Moments like these…

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I need you to do me a favour. I need you to scroll slowly through this wedding blog feature because I don’t want you to miss a thing. There’s something about Emma and Tom’s wedding that tugs at the old heartstrings… such emotion in the photos, it’s like every image is a really, really precious moment in time.

Maybe it’s just me feeling emotional. Maybe it’s the way I’ve just looked at the images. Maybe it’s incredibly sensitive and empathetic wedding photography from Phil Drinkwater. I’d love to know how this wedding blog post makes you feel!

wedding blog real weddings UK (7)Oh, and I also have to gloat (vaguely in the direction of Rock My Wedding blog) – because I got a wedding report from a groom. Charlotte featured a groom’s report a few weeks ago, and I was so jealous! When I saw that Tom had written his report of the wedding for me today, I was over the moon.

So with no further ado, I’ll hand over to Phil Drinkwater (images) and groom Tom (words) to share a very special wedding with you today. Enjoy!

 Emma and Tom’s real wedding, Arley Hall, Cheshire

wedding blog real weddings UK (2)Planning a wedding is no small feat. Fortunately both Emma and I had experience in planning large corporate events with our jobs, so we used a few tips and tricks from our experience to help make the process easier. Simple stuff like a formal budget spreadsheet, suppliers lists and good contract negotiation.

“The fantastic thing about your wedding (apart from the obvious joy and celebration of formalising your love with that special person) is seeing all of that hard work pay off.

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wedding blog real weddings UK (4)“The morning of our wedding day for me was considerably more relaxing than it was for Emma. Me and my best men stayed over in a nearby hotel and had the pleasure of enjoying a full cooked breakfast, reading the morning’s paper before a quick swim, sauna and steam at the health spa.

“Emma on the other hand went directly to our wedding venue (Arley Hall, Cheshire) with the 5 bridesmaids and her mum to begin the final preparations and get their hair and makeup done before getting dressed for the ceremony. They arrived at 9am and with the ceremony not taking place until 2pm, had almost 5 hours of things to do!

wedding blog real weddings UK (5) “Throughout the morning we had several photos taken by the marvellous Phil Drinkwater and his assistant grabbing some journalistic style shots of our special day. They also captured the best of our ceremony, some posed photos and the wedding breakfast. The photos reflect every part of our wonderful day and capture the feel of our day perfectly. We couldn’t have wished for anything more.

wedding blog real weddings UK (6)“Emma and “Team Bride” helped the caterers (R W Bespoke) with the table plan and table setup whilst the flowers started to arrive.

wedding blog real weddings UK (8)“The ceremony went off without a hitch (pardon the pun) thanks to the team at Arley Hall and the registrar from Cheshire East. We chose to have 2 groups of our friends do readings, which was a lovely touch and made the ceremony a little more personal than just the standard vows.

wedding blog real weddings UK (9)“From the ceremony we went straight on to the photo session with Phil, while our guests enjoyed a champagne drinks reception in the magnificent setting of the entrance hall and library in the old hall at Arley. The photos of us were taken outside in the perfectly manicured gardens.

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wedding blog real weddings UK (14)“All of our wedding artwork and printed materials were designed by Sarah Brown ( Sarah’s fabulous graphic design work was tailored to our wedding to give us a complete set of printed materials from invites to menus, placecards to table numbers and the table plan. We then printed them ourselves. Sarah designed our Wedding Day Monogram which became the theme throughout the day and featured on everything from our invites through to our guest book and wedding post box – it was a great way to identify our wedding as our own.

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wedding blog real weddings UK (20)“We then arrived (slightly late) to our wedding breakfast, again in the old hall at Arley. The food from R W Bespoke was delicious, but the entertainment during dinner really made it. Simon William performed Rat Pack hits throughout dinner and had the whole room swaying to “That’s Amore” as desert was served. Having a singer during dinner was certainly a fun way to add another unique stamp to our day – a great surprise to some of our guests!

We also had the pleasure of Simon performing at our evening reception, which we hosted in the Olympia suite and courtyard at Arley. He played a little bit of music before performing a note perfect rendition of Michael Buble’s “Everything” for our first dance.

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wedding blog real weddings UK (22)wedding blog real weddings UK (23)“We rounded off the evening with plenty of dancing, the good old conga line led by the Bride and a big group hug on the dancefloor with everybody from the party involved! A truly unforgettable day, made possible by my beautiful wife, our families and some top notch wedding specialists.

“The whole wedding swaying to ‘That’s Amore’ at the Wedding Breakfast and as Simon William sang to the mothers during dinner 🙂

Emma and Tom’s wedding day advice for you

Don’t stress the little things – plan it well and far in advance and then relax in the lead up to your big day. Your planning will pay off!

On the day delegate jobs to your bridal party and family, e.g Bridesmaid 1 to check flowers have arrived and are positioned correctly, Bridesmaid 2 to check the tables are laid out correctly – you need to relax in the hours leading up to your big day.”

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Emma and Tom’s recommended wedding suppliers

Photographer – Phil Drinkwater – Just beautiful photos (We couldn’t have wished for anything more) and to top it off a genuinely nice guy.

Singer – Simon William – AMAZING during dinner performance that got the whole room swaying.

Stationery – – beautiful custom designed stationery at reasonable prices that you can print yourself! Everything from the invites through to the thank you card to put your unique touch on the day.

Venue – Arley Hall – the most wonderful setting.

Thank you Tom and Emma for sharing your wedding story here on English Wedding blog. It looks like such a beautiful day and I hope you’re loving married life! I’ve really enjoyed reading your story and seeing your photographs.

Thank you wedding photographer Phil Drinkwater for submitting this wedding for the blog. I’m delighted to say I have a list of weddings still to peruse and I’m looking forward to blogging more of your gorgeous wedding photography.

Visit Phil Drinkwater’s wedding photography blog to see more of Tom and Emma’s real wedding at Arley Hall

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Jenny McAvoy
    8 years ago

    what a beautiful couple and fabulous colour scheme-love the image of the dress in the library.

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Thank you Jenny – those books and the dress got me too. Gorgeous isn’t it 🙂
      Claire xx

  • chris hanley
    8 years ago

    Superb images Phil. Lovely to see well composed, exposed and gimmick free photography. Emma and Tom I hope you have many years enjoying these pictures because they will be as relevent in 2 generations as they are now.
    Best Wishes

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Thank you Chris – lovely to have your comment as ever (you know I love your feedback, it’s always great to know when I feature something really special. Knew I had it with this one 🙂
      Claire x

    • Phil Drinkwater
      8 years ago

      Thanks Chris 🙂 Appreciate the positive comment. I had a fantastic day with Emma and Tom and I’m pleased to have been able to capture their day how they experienced it…

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