Lifestyle Magazine

A Vintage Country Garden Home Made English Wedding in Cheshire

By Claire

The beau­ti­ful images are by Cheshire wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher Adam Riley. The wed­ding venue is Frogg Manor (about 15 min­utes from Chester), described as “Unashamedly bour­geois, eccen­tric, orig­i­nal & quin­tes­sen­tially Eng­lish”. And I have a won­der­ful wed­ding report from the bride — Angela looks out of this world — the per­fect Eng­lish bride. (Ben too is gor­geous — they’re a match made in heaven!)

Enjoy xxx

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Ben and Angela’s wed­ding at Frogg Manor in Cheshire

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The groom and bride: Ben & Angela Goodwin

Who pro­posed, and how?

My fine hus­band pro­posed to me on a rooftop over­look­ing pic­turesque Ams­ter­dam after a night out on the town.

He took a cou­ple of days to build up the courage and kept the ring box safe in a (clean) sock in his pocket all weekend.

Just before he popped the ques­tion, I realised what was hap­pen­ing and it took all the restraint I could muster to stay calm and not ruin the moment!

Wed­ding venue: Frogg Manor Hotel in Brox­ton, Cheshire.

In a nut­shell: “Unashamedly bour­geois, eccen­tric, orig­i­nal & quin­tes­sen­tially English”

Wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher: The superb Adam Riley

of AdamRileyPhotography.com fame, who spe­cialises in storybook/reportage photography.

Every­one who has seen the pho­tos has gushed over how fan­tas­tic they are; Adam really caught the emo­tion and atmos­phere of the wed­ding and was so dis­creet that guests were sur­prised at some of the great pho­tos he had taken of them!

How would you describe your wed­ding style?

A fusion of Vin­tage coun­try gar­den / Jazz / Home­made

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Wed­ding attire: the wed­ding dress and groom’s outfit

Words can­not do my wed­ding gown jus­tice; I wore a vin­tage style gown that my (Angela) mom and I designed based on an amal­ga­ma­tion of ideas and lots of pro­to­type preparation!

It was oys­ter duchess satin with vin­tage lace and the best thing I have ever worn. Such a shame I will only wear it once because it was beautiful.

All the guests com­mented on how fab­u­lous it was and my mom was inun­dated with offers of com­mis­sions, even though she isn’t (yet) a seam­stress by trade (although she should be!).

Ben has never owned a proper suit and nei­ther of us wanted a tra­di­tional groom morn­ing suit, so in keep­ing with the theme we worked with a tai­lor to design a vin­tage style suit which looked absolutely superb! The result was dash­ingly hand­some.

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The wed­ding ceremony:

Which read­ings did you choose?

We actu­ally included a poem that Ben’s mom wrote, which could be applied to both musi­cal impro­vi­sa­tion and mar­riage (!) (see below — it’s lovely!)

Our wed­ding reading: Improvisation for two

The first ingre­di­ent is the key:
Those val­ues on which both agree,
Allow­ing each to com­ple­ment
The other in true harmony.

A struc­ture next: a stan­dard song
Or new-created scheme, but strong,
To under­pin devel­op­ment
And last the whole per­for­mance long.

Com­mit­ment, gen­eros­ity,
Patience, respect and hon­esty,
Unselfish­ness and good intent
Are in the mix for amity.

The method starts with lis­ten­ing
One to another: offer­ing
A solo or accomp’niment,
Each sets the other free to sing.

A sta­ble rhythm keeps things tight,
But dull rou­tine would not be right;
Sur­prise and dis­so­nance are lent
To heighten ten­sion, and they might

Strike sparks, the bet­ter to resolve
In har­mony. The pair evolve
A work with­out imped­i­ment:
Minds’ mar­riage and their hearts’ content.

Sarah Good­win

We also asked our niece Emily (7yrs) if she would read the “Hol­stee Man­i­festo” and she did us proud and brought more than a few tears to people’s eyes =) http://shop.holstee.com/products/holstee-manifesto-poster

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The wed­ding reception:

What were your highlights?

  • Wow, where to start… Wed­ding gown made by my (Ange’s) extremely tal­ented mum,
  • per­son­alised vinyl record favours,
  • home­made brides­maid dresses (by Ange),
  • tai­lor made suit,
  • Soweto Kinch jazz trio,
  • eccen­tric­ity,
  • Froggs,
  • casino,
  • lawn games includ­ing cro­quet and Jenga,
  • string quar­tet,
  • horse and carriage,
  • deli­cious cup­cakes that peo­ple hid in book­cases to save for later (because they were so delicious),
  • tree-house hon­ey­moon suite,
  • secret pas­sage­ways behind doors,
  • impromptu first dance (“Stroke the Hippo”),
  • a wed­ding guest buy­ing a cof­fee table from the venue,
  • limbo with a stuffed toy tiger,
  • food,
  • drink­ing,
  • graf­fiti can­vas guestbook,
  • Pimms,
  • Fawlty tow­ers (the string quar­tet ser­e­nade for the aisle walk) …

Ok. So we know they can’t all tech­ni­cally be “high­lights” but we can’t pick a main one because the whole day was amazing!

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Wed­ding venue styling and details: …

The venue is an old Eng­lish coun­try manor, which we chose because we wanted an exclu­sive inti­mate venue (approx­i­mately 60 day guests) that offered great food and that had a really unique and quirky style which suited our char­ac­ters perfectly.

The venue has lots of cosy rooms so guests could pick and choose between relax­ing with a cof­fee in the lounge area, watch­ing the jazz trio in the gar­den con­ser­va­tory, throw­ing some shapes on the dance floor, catch­ing up in the gar­den gaze­bos while play­ing a few lawn games, try­ing to beat the infa­mous Aus­tralian guest at roulette and black­jack, scour­ing the walls and read­ing the many rec­om­men­da­tions from the rich and famous (!) or hav­ing a spot of food in the din­ing room.

The venue was named after the owner’s nick­name, who has con­se­quently spent years col­lect­ing hun­dreds (lit­er­ally) of Frog orna­ments and quirky Frog mem­o­ra­bilia. As one of the staff com­mented, it was not a venue for the straight-laced and as such guests were free to roam at their leisure to dis­cover the var­i­ous trin­kets on display!

It had such a great house-party feel and it meant that guests were really relaxed and had fun, which was our ulti­mate aim!

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Wed­ding music and entertainment:

There was loads of enter­tain­ment through­out the day. The cer­e­mony was in the gar­den pavil­ion at mid­day so we had a string quar­tet set­ting the mood from 11.30AM until 2PM then we had lawn games in the gar­den for the rest of the day.

Ben and I sneaked off for pho­tos and a lovely coun­try horse and car­riage ride to make sure we had some qual­ity time together as hus­band and wife!

After the wed­ding break­fast a cou­ple of casino tables were set up so guests could try their luck at roulette and black­jack for a cou­ple of hours.

After which we had the Soweto Kinch jazz trio per­form­ing a jazz lounge set in the con­ser­va­tory, fol­lowed by a playlist on the dance floor where we adapted an inci­den­tal soft toy tiger (don’t ask) [but I really want to! — Claire x] into a limbo pole; much hilar­ity ensued and pos­si­bly some jarred backs.

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Mem­o­rable wed­ding day moments:

All of it! Although double-take moments included a guest ran­domly buy­ing a cof­fee table from the venue and another guest being locked in his own car boot. It may be per­ti­nent to men­tion that a bot­tle of rum was involved…

Wed­ding day advice:

So many peo­ple offer advice and say how fast it goes and to make sure you enjoy it (to the point where you are wor­ried you might not!). This is all true, but essen­tially it’s about you and your part­ner and the day you want to spend together.

It’s great to have the spe­cial peo­ple in your life to share it with and for the cel­e­bra­tions to go off with­out a hitch, but ulti­mately just remem­ber that even if it was just the two of you, it would be per­fect because you are with the one you love. Every­thing else is just a bonus!

Any­thing that goes wrong is a mem­ory and not worth even think­ing about on the big day, espe­cially because all the spe­cial peo­ple just want to see you being happy and to be enjoy­ing it, which you deserve it after all the hard plan­ning work.

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Rec­om­mended wed­ding suppliers:

More on Adam Riley’s wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy blog…

Frogg Manor wedding on Adam Riley photography blog

Click to see more from Angela and Ben’s wed­ding at Frogg Manor


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