Feel good factor is in full flow on the blog today as we share the beautiful big day of Abbie and Robert. It was fourth time lucky for this gorgeous couple when they tied the knot in August 2021, having continuously postponed their nuptials due to a catalogue of Covid restrictions.
When finally able to forge ahead with their plans, Abbie and Robert decided on a small, intimate and oh so special wedding ceremony at the most beautiful local church, followed by one of the loveliest at-home receptions we’ve ever had the privilege of sharing!
Held at Abbie’s parents’ house in rural Cheshire, their close-knit celebrations with a guest-list of just 35 were wonderfully relaxed and beautifully informal. We just adore the thought of the party packing into the living room for the speeches before dining upon a huge grazing share board with prosecco and pints in hand.
Abbie looks insanely pretty in a boho-style Pronovias gown which suits the chilled vibes of the day, along with her bridesmaids, who each wore mismatched pastel-toned floral dresses.
Experiencing the best of both wedding worlds, Abbie and Robert will be following up their low-key nuptials with a full-on big day bash reception in June this year, and we couldn’t be any more stoked for them. Good things really do come to those who wait!
Abbie says: We got engaged on 23rd August 2019. We were supposed to be heading off on a five-hour drive to Suffolk for a family holiday after quickly visiting the house we had just bought (our first!). But Robert convinced me that Maggie, our little Parson Russell Terrier, needed a good, long walk before we hit the road.
He picked one of our favourite walks near home in Cheshire, that takes you through beautiful woodland to the Peover Eye – a picturesque stream that, in all honesty, is where you would expect fairies to live. It is bliss!
I stood on a bridge over the stream, taking pictures of Robert playing in the water with Maggie. Oddly thinking to myself, blimey, this would be a lovely place to get engaged… Robert called me down to the stream’s edge under the guise of getting Maggie to try and swim (she only ever paddles!).
As I joined him, he asked, “Are you happy with our life together?” to which I replied, “Yes! We have our beautiful first home, and we’re going to live in it and get married and have babies!” At which point Robert said, “On that note…” and he was down on one knee in a flash, with the most beautiful ring in his hand! He’d been hiding it in his pocket along with dog biscuits and poo bags!
I was so shocked that I couldn’t even respond (think the Vicar of Dibley episode where Geraldine does the Emma Thompson impression….). I was a blubbering mess, and poor Robert’s welly boot was filling with water because he’d put his knee in the stream!
It was perfect. We continued our walk to The Dog at Peover, and celebrated with prosecco (me), pints of Big Tree ale (him), and fish finger sandwiches!
We got married on 21st August 2021. It was our fourth date (thank you Covid!). And we actually have a fifth date – 11th June 2022 – for our ‘big reception’!
It was a small, homemade day, a chance for us to finally become husband and wife with our nearest and dearest. And June 2022 is the knees up with the full gang!
We got married at All Saint’s Church, Siddington – one of the most stunning village churches in Cheshire. All of our guests, in person and on Zoom, commented on what a stunning building it is. We were so lucky to be able to get married there.
The reception that followed was held at my parents’ house in Lower Withington, Cheshire. They have a beautiful, beamed farmhouse overlooking open fields, with Jodrell Bank in the distance. As we only had 35 people at the reception, we were able to fit it into the house and garden.
Our wedding was relaxed, informal and intimate. We wanted to keep things as low key as possible to save the ‘big bash’ feeling for the party reception in June 2022.
August 2021 felt so special with such a small group – we were able to spend time with absolutely everyone on the day.
My dress was Mimosa from Pronovias. I bought it from Brides of Chester and picked it because it was a lovely boho style to match our relaxed, Cheshire countryside style. It wasn’t too formal and didn’t require complicated underwear! Being comfortable and able to enjoy myself without the constraints of a fiddly dress was really important to me.
I wore my sister’s veil as my something borrowed.
I initially bought lovely sage green wrap dresses. But with all the delays and time that went by – including one of my bridesmaids becoming pregnant and then welcoming that new baby into the world – the dresses just weren’t quite right for everyone by the time the day came round.
So, I simply said – please wear pastel – and the girls did the rest! They all ended up in floral dresses, and all felt happy and comfortable in what they were wearing, which was really important to me.
My sister stepped in as a bridesmaid on the day as sadly one of the girls couldn’t make it at the last minute, but luckily she already had a floral dress picked!
Makeup was taken care of by Chelsea Bridal Makeup – perfect for brides who don’t wear a lot of make-up usually and want a soft, natural look.
Chelsea is the absolute best! She recently won her category at the County Brides North West Wedding Awards – an award that is so well deserved. She is a joy!
We borrowed an old black Land Rover Defender from a friend – we loved it!
My dad drove me to the church, and Robert drove us away. It was so lovely to have some alone time, just the two of us, straight after the ceremony. Having, of course, not seen each other since the day before, we were so happy to be back by each other’s side.
Our photography was by the wonderful Kate McCarthy! I cannot recommend her highly enough, and she, with all honesty, is such a big part of why we think so fondly of our big day.
I had assumed that our wedding photos would all be about how beautiful/handsome we looked, dolled up in our best clothes… but when they arrived in my inbox, I instantly knew it wasn’t what the pictures looked like; it’s how they make you feel! Every single photo fills me with joy and transports me back to exactly how I felt in that moment. It was a day simply filled with laughter.
Also, lots of our married friends who have encountered wedding photographers commented on how quick Kate was – no one felt dragged away from the party, and Robert and I were only away from our guests for about 15 minutes. She is a magician.
Myke Caulton Floral Couture was our florist.
My bouquet was loose and informal, made up of vintage roses, eucalyptus and thistles! My bridesmaids had simple posies of gypsophila.
The boys’ buttonholes were made of shotgun cartridges with thistles and feathers. Some of the feathers were used in my bouquet too!
My parents’ house is so beautiful already, so when it came to the setting, we let that do the talking mostly! At one point, we were hoping to get married in May 2021, so my mum planted 600 tulips that would bloom at that time…. sadly, the date came and went without a wedding as Covid restrictions were so strict at that time.
So instead, we added to what was already looking so beautiful in the garden with pots of white hydrangeas, enormous hanging baskets and festoon lights in the trees.
Myke Caulton also made some foliage garlands which we had dotted around the house as rain meant we spent the first half of the day indoors!
We had a lovely, rich chocolate cake made by a family friend.
We had canapes from TopTable followed by a stunning graze table for the main provided by Cheshire Grazing Company.
We stockpiled wine and fizz from the supermarket in the lead up to the wedding, plus G&Ts and Aperol Spritz. Robert also sourced a keg of Big Tree, his favourite beer, from Dunham Massey Brewing – the boys loved pulling their own pints, and it went down a treat.
We’re saving this bit for June 2022!
An extra special thank you goes to our photographer Kate and makeup artist Chelsea. I admire them both so much – their artistry and skill, not just at photography and makeup, but as people who share the most important day of your life with you, is just so wonderful. I am endlessly glad that life lead me their way and that they were with me.
The ceremony – I was so focused in the lead up on not blubbing as I walked in and arranging absolutely everything for the reception that I didn’t consider how the ceremony, the act of saying our vows, might feel. It was so special. I didn’t feel any nerves, just pure happiness. We couldn’t stop grinning at each other!
I also loved the speeches. Thanks to grotty weather, the speeches happened in the living room. It felt like the scene from About Time (Richard Curtis) which is one of my favourite films. We all crammed in, sharing sofas, dragging dining chairs in, perching on windowsills. It was so homely and familiar; what a special way to hear those lovely words.
We went on our honeymoon to Mauritius and stayed at a stunning hotel called Paradise Cove. It was a long, long way to travel but 100% worth it, and we would really recommend it to other honeymooners. It is pure, relaxed luxury. True paradise.
We booked via Destinology, who we would also highly recommend.
Believe other brides when they tell you how calm you will feel during the ceremony! I was convinced I’d blub the whole way through and ruin my lovely makeup artist’s work… but in reality, I was just so happy and calm. We smiled and laughed the whole way through.