Kirsty and Richard were looking for the perfect place to hold a magical winter wedding that was close to home and would make it easy for all their friends and family to have a great time. They found just what they wanted in Sandhole Oak Barn; an enchanting barn wedding venue in Cheshire. It was actually a venue that the bride knew very well!
"I worked at Sandhole from the age of 14, serving breakfasts and cleaning the guest bedrooms and have since had a special connection with this wonderful venue!" explains Kirsty. "Richard and I obviously shortlisted Sandhole given my links with the venue and its proximity to Congleton where we both grew up. I didn't give anything away about why I loved the place and wanted to gauge Richard's honest opinion as he saw the venue for the first time. He instantly loved it, from its stunning lakeside setting to the beautiful oak features and on-site guest accommodation, and we both agreed that it's a warm and relaxing venue and the ideal choice for us."
Styling the venue
With their wedding date just four days before Christmas, the happy couple opted for a wintry theme with festive hints for their big day.
"We loved the natural beauty of the barn and the surrounding scenery, so tried to complement this with simple touches, such as lights on the oak beams, rather than ruin the venue's natural charm. Our subtle theme was birds and hearts, from the invitations through to the rest of the wedding stationery and decorations."
The couple opted for a purple and silver colour scheme, which is an amazing choice for the time of year, and the colours featured wonderfully in the groomsmen's and bridesmaid's outfits.
"My bridesmaids wore purple, while our flower girls, Amy and Emma, looked delightful in silver," explains Kirsty. "The groomsmen and Richard all wore grey suits and paired them with purple ties."
Kirsty got creative when it came to the decorations and made a good deal of them and all the wedding stationery herself.
"I spent many evenings and weekends creating as the wedding day approached," says Kirsty. "I made painted and personalised wooden hearts, which were hung on the back of each chair as a memento of our special day and became quite a talking point for the guests! I also painted wooden bunting and wooden table confetti. We also incorporated pine cones into our table lanterns to add to our wintery theme and the effect was great as the natural light faded and evening drew near. We had a "festive photos" props box too to bring in some festive fun!"
Looking the part
Kirsty looked incredible on the day and she has her sister, Pip, to thank for helping her find the perfect dress!
"My dress was by Mori Lee and I loved it from the moment I saw it after my sister, Pip, spotted it on the internet and sent me a link. Within a week I'd tried it on, along with several others which were all lovely, but ultimately I went back to the first one as I loved its style and the beautiful detail, particularly at the back of the dress. It was a brave choice given the winter wedding date, but one that I'm glad I went with!"
An unforgettable day
Kirsty and Richard had the most amazing winter wedding day at this breathtaking Cheshire wedding venue, heading to Sandhole Oak Barn after tying the knot at St Mary's Church just ten minutes away in Astbury.
The impressive Oak Barn was the ideal setting for a drinks reception and the couple warmed their guests up with mulled wine and fruit punch, as well as serving Champagne too. The drinks were accompanied by a fabulous pianist who played some jazzy Christmas classics and set a relaxed atmosphere for the rest of the day.
After a mouth-watering wedding breakfast and a first dance to ‘Everything' by Lifehouse, the couple and all their guests partied the night away in the Oak Barn, before retiring to the luxurious accommodation to relax and unwind.
Kirsty and Richard wouldn't change a thing about how their wedding day went, and there were a couple of moments which really stood out.
"The ceremony, being surrounded by family and friends and a very thought-provoking sermon setting us on our way in married life was definitely the highlight for me," says Kirsty. "And the afternoon sunshine as we came out of the church! We left Sandhole with grey skies, rain pouring down and a supply of umbrellas, so stepping out of the church to glorious sunshine after the ceremony was a wonderful surprise."
Images © Dark Peak Photography
To find out more about this stunning wedding venue in Cheshire and see how it could be the exclusively yours on your special day, visit their listing page.