Two teachers tying the knot in the holidays makes for the perfect August wedding, complete with big, happy sunflowers and bright neon lights. Get ready to celebrate with Karen and Tom.
Today’s lovely couple chose to host their big day at the iconic, imposing and impressive Tetley building in Leeds. An old brewery is the perfect place for a party! Industrial art gallery meets hippy chic, this city centre venue ticked all the right boxes, while allowing the bride and groom to showcase their beloved hometown.
Our relaxed bride simply glows in her floaty boho gown, complete with a floral crown, natch, and surrounded by her faithful bride tribe looking gorgeous in navy blue. We’re seeing jubilant guests arriving by vintage bus, wildflowers styled with bunting, handmade personal touches and an assortment of lovingly collected gin bottles.
So, grab yourself a cuppa (or a pint of Tetley’s?!) and read on for all the classic Yorkshire wedding inspo.
With photography by James & Lianne Wedding Photography
Karen says: We were on holiday in Thailand, we’d had a beautiful first day enjoying the sunshine and treated ourselves to a Thai massage. We arrived back to our apartment and, whilst I was distracted trying to find my misplaced sunglasses, Tom was busy grabbing the ring box and getting down on one knee. I turned around to see him kneeling, ring box in hand and a bottle of champagne on ice. It was a perfect start to our holiday because we spent the rest of the trip excitedly thinking about ideas for the wedding, as we sat on the beach, drinking cocktails!
We got married on the 24th of August 2019. We’re both teachers so knew we wanted to make use of our summer holidays. It was ideal having four weeks to relax and get last minute wedding prep out of the way without having to worry about work!
Our ceremony was in The Albert Room at Leeds Town Hall and the reception was at The Tetley Leeds, both iconic Leeds buildings. It meant a lot to us to have our wedding in the city centre so that we could show off our amazing home city to our guests. The Tetley is such a big part of Leeds’ history, as well as being such a great art space for our guests to wander around. We knew it was perfect as soon as we visited. Plus we love to be able to go back whenever we want for tea or a drink!
Ultimately we wanted a really relaxed, fun day rather than anything too stuffy, as that just isn’t us. The Tetley enabled us to plan the perfect, fun ‘piss up in a brewery’ and the blank canvas interior gave us the perfect opportunity to inject lots of colour and personality, without being constrained by the look of the venue.
After looking at dresses, flowers and accessories, we settled on a colour scheme of blues, yellows and whites and inadvertently added another touch of Yorkshire to our day by taking the colours of the Yorkshire flag!
My dress was the perfect relaxed, boho dress from Rembo Styling. I knew I wanted something floaty that would give me plenty of freedom to dance all night in (and channel my inner Florence Welch). I bought it from The Bridal Collection in Harrogate.
I also added a custom jacked from Beespoke.
Out of the two of us, Tom is the one with expensive taste so I wasn’t surprised when he fell in love with a grey wool Burberry suit. Thankfully we managed to call in a favour with a friend and get a good deal on it!
Tom’s best man and brother, Jamie, was lucky enough to get the Burberry suit treatment too. (Again, very grateful to Tom’s friend for getting us a discount!) His other groomsmen had their own suits, which coordinated perfectly.
I hated the idea of ‘forcing’ my bridesmaids to all wear something I’d chosen, so I gave them a huge list of possible navy blue options from ASOS. Coincidentally, four went for the same ASOS design whilst my maid of honour Charlie opted for one of the Maya ASOS dresses. They all looked stunning!
Lottie Haigh was our hairdresser for the day and she was an absolute hair wizard. Not only did she create beautiful, individual styles for each of my bridesmaids, but she managed to pull together the most incredible boho style braided look for me. She honestly created an absolute masterpiece, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Our makeup was done by Jess from Faces Makeup. Jess and Lottie made the best team, ensuring our morning ran super-smoothly. My makeup was still perfect at the end of the night, after the hottest day of the whole summer and an evening of non-stop dancing!
Our original vintage bus company went out of business a month before the wedding, which caused us a lot of stress. Thankfully YesterYear Vintage Vehicle Hire came to our rescue. The bus was perfect, it even had old adverts for Leeds attractions inside to add to our very Yorkshire wedding. The bus pulled down the very narrow street to pick me, my bridesmaids and my dad up. We had so much fun travelling together. The bus then took our guests over to The Tetley after the ceremony.
James and Lianne were our photographers. We already knew they were brilliant as they’d photographed my friend’s wedding. Tom and I aren’t the most comfortable in front of the camera but James and Lianne were perfect. They captured the day brilliantly while making us feel so relaxed the whole time. We had so much fun with them and they found the most colourful and interesting backgrounds to suit the sunny day and urban landscape.
Daisy Chain were so helpful. I had very little idea about what I wanted, other than the fact we should feature white roses somehow. After looking at my dress, they helped me to decide on quite a wild bouquet with lots of greenery along with daisies, thistles, sunflowers and yellow pom pom flowers. It was the perfect relaxed summer bouquet. They even created the most stunning flower crown which finished off my look beautifully.
We made a bit of a project of collecting pretty spirit bottles, with help from family and friends, to use as our table decorations and fit our theme inside The Tetley. Daisy Chain filled over 40 bottles with flowers which matched my bouquet.
We hired vintage chairs from All Things Borrowed to help to create the relaxed, informal feel we wanted. We also had the incredible ‘Love’ neon sign from Love Lights The Way which acted as a brilliant backdrop behind our seats at the dinner table, as well as being a great focal point for the dance floor in the evening.
We used Valentina Photobooth as we wanted people to have a little token to take away from the day. Being dragged over to pose with an inflatable flamingo by all the little ones in my family was hilarious!
One of the first things I did after getting engaged was visit Wedstock at Stockeld Park with one of my bridesmaids. It was such a fun day out and filled me with relief that the wedding industry really did cater to our taste, rather than just the typical weddings you see so much of! Brides Up North was my go-to for inspiration. I loved seeing real weddings with suppliers that were based locally. There’s nothing more infuriating than reading nationwide publications and realising that all their suppliers are based in London!
We kept it simple with heart shaped chocolate favours from Hotel Chocolat.
Our cake was an incredible lavender and lemon sponge. The lovely Sara from Leelu Gray took so much care to find out about the decorations for the day and managed to source the same flowers for the cake. We got so many compliments about how beautiful it looked and tasted.
As the wedding was at The Tetley, we couldn’t not provide a very Yorkshire wedding breakfast of beef and Tetley ale pie with peas, followed up with our favourite local ice cream from Northern Bloc. Ice cream was perfect for the sunny weather and our guests migrated outside onto the terrace to eat it!
Our band were called The Magpies. They did some seriously funky covers and made our dance floor so much fun. The fact that Tom was barely away from the dance floor is a real testament of how good they are, as most of us had never seen him dance before!
We spent a long time deliberating over music. We wanted to make sure we chose songs that really reflected our own personalities. I walked down the aisle to Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and our first dance was to Baba O’Riley by The Who, which was such a fun song for everyone. I’ve never seen my dad and uncle so excited at the prospect of dancing!
Absolutely The Tetley! They were so helpful throughout and made the room look even better than we’d imagined. They made us feel so at home!
Both my engagement ring and our wedding rings were from a lovely boutique in Wetherby called Kendalls. They were absolutely lovely and made us feel so well looked after so they really deserve a mention!
Can I say all of it? It is so hard to pinpoint as the whole day was filled with laughter and smiles from everyone. So many people said they’d never before seen a wedding where every single guest was having so much fun!
We didn’t have long after the wedding until the school term started again, but we did manage to go to Lucca in Italy for a few days, which was absolutely stunning. Our ‘proper’ honeymoon should be this summer; we’ve booked a big trip to Japan but sadly that might have to be put on hold whilst the world gets back to normal after Covid-19.
My advice for another couple would be to enjoy yourselves! We genuinely had the most fun day of our lives and so much of that was down to us feeling really relaxed as we’d planned a day that completely suited us and our guests.