November 16th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Fun, food and drink were high up on today’s featured couple’s hit list of priorities for their big day which resulted in a hugely enjoyable American inspired wedding with fabulous entertainment and feasting as standard.
Tying the knot during a traditional church ceremony, the reception element of Jack and Naomi’s big day was influenced by a cool farmer’s market they visited in San Luis Obispo during a trip to California. Guests were treated to outdoor games, delicious snacks and free-flowing booze before taking a seat for the wedding breakfast – though even this aspect called for another tipple with guests invited to ‘take a shot and a seat’ – cue friends, aunties, uncles, parents etc rising to the challenge!
Forming a key part of the celebrations, the main wedding breakfast was a glorious American style barbecue, followed up by cocktails, amazing cakes and a doughnut wall.
Hungry? Us too! So, let’s tuck into this beautiful summer celebration with details direct from the bride…
With images by Emily Green Photography.
naomi says: We got engaged on our anniversary in 2017 – Jack and I have been together since we were 15, so it was a long time coming. Jack proposed in the most perfect way, we were at home and he enlisted the help of our French Bulldog Lola – she had the ring around her collar – Jack having a cup of tea in hand proposed to me in the morning and by lunchtime (still in a daze) we walked around Otley Chevin, which happens to be one of our favourite places to visit! This was supposed to be where Jack proposed but the thought of Lola losing the ring or her running through a puddle and then making it muddy made him change his plans!
We got married on Saturday 4th August. We choose this date, as we knew we really wanted a Saturday summer wedding – Jack is a teacher, so it was the ideal time for us to get married – it was the only Saturday they had left at our chosen venue. This date also happened to be special as it’s my little sister’s birthday and she was kind enough to let us share the day with her – we had a cake made for her which Jack brought out during his speech and we all sang Happy Birthday to her.
We got married at the Parish Church of All Saints, Broughton with Elslack, and then went onto a reception at Utopia, Broughton Hall in Skipton.
In all honesty, the whole wedding was formed after I visited Utopia in Broughton Hall for the first time. The building, which is completely open with full length glass walls and doors, opens up onto an immaculate walled garden which helped make the whole day private and special!
After choosing Utopia we were delighted to discover that the church, which was a five-minute drive away, would allow us to get married there. Jack and I had to attend every Sunday for six-months, but it was worth it as we could have a sneak peek at the venue and explore Skipton.
Our wedding was inspired by a trip to the West Coast of America in 2015. We visited a city in California called San Luis Obispo and stumbled across a farmer’s market whilst staying there – we had such a fun night, drinking and eating delicious foods!
When it came to thinking about our wedding and the initial stages of planning, Jack and I were thinking about what we could do and we kept coming back to the fact that we both love America and most importantly American foods and we decided to try and recreate the night that we spent in San Luis Obispo. To capture the essence of the farmers market and to create the balance between the traditions of a wedding and something that everyone could enjoy we had lots of fun surprises for our guests, including popcorn and candy floss on arrival, games on the lawn, a ‘take a shot and take a seat’ seating plan, polaroid guest book and then beer pong in the evening.
The colour scheme was in keeping with what you would find in California. We made use of lots of neutral tones such as greens and greys which complemented the venue perfectly. Green also happens to be my favourite colour.
November 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
For the second time this week we’re travelling to Sheffield for a helping of real wedding inspiration, with the south Yorkshire city playing a particularly key role in today’s nuptials as bride and groom, Ellen and Liam, were keen to showcase what they love about the place in which they met and live.
As one of the greenest cities in the country, Ellen and Liam chose to make the most of both halves of Sheffield, choosing a lush outdoor park setting for their ceremony and a cool urban space for their evening party.
You might not have to scroll too far to discover that I too played a key part in the day as one of Ellen’s bridesmaids, a role I was touched and keen to take on as I’d somehow got to the grand age of 29 before ever being a bridesmaid (not sure what that says about me?!) Ellen and I go way back, first meeting at journalism college in Sheffield as teenagers, and she quickly became one of my closest friends and has always supported me on both a personal and career level. I was therefore more than happy to put on a pretty lilac lace dress and support her on such an important day. I’m also thrilled to report that El will be returning the favour as one of my four bridesmaids in May!
When planning their day, Ellen and Liam were admirably determined to stick to their budget and cleverly used the skills of friends and family to bring their big day vision to life. I can report from the frontline that this was an amazingly fun day, filled with love, laughter, amazing food and copious amounts of prosecco!
With images by Marisa Cashill.
ellen says: Liam proposed on Christmas Eve 2015; we agreed to open one gift each at midnight after getting back home from a few drinks together. He opened a ‘onesie’ from me, and my gift was an engagement ring hidden inside lots of different boxes! He cried and I looked at him in shock, it was a joke at the wedding speeches that he had never actually said the words “Will you marry me?”
We chose to get married in September, mainly because it was around 18 months after our engagement and a realistic target to save up for. The first date we set for the day – and the venue we chose – actually had to be changed because the hotel we had initially booked closed down, which was stressful at the time. But it worked out for the best in the end, as we had lovely weather on the day we eventually got married, and there was torrential rain on our original date.
Following the changes, we chose the bandstand in Weston Park, Sheffield, as the setting for our wedding ceremony. It’s a beautiful, historic bandstand in gorgeous grounds and one of the few of its kind left in the country. It stood head and shoulders above anywhere else we saw and felt very ‘Sheffield’, which we wanted to be key to the whole day. We love to visit it now and peek through the windows.
The reception venue was The Workstation, which is part of independent cinema The Showroom. It’s located in the city centre and was the perfect size to accommodate our guests. I also knew the chef there, Jon Tite, from my work as a journalist. I really wanted food that was different from the usual wedding fodder, and with Jon I was able to take in one of my favourite street food cookbooks and say ‘this is what we’d like to go for’ rather than sticking to set options.
There wasn’t a theme to the wedding as such, but we wanted it to showcase Sheffield, and be relaxed. We were also incredibly lucky in that a lot of people were able to assist us with their skills – my mum is a florist and transformed our evening venue from what is basically an office into a floral/woodland theme, Liam’s best man Gav was the DJ, my grandma made the pork pie wedding cake, and my friend James, who is a hairdresser, did all the bridal party’s hair. It really was not what we knew, but who, and it made our small wedding budget go a lot further than it would have done.
My favourite colour is purple, so there were flashes of that in the flowers, the bridal and groom’s party attire, and the decor too.
I bought my dress from Celebrations Bridal House in Ossett, West Yorkshire, which is where several family members have bought theirs from, too. I grew up just down the road and bought it on my second shopping trip, with mum and my sister Jodie. I wanted something simple, with a little bit of detail and which wouldn’t swamp me as I am only five-foot-tall. I chose Morilee by Madeline Gardner dress with a lace pattern and a belt with diamante detail.
I know it sounds too pragmatic for a wedding day, but I had set myself a strict budget for the dress, as I wanted to prioritise the things that would last rather than a dress I’d only wear for one day. Because of that, I was able to add on a pair of Rachel Simpson Catherine shoes – my something blue, which I have since worn on our anniversary as a reminder of the day. I also had a gorgeous hair vine from Britten. My mum made my veil using a YouTube video – she’s a multi-talented woman!
November 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
It’s time to embrace your inner geek with today’s wholly unique Sheffield wedding, complete with mice and dinosaur theme! Taking place at the ever so pretty Whirlowbrook Hall, Sarah and Michael’s wedding is a blueprint for how to inject personality into your big day with aplomb.
A bold purple and orange colour scheme conjures up those autumnal feels, with the white and purple drip cake (with adorable cake toppers) being one of our personal highlights. Then there’s the bridesmaids’ vintage style swing dresses with petticoats, carrying through those warm, earthy tones beautifully.
Music played a starring role in their special day too. Tying in with their homage to all things geek – a string quartet played iconic scores from the likes of Doctor Who and Game of Thrones. The bride even walked down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme – an idea we think the moviegoers among you will be stealing!
With images by Photogenick Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged while we were in New York for my 30th birthday, something Michael had surprised me with a couple of months before. It was a sunny, snowy morning in Central Park with no one around, when he proposed. It was beautiful. We celebrated by going to the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaurs.
We got married on 8th September 2018. We had a couple of options based on the availability of the venues we were looking at, but we felt the beginning of September would still be warm and brighter for longer in the evening, but still close enough to the autumn for all the lovely colours I wanted to use.
We tied the knot at Whirlowbrook Hall. We were looking at other venues, but I think we were always going to choose this one! We used to go walking around the grounds and woodlands nearby. The house is gorgeous but much of the decision was made by the gardens.
We wanted to add some slightly geeky twists to the traditional idea of wedding decoration and a mice and dinosaur theme kind of just developed as we went along. We love our pet rats so one of the first things we bought were the toy ‘white mouse’ wedding favours which went down so well! We thought it would be really cute to have them as cake toppers too!
The dinosaurs came around after an off-the-cuff idea to walk down the aisle to a string quartet version of the Jurassic Park theme tune. Michael had already bought me the bridal Build a Bear dinosaur as a gift, so I bought him the groom and we then felt it would be fun if we expanded this theme to the table names.
We experimented with some colour options, but I always loved the idea of an autumn coloured wedding. My favourite colours are purple and orange and it didn’t take much persuading as Michael loved the rich colours as well.
My friend Rachael and I had always talked about getting married in ‘poofy dresses’ and she had done just that the year before. I tried on a number of different styles, with the idea that I wanted something covering my shoulders. However, the more I tried on, the more I realised I was happier in a strapless gown and when flicking through a bridal catalogue with the seamstress in Blushes Bridal in Sheffield, the page was turned and I spotted the Morilee dress that I immediately knew I wanted – and that they happened to have stored in the back. It certainly met the ‘poofy’ criteria. Nicola at Blushes was my dress angel that day.
November 12th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Monday isn’t so bad when we’re treating you to a sumptuous wedding at standout Yorkshire venue The Normans, set within revamped and reimagined farm buildings dating back to the 18th century.
Tying the knot last summer, Dani and Andy chose their 13th anniversary as their wedding date – an unlucky number for some, but certainly not for this bride and groom! We just love the vision they had for the wedding – showcasing all their favourite things and celebrating the memories the couple had already shared together.
With so many personal touches throughout their day – think an oh so romantic stroll in a cornfield, a skiing themed photobooth and garden games for the guests, plus an ice cream stall in the courtyard – it’s pretty much impossible not to feel inspired! Let’s hand the blog over to bride, Dani for all the memserising details…
With images by Mark Hillyer.
dani says: We got engaged on top of a mountain whilst working on our ski season. Andy had carried the ring around in his backpack for nearly a month waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment. The moment he chose was us having a cheese and ham baguette at the top of a black ski run. It was completely unexpected – afterwards we celebrated and took photos, but we still had to ski down. My legs were like jelly and my goggles had steamed up from crying so we had to stop half way down the piste in a café, we only had enough money on us for an Orangina and a strawberry tart to share. We popped open the champagne and celebrated in style later that night though!
Our wedding date was the 1st July 2017, which was our 13th anniversary. We had originally thought about an autumn wedding but as soon as we picked our venue – The Normans in Bilbrough, Yorkshire – we knew we had to have a summer wedding. We realised our anniversary fell on a Saturday and wanted the 1st July, luckily for us a few hours after we had looked around the venue the date we wanted became available.
We found it really difficult finding a venue, as we wanted to get married in Yorkshire (where we both grew up) and wanted a venue we could make our own. We looked at loads of venues and they just didn’t seem right.
Andy found The Normans online but it hadn’t opened yet. The website only had a couple of photos featured, but as pug lovers we pretty much knew that the venue would be perfect for us as soon as we saw a picture of their resident pug Betty! We booked to see it on their first open weekend and fell in love with it on the spot. We loved that the ceremony barn felt authentic and special, despite it not being a religious setting.
We didn’t have a theme; it was just full of our favourite things. As we had been together for 13 years before our wedding, we wanted it to be a celebration of the memories we had already created together.
We wanted to make sure we could spend at least part of the day with our pug Douglas. He stayed with Andy in the morning and wore a navy harness and bowtie for the main event. He only stayed a couple of hours (he gets incredibly tired) but we captured some lovely photos with him and he certainly helped us celebrate the day.
Much of our wedding colour scheme was neutral but I also wanted splashes of rich berry colours in the flowers.
My outfit consisted of separates by Martina Liana, which I purchased at Ava Rose Hamilton. I wanted something that was very simple and elegant and had originally thought I would choose a Grecian style dress but as soon as I saw the layers of tulle in the skirt I chose – I fell in love with it. The skirt didn’t need any detailing because the fabric was so beautiful. In the shop I was worried the skirt was too full, but on the wedding day I loved swishing the skirt around the dancefloor!
November 8th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s bride and groom, Gia and John tied the knot back in May, on the same date a certain Royal couple also said ‘I do’ (but our couple picked it first – just saying!). Marrying at the wonderful Dorfold Hall in Cheshire – the venue provided everything they could have wished for to bring their fairy tale wedding to life.
Glass baubles, floating candles and tendrils of creeping foliage set the scene for the romantic backdrop, offset by a sophisticated palette of navy, blush pink and green. Meanwhile, food and drink highlights from their special day include a cocktail hour complete with signature drinks (we think every wedding should have one of these…), sweetie jar favours and a truly indulgent vanilla, Irish cream and red velvet wedding cake.
The real showstopper to their big day though has got to be Gia’s stunning Oksana Mukha ball gown – think gorgeous layers of tulle for a dreamy bridal look straight from a storybook. As you can tell, there’s plenty to swoon over today, so let’s pass the blog over to Gia to share all the fabulous details.
With images by Matthew Grainger
gia says: John and I got engaged in the Maldives on the 12th March 2017, while we were away celebrating our ten-year anniversary. John got down on one knee on the first night and I was so surprised – I didn’t think he had it in him to plan a proposal without me knowing!
Our wedding date was 19th May 2018 (we picked it first, but I was thrilled to share it with the Royals!) I wanted a wedding in peony season and was hoping for some sunshine.
We got married in Dorfold Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire. I fell in love with the venue the first time I saw it and saw unbelievable potential to create the fairy-tale wedding I had always wanted. It was new to the wedding world and wasn’t anywhere near finished, but I loved the idea of having our ceremony in the coach house followed by the reception in a sperry tent.I always envisaged having a fairy tale wedding. I love ball gown dresses, tulle, cathedral veils, gold, Disney, candlelight, fairy lights, flower arches…go big or go home!
I was so excited to plan my wedding day and put absolutely everything into it. I have always loved the idea of planning a wedding, ever since watching J-Lo in The Wedding Planner when I was younger.
My wedding dress was white and the only other colours I wanted to see were navy – for the groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, with a hint of blush pink and greens in the bouquets and centrepieces and some finishing touches in gold.
My wedding dress was by Oksana Mukha. I knew I wanted a ball gown style dress, as I would never get the opportunity to wear something like that again. I fell in love with her designs online and actually saw the dress I wanted before I bought it. I travelled from Liverpool to Adele Louise Bridal in Wolverhampton, who are one of three UK stockists.My partner wore a navy tuxedo with black lapel from Hugo Boss. His horseshoe waistcoat was by Gieves and Hawkes.
Our bridesmaids wore navy evening gowns by Kirsty Doyle, who is a Liverpool designer, and the flower girls wore white dresses with a tulle skirt to match my dress, also from Adele Louise Bridal. Meanwhile, our groomsmen wore navy three-piece suits from ASOS.
Our hair was done by a Liverpool mobile hairstylist called Becky Thow and our makeup was done by Liverpool MUA Rachel Morris (aka Fair of Face) who is now based in Dubai.
November 8th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Like a real-life fairytale, today’s enchanting real wedding takes place in a magnificent castle in the Lake District. Could this setting be any dreamier, we wonder?
Bride and groom, Francesca and Richard chose Appleby Castle in The Lake District for both their ceremony and reception back in August, with the glorious interior providing inspiration for their tres sophisticated red, blush and gold colour scheme, beautifully complemented by lanterns and a smattering of sweet avalanche and black barraca roses. Truly romantic.
Keen to put their own stamp on the day – the newlyweds peppered the wedding with lots of wonderful touches, from the giant Jenga game and surprise performance of La Vie en Rose by the bride, to the scrumptious chocolate Guinness cake and charity donations in place of traditional favours. Prepare to be whisked away by all the fabulous details!
With images by Ailsa Reeve Photography.
francesca says: We got engaged on 11th July 2017 on a beach in Amed, Bali at sunset. We’d had the best day – snorkeling, enjoying lunch with an amazing view, a bit of pampering and then Richard suggested a walk on the beach. I had no idea what he had planned but when he got down on one knee it suddenly clicked into place! We celebrated with cocktails, and later video-called our parents before heading off to dinner.
We got married on 25th August 2018. We’d always known we wanted a summer wedding, but we struggled to get a registrar at a sensible time – we didn’t realise for a few weeks that it was the bank holiday weekend! This worked out brilliantly as it meant that people had the extra day to meander home before getting back to work! So, it was obviously meant to be!
Our ceremony and reception took place Appleby Castle, Appleby-in-Westmorland. We chose it because we wanted a venue that would let us put our personalities into the day as opposed to making us fit into their formula. And how could we resist saying we had the run of a castle for day?
We didn’t have a particular theme but used the castle interior as inspiration. The castle is beautiful and had a real sense of history, which we tried to incorporate into our day. We chose wine red, blush and gold to fit with the castle’s aesthetic.
My chosen wedding was by Pronovias. I bought it from Fellside Brides Kendal and I honestly can’t recommend them highly enough – Holly and Gill are fab! I’d tried quite a few dresses and I was struggling with which one to choose. This was the dress that made my mum go “wow”, so that was it! My something blue was a beautiful pair of Celia Heels from the Perfect Bridal Company – I had lots of compliments on the day about them.
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