On February 14th 2016 inside the ice church at the Ice Hotel in Lapland, Paul proposed with the most beautiful diamond ring, and I of course said yes! I featured my memorable moments in my travel blog earlier this year. After the sheer shock and excitement had settle down, we ventured to the Ice Bar for a celebratory shot of vodka, and talked all things weddings.
Paul had such a clear idea of what kind of wedding he wanted – a big one, which I was happy to go along with! He doesn’t like celebrating his birthday’s (doesn’t like the fuss!) or organising his own parties (in case no one turns up!) so he always said that his wedding day would be his big celebration and one big party. Much to my surprise he had already thought of some great wedding venue destinations and had his heart set on Cheshire where we live. Local, lush and lavish.
The first venue of choice was Colshaw Hall in Over Peover – 2 miles outside Knutsford. The website looked ok, but hard to tell what they offered, so we booked an appointment with the wedding planner for a good look around.
We arrived at the venue which was only 30 minutes from our house on a sunny Saturday afternoon, in the midst of a UK heatwave and me 5 months pregnant. From driving up the private road of the sprawling 300 acre, grade II listed country estate, it looked picture perfect…and we hadn’t even seen inside!
Colshaw Hall is owned by David Irlam, who’s father James sold their family haulage business to the Stobart Group in 2008, so it was an honour to meet David upon our arrival who happily showed us around the grounds and the estate which he used to live in with his wife and three children. David moved out of the home when his kids grew up and soon found their 7 bedroom home slightly too big! David has since renovated it into a wedding venue that has proved a popular choice for a vast array of celebrities and footballers.
The stately home proudly offers 7 beautifully designed bedrooms showcasing large en suite bathrooms and walk in wardrobes. The 7 cottages within the grounds of the estate can be hired for wedding guests and sleep up to 4 guests each and offers a kitchen, bathroom and dressing rooms. The main house offers a large dining room, drawing room, living room, open plan kitchen, orangery and cigar room all staffed with housekeepers, maids and chefs to cater for anything you need on your special day.
The Peel suite seats up to 180 guests for wedding guest attendees to drink, dine and celebrate in style. There is a stage for live entertainment, a fully staffed bar and chillout lounge area so guests can enjoy an array of different surroundings.
This was a winner hands down for us and we didn’t need to look anywhere else, we were sold! We have now booked exclusive hire of the full estate, the wedding chapel set over a lake within the grounds, the event space for the wedding celebrations, the guest cottages and lodges for our special day…and the wedding planning has commenced!
Planning a wedding has been an absolute mindfield, I haven’t known where to start and the list of things to think about seems to be endless. For me, I have started with the most expensive commitments, ones that need planning sometimes 18 months in advance, the registrar and of course my bridesmaids (or Bridesbabes as I call them!) who all received a little keepsake and gift.
So far Paul has chosen our wedding date, the wedding venue and even the wedding food and beverage menu to cater for our 150 guests…I think I may be marrying Groomzilla! I have worked as an event planner for nearly 10 years so I’ve pulled out my list of contacts and started the ball rolling looking for a floral company, confectioners and entertainment agency. I came across Red Floral Architecture and had a great meeting with them regarding our wedding theme and the flowers (and scent!) I wanted during the wedding day. I fell in love with their work due to the attention to detail and grand arrangements they had previously designed at Colshaw Hall and Peckforton Castle to name a few.
Each month, Paul and I go out for dinner and chat until the early hours, taking baby steps month by month with the planning process. Even though our venue is very traditional, Paul and I generally have a very modern, contemporary taste. We have been lucky enough to travel the world together and visit a number of the Nikki Beach franchises in Koh Samui, Marbella, and Ibiza where we have made so many memories, so we thought, why not bring Nikki Beach to Cheshire! Our wedding will have Nikki Beach influences, from the decor, floral arrangements, and the entertainment. We are all hands of deck and because we share the same vision, we are having so my fun planning this, we decided to make some tongue in cheek caricature save the date cards to send to our guests.
Next year its all systems go with hiring beach beds, stationary companies, calligraphers, and personal trainers for my mummy makeover takeover to get my body back in shape on the hunt for my wedding dress! Keep updated on my lifestyle and fashion section for some exclusive snippets in the run up to my big day…18 months to go!