January 25th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Michelle and Steve’s small but perfectly formed celebration has us all a-quiver here at Brides Up North. They were determined to keep things intimate, elegant and classic and, looking at these stunning images, we’re sure you’ll agree that they achieved their goals.
Brides Up North Sponsor, the stunning Bowcliffe Hall hosted their ceremony and reception and this classy couple opted make to use of the entire venue. Steve was already a Bowcliffe fan, but for Michelle it was love at first viewing – the different rooms and idiosyncratic layout provided endless potential for wedding day planning. They were even lucky enough to have a private blessing in the tiny garden Chapel – a beautiful moment of still and calm reflection before the partying began.
Over to the lovely Michelle to spill the gorgeous details…
With images by Catherine Kerr at Boho Chic Weddings.
michelle says: Steve and I met through work and had been together for four years. Steve proposed whilst on holiday in the Maldives and we were married exactly a year later.
Steve hadn’t really planned the actual proposal in advance; he just felt the time was right and that it would be good to have some time alone whilst we were on holiday. The biggest challenge, apparently, was keeping the ring hidden and safe until he actually proposed. He was paranoid I’d find it, or he’d lose it before he actually popped the question! Luckily, though, he kept it safe and decided to ask me mid-way through our holiday one morning after breakfast. He’d written the big question in the sand before we went to breakfast and thankfully it was still there when we headed to the beach!
We live locally to Bowcliffe Hall and Steve is also a member of the Drivers Club, so he knew the venue well. He thought from the beginning that it might fit the bill but hadn’t mentioned it to me. When I saw the Hall for the first time, however, I knew instantly that it was going to be the place where we would get married. It was fantastic – it made the decision so easy, we didn’t even visit anywhere else. It was the perfect choice.
From the start we were both focused on ensuring that the wedding would be intimate and tailored to the things we love the most. We had a vision of a small family wedding with approximately 50 guests at the ceremony and wedding breakfast and an additional 20 joining us for the evening celebrations. The Hall is so unique with the various rooms that we decided to use the entire venue including the wing and the chapel – after the main ceremony we had a wedding blessing with only our parents present, which was incredibly special. It was a moment of calm and reflection which gave us all time to truly appreciate our wedding and the day.
In terms of a colour scheme, we went for cream with a touch of pink – very subtle and classic. The venue accommodated our every wish and the rooms looked amazing, utilising the lighting with hints of pink throughout.
I went with my mum to choose my wedding dress from Abigail’s Brides and I was more than delighted with the end result. It was by British designer Nicola Anne from her Vintage collection. I’ve never felt so amazing in a dress and I absolutely loved the lace detail and the fish tail. I got my shoes from Nine West.
Steve had always wanted bespoke tailored suit, so he treated himself to one for our special day. He tracked down a tailor, James Shipton, he’d met at a dinner a few years earlier as he’d promised him that if he ever was going to have a suit tailored then he’d ask him. He did a fantastic job. Steve completed the outfit with a pair of navy Jeffery West navy.
January 17th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Following the festive period, we’re seeing a surge of newly-engaged readers to the blog (including myself – eep – !) and we’re super keen to help you with the first, and possibly most challenging part, of your planning journey – picking a venue.
We’re very fortunate in the North to have such a diverse range of amazing settings for big day celebrations; from cool urban structures, to grand countryside retreats, modern new-builds and fascinating historic venues. But it’s a case of finding the one that’s a reflection of you as a couple and the special day you dream of.
For those on the hunt in the Yorkshire area, we highly recommend adding our Sponsor venue, the stunning Bowcliffe Hall to your ‘to explore’ list. Exclusive and individual, the venue located in Bramham, near Wetherby, only holds a limited number of weddings a year, ensuring those that it does host are totally tailored to the couple exchanging their vows.
With a choice of magnificent spaces and wow-factor-worthy food as standard brides and grooms can have an influence on everything from how the rooms are used on their day to the menu that is served to their guests.
So prepare to take note as we hand over to Bowcliffe Hall’s team now to tell us more about their bespoke approach and personal service…
Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?
bowcliffe hall say: At the heart of the Bowcliffe Estate is Grade II listed Bowcliffe Hall, built between 1805 and 1825. Once home to the Lane Fox family and subsequently aviation pioneer, Robert Blackburn, Bowcliffe Hall hosted many guests including Winston Churchill and Amy Johnson. In 2013, the current owner and custodian, Jonathan Turner, began an extensive restoration and development programme, sympathetically restoring many rooms to their former glory and creating a diverse collection of spectacular event spaces.
How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?
Set in 38 acres of spectacularly landscaped grounds, Bowcliffe is no ordinary country estate. From the Georgian splendour of Grade II listed Bowcliffe Hall with its glamorous Ballroom and sumptuous Bowcliffe Drivers Club, to the multi-award-winning Blackburn Wing, a copper and glass masterpiece which took more than 50 weeks and 30,000 man hours to build, Bowcliffe is a personal and unique venue offering an unparalleled choice of venue space and flexibility for any wedding.
Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for?
Bowcliffe offers total flexibility for weddings of all sizes, with a choice of event space available across the estate. The seriously stylish, multi-award winning, Blackburn Wing is a modern-day treehouse shaped like an airplane wing. The fairytale Ballroom has a romantic and glamorous feel harking back to a bygone era with its elegant sparkling chandelier and art deco bar. The Bowcliffe Room is a splendid drawing room with beautiful Georgian period features and double doors leading to spectacularly maintained gardens. The Bowcliffe Drivers Club is the estate’s private members club. Dark mahogany panelled walls, 1920’s inspired décor and the largest collection of motoring art and artefacts outside London create an opulent, sumptuous and intimate atmosphere. For a larger wedding, Bowcliffe’s 38 acres of beautifully maintained grounds offer a perfect location for a marquee wedding.
What makes Bowcliffe a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
An unrivalled choice of spectacular venue space allows the flexibility to create the perfect day that truly reflects your personal taste and style. With fully exclusive use for every wedding, Bowcliffe offers a truly bespoke approach where exceptional service is a given and the belief is that the food should be as much of a wow factor as the dress or the venue.
What sort of bride would be a Bowcliffe bride?
A Bowcliffe bride appreciates exclusivity, exceptional standards and meticulous attention to detail, whether in the presentation of the venue, food or the service, as well as the opportunity of creating a truly bespoke wedding day based on the flexibility that Bowcliffe can provide.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
We believe that offering outstanding service should be the norm. Because we only host a limited number of weddings each year, the highly-experienced events team have the opportunity of delivering a very personal service. A dedicated member of the events team will be the single point of contact throughout the whole planning process, taking the time to work with each couple to create their perfect wedding day.
December 15th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Wendy and Steve chose beautiful Bowcliffe Hall near Wetherby for their pretty green wedding that fused both traditional and travel inspired touches… even bringing in some faux snow for an impromptu snowball fight!
With images by Tom at Razzleberry Photography.
steve says: Wendy is a keen snowboarder and so I proposed in the snow. I’d designed her ring to include her birthstone which is in her favourite colour – green – and so I’d spent a little while in the jewellers getting it ready. Once that was sorted I just had to wait for the snow to fall!
I wanted a day that showed everyone who we are – something that was fun but didn’t take itself too seriously. We wanted an informal feel but had nods to the traditional elements.
wendy says: I wanted the wedding to be fun and to be personal to us. We wanted to be a little bit different and to reflect our personalities. We chose to have a map and travel theme as we love adventure.
When we were looking for a venue, we wanted something different and every place we visited seemed to have pre-set ideas and arrangements of what a wedding should look like. Bowcliffe Hall is totally unique – the Blackburn Wing instantly captured our imagination and the Hall, Drivers Club and Gardens created a perfect package.
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