Gorton Monastery in all its loveliness

Today, Matt and Michelle tell us about their wedding last year at the beautiful Gorton Monastery.

After meeting at university 15 years earlier, August the 18th 2011 was the day; the day that capped 18 months of planning, finally Michelle Mealing and Matthew Graveston would ‘tie-the-knot’.

The venue was the amazing Monastery of St.Francis at Gorton. A stunningly beautiful place in an area not renowned for its charms, the Monastery was to host the day from start to finish. The groom and his party arrived at around 1:15pm for the 2:30pm wedding. After some fun shots with the photographer (Lisa Tatterson Photography) they began to welcome the guests.

Invitations, seating plan, order of service and menu for the day had been produced for the bride and groom by Alison at SugarLoaf Designs. Based around the bride and groom’s love of dance, the invitation cover drew inspiration from Jack Vettriano’s “Dance Me to the End of Love”.

The groom had 1 best man on the day, with 1 usher and 1 best-boy, his nephew. Supporting the bride were her 2 closest friends as matron of honour and bridesmaid, and the groom’s niece as a delightful flower girl.

The groom’s day was a doddle – the speech was written, the navy blue, Prince Edward style suits donned and all he had to do was turn up. The bride’s day was less straight-forward with issues with the bridesmaids’ dresses and one of the bridal cars being stuck in traffic on its return from dropping the groom’s family at the venue.

The cars were a matching pair of vintage cream Austin Princess’s from the late ‘50’s, supplied by Big Slo Limo of Radcliffe. Despite the problematic start to her afternoon the bridal party arrived at the venue…

The bride wore a champagne coloured, duchess satin gown, with a spaghetti strapped bodice decorated with lace and pearls. The train continued this design with a lace scalloped finish to its 4ft length. The dress was supplied by Wedding Belles of Glossop, who also carried out the alteration work and supplied the dress for the flower-girl. The bridesmaids wore emerald green duchess satin gowns, in an ‘off-the-shoulder’ style with a full length skirt.

The venue was decorated by Verdure Floral Designs of Salford, and amazed both the bride and groom with their amazing extra touches on the day. Verdure also provided the bridal party bouquets and all button-holes.

The wedding cake was a round 3-tier design, with decorations of shamrocks and pearl swags in ivory icing on tiers 1 and 3 and a filigree lace design on tier 2, each tier was finished by an encircling band of gold ribbon and ivory pearls. A simple crystal tea light holder and candle topped the design, and was exactly what the bride and groom had discussed with Helen Finney of Cat’s Whiskers Dake Design. She clearly understood what they were looking for. With a bottom fruit tier, and 2 sponge tiers there was something for everyone.


The bride and groom completed their first dance of a waltz to the tune of Moon River, played by the 15-piece band of Tony Greenwood. Live music played a big part throughout the day with Faye Wertheimer and her Carlton Ensemble playing from the moment guests arrived right up until the speeches.

On the day the couple were married in a civil ceremony, followed by a wonderful blessing from the always entertaining Reverend David Gray, also known as “The Punk Monk”.

The bride and groom honeymooned with a cruise of the Canary Islands.


Thanks so much to Matt and Michelle for sharing the details of their wedding….and WOW! What a dress!

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