Colourful Wedding

colour me pretty. ronald joyce for a vibrant wedding at bolton abbey – clare & dan

06th January 2016 | Rachel Hirst

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This morning’s real wedding is all about colour with pops of vibrant hues peppered throughout the celebrations.

We adore bride Clare’s gorgeous Ronald Joyce lace dress, complete with veil and elegant faux fur cape. Other highlights include the stunning setting, the maids’ pretty Jenny Packham gowns and a rather sweet page boy – what a cutie!

With images by Jess Petrie.

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clare says:We were in Ambleside, in the Lake District, when we got engaged. We had gone out for the day on a boat across Windemere with our little boy Harry. Dan was acting very strange to the point where I thought he had gone off me! I got increasingly more anxious and wasn’t too impressed when he asked me to walk the long way home. Mid way through, there is the most amazing view over the mountains where we pass daily to go for breakfast. It was here where he practically stumbled onto one knee (with Harry on his back) and asked me. Needless to say, my mood changed very quickly!

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We set the date for 27th March 2015. It was originally going to be 7th November 2014 – I had always dreamed of a winter wedding – however, we had a little surprise in a baby girl, Mollie. She was born on the 4th November and so we thought it would be a bit tight to go through with the wedding then. Spring is always a fabulous time of year and we then imagined daffodils and a brighter sky (which we got) at our chosen venue and the decision was made for a March wedding.

We had a church ceremony and then went onto Bolton Abbey, in Skipton, for the reception. We had thought about getting married near where we live in Oxford, but after having a walk around the grounds when visiting Dan’s parents in Menston we both fell in love with the place.

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I love bright colours, they are always something I’m drawn too so we decided that they would feature in the wedding within flowers, bridesmaids dresses and lips!

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My dress was a Ronald Joyce design. It was different on the wedding day to when I bought it from the shop. As I was early in my second pregnancy, the girls in the shop ordered me a size bigger to compensate with any subsequent weight gain due to the pregnancy. I was very lucky to lose the weight after Mollie, but the dress needed a complete reconstruction. My fabulous dress maker Marie, worked her magic on the dress and turned it into the dress I had dreamed of. I loved the thought of a fishtail and slim fitting. My dress had an open back which added another element to the detail.

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Dan and the male wedding party wore tails in dark grey while my bridesmaids wore dresses by Jenny Packham in pink. The dresses were a complete bargain as I got them in the sale a year before. They were the first dresses I ordered and I was very lucky that they had the three dresses in the girls’ sizes. They all fitted and were pleased with them. Our flower girl Amelie wore a dress and fur from Monsoon.

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We had a 1969 Daimler V8 to transport us to the venue on the day. My dad was super excited about the car, even though the journey was so short between the church and hotel. It was white with berry red leather seats.

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Jess Petrie was our photographer and she portrayed the day to be exactly how we remembered. She slotted right in with the wedding party. We only had 30 guests so it was important that our photographer would be suitable, and she sure was! The photos are soft and romantic – exactly what we wanted. Fab job.

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My close friend Clare made our wedding cupcakes. They were pink and sparkly and looked fantastic in our green room where we were having the meal.

We went for a five course menu for our guests. The food was the best wedding food I have ever eaten. The guests all agreed and were very impressed with the whole experience.

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Following our wedding, we would absolutely recommend The Bolton Arms as a wedding venue. The staff there could not have done more for us and were always contactable to answer any questions I had. The church is certainly the most magical place, where we will always be visiting and hold close in our hearts.

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Looking back I would say the church ceremony was actually my favourite part of the day – it was both powerful and emotional.

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As we had a new baby as well as a little boy, we decided to keep our honeymoon local and low key by staying at Dan’s parents place in Ambleside for a couple of nights. Luckily, Dan’s parents were able to have the children for us so that we could enjoy a few days alone.

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My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to relax on the day and take in literally every second. It is the best day of your life and it whips by in an instance. Any details that may not go to plan won’t matter, no one else will even notice.

the big picture

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