Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

forest of feelings. a glittering winter wedding at sandburn hall – jade & carl

March 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog, we’re being swept away by a captivating woodland themed wedding on the outskirts of York.

Newlyweds Jade and Carl decided on a winter’s wedding at the beautiful Sandburn Hall. The surrounding forest provided the most romantic of backdrops to their fabulous wedding photography, complemented by the venue’s rustic interior.

With pops of berry tones, log centre pieces, faux fur to keep the bridal party cosy and a pair of wellies for the blushing bride – this wedding really showcases the best of the British outdoors! Jade talks us through their special day.

With images by Photography 34

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jade says: We got engaged on 3rd August 2013. We went for a picnic to Dalby Forest, a place we often go to. After our picnic, we went for a walk around the lake and Carl got down on one knee and proposed!

Our wedding date was set for 18th December 2015. We loved the idea of a winter wedding and Christmas seemed like the best time as there are many people are already celebrating. Plus, the thought of it being cold outside, with everyone warm and cosy inside, really appealed to us. It was also a guaranteed way not to be disappointed by the weather!

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We got married at a beautiful church in our village called St Laurence’s. My mum and dad were married here and my grandpa was buried there, so it has special meaning for me. My husband, Carl, had grown up in the village most of his life too, so it was an obvious choice.

Following on from this we had our reception at Sandburn Hall near York. We chose this venue as we loved all the exposed oak beams and the huge windows. It gave it an outdoorsy feel even though we were inside. Without any decoration, the room looked beautiful and overlooked a forest and golf course.

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We went with a woodland theme for our wedding based on our love of being outdoors.

We chose navy and berry colours as these felt wintery, especially the lovely berry colours which were incorporated into the flowers and men’s ties.

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I wore a Maggie Sottero gown from The Wedding Room in Scarborough. The straps were embellished with Swarovski crystals all the way round the low scoop open back and under the bust. The dress was loose fitted, with a train and a down to the floor veil which framed the dress beautifully.

The groom wore a navy wool suit from Next. As for the bridesmaids, they wore navy floor length Adrianna Papell gowns with embellishment on the chest area. The best men wore the same navy suits as Carl. Meanwhile, my dad and brothers wore kilts which were berry coloured, as they are Scottish.

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Carl’s best friend’s dad, Chris Stanley, drove us on the day in his Jaguar, which he decorated inside for the occasion. It was really special of him to do that and meant a lot to us. We used family cars for the bridal party and rented a coach to take our guests from the church to Sandburn Hall.

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Tony Wilson from Photography 34 was our photographer. He was great and took a lot of time to understand what we wanted. We would definitely recommend him as his photographs were beautiful and really reflected the relaxed nature of the day. We didn’t know he was there most of the time, which was good as there’s nothing worse than a photographer who makes you waste your day posing. He looked really smart, too, and fitted in with the theme!

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I had a teardrop shaped bouquet which was made from silk flowers by Jo Purdy from Hearts and Flowers. I wanted them as a keepsake. The bridesmaids also had a silk singular rose and the head table had a beautifully made table piece with roses, pine cones, thistles, berries and lots of evergreens mixed in.

I created my own centre pieces out of logs, gypsophilas and ivy to tie in with the woodland theme.

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We made our favours out of gold baubles with nametags tied on in brown string since it was Christmas! We thought it would be a good keepsake for people to put on their tree as it had the date of our wedding written on, too.

My wonderful grandma made the cake herself. It was three tiers and was made out of Victoria sponge and chocolate cake. It was a ‘half naked’ iced cake with pine cones, berries and ivy wrapped round it for decoration and hessian bunting on the top reading ‘Jade and Carl.’

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We had a three-course sit down meal. The starter was tomato and mozzarella bruschetta, followed by chicken wrapped in mozzarella, cranberries and Parma ham and rounded off with sticky toffee pudding. We had red and white wine on each table.

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For entertainment, we used the DJ at Sandburn Hall and hired a photo booth, which was a lot of fun for our guests.

In terms of special touches, our guestbook – homemade as a gift – was positioned on a table as you walked into the room, surrounded by photo bunting of me and Carl from when we were babies right through to us together as a couple over the years. It was really nice making that and sharing it with family and friends.

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We used Your Marquee to hire our chairs for the room and dealt with a man called Henry who was really helpful, prompt with information and generally a down to earth guy. Sarah at Nabs Nosh made canapés for us and we were impressed with those and the service. The bridesmaids took the canapés round the guests.

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After the wedding, we stayed at Griffon Forest Holiday Lodges, which is a sister company of Sandburn Hall and located behind the venue in the forestry. The lodges were beautiful and a lot of our family and friends stayed there too which made the celebrations last longer! The lodges are luxurious with hot tubs, chocolates, Prosecco and log burners inside, so they were really lovely to stay in.

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We would definitely recommend Sandburn Hall to others. The staff were brilliant with us and very accommodating to our needs. Everything ran smoothly and they looked after everyone throughout the day. It’s an amazing venue and you need to see the oak beams and large windows to really appreciate it fully. We also felt that it was reasonably priced which is important when trying to plan your wedding as the costs soon add up!

My favourite part of the day? I really enjoyed arriving at Sandburn as “Mr and Mrs ” and being ‘announced’ to all our guests by the toastmaster. It was the first time it started to sink in that we had actually got married!

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For our honeymoon, we went to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. We had asked guests for a contribution towards our honeymoon and everyone was really generous so the place we went to was gorgeous. Whilst on honeymoon, we also found out I was pregnant which was a surprise and made the honeymoon extra special, especially since we realised baby had been made during the wedding weekend! So it all felt quite surreal! Unfortunately, it meant I couldn’t enjoy all the lovely cocktails out there but I still had mocktails which were equally as nice and were brought to the sun loungers by staff, so we were waited on hand and foot.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, try not to get too stressed over the small details. Nobody will notice if the candles aren’t the right size or the font you used doesn’t match your theme! Also try and use what is around you to save money like we did with our centre pieces and table plan. It’s fun to make and means everyone can help too, so you aren’t there doing it all by yourself.

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about the author

Alexis Forsyth
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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