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Instantly lifting spirits, the beautiful garden setting and warm family vibes of this gorgeous real wedding has us smiling from ear to ear.
Keen to make their big day a fun occasion for guests of all ages, Nicola and Graham planned fully inclusive celebrations complete with garden games, crafts and even a wedding pinata! Furthermore, to ensure their adult guests could enjoy the wedding meal without the need to chase their offspring around the room, the thoughtful couple hired two nannies to supervise a kids’ table for that part of the proceedings. Genius!
There stunning choice of venue, the Broughton Estate, enabled them to extend their celebrations through its onsite accommodation, plus its stunning grounds helped inspire Nicola and Graham’s garden party theme with sunshine, smiles and cocktails as standard.
With images by Jenny Maden Photography
Nicola says: We got engaged in December 2017 while in Amsterdam. We had gone for our first child-free weekend since having our children Esther and Albert. Graham had been to see a local jeweller, Iain Henderson Designs, who provides a unique service called ‘propose with a diamond’. You choose the stone you want and it comes in a beautiful presentation box. Then, when you have sealed the deal, you can go back to them and design the ring together as a couple! Graham wanted to propose on a romantic evening cruise but in reality, it was below freezing and very busy and he lost his nerve. Not wanting his nerves to continue into the next day he asked me later than night while we were having drinks in the hotel bar. It was perfect.
We got married on the 1st of June 2019. We wanted to get married in summer hoping for good weather as we have small children and wanted them and other children coming to the wedding to have outside space to play. I envisaged a garden party with lots of fun and games.
We got married at the Broughton Hall Estate in Skipton. It is a stunning venue with quite a few options on site. We got married in the Eden house, which we also hired for the whole weekend so family could stay and have a weekend of celebrations with us. A short walk away from Eden is Utopia where we had our reception. It is a beautiful contemporary building set in a walled garden. What we loved about the venue is that we could move in for the weekend, have family and friends round for dinner the night before the wedding, have a beautiful venue to get married in and lovely gardens for the kids to explore and play. They loved it and still ask when we can go back to our holiday wedding house! It really was the perfect location.
We didn’t intentionally set out with one, but over the planning process natural themes started to evolve. We wanted a garden party theme with sunshine and games for the grownups as well as the kids, lovely food and cocktails. The stunning gardens at Utopia helped that theme come alive and we hired some amazing garden games and vintage deckchairs from a company called Add Vintage. We also found a lovely girl called Charlotte Clay, who runs a company called Weekend Nannies, and provides everything from childcare at weddings to decoration, games and crafts for the children. She decorated the children’s table for us and made each child an individual table name and gift bag and also provided a table with crafts and games. She made us a wedding cake pinata, which the kids (and grownups) absolutely loved! I also wanted music to play a big part in the day and wanted lots of dancing which we managed to achieve!
The colour scheme was blush pinks with, copper, grey and marble and pops of green Eucalyptus. It started with finding the most beautiful blush pink bridesmaid dresses from Monsoon and just sort of went from there really! My husband is a plumber by trade, and we had an idea to use copper piping for the table plan and table numbers and my florist managed to get these made. She also sourced some copper stands and milk churns to dress the venue. They looked amazing. I found some beautiful grey marble stationary from a company called The Foil Invite Company, which I used for the save the dates and invitations and carried that theme through the to the wedding.
My dress was by Jesus Peiro from Lovebird Brides in Ilkley. I visited the boutique and initially didn’t pick out the dress. My friends chose it for me to try and we all loved it. The style was very simple with clean lines but had a beautiful low back with a tulle lining. It had very dramatic shoulders with silver embellishment. It really was very simple but very beautiful.
My husband wore a three-piece charcoal suit made from a company called Hawes and Curtis in Leeds. We found some charcoal grey and ivory stripe silk ties from M&S which went perfectly with the colour scheme. Our groomsmen wore charcoal three-piece suits from M&S.
My two bridesmaids wore beautiful blush pink full-length dresses from Monsoon. I had three flower girls who wore ivory dresses from Next with glittery pink Converse trainers. They looked beautiful!
My little boy Albert wore grey shorts and a white shirt with braces and grey converse trainers.
Kimberley Brook Makeup, based in Apperley Bridge, West Yorkshire took care of beauty. We had a trial prior to the wedding, which went really well. We were all really happy with our makeup on the day.
My hairdresser Stacie, from Fuzzy’s in Addingham, did our hair. I had a trial with her prior to the wedding and really loved the style we decided on. I wore it up which is unusual for me me but really showed off the shoulder embellishment and back of the dress.
Our photographer was a lovely local lass called Jenny Maden. I am lucky enough to call her a friend, but she is also an amazing photographer. I had a look at a few photographers and their websites and styles of photography but I knew along with Jenny’s relaxed, natural photography style her calmness and easy going nature would be perfect on the day and she managed to capture the most beautiful photographs which really told a story of the day while making everyone feel at ease.
I had the most stunning bouquet created by Angela Naylor at Floral Dance in Ilkley. It was a cascading style bouquet with Fern white Hydrangeas, copper Fern, Eucalyptus and beautiful Quicksand Roses. Angela provided all the flowers and dressed the venue and it was absolutely breath-taking to see all our ideas come to life. She totally nailed it!
We had a beautiful ‘naked’ cake made by Crumbs in Silsden. It was three tiers of lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge and chocolate dressed with berries and macaroons.
The Good Food Story in Addingham, catered our wedding and they were just brilliant from start to finish. They are so much more than caterers and project managed our whole day! We started with canapes and prosecco in the gardens after the ceremony and for main course we had a gourmet barbecue with platters of chicken, salmon, steak and haloumi and vegetable kebabs served to the tables with side salads. For dessert we had baked cheesecake with fruit compote and sticky toffee pudding.
In terms of drinks, we had red, white and rose wines on the tables and instead of a toast drink we had gin cocktails in the gardens afterwards.
We love music and wanted everyone up dancing all night. We started with an amazing band called Retro Revolution a seven-piece swing band who played two sets and our first dance song Fly Me To The Moon.
As a surprise we booked a saxophonist called Ellie Sax. We managed to keep it a secret till she walked on and this was one of the highlights of the day. She was absolutely unbelievable and really brought the party to the wedding.
We agreed not to have traditional speeches, but Graham decided to say a few words and totally blew everyone away with a hilarious speech. My maid of honour also read a lovely poem about us and our family and my step-daughter did a beautiful reading about family and love during the ceremony. They were all lovely extra touches that really helped to make the day special.
We would absolutely recommend our choice of venue to other couples. It is a stunning venue that offers many different options in a beautiful setting. They also have accommodation on the estate and many other options of accommodation in and around Skipton for guests.
Walking into the room and seeing Graham, and my children waiting for me to marry their daddy.
Also, taking a moment with my hubbie to look at everyone from a distance and appreciating that everyone we know and love was there in that one room. And not forgetting, partying the night away to Ellie Sax!
After the wedding, we went to Sorrento for five days and stayed in a beautiful hotel by the sea then we went to France for a familymoon with the kids later in the year.
Let go of any stress before the big day and just enjoy it. Don’t worry too much about traditions and put your own spin on it. Speeches, favours, top tables, first dances are all personal to you.
The budget will go over – but if you really want something just go for it (within reason!) Think about what people will enjoy – good food, lots to drink and music played heavily in our day!
Finally, think about children – if there are any on the guestlist consider a kids’ table with games and crafts. We also got two nannies to supervise the kids’ table during the meal so the grownups could relax for five minutes and eat their meal in peace.
Also, during the planning I read the real weddings and inspiration features on Brides Up North, which I found really helpful. It’s an amazing resource… I still follow the Brides Up North Instagram account!