The right date and a ring handmade with love were the perfect start to this happy couple’s wedding day. Our WED2B Real Weddings Warrington feature reveals more:


Claire and Howard met at their local pub on a rare night out. “We were out with mutual friends but for some reason, our paths had never crossed before,” says Claire. “After a few hours of chatting and putting the world to rights I looked down to see we were holding hands. Our first date was at the Hilton Manchester. Howard sent flowers that morning and he also hired a Mercedes private driver to take us there.”


Real Weddings Warrington: Claire and Howard’s dream wedding day


A ring that was worth the wait

The proposal took place four years later on a very cold mountaintop. “We had a spur of the moment idea (or so I thought ) to take a trip to the Lake District to walk up a mountain,” says Claire. “We’d been going to The Lakes for the past few years and loved it. At the top, while we were having a brew and sweating, he got down on one knee next to some cow dung and asked me to marry him! What was more romantic though was that he had handmade the engagement ring himself! He revealed that he’d spent the past six months in his work shed learning to make jewellery via YouTube. Then he’d practised in silver before making the actual ring in white gold. It was perfect! Once I’d said yes he showed me a video of how he made it. We then went on to a very posh hotel to celebrate.”


Real Weddings Warrington: Claire and Howard’s dream wedding day


And a dress to match

After proving he has a great eye for style, Howard also helped Claire choose her dream dress. “Howard came with me to visit WED2B and the staff were all very helpful and polite and made me feel at ease,” says Claire. “I wasn’t going to try on Priya, the dress I eventually chose, as it looked too clingy but Howard persuaded me. I’m so glad he did. I loved the back of the dress and how elegant it looked.”


Real Weddings Warrington: Claire and Howard’s dream wedding day


A stylish venue

The couple married at Statham Lodge Hotel in Lymm, Warrington. “The grounds are stunning and it has an elegant style,” says Claire. “My husband also loved the detail in the old craftsmanship in the building. We wanted to pick a date close to the 8th March, the date we thought we met, and the closest available date was Sat 3rd March. A few weeks after booking it I had a FaceBook reminder about the night we met and was stunned to find out we had the dates wrong! It turned out we actually met on the 3rd of March, so our wedding was exactly five years to the day after we had our first kiss!”


Real Weddings Warrington: Claire and Howard’s dream wedding day


The look of love

The theme for the day was rustic with pink and grey colours. Howard is a joiner and he made the giant love letters with LED lights and the pillars for the flowers and decorations. Centrepieces were homemade jars with fresh flowers, candles and logs, and there was a rustic postbox, also made by Howard, and wooden crates for the table plan. The cake had four tiers of sponge, red velvet, lemon and rocky road, and a wooden topper with the couple’s names and wedding date.


Real Weddings Warrington: Claire and Howard’s dream wedding day


A fabulous day

“The day was perfect in every way,” says Claire. “We booked a dressing room suite so myself and the girls could get there early to have our hair and makeup done together. Then the ceremony took place at 1:30 pm followed by a drinks reception and group photos. This was followed by the wedding breakfast with the traditional speeches and also one by me. Then in the evening, there was a hog roast buffet.”


Real Weddings Warrington: Claire and Howard’s dream wedding day


Happy memories

The couple had a few sneaky to lessons to prepare for their first dance to ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ by Star Ships. “We did a dance routine, which didn’t go perfectly, but no one knew!” smiles Claire. “The most memorable moment for me was walking down the aisle and seeing Howard. While we were face to face, saying our vows, we both filled up but after a couple of deep breaths, we did it! It was so perfect.”


Real Weddings Warrington: Claire and Howard’s dream wedding day


Makeup artist: Clare Breen

Wedding planner: Andy at Statham lodge

Venue: Statham lodge

Catering: Statham lodge

Cake: Alison loves to bake

Entertainment: Statham lodge DJ

Photographer: Paul towers

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