Having always dreamed of a marquee style wedding, today’s gorgeous bride, Shona, had her heart set on Formby Cricket Club, as the venue plays host to a marquee for one week every year. This also meant that setting a date was by far the easiest part to the whole planning process!
Opting for a countryside theme, paying homage to Shona’s childhood growing up on a farm, the wedding – as you might expect – boasts a sprinkling of beautiful, natural touches – think potted plants, lavender, acer trees and blue hydrangeas. All the stuff of Instagram goals.
Homemade sloe gin as favours, beer pong and a fabulous three-stage confetti throw are just a few of the other ideas we think you might want to borrow for your very own big day. But let’s get all the behind the scenes details from Shona first…
With images by Ryan Rafferty Photography.
Shona says: We got married on 6th July 2018. I chose this date because the venue we decided on only has a marquee up for a week each year and I really wanted a marquee wedding.
We held our ceremony at St Peter’s Church Formby, Liverpool, where Adam was christened, then hosted our reception at Formby Cricket Club, which is just around the corner from Adam’s house. I desperately wanted a marquee wedding but hiring a field was expensive. Adam goes there every Saturday for a pint after hockey, so he’s now constantly reminded of the day!
We had a countryside theme. I used to live on a farm and had always dreamed of having my wedding at the farm in a big marquee. This was the next best thing. I wanted lots of summer flowers all over the place and my bouquets reflected that.
The colour scheme was pastels. The bridesmaids were in pale pink, blue and green, and there were three big helium balloons in those colours inside the marquee, plus bunting that my mum had hand made. She made 90 metres in total! It was all around the ceiling of the marquee and was beautiful.
I chose a figure-hugging dress with flowers falling down the skirt and a floral detachable bodice, which I took off in the evening. There was a beaded belt and the back of the dress was backless once the bodice was removed. I loved the silhouette and the train with its delicately embroidered flowers. The veil was lace and a single tier. I removed it after the church and wore a comb adorned with summer flowers.
I chose the dress in five minutes at a shop down South when I was with my maid of honour, who was over from Australia, then sourced it up North. It was from Sincerity Bridal.
My hair and makeup was styled by Rebecca Forshaw.
Adam got his suit from Marks & Spencer – it was a blue three-piece with a faint check and grey waistcoat and a grey tie.
The groomsmen wore the same suits as Adam from M&S but with blue ties. The suits were a present to the groomsmen and Adam wrote a note to each and put it in the pocket of their jackets.
The bridesmaids’ Maid to Measure dresses were from The Bridal Barn Boutique in Ormskirk. They gave us afternoon tea and looked after us really well. and took care of everything. It was the highlight of the planning process.
Our photographer was Ryan Rafferty. I can’t recommend Ryan highly enough. He was such a good listener and he documented the day just the way we wanted it, with lots of fun moments and natural shots. He was so easy to get along with; he was smart and looked like a wedding guest. We were so pleased with our photographs. He is laid back and professional, a great guy.
I had beautiful summer flowers with blue hydrangeas in the bouquets, supplied by Yvette’s Flower Barn in Little Crosby. We had posies of flowers from Yvette on all the tables along with a circular slice of wood with a church candle in a jar and tea lights. We arranged them ourselves.
The gardener at Formby Cricket club also did potted plants and they looked beautiful and Jackie Knight Landscapes provided acer trees, lavender plants and blue hydrangea to match my bouquet. They’re my favourite flowers.
We gave little homemade sloe gins as our favours. I also gave the bridesmaids a parcel with new pyjamas inside and a photo frame. We did photo albums for our parents as well as us as a thank you to both sets of parents.
My friend made our wedding cake and it was gorgeous. It was a naked three-layer cake, and first layer was plain, the second elderflower and the third lemon drizzle, all surrounded by cupcakes.
The band we ended up booking was one I’d seen at a friend’s wedding, called The Different Lights. Alongside the live music, Adam also set up beer pong and table tennis the night before.
The venue was perfect, with loads of room and it was a beautiful backdrop during the day and in the evening too. It’s only available for that one week though!
One of my personal highlights was the confetti throw, which was in three stages and was really atmospheric. I loved that. And, as I was walking up the aisle, I could see Adam’s shoulders bobbing and I knew he was crying, and then I got to the front and he smiled at me and we were both trying not to blub! It was very special.
We went to Kurumathi in the Maldives for our honeymoon, which was amazing. We were there for ten days and stayed in a stilted overwater villa. Then we stopped over in Dubai. The best part of the honeymoon was going diving with awesome eagle rays and reef sharks, it was just spectacular!
During the wedding planning I trawled through real wedding stories in bridal magazines for inspiration and found that really helpful! I also read a few blogs online, including some Brides up North posts.