Real Weddings

A Rustic Garden Wedding at Home in North Yorkshire – Charlie & Liam

Sarah Symonds

Today we’re following our jet-setting couple home to Yorkshire, for an intimate and sentimental wedding, chock full of rustic and vintage country touches, a table full of homemade cakes and an accidental but summery palette of pink and green.

If you can’t channel Mary Berry on your wedding day, then when can you? Especially if your wedding is being held in a tent! Today’s couple roped their guests into the catering by setting their nearest and dearest the challenge of baking a cake each, Great British Bake Off style! Which meant that, rather than having one wedding cake, they ended up with a table full of fresh bakes to taste!

As well as cake, we’ve got florals and lavender, Haribo and ‘Ginopoly’, and travel guides and vintage crockery for this fantastically pretty summer affair (after all, when two teachers tie the knot, only a summer holiday wedding will do). Then on to a traditional supper of fish, chips and mushy peas; it doesn’t get much more Yorkshire than that! Read on as we speak to beautiful bride Charlie for all the delicious details…

With photography by Lloyd Clarke Photography


Charlie says:

We got engaged in Kenya in April 2018 with a Haribo ring! We were away with friends and on safari when Liam presented me with the ring. I asked if he was joking! Luckily not. We were living abroad at the time so we chose a proper ring together, which was really special.


We got married on the 27th of July 2019. It fitted in with school holidays as we’re both teachers! We officially got married at Farndale House registry office in Whitby, a couple of days before we held our wedding celebration in the garden of a relatives house in a small village in North Yorkshire. It’s been in our family since the 1950’s and, as I’d always had holidays there when I was younger and it features in lots of special memories, we thought it would be a great place to have our wedding.


Travel was our theme. We met in Thailand, where we were working abroad and have lived in a couple of other countries since so thought it would be very appropriate. We also wanted a really fun, chilled and relaxed day so it was an informal garden party style, in a marquee in the garden. The colour scheme ended up being green and pink by accident. We weren’t really sticking with a colour scheme on purpose.


I got my dress from Morgan Davies Bridal in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where my sister also got her dress. I really wanted a vintage style dress and fell in love with the beading and style.


Liam wore a pale blue linen blazer and waistcoat with navy chinos. He got his jacket and waistcoat handmade in Bangkok. The groomsmen also had tailored waistcoats, to match the groom.


My bridesmaids wore dusty pink dresses from Debenhams. The flower girl’s dresses were by Jasper Conran for Debenhams and page boys outfits were from H&M.


My hair was done by the wonderful Lisa at Vip’s Salon in Whitby.


Our photographer was Bethany Clarke, who was fabulous. She was really friendly and very discreet, capturing some amazing shots of our day. We’d highly recommend her.


My rustic style bouquet was a pink, purple and white mix of lithianthus, gypsophila, peonies, veronicas and many more. I wanted it to look quite rustic and wild. We used a local florist, The Flowerpot Florist in Whitby, who provided all flowers and some lovely lavender buttonholes.

We then had the same flowers arranged in gin bottles on the tables, with some Lonely Planet guides and Thai fabric to create centrepieces. We had handmade bunting by Liam’s best friend. We also had a ‘Ginoply’ made by the groom to go with our gin bar. We set up an instant camera and fancy dress photo area. Tentz Marquees from Uggthorpe in Whitby supplied our marquee. We used KG Conveniences in York for some posh portaloos and then, lighting the way to the loo block, we had shepherd hooks with tea lights in jam jars hung from them.

Our family were amazing and everyone mucked in to help decorate the marquee on the days leading up to the wedding. We had a DIY wedding, so we used lots of vintage style crockery, either from charity shops or borrowed from friends. Glass hire from Simply Catering in Yorkshire. All suppliers were on time, friendly service and were easy to contact. We’d highly recommend them all.


We gave our guests Haribo jelly rings in mini cardboard suitcases as favours.


We had a ‘bake off’! We asked guests to bake a cake to bring on the day, if they wanted too. We had 13 cakes in the end which were all delicious it was so hard to choose a winner.


My parents did many booze cruises to France, to get wine and we found a delicious champagne from Fallet Dart, a family run company near Epernay.

We had a fish and chip van, which was delicious. It was provided by Chip’n’Dales, based near Thirsk. Then, later on, we served cheeses and crackers sourced by my parents.


One of my best friends, who is a musician, Mara Simpson, sang for us as I came down the aisle. We had the local farmers band play for our barn dance too, and then a Spotify playlist.

Thanks to

Farndale House registry office was lovely, complete with sea views and friendly staff. We’d definitely recommend it to another couple.

Best bit

The best bit has to be greeting all of our closest family and friends after our ceremony, and just being with everyone


We spent three weeks visiting Dubrovnik, and taking a road trip around Montenegro, then on to Slovenia. It was fantastic!


My advice for another bride would be to enjoy every minute and make sure you get time to talk to each other on the day, it goes by in a flash! We want to do it all over again!

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