May 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
I have to agree with today’s real wedding couple in that I can find New Year’s Eve somewhat of an anti-climax. Keen to give their friends and family something to get really excitedabout, Mike and Melissa set their wedding for 31st December.
I love the wintry touches in this wedding, from the hessian table runners to the twinkly fairy lights, rustic pine cone name places and that gorgeous cake – top marks to Melissa’s mum!
It looks like this pair certainly celebrated 2015 in style!
With images by Kate Cooper Photography.
melissa says: Michael proposed to me at Ragdale Hall the day before New Year’s Eve 2012. We arrived and I remember Mike acting very strangely. We were then shown into a small lounge area and somebody brought us a bottle of champagne. Michael got down on one knee and popped the question. A great start to a wonderful day at Ragdale Hall!
We chose to get married on 31st December 2014. We chose New Year’s Eve as we felt that this is a time of year which is never as good as the build up to it, so to have a wedding on that day would be a great way to spend it! We didn’t want the pressure of the weather too as summer weddings don’t always turn out to be glorious! At least at NYE we knew that the weather was not going to be great – we just had the snow to worry about!
We got married at The Maynard in Grindleford. It was a superb venue. We were able to hold the both the ceremony and reception there so guests would not have to fight with the elements going from A to B. When we met the wedding coordinator for the first time she was friendly, listened to what we wanted and genuinely seemed interested in our day! The whole feel of the hotel was just perfect with the large oak panelled room contrasting with the contemporary decor of the main hotel.
We didn’t have a theme as such we just wanted the wedding to be simple and classic with a feeling of wintry charm. I don’t like too much ‘frill’!
I love the classic whites and greens of the ferns at Christmas so used this as a base for our colour scheme and then added a touch of grey/ pink in with the flowers. My older bridesmaid’s dress was navy so Catherine (our florist) brought an element of this in with the flowers.
I wanted my dress to be lace so that’s how I started my search. I knew I didn’t want a big dress but apart from that I wasn’t going to restrict myself. Emily at Emily Bridal in Sheffield brought a few to try on and when I put my dress on I knew straight away it was the one. It was Augusta Jones SkylerI – I just loved the way the lace sat on the shoulders and the low back. It was simple and elegant and it didn’t need any fuss to show it off. I had a short veil which had lace around the edge to match the dress. Emily was brilliant. If something didn’t suit me, she was honest and she ensured that I found my dream dress and didn’t settle for second best!
I had a hairdresser and makeup artist on the day who did the families hair and makeup. Julia Jeckell was great! During the trial she spent the time to find out what type of makeup and hair I wanted, I showed her photos of hair and she also asked what I didn’t want! She talked me through what she was doing and gave me choices of different products. This meant that on the day I could just leave it to her. The result was exactly what I wanted. My hair was fabulous and stayed put throughout the day and the makeup was perfect. She also let me have details of powder and lipstick she was using so I could purchase them and touch up on the day, although I didn’t need to!
Mike wore navy tails from Austin Reed with an ivory waistcoat and navy ruche. The best men wore the same as Mike and the ushers wore a navy suit with a short suit jacket, ivory waistcoat and navy ruche.
Our photographer was Kate Cooper – she was amazing! She spent a lot of time with us before the day ensuring she knew exactly what we wanted. On the day she was absolutely brilliant too.
Our florist Catherine at Petalis, was fabulous. She chose the flowers for me as I don’t really have any idea when it comes to flowers, especially in the winter. The flowers for the bouquets and buttonholes included pink/grey roses, eucalyptus and foliage. Catherine also provided the decorative floral arrangements which were amazing and she knew the venue so knew exactly what would look good.
My friend Katie made the bunting which was draped around the venue and we added fairy lights and white baubles around the room and in the entrance to the room. Rebecca (the wedding coordinator at The Maynard) arranged these for us and displayed our table plan and photo booth.
We had hessian tied around the chairs and table runners to match which were provided by Dragonfly in Chesterfield. They sorted all this the day before the wedding.
I made all the favours for our guests. We ordered little jars and filled these with white tissue paper and bonbons. I then covered the top of the jar with hessian and twine and added a thank you tag to each.
My mum made our cake. Each layer was a different type of cake: fruit, ginger (my favourite) and lemon drizzle (Mike’s favourite). She then decorated with royal icing, hessian and winter foliage and berries and instead of using a cake stand we had a log which we had cut especially for it.
Rhythm of Your Choice provided the evening entertainment. We had a DJ and a disco. We wanted a Photo Booth too but felt it was out of our budget to get an organised one, so we did it ourselves. We bought a Polaroid camera and collected a few fancy dress fashion accessories. Guests got themselves dressed up and took a Polaroid selfie which then was stuck into a book and messages were added next to the photo. It worked brilliantly and not only have we got lovely messages but great picture memories too!
Having two children we decided to get a babysitter for the evening of the wedding. Dawn from TLC Mobile Childcare was fantastic, she looked after the children in one of the hotel rooms and the children went up when they wereready. She ensured they were safe, well looked after and with one of our children being only six-months-old at the time, she sorted the evening feeds out for her.
We would definitely recommend The Maynard to other couples. The venue was so perfect for what we wanted but the staff really made it. They were amazing. Nothing was ever too much and every one of them was so friendly and supportive throughout the day.
It’s hard to choose a favourite part of the wedding as the whole day was fabulous! I did really enjoy the time after the ceremony catching up with everybody and spending time with close family and friends though.
Mike kept our honeymoon a secret until the day. We couldn’t go for long as we have two young children. We were chauffer driven to London and stayed at the Shangri-La in the Shard for two nights. It was absolutely amazing and we had a lovely couple of days, chilling out, visiting places and going to see Billy Elliot. It was a fantastic, relaxing time away after such a hectic build up to the wedding and staying in such an amazing place really made it.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute of the day. I cannot believe how fast it went and would love to relive it.
March 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
There is so much pretty in this opening wedding of the week that it’s difficult to know where to look first.
Richard and Andrea’s aim for their big day was to create an ‘end of summer party’ feel, and boy did they hit the nail on the head.
This laidback outdoor wedding has it all – hugely swoon-worthy décor, beautiful bright blooms, live entertainment and even a double decker bus bar!
I strongly suggest grabbing a large notebook for this one ladies, it’s quite literally bursting with inspiration!
With images by Carly Bevan Photography.
andrea says: We’d already been together for almost ten years and knew one day we’d get married there was no huge romantic proposal more a decision to buy a ring and set a date which we did in April 2013.
We decided to have an end of summer wedding on 13th September 2014 in the hope we would have a lovely warm September day and to give us about 18 months to plan from setting the date.
We had our ceremony at our local town hall as neither of us are religious we didn’t want a church wedding and the town hall is a beautiful building which exits onto a large park. We then went on to have our reception in a Sperry Tent from Papakata at White Cottage in Hornsea, which is normally a caravan and camping field but we had exclusive use for the weekend. We knew from the beginning we wanted a laid back, less formal wedding day and we loved the flexibility a marquee would give us. We were originally having teepees then when Papakata introduced the Sperry Tents – we loved the lighter inside and high ceilings and so swapped!
We wanted the day and planning to be as laid back as possible so opted for an end of summer party feel with an outdoor fire, double decker chill out bus bar, bouncy castle and a chill out area with candy buffet and photo booth inside.
We went for mixed light summer shades of blue, lemon, a mid pink, lilac and green to add some colour as we had a plain cream backdrop and so most of the colour was introduced through the flowers.
My dress was from Monsoon. I hadn’t set out particularly to get a high street dress I more stumbled across it whilst browsing bridesmaid dresses and decided it was perfect for the laid back day we were planning. I made my own veil (with lots of help from my now mother-in-law) which seemed like a good idea at the time and I did love the finished item but as all the lace was hand sewn on and very intricate – it must have taken in excess of 30 hours! My shoes were from Irregular Choice.
Richard wore a navy blue three piece suit from Thomas Nash at Debenhams and tan shoes from Rockport.
After a full day shopping with the adult bridesmaids they chose their dresses from BHS. They’re all quite different shapes but the dress suited them all and we also got the matching shoes. Whilst getting the bridesmaid dresses I spotted some lovely navy suits for the groomsmen too so we ended up buying their suits from BHS. The little bridesmaids wore Debenhams dresses and the little boys’ chinos, shirts and waistcoats also came from Debenhams.
My and the bridesmaids’ hair was done by Kate Hickman Freelance Hairdresser. Kate was fantastic and my hair stayed in place all day and night and having a hairdresser visit us at home took away all the chaos in getting ready.
We hired a VW camper van from I do VW Weddings although sadly it was Craig’s last wedding with his campervan due to other commitments.
Our photographer was Carly Bevan. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Carly she was recommended to us and from the minute we met her we knew she was perfect for photographing our day. Carly’s photography style was exactly what we were looking for as we didn’t want too many styled shots and more of a story of the day as it happened. The package Carly provides is perfect – we wanted the full day from getting ready to the first dance, and the engagement shoot we had was more of a bonus as it’s not something we would normally have decided to have. However Carly was absolutely right to include it as it prepares you more for having your photographs taken on the day. Carly is so friendly and made everyone and the children so relaxed we were delighted when we got the photographs back, we absolutely love them.
I had a bouquet by Bohemia Floral Design in Hornsea it was exactly how I imagined with a mix of beautiful colourful flowers. As my mum died a few years before the wedding I had a picture of her tied into my bouquet so in some small way she could be there on our special day. I also had a flower hair comb as did the adult bridesmaids, the children had flower crowns, which they loved!
Richard’s mum grew the plants for the table centre pieces which were in terracotta pots that we painted cream. We then had some jam jars of flowers dotted around the cake table and chill out area arranged by Bohemia Floral Design and with having such a lovely high ceiling we had decided that we would love flowers to be hanging from the ceiling down the centre of the marquee. Abi from Bohemia didn’t disappoint with six hanging hoops of flowers, which all looked stunning.
We made mini bottles of Limoncello for the guests’ favours as we felt it went well with the theme of the day and they were easy to make in advance of the last minute chaos.
We had a three tiered cake with a garden theme round the edges with each tier a different flavour. This was made by Jacqui at A Little Slice of Cake Heaven. We then had a cake topper made by Poppy’s Cake Toppers which we have to keep forever.
We decided to have a hog roast plated with salads and rather than having a starter we decided on mixed mini cakes followed by a huge cheeseboard. The catering was all done by Hot Trotters from Fitling, East Yorkshire. We had Pimms on arrival with bottles of Rioja and Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc on the tables and Prosecco for the toast drink from Majestic Wine Warehouse.
We booked our evening band Helter Skelter immediately as we’d seen them before and loved their music – they had everyone dancing all evening. We also decided we wanted some live music during the day as we both love live music it was one of the more important details for us. We decided on Rock My Reception and they were brilliant. They played while guests entered the ceremony, the arrival music and departure music and then played at the reception until after the meal even playing Postman Pat for one of our younger guests. Both bands were excellent on the day and the run up.
As I own a wedding details shop, And All Things Nice, lots of our special touches were items we stock including the activity books for the children, the various hessian buntings, including the cards one was suspended from an old suitcase to make a wedding post box and the Candy Buffet one, which we used on our own dresser to display the sweets on. I also, with the help of my amazing friends and our relatives, made the napkin rings, table runners, flowered hearts for the chair backs, bunting from my grandma’s old doilies and 1,000 paper cranes for the backdrop in the photo booth that we created.
We used Double Decker Bar for our bar which was a hit with the guests and provided extra chill out seating outside of the marquee. The bouncy castle was from Bouncing Bonanza Bouncy Castle Hire and they also got us our straw bales which we used for outdoor seating. The bouncy castle was well worth the money as the children bounced on it nonstop before the meal.
We would definitely recommend White Cottage to other wedding couples. The field is perfectly cut and flat so there was no marshy areas and it was huge, plenty of space for camping guests and lots of parking, there was even space for the coach we used to transport guests from the ceremony to pull in and turn around. Sharon who runs the venue was also really helpful on the run up to the day. We would also recommend Papakata, their attention to detail and organisation really were excellent we had full confidence in them right through the planning process. They also had an amazing choice in furnishings for the Sperry Tents.
Two special parts of the day stand out in my mind. After the ceremony we had some photographs on the way to the reception. That short 20 to 30 minutes that we spent away from everyone was really relaxing. Then afterwards when we walked into the reception and everyone was outside with the band playing away and drinks flowing and the sun shining and we could finally celebrate with all our friends and family exactly how we pictured it was amazing.
We decided that due to the hands on nature of having a marquee wedding we wanted to be somewhere relaxing without a long flight for our honeymoon and so chose a week at the 5* Epic Sana Spa Hotel in Praia da Falésia, Portugal. We had a lovely relaxing time with a honeymoon upgrade to a Deluxe Studio apartment. We booked the honeymoon through Su Dillon at Travel Counsellors which removed all the stress of planning it as Su organised private transfers and all the details so we just turned up and relaxed!
My tops tips to other Brides Up North would be try to think at the beginning what parts of the day are most important to you so you can allocate your budget accordingly. We both love live music and that made our day for us, a great photographer too as you spend your full day with them and the photographs last long after the day. Also ask friends or family for help with any items you’re making as early as possible, we had some amazing help but we should have asked a bit earlier!
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March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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February 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Sam and Anna wanted their wedding to be a relaxed and informal affair that their family (including their adorable nieces and nephew) and friends could both enjoy and feel a part of.
Everyone pitched in with friends loaning and providing décor and family members baking tractor-shaped cakes, making props and providing musical entertainment. What a talented bunch they are.
So let’s take a trip down Paradise Lane for this inspirational summer wedding.
Images by Ian Wallace Photography.
anna says: We got engaged in September 2013 in the woodland walk around the edge of Ripley Castle. Me and Sam have been together from a young age and for a long time which I’ve always found a bit cheesy and cringey so I‘d always worried about how I would feel if he actually asked me to marry him! Because of this he always said he would only ask me to marry him when he knew I was ready.
We’d planned a week off work and Sam wanted to book the first night as a surprise before we headed up to Newcastle for a few days. When we pulled up at Ripley Castle, I was happy but not suspicious as we really like it up there so go quite a lot. Sam always says he had to follow me around to try and ask me because every time he started to try and get serious I would walk off looking at something else. In the end his beautiful speech started with a tugging me around and ‘will you just come here and stand still…’ before quickly getting down on his knee and waiting for me to stop crying and give him an answer. I of course said yes and we spent the next few minutes trying to get signal in the countryside to let our parents and family know. Afterward we spent the night in Rockcliffe Hall in Darlington which was amazing!
We set the date for 11th August 2014. We wanted to get married in the summer to give us a good chance of sunshine for at least some of the day. The wedding package we picked was a midweek deal to try and keep our costs down so we just hoped that the people we wanted there would be able to get the day off.
Hazlewood Castle in Tadcaster was our chosen venue. We wanted a venue that could house a lot of people and a lot of children for an entire day if it rained and Hazlewood Castle was great for this because it had various rooms that people could go and have a bit of space in. We also wanted somewhere where we could all have breakfast together the day after and there were plenty of rooms for people to stay over. We loved the overall style and feel of the castle and grounds and knew we’d be able to get some beautiful pictures there. A few people had recommended it to us that had been to weddings there which helps. And who doesn’t want to get married in a castle that’s on Paradise Lane?
We wanted a really natural, vintage/country feel to the wedding without a strong theme throughout. We were really focused on it being as unstructured as possible and letting things flow. I didn’t want to hide the castle décor so just added small bits to complement it and add a homely yet special feel. Our home is full of candles and flowers so these were a must! We didn’t really want a strong colour theme throughout the wedding either but wanted to keep everything very pastel based and natural so that it would blend well with the castle and nature elements.
I wore an ivory boat necked fit and flare dress with lots of lace detail from Elegance Bridal Boutique in Skirlaugh. I loved the intricacy of the lace detail on the sleeves and wanted something that I wouldn’t have to keep pulling up all day. It was really important that I could bend down and pick up little children in it (which I practised a lot when trying on) because our wedding was full of our nieces and nephew. I decided not to wear any hair accessories other than a veil so that the focus was on the detail of the dress.
Sam’s brother Joe wore a matching suit with different colour tie and shoes and my sister Rachel wore a lovely one shoulder dress from Coast. It was a beautiful pastel purple and gave her lots of room to pick up her two children and carry them down the aisle.
Our six nieces wore some really pretty dresses from Monsoon. They were pastel pink with little flowers on and some pink sparkly shoes. Jack our nephew wore a really cute suit from Monsoon with some cool trainers from Next. He was very proud of his outfit!
Ian Wallace was our photographer and he was fantastic. He was recommended to us by a work colleague who is his close friend so I was initially reluctant to ask him but once we’d seen his images and style we knew he’d be great. We really didn’t want a photo album full of forced smiles and standing in a line so Ian was a perfect choice for us. Ian was really relaxed and made us both comfortable. Our pre-wedding photo shoot really helped and I’d recommend it to anyone. He worked really hard on the day and had a lot of little people to try and capture as well as us! We love the relaxed and genuine feel of the photos he’s given us. I think his quote on his photography blog was ‘you broke me a little bit that day, but it was worth it’.
My flowers were from The Flower Shop in Easingwold. Again we wanted a really relaxed style and I wanted it to look like I’d just swept them up off the woodland floor (Disney style). It was a collection of woodland type flowers and herbs including rosemary, lavender and thyme, which smelt amazing!
We used the same florist to decorate our table centrepiece jam jars with similar flowers to my bouquet. Lots of our decorations were loans or bits and pieces that already had a meaning to them.
All the centrepieces were placed on a tree trunk base that our lovely friend chopped down and sliced for us for a wedding gift. We wanted each table to be slightly different, so used different types of jars and candles. Each table had a champagne bottle with a candle or flower in (we used bottles that we received as gifts for our engagement so they all had a special meaning. The smaller ones were from the travel company Kuoni where we booked our honeymoon). Our chairs were hired from Blacks, they provided a very efficient service.
For our favours we decided to go down the lucky in love route and give everyone a scratch card – I was convinced we would make someone (hopefully us) millionaires. For my nieces I made them each a locket with their initials in to thank them for being our flower girls. Jack got a good old fashioned whoopee cushion for his page boy duties! For all their support we also gave special gifts to our parents and siblings.
Our cake was a strange choice but reflected us both quite well! Early on I was determined for this wedding to be about both of us and wanted Sam to be expressed somewhere so what better way to do it than have a tractor cake! My brother’s long term girlfriend Chelsea, is a fantastic baker and offered her services to help make a cake. Two nights before the wedding, Chelsea had spent all day perfecting our orange flavoured tractor cake and all looked good. Then my dad arrived with the trailer he had made to house the children’s animal cupcakes (also made by Chelsea) and the tractor to trailer ratio was all off – our tractor looked like a little toy next a giant trailer! I will always remember that night, sat on Tesco’s cake aisle floor, with my mum, laughing and trying to piece together a tractor shape out of fruit cake and Madeira slabs to make a bigger tractor! In the end, we had two tractors, the small handmade one’s fate was a prize for the children’s dance competition so all’s well that ends well. Chelsea also made gorgeous cupcakes for us to have a more traditional style tower with a bride and groom.
For our wedding meal we chose a typical Yorkshire main of beef and Yorkshire pudding because Sam wouldn’t have had it any other way. We had Eton mess for desert. We had Pimms straight after the wedding because it’s one of my favourite drinks.
My four brothers are all talented musicians so we were really pleased when they agreed to play for our wedding evening. I don’t think we’ve ever seen our dad more proud! A DJ was part of the wedding package so he also played later on into the night – his only requests being from our 3-year-old nieces to play ‘Let it Go’ again! As part of our invitation and RSVP, we’d asked our guests to give us a song to add to our playlist. This way we could cater for everyone’s tastes and ensure everyone had at least something they could shake to!
Special touches to the wedding included two of my brothers playing me down the aisle, which was a really heart-warming and special experience. My dad built an amazing photo prop of a moon and clouds with starry background. Instead of a guest book, we decided to have a guest tree. We left tags for people to hang their wishes/ message/ advice on. Because we left for our honeymoon the day after it was really nice to come home and read all the messages people had left. We’ve saved the message in our photo album to look back on and our blossom tree is now planted in the garden to grow over the years. If we move, it’s coming with us!
We’d recommend our wedding venue to anyone. The staff were always helpful and on the day just seemed to merge into the background. The grounds and castle are beautiful for photos and gives you and your guests the space for an escape if needed.
It’s really hard to pin point a certain part of the day as a favourite because it was all a genuinely beautiful day. Spending time with family is a massive part of our lives and I never feel more at peace when I’m surrounded by them so my whole day was lovely. I enjoyed getting ready and having my family and the children there.
Before the wedding, we’d both seen the actual ceremony as something that just needed to be done to get married but actually this part was amazing and really special. The personal parts always make things more special and laughing during our vows about respect will always be memorable! The speeches were also fantastic. My dad always has a way of entertaining a crowd so a detailed description of my conception was a must in his book!
There was a ten minute period later on in the evening where we both snuck off outside to have a few minutes to ourselves. Sneakily Ian had managed to find us! But we didn’t know he was there so now we just have the photo to remind us.
We booked our honeymoon late and decided on a trip around Sri Lanka followed by a week in the Maldives, which was pure heaven. Sri Lanka was full of culture and a wonderful experience. We spent time in various places and it was quite fast paced so we were both ready for a bit of rest and relaxation in the Maldives. It really was a once in a lifetime experience.
My top tips to other brides up north is when planning, don’t get bogged down with little logistical issues – on the day they really won’t matter. Always be true to what you want to do as a couple – there are so many ways to do a wedding, just make sure yours is your way. On the day, make sure you find a few moments to stand back and watch what a beautiful day you’ve created full the people you love the most. And really consider a videographer – we originally decided not to have one however, the night before the wedding Sam’s grandma feel ill and unfortunately her and his granddad were unable to attend the wedding. Thankfully, a lovely friend stepped in a filmed the whole day which we all watched as a united family when she was well again. When your wedding is over, you’ll want as many memories of it as possible.
February 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
As soon as I saw the stunning images of Lydia and Jamie’s wedding day I knew it was one we just had to share with our readers. The creative couple tied the knot in The Lantern Theatre, a unique wedding venue in Sheffield that I had no idea existed, despite it being in the city in which I live.
This wedding is packed full of inspiration from Lydia’s fabulous bespoke vintage dress to the home-grown flowers, cool favours and gorgeous décor.
So take a seat, as Brides Up North is now showing Lydia and Jamie’s big day.
Images by Weddings by Smith.
lydia says: We got engaged at La Rosa Campsite in Whitby which is a campsite full of beautifully decorated themed caravans. Our caravan was a Catholic kitch theme and somehow we picked a weekend that was quiet which meant we had the whole place to ourselves. Jamie hadn’t planned to ask the big question, but suddenly over lunch one afternoon the timing just felt right. We searched for a ring the following weekend in Nottingham, the city where we first met and I chose a blue antique ring.
We set the date for 17th August 2013. We chose that date because of the weather mainly, and it was around one year after we got engaged.
We had our ceremony at The Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge, Sheffield. It is a small theatre that seats around 84 people with a miniature balcony. It is Sheffield’s oldest surviving theatre, 120 years old, and a Grade II listed building. We loved that it was small and intimate, laid back, yet a bit grand and opulent, and a bit of a hidden secret. It was also extra special because it was a minute’s walk from our house. It reminded me of the film Moulin Rouge, which is by Baz Luhrmann, a film director whose visual style I love. Our party venue was Hagglers Corner, a cafe bar and venue space all set around a lovely courtyard, on the edge of Sheffield city centre.
The theme was kind of inspired by where we got engaged, our venue and all the things we love. It was a little bit of everything, vintage, romantic, Hollywood, rustic and kitsch. We wanted soft and romantic hues of blues, pinks, reds and golds. We chose the overarching colour scheme based on what we both wanted to wear.
I chose a beautiful lady called Joanne Flemming from Brighton to make my dress and took a little mini break there to get fitted. I wanted a vintage wedding dress with a blue underlay and bow. My shoes where Vivienne Westwood Melissa heart shoes and I wore a birdcage veil.
Jamie wore a blue checked suit and red bow tie from Ted Baker.
My grown up bridesmaids wore Karen Millen silk blue dresses, and my flower girl wore a pink dress from Monsoon. We asked the groomsmen to all wear an eclectic mixture of blue tones, and we gave them a red bow tie and I made button holes to tie it all together.
We hired a red vintage bus from a local bus museum to take guests from the ceremony to the party venue. The ceremony was so close my dad took me in his car (which my nan would like to point out she made a special bow for).
Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith did our wedding photography. He was absolutely amazing, we had seen him shoot a wedding before, and I knew that we could not get married without him shooting ours. We gave him some mood boards and he got exactly what we wanted straight away. He also made us feel very comfortable and kept staged photos to a minimum.
I bravely decided to do my own flowers, a mixture of flowers that I planted and grew in my garden, foliage stolen from roadsides in the Peak District and flowers bought the day before from the flower market. I spent the two days before the wedding in my garden cutting flowers, arranging about 100 vases, making bouquets for me and all the bridesmaids and all the button holes for the men. We decorated both venues ourselves (with help from friends and family) the day before with pompoms, bunting, ornaments, homemade table cloths and candles. I carried a bouquet that was made from blue hydrangeas, pink peonies (the Chinese flower of love) and gypsophila.
For our favours we had popcorn boxes which contained fortune cookies, blowing bubbles, a fan and 3D glasses. The fans had quotes from our reading on one side, and timings on the other. Our reading was ‘advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’ which is on the end of the Baz Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet original soundtrack.
Our cakes were by Victoria Made.We had a naked cake with sugar flowers and a cake made from layers of cheese covered in fruits. Our cake topper was made by the wonderful people at Lollipop Workshop which we will treasure forever.
After the ceremony we had ice cream and Pimms. At the party venue we had a healthy vegetarian BBQ by Organic Fusion.
To entertain our guests we hired a magician called Steve Faulkner for the theatre, plus a lady who made balloon animals for the kids. We had an ice cream VW van from Ice-Cream Dub and later at night a DJ. We also had lots of board games and toys and fancy dress bits for the kids.
As a special touch we had a wishing tree at the ceremony. We had guests pass around our rings in a box of ribbons and tags, and write a little wish for us to tie to the tree. I also designed our wedding invites myself via my creative studio, Studio Binky.
Our venue didn’t have wedding license at the time, so we chose a humanist ceremony by Kate Gee.
It was everything we wanted, really personal and full of love. Kate really got to know us over a couple of meetings and wrote a great ceremony, with us writing our own set of vows. I would highly recommend her.We did the legal part a week before in secret at the town hall.
The Lantern Theatre and Hagglers Corner where both really accommodating, they allowed us to decorate the day before and really helped on the day, whilst at the same time leaving us free to enjoy the venue hassle free. I would definitely recommend them both to other couples.
I’d say my favourite part of the day was sitting down on the stage next to Jamie before we said our vows. Time seemed to stand still, I was worried I might be nervous being on a stage, but surprisingly I felt really relaxed. Everyone in the crowd was someone I really cared about and it felt so special, more than just marrying Jamie, it felt like a big life moment and I’d never felt so loved or happy and at ease.
We had a night in our favourite hotel La Rosa in Whitby straight after the wedding (a gift from a friend), we stayed in a swan themed room which was very romantic and went to a folk gig in the basement that night. This was followed by an unfortunate honeymoon from hell camping trip to York which had to be abandoned. We planned to go somewhere tropical a few months later, but it unfortunately didn’t happen which is why I would advise all brides to book a proper honeymoon, you will need it.
In addition, my top tips to other Brides Up North would be to make mood boards, they come in really handy when showing a supplier the look and feel you want. Also, let people help you (especially if planning a DIY wedding). I should have done this more.
Jamie and I are now planning for the next chapter in our life – we are having a baby in June, eek!
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