Real Weddings

NOYA By Riki Dalal For A Barn Wedding At Stepney Hill Farm

05th November 2019 | Katie Byrne

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All Lotti and Louis needed was love and a little imagination to throw their dream celebration.

Calling all music lovers! If you’ve never previously given any thought to theming your wedding around your favourite artist or band, Lotti and Louis’ summer celebration is here to inspire you.

With a shared passion for the Beatles – and music in general – this creative couple filled their wedding day with nods to the band, from lyrical table names to Strawberry Fields Forever themed cakes. And that’s just the start of it…

Factor in a jaw-dropping barn setting, a rainbow colour palette and a desire to bring an interactive element to the occasion, which encouraged guests to well and truly get stuck in, and you get a small idea of exactly how rustic-rockstar this couple’s nuptials truly were. Keep reading for the inside scoop on their planned-to-perfection day – and to see all those pinworth photos!

With images by Andy Withey Photography.

Proposal

Lotti says: We got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2018. We had been to Liverpool earlier that year in February for Valentine’s Day and absolutely loved the city – it has such an amazing atmosphere.

We are both into our music and the musical link to the Beatles and Cavern Club just added to the appeal. When we found there were tickets available for the Cavern Club on New Year’s Eve, we knew it would be an amazing place to bring in the new year and we booked straight away.

Earlier in the day, we had wandered around the Albert Docks area, stopping in at the Tate Modern before having some drinks at the bars at the docks. We then went out for a lovely relaxed meal at What’s Cooking, a restaurant on the docks. Then we went to the Cavern, where the live music and dancing were perfect for partying the night away!

At around 10pm, Louis started to say lots of lovely things about us and how happy he was. He then got down on one knee (actually it was more of an awkward curtsey as he was fussy about getting his Levi’s dirty!) and proposed!

There were some really lovely couples we met that night who had been going to the Cavern Club for years. We have signed our names on the wall and it is so lovely to have a place like that as part of our memories – we will definitely be back.

Setting

I had the impression wedding planning had the potential to take over your life if you let it – after all, the inspiration from Pinterest and from websites like Brides up North is never-ending! We were keen to have a set time limit so it would be fun and to ensure the planning didn’t drag on.

As I’m a teacher, a summer wedding during the school holidays was ideal. We found a venue we really liked and they had one summer date available – July 20th 2019 – so we took it. It meant all our family, including grandparents, would be there on our special day.

We were looking for a relaxed venue with either a rustic or industrial feel that would allow us to put our own stamp on the place with the decorations. We found Stepney Hill Farm in Scarborough: it had a gorgeous big barn that was exactly what we were looking for and had areas that were ideal for the ceremony space and dancefloor, as well as the reception area.

We had planned to get married outside as Stepney Hill also holds outdoor wedding ceremonies. In the end, the Yorkshire weather had other ideas and we went with our Plan B and got married on one side of the barn.

I should also probably mention that a registrar wasn’t available until 5pm on our chosen date – so instead of changing everything, we decided to ‘sign the papers’ and do the legal part of our wedding the weekend before. It was just us and two friends as witnesses at a Registry Office. It turned out to be lovely to have that moment as something so private and it definitely took away some of the nerves on the big day!

Although we exchanged rings, we didn’t wear them until after our wedding at Stepney Hill. We looked into getting a celebrant to do the ceremony on our wedding day at Stepney Hill but it seemed strange to pay a stranger to get to know us. Instead, we asked my dad to conduct the ceremony and my mum walked me down the aisle. This turned out to be the best decision we made as it meant we could really personalise the wedding ceremony.

Neither of us are religious so we found some lovely quotes from John Lennon which fitted into our All You Need Is Love theme. Our favourite was “Count your age by friends not years. Count your life by smiles not tears”. We also had our wedding declarations as some of the lyrics from When I’m 64.

We would absolutely recommend Stepney Hill Farm to any couple who want to hold a relaxed wedding that they can put their own stamp on.

Theme

Getting engaged at the Cavern Club meant there was a natural link to music and The Beatles – but it wasn’t a totally Beatles-themed wedding! Instead we had a relaxed, colourful and rustic All You Need Is Love theme.

We chose this because we wanted it to be different from those overly formal weddings that can just feel like a lot of waiting around sometimes! We decided food, drink and entertainment would be the most important parts of the celebration.

We had been to an amazing wedding styled by Tash at A Labour of Love and there had been an interactive element we were really keen to have at our own day. We loved the idea of interactive ‘stations’ for guests to explore, from a build your own Eton Mess to a S’mores station and colouring table for the children using a wooden electric cable reel. Tash can really make anything happen!

Our invites had been chalkboard-style, which carried onto the signs we made for the various stations and areas around the venue. To balance this out, we incorporated a colourful palette, complete with lots of love hearts and patterns to create a bright and summery scheme.

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Dress

I found my wedding dress at a lovely bridal boutique called Little Pearl in Pickering. My dress was nothing like what I was originally looking for – I just fell in love with how boho, light and summery it was! It was the Olivia dress from NOYA by Riki Dalal.

Bridesmaids

My Maid of Honour looked stunning in a dusky pink chiffon dress from Dorothy Perkins. The two younger bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses sourced from a shop on eBay, which they paired with rose gold glittery Converse trainers.

Groomswear

Louis has always been a DFF (dedicated follower of fashion) and he chose a burgundy suit from Jeff Banks and paired it with a short sleeved white shirt, burgundy bow tie from ASOS and Kurt Geiger brown loafers.

To tie-in with our musical theme, Louis’ buttonhole was a flower made from white Fender plectrums, which we had made on Etsy by PaperJackdaw.

The groomsmen wore the same buttonholes – we thought it would be a nice keepsake from the day. Their outfits comprised red dogtooth-pattern skinny-fit suit trousers and matching waistcoats from Burton with the same ASOS bow ties as Louis, as well as brown brogues and white short-sleeve shirts.

Beauty

I was so lucky to have Katrina Mae  do our wedding make-up: she was so calm and reassuring on the day! She has such a talent for colour-matching and creating a natural look that lasts and catches the light beautifully.

Our hair was done by Lucette at Aquarian Hair Design in Pickering. We all wanted plaits and she created great looks with a boho twist for the bridal party.

Transport

Our friend Lizzie kindly asked her dad to collect me in his vintage Austin 10. All guests were offered transport to and from the wedding, with the guests from Pickering collected in a coach hired from Fletchers. Louis collected family from York in a minibus from Steve from York Minibus Hire – he definitely deserves a recommendation!

 

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Photography

We were very lucky to have Andy from Andy Withey Photography taking pictures of our wedding. He had been recommended by a friend and we couldn’t have asked for a better photographer. He was amazing at making sure everyone felt at ease and he did everything we asked for and more.

Andy has such a talent for capturing natural photos, full of love and laughter. We have been to so many weddings in the past where the photographers are bossy and take the same posed photos over and over again. Andy is the exact opposite and we cannot recommend him highly enough. In fact, my Maid of Honour has booked Andy for her own wedding next year!

Videography

We booked a videographer from BDempseyMedia.com. She was brilliant at capturing the atmosphere and it felt like having another friend at the wedding!

Styling

The flowers for the bouquets were provided by the florist Polly’s at Pickering . My bouquet featured white hydrangeas with gypsophila, all tied together with a simple white ribbon. The small white petals of the hydrangeas tied-in beautifully with the lace and floral appliques on my wedding dress. I also wore gypsophila in my hair, too.

We used gypsophila for decoration on the tables, with lots of moss and greenery from Labour of Love and my mum’s garden. We also used some pink hydrangeas from our garden – Tash at A Labour of Love used them to add splashes of colour to the sweetie cart and guest book area.

For our table decorations – and to add some colour – we painted a variety of bottles in a mix of pink, coral, aqua, lilac, blue, yellow and green. We matched these shades with the paper lanterns hanging from the barn ceiling. We used love heart bunting and love hearts along the aisle to bring in splashes of colour, and had origami hearts – decorated with polka dots or floral patterns – as place settings.

Tash created signs for the interactive elements of the wedding, as well as a huge personalised photobooth backdrop. We got to choose some of our favourite song lyrics – from the likes of Bowie, Kasabian, Oasis, Noel Gallagher, The Turtles, Ben. E King, Paul Weller and The Beatles – and she put them all on. In the end, we loved it so much we used this as the backdrop to our wedding ceremony too. The tables were all named after girls in Beatles songs with a song lyric; for example: ‘Molly… was a singer in a band’.

We created personalised ‘busy’ bags for all the children to keep them occupied at the tables, with things like ‘decorate your own tiara’ and snacks to keep them going until the speeches were finished.

We also had a Polaroid mini camera so our guests could snap their own pics of the day, too.

We had a magic mirror photo booth from the Pure Entertainment Group. The staff were so helpful and friendly – even when we made a mess frantically trying to create outfits with the ’10 second challenge’ in between photo shots!

We hired our gorgeous rustic ‘LOVE’ light lettering was from Persono Entertainment Ltd and enlisted Wow Weddings to help us with the lighting, drapes and lanterns and table runners in the barn.

Favours

The wedding favours were scratch cards, chosen to add a talking point for the guests when they sat down.

Cake

We chose a strawberries-and-cream cake for a nod to Strawberry Fields Forever. We also had strawberry and white chocolate cupcakes and chocolate orange cupcakes from Tor Bakes Cakes, who we found on Instagram. The cakes were delicious!

Catering

We wanted to keep things relaxed with our food choices for the wedding. Our food station was labelled ‘Will you still feed me when I’m 64?’ and offered guests a hog roast, chicken and chorizo, halloumi-and-veg skewers and salad on the day.

In the evening, we served hotdogs and a create-your-own ‘dirty fries’ station, with everything from jalapenos and cheese to bacon bits and lots of sauces for people to add. Just perfect for when you’ve had a few drinks!

I had the idea that I wanted the dessert station named as ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ with cupcakes and a make-your-own Eton Mess. We also had an ice cream bike from Angies Ice Cream Hire at Scarborough. She provided a ‘decorate your own ice cream’ station, which was really popular with everyone.

We also had a sweetie cart and a huge snack bar, which offered guests popcorn, crisps, pretzels, pork scratchings, Frazzles and Space Raiders. There was also a S’mores station for when the fire was lit in the evening.

Entertainment

Music is such a big part of our relationship so we knew we had to get this right. We were determined to find music that wasn’t just a cheesy covers band or a loud DJ playing pop. We were so lucky to find the band Drive through Alive Network.

They’re not just any old wedding band and are such a rare find: they are so talented and made our wedding feel like a gig. Every song they played was amazing and they really did make our evening reception feel like a party – in fact, they’re all our wedding guests are talking about! We would highly recommend them – and the fact they were from Liverpool made it even better for our theme!

We compiled our own playlist for the wedding day, from the minute the guests arrived until the band started playing, in order to create the best possible atmosphere. We had so much fun adding all our favourite songs for weeks before the wedding: it’s the best Spotify playlist and we we still listen to it and remember the fun we had on the day.

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Best bit

Our relaxed and personalised wedding ceremony was definitely our favourite part of the day. We chose to have no evening guests and it was lovely being able to have everyone there to see us get married and stay all day to celebrate with us.

Honeymoon

After planning a wedding in seven months and getting married the day after school broke up for the summer holidays, we were definitely ready for a relaxing honeymoon! We chose to go to Rhodes and stayed in a lovely hotel. There were so many highlights, from exploring the lovely village of Lindos and the old town to hiring our own boat to explore the coast line and swim in the sea.

Advice

It would definitely be to do things your own way! It’s impossible to please everyone and there is nothing worse than wishing you had done things differently. We found that because we enjoyed ourselves, everyone else did too.

My other piece of advice would be to hire some kind of wedding coordinator if you can. We were very lucky to have Tash, who helped ensure every little detail was just right on the day. I would definitely recommend having someone who can help keep things running on time, saving the bride and groom any worry or extra organisation.

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