Brides Up North

Your Move! A Real Christmas Wedding in Yorkshire (With Scrabble & A Ceilidh!) – Charlotte & Tim

January 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Lissa Alexandra Photography

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This cosy Christmas Wedding in Yorkshire, sent to me by Lissa Alexandra Photography, is a modern celebration with a real sense of old fashioned elegance and grace.  Add one very cute and smiley bride, a swinging ceilidh and a musical surprise and you have a day that deserves it’s place in the history books.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Lissa Alexandra Photography

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Let’s hear from Charlotte, the Bride: We got engaged on the Isle of Arran on the west coat of Scotland in September 2010. We got engaged on the rocks of the beach where I used to play as a little girl on her family holidays. The engagement didn’t go entirely to plan though, as we were caught out by the tide and after I had said yes, Tim was forced to carry me through the water to get back to the beach!

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We were married on 10 December 2011 at St Mary’s Church in Boston Spa, a small village in Yorkshire where I grew up. Our reception was held at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall in York.

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We are both foodies and set about searching for a caterer before the venue, as we wanted to make sure the wedding breakfast was of a high standard. Local firm, Poppy Caterers, were recommended by a friend and we noticed they were the exclusive caterers for the Merchant Taylor’s. After a visit to the hall we knew it’s oldy-worldly style and features would be perfect for a winter wedding; it had the exact romantic and cosy feel we were looking for and we fell in love with it instantly.

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We loosely themed our wedding around Christmas but with an overriding elegant and classic vibe. The hall being so old coupled with the setting in historic York, created a decadence which is hard to find in ultra-modern venues. We more than hinted at Christmas by hand-picking our favourite things from this time of year, such as a brass quartet playing carols in the service, hand made heart shaped Christmas tree decorations as our favours, and Christmas trees dressed in white fairly lights. However, we were careful to avoid Christmas crackers, music and bright lights as we wanted to distinguish the event from the Christmas parties which no doubt, all our friends had and were going to be attending at this time of year!

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We chose a Hunter green, gold, and ivory colour theme. Tim and the best men wore a black Prince Edward suit with a patterned ivory waistcoat and hunter green ruche. We had gold bows on the chairs and wrapped our favours in gold wrapping paper. We also designed our own logo, which we made into a gold wax stamp to finish individual Christmas cards, which doubled up as table place names.

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My dress was from Blue by Enzoni and purchased at Brides of York. It was a classic mermaid shaped dress and originally had a halter neck, which I had adjusted into a strapless sweetheart neckline, which is a little more ‘me’. The colour was a dark ivory, as I wanted it to appear warm and not too cold. As I was inevitably going to be cold at a December wedding, I also had a jacket made especially by a local dress maker. To finish off my outfit I borrowed my godmother’s veil and wore Tim’s grandmother’s antique pearls, an old family heirloom. My additional accessories were sourced online and at a local antique fair.

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of ivory roses, my favourite, with freesias for their wonderful scent, these were supplied by Kate Mell, a florist based in Boston Spa. Kate also provided bouquets for the bridesmaids, all the buttons holes, two wonderful pedestals in the church and our table reefs at the reception.

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We searched for months for full length dresses for the bridesmaids, as we knew it would be cold and we didn’t want them to freeze. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any which were in the correct shade of hunter green. In the end, we picked a vogue dress pattern and after a wonderful tour of all of London’s fabric shops with the help of one of the bridesmaids we settled on a fabric from John Lewis. We have a very kind friend who then worked tirelessly to make four stunning and unique dresses. Needless to say, a long thank you was given to her in Tim’s speech.

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It was important that our wedding was warm and cosy being in the middle of winter, so we had the church and the venue dressed with candles, lanterns and a great big roaring fire in the venue.

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As we are both musicians, it was important that the music was just right for our wedding. Tim works for a record label in London and we were fortunate to have a special instrumental edit made of a David Bowie track, which Charlotte walked down the aisle to; this was something a bit different, which was unique to us. We also have some really talented friends, who are professional musicians and they kindly did two very individual versions of our favourite songs during the wedding service.

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In the evening, we were conscious that not all our guests would want to dance, so for a special touch we wrapped up a selection of board games and popped them under the Christmas tree in the venue. After the speeches, we asked one person from each table to find the game for that table, which also doubled as the table name.

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Tim’s mum made the wedding cake, which we then had professionally iced to our specification. It was a three-tiered traditional fruit cake wrapped in marzipan and icing. Our florist made a beautiful arrangement of white roses, which sat on the top layer.

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It’s hard to pick one special moment and for us there were two. The first was the service, in that moment it really is just about you becoming one together, our service was also very special because of our connection with the vicar, he had known me since she was I and Tim since a teenager, so there really was a personal touch, incidentally his son was also one of the two best men. For the second moment; a family friend, who had hosted us when we got engaged teamed up with another of our friends to write and perform a song around our engagement and marriage. We knew they were going to perform this in the evening, however we didn’t know that on the coach to the church in the morning they had taken the time to teach the words and the melody to all our guests. It was a very touching song and incredibly moving moment when out of the blue the whole of the room erupted into song during the chorus; which brought a tear to both of us.

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The evening event started with the Fiddler’s Wreck Ceilidh band, who are a young and very energetic folk group. The great thing about a Ceilidh band is it gets everyone going and of all-ages. It brings a smile and after a few drinks you can’t take yourself away from it. The band played for a couple of hours and then we had a disco, with a perhaps too carefully selected playlist of tracks. The music was played in an adjoining hall from the wedding breakfast so our guests could choose to join in or sip a whisky by the fire whilst playing one of the board games.

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For our honeymoon, we thought that instead of searching for the sun during the winter months, we would make the most of the time of year and go skiing. Neither of us had skied before and we wanted to do something fun. So we picked an exclusive 5 star resort in Canada and spent 11 days, learning to ski, horse riding, and spending time in the spa. It was really relaxing and very cold, but something we’ll never forget and a change from the beach holidays we usually go on. We can also now both ski!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is not to lose sight of what is most important. It’s easy when planning a wedding to get fixated on the material things or drawn into politics, at the end of the day the most important thing is that you and your fiancé are making a commitment to each other and above everything that has to come first.

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HEARTCongratulations Charlotte & Tim! HEART

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  – Images © 2012 Lissa Alexandra Photography 

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime