February 23rd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Having gathered plenty of inspiration from the real weddings on this very blog – not to mention a few of our Luxury Wedding Fairs – we’re delighted to be sharing the beautiful wedding of Lauren and Andrew here on our pretty pages today.
They went all out with their white wedding brief, transforming what sounds like a rather simple theme into something deliciously opulent. From the white rose bouquet and beautiful cherry tree, to the white carpet down the aisle, flower wall and dancefloor, the scheme was carried through the entire day to absolute perfection.
Lauren looked every inch the flawless bride in her stunning ruffle detail dress and Louboutins – and we’re delighted to hear that she found both the bridal boutique she sourced her dress from, and also her photographer, within our glossy bridal magazine, UNVEILED. We have just hit print on the latest edition of this gorgeous title, and we have to say – it’s looking like the most stunning issue yet! It lands early March ladies, so watch-this-space!
In the meantime, over to the lovely Lauren for full details on this dreamy big day…
With images by Belle & Beau.
lauren says: We got engaged on 7th October 2016, the night before we flew to New York. Andrew chose to ask me then, as it would have been his granddad’s birthday. He was planning to ask me at his memorial tree in Golden Acre Park, but it was really heavy rain. We got to the Raddison, Manchester Airport and went to our room. I turned around and he was down on one knee with a bottle of Moet and asked me to marry him.
Our wedding date was 24th September 2017. This was the only date we could book our venue – Rudding Park in Harrogate – on a weekend in 2017 and we didn’t want to wait too long. Andrew had surprised me with a birthday trip there about three years ago and I knew instantly if he were ever to propose that it would be my dream venue. The grounds and hotel are both stunning and we knew we could create our dream wedding there. I’d definitely recommend Rudding Park to other couples; it was absolutely stunning and we were able to make it our own.
The theme we picked was classic white. We wanted our wedding to feel timeless and elegant, which I think we managed to achieve.
I saw a feature about YAP in UNVEILED magazine and knew it would be the boutique I’d find my dress in. I initially wanted a fishtail dress with straps but ended up with a strapless ball gown. I knew I wanted a dress with a ‘wow’ factor. It was the third dress I tried on and I had goose bumps; my bridesmaids, mum and mother-in-law all filled up with tears when they saw me in it, which meant it was the one. I loved all of the ruffles on the dress.
My alterations were done by Diva Designs and the lovely Anne made me a veil in the perfect shade of ivory to match my dress. Anne also designed and created my hairpieces. My shoes were by Christian Louboutin.
For the bridesmaids’ dresses, I looked for a boutique that would allow the bridesmaids to pick dresses to suit their figures in different styles, with the same colour and fabric, but my girls all fell in love with the same dress by Watters from Laura Lea Boutique in Newcastle. I knew I wanted the bridesmaids in an off-white and we chose ‘Pearl’. The gowns were one-shoulder, floor-length dresses and quite Grecian.
My bridesmaids and I had our make-up done by Georgia Cutts, who is incredible. We all had our hair done at the Spa at Rudding Park.
Our photographers were Holly and Philip from Belle and Beau. I saw Holly’s work in UNVEILED and fell in love with the fine art style. She is incredible with natural light and I knew her elegant and timeless style would match our wedding perfectly. To be honest, I’d have changed the date of our wedding if Holly hadn’t been available. Holly and Phil made us feel completely comfortable and at ease.
For the flowers, I carried a bouquet of white roses from Flowers By Colette at Rudding Park. We had high vases on each table, urns in the Crosby Suite, and the flowers on the top table were white roses, hydrangeas and foliage also provided by Colette.
Our table plan was under a cherry tree created by My Something Borrowed, who also provided the chair covers, which were ruffled to match my dress, and a white aisle carpet for our ceremony.
To go with our white theme, we had a white flower wall provided by Barnett & Co, which we used as our version of a photobooth. It was really popular with all of the guests! We also hired a white dancefloor from The Event Music Company.
For the cake, we chose a three-tiered design from Poppy Pickering. I’d fallen in love with her magical creations and we were really lucky that Dominique was free for our wedding. The bottom tier was raspberry and white chocolate sponge, the second tier was salted caramel and the top tier was actually a dummy. We had ruffles on the bottom tier, again to match my dress, which I managed to get Andrew to agree to without giving away why. The rest of the cake was very simple and elegant.
As favours, we had boxes of white macarons on each table, also from Poppy Pickering.
Canapés were served at our drinks reception. For the wedding breakfast, there was a set menu with our wedding package, which gave our guests three choices for each course. I really liked this touch, as it allowed every guest to pick a meal they knew they’d enjoy. We’ve had so many positive comments about the food. The wine was Rioja or Pinot Grigio and we upgraded the toast to champagne. Either bacon or chip sandwiches were available at our evening reception.
For the entertainment, at our ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast we had a string quartet called Leeds String Ensemble. We chose them as they played some of our favourite songs on strings, which we adored. I walked down the aisle to Wonderwall by Oasis, which is one of our favourite songs. We had Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered as we signed the register and walked out to Uptown Funk to get everyone in the mood for a party.
For our evening band we chose Rock My Reception. We’re not really into cheese, so wanted music we knew our friends would also enjoy. The band were absolutely incredible; they played our first dance, Buck Rogers by Feeder, and even learned a couple of songs for my father-daughter dance: I Just Called To Say I Love You and The Most Beautiful Girl, which were songs my dad sang to me as a little girl. The band also did a ukulele set for those sitting down.
I definitely surprised everyone by arranging a surprise fireworks display that only the bridesmaids, hotel, band and Holly knew about. We fooled everyone into thinking Holly wanted to take a picture outside, which the best man graciously counted us down for – then bang, fireworks! I’m so glad I was able to do something extra special for Andrew on our wedding day. There were other surprises too: on the day, Andrew surprised me with a pair of diamond earrings and I surprised him with a Tag Heuer watch.
Other special touches we had included a cocktail bar set up by Rudding Park, which was a hit at the reception. We also had framed photographs of our loved ones who are no longer with us, so they could be part of our special day, and we used Instax cameras for our guestbook.
My favourite part of the day was our first dance. We went with a song that meant something to us, rather than a traditional love song. We danced to Buck Rogers by Feeder and everyone was singing along; it was absolutely perfect.
For our honeymoon, we went to the Maldives. We’ve both wanted to visit for years and we didn’t think we’d ever have an opportunity to visit again. It was absolutely spectacular
My top tip for other Brides Up North is – be selfish; it’s your day, so do exactly what you want, not what others may expect of you. To assist with planning our day, we attended a couple of Brides Up North wedding fairs and I perused all of the real weddings for inspiration too!
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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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