My Big Fat Country Wedding: A guide to planning your perfect day

PUBLISHED: 13:35 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:35 29 February 2016

Hyde Bank Farm

Hyde Bank Farm


This charming grade 2 listed stone barn is the perfect setting for intimate weddings.

Hyde Bank FarmHyde Bank Farm

Wedding season may be a little while off yet, but the planning? That’s a year round pursuit. Cake flavours, seating plans, decoration swatching infographics - these can take well over 365 days to bring together, but for those looking to execute the Pinterest-perfect wedding (well, these are the life and times of the Social generation, so who isn’t?), poring over the right venue to house your nuptials in is all worth it in the end. But even before this decision is made, a wedding theme must firmly be in place.

Amongst the most popular trends for 2016, Mandy Blackhurst; Wedding Co-ordinator at Hyde Bank Farm in Cheshire, predicts a big return to the rustic idyll of a countryside wedding. However, ‘this needn’t be the typical countryside do everyone expects’, and she’s right. In fact, the country wedding has been reimagined this year into another sub-genre altogether, with some even dubbing it, the ‘Robin Hood’ wedding.

Hyde Bank FarmHyde Bank Farm

What’s most charming about this folkloric style is that its appeal today lies very much in its looking back at the past with a stripped-back approach to décor and outdoors-y feel; the fact it’s the lovechild of a modern twist on an old classic just means you’re bang on trend to choose it!

Another bonus of this country style is that it is quite achievable within adaptable locations and varying budgets. In keeping with the style, Mandy advises on using local suppliers of beautiful wild flowers and boutique table dressers who use such flourishes as candlelit jam jars to contribute to the overall effect of a nostalgic ambience. Think: dusky meadows and fireflies as the original Disney film depicted, which you can enjoy, should you choose to book your wedding at Hyde Bank Farm. Set in the peaceful Cheshire countryside near Stockport, this verdant location has all the heritage and charm to host such a theme and your guests on your special day.

Hyde Bank FarmHyde Bank Farm

Farmed by the Blackhurst family for over a century, Hyde Bank remains as authentic as possible to the 17th century roots of the stone barns that await your wedding breakfast, but furthermore faithful to their ethos of delivering a personal wedding service. With full and exclusive use of their grounds, you could choose to marry under the stars (providing your vicar is happy to officiate on the lawns), but it shouldn’t go unmentioned that the real jewel in their crown is the Ann Hyde suite, a room in the Grade II listed sandstone barn, with, as Mandy points out ‘superb character and atmosphere, with oak beams, and charming stonewalls’. It truly is an interior as beautiful as the outside, which is a rarity in many modern wedding venues.

Once the location has been settled upon, there is, of course, the finer details of a menu and the evening’s entertainment to think about. As a seasoned wedding planner, Mandy and her team can recommend the most talented photographers, DJs - and even pianists, around. The Hyde Bank vision is clearly a straightforward one in delivering a bespoke wedding package. For example, as part of the complimentary extras they offer on the big day, champagne on arrival for the bride and groom is just the beginning of their five star treatment.

But set extras don’t mean you can’t personalise the event as you so wish. The team of chefs at Hyde Bank Farm are very flexible with their menus and will create beautiful dishes as you desire - the only thing they do have a caveat on, is quality. Their produce is locally sourced and always fresh, so they invite you to make the most of the connections in their little black book and bring your own menu plans to run through during your first consultation.

It’s fair to say that Hyde Bank Farm was destined to host weddings. The date stone on the main building dates back to 1655 when it was inhabited by Ann Hyde, once resident of the farm and future wife of King James II. This truly is a place steeped in as much cultural history as Robin Hood and with a picturesque countryside setting to boot; it’d be treason to miss it.
Twitter: @HydeBankFarm

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