May 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Happy Fri-yay to one and all! To get your weekend off to a truly stunning start, we’re sharing the beautifully elegant wedding day of Yorkshire girl Diana and her beau Andy.
After falling in love with the grandeur and charm of Broughton Hall in North Yorkshire, today’s bride and groom planned their relaxed and timeless wedding in just five-and-a-half months (impressive, right?).
Leaving the venue to do the talking, Diana concentrated on selecting simple floral decorations with memorable scents, including romantic rosemary and lavender. And to make herself stand out – a bespoke lace gown and Chanel shoes. Girl, we salute you!
With images by Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
diana says: We got engaged on 31st October 2014. Andy surprised me with a trip to Tuscany, Italy for a long weekend. We drove south to Grosetto, an area we had been to and loved before. Andy planned to go to our favourite beach for a picnic lunch before checking into our hotel.
It was quiet, with a few Italians sunbathing in their speedos! Andy got tomato juice over his hands so walked the few paces to the sea to wash his hands. Looking up, I found him flailing his arms around holding a now wet iPhone looking for something. I went to him and was told to help him look for something, something he had just dropped out of his top pocket. I immediately started sifting through sand in the shallows, asking him what exactly I was looking for. “A ring, he said. A special ring!” We looked for a long time not saying much, until I realised it was fruitless and we were both in soaking wet clothes. We went back to our patch of beach and I guess I was in shock as I had my hands over my eyes. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, not knowing if that was a proposal or not. Until I turned to find Andy down on one knee asking me to be his wife, holding a box with a diamond in it. I didn’t hesitate with my answer. It was magical. Thinking he had made the whole previous couple of hours up and wondering how I never knew he was such a good actor. It turned out he had bought a proposal ring by one of my favourite designers, Poppy Dandiya, which he had dropped in the sea, which we continued to look for and never found. But thankfully he didn’t lose the diamond and we designed my ring together back in London after spending the most wonderful few days in Tuscany.
We set the date for 13th August 2015. We wanted to get married straight away and once we had decided on our venue, it was the only date left that year, so we went with it!
Our wedding ceremony was at All Saints Church Broughton with Elslack, which was followed by a wedding breakfast at Broughton Hall, Skipton, North Yorkshire. The evening reception was then held at Utopia on The Broughton Hall Estate.
It was the first venue we looked at and we fell in love with it. At first it wasn’t possible as there were no dates available. We returned to look at venues in Italy, but as a Yorkshire girl I really wanted to get married at Broughton Hall. Luckily a date came available and we were very happy it did. It was our perfect venue. We were able to be on the estate for five days and the owners and staff made it feel like it was our home for the week.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted everything to be very relaxed, neutral and timeless as the venue speaks for itself, so it really didn’t need much dressing.
We based our colour scheme on the flowers and herbs we wanted, which we selected for their scent but also their meaning to us. So olive branches, rosemary and lavender as these reminded us of our time Italy. White roses as Yorkshire’s flower. Overall it was all very natural and neutral, with a hint of pale green.
Working in fashion I was incredibly fortunate that a man I work with used to design and make wedding dresses in his native South Africa. When he offered to make mine I was over the moon. The whole process was just dreamy and he made me feel like a bride-to be. An experience I didn’t find going into boutiques. We worked on the design together and chose the fabrics. The lace came from James Hare in Leeds, so I even had Yorkshire lace! Then he and his seamstress made toiles and we made tweaks until it was perfect and then it was made in the real fabric.
I felt so privileged to see the different stages of my dress being made and all the time and effort and final bits of hand sewing that went into my perfect dress. On the wedding day I also wore a simple cathedral length veil and Chanel shoes! Paul Phillips from Chopp Hair Salon in Leigh-on-Sea, did my hair while makeup artist Kimberley Brook took care of my makeup.
Andy wore a dark navy blue suit from Paul Smith and pale pink/lavender coloured tie. I also had a pocket square made out of the silk part of my wedding dress which he wore too.The groomsmen wore their own dark navy blue suits and the same Paul Smith tie as Andy.
My bridesmaids wore Ted Baker dresses in very pale green. They could be tied in different ways, which was very helpful as one of my bridesmaids was seven-and-a-half months pregnant.
We didn’t have far to travel on the wedding day but my dad surprised us by hiring two cars from Chauffeur Services Yorkshire. The bridal car was a beautiful 1930s Beauford and the bridesmaids’ car was an Austin Princess.
Bethany Clarke captured our day for us. We found her after lots of research online and loved her website and style. We also booked her partner Matthew. They were both very calm and relaxed on the day and weren’t intrusive at all. They captured our wedding in a documentary style as we didn’t want too many formal shots. We loved the final results!
The Hedgerow in Threshfield, provided our wedding flowers. A good friend recommended them to us and Wendy there was just fantastic. She was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. All arrangements were white flowers and green herbs. Yorkshire roses, white freesias, olive branches and rosemary were the main feature. Mine and bridesmaid bouquets were simple handtied designs made up of all the flowers and herbs used throughout the wedding. The button holes were miniature white roses with herbs.
Scent was most important to us when it came to flowers for the venues as the hall didn’t require much dressing and Utopia – where we had the evening do – is a walled garden so was full of flowers anyway. We had olive trees outside the church with a walkway of lavender and rosemary. A floral heart wreath attached to the church gate and also some rosemary heart-shaped topiary on the windowsills and a beautiful floral display at the front of the church in a vintage dolly tub.
The wedding breakfast tables had simple arrangements in the centre using the same flowers and a sprig of rosemary was placed on each napkin to create more scent. All the flowers and herbs were taken from the church to Utopia for the evening do.
We had the most delicious wedding cake from Patisserie Viennoise in Otley. It was a chocolate cake made with chocolate sponge with a rich chocolate truffle filling, decorated with dark, milk and white chocolate and fresh white roses. It was big and dramatic – and all got eaten!
Apart from the fact Broughton Hall is just amazing to look at, the other reason we choose the venue was because we were able to work with their amazing chef Miranda Martin, to create our perfect menu. Andy is a real foodie, so this was very important. To welcome our guests we had canapés of mini Yorkshire puddings with rare beef and horseradish, goat’s cheese figs and honey crostini, and home cured gravlax of salmon with pickled cucumber and dill pickle. We also had an antipasti station with breads, oils, Italian meats and cheeses and summer fruit skewers.
For the wedding breakfast we had pan seared halibut with pea shoots and salsa verde, followed by Lamb loin with fine mash, spinach, mint and pea puree, finished with a lamb reduction and mint salsa. Dessert was homemade lemon tart with raspberries and crème fraiche. In the evening we had a huge cheese and meat board with pork pies. Lea And Sandeman wine merchants based in Barnes, London, supplied all our wedding wines.
When it came to the wedding entertainment I’m fortunate that of my bridesmaids, Tasha Taylor Johnson, is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter. She sang both in the church and for our first dance. It was one of the highlights of our day. She also suggested the band we booked via Vibe Music for the wedding too, who were from near Doncaster. They were fantastic and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough. We had them as a jazz trio in the daytime and then the Silvertones for the evening reception.
As Andy is from Cardiff we had a rather late idea of having an all-male choir sing in the church too.
We ended up booking Steeton Male Voice Choir just a month before the wedding. They were enthusiastic, embracing all of our ideas and nearly 30 members of their choir squeezed into the church to sing for us, both before and during the ceremony. Everybody absolutely loved them as they provided rousing songs and hymns throughout the service, both in English and Welsh. A special touch was singing My Girl’s A Yorkshire Girl just before I entered church.
We would most definitely recommend Broughton Hall to other brides and grooms. The venue is beautiful and there are so many different options how you can hold your wedding. We stayed at Eden for a few days before the wedding, then moved into the hall itself for two nights. The rehearsal dinner was held here the night before and then the wedding breakfast. Andy even went swimming in the outdoor pool the morning before getting married. We then used Utopia for our speeches and evening reception. I loved getting married at this venue. It obviously is very grand, but it is coupled with a heavy dollop of Yorkshire charm which makes you feel at home. The staff were all brilliant and couldn’t do enough to help and accommodate everyone’s needs and last minute requests. Especially Wendy Bateson, who co-ordinated our wedding, and the chef Miranda Martin, who were both exceptional.
I loved every part of the wedding day but I’d have to pick out the ceremony as the very best bit! It was very emotional. From my dad walking me down the aisle, to seeing everyone who was close to us all in a small rural church in the middle of the dales together, the choir and our friend Tasha singing, and, of course, saying our “I dos” – it was all very special.
For our honeymoon we went to Zanzibar and Oman for two weeks. It was magical, but honestly we think wherever you go must be, because you are on such a high from the wedding.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to bear in mind that you don’t need forever to plan a wedding. We booked our venue at the end of February and married in mid-August, so five-and-a-half-months – it can be done!
Your wedding really is the best day ever. People used to say that to me all the time and I never understood. But when your wedding day arrives. You just get it. And it is! You feel this huge tidal wave of love from all your family and friends, it is an incredible and overwhelming experience. We just wish we could celebrate all over again!
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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…
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