There’s country charm aplenty in today’s real wedding, as we share Megan and Ben’s big day last October at The New Hobbit country inn at Sowerby Bridge.
The couple’s vision was all about the cosy and intimate vibes, offering their guests a chilled-out experience that saw them indulge in a luxe buffet that they could eat whenever and wherever they wanted. Expect a whole lotta Insta-worthy styling ideas too – think wooden logs, fairy lights, candles and lanterns. In other words, all the pretty!
But styling aside, we simply must draw your attention to Megan’s epic bridal day look. A fabulous two-piece made into her very own, unique gown. A reminder that if you’re having trouble finding ‘the one’ – you can always go out and create the dress of your dreams yourself!
With images by Hayley Baxter
Megan says: We got engaged on 17th July 2017; exactly two years since our first date. Ben suggested a trip to Malham Cove, as we once went there when we first got together, and we had found a little cave at the top of the rock that I loved as it was quiet with nobody else about. On the day of our engagement, we walked to the top of the cove and found the exact same spot we had found the year before (after walking for an hour in the complete opposite direction, which was funny when I knew how desperately he wanted to find the same place!). We sat down with our little girl Poppy and that was when Ben got down on one knee and popped the question. He filmed part of it too by pretending he was taking a photo of me and Poppy! It was just us three there and absolutely perfect.
We got married on 27th October 2018; we can’t say we chose that specific date for a reason, but we wanted an autumn wedding because of the warm colours and the crisp, cool weather.
We got married at the New Hobbit in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, (where I had once worked as a waitress!). Neither of us are religious, so never felt the need for a church wedding. We wanted a venue where the whole thing could be done without guests having to move from one place to another, as we wanted it to be as relaxed and hassle free as possible.
We always knew we wanted a low-key wedding because we’re just not the kind of people who want a big, grand event.
The New Hobbit is cosy, we love the warm, country style décor and it was fairly local to most of our guests. To us, our main aim (besides actually getting married!) was for a great evening do, and choosing a local venue meant people could come and have a good time, celebrating with us without having to pay for an hour-long taxi ride home!
There wasn’t a specific theme, but we wanted it to be chilled out and sort of free-flowing; basically for people to sit where they wanted, eat whenever and wherever they wanted and to just have a lovely day with us. We like cosy and intimate, so we stuck to warm fairy lights, candles and lanterns, logs, and black boards which me and my mum wrote on, with order of the day and what our day was about. We had, ‘Nothing Fancy, Just Love’ on the blackboard as you walked in, and this pretty much summed up our wedding.
I’ve always said I would have emerald green as a colour scheme if I got married. With being so ginger and pale, I just think the emerald green complemented this look and gave it more ‘pop!’ Ben really suits maroon, so we just went for that for his tie and pocket square, and the groomsmen matched the bridesmaids. There wasn’t really a colour scheme for anything else; we didn’t bother with chair sashes or anything like that…we basically did as little planning as possible. We never felt the need to plan little details, and as awful as it sounds, we just didn’t feel that interested in it!
My dress was actually a separate bodice and skirt, which was made into a dress. The bodice is Martina Liana and the skirt is Enzoani. It was the third ‘dress’ I tried on at Ava Rose Hamilton, Silsden and after trying a fishtail beforehand, I knew that simple, clean lines suited me much more and was definitely more ‘me’. I live in gym kit, and never look glamorous, so to have a big, fancy fishtail just didn’t suit my personality. I had draping straps added and we all thought it completely changed the whole look. When I went shopping for a dress, I wanted understated and something that I hadn’t seen on a load of other brides and, of course, a dress that Ben would think I looked amazing in.
My hair and makeup was done by Bow and Blush; they are sisters and are just so, so good at what they do. I didn’t want to look over done on the day, so as soon as I found them, I booked them. They work absolute miracles! Jade is unbelievable at achieving the natural look that lasts and Beth made my hair look amazing and everyone was so complimentary about the look she created. I literally gave them a 30-second brief of what I wanted at my trial and they completely out did my expectations. They are so down to earth and easy to talk to, to the point where it feels like they’re another two of your mates getting ready with you on the morning.
Ben wore a dark navy-blue three-piece suit from Joshua Adams, in Cleckheaton. We chose the maroon tie and pocket square from here too and had his suit and shirt altered to fit.
The groomsmen wore the same suit as Ben (but with a green tie).
My bridesmaids wore handmade dresses that Ben’s amazing grandma made. My bridesmaids couldn’t find a dress that they all agreed on, that didn’t cost a fortune, so Sylvia offered to make them. We chose a pattern and the emerald green fabric and Sylvia spent months chipping away at six dresses and I really can’t thank her enough! I wanted them to wear tea length with more body at the bottom, in total contrast to my fitted silhouette and to make it look less formal. My mum found satin belts with diamante gems on, from eBay. I found the girls some ivory heels with a gem buckle on the toe to match the belts, from Very.
Sylvia also made the dresses for our three flower girls, which we had originally bought in the M&S sale, but were age 13 years and our flower girls were aged one, two and six, so Sylvia picked them apart and re-did them and added a green sash to match the bridesmaids. She did an amazing job and the girls just looked gorgeous.
Hayley Baxter was our photographer and literally could not have done a better job if she tried! We wanted natural photos and Hayley’s blog from previous weddings drew us in. She was just amazing on the day. She drove us up to the Moor for our ‘photoshoot’ and got the most amazing shots of our ‘freshly married’ happiness! We felt completely relaxed with her and you can see this in our photos. She is so professional, and you can see that she completely gets how important it is to capture the day, as well as people’s raw emotions and the love that is just everywhere. She absolutely nailed it.
Natasha Jane Events did my bouquet and it was just divine. I originally wanted lots of foliage with the odd white flower, but once I’d spoken to Natasha about it, I decided I wanted deep, warm colours because she made it sound amazing! I had seen Natasha’s work through her Instagram page and knew that I wouldn’t be disappointed. It had deep red flowers, with blush ones popping through and filled with foliage. Our centrepieces, the lads’ button holes and the flowers across the mantlepiece all matched, and it looked so beautiful.
Natasha dressed the venue for us and made it look better than we ever thought possible. We had a huge flower arrangement across the mantlepiece which was behind us throughout our ceremony, with big glass vases with floating candles on either end. We had a log across the table as we signed the register, which matched the mantlepiece arrangement and looks so good on the photos.
There were lanterns down each side of the aisle which had moss and church candles in them, which made it look so cosy and intimate. The tables had log slices in the middle with the lanterns sat on top, again with the candles and moss and jars of flowers that matched the other centrepieces.
The tables were set with glasses of fruit because we had Pimms rather than wine. When it was set up, the colours of the fruit matched the flowers (by coincidence…not planned!) and it just made it look so lovely with all the vibrant, warm pops of colour. It all turned out perfectly and we don’t think Natasha could have made it look any better.
My mum made our wedding cake and it was gorgeous! We had a naked cake, which seems to be all the fashion at the minute, and it fit perfectly with our non-theme theme…rustic and chilled out. It was three-tier Victoria sponge dressed with fresh fruit and a wooden sign with ‘Mr & Mrs Morrill’ and the date. It sat on a huge log slice, which Natasha provided us with and looked perfect.
Our wedding breakfast was a hot buffet and a ‘free for all’ so that people could eat when and wherever they wanted. We were never bothered by a sit-down meal, so we opted for a ‘luxury buffet’. Ben was dubious about it at first, because he was worried it would come across as cheap, but it was honestly the best decision ever. Our guests all said how amazing it was to be able to eat when you wanted. It was served from 4pm to 6.30pm, so it was just perfect for people to eat as much or as little as they wanted in that time frame. The tables were set as if it was a three-course meal, so it still looked like a wedding, but just no seating plan.
The food itself was gorgeous with fresh salmon, beef, salads, warm breads, meatballs, pate…there were loads of options and more than enough to feed people three times over! As mentioned, we opted for jugs of Pimms and lemonade on the tables rather than wine; it complemented the way the tables were dressed, saved us a lot of money and went down a treat.
We had a DJ for the evening entertainment. My family love a good dance and I just think you can’t beat a DJ who can get everybody up! He was fab and had the dancefloor full most of the night.
I would say the special touches were the blackboards we had, which me and my mum had written on, about everything the day was about. Ben’s step mum sourced the boards and we wrote on them, and stood them on easels that we found at the car boot.
We would recommend The Hobbit to anybody who wants a low-key wedding. For us, it was completely perfect for what we wanted and having Natasha to make it look amazing, and Hayley to find great places for photos, made it even better. The food was lovely, it’s perfect for guests to stay over in the hotel on the day, and it’s big enough for plenty of guests, whilst still being small enough to feel intimate.
We knew the day would go well and that it would look nice, but it turned out to be far better than we had expected! It didn’t need much dressing up on our part, which was perfect for us.
Our favourite part of the day was during the ceremony when the registrar asked if there were any objections to our marriage and our little girl, Poppy (18 months at the time) who had been quiet throughout the whole thing, shouted ‘no’ right on cue! You honestly could not have written it! The whole room just fell about laughing and didn’t stop for ages! It just made the whole thing feel so natural and it’s a memory that will stay with us forever.
The ceremony itself was very ‘us’, with several mis-pronunciations of our last name (by the registrar!) which unintentionally kept us all laughing, and then the outburst by Poppy, it just felt like a room full of love and laughs, and perfect for us to say our vows.
We went to a log cabin in North Yorkshire for our honeymoon/familymoon. We couldn’t bear to be away from Poppy for more than a night, and we weren’t bothered about going abroad as we’d already been away to Dubai in the May, so we decided to find somewhere that we could just chill out for a few days, eating and drinking. We stayed at Sun Hill Lodges in Leyburn and it was unbelievable. We had a huge cabin with a hot tub and it was so secluded; just what we had wanted. We spent the days going for walks and then stopping for tea and cakes. It was a lovely little break; we’d definitely go back.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be: don’t get into debt, save where you can and don’t worry about cutting corners. We literally did the bare minimum for our wedding and it was perfect. We paid for our wedding ourselves and we couldn’t bear the thought of being left with debt after getting married, because for us, it just isn’t worth it. We splurged on our photographer because we knew that, when it’s all over, it’s the photos that are left. Choose wisely where you spend your money, and make sure that it’s you who will benefit from it, because it’s your day and it really is about you. Shop around, and don’t be too proud to go looking for a bargain!
And lastly, don’t listen to people who tell you that being married doesn’t feel any different… it does, it feels 1,000 times better.