Real Weddings

That’s Magic. A Garden Party Wedding at Rudding Park – Luke & Beth

10th January 2019 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s adorable couple have been together since they were 16 and, like a picture-perfect love story that saw Luke propose to Beth at Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World Florida, they subsequently tied the knot at one of our favourite venues, Rudding Park.

And yes, before you ask, there was a sprinkling of Disney magic on their big day, too!

Going with a summer garden party theme – think street party vibes and bunting (400m no less!) – the newlyweds treated their guests to a host of fun outdoor games, including Jenga and Boules. They also surprised their guests with a spectacular fireworks display, giving us all those Instagram-worthy feels!

They certainly wanted to put their own stamp on the day, with a DIY approach to some of the styling elements, a choreographed first dance mash-up, and the bride even ‘performed’ her own speech – and on that note we’ll pass the blog over to Beth to tell all!

With images by Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.

Proposal

Beth says: We got engaged on 2nd August 2016. We were on holiday in Disney World Florida with my parents and sister. Whilst we were there, it was my 21st Birthday. Luke took me for an early morning birthday breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle claiming it was a birthday gift. Walking into the castle, we were placed on a table with a view across the whole of Magic Kingdom. After ordering and eating our breakfast, a waiter came across to the table and placed a silver plate covered with a cloche in front of me. He then lifted the cover to reveal Cinderella’s glass slipper and rose petals. When I looked up from the plate, Luke was down on one knee. Of course, I said yes and the whole restaurant erupted with applause. A photographer was there to capture the whole proposal!

Setting

We got married on Thursday 2nd August 2018. We chose this date because it was two years exactly since Luke asked me to marry him and it was a lovely way for me to be surrounded by friends and family on my birthday.

We got married at Rudding Park, Harrogate. We chose the venue because it was everything we could ever imagine in a wedding venue. We looked around so many locations but nowhere else compared. The food at Rudding Park is incredible and, as food lovers, we were really excited to have such a delicious wedding breakfast.

Rudding Park also had all the facilities to host the entirety of our wedding day. The accommodation for the wedding party meant our guests could stay to party into the evening and both Luke and I could get ready at the hotel on the morning of the wedding.

We also adored the new spa at Rudding Park, which Luke and I used to relax the day before the wedding and celebrate the day after. The space for our reception was perfect – we had access to a whole separate wing of the hotel including a bar room, library (where we hosted our civil ceremony as you can’t legally tie the knot in their chapel), outdoor terrace and a giant banquet room.

Every room was beautiful and the outdoor grounds of Rudding were stunning for our photographs. Rudding Park’s little chapel in which we hosted our wedding ceremony – it was such a breath-taking and intimate space to share our vows.

Finally, as we are both from Yorkshire, we felt the amazing wedding team at Rudding Park and everything Rudding stands for encapsulated everything we love about Yorkshire, especially the food, the outdoors and the community atmosphere.

Theme

We had a summer garden party theme for our wedding. We decorated the Radcliffe Room (our reception room) with homemade bunting, our guests drank out of teacups, and we had a wide range of outdoor games for our guests the play with on the garden terrace.

Luke and I love the summer due to the sun and light evenings, so this was something we wanted to celebrate. We also like street parties and wanted to make our wedding similar, so it was about a celebration of the community we share rather than the marriage of two people.

We also chose an aqua blue and silver colour scheme.

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Dress

I had two dresses – both from Wed2B. It was actually the first shop I went to with my mum, sister and Luke’s mum. I had a short dress named Roxy for our civil ceremony and evening reception. It was the first dress my sister (and maid of honour) picked up when we went shopping. I loved the tea-length and delicate flowers which covered the bodice – a real party dress!

I also had a long lace fishtail dress named Megan for our wedding ceremony in the chapel and wedding breakfast. I fell in love with the shape of the dress and illusion back – I felt like a princess.

Beauty

Anna Stephenson and Becky Emney did the amazing hair and makeup on the day.

Groomsmen

Luke wore a three-piece blue Ted Baker suit from Moss Bros with a yellow tie. The groomsmen wore matching suits to Luke.

Bridesmaids

My bridesmaids wore long dresses from David’s Bridal. They all chose their own style to suit their personalities and preferences, but we ordered them all in the colour ‘Spa’ to match our theme.

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Photography

Bethany Lloyd-Clarke was our photographer and she was absolutely amazing! We could not recommend her highly enough and we are blown away by the photographs of our special day. We chose Bethany because we love her candid style of shooting and she did not disappoint. Her photos capture the pure emotion of our wedding day right from the start to the very end. Bethany was so lovely and she felt more like a guest than our wedding photographer.

Videography

We would highly recommend our videographer, Andy Stelmach. He was phenomenal. Andy stayed from first thing in the morning to well into the evening and captured the most beautiful moments of our day. Andy was so extremely friendly and flexible and so many of our guests came up to us to say how lovely he was! Our wedding films are so emotive – we both cried watching them back because they are truly perfect.

Styling

Our flowers were provided by Flowers by Colette, who is based at Rudding Park. I carried a neat posy of white roses, white lisianthus, gypsophila, matricaria small daisies, spray roses and foliage. The bridesmaids carried posies of gyp, and the groom and groomsmen had a single white rose. Both of our mums had white rose lapel flowers.

Colette also provided us with tied gyp for our church pews and the main staircase in the hotel.  For the top table, we had a range of white roses, white lisianthus, gypsophilia, and matracaria small daisies styled in teacups and vintage jugs. On our guest tables we had floating candles and ring flowers of roses, white lisianthus, gypsophila, matricaria small daisies and blue hydrangea.

We hired lots of lighting decorations from Marvellous Glow including giant love letters, pillar fairy lights, twinkle star cloth and paper lanterns. Our reception room looked stunning from day to evening because of them.

One of Luke’s childhood friends offered to make our wedding favours as her wedding gift. She handmade more than 200 truffles which were salted caramel and cookie dough flavoured (two of our favourites!).

Cake

Our cake was made by Mary from Quite Contrary Cakes. We had four tiers of different flavours: Baileys, chocolate orange, Victoria sponge and lemon. All the tiers were decorated differently, including ruffled flowers, silver lustre, aqua blue and white marble and plain white. Our cake topper was a miniature version of the bunting, which was hanging from the ceiling of our reception room.

Dining

Our canapés included mini fish and chips, macaroons, smoked applewood and bacon flutes, and chargrilled marinated vegetables.

Our wedding breakfast consisted of home cured salmon with lemon, dill, pumpernickel, leaves and flowers; followed by corn fed chicken accompanied by truffle butter, saffron chateaux potatoes, broccoli, and carrot purée. To finish, we had a trio of raspberries with chocolate torte, champagne jelly and cold soufflé. Our evening guests were also served pizza!

We picked our wedding breakfast based on some of our favourite flavours. I loves fish and it was I introduced Luke to it when we first met. We both adored the chateaux potatoes, and the mini fish and chips were served in little newspaper cones which reflected our Yorkshire hearts. We also wanted our menu to reflect the summer garden party theme, particularly our dessert.

Another little treat for our evening guests was a sweet table stocked with our favourite treats!

Entertainment

For our evening guests we had a photobooth – the pics were an hilarious favour for them to take home – and Luke and I also got a copy of every photo taken as a memento of the night. It was great to see everyone having fun with the props and making memories together.

For our wedding ceremony and drinks reception we had Trio Vivo – a violinist, pianist and cellist. They arranged and learned all of the songs for our ceremony, which was incredibly special and set the tone for our day perfectly. They also played some of our favourite songs for the drinks reception, including Disney classics!

We hired a range of outdoor games and deckchairs for our drinks reception on the garden terrace. It was lovely to see family and friends playing Jenga and Boules together in the sunshine. It also reflected our theme amazingly!

Rudding Park included a DJ in our wedding package and he provided our entertainment for the evening reception. He allowed us to create our own playlist and he kept the dancefloor full from 7pm till 1am.

As the summer day turned to night, we also had a firework display which was a surprise for our guests. It was a really romantic way to tie our evening together.

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Special touches

My mum made over 400m of bunting to decorate the wedding reception room. Luke and I selected four fabrics to match the colour theme and my mum cut and stitched the bunting together. We’re not sure how she managed to do it but we’re so grateful because it was one of the main reasons our wedding venue looked so beautiful and how our summer garden party theme was achieved!

My dad upcycled a wooden pallet to help create our unique seating plan display. Luke designed the idea and my dad made it reality. Each table had a hanging plant pot with a different flower and the guests’ names written on planting sticks.

Every table was named after a famous Disney couple. The guests at the table had to guess their Disney couple based on a quote from the film. Some of the couples included: Minnie and Mickey, Wall-E and Eve, Woody and Buzz, and Cinderella and Prince Charming.

Many of our friends travelled from around the globe to be there for our day. In particular, Luke’s friend from Chicago travelled all the way from the USA to conduct our wedding blessing. He created the most heart-warming ceremony.

Despite Luke’s initial reluctance, we had a choreographed first dance to a mash up of some of our favourite songs. It involved the start of the Dirty Dancing routine to Time of My Life, Marry You by Bruno Mars, Everything by Michael Buble, Perfect by Ed Sheeran and a show-stopping lift to Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King.

For our firework display – we got our guests all out the front of the venue at 9pm and told them we wanted a group photo. Our videographer started a countdown for our guests to say ‘cheese’ but really Luke and I pressed the start button on the fireworks which were released behind them. We highly recommend The Fireworkers who created the most beautiful surprise display for our guests.

As a surprise, Luke wrote on the underside of my wedding shoes and got one of his groomsmen to drop off my ‘something blue’ necklace to her door when I was getting ready.

Untraditionally, I also did a speech at the wedding breakfast. It was even more unusual when I began singing, remixing and changing the words to some of their favourite songs.

Thanks to

We could not recommend Rudding Park highly enough. It is perfect in every single way. They have everything you could ever need for your wedding all in one place. The wedding team were astounding and helped us arrange our perfect day. There was nothing they couldn’t do for us and they accommodated all our requests without hesitation. All the staff at the hotel were so welcoming. The hotel and its facilities are impeccable, and the Yorkshire countryside is the perfect backdrop for a special day.

Best bit

Our favourite part of the day was the personalised wedding ceremony conducted by our dear friend from Chicago. He made it so personal to us – as individuals and also as a couple. We were blown away by how emotional and touching the ceremony was.

I also had a stand out moment in the middle of the wedding breakfast. I put down my knife and fork, sat back in my chair and looked around the room. It was incredible to see everyone’s smiling faces enjoying the day, getting to know new friends and sharing in our special day.

Honeymoon

Being from Yorkshire, we went on a minimoon to Whitby. We later headed to Kuramathi in the Maldives. Perfection doesn’t explain how marvellous our honeymoon was. We ate delicious food, walked on golden sand and swam with turtles and sharks in crystal clear waters.

Advice

My top tip for Brides Up North is not stress about the small details of your wedding day. You can’t plan for every occasion and every situation. Do what makes you happy and enjoy every second because the day flies by in a second so cherish every moment.

Luke’s top tip for planning your upcoming wedding would be to set up a wedding email. Give this email out to all your suppliers and use it to email guests. This helped us to manage the endless to do lists of wedding planning.

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