Charlotte and Nathan are bringing pure joy to our day with their cute rainbow style wedding day, which was held on the 26th July 2018 at East Riddlesden Hall in Yorkshire. Their wedding was chock full of personality and fun, in part thanks to the multicolour décor and partly due to all of the DIY elements created by the couple and their nearest and dearest. There were paper flower bouquets, glitter jar candles, pom poms and confetti to name a few. Amaze!
I totally love their outfits too, with Charlotte choosing a 1950s style tea length gown complete with pretty veil and Nathan donning a grey woollen suit and bow tie. Didn’t they look stunning?! Keep your eyes peeled for adorable transport, a rainbow cake of dreams and a hint of Harry Potter. Oh yes.
Huge thanks goes to WWW fave Stevie Jay Photography for sharing these utterly gorgeous images with us today. What a treat!
Nathan had planned the whole thing! We were on holiday in America (our first holiday abroad together after 10 years!). We were in North Carolina staying near Lake Lure (where they filmed some of Dirty Dancing – one of my favourite films). We were spending the day at Chimney Rock and had walked down to the base of the 400ft Hickory Nut Waterfall. When we got to the bottom we stopped for a drink, I turned around to look at the beautiful scenery and when I turned back to face Nathan he was down on one knee holding a beautiful handmade ring with a little bronze bee on it. I can’t 100% remember what he said as it was a complete shock! But I remember asking him seven or eight times if he was joking.
We let close family know as soon as we had wifi access; it turns out our parents had known he was going to do it and were waiting for the confirmation! He had asked my mum and dad weeks before we went on holiday and had told his mum and dad the plan too. They were so excited for us and couldn’t wait to celebrate with us when we got back 😊
Nathan and I both decided we wanted a relaxed wedding day filled with our closest friends and family and we knew we wanted a barn wedding somewhere rustic with lots of character. We also decided that it was too difficult to choose just one colour scheme, so we chose a rainbow-themed wedding so the barn would be full of colour and fun.
The Planning Process
We had talked about what our wedding would be like and had discussed costs and things quite a bit before we even got engaged so we both knew that we wanted to cut costs by making what we could ourselves and both wanted to be involved to truly make it our perfect day. Pinterest became our new best friend and we spent ages looking through to get as many ideas as possible for the big day. We even created a special wedding page so our close family could add their ideas – after all 10 heads are better than 2!
Once we had chosen our venue and booked our date (exactly 2 years after the proposal) we started preparations.
Nathan: Our family were really helpful in the planning process. We decorated about fifty glittered candle jars by hand for table decorations, and my grandma came to help with those one day. We visited the venue a few times before the wedding to ask questions, take measurements and help with the planning in general, and all of our close family joined us there at some point.
On the day before the wedding we had access to the hall to decorate it, which was so easy and fun with our army of willing volunteers. I had relatives who had flown over from California for the wedding and they even helped out the day before – very useful when your cousin and uncle are the tallest people in the family and there are decorations to hang off beams!
Nathan: We knew that we wanted to have an amazing honeymoon so it was important that the wedding didn’t cost the earth, whilst still having everything that we wanted. This was a factor in deciding to make all of the decorations ourselves, although in hindsight that also meant we could have exactly what we wanted and not have to compromise.
We had saved since the engagement, although family kindly supported us with gifts of the cake, photography and help towards the venue hire.
Charlotte: We chose East Riddlesden Hall as our venue; I loved it as soon as we walked in and I knew that was where I wanted to get married!
We really liked the fact that the cost of the venue helped the National Trust and would go towards making sure future generations get to see and visit such beautiful areas of the UK.
East Riddlesden and the surrounding grounds and gardens are beautiful and are full of character and rustic charm – exactly what we wanted for our day.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Charlotte: My wedding dress was made specifically for me by a family friend who also made my mum’s wedding dress 30 years ago. I had been to a few wedding dress shops before going to see my dressmaker and had tried on lots of different styles of dresses to see what suited my body the best. I finally decided that I wanted a 50’s style tea length dress with an open back, pockets and pastel multi-coloured underskirts to match the wedding theme. Each time I went to visit the dressmaker I was more and more excited! I got to choose the fabric and all the accessories for the dress. I decided I wanted a lace-covered bodice with little hints of sparkle with a simple bottom half – the dress-maker was probably very glad of this as each of the lace details had to be individually cut from the sheet of lace and sewn by hand onto the dress! As the dress neared completion my dress-maker commented that I look like a woodland fairy. To complement the sparkle in the lace bodice I chose to have an aroura gem belt added to the waistline of the dress which caught every bit of light that shone on it. I have to say I have never felt as beautiful as I did in my wedding dress! My something borrowed was my wedding shoes, I wore a beautiful pair of white glittery Irregular Choice heels for the ceremony and changed into a pair of white converse with ribbon laces for the photos and after party. My mum bought me a beautiful silver bee necklace as a wedding gift and I wore a multi-coloured bracelet Nathan had bought me some years before.
Nathan: I knew I wanted a woollen type suit and quite like the look of tweed suits, but didn’t want something overly patterned or in your face. I work away from home quite a lot and often stay near Cheshire Oaks where I had spotted a few suits that I liked, so organised for myself and the groomsmen to visit together one weekend. We spent the morning trying on various suits and decided which ones we liked best whilst eating pizza for lunch. We decided on grey woollen suit; myself and the best man wore matching suits by Jeff Banks whilst the 2 groomsmen wore very similar looking grey suits from Moss Bros. The Groomsmen wore white shirts and grey ties to match their suits. I wanted to match in a white shirt but chose one with a subtle botanical pattern on it from Burton, so it was a little bit different. I wore a grey bow tie with coloured speckles woven into it, so I would match the theme. I also wore an enamel badge on the lapel of my suit which was a gift from my mother in law – a mickie and minnie mouse wedding badge. Charlotte thoughtfully bought me a watch which she had had inscribed with the date of the wedding – it perfectly matched my suit and had a Harris Tweed strap.
Charlotte: My hair and make up was done by 2 wonderful ladies (Kirsty and Melissa) from Rouge Noir salon in Manchester. They came to the venue to do both hair and make up for myself, the bridesmaids and our mums. I wanted to look like a nicer version of myself and they did a fantastic job! I felt like a princess when they had finished!
The Readings & Music
Charlotte: We decided that the music for the day should be relaxing and calming as we were sure we would both be nervous. The entrance and exit music were by the same artist – Sigur Rós. Nathan and I had been to see them live in concert twice and both concerts were memorable, so they seemed like the perfect choice. The music for the rest of the ceremony was piano instrumental and featured bands both Nathan and I like, alongside popular love songs.
For the readings we chose three and asked different family members to read for us to add extra meaning behind them. My mum (Wendy) did the first reading ‘A Lovely Love Story’, my brother (Joshua) did the second reading ‘Love Is Friendship On Fire’ and my mother in law (Michele) did the final reading ‘Union’.
Charlotte: Our photographer was Stevie Jay. Stevie was the perfect choice for our big day! From the very beginning she put us at ease; Nathan and I aren’t too good at having our pictures taken and would feel a little silly posing for photographs. Stevie made the whole process fun and relaxing. The package we chose included an engagement shoot as well as two photographers during the day, so an additional photographer followed Nathan and the groomsmen and Stevie followed myself and the bridesmaids getting ready in the morning. We love all the photographs that were taken and had a really difficult job choosing which ones we wanted to use for our wedding album!
Nathan: I love that there are so many moments captured that we either missed, treasured, or you just wouldn’t expect in a wedding album. There’s one of me tying Nilay’s tie because he couldn’t remember how to, and the RAC turning up to unlock a guests car after their keys got locked inside.
Nathan: My best man was older Brother Sam. There was never going to be anyone else that I’d ask as I’ve known Sam my whole life, and we’ve never been the types to argue or fall out. Sam and Diane got married abroad a few years ago but I was honoured to give a speech at their reception party when they returned to the UK. Now it was his turn!
My groomsmen were Nilay and Zain – both of whom I lived with at University and we’ve stayed best friends ever since. Zain lives and works in Manchester so we meet up fairly often, and Nilay always makes the effort to travel up from London when there’s a celebration or event.
Charlotte: I decided not to have a maid of honour but had three amazing bridesmaids by my side the whole day!
I chose my two sisters Rachael and Rebekah and my sister in-law Diane. Deciding on their dresses was one of the hardest parts of the wedding planning!
I couldn’t decide if I wanted them to have the same dress or different dresses and went through so many colour changes and style changes that in the end I asked them to send me designs they liked, and we went from there. Their dresses were made by the same lady who made my dress, so each dress fitted each bridesmaid perfectly and suited their body shapes.
Each dress was a different colour and style but were made from similar materials and all matched beautifully.
Charlotte: The idea for the flowers came from our new-found friend Pinterest! I knew I wanted multicoloured flowers and wanted ones that would last after the wedding was over. We decided to make my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets out of paper. I found the paper, design and instructions online and we spent many evenings and weekends snuggled up in the study of our house making petals and eventually the flowers themselves. We bought gems to place in the middle of the flowers to add an extra element to them. I think they looked really nice and we got lots of compliments on them on the day.
The Details & Décor
Charlotte: As we have said previously we wanted the décor to be colourful and fun and I wanted a festival sort of feel to the day, with people enjoying themselves in the sunshine which we were lucky enough to get for most of the day! We decided on a late addition of hay bales for the outside area which provided some seating for our guests. I got some bubbles for the younger guests to enjoy on the day and some hula hoops for guests to show off with and we weren’t disappointed when we got the photographs back and saw that our guests had done just that! We also had a glitter table so the guests could decorate their faces during the evening.
For our food we had James Brown at Nomad Catering. We chose to have a family share style Sunday roast beef dinner, with each table carving their own slices of beef. For dessert we had chocolate brownie and ice cream. Our evening food was burritos. Our guests raved about the food, it was delicious and just what we wanted for our day.
Nathan: top tip – have a couple of pescatarians on your table and you get extra beef 😉
Charlotte: Again, the idea for the cake came from looking on Pinterest. We decided to have two flavours for the two separate layers of our wedding cake – lemon and coconut – two of our favourite flavours. The decoration on the outside of the cake was simple and matched our muted rainbow-theme. We had striped icing covering the cake and meringue kisses with rainbow hints around the top of the cake. It was beautifully created by the Vintage Cupcake Kitchen in Uppermill (thecakekitchen41 on Instagram).
Charlotte: A few weeks after the wedding we travelled back to America for our Honeymoon. We spent two weeks travelling around Tennessee and Kentucky, stopping for two or three nights at each place. We went to the Kentucky state fair, had lots of delicious BBQ food and enjoyed beautiful scenery and lots of Bourbon and Whiskey!
Nathan: We stayed in a mix of national parks, backwoods cabins and cities. We both fell in love with Louisville though – such a beautiful city.
Charlotte: I have loads of memorable moments! Walking down the aisle with my dad was very special – he was so nervous but made me feel so calm and relaxed. Looking back at the pictures he looks so scared! Getting to Nathan at the front of all our family and friends and seeing the emotion in his face. But I think the most memorable thing for me would have to be the choreographed first dance we did, that nobody knew about. We had been practising for months and were so relieved when it went well on the day, the cheers and applause from our guests was the prize for our hard work!
Nathan: Yeah, the dance was much more fun than I imagined when it was first suggested to me all those months ago. It sounds cliched but seeing Lottie for the first time blew me away, and I couldn’t maintain eye contact throughout the ceremony unless I wanted to lose my composure. We also had a really nice meal with extended family the night before, many of whom had travelled from far and wide, but I also loved the run-up to the wedding. Diane (my sister-in-law) came to drop of Teddy (my baby nephew) in our room whilst the ladies got ready, so I had an hour dosing and cuddling with Teddy. After that I went for a swim to keep myself occupied as I knew I’d start getting nervous if I was sat around with nothing to do.
Advice For Other Couples
Charlotte: It can be stressful planning a wedding but try to remember it is YOUR day! Nobody else’s! Do what you want and make it all about you and your partner, celebrate your relationship and know that as long as you have fun, your guests will too.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Hair & Make Up
Rouge Noir Salon
Charlotte and Nathan, thank you so so much for sharing your gorgeous wedding story with us. So lovely! xo Lou