March 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There are village halls, and there are village halls. Today’s real wedding couple Amy and Simon picked a cracker in picturesque Slaidburn, with its high ceilings and blank canvas ready to be transformed by the theme and colour scheme of their choice – which they did with gusto, hand-making some fabulous floral wreaths to hang from the ceiling and rather professional signs to help the day run smoothly.
We also love the couple’s idea of having a 16-piece band as entertainment (imagine the impact of all those instruments in a village hall!) – and the VW campervan that invites each guest to ‘pimp’ their drinks with fruit and flavoured cordials.
Amy looks fabulous in her lacy Sassi Holford gown, rocking the 2018 trend for sleeves. And we’ve fallen just a little bit in love with the canine guest in attendance – that face!
With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.
amy says: We got engaged on 24th April. We’d decided to walk to the top of Longridge Fell. Simon had packed a picnic and unknown to me something else very special. When we reached the top, we stood near the white trigpoint and looked at the view over the beautiful Ribble Valley. No one else was around and Simon started to unpack the picnic and pulled out a small wooden box. He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t believe it; I had no idea. I couldn’t stop smiling. I said “Yes!” It was quite emotional and so gleeful. We celebrated together with our picnic before heading back.
We wanted a memorable date for our wedding, so we picked 17th June 2017. I had always wanted a June wedding because they say that, when you marry in June, you’re a bride all your life.
We got married at Slaidburn Village Hall, Clitheroe. We wanted a relaxed and informal wedding and had been looking at venues for a while but when we visited Slaidburn we knew it was perfect for us. Slaidburn is such a picturesque village; is has an old-world charm and we had a great feeling about it. The village hall next to the village green and River Hodder was just the perfect setting for our wedding. We’d definitely recommend the venue if you’re looking for something simple and laid back from which you can personally create the setting and tone for your wedding. There are no package deals here, so some hard work and organisation from you will ensure the wedding you always wanted. The hall is a beautiful combination of simple clean lines, modern and some rustic old-world charm.
The style of our wedding was a woodland garden feel with natural tones. We decorated the hall ourselves and wanted a very natural theme, with lots of greenery and elements of wood, brown string and hessian. There was also a bit of vintage glamour, with the addition of gold, blush and burgundy to the colour scheme. We loved the idea of being married underneath trees and had two birch trees at the altar.
The general wedding colours we chose were green and white with splashes of gold. I wanted us both to stand out and so my flowers and Simon’s buttonhole and tie had a slightly different colour theme, including blush and burgundy.
My dress was the Eleanor by designer Sassi Holford, from Kimberley Ann Bridal, in Clitheroe. I wanted something simple and floaty with sleeves and a V-neck, as I thought this would flatter me the most. When I put it on, I knew it was the dress for me; it was everything I wanted.
Simon wore a beautiful grey-marl, three-piece wool suit from Next. Its light colour and textured fabric went really well with the natural elements of our wedding.
The best man wore the same suit as the groom but we didn’t stipulate what the bridal party should wear. We asked that they chose outfits within the colour scheme and the groomsmen all wore the same coloured tie and buttonhole. Both my bridesmaids had matching corsages and my mother and mother-in-law had matching flower buttonholes, which were slightly larger than the men’s.
Our photographer was Rachel Joyce. Rachel was so warm, professional and fun to be around. I was overwhelmed by the quality of the pictures we received and couldn’t have been happier. The memories she captured will be treasured forever and I would recommend her in an instant – no hesitation. She’s an amazing photographer with amazing attention to detail.
The flowers were provided by Helen from Flowers from the Heart in Slaidburn. Helen was amazing and from a few paper clippings she realised the exact style and colours I wanted. She put David Austen roses and rosemary in the bouquet and it smelt heavenly. It was the most beautiful selection and made me smile all day.
We kept the decorations simple, but Flowers from the Heart created the topper for our wedding cake and the spray on top of our welcome sign and table seating plan. All other floral decorations were sourced and put together by my family and friends. We had green and white evergreen potted shrubs down the aisle and on all the table tops, white agapanthus and two birch trees at the altar.
As a special touch, we also made and hung two large floral wreaths from the hall ceiling, which was a labour of love that my mum and both sisters helped with. The bunting banner above the cake and card table had been lovingly made on my crafty hen do, and will come out at all special occasions we have in the future. It was great to create memories by helping to make decorations for the wedding. The trees at the altar under which we married were a lovely touch and I loved all my signs, created to help direct guests and all done by my fair hand.
As favours, we gave out sunflower seeds, which I had lovingly put together. I’d ordered some bespoke handmade brown paper envelopes with our names and wedding date on and asked guests to take them home and ‘Spread the Love’.
The cake was created by Cakes by Vanilla in Clitheroe. Our experience at Vanilla was excellent. We tasted all their wonderful flavours and finally decided on two tall tiers: one lemon and the other raspberry and white chocolate with a rough buttercream icing. It was delicious , and we served it up to all our guests for dessert.
To provide the food, we chose the nearby Country Kitchen Café in Waddington, due to a recommendation and again it was kept simple. We had a wonderful summer buffet of roasted meats, new potatoes, rice dishes, green salads, warm vegetables, vegetarian tarts, flat breads, rolls and sides. There was something for everyone, including gluten free. We liked the idea of people getting what they fancied, and it worked very well. The wine and sparkling wine for the tables was a gift from Simon’s father and he sourced the best red and white wines, along with the freshest, crisp sparkling cava from Spain that went down extremely well.
The jewel in the crown was ‘Ginger’ the VW camper from VDub Dreams, whose makeshift bar served up a wonderful selection of fruits and cordials to ‘pimp your drink’, which cooled down a very hot summer wedding. We loved Ginger and the service we received was second to none, particularly with the set-up of the bar. It was added fun and something a bit different to the day, adding a bit of vintage glamour to our wedding.
For the music, we had the BluFunk Syndicate and they performed a very special version of our chosen first dance song To Love Somebody, after which the floor was open to the 16-piece band, which played favourite jazz, blues and funk classics from Stevie Wonder and James Brown among many more. They are the band my husband performs in and so it was very special to us to have our friends play at the wedding. Simon even played a few numbers himself.
On reflection, our favourite part of the day was celebrating with the confetti throwing outside the venue. It was such a happy moment to be married with everyone around us in joyous celebration of our commitment together. We also loved the speeches, with the father-of-the-bride speech leaving everyone in tears of laughter.
We honeymooned on the coastline of Dumfries and Galloway. We had a beautiful wooden lodge right on the beachfront with a sea view and outside hot tub. It was total seclusion and relaxation. We enjoyed coastal walks and hearty pub food and, after all the planning of the wedding, it was miles away from planes and trains, passports and hand luggage. We felt like we could really relax.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to ensure you’re getting what you really want. Too many compromises after all your planning can leave you deflated. If it’s in your budget, go for it. The day is so fleeting, and you want to enjoy every bit.
During the planning, I bought many bridal magazines to help envisage the style of my wedding and found Brides Up North to a great source of inspiration. It’s so useful to see real weddings in and around your local area to get the best suppliers and products available to you. All my ideas came from looking at the wealth of inspirational images to help me create my perfect wedding.
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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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