Delivering the biggest ray of sunshine to your day, Lucie & Jonty’s gorgeous wedding shone in more ways than one!
Marrying in the gorgeous Herefordshire countryside, their traditional church ceremony was followed by an elegant country house soiree, with drinks and canapes on the lawn; wedding breakfast, speeches and dancing in a marquee followed by the ultimate afterparty in their venue’s characterful library.
Inspired by bride Lucie’s time in Spain, sunny Mediterranean vibes filtered through their day; from bridal designer preferences to the food, drink, styling and favour choices. All was perfectly planned for the most beautiful of summertime weddings in a truly breath-taking setting.
And yes, this wedding isn’t ‘technically’ up North I know, but this wonderful couple are relatives of mine (so Northern by birth at least!) and I was fortunate enough to be a part of their incredible day. You can’t get more Brides Up North approved than that now, can you?
I can also therefore confirm that this was a wedding that felt as good as it looks – well until the hangover from hell the next day that is, I blame the homemade limoncello!
With image by Lydia Harper.
Lucie says: We got engaged in Scotland in March 2016. Jonty had taken champagne and glasses in his backpack up most mountains we had hiked up. But as we were so sweaty when we reached the summit, he kept waiting for the right time.
Eventually we were walking along the river and the sun came out. Jonty took his opportunity and got down on one knee. However, I was already sat down to admire the view. So, whilst not a traditional scene, it was all very romantic in our own way. Of course, I said yes! And we drank champagne in the sunshine, wading out on the shallow parts of the river to enjoy the last moments of sunshine. It was a very magical moment.
Our wedding date was Saturday 14th July 2018. Bastille Day! I really wanted to get married in the summer when there are long, warm evenings and the gorgeous smell of the warm grass. And this date was available.
Our ceremony was at St Mary’s Church in Ross-on-Wye, my hometown. We chose the venue because I’ve always gone to Christmas midnight mass there with my parents and the reverend there is a lot of fun so I knew it would be a nice, genuine ceremony.
We then drove a few miles to the reception venue, Brooks Country House. We chose this venue as it is set in the most beautiful Herefordshire countryside, making a lovely backdrop for our day. It also has accommodation and a swimming pool to wash away the cobwebs the next day.
I really wanted to bring a little bit of the Mediterranean to the Herefordshire countryside. Pulling together my two favourite things. I spent a couple of years living in Spain and the weddings there are beautiful.
We had lemons feature a lot and I brought in lace for my dress (also by a Spanish designer) to fit in with the theming.
In terms of colour, we had lots of greens, yellows, whites and blues. The main colour was yellow, and we used lemons in our arrangements to bring in some Spanish sunshine.
I always knew what style I wanted – with a full skirt, boat neck and removable lace, so I could have a more demure look for the church and something more liberating for the evening.
Eventually I settled on a mix of the both. The JP dress I chose had a boat neckline with a slit down the chest, a V shaped back, full skirt and, most importantly, pocket! It had a bow on the front, but I swapped this for some pearls and crystals like the other JP dress.
I then had a custom-made lace jacket to match the shape of the dress neck and waistline. I chose the fabric from Goldhawk Lane in London and it was made by the seamstress who also altered the dress for me, Tailoring & Alterations in Sutton, Surrey.
The look was inspired by Spanish weddings and I always seem to pick out styles from the Spanish dress designers.
Jonty wore a navy Ted Baker light wool suit with a lighter blue waistcoat. Navy really suits Jonty so he would wear the suit again, and being a summer wedding, he wanted a suit that was a bit lighter.
He then had a yellow tie to match the lemon theme and stand out from the groomsmen, who wore the same suits as Jonty, but they had grey ties to complement the bridesmaid dresses.
I had five bridesmaids, my sister, two friends from uni and two friends from my hometown. Finding a dress for five people is an impossible task so I didn’t bother finding something I liked. I gave the girls some different shades of grey to choose from and they chose their dress design from a huge selection on Mix Bridal. It was so easy, and the dresses made almost to size, with just a few alterations on delivery.
My mother wore a light blue Ronald Joyce dress – she looked like a member of royalty!
Our hair was done by Gemma from Bella Fontay’s Hairdressing in Hereford. Makeup was by Makeup by Natasha Louise from the Cotswolds. Both ladies made me feel very comfortable and helped out with different styles and trials beforehand.
From my parents’ home to the church, I travelled with my father in a Beaufort Wedding Car. Jonty and I then travelled in the same car to the reception venue. We hired this from Stuart at Wedding Luxury Cars.
Our photographer was Lydia Harper, who was super! We heard of her through a friend and once we looked at her website, we knew that she was the one. Lydia’s website covers branding but looking at her work of beautiful destinations, she really captures the beauty of the environment. Getting married in Herefordshire, we really wanted a gorgeous backdrop. Lydia also just slotted into our day and really made us relaxed and happy. I would definitely recommend her for all her styles of work.
We had lots of greenery, with olive branches and eucalyptus in our bouquets, with white and yellow roses.
We had the marquee at Brooks Country House decorated by Bstyled, who provided the grey sashes for the chairs, tied with a sprig of olive.
The flowers were done by the florist who provided the greenery, roses and lemons for the church, bouquets and reception.
The large lemon centrepieces are my favourite part of it all. No one had really seen them before, but Sandra at The Flower House was so helpful in trying different things. It ended up just how I imagined.
We made limoncello and bottled it. More lemons for the day, and it makes a lovely post dinner digestif.
We had a light lemon sponge with buttercream icing. This was decorated with sprigs of olive branches and lemons. Due to the weather, I wanted something light and lemon cake is also my favourite. This was made by friend of a friend, The Brunette Bakers, who are incredibly talented ladies.
We chose something light as it was likely to be a warm day in July. For starters we had crab cakes, for main chicken with lemon and thyme and trio of desserts for pudding (of course with lemons).
This was paired with light Spanish wines, and some white wine from the vines of Brooks Country House. English white wine is divine!
We booked a band, The Deebies, and DJ/vocalist ADK Entertainment.
Alex DJ’d during the canapés and provided music as per our request for a nice and chilled environment, as well as first dance music.
The Deebies then followed to close the party in the marquee, getting everyone on their feet, before Alex took over the library in the House with some amazing classics, which he sang along to. He is so incredibly talented – everyone really enjoyed it.
We would absolutely recommend Brooks Country House to other couples. The rooms are lovely, there is a swimming pool and the countryside is fantastic. Carla and the team were really helpful throughout.
There were so many moments, it is hard to say. I really enjoyed taking photos with Jonty at sunset outside the venue in the grounds. The luxury of the beautiful countryside and having a moment to ourselves was lovely. But I think I will hold onto the church ceremony as my favourite moment – after all, it is what we were building up to!
We had one night on our way to Heathrow at Whatley Manor in the Cotswolds. With the sunny weather of July, the whole day and evening was glorious. Afterwards we went to Mauritius to a luxurious resort to chill, but we also had a lot of fun in the sea, in the mountains at the races.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – elongate your day as much as you can. Time goes by so quickly. I really regret not being able to have a conversation with all of my guests.
During the planning I enjoyed looking at the real wedding and inspiration features on Brides Up North.