I have a delightful wedding to share today, the winter wedding of Michelle and Davy who were married in December of last year at the stunning venue of Anthony’s Piazza at the Corn Exchange Leeds.
Michelle and Davy wanted a vintage feel to their wedding with a nod to Yorkshire, not to mention fabulous food and drink. Michelle looks absolutely stunning in her Lusan Mandongus gown, and i adore Davy’s brown suit.
They had some lovely, earthy, rustic details, with wheat sheafs, beautiful florals, hessian and a vintage typewriter guest book.
I have to say the portrait images in today’s feature blew me away, they were actually shot two days after the wedding, but they are simply divine.
Thanks so much to the wonderful John Hope Photography for sharing his work with us today…
Names…. Michelle and Davy
Wedding Date…. 3rd December 2011
The Proposal…. 5th December 2010 on our 7 year anniversary. Davy suggested an early morning walk at 8am. It was a beautiful morning with snow on the ground and a clear sky. We went to Bolton Abbey on the Devonshire Estate which is one of our favourite places to walk. We were the only people around. Davy surprised me with the proposal and champagne in the snow. He gave me a diamond solitaire engagement ring that was made by my uncle who is a jeweller in Hatton Garden in London. Davy had booked us into the Devonshire Arms hotel, where we later spent our wedding night and we shared the news with all our family and friends and started to make plans.
The Vision for the day…. Having relocated to Ilkley, Yorkshire from London a few years ago we really wanted to show our guests the best of where we live in terms of food, location and hospitality. We had guests coming from all over the country and world (Davy and I met living in New York and had lots of stateside guests) and wanted to give them all an experience worth travelling for. Winter is a special season, the moors look beautiful on a crisp winter’s day and the Corn Exchange interior is at its best light up for the evening. So December seemed the obvious month when everyone is excited about the run up to Christmas.
We had a vintage style feel with a nod to Yorkshire and a real focus on the food, drink and reception venue. We very much wanted people to feel our personalities in all the details rather than a wedding out of the box. Once we chose the venue the theme really took care of itself. The Corn Exchange is a beautiful building in the heart of Leeds. Staying true to the history of the building and taking our inspiration from its days as a corn trading market we tried to play those historic elements through into our day in an individual way.
The Planning process…. As 2 project managers by career we approached it quite a methodical way with plenty of post it notes! Our biggest struggle was finding the right venue that had wow factor but most importantly would give us a day tailored to us without restrictions on food or drink choices or quantities! When we found the Corn Exchange venue and met Anthony and Olga of Antony’s Piazza at the Corn Exchange it all became quite easy and fun.
The Venue… Anthony’s Piazza at the Corn Exchange Leeds
The Dress + Accessories….. Vintage style layered lace ivory dress by Lusan Mandongus which the wedding dress shop personalised with some sheer cap sleeves with a beaded edge. Cathedral length ivory train. Accessorised with a Pearl and crystal headpiece by Jenny Packham and some simple ivory satin peep toe heels.
Finding the dress…. Whilst I did most of my wedding dress looking with my sister I actually found ‘the dress’ on a quick visit by myself. I didn’t expect to feel so attached to a dress, but I really did when I found it. I loved the vintage feel and the many layers of lace.
Groom’s attire… Bespoke brown tweed 3 piece suit made by Norton Townsend in Salts Mill, Saltaire Bradford. Worn with a camel wool tie from J.Crew New York and brown brogues. Accessorised with cufflinks that were Davy’s grandfathers, a pocket watch that has been passed down on Michelle’s Fathers side. Davy’s best man, this brother Emlyn, also wore a bespoke 3 piece suit from Norton Townsend in a brown wool , the same that was used for Davy’s waistcoat.
The Readings + Music…. Our favourite reading chosen for the church service was ‘Cosy Planning’ by J. B Priestley . Picked for his Yorkshire humour and the relevance to our excessive planning characteristics! But also the lovely feeling of working together.
I entered the church to Trumpet Voluntary and we exited to Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. Emley Brass Band played at our wedding reception and we entered the reception to their own arrangement of ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at’. First dance was to ‘One Last Dance’ by Badly Drawn Boy. DJ played all our favourite dancing songs in the evening.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. When you have such a wonderful sister why do you need anyone else! My sister Alexandra was a wonderful bridesmaid from start to finish. She wore a floor length graphite grey silk chiffon dress ‘Arabelle’ by J. Crew Bridal New York accessorised with a silver crystal Jenny Packham headpiece.
The Flowers… To keep the vintage theme our floral arrangements were all using the Amnesia rose. Bride and bridesmaid bouquets were hand tied Amnesia roses bound with lace from my wedding dress and finished with pearls. The men’s button holes were Amnesia roses wrapped with brown garden twine, looked great with the tweed suit. Floral arrangements in the church again were Amnesia rose based entwined in candelabras with hanging vintage style silver hearts for the candlelit service. The vintage flower theme continued at the reception with small Amnesia and wheat sheaf arrangements on the dining tables.
The Cake… Traditional wedding cake, 3 tiers, bound with ivory ribbon topped with amnesia roses. Plus a Pork Pie wedding cake for serving with cheeseboard late in the evening. All by Anthony’s Piazza at the Corn Exchange.
Your Photographer…. We wanted a relaxed and natural feel to our photography capturing all the details of the day. We met John through Anthony and Olga and his style fitted our brief exactly. John suggested some pre-wedding photographs which was a really useful opportunity get used to being photographed. We had those photos taken at Bolton Abbey where we got engaged.
The Details + Decor…. We invited people to Ilkley for the whole weekend, we hosted a drinks party in a private room in our local pub on the Friday night. This was a great opportunity to spend time with everyone as they arrived and gave guests the chance to get to know Ilkley walking and shopping on the Saturday morning. On the morning of the wedding Davy got ready at our house which is a 300 year old cottage in Ikley, he went for a 6 mile run and saw friends and family in Ilkley. I stayed at the Devonshire Arms with my sister and our Mother arrived to have her hair and make-up done with us. Then my father arrived to see my dress and being driven to the Church with me. Our service was at 3.30pm so it was pretty much dusk and the church was filled with candles. We had about 100 guests and the Church was All Saints in Ilkley. Coaches were laid on to Leeds (and back to Ilkley in the early hours where most people where staying). Cocktail Hour commenced at 6pm accompanied by Emley Brass Band. Guests enjoyed Espresso Martinis, Bellinis and our own signature rhubarb and gin cocktail by the team at Piazza which we named in honour of Cuthbert Brodrick the architect of the Corn Exchange – ‘The Brodrick’. Canapés of oysters, home-made scotch eggs, braised pigs cheek, pea soup shots and lots of other delicacies were served between 6-8pm. The main meal was Venison fillet and a mini pie or Cod with caper butter. Finished off with a trio of Deserts including Sticky Toffee pudding. Speeches were after dinner by Father of the Bride, Bride, Best Man and Groom. Later pork pie tower and cheese were served.
The decor and details were all inspired by the architecture of the Corn Exchange, and staying true to the history of the building as a corn market. We used wheat sheafs in our floral arrangements, place settings, menus and bespoke beer mats. All the printed items were in gold and cream. Our guest book was an old vintage imperial typewriter from eBay that I got repaired by a lovely old man in Sheffield. First dance took place about 10 and then everyone let their hair down with dancing until late.
All food and drink was design and prepared by Anthony and his team at Anthony’s Piazza.
The Honeymoon…. We stayed at the Devonshire Arms for the wedding night. Mini-moon for a few days afterwards to a boathouse on the edge of Ullswater lake in the Lake District to relax and eat left over pork pie and cheese! Main honeymoon is to Cape Cod off the Boston coast in Spring 2012
Memorable moments… Descending the winding stairs at the corn exchange to the music of the brass band and seeing all our friends and family. Enjoying the cocktails. All the food which was amazing thanks to Anthony and his team. Dancing to the last song – The White Stripes – ‘we’re going to be friends’. Finally being able to have a drink and a dance once all the formalities were over. Seeing each other in the church for the first time. Spending time with everyone on Friday night especially because the wedding day itself goes by so quickly.
Advice for other couples… Try to make your wedding as personal as possible, that means finding a venue that will give you flexibility to be You. Everyone wants to feel they are at YOUR wedding not any old wedding. Details count, we had so many comments on the details, from the invitations, to the cocktails to the beer mats. People noticed and it made all that effort worthwhile.
Choose your photographer carefully, they spend a lot of time with you and the photographs are your lasting memory, be clear about the style you want. I would advise people to go with an informal natural style that captures the day as it unfolds rather than forces it.
Do consider restaurants as a venue. There is likely to be much more flexibility with food and drink options and the quality of food is high, this is what they do. When we looked at hotel venue we were so disappointed with both the quality and the lack of flair for us the choice of a restaurant which was in a beautiful building offered the perfect venue. If you can afford it don’t be shy on the booze. That doesn’t necessarily mean people have to drink loads! Just that they shouldn’t feel restricted on volume or type of drinks available. For example we chose Prosecco rather than Champagne, tasty but less expensive so you can serve more.
Spend as much time with your guests as you can. Ways of doing including holding a welcome event the night before so you can see more of them. Also doing a separate photo shoot of the bride and groom a few days later rather than on the day is great opportunity to get back into your wedding dress! and you aren’t away from your guests for ages on the day.
Thanks so much to Michelle and Davy for sharing their stunning Yorkshire wedding with us today XOXO Lou
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