedding and as I’m a teacher we wanted it to be next to a holiday. We also thought that February is generally a bit of a ‘not much happens’ time of the year, so we thought it might be nice for our guests to have our wedding then. Despite the timing, it was nothing to do with Valentine’s Day!

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (48)

We chose Chatsworth Stables near Bakewell, Derbyshire, as our wedding venue. I’m from Sheffield and have been going to Chatsworth since I was born with family and on school trips etc. Now my parents have moved even closer to Baslow, we visit most times we’re up to see them, and so it seemed like an obvious choice.

There was a bit of an antler and heather theme to the wedding. This came from an idea of my sister’s as there are deer on the Chatsworth Estate, and also, it felt like a good wintery, countryside theme. My mum collected and dried lots of heather from the moors above their house during the summer so we could use it for the wedding. We didn’t want too strong of a theme because we didn’t want to draw away from the beauty of the venue, but it was featured on all of the wedding stationary (designed by my brother-in-law) and Zara, from Chatsworth, did the most beautiful table centres incorporating them too.

We had a colour scheme of navy, pinks and white. With it being a winter wedding we avoided pastels. Also, Tom wanted to wear a tweed three-piece suit, which was a lovely dark blue shade so we picked it from there really.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (44)

My wedding dress was a big one – completely not what I’d thought I’d go for – from Surrey Brides in Weybridge, where we live. I’m pretty pale (and it was going to be in February!) so out of all of the shades of white/ivory, the blush seemed to work best with my skin tone. It was totally un-beaded, but the bodice was made up of folds of blush satin and with the big skirt – I just fell in love with it!

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (4)

Tom meanwhile wore a tweed three-piece suit from Ted Baker. We wanted to keep the feel more informal so we felt that this was a good style of suit to go for. It also had pink accents so went well with the heather theme that we incorporated.

My bridesmaids wore navy dresses from Linea at House of Fraser, with belts that my mum made to give them a bit of sparkle. Instead of bouquets (because most of them had children there), I gave each of them a wrist corsage (again, created beautifully by Zara at Chatsworth) which set off the blue beautifully.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (10)

My uncle drove me and my dad to the venue in his jeep. I wanted to keep the transport low-key and not have anything too formal. I loved having my uncle there with us at that special moment – I would really recommend having a family member drive you if you’re not bothered about what car you go in – it allowed us to include him in the day more than if he were just a guest.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (14)

Our photographers were Jo and Simon of Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography. They were just incredible and brought such calm and energy to the day, which sounds impossible, but they managed it! Everyone commented on how unobtrusive they were and they worked so hard to make sure that we got some of the most beautiful pictures we could ever have asked for! I couldn’t recommend them enough!

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (26)

Zara at Chatsworth took care of all the flowers for us. They were beautiful – all seasonal and hand-tied for an informal look.

In terms of décor we had lots of candles! As it was an evening do in winter, we wanted a candle-lit feel throughout.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (31)

As favours we gave sparklers to our guests. In our experience of weddings, favours often get left so we decided to do a ‘sparklers at midnight’ in the courtyard as we were leaving. I designed the cards and personalised matchboxes on a US website who then created them and sent them through the post. I will never forget the view out of the back of the car of all of our family and friends lighting up the courtyard with their sparklers. It was such an emotional moment for us.

My mum made and decorated our wedding cake. We wanted it to be simple, with the classic three-tiers. She rough-iced it in white then wound tiny eucalyptus sprigs around it so that it would tie in with my bouquet.

Upon arrival we welcomed our guests with a glass of winter Pimms. The wedding breakfast comprised a salmon and caviar starter, followed by champagne and mint sorbet, then beef and red wine jus for main, finishing with sticky toffee pudding. We felt that we couldn’t serve venison with the antler theme, and the menu was picked because it felt like a good, hearty winter evening meal.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (61)

To provide entertainment we hired live band The Wrecks. They were fab and had everyone dancing from start to finish!

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (59)

Following our wedding I would highly recommend Chatsworth to other couples for one main reason – Kay, the wedding planner is the most incredible and dedicated person you could ever want to be behind the planning of your day. The food and drinks were brilliant too.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (65)

I loved our entire wedding day, from start to finish – there are too many special moments to list!

Following the wedding we went on a minimoon to Gilpin Hotel in the Lake District. It was the perfect getaway after the madness and emotional rollercoaster of a wedding weekend. We were blessed with the most beautiful weather and the hotel was relaxing, with amazing food and wine.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (45)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – don’t be put off by the thought of having only a few months between your engagement and your wedding. We got engaged in August and got married in the following February. We loved that the momentum never dropped from engagement to wedding, and it was just an exciting journey from one to the other. I would also not shy away from a winter wedding – we both live for the summer and the beach and everything that comes with that, but now we have a beautiful memory and date in the depths of winter to celebrate and relieve such a happy day. We didn’t feel like we didn’t have ‘the perfect day’ because it wasn’t in the summer – it really is about who is there and sharing the day with them.

the big picture

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