March 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Quite simply, today’s wedding is all kinds of pretty. From the bride’s beautiful bespoke gown to the dreamiest of floral arrangements, complete with plush hydrangeas and peonies – there’s lots of wonderful ideas and special touches from Maria and Simon’s celebrations to pin away to your heart’s content.
But, before we can even gush about these details, we have to talk about the fact that Maria underwent spinal surgery in the lead up to the wedding. We think you’ll agree, this adds extra significance to their nuptials, and we’re delighted to hear that Maria had a speedy recovery that didn’t hinder plans for their big day.
And what a big day it was! Exchanging vows against the grandiose backdrop of Leeds Cathedral, Maria and Simon then went on to host their celebrations at luxury Harrogate hotel, Rudding Park, set in 300 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. Maria’s Italian and Greek heritage influenced their overall theme for the day, too, with pretty olive branches, a lemon tree and even Greek dancing all bringing Mediterranean feels to the proceedings. Read on as Maria tells all…
With images by Paul Read Weddings.
maria says: We got engaged in August 2015, in Rome, at the beautiful Giardini degli Aranci (garden of oranges) with its stunning view of the city. We went just before sunset, and it was such a romantic setting. I really didn’t expect the proposal and after being there for a while, I asked when we could go for a Prosecco! It was then that Simon said it would be nice to take a seat on one of the benches further back from the wall.
Long story short, he said there was a reason he had brought me to the most beautiful secret spot in Rome, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Once I had stopped crying and said yes, we could hear applause from around the park – such a surreal moment but one we will never forget and that place will remain special for both of us forever.
My mum is Italian so I think Simon always knew he wanted to propose in Italy and it was a trip of a lifetime. We ate at a Michelin star restaurant afterwards but spent most of the evening on our phones telling our family and friends about the amazing news!
We tied the knot on Saturday 24th June 2017.We chose this date as it was 11 years to the day since we first started going out.
We got married at Leeds Cathedral, where I used to sing in the choir. I have also known the priest (now a Monsignor) since I was a child, so it was perfect that he conducted the service for us.
We then held the reception at Rudding Park in Harrogate, voted number one hotel in the UK by Trip Advisor for three years in a row. We knew immediately we wanted our wedding to be attended by all our friends and family, and had considered Amalfi (where my family heritage is from) but given difficulties with older family members being able to get there, we decided that there would be nowhere better than Yorkshire, especially given that I’m a Leeds girl and he’s a Wetherby boy.
We’ve both known Rudding Park for years and it was the perfect balance between city and country. The service at Rudding Park is exceptional and the new spa was going to open the year of our wedding – we just knew we were in safe hands. Plus, I have a pretty huge family and it is one of the few venues in Yorkshire that caters for more than120 people. It’s everything we wanted.
I had spinal surgery for scoliosis in November 2016 – it was a huge procedure but I bounced back within three months – just in time for my wonderful wedding dress to be measured and created. I had often been really paranoid about my waist and I am so lucky to have had this corrected before I walked down the aisle. It seemed a long journey back to health and I had three months off work, but that just left more time for wedmin to take my mind off things!
We didn’t have a theme in the beginning, but once I started my Pinterest obsession, I realised I kept pinning things that were tagged as “fine art”. I tried to bring in a bit of a Mediterranean theme, along with pastel colours to keep things understated and elegant. For example, the olive branches on the cake and the lemon tree in the middle of the main hall, the soft candles, soft blues and pale pinks, and the menu was very much inspired by my Italian and Greek heritage. There was so much food! There was also Greek dancing and a bit of Italian Vin Santo which added much more alcohol to proceedings!
With regards to the pastel colour scheme, I wanted pale pinks and blues with Mediterranean greenery as I thought they would stand the test of time when looking back at the photographs. I also love hydrangeas and peonies which helped guide the colour scheme, and indeed the month of June for the wedding, when peonies are available and in bloom.
February 23rd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Having gathered plenty of inspiration from the real weddings on this very blog – not to mention a few of our Luxury Wedding Fairs – we’re delighted to be sharing the beautiful wedding of Lauren and Andrew here on our pretty pages today.
They went all out with their white wedding brief, transforming what sounds like a rather simple theme into something deliciously opulent. From the white rose bouquet and beautiful cherry tree, to the white carpet down the aisle, flower wall and dancefloor, the scheme was carried through the entire day to absolute perfection.
Lauren looked every inch the flawless bride in her stunning ruffle detail dress and Louboutins – and we’re delighted to hear that she found both the bridal boutique she sourced her dress from, and also her photographer, within our glossy bridal magazine, UNVEILED. We have just hit print on the latest edition of this gorgeous title, and we have to say – it’s looking like the most stunning issue yet! It lands early March ladies, so watch-this-space!
In the meantime, over to the lovely Lauren for full details on this dreamy big day…
With images by Belle & Beau.
lauren says: We got engaged on 7th October 2016, the night before we flew to New York. Andrew chose to ask me then, as it would have been his granddad’s birthday. He was planning to ask me at his memorial tree in Golden Acre Park, but it was really heavy rain. We got to the Raddison, Manchester Airport and went to our room. I turned around and he was down on one knee with a bottle of Moet and asked me to marry him.
Our wedding date was 24th September 2017. This was the only date we could book our venue – Rudding Park in Harrogate – on a weekend in 2017 and we didn’t want to wait too long. Andrew had surprised me with a birthday trip there about three years ago and I knew instantly if he were ever to propose that it would be my dream venue. The grounds and hotel are both stunning and we knew we could create our dream wedding there. I’d definitely recommend Rudding Park to other couples; it was absolutely stunning and we were able to make it our own.
The theme we picked was classic white. We wanted our wedding to feel timeless and elegant, which I think we managed to achieve.
I saw a feature about YAP in UNVEILED magazine and knew it would be the boutique I’d find my dress in. I initially wanted a fishtail dress with straps but ended up with a strapless ball gown. I knew I wanted a dress with a ‘wow’ factor. It was the third dress I tried on and I had goose bumps; my bridesmaids, mum and mother-in-law all filled up with tears when they saw me in it, which meant it was the one. I loved all of the ruffles on the dress.
My alterations were done by Diva Designs and the lovely Anne made me a veil in the perfect shade of ivory to match my dress. Anne also designed and created my hairpieces. My shoes were by Christian Louboutin.
January 29th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
If you’re a fan of all things luxe, today’s real wedding has got your name on it. Gold, ivory and champagne hues dominate this decadent day, as well as an utterly wow-worthy Anglo-Indian gown and a gourmet menu fit for this pair of self-professed fine dining fans.
A last-minute cancellation gave the couple their dream venue – the opulent yet contemporary Rudding Park, Harrogate – but also meant that they only had four months to plan their big day. Unbelievably they not only pulled it off, but put on a party of epic proportions – complete with magic mirrors, magicians, live music, clay pigeon shooting and fireworks!
Over to Satwant to spill the dreamy details…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
satwant says: We got engaged on my 30th birthday, during a surprise getaway to Venice, organised by Bob. We spent a wonderful luxurious weekend wandering around the quaint streets of Venice, taking local tours and exploring the Venetian cuisine. On the morning of my birthday, we took a romantic gondola ride and when we reached the Ponte Dei Tri Archi, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
Having visited several potential wedding locations, we came across Rudding Park. It was our dream venue – however, the next available Saturday wasn’t until 2018. Fortunately for us, there was a last-minute cancellation and Saturday 9th September 2017, became available. We agreed to take the date immediately even though it left us with only four months to plan our wedding!
Both Bob and I are food fanatics and love fine dining, so it was really important to us that the venue served exquisite food. We wanted a location that was elegant with a stately home ambience and lots of space for guests to be able to explore. We felt that Rudding Park’s elegant contemporary décor complemented the wedding theme, too.
In terms of a theme, I wanted to go for an elegant, vintage style with a modern twist. The colours were very neutral and the overall look was very clean and simple.
The focus colour was gold, with a background of creams and whites. My wedding dress was red and gold in keeping with the traditional Indian bridal colours, and therefore gold was the ideal colour theme choice. This complemented the hotel’s interior décor perfectly. We had warm fairy lights covering all four pillars in the Radcliffe Suite to match the gold theme.
We decided to have a civil ceremony and not a combined civil and Indian ceremony – however, I still wanted traditional Indian bridal attire with a modern twist. I therefore, travelled to London and had a bespoke wedding dress designed and made by Charmi Creations. The dress was in traditional Indian colours, made of velvet and had intricate gold embroidery and stonework but was a modern Western style, consisting of a corseted top, a lovely long trail and a sweetheart neckline. Sharon Roda did my makeup and hair.
March 14th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
After popping the question across the pond in sunny LA, Steve and his bride-to-be Amanda tied the knot at luxury Harrogate-based hotel, Rudding Park, in October 2016.
Wearing the most sublime Vera Wang gown, Amanda was the picture-perfect bride, with her gorgeous bridesmaids by her side in sophisticated grey maxi dresses.
We love it when a couple decide to get hands on and creative, and Amanda and Steve didn’t disappoint; making some of the key decorations and props for their special day, with the mother of the groom baking a stunning cake to match.
Truly elegant and understated – we think you’ll be just as smitten as us when you see all the precious highlights.
With images by Bethany Clarke.
amanda says: We got engaged when we were on holiday in the US. We had gone to New York for a few days, then flew to LA, where we then travelled over to Orange County to stay with some friends for a week. We then went from there to LA for a few days, which is where Steve proposed!
We were at the hotel waiting for our friends to join us and I had just woken up from an afternoon nap, when Steve got down on one knee! We then rang my mum to tell her the good news and she didn’t believe us! (We had been together for over eight years at this point, so I think she thought it was never going to happen!)
Our wedding date was 29th October 2016. We chose this date as – to be honest – we knew it would be cheaper than getting married in the summer and we both love autumn and the colours associated with it. There are also no expectations with the weather!
We got married at Rudding Park, Harrogate. We chose this venue as not only was it stunning with amazing food, but it was also reasonably priced and a good location for family and friends to easily travel to. We would highly recommend Rudding Park, they really helped make our day amazing and everything ran smoothly. The staff were all so lovely.
The colour theme for our big day was ivories and greens.
I wore an ivory strapless trumpet/mermaid gown by Vera Wang. I was really lucky as I managed to find one in my size on Still White, so I got it much cheaper than what it originally cost! I love Vera Wang’s designs and just loved the bottom of the dress – there were so many layers! I bought my shoes from Office and for the night do I changed into a Needle and Thread dress.
My bridesmaids wore grey multi-way maxi dresses. I chose these as all my bridesmaids loved them and felt comfortable as they could wear them slightly differently.
February 14th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, Jessica and Andrew share with us their quintessentially classic wedding at the captivating Rudding Park.
We adore the couple’s minimalist palette of rose gold, white and blush pink combined with an understated glamorous vibe, and as for Jessica’s Caroline Castigliano dress – you would never guess that she had such an arduous task in finding ‘the one’ as it is simply stunning.
Throw in some sparklers, fireworks, a seven-piece live band, plus face painting and soft play for he kids – and you have the most perfect wedding day for guests of all ages. Jessica tells us more…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor York Place Studios
jessica says: We got engaged on the 1st March 2015, at Center Parcs in the Lake District. We took a family holiday to get over the winter blues and Andrew surprised me by proposing in the cabin. As he got down on one knee, it began to snow. The day after, we announced our engagement by writing it in the freshly fallen snow. For someone who likes to plan every tiny detail, I was amazed at how Andrew managed to keep the engagement a surprise from me; only my parents knew. Andrew had asked for my hand in marriage a few days prior to our trip.
We got married on 11th December 2016. From the offset we set our hearts on a winter wedding in England and knew we couldn’t guarantee the weather, even in the peak of summer. So we went for a day where the sun set at 3.30 pm and we could have pretty much the whole celebration with beautiful low lighting, creating a very intimate feel.
We chose Rudding Park in Harrogate as our venue. We wanted a location half way between East Yorkshire and Manchester, so started looking at the Leeds area. Nothing we came across had that “feeling” until we walked into Rudding Park. Not only did they make us feel like VIPs from the moment we stepped through the door, they treated Millie, my little girl, like a celebrity too and she loved it there. Millie is three, and not a lot of hotels with Rudding Park status accept children – not only did they accept her, they encouraged her play, her mischievousness and made her laugh every time we went across. Family to us in key and Rudding Park definitely has that family relaxed feel, in a 5 star luxurious environment.
We selected a colour scheme of gold, blush pink, white, rose gold, complimented by a glamorous feel with chandeliers and fairy lights. We wanted a theme that would bring the sparkle, to celebrate the time of year, but not make the wedding about Christmas. We also wanted the colours to look beautiful in the dim lights, so opted for soft pure colours mixed with sparkle and metallic.
My dream dress was a fitted, fishtail, lace gown with sleeves. When I tried on this gown I couldn’t believe how much I didn’t love it. I was really upset. I had to go back to basics and try on a lot of different shapes and then fell in love with a high waist, A-line gown.
I tried on many, but nothing felt like “the one”. As soon as we walked through the doors of The Bridal Collection in Harrogate, we fell in love. The shop itself is magical; I will remember the smell of the Jo Malone candles forever.
I tried on a range of Jenny Packham gowns, again I was disappointed that they didn’t suit my style. I decided to have a look at some of the other designers on the rack, and I noticed a dress hung up that was nothing like I had tried on before. My stomach literally got butterflies when I saw it! Boat neckline, dipped back (not too low), button fastening, high waistline, pencil pleats, cathedral train, A-line, plain, white beautiful gown… the Caroline Castigliano, Hepburn gown! As soon as I stepped into it, I cried. I felt like a bride and this was the gown I was going to marry my best friend in.
My bridesmaids wore a chiffon blush pink gown from ASOS. Meanwhile, the ushers, father of the bride, and father of the groom wore the same as Andrew.
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December 5th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Carrying on the glamour from earlier today, this afternoon’s real wedding is a seriously classy affair. Thais and James opted for a black-tie dress code, an all-white colour scheme and a frothy dream of a dress.
After a long-distance relationship across the Atlantic and a romantic airport proposal, they were finally married in the stunning 19th Century chapel at Harrogate’s Rudding Park.
This gorgeous couple simply exude elegance, sophistication and more than a dash of movie star glamour.
With images by Barber Photography
thais says: We were engaged in December 2013. So much of our lives were spent in airports with our relationship being long-distance between the UK and USA, so it made sense for James to propose in one. We were actually on the same flight coming back from NY to Myrtle Beach, with James’ mum. However, James had planned ahead of time and, with a little help, was waiting, ring in hand, balloons spelling ‘marry me?’ and For the First Time by The Script playing in the background as I came down the escalators. Someone captured the whole thing on video (see here – you can also see a shortened version on our wedding website!)
We decided to get married on 10th October 2015, exactly five years after the day we went on our first date (coincidentally all the 10s – 10/10/10!)
Our venue was Rudding Park in Harrogate. Aside from the fact that it’s an absolutely stunning venue, the staff were amazing throughout the whole process and it was only 30 minutes from James’ hometown. They also had a chapel in the grounds, which we wanted to avoid extra travel for our guests who were travelling and to preserve the fluidity of the day.
Theme-wise, we went for a black tie, formal dress code. We wanted the day to be classic, timeless and elegant. For the decor, we went all-white. Again, we wanted a chic and elegant look.
My dress was from Gown Boutique of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted, but when I tried it on I just knew it was the one.
James wore a classic Calvin Klein black tuxedo – again, timeless!
My bridesmaids all wore long, black dresses from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The groomsmen donned black tuxedos from a store in Leeds.
Our photographers were Phil and Lou Barber of Barber Photography. They’re a fantastic husband and wife team and we’d recommend them highly. They were so professional and made us feel very comfortable, both for the engagement shoot and the day of the wedding. The end products were also amazing. All their products were beyond our expectations!
Our flowers were incredible and put together by the fabulous Leafy Couture. I carried a bouquet of red roses, which was absolutely stunning. We would highly recommend our florist, Sarah Richardson, and the ‘Leafy girls’. They truly made our wedding come to life.
At the venue, Leafy Couture set up everything in terms of floral decorations. We had a mixture of all white flowers, which included roses, calla lilies, orchids, stocks, dahlias, carnations and hydrangeas. The table arrangements were so beautiful.
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