As promised Part 2 of Mr and Mrs Banyards wedding…
*Spoiler Alert* – There will be tears…and lots of…
Planning the wedding
The planning process for us was really, very simple; my twin sister Cora, had a lot of experience in the wedding industry after working for James’ Places as a wedding coordinator at the Shireburn arms and Falcon Manor, so I was in perfect hands. Once we had shared the news with our family and friends and had time to think, we quickly realised we wanted the wedding within the next year as we had a lot of other things to focus on in regards to our home and the farm side of our lives. As fantastic as the wedding would be, we didn’t have the luxury of dragging it out, it just wasn’t practical for us. I spent a lot of evenings with my friends at our “Monthly Monday Clubs” discussing plans and ideas over take away’s and lots of laughs.
We knew that the wedding would be at one of the James’ Places venue’s. My brother worked at the Shireburn waiting on and we loved the atmosphere and the food their (we love food and think it makes any event). I had also stayed in the Rafters Suite at the Falcon Manor and the room was to die for, almost like being in a medieval castle with high ceilings and a huge four-poster bed.
We also had the inside scoop on the amount of dedication, time, effort and creativeness that went into achieving these magical days for every couple from Cora so I was really looking forward to talking about the weddings that had happened before and the types of things people did as It wasn’t something personally I was familiar with. I think for me I can honestly say one of the main factors for me was the décor of all the James’ Places venues, they are so bespoke and beautiful I just thought it’d save us a fortune on trying to glam up another venue when we could just walk into one and have the whole wedding there.
We sat down with Cora and discussed the venue sizes, capacity for people, possible dates and the budget we were looking at. We really wanted an autumn wedding; I love the cold bright mornings and the burnt orange colours which I felt would suit both bridesmaids, my sister Cora and Marks sister Alison who were both pale skinned beauties and I thought the orange would be really striking. Cora suggested we visit Holmes Mill, which at the time was one of the newer venues based in Clitheroe, we realised it wasn’t the right fit for us but loved the industrial feel of it. Mark and I wanted something a bit more traditional. Next on the list was Falcon Manor in Settle. We drove up on a cold wintery day in December and knew instantly that it was our place. The open log fire and stone dog that greeted us basically sealed the deal! We felt the layout was ideal to give our guests space but keep them together. Our guest list included our huge families and best friends; there was 90 for the day and around 150 for the evening. The two bars gave ample space for people to get drinks and settle away from the hustle and bustle of the dance floor in the evening and the main room to dine would just fit our wedding breakfast if we opened the doors to the snug section as well, which Jane Gara (the manager) was more than happy to do to accommodate us. We sat with Jane and worked out the date; 21st of October 2017, the menu and the fantastic deal they could do for us based on our numbers and signed there and then with the deposit. To make it easier we also set up a direct debit for a monthly amount to go straight the venue which was really helpful. We decided to have the ceremony and everything in one place due to the distance the Falcon was from us and this proved to be the perfect choice as Storm Brian arrived the afternoon of our wedding in full force! But you’d never even know from the photos.
Cora had originally told me to prioritise the venue, photographer and the dress and with the venue done next was the photographer.
I was lucky enough to know of Mark Tattersalls work from friend’s weddings and had been part of his social media following for a few years. Mark photo’s capture moments so naturally, we Loved how creative his shots were without being staged. I couldn’t imagine having anyone else capture the day now it’s all over and done with. Mark was so professional and relaxed he made the process so easy.
Mark helped the day flow, effortlessly capturing the walk from the Rafters Suite and some last minute touches before I became Mrs Banyard. The Paige boy and flower girl where snapped giggling with an array of family members and later he even took the kids for a little photo shoot throwing autumn leaves which were a magic to see when we got our photos in the post (in the most beautiful wooden box), you could just see how much they had loved the day.
The photos are a lasting memory of the best day of our lives to date, Mark and his assistant even created some fantastic photos of us outside the Falcon despite Storm Brian! I couldn’t recommend anyone better.
Next was my impromptu visit to Anne Whitakers Bridal lounge. A friend of mine suggested I pop in as she’d had a great experience with a friend, now I couldn’t imagine having gone anywhere else.
This is where I met Lindsay who literally let me come in off the street and allowed me to work through my crazy process of telling her what I thought I wanted based on dresses I’d seen on Pinterest and her showing me each style, fit and texture based on her years of experience until I’d finally got this dress out my head that didn’t suit or feel right once I’d tried them.
Then with an open mind, I could find my dress. After trying a few on Lindsay told me about a new dress she had that had just come in and asked if I’d like to try it. This was my dress, a beautifully fitted satin number with an illusion neck and buttons down the back, along with the most beautiful veil. I’d found “her”. Lindsay embraced my quirky sense of humour and never made me feel out of place turning up for fittings in my old knickers or for referring to my dress as “her” or asking where “she” lived while In the shop. She was always laughing, picturing me catching sheep or our whole family referring to my Grandma as “Big Joan,” who was travelling from Spain to the wedding, Lindsay treated me like family. Lindsay and Shereen her seamstress basically gave me the confidence to go for the bright autumnal look I wanted for our wedding. Myself, flower girl and bridesmaids, one of which was pregnant and was worried about how her dress would fit as the weeks passed were all kitted out in dresses from the shop. We found the most beautiful flower girl dress off the rack and ordered extra material from the bridesmaid dresses to make a sash to tie it all in together and I even bought my hair piece from them which just added a little sparkle.
I know loads of girls who have paid thousands for dresses and that was never going to be an option for me and at Anne Whittakers it made no difference, my budget allowed me to get a dress that I felt amazing in and cover all the fitting costs, the fittings made me feel like a real bride and built the excitement and anticipation for the day beautifully.
I loved going for fittings and spending time in the shop with my bridal party and have been back since just to visit! A lasting memory for me is unzipping my beautiful dress the morning of the wedding and crying reading the most beautiful card from Lindsay and Shereen thanking me, and I remember thinking how grateful to them for allowing me to walk in off the street that day.
Where do I even begin with Sam Williams? Luckily, Cora knew Sam as she is a well-known florist and has done lots of weddings at James’ Places venues. I was so grateful she had the date free for our wedding. Sam loved my autumn wildflower idea for the day, she showed me the look of having the bridesmaid’s bouquets just using foliage and greenery making mine the show stopper and I adored it! I knew I wanted Orange but Sam gave me the confidence to go bright and match the dresses after sending her photos and swapping ideas. The textures, colours and fullness of my bouquet were unbelievable, I could never have imagined that it would look so effortless.
Sam literally sorted everything from the table decorations and numbers, to the button holes for the guys to the beautiful wrist flowers for the Mums and Grandmothers, Esmae’s little flower crown and wand. Not forgetting my gourds, the odd shaped little veggies I fell in love with at our meeting that Sam had put everywhere just made me want to cry with joy when I walked into the ceremony room. Sam had placed them throughout the building and even the stone dog had a matching orange collar.
I trusted Sam completely to do what she thought would look amazing and my goodness it did! The Falcon was breath-taking with its deep orange tones on the walls, candles flickering everywhere and crackling of the fire just made it magical. Sam just merged the whole look perfectly. I didn’t even need to see it beforehand because I knew whatever she did it would be right for us. Sam even put the personal touches to a chalkboard to welcome our guests to “the Pig Wedding”, I can’t thank her enough for making something so many say is so stressful so stress-free and enjoyable for me. She truly is a fantastic florist and I’d recommend her every time.
The fabulous finch twins, owners of Great Harwood based, Finch Bakery created our dream wedding cake. The twins, Rachel and Lauren have made pig cupcakes, dog cupcakes and Mark’s 30th Birthday cake when they recreated the famous stone wall we spend so much time building! The girls where so professional and helpful as (although mark knew a lot about eating cake) we didn’t know the first thing about wedding cakes. Over gorgeously baked lemon cupcakes, we chatted about how many it would feed, the look and between the girls and our florist, Sam Williams, we had the most stunning cake that fit so well into our autumn theme!
Sara from Dolly Birds Nails & Beauty is a friend I’ve had for years who is one of the only beauty therapists I know that thrives on knowledge about her products & procedures and can explain anything allowing you to make an informed decision, she would never make judgement or insist on something she didn’t think would suit or be right for you as an individual. Sara and I had agreed years ago when I got married she would do my makeup and I nearly forgot to ask her because I just presumed she’d be free! (Don’t do this ladies I was very lucky she knows what I’m like) Sara and I worked with different foundations and colours at my trial (as I usually don’t wear anything other than Tropic make up) to create a beautiful wedding look that lasted. On the morning Sara’s calming influence professionalism and warmth was amazing, her total focus was on me and my look and I felt stunning looking in the mirror at my painted face once she had finished and more importantly I felt like myself.
Laura Garner Tropic Ambassador
Laura is a friend I’ve had for many years and I knew I wanted her in the mix the morning of my wedding, mostly because of her bubbly personality and her talent with makeup.
Laura through her knowledge of Tropic has helped me transform my skin for the better over the years and we all use Tropic as our everyday make up, so I knew they would be feel confident the day. Laura made up both bridesmaids and my mum and they looked gorgeous. The looks where subtle but effective and brought out the natural beauty in each of them, Laura made it affordable and as she was attending the day literally got changed and popped downstairs to join the guest once we were ready.
Danielle Whittle Hair was another lovely friend of mine who did all the hair for the morning including my grandma’s and the strategic positioning of her huge white fascinator ha! Danielle is a perfectionist and without a trial for Cora and Alison or my Mum, she created the most beautiful and fitting looks for all of them. I was happy for the girls to have what they were comfortable with for the day and Danielle just set herself up and get right to it.
My look was really effortless, we had practised a few times and I loved what Danielle did with the hairpiece at the back. For me, the whole experience was made by the people around me, my friends who had pulled out all the stops and were laughing and chatting in the morning which melted any nerves away. Our wedding was about family and the people we love who in turn love us, and girls who helped me get ready the morning of the 21st of October 2017.
The Wedding Day
The day itself was so much fun, after arriving at the Bridal suite on the morning of the wedding to different breakfast treats laid out, a lovely bottle of Champagne chilling in the corner from Jane and the Falcon staff and the smell of freshly brewed coffee we just couldn’t wait to get ready. The Rafters suite gave us so much room to get ready and relax, I remember looking around at my friends and family laughing and chatting as hairspray and rollers went in and eyelashes where curled it was just brilliant!
The day itself didn’t fly past either which most people said it does. Mark and I had several moments just us looking around at everyone laughing, eating the gorgeous food and just being so happy for us and to be there it was brilliant. The room was breath-taking as a walked down the aisle with my dad, I sobbed all the way! From watching the Video back there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The day went seamlessly and I’m so glad we had everything in the Falcon, especially as storm Brian landed but mostly because it kept the momentum, nobody pottered off to their rooms everyone sat and chatted and took photos by the open fire, it was brilliant.
I think for me the quality of the food and the hum of laughter as we had the wedding breakfast is what I’ll remember most. Jane and Cora had managed to keep a secret that one of my best friends Charlotte had handmade jars of jam to go on every table which set me off crying again as Jane showed us the room all set out, it was so special.
Jane had also mentioned having DFC Lancashire as they were there resident DJ’s and I have to say Steve was sensational, myself and Mark are dancers and as he played Stevie wonders “Very superstitious,“ for our entrance to cut the cake, I loved the fact he turned it up and let us dance before going into our actual first dance, after we finally stopped boogying we cut the cake! I’d like to think we’ve now invented “the cake dance”. Steve catered to all styles of music and we ended up raving and jumping up and down to dance music until the early hours after blasting out some Guns and Roses for my mum. He was such a fantastic bloke who seemed to love the whole night himself from behind the DJ booth which was so touching as every time I looked over he was having such a good time.
Mark and I loved every minute of the day and we couldn’t thank Jane and the team enough, I remember going to bed and Jane was still there looking after people. It truly was a day to remember.
Dale and Mark rounded off their wedding celebrations with a relaxing mini-moon in Abersoch followed by a romantic trip to Iceland.
Suppliers listed in this post
Venue Falcon Manor
Flowers Sam Williams Flowers
Photographer Mark Tattersall Photography
Dress & Bridesmaids Anne Whitakers Bridal lounge
Cake Finch Bakery
Entertainment DFC Lancashire
Hair, Beauty and Nails Dannielle Whittle Hair, Dolly Birds Nails & Beauty, Laura Garner Tropics ambassador
Interested in having your own Dream Wedding at Falcon Manor? Contact Emily for more information.
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