Spring has official sprung in today’s real wedding, which features beautiful blooms in abundance!
Centring the styling of their wedding round their favourite season, Laura and Mike went to town on sensational spring arrangements with their centrepieces among the most impressive we have ever seen!
We love the fresh, pretty colour scheme that brings the whole look together and have to mention Laura’s gorgeous long-sleeved lace detailed dress – just stunning!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
laura says: We got engaged at the summit of Win Hill in the Peak District on my birthday, October 13th 2014. Mike had planned a romantic walk and picnic, but the weather turned and it became a battle against the autumn elements. Despite this, we had the most beautiful views into Ladybower and Hope. Mike produced a diamond ring after the picnic, but lost his composure and forgot to actually ask me ‘the question’…or even get down on one knee. After a few minutes of awkward suspense, Mike managed to ask me and I said yes.
When we first met, we discovered our mutual love for the outdoors. We would always plan days together out walking, cycling or running. Spring is our favourite time of year when the days get longer and we start to plan our summer days out. So for us, it was always going to be a spring wedding. We chose the spring bank holiday weekend to allow our guests a much-needed day off before heading back to work after the wedding.
We made a big move together over the Pennines from Leeds to Manchester for work and family reasons in 2014. We decided to live in Lymm for its easy access to open countryside, canal paths and woodland. We fell in love with the area and plan to lay down our roots and start a family here so it seemed right to marry in the area too. We had our ceremony at St Peter’s, our local church in Oughtrington, which sit sits rather majestically on the Cheshire skyline in Lymm. We always wanted a church wedding, as we believe it adds real meaning to our vows and to our marriage as a whole.
For the reception we chose Statham Lodge, a large Georgian country house near Lymm. We chose it following a meeting with their wedding coordinator, Andy Ball. He impressed us with his professionalism and warmness and we immediately entrusted him with our big day with no reservations.
Our theme was simplistic, in that the majority of the work was done by the beautiful spring scenery and weather on the day. Our flowers, decorations and outfits were chosen to complement the theme of the spring outdoors.
We chose a sky blue and lemon colour scheme with the aim of recreating a scene of daffodils, tulips and daises on a crisp sunny blue sky.
For the wedding I picked a Stewart Parvin design, the So Amazing dress. We bought this from the fabulous LOVE Bridal Boutique in Altrincham, Cheshire. I entrusted Claire from Love Bridal to choose something for me and she nailed it. It was timeless, romantic and elegant. It was everything I had dreamed it would be.
I was lucky enough to secure the fabulous Kerry Baker MUA and hair stylist Paisley Gamble to take care of mine and the bridal party’s hair and makeup on the day of the wedding. These ladies are exactly who you need on the morning of your wedding. Kerry and Paisley are professional and fun to have around. You could not have more lovely girls helping you prepare for your big day. It was as if we had two more friends with us in the room.
For his wedding attire Mike chose a Ted Baker Lounge Lizard three-piece suit with a lemon cravat.
My bridesmaids wore sky blue dresses, made to measure by Essense of Australia and bought from Bridalwear by Emma Louise, Bolton. Each dress was different in style and chosen individually by each bridesmaid to ensure they had a dress that they felt comfortable wearing. All dresses though were the same cloth and colour.
The groomsmen wore the same suit as Mike but with sky blue cravats matching the bridesmaids’ dresses, which were also made by Essence off Australia.
On the day of the wedding I travelled to the church from Statham Lodge in a 1960s original chauffer driven Rolls Royce Cloud from P&A Wedding Car Hire in Lymm. The car was classic and elegant and it was an experience we will never forget. The driver even chilled a small bottle of champagne for Mike and I which we enjoyed together on our way to Statham Lodge after the ceremony.
We also hired a vintage wedding bus from Network Warrington to transport all of our guests from Statham lodge to the venue and back. This was a great touch, as it meant that all our guests could thoroughly enjoy the day without worrying about driving, parking etc. It also meant that most of them had the opportunity for an early tipple.
We made sure we got this one right at the very start of the process, as the best photographers are difficult to bag. Our friends had recently married and their wedding album by Jonny Draper Photography stunned us to silence. The next day, we called Jonny and booked him for our big day. Jonny’s work is natural yet fun and creative. His pictures tell the story of our day and we really enjoyed having him photograph us. We would highly recommend him as we now have the best memories to show our children in years to come.
I carried a wonderful bouquet of fresh flowers reflecting the theme of spring. The brilliant Red Floral Architecture provided these. The bouquet consisted of white roses, lemon French tulips, lisianthus and broom. It was truly beautiful.
Reflecting the theme of spring and our colour scheme we had incredible floral decorations for the wedding reception also provided by Red Floral Architecture. Half of the tables had tall glass vases dressed with masses of hanging tea lights holding candles. Around the base of the design there were masses of glass baubles holding tea lights and fresh petals. The flowers used reflected the theme of spring with masses of white stocks, ivory and lemon roses with hints of pale blue hydrangeas. The other half of the tables had tall blossom trees. Falling from the branches of the trees were masses of glass baubles holding tea lights. It was absolutely spectacular. We have never seen anything quite like it.
Our favours were all made my mum. The gave guests a white small box with heart shaped chocolates inside, wrapped in blue ribbon each with a tag saying a simple thank you to our guests.
Our cake was a four-tiered bespoke square cake made of Victoria sponge and white icing with a trickle of delicate iced yellow petals falling from the top of the cake to the bottom. We had this made by the lovey Michelle Marie Cakes, based in Didsbury. They offer a very personalised service in which they come to your home address, and discuss your cake designs over tea and cake samples. Mike especially enjoyed sampling all the cakes.
Our wedding cake topper, made by Feats of Clay, was a customised clay topper that we can keep forever. It was designed to look like cartoon character versions of Mike and I dressed in our professional uniforms (doctor and nurse).
One of the highlights of the planning was the food tasting night at Statham Lodge. For a small charge, we were invited to dine with other couples whilst enjoying live lounge music. We were treated to samples of all food and wine choices in a ‘tasting menu’ fashion. We really enjoyed the vegetable soup and the chicken main and we chose this for the wedding breakfast. For pudding, we went for a Manchester tartlet. For the evening meal, we chose a Cheshire hog roast. The food was absolutely perfect.
We went for the gold drinks package at Statham Lodge. This included a generous Moutard Grand Cuvée Champagne reception on arrival. We then had Perez Cruz Cot 2010 and Saint Clair Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc 2013 with the wedding breakfast. With the toasts, we had a glass of Moutard Prestige Rosé Champagne.
In terms of entertainment, for the drinks reception on arrival we had the Didsbury String Quartet play throughout with a mixture of classical and contemporary songs. They were sensational and made the atmosphere of the wedding electric. They also played throughout the wedding breakfast in the dining room. Perfect. David and the gang are charming and personable, but they are also incredibly talented and professional. It was so amazing to look around the room and see the smiling faces of all our guests enjoying the lovely music.
In the evening, we had DJ Dave Buck, who works closely with Statham Lodge. Our memories from weddings gone by of ‘Agadoo’ and ‘Superman’ made us nervous about having a DJ instead of a band. This was proved to be unfounded, however, as Dave had everyone up dancing until 3am. As well as this, he was expertly able to deflect away drunkards requesting love ballads and heavy metal….thankfully!
What made our wedding so special was that we spent the whole weekend with all our friends and family as most of them stayed over at Statham Lodge Hotel on the Friday and Saturday night. Statham Lodge also had been kind enough to reserve us all a room where we could have a meal together on the Friday. As Statham Lodge has 37 rooms, it mostly accommodated all our guests for the whole weekend. It was absolutely fantastic!
We would recommend Statham Lodge to other brides and grooms without reservation. They are wedding specialists and they have seen it and done it all before. All the staff are personable and polite and we were made to feel most special on the day by everyone. Andy Ball, the wedding coordinator at Statham Lodge, is a safe pair of hands and it is simply not worth taking gambles elsewhere with such a complicated yet special day.
Looking back there were so many highlights to the day: seeing all of our friends and family when walking in to the church, saying our vows, seeing the flowers, seeing all the laughs and smiles. The best bit though was seeing all the individual elements that went into the planning of our wedding being expertly executed by a fantastic team of professional suppliers.
For our honeymoon we decided to visit Slovenia. We love exploring new places and after a bit of research, Slovenia seemed like the perfect place for us. We first visited in Piran, a sleepy romantic costal old town on the Adriatic Sea between Croatia and Italy. We then moved to Lake Bled and Bohinj before a few nights in Ljubljana. We enjoyed going for picturesque walks in the day and sampling local Slovenian wine and fresh fish in the evening. We hardly saw any English tourists while we were there, so we urge you to go and discover the beauty of Slovenia – and bring us back some of their delicious wine!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning of your wedding with your partner as much as the day itself. Mike and I loved making decisions about things together and it drew us closer and closer as the wedding day crept up on us. All of our causal discussions, ideas, phone calls, emails and meetings in the year before the wedding personalised and tailored our day so it was just as we wanted it.
With that in mind, wedding planning can also be very stressful. We were lucky because we had top quality suppliers who had done it all before. So our other top tip would be to use suppliers with good reputations who are ideally used to working with each other.