Real Weddings Cheshire: Michelle and Sally's rustic wedding day
Cowboy boots, line dancing and plenty of ice cream were the recipe for a perfect day for these newlyweds. Our WED2B Real Weddings Cheshire feature reveals more:
Michelle and Sally had known each other since childhood, attending the same school and living just around the corner from each other. “Our friendship developed over the years and we got together as a couple when we were in college,” says Michelle. “I was 17 and Sally was 19. We finally got married on our 22nd anniversary.”
After 22 years together the proposal wasn’t exactly a surprise! “We’d always joked about getting married but we didn’t see why we should settle for a civil partnership,” says Michelle. “So, when same-sex marriage finally became legal a few years ago we decided to go for it. We went to Krakow for our 20th anniversary and it was there that we decided to get married. We came home and went ring shopping together and then surprised our families by announcing we were engaged!”
Two perfect dresses...
The couple both ended up buying their dream dress in WED2B’s Liverpool store. “I wanted to go somewhere I could browse, try dresses on in my size and buy one there and then,” says Michelle. “So WED2B was perfect for me! The staff were very helpful but the dresses I had seen online just weren't right. Everyone had said when you find the right dress you just know, as soon as you put it on. So, I was feeling disheartened when the sales assistant asked if she could get me a different style that she thought would be perfect. I tried it on and, as soon as I did, I knew it was the one! I fell in love with 'Elodie' straight away. It felt amazing and the detailed back was so unusual.”
Dream dress No 2...
“I’m the more fussy and indecisive one, so I knew my dress would be harder to find,” says Sally. “I’d visited a few boutiques before I visited WED2B. I had a list of styles I liked but they just didn’t feel right on me. The store assistant Helen asked if she could bring me another dress to try on, that was completely different to the styles I was looking at and brought me 'Addison'. I was hesitant but I just couldn’t believe how I felt when I tried it on. It was so flattering, I could even walk and move with ease. I loved it and bought the dress that same day. I wanted a touch of lace, so I opted for the Anja vintage lace straps too, to complete the look.”
A rustic setting
Sandhole Oak Barn in Congleton, Cheshire was the setting for the big day. “We wanted to get married in a barn and have a rustic country themed wedding,” says Michelle. "So Sandhole was the perfect venue for us."
An emotional ceremony
“I walked down the aisle first with my Dad,” says Michelle. “Then Sally followed with her Mum, crying with emotion. We had two readings - one by Sally’s cousin, Megan, and one by our niece, Olivia. Our nephew Sam was the ring-bearer too, which made the ceremony very personal for us. As we were signing the marriage register, the pianist played Brad Paisley’s ‘Then’ and Chris Young’s ‘Who I Am With You’. My favourite memory is of us walking back up the aisle. Our guests were showering us with confetti and we were dancing and singing to ‘Country Roads’ by John Denver.”
Setting the scene
There was a rustic theme and outside the venue, there were pallets with ‘Welcome to Our Wedding’ and ‘Order of the Day’ accessorised with cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. “We’re huge fans of country music and bought these in Nashville many years ago,” says Michelle. “There was also a table made of wooden crates decorated with hessian and lace. On top, there was a wooden tree trunk post box, a heart box for guests to leave their wishes and some flowers and candles.”
The decorations included rustic wooden hearts, 'LOVE' letters and jars filled with wildflowers and gypsophila. The favours were boxes of sweets tied with a cowboy boot or hat charm. “Sally also had a candle in memory of her Dad, who had sadly passed away,” says Michelle. “Her bouquet also had a picture of him attached to it. By having this she felt that her Dad was there celebrating our special day with us.”
After the ceremony, there was a drinks reception where guests enjoyed six different flavours of ice cream, served from an old-fashioned trike. Then guests mingled by the lake in the sunshine before heading back to the barn for the wedding breakfast. In the evening there was a buffet of steak barms (rolls) and wedges to keep guests going on the dance floor, especially during the impromptu line-dancing session!
“The best moment was definitely seeing each other at the end of the aisle,” says Michelle. “After 22 years it was definitely worth it, something neither one of us will ever forget!”
Did your wedding have the wow factor like our Real Weddings Cheshire feature? If you would like to be a part of our real weddings feature send your favourite photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!