Classic Meets Modern Summer Garden Wedding

Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

I was an avid WWW reader throughout the wedding planning process. It was one of the first blogs I stumbled on and I still read the real weddings features now.

Amie and Sean


Combermere Abbey Wedding

A very warm welcome to WWW readers Amie and Sean today who are sharing their divine Combermere Abbey wedding celebrations with us in Cheshire. They were married on the 19th August 2019 in the stunning Victorian glasshouse before partying the afternoon and evening away in the star lined pavilion.

Their day was beautifully classic yet modern. They had a traditional flow and feel to their day with contemporary touches and decoration. The outfits in particular were really swoon-worthy; Amie wore the striking Pronovias Drail gown teamed with a cape veil for a dramatic addition, while Sean donned a navy suit with gold tie and pocket square. They both looked just amazing!

Also look out for sublime décor, with tall centrepiece flowers, hanging tea lights and greenery all round. Many thanks goes to Damian Brandon Photography for sharing with us these superb captures of a truly lovely day.

Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

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The Proposal

Sean proposed to me in the rooftop infinity pool of my favourite hotel. King Street Townhouse in Manchester. It has incredible views of the Manchester skyline. As I have stayed a few times, I knew what time the pool closed and didn’t know Sean had arranged for them to keep it open after hours so that we could enjoy it to ourselves so he had to get creative with explaining to me why we were heading up there so late. It worked out perfectly and the hotel team brought us a glass of champagne each up to toast afterwards.

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The Vision

I had my heart set on an elegant summer garden wedding at a venue with some wow factor. We wanted it to be relaxed yet sophisticated and most importantly, something that everyone would enjoy.

We wanted around 60 of our closest friends and family to attend so decided not to travel too far. Luckily our nearest and dearest are all quite close together so it wasn’t too difficult to decide on the beautiful Shropshire countryside.

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The Planning Process

Within weeks of Sean’s proposal, we started venue searching and the viewings commenced. It didn’t take us long to stumble on Combermere Abbey, it was absolutely perfect and we secured a date.

We had already chosen our photographer, the talented Damian Brandon having seen him on a blog – we just fell in love with his story telling style.

The venue had a list of vendors for us to select from which introduced us to Pickled Walnut who catered our wedding. They worked so hard on our menu ensuring I had an amazing vegan offering, provided us with the most gorgeous gold cutlery and nothing was too much trouble.

We also had a brilliant bar team. Gorilla did our signature cocktails, made sure the bar was stocking all of our favourite tipples and helped me add little touches such as cotton candy in the prosecco welcome drinks.

I had endless boards with different colour palette’s and really struggled to commit so Sean actually ended up choosing this, luckily he has good taste. He chose whites, and greys, plenty of foliage and hints of gold.

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The Readings & Music

My sister in law did a beautiful reading for us which she chose. It was the only part of the day that rained and it was just so atmospheric as we were in the Victorian glasshouse which made the rain sound amazing although she had to speak up to be heard over it. She framed it and gave it to us as a gift to keep afterwards.

We wanted live music for our evening reception and chose an incredible 4 piece band called Hipster. They sang us in for our first dance which was Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap. The song starts of slow and then goes quite upbeat so we decided that when it got to that bit, we would just rock out together before inviting our guests to join us.

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Budget

I am probably not alone in saying that we spent more than we anticipated but we did save money in a few areas too.

We chose to have a Monday wedding which meant we got a good deal on the venue and catering. Our guests said it was nice to enjoy it as a long weekend, especially as they got to stay in the gorgeous converted stable cottages.

I also discovered Etsy for the first time which is just so affordable and is full of talented creators. I bought personalised confetti bags, cute activity books to keep the kids entertained during the wedding breakfast and lots of personalised signage.

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The Venue

The moment I saw Combermere Abbey, I knew that we would get married there.

I fell in love with that Victorian glasshouse.

Our guests made their way through the fruit maze to take their seats in the glasshouse for the ceremony before we stepped into the centre of the maze for canapes and champagne.

After the wedding breakfast in the star lined pavilion, our guests enjoyed lawn games in the beautiful walled gardens.

As day turned to night, the gardens lit up with lots of twinkly lights which felt just magical for our evening reception.

I also loved that the venue included the most beautiful cottage for the bridal party to get ready in the morning. It was at the entrance to the estate so I was able to enjoy a drive in the Crossley car with my dad before talking the tree lined walk to the glasshouse.

Sean and I stayed in the North Wing of the Abbey for our first evening as Mr & Mrs. It even came with its own butler. Meanwhile our guests spent the night in the converted stable cottages which were each individually and beautifully decorated and included a hamper of breads and preservatives from the fruit maze which we thought was a lovely touch.
The events team were absolutely amazing. The attention to detail, nothing was too much trouble and our day ran so smoothly.

Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

Your Outfits & Accessories

I tried on quite a few dresses and like most brides, didn’t end up with what I thought I would from the hours spent making Pinterest boards.

I did know I wanted a classic dress but I was basically searching for something a little unusual without really knowing what that was.

I came across a stunning boutique called Dotty Bridal in Holmfirth and the team there showed me the Pronovias Drail gown. I knew it was my dress the moment I saw the jaw dropping lace cape which I wore instead of a veil and took it off into the evening for a second bridal look.

Sean treated me to a pair of Jimmy Choo heels in a blush colour and I went for a simple drop diamond earring and hair slide for a bit of sparkle which I found on Etsy.

Sean chose a navy three piece suit from Slaters Menswear in Manchester which he accessorised with a gold tie and matching pocket square. I had bought him a personalised tie pin with our initials engraved.

Dress Gown Bride Bridal Pronovias Drail Train Lace Cape Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

Beauty

Having taken so much time looking at gowns, shoes and everything else, I found choosing my hair one of the most stressful parts of the planning process. I just couldn’t choose.

I found Callie from Victoria Hutchinson & Co on Instagram and instantly loved her style. She put me right at ease on the day of my hair trial and helped me try a good selection of the styles I had been looking at. After taking all the photos away and sharing with my bridal squad, we decided on a simple French twist to show off the details on the back of my dress and let that cape do the talking.

I wanted my makeup to look natural and just to feel like the best version of myself on my wedding day. A friend had introduced me to Rachel Manion a few years ago. She had previously done evening looks for me and also hosts fantastic make up masterclasses which I have enjoyed attending so she was always going to be my choice for bridal make up. She is such a perfectionist and takes such pride in what she does. I knew she would deliver and was not disappointed.

My bridal party were all equally pleased and my stepdaughter had false lashes for the first time which she was thrilled with.

Through all of the emotions, running around in fields with my photographer, and energetic dancing, my makeup and hair were both still flawless and I felt absolutely amazing.

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The Flowers

The flowers in the walled garden were in full summer bloom and were unbelievably beautiful so we didn’t feel we needed much else.

The floristry we did have was entirely based on my love for Eucalyptus.

I had Anne Whysall recommended to me by a work friend and when I looked at her work, I instantly loved her style. We chose plenty of greenery with hints of ivory floral for the bouquets and buttonholes.

Table Tablescape Round Decor Decorations Tall Centrepiece Flowers Hanging Tea Lights Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

The Details & Décor

I am known for my organisational skills so I was looking forward to designing the intricate details of our wedding day. We decided to use paperless post for our wedding invites. Not only did this save us a lot of money but it was quick and easy to design and send our save the dates, official invites and thank you cards. Our guests could RSVP at the click of a button, send back their dietary information and we could also communicate efficiently with our guests. We also designed a wedding website with ‘The Knot’ so that we could share lots of information about the venue.

I don’t typically find it easy to hand things over to other people so I knew I would need an amazing venue dressing team who I completely trusted and as soon as I met I Do Venue Dressing I knew they would exceed my expectations. We had various meetings, a table dressing trial and even when I was making things up for them to create, they managed to make it work for me. They dressed the Victorian Glasshouse for the ceremony and the pavilion for the wedding breakfast.

We had some fun choosing how to entertain our younger guests and had some personalised activity books made and also the white space hoppers for the lawn which also entertained the grown-ups in equal measures.

Our slogan was best day ever which we incorporated into our cake topper, some of our signs and even had our own personalised Snapchat filter that the guests were able to use when in the walled gardens.

Table Plan Seating Chart Flowers Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

Your Photographer

I had seen Damian Brandon’s work on a blog before we had even chosen a venue and instantly fell in love with his unique story telling style. I reached out to him and we met up for a coffee.

Damian is first and foremost the nicest guy and we just clicked and booked him there and then.

He captured our day perfectly, our guests absolutely loved him and we can’t stop looking at the stunning photos. Every time we do it is like reliving the day.

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The Honeymoon

We are yet to decide on a honeymoon but did have a lovely mini moon to Rome which was planned as part of a work trip. We went kayaking in Castel Gandolfo and made pasta at a beautiful vineyard.

Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

Groomsmen

Sean had 3 best men. His brother and two of his closest friends from school.

They all chose matching navy suits fitted by Slaters Manchester and accessorised with gold ties. Sean had treated them all to matching watches as a thank you gift.

They had rehearsed a fantastic joint speech for the wedding breakfast which involved a game of rock, paper, and scissors. It had everyone laughing, and Sean cringing as is customary.

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Bridesmaids

I had 3 bridesmaids, two of my closest friends and also Sean’s daughter who I have the most incredible bond with. It was a struggle to find dresses as my stepdaughter is 10 going on 18 and I really wanted her to have a grown up dress that matched the other girls, plus I had my heart set on a dark grey colour which it turns out isn’t a typical bridesmaid colour. We also had to find something suitable for one of my bridesmaids who was expecting her second child in the December.

My main priority for the girls was that I wanted them all to feel beautiful and comfortable. We ended up buying the dresses online from JJS House who do a junior range in addition to the adult dresses. All 3 girls chose their own dress to suit their style as they were all so different and it worked out perfectly.

Bridesmaids Bridesmaid Dress Dresses Grey Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography Bridesmaids Bridesmaid Dress Dresses Grey Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon PhotographySemi Naked Cake Greenery Topper Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography Semi Naked Cake Greenery Topper Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

The Cake

My sister in law is a pastry chef. How lucky am I? She made us the most beautiful 3 tier naked cake as a wedding gift. I had it adorned with fresh flowers to match the bouquets and chose a fun cake topper.

She also made us a selection of other treats to create a treat table for our guests.

Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography Dress Gown Bride Bridal Pronovias Drail Train Lace Cape Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

Memorable Moments

Seeing my dad for the first time on the morning of the wedding. I had just finished having my makeup done when the girls announced that my dad had arrived. He had refused to go to the suit fittings with the rest of the men in the wedding party instead wanting to sort his own suit and that he wanted it to be a surprise. When I saw him, he was wearing the most incredible felt fedora hat and just looked amazing. I instantly burst into tears.

Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

Advice For Other Couples

A lot of people tell you in the run up to the day that it will go by quickly and to try have a few moments to take it all in and it really is the best advice.

We went for a few walks around the grounds, just us and our photographer to give us the chance to reflect on the day so far plus the photos of us just walking together and laughing are some of our favourite ones.

Combermere Abbey Wedding Damian Brandon Photography

Credit Where Credit Is Due

How very gorgeous?!

Amie and Sean thank you both so much for sharing with us your incredibly beautiful wedding xo Lou

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1 Comment

  • Wow! This wedding made me to feel to get married. Great pictures and elegant wedding. Handsome groom and beautiful bride. God bless you both.

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