May 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is all about the beautiful summer florals and gorgeous detailing – think kitsch bunting, homemade chutneys and cupcakes, plus lots of twinkling lights.
Set in one of our favourite northern cities, York, the couple’s special day perfectly captures the beauty of an urban wedding, with park benches, stairwells and bustling streets all featuring in their stunning wedding album.
After exchanging vows against the magnificent backdrop of their local church, Roz and Rob then celebrated with family and friends at the National Centre for Early Music. Going for something of a creative DIY approach (would we expect anything less from an art teacher?) the bride was very hands-on in the lead up to the wedding and a few of the guests even baked some scrumptious treats to tuck in to on the day.
With images by Alwin Greyson Photography
roz says: After asking my parents for permission, Rob decided to pop the question at one of my favourite places near my home town of Sheffield, on 26th May 2014. We decided to go for a walk to Stanage and once we arrived at Robin Hood’s cave Rob presented me with a gift, which was a photo album filled with pictures from our past two years together. Whilst I was looking through the last page, he got down on one knee and popped the question. I said yes and as we embraced we heard someone clapping, we looked up to see a rock climber cheering us on – we thought we were alone, but what a spontaneous surprise!
We tied the knot on 25th July 2015. As a teacher, I wanted to get married during the holidays – this gave me a week after school finished to get things sorted, as it was very much a DIY wedding!
We got married at St Michael Le Belfrey Church in York. This is the church where we met and both attended.
We held our celebrations afterwards at the National Centre for Early Music in York. The NCEM was perfect as it’s an old church converted into a music venue but it’s kept its original character and features. The huge stone pillars were great for hanging fairy lights, the floor was perfect for dancing on and the garden was great for photographs, games and relaxing during the celebrations and – because the venue was set up for music – the acoustics were perfect for the band and my father’s DIY DJ set later in the night. They allowed us to bring our own alcohol even though there was a staffed bar, we could also choose our own caterers and they stretched the seating allowance to accommodate 140 guests. I could not have found a better venue for our big day.
We are both committed Christians and felt it very important to ensure God was the focus of our wedding ceremony. We wanted our guests to experience church as we do, so we tried to make the ceremony as close to our typical Sunday services as possible, with a band playing worship music and our close friends, who are vicars, marrying us and leading the address. We had many non-Christian friends and family comment on how fresh and engaging it was.
The theme for our wedding day centered on florals and colour. As an art teacher, I wanted colour to be the focus. I found my bridesmaids’ dresses in the Monsoon January sales for £31 each. I loved the floral pattern and colours, so decided to use this as my running theme for the day. I incorporated the pattern from the dresses into our invites, order of services, table names etc.
I opted for a traditional lace and satin style wedding dress with sleeves and veil, purchased from New York Bride in Eckington, near Sheffield. As a size 16, it was great to try on a dress that fitted, rather than going to bridal boutiques that squeeze you in the sample dress size 10. I fell in love with the fit and had the gown altered slightly to make it my dream dress by adding a V-neck and sleeves into the lace top.
I travelled to the venue in my brother’s blue Audi with pink ribbons attached.
We booked Alwin Greyson Photography to capture our day. Alwin did so perfectly and the photos are stunning. I tried to keep costs low but I knew that the photographs were going to be there for a lifetime; everything else on the day gets forgotten – the food, the venue, the music – but the photographs are there forever. Alwin’s photography packages are perfect for any budget and his ability to naturally capture the day – with those little extra shots you weren’t expecting – were such a lovely surprise when we got the photos back!
Catherine from Petalis on Oakbrook Road in Sheffield, supplied our flowers. As soon as I showed her the colours for the wedding she knew what I had in mind – hydrangeas as the focus, complemented by beautiful summer flowers in a mix of pinks, purples, yellows and greens! So fresh and beautiful. A lot of my friends commented on how fab my flowers were, and they looked amazing set against my dress.
We kept the bridesmaids’ bouquets a solid colour using hydrangeas. The button holes reflected my bouquet too, with small flowers. I loved my flowers so much I didn’t even ‘throw the bouquet’ on the day; I decided to keep them!
As for the floral decorations for the venue, my mum purchased flowers from the market in Sheffield. We then arranged the centre pieces for the tables the day before, with lots of colourful bright flowers arranged in hurricane vases.
We also decorated the church with flowers purchased from York market and I also bought fake roses mixed with real gypsophila and wicker hearts to line the aisle – you couldn’t tell they were fake though – they looked fab!
Outside the venue, we put bunting in the trees and dotted tea lights around the outskirts of the lawn and buildings. It looked beautiful. Inside the venue we strung up lots of fairy lights and placed candles all over the main room for a romantic feel.
For our favours we gave our guests homemade chutney, courtesy of my dad and brother.
We had a three-tiered white lace cake with flowers in between each tier, made by a local cake baker in Fulwood. I also asked 12 friends and family members to bake something, so we had cakes and tray backs galore!
Our food was provided by Bradshaws of York. We had canapés in the gardens before the main meal, which we served as the starter. The main meal was a cold buffet and we then had three different dessert options – brownie, pavlova and summer fruit dessert. This was followed by coffee and handmade chocolates.
We bought our own alcohol and paid the venue a small fee to serve the drinks and provide glasses. We had Prosecco on arrival and then plenty of wine and beer available all day and night, there was also a paid bar for anyone wanting something a little different.
Entertainment-wise, a harpist played during the reception, and then before and during the meal. We then had a duo play an acoustic set from 7pm to 9pm. Afterwards, my dad (who is a complete novice) DJ’d for the rest of the night, playing songs from Spotify that guests had requested on their RSVP cards – it was perfect and lots of fun!
The venue was perfect and the staff went out of their way to make our day special. They were attentive, flexible and professional throughout. The space is great for creating a wedding of any type – from a DIY wedding to a blow-the-budget event. York is such a romantic city too, steeped in history with beautiful photo opportunities in many of the open gardens and along the river front.
Walking down the aisle and marrying the man I love, as God as our witness, in front of all our family and friends, was my highlight from the day. In the end, that’s what’s it’s all about – the rest is just for fun!
For our honeymoon, we went to a Greek island called Paxos. We stayed in a stunning boutique hotel called The Purple Apricot. It was perfect; it’s small, romantic and the hotel owners looked after us so well. Each room is uniquely designed and all the little extra touches made the holiday a honeymoon! It was located in the centre of the island, near a few tavernas which served excellent food with a great atmosphere. We also hired a car for the week – we got a soft top and it was great fun driving around and finding hidden coves and beaches off the beaten track.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is, do not worry about all the minute details – it’s not what matters, nor what is remembered – focus on the fact that the day is to celebrate your love for each other. And don’t get too consumed in having the ‘best wedding day’ – it will be the best, as it’s yours.
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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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