Alison and Joseph were looking for the perfect setting for their big day. A place that they could make their own and enjoy with their nearest and dearest. They found exactly what they were looking for in Sandhole Oak Barn; a breathtaking barn wedding venue in Cheshire that sits overlooking a tranquil private lake.
"Although I grew up mainly near Macclesfield I had never really ventured into Congleton, so when I arranged a viewing for Sandhole Oak Barn I didn't know what to expect," says Alison. "We fell in love with it as soon as we arrived! We were shown around and it all just felt so welcoming and right. We looked at a few more venues however Sandhole Oak Barn was always going to be the place we wanted to celebrate our wedding day."
Dressing the venue
To match the relaxing barn wedding venue, the happy couple decided on a rustic theme and enlisted the help of their families to get the decorations just how they wanted them.
"We used lots of hessian, chalk boards, lace and pastels to bring our rustic theme to life," explains Alison. "My brother made the table decorations and, with the help of my mum and bridesmaids, we made all the flowers for the day too. Creating the place names was definitely a labour of love. We decided they would be their own photo with either one of us or at an event we had attended finished with their names printed on the bottom, which meant two tiring days of copy and pasting!"
Choice of colour was important to the couple too, particularly in the clothing.
"I chose a nude shade for the bridesmaid dresses as my sister has beautiful natural red hair and I wanted a colour that would show this off," explains Alison. "I am from Scotland and my family has its own tartan, but getting Joseph into a kilt was never going to happen! Instead we bought the family tartan and had skinny ties made for the groomsmen and a waistcoat for Joseph. He treated himself to a Savile Row tailor to make the waistcoat as a nod to his London roots. I had white flowers with some purple thrown in to compliment the tartan colours.
Looking the part
Alison did plenty of Pinterest research and shopping around before she found the perfect wedding dress, but eventually she came across ‘the one'.
"My dress was from Swan Brides in Congleton and was designed by David Tutera. I visited four shops, all full of lovely dresses and after trying about 50 different gowns, I found this one. There were tears to prove it!" The groom and groomsmen all looked dapper on the day too with skinny blue suits hired from Debenhams and flashes of the family tartan.
"Joseph probably tried on more suits than I did dresses! In the end, he decided on a Ted Baker suit with the tartan waistcoat and pocket square and knitted blue tie. He looked so good!"
The order of the day
Alison and Joseph tied the knot at St Peters Church in Prestbury, with beautiful readings and songs adding a personal touch to their ceremony. They then headed to Sandhole Oak Barn to celebrate and enjoyed delicious canapés and Prosecco by the lake. The happy couple took the opportunity to capture some beautiful photographs while their guests mingled in the fresh spring air.
Everyone headed inside for a mouth-watering wedding breakfast of a melting goat's cheese salad, fillet of Angus beef and a decadent trio of desserts to round it off.
Come evening, they treated their guests to even more fantastic food; a table full of different cheeses and cuts of meat, as well as a live band which kept the dance floor busy all night!
Alison and Joseph had the perfect day at this idyllic barn wedding venue in Cheshire but there was one particular moment that stood out for the bride.
"I thought I would have been nervous reading out my vows, however I loved walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing all of our family and friends there to support us. The whole day was just amazing!"
If the happy couple could share any advice with brides and grooms-to-be, it would be this:
"Enjoy it, all of it. Even the planning and even when you're stressed! It will all be worth it and when the day comes it flies by, so savour every moment of it."
Images © Joanna Eardley Photography
To find out more about this beautiful waterside wedding venue in Cheshire, visit the Sandhole Oak Barn listing page.