With a beautiful lakeside terrace and breathtaking Gardens, Wynyard Hall is the perfect destination for a summer wedding. Connor and Stephanie married last year with a traditional ceremony in the chapel followed by a relaxed evening of summer entertainment.
MEET THE GROOM
Connor Lancaster, 27, lecturer.
MEET THE BRIDE
Stephanie Lancaster (Shaw), 27, teacher.
Where are you both from?
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT HOW YOU MET AND THE PROPOSAL?
We met at school! Connor was at an all-boys sixth form and I was at the equivalent all girls! We met at a sixth form party, in a bar in Sunderland.
After being together for 8 years, we finally moved in together. Connor bought the ring when we moved in and proposed on Christmas day, our first Christmas in our new home, under the tree! We then went out for dinner with all the family and told them the news!
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE WYNYARD HALL FOR YOUR TRADITIONAL SUMMER WEDDING?
We chose Wynyard Hall for it’s beautiful and grandeur setting. It felt like a wedding venue, something special, and after meeting initially with Ashleigh, I could envision the whole part of our day so easily. We had a list of a few places and Wynyard Hall was one of the first, we never ended up seeing some of the others after viewing Wynyard.
Our favourite room would have to be the Chapel, this was probably the key reason why we loved the venue so much. We loved the beauty of the room, it really is a room that speaks for itself! It maintains everything traditional that you could want in a service and its magnificence is something you can only pick up from being in the room. There are no words to explain how much we loved it! A close second would have to be the conservatory, the room is so spacious and bright, with help from the amazing windows from up above.
WHAT COLOUR SCHEME AND FLOWERS DID YOU CHOOSE?
We had a silver/grey colour scheme that ebbed through bridesmaid dresses, cake and suits. Our flowers were made by the lovely Katie from The Garden Studio. We had white lilies as our main flower, with gyp as an accompaniment.
WHAT WEDDING MENU DID YOU CHOOSE?
We chose a traditional three course of ham hock, chicken and then white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake for dessert. Our evening buffet was the traditional English, with mini burgers and fish and chips. The food was delicious and service outstanding, something I noticed was that during table service, all guests on the table are served at exactly the same time, with no asking of who is who.
HOW MANY GUESTS DID YOU HAVE?
We had 64 day guests and just over 100 night guests.
DID YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIAL ON THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR TRADITIONAL SUMMER WEDDING?
I stayed at my Mums with my bridal party as I wanted to do things traditionally. Light supper and an early night, although I did not get much sleep!
TELL US ABOUT THE DRESS… WHAT STYLE WAS IT? WHERE WAS IT FROM? WHAT DID YOUR BRIDESMAIDS WEAR?
The dress was from Blue Bow Bridal- I have to recommend them as they have fantastic service. It was a Stella McCartney dress, with lace sleeves and a slight twinkle! It was the first dress I tried on! My bridesmaids wore silver dresses from Monsoon with a sequined top and a flow skirt, they looked amazing!
WHAT DID THE GROOM WEAR, AND WHERE WAS IT FROM?
The groom and the groom party wore suits from Smart As Suit Hire. Again, the service was second-to-none, where Colin came out to measure and show suit designs.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS…
We saw 2 Tone wedding photographers at a wedding fayre, but knew they were recommended as one of Wynyard’s suppliers. Both Nigel and Christina were amazing. Both us as newlyweds and the our guests noticed their laid-back, yet professional style and ability to photograph so naturally. They picked out key moments, with a very much ‘what do you think about’ attitude, allowing us to input. But to be honest, we were so impressed by their ideas, we really were happy to follow their expert advice! We want to thank them for speaking to the venue and allowing us to get a lift and sneak away from our guests for some pictures in the walled gardens, after the members of the public had left. We really felt it was our own private garden, we had time together as a new married couple and now that place will always be special to us!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR ENTERTAINMENT…
We had Arco Strings, a DJ on the night through AMV and also a photobooth from Snaparazzi, which we all loved. We also hired Paul Lytton, the magician, to work his magic for our guests after the service. This was the perfect time as allowed everyone to relax after the service. He was incredible! Some of his tricks our guests are still talking about!
WHERE DID YOU BOTH JET OFF TO FOR YOUR HONEYMOON?
We went to Mexico for a fortnight, a few days after the wedding. Connor had organised this as he had more ideas than me and was so easy going about my ideas for the wedding! He kept it a surprise and didn’t tell me until I got to the airport!
WAS THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL OR UNUSUAL ABOUT YOUR TRADITIONAL SUMMER WEDDING?
My dad had made a video for the start of his speech, which was done so professionally and had lots of laughs in for everyone, alongside personal quips between us both that I picked up on. Everyone said they have never seen anything like that at a wedding and asked how he could top this for my sister, as she is getting married soon!
My two sisters doing a reading was also so special. I am a triplet and so I think the day allowed everyone to really understand just how close we all are. It meant so much to me to have them as my maids of honour, also my brother as an usher.
Our wedding day was also the hottest day on record! Amazing for photos!
DO YOU HAVE ANY WEDDING PLANNING TIPS?
Always remember that despite all the stress in planning, on the day every single person there will be just so happy to be there that it all works out regardless! As a bride, you worry about the little details and nothing people say can necessarily stop that. If this is you, take a moment to appreciate the work you both have put in to get everything the way you wanted. Connor took me into the conservatory privately before guests to show me how it had all came together.
It’s also alright to use the right people around you to help, not only does it make things easier for you, people genuinely appreciate being a part of the build up. For us, we loved that our family felt such a big part in the whole process, so make the most of the planning experiences such as finding the dress or saying yes to the venue! Celebrate after!
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WYNYARD HALL TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING A TRADITIONAL SUMMER WEDDING?
Absolutely! A dream wedding. We can honestly say from start to finish we would not have changed a single thing about the day and weirdly, although everyone asked “are you sad it is over?” we genuinely feel so happy with how the day went that our answer was “No, it was perfect, why would we be sad, we have memories of the best day of our lives!”
We met with a few Wedding Coordinators throughout our Wynyard experience, due to staff changing roles. We have to say, they were all fantastic. We met Ashleigh initially, Claire briefly but we had Rebecca for the majority of the organising process. They were all extremely professional and no request was too much to ask! They all have an excellent manner working with couples and really do want the best for you on the day. Rebecca was extremely organised, helpful and so easy to keep in touch with.
We also have to give a special thanks to Karl, who was our master of ceremonies for the day. His manner was absolutely perfect for his role and for the venue. He really did go above and beyond to make sure that we were happy with the way our day was going and he was a testament to the high standards that Wynyard uphold. I really have to thank him for also keeping me calm before I walked into the chapel!
TO ENQUIRE ABOUT YOUR TRADITIONAL SUMMER WYNYARD HALL WEDDING, ENQUIRE ONLINE HERE.