July 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s bride and groom are currently living outside of the UK due to spouse visa restrictions which have caused them and their families a lot of heartache. Their wedding was bittersweet as their friends realised that they had to leave the country because they were getting married, which made it all the more important that their celebration was extra special.
Hilary and Mike proved that your big day doesn’t have to cost the earth in order to have the time of your lives. Full of original styling touches, hand made elements and bursts of bright colour, Hilary & Mike’s perfectly personal quirky wedding day reflects their individuality beautifully.
Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography.
hilary says: Our engagement story is absolutely hilarious and, according to our friends, no one could botch it quite like we did. We were on holiday in Cap Ferret, France in June 2013, and Mike had been secretly planning this for ages… he’d organised the barbecue, the beach, and even the sunset, but when it came to the critical moment he realised he’d forgotten to buy a ring or phrase the question! So looking rather ill (“food poisoning”), he steered the conversation towards “What the Bible says about marriage…”, much to my bewilderment. He finally managed to ask, “So… how ’bout it then?” To be fair, I didn’t get the answering part right either – I laughed and thought he was joking, then sobered up and said yes, then cried and said no, then walked down to the other end of the beach to think about it, and finally came back half an hour later with a definite yes.
We got married on Saturday 12th July 2014. We chose Left Bank Leeds for our venue, ultimately for the price and the DIY aspect of the space – which meant that we could rent the building for the day and move furniture around in between the ceremony and the reception, saving us paying for two venues and worrying about transport in between! We had an incredible team of friends resetting the hall for us while guests had drinks and photos taken outside. That Left Bank is a beautiful old church building which was another plus point for us as Christians.
We didn’t really have a theme, unless you count “a tight budget” as one! When planning the wedding we were a little daunted by the perfect, fairytale weddings we were seeing everywhere – we’re the least “bridal” couple we know, and as you might have guessed from our engagement story, far from perfect. In the end we just went with what reflected our personality best and made us feel most comfortable, which meant lots of origami flowers in recycled wine bottles, tea lights in jam jars we’d collected all year, and haphazard splashes of bright colour everywhere. This actually made it the perfect wedding for us because it represented our crazy and pragmatic sides so much better.
We used royal blue as a backdrop to hold all the splashes of brighter colour together, and also because everyone in the bridal party looked good in it – a bigger consideration than you might think in mixed race marriages!
My dress was from BHS and tailored to size by the lovely Sophie Davies Tailoring. Being 4’11” dress shopping is difficult at the best of times, and I’d got to the point where I was trying on First Communion dresses when I found this one, in the most unlikely of places! It was everything I wanted – a beautiful muted colour from the creamy lace material and champagne lining, not wider than I am tall and with straps to alleviate my fears of a wardrobe malfunction. Sophie did some magic and made the dress fit like a glove, also shortening it (by about a foot) from the waist to save the lace hem – something that a different tailor I had originally gone to wouldn’t do. She is incredibly talented and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
My shoes were from New Look and specifically chosen to narrow the foot and a half in height difference between me and Mike! It meant that I had some difficulty walking downhill but it was a small price to pay.
Mike is 6’4″ and has different problems altogether when buying clothes. He swears by Marks and Spencer‘s suits, and would do no different for his wedding day. He wore a slim extra-long suit in charcoal grey, a blue-and-white dogtooth bowtie with matching pocket square and, to my chagrin, a pair of Arsenal cufflinks.
We were fortunate to find dresses for the bridesmaids in a style quite similar to my dress in New Look! I definitely wanted dresses that they could wear again, and this fit the bill perfectly, also surprisingly in a shape and colour that suits them all. The dresses originally came with brown belts but the girls swapped these out for white ribbons. They wore their own shoes and I loved how this added to all the colour on the day.
Mike had two best men – his brother Andrew and his best friend Mike. Andrew has an amazing waistcoat and bowtie with multi-coloured frogs on a hot pink background which we absolutely wanted him to wear, and we brightened Mike’s wardrobe up with a colourful polka-dotted bowtie. Our ushers (unfortunately not photographed as they were moving furniture) wore royal blue ties with elephants. The blokes that did make the photos were my “Ugly Bridesmaids”, my housemates without whom a lot of the wedding would not be possible. They could wear whatever they wanted.
We didn’t hire any transport, we were each driven to the venue by our friends/family. Mike’s driver made a detour for petrol on the way to the venue!
Our wedding was photographed by the amazing Eleanor Woodruff Photography. Ellie had photographed another wedding at which Mike was best man, and we were drawn by the amount of personality she captured in those photos and how genuine she made the day look. Ellie took the time to meet up before the big day to find out more about us, scout out the venue, and go over a list of family photos. Being far more experienced with weddings than we were she also had many handy organisational tips for the day! The photos of our day are full of character and absolutely perfect, we cannot thank her enough for what a great job she’s done.
My bridal bouquet was made by my friend Liv, whose origami skills know no bounds. She’d layered so many papers, textures, and beads – it was more beautiful than I could have imagined.
We didn’t have any real flowers on the day because I was paranoid about hayfever and sneezing my way down the aisle (I opted to trip down it in my 6-inch heels instead). I had the idea to do origami flowers and folded some of them to begin with, but the vast majority of it was down to an amazing team of friends and family who folded away for several hours the day before the wedding. We also had plenty of balloons and colourful bunting for a fun touch, home-made confetti and fairy lights around the hall. The table settings were my favourite – each table had a white tablecloth, a royal blue runner, multi-coloured napkins, candles and a wine bottle-full of colourful origami flowers.
Mike’s Uncle Keith made the cake based on a picture that we’d shown him on Google. Everyone agreed that he needed a career change from train driving! The cake had three tiers covered in white icing, each made by a different family member and iced by Uncle Keith. He also stuck on individual pieces of edible confetti to form a cascading effect down the side and tied royal blue ribbons around each tier – if anything it looked better than the original that inspired us! The cake was topped by a champagne glass filled with more edible confetti, and engraved with our names and the date of our wedding.
Following our DIY-origami theme, we had DIY spring rolls for our first course, a great conversation starter for our guests who didn’t know each other! We also had bring-and-share salad and desserts, which turned out to be a great idea as there was an incredible variety of food to choose from. Our main was a hog roast provided by Boss Hog Yorkshire. There was SO MUCH food and everyone was well and truly stuffed.
Left Bank Leeds provided the drinks: beers and soft drinks from Samuel Smiths Brewery, a local company, and a selection of Fairtrade wines.
It made no sense to us to hire a band when several of our friends are musicians, so we organised an open mic for entertainment during the meal. Our friends absolutely did not disappoint and we had such a good evening, with everything from classical violin to 5-piece band. After the meal we pushed the tables aside for a ceilidh, with music from Ermine Street Band. Everyone loves a good ceilidh, and there was plenty of screaming, shouting and laughing.
Our vast height difference does not lend itself well to dancing, so we opted to do a “first duet” instead. We sang the song “Without You” by AJ Rafael, a song which I sang to Mike on Skype while we were long-distance, and made him cry. Mike was on guitar and I played piano.
For our honeymoon we went on a cooking holiday in the Loire Valley in France. This was a real treat for us as we’re nuts about French food. We were the only guests at the B&B as we went mid-week, and Lesley went out of her way to make things especially lovely for us! We enjoyed every moment of it and would totally recommend it to anyone else looking for a more hands-on holiday.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that a spectacular wedding doesn’t have to cost the earth – we managed to source most of our decorations from eBay and Amazon, or supermarkets and discount shops like Home Bargains. High street stores also turned up some pretty surprising and budget-friendly clothing finds for the wedding party! Putting a bit of elbow grease and creativity into the preparations also helped cut costs, and we’re grateful for all the incredible friends we had around to lend us a DIY-hand. Finally, don’t worry too much about having to put on a spectacular show to impress the guests – they turned up to celebrate “us” in all our quirkiness and loved how much the wedding reflected our wacky personalities!
May 5th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom knew that they couldn’t guarantee sunshine at their October wedding and so instead of relying on the weather to provide some rays, the clever couple created their own in the form of bright bridesmaid dresses, vibrant flowers and sunny decorations.
Their chosen venue was the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, an incredibly quirky hotel and restaurant which Stacey and Andrew agree suited them perfectly. And so while they let the venue speak for itself, they brought their own style to the day with their fabulous attire – Stacey in her cute vintage style dress and Andrew in his handsome grey and navy get-up. Their leading lads and ladies didn’t scrub up half bad either!
And Stacey scored extra bride brownie points by getting Andrew a puppy as a wedding day gift – ladies, take note!
With images by Shutter Go..Click Photography.
stacey says: We got engaged in Paris in March 2013. Andrew surprised me with a trip to Paris and we stayed in the most gorgeous hotel ‘Secret de Paris’ where all the rooms are themed on different Paris landmarks. On the first night we ate at a great restaurant called Bones and then at midnight we visited the Louvre museum where Andrew proposed, after which a French couple cycled past and shouted congratulations! It was amazing apart from my ring being so big it wouldn’t even fit my thumb so I couldn’t wear it for the rest of the trip (or for another month after whilst it got remade).
We got married on 19th October 2014 which was 11 years since our first date. Our wedding was at the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, Yorkshire – we loved the venue and the food is amazing. We didn’t fancy a traditional white wedding and I think the decor and atmosphere was just perfect for us.
There wasn’t a specific theme we just wanted to be relaxed, not too formal and good fun. We wanted things we liked too, not just things you should have at a wedding.
In terms of colour we had a really colourful wedding. The main colour which ran through everything, from the stationary to the bridesmaids and flowers was yellow. I really love yellow and have a yellow diamond in my engagement ring so wanted to emphasise this. Also with the wedding being in October the chances of sun was slim so I knew that I would always have sunshine with my lovely bridesmaids.
I love navy blue too so the boys went with that and then we had a bit of everything in the flowers. Crab Manor is full of colourful pieces of decor so it suited it really nicely.
I had a tea length dress that I got from Bride & Co in my home town of Hull, the girls there we’re lovely and the whole experience at Bride & Co was fab. I knew I wanted a short dress, I don’t know why but I always did. I tried other styles but this was the one. It had a little jacket, which I wore through the day then I whipped it off for the evening and it was party time!
Andrew wore a mix and match grey and navy outfit with trousers and jacket from Reiss, a waistcoat from Ted Baker and shoes from Paul Smith. The bridesmaids wore amazing yellow shift dresses we bought from ASOS, it was good fun doing bridesmaid shopping – we did one day out and one massive online order all from the high street. They picked their own shoes and went for blue pointy courts. They all looked great and got loads of compliments.
The men matched Andrew apart from the waistcoat, he bought them both shoes as their thank you gifts so they were different too.
We stayed at Crab Manor the evening before the wedding so it made it much easier, no transport required! It also gave us a chance to start the celebrations earlier with a lunch with guests and get final preparations done, whilst having a few glasses of bubbly and enjoying the hot tub too!
Our photographer was Ryan at Shutter Go..Click Photography. I found it really hard to find a photographer but absolutely loved Ryan’s style as soon as I saw some of his work. He was really friendly and good fun from the start and just got our style. I’d definitely recommend Ryan and have already passed on his details to others.
My bridesmaids and I carried mixed hand tied bouquets that were made for us by my friend and her mum who used to be florists. The most unusual thing in the bouquet was artichokes, some open flowers and some closed, they were really striking. The button holes were made by Stacey and Barbara too, I can remember getting to the ceremony and seeing Andrew’s button hole for the first time, it was lovely and it made one of my favourite photos too.
The venue is already jam packed with all sorts of vintage finds from a diver to old fashioned beer pumps so we didn’t need to go mad with table designs.I opted to do the table décor myself including flowers which was fun – many hours spent on Pinterest!
My mum and mother-in-law made it their mission to collect old bottles and vases and I ended up with such an eclectic mix, I then went for single or double stems dotted along the tables and central points, cake table, post box etc. I chose my flowers by picking some key pieces from my bouquet including Miss Piggy roses, yellow craspedia and Scottish thistles and I got them from Dave in Leeds market. It was great I popped in two weeks before, ordered what I wanted and collected them the morning before the wedding, we even picked more on the day just in case!
Whilst the boys were in the hot tub my room was a hive of activity the evening before the wedding cutting stems, adding water to vases and grouping items together for tables, making sure everything was just right. I couldn’t have done it without my bridesmaids; Amy, Ellie and Rose and my lovely friends Kate and Steph. We also decorated the aisle with massive crepe paper flowers that we had made in advance, they went a bit floppy but still added a lovely pop of colour.
For favours we went for a little box with two chocolates each – I never even ate mine! We got our mums lovely bouquets, our dads got tie clips that they could wear on the day and our niece and nephew got some glow stick wands to help them bust moves on the dance floor. My bridesmaids got little goody bags which included some gorgeous personalised bracelets which were hand made by my lovely mother-in-law Liz. Since then she’s set up an Etsy shop as everyone loved them.
Cake was an interactive part of our wedding, we invited our guests to join in ‘The Great Wedding Bake Off’ and ended up with about 15 cakes. It looked amazing! Me and my friends found old plate sets and pink glasses in a charity shop and the cake stands were superglued together the night the before and luckily made it through the day.
For the big cake cutting event we doubled up cake with evening food by having a three tiered cake of cheese and a giant Wilson’s pork pie. It went down a treat and there wasn’t even a crumb left.
Our ceremony was at 12 noon and wedding breakfast was at 4pm so we needed nibbles, rather than canapés. We organised a leg of parma ham and some n’duja, a spreadable spicy salami – by the time we were back from wedding duties there was nothing left!
For our wedding breakfast we had some absolutely gorgeous food, one of the reasons we picked Crab and Lobster. Starters were smoked roast salmon or a goat’s cheese tart, which came with mustard ice cream – we’d tried this before in the restaurant and knew we had to have it. For main it was lamb shank or halibut with a crab and coriander crust and a gorgeous saffron and lobster bisque – mmm! Desert was a simple fruit crumble and everyone had to leave room for cake!
We had Prosecco throughout the day for toasts, I much prefer it to champagne. In the evening Andrew and I had our own special bottles of fizz behind the bar called Nyetimber which is an English wine and will be our special occasion wine forever.
For entertainment we thought more about the day than the evening as we had a good few hours in between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. We hired a magician called Chris Kendal who was magic! Chris kept our guests entertained and blew my mind, that was Andrew’s decision and it was a great part of the day. We also made use of the grounds and had a mini golf competition, I even had a go in my dress. It kept everyone busy and apart from one small injury everyone enjoyed themselves.
In the evening we opted for a juke box rather than a DJ it added another element of interaction for our guests and it just looked really cool.
Crab Manor has a secret beer tap that we had found the day before our wedding so we let our guests know where they can grab a sneaky beer. We also had a photo booth in the evening and got our wedding guests to write messages alongside their pictures. I love looking back at it, it’s funny because you can tell the booze was flowing on some of them. We had a bubbles and sparklers instead of confetti to make more interesting photos.
We would most definitely recommend the Crab and Lobster to other wedding couples. Brilliant location, lovely staff, the perfect backdrop to a wedding.
Andrew’s favourite part of the day (on top of getting married) was when during a jukebox disc change our friend Aaron walked into a silent dancefloor and belted out the first line of We’ve Lost That Loving Feeling from Top Gun. It was perfect timing and had everyone in hysterics. Our joint worst part of the day was our first dance, it was so cringe worthy! We chose Ray LaMontagne – You Are the Best Thing. However a few hours later was our second first dance and that was one of my favourite parts, everyone singing along to Take That, Never Forget.
We went to Gaya Island in Borneo for two weeks for our honeymoon. It was an idyllic island where you could do as much or as little as you wanted. I think our grand plans of activities melted away when the warm sun hit our bodies though and we just enjoyed the relaxation of it all. We did a bit of kayaking and a few jungle hikes, we saw orangutans and ate loads of amazing food. It was the perfect place for a honeymoon and if we ever travelled to Borneo again we would have to go back.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – enjoy it all, don’t sweat the small stuff, no one will notice and if you get stuck just ask, ask anyone, everyone loves a wedding and will feel happy to be able to get involved.
I got Andrew a puppy for his wedding gift and it was a complete surprise so that was an exciting part of the day too. We collected Ralph the day we got back from honeymoon and he has been a brilliant addition to married life!
April 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding takes place in one of my favourite places, Bradfield – a gorgeous little village in Yorkshire that was something of a hidden gem until the Tour de France zipped through it last year.
Clear of cyclists, Sophia and Sean headed to Foxholes Farm to throw a festival themed outdoor wedding inspired by their love of music.
Add some incredible blooms, bright bunting and striking flags to the live entertainment provided by the groom’s band and you’ve got one rocking wedding.
Lets head to the main stage…
With images by Photography34.
sophia says: We got engaged in October 2012 the Northern Lights while we were in Iceland! Sean really isn’t romantic but this is the most romantic thing he’s ever done!
We decided to book the wedding for 23rd August 2014 as we wanted it over the bank holiday so people could celebrate and party with us all weekend!
Cressbrook Hall, near Buxton, was our chosen venue for the wedding ceremony. We fell in love with its beauty straight away. It was too small to hold our total wedding though so we opted just to have the ceremony in the orangery overlooking the stunning Peak views. The reception venue was then held at Foxholes Farm in Bradfield, just outside Sheffield (not far from where we live). We loved the views and the flexibility of this venue – it gave us a chance to put our own stamp on it.
We had a festival wedding – ‘Wedstock’ – Sean plays in a band and we love going to festivals so it seemed to fit us!
We wanted bright, sunny, warm colours to brighten up our marquee and to fit the summer season – so chose red, orange and hot pink. We loved our colour scheme! The colours looked so lovely in the photos.
I found my dress in Blissful Daze in Sheffield which has since shut down (such a shame as it was a lovely shop). I’m half Peruvian so a Spanish-designed and inspired dress caught my eye and I loved it straight away! When I put it on it felt so ‘me’ and so right! It was by Pronovias.
Sean and his groomsmen wore grey suits from Moss Bros with white shirts and pink ties.
The bridesmaids wore watermelon – which is a colour I love (they took some convincing but liked it in the end, Bridesmaidzillas!) Their dresses were from JJsHouse off the internet believe it or not! It was a risk ordering online, but ultimately I was pleased with them – despite being slapped with an import tax I wasn’t expecting – never mind!
We travelled in an amazing VW campervan called Rita. Grant drove us from Candy Apple Weddings – he only does a few select weddings a year but would highly recommend him!
Tony from Photography 34 was our chosen photographer. We think Toy is amazing and would recommend him to anyone! His photos are gorgeous. We also had a videographer who was great – Wedding-Cam.
Our florists were Swallows and Damsons from Sheffield – they were brilliant form start to finish and my bouquet was probably the part of the wedding which most surprised me – I loved my flowers more than I had anticipated and actually feel quite emotional thinking about my bouquet now! They were excellent – again I would highly recommend.
Swallows and Damsons did all the flowers displayed in watering cans and homemade vases alongside hand-decorated candles at the reception. To decorate we also had bunting made my Sean’s amazing mum. And my mum handmade the petal confetti.
We created a little message in a bottle for each guest for favours. Sean and I wrote a message for each of our family/friends – we just wanted to bring a personal message from us to each of our special guests. They went down a storm and we were told our guests shed a few tears whilst reading them! They doubled up as name-places too.
My friend Lisa made our wedding cupcakes which were carrot and vanilla. They were delicious and looked beautiful!
Friends 4 Dinner did our catering. We had scallops and pate followed by salmon and beef, as we wanted something that everyone could enjoy. The food was delicious and the catering was to a very high standard. To drink we had Rioja (Sean’s favourite) and Sauvignon Blancfrom New Zeland (my favourite).
Sean’s in a band so played the wedding to entertain our guests. They’re called Control Freak and were ace! We also had a magician Ben Z from Sheffield to dazzle us with some tricks. At the ceremony our friend Al sung us down the aisle to Incubus’ If Not Now, When – it’s a very special song and brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye thinking about it!
We would recommend our wedding venue to other couples who want to make their big day personal.
I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite part of the day – it was all amazing! Being sung down the aisle to our very special song by our friend or maybe driven around the Peaks with my new husband, sipping champagne in a VW was pretty special! Tony found us some gorgeous spots to be snapped. When I look through the photos, they’re the ones I love the most – the gorgeous views with my new hubby!
For our honeymoon we went backpacking in Sri Lanka. It was so nice to relax after the busy few weeks of the wedding, plus seeing some amazing sights.
Sean’s top tip to Brides Up North would be to have a proper think about everything that needs to happen on the day, for example certain tracks being played at certain times, music being set up, equipment being in place, and delegate these tasks to a groomsman.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is to prioritise capturing your special day in as much details as you can, either in photo or video format (or both if possible) as the minute it’s over you’ll want to relive it again and again and it’s nice to have those memories for the rest of your lives. Every year on our anniversary we’ve pledged to watch our wedding video with chocs and champagne! It’s a nice tradition we hope to create following our special day.
April 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime
You might want to slip on a pair of sunnies for this one as today’s wedding features all the colours of the rainbow.
Following a church ceremony, Andrew & Kristina threw a bright & breezy, colourful wedding reception in a field complete with marquee, barbecue, bus bar, games and camping.
The pair made the day their own with special touches and homemade décor including a DIY photo booth and bunting – lots of bunting!
With images by Ruth Mitchell Photography.
kristina says: We got engaged on the 10th August 2013 in the Alps. We had a two week holiday planned driving around France in our van, starting in Paris and ending in Alpe d’Huez. I had no idea this would be the time Andy would propose, we had been together seven years and just though it would never happen. Part of the trip was planned so when we arrived in the Alps we would go on a little adventure in the mountains so Andy could show me why he loves them so much. We packed our bags and set off on the cable car as far as it would take us then started our walk up. We later pitched our tent and got an early night as Andy informed me an alpine start is early, like 4am early. What a sight when I woke, all I could see were little lights moving across the rocks one after the other it was fab. Our bags were already packed so off we went. When we got to the glacier we had to put on our crampons and rope together so we could start our climb up the mountain. When we started to reach the top the sun was blinding, it was incredible. We carried along the flat of the top and over to some rocks for a rest and to take in the view. Andy asked if I wanted a brew but in all honesty all I wanted to do was get down as I felt a little strange. He then tells me he has a little present for me and gets a box out of his jacket pocket and out of the box comes a lovely little wooden ring and then his words, ‘will you marry me?’. I was in shock then looked up at Andy and said ‘yes’. Shortly followed by ‘can we go down now?’ When we got back to the campsite our friends had all travelled over to France and had a banner with congratulations on it and champagne ready, it was great. I also found out Andy had hand made my ring in our loft out of cherry wood. How sweet.
We were married on Saturday 9th August 2014. We had wanted to get married on the anniversary of our engagement but that would have been a Sunday so we chose the 9th.
We originally wanted to get married outside but with this not being legal in England we felt it would have been a hassle to get married then have a blessing outside so we chose a church wedding. We are not from Great Ayton and as we had already chosen our reception venue we thought a church close by would be the best option and we stumbled upon St Oswald’s at Newton under Roseberry. The vicar Paul Peverell is an amazing man, very down to earth and understanding. As soon as we met him we knew we had made the right decision. Our wedding reception was at Angrove Park in Great Ayton. We were looking for somewhere with a field for a marquee, camping for our guests and a fire pit, oh and loos. We stumbled upon Angrove Park online. This was the only venue we looked at and booked it straight away. It had everything we wanted, including camping pods and tent space, it was just perfect. The owners Louise and Alan are fantastic people they were there for us every step of the way and helped in so many ways – they were simply amazing.
We used Fletchers Marquees to provide the marquee who were great. The marquee was perfect and they were very reasonably priced and provided a really helpful service.
At first we didn’t have a theme, we were more interested in getting the colours right and making sure it was chilled out and fun. As the planning went on though I found myself making a lot of things in the shape of bunting, so I guess bunting was our theme.
We both love colour so would have found it hard to decide on one. Our home is colourful and we are both colourful outgoing people so decided to go with colours of the rainbow. We thought this was the best way to make it our own wedding and not a remake of someone else’s.
I’m not a dress kind of girl so for me this part was not too important. I went to BHS and bought the first dress I tried on and thought, great that will do. Around three months before the wedding I tried the dress on again and decided that actually I did not want to be in just any dress, I wanted to be in a dress I would feel comfortable in all day. So I gathered the troops (my mam, sister and best friend) and off we went in search of a new dress. We went to a place where you can buy off the peg and at good prices called Tonia Ann in Washington. I tried on a few and then I tried on ‘the one’. It was so comfortable and well, just me. I bought it there and then.
Andy wore a black suit from Next. We had looked at hiring suits but Next suits are such good quality at reasonable prices so it was an easy decision for us. His shirt was from Debenhams as this was the only place we could find a double cuff shirt which did not cost the earth. He wore a red bow tie, cufflinks, braces and handkerchief which were from eBay and he wore red Converse. The groomsmen wore the same but in their own colour (to match the rainbow). We also had a little page boy, our nephew Toby. He wore a little black suit and white shirt from Marks & Spencer. He had orange braces bow, tie handkerchief and shoes. Too cute.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Debenhams. We went shopping very early on for these as I wanted to make sure they both had dresses they felt comfortable in. We had such a fun day, some of the dresses they tried on were hilarious. They chose a lovely purple dress and we also got their shoes that day – orange sandals from BHS.
I walked to the church as I was staying at the Kings Head the night before which is at the top of the lane. I really enjoyed walking, it gave me time to soak in what was about to happen. We drove our van from the church to the reception as it fit in perfectly with our day. We have a very nice transporter T4, which Andy had popped some ribbons on.
Our photographer was Ruth Mitchell. Ruth was recommended to us from a friend and I’d seen her around at work so we arranged a meeting. We hit it off straight away and after seeing her work we paid a deposit to secure the date. Ruth was brilliant and took everything in her stride. Anything we needed Ruth was there. On our wedding day Ruth blended into our wedding like one of the guests while capturing perfect memories. Brilliant. We definitely made the right decision choosing Ruth and if anyone is looking for a professional yet relaxed photographer I would definitely recommend her.
I had what I thought was the most amazing bouquet. I had priced up a few bouquets and found them to be more than I wanted to pay so we decided to do them ourselves. I contacted Alex Lunn from Blossom and Blooms as he has a stall at Ripon Market and thought I could pick them up on the Thursday before our wedding. I explained that I wanted him to provide me with flowers so I could make them up myself. He was happy with this and very helpful. He emailed me a picture on that Thursday morning showing me some of the flowers he had got in stock just for me. I couldn’t believe it, they were great! I topped the flowers up from him with a few from Morrisons as I was missing blue and orange colours. My sister made my bouquet and tied it with string, it was lovely. It was so nice I asked her to make me another to throw as I did not want to the first one.
To decorate we had a jam jar of flowers on each of the 15 tables, a big bunch in the bar bus and lots of little jars all over the site. They were all made up by my sister and best friend. I enjoy crafting so decided to make everything myself for the venue including the name cards, table numbers and cake sign. I bought little windmills to add in with the flowers as they were bright and we had bunting everywhere! My mam made this for us and it was amazing. We also made paper pompoms to sit on the stage and had a homemade photo booth with a backdrop of paper birds. My sister and dad spent hours making a thousand of these so we could hang them up. It looked so cool. I also made a table plan with good old cutting and sticking.
Our wedding favours were fridge magnets. We had 15 different magnets printed with the wedding date on each and we slipped them into the name cards. We decided on magnets as every time someone looked at their fridge they would be reminded of our wedding.
We chose to have our cake made by a friend Alice as she makes amazing cakes. Between us we decided to go for a sponge cake with three tiers covered in white icing and a row of bunting on each tier, it was great. Alice also made us a cake topper which tied in with the theme and colour scheme. My mam loves fruit cake so I had Alice make a special fruit cake just for her.
We choose to have a barbecue for our wedding breakfast provided by a local butcher called Johnson’s of Thirsk, which was amazing. The choice was fantastic and the service second to none. We asked all of our guests to bring a homemade desert with them which worked really well. We also asked Johnsons to come back with an evening buffet.
For entertainment we chose a band called Facsimile. They rocked. We found this band on the internet completely by chance and what a find. A great bunch of lads who were so easy going and professional. We did not sit down all night!
Special touches on the day included giving gifts to our mams and dads and I gave the bridesmaids a box of goodies the night before – their favourite perfume, wine and bits and bobs and also gave them a piece of jewellery each on the day. We made a little craft table for the children to keep them occupied and also had a lot of garden games, which everyone had fun playing.
As something a little different our best man created a wedding video for us rather than doing a speech as he was not too keen on talking to crowds of people. It was fantastic and very touching. It was a slideshow of photos of us both from childhood up until present day, with some well-chosen music.
We would definitely recommend our venue. Louise and Alan who own Angrove Park are just amazing. We hired the venue from Thursday to Sunday so we could make the most of the weekend. Louise helped with ideas gave us pointers and was genuinely excited about our wedding. Louise and Alan also gave us use of their bus bar for our day, which was amazing.
We can honestly not pick one single moment from our wedding day as our favourite; we just had the best time ever.
We wanted our honeymoon to be an adventure so we started in Las Vegas and ended in St Lucia. We stayed at the MGM Grand for two nights then hired a car and drove to the Grand Canyon Lodges. We then drove to the Grand Canyon and onto Monument Valley. Our next stop was Zion National Park. This was our favourite part of the trip, we could have spent much longer there had we had the time. We stayed in the Zion Lodges just out of the main town – this hotel was great! Then on the drive back to Las Vegas to catch a flight to Miami then onto St Lucia we encountered a storm which delayed us by a day as the road we were travelling on was closed. We went to see the Virgin rep who sorted out new flights and the car hire. St Lucia is an amazing place and we would definitely return if we had the chance. The food was great the people were amazing and the temperature was hot.
Our biggest tip to other Brides Up North is make sure you do what you want to do. No matter how many people tell you it won’t work or that will be silly. Do it, remember it’s your day and you know your guests. Make yourself happy as you only get one wedding day!
March 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
There is so much pretty in this opening wedding of the week that it’s difficult to know where to look first.
Richard and Andrea’s aim for their big day was to create an ‘end of summer party’ feel, and boy did they hit the nail on the head.
This laidback outdoor wedding has it all – hugely swoon-worthy décor, beautiful bright blooms, live entertainment and even a double decker bus bar!
I strongly suggest grabbing a large notebook for this one ladies, it’s quite literally bursting with inspiration!
With images by Carly Bevan Photography.
andrea says: We’d already been together for almost ten years and knew one day we’d get married there was no huge romantic proposal more a decision to buy a ring and set a date which we did in April 2013.
We decided to have an end of summer wedding on 13th September 2014 in the hope we would have a lovely warm September day and to give us about 18 months to plan from setting the date.
We had our ceremony at our local town hall as neither of us are religious we didn’t want a church wedding and the town hall is a beautiful building which exits onto a large park. We then went on to have our reception in a Sperry Tent from Papakata at White Cottage in Hornsea, which is normally a caravan and camping field but we had exclusive use for the weekend. We knew from the beginning we wanted a laid back, less formal wedding day and we loved the flexibility a marquee would give us. We were originally having teepees then when Papakata introduced the Sperry Tents – we loved the lighter inside and high ceilings and so swapped!
We wanted the day and planning to be as laid back as possible so opted for an end of summer party feel with an outdoor fire, double decker chill out bus bar, bouncy castle and a chill out area with candy buffet and photo booth inside.
We went for mixed light summer shades of blue, lemon, a mid pink, lilac and green to add some colour as we had a plain cream backdrop and so most of the colour was introduced through the flowers.
My dress was from Monsoon. I hadn’t set out particularly to get a high street dress I more stumbled across it whilst browsing bridesmaid dresses and decided it was perfect for the laid back day we were planning. I made my own veil (with lots of help from my now mother-in-law) which seemed like a good idea at the time and I did love the finished item but as all the lace was hand sewn on and very intricate – it must have taken in excess of 30 hours! My shoes were from Irregular Choice.
Richard wore a navy blue three piece suit from Thomas Nash at Debenhams and tan shoes from Rockport.
After a full day shopping with the adult bridesmaids they chose their dresses from BHS. They’re all quite different shapes but the dress suited them all and we also got the matching shoes. Whilst getting the bridesmaid dresses I spotted some lovely navy suits for the groomsmen too so we ended up buying their suits from BHS. The little bridesmaids wore Debenhams dresses and the little boys’ chinos, shirts and waistcoats also came from Debenhams.
My and the bridesmaids’ hair was done by Kate Hickman Freelance Hairdresser. Kate was fantastic and my hair stayed in place all day and night and having a hairdresser visit us at home took away all the chaos in getting ready.
We hired a VW camper van from I do VW Weddings although sadly it was Craig’s last wedding with his campervan due to other commitments.
Our photographer was Carly Bevan. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Carly she was recommended to us and from the minute we met her we knew she was perfect for photographing our day. Carly’s photography style was exactly what we were looking for as we didn’t want too many styled shots and more of a story of the day as it happened. The package Carly provides is perfect – we wanted the full day from getting ready to the first dance, and the engagement shoot we had was more of a bonus as it’s not something we would normally have decided to have. However Carly was absolutely right to include it as it prepares you more for having your photographs taken on the day. Carly is so friendly and made everyone and the children so relaxed we were delighted when we got the photographs back, we absolutely love them.
I had a bouquet by Bohemia Floral Design in Hornsea it was exactly how I imagined with a mix of beautiful colourful flowers. As my mum died a few years before the wedding I had a picture of her tied into my bouquet so in some small way she could be there on our special day. I also had a flower hair comb as did the adult bridesmaids, the children had flower crowns, which they loved!
Richard’s mum grew the plants for the table centre pieces which were in terracotta pots that we painted cream. We then had some jam jars of flowers dotted around the cake table and chill out area arranged by Bohemia Floral Design and with having such a lovely high ceiling we had decided that we would love flowers to be hanging from the ceiling down the centre of the marquee. Abi from Bohemia didn’t disappoint with six hanging hoops of flowers, which all looked stunning.
We made mini bottles of Limoncello for the guests’ favours as we felt it went well with the theme of the day and they were easy to make in advance of the last minute chaos.
We had a three tiered cake with a garden theme round the edges with each tier a different flavour. This was made by Jacqui at A Little Slice of Cake Heaven. We then had a cake topper made by Poppy’s Cake Toppers which we have to keep forever.
We decided to have a hog roast plated with salads and rather than having a starter we decided on mixed mini cakes followed by a huge cheeseboard. The catering was all done by Hot Trotters from Fitling, East Yorkshire. We had Pimms on arrival with bottles of Rioja and Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc on the tables and Prosecco for the toast drink from Majestic Wine Warehouse.
We booked our evening band Helter Skelter immediately as we’d seen them before and loved their music – they had everyone dancing all evening. We also decided we wanted some live music during the day as we both love live music it was one of the more important details for us. We decided on Rock My Reception and they were brilliant. They played while guests entered the ceremony, the arrival music and departure music and then played at the reception until after the meal even playing Postman Pat for one of our younger guests. Both bands were excellent on the day and the run up.
As I own a wedding details shop, And All Things Nice, lots of our special touches were items we stock including the activity books for the children, the various hessian buntings, including the cards one was suspended from an old suitcase to make a wedding post box and the Candy Buffet one, which we used on our own dresser to display the sweets on. I also, with the help of my amazing friends and our relatives, made the napkin rings, table runners, flowered hearts for the chair backs, bunting from my grandma’s old doilies and 1,000 paper cranes for the backdrop in the photo booth that we created.
We used Double Decker Bar for our bar which was a hit with the guests and provided extra chill out seating outside of the marquee. The bouncy castle was from Bouncing Bonanza Bouncy Castle Hire and they also got us our straw bales which we used for outdoor seating. The bouncy castle was well worth the money as the children bounced on it nonstop before the meal.
We would definitely recommend White Cottage to other wedding couples. The field is perfectly cut and flat so there was no marshy areas and it was huge, plenty of space for camping guests and lots of parking, there was even space for the coach we used to transport guests from the ceremony to pull in and turn around. Sharon who runs the venue was also really helpful on the run up to the day. We would also recommend Papakata, their attention to detail and organisation really were excellent we had full confidence in them right through the planning process. They also had an amazing choice in furnishings for the Sperry Tents.
Two special parts of the day stand out in my mind. After the ceremony we had some photographs on the way to the reception. That short 20 to 30 minutes that we spent away from everyone was really relaxing. Then afterwards when we walked into the reception and everyone was outside with the band playing away and drinks flowing and the sun shining and we could finally celebrate with all our friends and family exactly how we pictured it was amazing.
We decided that due to the hands on nature of having a marquee wedding we wanted to be somewhere relaxing without a long flight for our honeymoon and so chose a week at the 5* Epic Sana Spa Hotel in Praia da Falésia, Portugal. We had a lovely relaxing time with a honeymoon upgrade to a Deluxe Studio apartment. We booked the honeymoon through Su Dillon at Travel Counsellors which removed all the stress of planning it as Su organised private transfers and all the details so we just turned up and relaxed!
My tops tips to other Brides Up North would be try to think at the beginning what parts of the day are most important to you so you can allocate your budget accordingly. We both love live music and that made our day for us, a great photographer too as you spend your full day with them and the photographs last long after the day. Also ask friends or family for help with any items you’re making as early as possible, we had some amazing help but we should have asked a bit earlier!
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