August 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Beautiful bride Nichola brings our fairytale dreams to life in today’s real wedding, by arriving at the church in a gorgeous horse and carriage. But the magic doesn’t stop there – she and beau Phil, hosted their celebrations at the stunning Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire, decorated with the most captivating blooms, candles and fairy lights.
With travel at the heart of their wedding theme, there are lots of personal touches to admire – think Polaroid snaps, maps and luggage tags. As for the savoury table brimming with crisps, popcorn and pretzels, and the cocktail bar – this is a winning combination, if you ask us!
Other highlights include the homemade photo booth and quirky scratch card favours, but we’ll let Nichola share all the gorgeous details from their special day. Enjoy!
With images by Studio 41.
nichola says: We got engaged in Sutton in March 2015. We were supposed to be visiting New York – where Phil had originally planned to propose in Central Park – but I slipped a disc in my back a few months before, which required immediate surgery and meant I was unable to fly. Phil planned a quiet long weekend in the country instead where he ended up proposing, as his nerves couldn’t handle waiting until the following November when New York had been rebooked for!
We tied the knot on 6th May 2017. We knew we wanted a spring wedding as it is our favourite time of the year.
We got married at Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. I always had Rise Hall in my mind when researching wedding venues but Phil had been unsure, as he had visited it years before when the renovations were just beginning. But as soon as we arrived we knew it was the perfect venue for us, we completely fell in love.
Our theme loosely revolved around travel, love and flowers. We based our table names on places we had visited, with a Polaroid of the two of us in that place on a mini easel. Our table plan was a map with luggage tags identifying each table. We had a restored vintage suitcase for cards. This suitcase was gifted to me from my beautiful bridesmaids who filled it with presents to make a wedding advent calendar, which I opened every morning leading up to the day. We had framed love quotes dotted around the venue accompanied by numerous jars filled with lavender and gypsophila. Our florist did a wonderful job of filling the rest of the house and church with the most beautiful floral arrangements.
Our colour scheme consisted of a soft palette of lavender, blush pink, soft blues and creams. We really loved the soft, romantic look this created.
I chose a Sottero & Midgley dress from Deborah Moore Bridalwear in Sutton. I must have visited at least ten shops before I went back to Deborah Moore and tried on the dress again that I, along with my mum and bridesmaid, had compared every other dress to! It was completely different to the dress I had imagined. I wouldn’t have even tried it on had Deborah not suggested it, so I am extremely grateful to her! My Manolo Blahniks completed my bridal ensemble and were a wedding gift from Phil.
Phil and the groomsmen chose Ted Baker suits from Slaters Menswear. We made the decision to buy the suits after not finding anything suitable to hire. It is something he and the groomsmen can wear again and again. The ties and pocket squares, meanwhile, were from Swagger & Swoon.
The bridal party and myself got ready at Rise Hall. Victoria Farr did my wedding makeup and she was absolutely wonderful. She did my makeup a few years prior when I was a bridesmaid and I knew then I wouldn’t want anyone else to do my makeup on my special day. Robyn Turnbull styled my hair. Robyn is my regular hairdresser and there wasn’t anyone else I would have wanted. Victoria and Robyn both made the morning such a joy.
Phil and I were married at Rise Church, which is a short distance away and I travelled there by horse and carriage, provided by The Ostler. They were great and the horses were beautiful. I have grown up around horses so it was lovely to have this reflected on the day. Phil, meanwhile, drove himself and the groomsmen in a Range Rover – his favourite car!
Our photographer was Darren from Studio 41. We couldn’t recommend him enough. He fitted in like part of the wedding party and our photos were very relaxed which was important to us. He managed to capture our day perfectly and the photos were ready for us to view once we returned from our honeymoon which was just what we needed to fight the holiday and post wedding blues!
Silver Sixpence Films were our videographers and again I could not recommend them enough. Phil was initially apprehensive about the ideally of being filmed all day, but they were so unobtrusive you really did forget they were filming. The films they provided are so wonderful and really sum up our day in the most beautiful way. We received our trailer film on our honeymoon and it was such a lovely thing to have, which transported us right back to the day.
I carried a bouquet by Floral Lounge. It blew me away on the morning as it was so beautiful. Sarah was a pleasure to deal with from start to finish, listening to everything we wanted and adding some great ideas of her own. Sarah also provided flowers for Rise Hall and All Saints Rise Church, including the candelabras which were decorated with the most beautiful flowers for the centrepieces and the hurricane candles that lit up the church.
Cherry Williams Party Hire provided the chair covers as well as the lanterns and candles which decorated the corridors and the staircase.
Love My Wedding Invites provided our wedding stationery – from the invites to the Polaroid centrepieces to the quotes we had placed around the venue – Sarah was so helpful and nothing was too much trouble.
We gave out scratch cards as favours, which we placed in ‘lucky in love’ envelopes – sadly no-one won big!
We had a simple, but delicious, buttercream three-tier cake made by Tracey Welham. Sarah of Floral Lounge decorated this with flowers in the morning.
Saunts Parties and Events provided the wedding breakfast and evening food which was so delicious – we had so many compliments about the food. We skipped canapés and instead created a savoury table, using wooden crates, map boxes and kilner jars to hold various crisps, popcorn, pretzels and nuts for guests to snack on. We provided our own wine for the tables and Prosecco for the speeches. For the arrival drinks, we hired Mix It Up Cocktails. Chris was brilliant, providing a variety of delicious cocktails and mocktails. He then stayed on to provide a cash cocktail bar on the night which went down a storm.
A lot of our guests stayed over at Rise Hall and the following morning we arranged for a food van to arrive by the amazing Kerb Edge. They serve various breakfast sandwiches which went down an absolute treat – so delicious.
We had The Superlicks as our band. They were amazing and had the dance floor packed from start to finish. They provided a DJ service in between sets too, using a playlist my brother had compiled for us from our guests’ song choices when they sent us their RSVPs.
To provide extra entertainment, we had a homemade vintage photobooth made by my very talented cousin Rebecca. Her camera was set up on a tripod and faced an amazing backdrop made up of various ribbons, flowers and fairy lights.
We could not recommend Rise Hall enough to other brides and grooms. It is a beautiful venue that manages to look and feel grand whilst still feeling homely. We had the house for the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed spending Friday there decorating and setting everything up. Helen, who runs Rise Hall, is absolutely amazing. She made sure everything ran smoothly and was on hand to answer any questions and calm any nerves. We are so grateful to her for everything.
I had so many favourite parts from the wedding day – it’s really hard to choose just one! Getting ready in the morning was wonderful, it was such a chilled and happy time. Another favourite part was arriving at the church and walking in to see Phil’s face as he turned and saw me for the first time. My cousin Leigh did a reading in the church, ‘He’s Not Perfect’ by Bob Marley, which was a special touch to the day. Our first dance was another personal highlight, as well as our second song when everyone joined us on the dance floor. Just looking around and seeing so many happy (and tearful!) faces was so overwhelming.
For our honeymoon we went to New York and Miami. We had visited New York on our delayed trip in 2015 and it holds a very special place in our hearts. We knew we wanted to make the most of our time in America and visit a city we hadn’t been to before. We chose Miami thinking that after the buzz of New York it would offer the relaxation part of our honeymoon, just lazing on the beach and around the hotel pools, but – honestly – there is so much to see and do, we didn’t stop! This just added to the experience though and we had the most amazing time.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is – be extremely organised leading up to the day. Helen at Rise Hall helped us with this and she took care of so much, including timings and liaising with suppliers. However, by being so organised, we found that when the week of our wedding arrived we could just chill out and enjoy the build-up.
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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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