Charlotte Balbier

fallin’. maggie sottero for a grey & blush themed wedding at lodore falls – emma & ryan

October 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (44)

For this afternoon’s real wedding we are heading North West to the beautiful Lake District to relive Emma and Ryan’s big day.

You’re all in for a treat, as there’s lots of fabulous elements to admire in this wedding, in addition to the breath-taking views! We love Emma’s gorgeous Maggie Sottero dress as well as her chosen colour palette of elegant blush pink and grey which is reflected beautifully in the numerous flower arrangements and décor.

Our favourite bit however has to be the boat ride for the bride, groom and their guests part way through the day. We’d quite like to be aboard that boat ourselves, sipping on prosecco and taking in the surroundings. Just stunning!

With images by Bethany Sunners Photography.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (3)

emma says: We got engaged at home after an evening out at a wedding reception, where it was just the two of us. Ryan had something planned a couple of weeks before this but I ruined it when I picked up some shifts at work.

We were married on 8th August 2015. We chose the date because it was mid-summer and right in the middle of some special family events.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (4)

We got married in our local parish church, St Mungo’s in Dearham, Cumbria. My parents, and grandparents got married there so it is a special place. It’s a beautiful little church. Our reception was at the Lodore Falls Hotel at the bottom of Borrowdale Valley. We chose this venue as the scenery is out of this world, it’s on the edge of a beautiful lake in the middle of the Lake District. Perfect for a summer wedding.

We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted a summer wedding with a relaxed feel to it. The words ‘all you need is love’ was also a big feature.

Our colour scheme was grey and blush colours, with a bit of silver sparkle. I chose these colours as grey is my absolute favourite colour. It makes the blush colours really stand out and looks really pretty.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (13)

My dress was a Maggie Sottero from I Do Bridal, Cockermouth. It was an ivory slim A-line design with a delicate sweetheart neckline, with gorgeous beaded lace across it. It had a corset back with a short train. I first saw the dress online and immediately knew it was the one for me. It was the first dress I tried on, I felt so elegant in it. It was also called Emma. Fate! My veil and headband was by Linzi Jay. My shoes were Vivienne Westwood, I seen them in the window of a Vivienne Westwood store. They were ivory with a big red heart on the front. Really quirky, I loved them and had to have them for our wedding. I also had a vintage sapphire ring, which my nan gave me before the wedding as my something blue, which meant the world.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (9)

Ryan had a two piece slim-fit grey suit from Debenhams. He wore it with a slim fit white shirt, silver grey slim tie and pocket square from ASOS, grey braces and tan brogues. We just wanted a relaxed look. The groomsmen all wore the same.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (15)

My bridesmaids’ outfits were grey bandeau midi length dresses from ASOS and silver sparkly barely there sandals from Next. They all looked stunning. My little flower girl had an ivory lace beaded dress from John Lewis and ivory lace shoes from Monsoon. Our pageboys had grey waist coat and trousers from Next and white Converse.

Mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup was done at my parents’ house the morning of the wedding. Jazz Hair Studio and Elegant Touch both of Maryport, did an amazing job. We all felt a million dollars!

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (20)

Our chosen wedding transport was a 1964 VW splitscreen camper van and a 1973 Cabrio VW Beetle in white, from Lake District Vintage Wedding Cars. My dad and I travelled in the Beetle with the roof down to the church, it was a gorgeous summer’s day. My mum and bridesmaids travelled in the camper van. Following the ceremony, my new husband and I then travelled to our reception in the Beetle and we enjoyed a complimentary bottle of fizz. Paul who owns the company is fantastic, very professional.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (23)

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (24)

Bethany Sunners, was our photographer. She was amazing from the very start. Constantly keeping in touch right up until the wedding day. She met us in person to discuss ideas and listened to exactly what we wanted. On the actual day, Bethany arrived early at my parents’ house to take pictures of my bridal party whilst getting ready, she was so discreet. She built up a brilliant rapport with our vicar, meaning she was able to get the best shots at the front of church. She also put all our family and friends at ease. Bethany literally captured every moment of our special day with the most perfect natural shots. We would most definitely recommend her.

We also had our wedding captured on film by Lake District Weddings Videos.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (27)

For my flowers, I had a beautiful hand tied bouquet of white hydrangea, white and ivory roses and spray roses with a little eucalyptus (to add to my obsession with the colour grey). My bridesmaids had hand tied bouquets of peach, blush and ivory roses and spray roses. My flower girl had a little flower crown of spray roses and gypsophila. Ryan had an ivory rose button hole and the groomsmen and page boys had blush rose button holes. The bouquets and button holes were provided by the Floral Boutique, Cockermouth. We got a fantastic service from them, Elizabeth was extremely helpful.

My auntie Karen, who I must say is amazing with flowers, made all our arrangements for the church and reception. In total she made five window arrangements for church, one arrangement for the alter, 20 pew ends, an arrangement for the milk churn we had outside the church gates, a flower arch for outside the church, ten hand tied bouquets for the table centre pieces, two top table arrangements and two cake table arrangements (I know what you’re thinking, wow!)

She used a combination of white hydrangea, peach, blush and white roses and spray roses, white and pink lyzianthus, gypsophila and eucalyptus were used. The Wholesaler Dutch Flower Auction is where we purchased the flowers and we would recommend them for DIY wedding flowers, they deliver all over and the flowers lasted ages. My auntie did the most fantastic job with the flowers, she got so many well deserved compliments. They were stunning – evidently she’s now got a part time job at the Floral Boutique shop.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (28)

Our venue decorations included some bunting, handmade signs and DIY table decorations. Chair covers and bows were provided by Finishing Touches. We also had giant light up ‘love’ letters provided by a close friend at Love in Lights.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (30)

For the ladies favours, my auntie Helen made homemade strawberry jam. For the men my Grandad made home brewed Sloe Gin in miniature bottles. Both went down extremely well and just added a bit more of a personal touch. A friend also made gingerbread brides and grooms for the children.

A local cake maker Jules Huck (The Cake Fairy) made a fantastic cake for us. Our guests were amazed by it and it tasted even better then it looked. My uncle Graeme, a chef made us the most brilliant cheese wedding cake too. It had every single cheese you could think of on it, he even personalised the covers of some cheeses with our picture and date of our wedding on. I made a fruit wedding cake just for the toasts, during the speeches.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (45)

After the wedding breakfast before our evening reception got underway, we all went out on a launch boat around Derwent Water for an hour’s cruise. We all just sat back, relaxed and had a glass of prosecco or two whilst taking in the breath-taking views of the Lake District. Keswick Launch Company provided the launch, they even let my sister who was also my maid of honour drive.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (43)

For the evening entertainment we hired The Heist, a cover band from the North East. They sing songs from the 1960s up to current hits. They delivered a great set, had the dance floor full all night. Genuine, nice guys. We also had a sweet cart as an extra treat for our guests which was provided by Love in Lights.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (40)

Following our wedding we would definitely recommend Lodore Falls as a wedding venue to other brides and grooms. The staff were fantastic, nothing was too much trouble for them. There is so much choice with their packages and the food was delicious. The actual location speaks for its self, simply stunning!

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (31)

We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the da as we loved all of it. From the lead up to the wedding, making all the personal little touches, getting pampered in the morning, putting on the most beautiful dress, the actual ceremony, watching all our favourite people have an amazing time. It really was the best day of our lives.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (46)

We are going on honeymoon in November to Las Vegas then flying on to Cancun, Mexico. We intend on doing lots of touristy things in Vegas and having a chill out on a beach in Mexico. We delayed the honeymoon as we didn’t want everything to be over at once.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (50)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – sit back and have a moment to yourselves to take it all in because the day is over before you know it. Also enjoy yourselves, don’t worry about others it’s your special day!

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eye candy: ian stuart runway rebel 2016

October 8th, 2015 | Julia Braime



While we love elegant and classic wedding gowns we also lust after designers that dare to push the boundaries by offering ladies something a little different to the norm with their imaginative bridal creations.

Perhaps one of the most daring (and talented) is British designer Ian Stuart, who never fails to impress with his theatrical and head-turning collections. As such, this morning on the blog we‘re sharing with you Mr Stuart’s latest collection, runway rebel, in all its beauty.



The most highly anticipated collection of the White Gallery 2016 catwalk, buyers and brides alike are always eager to see what the fearless designer has come up with next.

For the Runway Rebel collection, Ian focused his energy on designing for different body shapes, ages and personalities. In doing so, he created a collection that is diverse and versatile, giving every bride the opportunity to find her own style within the Ian Stuart label.



Experimenting with softer fabrics and fluid silhouettes, Ian used his unique flair and couture construction to reach a different spirit of bride and – as the unprecedented ‘king of colour’ – he also introduced stunning softer shades of silver, pink and taupe.



The result is a gutsy and glamorous collection featuring four stand out themes: Ian Stuart Signature Style – textured, playful and dramatic; Sexy and Statuesque – figure hugging with plunging lines and dynamic silhouettes; Romantic and Regal – fairy tale ball gowns, exquisite laces and glittering touches and Fashionista Glamour – modern, unconventional and daring.



Commenting on Runway Rebel, the Ian Stuart design house says: “Adversary to ‘plain and commercial’, Ian is as rebellious in his own nature as he is in his approach to designing bridal wear. He dares to break rules and take risks while keeping the traditional essential beauty of a wedding gown. Runway Rebel pays homage to Ian’s intrinsic values of design, as well as the attitude of the daring modern bride who chooses to wear his creations.”



“Runway Rebel is an uplifting celebration, an ode to life and the freedom to be expressive, creative and rebellious in it.”


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pastels & roses. ronald joyce for astley bank wedding with a vintage twist – jodi & jack

October 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (37)

When planning their big day, today’s couple initially decided on a 1940s theme inspired by their chosen transport – a vintage bus. However worried that she might get carried away with just one set theme, bride Jodi chose to keep the remainder of the wedding modern and simple with elegant pastel pops in the bridesmaids’ dresses, décor and flowers.

The result is a pretty and up-to-date big day with just a touch of vintage.

With images by Paul Swift Photography.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (4)

jodi says: We got engaged on the 2nd August 2013. We had gone for a few days away in Grasmere, Cumbria. After a fantastic day boating on Lake Coniston we went back to the guest house to get changed and go into Grasmere for something nice to eat and a few drinks. On the way back from the restaurant was a wishing well, which we stopped at for a while. Jack told me to throw a penny in and make a wish, I did. He did the same, he asked me what id wished for and I told him I wished we could be this happy forever. I asked him what he wished for, he said he wished for his dream to come true, and for me to be his wife, as he pulled a beautiful diamond engagement ring out of his pocket. I didn’t really quite understand what was going on until he actually asked me to marry him. It was the biggest shock of my life! I was so happy I cried for the rest of the holiday!

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (11)

We decided to marry on the 1st August 2015 as we wanted two year’s planning and saving time, a summer wedding and the nearest date to our engagement date.

We got married at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in the village where we live. I have lived in Rishton all of my life, as have most of my family. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents married at the same church and ever since being a little girl I dreamed of walking down the aisle there.

We had the reception and evening celebrations at Astley Bank in Darwen, Lancashire. It’s absolutely beautiful and the food is amazing! A friend of mine had had her wedding there in 2008 and from that day I loved it. I’m from quite a big family and didn’t want a venue that a family wedding had been held at before, I also wanted somewhere not too close to home but a close enough distance for people to be able to travel to easily, so it was perfect. I took Jack to see it before we had even talked about it properly and on entering the grounds he pretty much made his mind up there and then that it was the place for us.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (13)

I thought I wanted a modern wedding until Jack came home from work saying someone he knew had hired a wedding bus. I’ll be honest, I thought it sounded awful! However, I had a look online and saw a bus that we had seen before during a charity walk, I loved it so much! It was a navy and cream 1947 Leyland double decker. I loved the idea that it could take everyone from the church to the venue. I then started to plan a theme around the bus, especially as I love the style of the 40s, but as I did more research I decided I didn’t want to be stuck to one particular style/era. I’m a little OCD with fine detail, if we had gone for a 40s theme literally everything would have had to have been 40s! So we decided that we would go for a modern wedding with a slight vintage twist, which is a good job as the bus I’d based my planning on was involved in an accident two days before the wedding!

We chose a colour scheme of pastel green with peach/coral and ivory. I wanted light, bright, fresh colours that I hadn’t seen at other weddings. I had seven bridesmaids and two flower girls. Choosing the bridesmaids colour was the hardest decision of them all and I wanted to be clear about that before planning anything else. My maids couldn’t be any different from each other with skin tone, hair colour etc. and although I knew I wanted a summery colour I needed something that suited all of them, it was a tough decision! And I’m not convinced they all loved it, but they looked incredible!

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (16)

On the wedding day I wore the third wedding dress I had bought! The first was from eBay and was an absolute disaster! I hated it so much I cried when I unpacked it. The photos were beautiful but the real thing was such a disappointment!. The second I think I panic bought! The neckline was same as the bridesmaids’ dresses so I think that’s what made me get it. I loved it but then the more I looked at myself in it the more I realised that it really wasn’t me! By this time Lindsey at Anne Whittakers Bridal Wear in Accrington had got to know me a little and agreed it wasn’t right for me. I tried on what felt like a million other dresses but had kept looking at the gorgeous one on the model in the middle of the shop. I tried that on last. I loved it! So much so I nearly cried! It was a beautiful lace Ronald Joyce dress with a low button up back and gorgeous lace train. I’m not a girly girl at all! I don’t do bling or sparkle but it had just the right amount of detail around the middle to make it a beautiful dress without being too much. Lindsey swapped the dress no problem, I really can’t thank her enough! She and the seamstress Shareen were both amazing! My wedding makeup was done by Rebecca Brown and my hair stylist was Gemma Brown.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (21)

Jack wore a three piece grey suit from Amelia’s menswear in Clitheroe. By the time it came to choosing the suits I’d become a wedding geek! I’d noticed that most of the suits I had looked at hadn’t changed much over the last 20 years and I wanted something more traditional looking yet with a modern cut. Amelia’s was definitely the best choice, I had seen a photo on their website and knew straight away that it was perfect. The ties were a lovely floral print silk and they had them in the exact green I had chosen for the bridesmaids for the ushers and groomsmen, a peach for my dad that matched the flowers, and ivory to match my dress for the groom. Jack chose to wear a tailcoat as he wanted to be a little different from the rest of the men. The staff at Amelia’s need medals! They put up with the husbands fussing and flapping and his entourage of 11!

The bridesmaids wore pastel green dresses with frilled alter necks that flowed from under the bust to the floor. I chose dresses that would flatter all the different figure types they have, which was a good job as two became pregnant during the planning! I ordered the dresses to be made to measure from a company abroad. The groomsmen wore three piece suits from Amelia’s with standard length jackets and ties in green to match the bridesmaids. Jack’s twin boys wore the same but without the jackets, and their sleeves rolled up a little with Converse shoes to give a more casual look but still in keeping with the older men.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (32)

For the wedding transport we ended up having to have an alternative bus as the one I’d set my heart on had been damaged in an accident. Classic Buses sent us a vintage red double decker London bus after working hard to juggle their already full schedule. The driver was a lovely lady who made it even more special. We arrived at church on the bus and after the ceremony it brought our entire wedding party back to Astley Bank. Nobody had to worry about driving or parking or not being able to drink, it was definitely a great idea and everyone loved it!

We chose Paul Swift as our photographer, which was the easiest and quickest decision we made! I’ve known Paul and his wife Sarah since school days and have followed his photography blogs since he started out. Since the day we asked him he helped us to plan our big day and gave us so much advice and knowledge. Neither me nor jack are comfortable in front of the camera so he suggested a pre wedding shoot. This made such a massive difference to us! Paul made us very comfortable and we had such good fun and a real laugh. On the big day his presence was very calming, we both felt like we were in the best hands and he did so much more for us than just take photographs. Jack said he was really nervous when he arrived at church until Paul turned up and started organising everyone, we honestly can’t recommend him highly enough. A true professional! He was very calm and patient and the 800+ photos he took are all beautiful and the perfect reminder of our wedding day.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (31)

Rachel at Garlands Florist made my hand tied bouquet using coral miss piggy roses, white hydrangea schneeball, thistles, veronica and rosemary, tied with ivory lace ribbon. Rachel incorporated a bangle into my bouquet which belonged to my mum who passed away in 2008 aged just 49. I wanted to carry something of hers with me on my big day, this also became my something old. She also made the most adorable little gypsophila head dresses for the flower girls, too cute!

Rachel then used glassware I had collected as top table decorations with fresh flowers in keeping with those of my bouquet. I’ve worked in science since 1999 so I wanted to use some scientific glassware to incorporate my love of chemistry into our day. Wedding Creations of Oswaldtwistle dressed the venue with seat covers with peach and lace sashes, huge candelabras with hanging pearls and diamantes. There were also little vintage bottles, pots with flowers and hessian and scatterings of pearls, peach roses petals and diamantes on the tables. Our table names were the dates of our parents and grandparents weddings and each had a photograph from their wedding day. The guests loved this personal touch! The top table had our wedding date and a photo from our pre wedding shoot. I made these myself along with the place name cards and seating plan in the same style as I’d made the invitations and orders of service.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (28)

Our favours were bath salts for the ladies and heart shaped mints for the men in corked test tubes tied with brown twine for a ‘sciencey’ vintage feel.

Our cake was made by my sister-in-law Charlotte as a wedding present – it looked and tasted amazing. We has three tiers of ivory iced chocolate and vanilla sponge and a clever clear Perspex tier filled with vintage buttons and pearls to match our theme. It was decorated with a row of threaded buttons and topped with the flowers I had used to make the bridesmaids bouquets. So simple and so beautiful.

The wedding breakfast was absolutely fantastic! We chose from the set menu and tried to pick food that would suit everyone. Everything was cooked to perfection and all the guests complimented it.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (33)

To provide entertainment, we had the DJ who was hired by the hotel as part of our wedding package and we also hired a photo booth from Style My Event. This went down a treat with all of the guests!

As a special touch at the reception we had a beautiful handmade guest book made for us by one of my roller derby team mates Johannes. He made a hinged drop top guest book with ‘branch slices’ cut from recycled wood for guests to write their messages on. The design of it means that it can stand freely like a book displaying our messages or hang on the wall like a picture. We currently have it standing on the sideboard but plan to hang it on the wall in the future.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (34)

Following our wedding we would certainly recommend Astley Bank to others. The venue is beautiful, the staff are brilliant (so warm and caring), the food was outstanding and the grounds are incredible. I can’t fault a single thing, absolutely perfect!

Our favourite part of the day would have to be the church and ceremony, though we all loved it! The vicar Michael Woods and the vergers, especially Mrs Schaefer, were so caring and welcoming. The service was beautiful, flowers were gorgeous and everything went exactly to plan. My daughter Elisse did a reading by Dr Seuss, we had the church bells rung by a team of incredible bell ringers one of whom is a friend, another friend sings in the choir so she came along to provide some much needed tone! The street outside was lined with well-wishers. It was perfect, a real fairy tale wedding.

A Classic Wedding with a Vintage Twist (c) Paul Swift (38)

After the wedding we went on a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon. We started in Mallorca and visited places such as the south of France, Monaco, Italy, Corsica, Spain before returning to Mallorca. The highlight for us was travelling to Barcelona, such a beautiful city with so much culture, we will definitely be going back.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to plan, plan and plan some more! Research everything and be sure you know what you want! This is your big day!

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dream venue: acklam hall

October 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (3)

Today’s dream venue might be new to the wedding scene but the building itself has been around for many, many years!

Yet to open its doors, acklam hall, Middlesbrough’s only Grade I listed building, is currently undergoing renovation work to restore the historic building back to its original grandeur, retaining its incredible original features from the late seventeenth century along the way.

Once open, the impressive hall will offer bespoke weddings, events, celebrations and corporate events, whilst also inviting diners to experience its two restaurants.

Keen to learn more about what Acklam Hall has to offer brides and grooms-to-be, we’ve spoken to wedding and events manager Kelly Mennear, who has given us all the details on what’s to come whilst also sharing some fabulous shots from a special bridal photo shoot which has taken place at the hall during its transformation.

Images by Gary Walsh Photography.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (5)

Tell Brides Up North about Acklam Hall, what is its history?

kelly says: From late 2015 Acklam Hall, the only Grade 1 listed building in Middlesbrough, will provide a beautiful venue for weddings, events, fine dining, serviced office accommodation and conference facilities. A new beginning for a building with a long and interesting history.

For almost two hundred years Acklam Hall was the home of the Hustler family, and since 1935 has, in various guises, been a place of learning. The hall retains many of the original architectural features created when it was first built in the late seventeenth century as well as features added just over 100 years ago by one of the finest architects of the early twentieth century, Walter Brierley.

What facilities does it have? 

The hall has two restaurant settings The Dining Room for fine dining, and The Salon, which serves a brasserie style menu including afternoon teas, lunch, dinner, cake and coffee. There are three splendid function/private dining rooms which are licensed for civil ceremonies:  The Boudoir, The Parlour and The Drawing Room. There is also a bridal dressing room with ensuite facilities for pre-wedding preparations and beautiful gardens and grounds, which provide stunning photo opportunities.

When will Acklam Hall open its doors for weddings and what types of weddings will it be able to cater for?

Weddings will officially take place from 1st April 2016, although we hope to have the hall open at the end of 2015.  We can cater for small, intimate weddings or larger celebrations of up to 120 guests within the hall’s wedding function rooms. The Boudoir is the smallest of the rooms and can hold up to 20 ceremony guests while the The Parlour can accommodate up 60 ceremony guests. The spacious Drawing Room is deal for larger wedding parties.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (1)

Will Acklam Hall be licensed for civil ceremonies?

Yes, we will have a number of fabulous rooms for civil ceremonies. We also have St Mary’s Church located just behind the hall which is a beautiful setting for a religious ceremony.  If the couple are getting married elsewhere we can of course welcome the bride and groom and their party to the hall to host their wedding reception only.

What makes Acklam Hall a special wedding venue?

Acklam Hall is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the North East of England, and as the only Grade I listed building in the Tees Valley, it provides a unique and stunning backdrop for a wedding.

Special features such as a beautiful bridal dressing room with all the facilities a bride and her bridal party will need to prepare for the big day, specially designed manicured grounds and gardens which will provide many fabulous locations for wedding photographs, and plans to resurrect a pathway through the grounds to St Mary’s Church, which will provide a picturesque and convenient way for the bride and groom and their guests to make their way to and from the ceremony.  This pathway was originally used by Sir William Hustler and his family, now the bride and groom will play the role of the nobility on their wedding day and use this historical setting plus the wedding pictures will be incredible!

What sort of bride would be an Acklam Hall bride?

An Acklam Hall bride would be anyone who is looking for a truly spectacular and unique location for the wedding of her dreams. The building itself is a magnificent backdrop for a bride’s big day and the surrounding grounds offer countless opportunities for those all-important photographs. The beautiful avenue of trees and the picturesque ornamental pond are among the pretty features within the grounds. I imagine Acklam Hall brides will be attracted by the passionate and dedicated service that they will receive from the team here throughout their whole experience.  We will pride ourselves on delivering a truly joyful and memorable day for every bride.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (6)

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

Our dedicated team at Acklam Hall will provide bride and grooms with unparalleled service and attention to detail, everything to make their big day special.  There will be an emphasis on exceptional customer service and presentation for all staff working at Acklam Hall.

We will also ensure that the team helping the couple to plan their big day prior to the wedding will be the team present on the day of the wedding to ensure everything goes to plan.

We are also planning to work with some fantastic wedding suppliers who we have a good relationship with and are trusted to provide a brilliant service.

Can guests stay over at your venue?  

We do not have accommodation on site at Acklam Hall but we do recommend some fantastic hotels close by.  We have made sure that the bride and her bridal party have the facilities to get ready at the hall creating a beautiful bridal dressing room complete with ensuite facilities and a salon hair wash unit for those all-important preparations!

Tell us about what catering services you will offer? 

The bride and groom and their guests will dine on sumptuous dishes prepared by the very experienced Acklam Hall chefs, using the finest fresh local produce.  We are happy to discuss any special requirements with the couple to make their wedding day as individual and special as they envisage.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (4)

Will you offer a choice of wedding packages?

We do not operate wedding packages but instead offer a bespoke service with flexibility on the food and beverage elements to a wedding and how the hall can be used.  This should allow for more tailored and individual weddings, letting couples be as creative as they like.

How is the transformation of Acklam Hall going so far?

The refurbishment and restoration of the hall is going very well, there are often challenges along the way due to the nature of the work that is taking place, some structural, but the hall is really starting to take shape and once the rooms have been painted, carpets fitted and furniture installed it will really come back to life again.  We are really looking forward to opening our doors and welcoming guests to experience what a special place Acklam Hall is.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (2)

How can our readers find out more about the venue?

Visit our website for the many ways to contact the Acklam Hall team. Viewings are currently being taken giving couples a behind the scenes look at the hall during the refurbishment.

Do you have any other news for us?

We are hoping to hold a Wedding Open Day at the venue in January and more details will be released on our website and social media soon. Also do keep an eye on our social media accounts where we will post the most up to date images and progress as it happens.

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home is where the heart is. stella york for a relaxed wedding in east yorkshire – lisa & tim

October 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (60)

When it came to this morning’s wedding couple’s venue search it was a case of there’s no place like home as they opted for a traditional church ceremony followed by a marquee reception in the garden of the bride’s mum and stepdad’s home.

Keen to make the occasion fun for their guests, Lisa and Tim put on garden games, live entertainment and an informal afternoon tea, all in keeping with their garden party themed relaxed wedding.

We very much enjoyed that Lisa switched things up a bit when it came to her and her maids’ attire by choosing a blush pink dress for herself and cute ivory dresses for her leading ladies.

With images by Jemma King Photography.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (3)

lisa says: We got engaged outside a restaurant after Tim had taken me for a meal to celebrate my 30th birthday in August 2014. He had wanted to propose inside, but it was tight space wise for getting down on one knee and he didn’t fancy being practically sat on the couple next to us knee! After a lovely evening he proposed outside overlooking a football pitch which was very fitting as football is Tim’s other love. He did however get a soaking wet knee as the grass was wet!

Our wedding date was 27th June 2015. It turned out on enquiring with the church that it was also the weekend of the village garden festival and so the church would be already decorated, which was a lovely and lucky coincidence.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (2)

We had our ceremony in our parish church, St Helens in Welton, East Yorkshire. The church and setting are beautiful and on attending some services we, and our two children, were made to feel very welcome. Our reception was held in a marquee (hired from All Occasions Marquees and Events in Hull) in the meadow at my mum and step dad’s home. They moved there the year previous and we instantly knew it was the perfect setting for us with a pair of old railway cottages stood in the garden and the countryside views – it was personal and unique. We are very lucky that we had this option and that my parents were so willing to open up their home and do so much work to prepare the garden and install a couple of toilets in their outbuildings and cottages so we had proper loo’s to use!

As we held our wedding in my parent’s garden we aimed for a relaxed garden party feel incorporating some vintage glamour. We opted for substantial canapés and afternoon tea with a hog roast in the evening. With having two children ourselves (aged 11 and two) and plenty of other children attending we wanted a vibe which allowed everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. We borrowed some giant garden games from the school my sister teaches at and set up a homemade photo booth with props, which the kids ended up using mainly as a dressing up box! We were also gifted some amazing children’s activity packs from my friend Joanne at Angelic Angels which kept the children entertained through the speeches and beyond.

Our colour scheme was based around my blush pink dress! We were not too precious over colours but once I had fallen in love with the dress I did subtly steer things in a more pink direction. I had also fallen completely in love with some rose gold sequin table cloths so between them and my dress I created our vintage blush scheme.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (11)

My dress was Stella York’s 5923 design in moscato. I actually spotted it as soon as I walked into the shop and only tried it on as I thought something so beautiful would look ridiculous on me…but it was too beautiful not to try on. The colour was so much more flattering on my skin tone than ivory and white, but it wasn’t until I returned to the shop to try that and another dress on again that I realised I couldn’t get it out of my head. I chose a full length veil in blush which made me feel like the bride I’d always imagined, and a hairband with sparkle and lace detailing which coordinated beautifully.

My shoes were from Red or Dead with a chunky heel for height and comfort.

I bought my dress, veil and hairband from Cheryl Chambers Bridal Boutique in Sutton, Hull. The ladies there are so helpful and provide a lovely relaxed atmosphere, and the shop is full of sparkly little treasures, I really enjoyed every visit.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (24)

Tim chose a grey tailcoat suit with matching waistcoat and a pink tie. They were hired from Slaters Menswear. Tim’s best man and ushers, along with both our step dads, wore the same as Tim, including our 11-year-old son. My dad wore his own kilt in our family tartan and our two-year-old was more relaxed but traditional in a buster suit from and white T-bar shoes from Babyshoes.

The bridesmaids wore ivory lace dresses from BHS that were actually short wedding dresses but as I was wearing blush pink with ivory lace, their dresses coordinated lovely with mine.

As a little extra, I bought all the men pink socks with their role in the wedding printed on them and gave them as a surprise. We also gave the men cufflinks shaped into their initials as a thank you gift, and I gave my bridesmaids silver knot earrings as a thank you for helping us ‘tie the knot’.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (29)

We hired a beautiful Humber car from Marshalls Wedding Cars to take us to the church, it was only a five minute journey between where each of us were staying and the church so we used the same car which did four trips in total to get us all there. The car we used was actually Tim’s mum and step dad’s wedding car, which was a lovely touch. The owner of the cars has a huge collection and provided a great service, I would highly recommend brides contact him to go and view the cars.

To solve the issue of lack of parking space at my mum’s, our guests and us travelled from the church to reception in a vintage bus and coach hired from East Yorkshire Coaches. It was certainly a novelty and everyone travelling together kept a lovely social atmosphere. We travelled on the small coach with close family and the bridal party and it was really lovely to have that journey all together after the church.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (35)

Our photographer was Jemma King. She really understood our vision for the day and we felt very comfortable around her. The first time we met, our toddler had her on the floor playing! It was like having a friend there, but one who could get people organised! We had loads of compliments on the day of how good she was with people and are thrilled with our finished photos. I would, and already have, recommended her.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (62)

We didn’t have any fresh flowers on the day other than what was already in church for the garden festival. I made my own brooch and bead bouquet as it was something I had always wanted to try since I fell in love with one I saw online years before. The men had dried flower buttonholes which I won on eBay! And I bought dried flower bouquets to coordinate from for my two bridesmaids. That way we could buy everything in advance and they could be kept and displayed afterwards. Plus the dried flowers with lavender smelt amazing!

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (65)

As décor for the reception we hired some stunning rose gold sequin table cloths from Belle Bijoux Events, and I decorated Hobbycraft white twig trees with paper flowers to create centrepieces that doubled up as a guest book. We left tags on each table for guests to leave us a message and hang on the trees. They looked great once they were filled with lovely messages from our family and friends.

Dragonfly Print made us some fabulous personalised signs for our photo booth, our homemade date jar, and a ‘rules of the dancefloor’ amongst others.

At my hen weekend all my hens set aside time to help me assemble and stick sparkles on my order of service booklet, wrap pens in ribbon and paint our Hobbycraft post box. It was a real team effort!

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (64)

We displayed our table plan, which I handwrote onto card bunting, on a borrowed vintage step ladder and decorated it with jars and bottles filled with fake flowers bought from Hobbycraft and Dunelm. My mum filled wicker baskets full of essentials such as a mini sewing kit, paracetamol, baby wipes etc. and left one in each bathroom. She even bought bride and groom printed loo paper!

Our cake was a four tier Cath Kidston inspired creation. It was made by the lovely Cakes By Leni, in Hull. We chose a Baileys sponge, a chocolate Malteaser layer and a lemon sponge layer. The smallest top layer was a dummy cake. It was almost too beautiful to cut, but tasted yummy!

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (74)

Tim’s brothers are both chefs and organised a catering team for us. We opted for substantial canapés such as mini fish and chips, followed by an afternoon tea type sandwiches and cakes during the speeches. We didn’t want people to have to wait around or spend a long time sat at a table, and wanted to create a relaxed, informal vibe. To continue this feel, we chose a hog roast for our evening food which was very popular! Tim’s parents provided champagne and a couple of glasses of wine per person, however there was more wine than we anticipated! Which nobody seemed too unhappy about. We also hired Escapade Bars who brought a fully stocked bar and we chose five cocktails that they could also offer throughout the night.

In terms of entertainment, my step dad sings in a barbershop quartet who kindly sang for us on arriving at the reception and whilst we disappeared for photographs. They even personalised one song with our names, which was a lovely surprise. For the evening do we hired The Mike Brown Band, who really got the party started and were absolutely fantastic. They did a split of live sets and DJ’ed in between. We didn’t think we would be able to afford a live band, however their prices were comparable to a decent DJ, but the atmosphere they created in our opinion was worth so much more.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (44)

Following our wedding I would certainly recommend that if couples can use a family home or garden for their big day that they consider it. It is lovely visiting my mum’s house and remembering our special day. It also creates something true to the couple and very unique.

My favourite part of the day was the church ceremony. We kept things very traditional in the church and I really enjoyed singing the hymns and all our music choices and reading choices really brought it together giving me goose bumps. I was so nervous walking in, but couldn’t stop smiling and even did a little cheer when we were pronounced as husband and wife.

Stella York for a relaxed wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Jemma King (80)

With having two children, including one at school, we haven’t gone on an official honeymoon. Instead my dad gifted us a weekend in Centre Parcs with our boys the week after the wedding. We all enjoyed our mini family moon just relaxing and spending quality time all together in one of our favourite holiday destinations.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember that whatever happens in the run up to the day, it will all be ok. I had to have a tooth extracted two days beforehand, our first choice of vintage bus broke the day before our wedding amongst many other perceived disasters, but honestly on the day none of it mattered! It’s only one day, and it goes so quickly, just breathe and take it all in. I want to do it all again!

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