The swoon-worthy wedding of Rachel and Chris brings both style and elegance together in a beautiful ‘modern botanicals’ theme. Lush eucalyptus and succulents are lit with tasteful copper lanterns on the tables and spill from the bride’s luxurious, scent-filled bouquet.
Choosing a scheme of grey and copper, Rachel cleverly weaves her delicate, modern colour scheme throughout the whole day, with no detail left to chance; from the copper writing on the confetti cones and order of service at the church, to the Mr and Mrs cake topper and charming marble place names, on which the guests’ names were painstakingly written in copper calligraphy by Rachel and her mum. Grey is a sophisticated choice for the bridesmaids’ dresses, and tones beautifully with the elegant surroundings and pale colourway of the venue.
The bride is stunning in a Blue by Enzoani gown, which brings old Hollywood glam together with modern elegance in a halterneck dress of lace and tulle, with a daring keyhole back. Hiring a classic car to travel from the church to the reception only added to the glamour, while also giving Rachel and Chris some time together to celebrate exchanging their vows. Tell us more, Rachel…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd-Clarke Photography.
rachel says: Chris proposed in a gorgeous restaurant called Kat and Theo in New York, in August 2016. As I went to pick up my drink, Chris slid the ring box on to the table – lots of crying and “Oh my Gods” happened before I realised I hadn’t actually said yes! We then celebrated with cocktails in the square of the Rockefeller Centre.
We got married on 7th April 2018. I wanted all of my family from Canada to be able to join us and Easter is the best time for them to fly here. Plus, I’m a teacher so it meant we could have a week beforehand to prepare and a week after to relax. Spring is also our favourite time of the year.
The ceremony was at St Michael and All Angels Church in Middleton Tyas, and the reception was at nearby Middleton Lodge. My parents live close by and we had been to the Coach House at Middleton Lodge several times before and absolutely loved it. The fact that they have a cellar bar that opens until 2am was also a big selling point! The church is really cute, up a country road and surrounded by fields.
I would absolutely recommend the venue to other engaged couples. My bridesmaids, mum and I stayed at the farmhouse on the estate the night before the wedding, which was perfect. The farmhouse itself is absolutely gorgeous and we enjoyed a meal together for my final night as a ‘miss’. On the morning of the wedding, we were then all together in the living room while we had our hair and makeup done.
Middleton Lodge itself was amazing. Our wedding co-ordinator (Chloe) was so attentive and reassuring – I am quite a control freak, which I think she soon realised so she kept me up to date with everything that was going on and made sure it all looked how I had imagined. She was brilliant and made sure the day ran perfectly. I also loved having lots of people stay at the lodge with us and then we all enjoyed a delicious breakfast the next day.
For the theme, we wanted quite a modern, botanical style and not so much a ‘traditional’ wedding style. I wanted lots of succulents, eucalyptus, etc. to be the main style of flower. We went for a grey and copper colour scheme, with lots of greenery in the flowers.
My dress was from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and it was called Ingwiller by Blue by Enzoani. It was the second wedding dress shop I visited and it was after a long day at work, so I very nearly cancelled the appointment as I didn’t think I was in the right mood for trying on dresses! I then tried on a couple that I liked in a slight boho style, when the consultant (who was amazing!) recommended that I try on something a bit different. I put it on and burst into tears! I absolutely loved it and had so many compliments. I chose a long veil to go with it and wore shoes from Monsoon.
Chris had a tailor-made jacket and waistcoat from Moss Bros. He chose a grey bird’s eye fabric with copper thread for the button holes and a copper inscription inside with the date of our wedding. He then wore black trousers, black shoes and a copper tie.
The groomsmen wore a French Connection light grey waistcoat and jacket from Moss Bros, which we hired. They then wore black trousers, black shoes and a copper tie to match Chris’ Their button holes were wrapped in a copper ribbon. The dads were in charcoal grey suits with a waistcoat that matched Chris’.
The bridesmaids wore a really light grey bridesmaid dress, which I absolutely loved. I had found Maids to Measure dresses online and fell in love with their Soho dress. Luckily, Sophie Likes in Harrogate, stocks them so we went to try on at her shop. All of my bridesmaids are absolute babes so would’ve looked amazing in anything but they all loved this dress and I felt it was a bit different to standard bridesmaid dresses. They then wore light grey satin heeled sandals.
Lucy Matthews did our makeup and she was incredible. It lasted for the entire day and all of us felt flawless! I would highly recommend her to any soon-to-be brides.
Chris’ main job for the wedding was to hire himself a car, which he has always wanted to do! He got an AC Cobra from Classic Car Hire North in Keighley, so he and his best man collected it the day before and drove to the wedding in it. He then drove himself and me from the church to the reception in it after the ceremony. It was a bit of a squeeze to get the train of my dress in it! We really enjoyed having ten minutes together just to breathe and talk about the service. To get to the church, my dad and I went in an old cream Jaguar and my bridesmaids went in a grey Morris Minor that our neighbour owns (and he kindly chauffeured it for us too).
Our photographer was Bethany, of Lloyd-Clarke Photography, and she was fantastic! Chris doesn’t particularly like having his photo taken and I was very conscious of the fact that I didn’t want to leave the guests for a long time while we went off to have a big photoshoot, and Bethany suited this perfectly. For the majority of the photos, we completely forgot that she was there, and she captured so many natural moments. For the more organised photos, she took these really quickly and we felt so relaxed. We’re currently in the process of choosing which ones to put in the album but it’s too hard as they’re all amazing.
Our florist was Eliza Blooms in Darlington, and we couldn’t have picked better. I carried a gorgeous bouquet with lots of eucalyptus, succulents, ranunculas and lots of other greenery. The bridesmaids had a smaller version and my flower girl had a flower crown.
Beth at Eliza Blooms also decorated the church and venue and they looked incredible. At the church we had a beautiful arrangement by the pulpit and then two at the entrance. Again, these were very botanical, with a little bit of grey and white running through them. We had copper rings at the end of the pews that were wrapped in eucalyptus. Some friends then carried the entrance arrangements over to Middleton Lodge, so we could make the most of them. We also brought the copper rings over and dotted them around the marquee.
Also, in the marquee, Beth constructed two fantastic hanging rings that were covered in eucalyptus and jasmine. They looked amazing and had just the ‘wow’ factor that I had been hoping for. The tables had a range of copper lanterns and terrariums on. Some tables then had flower rings on, whilst the others had greenery and succulents dotted around them. For the seating plan, we used a copper wire grid and Beth covered the top of it in eucalyptus. Our top table was the main event, however! It had a long train of eucalyptus with copper lanterns dotted along it – it looked amazing.
When it came to the favours we called on my best friend/maid of honour Lucy, and her sister Jane, who own a bakery business called Tarte and Berry and they make the best tray bakes. We had a range of white chocolate and raspberry brownies, triple chocolate brownies, lemon and blueberry crumble and berry crumble that they cut into bite-sized pieces and put into small white boxes. We then made personalised grey stickers to go on the top and also wrapped grey ribbon around them. I think the majority of them were eaten before the food came – everyone loved them.
For the cake, I didn’t want a traditional style and had seen a marble effect cake on Pinterest that I loved. My mum and I found Cakcophony Wedding Cakes and the cakes tasted amazing! It’s owned by a lovely lady called Annette, who is a retired nurse. She invited me and Chris to her house to taste different sponges and we decided to have four different types; chocolate orange, toffee, lemon and fruit cake. The end result looked perfect and just like the original image I had found. Everyone also praised how delicious it was; I would highly recommend Annette.
Food-wise, for our canapés we chose a chicken tartlet, arancini, steak and chips, pork rillette, bruschetta with pesto, and king prawns with aioli and we had champagne as our welcome drink. For the starter, we had duck egg, chorizo, potatoes, peas and spring onion (red and golden beetroots, goat’s curd, hazelnuts and raspberries for the vegetarian option); for the main, we had Yorkshire chicken with black garlic, smoked fondant potato and kale (seasonal risotto, parmesan crisp and hen’s egg for vegetarians); for dessert, we had lemon posset with raspberry granita and almond crumble. In the evening, we had street food, where people could choose from avocado and mixed bean burrito, lamb kebab or shredded chicken and aioli. It was perfect and felt really relaxed for people to snack on whilst we were dancing.
For entertainment, our band was amazing! They were called Hipster and we found them on the Alive Network. As soon as they arrived, they introduced themselves to us and were so friendly. They played our first dance for us (Yellow by Coldplay) and did three live sets. In between the sets they did DJ sets for us. The range of music was perfect, and the dance floor was constantly busy. We have had so many compliments about them since; they were ace.
Other special touches included the cellar bar, which was perfect for when the marquee closed, and we were able to use it from 12am-2am. The majority of the guests went downstairs for lots more drinking and dancing! We also had sweets in the cellar bar that were demolished pretty quickly.
Also, because we had quite a few children coming, I wanted to make sure they also enjoyed themselves and were kept entertained. We had a tepee made and called it the ‘Fox Cubs’ Den’ (Chris’s surname!) and we filled it with books, toys, crayons, etc. We then brought it down to the marquee after the food, so the younger children could nap in it. We also gave the children boxes on the tables with more colouring books, stickers, etc. to keep them entertained.
We also had a Polaroid camera with photo props that the guests took photos with and then they stuck them in our guest book with a little message – we had lots of fun looking at them the next day.
For the place names, I wanted something a little different, so my mum and I went on a calligraphy course at Middleton Lodge at the beginning of the year. We then bought hexagonal marble tiles on which I wrote all of the guests’ names in copper ink (it took a while!) and they fit perfectly with our scheme.
The day after the wedding, we invited family and the bridal party to my parents’ house, who had hired Pizza Social to provide delicious pizzas for us out of a wood-fired oven they had built in the back of a horse trailer. It was the perfect relaxed ending to the best weekend.
When it comes to my favourite part of the day, it’s so hard to choose! I loved walking into the church and seeing Chris at the end of the aisle with all of the people we love there to celebrate. The speeches were brilliant – they made us laugh and cry! The band was amazing and we were constantly up dancing; and the cellar bar was fab as none of us was ready to go to bed just yet!
We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet but, this summer, we are spending three nights in Singapore before going to Bali for two weeks, where we will be travelling around. We are staying in a treehouse in Ubud, an eco-lodge in the rice fields and then have an ocean-view suite with a private infinity pool (and a butler!) in Uluwatu. We have booked a cooking class and paddle boarding so far, but we mainly can’t wait to just explore the island (plus eat and drink too much). The weekend after the wedding we spent the day at Rudding Park (a present from Chris’s mum) which was the perfect way to relax after months of planning and preparation.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t stress! Whatever happens, it will be the absolute best day. Also, make sure you and your bride/groom have five minutes together just to enjoy being husband and wife.