Published: 02/07/2012 07:00 - Updated: 04/09/2012 13:38

Suprise Christmas Proposal

David Cooper and Kimberley Slack wed in a touching ceremony at Combemere Abbey.

I met David in a bar on a night out. We got chatting and eventually swapped numbers. The next Monday at work I heard my phone ringing but missed the call, I knew it was likely to be him but he hadn’t left a message and I didn’t hear from him again that week. I went out again the following Saturday to the same bar so I thought I would text him to see if he was out but he was in London.

It turned out that after we swapped numbers he had tried to call for a taxi. He must have got our numbers mixed up as he was trying to call and text the taxi number all week thinking it was me! He thought that I had been ignoring him, so it’s a good job I texted him!

After that we met up in Alderly Edge for our first date and arranged to go to Gusto for a meal. We got on really well. About a year later David arranged for us to go back to Gusto for a meal on Christmas Eve. He was planning to propose to me that night, but I didn’t realise, so I invited my sister and my friend along as well! We had talked about getting married but I didn’t realise he was going to propose — he did it on Christmas Day instead.

We searched on the internet for lots of venues but we’d been to weddings at a lot of them already so we wanted something a little bit different. We went to see Combemere Abbey on the Cheshire/Shropshire border and it was amazing, even though we viewed it in the winter, it still looked lovely, so we booked it for the following September. They have a fruit maze and we knew that would look even more beautiful in the summer.

What made it so special was that it was tranquil, and the whole venue was exclusively ours for the day. I really enjoyed planning the wedding and, as we did most of it together, it was nice. The downside is that it does take over your life a bit — every weekend you feel like you should be doing something to do with the wedding. You tend to feel quite organised until a few weeks before, and that’s when the stress kicks in but I’m glad it all came together in the end.

I got my dress from a shop called Sense & Sensibility in Stockport. First, I tried on a Maggie Sottero dress which was quite slinky, and I thought that was the kind of dress I would go for, but when I put it on, it just didn’t have the ‘wow factor’. The dress I ended up getting was a Ronald Joyce-Victoria Jane dress after trying a few on. It was so perfect that I didn’t even need to have any alterations done.

My accessories were from Chez Bec and the bridesmaids’ Dessy dresses were from Alison Burgess Couture in Stockport and they fitted in with the periwinkle blue theme that we had chosen. The men got grey bespoke suits from Pockets in Crewe. We used Fiori in Nantwich for the flowers. I was supposed to have periwinkles in my bouquet but as they weren’t in season they didn’t look that great so I had some cream roses instead. In fact, Andy — one of David’s best friends — paid for the flowers for us as a gift and Andy’s auntie arranged them. Venue Perfection in Stoke provided bows for extra decorations for the venue as well.

The night before the wedding, I stayed at home with my bridesmaids, and on the day I was quite nervous, when it came to getting the hair and make up done as you put a lot in the beauticians’ hands — but I was really pleased with Suzy Showman from Hale who did the make up and we used Hair by Liza. They were both absolutely fantastic. Suzy did my sister’s make up first and after seeing how fab she looked I knew she’d do a good job with my make up. It was quite natural but so lovely.

My friend is a wine maker so she brought along some English sparkling wine for us to have whilst we got ready as well. I felt completely fine, in fact the hair and make up ladies were saying how nice we all were to work with because we were so relaxed.

The photographer, Liam Crawley from CG Photography, met us at the Stone Lodge bridal suite in the venue where we put the finishing touches to getting ready. The pictures are amazing — David was more nervous about that, he didn’t want to spend too long having photographs taken but we barely even noticed the photographer was there. We were so pleased with the pictures; it was partly down to the venue, but also a lot to do with the photographer doing such a good job.

We had a chauffer driven mini bus to take us to the Stone Lodge as it isn’t far from the actual venue so cars weren’t a big part of the day for us. I felt quite calm up to this point but then I spotted my sister crying, and that’s when it hit me. The ceremony was in the glasshouse and the reception was in the pavilion. They were both lovely and only a minute’s walk away from each other. We had two readings; one from my best friend, and one from David’s best friend.

When we were planning the wedding we went to see the registrar who was lovely, and we really liked the words used in the vows so we used those. We then had Strelitzia String Quartet for the champagne reception outside the Glasshouse.

We had around 65 people for both the ceremony and the reception and we had a 4pm wedding which was nice as it meant there were no boring lulls to the day, it just flowed nicely. The venue recommended our caterer and bar service as well, Sue Le Bonne did the catering and Gorrilla Events provided the bar. They were both really good, everyone commented on the lovely food.

The speeches went really well, my dad’s was off the cuff, and it was really good. David was really nervous about his but the best man was so nervous that he didn’t even eat! However, both of their speeches were good and everyone enjoyed them. Our cake was delivered by Pretty Tasty Cakes who are based in Widnes. We had butterflies on all the invites and on the tables so we went for cupcakes with a butterfly design on them to make sure everything matched.

The DJ we used was from Hipswing Entertainment in Nantwich. We made a list of the songs we wanted and the dance floor was always busy which was a good sign! We had our first dance to Make You Feel My Love by Adele but then that went into Rhianna with Only Girl In The World as we wanted everyone to get on the dance floor.

For our honeymoon we spent two weeks in Mauritius, it was amazing, and David even upgraded our flights to business class! We’d love to go back there. I enjoyed everything about the day, everything just came together and everyone else enjoyed themselves which was important. If I could go back I wouldn’t change a thing.

Beverly Cooper with her son David on his Wedding Day
Beverly Cooper with her son David on his Wedding Day

A note from the mother-in-law

As soon as I met Kimberly I liked her very much, she was very unassuming and wasn’t at all petty. Kimberly and David look great together, they’re well matched and I was so pleased when they got married. I wasn’t that involved in the planning, they did most of it themselves, but I bought my outfit from Tara's Couture in Crewe. I actually won a competition for the best dressed mother-of-the-bride. I didn’t even like the photo that was sent in so I was really surprised to win! I wore a blue dress to fit the colour scheme with a bolero jacket - which seems to be quite popular nowadays.

I was so nervous for David but in the end I just enjoyed it and wanted to do it all over again. Since the wedding I have been boring everybody with the photographs! Kimberly looked so elegant and the venue was lovely; it was such a beautiful setting. The ceremony was my favourite part of the day; they just looked so in love and delighted to be getting married to each other.

Photographs by Liam Crawley from CG Photography.

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