Rachel and Norman wanted their wedding day to be about the two of them and no-one else. They wanted to enjoy a special day with close friends and family, away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Finding a venue that could provide the perfect setting, and exclusive-use for the day, would be the starting point for their wedding planning…
Just the two of us
It wasn’t long before Rachel and Norman found Sandhole Oak Barn, in Congleton. With its beautiful setting, welcoming atmosphere, and exclusive-use promise, it was perfect for the couple. “We loved the lake and the grounds, and the converted barn was simple and natural – creating just the right atmosphere,” explains Rachel. “We also loved that we had sole use of all the bedrooms and the location for our special day,” she adds.
As the Barn was already beautiful, Rachel and Norman had to do very little when it came to styling the setting. “We chose to keep things quite natural, in keeping with the country style,” explains Rachel. The pair used lavender in the flower arrangements and on the wedding bus, decorated the venue with yards and yards of vintage-style bunting, made by Rachel’s mother, and added twist of fairy lights around the beams of the barn to add a special twinkle to the evening. Together, these touches created the perfect romantic ambience for the pair’s special day.
Chic and stylish
The lavender colour scheme ran through to the pair’s wedding attire, with the groom teaming a lavender necktie with grey tails. Rachel opted for a traditional white gown, from Sottero & Midgeley, in an off-the-shoulder style and designed in vintage lace. She complemented her look with a simple fingertip veil and pearl tie comb in her hair. Rachel also had one bridesmaid, who dressed in deep forest green.
When it came to transport for the day it was all about vintage vehicles. Rachel arrived at the venue in a vintage white Morris Minor, and the couple escorted guests in a vintage white wedding bus. While essential for the later part of the day, the wedding bus did cause some difficulties earlier on in the morning. “Our vintage wedding bus couldn’t get past a parked car, so was blocking the lane. This meant that when Dad and I arrived behind it we had to gather up my skirts, squeeze past the bus and walk the last 500 yards to the church!” laughs Rachel. “I’d have loved to have seen my poor fiancés face when the vicar told him, ‘slight delay, the bride is walking.’”
After the minor morning hiccup, the couple’s day continued just as planned. With the formalities over, they tucked into a wedding breakfast of salmon and haddock fishcakes, a lamb main, and a trio of desserts. “We had a real selection including brandy basket with a berry compote topped with clotted cream, chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, and lemon tart on raspberry coulis topped with mascarpone cream,” explains Rachel.
The perfect party
Come evening, the couple hosted the perfect party with a great live band, free-flowing bar, and bustling dance floor. They kickstarted the night with a first dance to All Of Me, by John Legend, before getting the rest of their wedding party to join in. “Our wedding band were fantastic, they played and sung so beautifully – the whole day was pretty perfect,” smiles Rachel.
Rachel’s top tip:
“Make sure you’re completely comfortable in your dress ahead of the big-day. I couldn’t get the bustle of my dress to fall right when I shortened it for the evening. I should have practised beforehand but didn’t want to crease the dress. The end result was a lumpy dress line in the first dance photos!”
Images © Robert Leons Photography
To find out more about getting married at Sandhole Oak Barn call the wedding team today on 01260 224215.