August 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding not only sees two families come together but also two countries, as Cheshire girl Alison Jane tied the knot to her Brooklyn boy Daniel, during a traditional church ceremony followed by a country garden style reception at Hyde Bank Farm.
Though most of what can be seen, such as the gorgeous flowers, rustic décor and pretty barn setting, is typically English, Alison Jane and Daniel (who are now both living in the USA) incorporated some sweet American touches too, including stars and stripes bunting and chocolate dimes and nickels.
We think it’s safe to say Daniel will be Alison Jane’s american boy forever more!
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
alison jane says: Daniel had asked me on several occasions how I would like to be proposed to (if it ever happened) and I had always replied: “Whenever you want to, when the moment strikes you”. We were both living on different continents at the time (I in England, he in America). I took a trip to meet his parents in New York, which was also the same city we met in. One morning we were lying in bed together and he rolled over and asked me to marry him. He says that was the moment he was unequivocally sure that he wanted to marry me.
We set the date for 13th June 2015. I wanted a summer wedding and Daniel finished medical school at the end of May and started work at the beginning of July, so it had to be June. Daniel had to be in the country two weeks before the wedding for it to be legal, and we wanted a honeymoon afterwards, so we picked the middle Saturday in June.
We got married at St Thomas’ Church in Stockton Heath, which was my local church in my hometown. We both wanted a church wedding and I wanted to be married from home, so it was a no brainer.
We had our reception at Hyde Bank Farm. I wanted a barn type venue and I loved the fact that this one had a room upstairs for those who want to party hard and a room downstairs with comfy sofas for those who want to chat and relax.
Daniel is a Brooklyn boy, and we now both live in Brooklyn. Being overseas whilst planning the wedding I relied very heavily on my mother to do everything, and all credit goes to her for it being a grand success.
I didn’t pick a theme as such, generally it was a very traditional English country wedding. I had been living in America for a year whilst planning it and I was a tad homesick, and I think that contributed to it being so English.
Our colour scheme was spun gold, spa, ivory, hessian and navy blue. I picked them because they went well together. The spun gold and ivory was in my dress, and Daniel wanted a navy blue suit, the hessian was from the barn venue. I realised I had to pick another colour for the palette to work, and chose spa with the help of my sister. I then had to remind everyone that this was not a spa themed wedding, as they kept wanting to make everything spa!
I chose my dress with my mother in England before I moved to America. It was a David Tutera Mon Cheri lace mermaid gown. My mother and I had slightly different taste in dresses: many I liked she deemed ‘too sexy’, I think this was the perfect compromise. The dress had hand-beaded and re-embroidered lace appliqués, tip-of-the shoulder illusion sleeves, a scoop neckline and back bodice, covered buttons which trailed down the back to a chapel length train.
My bridesmaids wore knee length Dessy chiffon dresses in spa, but picked their own style. We chose Dessy because it was easily available in the UK and America so they could all get the same make.
Daniel wore his favourite navy blue suit that he already owned and we simply asked the groomsmen to wear a grey suit. We had a variety of greys but I think it worked well and everyone was comfortable. Daniel picked a paisley spa and grey tie for the men to wear too.
My dad hired a car to get us from the wedding to the reception. I was touched by the fact the driver had custard creams in the back for us to munch on for our journey (they are my favourite biscuit and you can’t get them in America).
Peter and Sara from Pixies in the Cellar were our photographers. They were fantastic and I would highly recommend them. They suggested a variety of shots I wouldn’t have thought of, but they were never pushy, and were really lovely to work with on the day. Everyone loves our photos!
Lisa from the Village Florist in Stockton Heath did all our flowers, she was fantastic. I came to her with a rough idea of a country, cream coloured bouquet and she put together a fantastic trailing bouquet of roses, calla lilies, lisianthus, baby’s breath and a very pale pink milkwort.
For all the decorations we used the same flowers as in my bouquet. We had garlands hanging around the pillars in the church as well as over the porch, around the pulpit and by the alter. For pew ends I decorated jam jars in my colour scheme and Lisa filled them with neutral flowers. We then transported the pew ends to the reception venue and used them again as our centre pieces.
I also wanted English and American themed bunting, and spent days hand sewing it. My mother was sure I wouldn’t finish in time, but with a little help, I did. It made me so happy to see it up in the reception venue, and it makes a wonderful memento for me to keep.
Candle light was a must to set the mood and so we had dozens of tea-lights in jam jars hanging from trees and on the beams in the barn.
My mother collected over 150 vintage cups and saucers from charity shops and friends over the year before our wedding, which we gave out with favours. I tied them with printed ribbon with our names and date, and we filled them with chocolate English and American coins.
My sister and maid of honour volunteered to make the cake. It was three tiered; the bottom was fruit, middle was red velvet and the top was plain sponge, so hopefully everyone was happy. It looked amazing too!
For our wedding breakfast, we chose Scottish Salmon, followed by Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding to give the Americans a proper English treat. We had Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream for dessert, as there was no chocolate in the cake. For a late supper we had fish and chips from the local chippie, Matt’s Plaice.
To keep guests entertained, I wanted a live band, and Daniel located a great local band called Breaker Live, who played a great compilation of classic rock. Between sets we let our guests plug in their own iPods and had a great time dancing routines to the Macarena and 5,6,7,8!
A couple of special touches on the day included having my late grandmother’s sapphire engagement ring as my something blue. It wouldn’t fit my fingers so I sewed into my wedding dress. Also my father surprised me by presenting us with a beautiful poem he had written for us, it was so thoughtful.
Hyde Bank Farm is a beautiful venue, and we would recommend it, but I would encourage brides to design the day themselves rather than using routine suppliers, in order to stop it becoming another generic wedding.
Directly from the wedding we went on a four day mini-moon to Dannah Farm, a secluded retreat for couples. It was wonderful to sit around in the private spa with a class of champagne! We then popped back briefly to see my mum before flying to Fort Lauterdale, Florida, to stay in Daniel’s parents’ penthouse beach apartment, followed by a few days at Disney World (because I had never been) where we stayed in a nearby Marriott.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to discuss expectations early, in order to prevent fights. Everyone has different priorities, and if your parents are paying it’s their wedding too! My father wanted a fancy car and good wine, I wanted a band and a nice dress, my mother wanted to invite everyone she knew, and my husband just wanted everyone to get along – we all accepted that what we thought was important wasn’t what the other people did, and that helped us in the long run.
When it got close to the wedding I just couldn’t wait to just be married. As perfect as our wedding day was, marriage is better.
July 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North we do enjoy it when brides push the boundaries with their dress choices. Falling for something a little different, today’s bride Victoria chose a stunning soft golden gown instead of a traditional ivory or white design – and we’re sure you’ll all agree, she looks gorgeous!
The rest of the wedding party keep the style bar high with maids in pretty pale gowns with lace detailing and the groomsmen in smart navy suits with polka dot tie and pocket square.
From the beautiful blooms to the elegant cake the entire day comes together perfectly for the classic and sophisticated wedding that Victoria had dreamt of.
With images by Cahill Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged in London over August bank holiday weekend in 2013. We had booked a weekend away and were staying at the Royal Horseguards Hotel. We always try to go to a Michelin starred restaurant when we go away so Neil had booked a meal at a surprise location. On our way out we had a walk through Whitehall Gardens just in front of our hotel. It was such a pretty little garden with a really old tree in the centre which we had seen through our hotel window. We stopped by it and Neil said something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to embarrass you but….’ Then got down on one knee and pulled out a little blue Tiffany & Co bag from his suit pocket and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked and in a complete daze, I really wasn’t expecting it. Of course I said “yes”. We celebrated our engagement at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.
Our wedding day was 3rd April 2015. We had no specific date in mind to get married, we had talked about a bank holiday weekend during the early stages of planning and it just so happened our chosen venue – West Tower Country House Hotel in Aughton, Lancashire – had Good Friday available.
I had my heart set on West Tower from the first time I saw it. A friend of a friend was a bridesmaid at West Tower a few years ago and upon seeing the pictures I fell in love with it! We did a little bit of research online and narrowed our choices down to a handful we wanted to view in person. West Tower for us just blew the rest out of the water, it was everything I had ever dreamed of and more.
We didn’t really have a specific theme for our wedding day, we just want it to have a classic and sophisticated look to the day to fit in with the venue.
Our colour scheme was vintage/soft pinks, cream and gold. I wanted to have soft colours for a spring wedding and I had always liked the idea of vintage pinks and the colours worked perfectly with the venue.
My dress was from designer Stella York. I bought from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. I had seen the dress at a wedding fair at the Emirates Stadium displayed by a bridal wear shop based in Chester and I fell in love with it. I did some research into North West stockists of Stella York dresses and Bridalwear by Emma Louise was the only one. I contacted the store and from day one Emma was so helpful. She didn’t stock this particular dress but ordered in a sample for me to try on. I fell in love as soon as I put it on, it was so different to anything I had tried on previously. The colour, the lace, the detail, everything was perfect! It had to be ‘the one’.
Neil wore a dark navy blue three piece suit from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow with a polka dot tie and pocket square. He also wore a bow waistcoat with a pocket watch to make him stand out from the other groomsmen who had classic four button waistcoats with the same time and pocket square.
Our photographer was Martin Cahill of Cahill Photography. We would most definitely recommend Martin to other couples as he was great from start to finish. The pictures say it all, we are so amazed by them and they will bring us happy memories for the rest of our lives.
The majority of our flowers were silk with a few fresh ones here and there. Neil’s mum did all our arrangements throughout the venue and our bouquets. My flowers were hand tied, long stemmed cream silk roses bound with lace.
The chair covers, aisle runner, lanterns, pillars and swagging throughout the venue were provided by Add A Little Sparkle.
All our stationary, from invites to table names were handmade by me. I also handmade all of the pearl and crystal napkin rings for the wedding breakfast which doubled up as name cards.
We gave our guest favours of Charbonnel et Walker milk chocolate truffles which came in a white boxes edged in gold, which tied in perfectly with our theme. We had lots of ideas for favours but in the end went with simple and classic.
Our cake was made by Taylormade Cakes by Tracy. We chose a five tier cake made up of fruit, lemon drizzle, chocolate fudge and carrot. We wanted a quite a large cake to make an impact in the room. It was a classic five tier design with some of the tiers edged in edible lace and decorated with handmade flowers which Tracy had replicated from the silk flowers used in our arrangements. We didn’t see the finished cake until the day. It was so perfect and just what we had imagined, I didn’t want to cut it. I would highly recommend Tracy to anyone.
For our wedding breakfast we had a starter of smoked chicken Caesar salad with herb croutes and bacon crisps followed by mains of Lancashire blade of beef slow cooked in a beer jus with wholegrain mustard mash, roasted shallots, button mushrooms, carrots, swede and bundles of green beans. To finish we had sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream (our favourite pudding). In the evening we had a hog roast.
As entertainment we hired a string quartet called The Dotted Crotchets to play for our guests’ arrival, my entrance, signing the register and for our drinks reception. The Dotted Crotchets were our choice, we first heard them play at the Trafford Centre and we fell in love with the idea. We hadn’t been to a wedding with a quartet before and thought it was a nice touch and a little different to anything we’ve experienced as guests at a wedding. We had full control over the song choices which enabled us to pick songs that meant something to us.
We hired Robin, the MD of Dancefloor Couture, as our DJ for our evening reception. He had played at a number of our friends’ weddings in previous years and was absolutely amazing. We knew we had to have him and didn’t want anyone else. He certainly didn’t disappoint!
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The staff made us feel comfortable from the first day we visited West Tower, they could not have been more helpful from start to finish. They made our vision of what we wanted our wedding day to be into a reality. It was so much more than we dreamed of. I could not fault them on anything they have a fabulous team and would highly recommend them as a wedding venue.
I enjoyed every single minute of our wedding day, it was such an amazing day and one I will never forget. For me there were a couple of standout points; the moment my bridesmaid and my dad saw me in my dress for the very first time. I had concealed everything about my dress from everyone other than my mum until I was dressed on the day. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see their faces when they finally saw it. It was definitely tears all round moment. Another special moment was when I saw Neil waiting for me at the end of the aisle and taking our vows.
For our honeymoon we went to Hong Kong for four nights then onto Koh Samui, Thailand, for six months and then Singapore for six nights. We wanted to have a long holiday as we normally only do short breaks away, so it was nice to enjoy almost three weeks away from everything together as a newly married couple.
Neil spent a few years as a child in Singapore and time as a teenager in Hong Kong as his dad worked away in these countries, so he was excited to go back and see what it was like now and also to show me where he lived and the things he experienced as a child. We chose Koh Samui as our ultimate luxury destination for rest and relaxation in the middle of our two city stays. We had our private villa with our own pool. It was paradise.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute and try to take in as much as possible as the day just flies by so quickly. Also, take five minutes together to discuss the day so far.
add a little sparkle, bridalwear by emma louise, cahill photography, Charbonnel et Walker, dancefloor couture, debenhams, lancashire wedding, marks and spencer, next, north west wedding, pink wedding, real wedding, romantic wedding, stella york, taylormade cakes, the dotted crotchets, uk wedding blog, west tower country house hotel, whitfield and ward
July 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Foodies Laura and Stephen incorporated their love of fine dining into every element of their wedding, from the romantic restaurant proposal, to menu and theming choices for the big day, and even planned some top nosh in swanky London town to kick start their honeymoon.
We just love the pretty pistachio and lavender colour scheme, which fits in with the theming beautifully, plus all those special homemade touches that were loving crafted by Laura, with the help of her leading ladies.
So pull up a chair, tuck in your napkin and feast your eyes on the delicious big day…
With images and video by H2 Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in April 2012. Stephen and I often save up and treat ourselves to meals at top restaurants as we really enjoy eating out and sampling fine cuisine. Due to our love of food, Stephen planned a whole holiday around eating. On the final night of our trip, we treated ourselves and booked a table at the 3 Michelin star restaurant called Akelare. We sat admiring the view of the Bay of Biscay whilst enjoying our 12 course tasting menu. The final dish arrived and to my surprise under the silver cloche there was a dazzling engagement ring. Stephen got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Without a doubt I said “yes” and the rest is history.
We set the date for 16th August 2014 as I’m a teacher and so wanted to book it in the summer holidays to allow time for me to complete my preparations.
We married in our local village church and had a beautiful service with our close friends and family. When it came to finding the reception venue we visited many options, but instantly fell in love with Beeston Manor in Hoghton, Lancashire. We loved the venue due to its intimacy and homeliness. The owners were fabulous and extremely accommodating. Being situated within the countryside and close to where we live, it was a perfect venue for us.
The overall style was of our wedding was traditional English country garden. This theme fit perfectly with the venue.
Our colour theme was ‘pistachio and lavender’. I adore the scent of lavender so I grew my own within the garden. I then dried it out and this was used to decorate the church pews and the reception tables. I even got my florist to incorporate some within my bouquet. Stephen found an unusual pistachio coloured suit that he really liked and the added bonus was that we are both very fond of eating pistachios!
I wanted a big dress that was covered in lace and had intricate detail. I was keen to find one that was fitting of a traditional wedding. I would only wear a dress of this splendour once so I wanted to make a statement. The best thing about my dress was that it had a bolero piece that I could detach. This transformed the look of the dress and made it extra special. I purchased the dress from The Bridal Lounge in Accrington.
Stephen hired his suits from Dan Kerr in Preston. He wore a pistachio coloured suit with a cream cravat and handkerchief. The groomsmen wore the same as the groom. The only difference was that Stephen had a different buttonhole.
The bridesmaids wore a lavender Grecian style dress. I ordered these from a website called, www.DIYdress.com. The quality of the dresses were amazing and I purchased all three of them at a reasonable price. Our little flower girl wore a beautiful dress from BHS.
We hired a traditional car from a local supplier. We only lived around the corner from our church so the chauffer ran the bridesmaids up to the church first and then came back for me and my dad.
We visited a few photographers before we found Chris at H2 photography. We were really interested in getting a good quality videographer to capture our special day. We first found H2 Photography online. We watched one of Chris’ cinematic films he had featured on his website and we just knew that the quality of his films were above any other we had seen. The bonus was that when we met Chris in person he was a really approachable, friendly guy. Both Stephen and I knew that that we wouldn’t be disappointed if we picked Chris to be our photographer/videographer. We were right to trust our instincts. He was great!
To save money, I attended our church’s flower arranging classes. With the help of Hazel (the chief flower arranger at church) we created some fabulous floral creations. This was an enjoyable experience and the church looked beautiful due to our personal touch.
The bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, button holes and corsages were created by Eden florist in Chorley. Again, I couldn’t fault their service. They did any amazing job.
I designed and created all the table centre pieces myself. Each one was unique and quaint. I purchased a variety of discounted items from places such as The Range, B&M and Country Baskets wholesalers. I was also assisted by a brigade of close friends who helped me to decorate empty jam jars. This was a fun experience and my friends really enjoyed contributing to the wedding preparations. Each table had a bespoke, homemade feel to it. To complete the setting, Creative Covers in Preston, supplied our chair covers.
As favours the male guests received a bag of pistachio nuts and a tag that read ‘Nuts about each other’. The female guests meanwhile received a bar of lavender soap and an envelope of seeds. The seed label read, ‘Plant these seeds and watch them bloom, just like the love of the bride and groom’. We bought our flower girl a beautiful Build a Bear which was dressed in a gorgeous wedding dress. She loved her present.
We decided to have a cake made of cheese. The cheese was supplied by Pat’s Cheeses on Chorley market. This was one of the highlights for our guests. The cake looked beautiful and tasted great too.
As a sweet option we also ordered a three-tier iced sponge cake from Marks & Spencer. We picked up some lace from the Chorley market and pinned it around each tier. I then ordered an extra button hole for my cake topper. A simple look, but it was extremely effective.
We chose Alex Birtwell an acoustic vocalist to perform at our wedding. He is an excellent wedding entertainer. He was extremely versatile, professional and friendly. All our wedding guests commented on how good he was.
In addition to the traditional wedding guest book I created ‘messages in a bottle’. The guests inserted a ‘best wishes note’ into the following labelled bottles: 1 year, 5 year, 10 year and 25 years. On each anniversary we will smash the relevant bottle and read our wonderful messages.
To collect images from our day we used a free app called Wedpics.com. This was an amazing free website where guests could login and upload their wedding snaps for us to view. This is a modern take on putting cameras on each table. We accumulated about 300 amateur extra weddings snaps, which was great.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others. This family run business can’t do enough for you. They made our day run smoothly and perfectly. A gorgeous venue, great staff and scrumptious food.
After the wedding we started our honeymoon by nipping down to London on the train to visit Le Gavroche, which is the restaurant belonging to Michel Roux Jr. We then flew to Corsica and spent a whole week in a gorgeous, peaceful, secluded villa. It was bliss!
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be – get yourself a wedding planning booklet to keep yourself organised, delegate jobs as much as possible to friends and family and don’t be scared to DIY and add personal touches.
July 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime
As soon as we spotted today’s real wedding we knew it would be perfect for the blog, not only because it’s incredibly pretty, but also because it’s brimming with our favourite colour, pink!
Every element of Rachel and Brandon’s well-styled big day blends together seamlessly, from the rustic barn wedding setting with exposed stone and beams, to the cute bunting strung along the walls and the also the stunning floral displays placed upon the tables.
The bride and groom say their main aim was to deliver a day that was fun and joyful – looking at the images we’d say mission well and truly accomplished!
With images by One Little Daisy.
rachel says: We got engaged when we seized a brief moment of alone time on Christmas Day 2013. Brandon had been working away a lot so it was poignant that we were able to savour this moment at home – well, my parents’ home, but at least we were in our home country (where we live anyway, Brandon is American).
After our engagement we chose 23rd April 2015 as our wedding date, which was a Thursday. Family and friends were travelling from all over the world and with those journeys in mind we thought that a Thursday would be easier for people. It also meant we saved a few pennies here and there on the venue and some suppliers. A hidden benefit for us was that suppliers had better availability so there was less pressure to get them booked.
Our venue was The Ashes in Endon, Staffordshire. We chose it for its beautiful Grade II listed barns and stunning scenery. We wanted a stress-free ride and loved the idea of their team of expert planners. Plus we could provide our own wine (wine tasting was definitely one of the preparation highlights)!
We wanted the day to be fun and joyful and so we picked things we really liked to incorporate into our day. We ended up making a lot of things ourselves and involving friends, all of which just evolved as the planning progressed.
For our colour scheme we chose blush and navy as the principal colours almost instinctively.
The dress I chose was the polar opposite of what I started out looking for – it was a wildcard. As soon as I put it on I loved it. It felt so much fun to wear and I couldn’t stop grinning. It was from Knutsford Wedding Gallery.
On the wedding day my flawless makeup was by Gemma at Dollface Makeup Studio in Macclesfield. She was lovely to work with. My gorgeous hair meanwhile was by Vicky at Anthony James, Altrincham.
Brandon wore a blue racing green suit, a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt and a Dessy tie and pocket square to match with the Dessy dress of my maid-of-honour. He had stripy blue and pink socks that matched the rest of the wedding party.
My maid-of-honour wore a blush floor-length dress from Dessy and the groomsmen and fathers of the bride and groom wore navy racing green suits and blush ties and pocket squares from Dessy.
Our ceremony was pretty special and a first for the registry office, which took some organising! We had the co-founder of Sunday Assembly, Sanderson Jones, as our MC. We really wanted a ceremony that was as personalised to us as we could make it. He created such a celebratory atmosphere and had the whole room singing and cheering throughout. He balanced humour and jubilation with thoughtful words on marriage.
I was adamant I wanted signing to be a part of our ceremony and we were honoured to have James Adams, an amazing musician and close family friend, play for us. We had the whole congregation singing, and he played a medley solo whilst we signed the register.
To transport our guests to The Ashes we hired a big red bus from Routemaster for Hire, Wrexham. It was a fabulous sight to watch it slowly make its way up the long winding road at The Ashes.
We loved our photographer Joe, from One Little Daisy in Leek, from the day we met him. So much so we didn’t even meet with anyone else. One unique thing that he offers is a ‘Go-pro video’ of the ceremony and speeches. We’d whole-heartedly recommend him for his professionalism, his friendly nature and his stunning photos.
I was blown away by my bouquet. I have never seen anything like it. The variety and precision was remarkable. Our florist, Nadia of Nadia Di Tullio Flowers, did an immense job of interpreting my array of thoughts and ramblings.
When it came to decorations, we wanted them to be fun and joyful. For our floral decorations we incorporated some blues and purples to complement the pinks, whites and ivories used in the bouquets. We had a stunning six-foot arrangement for the ceremony table, which we moved to the top table. Everything floral was provided by our florist, Nadia of Nadia Di Tullio Flowers.
Our elegant bunting, from Bunting with Love, was excellent quality. The owner was exceptionally helpful and went out of her way to help us. We then supplied the many props ourselves.
My friend Laura kindly made our beautiful cake. She isn’t a professional baker so we were hugely honoured that she went to so much effort in her spare time to create such a masterpiece. The bottom and top layers were fruit and the middle layer was sponge. We served it alongside the evening buffet.
The highlight of our wedding breakfast was the ‘Host a Roast’ sirloin beef. We had pre-selected a carver for each table, each of whom were presented with an apron and a chef’s hat. This aligned with our theme to create a fun day for everyone. It was a great way to get guests talking at the tables and great fun to watch from the top table. The food, which was impeccable, was provided by Jenkinsons, the venue’s resident caterer.
We were very excited to be able to have carte blanche to choose our own wines (with no corkage!). We sought wines that would stand up to being drunk without food, as there can be a lot of time between courses at a wedding. We paired the asparagus and Serano ham starter with a lively Australian Voignier and chose a sumptuous Spanish Garnacha to accompany the roast beef. For the toasts we enjoyed a beautifully refreshing Valdobbiadene Prosecco.
We took a traditional approach to the entertainment and hired a band called the Warning Tones, who were fab and had the dance floor filled the whole night.
There was a few special touches added to the day to make it all the more memorable including a ‘first look’. Brandon and I were keen to share as much of the day together as we could and so shared a few special minutes together before the ceremony.
With the help of others, we also made some lovely homemade items for the wedding. My maid-of-honour made our fun table plan and confetti cones. We wanted to incorporate an element that united our two nationalities. Brandon and I made the place names, champagne cork holders and table names, amongst other bits and pieces and my dad made the blackboards that our page boys carried.
As something a little bit different we had a Poloroid guestbook, which our guests loved! It includes so many fun photos.
We would absolutely recommend our venue to other brides and grooms. It’s picturesque, arranged perfectly and has all the necessary elements, including the ‘Dairy’ where the bride and her maids can get ready.
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony, we had such a blast singing and dancing. Who knew comedy had a place in a wedding, it was so much fun.
Following the wedding, we had a mini-moon in the Peak District. It was heavenly to nip away for a few days without the added hassle of having to prepare for a full honeymoon. We’ll be honeymooning in the USA after spending some time with Brandon’s family.
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to wed on a Thursday! It makes booking suppliers so much simpler. Also, have a first look! It was so special to share those few minutes together just the two of us. It took away any butterflies for the ceremony and I’d say we enjoyed the ceremony more for it.
July 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s wedding couple encountered every bride and groom’s worst nightmare when their chosen reception venue went into administration just months before their big day.
Keeping their cool Rachel and Ian found an alternative venue in The White Heart at Lydgate. Though they had to switch their date from early April to Valentine’s weekend, the determined duo decided to stick with their pretty pastel springtime colour palette and were pleased to say it worked seamlessly. Add in some cute vintage touches and fabulous florals and you’ve got one very sweet big day!
With images by Katie Sidell Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged whilst on a relaxing weekend away at the seaside in Bridlington in July 2013. We went for a walk to the beach at Flamborough Head where Ian had planned to propose. However when we arrived it was rather busy and a young family and then a man with a metal detector spoilt the moment for Ian so he chickened out! We later went for a walk along the cliff tops and whilst sat on a bench overlooking the sea Ian got down on one knee!
We should have been getting married on the 4th April 2015 but after the wedding reception went into administration we were left to find a new venue just before Christmas! The White Hart Inn at Lydgate came to our rescue and we got married on the 15th February 2015 – it was to be a valentine’s wedding weekend!
We got married at St Paul’s Methodist Church in Shaw, which is the church I have attended along with my family all my life. It was really important to me to get married there because it’s a place where I have grown up! Ian doesn’t go to church so it took me a few years to persuade him! Our reception at the White Hart was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t recommend this venue enough. It is surrounded by picturesque landscape and amazing scenery.
Having got engaged at the seaside in Bridlington, we came across a shop called Behind the Times (one of our favourite shops) which recycles materials to produce vintage products which soon became our theme. We purchased our save the dates and wedding invitations along with lots of other bits from there.
After deciding on a spring wedding we went for a neutral colour scheme with a variety of pastel shades.
My dress was from a bridal shop called Amelia’s Bridal Boutique in Clitheroe. We visit Clitheroe quite a lot and my Mum always said that when my sister or I got engaged we would go there to look for dresses. So that’s where I went. My dress was the very first one I tried on, and I just knew it was the one. The dress had a high lace neck and a stunning low V back which led into buttoned detailing down to the satin train. It also had a beautiful detailed waist band and pockets, which was a real quirky selling point for me!
Ian wore a slim fit navy blue suit with matching waist coast and tie with a fresh white shirt. The suits were from Next. His shoes were black brogues, also from Next.
I looked for months at bridesmaid dresses and couldn’t make my mind up! In the end my sister, who was my maid of honour, ordered them online and surprised me one night with all my bridesmaids wearing them! The dresses were a simple, long, high-necked, maxi dress from BHS in a champagne colour. The dresses had a lovely detailed waist band which tied into my waist band. The groomsmen meanwhile all wore matching suits, shirts and tie to the groom.
We travelled in my Grandfather’s vintage Mercedes. My Grandad was thrilled when we asked him if we could use his car and if he would be our chauffeur for the day. Him and my Grandma went all out and dressed the car in bows and put flowers on the parcel self – they loved it! It was perfect!
Our photographer was Katie Sidell. She is absolutely brilliant and we can’t recommend her enough! Her pictures are so beautiful and natural. She managed to capture every precious moment of our special day from start to finish. The best part about Katie is that you don’t really notice she is there!! It was exciting to see the photographs as there were so many pictures that we hadn’t realised she had taken on the day. Aside from the photographs she is a really lovely person who made me, and particularly Ian, feel at ease with the camera and we do hope she will be free for a christening one day!
I carried a mixed bouquet of roses, carnations, lisianthus and gypsy, all in pale colours. The bridesmaids had something similar but on a smaller scale. The flowers where from a family friend called Nina Forbes, she is brilliant and knew exactly what I wanted!
Nina made the flower arrangements for the reception which stood on the top of some tall vases. The vases were then situated on round mirror plates that were dressed with chrome tea-light candle holders. We also dressed the room using four big flower arrangements from the church. Some of the ladies at church, including my two Grandma’s, made these arrangements up the day before and they were beautiful!
I have a very sweet tooth so as favours we filled jam-jars full of our favourite sweets! We then dressed the top of the jars in some vintage flower material and tied brown luggage labels around them with the guest’s name on. These then doubled up as place names.
A family friend Elaine Day made our cake. We had one layer Victoria sponge, another chocolate and another lemon drizzle. It was gorgeous.
For entertainment we used the resident DJ at the White Hart who was brilliant. He played a range of music had had everyone on the dance floor all night! Later he was on his way to a local club with four of the guests in a taxi at closing time!
We asked our guests to give us their favourite three songs to be played on our wedding day. We then used these songs to create a playlist for the wedding breakfast and a playlist for the DJ at night. This added a special touch to the day and night as people’s choices were played throughout the wedding letting them enjoy their favourite songs while we were enjoying our special day. In the evening it was also fun to name and shame some of the guests who had put some embarrassing choices on their top three – the DJ made sure they were pointed out and brought on the dance floor to our amusement!
The White Hart Inn is amazing and we would definitely recommend the venue to others! The service we received in the build up to the wedding and on the day was brilliant. It was like they couldn’t do enough for us! They were in regular contact and had even thought of things we hadn’t to make our day run smoothly. Having an attentive manager on hand at all times throughout the day was reassuring to us both that if there were any issues they were sorted out straight away. Both of us have and will continue to praise the venue, location, food and the experience we had to all our friend and people we know.
Our whole day was perfect from start to finish. We wish we could do it all over again! Ian particularly enjoyed seeing his best men (his uncle and his youngest brother) stand up for their speeches. Both were so nervous before the day (a few gin and tonics were drank before the speeches) but they both stood up and spoke in front of around 130 people. They did an amazing job with funny and embarrassing stories but Ian couldn’t have been more proud.
For our honeymoon we spent a week in Paris straight after the wedding and it was perfect. It was so romantic! We visited all the sites and spent our nights in swanky restaurants and bars. It was just a shame we had to come home as the reality hit that it was all over and we had to go back to work!
My top tips for other Brides Up North is to not stress about the planning and organising before the wedding. No matter what happens it will be absolutely perfect! Also, let your guests come to you! Don’t stand at the door welcoming guests and then saying goodbye to guests. It’s your special day and your guests will know to find you on the dance floor!
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