When it came to this morning’s wedding couple’s venue search it was a case of there’s no place like home as they opted for a traditional church ceremony followed by a marquee reception in the garden of the bride’s mum and stepdad’s home.
Keen to make the occasion fun for their guests, Lisa and Tim put on garden games, live entertainment and an informal afternoon tea, all in keeping with their garden party themed relaxed wedding.
We very much enjoyed that Lisa switched things up a bit when it came to her and her maids’ attire by choosing a blush pink dress for herself and cute ivory dresses for her leading ladies.
With images by Jemma King Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged outside a restaurant after Tim had taken me for a meal to celebrate my 30th birthday in August 2014. He had wanted to propose inside, but it was tight space wise for getting down on one knee and he didn’t fancy being practically sat on the couple next to us knee! After a lovely evening he proposed outside overlooking a football pitch which was very fitting as football is Tim’s other love. He did however get a soaking wet knee as the grass was wet!
Our wedding date was 27th June 2015. It turned out on enquiring with the church that it was also the weekend of the village garden festival and so the church would be already decorated, which was a lovely and lucky coincidence.
We had our ceremony in our parish church, St Helens in Welton, East Yorkshire. The church and setting are beautiful and on attending some services we, and our two children, were made to feel very welcome. Our reception was held in a marquee (hired from All Occasions Marquees and Events in Hull) in the meadow at my mum and step dad’s home. They moved there the year previous and we instantly knew it was the perfect setting for us with a pair of old railway cottages stood in the garden and the countryside views – it was personal and unique. We are very lucky that we had this option and that my parents were so willing to open up their home and do so much work to prepare the garden and install a couple of toilets in their outbuildings and cottages so we had proper loo’s to use!
As we held our wedding in my parent’s garden we aimed for a relaxed garden party feel incorporating some vintage glamour. We opted for substantial canapés and afternoon tea with a hog roast in the evening. With having two children ourselves (aged 11 and two) and plenty of other children attending we wanted a vibe which allowed everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. We borrowed some giant garden games from the school my sister teaches at and set up a homemade photo booth with props, which the kids ended up using mainly as a dressing up box! We were also gifted some amazing children’s activity packs from my friend Joanne at Angelic Angels which kept the children entertained through the speeches and beyond.
Our colour scheme was based around my blush pink dress! We were not too precious over colours but once I had fallen in love with the dress I did subtly steer things in a more pink direction. I had also fallen completely in love with some rose gold sequin table cloths so between them and my dress I created our vintage blush scheme.
My dress was Stella York’s 5923 design in moscato. I actually spotted it as soon as I walked into the shop and only tried it on as I thought something so beautiful would look ridiculous on me…but it was too beautiful not to try on. The colour was so much more flattering on my skin tone than ivory and white, but it wasn’t until I returned to the shop to try that and another dress on again that I realised I couldn’t get it out of my head. I chose a full length veil in blush which made me feel like the bride I’d always imagined, and a hairband with sparkle and lace detailing which coordinated beautifully.
My shoes were from Red or Dead with a chunky heel for height and comfort.
I bought my dress, veil and hairband from Cheryl Chambers Bridal Boutique in Sutton, Hull. The ladies there are so helpful and provide a lovely relaxed atmosphere, and the shop is full of sparkly little treasures, I really enjoyed every visit.
Tim chose a grey tailcoat suit with matching waistcoat and a pink tie. They were hired from Slaters Menswear. Tim’s best man and ushers, along with both our step dads, wore the same as Tim, including our 11-year-old son. My dad wore his own kilt in our family tartan and our two-year-old was more relaxed but traditional in a buster suit from childrensalon.com and white T-bar shoes from Babyshoes.
The bridesmaids wore ivory lace dresses from BHS that were actually short wedding dresses but as I was wearing blush pink with ivory lace, their dresses coordinated lovely with mine.
As a little extra, I bought all the men pink socks with their role in the wedding printed on them and gave them as a surprise. We also gave the men cufflinks shaped into their initials as a thank you gift, and I gave my bridesmaids silver knot earrings as a thank you for helping us ‘tie the knot’.
We hired a beautiful Humber car from Marshalls Wedding Cars to take us to the church, it was only a five minute journey between where each of us were staying and the church so we used the same car which did four trips in total to get us all there. The car we used was actually Tim’s mum and step dad’s wedding car, which was a lovely touch. The owner of the cars has a huge collection and provided a great service, I would highly recommend brides contact him to go and view the cars.
To solve the issue of lack of parking space at my mum’s, our guests and us travelled from the church to reception in a vintage bus and coach hired from East Yorkshire Coaches. It was certainly a novelty and everyone travelling together kept a lovely social atmosphere. We travelled on the small coach with close family and the bridal party and it was really lovely to have that journey all together after the church.
Our photographer was Jemma King. She really understood our vision for the day and we felt very comfortable around her. The first time we met, our toddler had her on the floor playing! It was like having a friend there, but one who could get people organised! We had loads of compliments on the day of how good she was with people and are thrilled with our finished photos. I would, and already have, recommended her.
We didn’t have any fresh flowers on the day other than what was already in church for the garden festival. I made my own brooch and bead bouquet as it was something I had always wanted to try since I fell in love with one I saw online years before. The men had dried flower buttonholes which I won on eBay! And I bought dried flower bouquets to coordinate from daisyshop.co.uk for my two bridesmaids. That way we could buy everything in advance and they could be kept and displayed afterwards. Plus the dried flowers with lavender smelt amazing!
As décor for the reception we hired some stunning rose gold sequin table cloths from Belle Bijoux Events, and I decorated Hobbycraft white twig trees with paper flowers to create centrepieces that doubled up as a guest book. We left tags on each table for guests to leave us a message and hang on the trees. They looked great once they were filled with lovely messages from our family and friends.
Dragonfly Print made us some fabulous personalised signs for our photo booth, our homemade date jar, and a ‘rules of the dancefloor’ amongst others.
At my hen weekend all my hens set aside time to help me assemble and stick sparkles on my order of service booklet, wrap pens in ribbon and paint our Hobbycraft post box. It was a real team effort!
We displayed our table plan, which I handwrote onto card bunting, on a borrowed vintage step ladder and decorated it with jars and bottles filled with fake flowers bought from Hobbycraft and Dunelm. My mum filled wicker baskets full of essentials such as a mini sewing kit, paracetamol, baby wipes etc. and left one in each bathroom. She even bought bride and groom printed loo paper!
Our cake was a four tier Cath Kidston inspired creation. It was made by the lovely Cakes By Leni, in Hull. We chose a Baileys sponge, a chocolate Malteaser layer and a lemon sponge layer. The smallest top layer was a dummy cake. It was almost too beautiful to cut, but tasted yummy!
Tim’s brothers are both chefs and organised a catering team for us. We opted for substantial canapés such as mini fish and chips, followed by an afternoon tea type sandwiches and cakes during the speeches. We didn’t want people to have to wait around or spend a long time sat at a table, and wanted to create a relaxed, informal vibe. To continue this feel, we chose a hog roast for our evening food which was very popular! Tim’s parents provided champagne and a couple of glasses of wine per person, however there was more wine than we anticipated! Which nobody seemed too unhappy about. We also hired Escapade Bars who brought a fully stocked bar and we chose five cocktails that they could also offer throughout the night.
In terms of entertainment, my step dad sings in a barbershop quartet who kindly sang for us on arriving at the reception and whilst we disappeared for photographs. They even personalised one song with our names, which was a lovely surprise. For the evening do we hired The Mike Brown Band, who really got the party started and were absolutely fantastic. They did a split of live sets and DJ’ed in between. We didn’t think we would be able to afford a live band, however their prices were comparable to a decent DJ, but the atmosphere they created in our opinion was worth so much more.
Following our wedding I would certainly recommend that if couples can use a family home or garden for their big day that they consider it. It is lovely visiting my mum’s house and remembering our special day. It also creates something true to the couple and very unique.
My favourite part of the day was the church ceremony. We kept things very traditional in the church and I really enjoyed singing the hymns and all our music choices and reading choices really brought it together giving me goose bumps. I was so nervous walking in, but couldn’t stop smiling and even did a little cheer when we were pronounced as husband and wife.
With having two children, including one at school, we haven’t gone on an official honeymoon. Instead my dad gifted us a weekend in Centre Parcs with our boys the week after the wedding. We all enjoyed our mini family moon just relaxing and spending quality time all together in one of our favourite holiday destinations.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember that whatever happens in the run up to the day, it will all be ok. I had to have a tooth extracted two days beforehand, our first choice of vintage bus broke the day before our wedding amongst many other perceived disasters, but honestly on the day none of it mattered! It’s only one day, and it goes so quickly, just breathe and take it all in. I want to do it all again!