Katherine and Chris were married in April at The Priory, Syningthwaite. They wanted their wedding to be relaxed and fun with a home made feel without a set theme or colour scheme….. erm my kind of day :-)
Katherine looks divine in a stunning Johanna Hehir creation, with beautiful blooms provided by Leafy Couture. I love this relaxed yet super pretty day. The marquee looks incredible, with the beautiful blossom tree, reams of gorgeous bunting, felt hearts and pom poms!
I’m off to swoon over this detail packed day again, feel free to get pinning you guys :-) Especially Katherine’s plaited hair do. LOVE!
Thanks so much to the incredible James and Lianne Photography for sharing their beautiful photographs with us today…
Names…. Katherine & Chris
Wedding Date…. 28/04/2012
The Proposal…. We were on holiday in France in Chris’ Dad’s campervan last summer. Chris had been carrying the ring around for days trying to find the right moment. The day we canoed down the picturesque river Tarn had seemed like the ideal opportunity, until Chris realised we were going to have to paddle non-stop for 5 hours to reach our destination in time; it wasn’t very romantic! A couple of days later we went for a long walk around the Gorges du Tarn and found a lovely spot to stop for a rest. Chris told me to take some photos to distract me from what he was doing, got the ring out and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked! Chris picked the ring all by himself – it’s absolutely beautiful!
The Vision for the day…. We knew that we wanted the day to be as relaxed and fun as possible, with a few personal touches. I love crafts, so planned to do a lot of the decorations myself for a home-made feel. I decided to avoid having a colour scheme, opting instead for loads of bright colours. Once we’d chosen the venue and knew that we’d be having a marquee for the reception I just had to have loads of home-made bunting. The bunting provided the starting point for designing everything else.
The Planning process…. We got engaged at the end of June 2011 and immediately started searching for venues around the Leeds area. We were originally looking for a date summer 2012, but all of the venues we liked were booked up for at least a year ahead. We weren’t anticipating that! We went to see the Priory at the end of July and fell in love with it. They had one date left for 2012, so we took it! Having 9 months to plan the wedding was a bit worrying at first, especially when I looked at some wedding magazines and found plans for what you should be doing 18 months in advance! However, everything fell into place once we’d decided on the Priory and 9 months was plenty of time to plan everything in, particularly for an April wedding.
The Venue… We were looking for somewhere to have a civil ceremony as well as the reception, which narrowed down our options a bit. We also wanted somewhere that would be in keeping with the relaxed atmosphere we wanted to create, and would suit the home-made feel we had decided on. We also wanted somewhere with accommodation for our family. We looked at loads of lovely hotels, but they didn’t have the right vibe, and reception rooms were ruined by insufficient light (in some cases no windows), or gaudy carpets / curtains. When we saw the Priory it provided everything we were looking for: the beautiful, light, airy barn for the ceremony, gorgeous farmland surroundings, luxury cottage accommodation for our immediate family and scope to create exactly the wedding we wanted. We hadn’t originally planned on having a marquee for the reception, but we were so won over by everything else the Priory had to offer and by seeing a marquee dressed for a wedding that we were sold! We used the Priory’s preferred supplier (Taste Cuisine) for the catering and they were excellent. They had loads of great options for the canapés and wedding breakfast, and were great with suggestions for creating a gluten-free menu. They were really flexible with menu choices & combinations and even allowed us to supply our own wine & champagne. The guys from Taste were on site from the Friday whilst we were setting up and were really friendly and helpful. They made the entire day run really smoothly, and the food was delicious!
The Dress + Accessories….. The dress was from Johanna Hehir in London. It was the Lydia dress, with lace cap sleeves. The shoes were by Rachel Simpson, from Sophie Louise in Boston Spa. I wore fresh flowers in my hair, provided by Leafy Couture.
Finding the dress…. I started my search locally, visiting dress shops in Otley, Silsden and Leeds. I had an open mind about what type of dress I wanted, but nothing I tried on suited me or felt suitable for the type of wedding we wanted. The process of trying on loads of dresses helped me to narrow down my search – I realised that strapless dresses just didn’t suit me, and I felt swamped by dresses with big skirts. I also love lace, so knew I wanted at least a touch of lace. After trying on loads of dresses I turned to wedding magazines and the internet. I saw a photo of a Johanna Hehir dress in a bridal magazine, looked on the website and just loved everything I saw. Johanna Hehir offers a large range of evening-style wedding dresses (as well as more traditional shapes), which I realised would be perfect for me. When I want for my initial appointment the staff were lovely and I loved everything I tried on. They were really accommodating and offered to alter the details of any of the dresses. I decided on the Lydia dress, but with lace cap sleeves.
Groom’s attire… Chris was every bit as high maintenance as me in choosing his outfit. We decided early on not to go for morning suits, so we spent ages looking at suits in high street shops. Chris and his brother Michael (the best man) are both really slim, which made finding the right suit a bit more tricky. They finally decided on a lovely grey slim-fit suit from Paul Smith. Then came the search for the tie. We both worked in Leeds city centre at the time, and must have looked at every tie in every shop over the course of a few weeks of lunchtime searches. Chris found one tie he liked, but I thought it was hideous! So our search turned to the internet; after hours of looking at ties I eventually found Emma Ashford’s website, with a wonderful selection. Chris initially wasn’t sure, but we sent the link to Michael, who said that our favourite was the best tie he’d ever seen! We also decided to get matching ties for our fathers and Chris’ step-father.
The Readings + Music…. We spent ages searching for appropriate readings and music. We chose The Confirmation by Edwin Muir, and an extract from Roy Harper’s Commune for the readings. I walked down the aisle to You’re so cool (Hans Zimmer, from the film True Romance). During signing the register we chose ‘If not for you’, Bob Dylan, ‘I know what I know’, Paul Simon and ‘A thing called love’, Johnny Cash. We walked out to ‘Two Hearts’ Chris Isaac.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. My two cousins, Annie and Sophie were my bridesmaids. We made a pact when we were little (about 7/8) that we’d all be bridesmaid for each other. Sophie and I were bridesmaids at Annie’s wedding in 2010, and Annie and I are going to be bridesmaids at Sophie’s wedding in June this year. Annie was 6 months pregnant when we were searching for bridesmaid dresses, which made things a bit more complicated. After a few shopping trips, again our search turned to the internet and we picked out a few dresses from the Dessy website that looked pretty. The one we eventually chose looked great on Sophie (Annie was a bit too pregnant by that point to be able to tell how it looked), but we were confident that the shape would be flattering for Annie. We chose a bright colour that looked great with their red hair.
The Flowers… I searched for a local florist for the bridal flowers (bouquets & button holes), and Leafy Couture was recommended by our photographers, James and Lianne. It was perfect as they’re just around the corner from where we live and their website looked great. Sarah from Leafy Couture was lovely when I went to meet her; she really understood what I was trying to achieve and had some great suggestions. I gave Sarah a ridiculous description of what I wanted from the bouquets – brightly coloured to stand out against the bridesmaid dresses, but also delicate and understated, with a wild-meadow feel. Sarah asked for a photo of my dress and somehow managed to translate what I’d said into the most perfect bouquets – exactly what I wanted!
I also hired a blossom tree from Leafy Couture to provide a centrepiece in the marquee. It looked fabulous! We were so lucky that it happened to be in blossom that weekend! I also hired a trunk and a suitcase for the fancy dress area that we set up.
The Cake… We originally weren’t going to have a wedding cake, as I’d asked my Aunt Pat to make loads of brightly coloured cup cakes to be displayed on a table in the marquee. However, my Mum insisted that we had to have a wedding cake and she’d already decided where from! Mum had tried a colleague’s wedding cake from Patisserie Viennoise in Otley and said it was the best fruit cake she’d ever eaten! We opted for the top tier gluten free carrot cake and the bottom tier fruit cake. We decided to take the inspiration for the cake decoration from some Cath Kidston fabric that I’d used for the bunting, which Patisserie Viennoise did a wonderful job of translating into a fabulous cake! As Chris loves rock-climbing I decided to incorporate that into the figures on the cake and have Chris climbing up the cake.
Your Photographer…. We’d seen some of James & Lianne’s photographs on the internet, from another wedding they’d photographed in Leeds. The photographs were exactly the style we were looking for – loads of informal shots, capturing everyone at their most natural. We were delighted when they confirmed that they were available for our wedding. They were both great – really professional with loads of great ideas, but almost blended into the background on the day. There are so many photos that we can’t remember being taken! We couldn’t be happier with the photos that they’ve taken – they really captured the feeling of the day.
The Details + Decor…. Our wedding was all about the details! I decided to do the flowers for the venue myself, mainly to save money. I knew I wanted loads of flowers around the venue, which would have been really expensive from a florist. I started collecting jam jars months before the wedding, we also had donations from friends & colleagues. I decorated all of the jam jars with ribbon, lace or brightly coloured origami paper. They were filled with flowers and dotted around the venue – on the windowsills in the barn and on the cake table and tables in the reception room. I brought an old blanket box from home to go at the top of the stairs in the barn, and decorated it with loads of flowers in different glass bottles (also decorated with ribbon, lace and origami paper) to create a large display.
I spent weeks before the wedding making loads of brightly coloured felt hearts, decorated with buttons and embroidery, to hang from the backs of the chairs in the ceremony room and from an apple blossom tree that I brought from home to go at the front of the ceremony room. The hearts also hung from a velvet cloth behind the registrar’s table and from the banisters leading up the stairs to the ceremony room. We used some of the bunting to decorate the plain white tablecloth on the registrar’s table.
There were jugs and vases of flowers (mainly borrowed from my aunties) all over the venue and on the reception room tables. I bought the flowers from a wholesalers in Bradford and myself, my auntie and my sister-in-law spent most of the day before the wedding arranging flowers in jam jars and vases.
The table names were vintage railway posters re-printed postcard-size by Memory Prints. We chose Yorkshire places that we’ve visited together over the years. For the table plan I bought a large blackboard and wrote out the names in chalk paint.
The place cards were luggage tags tied with ribbon and stamped with a typewriter-style stamp set from Cath Kidston. I made linen table runners for each of the tables to finish off the look.
The marquee was decorated with loads of bunting that my auntie and my mum and I made during the months before the wedding – 180 metres!! Over the dance floor we hung paper pom-poms that my mum and I made out of tissue paper, florists wire and fishing line – they were really easy to do but looked really effective.
My auntie made about 100 cup cakes and we spent the evening before the wedding decorating them. It was great fun and made the wedding feel like a real family occasion. The cupcakes were laid out on the cake table along with the wedding cakes, jars & vases of flowers and bowls of sweets. The cake table was very popular!
We also had a fancy dress area – an idea I’d seen in a couple of wedding magazines. I borrowed an old dressing screen from my auntie which my mum and I re-covered. We draped a piece of fabric over it to brighten it up, hired some vintage hats from B-Authentic in Huddersfield and made a load of moustaches on sticks! It was really popular and we’ve got some fantastic photos of our friends and family!
The Honeymoon…. We spent 3 nights at Simonstone Hall near Hawes immediately after the wedding to just relax and spend some time together (with all of the planning we didn’t seem to spend that much time together during the run-up to the wedding). We’re going to California for 3 weeks in June for our honeymoon. We’re going on a road trip – taking in the wine country, the national parks, Palm Springs and San Francisco.
Memorable moments… Walking down the aisle and seeing all of our family & friends. For Chris it was the moment he turned round to see me walk down the aisle. He went on to describe the moment perfectly as part of his speech. The speeches- hilarious! The best man had read the groom’s speech and told the same story from a different angle. The two worked well together. Seeing mum, aunties & uncles in vintage hats & moustaches. The band (Wild), they were awesome! Had everyone dancing all night. A particular highlight was a rock-a-billy cover of Sheena is a Punk Rocker by the Ramones. All of it!
Advice for other couples… Stick to your own vision for the day. You’ll have loads of people offering their opinions on what you should do. Listen to their views, but ultimately do what you want, you might regret it otherwise! It was actually quite hard work sticking to my plans and our vision for the day, I had so many opinions from other people. In the end I was really glad that I’d been firm – it was a lovely day and exactly what we wanted.
Credit where credit is due…
The Priory, Syningthwaite http://www.priorycottages.co.uk/
James and Lianne http://jamesandlianne.com/
Taste Cuisine http://www.tastecuisine.co.uk/
Leafy Couture http://leafycouture.co.uk/
Johanna Hehir http://www.johanna-hehir.com/
Rachel Simpson http://rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/
Patisserie Viennoise http://www.otleypatisserie.co.uk/
Memory Prints http://www.memoryprints.com/
Emma Ashford http://www.emmaashford.co.uk/
Thanks so so very much to Katherine and Chris for sharing their amazing wedding with us today.
I love the fact there are several mentions of gluten free in the wedding report, don’t forget your coeliac friends lovelies :-) XOXO Lou
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