There’s a romantic Italian allure to proceedings today, as we embrace Samantha and Charlie’s exquisite wedding at the beautiful Middleton Lodge, set within 200 acres of rural Yorkshire.
The theme is not wholly surprising considering the couple got engaged in the wonderful city of Florence, Italy. Cue limoncello, olive branches, an Italian flavour to their wedding breakfast menu, an Italian dress designer and – wait for it – a gown actually named Florence – and it’s clear how they intertwined this personal theme into their special day.
The highlight for us has got to be the surprise helicopter ride, arranged by one of their guests as a gift! That’s one we’ll be adding onto our wish lists!
With images by Burns Rowatt
Samantha says: We got engaged on 15th October 2016, in Florence, Italy.
Charlie took me abroad for a surprise weekend to a city I had been desperate to visit, Florence. At the end of a perfect day of sightseeing, wonderful food and vino, he proposed on a secluded hotel roof terrace overlooking the whole of Florence at night with a beautiful ring.
We got married on 19th May 2018. May is a wonderful wedding month – for us, it meant the wisteria would be in bloom over the entrance of our wedding reception venue.
We married at St. Michael and All Angels, Middleton Tyas, and had our reception at the Main House at nearby Middleton Lodge.
Charlie met my father in a pub that was halfway between my hometown and where we live now, to ask for his blessing on the wedding proposal. That pub happened to be in a village called Middleton Tyas which neither of them had ever been to before. When a friend recommended Middleton Lodge as a venue, it seemed perfect.
We themed our wedding around Florence. We had an Italian twist on an English menu, including homemade limoncello from the mother-of-the-groom, table names as landmarks from the city and olive branch stationery.
We chose lilac for our colour scheme, to match the wisteria in bloom over the entrance to the Main House at Middleton Lodge.
I really loved the idea of Italian lace with sleeves, as I wanted to wear a dress that was a bit different. I saw my dream dress in a small photo on a table at a wedding fayre which immediately caught my eye. The table belonged to Chloe Jane Bridalwear, a fantastic bridal boutique in Howden, East Yorkshire. When I later tried the dress on, which was by Italian designer, Nicole Spose, I felt incredible in it. So, when Chloe told me the dress name, Florence, I knew it was the one!
Charlie wore a grey morning suit with lilac waistcoat to match the theme, rented from a local business, Yorkshire Menswear, Rodley, Leeds.
The groomsmen wore grey morning suits as per the groom, however with silver waistcoats, also hired from Yorkshire Menswear.
A team of three fantastic ladies, led by the incredibly talented makeup artist Anna Stephenson, took care of the makeup.
We hired a white vintage Rolls Royce from Elite Wedding Cars in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.
Burns Rowatt captured our day. Claire and her husband are absolutely fantastic. They felt like two friends at our wedding rather than photographers and took incredible photos that captured the day perfectly.
For our ceremony we used 2 Little Ducks who were great.
My bouquet consisted of a waterfall arrangement of aubergine calla lilies, Memory Lane roses, hot pink peonies, ivory rose buds and white flox.
Our florist was The Rarified in Ripon. Joanna is such an artist – she interpreted the theme we were going for perfectly and her team were ninjas on the day moving flowers between our two venues, unseen.
For the venue, we had candelabras of the flower arrangements above (as well as hydrangeas and more green foliage) and lower flower arrangements on each table in the marquee at Middleton Lodge, a heart-shaped arrangement for above the lychgate at the church, as well as pew ends and large urn arrangements.
For our favours we chose to donate to a charity close to our hearts – The Way Youth Zone, Wolverhampton, a charity supporting young people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds. The children created badges about love for all of our guests, which were placed at each table setting and gave a really personal touch.
We had a four-tier cake of fruit cake, chocolate, orange and celebration sponge, created by a friend of my mum.
Our venue provided the catering, which was very high quality. We had canapes and evening food, with a main wedding breakfast menu of
blackened salmon with red cabbage and fennel salad; sirloin beef, beef cheek, creamed potatoes, roast parsnips and pancetta; and lemon olive oil cake, lemon curd, meringue and blackberry sorbet.
We had a pianist for our reception drinks, a sweet cart from – Bespoke, a photobooth supplied by Pose Photobooth, a band called Young Souls via Jonny Ross Music, and Charlie’s brother also did a personalised DJ set in the basement at Middleton Lodge.
One of our guests surprised us with a gift of a helicopter ride on the day of the wedding – which was amazing and very much unexpected!
As much as we’d love to keep this venue all to ourselves because it is so perfect, I would highly recommend Middleton Lodge to others. Chloe, our personal wedding planner, was absolutely fantastic, nothing was too much effort or trouble (even helicopter landings!) and they really worked hard to make our day as special as it could be. The venue itself is incredibly beautiful and makes for fantastic photos. The Main House, which we hired, has 16 bedrooms, and is exclusive use, so is perfect for a private wedding reception.
My personal highlights included walking down the aisle on my father’s arm to my husband, as well as dancing the night away with him in the basement – and the helicopter ride!
We spent 15 nights away exploring Singapore, Bali (Seminyak and Ubud) and Lombok (Sengiggi). We had an action-packed honeymoon of snorkeling, white water rafting, climbing volcanoes at dawn, visiting temples and beaches and learning how to cook Balinese style. We organised our honeymoon via Holidays By Design in Horsforth, who were incredibly helpful.
My top for other Brides Up North would be, take a moment on your wedding day with your partner to let the happiness sink in, and commit the moment to memory and heart, it really is the best day of your life. Also don’t worry if everything isn’t perfect leading up to the wedding, on the day it will all be wonderful!
During the planning, we went to several Brides up North wedding shows and found them really helpful in getting ideas for our wedding.