Today’s wedding starts with a simple yet super sweet proposal that gave the bride and groom the theme for their wedding day.
Hannah and Fred then added rustic wedding touches in their décor and styling choices with the help of their wedding planner, in order to create the desired look for their romantic country celebration.
We particularly love the Hannah’s wedding gown with a cute off-the-shoulder lace jacket and also her bridesmaids’ pretty choices of dresses, which fitted the “short and champagne” brief perfectly!
With images by Crieff Photography.
Hannah says: We got engaged at our first home together on the 1st August 2014. It was ‘date night’ and Fred was cooking dinner for us at home. He was cooking his speciality, pie! When he carried it out to the table it was covered, he then got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the honour of cutting the pie! Slightly confused, I took the cover off the pie where ‘Marry Me!’ in pastry was revealed.
We set the date for 26th September 2015. We wanted to get married in Cumbria and September is always a beautiful month in that part of the UK! We also needed to give our Australian family and friends enough notice to plan their trip.
Our ceremony was at Wetheral Church in Cumbria. Wetheral is where Fred grew up and his two sisters also got married at this church too. We then had our reception at Monkhouse Hill Cottages where we had tipis from Special Event Tipis.
There was a pie theme to our day, since that’s how the proposal took place. We made pie that said ‘save the date’ to send to guests, had pie for the main course of our wedding breakfast and had pie names for all the tables. It was also important that the day was very relaxed so we added a rustic feel to the whole event with use of the tipis in the country setting.
We didn’t have a set colour scheme as such but went down a champagne/nude type path with the bridesmaids.
When it came to picking my dress, I went for something that wasn’t as traditional as most brides. Although it was strapless it had a jacket that was off the shoulder. The dress was fishtail, so very fitted with quite a long train. It was made out of chiffon with detail in lace.
Fred’s chosen attire was a navy Ted Baker suit with a tartan waistcoat and brown boots. To complement, the groomsmen all wore navy suits with brown shoes.
My bridesmaids all wore their own choice of dresses, they just had a brief of short and champagne.
We also gave our leading ladies and men special gifts for the wedding day. My bridesmaids wore rose gold bracelets with pearls (my favourite) as well as personalised ivory pashminas. Meanwhile the groomsman wore odd socks – blue for Carlisle and yellow for Australia. The English guys then wore kangaroo cufflinks and the one Australian groomsman had Mini car cufflinks.
Crieff Photography captured our day for us. We found them via Pinterest and would absolutely recommend them! Brian and Paula are just so nice and are brilliant to work with. Firstly there is the amazing benefit of having two photographers – not a moment was missed as a result and our entire day was captured perfectly. Also their dedication is second to none, their focus is all about what the bride and groom want and they work so hard to make sure everyone is happy.
Our wedding flowers were provided by Pip Lowe. The button holes were made up of a rose, thistle and eucalyptus. The bridesmaids’ bouquets complemented the dresses and were a mix of champagne, nude, creamy and blush tones. They were made up of roses with a variety of green textures added such as eucalyptus, senecio and dusty miller. My bouquet meanwhile had pop colour in maroon to differentiate it slightly from the rest, which worked well with the season.
Pip Lowe also provided the flowers for the church and reception. The flowers were natural and loose in style, which reflected the setting of Wetheral Church, the tipis and Cumbrian countryside. They all contained strong colours; purples, blues, green, orange and pinks. Arrangements included dahlia, delphiniums, hydrangea, ammi (bishop’s flower), nepeta, lavender and poppy seed heads. These were arranged in large wooden crates, milk urns and jars for the tables.
Our entire day was styled and decorated by our fabulous wedding planner Liz Linkleter, who added fabulous touches throughout including: a vintage bike with a welcome sign (both Fred and I are keen cyclists), dressing of the first tipi for pre-reception drinks with the floral arrangements, wooden crates, marshmallows for the fire and wine barrels as side tables all to work with the vintage, relaxed festival theme. Liz also dressed all 15 of our tables, placed tea lights along the pathway that led to the entrance of the tipis and put lights in the surrounding trees. Liz made our day run smoothly so that Fred and I could be stress-free.
All our props, cutlery and glassware were provided by Sure to Surprise You and Kimberley Owen did all our graphics for the save the dates, wedding invites, table names, table plan, place names and order of service. Everything had the same consistent style that tied it all together.
Rather than favours we provided Murray Mints in jars on tables (Fred’s last name is Murray) which were accompanied by a sign that said ‘Murray-mints-to-be’.
My friend Margie Lam made our wedding cake. She asked us what our favourite dessert was and our answer was sticky toffee pudding….so she made a sticky toffee pudding cake which was dessert for our 140 guests as well. It was quite fitting as well as it comes from Cumbria!
The wedding breakfast was provided by Fells & Dales Catering, whose amazing homemade style of cooking was just perfect for our day. We had three courses starting with salmon pate or baked camembert, then steak and ale pie or veggie pie with potatoes and vegetables, and dessert was the fabulous sticky toffee pudding cake!
The wine and champagne served to guests was provided by my brother who works at Le Chai au Quai Chateau in Bordeaux, as assistant wine maker, so all the wine was made by his chateau. The ale was from Hesket Newmarket and was called Double Hitch.
To provide our entertainment, we hired a live band called The Slinky Band, from Manchester. We chose them because their sound and playlist were exactly what we were looking for.
Following our wedding we would absolutely recommend Monkhouse Hill to other couples – it’s just the most perfect setting for a wedding. The cottages provided accommodation for all 40 Australian guests that travelled over, which meant it was a wedding weekend. With use of the tipis for the Saturday and Sunday it meant we could use the venue for the whole time. Our caterer came back on the Sunday and we had a lunch for 110 people, which meant the party just kept going! We wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for how flexible and accommodating Monkhouse Hill is.
It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the wedding overall as the whole day was so amazing; the drive from the church to venue post marriage with just the two of us is probably the only moment we got together. The reception pre-drinks was great too, seeing all the guests properly…plus actually getting married wasn’t bad either!
We went to Edinburgh for three nights after the wedding weekend and relaxed at the Caledonian Hotel and reflected on the whole weekend. Our proper honeymoon will be in Costa Rica – we are going for three weeks over Christmas and New Year.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to have someone you trust to run everything on the day so everything runs smoothly and to plan. It saves any form of stress on the bride and groom which is so important. Also, having some sort of post wedding event on the Sunday is great, helps with the hangover and keeps the party going!