A charming and rustic Cheshire wedding
28 Feb 2019
Alcumlow Wedding Barn in Cheshire was the perfect venue to host Samantha Condliffe and Daniel Cooper’s dream summer outdoor wedding
Tell us about the proposal.
It was all very unexpected. Dan had planned to be down on one knee when I returned home from work on Christmas Eve, but I finished work early meaning that I got in from work before him and ruined his plans. When Dan eventually got home I was running a bath upstairs. He asked me to come downstairs (unfortunately I had already started to get undressed) and so I went down and walked into the living room.
Standing in front of the Christmas tree Dan handed me my Christmas card. I opened it and to my total surprise it said: ‘To my fiancé’. He then got down on one knee and presented me with the most beautiful engagement ring. It wasn’t the proposal I expected but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I always said that I wanted a more private proposal and I absolutely love Christmas so the engagement made it even more magical.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We didn’t have a theme as such. Alcumlow Wedding Barn as a venue is very charming and rustic, so we ran with that. For colours we stuck to white and dusky purple with dark green foliage throughout.
Tell us more about your venue
We had our heart set on an outdoor ceremony but we knew that we couldn’t rely on the British weather. We looked at quite a few venues throughout Cheshire and Staffordshire but we were struggling to find a venue which had an indoor space equally as beautiful as the outdoor space, should the elements not be on our side.
Then we walked into Alcumlow Wedding Barn in Cheshire. It is a traditional Dutch barn which has been converted into a stunning wedding barn. Inside, it is filled with thousands of fairy lights. It was just like a fairytale. Outside, there is an outdoor chapel-like structure with suspended windows and flower boxes. We were blown away. It was completely different to anything else we had seen. The owners were so warm and welcoming, we instantly knew that this was the place we would get married.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I had followed an Australian wedding dress brand called Grace Loves Lace for quite a few years. They make really delicate French lace dresses in a boho style which I loved. Ordering a dress from Australia was a big risk so I went to quite a few local dress shops but couldn’t find the one. Grace Loves Lace then announced that they were coming to London for one week for appointments, so I quickly booked myself in and it was there that I found my dress, Harriet.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
My bridesmaids were my older sister Nic; Dan’s cousin also called Nic, who I have become very close with over the years; and two of my closest friends, Emma and Kate. It was difficult finding a dress that everyone was comfortable in so we went for long flowing dusky purple skirts with two different types of white tops, two with straps and two with short flowing sleeves.
Where did you find the suits?
Having left it to the last minute we ended up shopping on the high street for the men’s suits. We liked navy and ended up finding the nicest ones in Matalan.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
For the bouquets and buttonholes we opted for a lot of dark green foliage with various white flowers. I had a matching floral crown and we used the same dark green foliage throughout the venue.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
Alcumlow Wedding Barn really encouraged us to put our own stamp on the venue. We made our own centrepieces from geo-glass terrariums filled with foliage, fairy lights and table numbers. We didn’t have favours, but we did create some in-keeping little colouring packs for the children with lollipops.
We made our own cards box from an old wooden crate and we also created a board with photos of loved ones who had sadly passed away and could not be there for the day.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Walking down the aisle I felt a little nervous, but I just remember being overjoyed that the sun was shining and we were having the outdoor wedding that we had dreamed of. I also remember that my dad was holding on to me with two hands and I wasn’t sure if he was going to let me go.
What was the most important investment for you?
The most important thing for us was the venue. However, the venue was reasonably priced so we were lucky. The biggest financial investment was probably my wedding dress.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We chose a simple two-tier lemon wedding cake with a white buttercream finish and matching foliage wrapped around. We then added a variety of large cupcakes surrounding the main cake on a large tree stump.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
When planning the wedding we were worried about having too many guests. Looking back, I wish we had invited more.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went to the Maldives two days after the wedding. We were really glad we didn’t go the day after as we had such a busy day with visitors, opening all of the cards and presents.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
All I would say is do as much as you can as soon as you can but don’t sweat the small stuff. On the day the little things won’t matter.
Steal their style:
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