This lovely real wedding story begins and ends with balloons. Glorious happy multicoloured balloons. Let me explain. Ash proposed to Hannah with a living room filled with balloons, isn’t that lovely? Then for their first dance he organised a balloon cascade to fall on them whilst they spun around on the dancefloor, the photographs at the end of this feature are pretty epic too.
Ash and Hannah were married on the 21st August 2016 and held their celebrations at Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire. They wanted an outdoorsy feel to their day and so their venue was the perfect setting. There were sunflowers throughout, a bouncy castle and travel inspired details. The travel theme was influenced by their extraordinary honeymoon, which you can read all about in their report. The couple looked gorgeous in their chosen attire as did their groomsmen and bridesmaids, you’ll love these joyful images here folks.
Thanks goes to Helen Jane Smiddy for providing these lovely photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | We have been together since we were 16 and after that long it’s no mean feat to surprise your wife with a proposal. Ash waited until I had gone out for the morning and inflated around 400 rainbow/multicoloured balloons. He filled our living room at home with them and then waited for me to come back. Obviously when I walked into the living room it was a huge surprise. We are both very laid back people so the proposal itself was heartfelt but relaxed “I wondered if you would like to be my wife?”. Of course the answer was yes!
THE VISION | As we are both relaxed the wedding had to reflect that! I am from a farming background and we both love the outdoors so it was important to us that we bought the outside into our wedding. We also decided it had to have some fun aspects to it rolled in and we wanted to make our guests feel relaxed.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Honestly we came up with ideas as we went along. Most the time one of us would think of something small and it would evolve into a bigger and better idea. The name placements for example; initially it was the idea to have names inserted into corks, that evolved to having pictures of people in place of their names and then onto funny pictures of them or them as children as name placements. It acted as a great icebreaker and a funny memento to take home.
BUDGET | We did have a budget and did make a lot of the accessories ourselves so kept our money for the fun things – like the white bouncy castle!
THE VENUE | Sandhole Oak Barn in Congleton. Absolutely fantastic venue. Exposed oak beams in a barn with bar and everything rolled in. Great space and loads of light flooding the room!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Maggie Sottero Verona dress with sleeves. Accessories I wore were a veil with a diamond style trim and a pearl silver coloured hair clasp. I also wore my great grandmothers wedding ring on a chain around my neck and a silver bracket my sister surprised me with on the day, which was engraved with our wedding date and “Mrs Butcher”. My shoes were hand painted by my bridesmaids sister. They were also a surprise from one of my bridesmaids and they had painted them things personal to me.
They had sunflowers, beach huts, my mad spaniel (Harry) and our camper painted on them and then sealed in, which was ace!
FINDING THE DRESS | I went to Sense and Sensibility bridal shop in Stockport. It was the only place I went to. I tried on one or two before my mum spotted it and once I tried it on it was definitely a keeper. The shop had been recommended by a friend and the staff there were very knowledgeable and made me feel comfortable in my own skin!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ash wore a Hugo Boss suit, tie and shoes. A blue textured three piece suit with brown buckle shoes and belt. Made him feel a million dollars!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We didn’t have readings as part of our ceremony but did have an acoustic guitarist play Nora Jones Come Away With Me down the aisle. We had Dire Straits Walk of Life (Hannah’s late grandfathers favourite song) as we signed the register. We had the acoustic guitarist continue to play after the ceremony until the wedding breakfast. Then we had a 7 piece soul and pop band play in the evening (with a DJ as well) and had them play live our first dance song – Ray Charles Hallelujah I Love Her So.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Two of Hannah’s best friends, Hannah Blake and Tasha Tompkins, and Hannah and Ash’s sisters, Claire Palser and Beth Butcher.
THE FLOWERS | Sunflowers and wild flowers were the choice. They went perfectly with the venue and vision and added some great colour! The florist was an absolute star and a creative genius!
THE CAKE | Ben Read Cakes. A friend of ours who made our cake bespoke for us and delivered it himself to make sure it arrived looking as good as it tasted!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Helen Jane Smiddy Photography! Couldn’t recommend enough – Helen was brilliant in every way! Her photographs captured the best in both of us and she made us feel so at ease that we enjoyed the picture taking!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We decided to tie in our honeymoon to some of the theme as we were going travelling in our camper van in Europe. Hannah revitalised an old suitcase that belonged to her grandad to make a place for cards to be put from guests. The seating plan we made by hand. We got a map of Europe and pasted it on to a wood back, made a frame and painted that and then drew out our travelling plan. Each destination became a table name with the guests on luggage tags around the outside. The camper we planned to travel in made a makeshift photo booth with some props inside and camera and guest book set up for people to have fun with, which they definitely did!! We also had smaller touches like white flip flops to make sure the ladies feet were dancing fit! Our favours were scented soups and lavender seeds, going back to or wildflower theme
THE HONEYMOON | We took 3 weeks off work and travelled around Europe in our VW T25 camper van. We had restored the camper from top to bottom, inside and out ourselves and so took it on a 2500 mile trip through 8 different countries. Of course Harry the dog came too and we had a fantastic time!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Most definitely Ash’s surprise! It rained rainbow balloons through our first dance, just like the ones when he proposed! It was a compete surprise and made the first dance together so special!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy yourselves! It’s easy to get stressed with the whole thing but remember why you are there and have a fantastic day together! Don’t forget to spend some time together and take it all in!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Helen Jane Smiddy
Dress Shop | Sas Bridal
White bouncy castle | Fantastic Castle
7 piece band | Downtown Underground
Cake | Ben Read Cakes
Venue | Sandhole Oak Barn
Florist | Heaven Scent Floral Design
Caterer | Top Table
Hair | Frazar James
Shoes | Tanzanite Butterfly
Ash and Hannah, thank you so much for sharing your delightful wedding here at WWW xo Lou