Today on the blog, we have our umbrellas at the ready, as we meet a couple who show us how to make the most of a rainy wedding day in Cumbria.
Park House Barn provided the rustic backdrop to Charlotte and Anthony’s laid-back boho wedding, complete with a BBQ, woodfired pizza van, ceilidh, games and an actual cheese cake for a wedding cake.
With images by Jessica Grace Photography
charlotte says: We got engaged whilst on a road trip in south west USA. We were camping in the desert in Utah – Anthony had been planning a romantic proposal by the campfire on a starlit night, but on the night he’d planned, a storm hit. He decided to go on ahead and ask anyway, sheltering from the gales and rain in the tent! It was definitely unexpected!
We got married on Saturday 3 September. We both love that time of year – and we thought it was a good bet for some good weather!
We tied the knot at Park House Barn in the south Lakes. We chose this venue because it’s a stunning, rustic building, and we could see that it had so much potential. We loved the idea of just being able to do our own thing – and use thousands of fairy lights! We’re both from the north west and have always felt that the Lakes are a beautiful part of the world.
The general style was relaxed, fun, colourful and a little bit bohemian. An accidental vintage map theme also developed as everything came together! My grandfather used to draw these amazing intricate maps as a hobby, and I’ve just always loved old maps and atlases. As we have grand plans of a belated travelling-honeymoon in 2018, it seemed like a fitting theme.
There wasn’t a strict colour theme. The flowers were simply white wildflowers and gypsophila (with a few blush roses for the bridal bouquet) with lots of greens and herbs. We wanted to let the building and lighting to do a lot of the talking. We had rainbow umbrellas, colourful signs and multi-coloured macarons to add some colour and lots of fun.
My dress was by Anna Campbell, and we got it from Jean Jackson Couture NQ in Manchester – I’d seen it on the internet, and instantly fell in love with it. I’d tried a handful of other dresses on, but this one just felt so comfortable and natural. I think I was always going to end up in lace.
Anthony was keen to keep it simple. He bought about eight high street suits and then picked his favourite!
The bridesmaids were all in Needle and Thread dresses, which they picked themselves. I didn’t really mind what they wore, as long as they were broadly in keeping with the venue/vibe of the wedding, and moreover, that they were all happy. The groomsmen all wore navy blue suits, and ‘granddad’ collars – which was Anthony’s idea.
Our photographer was Jesse, of Jessica Grace Photography, who we heard about from a friend-of-a-friend. She did a brilliant job on the day – making us feel at ease and taking lots of natural photos, which is what we asked for. The weather was certainly challenging from a photographer’s point of view, but Jesse just got on with it.
The bridal bouquets were simple gypsophila with a few blush roses, by Floristry by Carmen, Kendal. As for the centre-pieces, these were made up from gin-bottles and jars we’d collected (with some help from family and friends) and filled with gypsophila, wildflowers and herbs (also provided by Floristry by Carmen).
For our favours, we gave out sugar mice because they reminded us of childhood trips to the Lakes and were nice and colourful as a bonus!
We had a “cheese cake”, made up of a stack of speciality cheeses. Neither of us are particularly into sweet things or cakes, but we love cheese. The cheese wheels were bought from the Birkdale Cheese Centre, who were so helpful in advising and helping us choose a selection. All the cheese was demolished by the end of the night, so we think it was a success!
We chose a BBQ for the main wedding breakfast, as we felt that it was fitting for a relaxed, informal wedding. Trufflehunters provided the BBQ and did a fantastic job – the food was great and it all worked like clockwork. Then later in the evening, we had a woodfired pizza van – The Woodland Rover. The pizzas were so good, and we can’t thank them enough; they went down a treat with our guests.
Park House Barn allowed us to bring our own wine – with no ridiculous corkage charge attached. This was great as we love wine, and it gave us freedom to try a range and choose anything we liked.
We had a ceilidh band, because we thought it would be fun and a good laugh, and would also cater for all ages. It was carnage but a lot of fun! After that, we just had a DIY Spotify ‘disco’ – Anthony put loads of thought into the playlist to make it appeal to everyone but reflect us, too.
We knew it had the potential to be cold and wet so we made sure there were blankets and brollies for everyone, thank goodness. We did a lot ourselves, like making the invitations, place-names and signs, and setting up games for guests to play in the bar area (beer pong and cornhole). Anthony’s sister also made up some cute party bags, with games, colouring books and sweets for the kids, which went down a treat.
We’ve got two big fat grey cats at home, and they made an appearance on little card props too.
Our ceremony was a humanist ceremony, facilitated by Debra from Inspirational Ceremonies in Kendal. It was a pleasure working with her to put together such a personal ceremony.
I don’t think there was a single favourite moment from the day – it was just very overwhelming, but in a really good way, from start to finish. It’s very special to have everyone you care about in one room and to have the chance to celebrate together. I really loved the speeches – but I didn’t have to do one, thankfully!
We had a few days away in Sardinia to unwind after all the madness of the wedding, but our main honeymoon is planned for spring next year, to Vietnam.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, try not to worry too much about the details – you and your guests will have an amazing time whatever decisions you make. Looking back on it, you’ll remember the laughter, smiles and emotions of the day, not the tableware! I’d also say a couple of wet-weather plans are a good idea. Hopefully you won’t need them, but if people are stuck inside, it’s even more important to make sure that the kids especially have something to do. We had beer pong and cornhole, and these were great – I just wish we’d had more time to join in with everyone!