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Without doubt the most magical, humbling, fun day of my life! Claire and Martin’s Hillbark Hotel wedding with Vickerstaff Photography

I love how today’s beautiful bride Claire describes her wedding, don’t you? She and Martin were married at The Hillbark Hotel on the Wirral, and chose lovely Jamie from Vickerstaff Photography as their wedding photographer. The images are wonderful and I’ve been so excited to share the wedding with you! What better way could there possibly be to begin the week?!

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The gypsophila (baby’s breath) bouquets and the bridesmaids’ flower crowns are lovely. Claire’s dress is stunning, and together she and Martin make a gorgeous couple. The venue is magnificent, dating back to 1891 and with that classic old English black and white Victorian front… oh! and can you believe they moved this wedding venue in 1930? All of it, brick by brick. Why? Because the owner’s wife wanted it in a different place! Now that’s devotion for you!

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Watch out for some creative, different and exciting photography – the mirrors around the reception venue, the magical lighting and portraits in the gardens are absolutely fabulous. Claire and Martin have shared their wedding report with us at the end of today’s wedding blog, and I’d like to say a big thank you to the stunning bride and groom, and to Jamie of Vickerstaff Photography for sharing the images with us today. Enjoy!
claire gould calligrapher signature

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Claire and Martin: a magical wedding at The Hillbark Hotel, Wirral

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Our wedding report:  Claire & Martin

Wedding photographer:

Jamie Vickerstaff – http://www.vickerstaffphotography.co.uk

Wedding Venue:

The Hillbark Hotel, Frankby, Wirral http://www.hillbarkhotel.co.uk

What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time? Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?

Neither Martin nor I shed a tear at our wedding, that’s not to say it wasn’t emotional but we were both beaming. However, when I first saw my wedding photos we took Jamie’s (photographer) advice, sat down with a good bottle of red and looked at them.  I didn’t stop crying….. they were perfect!  Jamie was nothing but professional, for most of the day went unnoticed (no bawling at the crowds to get them into position) and he captured the day with his amazing eye. In fact many people say they are the best wedding photos they have seen.  I have to agree 🙂

Wedding theme:

Vintage, classic and relaxed

How long did you spend planning your wedding?

We live in Australia and decided to get married on our home visit to the UK for Xmas.  We planned the whole thing in 4 months.  Google was our best friend.

Best bit of budget advice:

Don’t spend a fortune on the favours….most of them get left on the table anyway. We burnt a CD of the day’s music for our guests to listen to on their travels home.

Invitations and stationery:

My wedding invitations were done buy a friend (he’s a printer), we designed them ourselves and left the rest to the expert.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

My dress was made by a designer in Sydney called Lily Marcs. As I only had 3 months to buy one I had it made.  My dress was simple but elegant, I didn’t go in for much fuss. Jewellery was minimal and my shoes $80 from a cheapie shop.  The key was comfort for the dancing ahead!

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

I had no bridesmaids but has two flower girls. Both dresses bought on line from Monsoon.

Wedding flowers:

I walked into a florist a week before the wedding and asked if she could do a wedding. She nearly had a heart attack but she was amazing. The key was keeping it simple.  I had my bouquet which was all gypsophila and two flower girl head dresses.  Button holes for immediate family and groomsmen. I had a few bunches  put together on the morning by my mother in law for the top table.  She went to the local market, bought a few bunches of gypsophila and did wonders with ivy from her garden.

The ceremony:

The ceremony was held at Christ Church in Oxton Village, we had 2 readings from my oldest friends. One religious and a poem with humour.

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Our style for the day was simple and classy. Our wedding venue was just amazing so we didn’t dress it at all.  We had candelabras as part of the deal for the tables and we left it at that. It was a winter wedding so by the time the guests sat down to eat it was dark and the room was lit with candles.

The groom wore:

My husband bought a new black suit and we asked all our groomsmen to wear what they wanted. There was no colour scheme, no matching ties etc.

The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?

Our wedding cake was a cheese cake, as in the cheddar kind, dressed with fruits. (Neither of us like cake) This went down perfectly with lots of red wine as part of the evening buffet.

Entertainment:

We had a great DJ (resident from the hotel) we did a few CD’s to ensure we had some of our favourite tracks which he was more than willing to play. We partied until 1am.

On the day tips and advice:

I know it’s easier said than done but try not to sweat the small stuff. No one remembers the favours, colour scheme, what the flowers were like in the church, whether or not you fluffed a line due to nerves.  What people do remember is seeing how happy the couple are, good food and a good party.

The best thing about being married:

Just hanging out with your best mate that you now get to call your husband!

Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:

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 www.byMoonandTide.com. 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.

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1 COMMENT
  • http://www.ultimatedesignhats.
    6 years ago

    These pictures are truly stunning and her dress is to die for!

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