A Timeless, Classic + Elegant Wedding in the Lake District

Hannah and Andrew were married back in May, on the most beautiful sunny day against the stunning backdrop of the Lake District.

They wanted a day that was classic, elegant and timeless, and those three things it certainly was. Hannah makes a striking bride, i love her gorgeous natural bouquet too. The purple bridesmaids are elegant yet fun and these images are all kinds of crazy awesome.

Thanks so much to the brilliant, Birmingham based wedding photographers, The Barbers for sharing their work today….. enjoy:


Names…. Hannah & Andrew 

Wedding Date…. 1 May 2011

The Proposal….In the rooftop Jacuzzi in the W Hotel, Hong Kong ( at night overlooking the Hong Kong Skyline).  We were treating ourselves to a bit of luxury at the end of a trip travelling around China.

The Vision for the day…. Classic, elegant and timeless.

The Planning process…  We only had 6 months from the engagement to the wedding. Took a last minute spot at Armathwaite Hall (often a way to get a better deal at a nice venue). I am a pretty organised and decisive person and if you have a venue that knows how to do a wedding they should do all the hard work for you! I relied on an excel spreadsheet which I updated regularly and set a firm budget – very important as its easy to get carried away! I thought carefully and did lots of research on the big stuff (venue, dress, hair and makeup, flowers) but didn’t really sweat the small stuff (mainly as I didn’t have time!) I got a scrap book which I carried around with me for writing ideas/to do lists and sticking pictures from magazines. Also had some invaluable advice from married friends.  

The Venue…  Armathwaite Hall, Bassenthwaite, Lake District    

Dress + Accessories….. Dress – By Gemy Couture, Jenny Packham Atara II Earrings (a beautiful wedding present from my colleagues).

Finding the dress…. I wanted something a bit different with a vintage feel but nothing too fussy or too simple!  I am a bit of a magpie and can’t resist a bit of sparkle!

In the back of my mind I wanted something that I could chop the bottom off, dye and wear again! I went to 3 shops and made a decision – you can drive yourself mad with all the options and my time was very limited. Once you choose you need to make sure you stop looking!

Groom’s attire… In my quest to make Andrew organise something he was in charge of suits and I refused to step in or get stressed about his lack of organisation. (Until two weeks before the wedding when I eventually gave in and found Tom Little in Maryport www.tomlittle-Cumbria.co.uk/.) The service was outstanding and they made everything so easy (and managed to fit suits based on measurement without the wedding party even trying them on!)   

The Readings + Music…. After we said our vows we walked out to Florence & the Machine’s “you’ve got the love” First dance was “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mod. We had two short readings. Again i wanted something a bit different to the usual suspects and nothing too cheesy so asked the readers (our respective flatmates and dear friends) to select something that reminded them of us.  Both surprised us with their own quirky little introduction before doing their reading.. Flowers – wendy cope…
Some men never think of it.

You did. You’d come along
And say you’d nearly brought me flowers
But something had gone wrong.

The shop was closed. Or you had doubts —
The sort that minds like ours
Dream up incessantly. You thought
I might not want your flowers.

It made me smile and hug you then.
Now I can only smile.
But, look, the flowers you nearly brought
Have lasted all this while.

Second Reading This… will be the mightiest day in the history of our lives, and the most generous towards us both – for it makes of two fractional lives a whole; it gives to two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each whereby to perform it; it gives to two questioning natures a reason for living, and something to live for; it will give a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life…it will give a new revelation to love, a new depth to sorrow. In that day the scales will fall from our eyes and we shall look upon a new world.

Extract from Mark Twain’s letter to Olivia Langdon, 8 September 1869

Beautiful bridesmaids….. My 5 oldest and bestest friends! We have been best friends since school. Got their dresses from the John Lewis Christmas sale and shoes online and a fresh rose for their hair.    

The Flowers… I wanted the flowers to look quite wild and uncoordinated, I didn’t have a colour scheme but knew i wanted hydrangeas. I found pictures of what i wanted and asked a local florist to recreate with whatever was in season. They ended up looking better than I could have imagined [Jean’s Flower Boutique, Whitehaven].

The Cake…  Gillian Marr is amazing –  the cake was delicious and looked great  www.gillianscelebrationcakes.co.uk

Your Photographer…. The amazing Chris and Dani – the photos are truly spectacular and we are so happy with them. We have had so many compliments on the photos and they were a pleasure to spend time with on the day.  

The Details + Decor…   Picture Palace (picturepalace.co.ukproduced some lovely wedding stationary for us at very short notice. I also bought a vintage picture frame on ebay, used wrapping paper as background and printed the names two nights before – very handy for the inevitable last minute changes.

Live music is a must – we were lucky enough to have our truly talented friends Mary Bonett and Jono Trott (both are set to be future stars) sing songs from the soundtrack to our lives (everything from Paul Simon to Hot Chip!) 

ThHoneymoon….  Safari in Botswana & Zimbabwe followed by beach time and diving in Mauritius.  

Memorable moments… The excited and nerve wracking frenzy of getting ready my bridesmaids,Walking down the aisle with my Dad, Seeing Andrew and feeling so ridiculously happy, “You may now kiss the bride” (and all my friends cheering), Songs that we love performed live by my friends Jono and Mary, The amazing weather all day, Everyone singing the words to our first dance, Having so many people you love and care about in one place.

Advice for other couples… Weddings are big business and its easy to get carried away and bogged down with all the choice. I think the key things are venue, dress, hair & makeup and photographer which need careful consideration. I would highly recommend using local suppliers. They know the venue and what works, and you get more attention and a much better service. Ultimately when you are spending so much you want to give money to people you like! 

Credit where credit’s due…

Photography: The Barbers

My amazing friend Rachel Singer -Clark did my hair and makeup. I consider good hair & makeup to be just as (if not more!) important as the dress and i think its worth employing the services of a true professional.  http://www.rachelsingerclark.com/

I also am lucky enough that my friend Fabio Basone is a producer and he bought along a fancy camera and filmed the wedding. He then went off travelling around India and said he would give me the video on our 10th wedding anniversary! 

Thanks so much to Hannah and Andrew for sharing their incredible wedding day with us today, so elegant, so very timeless… i adore :-) xoxo

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