Charlotte Balbier

forest fantastical. cabotine for a spring wedding at east riddlesden hall – christina & nick

August 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Spring Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) Bethany Clarke (44)

The weekend may have come to an end but we’re going to do our very best to distract you from those Monday blues with this all-natural affair, courtesy of outdoors-loving couple Christina and Nick. There’s British-grown blooms, undone hair and a strawberry flower crown against the beautiful backdrop of East Riddlesden Hall and Barn. They describe their theme as ‘Fairy Potting Shed’ and they’ve got it bang on – the everyday beauty of an English country garden with just a touch of magic dust.

This pair are true romantics, and made every decision for their big day together – Christina even called Nick to check out her Cabotine dress and he shed a few tears along with her mum when she stepped out of the dressing room. And after hearing about his dreamy proposal – a night-time drive, a teal moonlit sky, a cup of tea and a glass of Champagne – we’ve gotta hand it to him: this guy gets romance.

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Lloyd-Clarke Photography.

A Spring Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) Bethany Clarke (26)

christina says: Nick finally asked the special question on Friday 22nd May 2015. We’d been together for 11 years but we hadn’t been in a position where we could afford a wedding! He had the perfect ring, and the perfect girl (his words!), but finding the perfect location to get on one knee proved more difficult. In the end, he waited for a clear night, when the twilight turned the sky a stunning shade of teal and asked me if I fancied a drive. He then drove us to the top of a tall hill near our place to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge. Under the moon and stars we stood in a field and he dropped to one knee and asked the question. I said yes and we hugged in the moonlight, before hurrying home to warm up with a cup of tea and a glass of bubbly. It wasn’t grand, it wasn’t extravagant but it was very ‘us’, and every time the sky turns the same colour on a clear evening, it reminds us both of that special moment!

A Spring Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) Bethany Clarke (9)

We were married on Sunday, May 14th 2017. We’d had our hearts set on a spring wedding for a long time: we’re both nature lovers and we had noticed that May in Yorkshire had been sunny and fairly warm for the past few years. Ultimately, we chose a Sunday because we were trying to stick to a budget and, as luck would have it, our venue had a lower rate for Sunday weddings.

We had a civil ceremony and our reception at the barn at East Riddlesden Hall. There’s something magical about the place; the very first time we visited East Ridds with some friends a few years ago we glanced inside the barn and something clicked with both of us. We looked at quite a few wedding venues after Nick proposed, but found ourselves comparing them to the barn each time – and the barn always won! The wedding barn is such a beautiful building; the perfect complement to the country springtime wedding we envisaged. The National Trust wedding team were always friendly and helpful and answered all of our (many) questions when we were trying to make the decision.

A Spring Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) Bethany Clarke (12)

Our theme was loosely based around springtime flowers, country meadows, and wildlife/nature. We decided to call it the ‘Fairy Potting Shed’ theme! Ultimately, we wanted our wedding to make the most of and celebrate spring. It’s such an exciting and invigorating time of year; nature is coming alive, bees are buzzing around and the natural colour palette in woodlands and meadows becomes diverse and beautiful. We both liked the idea of celebrating nature and all things which grow.

We didn’t really have a set colour scheme; we were so pleased with the natural rustic beauty of the venue that we didn’t feel the need to overdress it. We were very pleased that our seasonal floral displays complemented the venue so beautifully.

A Spring Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) Bethany Clarke (25)

I found wedding dress shopping very difficult – I thought that what I wanted didn’t exist. Most of the dress shops I visited reinforced my fears or were way beyond my budget. But with a stroke of luck, I eventually found my wedding dress at the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium in Halifax.

I was originally looking for an A-line wedding dress with a very flowy skirt to complement my hourglass figure. I wanted it to be as simple and timeless as possible, without any beadwork or embellishment. I found this to be a lot more difficult than I’d anticipated!

I happened upon the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium by accident. At the time, me and my mum were searching for a ‘mother of the bride’ outfit. While my mum was trying on outfits I took a wander into the wedding dress section. I had a look at the one-off dresses and discovered a stunning and unique dress by Cabotine. I was a bit lost at this stage – having seen so many dresses I felt quite dazed, but there was something about this dress that just seemed right. It might shock some of your readers (I know our families were a bit stunned!), but I called Nick to come along to see what he thought. I don’t regret this decision at all; we ended up having a lovely moment. Nick saw me in the dress, and shed a few tears, as did my mum…and I knew that this was the dress for me! Leanne who owns the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium was wonderful from start to finish. She gave me the space to make the decision, and expelled all of my anxieties and fears with her expert knowledge and a dose of humanity and humour which I felt was missing from many of my other dress shopping experiences. She arranged alterations by an independent seamstress, and on the day the dress was a perfect fit.

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