Hankelow celebrates the Shenton family wedding
- Credit: Charlotte Giddings Photography
When it seemed Vicki Shenton and Steven Fellows’ wedding day couldn’t be any more perfect, there was one more magical surprise.
The father of the bride, Kirk Shenton, who hosted the reception at their family home, Hankelow Hall, near Crewe, organized an aerial display by a silver Spitfire, followed by a spectacular firework show.
‘We only have one daughter, and she has always been the apple of our eye, plus, the wedding had already been postponed due to Covid, so we wanted it to be extra special,’ said Kirk.
Vicki and Steven's seven children – Jack, Jonnie, Billy, Esmae, Millie, Freddie and Phoebe – were flowergirls and pageboys. Even Molly the Staffordshire bull terrier had a pink bow for the occasion.
Bridesmaids Jodie Roberts, Katie Gerrard, Kirsty Martin and Emma Morrey stayed with the bride at Hankelow Hall the night before the ceremony, and in the morning they were joined by a team of hairdressers and make-up artists to get everyone ready for the big day.
The family has lovingly restored the manor house from the top down over two decades, bringing one of Cheshire's architectural gems back to life.
‘It was such a magical day,’ said proud mother-of-the bride Bev. ‘It was so lovely to all get ready together at home. After a week of rain, the sun even shone for their special day. They’ve been together since they were 17 and they’re 40 now, so we've had a lot of time to plan. Of course, then Covid got in the way, but it was definitely worth the wait for the day we had.'
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After family photos at the hall, a horse-drawn cart took the bride and her father to St James’s Church in Audlem, where crowds had gathered in the sunshine, cheering and waving.
‘We had tears in our eyes as we arrived, as it seemed like the whole village had come out to wish Vicki well,’ said Kirk.
At the church, the two best men Jim Roberts and Oliver Bonell and groomsmen James Shenton and Gavin Shaw had their own surprise for their groom – an engine from Audlem fire station where Steven serves as a retained firefighter. His crew had all come over in their uniforms to form a guard of honour and wish the couple well on their special day.
More than 120 guests attended the service, and afterwards returned to the hall, where the bride’s brother, James, who owns the Cheshire Tipi Company, had laid out a marquee. They were joined by more guests for the evening, with at least 300 joining the party in time for the spectacular Spitfire display and pyrotechnics show.
'Lots more people came from the village to see the display too,' said Kirk. 'It was the perfect end to a perfect day. We were delighted that after having to postpone due to Covid, and worrying about restrictions, we were able to give Vicki and Steven the wedding day they'd always wanted.'
The new Mr and Mrs Fellows then went off on honeymoon to Devon for a family holiday, with all seven children, while Molly the dog stayed at home with Kirk and Bev.
The following day, the family invited everyone back to the marquee for a fundraiser for Alder Hey children’s hospital, with donations from local businesses, including fashion retailer Boohoo, for a charity raffle and auction. Vicki and Steve's first-born child, Ava, died of cancer at Alder Hey in 2008 when she was nine weeks old.
'Alder Hey is a very special charity and has a particular significance for us; we are always keen to do whatever we can to help them,' says Bev. 'It was wonderful to be able to get everyone together again for a big fundraiser the following day. We're still getting donations in, but we estimate the final total will be between £11 and £13,000.
'We offer the field free to local charities looking to hold fundraising events throughout the year, so to hold one of our own at such a special time was wonderful.'
Venue: St James’ Church, Audlem, and Hankelow Hall
Photography: Charlotte Giddings Photography
Bride’s dress: Martina Liana from Shropshire Country Brides
Bridesmaids' dresses: Sorella Vita from Shropshire Country Brides
Suits: Platt's Menswear and Formal Hire
Cake: Jo's Couture Cakes
Flowers: Celine Rose Flowers
Hair and make up: Wedding Hair by Nina Wren
Marquee: Cheshire Tipi Company
Catering: Harvey's Farmhouse Catering
Entertainment: Ollie Birch-Hampson DJ and Girl on Sax
Shimmer Wall: Sequins and Silk
Fireworks: Blitz Fireworks