An expert in both catering and event management, some might think that Michelle would have it easy planning her own big day, but having seen so many weddings from week to week she was looking for something that bit different.
Cue a stunning lakeside wedding at the beautiful Lingholm Estate near Keswick, with a church ceremony, followed by marquee (top class) wedding breakfast and a stately home evening party. Impressed? Us too!
We must say Michelle and her beau Adam pulled off a truly elegant wedding to perfection with Michelle looking nothing short of stunning in her swoon-worthy Pronovias gown.
So let’s hand over the blog to the leading lady herself to tell us more about her dream day…
With images by Wynn Davies Photography.
michelle says: We got engaged on the 14th December 2014. We went on a weekend away with some friends on the Isle of Arran where Adam spent a lot of his childhood with his grandparents. On the very last day we went for a walk on the beach in the pouring rain and he proposed; after nine years of being together it was a big shock. I remember a lady walking past with her dog, saying “Isn’t it a miserable day” and I was ecstatic! He knew I loved all things vintage and had bought the ring six months beforehand in Whitby. The ring dates back to 1909.
We set the date for 3rd September 2016, as Adam’s birthday is on the 9th of September and he always has great weather. However, on the 3rd, it didn’t stop raining – all day!
Being a wedding planner and events caterer I have been to a lot of wedding venues so it was very difficult to find somewhere that I hadn’t worked at, or that was a bit different. Adam actually chose the venue after working up in the Lake District. The venue is owned by friends and has only been a wedding venue for a very short time. It is truly breath-taking; it is called The Lingholm Estate, where Beatrix Potter wrote many of her books. It’s situated on Derwentwater, not far from Keswick.
We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such. The sail cloth marquee that we hired from Paul at Shades, had transparent sides all the way around and so I wanted the view to be the focal point. The later part of the evening was up in the house, where we just lit all the fire places with hundreds of candles, contrasting with the old panelled wood, it looked lovely.
Our colour scheme was gold and cream, with blush tones brought in by the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s ties.
Choosing a dress when I see them every week turned out to be hard. I wanted something less weddingy! My only conditions were no lace or sparkles, I wanted something elegant and super plain. I chose two dresses from Pronovias that they were able to combine. I had a capped sleeve, fitted, slightly fish tailed dress with a low back and buttons to the floor with a detachable bustle which made the most beautiful train. I didn’t want to take it off! I bought the dress from Eternity Bridal in Warrington.
Adam wore a Hugo Boss black suit, shoes, socks and shirt. All the gents had personal cufflinks made by Chimo Holdings, my father’s silver company in Sheffield. All the cufflinks were personalised with my nana’s hallmark.
For our wedding transport, we used my father’s car, which used to belong to my uncle, who has sadly passed away. The bridesmaids’ car was Adam’s BMW, which I had bought a personalised number plate for as a little pressie.
Richard and Caroline Wynn Davies captured our day and I could not recommend them enough! Words cannot fully describe how amazing Richard and Caroline were on our wedding day and throughout the planning process. Planning my own wedding was a very different experience and Richard helped me along the way. They work so well as a duo Caroline keeping the lads in order and Richard calming down the emotional ladies! They were there when you needed them but you didn’t notice them in the moment.
Our wedding flowers were supplied by Sarah at Leafy Couture. As a friend and fellow colleague, I knew as soon as was engaged that Sarah would create the perfect ambiance with her flowers. She was amazing, with very little direction or specifics she created the perfect table decorations and stunning bouquets.
As wedding favours we created little port bottles. In addition, all the name cards were made out of wood so guests could take them home with them and use them as key chains.
Our wonderful wedding cake was made by Poppy Pickering. I knew I wanted a very simple design and it couldn’t have been any more perfect. We actually went through a number of different designs before settling on ‘the one’ and Dominique was very patient and helpful throughout. The wedding cake tasting made choosing the flavours so hard as we just wanted them all! Our guests all mentioned the amazing praline crunch and the whole cake was devoured.
When it came to the rest of the food, it goes without saying that I couldn’t have anyone other than my own team cater my wedding. it was really special to have Box Tree Events serve the most beautiful food. To start we had lobster salad with mango and toasted almonds, followed by fillet of beef with caramelised onion, roasted garlic, pomme fondant, ox cheek bonbon, potato disc, roasted vegetables and a red wine sauce. For dessert we had chocolate and pistachio brownie, cherry sorbet and grillotine cherry dipped in gold leaf. The wine was provided by Adam’s parents.
The wonderful food continued the next day when Adam served up his own hog roast (The Whole Hog UK), for guests back at the marquee.
The Event Music Company provided the entertainment for our wedding, and wow, did they pull out all the stops! We had smooth jazz played on the staircase while evening guests arrived and had brandy and port. Then a five-piece band played us late into the night. It was awesome!
Working in the industry we were able to include some extra special touches to the wedding. Prior to the wedding we went into the Bridal PA warehouse of tricks and pretty much took everything we own up to the lakes with us! For the day, we manged to include a homemade photo booth (Leafy Couture made the most beautiful surrounds for this), a sweetie table, ‘pimp your prosecco’ station, blankets to keep warm, flipflops for sore feet, sparklers for a sparkling send off and I wrote signs to go with everything.
On the morning of the wedding my hair was done by Hannah and Sadie of Verve Hair Design, Ilkley. I wanted something different to a messy bun, or half up and half down. After a few trails we came up with the braid and I loved it! My makeup was created by Sara Lucy MUA – she was great at touching up my make up all morning between tears!
Following our wedding, I would 100% recommend Lingholm Estate to other brides and grooms. I was a little greedy having a marquee and stately home, but both were incredible for me I don’t like to use a space twice at a wedding and have to change it around for the evening, which is why I had both. Shades’ sail cloth marquees are so unique and reasonable priced and Lingholm is the most chilled out venue – they couldn’t be more helpful. The cottages and rooms are to die for too!
Looking back the church was (surprisingly) my favourite part of the day. I had put so much planning into the reception but the church was so important and it was the perfect service. Another highlight was being sat at the top table looking out over all our friends of family – it was so special.
After the wedding, we went for a four-day minimoon to Spain, just to see the sun as I had to be back to work a wedding! For our main honeymoon we are going to Hong Kong and then picking up a camper in New Zealand and traveling for five weeks in the new year, which we are really looking forward to!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – never skimp on a photographer as they capture the memories that last forever. This is so true and seeing my pictures brings back all these emotions over and over again! Also, on the wedding day find time to spend five minutes with your partner as the day flies by super quick!