Charlotte Balbier

perfect pastels. claire pettibone for a relaxed & elegant wedding at samlesbury hall – donna & ric

August 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (34)

This is another one if those weddings that’s so pretty we actually gasped when we first saw the images.

We adore Donna’s choice of a delicate lace Claire Pettibone dress, which complements her soft colour scheme of pale cornflower blue and antique pink to a tee.

Keeping things simple, Donna and Ric didn’t go OTT with their décor, instead opting for dreamy floral arrangements to bring the colour and leaving the rest of the detail to the venue. For us, this is pure perfection!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (6)

donna says: We got engaged in May 2014 on our hotel balcony in Montmartre, Paris. Ric was hoping to pop the question in Jardins du Luxembourg earlier in the day during a picnic, but as it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday in Paris, there were crowds and never quite the right moment! We celebrated on Monday with a gastro lunch on Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine, which was fantastic.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

We set the date for 18th July 2015, hoping for a sunny summer’s day and our chosen venue, Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, only had two Saturday dates left in 2015.

We chose the venue as we wanted a civil ceremony, and also somewhere with history and where we could show our family in years to come. As a historic home with bags of character and a really welcoming team, we knew Samlesbury was for us. The Whittaker Room where we were married was the old family chapel of the family that used to live there, so felt so special and unique.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

We didn’t want a clear theme as such. However, soon into planning our marriage, we tended to like vintage glamour, antique type styles. We also wanted to reflect the summer and a relaxed, elegant style. We also noticed a ‘scallop’ theme emerging in our choices – our stationery pattern, the lace in my dress and my jewellery.

Our colour scheme was pale cornflower blue (Dessy – Larkspur) and pale antique pink. We both love cornflower, and it fitted perfectly against the backdrop of Samlesbury’s black and white buildings and green lawns.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (12)

A wonderful friend of ours Nikki Graeme is director of The White Closet in West Didsbury, and it was top of my list for dress shopping! I did look at a number of different designs before making my choice. The new gown Estelle in Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection just felt right as soon as I tried it on. I wanted something that was light and comfortable whilst also elegant with a touch of glamour. When I tried it on Sweet Disposition came on the radio and I found myself twirling around in the dressing room, so I knew it was the one!

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (15)

Ric and the ushers wore ties and pocket squares from Dessy and hired navy three piece suits from Youngs at Debenhams.

My two bridesmaids Imogen and Jen wore knee length Dessy dresses in Larkspur and our flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with netted skirts with Dessy accessories to match the older bridesmaids.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (20)

Our hair and makeup artists was Nathan Hynes. We couldn’t recommend him enough, such a lovely friendly guy and really creative and talented with hair and makeup using Charlotte Tilbury products.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (22)

On the day of the wedding, my mum, two bridesmaids and I travelled in a silver Bentley Flying Spur from David Anthony Chauffeur Services in Manchester. They were wonderful and incredibly reliable and professional.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (23)

Hayley Baxter was our photographer and she was truly exceptional. From the moment we met Hayley on our pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey, we felt totally relaxed in her company, and really confident in her professionalism and technical skills.

On the big day Hayley arrived at our home whilst we were having hair and make-up done, she subtly starting capturing special moments, and felt like part of the day immediately. Hayley was so discreet, yet in these quiet moments was brilliantly capturing the details of the day. Hayley has a real knack of making sure the photographs progress swiftly, whilst being charming and friendly and put all our family and friends at ease. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (26)

I had a loose bouquet of summer flowers, including peonies and roses. I cried when I saw them, they were so beautiful! We also had a flower arch over the doorway at Samlesbury Hall which looked beautiful too. The Flower Lounge provided these as well as our floral decorations for the reception. We had silver candelabras with the same theme of peonies and roses on each of our top tables.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

We used Amanda at Love Invited, who was wonderful, for all our stationery using her ‘Hollywood Glamour’ designs. She was thoroughly professional and the quality of her stationery was fantastic.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (30)

To continue our Parisian theme we gave our guests favours of colourful sweet Macaroons from Sam Joseph chocolatiers in Altrincham Market. They are a local supplier who we had seen at our local market and their macaroons were exquisite!

For our wedding cake, we decided to go for a simple iced sponge cake with three tiers of different flavours: orange and raspberry, blueberry and walnut, and lemon on top. This again was from a local supplier who we have tried and tested in the past from visits to The White Closet – The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon on Burton Road. We chose a ‘The Smiths’ cake topper from Not on the High Street for a bit of fun.

There was plenty of choice on the wedding breakfast menu from Samlesbury’s chef. At our tasting we loved the lamb, so this was an obvious choice for us. Starters and dessert were a bit more of a challenge, however we went for a summery Caprese salad with parma ham to start, and finished with our favourite – an unseasonal sticky toffee pudding!

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (31)

Music was a really important element of the wedding to us and so we chose John Gilmore to play live Saxophone outside on the lawn during our canapés. We also chose songs during signing of the register and walking back down the aisle which were light hearted and set the mood of the day – happiness and celebrations.

Rick Cropper was our DJ for the evening entertainment. We met him back in September at Samlesbury Hall and were impressed by his friendly relaxed style. The dance floor was busy all night! We provided some fun kiddies packs for the little ones to keep them entertained too.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (32)

My favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of family and friends and looking into Ric’s eyes – it was magical. For Ric it was (apparently) me walking down the aisle with my dad Peter! And the first dance, which was lots of fun and very improvised.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (39)

Following the wedding, we had a lovely relaxing minimoon in North Yorkshire, near Helmsley, in a little cottage. We are lucky enough to be visiting South Africa (Safari, Capetown and the Winelands) and Dubai next month for a longer break.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (45)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that however challenging the planning might feel at times (when working long hours and decorating a new house, it can be tough) it will all be worth it the moment your day begins and all your hard work and vision pays off. You should relax and enjoy it – a few people commented that we both seemed very relaxed and involved in enjoying our day. That was absolutely the case and this was due to wonderful suppliers and time invested up front.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (48)

My other top tip would be to leave a couple of days before the wedding when you literally are all planned out and have time to relax. We finished all of the final details the weekend before so I had two days with my bridesmaids and my mum and had time to write cards, wrap presents and be pampered!

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crafted with care. a pretty homemade wedding at priory cottages – jenny & james

August 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (51)

Today’s real wedding is yet another carefully crafted beauty with lots of pretty homemade and personal touches created by talented bride Jenny, along with the help of her equally talented family.

Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire provided the perfect backdrop for the rustic theme Jenny had in mind, which featured lots of beautiful blooms in sweet, sugary tones.

And it wasn’t just the décor that the bride got crafty with, as Jenny made her own hair flower accessory and gorgeous statement necklace to complete her modern big day look. Fabulous work girl!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (3)

jenny says: We got engaged in Malta. James and I love our cheeky getaways. I had no idea that on this particular one he planned to propose, it was such a lovely surprise! The proposal was very ‘us’ – low key and nothing extravagant. It was our first full day there, we were having a great day exploring the town, lunch and drinks by the sea and we had headed back to our hotel to get ready for the evening and have a few drinks on the balcony. I remember laughing and joking and saying what a perfect start to the holiday it had been, next thing I know James had disappeared and when he returned he was down on one knee asking if I’d be his wifey – it was perfect!

We chose to get married on 13th June 2015 as it was exactly two years to the date we got engaged.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

Our chosen venue was The Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire. Working in the wedding industry myself I read a lot of wedding blogs. This venue has always stood out to me as something special and it was the first place I mentioned to James when we got engaged. When we went to take a look around, I fell more in love with it and James had a cheeky little smile on his face. We both knew it was perfect and could see our special day taking place there.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (1)

We didn’t have a theme as such, but I have always wanted a ‘handmade’ wedding. I love making things and being creative so I literally saw it as a blank canvas that I could do all the things I love to. The result was quite a rustic-styled day.

We were not really strict on a colour scheme; it kind of just fell into place. I always wanted the boys to wear blue suits as I just think they look great. This helped me to decide on nude tones for the girls’ dresses then I pulled in my two favourite colours – coral and mint – and combined it with lots of peaches and whites.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

My dress was literally the dress I always said I would never wear! So many of my friends said to me before I started looking to keep an open mind but I went to one bridal shop in particular because they stocked a gorgeous Mori Lee gown I had pinned as my dream dress for the past five or so years, even before we were engaged! I tried it on and whilst it was nice, it wasn’t wow. The lovely lady in the bridal shop made me try on ‘the dress’ just to see what it looked like. I wasn’t keen but I tried it on and it felt amazing! It made my mum cry so I knew it was the one!

To go with my dress, I scoured the internet and shops constantly to find the perfect hair flower. I couldn’t find one that I liked in the end so I thought why not make my own! I created it using some gorgeous silk flowers from Country Baskets, a hair slide and some small brooches to sit inside the flowers as the centre. I bound it with florist wire and ribbon. I also created a statement necklace by combining two necklaces from Marks & Spencer. I wore my outfit with some gold Kurt Geiger shoes.

My hairdresser’s partner specialises in wedding hair (they work at Fusion Hair Design) so he did mine and the girls’ hair. He did a fantastic job! My cousin Abi is a makeup artist so she did our makeup. Abi is so talented at what she does and I was so pleased with the finished look. The bridesmaids looked stunning and it lasted all day despite the hot weather.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (24)

We wanted to buy suits rather than hire. James wore a three piece from Slaters. It was a very fine puppytooth patterned blue suit. He wore with a tailored white shirt and a pale pink tie to match the bridesmaids. On his feet he wore some tan brogues which complemented the suit perfectly. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes as James but wore with a matching blue tie instead of pink.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

The girls wore gorgeous pale pink dresses from Untold at House of Fraser. I wanted to get something they could wear again rather than a traditional bridesmaid dress. They were teamed with gold heels similar to mine from New Look.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (35)

Hayley Baxter was our photographer. When we initially began looking we were steering clear of the very formal styles as we both are not the biggest fan of being photographed and much prefer the more relaxed, creative style that Hayley produced.

We would 100% recommend Hayley. She has such a lovely personality – very warm and friendly. She instantly made us both feel at ease like we’d known her for years and she managed to produce the most amazing collection of natural photographs that we really never thought would be possible!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (38)

I had the bright idea of doing all the wedding flowers myself soon after we got engaged. I spent months and months researching and trying to figure out how it would work and eventually came across an amazing woman through a website called Flowers from the Farm. Gill runs her own flower farm not far from where we live so after a quick visit to see her and discuss, everything was confirmed and I was all set to pick up eight big buckets of freshly cut flowers two days before the wedding.

I really enjoyed making the bouquets and buttonholes. I used roses in peach and pink shades with white peonies and coral berries to add more colour. I finished them with some foliage and wrapped with jute string. For the buttonholes I used blues and green. The focal flower was nigella, which I absolutely love! I wrapped them with a small piece of hessian and they were secured with a heart pin.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (18)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (8)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (15)

For the table centrepieces my dad made us some amazing wooden log stands on two levels. I decorated and sprayed bottles with lace, hessian, ribbon and filled with flowers. Also I decorated jam jars as tea light holders and made hessian table circles for everything to sit on decorated with hearts punched from woodgrain card, Kraft card and an atlas. For the top table we had a hollowed out log filled with the left over flowers that my aunties helped with the day before – it looked amazing and was one of my favourite pieces from the day!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (39)

I have my own wedding stationery business, Only by Knight, so I created all the on-the-day stationery/invites etc. myself.

My dad wanted to bring a little bit of Liverpool to our Yorkshire wedding so we gave the gents a Liverpool ale as favours and the ladies got a bottle of fizz.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

We had the most amazing wedding cake. I’m lucky enough to have a very creative family; it must run in our blood! My cousin runs a small cake business, Betty and Junes Bakery. She is amazing, super talented and I knew straight away I wanted her to make our cake as her creativity is endless!

I’m not the biggest fan of traditional wedding cakes so straight away knew I’d want something a little different. I love the hand painted cake styles and to fit in with our rustic theme we decided we would like the tiers to resemble logs. That was literally the brief I gave to Katie and she really excelled! It was absolutely exquisite from the cute love heart to the handmade sugar flowers. Each tier of the cake was a different flavour; we had lemon drizzle with jam and butter cream, raspberry and white chocolate and a chocolate layer. It was finished up with some fresh flowers and a laser cut cake topper that I sourced from Etsy.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (47)

We used Taste Cuisine as our caterers. They are really are amazing at what they do. James is from Leeds and I am originally from Liverpool so for the canapés we had mini ‘pans’ of scouse and beef with Yorkshire puds along with a couple of others. For the wedding breakfast we had a Greek mezze platter, followed by lamb shank then a mix of two desserts (three layer chocolate torte and white chocolate cheesecake) as they were just too good to choose between!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (53)

Straight away we knew we wanted a band to provide entertainment. I stumbled across The One Step through Warble Entertainment and I was just drawn towards them. The lead singer Nick also did acoustic sets so we had him singing through the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast. Our friends and family absolutely loved him. They were great as a three piece too. Everyone was up dancing and having fun, and we especially enjoyed our rendition of Mr Brightside at the end to close the show!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (17)

In terms of special touches, the table plan was one of my favourite pieces from the day! My dad made us the giant frame and I decorated with flower garlands. Each table was named after a place James and I had visited together. The board had an envelope for each guest with a postcard inside that I’d created of an image of James and I in that particular location. We asked our guests to write us a message on the reverse and pin it back to the table plan so it doubled up as our guest book. I am going to make it into a piece of wall art now so we have a constant interactive reminder of the day. My dad also made us the sign for outside the venue; I made stencils and spray-painted the wording onto it. I decorated with flower garlands again and it was a great touch to the exterior of the venue.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (58)

We would 100% recommend our venue to others. Serena first off is one incredible woman! She was always on hand to help with whatever we needed and she really helped us to pull everything together ready for the big day. The venue itself is absolutely stunning. The fact it has the cottages built around it made it such a memorable weekend, not only for us but for our bridal party as we all got to experience everything together.

Funnily enough the part of the wedding I was dreading the most was, the ceremony, turned out to be one of my favourite bits. I’m naturally quite a shy person so the thought of everyone looking at me whilst me and pops made our way up the aisle filled me with dread and I really thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I really did enjoy it and no tears were shed! That along with the speeches – which were just fantastic – and seeing all of our friends and family laughing, joking and having the best time together was really special.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (56)

For our honeymoon we decided to go to Central America. We both love to travel and James has been around the world. We went to Costa Rica and Panama. It was the most amazing experience. We saw and did so much in two and a half weeks and have memories that we can now cherish forever.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (60)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be organised! We had two years between our engagement and big day. I bought a wedding planner book, created a budget spreadsheet but still life got in the way occasionally and it was quite stressful getting everything ready towards the end! Also get stuck in! Try to personalise your day as much as you can so it’s meaningful to you and your groom. I can’t tell you how great it feels to sit back on the day and look at everyone admiring all the hard work you’ve put in. It was a very proud moment! Finally, accept help! I can be a terrible control freak and like to do everything myself in my own way, sometimes you need to let go and accept that it’s just not possible! Besides you’ll find that a lot of your friends and family want to get involved and help. I would never have finished setting up on time without the help of my nearest and dearest the day before, they were all incredible!

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pearl’s girls. introducing the little pearl bridal boutique.

January 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (3)

This morning on these pretty pages I’m very proud to introduce a new Brides Up North Sponsor and brand new (so new its doors haven’t even opened!) bridal boutique for North Yorkshire, The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique.

The boutique’s fabulous owner, the lovely Diana, wanted to organise a special photo shoot to show off the wedding dresses that you’ll be able to find at The Little Pearl on launch day and beyond.  I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously excited…

Readers, I give you, pearl’s girls.

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography, Samantha Ward Photography and Georgina Harrison Photography, as individually credited in our gallery.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (9)

diana says: The inspiration behind the launch shoot for The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique was creating our own style of hollywood glamour.  Our vision for the boutique is elegant yet stylish with a warm, relaxed and welcoming feel.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (16)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (2)

We decided on The Talbot Hotel in Malton as a shoot location due its classic British design, period features, but also its modern take on traditional comforts.  The landscaped gardens and historic setting also provided some great backdrops for the photographers to work their magic!  We had the most talented people in Yorkshire involved on the day, all assisted by my good friend Jonny Draper at Jonny Draper Photography, who helped bring all these fantastic people together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (15)

We had the best photographers Yorkshire has to offer, who all brought their different style and edge to the shoot.  Hayley Baxter has such a contemporary style to her shooting, with the most stunning use of light.  Samantha Ward takes a relaxed and romantic approach. She’s passionate about film photography and incorporates shooting film within the wedding day, producing beautiful images, rich in tone and depth. Sam was thrilled to be involved in the Little Pearl Bridal photo shoot and says “Diana has sourced some stunning dresses for her boutique along with incredibly beautiful accessories and what a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph these gowns and details creatively with film.”

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (11)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (10)

Georgina Harrison shoots hybrid with traditional medium format film along side digital. Her style is feminine, using natural light to create luminous , light airy images that have a sense of romance with soft pastel tones. She always loves shooting bridal portraits and making woman feel comfortable so was delighted to be involved in this shoot and despite the damp, grey day she produced some gorgeous soft, light romantic images.

Having these photographers come together for our launch shoot was an honour and they’ve captured such beautiful and complimentary shots between them.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (4)

Our stunning models were styled by the superb and internationally renowned, hair and make up artist, Catherine Elizabeth.  She came along knowing exactly what would work both for the shoot and on the models themselves – a true pleasure.  I even learnt a few techniques myself!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (8)

Sarah of Leafy Couture brought along some stunning floral displays, from bouquets to floral crowns, which helped bring the essence of glamour and elegance together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (3)

The models (Laura, Kirstie, Livvie and Molly) are all friends of mine and even though it was a new experience for them, they were naturals! They all brought something different to the shots and loved playing dress up for the day!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (6)

The shoot itself went so well! Obviously it was my first time organising and running something like this, and everyone involved was so supportive and helpful throughout the day.  I loved finally seeing the dresses on, watching their movement and experimenting with different accessories to complete the look.  They all looked stunning!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (7)

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique is a beautifully elegant boutique, situated in the historic market town of Pickering, North Yorkshire.  We will be opening the doors in February and can’t wait for brides to come and see us.  Searching for your perfect gown is such an emotional experience, and should be a joy from the moment you start seeking out what designers you like to the day you walk down the aisle.

I have had a passion for all things bridal for as long as I can remember.  After working with my husband in the wedding industry and then searching for my own gown, I knew that opening a bridal boutique was my destiny.  I wanted to give brides the experience that I feel you should have when planning such an important purchase!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (1)

At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring ourcustomers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles.  Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches.  Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).

We have lots of exciting plans for the boutique, including exclusive events and helping brides and their families get access to and experience the very best wedding suppliers in Yorkshire.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (14)

The diary is now open! We will be having a launch open day, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to Pearls Girls via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl.  Contact us at diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutiqe.co.uk to book your Little Pearl experience now.

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relaxed romantics. a simple & stunning tipi wedding in Yorkshire – gemma & jim

November 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (34)

This morning we join Gemma and Jim for their simple yet stunning wedding in the Yorkshire countryside.  Our homecoming couple kept things plain yet interesting with delicate, handmade touches and a pretty pale colour palette for their celebration under canvas at the heart of village life.

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (13)

Gemma says: When Jim proposed it was totally unexpected! He had insisted on taking me out for a slap up evening meal as a Christmas treat. We live in London and it had snowed all day, I was wet, cold and just wanted to make sure we could get home! The odds were against him – my mood wasn’t the warmest, and little did I know, he had called my Mum to ask her permission – to be promptly told to call back later as she was ‘in the middle of dishing up tea’! Poor fella! He took me to the Oxo Tower Restaurant on the Southbank – at which point I insisted this was far too lavish and I would prefer to have a Chinese take away and save the money! He pressed on..! During the meal he started to look a little ‘off colour’ which I later realised was because he desperately needed the toilet but couldn’t risk standing up and me seeing a square bulge in the pocket of his skinny jeans! He proposed with the most romantic words of love for me and with a standing ovation from the other dinners when I said ‘yes’ (in floods!).

We married in a small village called Hackness, North Yorkshire on 6th September 2014 – close to where our families live. Hackness has a beautiful church and  wonderful countryside surroundings. It was quite tricky choosing the location as, living in London, there was a bit of a North, South divide! As luck would have it, we found a wedding blog showing a great wedding in the same village, with a Tipi reception at the village hall. We had been to our friends Tipi wedding and loved the idea of putting our own personal touches on the day. Plus we are outdoorsy people and go camping all year round – so this really suited us. It all started to fall into place!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (17)

We wanted to make everything ourselves to give our day a real personal touch – and save money of course! Romantic, rustic and simple was the theme! We didn’t want to over decorate the tipis as we thought they looked wonderful with simple sparkly lights. We tied in parts of our London life – our table plan was based on the tube map and we used Oxo Cubes (engaged in the Oxo Tower) to hold each name plate. My Mum made meters and meters of hessian table runners with a lace centre, and we had lots of glass jars and sundae dishes with candles in them, with sand from Scarborough Beach to hold them in place.

The initial colour scheme was duck egg, but the actual colour of duck egg blue is a very serious debate within our family and friends now! So we’ll just say ‘light bluey’!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (21)

My dress was from London Designer Bridal Room just off Oxford Street. I am very simple in what I wear day to day so I knew a large dress wasn’t for me…(I did have fun trying one or two on though!). I went for a simple, slinky dress which made me feel very elegant, womanly and, most of all, me!

Jim showed me quite a few pictures of David Gandy in suits…so I knew he wanted something quite fitted and trendy! We went to some amazing tailors but in the end the slim-fit style we found (as luck and budget would have it) in Red Herring at Debenhams was the one. It had a matching scoop neck waistcoat which looked perfect with his skinny French Connection tie. His shoes were from Linea at House of Fraser and shirt was a white slim fit dress shirt from TM Lewin.

The Bridesmaids and I had to do a lot of virtual shopping as they both live miles away. I came across the dresses on one of my many web searches and they both loved it! The dresses had a subtle sequin hem which tied in perfectly with my dress – from Kalico at John Lewis. The Bestman and Usher wore the same suit and tie as Jim. They were a little concerned with the ‘slim fit’ description but they both looked amazing!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (23)

For our centre pieces we ordered 100 stems of loose gypsophila from our florist, to put into the vases we had decorated for the table centres. My Mother-in-Law has done a bit of floristry so she made sure each stem was cut nice and level. We also had (my favourite) white hydrangea heads in jam jars.

Our florist at Blooms of Scarborough was so clever, I wanted a simple gypsophila bouquet but she suggested tying in a hydrangea centre to match our centre pieces. I was so pleased with the final result which was all tied together with hessian.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (25)

Our photographer was the wonderful Hayley Baxter. I have fallen in love a bit with Hayley… she is just a little genius and the nicest person to boot! We could not believe the wonderful intimate shots she managed – most of the time we had no idea she was there! Our edited pictures arrived very quickly – but we got a little sneak peek the day after via Facebook – which was such a lovely touch!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (30)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (32)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (38)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (1)

We made all the favours ourselves. I made pretty dangly earrings for all the ladies and Jim made a ‘mix tape’ of all sorts of music (some meaningful, some just fun!) for the gents. We spent many a Sunday afternoon cutting and sticking and creating. I think I loved this part a bit more than Jim… but he is a dab hand with the heart shaped hole punch now!

On each table setting we added a question card from the Logo board game, which we thought would be a nice ice breaker.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (4)

Having a tipi wedding limits your food choices to a degree but we managed to work it – I think! Well… no one went hungry! Malton Relish made all our gorgeous canapes and the vegetarian options of ‘Wild Mushroom Loaf’ and ‘Italian Vegetable Frittata’ they delivered them on the day so we didn’t have to worry about chilling them. Stepney Hill Farm provided the main meal of a Hog Roast with stuffing and apple sauce. Jim’s step father is a dab hand in the kitchen so he lovingly prepared some amazing salad accompaniments. We had lots of cheese and biscuits, wedding cake and my friend made delicious chocolate brownies for dessert. Late evening we had Pickering Fish and Chips arrive with their mobile van – which went down an absolute treat! We ran a free bar so shopped for the alcohol during various promotions in the supermarkets. Aldi was an absolute winner for spirits!  We also had a hand pull real ale from Scarborough Brewery which people went crazy for!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (9)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

Jim’s Mum is a wonderful baker and so she kindly baked our cake – traditional fruit on the bottom tier and lemon sponge with lemon curd and butter cream on the top tier. Her super clever friend did all the icing. We have the figurines set now and sitting on our book case – a wonderful keepsake!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (35)

We were so pleased with The Big Party Band, a 5 piece band based in Keighley. We had seen them perform at a rare public gig and knew they were good! The music was a mix of modern and dance floor classics. The real wow factor comes when the band get on the dance floor with their wireless guitars – so much fun! We paid extra to hire their kit all day to allow us to have music during the day and a PA system for the speeches. We gave them two options for our first dance and they surprised us on the day having learnt them both – so gave us a first and last dance!

We put a confetti balloon in the centre of the dance floor which was popped during our first dance – the actually popping caused lots of laughs as it just wouldn’t go!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (46)

We had these huge LOVE letters which I scrounged from Debenhams on Oxford Street –  it was one of their valentines displays that they were throwing away. We underestimated how large they were which made for a bit of hilarity when trying to get them home on the tube!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (55)

Boutipi were our Tipi suppliers and they are just the best!! They are a family run business which really shows, nothing is too much trouble and they really care about giving you the best day possible! They even gave us a crash course in the Waltz the day before!

Crystal Penguin Events did our on the day coordination along with two waitresses my mum knows. I would recommend to anyone having a Tipi wedding to have someone there on the day to worry about timings etc. Steph made everything run like clock work, she also brought along some of her family to help run the bar and wash up!

Abbey Sound and Light hired our generator, we had no idea what size we would need but they worked this all out for us and plugged it all in – a real weight off our mind.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (60)

Our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives. It’s impossible to say what our one favourite moment was – but saying our vows to each other was wonderful, we were finally becoming man and wife! I messed up my lines and cried all the way through…but people said they loved that it was sincere and not polished. The three days prior to our wedding was wonderful, everyone turning up to help decorate and lift and shift… just made your heart melt. We felt so lucky to have such hard working family and friends!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (66)

We had a couple of days away after our wedding in Bruges – which was wonderful! Such a pretty and romantic place, perfect for relaxing and mooching about! We are planning our honeymoon for later next year.

I have so many tips for other Brides Up North! These types of blogs are so handy for reading about the experience of others. Having now been there, done that, I would have explored the second hand dress market a bit more, it is such a huge part of your budget and after all, most second hand dresses have only been worn once!

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True Romance. A Palette of Pinks For A Real Wedding At Woodlands Hotel, Leeds – Nicola & Silas

June 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

This afternoon’s real bride Nicola is a lady after my own heart.  Can you guess what our mutual favourite colour is? Once, in another life when I was a practising lawyer I asked my sister in law the same question and she guessed grey.  Honestly!  I think I knew right then that I was in the wrong job. 

Anyway, my life got a lot more colourful after that (thank god) and things are always, always prettier in pink.  Isn’t that right, Nicola?

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

Nicola says: We went to Brighton for a long weekend in July 2012. We were getting ready for a meal out and I had taken time doing my hair and makeup. Just as we were leaving Silas said I didn’t look quite right, there was something missing. I was a little annoyed until he got down on one knee and proposed!

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

We got married on 3rd May. No specific reason but as it turned out was quite a nervous day for the groom. His beloved Notts Country were in a relegation battle… luckily for me, they survived to fight another season…

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

We chose the Woodlands Hotel in Leeds, it’s a beautiful venue with a marquee. There are only twenty three rooms which means it felt like we had the whole hotel to ourselves. Lauren the wedding planner at the hotel was fab at suggesting extra things to make the day even more special.

Through the whole planning process, nothing was too much trouble and on the day, they fully kept me informed of everything. The food was amazing, the rooms immaculate and the hotel and grounds itself were better than I had remembered. All this made it a perfect day.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

The colour scheme was pink and ivory. I love pink – it’s my favourite colour!

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

My dress was a strapless gown with satin bust and lace to the floor. I actually bought it from a wedding fair  at the NEC. It was too big to start with but then I got pregnant and Evie (our daughter) was only four months old when we got married and the dress didn’t need too much taking in! I tried so many different dresses on – the style I though I would want looks silly on me as I am only 5ft – but fell in love with my dress as soon as I put it on.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

The bridesmaids wore floor length chiffon dresses from Ted Baker. They were beautiful. The groomsmen work the same suits as the groom, which was a grey morning suit and an ivory tie from Young’s Formal Hire

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

I chose pink peonies for myself and white peonies for the bridesmaids. Sally at Serendipity Flowers did them and they were beautiful.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

My work colleague offered to drive us to the wedding as he has a selection of vintage cars! How lucky!

It was a cream Morris Minor Moggy convertible. It had red leather interior and was stunning! The weather was amazing on the day and we travelled from the church to the Woodlands with the roof down. Good job I had plenty of hairspray on.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

Hayley Baxter Photography did the photographs. I couldn’t have chosen anyone better to capture our special day. She put us at ease and the pictures are so much better than I could have imagined.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

Helen Archer was my make up artist and did an amazing job! I wanted something subtle and feminine… and it lasted all day & night.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

I wanted a clean fresh & modern look for the marquee – I chose to make a feature of the gorgeous bouquet’s & peonies by placing them in vases on the top table.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

For favours, I chose Yankee Candles in Wedding Day for all the ladies and Silas got betting slips for all the men for football matches on the closing day of the season for the men… I am not aware of any winners!

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

My chief bridesmaid and best friend Jodie and her family bought us the wedding cake as a gift. Netty’s Cakes made it for us. We chose a three tier cake made of chocolate and plain sponge with a frosting which started off dark and then graduated lighter, all in shades of pink of course. I am not a massive fan of fruit cake and so I went for sponge instead.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

We had a band called The Saints and they were great! The dance floor was full and they played some good crowd pleasing songs. Looking back, I am not sure if we asked for Gangnam Style or Cotton Eye Jo but hey, people seemed to enjoy it.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

My favourite part of the day was dancing with all my friends. It was quite emotional, it was nearly the end of the night and all the hard work and planning was nearly over. I enjoyed spending that time with the people who had helped me to make the day so great.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

For our honeymoon we went to Crete. We took Evie with us so we didn’t want to go too far.

(c) Hayley Baxter Photography at Woodlands Hotel

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning! I really enjoyed planning of the wedding as much as I enjoyed the day. Its all so special.

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Congratulations Nicola & Silas!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Hayley Baxter Photography

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