Real Weddings

Suzanne Neville for a Summer Wedding at Middleton Lodge – Jill & Tim

Julia Braime

Providing gorgeous inspiration for those of you wanting to let your choice of big day setting speak for itself, Jill and Tim kept the styling of their beautiful summer wedding simple yet elegant.

Centered around a neutral white and green palette, flourishes of romantic blooms and trailing foliage provided just the right amount of detail to complement and enhance the stunning Fig House, part of the Middleton Lodge Estate, set within its very own spectacular walled gardens.

The overall vibe is rustic and relaxed though each element has been carefully considered, from the stationery and cake through to the bridal party’s stunning attire. In particular, we find it difficult to take our eyes off bride Jill in her sensational choice of strapless Rene gown by one of our very favourite British designers, Suzanne Neville. Teamed with a dreamy cathedral length veil the overall look is nothing short of divine!

With images by Abbie Sizer Photography


Jill says: This occurred when we were living and working on the North Island of New Zealand in a place called Tutakaka, after escaping from the UK for a couple of years! Tim managed to find local jewellers and designed a bespoke engagement ring (unknown to me!). On 28th March 2017 we went for a picnic on our favourite hidden beach in New Zealand, Whale Bay. Tim set up the camera on timer and started playing our favourite song. We managed to capture the moment he proposed on camera, which was magical! Looking back, I probably should have questioned why he was wearing a shirt in 30-degree heat!


We got married on Monday 29th July 2019. We chose this date as we are both doctors and many of our family and friends are doctors or teachers. The Monday meant it fell in the summer holidays, for the teachers, and it is much easier to get a Monday off on our NHS rota than a weekend! We left it a little while as we wanted to get married in the UK and didn’t return from our worldwide travels until July 2018.

We chose the beautiful Middleton Lodge Estate in North Yorkshire as our venue, with the reception taking place at their Fig House, and the ceremony taking place at the local church, St Michaels and All Angels, Middleton Tyas.

The venue is close to my parents’ home and close enough to where we currently live in York to visit frequently. We both wanted to get married in a church but didn’t want guests to travel too far between church and reception, plus the church is beautiful with amazing surrounding views. The Fig House was exactly what we wanted. We loved the wildflowers in the garden and the colours in the summer were beautiful. The building with exposed brick walls and lantern lights was perfect. We visited the venue multiple times in the summer, when it rained and even in the snow and each time, we still loved it.


We didn’t have a special theme, we just wanted it to be as relaxed as possible.

Colour-wise, we wanted a very simple palette for our wedding as the flowers in the garden were pinks and purples so didn’t want anything to clash. We chose white and green colour themes that ran throughout our invitations and flowers.


My dress was Rene by Suzanne Neville. I bought it from The Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It was actually the first dress I tried on and absolutely loved it, but it was the complete opposite of what I had in my mind for ‘my wedding dress’. But I couldn’t get it out of my head so a few months later I went back to try it on again with my mum and sisters. There were tears and I felt like a bride, so I just knew it was the one.


Tim wore a light grey Ted Baker suit with a blush pink tie to match with the bridesmaids. The best man wore the same Ted Baker suit as the groom. Tim chose to have eight other groomsmen! Unfortunately our budget wasn’t big enough to cover the cost of suits so we asked them all to wear their own grey suits and we provided them with blush pink ties and some ‘happy socks’ to add to their outfit!


My three bridesmaid dresses were from Ted Baker and they all looked beautiful in them!

I had three flower girls – there outfits were all purchased from Marks & Spencer.


Our hair was done by the amazing Leanne Hamilton. She was absolutely amazing and worked with each bridesmaid to do different styles that suited them. On the morning of my wedding I had a last minute hair piece (my sister’s wedding hair piece, so I had something borrowed) change which altered my hair style and Leanne was so flexible she did a fantastic job, we were all so pleased with our hair!


We hired Neal from Classic Wedding Cars and chose Rolls Royce Silver Shadow to take myself and my dad to the church and then Tim and I to the reception. Tim stayed at the venue the night before with his family, so they didn’t need transport, and my family home is only 20 minutes away. As we were all spending the night of the wedding there we decided it would be easier for people to drive.


Our photographers were Abbie Sizer and her husband Lee. We would definitely recommend them, they were absolutely amazing throughout the journey. They blended in with all of our family and friends which made for a relaxed environment, we were often unaware they were snapping away. We loved their relaxed, natural style of all their photographs and still managed to get a few formal ones to keep everyone happy.


Our florist was The Flower Room, Yarm. They are a local florist and were amazing. I wanted a relaxed bouquet with white and green theme throughout and a smaller version for the bridesmaids. My aunt Christine planted a Eucalyptus tree in our garden before she sadly passed away. We asked if we could use some of this in our bouquets and they were brilliant.

Our table decorations were greenery running along the middle of the wooden trestle tables which were provided by The Flower Room Yarm. We bought some hurricane lanterns and white pillar candles from Ikea to dot around the tables. The florist was fantastic and put these out for us as well. We chose some dried lavender from a local lavender farm for the table setting and I hand wrote everyone’s names.

We used Paperchase for our wedding stationery and table settings, which we would recommend as the quality was brilliant.


We chose a three-tier wedding cake from Great British Cupcakery in Newcastle. We chose three different flavours for each layer: cookies and cream, lemon and raspberry and then Victoria sponge. The cookies and cream went down well! All three flavours were absolutely delicious. They delivered and set up the cake with some of flowers from our florist and it looked incredible.


We chose a band called The West Coast Heroes. They were absolutely amazing and really made the evening! They had everyone on the dancefloor and were just fantastic.


We had two huge fire pits outside in the evening and provided skewers and massive marshmallows for people to toast, they went down well! We also provided sparklers for an amazing sparkler shot as it got dark.

To keep the kids entertained we provided some lawn games and a space hopper. At the table we provided bags full of goodies to keep them busy throughout speeches.

We named all the tables after our favourite beaches in New Zealand, the top table was called Whale Bay. As a nod to our travels we also wanted to choose wines that had some meaning to us. We chose a New Zealand Sauvignon which was delicious and our favourite wine. For the red we chose a Chilean Pinor Noir so it wasn’t too heavy and though most people would enjoy.

Finally, we provided a Polaroid camera alongside our guest book, which caught some amazing shots as the night progressed!


Following our wedding, we would definitely recommend Middleton Lodge to other couples. The venue is beautiful, we absolutely loved it and still go back for lunch and to enjoy a walk around. We are so happy we chose Middleton Lodge – their team went above and beyond. When we crawled into bed after all the guests had left, staff had left us a bacon and sausage sandwich each and the rest of our bubbles in the room. Was much appreciated and needed!


All of it! We loved every single bit. We wouldn’t change a thing. The only downside was it went too quick! The day just flew over.


We haven’t had a honeymoon but said our travelling the world prior to the wedding was going to be our big honeymoon. We went on a minimoon in the UK to Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley to relax for a couple of nights which was much needed.

We were hoping for a honeymoon this summer, but I think we will be rearranging due to Covid!


Don’t stress on the big day. Make sure you delegate to groomsmen/bridesmaids to make sure everything runs smoothly so you can relax and enjoy every second, it really does go so fast!

Also, most of the time it’s usually just the bride (and maybe groom!) that actually knows what should be happening, so if something doesn’t quite go as planned, nobody will even realise, so don’t fret!

During the planning I bought UNVEILED magazine to get some wedding inspo and absolutely loved it!

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