Your Cheshire and Merseyside Wedding - May/June 2023 (Issue 69)

MAY/JUN 2023 £3.55 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE WIN! A necklace worth £1,100 Oodles of floral inspiration based on popular wedding colour schemes What to expect from your wedding photography Waterside venues BARBIE GIRL Bridal fashion inspired by the icon herself Perfect palette picks Swept AWAY PICTURE THIS

E XCLUSIVELY YOURS Authentic Stately Home Home to The Earl & Countess of Derby 5* Gold awarded accommodation Set in a private walled estate, within 2,500 acres of gardens, lakes & parkland VISIT KNOWSLEYHALLVENUE.CO.UK FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON OUR CURRENT Knowsley Hall, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 4AG 0151 489 4827 Photography by: Herve Gillet, Capture My Big Day, Matthew Rycraft TO ARRANGE YOUR PRIVATE VIEWING, CONTACT US ON 0151 489 4827

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Kelly 8 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the region 10 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 53 HOT TOPIC: SUSTAINABILITY Stellar wedmin advice from those in the know 63 COMPETITION Win a diamond and pearl necklace worth £1,100 CONTENTSMAY/JUNE 2023 VENUES 13 SPOTLIGHT ON... Knowsley and St Helens 17 ROMANIC REFLECTIONS Our pick of the region’s waterside venues On the cover This issue’s cover of beautiful bride Abi was captured in Liverpool city centre by Jessica Lang Photography ( Find out all about Abi and Jason’s big day at Hope Street Hotel from page 20. 49 17 FEATURES 43 PICTURE PERFECT Some of the region’s finest wedding photographers tell us what to expect from the process at every stage of your wedding journey 49 PERFECT PALETTE PICKS Local wedding florists offer oodles of floral inspiration based on popular colour schemes 3

REAL WEDDINGS 20 FOR KEEPS The stunning Liverpool skyline was an extra and most welcome guest at Abi and Jason’s citycentre wedding 27 NICE DAY FOR A WHITE WEDDING Lydia and Alexander chose a classic, traditional and sophisticated look for their big day 33 THE DREAM TEAM Ashley and Craig’s love for Everton FC brought them together 39 HERE COMES THE SUN Louise and Heather tied the knot at The Chester Fields in August, 2022 HONEYMOONS 83 RIVERSIDE ROMANCE The Mitre Hampton Court is the perfect location for a night away for two 84 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 86 THE CITY OF LOVE Discover why Paris is the perfect honeymoon destination 88 HOORAY FOR HAMPSHIRE! Find out what makes the New Forest such a special spot for mini-mooners GROOMS 70 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 71 WATCH THIS SPACE Expert advice on choosing a watch for your wedding 72 GREEN WITH ENVY We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 56 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 57 DESERT ROSE Your honeymoon suitcase shouldn’t take off without these summery staples 58 I’M A BARBIE GIRL Take inspiration from summer’s most anticipated movie release with fun, flirty styles 65 SHORT AND SWEET The thigh’s the limit with this chic selection of shorter-length bridal dresses 68 FASHION AND BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 74 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 77 BRIGHTEN UP YOUR LIFE Celebrity hair stylist Michael Douglas, talks wedding dos and tells us about OGX’s new Colour Retention range 78 SKIN DEEP We caught up with Angela Langford whose eponymous brand offers a wide range of skin care designed to make you feel great 80 KEEP CALM AND MARRY ON Professional nutritionists at Wedding Wellness share their stress-beating tips 27 58 39 43 33 4

Capturing THE MAGIC... ...CREATING THE memories @mattpate.weddings @mattpatephotography 01244 330076 07929 854128

As I write the nation is excitedly anticipating the coronation of King Charles III. Whether you’re a royalist, or merely delighted at the prospect of an extra bank holiday, there’ll be something to celebrate. At least for the foreseeable future, May will be the month we commemorate the King’s jubilees, so we’re ready to party. Although you may be royaled-out by the time you read this, I always think of our readers as queens and kings, princesses and princes, and believe you all deserve the royal treatment on your big day, so why not consider adding a regal edge to your nuptials? Jewel-toned colour palettes are certainly seeing a surge in popularity, thanks to their opulent, rich hues; and shades such as purple and red have long been associated with royalty. When it comes to dining, think banqueting tables bedecked in gold cutlery and crystal, with tall candelabra and centrepieces. Of course, add this styling to a stately home wedding venue and you’re there! When it comes to your attire, what could be more royal than a ballgown? Pair a full, extravagant skirt with a dramatic train and veil, and you’ll have guests gasping as you make your grand entrance. If you like this idea, but fear the volume will impede you on the dancefloor, opt for a detachable skirt, allowing you to transform your look into a sleek silhouette for the evening. Finally, your very own crown is a must-have for this theme, whether it’s a flower version for a Queen Titania twist or a bejewelled tiara. As we now patiently await the summer, don’t miss our host of real weddings this issue. Plus, the region’s photographers are on hand to let you know what to expect from them pre, during and post the big day (page 43). In the spirit of the season, we’ve also put together a stunning showcase of this year’s hottest palettes expressed through fabulous floral ideas (page 49). Enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly x Kelly Andrews, editor Crowning glory 6 ISSN 2052-0522 Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding is published six times a year. cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS 49 PASTEL PERFECTION I’m in love with the soft hues of this breathtaking bouquet by Jacqui O. Win! 63 WIN! A diamond and pearl necklace worth £1,100 ADVERTISING Account Manager Gillian Ward | 01376 538 485 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Deputy Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | 01376 535 611 27 A TIMELESS CLASSIC Lydia and Alexander chose a classic, traditional and sophisticated look for their big day 53 IT’S TIME! The Manor at Greasby is finally open and we were so excited to see the new images of it in all its glory.

EDITOR’S LETTER 7 86 THE CITY OF LOVE Melissa Cullen reveals why Paris is the perfect honeymoon destination. 39 WE ARE FAMILY Louise’s two boys completed the wedding party. 43 JUST MARRIED The region’s version of the iconic New York skyline: the oh-so cool Liverpool Waterfront. 33 I CAPTURE THE CASTLE Ashley and Craig had the regal vibe sewn up. 8 READ ALL ABOUT IT Check out Say It With Diamonds new wedding jewellery packages. 20 THE GOLDEN HOUR Photographer Jessica Lang captured the sunset over Liverpool to perfection on Abi and Jason’s wedding day.

ISLAND VIBES Chester-based jewellery brand ChloBo has recently launched a new collection inspired by the mystical island of Es Vedra Ibiza, and it’s packed with perfect pieces for your honeymoon. The Island Energy Collection combines new neckline textures with colourful beaded bracelets and eyecatching sunglasses chains. Bursting with charming depictions of the dreamlike landscape, alongside new semi-precious stones, each piece is designed to bring joy, connection and balance to your life. Check out Nearlywed NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the region ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY One of the most well-loved country house hotels in Cheshire, Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa combines old-world charm with the best modern comforts, creating a homely atmosphere that guests can relax into from the moment they arrive. Those wanting to escape urban life will love Hand Picked Hotels’ Escape to the Country Breaks experience, inclusive of a luxurious stay with early check in and late check out, a seasonal five-course chef’s tasting menu and breakfast. You also have the option to take your four-legged family members, as designated dog-friendly rooms are available upon request. Relax with an evening tipple in The Drawing Room, indulge in a spectacular afternoon tea, and savour the best of British flavours in the Restaurant. With extensive picturesque gardens and the idyllic Cheshire countryside on the doorstep, Rookery Hall is an ideal place to make the most of the stunning surroundings. Stays on this package cost from £370 per night, based on two sharing a classic room, subject to availability. Dogs are welcome at £20 per night for one, and £10 for a second. Find out more about booking your perfect pre- or post- wedding getaway together at TOP UP YOUR TAN The UK’s largest sunbed chain, Indigo Sun, has noticed the increasing demand for healthy tanning in Merseyside and opened its seventh outlet in the region and first in the Wirral. Part of the recently launched retail development on Woodchurch Road in Birkenhead, the new high-tech facility benefits from a £350,000 investment and is the second salon to open following the brand’s refresh. Indigo Sun is a supporter of responsible tanning with extensively trained staff able to offer guidance for all skin types. As well as premium beds and vertical units the salon will also be offering collagen red light therapy beds, which aid muscle recovery and help with ageing skin, stretch marks, scars, circulation, pigmentation and psoriasis. What’s more, modern sunbeds now boast features such as bluetooth, allowing customers to connect their phones and play their own music. They also have sophisticated aircon systems and sensitivity settings for specific skin types. Frank Taylor, founder and CEO of the family-run company says, “We know a large number of our customers have been making the trip into Liverpool and will be delighted to have an outlet on their doorstep. Likewise, we realised we may have been out of reach for many who’d like to be able to visit regularly.” The salon will be open 9am to 9pm on weekdays, and 10am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Find out more at 8

EDITOR LOVES With the cost of living crisis in full swing, we had a chat with local wedding consultant Jennifer Walker, The Wedding Wellness Woman, for her thoughts on how this might affect you as you plan your wedding. “A wedding day will be one of the biggest expenditures of a couple’s life,” Jennifer says. “With the financial crisis well and truly here, those wanting to wed are having to be extra careful with how they spend their pennies. But if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that life’s too short to compromise.” Read on as she tells us more... “There are so many ways to save money, if you can make your peace with throwing out the obligatory, traditional to-do list and start making your own rules! This doesn’t mean scrimping, it means investing money on what’s going to generate as many good feels as possible. If you concentrate on spending your money on things that are important to you, your money will be well spent. “Working with a wedding consultant can definitely help. It may seem like a nice-to-have that a budget can’t stretch to, but speaking to someone who can help uncover what’s truly important in order to spend your money wisely could be the best investment you ever make! “My approach is: if you’ve always dreamed of wearing an expensive designer wedding dress, but it means your guests will be eating pizza for tea... do it! If you both love festivals and you want one in honour of your happiness... do it! One thing you can’t afford is to look back on your big day and experience regret, and no one ever regretted spending their money on memories!” Find out more about The Wedding Wellness Woman at TIME TO SHINE Say It With Diamonds, the award-winning, affordable luxury jewellery brand, has launched exclusive packages that include wedding bands for both brides and grooms. Having been a popular brand for brides since it was established in 2016, Say It With Diamonds has continued to broaden its bridal jewellery collection, offering classic necklaces and bracelets, perfect timeless pieces for your big day. The brand, which has a flagship store in Liverpool’s Metquarter, as well as being available online, has also been the go-to for maid-of-honour, bridesmaid, flowergirl, mother-of-the-bride and mother-in-law gifts. There are three new packages, available now, which will allow couples to make substantial savings... • Silver (£995), worth £1,230 at individual RRP prices, includes a 9ct Gold Classic Wedding Band, a 9ct Gold Claw Set Diamond Band, a Circle of Life Necklace and a Heart Slider Bracelet. • Gold (£2,000), worth £2,450 at individual RRP prices, includes an 18ct Gold Classic Wedding Band, 18ct Gold Claw Set Diamond Band, two Circle of Life Necklaces, two Heart Slider Bracelets and a Luxe Tennis Necklace. • Platinum (£2,950) worth £3,250 at individual RRP prices, includes a Platinum Classic Wedding Band, a Platinum Channel Set Diamond Band, two Circle of Life Necklaces, two Heart Slider Bracelets, two Luxe Tennis Necklaces and two sets of cufflinks. The Liverpool store is also home to a Bespoke Bar, where customers can shop in privacy with a special one-to-one experience with the knowledgable team. Find out more at SUMMER SPA ESCAPES Independent, family-owned hotel in Alsager in the heart of East Cheshire, Manor House Hotel, is celebrating its new spa’s first summer season. The English Country Gardeninspired retreat opened at the end of 2022 and has fast become a must-visit wellness destination, buzzing with facilities such as the large hydrotherapy pool, potting shed sauna, ice plunge bath, and its crowing jewel, the UK’s first swim up bar. To mark the occasion the Hotel has launched a sizzling menu of limited-edition summer spa packages. For summer 2023, you can choose from three half-day sessions (from £69pp), perfect if you’re looking to fit in a little relaxation around wedding planning. Or if you fancy a more indulgent experience, there are also three full-day packages (from £75pp), including a range of treatments, as well as lunch and access to facilities throughout the day. Finally, for the ultimate in relaxation, two new overnight retreat packages are just the ticket (from £245pp). These include accommodation in one of the Hotel’s luxurious rooms, plus a range of spa treatments and again, access to facilities throughout your stay. For further information, check out 9 LOCAL NEWS

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURCHESHIREMERSEYSIDE.WEDDING BEFORE 30TH JUNE 2023. GET 10% OFF YOUR BIG-DAY BAKE WITH LOIS’S LITTLE CAKE & CHOCOLATE CO. Based in Sandbach, Cheshire, Lois’s Little Cake & Chocolate Company creates stunning wedding and celebration cakes for clients across the county and beyond. Owner Debbie Fenton and her team use only the finest ingredients to ensure their bakes taste every bit as good as they look – and they do look incredible! Debbie says, “We believe our cakes and products offer the perfect combination of great taste and design, which is always our number one priority.” Established in 2014, Debbie set out to build a reputable cake company and invested her time in perfecting flavours, designs and techniques. Today she utilises these skills to create edible works of art, sure to be a showstopping centrepiece of any wedding. What’s more, the company now employs three members of staff, all of whom are dedicated to ensuring each cake is the best is can be. “We pride ourselves on ensuring we understand our clients and their requirements,” Debbie continues. We’ve partnered with Lois’s Little Cake & Chocolate Company to offer readers 10% off your wedding cake when you book with this local lovely and quote CHES/MERS/WEDDING. Offer valid until 30th June 2023. Find out more and get in touch via Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs WIN A £250 VOUCHER TO SPEND WITH COEUR DE LION The hunt for the perfect bridal jewellery stops here, with a chance to win £250 worth of jewels from COEUR DE LION – celebrating 35 years in business this year! Handmade in Germany, each piece is lovingly crafted by a team of artisans from the finest materials at its Stuttgart workshop, genuine natural stones, shimmering crystals and freshwater pearls give each piece individuality. The brand’s new freshwater pearl collection offers the ideal bridal jewellery, or you could choose to spend your winning voucher on lovely gifts for all your bridesmaids. Visit to view the entire range. County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with COEUR DE LION to offer readers the chance to win a £250 voucher. Enter via our website. Terms and Conditions apply. Freebies & OFFERS 10

Designing & creating whimsical & elegant floral designs for weddings. Bespoke and delicious cakes for couples who aspire to be unique “Not only is her attention to detail second to none, but I have never tasted cake as good as hers” - Blaire Andrews, bride 07964 017374 athomebakes_

THE ISLA GLADSTONE CONSERVATORY Stanley Park, Anfield Road, Liverpool L4 0TD 0151 263 0363 | | The Isla Gladstone conservatory is a magnificent glass building nestled in the heart of Liverpool’s Stanley Park. The venue is licenced to host civil ceremonies and has it’s own fairy tale Bandstand on site. Surrounded by breathtaking views, the sun flooded interior is the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos. WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER OR FALL – THE ISLA GLADSTONE IS THE PERFECT CHOICE FOR ALL! START YOUR HAPPILY EVERY AFTER TODAY Contact the events team to find out more about last minute availabilty for this year LIVERPOOL’S ICONIC WEDDING VENUE CONSERVATORY

KNOWSLEY & ST HELENS Spotlight on… Tie the knot in a local hotspot KNOWSLEY HALL 0151 489 4827 | Knowsley Hall is steeped in history and still retains its original features with its marble fireplaces, and carved wood panelling. The rooms are filled with original works of art and cherished antiques, and although grand the Hall feels welcoming and homely with a selection of smaller rooms to relax in, dressed in beautiful soft furnishings. Grade II listed, the Hall’s origins can be traced back to 1495 and is a fascinating structure boasting a classic Georgian façade. The stately home is surrounded by 2,500 acres of beautiful private parkland maintained by a team of gardeners. The manicured gardens are quite breathtaking and can be admired from the terrace, which is a perfect spot for drinks and canapés. THE “I DOS” The Stucco Ballroom is where most of the ceremonies at Knowsley Hall take place, holding up to 132 guests. The Walnut Drawing Room is ideal for more intimate “I dos” with up to 30 guests, overlooking the gardens and lake. THE CELEBRATIONS Wedding receptions can be hosted in the State Dining Room, which has ample space for 132 nearest and dearest. The Stucco Ballroom is the perfect spot for evening celebrations, as you’re joined by 180 loved ones. The Walnut Drawing Room on the other is ideal for reception drinks, and offers a relaxed room during the evening for friends and family to chat. The venue offers complimentary private menu and wine tasting, along with a luxury honeymoon suite on the night of the wedding. MERCURE ST HELENS 01744 453 444 | Mercure St Helens Hotel, located in the heart of St Helens, can cater for weddings small and intimate, to large and spectacular. Choose from a variety of packages starting from £1,995 or let the team tailor-make your special day to be just the way you’ve dreamed it. WHERE TO WED There’s a choice of spots for your ceremony and celebrations. The Chalon Suite gives you the option to host just your “I dos” as 180 nearest and dearest look on, or your whole day for 120 guests. The Pyramid Suite is designed to give the wow factor to your nuptials with an impressive high glass ceiling, a private bar and two dancefloors. It can play host to 220 loved ones for the wedding breakfast and 300 for the big bash. 13 LOCAL VENUES

ST HELENS TOWN HALL 01744 676 789 | This stunning Victorian structure hosts a multitude of beautiful features that will make your special day perfect. A building of timeless elegance, it offers a memorable place to say “I do.” THE “I DOS” The stunning Ceremony Room, with its wood panelling and period features can hold up to 60 loved ones and is available Monday to Saturday. For larger parties, the Council Chamber with its historical décor will comfortably accommodate up to 100 guests. This is available Fridays and Saturdays. THE CELEBRATIONS The Main Hall provides a superb setting for wedding breakfasts and evening receptions. It can play host to 120 guests for a wedding breakfast and 150 for the evening do. It’s equipped with a bar and is licensed to sell and serve alcohol until 1am. THE BARN AT YEW TREE FARM 0151 488 6625 | Set on the rural outskirts of Liverpool, this family-run working farm can be found nestled among 25 acres of greenbelt countryside. The 300-yearold barn has been sensitively renovated to maintain its rustic charm and simple elegance. Connecting to this is a new timber clad extension, which is home to the bar and lounge area to add a touch of comfort and sophistication. From the large windows of The Barn, you’ll see that it stands within a working farmyard and surrounded by green fields where the alpacas and sheep graze. It has its own private, lawned area where guests can enjoy a drink and relax in the evening sun. The farm provides an array of rustic and industrial backdrops as well as the vast open spaces of the fields. THE “I DOS” The 300-year-old Meadow Barn with high ceilings, exposed brick and original wooden beams offers your day the ultimate wow factor for 80 of your loved ones. Alternatively, The Orchard Room is the perfect space for intimate ceremonies witnessed by 20 nearest and dearest. It’s closed off by grand wooden barn doors, while the bifold doors open fully to lead into the private garden, letting the outside in. THE CELEBRATIONS The Meadow Barn is also the location for receptions. It can be set up for 80 diners with traditional round tables or with charming wooden trestle tables banqueting style. The interior doors open up, allowing the room to flow through into the Orchard Room and spacious bar. The mezzanine allows for a great viewpoint for guests and photographers alike. It can host 140 for the evening do. The venue offers a free wine tasting session for its couples. © St Helens Town Council © St Helens Town Council 14

TOTALLY WICKED STADIUM 01744 455 086 | The Totally Wicked Stadium is the newest purpose-built Rugby League stadium in the country, and is situated in the heart of the North West. This modern facility with spacious suites is capable of catering for weddings of any size, big or small. THE “I DOS” All of the venue’s various spaces are licensed to hold civil ceremonies and partnerships, while some even boast panoramic views of the pitch. From the historical Eric Ashton Boardroom, which holds up to 150 guests to the modern features of The Premier Lounge, able to host the same number, the suites here are sure to complement any theme. THE CELEBRATIONS The Eric Ashton Boardroom, named after legendary former player, coach, director and chairman, offers a one-of-a-kind intimate wedding breakfast space for 40 nearest and dearest. The Stapleton Derby Premier Lounge is located on the second floor of the South Stand. It boasts fabulous panoramic views of the pitch offering an abundance of natural daylight. The contemporary space is also suited to any theme and can accommodate 180 with its own bar and facilities. The Hall of Fame, also to be found on the second floor of the South Stand, is a mirror image of its sister suite with floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s also furnished with the portraits of more than 40 St Helens RFC legends as well as a huge mural depicting an image of every member of the Hall of Fame stretching the full length of the room, lending it a unique feel. The 1873 Lounge is the venue’s largest suite based on the first floor. It’s ideal for larger wedding parties of up to 320 guests. For true rugby fans, the venue offers exclusive pitch-side access with view of the world famous Red V and access to the First Team changing rooms. HOUGHWOOD GOLF 01744 894 754 (option 1) | Houghwood Golf is located in an exceptional spot offering panoramic views over the Lancashire Plain and Welsh Hills, complete with several stunning backdrops for photographs. The sweeping drive through the golf course leads to the stone-built clubhouse complete with terrace and mature, colourful shrubbery framing the 18th green. WHERE TO WED With a reputation for fine food served in elegant surroundings the venue offers exclusive use of the first-floor restaurant for weddings, which is spacious and sumptuously decorated to a high standard. The room has plenty of natural daylight with windows overlooking the golf course on both sides, and has access to a large balcony. It can accommodate 120 for the wedding breakfast, and 180 for the evening bash. The restaurant is also licensed for ceremonies as is the Richard Valentine Lounge for 50 guests, wonderful for intimate and exclusive weddings. There are many special features offered to the two of you for your big day, including photographs by the lake and surrounding garden area. The team will also give you a warm, red-carpet welcome with a glass of champagne on arrival. Courteous, efficient and experienced staff along with a dedicated toastmaster are on hand throughout the day to ensure events run smoothly. As a first anniversary gift, you’ll be offered a dinner and half bottle of champagne in the Fairways Restaurant with the venue’s compliments. © Charlotte McKeegan Photography © Daniel Tyack Photography LOCAL VENUES 15


reflections We’ve rounded up our pick of the region’s waterside venues ROMANTIC FLORAL PAVILION 0151 666 0000 | The Floral Pavilion is a waterfront venue bursting with character and boasting panoramic views across the iconic River Mersey. Steeped in history and culture, the glass-fronted building stands proudly in the heart of New Brighton. It encompass an 814-seat theatre, along with the spacious Plaza and Panoramic Lounge, and a range of fabulous banqueting rooms. THE “I DOS” The stunning Winter Garden Suite boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the space with light and offers your guests a spectacular view of the River Mersey. With a gorgeous panoramic coastal backdrop and the option to customise the space to your taste, it’s a memorable place to say “I do” as 50 to 300 loved ones look on. If you’re looking for something different, a ceremony in the theatre will put you centre stage! Steeped in history, you can tread the same boards as Cilla Black, Ken Dodd, Jason Manford and Lulu as you tie the knot – an experience you and your guests will remember for lifetime! Here, 500 guests can witness your nuptials. THE CELEBRATIONS Receptions take place in the Winter Garden Suite for up to 300 guests. It’s a wonderful place to dine and celebrate, where you and your loved ones can enjoy the sunset and party the night away. The suite can be extended based on your numbers (up to 300 for the wedding breakfast) to ensure the perfect atmosphere. It’s accessible via a private entrance, features a private bar area, large sprung wooden dancefloor, break-out area with comfy sofas, plus access to a terrace ideal for photos. The Centre Stage package includes a private dining menu taster for two in the Tivoli Suite. All couples receive a complimentary Friends of the Floral membership with a show of your choice to celebrate your first anniversary. 17 WATERSIDE VENUES

DELAMERE MANOR 01606 261 361 | Through the wrought-iron gates, along the driveway flanked by lime trees, Delamere Manor awaits: one of the most exclusive and luxurious, award-winning wedding venues in Cheshire. Set in more than 100 acres of rolling Cheshire countryside, it overlooks a stunning six-acre lake and boasts a number of sensational options for your wedding ceremony and reception. THE “I DOS” You’re spoilt for choice for ceremony locations here, with five licensed outdoor spaces offering capacities up to 150: The Terrace, The Jetty, The Folly, The Pergola and The Summer House. THE CELEBRATIONS Moving into the afternoon and evening, celebrations can be held in the glass-fronted Courtyard, with retractable roof, while The Terrace, Folly and Jetty are also available for you to utilise with space for 150 for the wedding breakfast and 200 in the evening. Finally, the pièce de résistance: Delamere Manor has its own private night club, an uber-cool monochrome space where you can dance the night away. The delightful venue offers a complimentary food and wine tasting. Plus, accommodation is available on site. THE VINCENT HOTEL 01704 883 800 | This modern four-star hotel located on Southport’s famous Lord Street has 59 individually-styled bedrooms located over six floors. The luxurious Penthouse Suite comes with a rooftop hot tub and terrace with spectacular views, along with 123 square metres of contemporary living space complete with private bar area and a spacious lounge to enjoy your complimentary cocktails. The Penthouse Suite also boasts an ensuite bathroom with a double bath, in-built TV and rainforest shower, and a private steam room. If that’s not enough, sit in comfort while watching your 50-inch HD LCD TV! Go on, why not treat yourselves for your wedding night! THE “I DOS” Celebrate in style with a ceremony in The Parisienne Suite located on the first floor of the hotel. With floor-to-ceiling windows on one side allowing ample natural light to flood in, it also comes complete with its own bar and balcony, perfect for those memorable pictures. It can seat 70 loved ones for the ceremony. The Pacific is a smaller room but equally popular. Seating a maximum of 40 for the “I dos,” this space is ideal for more intimate weddings with darker, atmospheric décor. THE CELEBRATIONS Both The Parisienne and Pacific can play host to wedding receptions. While the former can seat 130 for the wedding breakfast along with dancefloor, The Pacific can accommodate seated dining for 40. 18

THE MERE GOLF RESORT & SPA 01565 830 155 | Nestled in the heart of undulating Cheshire countryside, yet only minutes from the motorway network, The Mere Golf Resort and Spa offers a tranquil and picturesque setting for your wedding. It was created on 150 acres of Cheshire parkland in 1934 so its grounds offer a stunning backdrop for those all-important photos, including idyllic views of the Mere Lake. With an award-winning team catering to your wishes and helping you plan your dream day, The Mere can accommodate up to 550 guests. THE “I DOS” The James Braid Suite boasts views across the lake. A large room with ample space for 550 guests, it’s complete with a private entrance. The Riley Room on the other hand is perfect for a more intimate gathering with up to 60 nearest and dearest. It’s also home to 60 unique pieces of artwork by local artist, Harold Riley. THE CELEBRATIONS The James Braid Suite can also host grand celebrations with 550 guests. It boasts its own reception area and private bars. Meanwhile, The George Duncan Suite can host 120. It too offers a private entrance along with a lounge area and separate bar. Scan to view video THE LAKE HOUSE WATERLOO 0151 351 9076 | The Lake House is a lakeside haven in the heart of Sefton. Renowned as one of the most beautiful locations in the county, the Crosby Coast is an idyllic spot for any wedding. The venue’s new suites can be tailored to the day of your dreams and the team will be with you every step of the way. THE “I DOS” Ceremonies take place either in the Lake House Suite for 100 guests, or Lake View 1, 2 and 3 for 120. Both rooms overlook the lake and offer dreamy backdrops. THE CELEBRATIONS Depending on the size of your guest list, you can utilise either of the above suites. The Lake House Suite with its grand ceiling is the perfect party room, offering the ultimate space for live music. Capacity here is 120 for the wedding breakfast and 150 for the evening reception. The venue offers a free food tasting for all of its couples. WATERSIDE VENUES 19

For keeps The stunning Liverpool skyline was an extra and most welcome guest at Abi and Jason’s city-centre wedding Images courtesy of Jessica Lang Photography 20

Abi and Jason met while working at Game. They hit it off immediately thanks to a wealth of common interests and quickly became fast friends, texting each other every day and spending time together outside of work. “A few months later, those friendship feelings turned into a romance, and as plenty of mutual friends told me Jason fancied me, I took the plunge and kissed him on a night out,” Abi shares. The risk paid off as they’ve been inseparable ever since! Jason planned to propose the night before Abi’s 30th birthday. The couple had gone into the city centre for a meal and a few drinks. “The issue was, that I had zero idea of when I was going to propose,” Jason remembers. “I was properly nervous and kept subconsciously checking the ring in my pocket.” He was waiting for the perfect moment, but with the city centre getting more and more packed and raucus around him, that moment never came. “It got late and I was ready to go home,” Abi says. No sooner had she got into her pyjamas back at the flat, she heard Jason calling her into the living room. It was there he got down on one knee and proposed, with their song, Most Beautiful Girl In The World playing in the background. “As soon as I realised what was happening, I was so nervous and surprised that I couldn’t answer at first! Of course, eventually I did say, ‘Yes,’” Abi shares. By the time Abi and Jason decided to check out a wedding fair at Hope Street Hotel, they’d already dismissed a whole host of venues that hadn’t felt right for them. Abi loved the style of the place with its bare white brick walls, wooden floors and contemporary furniture: “It’s laid back and simple, yet luxurious,” she explains. What appealed to Jason on the other hand were the wedding packages and how much they included. However, what clinched it for the pair of them was seeing the fifth floor venue spaces. “The view from each room was astonishing and once we saw it, it became an immediate, ‘Yes.’ Other venues we’d seen were nice, but just didn’t compare, our minds were made up,” Jason explains. SETTING THE SCENE The couple decided on a relaxed, simple and fun vibe for their wedding, enjoyed with their family and close friends. Having picked a palette of purple, plum, gold and champagne, Abi set to work creating the favours. These were little pouches containing chocolates and tied with gold ribbon. Each had a wooden Welsh love spoon charm attached to reflect Abi’s Welsh heritage. Abi’s vision for the flowers was a wild, natural, swept-up style in her favourite colours. Her bouquet featured soft, natural foliages, mauve roses, purple lisianthus, nude roses, lilac freesias, and gypsophila. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of the same with overall lighter shades to contrast with their dresses. The gents meanwhile wore buttonholes of plum lisianthus with gypsophila and foliage, except Jason whose buttonhole also included a champagne rose. The centrepieces were kept simple in the form of vases filled with flowers, mirroring the bouquets, with tea lights scattered around the tables. The top table also had a wreath of eucalyptus running along it. The big-day bake was a three-tier semi-naked cake with gold leaf detail, decorated with fresh flowers to match the bouquets. The top tier was vanilla and raspberry, the middle was vanilla and white chocolate, and the bottom tier was chocolate oreo flavour – delicious! It was completed with a topper bearing the newlyweds’ initials made from gold wire. They also had a wonderful Kransekake, a Norwegian celebration cake made by Jason’s mum to reflect his Norwegian heritage. The wedding tradition goes that when the bride and groom hold the top ring of this stacked wreath cake, the number of rings that break off are the number of children they’ll have. Further styling included a flower walll and super-cool neon light, which read: “Happily Ever After.” There was also a memory table in honour of absent friends and family. Abi made little hearts with their names on from white clay and surrounded them with candles. They gave these tokens to their family members to keep afterwards. 21 REAL WEDDINGS

UNIQUE | MODERN | LUXE | 01606 888766 | 22 Warrington Road Cuddington Cheshire CW8 2LJ

LOOKING THE PART Abi looked breathtaking in a Mark Lesley gown. She accessorised it with a veil that was her something borrowed, as both of Jason’s sisters had worn it at their weddings. Her something old and blue was a Norwegian krone coin that once belonged to Jason’s grandfather, with a blue ribbon tied through the hole in the middle. Jason wore a charcoal grey suit with a white shirt. To stand apart from his groomsmen, he paired this with a more detailed tie in a different purple shade with a paisley design. He also wore personalised cufflinks, a gift from Abi, engraved with the wedding date and the words, “For keeps,” which is something Jason has always said about their partnership since the start. The three bridesmaids wore plum dresses with a tiered ruffle hem and metallic gold heeled sandals. Each had a different hairstyle accessorised with gold slides and pearl pins. TIME TO CELEBRATE Loved ones were treated to a sweet table fully stocked with sweeties and cookies, which needless to say went down a storm! The couple also hired a magic mirror, which was similarly popular. “Our guests loved taking pictures on it, especially with the props provided. Everyone got a copy of the photo to take home and Jason and I got copies in a presentation box, as well as a USB stick with everything on. For the evening, a fabulous DJ entertained all assembled and kept the dancefloor full. One of Abi’s highlights was their first dance to Taylor Swift’s Lover. Then, when twilight fell the couple headed out onto the balcony for sparklers. Jason remembers, “Only the bridesmaids were asked to join us for this moment as we assumed the groomsmen wouldn’t be interested. But I thought it best to go ask them and went inside to find out. They practically ran past me without saying a word. I’ve never seen three grown men so excited to get their hands on sparklers!” MEMORABLE MOMENTS One of the bride’s standout moments was during the ceremony. She tells us, “I didn’t feel nervous until right before I went to walk down the aisle, then it hit me that this was it! I set off to How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding, and the moment I saw Jason and he smiled at me, I instantly relaxed. I don’t think I stopped smiling from there on in, it really was the happiest day.” The newlyweds will always remember the spectacular sunset that evening. Jason says, “I was the last to enter Fifth One after the wedding breakfast, and seeing my new wife, friends and family out on the balcony with the sunset behind them, smiling and having a great time, was unreal. The venue could have cost twice as much and that moment would’ve still made it worth every penny!” THE NEWLYWEDS’ TOP TIPS Abi says, “Your wedding is about you and your partner, don’t get sucked in to thinking what you should and shouldn’t have. Just do what feels right for you and it will be perfect.” Jason adds, “A lot of people take the week of the wedding off in order to get details sorted. By all means, book the time off work, but do everything you can to get as much organised as you can at least two weeks before the big day. I didn’t, and I think I aged 50 years in that week, trying to get everything done at the last second. Instead, use that time to relax, practice your speech, see family and friends, and to be with your partner.” REAL WEDDINGS 23

ROLL CREDITS Venue and catering, Hope Street Hotel, | Photographer, Jessica Lang Photography, Videographer, Manchester Wedding Film Co, | Dress, Natalie Ann Brides, | Accessories, Mejuri | Carat London | Handmade Bridal Store, Jason’s wedding ring, The Elemental Ring, | Abi’s wedding ring, Beaverbrooks | Hair stylist, I Do Bridal Hair by Victoria, | Make-up artist, Eva Williams Makeup, Bridesmaids’ dresses, Coast | Groom’s suit, Slater Menswear | Cake, Elizabeth Harris Cakes, | Flowers, Norwegian Wood, | Entertainment, Wedding Jam, | Magic mirror, Hadwin Events, | Flower wall and neon sign, Fabulous and Floral, 24

Abbeywood is a 45-acre family estate nestling in the heart of Cheshire. Our nine seasonal gardens are wonderful areas to entertain or relax in, and offer a stunning backdrop for your wedding photography. Popular features include our chapel garden, formal pool garden and beautiful pergola walk. We have six distinct areas licensed for civil ceremonies, each offering a unique setting for your day: Nico’s Glass House, Garden Cafe, The Orangery and The Gazebo, The Barn and The Function Room in Abbeywood House. In addition to these locations there are various areas within the garden where ceremonies take place. The venue hire charge includes exclusive use of Abbeywood’s grounds on your chosen Friday or Saturday and exclusive options on all other days. We also include an overnight stay in our luxurious bridal suite located on the estate. There’s also plenty of further accommodation should you need your guests to stay. The venue provides a highly versatile space for weddings; all bookings are guaranteed exclusive use of key function rooms and gardens. To enquire, visit us or provisionally reserve a date, please contact our team on 01606 888 251 or email

@idoeventsliverpool | 07783 432295 Offering bespoke statement wedding decor packages to dress your entire day

WHITE WEDDING Nice day for a Lydia and Alexander chose a classic, traditional and sophisticated look for their big day Images courtesy of Sarah Horton Photography Lydia and Alexander met on a night out in Formby with mutual friends. By the end of the evening they’d already arranged their first date, having quickly discovered how much they had in common. Alexander proposed in one of their favourite weekend break destinations, the Lake District. “We spend a lot of time here, so it’s a very special place for us with a lot of great memories, this topping them all,” Lydia says. When they entered their hotel room, Lydia found it full of balloons with a bottle of champagne and strawberries on the table. It was here that Alexander asked the all-important question, much to Lydia’s surprise. The couple had been together for three years at this point and it was an easy, “Yes,” for the bride-to-be. Lydia and Alexander were quickly drawn to the intimate feeling of the grand estate, Dorfold Hall. “We viewed others, but they all seemed as though you could easily feel lost if there weren’t enough guests to fill the place. Dorfold didn’t have that,” Lydia explains. What sealed the deal for them though were the plans for a new event space, Le Curie. “It was only a building site when we booked, but we had trust in the venue that this would become a wonderful reality just in time,” Lydia says. So, the date was set for 27th August, 2022. Join us as the bride tells us more... 27 REAL WEDDINGS

We had personalised candles made scented with Jo Malone Peony and Suede, which is the perfume I wore on the day. We also had a box of two macarons for each guest tied with a white ribbon and topped with a white rose. The bridesmaids looked beautiful in baby blue satin gowns with a slight A-line and a split down one side. They wore their hair up in a low ponytail with a crystal hair piece. A harpist played as I walked down the aisle. We then had Craig Owen perform on the piano and violin at the drinks reception and during the wedding breakfast. I wore a simple and elegant A-line gown by Essense of Australia, with a diamanté belt and lace embroidered veil. Alexander was dressed in a black tuxedo and bow tie, which matched the groomsmen. The only difference was that the groom’s shirt had black buttons, while the other gents’ were white. 28

I found an ornate mirror and painted it white to create the table plan. I then printed off the guest list for each table to stick to it, topped with diamantés to accent it. It stood on an easel supplied by the venue. My dad owns a white Bentley V8S Continental, which he bought along for the day. We used it for some photos and a short drive, just the two of us, after the ceremony. Our bouquets too were themed in white and green and featured roses and peonies, which are my favourite flowers. The groom’s party wore white rose buttonholes with foliage, and we chose the same as corsages for our grandmothers. We also had flower garlands on the top table with a flower arch behind the two of us. We wanted traditional white-wedding style blooms for our classy summer nuptials. The Cheshire Dining Experience were great, and the food was amazing. During our drinks reception we had canapés of arancini, satay chicken skewers and duck pancakes – some of our favourite foods. We wanted our wedding breakfast to be light and summery. For starter we had leek and potato soup, followed by a main course of chicken ballotine wrapped in Parma ham, and finished with white chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Escapade Bars provided all the drinks and we chose a personalised cocktail called a Mr and Mrs Martini, which was our favourite, along with a lychee Martini and Pimms for the garden drinks reception. 29 REAL WEDDINGS

Our centrepieces consisted of white flowers, mainly roses with foliage. They sat on acrylic stands surrounded by floating candles. THE W-DAY TEAM Venue, Dorfold Hall, | Photographer, Sarah Horton Photography, | Dress and accessories, Liverpool Bridal Boutique, | Hair stylist, Hair by Hannah DeCosta, | Make-up artist, Daniella Robinson | Bridesmaids’ dresses, JJs House | Groom’s suit, Hugo Boss | Cake, Vanilla Nova Cake Boutique, | Flowers, I Do Events, Bouquets, Karena Floral, | Entertainment, Heavenly Harp, Craig Owen, | Mowtown Gold via Earcandy, | Catering, The Cheshire Dining Experience, | Toastmaster, The Tall Toastmaster, | Fireworks, Blitz Fireworks, | Videographer, GB Wedding Films, | Bar, Escapade Bars, We wanted a large but simple cake. So, we went for a four-tier bake with each tier separated by clear acrylic stands, allowing each one to stand out. It was flavoured chocolate, vanilla and red velvet. We had amazing suppliers who all made our day perfect, especially the Tall Toastmaster. He was there for every need and really looked after us. Make sure all the small details are planned beforehand as they really stand out. That way you don’t have to worry about them on the day. During the evening six-piece band Motown Gold, including a DJ and sax player, entertained us all. We finished the night with a firework display set to one of our favourite songs, A Sky Full Of Stars by Coldplay, this was the highlight of the night. 30

BOUTIQUE, CREATIVE & BOHO WEDDING CAKES Not your ordinary cake designer. Based in North east/west England WWW.BOTANICALƒCAKES.CO.UK BotanicalCakes

Romantic weddings for two Descreet, fuss, no stress PEAR TREE FARM PEAR TREE FARM Cake on the Lake is a bespoke wedding cake business located at City Quay on Riverside Drive, Liverpool, L3. From consultation to creation, we will bring your dream cake to life. Whether you are looking for an exquisite showstopper or a unique and quirky design, we can create it. All our cakes are made from the freshest ingredients. We are sure you will taste the amount of love and quality in every bite. 07473 555 717 | Gill Collins Ceremonies Starting to plan your wedding? Looking for a Celebrant who will spend time to find out what is important to you? Give me a call and I will create a bespoke ceremony for your special day. T: 07711 531 625 E: @gillcollinsceremonies WWW.GILLCOLLINSCEREMONIES.CO.UK