Your Cheshire and Merseyside Wedding - May/June 2024 (Issue 75)

MAY/JUN 2024 £3.55 WIN! Diamonds worth £1000 SHORT and SWEET Dresses with higher hemlines BEHIND THE SCENES REFLECTIONS Waterside venues Once AND floral Your flower questions answered CHESHIRE MERSEYSIDE & WEDDING Romantic The region’s iconic backdrops captured by local wedding photographers

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

REGULARS 7 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 54 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on planning an intimate wedding 85 COMPETITION Win £1,000 to spend on your big-day jewellery CONTENTSMAY/JUNE 2024 VENUES 13 SPOTLIGHT ON... Knowsley and St Helens 19 ROMANTIC REFLECTIONS We’ve rounded up some of the region’s finest waterside venues On the cover This issue’s cover has been sponsored by Wirral-based wedding venue Thornton Manor ( a Grade II* listed Elizabethan-style house set amongst an oasis of rural calm and beautifully presented countryside. The image was captured by Capture My Big Day ( at the wedding of Hannah and Cal. 31 13 FEATURES 43 BEHIND THE SCENES A showcase of the region’s iconic backdrops courtesy of its wedding photographers 49 ONCE AND FLORAL Local florists answer your questions 74 3

REAL WEDDINGS 24 SUMMER IN THE CITY Emma and Jack tied the knot at St George’s Hall in July 2023, followed by celebrations at Liverpool’s The Baltic Hotel 31 FROM LIVERPOOL WITH LOVE Sarah and Jamie decided to ditch their Caribbean beach wedding in favour of the industrial-chic surroundings of Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel 37 A LOVE LIKE OURS Lydia and Ben opted for a timeless palette of white and neutrals for their big day HONEYMOONS 78 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 80 SOME LIKE IT HOT Remember to pack your sunscreen for these tropical honeymoon destinations 82 BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE Wrap up warm when visiting these chilly honeymoon destinations 84 SWEET ESCAPES Enjoy a relaxing minimoon in some of the UK’s best boltholes GROOMS 68 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 69 FIT TO PERFECTION London-based tailors Fielding & Nicholson share their top tips for finding a wedding suit 70 HUE COMPLETE ME We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 56 ALL DRESSED UP These strappy styles will take you from day to dancefloor 61 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 62 BEACH READY These hero honeymoon buys are suitcase essentials 63 SHORT AND CHIC These sassy styles are always in fashion 72 FASHION AND BEAUTY Q&A Look and feel your big-day best with help from the professionals 73 COLOUR ME HAPPY Our beauty editor is a new woman thanks to House of Colour’s expert colour analysis 74 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 76 FEELING FABULOUS We caught up with celebrity hair stylist and innovator Gustav Fouche 37 49 43 63 80 73 4

At We All Love Cake we understand how important it is to not only have a great looking and tasting wedding cake, but also that you can cater for all your family and friends celebrating your big day. We take great pride in producing free from wedding cakes that look and taste amazing no matter the dietary restrictions. All Cakes produced at We All Love Cake are dairy, soya, nut and gluten free with the option of being egg free as well, making it suitable for Vegans. We take food allergies, intolerances and other dietary requirements very seriously At We All Love Cake we offer a free personal consultation where you get to try 4 different flavours of sponge of your choosing, with either tea, coffee or Champagne. GET IN TOUCH! | | 07909694630 Instagram: | Facebook: We All Love Cake We All Love Cake For more information call +44(0)1704 516220 or email Are you dreaming of a wedding with breathtaking views that stretch as far as the eye can see? Look no further! Waterfront Southport Hotel is your picture-perfect venue, offering an unparalleled 180-degree panorama of the serene Marine Lake and the majestic Irish Sea. Ready to start planning your dream wedding at Waterfront Southport Hotel? Get in touch with us to schedule a visit, discuss your needs, and discover our exclusive offerings.

Spring has officially arrived, and before long we’ll be enjoying summer in full bloom. So, what better topic could we have chosen to look into this issue than wedding flowers? I must confess, I adore fresh flowers and love nothing more than putting together our annual feature on the subject – I do hope you’ll indulge me for a short while! The perfect wedding blooms effortlessly fill an empty venue with romance, fragrance and colour, creating the ultimate ambience; and with the right florist on your side, they can speak volumes about the two of you and the vision for your big day. What’s more, they’re efficient! Pedestals, aisle meadow arrangements, ceremony arches and much more can all be moved into your reception space after the “I dos” and seamlessly transform into centrepieces and top table backdrop. You get the most from your budget, your theme carries through and you keep waste to a minimum. Your wedding day is all about the two of you, so why not have a think about how you can tailor your flowers to further tell your love story. The language of flowers combines tradition with sentimentality and conveys a meaning that perhaps only the two of you will understand, but as you’re the two most important that’s all that matters. For example, gypsophila is a wedding staple but perhaps its meaning, everlasting love, has been lost over the years. Some of my other favourites are: cornflowers symbolising prosperity and friendship; hydrangeas meaning gratitude and understanding; peonies speaking of romance, prosperity, good luck and a happy life; and roses, in particular pink, which symbolise admiration. So, you see, you can write an entire love letter to your new spouse through your bouquet – how romantic. I do hope some of this has whet your appetite for more; if so, don’t miss our flower feature from page 49 where the region’s experts have answered some of the floral questions at the forefront of our minds. As ever, enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly x Kelly Andrews, editor In full bloom 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. 37 BREATHTAKING BLOOMS Lydia and Ben took a showstopping approach courtesy of florist La Beau Fleurs. Their 18ft top table runner was simply stunning. Win! 31 FOREVER YOURS Another alternative to fresh is silk. Look for great quality, no one will know the difference and your bouquet is yours forever, just like Sarah’s. @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 85 WIN! Win £1,000 to spend on your big-day jewellery 24 PRETTY PAMPAS Fresh flowers not for you? Emma and Jack opted for on trend dried flower bouquets and buttonholes for their city-chic wedding. ADVERTISING Account Manager Amii Matthews | 01376 538 560

£2,024 FOR 2024 Located in the commercial district of Liverpool and close to the famous Liverpool Waterfront, The Racquet Club is 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. There are also eight bedrooms each individually decorated in a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, and the period events floor accommodates weddings and family gatherings. Recently, the venue has launched a couple of fabulous packages for nearlyweds. Before you even think about setting a date, why not celebrate your engagement to the full? The Racquet Club’s Engagement Party Package has you covered. It includes a welcome drink, hot and cold buffet, DJ from 7pm to 1am, and other fun additions including coloured uplighters, selfie mirror, and love letters. It’s priced at £2,995 for up to 80 guests. Then, when you’re ready to tie the knot, check out the venue’s £2,024 for 2024 package, offering a day reception for 35 guests. It includes a welcome drink, wine and a toast drink; three-course wedding breakfast; and private hire of one of the event spaces. Additional day guests are charged at £65 per person. Evening receptions are also available at an additional cost. Find out more at NEVER MISS A MOMENT What is a wedding content creator, and do I need one? Well you may ask! Unlike traditional photographers, wedding content creators specialise in capturing those candid, behindthe-scenes moments that truly reflect the magic of your special day. They allow your guests to put their phones down and be 100 per cent present without compromising on footage from their individual point of view. Another benefit? You don’t have to choose between chasing down your bridal party to sift through the blurry pics on their camera roll or waiting four to six weeks for the edited photos to land in your inbox. You’ll simply wake up the next day to a beautiful selection of memories in a highlight reel format, ready to relive and share with the world. Sounds great, but don’t know where to start? This is where Sorella Social comes in; a new digital marketing and wedding day content creation service founded by sisters Victoria Griffiths and Alex Cornwell. “With over eight years of experience in marketing, we understand the struggle of waiting for content all too well and are here to eradicate that stress for your wedding,” says Victoria. This local lovely offers a range of packages, and the sisters take a completely tailored approach to ensure each delivery is as unique as the two of you. To find out more, head over to Nearlywed NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the county NEW VENUE ALERT! From the creators of the well-known film and photography studio and wedding venue Scale Liverpool, Fabric Studios has now opened its doors. A 4,000sqft versatile, multifunctional event venue, it boasts make-up and styling rooms, a commercial kitchen and mobile bar. Founder Sonny McCartney says, “Fabric Studios was born out of a love for bringing more creativity to Liverpool. We are located in the up-and-coming Fabric District, being in such a progressive part of the city means that we can bring a new light to an already growing part of the city centre.” The original studio venue, Scale Liverpool, is known for its spectacular industrial weddings. Alongside Scale, Fabric Studios is now available for couples to use as a modern ceremony and wedding space. Whether you’re a couple after a DIY wedding in a dry-hire space or you’re looking for more of a tailored experience, this new studio venue can accommodate your needs. Find out more at 8

DRESS TO IMPRESS Fairytale Endings, the bridal and destination occasion wear store at Metquarter, has embarked on the next chapter of its business adventure as it opens a second standalone store in the centre. The new bridal boutique caters to every need of both the bride and bridal party, with a luxurious selection of wedding dresses from numerous high-end designers, as well as bridesmaid dresses, flowergirl dresses, shoes, veils and accessories. The store stocks dresses to cater for all sizes, ranging from 4 to 28, by designers such as Love by Ricca Sposa, Anny Lin, Emma Bridals, Josephine Scott and Fairytale Endings’ own brand. Here, you’ll find dress shopping as easy and comfortable as can be, and you’ll also be offered alterations, fitting and collection services in store to ensure your dream gown fits perfectly. Owner Gill O’Neill says, “Being able to offer a wide selection of sizes and styles has always been important to us, catering to brides from size 4 to 28 across most of our dresses makes us among the most inclusive stores within the region.” For more information and opening times, check out DATE FOR THE DIARY A one-of-a-kind love story deserves an equally unique backdrop: watch the next chapter of your life unfold in a uniquely romantic setting at The Barn at The Manor, set within the grounds of a lovingly-restored 17th-century manor farmhouse in Greasby, Wirral. Blending historical character with contemporary elegance, The Barn is a sophisticated space in which to celebrate your love. Boasting a separate entrance, a private bar area and its own picturesque courtyard, the venue offers an intimate setting ideal for celebrating life’s finest occasions with up to 80 seated guests. It also offers a range of all-inclusive wedding packages and luxury upgrades, meaning your celebration can be entirely tailor-made to your exact wishes. This Wirral venue hosts a monthly open evening, free to attend it’s the ideal opportunity to see the space and meet the team. The next dates are Tuesday 21st May and Thursday 20th June, 6pm-8pm. Find out more at HERE COMES THE HOUND Cheshire Dog Lady started life as a doggy daycare and home boarding business around three-and-a-half years ago, and has since grown into two houses licensed for daycare and boarding, including the fabulous Cheshire Dog Lady Hotel. All-in-all the team now consists of 16 dog walkers, and a further six members of staff, taking the total to 22. Owner, the Cheshire Dog Lady herself Emma Adams, offers boarding from the comfort of her own house, so your furry best friends will feel truly welcome in this their home-away-from home. Cheshire Dog Lady offers a service to suit any dog-care need from dog walking, daycare, boarding and, of course, wedding chaperoning. The latter is tailored to your individual needs on the day. For example, says Emma, “Some of our couples will book our home boarding service in addition to the wedding chaperone service so that their fur baby has somewhere safe to stay, when their big-day duties are complete.” Alternatively, some venues will allow your dog to remain on site, meaning Emma, or one of her team, can dog-sit in one of the venue’s rooms until the early hours. Emma and her team are highly professional and will look after your furry family member from beginning to end, so no one has to worry about them at all on such a big day. Their chaperone will arrive an hour before the ceremony, and be there with them to meet the guests; this means they’re also present for any pre-ceremony shots. Your gorgeous dog will then be ready for their ring-bearing duties, should you wish, which will all be organised by Cheshire Dog Lady. Once that mission has been proudly completed, they’ll then be available after the “I dos,” for plenty of cuddles and pictures. Then, when your pooch is pooped, they’ll return with their chaperone to wherever they’re being cared for for the remainder of the day. Best of all, we absolutely love the fact that Emma will be busy capturing photos and videos throughout, from your dog’s perspective, which will all be sent to you the next day. After all, it’s a big day for them too when their humans tie the knot! Emma and team were thrilled to be listed recently among the top three dog walkers in Crewe by Three Best Rated. These awards look at the relevant companies in the area and take them through a 50-point inspection before making their decision, so to make it to the top three is certainly something to be celebrated. What’s more, in February Cheshire Dog Lady made it through to the finals for Dog Service of the Year in the Animal Star Awards 2024. The winner will be announced later in the year, please join us in wishing this local lovely the best of luck. For further information, check out Activate Digital 9 LOCAL NEWS

THE STORY OF YOUR DAY Sorella Social is a digital marketing and wedding day content creation specialist founded by sisters Victoria Griffiths and Alex Cornwell. “With over eight years of experience in marketing, we understand the struggle of waiting for content all too well and we’re here to eradicate that stress for your wedding,” says Victoria Griffiths, co-founder of Sorella Social. The team offer a range of packages and take a completely tailored approach to ensure each delivery is as unique as the two of you. We’ve partnered with Victoria and Alex this issue to offer readers the chance to win Sorella Social’s ‘Cheshire’ wedding day content package worth £600. The Cheshire package encompasses four hours of event footage, which typically consists of transition and social media trends getting ready, the first look, ceremony and confetti shot when leaving the venue. The winner will receive a huge selection of unedited photos and videos plus two edited reels for their socials. The package is tailored to each individual couple and includes a full consultation before the big day and edited footage delivered within 24 hours. The winner will also have the option to upgrade to one of Sorella Social’s premium packages for a fee should they wish. Head over to www.yourcheshiremerseyside. wedding/giveaways to enter. If you’re intrigued about the latest trend in content creation and would like to find out what Sorella Social can offer your wedding, head over to MADE WITH LOVE Win £150 to spend on handmade and personalised jewellery at Posh Totty Designs! Award-winning UK jewellery brand, Posh Totty Designs is giving away a £150 voucher to spend on beautiful handmade and personalised pieces from its stunning Wedding Collection. Posh Totty Designs is a female-led business with boutique stores in both London and the brand’s hometown Brighton. Every piece is crafted with love by a team of professional jewellers in its coastal workshop, using high-quality recycled sterling silver and gold, and ethically sourced gemstones. The workshop team can personalise your jewellery to create something completely unique and meaningful to you, whether it be bridesmaids’ necklaces inset with their birthstones, or cufflinks for the groomsmen hand-stamped with initials and the wedding date. Blending timeless style with emotion and sentiment, choose the perfect piece for your perfect day. Visit to view the full collection. For your chance to win, enter via the website by 31st July. Terms and conditions apply. Great discounts and giveaways up for grabs Freebies & OFFERS Victoria Priessnitz on Unsplash 10 | 07944 860157 North West based popular wedding DJ. Offering a bespoke service, personalised to you and your guests. Diary now open for 2024, 2025 & 2026 tonymaloney5 @tonymaloneyDJ Are you getting married soon and would like to include your family dog? We o er a highly professional wedding dog chaperone service where you can enjoy your day from beginning to end in the knowledge that your furry best friend is being lovingly cared for by us. We bring them along and look a er them behind the scenes until they are needed, so you can concentrate on enjoying your day. When dogs are included in weddings, it’s likely that their main role will be during the ceremony as a ring bearer, or you may just want them to be on the photos a er the ceremony. We can talk through all your needs during a free consultation. They can stay overnight with us too. We will also happily take photos from behind the scenes from your dogs perspective, giving you photos that your photographer may not have been able to capture. | 07900 008868


SPOTLIGHT ON... Knowsley and St Helens 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 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. 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 hand is ideal for reception drinks, and offers a relaxed room during the evening for friends and family to chat. Why not enjoy complete exclusivity of the entire stately home and spend the night with 17 bedrooms reserved for you and your loved ones? 13 LOCAL VENUES

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. 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 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 views of the world famous Red V and access to the First Team changing rooms. 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 300year old 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 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 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 space 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. 14

The Racquet Club Hotel, 5 Chapel Street, Liverpool L3 9AG | 0151 236 6676 | WWW.RACQUETCLUBHOTEL.CO.UK The Racquet Club Hotel is a period building with stunning features, just inside our main entrance, you are greeted with our beautiful 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 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

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.

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. 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. © Daniel Tyack Photography 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 or let the team tailor-make your special day to be just the way you’ve dreamed it. There’s a choice of spots for your ceremony and celebrations accommodating guest numbers from 120 up to 300. THE HAYLOFT 01925 726 220 | A beautifully characterful and rustic barn conversion, The Hayloft is a family-run venue located between Warrington and Widnes. With exclusive use of the buildings and grounds, and glorious rural surroundings it provides a stunning backdrop for the perfect wedding day. Having been sensitively restored and converted in 2017, The Hayloft retains many of its original rustic features. Beautiful beams create a gorgeous entrance and the courtyard offers the ideal al fresco space for guests to mingle and enjoy a drink or two. There's also a paddock and open barns at the entrance to the venue with a number of animals for guests to visit. Set down a country lane, The Hayloft, is surrounded by open fields providing a tranquil and picturesque setting. Ceremonies are held in the Wedding Barn (100 guests), a beautiful, wood-panelled space that provides a romantic setting for the allimportant “I dos.” You'll then move through to the main brick building, The Hayloft itself, where the rustic dining area is able to accommodate up to 100 loved ones for a sit-down meal and 150 for an evening buffet and dancing. LOCAL VENUES 17

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 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

From lakeside to coastal, we’ve rounded up some of the region’s loveliest waterside venues FORMBY HALL GOLF RESORT AND SPA 01704 875 699 | Nestled in 200 acres of lush green parkland the hotel here offers the perfect setting for creating an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. Luxurious throughout with modern decor, high ceilings and large windows the venue really does bring the outside in. The Flower Petal Garden and Rockery are the particular highlights of the outside spaces, and you can head there for some stunning couple shots. The Ambassador Suite (250 ceremony and reception guests) is privately situated on the first floor of the hotel and boasts high ceilings with beautiful crystal chandeliers and coloured lighting in the evening. Overlooking the 18-hole championship golf course, the room is flooded with natural daylight thanks to its patio doors and wrap around balcony. This suite can be tailored in size to suit your needs. The Diplomat Suite (160 guests) is also located on the first floor and boasts the best window in the hotel! It’s a treat to be married in front of its picture-perfect backdrop. A wonderful private bar area also comes with this suite, along with comfy seating and access to a large patio area. This beautiful contemporary suite is the perfect place to dance the night away in. The venue offers a free menu tasting and free anniversary stay on selected packages. The two of you will also have accommodation for the night of the wedding included, while your guests will be offered discounted room rates. Romantic reflections 19 WATERSIDE VENUES

TITANIC HOTEL LIVERPOOL 0151 559 1444 | Titanic Hotel Liverpool is steeped in illustrious history and heritage. Set on Stanley Dock, the Hotel provides a wonderful backdrop for you to celebrate your special day with the grounds here harking back to a previous era combining seamlessly with the venue’s contemporary luxury. This four-star hotel boasts views over the Mersey estuary and Tobacco Warehouse, complete with original exposed brick arches reflecting the Hotel’s rich heritage and history. Titanic Hotel and the adjoining Rum Warehouse are fully licensed by the civil registrar to offer civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies. Here, you have the choice of the Rum Warehouse (500 guests), Titanic Staircase (100 guests) or West Bay (180 guests) for exchanging your vows. The Rum Warehouse is a striking building and the Hotel’s primary wedding space. West Bay on the other hand is the Hotel’s newest separate event space. Together they make for a very special wedding destination indeed. The former, a beautifully renovated 1950s warehouse, is the perfect banqueting space for a wedding reception overlooking the Stanley Dock. It offers a blank canvas for any style of wedding. Here, you can host 500 seated guests for the wedding breakfast (minimum 100 day and 180 evening guests). Meanwhile, West Bay reflects the venue’s rich maritime heritage. Its stone floors, steel pillars and vaulted brick ceilings are perfectly in keeping with the distinctive style of the Hotel. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer striking views of the dock and the outdoor space on the colonnade is a dream for summer drinks receptions. West Bay can accommodate up to 180 guests for a wedding breakfast (minimum 80 day and 120 evening guests). Wedding packages include an experienced and dedicated wedding coordinator, beautiful glassware and cutlery and a large dancefloor. Additionally, guests can enjoy overnight accommodation at the Hotel at a discounted rate. The two of you will be treated to a complimentary wedding menu tasting and a Superior Dockside room suite. INGLEWOOD MANOR 0151 339 5105 | Tucked away down a winding drive meandering between manicured lawns, ponds and pavilions lies one of Cheshire’s hidden treasures, Inglewood Manor. Nestled at the heart of 38 acres of grounds and gardens, this Edwardian country house retains all the charm and warmth of a luxurious period home. As a Grade II listed building it boasts generous spaces, exquisite interiors and many classical features from its historical heyday. Outside, wisteria-clad walkways, neatly planted gardens, manicured lawns, pretty ponds and shimmering lakes all contribute to an unforgettable setting. Inglewood Manor offers a selection of licensed rooms. The Ledsham Suite (80 ceremony, 40 reception guests) offers an intimate and relaxed environment with high ceilings and an ornamental fireplace. It conveniently connects to both the reception and lounge. The Burton Suite (130 ceremony, 110 reception guests) is a Contemporary event suite, designed to the highest specifications for the ultimate experience. It has its own private entrance and French doors opening onto the walled garden. This is also the venue’s most popular spot for evening dos (150 guests), thanks to its large, open plan and access to the gorgeous grounds. The Executive Suite (130 ceremony and reception guests) lies at the heart of the house and is a magnificent oak-panelled room with intricate carvings. The Lounge overlooks the garden with doors leading out onto The Terrace. The latter is available for civil ceremonies al fresco (100 guests), with chairs leading onto the impressive portico. The former can be used in conjunction with the Executive Suite for larger wedding breakfasts and evening receptions. From the ground floor to top floor, Inglewood Manor has 29 bespoke en-suite bedrooms, each individually designed and decorated, sharing the same luxurious feel. You and your guests will love staying here after the day’s celebrations wind down. 20

THE ISLA GLADSTONE CONSERVATORY Stanley Park, Anfield Road, Liverpool L4 0TD The Isla Gladstone Conservatory is a venue like no other, nestled in the heart of Liverpool’s scenic Stanley Park. We combine beautiful Victorian architecture, with a modern interior to provide our couples with the most idyllic back drop to say ‘I Do’ The venue is licenced to host civil ceremonies and has it’s own private grounds where you can say your vows, surrounded by breathtaking views and it’s very own fairy tale Bandstand. Our dedicated team would love to show you around our unique space, and understand your vision for your big day. We will then be on hand to ensure this vision transpires into moments you will remember forever. WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER OR FALL – THE ISLA GLADSTONE IS THE PERFECT CHOICE FOR ALL! 0151 263 0363 | | CONSERVATORY Liverpool’s Iconic Wedding Venue Wedding availability from £3500 for all remaining dates in 2024. Ts & Cs Apply 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

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

WATERFRONT SOUTHPORT HOTEL 01704 516 220 | The Waterfront Southport Hotel seamlessly combines the wonders of nature, impeccable design, and top-notch service. This hidden gem nestled along the serene shores of Marine Lake promises an enchanting backdrop for your special day, offering a romantic ambience that will surely enchant your loved ones. Located just a stone’s throw away from the Hotel, the Millennium Bridge connects you to the lively Southport Pier, adding an extra touch of charm to surroundings. And for those seeking thrills and excitement, the worldrenowned Pleasureland amusement park is conveniently nearby, offering a plethora of exhilarating rides and attractions for your guests to enjoy, who can extend their stay and make it an unforgettable experience. Ceremonies take place in The Room, offering a stunning 180-degree panorama of the sparkling Marine Lake and the Irish Sea, all beautifully framed by its 70s-inspired interiors. The Room is a visual masterpiece, adorned with giant disco balls that cast a shimmering glow over plush velvets, intricate tiles, and lush greenery, all harmonising with the coastal backdrop. This versatile space can accommodate up to 300 guests. For a more intimate affair, consider The Green Room, featuring plush green velvet walls and floor-to-ceiling curved views of the Southport Promenade. It offers a stylish and intimate setting for your nuptials, perfect for sharing your special day with 30 of your nearest and dearest. Both of these chic locations can also host your reception, catering to either 260 or 30 guests. What’s more, the Waterfront Southport Hotel goes the extra mile to ensure your wedding is a seamless and memorable event. You’ll be offered a dedicated wedding coordinator to assist you every step of the way, and even a complimentary wedding-night stay for the two of you. NUNSMERE HALL 01606 889 100 | Located in the heart of the Delamere Forest in Cheshire, Nunsmere Hall Hotel is a stunning Edwardian building. Built in 1900, it exudes a sense of timeless elegance. Equally as beautiful outside as it is in, wisteria-clad walkways, lakeside views and neatly manicured gardens envelop this charming country house. The Crystal Suite is the venue’s most popular room for ceremonies with its beautiful carved ceiling and impressive windows overlooking the manicured grounds. It can play host to 120 of your loved ones. You can also tie the knot al fresco amongst the beautiful Italian gardens. Walking down the aisle to your awaiting guests and soon-to-be spouse in these romantic surroundings is an experience you’ll never forget. Receptions for 100 guests take place in Brocklebank. As you enter, the room’s grand windows overlooking the gardens are sure to catch your eye. The chandeliers and neutral colour palette allow you to set any theme of your day and decorate in a style to suit. Alternatively, the marquee is nestled amongst the gardens and boasts breath-taking views of the surrounding 60-acre lake, allowing you to watch the sun go down on the evening of your special day. It has a starlit ceiling, bespoke mood lighting, dancefloor and a private bar. Maximum capacity for a wedding breakfast and evening bash is 400. 23 WATERSIDE VENUES

IN THE CITY Summer Emma and Jack tied the knot at St George’s Hall in July 2023, followed by celebrations at Liverpool’s The Baltic Hotel Images courtesy of Willo Photography 24

Emma met and became friends with Vic and Lee in the Philippines while travelling and arranged to meet up with them again in Melbourne at a music event. Unfortunately, or fortunately as is turned out, they couldn’t make it having decided to stay on in Vietnam and instead put Emma in touch with Jack. They both did a little Facebook stalk before meeting up and decided they weren’t interested romantically, but both now agree that this all changed the moment they sat down together in that bar in Melbourne. They became inseparable from that night on. “Jack made me laugh so much and had such a good energy, I just wanted to be around him all the time,” Emma says. Jack proposed in April 2021. He dragged Emma out of the house on one of the last nice days of autumn to watch the sunset. “I’d been at home with the kids all day and was pretty shattered, but he convinced me,” Emma remembers. “We went to Williamstown beach and Jack laid out a picnic blanket while I chased our eldest around who in turn was running after a stranger’s dog!” She had absolutely no idea what was about to happen and couldn’t believe it when he got down on one knee and pulled out a magnificent engagement ring. She first checked whether he’d asked her dad first, and when he replied that he had, she reacted without further hesitation: “Yes!” Jack had been saving for the ring without Emma’s knowledge and had designed it himself. Before long the date for the big day was set for 28th July 2023. Join us as the bride tells us all about it... SETTING THE SCENE The two decided on a city vibe for their big day, so St George’s Hall provided the perfect backdrop for them. “It’s such a stunning building with so much character and history,” Emma explains. The “I dos” were followed by celebrations in The Parlour at the super-cool Baltic Hotel. A vintage red bus collected Jack and the boys, as well as some family and friends, taking them to St George’s Hall for the ceremony and later onto The Baltic Hotel. Meanwhile, Emma and her bridal party jumped into a Liverpool cab: “No frills, just cool,” she says. “We chose not to have a table plan as we wanted people to feel relaxed and be free to mingle as they pleased,” Emma explains. Instead, they put out a sign which read: ‘You won’t find a seating plan here today, your place is on the dancefloor.’ For the couple, the day was all about good music and dancing the night away! Emma made all the dried floral centrepieces for the tables, sourcing a variety of different vintage glass vases from charity shops and a kind tree surgeon friend provided the wood slices to sit them on. These were finished with some tea lights and mini mirror balls to suit the vibe. “I had in mind vintage romance with an industrial disco edge!” Emma shares. Aside from the centrepieces, the stunning florals were created by the talented Jess at Stix and Stems. They kept to the dried and preserved flowers idea, so Jess ran with this for the bride’s bouquet, the bridesmaids’ and buttonholes. They all featured a mix of white and brown pampas grass, with dark eucalyptus to complement the bridesmaids’ dresses, sage green dried corn to tie in with the groom and best man, and subtle hint of burnt orange throughout. “They were simply stunning, we couldn’t have wished for better,” Emma remembers. Mimi Belle Events created the dancefloor backdrop – “I was obsessed with the ‘Until Death do us Party’ neon sign from the moment I saw it on Pinterest. It just sums us up,” Emma shares. Mimi Belle brought it all together with more dried pampas, disco balls and neutral balloons. Further venue styling was a blend of DIY thanks to Jack who made the wood decor boxes and welcome sign; and complements of the venue and its industrial stripped back brick walls and fairylights. The big-day bake was made by a friend, who gifted it along with some cupcakes as a wedding present. “She nailed the brief topping each cupcake with a tiny pampas bunny tail and a sprinkle of disco balls on top REAL WEDDINGS 25

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 | 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: 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

of the cake. Everyone commented on how delicious they were too,” Emma says. Jack had put together some grazing cups for a post ceremony snack before the couple shared a hog roast with their daytime guests. “Our photographers, Karen and Lee made us both feel so at ease. It was important for us that the day was captured effortlessly, and we weren’t removed from our guests for long periods.They both achieved that seamlessly.” – Emma LOOKING THE PART Emma’s gorgeous two piece by Catherine Deane included the Monique beaded top and Mae satin skirt. She found it at Flamingo Boulevard in Liverpool, where Jaz made her feel at ease and understood the look she was going for with her city wedding vibe. Emma tells us, “I was really surprised by my choice as I’d always imagined I’d wear a very plain, backless dress. Jack was surprised too!” The bride tried on multiple veils, and it was only when Jaz introduced her to The Bow by Rebecca Anne Designs that she fell in love and knew she wanted to wear something different and personal. Rebecca managed to fit her in last minute and she decided to have her new married name embroidered onto one tail of the bow and the wedding date on the other. For the evening, Emma switched up her look and changed into a dress by Australian brand Shona Joy, which a friend managed to fly over for her from Melbourne. Jack wore a sage tweed suit, while his best man wore the same and differentiated from the groom only in the colour of his tie and pocket square. Emma and Jack’s two sons, the ring bearers, wore matching chinos and waistcoats with white trainers. “They looked amazing, and I loved the different colour greens coming through,” Emma recalls. The bridesmaids were a dream to dress we’re told, so easy and chilled when choosing their attire. The ladies knew they’d be wearing green as this is Emma’s favourite colour, and even though she wouldn’t have minded if they’d opted for different styles, they found one that suited them both. It was a simple but elegant halter neck. “Just enjoy it! We promise you won’t even care about the things you’ve spent time worrying about, it’s all about the good energy and celebrating with people you love. The happiness is so special.” – Emma TIME TO CELEBRATE “We had the best entertainment,” Emma says. The couple chose to focus on music for the day as it’s something that’s important to them both as well as to their friends and family. Joe Hazlett and his guitarist performed as a duo for the arrivals, and then switched it up with some old school R’n’B with more current numbers as the day wore on. “Joe has the most incredible voice and is such a vibe,” Emma says. “I’ll never forget the first time we saw them play together, we knew we wanted them to perform at our wedding and we’re so grateful they were both available.” New Power Soul Club provided the evening entertainment, and the fourpiece band led by Amber Kuti helped to bring the party. They performed the couple’s first dance song: This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads. Guests commented on how great the band was and they successfully kept the dancefloor full all night. Emma even remembers being up on someone’s shoulders at some point! The band was followed by a DJ who took the party into the early hours. Jack had given him some requests, and he nailed the brief! “I wish we could relive it all over again, it was so much fun,” Emma remembers. REAL WEDDINGS 27