Charlotte Balbier

real wedding recap: ronald joyce for a romantic wedding at ashton memorial – melissa & craig

January 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

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We love that today’s real wedding has been influenced by two different styles – wild nature and glamour – that when brought together, complement each other perfectly!

Everything about Melissa and Craig’s big day is utterly gorgeous; from the choice of ceremony venue, styling and elegant colour scheme, to the bridal party’s stunning attire.

Though there is a lot of beauty to be admired, standout details for us include Melissa’s handmade headpiece, the blousy bouquets and both the bride and groom’s fancy footwear!

With images by Pixies in the Cellar.

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melissa says: We got engaged during the trip of a lifetime. I’d quit my job, Craig had taken a sabbatical and we travelled around the world together for five months, it was our dream and we decided it was now or never! We trekked the Inca Trail, travelled Australia by bus, walked the Great Wall of China and learnt to scuba dive in Thailand. At every great landmark we visited Craig made me pose with a sign with a single letter on and took a photo. He’s always full of kooky ideas and told me it was for a surprise collage when we got back. So I held aloft a ‘V’ at Machu Picchu, an ‘E’ at the Sydney Opera House, an ‘M’ in Halong Bay and so on!

On the final night of our trip we went all out and booked the Lebua hotel in Bangkok (The Hangover 2 film hotel!) As we got ready for a special meal Craig went out to ask what time the rooftop bar opened, then the bellboy rang the door with a big envelope. Inside were all the photos of me with the letters and a note – they were numbered and I had to re-arrange them, if I understood then I was to go and find him. I re-ordered them and it spelled out “Veux tu m’epouser?” – will you marry me in French! I had lived in Paris for several years and this was also so I wouldn’t have guessed throughout the trip if it were spelt in English! As a typical woman I rushed to finish half my hair and get on my shoes… then there was a knock at the door, Craig on one knee! Too nervous and impatient waiting for me, he proposed right there & I very happily said “Oui!” We had a wonderful night celebrating in the rooftop bar.

We set the wedding date for Saturday 23rd July 2016. We chose this date, as it would mark seven years since our first date.

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Being some of the last people in our friendship group to marry, we were determined to find a different venue, where none of our friends had been married before us. Although we had loved the idea of a destination wedding it just wasn’t practical family wise so we had to find somewhere that wowed us closer to home. As Craig is rather tall we wanted somewhere with grandeur but not really a church – when we visited Ashton Memorial it all fell into place. It immediately appealed to me – it was a beautiful domed building, all light and windows, surrounded by nature and spectacular views. We also loved the fact Lord Ashton had built it as a tribute to his wife.

We then had to find somewhere for our reception. After a lot of searching we found Forrest Hills, a relatively new multi-purpose venue, which had hosted some lovely weddings. Upon visiting we loved the wild natural beauty and secluded location. Also, the option of an open-side marquee next to the lake combined our dream of an open air wedding and the practicality for British weather, just in case.

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Our theme was ‘wild natural glamour’ – a bit of a running joke with our florist. We had two sides to our wedding – one side the cottage like reception venue, the cascading flowers intertwined with driftwood and our marquee with open sides to allow the real ‘outdoor’ feeling we wanted. On the other side we loved the glamorous elements – an ice sculpture, popping a giant gold bottle of champagne instead of cutting the cake, Craig in a tuxedo and a beautiful cream Rolls Royce as transport. We loved the mix of the two to fit our personalities.

We decided early on to have a duck egg blue colour scheme with accents of gold. It felt like it matched the theme of the day – wild natural surroundings and dramatic venues, with some glamour!

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As I own my own occasion wear brand, people kept asking if I was going to design my own wedding dress – but I couldn’t face the visualisation required and the extra stress! Luckily when I came across the Ronald Joyce Erin gown on Pinterest, it was beautifully styled on a bride and I had to try it. I always wanted a fitted fishtail gown with a beautiful back and this dress was just that, the crystal beads draped at the back and the low sheer lace detail ticked all my boxes. The experience at Emma Louise Bridal was friendly and personal, I didn’t feel pressured into anything and they gave honest opinions. My mum and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole dress shopping experience (all 20 or so shops!), it will always be a time I’ll treasure, just the two of us.

Accessories wise I knew I wanted a long dramatic veil – but with the detail on the dress it had to be quite simple. I chose a two-layer chapel length veil in soft ivory tulle, from The Wedding Veil Shop. I loved the way it fell over my shoulders and was sheer enough to see the back detail on the dress.

One of the main accessories for my look was the headpiece – I had lusted over some beautiful freshwater pearl styles but my budget didn’t quite stretch. Not one to be deterred I took two lengths of pearl and crystal flowers I sourced online and intertwined them to make the full dramatic headpiece I desired, able to wrap around the front and back. With my masses of hair I knew it wouldn’t overpower my look.

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sunshine & smiles. pronovias for a fun filled wedding at knipe hall, cumbria – alexandra & andrew

November 30th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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We are totally head over heels for this morning’s gorgeous real wedding which features a super-stylish wedding party, pretty pastel colour scheme and lots of outdoor fun and frolics.

Highlights? There are many! Though for us the delicate décor, on-trend attire and super cute four-legged guest are among our very favourite bits!

With images by Darren Mack Photography

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alexandra says: We got engaged whilst we were staying at some vineyards in Yorkshire with friends for my 30th birthday in June 2014. Unbeknown to me, the day before we went Andrew had “Alex will you marry me?” Tattooed on his chest. We went out for dinner and drinks in Holmfirth then to a Billy Bragg gig. After an amazing evening, we got back to our apartment and much to my utter shock and disbelief Andrew revealed his new chest art to me! I said yes and we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with the rest of the bunch that we were away with!

Our wedding day was exactly two years after the weekend that we got engaged, so 18th June 2016, the day before my 32nd birthday.

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We got married at Knipe Hall in Cumbria, where we are from. We wanted a rustic blank canvas venue and this fit the bill! It’s an old farm that has been converted into luxury holiday cottages and has a barn and old dairy and huge outdoor space to host your wedding. This meant that whole wedding party could stay over making it a full weekend celebration and we could do as we wanted with the venue.

We didn’t really have a specific wedding theme as such, we just wanted it to be relaxed and fun! I guess it had a bit of a rustic country wedding feel to it. Our colour scheme was pastels and metallic. I was just drawn to those colours from day one and I love a bit of gold/sequins/glitter – just a touch though.

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My dress was by Pronovias bought from Olivia James Bridal in Egremont. When I first got engaged I saw a similar Rosa Clara dress in a wedding mag, which I loved – it reminded me of the wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wears in Roman Holiday. This dress was only in one shop in the UK so I travelled all the way down to London to try it on. It was lovely but wasn’t quite right so I walked away. I then decided I wanted a more boho 70s style gown so proceeded to try on around 30 more dresses; some vintage, some high street, designer, bridal couture, you name it but discovered I didn’t really suit a lot of the lace and nothing felt special enough. I was starting to lose faith and decided I just don’t like wedding dresses then I came across this dress online and found out it was in a shop not far from home and like I said, very similar to the first dress I liked. As soon as I tried it on it felt right. Still very much a wedding dress with the full skirt and long train but no added bling or lace; plain but beautiful details like the low scoop back and simple bows at the waist. It was such a relief to find the one!

My hairdresser for the wedding was Sarah Redding from Halo in Carlisle, and she was amazing, working relentlessly to get us all ready in time. A very talented lady. I own my own beauty salon in Carlisle called Rock and Fairy so I did everyone’s beauty treatments a couple of nights before the wedding and did my own makeup on the day using Mac products.

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Andrew wore a fitted black suit and white shirt with little gold buttons, all bought from Zara. He accessorised his outfit with gold braces and bow tie from Etsy and black patent loafers by Grenson.

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lucky day. a rustic vintage wedding at the out barn – rebecca & scott

August 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Vintage Wedding at The Out Barn (c) Hip To Heart Photography (40)

There can be no finer start to your week than this stunning North West wedding. Taking place at The Out Barn near Clitheroe, Rebecca and Scott’s big day had an elegant vintage theme with little nods to the rustic setting in the form of cute homemade décor.

There are so many beautiful elements to this wedding but we can’t stop looking at bride and groom’s attire, with both looking like they’ve stepped right out of the pages of a fashion magazine.

With images by Hip to Heart Photography.

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rebecca says: We got engaged at our little flat in Leeds in May 2015, after a really tough week at work. Scott had spoken to me during the day at work to say that because I’d had a stressful week that he would be cooking me a three course meal to cheer me up as I was totally fed up! When I arrived home, there were photos from the five years we had been together hung on string all over the kitchen and living room which made me cry! After the dinner he then got down on one knee, up until that point I had no idea at all, then I didn’t say yes for about five minutes because I was crying so much! When I called my mum and dad to tell them they said they’d been avoiding speaking to me all week as Scott had been over earlier in the week to ask my dad.

A Vintage Wedding at The Out Barn (c) Hip To Heart Photography (22)

We set the date for 2nd July 2016. After getting engaged we were in no great hurry and so looked online at a couple of venues to get ideas. Before Christmas we went to an open day at The Out Barn in Clough Bottom. My parents live in Chorley so we decided to go for the week and visit the venue with my mum. We went to the wedding fayre, had a look around and were about to leave, when my mum said she wanted to ask about dates. They were booked until September 2016 except for one date in July, so we went for it and had a very busy 14 weeks ahead of us!

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Upon visiting we just fell in love with The Out Barn and its surroundings. We loved the character of the building too and the views are amazing!

Our theme for the wedding was rustic/vintage. We made all the decorations ourselves and we wanted everything to be a bit mismatched, as it suited how we are as a couple. We didn’t have a specific colour scheme to start with, it was only after we had chosen the pastel coloured material for the bunting that a specific palette emerged.

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handmade hurrah. a bespoke dress for a country wedding in derbyshire – myroslava & callum

October 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (28)

We often get asked as bloggers in the industry if we attend many weddings and the answer is that unfortunately live reporting on the proceedings doesn’t fall into our remits. However, if we were to become professional wedding crashers today’s celebrations would have certainly been high up on our list of events to attend.

Taking inspiration from bride’s roots, Myroslava and Callum planned a crazy ukrainian wedding with a huge focus on food, drink and family. To make the day all the more memorable, Myroslava also decided to make the wedding as ‘homemade’ as possible, pulling in her friends and relatives to help achieve her vision.

Cue vodka, delicious Ukrainian cuisine, live music, dancing, more vodka, more dancing and – you guessed it – even more vodka!

With images by Shot by Amy.

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myroslava says: We got engaged on 20th September 2014 at the Greyhound pub in Coventry. On New Year’s Eve 2014 Callum told me this was the year he would propose so I was on tenterhooks for most of it! We’d been for a cosy lunch in one of our favourite pubs, just the two of us, when he got down on one knee and popped the question. It took me completely by surprise and it was us down to a tee!

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (15)

We got married on 19th September 2015, almost a year to the day we got engaged. We’re both autumn people but we wanted it to be nice enough to get married outside so September was the perfect time.

We got married at Tarasivka (affectionately known as the Field of Dreams) which is a piece of land owned by the Ukrainian Youth Association of GB in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside. I’ve been going every year for summer camp since I was tiny – I practically grew up in that field with all my friends and Callum has been coming to work at the summer camps with me the past few years. There’s a lot of history there, it’s a beautiful location and we love that it is half way between our hometowns of Coventry and Manchester. We had a Ukrainian Catholic ceremony in the outdoor chapel at Tarasivka.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (20)

Our theme was a crazy Ukrainian wedding in the beautiful English countryside! Signposts and alcohol played a big part (our centrepieces were signposts to our favourite pubs and vodka is a massive part of every Ukrainian party) but a handmade, homemade and rustic feel was also central to our day.

We had a rose gold colour palette of pinks, creams and metallics, which was inspired by my beautiful rose gold and pink topaz engagement ring which Callum had custom made for me. The bridesmaids wore pink and gold, and the groomsmen wore grey and sky blue for Coventry City. Everything was finished off with metallic touches.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (22)

My dress was custom made by Erica Stacey Bridalwear – I like to be unique so I knew I couldn’t have something off the rail! The dress was a pale shell pink topped with white lace. It was fitted to mid-thigh when it flowed out into a long train, and sat off the shoulder with delicate lace wing sleeves. The dress was finished off with beaded embellishments and Swarovski crystal buttons down the back for a bit of sparkle. I wore it with bejewelled shoes, a custom made flower crown from Gypsy Rose Vintage and a blush tulle veil dotted with crystals.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (33)

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (26)

Callum wore a light grey suit handmade for him in Coventry. It was slim fitting with a scooped waistcoat under the jacket. He wore it with a Liberty print tie and pocket square in shades of blue.

Our bridesmaids wore pink and gold dresses by Chi Chi London, which everyone loved. The pink of their bodices matched the material of my dress, and they finished the outfit with some fresh gypsophila in their hair for a little country feel.

The groomsmen wore grey suits from The Suit Lounge in Coventry and sky blue ties to complement Callum’s Liberty print tie.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (27)

Our photographer was the super talented Amy of Shot by Amy, based in Manchester. I’ve known her since her street photography days and I am so proud to have her, not only as our wedding photographer, but as our friend. She adapted to the crazy Ukrainian wedding style like a duck to water and listened to exactly what we wanted from the day. She has such an eye for those special candid moments which are so easy to miss – we are beyond in love with the photographs she took.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (30)

I love flowers so finding the perfect florist was really important to me. We used the fabulous Ivy Florist based in Leeds. Sofia there just understood exactly what I wanted. I had a bouquet of roses, dahlias and lots of beautiful greenery as well as wheat and poppy heads for a Ukrainian touch and forget-me-nots, which remind me of my Baba (my grandma). My bridesmaids had smaller versions, and the groomsmen had roses, greenery and wheat sheaves.

Our decorations were all completely homemade and probably my favourite part of our wedding aesthetics. For months our family and friends collected glass jars and spirit bottles – we had over 200 on the day, spray painted, hand illustrated, polka-dotted, wrapped in lace and tied with twine, all completely unique and made by me and my friends. They were filled with hydrangeas, roses, snapdragons, gypsophila and daisies, from the local flower market.

The centrepieces were wooden signs made by Callum and painted by my maid of honour with the names of all our favourite pubs that have played a part in our relationship – they were set in bell jars with moss, petals, gravel and fairy lights, like a little garden. My mum sewed the gold sequin table runners, and along with my best friend’s mum she cut, sewed and dyed more than 500 meters of homemade bunting from Baba’s net curtains which we hung in the trees. The table plan was made with my granddad’s old suitcase and the confetti was made with hydrangea petals from my Baba’s garden. I hand wrote everyone’s names on paper doilies instead of place cards, and made activity packs for the children. I also created hand-illustrated signs for the menu and welcome drinks, which we displayed in antique-looking frames sprayed gold.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (32)

I’m an illustrator by day so I wanted to put my own special stamp on our wedding and so I hand-drew the design for our stationery myself, hand-illustrated everyone’s favours and wrote our favourite romantic quotes on glass jars as part of the décor. My favourite bit was probably designing our wedding guide. There are loads of traditions involved in a Ukrainian wedding so I hand-drew a ‘survival guide’ to get our guests through the day. I was inspired by the style of the Daily Prophet newspaper from Harry Potter and I put a lot of love into the detail – it was so nice to see people really getting into it!

Our wedding stationery was really important to me and as an illustrator I wanted my drawings to look as good as possible so we used Precious Design, who are a family run business that create bespoke wedding stationery, to produce our paper goods and we loved the results. They really listened when I explained my crazy ideas and they kept us in the loop for every part of the process. Everyone loved our stationery and it really set the tone for our big day.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (6)

Our favours were shot glasses which I hand-illustrated with every guest’s name, our initials and our wedding date. A key part of a Ukrainian ceremony is Perepiy – the receiving line when every single guest has a shot with the bride and groom – so it was nice that the guests had something practical! For the kids we painted wooden egg cups with their names.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (7)

Our cake was made by the talented Laura from Yolk – she is based in Hackney but it was well worth the journey for that baking! The bottom layer was Victoria sponge, the middle layer was lemon and lavender with homemade lemon curd and the top was chocolate. It was all iced with pale yellow vanilla buttercream and finished with wreaths of beautiful fresh flowers inspired by the Ukrainian floral headdress, complete with rainbow ribbons. We wanted everyone to really enjoy the cake so we had it for breakfast with our guests and a case of champagne the next morning!

As mentioned, there is a lot of drinking involved in a Ukrainian wedding so the key is to keep eating! For our wedding breakfast our guests enjoyed a hog roast and paella from a giant pan, something I’ve loved since I lived in Valencia, followed by all kinds of cakes and sweets. Polish sausage called ‘kobasa’, Ukrainian rye bread and gherkins were laid out for guests to pick on throughout the day to keep everyone going. In the evening, we served curry which is one of our favourites and had been homemade by our friends’ parents the day before. We also served traditional Ukrainian dumplings known as ‘varenyky’ which are filled with cheese and potato and served with hot onions and butter – these were all handmade months before by ladies from the Manchester Ukrainian community and frozen for the big day. They made more than 1,500 and it was a perfect chance for everyone to try a bit of Ukrainian cuisine.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (38)

We love brass bands so we were over the moon when we found Twisted Tubes, a modern brass band who play pop covers, to provide the entertainment at our wedding. They went down an absolute storm but my highlight of their set (and one of my highlights of the entire wedding) was when the musicians came onto the dancefloor with their instruments and played Spice Up Your Life around us – it was one of those once in a lifetime moments! We were also treated to a cabaret by my Ukrainian dance group, Podilya. I got to perform my own dance with some of my bridesmaids and a guest appearance by my new husband, and then all my dancer friends performed Hopak, which is the most famous Ukrainian dance. The atmosphere in the hall was electric and after they danced they got all our wedding guests up to try some moves for themselves.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (36)

We loved having our wedding at Tarasivka – the brilliant thing about it, is that it’s a blank canvas! The hall is a big space so we used a company to have it draped like a marquee which made it a lot more intimate, even though there were more than 300 people in there. It was amazing to get married in the great outdoors and I loved being able to put my own unique stamp on the venue.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (9)

People are right when they say a wedding is a magical day! There were so many amazing moments – seeing Callum for the first time, the amazing speeches by our best men, bridesmaids and our parents, dancing with all our friends to trumpets playing the Spice Girls – but one of my absolute favourites happened as soon as our ceremony ended. We turned around to walk back down the aisle and I my Baba was sat there; she’s in a care home at the moment and we didn’t think she’d be able to make the journey but my family surprised me by bringing her along! Everyone got quite emotional, especially me. We had all our favourite people there and her being a part of it was the cherry on the cake.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (41)

Autumn is a busy time for us and we wanted to enjoy every little bit of our first Christmas together so we decided to delay our honeymoon until January! We’re off to Goa for two weeks and we can’t wait for sandy beaches, beautiful seafood and fourteen days of pure chill out time together.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (39)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to live in the moment! I was really calm in the run up to the wedding but a few things stressed me out on the morning of the big day. Having a minute to myself with my new husband flipped a switch inside me that said we only get one day in our lives like this and after that I loved every minute. The little things that go wrong – and they will – will be the funny parts of your story in years to come.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (47)

Also, for our wedding we tried to use and support small businesses and I would encourage other couples to do the same. We communicated in person with all our vendors and they went above and beyond to turn our visions into a reality. Almost everything was transported from other parts of the UK but it was well worth it to say we knew exactly who made our cake, exactly who arranged our flowers, exactly who handmade our outfits – all in all it complemented our homemade wedding and made everything that bit more personal.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (45)

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sweet on you. a pretty wedding at the ashes – lisa & james

September 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

Today’s real wedding captivated us as soon as it landed in the Brides Up North inbox. Not only because it’s up there with the prettiest weddings we’ve seen, but also because so much thought and love has been poured into all the different elements of the day to ensure it is both personal & pretty!

When submitting her wedding, bride Lisa said some very kind words about our blog, which she used as the main source of guidance and inspiration for planning her own big day. We are blown away with the results and are so pleased that what we post on our pretty pages is of such use to our creative and stylish brides.

Prepare to swoon (a lot)…

With images by Helen Russell Photography.

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lisa says: We got engaged all the way back in July 2013. We used to date in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, and James proposed where we used to frequent on the cliff top ‘Lover’s Walk’ overlooking the town, on one knee with an amazing vintage inspired engagement ring! It was how I’d always imagined us getting engaged, and luckily he’d had the same idea without us ever speaking about it!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

We chose July 31st as our wedding date as we wanted a weekday summer wedding and knew for family with children the summer holidays would be best. We chose to wait two years to give us enough time to save up and have the wedding we wanted without rushing things or compromising on what we wanted, which really took the pressure off! The date is also one day after my grandparents’ wedding anniversary date, so tied that in beautifully.

We came across The Ashes venue whilst searching Derbyshire wedding venues. I’m from Derby, and the place has always been special to us, as well as the Peak District and the North of England generally being stunning anyway! As soon as we walked into the ceremony barn at The Ashes for our first viewing we knew it was where we were meant to be married, and didn’t look anywhere else, it just felt right! We wanted somewhere beautiful but with a laid back and rustic feel at the same time, and The Ashes had all of that and more.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (14)

The theme naturally evolved into an English rose/country theme the more we chose! My dress started that as it’s covered in lace and chiffon roses, and the flowers followed suit. I’m so pale I’ve always been called an English Rose anyway! James works on a farm and as a tree surgeon, so lots of the country elements were inspired by him and his job, such as incorporating lots of wood (he cut all the centrepiece tree logs himself), the wheat in the boutonnieres, and the peonies, which he grows. The venue really helped complement our choice of theme. We’re quite laid back people, so things like just having the rolled up shirts and braces and mismatched bridesmaids dresses just worked for us.

We chose pale pinks and mint greens as the colour scheme to keep things natural but pretty. The venue was a great blank canvas, with lots of natural earthy wooden and stone colours, so pinks and greens stood out as soft and summery without being too over the top and distracting.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (18)

My dress was Justin Alexander style 8711, a lace ball gown with a sweetheart neckline and cathedral length train in ivory, with lace and chiffon laser cut roses. I went into Courtyard Bridal Boutique in Kettering near where we now live to try a different Justin Alexander dress, but that one just wasn’t quite ‘the one’. I chose this to try on too while we were waiting as I loved the quirkiness of the roses, and once I tried it on and came out of the dressing room I was convinced – everyone gasped and there were a few tears! The dress was the perfect combination of fairy tale wedding with a fun quirky twist that suited us well. For the evening I switched to a Chi Chi London lace midi dress from ASOS, as I knew I couldn’t run about and dance all night in my daytime one!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

James wore a pair of grey/brown tweed trousers, with a white shirt rolled up at the sleeves, brown leather braces and brown leather shoes. All the groomsmen were similar but with different braces. This was to keep with the laid back style and just to suit us. James also wanted to show off his amazing half sleeve tattoo, which had elements inspired by our engagement, and we had hoped it was going to be a hot day (we were right!) so opted to have no jackets.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

The bridesmaids were all in pale pink, but all the dresses were completely different. I wanted them all to feel comfortable on the day, and we didn’t want the uniformed look of all girls being the same. This way they all got to pick a dress they felt suited them and their body types. The dresses were from Debenhams, BHS, and ASOS. The flower girl’s dress was from Monsoon, and she looked like an angelic little fairy princess!

Jenn Edwards hair and makeup team were on hand to help me and my bridesmaids complete our looks. Jenn and the team really put us at ease on the morning of the wedding. They were so professional and got to work right away making everyone look fabulous and were a great girly addition to the wedding morning, which should be a fun and girly part of the day. I would highly recommend!

On the morning of the wedding the girls and I got ready on site in the lovely Old Dairy cottage, which meant we didn’t require transport. For James, as a surprise a hired a DeLorean! This wasn’t in keeping with the theme of the day at all, but I wanted to do everything I could to make sure the day was as much about him and his loves as much as it was mine, and he does love that car! It collected him from where he was staying the night before and he was in total shock! It was great fun to have in the pictures too, and a once in a lifetime experience for him.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (25)

Our photographer was Helen Russell Photography. Choosing a photographer was one of the most, if not the most important element for us, as once the day is over the photos are what you have left to treasure. We wanted a photographer that had a slightly more artistic and soft almost vintage style, without being too over processed and cheesy, and after lots of Googling we found Helen! We had an amazing engagement shoot with her, and she was a joy to work with, so professional and creative. On the day she was like a wedding ninja, appearing everywhere at the right place at the right time to get some amazing shots. She captured some really great moments for us, and the images feel soft and romantic.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (31)

The flowers were all provided by Campbell’s Flowers in Sheffield. After finding them online and meeting the owner, Tracy, we knew they were the florist for us. They really care about creating the right flowers for your day, and have a wonderful fresh, handpicked feel to their arrangements. The bouquet was mostly roses, with hydrangeas, dahlias and peonies, and was a great mix of soft pastel colours. They also provided the flowers for my hair, which was perhaps one of my favourite elements of the day! The most beautiful big pale pink rose, with smaller foliage and tea roses – they just finished off my outfit and looked stunning.

The flowers used for decoration were also from Campbell’s. We had an assortment of vases for the centrepieces on the tables and windows to add to the relaxed feel, and Campbell’s filled them with gypsophila, roses and dahlias. It all just looked so fresh picked and colourful. They even filled our teapot and teacups on the top table which suits our love of tea so well! We had rose petals to decorate the aisle, and hydrangea petals for confetti.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (35)

Most of the decorations were handmade, and my good friend Angela really helped craft some of the more amazing decorations, such as our welcome sign, Mr & Mrs light up letters, and our amazing wreath for our ceremony. We had more than 70 meters of bunting in the reception barn, and lots of lovely handmade lace bunting in the ceremony barn too. We wanted little personal handmade touches everywhere to bring our personalities and love of crafts into the day, so we had handmade confetti cones and programme fans too.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (38)

We decided not to do favours on people’s places, as so often they seem to get left behind, so we opted to do napkins with personalised luggage tags and engraved wooden cookies with wheat and lavender for the tables, and had a separate table with homemade jams, honey, teabags and wild flower seeds for people to collect after the meal. That way guests could choose what they wanted to take home and nothing was wasted or left behind.

Our cake was from Pretty Fancy Cakes in Derbyshire. Faye at PFC was brilliant in listening to us describe our day and create a cake around that. It was four tiers of white icing, with the same lace piped on that was on my dress, icing peonies and petals, and our tattoo emblem (we have a matching LJ logo tattoo on both our wrists!). I also, as another surprise for James, had a Lego cake made with little Lego toppers – I know he loves Lego, and again wanted him to have special touches on the day that I knew would represent him and his hobbies.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

The wedding breakfast food was a quite traditional, an English three course meal with ratatouille tart or salmon for starters, and a choice of chicken with a duck farce, beef with a Tio Pepe reduction, or butternut squash and pecorino crumble for mains. The dessert was a selection of three mini desserts so everyone could enjoy a bit of a variety. The food was so well presented at The Ashes – Jenkinsons were the caterers. For the drinks reception we kept it laid back and fun with Pimms with fresh fruit and fruity Old Mout ciders for the summer’s day.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

As entertainment, we chose to have Dan and Jess from Replay Acoustic Duo sing throughout the day. They were a fantastic touch, as they played a great variety of non-cheesy songs from all genres with their own lovely laid back acoustic feel. Jess’ voice was angelic, and it again added to that laid back summer fun vibe.

We also had Polly’s Parlour vintage ice-cream van for an alternative to traditional canapés for the drinks reception post-ceremony. We’re big Volkswagen fans (all our tables were named after VW cars!) and Florence is such as fun and beautiful campervan. All the guests commented on how tasty and refreshing the ice-cream was, and it looked amazing in the photos, so colourful and cute.

We also chose to put on some lawn games on the grassy area and hired some huge light up ‘love’ letters for the dance floor. These were a great focal point for the day and the evening, especially as we opted to have an iPod disco rather than a DJ. Our first dance, which was a waltz (as we ballroom dance anyway) looked lovely against the sparkle of the letters.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (44)

We would definitely recommend The Ashes venue to other couples. First of all the location is stunning, the views are breath-taking and it’s immaculate inside and out! With its stone walls and wooden beams it’s a great blank canvas, no crazy carpets or curtains to try and work around, it’s just yours to play with! The other brilliant thing is that they set everything up and pack everything away for you – I can’t tell you how much of a help that was, you can just sit back and enjoy arriving on the day to everything being decorated, and at the end of the night can leave without a worry!

My favourite part of the day was our first look shoot. We knew it was something we wanted to do for a while, and we were so right to do it. It was probably the only part of the day that we got to experience just for us. No crowds of people watching. We got to keep the moment of seeing each other for the first time for ourselves, and weren’t at either ends of an aisle. We got to hug, kiss and high five and say how we felt before all the madness began! It really helped calm our nerves pre-ceremony, and made us feel like we went into the ceremony already united. We also got some lovely photo and video moments from it. I’d recommend a first look shoot to anyone considering it, as it really is a special moment to share.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (50)

We chose to visit Sri Lanka for our honeymoon. We wanted somewhere that was paradise with beauty and beaches, but also plenty to see and do, as we can’t sit still for long! This worked really well, as we spent some days lazing on the beach and by the pool with a good book and a cocktail, and some days seeing Sri Lanka, riding elephants, visiting tea and spice gardens, seeing the wildlife on boat tours, and taking in the culture. The weather and surroundings were incredible, and the people so friendly. We really got chance to unwind.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (48)

My top tip for other Brides Up North, apart from the first look shoot, would be to really enjoy the planning and the lead up to the wedding. The wedding day is just a few hours and goes so quick, so try to really stop and enjoy the time choosing lovely things with your suppliers, crafting those special details, trying on that dress, and having the family and friends time. There won’t be another time in your life like it, and it’s important to enjoy the wedding as a journey and an experience, not just for the day.

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here comes the sun. a relaxed & rustic wedding at hirst priory – lucy & ryan

September 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (37)

Whether the sun is shining outside your window today or not, this real wedding is guaranteed to brighten up your day.

Lucy and Ryan decided on a relaxed family inspired wedding at the gorgeous Hirst Priory adding simple shabby chic and rustic touches along the way. To inject just a touch of colour into the theme, Lucy carefully selected hues to reflect her flower choices, resulting in pretty yellow and blue hints in styling and attire.

It’s clearly all executed to perfection as there are so many beautiful elements to this wedding. In particular we love the maids’ cute dresses, the happy sunflowers and Lucy’s gorgeous gown.

With images by Kevin Ladden Photography.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (2)

lucy says: We got engaged on 21st December 2013 and set the wedding date for 3rd July 2015 as we knew we wanted a summer wedding.

Our chosen venue was Hirst Priory in Crowle, Scunthorpe. We searched everywhere for a perfect venue, somewhere me and my husband both could picture ourselves getting married with all our family and friends around us. We fell in love with Hirst Priory as soon as we saw the venue. It is a beautiful building with its quirks and great atmosphere – it was totally different to anything we had seen.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (4)

We went with a rustic, family inspired relaxed wedding. We love shabby chic but didn’t want to overdo it so where possible we kept the theme as natural and homemade as we could.

We didn’t have a strict colour scheme as we didn’t want everything to match. We liked the vintage shabby chic feel to things so we picked the yellow from my sunflowers and blue from Ryan’s suit and flowed those colour between neutral shades.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (5)

I wore a ball gown style wedding dress which was sand in colour with beautiful bow waist detail and ivory pearls. I fell in love with my dress the moment I saw it – the colour and style was something I’d never seen before. I really surprised myself and our guests with my choice of dress, which I purchased from Bridal Oasis in Goole.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (19)

Ryan wore a bright blue three piece suit from Burtons with a handmade yellow bow tie and pocket square from Hattie’s Attic. The groomsmen’s suits were also from Burtons.

My bridesmaids wore a Chi Chi London maxi dresses in a pale hue.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (21)

As I stayed at the venue the night before the wedding I didn’t require any transport, but Ryan arrived in a fire engine from the local village, which he first joined the service in.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (23)

We asked Ryan’s stepdad Kevin Ladden, if he would take our wedding photographs as we knew that knowing our photographer would make us feel more at ease in front of the camera. We have seen other weddings he has shot and we liked the relaxed not overly posed style, which suited us best.

He also took us for a pre-wedding shoot which went great and made the wedding photography so much more relaxed. I know we are biased but the photos speak for themselves. We’re sure anybody would be happy to have him as their wedding photographer.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (44)

My bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were made up of sunflowers, daisies and gypsophila, created by a local florist in our home town.

Blush Venue Décor decorated Hirst Priory beautifully for us, better than we could have imagined and they were so helpful.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (38)

Jam jars adorned with lace and twine, which were provided by Angels Boutique in Epworth, were used for decoration with fairy lights and a selection of gypsophila placed inside them. Lots of candles and ivory from the grounds were also used.

Our centre pieces were made using wedding pictures of our closet family members and the wedding year was used as our table numbers, starting from 1928!

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (10)

As our favours we served Pimms inside mason jars and let the guests take the glasses home with them – they loved this idea!

Our wedding cake was a three tiered naked cake decorated with flowers and fruit to fit in with the rustic feel of the day.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (11)

For our wedding breakfast, we had afternoon tea complete with vintage china and a selection of sandwiches, mini beef and horseradish Yorkshire puddings, hot and cold quiches and pastries. This was followed by mini deserts. The vintage afternoon tea looked so beautiful and was different to what is normally served up at weddings. In the evening we had a ‘Yorkshire Table’ which consisted of a large selection of cheeses, pickles, fresh meats and savouries.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (12)

To keep our guests entertained, we had a local folk band preform during the evening called Ramble Gamble. We felt we wanted a band that expressed us as a couple and the general feel of the wedding. We also had a range of garden games in the priory grounds, which went down really well with our guests, particularly the giant Jenga!

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (30)

We would certainly recommend our wedding venue to others. It’s a beautiful place, with stunning grounds and venue owners are always there to help.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (47)

Highlights of the wedding day for us, were the ceremony, the band and the afternoon tea.

We went to Lake Garda on honeymoon last month. It’s a place we’ve both always wanted to visit.

A Sunshine Wedding at Hirst Priory (c) Kevin Ladden Photography (49)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to spend as much time with your partner as possible because the day goes far too quickly.

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