When did you both first meet & how did he/she propose?
Matt and I first met at work and we still work for the same company today. We had been together for 9 years when Matt proposed in Thailand in August 2018 in an amazing hotel in the middle of the jungle with a private pool overlooking the rice paddies. It was safe to say that as soon as I got home I started to plan our big day without delay!
How long did it take you to find the perfect venue?
We visited 12 wedding venues in total across a 4 week window. We made the decision that we wanted to get married in March. We decided on this time of year as we wanted to visit the Maldives on our honeymoon and March/April had the best weather. As we live in England we knew that we would never be guaranteed good weather for our wedding day regardless of what time of year we chose. There was an added nervousness when we realised that the March prior to our wedding was heavy with snow! We decided to get married in March 2019 rather than waiting for March 2020 as we both have elderly grandparents and wanted to them to share our special day.
What was your main priority when choosing your venue?
When we started to consider venues I already had the type of venue in mind as I had always dreamed of getting married in a stately home. The main tool I used to identify venues to visit was hitched.co.uk. This was perfect as you are able to run a search on the type of venue and location. The search pulled through all the matches and from there I was able to view the photographs and in some cases see some wedding package details. All the contact details are available for each venue and you can access downloadable brochures which was very helpful. When we began our search we made a “pro’s” and “con’s” list after visiting each venue. Straight away following our first viewing we quickly realised that we really wanted a venue with exclusive use. This helped to filter out some of the potential viewings. As we continued, another thing we found was that a lot of the décor in stately homes can be quite old fashioned. As we were not a fan of the load eccentric carpets and dated wall paint, this provided us with a bit of a challenge. Another thing we found was that the bar area in a lot of venues was separate from the function room. As we were not planning on a huge wedding, with only 90 day guests and 120 evening guests, we felt this was an issue. From previous weddings, we knew that men traditionally congregate near the bar and therefore felt we may lose a large percentage of guests which may impact on the atmosphere and leave the room feeling a little empty. This was another key factor in trimming down our list if venues for viewing. Of the venues that we visited, most satisfied only some of our requirements, and it wasn’t until we visited Wrenbury Hall that we found the complete package.
Why did you choose Wrenbury Hall?
From the minute we entered the gates of Wrenbury Hall we instantly fell in love. The tree covered driveway added a regal feel to the Hall and the second we set eyes on the venue we knew. It was the only venue I visited where I could imaging getting married. I felt a strange feeling and I just knew I had found what I wanted. The main things we loved about Wrenbury was the fact that it was an older building full of character from the outside, but had a modern trendy reel from the inside but had held on to all the character of the Hall. The venue was exclusive use which was perfect and the Orangery was simply magical. The bar was in the same room which was another preference for us both and there wasn’t a dated carpet in sight! Whilst we were taking a tour of the venue during the open day, we were able to see some photographs of the Orangery set up for a ceremony. At this point, I was sold and knew that was what I wanted. This was all before I viewed the beautiful bridal suite. I have a weird obsession with free standing baths and so I was overjoyed when I walked in. As we live approx. 80 minutes away from Wrenbury Hall, the suites and other rooms that were available to accommodate guests were fab. There are also lots of reasonable priced Travel Lodges / Premier Inns within 15 minutes’ drive. It wasn’t until we sat down to discuss the wedding packages that were available that I realised how amazing this venue is as a whole. We were able to have the “Celebrate Longer” package which meant we could stay with our close family and friends the night before. This was a lovely touch as it made the wedding feel like a longer celebration and helped to get some of the nerves out the way. Having a meal together the night before allowed us to spend some quality time with our family and friends and enjoy more of Wrenbury’s amazing food which was very well received by all. The food offered at Wrenbury was outstanding and such a refreshing change from normal wedding food. I can honestly say that on the day, they did not disappoint and the food is one of the things people still talk about.
How did you choose your photographer?
I had my heart set on the amazingly talented Lesley and Shaun Meredith for my photography. Their natural shots are beautiful and I had seen their work on most of the venue walls. When I visited Wrenbury Hall, I was delighted to see one of their albums on the table. I booked them straight away and this was one of the best decisions I made. From the moment we met these lovely people we both felt so at ease and knew we had made the right choice. My wedding5 genuinely wouldn’t have been the same without them.
Did you have a particular theme in mind?
I had always wanted a classical wedding as it matched the venue beautifully and I loved the look of tuxedos as I feel these are a timeless classic. Looking back now I am very happy with this choice as I feel like our wedding photographs will never date. Our florist / venue dresser did a truly amazing job at taking my floral vision and bringing it to life. I can’t emphasise how amazing Natasha at Simply Wedding and Events is. I stressed so much about the details of the venue dressing as I struggled to vision it. She was always there to calm me down and repeat everything with me over and over.
How did you feel on the morning of the wedding?
On the morning of the wedding I felt surprisingly calm. After the stress of all the planning I had decided I was just going to enjoy every moment from the minute I opened my eyes and the excitement carried me through.
Tell us about the dress…
The dress I chose couldn’t have been further from the dress I thought I wanted and imagined. I originally thought I wanted a fishtail, fitted, lace dress as this is the style I usually wear. I had an Enzoani fitted dress in mind however when I tried it on I just felt nice. I think I went through every style of dress in the shop during my two hour appointment with the amazing team at Puure Bride in Lymm. I did not pick the beautiful dress myself. The wonderful Lynda at Puure Bride selected my dress and asked me to try it. She fitted me with a cathedral veil, which was a definite must, and pulled the curtain back. It was the only dress my mum cried at and the only dress I felt “wow” in. I added buttons all the way down the back of the full skirt and a delicate diamond belt. Looking back, I feel I definitely made the right choice. I visited 5 shops in total, and, Puure Bridal was by far the best.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
In terms of entertainment for our wedding, we had a beautiful harp play during the ceremony and reception which is something I had always had my heart set on. For the evening, we had an amazing band called “Easy Feet Band” which played old school 90’s R&B. We loved the band at the end of “The Hangover” film and always joked that we would love the same at our wedding. I didn’t think we would actually find what we wanted. They are truly an amazing talent and I have never seen so many people up dancing all night. They mixed our first dance song between “Sister Sledge” and “Drake” which was fab. A highlight for me will be the memory of my Nan dancing to Kanye West “Gold Digger”!
What would be your top piece of advice for a bride planning her wedding now?
If I could give one piece of advice to any future brides it would be to take some time for you and your new husband to take everything in. It is such a special day that really does go so quick. The memory of the moment we shared, away from everyone looking at Wrenbury Hall with all our nearest and dearest drinking and laughing outside will stay with me forever.