Alternative Weddings

full steam ahead! a special wedding blessing in The Lake District – heather & mike

17th December 2014 | Julia Braime

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a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (37)

What I love most about my job as editor of these pretty pages is the variety of stunning and special celebrations that I get to witness, albeit through a set of wonderfully curated images or a snappy wedding film.  I’ll be honest: sometimes I cry (in a good way).

One such submission that really touched me was the beautiful wedding blessing of ex-pats Heather and Mike, who returned to the UK following their Dubai wedding to celebrate with those they’d left back on English soil.  Their [pared down ‘second’ wedding day is stripped back to all that really matters on a wedding day – two people in love, their nearest and dearest (plus a killer gown, some great heels and a stunning backdrop always help).

I think it’s utterly beautiful.

With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (8)

heather says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Dubai where we live. I’d gone back to the UK to visit family and Mike used his time to go ring shopping. Mike proposed to me with a cup of tea (and a stunning ring) as I woke up the morning after a late arrival back into Dubai.

We actually got married on 6 April 2014 in Dubai but we wanted to have a Wedding Blessing and a celebration with our friends and family in the UK who could not make it. The blessing took place on 12 July 2014. As we are both teachers the dates for both events were rather un-romantically dictated by term time (and the hope of decent weather).

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (5)

The Blessing service took place at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, near Penrith. We chose this venue as it is a short walk from the family home where I grew up and where my family still live. It was a ultimately an easy decision as it is a beautiful church, in a beautiful setting next to the Eden River and with a stunning view of the Pennines.

After organising one wedding in Dubai, we were very lucky for our family to take charge of events in the UK. An evening party was held after the service on the ‘Raven’ Steamer on Ullswater Lake which was the brainchild of my Godmother Paula. Along with the jazz band that played throughout the evening.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (11)

We wanted the celebration to be laid back and relaxed. The overall aim was for us all to have a good time and catch up.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (13)

I wore the same dress as I did for the wedding in Dubai much to the envy of many friends as I had the opportunity to wear it for a second time. The dress was handmade and embroidered by Lily Duds Tailoring, Dubai. The beauty of having the dress handmade was that I was able to get the dress just as I wanted and combine a variety of different designs I liked.

My Jimmy Choo heels brought an extra sparkle to my outfit and were even comfy enough to wear for the walk to and from the church.

I carried three hand tied peonies. Aunty Gillian and family friend, Yvonne Marples, arranged the flowers on the day. They wonderfully captured our relaxed theme through the flowers by creating a wild, country garden feel.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (12)

Mike wore a 3-piece Prince of Wales check suit, which he had tailored at Ascot and Chapels, Dubai. His bow tie and pocket square were from Alexander Olch, New York, and his red brogues from O’Keefe.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (16)

Melissa Beattie was the photographer. She was also the photographer for our wedding in Dubai. We loved her photographs from this so much that we bullied her into taking the shots for the Wedding Blessing.

Her work is intimate, natural and she has a wonderful ability to make us look fabulous! We ultimately considered her one of our guests due to her warm and friendly manner.

She took a great deal of time and effort to ensure we got exactly what we wanted and edited and designed our wedding album beautifully

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (22)

Hair and make-up was by Bridget Foster, Carlisle. Bridget is an excellent make up artist, who has a subtle touch and eye for detail, as well as having a wonderful personality.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (28)

We actually only just made it to our own Wedding Blessing! Our passports were caught up in the fiasco with the UK Passport agency and were with the passport agency for 10 weeks and only arrived in Dubai 5 days before we were due to fly. A thank you to Rory Stewart, MP, and his office for all their help in chasing this matter!

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (34)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (39)

A 1969 Red Double Decker Bus was hired from Stagecoach to take the guests and us to and from Glenridding Pier, to board the steamer.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (45)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (44)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (49)

Our favourite part of the day was simply being with family and friends, some of whom we had not seen in many years.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (51)

The steamer on the lake is a beautiful experience and loved by all of our guests. The scenery makes for a simply stunning backdrop – especially for us who spend most of our time looking at sand!

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (55)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (61)

Due to the limitations for catering on the steamer itself, we went for canapés and mini meals from Bakerwood Marquees and Events who far exceeded our expectations. The food was fresh, delicious, plentiful and was provided to our guest by a very attentive team of waiters.

We created personalised brown Mr and Mrs sweetie bags, which contained personalised rock and Love Hearts sweets.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (62)

The Dixie Kings Jazz Band was chosen for the evening to suit setting of cruising down Ullswater lake. They provided fabulous entertainment, loved by the old and the young, and we all danced the night away.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (71)

We honeymooned in Zanzibar, which provided an ideal balance between relaxation and adventure.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (58)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the day! It is about you both not everybody else.

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