June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The name of the venue chosen by today’s real wedding couple set the tone for their entire approach to their big day.
Falling in love with the relaxed and eclectic feel of As You Like It in Jesmond, Emma and Rob planned a DIY wedding their way, with attire, décor and entertainment to reflect their individual taste and style.
We must give a big shout out to petit bride Emma who totally rocks her bespoke House of Mooshki gown and glittering heels. Groom Rob also deserves style credit for his pale blue three-piece and on-trend dicky bow.
With images by Daz Mack Photography
emma says: Rob proposed in Albert Park, Middlesbrough, in July 2013. We had won a romantic photoshoot in a charity raffle, and Rob and our photographer Daz had secretly planned the proposal, so everything was captured on camera. It was a complete shock and there were a fair few happy tears!
We set the date for 21st October 2016. It was also my grandad’s birthday that day, who was unable to attend, so we all raised a glass to him.
We had both the ceremony and reception at As You Like It, in Jesmond. We were very open minded when it came to searching for a venue, we had no idea what to expect, but when we walked into AYLI we fell in love. The place was so eclectic, interesting and quirky, but beautiful and versatile too. We were also impressed by the amazing cocktail menu, lovely food, and helpful staff.
We didn’t really have a theme as such, but as a lot of things were DIY we were able to make sure it felt very personal and warm. Many guests had travelled a long way to be there, and we wanted them to feel welcome, relaxed and basically just able to have a really good time.
The wedding featured a lot of blue and gold tones, including in the bridal party’s clothing and accessories. Our colour scheme wasn’t very strict otherwise, as the venue itself is so full of decoration, anything suits!
My wedding dress was by House of Mooshki – a bespoke version of the Claire dress. I was willing to try on anything when it came to dress shopping, I never had that ‘dream’ image in my head. But at 5ft nothing, I found it hard at first to find something that I felt good in. (The best man actually made a joke in his speech about finding somewhere that does kids sizes). The service and quality of a bespoke dress from House of Mooshki was well worth the money. As soon as I found out about them I knew that’s where I’d find my dress.
Rob wore a light dusty blue three-piece suit from Topman, with a navy blue bowtie and pocket square. He had tried on several wedding outfits in other places, but the colour and fit of the Topman one was exactly what he was looking for, so kept going back to it!
The bridesmaids all wore midnight blue infinity dresses from The Dainty Yard on Etsy, and styled them individually.
The groomsmen wore navy blue Moss Bros suits, with accessories matching the groom’s.
On the day of the wedding, I was transported to the venue in a gorgeous vintage VW camper van from Brooklands Wedding Cars, along with my dad. It was a wonderful surprise from my parents, and the service was brilliant.
Our photographer was the super talented Daz Mack. He’s the same Daz that shot our engagement all those years ago, and another romantic shoot since, so it’s really special that he’s followed our journey and we have a whole story of photographs from him to look back on. We highly recommend Daz. He is a genuine nice guy, who aunties want to adopt, and who can make even the most nervous of people feel at ease. We love his style of photography, nothing felt formal or staged, and we are thrilled with the results.
We had a lot of flowers! My mum is a professional florist at Cobbys in Northampton. She did all the flowers herself and somehow managed to transport them all across the country! We gave her complete free reign over the flower choices, and couldn’t be happier with the outcome – we had so many compliments on them.
The decorations involved a bit of DIY. The table runners were cut from wholesale fabric, I designed and printed the table numbers and plan, and framed movie quotes that were dotted around. A friend gifted us some antique glass bottles which were filled with foliage and flowers. Other than the tables, the venue didn’t need much decoration at all as it is already so beautiful and ornate.
For the favours, I collected dozens of teacups which I made into candles, and we had custom ‘perfect match’ matchbooks with our names and wedding date on. The candles were scattered on the tables at the reception which complimented the décor too.
Our cake was made by Sugar High, based in Billingham. She was brilliant and helped us plan exactly what we wanted, and catered for a few special dietary requirements too. We had a white and gold sequin cake with flowers. The top tier was chocolate, the middle was jammy dodger, and the bottom was lemon and white chocolate. It was so delicious! She also loaned us the tree stump cake stand.
The venue provided the catering, starting with canapes and cocktails after the ceremony, with a hot fork buffet later, and hot sausage buns during the night. The buffet selection was huge, everything was delicious and they catered to several different dietary requirements with no problem. Bottles of wine were included on the tables, the bride’s grandad provided the toast drink, and guests enjoyed working their way through the extensive cocktail menu throughout the evening.
Rob and his family are very musical, so a wedding band was a must-have from the start of the planning process. We are lucky enough to know the talented guys who make up Prime Time. They had every single person up dancing and enjoying themselves
Instead of a traditional guestbook, we had ‘Words of Wisdom’ mad-libs style cards on every place setting. Our guests had travelled from all over the globe to be there and many had never met, so these were a good ice-breaker too. They’re now all in a huge scrapbook along with our wedding stationery and photographs.
Hello Henry (on Etsy) handmade us some beautiful personalised painted bags to hold our wedding cards and gifts, with looked great on the table next to the cake.
Any couples out there looking for an indoor wedding, with great food, drink, staff and atmosphere, should definitely check out As You Like It. You barely have to do a thing as the rooms are already decorated so wonderfully, however it also has so much scope for individual touches. The wedding team were also very flexible and supportive in terms of what we wanted and how we wanted it.
The whole day was incredible from start to finish. I think a particular highlight was the speeches though, they bought up just about every emotion, and even had the bar staff in fits of laughter at times.
We went on a two-week honeymoon to Paphos, Cyprus in early November. We enjoyed a good mixture of relaxation and adventure; exploring, hiking, diving, jet skiing, but also a lot of food, drink and rest!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – don’t sweat the small stuff! All of those little details you may worry about getting right (fonts, confetti shapes, napkins), honestly will not matter! Also, don’t feel pressured into having the ‘perfect’ wedding, it’s a day about you and your love, and every guest is there to share your happiness, so don’t try to impress everyone with material things. Finally, appreciate and savour every moment, it goes so fast!
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Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...
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