The historic Casterton Grange Estate in Cumbria is the setting for today’s elegant and intimate wedding. Combining a quintessentially English vibe with nods to Scottish heritage, the day was effortlessly sophisticated and timeless.
Cabin crew member Claire wed pilot Ken on 14 August 2021 in an outdoor ceremony at Casterton Grange, near Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. The Grange was an ideal space for the couple who were looking for an intimate venue where their friends and family could get together for an entire wedding weekend. The couple let the beautiful surroundings take centre-stage, adding lots of florals for a romantic summer vibe.
Film RL Films Co
“We chose a Black Tie theme which all the gentlemen guests wore. The ladies wore neutral cocktail and evening dresses.”
“It looked so good. I planned the wedding myself with help from Anneka Sellers, Casterton Grange’s owner.”
Photography Paul Santos Photography
“We wanted a location between our home in Manchester and Ken’s family in Scotland.”
“We searched in and around Kirkby Lonsdale as it’s somewhere we’d visited before and loved, it’s so pretty.”
“We needed enough bedrooms for forty guests to stay.”
“Romantic with tasteful décor and a beautiful setting, we wanted our friends and family to feel like they were coming to stay with us.”
“Casterton Grange ticked every box and we didn’t look any further.”
“I loved its exclusivity and it didn’t feel like a wedding venue – it felt like home.”
“The estate has been restored with the main house and three beautiful, newly-renovated cottages.”
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Claire and Ken have worked for the same airline for twenty years and met several times before getting together.
“In 2014, we were on a long-haul trip to Mexico. When we returned, we dated and Ken proposed on Christmas Day 2018.”
“I knew I wanted timeless and classic, lace but without being too twee. The dress was perfect for me.”
“I spotted it on their Instagram page and ordered it without trying it. It seems madness but I knew it was exactly what I wanted. I loved everything!”
“The lace was exquisite and the shoulders were unusual and very me. They were structured with bell sleeves and the plunge bodice felt sexy yet classic. I think the back was my favourite.”
“Knutsford Wedding Gallery were fantastic. The lead time wasn’t in my favour and they pulled out all the stops with Pronovias.”
“At my first fitting, we were all so nervous and they were as excited as me!”
“My fittings were very time-consuming as the lace appliqué had to be cut meticulously and the horsehair braid hem was unusual.”
“My necklace was gifted by my mum on the day. I also wore pearl and diamond earrings.”
Masses of flowers from Brackens of Bowness provided a romantic backdrop for the wedding photographs.
“I love flowers! They had to be my favourite thing; everyone commented on them and all tried to take them home.”
“I wanted the flowers to look like they’d been freshly picked from the beautiful gardens at Casterton and any structures to look as if they’d grown from the ground.”
“Kevin knew I wasn’t a fan of arches and structures, so everything just rambled up the sides of the building.”
“The flowers were all in season; quicksand roses, big white hydrangeas, delphiniums and sweet peas. Arrangements were in vases and dotted around the house.”
The fine August day meant that Ken and Claire could marry outside on the terrace. Their guests were welcomed by bagpiper Andrew Paton and Bridgewater String Quartet played as Claire walked down the outdoor aisle.
“It was the most beautiful spot. I walked down that aisle after my flower girls and bridesmaids.”
“Our son Leo walked with my maid of honour whilst my nephew Toby walked with my niece, Maya.”
“My dad walked me down the aisle whist the string quartet played ‘Highland Cathedral’. It was a long, gravelled path and was natural and organic.”
“Our ceremony was conducted by Charlotte Pennyfather. We decided on a celebrant as we wanted a flexible, warm, bespoke ceremony.”
“After having several meetings with Charlotte we became close; it was so special. The readings she put together were captivating and moved everyone to tears.”
“There was humour, love and not a dry eye. A poem written and read by our son was a real highlight and a proud moment.”
“We completed the legal parts of the marriage with a registrar which left Charlotte to tailor a personal, beautiful service. It was a perfect mix of traditional and original.”
“We had Emilie Parry-Williams sing ‘Amazing Grace’ and we also drank from the Scottish Quaich.”
Ken and Claire exchanged rings from Rebecca’s Jewellers in Southport.
“We chose platinum bands, mine with diamonds. They were warmed by and blessed by all our guests during our ceremony which was such a lovely idea, suggested by our celebrant.”
The couple found their photographer Paulo Santos Photography through Love My Dress.
A much-respected member of our list of recommended suppliers, Paul’s artistic, atmospheric style and fine art-eye is so beautifully matched to the day’s vibe.
“I fell in love with his Instagram account. It was so stylish, from the moody tones he uses to the vibrant colours, then the crisp black and white.”
“His photographs retell the story. His experience and talent together make him extra-special. Lovely guy.”
After the ceremony, the newly-weds and guests relaxed in the Grange’s grounds, with piano music from Craig Elliot.
“We hired a sailcloth stretch tent from Tentickle which was attached to the house and gave a beautiful area for the drinks reception.”
“It was also a back-up for our outdoor ceremony if it had rained. We also used it to host the Friday evening party and the Sunday morning brunch.”
“It was decorated with festoons and supported with birch poles. Our wedding breakfast and reception were held in a marquee on the lawn, provided by Original Marquees.”
“It was a traditional, sailcloth-style with wooden poles, fairy lights and festoon lights.”
The wedding breakfast was provided by Neaum.
“Jack was outstanding, our own private chef for the weekend. He catered and cooked for us all weekend; on Friday evening, with breakfast hampers delivered to all our guests on the morning of the wedding and a full English champagne brunch on the Sunday.”
“He provided a full team of staff who stayed throughout the weekend. Jack uses seasonal and local organic ingredients and he even bakes his own breads.”
“For favours, everybody had a glass charm with their name on. We used fire fits on the terrace all evening and I bought lots of soft wool blankets which were a great idea.”
The exquisite, tall, tiered cake was from The Bakery at No.4.
“We had lemon and elderflower, and raspberry and white chocolate.”
“It was decorated by Brackens of Bowness. The white china stand was a wedding gift to us.”
“We cut our cake in the beautiful hallway of the house to Coldplay’s ‘A Sky Full Of Stars’. This is our song.”
The evening party, held in the fairy-lit marquee, had live music from band Furious Styles and kicked off with a dance to ‘Rule The World’ by Take That.
Before that, though, the bride changed into a sexy, slinky evening dress from Made With Love Bridal.
“I wanted to party! This was so simple and a perfect evening gown for a warm summer night. I must admit I didn’t want to take off my Pronovias gown.”
“The evening party was fantastic. As we’d just come out of lockdown, this was the first time many of us had danced and hugged for 18 months.”
“The ceremony was my favourite part of the day. My husband looked so handsome, our son too.”
“Seeing everyone in their dresses and tuxes was wonderful. We both loved the wedding breakfast.”
“We had a pianist play and sing a collection of our favourites, a real mix from swing to classical to pop, and he really got everyone in the mood.”
“The sing-a-longs during the meal were so much fun and people were up dancing in between courses. The time alone before the ceremony with my dad was also very special.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Make a weekend of it!”
“Definitely get a highlights video. I’ve watched mine a million times.”
“Make a wedding website. Our guests loved it and RSVPs and information are so much easier to keep up with.”
Congratulations and thanks to you both, Ken and Claire. It’s been wonderful to share your elegant, timeless day.
You can see more of photographer Paul Santos’s beautiful wedding photography here on Love My Dress.