Real Life Weddings -Janine Wood and Terry Wildman, Mitton Hall, Clitheroe
It took more than four years for Janine Wood to find the perfect venue for her wedding to Terry Wildman, but when they finally found Mitton Hall in Clitheroe everything else just fell into place<br/>Photography by Neil Redfern
Terry and I first met while we were on holiday with friends in 2002. We were staying at the same apartments and caught each others eye a few times around the swimming pool but didn’t actually speak until we bumped into each other in a bar one evening. We hit it off straight away and then spent the next day together before Terry flew home. We exchanged numbers and promised we’d arrange to meet, even though we lived 250 miles apart.
Once we were both home we spent endless hours talking on the phone and arranged to meet in London for the weekend. From that weekend on, I knew Terry was the one for me. I had fallen head over heals in love with him. He was just perfect and I couldn’t wait to see him again. We spent the next six weeks travelling back and forth between London and Manchester until I decided to take the leap and move down south.
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The following year after being together 18 months, we had our first daughter Reese. We didn’t plan to start a family so soon but we believe everything happens for a reason and she was certainly meant to be and was the best surprise we could have ever wished for.
In 2003 while on a romantic break away to Rome Terry proposed. We were having a stroll one evening when he got down on one knee, pulled out a beautiful diamond ring and asked me to marry him. I was in complete shock but couldn’t wait to put the ring on my finger and say yes!
The big proposal was followed by a lovely meal in true Italian style, on a piazza in front of the Pantheon. The whole weekend was just perfect!
We didn’t start planning the wedding straight away as we didn’t want to leave more than a few years before having another baby. So the following year rather than planning the wedding we saw the arrival of our second daughter, Olivia.
After Olivia’s arrival we decided to look into getting married. We looked into the possibility of a Cypriot wedding and a barn wedding in Cornwall but neither felt quite right. Four years after originally looking into venues we decided we didn’t want to wait any longer and the search for the ideal venue began again. We visited quite a few in the north and the south, but after visiting Mitton Hall in the stunning Ribble Valley there was no contest. We knew instantly it was where we wanted our special day to be.
We wanted somewhere special yet understated, full of charm and elegance in a beautiful location and that’s exactly what we found.
After deciding on a date a mere eight months later, I started dress shopping! I knew I wanted a lace dress and after trying on an Enzoani dress in the very first shop I went to, no other dress compared to it. I knew it was the one.
Next we booked our photographer Neil Redfern. The first time we met Neil, we both knew instantly that we had to have him photograph our day. His work is amazing. We loved his natural unobtrusive style and how he captures the emotions and feel of the day so perfectly.
We were also very fortunate to have my mum do our flowers. She’s had her own business, Blooms Florist in Oldham, for nearly 30 years and her work is simply stunning. We wanted a vintage look, so we decided on the Delcetto rose and added navy berries to bring in an autumnal feel. When my mum should have been relaxing the day before the wedding, being pampered as the Mother-of-the-Bride should be, she worked flat out with my sister doing my flowers. It was worth all the effort as they were stunning. They couldn’t have been more perfect and they meant so much more knowing she had done them for me.
The morning of the wedding quickly arrived. So many emotions were running through me at the same time (and lots of nerves). We had our hair and make up done at the cottage where we’d been staying the few days before, then made our way over to Mitton Hall to put on our dresses.
Ten minutes before the ceremony was due to start my dad arrived at my room. It was time to become Mrs Wildman!
As I walked down the aisle to the ‘Dear John’ film theme tune, clinging on to my dad’s arm I was completely overwhelmed. Seeing all my family, friends and Terry waiting for me I struggled to hold back the tears. We’d been waiting for this moment for such a long time and finally we were here. While we were signing the register we had ‘Maestro’ by the legendary Hans Zimmer played. It’s from one of my favourite films ‘The Holiday’ and seemed fitting as we met on holiday! The ceremony was personal, intimate and very moving, just as we wanted. We left the ceremony to ‘Greatest Day’ by Take That, uplifting with perfect lyrics.
We were lucky to have a very mild and dry day, so we made our way out on to the veranda which has stunning views of the river and Ribble Valley for a champagne reception and canap�s. I remember looking around at Terry, my girls playing with their cousins and our guests mingling with each other and thinking everybody looked so happy. That moment made all the months of planning worthwhile.
Soon it was time for our wedding breakfast. The room was filled with silver candelabras and tall elegant arrangements creating a soft, romantic feel.
After a divine three course meal, my dad, Terry, the best man and myself, although unplanned, made our speeches which reduced everyone to tears again. From around 6pm our evening guests started to arrive and Terry’s uncle, who is a professional singer, sang some of our favourite songs. We had our first dance to ‘You make it real’ by James Morrison which is a really poignant song for us. The evening was fantastic and we barely left the dance floor until the DJ finished.
It was time for our special day to come to an end and for us to retreat to our room to recharge our batteries ready for our ‘Mini-moon’ in the Lake District. Our very special day was absolutely perfect from beginning to end and we would not have changed a thing!
Mrs Janine Wildman
Photographer: Neil Redfern, Manchester, 07812 343932, www.neilredfern.com
Venue: Mitton Hall, Clitheroe, 01254 826544, www.mittonhall.co.uk
The print version of this article appeared in Spring/Summer issue of Pure Weddings
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