This afternoon on the blog, we join couple Charlotte and Tom as they tie the knot in the captivating surroundings of Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa – an exquisite country house that dates back to the 1800’s.
The epitome of country chic, their big day brings together beautiful blooms, gorgeous ice creams and drinks on the outdoor terrace and dreamy photographs amongst the splendor of the venue’s stunning gardens and fountains.
With images by Mr Sleeve.
charlotte says: We got engaged on 21st July 2012 in Bruges, Belgium. Tom had flown out to Belgium for work and I joined him to make a holiday of it. After some Dutch courage (or just a casual drink from my perspective), Tom suggested a walk around the Lac D’Amour at sunset. After waiting what seemed like an age for a Chinese tourist group to leave the picturesque bridge, Tom got down on one knee and popped the question.
We got married on 28th August 2015. We chose this date to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend and so that friends and family travelling long distances could make the journey more easily and enjoy the weekend more.
We tied the knot at Rookery Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire. When we visited the venue, we immediately fell in love with its light airy rooms, grounds and the overall feel of the place.
We didn’t have a wedding theme, as such. Instead, we decided on summer tones with the groomsmen and bridesmaids wearing light shades of blue. We had brightly coloured flowers, with lots of wildflowers and herbs.
Tom and our groomsmen wore slate blue suits from Next, and the bridesmaids wore a bluey-green coloured dress. We really struggled to decide on a colour; we didn’t want anything too dark or rich as we hoped for a lovely sunny day. We both liked blue tones though, and we thought that these shades would also flatter our entourage!
I wore the Cielo gown by Miquel Suay in ivory. After lots of online window shopping and a couple of visits to wedding boutiques to try on dresses of all shapes, this dress ticked all the boxes with a lace bodice and a soft, romantic feel.
Our photographer was Mr Sleeve (Steve Longbottom). He was fantastic and captured some amazing shots; we loved his style of candid, journalistic photography.
We also had Charlene of Love Gets Sweeter as our videographer. Charlene was great too – she blended into the background and even helped out with an emergency safety pin and we have a lovely video to help remember our special day.
Our flowers were supplied by Heather at Living Colour Flowers in Stockton Heath, Warrington. Heather was fantastic at understanding the overall aesthetic we were after, other florists seemed unable to offer any suggestions when we said we had no specific flowers in mind. The bouquet had bright Vuvuzela roses, purple veronica, blue thistle, yellow craspedia, bay, thyme, rosemary, succulents, and was wrapped in blue leather as a ‘something blue’. The bridesmaids had similar bouquets, and the boys had buttonholes of tiny succulents with a small flower, wrapped in twine.
The flowers for our reception were also provided by Living Colour, with an undone feel, lots of bright colours, with arrangements in little jam jars and scientific glassware (as we both have microbiology PhDs) and on wooden plinths. As for the room décor – Eventures in Manchester provided the chairs and room dressing.
Instead of favours we had an ice-cream cart supplied by Isabelle’s Ices straight after the ceremony. This seemed to go down well with the crowd, especially since the weather smiled down on us.
Charlotte at Bakeorama supplied the cakes – we had four! I’m a regular visitor to Home Sweet Home in Manchester, where Bakeorama’s cakes can be found. Unfortunately, due to illness, the plan to make the wedding cake in the family (grandma is an expert) had to be rethought. One day, while visiting Home Sweet Home and wishing I could just order one of their huge cakes for the wedding. I saw an email address for bespoke orders and that was that! The four cakes were: lemon, chocolate caramel, white chocolate and raspberry, and black forest.
For the wedding breakfast, we had a ham croquette to start (which was amazing), followed by chicken and seasonal vegetables, then chocolate torte with pistachio ice cream. We visited Rookery Hall in advance of the big day to pick our menu, and thoroughly enjoyed sampling the menu – we were spoilt for choice.
Entertainment wise, we had a jukebox from Jukebox 45s so that everyone could get involved with the music choices. It had a huge catalogue and we could bring along our own additional music too.
As a special touch to our day, we chose two readings for the ceremony that really appealed to us: Leo Marks ‘The Life I Have’ and ‘Love’ by Roy Croft. Our first dance was to REM’s At My Most Beautiful.
On the whole we were very pleased with Rookery Hall. The staff were fantastic. Whenever we raised questions or issues, they were extremely helpful, which is exactly what you want on such an important day!
Our favourite part of the day was the evening reception; it was great to see so many of our friends and family and really enjoy the rest of the day after the ceremony and wedding breakfast.
For our honeymoon, we went to the Maldives. It was an amazing secluded romantic destination with candlelight cocktails on the beach and glistening stars. There were plenty of water sports activities and a spa to relax in afterwards. We would recommend the Maldives to anyone else considering their honeymoon destination.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is – give yourself longer than you think to plan as your ideas will change and evolve.