Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

babes in the wood. charlotte balbier for a relaxed woodland wedding in yorkshire – ceri & liam

September 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (88)

We’re kicking off the week with a truly cool and individual big day that had a relaxed rustic and boho vibe.

Taking place at an exclusive location in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby, today’s couple Ceri and Liam, tied the knot in the ruins of a castle before moving onto a marquee at Liam’s parents’ house for a chilled reception, complete with views over the whimsical woodland and coastline beyond.

We’re totally crushing on Ceri’s gorgeous lace dress by Brides Up North Sponsor, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, not to mention those uber-cool bell, bead and pearl anklets.

Keeping the style bar up high, we also adore the bridesmaids’ pastel dresses and flower crowns, as well as the men’s brace and bow tie combos! This party are on point!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (113)

ceri says: Liam had originally planned to propose during a surprise trip to Edinburgh but didn’t find the right time so ended up asking me once we got home to Durham. He popped the question on a bridge over the river during the Lumiere light festival.

We set the date for 24th June 2017, as it was close to the solstice so we’d have lots of daylight.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (82)

We got married at the Old Castle in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby. These are some old ruins deep in the woods, we wrote to Lord Normanby who owns the land and who Liam’s dad has worked for, for 40 years to ask his permission for us to hold our ceremony there. Our guests had to walk through the woods to reach it though some were taken via Land Rover. For the reception, we had a marquee in a field overlooking the woods and sea at Liam’s parents’ house, which is a gatehouse to the woods in a village called Dunsley.

As our ceremony at Mulgrave Woods wasn’t the legal one (we went to the register office another day) we asked Liam’s close friend Tristan to conduct the ceremony. He did such a fantastic job and it made it even more personal and relaxed.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (83)

Our rings were mad by my friend Geri of Smuggler’s Treasure. It meant a lot to us that they were made locally and by a friend, they are a hammered texture with an engraved heart inside. Geri also made me some anklets, which had brass beads, bells and fresh water pearls on as I had bare feet on the day.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (40)

The theme of the wedding was very relaxed we didn’t have a colour scheme but we incorporated the woods into the styling with real trees in the marquee, log cuttings and lots of wild flowers. I’m a photographer so we had lots of vintage cameras around too.

There was lots of green throughout the wedding due to the amounts of foliage – we made living chandeliers using old bike wheels, greenery and fairy lights and hung them in the marquee.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (30)

I chose to wear a long-sleeved lace dress called Luna by Charlotte Balbier – it was a very soft lace and I wore it with a long veil. Diana at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique, in Pickering, suggested the dress after I had described the wedding and it was the only one I wanted once I had tried it on. She knows her stuff!

Liam wore a dark blue wool suit with a fleck in from Next, along with real leather tan braces and a tweed bow tie.

The groomsmen wore what they wanted but had matching braces and bow tie to Liam.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (7)

My bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS in a dusky lilac colour, they also wore flower crowns made by Tink, who was also our makeup artist (Shepherd’s Purse Makeup and Flower Crowns). The flower crowns are made from the most beautiful silk and velvet artificial flowers.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (21)

Our wedding transport was Liam’s uncle and auntie’s old white Land Rover Defender, which was decorated with bunting and flowers for the day.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (31)

Beth Clarke and Matt Lloyd of Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography, captured our day. I know them already as we all began our careers in press photography, being a photographer myself I picked someone whose style I loved and I knew they would get on and do their thing and it would be perfect.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (43)

Sophie Longhurst of Ginger and Flynn, did our bouquets. They were really natural looking and exactly how I had imagined them to be.

We were also very fortunate to be allowed to take some flowers from Lord Normanby’s private garden. Me and my bridesmaids spent an afternoon with the head gardener choosing lots of flowers, which was such a wonderful experience in the run up to the day as the gardens are beautiful!

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (47)

As favours we had little jars of honey and wrote our guests’ names on the label. The honey was made by Liam’s mum Karen and her sister Jacqui, who are beekeepers.

Liam’s mum also made us two cakes for the wedding; naked lemon drizzle cake covered in fruit and flowers, and Liam’s grandma made a traditional fruit cake, which Karen iced in the style of a fairy house made from wood, with toadstools on it – it was amazing!

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (52)

Chef Alex Perkins from Bridge Cottage Bistro at Sandsend, took care of our catering. We couldn’t get ovens up in the field where the marquee was so decided on a barbecue, we had venison burger or lobster to represent the woods and sea served with sour dough bread, herby potatoes and salad. For a bit of fun we had homemade Yorkshire Parkin as a pudding as Parkin is Liam’s surname. We served this with earl grey ice cream and rhubarb. We also had cheese and pork pies for people to nibble on. The evening food was a Land Rover pizza oven from The Pizza Guy, which went down a treat.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (76)

In terms of entertainment, we had a local band as well as a singer in the afternoon. The singer Fran Minney, from Leeds, I heard at another wedding and had to have her as her voice is just lovely. The band in the evening Alan Brown and family, were good fun and got everyone dancing.

To provide further entertainment, we up cycled and old rusty donkey trap, which people had lots of fun with pulling each other around the field. We also had outdoor games, such as archery, swing ball and giant Jenga.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (72)

Looking back, my favourite part of the day was walking into the Old Castle and seeing all my friends and family smiling and Liam waiting at the end of the aisle. I relaxed at this point and new it was going to be a good day!

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (86)

For our honeymoon, we went to Dorset and Cornwall in Liam’s VW Caddy, which we converted into a camper in the run up to the wedding. We took our surfboards and spent lots of time at the beach. We also booked some nice hotels for some nights of luxury!

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (106)

It is easy to say, but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be – don’t get too worried about all the small details and whether everyone is ok. I was worried the guests wouldn’t enjoy the long walk to the castle, or would get lost, but everything came together on the day. Also pause and take in the day whenever you can as it goes by in a flash.

the big picture

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about the author

Rachel Parry
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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