May 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
“When Laura and Ryan come your way, throw in the air and shout hooray!” the confetti bags sweetly proclaimed at Laura and Ryan’s Cumbrian wedding that we are sharing with you on the blog today.
Their special celebrations were choc-full of personal touches; from personalised dress hangers sporting each bridesmaid’s name and the wedding date, to the thoughtful gift from the groom to his bride in the form of a book entitled ‘Our Love Story (So Far)’. In return, Laura gifted Ryan a Daniel Wellington watch to remind him to arrive on time to the ceremony! Guests also had a part to play, filling in ‘My Advice for the Bride and Groom’ cards, stored safely in a jar for the couple to open up and read on their first anniversary.
Against a backdrop of rolling Cumbrian hills, Laura and Ryan’s big day was a real lakeside love story.
With images by Joe Mather Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on 24th March 2016. We had just been handed the keys to our first house together (which was very exciting). We were eagerly looking around, taking photos for friends and family and, when I turned around, Ryan was on one knee with a ring. It was a complete surprise. Ryan had to prompt me to give him an answer, I was so shocked! It was very emotional. The surprises kept on coming, as that evening Ryan booked a table at a restaurant and surprised me by inviting my best friends along to celebrate with us.
We got married on 19th May 2017. I always wanted a May wedding; it’s one of my favourite months, probably due to the fact we both have our birthdays in May. Over the last few years it has been lovely weather in May, so we were hoping this would be true for 2017. We were very lucky and the weather stayed fine throughout the day.
We had our ceremony at St Mark’s Church, a beautiful little church in the village of Natland, Cumbria. Ryan was christened there and it has close connections with the family. Our reception was held at The Daffodil Hotel, Grasmere. It had recently undergone a revamp and we love the contemporary style it has. Being from the Lake District, we wanted to make sure we made the most of this beautiful place; the stunning landscape and views The Daffodil Hotel definitely made choosing a venue easier. We would absolutely recommend the venue to future brides and grooms. Katie, our wedding coordinator, was lovely and very helpful in assisting us to make our day exactly how we wanted. Not to mention the amazing location of the hotel right on the lake; the scenery is just amazing.
We wanted a classy and elegant look to our wedding, so we opted for a ‘black tie’ style theme. I wanted to keep the colours subtle and classic, mainly black, white and ivory with elements of grey and silver.
For my dress, although I had a set style in mind, I went to several bridal shops and tried on gowns of all shapes and styles but nothing stood out. As my mum and sister had anticipated, it was becoming a bit of a nightmare. We then went to Julia Tasker Bridal Couture in Bowness, where I tried on my dress; although I was still reluctant to commit, I knew this was the dress that was most ‘me’ and that I envisaged myself getting married in. It was an ivory strapless fishtail gown by British designer Sassi Holford, with a bespoke belt created by Julia Tasker. I loved the simple but elegant look it gave with the sweetheart neckline and buttoned detail down the back. I wanted something timeless, so in years to come it still had that classy feel without looking dated.
My hair was done by a close friend, Beth Nelson, who created a gorgeous up do, exactly how I imagined. My makeup was by the fabulous Aimee Chorley, with a little help from Tash Julian-Warwick, who helped with the bridesmaids’ makeup.
Ryan wore a slim-fitting black suit with matching waistcoat from Moss Bros. He tried on several suits but this proved the best as it was available in different fits to accommodate all the groomsmen. To complete the look, they all wore black bow ties, which looked very smart.
For the bridesmaids’ dresses, I liked the idea of them all in the same colour but slightly different styles. I came across Victoria Lou Bridal, which stocks the multiway dress. I knew I wanted the bridesmaids in a silver/grey colour so I opted for ‘dove’. Victoria was very helpful and offered swatches of material to help with the decision.
Our photographer was Joe Mather. I came across Joe’s work online and instantly fell in love with his style. We wanted natural images that provided a story of our day and that’s exactly what we got. As Ryan and I were getting ready at separate locations, I wanted a second shooter to capture Ryan and the groomsmen getting ready and to ensure no moment was missed throughout the day. Joe recommended Emma Boyd, who kindly assisted. Joe captured some beautiful images, which we will treasure forever. So many of our guests commented on his friendly, down-to-earth nature and complimented his unobtrusive style. We would definitely recommend Joe to other brides- and grooms-to-be.
For the flowers, I carried an all-white bouquet made up of avalanche roses and peonies. The bridesmaids carried handtied bouquets of hydrangeas, avalanche roses, spray roses and double lisianthus with eucalyptus foliage. Throughout the venue we had floral centrepieces on each table and floral urn displays, which looked stunning. Florist Ann Blair was the lady behind all these gorgeous creations.
When it came to the decorations, in the church we positioned the two beautiful urn displays on matching columns either side of the top of the aisle, where we said our vows. On the pew ends we hung small milk bottles with white flowers and foliage, which we created ourselves. The aisle was decorated with white petals. At the reception, along the top table we scattered our own floral displays with silver tea light holders. Carrying on with the silver theme, our seating plan was displayed on a silver mirror written using a white chalk pen. We decorated the cake table with flowers, tea lights and framed photos of our parents on their wedding days. I ordered a personalised ‘welcome’ sign from Zazzle, which was displayed on an easel with pearl fairy lights. We chose Ambience Venue Styling to dress the venue with drapes, fairy lights and chair covers, and Northern Love Letters supplied light-up letters, which looked fabulous.
As favours we gave out homemade rhubarb gin, which was decanted into cute little bottles. I personalised these with little tags with our names and wedding date on, thanking guests for sharing our special day with us. These were enjoyed by the adults and I made small sweetie bags to give out to the children.
Our cake was created by Bespoke Cake Creations. We chose a three-tiered cake, made up of three different flavours: lemon, chocolate, and white chocolate and raspberry. In keeping with the theme, our cake featured a silver sheen decorated with a sugar paste rose and peony.
We chose a traditional three-course, sit-down wedding breakfast. Each guest was given a choice from three starters, mains and desserts. This was all organised prior to the day. I had goat’s cheese tart, chicken and lemon meringue cheesecake, which was delicious. Many of the guests complimented the food; it was really nice to hear they had enjoyed it as much as I did. Later in the evening we opted for bacon butties and chips; although I didn’t get chance to try this, it certainly went down well.
For the entertainment, we booked Rich Reynolds Magician; after watching a few of his tricks at a wedding fayre in Harrogate, we knew he would be a hit on the day. He entertained guests from the drinks reception right through to the evening. The guests loved him. We also had a personalised Mr & Mrs guestbook by Martha Brook.
For the evening entertainment, we had a band called The Seals, who were fantastic. They performed their own take on both old and new music and definitely filled the dance floor. I would certainly recommend these guys for any occasion.
One special touch we had was photos displayed at the reception of me and my dad together, along with a framed quote; my dad passed away four years ago and it meant a lot to me that he was featured in the wedding. On the day, my granddad gave me away, which was lovely.
One of my favourite parts of the day was the ceremony. I was so nervous thinking about walking down the aisle and being stood at the front of the church with our families and friends watching us, but on the day the nerves just subsided. As soon as we were together at the front of the church, I was just so excited and felt completely relaxed. It was such a special moment that I will never forget.
Ryan says one of his favourite moments was the first dance. We chose Coldplay’s Sky Full Of Stars. All our guests joined in when the beat kicked in; it was amazing to see.
For our honeymoon, we went to Mexico. The resort was amazing, and we had our own little beachside casita, which made it extra special. It was just lovely enjoying fabulous food and relaxing in the sun together.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is, although you’re keen for every little detail to be absolutely perfect, try not to worry about them all on the day. Relax and make sure you enjoy every moment together, as it flies by!
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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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