January 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s gorgeous couple were married at Broadoaks Country House in the heart of the Lake District.
Shabby chic vintage vibes? Check. Moody autumnal skies? Check. Jaw-dropping lakeside photographs? Check. Readers, you’re going to love this.
And flower fans, get those Pinterest-clicking fingers ready – I guarantee that this is the most beautiful bouquet you’ll see this year.
With images by James Tracey Photography
laura says: We got engaged on 29th September 2015. Rich took me to the Lake District, our favourite place, and had set up a proposal at Broadoaks Country House – we’d stayed there before and loved it. Rich had arranged for his brother to be there to secretly photograph the proposal. We had afternoon tea out on the terrace and Rich had bought a mug that said ‘Does this ring make me look engaged?’ The staff brought it out with the afternoon tea and Rich said ‘I think this is for you.’ Suddenly he was down on one knee and proposed with a ring that he’d chosen himself.
We wanted an autumn wedding and so we set the date for the 27th October 2016. We chose Broadoaks where we got engaged for our venue. Rich set up an appointment with the wedding planner there and we knew that was the only place we would want to get married.
We had a small wedding and didn’t want everyone to have to wear matching suits and so on. In fact, the whole day was really laidback. Our theme was vintage/shabby chic because I just love that style.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme. I don’t particularly like reds and oranges but wanted my flowers to reflect autumn; I eventually opted for berry colours and dusky pinks. My sister was my bridesmaid and I told her she could pick her own dress to go with the flowers, so she chose a dress in a mink colour.
I knew from the start what style of wedding dress I wanted and I had an idea in my head. I must have tried on more than 50 dresses, but none of them were right and then I found my dress at Lace and Co Bridal in Horbury, Wakefield. I knew it was the one as soon as I put it on. It was a Charlotte Balbier dress and was called Tabitha. I absolutely loved it. I thought it needed something extra, though, and my mum found a sparkly brooch which I added to the front of the dress to personalise it.
My bridal makeup was done by Lisa from Lime Beauty at Equinox in Bowness, and my hair was by Louise from Equinox. They came to the venue and were absolutely fab! I’d recommend them to anyone, they’re so friendly and put us completely at ease.
Rich decided he didn’t want to hire a suit and so he bought one from Hugo Boss that he could keep. It was a blue two piece and he added a grey waistcoat also from Hugo Boss which went really well.
For our wedding party we just had my sister, Amy, as my bridesmaid and Rich’s best friend Matt as best man. As Rich had bought his own suit, we asked Matt and my dad to wear what they wanted – they didn’t have to match.
My sister’s dress was a mink coloured 50’s style dress, which we ordered online. She also bought a pink petticoat which she wore to make her skirt flare out more.
November 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This morning on the blog we’re travelling to the beautiful Lakes to relive Emily and Neil’s big day.`
Following a proposal at the top of Coniston Old Man, Emily and Neil felt it fitting to hold their wedding in the Lake District too, and so decided on a relaxed & homemade affair in a venue at the base of the mountain where they got engaged.
So grab your walking boots and trekking poles, as we join the happy couple in Cumbria.
With images from Darren Athersmith.
emily says: We got engaged in January 2014, it was a surprise engagement at the top of Coniston Old Man, Neil had asked my dad the day before, he planned to be at the top for sunrise however the top was covered in a snow blizzard so it was an icy proposal but we soon dropped down out of the blizzard to a lovely January sunrise.
Our wedding was on the 25th July 2015; we chose the date as Neil is a school teacher so we wanted to tie it into his school holidays.
We got married at Coniston Coppermines Mountain Cottages – we chose the venue as we live locally and both love the Lake District. We are at our happiest when up in the hills and knew we didn’t want a traditional church/hotel wedding. We also felt it so fitting that there was a wedding venue at the base of the mountain we go engaged at the top of. We loved the flexibility that the Coppermines offered us, the venue being ours for the whole weekend. We wanted guests to have a mini holiday as well as celebrating our marriage, plus we wanted family and friends travelling from around the country to see the surroundings we love. We had a marquee put up on the side of the cottages by Evans Marquee Hire, the front elevation of the marquee was all windows to make the most of the beautiful views down the valley towards Coniston Water.
We wanted a small intimate ceremony of just our immediate family, then as we were away having some photos taken our guests arrived for afternoon tea, it was great to get back to find everyone had joined us. More friends and family then joined us in the evening for the party.
We didn’t want a themed wedding and wanted the feel of the wedding to be relaxed and to suit the mountainous surroundings so all materials were natural and rustic. It was important to us that as much of the wedding as possible was home made. We didn’t want the wedding to be just about one day; it was a real family effort over the 18 months of our engagement. We did call on friends for help too – my good friend and owner of Dotty Flamingo laser cut the lace design on our wedding stationery and I then put together the cards for invitations and place names.
I didn’t want a colour scheme as such either and so had limited colour palette of white and natural tones. I wanted to use varying materials rather than have a ‘colour theme’ I loved the contrast of using the hessian and lace together teamed with simple flowers and lots of timber.
My fair colouring and red hair means white just washes me out so I found a nude coloured wedding dress online that had the warmth I needed and my mum was able to customise it for me. I chose a tea length dress as I didn’t want to spend the day worrying about my dress trailing on the ground as I knew we would be having photos taken in the mountainous surroundings.
The only splash of colour I had was my bright orange hunter wellies – thankfully the weather was glorious so the wellies weren’t critical. My shoes were from Dune, they were the same nude tone as my dress and had coloured stones on the T-bar. I got the same shoes in flats and heels if I needed to change for the dancing later in the night. I liked the fact that the shoes weren’t traditionally bridal so I could wear them after the wedding.
I made my hair piece myself, I bought a selection of wires and beads from Bojangle Beads in Loughborough and twisted the beads and wire around a thin gold Alice band. My jewellery was all borrowed from my mum, I wore pearl stud earrings, bracelet and pendant. My mum always used to wear the pendant when I was a child, it brings back lovely childhood memories every time I see it so I wanted to wear it on the day.
Neil wore a grey-brown slim fit tweed wool suit from Next.
Our two nieces (18-months-old and 4-years-old) were flower girls and wore sundresses from Marks and Spencer, in a soft mint green with flowery lace overlay and shoes from Next.
Our photographer was locally based Darren Athersmith. As soon as we met Darren we knew he was the photographer for us, not only did we want him to capture our wedding day, it was important to capture the mountain landscape we were in and he has a love of Lakeland landscape photography as well as portraits. We didn’t want any formal posed line up photos, we just wanted him to disappear into the day and capture us, our family and friends enjoying themselves again keeping that relaxed feel to the day. His whole approach is relaxed and puts you immediately at ease.
I wanted all white flowers and grew our own sweet peas that I had in my bouquet, they are my favourite flowers, and I love the scent.
We also grew other flowers to be dotted around the venue; we then topped up the flowers with green foliage from the garden and bought some white stocks, freesia (again for their scent) and sprays of gypsophila.
We made an arbour from silver birch branches that we added to with greenery from the garden, it was great as a natural frame for some of the photos. As an extra special touch, we used my grandad’s old watering can and steel bucket to arrange some flowers in, it was a small touch that meant a lot to me.
We made silver birch candle holders and jam jars covered in hessian and lace as small flower vases for the table centre pieces. Our table names were all mountains we have summited.
As mentioned the wedding was a real family effort and everyone pitched in to help. Mum and I set about making all the bunting that adorned the ceiling of the marquee, it took months and months to make, but was well worth it. The most special flags have lace that my mum took from her own wedding dress for us to use.
My dad made planters from old pallets that we put branches into with fairy lights on, they were a great backdrop during the day behind Neil and I during the afternoon tea and looked lovely when lit up in the evening.
Being outdoorsy we wanted favours that would remind guests of the day longer than just a mouthful of sugared almond so we made seed packets for each guest to take away to (hopefully) plant, grow and enjoy.
Neil’s mum made the three tiers of fruit wedding cake for us and I decorated it myself with lots of advice from friend and local cake maker Bird Bakes from Ulverston. I made the wooden dolly peg cake topper people myself and my 4-year-old niece painted some pegs as ‘the congregation’ that we stuck into the large timber homemade cake stand.
Our catering was by local company Premier Outside Catering of Baycliff, they served champagne and canapés (the canapés were made by Neil’s brother-in-law who is a chef) to family after the ceremony. We then had and afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, pastries and cakes. Later in the evening we had pie and peas.
We didn’t have a bar and asked people to bring their own drinks for the day/evening whilst we provided Pimms on arrival then wine and Prosecco for the afternoon tea and speeches.
To provide entertainment, put together playlists for the ceremony and afternoon tea and hired a speaker/PA system from local company SAP Pro Audio in Kendal. It was so much fun putting together songs we both liked in the months leading up to the wedding and we still listen to the playlists now.
It was really important for us to have live music at the evening part of the wedding as we wanted everyone up and dancing – we even provided a hamper full of flip flops so there was no excuse for sore feet! Local band Ulpha590 played into the night as we danced away.
We loved having our wedding at the Coppermines and thankfully the sun shone all day; we felt the whole place reflected us as a couple perfectly. It was great that we had use of the venue all weekend; we had a barbeque on the Sunday and guests had use of the four hot tubs which overlooked the surrounding hillside.
I couldn’t really say I have a favourite part of the day; all of it, including the run up was great fun. I think because we wanted everything to feel relaxed we didn’t feel under pressure at all.
We went to the Isle of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides for our honeymoon. We used my parent’s campervan to tour for two weeks with our dog. We had an amazing time, the weather was kind to us so we got to explore the many beaches that really are incredible, the sand was so white and sea so clear blue plus it was lovely and quiet.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to get sucked into what you think is expected of you as a bride or groom; it’s your day so do whatever feels right for you. Also take some time, just the two of you, stand back and take in all that’s going on around you as the day will fly by.
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