May 15th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today on the blog we’re featuring the impossible elegance of Vicki and Richard’s wedding day at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe.
All of the details, from the fine surroundings of Eaves Hall to Vicki’s lace mermaid-cut gown, speak of classic sophistication. This super-stylish couple opted for a pop of cornflower blue in their otherwise neutral colour scheme and the most stunning bridal posy this side of the Pennines.
Their day was perfectly captured by their photographer, who certainly delivered on her promise of beautiful, relaxed and natural wedding photography.
Vicki tells us more…
With images by Emilie May Photography.
vicki says: We got engaged at Room restaurant in Manchester on New Year’s Eve 2013. Richard proposed at midnight; it came as a total surprise as, after almost six years together, I’d given up on him proposing!
Our wedding date was set for 12th August 2016. We wanted to get married in summer: because Richard is a teacher, we were restricted to certain times.
Our venue was Eaves Hall in West Bradford near Clitheroe. We had both the ceremony and the reception there. Richard’s parents had stayed at Eaves Hall several times when it was a guest house. They often talked about it and how lovely the house and grounds were. Richard suggested going to an open day at the end of January a little after we had gotten engaged. It was the first and only place we visited – we fell in love as we walked around the house. We went for lunch at the Waddington Arms to discuss it and then went straight back after to ask about dates. We didn’t regret a thing – there would be no point in seeing other places as we just knew that Eaves Hall was perfect for us.
We had a rustic theme with lace and burlap and little wooden hearts. It suited Eaves Hall and its decor perfectly. I handmade our invites – they were cream and natural card with burlap and lace around the top and with a wooden heart in the middle. This theme carried on with the menus, vases, table plan, place names and so on. We also scattered wooden hearts on each table. We wanted to keep the décor simple with lots of little touches, along with lovely flowers. Eaves Hall is such a lovely house with beautiful decoration; it speaks for itself and doesn’t need much adding to it.
Overall, the colour-scheme was lots of natural neutrals, but we also chose a strong blue for the bridesmaids. The men’s suits were navy blue – I personally think Richard looks very handsome in blue, and I’m not a fan of grey suits.
I chose a fitted lace mermaid-style dress with a low back and a jewelled waistband. I wanted to show off my curves – in the right places!
During the planning, I looked at lots of magazines including UNVEILED, attended a Brides Up North wedding fair and got inspiration from the blog to get plenty of wedding-related ideas, especially regarding my dress. I went to a few boutiques and salons and tried on lots of different shapes, which I would definitely recommend – you need to know that you’ve made the right choice! The dress I eventually chose was from Love & Cherish bridal shop in Ramsbottom. It’s around the corner from Richard’s parents and we often drive past it so I had to give it a try!
I also wore gold shoes with diamante jewels on the front which matched my belt and Swarovski jewellery.
Richard got his navy suit from Slaters in Manchester. He wore a blue floral tie from John Lewis and a white pocket square also from Slaters. His shirt was from DKNY and his shoes and belt were from Ted Baker.
Our bridesmaids wore long cornflower blue chiffon dresses from a website called Sexyher.. I ordered them online after seeing them at the Wedding Show at Event City – they were perfect! The groomsmen wore the same suit as Richard from Slaters in Manchester – they also wore pale blue ties and white pocket squares.
Our photographer was Emilie May – she was recommended to us by Richard’s sister who is a makeup artist and has worked with Emilie in the past. Emilie was also exhibiting at the Wedding Show at Event City so we could look at her work. We loved her relaxed vintage style and the way colours ‘popped’ in her pictures.
We would definitely recommend Emilie. She was so calm on the day which helped us relax and she also ensured we were organised, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the day and making sure we weren’t tied up taking photo after photo. The pictures are lovely – the colours and styling of them are just perfect.
In terms of the flowers, carried a bouquet of mixed blooms. I wanted plenty of colours along with a ‘pop’ of blue to tie in with the colours of the bridal party. The top table was decorated with a long floral centrepiece and incorporating candles and the guests’ tables had vases, small posies and were decorated with burlap, lace and wooden hearts.
The Flower Shop provided the flowers. Linda was lovely, she listened to my ideas and was spot on with her choice of flowers. I didn’t really know much about flowers but she was able to understand what I wanted. The arrangements were beautiful, smelt amazing and lasted for weeks afterwards – we even took them on minimoon with us!
For further décor, used old suitcases for people to put cards and gifts in which had belonged to Richard’s great grandfathers, so one from each side of his family. I also made hearts from old champagne corks from Epernay in Manchester. We went one evening for cocktails and Richard asked if they had any spare corks; we ended up leaving with around 50 in my handbag! It was a funny evening!
We didn’t have a photo booth as such, but we did leave props around the lobby for people to help themselves to and create their own pictures. There was also a blow-up frame! Light up heart shaped signs were dotted about the venue. Large lanterns with pillar candles were placed down the side of the aisle and silk petals along the sides also were hired from Creative Cover Hire. We also hired lace and burlap runners for the top table and table that the registrar used and where we signed the register.
Eaves Hall provided the burlap and lace bows on the back of the chairs as part of their package. As a venue they have great relationships with suppliers, which takes some stress out of the organisation!
For favours, we gave our guests either honey farmed by Richard’s dad, Tom, who keeps bees in his back garden in Ramsbottom, or some homemade fudge.
We had a three-tier wedding cake made by Richard’s sister, Catriona – she’s an excellent cake maker! It had chocolate and lemon tiers but the top tier was my favourite: date and walnut. My grandma used to make it and it’s my first option for a birthday cake. Our modern twist was having salted caramel buttercream. Our cake topper read ‘Mr & Mrs Paterson’ and was from VM Bespoke.
For food at the wedding, we had canapes after the ceremony of mini Yorkshire puddings, tempura prawns, savoury tartlets and Thai chicken cakes served with prosecco and Peroni beer. Our wedding breakfast starters were a choice of tomato soup, duck three ways or a salad of ham hock with crispy hen’s egg. For the main, guests could choose lamb, chicken or leek and gruyere tart and dessert was sticky toffee pudding or lemon tart.
In the evening, we ate pork belly pittas, meat and potato pie and vegetable lasagne. We also had a cake made of cheese from Marks and Spencer which came with a ‘self-assembly’ kit and instructions! Guests were able to help themselves along with chutney, figs, grapes and crackers.
For entertainment, we had a band called Rick Rollers. The lead guitarist and the bass player work with Richard, and we liked their style of incorporating modern songs with classics. They were also about to accommodate our song request for our first dance which was as acoustic version of 500 Miles by The Proclaimers (listen to it, you’ll see! The words are lovely!). Towards the end they moved into the faster version to get everyone onto the dancefloor; it worked out really well and our friends and family still talk about it!
We also had a DJ provided by Eaves Hall with the wedding package who played after the band finished.
Would we recommend our venue? Definitely. Eaves Hall is a beautiful venue and has stunning grounds. It’s the perfect set-up and runs like a finely-oiled machine. The staff were very friendly and Barry, our Master of Ceremonies, explained everything perfectly and took care of everything we needed. There were plenty of different areas for people to explore, the wedding package made their price competitive and the organisation easier, the food was delicious and we had exclusive use of the venue.
Other than getting married, our favourite part of the day was having our pictures taken around the grounds. We had time to soak in the fact that we were married, the beautiful location and sunshine, and to enjoy time together while getting excited for the rest of the day.
The week after the wedding, we went on a minimoon to Cockermouth in the Lake District. We stayed at Ann’s Hill, a cottage owned by Vanessa Steele – she was a lovely host and really looked after us. She left champagne, chocolates and strawberries for our arrival, brought us homemade breakfasts each morning, gave us advice about where to visit and even gave us a lift into town one night! Everything was perfect, from the hospitality, the lovely cottage, the sunshine all week and the long walks we took exploring Ullswater. Richard even got to be captain when we hired a little boat for a trip around the lake.
For our main honeymoon we went to Cuba: it was lovely. We stayed with Melia Cayo Coco and our tour operator was Thomas Cook. It was so relaxing; it was strange spending Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve on a beach and by the pool but definitely in a good way! During the holiday we went snorkelling, on a catamaran and to the local town to experience the real Cuba.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to stick to your plans – it is so easy to second-guess yourself or think your ideas won’t work. There were so many times where I thought ‘what am I doing?’ or worried about what others would think. It’s your day; do what makes you happy!
I’d also recommend picking a venue that has good relationships with suppliers – it really did make it easy for us to plan our day.
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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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