We do love a modern wedding with a vintage feel here at Whimsical Wonderland Weddings, and this day has style in absolute spades. WWW readers Emma and Alex tied the knot on 7th October 2017 at Thornton Manor. Our pair created an atmosphere of old world glamour with lots of candelight, vintage touches, an abundance of foliage and of course some sparkle.
There are plenty of touches that our couple poured their heart into, with the help of family and friends. Aren’t the handmade E and M wooden letters and the world map really something special?
The glamour continues with Emma’s fabulous fishtail embellished Anna Campbell dress and Alex’s navy dinner jacket hired from Moss Bros, not to mention the sequinned bridesmaids who just look divine.
Thanks ever so much to the wonderful Tobiah Tayo Photography for sharing these brilliant images with us today. You’ve captured the sparkle just perfectly.
THE PROPOSAL | We planned a weekend away to Venice in March 2016 to celebrate Emma’s Birthday, Alex hijacked the weekend and decided to use it as the perfect double bluff to propose! Finally!!
He chose a rather wobbly gondola to pop the question with a beautiful oval diamond ring that he designed (with Emma’s quite specific requirements!) and had it made by Jeremy Fischer in Liverpool.
THE VISION | We wanted a big party with as many friends and family as possible and for everyone to simply have a really great time!
We chose our green, gold and marble theme as it complemented the venue…..and Emma had her heart set on sequins!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Like every couple we wanted the day to be absolutely perfect. We had about 15 months to plan the wedding once we had booked the venue, and we spent hours, weeks, and months researching every last detail to make sure it was exactly what we wanted.
It was quite overwhelming at first but once we started booking things we were on a roll.
Instagram and Pinterest (and hundreds of bridal magazines that emma seemed to buy in bulk) were a great place for inspiration but also helped in blowing the budget!
BUDGET | We were so lucky that our parents paid for our wedding. Our budget was very generous, although we still somehow managed to over spend! You just cant ‘un-see’ things!!
THE VENUE | Thornton Manor, Cheshire
We visited about five venues which for us just didn’t feel quite right. Thornton Manor was the sixth venue and we went along to an open day one Sunday with our parents. We walked in and immediately loved the vibe.
It is true old fashioned glamour and it felt so relaxed. It ticked every box for style, space and accommodation, and also had some great quirky elements which we both loved.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Anna Campbell Coco Embellished dress and Evie headpiece.
Alex bought me my wedding shoes for my birthday; a pair of beautiful burgundy suede and gold Chanel shoes.
My wedding present from Alex which I opened on the morning of the wedding were diamond earrings, made by Jeremy who made my engagement ring and both our wedding rings.
FINDING THE DRESS | I didn’t really enjoy dress shopping as much as I thought I would. All the traditional dresses didn’t suit me and I knew I wanted something a bit different. Jean Jackson Couture was recommended to me by a work colleague and I went along to an Anna Campbell trunk show where I instantly fell in love with all the dresses, they were totally my style.
Coco immediately stood out to me as it was so different, completely covered in pearls and really figure hugging. I went back for a second appointment and met Anna Campbell herself – it was incredible to meet her and it felt like it was meant to be! I had my photo taken with her in my dress which was so special.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Alex wore a navy dinner suit which we hired from Moss Bros, with Gucci loafers which were a gift from me.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had two readings read by two of our friends.
Ben read an adaption of the Jack Johnson song Better Together:
Love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together
We’ll look at the stars when we’re together
And all of these moments just might find their way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they’ll be gone when the morning light sings and brings new things
But if all of these dreams might find their way into my day to day scene
I’d be under the impression I was somewhere in between
With only two, just me and you
It’s always better when we’re together
We’re somewhere in between together
Well, it’s always better when we’re together
And there is no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing
We are better together
Rachael read an extract from the book Chaos of Stars by Kirsten White:
I didn’t fall into love with you.
I walked into love with you,
with my eyes wide open,
choosing to take
every step along the way.
I do believe in fate and destiny,
but i also believe
we are only fated to do the things
that we’d chose anyway.
And I’d chose you;
in a hundred lifetimes,
in a hundred worlds,
in any version of reality,
I’d find you
and I’d chose you.
I walked down the aisle to Phil Collins – A Groovy Kind of Love
We had Six 15 Events for our evening entertainment and our DJ Will Maden made a custom track for our first dance, a remix of Bob Marley Is this Love with LVNDSCAPE & Boiler.
Dax on Sax came on at 10pm and really got the party started!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four bridesmaids, two sisters and two friends. I had my heart set on sequin bridesmaids dresses and after some extensive research managed to find them online. We had them altered by the wonderful ladies at Stitches Liverpool.
My beautiful flower girl, our niece Milly, wore a gorgeous sequin dress I bought in Monsoon which complimented the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. She carried a handmade pom pom wand.
Our three nephews were Paige Boys and wore waistcoats and trouser with bow ties from River Island. I bought them some sheriff style paige boy badges that they wore proudly!
THE FLOWERS | We didn’t want traditional flowers as this wasn’t really us. Instead we wanted as much lush green foliage as possible but with a wow factor.
Frog really delivered on this! They created an abundance of rich dark green textures using asparagus ferns, umbrella ferns, olive branches and eucalyptus with hints of sparkling gold asparagus ferns to give a glamorous feel.
We had beautiful stone urns with huge tall displays either side of the door of the ceremony room which gave a really dramatic entrance.
The entrance hall of Thornton Manor has a really gorgeous marble table and Frog decorated this using structural terrariums filled with candles and trailing ferns giving a really dreamy statement. They also added in some super cute gold flamingos to greet our guests, which tied in perfectly with our invites. (the groom vetoed real flamingoes!) We added framed pictures of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day to the display.
THE CAKE | We went for three individual cakes that reflected us as a couple. One cake had a little black cat to represent our cat, Coco, wearing a top hat. We had a second cake that had a flamingo topper on wearing a veil, and the third was a two tied marble cake.
Our cakes were made by Lauren at Antonias Cakes, local to us. She also provided our giant confetti and gold orbs which decorated the cake table and entrance table.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Laura and Tobiah of Tobiah Tayo Photography are two beautiful people. As soon as we met them at their lovely home we instantly liked them.
They were actually married at Thornton Manor themselves so they knew all the great spots for photos.
They both went above and beyond to make our day so special. Laura even fitted my veil for me and helped everyone get dressed.
The photos are simply incredible and we cant thank them enough for capturing every special moment of our day.
VIDEOGRAPHER | We decided to get a Videographer for a couple of reasons, one being because when I was three I was bridesmaid to my sister and when i was younger I watched her wedding video so many times I basically wore the tape out!
We thought it would be really cool to capture the wedding in a film format and be able to hopefully show it to our children and grand children one day.
We set up a surprise premier screening for our close family at a cinema style bar in Liverpool with prosseco and popcorn which everyone loved!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Somebody said to me whilst we were planning the wedding that its all the small details that make the difference, and i totally agree with this. Although looking back we stressed over what seem like silly things now, it was these tiny details that collectively made the day so impactful.
A special thanks to everyone who ran around like mad the morning of the wedding helping to deliver our (mostly Emma’s!) vision – you all nailed it – thank you so much!!
With special thanks to Lizzi at Rufford Printing who was so patient and managed to perfectly interpret and design the most exquisite invites.
We went for gold foil letterpresses invites with a cute flamingo bride and groom monogram and a hand drawn venue location map on marble card with marble information insert and matching marble envelopes with custom designed gold foil monogrammed envelope seals.
My very talented cousin, Ben specialises in making high quality furniture and we commissioned him one christmas to make our giant ‘E’ and ‘A’ letters which stood proudly in the entrance hall, festooned with fairy lights, ferns and hand-painted gold pine cones.
The E and the A are now being used as shelving in our lounge!
Our guest book was an instant polaroid camera and an album for guests to take a selfie with an write us a note, we had a great laugh reading them all after the wedding – and there were some pretty funny additional photos that people took!!
Everyone who knows us knows how fond we are of our adorable black cat Coco. We decided for name place settings we would have little black cat figures (for good luck too!). Alex’s Mum, Joan had the job of hand painting over 130 of them!
We love travelling and going on holiday so it felt like a great idea for the table names to be special places where we had visited together. I designed and Alex’s Dad, Dave crafted a huge display of the world map with with photos of us both in the various locations around the world.
I lost my Dad, Ron to cancer a few years ago, it was really important to both of us that we included him in as many ways as possible. Instead of wedding favours, each guest were given a daffodil pin and a note explaining we had made a special donation in his memory to Marie Curie as a meaningful way to say thank you for sharing our wedding day.
We gave the children personalised activity bags on their chairs filled with colouring books, toys and games to keep them entertained throughout the wedding breakfast.
I had a piece of my dads blue shirt as my ‘something blue’ sewn in the shape of a heart to the inside of my dress. His wedding ring was tied to my bouquet and I looped my finger through it to cary it. Alex also wore Ron’s cufflinks as a ‘something borrowed’.
THE HONEYMOON | We are planning to go to Thailand and Cambodia in the new year, once we’ve recovered from the wedding!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking down the tree lined avenue outside instead of the traditional indoor aisle was something I really desperately wanted to do as it seemed like it would be a really serene romantic moment. However, as it was October, as soon as I stepped onto the red carpet with my mum a gust of wind blew off her hat!! It made for some great photos and a lot of laughing! Not quite the entrance I thought we would make!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Have no regrets! You will (hopefully) only do it once!
Also try and be as organised as possible. Get things booked early and crossed off your list! The list is never ending! As it drew nearer to the day, for every item we crossed of our list, we added two more….we had lists of lists!!
Try and enjoy the planning and give yourselves time leading up to the wedding to have a break from all the wedmin. We decided to go to Mykonos for a week’s holiday two weeks before the wedding – people thought we were mad but it was the best idea. We were able to chill out, recharge and focus on ‘us’….the real reason we were planning the wedding-because at the end of the day after its all over and everyone goes home, we would be married!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Tobiah Tayo Photography
Caterers | Barretts Event Caterers
Cake | Antonia’s Cakes
Music | DJ Will Madden & Dax on Sax – Six 15 Events
Flowers | Frog Flowers
Invitations | Rufford Printing
Jewellery | Jeremy Fischer
Make Up | Flossy & Leigh
Sequin tablecloths | Sapphire Bespoke Events
Venue | Thornton Manor
Videographer | Tom Harrington
What a fabulous wedding day! Thanks so much for sharing with us Emma and Alex. Rachel x