The Roman Lakes is a venue I know VERY well. For those of you who don’t, it’s a heritage site hidden away in the Goyt Valley and has small country roads leading to Mellor and the centre of Marple. Not only have I shot a wedding at this unique venue before, but I have walked around the surrounding area to enjoy the scenery with my wife and, more recently, my baby in a harness on my back. My little boy loves to point at the ducks, the sheep, the horse-riders, the dog-walkers, the trees and the waterfall and river. There’s so much nature to look at and enjoy. Happy times! With all this to appreciate, it was no surprise that one of my recent couples, Caroline and Paul wanted to share their small intimate wedding with their family and friends in such a beautiful place.
Going to the Chapel…
Before going to The Roman Lakes, however, Caroline and Paul decided to get married at Chadkirk Chapel, not too far away in Romiley. This is another beauty spot in the Goyt Valley surrounded by woodland and meadows. Also, another venue filled with history. It’s a Grade II listed building with parts of it dating back to the 16th Century. Of course, it’s had a bit of work done since then! With various renovations and uses across the centuries, it has now become a venue licensed for wedding ceremonies and run by Stockport Council. It’s perfect for couples who love the countryside and want a smaller wedding as the chapel can seat up to 80 guests.
I started my day as the wedding photographer at the chapel itself and met the groom, Paul there. He was sorting out the finer details and making sure everything was in place before Caroline arrived at the venue, accompanied by her father. Before she made her entrance, the couple’s children and their niece and nephews marched down the aisle – some were more keen than others! With flowers in the girls’ hair and mini waistcoats and button holes for the boys they looked as great as the bride and groom. The pair looked stunning yet relaxed with an elegant lace dress and no jackets for the groom and best man. They all looked at home in the wedding venue which was rustic with its stone floors, timber beams, stained glass and carved wooden decor. Such a fabulous, intimate setting to say the ‘I Dos!’
To the Lakes
Once Caroline and Paul were officially husband and wife, they went with their wedding party by shuttle bus to The Roman Lakes. This is a small family-owned venue in Marple – very well known to the locals – and it’s quite a bumpy (but short!) road trip from the centre. It’s not far but you still feel like you’re miles away from everything thanks to being surrounded by greenery. The owners of this wedding venue kept all the fun and activities outside so that the wedding party could enjoy the sunshine. Not only did they spread outdoor games out for the wedding guests, but they also set up an outdoor photo booth complete with props for everyone (especially the kids) to enjoy. There was something for everyone, including the ducks as the venue had arranged bags of duck food for the guests to use!
As I was taking the wedding photographs, I realised that there were thousands of white daisies everywhere! This gave Caroline and Paul’s portrait photos a stunning natural backdrop and the guests enjoyed making daisy chains and decorating beards with the tiny flowers.
The Tea Rooms
After the fun in the sun, the guests moved indoors to The Tea Rooms. This is another cosy space, once again perfect for smaller weddings. Caroline and Paul wanted to keep the relaxed vibes going and didn’t bother with a table plan for the space which was made up of wooden benches and chairs, simple table cloths and vases of mixed wild flowers. Perfect for the setting. Once they’d sampled the Hog Roast, fizz and speeches on offer the couple had their first dance as husband and wife under fairy lights and bunting while the Rhythm “n” Blues band, ‘Louis, Louis, Louis’ played. There were more games outside and of course more dancing, which included throwing some of the smaller guests around the dance floor.
This was a wedding for both the little kids and the big kids, and one where family and friends were at the heart of all the planning. Caroline and Paul also showed what fabulous style and personality they both had. You could see it in every detail from the stack of cheeses they chose for their “wedding cake” to the grand and green scenery they chose as the setting or both of their two venues.
If you want to see The Roman Lakes for yourself, you’ll have to go to one of their monthly Tea Dances or Open Days to enjoy the venue. Since the Pandemic, the venue is not open to the public as often as it used to be. But hey, another way you can see what this fabulous venue has to offer is to book your wedding there, and if you need a photographer I’d love to hear from you!