Tell us a little bit about yourselves
We met over coffee in Roundhay park – it was an extended date as Paul lost his car keys so we had to trace our steps and find them! Luckily he did – the following week progressed into more dates until 6 months later we moved in together. Paul popped the question a year later in Helen’s hometown of Manchester – at the top of Holcombe Hill in Lancashire, which was a special place for Helen as it was where her dad (who had recently passed away) used to go on his walks. Helen is from a large, close family and it only seemed fitting that they were in on the act. Paul’s event management skills were put to the test organising the surprise engagement party for everyone after the proposal.
Where did you hold your Wedding and what made you choose Shades for your marquee?
We always had a clear vision for our wedding – a special day that would involve all our favourite things: festivals, the outdoors, family, friends, good food and drinks.
We decided on Bowley Scout Campsite, Blackburn with gorgeous views over looking Pendle hill. As we looked around the site for the first time our festival wedding was born “Pendle Calling”. Using Bowley was ideal as we hired the entire lodge which was next to the marquee – providing us access for toilets, kitchen, bedrooms as well as plenty of fields for our guests to glamp. We also were able to book outdoor activities for our guests, leap of faith, crate stacking, grass sledging – there was something for everyone. Louise and the all staff at Bowley were so supportive with planning our weekend and ensured it all ran smoothly.
Shades was the obvious choice – Paul had a good relationship with Paul Styler after working on numerous events together and we knew we would be in safe hands with Shades. We loved the Indian style tents but as soon as Paul Styler showed us the Aurora sailcloth tent we knew that was the one for us. As well as using a fabulous tent we knew Shades had the right accessories we needed for our festival themed vintage wedding – the circular bar, the farm house tables as well as the festoon lighting which lit our walk way so magically.
Who were the key suppliers for your day?
The cake was made by Paul’s mum as well a dessert table where guests brought their own desserts. The flowers were perfectly designed by Sunny Bank flowers as well some helping hands from Helen’s Aunty Ange, Aunty Rita and Aunty Joan. With Paul’s experience in catering we organised all the food ourselves through a variety of contacts.
All of the bell tents were provided by Blank Canvas Tents, a company which Paul started just before the wedding, and has proved very popular with providing affordable glamping solutions at various events and weddings since.
The day – any particular highlights or your favourite part?
It wasn’t just a day – we were lucky to have a whole weekend of fun! Pendle Calling meant we weren’t limited on numbers and we could involve all our family and friends.
Highlights included: everyone arriving early Friday evening and having sundowners outside the marquee sat on straw bales, toasting marshmallows round the bonfire, the groomsmen getting suited and booted in the glorious sunshine in the bell tents (all figuring out how to do a Windsor knot), Pimms and Gin & Tonics in the field after a beautiful wedding service, running into the marquee as the new Mr and Mrs with Candi Staton’s “You’ve got the love” playing , a spectacular firework display in the evening that literally took everyone’s breath away.
The tent – was it everything you’d hoped it would be?
It was so much more – because it was glorious weather we could take all the sides up and enjoy the beautiful views and sunshine, it wasn’t hot inside the marquee it was light, airy and magical.
What advice would you give any other couples planning a marquee wedding?
It’s not as simple as you think – you need someone to take the reins to do a lot of logistics for you. Make sure you use suppliers that you can trust and people you know through family and friends. When family ask to help – give them jobs and make sure everyone knows the plan so it’s not just you two delegating on the day. Make sure you have someone running things on the day itself so you can switch off!