November 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Simplistic and personal, without too much fuss. That’s how today’s beautiful bride describes her big day and we couldn’t put it any better ourselves. There’s a lot to be said about keeping things minimal and pared back for an all-together understated and stylish look, especially in a quaint, outdoorsy setting.
Tying the knot back in May at a charming village church in Millington, Philippa and James hired a stunning marquee for their reception celebrations. And luckily for them, a friend of the family allowed them to put it up in their field – a reception venue truly unique to our couple.
There are lots of wonderful details to inspire you today – from the 60-seater school bus and home-baked wedding cake and gins, to some rather fetching floral displays and decorations, all in keeping with the country vibes. We’ll let Philippa share with you all the lovely highlights…
With images by Carly Bevan.
philippa says: We got engaged in New York. I booked a holiday there as a surprise for James’ 30th as it was somewhere he had always wanted to go. We ended up going later in the year, around my birthday in October. James designed a beautiful ring and somehow got it to New York without me knowing! He popped the question after a bike ride around Central Park.
Our wedding was on 27th May 2017. As a teacher, we were limited as to when we could have the wedding. Initially we were thinking the summer holidays would be ideal but it felt like too far away so we picked the bank holiday weekend in May instead, giving everyone an extra day to recover after the wedding!
We got married at St Margaret’s Church in Millington followed by a reception in a beautiful petal pole marquee in a nearby field in the village. The marquee was supplied by Will’s Marquees. The team were amazing and worked so hard to get the marquee up and looking perfect! I would definitely recommend them.
We chose to get married in Millington as this is where my parents live and work, they own the pub in the village, The Gait Inn. The village itself is beautiful and means a lot to us as a couple. My parents approached friends of theirs who live in the village about the possibility of using their field for the reception venue. The field is very close to the church, has a beautiful view and fitted perfectly with our vision for the day. We wanted to be able to walk from the church to the field with our guests without any fuss, wedding cars or our guests needing to take a long trip to another venue.
We wanted our wedding to be simplistic and personal without too much fuss. We didn’t have a theme in mind but our wedding did have a vintage, country feel.
We chose green and white as our main colour scheme. We thought this would fit with the country feel of the wedding – and I love green!
It took a very long time for me to find my wedding dress! I knew that I wanted a long-sleeved dress and something a bit different. I eventually found the most amazing bridal boutique, Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. I was completely overwhelmed by this shop – it was beautiful! I found my perfect dress there, designed by Essense of Australia. It had beautiful long sleeves and was a perfect mix of lace and crepe. I absolutely fell in love with the back of this dress, as it had so many buttons and a beautiful lace train.
James wanted an element of tweed in his suit; so we decided a tweed waistcoat would be ideal. We found some Peter Posh suits online which looked perfect. He didn’t want tails or cravats, just something simple but smart. We hired his suit from York Hire Wear.
The groomsmen wore the same suit and waistcoat as James. They paired this with a green tie, meanwhile James wore ivory.
Having six bridesmaids, I was a little worried about finding something that they would all like! To my surprise, this was one of the easiest tasks – I found some beautiful, green, one-shoulder dresses online at ASOS. They were perfect, fitted beautifully and the bridesmaids loved them!
Sarah and Chloe from Sarah J’s Hair and Beauty Studio did mine and the bridesmaids’ hair – they worked so hard and did a brilliant job. Rose from York Make-up Artist did our makeup on the day, she was amazing and made sure everyone looked beautiful.
We decided that we didn’t need a wedding car as we would be walking from the church to the marquee. My dad told me that he would hire a small, vintage bus to take us to the church. To my surprise, this turned out to be a huge, old 60-seater school bus! At least it fitted with the green colour scheme and the fact that I’m a teacher!
Our photographer was Carly Bevan. Having the right photographer on the day was very important to us. We saw Carly’s photographs and knew immediately that her style of photography was perfect for our day. After meeting with her, we knew that she would be the right person to tell the story of our day through her stunning photographs – we are so glad that we chose her.
Flower Merchant Sally May provided the flowers for the wedding. Sally knew exactly what we wanted, lots of greens and whites and eucalyptus to complement the bridesmaid dresses.
Sally May also provided the flowers for the church and the marquee. My dad made wooden boxes for each table which Sally May filled with beautiful white flowers. We also had milk churns filled with flowers positioned outside the church and marquee.
James and I spent many hours in the garden making wooden signs for the wedding. We decided to give each table the name of somewhere important to us, such as ‘The Nags Head’ being the place where we met and ‘Central Park’ being where James proposed. Our guests enjoyed looking at these and finding out a little bit more about our relationship. We also used The Vow, Sheffield for our invitations and order of service.
For our favours, we made homemade gin. We made three flavours: sloe gin, rhubarb gin and raspberry gin. After a few months in production, we bottled up our gin with the help of my maid of honour, Becky, and added labels. We became experts at tying twine into bows!
James’s mum made the wedding cake. We really wanted our wedding to be as personal as possible, so when she offered to do this, it was perfect! The cake was decorated beautifully and flowers were added on the day.
Our food was provided by Dawn Laverack of A. Laverack and Son and was wonderful. We had canapés and fizz on arrival followed by a joint of bacon which was carved by a nominated person on each table, served with potatoes, salads and sauces. We had brownies, apple pie, meringue and strawberries for people to help themselves to afterwards. Everyone raved about the food, it was delicious! Laveracks also supplied a wonderful buffet for later, including a pork pie cake with our names on! As my parents own a pub, they supplied the bar and kept the drinks flowing all day and night.
We felt that the entertainment was really important; we wanted to have everyone up dancing. We chose The White Rivers to provide our entertainment, this including an acoustic set throughout the afternoon and a four-piece band in the evening – they were amazing and the dance floor was full all night.
I loved everything about our wedding day! The most special part was definitely walking down the aisle towards James and saying our vows to each other. I loved seeing our friends and family enjoying the day, it made all of our hard work worthwhile. James says that his favourite part of the day was seeing me at the end of the aisle.
Our parents, groomsmen and bridesmaids were an incredible help and made the run up to the wedding and the day itself a very special experience. Our page boy, Zach and our Goddaughter, Penny, as flower girl were wonderful (and very cute) too.
We were lucky enough to have a minimoon to Lake Garda after the wedding followed by our main honeymoon to Sri Lanka and the Maldives during the summer holidays. Both trips were incredible, it was a great opportunity to reflect on our special day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, don’t stress about the day as everything always fall into place. The day goes so quickly, try and take everything in and enjoy every moment. Also remember that the day is about the two of you, your love for each other and your marriage.
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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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