Brides-to-be, we’ve got a real treat for you today! A veritable feast for the eyes! We’re taking you to (a very wet!) Cheshire for the vibrant, fun and colourful wedding of the lovely Megan and her dashing groom, Eamon.
We’ve got bold hues but with an uber laid back vibe as these two families and their traditions come together. With nods to the groom’s Lebanese roots, in the shape of favours brought over from his home and mountains of vibrant, jewelled Middle Eastern sharing platters and then, on the bride’s side, heaps of tumbling pretty English wildflowers and Colin and Connie Caterpillar wedding cakes! And, of course, it’s all set in the beautiful Holford Estate with its equally fabulous barn and gardens – perfect if you’re currently on the hunt for some exposed brick venues of your own!
A pretty tangle of wildflowers and hanging canopies of foliage above the banqueting tables in the marquee go to show that the weather isn’t the be all and end all. Megan talks about why it’s always good to have a Plan B but, as you’ll see, even the rain couldn’t put a dampener on this special day. Rain or shine, this couple and their stunning laid-back wedding are ticking all of our summer garden wedding boxes with inspiration galore!
With images by Amy B Photography
Megan says:We were on holiday in Italy, on the Amalfi Coast. There’s a beautiful village at the top of a hill, overlooking the coast, called Ravello. We were walking around some beautiful gardens with amazing views when Eamon got down on one knee and popped the question!
We tied the knot on the 15th of June. We chose the date as we were looking for a Saturday over the summer and attempted to take a guess at when it was most likely to be good weather! As regulars at Glastonbury, we were also looking to get married before the festival so that going to Glastonbury could be part of our honeymoon celebrations.
We had our wedding at The Holford Estate, a beautiful barn and gardens in Knutsford, Cheshire. We were originally looking to get married in the Lake District but couldn’t find a venue that ticked all our boxes and was within our price range, so decided to look elsewhere as a comparison. We also visited the Brides Up North website and looked at the venues featured on the ‘real weddings’ pages.
Knutsford is a beautiful part of the world not too far from our home in Manchester, so we found The Holford Estate when looking for venues in the area. It was a bit of a wild card as we’d been looking at tipi weddings originally, but we took a chance and booked a viewing. We instantly knew it was the place for us.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but we wanted the vibe to be really fun, relaxed and informal. We wanted the day to feel like a massive celebration for all of our family and friends, and for everyone to have a big party!
We didn’t really have a colour scheme either. Our flowers were wildflowers and a mix of vibrant, summer colours like yellow, pink, purple and blue, so we loosely based other decorations around those colours.
I wore a dress from Monsoon. I looked in a few bridal shops but found most things were too formal or traditional for me. I wanted something quite relaxed and fun, and I really loved the range in Monsoon. My dress was a beautiful shape and material, I felt really special wearing it and all the guests loved it! It was also really comfortable despite being heavily beaded. I loved every minute of wearing it!
The groomsmen also wore navy suits, rented from Suit Supply, and each wore a different floral tie from TM Lewin.
The bridesmaids also wore Monsoon dresses. They were grey gowns, with a sparkly top and a long maxi skirt.
An amazing and super talented hairdresser, Lucy Cummins from The Hair Team in St Helens, did our hair. Our makeup was done by a family member who is a makeup extraordinaire! She used Charlotte Tilbury products.
My mum had arranged for a retro campervan to take me and the bridal party to the venue as a complete surprise! The campervan was driven by a family member who had also handmade lots of amazing decorations for inside the van. The campervan also took the grooms’ party to the venue. It was an amazing surprise and gorgeous van, rented from Nostalgic Campers in Knutsford.
Our photographer was Amy B, a creative wedding photographer based in Cheshire. We can’t recommend Amy B highly enough. She is such a professional and talented photographer, but also so friendly, fun and easy to get along with. Amy did an engagement shoot with us as a way of us getting more comfortable with being photographed and knowing what to expect on the day – we got along and had a great time together right away. Amy is really experienced and knows exactly what to do to get the best photos, she caught so many amazing moments on camera without the guests even realising they were being photographed. We couldn’t be happier with our photos – they’re everything we always wanted. Amy captured all of the special moments throughout the day and really portrayed how much fun both we and all the guests were having.
We used a videographer called SMC Films, who was recommended to us by a friend. There were two videographers, led by Ste Collins who was amazing and again, we can’t recommend highly enough. Ste’s films are magical and such amazing quality. He caught so many beautiful shots of the day and so many special moments that we didn’t get to see on the day ourselves. His video is absolutely stunning and everything we wanted – again it portrays the day so well and watching it brought back so many happy memories.
Our flowers came from Frog, a florist in Manchester city centre. We loved Frog’s style as their flowers are so vibrant, different and interesting. They provided all of the bouquets, the bride’s flower crown, buttonholes & wrist corsages and the flowers used for decorations.
Frog also provided our flowers for the ceremony, which we then moved into the marquee and around the barn to use as decorations. We used a mixture of jars and gin bottles as our flower vases. We handmade lots of the decorations ourselves, for example we dipped corks in paint which we then used to hold funny Polaroid pictures of our guests as the name places. We also wrote the labels of our favours by hand. Making our own decorations was really fun as family members helped us; it was lovely getting them involved in making things for the big day.
We had Colin and Connie the Caterpillar wedding cakes from Marks & Spencer! Having a Caterpillar cake is a tradition in my family, and we knew all of the guests would love them! They were served as dessert after the meal with cream.
Our favours were small bottles of olive oil. Eamon’s mum brought the oil over from Eamon’s family’s farm in Beirut, Lebanon where his family is from and from where Eamon had many happy memories. We wanted our favours to have a personal touch and so many of the guests said how amazing the oil tasted!
We had sharing platters of Middle Eastern food. We wanted the food to be relaxed and feel sociable, which is why we chose sharing platters. We had light canapés following the ceremony, such as falafel and stuffed peppadew peppers. The starter was a sharing board of mixed freshly baked breads and dips. We had four mains, a mix of meat and vegetarian, all shared with brightly coloured salads and rice dishes, and decorated with apricots, pomegranates and flavoursome dressings.
For the evening, we had a local company called Wood Fire Smoke, who made amazing pizzas. This really went down a treat with the guests! My mum also arranged for the caterers to put out a sweet table with lots of homemade delicious desserts.
We had a really fun band called Gypsies of Bohemia, who play well-known songs with a ‘gypsy jazz’ twist. We’d seen them a few times before, in bars and venues in Manchester, and loved their style. They’re really fun and got all of the guests dancing!
Two of Eamon’s best friends, who are talented musicians, played She’s Electric on the guitar as I walked down the aisle, which was really special. We also had close family do the readings and a close friend read the opening reading which was a story of our relationship so far.
My mum had arranged lots of surprises throughout the day! The campervan, a tepee photo booth, singing waiters, a sweet table and a surprise performance with the band from my and Eamon’s mums! The Singing Waiters were a huge surprise and got all of the guests in great spirits after the meal ready for the party – everyone loved them!
We had lots of personalised decorations around the venue, the photo name places went down particularly well with the guests! The venue was so beautiful that it didn’t need a lot of decorations, we had flowers throughout the barn and marquee and collected jars that we filled with candles in the barn at nighttime.
We also arranged for honey tequila shots to be brought around the dance floor at nighttime with sparklers, which the guests loved.
We would recommend The Holford Estate to other couples. It’s a beautiful venue with gardens, a barn and marquee. We’d planned to have our ceremony and reception outside originally, but the majority of the day was spent indoors due to the pouring rain!
The whole day was so magical and joyful. We felt nervous during the ceremony but really loved the speeches and evening celebrations. The guests produced some amazing dancefloor antics!
We went to Majorca and Glastonbury straight after the wedding, for two weeks. We’re also going to be spending three weeks in Thailand and Sri Lanka next year as part of our honeymoon celebrations.
My top tip for other Bride Up North would be to enjoy the planning process. It can be easy to get caught up in stressing about the big day but just take your time in planning and enjoy it.
Also, not to worry about the weather! We spent the week before the wedding frantically checking the weather forecast, which turned out to be pouring down rain and ruined our chances of the outdoor ceremony we’d always wanted. Just have a backup plan ready and spend your time thinking about the things you can control. You’ll have such a happy and amazing day; the weather will be the least of your worries.