November 11th, 2013
You regular readers of Brides Up North (hey y’all!) will know that as well as curating these pretty pages, here at Brides Up North we are also planners of the most awesome bridal events and networking parties (and yes, we do say so ourselves)!
The thing about being an event planner is that you are always ahead of yourself. At Brides Up North HQ, we’re already well into 2014… booking in and planning bridal exhibitions for the New Year and beyond to help make your ideas and inspirations come to life. Back to the future in 2013, and we’ve only one event left this season – and it’s coming up this weekend in York – our grand finale: The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at National Railway Museum. It’s a biggie and a beauty. Click here for more details and to pre-register.
But I’m running away with myself (I’m excited, so sue me)! What I was going to say was that even though I’m always looking ahead, it’s kinda nice when my tail finally catches up with me and I can spend a month or so concentrating on these pretty pages exclusively. During December and January, it’s all about the online, as I cosy up at my computer and write, write, write – searching for the most gorgeous blog features, doing a little bit of housekeeping (watch out for some snazzy updates coming this way very soon) and generally getting ship shape for the busy twelve months I know we have in store.
So whilst I spend a frenzied final week in preparation for that last Yorkshire show, what way to kick it off than with one super stylish and perfectly pretty Real Wedding celebration, courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Chris Milner Photography and real bride Jessica.
Combining a few of my favourite things – wildflowers, sequins and summertime – this was always going to be a good one!
Jessica says: We got engaged in the summer of 2011 whilst on holiday with friends in Cornwall. After a heavy night in Newquay we spent the next day lazing on the beautiful beach at Polzealth. Chris asked me if I’d like to take a walk up on the cliff tops, and because of the gorgeous sunshine and plentiful tanning opportunities I needed convincing to leave my comfy beach-towelled spot! But we headed up to a lovely grassy area overlooking the ocean and he got down on one knee to my squeals of surprise and delight!
We were married on Saturday 3rd August 2013. The ceremony was at St. Peter’s Church in Anlaby, a stones-throw from my parents home and where I grew up. The reception took place at West Carlton Country Guest House in Aldborough.
I spied our one-of-a-kind venue after trawling the internet for wedding venues in the area. Tim and Caroline who own the house, were so welcoming and just our sort of people right from our first meeting with them at their wedding fair. The beauty of West Carlton is that each wedding is different. It meant we had the freedom to choose our own entertainment, caterers, marquee company, everything. And the rural location meant that no neighbours protested when the partying went on until well past 4am in the morning!
The next main thing was the marquee which proved to be one of the toughest decisions of the whole process! After numerous site visits and exchanges of emails and quotes, something just didn’t feel right about the arrangements until we found Black Cherry Events. Although not local to East Yorkshire, they were excited to provide our marquee and offered excellent service. The little extras they included, such as the lighting options (the twinkle light ceiling really made the marquee amazing as the sun went down!) the choice of flat drapes, and the chill-out furniture, was something that we’d just not been presented with by anyone else – I am thrilled that we found them.
We chose an English Country Garden theme. We wanted a relaxed, outdoorsy wedding that was fresh, informal and free from stuffy etiquette.
My dress was from The White Room in Sheffield. I had lusted after Jenny Packham’s bridal collection from the beginnings of my research. Joy was the last of five beautiful dresses I tried and I knew it was the one. I matched the dress with a Jenny Packham headpiece.
After visiting Harrogate Vintage Wedding Fair I met Julie from From This Day Forward in Bradford. She was showcasing her original dresses in a variety of styles and colours. I wanted a Cath Kidston-like cotton dress that would be girly and summery and fit my bridesmaids perfectly and that’s exactly what I got!
Sarah at the Floral Lounge created an unstructured bouquet featuring mini yellow sunflowers craspedia, bluperum, purple Veronica, lilac, sweetpeas, stox in bright purple colours and September aster flower. The bouquet was bound by extra material from the alterations of my wedding dress, as were the flowers the bridesmaids carried.
For me my favourite part of the day was actually the part I was dreading beforehand! I imagined walking into the church for Chris and everyone to see me for the first time would be really nerve-wracking, but I loved seeing everybody’s smiling faces and enjoyed every moment of the service. A close second place goes to dancing the night away with the band and friends, amazing memories.
My dad has a 1968 MGB Roadster in primrose yellow that I always wanted to be my wedding car. For the short journey from my parents’ house to the church it was just me and him, with the top down (driving very slowly to save my hair!) and then for the thirty minute journey from the church to Aldborough Chris drove us both with our photographer in hot pursuit! This half an hour was one of my favourite parts of the day as it gave us the chance to catch up on the events of the morning (and the night before)!
We wanted a home-made, rustic feel to the marquee and decorations, but unfortunately neither me nor Chris are particularly crafty so it came to my mum to step up! She made ninety-two metres of bunting, raspberry jam favours for the girls and apple chutney favours for the boys! She even googled ‘How to make tissue paper-pom-poms’ and painstakingly folded and cut fifty pom-poms.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme, other than fresh, summery, floral shades that would fit in well with the countryside setting. The bunting was a mixture of ditzy florals, polka dots and gingham, whereas the pom-poms were in bright fuchsia pinks, blues and creams.
Not to be left out of the crafting, my dad, a sign-writer by trade, made signs for the campers and a banner for the car. My brother got in on the act too, and spent time researching vintage super-8 cameras to capture some images of the day. A videographer was one supplier too many and the budget just couldn’t stretch, so we began to think about ways of doing it ourselves. He bought me a 1976 Cannon 310 XL super-8 camera and two rolls of film. We had a play around with the camera and made sure it worked beforehand, and then on the day passed it around family and friends to capture moments from the day. Since the wedding we have had the films developed and digitised and I am really happy with the results. The nostalgic flickers of familiar, smiling faces help to remind us of what a perfect day we had. You can see it here.
My mum and her friend went on a baking mission a week before the wedding! Our main cake (which didn’t get eaten…details to follow!) was a rich fruit cake iced with marzipan and royal icing topped with mini bunting. Surrounding that on the cake table we had a smorgasbord of loaf cakes, cupcakes and buns which included lemon drizzle muffins, fruit scones, coffee, blueberry, lemon and chocolate cupcakes and sticky orange marmalade cake. On the day itself, we actually forgot to cut the cake! Then, in the wee small hours when the hard-working bar staff had gone home, our illustrious best man proved that in the contest between wedding cake and forehead, the dense fruit cake was the victor!
We met The Ordinary Men covers band at a wedding fair and they promised us a night to remember and they did not disappoint! They did an acoustic set which included Oasis, Razorlight and Paolo Nuttini before cranking it up for the full set later on. Everybody commented on the band and how the live music made the night extra special
We didn’t book a honeymoon in advance and instead decided to wait to see how we felt after the day. Luckily, thanks to the amazing generosity of our friends and family we were able to book a last minute short stay in Rome. We flew out a few days after the wedding and spent time sightseeing and eating our way around the eternal city.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to worry about anything and enjoy each part of the day in little sections, that way it doesn’t go too fast!
Congratulations Jessica & Chris!
If you’d like to share your own Real Wedding with Brides Up North we’d love to hear from you. Here’s how to make a submission.
Chris Milner Photography will be exhibiting at The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition THIS SUNDAY 17th November 2013 at National Railway Museum, York. The event is FREE ENTRY and open from 10:30am till 5pm. Click here for more details and to pre-register as a VIP Bride To Be.
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Chris Milner Photography
Chris Milner Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post
Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier