Real Weddings

wild flowers & fairy lights for a vintage wedding in north yorkshire – natalie & james

03rd October 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

Fine taste is certainly something today’s featured couple have in abundance, choosing a Michelin starred venue for their wedding celebrations and dressing it in glorious twinkly fairy lights and the prettiest sprays of wild flowers in rich purples, reds and pinks.

Natalie wears a silky, one-off, vintage-style gown in a luxurious champagne colour and with elegant cut-away back finished with pearl buttons, that we just adore! Knowing she was slipping on a design worn by no other bride in the world must have given Natalie an extra-special tingle as she prepared herself to exchange vows with James.

In terms of details, we love the gin bottles glowing with fairy lights as table centre pieces and the wire work cake topper and table plan, all adding to the vintage feel Natalie was aiming for. As the sun went down, the fire pits heated up and the marshmallows came out – all in all, despite it being a summer wedding, Natalie and James achieved a really cosy atmosphere for a friendly and intimate big day.

With images by Eleanor Woodruff.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

natalie says

: We got engaged at Langley Castle on 21st March 2015. James took me away for the weekend; it was a kind of mystery tour as I wasn’t allowed to see where we were driving to! We pulled up to this amazing castle and he’d booked the most amazing room (which I must admit, being in an old castle, was also a little creepy). We were getting ready to go down for dinner and we sat down on the bed to have a glass of bubbles when he suddenly got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. To this day I still don’t think I said yes, as I was absolutely speechless.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

We got married on 21st July 2018 at Cross House Lodge, which is the hotel belonging to The Star Inn, Harome. I have always loved Harome; it’s a very pretty village with thatched cottages. Neither of us wanted a church or registry office wedding so this place was ideal. We could get married there, have our wedding breakfast and we could have family and friends to stay with exclusive use. Perfect.

I would recommend the venue to anyone getting married. It’s absolutely stunning, in an equally stunning part of North Yorkshire. Perfect for an intimate wedding, they can cater for weddings with 40 people in the wheel house. Anything bigger than that and you can hire a marquee to put in their field. The food is amazing, and they do an excellent breakfast! The rooms are beautiful and each one is very different. When we said to people we were getting married there, everyone expected it was going to be mega bucks, but it’s not as pricey as you may think. The staff were very helpful too.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

When it came to a theme, I just wanted to keep our wedding style simple. I guess it was kind of a vintage/boho theme. I didn’t have a particular wedding colour scheme: I just wanted it to look vintage with multi-coloured wild flowers and twinkly fairy lights.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

My dress was a vintage-style silk gown (which at the moment is a one-off). It was handmade in York by Hayley who has a bridal range called Rolling In Roses, which she sells at her shop in Micklegate, Glory Days Bridal. I originally went to look at the vintage section at Glory Days as I was trying to be good and not spend a fortune, but nothing seemed to suit me. Hayley then showed me her Rolling In Roses collection and I just fell in love with it. The dresses are out of this world! The dress I chose ticked all the boxes: it was flattering, had sleeves (as I don’t like my arms), had lots of detail on the bodice with it being devore silk, and had a transparent back fastened with pearl buttons.

My shoes were from Dune’s wedding collection. My earrings were from my mum and I also wore one of her brooches in my hair.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

James wore a blue Hugo Boss suit with a shirt and tie from Next. His shoes were by Carmina from Old Sole in York. James’ dad (best man) wore a suit from Marks & Spencer and the same tie as James.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

My maid of honour wore the Coral Ruffle Poppy dress from Blonde & Wise, who are dress designers in Gomersal. Helen Ainsworth of Hair and Makeup North did our hair and makeup.

Another special member of the wedding party was our Border Terrier, Jess, who wore a matching collar, bowtie and lead from Hiro & Wolf.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

Our photographer was Eleanor Woodruff. I looked at her website and immediately loved her style. We couldn’t have chosen anyone better – the pictures are amazing, and she was so discrete. I would highly recommend Eleanor.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

The flowers were provided by Kate Mell based in Boston Spa. I carried a bouquet of wild flowers, which were tied using off-cuts from my dress. She did two bouquets, two buttonholes and tied together some sticks to make two tepees. She also provided a couple of boxes of loose flowers, as I collected everything from her and did the vases for the tables myself with a little help from a cousin and my maid of honour. We also arranged the flower tepees, which we had outside the venue. As I wanted to keep it quite vintage looking, I sourced all the vases myself from local charity shops, Etsy, eBay and local vintage shops. I borrowed some old coffee jars from a friend and decorated them with some hessian ribbon with a lace overlay.

For the centre pieces, I got some empty gin bottles from the four Yorkshire gin companies I chose for my table names (Whitby Gin, Rare Bird Distillery, York Gin and Cooper King Gin) and put some bottle fairy lights inside them. I bought all the fairy lights from Lights 4 Fun in Harrogate. The birdcage table name holder came from The Wedding of My Dreams.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

When it came to the favours, as our tables were named after Yorkshire gins, I got in touch with York Gin and got some miniatures to give to people. For the non-drinkers, I got some macarons from Florian Poirot who is based in Talbot Yard, Malton.

As a special touch, I also did hangover recovery kits for the people who stayed over. I bought the bags from Ocado (Ginger Ray) and popped in a can of coke, packet of crisps, chocolate, sweets and some paracetamol.

For our invitations, place cards, table names and thank you cards I used Amy at I Love and Love, who is amazingly helpful.

For the cake, we chose a semi-naked sponge cake with fruit and flowers. The top tier was fresh raspberry and vanilla, and the bottom tier was blackberry and elderflower. It was made by Lois at Miss Friday, who is based in Wistow. I had a cupid’s heart with initials wedding topper made by The Letter Loft.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

The food and wine was a nightmare to choose as everything looked so delicious and, with it being a Michelin starred restaurant, we knew it would be delicious. We chose a vegetarian, fish and meat dish for the first two courses and then something fresh, fruity and chocolatey for pudding. We had rosé prosecco and merlot, which was provided by the venue, and we provided our own white as it worked out cheaper to do that and pay corkage.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

We didn’t arrange any entertainment – we just popped our favourite songs onto an iPod. We wanted our day to be super relaxed. In the evening, we lit fire pits, toasted marshmallows, made s’mores and chilled out.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

When it comes to my favourite part of the day, I don’t know if I could pinpoint it. It was all amazing from start to finish. I just wish it had gone a little slower.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

We haven’t had a honeymoon just yet. We work together in the family business, so it’s difficult to get time off together. We’re hoping to go in November when work is a bit quieter.

Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North is simply to relax and have fun.

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