Putting some serious Oompah into your Friday we are absolutely thrilled to be sharing an incredibly special wedding on the blog today… it’s that of our amazing Brides Up North team member, Georgia!
Tying the knot to her beau Christian (known to everyone, including the bride, by his surname Flynn), in a crazy beautiful and immensely fun big day, Georgia’s account of the details and the stunning collection of images will be sure to inspire and impress.
Opting for an alternative theme (much endorsed by us gals at BUN HQ!) the celebrations centred around an ‘Oktoberfest Chic’ concept, which they pulled off to absolute perfection! They brought the pretty their rustic barn setting with stunning seasonal blooms, hops and decorative steins, then added the party element with cool neons, a German Oompah band and lashings of beer!
Julia and I can vouch first-hand that this wedding was another-level amazing across the board, though some personal highlights for us have to be Georgia’s stunning choice of Allison Webb gown, the colour-popping petals and the confetti-cannon-filled first dance. In a word… EPIC!
Georgia says:We got engaged in June 2018, in Port de Soller, Mallorca. Flynn had actually booked the holiday as my 30th birthday present – so I never suspected he might propose when we went away! He had actually asked my mum’s permission in January 2018 and I’m still amazed she managed to keep it a secret from my very large family!
He proposed on the first day of our holiday with a Celtic Football Club ring (as a joke!) as my mum had told him that he should let me pick my ring… as I’m fussy!!
We got married on 5th October 2019, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the village of Sicklinghall just outside Harrogate, with our reception taking place at Wharfedale Grange. Lots of my cousins had got married in the church so it has a lot of sentimental value to me, and lots of my family still live in the village.
I absolutely loved the aesthetics of Wharfedale Grange and one of my main reasons for choosing it was that I didn’t feel it needed ‘decorating’ as such – just some beautiful floral and personal touches. However, when we went to look around, my husband commented that the barn vibe of the main room made him think of our recent trip to Oktoberfest Festival in Munich, and wouldn’t it be good to have an Oktoberfest themed wedding. This did not sit well with my vision of a sophisticated, autumnal wedding with beautiful florals and understated decorations – however after chatting to my colleagues at Brides up North, who have much more vision than me, they convinced me to go for it and ‘Oktoberfest Chic’ was born!
Having worked in bridal fashion for a number of years and seen a lot of dresses, I was really unconvinced I’d find something I loved! However, I spotted Emery by Allison Webb dress in a magazine and really loved it and thought I needed to try it on! My nearest stockist was Chloe Jane Bridal in Howden – I had such an amazing experience there with Chole and her sister Emily, who made me feel totally at ease and really spoilt my family who came with me with glasses of fizz and cups of tea! The girls were great and made me try on a real variety of dresses, some of which I really loved and would never have picked by myself, but when I tried on Emery I knew it was the one and was totally shocked as I really didn’t think I’d get ‘that’ feeling! I’d hugely recommend Chloe Jane to any brides-to-be looking for a gorgeous selection of gowns in a relaxed atmosphere.
My headpiece and the bridesmaids headpieces were made for me by the amazing Miranda Templeton – Mel the designer is super talented and created me a gold and pearl hair vine which I wore at the back of my head all day and LOVED – I want to find another reason to wear it soon!
My veil was from a selection at Chloe Jane and was cathedral length with pearls scattered all over – again I loved this – maybe more than the dress!
Finally, my shoes were by Florence – I wore the style Rebecca which had a Perspex block heel with gold stars in the heel – they were so comfy and I plan on wearing them again as soon as they are such special shoes!
The men wore dark blue morning suits from Peter Posh in Knutsford, with camel wool waistcoats. Flynn added a Liberty print tie and handkerchief, and the rest of the boys had ties and handkerchiefs in dark green.
My bridesmaids all wore gorgeous Motee Maids dresses in silver with pearl embellishment. Each girl picked a style to suit them and they all looked gorgeous.
My flower girl and niece Aoife wore a La Petite by Hayley Paige dress in cashmere styled with white patent Dr Marten boots!
My hairdresser of forever, Amy from Cutting Room Creative in Chapel Allerton, styled all of the bridal party’s hair on the morning of the wedding – I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to do my hair and she did any amazing job of creating a style each girl wanted and getting volume in my notoriously fine hair!
I found my makeup artist – Lauren Sally – via Instagram. My mum and I went for a trial at her gorgeous studio in Meanwood and were both so happy with the results that we said we wished we had her with us every day! On the morning of the wedding, Lauren was amazing and so calm. I had a real mix of bridesmaids who either loved makeup or barely wore any and she did an amazing job of creating a look that everyone was comfortable with – everyone looked gorgeous! Lauren kindly gave us all a touch up kit to the colours she had used on us, I thought this was a lovely touch and it was really appreciated by me and the girls.
We hired a Jaguar MK2 and VW campervan from Limelight Wedding Cars. Bev was super helpful throughout the whole process and they even did a trial run of the route before the big day! We also hired a vintage double decker bus and vintage coach from Red Bus Days. I would highly recommend Chris and his team – the buses were amazing, and our guests absolutely loved travelling from the church to the venue in them! They added little touches such as giving each lady a rose with our wedding date on which people loved!
Our photographer was Joe Dodsworth – I was really nervous about the photography as we are not ones for having our photograph taken and really didn’t want to spend hours and hours having photos taken but to party instead! Joe and his second shooter, Mark Crayden, were totally amazing on the day – I can’t praise them enough. They were totally unobtrusive and captured the most amazing photos which completely captured the atmosphere of our day!
I love flowers and had previously worked with Sarah and her amazing team at Leafy Couture and knew I wanted them to do my wedding flowers! The bridesmaids and I all carried seasonal bouquets in vibrant autumn colours – I particularly wanted to include thistles as my dad was Scottish, and also Dahlias which were my grandad’s favourites.
As mentioned, one of the things I loved most about Wharfedale Grange was that it was already very stylish and there wasn’t much decoration needed apart from on the dining tables and in the main hall to make it more personal to us. We really wanted long tables to go with the Oktoberfest theme, and Flynn spent a lot of time on eBay searching for vintage steins which formed part of the table décor. We had very pale grey linen table runners and then Leafy Couture styled the table centres using our steins we had collected, plus a variety of candelabra with sage green candles to tie in with our stationery, and various small vases and votifs filled with seasonal flowers. I was very nervous about the tables as I couldn’t quite see how all the different elements would come together without looking messy, but I don’t know why I worried as I was so delighted with the overall result created by Leafy Couture, it looked exactly how I wanted in my head!
Having come across Love Lights The Way whilst working for Brides Up North, I knew how lovely the girls were there and wanted to incorporate some of their neon signs in the wedding! We had the Roxy heart hung on the wall behind our top table, ‘Crazy in Love’ to make a display area for our cake and ‘Till Death Do we Party’ by the band/DJ area. I later added in their new ‘100% My Type on Paper’ as I love Love Island – it proved to be a great selfie spot for our guests!
Flynn bought mini bottles of Jagermesiter which we put on each place setting along with a FlynnFest’19 beermat that I’d had made to fit in with the theme and our stationery.
There wasn’t anyone else I wanted to make my cake apart from Louise of Loulabella Bakes, who was also one of my bridesmaids. Louise is so talented and over the years has made so many amazing cakes for my girlfriends and I from school. I basically left it up to her to sort the design and said to make some flowers which looked like the ones we had on our stationery – she totally outdid herself and the cake actually reduced me to tears on the day itself! It was four tier – two chocolate Guinness cakes (mine and Flynn’s favourite), a classic Victoria sponge and a lemon layer. Louise made all the flowers, leaves and foliage from scratch using sugar paste and painted them with food colouring to tie it all together with the theme – it was totally amazing, and I would highly recommend her to anyone!
We had a choice of caterers to pick from at Wharfedale Grange and decided to go with The Hog & Apple Food Co. – which really turned out to be one of the best decisions we made. When we initially explained the Oktoberfest theme to Ged and his team at the Hog & Apple, we were surprised to find that they had actually done an Oktoberfest event a few weeks before our enquiry so had loads of ideas on what we could do! We were keen to ensure everyone had a good feed, but at the same time make sure the food was really tasty and looked great! The Hog & Apple totally delivered, and we would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a caterer for any occasion – we had nearly more comments on the food and how amazing it was than on any other element of the day!
Drink-wise, being an Oktoberfest themed wedding, we had a special beer bar available all day and hired in stein glasses should guests wish to really embrace the theme! For those who aren’t beer fans, we had prosecco for our drink’s reception and red and white wine during our meal provided by Wharfedale Grange. One of the best things we did was have a Cocktail Hour at 7.30pm when our evening guests arrived which meant they had a welcome drink and our day guests could also start the evening off with a fun drink – we had Espresso Martinis and Lavender Mojitos!
We love a party so were keen to ensure that our guests were well entertained at the wedding. Again, to try and fit in with the Oktoberfest theme, we decided to source a German Oompa band who we wanted to do a ‘sing a long’ style set at the end of our meal and then start the evening event off with an hour of classics to get everyone dancing. We were so lucky to be recommend The Jager Maestros by our caterers – they were fantastic to the lead up to the event, taking into account we wanted it to be a surprise for guests on the day. We had never actually seen them live, so had really taken a punt on them, but they were absolutely amazing and really set the evening off in the best way – one of my favourite memories of the day was watching all our guests sing along to Delilah and waving their napkins over their heads from the top table!
After the second set from the Jager Maestros we hired the DJ and Sax package from Jonny Ross Music – again, they were fantastic in the lead up to the wedding, and I especially loved how they asked you to list 30 or so songs to give them an idea of the mix of music you’d like on the day – this really translated into a great selection of tracks on the day which kept everyone dancing all night.
All our invitations and on the day stationery was produced by my friend Helen at Farm Creative, with the gorgeous autumnal flower illustrations by my talent friend Becca of Becca Roberts Illustrations – we loved what they created and used the flower illustrations on everything from our table plans to the beermats I had created for the day!
I must mention my mum’s dress too. In the run up to the wedding, my mum found it really difficult finding a mother-of-the-bride outfit (she’s a trendy mum!), and we were so lucky to end up at House of Mooshki in the North East, where Vikki and Phil created my mum a bespoke dress in record time and were so patient. My mum loved the dress and looked totally amazing in it on the day!
I would recommend Wharfedale Grange to other brides and grooms. What I particularly liked about it was that on the day I was totally confident that it would all run smoothly – and under owner Claire’s expert supervision it certainly did! I felt totally relaxed to just let everything happen in their capable hands – no easy feat for someone who has run events for ten years!
I loved our ceremony in the church. Our priest Father Nunan was amazing and had everyone laughing, and I just felt it was such a happy atmosphere with all the people we loved under one roof. I also loved the sing-a-long session with the Oompa band – it was so fun for Flynn and I to stand at the top table and look out and see all our friend and family partying – we so wanted to have a fun, relaxed, party atmosphere where everyone got involved and I really felt like we’d nailed it at that moment!
We went on a minimoon to Edinburgh for a few days following the wedding, and in a few weeks’ time we will be jetting off on our main honeymoon to Japan.
Remember the wedding is for you two and to make it what you want it to be – not what your parents/family/friends want it to be… or think it should be! The Oktoberfest theme was so random, but actually these elements totally made the day special and everyone embraced it!
My other tip would be to stick within budget – I think it can be so overwhelming with so much choice out there, but stick to what you’ve planned to spend and don’t go over – your guests are there to celebrate the day with you and the people there are what make the day special.
Finally, working in the Brides up North office gave me an amazing insight into what was available in our region – we have so many amazing suppliers in the North to suit all budgets and tastes! I actually read the Brides Up North blog every day – it’s always good to see what other brides do or find important, or not important, to give you a bit of a reality check!