I do love a destination wedding, the sun, the relaxed vibe and the al fresco...
Today we are heading off to Bolton for this beautiful wedding that took place at Quarry Bank Mill, a unique venue that is the perfect location if you are looking for something a bit different. Charis and Nathan wanted a natural looking unstructured day, and enlisted their friends and family to help put together all of their DIY and handmade ideas. The results are this gorgeous flower filled day, with a table plan to die for, cute details everywhere and the prettiest decoration. Big thanks Igor Demba Photography for the lovely images.
Charis and Nathan were married on 23rd August at St Peter’s Church, Halliwell, Bolton and the reception was held at Quarry Bank Mill (National Trust). ‘We got married in the church I grew up and we are both Christians so it was really special for us to get married there in front of our family and friends but also God. We chose as we wanted somewhere unique. As a National Trust property (former cotton mill featured in the Channel 4 programme The Mill) it had loads of character; in particular we loved the contrast of the old brick work and surrounding greenery, with the meadow and gardens all being part of the venue. Having grown up in Bolton I’m use to the sight of old mills; on Nathans first trip to Bolton he mistook a mill for a castle so there’s lots of reasons we chose QBM in the end. We have a big family and therefore had 120 guests for the meal and 200 for the evening. We didn’t want to hang around so planning only took us 9 months!’
How they met
We lived in the same halls at university, 3 years.
Charis’ Christmas present for 2013 was spread over the whole of advent, with Nathan giving her presents growing in size and expense each day. We were on holiday with Charis’ family a week before Christmas in the Lake District. One day coming back from a walk in the hills Nathan dragged Charis off to some far off waterfall that was never to be discovered as Charis was to worried about the darkness descending. We climbed up the side of a hill when Nathan gave Charis her present for the day. At that moment it started snowing and Nathan was down on one knee. After a quick yes and a few photos we rushed back to the warmth of the cottage to champagne and celebrations with Charis’ family.
How did you allocate your budget
The venue and food was the majority of our budget with so many guests.
Where did you splurge and where did you save
Food is very important to us and we wanted it to be a real banquet.
The bridesmaids dresses were made by really good friend of Charis’ and we ordered fabric to tie in with Charis’ dress and the tweed jackets.
How did you choose your photographer
Igor had previously photographed a friends wedding and we loved his work, each photograph was a piece of art and there when it came to choosing a photographer there was no other choice!
Watters Bridal, LK Bennet shoes
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Jack Wills tweed suit. Bridesmaids dresses were made by a good friend of ours, we ordered the fabric from
Theme or Colour Scheme
We chose the bridesmaid fabric to coordinate with the sash on my dress, so all colours that tied in with that. We didn’t want to have a really strict colour scheme but all natural and coordinating colours.
We wanted to go for the rustic and wild flowers look
Our florist Kerry from Zuzu’s Petals in Stockport was exactly what we were looking for, her stunning flowers and vintage props. We showed her the bridesmaid fabric, picked a few things out from her shop and trusted her to do the rest!
Canapes, Goats Cheese tart to start, family style beef in Dunham Massey ale served in a cast iron pot and to finish a citrus tart with raspberry coulis. For evening food 6 tier cheese wedding cake and BBQ sausages rolls.
We love cheese (and don’t like fruit cake) so went for a wedding cake of cheese, it also doubled up as part of the evening food. Friends are still talking about our infamous cheese wedding cake!
We hired a function band (Slam Function)
My sister has a fine art degree and is brilliant so generously designed some beautiful invitations that picked up on the foxgloves in the bridesmaids fabric. We then got them professionally printed.
Personal or Handmade Touches
My sister with invitations, friend made bridesmaids dresses, bunting made by another friend, my mother grew beautiful troughs of flowers to be used for a table plan. The day before the wedding I spent many hours creating place name with wreaths of rosemary – very fiddly but looked beautiful.
We also chose to replace wedding favours with donations to the charity UNICEF. We named the table after the various things we’d donated to, including The Vaccine Table, Emergency Water Table and The midwives table
The church service was the real highlight of the day- Committing to loving each other and spending our lives together was the whole reason we were there! The drive from the ceremony to the reception was really special as it was time to process and spend time together for the first time as a married couple.
Advice to other couples
Get on with it! Its so easy to put things off but once the venue is booked it all comes together quickly. On the day, make sure you take time to have a few moments alone to soak it all in and those moments are really precious looking back.
It was meticulously planned can’t think of any surprises, it was a relief to see all the plans come together.
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