Childhood sweethearts Elysia and Callum take centre stage on the blog today with their beautiful and oh so flawless wedding at the picturesque Middleton Lodge, an impressive Georgian country estate set in 200 acres of rural North Yorkshire.
This dreamy backdrop lent itself perfectly to the couple’s desire for a garden-style wedding with a relaxed, fun and informal vibe. Think homemade sloe gin and a pizza party, not to mention acoustic entertainment on a double decker bus – and you’ll get a flavour for their glorious September wedding.
Prepare to covet plenty of elegant styling details, including beautiful white roses, hydrangeas and greenery for the bouquets, and freshly foraged berries and harvest-style crops to dress the pew ends in the church. And we simply have to mention the couple’s sunset stroll together – the stuff that lasting memories are made of. Here’s Elysia to tell us more about their special day…
With images by Eve Photography
Elysia says: We got engaged on my 24th birthday in September 2017. Callum treated me to a weekend away at Fawsley Hall in Daventry. During a picture-perfect champagne picnic, Callum dropped to one knee. Weekend celebrations then continued at a nearby party pad with the our closest school friends.
We tied the knot on Saturday 7th September 2019, almost two years after the engagement. There’s nothing better than a sunny September day.
We were married at St Michael & All Angels Church in the quaint village of Middleton Tyas, just down the road from Middleton Lodge Estate.
A garden party reception followed at the Fig House and Walled Garden, before we moved over to the Forge barn for more drinking and dancing as day turned to night.
All we wanted was a relaxed, informal and fun wedding day with all of our closest friends and family. We chose Middleton Lodge and the Fig House in particular for our venue as we loved the laid-back, French-chateau feel. A glorious garden party gathering.
We tried not to tie ourselves to a colour scheme as such. Flowers were easy flowing whites and greens, and bridesmaids were dressed in Gatsby-style dark navy dresses, which worked perfectly with the groom.
Scrolling through endless bridal Instagram feeds, I stumbled across a Hayley Paige gown called ‘Elysia’ – so had to try it. The closest boutique was Hummingbird Bridal Studio in Stocksbridge, near Sheffield. While the Hayley Paige gowns were beautiful, the princess-style dress wasn’t quite for me. The lovely Rebecca from Hummingbird picked out a ‘wildcard’ and I didn’t want to take it off! It was the Famosa gown by St Patrick – a figure-hugging, mermaid-style dress with intricate lace detailing in a champagne colour, with removable long-sleeved bodice, perfect for a quick day to dancefloor outfit change.
My bridesmaids wore Gatsby-style dark navy, beaded dresses from SistaGlam; perfect for glistening under the party lights.
Kate Pymm did my makeup – plenty of Charlotte Tilbury hero products completed the look. My bridal updo and the bridesmaid curls were styled by the team at The Little Hair Parlour in Great Ayton. Everyone gathered together in a suite for a very relaxed, Prosecco-fuelled morning.
Guests were taken from the Coach House to church and back in York Pullman’s vintage double decker bus – with Rock My Reception playing tunes on the top deck during the journey. A party bus indeed!
My bridal party and me arrived in style in Yorkshire Vehicle Hire’s Defender 110 and Twisted Defender 110. Nothing says Yorkshire wedding like it! Callum and I sipped champagne as YVH transported us back to their party in the Twisted Defender 110.
Charlotte Eve, from Eve Photography captured our day. What a delight. We got to know Charlotte really well over our two-year planning period. We caught up for cocktails as much as possible during the planning process and arranged a pre-wedding shoot at Cod Beck, Osmotherley. On the day, Charlotte was an absolute joy – we had so much fun dancing in the fields and strolling through the gorgeous gardens with Charlotte and videographer, Jon Lunt.
Jon Lunt from Top Table Films was an absolute hoot. Jon and Charlotte worked wonderfully together, and it genuinely felt like we were just messing around with friends – but they captured some very special moments along the way. Lots of lovely, natural smiley shots of friends and family, too.
The lovely Felicity Cook of Briar House Flowers transformed the Fig House into a gorgeous green oasis, with plenty of natural foliage along the tables, a stunning archway and beautiful blooms for me, the bridesmaids and in the church. Effortlessly whimsical.
Me, my mum Kaye, bridesmaid Charlotte and family friend Wendy got crafty the day before the big day, foraging for greenery, berries and harvest-style crops to create pew ends for the church.
Bridesmaid bouquets were a smaller version of mine – packed full of white roses, hydrangeas and wispy greenery, all tied up with a ribbon.
Felicity also created a lovely garland at the church entrance and a hoop hanging in front of the mirror in the Boiler House bar. The bridal party helped with the pew ends, but everything else was mastered by the lovely Felicity.
Callum and I made garden-picked sloe gin for guests, bundled up with gin-inspired love letters. Name tags were also in the form of printed Polaroid’s (photographs of each guest with Callum or me).
Sara from Sara’s Kitchen satisfied sweet-toothed guests with a beautiful three-tier creation, complete with foliage and subtle, glistening gold markings. Chocolate orange, carrot and lemon drizzle. Delicious.
Plenty of fizz and bottled beer got the garden party underway, with sommelier-selected wines for the table and plenty of further fizz-fuelled antics as day turned to night. Tequila made an appearance – and an Aperol Spritz or two – oh and, of course, lots of homemade sloe gin.
Garden party canapés kicked things off, followed by a three-course feast of terrine, braised beef and popcorn chocolate tart. A pizza party followed as the party rolled on over at the Forge.
Rock My Reception played acoustic tunes as guests arrived at the Coach House, they entertained guests in the church and got the garden party underway back at the Fig House – with plenty of sing-a-long opportunities on the double decker bus to and from the church service. They had everyone up dancing between main course and dessert – taking recommendations and dancing around the tables.
The wonderful Funk Collective filled the dancefloor over at the Forge – playing first dance tune Lighthouse Family ‘High’ before a night of Motown floorfillers.
As a magazine editor, I created mini magazines as order of service booklets – featuring Q&As with the bridal party, mine and Callum’s story in numbers and all your usual order of service information. Lovely keepsakes for friends and family.
The whole planning process was an absolute breeze and our lovely wedding planner, Anna, was an absolute joy to have around. Everything was handed over in the week running up to the day, and we were totally at ease on the day itself – we felt like guests at our own wedding.
The venue itself is stunning and unlike anywhere else nearby. Beautiful exposed brick walls with sprawling figs growing up them, a whimsical, wildflower walled garden, rustic-style interiors and fire pits for guests to cosy up to as the sun set behind the Farmhouse. There are so many elements to this wonderful venue – we totally fell in love with the Fig House and were lucky enough to enjoy the Forge space for the evening reception, too. All rooms and suites are stunning too – a truly special place, just down the road from home – who knew? We knew exactly what we wanted in a wedding venue, but had no idea this paradise was awaiting just down the road in Middleton Tyas.
Our very merry sunset stroll with champagne in hand, dancing in the fields with Jon and Charlotte was our highlight from the day. During the drinks reception, Callum and I took a seat on a bench at the back of the walled garden and just took it all in. It was very special to see everyone we loved smiling and having a great time.
We enjoyed an Indian Ocean adventure for our honeymoon, exploring the tea estates, jungle safari and yoga retreats in Sri Lanka, followed by a week of beachy bliss in the Maldives – and finally a cultural trip to beautiful Bali.
Enjoy every minute of the planning process. Don’t let stress get the better of you – you’ll look back with fond memories – even when it comes to the tricky decision-making. If something feels right, just go with it. Middleton Lodge was the first venue we had a proper look around and I picked out my dress at the first shop I visited. There’s no need to over complicate things. The most important thing is that you enjoy your day and create many happy memories along the way.
I love to read real weddings – it’s so lovely to hear all about a couple’s journey to the altar, so much personality can come through in a wedding. The online directory on Brides Up North is also very useful when looking for suppliers, and it’s always good to soak up the atmosphere at wedding fairs – you meet some lovely people along the way, too.