Working out how to chat to all the guests in attendance at your wedding is one of the most common big-day conundrums, but Jayne and Anthony swerved this predicament by turning their wedding into a three-day-long party.
Guests who had travelled long distances to join them could relax, unwind and join the conversation. and key to this was the venue the couple booked. Eco-friendly, idyllically located and able to accommodate guests across its estate, Silverholme Manor ticked all the proverbial boxes. Jayne and Anthony opted for a tipi-setting for their reception, meaning that they could clock the stunning views whilst celebrating in comfort.
And, as it was an October wedding, prep yourselves for a gorgeously seasonal colour palette: think lashings of orange nestled amongst swathes of lush green foliage… dreamy, no? Read on to see all the pics – including the bride’s chic Rosa Clara wedding dress, paired with a custom cape – and get the couple’s insights into planning their big day!
With photography by Amy Jordison.
Jayne says: We got engaged in Ibiza in August 2018. We had just checked in at the hotel and the receptionist had told us we had been given a ‘free upgrade’ to the penthouse suite – but I think that Anthony had pre-booked it as part of the surprise!
We got up to the room and went out onto the terrace, which had beautiful views out to sea and across the hotel’s pool. I was completely distracted by the hot tub and fancy outdoor-shower that it took Anthony a little while to get me to pay attention. He then got down on one knee and proposed! It was such an incredible setting and we had a wonderful few days in Ibiza afterwards.
Our wedding date was October 5 2019. Once we found the venue and had fallen in love with it, we booked the earliest date they had available. It also happens to be Anthony’s parents wedding anniversary. They have been married for 40 years, so hopefully we have as much good luck as they have!
Our venue was Silverholme Manor, which overlooks Lake Windermere. The beautiful views, natural setting and close-by accommodation were the key reasons we chose Silverholme. We live in Manchester and a lot of our friends live in London, so the Lake District felt like a real escape from city life. Silverholme itself is such a beautiful building and it’s also an eco-friendly venue, which is also important to us.
Our wedding ceremony was in the coach house and we held our reception in a tipi by the lake, provided by Special Events Tipis. It was incredible having the bridal party all staying at Silverholme with us, with the rest of our friends and family staying in the cottages on the Graythwaite Estate.
Special Event Tipis were really professional, the three-hat set up, lighting and internal furnishings were exactly what we hoped for. Having the clear panels at the side also meant our guests could appreciate the lovely lake views during dinner. The tipi perfectly complemented the surroundings and vibe of the wedding.
Neither Anthony nor I are religious at all but I really love it when the congregation sing during religious weddings. During the ceremony, instead of a second reading, we asked our guests to sing A Little Respect by Erasure. We had printed the lyrics as part of the Order of Service and had one of our groomsmen play the track for everyone to sing along to. We were really surprised by how enthusiastic everyone was, with everyone joining in! Now, whenever we hear the song again (including recently at another friends’ wedding), it brings back such wonderful memories. Singing together really helped to set the casual, fun feel to the wedding.
We’d definitely recommend our venue. Alex, the events co-ordinator, was so helpful: nothing was too much trouble and she made sure that everything was ready on the days leading up to the wedding. They were really helpful with recommendations and suggesting little details that we wouldn’t necessarily have thought of, such as a local babysitter. They were also fairly hands-off during the day, letting the various suppliers get on with what they needed to do.
We didn’t have a specific theme but knew we wanted the wedding to feel like a huge three-day house party. We love having friends over and entertaining, so spreading the wedding over three days was great! It meant we could spend more time talking to our guests without feeling rushed on the wedding day.
Silverholme had a minimum three-night stay, so it worked out perfectly to have most people come up on the Friday afternoon or evening and stay until Monday morning. We had a pizza party on the Friday night, the wedding on the Saturday and a hog roast on the Sunday. We had our own DJ set-up in the tipi, which meant that people were still dancing well into Sunday night. It also meant our guests could make the most of the local area, going for walks near the lake and exploring the Estate.
We really wanted to capture the outdoor feel, so the main colours we incorporated into the wedding were dark green with flashes of orange, as it was an autumn wedding. Our bridesmaids were in dark green dresses, the groomsmen wore dark blue suits with orange ties, pocket squares and socks, and we chose orange flowers with lots of greenery around them.
My wedding dress was Rosa Clara’s ‘Magico’, with a custom-made cape made out of the same fabric.
I bought my dress from Ivory Tower in Knowle, which is close to where I grew up. The team at Ivory Tower designed and made the cape from a fairly vague description and a few images I’d found on Pinterest. They did a great job!
Rather than wear a traditional veil, I opted for a Maggie Mowbray hat with a birdcage veil.
I had six bridesmaids and two flower girls. We ordered the bridesmaids’ dresses from Mix Bridal. It felt like a bit of a risk ordering them online but I was so pleased with them when they arrived!
I wanted the bridesmaids to all wear dark green but each of them has such a different style and personality that it just wouldn’t have worked to have everyone in identical dresses. Mix Bridal offered over 100 different styles that could all be dyed to exactly the same colour. It worked brilliantly: everyone could choose a shape and neckline they were comfortable with whilst all still wearing the same colour. It was also great that choosing slightly different fabrics meant my sister and best friend stood out slightly from the others.
The flower girls – my two-year-old niece and Anthony’s three-year-old niece – are both very adventurous girls, so I didn’t want them to feel restricted or like they couldn’t go outside to play if they wanted to. They wore matching white dresses and little green wellies!
Anthony wore a dark blue Ted Baker suit – it took some persuading for him not to just wear a suit he had owned for years!
Each of his groomsmen chose their own dark blue suits, and Anthony got matching ties, pocket squares and socks for them all.
Lou Pye had previously done the hair and make-up for one of my bridesmaids and she was so good! Lou had actually been living in Bali for six months before the wedding so we were really lucky that she was back in the UK just a few days before the wedding. She was great at listening to what everyone wanted – again, everyone chose the hair and make-up ‘look’ that best suited their own style rather than matching.
The whole event was in one location, so no transport was needed. We did book a minibus to shuttle guests between Silverholme and the cottages around half a mile away, which was provided by Lakeside Taxis.
Our photographer was Amy Jordison and she was absolutely fantastic. She was brilliant at capturing the feel of the day without being at all intrusive and helped to keep me and the rest of the wedding party relaxed, getting some incredible photos of us looking really natural and enjoying ourselves.
Amy arrived early and stayed late, and nothing was too much trouble. She really brought out the beautiful scenery and setting and adapted to our requests. She also managed to capture our nieces and nephew really well, even though they were sometimes less than co-operative!
She sent us a short video montage with some highlights within a few days of the wedding. It was really lovely to be able to share the video with friends and family so soon after the big day, and helped to brush away the post-wedding blues. Amy got the full set of wedding photos back to us within a month, which is so much quicker than we expected. We love the photos and can’t decide which ones to put in an album – we adore them all!
My bridal bouquet was created by Bluebell & Ivy, who are based in Ulverston. They also provided bouquets for the bridesmaids, corsages for the ladies in the family on both sides, little snapband corsages for the flower girls and buttonholes for the gents.
Keen to make the outdoors a part of the wedding, I really wanted to have greenery as a major feature of the styling. We had two large pedestal displays in the ceremony and hanging garlands over each of the long tables for the reception. We also had a beautiful top table display and used the bridesmaids’ bouquets as part of the table decorations.
The team at Bluebell and Ivy did such an amazing job at dressing the tipi with the hanging garlands. I was so impressed with the final product – it was exactly how I had imagined it!
I’m also a massive fan of the Queen, so we had a cardboard cut-out of Her Royal Highness next to the seating plan. There are some hilarious photos of guests stood next to the cut-out!
We were conscious that during the meal we would miss a lot of what was happening on the tables. To try to get a flavour of what was happening, we asked our guests to write little messages on the table cloths. Some were really heartfelt, some were lovely insights and reactions to the speeches, and others were comedy doodles. It really paints a picture of the atmosphere around the tipi between the different groups!
We had three tiers of cheese rather than a traditional cake: a large cheddar on the bottom, blue Stilton in the middle and a soft goat’s cheese on top. It was decorated with figs and flowers and we served it with bread, crackers, chutneys and a variety of different ports. It was all provided by our caterer, Karen Rhodes.
Karen Rhodes also did the catering for the Friday night pizza party and for the wedding day. We had a variety of canapes served after the ceremony along with glasses of fizz. Our wedding breakfast was smoked mackerel pate (aubergine pate for vegetarians), Cumberland sausage toad-in-the-hole with roast potatoes and seasonal veg for the main, and sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream for dessert.
We were really keen to keep the food as local as possible, so it was great that Karen Rhodes could use local suppliers including a local award-winning butcher for the mains. Sticky toffee pudding was invented in nearby Cartmel, so it was lucky that it is also Anthony’s favourite pudding!
The food was absolutely delicious – all served on time and to a really high standard, The waiting staff were really attentive, making sure that our special dietary requirements were catered for and that glasses were never empty.
We ordered wines from Naked Wines. We chose Villebois Cremant for the fizz – this was a great compromise between the luxury of Champagne but also keeping the cost down so that the fizz was as free flowing as possible! We chose Boy Meets Girl Australian Sauvignon Blanc for the white and Butterfly Effect Australian Shiraz for the red.
Naked Wines were great at suggesting really good options within budget that would compliment our food and the setting. All their suggestions were great so we ended up going for the most ‘wedding-y’ sounding names for the wines! They were also really good at helping us estimate how much we would need for our three-day event.
We also ordered a range of lagers, IPAs and other beers from Hawkeshead Brewery, also very local to Silverholme. We also had a ’bring a bottle’ policy for spirits, so our guests could bring their favourite spirits to put behind the bar. It meant we had lots of different gins, rums and whiskeys that everyone could choose from, without anyone having to spend a fortune on drinks for the evening.
We booked Toni James and her band to play on Saturday night. They were really good: the performance was just right for the venue and the song choices really got our guests on the dancefloor. We opted for two extra brass players to give the music a bit of extra swing.
Some of our friends DJ’d later on the Saturday night and on the Sunday evening.
Anthony’s favourite moment was the singing during the ceremony. Mine was probably the speeches – I insisted on gender-balanced speeches so rather than the traditional father of the bride speech, my sister (who was also my Maid of Honour) gave a speech instead. I also did a short speech just before Anthony and the Best Man.
For our mini-moon straight after the wedding, we drove up to the Galloway Forest with our two sausage dogs to stay in a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere. We are also planning to go to Malaysia later in 2020 for a longer honeymoon.
We had been advised to make sure we took a few quiet moments to really take in the day. There is so much going on that it was important to acknowledge the significance of the day at different times, just the two of us.
Having those moments of ‘Oh my God, we just got married’ and ‘Wow, how great were the band?’ seemed to anchor us to the day and make it feel less of a whirlwind.