Real Weddings

Roses & lilies for a winter barn wedding at Hornington Manor – Vanessa & Tom

Alexis Forsyth

There’s a rustic charm to today’s fabulous real wedding at the luxurious Hornington Manor in Yorkshire. Think of a beautiful combination of calla lilies, roses, berries, ivy and freesia, paired with wooden logs and leaves, not to mention gorgeous textures of hessian and ribbon, and you’ll start to picture the scene!

Settling on a November wedding, Vanessa and Tom didn’t want to waste any time and chose the first available date at their gorgeous barn venue. As we at Brides Up North HQ hold two wedding shows at the exquisite Hornington Manor each year (the next being on the evening of Thursday 24th October, take note here ladies!) we can vouch first hand for its unique beauty and charm.

Showcasing a hint of vintage chic with her attire, the bride’s A-line gown perfectly matched with a sparkle encrusted veil and feather shoulder wrap – a wintertime essential for every bride, surely? Needless to say, there’s lots to pore over today so let’s get all the deets!

With images by M and G Photographic


Vanessa says

: We got engaged in October 2016. We booked a last-minute holiday to Mexico for some winter sun. A few days into the holiday Tom was adamant we had to go for a walk on the beach that night as he wanted to see how far away the next town was.

So, we headed off to the beach and walked about halfway down and turned around to go back – Tom was really quiet, which is unlike him. I started to head back up to the hotel when he said, let’s just chill here for a bit and look out to the sea and the moon. I turned to ask him why he was fidgeting when he threw my shoes and bag on the sand and got down on one knee! I don’t even think I said yes, I was too busy beaming and going in for the kiss!


We got married on 17th November 2018 – this was the first available date that the venue could offer so we snapped it up quickly.

We got married at St Mary’s Church in Whitkirk. We wanted a traditional church wedding and the building held sentimental value, with Tom’s mum and dad marrying there, and family members also laid to rest at the church.

We had our reception at Hornington Manor. The venue sold itself! It was the second venue we viewed, and we looked no further, as we were both on the same page, in that we wanted something to ourselves and somewhere that felt warm and welcoming. And this venue ticked every box.

I didn’t have a particular theme in mind, however I knew I wanted autumn colours and to really bring that shabby chic and barn feel into the elements. With the wedding being in November I felt this fitted the time of year well and really made the barn feel warm and cosy.


I chose an A-line dress designed by True Bride, from Precious Bridal located in Garforth. I went dress shopping after I found out I was pregnant with my son – this was the first shop I went into and Donna was brilliant. When I tried the dress on, I just felt so glamorous and I loved all the details and workmanship that had gone into making it.

I also had a veil encrusted with sparkles along the edges which really made the dress pop, and to add a touch more of glam I had a feather shoulder wrap. When I looked in the mirror it was like being in a vintage movie – I said yes to the dress!


Tom wore a three-piece navy suit with a tweed waistcoat and burgundy tie and silk pocket square. I wanted Tom to stand out and not blend in with the groomsmen, so we went for a different waistcoat for him. These were hired from Crown to Cuff. The groomsmen all wore the same matching suit, again from Crown and Cuff.


My flower girl wore a Jasper Conran dress which had capped sleeves and a beautiful net overlay and flower detail top. She also wore a faux fur wrap to match myself, all from Debenhams.


Sarah from B Beautiful Hair and Beauty Salon at Aberford styled my hair and that of the bridal party too. My makeup was done by my friend Rachael Holmes, currently working for Chanel.


Tom’s friend drove him to the church in his Aston Martin, meanwhile I had a Bentley continental GT.


Our photographs were captured by Patrick and George from M and G Photographic – I would 100% recommend them for any wedding or special occasion. They were super professional and friendly, and they were more like guests than photographers. We are over the moon with our photos; they truly capture the story of our day and we love the natural style approach.


Me and my flower girl had the same bouquet which mainly consisted of calla lilies, roses and berries. These were done by my friend, Becky from Always Flowers in Bramley.

The flowers for the venue were also provided by Becky – these consisted of calla lilies, roses, berries, ivy and freesia for the middle of the table, wrapped around a glass vase sat on a large wooden log. I also used wisteria for the top table to hang between the Mr & Mrs letters.

I used hessian for the table runners and small logs for the name places and decorated the candle holders myself with ribbon and wooden leaves.

I did the sweetie table myself using bunting and a wooden pallet that I wrapped around with fairy lights.

I aged a wooden stepladder and Ella – now my sister-in-law – decorated this with fairy lights and flowers, as well as the seating plan.


We had a three-tiered cake made by Julie at Party Cakes Bespoke Wedding and Celebration Cakes, in Osset. We decided on three different flavours – one for each tier – including vanilla sponge cake with jam filling for the main base, toffee apple and lemon drizzle. The tiers were moist and packed full of flavour – the design was exactly what I wanted, and Julie was so warm and lovely at the tastings.


Our food was provided by Friends for Dinner. We both wanted something other than a typical beef or chicken dinner. So, as we both love good hearty food we decided to go for a trio of pies – steak and ale, chicken and rosemary, and a shepherd pie served with creamy mash and seasonal veggies. This was a good winter warmer and our guests had the option of swapping it if they didn’t like a filling.

We didn’t go for a starter but had a million canapés served – they just kept coming! These consisted of a shot of soup, burgers, Yorkshire pudding with beef and gravy, corn beef ash bombs and jacket potatoes. We also had a trio of desserts, as this is my favourite part of any meal! This included orange chocolate brownie, apple crumble bomb with vanilla ice cream and a lemon posset.

For the evening food we went for a mixture of pizzas, burgers and chips – we wanted laid back food that people could eat easily.

I would recommend Friends for Dinner as their amazing service was second to none and my guests are still commenting on the food!

We are not big wine drinkers, so we decided to put money behind the bar for our guests to help themselves to a drink they really enjoy.

Breakfast was catered for by Julie from Jules Country Kitchen. She came into the house at Hornington and cooked anything our guests wanted!


We didn’t have entertainment during the day, we just had the DJ at night to help us dance the night away.

We hired lights from Event Light and Sound, as well as V & T letters plus three up lighters. They looked amazing against the brick wall and the up lighters changed colour.

Thanks to

We would 100% recommend Hornington Manor to other couples as the staff are so welcoming and friendly -Jo was truly amazing with her relaxed approach and Hayley was great at keeping in touch and organising viewings etc.

The place really sells itself – the Manor House was out of this world with a breath-taking interior and the barn was grand yet cosy and warm, which is what we wanted. We loved having the place to ourselves for the weekend, making the occasion last that little bit longer.

Best bit

My favourite part of the day is a hard one to choose because I enjoyed it all, however getting into the car and going to the church is what I remember most because I was so excited to just get there and see Tom. I had butterflies for the whole journey.

Tom’s favourite part was when he saw me for the first time walking down the aisle.


We are going to Toronto in Canada for our honeymoon in June.


My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to just have fun and not to worry about a thing. Step back and take in as much as possible as the day goes by so quickly! Also try and steal some time with the groom just for a quiet moment before the party starts!

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