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Storms and showers set the tone for Charlotte and Ryan’s wild and wonderful tipi wedding.
Weather can be a contentious issue when it comes to planning weddings, and couples who think they’re playing it safe by booking summertime celebrations – it’ll be sunny, right? – can learn a thing or two from the wedding of Charlotte and Ryan.
Their Scarborough wedding day – booked for mid-August – turned out to be the windiest day of the year. As in, quite literally. The venue? A tipi. The setting? A cliff-top. Factor in fierce winds and pouring rain and you’ve got a recipe for… a perfect day.
Because, as this couple’s nuptials show, it doesn’t matter what the barometer or thermometer reads and, in the words of the bride, “no one’s there to get a tan”. Charlotte, Ryan and their guests made the most of the day they had, with the tumultuous weather actually helping to create an atmosphere that was even more fun, sociable and celebratory than the newlyweds had originally imagined.
It wasn’t just the weather they had to contend with, either. Rather, bride-to-be Charlotte found herself sans wedding dress eight days before the celebration. Eight! Days! But it all worked out and she found her perfect gown – chosen because it meant her gem-embellished heels were visible – in super-stylish high-street store, Whistles.
Keep reading to find out more about the happy couple’s perfect day – and prepare to clock the stunning something-grey storm-cloud-trimmed pictures their photographer captured, too.
With images by Miss Whittington’s Photography
Charlotte says: We got engaged in March 2018. Ryan had put so much thought into it all – it felt so special and surreal!
He first asked me to be his girlfriend 12 years ago, at Scarborough Lighthouse. On this windy Saturday in March 2018, Ryan had led me to believe he was in Leeds. I went for a walk with my family around the harbour and to the lighthouse. Much to my surprise, as I walked around the edge of the lighthouse, Ryan was standing there with his family. That’s when he proposed!
It was all very emotional. We then walked around the Marine Drive, to where he had hired a beach chalet and decorated it with photos of us, as well as stocking it with gin and cake. We celebrated with our families for the rest of the day, eating fish and chips and drinking lots of gin.
We got married on August 10th 2019. We chose this date purely due to availability at the church and venue, and with the hope that the weather would be nice owing to it being mid-summer – though this wasn’t actually the case on the day!
We got married at Saint Laurence’s Church in Scalby, Scarborough. The church isn’t that far from my family home and it’s somewhere that both Ryan and I have always loved. We had the reception at a venue down the road from there called Wildwood & Eden, which is a lovely tipi on the cliffs of the Yorkshire Coast. We knew straight away that this was the place for us, as it reflected the relaxed, informal wedding we wanted and was also somewhere we could put our own stamp on
We would definitely recommend our venue. It was so beautiful and offered everything we could have wished for. Despite the crazy British weather, the staff were amazing and did everything they could so that the weather wasn’t a problem. If you had told us weeks beforehand that the windiest day of the year was also going to be the day we were getting married on a Yorkshire clifftop in a tipi, we’d have been a tad worried. However, on the day it just added to the mood and we all just embraced the weather.
We wouldn’t change a single thing about it. The weather simply made our day even more memorable and because everyone was inside due to the weather, it created a more sociable and fun (and windswept!) atmosphere.
Wildwood & Eden is the perfect venue for a relaxed celebration, with great staff and delicious food, and they did everything they could to make our day as perfect as it was.
We chose to create quite a fun, colourful look for our wedding. We wanted it to be natural and relaxed, with colour pops and lots of flowers and foliage. We handmade almost everything for the wedding with help from our families, so it was so lovely seeing it all come together.
Our colour scheme was an ombre mix of corals and mint greens. We wanted something that wasn’t too classical – and we both love bright colours, so they were a must!
My wedding dress was from Whistles. After a slight disaster with my original wedding dress at my final fitting (eight days before the wedding!), I was left in a position where I had no dress at all.
Thankfully, with some help from the lovely people in the Leeds branch of Whistles, I had a new dress that had been altered within a matter of hours. It was crazy really but I was so happy with my dress and truly believed the disaster happened for a reason, meaning I ended up with the one I wore on the day.
I chose it because I loved the Bardot-style neckline and how it had a raised hem at the front, meaning my shoes were visible.
Our bridesmaids wore a gorgeous mint-green floral-printed dress from Oasis. Due to being a print designer, we thought it only right to have them in something colourful and floral and they all looked lovely!
A local hairdresser called Christie Beautymann did our hair and a local make-up artist, Delphia from Hartley Brown did mine and my mum’s make-up. Both did a fab job!
Ryan wore a lovely soft grey suit from Topman, which he wore with a skinny sage-green tie, grey braces and tan brogues. He wanted something smart but relaxed and looked very handsome.
Our groomsmen and dads all wore the same suit.
We travelled in a vintage Rolls Royce to the church and then to the venue. We hired it from Wedding Cars Scarborough, which is owned by a local man called Paul – we found the company after searching on Facebook. The car was beautiful and Paul was great.
Our photographer was the lovely Laura of Miss Whittington’s Photography. Laura was amazing and we couldn’t recommend her enough. She made us feel so relaxed and at ease – it was like having a friend there rather than a photographer.
Laura embraced the weather completely and the photos she captured were incredible – and looking through them tells the story of the day perfectly, from getting ready at home to the hours of dancing at the end of the night. We remember her dancing away and capturing some amazing action-shots of us and our guests having the best time. Her style is so natural and she captures really special moments that convey exactly how we and our guests were feeling.
We had very typical Northern weather on the day, with hurricane-style winds and crazy rain – but it actually added to the day and the photos. Laura took some amazing dramatic, windswept shots in the fields behind the tipi and the light and colours she captured were beautiful. She came super-prepared for a Yorkshire wedding, complete with wellies and numerous umbrellas, so we felt like we were in very safe hands.
I carried a gorgeous naked stem bouquet, tied with an ivory ribbon by Kirsty at Minnie Bee’s Floral Design. The flowers were a mix of peach ‘Juliet’ David Austin roses, delphiniums, and other wild flowers, mixed with eucalyptus, various foliage, airplants and succulents. It was so beautiful!
We used the same amazing florist for our venue flowers. Kirsty created an incredible floral display on a wooden beam in the tipi, with a glorious mix of coral and ivory flowers mixed with soft green foliage. She also provided us with buckets of flowers, which we arranged in bottles and vases on the tables.
We made all our decorations ourselves with the help of my mum and dad, including ombre bunting, sprayed bottles and vases, and table-runners. We tried to use recycled objects where we could, including a table plan made from an old palette and my late grandad’s wooden stepladders, as well as a box of vintage Scarborough postcards for our guestbook.
My dad helped us make a copper-framed photo booth with a fabric ombre backdrop, and then we filled a vintage suitcase with various props. My mum collected all the flower petals from her garden throughout the year, which we dried and used for confetti.
We made packets of wildflower seeds for our wedding favours.
We had a lemon and elderflower semi-naked wedding cake, which was decorated with edible flowers. This was created by cake-maker and family friend, Gail Allardice. It looked and tasted amazing!
We had delicious Italian sharing platters, which included roast beef, cheese boards, pastas, salads and garlic potatoes. These were followed by summer fruit pavlovas and lemon tarts for desert.
In the evening, we had wood-fired pizzas, which were made in a cool vintage pizza van that the venue provided. We chose this style of food as it felt like a more relaxed and social way of eating.
When we arrived at the reception venue, we had music from an acoustic singer called Dave Pilla. He is someone who we’ve seen busk in Leeds and he has the most incredible voice – so having him there was really special.
For the evening entertainment, we had the amazing rock-n-roll band, Jimmy & the Hound Dogs. They did a mix of classic rock and roll, as well as some rock-n-roll covers of modern songs. They were just amazing and the dancefloor was packed all night long.
There were so many special moments throughout the day it’s hard to choose just one. Our favourite moment was probably at the end of the night, as Ryan and I were dancing in the middle of the dancefloor to the band and we looked around to see all our family and friends having so much fun – and we were married! It was the most amazing feeling.
We went to Barcelona for a few days after the wedding then went to Santorini, Greece, for a week in September. Barcelona was so lovely. We stayed in a hotel with a roof-top pool so we just chilled, drank, ate lots of tapas and got used to being Mr and Mrs!
Santorini was beautiful. We stayed in an apartment called Andronikos Canavas, which was just outside of Oia. It was almost like a cave and we had our own terrace and small pool, so it was the perfect place to relax yet also see the sights and sunsets.
Our top tip would be… don’t worry about the weather! No matter whether you have glorious sunshine or Northern storms, you’ll still have the most amazing day. No one is there to develop a tan – they’re there to share your day. If you need an umbrella, it just makes a great photo prop.