Leah and Mike fell in love with their wedding venue Shiningford Manor at first sight and it’s easy to see why. It is the perfect rustic idyll for the pair’s sunshine filled big day…from the lemon yellow bridesmaid dresses all the way through to the perfectly glowy sunset portraits of the couple as the night drew to a close.
There are so many sweet details in this lovely wedding; the page boy is particularly adorable with his blackboard signage as is Leah’s rustic bouquet and Charlie Brear frock. And I would very much like to have had a slice of their wonderful rustic cake too! Come and take a look…
The Bride’s Fashion
Leah The Bride: My first wedding dress shopping trip was a complete surprise arranged by my aunty who had lured me into having a girly day which then included a surprise guest; my best friend (and chief bridesmaid) who had been travelling Australia for the 10 months prior. So to say I was under prepared for my first trip was an understatement. I wasn’t quite sure of what kind of dress I would end up getting but had a strict brief of no bling, no embellishments and no bigness. I tried on a few at various shops, but none were catching my eye or evoking that ‘feeling’ you hear about. Then one wedmin afternoon I stumbled across a Facebook post by my wedding stylist mentioning a new boutique opening in the Chatsworth estate. I didn’t hesitate in making contact and was booked in for the following week where I met Ally at Alexandra Anne.
The whole experience at Alexandra Anne was wonderful, for starters it is set in the most beautiful village, Pilsley, in the Chatsworth estate and Ally is equally as charming as the setting, décor and character. Once I had seen her Charlie Brear rail I was sold but it was a question of which one to have! I loved the clean cut, modern, minimalist look but that I could add bits as I wish and practically make my own. I eventually decided upon the Ivory 1920 dress underneath with the ODRS fastening slip over the top and a Charlie Brear belt. I loved that I was able to wear it all during the day but have variety for the evening by just wearing the underneath dress.
My accessories were a very easy choice for me, My mother sadly passed away in 2009 and I cherish her favourite opal necklace. We have a fantastic jeweller, Steve at Marshalls Jewellers, in the village Mike grew up in who had designed and made my engagement ring. I asked Steve to make me some studs to match my mother’s opal necklace, I was never aware of the vast shades of Opal but am now well informed! The end result was all I could of asked for and means the world to me. My wedding band was also made by Steve, he melted my mother’s ring and made it into a thinner band for me. It was important that my mum who had loved jewellery was able to give me a gift upon my special day.
My shoes were simple Dune Peep toes, gold and comfy.
The Groom’s fashion
Mike wanted himself and his Best Men to all look the same, but with just one difference – their jackets. They opted for three-piece suits from Next which were blue rather than navy and styled them with a light blue shirts. These acted as the wedding gifts for the best men.
Mike wanted something different and unique for his jacket/blazer.He found a pale blue jacket in Reiss which ticked the box for something that looked summery and smart, yet went well with a blue suit and yellow accessories.
What can we say about Shiningford Farm, except for us, it was perfect. As we live ‘up North’ and away from many of our friends and family we wanted to have a wedding that didn’t last just a day. So, we decided to make a long weekend of it – arriving on the Friday, and leaving on the Monday with all our wedding party staying at the venue with us.
We stumbled across Shiningford by chance, and as they say, the rest is history! There was a spectacular area to hold a marquee that overlooked Carsington Water and most importantly there were no noise or time restrictions so it gave us the chance to create our own wedding weekend! The hot tubs and heated swimming pool were just a bonus!
I initially chose yellow as this was the choice of my bridesmaids dresses and I love the bright happy feel of a yellow tone, this was then complemented an ebay flourish of paper lanterns in blues, pops of pink, oranges and greens.
We had a fantastic stylist, Karen, at Darby and Joan who provided us with the most spectacular lantern arrangements and colour inspirations. I scoured the charity shops of Leeds and a local recycle centre at the refuse site and acquired enough cut glass decanters for each of our tables. I also hired a mass of cut glass bud vases from Karen that were dotted all through the tables both inside and outside with flowers.
Outside the tent we had hay bales to sit upon which had unfortunately got wet the night before and were initially relegated to a nice back drop for our drinks station, however once the sun was out, down came the hay wall (helped by a drunken guest) and they were once again seats. I managed to pinch individual decorative cushions and throws from family and friends for the different chairs, sofas and tables.
Our décor was a mix of relaxed, chilled out effortless beauty. Nothing frumpy but lots of little delicate touches from bud vases to our homemeade favours of lemon biscuits and strawberry jam.
My florist Karen at Tineke, gave me the most amazing surprise with my flowers. I literally never knew anyone could love a flower arrangement until my bouquet arrived. I wanted relaxed delicate flowers in yellows, creams and a few pops of pink. What arrived was beautiful, I’m not sure of all the names but know that there were masses of daises, cows breath, aliums and my new favourite Astilbe.
Wedding Party Fashion
My bridesmaids were a variety of heights and bodyshapes, including one who blessed with an ever-growing seven month baby bump. I chose the colour and knee length style but allowed my bridesmaids to decide upon their neckline they would prefer. These were made by a local dress maker again in the village where Mike grew up.
Our Page boy was our nephew, Ethan. His outfit was a mishmash of Zara, M&S and a Next Blazer, he wore it all very proudly despite telling us he was only going to wear his dicky bow! I’m sure he shall regret that comment in years to come.
We were married at St Michaels and All Angels in Kniveton, Derbyshire and were extremely lucky that the church we had chosen to marry in had such a fantastic vicar, Phil Michell. We had done a bit of ‘try before you buy’ and attended a few Sunday services in the area around Shiningford and were sold on Phil. This did however happen to be the church I had her heart set on from the start so it was inevitable really.
We chose a reading from Captain Corellis Mandolin about Love, read by my cousin Nick. We also had my Uncle Steve playing as we signed the register; he gave a fantastic rendition of Joe Cocker’s ‘Shes so beautiful’ which my mum used to sing to me as a child. This was a wonderful surprise…..many tissues were needed!
Back at the venue my Uncle continued to provide an acoustic set with his guitar of various known songs; it lent itself to creating a relaxed chilled Saturday afternoon vibe.
In the evening we had a local band, The Rox, perform. We had booked them upon a recommendation and had never heard them, but they were amazing even delaying their start as Mike had downloaded our whole in-between ‘set list’ but had forgotten our first dance song. It was quite a task downloading a song with no actual consistent wifi within five miles!
Our first dance song was Tom Odells, Grow Old With Me, it set the tone and The Rox took over straight after. Needless to say our homemade photobooth provided ample entertainment too.
We enjoyed welcome nibbles on the tables outside of Lamb Kofta, parmesan shortbread biscuits, morrocan spiced nuts and small sausages with sesame. All were supplied by Kemp and Kemp.
Our main course was a trio of starters, a shot of Beetroot & apple soup, sweet potato and butternut squash potato cake with feta and mint on top, smoked haddock and gruyere tartlet. The mains was roasted Gammon, which came on a wooden slab whereby two guests (who we had provided with vintage feminine aprons) had to carve the meat for their table. This went down very well and multiple pictures ensued! This was served with roasted tomatoes, green bean, mange tout, hazelnut and orange salad, crusty rolls, minted jersey potatoes and home made salsa and coleslaw. All supplied by Kemp and Kemp.
For pudding we had a cake table provided by Natalie at Yummy Little Cakes which consisted of a three cakes: sticky toffee with salted caramel, lemon and blackberry and a white chocolate, pistachio and raspberry cake. Guests could have a slice of cake and then choose various treats too; Meringues filled with fruit, strawberry macarons, banana and maple cake pops, brownies, meringue kisses and cup cakes.
In the evening the Pyclet Parlour provided us with unlimited gourmet savoury and sweet pyclets which are traditional Derbyshire fodder- and a new, well accepted treat to many of our guests. We had walnut, stilton & honey, smoked salmon and creamed horseradish, parma ham and gruyere, jam, Nutella and fruit.
Our photographers were Ben & Hannah from HBA, we met them a number of times at various wedding fayres, we were dubbed the wedding fayre crashers! but we knew straight away that they were who we wanted. We fell in love with their online galleries and when we met them we felt at ease and in safe hands. On the day, everyone commented how lovely they were and when our pictures arrived only a few days later we were blown away. We felt that our photographs caught the true emotion and feel of the day and have provided us with the most amazing memories for our lifetime.