Real Weddings

peonies & daises for a relaxed wedding at danby castle – katy & ross

13th September 2016 | Julia Braime

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Having lived, met and studied at a number of locations around the UK, today’s real wedding couple had the choice of several areas in which to tie the knot, but it was a beauty spot in North Yorkshire that caught their eye.

Taken with the natural beauty of Danby Castle, Katy and Ross planned a relaxed wedding with both pretty and personal elements, including rustic table settings, bespoke bridesmaid dresses and vintage transport.

With images and video by Babb Photo.


katy says: Ross proposed to me on the lawn outside St Paul’s Cathedral. He’d been carrying the ring around in his pocket for several months waiting for the perfect moment. We’d been together for nearly eight years and I’d given up thinking he would ask. It was perfect and a complete surprise!

We set the date for 4th June 2016. It was one of the only dates left at our chosen wedding venue, Danby Castle, and we knew we wanted to have outdoor elements to the wedding so we opted for a warmer month of the year.


Picking the location for the wedding was always going to be a bit of a task as Ross is from Bristol, I’m from Middlesbrough, we met at university in Bath and we now live in London. Our guest list had people coming from all over the UK but the bulk of them were my big family, which meant something in the North East would be easier. I loved the idea of coming to the venue from my family home and we both loved the idea of showing some of our southern friends the nice bits of the north. We fell in love with Danby Castle as soon as we saw it, it had so much warmth and charm, as did the amazing staff.

We didn’t have a wedding theme as such but both Ross and I have creative jobs so we were always going to have fun picking things for the wedding. The main thing was for it to not feel too formal and have a bit of a homemade approach. The venue already had so much rustic charm it didn’t feel like we needed to add much.

We didn’t have a proper colour scheme either. I tend not to match most days so it seemed strange to be strict about it for the wedding, but we did try to stick with a summery pastel palette.


I got my dress from the Bridal Lounge in Northallerton, and they were so helpful and patient! Before I started dress shopping I thought I’d want something bohemian, understated and definitely no veil. But then I started trying on all the dresses and I remember thinking I’ll never wear a big dress like this on any other day. I loved the swishy skirt of the dress and how comfortable it was, the detail on the back was my favourite, as well as the pockets! As soon as I put the veil on I was sold! My shoes were from Rachel Simpson and I loved them as soon as I tried them on!

Ross was keen to have the men in normal suits rather than anything too formal. We hired his suit from Moss Bros, as well as his tie.


I found a lady on Etsy (Dolly Clothes Peg Vintage) to make the bridesmaid dresses. I really didn’t want them in a block colour as we didn’t have a proper colour scheme. In the end we went for a dusky pink with a cream lace overlay (to tie in with the lace on my dress) and kept them knee-length for twirling!

Picking the outfits for the page boys was great fun. We knew my nephews would want to run around and be in t-shirts by the speeches so didn’t want to bother with a full suit. They ended up loving the braces and dicky bows we got them but they still didn’t last very long!


Laura Babb of Babb Photography, and her husband Pete, captured our day. They were incredible and we would highly recommend them! Ross and I aren’t naturals in front of the camera, but Laura and Pete were amazing at making the whole thing really easy. There weren’t really many posed shots, they just kind of snuck around snapping. We couldn’t be more thrilled with photographs, they caught bits we forgot happened!


Our florist was a lady called Audrey who was recommended to us by Danby Castle. I spend a lot of my time drawing flowers for greeting cards so I had quite a clear idea of what I’d like. Given the venue we wanted more wild looking flowers that looked like they’d just been scooped from a nearby field. I love peonies and big daisies so Audrey did a combination of all of this and the result was stunning.

When it came to the venue décor, Audrey has a really good relationship with Danby Castle, who were dressing the rooms, so we just asked her to use similar flowers to the bouquets. Further décor included old books (I’m a children’s book illustrator so it seemed appropriate) stacked up with old tea tins, containers and jars for the flowers. We made reserve seat tags and homemade place settings with brown Kraft card and I drew the different animals for the different tables. We chose animals of the North York Moors to tie in with the venue.


Our favours were supplied by The Yorkshire Dales Cheese Company. They normally do wedding cheese cakes but they kindly agreed to do us little cheese and chutney favours for each guest with personalised “Katy and Ross” labels. We got so many comments on them and they fit snugly in the china cups that were on the tables.

My Auntie Madge made our main fruit cake wedding cake and we got a friend of the family to ice it. For those who didn’t like fruit cake (mainly me!) my Auntie Carole made a load of her famous butterfly cakes to put on cake stands on the evening.


After welcome drinks and canapes, we enjoyed a wedding breakfast of homemade pie and mash with mushy peas for the main and miniature brownie, apple crumble and lemon meringue for dessert. In the evening we had Danby’s homemade stone baked pizzas, served with salad and potatoes.


As entertainment we asked my old school friend Jon and his band The Stuntmen, to play on the evening and they were a big hit with our guests!



Following our wedding day we would definitely recommend Danby Castle to other couples. Carolyn and her team at the venue are incredible – nothing was a problem and everything had been considered in advance.


Ross and I had really underplayed the actual ceremony part of the wedding in our heads, but it turned out to be one of our favourite parts of the day. The moment I walked down the aisle and saw everyone we loved in the same room was truly magical. We’re not that soppy as a couple so it was surprising that we were both so emotional during the ceremony.


After the wedding we went on honeymoon to Borneo to see the orangutans! It was a once in a lifetime trip and we loved it!


My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try not to lose perspective; as long as the two of you do your vows and get married the rest is one big happy bonus. I was praying for bright sunshine for the wedding for months before, we ended up with fog and a beautiful scorching sunshine the day after but I wouldn’t change a thing about our day though.

the big picture

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