May 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding is a real treat for all your floral fans out there as it features lots of stunning lavender arrangements put together by talented Brides Up North sponsor and Yorkshire florist BlossEm, which smelt as fabulous as they looked, according to those present.
Bride Jess focused her big day around her love of the pretty plant as well as tea, cake and Yorkshire – as a Sheffield girl myself, it’s no wonder this wedding is right up my street!
Taking place at one of our Luxury Wedding Exhibition venues Nostell Priory, this pretty northern wedding is brimming with fabulous inspiration so be sure to get pinning!
With images by Esme Mai Photography.
jess says: John proposed randomly one night when we were at our home in Manchester. He had taken me to Iceland for my birthday a few weeks previously and we had planned to see the northern lights – this unfortunately was prevented by weather conditions – but I think this was the original engagement plan. It was still romantic and very special though!
We were married on 14th August 2015. There was no special reason for this date but we were moving to New Zealand a few days later and so we were limited by our chosen venue’s availability.
John and I were set on a church wedding and so we decided to tie the knot at St Cuthbert’s Church in Ackworth, which is my local church. It is an absolutely beautiful building.
The reception meanwhile just had to be at Nostell Priory in Wakefield, as it’s one of my all-time favourite places. Brought up in Yorkshire, and living close by to Nostell Priory has meant that it is a special place for me. I just love it! The house, the gardens and the location are just stunning.
The wedding theme came about from different loves and passion of mine. So anyone who knows me knows how much I love lace. I’m also well known for baking a cake, enjoying a good brew and talking about my love of Yorkshire. Finally, lavender is a plant we’ve always had in the garden growing up and the smell is gorgeous, so I wanted to include this too. All put together, this made for a Yorkshire wedding, with a burlap and lace theme, lavender colours and flowers, with a little tea and cake.
From the start of the wedding planning I wanted a tea length dress. My wardrobe is full of lace dresses and my friends expect to see me dressed well, usually in a midi dress (it’s a style I’m known to sport). And, of course, the dress had to have lace! So I was set on a lace dress, with sleeves and midi length. I have to give all the credit for my chosen wedding dress to my best friend, Lottie. She spotted the dress online and then we found a shop in Wakefield that supplied it – and that was that! I tried it on and knew it was spot on! The dress was called Charlotte by House of Mooshki and I bought it from Lace & Co. Bridal Boutique. I kept my accessories simple with a pearl jewellery set and comb clips in my hair.
John wore a blue 1851 suit and white shirt, with ivory tie and pocket square, all from Moss Bros. The groomsmen matched John, wearing the same suits and shirts, finished with lavender ties and pocket squares.
My bridesmaids meanwhile were tricky to organise, simply because of their locations – Newcastle, Paris, Liverpool and Bournemouth. As such, when I saw the Matilda dress in lilac from Monsoon, I just went ahead and sent it to the girls. Joanna, living in Paris wore a different dress, because she was due to be 36 weeks pregnant on the wedding day. Luckily I managed to spot a maternity dress from ASOS that roughly matched the colour and style of the Monsoon dress.
On the wedding day we travelled in a classic Rolls Royce Phantom III, which we booked through Cupid Carriages, based in Sheffield.
My photographer was blooming fantastic! She was the beautiful and thoughtful Esme Mai Photography, who was recommended from another friend and was perfect. We wanted mainly candid photos of all the guests having a good time. You did not even notice that Esme was there; she was not intrusive at all. She did an engagement shoot with us pre wedding which was brilliant too. What she offers for the price is excellent. Obviously, Esme will do the formal stuff too if you want it. We recommended her to everyone and she has already done another wedding for some of our friends.
The wedding flowers were all about lavender! Florist BlossEm in Ackworth, worked hard to make our beautiful bouquets, centre pieces, corsages, church decorations – everything! I had some of the lavender from my mum’s garden in my bouquet too! I cannot thank BlossEm enough for all her hard work. She made the church, reception venue and our bouquets look stunning. She is fantastic and so lovely to work with. She knew exactly what I wanted, and went above and beyond to help!
BlossEm did all the flowers and table centrepieces for the venue, using a few jars and bottles that I had got together, plus supplied a lot of beautiful pieces. I particularly loved the stairs that she styled in the reception room. To finish off the décor my bridesmaids and I put up lots of bunting, which I had bought from various sites on the internet, and we tied hessian sashes around the chairs, which a friend kindly lent to us.
If you want to try and do some of the venue décor and styling yourself then I would definitely recommend the website The Wedding of My Dreams, which is really good for decorations and ideas for favours. We also hired the lawn games from another good supplier called Something Old Something New. They also have sweet carts, vintage china and photo booths for hire.
We kept the favours simple and gave guests a hessian bag containing an individually packaged Yorkshire tea bag and Dorset tea bag, along with a couple of drinks tokens for the bar. Guests also got some pic ’n’ mix sweets. The overall aim of our day was to make sure everyone was well fed and watered and had a good time.
My fantastic bridesmaid, and now sister-in-law, Alice made our wedding cake. It was a naked layer style cake made up of different sponges; classic fruit cake, Victoria sponge, carrot cake and lemon drizzle cake.
When it came to the wedding breakfast we were spoilt for choice with the food options that Dine offered us! Our guests were welcomed by Yorkshire puddings, salmon blinis and Yorkshire blue cheese straw canapes. For the main event everyone had pre-chosen seabass, gammon or a vegetarian option for main. We had a goat’s cheese starter and lemon posset dessert. In the evening we had a good old fashioned wedding buffet! Just kept it simple, with something everyone could enjoy.
In terms of entertainment, Ackworth Community Choir did a wonderful job of captivating our guests whilst we were signing the register during the church service – they did Cosmic Girl by Jamiroquai, Lifted by the Lighthouse Family and we walked out to Elbow, One Day Like This. Magenta Strings, from Leeds, did a mixture of classical and modern music during the drinks reception and produced a really beautiful sound. In the evening we had a superb band called the Jive Doctors. They did some absolute corkers of tunes and also provided the DJ set for us. They were so much fun and everyone really enjoyed dancing to their music!
Nostell Priory is a really beautiful venue and so I would definitely recommend it to other couples.
Looking back at our day I’d say that stand out moments included saying our vows, which was so special, and also dancing and having fun with our friends and family. Having all the people I love together in one room was amazing! It’s not often that you get chance for that to happen. We are so grateful to all our family and friends who enjoyed our day with us. We could not have done it without their love and support – we love them all!
After our wedding day we only had three days until we left the country to move to New Zealand. We had our proper goodbyes with our friends and family at my parents’ house the next day – enjoying a relaxed afternoon with everyone. We then went on a gourmet break for our minimoon to The Pheasant Hotel in Harome, North Yorkshire, for two days and nights of nonstop eating, drinking and relaxing! Once we were settled in New Zealand we went on honeymoon to Fiji to do the whole lying on a beach, drinking cocktails and having massages. It was incredible!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to just relax and enjoy every minute. Not everything will go to plan, but there’s no point stressing about it! The day goes so quickly, you really have to just make the most of it
Never in the history of weddings has it rained so much as it did on our wedding day, but as the saying goes: a wet knot never comes undone!
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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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