We’re bringing you a whole lot of pretty, countryside chic today with Rebecca and Joe’s wedding at the incredible Crab & Lobster in Thirsk.
If muted, classy and neutral florals with a hint of shimmer are your thing, then you’re going to love this.
Rebecca and Joe took a bit of a gamble on the weather and planned their perfect, classic English countryside wedding in North Yorkshire, complete with an alfresco evening barbecue, in March. Thankfully, their gamble paid off! They kept things intimate and surrounded themselves with their close friends and relatives, providing outstanding food and luxury accommodation for each guest, and proving that sometimes less really is more.
Putting their own spin on the traditional wedding cake and with a real focus on the amazing Crab & Lobster food, this couple curated the perfect day, and menu, for both themselves and their loved ones. In Rebecca’s own words, their day flew by, but we’re taking time to relive and share all the glorious details with you lucky readers.
With images by M & G Photographic
Rebecca says: We got engaged in February 2017, at The Top of The Rock in New York! Joe had planned to propose the night we arrived in New York, but it started thundering and raining heavily. Instead, Joe woke me at 5am local time (time difference played a part!), to insist we started our ‘sightseeing’. An hour or so later, we headed out and had breakfast and a Bloody Mary (I now know this was to calm his nerves!) and by 8am we were at the Rockefeller Centre.
Joe had to tell security staff he was carrying a ring as we had to pass through a metal detector, but he’d told me he was checking if there were any VIP tours! All the signs were there, in hindsight, but I was clueless at the time. Once at the very top, Joe got down on one knee, teary eyed, and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! Two days later we continued our holiday with a seven night cruise around the Caribbean. The perfect way to celebrate our engagement!
We got married on Friday, 29th March 2019 at The Crab & Lobster in Thirsk. We chose a Friday because this venue actually only offers Friday and Sunday weddings.
We didn’t want a summer wedding. Partially because a red hot day seemed too uncomfortable for suits and dresses, and also because the high expectations of summer weather can often leave you disappointed. We felt a late winter/early spring wedding would be a safer bet for the weather, but also it would probably be the first wedding of the year for our guests and that may make it feel more exciting. We’ve attended four weddings in a summer before and it can feel like a lot in a short space of time.
We chose our venue for two main reasons. Firstly, the food. We love eating out and nice food in general, so providing this for our guests at our wedding was a necessity. We feel food and wine are an extension of who we are and we wanted our wedding to resonate with people. The Crab & Lobster has such a long-standing reputation for fabulous food that we felt confident we would be able to provide a meal our guests would love. Secondly, individuality. We wanted somewhere our guests had probably not been to, or had definitely not been to for a wedding. We wanted to be a little different.
Our theme for the big day was classic, elegant, English country style. Nothing fussy, something timeless and sophisticated.
We chose a very neutral colour palette. Personally, I feel that cream, white and green with a hint of a champagne shimmer oozes classic elegance, so this is the palette we chose.
My dress was quite different to what I expected I would choose and, from listening to feedback, it was also different to what our guests expected too!
I always thought I would go for a fishtail style gown, but after trying a couple on, I wasn’t happy with how I looked. In the second shop I went to, Cottage Bridals (now sadly closed), the owner suggested I try a Mikado box-pleat, A-line dress with a long train. To begin with, I wasn’t sure. It was much bigger than anything else I had tried. However, once I had it on, I felt brilliant. I opened the curtain to show my mum, grandma and maid of honour and they all started crying! This reaction told me it was ‘the one’!
I teamed the dress with a scalloped-edge bardot jacket and a diamante belt around my waist to complete the look. I loved it and couldn’t wait to wear it, though at this point, we hadn’t even booked the venue!
The groomsmen wore a navy checked tweed three piece suit by Marc Darcy, purchased from Joshua Adams menswear in Cleckheaton. They teamed this with a champagne/blush coloured tie to coordinate with the flowers.
My two bridesmaids wore Karen Millen satin dresses in Champagne. They were the same material and colour, but in two different styles. I was very aware that my bridesmaids have different tastes and body shapes; their comfort and happiness was the most important thing for me and having seen other weddings with a variety of styles, I really liked it. These were the second dresses they tried on and we literally stumbled across them in Karen Millen in Leeds one afternoon. I was thrilled when they both loved them, but also worried they’d see something else they’d love even more afterwards (it was ten months to the wedding when we bought them!). We bit the bullet though and luckily didn’t see anything better anywhere, so it all worked out perfectly.
My bridal party were all taken care of by an amazing makeup artist and a fabulous hairdresser, Glam by Elizabeth Daisy and Hair By Craig Parkinson. They are both extremely talented, but also lovely people. I would consider myself to be pretty relaxed and had been laidback throughout the whole wedding planning process; I wanted the morning of the wedding to follow this theme and both Lizzy and Craig were both just so lovely and chilled. They really made the morning stress-free and so enjoyable. Their work is amazing and all the bridal party felt fantastic. Everyone loved their hair and makeup on the day.
Our photographer was M & G Photographic. Our friend recommended them to us. We checked out their work and knew straight away that was the exact style and vibe we wanted. Totally non-intrusive, intimate, natural and warm.
We chose to have two photographers to capture as many images as possible, particularly, we wanted the aisle perspective shots. Patrick was great and really easy to deal with, and this flowed into the day itself. We didn’t feel dragged off at all. We got more than 1,000 photos back, and it was then that we realised just how much their style really came into play as most of the photos we had been completely unaware were being taken. This allowed some truly romantic and emotional shots to be captured. We definitely made the right decision picking M & G as we now have the most beautiful reminders of our day to look back on forever.
We actually got a lot of ideas on styling and the venue from Brides Up North, generally from the real weddings section!
All of our flowers were provided by the very talented Rachel Butcher of Inspirations, a small business run by Rachel alone. Rachel is the sister-in-law of a former colleague and upon seeing her work, we knew she was the right person to dress our venue. I adore fresh flowers, so this was an important part of the day and styling of the venue for us. Flowers were the most expensive part of our day (apart from the venue itself!) and I think it really paid off in creating a romantic, styled and elegant look.
We had amnesia roses and greenery, teamed with white, soft blush and pink. We added hints of metallics using small vases and hurricane vases with candles in. We also lit lots of candles in the venue. As a candle addict, the candles were important to me, creating not only a warm atmosphere, but also a memorable scent.
We had wooden name places made from an online company called VM Bespoke. These were in keeping with a neutral colour theme in a soft natural wood effect. They served as name places but also as extra little favours, as guests took them away.
We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake. Mainly because we’re both not huge cake/dessert fans. Instead, we chose an off-the-shelf wedding cheese ‘cake’ from Costco. We decorated it with flowers and served the cheese with a variety of crackers, chutneys and grapes. It worked well and doubled up as part of the evening food offering. We had so much left though!
With our cheese ‘cake’ we still got the traditional cake cutting shot and feel this was much more ‘us’, which was at the forefront of our minds when deciding every element of our wedding.
We had miniature bottles of Jägermeister to help get our day guests ready for the evening, as well as scratch cards. We didn’t have any big winners, unfortunately! We also had votives of the Yankee Candle scent ‘Wedding Day’ for guests to take away. As these were burned during the ceremony and wedding breakfast, the idea was it would evoke fond memories when people lit their little candle after the day.
We really feel like we nailed the food part! We requested a menu choice for our guests because food was such a big part of our day, we didn’t want to just tell guests what they were having. The Crab & Lobster were brilliant with this and we offered our guests two options for each course.
We served canapes on the lawn post ceremony, which included mini coronation chicken bites and mini cottage pies. They were delicious and the amazing weather we had made all the difference. People were relaxed, chatting, having canapes and fizz in the sunshine. It was the perfect introduction to the meal.
We then moved down to the room where the wedding breakfast would be served. Starters were either scallops or a ham hock terrine with brioche, mains were roast beef and Yorkshire puddings or crab crusted halibut with shellfish bisque. Desserts were a choice of sticky toffee pudding or a banana and praline cheesecake.
We also purchased a drinks package so all of our guests had a couple of drinks pre- and post-ceremony, one for the toast and several glasses of red or white wine during the meal. We really wanted guests to sit back, relax and share our love of food at this point and, from the significant reduction of conversation volume during the meal, hopefully we achieved this!
For the evening we chose a barbecue. Controversial for a March wedding, but again, The Crab & Lobster were more than happy to accommodate. It totally paid off as we ended up with an absolutely beautiful warm sunny day. We felt a barbecue offered a nice relaxed way of dining alfresco, whilst being light enough for day guests to enjoy something small after a large meal.
We chose a DJ, as recommended by the venue. We thought about a singer or a band, but were unsure how it would work with a small venue and fewer than average guests. We provided a playlist and the music got all of our guests on the dancefloor; it was brilliant to see all our family and friends dancing together.
All of our guests took rooms at the Crab & Lobster so that they could stay over. The rooms are individually themed from around the world. They are exquisite; all with private or shared hot tub access and some with their own sauna. The accommodation really wowed our guests and added to the overall luxurious classic feel.
I would absolutely recommend our venue to other couples! It’s different, classy and can accommodate your guests in the most beautiful luxurious accommodation. The grounds are immaculate and provide stunning photo opportunities. The staff at The Crab & Lobster are a league apart and offer a very attentive service which added so much warmth to our day, start to finish.
My favourite part was probably just after the ceremony. Joe and I took a walk around the grounds, taking in the day with a glass of champagne. I really wanted to make sure we caught these few moments together amongst the craziness surrounding us. It also allowed the photographers to capture some beautiful natural photographs of us, with the trees and manicured gardens as a backdrop.
We chose to split our honeymoon in two. We started with one week together in Sicily and then had a week in a log cabin with a hot tub in the UK, with Joe’s son and our chocolate Labrador.
Sicily was amazing, a food-lover’s dream. So much history and architecture. It was very romantic. After seven days, we were looking forward to heading back to meet Harry and Tilly, and we really enjoyed some family time in the hot tub and on walks through the Yorkshire Dales. It was the perfect combination for us.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try and take it all in. Everyone says it will go so quickly, and it really did, from the ceremony onwards. The morning felt relaxed for me, having a small bridal party and a 2pm wedding, so we had lots of time to enjoy the preparations. However, as soon as it came to putting my dress on, it went by in a flash! Before we knew it, our evening guests had arrived and then it was last orders. If you can steal a few moments together and wander off on your own, do. Let it sink in and enjoy!