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Anna Sorrano for a Pretty Rustic Wedding at West Tower – Shannon & Andrew

10th May 2020 | Julia Braime

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Incorporating a love of all things rural and pink, today’s featured bride Shannon planned the prettiest of celebrations for her and her beau Andrew’s big day.

Taking place at West Tower – a romantic country house tucked away amidst rolling Lancashire countryside – the setting and styling came together perfectly, with the venue’s chic décor complemented by the flourishes of blooms and dusky pink palette.

Bringing all the princess pretty, bride Shannon decided it was a case of the bigger the better for her bridal attire (too right!) and so opted for a stunning, voluminous A-line gown with sweetheart neckline and twinkling crystal belt.

We just love how evident the laughter, joy and tears of the day are; from the morning prep through to the dancefloor there are huge smiles galore!

With images by Brides Up North WHITEBOOK Photographer, Sarah Glynn Photography

PROPOSAL

Shannon says: We got engaged at Moor Hall, Aughton. Andy booked me a surprise getaway for my birthday – all I knew was that I needed something smart to wear (he’d given my sister a dress code). So, we went shopping for my outfit. Still none the wiser as to where we were going, I got my hair and makeup done that morning and off we went to Moor Hall – it’s an absolutely stunning place! We ate in the Michelin star restaurant – we had the tasting menu Mark Birchall even served a dish too us (all the staff were in the know)! After our food I just joked saying “Wouldn’t this be a lovely wedding venue. If you ever propose!” To which Andy got up in the full restaurant, got down on one knee, dropped, then caught the ring mid-air and proposed. I obviously said yes!

SETTING

We got married on the 25th August 2019. We always wanted a bank holiday wedding, the idea of an extra-long weekend of celebrations always appealed to us. When we chose West Tower in Aughton, as our venue, the May bank holidays were booked, so we opted for the August date instead.

THEME

I always wanted a rustic feel wedding, as we live on an old dairy farm. With the help of my florist we captured that theme perfectly with our milk churns and flowers!

I went for a dusky pink colour scheme, with it being a late summer wedding I thought the colour was quite fitting. Pink has always been a favourite colour of mine too.

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DRESS

I went for the full princess look! Super long train – the works! You must feel like a princess on your wedding day, so the bigger the better.

I got my dress from WED2B in Bolton, me and my mum only went for a look and I fell in love with it. As we had no intentions of purchasing a dress so soon, we left it…but then on my way home, I rang the shop to hold the dress and we went back the following morning. I just knew it was the one.

It was an Anna Sarrano dress and a stunning crystal belt was added to the design by the lovely Butterquins. I finished my outfit with a pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes.

GROOMSMEN

My husband chose his suit from John Francis at Bolton. They had such a great variety, we got sorted the same day. He wore a navy suit, with a pink tweed waistcoat and dusky pink tie, finished with tan shoes from Next.

The groomsmen wore matching suits to Andrew but with a tweed tie. Our page boy, Archie, wore a three-piece suit from Marks & Spencer, finished with a floral bowtie and shades – proper cool dude.

BRIDESMAIDS

The bridesmaid dresses were also from WED2B in dusky pink, simple yet elegant – they picked their own dresses. I treated them to Kurt Giger shoes – everyone deserves some gorgeous shoes to finish off a perfect outfit.

The flower girl outfits were from Marks & Spencer – they got to be real princess for the day!

BEAUTY

Phillipa Howarth from FLISS, took care of hair, whilst Gemma Bott from Petite Soleil, worked her magic on the makeup.

TRANSPORT

I got ready at home and then my lovely mum and dad took a car each with the bridal party in.

Andy stayed around the corner at the Miller and Carter and made his own way across.

We provided a double decker bus, hired from D Hurst Travel Wigan, for the evening guests, this picked up and dropped off after the wedding had finished.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Sarah Glynn captured our day – such a talented lady! She put us at ease from the very first meeting we had with her and we knew from that moment that she was the photographer for us. Sarah didn’t put us under any pressure, and she covered everything. Sarah literally planned our photos for the full day based on what information we had given her. We didn’t want loads of formal photos; we wanted the day capturing as it happened and that’s exactly what Sarah did.

Our photos literally told the story of our wedding which enable us to re-live such a special day. On the wedding morning she made sure I never had an empty glass and just fitted in with the bridal party. I can’t recommend Sarah enough – she’s brilliant!

VIDEOGRAPHY

Moondance Media was our videographer. Emma was fantastic, she blended in with the wedding guests, so you didn’t even know she was there, yet she captured the day from another angle we hadn’t seen. It’s brilliant to be able to re-live our day through the film footage.

STYLING

I had a huge rustic bouquet, created by Joanne at Harrison’s Flowers. I totally trusted Jo to create my dream bouquet, so other than colours I left her to her own devices, and she created me a masterpiece!

Jo also created fresh bouquets for the adult bridesmaids and flower balls for the flower girls, whilst all the groomsmen and the mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom had rustic buttonholes.

Décor-wise, we had lots of fresh flowers scattered all over the venue, from the entrance, throughout. We had two large milk churns filled with flowers at the top of the aisle.

For the reception we had half the tables decorated in fresh flowers, which Joanne designed and created the centrepieces for – they were beautiful. Then for the second half of the tables, we had weeping willow trees adorned with tealights – they looked so pretty. These where hired from Nicci Lou’s Elegant Events, who provided our chair covers and ruffles too.

FAVOURS

We gave everyone a mini bottle of Jäger provided by West Tower, plus a mini Kilner jar filled with strawberry bon bons for the adults and marshmallow jars and activity books for the kiddies. The jars were also the name places, which were tied on with twine.

CAKE

I chose a simple cake with just buttercream to decorate. It had four tiers: vanilla, chocolate, lemon and carrot cake. It was topped with fresh flowers to finish it off. The cake was made by the very talented Mrs Lyon’s Tea Room in Standish, and it tasted amazing!

DINING

West Tower gave us the option to add a choice of three starters, mains and desserts for a small fee, which we decided to go with as being foodies ourselves, we wanted to give our guests the choice. For starters we chose options of baby goats cheese; smoked crab and mackerel; ham hock terrine. Mains dishes were rack of lamb; roast chicken crown; beef dinner. Then desserts of lemon meringue pie; chocolate brownie; crème brule.

For the wines, Andrew chose the white/red wines and I chose the rose. We went for a sauvignon for both red and white, and a zinfandel rose. All the food and wines were superb – we couldn’t fault the catering!

We also opted to upgrade to the barbecue for the evening guests, which was a big hit. Finally, we added the midnight feast on for the guests staying over at West Tower – again this was a fantastic touch and a huge hit with the wedding guests.

ENTERTAIMENT

We had Steve Mitchell as our DJ. We met Steve at a West Tower open evening and after our initial chat, we knew he was the right guy for us. And how true that was, we didn’t have an empty dancefloor all evening! People commented for weeks after about our playlist and how long it must of taken to plan – we didn’t actually plan any of the songs, we told Steve what we liked and he did the rest!

We also hired a magician – Alex of Zander Magic – who was fantastic. We chose to have Alex entertain our guests during our photos, right through to our first dance. This ensured our guests were well entertained throughout the day.

Finally, we had a photobooth hired from BoothTube who provided a fantastic service – really easy to communicate with, we would definitely recommend!

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SPECIAL TOUCH

We added a memory tree, which was a special touch to both sides of our family. We had this at the top of the aisle, and it was made up of our family members who are sadly no longer with us, but we wanted them there in spirit. It was certainly a tearjerker as not many people knew I had planned it.

THANKS TO

Following our wedding we would certainly recommend West Tower to other couples. The venue itself is absolutely stunning set in its own grounds, with the most picturesque views for miles and miles. The staff cannot do enough for you, from the minute you enquire, right throughout your wedding day. Nothing is too much trouble for them even the little details don’t get missed. I pestered the life out of Alex, our wedding planner, and she took care of it all. On the wedding day itself everything went perfectly and that’s all down to the fantastic staff. We couldn’t fault a thing.

BEST BIT

My favourite part of the day had to be the wedding breakfast – entering the room to the guests screaming and shouting with Fool’s Gold blasting. Also, the speeches were brilliant – we laughed and cried together, such a special moment for us all. My dad’s a big softy and cried as soon as he stood up! Then, of course, the party…who doesn’t love a good dance!

HONEYMOON

We spent two weeks in Fuerteventura at the Barcelo Thalasso Spa Hotel. It was just what we needed, two weeks pure relaxation after all the hype of the wedding we got really looked after there. They made sure our honeymoon was super special, including champagne in the room and complimentary dining in the fine dining restaurant.

ADVICE

Take some time alone, have a walk/take a step back look how happy all your guests are. Enjoy every moment because in a blink of an eye it’s all over and your married.

During the planning I found the real weddings on Brides Up North really great inspiration for tips and ideas. I also attended a couple of Brides Up North wedding fairs, which were fantastic for meeting suppliers and getting some fab inspo. I’d recommend Brides Up North to anyone who just needs some guidance, or those simply looking for ideas.

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