Today’s real wedding is a beautiful representation of both the bride and groom’s roots.
Taking place at a charming English manor house, the celebrations featured subtle nod’s to the Middle East through both styling and food choices.
We love the natural and relaxed vibe of this wedding, and check out the venue’s gardens, which made for some fabulous photography opportunities.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
dina says: Andrew proposed to me on his birthday in March last year! As a surprise I’d arranged to take him for a meal to the Rythe Arms in Tadcaster, and we stayed over at the Colton Haggs B&B. After dinner Andrew mentioned he’d put a bottle of champagne in the fridge and asked me to collect it. When I came back he dropped to one knee and asked me if I would make him the happiest man in the world and marry him with the ring in his hands. It was all a blur for me and took me by surprise! Apparently I swore a lot and was a bit incomprehensible – but then he hugged me, I calmed down from all the excitement and said yes!
We got married on 31st July 2016, at Holdsworth House in Halifax, where we had both the ceremony and reception. We’d both done some research online and had a list of venues we wanted to see – and it happened to be our joint favourite from our online research. When we went there everyone was so friendly and it was such a stunning place that we instantly fell in love with it. We didn’t actually view any other places! We booked it there and then, especially after we stayed there for lunch and tasted how delicious the food was.
I’m Egyptian and Andrew is English, and I wanted both cultures reflected in the day. There wasn’t a theme as such, but as the venue was a beautiful English manor house, I added slight accents to give a nod to my middle-eastern heritage. The invites were an Arabic mosaic design made by With Love Invitations, which was then also adopted for the seating plans and table and seating cards. I also dotted lots of different types of lanterns across the venue, around the wedding cakes and tables, and had a couple of Arabic style throws in the courtyard.
Andrew’s favourite colour is blue so we went with blues for the colour scheme and then mixed in whites and natural greens to make it more in keeping with the summer season. I picked teal bridesmaid dresses that matched the same palette as the invites, table plans and chair sashes. Andrew and the ushers were in cobalt blue suits, and the flowers were all white. I wanted a simple classic colour scheme that didn’t clash or detract from how beautiful the venue naturally was; it didn’t need a lot of stuff adding to it.
I wore a strapless lace ball gown from Pronovias – it was a beautiful cream dress with very delicate lace all over. I also had a matching veil with lace trim from Pronovias. I picked mint Rachel Simpson sandals and a beautiful hair vine with mint and pastel miniature leaf design that I found on Etsy. The jewellery I wore was from my mother and grandmother – diamond pendant, a diamond and sapphire bracelet and a pearl and diamond ring, with small diamond earrings.
Andrew wore a personally tailored cobalt blue three piece suit from Hackett in Covent Garden, with a fitted white shirt and yellow tie. He wore clock piece cufflinks that I’d found on Not On The High Street. They were part of my wedding gift to him as he loves watches.
My bridesmaids wore teal strapless chiffon floor-length gowns ordered online from Light In The Box. The ushers were in similar suits to Andrew’s but they were purchased from different places as the ushers were in different places – Chicago, Hong Kong, Australia and Coventry!
I stayed at Holdsworth House the night before the wedding, which was great as my bridesmaids and girlfriends were able to hang out in my suite the night before. On the morning of the wedding Sharon Derrick from Make Up by Sharon Louise did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup. She was lovely and did a great job for all of us. We had a great time all getting ready together in my room, and she fitted in wonderfully and really put me at ease.
Richard Perry was our photographer and is amazing! He was so helpful from the first meeting right through to the day, and afterwards getting our photos and album. He really helped us make the day a success and felt like part of the wedding party – he was seamless and got on great with everyone. None of the photos felt forced and we really enjoyed having him with us. Having now seen all the photos they are stunning! We kept the “staged” photos short and sweet, as we wanted Richard to have the freedom to capture a lot of natural shots. We’re so ecstatic with the results, and it meant we and our guests were free to just enjoy the day. He even took some photos of us prior to the wedding as we wanted a photo of us for people to sign instead of a guest book. We have it hanging in our living room now and makes me grin every time I see it! We’ve been recommending him to all our friends since the wedding! He is the only photographer I would go to for any family or professional photography.
On the day of the wedding The Holdsworth House team were brilliant, setting out the room for the ceremony and then quickly turning it around for the reception. The team did everything themselves without needing me or anyone from the bridal party. I’d delivered the lanterns, seating plan and other decorations to them the day before with an email setting out where I would like specific bits and pieces, and they took it from there. I ordered tea lights, hanging lights and lanterns from all over the place, including some from Egypt. I also ordered a vintage wooden board with a mosaic design from Etsy to have the seating plan on.
For our favours, we made small cardboard boxes and filled them with an assortment of baklava for each guest. One guest had a nut allergy so we filled her box with Medjool dates – another Middle Eastern influence!
During the planning, we decided that we didn’t want a traditional tiered wedding cake. We are both foodies and had discovered The Yummy Yank at Kirkstall Abbey food market. We asked her to make us three wedding cakes – one lemon cake, one carrot cake and one red velvet cake with a New York cheesecake middle layer. They were epic!
When it came to the wedding breakfast the Holdsworth House kitchen and menu choices were fantastic – the food and wine tasting was very difficult as it was all so lovely! We ordered a couple of different starters and mains, in order to give people a choice. The starter options were chicken liver parfait or a confit tomato and gruyere tart, which was followed by rhubarb sorbet. For main course it was a choice of rack of lamb with red wine jus and potato rosti or a mushroom and garlic tart with artichoke and lentils. For dessert we chose citrus lemon tart with strawberry sorbet and honeycomb.
To accompany the meal we ordered a sauvignon blanc and a rioja and we had prosecco for the speeches. We also arranged for a selection of canapés before the wedding breakfast, which were served with an elderflower prosecco cocktail and bucks fizz. In the evening we arranged a barbecue at Holdsworth House with a Middle Eastern influence, including lamb kebabs, halloumi, tabbouleh, chicken skewers, hummus and baba ghanoush. Holdsworth House sorted it all with us and worked with me in the run up to the wedding to agree the menu. It was all delicious!
We’re both serious foodies so our focus in planning the day was the food! I think we can safely say nobody left the wedding weekend hungry – we had so much wedding cake left over we were eating it and giving it to friends for the whole of the week after before we went on our honeymoon!
For the evening entertainment we created a playlist for the DJ, who was provided by Holdsworth House. He did a great job, and got everyone up and dancing from early on!
Following our wedding I would really recommend Holdsworth House to other couples. It is a stunning venue. It’s peaceful in the countryside and is very intimate. Most of our guests stayed at the venue so we basically had the place to ourselves for the wedding. The whole team really knows what they’re doing. We felt totally looked after and pampered. Everyone really went over and above the call of duty to make this the most special day of our lives. I didn’t have to lift a finger the whole day – the team just sorted everything and came to us throughout the day to check we were happy and to check in on timings.
It’s really hard to pick a favourite part of the day! The whole day was perfect – I couldn’t stop grinning! I’d say the most memorable parts for me were probably the first time I saw Andrew when I was walking down the aisle, the speeches, and dancing the night away with my best friends.
For our honeymoon, we spent three weeks travelling around Peru and Argentina. I think we packed in 13 flights over three weeks! We saw Machu Piccu, The Sacred Valley, Lima, Cusco, the Uros Islands, spent a few days in Mendoza, Iguazu Falls and saw the glacier in El Calafate (my personal highlight). We finished the honeymoon with a few days in Buenos Aires, and ate far too much tasty steak!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to agree on a budget at the outset, but don’t skimp on the essentials. Figure out what your top priorities are and make sure you get those right. Remember at the end of the day it is about the two of you – so make sure you know what your vision of the day is, and stick to it! A good photographer is essential too, so book straight away once you have the date as the great ones book up months in advance!