June 8th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The sentiment of today’s real wedding between Isis and Martyn is this: on the day, it doesn’t matter how many days, weeks and months you’ve spent organising the perfect wedding, the most important element is the exchanging of the vows, witnessed by all the people who love you. In the end, that’s the fairy tale and it’s worth reminding ourselves sometimes, when the ink has smudged on the invitations or the band we love is already booked, that love conquers all that stuff.
Having made the inspired decision to research the weather of their chosen wedding date over the previous ten years, only to find that each year it had offered up blue skies and sunshine, Isis and Martyn secured their March wedding date and were not disappointed with the forecast. With a focus on the ceremony, they crafted their own vows as a truly special touch and ensured there was not a dry eye in the house as they emerged into the spring sunshine as husband and wife.
Isis made all the decorations herself, even assembling the cake from individual tiers and adding the decorations. Despite not following a colour scheme, the couple chose a delicate palette of blue and sage green, which toned beautifully and offered echoes of spring to complement the time of year. Tell us more, Isis…
With images by Jess Yarwood.
isis says: Martyn and I got engaged in the Cairngorms in Scotland. I was studying for a degree and was one exam away from finishing. I had secured training at Manchester University to become a teacher and just needed to complete my degree with high scores. Martyn booked a weekend away in advance of me getting the results I needed, so that we could celebrate (there was no reason to think I wouldn’t get the results I needed). At the time, Martyn was living in Manchester and I was in Scunthorpe at the other end of the country, so I needed to pass so I could move over to be with him. The day we left, I got the terrible news that I hadn’t got the results I needed and wouldn’t be able to move over or go to Manchester University. I spent the whole seven-hour drive to Scotland in tears.
We arrived, and Martyn had booked a stunning country house on the river with its own private sauna and hot tub. The next morning, I woke up to an email saying there had been a mistake and I actually had received the results I needed! We spent the day exploring the area and, in the afternoon, I came out of the kitchen to a trail of rose petals. I followed them out into the garden to the river bank, where Martyn was waiting on one knee. It was completely unexpected and so romantic. Just the two of us with nobody else to see – perfect.
We got married on Saturday 24th March 2018. We chose the date after choosing the venue. We checked out the weather on that date for the last ten years and every year it had been warm and sunny. We took the risk and booked it. We made the right decision because our day was beautiful – blue skies and warm spring sunshine.
Our venue for the ceremony and reception was Samlesbury Hall in Preston. It was the first (and only) venue we visited and we both fell in love with it straight away. Not being religious, a church ceremony wasn’t something we would consider and we didn’t want a hotel or country house. Samlesbury Hall was perfect – a traditional Tudor home with loads of original features and open fires, which were lit at night. Everyone loved it and commented on what a unique and beautiful venue we had chosen. The staff were amazing – so friendly – and would literally do anything for you. The venue is beautiful and the grounds are gorgeous too.
We are the least fussy people you could imagine and wanted something simple, so we didn’t opt for a particular theme or colour scheme. We didn’t want to spend lots of money on things that didn’t really matter to us (like table decorations, flowers, etc.) and instead wanted to focus on the actual ceremony and wedding.
For my dress, I chose a fitted, illusion back dress with lace on the sleeves and the front. I bought it from WED2B in Bolton more than a year-and-a-half before the wedding! I wasn’t going to buy it that early but saw it on the internet and loved it – I knew I had to try it on just in case. It was perfect. I wore it with a full-length veil.
I had my hair done by Marsha Lloyd in Wilmslow, Manchester – my local hairdresser who I trusted, and I did my own makeup.
Martyn and his groomsmen wore dark navy suits from Next with a tweed waistcoat and buttonhole to match the bridesmaids, who wore a light, sage green. They were nice colours that looked good together.
The bridesmaids wore full-length, sage green dresses from Little Mistress (from House of Fraser). The bridesmaids, mums and I were able to get ready in the bridal lodge on the morning of the wedding. We drove up in our own cars.
Our photographer was Jess Yarwood. Photography was really important to us. After visiting a few wedding fairs and hunting for hours online, we finally found Jess. We didn’t want over-edited photos or over-posed ones. We don’t like having our photo taken, so we wanted something relaxed. Jess was amazing, and we have already recommended her! Our photos arrived way before we expected, and they are all so natural with soft editing. There are loads of “in the moment” shots and we are absolutely delighted with them.
The bouquets for the wedding were made by me and my mum using fake flowers from The Range and we didn’t have any flowers at the reception. I made all the decorations myself: lanterns stuffed with candles and fake flowers (all from The Range). I also made a fake flower garland and placed tea lights along the top table.
As favours for the guests, we had mini gold Lindt chocolate bunnies since it was only a week before Easter!
For the cake, we ordered separate tiers from M&S and put them together with some ribbon that matched the bridesmaids. We positioned some flowers in one layer and a silhouette cake topper showing a bride and groom and a dog on top. We have a chocolate Labrador at home and wanted him to be part of the wedding too!
For the food, we chose a selection of canapés for after the ceremony. At the wedding breakfast, the starter was paté, we had steak for the main course, and pudding was a trio of mini desserts. We had tried the food at the venue’s wedding fair and it was absolutely delicious. The wine was just the house red and white and we gave our guests a glass of champagne for the ceremony and the speeches.
In the evening, we had a DJ from DFC. We wanted a party atmosphere with a range of music that everyone could dance to.
Our favourite part of the day was saying our own vows. We wrote our own and it meant so much to make our own promises to each other. Lots of people were crying and commented on how beautiful they were.
For our honeymoon, we went to the Maldives. We stayed at a resort called Cinnamon Dhonveli in a water villa with stairs to the ocean. It wasn’t our usual choice for a holiday as we normally go on an adventurous holiday (hiking, camping, climbing) but we thought we should try something different. It was absolutely beautiful – the sea was so clear and the weather so hot. The food was amazing and the staff were so friendly. We went snorkelling with sharks, fish and mantaray. We also went on a dolphin-watching trip.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to worry too much about the little things. Just focus on doing what you want – not what you think everyone else wants or expects you to do. The day goes so quickly, so try to take a moment just to take it all in and steal five minutes together whenever possible!
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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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