Today on the blog we bring you Hannah and Michael’s special day, at the beautiful five-star Grand Hotel and Spa, in York. The historic city was already close to the couple’s hearts and they were totally won over by the Edwardian venue’s truly romantic backdrop.
Opting for a gorgeous gold, bronze and blush pink colour scheme complemented by an abundance of candles, petals and even pom poms – this is a wedding exuding understated glamour and charm.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Richard Perry Photography.
hannah says: We got engaged at home, in our living room, on 13th April. Everything was pretty hectic as we were planning a move to the Middle East with Michael’s job. It was just perfect, I was sat playing with our little boy, Archie, and Michael literally gave me the shock of my life as he appeared with a box and got down on one knee to propose. I couldn’t believe it!
We got married on 4th August 2016 – we didn’t want to wait, plus I had always really wanted a summer wedding. With it being last minute, we were limited by dates but after settling on August, this date just seemed right.
Our wedding venue was The Grand Hotel and Spa, in York. We knew the venue had to be in York as it has a lot of special memories for us – from our first date to the birth of our son, as well as it being my hometown. I fell in love with The Grand Hotel from the moment I saw the grand boardroom; the venue’s elegance and history was just perfect.
Our wedding theme was vintage glamour with a touch of romance. I wanted something with class and sophistication, and once we found the venue, I knew that the grand features of the hotel would work perfectly. As for the colour scheme, this focused on gold, bronze and blush pink.
I found my wedding dress at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in North Yorkshire. I always knew this would be my starting place, as I know the owner Diana through a close friend. As soon as I stepped into the boutique I knew my dream dress would be in there, somewhere. After trying every different style and fit, I finally found the one – that butterfly feeling was most certainly there! I chose an Enzoani gown in ivory; a vintage style silk and lace embellished dress. It matched the venue and style of the wedding perfectly. I could not recommend Diana and The Little Pearl more. I had the most magical experience from start to finish and felt like a true princess. Diana didn’t miss a detail and would go out of her way to accommodate any request.
My bridesmaids wore nude pink dresses from ASOS and their own strappy gold sandals. They accessorised their outfits with gifts I had bought them – a nude and gold bracelet from Fossil and pearl style earrings.
As for the groomsmen, they wore matching French Connection suits and blush pink Reiss ties, with their own white shirt and tan shoes.
We stayed at The Grand Hotel and Spa the night before the wedding at separate ends of the hotel. I stayed with my bridesmaids, which heightened the excitement even more. I had always dreamt of turning up at my wedding in a beautiful vintage car. Michael’s late grandfather had been a Rolls Royce fanatic so, in his memory, we hired a beautiful vintage cream Rolls Royce from Cupid Carriages in Sheffield. The car picked my dad and me up from a side entrance; we then went for a drive around York before arriving back to the hotel ready for my big entrance.
After the ceremony, Michael and I went for a drive in the Rolls Royce with our wonderful driver – a chance for us to have a moment together on the day. The guests lined the red carpet outside the front of the hotel and greeted us with bubbles that were handed out by the ushers at the end of the ceremony.
I chose the incredible Richard Perry as our wedding photographer. Richard’s work is perfection – he has such a talent and passion for what he does. Michael and I couldn’t have possibly felt more comfortable and at ease on the day. Richard caught every precious moment that I’m sure every bride worries will get missed. I didn’t have to instruct or ask for anything, he was there hiding in the corner capturing it all!
We also had our day filmed by Story of Your Day. They caught some of the historic city on film too, to help tell our story. They were amazing to work with and their excitement and energy to get something different and quirky was so fun. We haven’t seen the film yet, just glimpses from the day, but I can’t wait to see what they have come up with.
On the wedding day I carried flowers from the incredible Wild Floral Couture. I had been searching for something a bit different, as I really wanted a wild and natural looking bouquet and something that would really capture the colour scheme of the day. Allie at Wild Floral Couture produced the most breathtaking bouquet – it was tied with flowing champagne ribbon and the blush roses were just beautiful.
My bridesmaids had stunning gypsophila bouquets with the same trailing nude ribbon, and the groom, groomsmen, father-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-bride had delicate corsages made from a blush rose and foliage.
I wanted the venue to be full of candles sat in an array of gold votives, hurricane vases and bronze lanterns, with handmade large paper flowers, wicker hearts and rose petals scattered around, and finished with vintage style touches, including an old suitcase used for a Jenga memory box.
I sourced and provided the majority of the decorations and borrowed things from friends and family, and the stationery was made by my mother-in-law and me.
The fireplaces and tables were dressed by Wild Floral Couture – they were absolutely breathtaking and couldn’t have been more perfect for the room. They were dressed with foliage and candles, along with gold metal lettering ‘H & M’ that I lit with micro lights.
The ceremony table and the tables for the wedding breakfast were dressed simply with a glass vase full of blush roses, framed with candles and finished with a scattering of blush petals. The top table was dressed with my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ gypsophila bouquets in glass vases, and lined with gold votives filled with candles, and also flowers and scattered petals.
Ambience Venue Styling provided our stunning chair covers and sashes. With the help of Laura, we decided to have gold taffeta and an ivory lace overlapping for the sashes, which had such a great effect. Laura also did an amazing job at securing the blush pom poms on the aisle chairs for us.
Our wedding cake and favours were provided by the incredibly talented Where the Ribbon Ends at Jervaulx Abbey Tea Rooms. I first met Gayle at a wedding fair where I fell in love with her cakes.
For our wedding favours, we had gold and blush pink macaroons with delicate gold detailing sat on gold tissue paper in a clear box. These were finished with personalised tags, pink ribbon and a gold heart charm.
The cake consisted of four tiers – the bottom was painted gold, with a pink ombre effect on the other two tiers, and a pearl lustre effect on the top layer. It was decorated with large blush roses and had the most intricate pearl detailing. The cake was finished with a gold ‘love’ topper. The flavours were unbelievable. We chose lemon cake filled with lemon buttercream and fresh raspberry, and white chocolate cake with buttercream raspberry jam and white chocolate ganache.
We had three different canapes at our drinks reception; goat’s cheese and tomato tartlets, semi dried tomato bocconcini and olive skewers, and shredded duck and vegetable spring roll with a sweet chilli dip.
We had a traditional three-course wedding breakfast provided by the Grand Hotel and Spa, accompanied by the house wine. We had a fabulous tasting experience and fell in love with everything, but in the end we decided to opt for a menu that reflected our summer wedding in Yorkshire. For starters we had Whitby crab cake, smoked salmon and herb crème fraiche. This was followed by corn fed chicken, pommes Anna, sugar glazed carrots and tarragon velouté. The dessert was a beautiful red fruit trifle with white chocolate custard. Needless to say, the food was absolutely outstanding.
For the evening entertainment we really wanted a live band and booked Southwest. They were absolutely fantastic and the dance floor wasn’t empty for a second.
My whole experience of planning our wedding at The Grand Hotel and Spa was fantastic. We were lucky to have such an attentive and enthusiastic wedding planner, Gracie Whittington. She made the whole experience so organised and stress-free – it wasn’t possible to forget anything. The day ran like clockwork and everybody was where they needed to be at the right time. The staff at the Grand Hotel were so professional and accommodating and it really was a five star experience.
The day couldn’t have been more perfect and everything went even better than I could have imagined. Every single moment was so special – from getting ready with my beautiful friends and mum, to the hair, makeup and seeing my dad and Michael for the first time – the list is endless.
Another highlight was after the meal had finished when Michael and I managed to venture out with our very excited photographer, Richard and Story of Your Day, to capture the sunset and the beauty of York, which was an incredible experience and the pictures certainly say it all – priceless.
Due to our current adventure taking us out to Doha, Qatar with Michael’s job, we’ve not managed to have a honeymoon yet. We did manage a minimoon before we came back to Qatar in one of my favourite places in the UK. We went to Armathwaite Hall for a three-day spa break and enjoyed the beauty that the Lake District has to offer. It was a perfect way to finish our wedding celebrations as Mr and Mrs Richardson.
I think my top tip for other Brides Up North would be, don’t rush anything and don’t panic. I managed to organise a wedding from start to finish in less than four months. Most of the planning took place from the Middle East with the help of great friends and family, but it was easily achieved. I was very fortunate to find some fantastic suppliers that are so passionate and talented at what they do and nothing was ever too much for any of them. I could not recommend any of the suppliers I used more, and without them it wouldn’t have been the magical day it was.