All kinds of prettiness grace the blog today, as we delve into Sarah and Greg’s beautiful spring wedding at Dorfold Hall, a Grade I listed Jacobean house in Cheshire which offered the couple everything they could desire in a venue.
Opting for gorgeous coppers, blush pinks and ivory for the most elegant of colour schemes, this was exquisitely offset by an abundance of delicate roses and peonies. The flower arch alone has got all those Insta-worthy feels! Other original highlights to take note of include the cute whisky and pink gin favours, and the fire pits with marshmallows and sparklers in the evening for a dose of childhood nostalgia.
Alongside their absolutely stunning wedding photography, which you’ll be poring over very soon – we promise, they also captured their day via drones – a thoroughly modern approach! But, let’s get back to blogging basics and hand things over to the beautiful bride to chat through all the fabulous details!
With images by Joasis Photography.
sarah says: Greg and I first met in May 2011 at a wedding in Trikeri, Greece. Greg was one of the groom’s friends and I was a bridesmaid. He decided he quite fancied a date with me and tried for some months to arrange a meet up. This wasn’t easy as he lived in Germany! After a few fun dates Greg was sent away with the Army for six months and we didn’t last the course. We remained friends and met up when Greg visited London – and I also visited him in Germany. We got together properly in March 2014 and Greg moved into my flat in Balham in June – then he never left! We bought a house together in 2015, and then he proposed on 17th February 2017, at the top of Pitch Hill in Surrey. The time between then and May 2018 has been a whirlwind of work, romance and wedding planning!
We got married on 27th May 2018. We had a lot of people travelling up from London to Cheshire and therefore thought a bank holiday Sunday would work well for people. I also love springtime gardens.
We visited a few venues near where we live in Surrey however I soon realised that having the wedding near where I grew up was important to me. We viewed a few places in Cheshire but both fell in love with the history of Dorfold Hall when we saw it, as it reminded Greg of army life, and me of the Cambridge colleges. We loved the fact that we could do everything on site but have different elements in multiple locations. For example, we could use the 200-year-old coach house for the ceremony, then the gardens, hall and the marquee. We could also customise everything in whichever way we liked and avoid a cookie cutter feel.
The whole style of the wedding was designed to be elegant and beautiful. I had never been one of those girls who had their wedding planned in advance, but once I started planning, I knew what I wanted it to look and feel like. I have a creative streak and wanted to design as much of it as possible so the invites, table placing and orders of service all used my script and drawings. Cara at The Little Paper Shop designed some loose leaf florals for me in a muted pink (to match the bridesmaids dresses that I had already bought) which we put with rose gold and the theme grew from there. The styling of the day was all muted pinks, ivories and delicate flowers with beautiful scents – such as roses and peonies – with lots of texture and sage green. I loved the flowers – and in particular my bouquet – which blew me away! It was such a beautiful shape, with lots of texture, and it smelled divine!
I love the elegance and beauty of blush pink and the pop of metallics. We added lots of ivory to keep it all muted and avoid saccharine.
My first dress didn’t work out – so with less than three months to go I was in a real quandary! However, I came across Kate from Mariee in Nantwich, who in fairy godmother style said she could make me a bespoke one in time! So, we set upon designing it ourselves based on all the bits I had liked from other dresses, and I loved it! The dress was covered in tiny lace motifs and I loved the trumpet shape that was held by a big net skirt. The lace veil was my favourite accessory – the lace edging matched the dress, and then for the evening we created a Coco Chanel style cape to add structure. I loved the whole thing and had so much fun wearing it! I also wore Liberty in Love earrings and decided that silver Manolos were a must – why not?! And Bridal Hair and Makeup in Cheshire worked their magic on me on the day.
The obvious choice for Greg was a traditional morning suit, which he had bespoke made at Cad and the Dandy Tailors on Saville Row, London. He loved the perfect fit and felt super smart, particularly as it was accompanied by Army cufflinks. Greg did a quick tie swap before dinner, taking off an ivory tie and switching it up for an Army one.
The bridesmaids wore blush pink gowns from Phase Eight – I saw these straight after we got engaged and knew they were a must! The girls all loved them.
The groomsmen wore suits from Cookham Formal Hire.
We booked Jo from Joasis Photography to capture our day after seeing the incredible work she did on our friends, Neal and Leanne’s wedding. Greg was an usher and found her very easy to work with. I loved the non-posed artistic style of her work. We booked a second shooter as we wanted to get candid shots throughout the day. Jo and Raf were a pleasure to have there – super discreet, very friendly and helpful with bridal needs. We had three couple shoots in effect – as we did a daytime one, another before the first dance and then an evening shoot. Having seen the early results we are so impressed and love the contrast of styles at the different times of the day. I would not hesitate in recommending them. Their work is better than any wedding photography I’ve ever seen – it’s spectacular
We also booked Andy from Mission Drones the week of the wedding as I saw a picture he had done for somebody else. Amazingly – he was free and captured some of the key moments from the afternoon from the sky and on film! He was lovely to have around, and we were so happy with his work.
The bouquet was a highlight of the day. It was so beautiful, smelled wonderful, and captured exactly what I had asked for. Our florist, Jacqui O Fairytale Flowers blew me away! Jacqui did some jaw dropping table displays in the marquee too. They were so beautiful.
I did most of the decoration myself and spent many a weekend drawing pictures and spray-painting easels a copper colour. My mum’s friend Liz helped create some wonderful ivory bows to accompany the dove grey tablecloths. And I had some ladders made on Etsy that held pictures of Greg and I, which was a fun process to create. Cara at The Little Paper Shop helped turn my pictures and script into real cards and menus – she was great! We also had lights outside of the venue, supplied by Lightech.
We handed out whisky and pink gin in personalised bottles as our favours, along with cigarillos and jewel bubbles.
We had a white iced cake with some blush pink petals, created by Devonshire Bakery in Frodsham. It was lemon, carrot and chocolate – and so delicious it was all eaten!
Catherine and her catering team at Catherine Skates are vivacious, straight talking and fabulous. She created a wonderful menu just for us, humouring my asks for edible flowers. All the food was fabulous. Our wine was provided by Jon from Define Wine with additional drinks from Escapade Bar. Jon’s wine shop is in my parents’ village and I have been going there many years. He helped us choose some wonderful wines for the day.
We had a music fest of a day – all three were great! We had string quartet The Solo Players for the traditional ceremony, some background singing from Samantha Murphy during dinner which was beautiful, and then a huge dance party to Undercover in the evening. They were so good I danced for four hours solid and thought my feet were broken the next day.
We also had a magician who did some card tricks with the non-dancers in the evening and kept everybody entertained. In addition, we had fire pits with marshmallows and sparklers in the evening which took everybody back to their childhood.
Following our wedding, we would absolutely recommend Dorfold Hall! It was a spectacular backdrop to everything that we added on the day itself. We also stayed there over the whole weekend, which meant that we had a bit more time to soak it all up. Candice and Charlie are very friendly and it feels like this is a family run business rather than a conveyor belt of weddings.
Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony. The venue and setup was so beautiful and intimate and we loved doing our vows, then walking out together as husband and wife. It all felt so very personal. Cheshire East Registry Celebrants were friendly from the outset and Julie, who married us, was lovely and calming in nature.
After the wedding we rested for a few days in The Crazy Bear in Oxford and then headed to western Canada. Here we explored the Rockies, took a steam train to Vancouver and then explored Vancouver Island. It was a giant adventure featuring bears, whales, mountains, bikes, spas and great hotels and restaurants!
We absolutely loved our day. It is crazy how after a year or so of planning the whole day goes so fast – so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be, make sure you make time for yourself and invest in a photographer you trust to take great pictures and who you would want to hang out with for 12 hours! Make whatever decisions feel right for the two of you. Changing my dress with three months to go felt like a crazy thing to embark on, but it was the best decision I made – I felt a million dollars!