Brides Up North

got chemistry. a rustic tipi wedding at Heaton House Farm – sian & stu

October 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (14)

Sian and Stu’s outdoor wedding is full of individuality, meaningful touches, casually cool couture and fun. A bride who carries a textbook bouquet and plans a laboratory style bar for her guests is absolutely my kind of geek.

Top marks.

With images by Chelsea Shoesmith.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (18)

Sian says: We got engaged just before Christmas 2012 back where I grew up in Anglesey, and we were married on 23rd August 2014. We were lucky enough to be able to choose the summer bank holiday, with the intention of our families, who would be travelling, to be able to enjoy the long weekend.

We had the wedding ceremony at Heaton House Farm, and the reception in a nearby field owned by Fairborough’s Farm. We love the beautiful scenery in the Peak District and the Staffordshire Dales. We were very keen on having the Tipis for the reception, and centered our search on finding venues with outdoor spaces with great views, which we found in spades in Rushton Spencer. The Tipis were provided by Peak Tipis.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (19)

I was keen on keeping the decor and styling quite rustic and natural in order to keep in line with the look and feel of the Tipis. We also wanted to feature a bit of science and chemistry, as both of our careers are chemistry based. It was a fun little juxtaposition with all of the natural elements.

I picked the colour scheme – neutrals with blue accents – to inject a bit more colour into the decor of the Tipi without looking at odds with the the colour of the canvas.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (21)

I fell in love with infinity dresses while looking for a bridesmaid dress that would suit all three of my very different bridesmaids. I found Coralie Beatrix on Etsy who also makes bridal infinity dresses and loved the idea of being able to wear the dress in different ways as the day went on, and being able to choose complementing shades for my bridesmaids. My own dress was actually custom made for me by my mum, Linda, which is amazing to have something so personal.

For the boys, we chose Edinburgh Woollen Mill waistcoats, BHS trousers, Burton shirts and stag head lapel pins from River Island. We wanted something more relaxed and casual than the traditional suits, whist still looking put together.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (24)

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (26)

My bouquet was made out of pages of an old chemistry textbook, glued together rather messily by me and my mum in the dead of night a few days before the wedding. I loved being able to make as much as I could for the wedding, but I did superglue my fingers together on several occasions on this particular project!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (27)

We met with a few photographers and found Chelsea Shoesmith who has worked at the venue may times before, which gave us a lot of confidence. Of the photographers we met, she had the perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness, and throughout the planning process and the wedding day put us at ease and got the best out of us. She was totally on board and enthusiastic about doing a ‘First Look’ photo shoot too. This allowed Stu and I to see each other just before the ceremony and calm our (his) nerves and get some portrait shots in, leaving us with more time after the ceremony to get the group shots done and get back to the day. I’d recommend this to any couple who aren’t fussed about only seeing each other coming down the aisle for the first time; we aren’t traditional in that sense. I’d recommend Chelsea to anyone, and already have!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (29)

Glass jars were collected for me by various people and we decorated them ourselves using various techniques, including authentic Trearddur Bay sand collected by my niece in the summer. I found so many amazing ideas on Pinterest but had to reign myself in and only use a few to keep things looking cohesive! The bunting and cutlery sleeves were made by Stu’s mum Lynn and were some of people’s favourite features (a lot went missing)! We have kept some bunting and plan on putting it up in our first nursery as a little reminder of the day.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (32)

The first concrete decision I made about the wedding was that instead of giving our guests favours, I wanted to make a donation to Cancer Research UK. Like all families, we have lost and won battles with cancer and I know that all of our guests would appreciate the gesture.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (35)

My sister Rachel’s chocolate orange cake has long been one of my favourites, and asking her to bake our wedding cake was a total no-brainer. We had four layers: chocolate orange, carrot cake, lemon drizzle and vanilla sponge. We also have an amazing log cake board cut and engraved by my uncle. I’m going to have to start baking in order to use it again!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (37)

We had a barbecue consisting of lamb, ribs and sausages, salads and breads supplied by Vanilla in All Seasons. I think the best testimony we can give was that one of my friends had to be sent back to the table as he was up for second helpings within minutes before everyone had even been fed! In the end I think there were some people going back for thirds… fourths… fifths…

We supplied the drinks ourselves, with a master plan of having a chemistry lab/bar set up. In the end it wasn’t as grand as we first set out, as it turns out some of the lab glassware was extremely fragile! We also had mini-kegs of beer from Stewart’s donated from our friends Charlotte and Jamie after being a big hit at their own Tipi wedding.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (38)

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (39)

For the ceremony music we had string and instrumental versions of a couple of our favourite songs by Incubus and The Cure. I think there were only a few people who noticed!

We also asked our friends’ band to play, and they ended up doing an acoustic set with a few of their own songs and a few covers that they knew we’d like, then played a carefully selected playlist in the evening. It was tough to put together as there were people with very different music tastes, but I think we managed to pull it off pretty well. We actually shared the wedding playlist with our friends afterwards, too.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (41)

During the day we had a few outdoor toys, bubble machines etc for the kids (and big kids) to play with, which they loved.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (43)

I would recommend this venue to any couple, especially those who just doesn’t get excited by the ‘standard’ weddings they see, and want to shape their own day.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (44)

I realised the time half an hour before I knew we were supposed to finish and pack up, and I was desperate for it not to end; for it to carry on with us all singing and dancing. There were little details that hadn’t gone exactly to plan or that I hadn’t thought of, and I knew that none of them mattered at all because I’d just had so much fun all day with all the people that I love most around me, and I could see how much fun everyone else was having, too.

With the money generously gifted to us by our guests, we went on a last minute all-inclusive holiday to Cyprus, where we both got to put our feet up and plan absolutely nothing after the stress on planning the wedding!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (45)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that I’ve been assured that it’s normal to feel like you haven’t spent enough time with each guest – although I certainly tried!

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Super Fly! A Real Wedding In North Wales – Eleanor & Paul

February 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Photography by Helen Venables

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I should probably count my blessings that it isn’t sleeting, but I couldn’t let another dull, grey Tuesday finish without bringing you another beautiful Real Wedding

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As it turns out, I had something rather special up my sleeve all along.  Eleanor and Paul’s big day (planned to perfection by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Andrea of Fabulous Day) is cool, colourful, under canvas and full of surprise details.  Look out overhead!  And I say, let the sun shine!

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With images by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Eleanor says:  Paul asked me to marry him in January 2012 in Central Park in New York and we were married on 15th September 2012 at  Llanasa Church in North Wales and then had the reception in the grounds of my family home “Bryngwyn” in Axton, North Wales. 

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Three generations of my family have grown up at Bryngwyn and it’s a place that holds so many special memories. We didn’t look at any other wedding venues – there wasn’t really any question as to where we would have the reception – we were just really lucky that my parents were so accommodating!

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However the idea of traditional ‘white marquee’ wedding really did not appeal – for us it was too formal and restrictive. As soon as we found Event In A Tent and their teepees we knew we’d found the perfect solution as they were original, unique, fitted in with the look of the farm and suited our personalities.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We really wanted to make a good first impression! We worked with Design Your Day who helped us deliver really unique wedding stationery. Paul is a pilot, with a lifelong obsession with planes so on Design Your Day’s suggestion we adopted the concept of ‘travel’ as our theme. The wedding invites were printed on luggage labels, with personalised photomontage postcards as RSVPs. We also used a small plane motif within the design which was then incorporated into the rest of the wedding stationary. We bound the invites and RSVP cards with specially designed ‘All you need is love’ cotton ribbon. This tag line also had wider connotations for us given that we met in Liverpool and love the Beatles and we incorporated it in other parts of the day. We also included the luggage tags within our table plan.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We had no specific colour scheme- the one thing we didn’t want was uniformity. We wanted it to look seasonal – with all the colours reflecting the country location.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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My dress was lace and off the shoulder and I got it from Cheshire Brides in Frodsham. I really struggled to find a dress, however all the clichés were true, and when I saw my dress I fell in love with it!

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The bridesmaids wore dresses from Maids to Measure. My bridesmaids were a range of shapes and sizes and I wanted everyone to feel comfortable in their dresses – I chose the colour and then, together with Maids to Measure, everyone designed their own dresses. Each dress was then handmade and tailored to them. They looked great! The groomsmen hired their suits from Swarbricks in Manchester. The range of stock they held made sure that everyone’s suits all fitted perfectly!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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I carried sunflowers, together with mixed herbs and lavender by David Wayman Flowers – with the bridesmaids carrying smaller versions. Paul went for a mixed herb button hole. We also decorate the church with lots of sunflowers and at the reception we had lots of wild flowers throughout the tables.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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For both of us, saying our vows were a really special moment. Also the fact that we had both organised surprises for the other throughout the day was really special.  Originally we had planned to use friends’ cars as wedding transport. However, unbeknown to me, Paul arranged for a horse and carriage to transport me to and from the church. This was a childhood dream and a complete surprise (and created lots of tears)!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Unbeknown to Paul and all the guests, I arranged for an aerobatic display at the reception by Mark Jefferies Air Displays – which was incredible. Everyone was in complete awe of the stunts by the reigning European aerobatic champion. We later heard that it brought traffic to a standstill over 10 miles away!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Helen Venables was our amazing photographer and we also had a wedding film created for us by Lemongrove Productions. The careful edit was perfect and captured so many happy moments. We didn’t originally think we’d get a video but on reflection, its one of our most treasured things from the day.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We were so lucky to have a very accommodating vicar who was more then happy for us to arrange for an owl to fly the rings down the isle when we exchanged our rings! ‘Snowy’ landed on the arm of my little brother, with the rings and it all went without a hitch. None of our guests knew about this and the look of surprise on their faces was brilliant!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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For us, detail (and a few surprises!) were central to our day. For the decor this ranged from personalised rosette name places (I am a keen horse rider), personalised ‘Mr and Mrs’ Bunting, handmade personalised flower crates (made by Paul’s dad), personalised aprons for our nominated carvers during the meal, handmade lanterns, personalised dog outfits (!) and signs. We also had lots of hay bales scattered around as additional outdoor seating and provided blankets which came in handy when it got chilly later in the evening.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Vanilla in All Seasons were our caterers.  The food was incredible and everyone is still talking about it now!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We chose a brilliant band called Under the Covers. They played for us in the afternoon too whilst everyone was gathering for canapés.  We also had a photo booth from Picture Blast which was fun!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Straight after the wedding we went for a mini-moon to Cephalonia.  We are planning a trip to Antarctica later this year!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to consider hiring a wedding planner! We totally underestimated the amount of planning that goes into having a wedding at home – and it never once crossed our minds that we have to arrange and plan for things like generators, toilets and outside catering requirements! Luckily we managed to secure the services of Andrea Swift at Fabulous Day. Andrea was amazing. She took all the stress away from the planning process we meant that we could concentrate on the little details as ultimately we cared a lot more about the small touches and making things personal to us. 

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Congratulations Eleanor & Paul!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Helen Venables

Fabulous Day is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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