April 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
We hope those Easter eggs are going down a treat! To give you something to pour over while you crack open another bag of Mini Eggs (seriously, so addictive!), we have this gorgeous real wedding, featuring the smiliest wedding party we’ve seen in a long time and, believe us, there’s been some stiff competition. Jenna and Andrew light up the lens with their mega-watt grins and serve as a reminder as to what this whole getting-married business is all about.
Their rustic barn venue in East Yorkshire needed little decoration but fresh blooms, bunting and spray-painted tin cans created just the right balance between simplicity and charm. There was also a nod to earthy tones with their mustard yellow, sage green, copper and white colour scheme, and Jenna’s down-to-earth crocheted Maggie Sottero gown was perfect for this effortlessly elegant day.
With photography by Victoria Baker Weddings.
jenna says: We got engaged at home – and it was a total surprise. I’d been out for dinner with some work friends and Andrew was supposed to be picking me up afterwards. He later said that he wasn’t feeling well and I got a taxi back home instead.
I arrived home to a note on the front door with instructions. Once inside the house, I was greeted with beautifully lit candles and a video he‘d recorded on his phone which set me off on a treasure hunt – at this point, Andrew was nowhere to be seen. It started with clues about the place we first met and moved onto several special memories we’d shared together. There were about ten clues in total, all leading me to the final clue, stuck to our laptop. The clue asked me to Google the Michelin star restaurant The Black Swan in Olstead, pick my favourite dish from their menu and then look for a file saved on the laptop with the same name as the dish. I found it: scallops – he’d guessed in advance the dish that I would pick! I opened the file and it was the most amazing video made up of pictures of us and captions. The last caption said “and so there is something I wanted to ask….” I turned around and there he was, down on one knee – eek! We downed a bottle of champagne while ringing around the family. The next night we ate at the restaurant and had a taster menu that included the dish!
I must add that Andrew was a true gent and asked for my dad’s permission beforehand. He even Facetimed my mum in India for her permission, too!
We were married on 8th October 2016. Autumn is our favourite time of the year. The beginning of October was just perfect for us – it’s when leaves start turning, and dropping but there is still enough light in the day and if you drop lucky (like we did) and the sun comes out, it’s still warm enough to be outside.
Our venue was Barmbyfield Barn, Barmby Moor, where we had both our ceremony and reception. We were keen on a barn wedding but, living in Leeds, we struggled to find anywhere big enough locally. All it took was one visit to Barmby and we both knew we wanted to get married there. I didn’t even need to persuade Andrew, which is unusual! The venue is so beautiful, rustic and well-kept and the owner, Paul, was a pleasure to deal with.
We didn’t have a theme or style, however we wanted to make sure all our decorations were in keeping with the look and feel of the barn. We also wanted the day to reflect how we are and the things we like, and therefore be informal and relaxed. Decor-wise, though, I’m mad on exposed brick and so it really didn’t need much work.
We didn’t have a strict colour scheme – although we wanted it to feel autumnal, we weren’t going for gimmicky. We stuck to natural, earthy tones using lots of whites and hessian, as well as coppers, sage greens and mustard yellows.
My dress was called Trudy, by Maggie Sottero. I’d initially seen it online and luckily found it in my local bridal shop in Leeds centre, Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. It was the nicest dress I’d seen or tried on and happened to be the cheapest, which was a bonus. It was full length, crocheted lace in ivory with capped sleeves and button down back. I chose a champagne colour cami slip to go underneath to soften the ivory.
Andrew wore a navy blue three-piece suit from Moss Bros, paired with white shirt, blush tie and brown shoes and the groomsmen wore the same as Andrew.
Our bridesmaid dresses were from Monsoon and were in the sale! They weren’t what our mums considered ‘traditional’ bridesmaid dresses but complemented my dress so well on the day. They were white lace midis with a v-neck feature back, dusty pink underlay and a fringed hem. We had four bridesmaids in total; three wore this dress and the youngest wore an ivory dress also from Monsoon with lace and fringe detail.
Hair and make up for myself and our bridesmaids was by Alison Martin; she was really easy going, nothing was too much trouble and she really helped keep me calm and on the morning.
For our wedding transport, we hired an ivory/yellow VW camper van from the Yorkshire Wedding Car Company for the day. It dropped Andrew and the groomsmen at the venue, then came for the bridesmaids, then me and my dad.
Our photographer was the wonderful Victoria Baker. It’s not the easiest thing having a camera pointed at you, but Victoria really put us at ease. Her non-intrusive style meant that she managed to capture the day perfectly and took some incredible photos, all without us even noticing she was there. We’re so happy with our wedding photos and would recommend Victoria to everybody and anybody!
All our flowers were created by Pink Ginger, based in Saltaire. I found Sarah at Pink Ginger on Instagram and adored her work. I fell in love with the idea of using succulents in my bouquet, as well as for the bridesmaids’ and the table centrepieces. Sarah also did our buttonholes, corsages, chair ties and cake flowers.
We gave her a rough idea of the flowers and colours we liked/didn’t like and left her to it. We trusted her creativity and she honestly created flowers more perfect than we could ever have imagined!
The tables were decorated simply, with white tablecloths and hessian runners. Our centrepieces were giant coffee tins that we sprayed copper. The floral arrangements were similar to the bouquets and we had laser cut, wooden table numbers that I painted mustard yellow. Name places were cards designed by my friend Emily and stuck into recycled fizz corks.
Tin cans were a big part of the day. We spray painted tonnes of smaller tins in copper, green, cream and yellow, and used them as lanterns and bunting around the venue. Other decorations included paper lanterns that we had also sprayed in copper, green and yellow. We had brown and white card bunting and handmade fabric bunting, too. We used some wooden trellis and floral garlands on the walls.
The two chalkboards in the venue were decorated free-hand by our friend Emily; she replicated the design on our wedding invites and wrote out the order of ceremony on the main board. We also had a giant J&A mounted on a wall that we‘d painted and decorated, teamed with giant blush peach sphere balloons.
We had two days to set up before the wedding and couldn’t have done it without the help of my parents, Andrew’s mum and her partner Phil, my sister, brother and good friend Emily. We also can’t forget Paul’s (the venue owner) help. You could be forgiven for thinking so much reliance on others would be a recipe for disaster, but we had such fun and our families bonded so much as a result!
For favours we had gumball machines filled with skittles for the kids along with ice cream cone bubbles and an activity book with crayons. Our adult favours were designed by our super-talented friend Emily and printed by Awesome Merchandise in Leeds. We had bottle openers for the guys and pocket mirrors for the ladies. All had a quote/pun on them, e.g. “Hoppily ever after” and “Ale you need is love” for the bottle openers and “You Look Wonderful” and “Selfie Prep” for the mirrors.
We had a four-tier fruit cake made by Andrew’s mum, who used to be a professional cake maker. Needless to say, it was perfect! We went for simple white icing, bandage-style decoration and fresh flowers by Pink Ginger. It sat on a big log cut-off log for a cake board.
Andrew’s mum also made us a second sponge cake as a surprise. It was a suitcase with passports and luggage stamps of all the places we have travelled to together.
We used The Hog & Apple for our wedding breakfast and our guests still talk about the food, it was that good! We had an antipasti starter, served on individual wooden boards. Chateaubriand, dauphinoise potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and veg for the main (to combine my French and Yorkshire heritage). Then chocolate torte with which chocolate panacotta and salted caramel for dessert.
We hired Pizza Fella for the evening: a gorgeous vintage Citroen camper called Claude with a wood-fired pizza oven. Delicious and perfect for our evening guests.
Club Class Entertainment provided our DJ – they provided a great service and even allowed us to share a Spotify playlist which meant they knew exactly the type of music we liked. The playlist was perfect on the night and the dance floor full!
We had a photo booth provided by Snaptured Photobooth which our guests loved. It was a big hit for the kids, too. We put on fireworks and sparklers as a surprise for our guests, provided by The Fireworkers – ten minutes of pure magic!
Ellen Davies from LND events helped with the running of the day. It was important to us that we and the wedding party would be able to enjoy the day to the max and, because we had so many different suppliers, Ellen’s help was invaluable.
Would we recommend our venue? Yes! Without any hesitation, although we would like to be selfish and just have it as our special place. It is such a wonderful venue, well-kept and in such beautiful surroundings. Paul, the owner is so lovely and patient; nothing is too much trouble and you feel very well looked after.
Having all our family and friends in the one place and celebrating our love for each other was definitely the highlight of the day. We set out to throw a massive love party and wanted everyone to feel the love that we do. Most importantly, we wanted to have a great time and we think we achieved our objective!
Another standout moment was the surprise arrival of Andrew’s grandma for the evening do. Due to illness, Andrew’s grandparents had said they weren’t able to make it, so when she showed up it made the celebration even more special.
Our honeymoon was to Mauritius and it was perfect! We stayed in two resorts; one in the north and one in the south. We’d both had a busy lead up to the wedding with work and wedding prep so we spent most of our honeymoon lapping up the sunshine and fully relaxing. The weather was wonderful, the food was delicious and locals were so friendly. We also did lots of snorkelling and swam with wild dolphins which was just incredible.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t panic if things don’t go exactly to plan on the day or in the lead up to the wedding. The most important thing is that you and your guests have the best day and create happy memories. Don’t sweat the small things or lose sight of what’s important!
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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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