Jenny & Chris. 25th May.

Jenny & Chris's Real Life Wedding at Samlesbury Hall

by Samlesbury Hall

Where/how we met: it was a blind date set up by his sister's best friend (who happened to be married to my work colleague!). We had our first date in London as we both happened to be down there at the same time (neutral turf!) and he took me to Maddison Bar (for context, Paul and Lisa Maddison set us up!)

About us: I’m 37 and an accountant doing mergers and acquisitions for one of the Big Four Firms. I have 2 sisters and like running, climbing and good food with good wine! Chris is 41 and works in Mortgage Assurance. We agree on the good food and I’ve educated him on the good wine, albeit he’d still prefer beer or G&T! He’s also into running and a big golfer! He has one sister!

Where are we from: I’m from Hazel Grove south Manchester and Chris is from Formby. When we moved in together we picked Worsley (NW Manchester) as in between. We tried a lot of south Manchester venues but couldn’t agree. We liked the hall type venues but lack of accommodation was a problem. Someone then pointed out we weren’t far from Lancashire and through a few friends came up with 4 venues to check out. One being Samlesbury which was last of the day!

Why Samlesbury: the drive up caught our imagination immediately, the Hall is quite simply stunning. The Hamlet and Lodge also gives more than most other venues of the same type in terms of accommodation. We were early for our appt so had a look round ourselves and had dinner. We’d already decided before the sales pitch began this was for us! The food was amazing, the staff so friendly and with the fireplaces and candles everywhere we knew it would be fabulous rain or shine!

Wedding Breakfast; melon with rocket and Parma ham (off menu but we couldn’t agree on the actual menu choices as we both liked different ones, they were really helpful and said it was no problem); chicken in a wild mushroom sauce with ham hock croquet (which everyone raved about) and dauphinoise potatoes (didn’t come with that but had it on our meal tasting with something else and it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted); trio of desserts (sticky toffee pudding, lemon cheesecake, creme brulee, served with ice cream). Yum, yum, yum!

The team were great at all times, from tweaks to the menu, helping us decide on evening food (so much to choose from) and suggested suppliers. 90% of our suppliers were on their preferred list with only the band (one we knew), videographer (my brother in law) and DJ (the Samlesbury ones were already booked) not found through discussions with the team or their wedding fair!

Nothing was too much trouble, we wanted to pick who had which hut - no problem, had a billion questions on a variety of things (from table and chair sizes to timings for food) - no problem, different colour serviettes - no problem, they even helped the groom keep a surprise for me secret (sneaky but I loved it). Sasha deserves a special shout out for being the most positive, enthusiastic person I’ve met, she takes real joy in people’s weddings and it shows!

The best part of our day: wow this is hard!! The day ran so unbelievably smoothly despite rain interrupting play. It meant we were running behind but you couldn’t tell if you didn’t know as not a single staff member was hurried or stressed and all suppliers just moved accordingly, the benefit of using all local suppliers is how well everyone worked together. The food was amazing and a clear highlight, as was seeing the room for the first time (both for ceremony and wedding breakfast). Seeing my surprise (amazing pianist and singer) and our niece singing were clear highlights.

But one lovely moment that will always stay with me, just after the ceremony we were taken out one door and everyone else out the other. We were united with our baby and drinks put in our hands and just given 5-10 mins to let it sink in and spend time as a family. One of those priceless little touches you don’t even know to ask for but will be eternally grateful you got to have.

Anything else: people say your guests will remember the venue, food and band. We’ll take credit for the band but everyone raved about venue and food! But it’s what you remember that’s more important and I’ll remember that nothing was ever any problem, I didn’t meet a member of staff I didn’t like, in terms of wedding planning, it was easy at Samlesbury as it all just fell into place so simply and when you’re stressing over table plans, the team will remain calm throughout!

Great venue, great team, great food and great day!

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