January 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
A wedding that lasts a whole weekend has to be every bride’s dream, as anyone who’s ever been married will tell you that the big day goes by in a flash.
Today’s featured couple, Neil and Sarah, who held their wedding at Brides Up North Sponsor venue Hornington Manor, squeezed every minute they could into their nuptials, hiring the venue exclusively for a full weekend and bookending their wedding day with relaxed barbecues for their family and friends.
An unusual but inspired detail of their big day was to have a juke box in the evening instead of a band, so everyone could plug in their favourite tunes and create their own DJ set.
We love the barn setting, with its hanging chandeliers, and the bunting that Sarah’s mum took a whole year to make – now that’s dedication! If you too adore the country charm of this stunning venue then be sure to join us on Thursday 19th April, when we will be hosting an Pop Up Evening Wedding Festival Fair at Hornington Manor, with a collection of fabulous local suppliers and the venue’s amazing team!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged in 2016. Neil had bought a ring in the August but had been thinking about how to pop the question for a few months. He decided to propose when we were on holiday in Edinburgh, in September. We stayed in a small town called Linlithgow, for a few days where there is a castle by a loch, which would have been a lovely setting. He had planned the proposal to be there and we went after dinner one night – but it was really dark. We went into Edinburgh for the latter part of the week, by which point Neil was running out of chances. One night I had a dream that Neil proposed while in Edinburgh, so he thought I knew! It got to our last night: we had dinner in town and walked back through the Princes Street gardens. He took me to a quiet part away from other people and got down on one knee. I was so surprised that I started laughing and crying at the same time. So much so that he had to prompt me for an answer!
We got married on 22nd July 2017. I liked the idea of a summer wedding but wasn’t set on an exact date. When we booked the beautiful Hornington Manor near Tadcaster, they didn’t have many dates left, so we just picked one before they got booked up! The venue is an old manor house, which has all the original bedrooms and kitchens, and large front lawns, and they’ve refurbished the barn into a reception area. It was perfect – so relaxed and homely. You can hire the whole place for the weekend, which is an extra bonus. We would definitely recommend the venue: it’s so beautiful and the barn was just perfect for our style of wedding. Having it for the whole weekend meant we could invite all our family down, have barbecues on the Friday and Sunday and have a good catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while. Joanne, Simon and all the team are so helpful and go above and beyond to make the weekend perfect.
We didn’t choose a particular theme. With the venue being quite ‘country’ and relaxed, we just aimed for the whole wedding to be easy going. We both like the colour blue, so were happy to incorporate that where we could. The wedding party was dressed in blue and all the stationery, made by Megan at Pretty Neat Studios in Harrogate, was done on navy blue card. She laser-printed our invitations, menus and thank you cards. We gave her an idea of what style we wanted, which she based the design on. They were beautifully made and unique. We would highly recommend looking her up!
I got my dress from Scarlet Poppy in Pudsey, Leeds. The staff there are so helpful and not pushy. I knew I wanted a slim-fitting dress, as I have a small figure. It was a sweetheart gown in ivory, with the underskirt a sand colour. It had lace detail and the straps could be either straight or criss-crossed. I loved it and it was so comfortable to wear all day.
Neil wore a suit hired from Harrogate Suit Hire. It was a navy, slim-fitting tailcoat, with a tweed waistcoat. He wore tan brown shoes. The groomsmen wore the same as Neil.
The bridesmaids wore pale blue maxi dresses, which had an oriental print along the bottom. They suited the venue style really well and the girls looked really nice.
Our photographer was Richard Perry; he was amazing. He was with us the whole day and captured everything really well. We’ve got hundreds of photos and every single one is brilliant. I’m so glad we decided to use him as he was such a nice guy as well. We would definitely recommend him.
For the flowers, a family friend bought and styled them for us. We decided on calla lilies in a range of blues and white. I asked for heather to be added to represent my Scottish heritage. I had a small bouquet and my bridesmaids had a few select flowers, which lay across the arm.
For the table centrepieces, we had a variety of jars with just a few flowers in. There were a few dotted around the barn as well. As the barn is really nice, with chandeliers and white drapes across the ceiling, it doesn’t require much added decoration, so we just had bunting put up, which my mum had spent the last year making, with the help of my mother-in-law too.
When it came to the favours, we decided to make our own. My mum kindly made little jars of blackcurrant jam for the ladies and Neil’s dad made homemade cider for the gents.
For the cake, we wanted to keep it simple, as my mum was making a traditional fruit cake like her mum had done for her. We had a two-tiered orange and lemon sponge, with buttercream icing and piping around the edges. It was made for us by Alison, The Cake Lady of Harrogate.
After the ceremony, we had Pimm’s and a mixed selection of beers on the front lawn. For the toasts, we had prosecco, and, during the meal, we had pinot grigio and malbec. My brother, who is head brewer at Northern Monk in Leeds, also provided a cask for the beer.
The food was provided by The Hog and Apple. We had antipasti platters to start with, a hog roast for main, which had various cuts of pork and sides, and then for pudding we had a trio of desserts: lemon posset, banoffee pie and Eton mess. It was all delicious. In the evening, they provided a cold Ploughman’s buffet consisting of meats, pork pies, sandwiches and cheese.
We couldn’t agree on a band that we liked, so in the end, Neil suggested we got a jukebox like his mum had at her birthday party. This turned out to be a really great idea. The supplier put a generous range of music on the jukebox based on what we liked and guests could choose a song whenever they wanted, meaning there was something to suit everyone. We also provided a sweetie table during the reception and some outdoor games. We put disposable cameras on the tables too, so the guests could take some extra photos for us.
When it comes to picking our favourite moment of the day, I don’t think we could choose just one! It was all so great, although a bit surreal. We just enjoyed the whole weekend and being able to see so many family and friends. It was nice to go off and get photos taken, just so we had some time to ourselves to take everything in. We haven’t been on a honeymoon yet, as we bought a house not long after the wedding so that has occupied us until now.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to try to stay relaxed. Although it is a really big day, there is a lot of planning involved and it’s easy to forget what it’s really about. Just enjoy yourselves and don’t worry about the little things.
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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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