This cute hand-drawn card for “Miss Payne and Adam” got me first. Then I fell in love with the sense of camaraderie at Alexis and Adam’s Mitton Hall wedding. The icing on the cake was – well, the gorgeous little cake sculptures which are little adventures of quirkiness all to themselves.
I feel as though I’ve followed Alexis’s wedding planning journey a little, and I was excited to see her wedding day – I’d heard all about the lovely lady from my friend and wedding photographer Jonny Draper months and months ago when we first met.
I admired Jonny’s approach to building his (already successful) wedding photography business around friendships, both with clients and wedding suppliers. Alexis was to become a huge part of that – I’d already seen her with Adam on their cool pre-wedding shoot in Castlefield (featured here too: City Chic engagement shoot). I spotted her at the Mitton Hall Wedding Supper Club on Jonny’s blog, and then she modelled at the West Didsbury Wedding Event in March – I felt as though I knew Alexis already!
I knew Alexis and Adam were excited about their wedding day, and I’ve been looking forward to blogging this for a long time! Alexis makes such a beautiful bride, and Adam looks so good in that suit! I’m delighted that Alexis has written a lovely wedding report for the blog – with fab recommendations for some great north west wedding suppliers too.
“Looking out the window on the morning of our big day we were faced with grey skies and rain. I spent the morning at my parents’ house with my Mum, Dad, 6 bridesmaids and flower girl whilst Adam was at our house with the boys. Considering the house was filled with girls (6 bridesmaids, the bride, the flower girl, my mum and the hairdresser) the morning was really calm and my Dad looked after us, making sure we were fed and our champagne glasses were always topped up.
The excitement really kicked in when my beautiful wedding flowers arrived from Flower Design. After months of planning and throwing ideas around with Jane I was so excited to see how she had interpreted mine and Adam’s vision, well… she didn’t disappoint! We decided that we wanted the flowers to be a lot of fun and kept away from having just one main type of flower. Instead I wanted to have as much variety as possible, something bright and fun but completely unique. And so the bridesmaids’ bouquets were all different but included elements of my bouquet and the flower girls were a smaller version of mine.
Meanwhile, our wedding photographer Jonny Draper had arrived to snap some morning shots of Adam and his groom’s party relaxing with a beer before being picked up by the wedding car (Chrysler 300 stretch baby Bentley and a baby Bentley for the bride and groom).
The groom’s party arrived at the church to be welcomed by Jane from Flower Design who was waiting to present them each with an individually designed button hole, she explained what and why she had included in their flowers as she precisely pinned them to their jacket. They looked stunning!
I arrived at the church somehow before the bridesmaids and was duly sent away by our photographer and told to do a few laps of the grounds. My bridesmaids finally arrived (making the groom 15 minutes late) followed by the bride.
The service at St. Anne’s Church was beautiful, we chose a reading for Adam’s sister to read and my auntie created a special poem for us that my cousin read. We actually took time to select hymns that would actually mean something to us. As we are both not very religious or have church going families we really didn’t want to have that awkward moment when no one sings the hymns, so investing in having the local choir made a huge difference to the ceremony, I would definitely recommend this.
I bought my dress from Ambience Bridal in Garstang near where I live in Blackpool. The designer was Sottero and Midgley and the dress name was Miriam. The dress was a long bodice with an A-Line tulle skirt. To make the dress more unique I asked the team at Ambience to incorporate a tulle shoulder piece. I chose this dress because it combined all of my favourite elements from other dresses I had previously seen. I knew that I definitely wanted a long fitted bodice and an A-line skirt but different dresses I tried on were either too short in the body or too puffy at the waist. People were shocked by my dress choice as they thought I would go for something more fitted in both the body and length. However, you only get to wear a big dress once and this was my chance and I’m so glad I did.
With my dress having a band of jewels around the waistline I didn’t want to go too bling with my accessories. Adam gave me a swarovski bracelet as a wedding gift and I bought my earrings and head piece from Debenhams. After buying my head piece I decided I wasn’t going to wear it as I thought it looked too much. However, on the day I changed my mind and I’m glad I did as I felt it finished the dress off and actually complimented the jewels on my dress and my bracelet rather than looking over the top.
So to the venue, Mitton Hall is exactly what we were looking for. We wanted to combine classic English country manor meets modern comforts. We had looked at some really old buildings that were very grand, but we never felt that they were ‘us’, didn’t reflect our personality, so when we found Mitton Hall we were delighted.
Adam and I didn’t want to go traditional when it came to the suits. Adam didn’t want himself and his groom party to feel uncomfortable in a rented heavy tail suit (as those things never fit properly) so we found a smart suit in Next that was too flashy for work but the navy and shine we were looking for. As Adam wears a suit every day for work it was important that we found something a little different. Also the suits made a great gift for the groom’s party rather than wasting the same amount of money on renting. The boys all wore the same black patent shoes and belt, again something Adam would never wear for work. Adams look was finished off by ‘Mont Blanc’ cufflinks: my gift to him on our wedding day.
We were certainly blessed with the weather for the rest of the day. As we came out of the church the sun came out which was a real relief. Although we’d tried not to get too stressed out about rain which was really helped by our photographer’s attitude during the build up, our pre wedding shoot filmed at Manchester locks was an amazing day with some great pictures, despite the relentless rain on the day. It gave us the confidence to relax and have total trust in Jonny to get some amazing pictures whatever the weather.
We concentrated most of our flower budget on the venue for the reception and wedding breakfast. Flowers don’t come cheap and we really wanted to make the most of our budget without leaving any areas light. So, we chose to just lightly decorate the church making use of some of flower designs great accessories such as bird cages and lanterns. We only had a few in the entrance to the church, but when lit looked really effective and set the mood. Inside the church again was just minimal with pew ends on every other pew. Sometimes less is more and we were certainly more than happy with the outcome. We didn’t want to have the usual huge flower displays at the altar just because it’s the ‘thing to do’ and I’m really glad we didn’t now.
On arriving at Mitton Hall we were greeted by the master of ceremonies Dave with a warm smile, congratulations and glass of champagne. But nothing was to prepare us for what waited inside the reception room.
We had said to Flower Design that we had an idea of having a ‘classic/vintage English’ theme, taking some elements of Alice in Wonderland in the way that not everything is as it seems. Adam and I were adamant that we didn’t want it to be a ‘theme’, something that was tacky or cheesy and we’re a little nervous as to how things would turn out. Well, we needn’t have worried, we entered the room and were truly amazed at what we saw.
It literally took our breath away, Jane and Flower Design had exceeded any expectation we had ever had. The table decorations were unbelievable, so intricate and nothing like we had ever seen before. Every table was different, I can’t begin to describe how many different flowers must have been used to create the displays, but they were all perfect In their own way. Jane had worked closely with specialised cakes to create the centre pieces. The cakes looked like flowers and the flowers looked like cakes, we couldn’t tell the difference. Jane had also incorporated the English tea idea by creating flower displays out of tea pots and cups and saucers, simply beautiful.
From here on in the day just seemed to get better. The sun stayed out allowing us to get some awesome pictures, the music provided by a string quartet set a lovely atmosphere and the canapés went down a treat. We had a fantastic meal which everyone complimented on and we were more than looked after by the exceptional team of Mitton Hall. Jonny, Dave (master of ceremonies and chief wedding coordinator) and Paul Guard (our wedding singer) all worked well together making our day seem seamless and stress free (exactly how it should be on your big day).
Our wedding advice would be organise the most important things first which to us was: venue, photographer, flowers in that order. Employ the best people and you will have the best day with the best memories.
Paul sang at both the wedding breakfast and the evening reception. Initially we were a little apprehensive at how entertainment at the wedding breakfast would work out. We didn’t want it to be chessey or too in your face but wanted to set a nice tone for the afternoon. Paul assured us he would gauge how people reacted to him and plan his set around this. Luckily our guests were quite lively and joined in both singing and dancing. Paul sang our first dance which rounded off the whole day perfectly.
People asked us straight after our wedding “would you do it again?” the answer was “Only if it was EXACTLY the same”.
Our day was everything we wanted and couldn’t have been achieved without the work of carefully selected wedding gurus.
Recommended wedding suppliers
All of our suppliers didn’t just sell us products but sold us a great experience right from initially meeting them, up until the big day. This resulted in treasured memories and some great friends made along the way.
Jonny Draper (Of course!!!!) – The best photographer!! We didn’t look at anyone else’s work. We knew by looking at Jonny’s portfolio of work and the first time meeting him in person that he was the man for the job! Wedding photography blog – Jonny Draper facebook
Mitton Hall – A beautiful venue with a great team of staff. This venue mixes old with modern allowing us to have the perfect traditional English wedding (we wanted this as we were moving to the USA straight after the wedding for 2 years) in an old building but with modern comforts and interior design. Mitton Hall on facebook
Paul Guard – An amazing wedding singer who made our wedding breakfast and evening reception both classy yet fun.
Specialized cakes – Joe and Janine from specialized cakes was recommended by Flower Design for their innovative cakes. Together with myself, Adam and Jane we all came up with some interesting ideas which allowed cakes and flowers to combine to create amazing (all is not what it seems) table designs.
Eve Broadhurst is not a professional hairdresser but through doing some bridal modelling for Jonny Draper I was lucky enough to have her do my hair both for the modelling and on my wedding day. With Eve’s great sense of style I knew I wanted something more natural than the rigid hair-sprayed designs often provided by ‘professional’ hairdressers. Eve works at an amazing bridal shop (The White Closet – Didsbury) and so was on hand after doing my hair to fit me in my dress perfectly.