Real Weddings

Rich winter tones for a classic wedding at Merchant Adventurers’ Hall – Izzy & Rob

13th May 2019 | Alexis Forsyth

A medieval guild hall in York is today’s rather captivating setting for Izzy and Rob’s February wedding which, as the bride confesses, provided their big day with a real sense of occasion thanks to its fantastically preserved architectural features.

It’s no surprise that they chose to host their ceremony and reception all in the same spot!

With no particular theme other than making the day a personal one, the couple plumped for an elegant dark green, navy and mustard colour palette which worked beautifully with the snowdrops that featured in the bride’s bouquet.

Brass was another recurring motif for the day, with hubby-to-be Rob crafting brass table stands for the venue and a New York brass band entertaining guests with New Orleans style music.

Here’s Izzy to share all the best bits from their day – and a little reminder that not everything always goes to plan!

With images by Bethany Clarke


Izzy says: We got engaged in September 2017. Rob had surprised me the Christmas before with an ‘adventure’ for the two of us – he had booked a trip to Tanzania and later on decided that this would be the spot where he would propose. Rob originally planned to propose while we were on safari but couldn’t find the right moment. He eventually proposed on the last night of the trip at sunset in Zanzibar. He had managed to hide the ring from me for two weeks!


We tied the knot on Saturday 16th February. We chose this date as my birthday is in February and I’d always felt lucky to have something to look forward to in such a gloomy month, so we thought why not give our friends and family something to look forward to as well?! It also meant that our wedding day didn’t rely on good weather!

We got married at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in York. I studied history and have a strong sense of the history that surrounds me in my hometown. The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall is such an old but fabulously preserved building that it added a real sense of ceremony to our wedding (as we weren’t having a church wedding). It was also great to just be in one spot for the ceremony, dinner and party.


We didn’t have a set theme of style, we just wanted everything to feel personal and in keeping with the beautiful venue. Snowdrops were a flower that we used on the invites (as it’s the flower for February) and I also had some in my bouquet along with white roses for Yorkshire, of course.

Our colour scheme was dark green, navy and mustard. I wanted rich winter colours that would suit the foliage in my bouquet and worked with the brass and foliage table decorations. I also wanted the colour scheme to be in keeping with the look and feel of the venue.


I wore a full length, lace dress from Brides of York. I opted for long sleeves due to the time of year but also went for a completely backless style to make the dress feel a little more contemporary and to give it a twist.

My bridesmaid and I had gold lurex J Crew shoes – they were one of the favourite elements of my outfit and looked great for dancing later on.


Rob wore a navy suit and waistcoat from French Connection with a white shirt and mustard tie from TM Lewin. His shoes were Bertie. I also bought Rob some J Crew socks to wear (that he opened on the day of the wedding) with spacemen and planets all over them. The groomsmen wore the same as the groom.


My bridesmaid wore a dark green dress by Ghost and the same J Crew shoes as me.

Our flower girl (my two-year-old niece) wore a Mayoral navy dress with gold stars and gold sparkly Converse. Our ring-bearer (my five-year-old nephew) wore chinos, a white shirt and bow tie from Zara with braces from John Lewis and navy Converse. We wanted them to feel comfortable and the Converse looked so fun with their outfits.


I travelled from my hotel on the day in a Mercedes s class limousine – it was booked through Executive Cars York. I told my dad I was happy to get a taxi to the venue and he surprised me with a chauffeur driven car!


Our photographer was Bethany Clarke and I couldn’t recommend her more. She captured so many beautifully candid moments from our wedding day. We didn’t want lots of formal photos, as we wanted to see people enjoying themselves – we now have a beautiful collection to remember the day by.


My flowers were by Fleur Adamo in York. Katherine knew the venue really well and really understood what I wanted. I wanted flowers that worked for the time of year that complemented the overall aesthetic and what she did was incredible. When I first saw my bouquet I burst in to tears – of joy, I should add!

Katherine and Fleur Adamo decorated the venue using brass candlesticks and foliage on every table. We also had lanterns down the aisle which she provided.

Rob has an engineering company called Strobe Precision and worked with his dad to create bespoke brass table stands for all our tables. The stands were created to also hold two Polaroid snaps of myself and Rob as children. Another very personal touch!

We hired our chair covers with tasteful hessian sashes from Ambience Venue Styling York.

We decided not to do wedding favours and instead donated an item of food for every guest attending to local food bank, Walthamstow Eat or Heat.


My brilliant friend, Abbi Ollive, baked our cake. She has a very busy and successful career and a five-year-old but still found time to bake us the most amazing five tier lemon Madeira cake! This was then decorated with flowers in keeping with the bouquets.


We opted for hot canapes rather than a starter, then roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. We had a lot of friends up from London and wanted to give them the full Yorkshire experience. There was a nominated carver for each table, which was a good ice breaker for people who didn’t know one another. We then had treacle tart for dessert.

We opted for Cremant as our fizz. It made a great alternative to champagne. Then an Italian red (a Sangiovese) and an Austrian white (a Grüner Veltliner) – we wanted European wines that our guests would remember. We have both travelled a lot in mainland Europe and these were two of our favourite wines. We bought all our wine from Majestic York.


We wanted to create a real celebratory atmosphere and New York Brass Band were just the people for us. As a New Orleans style brass band, they either play traditional New Orleans style music or covers and we opted for their covers selection (this included everything from Walking On Sunshine to All You Need Is Love). They surprised all our guests by popping up at the end of the ceremony and playing Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics. They then played during the reception and after dinner – it was a fantastic way to get guests of all ages up on to the dancefloor.

This was followed by a DJ arranged by the band. They also arranged for a pianist to play us in on the venue’s grand piano – we opted for I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi as I walked down the aisle.

Special touches

We used my late grandfather’s military ceremonial sword to cut the cake – the same one my parents used at their wedding. It was a special moment for my whole family, including my grandma who was at the wedding.

We had our wedding invites designed by an amazing illustrator called Polly Crossman. She created our save the dates, table plan and name cards too – her style really fitted the aesthetic of our wedding – she created everything bespoke for us, using our choices of flowers in the invite and hand wrote all the name cards. It gave our wedding the personal touch we wanted right from the moment we sent the save the dates out.

Thanks to

Following our wedding, we would certainly recommend our venue to other couples. It’s a completely unique building that feels so special on your own special day. The Hall’s staff are also utter pros and supported us both through all the planning. It’s also great to have everything under one roof.

Best bit

Walking back down the aisle after we had got married to the sounds of New York Brass Band was my personal highlight. We had kept the band a secret for so long and all our guests were genuinely surprised.


Following our ‘adventure’ to Tanzania, we went to Sri Lanka for two weeks – we flew a few days after the wedding. It was great to go away so soon after, as we needed time together to process what a wonderful day it had been. We planned the trip ourselves and opted for a mixture of sightseeing and relaxing on the beach. We made six stops in all, visiting temples, tea plantations and deserted beaches.


My top for other Brides Up North would be: don’t worry about the little details too much. I’d spent days working on a table plan and it was only halfway through the meal that I realised everyone was sitting in the wrong seats. No one even noticed and some people even made new friends!

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