North West Wedding

peonies & prosecco. suzanne neville for a sophisticated wedding at thornton manor – charlotte & jamie

12th October 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

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A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (72)

Thornton Manor – an exquisite Grade II Elizabethan house in Cheshire – is today’s stunning backdrop to Charlotte and Jamie’s special day earlier this summer.

Looking to throw a big party for their guests – the venue ticked all the boxes for the couple, giving them the best of both worlds – the grandeur of the manor house and those more informal ‘let your hair down’ kinda feels from the lakeside marquee.

A blush colour palette worked flawlessly with the abundance of peonies, roses and hydrangeas, not to mention the life-sized tree!

Food and drink played a big part in their big day too – with steak, lobster mac n cheese, bacon sandwiches, candy floss and a prosecco tuk tuk van all making an appearance. As for the entertainment – they even had a wandering band that made their way around all the tables – an idea we think a fair few of you might want to steal! Feeling inspired? It’s time to hear more from Charlotte…

With images by Brett Harkness Photography.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (55)

charlotte says: We got engaged while we were on holiday in Barbados with our family. Jamie and I both have our birthdays one week apart, and these happened to fall whilst we were away. He told me we were going out for a meal the night before his birthday to celebrate, just the two of us. We went to The Cliff restaurant, which was as amazing as it sounds, right on the edge of the sea. He popped the question at the beginning of the meal…I think he was too nervous to wait until the end!! Of course, I said yes, and we spent the whole meal chatting about getting married – we hardly ate the food!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (49)

We got married on the 30th June 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and I actually ended up picking the date based on the weather the previous few years! Unfortunately, we were not blessed with sun for the whole day, so my theory went out of the window!

We got married at all All Saints Church in Thornton Hough and hosted our wedding reception at Thornton Manor. Jamie and I both liked the idea of getting married in a large manor style house, however most importantly we wanted a space where we could throw a great party. Thornton Manor could accommodate a marquee on site too which made this possible!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (50)

Our colour scheme for the day was a range of blush colours – soft shades of pink, ivory and peach. We chose this as it fitted with our idea of a relaxed yet sophisticated summer’s day.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (98)

My dress was designed by Suzanne Neville. I had always loved this designer and liked that she could tailor any dress to your style. I actually went down to Suzanne’s shop in Knightsbridge where I had all my fittings and even met with her to decide on some of the final details. I ended up changing my dress four months before the wedding, which was slightly stressful, and it could not have been more different!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (11)

The bridesmaids looked amazing in floor-length light peach coloured, floaty dresses. I wanted my bridesmaids all in the same dress and in a similar shade to our colour scheme. It was hard finding a style which suited six different body shapes and sizes, but I managed to find their dresses online. They all looked beautiful!

Our makeup was by Sammie Mclean, who not only is a makeup artist but has become my friend over the years. Our hair was done by Nicola Evans at Walnut Salons who has been our family hairdresser for many years. I was so happy with both of them and wouldn’t have picked anyone else!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (18)

Jamie’s suit was a made to measure tuxedo from Jim Forbes Tailoring in Glasgow. It was midnight blue cloth with a black curved lapel. The waistcoat had a horseshoe front and the pants had black lining to match the jet pockets of the jacket. He wore a black Gieves & Hawkes dickie bow with a handmade white shirt with black studs.

The groomsmen’s suits were made to measure tuxedos from Forbes Tailoring in Glasgow too, with midnight blue cloth and a black curved lapel. The waistcoat had a horseshoe front and the pants had black lining to match the jet pockets of the jacket They also wore navy dickie bows with plain white shirts to complement Jamie.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (17)

In terms of transport, we had a traditional car to take my dad and me to the church. Jamie and I then travelled in the car to Thornton Manor. Even though the church was a two-minute ride to Thornton Manor, we actually took a little detour to allow us more time together, and to come to terms with the idea that we were officially married!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (33)

Brett Harkness was our photographer and we could not recommend him enough. Photographs were really important to us and we took our time to research photographers and their different styles. We wanted quite relaxed and natural pictures, but also photos that showed the full detail of the day. We got on really well with Brett from our initial enquiry; he was really relaxed and gave off a great vibe, and we knew he could capture everything we wanted. Considering we had so much going on throughout the day and night, and technically across three venues, Brett managed to capture all of this and more, and I think the photos speak for themselves!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (57)

Marry Me Films were our videographers of choice. Sara and Tony are both behind this fabulous company. From the day we booked them they were constantly in touch and made the whole experience very personal, including sending us a Valentine’s present a couple of months before we had even got married! They put in 110% from the second they showed up on the day and we could not recommend them enough. They created a video with lots of fabulous memories that we can always go back to, to remember the day.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (56)

Red Floral designed and created all of our flower arrangements. I knew I wanted Red to be our supplier from the beginning, I absolutely love their work, as they know how to bring a room to life. They definitely helped create our dream wedding breakfast room – this included having a life size tree in the centre of the room! All of the flowers were different shades of pale pink, ivory and peach. The bridesmaids and I carried very similar bouquets however theirs were slightly smaller, they included some of my favourite flowers including peonies, roses and hydrangeas.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (61)

Silk Beau created all of our beautiful wedding stationery, including all of our wedding breakfast table settings and numbers and table plan. Ellie is behind this amazing business, which I came across on Instagram. Her attention to detail and fabulous personality made every meeting so exciting and she was so accommodating to all of my ideas.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (79)

We wanted our favours to be personal to ourselves. Jamie is known for his love of Jägermeister therefore we had miniature bottles of Jager. As I am a doctor I created a syringe of “blood coloured” vodka and grenadine shot!

We wanted to get our guests in the mood for everything that was to come!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (82)

Our cake was created by Suzanne Thorpe at The Frostery– it was absolutely delicious! We were not fussed on having a cake at the wedding, however closer to the time everybody kept asking us what the cake would be like, which made us think maybe we should have one! Helen, our wedding planner, recommended Suzanne to us and I am so glad she did. We still have the top tier and iced flowers saved in our freezer!

Jamie and I love to eat out and we wanted the food – particularly the wedding breakfast – to be everything we love! Rather than go for the traditional chicken and vegetables we went for a trio of homemade sausage roll, Scotch egg and pate. The main course was fillet steak, fries, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and, of course, bearnaise or peppercorn sauce. Dessert was a ‘fairground’ of strawberry vodka jelly and cream, a 99 with a flake and sauce, and candy-floss.

Fizz and Flute was a mobile Prosecco tuk tuk which we positioned in the courtyard for our drinks reception, it was fun and quirky and our guests loved it!

We had our favourite wines with the meal, including Whispering Angel Rose, Chateauneuf-du-pap red wine and a Sauvignon Blanc.

Later on in the evening, we had different stalls of food including burgers, chicken curry, bacon sandwiches and pizza slices. We also had a large sweet cart, with a selection of some of the best sweets. I absolutely love sweets so this was a must!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (85)

Entertainment was a big part of the day, as Jamie and I love to party and wanted a day everybody could remember. After arriving at Thornton Manor we had champagne and canapés, and during this we had a string quartet playing which was lovely. During our wedding breakfast we wanted to create a lively atmosphere throughout, so we had a wandering band, which included a cellist, saxophonist, drummer and two singers, who walked around all of the tables singing a variety of songs from Oasis to the Jungle Book! In the evening, we had a band called New Power Soul Club who were just fabulous and got everyone on their feet, and really got the party started!

The transition from the daytime to the evening involved moving from the manor house down to the lakeside marquee. This was probably an 800m walk of which we initially thought would be fine. However, nearer the time we thought this over and decided to have several golf buggies running between the two venues like a shuttle. These were driven by six of our ushers, and after a boozy wedding breakfast made some eventful journeys!

Icon Events is an event company which is run by our very good friend Dan Thompson. He transformed the marquee in the evening into everything we envisaged a party to be. This included raised seating areas, central circular bar, gold steel railings and columns, specific lighting and sound system as well as even changing the carpet. He also helped source some of the musicians and bands throughout the day.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (87)

With so much going on both during the day and night, as well having a lot of different suppliers throughout the day, we both wanted to make sure everything ran smoothly. We had the help of Helen Eriksen in the final months of the wedding planning who stole the show. Her attention for detail, planning before the day as well as on the day itself – was phenomenal. I honestly do not think the day would have been anywhere near as successful if she hadn’t planned and coordinated it all. Everybody commented on how hardworking she was on the day and at all times looking ever so relaxed and calm, despite her brain working one million miles an hour!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (90)

When it comes to our favourite part of the day – apart from officially becoming married – I think we both particularly loved walking into the wedding breakfast and seeing all of our family and friends in one place, as well as the fairy tale created by Red Floral. We both absolutely loved the evening party, it was everything we wanted – from flamenco girls carrying out bottles of champagne to dancing the night away with all of our friends.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (93)

We spent the majority of our honeymoon in Bali and the Gili Islands, however we stopped off in Hong Kong for four nights on the way out there and Singapore for two nights on the way back. We were away for one month in total. Jamie planned the majority of the honeymoon and where we stayed. All of the hotels were incredible, although I think our favourite was The W in Bali.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Brett Harkness (88)

I know everybody says it but my top tip to other Brides Up North would definitely be to take some time out to be by yourselves. We had quite a few moments, including traveling in the car after the church, to stepping outside the wedding breakfast to have some photos taken.

Also, I think if you are planning a fairly large wedding and know you are going to have a lot going on, get a wedding planner. If you are as meticulous as me, having someone else also with an eye for detail takes a huge weight off your mind on the day. Our day definitely would not have ran as smoothly if we didn’t have Helen Eriksen.

We also found Brides Up North helpful when looking up local suppliers.

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