Updated: May 19, 2020
Stock Farm Wedding Barn, Cheshire - August 2019
Last August, I was fortunate to have been asked to capture Jade & Stuart's Stock Farm celebrations - more than just a wedding - it was a fun-filled summer party in the most gorgeous Cheshire setting! Here's the story of the day with contributions from Jade & Stuart themselves...
Stock Farm is situated on the Tatton Park Estate in south Cheshire, just a stone throw away from Manchester - and for plane enthusiast Stuart, near the end of Manchester Airport runway! Needless to say, throughout the day, we were keeping an eye out for the daily Emirates A380 take-off to try and get it in shot.
Jade & Stuart met at a mutual friends 21st Birthday house party on bonfire night back in 2010. Fortunately, as Jade was about to leave to head on to another celebration, she started talking to Stuart about rugby, Stuart explained how he played rugby for a local team, which she didn’t believe! He wanted to prove the point, and on the freshly laid grass Stuart rugby tackled Jade to prove the point! Their mutual friends parents were not impressed that we had ruined their brand new grass. Therefore it wasn't long afterwards that they enjoyed their first ‘proper’ date at the Cloud 23 bar at Hilton hotel in Manchester.
Speaking recently to Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine, Jade & Stuart told the story of how they became engaged.
Jade said; "The proposal was a complete surprise, after eight years and much pressure and hints from parents, our friends and me. Stuart took me back to the Cloud 23 bar at the Hilton Hotel, where we had our first ever ‘proper’ date. It was a surprise, a few days before my birthday (which is why I thought we were going). After our first drink, Stuart asked me to stand up so we could have a photograph together, Stuart passed his phone to a passing waiter and I turned to see him on one knee. He proposed with a ring that I have loved for many years from a jeweller I used to work at."
"Shortly after he asked the question the bar staff asked us to move tables as they had another reservation for our seats. I was reluctant to move as I was still shocked that Stuart had asked me to marry him, we did however move and walked around the corner to our parents and closest friends who were there to celebrate with us. It was the most amazing surprise!"
On the day, Jade opted for a traditional satin ball gown, from WED2BE, which she had fallen in love with straight away (...three weeks before the day - but that's another story!). Jade also wanted to wear some lace and as the dress had a sweetheart neckline, she wore a lace bolero over the top, from Adeava bridal in Macclesfield; this finished the dress off perfectly.
By adding the lace bolero in the day she was able to create a different look in the evening when she took it off. Jade finished her look with a cathedral length two-tier veil with lace. She accessorised with a floral sparkle hairpiece and belt to match. Jade wanted a little bling so it would sparkle with the candlelight within the barn. Stuart also surprised her with a pearl bracelet and matching necklace to complement her dress, belt and hairpiece.
Finally, Jade chose a pair of traditional white court shoes, customised with the words from ‘A Thousand Years’ which she walked down the aisle to.
For their wedding transport, Jade & Stuart wanted to remain a little traditional - so they chose a classic car from Horgans cars. The car picked the bridal party up and brought them to the venue. You'll see in the images further down, that after the ceremony - they both went for a drive which was the perfect time for them to reflect and have a few moments together.
At Stock Farm, the magnificent barn doors perfectly frame a grand entrance. With a stunning 2000 sqft of indoor space to play with it is an incredible opportunity to make a truly bespoke event tailored to your wedding. Civil ceremonies can be held inside the barn or outside in our private garden under the apple tree, plus Stock Farm offers extensive acreage of open rural space exclusively for you and your guests to enjoy.
Jade & Stuart chose Stock Farm as they had wanted a venue that was rustic, unique, and relaxed with picturesque views. They felt Stock Farm had this and more. It was important to them that they could put our own ‘stamp’ on a venue, and with the flexibility within the grounds of Stock Farm and various outside areas, barns and house - they were able to do that. They really also wanted to enhance what was there by using lots of candles and flowers.
Stuart and his groomsmen hired their suits from Freedman’s in Stockport. Stuart was looking for a tweed suit, which would be in keeping with the venue. He fell in love with a three piece tweed suit in a light brown. This was complemented with a bow tie made from the fabric from the bridesmaid dress in mink.
At the wedding breakfast - each guest had ‘shot’ of toffee vodka in mini bottles with personalised stickers. Also, instead of having a toast drink, Jade & Stuart donated the money that they would have spent to the Alzheimer’s society. As part of this, each guest was given an Alzheimer’s Society pin. This charity is extremely close to their hearts, as they both have close family members who have and are suffering with the disease.
As they loved the rustic feel of the barn Jade & Stuart also wanted to enhance that with soft candlelight. They had large candles in large vases surrounded by the same flowers as Jade's bouquet and smaller candles in jam jars. They complemented this with some tables having large candelabras surrounded by the same flowers and floating candles in jam jars filled with water.
Now wedding breakfasts are real highlights of the day and one of the most memorable that I've seen was at Jade & Stuart's wedding. They had both wanted something rustic and relaxed and decided on Brazilian Banquet BBQ from The Flaming Gourmand. This is food Jade & Stuart both love and it tied in perfectly with their theme.
As their Brazilian Banquet was self-serve they wanted to do something a little different to choose when each table would go to select their food. Andy, the father of groom played a game of heads and tails, it got quite competitive and was a fab way to get their guests talking.
Guests enjoyed ‘Picana steak’, ‘Maple chicken’ and ‘Chimichurri Portobello mushrooms’ complemented with seasoned fries, chipotle slaw, Mediterranean and Vine tomato salads. For the evening, guests enjoyed ‘Posh’ Dogs with caramelised onions, and Cheshire cheese sauce with unlimited crepes with toppings from the crepe station.
They also had an Ice cream van, for dessert where guests could choose any ice cream from the van with a variety of toppings. Plus, some ended up on faces - all part of the wedding day fun!! (See pic to follow!)
Although Stock Farm was a new venue for me, we visited together a month ahead of the wedding to get a feel for how the venue was laid out and what photo opportunities there were on-site. One of the places that I was attracted to was the rustic cornfield at the rear of the barn, with clear vistas across the Cheshire countryside. On the day, this made one of many locations for our portrait shots - plus, like the drive earlier, gave Jade & Stuart a little more time to themselves.
Now, every wedding has moments and little unexpected surprises that make you laugh - and with blue skies and 26oC heat, we headed round to the crop field once everyone had the opportunity to greet Jade & Stuart for 10-minutes of pics. They also had some fab Mr & Mrs balloons and smoke flares which make brilliant colourful shots.
However we had to work fast...as the farmer had chosen this sunny day to bring out the combine harvester! Of all days!!
We had to laugh and thankfully we still had enough time to do what we wanted - and above all the laughter and the images were a real highlight of the day. Me being me even got into the lying down position in the crops - and I love the shot of Stuart snapping me - snapping them - on the mobile phone. Sometimes these moments of fun can produce some great memories!
Jade & Stuart wanted something fun and little different for their cake. They chose to have six tiers of different flavoured doughnuts as they wanted the day to be relaxed and this allowed guests to pick and choose the doughnuts they wished throughout the evening.
They also made an alternative to their doughnut wedding cake with their own seven tiered sweetie cake surrounded by traditional sweets and chocolates. Guests could help themselves throughout the evening.