Today’s featured real wedding at the historical Thornton Manor Estate takes classic and elegant romance to a whole new level. Get ready to celebrate with Tara and Edward!
We’re beyond obsessed with Tara’s stunning bespoke Emma Beaumont gown. EB never fails to create something unbelievably good and Tara’s dress is yet more proof of that! Paired with sparkly Jimmy Choos and a bold red lip, Tara has utterly nailed that chic bridal look. The lace is the perfect pairing with the fabulous classical venue. Thornton Manor is rich with a wealth of period features and charm – the perfect backdrop for any wedding.
And, as our happy couple wax lyrical about their brilliant photographer, we’re reminded that the photos and video are such a top priority. When all’s said and done, those are the images you’ve got to look back on and remember your day, so it’s worth investing in someone you’re confident can do a great job. Don’t fret though, brides-to-be! It can be a daunting prospect but a little instagram stalking and a peek at our Find A Supplier page could make the whole process way simpler! We’ve got you!
With photography by Stephen Walker Photography
Tara says: We got engaged on December 11th 2015 in Budapest. As we were exploring the amazing city early in the morning, we came across St Stephen’s Basilica. We decided to make our way inside and headed all the way up to the top so we could take in the stunning views whilst it was quiet. Little did I know, Edward had this all planned and as I finished looking around over the main square he was waiting for me on one knee with a beautiful ring in hand!
We got married on June 22nd 2019. My mother had sadly passed away the year prior to our wedding and we decided life really is too short! We had been engaged for three years and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Thornton Manor Estate in the Wirral. We had seen so many venues after initially getting engaged and knew Thornton Manor Estate was the one for us! We had always wanted a summer wedding to take full advantage of the beautiful gardens at the manor house, so everything worked out perfectly.
We chose this venue because we loved the Elizabethan style of the building, its original features such as the organ in the music room where we had our wedding breakfast and the stunning gardens. The staff there were so helpful and welcoming, we felt right at home.
We didn’t have an exact theme at the start however we knew that we wanted to go with a certain colour scheme. We love shades of blues and greens, which tied in perfectly with the venue and the summer feel. We didn’t want to over-do it with our colours though, as we wanted to take full advantage of the venue itself.
My dress was bespoke and made by Emma Beaumont, based in Knutsford, Cheshire. I knew the exact style of dress that I wanted and had been admiring her work for so long.
I loved every part of designing my dress with Emma. When we initially met, she sat down with me, drew out a number of designs and we picked out my favourite laces. We met frequently for fittings and it was so exciting seeing my dress come to life. Emma and her team created a dress that was better than I had ever imagined. The thought that it is one of a kind makes it even more special!
My shoes were a glittery champagne coloured strappy pair from Jimmy Choo.
Edward wore a traditional three piece morning suit, from Slater Menswear. He chose a navy colour which tied in with the theme. This was paired with a grey double breasted waistcoat and brown brogues from Oliver Sweeney. The groomsmen all wore traditional three piece morning suits from Slater Menswear, which matched Edward’s. They all, however, had navy waistcoats, which made his stand out.
I had three bridesmaids who all wore navy grecian style dresses from TFNC. I wanted to make sure that all of my bridesmaids were comfortable in their dresses and luckily they all loved them!
We all felt that the length of the dress really suited the romantic feel of the venue and the colour complimented the groomsmen’s suits as well.
My flower girl is my maid of honour’s daughter. Her dress was from Monsoon and we loved the lace effect at the top with the floaty skirt. It almost felt like it was a tiny version of my dress.
Amy Curran Bridal did all of our hair and makeup. I had admired her work for so long.
I loved having my hair and makeup trial with Amy, at the salon in Altrincham where she is based. As soon as we tried the look with red lipstick we knew that it was the direction we needed to go in. I loved that my lipstick stood out so well.
We didn’t need to organise transport as both the ceremony and reception were at Thornton Manor. I had stayed in one of the cottages at Thornton Manor with my bridesmaids the night before. Edward arrived at the venue with his parents, brother and groomsmen on the morning of the wedding.
Ste, of Stephen Walker Photography, was our photographer for the wedding. We knew that we wanted him to capture our day as soon as we saw his work on his website and Instagram page. It was a really important thing for us to be comfortable around our photographer as we wanted our pictures to be natural. We aren’t the type who have their photo taken much and found it daunting having the spotlight on us.
When we first spoke to Ste he suggested meeting at our wedding venue for a pre-wedding photoshoot. This was a brilliant idea! Ste really got to know us, we became so comfortable with him and he gave us such invaluable pointers. We forgot the camera was even there and it felt like we were just on a day out with one of our friends.
Ste was exceptional on the day, capturing such natural photographs, filled with so much emotion. When we look through our wedding photos it’s like we are reliving our day all over again. Ste bonded with the whole wedding party and it genuinely felt like he became part of our family. We were so lucky that our wedding day was a sunny day. Ste timed everything to perfection so we had the correct lighting in order to create such beautiful images. We could not recommend him enough.
We also had videographers Claire and Jason, from Storytellers Wedding Studio, for the day. They captured every aspect of the day, from the very start, getting prepared in our own rooms, to the evening, partying with the band. We also felt so natural around them both and forgot that there were cameras attached to them.
When we were sent the highlights film after the wedding day, we were over the moon because it felt like we could relive the day over and over again. We really would recommend having a videographer on the day as it was such a special experience being able to sit in the comfort of our own home, and re-watch our special day. Storytellers Wedding Studio are incredibly talented, and we really could not recommend them enough.
As Thornton Manor is such a beautiful venue, we felt like we did not need to dress the venue up very much at all. All of our flowers were provided by Pure Floral Designs, based in the Wirral, which were highly recommended by Thornton Manor themselves.
My bouquet was made of loosely draped white Phalaenopsis orchids tied in with eucalyptus parvi. The team at Pure Floral Designs suggested this type of eucalyptus as it has tones of blues and greens, which worked so well with our colour scheme. I had a small photo of my mum ribboned to the stems of my bouquet in a delicate charm. I knew she was with me walking down the aisle.
Edward and his groomsmen all had buttonholes with matching orchids to my bouquet. The bridesmaids had loosely hand tied bouquets of white roses, gypsophila, lisianthus and orchids.
Our wedding breakfast was located in the grand music room of Thornton Manor. This is such a breathtaking room with a huge traditional music organ and spectacular ornate features, so we really didn’t want our table centre-pieces to be too overbearing. During one of our meetings with the team at Pure Floral Designs, they had shown us the beautiful simple, yet effective candelabras which are already available at Thornton Manor and had draped a wreath of roses, lisianthus, gypsophila and orchids around them, with a mixture of eucalyptus cinerea and parve. We loved how this tied in with our bouquets and buttonholes.
For our wedding favours we had clear tubes filled with M&Ms which had a picture of us on along with the wedding date.
Guest’s names were also etched out of pieces of wood and placed at their seats. A number of our friends had said they put them up on their Christmas trees this year!
Our wedding cake was made by Suzanne Harvey Bespoke Cakes. We knew that we wanted a delicate design of cake, and after we had seen Suzanne’s intricate creations we knew that this decision was a piece of cake!
Suzanne had handmade matching Phalaenopsis orchids to our wedding flowers out of sugar, which draped down the front of our cake. We had three individual layers; one of tradition fruitcake, one lemon drizzle and one red velvet.
We loved every moment of food tasting during our wedding preparations! Our caterers were really flexible for our guests with various dietary requirements.
For starters we had chicken liver pate, sweet and sour red onions and served with grilled croutes. Our main meal consisted of French trimmed supreme of local chicken, game infused mini fondant potatoes, fricassee of spring cabbage, baby corn puree, smoked pancetta crisp and thyme jus. Dessert was a glazed lemon tart, mascarpone cream and Italian meringue.
During the evening, we had a selection of pizzas for anyone who wanted a break from the dance floor.
A big must for our wedding day was to have live music. During the ceremony, we had the very talented Michael Montifroy play the violin. We have both always been big fans of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. During one of our visits to the manor house, Michael was sat in the ceremony room playing and we both got immediate goosebumps. We knew that he needed to be a part of our day!
Our evening entertainment was a mixture of a local DJ recommended by Thornton Manor, Dave Bladen, and a live band which we know well from home, The Henry Revue Band. Everyone was up, dancing the night away. The Henry Revue Band have a reggae twist on many modern songs, making them unique and get everyone up on the dance floor. Even our grandparents were throwing some shapes!
We would highly recommend our venue to everyone! The staff are so friendly and approachable, no task is too much! It really felt like our special day was just as important for them.
The person who stood out the most for us in this process was our photographer, Stephen Walker. He went above and beyond to guarantee that he delivered absolute perfection, which he most definitely did! Ste brought a warm, friendly approach to his work and it felt like he had a genuine interest in us as a couple from the start, forming a relationship with the both of us. We can honestly say that having Stephen Walker as our photographer was one of the best decisions in all of our planning for our special day. We feel like we have made a genuine friend.
We had attended a couple of the wedding fairs organised by Brides Up North which we found so helpful. It gave us ideas of what we really wanted and also things that we wouldn’t have even thought of! We found it so helpful speaking to people in the industry and reading through material which we had collected on the day.
As everyone would say, the whole day was so incredibly special! We have both said that the moment we saw each other from either end of the aisle was our favourite. At that moment, everything seemed to just fit in place like a jigsaw and it really was a ‘Wow! This is it!’ moment. We were both filled with such emotion at being able to see each other, and being surrounded by our loved ones. It all felt so surreal.
Another part of the day that really stood out for me was the moment I had found out that my elderly grandma was able to come to the wedding. She had been admitted to hospital earlier on that week and we weren’t sure whether she would make it. Typical to her true laid back style, she made it 10 minutes before the ceremony. One of my favourite photographs of the day is of the moment I found out she was arriving, whilst I was getting fitted into my dress. I still well-up every time I see that picture.
Our Honeymoon was incredible! We spent just over three weeks travelling to Singapore, Bali and the Maldives. We felt so lucky that we were able to tick these destinations off our bucket lists and experience such incredible cultures.
As everyone told us, we would advise other brides and grooms to enjoy every moment of the day! As they say, it really does go fast but all the planning is so worth it!