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Master Strokes: A Real Art Gallery Wedding In Leeds – Helen & Dipesh

Posted on: 19/12/2011

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You might know that before I was a , I worked as a lawyer in Leeds City Centre.  I am also a total art geek (I took art A Level at a local college alongside my uni degree just so I could splash the paint around), so many a lunchtime was spent wandering Leeds Art Gallery, rather than eat a sarnie at my desk. 

I always used to think that the Tiled Hall would be a fabulous place to hold a wedding reception, so when Helen and Dipesh’s Real Wedding photographs by John Hope Photography landed in my inbox, I cpuldn’t wait to share them here.  This Yorkshire Wedding is a study in modern sophistication and letting a stunning venue speak for itself. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: John Hope Photography

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Over to Helen:  We got engaged in February 2011, when we were weeding Dipesh’s garden. He asked me to dig up a weed. I offered him the trowel but he told me to do it myself, I had a flare of Mediterranean temper and got a bit cross but when I dug up the weed there was a box underneath which contained a handmade gold fish pendant with a diamond set into it’s mouth. My parents are Maltese and this is an old tradition of offering a girl a fish with a diamond or ring in its mouth as a proposal, if she accepts she makes a pie out of the fish and returns it as an acceptance. There was no fish pie but there was a definite YES! A beautiful hand made ruby and diamond engagement ring that Dipesh designed followed shortly afterwards.

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John Hope Photography

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We were married on 27th August 2011 in a civil ceremony at Leeds Town Hall in the morning with just our immediate family and then a Humanist ceremony in Leeds Art Gallery with a reception in The Tiled Hall which is joined to the gallery and is part of Leeds City Library with all our friends.

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John Hope Photography

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We absolutely loved the stunning setting of the Tiled Hall, it was built in the Victorian era and has the most beautiful mosaic tiled vaulted ceiling and gorgeous tiled walls. The idea to have the Humanist ceremony came after we’d booked the Tiled Hall and the Art Gallery were really helpful in accommodating our request.

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In the Art Gallery we kept the dressing of the area quite neutral as there is so much colour going on around us. We introduced a real vibrant mix of colour in the flowers, my red satin shoes and the French Navy suit that Dipesh wore – the colour of which came out fantastically on the photos.

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We also kept it low key in the Tiled Hall as we wanted the room to be the decoration. We followed through the theme of vibrant floral displays but kept it low key with simple cream Moroccan lanterns with battery powered tea lights set inside (we could not use naked flames in the building) set upon a ring of brightly coloured flowers.

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John Hope Photography

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My eldest brother drove us to the registry with our family and in the evening we got ready at a hotel only 100 yards from the gallery and walked there together. There were still a lot of people in town and they all smiled at us – it was really sweet! It was then very amusing tottering back at midnight with flowers, gifts and too much wine on board only to discover our friend Deborah who had done my hair and make-up had gone home with our room key! Fortunately the hotel was very understanding and gave us a spare key.

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John Hope Photography

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My favourite part of the day was the ceremony. We both believe that a wedding should be a real celebration, personal to the two people involved and filled with warmth and smiles. The Humanist ceremony was fantastic, our celebrant Sharon Kent had gone to great lengths to make it so personal to us and so funny, in the photos you can just see everyone laughing. Plus it was really personal, we wrote our own vows (tough, but so worth it) and Sharon read out things we’d written about each other, at the comic expense of Dipesh as I’d felt the best way to describe him was in the format of an pet care manual, including headings such as breed (Indian-Romford cross) diet and to my eternal cringing shame “nocturnal habits”. Our faces hurt from laughing. And we got to dance our way down the aisle with the biggest grins on our faces

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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I did not want a full length dress as we planned to do a lot of dancing so I opted for a tea length strapless A-line satin dress covered in Alencon lace with a matching bolero jacket. I only went to one shop which was Celebration Bridals in Ossett, they are amazing value and the staff are so helpful and nice. It was the first dress I chose and the first I tried on, job done!

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I did not have any bridesmaids but our nephews wore champagne coloured waistcoats and cravats from Debenhams.

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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Maggie Loughran did our flowers and gave a very personalised service even delving into her own garden to get us some of the flowers we wanted.

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I wanted a seasonal, bright, hand tied bouquet (tied with red satin to match my shoes!) so chose chrysanthemums and dahlias in vivid pinks, reds, purples and orange with touches of orange crocosmia and blue agapanthus.

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In the morning I simply wore large white orchids in my hair

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography took all our photographs. John is very relaxed and sets you at ease. We chose him because of the quality of his photography which is very modern and fresh. He has a good technique for helping you to choose poses and shots that flatter and most importantly he meets you for a pre-wedding shoot which helps prep but also allows you to get to know John. We have a great set of pre-wedding shots and then a beautiful wedding album. We used one of his shots as our thank you cards and everyone has commented on how lovely the photo is.

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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Boutique Catering took care of most of the wedding set up. The people there are great to work with and did so much to make our day perfect, in particular, Natalie our wedding planner was a real star, and very good at keeping us informed of progress.

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We made all our favours which were cute little jars of chilli spiced chutney and preserved ginger. We hand decorated the tags ourselves and used them as name places.

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Instead of dessert we served our wedding cake on big platters along with traditional Indian and Maltese sweets.

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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Traditional fruit cake (made by my Mum who is a superstar cake maker), three tiers, iced very simply in ivory with burgundy ribbons, an antique brooch. Instead of pillars we used a antique vase filled with little crystals – very effective. I made the topper myself out of white orchids as a nod to the registry in the morning.

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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We wrote our own speeches, splitting the thank-yous up, I did the comedy one and Dipesh did the one that brought a tear to everyone’s eye…

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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We are passionate about salsa dancing, specifically Cuban Salsa, so we wanted to include that element but not at the expense of our other guests enjoyment. So our first dance was a really romantic Cuban salsa track (Mi Musica by Alexander Abreu Y Havana D’Primera) that broke into a cheeky Rumba and finally we called all our salsa friends to join in on a group dance called a Rueda, it was just fantastic and really set the atmosphere for the night. After that we mixed it up with everything from R&B, big fat classic dance tunes, funk and a good dollop of dance floor cheese. We’d hired a sound system and had such a good laugh making the playlists for the ceremony, dinner and dancing.

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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For our honeymoon, Dipesh organised an amazing trip to Borneo. The first half was packed with activities such as white water rafting; cycling, jungle trekking and wildlife spotting then we spent the second half chilling on Lankayan island which is a turtle sanctuary with the best snorkelling. We just ate, drank, swam and chilled in our big hammock – bliss.

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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John Hope Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to decide between the both of you on what is important and work together to achieve it, filtering out the tonne of advice people give. They are trying to be helpful but sometimes it knocks you off course and can make you worry about stuff that just doesn’t matter. We were the happiest people in the world that day because we stuck to what we wanted.

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HEART

Congratulations Helen & Dipesh! HEART

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Newlyweds!  Would you like to see your Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Contact me

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  – Images © 2011 John Hope Photography

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One Comment

  • December 19, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    What a fun wedding I’m a salsa fan too, I bet the rueda really got the party started. The dance table names are a fab idea too.

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