February 2nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Warning: the following real wedding contains some serious #wedspo. Stephanie and Kelly were married at Deepdale Farm in Keldholme and pulled off a rustic, all-natural big day that was personalised to perfection. There are to-die-for details (copper troughs + all-wood furniture = all the laid-back luxe vibes) and a fabulous feast for the wedding breakfast: hog roast, fish and chips, ice cream and s’mores. But what else would you expect from a couple who run a pub and restaurant for a living?
When asked about their photographer, Stephanie’s response was “what an absolute legend”, and these images speak for themselves. Sun-dappled gorgeousness, cornfield kisses, a magnificent chip van smooch and nothing – nothing – says ‘unbridled joy’ like a bride glugging champagne straight from the bottle.
Things are about to get gorgeous…
With images by Peter Hugo Photography.
stephanie says: We got engaged in Thailand. As part of our two-week trip, we visited an elephant sanctuary. Kelly gave my ring to a keeper who then placed it in one of the elephant’s trunks. While we were sitting on a log feeding the elephants, one of them wrapped its trunk around me and dropped the ring into my lap!
Our wedding date was 15th August 2017. Most people don’t get married on a Tuesday, but then most people don’t live the lives we do! We picked this date as lots of our guests were flying in from overseas and it was helpful for them. We also run our own pub/restaurant, so it was easier for us to close during the week rather than at the weekend.
We were married at Deepdale Farm in Keldholme, Yorkshire. A few years ago, Kelly and I ran the bar there for a wedding. As soon as we saw it, we knew it was where we wanted to get married. We wanted a rustic, barnyard-type wedding with picture perfect scenery, and Deepdale offered all of that and more.
Theme-wise, we stuck with a ‘Pinterest-esque’, rustic, shabby-chic style. We wanted to have as many personal touches as we could. We were also keen on it being outdoors with a relaxed vibe and natural backdrops for pictures and videos. Our main colours were navy blue and grey.
I wore a Sophia Tolli lace gown called Noelle. It was floor-length with a crystal-encrusted keyhole back and hugged me in all the right places. After trying on numerous dresses, I knew this was ‘the one’ the second I tried it on. I knew I wanted a lace dress and to show off my tattoos and this dress was everything. The look on my mother and grandmother’s faces when I walked out of the changing room was priceless – a moment I’ll never forget!
Kelly wore black fitted trousers and a black button-up shirt with a navy blue tweed vest and a black fitted jacket from Ted Baker.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and like themselves on my wedding day. I didn’t want them to be traditional and (in my opinion) boring by all wearing the same thing. I simply gave my girls the colour and let them have free reign on the style they wanted. The only stipulation I had was that they were floor-length. I left the rest up to them and they couldn’t have chosen more beautiful dresses. Each one was suited to their body type and they all looked stunning.
Kelly’s side wore grey suits that they each picked themselves. Her boys wore fitted suits which made them look dapper. The girls wore suits as well but instead of trousers they had tailored shorts! I loved them as it gave them a really feminine touch.
As the majority of our guests were travelling from York to Kirkbymoorside, Kelly and I hired a double decker red bus to transport the crew. With lots of our guests being Canadian, this was definitely a hit! It was personalised with our names on the front and our guests were able to enjoy some drinks along the way as well. It dropped everyone off at The Crown pub where they all enjoyed another drink (or two!) in the gorgeous beer garden. From there, we hired VW buses to transport guests to the venue.
Our photographer was Pete Hugo. What an absolute legend. I don’t even know where to start. Pete is simply amazing. From our initial meeting to the day of our wedding, he was so professional and put us completely at ease. He’s a wonderful person and his photos speak volumes. He has such a calm aura about him that he makes people feel totally comfortable and he captures such candid, natural photos – exactly what we wanted. He’s non-invasive and our guests loved him. I’d recommend Pete to everyone!
We decided to fly our videographer in from Canada as he’s a family friend and we knew he would produce the best video for us. Erick Valentic did an amazing job of capturing our beautiful day with a video that’s certain to bring tears to everyone’s eyes!
I carried a handtied loose and organic bouquet of seeded eucalyptus, nude roses, gypsophila and seasonal garden flowers bound in ivory organza and pinned by pearls. They were provided by Kymm Queen at Queen’s Flowers.
Our table arrangements were in copper troughs with seasonal garden flowers and long loose blooms. We had numerous bundles of heavy-weight gypsophila in tins to dress the venue.
Our favours came in the form of a cupcake station where every guest could personalise and take away their own cupcake. We also had Canadian beer cosies, personalised sunglasses, selfie sticks and personalised bottles of wine for guests to take home with them.
Gayle Hussan from Where The Ribbon Ends made our beautiful, quirky cake. The bottom was a suitcase with two globes sitting on top. It was personalised with touches such as passports, flags of places Kelly and I have been together, bottles of beer, miniature figurines of us and running throughout it a ribbon reading, ‘Always have, always will’ – something Kelly and I say to each other all the time.
For the meal, we decided to have a hog roast with all the trimmings to fit with the relaxed, outdoor, barnyard vibe. We had local pork pies and scotch eggs, a variety of nibbles, homemade coleslaw and a variety of salads. At 11pm we had a fish and chip van turn up, which everyone took advantage of. We also had an icecream truck and a s’mores station!
As our guests arrived, Tom Bleasby sang acoustic songs that filled the air with love and an incredible atmosphere. Kelly surprised me during the ceremony with him coming to the front to sing Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love. Needless to say, everyone was a mess! We also had a bagpiper to honour Kelly’s late Scottish father, an artist who did caricatures, and lawn games for cocktail hour, which were a huge hit.
My favourite moment? Walking towards Kelly down the aisle with my mother. To see her standing there, waiting for me, barely able to keep it together was just incredible. Celebrating with all of our family and friends was the most special thing and I will truly treasure the memories of our day forever.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be enjoy the day and remember that it goes by incredibly quickly. There’s no need to get stressed because everything will come together in the end!
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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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