A few weeks ago, my first wedding of the year had me heading over the hills into Cheshire for the wedding of Michelle & Alan.
After a full few days of rain, the weather wasn't looking too promising, but the clouds broke on the drive over and I arrived to find the gorgeous venue bathed in sunshine.
The entire day was held at the Mere Court Hotel in Knutsford.
We started the day with some very laid back bridal prep - complete with Prosecco (this is obviously now part of wedding rules!) The room we were in was the Presidential Suite - Bill Clinton stayed here in December '01. Bridal prep was the usual laugh, with a super calm Michelle taking everything in her stride.
After a while I popped out to check the grounds and do a few ring shots. The weather was nice, the grounds were lovely, but the conditions weren't the best. The main grassed areas were waterlogged to about 6 inches deep in some places - as I soon found out the hard way. Wet socks for me for the rest of the day!
Back to the room ready for Michelle finishing up, then it was time to head down for the main event!
The room was ready, the guests were seated, the string trio was playing and Alan was stood patiently waiting.
The happy couple were soon hand in hand at the front, sharing vows and exchanging rings and kisses. Maybe shedding a tear or two too.
We headed out into the bar for a while and then out into the sunshine to take some snaps. Due to the waterlogged grass we couldn't take advantage of all the grounds and were stuck to the paths for portraits, but we still found some quiet little spots.
The rest of the day flowed - drinks were drunk, laughs were had, food was served and people had fun. There was a bit of a hiccup when Alan lost his Groom's speech, but after half an hour of frantic searching he decided to just wing it. And didn't do a bad job at all!
After the speeches Michelle pulled a compete winner out of the hat when she brought out a surprise guest speaker - one of Alan's football heroes, Middlesbrough Legend Bernie Slaven. Alan looked like a startstruck kid at Christmas for the next few hours!
The band soon got up and belted some tunes out and we got some snaps on the dancefloor. Obviously the kids were the first ones up!
A nice, chilled out wedding day. Thanks for having me guys - you were awesome!
Did I mention Star Wars Wedding Cake? Always a winner in my book!
Here are a few photos from their day.
Usually I only keep a handful of images from the vows/first kiss. But flicking through these I noticed that there was a nice little sequence, so made a quick slideshow.
The sun was shining this morning, so we jumped in the car and headed down the road to Wentworth Woodhouse.
Wentworth Woodhouse is the largest privately owned house in the UK. It's a pretty impressive view at over 600 feet long on the frontage of the East Wing.
But, unless you want to pay for a private tour, you'll be looking at that front from a fair old distance from the footpath that runs down alongside the house and into Wentworth Park.
That's fine by me - I like to look at stuff. And this is definitely a place where you can only look at stuff. The first thing that you see when you enter the grounds are lots of 'don't' signs. Keep off, no entry, private, keep out... That's all fair enough, as it's private grounds, but why keep off the grass? My kids just wanna run round trees, pick sticks up and roll down hills!
Anyway, enough moaning.
The first thing you see when you walk in (after passing the cool little gatehouse) is the eyesore that is the old college campus on the left. Forget that and look to the right and look at the awesome old stable block and courtyard. This is still used today, but looks like a place that time forgot - and, I do love abandoned stuff, so it's right up my street! The gates were closed today though, so we didn't get chance to have a nosey inside. Just a bit further down on the left is a little gravestone. This marks the resting place of the racehorse 'Whistlejacket' - a horse of Charles Watson-Wentworth (AKA The Marquess of Rockingham, Lord Rockingham and the Prime Minister of Great Britain!). There is also apparently a large painting of the horse in the house.
Carrying on down the path and you soon see the main house on the right. Also, the impressive Roman-looking cenotaph of the Rockingham Mausoleum can be seen peeping through the trees further down the path and to your left. There are 3 other follies around the estate - I think a little tour of them all may be in order!
We walked through and wound our way down to a couple of lakes in the middle of the grounds - one a fishing pond and the other with the terrible name of Dog Kennel Pond. The kids didn't care what they were called - they happily threw stones in the water, waved twigs around and enjoyed the fresh air. Although, it was getting a bit nippy at this point!
Me and the missus strolled hand in hand while they played. Although, I did get told off for holding the wrong hand - apparently getting steps to count on your fitbit is more important than a bit of romance!
All in all, a nice bit of family time.
And, if you want to get married here then give me a shout - it would be awesome!
More info on the house HERE and the Mausoleum HERE.
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.