Kirsty & Richard – A Winter’s Love Story

Kirsty and Richard's real life wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn

From meeting at primary school at the age of five, to walking down the aisle years later, the winter wedding of Kirsty and Richard at Sandhole Oak Barn is as romantic as can be.

The Perfect Venue

Kirsty worked at this wonderful Cheshire wedding venue as a teenager and she and Richard went to secondary school together just down the road, so it seemed like the perfect venue for their wedding!

“When we visited Sandhole together for the first time, we instantly loved it,” says Kirsty. “From the lakeside setting to the beautiful oak features. It felt warm and relaxing – the place for us.”

The barn set up for a wedding breakfast at Sandhole Oak Barn

Theme of the Day

Setting the date four days before Christmas, a wintery theme with a hint of festivity seemed like a lovely idea.

“We loved the natural beauty of the Oak Barn and its surroundings,” says Kirsty. “With that in mind, we tried to complement nature with simple touches such as lights around the oak beams. We didn’t want to ruin the natural charm of the venue.”

The theme of birds and hearts was introduced on the invitations and throughout the rest of the stationery and décor. Kirsty made the stationery and most of the decorations herself, spending her weekends and evenings being creative as the wedding day approached. Painted, personalised wooden hearts hung on the back of each chair as a wedding favour and she also painted wooden bunting and wooden table confetti. Pine cones were incorporated in to table lanterns to add to the wintery theme, and there was a ‘festive photos’ props box to add in a little fun! When it came to colour, luxurious purple and silver gave that dreamy winter style.

Purple heart decorations at Kirsty and Richard's wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn

Love heart wooden guest book at Sandhole Oak Barn

All About the Dress

Kirsty’s beautiful gown was from Mori Lee.

“My sister spotted it, and I fell in love it from the moment she sent me a link to it,” smiles Kirsty. “Within a week, I had tried it on, and I loved the style and the beautiful back detail. When I found out that Mori Lee is based in New York, it seemed even more perfect – we got engaged in New York in 2015!” To complement her dress, Kirsty wore crystal earrings, and a necklace that Richard gave her the day before the wedding. “I made my Swarovski crystal and pearl bracelet myself, and also made matching designs for the bridesmaids to add a touch of winter sparkle.”

Kirsty in her gorgeous lace wedding dress at Sandhole Oak Barn

Kirsty and Richard watching the sun set at Sandhole Oak Barn

As for the Bridesmaids…

Kirsty had four bridesmaids – her sister, Richard’s sister and two flower girls, Amy and Emma.

“Pip and Katie, our sisters, wore purple, while the flower girls wore white dresses overlaid with silver embroidery.” Kirsty explains. ‘
“They all accessorised with silver shoes and faux fur ivory jackets. They looked gorgeous!”

The bride and bridesmaids at Kirsty and Richard's wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn

Grooms Style

In keeping with the bridesmaids and the colour scheme, Richard and his ushers wore grey Pierre Cardin suits with silver detail and purple ties.

The groomsmen at Kirsty and Richard's wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn

Beautiful Blooms

The bridal bouquet consisted of Kirsty’s favourite flowers – ivory and purple freesias, ivory roses and Calla lilies. ‘Freesia’s remind me of being little and visiting my great grandmother’ she smiles. The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of her bouquet, while corsages featured ivory roses with a sparkly brooch. As for the buttonholes… an elegant ivory rose with a purple freesia. Wonderful flowers around the venue included a large arrangement for the top table, another for the cake table and a third for the sweetie table.

The Wedding Breakfast

A drinks reception in The Oak Barn with Champagne, mulled wine and non-alcoholic fruit punch kept guests cosy on a chilly winter’s day, while a pianist set the scene. For the wedding breakfast, Kirsty and Richard wanted a menu that reflected the season and also included some of their favourite foods. With that in mind, they started with fishcakes, moving on to roast chicken with dauphinoise potatoes. To finish, a trio of desserts included sticky toffee pudding, white chocolate cheesecake and a warm chocolate brownie.

The wedding party at Kirtsy and Richard's wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn

Kirtsy and Richard outside the beautiful Clock Tower at Sandhole Oak Barn

Purple bird table plan at Kirsty and Richard's real life wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn

Let Them Eat Cake!

The wonderful three-tier cake was adorned with sugar flowers in varying shades of purple, with two purple birds as a cake topper. Tasting as fabulous as it looked, the top tier was lemon cake, the middle victoria sponge and the bottom a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache.

3 tier wedding cake with purple decoration at Kirsty and Richard's wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn

Evening Celebrations

Let the party commence! A DJ entertained guests throughout the evening and filled the dance floor. When it came to food, guests were treated to delicious crispy bacon barm cakes, cheddar and onion paninis and chip cones with salt and vinegar. Romance was in the air as the newlyweds danced their first dance to ‘Everything’ by Lifehouse.

Kirsty’s Special Moments

‘The ceremony, being surrounded by our family and friends and being greeted by beautiful afternoon sunshine as we left the church.’

The beautiful Clock Tower at dusk at Sandhole Oak Barn

Photography courtesy of Dark Peak Photography