Your Cheshire and Merseyside Wedding - March/April 2024 (Issue 74)

MAR/APR 2024 £3.55 WIN! A honeymoon in the Maldives worth £3,000 DRESSED to the NINES Get your wedding party big-day ready SUSTAINABILITY SUSSED OF JOY Cake know-how IN LOVE with lace This delicate fabric is always in fashion CHESHIRE MERSEYSIDE & WEDDING Tiers Our experts have the answers

TIME TO SUIT UP ENJOY A 10% DISCOUNT ON YOUR FINAL BILL WHEN YOU BOOK WITH US! | | 07908940049 Unit E9, 4th Floor, Pearmill, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 2BP

REGULARS 7 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Kelly 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the region 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 59 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on planning a sustainable wedding 93 COMPETITION Win a honeymoon in the Maldives worth £3,000 CONTENTS MARCH/APRIL 2024 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON... Wonderful Wirral 21 TALE AS OLD AS TIME We round up some of the region’s finest historical venues On the cover This issue’s cover is sponsored by Peckforton Castle ( Beautifuly captured by Shane Webber (, it shows real couple Lucy and Kevin La Roche who tied the knot at the venue. 26 33 FEATURES 45 THE BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL LOOKBOOK This local team set out to create a stunning selection of bridal looks to inspire the undecided 49 COSY ROMANCE We’re not quite ready to let go of the winter yet here at Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding HQ! 53 TIERS OF JOY Your dose of big-day bake know-how from the region’s professionals 62 DRESSED TO THE NINES Find out where to shop for the entire bridal party’s attire, making sure the members of your closest cohort are wedding ready 3

REAL WEDDINGS 26 CLUB TROPICANA Ruth and Sam opted for vibrant colours with a disco botanical theme to bring their joyful wedding day to life 33 GOING GREEN WITH THE GREENERS Maddy and Dan’s sustainable wedding day was styled in a festive gold and green palette 39 IT MUST BE LOVE, LOVE, LOVE It was love at first sight for Sophie and Harry when they laid eyes on Shrigley Hall Hotel & Spa for the first time HONEYMOONS 86 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 88 THE ITALIAN DREAM Live la dolce vita at Villa La Massa in the heart of the breathtaking Tuscan countryside 90 PICTURESQUE PARGA Jet to Parga Beach Resort in this popular coastal town located on the north-western coast of Greece 92 A ROOM WITH A VIEW Get away from it all at Dunston Hall Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort GROOMS 76 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 77 LUSCIOUS LOCKS TikTok star Matt Newman reveals his haircare tips for grooms-to-be 78 FEELING PEACHY We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be inspired by Pantone’s colour of the year, Peach Fuzz FASHION & BEAUTY 64 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 65 THE ULTIMATE EDIT Add instant glam to your big-day look with these latest jewellery launches 66 IN LOVE WITH LACE This delicate fabric is always in fashion 73 RUFFLE UP Romantic layers and tiers are decorating bridal dresses this season 80 FASHION Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 82 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 84 JUST BREATHE Actor turned meditation facilitator Maude Hirst tells us how to handle the stresses of wedding planning 66 39 45 53 88 49 4

Knowsley Hall EXCLUSIVELY 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 TO ARRANGE YOUR PRIVATE VIEWING, CONTACT US ON 0151 489 4827 Join us at our open days on Thursday 25th April & Sunday 12th May. Visit website to register your free place. Knowsley Hall, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 4AG w: t: 0151 489 4827 e: @knowsleyhall | Photography by: Jeff Langhorne

Runaway to the iconic and historic Scottish wedding venue. Exclusive for December 2024 Snow In Love 20 GUEST PACKAGE From £3,224 A luxurious elopement including two nights’ accommodation, photography package, dinner for couple and guests, plus more. For more information on our easy to book wedding packages, contact our award-winning wedding team: +44 (0)1461 336 001 *Excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day Packages from 2-100 Wedding Guests, with 7 marriage rooms and two hotels to choose from. The Original Home of Romance Credit: InFinityPhotographyEvents

Spring is all about new life with trees blossoming, daffodils flowering and young wildlife coming into the world. So, it’s a fitting time of year for a wedding as two people who’ve found love prepare to begin their own new life together. As we emerge from the long winter months, springtime nuptials make the perfect celebration, bringing everyone out of hiding! Everything about this time of year just feels joyous from the light, fresh flavours in food, to the oh-so beautiful flower varieties that come into bloom plus the lighter nights and warmer weather. When anyone tries to tell me that pastel palettes are out for weddings, I’m afraid I have to stick my fingers in my ears – la, la, la! Wildflower-inspired themes have made their way into my heart over the last couple of years and I for one refuse to see them fall out of fashion! Vibrant hues are all very well and good in any other season, but what could be more complementary in the spring than a glorious garden-inspired palette of pink, Peach Fuzz, lavender, sage and lemon? Be still my beating heart! There are a myriad of ways to bring these shades bang up to date: just picture an ombre of fresh yellows with zingy citrus, lemon and mustard complete with Mediterranean vibes. Sunny and oh-so stylish. Having said all of this, I’ve shown myself not quite ready to let go of the autumn and winter yet with our Soughton Hall styled shoot, showcasing rustic and classic ideas for these romantic seasons. It’s also well worth turning to our annual cake feature if you’ve any burning questions on the topic as our experts have lined up to give you the benefit of their wisdom. As ever, enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly x Kelly Andrews, editor A new life EDITOR’S LETTER 7 ISSN 2052-0522 Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by Ellis Media and Events 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. 26 TOTALLY TROPICAL Ruth and Sam’s Club Tropicana themed autumn wedding totally led the way with the vibrant disco look tipped to be hot for 2024. Win! 45 FIT FOR A QUEEN I’m here for the drama of this dress, especially the beaded starburst detail on the sleeves. Although undeniably ultra-modern it gives me something of a regal historical vibe. 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 93 WIN! A honeymoon in the Maldives worth £3,000 53 ON THE SAFE SIDE If you’re catering for dietary requirements Marina from Sweet Palette suggests serving a batch of elegant cupcakes especially for those unable to partake of the main bake.

Say ‘I DO’ with Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa Southport Old Road, Formby, Merseyside L37 0AB To make your dreams come true please contact our Wedding Team on 01704 875 699 email: or visit The perfect setting to your perfect day. Scan for weddings Looking for a tipi wedding? Warren Farm is a stunning wedding venue based in Formby, Merseyside, that you can make your own. Call 07969227492 to make an appointment to discuss your Country wedding or barn wedding venues Email: Website: NATURE-INSPIRED FLORAL DESIGN FOR ECO-CONSCIOUS COUPLES

ECO-LUXE SUCCESS Nathalie Somerset, floral designer and owner of Somerset Blooms, was thrilled to have been recognised with the Sustainable Start-Up award recently at the prestigious Sustainable Wedding Awards. This particular accolade hailed Somerset Blooms for its dedication to seasonally-led floristry and commitment to building a more sustainable future for the wedding industry. It celebrates environmentally-friendly practices and highlights the business’ dedication to providing luxurious floral designs that don’t literally cost the Earth. “We’re absolutely delighted to be recognised by the Sustainable Wedding Awards,” Nathalie says. “This award is a testament to our passion for creating beautiful and memorable weddings while minimising our environmental footprint. We’re committed to inspiring others within the industry to adopt more sustainable practices and together we create a more responsible future for weddings. Our purpose is to break the divide between eco and luxury and this award proves that our clients can have truly luxurious and beautiful events while being kind to the planet.” Learn more about Somerset Blooms at, and discover Nathalie’s advice on planning a sustainable wedding over in our Hot Topic pages this issue. A WORLD OF WELLBEING Thwaites Spa Group is thrilled to announce that all six of its hotel spas, which in Cheshire includes Cottons Hotel & Spa, have been recognised with the prestigious AA Recommendation. As a rising star in the wellness industry, the Group is redefining the landscape of wellness experiences across the UK with a collection of spas that seamlessly blend tranquillity and affordability. Each location is carefully designed, featuring saunas, steam rooms, and beautiful pools, allowing you to immerse yourself in a world of relaxation and wellbeing. Each spa boasts an array of services, including indulgent TEMPLESPA massages and rejuvenating Caudalie facials, all delivered by highly trained spa therapists. This ensures that you can embark on a transformative journey during your visit, enjoying a comprehensive menu of top-notch wellness experiences. Indeed, you won’t want to miss the indoor and giant outdoor hot tubs, at Cottons Hotel & Spa, perfect for relaxing with a cocktail! Find out more at Nearlywed NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the region A SPA SANCTUARY Manor House Alsager has launched a new meditation room located within its charming summer house in the English country spa garden. Following the popularity of its salt shed sauna experience, a guided meditation that takes place in a stand-alone sauna, the spa has dedicated another area of the spa garden to this popular experience. Formerly, a garden room, with garden-style seating and a variety of books to choose from, the summer house has been transformed into a haven of meditation to serve as a sanctuary for mindfulness practice. The space now houses raised corner seating offering serene seclusion with breathtaking views, and a warming firepit in the centre of the room. Each individual booth is equipped with a QR code providing access to a curated selection of guided meditations, called The Art of Sleep, carefully put together by the spa’s product house, Tribe517. Guests can immerse themselves in soothing music while overlooking wide- reaching views of the gorgeous Cheshire countryside and take sanctuary from the stress of wedding planning. Check out 9 LOCAL NEWS

A VERY MERRY UN-WEDDING Scale Liverpool will be hosting the Un-Wedding Show on 14th April, 2024. “It’s such a great event to be hosted in this city and we really can’t wait,” says the venue’s Angela Pavlou. The Un-Wedding show was founded in 2015 when it’s organisers got tired of seeing the same outdated traditional weddings, and decided to make their own new ones! These shows are all about filling your big day with the things you truly love and not what you’re told you should have. Since, launch more than 7,500 couples have been introduced to 300 of the UK’s coolest independent wedding suppliers through these now famous live events. The Un-Wedding Show will be making its debut in Liverpool on Sunday 14th April at Scale’s new blank-canvas venue Fabric, the perfect space for the show to put its stamp on. Designed to put the party into wedding planning, the show promises to provide attendees with inspiration, music and cocktails, not to mention the chance to bag exclusive offers from its suppliers. So, head over to Fabric to meet some of the region’s most unique independent wedding suppliers and chat about your own W-day vision. Grab your tickets now at FROM THE HEART Wildmoor, based in Macclesfield on the edge of the Peak District, has unveiled a new gift collection celebrating the scents and beauty of nature. The brand believes in keeping things simple and its handmade soaps reflect that. They contain only natural oils, butters, clays and scents, and clean without stripping the skin of its natural protective oils. Creating a wonderful waft when opened these beautiful new gifts are as useful as they are a joy to receive. We love the Heart Shaped Soap Gift Tin, £10, as a gorgeous gift for bridesmaids. Check out WELL WISHES The team at The Booth That Rocks is excited to introduce its newest arrival, the 8ft telephone guest book. A super-cool addition to any W-day, it encases the 1950s American diner-style telephone audio guest book, along with your choice of flower wall to seamlessly fit in with your overall decorative vision. Imagine the selfies! Everyone will be queuing up to leave you their heartfelt messages. The Booth That Rocks will enhance all of your audio recordings after the event, since weddings can be noisy affairs! These special memories will then be delivered to you on a bespoke USB that will last as a beautiful keepsake and reminder of your day. No matter what, you’ll get to keep loved ones’ voices from one of the best days of your lives. Bookings are now being taken for 2024, so don’t delay. Find out more at 10

We’re The Booth That Rocks, and we specialise in entertainment & events hire across the Wirral, Cheshire, North Wales & Liverpool region. We have a passion for the highest levels of customer service & satisfaction, and understand how important your wedding day is... only the best will do! We believe our exclusive 8ft Telephone Box is an absolute show-stopper; and we hope you’ll agree too! Modelled on the classic Londonstyle telephone box, which is of course iconic across the world, and synonymous with class & sophistication. Encasing one of our Telephone Audio Guest Books to record the thoughts & feelings of your loved ones on the best day of your lives, it also creates an absolutely stunning talking point and backdrop for all your guests’ sel es! We’d love to hear from you, and welcome you to reach out any time, so that we can nd out more about being a part of your big day! @thebooththatrocks Get in Touch! Photo Credit: Gareth Roy Photography

T: 0151 662 0191 | E: | W: Peninsula Catering is an award-winning events catering company based in Birkenhead and serving customers in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. Every dish is a masterpiece, reflecting our passion for delivering a truly personalized and unforgettable dining experience on your special day. We specialise in: • Canapes • Three Course Wedding Breakfast • Sharing Platters • Bespoke Buffets • BBQs • Street Food • Bar Hire and Drinks Packages Trust us to transform your event into an unforgettable culinary experience.

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs HELLO, HELLO Based on the Wirral, The Booth That Rocks is an event hire company offering more than your average entertainment package! With the oval enclosed photo booths, you can take your fun snaps using high-quality green screen backgrounds and have them printed in seconds. You can also see them uploaded as an album onto Facebook and tag in all your guests ensuring the fun lives on. Plus, you’ll receive your own digital copies to treasure forever. That’s not all as The Booth That Rocks also has a range of super-fun services to complement its photo booths, such as telephone guest book hire, traditional 8ft telephone box hire (find out more about this in Nearlywed News), retro arcade machine hire and rustic LED LOVE letter hire. We’ve partnered with this local lovely this issue to bring readers of Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding a 5% discount on all of its services when you quote “YCMWM.” Book before 30th April 2024 to claim. Find out more at LILY CHARMED IS GIVING READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN £150 TO SPEND ONLINE Crafted from recycled sterling silver and gold-plated recycled sterling silver, Lily Charmed ( brings you a seamless canvas for effortless jewellery curation, ensuring that each piece offers a lifetime investment for authentic self-expression. Collect and curate your very own jewellery box of keepsakes with Lily Charmed’s unique range of consciously crafted charms. Bringing joy through jewellery, each piece is designed to showcase your memories and magical life journey with a modern edge. From engraved talismans, romantic hearts and keys, pretty florals, colourful motifs cast in resin, and whimsical bees and biscuits, to lustrous pearls, chic lockets and personalised birthstones adorning charm bracelets, charm collectors, chains and hoops, Lily Charmed offers a pick ‘n’ mix of playful designs. Layer, stack, mix and match, play with chain and bracelet styles, add charms, add colour − the choice is endless! Infinity symbols represent ever-lasting love, whilst alphabet charms and custom engraving make the perfect personalised touch for weddings. Elsewhere its hug rings, friendship charm bracelets and retro Mixtape, Cowboy Boot and Puzzle Pieces make effortlessly thoughtful bridesmaids gifts. Enter online an Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

If you’re looking for a more relaxed and magical celebration, our Twilight Wedding package is just for you! Twilight Weddings THORNTON HALL HOTEL & SPA, NESTON ROAD, THORNTON HOUGH, WIRRAL, CH63 1JF £6,500 Our Twilight package is available in both of our stunning wedding suites. The Cristal Suite exudes opulence and style with glittering crystal chandeliers and private bar area. If you have grand plans, The Torintone Suite provides a unique backdrop with enough space for all your guests and their plus ones! This self-contained suite boasts its own private entrance, bar and Orangery lounge area overlooking the gardens. Get together at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa Your twilight ceremony will be held at 5pm giving you plenty of time during the day to relax and use the hotel’s facilities at your leisure. Following your ceremony, you and your guests will be greeted with a Prosecco drinks reception and canapés, the perfect time for sunset photos in our glorious grounds. Enjoy an informal buffet and dance the night away with our resident DJ, plus late-night bites served at 11pm to kerb those cravings until bar closes at 2am. Twilight package based on a minimum of 80 guests in The Cristal and 100 guests in The Torintone. from Scan to view our upcoming events We have events throughout the year, perfect for your hen party, special occasion or just a fun night out! From Murder Mystery events to Family Lunches, we are a venue for all occasions! Are you planning a celebration? Why not check out our What’s On page... 0151 353 3715

SPOTLIGHT ON... Wirral Tie the knot in a local hotspot THORNTON HALL HOTEL & SPA 0151 353 3715 | Nestled in acres of peaceful countryside, Thornton Hall Hotel is a simply stunning wedding location for all seasons, combining sophistication and style with genuine warm hospitality and decades of experience. It boasts its own award-winning spa, which is renowned as one of the top destination spas in the UK. The wedding team strive to ensure you have peace of mind, enjoy the preparations, and make your dream wedding unforgettable. The Pagoda here offers all the charm of a countryside wedding. Located within the Hotel grounds, it boasts 360-degree views of the stunning gardens and the lush scenery beyond. It’s ideal for a spring or summer ceremony, but equally magical in the autumn or winter. The Cristal, is a beautifully designed wedding suite with state-of-the-art lighting, ten glittering crystal chandeliers, and ornate metal ceiling panels adding an extra touch of opulence and Art Deco style. It is fully-licensed for civil ceremonies and with its own private bar area and access to the Terrace and Gardens beyond, your guests will love the setting. The Torintone is the largest of the wedding spaces, capable of hosting 80 to 500 guests – perfect if you have grand plans for your big day. It provides a unique backdrop of modern decadence with enough space for all of your loved ones and their plus ones! This self-contained suite boasts its own private bar and entrance, with a large reception area beautifully lit by stunning crystal chandeliers. The Orangery, leading off of the main suite, gives your guests a place to enjoy the pampered gardens and countryside vistas. This versatile space also makes a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony. Finally, the Oak Room, situated next to The Lawns Restaurant in the main house, is a stunning space to enjoy fine food and wine with family and friends, perfect for a more intimate celebration. 15 LOCAL VENUES

MERE BROOK HOUSE 07713 189 949 | Mere Brook House is a lovingly restored Edwardian country house that’s been transformed into a luxurious haven for guests. Escape to the enchanting Wirral countryside and indulge in the timeless charm of this romantic property. Nestled amid picturesque landscapes, the guest house offers a serene retreat for couples seeking a perfect blend of elegance, comfort and natural beauty. The venue offers a selection of elegantly appointed rooms and versatile event spaces that can be tailored to your requirements, whether you’re planning a small and intimate wedding or a lavish ceremony. Meanwhile, the grounds offer a relaxing sanctuary with numerous species of butterflies, birds and wildlife, which can be viewed from the garden lounge, conservatory and bedrooms. The garden is surrounded by paddocks that provide grazing for young calves or horses, and along their bottom edge runs the brook that forms the lower boundary. Mere Brook is fully-licensed to hold your wedding ceremony, which can then lead on to the wedding reception and finish with fun on the dancefloor well into the evening. You’re welcome to decorate to your heart’s content and the venue’s front-of-house team will be on hand throughout the day to ensure every detail is perfect. The kitchen team will also provide a wonderful wedding breakfast with a bespoke menu to suit your guests’ dietary requirements using home-grown and locally-sourced seasonal produce. The Garden Room can accommodate 60 guests for a formal sit-down meal; or if you’d prefer, a more informal buffet or barbecue for 100. To make the most of your special day, why not book the coach house the night before, and enjoy a delicious pre-wedding supper? LADY LEVER ART GALLERY 0151 478 4780 | Set in picturesque Port Sunlight, the gallery overlooks charming gardens and a model village. Built at the end of the 19th century, the beautiful village is the work of more than 30 architects. Lady Lever Art Gallery has a long and romantic history. Created by soap magnate and discerning art collector William Hesketh Lever, the gallery is dedicated to the memory of his wife Elizabeth. The building boasts a magnificent Beaux-Arts style exterior and features stunning galleries including a beautiful grand hall filled with world-class art. There are also two striking rotundas with gorgeous glass domes, one of which looks out onto the adjacent fountain and village – perfect for a drinks reception. Celebrant-led ceremonies can be hosted in the Main Hall with 50 guests seated. The most impressive room in the Gallery, it showcases a wonderful collection of Victorian paintings. Receptions can be held in the South Rotunda, again accompanied by 50 nearest and dearest. Here, 18th- and 19th-century sculpture is displayed and the space is also suited to a standing reception. It has a private entrance, and overlooks the pretty fountain in Port Sunlight. The Main Hall can also play host to your celebrations, with 150 for a sit-down wedding breakfast and reception. Enjoy your first meal together as newlyweds in the shadow of artworks by the likes of Millais, Rossetti and Holman Hunt. 16

The perfect venue DOUBLETREE BY HILTON CHESTER Please contact our dedicated wedding experts on: 01244 408 800 Warrington Rd, Hoole, Chester, CH2 3PD dtchesterwedding dtchesterweddings Mere Brook House is an imposing Edwardian country house on the Wirral. It is the perfect venue for weddings, celebratory events, business meetings and rural getaways. | 0771 318 9949 | @merebrookhouse Mere Brook House

Lovingly restored, this historic World Heritage site provides a fitting location to mark the start of your lives as newlyweds. From your marriage ceremony to the evening’s celebrations, we would be honoured to host this wonderful occasion for you. Titanic Hotel Liverpool can accommodate traditional and multi-cultural weddings up to 500 people. Our wedding venues Rum Warehouse and West Bay can be tailored to create your special day. RUM WAREHOUSE Rum Warehouse minimum spend includes 100 guests for Wedding Breakfast and 180 guests for Evening buffet: 2024: £12,000 2025: £13,000 2026: £13,580 WEST BAY West Bay minimum spend includes 80 guests for Wedding Breakfast and 120 guests for Evening buffet: 2024 & 2025: £10,960 2026: £11,440 venues tailored to your special day Stanley Dock, Regent Road, Liverpool, L3 0AN 0151 559 1444 TitanicHotelLiverpool For more information, call our wedding coordinators on 0151 482 5783 or email Image provide by Gemma Cullen Photography WEST BAY TWILIGHT WEDDING PACKAGE From £6,900* Available January - May 2025, Subject to availability. *Based on minimum numbers of 100 guests.

THE MANOR AT GREASBY 0151 677 7034 | Blending historical character with contemporary elegance, The Barn at The Manor is a sophisticated space for hosting your big day. The barn venue has been crafting love stories since 1680 and continues to host such milestones – long may it continue. Toast your love beneath original timber beams and illuminated beaded chandeliers in this self-contained events space, which also boasts a separate entrance and private bar area, all nestled within the grounds of a lovingly-restored 17th-century manor farmhouse. Alongside the Barn is a picturesque courtyard, ideal for al fresco drinks receptions and canapés, with a beautiful backdrop for those all-important couple shots. Bespoke packages are available for 80 seated guests with the option of added upgrades and supplementary items, allowing you to tailor-make your celebration. A choice of either Silver, Gold or Platinum all-inclusive options offer complete drinks packages, three-course meals with coffee, and evening buffets, all beautifully curated using only the finest local produce. Personalised table plans, decorative centrepieces, a resident DJ and dedicated wedding coordinator will also be provided to ensure all of the little added extras are in place. What’s more, you’ll receive one-to-one support from The Manor’s dedicated weddings and events manager to ensure the seamless planning of your special day, from in-person check ins to bespoke menu tastings. 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 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. 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. LOCAL VENUES 19

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

We round up some of the region’s favourite historical venues PECKFORTON CASTLE 01829 260 930 | Originally the home of Lord Tollemache and built in the early 19th century, the hotel is the only intact medieval-style castle in the country. Over the years it has been the location for numerous movies including Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Dr Who and most recently Coronation Street. The stunning exterior has now been complemented by a lovinglyrefurbished interior which houses 48 bedrooms and truly magnificent entertaining rooms. An enchanting setting with captivating architecture, steeped in history, Peckforton Castle will delight you and your guests. You’ll be the only wedding at the Castle making your day a true fairy tale. With a choice of packages and rooms able to accommodate 10 to 275 guests, stunning bedrooms, or falconry for something that little bit different, the venue will never disappoint. You’re spoilt for choice here when it comes to ceremony settings. Say “I do” in the Great Hall for example as the sun streams through the stainedglass windows, a string quartet softly plays on the Minstrel’s Gallery and the fire glows in the background as the candlelight reflects off the original Minton Hollins tiled floor. The Drawing Room is the largest function room here. As you enter your eye is caught by the imposing windows draped with luxurious red velvet curtains. It boasts an atmosphere of warmth and happiness. Walk along the red carpet and up the stone staircase to enter the Hexagonal Room. It has two working fireplaces and a vaulted stone ceiling, carved at the apex of which you’ll find the Tollemache family grace. The bookcases in the Library meanwhile offer the opportunity to decorate with flowers and candles, bringing it to life as a magnificent setting for a wedding. Built in 1848 and set inside the fortified walls of the Castle, the Chapel is the perfect place for your religious blessing and the local minister will be happy to officiate. For the big-day bash, the Drawing Room (165 guests), Great Hall (120 guests), Hexagonal Room (80 guests) and the Library (30 guests) are all available to choose from. There is also a selection of spaces offered for the evening revelries and the wedding team is happy to discuss your requirements to tailor the configuration just for you. These include the venue’s best-kept secret, the Wine Cellar. A stunning circular bar built into the crypt of the Castle and lit only by candles it can be hired out until the early hours where you and your nearest and dearest can sip Champagne or enjoy a nightcap. The perfect place to end the perfect day. Tale as old as time 21 HISTORICAL VENUES

MEOL’S HALL TITHE BARN 01704 228 326 | Situated among the stunning grounds of Meols Hall in the pretty village of Churchtown, the Tithe Barn offers quite the setting for a wedding. This exclusive 400-year-old candlelit barn has an atmosphere all of its own and sits near the historical 12th-century manor house. Plus, there are certainly some excellent photographic opportunities across the 100-acre estate. The venue offers a complete package of catering, bar service, master of ceremonies and entertainment if you wish. Ceremonies are hosted in the Tithe Barn with a minimum of 50 and maximum of 120 loved ones. Sympathetically restored by local craftsmen the barn is full of rustic charm and features original brick walls and an open-beamed ceiling. The wedding breakfast takes place in the lovely Tithe Barn, also with a maximum of 120 guests and an additional 30 welcome for the evening reception. There’s also the tastefully-restored original coach house with its large French doors opening out onto the picturesque traditional cobbled courtyard. It comes complete with shepherds hut bar, heated parasols, patio tables, chairs and outdoor lanterns. This makes an ideal year-round outdoor/indoor venue for entertaining your nearest and dearest, as well as the perfect place to relax, enjoy welcome drinks and even a selection of delicious canapés. THE BLUECOAT 0151 702 5324 | Located in the heart of Liverpool, this Grade I listed property is nestled between an iconic courtyard and secluded garden, an oasis from city life it invites you to experience its magic and become part of its 300 years of history. As the UK’s first contemporary arts centre, the interior spaces here are a striking combination of heritage features and modern design. Whether you’re looking for classic elegance or effortlessly cool minimalism, The Bluecoat has a space for you. Flooded with natural light, The Sandon Room is characterised by its original floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors, which open out onto The Bluecoat’s secret courtyard. Blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors, The Sandon Room and Courtyard are ideal for wedding ceremonies with 60 guests and intimate al fresco drinks. Located in the new art wing, The Performance Space embodies a modern, minimalist aesthetic with raw concrete walls and an architecturally striking skylight. The space offers great flexibility whatever your wedding plans, and can accommodate 120 of your loved ones. Celebrate in style in The Bistro with 90 of your nearest and dearest. With double-height windows and a beautiful balcony overlooking the garden, this space has a bright and airy feel perfect for dinners and receptions. 22

JODRELLBANK.NET/WEDDINGS or email PUT YOUR WEDDING AT THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement, University of Manchester, Bomish Lane, Macclesfield SK11 9DL Meols Hall, Churchtown, Southport PR9 7LZ To make an appointment to view or speak to the wedding co-ordinator Call: 01704 228326 • • meols hall - the perfect setting Photos courtesy of Matthew Rycraft There can be very few settings equal to Meols Hall, Southport’s historical manor house, with its magnificent 400 year old candlelit Tithe Barn, Coach House and large unspoilt traditional cobbled courtyard. EXCLUSIVE USE • CIVIL CEREMONIES • RECEPTIONS • WEDDING BREAKFASTS & EVENING CELEBRATIONS BESPOKE & INDIVIDUAL • PHOTOGRAPHIC OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE BEAUTIFUL 100 ACRE ESTATE HELICOPTER LANDING AVAILABLE Meols Hall churchtown the tithe barn 2024 DATES AVAILABLE TWILIGHT WEDDINGS NOW AVAILABLE

The Racquet Club Hotel, 5 Chapel Street, Liverpool L3 9AG | 0151 236 6676 | WWW.RACQUETCLUBHOTEL.CO.UK The Racquet Club Hotel is a quirky place with a friendly feel. Inside you are greeted with our stunning stair case. The Restaurant and Function Floor have an eclectic mixture of traditional and contemporary styles. We are licensed for Ceremonies up to 120 Our period reception rooms feature wooden furniture, portrait pictures and a modern drinks reception space complete with snooker tables, piano and mezzanine level. The restaurant benefits from large arched windows in a fantastic airy space with an adjacent intimate bar. It is furnished with an mix of modern and traditional pieces of original art work. FUNCTION FLOOR – 138 SIT DOWN OR 250 PARTY | ZIBA RESTAURANT AND BAR – 80 OR 200 PARTY YOUR wedding DREAM AT RACQUET CLUB HOTEL

THE RACQUET CLUB HOTEL 0151 236 6676 | Located in the commercial district of Liverpool, The Racquet Club is perfectly positioned for access to public transport and car parking facilities. Close to the famous Liverpool Waterfront it’s the ideal spot for a city wedding. Built in 1859 by Sir James Picton as the headquarters for Sir William Brown, an American shipping merchant, it takes the shape of an Italian Palazzo and has carved plaques above the windows including Isabella I who gave permission and funding for Columbus’ voyage, Columbus, Bermejo a Spanish adventurer, Vespucci, Cortez, Queen Anaconana and Francisco Pizarro. The restaurant benefits from large arched windows in a fantastic airy space with adjacent intimate bar. Throughout, the venue is furnished with an eclectic mix of modern and traditional pieces along with an extensive collection of original artwork. The Main Room can accommodate 130 loved ones for the ceremony and 138 for the reception, while there’s space in the Restaurant for 100 for the “I dos” and dining. For more intimate celebrations, the Club Room can host 25 for the ceremony and 40 for the wedding breakfast, and the Private Dining Room too can hold 25 for the vows or 24 for reception. Overall capacity for the evening bash is 250. There are also eight bedrooms each individually decorated in a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, and the period events floor accommodates wedding and family gatherings. RUTHIN CASTLE 01824 702 664 | You all deserve your own happily ever afters and the enchanting 13thcentury Ruthin Castle offers a memorable setting at one of the most secluded and romantic spots in North Wales. Whether you dream of an extravagant day, an intimate occasion or a wonderful gathering of family and friends, your wedding here will be unforgettable and tailor-made just for you. Situated within acres of parkland in the heart of the medieval town of Ruthin, the Castle is easily accessed from the North West of England, just 22 miles west of Chester and 38 miles from Liverpool. You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful grounds here to the fullest on your wedding day; there’s parkland, woodland and glorious gardens everywhere you look. Look out for the Castle’s resident peacocks too! Say “I do” in the premier wedding suite in the heart of the Castle, the Grand Salon, Grand in name and grand in style, it’s classically themed featuring high ceilings, huge windows and its own private terrace and gardens. It can comfortably accommodate 100 of your nearest and dearest for the ceremony and 120 for the reception. For a wedding that’s truly one-of-a-kind. Exchange your vows in Bertie’s Ballroom surrounded by 80 loved ones. This space, Ruthin Castle’s banqueting hall, is steeped in history and atmosphere. It can host the same number for the post-ceremony celebrations. For more intimate occasions, the Cornwallis Suite can host 60. An intimate room it boasts high ceilings and breathtaking views of the Castle grounds. You also have the opportunity here for an al fresco ceremony. With the same capacity of 60 guests, the Peacock Suite benefits from its own terrace with views across the historical battlements. Plus, huge windows create a light and airy space. You can seat 40 here for your wedding breakfast too. Alternatively, for a larger ceremony guest list of 100 you can choose to say your “I dos” outdoors on Peacock Terrace. When you book here the venue includes the services of a wedding coordinator, a menu tasting for two, use of the bridal suite for the wedding night, preferential room rates for your guests, 40 per cent off your first anniversary stay at the hotel and much more. 25 HISTORICAL VENUES

TROPICANA Club Ruth and Sam opted for vibrant colours with a disco botanical theme to bring their joyful wedding day to life Images courtesy of Willow & Wilde 26

Ruth and Sam met in 2012 at a ski resort in New Zealand. It was Sam’s third time there as a seasonaire, but Ruth’s very first. “So, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing,” Ruth says. We’re told that there’s an unwritten rule when it comes to learning to ski or snowboard: you should never let your significant other teach you if you don’t want it to end badly. But that season, Sam taught Ruth to snowboard and 11 years later, the two got married. “Perhaps we’ve broken the curse,” Ruth says. “That’s not to say there weren’t a few choice words muttered under my breath on occasion when she kept telling me to relax more!” After that ski season, the couple travelled together for a further two years. “It was a pretty intense way to start a new relationship, but it just worked,” Ruth says. “I like to think our personalities complement each other well.” In 2022, the duo chose their engagement rings together; and in Barcelona that year, Ruth proposed on the balcony of their hotel overlooking a quiet courtyard in the Gothic Quarter. “No big gestures, no gimmicks, just a moment for the two of us,” she says. Ruth and Sam were both drawn to The Palm House for different reasons. Sam spent a lot of time in Sefton Park with her grandparents as a child, so it held fond memories for her. For Ruth, she’d always envisioned an outdoor wedding surrounded by nature, but worried about the weather. Stumbling across The Palm House on Pinterest one day, was a real lightbulb moment, it offered the best of both worlds. So, they booked a viewing and were completely sold from the get-go. The date was set for 22nd September 2023. Read on as Ruth tells us more... “The day was beyond our wildest expectations.” – Ruth SETTING THE SCENE Limoncello shot wedding favours were sourced from Jimmy’s in Suffolk, near to Ruth’s childhood home. She found him on Instagram and quickly got chatting about ordering some of this handmade Italian liqueurs for guests to enjoy after the wedding breakfast. “He’s so passionate about his craft and provided regular updates throughout the fermentation process,” Ruth tells us. All of the wedding’s signage, table plan, table names, place cards, guest book and postbox signs were created by the couple’s bridesmaid Hannah. An absolute craft whizz, she wanted to help her friends to create the relaxed, informal and fun atmosphere they dreamed of, and was able to use brightly-coloured Perspex to great effect. For the table plan, she used an old plastic board that once belonged to a hairdressers, and spray-painted it with a pink to orange ombre effect. “Our wonderful florist Olivia from Funk & Bloom was able to completely take our vision and bring it to life,” Ruth explains. As soon as they read her mission statement on her website, they were on board: “Expect bold, stylish floral designs inspired by nature, nightlife and nostalgia.” The last piece of the puzzle was their Zoom consultation where they were able to chat through ideas, and Olivia offered advice on flower choices to suit REAL WEDDINGS 27


the brief. The ladies all clicked straight away, having bonded over Liverpool, Pride, disco and dogs, so they knew Olivia was the florist they could trust. “She was such an important part of our day, and throughout the entire planning process expertly brought together bold dahlias, gerberas, roses and tropical blooms with foliage, alongside disco balls and funky candles,” Ruth explains. The big-day bake was sourced from The Little Cakery in Liverpool. They kept it simple with vanilla and lemon sponges (their favourites) and matched the design to the wedding’s colour palette: hot pink and orange. The venue’s in-house caterers, Dine, provided the day’s delicious food. Ruth and Sam opted for the Lace Grill menu, looking to create a relaxed dining experience and definitely not wanting anyone to go hungry! Think big bowls of Ottolenghi-style salad alongside flavoursome meats and fresh breads. A trio of desserts was served for guests to enjoy after the main course. When it came to drinks selections, the two remained on track with their chilled vibe and chose cans of beer and cocktails for the tables. “We wanted guests to feel like they were at a boozy brunch with friends!” Ruth explains. LOOKING THE PART In her wedding-day attire, Ruth was looking for something relaxed but still elegant. She went down to London for the weekend with her mum and sister and visited Rixo’s King’s Road store in Chelsea. “The shop itself is unbelievably cool, and the bridal area even more so.” Ruth remembers. “We walked into the back, behind a velvet curtain, and ABBA was blasting out from the speakers. I knew we were in the right place!” Looking for something with a 70s disco vibe, the bride found everything she’d pictured in the sequins and bell sleeves of the first and only dress she tried on. “When you know, you know,” she says. Sam found her outfit at Catherine Deane; a wide-leg trouser and full-lace bodice. Much like Ruth she had a clear idea of what she wanted from the outset, so it was just a case of finding it. Once she’d done that, it was a fait accompli. The bridesmaids’ suits were all from Zara. “We loved the dusky pink colour and felt the feathered sleeves added a bit of Scouse drama!” Ruth says. Each member of the bride tribe chose their own top, styled their hair how they wanted it and wore their own shoes. “Much like the vibe of the entire day, we wanted them to feel relaxed and be able to pull some serious shapes when the music started,” Ruth continues. “A wedding can be a stressful time, but try to take a moment if things get too much, and remind yourself that you’re marrying your best friend in front of your loved ones.” – Ruth TIME TO CELEBRATE The Big Gospel Choir started the party with a set of disco, soul and garage tunes. “Special mention needs to go to the vocalist who hit all the key changes in Beyonce’s Love On Top, not easy!” says Ruth. The night was closed out with DJ Tony Maloney bringing it home with some old school dance anthems. MEMORABLE MOMENTS “There are two moments that stick in my mind,” Ruth tells us. “The speeches from two of our bridesmaids were unreal. Those girls know how to work a room! Tears, laughter, props... they had it all. Another memory was Sam and I sharing a tequila shot directly after the ceremony while the guests were still seated. It was waiting for us when we reached the end of the aisle, and gave us a minute to celebrate just the two of us.” Ruth would also like to give a special shout out to their photographer, Vicki from Willow & Wilde: “Meeting her at our friend’s wedding earlier that year, seeing how she worked and interacted with the bride and groom, then seeing the finished photos, we knew she’d be perfect. She was such an important part of the day and much like our florist, she just got it. She was a super-calming and fun presence. “Finally, our celebrant Wendi was absolutely wonderful both on the day and in the lead up. Funny, outrageous and with that wonderful Scouse wit, she has a way of putting you at ease. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to do our ceremony.” 29 REAL WEDDINGS