Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

lovely lilac. understated elegance for a wedding at monk fryston hall – katherine & oliver

February 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Understated Elegance at Monk Fryston Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (38)

Today’s glamorous bride describes her agonising decision as to whether to go ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Kim Kardashian’ on the wedding dress front. In the end, her elegant gown was more grown-up princess than KK but every bit a showstopper.

This gorgeous duo really knows how to organise a party: their big day features a ten-piece band, a photo booth and gallons of Champagne. Plus, the photographs of Katherine with her seven gorgeous bridesmaids? Real #SquadGoals material.

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.

Understated Elegance at Monk Fryston Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (50)

katherine says: I had already picked my ring out at ROX jewellers in Leeds, with Oliver when we got engaged as we’d regularly talked about getting married. I had a very specific style in mind and we both agreed it would be better to pick a ring I loved instead of one I only liked! It was an amazing experience we both enjoyed and will cherish forever. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles as the glass doors behind us were locked by the security guard. We were the only customers in the store – absolute bliss!

Given that I knew the ring was coming (although I didn’t know when and where!) I told Oliver if he wanted to surprise me he’d have to catch me off guard. He did just that: he asked me to pop downstairs to help him carry something inside the house and as I reached the bottom step he was on one knee – with my ring! Of course, I said yes.

Understated Elegance at Monk Fryston Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (24)

We both wanted to be married fairly quickly and were lucky enough to be financially able to do so. We were engaged August 2015 and were married September 2016. Oliver’s parents were married on the 28th September and my parents were married on the 29th September, so we decided to follow the trend with 30thSeptember. To get married on a Friday was significantly cheaper at most venues than a weekend and that encouraged us to go for a week day.

We visited dozens of venues, but fell in love with Monk Fryston Hall in Yorkshire, immediately. We wanted to find a venue that wasn’t too big (more than one wedding per day at some places), not too small (we both have big families) and that could provide overnight accommodation overnight. We both wanted a church wedding but were willing to organise and pay for the transportation of the guests from the church to the venue. However, this wasn’t necessary as there was a beautiful church, St. Wilfrid’s, just over the road. This sealed the deal for us and we organised a meeting with the wedding co-ordinator.

Understated Elegance at Monk Fryston Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (28)

There was no real theme to the wedding other than the colour scheme, which was lilac – only because I had seven bridesmaids to cater for and found a lilac dress that everyone was happy with at the bargain price of £49 each in the January sales!

Everything was very simple. I wore a white gown with no bling, our cake was white with flowers, we used simple tea lights and hydrangea buds for decoration. It was such a beautiful venue it didn’t need much styling!

Understated Elegance at Monk Fryston Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (55)

Style-wise, I batted between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Kim Kardashian’ for months! Did I fulfil my lifelong dream of wearing a wearing a poofy ball gown or did I go fashion forward and wear a skin tight fishtail gown? I went to several dress shops until I found Precious Bridal in Garforth – no pushy sales pitch, just a general introduction and then I was let loose in a shop full of gowns. Every bride’s dream! As my mum flicked through a catalogue she pointed out a dress she thought was lovely. I immediately recognised it – I actually had it saved on Pinterest. Donna suddenly revealed that she had it in stock! I had to try it on. Donna names each of her dresses so she can remember them easily, and so out of curiosity I asked what this dress was called. She replied ‘Katherine.’ I hadn’t even seen the dress and I knew it was the one. It was the perfect combination of elegance and a little bit of Cinderella.

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Must Be The Music! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Kate & Pete

April 5th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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When Jackie of J Clitheroe Photography and real bride Kate sent me this afternoon’s Real Wedding, I was instantly smitten.  Everything about this wedding – from the relaxed yet gorgeous bouquets to the grinning groom to Kate’s “dancing” dress – sings of a good time, and a couple who are best friends.  The perfect start to the Easter weekend (and they even had Kinder Egg favours!).   

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Kate says: We got engaged on a camping trip in the South of France in July 2009. Pete proposed one evening while we were sitting in the tent in the rain. He said he had to do it before the following evening as we were going to see Status Quo (Pete’s choice not mine!) and he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it if he knew he still had to pop the question.

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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We were married on 26th March 2011 at Monk Fryston Hall near Leeds, then we had our evening reception in Goole, our hometown, at the Vikings Hotel.

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography  Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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We wanted somewhere which was elegant but wasn’t too imposing. Monk Fryston had this but also had a ‘cosy’ feel to it. Also, we’re both real foodies and had heard excellent things about the food there – we weren’t disappointed!

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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We never really discussed a theme for the wedding; we didn’t want to be tied to just one colour or style, so the theme really just became ‘a collection of stuff we like.’ Luckily it all came together OK!  Most things ended up being a variation of green or purple as they are our favourite colours. Though we intentionally didn’t want everything to be too co-ordinated, we just chose things that caught our eye.

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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My dress was ‘Ryan’ by Augusta Jones, from Scarlet Poppy in Pudsey. It was a drop-waist slim A-line, with a lace bodice and chiffon skirt. It was really important to me to have a dress which wouldn’t get in my way when I wanted a dance! Some of the bigger dresses I tried felt so heavy and bulky, but as soon as I tried this dress on I felt so comfortable in it and I loved how romantic the light material of the skirt was.

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The bridesmaids wore full length, chiffon dresses from the Jasmine range, which were from It’s All About the Dress in Hedon. I wanted each of them to feel great in their dress and liked the idea of asking them to choose their own style so they could each be different. I think everyone was happy with the arrangement- I didn’t have the stress of trying to find a dress which would suit all three of them and they felt a bit more individual. Many of the wedding guests commented on the day that they thought it was a really good idea.

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Our flowers were by Posies by Amy in Goole. I wanted my flowers to look really natural and simple, like they had just been picked and hand tied. I’m rubbish with names of flowers and so just pointed out things I liked to Amy, our florist, she did a brilliant job. My bouquet was an assortment of hydrangea, muscari and other things I don’t know the names of!

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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In the morning, everybody (except me, my Mum and Bridesmaids who were already at the venue) piled on to a double decker red London Bus, which was provided by Red Bus Days in Keighley and came complete with bus conductor and ticket machine! Then the bus took us to the evening reception venue in Goole after the wedding breakfast.

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Pete is a talented musician and song writer and wrote an acoustic guitar piece for me to walk down the aisle to. He also did a brilliant job in slightly altering the Edward Monkton Lovely Dinosaur reading to suit us!

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography   Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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To add another special touch to the day, my Nana is a great artist – she made custom floral designs for our invitations, place cards and table numbers, which she based on a verse on spring flowers in Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale.’

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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We used J Clitheroe Photography from Selby. We really liked the natural style of Jackie’s photos – and that she didn’t overuse airbrushing or effects, as we still wanted to look like us! We were sold after meeting up with Jackie, as she was so lovely we knew we would both be really comfortable around her on the day, especially in the morning taking pictures of the bridal preparations. It’s surprising how much time you spend with your photographer on your wedding day, so if you can have a bit of a giggle with them it really is a bonus!

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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We had a cheese tower cake made by Chucks and Cheese in Goole. As it was a very Yorkshire affair we decided that the bottom tier of the cake should be fruit cake. Pete made clay model mice cake toppers for the top of our cheese tower!

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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We hired a DJ from BCs Promotions in York. We’re both very much into our music and probably had some quite unusual choices for a wedding disco, but we loved it.

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My favourite part of the day was definitely the party in the evening! One of the things we always said throughout planning was that we just wanted everyone to be relaxed, well fed and watered and having a good time. There was such a fun atmosphere in the evening and so many people were up dancing, we didn’t want to leave!

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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We had an amazing honeymoon in Thailand, travelling around some of the islands then spending a few days in Bangkok.

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Yorkshire Wedding by J Clitheroe Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be “don’t sweat the small stuff”– on the day nobody will notice if small details are not perfect. If there are glitches, try to laugh about them – they’re usually the parts that make the interesting stories down the line!

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Congratulations Kate & Pete!

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  – Images © 2012 J Clitheroe Photography

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