A night sky and star themed celebration set the scene for Chloe and Fraser’s big-day at Staffordshire’s Packington Moor.
On one cloudy, drizzly August morning, Chloe and Fraser braved the weather and went for a long hike up the Peak District with their dog. “When we reached the top I started taking photos of the view. As I turned to talk to Fraser he was down on one knee. It was the perfect location as we both love nature,” smiles Chloe.
The planning: First things first
Very soon into the planning process, Chloe began building upon her wedding ideas. She put together a file featuring magazine inspiration and supplier cards and quickly became addicted to Pinterest. “It had so many great ideas. I soon had hundreds of pins on my wedding board,” laughs Chloe. “Luckily I had realistic expectations when it came to our wedding budget as my cousin had recently got married. That said, organising our budget was still difficult, so we were blessed to have financial support from my parents,” she adds.
The venue: A perfect match
Chloe and Fraser were keen to have a country, outdoorsy feel to their wedding, so choosing the right venue was key. “We looked tirelessly online and were quite clinical about the process. We entered all the key information about each venue into a spreadsheet until we’d whittled the venues down to five,” explains Chloe. Packington Moor was one of the five venues they’d shortlisted and the pair fell in love with it at first sight. “I loved the stained glass window between the two barns and the cosy, comfortable feeling. We’d also heard nothing but fabulous reports about the food there,” says Chloe. What’s more, the couple got a great deal on Packington Moor as they chose a Friday wedding date out of season.
The finishing touches: To the moon and back
With their perfect venue secured, Chloe and Fraser began to plan the finer elements of their big-day. They had decided on a night sky and stars theme, as they’d shared their first kiss while watching a meteor shower. Chloe made a lot of the decorations herself – from paper stars and hearts on the tables, mini table name canvases of star constellations and wall canvases. The tables were finished off with calla lilies in glass bowls. “We kept the theme of calla lilies running throughout the day and included them in my bouquet, my bridesmaids’ bouquets and the buttonholes,” says Chloe.
Finding the right suppliers to help create their vision was very important to the couple. Right from the start of the planning process they’d listed an experienced photographer as a must-have. Having recently attended a friend’s wedding and been impressed with her photographer’s natural and relaxed style, Chloe and Fraser decided to hire her too. “We met up with Helen, our photographer, before our big day to go through what we wanted. We also had a pre-wedding photo shoot, which helped us to be more confident in front of the camera. She made us feel so relaxed on the day and captured some of our happiest memories.”
Finding ‘the’ dress: Shining star
After finding what she thought was the perfect wedding dress at a local bridal boutique, Chloe decide to try on just one more gown that she’d been admiring online. The nearest stockist was quite a drive away but the drive was certainly worth it. “I tried the dress on and didn’t like it at all. But my mum pointed out another one and I absolutely loved it. It was not the sort of dress I thought I’d choose as it was a big organza ball gown with a long train, but it was just perfect,” smiles Chloe. She finished off her star-studded look with her grandma’s sapphire and white gold bracelet, a necklace from her mum and a gorgeous pair of royal blue heels.
Tying the knot
Chloe and Fraser exchanged vows on a November’s day at Christ Church in Burntwood, local to where Chloe had grown up. “As I walked down the aisle I couldn’t help but cry,” says Chloe, “but we walked out with huge grins on our faces,” she smiles.
Food to dine for
As the newlyweds and their wedding party arrived at Packington Moor, Galloping Gourmet served canapés and bucks fizz, followed by a delicious wedding breakfast. “We spent the majority of our budget on our guests’ food, but we both felt it was important to have a menu that we would enjoy. We wanted to keep our guests well fed and watered throughout the day,” explains Chloe. “The splurge was worth it – we had so many compliments about the food,” she adds.
The couple’s celebrations continued into the night as their DJ managed to get just about all their guests on the dance floor. “Our first dance was to Third Day’s Born Again, featuring Lacey Sturm. We decided on the song long before we got engaged and loved practising in the kitchen while cooking,” smiles Chloe.
Chloe’s top tips:
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I wanted to do so many things myself but gave up on a few because I ran out of time. None of those things were missed though
- It’s your day so don’t worry about what others think. As long as the two of you are happy that’s all that matters
- Have a reserve guest list. People dropped out just days before our wedding, so it’s nice to be able to fill those places
If you’d like to find out more about Packington Moor, visit the website or arrange a showround by calling 01543 220055.
Images © Helen Howard Photography