Prepare to be wowed by this stunning wedding of WPC couple Sarah and Danny, set in the heart of the Lake District. A beautiful traditional pole marquee was positioned with the most perfect backdrop of Coniston Water and a whole host of personal touches made this a total show-stopper. Grab a cuppa and settle in for a real treat as bride Sarah talks us through their special day.
We both adore the Lake District, and it is a place which is very special to both of us, as we both spent a lot of time there growing up and now go whenever we can get a long weekend off work. As soon as we got engaged, we knew that we had to get married there!
Our marriage ceremony was in St. Michael and All Angels Church, Hawkshead, which is a beautiful church on top of a hill, with views of the surrounding hills, mentioned in one of Wordsworth’s poems!
Then we had our reception at Bank Ground Farm, on the banks of Coniston Water, just a 10 minute drive away. It is one of the most beautiful views in the world and provided a very wonderful back-drop to the rest of our day. We had our drinks reception outside, at the top of the hill, before walking down to the lake where the marquee was pitched right next to the water’s edge. The team at Bank Ground Farm were absolute heroes, looking after guests, making breakfasts, ferrying boxes of wine up and down the hill on the backs of quadbikes, helping to advise us on practicalities, serving canapés and more. We quite honestly could not have done it without them.
My mother had booked us a beautiful, old-fashioned Rover wedding car as a surprise on the day (I thought we were driving to the church and back in our Golf!) which is owned and driven by a friend of a friend. It felt very special to be driving through the amazing Lake District countryside in such a wonderful car.
Our marquee was organised by Original Marquees. It was the most incredible, simple but beautiful pole marquee, which is their speciality. They hung festoon lights between the peaks which looked amazing after dark. They also arranged generator, heaters, furniture, dancefloors, extra tables at the last minute… Nothing was too much trouble and we were very impressed by everything.
Decor details included:
The flowers were burgundy and blush, to fit with the late Summer / early Autumn date, with plenty of rich green foliage and ivy everywhere.
Bracken’s of Bowness created the magical archway over the entrance to the church, and the foliage garlands which hung from the ceiling of the marquee and decorated the poles. Kevin listened to all of my ideas for flowers and foliage which would match with the surroundings and be locally-sourced, and then made the most fabulous suggestions. He has such a brilliant and creative mind and we loved working together with him.
The bridal and bridesmaid's bouquets, the groom and usher's buttonholes, the bridal and bridesmaids’ hair slides and the church displays and pew-ends, were all created by my incredibly talented bridesmaid, Lisa, with flowers which she sourced from New Covent Garden flower market in London and drove up 2 days before with a car full-to-bursting with flowers! She then sat at the top of the hill, crafting the most magical creations; I was completely overwhelmed and delighted by them.
My dress was the Foster dress by Laure de Sagazan, from The Mews of Notting Hill. I knew it was the right dress for me, the moment that I put it on, because I just felt like myself in it. Natasha who works at The Mews and is incredibly helpful, said that my shoulders had just totally relaxed! The simple, elegant and relaxed design fitted perfectly with our outdoor, rustic theme and I think that the detail, especially around the back and waistband, is exquisite.
My shoes were from the LK Bennett X Jenny Packham range. I had gone into the shop specifically to buy a very sparkly pair with stars on, but came out with a really simple, elegant strappy sandal, which I actually much preferred on. They were also super-comfy and I danced the night away in them.
Katie Dale did hair and make-up for my mother and I, and the bridesmaids’ hair. As somebody who gets very nervous about letting other people do my make-up, I really appreciated Katie’s friendly and patient approach, and her incredible talent to do just what you have asked. She was also a lovely person to have around on the morning of the wedding when nerves were high.
I had 6 gorgeous bridesmaids, all friends of mine from university, who were dressed in floor-length, dusky pink dresses from Oasis’ Bridesmaids range. They all had their hair down and waved, with beautiful little hair slides of fresh flowers, made by my bridesmaid, Lisa.
Our nieces Eliza and Lola were our beautiful flower girls, dressed in wonderful dresses from Next – I just loved the huge satin bows on the back! Our nephew Noah wore a fantastic little suit and bow tie sourced from eBay and mini converse trainers, he looked so smart.
Our caterer was Good Food Story, who are a fantastic company based in Yorkshire. They worked with us to create a relaxed, fun menu of mezze sharing boards for starter, bangers and mash for main (with delicious, proper Cumberland sausages from a local Ambleside butcher – F.W.Garside Butchers, Ambleside), followed by sharing platters of wedding cake made by my mother and grandmother, dressed with berries and cream. They also worked non-stop to ensure that everything ran smoothly on the day and we were so impressed by their staff.
We had a champagne reception at the top of the hill on arrival to the reception, then a French Viognier (Clefs du Pontif, from Avery’s of Bristol) and an Argentinian Malbec (Los Haroldos Chacabuco, from Vinotopia in Tetbury) with dinner. After dinner we set up a bar, staffed by Good Food Story staff, and served champagne, wine, local beer (kegs of ‘Coniston Bluebird’ from local Coniston Brewery), gin and tonics and dark and stormys.
Our photographer, Andrew Brannan, is just fantastic. He worked so hard, dashing around to get all of the best shots and is also a lovely person to have around on the day! We could not be more delighted with our beautiful, natural photographs, which really capture the setting and the laughter.
Danny booked a string quartet, Endymion, as a surprise for me on the day, to play in the drinks reception. They played so beautifully and made that part of the day so incredibly special; I would highly recommend them for any special occasion.
For after-dinner dancing, a friend recommended The Bourbon Street Band to us and, after seeing their demos online, I knew this was the band that we had to have – and they did not disappoint. They play an amazing selection of songs, with their own brilliant twist, and the I have never seen a dance floor so full, for the entire night. When I woke up the next day, one of my first thoughts was which event in the future we could book them for again!
We absolutely loved our day at the London showroom, picking out our gifts with a glass of champagne in hand! It was great fun and really relaxed.
Catering – Good Food Story
Marquee - Original Marquees
Hair and Make-up - Katie Dale
Wedding Dress - The Mews of Notting Hill
Wedding Shoes – LK Bennett
Evening Band - The Bourbon Street Band
Day Band - Endymion String Quartet
Photographer – Andrew Brannan
Florist - Bracken’s of Bowness
Bridesmaids Fashion – Oasis
Groom’s Outfit – Hackett
Stationery - Emily Mayor