November 8th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Like a real-life fairytale, today’s enchanting real wedding takes place in a magnificent castle in the Lake District. Could this setting be any dreamier, we wonder?
Bride and groom, Francesca and Richard chose Appleby Castle in The Lake District for both their ceremony and reception back in August, with the glorious interior providing inspiration for their tres sophisticated red, blush and gold colour scheme, beautifully complemented by lanterns and a smattering of sweet avalanche and black barraca roses. Truly romantic.
Keen to put their own stamp on the day – the newlyweds peppered the wedding with lots of wonderful touches, from the giant Jenga game and surprise performance of La Vie en Rose by the bride, to the scrumptious chocolate Guinness cake and charity donations in place of traditional favours. Prepare to be whisked away by all the fabulous details!
With images by Ailsa Reeve Photography.
francesca says: We got engaged on 11th July 2017 on a beach in Amed, Bali at sunset. We’d had the best day – snorkeling, enjoying lunch with an amazing view, a bit of pampering and then Richard suggested a walk on the beach. I had no idea what he had planned but when he got down on one knee it suddenly clicked into place! We celebrated with cocktails, and later video-called our parents before heading off to dinner.
We got married on 25th August 2018. We’d always known we wanted a summer wedding, but we struggled to get a registrar at a sensible time – we didn’t realise for a few weeks that it was the bank holiday weekend! This worked out brilliantly as it meant that people had the extra day to meander home before getting back to work! So, it was obviously meant to be!
Our ceremony and reception took place Appleby Castle, Appleby-in-Westmorland. We chose it because we wanted a venue that would let us put our personalities into the day as opposed to making us fit into their formula. And how could we resist saying we had the run of a castle for day?
We didn’t have a particular theme but used the castle interior as inspiration. The castle is beautiful and had a real sense of history, which we tried to incorporate into our day. We chose wine red, blush and gold to fit with the castle’s aesthetic.
My chosen wedding was by Pronovias. I bought it from Fellside Brides Kendal and I honestly can’t recommend them highly enough – Holly and Gill are fab! I’d tried quite a few dresses and I was struggling with which one to choose. This was the dress that made my mum go “wow”, so that was it! My something blue was a beautiful pair of Celia Heels from the Perfect Bridal Company – I had lots of compliments on the day about them.
August 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If a chic barn wedding is your kinda thing, then you’re going to be all a flutter with excitement over today’s real wedding, set in one of our favourite corners of the UK – the Lake District.
Three Hills Barn was the unique blank canvas Emma and Josh were craving for their special day earlier this summer, offering up a dose of laid-back, outdoorsy feels, which was the most perfect of backdrops to bring their dream wedding to life. We’re talking deckchairs, hay bales and a saxophone player, not forgetting a pop-up gin bar in the oh-so-pretty marquee. And that’s before we even mention the fabulous country views and surroundings.
The couple also hosted a ‘Wedding Bake Off’ – an ingenious idea that involved all the guests and supplied everybody with plenty of sweet treats on the day. It wasn’t all forward planning though…the couple enjoyed a few surprises too, but we’ll let Emma tell all, in her own words!
With images by Camilla Lucinda Photography.
emma says: We got engaged while on a weekend away in Edinburgh at the top of Arthur’s Seat, a small hill just outside the city centre. When we got to the top, we were completely alone and could see the castle and all the way out to sea. It was a complete surprise and very romantic.
We got married on 23rd June 2018 as we really wanted a summer wedding.
Our wedding venue was the lovely Three Hills Barn in the Lake District. The venue is in the North Lakes, near to Keswick, which has always been a favourite place of ours.
I heard about the venue through a friend at work. I was describing the venue that we wanted, something that would be relaxed, and a blank canvas for us to make our own. Three Hills was the only venue we looked at, it was just everything we were looking for. It was important to us that our wedding would be unique and that we could put our own stamp on the venue.
Mark and Jenny who own the barn (which is on a working farm) were fantastic; such lovely, laidback people, which is exactly what we needed when planning our wedding. Nothing was too much to ask, and they accommodated everything that we wanted for the day.
As we live in Manchester, it was quite a distance for our friends and family to travel, but that made the weekend all the more special as our guests were great and treated it like a holiday, enjoying the rest of the weekend in the Lakes.
We wanted a very relaxed and informal atmosphere. We didn’t have a theme as such, but one thing that ran throughout the day was gin. We had a gin bar in the marquee and used gin bottles as vases for our flowers. We’d asked friends and family to collect bottles for us, and we ended up with hundreds to choose from – not sure what that says about our friends!
Early on I saw one picture of a bouquet on Pinterest which became a bit of a basis for everything else, so the colour scheme kind of came from that. The colours were dark and blush pink, but we were keen to have lots of colour during the day.
My dress was by Stella York and purchased from Ava Rose Hamilton in Lancashire. I would definitely recommend paying them a visit, as they have such a beautiful boutique. I had no idea what style of dress I wanted and was looking forward to trying on lots of different styles. But this was only the fifth dress that I tried on. I just couldn’t leave the shop without having it!
I wore a watch that was my great grandma’s and a Swarovski crystal bracelet of my mum’s, both of which my mum wore on her wedding day to my dad.
August 6th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
In true stretch-out-the-celebrations style, today’s featured couple made a full weekend of their nuptials, with a pre-wedding meal on the Friday evening for their families and the bridal party, the big event on the Saturday and a party for all their guests on the Sunday, which included a chilly dip in Lake Windermere. That’s one way to shake off the fuzzy head the morning after the night before!
Having chosen a spectacular setting, Tom and Zoe didn’t need to go overboard with their decorations but an elegant blush pink and navy colour scheme, using an abundance of real and faux flowers to dress the rooms and slate on the tables as a nod to the local area. We love their idea for favours too – s’mores to toast on the outdoor fire pit, both sociable and delicious!
The bride, who delivered her own speech, wore a beautiful, strapless sweetheart gown with a mermaid skirt in tulle and lace and a beaded waist, offering a gorgeous silhouette for plenty of romantic lakeside photos. Ultimately, it’s the huge smile on both their faces that really make the photographs sing – as Zoe sagely advises; if you remember your wedding is all about you as a couple, it will show through in your day!
With images by Amy Jordison Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged on 12th February 2017. Tom had taken me to Berlin to celebrate my birthday; we had a great few days away, drinking lots of German beer and touring the city. When we came back, we went up to our flat and outside the door Tom said he had one more surprise for me. I thought it was going to be something for my birthday like some flowers or a little present, so when he made me put on a blindfold, I thought he was just playing up the surprise. We went into the flat and he left me waiting in the hallway for a couple of minutes before finally telling me I could come into the lounge. I walked in and the room was full of balloons and on the balloon strings were little pictures of us. I initially thought they were for my birthday until I saw a ring in the box on the table, along with a collage of all the anniversary and birthday cards we had given each other over the years. Tom got down on one knee and it was the biggest surprise of my life. Tom has always been disappointed as I am really good at guessing what my presents are, but I had no idea about this one – which was amazing! (How did the balloons get there? His mum and dad had come round earlier that day and done the whole thing: got my favourite flowers and put prosecco and strawberries in the fridge!)
We got married on 23rd June 2018. I wanted a winter wedding originally, but Tom was set on a summer wedding; when I realised a June wedding would mean peonies, I was more than happy to go along with what he wanted!
We got married at Silverholme Manor in the Lake District and had our reception in a marquee in the grounds. When you see the pictures of Silverholme, there’s no question that you’d want to get married there. The views are insane, the house is huge, and it meant all our family could stay in one place for the whole weekend. The day after we saw it, Tom said to me we should get married there and I was so happy!
I would recommend Silverholme to other couples as it is breathtakingly beautiful. It allows your nearest and dearest to be close by and you can really make a weekend of it. We stayed from Thursday to Monday and it felt like the most amazing holiday with both of our families and best friends. We didn’t leave the grounds for the entire weekend! Alex, the events coordinator, is so attentive; she is on hand if you need anything. It’s just such a fantastic place to be. We are hoping to be able to go back with all our family for our fifth (or maybe tenth) wedding anniversary.
We wanted to try and use a lot of local suppliers and we used slate for our centrepieces as it reminds me of the Lake District. I wanted a lot of flowers but a really relaxed vibe. Everyone commented on how relaxed the wedding was, which was great.
The colour scheme was blush pink and navy. I had always wanted navy bridesmaid dresses, but my sister beat me to it (she got married the year before) so I decided blush pink would be nice with the navy suits as it was light and summery.
May 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
“When Laura and Ryan come your way, throw in the air and shout hooray!” the confetti bags sweetly proclaimed at Laura and Ryan’s Cumbrian wedding that we are sharing with you on the blog today.
Their special celebrations were choc-full of personal touches; from personalised dress hangers sporting each bridesmaid’s name and the wedding date, to the thoughtful gift from the groom to his bride in the form of a book entitled ‘Our Love Story (So Far)’. In return, Laura gifted Ryan a Daniel Wellington watch to remind him to arrive on time to the ceremony! Guests also had a part to play, filling in ‘My Advice for the Bride and Groom’ cards, stored safely in a jar for the couple to open up and read on their first anniversary.
Against a backdrop of rolling Cumbrian hills, Laura and Ryan’s big day was a real lakeside love story.
With images by Joe Mather Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on 24th March 2016. We had just been handed the keys to our first house together (which was very exciting). We were eagerly looking around, taking photos for friends and family and, when I turned around, Ryan was on one knee with a ring. It was a complete surprise. Ryan had to prompt me to give him an answer, I was so shocked! It was very emotional. The surprises kept on coming, as that evening Ryan booked a table at a restaurant and surprised me by inviting my best friends along to celebrate with us.
We got married on 19th May 2017. I always wanted a May wedding; it’s one of my favourite months, probably due to the fact we both have our birthdays in May. Over the last few years it has been lovely weather in May, so we were hoping this would be true for 2017. We were very lucky and the weather stayed fine throughout the day.
We had our ceremony at St Mark’s Church, a beautiful little church in the village of Natland, Cumbria. Ryan was christened there and it has close connections with the family. Our reception was held at The Daffodil Hotel, Grasmere. It had recently undergone a revamp and we love the contemporary style it has. Being from the Lake District, we wanted to make sure we made the most of this beautiful place; the stunning landscape and views The Daffodil Hotel definitely made choosing a venue easier. We would absolutely recommend the venue to future brides and grooms. Katie, our wedding coordinator, was lovely and very helpful in assisting us to make our day exactly how we wanted. Not to mention the amazing location of the hotel right on the lake; the scenery is just amazing.
We wanted a classy and elegant look to our wedding, so we opted for a ‘black tie’ style theme. I wanted to keep the colours subtle and classic, mainly black, white and ivory with elements of grey and silver.
For my dress, although I had a set style in mind, I went to several bridal shops and tried on gowns of all shapes and styles but nothing stood out. As my mum and sister had anticipated, it was becoming a bit of a nightmare. We then went to Julia Tasker Bridal Couture in Bowness, where I tried on my dress; although I was still reluctant to commit, I knew this was the dress that was most ‘me’ and that I envisaged myself getting married in. It was an ivory strapless fishtail gown by British designer Sassi Holford, with a bespoke belt created by Julia Tasker. I loved the simple but elegant look it gave with the sweetheart neckline and buttoned detail down the back. I wanted something timeless, so in years to come it still had that classy feel without looking dated.
My hair was done by a close friend, Beth Nelson, who created a gorgeous up do, exactly how I imagined. My makeup was by the fabulous Aimee Chorley, with a little help from Tash Julian-Warwick, who helped with the bridesmaids’ makeup.
April 6th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Who says you have to play by the rules on your wedding day? Well, today’s couple are breaking with convention – and they’re doing it by the bucket-load! Favours, bridesmaids, best men, a wedding breakfast, top table…all nowhere to be seen. But Fi and Kev’s day is all the more special for it.
And, something we’re sure will turn a few heads – hubby Kev helped his bride-to-be shop for her wedding dress, and they even woke up together on the morning of their nuptials. Could this couple be any more unique, daring to be different and putting a big personal stamp on their big day?
Tying the knot in the stunning Lake District, the couple’s intimate wedding had so many wonderful touches – from their guests jingling a line of bells in unison following the ceremony, to their fabulous cheese cake and veggie spread, and the most eye-wateringly beautiful picture of the couple looking up at the twinkly night sky. We’re in love with this unconventional but truly inspiring wedding, and we think you’re going to be head over heels about it, too!
With images by Jo Greenfield Photography.
fi says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2016. We have a couple of traditions, one being that we love to send each other cards or write little notes to each other and leave them in random places; the other is that we like to return to a particular park bench, where we first held hands, on the 25th of each month. On Christmas Day 2016 I was excited to give Kev a card, telling him how wonderful 2016 had been and how much love and happiness he had brought to my world. He had also written a card for me which had an extra little note inside saying ‘will you marry me?’. Kev had planned to give me his card at the park bench but because I was so excited to give him mine on Christmas morning, he gave me his while we were standing in the kitchen at home. That’s where he proposed, with his little note, standing in the very spot where he had asked me to move in with him. Perhaps not as romantic as being in the park sitting on our bench, but simple and just perfect.
We got married on 30th September 2017. We didn’t want a long engagement – why wait?! Neither of us particularly had any attachment to the Midlands, where we live, but we both love the Lake District so decided to tie the knot there. We hoped the September date might offer us better weather conditions and colours in the mountains at that time of the year.
We got married and held our reception at the Haweswater Hotel in the Lake District. Kev and I are both uncomplicated people and the thought of having a massive wedding just didn’t appeal – we do not like being centre of attention so keeping our wedding small and intimate was really important.
We found the Haweswater Hotel purely by chance. We had gone to visit a different location and had been recommended by the owner of this other venue that we could stay at the Haweswater Hotel on the night of our wedding. So, we thought we’d take a look. We parked up outside and were mesmerised by the location and how beautifully isolated it was. The reception staff offered to show us round and we left that afternoon knowing we wanted to get married there.
We didn’t have a theme. We just wanted a simple and uncomplicated day. No unnecessary extras, no over-the-top flamboyance, just simple, relaxed and informal, a gathering of our friends and family.
We knew what colours we liked and a scheme evolved from that. I knew I wanted to wear ivory and Kev knew he wanted a deep blue herringbone tweed suit. Kev had been on holiday to India just as we met and whilst he was there he met the Dalai Lama who had given him a knotted red string bracelet. We decided to use this red band as inspiration for a vibrant accent colour, with pops of deep red in our flowers and Kev’s button hole and tie. So, in the end, we had a mix of ivory, dark blue, pops of deep red, dusky pinks and creams.
Right from the first day we met, Kev and I have always shared everything, and I couldn’t comprehend dress shopping without him. We wanted all our wedding decisions to be made together, so Kev was involved in the dress process with me.
I’d hoped it would be really exciting to walk into wedding dress shops and pick up lots of beautiful dresses to try on; this was never the case. I did some internet browsing to find a shop that stocked some dresses I did like, and Kev came with me for my appointment. However, I was even more demoralised when everything I tried on was a size 8. Being a size 12/14 I never thought I was that big, but this experience soon made me feel self-conscious about my size, something that had never really worried me before.
All this really got me down and I thought I’d never find ‘the’ dress, but the one thing I was able to take from the experience was what did and didn’t suit me. I decided to have my dress made so that I could incorporate all the ideas that I had really liked from the dresses I had tried on. In the end a family friend made my dress. Kev and I designed it together and were involved in the whole process.
April 4th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s bride and groom, Erin and Matt got engaged in Kenya, but decided to tie the knot back in the UK, in the stunning Lake District, won over by the location’s rugged, rural landscape – perfect for such an outdoorsy couple, if we do say so ourselves!
They chose the adorable Knipe Hall for their reception – a period farmhouse which offered the versatility they very much craved, enabling them to really put a personal stamp on things – encompassing everything from the catering and décor to the entertainment.
Bamboo hearts, paper lanterns, a handmade cake stand, love themed books hidden in the crevasses of the barn wall, and a specially composed piece of music…we think you’ll be smitten with some of the couple’s creative ideas. As for the food, afternoon tea followed by a fish and chip van in the evening sounds like the perfect combination to us! We only wish we could have been there, too…
With images by Mr Sleeve.
erin says: We got engaged while living and working in Kenya, teaching in an international school, after we first met 18 months before at Heathrow, on the way out to Kenya to work in the same school. We were on holiday in Ethiopia during the Easter holidays in 2016 and were walking in the Simien Mountains when Matt proposed, sat on the edge of a very high cliff. We had no mobile or internet signal for a few days, so it was lovely knowing that it was only us who knew about the engagement for a while.
Our wedding took place on 12th August 2017. As teachers, we wanted a date in the holidays and were also hoping for some nice weather.
Our ceremony was held in The Parish Church of St. Peter’s, Martindale. As Matt is from Kent and I am from the Yorkshire Dales, we didn’t have a place in the UK that held shared memories for us both. We both love the wild and rugged fells of the Lake District and fell in love with this little church on a hill. The views of Lake Ullswater were amazing.
We chose Knipe Hall, Bampton Grange, for our reception as it has such a rustic and authentic location. We could choose whatever caterers, decor and style of wedding we wanted, but still have all the basics catered for, like clearing up, linens, cutlery etc. It was such a good compromise as we could be involved in all the exciting bits and leave the other parts to someone else. The flexibility and rurality of the location and the friendliness of the Knipe Hall team, as well as being great value for money, were real selling points to us.
It was also lovely to have our wedding in two places that have differing rural English landscapes; the steep volcanic mountains and beautiful lakes of the Lake District, as well as the more rolling and farming/estate land of the Lowther Estate.
Our theme was outdoor adventure and rustic vintage, with a creative twist. The outdoor adventure part was because we both love the outdoors and adventure. The vintage part came from the idea of an afternoon tea for our wedding breakfast, both for practical reasons and because everybody loves cake, right?! The rustic part was important because, when we looked at other ‘grander’ venues with wedding packages, we just felt it wasn’t really ‘us’. We wanted a venue that reflected our personalities and that we could put our stamp on, and this was certainly it, sheep and all! As for the creative part – this was based on the many parts of the wedding that were ‘created’ in some way by family and friends.
We didn’t have too much of a colour theme, but the bridesmaids were all in mint green. The green was echoed through the men’s ties and bunting too, but not much else.
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