10:55 Friday 27 September 2013

On track for a happy life

Written byKirsty-ann Hewson

An old and vintage wedding with a modern twist at a special location for Staffordshire Bride Steph Filock and her groom Mark.

For most couples a railway is not the most romantic of settings. But for one couple, they could not have had their special day without Churnet Valley Railway.

As bride to be Steph, pulled up to her ceremony in her very own train, she could not have felt happier. She was about to marry, Mark.

“Mark is a huge train enthusiast. He doesn’t call himself a train spotter, he thinks he is a bit cooler than that.So we decided to get married with trains involved. We are both a bit different, we are not very traditional and we wanted our wedding to be different and to represent us.

“Getting married at Churnet Valley Railway was Mark’s part of the day. I wanted him to be involved as much as me. He also volunteers there which makes it even more special to us.

“When I arrived at the ceremony and saw Mark in his suit, it was a highlight. I looked down and just thought, wow I have definitely picked the right person.

“One of my favourite parts of the day was arriving on the train. Arriving at Consall Hall Gardens was lovely too. That is where we had the reception. We got there and everyone was waiting for us and it was our moment, it was great. The day was a mix of old and new, being at the railway first then on to Consall and I loved it. It was just the kind of thing Mark and I are about.

“Our wedding was quite old and vintage, but it had a modern twist with it being at Consall. It was such a lovely day. It was nice because we got to do something different and not to the norm.

“I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

“We had our two year old daughter as the flower girl, Elenor. She looked beautiful and it was brilliant having her as a part of it. She knew what was happening and was excited.

“We have done her a memory book of the day so she can look back on it.

“Mark and I did everything backwards. We booked the wedding and then he proposed. We just knew we wanted to get married and where we wanted the ceremony.

“He proposed afterwards at Alton Towers on the Stone Bridge. It was quite funny really because I was so embarrassed, I was like “not here” and he said “I am doing it now”. People looked on as they passed.

“It took us three years to get together because I was only 16 when we met and he was 19 and we were both in different places. But we finally got to go on a date and have been together eight years now. We got married on the May 12 which is just before our anniversary, on May 15.

“We had 45 guests at the railway and 150 at the reception. My close friend Sarah Hassell was my maid of honour and James Fowler, Marks friend from school was his best man.

“The railway provided us with tea and sandwiches and scones on the train, which was excellent. We then went on in the evening to have a hog roast, I absolutely love hog roasts. Consall put that on as well as a sweet table. Something you obviously have to have, as everyone loves their sweet after dinner.

“We wanted that instead of a traditional food because we aren’t traditional, it was really nice and less formal.

“Our colour theme was a baby blue and my dress was beautiful. My dress was a Maggie Sottero design from Maria Modes. It was slim fitting with a small train. It also had diamantes on the front and back with a criss cross style fastener on the back of the corset.

“The flowers were stunning roses and hydrangeas from Fleurescent in Alsager. I had a hand tied bouquet and the bridesmaids had corsages. The table decorations were beautiful candle harbours with the flowers around them. They were really vintage looking, really beautiful and unusual and not what people usually expect.

“The cake was a four tier cake made by my mother-in-law. Each tier was different. The decoration was flowers that matched the bouquet. It was yummy and really elegant.

“Our photographer was Duane Barrett from In the Frame Studios. He was brilliant. Really laid back and went with the flow of the day. He knew what we wanted to capture and was quite modern. I have used him for photographs before and he was the right choice for us, absolutely.

“We had our first dance to Emeli Sande - Next to me, now whenever I hear it I cry. Mark chose it. It was really lovely, everyone just stood around us watching.

“It was so nice to be together with no interruptions for the first time that day. It was a great way to start married life.

“I was not nervous at all, at any point through the day but when I stood next to Mark he was shaking while he was taking his vows.

“We didn’t really have a honeymoon. We were more bothered about the day, we wanted to have a big day and make it really special. We will go on a really big holiday another year to make up for it.

“It is really nice to be his wife now. We feel complete. Like a complete family. It has just been the three of us for a while now and it is just right that we all have the same last name and are a proper family. It feels great.

Photography by Duane Barrett.

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