March 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s couple had a January wedding, although you wouldn’t guess it from the pictures. These photos positively glow with sepia-toned sunlight, and the navy, peach and dusky purple of the colour scheme as well as the champagne tones of Carly’s dress create even more warmth.
Add some woodland details in the decor, roaring open fires and a magical Nordic honeymoon and you’ve got the perfect recipe to beat the winter blues.
With photography by Charlotte Boothman of Lottie Designs.
carly says: We got engaged on the 23rd April, 2016. Phil had booked us a night away in Wales, near Lake Vyrnwy. We went for a walk in the hills above the lake just before lunchtime and sat down at a gorgeous spot where the trees open up and you can see all of the lake. Not knowing that Phil was getting ready to propose (and feeling rather nervous), I decided that this was a good time for lunch, so he had to wait for me to finish a sandwich and a grab bag of crisps before he could ask me to marry him!
We got married on Friday 20th January 2017. Neither of us were really bothered about a spring or summer wedding, and we knew that you can never really guarantee the weather at any time of the year. So when we decided that we wanted to get married at Mitton Hall, we took the first date that they offered us! The gamble paid off, as the weather was amazing.
We got married at Mitton Hall in the Ribble Valley. We both love the Ribble Valley, so it was the first place that we wanted to look for a wedding venue. We’d only heard amazing things about Mitton Hall, and as soon as we walked in we knew it was perfect for us. We loved how each room was different. The main room was very open and light, which we knew we’d need with it being winter. However, the bar areas were really cosy with big fires.
We didn’t really have a theme for the wedding to begin with, but with it being a winter wedding I wanted to try to mix some rustic, woodland type décor with some gold/champagne pieces to add a touch of glamour and warmth. Everything else just fell into place from there.
Colour-wise, we wanted something quite subtle and laid back. We mixed dusky purples, ivory, dove grey and champagne tones, with navy and the odd bit of peach here and there.
My dress was called Erin by Ronald Joyce and I bought it from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. I had tried on quite a few dresses before going to Emma Louise, but none of them felt 100% right. I’d always thought that I would have chosen a relaxed, bohemian style dress, but when I saw ‘the one’ I just loved all of the lace detail and the embellishment. It was also the first champagne coloured dress that I’d tried on and I loved it! It warmed my skin up the minute that I put it on.
I also wore earrings from Liberty in Love, which Phil bought for me as a wedding gift. He knew that I wanted to wear pearl earrings on the day, and he was so lucky with the pair that he picked because they went with my dress perfectly.
Phil wore a navy suit with a grey tweed waistcoat which we rented from Menswear by Amelia’s in Clitheroe.
The groomsmen wore the same suits as Phil, but with a different colour waistcoat and tie. We rented all of the bridal party suits from Menswear by Amelia’s.
Our photographer was Charlotte Boothman of Lottie Designs; she is amazing and such a lovely person. Our friends recommended her after she photographed their wedding in 2014. She was great on the day, very helpful, funny and kept everyone calm. When we got our photos back, we were blown away by them. She captured so much laughter, which we loved, as well as so many candid moments between our guests that we both missed on the day.
I had a loose bouquet which was made up with quite a lot of foliage, including eucalyptus which I love. I was so happy with how it looked. It also featured ivory stocks and freesias, gypsophila, lavender, and a mix of dusky purple and peach roses for warmth. We used the Flower Farm Florist in Ormskirk. They created such amazing arrangements and were so helpful throughout the wedding planning.
Our table decorations were made up of wooden rounds with a mix of dried and fresh flowers in jars placed on top of them. We also scattered pinecones around the tables, as well as lots of candles. As Phil and I are gin fans, we used some empty gin bottles to hold some of our floral arrangements for a personal touch. My bridesmaids helped me massively with the decorations, collecting jars to put the flowers in, chopping wood for the centrepieces and the place name holders and arranging dried flowers with me. The fresh flowers were the same as those in the bridal bouquets and were also provided by the Flower Farm.
We decided not to give out favours as we’ve both been to weddings in the past were favours have ended up being left on tables at the end of the night. Instead, we decided to put the money that we would have spent on favours towards some entertainment for our guests to enjoy during our drinks reception.
Our cake was a three-tier, semi-naked cake from Finch Bakery. Each tier had a different flavour filling, and was finished off with a white chocolate drip, meringue kisses and dipped strawberries – it was unreal! I’ve been following Finch Bakery on Facebook for a while now, and, after seeing their phenomenal cakes, we knew we wanted one for our wedding. We literally didn’t speak to anyone else; we just went straight to them.
We didn’t want our day to be too formal; instead, we wanted the party to start the minute the ceremony was over. So as a surprise for our guests, we hired Dax on Sax from Six15 events to play during the drinks reception. Our friend is a DJ, so he kindly offered to play alongside him. We also booked Sam Fitton Magician as another surprise for our guests, to entertain them after the wedding Breakfast. Our evening DJ was Andy Murphy. We’d met him twice before at friend’s weddings, so we knew how great he was. He kept the dance floor full all night and was great with all our guests.
Phil’s best man Dan is a musician, so instead of doing a traditional speech, he wrote and performed a song of all his ‘tips and advice’ for married life. Everyone was crying laughing, and he got a standing ovation afterwards. He has since recorded it for us too!
We had always talked about having a videographer and waited until nearer the wedding to see if our budget would allow, and luckily we were in a position to book Roland Turner of RT Productions Wedding Films. Roland was another recommendation and we are so glad that we did book him! He was a great laugh and so helpful during the run up to the wedding. On the day we barely noticed that he was there! The film that he has put together for us is perfect; he just ‘got’ us and the atmosphere of the day.
After our wedding, I would definitely recommend Mitton Hall to other couples. We had so many compliments on the venue and the staff were all so brilliant and helpful, both in the run-up to the wedding and on the day. They were all so polite and couldn’t do enough for us and our guests. The building is so beautiful, as are the grounds; some of our favourite photos from the day were taken outside in the gardens.
Looking back, I honestly can’t pick one part of the day that I would say was my favourite. Aside from the obvious, which was actually getting married, I think being able to spend such a fun-filled day with everyone that you love in one room was my favourite part of our wedding day. And being able to spend the morning getting ready with my closest friends and family.
We did something a little different for our honeymoon: carrying on with the winter theme we went to Copenhagen for two nights and then on to Norway for four nights. We ate in a floating restaurant on the sea whilst we were staying in Bergen, which was an amazing experience.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – just enjoy every minute of it. Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be too stressful, just try to be as organised as you can. We did as much as we could as soon as we could so that in the run-up to the wedding we didn’t have loads to try and battle through.
I would also say that recommendations can be priceless! Our suppliers played a massive part in making our day so perfect, and over half of them were recommendations.
And, of course, while planning our wedding I got lots of inspiration from the real weddings that I saw on Brides Up North.
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Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.
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