As you might guess from the title, today’s English Wedding Blog is packed to the rafters with ideas, from a home made wedding dress (which is jaw-droppingly gorgeous) via a quirky and eccentric country manor venue to a “guest being locked in his own car boot”.
I really don’t know where to begin! This is fantastic…
The beautiful images are by Cheshire wedding photographer Adam Riley. The wedding venue is Frogg Manor (about 15 minutes from Chester), described as “Unashamedly bourgeois, eccentric, original & quintessentially English”. And I have a wonderful wedding report from the bride – Angela looks out of this world – the perfect English bride. (Ben too is gorgeous – they’re a match made in heaven!)
Ben and Angela’s wedding at Frogg Manor in Cheshire
The groom and bride: Ben & Angela Goodwin
Who proposed, and how?
My fine husband proposed to me on a rooftop overlooking picturesque Amsterdam after a night out on the town.
He took a couple of days to build up the courage and kept the ring box safe in a (clean) sock in his pocket all weekend.
Just before he popped the question, I realised what was happening and it took all the restraint I could muster to stay calm and not ruin the moment!
Wedding venue: Frogg Manor Hotel in Broxton, Cheshire.
In a nutshell: “Unashamedly bourgeois, eccentric, original & quintessentially English”
Wedding photographer: The superb Adam Riley
of AdamRileyPhotography.com fame, who specialises in storybook/reportage photography.
Everyone who has seen the photos has gushed over how fantastic they are; Adam really caught the emotion and atmosphere of the wedding and was so discreet that guests were surprised at some of the great photos he had taken of them!
How would you describe your wedding style?
Wedding attire: the wedding dress and groom’s outfit
Words cannot do my wedding gown justice; I wore a vintage style gown that my (Angela) mum and I designed based on an amalgamation of ideas and lots of prototype preparation!
It was oyster duchess satin with vintage lace and the best thing I have ever worn. Such a shame I will only wear it once because it was beautiful.
All the guests commented on how fabulous it was and my mum was inundated with offers of commissions, even though she isn’t (yet) a seamstress by trade (although she should be!).
Ben has never owned a proper suit and neither of us wanted a traditional groom morning suit, so in keeping with the theme we worked with a tailor to design a vintage style suit which looked absolutely superb! The result was dashingly handsome.
The wedding ceremony:
Which readings did you choose?
We actually included a poem that Ben’s mum wrote, which could be applied to both musical improvisation and marriage (!) (see below – it’s lovely!)
Our wedding reading: Improvisation for two
The first ingredient is the key:
Those values on which both agree,
Allowing each to complement
The other in true harmony.
A structure next: a standard song
Or new-created scheme, but strong,
To underpin development
And last the whole performance long.
Patience, respect and honesty,
Unselfishness and good intent
Are in the mix for amity.
The method starts with listening
One to another: offering
A solo or accomp’niment,
Each sets the other free to sing.
A stable rhythm keeps things tight,
But dull routine would not be right;
Surprise and dissonance are lent
To heighten tension, and they might
Strike sparks, the better to resolve
In harmony. The pair evolve
A work without impediment:
Minds’ marriage and their hearts’ content.
We also asked our niece Emily (7yrs) if she would read the “Holstee Manifesto” and she did us proud and brought more than a few tears to people’s eyes =) http://shop.holstee.com/products/holstee-manifesto-poster
The wedding reception:
What were your highlights?
- Wow, where to start… Wedding gown made by my (Ange’s) extremely talented mum,
- personalised vinyl record favours,
- homemade bridesmaid dresses (by Ange),
- tailor made suit,
- Soweto Kinch jazz trio,
- lawn games including croquet and Jenga,
- string quartet,
- horse and carriage,
- delicious cupcakes that people hid in bookcases to save for later (because they were so delicious),
- tree-house honeymoon suite,
- secret passageways behind doors,
- impromptu first dance (“Stroke the Hippo”),
- a wedding guest buying a coffee table from the venue,
- limbo with a stuffed toy tiger,
- graffiti canvas guestbook,
- Fawlty towers (the string quartet serenade for the aisle walk) …
Ok. So we know they can’t all technically be “highlights” but we can’t pick a main one because the whole day was amazing!
Wedding venue styling and details: …
The venue is an old English country manor, which we chose because we wanted an exclusive intimate venue (approximately 60 day guests) that offered great food and that had a really unique and quirky style which suited our characters perfectly.
The venue has lots of cosy rooms so guests could pick and choose between relaxing with a coffee in the lounge area, watching the jazz trio in the garden conservatory, throwing some shapes on the dance floor, catching up in the garden gazebos while playing a few lawn games, trying to beat the infamous Australian guest at roulette and blackjack, scouring the walls and reading the many recommendations from the rich and famous (!) or having a spot of food in the dining room.
The venue was named after the owner’s nickname, who has consequently spent years collecting hundreds (literally) of Frog ornaments and quirky Frog memorabilia. As one of the staff commented, it was not a venue for the straight-laced and as such guests were free to roam at their leisure to discover the various trinkets on display!
Wedding music and entertainment:
There was loads of entertainment throughout the day. The ceremony was in the garden pavilion at midday so we had a string quartet setting the mood from 11.30AM until 2PM then we had lawn games in the garden for the rest of the day.
Ben and I sneaked off for photos and a lovely country horse and carriage ride to make sure we had some quality time together as husband and wife!
After the wedding breakfast a couple of casino tables were set up so guests could try their luck at roulette and blackjack for a couple of hours.
After which we had the Soweto Kinch jazz trio performing a jazz lounge set in the conservatory, followed by a playlist on the dance floor where we adapted an incidental soft toy tiger (don’t ask) [but I really want to! – Claire x] into a limbo pole; much hilarity ensued and possibly some jarred backs.
Memorable wedding day moments:
All of it! Although double-take moments included a guest randomly buying a coffee table from the venue and another guest being locked in his own car boot. It may be pertinent to mention that a bottle of rum was involved…
Wedding day advice:
So many people offer advice and say how fast it goes and to make sure you enjoy it (to the point where you are worried you might not!). This is all true, but essentially it’s about you and your partner and the day you want to spend together.
It’s great to have the special people in your life to share it with and for the celebrations to go off without a hitch, but ultimately just remember that even if it was just the two of you, it would be perfect because you are with the one you love. Everything else is just a bonus!
Anything that goes wrong is a memory and not worth even thinking about on the big day, especially because all the special people just want to see you being happy and to be enjoying it, which you deserve it after all the hard planning work.
Recommended wedding suppliers:
- Photographer: http://www.adamrileyphotography.com/
- Cupcakes: http://www.cupcakeswarrington.com/
- Flowers: http://www.acerfloristcheshire.co.uk/
- Horse and Carriage: http://www.gaddfamilydrivinghorses.co.uk/
- Tailor: http://www.michelsberg.co.uk/
- Wedding Gown (by commission): email for information – firstname.lastname@example.org
More on Adam Riley’s wedding photography blog…