Claire & Alistair
Claire & Alistair Married on the 1st and 3rd of June 2017 at Silverholme Manor in the Greythwaite Estate, a wedding photographer’s Lake District dream with a second beautiful woodland ceremony and glorious weather. Here’s their story.
Al was my boss! So we broke the proverbial rule… we worked together for 4 years before getting together, and he sold his business shortly afterwards and left whilst I remained with the company. I’m not sure our relationship would have survived otherwise!
Al tied the proposal into my 30th birthday – he had 30 presents all wrapped up which started at home and then included things to make up a picnic in a picnic basket… which we then took up to two trees on top of a hill which we can see silhouetted against the skyline from our flat in Bath. We’d always seen them and commented on trying to find them one day as the sun sets behind them – he’d tracked them down beforehand as part of his prep. I had no idea it was coming and actually thought the 30th present was Quad Biking as heard an engine behind the hedge! But it wasn’t – it was an engagement ring, and then a car waiting to take us to a house when both of our families and my 3 best friends were waiting to celebrate with us. They had also been tricked into thinking they were celebrating my birthday.
The dresses! (Claire wore two, one for each ceremony)
The Thursday dress was Charlie Brear and Saturday was Anna Campbell. I basically tried on two dresses with bridesmaid Hannah and bought them both! I’m pretty decisive anyway, and was again pretty short on time by the time I got around to actually trying anything on (you wouldn’t think we had a 2 year engagement!) But I’d done a reasonable amount of looking in advance so was pretty sure that Anna Campbell was the way I wanted to go… I loved the simple skirt with the more intricate bodice and so knew as soon as I tried it on that it was very me.
The lady in the shop suggested I try on the Charlie Brear to give me something to compare against… and there were so many ways of dressing up this beautiful dress but I actually loved the simplicity of just the gown. So then I was a bit stuck as they were both so different but I loved them both… then Hannah asked what I was planning to wear on the Thursday (!!!)
We kept the Thursday dress a surprise from everyone – including Al. I just kept saying I had an ‘outfit’!
We both love the Lakes and it was a big part of both of our childhoods growing up. My parents now live 20 minutes down the road from Silverholme in Flookburgh, and Al’s parents are still in Lancaster where he grew up.
We also knew that we wanted to choose a venue that would allow us to host both of our immediate families and our bridal parties for the week as kind of a build up to the wedding day… for them to all get to know each other and so that they could really feel like by the time it got to the Saturday they were ‘hosting’ with us. Silverholme was so perfect for this – it meant we were able to spend time with other guests on the wedding day as we’d had so much quailty time already with all of our closest friends and family, and I loved seeing how well everyone got on and how well they all knew each other by the time the wedding arrived. The cottage by the lake for the groomsmen, which left the big house for me on the morning just added to this!
Finally we wanted an outdoor wedding – although we weren’t sure this was actually going to happen until the day before….!!! By the edge of the lake was a bonus and as soon as we saw Grubbins Point and the chance to have that woodland walk along the edge of the lake with all of our favourite people in the world – we could both just see it and that was it.
I have always loved peonies and knew I wanted something colourful and ‘wild / natural looking’ for my flowers – that was literally all I gave Kevin at Brackens and he showed me a few pictures and then was amazing at doing the rest. I couldn’t believe how perfectly he managed to capture that and loved everything about our displays… and the Thursday bouquet / buttonhole too.
Cartoon place names; these were a really random last minute addition! Al had the idea two weeks before the wedding, so tracked down a random man on a forum in Thailand who did them for us for £250. We paid a bit extra as loved them so much, I was frantically tracking down photos of everyone which we then had printed two days before the wedding, we were pretty last minute and relaxed about everything.
We were really keen to have people feeling like they were part of the wedding, and getting to know each other – which is why we had everyone around for the week before as part of the build-up and preparation. So the cake table was the creation of all of my most important girls and were baked in Silverholme kitchen the day before the wedding – my Mum, my sister, the bridesmaids, the flower girls and my God Mother all contributed. It was a lot of fun! I loved how much thought they put into what they made – the G&T cake as my favourite drink and the princess barbie bride which was a replica of a cake I had for my 4th birthday.
Dresses (both of them!) – Perfect Day Bride
Flowers – Brackens of Bowness
Catering – Karen Rhodes (we worked with Charlotte who was amazing)
Hair and Makeup – My lovely friend Mel Weekley Bam Makeup
Marquee – Millennium Marquees (these guys were amazing!!! – so easy to work with)
Marshmallows – I love marshmallows !
Band- Downtown Underground