Friday morning bacon sarnie and brew at the ready? Good. Then we’ll begin.
Franki and Anthony’s Real Wedding – high on the beautiful Otley Chevin – packs a proper Yorkshire punch. With flippy skirts, powerful polka dots and super hero details, this celebration is cute and quirky, but also seriously authentic. And very cool.
They had me at those heels.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Sarah Mason Photography.
Franki says: We got engaged in April 2010. Anthony had booked us a short break in Skipton for my birthday. He proposed to me as we were walking around the moat at Skipton Castle.
We tied the knot on 17th August 2013, we had originally set the date for the 18th August 2012 but decided to push it back a year to give us more time. It turned out to be a very wise decision as later that year I found out I was pregnant and my due date would only have been a few weeks before the wedding!
We got married at Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa in Otley.
We had been to many venues on our hunt for the perfect place and although some of them ticked all the right boxes they just didn’t feel right. We visited the Chevin on a whim one day and loved it even though it didn’t tick as many boxes as the others. The wedding coordinator told us we could basically do what we wanted on the day bar letting off sky lanterns. It just felt right and every time I thought about getting married after that first visit I always pictured us there.
We had a slight 1950’s theme, but it was a mix of a few things. It was a bit rockabilly, a bit vintage, a bit geeky, a bit buttony and a whole lot of us! Our wedding colour scheme was navy blue, white and pink.
I always knew the style of dress I would wear, a short, 1950’s style, halter neck circle dress with petticoat. I bought mine from Vivien of Holloway and my petticoat was custom made by Honeypie Boutique. I wore a custom made birdcage veil from What Katy Did Next which had a big white button covered heart to tie in with all the other buttons throughout the wedding. My shoes were a bargain as they were massively reduced when I bought them, from an online store called Nelly. They were pale pink suede with spikes running all the way down the inside of the heel. The finishing touches were my pearl necklace like the one stolen by Cat Woman in the Dark Knight Rises from a seller on Etsy and my navy belt also from Vivien of Holloway.
My five bridesmaids wore the exact same dress as me, just in a navy polka dot pattern with pink petticoats all from Vivien of Holloway. My niece was a little bridesmaid too, she wore a pink polka dot dress similar to the bridesmaids which a very talented family friend made for her.
We had five groomsmen who all wore the same suit as the groom but with just the navy polka dot pocket square.
We had three little ushers, our son Luca and my oldest friend’s two little boys. They wore grey chinos from Next with a white linen shirt from Gap. The had navy blue Converse, navy blue braces and navy bow ties both from eBay.
Between family, bridesmaids and myself we made six button bouquets and a mini button bouquet wand. It was time consuming but definitely worth it and my bouquet has pride of place in my kitchen now.
As I chose not to carry flowers we needed an alternative for the buttonholes as well. We decided on Lego superhero buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen and some button button holes for the wedding party. We DIY’ed them all.
Buttons played quite a large part in our day from being flower replacements to decorating our card box and being part of our centrepieces. They were everywhere.
The best money we spent was definitely on our photographer Sarah Mason. She captured our day absolutely perfectly and is a lovely, lovely lady who I cannot praise enough, we think she is a little bit fabulous!
A family friend played acoustic guitar as our ceremony music before singing with his partner during the reception drinks.
Our centrepieces were milk churn glass vases from Ikea. We tied ribbon that matched our wedding invitations around them and glued some buttons around the top. They were filled with some play sand and a white candle in which Anthony had carved numbers out of and filled with navy wax to make table numbers.
Our wedding favours were wine glasses dipped in chalkboard paint with a ribbon tied in a bow around the stem. We then chalked names onto them to double up as place settings.
Our chair covers were provided by Lindsey from Ambience Venue Styling, who I would highly recommend. Everything else was made by ourselves, family or friends. We made over 40 metres of bunting to decorate the balcony around the lake at our venue from blue, pink and white polka dot fabric.
We set up our own sweet stall for the evening reception for people to help themselves and instead of a guest book, Anthony’s dad made us some speech bubble chalkboards and another friend took pictures of people with messages they had written for us which we have in an album.
My friend made us a lovely three tiered chocolate and sponge cake that she covered in icing buttons. We had a Lego bride and groom as our cake topper.
We then had an absolutely amazing band for the evening reception called The Jukebox Jets. They are a rock n roll band and were absolutely fabulous as well as being super lovely. We literally danced all night, I have no idea who was at my evening reception as if they weren’t up dancing with me then I didn’t see them. They held a little dance competition too. Anthony and myself had to eliminate a couple after each song until we crowned a winning couple. They wore their crowns the whole night.
Obviously getting married and becoming a real family was the best part and the speeches were really good, the boys did themselves proud. Truthfully though, my favourite part was our first dance, we danced to Hallelujah I Love Her So, played by the band, our first dance as husband and wife, it was so much fun!
We went on a mini-moon after our wedding to a beautiful little cottage in Staffordshire. It was lovely as it was our first break as a family.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff. Things more than likely will go a little bit wrong on your big day. Our guitarist broke his guitar five minutes before I made my way up the aisle (he still managed to play), we lost the buttonholes for the grandparents, a pair of shoes turned up for Anthony’s dad in odd sizes plus a few other small things. Apart from us, nobody else knew and it made no difference to the day whatsoever. Designate two people you trust as problem solvers, make sure suppliers and other people know they are the people to contact if needed on the day and let them deal with any issues that do arise, leaving you to enjoy yourselves and relax.
Congratulations Franki & Anthony!