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It’s Only Natural! A Real Wedding In North Yorkshire – Gill & Will

Posted on: 01/10/2012

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Getting the week off to a fabulous start, Gill and Will’s Real Wedding in North Yorkshire is an absolute feast for inspiration seekers – with a traditional ceremony, beautiful florals, a Papakata reception, plenty of homemade details and a bucket loads of flair.

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With amazing images by Vivid Impact Photography, get your Pinterest at the ready!

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Gill says:  We got engaged in Verona – Will got down on one knee down by the river. It was 4 July 2011 – ironically independence day!

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We were married on 1 September 2012.  Our ceremony was held in St Michael and All Angels Church in Barningham and our reception was at Natural Retreats, Richmond.

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I grew up in Newsham which is the next village along from Barningham so that was my local church and it was important for us to be married there as it holds a lot of memories.

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We chose Natural Retreats for the reception as we wanted somewhere where our guests would be able to stay for the weekend and we loved the ‘natural’ environment with the stunning views to have our teepee reception. We really love trees and there are loads at Natural Retreats so it seemed like to perfect choice of venue. It also meant that we could arrange all aspects of the venue ourselves, rather than someone doing this for us – this made it really personal.

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We were quite keen that we didn’t want to have a ‘theme’ for the wedding. We didn’t have one specific style; we just wanted to have a mix of traditional and modern. We wanted the overall look to be natural, stylish, fun and sharp, rather than homemade / ‘shabby chic’ style which isn’t really our taste (even though we made a lot of things ourselves)!

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My dress was a bespoke dress made by Andrea Bambridge in York. I knew I wanted sleeves of some description and lace and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result – it was the perfect dress for me.

I wore more conservative cream peep toes for the Church ceremony and then changed into my Vivienne Westwood heels (jelly shoes) for the rest of the day – they have a huge pink heart on the front and are Strawberry scented!! I also wore a simple veil with tear drop crystals on the edge. My hair piece was a headband from Glitzy Secrets which complemented the more natural elements of the wedding.

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We chose classic navy suits for the men and Will wore a navy tie, whereas the other groomsmen wore grey ties. Will wore a tie clip engraved with his initials.

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The Bridesmaids wore Oyster coloured dresses from Coast – I loved the bow at the top. They also wore coast necklaces to complement the dresses and cream pashminas.

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The Groomsmen had navy suits and grey ties and we got individual tie clips for each of the men, engraved with their initials.

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We used my parents’ cars – Dad and I travelled to Church in their Range Rover vogue (my Uncle Carl drove us) and me and Will later went from Church to the reception in this too, complete with a very welcome glass of bubbly and traditional cans on the back.  The bridesmaids also travelled in a Range Rover.

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For both of us the favourite part of the day was definitely the ceremony. We thought we would be too nervous/emotional to enjoy it but we really enjoyed the sincerity of the service and no nerves in sight!

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I carried a loose bouquet of British Scabius, Thistles, Gyp and Asparagus Fern.  Hutton Flowers florists in Northallerton sourced the flowers but we did the flower arrangements ourselves. One of my bridesmaids and I made the bouquets (not something either of us had ever tried before) and the night before the wedding me and my parents assembled the flowers for Church – we couldn’t find the lights in church so found ourselves trying to arrange them by torchlight the night before the wedding. Luckily we didn’t want any formal flower arrangements – we also had Olive Trees and Wisteria Trees in Church from Ravensworth Nurseries. 

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We added lots of special touches to the day.  Our welcome drinks were cans of ready mixed drinks with stripy straws – gin and pink grapefruit, Pimms and San Pellegrino.

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Each table had a mini Olive Tree on itand people could leave us a message on a paper leaf and hang it on the tree. We really like Olive Trees; they symbolise peace.

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Our table names were star constellations.

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Our favours were a sparkler and a face mask for each guest – these proved to be so much fun throughout the day and night. We wanted something that people could have fun with on the day rather than something that people would feel they had to keep / take home.

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I gave my bridesmaids Links of London ‘Team GB’ bracelets on the day, as a gift, as my previous initials were GB and my new initials are GB

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We used CWC Malings – Clive Wilkinson Catering – we can’t recommend these guys highly enough – absolutely amazing food and the service from the team of staff was second to none – very friendly and completely professional.

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Rhys from Vivid Impact Photography was fantastic to deal with throughout the whole process – he was so enthusiastic from day one and totally ‘got’ all of our ideas. The end result is that we have an amazing set of photographs that we couldn’t be happier with..they really capture the essence of the day.

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We had the open fire in the tents to create a cosy atmosphere – along with the candles on each table, this worked really well in terms of adding soft lighting.

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As a surprise for Will, I arranged a fireworks display – no one else knew about it apart from my parents and Michael at Natural Retreats.

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My mum made my cake for me and it was perfect – the top tier was fruit (which we have saved rather than using it on the day), the middle tier was lemon cake and the bottom tier was plain sponge. It was simply decorated with lace, flowers, hearts and a bride and groom on top of course!

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Val Jones played the Organ for us in Church during the signing of the register and for the hymns, we hired a String Trio for the arrival drinks and canapés part of the day and we hired the most brilliant band from York Undercovered – they were cool and professional and there was a packed dancefloor all night!

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The day after the wedding, we invited family and friends to our lodge for coffee on the veranda so that we could have a catch up about the day before. We then went straight to The Midland in Morecambe for one night. We then went to a ‘pod’ hotel in Birmingham for one night and flew to Santorini in Greece early the next day – bliss.

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When we got home, we had a few days here before we had to go back to work so we had some days out including a theme park and also had a quick last minute trip away to the Lake District.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you try not to lose track of time in the morning and leave plenty of time to get your dress on and relax before heading off to the ceremony. Also just relax and enjoy the whole day.

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HEART Congratulations Gill & Will! HEART

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on the blog!

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  – Images © 2012 Vivid Impact Photography

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3 Comments

  • Lindsey Bonner
    October 1, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    The shoes are divine!

  • October 2, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    What a wonderful wedding, I love the teepee reception and the masks! It looks like a great day was had by all. Thank you for sharing Gill & Will x

  • October 2, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Love the headpiece, it’s really lovely!

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