An Ava Rose Hamilton Bride for a Rustic Country House Jewish Wedding at Merrydale Manor, Manchester, UK – Smashing the Glass



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We’re in love with London couple Lillie and Conor’s rustic country house Jewish wedding! The pair wanted to wed in countryside splendor near the bride’s hometown of Manchester, and did Merrydale Manor ever fit the bill!

The couple decided to keep their décor simple, playing up the rustic greenery of their surroundings, and we especially adore what they did with their chuppah – check it out in the photos by Rob Clayton.

When it came to music, Lillie and Conor knew they needed a knock out band with lots of Jewish wedding experience. In the end, they settled on Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Ambassador Band, and they couldn’t be more thrilled with the choice they made. From the chuppah, where Yair from the band sang Lillie and Conor down the aisle with melodious Israeli classics, to the party, where Ambassador Band’s 9-piece kept the dance floor packed, the music set the tone of the day so perfectly.

We were also delighted to hear that Lillie and Conor decided to set up their wedding gift list with Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor The Wedding Shop – but we’ll leave it to the bride herself to share more about that, and all the rest of the details of this fabulous day…



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK









Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK





Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




How we Met

Lillie, the bride: We met back in the summer of 2012 where we were both spending the season working at a summer camp in California, but it wasn’t until we both decided to return to the same summer camp the following year that we got together! I am a marketing manager for a charity and Conor is a food taster for Tesco working in their insight team.



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK





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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




A Country House Wedding

We only saw one venue and the second we walked into Merrydale Manor, we knew it was everything we could have wished for and more! We knew we wanted to get married in Manchester as that is where I (Lillie) grew up and all my family still live there. We wanted a countryside vibe with beautiful grounds and somewhere with good hotels nearby, as over half of the guests were travelling up from London.



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Merrydale Manor hit every single nail on the head! Every time we visited in the lead up to the day we got more and more excited. The owners really have thought of everything and the staff in the lead up and on the actual day went above and beyond to make it the day of our dreams!



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Keeping It Simple

We got engaged in August 2020 and had a slightly longer engagement as we wanted to let Covid and the backlog of weddings in 2021 settle down. So by planning for a summer 2022 wedding, it gave us a lot of time to think about what we actually wanted.



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The venue is so modern and bright we didn’t want to spoil the look and feel of it by adding a lot to it. We kept it all very simple with our flowers being lots of whites and greens and our event stationary being whites and silvers. We didn’t use a wedding planner, and we both loved getting stuck into planning every detail! 



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Invitations / stationery

We used Simcha Invitations who were brilliant! I work in marketing so I pretty much knew what I wanted and it was important to me that it was spot on. Michael was brilliant and super accommodating with any change we requested!



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Hair + Make-up

For hair and makeup I used Tally Bookbinder, who was phenomenal! Tally is a regular on the Manchester wedding circuit and from the first moment I called her, I had total trust in her. She brought a team of girls with her in the morning to help out with my bridesmaids and wedding party. She made the morning of the wedding so chilled and my hair and makeup stayed all night long!



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




An Ava Rose Hamilton Dress

When we had about a year to go until our big day I booked two appointments in shops in and around Manchester. I took my mum and my mother in law with me. I wanted to be open minded going dress shopping and figured even if I didn’t find the dress that day I would have had an amazing day trying on beautiful dresses and sipping champagne! But I found my dream dress in the first shop! 



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




I tried on all different styles but the last dress my consultant brought out I knew was the one, even when it was still on the hanger! When I came out in it I just knew! Any Manchester based brides, I can’t recommend Ava Rose Hamilton highly enough! They were absolutely amazing, and the boutique is beautiful! 



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




Accessories & Shoes

I used a pair of my mum’s diamond earrings and decided to not wear much jewellery as my dress had lots of little pearls and sequins, so I didn’t think I needed it! My shoes were from the Rainbow Club, and were super comfy!



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




The handsome groom

Conor got his suit made especially for our wedding, he got it made at Jones & Jones in Cockfosters. He wore a pair of his late grandpas cufflinks and his Tallit under the chuppah, which his family surprised him with the Friday before the wedding. It was very special to the whole family. 



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK








Bridesmaids

I had four bridesmaids, my two best friends, my sister and Conor’s sister. I wanted them in the same colour but was very happy for them to choose whatever style dress they felt the best in. I bought the dresses at WED2B as they had a variety of different styles for them to choose from and shops in London and Manchester, as two of my bridesmaids were based in Manchester and two in Lonodn. 



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK





Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




Ceremony and Chuppah

Our florist supplied our chuppah, the venue has a dedicated ceremony room which is beautiful and has a rustic feel to it. We wanted our chuppah to fit in with the room well, and didn’t want it to feel too heavy, so we went for whites, greens and candles. 



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We wanted our ceremony to include as many members of our families as we could. With our parents walking us down the aisle, my brother being the ring bearer, our sisters finishing one cup of wine and Conor’s brothers finishing the other.  



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Our Music Choice

Music was so important to us!! So when looking for a band we knew we wanted one that had done previous Jewish weddings before, so we searched and reached out to lots of the bands on the Smashing the Glass recommended vendor’s list. When we had our first meeting with Geoff from Ambassador Band, we knew they were the band for us. 



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For our chuppah we had Yair from the band sing us down the aisle with many of the Israeli classics. And for the party we had the Ambassador Band 9 piece.



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Our first dance song was very important to us. My late grandfather was the singer Frankie Vaughan, and we always knew that we wanted his famous song ‘Give Me The Moonlight’ to be our first dance. It was very important to me that it was his voice and not the band covering it, which Geoff and the band totally understood. It was one of my favourite moments of the whole day!



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We also worked with String Infusion who are a local, all female, string group. They provided acoustic violin for the ceremony alongside Yair, and then played electric violin for the reception and whilst food was being served. They had so much fun they stuck around and played with the Ambassador Band after their set was done! We got so many compliments on how fabulous they were! We wanted a mix of modern and classics which they understood.



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




Flowers

We used Flowers By Mirelle who were wonderful! For my bouquet I wanted a mix of different flowers, but specifically requested peonies as they are my favourite flower! The bridesmaids bouquets were a small version of my one. 



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I am named after my great grandma Lily and when my grandpa got married he wore Lily of the valley for his buttonhole, then when my parents got married my dad wore Lily of the valley as his buttonhole and so we wanted to carry on the tradition with Conor and all the wedding party having Lily of the valley as their buttonholes. I also had some in my bouquet. 

We had two table centre pieces for the room which were alternated throughout the tables, one high design and one lower design, both had candles in them. 



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Photographer and videographer

For photography we used Rob Clayton, I always knew I wanted Rob to capture our big day as he photographed one of my bridesmaids’ weddings and she got the most beautiful photos back!



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I couldn’t recommend Rob highly enough, we honestly didn’t even know he was there, which in my opinion is exactly what you want from a wedding photographer. We were blown away by the photos he truly captured of the atmosphere of the day!



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For the video we went with YSD Media, Stefan and his team were awesome and again we didn’t really know they were there filming away! We have been blown away by the film and the highlights reel, we can’t stop watching it and reliving our day!



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK





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Food and Cake

Food was very important to us especially as Conor works in the food industry! Celia’s Kitchen did our catering, they were great and listened to everything we wanted! 



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Extra details

We very much wanted our dog Bailey to be involved, but after some careful thought we realised it probably wasn’t the best idea. So Conor got a huge cut out of Bailey that we danced with all night – he had a great time and was so well behaved! 



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Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK





Lillie-Conor-Merrydale-Manor-Manchester-UK




Honeymoon

We both turned 30 the month after our wedding, so we knew we wanted to be away for our birthdays so we went on honeymoon 10 days after the wedding. We did a 2 and a half week tour of Italy which was sensational! 

 

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Advice to other couples planning their wedding

Just enjoy it!! It is over in a flash and it truly is the best day ever!



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LILLIE & CONOR’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK

Photography – Rob Clayton
Videography – YSD Media
Band – Ambassador Band
Wedding Registry – The Wedding Shop
Venue – Merrydale Manor
Bride’s dress – Ava Rose Hamilton
Bride’s shoes – Rainbow Club
Groom’s attire – Jones & Jones
Bridesmaids – WED2B
Hair + makeup – Tally Bookbinder
Flowers – Flowers By Mirelle
String Group – String Infusion
Catering – Celia’s kitchen
Stationery/Invitation – Simcha Invitations
Smash The Glass Pouch –  Smashing The Glass Etsy Shop {or join Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club and get one for free!}


If you’re a Jewish or Jew-ish bride-to-be, you’ll want to join Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club. Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for Jewish and Jew-ish brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence during these uncertain times. Join our Brides Club here.


 

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