Real Weddings

Anna Georgina Bridal for a black and white themed wedding at Dorfold Hall – Lucy & Iain

01st October 2019 | Katie Byrne

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These Nantwich nuptials combined a chic colour scheme, beloved family pets and super stylish attire.

Swapping their “I dos” at the beautiful Dorfold Hall, the Lucy and Iain opted for a crisp and classic palette of black and white, with the bride wearing a stunning fitted fishtail gown, the men in sophisticated three-piece suits and dickie bows, while the ‘maids wore elegant floor-length dresses.

In amongst the gorgeous pics of the celebrations is a few snaps of the newlyweds with their beloved Labradors, who joined for some secret photos, which we just love!

Read on to find out about Iain’s perfectly planned proposal and why Lucy believes you should most definitely consider adding a videographer to your wedding day A-team.

With photography by  Jess Yarwood.

Proposal

Lucy says: This took place at Cholmondeley Castle on 8th October 2017. It was a Sunday. Weekend walks with our Labrador Monty are a weekend ritual so it felt like nothing out of the ordinary! We had planned to meet family at the local pub, The Cholmondeley Arms, afterwards, for Iain’s mum’s birthday meal.

We walked around the castle’s gardens and it was so quiet and peaceful, with no one around – just us. Iain proposed and as he was doing it, Monty cried! Probably because he was bored and getting no attention – but Iain likes to joke that it was his way of telling him to do a runner whilst he still had the chance!

True to the plan, our family were waiting for us at the pub around the corner, ready to celebrate our engagement. We returned home that evening to a decorated house, complete with balloons and banners, a fridge full of Champagne and lots of friends to celebrate with us. It was the perfect day.

Setting

We got married on 26th May 2019. The date isn’t specifically symbolic in any way; we just wanted a summer wedding for nice outdoor-friendly weather – although we weren’t naïve to the fact that you can never plan this in the UK, of course!

We had our ceremony and reception at Dorfold Hall in Nantwich. We attended our friends’ evening reception there a couple of months before we got engaged – it was only ten minutes from our house, but we had never heard of it before. We were evening guests so only went in the gardens and marquee but on arrival, we were blown away by how amazing it was.

It was a total hidden gem that was so new, yet so old. Ultimately, we loved the fact that it was so close to home. When we got engaged, we decided to go and visit the venue. We met with Charles who owns Dorfold and enjoyed his stories of growing up there as he showed us round. It was raining, the marquee wasn’t up, half of the hall was under construction but there was no question of looking anywhere else. Our decision was made, and we chose and booked our date that day.

Our best friend’s mum was our registrar and married us. She has known us since we were kids and throughout our whole relationship. It was very special and meaningful to have her marry us, with her son as our groomsman.

Theme

Our colour scheme was black and white. The simplicity of both we felt paired back with the venue perfectly as we thought Dorfold was so special it did all the talking for us and didn’t feel the need to go over the top with theming and styling.

After deciding on our bridesmaids and groomsmen’s outfits, the black and white just fell into place. I wanted all-white flowers as these are my favourite, paired with lots of greenery (I love Eucalyptus). The hall and amazing gardens in bloom injected all the colour we needed, surrounding the marquee. The marquee being clean white and bright with all its twinkling lights felt was so special; we kept the tables white and added black napkins to bring them to life and tie-in with our theme.

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Dress

My dress was by Anna Georgina Bridal from The White Gallery in Ramsbottom. To most people’s surprise, finding a dress wasn’t top of my priority list when we got engaged. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, I just knew I wanted something ‘different’, whatever that might be. I’d been to a lot of bridal boutiques previously with my bride-to-be friends and sister who had recently got married. Doing this, I had seen lots of amazing dresses but nothing I had ever liked for myself.

Alternative bridal is typically boho, which isn’t me. I had a fear of attending shop after shop, trying on dresses that I didn’t like and being unable to find one and the whole experience being stressful. That and the typical bride mentality of wanting to ‘lose a few pounds first’, as well as the dread of feeling like I was playing ‘dress up’ rather than being a bride. All of this made me decide to put it off until a year before the date, when my mum told me it really was time to start looking.

I had come across The White Gallery on Instagram. The dresses they posted photos of always really appealed to me and not having any idea where it was, I decided that it was where I wanted to go for my first shopping experience! I made an appointment and made the 90-minute journey with my mum and sister.

The experience was everything I had wanted it to be, beautiful dresses that fit my idea of ‘different’, accompanied by prosecco, treats and the scent and sparkle of candles lit around the dressing room. Demi, who runs the boutique with her mum and twin sister, was amazing. She made me feel so comfortable and confident and helped me envision myself as the bride I had somewhere in my mind.

I loved every dress I tried on, and my sister was able to take photographs of me, which most bridal boutiques don’t allow. We narrowed it down to four favourites and I had no intention of looking anywhere else. The following couple of weeks I flicked through the images daily, and one dress resonated in my head as ‘my dress’. I made a follow-up appointment and went back to try on the dress I couldn’t stop looking at. When I tried it on again, my mum burst into tears and that was it – decision made!

My dress had a nude undertone with white beaded lace applique, a plunging neckline and open back, with a fitted fishtail skirt. The fabric layered under the tulle skirt was adorned in sequins that shone through. It was unlike any dress I had seen before so fit my brief of being ‘different’ – yet I still felt it had traditional elements.

I paired it with a sparkle belt recommended by Demi (I never would have imagined I would have gone for sparkles!) tied loosely in a bow that hung loosely down my back.

When I was trying on dresses, I realised that it was white dresses I didn’t feel comfortable in; they felt too mature and gave me the feeling of a child playing dress-up. The dresses with nude and blush fabrics were where I found my comfort zone. My dress felt light and I could wander around in it comfortably, which was also an important factor for me.

My shoes were from Sophia Webster.

Bridesmaids

My bridesmaid’s dresses were from Milly Bridal and I had them fitted by Alterlei Clothing.  I don’t know why but I have just always envisioned that when I got married, my bridesmaids would wear white dresses with trains – like mini-brides! On your wedding day, you imagine you will look and feel a certain way that you’ll never get a chance to do again. I wanted this for my bridesmaids too and wanted them to feel as special as I did, wearing something that you couldn’t really wear too any occasion! I gifted my bridesmaids with personalised robes and clutch bags on the morning.

Groomswear

Iain wore a black suit from Marks & Spencer, whilst his waist jacket was from ASOS. The fit was really important to Iain, so his and his groomsmen’s suits were tailored to perfection by Fix 2 Fit tailors in Manchester.

With Iain’s suit, there was never any conversation about any other style than black tie. He wanted to look modern but timeless.

Beauty

Iain’s cousin is a makeup artist and had always told me that when I got married, she would do my makeup.

My friends from Honeyblush in Nantwich did my bridal party’s makeup and my good friend, Amanda Hendry-Hamilton, who has always done mine and my sister’s hair, did all of our hair. It was really special to have friends helping us get ready on the wedding morning, so we all felt extra-comfortable!

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Photography

Our photographer was Jess Yarwood and I would 100% recommend her. Her photographs are amazing; the lighting and moments captured are natural and real, which is exactly what we wanted.

We didn’t want to spend the day posing. Jess made us feel so comfortable and relaxed and it felt like she was a part of our wedding party. She played a big role in our day and captured it all perfectly.

Friends taking care of our Labradors brought them to the venue to have some photos after the ceremony. None of our guests knew they were there or saw them, but we got to have ten minutes just with them on a little walk and it’s great to have them in some of the photos.

Videography

Our videographer was Lavalette Productions. We are lucky enough to call Danny Lavalette a friend and would 100% recommend him – his work is amazing! I had never specifically wanted a wedding video, but since seeing Lavalette Productions’ fresh take on wedding films in Instagram-able edits and knowing Danny, we asked him to capture our day.

It was the best decision we made about the wedding and I would recommend it to any bride and groom doubting having a video – do it! You will not regret it! We were nervous about being filmed but didn’t even notice Danny (or his super cool drone) were there. He paired up perfectly with Jess and we loved having them with us on the day.

We have since said that it’s difficult find the words to describe the feeling of what Lavalette Productions has done for us and how much it means. To be able to watch back the day, moment for moment, paired with the perfect music to accompany our personalities, monumental moments, and the vibe of the occasion brings back how we felt on the day – feelings we didn’t think we would get to have again.

You can watch amazing clips and montages but there is no feeling that compares to watching the footage of your day, with you and your family and friends in the frames. We have both been able to enjoy seeing moments that we didn’t get too on the day and it’s so special to have on film the moments with my dad, and his speech. The day is so overwhelming and goes so fast that a lot of it is a blur, so to be able to have it on film too enjoy and watch endlessly is really priceless.

A highlight of our day was the screen that Danny mounted in the corner of the marquee. During our wedding breakfast, he had created a montage of the day’s footage, which he sat us down to preview following our meal. It was so fun watching the montage displayed on the screen with our family and friends for the first time. That Danny could create this so quickly and include all of the perfect moments from the day so far seamlessly is testament to how talented he is!

That video stayed on repeat for our guests to enjoy. Evening guests all watched on arrival and commented that it made them feel that they had been a part of the whole day. This was something that us and our guests had never seen done at any other wedding before and was really special and very cool.

Waking up the next day nothing seems real – it all feels like it was a dream and you aren’t sure it even really happened! So being able to watch the montage the following morning was the best and getting further content throughout the following weeks was really exciting.

Our full wedding video was delivered with a bottle of fizz and Mr & Mrs balloon that floated down our driveway on a Sunday afternoon. If there was one thing, I could recommend to couples on their wedding day, it’s Lavalette Productions.

Styling

I carried a beautiful bouquet created for me by Rachel at Ruby Doodles Florist. Rachel provided my flowers and decorations. The tables were kept simple with a range of foliage (mainly eucalyptus) and long-stem white hydrangeas in cylindrical glass vases of varying sizes and matched with floating candles.

I made the table numbers myself. I photographed my Labradors in various locations around Dorfold Halls’ grounds with numbers attached to their collars. These were printed as Polaroids and stood on mini easels on each table.

My table plan was made by my brother-in-law, who is a plumber. He innovatively pieced together copper pipes to create a stand that Rachel decorated with greenery.

Instead of a guestbook, we printed our fingerprints – positioned with an overlap to look like a heart – on a huge sheet, with our names, the venue and wedding date printed across the bottom. We laid out Sharpie pens for our guests to sign it with. We had had it framed and it’s now up on the wall in our house.

Favours

We decided not to give favours – instead, we spent the budget on the music that we really wanted. That said, we did set up a sweet table as a treat for our guests, which some people might class as a favour!

Cake

Our cake was made by Helen Steele; she’s our close friend’s mum and runs Helen’s Little Cakery. We opted for a simple and clean two-tier white cake (one tier vanilla, one tier lemon), which was topped with greenery and flowers from Ruby Doodles.

Catering

In terms of our wedding breakfast, we wanted a good, wholesome meal that everyone would enjoy. We didn’t want anything out of the ordinary and wanted something that we both loved – and as basic as it may sound, chicken and veg is our thing! This is what we told our caterer and she delivered a beautiful roasted chicken supreme with pressed potato, heritage carrot, kale and confit shallot, as well as chicken and white wine jus.

Dessert was our favourite, sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. For the starter, we totally copied an idea from Iain’s cousins wedding that we had attended a few months beforehand: charred asparagus, prosciutto, crispy hen’s egg, white truffle oil and leaves.

In the evening, we had Crewe Fish Bar parked up in the grounds their chippy van serving fish, chips and sausages for all our guests.

In terms of drinks, we had bottles of rose, Merlot and Pinot Grigio on the tables and prosecco to toast. Drinks on the lawn for our guests were prosecco and bottles of beer.

Entertainment

We chose Six15 Events for our evening entertainment. Anyone who hasn’t been to an event with six15 is really missing out – I’ve seen them at a lot of work events and in bars on nights out and knew we had to have them.

We wanted a DJ that would play the modern music that we like to party to. We selected from the Soundclouds of DJs provided to us by the company and chose Jack Sprigg, he did not disappoint! Accompanying him were a saxophonist and percussionist – we felt that this made whatever the DJ was playing appealing to all of our guests’ tastes.

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Best bit

The ceremony! Seeing each other for the first time and saying ‘I do’.

Honeymoon

We went to the Maldives and stopped in Dubai on the way home. We were lucky enough to have generous wedding gifts from our guests that allowed us to upgrade our flights to business, which was amazing! We stayed in a sea hut in the Maldives. It actually rained for five days out of the week we were there, but it didn’t matter: we just enjoyed being away from everything in our honeymoon bubble and spent the majority of the days watching the sharks swim through the crystal-clear waters!

Advice

My top tip for other Brides Up North is – don’t get caught up in thinking you need what people expect from a wedding, or planning to please other people. Have what you want. We compromised on cars, favours and a couple of other things so it meant we could have the music we wanted. No one noticed and it didn’t affect the day in the slightest. You can easily get caught up in the things you think that you ‘need’ to have or that people expect. Also – have a videographer!

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