Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

happy heritage. alan hannah for an elegant wedding at the hospitium, york – adwoa & jonny

July 19th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (70)

Adwoa and Jonny’s elegant town wedding combined a traditional British feel with Ghanaian touches to reflect the bride’s proud heritage. The result? A completely unique celebration. This couple were married in spring in the beautiful city of York and if you can show me a dreamier combination of location and time of year I will happily eat my fascinator.

Bethany Lloyd-Clarke captured the love with her typical flair and these photographs totally warrant all the gushing. We just adore the honest beauty of her images – the bride joyfully tangled in her veil, the groom’s last-minute hair check courtesy of his best man and especially the look of utter glee on Adwoa’s face in the back of their wedding car. You simply can’t fake that magic!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Lloyd-Clarke.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (14)

adwoa says: Jonny proposed before Christmas 2015 in Dean’s Park, just behind York Minster. We’d recently moved to York and Jonny said he wanted to go for a festive walk around town when, much to my surprise, he got down on one knee and popped the question. It was a wonderful surprise and although it was raining at the time, neither of us seemed to notice!

We were lucky enough to go back to the site of the proposal when we had our engagement photoshoot with the talented Bethany Lloyd-Clarke. She captured some beautiful pictures of us – this time in the spring sunshine.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (17)

We got married on the 29th April 2017. We both loved the idea of a spring wedding, and chose the Bank Holiday weekend to give our loved ones time to enjoy York after the wedding if they wanted to.

We had our ceremony at our parish church, the beautiful and ancient Holy Trinity on Micklegate, which predates the Domesday Book. For our reception, we really wanted to make the most of the spring wedding, so booked the 14th century Hospitium in Museum Gardens in York. It’s an absolutely gorgeous setting by the river within botanical gardens. We were a little worried that it might rain on the day and our guests wouldn’t get to enjoy the lovely surroundings, but we were very lucky with the weather.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (71)

We didn’t have a special theme as such, but we did want to combine my Ghanaian heritage with a traditional British wedding. Our favours were pocket squares made from Ghanaian wax print cloth with motifs symbolising the beauty of marriage. They were handmade by Jonny, who tried out a sewing machine for the first time! We also wore traditional Ghanaian outfits for the evening. Other than that, the colour scheme was classic: champagne and ivory with gold highlights.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (59)

I fell in love with an Alan Hannah dress called Evita, which I tried on at Brides of York – they provided an excellent service. To complement my skin tone, I wanted a warmer colour than pure white, so I asked for the dress to be made specially in ivory Duchess silk. It was made in London to my exact measurements and I absolutely loved it! I accessorized with a ribbon-edged veil.

For my shoes, I went for a mid-heel classic in Duchess silk, which I found at Freya Rose. They were lovely to wear.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (5)

Our rings were from Berry’s in York, who provided a top-notch service. My hair was by the very talented Sadie Belleh at Blake and Butler. I was lucky to find her – she was able to do both Afro and European hair, so could do mine, my bridesmaids’ and my mum’s! Ash Fehners did all of our makeup and was another excellent find.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (12)

Jonny wanted a beautifully-made, classic three-piece suit. He went to Mullen and Mullen in York to have it made and opted for a Royal blue with paisley lining. Both the suit and the service were fabulous. He accessorised with a champagne-coloured silk tie and classic brown brogues from Loake, which he bought from Watkinson’s.

My bridesmaids wore ivory mid-length dresses from Oasis. They were all different shapes, height and skin tones so I wanted something that would work for everyone.

The best man and ushers wore blue suits hired from Moss Bros, with ivory ties to match the bridesmaids.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (30)

We hired a beautiful classic Jaguar from Limelight Wedding Cars in Bishopthorpe, as our wedding transport. They owners, Nick and Beverley, were really helpful and professional. Nick even drove us around York to give us a few precious minutes together after the ceremony so that we could savour the moment.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (33)

Our photographers were Bethany Lloyd-Clarke and Matthew Lloyd. We highly recommend them. They’re a brilliant partnership: talented, relaxed and capable of taking incredible photos without intruding. We got our pictures back very quickly, which was great – we got to enjoy looking through them on honeymoon!

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (37)

Our flowers were by Mandy Barker of Wedding Blossoms.. Our original florist dropped out at the last minute and Mandy saved us! She did all of the bridal flowers and arrangements for the reception, including the floral centrepieces of roses, tulips, ranunculus, alstromeria amaranthus, eucalyptus, hydrangeas and other dainty spring flowers. They were beautiful and we loved them.

I went for a loose, hand-tied bouquet with trailing jasmine and clematis and peach and champagne roses. For Jonny, a Yorkshireman, there was no option but a white rose buttonhole!

Jonny is a real romantic and often buys me flowers. I saved and dried the petals from the roses that he gave me and my mum made a stack of confetti cones. They made lovely confetti and were one of my favourite things from the whole wedding.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (55)

Jemma from Chair Covers of Yorkshire supplied our chair covers and was great – really flexible and helpful.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (41)

Jonny’s mum Pauline made our gorgeous four-tier fruit wedding cake. She had it decorated by Wildings.. We also had a cheese wedding cake, made by our caterers Bradshaws of York.

Bradshaws supplied all of our food and wine. We went for a classic three-course menu: roast salmon fillet on a warm salad of peas; bacon-wrapped chicken with a Wensleydale stuffing and a potato and spring onion cake; and vanilla panna cotta with apple and mint jelly. We also served plenty of Champagne, Prosecco, Shiraz and Chardonnay.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (35)

Music was a big part of our day. We had St Olave’s Choir at the church, led by musical director Keith Wright. They were fantastic. My very talented brother Samuel Morley performed during our drinks reception, teaming up with Cumbrian five-piece band The Firekings, and together they did a wonderful set with an eclectic mix of rock and blues music. During the evening reception we had Vibetown – a great band who kept us on the dancefloor.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (46)

The Hospitium was a wonderful reception venue and we would certainly recommend it to other couples. The team there worked closely with all of our other suppliers to make sure that the day went without a hitch.

Looking back, there are so many favourite moments from the day. One was stealing a few extra minutes (almost) alone as husband and wife enjoying a glass of champagne in our wedding car on the way to meet our guests at the reception.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (23)

For our honeymoon we went on a bit of a tour: the South of France, Monaco, Turin, Lake Como, Lake Lugano, Lake Garda and finishing off in Venice, where we went to the Bienale. It was bliss!

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be simply to relax, savour the moments together and enjoy yourselves!

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about the author

Laura McDonagh
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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