Brides Up North

roses and lace. maggie sottero for an elegant wedding at Hassop Hall – laura & giles

March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (29)

Today’s real wedding is one classy do. Laura and Giles chose a traditional church wedding followed by a reception and the stately Hassop Hall.

Their big day is brimming with elegance, from the bride’s wedding attire to the beautiful blooms and transportation in the form of a horse-drawn carriage.

Though clearly a sophisticated couple, they didn’t take all elements too seriously as their wedding album features a rather unusual image. Their photographer Kate Cooper explains: “Giles and Laura requested a shot that I’ve seen online where a dinosaur is superimposed on a photo of a screaming bridal party – I joked that I could superimpose whatever I liked, cue the giant hamster artwork from the Beastie Boys Intergalactic single.”

Images by Kate Cooper Photography.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (3)

laura says: We were on a walk in the countryside near one of our favourite pubs when Giles suddenly asked me to marry him on the first warm day of spring 2013. Although I’d hoped he would propose sooner or later, it was a complete surprise and I was very touched that he’d secretly asked my father for my hand in marriage the day before.

We both really love the month of September, so thought it would be a good time to get married – we set the date for 20th September 2014.

We had our ceremony at St Giles Church in Great Longstone, Derbyshire, and the reception was held at Hassop Hall which is about 1.5 miles away. Although we live in London, we decided to get married in the Peak District which is where Giles grew up and where a lot of his family live. It was important to us to get married in a church. St Giles is the parish church in the village in which Giles’ mother lives. It is a beautiful medieval church and we also liked its name! Once we’d chosen the church, we started looking at reception venues. We were absolutely thrilled to have our reception at Hassop Hall which we cannot praise highly enough.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (6)

We didn’t have a theme as such, it was just a complete jumble of stuff that we liked. For the reception stationery we had a loose travel theme (a seating plan map, luggage tag name cards etc) but this theme wasn’t reflected in our save the dates or wedding invitations. We didn’t have a colour scheme as such either, although I was quite keen on the idea of having muted dusky shades in the girls’ dresses and the flowers because I thought they’d look nice together.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (7)

I wore a Maggie Sottero lace and tulle dress called Bronwyn which was customised by a local seamstress who removed the top of the keyhole back to make a low v back and altered the sleeves. I bought it from Allison Jayne in Clifton, Bristol, which is where one of my sisters lives. To be honest, in the run up to our wedding, the dress felt like a real compromise. I chose it because it was comfortable, in budget and I liked the warm ivory colour. In my heart I would have liked a Jenny Packham dress but we needed a new boiler so I was determined to be good! However, on our actual wedding day I loved my dress, especially when it was combined with all my lovely accessories.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (11)

I wore Rachel Simpson shoes, a veil that was custom made to match the dress by Ali Rouse at Unique Dress and pearl drop earrings that were a gift from Giles. In the evening, I wore art deco style earrings, headband and a matching belt. I also wore a faux fur stole which was borrowed from a friend.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (10)

One of my sisters lives in Sheffield so she was able to winkle out some fabulous contacts for us. She recommended Jenn Edwards and her team who did hair and makeup for me, the bridesmaids and my mother on the day of the wedding. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Jenn and her team. They were very funny, incredibly talented and we all felt like more beautiful versions of ourselves.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (16)

Giles wore a three-piece made-to-measure suit from A Suit That Fits in a grey herringbone fabric and Oliver Sweeny brown shoes.

The bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in dusky shades – blue, green and grey – cream cardigans and nude shoes. I wanted them to have a romantic country feel, but wear colours that they liked and styles that they might feasibly wear again. The mismatched dresses were much more difficult to find than I had envisaged. After many hours of trawling the internet and a thorough search of the high street we bought the dresses from Ariella (available at House of Fraser), Debenhams and Monsoon. The cardigans were from Boden and the girls wore their own shoes. The groomsmen wore their own suits and ties to tone in with the girls’ dresses.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (21)

My mother-in-law hired a horse drawn carriage for the travel to and from the church. I was initially a bit apprehensive as I was worried it might be a bit Big Fat Gypsy Wedding but it was a really thoughtful touch and one of my favourite parts of the day. It was wonderful travelling in the carriage with my father from the cottage that we had hired in Little Longstone to St Giles Church and hearing the wedding bells ring across the fields.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (22)

Kate Cooper was our photographer. She was recommended by one of my sisters who met her through friends. I would 100 per cent recommend Kate – she’s very good at catching little intimate moments and managed to take some lovely photos of two people who don’t really like having their photo taken. We felt very relaxed and laughed a lot when Kate was taking our photos and I think that shows in the end results.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (24)

My vintage style bouquet was made by Swallows & Damsons, based in Sheffield. It was made up of dusky pink roses, pepita spray roses, ivory waxflower, steel berries, astilbe, dusky pink astrantia and purple veronica and eucalyptus. I loved it so much but was still happy to throw my bouquet at the end of the evening!

We had lots of flowers from Swallows & Damsons at our reception too – similar to the flowers in my bouquet. The urns and small vases were at the church to begin with, as pedestals and pew ends, and were then transported to Hassop Hall for the reception. Before the wedding day I also spent hours writing names on luggage tags in straggling calligraphy then tying these on to rolled napkins with ribbons and lavender sprigs for the tables.

Instead of giving out favours we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Commission.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (33)

My lovely sisters and mother made our wedding cake. Extra special thanks go to my sister Miranda who made hundreds of sugar flowers to match our wedding flowers which cascaded down the side of the cake. I’m not a huge fan of fruit cake, so we had a chocolate tier, an orange and almond tier and a coffee tier. It was delicious!

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (39)

For our wedding meal we had a smoked chicken and bacon salad with a honey and orange dressing, followed by onion soup, then roast pork with all the trimmings and to finish, individual summer puddings. We went to Hassop Hall for Sunday lunch with our parents so we could taste different menu options. It was a difficult choice as they were all delicious but these were our favourite dishes.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (43)

Giles’ school friend Emlyn, was kind enough to arrange a pair of jazz musicians for us as a wedding present to provide entertainment. They played during the drinks reception. We also had a disco provided by Spirits High after dinner.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (44)

I can’t praise Hassop Hall enough. We live in London so weren’t able to visit the venue very often but Helen thought of every last detail and ensured that the day ran absolutely seamlessly. The service was excellent and the wedding breakfast was one of the best mass catered meals that I have ever eaten.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (48)

My favourite part of the wedding would be the horse and carriage ride with my new husband from the church to Hassop Hall, it was really lovely to be able to have ten minutes to take everything in together. I also enjoyed the impromptu midnight feast that Hassop Hall rustled up for a hungry bride at the end of the night.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (54)

For our honeymoon we went to Scotland for ten days, breaking our journey in the Lake District. We were blessed with good weather so enjoyed lots of wonderful walks together in the stunning scenery as well as some fabulous food. Our favourite places that we stayed were The Gilpin and Monarchyle Mhor.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (38)

My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to outsource where possible – the less you have to do in the days before the wedding, the better, as there will always be last minute issues. Spend some time working out the logistics of the wedding day and the days either side. We had a plan of who was doing what when and how things (flowers that were re-used, luggage etc) were moving from one venue to the other. We circulated this plan to the bridesmaids and groomsmen and think it really helped the day to go without a hitch.

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get it on the gift list. blissful bathrooms

February 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Debenhams

Debenhams

A little ‘me time’ becomes all the more essential when co-habiting and continues throughout marriage. For us ladies our bathrooms are the perfect place to escape to for some low-key pampering when the Sky Sports becomes just a little too much.

Whether it’s to slap on a little fake tan, apply a face mask or totally indulge in a tub full of bubbles with a glass of wine to hand, bathrooms are the haven of the home. For me that makes anything that will make your bathroom all the more blissful an ideal item for the wedding gift list.

From luxurious Egyptian cotton towels and top-notch toiletries to opulent accessories, there are plenty of options to choose from.

House of Fraser

House Of Fraser

When setting up home together it could be that you made do with the odd towels you and your partner had between you, so a stylish bundle of fluffy bath sheets and hand towels is a perfect pressie – along with a matching bath mat.

Scented candles can be decorative as well as sensual for when you choose to invite your hubby to share a romantic bubble bath with you. Oh and of course you’ll need some posh hotel-style his and hers robes for when you emerge.

Though not quite as exciting attractive storage boxes and wicker clothes baskets are great for keeping the bathroom neat and tidy, so you can unwind without explosions of toiletries or dirty clothes playing on your mind.

Decorative items such as mirrors, vases, art work and soap dispensers can also help set the scene and can add the perfect finishing touches to an area of the home that you’ve been longing to complete to a Vogue Living standard.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer

For feminine style bathrooms I particularly like Next’s lilac and green floral designs in towels, bathmats and shower curtains (see gallery), as well as Debenham’s Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson range, which includes cerise pink towels and jewel-tone glass vases.

Meanwhile for something more unisex friendly there are plenty of crisp blue and white offerings, perfect for those who like to bring a by-the-beach feel to their bathroom, plus grey and white designs for those in search of clean elegance.

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vintage coral. a pretty easter wedding at taitlands – helen & joe

February 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (30)

Unless you follow Brides Up North over on Instagram (ahem!) then you probably won’t have noticed that I’ve been off skiing in the Alps for the past seven days… a sneaky little holiday before the Brides Up North wedding exhibition madness begins, but things certainly weren’t any less pretty or less busy on these pages this last week!

I’ve left one set of mountains to come home to an email mountain of my own, so whilst I get cracking on that lot, I’ll leave you with our first beautiful wedding of the week, Helen and Joe’s stunning vintage inspired celebration in the Yorkshire Dales.

And breathe…

With images by Joe Stenson.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (17)

helen says: For my 33rd birthday we went to Manchester to watch Eddie Izzard Live.  We had booked an apartment and Joe had secretly upgraded us to the penthouse suite.  On the morning of my birthday Joe surprised me on the roof terrace with a champagne breakfast and my birthday presents.  The last present I opened was an empty box… when I looked over to Joe he was beside me and down on one knee with a ring in his pocket.  I was shocked that he had finally proposed to me and I hadn’t even seen it coming!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (19)

We were married on 19th April 2014.  We made the most of the long Easter weekend with our friends and family.

I am from Staffordshire and Joe is from North Yorkshire so we looked at venues in both counties. We wanted to get married at a venue that had everything on one site and could offer us the whole weekend.  After doing lots of internet research on our summer holiday we had shortlisted it down to three places. After visits to all three we quickly decided on Taitlands in Stainforth, North Yorkshire.  This beautiful venue had everything on site: a coach house with marquee, a grade II listed house with guest bedrooms, a smaller cottage and beautiful walled garden with the amazing Yorkshire Dales as a backdrop.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (29)

As the venue was fairly vintage and rustic I knew to keep it in with that theme.  There were lots of homemade bunting and fabric hearts which I had spent months making and with the help of family and friends collected lots of vintage bottles from car boot sales, vintage fairs and antique shops for the flowers.  I also spray painted vintage lace doilies with coral fabric paint and used these for the table centres – a job I really loved. For the marquee we hired some huge letters of our initials from Add Vintage who I met at a vintage fair in Leeds.

My favourite colour is coral so I wanted the bridesmaids and the flowers to follow that.  I also wanted spring colours so ivory and sage green went perfectly with the coral.  The colour theme wasn’t too obvious but there were subtle hints.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (6)

After trying on about fifty different dresses (!) I had a good idea about what suited me (and what really didn’t). After trips to 13 different shops, I found a beautiful ivory gold vintage lace design by Justin Alexander at Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden and knew it was the one. I chose my veil from Ava Rose and purchased some beautiful vintage hair pieces from Chez Bec after seeing them on a wedding blog. My pearl earrings and bracelet were also from Chez Bec and I had personalised bracelets made for the bridesmaids, each with their birthstone on.  I wore beautiful vintage closed toe shoes called Orla from Rachel Simpson.

My hair and make-up was all done by Helen Whincup from Harrogate, a self-employed hairdresser.  She travelled to the venue very early and was a huge help at calming me down and getting us all ready on time.

Joe wore a blue three piece suit which he bought from Reiss in the January sales.  He accessorised with tan brown shoes from Barker Shoes and a coral and blue tie from House of Fraser.  His outfit was finished off with his Granddad’s 1970s gold pocket watch which was a surprise from me on the wedding morning enclosed in an engraved pocket pouch. He really looked very handsome.

My bridesmaids, my sister Sarah and two closest friends Thea and Jenny, wore coral lace mid length dresses from an American supplier on Etsy complimented with patent nude shoes from BHS, again in the January sales.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (20)

I walked in to ‘I will wait for you’ by Mumford and Sons (I had been waiting nearly 14 years!) and as I got to the front and Joe finally turned round I stopped crying and started to sing the lyrics to him.  I hadn’t planned to do this and afterwards I learnt that the entrance song had been played in full when they thought I was ready to come in so really he had been waiting for me!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (4)

After seeing two or three florists I visited Twisted Willow Floristry in Ripon.  Joanna was absolutely lovely and really got the idea of what look I wanted without me knowing much about flowers.  She came up with some amazing bouquets, buttonholes and corsages made up of peonies, roses, gypsophila, lily of the valley, ranunculus, anemones, larkspur and muscari. She also provided dried confetti for my DIY paper doily confetti holders and the same flowers as the bouquets for the table centres and venue which my mother-in-law then put together in a very natural way. Joe’s mum did such an amazing job the day before putting this all together.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (21)

After the ceremony we had an Easter egg hunt and also hired some outdoor games (croquet and giant jenga) from Add Vintage to keep guests entertained.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (23)

RSVP Candy helped us produce all of our fantastic wedding stationery from the amazing personalised wedding story invite and poster to the personalised name badges, wedding programmes, table plan, table names and signs for our photo booth, easter egg hunt and sweet table.

We used vintage postcards of the Yorkshire Dales and a stamp from Not On The High Street for our save the dates.  As we had lots spare my creative sister used the leftover postcards and created us a print of our names which we hung up on the day in the ceremony room.

We also had photo bunting hung around the coach house of all our guests from over the years.  This created a lot of laughter and some embarrassment for our guests.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (25)

The food was all supplied by Taitlands’ caterers and we had a selection of Yorkshire canapés out on the lawns followed by country terrine, slow cooked Taitlands lamb and lemon tarte for the wedding breakfast.  Locally produced and perfect for spring.

The fizz and wine was all supplied by Majestic.  We had gin and elderflower tonic for when guests arrived, prosecco and raspberry liqueur for after the ceremony and a sauvignon blanc and rioja for the wedding breakfast which complimented the lamb perfectly.

We had two cakes, a 6 tier wedding cheesecake made by The Courtyard in Settle which was the main part of the evening supper with pork pies. Our good friend Hannah made three different flavoured cupcakes with a top tier fruit cake.  These were amazing and I really can’t recommend Hann-made cakes enough.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (1)

During the wedding breakfast we had a wedding quiz (all about our guests) and later on in the evening we had a DIY photobooth and polaroid camera so guests could leave their photos and messages in a guestbook.

Our favours also doubled up as pin badge place names in coral for the girls and sage green for the boys.  By the end of the day everyone was wearing them, which also helped with introductions.  We also had a sweet table and wedding quiz for our guests to enjoy.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (7)

Joe researched the entertainment for months and we were so pleased with the Leeds band that we finally chose.  Vibetown provided two great sets of live music, with two singers, brass, guitar and drums.  Our first dance was ‘Hey Ho’ by the Lumineers as we didn’t want a slow smoochy one and we both loved the lyrics.  By the second set everyone had bought the photo booth masks and props onto the dancefloor which the band found hilarious.  We also had a spontaneous breakdance competition between guests and there were one or two power cuts when the generator kept cutting out but the saxophonist kept playing solo until the power came back on. Superb.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (32)

We managed to find a top guy to take our wedding photos at a vintage fair in Leeds. Joe Stenson is unbelievably talented and such a kind, great guy to work with!  We did two engagement shoots before the wedding, including a trip to the pub which made us feel right at ease with Joe.  A month or so before the wedding Joe asked if Jemma, a friend of his, could come along as a second photographer as she wanted to shoot some more film so we got two fantastic photographers for the price of one. Jemma was so good at making the girls feel relaxed on the morning of the wedding and Joe was so great at capturing the real feel of the day. We would give them both the best possible recommendation to anybody looking for a wedding photographer.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (27)

The venue and the backdrop of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales was perfect.  Everything was on site, including accommodation for the bridal party and all our other guests stayed locally in Settle, only a 10 minute taxi ride away.

Emma the owner and her husband Martin were very good at accommodating our requests.  We wanted the wedding breakfast in the marquee which they didn’t usually do, we were able to set up the venue on the Thursday and our bridal party could arrive early on the Friday so we could relax the day before.  Emma let us use her home as if it was our own and was very relaxed about most things.  Her staff on the day were great too.

I can’t wait to go back there one day for a visit when we are walking in the Dales.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (26)

Our favourite moments from the day included our entrance to the wedding breakfast.  We came into the A-Team and high-fived everyone as we went round the room.  We loved the speeches and the surprise video messages from guests that couldn’t be there, including my nan and a few words from one of Joe’s favourite comedians Richard Herring!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (12)

A couple of days after the wedding we flew to Miami beach for a short stay and then went onto Belize and Mexico for jungle trekking, visits to lots of ruins, snorkelling and lazing on beautiful Caribbean beaches. It was great to spend some quality time with my new husband after 10 months of wedding planning and the scenery and weather was amazing.  It was tough going back to work after nearly 4 weeks off!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (33)

Joe and I planned the wedding we wanted in 10 months!  We did have ‘wedmin’ to do pretty much every day but we really enjoyed it.  I would say spend your budget on the food, drink and music – that’s what all your guests will appreciate the most. We wanted those special little touches too so made time to have or make things that were personal to us, that others may not have noticed.

My top planning tips for other Brides Up North would be to set budgets and make decisions early to give yourselves time at the end for all the fun things.  On the day itself, try and relax and take it all in as it can be quite overwhelming.  We had half an hour by ourselves just as the sun was setting, when we went off with the photographer, and it was lovely just to catch up and relive some of our favourite moments.

Finally, never put your drink down, you’ll never remember where you put it!

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get it on the gift list. top tableware

January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Debenhams J by Jasper Conran set

J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams

Thanks to Bridget Jones we know that smug marrieds just love to host a dinner party. So chances are, once you become Mr and Mrs you’ll find yourself drawing up menus and guest lists as part of your social plans.

But the food you produce alone is not guaranteed to score you top marks with your Come Dine With Me guests. A rise in home entertaining as led to heightened competition in the kitchen, meaning that the setting must be just as delicious as the menu.

While changing your entire dining room décor ahead of Magda and Jeremy’s arrival might be going a step too far, ensuring you have top tableware on which to serve your culinary creations on is a wise move. This means ‘posh’ plates (and the rest of the crockery set) is an ideal item for the wedding gift list.

tablerunner

Marks and Spencer

Your special occasion dinner set might be one that fits in with your existing interior scheme, or perhaps chosen to make a statement by contrasting from its surroundings. Whatever you desire there are plenty of tantalising options to choose from.

Marks and Spencer has some particularly pleasing designs, from flirty feminine florals to edgy monochrome collections. Sticking with the high street, Debenhams and House of Fraser’s offerings are also worth exploring when drawing up your wedding wishes. I’m particularly fond of HOF’s gorgeous porcelain Starburst dinnerware collection, with a metallic gold pattern that is bound to dazzle your diners.

Leica S

House Of Fraser

And it’s not just evening sets that can be added to the list. Breakfast or tea/coffee sets are perfect purchases for when hosting afternoon tea parties, or for guests that stay over after the dinner party, brunch the following day.

So what are you waiting for? Tuck in!

Images as credited in gallery.

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an autumn affair. a stylish winter wedding at priory cottages – jude & colin

January 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (38)

Priory Cottages near to my adopted home town of Wetherby in North Yorkshire is one of my favourite local venues, and I always get a warm welcome from their team when I pop in to pay a visit.  I’m used to seeing the venue dressed for spring and summer celebrations (not least the fabulous wedding of one of my best girls, Charlotte – you can see her big day here), but it’s lovely to see how special and sparkly this place looks on a late autumn day.

Jude and Colin’s wedding brought all the brightest colours of nature inside for a stylish, cosy and heart warming day, filled with fun. My absolute favourite kind of celebration that there can be.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, and all round lovely lady, Helen Russell Photography.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (5)

jude says: We got engaged on 25th August 2013.  Col had originally planned on doing it on my birthday earlier in the month but the ring wasn’t ready, so plan B was when we were visiting my best friend in Derby. Little did I know but they were all in on it. He proposed in Matlock in a cable car on our way up to the Heights of Abraham. Our friends Manda, Chris and their little boy Vinnie were there too so we got some great pictures of the proposal. I had just found out that I was pregnant so the champagne picnic was enjoyed by everyone else!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (9)

We were married on Friday 7th November 2014. We both love the autumn and the vibrant colours associated with the season are beautiful.  We were hoping for a crisp cold sunny day! We got the rain instead!

We tied the knot at All Saints church in Wighill.  It was small and cosy but beautiful. We attended the church in the year prior to the wedding and all the locals were so friendly. The reception was at The Priory Barn and Cottages, Nr Wetherby. We fell in love with The Priory as soon as we visited it. The barn has been restored and the old architecture of some of the buildings is beautiful. Serena the owner was fabulous from start to finish, we immediately knew that she would be on hand to help, which she was. We wanted a venue that was different, we had been to nine weddings in the past 14 months and didn’t want to marry somewhere our friends had done so.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (13)

We chose an autumnal/rustic style. I’m an outdoorsy girl and love nature and a natural feel to things. The table centre pieces were slices of logs we had gathered with skeleton leaves and Chinese lanterns. We used mini pumpkins were as table numbers.  We had kilner jars with candles standing on upturned logs dotted around the venue and some old driftwood was used. We used a lot of hessian and lace and candlelight.

Our colour palette was purples and oranges – gorgeous vibrant autumnal colours that complement each other

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (19)

My dress was from the Bridal Rogue Gallery in York. It was a Pronovias dress, ‘Leonde’, a tulle mermaid style made from Chantilly and Guipure lace. It had crystal, pearl and gemstone embroidery below the bust.  I fell in love with the dress immediately. I wanted something classic and vintage and loved the lace and open back. I wore it with a borrowed vintage fur and Diane Hassall lace shoes. My mum bought me some beautiful diamond earrings which I hope my daughter Ava may wear one day.

I used Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup. Lisa is fantastic at what she does, I’ve had my hair and makeup done several times by her and it always looks immaculate. She is fun to be around and after a long sleepless night with a teething 10 month old she worked miracles!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

Col wore a navy blue three piece suit from Ted Baker. He bought a pocket watch which finished the suit off beautifully.

My bridesmaids Manda and Sarah wore a rich 50’s style purple dress, with a jewelled cuff and a-line skirt from House of Fraser designed by Eliza J. They wore bright burnt orange heels from Next.

The flowergirls Ava and Olivia wore ivory dresses with purple petals sewn into the hems and our page boy wore a three piece suit from BHS with a pair of white Converse pumps.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (29)

We wanted something different from a traditional wedding car so opted for a 1967 ivory VW campervan called “Summer”. This was hired from The Yorkshire Wedding Car Company.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (34)

Helen Russell was our photographer. We would definitely recommend her. I was introduced to her at a friend’s wedding and immediately warmed to her, she has an amazing ability to make you feel at ease in front of the camera. We loved her vintage style, she has a great passion for her job and you really get the feeling that she wants to give you the best images she can.  She managed to capture the romantic yet fun mood of our day. We had a pre wedding shoot with her and took our daughter Ava and Col’s son Elliott along… she was great with the children.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (35)

Wendy at Paperwhite Flowers provided our flowers. She is such a professional and so passionate about her job.  She knew exactly what I wanted and goes above and beyond.  My bouquet was a wild hand tie with lace and a decorative vintage key.  It had creamy white vendella roses and superbubbles, spray roses and buds, large dolcetto roses, purple and plum foliage, orange rosehip, fountain grass, purple lisianthus, rosemary, astrontia million stars, birch and willow twig and was wrapped in fine green ivy.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (45)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (44)

Paperwhite provided all the flowers, dressed the top table and provided a large pumpkin filled with beautiful flowers and asparagus grass. I wanted a messy looking arrangement rather than something too structured. It was perfect.

They provided two beautiful pew ends with wild flowers for the church which we used at the barn afterwards and  chrome lanterns which we used in the church then back in the courtyard and barn.They also dressed upturned logs with kilner jars and candles wrapped with ivy trails and Chinese lanterns and placed them around the barn.

AV Matrix dressed the barn in fairy lights. This was done before we even got there on the Thursday to get ready.

We had lots of purple and cream paper lanterns to hang from the marquee roof, Col and my bridesmaids Manda and Sarah spent most of the afternoon hanging them!

My mum made 120 hanging love hearts to hang on the backs of all the chairs. Our guests took these home and it’s so lovely to see them hanging in our friends’ homes. She also dressed our chairs in hessian and lace, they looked so pretty.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (56)

We had Cancer Research pin badges as favours as this is a charity close to our hearts. The men had blue ones and the ladies had the Elizabeth Stuart silver leaf pins.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (62)

Taste Cuisine provided the food and we went for a real ‘winter warming’ menu for the wedding breakfast. At the evening reception we had a hog roast served with cheese and homemade pickles and chutneys from my parents.

A very close friend of mine, Ronni made our cake. We had fruit cake (to compliment the cheeses at the evening reception) and chocolate cake.  It was decorated with sugar blackberries, maple and oak leaves and wrapped in a fine hessian.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (64)

We lit a memory candle at the church which we took back to The Priory and had on a table with photos of our grandparents and those that are sadly longer with us.

I had some daisies incorporated into the flowers and my bouquet in memory of my Auntie Daisy who died of leukemia.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (72)

We used Dave Spink Videography, the girls who worked at the wedding were very friendly and professional, I didn’t even know they were around at times, we can’t wait to see the finished DVD.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (76)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (74)

Without the help of my parents the day that we had wouldn’t have been possible.  They have spent so much time making things and helped to get the venue ready and looking as beautiful as it did.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (86)

Howard Wing was our wedding singer- what a legend and absolute gent with an amazing voice and talent to entertain! I came across him on a wedding blog and after speaking with him immediately knew we had to book him. We certainly weren’t disappointed, he had the whole place bouncing before the starters had even finished… I’ve never been at a wedding where people are singing and dancing on the chairs before dinner ends! Brilliant! So many people said ‘best wedding we’ve ever been too!’

We had dance floor rules and flip flops for the ladies, these went down very well…the following morning we found several pairs of shoes left in the marquee!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (89)

It’s hard to choose a favourite part of the day. I was so happy that my dad walked me down the aisle as only a week previously he had suffered a heart attack and we were unsure whether he would be able to make the wedding. I bought my dad a hanky and had it embroidered and gave it to him before we left for the church. It said ‘I may have found my prince but you will always be king, thank you for walking with me today’.

Col’s face when I walked down the aisle was priceless, he looked so emotional.

My favourite part of the reception most definitely has to be when Howard had us all doing the Love Train around the marquee before we had even had dessert, even the waitresses got dragged into it… it was fantastic fun.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (95)

We chose to go to New York for our honeymoon, having a 10 month old going away for two weeks just wasn’t an option, but thanks to grandparents and aunties and uncles we were lucky enough to have 5 nights away.

We have both always wanted to go, so it was the perfect choice. We loved it. We managed to do almost everything we wanted. We would love to go back one day and check out all the lovely restaurants, bars and of course do some shopping!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (101)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is that the day goes so quickly so take some time together, and take a step back (easier said than done) and watch your guests having fun.

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