Hardwick Hall Grand Wedding Exhibition
Charlotte Balbier

rustic romance. roses & gypsophila for a relaxed wedding in yorkshire – jo & ashley

September 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (18)

Today’s ‘I dos’ took place in an area of Yorkshire I know well, which enjoys stunning rural views providing the perfect backdrop for a romantic & relaxed wedding.

Unfortunately Ashley and Jo encountered most couples’ biggest fear on their wedding day – rain – but they didn’t let it dampen their spirits as can be seen in the photos. The positive pair still enjoyed some outdoor snaps before heading to their rustic barn reception for some comforting food, and a good old dance. Good for you guys!

With images by Diamonds and Doodles.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (3)

jo says: We got engaged in November 2013 on our dream holiday in Mexico, it was sunset and we were just walking on the beach and Ash got down on one knee. We were going on the Cancun bar crawl that evening and celebrated on that with lots of free drinks! We had been together for ten years so the engagement was a long time coming!

We set the date for Saturday 2nd May 2015. A lot of our friends were getting married that year so we had to plan around them.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (10)

We got married at St Nicholas Church at High Bradfield. We wanted to continue the tradition as my parents were married there, as well as other members of my family. I was also christened there and grew up in that area. We loved the setting and the views, it’s just a really pretty place. Our reception was at Cubley Hall, Penistone.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (11)

The wedding had a rustic/homemade style to it as we wanted to do a lot of it ourselves. Although we had a traditional wedding we did want it to be quite laid back and relaxed. We had a lot of bunting, hessian and lace, our reception was in a barn with bare stone walls and beams. This all added to the rustic theme.

In terms of colours, we had pinks, purples, greys and nudes. We didn’t want everything to have match to one colour so went for a palette of colours instead.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (12)

My dress was a white design with ruffles and a little sparkle too, which I found in Mirage Couture, near Sheffield. It ended up black underneath on the wedding day due to the rain and mud but still looked white and shimmery on top – thankfully no one could see the soggy muddy layers underneath!

Ashley wore a navy suit with pale grey and white spotty tie and pocket square, which he got from Next. The groomsmen all wore the same as him.

Our five bridesmaids all wore floaty dresses in different colours. This was a good job as four of them were pregnant at some point during the wedding planning so fitting the dresses was a nightmare. Luckily we had understanding and patient dress maker at Something New, based in Barnsley.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (17)

We both travelled to the church in a Rolls Royce and then travelled onto the reception venue in a Daimler. The Rolls Royce took our parents to the reception venue from the church, which was a nice touch, the families joining together. Both cars were hired from Fairytale Wedding Cars.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (20)

Our photographer was Shelley of Diamonds and Doodles. We found her just on Google and fell in love with her natural shots in her portfolio. We also were very excited about the homemade album saving bits and bobs from the day. She was very relaxed and easy going, she didn’t mind getting rained on and braved the horrible weather on the day! Everyone commented to us about her – she just mingled in with everyone, also the group photos didn’t feel like a chore or take over the day. I would most definitely recommend her!

We also had a video done on our wedding day by Mike and Tom of One Wedding. This was our treat as it isn’t cheap but watching back the DVD it was totally worth it. Plus I’m sure we will look back on it on our 50th wedding anniversary and be glad we did it!

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (25)

The bridesmaids’ flowers were a smaller version of the flowers I carried. They were lilac, grey and nude roses with gypsophila and eucalyptus leaves. The button holes were a grey/lilac rose with a leave and a sprig of gypsophila. All the flowers came from one of our bridesmaid’s cousin’s shop – Daisychain, who also helped to decorate the venue. They covered two silver candelabras I bought for our top table, using the same flowers as in the bouquets.

My mum and I had spent a lot of time saving jam jars and decorating them with hessian, lace, string and buttons prior to the wedding, which we also used to decorate. We put candles in them and dotted them around the reception barn.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (33)

As favours we got everyone a scratch card and some love hearts sweets – we had the wrapper personalised with our names and wedding date.

We had a three tier wedding cake consisting of chocolate, lemon and Victoria sponge. We also had a cutting block of fruit cake for the older generation! It was simply decorated with white icing: one tier stripy, one tier spotty and one tier plain, finished off with some flowers in our theme colours on the top. It was made by a lady who lives across the road from us (which was very convenient), called Judy.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (36)

To provide the evening entertainment we hired a DJ and gave him a big list of songs that we knew would get the dance floor filled! We also got some props in a photo booth style for guests to play with, and some signs with ‘Team Bride’ and ‘Team Groom’ on that caused some heated discussions!

As a special touch we also had photos of our parents on their wedding days in frames at our reception. Ashley’s dad passed away when he was 15 so it was our way of involving him in the day.

(It also embarrassed our parents with their dodgy outfits and hair dos!)

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (42)

I would certainly recommend our venue to other couples. The wedding planner Sandra was brilliant – I’m really indecisive but Sandra made it really easy! It was reasonably priced and the bar was reasonably priced too. The menus we chose our wedding breakfast from had a huge choice and the portions were generous. All staff at the venue pulled together and you really felt like everyone pitched in and wanted to help make your day go well.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (43)

The ceremony was our favourite part of the day. We were not regular church goers but in the run up to the wedding we went once a month, it got us used to the setting and the vicar so we felt really relaxed during the ceremony and not nervous at all. We said our vows to each other – not the floor, or the vicar – we looked at each other and that was really important to us.

A Romantic Real Wedding (c) Shelley Hughes (44)

For our honeymoon we jetted off to Jamaica – it was amazing! The food, people, weather, hotel and trips were all brilliant. For the first few days we just chilled after all the stress and build-up of the wedding we were ready for a rest. Then we explored the island and it was such fun.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – don’t let the planning take over your life. Do what the two of you want to do, not what you think everyone else wants you to do. Spend time on the day together, especially rocking the dance floor at the end of the night. Spend your money on the right things. You only do this once – so enjoy it! Also, don’t worry if it rains. We were so worried about the weather, and it was horrible on our wedding day – really cold, rainy and windy. It didn’t spoil anything other than the dress though!

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Muted Elegance: A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Charlotte & Daniel

December 15th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Wedding in York by Diamonds & Doodles

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Charlotte and Daniel’s simple celebration with it’s muted and moody colour scheme was all about one thing: keeping it real.  Their pretty and personal wedding day focused on the ceremony and the people around them because, when all is said and done, isn’t that what really matters?

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That, and one stunning wedding gown.  Obvs. 

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With images by Shelley Hughes of Diamonds & Doodles

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A Wedding in Yorkhire by Diamonds & Doodles

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Charlotte says:  We got engaged at Castle Howard – walking in the grounds in April 2011 – and were married on 12th August 2012 at Fairfield Manor, Mercure Hotel, York. 

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We wanted a hotel wedding and this hotel had some lovely grounds compared to some of the city centre hotels and was only just outside of York so people could easily get there. It also had plenty of parking, again in contrast to some of the city centre hotels. The staff were all great from the beginning and clearly knew what they were doing, with plenty of experience.

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We decided against a theme and aimed for a fairly relaxed day with a hint of the traditional wedding.  We chose a muted colour scheme of dark purple and gold.

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My dress was a slim-fitting dress, with straps that crossed over at the back from The Bridal Lounge in York. It had some beading design on the straps and under the bust. The dress was called ‘Jazz’.   I carried a small hand tied bunch of purple and cream flowers including freesias by Kymm Queen who designed the table flowers to match.   

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We didn’t have any bridesmaids.  The groomsmen wore their own suits and wore matching gold ties. Daniel’s suit was from Marks and Spencer

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My favourite part of the day was the ceremony.  For us the whole day was all about us getting married and we had carefully chosen readings for our closest friends and family to read.  We weren’t too worried about all the other details as we knew the hotel had taken care of all that.

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I made my own invitations, menu cards, table name cards, seating plan and favours.  We wanted the day to be really personal.  Daniel, his best man, the father of the bride, the bride and the father of the groom all made really lovely speeches after the meal.

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Our cake was made by Daniel’s godmother; it was a circular, two layered sponge cake with marzipan and icing with a purple ribbon around each layer. We asked the florist to put flowers on the top.

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Sao Raphael in Portugal. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to really enjoy the day – make sure you invite your closest friends and family. Be prepared to be a little overwhelmed though!  Make your day about the getting married and the ceremony and don’t worry about all the other details – they will all come together by the end. 

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Congratulations Charlotte & Daniel!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North. Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2012 Shelley Hughes at Diamonds & Doodles

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