A DIY autumn wedding in Cheshire
20 Apr 2022
Sueanne Sale and Karl Astle finally got the wedding of their dreams, welcoming 80 day guests and a further 40 to the evening party
How did you meet?
We both worked together for about a year. We built a great friendship, which then evolved into the relationship we have today.
Tell us about the proposal.
Karl took me to Rome for my birthday. We had both spoken about marriage and knew that was what we both wanted, but I had no idea it was going to happen in such a beautiful location. We were having lunch and he told me how happy he was and how he wanted me to be his wife. It was the most perfect moment and very romantic.
How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We had to rearrange our date four times due to various Covid restrictions.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The colours were green, white and gold. We wanted to keep the décor and colours very simple.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose Inglewood Manor. It was the only location we fell in love with at first sight. The manor itself is stunning and the grounds are so picturesque that it felt right to have our special day there.
How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?
The first dress I picked was a princess-style dress, however after the second date change I decided I wanted to change everything all over again. The second dress was picked by my sister, who was my maid of honour. It was very much out of my comfort zone: tight fitting and backless, but as soon as I tried it on I felt beautiful. I was really lucky and only tried about six dresses on in total. The designer was Ronald Joyce Bridal.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
My maid of honour was my eldest sister and the rest of my bridesmaids were a mixture of sisters, nieces, my best friend and my cousin. They all wore different green dresses, which were mixed and matched but all worked really well together.
Where did you find your suits?
The groom wore a light grey suit from French Connection and all of the groomsmen wore black suits. My nephew was the ring bearer, who added a pair of personalised sunglasses to his outfit.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
I love DIY projects so I created the centrepieces and the place name holders. I wanted the venue to look very simple and elegant. We also wanted to keep the flowers very simple, so we mainly used white roses. All the bridesmaids held a single white rose, which had a white ribbon around it.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
At first I was nervous, as I felt scared that everyone was actually going to be looking at me. But as soon as I saw Karl and saw how happy he was, I relaxed straight away.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We are not religious people so wanted to say something that would mean more to us, so we wrote our own vows. Karl's sister also wrote a poem, which she read out just before the vows. For the music, we had the most incredible harpist. We picked our favourite songs and also had her play the Harry Potter theme tune.
What was your most memorable moment?
There were so many! The vows meant so much to us, so that will forever be a beautiful memory. Then the speeches by the groom, the maid of honour and the best man were priceless. Also, having everyone on the dance floor dancing to The Time Warp was hilarious.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
It has to be all of the changes due to Covid. We lost so many suppliers and deposits due to them already being booked on our new dates. That was a very tough and emotional time.
What was the most important investment for you?
The photographs. I love photos, and James and Yasmin excelled at their professions and captured the most beautiful images. We get to keep those memories forever and nothing was too much trouble for them. They were the ultimate dream team.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We wanted a song that not many people had heard of, so Karl found Tom Speight – My Name. The lyrics really felt so personal to us and every time we heard it, it made us smile.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
Between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception we had a roulette table, which created a lot of friendly competition between our guests. Then for the evening we had a DJ who was fabulous. He played every request that was asked, from Shania Twain to Steps.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We love cake and couldn’t decide on just one cake, so we got three. One was chocolate mud cake, one was salted caramel cake and the other was vanilla sponge cake. They were all covered in brownies, cookies and chocolates.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
I wish I knew that everything was going to be OK and not to worry so much.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Two days after the wedding we went to the Cotswolds for a couple of days. This was all planned by Karl and was such a perfect getaway to relax. We had a spa day, castle visits and trips down memory lane as I had been a number of times as a child. It was such a special trip to us both.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Try to relax and take it all in. It is such an important day that you need to enjoy the process; it will all come together.
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