Charlotte Balbier

crafted with care. a pretty homemade wedding at priory cottages – jenny & james

August 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (51)

Today’s real wedding is yet another carefully crafted beauty with lots of pretty homemade and personal touches created by talented bride Jenny, along with the help of her equally talented family.

Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire provided the perfect backdrop for the rustic theme Jenny had in mind, which featured lots of beautiful blooms in sweet, sugary tones.

And it wasn’t just the décor that the bride got crafty with, as Jenny made her own hair flower accessory and gorgeous statement necklace to complete her modern big day look. Fabulous work girl!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (3)

jenny says: We got engaged in Malta. James and I love our cheeky getaways. I had no idea that on this particular one he planned to propose, it was such a lovely surprise! The proposal was very ‘us’ – low key and nothing extravagant. It was our first full day there, we were having a great day exploring the town, lunch and drinks by the sea and we had headed back to our hotel to get ready for the evening and have a few drinks on the balcony. I remember laughing and joking and saying what a perfect start to the holiday it had been, next thing I know James had disappeared and when he returned he was down on one knee asking if I’d be his wifey – it was perfect!

We chose to get married on 13th June 2015 as it was exactly two years to the date we got engaged.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

Our chosen venue was The Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire. Working in the wedding industry myself I read a lot of wedding blogs. This venue has always stood out to me as something special and it was the first place I mentioned to James when we got engaged. When we went to take a look around, I fell more in love with it and James had a cheeky little smile on his face. We both knew it was perfect and could see our special day taking place there.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (1)

We didn’t have a theme as such, but I have always wanted a ‘handmade’ wedding. I love making things and being creative so I literally saw it as a blank canvas that I could do all the things I love to. The result was quite a rustic-styled day.

We were not really strict on a colour scheme; it kind of just fell into place. I always wanted the boys to wear blue suits as I just think they look great. This helped me to decide on nude tones for the girls’ dresses then I pulled in my two favourite colours – coral and mint – and combined it with lots of peaches and whites.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

My dress was literally the dress I always said I would never wear! So many of my friends said to me before I started looking to keep an open mind but I went to one bridal shop in particular because they stocked a gorgeous Mori Lee gown I had pinned as my dream dress for the past five or so years, even before we were engaged! I tried it on and whilst it was nice, it wasn’t wow. The lovely lady in the bridal shop made me try on ‘the dress’ just to see what it looked like. I wasn’t keen but I tried it on and it felt amazing! It made my mum cry so I knew it was the one!

To go with my dress, I scoured the internet and shops constantly to find the perfect hair flower. I couldn’t find one that I liked in the end so I thought why not make my own! I created it using some gorgeous silk flowers from Country Baskets, a hair slide and some small brooches to sit inside the flowers as the centre. I bound it with florist wire and ribbon. I also created a statement necklace by combining two necklaces from Marks & Spencer. I wore my outfit with some gold Kurt Geiger shoes.

My hairdresser’s partner specialises in wedding hair (they work at Fusion Hair Design) so he did mine and the girls’ hair. He did a fantastic job! My cousin Abi is a makeup artist so she did our makeup. Abi is so talented at what she does and I was so pleased with the finished look. The bridesmaids looked stunning and it lasted all day despite the hot weather.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (24)

We wanted to buy suits rather than hire. James wore a three piece from Slaters. It was a very fine puppytooth patterned blue suit. He wore with a tailored white shirt and a pale pink tie to match the bridesmaids. On his feet he wore some tan brogues which complemented the suit perfectly. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes as James but wore with a matching blue tie instead of pink.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

The girls wore gorgeous pale pink dresses from Untold at House of Fraser. I wanted to get something they could wear again rather than a traditional bridesmaid dress. They were teamed with gold heels similar to mine from New Look.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (35)

Hayley Baxter was our photographer. When we initially began looking we were steering clear of the very formal styles as we both are not the biggest fan of being photographed and much prefer the more relaxed, creative style that Hayley produced.

We would 100% recommend Hayley. She has such a lovely personality – very warm and friendly. She instantly made us both feel at ease like we’d known her for years and she managed to produce the most amazing collection of natural photographs that we really never thought would be possible!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (38)

I had the bright idea of doing all the wedding flowers myself soon after we got engaged. I spent months and months researching and trying to figure out how it would work and eventually came across an amazing woman through a website called Flowers from the Farm. Gill runs her own flower farm not far from where we live so after a quick visit to see her and discuss, everything was confirmed and I was all set to pick up eight big buckets of freshly cut flowers two days before the wedding.

I really enjoyed making the bouquets and buttonholes. I used roses in peach and pink shades with white peonies and coral berries to add more colour. I finished them with some foliage and wrapped with jute string. For the buttonholes I used blues and green. The focal flower was nigella, which I absolutely love! I wrapped them with a small piece of hessian and they were secured with a heart pin.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (18)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (8)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (15)

For the table centrepieces my dad made us some amazing wooden log stands on two levels. I decorated and sprayed bottles with lace, hessian, ribbon and filled with flowers. Also I decorated jam jars as tea light holders and made hessian table circles for everything to sit on decorated with hearts punched from woodgrain card, Kraft card and an atlas. For the top table we had a hollowed out log filled with the left over flowers that my aunties helped with the day before – it looked amazing and was one of my favourite pieces from the day!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (39)

I have my own wedding stationery business, Only by Knight, so I created all the on-the-day stationery/invites etc. myself.

My dad wanted to bring a little bit of Liverpool to our Yorkshire wedding so we gave the gents a Liverpool ale as favours and the ladies got a bottle of fizz.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

We had the most amazing wedding cake. I’m lucky enough to have a very creative family; it must run in our blood! My cousin runs a small cake business, Betty and Junes Bakery. She is amazing, super talented and I knew straight away I wanted her to make our cake as her creativity is endless!

I’m not the biggest fan of traditional wedding cakes so straight away knew I’d want something a little different. I love the hand painted cake styles and to fit in with our rustic theme we decided we would like the tiers to resemble logs. That was literally the brief I gave to Katie and she really excelled! It was absolutely exquisite from the cute love heart to the handmade sugar flowers. Each tier of the cake was a different flavour; we had lemon drizzle with jam and butter cream, raspberry and white chocolate and a chocolate layer. It was finished up with some fresh flowers and a laser cut cake topper that I sourced from Etsy.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (47)

We used Taste Cuisine as our caterers. They are really are amazing at what they do. James is from Leeds and I am originally from Liverpool so for the canapés we had mini ‘pans’ of scouse and beef with Yorkshire puds along with a couple of others. For the wedding breakfast we had a Greek mezze platter, followed by lamb shank then a mix of two desserts (three layer chocolate torte and white chocolate cheesecake) as they were just too good to choose between!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (53)

Straight away we knew we wanted a band to provide entertainment. I stumbled across The One Step through Warble Entertainment and I was just drawn towards them. The lead singer Nick also did acoustic sets so we had him singing through the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast. Our friends and family absolutely loved him. They were great as a three piece too. Everyone was up dancing and having fun, and we especially enjoyed our rendition of Mr Brightside at the end to close the show!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (17)

In terms of special touches, the table plan was one of my favourite pieces from the day! My dad made us the giant frame and I decorated with flower garlands. Each table was named after a place James and I had visited together. The board had an envelope for each guest with a postcard inside that I’d created of an image of James and I in that particular location. We asked our guests to write us a message on the reverse and pin it back to the table plan so it doubled up as our guest book. I am going to make it into a piece of wall art now so we have a constant interactive reminder of the day. My dad also made us the sign for outside the venue; I made stencils and spray-painted the wording onto it. I decorated with flower garlands again and it was a great touch to the exterior of the venue.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (58)

We would 100% recommend our venue to others. Serena first off is one incredible woman! She was always on hand to help with whatever we needed and she really helped us to pull everything together ready for the big day. The venue itself is absolutely stunning. The fact it has the cottages built around it made it such a memorable weekend, not only for us but for our bridal party as we all got to experience everything together.

Funnily enough the part of the wedding I was dreading the most was, the ceremony, turned out to be one of my favourite bits. I’m naturally quite a shy person so the thought of everyone looking at me whilst me and pops made our way up the aisle filled me with dread and I really thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I really did enjoy it and no tears were shed! That along with the speeches – which were just fantastic – and seeing all of our friends and family laughing, joking and having the best time together was really special.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (56)

For our honeymoon we decided to go to Central America. We both love to travel and James has been around the world. We went to Costa Rica and Panama. It was the most amazing experience. We saw and did so much in two and a half weeks and have memories that we can now cherish forever.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (60)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be organised! We had two years between our engagement and big day. I bought a wedding planner book, created a budget spreadsheet but still life got in the way occasionally and it was quite stressful getting everything ready towards the end! Also get stuck in! Try to personalise your day as much as you can so it’s meaningful to you and your groom. I can’t tell you how great it feels to sit back on the day and look at everyone admiring all the hard work you’ve put in. It was a very proud moment! Finally, accept help! I can be a terrible control freak and like to do everything myself in my own way, sometimes you need to let go and accept that it’s just not possible! Besides you’ll find that a lot of your friends and family want to get involved and help. I would never have finished setting up on time without the help of my nearest and dearest the day before, they were all incredible!

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our love story. kala & andy

August 13th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (21)

This afternoon we’re heading to North Yorkshire, to meet husband and wife-to-be Andy and Kala, as they share their gorgeous engagement shoot with us.

The shoot took place at the beautiful Bolton Abbey where Andy and Kala spend a lot of their time walking their cute dogs, Beren and Roxi. Photographers are often warned not to work with animals, but in this case the handsome hounds look good as gold, posing obediently in front of the lens.

It’s just a matter of days now until these high school sweethearts tie the knot at Halifax Minster. Good luck guys, we can’t wait to see the photos!

With images by Ellie Grace Photography.

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (12)

kala says: We got engaged Christmas day 2006. Andy proposed to me at my nan and grandad’s house when we went for Christmas dinner. It was a complete surprise to me, although we had been looking at rings. He later revealed that he had nervously asked my dad’s permission then had been secretly arranging it with my grandparents.

We get married on Thursday 20th August 2015 at the beautiful Halifax Minster, West Yorkshire.

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (1)

We met at school, high school sweethearts! Our first date was on my birthday, we went into town and then to the cinema. We both have a great passion for films and still have our ‘date nights’ at the cinema now. It was true love and here we are 12 years later.

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (8)

I knew that Andy was the one from the word go! I felt so comfortable with Andy; he gets on great with my family and our friends. We both love sharing our hobbies and we just have such a laugh. Naturally he does my head in most of the time but we really are best friends and I couldn’t be without him.

Andy says he knew I was a keeper when I didn’t freak out after I nearly drown when he took me kayaking with my friends for the first time!

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (14)

I love Andy’s personality. He gets on with everyone, he’s adventurous and very caring. The only thing that really drives me mental is his habit of tapping his feet all the time!

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (20)

Our biggest wish for married life is simply for nothing to change! We just want to continue as we have been for the last 12 years, best friends and totally in love.

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (18)

We chose to have an engagement shoot for a number of reasons; we wanted relaxed pictures with our fur babies Roxi and Beren, Bolton Abbey is such a beautiful place and we wanted a chance to get to know Ellie, our photographer, a bit more before the big day

We loved the shoot! Although a little nervous at first, Ellie made us very relaxed and everything was very natural. I think it’s made us more excited for the day and it think it’s made me (I’m a bit camera shy) a bit more relaxed about having my picture taken all day.

We have already picked our favourite pictures from the shoot and have had them printed for family.

An Engagement Shoot at Bolton Abbey (c) Ellie Grace Photography (22)

I love Brides Up North for all the ideas and inspiration that people share about their weddings. We’d love to come back and share our big day on the blog, if you’ll have us?

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big hats & high jinks. a papakata wedding in york – hazel & adam

August 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (46)

Hazel and Adam stamped their personalities all over their unique & beautiful wedding under canvas, and that’s just the way we like it here at Brides Up North.

What better way to start the week than a wedding involving lots of pretty touches, vintage finds, brilliant blooms and a first night spent sleeping in a chicken hat… oh, yes.  Read on, read on…

With images by Brides Up North sponsor JB Creatives.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (13)

hazel says: We got engaged in a wine bar in London, the day before we went on holiday. My sister had just come back from a year in Canada, and as hard as Adam tried to get rid of her, we hadn’t seen each other in ages, so in the end he had to tell her to go and wait in the toilets while he proposed!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (17)

We were married on October 4th 2014 – we wanted to get married while Adam’s sister who lives in New Zealand was back in the country. We got married in St. Helen’s church in Escrick, just outside of York. We absolutely loved the church, and it was close to where we held our reception. Helen at Escrick Park was absolutely fantastic, as were Papakata who provided the teepees. They both did such a great job of making our day so special, perfect and unique to us.

Our venue was a field – this meant that we could choose absolutely every detail ourselves and make our day exactly as we wanted. It meant some very long days in the run up, and I never expected my wedding to include a lesson in how to run a generator or heavy lifting of fridges, but it was 100% worth it!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (25)

We didn’t want a strict style or colour scheme – just things that we liked. I guess you could say that we went for a vintage theme, but really we just picked the things that we thought looked nice! We deliberately avoided a strict colour scheme, and just went with pastels where colour was required.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (32)

I chose a lace wedding dress from an outlet in Northallerton. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I knew would inevitably end up covered in grass and mud – which it did!

Adam wore suit trousers, a shirt and waistcoat from Next. He tried on a couple of suits but they looked too formal and we wanted a more relaxed style.

The groomsmen wore the same as Adam, but with different coloured ties, and I only had my sister as a bridesmaid. This made it much easier, and she just picked a dress that she liked!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (38)

We hired VW campervans to sleep in at the teepees, and ended up using one to transport me to the church too. They were from The Campervan Company in Thirsk.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (50)

Jane Beadnell from JB Creatives was our photographer, she was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and she takes brilliant photos. She did an amazing job and captured our day perfectly in a style that really suited the wedding itself. We had so many lovely comments from our guests about how hard she worked and the lovely photos.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (55)

My bouquet was made up predominantly of roses, hydrangea, and freesias. The flowers were provided by another friend – Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture, she also did an amazing job, with our very limited knowledge of flowers and vague descriptions of what we liked!

The flowers for the reception were also provided by Leafy Couture – again lots of roses and freesias – in mini milk bottles on the tables. We also decorated with lots of home made bunting.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (67)

Adam was in charge of the favours – he had a boy’s night in and made them all! Everyone had a big bag of marshmallows to toast on the open fires, and a jar of hot chocolate to take home and help them through the morning after!

We had an afternoon tea, so rather than more cake we had wheels of cheese provided by Love Cheese in York. We are both big cheese fans, and we served it up after the afternoon tea with a glass of port (or 3!) – so it was great to see the guests tucking into it.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (63)

Katie & Maz at The Flax & Twine in York provided our catering – they were amazing, providing solutions to Adam’s crazy ideas and stopping him when they got out of control – he desperately wanted to make and serve crepes to all 130 guests personally!! In the end we settled for afternoon tea, followed by the cheese from our “cake” then later in the evening we had a hogroast provided by The Hog & Apple in York, and finally a waffle station – dreamt up by Adam and spectacularly brought to life by Katie & Maz from their vintage caravan… amazing! We provided all of the drinks, the wine was Cono Sur Bicicleta because Adam works in a bike shop and all of the bottles had a bicycle on them, and then we put on four beers – two from North Wales where my dad’s family is from, and two from the local York Brewery!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (62)

We tried to have lots of special touches – we painstakingly collected all of the crockery for the afternoon tea, and it included a set my granny was given as a wedding present over 60 years ago! We made lots of things too, all of the bunting, the bar, the photo booth, the coconut shy, the table plan was made of ladders covered in things that were important to us both, and the typewriter we used to write the invitations and sewing machine that made all of the bunting made an appearance too!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (70)

In the evening we had a ceilidh provided by the Dark Horse Ceilidh Band from Harrogate – they were great fun, then we hooked up the ipod for the rest of the evening.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (74)

The whole day was amazing, but the end was our favourite. We waved off our last guests on to a coach at 1am, and then had the teepee all to ourselves to reflect on the day. We were meant to sleep in the campervan, but Adam forgot to bring the duvet and the keys went home with a guest. By this point, it was pretty cold in the teepees, so I slept in my wedding dress, Adam slept in his suit, and then we raided the fancy dress box from our photo booth for extra warmth. I’m pretty sure there are no other brides that can claim to have spent their wedding night in their dress, an army camouflage jacket and a chicken hat!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (80)

Straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Dales in the camper van we had hired – mostly catching up on sleep and recovering from doing so much in the run up to the wedding. We then had 2 weeks in South Africa in January which was absolutely fantastic – the highlight of which was a 2 night stay in a tree house.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t leave too much to the last minute! The night before the wedding I was up late refining the ipod playlist, and Adam arrived at the church with the decorations after the guests did! Ooops!

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lucky day. a hindu wedding at harewood house – sarah & jiten

July 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (59)

Sarah and Jiten’s wedding day was a fusion of beliefs and influences, set in the glorious surrounds of Harewood House in Yorkshire. Their day of two halves was bright, beautiful and full of love. We like their style.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (7)

sarahsays: Jiten booked out the whole of my favourite restaurant only for me to think that it was just a “Quiet” Tuesday night in Leeds! We had a lovely meal and then after exchanging Christmas presents, Jiten presented the engagement ring as the final gift… I said yes!

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (9)

We were married on 19th July 2014. We chose this date as it was the most convenient time in our busy schedules as doctors and also matched in the Hindu calendar as being a “lucky day” to get married.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (14)

We tied the knot at Harewood House, West Yorkshire. We chose to get married here as we needed a venue big enough to cater for approximately 400 guests, and the parkland is so beautiful. Its location, near to our home made the planning of our wedding easier.

We had a civil ceremony in the morning, followed by a Hindu wedding in the afternoon.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (15)

We chose a shabby chic style for the civil ceremony and a full Hindu experience for the afternoon. The themes suited our upbringing, personality and beliefs

The Hindu wedding and civil ceremonies featured lots of red colours, which is in keeping with good wishes and good luck in Hindu beliefs.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (16)

I chose a white dress in the morning civil service followed by a fabulous saree for the Hindu part. I carried a bouquet of wild flowers from Daisy Chain in Roundhay.

Jiten bought a Hindu formal male wedding dress from India. It is called a Kurtha and was custom made for him in India. For the civil ceremony he had tails with a cravat.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (19)

The groomsmen wore Kurthas all bought from India, and suits for the Civil ceremony. My bridesmaids wore custom made dresses followed by Indian dresses bought in Birmingham.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (24)

Our photographer was Mark Newton. He was a legend! Very polite, unobtrusive, well read on Hindu ceremonies and made us feel very, very, very relaxed. We can highly recommend him.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (36)

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (32)

The favours were all hand painted sherry glasses that we made ourselves, and our Star Wars themed cake was made by a friend of ours from Birmingham.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (39)

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (48)

We had a local DJ from Bradford (Soul Asia Roadshow) who kept everyone entertained and played dancing games with all the guests.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (50)

We had a slideshow with embarrassing childhood photos of the two of us and the rest of our family. We also had some special surprise dances from our family members.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (56)

Our favourite part of the day was dancing with all our family and friends at the end of the evening. Mark Newton’s photography really captured how much fun we all had during the day and we cannot thank him enough.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (61)

For our honeymoon, we went to Lake Como for a week and then travelled around northern Italy for the second week. Lots of pizza, ice cream, prosecco, nice people and great scenery.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (62)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get planning early and enjoy the whole process with your other half. Having an online Excel document to allow both of you to make changes and refer to regularly saved our bacon on many an occasion.

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rustic luxe: a styled country wedding shoot at the black swan, helmsley

July 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (26)

If there’s one thing that makes me go weak at the knees, other than gorgeous weddings, it’s a cute dog.

Having grown up with canine companions a firm part of the family, there aren’t many mutts that don’t evoke a genuine ‘ahh’ from me. So when our fabulous Sponsor, The Black Swan hotel, sent over the results of a recent styled shoot at the venue, which featured a fine Irish Red Setter, it was a ‘yes’ from me.

The ‘groom’ isn’t bad either, is he?!

Located in the idyllic North Yorkshire village of Helmsley, the black swan is the perfect venue for a romantic country-inspired wedding (did you catch the beautiful celebration we shared on the wedding blog this morning?). With this in mind the hotel welcomed photographer Annemarie King and a talented bunch northern wedding suppliers, to use the venue as a stunning backdrop for a rustic luxe styled shoot, complete with dapper tweed, natural blooms and detailed dresses.

The setting of the hotel brings all elements to life for an incredibly well-executed shoot that will make you go ‘ooh’ and well as ‘ahh’ (and not just over that dog). So let’s handover to The Black Swan for those all important details…

With images by Annemarie King.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (14)

the black swan says: The well-loved country charm, welcoming atmosphere and quaint English gardens, overlooking the pretty churchyard next door, made The Black Swan the perfect venue for Annemarie King and her team to co-create a rustic-luxe themed photographic campaign.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (10)

Model James with his red-haired beauties, ‘bride’ Zara and Connor, the Irish Red Setter, are on location at the hotel and also at Helmsley Walled Gardens, which brings the theme to life with a touch of nostalgia. The evocative images are intimate, dream-like, and sometimes fun and light-hearted.

The timeless, informal elegance of the photography mirrors the essence of this historic hotel venue – the smartly-tailored handsome groom James, in his Yorkshire tweeds and smartly polished brogues, along with his bride’s sweet, ethereal beauty and swan-like elegance make for a beautiful pairing, and Connor certainly adds a special appeal to the ‘family shots’.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (11)

The various settings demonstrate the hotel’s oak beamed Tudor Lounge, the oldest part of the venue with its original inglenook, and the cosy stone-walled Crosland Lounge, as well as the pretty English walled gardens, in which The Black Swan’s new Oak Gazebo is located, which is now available for outdoor summer wedding ceremonies and celebrations. Helmsley Walled Gardens also plays a part, giving a super botanical backdrop to the shots.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (19)

A creative team led by York photographer Annemarie King, is responsible for the shoot with all those who offered their talents and goods on the day doing a fantastic job. Two of Annemarie’s passions are showcased within the shoot as she’s an award-winning photographer specialising in both country weddings and canine photography.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (8)

The shoot’s retro-inspired gowns, which include the Alan Hannah’s Tara long lace gown, White Rose’s 50s style R920 gown, Angel B’s peppermint bridesmaid dress Am 242, and the flamboyant Cymbeline Adele design, were kindly loaned by The Bridal Lounge in Northallerton, along with selected accessories.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (7)

Carters Country Wear provided the tweed tailored outfit sported by groom, James. Carters specialise in suits and country wear tailored with cloth from Saville Row and Yorkshire tweed mills, with a particular emphasis on country sportswear. They enjoy an international clientele who value their quality and highly personalised service.

Much of the jewellery was generously loaned by Libby Butler Jewellery, located in Helmsley.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (3)

The striking makeup and hairstyling of our bride Zara, is by award-winning hair and make-up artist Kate Pymm, who based in the North East and works throughout the UK on a wide portfolio of projects, including bridal hair and makeup.

The sweet bouquets and simple floral arrangements with home-grown ‘grandma’s cottage garden blooms’ inspired by the rural-luxe theme, were all created by Liz Wood at Busy Liz’s Floral Design, of Kirbymoorside.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (5)

To complete the stellar line-up, Celebrate Country Cake Design, located in Helmsley’s Walled Gardens, supplied the cake, Fabulously Finished, of Ampleforth, supplied the props and the chair covers were loaned by Chair Covers of Yorkshire, located in Easingwold.

For more information about weddings at The Black Swan, contact 01439 770466 and ask to speak to their Wedding Co-ordinator. Alternatively, visit their website

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