We’re kick-starting your week with the utterly gorgeous wedding of Jess and Jonny, who celebrated their marriage in the glorious setting of the Yorkshire Dales, even enjoying their wedding breakfast outside against a backdrop of rolling green hills and under a beautiful spring sky.
Unafraid of a little DIY, Jess and Jonny threw themselves into making their day a true reflection of their taste and, with such a picturesque backdrop to complete the vision, they achieved it admirably.
Talented Jess made the cake herself – super impressive – and also styled the table centrepiece flowers, with help from family and friends. A preparation detail we love is that two days before the wedding, Jess visited a flower farm to pick the flowers for the big day – such a special personal touch and she evidently did a great job in selecting blooms that perfectly suited the rural setting with a lovely, rustic vibe.
We also admire Jess’ confidence in shunning a traditional wedding gown in favour of a pretty textured lace dress with spaghetti straps and a scallop-edged neckline. Teamed with a pair of pale blue shoes and pretty daisies in her hair, she pulls off a stylish yet effortless bridal look that we’re sure many brides-to-be would love to mirror!
With images by Maree Frances Photography.
jess says: We got engaged in our front room in Greenwich on 12th May 2015. It was one year after Jonny’s dad sadly passed away. It had been a very sad and difficult time, but it made us realise how important it was to appreciate what you have in life and celebrate it. We sat down together, talked about how we felt about each other and decided to get married. We talked about what sort of ring I would like and went to Liberty and picked one out. About a week later, Jonny came home with a little leather bag, inside which was my resized, polished engagement ring. He sat beside me and unceremoniously said, “Put it on then” and that was it. We were engaged.
We got married on 1st September 2018. We had been engaged for three years when we decided to finally get married. We were living in London and money was tight, so we had put it off. In March 2018 I was discussing our long engagement with my mum and how we were a little strapped for cash and she told me “jump and the net will appear”, so we jumped! We searched for a good few weeks for the perfect, affordable wedding venue and, as a last resort, I searched through the list of licensed wedding venues in North Yorkshire (where we now live) on the North Yorkshire County Council site. There I found Hazel Brow House, a beautiful house in Swaledale, and the weekends they had available for that year were 8th June and 1st September. June was too close, and 1st September had a lovely ring to it, so we decided on that date!
Hazel Brow House has stunning views and we felt at home there from the moment we stepped in the door. We wanted somewhere we could get married, have our reception and then fall into bed at the end of the night. We weren’t scared of a little DIY either, so it worked perfectly for us. It allowed us to build the wedding we wanted, and, with such a beautiful house and location, it was never going to go wrong. Ruth and Cath were absolutely fantastic and made us feel at home from the very first viewing.
We would absolutely recommend the venue to other brides- and grooms-to-be. We had the honour of being the first couple to get married at Hazel Brow House – if you want a laid-back, intimate wedding in incredible surroundings, this is the place for you! It had everything we were looking for: guest accommodation, great facilities for cooking and drinks prep and, of course, the setting was just amazing!
The colour scheme happened quite naturally. Jonny picked burgundy ties for him and his groomsmen, so that laid the foundation. I had the wonderful experience of picking my own wedding flowers with Verde Flowers. Caroline grows her own flowers on a farm in Sacriston, Durham. We both went up two days before the wedding and picked the bridal bouquet and the boutonnières. I gravitated towards burgundy and added soft neutral tones with a little dash of yellow. Everything else just fitted around that. The bouquet featured burgundy dahlias, astrantia, scabious, phlox and much more.
My dress was lace and by Self-Portrait. I bought it online after looking tirelessly for the right style. I spent a very long time looking for something that was modern and clean but also pretty and the Azaelea dress was perfect. I teamed it with a pair of soft blue, heeled sandals from Lauren by Ralph Lauren.
My hair was styled by Jade Walker of IDOHair and I did my makeup myself.
Our little bridesmaids wore dresses from Next.
Our photographer was Maree Frances Photography. Maree was fantastic. We wanted a photographer who would capture the day as it unfolded, and Maree did that absolutely perfectly. Looking back on our pictures is like reliving the whole day again. She captured every feeling and emotion of the day, which we have been reliving again and again. Her photography is real and true and flawlessly represented our day. What more can you ask for? I would 100% recommend Maree. She was incredible.
The flowers for the tables also came from Caroline at Verde Flowers. We went for a half DIY package, where she provided buckets of flowers and foliage and we were able to arrange the table flowers ourselves. It was a lovely way to get our families involved in creating our day.
As favours, we gave out mini cactuses.
I made the cake myself – six hours of mixing and baking and many more hours of icing! It was so worth it though. It featured my mum’s homemade jam, made from raspberries that we had picked a few months earlier. Everybody loved it.
For the food, we had barbecue sharing platters, which were lovingly made by The Outside Kitchen. For the drinks, we had a selection of white, red and rosé. We selected a Vino Verde, an Albarino, a Malbec and a Rose d’Anjou. We wanted something that would team nicely with our sharing platters but also offered some choice to our guests.
For the entertainment, one of Jonny’s groomsmen brought his decks and did a DJ set for the evening.
My favourite moment of the day was seeing Jonny break down in tears as I walked down the aisle to Songbird by Fleetwood Mac. I’ll never forget the feeling of being pronounced husband and wife. It is the greatest joy I have ever felt.
For our honeymoon, we went to Sedburgh in the Western Dales and stayed in an Airbnb. We took trips out to the Dales and the Lakes. It was divine – the perfect way to diffuse after the wedding.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute. It really is over in a flash. Take some time to enjoy each other and let the new husband and wife status set in.