December 8th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding comes courtesy of Brides Up North reader Laura, and oh boy, is it a good one!
From the choice of venue through to the stylish colour scheme, fabulous blooms and Laura’s incredible dress, we adore everything about this wedding, which was planned in just four months. Yep, you read right, four months!
We’re also thrilled to see lots of our fabulous Sponsor suppliers contributing to this gorgeous celebration (if you’re on the hunt for talented professionals to make your day perfect, be sure to take a look at our ‘Suppliers We Love’ online directory).
Laura and Andrew wanted a relaxed and informal big day with a rockin’ party atmosphere, and by the looks of things, that’s exactly what they got!
With images by York Place Studios.
laura says: We got engaged at home, in September 2015. It was a total surprise – we have been together for ten years, after meeting at Uni. We’d recently moved into our new home and Andrew got up early to do some painting, when I got up he’d written “will you marry me” on the wall!
We booked the wedding for 12th March 2016, as we fell in love with our venue – Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire – as soon as we saw it and they had an opening for this date. It meant that we had just four months from viewing the venue to the wedding day!
Middleton Lodge had everything we were looking for – character yet it still felt relaxed. We wanted the wedding to be a whole weekend party without people having to worry about taxis and getting home. At Middleton Lodge everyone could stay and the house was exclusively ours for the weekend. We also immediately loved the cellar bar as it was totally different from the house and knew we’d completely change the dynamic of the day when we went down there in the evening.
We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, things were just relaxed and informal, though we wanted it to have a real party atmosphere.
Our colour scheme was navy and copper. We loved the colours as we’d seen them a lot in home interiors but we’d not seen them being used for weddings.
My wedding dress was a 50’s inspired Caroline Castigliano dress, called Hepburn, from The Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It had a very full skirt but other than that was very plain and simple. The dress was the one thing I didn’t want to compromise on if we’re going to organise the whole wedding in four months so I chose this before we committed to the venue and date. My shoes were Jimmy Choos.
Andrew wore a Ted Baker navy wool suit with a matching brown waistcoat. His shirt was from Thomas Pink and the shoes were from Sons of London. Both the Andrew and his best man had inscriptions sewn into the jackets, they chose each other’s and didn’t know what the other had written until they collected them.
My bridesmaid wore a long navy dress from ASOS.
Our photographers for the day were York Place Studios, based in Scarborough. We would recommend them to couples looking for something a bit different, less traditional and more relaxed. They were fantastic – all the shots are very informal, natural and observational, which was exactly what we wanted as we aren’t comfortable in front of the camera normally. Dom and Liam just blended into the background so we forgot they were there. They don’t use flash which gives the shots a very natural feel.
Our flowers were supplied by Leafy Couture in Otley. It was quite hard as we couldn’t get flowers to match the colour theme so had to go for something quite neutral – pale pinks, peaches and whites.
To style the venue we hired different items from different suppliers. The peg letter board to display the evening DJ itinerary was from Another Story Studio, while the evening lighting (light box and love sign) were supplied by Coco Luminaire. The copper terrariums were supplied by Hey Style and Kelly’s Event Boutique provided the copper chargers. We also purchased a few bits like tealight holders, candles etc which we have been able to sell on eBay post wedding.
All our stationery was by Project Pretty, who I would recommend, they were great at adapting existing designs to meet our colour theme.
As favours we gave M&Ms with our faces and the date printed on them, which we presented in little glass bottles with copper lids.
Our three-tier, round wedding cake was made by Blossom Tree Cake Company in Harrogate. The cake was navy with copper elements. Kean and Stephen were brilliant – we showed them pictures of things we liked and discussed the colour theme and they came back to us with lots of different drawings of options to choose from.
During the drinks reception we served Cosmopolitans and Dark and Stormy cocktails and local Yorkshire ale, rather than fizz. We had an acoustic singer to perform at both the drinks reception and ceremony as we wanted something that would create a real atmosphere.
When it came to the wedding breakfast, we chose food that we loved rather than trying to think about what other people would want to eat. As a starter we had duck, followed by canon of lamb for main and a deconstructed apple and blackberry crumble for dessert. Each table had two red and two white wines to choose from – we wanted our guests to really enjoy the wine (as we do!).
In the evening, we had a pickled egg bar – different, but a real hit – kindly donated by Purely Pickled Eggs, which is run by one of our close friend’s mother.
Entertainment-wise, we had a DJ who played music chosen by our friends and family, moving through the decades. We asked our parents to choose the music of their youth – from the 50s, 60s and 70s, Andrew’s sister then did a set from the 80s, the best man did the 90s and 2000s and my school friends covered the music we used to listen to growing up. We also had dressing up props for each of the decades to get really the guests into the spirit.
As a special touch to the day we tried to incorporate some Welsh touches as Andrew is Welsh. We had Welsh Cakes given out with the tea and coffee after dinner, a Welsh cheese in our cheese tower and Welsh Rarebit served to the guests at the very end of the evening.
Following our wedding I would definitely recommend Middleton Lodge to other couples. It truly is a home away from home for the weekend and the event team are really experienced, they ensure the whole day goes really smoothly.
On reflection, I’d say that the ceremony was my favourite part of the day. It’s the first time you see each other and all your guests – it’s just amazing to have everyone you love in one place.
For our honeymoon we went to Paris and Barcelona. Andrew organised the whole thing, so it was a surprise for me. He chose them as they were places that neither of us had been to together.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to bear in mind that you don’t need years to plan a wedding. We managed the whole thing in four months so you can do it! Just be clear on the things you don’t want to compromise on and avoid the peak wedding season so that all the best suppliers aren’t already booked up.
One of the biggest obstacles we faced was that our wedding day clashed with England vs Wales in the Rugby 6 Nations – with the bride being English and the groom being Welsh (not to mention being from a fanatical Rugby family) we needed to work out a way of showing the game during the day. Luckily the venue had a snooker room where we set up a TV. We even managed to get copies of the match programme for the guests!
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Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...
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