In September 2012, Pete and I had just finished travelling around the UK together for 3 months (in a tent!) and were finishing the summer with a day trip to Castleton. Pete finished it in style by proposing that day at the top of Mam Tor.
We decided to get married at Windy Harbour Farm Hotel, a B&B just outside Glossop where we now live. We moved to Glossop just after our visit to Mam Tor and it was a new start for us both as we had previously lived in London. We chose to get married near our new home because we’d fallen in love with the town and the beautiful Peak District surrounding it. We wanted our friends and family to come and see why we’d decided to set up our new life here and it is nice to know we can now go back to the venue whenever we want for a Sunday Lunch and some memories.
“Our theme was May Day/Country Fair. We’d been attending a May Day festival in Hastings for a few years and wanted to bring some of that bright colour and happiness to our wedding day. So lots of ribbons, greenery and bunting were on the agenda as well as morris dancing, hay bales and garden games.
We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony; we both feel a strong connection to the earth and natural world and it was important to us to be married outdoors, under the sky and surrounded by the beautiful Peaks (weather permitting!), so finding a venue that would accommodate this was important. This also meant we had to find someone to marry us outdoosr. As this isn’t allowed yet under English law we hired a Humanist celebrant who helped us create a ceremony that was unique and reflective of the theme and ourselves”.
“I started looking for a dress at the start of 2013. I tried a few different shops in a few different cities, as my Maids of Honour lived in different places. I knew I wanted something white/ivory and imagined it being satin with a sweetheart /halter neckline and a nice full A-line skirt. Pretty traditional but nothing too fussy. Perhaps something with leaf/flower motifs if any.”
“I found The White Room online while searching for a boutique bridal shop in driving distance. More than anything I wanted to experience the novelty of trying some beautiful dresses in a private setting. When I arrived I realised that the dress ideas in my head weren’t really compatible with The White Room’s style but was encouraged to try a selection regardless. In the end there were two dresses I fell for. One (Luna) was colourful and summery and very ‘me’ in that it was quite quirky. The other (Fadella) was simple ivory lace, fitted, with a small train. Nothing like I’d imagined but stuck in my head nonetheless. Although I took a few days to properly decide, I think I knew leaving the shop that first day that Fadella made me feel like the bride I wanted to be. The boutique was beautiful and made me feel beautiful just being there. The changing area was spacious and didn’t feel too disconnected from the shop. Myself and all the people who came with me on various visits commented on how friendly a place it was to be and enjoyed the intimacy of the appointments being private”
How did you feel getting dressed on the morning of the wedding?
“Surprisingly relaxed! I had had a lovely morning and the weather was glorious and would stay that way which made me so happy. My make up was done quite early so I actually got a little impatient waiting for it to be close enough to time to get dressed. When I finally put my dress on I was struck by how right it felt and I knew without doubt that I looked beautiful (which is an amazing feeling!). Trying the dresses was great fun! The selection was brilliant and the advice I received was always relevant but not too pushy. I didn’t feel coerced into making any decisions and was in fact made more confident by the input I received. It was great to have Chloe be interested in the whole day, not just the dress, and to be able to chat to her about the dress as a part of a whole experience rather than a piece of clothing. Her enthusiasm for her dresses and designers was infectious and made the trying experience thoroughly enjoyable. The large mirror and ‘catwalk’ style area in front was also a girl’s dream when trying on such lovely dresses”.
“Pete loved the dress; he thought it was perfect for me and was really surprised when I said it was nothing like I’d first imagined. Everyone complimented the delicacy of the lace and echoed the fact that it was very ‘me’. I felt amazing and comfortable and right; exactly what I’d wanted. I never wanted a dress that would ‘wear me’, I was determined that on the day I would feel beautiful in myself and the dress made that happen”.
“I never thought you could have a truly perfect day’ of course wedding days are always described as ‘perfect’ but surely that is just the champagne and good feeling talking? I had prepared myself for a variety of little disappointments (bad weather, band being late, food being iffy) but I can honestly say NONE of them happened. Everything went to plan but didn’t feel too structured and I was happier than I’ve ever been. I now know that I was wrong: perfect days can and DO happen”.
What was the best part of the day?
“The ceremony was wonderful, but it seemed to fly past and I found it hard to truly take it in until much later. However the speeches were an immediate hit and really summed up the day for me. My Dad was spontaneous and eloquent (quite unexpected for that a Yorkshireman!) The best men were hilarious and touching in equal measure! Pete’s speech was wonderful and a real highlight for me. When he spoke to me it was like hearing our vows all over again and I felt truly blessed to be the bride sitting next to him”.
What was your 1st dance song? Does this have special meaning to you both?
“We chose ‘Feelin’ Good’ by Muse. I liked the words and Pete is a huge Muse fan. It appealed to us both by being a little bit quirky but it also had some heart. And it’s pretty short too!”
Do you have any advice for brides to be?
“Make it your own. Don’t let any venue or vendor or family member or friend tell you how you should be doing things. This day is for you and your partner and those who truly love you will enjoy it because they love you. So stand up for your ideas and your needs and seek out relationships with vendors who will listen, respond positively to your inspiration and will work hard to see it through.
And enjoy every minute of it – the planning and the day! Because when it’s all over those feelings of joy will stay with you”
“I would recommend every bride to experience The White Room. It is a boutique experience without the pressure of being pretentious. Chloe’s knowledge and style is a great help to anyone who knows exactly what they want and is inspiration to those who have ideas but aren’t yet sure. It isn’t all about the label or the price tag, these gowns are chosen for their whole experience rather than a piece of clothing. Her enthusiasm for her dresses and designers was infectious and made the trying experience thoroughly enjoyable. The large mirror and ‘catwalk’ style area in front was also a girl’s dream when trying on such lovely dresses”
With thanks to: • Venue – Windy Harbour farm Hotel, Glossop • Florist – Campbell’s Flowers, Sheffield • Photography – Jon Rouston Photography • Hair & Make Up – Andrea Horton, Glossop • Styling/extras – Shoes and underwear: Debenhams • BM Dresses – Dorothy Perkins