July 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re looking for a dose of Scottish charm on your big day, then look no further than Abigail and Daniel’s wedding at Eaves Hall in the Ribble Valley, which has oodles of inspiration, complete with tartan, Scottish tablet and, of course, some rather dashing kilts.
When it came to entertaining guests, we think it would be fair to say they were truly spoilt, with not only an acoustic guitarist and a pianist, but also a funk band, a magician and their very own wedding host! And perhaps unheard of here on Brides Up North, the couple didn’t confirm their wedding date until they knew for certain that the funk band were free. We only wish we could have been there to dance the night away!
Join us as Abigail pores over all the highlights from their special day, from the exquisite five-tiered cake and emotional first dance with their son in tow, to their stunning group photo on the venue’s balcony.
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
abigail says: Daniel proposed in London on 9th July 2016. London is special to us because it’s where we fell in love. I had bought Daniel tickets to see Stevie Wonder (one of his all-time favourite artists) on the Sunday in Hyde Park but we decided to make a weekend of it. We had no real plans on the Saturday so we decided we would take a trip down memory lane and return to some of our favourite spots. Dan suggested revisiting Buckingham Palace and as we wandered through Green Park, I was greeted by a butler with a lavish picnic and a bottle of pink champagne. With absolutely no clue as to why he had organised such a romantic surprise, I sat and enjoyed the food and fizz until he retrieved one last surprise out of the basket – a diamond ring!
We got married on 29th May 2017. We were so excited to marry each other that when a date became available at our dream venue we snapped it up straight away. We always wanted a spring/summer wedding too, especially for the peonies in May! It was a perfect date for us; it fell on a Bank Holiday and was at the beginning of a two-week half term break for Dan (he is a school teacher). It meant we could take couple of weeks out together to celebrate properly.
We got married at St Helen’s Church in Waddington and then celebrated our wedding reception at the beautiful Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. We always wanted a church ceremony as tradition means a lot to us. St Helen’s Church is located in the heart of a cute little village and we loved its authenticity with an organ, bells and, of course, the lovely (and quite funny) Reverend John.
We chose Eaves Hall for our reception because it was visually stunning both inside and out, which is ideal given the unpredictability of the Lancashire summer weather. The exclusivity is also amazing because you can throw a really good party for all of your guests. It felt like we had our own mini-mansion for the day.
We didn’t follow a theme as such; we just made our wedding really personal to us. I remember our florist describing it as ‘rustic elegance’, which nicely sums it up. In terms of colours and materials, we used kraft, hessian, twine and occasional hints of tartan – this represented the rustic feel of the Scottish twist. Then everything was overlaid with ivory lace, pearls and lavender, which allowed me to incorporate a softer, more elegant style to the day. We also wanted everything to reflect a celebration of our relationship so far, so we named our tables after special dates/events that we had experienced together and the things that we were most proud of.
With Dan being half Scottish he really wanted to revel in the opportunity of wearing a kilt. So that became our starting point for the colour scheme – he chose Spirit of Bannockburn tartan, which was a bold purple with hints of navy blue and green throughout. I thought I would struggle to find a colour scheme to complement the tartan. However, after finding the most gorgeous dusky lilac bridesmaids dresses I finally found a colour scheme we could compromise on! We used dusky lilacs, dusky pinks, and soft ivory and silvery green foliage in all of the flowers and décor, it worked really nicely together.
I found my dream wedding dress from Knutsford Wedding Gallery in Cheshire. I was initially torn between two completely different styles. I have always loved the silhouette of a mermaid style dress and I knew that this would be the style that Dan would love to have seen me in, however I knew my mum would be desperate to see me in a full princess gown. I tried on versions of both styles until the incredible ladies at KWG helped me create something that incorporated both. I opted for an off-white lace and tulle mermaid dress with a sweetheart neckline by La Sposa, Pronovias. This was then teamed with a Rosa Clara tulle train, and a Helen Martin tulle veil, both custom edged with matching lace and delicate beading to create the effect of a fuller, princess style gown with a cathedral length train for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, later removed to reveal the mermaid style silhouette. I also added a Pronovias tulle, pearl and crystal belt to add a little sparkle to the overall look.
Dan and his groomsmen wore full Highland wear, hired from Slaters Menswear in Preston. It consisted of the kilt matched with a white Victorian collar shirt, black bow tie, black Prince Charlie waistcoat and jacket. He wore the full accessories too including gillie brogues, socks, flashes, sporran and ski doo. He looked so handsome; they all did! Although, our gorgeous pageboys Oscar (our son, aged three) and Jenson (best man’s son, aged four) really stole the show in their mini versions!
My four beautiful bridesmaids all wore floor-length classic bridesmaid dresses from ASOS in a dusky lilac shade. They were made from a layered chiffon crepe with a smooth lining, crew neck, slight ‘v’ back and a small train behind. They were finished off with a classic sateen bow around the waist and tailing down the back. They wore their hair up with fresh lilac flowers to complement their hand-tied bouquets. These were a bargain find from ASOS, leaving me with extra budget to ensure that they were tailored perfectly for the girls by Carla Marie Couture in Ainsdale, Southport. We also had our two gorgeous flower girls, Katie and Kayla (aged five and six) in dusky lilac dresses, overlaid with ivory lace and tied with a dusky lilac ribbon around the waist. Their dresses, shoes and accessories were all from Monsoon.
I was really lucky to have both of my really good friends and business owners to help me and the girls to get ready on the morning of my wedding day; Viliam Capolupo MUA and Unique Hair by Kelly Jay. I can’t recommend both talented ladies enough for their hard work, inspiration and dedication in the run up to and on the day itself.
We hired our transport from Churchtown Wedding Cars and chose a classic silver Beauford accompanied by classic silver Imperial. They travelled all the way from our hometown in Southport just to provide their incredible services on our wedding day. We felt like royalty being chauffeured around in their immaculate cars.
Our photographers were the super talented Pete and Sara, otherwise known as Pixies in the Cellar. When looking for photographers it was really important for us to find someone who captures the emotions, expressions, fleeting moments and tiny details that we didn’t get to see on the day, or just don’t want to let go of, ever! And that’s just the start, the lighting, enhancements and fine editing that they have done have turned some of our images into works of art that we are completely in love with.
Mark Lenik Cinematography was our videographer – if his other works are anything to go by then we really cannot wait to see the end result and relive our wedding day thanks to him.
Sarah at The Rose Boutique created my beautiful bridal flowers. It was a hand-tied bouquet made of blush peonies, dusky lilac roses, wax flower, memory lane, lavender and silvery foliage. It was neatly tied together with thick hessian, ivory ribbon and long flowing ivory lace. The peonies were so big and open too, it was perfect.
We opted to have our wedding breakfast in the dining hall at Eaves Hall. We had a long top table that was decorated with a collection of silver votives and vases, filled with variations of our bridal flowers and with tea lights trickled throughout. The round guest tables had silver candelabras in the centre filled with fresh flower rings and votives, vases and tea lights underneath. Each table had a silver framed table number (memorable date/event) a matching menu and a small Kraft and ivory handmade place card at each setting. Each table was draped with ivory voile to match the ivory voile chandelier drapes and ivory chair bows, this gave the room a really soft and romantic feel especially with the twinkling candlelight scattered throughout.
For our wedding favours, we had Scottish tablet hearts made by Six Penny Blue in Edinburgh. These were made fresh and shipped to us just a few days before the big day. They were wrapped in little cello bags and tied with fine Spirit of Bannockburn tartan ribbon.
We ordered our cake from Vanilla Nova, a gorgeous little cake boutique in Southport. They invited us in to taste their different flavours and sat with us as we designed our cake to our exact requirements. The flavours we opted for were, vanilla with strawberry jam and champagne cream (my favourite), chocolate fudge, lemon, butterscotch and Bakewell (gluten free). The cake was decorated in white royal icing with finely piped patterns on each layer. The cake was finished off with a fresh flower arrangement made by The Rose Boutique. It was classic, elegant and so tasty!
For our wedding menu, we picked our favourite foods. For starters, we chose duck three ways, followed by rump of lamb, with hot pot potatoes for our main course, assiette of chocolate for dessert and coffee to finish. We provided our guests with Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Blush and Champagne to toast with. We also had an incredible six-tier cake of cheese made by The Birkdale Cheese Centre, which was more cost effective and visually pleasing than ordering cheese boards. In the evening, we put on good old bacon and sausage barms for our guests.
For entertainment at the ceremony, we had Bjorn Woodhall on acoustic guitar and vocals, singing a selection of our favourite songs as our guests arrived, and our most meaningful songs during the signing of the register. This was really emotional but it also added a bit of a much-needed modern twist to what was a very traditional wedding ceremony.
At our reception, and throughout our wedding breakfast, we had the most talented pianist, Ken Robson playing instrumental versions of our favourite songs, from Stevie Wonder to Ellie Goulding, subtly in the background.
By far our biggest investment was in our amazing wedding host, Adam. He breathed excitement and energy into our wedding day and helped deliver a healthy balance of charm, fun and humour throughout!
We also booked a band, The Funk Soul Family. We actually loved these guys so much that we didn’t confirm our wedding date until we knew that they were definitely available to play at our wedding! They were a five-piece band who played a variety of 80’s, 90’s and modern songs with their own funky twist – everybody loved them.
With having our son, Oscar, we always knew that children would play a huge part in our wedding day. It’s not for everyone – and it didn’t always go smoothly, but we wouldn’t change that for the world. One of the most special touches that we added to the day was organising a surprise magician, Mr Tinsel, to arrive towards the end of the wedding breakfast, just as the children began to get restless.
For the evening reception, we used Smile-O-Matic who supplied the most incredible photo booth for our guests to enjoy. Sally provided such a personal service, gathering hilarious Scottish themed props just for us, amongst other funny hats, wigs, and masks. James at Humphries Audio Visual also provided us with a white twinkle backdrop, white LED dancefloor, love letters and up lighting – all together creating the perfect party setting.
Our wedding venue was perfect. Eaves Hall is exclusive, so for one whole day you almost forget about the world around you. It’s you and those you wish to share it with. We felt so special, and so lucky to be at a venue that was beautiful both inside and out, so when the weather did turn for the worse, we did not feel disheartened at all. Yet, when the sun shone, we were able to enjoy the beautiful gardens too.
Our first dance was one of my favourite parts of the day. As we took to the floor, the lights were low and the dance floor was twinkling, all of our guests were crowded round us in circle, with the band playing their version of How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding. Dan pulled me in close and as we started to move, out of nowhere our little boy, Oscar came running over to join us. He put an arm around Dan’s leg, and the other around mine and tucked his head into us tightly. It was such a special moment and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house – including Dan.
For our honeymoon, we were lucky enough to go away, just the two of us, as husband and wife to Secrets Capri in Riviera Maya (Mexico) for one week. It was incredible; we have never experienced anything like it. For the last nine months we had worked relentlessly to save up for our wedding day, so for our honeymoon we spent a week relaxing in 5-star, all-inclusive luxury.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, think about yourselves! Take a step back and worry a little less about pleasing everybody else, think about what makes you laugh, what you love about each other and how you want to celebrate that. Focus on making memories together, with your friends and with your families. Let go of your dress, let it get dirty, dance until your hair gets loose, cry until your make up smudges and don’t be afraid to take a little time out in the day for the two of you. One of the best things we did was organise a family get together after our church rehearsal, the night before the wedding – that way we were able to get our ‘hellos’ and introductions out of the way before the big day – it really helped us relax on the day itself.
During the wedding planning, I loved keeping up with Brides Up North for inspiration and ideas. I love reading the blog as it’s so uplifting and exciting to read about other people’s weddings, especially in the run up to our own. It’s also nice to see local venues and suppliers in action.
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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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