Real Weddings

perfect to a tea. a pretty pastel wedding at barnsdale hall hotel – sarah & chris

05th October 2016 | Julia Braime


Now’s the time to stick the kettle on for that morning brew as we share the beautiful big day of Sarah and Chris, which had a subtle tea theme to it.

Though now living in Cheshire, today’s couple went back to their roots in Leicester for a pretty pastel church wedding followed by an elegant hotel reception.

We adore the colour scheme as well as the incredible blooms, particularly the spectacular flower arch and Sarah’s dreamy bouquet! And not forgetting those charming teapot touches too!

With images by Love Luella Photography, assisted by Alix Ferguson Photography.


sarah says:

Chris’s proposal came as a complete surprise to me. It happened following a mini break that I’d been on over the Christmas period with some girlfriends from work as we’d to work through Christmas.

On the flight home the girls were acting very strange giving me makeup to put on, I assumed it was because I looked rough! Once we had landed and arrived at passport control the security spent a while checking my passport and talking on the radio which made me panic (turns out they all knew about the proposal). As we eventually walked through the girls went ahead of me and I could hear music playing – it was mine and Chris’s song (Drops of Jupiter by Train, which became our first dance song). There was an iPad set up with my nickname “Embo” on it and a bunch of flowers, but the penny still hadn’t dropped. I picked up the iPad and there was a video of all my friends and family from home/work/ abroad saying “just say yes” to which I started crying. At the end it said to turn around and then Chris came through the crowd in a suit and proposed. It was quite sweet. When we got home we were surprised by all our family at our house to congratulate us, followed by a meal out.  For a guy who can’t plan his day without my help, he did good!


Although we now live in Chester we are both originally from Leicester and so we chose to get married back home in my local church, Manton St Mary’s, and held the reception at the Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Oakam. The views from the Barnsdale Hall Hotel were the biggest selling point.


We decided on a tea theme for the wedding because I’m well-known from my love for tea. I wanted the day to be quite a traditional English wedding and so this seemed to suit well.

We chose to have mixed pastels colour scheme because I couldn’t pick just one colour – the three I chose in the end went together well. I don’t like the uniformed look and thought this seemed more fun!


I got my wedding dress from Dresses2ImpressU in Leicester. I fell in love with it straight away although it looked quite different when I purchased it because I added a longer train and lace bottom to make this personal. It was elegant and also comfortable.

In terms of accessories I wore shoes from Elegant Steps, which are designed to be comfortable for the whole day and can also be dyed to match the colour of your dress, which was an added perk. In the evening both Chris and I wore Converse! For my jewellery I wore my mum’s ‘something borrowed’ and kept it minimal, simple pearl drop earrings and a pearl bracelet. To complete my look I had a couple of white flowers in my hair.


Chris chose to wear a blue Ted Baker suit with matching waist coat from Moss Bros. It was lovely and fitted great. He also wore a white tie to match my dress.

The groomsmen all bought their own blue suits and each had a matching waistcoat from Moss Bros. They all wore pastel ties to match the bridesmaids, who had mismatched dresses. I gave the girls pastel pink, blue and green as the colours and a basic brief for style and budget and then let them each choose their own dress. I hated the idea of forcing someone to wear something they didn’t like as so this approach worked perfectly.


For our wedding transport we hired a lovely traditional wedding car named “Betty” from Cars 4 Your Wedding, based in Leicestershire.


We picked Tash of Love Luella Photography to capture our day. She is so good at what she does! Tash is so much fun to be around and it makes everyone relax. She spent so much time on Skype with us and communicating whenever we needed to in the run up so we were all on the same page with what we wanted. On the wedding day itself she was great and managed to organise the guests I had specified for photos (even if there was slightly more than there should have been) and still managed to capture all the little moments in-between. I have had so many comments about how great our photos are – and we love them too! When we first received them we were totally blown away – there were so many more photos than we expected and we can see that every single image has had Tash’s pride and effort put into it. Seeing our gallery for the first time was amazing too. It captured so much laughter and little funny moments in the day that we wouldn’t have seen and you couldn’t have planned.


For my wedding flowers I carried a bouquet was pale pink peonies, white and bolder pink roses, eucalyptus and foliage. For the bridesmaids we had white roses and foliage. These were provided by Peter Gothard from Keyham, Leicestershire.

The church was lovingly decorated in the most stunning wildflowers from the local gardens of the people of Manton. I would like to thank the Manton flower ladies in particular for the beautiful flower arch.

The centrepieces on the reception tables were pale pink peonies, pink and white roses and foliage to match my bouquet and they were all done by my lovely mother.


We found the table favours a difficult element to decide on but in the end my mum made small clay teapot-shaped fridge magnets to fit the theme. These also served as place cards and our guests took them home with them at the end of the night.

For the wedding cake we had a simple three-tiered design with sugar pastel roses on top, which was made by my mum and grandma.

Our wedding breakfast consisted of French onion soup to start, a beef dinner with all the trimmings for main and cheesecake with a raspberry compote for dessert. In the evening we had a relaxed buffet style meal.


To provide our evening entertainment we hired a DJ through Cream Entertainments. We chose this company as they took requests ahead of the day so we could have songs everyone loved, instead of the tracks being hit and miss. Each guest made a choice on their RSVPs. During the wedding meal we also did a fun quiz with some silly prizes to make our guests feel more relaxed.


Following our wedding we would certainly recommend The Barnsdale to other couples because it’s nice size, the staff are polite and prompt and the views of Rutland Water are amazing!


We’d also highly recommend Love Luella Photography and our florist Pete, as they clearly cared about us as individuals as well as the service they were providing.


Looking back Chris and I would both agree that the speeches were our favourite part of the day. They were funny without embarrassing either of us too much!


For our honeymoon we jetted off to Melia Cayo Coco in Cuba – a beautiful hotel with a natural lagoon! We stayed in an apartment on stilts over the lagoon. It was beautiful and the wildlife out there was amazing. Good cocktails, beautiful surrounding and hot, hot, hot!


My top tip to other Brides Up North is simple – don’t worry about the little things in the run up to the wedding as you won’t care about them when the big day arrives anyway.

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