A relaxed and rustic atmosphere was order of the day for Georgie and Dan’s October wedding. There was of course buckets of style and incredible flowers too.
Georgie had the loveliest bridal look, donning a romantic lace dress with a fresh flower crown while Dan went for the bow tie and converse combo that I love so much. There were pretty maids in blue, sweet little ones with signs and fun transport.
A focus on a meaningful ceremony was important for Georgie and Dan which they personalised perfectly.
Thanks goes to Bloom Weddings for the gorgeous imagery.
The Proposal… We had gone away to Edinburgh for my birthday weekend, and had been getting ready to go out for the evening when Dan asked if he could give me one of my presents a day early, to which I said no! After a little persuading I said yes, he asked me to close my eyes, and when I opened them I saw him on bended knee in front of me with the most gorgeous diamond ring. I was so shocked that I didn’t speak (let alone give him an answer!) for at least a minute, before tears and frantic nodding of my head began.
The Vision for the Day… We wanted to create a relaxed and rustic look for our wedding, keeping it very personal and involving our friends and family as much as possible.
The Planning Process… Most of our wedding planning started by reading magazines and blogs to start getting a feel for what we wanted our day to be like, and from that we could research suppliers. We made a list of guests to get a rough estimate of numbers, as we knew that would affect the venue we chose. We looked at costs to gain an idea of how long we needed to save. I was fortunate that both my sister and my best friend were planning their weddings for the same year, and my future sister in law had quite a passion for weddings since planning her own in 2008, so I had lots of people to go to for advice and help.
The Venue… The venue for the wedding ceremony was easily decided on. We got married in our home Church, the same Church that both Dan’s parents and Grandparents got married in. It meant a lot for us to get married there, and it also meant that we had free reign of the decorations, songs, readings, and even chose the person who we wanted to take the ceremony and marry us. We chose Dan’s Uncle, Mark, as someone who is very important to us, and helped us to create the ceremony that we wanted.
The reception venue was more tricky, we needed somewhere not too far from the Church, but somewhere that met our needs for the amount of guests we had, keeping the vision we had for our day. Many venues we visited seemed very impersonal and ‘business like’, but The Mansion ticked all of our boxes. The staff were helpful and friendly, the food and décor were exquisite, and all set in the beautiful surroundings of Roundhay Park, we couldn’t have asked for more.
The Dress + Accessories… My dress was Renata by British designer Nicola Anne. I had it ordered without the bow on the sash, and with a foot length added to the train. It was perfect! I teamed it with some vintage style lace up satin shoes from BHS, a cathedral length veil I found on Ebay, and a gorgeous fresh floral crown made by my amazing florist. For the evening, I changed the floral crown for a vintage style headband from Jenny Packham for Debenhams. The only jewellery I wore was a pair of pearl earrings that were my wedding gift from Dan.
Finding the Dress… Dress shopping, for me, was a very enjoyable, but stressful experience. The problem was I had a vision of the dress I wanted, but couldn’t find it anywhere. In the first two shops I tried on every shape and style dress I could just to get an idea of what suited me, but I still knew what I wanted – a full lace dress, a-line, with a waist sash, and capped sleeves. Unfortunately for a while every dress I found almost hit the mark, but not quite, and I began to give up hope on finding ‘the one’. After 11 (yes, 11!) shops, on my second visit to the amazing Wedding Belles of Otley, I finally found it! The ladies at Wedding Belles were so welcoming, and made every appointment enjoyable.
Groom’s Attire… We gained our vision for Dan’s attire from lots of images on Pinterest, blogs and magazines. He wanted a look that was smart and suitable for a wedding, but was more relaxed and suited to his personality than the traditional dress. Dan opted for a faint checked grey suit, paired with a duck egg blue shirt, and a navy polka dot bow tie. He finished off the look with navy and brown Converse trainers. The best men all wore the same, with Dan being identified as the groom by having a pocket square that matched his bow tie, and a button hole that matched my bouquet. Both of our dads wore the same suit, but with skinny ties and brown shoes.
Our 2 year old nephew was our only page boy, and we found him a suit similar to the best men, from Next. He wore navy Converse trainers, and a navy bow tie. He fitted right in with the rest of the boys, and was so pleased to match Uncle Dan!
The Readings + Music… We wanted to reflect our faith in the readings and songs we chose for the ceremony. We chose three hymns that were personal to us, and my dad read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 from The Bible. I walked down the aisle to a piano version of ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ by Damien Rice (one of my favourite songs), and we left the Church to ‘And then I kissed her’ by The Beach Boys (one of Dan’s favourite bands). An old family friend, Brian, who had played Dan’s Grandma, Mum and Sister down the aisle at their weddings, played all the songs apart from the exit song.
For the reception we wanted lots of music to entertain and provide a relaxed and fun atmosphere. We had two bands; Swing Thing Duo played our drinks reception, and a band called The Thrillers played the evening reception. We had our first dance to Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat’s ‘Lucky’, as we had never been a power ballad type couples, and this had always been a favourite of mine. The first line of the chorus summed it up completely for us, ‘Lucky I’m in love with my best friend’.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… The story of the bridesmaid dresses is not too dissimilar to the story of the wedding dress – I had a vision yet again, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I wanted a light blue, with a rustic and romantic feel, but struggled to find anything that was the right style or colour. Then, about two months before the wedding, I found some gorgeous dresses in the Jenny Packham for Debenhams range, all the sizes I needed in one shop, and in the sale! Bargain! To complete their look they wore gold glitter heels from Dorothy Perkins, and small gold heart necklaces from ASOS. They all had their hair in a romantic, loose style that they individually chose, with ivory spray roses intertwined.
Our two beautiful nieces, aged 5 and 5 months, served as flower girls, and wore dresses from Monsoon, with gold glitter shoes to match the adult bridesmaids. My older niece wore a gypsophila flower crown, and the younger wore an ivory headband from H&M.
The Flowers… I absolutely love flowers, so they were an important part of the look for our wedding. The wonderful Liz from Flowerworks Florist completely understood my vision for the flowers, and created a rustic wildflower bouquet using faded purples and creams, and included my favourite Memory Lane roses. The bouquets were all hand tied with raffia. The button holes tied into the bouquets. She also created both mine and my older niece’s floral crowns, which turned out even better than I expected. The centre pieces for the tables were a mix of low, using various jars and containers filled with flowers from the bouquets, and tall ones, which were floating vases filled with masses of gypsophila. Two bird cages designs were made for the Church.
We also bought some flowers of our own to add more interest to the Church. A lovely family friend with a card for an indoor floral market took me at 6am the morning before our wedding to get masses of gypsophila for the chair ends, and a mix of vintage purples, pinks and blues to place in mixed vases along the windowsills in Church.
The Cake… A family friend, the very talented Becca from Daisy Bakes, made our three tier wedding cake. We had each tier a different flavour – Lemon, Chocolate, and a very autumnal spiced apple. The cake was made in a birdcage design for the top two tiers, set on a lace third tier, all in pastel colours. We had so many complements on how the cake tasted, it was beautiful!
Your Photographer… Our photographers, Bloom Weddings, were recommended to us by one of our best men. From the moment we saw their website we knew they would be able to capture our day exactly as we wanted, and we didn’t looked at any other photographers after finding them. Chris and Anii were incredibly professional, and understood the vision we were going for right from the start. They captured the day so beautifully, recording every fine detail, whilst having to put up with our niece all day, who took a bit of a shine to them!
The Details + Decor… To create our look we chose to decorate the Church and reception venue with bunting, paper pom poms, and lots of flowers. We made all of the stationery ourselves, including the order of service. We ordered our wedding cars from a company I first saw at a wedding fayre at The Mansion. We had a stretched beetle for ourselves, and an old VW camper for the bridesmaids. They were perfect for our exit from the Church to a Beach Boys song!
For the reception, we created the table plan from an old suitcase belonging to my Grandparents, and hung cards with each table on like bunting, inside the case. To finish it off we placed inside small vases with a few flowers. We gave each guest a small card at their table place, and each table had its own post box (which coupled as a table name), so they would write us a message instead of a formal guest book. Our favours were small pots of jam handmade by Dan’s Gran, finished with cloth and ribbon, a luggage tag with the flavour, and a stamp with our names and wedding date.
I, along with help from my sister in law and both Grandmas, pressed flower petals for the 16 months of our engagement to create masses of colourful confetti. They were petals from flowers that were given to us, flowers from the gardens, and ones that were reduced at supermarkets at the end of the working day. We then put them in small clear paper bags decorated with paper doilies and luggage tags, and kept them in a crate which we got from Plantabox. All day I just hoped that for the few moments following the service it would not rain so that we could have the confetti moment! Thankfully, the weather held off, and we got some gorgeous pictures, so all the hard work was not wasted.
The Honeymoon… We had five days relaxing on Meeru island in the Maldives, then went on to Singapore for another five days. We are more sightseers than sunbathers, so we wanted to go on honeymoon somewhere with plenty to explore, however we knew that the last few weeks before the wedding would be very stressful, so we wanted to relax as well.
Memorable Moments… It’s very cliché, but walking down the aisle towards the man I was about to marry, seeing his smiling face, as well as those of our loved ones, was definitely one of the most memorable moments for me.
The other that stands out in my mind was the car journey between the Church and The Mansion. I’d been given a lot of advice to take some time out in the day for the two of us, to take it all in, as it goes so quickly. That 25 mins, was our time, and it was so perfect to just be with my new husband, discuss the mornings events, and take in the fact that we just got married!
Advice for Other Couples… Something I would definitely recommend thinking outside the box, and seeing your wedding day as a chance to represent yourselves to your loved ones as husband and wife, displaying your personalities as individuals and as a couple. Don’t just follow a tradition because it’s what is expected or is what everyone else does, it is YOUR wedding, so make it how you want it.
I feel my best piece of advice is something no one told me, but I quickly found out for myself during the planning process, and from attending other weddings. Most people skip over the ceremony a bit, and put more emphasis on the reception, but some of the best weddings I have been to have been the ones where much of the effort is put into the ceremony. After all, the ceremony is the part where you actually get married; the rest of the day is a celebration of that. We really tried to make our ceremony personal, intimate and make people feel included, and for me it was the best part of our day. We still have relatives and friends talking about it now! So make it as personal as you can, whether that is with the decorations, the songs that are played/sung, making the order of service a feature, having family members and friends get involved with singing or readings, or having significant people in your lives be witnesses as you sign the register.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photographer | Bloom Weddings
Venue | The Mansion
Boutique | Wedding Belles of Otley
Florist | Flowerworks Florist
Cake | Daisy Bakes
Suits | Slaters
Afternoon band | Swing Thing Duo
Evening band | The Thrillers
Crate | Plantabox
Oh so pretty.
Thanks so so much to Georgie and Dan for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us here at WWW XOXO Lou