Real Weddings

Justin Alexander for a chic wedding at Combermere Abbey – Lucy & Richard

Alexis Forsyth

Following a picture-perfect proposal in New York, it seemed only fitting that Lucy and Richard would incorporate this iconic city within the theme for their big day.

Cue a sophisticated colour palette with the glitziest of styling details, cocktails (of course), oh and a fabulous wedding gown from a New York based designer!

Tying the knot last October, the couple had their heart set on an autumn wedding – falling in love with their venue-to-be Combermere Abbey after just one visit. A luxurious Cheshire destination steeped in history, the building was in fact a monastery once upon a time and it’s beyond stunning as a modern-day wedding venue.

Details to pore over today include a gorgeous rose, eucalyptus and fern bouquet, cute taxi and Statue of Liberty figurines on the cake, sequined bridesmaid dresses and a fruit maze – quite a combination! Want to know more? Bride Lucy recounts all the best bits from their special day.

With images by The Little Paper Shop


Lucy says

: We got engaged in February 2017, in New York under the Brooklyn Bridge. We were going for dinner at the River Café and Richard proposed beforehand. There is an amazing view of the New York skyline from the restaurant.


We got married on 20th October 2018. We wanted an autumn wedding as it’s mine and Richard’s favourite time of year. We knew the photographs would be great with the autumn colours.

We chose Combermere Abbey for the ceremony and reception. It was the first venue we viewed, and we loved it straight away.


We had a bit of a New York theme due to us getting engaged there; our table names were places in New York and the top table was obviously Brooklyn Bridge.

Gold was the main colour to complement the autumnal feel and we thought gold and glitzy fitted in with the theme.


My dress was by Justin Alexander, who unknowingly to myself, is from New York! I got it from Wedding World in Shrewsbury. It had a detailed pearl and diamanté neckline and chiffon skirt.


Richard and his groomsmen wore blue suits from Platt’s Menswear in Crewe.


The bridesmaids’ dresses were gold sequin with a cowl back and were made by someone I went to school with, who now owns a sewing shop called The Sewing Box in Market Drayton.


Our hair was styled by my friend and hairdresser Lauren Parker and our makeup was done by The Ivy Suite based in Market Drayton.


Combermere Abbey supply a car as part of their hire package. I was provided accommodation in a cottage for the night before the wedding too.


Cara of The Little Paper Shop captured our day and we would definitely recommend her. Everyone felt at ease and none of us felt as if the day revolved around having photos taken, yet the pictures we have are amazing!


The flowers were supplied by Dorne Tew of Mulberry Bush Studios in Hodnet, Shropshire. My bouquet consisted of roses with eucalyptus and fern.

We used a venue dresser called Dress 2 Impress from Stoke on Trent. The centrepieces comprised flower halos and false roses.

Our favours were cocktail tokens provided by the bar, which was provided by a company called Gorilla Events.


We had a New York themed cake. It was three-tiered and decorated with iced figures of yellow cabs, the Statue of Liberty and figurines of Richard proposing to me. It was made by my friend Natalie, who I work with.


We went for what we thought was a good autumnal menu. We served baked Camembert, mini trio of pies and then apple tart tatin, followed by fish and chips in the evening.

Our caterers were Olive Tree who we would highly recommend. Nothing was too much trouble and the menu choices were amazing. It was all very well done, and they catered for everyone without any trouble.


We had a band in the evening called the English Country Gentleman. We didn’t just want a disco, so we went for a band to make sure everyone got up dancing!

Special touches

We had canapés and champagne after the ceremony, which was amazing as we had such a lovely day with the weather. For October, it was very warm and sunny, and everyone got to enjoy a drink in the fruit maze at Combermere Abbey.

The band played an acoustic session towards the end of the wedding breakfast which was a nice interlude between the day and evening ceremony beginning.

Thanks to

The venue is a beautiful place and the team that work there oversaw everything on the day and nothing was too much trouble. The accommodation was big enough that everyone who wanted to stay over could, and was unique, comprising of individual cottages.

Best bit

The whole day was amazing from start to finish but I think when we first got to see each other at the ceremony was our favourite bit, as we hadn’t seen each other for a few days prior to the big day.


We went to Cancun in Mexico for our honeymoon, which we loved. It was such a beautiful place and the food and people were amazing!


The day goes quickly so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to savour every minute! After all the build-up, it’s soon the morning after the big day and you can’t believe it’s over.

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