If you are currently in the midst of wedding planning and feeling a bit overwhelmed...
As we roll into Friday, I don’t know about you but I’m freezing! There I was enjoying the lighter evenings, thinking that spring is on its way and then the January cold snap hits! Dexter is desperate for snow, which we got yesterday and I have a feeling there is a lot more to come! Anyhow it’s Friday so time for the weekend! I’m off to Chester with Nik and Dexter tomorrow for the weekend to visit my good friend Becky and her family, I can’t wait. What about you?
Moving onto today’s awesome wedding and I have a real treat to finish the week! Courtney and Stephen chose an outdoor ceremony which was made even more delightful by the amazing August weather, followed by a super stylish barn wedding. The whole wedding is amazing, but may I just draw your attention to the amazing cake swing….yes a cake swing! The LOVE themed crazy gold, as well as the macramé, slate detailing, perspex and of course the amazing tree centre pieces. WOW what a wedding! Big thanks to Cassandra Lane for the lovely images, Enjoy! And have a fabulous weekend people.
Courtney and Stephen were married on 4th August 2018 at Stock Farm Wedding Barn, Ashley in Cheshire. ‘Ste is a primary school teacher so we wanted to get married in the school holiday when he would have the time off to enjoy it and so we could go on honeymoon afterwards. We really struggled for a summer weekend where all the family was available despite planning 20 months in advance, the day was special to us as it is my dad’s and cousin Sam’s birthday. We had 155 day guests and maybe 30 more in the evening, it took about 20 months to plan.’
How they met
We have been together for over 9 years but have known each other for longer. We met as our families are friends and our sisters went to primary school together.
Christmas day evening, alone together. Totally unexpected and very emotional!
How did you allocate your budget?
We ultimately planned a party which we just happened to get married at and our budget was allocated with that in mind! We spent the majority of our budget on food, drink and entertainment and saved in other areas to allow this to happen.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We are both quite savy and I love to get a deal, I don’t think it’s classed as splurging if it’s worth the money. We spent more on food and drink than planned (extra welcome drinks, table drinks and adding in canapés). We saved in all areas of the day, looking to do things ourselves or ask family for help was the main one.
How did you choose your photographer?
Our sister in law is a fantastic wedding photographer and she recommended to us a list of about 5 photographers who were the best in the NW. We did meet a couple of them and whilst their pictures were stunning, we just didn’t click personality wise. Then comes Cass from Cassandra Lane Photography, she recommended to meet in The Met (our favourite pub), greeted me with a hug and listened to what we wanted from the day. I genuinely could not recommend Cass enough and would like to stress how important it is to your photographer and not just their pictures. Cass was with us the whole day and co-ordinated so much, made us both feel so comfortable and friends and family kept asking if she was a guest with a big camera as she fitted in so well and was so open and bubbly. We also had a second shooter Mary, who was outstanding and we are so glad we did as there was a lot going on and it’s great to have pictures of things we missed. We were both delighted when we saw the pictures and I cried a lot, they still give me goosebumps when I look at them and I can’t thank Cass enough for this.
My dress was J’adorie by Enzoani and my veil was Joyce Jackson bought from the wonderful Debbie at The Cheshire Bridal Lounge. My shoes were Jenny Packham and my jewellery was a gift from the groom that morning from Swarvorski and I also wore my belated grandma’s bracelet which was my something borrowed from my Auntie.
The suit and bridesmaids
The groom wore a Ted Baker Suit from Slaters, the groomsmen were also in suits from Slaters. The bridesmaids wore Jenny Packham from Debenhams, a bracelet from Thomas Sabo, a wedding morning gift and their own shoes.
Theme or colour scheme
No real theme or colour scheme, we wanted a relaxed country vibe. We were more focused on materials which we wanted to focus on wood and slate but essentially if we liked it, we chose it and worried about if it all tied in later.
Clara at Classy Blooms did our flowers, we asked for no colour whites and heavy greenery especially eucalyptus which is our favourite and a loose natural feel but apart from that we gave Clara pretty much free reign. We were so happy with how they turned out and our top table garland was stunning!
We worked with some wonderful suppliers for this, in the barn we had wooden love letters and Mr and Mrs Letters. On the tables we had a mixture of blossom trees and tiered log displays accompanied by candles from Uplit Events who were brilliant throughout the setting up and collection processes. We had a show stopping cake swing from Lucy at the Little White Attic and she also provided the wooden stand for our table plan and the back drop for our wedding ceremony. Danielle from The Little Card Shop created all of our Perspex seating plans and table names, as well as our personalised slate favours.
Charlotte and her team cooked up a storm and served canapes during the day which were afternoon tea themed with mini sandwiches and scones. Then we had sharing platters for the starter which consisted of baked camembert, charcuterie, pate and a range of other delicious treats. The main was roasted Mediterranean chicken breast with capers, olives and prunes in a white wine garlic sauce served with crushed new potatoes, green beans and pan jus. Vegetarians were served with a mushroom and spinach wellington in a white wine sauce. When we did a tasting session with Charlotte the deserts were so good that we could not decide which one to choose. Therefore we ended up with a trio of mini deserts on the day, which were chocolate mousse, lemon tarte and a meringue with cream and berry compote.
The cake was made by Jessica, who lives localy to us and owns Lilac Pig. She is a fantastic baker and created us a four tiered rustic naked cake. It was so popular that we hardly had any left to take home at the end of the night.
As we had a fantastic outdoor space we had a range of garden games for people to play and we hired a wedding themed crazy golf course by Geoff at Lancashire Grazy Golf, which was fantastic and everybody raved about. Then we had Paul Hand singing with his guitar during parts of the ceremony and during the garden games. We would recommend him very highly, his voice is incredible! Then in the evening we had the wonderful Groovy Revolution play two sets who really got the party started and were phenomenal and DJ Jack James who read the room wonderfully playing a series of classics making sure the dance floor was full all night!
Who supplied the stationery?
Our sister in law as mentioned earlier is a very talented photographer and has just started her own wedding stationary company called Paper and Twine. We were lucky enough that she did all our stationary!
Some examples are; the pallet signs which Ste painted and then wrote by hand, the confetti which my mum handpicked from her garden and dried out over a year before, the complimentary essentials hampers in the loo’s which Ste’s mum made up for us, the sweetie table and the list goes on and on!
As we had a large number of children attending the wedding, we provided personalised gift bags for each child which contained a range of toys / colouring books etc to keep them occupied during the meal.
Getting married being the main one! We also both loved the fact that we had our grandparents there to sign our marriage certificate as we are both very family orientated.
Advice for other couples
The main advice would be to enjoy and embrace the day and don’t get upset / disappointed if anything small goes wrong! The bridesmaids and I nearly walked down the aisle without our flowers, some guests couldn’t make it last minute and the list goes on but nothing was major, nobody noticed and it was the best day ever! We also took the opportunity to have some time together after our wedding photos, which was brilliant to take it all in and watch everybody enjoying themselves. Lastly, work with suppliers you really like as people it makes things so much easier and more fun when you are working with them in the run up to and on the day!
The fact that we managed to get married outside in Britain in the middle of August without a drop of rain.