Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

bunting & blooms. johanna hehir for a pretty springtime wedding at the ashes – tracey & neil

October 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

Keen to give their guests a day to remember, today’s bride and groom put great food and drink and fabulous entertainment high up on their list of priorities.

They styled their day with cute bunting, colourful blooms and a sprinkling (or two) of gold glitter, and enjoyed celebrating within their stunning rural venue, whilst also seizing the opportunity to make the most of its surroundings too!

We love bride Tracey’s stunning sleeved gown, topped off with a pretty paper flower crown.

With images by Paul Joseph Photography.

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

tracey says: Neil proposed to me at Castle Howard in York, at the end of December 2014. It’s one of my favourite places in the world! We visited York as part of our very first weekend away together in the infancy of our relationship – we stopped off at Castle Howard because of my obsession with the novel Brideshead Revisited. We had such a brilliant time there and it’s so incredibly beautiful – Neil later told me, once he’d proposed, that for a long time he knew he would propose to me there. He’s a good egg!

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

As I’m a teacher, we were slightly constrained when it came to picking a date for the wedding. I didn’t want to get married over the summer as I don’t like the heat at the best of times. We also wanted to get the wedding done and out of the way so we could go on a massive holiday of a lifetime over the summer (this was our attitude in the early days of our engagement: the wedding was an excuse for a big party and a means to going on a huge holiday adventure together). We thought Easter might make a nice time and started looking at venues with that two week window in mind. When we mentioned Easter to close family and friends, they started to swoon at the idea of spring and the flowers about – and so we ended up getting married on Wednesday 6th April.

Finding a venue proved to be really tough. We visited a couple in our area that were not really ‘us’. At that stage, we didn’t really know what we wanted, we were just going on gut instinct. Fortunately, Neil found The Ashes one night whilst he was reading about wedding awards online – the venue, which is located in Staffordshire, had won one award a few years on the trot and so we thought it might be worth visiting. We liked everything about The Ashes; its informality, its beauty, the organisation of it all. We booked it that day.

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

I tried to steer away from themes and just did things I thought might look nice. We ended up with pastel colours because of the season. There was also a lot of gold glitter. Ask my dad about gold glitter and he’ll tell you that he’s still finding it in the boot of his car almost six months on! We hoarded jam jars and interesting glass for months before the wedding and then used PVA glue and gold glitter to decorate them – it doesn’t sound that impressive but we were really pleased with how they turned out and people were able to take jars home at the end of the night. This spread the gold glitter love even more!

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: Ferret Racing, Stuffed Giraffes & A Johanna Hehir Gown For A Fun & Fabulous Real Wedding – Carla & Jonny

December 22nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks. 

Peter Boyd Photography

Ok, ok. hands up, this wedding isn’t ‘Up North.

I’m normally super strict with my submissions, but I’ve a free pass to publish Carla and Jonny’s fantastical and fabulous Real Wedding this morning (yes, even though it’s in the Cotswolds!) as it comes to us via Brides Up North Featured Supplier Peter Boyd Photography and their online competition – featured on these pages – for one lucky couple to win their wedding photography completely free.

Carla and Jonny got lucky – as did Pete, as he and Kelly got to shoot their absolutely stunning big day in this brilliant location.   I’m feeling pretty lucky to share it here today with you.  Be inspired!

And if there’s any beef at all on the geography thing – one of the ferrets is a Mancunian.  So there.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Carla says:  Jonny proposed on Hampstead Heath on 23 September 2012 and we were married on 15th August 2013 at Aynhoe Park.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

We really loved the fun, quirky feel to the place, and loved the idea of a house party atmosphere at the reception. And they did ferret racing…

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

We tried to make each element of the wedding as personal to us as possible.  There was no real colour scheme but a lot of navy blue and splashes of pastel pink.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

I chose a 1950s style dress from Johanna Hehir in Marylebone, London.  It had an organza skirt with a lace bodice. It was light and easy to walk in! I wore some bubblegum pink vintage Miu Miu shoes to add a fun touch!

Jonny, the best man and my dad wore simple slim navy blue suits, white shirts and pale blue ties. Jonny wore his dad’s shoes as a memory of him on the day.

The two bridesmaids (my sisters) were both heavily pregnant and wore Grecian navy blue maternity dresses from ASOS – I made sure I was flanked by people who made me look thinner!

Groomsmen wore navy suits, slim navy ties, white shirts and navy blue braces.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

I carried a vintage pastel bouquet of ivory and pink roses, freesias, lisianthus, wild daisies, eucalyptus, hydrangeas. 

We tried to involve our friends and family as much as possible – my sister Anna did all of our flowers, our best friend Stan provided beer from his family’s brewery (Rebellion Brewery) and two of our ushers managed the music.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

The church and venue are next door to each other, so we didn’t need much transport. Jonny and his brother/best man arrived in his brother’s prize possession – his Porsche. I walked over to the church with my dad and bridesmaids (We stayed at the venue the night before).

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

We used Aynhoe Park’s recommended caterer, Indulgence, for the food – they were fantastic (especially the popping candy strawberry cheesecake and late night fish finger sandwiches!)

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Our table plan was Scrabble themed – all our guests had to unscramble anagrams of their names to work out where they were sitting.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

On the tables were gingerbread men with each person’s name on (for anyone who didn’t manage the anagram!). These were baked by our friend, Sarah.

Our favours were mini apothecary bottles of limoncello (for the girls) and Hungarian palinka (for the boys). The palinka was brought back from Hungary by our usher Jules, who then flavoured the spirit with apricots (Aynho is known as “the apricot village”).

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Our usher Alex managed our video diary room, which was our take on a traditional guest book.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

In particular, the speeches were brilliant! My dad did a slideshow of horrendously embarrassing photos from throughout my life – and he even resurrected some notes I’d written as a child (“Them Smarties made my day”). 

Walking in to dinner as a married couple was really amazing.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

In the late afternoon we played cricket in the grounds – only a couple of injuries, and I managed to bowl Jonny out!

The main attraction was a ferret racing event, with Jonny’s brother Alex as the resident bookie! Each ferret had a name – i.e Madferret (the Mancunian), Ferret Across the Mersey, Ferret O’Rocher and so on…

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

In the evening we had a band – The TwentySomethings – who played two sets of everything from motown to modern classics. They also played a medley of Israeli music, to which our Jewish friends threw us around on chairs, table cloths etc!

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography

OnCafe did our “cake”, which was actually a tower of flavoured petits choux. The flavours were peanut butter, salted caramel, raspberry crème and citrus crème.

Peter Boyd Photography

For our honeymoon we went Greek island hopping – Santorini, Folegandros and Spetses.

Peter Boyd Photography

My top for other Brides Up North would be to forget about what people expect from a wedding and strip back your day to the things you really want.

Get as many friends and family involved as you can – not only to cut costs but to make the day as personal as possible.

Peter Boyd Photography

 

Congratulations Carla & Jonny!

Want to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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