We’re getting all classic in the country today, with this timeless and pretty pink wedding.
WWW readers Alice and Mark decided to tie the knot on the 23rd July 2016 and held their reception at Thornbridge Hall in the Peak District. The privately owned house is set in the most beautiful grounds and lent itself perfectly to their English Country Garden nuptials.
Stunning pale pink blooms were used throughout the day, which complimented the flowing Ghost bridesmaid dresses just so. Alice meanwhile fell for ‘Charm School’ by Caroline Castigliano, with it’s cinched in waist and lace bolero she looked sensational. Mark and the boys chose to don navy suits and coordinating ties for a really smart look.
Thanks so much to Ellie Grace Photography for sharing these exquisite images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | In Venice by the canal, whilst on a tour of Italy – August 2015.
THE VISION | I really didn’t want a themed wedding that I’d look back on in a few years time and think, ‘Why did I go for that?’ So we decided on quite a classical theme – English country garden with a touch of romance.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | After we got engaged, I was bought some beautiful wedding planners which I quickly began to fill with ideas and cuttings from magazines. Most of the planning was done by myself with the help of my mum and bridesmaids. Although, I have some very kind and thoughtful friends who’d often send me pictures of beautiful dresses and cakes that they had seen.
BUDGET | We never set a firm budget for the wedding – but this didn’t mean it was limitless! My mum and dad very kindly paid for the reception venue and other bits and bobs and we also had some help from Mark’s mum and dad too. We just tried to keep our feet on the ground really and pay for the things that mattered the most, with decorations for the reception venue, favours etc, I spent a long time hunting for cheaper alternatives without losing quality.
THE VENUE | We married at St Anne’s Church in Baslow, which is a beautiful little church in one of the prettiest villages. Our reception was held at Thornbridge Hall in Ashford in the Water. This venue was recommended by my sister in law and as soon as we visited it it took our breath away. From that moment on there was no other venue for us. The hall is actually a privately owned house which hosts 12 weddings each year. This gave a feeling of exclusivity which we really liked. It definitely isn’t a wedding factory with multiple weddings each weekend. I really liked the idea of this too. It made it feel so personal and bespoke to us. It is a completely stunning hall, with the drinks reception taking advantage of rooms at the front of the house that over looks the lawns. The wedding breakfast and reception take place in a beautiful glass coach house at the back. Thornbridge is surrounded by completely stunning grounds, with a breathtaking view at every side of the house. We were able to take full advantage of these for our drinks reception as the weather was perfect. I think for me this was one of the most memorable moments of the day, everyone just seemed so relaxed and happy. I can remember looking around and just seeing smiling faces. I think that was the moment when I finally relaxed too! Mike Sharratt and the rest of the team at Thornbridge are superb and were on hand to help all the way through the planning process. They were reassuringly laid back, offering to help with different elements of the wedding preparations.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wore the Caroline Castigliano ‘Charm School’ with a lace bolero and satin belt during the ceremony and wedding breakfast. This was changed into a strapless gown and worn with a sequin belt in the evening. I really wanted a veil that was romantic and light so I opted for a cathedral length, single tiered veil which complimented the dress perfectly. My shoes were gold peep-toe sandals by Jimmy Choo. I absolutely adore my shoes and cannot wait for another occasion to wear them. They were a very kind wedding gift from my mum and something I will treasure forever. I wanted to keep the look quite simple and had a real fear about not looking like me and like I had too many accessories on so just opted to wear earrings and no other jewellery. One of my bridesmaids gave me a beautiful pair of pearl earrings with a small diamond stud attached at the bottom. They are beautiful and were exactly what I was looking for.
FINDING THE DRESS | The Bridal Collection in Harrogate was highly recommended by one of my bridesmaids (and sister-in-law) who had visited this shop whilst helping her sister selected her dress. The boutique is out of this world and everything you would want your wedding dress shop to be and more. It is completely stunning inside; with its chandeliers and opulent, velvet curtains you really are made to feel like a princess for the day. I went with absolutely no idea what sort of dress I was wanting and must have tried close to 20 dresses. I liked quite a few of them but none of them were giving me that spine tingling feeling that I was hoping for. The second to last dress I tried was a beautiful lace gown by Suzanne Neville. I fell in love with the top of the dress but the skirt was just a little too big for me. I wanted to feel like I could move around easily all day and not weighed down by too much excess fabric and layering. After listening carefully to my concerns, Anya advised me to try a very simple, strapless Caroline Castigliano gown, which she teemed with a lace bolero jacket and satin belt. I immediately fell in love. I felt so special in the gown; the fabric was so light and delicate and I loved the fact that it was a little different. Anya also suggested taking the jacket off in the evening and changing the look of the dress a little using a sequin belt. I loved the idea of this too! My brother and sister-in-law bought the sequin belt for my birthday for me and it was ready and waiting at the first fitting. I was so touched by this!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Mark was very keen to wear a simple three piece lounge suit. I was relieved about this as I felt that this would be in keeping with the look of the wedding itself. He opted for a navy three piece suit from TM Lewin which he wore with a white shirt and pale pink tie and pocket square to coordinate with the bridesmaids. He chose mid-brown leather brogues to keep the look quite relaxed and summery.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose the hymns for the service pretty early on in the planning process as we wanted to choose ones that meant something to us, or ones that we knew people would enjoy singing. ‘Jerusalem’ was a must for me as it was my Grandad’s favourite hymn and I knew it would make me feel like he was with us on the day. The readings were so hard to choose! We wanted the words to be meaningful and romantic but not cheesy or over the top. I hunted high and low for religious and non-religious readings that illustrated our relationship. Finally we decided on an extract from Corinthians, read by Mark’s Nan, and a quote from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ which was read by my younger brother.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | And what beautiful bridesmaids I had! All four of them are completely stunning with gorgeous figures to match! I was incredibly lucky. My bridesmaids were two of my sister in laws, my cousin and one of my closest friends. All of them had been amazing in the run up to the wedding. They planned a fabulous hen do and spoilt me rotten with presents on the day!
I had dusky pink in mind for the dresses from quite an early stage as I thought this would fit well with the romantic look of the wedding. I was open to suggestions though and didn’t discount anything based on colour really. We had a few false starts with the dresses but eventually headed to The White Rooms in Sheffield to look at the Dye to Order Collection by Ghost. These dresses are, in my opinion, the best on the market for bridesmaids. They are gorgeous! I wanted the girls to feel comfortable in the dresses and love them too, and fortunately for me they all loved this brand. We narrowed it down to two styles but in the end we all agreed on the ‘Salma’ dress in boudoir pink. On the day the girls received so many comment on how gorgeous their dresses were. I felt so proud to have them by my side, they looked so beautiful!
THE FLOWERS | The florist was recommended to us by our photographer, Ellie Grace and boy are we glad Ellie pointed us in Tracey’s direction. Campbell’s Flowers created the most beautiful blooms for our day. From the moment we met Tracey I knew she was the one we could trust to capture our look. Her arrangements look effortless and are so rich with textures and colours. When I saw my bouquet for the first time I almost burst into tears, it was so lovely! Far too beautiful to throw at the wedding for someone else to catch! They made a fantastic job of the table centrepieces, they complimented the venue and were truly stunning! Before the wedding I decided I was going to try and press flowers from my bouquet to create a piece of art with at a later date but I’ve actually ended up pressing my more that my bouquet in the hope that I can make other bits and bobs for other family members too. The flowers were just too beautiful to throw away!
THE CAKE | The cake… where do I start! Our cake was beautifully made by Keiron George, who came highly recommended by a very close friend of mine. I’d actually tried Keiron’s baking before and I knew he was amazing! I’d sampled his macaroons and wedding cakes, but couldn’t say no to another tasting session at his home near Leeds. We tried nine flavours and selecting the final three was one of the hardest decisions! Whilst tasting, we shared with Keiron some of the pictures of wedding cakes we’d seen. Although I love the look of naked cakes and the frosted cakes that are popular at the moment, we opted for a fully iced cake, with barrel layers that were double depth. Kieron suggest keeping to whites and pale pinks, with touches of metallic gold. He completed the cake with hand crafted, delicate flowers which fitted in perfectly with our theme.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Whilst hunting high an low for a local photographer, we stumbled across Ellie Grace’s website. Oh my goodness, we fell in love straight away! There was one picture of a stunning couple in front of a sunset that particularly caught our eye. They both looked so relaxed and Ellie had managed to capture such an intimate moment between them. We knew from that point that this was the look we wanted; relaxed, soft and romantic. Our initial meeting with Ellie confirmed everything. She was amazing! She put us at ease completely and was so helpful with any questions we had along the way. In fact, a few weeks before the wedding Ellie actually met us at the Botanical Gardens to do a family shoot for us. This was so lovely as it meant we could spend some time with her before the big day!
At the very last minute (3 weeks before the wedding) I decided that I would really like a videographer. This is something that we initially discounted as neither of us liked the idea of watching ourselves and film and it didn’t really feel like a priority. However, after watching beautiful wedding videos of other couples, I realised how important this was to me. The idea of being able to capture all of the people who we love dearly on the most important day of our lives became a priority. I spent hours trying to find a videographer who would firstly be available, but secondly would produce a film that would have a similar feel to the photos. I ended up looking on Gumtree and messaged a lovely lady called Ndrika. She was available on our wedding date and after meeting with her, I knew she would do an amazing job! Ndrika is so lovely! Along with her assistant Jake, she produced the most perfect wedding video I have ever seen (although I’m aware I’m slightly bias). It was everything we wanted it to be! I must have watched it close to 50 times by now but I know I will never tire of it! It’s the best thing we did!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The room where our reception took place was stunning! It didn’t need too much dressing but we still wanted to add personal touches and create the country garden, romantic look. This was mainly going to be created using flowers and lights. My mum helped us to locate lots of outdoor hurricane lamps, which we used to decorate the courtyard areas and the patio which ran down the back of the venue. These were complemented by rustic metal buckets, kindly lent to us by a family friend, which we filled with wild greenery and flowers. Inside the venue, we were lucky enough to receive lots of offers of help to set up the day before. My auntie had decorated over 50 beautiful tea light holders in colours to complement our theme which we used to decorate the tables alongside the flowers. Our favours were different for men and women. We thought long and hard about these and settled on wild flower seeds for the ladies, whilst for the men we chose a bottle of beer made by Thornbrdige brewery! This seemed like too much of an opportunity to miss out on. Seeing as our dog is called Coco, we went for chocolate infused beer of the same name. These went down very well! We wrapped fairy lights around the beams and supports in the reception room. This offered the option of soft lighting in the evening which worked really well! We also displayed personal items in the room. I knew from the start that I wanted to have an area for old wedding photographs from previous generations and family members – the grand piano was a perfect place for this. I also wanted to display personal things that we had been bought for our engagement such as a lovely bring showing the date and location of the proposal. This was placed on upturned crates alongside candles and wooden lettering at the door way of the venue. Finally, we had a ‘selfie station’ area with lots and lots of props! These went down a treat towards the end of the night and we have lots of photos of dancing celebrities on the dance floor!
THE HONEYMOON | When we started thinking about our honeymoon around Christmas last year, we knew we didn’t want a beach holiday that we could have any time! Although the idea of the Maldives or Mauritius seemed quite appealing, we wanted to go somewhere we could explore a little and see a bit more of the world whilst we had the chance. Singapore and Bali seemed like the perfect combination. A few days in a bustling city where we could explore, followed by a luxury beach resort with the option of going to the mountain areas where we could visit the rice fields and see more of the Indonesian culture. We had the most amazing time! It was definitely the holiday of a lifetime.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are so many of them! One of my most memorable moments has to be being with my parents, brothers and fiancees and niece the night before the wedding. We were all so excited and it was so lovely to be with them all – a rarity with one brother now living in New Zealand! Another has to be walking out of the church with Mark, I was holding on to his hand so tightly and as we walked out we both just looked at each other and laughed. This moment was captured perfectly on our video. A final moment was dancing with all of our friends and family on the dance floor. At one point Mark and I were dancing with my parents and we all had our arms around each other. That has of my most memorable moments.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | My one piece of advice would be to not over think the finer details. Our guests all commented on the amazing venue, the band and the food – but mostly they talked about what fun they’d had! How they’d loved the romance of the ceremony, followed by the singing and dancing in the evening! It’s easy to worry about the box of toiletries you put in the ladies toilets, or whether you’ve bought enough flip flops for the dance floor – but nothing is more important that marrying the person you love and spending the day with the people that mean the most to you! If you relax and enjoy it, so will you guests.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Ellie Grace Photography
Venue | Thornbridge Hall
Dress | The Bridal Collection Harrogate
Shoes | Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Attire | TM Lewin
Bridesmaid Dresses | White Room Bridal
Flowers | Campbell’s Flowers
Videographer | Branch Productions
Cake | Keiron George
Just so pretty.
Thanks so much to Alice and Mark for sharing their really very wonderful wedding story today xo Lou