May 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s gorgeous bride Robyn admits she likes things on the formal side, and so she and groom Matt opted for tails, cravats, roses and full-on strapless princess-fit bridal glamour.
But this couple were true to themselves and made fun a big part of their big day, too – there was a game of Mr & Mrs, magic, a singing waiter and much more.
Formality and fun, glamour and games – what more could you ask for on a Wednesday morning?
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Sally Eaves.
robyn says: We got engaged just the two of us at our home in the Lake District – oh, and the dog and the fairy lights from the Christmas tree in the background! It was very low-key and just what I wanted.
We were married on September 29th 2016 – the day before my 30th birthday. We had our ceremony and celebration under one roof at the Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge. It’s right at the base of Lake Windermere so really beautiful and picturesque but also not too big. It felt intimate as well as very grand, if that makes sense.
For the theme, we didn’t go for anything too prescriptive. I’m quite laidback and I didn’t want anything too fussy with centrepieces and decorations. The venue is beautiful enough without needing to add anything else.
Colour-wise, we went for black and pale pink. I like things to be a little more formal and I love black and white, but the touch of pink made it feel more romantic rather than a corporate do.
I wore a strapless buttermilk/ivory satin princess-fit gown with some beading around the waist from a wedding shop in Cheshire that has now unfortunately closed. I chose to have a small backward bolero, too. This meant I could have the illusion of a neckline with a keyhole back during the day but it transformed into a strapless gown for a second look in the evening.
Matt wore black tails with an ivory waistcoat and a very soft blush pink cravat. We hired it from Moss Bros and I bought the cravats from a fab little company called Swagger & Swoon who made all the ties for the men.
The best man and Matt’s two sons all wore the same black wedding suits with tails and pinstriped trousers and our dads wore black suits with black waistcoats and blush pink ties.
We all stayed at the venue the night before so no transport was required on the day of the wedding. We had a lovely get together, then an early night in preparation for the big day!
Sally Eaves was our photographer. We found her online and I instantly fell in love with her gorgeous work. She’s so friendly, professional and talented. I felt a real connection with her from the moment we all met; every one of my guests commented on how wonderful she was. She managed to take wonderful natural shots and went completely unnoticed. I would absolutely recommend her. From the minute she turned up on the day she made me feel instantly at ease on the most nervous day of my life. She was a pleasure to have as part of our big day and I really do miss her! But I’ve now gained a fab friend.
My flowers were a mix of roses in various sizes and pink/cream colours with some David Austin roses (peonies are my favourite flower but they were out of season). They were provided by a local florist in Grange Over Sands.
We used a fab company called Purple Swan, based in Kendal, for our centrepieces: little bird cages with tiny pink buds on mirror plates. We had a bay tree at the registrar table and simple black organza chair sashes. A friend designed our table plan and cheese poem board.
For favours, we gave little jam jars with Percy Piglet sweets. I love Percy Pigs from M&S!
Our cake was five tiers of cheese. We adore cheese and it doubled up as our evening buffet with cold meats and chutneys.
We served a mix of red and white wine at the table and had reception drinks of fizz and bottled Birra Moretti (Matt’s favourite beer). We had a buffet wedding breakfast to allow our guests a choice of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
For entertainment, we used Dance Floor Couture and had Adam as our amazing host. He was so much fun and full of charisma. We had a singer called Russell who kicked off the entertainment as a singing waiter as a bit of a surprise for our guests and he got everyone up and dancing through the wedding breakfast. We had a magician, a photo mirror booth and we also hired light-up Mr & Mrs letters on crates from Brides Little Helpers.
Following our wedding we’d definitely recommend our choice of venue to other couples. The events team were fantastic from start to finish. Hanna, Tanya and Roxy made the day perfect and stress-free. They were serving the food and working behind the bar and we really appreciated having familiar faces there on the day after planning everything for so long with them.
Our favourite moment? I can’t pick one: it was the best day of my life. The wedding breakfast was so much fun with the singer posing as a waiter then bursting into Michael Buble songs, the games and Adam the host. One of his games was a version of Mr & Mrs but using our shoes instead of the blue and pink ping pong bats – it was a great idea and we all laughed so much!
For our honeymoon we went to Thailand, Koh Samui. We landed in the worst rain they’d seen for ten years and all flights and boats were cancelled for the first five days, so we didn’t have the best start. But Bangkok was so much fun and Koh Samui is absolutely beautiful.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be, don’t get stressed out on the lead-up. It’ll be perfect, everything will go to plan so enjoy every single second because once it’s gone, you’ll miss it! My other top tip would be to pay a venue decorator – it made the day before and the day after totally stress free. Cultivate a good relationship with your event planners, too – you’ll need them! And finally, pick an amazing photographer that you feel a genuine connection with.
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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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