Cheshire Marquee weddings Country house weddings Church weddings

Wedding of the Week: Jessica Duncan and William Muse

12 Mar 2018

Following a traditional church service, Jessica and William's marquee wedding was held in the spectacular grounds of Dorfold Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire. Here, they share the story of their special day...

Jessica Duncan and William Muse's wedding story

After our engagement in September, we hit wedding planning in December. We shared the wedding planning between us with me building my Pinterest mood boards and sharing the creative ideas while Will took on the majority of planning and logistics.

I had always envisaged a Cheshire wedding, having spent most of my life growing up there. I used to watch brides entering St Boniface church in the beautiful village of Bunbury every weekend while having lunch in the Dysart Arms over the road, and hoped one day that would be me.

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The reception venue

Will and I fell in love with Dorfold Hall the second we drove down the driveway. The house is set in a magical setting and despite viewing the venue on a very wet, dreary winter’s day there was no question that this was the one. Almost as important was the instant rapport I built with Candice, the wedding co-ordinator She won my trust very quickly and I felt confident that she would deliver the wedding of my dreams.

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The dress

I bought my dress from a local wedding shop with my bridesmaid and oldest friend, Amy, her mum and my mum for moral support. I chose a simple, elegant Enzoani dress that was more like an evening dress than a classic bridal gown. The best thing about the dress was that it allowed me to have two looks on the day; the seamstress designed an off-the-shoulder lace overlay that I removed for the evening reception. I also added a beautiful Pronovias belt in the evening to add some sparkle and glamour.

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The wedding theme

I wanted the style of the wedding to be simple and elegant and our colour theme was mainly white and dusty blue which was picked up in the pale blue hydrangeas in my bouquet and dusty blue velvet ribbon in the buttonholes and around the napkins on the tables. Will is a big cricket fan and a friend from the cricket club managed to get together 20 old cricket balls which we had cut in half to form the table name and menu holders in the marquee. They were a really different touch to the table decorations.

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The outfits

Will wore a stunning blue suit from Hackett with a pale blue tie matching his groomsmen. My bridesmaids wore pretty white dresses from LK Bennett... the only time you can wear white to a wedding if you’re not the bride. My mum was keen to steer away from the typical mother of the bride look and took time to find an outfit that was special but a bit different. She bought a stunning floral dress with a bright pink over jacket with a flattering Jackie O neckline from Helen Sykes, Leeds; she certainly stood out.

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Family involvement

The few days before the wedding were really fun and very busy with friends and family helping us with all the final touches. In the months leading up to the wedding my dad, David, made good friends with the postman as deliveries arrived regularly. Will’s mum, Hazel, is an excellent flower arranger and created the most beautiful flowers for our church ceremony. My mum, Carol, helped us to dress the marquee and whizzed around Cheshire on various last minute errands. My bridesmaids arrived on the Friday and helped me to relax, enjoy the moment and really take it all in.

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The day itself

I barely slept the night before the wedding, I was too excited and kept thinking about the moment I would see Will at the end of the aisle. I was so glad that we had a wedding rehearsal the night before as we both cried while practising our vows and this really helped me to get a lot of my emotions out before the big day; I felt so much more relaxed during the ceremony and enjoyed every second of it.

My dad drove us from the church to Dorfold Hall and we were greeted by Candice, Charlie and their boys with wishes of congratulations and a glass of fizz; it felt so personal. Our guests followed and we had our drinks reception in the gardens with the sun shining and the most spectacular views of the house and countryside around us. We served prosecco, rosé wine and beers alongside canapés including halloumi bites and haggis bon-bons.

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Our photographer, Kris Piotrowski, took both formal and informal photos in the gardens with the reception drinks in full swing which created a lovely atmosphere. One of the highlights was throwing the bouquet, caught by one of my beautiful bridesmaids in heroic style.

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Our food was informal and hearty; a choice of pies for the main course which were a huge hit among our guests, and a lemon meringue tart for dessert which was finished at the table with a blow torch to add some real theatre.

Our first dance was to an acoustic version of Ellie Goulding’s Still Falling For You sung by lead singer Gemma Mewse of The Gatsby Band, as the lyrics really sum up how we fell in love. We both felt so nervous about dancing in front of all our friends and family, I didn’t stick to the dancing plan either which caught Will a little off guard. 

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The honeymoon

For our honeymoon we went on the most magical safari at the Savanna Lodge in South Africa, followed by nine days relaxing on the beautiful island of Mauritius. It really was the holiday of a lifetime. 

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Get the look:

Photography: Kris Piotrowski
Ceremony Venue: St Boniface Church, Bunbury
Reception Venue: Dorfold Hall
Dress: The Wedding Dress Shop, Wimbledon Park
Wedding rings: Marcelle Saad Diamonds
Bridesmaids’ dresses: LK Bennet
Groom’s outfit: Hackett
Stationery: Rather Lovely Stuff (Etsy)
Flowers: Jacqui O Fairytale Flowers
Cake: Bloomsbury Wedding Cakes
Catering: Fine Dining Company
Entertainment: The Gatsby Band

For more real wedding inspiration, order your copy of Bride magazine or read it online.