Picking Leeds as the location for their wedding, today’s couple, Jessica and Tom, were spoilt for venues – so much so that they actually chose two for their celebration.
The couple tied the knot at the DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel – where they’d previously enjoyed a date night or two – before heading to the gem-like New Craven Hall for their reception.
Jessica and Tom filled their wedding with carefully-selected details, unique to them. For example: they married on the second anniversary of their engagement, and served up guests their favourite childhood sweets for favours. Even the toilettes were given a personal touch – clock those ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ photo signs below!
Read on to find out more about their sparkling nuptials, including glittering bridesmaids, lashings of foliage and chic, industrial decor details.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography
Jessica says: Tom took me away for my 30th birthday as a surprise – we went to a small Spanish village for a few days. The night before my birthday, we went to watch the sunset on the beach and he proposed with the most amazing rose gold and peach sapphire vintage ring.
Our wedding date was 6th October 2018. We wanted our date to mean something to us, so we got married two years to the day we got engaged, meaning our first day as a married couple was my birthday!
We got married at DoubleTree By Hilton in Leeds. We are both from Leeds and really wanted a city wedding – and as we have had many of our first dates at the Skye Lounge there, it just felt right for us. After looking at a few venues, we wanted an event space that was unique and different that we could make our own.
We found New Craven Hall in Leeds City Centre and at the time they weren’t licensed for weddings – so we decided to hold our wedding at DoubleTree and our reception at New Craven, which is the most amazing industrial event space.
New Craven is so unique and perfect for what we wanted. They went above and beyond with all our requests and gave us tips and ideas to improve what we’d already suggested. We visited the venue a number of times and had numerous meetings to ensure everything was perfect for the big day. All our guests commented on the individuality of the venue space and the staff were amazing.
My dad was extremely poorly in summer 2018 and had to undergo major heart surgery after my wedding. He nearly didn’t make it – however, he fought to be at our big day, walk me down the aisle and do the most amazing speech. It made our wedding having him there with us.
We both love the industrial ‘look’ and with my engagement ring being rose gold (my favourite!), we wanted out theme to incorporate both industrial and copper/metal tones. The location meant we had a city-chic feel, too.
Neither Tom nor I like ‘matched’ items so we opted for a mix to create our palette: I picked rose gold and different metals whilst Tom went for greys and blacks. Our styles just fit together perfectly!
I wore a strapless fishtail dress by Enzoani, which I bought from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. I am not a lover of wedding dresses and had my heart set on a jumpsuit or two-piece. When I arrived at the shop, I was absolutely blown away by the staff and gowns. I had a few picked out for me but I just didn’t feel comfortable in them. At the very end, my twin sister found one for me to try on, a dress that was in front of her in the seating area. I put it on and fell in love straight away.
It was very simple on the top but had the most amazing layered first tail. I had extra button detail added on to the back and wore a cathedral length veil with embroidered leaves. Walking down the aisle I wore metallic rose gold chunky sandals but later swapped these for Converse.
Tom wore a Marc Darcy suit, with black elbow patch and trim detail. On the day, he swapped his grey pants for black skinny trousers, and wore black leather Chelsea boots and a rose gold tie pin that my mum bought for him, engraved with our wedding date. He bought his suite from Bridgewater Menswear in Colne, which is associated with Ava Rose Hamilton.
All the groomsmen wore Marc Darcy, too; my gorgeous stepson and nephews wore white shirts with black bow ties, slim-fit black trousers and white Converse.
I wanted my bridesmaids to wear different dresses but in a similar colour scheme. They wore Sorella Vita sequin dresses, in platinum full sequin backless and bronze mermaid sequin designs, which were in keeping with the industrial metallic theme. They all looked amazing!
My flower girls were my daughter and niece – they wore ivory with rose gold shoes. My little girl’s dress was from Ava Rose Hamilton and matched my own in terms of the fabrics and colour.
Rachel Allman and Jodie Harris from Jefferson Buckley in Ilkley styled our hair: mine was blow-dried with soft waves, whilst the bridesmaids all wore theirs differently. That said, they mostly opted for waves/curls and plaits. Rachel has been my hairdresser for a long time and I couldn’t recommend her or the salon enough. Everyone commented on how amazing our hair was – we all loved the finished look. Our makeup was done using Charlotte Tilbury products.
Most of our wedding party stayed at the hotel and we arranged transport from DoubleTree to New Craven Hall – we didn’t want to be separate from our wedding party and wanted to be fully involved in the day, so we all travelled on a vintage green Leeds double-decker bus, supplied by YesterYears vintage bus hire of Baildon.
Lissa Alexandra was our photographer. She shot my sister’s wedding a few years ago and we loved the images from the day. She is so personable, attentive and has a brilliant eye for the out-of-the-ordinary shot.
Nothing was too much trouble: we met her prior to the wedding to discuss our ideas for the day and she arranged everything on the day so we could just enjoy ourselves. Our photographs are beyond anything we could have imagined and we would recommend her to anyone.
I didn’t want any flowers at the wedding – we both adore foliage, so I wanted my bouquet to be all-green. It was made for me by the very talented Sally from Serendipity Flowers and I cannot recommend her enough. She understood exactly what we wanted and the finished results were even better than we could have imagined. My bouquet was made of eucalyptus, berried eucalyptus, olive leaves and ferns; my bridesmaids held smaller versions of it.
My flower girls carried ruskus rings and all the groomsmen wore eucalyptus. All of the bouquets and flower pins were wrapped in copper wire to bring in our metal theme. Tom had a succulent in his buttonhole to make it stand out and match our reception décor.
We wanted to decorate our venues ourselves and again, I wanted no flowers, just greenery. The day before the wedding, I set up both venues with my bridesmaids. Serendipity sent me lots of bunches of loose Silver Dollar and berried eucalyptus that we scattered over the tables and we made our own top table garland.
I also wrapped it around our seating plan and used clear fishing wire to make a eucalyptus curtain (looked to be floating) from the metal beam above the dancefloor. I also placed our bouquets on the very edge of the top table for extra décor. For the ceremony room we scattered loose eucalyptus leaves down each side of the aisle and on the registry table.
For centrepieces, we had brass terrariums that we planted with succulents, plus brass mirror plates and hexagonal brass tea light holders. Our table numbers we made from acrylic, with copper numbers and a wooden base. We had mirrors, signs and light-up Polaroids around the room to add a personal touch. I had framed photographs or our parents and grandparents.
Our guest book was a globe from our living room that all our guests signed in copper pen. We had a small greenhouse as a card box, which we filled with eucalyptus and copper lights that I personalised by spraying copper with our name across with a vinyl decal. We also had a game that my friend’s father kindly made us: small wooden boxes that we set up within the room. Each table had to pick an envelope from a numbered box and within those were a few winners for free drinks, wine and so on.
We both love sweets and decided on individual retro sweets we loved as children for favours. I got our pageboys and bridesmaids to hand them out as everyone sat down – each bag was completed with a personalised stamp.
We chose Hog and Apple as our caterers. Food was one of the main things we wanted to spend money on – we wanted unique sharing platters that our guests could enjoy together, so we chose Yorkshire platter boards for starters, chateaux Briand for the main and lemon posset for desert. It was the nicest food I have ever eaten and the service was incredible!
New Craven Hall recommended them to us after we explained what we wanted; our photographer had also used them for her wedding and highly recommended them. Many of our guests said it was also the nicest food they had ever had, too. Wines were recommended by the venue after hearing of our menu and we chose a selection of red, white and rose to be placed on our tables.
Music is a big part of our lives and we both knew we wanted it to feature in our wedding. We chose my favourite pianist to perform in the ceremony room, Ludovico Einaudi. A family friend – Linzi Brian Music – sang for a drinks reception as our wedding gift. She’s amazingly talented!
Tom and I went on a date years ago and heard a very talented pianist as soon as we heard him, we knew we wanted him to play at our wedding. Shane Durrant Music played a set to suit our times and played as guests arrived at New Craven Hall, as well as during the meal for added atmosphere. He played mash-ups of numerous songs and played to suite the mood /time of days as day time progressed to evening. It made our wedding.
We wanted a busking bank for our night reception and found a band from Manchester called The Hope Street Busking Band. We loved their style of music and they came highly recommended. They played two sets and got all our guests on the dancefloor. I would recommend all of our entertainment to anyone!
We had a memory board with photographs of family and friends who had passed away and could not be with us on the day. We also had pictures of our parents and grandparents weddings’ dotted around the venue, too. On the toilets, we had old school photos of Tom and I above the ladies and gents signs. All our wedding party received personalised gift bags and presents on the day to thank them for everything they have done for us.
The whole day was amazing – we couldn’t pick one specific thing. We wanted a city wedding with a party atmosphere and that’s exactly what we had!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is – have a vision in mind and try to stick to your budget: it’s really easy to get carried away. We picked two venues where we had to do everything ourselves in terms of hiring, décor and setup. If you do choose to do this, make sure you have enough people to help set up your venues and hire everything in plenty of time.
Also! Try to relax and have fun. It’s easy to get carried away with the stress of a wedding. Some things guests don’t even notice so do what makes you happy rather than planning for other people. Even if your ideas or themes are against the norm!