Real Weddings

Anna Sorrano for an elegant wedding at The Hospitium, York – Ellie & Grant

21st October 2019 | Sarah Symonds

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Today’s real wedding begins with the best chocolate proposal ever! Goals or what?!

Bride Ellie and her hubby Grant tied the knot six years to the day they met, in a chic and elegant white wedding accented with touches of lilac and silver.

We’re talking delicate florals and foliage, beautiful arches and cherry blossom trees and so many pretty touches of lavender and soft lilac. If beautiful, classic elegance is your jam, Ellie and Grant’s wedding has it in spades. From the wedding party arriving in style in both a Bentley and a Rolls, to the amazing 14th Century buildings of their chosen venue – one which had been Ellie’s dream since childhood.

If you’re currently in the midst of planning your own big day and looking for inspo, you might be considering your guests’ enjoyment too. Ellie tells us about the photobooth they hired to entertain their nearest and dearest, their personalised cocktails and the box of flip flops, which is always an especially nice touch! Thinking about the comfort of your guests can go a long way to making sure that they have a good time and are able to stay on the dancefloor right ‘til the very end!

With photography by Amy Jordison


Ellie says: It was the 31st of March 2018. We had recently become homeowners and were moving into our new home. Grant told me he was popping out to pick something up and I was busy unpacking. When he returned home, he was carrying a big Easter egg hamper. The Easter egg had writing on it saying “crack me open, surprise inside”. I carefully opened it thinking it was some sort of teddy and inside was a ring box surrounded by my favourite chocolates. I turned around and Grant was down on one knee and asked me to marry him.


We chose the date, 23rd August 2019, as we got together on the 24th of August 2013, so we had been together six years to the day when we got married.

We got married at The Hospitium, York. I was born in York and have lived here all my life and I’ve walked past The Hospitium gardens many times. It was always somewhere where I wanted to get married one day. One of my aunties had her reception there seven years ago and I fell in love with the building even more. When Grant proposed, there was no other venue that we considered. The Hospitium was the perfect location. As Grant is originally from Kent, we wanted his family and friends to experience York in all its beauty and we really wanted to have a wedding in the heart of York.


We didn’t have a theme in particular. We just wanted it beautiful and elegant. Silver and lavender/lilac was our colour scheme. We never wanted one strong colour as we think it can be too much at weddings sometimes. The bridesmaid dresses were also silver but when the light hit them, there was a lavender hue to it.

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My dress was a strapless sweetheart ball gown in Mikado from WED2B in Leeds, the designer is Anna Sorrano. I always said I didn’t want a big dress, but when I saw the dress being wheeled into the shop, I had to try it on! It was about half-a-hour from closing and they had just had a delivery into the store where the dress was hanging up. It was still damp from being steamed and when I tried it on it was just perfect and had that wow factor I was looking for. I had a broach added to the dress and I wore a two-tier cathedral length veil, all from WED2B too.


Grant wore a blue tails suit from Suit Direct, with a silver waistcoat and cravat, and the groomsmen wore the same blue tails suit, but with a blue waistcoat and silver cravat.

We had four gorgeous page boys in navy waistcoats and suits, with a silver bow tie. Our nephew Arlo walked down the aisle holding a sign saying “Uncle Grant, here comes your bride” and page boy Samuel did a reading, along with bridesmaid Beth, which was really special.


My girls wore a silver multiway bridesmaid dress from Monsoon. They were great as it meant the bridesmaids were able to wear styles they wanted, that suited them, and weren’t matching.


For makeup we had Sonia Schofield and our hair was done by Gemma Wood.


Grant and I arrived (separately) in a 1949 silver Bentley Mulliner from Superior Motor Cars.

The groomsmen, mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaids (also separately) arrived in a 1950’s Rolls Royce kindly loaned to us by a customer of my dad.

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Amy Jordison was our photographer. She was our knight in shining armour after we were let down by our original photographer with less than six weeks to go! She took the most beautiful photos and captured exactly what we were hoping for while making us feel so relaxed throughout the day. It was definitely a silver lining that our original photographer pulled out. We would 1000% recommend Amy.

My cousin, Charlotte, was our unofficial videographer.


I had a gorgeous bouquet from ibloom florists. It had peonies, purple flowering apple mint, cream and blush roses, lilac freesias, eucalyptus, gypsophila, lisianthus, green foliage and other lovely flowers. We then had a beautiful long and low arrangement similar to my bouquet, provided by ibloom. They also dressed the pillars in fairy lights and the cake with flowers. My mum loves flowers and did our centrepieces. We had lanterns surrounded by a ring of flowers. Grant handmade the cake and confetti stand.

We had a beautiful blossom wedding arch downstairs in the ceremony room and two wisteria trees upstairs in the wedding breakfast room, both from Limelight Wedding Trees. For chair covers and sashes we hired from Chair Covers of Yorkshire.

For our table names we had our favourite cocktails and my mum hand-painted all of the different cocktail signs. We also have pictures of us drinking the cocktails on each table. We had two personalised cocktails served on the day.


We made heart-shaped vanilla biscuits, topped with lilac fondant that had “Mr & Mrs Farnham 23.08.19” stamped on. Grant baked over 90 biscuits two days before the wedding and they were all iced by myself and one of my bridesmaids, Emma.


We had a four-tier, fondant iced cake. The bottom tier was a hexagon lilac marble effect, followed by a double chocolate tier, a lemon tier which had a pearl dusting on the icing and a Victoria sponge on the fourth tier. The cake was made and iced by my amazing work friends (Vic and Katy). When I originally asked them to make the cake, it was going to be a simple naked three-tier cake, but it escalated after looking at cakes on Instagram and had three other design changes before the final result!

We also had vegan/gluten-free rose design cupcakes and cake pops.


For starter we served cheese soufflé, then the main was guinea fowl with a borlotti bean, chorizo and leek cassoulet with parmentier potatoes. Pudding was sticky toffee pudding. We wanted something a bit different than the usual roast beef and something a bit lighter, with it being a summer wedding. Everyone loved the food. The vegetarian or vegan option was a vegetable and sweet potato tagine. We also had a Pinot Grigio and Merlot wine.


Our DJ was Club Class. They had good reviews and we really wanted to make sure the DJ was good.

We had a fantastic photo booth from Boothomatic for the evening too.

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Special touches

We had ‘wishes in a bottle’ for the guests to write wishes for us to open on our first anniversary, and a wedding tree print for guests to sign their names on the leaves. We also put out a crate box of flip flops for guests; they didn’t even last till the evening do!

Thanks to

We would 100% recommend our venue! Not only are the venue and staff amazing but having the museum gardens was great for pictures and for the children to blow off some steam. We had 12 children there so having a big area for them to play in was great. It was also really close to town for our out of town guests. The food was the best food we have ever had at a wedding.

Best bit

All of it! The highlight of our day was my dad, cousin and his wife surprising us with getting up and performing; Fliss singing and my dad and cousin Tom playing the acoustic guitar. They played Adele’s Make You Feel My Love and Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. It was magical and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.


We had ten nights in Santorini, Fira. It was gorgeous and even prettier than the pictures. We did a lot of relaxing by the pool and Kamari Beach. We went on a catamaran boat trip, where we saw the last volcano eruption, swam in volcanic hot springs, went snorkelling and saw the red beach and white beach only accessible by boat, and watched the sunset at sea. Fira town is great and lively in the evening.


My advice to other Brides Up North is try and prep as much as you can as early as possible. Also, help the venue staff by labelling and boxing decorations.

On the day enjoy it as much as possible it goes so quick; don’t worry if you’re behind or something goes wrong. No one other than you will know.

Finally, take time out to spend a bit of time with each other, if you can. We went for a drive together in our wedding car.

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