Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

baby it’s cold outside. a fun-filled winter wedding at fishlake mill – sammi & andy

June 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Winter Wedding at Fishlake Mill (c) Lara Frost Photography (18)

Quirky and fun was the order of the day for teacher couple Andy and Sammi’s winter wedding. After an early morning visit to the registry office decked out in Christmas jumpers, this unconventional pair headed to 18th century corn mill, Fishlake Mill, for their stunning outdoor ceremony lit by candles and fairy lights.

Guests enjoyed a hog roast, a shot cake, hot chocolate and mulled wine and the entertainment just kept coming with a live band, a magician, photobooth and a string quartet. Phew – sounds exhausting!

No wonder bride Sammi says it was all a “bit of a blur’”. Here, she tells us more…

With images by Lara Frost Photography.

A Winter Wedding at Fishlake Mill (c) Lara Frost Photography (6)

sammi says: We got engaged in the Lake District. We’ve been visiting the Lake District during October half-term with family every year since we met, and hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.

On this particular visit, we had a week with family and then a week on our own. On one of the days it was particularly sunny, so we went on a long walk around Elterwater. Looking back, the day was filled with many opportunities for a beautiful proposal up on the moors with stunning views. After sitting on a rocky ledge admiring the countryside with the sun setting for an abnormally long amount of time and a very tense Andy… we went home.

Following this, we then went to an incredible Michelin starred restaurant (which was amazing despite feeling slightly out of place with our strong Yorkshire accents – barely understood by the poor waiter – and complete cluelessness about half of the items on the menu which led to a lot of nodding and smiling). Not that we were too concerned though, as a few drinks helped us blend into our swanky surroundings rather quickly – in our eyes. It was a fantastic evening and has left us with lots of memories. Still no ring though…

Finally, on the journey home, I was really cold and asked to borrow Andy’s coat. He refused, because of the ring in his pocket. As we got to the edge of the lake where our lodge was, he got down on one knee and proposed. Although it wasn’t quite what he’d originally planned, it was still perfect.

A Winter Wedding at Fishlake Mill (c) Lara Frost Photography (15)

Our wedding date was 21st December 2016. We chose the date partly because it fitted with the school holidays – we’re both teachers – and partly because we liked the idea of a winter wedding but mostly because we loved the idea of getting married as the sun was setting with lots of fairy lights and candles (and a more flattering light for photos).

We got married at Fishlake Mill in South Yorkshire, as they had a beautiful pagoda and would let us have our ceremony outside in mid-December – no matter what the weather (we were hoping for the best). We did the legal bit at the registry office early that morning with two witnesses, all dressed in Christmas jumpers. We didn’t consider this as our ‘official’ ceremony, although it technically was.

A Winter Wedding at Fishlake Mill (c) Lara Frost Photography (14)

To us, our ‘actual’ ceremony was led by a close family friend, Andrea Bonser, a celebrant who made our ceremony quirky and humorous – perfect, we thought, to reflect us. Also, she too was willing to marry us at 3.45pm, outside, mid-December no matter the weather.

The theme? As I said, we were going for quirky and fun. Hopefully it came across like that, anyway. We aimed for a less formal affair than normal, starting our wedding at 3.45pm and, rather than a sit down meal, we had a hog roast. We changed quite a lot of the traditional elements; instead of a fruit cake, for example, we had a ‘shot’ cake, which seemed to go down well and certainly settled our nerves.

A Winter Wedding at Fishlake Mill (c) Lara Frost Photography (22)

I wore an ivory drop-waist dress from It’s Bliss Bridalwear. I chose it as I thought it was wintery in style and matched our loose theme quite well. For shoes, I wore black sparkly wellies and warm, fluffy socks when outside and some little sparkly heels for inside.

Andy wore a tweed three-piece suit and a bow tie from Moss Bros.

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: Big Tops, Bunting, VW Bugs & A Pretty Piggy! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Lysette & Michael

December 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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Am I spoiling you this week or what?! I have another beautiful Real Wedding to share with you this morning sent to me by Shelly of Toast and real bride Lysette.  Now I see a lot of DIY weddings, but Lysette and her family have some serious skills in this department.  Just check out the cake, table decorations and sweetie table!  Professional standard stuff.

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Watch out for all the delectable details in this fabulous affair, not least the appearance of one perfectly groomed little piggy!

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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Lysette says:  Michael asked me to marry his on holiday in Turkey in 2009, and we tied the knot on 26th May 2012.  Our Ceremony was held at Cusworth Hall and after drinks, photos and playing with a baby pig on a lead we went on to Fishlake Mill.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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We actually chose our reception venue first, Fishlake Mill. The setting was perfect with picturesque rolling fields that go on for miles. It is a beautiful venue that’s both sophisticated yet relaxed. We were eager to be able to put our own stamp on a venue and at the Mill we were able to do that. Graham and Sheena pretty much gave us a free rein to decorate and really welcomed us making us feel at home. As well as the beautiful setting, the windmill itself is truly awesome- a beautiful place to spend our first night as husband and wife. Another bonus for me personal was the presence of animals; horses, peacocks, ducks and even a goat.

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Cusworth Hall was also an easy choice as it is by far the best place in the area for a non religious wedding. As it is simple the most amazing backdrop for photographs.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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We had a bit of an English tea party theme: teapots, teacups and tons of bunting, with purple and florals as our colour scheme. 

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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I bought my dress from Jaynes of Doncaster- It’s an amazing dramatic fishtail style dress. I loved it because of the unusual colour and the masses of detail.

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My mum made my beautiful crystal & pearl bouquet which included family heirlooms, buttons and brooches. I love that I can keep it forever and if I wanted to in the future I could make it back into jewellery.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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I love my bridesmaids dresses almost as much as my own dress. I sourced the material and explained the 50’s style I wanted and then Kelly at Be Envied Bridal Wear made them.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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I travelled to the ceremony in a 1979 convertible VW beetle in white. I kept the roof up on the way there. Although after the ceremony I was persuaded to through caution to the wind, forget about my hair and have the roof down. Which was loads of fun and totally worth the mess it made of my hair. The bridesmaids went in a 1967 VW split screen campervan which was fabbo. Both were supplied by Chris at Timeless Classic. 

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Confetti Cones filled with real delphinium petals handed out by the bridesmaids after ceremony.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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As I am a girl that loves to be in control and hates surprises, I am amazed to say that my two of my favourite parts of my wedding day were surprises. The moment I saw the amazing little pig Lara, that had come to see me on my special day. I love pigs and always have, as a surprise, my mum and Aunty had arranged for a baby pig on a lead to be there after the ceremony. A little bizarre, I know, but it made me (and some of my guests), smile.

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Receiving a surprise gift from my husband- beautiful purple floral Irregular Choice shoes that he had begged to be made for my giant size 9 feet years ago, they finally have started making them!

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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All decorations were sourced and created by my mum, my sister and I. Everything from flowers and favours to name cards and table decorations.

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Our Fingerprint Tree guest book was made by my sister, the guests seemed to like their getting the hands dirty to contribute towards a keepsake for us.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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We set out lots of garden games including, Jenga, Connect Four and Skittles which was fun for all during the quiet times in between the formal parts of the day.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds   A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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Mike’s Father made a red post box for any cards to be deposited into. This received endless compliments and was perfect for us as I was a post lady when Mike and I got together.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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Everyone from the flower girls to the grandparents enjoyed our sweetie table! Mis-matched jars were collected which we filled with various treats for our guests to help themselves.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds   A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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I made my own cake in various shades of purple, with vintage buttons and a giant teapot to top it off. It was made of brandy soaked fruit cake, victoria sponge and chocolate cake.  Being real foodies, to ensure no one went hungry, Mike insisted we had a three tier pork pie cake consisting of three different flavours.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds   A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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Madison are a three piece band from Liverpool (madisonparty.co.uk) they kept the dance floor full all night and really made the evening perfect. They even let my sister sing with them, one of my favourite songs “Ironic” by Alanis Morisette, which really meant a lot to me and my family. To keep people dancing when in between the band’s sets, we had one of Mike’s close friends who is a nightclub DJ- Matt Goodwin, who really worked hard to keep everything running smoothly.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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We have to give a mention to our photographer – Shelly from Toast – she came along all day and “blended in” so well.  So many people mentioned how good she was, and the photo booth she brought along was great fun!

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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After the wedding, we went on a mini tour of Italy starting in Venice and moving south to Rome, Naples, Sorrento and Capri. It was truly amazing and we did not want to come home.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan well ahead and delegate to bridesmaids, family and friends so that you can relax and enjoy your wedding day. 

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My vintage tea party style wedding was very DIY which enabled me to get exactly what I wanted within budget. It also gave me an immense sense of pride to see everything we’ve done come together so beautifully. I’d definitely recommend brides have a go at a bit of DIY, but don’t forget to stop and relax the day/morning before your wedding.

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A Real Wedding at Fishlake Mill by Toast Of Leeds

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Congratulations Lysette & Mike!

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Are you newly wed?  Contact me to share your Real Wedding with Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Toast

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