November 9th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s something very romantic about the first glimpse of Yorkshire wedding venue Wood Hall Hotel, as you round the bend and dip down into the valley – tucked into a sweeping, gloriously green countryside vista, it’s no surprise Briony and Adam chose this spectacular setting for their big day.
After garnering lots of inspiration from our very own Brides Up North blog, Briony pulled together a very pretty, pastel-hued wedding day with plenty of sweet little details that brought a personal touch to the day. We love the fact that Briony incorporated her late grandmother’s lace into her bouquet and table decorations – a divine detail that meant she carried her nan with her all day.
From the matching bridesmaids’ dressing gowns in the morning, to the wishes jar for guests to share their personal messages, to the pretty little boxes containing mini eggs for each guest as a nod to the Easter weekend, Briony and Adam took time to get the details right. Briony made all the wedding signs herself by writing in white pen on the glass of white photo frames, and the couple chose laser-cut place name signs that each guest could take home with them. Right through to the pop of evening sunshine that facilitated some lovely photographs and gave the couple a few minutes to soak up the atmosphere together, Briony and Adam enjoyed a very pretty, personalised day.
With images by Arabella Smith.
briony says: We got engaged on 14th August 2014. I was making tea when Adam called me into the front room. Jack, our little boy, was sitting on the floor holding a ring box and then Adam got down on one knee. I was completely shocked! I had no idea he was planning to propose. Obviously, the tea ended up in the fridge and we went out to celebrate!
We wanted a spring wedding and Easter bank holiday seemed perfect, with having the Friday and Monday off work, so we chose 15th April 2017 – Easter Saturday. It meant we had more time to prepare and then celebrate afterwards!
Wood Hall Hotel and Spa was the first venue we went to look at: I fell in love with it as soon as we drove down the driveway. Nothing else compared: it was perfect. The coordinator, Rachel, was fantastic in the run up and Nathan and all of the team on the day were brilliant. It’s no wonder they’ve just won Best Large Venue of the Year (Yorkshire) in the North of England Wedding Awards.
I didn’t really choose a theme for our wedding; I just wanted everything to look pretty and romantic. A mixture of lace, white, pastel colours, candles and fairy lights just about sums it up. For something not so traditional, we used two VW campervans as our wedding cars, which we hired from The Yorkshire Wedding Car Company. They were a big hit with the guests. I wanted to try and have some personal touches for the day, so I hand-wrote all the calligraphy signs and the seating plan.
With it being a spring wedding, I wanted pastel colours. My wedding dress was by Mori Lee and had a slight blush colour to it. I bought it from The Abbey Wedding Warehouse, in Kirkstall, Leeds. I felt like a princess in it. It was actually the second dress I bought but I’m so glad I changed my mind, as I panic-bought my first dress. To follow the colour scheme, my six bridesmaids were in multiway dresses from Debenhams: two in pale pink, two in pale blue and two in pale grey. I had two flower girls in pale pink dresses, also from Debenhams. Adam wore a traditional grey morning suit and he and our two little boys wore an ivory waistcoat with an ivory rouche. We hired the suits from Slaters in Leeds. The groomsmen wore grey morning suits, ivory waistcoats and a pale pink rouche.
Lauren Rippin did my makeup and made a fantastic job. Lisa Jobson and Danae Miller from Gray’s Salon did all the hair in the morning. Lisa has done my hair for a very long time and is a close friend of mine. The only other person I would trust to do my bridesmaids’ hair is Danae. We have all been friends for a long time and I wouldn’t have had anyone else there with me on the morning. I knew they would make everyone look incredible – and they did!
Our photographer was Arabella Smith. We have used her for family portraits with our boys and, having worked with her before and knowing how high her standard of work is, she was the only photographer we wanted for our big day. Both Arabella and Vanessa, her assistant, were fantastic – not too pushy but making sure we got all the shots we wanted.
We used SJH Media for our videography.
In terms of flowers, I have known for years that I wanted pink peonies, as they are my favourite. When I originally said I wanted peonies to Claire Slater, who provided all our flowers, she was unsure as it was a little early in the season for them. Thankfully, she did an amazing job and they were stunning. She even suggested wrapping some of my late nan’s lace around my bouquet; it was nice to have a little bit of her with me all day. We used my nan’s lace in the bridesmaids’ posies too and on all the table decorations. I didn’t want anything too fussy for the rest of the flowers, so I chose simple white gypsophila. Claire dressed the room with lanterns and candles and even stayed until after our ceremony to dress the room for the reception. She couldn’t have done more for us.
Natalie Scott designed all our save-the-date cards and invitations. They were so lovely and just what we wanted.
We used Simply Seat Covers for our seat covers and cream aisle runner. They were brilliant at sending samples and they all looked lovely on the day.
Our cake was stunning! It was made by a company in Harrogate called the Blossom Tree Cake Company. We had a three-tier cake: the bottom was chocolate sponge with salted caramel buttercream; the middle was vanilla sponge with buttercream and jam; and the top tier (my favourite) was carrot and walnut sponge with vanilla buttercream. They made peonies out of sugar paste for the top, which looked real! Their work is amazing.
We wanted a traditional sit-down meal for the wedding breakfast, so we started with roast tomato soup, then had a roast beef dinner with Yorkshire puddings for main and finished with sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Later in the evening we had a buffet.
For the entertainment we were recommended the house DJ at Wood Hall and he didn’t disappoint. He played a really good mix to suit everyone and the dancefloor was full all night.
Looking back, the day went so fast. I enjoyed having photographs taken at the top of the drive as the sun was going down; it was nice to have a bit of time just the two of us before the evening reception started. The whole day ran so smoothly and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
After the wedding, we went to Ibiza for our honeymoon with the children, so there wasn’t much partying – unless you count the kids’ disco. We went all-inclusive and just relaxed for the week. It was so nice to be together as a family and enjoy the sun.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to just enjoy it. It takes so much planning and money and then it’s all over before you know it. Also, make sure you get a good photographer because your photos are what you will look back on. Finally, I have followed Brides Up North on Instagram throughout my planning and loved reading the blog. It’s fantastic for inspiration and tips.
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Aislinn has a background in journalism, having filled all manner of publishing roles from editor to copywriter to feature writer. She is a former wedding photographer who ran her own business with her husband Michael. Together, they have travelled as far as Australia to photograph a client’s wedding (and spent all their earnings on a campervan trip up the Aussie coast!). Aislinn left wedding photography behind to take on the biggest commitment of her life as mummy to her young son Tom. She has been a bride, bridesmaid and even best woman (she has the speech to prove it!), which is almost all angles covered!
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