Charlotte Balbier

a little bit of what we like. a personal wedding with vintage touches at crab manor – gemma & darren

June 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

Having found their perfect wedding venue in Crab Manor, North Yorkshire, today’s couple decided against a set theme and instead added bits and pieces that they liked to the manor’s unusual décor or an individual big day.

Individuality continued throughout the wedding in the bride’s vintage-esque attire, the groom’s tweed getup and the beautiful floral bridesmaid dresses.

There are many elements of this big day that we absolutely love, though one in particular has to be Gemma’s wild bouquet – just stunning!

We think you will all agree, this one is a real beauty!

With images by Brides Up North featured supplier, Helen Russell Photography.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (3)

gemma says: We got engaged on 2nd December 2013. Darren took me for lunch at Browns in Newcastle. After our starters Darren started to fidget in his pocket then he pulled the ring out and proposed, I said yes immediately. I can remember thinking though I wished he had waited until after our meal as I couldn’t eat anything else as I was so excited to get back home and tell everyone!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (7)

We set the date for 13th February 2015. We decided on that date as the 13th February is the anniversary of when we officially started dating.

Our chosen venue was Crab Manor in Thirsk, we fell in love with how cool and quirky the place was and also the uniqueness of the venue. We always knew a big stately house/hotel wasn’t for us and wanted somewhere everyone would feel comfortable on the big day.

We didn’t wanted to have a theme as such but I have a love for vintage clothing/items so that did play a part in the day, but ultimately we chose to buy whatever we liked. Similarly, we chose not to have a colour scheme as we didn’t want to be limited in what we could buy, we wanted free rein and hoped everything would come together in the end.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (10)

My dress was from Amore Brides in Sunderland. I always knew what kind of dress I didn’t want more than what I did want. I met June the owner and pulled out three dresses to try on, as soon as I put the first dress on I knew it was the one. It was the most beautiful lace backless Maggie Sottero dress and it was just me. I felt 100% comfortable so I bought it there and then. I still look at it now and I’m still in love with it.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (12)

Darren bought his suit from Leaf in Newcastle. He wanted a tweed suit and fell in love with the first one he saw. His tweed tie was bought online from a shop in Scotland to go with his Dolce and Gabbana shirt. His Jeffrey West shoes were a gift from me for his birthday the year before. Unfortunately Darren’s gran passed away before our wedding. With some of the money he was left he bought a gold pocket watch, so in a sense his gran could be with us on our special day.

The best men and my dad wore navy suits from Debenhams with tweed ties also from the same shop as Darren’s. All the guys had matching monster socks from Burton.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

Our bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS. They were for me the perfect dresses and I really liked them straight away. Isabelle my flower girl (niece) wore a beautiful dress from Monsoon with some glitter pumps from John Lewis.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (19)

Helen Russell was our photographer on the day. Helen has photographed a few friends’ weddings and I totally love her style and how she captures the perfect moments. I’m not a great fan of posed photos and I knew Helen’s images were mostly natural shots and this was ideal for us.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (16)

My flowers were a bit of a gamble as I didn’t really know what I was getting until the morning of the big day. My maid of honour, who flew back from Australia for the wedding, is good friends with Kirsty who co owns Darling and Green, we met up once last summer and I saw some of her work and knew she was the one who I wanted to do my flowers. I was quite laid back about what I wanted and Kirsty totally got my style and I knew she would deliver on the day.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

We had a selection of different shaped and sized glass bottles filled with wild flowers for our table decorations from Darling and Green, along with glass bottles I filled with pearls, which we used for our table numbers. I bought a flowery storage box and some mini ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting and made a box for our cards. The venue is full of bits and bobs so we didn’t need a lot of decorations.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (29)

Our wedding favours were retro mix ups in personalized brown paper bags, we put in all of our favourite sweets from our childhood. The children got goody bags full with activities such as colouring in books, puzzles, pens and also disposable cameras, which went down a treat.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (34)

We weren’t really fussed on having a wedding cake so we decided on cupcakes made by Lynn, a family friend. They were a huge success and tasted amazing!

We choose a menu that would please everyone; leek and potato soup, beef and vegetables then sticky toffee pudding followed by coffee and the famous Crab Manor chocolate truffles.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (40)

For entertainment, we hired a juke box from Crab Manor. As we only had a small wedding of 30 people we didn’t need anything else. Everyone loved dancing away to their favourite tunes. For decoration we also hired a love heart from Coco Luminaire with our names and date of the big day on.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (42)

If you are after something different to your normal wedding then choose Crab Manor as the venue is without doubt one of the best places we have stayed in. It offers something different and the staff are amazing, especially John, one of the wedding co-ordinators. The venue is cool and quirky and just has an amazing overall feel. We highly recommend!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

My favourite part of the day was the ceremony; being with everyone who we love and care for and being able to share our special day with them.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (64)

For our honeymoon we went to Jamaica. We literally went to chill after a busy few months arranging the wedding. The surprises kept on coming though as on our second week we found out I was expecting our first child, due in October!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (62)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – try to relax and enjoy the experience, as it’s very easy to turn into a bridezilla!

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dream venue: the black swan, helmsley

June 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

The Black Swan Helmsley (23)

Today on the wedding blog we’re incredibly excited to introduce you to our dream venue, The Black Swan, located in the picturesque town of Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

If you’re looking for a wedding venue that’s brimming with character, charm and luxury, this boutique hotel has it all. Couples will not only fall in love with The Black Swan’s unique and historic building, but also its incredibly helpful team of staff who ensure every couple’s wedding is perfect, from beginning to end. In fact, the venue won the prestigious accolade of ‘Hotel of the Year’ at Visit York’s Annual Tourism Awards 2015.

Oh and did we mention the food? The Black Swan is renowned for taking the very best Yorkshire ingredients and using them to create exciting and undoubtedly delicious dishes that are guaranteed to wow your guests. It’s also famous for its afternoon tea experiences and so we highly recommend those interested in viewing the hotel for themselves take a trip to Yorkshire, if not for the dainty sandwiches, cute cakes and fabulous scones alone.

In the meantime we’ve quizzed those who know the venue best on what it has to offer to brides and grooms…

The Black Swan Helmsley (4)

Tell us about the location of the Black Swan?

the black swan say: Located in the picturesque market town of Helmsley in North Yorkshire, we are surrounded by the breath-taking landscapes of the county’s famous moors that add to the charming English aura, which forms part of the special experience we provide here. Offering a warming invitation of snug armchairs and big open log fires during colder climes, alongside the romantic charm of the quintessentially English walled gardens that glisten in the sunshine come summer, at The Black Swan we offer beauty and tranquillity all year round.

The Black Swan Helmsley (1)

Can you describe the Black Swan as a venue?

The Black Swan offers the perfect retreat from the rest of the world. Providing boundless hospitality, home from home country comfort, roaring fires, exceptional cuisine and the lure of a traditional Yorkshire tea room.

In terms of weddings, bespoke, elegant and romantic are all words that sum up the perfect big day here at The Black Swan – a truly unique venue. Our name alone unmasks a picture of rare beauty that is characterised in the classic style and historical architecture of our distinctive four star boutique hotel.

How does the Black Swan cater for weddings?

Our beautifully designed rooms and restaurant mirror both style and comfort, creating the perfect environment for a variety of different wedding styles.

The bespoke wedding packages we offer have been specially designed to cater for couples’ specific requirements, whereby the smallest attention to detail never goes unnoticed. With carefully crafted wedding menus showcasing sumptuous plates of food from breakfast through to the evening, and with drinks that have been specially paired to match the flavours of each dish, we invite brides and grooms and their guests to indulge in a truly memorable experience.

We offer two different rooms which can be used for both civil ceremonies/partnerships and for wedding breakfasts. These are the main restaurant and the Garden Room. The main restaurant can accommodate up to 90 guests for a wedding breakfast and up to 90 guests for a civil ceremony, and the Garden Room can accommodate up to 50 guests for a wedding breakfast and 70 guests for a civil ceremony.

Whichever wedding package couples opt for, the Tudor Lounge will also be included for the drinks reception and also for wedding photography throughout the day, plus during the drinks reception wedding parties will also have use of our gardens.

The Black Swan Helmsley (14)

The Black Swan Helmsley (20)

What type of bride would be a Black Swan bride?

Those looking for a county wedding, in relaxed, homely, historic surroundings.

What sets the Black Swan apart from other wedding venues?

Each wedding at The Black Swan is exclusive on that day ensuring that each wedding party has the highest degree of attention and service and are made to feel very special.

Size doesn’t matter to us – from an intimate tea party celebration for 12, to a house party for 90 guests taking over the whole hotel for an ‘exclusive use’, all are equally welcome.

Our friendly, small team of wedding co-ordinators pride themselves on their positivity, listening skills, knowledge and can-do attitude as they carefully tailor each wedding day to individual couples’ delight.

When it comes to wedding photography, there are a fabulous array of backdrops to capture the individual spirit of a wedding day, both in and around the hotel. These include the eclectic and iconic exterior of the hotel located on the picturesque market place, the English country house style walled gardens at the rear of the hotel and the romantic ruins of the Helmsley Castle.

The Black Swan Helmsley (2)

How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

With our weddings, we ensure that each couple’s needs are considered individually – we spend time talking and listening and advising to ascertain what they are seeking from their special day, so that we can guide them through the planning process and work together to deliver their dream wedding day. We also look for clues as to any individual touches we can add to make their day extra special.

Can guests stay over at your venue? 

Yes, we can offer wedding guests a preferential bed and breakfast rate if they would like to stay at the hotel. Alternatively we can offer recommendations of other accommodation providers in Helmsley for wedding guests.

The Black Swan Helmsley (5)

The Black Swan Helmsley (18)

Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special?

Our wedding menus have been carefully designed to complement varying peoples’ tastes and needs. We understand that choosing the menu can be a difficult decision to make, however from our many years of experience we offer a selection of popular dishes to tickle even the most discerning taste buds!

Our wedding packages offer a selection of menus for the wedding breakfast, canapés, drinks reception, and for the wine to accompany the meal. We also offer a selection of buffet menus if couples choose to have an evening buffet. We do ask that couples choose a set menu for their wedding breakfast, however alternative menus are available for guests with special dietary requirements and for children requiring alternative menus.

The Black Swan Helmsley (16)

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our wedding packages are priced from £95 per person. It’s also worthwhile visiting our website as we often have late availability deals for couples looking to get married in the next 12 months.

Do you have any open days coming up that our readers might be interested in?

Our next wedding open days will take place on Sunday 28th June 2015 and Sunday 1st November 2015. We hope to see you there!

To find out more about the Black Swan and its facilities contact 01439 770466 and ask to speak to the Wedding Co-ordinator. Alternatively, visit

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breezy boho. a fun filled papakata wedding in north yorkshire – fiona & james

May 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (32)

Today’s wedding couple booked their big day for the middle of summer with the hope of blue skies and sunshine. Fortunately the unpredictable British weather was kind and delivered just that for their teepee reception held at the local cricket ground.

Highlights for us include Fiona’s stunning lace dress and her choice of boho-style, short white dresses for her maids complete with girly gyp headpieces. Ladies you look gorgeous!

In cricket terms we’re ‘bowled’ over by this fab Yorkshire wedding!

With images by Valentina Weddings.

Fiona and James (Papakata) from Bouncing Ball Films on Vimeo.

fiona says: We got engaged in October 2012. It was on a rainy day (as it always is) at the top of Cat Bells in the Lake District. We decided to get married on 9th August 2014. Bang in the middle of summer, hoping for some sunshine!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (15)

Our ceremony was at our local church, St Radegunds Church in Scruton, North Yorkshire, which we can see from our living room window. We love where we live so it was nice to keep everything local and for our guests to enjoy our fab village. We decided to hire a Papakata teepee for our reception which was pitched at our village cricket ground where my dad has played cricket for years. They were so accommodating and we were able to use the loos in the pavilion which saved us many pennies!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (8)

There wasn’t really a set style for the wedding. I seem to acquire lots of random bits and bobs, so these kind of became the props for the day – an old vintage singer, a bargain wooden wardrobe my friend bought from a hospice sale and lovely retro marmalade pots.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (17)

I tried on every kind of style of wedding dress you can imagine and had good old laugh in the process! I found that I really liked lace and something quite fitted. I changed the back of the dress, to have more of a full keyhole style back as it was a high neck and added some onto the length to the train. It felt really vintage and quite a lot dressier than I pictured myself in, but I absolutely loved it. I got it from Charlotte at the Bridal Lounge in Northallerton – I can’t recommend this place enough!

To accompany my dress, I chose nude Hasbeens for my shoes and wore a gyp floral headpiece made by my lovely florist, Lucy. My hair was done by Becca Hunton and Jackie at Lady J’s did my makeup.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (18)

James hired his and his boys’ suits from Most Suitable in Newcastle. They were grey with a mushroomy coloured cravat and a grey waistcoat. We also had some handmade cufflinks made through Most Suitable as pressies for all of the boys and a pair of matching ‘Happy Socks’.

The girls had short white dresses from ASOS with aubergine clogs from Lotti’s in Stockholm. It was a really simplistic but boho style and they also wore a floral gyp headpiece to match mine.

Our little page boy Archie wore summer tweed trousers, a white linen shirt and braces, all from H&M, with some Saltwater sandals in blue. Meanwhile our little flower girl Harlowe wore a white cotton summer dress from Zara, yellow Saltwater sandals and a floral head piece to match the other girls.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (20)

We used my bridesmaid’s Dad’s camper, Bertie to transport us on the wedding day. He drove me and my Dad to church, and then me and James to the tepee after the service. A big thank you to Les for Bertie the camper! Our friends also surprised us with a hand drawn ‘just married’ sign and beer cans tied to Bertie!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (25)

Our photographer was Mark of Valentina Weddings. Mark was recommended to us by friends and we just clicked instantly! He’s so lovely, totally approachable and super creative. Mark listens to everything you say you’d like, styles of shots and compositions you love but equally suggests ideas that he has. We had a Pinterest board going for us both to pin photography ideas to and it’s the biggest photography board you’ll ever see!

Our wedding album, Mark and I designed together, which was great fun. The quality of the album is so high, definitely worth the money! Every one of our guests spoke of how professional and friendly Mark was, and one of our closest friends has already booked him for her wedding off the back of ours!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (26)

Mark also recommended to us a wedding videographer – Dom at Bouncing Ball Films and Ryan at Riff Raff Photography. At first we weren’t so keen, but in hindsight we are so glad we did. The finished video has been put together and footage edited so cleverly to create a short snap shot of our day. The choice of music was totally in their hands and perfectly suits our day. We have a huge smile every time we watch it!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (27)

The bouquets and headpieces I chose were all gyp bound by natural garden twine, as were the boys’ buttons holes. We kept the church flowers really simplistic, just small tin buckets full of gyp. Churches have so much heritage and beauty that I think you should just leave them be.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (31)

In the teepee we had beautiful multi coloured dahlias on the tables in the retro marmalade pots and a wooden crate filled with sunflowers. Again really simplistic but super vibrant creating a contrast from the neutral tones of the bouquets and church flowers. Our florist Lucy Hope was great and she helped with props that we needed too.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (29)

I designed our own wedding stationery, a small booklet invitation with foil blocking detail of the teepee illustration and hand rendered typography. I also drew all of the signage for the day and designed the thank you postcards through my business, Plewsy.

The table numbers were created by hanging old cricket score board numbers from the beams of the teepee, it was nice to have a link back to the cricket club whilst it also left us with more room on the tables for wine!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (35)

I totally forgot about the cake until two weeks before the wedding. Luckily our local farm shop, Springhouse Farm Shop, came to the rescue and created a beautiful naked sponge cake. They delivered it to the teepee on the morning of the wedding. The caterers layered it with strawberries and cream and we had a cake!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (36)

We wanted a relaxed feel to the day and so decided on tapas for the food. Our caterers, Paul and Chris of Indulge in Harrogate, were recommended by a work colleague and again when I met Paul I knew I trusted him to be the caterer for our big day! I had some ideas, but Paul suggested most of the dishes. Canapés were served with prosecco to our guests when they arrived at the teepee. We had crazy amounts of tapas including spicy chicken wings, tabbouleh, vegetable lasagne, chicken paella and chorizo. We served the wedding cake for pudding with berries and cream.

Paul and his team also ran the evening barbecue, serving grilled halloumi, salmon, chicken, homemade kebab skewers, coleslaw and a humongous salad! To drink we went for Rioja and Pinot Grigio for wine on the tables and behind the bar, along with barrels of Black Sheep and Carling (we ran out and had to raid the village pub for more!)

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (42)

We booked Goldsands, a local band who we had seen play live a couple of times before, to entertain our guests. They are acoustic and were perfect for our venue. Everyone has said how great they were and they have been booked a fair few times by our guests since.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (45)

We filled my friend’s retro wardrobe that she lent us full of disposable cameras, tambourines, sombreros, maracas, glitter and other bits and bobs! We also managed to exchange some bales of straw for a few free pints with a local farmer for seating outside the teepee! Oh, and borrowed a retro sofa from the cricket pavilion which was perfect!

As a special touch James and a few of our friends surprised me with a fireworks display, along with a life sized cut out of Guy Martin (long story)!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (40)

We would highly recommend Papakata to other wedding couples – Rhian and the team were fab. All the organisation went so smoothly and the teepees are so bloomin’ gorgeous! My favourite part of the day has to be seeing so many of our friends and family together in one place, shaking tambourines and feather bowers on the dance floor!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (47)

We flew to Ibiza for a week a couple of days after the wedding day. We stayed near the hippy village, it was really chilled out, super-hot with lots of beer and sunshine. Perfecto! In the October we used our honeymoon pot (set up through Spear Travels) to visit Thailand for a couple of weeks. We spent a couple of days in Bangkok, then flew south to Krabi / Ao Nang for a little while, then spent the rest of our time on Koh Phi Phi. It is such a lovely relaxed country, with beautiful coast lines and a great culture. We rode elephants, went on long boat trips to four small islands and drank a lot of mojitos!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – don’t stress! The best advice I can give is to go with suppliers that you get on with and click with! I did this with every supplier and each and every one worked their socks off to create our day. If you trust the people you book, this will take the stress away from you! Also people don’t notice if there’s a flower out of place or a mark on a napkin. It might matter to you, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge deal. Just relax and enjoy your big day!

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sunshine. a colourful wedding at the crab & lobster, north yorkshire – stacey & andrew

May 5th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Today’s bride and groom knew that they couldn’t guarantee sunshine at their October wedding and so instead of relying on the weather to provide some rays, the clever couple created their own in the form of bright bridesmaid dresses, vibrant flowers and sunny decorations.

Their chosen venue was the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, an incredibly quirky hotel and restaurant which Stacey and Andrew agree suited them perfectly. And so while they let the venue speak for itself, they brought their own style to the day with their fabulous attire – Stacey in her cute vintage style dress and Andrew in his handsome grey and navy get-up. Their leading lads and ladies didn’t scrub up half bad either!

And Stacey scored extra bride brownie points by getting Andrew a puppy as a wedding day gift – ladies, take note!

With images by Shutter Go..Click Photography.

As the World Falls Down

stacey says: We got engaged in Paris in March 2013. Andrew surprised me with a trip to Paris and we stayed in the most gorgeous hotel ‘Secret de Paris’ where all the rooms are themed on different Paris landmarks. On the first night we ate at a great restaurant called Bones and then at midnight we visited the Louvre museum where Andrew proposed, after which a French couple cycled past and shouted congratulations! It was amazing apart from my ring being so big it wouldn’t even fit my thumb so I couldn’t wear it for the rest of the trip (or for another month after whilst it got remade).

The Wild Bunch

We got married on 19th October 2014 which was 11 years since our first date. Our wedding was at the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, Yorkshire – we loved the venue and the food is amazing. We didn’t fancy a traditional white wedding and I think the decor and atmosphere was just perfect for us.

Baby Don't Leave

There wasn’t a specific theme we just wanted to be relaxed, not too formal and good fun. We wanted things we liked too, not just things you should have at a wedding.

In terms of colour we had a really colourful wedding. The main colour which ran through everything, from the stationary to the bridesmaids and flowers was yellow. I really love yellow and have a yellow diamond in my engagement ring so wanted to emphasise this. Also with the wedding being in October the chances of sun was slim so I knew that I would always have sunshine with my lovely bridesmaids.

I love navy blue too so the boys went with that and then we had a bit of everything in the flowers. Crab Manor is full of colourful pieces of decor so it suited it really nicely.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (43)

I had a tea length dress that I got from Bride & Co in my home town of Hull, the girls there we’re lovely and the whole experience at Bride & Co was fab. I knew I wanted a short dress, I don’t know why but I always did. I tried other styles but this was the one. It had a little jacket, which I wore through the day then I whipped it off for the evening and it was party time!

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Andrew wore a mix and match grey and navy outfit with trousers and jacket from Reiss, a waistcoat from Ted Baker and shoes from Paul Smith. The bridesmaids wore amazing yellow shift dresses we bought from ASOS, it was good fun doing bridesmaid shopping – we did one day out and one massive online order all from the high street. They picked their own shoes and went for blue pointy courts. They all looked great and got loads of compliments.

The men matched Andrew apart from the waistcoat, he bought them both shoes as their thank you gifts so they were different too.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (26)

We stayed at Crab Manor the evening before the wedding so it made it much easier, no transport required! It also gave us a chance to start the celebrations earlier with a lunch with guests and get final preparations done, whilst having a few glasses of bubbly and enjoying the hot tub too!

In Light

Our photographer was Ryan at Shutter Go..Click Photography. I found it really hard to find a photographer but absolutely loved Ryan’s style as soon as I saw some of his work. He was really friendly and good fun from the start and just got our style. I’d definitely recommend Ryan and have already passed on his details to others.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My bridesmaids and I carried mixed hand tied bouquets that were made for us by my friend and her mum who used to be florists. The most unusual thing in the bouquet was artichokes, some open flowers and some closed, they were really striking. The button holes were made by Stacey and Barbara too, I can remember getting to the ceremony and seeing Andrew’s button hole for the first time, it was lovely and it made one of my favourite photos too.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

The venue is already jam packed with all sorts of vintage finds from a diver to old fashioned beer pumps so we didn’t need to go mad with table designs.I opted to do the table décor myself including flowers which was fun – many hours spent on Pinterest!

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My mum and mother-in-law made it their mission to collect old bottles and vases and I ended up with such an eclectic mix, I then went for single or double stems dotted along the tables and central points, cake table, post box etc. I chose my flowers by picking some key pieces from my bouquet including Miss Piggy roses, yellow craspedia and Scottish thistles and I got them from Dave in Leeds market. It was great I popped in two weeks before, ordered what I wanted and collected them the morning before the wedding, we even picked more on the day just in case!

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (11)

Whilst the boys were in the hot tub my room was a hive of activity the evening before the wedding cutting stems, adding water to vases and grouping items together for tables, making sure everything was just right. I couldn’t have done it without my bridesmaids; Amy, Ellie and Rose and my lovely friends Kate and Steph. We also decorated the aisle with massive crepe paper flowers that we had made in advance, they went a bit floppy but still added a lovely pop of colour.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

For favours we went for a little box with two chocolates each – I never even ate mine! We got our mums lovely bouquets, our dads got tie clips that they could wear on the day and our niece and nephew got some glow stick wands to help them bust moves on the dance floor. My bridesmaids got little goody bags which included some gorgeous personalised bracelets which were hand made by my lovely mother-in-law Liz. Since then she’s set up an Etsy shop as everyone loved them.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (75)

Cake was an interactive part of our wedding, we invited our guests to join in ‘The Great Wedding Bake Off’ and ended up with about 15 cakes. It looked amazing! Me and my friends found old plate sets and pink glasses in a charity shop and the cake stands were superglued together the night the before and luckily made it through the day.

For the big cake cutting event we doubled up cake with evening food by having a three tiered cake of cheese and a giant Wilson’s pork pie. It went down a treat and there wasn’t even a crumb left.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Our ceremony was at 12 noon and wedding breakfast was at 4pm so we needed nibbles, rather than canapés. We organised a leg of parma ham and some n’duja, a spreadable spicy salami – by the time we were back from wedding duties there was nothing left!

For our wedding breakfast we had some absolutely gorgeous food, one of the reasons we picked Crab and Lobster. Starters were smoked roast salmon or a goat’s cheese tart, which came with mustard ice cream – we’d tried this before in the restaurant and knew we had to have it. For main it was lamb shank or halibut with a crab and coriander crust and a gorgeous saffron and lobster bisque – mmm! Desert was a simple fruit crumble and everyone had to leave room for cake!

We had Prosecco throughout the day for toasts, I much prefer it to champagne. In the evening Andrew and I had our own special bottles of fizz behind the bar called Nyetimber which is an English wine and will be our special occasion wine forever.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

For entertainment we thought more about the day than the evening as we had a good few hours in between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. We hired a magician called Chris Kendal who was magic! Chris kept our guests entertained and blew my mind, that was Andrew’s decision and it was a great part of the day. We also made use of the grounds and had a mini golf competition, I even had a go in my dress. It kept everyone busy and apart from one small injury everyone enjoyed themselves.

I'll Be Head Over Heels

In the evening we opted for a juke box rather than a DJ it added another element of interaction for our guests and it just looked really cool.

Crab Manor has a secret beer tap that we had found the day before our wedding so we let our guests know where they can grab a sneaky beer. We also had a photo booth in the evening and got our wedding guests to write messages alongside their pictures. I love looking back at it, it’s funny because you can tell the booze was flowing on some of them. We had a bubbles and sparklers instead of confetti to make more interesting photos.

We would most definitely recommend the Crab and Lobster to other wedding couples. Brilliant location, lovely staff, the perfect backdrop to a wedding.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Andrew’s favourite part of the day (on top of getting married) was when during a jukebox disc change our friend Aaron walked into a silent dancefloor and belted out the first line of We’ve Lost That Loving Feeling from Top Gun. It was perfect timing and had everyone in hysterics. Our joint worst part of the day was our first dance, it was so cringe worthy! We chose Ray LaMontagne – You Are the Best Thing. However a few hours later was our second first dance and that was one of my favourite parts, everyone singing along to Take That, Never Forget.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (18)

We went to Gaya Island in Borneo for two weeks for our honeymoon. It was an idyllic island where you could do as much or as little as you wanted. I think our grand plans of activities melted away when the warm sun hit our bodies though and we just enjoyed the relaxation of it all. We did a bit of kayaking and a few jungle hikes, we saw orangutans and ate loads of amazing food. It was the perfect place for a honeymoon and if we ever travelled to Borneo again we would have to go back.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – enjoy it all, don’t sweat the small stuff, no one will notice and if you get stuck just ask, ask anyone, everyone loves a wedding and will feel happy to be able to get involved.

I got Andrew a puppy for his wedding gift and it was a complete surprise so that was an exciting part of the day too. We collected Ralph the day we got back from honeymoon and he has been a brilliant addition to married life!

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Natural Beauty. A Vintage Style Bespoke Gown For The First Real Wedding Ever At Easby Hall – Stacey & Will

June 10th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

(c) 2014 Chris Booth at Easby Hall

I love couples that think outside the box, so when I saw Will and Stacey’s quirky Save the Date video I just knew the wedding would be equally impressive and individual – and I wasn’t wrong.

Stacey and Will’s Save the Date from Will Roberts on Vimeo.

A traditional church wedding was followed by a fabulous reception at the picturesque Easby Hall in North Yorkshire.

Both Will and Stacey put a lot of thought into the day to include personal touches in honour of friends and family, both past and present.

The stylish couple paid particular attention to their wedding attire with Stacey having a vintage-style bespoke dress designed and made by the hugely talented Kate Beaumont. Meanwhile, dapper Will shunned a traditional Prince Edward suit or top and tails in place of a brown Hugo Boss suit, complete with tweed waistcoat, pocket watch and purple socks.

With images by Chris Booth and Claire Collinson.

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

Will says: We got engaged while we were travelling in Latin America – Argentinian Patagonia to be more precise. I obviously didn’t have ring in South America, however I did have one in mind.

Before my Mum died in 2010 she asked me to use my paternal Grandmother’s engagement ring. My middle name is Howel – the name of my paternal grandfather – so my Mum thought it would be nice for another Howel to propose with it. When we returned to the UK in 2012 we got the ring-resized and tidied up, using Werk in York.

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

Our wedding date was September 21st 2013. We wanted either an autumn or spring wedding and didn’t want to wait until spring 2014. We also had to make sure the date didn’t clash with my siblings’ weddings – my brother David got married in June 2013 and my sister Mary got married August 2013.

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

(c) Claire Collinson at Easby Hall

We got married in St Agatha’s Church, Easby, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, and had the reception at Easby Hall – a very short walk from the church. We wanted a small wedding of 50 to 60 guests and Easby was the perfect size. We also loved having such a beautiful church right next door. It was also only 15 minutes away from Barnard Castle, where Stacey’s family live and where we both went to school. Easby Hall had never hosted a wedding before – we were the first after they got planning permission, which they only received three months before our wedding. This meant we had to essentially plan the wedding in three months but it also meant the hall was free on the date we wanted it.

Easby also had a sentimental connection as Easby Abbey and St Agatha’s church was one of the last places my Mum visited before she passed away.

(c) 2014 Chris Booth at Easby Hall

(c) 2014 Chris Booth at Easby Hall

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