August 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Katie and Josh’s special day had us gooey from the word go. Their colour choices – rich raspberries, sumptuous burgundies, deep earthy browns and rose gold accents – light up the lens and have us longing for autumn’s open fires (and maybe a glass of red…you know, just to be sociable).
And while Katie and Josh were looking to their future together, they also made sure they didn’t forget the past. The bride’s bouquet was fastened together with her late grandfather’s tie and family photographs and a memorial plaque were dotted around the reception venue. Stylish, poignant, perfect.
So, settle in for a good ‘un; the rustic details from this joyous day are to-die-for, not to mention the bride’s strapless, full-skirted number.
With images by Jessica Lang Photography.
katie says: We got engaged at the Manchester Christmas Markets on 5th December 2015. We were there for the day with some close friends and decided to get a drink in the main chalet. Later, we asked a man if he could take a picture of us with the giant illuminated Santa behind us. He took the picture – but then Josh asked him for another and, at that moment, got down on one knee and proposed in front of all our friends and everyone in the chalet! I was completely gobsmacked and couldn’t say yes quickly enough! Everyone cheered and clapped and we celebrated the rest of the day in Manchester.
Our wedding was booked for 3rd November 2016. We chose the date as we wanted an autumn wedding but we couldn’t afford weekend prices.
We had our ceremony and reception at Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn, in Clitheroe. It was unlike anything we had seen in the area: very rustic, the scenery was stunning and it was everything we wanted.
We went with a kind of rustic autumn feel. We wanted the day to feel relaxed and not too formal.
We chose a deep raspberry/burgundy colour for the bridesmaids and dark brown for the groomsmen and woman. We chose these colours as we felt that they’d look great with the natural autumnal colours from the scenery and fit in well with the season.
I chose a fitted, strapless, drop-waist bridal gown. It was an ivory colour with ruching around the body and beading for detail. The skirt was rather full and had some appliques for detailing. I wore a plain, simple ivory veil with matching flowers from my bouquet in my hair. I also wore some vintage looking sparkly earrings and champagne heels.
Josh wore a three-piece brown tweed suit from Marc Darcy in Manchester, and teamed it with a satin brown tie, also from Marc Darcy.
The groomsmen and woman wore the same suit as Josh from Marc Darcy with burgundy ties and brown shoes.
The bridesmaid dresses were one-shoulder, floor-length burgundy designs from a shop on eBay. They also donned rose gold earrings, a small sparkly bracelet and rose gold heels.
The two flower girls wore ivory calf-length dress with a faux fur shawl, ivory tights and shoes. Our page boy wore grey trousers with a matching waistcoat, white suit and a bow tie.
Jessica Lang was our photographer for the day. We’d absolutely recommend her: she captured every special moment of our day, she was warm, friendly, very efficient and was happy to take any pictures we wanted. Our favourite pictures are the natural shots; they capture our relationship perfectly.
I had a bouquet made of berries, black barraca roses, white flowers and green foliage. It was hand tied with one of my late grandfather’s ties and included Josh’s late grandma’s pendant.
The bridesmaids and flower girls carried simple handtied gypsophila bouquets and the groomsmen and woman wore gypsophila and berry buttonholes, all provided by VC Weddings and Events.
The same flowers in my bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquet were used in the jam jars decorated by my mum. We also incorporated candles and fallen leaves around the venue. We opted for log slices and jam jars as centrepieces on the tables and for the top table.
My mum got crafty and made the table plan display from an old pallet that she upcycled, and she used mismatched frames to display the seating. She also upcycled an old apple crate for our wedding cards.
My sister had arranged for some giant illuminated ‘K&J’ initials to be installed as a surprise – I only saw them as I walked down the aisle! She told me later that they were also provided by VC Weddings and Events. VC also helped set up all the decorations for the ceremony and the reception.
As a special touch to the day, we displayed pictures of our relatives who have sadly passed away along with a handwritten plaque in their honour with a candle to remember them by.
Our favours were small personalised jars of blackberry jam from Wilkin & Sons Ltd. The kids were given a giant Mr Men book each and an activity pack.
We went for a three-tier rough buttercream finish cake by Imaginative Cakes. We chose three different cake flavours: lemon, carrot and chocolate.
Our wedding breakfast starter was duck liver parfait with toasted brioche bread and a plum and apple chutney. The main was pork fillet wrapped in pancetta, Earl Grey poached pear, black pudding rice crispy and fondant potato with green beans and carrots. The dessert was a trio of mini sticky toffee pudding, chocolate caramel Rolo and vanilla ice cream.
We had a selection of different white and red wines for the guest to choose from, Kir Royales for our reception drinks and prosecco for toasting.
We also created our own pick ‘n’ mix stall and Josh had arranged for our favourite cocktails to be available all night.
For the evening food, we served burgers and fries to fuel everyone’s dancing feet! Our caterers, Twelve Event Management, were superb and we would recommend them to anyone.
Entertainment-wise, we had table trivia on each table, which our guests said were great fun. We gave the kids bubble wands, glow sticks and colouring books to keep them entertained. Then we had a DJ at night.
After our experience, we would certainly recommend Browsholme Hall to other brides and grooms – all the staff were fantastic from start to finish, they were happy to answer all our questions and the day was perfect thanks to them.
Our favourite part of the day was our first dance and seeing all our family and friends together and looking so happy for us.
Following the wedding, we decided to go to London for a minimoon and we’re currently deciding where we want to go for our ‘full’ honeymoon.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is – don’t worry if it doesn’t go exactly as you’d planned; at the end of the day you get to marry the love of your life and that’s all that really matters.
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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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