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  • Writer's pictureAlessandra Barilla

cocktail themed summer wedding in Cheshire

Here is an interview with Ella and Chris, who decided to get married in the beautiful Ness Gardens, in Cheshire.


The Proposal Story - Tell me EVERYTHING.

It was a Saturday and I (Ella) had been in work. I work as a Veterinary Nurse so had had a busy day of appointments and was looking forward to a quiet Saturday night at home. Chris picked me up from work and the first thing I noticed was that he was bright red in the face! He was obviously really nervous at this point, but I had no idea. When we got home, he’d made dinner for us in the slow cooker (not unusual as he does fancy himself as a bit of a chef) and then he said I should go and get changed and “put some slap on” (!). We sat and ate our dinner in the kitchen and then when we had finished, he said he had something he wanted to ask but he needed help from our pet Chi-huahua, Barty. Right on cue Barty appeared wearing his fleece (yes our dog has his own fleece) and Chris dropped to one knee and fished out the most beautiful engagement ring from Barty’s fleece pocket! It was the perfect proposal, just us three at home. On Sunday we spent the day dropping in on family and sharing the good news – it was a perfect weekend. To make it even more special Chris had designed the engagement ring himself. A platinum twist ring with a 0.67 carat diamond in the centre with 4 smaller diamonds set on either side. The following week we celebrated with a 10-day break in Tenerife. This was already booked prior to the engagement so it wasn’t a sur-prise however Chris had secretly booked us into the Sky Lounge at the airport which was a special treat!

Tell me about your theme.

We were very adamant that we wanted some kind of cocktail theme for our wedding day as we both love going out to cocktail bars and was something we did together when we first started going out on dates. We themed all our tables around our favourite cocktails and created all the centre pieces ourselves. Coffee beans in a martini glass for the Espresso Martini table, dried limes and fake ice for the Marga-rita table, and even dried tomatoes and fake celery for the Bloody Mary table! We had a lot of fun creating them and deciding which cocktails to choose. To continue the theme, we also ordered 3 large self-serve kegs of different cocktails: strawberry daiquiri, cosmopoli-tan and Espresso Martini which went down a treat with our guests!

The other overarching theme was wildflowers. We chose Ness Gar-dens as our venue because we loved the idea of an outdoor garden ceremony and I very much wanted to incorporate that with my styling on the day and the dressing of the reception room. Chris’s mum hand made the most beautiful flower garlands that she made to measure which turned the reception room into an extension of the gardens. They were all fitted with fairy lights too which twinkled and created a beautiful atmosphere later in the evening.

Tell me about all the special features of your wedding

We wanted to create some form of ice breaker for our wedding guests as it can be daunting sitting with strangers for a whole afternoon! So on each name place card we added a “someone on this table…” fun fact about another guest. This way everyone could each read out their “someone on this table” card and the person it applied to could tell their story to the table. Guests said it was a lovely touch and it showed how much time and thought had gone in to each one. Chris works as a Digital Analyst, so he loves working with tech and spreadsheets! He designed a beautiful wedding website for us as well as creating our very own wedding guest sms service. This meant we could send scheduled texts out to all our guests at specific intervals (e.g RSVP reminders as well as weather updates as our ceremony was taking place outside). It was a completely unique idea and I am yet to hear of anyone else doing it! Chris also designed and printed our order of service tin the style of a Ness Gardens visitor leaflet. It included a map of the gardens, a welcome note from Chris and I and even a Chris and Ella themed crossword on the back for guests to complete! We also included a QR code which guests could scan to upload pictures and videos from the day. A few other unique touches were our family tree of wedding polar-oids. We scanned pictures of our parents and grandparents’ weddings and printed them in the style of a polaroid with the marriage dates on each one. We then took our own polaroid and added it to the tree. In-stead of a traditional guest book we opted for a “wedding jenga tower”. Each guest wrote their message on a block which made for some entertaining reading the next day and means that each time we play we get to relive our wedding day! I (Ella) also opted to do a speech alongside Chris, my dad, and Freyja Chris’s Best Woman. I always knew I was never going to sit quietly on my wedding day!

Tell me about your wedding day.

It started a lot sunnier than the day before! I got ready with my two bridesmaids and my mum at Merebrook House in Thornton Hough and Chris got ready at his parents house in West Kirby with his parents and Best Woman. I was nervous about the weather as we had torrential rain the day before and I was so worried that we wouldn’t be able to have our ceremony outside in the Rock Garden as planned. About an hour before the ceremony the heavens opened and there was the most extreme rain and thunder. My maid of Honour and I looked and each other and just burst out laughing. A real if you don’t laugh you’ll cry moment. It was so ridiculous that we both had to laugh! Luckily, we got a sunny interval just in time for the ceremony! My friend Cat is a professional jeweller and leant me a pair of ear-rings to wear for my “something borrowed”. Luckily for me too she is a very talented Harpist and I couldn’t have been more pleased when she said she would play for our ceremony. She played Canon in D for my wedding entrance and then (being an Edinburgh native) played some Scottish folk songs as we signed the register.

Tell me about the Beetle ordeal.

We had a booked a vintage VW Beetle to transport my mum, bridesmaids, dad and I to Ness Gar-dens in two trips. As the driver set off with my mum and bridesmaids in tow the engine overheated and it looked as if they might have been stranded. Luckily my Maid of Honour, Rosie, was well versed in this problem as she had a Beetle of her own. After a quick rest of the engine, it roared back into action and was able to get them to Ness. However, it was very touch and go as to whether it would be able to do the second trip for my dad and I! Luckily, we made it however my poor dad nearly got stuck inside due to being a 6ft something ex rugby player who had not long had a knee operation!

Dress: Flamingo Boulevard

Flowers: Ewer Roberts Flowers

Cake: Abba Cakes

Earrings: Ellen Catherine Jewellery

Shoes: River Island

Make up and Hair: So Coco Rogue

DJ: North Wales Wedding DJ

Rings: Fraser Bell

Suit: Moss Bros

Cufflinks: John Lewis

Tie and Pocket Square: Moss Bros

Veil: LT Atelier Couture

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Azazie

Wedding Car: Boho Brides




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