Your North West Wedding - August/September (Issue 81)

WIN! A honeymoon in Thailand Meet local musicians and entertainers A PIECE OF CAKE Seasonal wedding bakes A story TO TELL Tie the knot in a stately home AUG/SEP 2023 £3.55 We love to boogie

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER What to look out for in this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the North West 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 51 HOT TOPIC Our experts answer your questions 85 COMPETITION Win a romantic getaway to the upscale Avani+ Samui Resort in Thailand CONTENTS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2023 On the cover... This issue's cover was taken by Samantha James Photography ( at Sparth House ( To see the full shoot and list of suppliers, turn to page 55. VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON CUMBRIA Discover some of the best venues in the area 19 A STORY TO TELL Tie the knot in a stately home or house 55 FEATURES 39 A PIECE OF CAKE Local cake makers share some of their favourite seasonal wedding bakes 43 NEVER LET ME GO Lakeside Hotel & Spa was the backdrop for this autumnal styled shoot 47 WE LOVE TO BOOGIE Meet local musicians and entertainers 55 MODERN ROMANCE Take inspiration from this styled shoot at Sparth House 39 3

FASHION & BEAUTY 58 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 59 IT’S AN ILLUSION These bridal dresses with barely-there detail are sheer perfection 64 FRUIT PASTELS The mama figure in your life will love these stylish muted dresses teamed with delicate gold accessories 65 LOOK SHARP Nothing says girl power like a tailored bridal suit or jumpsuit 68 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 70 BEING SOPHIE Sophie Stonehouse on body positivity, self-love and flawless skin 72 FASHION & BEAUTY Q&A Local professionals solve your problems 28 23 REAL WEDDINGS 23 OUR BEAUTIFUL STORY Jodie and Matt met at university and incorporated their love of literature into their big-day celebration at The Portico Library 28 A DREAMY DAY Jess and Sam incorporated warm, autumnal colours into their big day at Gisburne Park Estate 33 HOLD ME CLOSE Charly and Mark celebrated their intimate wedding at The Belsfield Hotel HONEYMOONS 78 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 80 MY FIRST, MY LAST, MY EVERYTHING Discover five-star, desert island luxury at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 82 A CELTIC HAVEN Peace and tranquillity await honeymoons at Galgorm in Northern Ireland 84 DO NOT DISTURB We head to Staffordshire to check out the spa mini-moon options at Moddershall Oaks 33 78 GROOMS 74 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 75 DRESSED TO IMPRESS The team at Colour Me Beautiful share their fashion advice for the groom-to-be 76 NOT JUST ANOTHER KEN Stand out from the crowd with these pink and white menswear options inspired by this summer's hot new Barbie film 59 4

Welcome to another issue of Your North West Wedding. As always, our August/September issue is full of inspiration, but my favourite part has to be our cake feature. Over the last few years, wedding cakes have become more than just something sweet to eat, they are works of art that look stunning in photographs. When you start thinking of ideas for your big-day bake, begin by narrowing down how many guests will be attending; if you have 30 guests, then a three-tiered cake will be too much or too little if you have 200 friends and family coming. Once you have a rough number, your cake maker will be able to advise how many tiers you need and how much it will cost. Don’t worry about there being any leftovers, as you can always provide cake boxes for your guests to take home, or you can freeze the cake and enjoy it on your first anniversary. If you’re struggling to find the perfect company, begin by searching online and looking in magazines for inspiration. Once you’ve found a business you like, look at their past work to see if they can create the design that you’re after. It’s also important to read their reviews, check if they’re in your price range and that they’re available on your wedding date. When I got married, we purchased a personalised cake topper of us dressed in our wedding attire with our beloved cat, and I cannot recommend this enough. All our guests commented on how wonderful it was, and a year later, I still look at it every day. If you have the budget, it’s worth investing in a memento that you can display in your home after the wedding. Believe me, when I say the day goes by in a flash, so you’ll love having something to look at regularly. Happy planning! Melissa x Melissa Cullen, Senior Editor Your North West Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your North West Wedding is published six times a year. DIA ISHING NTS ISHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS ISSN 2392-2802 A piece of cake ADVERTISING Account Manager Amii Matthews | 01376 538 560 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Senior Editor Melissa Cullen | 01376 535 611 Head over to our cakes feature to see some of our favourite seasonal bakes. Take inspiration from this romantic styled shoot at Sparth House. WIN a romantic getaway to the upscale Avani+ Samui Resort in Thailand. 39 55 85 6

Our beauty editor chats to Sophie Stonehouse about body positivity, self-love and flawless skin. 43Lakeside Hotel & Spa was the backdrop for this autumnal styled shoot. Jess and Sam’s autumnal wedding took place in a tipi at Gisburne Park Estate. Looking for a wedding dress with barely-there detail? Check out our illusion fashion feature. Jodie and Matt met at university and quickly fell for each other. Years later, they tied the knot surrounded by friends and family at The Portico Library. The team at Colour Me Beautiful share their fashion advice for the groom-to-be. 23 75 28 59 80 Charly and Mark celebrated their intimate wedding at The Belsfield Hotel. Rachel Westall experienced five-star, desert island luxury at Conrad Maldives’ Rangali Island. 33 70 EDITOR’S LETTER 7

167 Poulton Road, Fleetwood Lancashire, FY7 7AP 07805 855 651 A stunning collection of eco-friendly wedding dresses put together to bring beauty and versatility to brides of all shapes and sizes Bespoke floral design creating romantic and beautiful blooms for the dreamiest of days brambleandbloomfloraldesign bramble_and_bloom_x 07929 250925 Images: © edward_d_jones_photography

All the latest from around the North West BELOVED PETS INNSiDE by Meliá, part of Meliá Hotels International, has revealed an in-house dog sitting service at its Manchester location. The new service will give couples the flexibility to travel with their dog, whilst also enjoying nonpooch-appropriate activities and attractions in the city. To complement this new service, Manchester-based company Sticks & Socks have created pet hampers available to purchase at INNSiDE’s kiosk. The hampers contain grooming items such as a pampering nose and paw balm, eco-friendly organic shampoo, travel pack dog wipes and snacks, including organic and natural dog treats, a box of sausages and tasty biscuit bites. It’s also full of useful accessories to make your dog’s stay at INNSiDE more comfortable, such as a collapsible bowl, dog blanket and toys. Garry Fortune, the UK director of operations, adds: “Over the last year, we’ve seen a big rise in guests booking into our hotels and bringing their dogs too. The UK has a reputation of being a nation of pet lovers, and we are definitely seeing that at INNSiDE UK. We are delighted to launch a dog sitting service at INNSiDE Manchester. The dog sitting service will give our guests the flexibility to spend their stay with their pet, but also engage in activities in the city such as visiting the theatre or a gig that may not be pooch appropriate. We have also seen guests celebrating their dog’s birthday with us, so the dog stores have created the ultimate birthday treat box available at the kiosk.” Discover more at LET’S CELEBRATE Rock on Ruby is an online, independent business based in Manchester specialising in personal apparel. With new pieces starting from £12, there are lots of options available for every budget, including memorable gifts for the happy couple, the groomsmen and bridal party. The bridesmaid-t-shirt is one of the best sellers, embroidered with your chosen title, such as maid-of-honour or mother-of-the-bride, these tops can be personalised on the sleeve with a name or date, making them the perfect keepsake for after the wedding. Alternatively, the stylish retro embroidered cap will complete any outfit for the bride, whether it’s for a bridal shower, hen party or travelling to the honeymoon. Each order is individually hand package with the option to add a gift box. Head over to to see the full collection. NEWS Nearlywed DRINK IT ALL IN The Glass House in Staining, Lancashire, has launched an outdoor bar and dessert table. The table of sweet treats includes cookies, brownies, cheesecakes, doughnuts, macarons and much more, ideal for an evening snack or as an alternative to a cake. While the Shepherd’s Hut Bar is a help-yourself bar full of gins and vodkas – a fun addition to the drinks reception or after-party. Offering picturesque views of the countryside stretching across to the Pennines, the property is an elegant blank canvas decorated with wooden beams, fairylights and floor-to-ceiling windows. The bi-folding doors lead directly onto the enclosed garden, create the perfect set-up for group shots, or the wooded areas and fields of wildflowers make a fantastic alternative. For more information, visit LOCAL NEWS 9

A PASSION FOR FASHION Six Stories, a fashion brand renowned for its contemporary bridal wear and accessories, is captivating brides-to-be worldwide with its stunning collections. Founded in 2019 by childhood sweethearts Lucy and Ross Menghini, Six Stories has become a celebrated name in the bridal fashion industry. The brand has recently launched a store inside Manchester Trafford Centre, which features the Sweats Collection, stunning bridesmaids’ dresses and the new White Edit Collection. Also available on ASOS (, Six Stories offers a diverse range of bridal wear and accessories, including elegant bridesmaid dresses, contemporary veils, captivating headpieces, and trendy cowboy hats and caps. Visit for more information. SEARCHING FOR THE ONE Louisa Jackson Bridal is a new company based in Fleetwood, Lancashire, offering a stunning collection of eco-friendly wedding dresses. Designed to bring beauty and versatility to brides of all shapes and sizes, the team at Louisa Jackson Bridal pride itself on being inclusive. Susie from Louisa Jackson Bridal tells us more: “We stock beautiful dresses from size four to 36 and offer custom options outside of these sizes. Our dresses can be customised to suit your requirements, and we also stock off-the-peg gowns from other top designers in a range of styles and sizes, so there’s something to suit everyone.” Check out for more information. RING-A-DING-DING SJS Smith Jewellery, a jewellery school based in Stockport, Greater Manchester, is offering a new wedding ring workshop. Owner Sam Smith tells us: “Our workshop is designed to provide couples with a unique and romantic jewellery journey by allowing them to make their own wedding rings. The service is perfect for couples who want to add a personal touch to their special day.” With a focus on fun, SJS Smith Jewellery offers bubbly and refreshments to accompany the experience, and for those who love their furry friends, the owner’s pup Bruce is always on-hand to offer cuddles and cheer you on. If making wedding rings isn’t for you, SJS Smith Jewellery also offers a collection of designs available to buy from their website; made-to-order these rings can be crafted from yellow or white gold jewellery upon request. Bookings are also available for hen and stag dos and jewellery workshops. To find out more, visit A RELAXING MINI-MOON Netherby Hall in Cumbria is offering personalised staycations on limited dates this summer. During your stay, you can enjoy carriage rides through Netherby Hall’s 36 acres of gardens and grounds and get an insight into the history of this Grade II* listed mansion on a private tour. Gerald Smith, who owns and runs Netherby Hall with his wife Margo, said: “We aim to bring together the best of Netherby Hall to allow visitors to find out more about its past and present and enjoy the beauty of the house and its gardens. The packages are designed to enable people to create their bespoke break by adding exclusive tours and experiences to their stay, including dining at the Michelin-starred Pentonbridge Inn. Our aim is for guests to have an unforgettable experience while staying with us, which they will treasure for years to come.” Since buying Netherby Hall in 2014, Gerald and Margo have overseen a multi-million-pound renovation project, restoring the house and its walled garden, as well as transforming the hall’s former outbuildings into nine luxury holiday cottages and apartments. Visit to find out more. REST AND RELAXATION ESPA has teamed up with King Street Townhouse in Manchester to launch the Light Salon. Providing LED non-invasive treatments, there are three exclusive options to choose from, each designed to leave you feeling relaxed and your big-day best. Priced from £50, the treatments last between 30 and 55 minutes. King Street Townhouse is an impressive Italian Renaissance building with contemporary features throughout, including monochrome tiling and commissioned artwork. With 40 bedrooms to choose from, an on-site bar, restaurant, rooftop spa, infinity pool, steam room and relaxation area, there are plenty of spaces to explore and relax in the run-up to your wedding. For more information, visit 10

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURNORTHWEST.WEDDING Take advantage of these gorgeous giveaways and fab offers AWARD-WINNING PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Battista is an award-winning photographer based in Kendal, Cumbria, offering wedding and commercial photography throughout the UK and beyond. Mark has worked in the industry for more than a decade and captures natural, bright and colourful images. Mark tells us: “The Lake District is a truly magical place for your wedding story, from the rolling hills and rugged landscapes to the tranquil streams, hidden valleys, waterfalls, tarns and lakes. Maybe you’re planning an elopement or your wedding is taking place in one of our beautiful Lake District hotels or country houses; whatever your plans are, get in touch, I’m happy to help. I love to capture those moments that others miss and can often be found burning the midnight oil in the desire to bring photographic memories to life. I don’t take pictures, I make them, not just with feeling but emotion too! With experience in design, photography, and image retouching, you can be confident that your memories are in good hands!” Exclusively for Your North West Wedding, Mark is offering new customers who book full-day coverage £100 print credit for free! Email Mark at and mention Your North West Wedding to claim. Offer ends 30th September 2023. To see more of Mark’s work, visit WIN A STAY IN THE LAKE DISTRICT Lakeside Hotel & Spa blends country house character with contemporary four-star luxury set within the stunning panoramic views of Lake Windermere – part of the spectacular Lake District World Heritage Site. With its unique location and choice of reception rooms and private suites, the hotel can cater for intimate wedding parties, larger weddings of up to 80 guests and even secret escape weddings just for two, making it the ideal setting and venue for an unforgettable Lake District wedding. The winner of this fantastic prize will be greeted with a glass of Lanson Champagne upon arrival and enjoy a three-course dinner for two before settling down for a good night’s sleep in a double room. The following morning, the winner can enjoy a delicious full English breakfast or Continental version. Classic Lodges is a nationwide collection of exclusive hotels that all have exceptional charm and character, whether that’s a peaceful country getaway or a city centre stay. Each of the hotels provides a friendly, relaxing atmosphere while maintaining Classic Lodges’ signature style, comfort and luxury. Steeped in history, all of the hotels have equally stunning views to accompany the suites and rooms. Visit to book a stay. For your chance to win, visit our website. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS Images by FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

22 Seater Mercedes Sprinter 53 Seater Temsa 72 Seater Volvo Sunsundegui 016973 49999 Travel advert.indd 2 12/08/2019 12:22:16 | 01229 461200 | DUNES HOTEL, ROANHEAD BEACH, SOUTH LAKES, CUMBRIA, LA14 4QW e er ec lace ay ‘I ’ Images:

CUMBRIA Spotlight on... EDEN BARN, CA17 4PQ 01768 341 461 | Eden Barn is a 200-year-old Westmorland stone building that was transformed after the owner’s daughter held her wedding reception there in 2015. Family-run, the venue is full of rustic charm, from giant chandeliers and exposed stone walls to limestone-flagged floors and vaulted ceilings. The expansive views, hand-thatched gazebo and landscaped grounds make Eden Barn a romantic haven that’s perfect for weddings. Celebrate in style Ceremonies take place in The Main Barn followed by the drinks receptions in the adjoining reception/bar area, which has wooden vaulted ceilings, stone-flagged flooring and cosy seating. The bespoke bar is hand-crafted from oak, and above it hangs a floral canopy. Boasting a new food preparation area, luxury toilet facilities and underfloor heating throughout, the space can seat up to 144 day guests on rustic wooden trestle tables, 136 on round versions and 200 for the evening celebration. Al fresco vows take place under the hand-crafted pergola with the breathtaking Cumbrian countryside as a backdrop. Alternatively, there are several churches nearby, including the charming St Theobald’s, which is only half a mile away. We love... If you’re looking for a relaxed, boho vibe, you will love the Couples Lounge, which has a suspended green canopy, a wall of mirrors and is available exclusively throughout the day. 15 CUMBRIA VENUES

SILVERHOLME MANOR, GRAYTHWAITE ESTATE, LA12 8BA 01539 531 248 | Offering stunning views of Lake Windermere, Silverholme Manor, Graythwaite Estate is a traditional Georgian manor house surrounded by extensive grounds. The elegantly-furnished property is full of original character, with modern comforts throughout, creating a romantic setting to say ‘I do’. Celebrate in style Licensed for ceremonies in The Coach House, the Dining Room and the Library, Silverholme Manor, Graythwaite Estate is perfect for large and small celebrations. For those who want to tie the knot outdoors, the patio, which offers panoramic views of Lake Windermere, is also available. We love... The venue offers its couples exclusive use of the manor house and grounds. ABBEY HOUSE HOTEL & GARDENS, LA13 0PA 01229 838 282 | Originally a mansion designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, Abbey House Hotel & Gardens was converted into a luxury wedding venue, blending a contemporary style with impressive architecture to create a beautiful setting to tie the knot. Set within 14 acres of private woodland, the property recently underwent a multi-million-pound refurbishment making every room and suite tastefully modern. Celebrate in style Intimate weddings are held in the charming Garden Room with 20 of your nearest and dearest. Those of you looking for a traditional setting will love The Great Hall, which has space for 80 guests for the ceremony and reception. The hotel can erect tipis and marquees in the grounds to accommodate up to 100 friends and family. Alternatively, the Cavendish Suite is available for up to 200 loved ones throughout the day. We love... Depending on the package chosen, you will receive an anniversary stay and complimentary menu tasting. 16

SKITBY, CA6 6DL 01228 675 241 | Surrounded by acres of Cumbrian countryside, Skitby is a rustic barn with exposed timber and traditional sandstone walls. Boasting impressive views of the Lake District, the property has a contemporary interior, well-manicured gardens and an outdoor seating area, meaning there are plenty of places to explore and take those all-important photographs. Celebrate in style The Ceremony Wing can accommodate 100 of your friends and family for the service and 45 for an intimate reception, whereas the Main Dining Space can hold 140 loved ones. Skitby is an exclusive-use venue meaning receptions can take place throughout the building. There is also the option to add an external structure to the outside of the property to accommodate weddings of more than 200 guests. We love... The wedding team at Skitby will organise a menu tasting for you before the big day. MACDONALD LEEMING HOUSE, CA11 0JJ 01768 486 674 | Leeming House is a grand Georgian property within 22 acres of mature and tended gardens. Boasting impressive views of the surrounding lakes and fells, this is truly a magical setting for weddings in the Lake District. You and your guests will receive the best personal attention and care on your big day with exclusive use of the hotel and its gardens. Celebrate in style The Blue Room, a beautiful space with floor-to-ceiling windows and room for 30 friends and family, is perfect for intimate weddings. Alternatively, The Regency is available. This large, elegant room has five impressive windows, a traditional décor throughout and space for 80 nearest and dearest. We love... Macdonald Leeming House can cater for celebrations for two to 82 guests with complimentary menu tastings and bed and breakfast for the newlyweds. 17 CUMBRIA VENUES

New, exclusive & romantic A hidden country estate set among 17 acres of greenery Contact 07783 995 890 KIRKBY LONSDALE, CUMBRIA Your big day in your own special way Spectacular spaces to celebrate with family and friends, in your own castle, in your own unique style Make Rose Castle your home for your event. This is your castle and your space. Nestled in the Cumbrian countryside, and following a multi-million-pound restoration programme, our 800-year-old castle is now open for the first time to host weddings, corporate events and exclusive overnight stays. A unique atmosphere, beautiful surroundings and a warm welcome. Rose Castle, Dalston, Cumbria CA5 7BY 01228 642980

A story to tell ASKHAM HALL AND BANK BARN, CA10 2PF 01931 712 350 | Askham Hall dates back to the late 12th century and was originally a Grade I listed castellated Pele Tower building. The main house was extended in the 1400s with various annexes and again in the 16th and 17th centuries when it was transformed into a grand Elizabethan mansion. There are plenty of places to take photographs in the Grade II listed terraced gardens, which are full of stunning features, including a 230ft long double herbaceous border, unusual species of plants, formal lawns, kitchen gardens, meadows and ponds. Inside, the property combines modern furnishings and fresh décor with the charm and character of this historic house to create an outdoor pavilion, a Michelin-starred restaurant, 18 bedrooms, terraced gardens, and an outdoor heated pool. Celebrate in style The charming Grade II listed Bank Barn has been sympathetically converted into a first-class wedding venue. One of the largest vernacular Cumbrian bank barns ever built, Bank Barn boasts original features, bare stone walls, an open-beamed oak ceiling, contemporary lighting, an oak dancefloor and large glass doors. The Medieval Hall is a slightly smaller space within the courtyard of the main house with a capacity for up to 70 friends and family. It connects directly to the bedrooms and dates back to the 1400s with original oak beams and two large fireplaces. Smaller ceremonies take place in the main house on weekdays, including in the original oak-panelled Dining Room, which seats up to 18 loved ones. Alternatively, the Outdoor Garden Pavilion is licensed for ceremonies, weather dependent, for up to 150 people. We love... The happy couple will receive a voucher to try food at the property’s sister pub, the George and Dragon Clifton, which uses the same ingredients and has a similar cooking ethos. They will also receive a complimentary voucher towards a stay in one of the venue’s sister properties within the Askham collection. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite local stately homes and houses STANLEY HOUSE HOTEL & SPA, BB2 7NP 01254 769 200 | Situated within 54 acres of Ribble Valley countryside is the grand Stanley House Hotel & Spa. This Grade II listed manor house dates back to the 17th century and boasts original brickwork, modern features, a restaurant and breathtaking views. Celebrate in style There is space for intimate weddings in the beautiful Loft, and larger celebrations in the Stables and Barn, with the option for outdoor weddings in the gardens. The Barn Suite is an elegant space boasting neutral tones throughout, with exposed stone walls, beams and chandeliers, and room for 180 guests throughout the day. The Stables Suite has a quirky, exposed stone wall and can accommodate 90 nearest and dearest. Adjacent to the bar area is The Lodge, which has a wall of stunning floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the gardens and courtyard. We love... Stanley House is home to an award-winning boutique spa. 19 STATELY HOMES AND HOUSES

LANCASHIRE MANOR HOTEL, WN8 9QD 01695 567 260 | Lancashire Manor Hotel is a Grade II listed property with plenty of spaces to tie the knot. The original stone manor house is at the heart of the hotel and contains a lounge area and above it, in the original farmhouse bedrooms, is a honeymoon suite. Celebrate in style The Lathom Suite, seating up to 100 guests, is decorated in a mixture of traditional and contemporary décor and has a bar, natural light, a movable dancefloor and can be divided into a smaller reception room for more intimate celebrations. Alternatively, The Great Hall is a picturesque space, complete with a galleried balcony, crystal chandeliers and a golden bar. It seats up to 200 people and has its own kitchen to ensure the meal is served on time. We love... Wedding packages include drinks, complimentary hire of a cake stand and knife, the hotel’s own master of ceremonies who will keep the big day on track and use of the honeymoon suite on the night of the wedding. SHAW HILL GOLF & SPA HOTEL, PR6 7PP 01257 269 221 | Shaw Hill Golf & Spa Hotel is a Grade II listed Georgian manor set within 192 acres of Lancashire countryside. The award-winning property is situated off Preston Road in Whittle-le-Woods and is accessible via a private driveway that is sure to impress guests when the grand house comes into view. The on-site 18-hole golf course surrounding the building is ideal for taking a few minutes away from the wedding and capturing memorable photographs. Celebrate in style There are three rooms licensed to hold wedding ceremonies. Intimate services take place in the Gold Room, which provides breathtaking views over the golf course and has an ornate chandelier, a cosy fireplace, and space for 60 guests. The Restaurant benefits from having a beautiful bay window overlooking the grounds and is ideal for the vows and wedding breakfast with up to 90 loved ones. The Penina Suite can host up to 200 friends and family with the option of dividing the room into smaller sections if needed. Decorated with fairylight ceiling drapes and glittering chandeliers, this space has a grand and romantic atmosphere, ideal for any wedding. We love... Bespoke packages are available to help you create the wedding of your dreams. 20

WEST TOWER, L39 7HJ 01695 423 328 | Boasting uninterrupted views of the Lancashire countryside, West Tower is home to 27 beautifully-decorated bedrooms, a luxurious bridal suite, a state-of-the-art dressing room, a glass skylight, a wooden staircase, an apex-covered entrance and a secluded patio and terrace. Celebrate in style Weddings of up to 145 day and 250 evening guests take place in The Ballroom. Full of natural light, this space has wooden floors, PA facilities, striking views and an elegant décor throughout. Outdoor celebrations are held on the manicured lawns under the pagoda. We love... West Tower provides couples with a complimentary menu tasting, accommodation in the bridal suite and an invitation to monthly open evenings. WEDDINGS AT HUNDHOWE, LA8 9AB 07788 906 164 | Hundhowe is a gorgeous wedding venue that’s been decorated to create a homely yet elegant feel. The beautifully-painted pale exterior features a grand doorway, formal balustrades, leaded windows, trailing roses and wisteria. Each section of the intimate garden has been lovingly cared for to produce glorious blooms and stunning photo opportunities. Celebrate in style Although the venue is not registered yet, blessings can take place in numerous places, including the Main Hall, which has an impressive fireplace, wood panelling and room for 50 friends and family. Alternatively, the Garden Room, with its fold-away doors and skylight, can accommodate 30 guests. The Billiards Room is also available. It has stained-glass features, majestic mirrors and space for 60 loved ones. Each area has a different feel and can be turned around for the evening celebration. We love... As part of the hire, couples will receive professional wedding planning assistance. Some additional extras can be added to the package, such as a tasting evening with wine pairing, additional breakfasts for nearby guests, an English wine list and floral arrangements created from the garden. 21 STATELY HOMES AND HOUSES

FAMILY & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY @westviewphoto21 get married personalised menu stunning backdrop intimate venue indulgent relaxing elegant We are specialist event and wedding planners offering an abundance of fantastic suppliers from venues to florists across the country. Services include: Venue Dressing, Catering & Entertainement, Photography & Videography, Jewellery, Car Hire, Hair & Make-up. t: 0161 850 7501 e: The start of a new wonderful journey

story Jodie and Matt met at university and incorporated their love of literature into their big-day at The Portico Library Images courtesy of Maddie Farris Photography OUR BEAUTIFUL Jodie and Matt met during their first year of university. They were both members of a drama society and involved in the yearly student pantomime. “I was creating a pole out of cardboard tubes, and Matt came over to tell me that it had started to sag,” says Jodie. “In my frustration, I swore violently at him and from that day on, Matt says he fell head over heels for my Northern charm. Matt was (and is) like sunshine. He makes everything brighter, more fun, and we have so much in common.” Matt proposed in their flat on their 10 year anniversary by tying the ring to the collar of their friend’s dog, Billie. “We had been together a long time and talked about getting married,” shares the bride. “After several personal losses, it just felt right to celebrate what we had and do something for joy’s sake. On the day of our anniversary, we had planned a trip to Chester for the weekend to visit the zoo. We exchanged anniversary presents before we left, but Matt held us up saying he was waiting on a delivery. Suddenly Matt disappeared to get the door, and I heard a dog running up the stairs. I was understandably confused until Billie appeared, and Matt told me to check her collar. There was the ring! Billie joined in all the excitement when I said yes, running up and down the flat and bouncing on the sofa! We knew we didn’t want anything lavish, so we decided early on that we wanted to get married on our 11th anniversary. We also knew we wanted to have a small intimate ceremony, with a big party later in the year, as it seemed like less pressure and meant we could enjoy each part of the day.” Here the bride shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... 23 REAL WEDDINGS

After a quick online search for small wedding venues in Manchester, we found The Portico Library. We both studied literature at university, Matt is an English teacher, and I write for a living, so it made a lot of sense! We got in touch with Michelle at the venue, and she invited us for a visit. As soon as we walked in and saw the rows of old books and stunning domed skylight, our minds were made up. It was the first and only venue we saw, as nothing could match up to that! When discussing the wedding with our families, one of the main things they were interested in was the food. So, we decided to make sure they were well-fed throughout the day with some heart-shaped vegan shortbread from What Leila Bakes – Vegan Bakery. As we only had 29 guests, we wanted to give them something personal as a memento of the day. Sustainability was also really important to us, the wedding industry can be really wasteful, so we wanted something people could keep and use. We found some dark green recycled leather bookmarks on Etsy from a company called Undercover UK with gold bees on them that could be personalised with initials. These were paired with literature-themed postcards from Bookishly, on which we handwrote individual messages. Grand Pacific Manchester provided our catering. We booked them mainly based on their Instagram pictures. It seemed dark and moody and in keeping with the romantic look of The Portico Library. Fortunately, it was just a five-minute walk too! They gave us a stunning private room, which was panelled in dark wood with lots of atmospheric lighting. Our flowers were created by Jilly at Into the Garden. We wanted to hire a local florist who works as sustainably as possible, and Jilly’s practice fit the bill perfectly. We went to her studio and had in-depth conversations about the kinds of flowers and colours we liked, what would be in season, and how we could commemorate members of our family that we had lost. We left the bridal transport to my dad, who smashed it with an old VW Campervan from Boho Brides. Matt and his family were transported by a minibus from local firm, Belle Vue Manchester Limited, who were so accommodating and professional. 24

I wore a boho-style wedding dress by Rembo Styling, which I got from Serendipity Bridal in Stockport. I didn’t really know what I wanted, and I was worried that I wouldn’t find anything that looked like ‘me’. I had begun to give up a little bit when a friend spotted Serendipity Bridal. I made an appointment and Sara made me feel so relaxed. Her boutique is beautiful and chilled, and she was very helpful, making suggestions and listening to how I felt about everything I tried on. When I tried on my dress, I immediately knew it was what I wanted. Sharing our own vows was our favourite part of the day. Whilst writing them took a lot of time and thought, it was definitely worth it! There were lots of tears and laughs from both us and the wedding party. I accessorised with a bespoke cream and white dried flower crown from Luna and Wild and a personalised leather jacket from Niamh Designs. The addition of the leather jacket helped give it an alternative edge that made it feel a lot more me. I can’t wait to wear it again on our honeymoon. As a teacher, Matt wears a suit every day to work. He knew he didn’t want to wear something that would remind him of the working day, so he chose something a little more alternative. He went to Moss Bros and found a lovely blue suit with subtle pink pinstripes. He had a tie he knew he wanted to wear, burgundy with three birds on to commemorate the three close family members he had lost, so the suit had to go with that. He also picked a dark blue shirt, which helped the tie stand out, and a tie pin which once belonged to his dad. After the wedding, there was a drinks reception under the dome at The Portico Library. We are also having a wedding party later in the year, which will be themed around Jurassic Park, as it’s our favourite film. We planned the wedding ourselves, but every supplier we worked with went above and beyond. Our guests have frequently spoken about how brilliant Maddie was as our photographer, and Jilly made sure the flowers were perfect. We were so impressed by them! 25 REAL WEDDINGS

JODIE AND MATT’S CONTACTS Venue, The Portico Library, | Photographer, Maddie Farris Photography, | Bride’s dress, Serendipity Bridal, | Bride’s flower crown, Luna and Wild, | Bride’s earrings, Studio Ginkgo, | Bride’s leather jacket, Niamh Designs, | Dress alterations, Deborah Bayan – Design Studio & Sewing Academy, | Groom’s suit, Moss Bros, | Hair stylist, Tina Di’Giorgio Bookmark favours, Undercover UK, | Postcards, Bookishly, | Flowers, Into the Garden, | Bride’s transport, Boho Brides, | Groom’s transport, Belle Vue Manchester Limited, | Shortbread biscuits, What Leila Bakes – Vegan Bakery, | Catering, Grand Pacific Manchester, 26

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DAY Adreamy Jess and Sam incorporated warm, autumnal colours into their big day at Gisburne Park Estate Images courtesy of Tom Benson Photography 28

Jess and Sam met in drama class when they were both teenagers. “Sam asked if he could help me with my lines one day, and we hit it off straight away, becoming the best of friends,” says Jess. “We didn’t become an official couple until we were a few years older and realised our bond was something more than friendship.” Sam proposed on the day they moved into their first home together. “He originally planned to do it in Italy (my favourite place in the world), however, due to the pandemic, he had to make other plans,” shares the bride. “The day we got our keys, Sam worked with his best friend to set up the front room with candles, fairylights, flowers and rose petals. He was there waiting for me, and it was a big surprise! I never thought he would do it then, considering we had just spent all our money on the house! It was so romantic and intimate. I loved that it was just the two of us, and I cried my eyes out! Sam was very nervous, although I don’t know why as we had been together for seven years by this point, and it was very clear we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.” SETTING THE SCENE The couple came across Gisburne Park Estate at a wedding fair. “I found it by accident when searching for wedding inspiration, and it just so happened that the wedding fair was happening that weekend,” explains Jess. “Luckily, we were both free, so we decided to go. When we got to Riverside House, we were invited to have a look at the outdoor ceremony tent. It’s situated in the forest behind the house, and as soon as we saw it, we knew it was our venue. I started crying almost immediately, as I could already envision the day. It was so beautifully set up, with candles at the end of each bench and a backdrop at the end of the aisle. It blew us away, and we booked our wedding that same day. “We wanted everything to be chilled and laid back, so our guests could enjoy the day just as much as we did without any fuss or stress,” adds Jess. “We decided to have a top table with three long trestle tables coming off it, as we wanted to make sure that all of our guests were sat together and there wasn’t a divide between our families.” For their favours, the couple gave their guests ginger biscuits in the shape of a maple leaf, which doubled up as place settings. They also created gift bags made up of sweets, snacks, a perfume tester and a scratch card. “Our flowers were a mixture of fresh and dried blooms provided by Milly Davey Flowers,” remembers the bride. “The bridesmaid posies were a smaller version of my bouquet, and Sam and his groomsmen had buttonholes in the same colours. Our mums also had a corsage each, and Sam’s best woman wore a floral hair comb.” The couple’s cake was created by Rosehill Cake Studio. “The amazingly talented Margaret made a square cake with three tiers in different flavours,” recalls Jess. “The base was made of clear acrylic with fairylights, leaves and acorns to reflect the autumnal theme and colour scheme. The cake itself was a marble effect and had a beautiful vine winding down it with edible acorns and berries. It was so spectacular that people thought it was a decoration rather than a cake. They were gobsmacked when we went over to cut it! “Our catering was provided by Betty’s Tipis,” continues Jess. “We decided to have a barbecue for our main meal and wood-fired pizzas for the evening. Later in the day, we had firepits and benches on the grass area outside, along with sparklers and marshmallows.” DRESSED TO IMPRESS “My wedding dress was called Teegan by Ronald Joyce,” shares Jess. “I never envisioned myself wearing a mermaid-style dress but was intrigued by how I would look in one. I found Teegan in Orchid Designs in Clitheroe, and as soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one. I loved my silhouette in that style and was dazzled by the embellishments and how the dress fell. It also had a train which had always been a dream of mine. I accessorised with a long veil, which sat on a hair comb at the 29 REAL WEDDINGS

back of my hair.” Sam and his groomsmen chose the same suit design. “It was a blue jacket with a small tweed effect and a waistcoat with a burnt orange tie,” says the bride. “Sam wanted to be matching with his entourage and even got the same suit for his little cousin Isaac, who was the honorary best man. Sam’s best woman wore a beautiful burnt orange dress, which matched the groomsmen’s ties. My dad also wore the same suit, which was a really nice touch. “I bought the bridesmaid dresses from JJ’s House,” adds Jess. “I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the material. Each bridesmaid wore the same style in a rich burgundy colour. The dresses were tied at the waist, floor length, with a bell sleeve which was fitting for the time of year. I made sure that they all chose a design that they were happy with, and they all looked beautiful.” TIME TO CELEBRATE “My beautiful sister sang Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years as I walked down the aisle,” recalls the bride. “She sang it so beautifully, and it was one of the most special moments of the day for me. We then had entertainment between the ceremony and the reception as we wanted to ensure there was never a dull moment for our guests. We began with our wonderful friend and extremely talented wedding singer Joel Brown, who performed some of our favourite songs. “We asked Sam’s best woman and founder of Just Imagine UK to provide some form of entertainment later in the evening,” adds Jess. “Our nearest and dearest came together to perform a mash-up of our favourite musical numbers. They even got Sam up on a chair and dressed him in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’s robes and made him sing all the colours of the coat from the song. It was the most spectacular moment, and so amazing to see so many of our loved ones putting so much effort into making the performance extra special. We knew something was happening but never expected that, and the guests certainly didn’t either! Our first dance was also a very special moment for us; we kept looking at our guests and couldn’t believe that they were all there for us. At that moment, when we were dancing and looking at each other, it was like we were all alone with our entire future ahead of us.” The couple hired a fire-breather, who performed outside around the firepits. “The guests could not believe their eyes,” shares Jess. “Lastly, when the party was in full swing, we had a saxophonist/DJ called Saxo Dan, who had a light-up saxophone and played along to well-known, popular tracks. It was absolutely incredible and really set the party off!” MEMORABLE MOMENTS “It was a surreal day for us,” explains Jess. “We had been doing nothing but planning the wedding for two years, and neither of us could believe that the day had finally come. Sam was nervous, but I was relaxed and people couldn’t understand how I wasn’t more apprehensive. I was marrying my best friend and the love of my life, a moment I had dreamt of for so long, so anything else that came with it was too late to worry about. All that was left to do was enjoy the day, which we did in abundance. We kept stealing moments together, just watching the day unfold, and we couldn’t believe that it was our wedding day! “My dad’s speech was a special moment, as he kept telling me he didn’t think he could do it as he was too nervous,” adds the bride. “My mum had one prepared in case he couldn’t do it. He ended up writing it on the back of a parking ticket he found in the car that morning! It was the perfect mix of funny, beautiful, emotional and moving. Everybody loved it, and as soon as he was handed the mic, he was a natural.” 30

JESS AND SAM’S CONTACTS Venue, Gisburne Park Estate, | Photographer, Tom Benson Photography, | Bride’s dress, accessories and alterations, Orchid Designs, | Bridesmaids’ dresses, JJ’s House, Hair and make-up artist, The Style Sisters, | Cake, Rosehill Cake Studio, | Catering, Betty’s Tipis, | Flowers, Milly Davey Flowers, | Transport, Gis A Lift Private Hire, Celebrant, Hazel The Rainbow Celebrant, | Entertainment, Just Imagine UK, REAL WEDDINGS 31

BRIDAL ALTERATIONS SPECIALIST Over 25 years experience Contact Deborah to arrange a consultation at the studio in Stockport. DEBORAH BAYAN Design Studio & Sewing Academy 07984 166230 WWW.DEBORAHBAYAN.COM deborahbayanstudio @deborahbayan Beautiful, Relaxed and Stylish Wedding Flowers 07845 983767 mark_battista_photography Visit: Discover... Award Winning UK Wedding Photographer Based in the Lake District - Covering the UK and Beyond ...the art of natural relaxed wedding story telling Unique Moments... ...Expertly Captured

DAY perfect Charly and Mark celebrated their intimate wedding at The Belsfield Hotel Images courtesy of West View Photography Charly and Mark met in Kirkby Lonsdale at a mutual friend’s party. “We were introduced by a friend who thought we would get on,” says Charly. “Mark was a keen rugby player at the time, so for me, the physical attraction was instantly there, he then charmed me with his good humour and quick wit! By the time Mark proposed to me, we had been together for over 11 years, had a mortgage together and a young child, so it wasn’t necessarily a surprise proposal, but I wasn’t expecting it when it happened! We were on a walk at Tarn Hows in the Lake District with our daughter. We stopped to enjoy some lunch while sitting on the edge of the lake, and as we started to think about continuing our walk, Mark got down on one knee and pulled out a box containing a gorgeous ring! It was an immediate yes from me!” Here she shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... OUR 33 REAL WEDDINGS