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Real Wedding Recap 2011: Bonfire Night Bride! A Real Castle Wedding In Yorkshire – Laura & Tom

Posted on: 30/12/2011

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Blogger Laura’s big day certainly went with a bang!  This Bonfire Night Bride’s Real Wedding, showcased here only this month, makes it into my pick of favourites from 2011.  Merry Christmas Laura & Tom!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Nick White Images

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You might know her from Twitter as @MrsLouPops, but I first met today’s Real Bride when she won a stunning Flo & Percy headdress on this very wedding blog back in April!  Laura did some blogging of her own in the run up to her Real Wedding this November, which you can check out here.  I have followed Laura’s wedding planning progress on her blog and Twitter and my goodness, she absolutely nailed it.  I am thrilled to be sharing her big day with you this afternoon on Brides Up North. 

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Laura says:  We got engaged in August 2009 at Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire. Tom knew that as ex-seaman Whitby is one of my dad’s favourite places. We’d always go for family days out when I was little so it was a special place to get engaged.  We were married on 5th November 2011 – so I was a Bonfire Night Bride!

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We chose the stunning Danby Castle, North Yorkshire as our venue {A Brides Up North Featured Supplier no less}.  We always knew we wanted something ‘different’ from a wedding venue and Danby Castle was just that. My mum found it on the internet and we made an appointment the next day to go and have a look. Carolyn, the proprietor who showed us around (who later became my wedding fairy godmother!) seemed lovely and the venue blew us away. The building was beautiful, the scenery was absolutely stunning and there were cows, sheep, chickens, cats, dogs, and even a resident Shetland pony! Being animal lovers, the thought of having some extra little wedding guests on our day made us smile! It was the first place we looked at as a potential wedding venue and we were sold within a few minutes of looking round, we just knew it was for us. We didn’t bother looking any further!

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The colour scheme was the first thing we decided, before we even chose a venue! I always knew I wanted plum and gold accents in our wedding as plum is my favourite, perfectly rich colour for a winter wedding and the gold set it off just beautifully.  We never set out to have a strict wedding theme, the only thing we wanted to stick to was colour scheme and to make it as DIY as possible, this way it felt very personal as everything was thought up and organised by my mum and I. It soon came to light that the main theme running through the day was ‘us’ by having all things ‘Laura & Tom.’

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Being a plus size bride who, at 5ft 1 is also vertically challenged, I knew that I needed to be careful when choosing a dress. I originally chose a beautiful Justin Alexander number but then I saw a competition on another wedding blog to win a dream wedding dress made to your design. This was the first time that I’d heard of House of Mooshki, a County Durham based dressmaker. After looking through their website and loving what they do I entered the competition describing my dream wedding dress. Unfortunately I didn’t win but I did get an email from the lovely Vikki at Mooshki to say that I was one of the runners up as they loved the sound of my design and that they’d still love to make it with a discount. The thought of having a dress made specially for me, that nobody else would have was so appealing and the Justin Alexander dress, as lovely as it was, went out the window! I booked an appointment to go up and see Vikki to talk dresses. She was fab, friendly and gorgeous and within 5 minutes it felt like we’d been friends for years. We came up with a dress design that would match my Flo & Percy headpiece perfectly – a stunning ivory lace and tulle full A-line skirt with fitted beaded bodice, sleeves and button up back within a couple of hours whilst my dad, who’d driven us up there, stayed downstairs with Vikki’s Westie and Sky Sports – the right way to keep a man happy! My dress is actually back with the Mooshki ladies being cleaned as I type. It was so muddy (which shows in my photos!) but I didn’t care – it was the sign of such a fabulous day!

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My bridesmaid Amy wore the 2749 dress from Dessy in their ‘African Violet’ colour – a gorgeous rich plum duchess satin floor length dress. The best man and ushers had ties also from Dessy in the same colour and fabric as Amy’s dress.

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I found Amy some lovely gold peep toe shoes in the sale at Office which were perfect! She had a beautiful gold and diamante headband from Olivier Laudus, a taupe coloured marabou wrap to wear over her shoulders when we were outside and I bought her a gorgeous fine gold necklace with a tiny bow from Etsy to wear on the day.

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For our flowers we used Serendipity in Brough, East Yorkshire that I spotted at a local wedding fayre. I had a ‘just picked’ style bouquet with gorgeous plum coloured ranunculus, dyed eucalyptus leaves, berries and gold ting ting to set off the purple. My bridesmaid had a smaller cream version of my bouquet so it stood out next to her plum dress.

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Our invites and other stationery (that our guests loved!) were made by the fab Knots and Kisses.

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Our London/Yorkshire based photographer, Nick White, was amazing! He was fun, informal and had a great vision of our venue’s potential photography wise. When we visited Danby Castle a few months before the wedding he was like a kid in a sweet shop! He stayed in our cottage the night before our wedding so he was there with the family as soon as we got up on the wedding morning. It was so nice having him around – he became part of the family for the weekend!

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My mum, bridesmaid and I had our make up done by Kate Pymm. I went for a ‘more is more’ look including big lashes as I love wearing make up!

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Our wedding car was a fun cream and silver 1965 split screen VW camper van. It was great to have something a bit different and my dad loved it! I’m so glad we got a camper van too as it was difficult enough getting into that with my big dress on so can’t imagine getting into a smaller car! Straight after the ceremony Tom and I went for a ride in the camper van on our own to have some photos taken away from the venue. The Yorkshire Moors has some absolutely amazing scenery and we wanted to make the most of it!

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With our wedding having Tom and I as the main focus of the day we tried to incorporate as many special touches as possible that reflected us as individuals and as a couple from the beginning of the day right through to the end. We played the themes from our favourite films – Home Alone, Forrest Gump, Muppets Christmas Carol, Back to the Future, The Goonies, Star Wars, Shakespeare in Love and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to name just a few, whilst our guests we waiting before the ceremony and during the signing of the register. That was fun for our guests too Tom said he heard a few people guessing what films the music was from.

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My entrance song was a live version of ‘Lover of the Light’ by Mumford and Sons, our favourite band and the lyrics were very fitting with the day.

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My mum surprised us the day before the wedding with three huge photo collages that she had made for us – one with photos of myself, one with photos of Tom and with photos of both of us. We had those put up on display in the bar and marquee for all of our guests to see.

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My dad organised for a Wurlitzer juke box to be put in the bar for our guests to play around with whilst Tom and I were having photos taken. This way our guests could pick their own music and have a bit of fun with it too whilst they enjoyed their canapés!

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For our favours we had Laura & Tom “Wonky” bars which contained one golden ticket per table. Each golden ticket winner was given a bottle of champagne. The plan was to give everybody a favour however, the day before the wedding we discovered that the bars had been eaten by mice at the castle over night!! I did see the funny side of this though and fortunately the greedy little blighters had left enough out of the 55 bars to give the ladies a favour each, the men had to go without but Tom’s best man explained the mishap during the speech. I think our guests thought that he was joking though!

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We had a lemon sponge cake as our main wedding cake and a chocolate sponge cutting cake. Our main cake was an ivory four tiered cake with a lots of cascading sugar flowers down the front. We spotted the cake in our cakemaker’s portfolio and we loved it straight away, it was a coincidence that the cake was called ‘Laura’s Cascade!’ The top three tiers of the cake were fake and so we have these to keep.

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I had lots of things hidden in my dress…Tom and I love Russian Dolls and so my brother bought me the Russian Doll Pandora charm as a present for the wedding day which I had sewn into the front of my bodice. On the wedding morning dad gave me an old sixpence that my mum wore in her dress on their big day, I put it into a little voile bag and pinned it into the hem. It belonged to my dad’s uncle who was killed in the war so it was nice to have something so old and sentimental that could be my ‘something old.’ I also had a little blue ribbon sewn into the back of my dress as a ‘something blue.’

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We also had a basket with purple sequinned flip flops as dancing shoes for our lady guests, a sweetie buffet where we also displayed photos of our parents on their wedding days and a funky dressing up photo corner.

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Along with the jukebox which was used during the day, we had a DJ who played songs that Tom and I had chosen and Blues Brothers band for the evening celebrations. The Blues Brothers is another one of our favourite films and we just love the music. We kept the band a secret from our guests so they were a surprise when they came walking through our marquee in their suits, hats and sunglasses! They went down very well!

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We always knew we wanted to go to New York for our honeymoon. We have both been before and we just love everything about it – the atmosphere and hustle and bustle of the city. We decided that instead of flying there we would sail as it would be once in a lifetime and so magical to watch the city come to life on the horizon. Five days after the wedding we sailed from Southampton to Brooklyn on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 which was out of this world! The crossing took a week and we well and truly spoilt ourselves in every way – we never stopped eating, treat ourselves to massages at the spa, took afternoon naps, read out on deck and even saw dolphins playing by the side of the boat! Then we spent five days staying at the Soho Grand in Downtown Manhattan then we finished off our honeymoon with a quick two night stay at the Nine Zero hotel in Boston.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t strive for perfection, just enjoy everything about the day. I never ever thought I would say that as during my planning I wanted every last little detail to be perfect and I thought people were crazy when they said if things go wrong you won’t care but it really is true. There were things that didn’t go to plan on our day (our favours were only one of a few mishaps!) but when it came to it, these things really didn’t matter at all. If you’re hew husband, family and people you love are there that really is all that matters. 

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Congratulations Laura & Tom!

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You can find out for about Laura in the Bride 2 Be Profile that she completed for Brides Up North, by clicking here!

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  – Images © 2011 Nick White Images

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9 Comments

  • December 8, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    I LOVE Laura. I’ve followed her wedding planning too having got to know her on Twitter and having found her blog.

    Laura – your wedding looked wonderful, you look so beautiful and happy and it looks like it was a brilliant day. I hope you had a wonderful day and that you have a wonderful married life together. xxx

  • December 8, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful wedding, the details really stand out and Laura you look stunning, your dad looks proud as punch too!!
    Congratulations x

  • Laura & Tom
    December 8, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for such a fabulous feature Julia. We are both so happy and excited to see it featured on Brides Up North!

    I’d also like to thank Laura and Lauren for such lovely comments, it really does mean a lot to us xxx

  • December 8, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Wooo! You gots married! Congratulations – you looked gorgeous Mrs!! Stunning pictures, and that dress is soooo beautiful!
    All the best for your married life together! XX

  • December 8, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    What a lovely wedding. Never seen a prouder looking dad :)

  • December 8, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Oh so lovely to see these photos .. Laura you looked stunning! Was such a lovely looking day. So glad your guests liked all the reception stationery :)

  • December 9, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations Laura, you and your wedding looks fantastic, I love your photo in the camper van and your vintage photo frames. Your cake is yummy too!

  • December 9, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Oh Laura so so beautiful and look at beans little face on the last photo thats the man thats won the lottery of life xox

  • December 9, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    My goodness, Laura, your wedding looks AMAZING!!!! I’m so happy for you… you make a stunning bride!!! The pictures are fabulous, and I love your wedding bus idea. :) :)

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