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glamping with love. a diy wedding at woodthorpe hall – linsey & tom

July 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime

A DIY Wedding at Woodthorpe Hall (c) Alex Abbott (15)

Today’s DIY wedding on the edge of the stunning Peak District is a step-by-step lesson in how to plan and execute that sought-after tipi-style wedding with gusto.

With no overall theme or colour scheme in sight – the couple, Linsey and Tom, show us what it really means to personalise all those finer details. We’re talking flowers, decorations, tables runner, the wedding cake and even the confetti cones, with family and friends all contributing in their own special way. And we just adore the picture-perfect results (and think you will, too…).

Serving up pie and mash, pizzas, Aperol spritz and gins galore, with a Caribbean steel band, toasted marshmallows, sparklers and a silent disco to boot, this wedding was more akin to one big outdoors party. Surely, the best kind of wedding celebration there can be?

With images by Alex Abbott Photography.

A DIY Wedding at Woodthorpe Hall (c) Alex Abbott (16)

linsey says: Tom’s mum and step-dad have a place in Nice, so we tend to go out once a year to relax and get some sunshine! In 2015 we were there for a week, and a couple of days in we had planned to go to Monaco for the day. We ended up getting off the bus a couple of stops early and it turned out that Tom had hired a boat for the day as a surprise (he had secretly done a course to get a powerboat license earlier in the year). We went out on the boat and about 20 minutes later we stopped – we were way out in the bay in front of Nice and Tom was pointing out that we could see the place where we stay, and when I turned around he was on one knee!

A DIY Wedding at Woodthorpe Hall (c) Alex Abbott (38)

We chose the 9th September for our wedding. We wanted a couple of years between getting engaged and married so that we could enjoy being engaged and so that wedding preparations could be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

We got married at St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Hathersage. We love the Peak District – both of us grew up nearby so have spent a lot of time there. We knew from day one we wanted to get married there. Most of our friends and family are close by too which was definitely a big factor.

A DIY Wedding at Woodthorpe Hall (c) Alex Abbott (12)

We began the venue hunt for our reception by looking for barns in the Peak District and places where we could put some sort of marquee. In the meantime, my mum had come across a venue called Woodthorpe Hall – a private 17th century country house set in 2.5 acres of gardens on the edge of the Peak District. Mum had kindly booked us a viewing as she knew it was somewhere we might love. Within minutes of being there we knew it was where we wanted to hold our reception. They only do seven or eight weddings a year and we were the last wedding of 2017 for them!

The gardens at Woodthorpe provided the perfect location for us to put a marquee / tipi and would allow us to spend a lot of the day outdoors. I want to say it was also the perfect blank canvas for us to really make the day our own, but that plays down how stunning the gardens and setting of this venue are! One of the most appealing things for us (apart from the setting) was that we weren’t restricted and could put glamping tents and motorhomes in one of the fields next door, so our guests could stay over if they wanted to.

A DIY Wedding at Woodthorpe Hall (c) Alex Abbott (40)

We initially fancied a sperry tent but after visiting a tipi open day we fell in love with the idea of having a tipi wedding! The indoor fire pits, wooden tables, and general rustic feel really appealed to us – as did the fact that they could withstand whatever the British weather might throw our way!

We didn’t really have a theme, we wanted the day to be relaxed, enjoyable, not too formal, and to reflect our personalities. Our main aim from the beginning was for our family and friends to be able to let their hair down and have a really good time – we knew that if they were having fun, we would be able to properly relax and enjoy it with them!

We didn’t have a colour scheme, although I am superstitious and so didn’t want any red and white together (which Tom was more than happy to go with due to footballing reasons!).

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: Summer Lovin’. Chinese Dragons For A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Helen & Jamie

December 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

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My god, Helen and Jamie’s wedding day looks like fun.  This is one of those features – put together in the early hours of the morning (or the late hours of the night, whichever way you want to look at it) that makes me want to shut down the laptop, pick up those dancing shoes and a bottle of something cold and head off to party till dawn.

Bright, vibrant, individual and full of fun, I hope that this gorgeous Real Wedding spreads a little sunshine your way.  Just watch out for dragons…

With images by Mike at One Wedding.

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Helen says: We got engaged in June 2011, in Hong Kong. We were living in a city called Zhuhai in mainland China at the time and Jamie whisked me away to Hong Kong as a surprise to celebrate 9 years since our 1st date. Despite a typhoon and last minute customs issues with the ring J’s plan came together!

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We were married on 6th July 2013 in the gardens of Woodthorpe Hall in Derbyshire The ceremony took place in the cider press and the reception outside and in a marquee on the lawn.

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We chose the venue because of it’s stunning location. We were showed round by the house owner Dick and he was so friendly and his wife Sue was brilliant. We had the freedom to choose anything we liked, bringing in our own suppliers and spend the week before customising the whole place.

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Our theme was a hint of China! We lived in China for almost four years and got engaged in Hong Kong so there were a few nods to that part of our lives. We brought back all sorts of lanterns and flags for decorations and filled the fridges with Tsingtao beer (from the city where we lived). Our first dance was a Chinese pop song.  Our colours were lucky Chinese red and white. 

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My dress came from a shop in Manchester, I was after something a bit different and once I saw it I knew I’d found the right one. It was a bit of an ordeal because I had sorted something from China that didn’t work out in the end so it was quite a last minute find but it was all ok in the end! 

I had one bridesmaid; Jamie’s sister Em. She looked stunning in a red dress made for her in China. She sent us some pictures of the style she liked and we chose the material and had it made. My other best mates all wore something with a touch of red and we all carried red or white parasols. Jamie and the groomsmen wore the same suit they found on a shopping outing together. The teamed it up with waistcoats/ties to suit their own style.

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We originally wanted red and white orchids in our bouquets but it was such a hot week that the florist, Jo Price, called and said they wouldn’t last the day so we added in roses.

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The ceremony was in the same place as the reception so we didn’t have any transport between the two. I travelled in style with my Dad whose car my bro polished to perfection. We had a great moment with the top down and the music playing going down the country lanes.

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A really special moment was when three friends sang a song during the ceremony. A school friend, uni friend and neighbour got together for the first time the morning of the wedding and by the afternoon were playing beautifully during the ceremony!

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A highlight of the day was the arrival of the Sheffield Chinese Lion Dance Troupe just after the meal. Jamie and I had arranged for this to be a total surprise so everybody was shocked and excited. Brilliant!

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Thanks to the help of friends and family we personalised the tables and marquee. We glued photos of us with friends and family onto red ribbon to make bunting and string it around the marquee. There were photos of every guest as well as friends who couldn’t make it everywhere. 

We used beer bottles from around the world as table markers and a friend did calligraphy for names.  The table centres were flower arrangements made by Jamie’s Mum and friends teamed up with some Chinese fans.  We brought back some Chinese bracelets which we used as napkin rings for the guests to keep. Instead of favours we put a pound coin in a Chinese box and told guest to choose a pot labelled for three different charities. People added some extra coins and we raised over £300.

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Dick and Sue at Woodthorpe Hall were fantastic. They were so hands on and helpful. The guests said they felt very well looked after. They only do a handful of weddings a year so it felt very personal.

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We hired a Marquee from Ascot Marquees. ‘Marquee Mark’ helped us hang lanterns and red bunting (expertly made by my Mum!) and the place looked great. A friend from Totally Gazeboed contributed gazebos for the string quartet and a photo booth. We raided the attic for some props and got some hilarious shots.

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We brought in our own booze and homemade canapés. Jamie used to live in Germany so the last time he went to visit his friends there he filled up the car with mini kegs of German beer which we placed around the garden for people to help themselves to.  PJ Taste provided the main food. Wonderful! We had BBQ steak, swordfish and veg with lots of lovely salads. Highly recommended.  Our friends from Cocoa Wonderland sorted us out with some yummy chocs.

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My mum baked fruit cake for the three tiers and iced them white then the week before the wedding my friends came over to help decorate. Kat and Sarah made sugar paste flowers and James helped stack the tiers and add the ribbon. We also had friends bake cakes to bring along so we had lots to choose

from.

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For the evening dancing we played our favourite tunes and friends and brothers helped to DJ.  We also had a fab impromptu ukulele song by Geoff who got everyone singing along.

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I have so many favourite parts to the day! Standing there with Jamie at the ceremony. Seeing all our different friends and family all together having fun. The speeches. People’s reaction to the Lion Dance. Having a moment with Jamie taking it all in looking over the moors. The first dance and the dancing to Design for Life with my Dad and friends. Everything was so positive and lovely.

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After the wedding we honeymooned at a music festival in Lisbon (including seeing Biffy Clyro whose music we used during our ceremony) and spent some time on the Portuguese coast.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to add lots of little things to make the day feel yours and don’t get too worried what other people do for their weddings. The day is very personal, there are a lot of extras that you don’t always need. Include things that reflect you!

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Congratulations Helen & Jamie!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 One Wedding

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