February 14th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, Jessica and Andrew share with us their quintessentially classic wedding at the captivating Rudding Park.
We adore the couple’s minimalist palette of rose gold, white and blush pink combined with an understated glamorous vibe, and as for Jessica’s Caroline Castigliano dress – you would never guess that she had such an arduous task in finding ‘the one’ as it is simply stunning.
Throw in some sparklers, fireworks, a seven-piece live band, plus face painting and soft play for he kids – and you have the most perfect wedding day for guests of all ages. Jessica tells us more…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor York Place Studios
jessica says: We got engaged on the 1st March 2015, at Center Parcs in the Lake District. We took a family holiday to get over the winter blues and Andrew surprised me by proposing in the cabin. As he got down on one knee, it began to snow. The day after, we announced our engagement by writing it in the freshly fallen snow. For someone who likes to plan every tiny detail, I was amazed at how Andrew managed to keep the engagement a surprise from me; only my parents knew. Andrew had asked for my hand in marriage a few days prior to our trip.
We got married on 11th December 2016. From the offset we set our hearts on a winter wedding in England and knew we couldn’t guarantee the weather, even in the peak of summer. So we went for a day where the sun set at 3.30 pm and we could have pretty much the whole celebration with beautiful low lighting, creating a very intimate feel.
We chose Rudding Park in Harrogate as our venue. We wanted a location half way between East Yorkshire and Manchester, so started looking at the Leeds area. Nothing we came across had that “feeling” until we walked into Rudding Park. Not only did they make us feel like VIPs from the moment we stepped through the door, they treated Millie, my little girl, like a celebrity too and she loved it there. Millie is three, and not a lot of hotels with Rudding Park status accept children – not only did they accept her, they encouraged her play, her mischievousness and made her laugh every time we went across. Family to us in key and Rudding Park definitely has that family relaxed feel, in a 5 star luxurious environment.
We selected a colour scheme of gold, blush pink, white, rose gold, complimented by a glamorous feel with chandeliers and fairy lights. We wanted a theme that would bring the sparkle, to celebrate the time of year, but not make the wedding about Christmas. We also wanted the colours to look beautiful in the dim lights, so opted for soft pure colours mixed with sparkle and metallic.
My dream dress was a fitted, fishtail, lace gown with sleeves. When I tried on this gown I couldn’t believe how much I didn’t love it. I was really upset. I had to go back to basics and try on a lot of different shapes and then fell in love with a high waist, A-line gown.
I tried on many, but nothing felt like “the one”. As soon as we walked through the doors of The Bridal Collection in Harrogate, we fell in love. The shop itself is magical; I will remember the smell of the Jo Malone candles forever.
I tried on a range of Jenny Packham gowns, again I was disappointed that they didn’t suit my style. I decided to have a look at some of the other designers on the rack, and I noticed a dress hung up that was nothing like I had tried on before. My stomach literally got butterflies when I saw it! Boat neckline, dipped back (not too low), button fastening, high waistline, pencil pleats, cathedral train, A-line, plain, white beautiful gown… the Caroline Castigliano, Hepburn gown! As soon as I stepped into it, I cried. I felt like a bride and this was the gown I was going to marry my best friend in.
My bridesmaids wore a chiffon blush pink gown from ASOS. Meanwhile, the ushers, father of the bride, and father of the groom wore the same as Andrew.
Victoria Farr MUA did our hair and make up for the wedding day. She made me and my bridal party feel like princesses on our wedding morning; her calming nature and fun disposition will mean Victoria will remain close to my heart forever.
York Place Studios and York Place Films were our chosen documentary wedding photographer and videographer. They were truly fantastic. We met with the team in their Scarborough studio before the wedding and even then they made us feel welcome and we got to know each other.
They captured every tiny piece of emotion from start to finish. Emotion we can now look back on and literally feel again by looking at a picture. For that we are truly grateful.
Our guests commented on how they didn’t invade into any of our personal moments and yet how they were literally everywhere, right in the middle of the dance floor capturing the craziest of dance moves, even down to the tears from our guests’ faces during the speeches. Absolutely perfect.
I carried with me a large bouquet of white o’hara roses, fastened with white silk and a Swarovski broach fastening. I also had small photographs of Andrew’s mum, my granddads and my nana attached to my bouquet so I knew they were with me walking down the aisle.
All Aboard Chalk Art provided us with our table plan mirror and our chalk boards around the venue and Creative Events provided us with LOVE letters in the bay windows, the ceiling sashes and lights, and the waterfall chair covers. The room looked just perfect.
We gave out red and white candy canes as favours, tied with a little message from us.
Each guest had a polaroid photograph of themselves as their table name card. This photo was mainly a funny photo which we had found from social media, alternatively we had asked the guests’ family members to source a funny photograph as a surprise – these went down a real treat!
We chose a four-tiered cake from Poppy Pickering in Ilkley. Dominique’s attention to detail and her strive for perfection is impeccable. She gave us inspiration for our cake. We went to her with a vague idea of what we liked and disliked and she guided us to our perfect design. Her cakes not only look stunning, they taste outstanding! We chose a flavour that resembled Fererro Roche, and raspberry and white chocolate, the other two layers were artificial due to the depth and height of the layers.
For our food, we had parsnip and ginger soup to start, followed by a choice of roast salmon, chicken breast and Yorkshire pudding or roasted bell pepper, rounded off by sticky toffee pudding. We chose red and white wine for the tables throughout the meal, and had Champagne, mulled wine and Peroni beer for the reception.
Chucks and Cheese from Goole provided us with a delicious cheese tower!
We had Trio Vivo playing from our Civil Ceremony right through to the blessing, and then throughout our wedding breakfast. Their music is just classic and timeless. Their versions of up-to-date songs were stunning and the children loved the live music. Chris Hilton was a pleasure to work with, he is very professional, and a fantastic musician. The group’s music created the classic, glamorous feel we wanted throughout the day.
In the evening we had seven-piece band Func on the Rocks play. They were absolutely fantastic. They played a mixture of new, old, funk and soul music. The dance floor was full and they really did keep our guests and us on going until the early hours! They were exceptional. Func played out first dance, Yellow, by Coldplay. Their personal rendition was just stunning. It gives me chills just thinking about it. It couldn’t have been any more perfect!
We had fireworks as a surprise to all our guests. We wanted to start off the celebration with a bang and Fireworkers did just that. We had a pyro-musical display to Coldplay – Stars in the Sky. The music means a lot to Andy and I, so it definitely was the right piece of music to have the fireworks to. I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye whilst these were going off. We were in awe, and Millie, my little girl loved it! What a beautiful memory to have.
We used Yorkshire Booth Brothers for our photo booth. Richard was a dream to work with and he was such fun with the guests, lining them up with props and helping to get people in the booth and having a great time.
Abi’s Facepainting from Goole provided us with balloon modelling and face painting for the 27 children. The kids had a fantastic day! The balloons were wonderful and each child was made a personal one of their favourite character. Little Tiddles from Preston provided us with some soft play for the children, along with indoor activities for the children, they had a designated area to play just outside the main room, allowing them to let off steam during the “boring bits”. It went down a real treat. Having suppliers like this made having children at the wedding a pleasure!
I would highly recommend Rudding Park to any couple looking for a 5 star location, Rudding Park have such a beautiful reception room and their chapel is absolutely breath-taking. Father Ian, the vicar, made our wedding day so special. Every tiny detail was covered by the team, and they strive for nothing but perfection on your wedding day. The hotel rooms are exquisite, too, so you do feel like you’re in a little piece of heaven whilst you’re checked in.
Seeing my daughter walk down the aisle and kiss and hug Andrew at the altar was one of my personal highlights from the day. There were so many other special moments too, like walking down the isle to see Andrew, and seeing how proud my father was; the sax player in the chapel performing the rendition of Love is All You Need from Love Actually; the speeches during the reception; the fireworks; me singing Sex on Fire with the band; our “sparkler tunnel” and the Dirty Dancing lift with my husband!
We went to New York for our honeymoon. Andrew and I had never been before. What can we say? It was absolutely breath taking! We walked over 50 miles and covered all the main sites. We stayed in the Lotte Place NYC, where Gossip Girl was filmed. What a beautiful hotel, we stayed in a cathedral view room with a view of St Patricks Cathedral.
The rooftop bar overlooking the Empire State Building at night time was a highlight, together with the horse and carriage ride around Central Park when it started snowing, and then dinner at the Waldorf Astoria! And, finally, there was The Lion King show. What a jam-packed five days. It was just the best start to our married life together.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be: don’t sweat the small stuff. We put so much effort into the little details, and on the day, all that mattered was Andrew, Millie and I. Nothing else mattered at all. So all panic over the favours, the colour of the chair sashes, whether we needed another set of twinkly lights on the pillars, was all for nothing. Yes the venue looked breath taking and we wouldn’t have had it any other way, but what shines through is happiness and it really did for us. Our happiness as a couple and as a family, and the happiness our guests had for us both, too.
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Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...
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