Where do we start with today’s real wedding? We love it all!
From the dreamy Lake District venue to the chic, simple styling and romantic blooms, this wedding is brimming with class. Who would think that an all ivory wedding could pack such a pretty punch?
So to all those bride-to-bes looking for styling inspiration, sit back and take note on how simple can become stand out!
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy.
carly says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2011. We were walking in Sefton Park, a large park in Liverpool at the time. This is the place where my nan and grandad met on the boating lake. David proposed on one knee whilst we were sitting on the park bench.
We set the date for Thursday 23rd July 2015. No significant reason really, other than I’m a teacher and it fitted in nicely with the six week break. A mid-week wedding at first wasn’t what we wanted, but the venue, Askham Hall in Penrith, had no other availability so we went with it.
We always fancied the Lake District for our wedding as David’s mum has a place there and we visit quite often. When I was looking for the venue, I stumbled across Askham Hall; we both travelled up there Christmas of last year and loved it! It was exactly what we were looking for, small enough to be able to have exclusive use; it has a civil ceremony license to hold the ceremony in the barn attached to the venue and the grounds are stunning so it was perfect!
We didn’t have a theme as such, but the styling was simple and clean. I’ve always liked the look of things when they’re not fussy and over the top so that’s what I had in mind really – classy)
In terms of colour, everything was ivory. My dress, bridesmaid dresses, stationary, cake etc. Again, I like the simple, clean look of this.
My dress was bespoke Kirsty Doyle a local Liverpool designer, who I worked with when I was younger. Kirsty was making bridesmaid dresses for a good friend of mine and I approached her one day about making my dress. I took in a number of images and ideas to her studio and it was a step-by-step process until I had my dream dress, which fitted perfectly. My bridesmaid dresses are also designed and made by Kirsty. I knew Kirsty was the best and had heard numerous stories about her, so there was no question.
David, the best man and father of the bride all wore navy suits from Reiss, which were shop bought and then tailored to fit.
Jessica O’Shaughnessy was our photographer and she is amazing! I couldn’t have wished for a better photographer on the day. She is so professional, laid back, friendly and of course creative. The images are stunning; she has a real natural flare I feel and I would certainly recommend her to others. Jessica fitted right in with the wedding party/guests and was really accommodating all day!
My flowers were provided by Heather Feather from Flower Fashion. I carried a bouquet of David Austin roses and peonies and my bridesmaids’ bouquets were roses, peonies and sweet peas. They were divine! All ivory.
All the floral decorations were also done by Heather, and again all ivory. The table decorations were a mixture of tall centre pieces and lower ones. Floating candles were used. Candles were placed in tall vases down the aisle with rose petals too. Huge vases with hydrangeas were placed at the top and bottom of the aisle. Heather did all of this set up, arriving before the ceremony at 10am and staying until the wedding breakfast was set up! Other décor at the reception included drapes and fairy lights across the beams in the ceiling provided by SVL Lighting.
We also used a light up ‘love’ sign provided by a local guy called Matt from Party Pics Photobooths. He was great. He delivered, installed and collected the sign at no extra expense and the sign itself really made the venue in the evening.
Favours were Grasmere gingerbread in the shape of a heart. Two pieces were given to each guest in a white heart shaped box with a simple piece of ribbon across the box with our names and the date on. There were provided by Grasmere Gingerbread.
Our cake was made by a family friend. Four tiers and all Victoria sponge with ivory icing. Fresh David Austin roses were placed on the cake by Heather at the venue for decoration.
In terms of food we had prosecco and canapés after the ceremony. Then for the wedding breakfast we chose, carrot and coriander soup to start, chicken, dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables for main and then shortbread, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for desert.
To create the desired ambiance, we had a string quartet playing for the guests in the barn before I arrived and they remained throughout the ceremony. They played Cannon in D as I was walking down the aisle, Kissing You as we were signing the register and then The Beatles All You Need Is Love as we were walking out together. We then had the Gypsies of Bohemia playing on the lawns of the hall as our guests were having prosecco and canapés. Later in the evening we had a band called The Four Wise Monkeys playing for two hours, then a DJ until 1.30am. David was responsible for sorting out the entertainment. The two groups were recommended by the hall however, and after some of our own research, we decided to go with them – they were great!
Special additions to the day included a reading in the ceremony given by David’s sister. We also decided just before our first dance, to get everyone in the mood to have a good dance, that we would offer everyone a shot of tequila. The staff at the venue were very accommodating and came around with the shot, salt and lime, for each guest. We all got together on the dance floor, had the shot and hopefully then everyone was in the mood for the evening even more so!
We would definitely recommend our venue to other couples. The whole experience was amazing. We were able to have the venue exclusively, so we checked in on the Wednesday, used the spa, outdoor heated pool and had amazing food and drinks in the evening for all guests. Then breakfast the following day was stunning too. Everything that the staff did was perfect. They were always there, without being seen really, so it felt like the whole place was ours for those few days. Just amazing!
It’s hard to say what my favourite part of the day was, but if I had to choose it would probably be just after the ceremony and having prosecco and canapés on the lawns of the venue. The weather was amazing, and it was the perfect time to soak it all up, chat with our guests and listen to The Gypsies of Bohemia playing lovely music. I wish I could re-live that time and time again!
Because David works in Qatar, our honeymoon had to be short so as he could get back to work. We travelled to Paris for two nights and two days, and then flew to Cannes for three nights, three days, then to Monte Carlo for one night. It was brilliant. David organised this without me knowing! So when I was told about this, I was over the moon! It was a magical time!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not over-think anything. Go with your gut instinct on things that you like and see and stick with it. One thing everyone told me was to enjoy it and make sure you take everything in because it goes by so quickly! It’s the best time of your life.