Charlotte Balbier

big hats & high jinks. a papakata wedding in york – hazel & adam

August 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (46)

Hazel and Adam stamped their personalities all over their unique & beautiful wedding under canvas, and that’s just the way we like it here at Brides Up North.

What better way to start the week than a wedding involving lots of pretty touches, vintage finds, brilliant blooms and a first night spent sleeping in a chicken hat… oh, yes.  Read on, read on…

With images by Brides Up North sponsor JB Creatives.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (13)

hazel says: We got engaged in a wine bar in London, the day before we went on holiday. My sister had just come back from a year in Canada, and as hard as Adam tried to get rid of her, we hadn’t seen each other in ages, so in the end he had to tell her to go and wait in the toilets while he proposed!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (17)

We were married on October 4th 2014 – we wanted to get married while Adam’s sister who lives in New Zealand was back in the country. We got married in St. Helen’s church in Escrick, just outside of York. We absolutely loved the church, and it was close to where we held our reception. Helen at Escrick Park was absolutely fantastic, as were Papakata who provided the teepees. They both did such a great job of making our day so special, perfect and unique to us.

Our venue was a field – this meant that we could choose absolutely every detail ourselves and make our day exactly as we wanted. It meant some very long days in the run up, and I never expected my wedding to include a lesson in how to run a generator or heavy lifting of fridges, but it was 100% worth it!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (25)

We didn’t want a strict style or colour scheme – just things that we liked. I guess you could say that we went for a vintage theme, but really we just picked the things that we thought looked nice! We deliberately avoided a strict colour scheme, and just went with pastels where colour was required.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (32)

I chose a lace wedding dress from an outlet in Northallerton. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I knew would inevitably end up covered in grass and mud – which it did!

Adam wore suit trousers, a shirt and waistcoat from Next. He tried on a couple of suits but they looked too formal and we wanted a more relaxed style.

The groomsmen wore the same as Adam, but with different coloured ties, and I only had my sister as a bridesmaid. This made it much easier, and she just picked a dress that she liked!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (38)

We hired VW campervans to sleep in at the teepees, and ended up using one to transport me to the church too. They were from The Campervan Company in Thirsk.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (50)

Jane Beadnell from JB Creatives was our photographer, she was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and she takes brilliant photos. She did an amazing job and captured our day perfectly in a style that really suited the wedding itself. We had so many lovely comments from our guests about how hard she worked and the lovely photos.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (55)

My bouquet was made up predominantly of roses, hydrangea, and freesias. The flowers were provided by another friend – Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture, she also did an amazing job, with our very limited knowledge of flowers and vague descriptions of what we liked!

The flowers for the reception were also provided by Leafy Couture – again lots of roses and freesias – in mini milk bottles on the tables. We also decorated with lots of home made bunting.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (67)

Adam was in charge of the favours – he had a boy’s night in and made them all! Everyone had a big bag of marshmallows to toast on the open fires, and a jar of hot chocolate to take home and help them through the morning after!

We had an afternoon tea, so rather than more cake we had wheels of cheese provided by Love Cheese in York. We are both big cheese fans, and we served it up after the afternoon tea with a glass of port (or 3!) – so it was great to see the guests tucking into it.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (63)

Katie & Maz at The Flax & Twine in York provided our catering – they were amazing, providing solutions to Adam’s crazy ideas and stopping him when they got out of control – he desperately wanted to make and serve crepes to all 130 guests personally!! In the end we settled for afternoon tea, followed by the cheese from our “cake” then later in the evening we had a hogroast provided by The Hog & Apple in York, and finally a waffle station – dreamt up by Adam and spectacularly brought to life by Katie & Maz from their vintage caravan… amazing! We provided all of the drinks, the wine was Cono Sur Bicicleta because Adam works in a bike shop and all of the bottles had a bicycle on them, and then we put on four beers – two from North Wales where my dad’s family is from, and two from the local York Brewery!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (62)

We tried to have lots of special touches – we painstakingly collected all of the crockery for the afternoon tea, and it included a set my granny was given as a wedding present over 60 years ago! We made lots of things too, all of the bunting, the bar, the photo booth, the coconut shy, the table plan was made of ladders covered in things that were important to us both, and the typewriter we used to write the invitations and sewing machine that made all of the bunting made an appearance too!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (70)

In the evening we had a ceilidh provided by the Dark Horse Ceilidh Band from Harrogate – they were great fun, then we hooked up the ipod for the rest of the evening.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (74)

The whole day was amazing, but the end was our favourite. We waved off our last guests on to a coach at 1am, and then had the teepee all to ourselves to reflect on the day. We were meant to sleep in the campervan, but Adam forgot to bring the duvet and the keys went home with a guest. By this point, it was pretty cold in the teepees, so I slept in my wedding dress, Adam slept in his suit, and then we raided the fancy dress box from our photo booth for extra warmth. I’m pretty sure there are no other brides that can claim to have spent their wedding night in their dress, an army camouflage jacket and a chicken hat!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (80)

Straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Dales in the camper van we had hired – mostly catching up on sleep and recovering from doing so much in the run up to the wedding. We then had 2 weeks in South Africa in January which was absolutely fantastic – the highlight of which was a 2 night stay in a tree house.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t leave too much to the last minute! The night before the wedding I was up late refining the ipod playlist, and Adam arrived at the church with the decorations after the guests did! Ooops!

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to the manor. a pretty, flower-filled teepee wedding at hornington manor – danielle & jack

June 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (30)

When it comes to tying the knot it’s always great if you, or those close to you, have some fabulous skills you can use, not only to save yourself a few pennies, but also to make the day more personal and memorable.

Today’s bride Danielle is a baker, so not only did she bake her own wedding cake, but she also made her guests’ trio of desserts for the wedding breakfast (she admits she likes a challenge). Better still, Danielle’s Aunty is a florist so as well as lots of sweet treats, her wedding day was brimming with beautiful blooms all carefully arranged by her talented relative.

The day as a whole looks like an incredibly loved-up, emotional and fun-filled affair set against a well styled backdrop.

We must also congratulate the happy couple on the fantastic news that they are expecting their first baby in September. All together now…ahhhh!

With images by Alexandra Holt Photography.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (6)

danielle says: We got engaged at the place where we met! Jack took me back to London where we had met at a student ambassador event. He got down on one knee in a lovely snowy park and I had no idea. I cried. A lot! He had then arranged for all of my friends to be at the friend’s house we were staying a, and they had organised an engagement party to celebrate! Later we went for posh cocktails up a super high building in London. All in all, the perfect engagement.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (11)

Our wedding day was 23rd August 2014. We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and also because it was a bank holiday weekend.

We got married at St Olaves Church in York. We chose it because even though neither of us are from York originally, it was now our home and where we wanted to bring our family up. The church was suggested to us by a friend and we went along to meet the vicar and congregation and they were all lovely. Our reception venue was the beautiful Hornington Manor where we had a Papakata tepee.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (12)

We didn’t have a themeas such, we just went for a rustic/vintage feel. Coming from an arty background, we made a lot of the decorations ourselves and felt this made it extra special! We chose the style because neither of us really like anything matching, and it seemed to fit our creative personalities. We didn’t have a colour scheme either – just lots of it! Pastels mainly but some brights thrown in there too.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (10)

I chose my dress from a bridal shop called Elizabeth of York in York. It was probably only the second or third dress I tried on and it was perfect! Lace all over, a long (ish) train and quite fitted at the top.

Jack and the groomsmen wore suits from Peter Werth while the bridesmaid wore dresses from Coast.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (19)

We hired a vintage cream VW Beetle for myself and my dad to get to the church and the boys had a VW camper van in black. They were hired from LoveDubz Campers in York – the friendliest car company people ever! We also hired a vintage double decker bus for our guests. This was from Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (25)

Our photographer was an old friend of mine called Alex Holt. She is the most amazing photographer and I couldn’t recommend her enough. She gets shots when you don’t even know she’s there and every single one was perfect! They took my breath away – I couldn’t believe it was our wedding!

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (26)

Luckily, my Auntie is the best florist in the world, so she did my flowers for me. We had a lot of flowers! Mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were hand tied bouquets of wild flowers with lots of colours and variations of flowers. Beautiful.

My Auntie also did the reception flowers for me. I went along to the wholesalers and choose hundreds of flowers and then she worked her magic! We had lots of vases scattered over all of the tables, hanging bird cages filled with flowers and lanterns lining the pathway to our wedding reception filled with flowers too.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (27)

As a baker by trade I’m a lover of all things sweet so for favours I used small jars with lids and filled them with yummy gourmet popcorn then labelled each jar with the guest’s name.

I made my own wedding cake as it’s what I do every day! We had a simple three tiered stacked cake and covered it in ribbons and fresh flowers. I didn’t want to make life too complicated for myself!

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (29)

Our wedding breakfast and evening food was provided by a company called The Hog and Apple. We had a delicious starter of ham hock terrine and a main of roast meats and posh veg! I made the trio of desserts myself (I like a challenge!) and we had mini cheesecakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and tiramisu heart stacks. The evening food was a hog roast which was divine!

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (28)

When our guests arrived at our wedding reception we had a beautiful acoustic guitarist/singer called Jonny Woodhead who played to our guests whilst they had arrival drinks. We then had a band in the evening called The Hot Jazz Biscuitsand they were amazing! We had our own laptop and playlist for after the band had finished. Perfect!

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (39)

As a special touch on the day my family had arranged to let a helium balloon off for my Mum who we lost when I was 18. It was a really nice surprise for me and made the day extra special.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (46)

Our wedding reception was held in the garden of a Manor House called Hornington Manor near York and it was held in a teepee. The teepee company Papakata were truly fantastic and I would highly recommend them!We would highly recommend both our wedding venue and reception venue to other couples as they were fantastic. Hornington Manor is a great huge house that you can hire out. There are around 16 self-catering rooms where all the family could stay and made the long bank holiday weekend an extra special one!

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (47)

I think the ceremony was my favorite part of the day. Emotional, meaningful and perfectly suited.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (44)

We went to Cornwall on our honeymoon which was lovely. Jack had hired us a camper van for a few of the nights which was a nice surprise and I then surprised him with a trip to Monza, Italy, to see the Formula 1 (he is a huge fan!) as it was his 30th birthday whilst we were away.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (48)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do as much as you can yourself without causing yourself too much stress! Don’t be scared to shop around either – there are things that you won’t want to skimp on but others that you might be able to get some good bargains on if you shop around!

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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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Medieval Magic. A Handmade Outdoor Real Wedding In York – Lisa & Mark

June 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

Lisa says: We got engaged in April 2011 at Alpsee Lake, Bavaria, Germany by the Neuschwanstein Castle. It is the castle that Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle is based on.

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

We had a Medieval themed wedding. All the wedding guests were invited to wear Medieval attire to suit the theme of the wedding.

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

Our wedding date was Saturday 20th July 2013. We got married at Escrick Park, Escrick, near York, using Papakata tents. We wanted an outdoor wedding and Escrick Park has a huge estate that we were able to book out for the full weekend for a really good price. We had plenty of land all to ourselves where children could run off and play safely while the adults could party. We were completely secluded, which we thought was important to immerse ourselves in the magic of the Middle Ages. Regardless of the theme, we thought it was nice to have the place to ourselves and we didn’t need to worry about noise or curfews

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

I wore a bespoke, handmade medieval style wedding dress designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me with the design, choosing fabric and the details of the dress to help create exactly the dress I wanted. I really valued her knowledge and advice on which fabrics would suit the theme, wouldn’t crease and would hang beautifully. Her attention to details helped tie it all together, I was very happy with it.

Sylvia from White Gables Patchwork and Quilting helped made a fabulous embroidered trim for my dress

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

My bridesmaids wore medieval style dresses, also designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me find the exact shade we wanted for the bridesmaids; all four dresses were perfect and created the medieval faerie feel we were looking for. The groomsmen all wore various medieval outfits, each one looking different.

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

I carried daises, white roses, other yellow and green flowers and lots of ivy. Fiona from Firenza Floral Design is used to working with Papakata and dressed the teepees beautifully. She made a crown of flowers for both of our heads (Mark’s was more of a bush really, which is just what he asked for). My bouquet and top table flowers were lovely.

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

We had a honeymoon teepee at the bottom end of the field, which I managed to sneak in to get changed. My bridesmaids, my parents and I were escorted from there by Paul from Trouvere, playing bagpipes. I didn’t want to make an extravagant entrance, I walked barefoot from the tent, it did feel quite dramatic on the day though, but lovely.

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

It was so exciting to emerge from the honeymoon teepee to the sound of bagpipes and drums and see a sea of colourful costumes and happy, excited faces. The whole ceremony was beautiful and very personal, we helped write the vows and made precisely the eternal promises that we wanted to.

Trouvere did us a beautiful hand fastening ceremony, medieval music and storytelling.

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

We designed and forged our own wedding rings under the guidance of a talented bespoke jeweller at Silver & Moor.

(c) MH Visions Photography at Escrick Park

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Summer Lovin’. Canvas & Lace For A Real Tipi Wedding In The Peak District – Jess & Matt

June 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

PH Weddings

I’m so excited to kick off the week and share Jess and Matt’s Real Wedding with you. Not only because it took place in my home city of Sheffield (and featured some fantastic suppliers I know *waves*) but also because it has all the right ingredients for one hell of a party.

In the run up to the wedding Jess and Matt built the excitement among their guests by tasking family and friends with helping to organise their special day, making them feel an important part of the proceedings whilst creating beautiful personal touches to set their wedding apart from others.

Then there’s the evening do – quirky outdoor location, amazing homemade food, locally brewed beer, live music and fire pits! What more could you want?

This is one wedding I wish I’d attended.

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Jess said: We got engaged on Monday 29th October 2012. We were in Spain visiting the beautiful Andalusian town of Granada and had spent a lovely sunny day at the 1,000-year-old Moorish citadel The Alhambra. As the sun was beginning to set (and my feet were beginning to ache) Matt suggested we walk to a viewpoint. An hour later we reached the top after a pretty steep climb. As I sat down on a bench to regain my breath, Matt bent down to tie up his shoelaces and returned with a stunning antique ring! On our return from Spain late that Friday night, Matt surprised me a second time by driving me from Liverpool airport to a luxury spa resort in Cheshire, where we stayed for the weekend.

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We decided to set the date for Saturday 10th August 2013. We wanted a summer wedding and, as we are both teachers, this date gave us enough time to prepare for the wedding but also to have a three-week honeymoon abroad.

We wanted a combination of a traditional church ceremony in the city alongside a more alternative reception venue in the countryside. So we chose our stunning parish church St John’s in Ranmoor, Sheffield, for the ceremony and Green Directions at Townfield Head Farm, Stannington, for our reception.

We wanted to have a very relaxed and informal wedding which was a bit different so we hired Papakata teepees.

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I love blues of different shades so this was our theme. It is also a colour which suits all of the bridesmaids. Our brilliant florist Tracey from Campbell’s Flowers also showed us lots of gorgeous blue flowers which would be in bloom in August so this sealed our decision.

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Initially I wanted a strapless lace wedding dress but the woman at the bridal shop I visited suggested I try on a scalloped neck lace dress called Ali by Augusta Jones which I fell in love with. It has a beautiful long chapel train and a stunning lace back with simple buttons. There’s a vintage belt which accentuates your waist and really sets off the lace. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it so my sister (chief bridesmaid) helped me find a pre-loved dress, exactly the same and to my precise measurements, for half the price at www.preloved.co.uk. My shoes were simple alabaster sling-backs by Bertie which I found in the Christmas sale.

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Matt wore a black French Connection suit which he’d recently bought and only worn once to an awards ceremony. He made it look more unusual by wearing a multi-coloured Ted Baker bow-tie and black shoes with an orange sole to complement his auburn hair!

My bridesmaids wore handmade baby blue 50s style dresses made-to-measure from Etsy with petticoats to boost the skirts. The ushers and best man all wore dark suits and blue ties (bow tie for the best man).

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PH Weddings

We hired a Yorkshire Heritage vintage double decker bus to transport me and my family to the church and then took most of us to the farm afterwards. It was fab!

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

As previously mentioned, our beautiful rustic bouquets were made by Campbell’s Flowers. They were absolutely stunning – lots of local blooms and even some eucalyptus from our own garden. My bridesmaids and I carried matching bouquets down the aisle. The groomsmen all had matching buttonholes. We also had a large, wild, ‘just-picked’ looking bouquet on each table at the reception.

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

Lots of friends and family (especially my mum) pitched in to help make lots of hand-made touches to decorate the teepees. These included guest names on luggage tags which we strung from a washing line around the teepee entrance which had table names on the back and served in place of a table plan. We also made candle holders from empty jars we’d collected and decorated with hessian and lace, baby blue gingham table runners and bows for chairs, hand-sewn material hearts for each table, table names which were each a place in Sheffield with a picture and a menu on the back, plus patchwork cushions and blankets for the benches.

My Dad is a keen allotmenteer so when it came to the favours he donated lots of seeds with appropriate names such as ‘love in the mist’ or ‘party girl’. My parents then put them in rustic brown seed-envelopes and labelled to double up as place-names.

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

Helen and Paul Haigh of PH Weddings did our photographs and we love them! They were very discrete and captured lots of hidden moments without being at all intrusive. We also had a great pre-wedding shoot in Endcliffe Park as part of their package.

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

Matt’s aunty makes the best desserts so she agreed to make enough cup-cakes for all of our guests. We bought a huge stand and another friend (with immaculate handwriting) wrote out guest names so that everyone could find their own cake.

On arrival at the farm, we ate scones (homemade by super-baker Matt’s mum) with clotted cream and jam (made with fruit from my Dad’s allotment). A complimentary drink of local ale or cider was also served. For our main evening meal, we used Coco Catering who provided a delicious and inexpensive barbecue of locally sourced meat such as sausages and lamb burgers alongside unusual salads such as butternut squash and cous cous. Later in the evening, they provided a snack-sized portion of fish and chips once our evening guests arrived.

PH Weddings

Matt and I bought all of the alcohol ourselves and sold it at cost price to keep everything as cheap as possible for our guests. We drank lots of prosecco and also had kegs of local ale and cider from Bradfield Brewery who I would highly recommend for great tasting drinks and efficient, well-mannered staff at a good price.

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To keep the children entertained during the day we had a section of the teepee devoted to kids’ things such as colouring books and games. The farmer Mark Woodward was really chilled and let the little kids all go for a farm tour during the speeches

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

We really wanted love music so we splashed out on an amazing live band The Cassettes from London who my brother had recommended. They played two one hour sets of motown and classics and were awesome!

In the middle of the teepees were fire pits which were great fun later at night. Once the band finished at midnight we all went into the ‘chill-out kungs’ and sat around the fire playing guitars, singing and carrying on the party until 4am.

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I would most definitely recommend Green Directions as a venue. For us it was the perfect as it’s close to Sheffield city centre whilst still having stunning views out into the peaks. The cost was much cheaper than at other farms we visited as they have their own wind turbine which provides all the electricity and there are also toilets on site so you save money on portaloos and a generator. What really made it special though was how laid back, friendly and enthusiastic Mark and his wife were.

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

I loved the whole day start to finish but perhaps the evening, when the band was playing and all of my favourite people were together dancing or relaxing in our giant teepees, was the best part.

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka on my parents’ recommendation as they’d be there when they were our age. Our favourite place was Casa Columbo where we stayed in the capital for our first two nights – we should have stayed much longer!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be if you’re organising the wedding yourself, rather than through a wedding planner at a hotel/venue, make sure you have a very patient, efficient and willing chief bridesmaid! Also, make sure there is someone on the day who knows exactly what needs to happen and ensure that contractors are not contacting you about logistics on the day. I would not have had such an amazing wedding without my sister and brother taking on these two taxing jobs!

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Congratulations Jess & Matt!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 PH Weddings

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