This wonderful real wedding is pretty meets industrial meets natural, and you know what? It worked out just perfectly because the couple focused on themselves and the kind of day that represented them. The bride baked the cake and sweet treat favours, while the groom designed the paper goods.
WWW readers Helen and Sam were married on the 26th August 2016 at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire. Their day was styled on natural colours (mint green, pink and creams) and rustic materials (hessian and lace). It reflected their venue perfectly, which is a working Victorian cotton mill. Their venue dressers also brought along the most perfect props for the setting, an antique mangle for their fabric welcome sign and an old panelled window for the seating plan. A lovely and fitting nod to the history of the building.
Let’s turn our thoughts to attire shall we? Helen chose to wear a delicate lace Maggie Sottero gown accessorised with her mum’s veil and blue peep toe heels. How stunning did she look? Sam went for a three piece blue suit and tan shoes for a really dapper style.
Thanks so much to Kerry Woods Photography for sharing these lovely images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | 21st September 2014, in Rome, on the Piazza Del Popolo, the highest Piazza in Rome where you can see the whole of the city! The day of the proposal, we had spent the day walking around the ancient Roman ruins at the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Forum. At the evening, Sam wanted to go to the Piazza Del Popolo to see the view, but I kept moaning that I was hungry (!!). Sam told me to take one last photo, and as I turned around to show him, he was on one knee with a little box!
THE VISION | We didn’t have a set theme initially, we just wanted the wedding to be as personal to us as possible. We decided on using natural colours and fabrics, such as hessian and lace. When we visited our Venue, Quarry Bank Mill, which is a National Trust site, we realised, as well as it being beautiful, it was a working Victorian cotton mill, and we realised our idea of a natural colours/fabrics theme would work well with the Mill!
When we met our venue dressers, we told them about Quarry Bank Mill, and they had an old panelled window they could use as a seating plan, which matched the Mill’s windows, and they also had a Victorian Mangle, which they could use as a welcome sign, again fitting with the Mill.
Therefore, our theme became personal to me and Sam, but also in-keeping with the venue. We fell in love with Quarry Bank Mill, so were happy to keep in line with the theme of the venue! Our main aim was to throw a good party for our family and friends! We’re all big foodies, so the food had to please!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We booked the wedding 18 months in advance, so we didn’t have to rush! I (Helen), was also completing a post-grad degree as well as work, so being organised was key! My favourite part of planning was dress shopping/fittings with my Mum! Once I found my dress, due to the location of the shop being in Uppermill, which is a lovely village, we made a habit of every dress fitting, going to the café across the road for a brew and a shared piece of cake! Sam is a graphic designer and designed our invites, to keep to the personal touch, he made a pun out of our name: “It’s a Dunn Deal” for the invites! He tested this joke out at Christmas to see my family’s reaction – everyone loved it!
BUDGET | We didn’t want to be extravagant as the wedding is only for one day! Wherever we could do things ourselves we did, such as Sam designing the invites, I enjoy baking, so baked the cake, and wedding favours, and a family member did the make-up.
THE VENUE | Quarry Bank Mill! We fell in love with it immediately! We loved the mix of the Victorian Mill and courtyard and beautiful garden and greenhouse! We also loved that, as it’s open to the public all year round, we can go back and visit it any time! Not only is the venue beautiful, the event staff, Mandi and her team, were so helpful, supportive and ENTHUSIASTIC! They made you feel like you were the only wedding they had and genuinely excited for your day! All of our family and friends commented on how friendly all the staff were on the day, which is great to know they were all taken care of!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress: Maggie Sottero – Louise from Blush Boutique (Uppermill). Rachel Simpson – Mimosa powder blue shoes. My Mum’s veil! Headband from Debenhams. Earrings from the same independent jewellers we bought my engagement ring and wedding bands, Cranes Jewellers in Romiley. I wore a lace garter my sister Clare bought me from Venice when she went travelling around Europe.
FINDING THE DRESS | I’d been to a couple of dress shops, and it had helped to give me an idea of what I liked and suited me. A few of my Mum’s colleagues were also planning weddings and someone suggested Blush Boutique to her, and I knew it was the dress as soon as I tried it on! The staff were so supportive and made sure I wasn’t forced to try dresses on that I knew weren’t ‘me’!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Sam bought a 3-piece suit and his shoes from Slaters, Manchester. We’d always agreed that neither of us wanted Sam to be in traditional ‘coats and tails’ and for him to feel comfortable, just as much as me! He looked very dapper! His tie was from ASOS – an absolute life saver when planning! It matched the bridesmaid’s dresses perfectly!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our first dance was to Elbow – One day like this. We bonded over our love of music as teenagers, especially ‘Manchester Music’ so choosing a Manchester Band was important to us! We’ve been to Elbow concerts together, so felt personal to us again!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Clare, my school friends Kayleigh and Liz, and friend Nina who I met through work! I also had Sam’s cousin’s daughter Izzy as our beautiful flower girl! The bridesmaids all lived in different areas, so bridesmaid dress shopping consisted of a Facebook group message sharing ideas, and dresses being ordered and delivered to each of them – again – thank god for ASOS! The dresses were found on ASOS, I wanted the girls to feel comfortable, and this was the dress everyone was happy with! I loved the soft mint colour and the girls got so many compliments on the day from members of the public! They were all so supportive through the planning stage, dress shopping was very much a joint effort!
Izzy’s dress was from Debenhams, found after a shopping trip with Izzy and her mum! Sam’s mum found a ribbon, which matched the mint of the bridesmaids dresses! Izzy was happy to wear a dress that matched the bride’s.
THE FLOWERS | To keep in with the personal theme, we decided to get the flowers from the local florist that my Dad has used to buy my Mum flowers for 20 years! I love the simplicity of gypsophila, so chose hand tied bouquet of gypsophila, with hessian fabric for the bridesmaids, whilst my bouquet had the addition of white and blush roses. My Mum thought it would be a nice touch for all my parents, Sam’s Mum and partner and our grandparents to have a matching buttonhole, as well as the groomsmen. Izzy had a ‘magic wand’ instead of a bouquet!
THE CAKE | I made the wedding cake! Baking is a hobby of mine, and again, thought would keep it personal! I tested cakes on my colleagues before the big day, which went down well! I also baked brownies as wedding favours, which were a hit, and brownies, rocky road and caramel shortbread for nibbles in the evening!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I met Kerry at my very first wedding fair, but we decided to book her after she photographed one of my colleagues weddings! We loved Kerry’s natural style, she got brilliant pictures without it being obvious that she was there! Kerry was more than a photographer on the day! She was always offering a helping hand!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The gypsophila theme continued at the venue. Our venue dressers used teapots on cake stands as centre pieces, surrounded by crowns of gypsophila. We had jam jars with lights in, and the use of hessian and lace on the tables. It sounds a lot, but it was done simply and elegantly!
Sam created the table names, and we based these on important places in our life.
Our venue dressers provided outdoor games, due to the lovely meadow at Quarry Bank, and us keeping our fingers crossed for a lovely English Summer’s day, which we were lucky to have! This was in keeping with wanting our guests to have as fun a day as possible!
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Thailand for two weeks a few days after the wedding! We love to travel and try new places, so this was our first adventure as a married couple! We went to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui for a taste of the city, mountains and the beach!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Getting ready in the morning with my family and friends, kept me so relaxed and was such a lovely atmosphere! Some of Sam’s family popped round too, which was lovely! Being in the car together between the church and venue was nice to have ‘us’ time alone to chat! We had a little gossip about our nights away from each other, and what had been going on in our mornings before the ceremony!
Riding around on a golf buggy after the meal to have photos taken in the gardens, where we had an impromptu photo shoot in the wheat fields and Sam had to carry me over a fence! I couldn’t stop smiling!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make sure it’s the day you want! Accept help when offered! Enjoy each moment of the day as much as possible! We got advice from recently married friends: try to take yourselves away from the crowd on the day, even just for 10 minutes to be alone with each other and process the day!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Kerry Woods
Venue | Quarry Bank Mill, Styal
Dress | Blush Boutique
Shoes | Rachel Simpson
Grooms Suit and Shoes | Slaters
Venue Dressers | My Something Borrowed
Wedding bands and earrings | Cranes Jewellers
Florist | Forget Me Nots (Denton)
So very joy filled, and those sun drenched portraits are gorgeous!
Helen and Sam, thank you both so much for sharing your wonderful nuptials here today xo Lou