Charlotte Balbier

rustic romance. phase eight for a relaxed wedding at east riddlesden hall – emma & dan

July 20th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (59)

The bride from this morning’s real wedding has lots of words of wisdom for you ladies in the planning stages, so have a sit down with a comforting cuppa and prepare to take note.

Organising their big day in just six months, bride and groom Emma and Dan, decided on a relaxed occasion for their family and friends that would also be pretty and fun. Finding tuned-in suppliers to help their vision become reality, Emma described the rustic feel she wanted to create and left it to the experts, who well and truly delivered.

This left Emma and Dan time to concentrate on nailing the other key areas, such as catering and entertainment, plus their attire. Can you believe Emma’s stunningly detailed dress is from the high street?! Us neither!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

emma says: We got engaged in November2015 in New York. I had bought a trip to New York for Dan’s 30thBirthday in July. Dan had decided this was where he was going to propose and in the months leading up he had sourced and designed my engagement ring through a family friend – Barnard’s Jewellers. We had decided to spend the day exploring central park and thought it would be fun to hire a rowing boat on Central Park lake. Whilst out on the boat Dan proposed. It was very lovely and a total surprise! We celebrated with a bottle of Prosecco in the boat house.

Once we had got engaged we knew we wanted to get married the next year. We started to look at some venues in the north as Dan is from Yorkshire and I am from the North West. We were really flexible and although I had a rustic theme in my head we were open to what that looked like.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

In the end we chose to marry at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire, which is a National Trust site. I had wanted a rustic feel to our wedding so we had looked at both barns and marquees but when we looked at East Riddlesden we loved the set up and the grounds, having some outdoor open space was important to us. The barn itself was also really pretty, I loved the lights and rustic feel. Although we went to view the venue on a cold wet day in December I could see that it was the perfect location. When we met the wedding team and East Riddlesden, not only were they lovely and full of enthusiasm but we couldn’t believe how much support we would have from them, not only the day, but the run up too.

Our wedding date was Friday 13thMay 2016. East Riddlesden said they had a cancellation and had availability for that date so we just decided to go for it. Some people may have been a bit suspicious of Friday 13th but it didn’t really bother us.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

We didn’t have a specific wedding theme, but I’d say our style was rustic and relaxed. I didn’t want a wedding were I would feel uncomfortable, I just wanted it to be a fun day that was an extension of us. We knew we wanted everyone to have fun and that played a part in choosing aspects of our day. We didn’t want anything too formal for the wedding party and so the colours and style for suits and dresses happened quite organically as did the decoration and flowers. The venue really spoke for itself and so all we had to really do was enjoy it.

I really wanted to keep the wedding very soft and romantic, so we went for a neutral colour palette, picking soft blush pinks and creams.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

I really didn’t have an idea of what dress I wanted and so was really open to the style. I wanted it to be in keeping with the venue so I knew it wouldn’t be too traditional. I had seen the Jenny Packham Esme and fell in love with the style but couldn’t really justify the price tag. I tried similar styles and found the Phase Eight Hope dress. When I tried the dress I knew this was the one. To make it feel a little more personal had the back altered, lowering the internal panel, the straps shortened and a bustle fitted.

To keep with the vintage feel of the dress I opted for a Juliet cap veil, which I felt suited the dress perfectly. I had the veil made and loved the fact that I could take it off later in the evening but still have the head band in place. I wore Jenny Packham No1 shoes and decided to go with a blush colour to match the bridesmaids.

My make up was done by Lauren Sally Make Up.

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laidback love. a super chilled wedding in york – hayley & andy

October 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (54)

Determined not to get bogged down or stressed out when planning their wedding in York, today’s bride and groom quickly adopted a no pressure approach to their big day, choosing to keep things simple with celebrations that were laidback but good fun.

Taking place at York’s Churchill Hotel, self-confessed foodies Hayley and Andy prioritised food, drink and entertainment to make sure all guests were well fed, watered (well beer’ed) and in the mood for a good time.

Sounds like a dream wedding to us!

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (12)

hayley says: We were in Secrets Maroma, Mexico when we got engaged. After our meal and a few cocktails we were walking back to our room and Andy suggested we go and sit on the beach for a bit. We were lying across two loungers, looking up at the stars when Andy got down on one knee…The first thing I said was ‘be careful, those are your best jeans’!

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (15)

We set the date for 6th June 2015. I wanted a sporting chance of having some nice weather and wanted to avoid school holidays, also living in York, I wanted to avoid horse racing weekends. The 6th of the 6th is a memorable date and it’s a nice time of year for us to celebrate our anniversary.

Our chosen venue was the Churchill Hotel in Bootham, York. We looked at about ten venues and this ticked the majority of our requirements. It is close to York city centre, so those travelling from far away could stay in the city and enjoy some time there. Decor wise the venue was ‘understated cool’. The room for the ceremony had a huge bay window and dramatic thundercloud wallpaper. We are both big foodies so it was important that we had delicious food on the day. The food in the restaurant is quality and the bar is well stocked with unusual beers. They even let our friends bring their own beer and serve it at the bar! The staff were relaxed, easy going and were on board with us not having a formal wedding.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (21)

We didn’t have a theme, unless you count our ‘no pressure’ approach as a theme! I wanted to keep things as simple and informal as possible and I just wanted every guest to feel comfortable and have fun. I was very keen to host the whole day in one place to keep things running smoothly with no boring bits for anyone.

In terms of colour I wanted lots of green. For a while I toyed with having a forest green wedding dress, but that didn’t fit in with the ‘no pressure’ theme! We had green drapes in the marque and primarily green in the flowers, apart from touches of white. We both love the outdoors and we wanted to bring a bit of a woodland to the colours if we could.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (25)

We asked our good friend and talented designer Beci, of Think Good Do Weddings, to come up with bespoke invites that fitted the theme and we loved them. She also designed the table settings and place cards.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (28)

After much searching in the dress shops in York, I actually went back to my home village in Lancashire to buy my dress. It was my mum who suggested I try Gypsophila Bridal Wear in Rossendale. I wasn’t hopeful and was a bit grumpy the day I went as I had found all the other shopping trips stressful! I went in there saying I wanted my shoulders covered, no sparkles and no train – I bought the opposite! My dress had a tight corseted waist which made it feel very secure and comfortable and it just made me feel good about myself. I had no idea what dress I was going in there to buy, but that one made me feel special.

On the day of the wedding my hair was done by Holly from Pure Hairdressing, Grape Lane, York, who I would definitely recommend – she also did my mum’s hair at very short notice that morning and joined in the fun with us! A makeup artist called Marci did my makeup and she was incredible. I don’t often wear much makeup and I was very late in arranging makeup for the day, but she got it just right.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (32)

Andy wore a three piece suit from Hugo Boss in Leeds. Socks from Paul Smith and a tie and pocket square from the very patient gentleman in Smart Rob, York!

We had three bridesmaids, who all wore matching dresses from BHS. I had no idea they sold bridesmaid dresses, but after it felt like we had exhausted all other options, we found these dresses that suited everyone and were really pretty.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (30)

I decided to stay over in the bridal suite the night before, on my own. Lots of guests were staying at the hotel the night before so I had a night cap with my close family and friends and then went up to bed. I slept solidly for eight hours and woke up to a cooked breakfast in my room!

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (41)

Rachel from Rachel Joyce Photography captured our day. We have been close friends since we met at secondary school aged 11. A few years ago, Rachel decided to turn a hobby into a career and is now a full time wedding photographer. After looking at her work, I was so happy to have her as our photographer and it was an added bonus to have another close friend with me on the day.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (2)

Going along with our ‘no pressure’ theme I left the design and flower choices for the wedding up to my florist. I wanted something wild and natural so the bouquet contained lots of ivy and also herbs such as dill, rosemary and mint. The lovely florist at Just To Say in York, helped me with the flowers, at very short notice as well.

Andy had a colourful buttonhole made of chilli peppers, again to represent our love of food! My bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet and the groom, fathers, best man, brother and grandfather wore button holes, which were made of a chilli and lemongrass.

The table flowers were from Busy Lizzie in Heworth, York, and the flower pots were from Waitrose.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (42)

Instead of giving out favours we put on 160 pints of free beer instead!

For our ‘wedding cake’ we had ten different layers of cheese, from Love Cheese, Gillygate, York. We had a two-hour tasting session with wine and picked the ones we liked best! So many people have told us since that they were so glad we did this! We served bacon butties late at night, so people appreciated putting a bit of brie in there.

For our wedding breakfast we had a starter choice of smoked duck terrine or twice baked blue cheese soufflé. Main was beef blade or mushroom and goats cheese pithivier for vegetarians, and pudding was raspberry Pavlova. To drink we chose Prosecco for toasting and for the first drink after the ceremony. During the meal we served pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. Basically, it’s what we like to drink! We asked for the hotel to be stocked with real ales and beer and our friends served four different kinds of their own ale.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (47)

The entertainment was the first thing we decided upon after getting engaged! We were out in Leeds one night, in a beer garden and all of a sudden a brass band walked in playing Happy by Pharrell Williams. After 20 minutes, they had people up on the tables! I asked them that night if they would play at our wedding. They are called the New York Brass Band and I couldn’t have been happier with them on the night. They kept everything informal and fun and got everyone up dancing.

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (55)

Special touches on the wedding day included the centre pieces to the tables, which were made by my Dad from an oak tree, and we had a finger print tree instead of a comment book. People could press their finger print on to the picture of a leafless tree in either blue, green or yellow ink and then write their name over the top. This resulted in lots of people walking around with coloured finger tips!

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (53)

We would without a doubt recommend Churchill Hotel to other brides and grooms. Our wedding was slightly unusual in that the hotel arranged for a temporary marque outside. We had 90 day guests which they accommodated easily.

It’s tough to say what my favourite part of the wedding was. Getting ready in the morning with some of my favourite people in the world was really special, and also getting to see Andy for the first time. Sitting down at the meal and seeing friends and family who have never met before laughing and having fun was great too – as was dancing until the lights came on!

A Laidback Wedding in York (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (56)

Following the wedding we went on honeymoon to Italy. We started in Naples for three days, then Sorento for a week and then over to the east coast in Puglia for a week. It was fantastic. Beautiful food and scenery. Plenty to do in Naples and Sorrento and then a week of complete luxury and relaxation in the Hotel Don Ferrante in Monopoli, Puglia.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to worry about getting around to speak to everyone on the day. There were lots of people I only managed to smile at! Everybody understands what it’s like; nobody is expecting you to allocate time to them.

Also, if you find that you are getting anxious or stressed by any part of the wedding planning, just ask if it’s really necessary. We kept things simple wherever we could because I wanted to enjoy the run up to the wedding, not be stressed by it

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