Black and white
Nick and Gemma’s glamorous countryside wedding ended with a campsite party that went on long into the night
Nick Robinson and Gemma Whelan
Where: Ceremony and reception at Heaton House Farm, Rushton Spencer, Macclesfield, Cheshire
Photography: Jo Bradbury
We didn’t have a specific venue in mind but many we looked at couldn’t accommodate our number of guests. When we went to see Heaton House Farm I wasn’t sure that it would suit the type of wedding we wanted, but after looking inside we changed our mind. We also loved that it allowed us so much flexibility with catering and decoration. The staff at Heaton House were so helpful with everything, both on the day and in the lead-up to it.
Nick wanted to wear a tux so we made the entire wedding black tie, with a black and white theme. I thought that I wanted a lace dress but the one I chose was so different from any other dress I had seen. I added a Swarovski band to make it even more unique. The bridesmaids’ dresses were bought from John Lewis but each was customised by my friend Christine Poynter who also made our table plan and helped with lots before and during the wedding.
I was surprisingly calm on the morning and really enjoyed walking down the aisle seeing all our friends and family. The pianist played Christina Perri’s A
Thousand Years – I did well to keep the tears in. Instead of a reading during the ceremony my cousin, Christina Whelan, sang the Amy Winehouse version of All My Loving, which made it really personal to us.
It was a beautiful day so we had a drinks reception outside, while the pianist played.
The cake was made by Nick’s mum, Carol, and decorated by our bridesmaid Jenny Bailey. It was a surprise for us but was absolutely perfect and totally suited our theme.
The bridesmaids, Dominique and Lucie-Jo Whelan and Jenny Bailey, my mum Karen, aunt Paula Whelan and me made all the favours ourselves and our friend Jo Philips did all the stationery. We borrowed a Polaroid camera which we left with our guest book so that people could leave a photo with their message.
We wanted quite large, dramatic white floral arrangements which we used for both the ceremony and the reception. Both me and the bridesmaids had plain bouquets of peonies that went perfectly with the softness of my dress.
Our first dance was to Etta James’s At Last sung by the fabulous After 8s while bubbles fell and it was perfect. To complete the day, more than 50 of our friends set up a mini campsite at Heaton House Farm where the party continued long into the night.
WHO DID WHAT
Photography: Jo Bradbury, 0161 881 6926, www.jobradbury.co.uk
Venue: Heaton House Farm, Rushton Spencer, Macclesfield, 01260 226203 www.heatonhousefarm.co.uk
Dress: Maria Modes, Macclesfield, 01625 502502, www.mariamodes.com
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: John Lewis, www.johnlewis.com, customised by Christine
Hair: Cristina Whelan, The Cheshire Hair Lounge, Marple, 07983 964539, firstname.lastname@example.org
Make-up: House of Make-up, Manchester, 0161 819 1668, www.houseofmakeupmcr.com
Groom’s outfit: Paul Smith, Harvey Nichols, Manchester, www.harveynichols.com
Stationery: Jo Phillips Design, (friend), email@example.com
Flowers: Wild Orchid, Leek, Staffordshire, 01298 687458, www.wild-orchid-florist.co.uk
Cake: Carol Robinson (groom’s mother) and Jenny Bailey (bridesmaid)
Catering: Vanilla In Allseasons, Macclesfield, 01625 421685, www.vanillainallseasons.co.uk
Venue Dresser: Heaton House Farm, as above
Entertainment: After 8s, 0845 108 5500, www.alivenetwork.com; pianist, James Hirst,