Blush
Blush
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Married
Married
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Church
Church
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Confetti
Confetti
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Venue
Venue
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Grand
Grand
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Cheese Tower
Cheese Tower
Cheese Tower Wedding Cake | Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Elegant
Elegant
Classic Wedding at Knowsley Hall Country House in Merseyside | Diane Legrand Princess Bridal Gown | Pale Pink, Matchimony Long, One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses | Photography & Film by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
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Sophie & Stuart

You know when dream team Anna & Simon from WE ARE // THE CLARKES are behind the lens there’s going to be some pure magic. Well there’s that and some! Each moment between Bride and Groom Sophie, Stuart and their guests is full of emotion and simply adorable, and we love that Sophie and Stuart found them via RMW.

The venue Knowsley Hall is epic, and Sophie’s Diane Legrand princess gown couldn’t be more fitting for the grand setting. Now if you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll let this fairytale wedding begin.

Our Story

Sophie the Bride: Sophie & Stuart met in 2010 at work, Stuart had to join the marketing team whilst a space was found for him on the investment desk, over the year a great friendship was created, the friendship started to develop at an 80s Music Festival in Henley in 2011, Stuart (finally) asked Sophie out in the December! Two years later they moved in together and in 2015 they bought their first home together in Wimbledon. Stuart proposed on a vineyard in California in 2016.

Brides Fashion

Before going dress shopping I had a very clear idea of what I wanted…no lace, high neck, long sleeves, backless and body con…how wrong could I be. After trying on various styles at Mirror Mirror I realised that strapless, more Princess gown suited me best.

I had three appointments at different shops in London and it was at Paverly Bridal in Wimbledon where I found ‘the one’, by Diane Legrand. My veil was bespoke made by Paverly to match the dress and my hair vine was by Joanna Reed Bridal on Etsy.

Despite buying various designer shoes, none of them were right with the dress. A bridesmaid suggested Ted Baker where I found a very simple stiletto which was super comfy for the whole day.

My pearl drop earrings were a wedding present from my parents which attached to my diamond studs from Stu, and pearl bracelet a present from my godparents. All of the jewellery, as well as our wedding rings came from David M Robinson in Liverpool.

I stuck with a favourite perfume of mine Chanel Chance, I had the shower gel, moisturiser and perfume to ensure it lasted all day.

We had the amazing Flossy & Leigh as our makeup artists and hair stylists for the day. After going for a trial with the fabulous Jenni, I opted for the ‘Platinum Package’, this meant that Jenni and Bex arrived at my parents’ house to do the hair and make up for myself, the bridesmaids and mum in the morning. They then moved to the venue and set up our own private studio in one of the drawing rooms, this was there for all guests to use throughout the day. It went down a storm with the girls, the day make up was changed to night make up, hair was tweaked and everyone felt super glam!

Grooms Attire

Stuart is very particular about his tailoring and he had done a lot of research on where he wanted to have his suit made. The excellent team at Whitcomb and Shaftsbury in Mayfair were really helpful and professional, offering incredible advice on everything from fabric to style of suit and taking time and care at each fitting. He opted for a fully bespoke three piece navy suit and bespoke white shirt.
His shoes were classic black Oxfords from Tods, his tie and pocket square were from Drakes and cufflinks bespoke made by Diana Maynard.
Stu always smells amazing…he wore Sunday by Byredo which one of his signature smells.
He looked gorgeous!!!

The Venue

The wedding ceremony took place at St. Peters Church in Woolton Village, this is where my parents were married, I was christened and confirmed and my parents still attend every week. It was so special getting married in a church that had played a big part in my upbringing.

After the ceremony we transported everyone out on busses to our venue Knowsley Hall. Wayne and the team at Knowsley had to put up with me being the bride from hell as an event’s organiser however they had patience of a saint and helped me facilitate all of my ideas.

The venue really does feel like a ‘home’, the house is filled with photographs, art work and antiques of Lord and Lady Derby, it enabled us to have fantastic indoor and outdoor contingencies and it was exclusively ours for the day and evening, this meant that after all the guests had departed the wedding party relaxed with a whiskey in one of the drawing rooms discussing all of the day’s antics before staggering upstairs to bed.

Colour Scheme/Decor

There wasn’t a theme as such and the venue needed very little dressing. As Stuart proposed on a vineyard we had a ‘nod’ to wine throughout the day, the table plan was a huge cork board, each guest had a cork with a place card cut into it and the tables were all named after vineyards we visited on our trip to California. The incredibly talented Lizzie Matthews did all of the calligraphy for the invitations, place cards, table plan, table names and various signs around the venue.

Stationery

Our stationery came from The Letter Press of Cirencester who were a delight to work with, they were professional and offered so many different styles which meant I could be as fussy as I liked.

Flowers/Florist

We were very lucky that St. Peters has an incredible brigade of florists; they adored the church in flowers which looked amazing. I specified that I wanted lots of eucalyptus, hydrangeas, pale pink astilby and vintage blush roses.
Living Colour Flowers were fabulous, Heather and I had long chats about how I wanted the venue to look. I am lucky enough to work with some fantastic florists and always have a very clear vision, Heather and her team made this vision a reality. The entrance to the church, stairway at the venue, fireplaces and table decorations took my breath away. So many people commented on how stunning the flowers were!

Wedding Party Fashion

Stuart knew that he wanted the groomsmen and best men to be in a similar shade of navy suits. The boys went shopping in London and found the suits in Suit Supply. They all had white shirts, black shoes and grey grenadine ties from Drakes which matched Stus.

I wanted the girls to first and foremost feel comfortable as well as looking stunning. They are all of similar heights and proportions and it meant that everything looked great on them. We had a girls shopping trip to The Bridal Boutique in Wandsworth here we chose a Matchimony long, one shoulder dresses in Pale Pink. They all wore their own shoes and earrings, as a bridesmaid gift I gave them all a cream Halcyon Days bracelet.

We also gave our unofficial page boy Jamie a bow tie in the matching pale pink of the bridesmaid’s dresses.

Ceremony

Being taken from home to the church in a stunning 1958 Bentley S1 with dad was so special, under the lichgate we had to have a few deep breaths and hand squeezes before walking up to the church.
As a surprise for mum we had Leo Strings, a string quartet playing before I arrived. I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel Canon D which was an amazing moment. They also played The Book of Love and A Thousand Years whilst we signed the register.

The ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Kip Crooks, he ensured that everyone felt so welcome and at ease. The ceremony was funny and personal to us which made it very special. Two of my best friends did a reading called The One (by Steve Garrigan). Stuart listened to this song years before proposing and called me to tell me to listen to it as it summed his feelings for me up! Our other dear friend read Songs of Solomon, Chapter 2, verses 10-13; Chapter 8, verses 6&7 which I think is the most beautiful biblical reading.

Having been to so many weddings one of the parts I was most excited about was the confetti, I spent hours filling 120 cones with 15 litres of confetti from Shropshire Petals – it was totally worth it, that walk through the arch of confetti was so much fun!

Entertainment

Stuart loves music, so this was a really important part of the day for us! During the ceremony we had Leo Strings playing and also the organist from St. Peters Church Michael who played our hymns and our Recessional to The Wedding March.

During the wedding reception we had Ben from Bowery Music Company performing an acoustic set which was incredible. Leo Strings joined us at the venue and played during the wedding breakfast; we walked into the dining room to Sweet Child of Mine (one of Stu’s favourite songs!), it was great to have the string quartet playing a mix of modern music and film classics whilst we ate.

After the wedding breakfast Bowery Music Company had set up their eight piece band in the ballroom. They were amazing! We had been to see them play in London before booking them and knew we had to have the brass section. Our first dance was to Lovely Tonight by Joshua Radin that Bowery learnt for us. The dance floor was filled the whole evening with so many people commenting on how fantastic Ben and the band were.

Food

Food and drinks were a priority for us; Stuart is passionate about wine, so it was imperative that we got this right. We went for a corkage option at Knowsley Hall, this meant we could supply our fizz and wine from The Vintner, Tom, Nick and the team hosted a wine tasting for us and friends before the wedding which was really good fun, we chose the following:
NV Crémant de Loire ‘Les Quarterons’, Amirault Vignerons, France – during the wedding reception
NV Champagne André Clouet Brut Grande Réserve, Grand Cru, Bouzy, France – for the toast
2016 Domaine des Monticoles Rosé, Vin de Provence, France
2016 Vouvray Sec, Domaine Boutet Saulnier Loire, France
2014 Château Chapelle d’Aliénor by La Gaffelière, Bordeaux, France

The head chef at Knowsley, Paul McNish, is incredibly talented. At our tasting we gave lots of feedback which he listened to and adapted dishes accordingly. We had the following menu:

Canapés:

Beetroot arancini
Manchego & corn croquettes, green chilli mayo
Southern fried chicken lollipops, smoked yogurt, bacon dust
Lamb loin rosemary skewers, sumac yogurt
Tuna tartar cones with wasabi ice-cream

Wedding Breakfast:

Crab, avocado with pea shoots & squid ink or Fried spicy halloumi, asparagus & herb salad, samphire, crispy quinoa, cummin aioli (V)
72hr beef short rib, potato horseradish foam, blackened broccoli, kohlrabi or Wild mushroom risotto, truffle foam, crispy enoki, spinach (V)
Chocolate & pistachio fondant, ginger ice cream, candid nut crumb

Midnight Feast

Mac n’ Cheese
Posh Dogs
Bacon Sandwiches

Cake

As neither of us are cake fans, we opted for a cheese tower which was decorated with figs and cut with my dad’s Naval sword. Stuarts cousin is married to a cheese importer (very handy!), Matt and the team at Premier Cheese created a cheese tower of dreams. This was then deconstructed and available for guests during the dancing.

Photographer & Videographer

Our day was captured by the amazing WE ARE // THE CLARKES – who we found through Rock My Wedding. Anna and Simon are fantastic, from the first conversation via FaceTime we felt totally at ease with them. We did an engagement shoot back in May, I would definitely recommend this for couples– it meant that on the wedding day we were relaxed around them, they knew our good sides and fundamentally felt like friends at the wedding rather than an in your face photographer!

WE ARE // THE CLARKES also did our video for us, I am so pleased that we opted to have a video made, the day went by in a flash so having a record of the vows, speeches and dancing is fantastic!

Advice

Weddings are stressful, they make family members go crazy and you cannot please everyone! Once you embrace these facts it’s a bit easier, when you take a step back and realise what the day is about it makes it so much better.

Stu and I did most of our wedmin in the pub, this was a neutral space where we had to focus away from household distractions!

I am beyond organised, my wedding spread sheet was referenced by Stuart, Dad and the Vicar during the day! Knowing that I had planned everything to a tee with suppliers I could 100% trust meant that on the day I did really relax.

Things did go wrong, timings slipped and items were forgotten – but only you know that. No-one else will notice these tiny details.

Finally, I would definitely recommend taking your husband/wife off for 10 minutes during the day, just to try and process everything that is going on. The day wizzes by and having those few stolen moments away from everyone was really magical.

{Watch the Film}

Photography by WE ARE // THE CLARKES
Author: Lorna Shaw
Lorna loves a new posh frock, is a hopeless romantic and is lucky enough to be living her ‘happily ever after’ with her wonderful husband & three beautiful children.

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