Well would you look at that? Did you ever see a cooler photo booth, than a crescent moon and starry sky backdrop? Oh how I love it. In fact this beautiful artwork was a DIY project, which worked out so very well, as did the rest of this gloriously cool homemade wedding day.
WWW readers Cara and Matt join us this fine Monday with their super awesome wedding celebrations, which were held on the 24th June 2017. It was really important to them both that they were wed in Yorkshire and so held their ceremony at the spectacular Fountains Abbey followed by an intimate party at Ripley Town Hall. There to capture all the goings on just so perfectly was Shutter Go Click Photography, whose images today have us swooning.
Our couple wanted to create a rustic tropical vibe with their decorations, think gold painted pineapples and hand stitched palm print bunting and table runners. It looked ruddy brilliant alongside the fun balloons, blooms and fairy lights too. Cara was lucky enough to have her dress custom made, hello polka dot tulle! While Matt went for a Topman suit and the maids chose their own white frocks. Not to mention flower crowns all round. Oh yes!
THE PROPOSAL | Christmas Eve 2015. We were just packing to go to Matt’s parents for Christmas and he surprised me by getting down on one knee in the middle of our living room. Initially, he forgot to open the ring box..! But when he did there was a beautiful platinum 1920s ring in there, which he had sourced from Etsy. It was perfect to announce the news to our families over Christmas and was the best present ever!
THE VISION | The plan was to get married in Yorkshire as this is where we are both from. Narrowing down an exact location was pretty hard but as soon as we discovered that Fountains Abbey was licensed for weddings we were sold! This helped to shape our vision of the day because Fountains would only cater for the ceremony so we were then tasked with finding a venue for the reception. We wanted a neutral space that we could really go to town with in terms of the decorations and after a few weeks of searching we discovered a beautiful town hall in the nearby village of Ripley. Although we wanted the day to be a small intimate affair, we were thrilled to have such a beautiful backdrop for it.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We confirmed the venues and the date about 3 weeks after the engagement, and then had roughly 18 months to plan the finer details. My main concern was decorating Ripley Town Hall, so we spent most of our time finalising the touches for that. As soon as we got engaged I knew I wanted a ‘Moon Booth’ for the reception, luckily after a little gentle persuasion my very handy Dad offered to give making one from scratch a go.
THE VENUE | The ceremony was held within the grounds of Fountains Abbey near Ripon, a wonderfully preserved monastery designated a World Heritage Site, which dates back to the 1100s . The ceremony room was within the atmospheric ‘Fountains Hall’. Our reception was held at Ripley Town Hall, known locally as ‘Hotel De Ville’ due to it’s French Gothic Revival style of architecture. We hired a gorgeous vintage double decker bus to take guests between the two venues.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was handmade by my exceptionally talented cousin Rhiannon. Rhiannon has a background in wedding dress design so asking her to design and make mine was a no brainer for me. It took me a while to decide on a specific style, but it was such a fun collaborative process coming up with the design, which ended up being floaty and ethereal.
The top of the dress is made from Chantilly lace, and the skirt is a very fine polka dot tulle. I loved the contrast of the two fabrics, and it was embellished with tiny flowers, which were so delicate and pretty.
All in all the dress probably took about a year to make, I feel so lucky that I was able to have a dress designed just for me!
For accessories, I wore my hair down and had a fresh flower crown, which had shades of pink, red and white in it. My shoes were from Office and were glittery and gold. To go with my bouquet, my Mum gave me the horseshoe she had on her wedding day, which was really special.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Matt chose a deep blue suit from Topman, and we ordered a bespoke tie and matching pocket square from Kate Temple, which was made from beautiful red floral Liberty print fabric. His shoes were oxblood brogues from Office.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to ‘Comin’ back to me’ by Jefferson Airplane. We had one reading during the ceremony, which was the poem ‘The Present’ by Michael Donaghy and we wrote our own vows. We left the room to ‘You’ve got the Love’ by Candi Staton/Frankie Knuckles which was just joyful!
Our first dance was to ‘Because the Night’ by Patti Smith; we wanted something fun, loud and celebratory, which would get everyone on the dancefloor (where we stayed for the rest of the night!).
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four bridesmaids, and loved the idea of white dresses for them. All of the girls chose their own dresses, which were from ASOS, Reiss, Warehouse and Ted Baker, it was really important to me that they felt confident and comfortable in their outfits. To bring the look together, they each had a gypsophila flower crown.
THE FLOWERS | Duck and Daffodils in York came highly recommended from my cousin. They have a farm where they grow all of their own beautiful flowers, and we ordered lots of buckets of seasonal flowers and foliage to make centrepieces from. Matt’s mum did a wonderful job at arranging them in the various milk crates, bottles and jars we had sourced. As the flowers were seasonal, the colours used were a complete surprise but I loved that! My flower crown ended up having the most gorgeous pink and white sweet williams, roses and peonies, and my cascading bouquet was a riot of purple sweetpeas, which felt so summery.
THE CAKE | Luckily for us, we have a superstar chef in the family who we asked to make our cake. After spending ages sourcing inspiration from Pinterest, I opted for a very simple cake decorated with edible flowers. The three tiers were three separate flavours; vanilla and poppy seed with homemade strawberry and prosecco jam, banoffee and lemon curd. It was huge!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | It had to be Shutter Go Click! We weren’t planning on having a wedding photographer until we came across Ryan’s photos. They were so different, and seemed to capture something just outside the every day which I loved. I cannot quite express how much his beautiful images have enhanced my memories of our wedding day and I’m grateful for that. It was great to have the opportunity for him to capture our very first moments of marriage in the grounds of Fountains Abbey, which was just stunning.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The main focal point in the town hall was the ‘Moon Booth’ that my parents made from scratch (my Dad built it and my Mum painted the face). It looked better than I could have ever imagined and it was a great talking point for the evening. Ryan’s photos of all of our guests on the ‘Moon Booth’ were an added bonus!
Alongside the ‘Moon Booth’, I had plans for a tropical theme for the reception venue and we spent the day before the wedding spray painting about 20 pineapples gold! They looked unexpectedly chic and brightened up the tables amongst the flowers. My mum made over 70 metres of bunting from lovely tropical palm print fabric and she even made table runners to match.
The handmade touches to the décor were so special, it felt like a real joint effort. Alongside the bunting and pineapples we used an old step ladder for the seating plan and had various other paper garlands and a huge willow heart adorning the walls not to mention 100 metres of fairy lights.
Decorating each place setting we had place cards from Papier, which were the same design as our wedding invites, personalised napkins and a vintage-style drinks token, which was also the wedding favour.
I think the biggest (and possibly only) extravagance decor-wise was hiring neutral wooden chairs for the reception as I wasn’t keen on the ones supplied by the venue!
THE HONEYMOON | We travelled to Sorrento in Italy for two weeks, which was just breathtaking! After all the planning and excitement of the wedding it was so perfect to relax on our hotel balcony overlooking Versuvius, sipping prosecco! A highlight was heading into Naples for the pizza of our lives.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I will never forget the audible gasp from my family and friends when I walked into the ceremony room with my Dad, I felt like a fairy princess in my dress but also so grateful and happy to feel so much love!
Having a quiet moment amidst all the madness with Matt at dinner was super special too. We were the first in the buffet queue and sitting down with our food we turned to each other and shared that smug ‘we actually pulled off a wedding and we are now married!’ look.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t get too bogged down in the finer details, I spent ages considering exactly how the tables would look but I soon realised when all the guests arrived on the day that it just didn’t matter! I would also recommend researching a good photographer who’s work you love!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Shutter Go Click Photography
Flowers | Duck and Daffodils
Ceremony | Fountains Abbey
Tie & Pocket Square | Kate Temple
Transport | Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company
Food | J&J Catering
Venue | Ripley Town Hall
Ahh so lovely.
Thanks ever so much to both Cara and Matt and their photographer for sharing their delightful wedding with us xo Lou