A corking day in Lancashire

10 Mar 2014

A corking day in Lancashire

Music, history, wine and a dog named Merlot filled Mark and Emma-Marie’s wedding with good cheer

Mark Rawlinson & Emma-Marie Booth

Where: Ceremony at St Bede’s Church, Clayton Green, near Preston followed by reception at Hoghton Tower, Lancashire

Photography: Lawson Photography


We wanted to ensure our wedding told our story. We knew exactly which church and venue we wanted as I used to go to primary school at St Bede’s and we walk our crazy red setter Merlot around the grounds of Hoghton Tower. We were lucky enough to secure both as our venues and I then started to pin images on Pinterest and stick ideas down in my scrapbook.

Mark and I are music lovers and fans of red wine and so our theme very quickly turned into a winecork wedding. I collected thousands of corks from family and friends over the period of a year to make canvases and decorations for the big day. My florist thought I was crazy when I insisted we used dried hops and moss to match the theme but she helped bring it to life with ease.

We wanted music to be a huge part of the day and so we enlisted the help of a local choir for the church and booked a string quartet for when our guests arrived at Hoghton Tower.

Following our church ceremony, we drove up the mile-long drive which gave me butterflies but my mum, Josie O’Brien, had organised for Merlot to greet us, which was a lovely surprise.

Rowleys Catering helped us plan a re-enactment of Hoghton Tower’s historical visit of King James I and one guest from every table knighted and carved the ‘sir-of-loin’ for the rest of the table. This was an instant hit and provided lots of laughter as each carver in a chef hat and apron raced to carve the feast.

My late granddad, Damien O’Brien, was extremely special to me and so instead of favours, we made a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society and placed pin badges and forget-me-not seeds on each table. We didn’t want the atmosphere to disappear after our wonderful speeches so we asked for the Silver Bell Band to play jazz on the lawn. This went perfectly with lawn games of chess, draughts and bowls.

In the evening, renowned jazz and blues band Tipitina got people dancing from the moment they started playing and guests were served a rustic, royal feast.

We decided a cake made out of cheese would be the perfect accompaniment for our winecork-theme wedding and in the days after we dropped leftover cheese boards off to our friends and family.



Photography: Lawson Photography, 07855 312857, www.lawsonphotography.co.uk

Venue: Hoghton Tower, Hoghton, near Preston, 01254 852986, www.hoghtontower.co.uk

Dress: One and Only Bridal, Preston, 01772 558833, www.oneandonlybridal.co.uk

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy, Leicester, www.dessy.com

Hair: Sarah Donaldson (friend), 07846 294731

Make-up: Wendy Donaldson (friend), 07427 638779, www.facebook.com/WendyDonaldsonMobileMakeUpAndBeauty

Groom’s outfit: Dann Kerr, Preston, 01772 556100, www.dankerr.co.uk

Flowers: Lillybets, Hoghton, 01254 201080, www.lilybetsflowers.com

Cake: Ice and Smooth Cakes, Preston, 07581 150076, www.iceandsmoothcakes.co.uk

Catering: Rowley’s, St Anne’s, Lancashire, 01253 721534, www.rowleyscatering.co.uk

Transport: Classic Wedding Cars, 07581 153116, www.classicweddingcars.org

Entertainment: String quartet, Cezanne Ensemble,01995 601251, www.cezanne-ensemble.co.uk; band, Tipitina, 0121 454 7020, www.bigbearmusic.com, Silver Bell

Band, 01772 822787, www.jazznorthwest.co.uk/silverb.htm


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