June 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
So today’s wedding is pretty special as the bride is my lovely cousin Hannah. Tying the knot to Vince in April, Hannah is the first out of the grandchildren on my mum’s side of the family to get hitched. And my goodness has she set the bar (worryingly) high for those of us that will (hopefully) follow in her wedded footsteps!
Sensibly Hannah and Vin decided on three key areas to invest the majority of their budget in, picking the things that mattered to them most; venue, catering and honeymoon. This paid off fantastically well as the setting for their big day totally blew guests away (really, this place is stunning).
The pretty spring yellow colour scheme, Hannah’s dreamy Pronovias gown, incredible food and wonderful entertainment completed their classic and elegant big day without the need for anything remotely gimmicky. It was also clear to see how much these two university sweethearts mean to each other with a fair few tears shed by both the bride and groom during the ceremony and speeches.
A massive thank you to Hannah and Vin for creating such a memorable big day which has left me literally quaking in my boots at the thought of organising a wedding myself that will match such a standard!
With images by Ben Pollard.
hannah says: We got engaged on the 11th August 2013 at the Millennium Gardens on the Nottingham University campus. We’d been for a lovely walk around the campus as we’d both attended the university only a few years prior. Vin got down on bended knee and asked me to be his wife. I was so happy I just cried and said yes! We went for a champagne picnic in nearby Wollaton Park to celebrate!
Our wedding took place on 25th April 2015. We wanted a spring wedding so that all the lovely spring flowers would be out and the lambs would have just been born.
We got married at St Edmunds Church, Holme Pierrepont, followed by a reception at Holme Pierrepont Hall, near Nottingham. We chose our venue after having seen a few but knew instantly that we wanted to get married here. It’s a private estate and we were struck by the privacy, peace and quiet. The estate is surrounded by farmland, not to mention beautifully manicured gardens and grounds. It is simply stunning!
We had a yellow colour scheme, which we chose it as it’s a great spring colour. It was also a nod to my mum and dad who had yellow for their wedding day.
My wedding dress was by Pronovias Benicarlo – it’s colloquially known as ‘Swan Lake’ due to the feather detail around the sweetheart neckline coupled with the wave like layered organza skirt. It’s finished off with a vintage crystal belt above the dropped waist. I didn’t have to try any others on as it’s flirty, romantic and classic all at the same time. It’s the most stunning dress I’ve ever seen!
The groomsmen all wore the three piece Lingfield morning suit in mid-grey from Moss Bros with lemon cravats. We got bright yellow socks for the groomsmen too!
Our bridesmaids wore a beautiful dress called Maya from Coast, again in lemon. It was floor length with one strap made up of flower corsages.
To transport us on the day we hired two stretched limousines for the bridal party from Premier Limousines, they were decorated with ivory bows and ribbons.
Ben Pollard was our photographer. He shoots in a documentary style, meaning that every element of the wedding gets captured and tells a story of the day.
I carried a hand tied bouquet of yellow Dutch tulips and the bridesmaids had the same in ivory. The groomsmen had a single yellow tulip buttonhole all provided by The Flower Room in Nottingham. They were perfect!
We also had two pedestal arrangements in yellow and white in the church which we then displayed either side of the top table during the wedding breakfast, again provided by The Flower Room, Nottingham.
As favours we gave a ‘wedding day’ Yankee candle wrapped in ivory voile to all adult guests and a selection of sweets presented in the same way for the younger guests.
We bought our wedding cake from Marks & Spencer; three tiers of sponge and one tier of fruit cake. We assembled it ourselves separating the tiers with ivory foam roses. It looked fantastic and tasted just as good!
Fiona Herbert Catering provided our food on the day. Starter was a fish cake and caperberry mayonnaise, followed by a choice of chicken or lamb with seasonal vegetables and then raspberry crème brûlée for dessert. This was accompanied by a choice of either Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.
To entertain our guests we had acoustic guitarist Joel Evans during the day who then did an amazing DJ set during the evening. Joel was fabulous, he got so many compliments, and we wouldn’t hesitate having Joel at our next event. We were lucky enough to find Joel on the internet and the testimonials on his website speak for themselves. We then saw Joel play at a local restaurant and knew we’d made the right decision!
Little extras we added included a sweetie bar for the kids (and big kids) which was a big hit. We also had a slideshow of photographs of us both from when we were little to current day, which was great for when guests wanted a break from all the dancing! Also on the wedding breakfast tables we had photo props which were Mexican themed as we wanted to incorporate our honeymoon destination into our day.
The Brackenbury family, the owners of Holme Pierrepont Hall, have got the most amazing home and we were so lucky to have if for the day. The family are lovely, very accommodating and I would highly recommend hiring their amazing home and grounds.
We just totally fell in love with the privacy. A lot of venues are open to the public and we just wanted to share our special day with those who we love most in an intimate hideaway, which is exactly what we got. The grounds are immaculate with a courtyard and extensive gardens. The flowers are amazing, the whole place is alive with colour and lambs grazing in surrounding fields. It was just idyllic and a great place for the children to run around playing hide and seek!
It’s so hard to choose just one favourite part of the day! I think seeing each other in church was just amazing. Vin turned around and that moment was very emotional, it just felt like we were the only ones in the room. We also got a short time with each other in the garden listening to the guitar before dinner. That was a very precious moment to take in everything and be with each other privately. It’s very important to do that as you don’t get much time to yourselves!
For our honeymoon we went to El Dorado Casita Suites, Riviera Maya, Mexico. It’s the most beautiful resort we’ve ever visited, incredibly relaxing but with the advantage of having one of the modern wonders of the world and liveliness of Cancun on your doorstep. It was simply the best two weeks ever!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – prioritise where you want to spend your money, we chose venue, caterers and honeymoon. You can go mad with loads of little things which can easily spiral, costing a lot of money.
We’d just like to say a special thanks to all involved at St. Edmunds church, the Brackenbury family, Fiona Herbert catering, Joel Evans, Ben Pollard, The Flower Room. And of course our wonderful friends and family for giving us the most happy, memorable day of our lives, we love you!
June 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
We just adore this small but perfectly formed wedding carefully put together by today’s bride and groom.
Rather than caving in to ‘the norm’, Hannah and Callum did things their own way, and on their own budget, to create the intimate wedding day that they desired with their very nearest and dearest.
The styling and setting are gorgeous and we love that the bride and groom went down their own independent routes when it came to their wedding attire; Callum in his traditional Scottish dress and Hannah in her short Tory Burch dress, complete with a fabulous Eugenia Kim hair bow! The girl’s got style!
With images by Firsthand Photography.
hannah says: We had been talking about getting married for a while, then one evening in October 2014 we said “let’s do it!”
We didn’t want a long engagement so we chose September 2015 to get married. We had a budget to stick to, so picking Tuesday 9th rather than a weekend allowed us to save on costs without compromising on our venue.
I wanted to get married at Langar Hall in Nottingham as I knew that it would be perfect for our intimate and informal wedding. Callum had never been before so we went for lunch one Saturday and at 5pm we had to tear ourselves away. That sealed it. We planned to marry there with 12 guests, and have a larger reception party elsewhere for family and friends the following Saturday. We married at 3pm in the Indian Room, with dinner in the Garden Room at 5pm and most of our guests stayed overnight.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but we wanted to incorporate certain visual elements – an eclectic mix of traditional and modern, such as neon script on our invites and our pop art cake topper, which seemed suited to Langar Hall. It was also important to reference our shared Scottish heritage.
We didn’t want a matchy-matchy colour scheme, but Callum’s tartan gave us a starting point and a palette emerged. Somehow everything coordinated with the strong, sherbet-y colours of my bouquet, offset by creams and greens.
I knew that a traditional dress wasn’t for me. My mum and I took a trip to London and I found my dress in Tory Burch at Selfridges. The short length was modern but the textural fabric made it special – I felt like a bride. A few weeks later I bought shoes and a clutch but the ultimate finishing touch was my hair bow from Eugenia Kim at Fenwick Bond Street.
I did my own make-up, but had a lesson with the girls at Bobbi Brown in John Lewis in Nottingham, who gave great advice. My regular hairdresser, Anna Jones at Solos Nottingham did my hair as she always gets it right.
There was never any doubt that Callum would wear traditional Scottish dress, including a custom-made kilt in McNab tartan (a gift from his brother) – plus Paul Smith brogues. Callum was supported by his brother Aly as best man, and father who both wore Scottish dress.
I was supported by my friend Mhairi who wore a Whistles dress in blue.
Jack from Firsthand Photography took our photos. A friend had noticed that whenever she saw nice wedding pictures on Facebook, Jack was responsible. Her reportage style and informal groups were just what we wanted – and she’s Scottish! She captured our day perfectly.
For my wedding flowers I worked with Vaas who created my mixed bouquet of heritage roses, dahlias, eryngium, berries and mint.
My mum made our cake and we added a topper from Miss Cake at Not on the High Street. It was a traditional fruitcake with marzipan and icing and there were a lot of prototypes and taste tests which, went down well in the office! The cake stand was by Jansen & Co.
Luckily as there were just 14 of us, we were able to choose from the menu at Langar Hall so everyone could have the food that they wanted. 4
Our parents prepared a couple of surprises for us on the day. We were given a photobook titled, ‘Callum & Hannah – The Early Years’, featuring corresponding photos from our childhood. We also received a letter from the McNab chief, welcoming me to the clan, and I was given a silver brooch featuring the crest by my new in-laws.
The Nottingham-based jeweller Loree Bologna designed and made all of our rings. It was fantastic to find someone locally who understood exactly what we wanted.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Langar Hall – a beautiful place, with fantastic food in a great setting. Everything is done properly, but with ease and a lack of stuffiness. Avishek guided us through the planning and tailored the day to our individual needs.
My favourite moment of the day was walking out of the Indian room, looking at Callum and saying “we did it!” There was a glass of champagne waiting for us and we stood and greeted all of our guests.
For our honeymoon we took a mini tour of Scotland – first stop Killin, home of the McNab clan. Then we spent two nights in Stonefield castle in Argyll, where my grandparents come from, before finishing off in Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to invest in a good photographer. It was important for us to stick to our budget, so we had a strong set of priorities. Although it can seem expensive, the right photographer is worth every penny. The images of our day will give us, our family and friends a great deal of pleasure for years to come.
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March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding is one classy do. Laura and Giles chose a traditional church wedding followed by a reception and the stately Hassop Hall.
Their big day is brimming with elegance, from the bride’s wedding attire to the beautiful blooms and transportation in the form of a horse-drawn carriage.
Though clearly a sophisticated couple, they didn’t take all elements too seriously as their wedding album features a rather unusual image. Their photographer Kate Cooper explains: “Giles and Laura requested a shot that I’ve seen online where a dinosaur is superimposed on a photo of a screaming bridal party – I joked that I could superimpose whatever I liked, cue the giant hamster artwork from the Beastie Boys Intergalactic single.”
Images by Kate Cooper Photography.
laura says: We were on a walk in the countryside near one of our favourite pubs when Giles suddenly asked me to marry him on the first warm day of spring 2013. Although I’d hoped he would propose sooner or later, it was a complete surprise and I was very touched that he’d secretly asked my father for my hand in marriage the day before.
We both really love the month of September, so thought it would be a good time to get married – we set the date for 20th September 2014.
We had our ceremony at St Giles Church in Great Longstone, Derbyshire, and the reception was held at Hassop Hall which is about 1.5 miles away. Although we live in London, we decided to get married in the Peak District which is where Giles grew up and where a lot of his family live. It was important to us to get married in a church. St Giles is the parish church in the village in which Giles’ mother lives. It is a beautiful medieval church and we also liked its name! Once we’d chosen the church, we started looking at reception venues. We were absolutely thrilled to have our reception at Hassop Hall which we cannot praise highly enough.
We didn’t have a theme as such, it was just a complete jumble of stuff that we liked. For the reception stationery we had a loose travel theme (a seating plan map, luggage tag name cards etc) but this theme wasn’t reflected in our save the dates or wedding invitations. We didn’t have a colour scheme as such either, although I was quite keen on the idea of having muted dusky shades in the girls’ dresses and the flowers because I thought they’d look nice together.
I wore a Maggie Sottero lace and tulle dress called Bronwyn which was customised by a local seamstress who removed the top of the keyhole back to make a low v back and altered the sleeves. I bought it from Allison Jayne in Clifton, Bristol, which is where one of my sisters lives. To be honest, in the run up to our wedding, the dress felt like a real compromise. I chose it because it was comfortable, in budget and I liked the warm ivory colour. In my heart I would have liked a Jenny Packham dress but we needed a new boiler so I was determined to be good! However, on our actual wedding day I loved my dress, especially when it was combined with all my lovely accessories.
I wore Rachel Simpson shoes, a veil that was custom made to match the dress by Ali Rouse at Unique Dress and pearl drop earrings that were a gift from Giles. In the evening, I wore art deco style earrings, headband and a matching belt. I also wore a faux fur stole which was borrowed from a friend.
One of my sisters lives in Sheffield so she was able to winkle out some fabulous contacts for us. She recommended Jenn Edwards and her team who did hair and makeup for me, the bridesmaids and my mother on the day of the wedding. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Jenn and her team. They were very funny, incredibly talented and we all felt like more beautiful versions of ourselves.
The bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in dusky shades – blue, green and grey – cream cardigans and nude shoes. I wanted them to have a romantic country feel, but wear colours that they liked and styles that they might feasibly wear again. The mismatched dresses were much more difficult to find than I had envisaged. After many hours of trawling the internet and a thorough search of the high street we bought the dresses from Ariella (available at House of Fraser), Debenhams and Monsoon. The cardigans were from Boden and the girls wore their own shoes. The groomsmen wore their own suits and ties to tone in with the girls’ dresses.
My mother-in-law hired a horse drawn carriage for the travel to and from the church. I was initially a bit apprehensive as I was worried it might be a bit Big Fat Gypsy Wedding but it was a really thoughtful touch and one of my favourite parts of the day. It was wonderful travelling in the carriage with my father from the cottage that we had hired in Little Longstone to St Giles Church and hearing the wedding bells ring across the fields.
Kate Cooper was our photographer. She was recommended by one of my sisters who met her through friends. I would 100 per cent recommend Kate – she’s very good at catching little intimate moments and managed to take some lovely photos of two people who don’t really like having their photo taken. We felt very relaxed and laughed a lot when Kate was taking our photos and I think that shows in the end results.
My vintage style bouquet was made by Swallows & Damsons, based in Sheffield. It was made up of dusky pink roses, pepita spray roses, ivory waxflower, steel berries, astilbe, dusky pink astrantia and purple veronica and eucalyptus. I loved it so much but was still happy to throw my bouquet at the end of the evening!
We had lots of flowers from Swallows & Damsons at our reception too – similar to the flowers in my bouquet. The urns and small vases were at the church to begin with, as pedestals and pew ends, and were then transported to Hassop Hall for the reception. Before the wedding day I also spent hours writing names on luggage tags in straggling calligraphy then tying these on to rolled napkins with ribbons and lavender sprigs for the tables.
Instead of giving out favours we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Commission.
My lovely sisters and mother made our wedding cake. Extra special thanks go to my sister Miranda who made hundreds of sugar flowers to match our wedding flowers which cascaded down the side of the cake. I’m not a huge fan of fruit cake, so we had a chocolate tier, an orange and almond tier and a coffee tier. It was delicious!
For our wedding meal we had a smoked chicken and bacon salad with a honey and orange dressing, followed by onion soup, then roast pork with all the trimmings and to finish, individual summer puddings. We went to Hassop Hall for Sunday lunch with our parents so we could taste different menu options. It was a difficult choice as they were all delicious but these were our favourite dishes.
Giles’ school friend Emlyn, was kind enough to arrange a pair of jazz musicians for us as a wedding present to provide entertainment. They played during the drinks reception. We also had a disco provided by Spirits High after dinner.
I can’t praise Hassop Hall enough. We live in London so weren’t able to visit the venue very often but Helen thought of every last detail and ensured that the day ran absolutely seamlessly. The service was excellent and the wedding breakfast was one of the best mass catered meals that I have ever eaten.
My favourite part of the wedding would be the horse and carriage ride with my new husband from the church to Hassop Hall, it was really lovely to be able to have ten minutes to take everything in together. I also enjoyed the impromptu midnight feast that Hassop Hall rustled up for a hungry bride at the end of the night.
For our honeymoon we went to Scotland for ten days, breaking our journey in the Lake District. We were blessed with good weather so enjoyed lots of wonderful walks together in the stunning scenery as well as some fabulous food. Our favourite places that we stayed were The Gilpin and Monarchyle Mhor.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to outsource where possible – the less you have to do in the days before the wedding, the better, as there will always be last minute issues. Spend some time working out the logistics of the wedding day and the days either side. We had a plan of who was doing what when and how things (flowers that were re-used, luggage etc) were moving from one venue to the other. We circulated this plan to the bridesmaids and groomsmen and think it really helped the day to go without a hitch.
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February 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
The winter might still be dragging on but get ready as we’re about to inject your Monday with a fabulous dose of sunshine and happiness.
Olivia and Nathan’s rustic wedding sets the style bar sky high with stunning attire and décor to match.
I adore the pale grey and vibrant yellow colour palette which shines through in the mens’ get up, lovely blooms and the bridesmaids’ cute dresses, designed by the bride herself no less!
So let’s head down to the farm to relive this gorgeous couple’s big day.
With images by Maryanne Scott Photography.
olivia says: We got engaged early April 2013. Nath picked me up from work as a surprise on a Friday afternoon and took me to Chester for the weekend. On the Saturday we went for a picnic on a river bank which he had prepared, he remembered everything, the blanket, basket and champagne! After eating lunch he proposed. It was absolutely freezing but very romantic.
We chose to tie the knot on August 9th 2014. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and we were restricted to school holidays, if we wanted a honeymoon, as Nath is a teacher.
We got married at All Saints RC Church in Hassop, where we had a Catholic ceremony with full mass, followed by a reception at Brosterfield Farm in Foolow. Having grown up in Sheffield I was always being brought out to the Peak District at the weekend for walks. It is such a beautiful part of the world and I wanted a beautiful setting for the wedding.
I very much wanted a rustic, DIY wedding and knew I wanted a field and marquee. The marquee allowed us to have enough space for 120 day guests and around 185 in the evening. This is what Brosterfield provided, a long open space for the marquee with beautiful scenery, enough space for us and our immediate families to stay and an excellent service. It was perfect!
The theme was DIY/rustic/handmade, which is very much the theme at home, so it was easy for me to adapt this to the wedding. There wasn’t a colour scheme as such. I decided I wanted grey dresses for the bridesmaids – I wanted something neutral and knew I didn’t want the pale pink ‘pretty’ look. Nath wanted a grey suit so we went for grey for the lads too. Nath saw a yellow tie he really liked, he wanted a bit of colour to stand out and it really suited his colouring. So we decided to use the yellow in my bouquet and his button hole too to make us stand out and tie us together.
My dress was a Blue by Enzoani Dakota fish tailed lace dress. It was the perfect shape for my figure as I have a very small frame at the top but hips and a bum so it showed everything off. As it was a Catholic ceremony I wanted to have my shoulders covered. I had a small top made with ¾ sleeves in the same lace as the dress with matching buttons down the back. I then took this off for the evening reception. I also had a long veil with very small diamantes on it. I bought my dress from Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield. Emily and her staff were superb throughout the process.
I bought a vintage belt before I bought my dress, which I spotted at a vintage fair. I wanted to change my outfit a little for the evening so it was the perfect addition for the reception. I also wore a handmade forehead band in the evening made by Debbie Carlisle. She was incredible and replaced all the diamantes with pearls to match my jewellery and shoes. My shoes were pearl coated five-inch heels which I bought from Etsy from a Yorkshire-based seller called Project Elegance.
Nath wore a three-piece grey suit from Reiss. He bought a white shirt from the Saville Row Company with a white collar bar and had this personalised with McG on the cuffs (our surname is McGuinness). The knitted tie was from Ted Baker and we managed to find a matching pocket hankie in Reiss and socks in Urban Outfitters. I bought Nath a pair of silver cufflinks with a pearl detail which I had designed at the jewellers and had given to him the morning of the wedding. These were engraved with McG on one and the wedding date on the other.
I had the bridesmaids dresses made as I had designed the dresses and there was nothing similar on the high street or online. They were a grey sweetheart neckline with mesh top, a tutu bottom and a big bow on the back. They had pearl buttons down the back. The girls wore Kurt Geiger silver/grey heels and pearly flowered headbands. The younger bridesmaid and flower girl had very similar style dresses but made in ivory. They had fresh flowers in their hair.
The ushers and best men had three-piece suits from Next and the dads had very similar ones from M&S. They had grey ties made by the lady who made the girls’ dresses. They all had a different pocket square made from vintage scarves which I collected from vintage fairs and shops in the grey theme too. We also had two page boys; Charlie wore a mini version of the groomsmen’s suit from Next with a bow tie and braces with converse. George wore shorts with braces from Etsy with a bow tie.
I went to the church in a vintage VW Beetle called Jenny and the bridesmaids in a vintage VW Campervan called Harry. They were hired from Vintage Volksweddings. Nath and I then had the Beetle to the farm and we had lots of lovely photos with it at the end of the drive whilst our guests arrived. Richard from the company was absolutely superb – I would recommend him to anyone.
The photographer was Maryanne Scott and she was brilliant. Maryanne did a trial shoot with us before we booked her – we were both a bit nervous about being in front of the camera but she put us at ease straight away. We also had an engagement shoot before the wedding. On the day we couldn’t have asked any more of her. Maryanne was at my Mom’s house where I was getting ready early on, she took some fab getting ready shots and then set off into the countryside to get photos of all the lads and then the guests arriving. She takes natural, beautiful photographs, capturing the details of the day and special moments without you even knowing she is there. What an amazing photographer and a lovely person, she really was a joy to have photograph our big day!
I knew I didn’t want the standard pretty flowers for our wedding day. We used a lady called Catherine at Petalis in Sheffield. From our first visit Cat understood my vision. We had vintage tins as centre pieces and dotted around the marquee which Cat filled with beautiful flowers with pops of colour as well as using milk churns and watering cans with bright, wacky summer flowers as displays. Cat decorated the church with beautiful, more subtle flowers. She also created stunning button holes and bouquets using natural textures and grey foliage to fit our theme. Cat managed to deliver very high quality flowers to fit the rustic vision and colours, delivering to multiple venues. I was so pleased with them all!
The men were given vintage football programmes as their favours. As a massive Sheffield Wednesday fan and Nathan being a massive Manchester United fan we decided to purchase a programme from the 60s-80s depending on the person’s age for either SWFC or MUFC versus the team that person supported. The women meanwhile were all given vintage brooches which I had collected from charity shops, antique shops and car boot sales before the wedding. The children were all given a personalised colouring pack and crayons which I ordered off eBay. I also made 80 jars of strawberry jam as extra favours with special labels. I’ve had so many people asking me to make more jam since!
We had a three-tier cake made by Lindy Lou Cakes with a Victoria sponge tier, fruit tier and lemon drizzle tier. It was decorated very simply with ivory icing and pearl details all over with an icing bow. I then made the cake toppers to add some more colour. We also had chocolate cupcakes to match.
We hired The Butlers Pantry in Mickleover to do the food and they were absolutely fantastic! First we had prosecco and canapés, including mini Yorkshire puddings with beef, and cheese and sundried tomato tartlets. We then had sharing platters as our starter so there was something for everyone. For main we had Chicken filled with brie and basil wrapped with Serrano ham in a mushroom and tarragon sauce and then Eton Mess for pudding. We had a pizza van for our evening catering by Fabio’s Wood Fired Pizza Oven. They arrived and set up without disturbing us in the slightest and created a variety of amazing pizzas to suit everyone’s tastes!
For entertainment we had a band called ‘up4thedownstroke’ who came up all the way from Birmingham. They were just incredible and everyone commented on how amazing they were – not a typical wedding band but a professional set up with soul, RnB and some more generic songs to please everyone. Our friend Cookie DJ’d between the band’s sets and afterwards. We also provided games both inside and outside the marquee for the few children who were at the wedding and they went down really well too.
The special touches on the day were just all the little things I made, from bunting on each chair to the crocheted doily table runners. I also made signs to go around the venue, did photo displays and a ‘rules of the dance floor’ sign too.
Other suppliers from our wedding that I would recommend include Julie at Stephen Bywater Hair, who did mine, the bridesmaids’ and my Mom’s hair. Posh Frocks and Wellies marquee company were also very good. They provided the marquee, the hardwood flooring, the tables and chairs, linen and the toilets. I’d also highly recommend Brosterfield Farm if you are looking for somewhere to make your wedding your own. It gave us the freedom to use all different suppliers and contacts and make the day perfect for us.
I genuinely enjoyed every single minute of our wedding. I thoroughly enjoyed our vows – it was really important to us both to have a catholic ceremony and it was really special. I also loved our first dance where we had a slide show of photographs of us in the background and followed this with a dance with my Dad. The speeches were also brilliant, though I think it was just really special to have all our friends and family together.
We went to Bali on our honeymoon which was wonderful. We spent the first ten nights in Nusa Dua – a more touristy resort and the last two in the most amazing boutique hotel in the jungle in Ubud.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be make it your day, don’t let anyone put you off any of your ideas. This is your day, the most special day of your life, and it has to be perfect for you both. Incorporate details of both of you into the day and make memories to last a lifetime!
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February 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
What’s not to love about today’s wedding?
Matt and Stephi’s celebration oozes opulence and style, from the bride’s stunning lace dress and regal faux fur wrap, to the classic Austin York car and those sensational blooms. However, this couple didn’t get caught up in the planning process enough to lose sight of the reason they were tying the knot – simply because of the love they have for one another.
So wrap up warm as we join the Matt and Stephi in reliving their romantic winter wedding.
With images by Ruth Atkinson
stephi says: We got engaged on 1st August 2014. I was in Keswick helping at the Keswick Convention and Matt came to pick me up at the end of the three weeks. It was a really rainy miserable day but he eventually persuaded me to go for a walk up to the hill where we first started going out three years previously. We got there and he got out a picnic blanket and then gave me a box of letters that he’d written over the last three years that he’d saved for when he proposed. I read through them all and then he got down on one knee and popped the question! Then after a little picnic, we made our way back down the hill to the car and Matt tripped and fell headfirst and slid on his front down the entire muddy hill. It was a very hilarious addition to the proposal story!
We set the date for 3rd January 2015. We knew that we didn’t want a long engagement and to drag it out. So we started at 12 months and moved forward until we got to a date that worked.
We got married at Christ Church in Fulwood, Sheffield. Matt and I are part of the church family there and so there wasn’t really any question about getting married anywhere else. We chose Firth Court as our reception venue. I’d been to a wedding there before and thought it was beautiful and we thought it was a massive bonus that it is on a main road, just in case the weather decided to turn nasty! We would definitely recommend this venue to other couples. The team there was professional in every way and delivered a great service, plus the building is stunning inside and out.
Matt and I very much wanted our faith in Jesus to be the centre of the day. Yes it is ‘our big day’, but we both believe that all good things come from our Father in Heaven so we wanted to reflect that in each part of the day – particularly the service. Everyone said how much of a joyful celebration the service was, of our love for each other and of God’s love for us all.
We wanted a very simple and elegant wedding in terms of style. I didn’t want the day to be about the theme or the décor etc but about the fact that we were getting married. I chose a pale blue for my bridesmaids and pretty much everything else was very neutral – lots of whites and ivory and pale blues.
When it came to my dress I tried on a lot of dresses! And my problem was that I liked them all. I ended up choosing a long sleeved, lace dress by Lusan Mandongus from Lulu-Mae Bridal in Sheffield. It wasn’t what I had thought I wanted but after I left the shop I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I went back and tried it on a second time and fell in love. I ended up having a seamstress disaster two weeks before the wedding (just before Christmas) but a brilliant lady, Penny Beal came to my rescue and was incredible. I also had a faux fur wrap from Monsoon, which was perfect to keep me warm out in the Peak District. Julia Smith did my makeup and she did incredible work on my stressed out skin – I felt amazing all day.
Matt wore a Classic tailcoat suit with traditional striped trousers, hired from Moss Bros. He had a patterned ivory waistcoat and plain ivory cravat.
My bridesmaids wore floor-length pale blue dresses that I got online. I loved the way the neckline and lace at the top matched my dress. They also had scarves to keep warm when we were outside – I got them from Primark! The groomsmen wore the same as Matt. They also all had scrabble letter cufflinks with their initials. We also had two flower girls, who wore beautiful dresses from Monsoon, and three page boys. As part of their outfits they wore red converse to match with the bridesmaids scarves.
We travelled in a 1937 Austin York. We hired it from Legends Wedding Services and loved having such a beautiful classic car in the photos – although it was freezing!
Ruth Atkinson was our photographer. She has done a lot of our friends’ weddings and it was the first thing we knew we wanted when we got engaged. She takes absolutely beautiful photos and we hardly noticed her at all on the day. We received our photos from her within a week of being back from honeymoon and couldn’t have asked for anything more from her.
I carried a natural looking bouquet of white roses, gypsophila, silver brunia, grey eucalyptus and muscari. It was absolutely beautiful and went brilliantly with my bridesmaids’ small posies of gypsophila. Katherine at Petalis in Sheffield was really helpful in giving her experience and ideas whilst still listening to what I wanted. Petalis also did our reception flowers. We had candelabras as centrepieces on each of the tables. Some of them were dressed with gypsophila and some were left plain. It looked like a fairytale! We also had lots of candles in jars dotted all over the place.
We gave out charity favours for three of our favourite charities – NSPCC, Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society. I wrote a little poem explaining why we had done it and attached the pin badges to the card.
As I’m gluten intolerant cake isn’t a very easy thing to get right, and Matt and I both have an unhealthy love affair with cheese so we decided to have a cheese cake. It was absolutely incredible and we still have cheese left now! It also killed two birds with one stone as we just had accompaniments and served it up as the evening buffet.
The catering at Firth Court was out of this world. Several people said it was best wedding food they’d ever had – the gravy was so good I could’ve drank it. We had Wensleydale cheese and leek tart with grain mustard dressing for starter, then for main we had roast loin of Moss Valley pork with a dry rub of sage, garlic and thyme, spiced apple compote, cider gravy, seasonal vegetables and potatoes. For dessert we had dark chocolate fondant with white chocolate ice cream and raspberry coulis.
Matt and I are both musicians so we knew we wanted a really good live band for our evening reception. Our first choice was always Function Fever and they didn’t let us down! They had everyone on the dance floor and everyone said how great the band was.
A couple of special touches included us sending out ‘mad lib’ RSVP cards. These were a lot of fun and we loved reading through everyone’s replies. A friend of ours also organised a special guestbook for us. She drew a tree and guests did their fingerprint leaves on it, and we also had little guest cards for people to fill in and leave little messages.
My favourite part was definitely the service. Just after we got married, turning around and seeing everyone there was a really special moment. But most of all hearing everyone singing their hearts out in worship was so beautiful.
For our honeymoon we went to H10 Hotel Rubicon in Lanzarote. It was lush. We had such a relaxed week, enjoying the sun and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. The spa was great place to go on the cloudy days and it was the perfect place to relax after all the madness leading up to the wedding.
In the run up to the wedding, regularly remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s not about the favours or the place cards but about two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. My motto (especially when I couldn’t get in my dress two weeks before my wedding) was: ‘As long as we get married, the day is a success. Everything else is just a good story’.
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