This afternoon it’s off to sunny Ilkley for a Yorkshire wedding with Latin sprit! Francine and Harry used their favourite elements from their two cultures to create a unique and beautiful celebration which stayed true to both their roots. One thing’s for sure, those
Brazilians Yorkshire folk know how to party!
With images by Richard Wynn Davies.
Francine says: We got engaged on a trip to Paris just before Christmas 2012. Harry and I took my parents for a trip and Harry asked my dad for permission to marry me. A few moments after that, Harry proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower. We then headed to London to celebrate Christmas with Harry’s family for the first time. It was a special few days!
We had an engagement party in April 2013 in my hometown of São Paulo. All my close family and friends were invited, along with Harry’s parents
We got married in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. The ceremony was held at St. Helen’s Chapel, Denton and the reception was at Denton Hall.
We knew we wanted something very personal to us. We weighed up the pros and cons of having a wedding in Brazil, but because we wanted to be very involved in the preparation of the wedding, we decided it would have to be in Yorkshire, where Harry grew up.
We looked at lots of different wedding venues in Yorkshire. Denton Hall was the most immaculate estate house we visited. Nicely painted walls, good quality furniture, oh, and that staircase! Its grounds are breath-taking! The guest rooms are also beautifully decorated and good value for money. The landscape around Ilkley is so beautiful and the town is so welcoming so we thought that it would also be a very pleasant stay for our guests coming from all over the world.
I always dreamed of a church wedding, so having a little chapel only five minutes away was the icing on the cake. We felt very welcome when we started participating in the church sessions there.
We felt a very positive vibe when we had our first meeting with Hannah from Denton Hall and Michelle from Box Tree Events. We felt confident that they would help us to deliver the most beautiful and intimate wedding. They are exceptional hospitality professionals!
I chose a Pronovias lace, strapless, mermaid silhouette dress covered by a tulle over skirt with Chantilly lace appliqués. For the church I had a lace bolero on and a short veil, all also from Pronovias. I wore champagne coloured shoes from Jimmy Choo.
I had the names of my single friends attached to the inside hem of my dress. The tradition says that if you are single and looking for love, having your name attached to the bride’s dress gives you good luck in love.
I wore my mum’s diamond and platinum earrings, my make up was by Annabel Bailey and hair by No. 1 Hair & Beauty in Ilkley.
My sister wore a long light pink dress she bought in New York and my other two bridesmaids who live in London wore long dresses in mint green from Coast.
Our flowers were by Leafy Couture. I carried a loose bouquet of succulents, David Austin Pale pink roses, sweet avalanche roses, ranunculus, viburnum opulus, muscari, gyp, camomile with lace binding the stems, but keeping it visible.
All my bridesmaids carried a smaller version of my bouquet in different colours. The chief bridesmaid had white flowers to compliment her pink dress and the other two had pinks to complement the green dresses. They were all bound in mint green ribbon.
The original idea was to walk to the church, since the church was only five minutes away, however, because it was a bit windy, my mum convinced me to take a lift with Harry’s big sister and her husband in their car.
My favourite part of the day was the church ceremony, entering the church with my dad and finding the church completely full with our families and close friends.
We wanted to be true to the place we chose to marry, our identities and our history together. So everything was themed around the places that we are from. Having the wedding in Yorkshire played a big part in this.
I also introduced some of my Brazilian traditions into the wedding, such as the little cakes filled with dulce de leche called “bem casados” (well married cakes), which were given as favours to the guests. The tradition says it brings good luck and happiness to the couple in their marriage. To complement this, we also offered a little jar of honey from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, where Harry grew up.
All table names were places in Brazil which we visited together, along with a photo of both of us.
We designed our own invitations with my watercolour on the front cover. Then we used the same design to plan our seating names, order of services and table names. Sending to print online cost us a fraction of the price that it would cost to ask someone else to design it for us.
We chose a three tiered cake with two types of chocolate and one lemon cake by Patisserie Viennoise in Otley.
We had a crèche from Perfectly Practical Parties to entertain our little guests while the parents were having dinner and this was very appreciated by the parents. It was a very successful alternative to having to change wedding venue because of the dining room capacity after we had fallen in love with Denton Hall. At the start of our research for wedding venues we were struggling to find the right place to get married. We didn’t want to have to leave people out of our day, or choose another venue so, we arranged a crèche for four hours. The children were very well looked after and by the end of the meal we had a children’s parade, showcasing their carnival masks they made in the crèche and were reunited with parents.
The band was also our little surprise for the guests – nobody knew we would bring a full drumming carnival Brazilian band until they started playing a bossa nova song for our first dance. After that, no more quiet music! As soon as the drums started, we put our carnival masks on. Carnival masks and garlands, and funky glasses were also distributed to the guests to join the dance floor.
Our band was Multi Bloco by Alive Network.
For our honeymoon we jetted off to Thailand for two weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that if you want to give a personal touch to your day and make things yourself, – go for it, but be realistic! There are things we still wouldn’t compromise such as venue, catering, a good photographer, flowers and a good entertainment.
Congratulations Francine & Harry!