Louise and Alex met at their university's freshers' week, but it wasn't until their second year that Alex managed to gather the courage to ask Louise for a coffee. We now cycle forward a decade, when the pair were enjoying an idyllic cottage holiday in Cumbria. Louise sets the scene: "It was 1st December and the weather was chilly, but we enjoyed some stunning scenery, crisp walks and typically, some beer." But, while all of this was going on, Louise had no idea of the plan that Alex was about to set in motion, one evening at sunset. "I was oblivious, and apparently, he'd spoken to friends about it and had even bought the ring well in advance. He waited for the perfect moment to propose – I was totally caught off guard," she remembers. We caught up with the bride, Louise, to learn more about this couple's romantic tale and the next step of their adventure together – W-day!
The couple were immediately attracted to Nunsmere Hall's beautiful countryside setting as well as its exclusivity. Louise explains, "We loved the fact that our guests could choose to stay overnight, and we could all have breakfast together the next morning. Everyone who stayed was amazed by the rooms." The venue had also offered the pair access to several different spaces to utilise for their celebrations, as well as the marquee in the gardens, which made the final decision all the simpler for them.
The vibe for the day was that of an intimate countryside wedding, with rustic touches such as country garden flowers, brown paper, burlap, string and a palette base of racing green.
Louise asked their florist to include freesias in the floral arrangements as her mum had also used the fragrant little blooms in her wedding bouquet. She also opted for lily of the valley in memory of her nan.
It was important to the couple to add personal handmade touches to their styling wherever possible, and used floral papers for their table plan to complement the theme. Both the place and table names were made by Louise and her mum. The tables were all named after beer hops, inspired by Alex's love of craft beer. Louise explains, "We were keen to have something a little outside the box, but still relevant to us as a couple." The talented mother and daughter duo also crafted confetti cones, and displayed pictures of grandparents' weddings in the reception area and marquee.
The wedding cake took the form of individual bakes, all made by a friend who owns a shop in Altrincham. They were fittingly and delightfully displayed on mismatched vintage cake stands.
The cutting cake was made by a local coffee shop, just across the road from the boutique where Louise found her dream wedding dress. She remembers, "Mum and I made it a tradition to go there whenever we went for fittings. We love this little café and still go back now. We often reminisce with the lovely staff who lived my wedding journey with me!"
There were other edible delights on the tables in the form of the wedding favour fudge, which also held a special significance: "It came from a shop wewent to on the day we got engaged," Louise explains.
On Louise's wedding dress wish list was something elegant with a veil and train. Imagine her joy when Kate at Bridal Haven found this gorgeous Martina Liana gown that ticked all the boxes.
Louise says, "I love it for its intricate detail and was really pleased to have everything I wanted. My seamstress, Michelle, did a fantastic job with the alterations and made sure I had my dream dress."
The bride accessorised her stunning dress with hernan's bracelet, which was also worn by her mother on her wedding day more than 30 years ago. So, it was only natural Louise should want to carry on this something old and something borrowed tradition.
Alex wore a navy suit, which matched those of his two best men. The groom stood out by wearing a knitted green bowtie and an oh-so chic Harris tweed waistcoat, rather than the matching navy waistcoats worn by his groomsmen.
Speaking of the bride tribe, they all looked gorgeous in green. The couple chose the fabric for them and then each lady was allowed to chose their own style. Louise explains, "We really didn't want anyone to feel uncomfortable and I felt the best thing to do was to let people chose what they wanted while keeping the colour and length the same."
Classical guitarist Roger Gamon entertained guests as they arrived, as well as during the ceremony. Louise remembers, "He was extremely professional, unobtrusive and absolutely fantastic."
As the day moved on to the drinks reception, everyone made the most of the garden games laid out for them, thanks to the fabulous weather. As Louise says, "It was lovely to see pictures of our nearest and dearest enjoying themselves while we were off with our photographer."
For the evening revelries four-piece band Hipshaker and the DJ wowed the crowds, filling the dancefloor. The photo booth also went down a storm, and the couple nowhave a super-fun album to treasure, full of crazy shots and best wishes.
The newlyweds jetted off to New England in the U.S. for their two-week honeymoon. "We planned it together to incorporate our perfect mix of sightseeing and craft beer sampling," Louise says. They made the most of touring the region in a Ford Mustang and visiting friends in Rhode Island. Louise came home with maple syrup from Vermont and Alex, well, let's just say he might have brought back a can or two of beer.
"I made up a box for each table containing everything that was needed, so that on the morning of the wedding the only thing left to do was put them out. This made setup less stressful, knowing that everything was as organised as possible before the big day.
"We chose to have our speeches before the wedding breakfast, which made the speechmakers very happy. None of the men are natural public speakers, so this allowed them to relax and enjoy their food. We didn't want them to worry about it longer than they had to."
Hair and make-up
Venue and catering