Today’s newlyweds, Michaela and Paul fell in love with their venue Barmbyfields Barn instantly and swapped their vision for a summer wedding for one of the barn’s limited winter dates instead.
Candles, fairy lights, velvet, mulled wine and gingerbread all set the scene for their festive themed day. Throw in a combination of ivy, eucalyptus, thistles, berries, skimmia and red flowers with accents of apricot, and you’ve got a sumptuous seasonal palette.
Other details to pore over include their pork pie wedding cake with not one but four different flavours (created with their winning pie and a pint combo in mind) and customised port bottles as favours. Indulgence at its finest! Here’s Michaela to tell us more…
With images by Photography34
Michaela says: We got engaged in October 2017, on the balcony of our hotel in Zanzibar overlooking Stone Town; we had been for a week’s Tanzanian African safari prior to travelling onto Zanzibar. We stayed in Stone Town for a few days and had another few days on the beach learning how to scuba dive. Paul proposed just before we went for a tasting menu on the rooftop of our hotel (Emerson Spice). We watched the sunset over the harbour with some bubbly.
We got married on 15th December 2018. We had originally envisaged getting married in the summer, however we fell in love with the venue after seeing it and they only had winter dates available until 2020. We were not planning on waiting that long and on reflection we thought that a Christmas wedding would actually be perfect as we could take the opportunity to make it very festive and it would mean a lot to see all of our friends and family together at the special time of year.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Barmbyfields Barn in Barmby Moor near York. Neither of us are religious and although I love church weddings, we felt it may be a little hypocritical. The ceremony barn is what initially drew us to the venue. It was every bit as beautiful as a church and it was all in one place so easier for our guests, particularly given the time of year!
The theme was festive/winter. We wanted lots of candles, fairy lights, velvet, and mulled wine to feel really warm and festive. We dressed the ceremony barn with Christmas trees and had a festive dessert table with gingerbread houses, yule logs etc.
We chose burgundy for the bridesmaids and the men’s ties and pocket squares. Looking at Pinterest, the bouquets I was particularly interested in all had deep reds with a lot of foliage which tied it all in. Deep reds also feel very festive, wintery and rich. The suits were a dark navy with grey waistcoats (again with deep red berries in the buttonholes).
I chose an Atelier Pronovias dress, called Rierol. I chose this dress as I wanted to still feel sexy but in an elegant way. It was really different from anything else I tried on. I liked that the dress accentuated my waist as I think it is one of my best features. I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden.
Paul wore a suit from Bridgewater Menswear (a family business run by the brother of Ava at Ava Rose Hamilton). It was a dark blue with dark grey tweed waistcoat. Paul also splashed out on some gorgeous Church’s shoes and wore Vivienne Westwood cufflinks to complete the look.
The groomsmen wore the same outfits as Paul.
Our makeup was done by Ashleigh’s Artistry – she is my friend and was also a guest at the wedding so did a fantastic job getting us all sorted in time! Our hair was done by a local salon in the Pocklington Area – Mark Lee Hairdressing.
My dad has an Audi R8 and my mum has a Land Rover Defender, so we dressed these cars up for the day to take the bridal party to the venue. As the ceremony and reception were in the same place there was no need for any further transport.
We booked Tony Wilson from Photography34. We hadn’t met prior to the wedding but I had searched literally hundreds of photographers on Instagram. When I stumbled across Tony it seemed like fate as he has the perfect style for us and is based locally in Yorkshire. I really wanted a slightly moody style and a photographer who had shot images I liked indoors (knowing we would have limited day light in December with a ceremony starting at 2.30pm).
My flowers were heavily foliage with ivy, eucalyptus, thistles, berries, skimmia with dark rich red flowers with accents of apricot, supplied by Erica Berry Flowers based in Ilkley. We used five Christmas trees to decorate the top of the ceremony barn in front of the light curtain, supplied by a local Christmas tree farm.
The aisle chair flowers were decorated by Erica Berry with clusters of eryngium and berries with trailing foliage. The registrars’ table was also dressed with a garland of winter foliage interspersed with eryngium and berries.
The chiffon sash was provided by Cherry Williams Party Hire.
The table centrepieces consisted of wreaths and rings of winter foliage – again supplied by Erica.
Our favours were customised port bottles. After the dessert we had a cheese board and port was the perfect accompaniment.
We chose a pork pie wedding cake, provided by Chime and Hock based in Barnsley. There were four different varieties of pie – plain pork pie, black pudding and caramelised onion, chorizo and sweet pepper and huntsman’s pie.
We chose this rather than a traditional cake as firstly Paul loves pork pie, but also, people at the end of the night could have pie and a pint served with the evening food.
We also opted for a dessert table if anyone wanted something sweet.
Paul is a bit of a foodie, so he took charge of all the food. Our caterers were Purple Chilli, based in York. We had scallops and spiced belly pork with pickled apple puree to start. A duo of Yorkshire lamb (lamb cutlets and mini shepherd’s pie) with carrot and swede puree, fondant potato and red wine jus for main, and then sticky toffee pudding for dessert followed by a cheese board.
We also had canapés between the ceremony and reception and steak and onion sandwiches for evening food.
We had red and white wine for the tables – Tempranillo and Sauvignon Blanc during the meal. We thought that an even split of red and white wine would please everyone. We also had mulled wine and champagne between the ceremony and the reception.
We chose a string quartet for the ceremony and drinks and canapes afterwards – The Wedding String Quartet. We felt this would be a really lovely way to entertain guests before the ceremony started and they played arrangements of various classic love songs. Their repertoire was amazing, and we were able to request a song not on their list for me to walk down the aisle to.
For our evening entertainment we opted for a DJ from Night Owls. We just wanted everyone at the end of the night to dance and let loose. This is where we were able to save a bit of money compared to paying for a live band.
We bought a fairy light curtain for the main reception barn. The curtain was ten metres by eight metres to cover the entire wall – this really transformed the barn in my opinion and allowed for some stunning inside shots.
Our florist Erica also dressed the beams with garlands in keeping with the Christmas theme. I would 100% recommend Erica – I still look at all the pictures of our bouquets and how amazing the barn looked in complete awe.
Cherry Williams Party Hire provided little details such as the chiffon chair sash, candle votives and the post box for our cards which were lovely personal touches.
The food provided by Purple Chilli was fantastic – very reasonably priced and we had lots of people comment on the quality.
The owner of Barmbyfields Barn, Paul, was amazing – nothing was too much trouble. Harriet, who also works at the barn completely went above and beyond – even decorating my cake for me as I was getting ready that morning.
The barns are big and offer ample space for up to 120 guests. Also getting married at the same venue as the reception was a big bonus. The venue is something of a blank canvas as well and it was great being able to put our own spin on the special day.
My favourite part of the day was meeting my husband-to-be Paul at the end of the aisle. In the car on the way, I just couldn’t wait to see him. He told me I looked beautiful with tears in his eyes. That is probably my favourite memory ever.
Paul’s favourite part of the day was definitely looking down the aisle and seeing me appear after months of planning and anticipation. He says I looked absolutely amazing and it was such an emotional moment.
We had a five-day mini-moon in Sevilla straight after the wedding. As it was so close to Christmas we wanted to be back to celebrate with family. It was great to escape somewhere a bit warmer and take in the sights and history of the city. The food and drink were amazing – so many fantastic restaurants and tapas bars.
We have booked to go away for our full honeymoon for three weeks starting in Hong Kong for the first week and travelling to different areas in Japan for the other two in March 2019.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to not scrimp on the floristry, I think it’s a lot more important than people realise when it comes to the overall look and atmosphere of the venue and it really shows up on photographs.
Also, I would ensure you ask bridesmaids to just check over and ensure no adjusting is needed for hair or makeup before going for photos.
During the planning I used Brides Up North and other wedding blogs. I found it really helpful seeing what other brides prioritised in their budgets, as well as the suppliers they used and how they dressed their venue etc.