Here Comes The Bride… as tunes go this one’s a classic, and generally expected as the bride enters, right? So how about the James Bond theme tune for the groom to walk down the aisle?! I LOVE this idea as I love so many things about Carla and James’s Thornton Manor wedding.
Not least in my extensive list of loves today are the images – some of the very, very best by top UK wedding photographer Chris Hanley Photography. Chris is a friend and a master of his craft, working alongside lovely Claire to give you an exceptional wedding photography experience. Find out more here:
Carla is an incredibly beautiful bride, whose dress from Tilly Annas of Cheshire is sooo perfect for her wonderfully sophisticated style.
The wedding day mixes traditional and contemporary elements without ever losing the overall glamorous atmosphere which is a given at the magnificent Thornton Manor wedding venue. You’ll LOVE this!
The English Wedding Blog interview: James and Carla
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Very pleased, Chris and his wife Claire are simply fantastic and are a great team. They were very friendly and relaxed and oozed professionalism. We had an engagement shoot with them prior to the wedding which enabled us to get to know each other before the big day. They really took their time to understand what we wanted from our photographs and gave us so many inside tips to make us look great and feel at ease in front of the camera.
Thornton Manor, Wirral, Cheshire
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
The most amazing and unforgettable day of our lives!
A traditional wedding with a classic vintage theme and a touch of contemporary styling.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
We first saw our photos the day we arrived back from our honeymoon, we headed straight to Chris’s studio once we had landed. We where both in awe, the photos where fantastic, better than we could have ever hoped for.
Your wedding style or theme:
We didn’t really stick to a set theme, it was a case of picking what each of us liked. The day was quite traditional and mostly vintage, but a classy vintage not quite shabby chic. We also had elements of modern and contemporary with my Swarovski crystal bouquet and a 6ft white manzanita tree with glass baubles. James also put his own flair on the day by walking down the aisle with his best man to the James Bond theme tune, exquisitely played by our saxophonist!
Where did you find your suppliers?
Though countless hours of scouring the Internet, wedding blogs, magazines and bridal forums. I must admit I did get quite carried away, much to James’ frustration! We also went to as many wedding fayres as we could, It’s something we would recommend to any future bride and groom. There are so many suppliers out there and meeting them in person and getting a feel for their work really helps you to source the right people for your perfect day.
Best bit of budget advice?
Considering we went over budget on most things I don’t think we are the best people to give advice. Though I would say try and stick to your budget, sometimes it’s a case of compromising on things that are less important to you. Also if you fancy being a little creative and making some things yourself it can really cut the cost!
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
Our stationery was designed by a local graphic designer and owner of Byinvitationly. We had both our invites and on the day stationery coordinated. Featuring a regal monogram with our initials incorporated, in a delicate but timeless style. With soft flourishes of lilac and a bold monogram printed on ivory Italian Tintoretto card.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Instantly! It was the first one I tried on. I found the bridal boutique (Tilly Anna’s) at a wedding fair and after speaking to the owner she pulled out a magazine and said “this would look lovely on you”, it was exactly what I was looking for! Needless to say the next weekend I dragged my mum, mother in law and bridesmaids on a 1 hour drive to try on THE dress. It was love at first sight!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My dress was from a small boutique bridal shop in Cheshire called Tilly Anna’s. It was from Mori Lee by Madeleine Gardner. It was a classic A-line with beaded Venice lace appliqués on chantilly lace, with a chapel length train and scalloped hem.
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
I wanted something a little different so opted for a Swarovski crystal bouquet. It caught the light beautifully and accentuated the crystal detail on my dress. My chief bridesmaid gave me a little gift on the morning of the wedding, it was a beautiful silver charm with a picture of my dad. It was a special moment, and I will never forget being able to walk down the aisle with my dad on my bouquet!
My hairband was also crystal, which I actually found on eBay! I wore Ivory heels by Benjamin Roberts and chose to wear an elbow length veil. I kept my jewellery minimal wearing a diamond tennis bracelet and diamond and pearl studs which were a lovely gift from my mum.
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
James and his groomsmen hired their suits from Groom in Liverpool. James wore navy tails with an ivory waistcoat and Ivory cravat and the ushers wore a pale silver waistcoat and pale lilac cravats to match the bridesmaids gowns. We shopped around for little personal touches such as cuff links, personalised socks and an ornate style pocket watch for James.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My four bridesmaids wore floor length chiffon gowns from Coast teamed with matching silver sandals. The dresses were a very pale silver/lilac depending on the light. They had a high neck in keeping with my dress and a satin belt embellished with crystals which hung in a loose bow at the back. They also wore pear-shaped diamond earrings to match the crystals on the belt and vintage style Jenny Packham hair slides to achieve a soft elegant look.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My bridesmaids had their hair professionally styled in a loose up do by a fabulous friend and hairdresser Becky, at Be beautiful by Becky. I chose to do my own as it only takes five minutes with a short haircut! My make up was kept natural with a hint of colour on my lips and my bridesmaids had a light silver smoke to add definition to their eyes.
For our flowers we used Flowerworx in Maghull. We went for a classic vintage style with a modern twist. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were hand tied using antique amnesia roses mixed with the more modern Picasso calla lily. James and his groomsmen also wore a modern buttonhole with the beautiful purple hue of the Picasso calla lily matching both their cravats and the bridesmaids gowns.
We chose striking silver candelabras for our centre pieces with a modern style arrangement incorporating the flowers from the bridesmaids bouquets. The top table was stunning, swaged in Ivory lace and adorned with numerous vases of fresh flowers, tea lights and silver glass trinkets. The colour scheme of romantic purple and Ivory hues complemented the venue perfectly.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Thornton Manor is beautiful as it is, it’s such an incredible venue that it really does not need any decoration at all. We did however add our own touches here and there, a white manzanita tree with hanging glass baubles containing Amnesia roses in the magnificent entrance hall and vases of fresh flowers and silver glass tea lights dotted about the venue.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
Neither of us are particularly crafty, however, we did make our own favour boxes. They were made from pale lilac textured card with an ivory paper rose on the lid. Inside we placed Yankee ‘wedding day’ votives. We had a production line in our kitchen of cutting, folding and glueing. It was a team effort between me, James, my mum and my aunt.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Our cake was made by the very talented Jen O’Neil cakes in Thornton Hough. This is what she said about creating our perfect cake.
Jen – “Carla and James held their wedding at the always stunning Thornton Manor. They chose a five tier cake which we iced in a dusky pink and decorated with delicate lace piping. A few tiny diamanté decorations were just enough to catch the light. The mixture of ever so delicate lace work and sparkle complemented Carla’s dress and bouquet perfectly.
As a break from tradition we created a domed top tier draped with lacework to give an antique finish. The look was completed with small hand tied amnesia roses from Carla’s florist Flowerworx. The design was the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary, mirrored by the cake flavours. A rich and boozy fruitcake, spiced caramel apple with cinnamon cream, lemon cake with a lemon curd and lemon cream centre and a French vanilla sponge with a strawberry and champagne cream filling.”
During the ceremony we had a saxophonist, Matt “sax” Stacey. He played The Bond theme tune for James entrance. Always wanting a bit of limelight himself it was not much of a surprise for our guests, but they certainly enjoyed it! We were serenaded by Matt throughout the ceremony and drinks reception, he was excellent.
In the evening we had a live band called Hipster, now they were something else. Absolutely amazing, our guests were blown away and are still taking about them now!
On the day tips and advice:
Stay calm and enjoy it. It goes so fast and you really need to savour every second. Make sure to take a few minutes away from everyone and have time together, just the two of you. Also, when the evening celebrations are underway and your guests are all on the dance floor step back and watch, even if it’s just for a few seconds. That’s when you see the expressions of happiness and joy on your guests faces and see how much of a great time is being had by all.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being able to say that I am married to my best friend. It still hasn’t quite sunk in and I still think how lucky I am every day!
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Venue- Thornton Manor http://www.thorntonmanor.co.uk
Wedding dress- Tilly Anna’s bridal wear www.tillyannascheshire.co.uk
Bridal shoes – Benjamin Roberts www.benjaminroberts.co.uk
Groom suit hire- Groom www.groomhire.co.uk
Bridesmaid dresses- Coast www.coast-stores.com
Hair- Be beautiful by Becky
Jewellery & wedding rings- Gibneys, Ormskirk St, St helens, 0174424135
Florist- Flowerworx www.maghullflorist.co.uk
Saxophonist- Matt Stacey www.mattstaceysax.co.uk
Caterer- Barratts event caterers www.barrattseventcaterers.com
Cake- Jennifer O’neil Cakes www.jenniferoneillcakes.co.uk
Band- Hipster www.hipsteronline.co.uk
Barratts Event CaterersBenjamin RobertsChris Hanley PhotographycoastFlowerworxGroom HireHipster wedding bandJennifer O'Neill CakesMaghull FloristMatt Stacey saxThe Haberdashery BrideThornton ManorTilly Annas