Clare & adam Image by Rachael Connerton Photography
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I thee Wed – Clare & Adam


Issue 47: When Time Stood Still

Real Weddings

I thee Wed – Clare & Adam

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Today, we invite you to the wedding of Clare and Adam Coates at the stunning Stancliffe Hall. We love this venue. It has character, charm and a real warmth when you walk through the door and the team behind the weddings here really do know how to organise the most important day of your life. We love working with Stancliffe Hall and are very excited to share this gorgeous wedding with you. Over to the bride Clare;


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After a venue search that took us to literally Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire, I finally stumbled upon Stancliffe Hall after an extensive evening trawling Google.  As it was new, it didn’t feature on the first or second pages, in fact I think I was on page 7 or 8, so it was like finding a little gem. I am from Northamptonshire, but Adam is from Yorkshire and with parents in Cyprus, we really did feel that in the minefield that is wedding planning, the world was our oyster but in the end it was the rolling hills in the Peak District that won our hearts.


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As soon as I discovered Stancliffe online I had a warm fuzzy feeling about it.  We ideally wanted something that we could have exclusively and make our own, not just for the day but for the whole weekend. We had visited a number of properties that would allow us to have it for the day (11am-11am) but I hated the idea of feeling like I was on a conveyor belt and seeing the next bride rolling in as we were rolling out!


I remember so vividly going to visit Stancliffe hall for the first time, the gates opening and driving down the spectacular driveway with rolling views of the Peak District to our left and then suddenly the splendour of the house appearing as we turned the corner at the bottom. I think we both knew then it was something special and even on a grotty day in the middle of winter it still had a sparkle about it.  Inside the house didn’t disappoint either, the bedrooms are beautifully designed and the Whitworth suite is neutrally toned so that no matter what your theme, you don’t have to compete. As soon as Adam found the boys billiard room, that was it! It was a done deal.


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The added benefit was Yew Tree Cottage (a holiday let property owned by Stancliffe Hall, sat within the grounds) meant we could really make a weekend of it with family and friends and gave us the opportunity to host a pre-wedding day BBQ to get the party started.  It was a great night and meant we got to spend even more time with the people we love the most and who were about to play a big part in our big day.


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Our final theme – classic English with a slight modern twist.  Whilst there were elements of vintage in terms of colour and fabric, we introduced modern fonts in stationary and metallic finishes.  There was not a piece of bunting or a birdcage in sight. Beyond the venue, the next most important things for us were caterers – we love good food! And the photographers.

We were recommended Coghlans by the team at Stancliffe and I am so glad we took their advice.  The service we received was second to none and they worked with us entirely to design a menu that was tailored 100% to us, reflected us as a couple but also our theme.


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I came across our photographer Rachael Connerton on the Save the Date Website and was immediately drawn to her relaxed reportage and none intrusive style. We knew we didn’t want a selection of posed family portraits but more a collection of natural images that captured the mood and told the story of our day.  As soon as she suggested we met in the pub for the first time, I knew we were going to get on well!


Over the last year or so, Rachael and Ian now feel more like friends than just our photographers.  They really took the time to get to know us as couple but also individuals and were there to guide us through the process every step of the way.  Let’s face it, they have seen a lot of weddings so it was great to pick their brains too.


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Right from the start of the planning process I always wanted something fun and cool that people would always remember about our day.  Both Adam and I work in events and so there was always the added pressure to deliver a seamless day with impeccable attention to detail.  I had found images online of giant letters and knew we simply had to have some.  So they were my quirk!  The main focus was around our giant “LOVE” sign which we positioned on the lawn for the drinks reception, they made for some fabulous photos.  We also indulged in putting our names down the driveway, which made for a great entrance – everyone was completely wowed

My advice to future brides is to be true to yourself and try and make it the day you want.  It is very easy to think you have to please everyone else.  Our day was full of all the things we love and because it was personal to us, that’s why everyone loved being there.  And finally – use pinterest!”


With thanks to Rachael Connerton Photography for sharing this beautiful, classic wedding with us.

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