Now here’s a real wedding with wow factor! Yes it time for WWW readers Ben and Georgina’s nuptials held on Friday 9th June 2017 at the Chilli Barn in Yorkshire. The venue is owned by family friends and is dear to Georgina seeing as she spent her childhood visiting the barn before it’s transformation. It’s also in the home town where the pair grew up, so it was the natural choice for their relaxed day. Navy and gold became the colour scheme of choice, with the wedding venue being decked out in gold streamers and navy blue tassel garlands.
The natural style edible petal cake was baked by Georgina’s sister, the floral installation in the marquee was a real statement, and DIY too! I love that they held a quiz for guests, it sounded such fun. Now let’s talk about those stylish outfits shall we? Ben opted for a Marks and Spencer ensemble in navy blue with a gold tie, while Georgina chose a lacy cap sleeve gown called Lenora by Wtoo. She also wore a pretty flower crown and red lips for the perfect bridal look. Gorgeous.
Hayley Baxter Photography, thanks ever so much for sending over these delightful images today.
THE PROPOSAL | Ben proposed to me whilst we were mid ski slope in Niederau, Austria on a skiing holiday in January 2016. The slope was the perfect location as there was no one else on it and the view was incredible. Ben stopped to ‘look at the view’ so I followed him. We took photos and were getting ready to start skiing again when I turned around to see Benjamin on one knee with a ring box. My initial reaction was shock, and I might have sworn, but I was instantly overwhelmed with happiness and excitement and said a huge yes!
We have been together for nearly 12 years and the year prior to the proposal we went on a road trip round California, I was convinced that the proposal would happen on that trip in Yosemite national park, but it didn’t so I put it out of my head and forgot about it. It was a lovely surprise the way it happened.
THE VISION | We knew that we wanted a relaxed style wedding from the beginning and it was important to us for our guests to be fully involved in the planning process and the day. We wanted the day to not just be a celebration of our love for one another but also our friends and family.
I became obsessed with wedding blogs and started collecting inspiration from everywhere I could. I knew that I wanted the decorations to have the ‘wow’ factor. I have always loved gold and navy and tend to wear these colours most days, so these were the obvious choice for the colour scheme.
My engagement and wedding ring is made from rose gold laurel leaves therefore thought it would be a nice touch to incorporate these into the day making a leaf shaped ‘wedding logo’ (designed by my bridesmaid, Steph) and incorporated leaves from the willow tree in my Mum and Dad’s garden in decorations around the Chilli Barn.
We always knew we wanted fish and chips for our wedding breakfast, these came from a local fish and chip shop (Maypole Fisheries) and a lot of planning went into the logistics of transporting them to the Chilli Barn. They were perfect on the day: hot, crispy and perfectly presented in our customised boxes (with the wedding logo on). They gained rave reviews from all of our guests who thoroughly enjoyed them.
We also wanted some form of entertainment in the evening that would cater for everyone and get everyone involved.
We also wanted to get married on a Friday and extend the wedding celebrations for as long as possible. I had a lovely meal the night before with my friends and family, Ben went to the pub with his boys and Dad and we had a post wedding BBQ the day after at my Mum and Dad’s, inviting everyone who attended the wedding. This was so lovely, it took the pressure off on the day having to talk to everyone as we got to spend time with people over the course of three days, it was lovely to reminisce the day after about the day, it also gave the opportunity for our guests to get to know one another.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Our engagement was 17 months, which gave us plenty of time to plan. I had many a spread sheet and started collecting various decorations. I really wanted to be organised as I wanted to fully enjoy the lead up to the wedding and the set-up of the Chilli Barn without it becoming too overwhelming and stressful. I meticulously planned everything and drove my family and friends crazy however it really paid off in on the lead up to the wedding and on the day. Everyone was so amazed at how relaxed I was and I really felt planning ahead paid off so I could fully enjoy all aspects of the wedding. Richard (from Chilli Barn) and Bex (from Oakleaf Weddings and Events) were great in helping us plan our day and ensuring it ran smoothly.
BUDGET | We had a general budget in mind, which we tried to stick to but were flexible with. We probably went slightly over budget however it was totally worth it!
THE VENUE | I had spent much of my childhood visiting Chilli Barn before its transformation as it belongs to my Mum and Dad’s best friends. Myself and Ben both grew up in Otley, so the Chilli Barn felt like the natural venue to hold our wedding. Not only does it hold sentimental value and is situated in our home town but it is a truly beautiful place surrounded by fields, Danefield Woods and the Chevin which are all places which hold happy memories for the two of us.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Lenora by Wtoo was my absolute dream dress, I felt so comfortable in it and felt like ‘me’. I wore a traditional full veil, which I loved and felt it gave more of a dramatic feel to the dress when I walked down the aisle. I am not a fan of traditional wedding shoes so wore a pair of rose gold block heels from Dune. I had some beautiful rose gold bespoke leaf topaz earrings made from Alex Monroe, which were a gift from my Mum and Dad, aunties and grandparents. My engagement and wedding ring along with necklace (which was a gift from Ben for my 30th birthday) were from the most beautiful handmade jewellers, Rust, they are so unique and beautiful. I wore a rose gold and topaz bangle from Embers which I found on Etsy.
FINDING THE DRESS | I always knew that I didn’t want a big dress and I wanted something a little bit different, lacy and vintage. I started following many an Instagram wedding dress account and fell in love with a Watters dress. In the mean time I visited two wedding dress shops and didn’t like any. I felt all the shops had a similar style of dresses and began to feel a bit stuck. Even though the Watters dress was out of my price range, I began ringing round shops which stocked Watters dresses to enquire whether they had the dream dress. Mia Sposa in Huddersfield were extremely helpful and although they didn’t stock that particular dress, they had one very similar, Lenora by Wtoo, which was half the price. I tried it on and it was so different to any I had previously tried and instantly fell in love with it, it also gained the approval from my Mum and Sister. Mia Sposa are a family run business and Alex and her Mum were the most lovely and helpful people.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ben wore a Saville Row inspired navy suit from Marks and Spencer’s. He wore this with tan Marks and Spencer’s shoes, a tan belt, white shirt and a gold with navy spots tie by Hammond & Co. by Patrick Grant at Debenhams. My Dad and Best Man, Keds wore matching suits but with a light blue shirt. I never realised how tricky it was to find the perfect suit but the staff at Marks and Spencer’s were really helpful and the three of them looked very smart. I bought Ben a vintage watch form Ogden’s in Harrogate, which I gave to him as a gift on the morning of the wedding. He would always look in the shop window at them each time we went to Harrogate.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | My Grandad is Scottish therefore read the poem ‘A Red, Red Rose’ by Robert Burns, it was so lovely to have my Grandad play a role in the ceremony and he set a few of my friends off crying!
I walked down the aisle to Beethoven Piano Sonata number 8, Pathetique, which was my other Grandad’s favourite song to play on the piano and reminds me and my family of him each time we hear it. We signed the register to Laura Mvula’s ‘Sing to the Moon’ and the Beach Boys ‘God Only Knows’ and walked back down the aisle as Mr and Mrs to Elbows ‘One Day Like This’.
Ben is a huge Bob Dylan fan therefore our first dance was his version of ‘The best is yet to come’.
We surprised our guests with completely amazing New York Brass Band who walked in at the end of our first dance playing ‘All You Need is Love’. I can’t express how amazing they were, they definitely made it a wedding to remember. The dance floor was full all night and the place was buzzing. They were the perfect wedding band, which catered for all ages and all music tastes and got everyone involved. They made such a special party atmosphere, I just loved looking round the room seeing all of our loved ones smiling, dancing and having such a fun time. Our guests are still talking about how brilliant they are now! Highly highly recommended!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister was my maid of honour and bridesmaids were my sister in law and my two best friends from school. My niece was a flower girl and nephew a page boy.
I found the bridesmaids dresses from Joy in the sale whilst celebrating our 10 year anniversary in York and knew instantly that they were perfect, so perfect that I bought them despite not yet being engaged!!!! Even though this was a completely and utterly crazy thing to do it really paid off (and gave Ben a huge hint as he is that laid back we might not yet be married today!!). Nicole, my bridesmaid is a wonderful dressmaker, which she does it for a living, she made all the alterations, which I can’t thank her enough for. Three of my bridesmaids live in London, they all met for a dress fitting one Sunday and decided between them to cut them to below the knee (they were originally floor length) which I think was a good choice and they looked beautiful. They wore gold block heal shoes and bought them a gold leaf necklace as a gift.
Our flower girl wore a beautiful gold sparkly dress from Monsoon and page boy wore trousers and waistcoat from Next.
THE FLOWERS | Sam Williams was our wonderful florist. All I knew was that I loved wild and colourful style bouquets but knew very little about flowers. I took inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram to show Sam what style and colour flowers I wanted. I always knew I wanted to wear a flower crown but didn’t want this to be too big. My flowers on the day did not disappoint and they were literally the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. My bouquet was made up of peonies, cornflower, stocks, daisies, roses, crispedia and greenery. I was so pleased with my flower crown and felt it added colour to my dress. Sam also let us borrow wooden crates which the fish and chips were served from, which was a huge help.
Me and my Mum made up the flower jam jars from a combination of a bundle of flowers from Sam and supermarket bought flowers for the tables the day before the wedding. We also tied fresh flowers into the beautiful wedding backdrop and hanging ladder in the centre of the marquee.
THE CAKE | My amazing sister, Charl made our beautiful wedding cake! She has always enjoyed baking and has made cakes for the family in the past but never anything on this scale. We said to her that it was more important for us to spend time with her over the course of the wedding rather than her spending time making the cake. However, she insisted and relished in the challenge. Our only criteria was that we wanted it to have colourful edible petals on. Charl sourced the petals from Maddocks Farm Organics. She spent many a weekend doing trial runs, I think her colleagues loved it as they were her main testers! She made a chocolate layer for the bottom, Victoria sponge using my Grandmas homemade raspberry jam and lemon for the top tier. She froze two tiers and made one fresh a few days prior. The petals had to be applied on the morning of the wedding to ensure they didn’t wilt or the colour ran into the icing. The end result was completely wonderful and it definitely had the wow factor, it was so pretty and colourful and exactly as we envisaged. Charl really went above and beyond and we can’t thank her enough!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The wonderful Hayley Baxter photographed our wedding, we loved her photographs and knew as soon as we met her we were on the same page. Her style is laid back and relaxed shots, which we loved and really wanted all of the natural moments of the day capturing. I wasn’t keen on having photographs whilst getting ready but agreed and I’m so glad I did. Hayley fitted in really well on the morning and offered really good advice. She had a brilliant ability to put people at ease whilst being assertive, which was exactly what we needed. She really helped to structure our wedding day and enabled it to run smoothly. The photos are unbelievable, she managed to capture all of the key moments whilst blending in to our guests. Hayley really went above and beyond and we can’t thank her enough.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We made the most wonderful wedding back drop from tree trunks, leaves, ribbon and flowers, which was prettier that I could have ever imagined. I dreamed of having a hanging ladder filled with leaves and flowers from the centre of the marquee but wasn’t quite sure how it would work, luckily my Dad and Brother figured it out, which really added the wow factor to the marquee. I bought tacky gold curtains and attached them to sections of the marquee, Ben wasn’t keen on the idea at first but agreed they added a quirky touch and looked perfect. With the help of Ben’s Mum and Dad, we spent hours making navy and gold tissue paper tassel bunting, which we draped in the marquee and all round the Chilli Barn. We put tea lights and fairy lights everywhere so it looked really pretty at night. We also printed lots of old photos for our guests to look at.
Each table had a bottle of limoncello, a letter to the guests, a selfie stick and a quiz. The quiz was a great way to get our guests talking to one another, my sister was the quiz master and it was a lot of fun, especially hearing some of the chosen team names!
We had a polaroid photo station and the photos taken are completely amazing, they really pick up the vibe of the day and everyone looks like there having so much fun. We have now hung it up in our bedroom and both love looking at them, it instantly takes us back to thinking about how wonderful the day was.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Mauritius two days after the wedding. This was the perfect way to relax after the whole wedding whirlwind, you don’t realise how much it takes out of you and I spent the first week having two naps a day to catch up. We loved escaping just the two of us whilst we were in our wedding bubble, it was so lovely having the time to talk through every little detail of the day and reminisce about how wonderful it had all been and for it all to sink in.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Going to the hairdressers with my bridesmaids singing along to ‘Going to the chapel’, having brunch with my family and bridesmaids, My Dad seeing me for the first time in my dress and becoming completely overwhelmed with emotion. Walking down the aisle with my Dad and him saying ‘Afternoon all’ to the guests, the ceremony and becoming Mr and Mrs Lindley. My Grandad’s lovely reading. Feeling overwhelmed with love for each other and family and friends. Fish and chips. The speeches. Photographs on Otley Chevin. New York Brass band surprising the guests. The moon. The atmosphere of our loved ones sat round the fire pit talking. Dancing to ‘Call me Al’ with dance moves. Looking round seeing all of our loved ones in the same room dancing and having fun. Doing the conga up the stairs in the Chilli Barn and the drummer having to do some acrobatics to get up there. Dancing to Elbow. Dancing to Coldplay with our parents. Sparklers by moonlight.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Do exactly what the two of you want to do, it’s your special day.
Have a drinks runner for the day, you can’t get anywhere fast!
Make sure you remember to assign someone to go around with the guest book/polaroid.
It really will be the best day of your lives, we thought it would be good but we didn’t think it would be THAT good and felt so overwhelmed by how perfect it was. We feel so lucky to have experienced such a special and wonderful time together.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Hayley Baxter Photography
Rings | Rust
Fish & Chips | Maypole Fisheries
Venue | Chilli Barn
Planner | Oakleaf Weddings and Events
Wedding logo | Steph Parr
Dress | Wtoo
Dress Shop | Mia Sposa
Earrings | Alex Monroe
Bangle | Embers
Suit and Shoes | Marks and Spencer
Tie | Hammond & Co. by Patrick Grant at Debenhams
Watch | Vintage at Ogden
Band | New York Brass Band
Bridesmaid dresses | Joy
Shoes | ASOS
Flower Girl | Monsoon
Page Boy | Next
Flowers | Sam Williams Flowers
Petals | Maddocks Farm Organics
How very gorgeous!
Ben and Georgina, thanks so much to you both for sharing your wonderful story with us xo Lou