So, with 160 brides and their families at yesterday’s beautiful show at The Mansion, and well over 1,000 people in total at last week’s massive North East event at Hardwick Hall Hotel, is there a Northern bride to be who doesn’t know about our Revolution yet?! Thank you all for your wonderful support at these and our other events so far this season.
There’s still more where those came from, including another gorgeous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Nostell Priory this Sunday 13th October and a quick stop across the Pennines at The Bowdon Rooms on Sunday 3rd November, before we close the season in style at The National Railway Museum, York on Sunday 17th November 2013 with our big vintage event. Click here to pre-register for any of these events, pronto.
More about all that later, but this morning it’s back to the Real Wedding inspiration here on the blog as we join Brides Up North reader Claire and her new husband Chris for their simple yet stylish country canvas celebration. Their day is perfectly personal and looks like a load of fun: when the Soup of the Day is “whisky” you always know that you are in for a proper party!
With images by Grazia Louise.
Claire says: We got engaged in Paris, on a freezing February day in 2011 and were married on Saturday 3rd August 2013 at a lovely traditional church in the Village of North Ferriby, East Yorkshire. We celebrated afterwards at The Wildflower Meadow, which belongs to The Keepers Lodge, in the picturesque village of Brantingham.
We knew we wanted a church service, both being teachers we’re well versed at most hymns! Our dream was to hold a relaxed reception in the countryside, and we were really lucky to find such a quiet corner of Brantingham. We went to view the field in the depths of winter when the trees were bare and the ground was frozen. We were sold as soon as we got out of the car – the view is incredible; there’s a real sense of being blissfully lost in the middle of nowhere and we knew it was somewhere we could imagine and friends and family relaxing on the big day. It also helped that the landowners were lovely, genuine people.
We tried to avoid giving the wedding a set theme; we just tended to go for things we liked. Naturally, we gravitated towards anything a bit rustic and a little less than perfect. I collected a whole host of images in the planning stages, and I was always drawn to the idea of having a relaxed country style, where nothing was too matchy.
Our colour theme began as peach, when I chose peach dresses for the bridesmaids. It quickly became apparent that peach is actually pretty hard to come by in the wedding world (popular in the 80’s apparently?!) so our palette ending up including dusky pink, pale green, sky blue and all things pastel!
My dress was chosen a full year before the wedding. I saw it in the shop window, when I wasn’t wedding dress shopping at all. I tried it on straight away and fell in love. It was only the second dress I had tried, but it had all the things I’d been looking for – lace, buttons up the back, a high neckline and cap sleeves. It was from a Phase Eight outlet, and I have lost count of how many people have commented that they couldn’t believe it was such a steal. I knew I didn’t want a veil, but invested in a beautiful flower crown which I adore.
My bridesmaids each wore a peach dress by Almari at House of Fraser. Being the amazing friends that they are, the bridesmaids used a spare dress to make part of a patchwork quilt that they gave me the night before the wedding. It prompted my first wedding tears!
I carried a bouquet of mixed pastel coloured flowers including delphinium, flock, peonies and lavender to reflect the buttonholes.
We travelled in a vintage Bramwith. The bridesmaids were ferried around in Chris’ dad’s Land Rover!
We tried very hard to support local suppliers and independent businesses. Our guy rope marquee was supplied by the lovely Will’s Marquees, a family company based in York. The catering was provided by Dine on the Rowe, based in Beverley. I sourced most of the flowers through a website called ‘Flowers from the Farm’, the best man and I drove to a local farm two days before the wedding and picked up three huge buckets full of home grown wildflowers. Our photographers were Grazia Louise, who were incredible.
We knew from the start that a formal three course meal wasn’t right for our setting – cooking up 80 chicken dishes in the middle of a field in the height of summer just didn’t feel right. Instead, we provided Yorkshire themed canapés as guests arrived at the field, followed by huge picnic hampers on each table. The hampers were crammed full of local specialities and seemed to go down an absolute treat! We served some extra nibbles later in the evening, but had lots left over by the time the night was drawing to a close.
Outside the marquee we used old deck chairs and hay bales to provide seating and Chris set up cricket and croquet to satisfy the PE teacher in him. I handmade all the stationery myself, including the table plan, place names, invites and order of service. It was time consuming but enjoyable and made everything feel so much more personal.
A friend and colleague who is an incredible artist painted a huge banner of the two of us which hung behind the dance floor and we asked guests to write messages on postcards instead of the traditional guestbook.
We played music from an iPod during dinner then enjoyed lots of laid back guitar courtesy of The Travelling Polar Bears, a band consisting of our best man’s gardeners! They were absolutely fantastic at playing old classics and personal favourites. Towards the end of the night, I could be found barefooted on the dance floor.
I love listening to Jerusalem, and hearing it in the church was really lovely. The most incredible moment though, was my new husband’s funny/touching/ridiculous/gorgeous speech.
For our honeymoon, we went to Kuala Lumpur, followed by a private island off the coast of Malaysia and then Hong Kong. For us, the trip of a lifetime.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to stay true to yourselves and your priorities- we wanted a to provide all the guest drinks, and managed to do it by creating a makeshift bar and sacrificing things we weren’t as concerned about, like individual favours. Ultimately, when people look back on your day, it should reflect the two of you and your lifestyle. Oh, and leave yourself longer than you think to get ready!
Congratulations Claire & Chris!
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