Real Weddings

Rembo Styling for a Valentine’s Wedding at The Normans – Anna & Olly

Sarah Symonds

We’re bringing you a joy-filled and ever-so-slightly Valentine’s themed wedding today as we head over to Bilbrough near York for the wedding of cute couple Anna and Olly!

When the soundtrack of a day is played by New York Brass Band, you know it’s going to be a good one! And it certainly seems like the upbeat, lively tunes fit well with the overall feel of this celebration of love! Look at all those happy faces!

The star detailing on Anna’s gorgeous Rembo gown, the sequins that let the rest of the bride tribe really shine and the jazzy reds and pops of pink in the floral arrangements all add to the vibrant excitement on the farm that day – plus we love that the bride did her own speech. She took the chance to say all the things that often go unsaid, while singing the praises of her new husband, natch! In fact, let’s hand it over to Anna again now…

With photography by Amy Jordison Photography


We got engaged in Devon, while we were on holiday. I had a feeling Olly was going to ask but we kept visiting these stunning places and, after a few days, nothing had happened.

Then, as we were playing table tennis one evening in the dusty, old games room at our accommodation, Olly said if I won he would give me a prize. I am competitive so I was pretty determined. When I won (or perhaps he let me!) my prize was Olly getting down on knee with a beautiful ring from a shop I love called Tom Foolery in London.

As an aside, if you’re looking for a gorgeous engagement ring which is slightly different from the norm then I would definitely recommend this shop!


Our original wedding date was the 17th of April 2021 but it was postponed due to Covid, which actually worked out well because our children were both a bit older by the time we actually got married, so they could enjoy the day with us.

Our new date was the 12th of February 2022, close to Valentine’s Day which I love. The ceremony and the reception were all at The Normans in Bilbrough, just outside York.


There were a few Valentine’s Day touches. For example, the place names, table plan and heart balloons – but it wasn’t too over the top. There wasn’t a really precise colour scheme. The flowers were cream, blush, maroon with a hint of purple and brown with lots of foliage. I had seen similar colours on pinterest and thought they went nicely with the bridesmaid dresses.


My dress was called Superstar by Rembo Styling and it was from Lace & Co. I had a disastrous dress shopping trip with my Mum just after having my son. I felt quite body conscious but didn’t have loads of time until the wedding so was feeling the pressure. Everything I tried on looked hideous.

After this, I decided to do a bit of research and I really liked the laid back look of the Rembo Styling dresses. I have a fuller figure and don’t wear many dresses so I was worried, but the ladies at Lace & Co were brilliant. I could have bought at least five different dresses when I visited that shop! The Superstar dress was actually the first one I tried on and nothing quite measured up to how it made me feel. It was relaxed and I could move in it easily but it was also uniquely pretty.


Olly wore a navy suit from Hawes and Curtis. The groomsmen wore mismatching navy suits that they already owned. Olly bought them all floral ties from Mrs BowTie which complemented the flowers.


My bridesmaids all wore a gold sequinned dress from Hobbs and Lila, my daughter, wore a blush sequin and tulle dress by Mini Maya.


For hair and makeup we had Jodie Robinson, who is my long term hairdresser. She is brilliant!


Amy Jordison was fab and I would thoroughly recommend her. I loved the laid back style of her photos as soon as I saw them on her website. Both Olly and I were keen not to have loads of formal pictures and Amy took plenty of brilliant natural shots.


I carried a beautiful bouquet put together by Natasha Coustol. The venue flowers followed the same theme as the bouquets. Natasha also used a lot of natural foliage.

The table plan, welcome sign and order of the day sign were made by Olly’s Dad, who is quite crafty. I gave him a brief and he followed it well with the addition of a few of his own touches.

We hung glass tealights from the long table gantries which I bought from eBay and the middle tables had pillar candles from Dunelm, low lying foliage and mason jars filled with flowers.

We hired The Little Balloon Company to do our Valentine’s themed balloon decor.


Olly’s brother made an impressive number of different flavoured gin favours and my Mum made the delicious chocolate brownie favours which accompanied them.


My Mum made the cake too. It was in three layers; lemon and elderflower, lemon and ginger and lemon and dark chocolate chunk. No prizes for guessing what flavour cake I like!


We took absolutely ages to pick our food. The menu that the Hog and Apple provided was amazing. They could cater to every taste and style. In the end we decided on an array of different canapes (because we had a slightly longer drinks reception) then we went straight into a main of bbq sharing boards (steak, chicken and prawn kebabs) with an impressive number of side dishes. We wanted a laid back sharing style where guests could pick what they wanted. We then ended with a trio of desserts. The food was delicious and plentiful!

The wine we chose was Sauvaignon Blanc (Los Tres Curas Central Valley, Chile) and Rioja Tinto (Bodegas Luis Alegre Rioja, N.E Spain). We both enjoy drinking wine but we don’t know much about it. Doug at the Hog and Apple suggested these as crowd pleasers that went well with the food and he was right. Many bottles were consumed!


We chose The New York Brass Band to play for the ceremony and drinks reception. This was such a good choice! I loved them playing me down the aisle with an instrumental version of It Must Be Love by The Madness, and then playing both of us back up the aisle after we’d said our vows with Celebration by Kool and The Gang. They set the party tone and our guests loved them.

We chose to have a DJ in the evening provided by Jonny Ross Music. We love a good dance and wanted to be able to have all the party tunes with love. However, we also wanted there to be an interactive fun element for our guests so we had a live percussionist and saxophonist who performed alongside the DJ. They were brilliant and so much fun.

Thanks to

Amy Jordison, our photographer, was wonderful. She was so relaxed and easy to be around. She spent time answering any questions before the day and was so speedy at putting together our album afterwards. I would highly recommend her.

All our suppliers were great though! I would use them all again and recommend them to anyone.

The Normans is beautiful but what’s so brilliant about the venue is its ‘flow’. That sounds a strange thing to say but the day really did flow well from the ceremony barn, to the cow stalls and courtyard where we had our drinks reception and then onto the grain shed where we had the wedding breakfast and evening party. Another bonus is that the bar is right next to the dance floor so the party stays well contained and everyone is quick to dance!

Best bit

I honestly couldn’t say which was our best bit. There were so many special moments. The ceremony was beautiful and it was lovely walking down the aisle towards Olly. I was a bag of nerves until my brother did his reading which was hilarious. Everyone was laughing and it set the fun, relaxed tone for the rest of the day.

Weirdly, I also really enjoyed doing my speech. I had been in two minds about it but I’m so glad I did it. It required quite a lot of prep and rehearsal but I think it paid off. It was great to be able to tell some funny anecdotes from my point of view while also getting to tell everyone how wonderful Olly is.


We have yet to go on our big honeymoon, which will be with the kids. We plan to go to Australia! However, we did have a couple of nights away straight after the wedding, child-free, which was lovely. We stayed at the Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, near Skipton. It was great to have a few days of relaxation after the big day and gave us time to reflect on how brilliant it had been.


Enjoy your day and don’t sweat the small stuff. That’s my advice! I spent ages thinking about table plans and favours and none of that stuff matters really and on the day you don’t think about it at all.

Our day was brilliant but it really did whizz by quickly, so try to take in every minute of it and enjoy all of your favourite people being together celebrating with you.

join the northern revolution

Would you like to see your real wedding, love story, styled shoot, forthcoming event or wedding business featured on Brides Up North? Contact Brides Up North for real wedding and features submissions or details of our sponsorship packages.

Contact us to be featured on Brides Up North

have your say

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *