Charlotte Balbier

wild at heart. a shabby chic wedding at chester zoo – sam & dan

July 28th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (42)

Yes you read right, for today’s wedding we’re heading to Chester Zoo to relive Sam and Dan’s gorgeous big day.

Despite how it might sound there were no ‘I dos’ in the lion den or drinks reception in the elephant enclosure, for Chester Zoo has a stunning manor house in its grounds, which is available for ceremonies and receptions.

Not only is this wedding incredibly beautiful, thanks to Sam’s love of all things shabby chic, but it also looks incredibly fun, with guests smiling, laughing and generally having a fab time in the somewhat unusual setting.

But enough from us, we’ll let you see the wild and wonderful day for yourselves.

With images by Yana Photography.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (1)

sam says: We got engaged in January 2012, while we were in Madrid. Dan had the proposal planned for a while and I didn’t have a clue. I knew we were going to Madrid but thought it was just for a bit of sightseeing. Dan was trying to pop the question down a cute little street but I was too busy looking around so instead he asked me once we got back to the apartment, after a lovely meal out.

We decided to set the wedding date for 16th May 2015 as we thought it would be a good time of year weather wise.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (4)

We got married at Chester Zoo, in the Oakfield Manor House. Dan come across the zoo as a wedding venue on the internet and as we didn’t want a traditional wedding, we thought it would be perfect for us. Which it was. We live quite close to Chester so it was an ok distance to travel for us and our guests.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (6)

The theme and colour scheme for the wedding was ‘pastel shabby chic’. I love everything and anything vintage so the styling was always going to be along these lines and pastel colours work really well for a shabby chic wedding.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (7)

My dress was from First Lady Bridal in Wrexham. It was the second dress I tried on and fell in love with it straight away, it made me feel amazing. I always knew what kind of dress I wanted and it was just perfect. The dress was full length ivory, fitted, fishtail style, with a huge train. It was full lace with pretty beading detail. My veil, with full lace trim, was the best bargain of wedding – an eBay bargain! My shoes were a light pink/salmon colour from Kurt Geiger.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (25)

Dan wore a navy fitted suit from Matalan, waistcoat from Next, shoes from Zara and a navy and white floral printed tie that really worked with the theme, which was from Primark. All the groomsmen were in matching suits, again from Matalan.

I only had one bridesmaid, my 13-year-old sister. She wore a light blue maxi dress, with multi-coloured floral print all over, from ASOS. She had pastel pink shoes and belt to match.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (30)

My mum arranged the transport for me as a gift. I had a Jaguar to travel in, which was hired from RB Wedding Cars, Wrexham.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (33)

Our photographer was Yana Photography, who we would definitely recommend. Yana was really friendly and helpful with family and friends, and the pictures look amazing!

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (51)

Flowers were provided by Vivid Floral Design in Wrexham. My bouquet was made up of beautiful pinks, blues, pastel coloured peonies, roses, gypsophila, gerbera among other flowers. I went for a meadow look. My bridesmaid’s bouquet was a mini version of mine, we both had lace and hessian wrapped around to carry on the theme.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (50)

All venue decorations were either made by myself, friends or family. I had a very DIY approach to the wedding which fitted the shabby chic theme really well. Decoration wise I had hessian table runners, and chair bows, ditsy print napkins, engraved wooden table numbers made by a friend, bunting made by myself and a friend, jam jars dotted with hessian and lace trim filled with flowers, tea cups and jugs filled with flowers and our name places were little flags with different floral/ ditsy print, which were made by a friend.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (9)

Our favours were Tunnocks Tea cakes. They worked well with theme and looked really cute.

We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake to cut, but instead a dessert table for guests to help themselves. My friend (Button Bakes) is amazing at baking so I asked if she would make a lovely selection of cakes: classic Victoria sponge, chocolate cake with raspberries and lemon cupcakes.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (11)

To provide the evening entertainment, we hired a DJ called Steve Lewis Entertainments, from Chester. My friends, family and I absolutely love dancing so I wanted someone who was going to play amazing music all night for us to not stop dancing. And that’s exactly what happened – lots of dance offs!

For extra entertainment we had a sweet stall for guests and a dress up corner, which was lots of fun.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (53)

As a special touch on the day my brother played the guitar for when I walked down the aisle and after the ceremony. Also, our wedding rings were specially made using my mum and dad’s wedding rings. My dad passed away before I was born, so this was something my mum suggested. A really lovely idea and they mean so much to us.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (61)

We would absolutely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The staff were amazing on day, everything went perfect. The venue is absolutely stunning inside and the guests have the zoo to keep themselves busy. No bored guests at all.

It’s so hard to pick a favourite part of the day but I would have to say the ceremony itself was amazing, a lot more emotional than I thought. I also loved the first dance, it was perfect – I felt so happy and in love. We keep playing the song in the car all the time, as I want to relive that moment over and over again.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (63)

Following the wedding we had a short minimoon – a five day break in a log cabin in Keldy Forest, Yorkshire, which included a hot tub, prosecco and lots of food. We just wanted to completely chill out. We took our dog with us too, our little family getaway. Perfection.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (56)

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to look around for bargains and do as much DIY as possible, it adds an extra touch and nobody else will have anything like it. But the main thing is, do what you both want. It’s your day so make it perfect for the both of you! It will be the best day ever so take it all in, as it will be over before you know it. I was crying at the end of our night because I didn’t want the night to end and our guests to leave.

A Shabby Chic Wedding at Chester Zoo (c) Yana Photography (67)

Our day was made perfect thanks to the amazing help we had from family and friends. All my girls chipped in and paid for us to stay in the Double Tree Hilton Chester for the wedding night and they had the room decorated for when we arrived. My two best friends made a video of how Dan and I got together, which we loved – it was so funny. My mum, sister, nan and family members did a surprise routine to Beyoncé for me. They’d been meeting up for months in secret and doing rehearsals – this was the best wedding gift ever! Finally, I had my grandad and step dad give me away.

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glory days vintage: a styled vintage wedding shoot in yorkshire.

July 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (27)

This afternoon on the wedding blog it’s all about the pretty with this stunning vintage wedding styled shoot set deep in the heart of Yorkshire. Put together by a small but very talented group of fantastic wedding industry professionals, headed up by creative photographer Luke Bell, we just love this set of inspirational images.  If you’re hoping that your wedding day look might have a hint of the vintage about it, be prepared to be inspired…

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (29)

luke says: Towards the end of February I worked on a really fun location shoot in Leeds that had turned out really well considering I’d stepped in at the last minute to photograph it. So feeling inspired I decided that I wanted to produce a shoot myself and started to work on a number of ideas – but the problem was nothing was really coming together: I couldn’t find the right model, I’d been knocked back from a couple of locations I was keen on using, I was struggling to find a make up artist whose work would fit into the concepts I was thinking of and I was still in need of a designer. So it’s fair to say that I was getting nowhere fast… and then it happened. It’s not often that a model’s look provides the starting point for a photo shoot – but as soon as I saw Harriet‘s profile I knew that I not only had to work with her, but due to her obvious passion for all things vintage I also knew who I would approach to help me.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (25)

I’d always wanted to collaborate with Hayley from Glory Days Vintage Bridal again (since our previous shoot had ended up on the cover of the Yorkshire Post Magazine) and Hayley – being the awesome person that she is – was more than happy to get involved and provided two beautiful vintage wedding dresses and even hand made three headpieces for us to use too. It started to feel like things were coming together – now I just needed a make up artist and a suitable location to use.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (16)

I contacted the very talented Faye Robertson who I’ve worked with many times before to see if she could recommend anyone and luckily it turned out that her work on a TV show had finished just in time so she was available herself – now things were really looking up!

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (15)

As for a suitable location, well sometimes these things are just staring you in the face. Being fortunate enough to live in a gorgeous rural village we actually have a wealth of beautiful backdrops and even a stunning little 12th Century church right here in Sheriff Hutton itself – perfect for photographing vintage bridal gowns.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (19)

Faye and I agreed that the styling for Harriet’s makeup and hair needed to work in harmony with Hayley’s dresses and headpieces and I made sure that the lighting I used was sympathetic to the look while adding a touch of glamour and mood too.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (13)

Once Faye and I met Harriet we instantly clicked and although we all knew that we were up against some pretty cold weather and changeable light the endless cups of tea, giggling fits, outbursts of swearing and general hilarity that took place ensured a fun and relaxed shoot that I feel produced some stunning results.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (11)

I’d like to thank Faye’s good friend Claire who came along and assisted me with my lighting setup and to my good friend Elaine who stepped in at the last minute to lend me her wedding bouquet. Cheers guys!

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (21)

We’re always on the lookout for brides who’d love to recreate something like this on their wedding day – whether it be the dress, headpiece, makeup, hair or photos please don’t hesitate to get in touch, as we’d all love to help.

And I’m pretty sure that because each of us had so much fun on this styled shoot there’s always the chance we will organise another one very soon – so watch this space!

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the roaring 20s. enzoani for a pretty wedding in chester – rachel & mike

July 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (48)

With a clear eye for design, today’s bride Rachel, used her creative skills to put the all-important finishing touches to her wedding inspired by the roaring 1920s.

Her stunning Enzoani dress, with amazing back detail, helped to set the theme which Rachel then built upon by designing her own signage and stationery using silent movie and art deco influences.

A soft colour scheme of cornflower blue and yellow complements the men’s grey suits and helps to tie all elements together resulting in a well styled big day.

With images by Ragdoll Photography.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (8)

rachel says: We got engaged on 13th June 2014 at Queen’s Bridge in Chester. Mike had booked a night in Chester for our anniversary (the date we officially got together) and I had no idea he had a ring with him. He carried it around all day inside his phone case (I wondered why he looked uneasy when I borrowed his phone to take pictures) waiting for the perfect moment to propose. It eventually happened after dinner, we went for a stroll over the bridge. Mike had said that he’d been looking for the perfect moment, but nothing had felt right, then suddenly we were on that bridge, it was just us, the sun was going down and it was as if someone had just gone “there you go, this is the time and place”.

We decided to set the wedding date for 11th June 2015 – five years to the day from when we first met at the Isle of Wight Festival.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (11)

The ceremony was at St Mary’s Church, Halkyn, North Wales, which is my parents’ local church in the village where I grew up, and the reception at The Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Chester. We’ve stayed at the hotel a couple of times on special occasions and love it, but what sold it to us was the Abbey Suite – we’d been looking at converted barns for our reception and this had both the lovely modern hotel with the converted stables attached, plus beautiful grounds.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (14)

The theme was subtly based on 1920s. I love this era; the fashions, the crazy dancing, art deco styling etc. I think it oozes class and elegance. Luckily my favourite wedding dress was very 20s too so it followed on from there. From the 20s came the ‘silent movie’ idea – we used it in the design of our invitations and placemats/place settings and then carried it through in the chalkboard style table numbers and bunting.

Our colour scheme was cornflower blue and yellow. We wanted a summery, cheerful theme and it looked amazing against the blue sky and sunshine. Mike supports Everton too, which made it an easy choice for us both.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (18)

My dress was an Enzoani number. I didn’t want anything big or OTT and this particular dress struck me as simple and elegant with a touch of glamour and sparkle. It is 1920s inspired which suited our theme well. I chose it for those reasons but also because it struck me as so different from all of the dresses I’d seen. I bought it from Cheshire Rose Bridal, Chester. My shoes were by Rachel Simpson, my necklace, bracelet and earrings from Debenhams and my headpiece was also from Cheshire Rose Bridal.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (20)

Mike wore a light grey three piece suit from Reiss with a cornflower blue tie. He chose to buy a good suit over hiring tails as neither of us are huge fans of tails and he now has a very special suit to keep. Along with his suit he wore shoes by Jeffery West and a tie pin from The Little Homebird on Etsty, which was a gift from me. It was personalised with the coordinates of Queen’s Bridge where Mike proposed.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (28)

Our adult bridesmaids wore a light blue Biba maxi dress from House of Fraser and the flower girl had an ivory dress with blue ribbon from a local occasion wear shop. The groomsmen all had a three piece suit from Next and blue ties.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (24)

We used Grosvenor Classic Cars to transport us on the day of the wedding. Mike and I travelled in a blue and silver Beauford and the bridesmaids in a Daimler.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (25)

Rosie of Ragdoll photography was our photographer and she was brilliant, we would definitely recommend her! She put everyone at ease on the day with her fun, down to earth nature which resulted in a fun, relaxed series of photographs. She captured us and our family and friends and the essence of the day beautifully. I would recommend Rosie to anyone who wants a natural, relaxed, fun feel to their wedding album. We couldn’t have wished for better.  We also used Gray Weddings to film our big day. They were also amazing and so discreet you wouldn’t have known they were there. I can’t wait to see the video when it arrives to find out what we missed! They were so accommodating and flexible in our pre wedding meeting and on the day itself.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (29)

Fresh of Chester provided our flowers. The beautiful natural bouquets for the bridesmaids and I were made up of lovely blooms in yellow, blue and white.

The reception flowers by Fresh of Chester were placed in vintage vases, provided by Pollyanna Vintage who also provided vintage books and pearls for centre pieces and on the card table, along with a vintage suitcase for cards and a large picture frame with easel for the seating plan. Other knickknacks such as old cameras and photo frames I borrowed or bought from vintage and charity shops and my mum provided lots of candles! I’m a graphic designer and so made my own 1920s inspired signs for the guest book/photo booth instructions, cocktail menu, cake quote and ladies toilets perfume quote. I also designed our invites and save the dates, plus some unique placemats/place settings inspired by silent movie frames, through my company Racoon Graphic Design.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (30)

As favours we gave sweets from the past provided by Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in personalised sweet bags.

Cake Chester provided our lovely wedding cake. It was a simple 1920s design, inspired by a combination of cakes I found in my search for the perfect cake! I made a feather brooch which they kindly added onto the front for me. The bottom tier was fruit cake and the top tier was Madeira sponge.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (34)

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (33)

As entertainment we had a 1920s jazz band called 52 Skidoo who were great! They played upbeat jazz for a couple of hours and then the resident DJ played until 1am. He played all our favourite songs and finished with Hey Jude, which is really special to us as we met at The IOW Festival where Paul McCartney was the headline act. At the end we all linked arms in a big circle singing ‘Nah-nah-nah-nah…’ it was epic!

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (39)

One special touch of the day was our first dance. Dancing is really dear to me so I wanted to really go for it! We learnt the Argentine Tango and danced it to Coldplay’s, Magic. The song starts with a 1920s introduction so I started with a Charleston as Mike stood and looked perplexed (intentional). We loved it.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (37)

We would definitely recommend The Doubletree as a venue to other couples, it’s an amazing setting. It has the best of both worlds – a lovely modern hotel and the gorgeous Abbey Suite (converted stables), perfect for photographs. The grounds are also beautiful. The staff on the day were brilliant, in particular the toast master. He couldn’t do enough for us. The venue was perfect for – smart and sophisticated but relaxed and not over the top.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (51)

I couldn’t possibly choose one moment from the wedding as my favourite but there are some moments in my head that stand out: coming down the stairs to my dad who was waiting to see me in my dress for the first time and travelling in the car with him to the church. The ceremony, we both surprisingly enjoyed that part more than we expected to. We didn’t feel nervous, just elated and excited and the vicar put everyone at ease and cracked a couple of jokes! And the speeches, they were all brilliant, funny and heartfelt in their own way.

A Pretty Wedding with Art Deco Touches (c) Ragdoll Photography (55)

We haven’t booked a honeymoon yet but we are hoping to go to New Zealand sometime in January next year with a stop off on the way.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t try to include everything you want on your wedding day. I had so many ideas, some I wasn’t able to make happen but they really didn’t matter on the day. Simplicity and personality are key. Think about who you are as a couple and how you would like your wedding to be remembered. Our guests all said what a ‘fun’ and ‘happy’ day it was and in hindsight we wouldn’t want it any other way. And, enjoy the day for what it is, a celebration of marriage with all of your favourite people.

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pretty in the park. summer garden colours for a vintage wedding in yorkshire – emma & jonny

July 15th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (36)

With the help of her groom, today’s bride Emma pieced together a very pretty vintage wedding by combining handmade decorations, dainty china, cute bunting and beautiful country blooms.

In keeping with the theme, Emma also chose to wear a 1950s three-quarter length Justin Alexander dress, showing brides that hitching up the hemline can work particularly well for certain styled weddings.

As well as taking inspiration from all the pretty, be sure to look out for a special guest at the wedding too – Emma and Jonny’s cute dog Sadie, so cute!

With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (8)

emma says: Following a first date on a rainy day at a Duck Race held in Manchester in 2012, plastic ducks have always been a bit of a ‘thing’ for us. I had bought a black plastic duck as a reminder of the first date, and this ended up in our bathroom. In October 2012 Jonny took me away to a lovely little cottage in Somerset that had a hot tub – I had been warned to bring a cozzie, so in I dived! Next thing I know, Jonny is coming towards me with an up-turned duck. He hands it to me in the hot tub and said those magical words…and the rest is history!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (15)

Our wedding date was 21st June 2014 and our venue was Oakwell Hall Country Park in Birstall, West Yorkshire. We chose the venue for a number of reasons – firstly it is so pretty and picturesque. Secondly it is a blank canvas so we could pretty much do whatever we wanted in relation to decorations and the reception. Finally as it is in a country park it is dog friendly – we have a Jack Russell, called Sadie, who is very much a part of our family, so much so that she was involved in the pre-shoot and was present on the big day.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (23)

Our wedding style evolved from a love of vintage! Like many couples, we spent the 18 months prior to the wedding sourcing vintage decorations/ china/ games – anything that we could use to make our wedding super special. Flower vases were hand decorated and bunting was handmade along with signs and confetti cones. Anything that we could make – we did!

We didn’t have a colour scheme as such and instead chose to stick loosely to summer garden flower colours. My maid of honour and bridesmaid wore different colours and then on the groom’s side the men wore different coloured shirts and ties. I wanted the colour ‘scheme’ to match our ‘theme’ so it was miss-matched coloured!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (27)

In keeping with the vintage 1950s feel, I had a desire for a three-quarter length dress – however it took trying on all styles for me to realise that I truly did want a short dress. Once I got my Justin Alexander dress from Elegance of Scholes on there was no going back – I twirled and twirled like a loon! Dress – found!

I really couldn’t see Jonny in top hat and tails so his suit was handmade by a local suit maker using Yorkshire grey cloth. Chris, the best man, also had a suit made to complement Jonny’s attire.

My maid of honour Janet wore a shift dress from House of Fraser, and my bridesmaid Cat wore a long purple dress from BHS. Both dresses suited both ladies and their comfort was paramount!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (32)

As we live locally to the venue, the day before the wedding was spent doing up the hall where the reception was to be held. This involved all hands on deck! We had people putting bunting up, making up cake stands and arranging tables. The juke box had arrived so music was playing and the hall was a hive of activity.

The night before the big day the wedding party went out for a curry to our local Indian. I said bye-bye to Jonny as he was spending his last night as a bachelor with his best man. My maid of honour and I went to mine and a bottle of fizz was opened (which I actually struggled to drink). The morning of wedding was actually really chilled. I remember sitting in the back yard with Jan in the sunshine! My hair was done by local hairdresser and my makeup was super natural and done by moi!

Jan and I were transported to the venue in a VW Camper, hired from a local company called VW Wedding Hire. The hitch we had was that the ordinal Camper that I had hired was having mechanical issues so they managed to source me a gorgeous cream VW Camper that was fantastic.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (37)

Photography is really important to Jonny and I. This was the one area that we did struggle with. We wanted someone that really ‘got’ us. We wanted this person to really capture the finer details of our day. We came into contact with Olivia Brabbs at a wedding fair we attended (as stall holders). She very kindly took some shots of my stall and through this we realised that we had our woman! Our whole wedding was the polar opposite of a package, as I knew that I didn’t want a package photographer. For example, Olivia didn’t attend the morning of the wedding but met me at the venue instead, which was my choice. We knew what to expect as we had hired Olivia for the pre-shoot and my word the photos of our day were sublime. I truly would recommend her!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (39)

My bouquet was a gorgeous work of art – so colourful with seasonal blooms and my favourite yellow roses with quirky textured foliage. My bridesmaid and maid-of-honour both had smaller versions of my bouquet.

Floral decorations were up there on the ‘required’ list. In keeping with the relaxed feel of our wedding we went for ‘hand-picked country garden’ style flowers. The floral display was a mix of supermarket bought and flower shop arranged blooms and the mix worked really well! We chose a local florist David from The Flower Garden in Brighouse, to assist and he really did do us proud! The jam jars looked amazing – and people took these away at the end of the night as a little gift.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (40)

To decorate the rest of the venue, Jonny and I collected all the china, deckchairs and decorations for months prior to our special day. Rather than sell our labour of love on, we decided to hire out items to other brides through our company called Vintage Wedding Daze. Our bunting has proved quite popular, so too have the deckchairs, handmade signs and suitcases. We love it when people love our style so much that they want to include it in their big day, and would welcome anyone to get in touch with us!

My mum is a freelance designer and so I allocated the task of designing me some seed packets. She filled them with wild flowers and they went on the tables for everyone as favours.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (38)

Our wedding cake was a little different to the norm. I love body products, and there is a local company to us called Yorkshire Soap who do the most amazing bath products. Whilst mooching in their York store I came across their Soap Cakes and that was it, I was sold! We chose a four-tiered cake with scents that meant a lot to us. As bath ducks basically brought us together, I had to have some ducks on top, and came by a bride and groom duck, which worked perfectly! Everyone commented that the Soap Cake was an ingenious ideas and I still get comments to this day!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (44)

We knew that the typical sit-down meal wasn’t something we wanted for the wedding breakfast and we wanted to use all the vintage china that we had collected to its maximum, so we went with a vintage-style afternoon tea produced by Dish and Spoon in Manchester. When it was all set out it looked truly stunning, and oh-my-word were the cakes scrummy! The cake stands that Jonny handmade were chock-a-block full of goodies. We hired a couple of waiting-on staff to serve tea and coffee out of china tea pots. It was all so civilised! In the evening we had hog roast provided by The Porkery. I don’t think there was any left – that’s how good it was!

As our venue was in the middle of nowhere we had a bar brought in by a local pub. This was invaluable as it meant that we didn’t have to consider drink for the evening reception, or the any part of the day, for that matter!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (62)

To keep our guests entertained, we hired a jukebox from Betterdaze for the whole weekend and put on songs that meant a lot to us. We also asked close friends and family, who were involved with the wedding, for their favourite songs and included them with a dedication, which made it even more personal. For the evening entertainment we had a three part female harmony group called The Memphis Belles, whose style is 40s/ 50s which was in keeping with our whole wedding.

Outdoors we hired hay bales for seating and covered them with British woollen vintage blankets. We also had some vintage style garden games for extra entertainment.

I would have absolutely no doubts in recommending our venue to other couples. At one point me and Jonny even took Sadie on a little walk into the woods (in our wedding gear) the looks we got were priceless! Having the venue for the weekend was fantastic as it made the event more than just one day – it was a weekend event!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (68)

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (70)

Following the wedding we had two honeymoons; a minimoon to Cumbria straight after the wedding and then a longer break in the summer when we toured Scotland, The Highlands and Outer Hebrides.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (63)

I was so lucky that Jonny was as involved with the wedding prep as I was. I don’t think I could have done it on my own. So my top tip to other Brides Up North would be to divvy jobs out – don’t try to do it all yourself. Have people that you can rely on to help you out. For me it was the small things that got me stressed – but having such a reliable groom helped.

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rockin’ love. a bride in blue for a pretty wedding in the historic city of york – kimberley & adam

July 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Wedding in York (c) Carly Bevan Photography (84)

How stunning is today’s real wedding? From the bride’s cute 1950s style dress to the spring colour theme and delicate decor.

We love how nothing about Kimberley and Adam’s pretty wedding day was over styled or over thought and yet all elements come together perfectly and reflect them beautifully as a couple.

As well as the wedding looking good it sounds like it tasted good too, with a Yorkshire inspired wedding breakfast followed up by Krispy Kreme doughnuts instead of a traditional cake – now there’s one we’ve not heard before!

With images by Carly Bevan Photography.

A Pretty Wedding in York (c) Carly Bevan Photography (2)

kimberley says: We got engaged on our ten-year anniversary, 22nd January 2014. Adam recreated our first date in York. At the time we were living Oxford and I woke up in the morning to find a letter from Adam with hotel details and train tickets to York. Once I arrived at the hotel there was another letter asking me to meet him where we met on our first date. After a few panicky moments I did finally remember.

We set the date for 28th February 2015 as we wanted to get married near to our anniversary, but also needed time to plan and save!

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Grays Court York was our chosen venue and it was perfect! From the moment we walked in we knew it was the place we wanted to get married. In fact we didn’t bother to look at any other venues. Grays has a relaxed feel and everything is so beautiful! Each room has its own style, all the guest bedrooms are stunning, plus there is a fantastic garden that backs onto the city walls. We are both from York and wanted some wedding pictures near the Minster and Grays is just around the corner. Grays were also very flexible about the kind of day we wanted. Really, anything goes with them, they are more than happy to accommodate all requests.

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We didn’t have a theme as such but I love 50s/60s style so I guess my dress and hair was always going to reflect that.

Our colour scheme wasn’t a conscious decision, I ended up picking a light blue wedding dress so I just wanted everything to complement that. It ended up being blues, yellows and white – very spring like!

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My dress was Ella by House of Mooshki. I went shopping for a Mooshki dress with my maid of honour having seen a few online. I didn’t intend to go for a coloured dress originally, but when I tried it on (it was the first dress I tried) I loved it!

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On the wedding day Melanie from Le Keux Vintage Salon in Leeds my hair. She is a superstar! I have the flattest, thinnest hair going but I have always wanted a beehive so this was my opportunity! Everyone was blown away by my hair including me! I absolutely loved it. Melanie is so talented, I couldn’t believe she managed to do that with my hair. She also did my bridesmaids’ hair. They had a half up half down type beehive to complement by huge bouffant!

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Adam wore a blue suit from Reiss and the best man and usher wore their own suits. We didn’t want it all to be too matchy matchy, and the boys were happy to wear their own suits. We had a lovely range of colours in the end – Adam in Blue, best man in grey and usher in purple.

The bridesmaid dresses were from Oasis. They were cream with gemstone details around the neck – they both looked amazing!

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Our photographer was Carly Bevan – she is wonderful! Carly was an absolute star all day and before the wedding. She even helped me get a timetable sorted! On the day it was like having a friend around taking pictures, she was so kind and helpful, she went above and beyond what we would have ever expected from photographer. And of course the most important thing, her photos are stunning! We were totally blown away by how lovely all our wedding pictures are. Cannot recommend her highly enough!

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My bouquet was a mixture of gypsophila and daisies. The bridesmaids had the same but with larger daises. The flowers were created by Ello Flower, based in York just around the corner from Grays.

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I wanted a very relaxed feel to the floral decorations, so we went for a mixture of gypsophila, daises and daffodils. We didn’t really need many decorations as the venue is beautiful as it is. I did make lots of bunting and pomp oms though!

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As Adam and I are both big rock music fans so we decided to give favours of rock sweets with wedding themed wording on and we made little card match books printed with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ to put them in.

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We decided we didn’t want a traditional cake. I’m not the biggest cake fan (I know, I’m odd) and we wanted something a bit more personal to us. However, we are both partial to a Krispy Kreme doughnut so we went with that. I made cakes stands from old vinyl records and we filled them with doughnuts. The idea confused a few people but once they saw it they loved it!

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The wedding breakfast meanwhile was Yorkshire based! We chose a mini Yorkshire ploughman’s to start, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings for the main and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

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Being big rock music fans, we decided to do our own music for the wedding entertainment. Adam spent hours compiling a wedding playlist on his iPod which we plugged it into a large speaker. We had a mixture of swing, 50s/60s jukebox type music and of course rock!

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As a special touch our invitations were made from old vinyl records. We love music and regularly go to festivals and we met when we were working at HMV (and studying) so it seemed quite fitting. My maid of honour spent a weekend helping me cut and stick everything together. We also made the name place settings look like gig tickets.

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We would definitely recommend our venue to other couples. Not only is the venue stunning, but Rhiannon, the events manager at Grays Court, was fantastic. She helped us organise everything and on the day waited hand and foot on me and my bridesmaids! They also don’t prescribe things like numbers, food and drink. They are great at making the day just how you want it.

The whole day was fantastic, but my favourite part was probably just after the ceremony when I was with Adam again and we got to see all our guests! It is such an emotional time!

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For our honeymoon we went on a 17-day road trip around California. We hired a big bright red Dodge Challenger and drove to various cities including LA, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and San Diego. We also visited Yosemite National Park, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon, which were absolutely stunning!

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My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to make the day yours. It’s about you and your partner and I feel the day should reflect you as a couple. Some of our decisions were not exactly traditional (I walked down the aisle to an acoustic piano version of a Guns and Roses song) but everyone had a great time and the day was perfect. Also, don’t worry about how the day will go, you end up with so many people around you that take care of everything so you can just enjoy yourselves.

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