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country charm. justin alexander for a stylish wedding at sandhole oak barn, cheshire – nikki & mike

16th July 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

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A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Today’s couple, Nikki and Mike, are showing us a thing or two when it comes to stylishly pulling off a rustic barn wedding. Traditional yet contemporary – we think they got the balance just right.

Hosting their big day at the quaint Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire, the couple kept things pared back and beautiful, with plenty of rustic feels to complement the enchanting setting, with hessian and wood textures, bunting, jam jars, candles and crisp white floral arrangements just a few of the delightful details to look out for.

The wedding breakfast was a particular highlight for the newlyweds – just take a look at the sublime menu they dished up – not to mention their elegant naked cake with a delectable four different flavours to choose from!

Plenty of inspiration awaits though, so it’s best we hand the reins over to Nikki so that she can talk us through all the magical moments of their big day. Enjoy!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (30)

nikki says: We were staying at a vineyard just outside Bordeaux in May 2016 when Mike proposed. Mike decided to take me for a morning stroll just outside the chateau, which was on the vineyard. We walked though some woodland and then he got down on one knee and popped the question!

We got married on 11th May 2018. The weather has been great the last few years in May, so we decided to hedge our bets and go for that month.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

We tied the knot at Sandhole Oak Barn, in Congleton, Cheshire. The setting was just perfect and exactly what we were looking for. We knew we wanted a barn style wedding and Sandhole ticked all the boxes.

We went for a rustic, countryside theme, although we didn’t have a particular colour scheme in mind, it was just more of the rustic feel with hessian and white tied in.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

I wore a chiffon A-line gown with a beaded portrait neckline designed by Justin Alexander which I bought from the Bridal Path in Childwall, Liverpool.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Mike wore a blue suit with a grey waistcoat from Suits Direct, in Cheshire Oaks. The groomsmen wore matching suits to the groom, but with different button holes from Mike.

The bridesmaids, meanwhile, wore blue/grey multi-way dresses from M&S with gypsophila worn in their hair.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

Caitlyn from the Base Hair Company in Hunts Cross, styled my hair while my makeup was done by Savannah from Kiss and Make Up in West Derby. I would highly recommend both of them.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (3)

Our day was captured by photographer James Tracey. He was great! We would recommend him to anybody wanting more natural relaxed photos.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (6)

I carried a bouquet of sweet peas, all white, from the Dutch Flower Shop in Liverpool.

For the venue decor – we went with a mix of sweet peas, gypsophila and white tulips, also from the Dutch Flower Shop. My mum helped a lot with the decorations and collected differently sized jam jars and candle holders to create a more rustic look for the flowers to sit in, along with some candles.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (7)

For our favours, we gave out two different types of chocolates from our friend’s chocolate shop in Mumbles, called So Cocoa.

We chose a naked wedding cake with different flavours on each level, made by our auntie Sue, who owns her own cake making business. We had toffee, carrot, mint chocolate chip and lemon.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

For the wedding breakfast, we chose asparagus in pama ham, with poached egg for starters. This was followed by a cannon of lamb for the main and then a trio of deserts for the pudding. We bought the wine directly from France as we liked a particular Malbec and JP Chenet Sauvignon Blanc. We also served pizza for the evening guests.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

In terms of entertainment, we had a pianist called Rupert who was outstanding and chose a DJ for the evening, who happens to be one of our friends, as he plays the best mix of disco, pop and Motown! We also had a photo booth which everyone loved.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

After our wedding, we would highly recommend the Sandhole Oak Barn to other brides and grooms – it is the perfect setting for a wedding as it is peaceful and relaxed with lovely views of the lake and surrounding farms. Both indoors and outdoors are equally nice, so you don’t have to worry about the changing weather. There is a lovely room for the bridal party to get ready in too. The staff at Top Table, the caterers, were also very professional and made the day run smoothly.

In terms of our favourite part of the day, we both enjoyed the ceremony as it was very emotional, however we both absolutely loved the wedding breakfast as the food was outstanding and it was just really nice to sit down and take in all of our friends and family around us whilst reflecting on the ceremony together.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (38)

For our honeymoon, we went to Hawaii, stopping off first at San Francisco then onto Honolulu and staying at the Hilton on Waikiki beach. We then had a week in Maui and stayed at the Andaz, which we would highly recommend and then ended the trip in Vegas.

A Rustic Wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn (c) James Tracey Photography (43)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, enjoy the planning and build up to the wedding, and every minute of the actual day and night itself. So many people commented on how relaxed we were throughout the whole planning of the wedding and we really did enjoy every part of it!

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