You and me
Christian and Kirsten’s open-air wedding in a glorious Cheshire garden was filled with sunshine
Christian Cook and Kirsten Blower
Where: Ceremony and reception at Hilltop Country House, Little Budworth, Cheshire
Photography: James Arnold Photography
We wanted somewhere intimate, rural and with a real country-vintage feel and it didn’t take long for us to find Hilltop Country House Hotel.
I always knew that I wanted a vintage-style gown. I fell in love with a Jenny Packham dress and chose a plain, silk floor-length veil to accompany it. I opted for minimal accessories of diamond earrings and an Art Deco watch. Getting the flowers right was also very important.
I made the guest book and the save the date and table place cards and my bridesmaid Charlotte Clarke-Quirk made our croquembouche.
We collected vintage tea cups, got personalised M&Ms, had 3D cut-outs of our cats produced and bought raffle prizes including computer tablets and bottles of champagne. We also afforded some extras like a sweetie trolley, hand-picked wine and after-dinner liqueurs.
I did my own make-up and spent quite a lot of the morning just sitting, relaxing in the garden.
The ceremony took place outside, overlooking the stunning RHS gardens of Hilltop. One of my brothers, Tim, read the poem Love is a Friendship Caught Fire. Afterwards, our guests enjoyed champagne, canapés and garden games while our toastmaster Ken Hollett made sure everything ran like clockwork.
Our photographer, James Arnold, was professional, warm and friendly and really took time to get to know us. He made sure that he recorded every minute of our day. When the pictures came through we were delighted – every one was natural, vibrant and beautiful.
After the speeches our guests explored the American-style bar, provided by Thirst Aid. We got to personalise a cocktail menu (it’s not every day one can have a drink called The Blower) and they bought in some local draught ale. Christian and I then cut the ‘bouche’ and had our first dance to You And Me by Lifehouse.
WHO DID WHAT
Photography: James Arnold Photography, Little Budworth, Cheshire, 01829 760481, www.jamesarnoldphotography.co.uk
Venue & CaterIng: Hilltop Country House, Prestbury, Cheshire, 01625 829940, www.hilltopcountryhouse.co.uk
Dress: The White Closet, West Didsbury, 0161 445 5678, www.thewhitecloset.co.uk
AccessorIes: The White Closet, as above
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lucy’s with Love Boutique, Wilmslow, Cheshire, 01625 525155; (flower girls’ dresses) Melanie James Bridal, Manchester, 0161 811 2675,
Hair: Olivia Hammond, Terence Paul, Hale, Cheshire, 0161 928 0707, www.terencepaul.com
Make-up: The bride
Groom’s outfits: Groom, Wilmslow, 01625 419777, www.groomhire.co.uk
Stationery: Garden Studio Crafts, Glossop, 01457 855 197, www.gardenstudiocrafts.co.uk
Flowers: Petal and Twig, Tarleton, Lancashire, 01772 814345, www.petalandtwig.co.uk
Croquembouche: Charlotte Clarke-Quirk (bridesmaid)
Venue Dresser: Hilltop Country House/Petal and Twig (as above)
Transport: Chauffeur Direct, Cheshire, 07905 785475, www.chauffeurdirect.net
Toastmaster: Ken Hollett, Macclesfield, Cheshire, 01625 611768, www.kenhollett.com
Entertainment: The Dotted Crotchets, 07769 349575, www.thedottedcrotchets.co.uk
Bar: Thirst Aid Bars, Macclesfield, 07717 313428, www.thirstaidbars.co.uk