Real Weddings

Enzoani for a Botanical Wedding at Bowcliffe Hall – Rebecca & Stu

22nd July 2020 | Sarah Symonds

A focus on classic cars, an elegant venue, a wild, botanical theme and an all-white colour scheme with green accents and plenty of seasonal foliage. Perfection, right? Welcome to the wedding of Rebecca and Stu.

Lockdown has been a funny old time for so many of us but it warms our hearts on the daily to hear about all the amazing weddings, the stories behind them and, of course, the happy-ever-afters of our gorgeous couples! Today’s pair are expecting their first baby in October and we feel all misty-eyed at the prospect!

But, before their next adventure begins, we’re going back in time to last May. We’ve got all of the finer deets from the (current) best day of their lives! Let’s hear from Rebecca to see how it all went down.

With photography by Mr and Mrs Boutique Wedding Photography

Proposal

Rebecca says: Stu proposed to me while we were on a road trip around the West Coast of the USA. We had been on the road a while, having visited San Francisco and Vegas. The morning he proposed we had been on a helicopter ride over the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon, followed by a champagne breakfast in the canyon.

The experience was AMAZING and I later found that it was in the Grand Canyon he intended to propose! However, Stu being Stu, when we got there he couldn’t find the ring!

Luckily the ring had just fallen into his suitcase. Of course, I didn’t know this until he got down on one knee back in our hotel room, after that amazing experience, and asked me to marry him. We were staying at the MGM Grand in Vegas and we had been upgraded to a suite. The room was incredible and the moment was just perfect. I later admitted that I preferred that he had proposed within the privacy of our room!

Setting

We got married on the 25th May 2019. May is such a beautiful month with spring flowers and colours that really fit well with our green floral theme. We were lucky enough to get the bank holiday weekend too.

Our village vicar and family friend, Canon Chris Coates, married us at St Andrews Church in Bishopthorpe. It is a place very close to my heart, since I grew up in Bishopthorpe and my parents also got married there too. We had Andy Williams’ This Is The Moment playing before I walked into church. Whilst waiting and listening to the song I felt so ready to become Stu’s wife.

Our venue was Bowcliffe Hall in Bramham. When it came to choosing the venue we both knew Bowcliffe was the one. We not only loved the house, but the stunning grounds and beautifully kept gardens made it perfect for the theme of our day. We also adored all the little hidden quirks, such as the collectible artwork and the focus on classic cars which all the men loved! It really is a truly special venue and the team were incredible from start to finish.

Theme

The vision for the day was for it to be very green, botanical and romantic, yet slightly boho and wild.

The venue is so beautiful that it really didn’t need too much decorating, but our florist, Joanna Keely Flowers, added a little ruscus foliage to the candelabras and staircase, with a mix of small vases with flowers to each table. Ambience Venue Styling dotted tea lights on the tables, and the table names were a single fern leaf tucked into the napkins to add a bit of wildness.

We also enhanced the wild botanical feel with a set of faux wisteria trees above the top table provided by my parents’ wedding business, Limelight Wedding Emporium. A botanical flower wall in the drinks area also acted as a lovely natural photo opportunity for guests.

We decided on a sage green colour theme to suit the greenery of Bowcliffe’s reception room as well as its vast open garden. We loved the natural, healthy feel and it fit perfectly with the month of May.

Dress

I wore a beautiful Enzoani A-line wedding dress. It was named after my grandpop’s favourite flower, lavender, so it was particularly special to me. As soon as I put the dress on I wanted to cry as I loved it so much. It had everything that I wanted – super girly, light, ethereal, yet a bit boho and wild. It was so classy.

Groomsmen

Stu wore a slim fitted dark green suit from French Connection. He coordinated it with a tweed waistcoat and green tie by Marc Darcy. It fit really well with his Yorkshire roots, and looked great as part of our overall wedding theme. The groomsmen wore identical outfits to Stu.

We had two page boys who wore very similar dark green trousers and tweed waistcoats from H&M Kids. They both looked so handsome!

Bridesmaids

I had seven bridesmaids and one very cute little flower girl. They wore beautiful sage green chiffon floor length dresses from Hobbs. The dresses were so flattering on each and every girl, and they all looked absolutely stunning!

My adorable niece was my little flower girl. She had just turned two at the time, and wore a boho style white and lace dress by Monsoon. She absolutely adored getting dressed up!

Beauty

Bridal by Emily Josephs is lovely, very chatty and charismatic, and does absolutely everything to make sure you feel comfortable and confident on the big day.

Transport

My parents established Limelight Wedding Emporium following my sister’s wedding in 2013. They have grown their fleet of classic cars over the years, and I had ALWAYS had my heart set on the Morris Minor Convertible as my wedding car. It is so sweet and looks absolutely beautiful on wedding pictures.

My bridesmaids travelled in Limelight’s VW Split-Screen Camper. It underwent a thorough renovation two years ago so is absolutely pristine inside and out and absolutely amazing for pictures. It was also large enough to fit my bridal party!

Both chauffeurs wore country attire so to fit with our outdoor theme. It worked really well and they look so lovely in our wedding pictures as an additional touch.

Photographer

Our photographer was Craig from Mr & Mrs Boutique Wedding Photography.

I don’t particularly like posed shots, so asked him to capture the moments on the day and make the photos as natural as possible. He did an absolutely amazing job!

We felt at ease the whole day, his presence wasn’t imposing, and you can really see this relaxed vibe throughout his photos. I feel he really caught the spirit and emotion of our day from start to finish. On top of that he is an absolute gentleman. It is so clear he puts his heart and soul into his photography and we really couldn’t recommend him enough.

Videographer

Craig from Mr & Mrs Boutique Wedding Photography did a super vintage style film capturing the day, he set it to music and we love it so much.

Styling

I went for a very soft, natural foliage look, with lots of greens and a few white flowers. My bouquet consisted of ruscus, eucalyptus, eustoma, daisies, eryngium, roses and white freesia. All the bridesmaids had a smaller version of my bouquet and the men had matching buttonholes.

All florals were provided by Joanna Keely Flowers from Bishopthorpe. We were incredibly lucky to have my parents’ wedding business, Limelight Wedding Emporium, do a lot of the big décor pieces on the day.

Upon arrival, our guests were welcomed by the sight of two 5ft ivory hanging cherry blossom trees placed on pedestals on either side of the stairs. We also had lanterns in addition to foliage – it looked stunning!

We also had beautiful green and white wisteria canopy trees provided by Limelight, which hung beautifully over the top table. They really suited the colour of the reception room and Craig caught some wonderful photos of the speeches underneath them.

Joanna Keely Flowers decorated the silver candelabras in the reception room with ruscus, and adorned the tables with a mix of small bud vases and fresh foliage. The top table had a runner of ruscus that draped over the end of the table and looked very wild and natural.

We also had Limelight’s stunning botanical flower wall which worked wonderfully for photos during the day. We moved this into the dance area in the evening and added Limelight’s very popular “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” hot pink neon sign. It gave the room an amazing party vibe and also worked great for photos!

Favours

We worked closely with the lovely Helen at Sweet Chic to create three beautiful green and white chocolates in a clear box. They fit wonderfully with our colour theme and brought a little tradition to the day, representing ‘health, wealth & fertility’.

Cake

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Stu and I are both chocolate monsters and it couldn’t have been anything else. It was designed and created by Stu’s very talented sister, Jenny Fenton (who clearly knows us too well).

Dining

We decided on the tailored package offered by Bowcliffe Hall. We were invited along to some menu tasting evenings in the months running up to the wedding. It was incredibly beneficial as we were also able to welcome family members to give their opinions in order to develop a well-rounded menu suitable for all of our guests.

On the day itself, we welcomed guests with a selection of delicious canapés which included mini Yorkshire puddings, hot smoked salmon mousse, goats cheese bonbons and sushi. In addition we served botanical infused Prosecco and beer from the venue’s vintage bike drinks stand on the terrace.

For the wedding breakfast we selected vegetarian spiced butternut spring rolls with coconut, kaffir and sriracha sauce for starters.

For mains we selected slow cooked belly pork served with sage pressed potato, baby leeks and roasted shallot puree for our meat-eaters. For our vegetarians we selected ragout of pearl barley, smoked garlic and charred spring onion. We felt the pork belly was a brave choice, but both dishes went down perfectly.

Dessert was a steamed toffee and date pudding with salted butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream.

All dishes were served with a selection of quality French wines. The service by Bowcliffe staff was exceptional from start to finish and you could see how highly trained each and every member was.

In the evening we served a selection of fish’n’chip cones, chip cones, and BBQ pulled pork burgers, which were served and enjoyed outside on the terrace while listening to the live music.

Entertainment

During the drinks reception we had Just To Be Frank (AKA Phil Fryer). He was so incredibly charming and he sounds and looks identical to Frank Sinatra! He was a real crowd pleaser, performing out on the terrace during our drinks reception. He really got the garden party mood going! He then performed three amazing renditions during our wedding breakfast which had people up dancing, singing – even crying. He was just amazing and a real highlight of our day.

In the evening we had a live band called Undercovered. They came highly recommended and performed a selection of our favourite classic rock songs. They were fabulous and had everyone on the dance floor all night.

During our marriage ceremony at St Andrew’s Church we had the local Bishopthorpe Community Choir perform. My Mum had been a member for a while so she used her charm to rope them in . They sang Edelweiss, which was one of my grandad’s favourite songs and brings a tear to my eye each time I hear it. They also performed Songbird by Fleetwood Mac which is one of my all-time favourite songs. The lyrics are just so perfect and I was so happy to have made it part of the day.

Our dog Dylan also came to the wedding. He normally barks but was a very good boy and (of course) took centre stage in a lot of photos.

Thanks to

Bowcliffe Hall! They were 100% faultless. Laura Shinkfield from Bowcliffe acted as our wedding coordinator and was absolutely fantastic from day one. The wider team were also just wonderful, nothing was too much trouble, and absolutely everyone went that extra mile. All our suppliers were amazing and we have personally thanked them all.

Best bit

The Church ceremony was very special to us, since it’s my local Church and our Vicar has been involved in so many family occasions, both happy and sad.

At the reception, Phil Fryer also needs a special mention as he completely stole the show. He is still talked about by our guests a year later! A particular moment which will stay with me forever is when he welcomed my granddad to sing a line with him. He sadly died not long after but I am so humbled he was able to attend and participate in such a magical way. It made his day, and mine!

Honeymoon

We went to Bali and it was an amazing experience and a wonderful gift from Stu’s parents. Our guests gifted us lots of money in the form of Bali rupiah, which essentially made us “millionaires” in that currency.

Advice

Our tips for other couples would be to do it the way you want to. Every bride has pressure from family and friends as to what they think you want but it’s your day, and you should have full control to make it the day you want to remember.

We attended a number of Brides Up North wedding fairs. They were so good, very well organised and we were able to get a lot of advice. I also love UNVEILED magazine and it was my absolute go-to source for wedding inspo and local suppliers in the lead up to the wedding.

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