Real Weddings

Ronald Joyce for a Fun & Floral Wedding at the Abbeywood Estate – Sarah & Jorge

Sarah Symonds

We’ve got a big serving of summer lovin’ today on the blog, with blushing bride Sarah and her dashing groom, Jorge, as they mix traditional English pretty-in-pink style with crazy Latino party vibes!

An extremely romantic beach proposal in Miami, a dream wedding in the heart of the Cheshire countryside and finishing up with the honeymoon of their dreams – a wild adventure around Vietnam that’s making us desperate to book some flights as soon as we can travel!

We’ll see the bride, groom and all of their nearest and dearest party the night away at the carnival ‘Hora Loca’ Venezuelan style, baby! And don’t forget that if some of your family are spread far and wide (or unable to attend due to restrictions), a video of the festivities can be a great way to make sure no one misses out on seeing you guys celebrate your big day.

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Lee Brown Photography


Sarah says: We got engaged on the 15th of August 2018, on a beach in Miami. Jorge planned the whole thing to perfection, it was so romantic! He asked me if I wanted to go to the beach to watch the sunset, but little did I know that he had sent his family to set up the perfect proposal. As we were walking along the beach, I started to think this could be it and I couldn’t help but start giggling with the excitement. We then arrived at a blanket with rose petals sprinkled on it, glasses, champagne, candles and seven numbered envelopes. Each envelope contained a date and special event which had happened in our relationship and the last one was 15th August, that day’s date. At this point he got down on his knee and asked me if I would marry him. The sun was starting to set at this point and it was such a magical moment that I’ll never forget.


We got married on the 9th of August 2019. I’m a teacher, so the summer holidays were the perfect time, it gave us some weeks before the wedding to finish off wedding plans and then enough time for our honeymoon after. Jorge’s family were also coming over from Venezuela so it gave us time to spend with them before the wedding too.

We got married at St Vincent De Paul R.C church in Altrincham as this had been my church growing up and it is now where me and Jorge attend since moving back to the area. We had our reception at Abbeywood Estate in Delemere, which is actually the only venue we looked at but we knew, as soon as we saw it, that we wanted to hold our reception here. The gardens are spectacular, the staff were amazing and there were so many possibilities of how we could use the venue.


As Abbeywood has amazing gardens, we based our theme around bringing the garden and flowers inside the glass house. We decided we wanted to create flower hoops to hang down and I also wanted it to be romantic with lots of lights and lanterns.

The colour scheme was dusky pink but we also used complimenting dusky colours in the decorations.


After visiting several bridal shops, I found the perfect dress in Cheshire Bridal Wear in Altrincham. I chose a Ronald Joyce A-line organza dress, with beautiful lace appliques and beading which made it shimmer and sparkle in the light. I always knew that I wanted a traditional A-line dress as when else in my life would I be able to wear a big dress like that?! It made me feel like a princess!


Jorge wore a blue suit from Marks & Spencers and a DKNY pale blue waistcoat with brogue shoes from Lanx. The groomsmen wore the same blue suit as Jorge.


My bridesmaids wore dusky pink long tulle dresses from Ever Pretty.


Chloe from Absolutely Flawless did my makeup. I was so happy that I had chosen her as she listened to what I wanted and created a lovely natural look. She also did the hair and makeup for some of my bridal party. My mum did my hair though, as she’s trained as a hairdresser and I knew she would know exactly how I would want it.


We used Horgans Wedding Cars to transport the wedding party to the church and to take me and Jorge to Abbeywood. We wanted a traditional wedding car so we used the Imperial Landaulette.


Lee Brown was our photographer and we definitely made the right choice. We would definitely recommend him, I think his pictures speak for themselves. He is an amazingly talented photographer and he took so many really beautiful shots, we have so many favourites. He really captured every element of our day perfectly. He was also great at putting us at ease and guiding us.


We were lucky that a family friend videoed the whole wedding without us knowing in advance. We were so grateful as it meant we were able to share our wedding with family members who couldn’t make it over from Venezuela.


We ordered fresh flowers from Altrincham Market and my mum made the bouquets for me and my five bridesmaids. She also made the boutonnieres for Jorge and the groomsmen. They were so beautiful but I definitely asked a lot of my mum, she was still making them on the morning of the wedding! She used large pink and cream roses, gypsophila, astilbe, freesias and statis.

We are very lucky that my family members (excluding me!) are all very creative so we made all the decorations ourselves. My mum made the hanging flower hoops, the amazing lantern centerpieces and other vases for around the venue. My brother, Thomas, decorated the venue with lights, draped organza and set everything up for us. We also created a ladder seating plan and lavender name places, and added extra touches, like a sweet cart. Thomas’ girlfriend, Amanda, also designed our invites and the welcome sign with the floral theme that we had chosen.

I have always loved fireworks and so I managed to convince Jorge to allow me to spend some of our budget on fireworks. We used Brittania and the display was incredible.

I really enjoyed reading about other people’s weddings on Brides Up North to get ideas of how they planned and the way in which they were able to develop their ideas and vision into their perfect day.


As Jorge is from Venezuela we wanted to add a taste of Venezuela to the wedding. One way we did this was through our Venezuelan Rum favours! We asked his family to bring it over with them and we decanted it into small glass bottles and my brother’s girlfriend, Amanda, made amazing labels.


We had a traditional three tier wedding cake; the top was fruit and the other two layers were chocolate. We decorated it with a flower hoop. My Auntie Theresa is a cook and she was so happy when I asked her to make the cake for me. My Uncle Harry made the hoop for cake and we decorated it with flowers.


As it was a summer wedding, we didn’t want anything too heavy. For our starter we had feta and melon marinated with mint and olive oil, for the main course we had oven roasted chicken with Dauphinoise potatoes, creamed leeks and mashed caramelised carrot, and then for dessert, we decided to have pavlova with summer berries. The food was delicious, we had so many people telling us how much they’d enjoyed it!


During the wedding breakfast, we had an acoustic guitarist playing relaxing music and for the evening, we actually ended up having two bands! We wanted to incorporate Jorge’s Latino culture and also the music that I like so the best way was to have two bands. I chose The Wrecks, who were excellent, and then Jorge’s band really helped to get the party started. We had a bit of salsa and a Hora Loca or ‘crazy hour’, where we dressed up and danced. Everyone was up and dancing, it was so much fun. It felt like a carnival!

Thanks to

We would most definitely recommend Abbeywood as it was so perfect for our summer wedding, there are so many possibilities of how you can use the venue and the owner and staff are so accommodating. They will help you to achieve the day of your dreams, nothing was too much trouble. The gardens are also spectacular and the glass house was the perfect place for our wedding breakfast. The food was also delicious.

Best bit

It really is impossible for us to say which bit of the day was our favorite as it was all more perfect than we ever could have imagined. It was a day of so many mixed emotions, feeling nervous and excited getting ready with family and friends, then feeling quite emotional when we saw each other at the end of the aisle. Also seeing all our loved ones there to enjoy our special day with us was very touching. We will also never forget the craziness and fun of our ‘Hora Loca’ and the joy we felt watching the fireworks. Everyone says it’s one of the best days of your lives and it truly was.


We spent three weeks travelling through Vietnam. It was incredible, it had everything we wanted; amazing scenery, food, culture and some relaxation at the end. We started in the crazy busy capital, Hanoi, where we did some sightseeing. We then went to Sapa for a few relaxing days amongst the breathtaking scenery of the rice fields, then Ha Long bay. We splashed out on this bit and spent two nights on the Orchid cruise boat, which took us out into the less touristy area. This was a highlight of the Honeymoon, spending the days swimming and canoeing and the evenings drinking cocktails in the hot tub as the sun set! Next we went to Hue to explore some imperial history. Jorge finally convinced me to go on a motorbike taxi here too! It was a little scary at times weaving through the traffic but also a lot of fun.

Our final stop, and probably my favourite place, was Hoi An. We travelled here on a motorbike tour from Hue, along the Hai Van pass – a beautiful scenic route through mountains and with views of the coast. Even in torrential rain, it was spectacular. Hoi An was the place where we had a chance to relax at the beach and by the pool. At night, it was just magical, with all the lanterns lit up and classical music playing through speakers on each street. We would not change anything about our honeymoon. It was the best holiday we’ve ever been on and it was a real adventure.


Everyone will tell you that the day goes so fast, savour every moment, and it is true, time flies by but make sure you take time to take it all in and just really enjoy yourselves. Don’t worry about all the little things and the timings of everything. If you have planned it well, everything will fall into place and all your hard work will be worth it.

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