Real Weddings

Made With Love for an Elegant Wedding at Dorfold Hall – Linzi & Dean

04th August 2020 | Sarah Symonds

Are you ready for exposed brick, cherry blossoms and sequined lace? Hold onto your hats, we’re bringing you all of the finer details from the day that Linzi and Dean tied the knot in sunny Cheshire.

Sometimes keeping things traditional and elegant is the way to go, and with a venue like the swoon-worthy Dorfold Hall, it’s super easy to embrace that. With more period features than you could shake a bouquet at, the impressive country house at Dorfold was the perfect choice for our couple and worked beautifully with their rich red, burgundy and gold colour scheme. Linzi and Dean also opted to go big with a Sperry tent in the grounds to do their dining and partying in, adding a fantastic modern twist to their day.

We’ve got all the juicy details, from the opulent floral arrangements to the honeymoon, and we hear all about how our couple personalised their promises with a love letter ceremony, giving them a chance to each write the other a letter, then pop those and a bottle of wine into a box to open on their 5th wedding anniversary. We love that idea! How would you personalise your vows?

With photography by   Lee Brown Photography

Proposal

Linzi says: Dean proposed in Delamere Forest in February 2018. We had taken his parents’ Cocker Spaniel, Busby, for a walk and he got down on one knee in front of the lake.

Setting

We got married on Friday 20th September 2019. We knew we didn’t want a long engagement and 18 months felt like a nice amount of time to plan the perfect wedding.

We were married at Dorfold Hall, Nantwich. The ceremony was held in The Coach House, with reception drinks being hosted after the ceremony in the gardens of the hall. The wedding breakfast and evening reception were then held in a Sperry tent within the grounds of the hall.

Our top priority for the venue was for us to be able to hire it exclusively. I had come across Dorfold Hall online, even before we had got engaged. Dean instantly loved it when I showed him the pictures. We had viewed a handful of other venues prior to Dorfold Hall, but from the moment we drove up the driveway, we knew we had to get married there. We particularly loved the delicate and perfect mix of historic and contemporary, but the thing that sealed it for us was the Coach House, it is stunning and so full of character.

Theme

There was no particular ‘theme’ to the wedding but we wanted to try and remain in keeping with the style of the venue – traditional with a modern twist.

We went for a deep red, burgundy and gold colour scheme for the wedding. Initially we had fancied blush pink and gold however when Dean went to pick out his suit, it all changed and I’m so glad it did. The deep red colour worked perfectly with the time of year and looked beautiful against the gold touches that we included throughout the decoration.

Dress

I wore the ‘Harlie’ dress by Made With Love, which I bought from LOVE Bridal Boutique in Altrincham. I was fairly open minded when I went dress shopping, but knew that I wanted something quite fitted, with a low back and long train.

The ‘Harlie’ dress was full lace, but like no other style of lace that I had ever seen before, and had sequins sewn in which caught the light beautifully. I also wore a full length veil and added gold accessories to compliment the colour scheme.

Groomsmen

Dean wore a dark navy suit with a grey and burgundy tweed waistcoat from Whitfield & Ward. He accessorised this with a burgundy tie and my dad’s pocket watch.

The groomsmen and dads all wore the same suit as Dean but they wore the matching navy waistcoat. Their ties and pocket handkerchiefs were the same tweed as Dean’s waistcoat.

Bridesmaids

My three bridesmaids wore the ‘Cecilia’ dress by TH&TH in their ‘Roseberry’ colour. The dresses were fitted, with a low V back, delicate ruffled sleeves and a sweeping train. I loved how the backs of their dresses were similar in style to mine.

Beauty

Hair was done by Vicky M Hair and makeup was by Maxine Smith Bridal Makeup. Both were recommended to me by Dorfold Hall.

Transport

We all got ready at the hall and walked around to The Coach House for the ceremony.

Photographer

Our photographer was Lee Brown Photography. Dean already knew Lee through close family friends; we always knew that we would ask Lee to photograph our wedding as we loved the style of his photographs.

Before the wedding, we met Lee for a pre-shoot in Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury. We brought along Busby for some of the photos since he was there with us when Dean proposed. We loved having the opportunity to chat with Lee before the wedding and get to see first-hand how he works.

On the day of the wedding, Lee was brilliant at making everyone feel relaxed, and most of the time we genuinely forgot that he was even there! We were adamant that we didn’t want too many staged portrait photos and instead wanted to capture the real atmosphere and moments of the day through more natural shots. Lee did this perfectly and we couldn’t have been more thrilled with his photographs!

Videographer

Lee recommended Mike Langley of Satin Pictures to us. Lee had worked alongside Mike previously and knew he would be a great fit for our wedding. As it turned out, Lee and Mike worked brilliantly together!

As with Lee, Mike made everyone feel at ease on the day and wasn’t intrusive with his filming. He managed to capture some amazing footage without us even realising that he was there. He also arranged for some brilliant drone footage of the venue to be included in the video, which we loved.

Styling

The flowers were provided by Cheshire Flowers, Stockport. My bouquet included ivory roses, ivory spray roses and a touch of burgundy astrantia. It also included eucalyptus between the flowers as well as grey thistles. It was finished with cream and burgundy ribbon tails.The bridesmaids carried a smaller version of my bouquet, finished with cream ribbon tails.

We included a long and low flower arrangement to match my bouquet; this was initially placed on the registrars table in The Coach House and then moved on to the top table after the ceremony.

We also used Event Dressing to help us decorate the venue. In The Coach House blossom trees were placed on gold plinths down the aisle, which was also lined with candles and ivory rose petals.

In the Sperry tent, tables were decorated with blossom trees and floating candles. We also opted for gold trimmed glassware and gold cutlery to compliment the colour scheme. The table plan was displayed on a gold mirror.

The Word Is Love provided light up letters for the dance floor spelling out Mr & Mrs Platt. We loved how these had looked at other venues and felt it helped to personalise our day.

The Jolly Good Photo Company provided a vintage style photo booth. We added this relatively last minute after finding them at a wedding fayre. The vintage camera was very different to other photo booths we’d come across and everyone enjoyed dressing up with their vintage props. They also made up a book of the photos taken and got our guests to sign it. It was lovely to look back at these the following day and see how much fun people were having.

Favours

We gave out flavoured heart shaped lollipops. They were lightly coloured with a tinge of burgundy and edible gold sparkle running through them.

Cake

Our cake was from Bloomsbury Cakes in Altrincham. Growing up in Altrincham I used to pass their shop regularly and see the beautiful cakes in the window, I always knew I wanted to go to them for my wedding cake.

We went for a three tier cake, with individual flavours in each tier – Victoria sponge, lemon and chocolate orange. The top tier had iced beading around the middle, as did the middle tier. In the middle we also had our initials drawn in gold. The bottom tier has an ombre burgundy finish with gold leaf around the bottom.

Dining

Catherine Skates provided the catering for our drinks reception and wedding breakfast.

The wedding breakfast included a parsnip and apple soup, duo of beef and a lemon meringue pie. We wanted to keep the food quite simple with flavours that we knew people would like, and Catherine Skates made each dish taste and look incredible!

In the evening, catering was provided by I Knead Pizza. They set up their pizza oven in the grounds of the walled garden and served fresh stonebaked pizzas to our guests. We’ve both been known to pick up a pizza after a night out, so this was the perfect choice for us! We lit fire pits in the walled garden and guests were able to sit around these on hay bales, toasting marshmallows.

We also made up bags of sweets for guests to help themselves to in the evening. They went down extremely well, particularly after everyone had had a few drinks!

Entertainment

We booked the band Colour Blue through Jonny Ross Music. They provided an acoustic set for the ceremony and drinks reception and then a full band for the evening reception.

Special touches

As well as the traditional wedding ceremony, we also chose to include a love letter ceremony. For this, we each wrote the other a letter in the run up to the wedding. During the ceremony we put our letters, and a bottle of wine, into a box and agreed to read the letters and open the wine on our 5th wedding anniversary.

Thanks to

Dorfold Hall is like no other venue we’ve seen – from the breath taking driveway and perfectly manicured gardens with views over the Cheshire countryside, to the beautifully restored hall, it provided the perfect backdrop to our wedding.

The accommodation, both within the hall and the two cottages on site, is exceptional and The Coach House feels lovely and intimate without having to compromise on size.

The team made us feel at home from the very first time we visited; they provided a personalised service and were so committed to making sure that our wedding day was perfect from start to finish. They were always on hand to make recommendations that we knew we could trust and they honestly couldn’t have done more for us.

Best bit

We adored the drinks reception in the gardens after the ceremony. The weather was perfect, the band were playing and drinks & canapes were being served. We both enjoyed a moment together, looking out at all our guests chatting, laughing and playing lawn games. It was the moment we realised we had actually pulled off our dream wedding!

Honeymoon

We spent three weeks in South Africa in November and December 2019. We spent a few days in Cape Town exploring Table Mountain, Cape Point, Robben Island etc, and then drove along the garden route. We stopped off in Franschhoek and went wine tasting, cage-dived with great white sharks in Gansbaai, stayed in a treetop hideaway in Plettenberg Bay and took surfing lessons in Jeffreys Bay. However, the highlight of the trip had to be the three-day safari we took in Amakhala, Eastern Cape.

Advice

We spent some time reading about the real weddings featured on the Brides Up North site, which were a great way to see what had worked well for other couples at other venues and also gave us some inspiration for our wedding. The online directory is also a great way to find trusted suppliers; there are so many different directions in which you could turn when planning a wedding, it’s great to be able to have a list of people to go to.

Steadily chip away at the planning in the run up to the day, don’t leave it all to the last minute if you can avoid it. We started booking suppliers as soon as we had a date and venue booked to make sure that we were able to secure the people we knew we wanted, and then kept on top of the organisation right the way through. So many suppliers are booked up several years in advance so if you have an idea of who you want, get them booked right away. This meant that in the final few months/weeks/days there were very few stressful moments, or things left to do, and we were able to really enjoy the countdown to the big day.

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