Lancashire couple Stephanie and Jonny’s Instagram picture-perfect wedding photography story from Combermere Abbey. A chic and stylish Cheshire wedding celebration with a touch of glamour.

The newlyweds were looking for a natural but creative style of wedding photography and chose Wes Simpson Weddings because that is exactly my speciality.

By choosing me to photograph their day, the couple wasn’t away from their family and friends for too long. Nothing was too staged or over posed and every photo is a true insight into their wedding and a timeless reminder of the best day of their life.

Here is their story…


Classic black and white photo of bride and groom standing next to classic vintage wedding cat at Combermere Abbey


Hi, we are Stephanie and Jonny Drake – originally from Burscough and Leigh in Lancashire, and we met on Instagram!

Our wedding took place at Combermere Abbey, we decided on this Cheshire wedding venue after viewing a handful of locations, with Combermere Abbey being the last one – we instantly knew it was the one for us. 

We fell in love with everything about Combermere Abbey – the sweeping driveway, the abbey itself, the gardens and the fruit maze which makes the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs and how picturesque the glasshouse was where the actual ceremony took place. Add to this the super helpful staff and amazing food and you have one of the best wedding venues in the country.



We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, however, we did have a colour scheme of black, white and gold. My favourite colour is black and I think a mono colour scheme is always so chic and elegant so we decided to go with that whilst adding a touch of antique gold for a bit of extra glamour.


I wore a beautiful Pronovias wedding dress which was called Drinea – I hadn’t tried any dresses on, and as I was browsing online I came across this one and just like the venue, I knew it was the one! I eventually tried it on and that was it. 

The dress came with a magnificent train of tulle which took centre stage but it was the long lace sleeves and illusion off the shoulder bodice styling that I fell in love with. It truly was the dress of my dreams.

I had 4 bridesmaids which I felt was a perfect amount. The bridesmaid’s dresses were black, off the shoulder fishtail gowns which I felt complimented my wedding dress perfectly. The boys wore traditional black 3 piece dinner suits with bow ties. They all looked classic and timeless.  



The girls and I spent the night before the wedding in the romantic, Gothic gatehouse – Stone Lodge. It was the perfect place to prepare with the whole day taking place at Combermere Abby. We had 95-day guests (who all stayed in The Courtyard Cottages) with an additional 40 plus in the evening.

The wedding ceremony took place in the Edwardian Glasshouse, beautiful natural sunlight flooded in as we said our vows in front of family and friends whilst overlooking a fruit maze and pretty pathway.

The wedding breakfast and night time party was the elegant Pavilion. We touched lucky after the ceremony with the weather and managed to enjoy drinks and canapes in the Victorian Walled Gardens before sneaking off for a few private pictures at the abbey before the heavens opened.

On our wedding night, we stayed in the honeymoon suite at Combermere Abbey. The romantic Georgian North Wing of the abbey is very romantic, features include a private entrance and a sweeping staircase. Every detail was taken care of from Champagne on arrival to crisp white linen and fluffy robes and slippers.



Our wedding at Combermere Abbey was truly the best day we would have wished for – it was us 100% down to the tee, it was our style, we did it the way we wanted to and that’s all we hoped for. 

For the incredible Combermere Abbey venue decor, we went with Mat at Red Floral Architecture. Photography by Wes Simpson, who was always my first choice, his portfolio is incredible. The amazing food was by Olive tree catering, hair was Yvette at Bella Hair Boutique (who’s wedding Wes also photographed) and makeup was Annabelle Rose make up. For entertainment, we went with the amazing duo Yo and Joe. 



We loved the speeches – there were happy tears, sad tears and toasts raised for loved ones who couldn’t be with us. We had two best men who wrote a poem which they read out together. One of the best men Stu asked Jonny to be godfather to his daughter during his speech. It was magical. 

We did our speeches after dinner, and due to it being an October wedding, the sun had set and it was dusk, the candlelit room was beautifully lit and the whole room was just filled with love.



“Wes, we are so thankful that you captured the day the way you did – the tears, the laughter, the small moments and all the emotions of the day. We knew you were the photographer for us and I’m so happy with all the photographs and our album! Thank you so much for capturing our day perfectly”Stephanie Drake



Your wedding is one of the most significant events in your life, which is why it’s essential to find a beautiful and memorable venue. Combermere Abbey, a sprawling estate in the English countryside, is the perfect location for your Cheshire wedding. Located right at the borders of Shropshire, Lancashire and Cheshire, this wedding venue is straight out of a fairy tale.

It Has A Rich History

When you get married at Combermere Abbey, you’ll be able to entertain your guests in beautifully-maintained historical buildings. In fact, when you walk onto the estate grounds, you may feel as though you’ve travelled back in time. If you’d like to have a modern wedding that’s still steeped in English tradition, this venue is perfect.

You’ll Have Options

If you do decide to get married here, you’ll be able to hold your ceremony in several locations. If you get married in the spring, summer, or autumn, you’ll be able to choose between an indoor and outdoor wedding ceremony. You’ll also have numerous rooms to host your wedding breakfast in. Having choices means you can make sure that your wedding is everything that you want it to be.

The Perfect Backdrop For Wedding Photos

Long after your wedding is over, you’ll want to look back at the photos that were captured on this special day. There are many beautiful locations for photos here, from the walled gardens to the woodlands surrounding the estate grounds to the stunning Edwardian Glasshouse.

If you want a wedding that feels truly magical, there is no better place to get married than Combermere Abbey. Take a closer look at the estate and think about whether or not you’d like to get married here.



Choosing the right photographer to capture your precious wedding memories is exciting and one of the most important parts of planning your wedding, after all, you only take two things away from your wedding, your rings and your wedding pictures.

Most couples worry about wedding photography, awkward poses and it eating into their day. I photograph you at your best and the moments that matter so that you have meaningful pictures and a wedding you love.

If you’re planning a wedding at Combermere Abbey or anywhere else in the world and want me to be your wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch and let’s talk about your wedding. 

Let's create something meaningful together