I do love to feature different wedding styles and venues, I hope it gives you a broad range of wedding inspiration when you are planning, but also I just love seeing the creativity and vision of each and every couple that I have the honour of featuring on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. WWW followers James and Emma were married in a church ceremony and had an industrial mill reception at The Arches at Dean Clough in Yorkshire on the 5th October 2019. Their day had beautiful Autumn wedding vibes, rich colours and a lot of style.
Emma chose to wear an exquisite beaded gown by Eliza Jane Howell with a lace edge veil and her hair curled to perfection, with James suited and booted in a navy suit, grey waistcoat and tan shoes, they both looked incredible. I just adore the greenery and white blooms featuring Anemones, that bouquet, swoon! Also look out for a watercolour gold leaf cake, pretty candles, twinkling fairy lights and gorgeous deep blue silk bridesmaid dresses.
Hayley Baxter Photography, I cannot thank you enough for sharing these remarkable images with us all today.
A beautiful little town called Rovinj in Croatia in May 2018. James made me climb the 100 or so rickety steps up to the top of the church tower and whilst I was looking out at the incredible views he asked me the big question. We celebrated with Lobster and Champagne in a gorgeous little restaurant by the sea.
We wanted a traditional church ceremony which was very personalised to us followed by an evening party vibe with good food and drink and lots of music and dancing. Nothing too formal just a great atmosphere and something that felt like ‘us’.
The Planning Process
I used to do this for a living and I’m now a Project Manager so I had numerous spreadsheets which my Dad ripped me for in his speech. It was nice to get creative again and I was determined we would do most things ourselves, we were pretty decisive with the big decisions so that made things easy. We set the date and booked the venue pretty quickly.
17k (not including the Honeymoon/s!)
The Readings & Music
For the church ceremony my Brother read Song of Solomon 2.10-13;8.6,7 and my Cousin read an extract from Winnie the Pooh. We had the wonderful local choir sing hymns and James’ very talented Brother who happens to be a choral singer gave a lovely rendition of Ave Maria. James’ other brother happens to be a Vicar and married us which made it super special.
For the reception we had acoustic singer Dave Pilla sing us through drinks and dinner. We found him whilst walking through Leeds City Centre, he does an awesome busking spot and we loved his style so asked him to play our wedding! Our evening party band were Something for the Weekend who sing classic 90’s nostalgia, they were absolutely awesome and the dancefloor was packed. They also sang a version of David Gray – Please Forgive Me for our first dance.
We decided on the Church first and it was a no brainer as it is very sentimental to James’ family then we researched nearby venues and went to see The Arches in Halifax. We booked straight away as we thought it was very us. It’s an old converted industrial mill with bare brick walls, long tables and beautiful big windows.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was the third one I tried on. It was a beaded Eliza Jane Howell number which was super comfortable and perfect for dancing. I knew I didn’t want to feel stuffy or restricted in a dress; I wanted to feel like me. The detail on it is beautiful and I loved wearing it. It’s nothing like I had envisioned; I thought I wanted something more boho.
The dress is from a lovely boutique in Leeds The Bridal Emporium, the girls are fab and there is no pressure just a really friendly relaxed vibe.
I wore a beautiful Gold locket gifted by James on the day from Astley Clarke.
Earrings from Oliver Bonas and a jewelled hair comb from the Bobby Pin. My veil is from Britten Weddings. My ‘Something Blue’ was my classic LK Bennet courts.
My bridesmaids and Mum and I got ready in the suite at Shibden Mill, we had so much fun I almost forgot it was my wedding day! Lucy Sunderland did my make-up and she had us all in stiches with her stories, the equally lovely Amy Jackson did our hair and both girls are absolute pros. Once I had chosen my dress I decided to go for an old Hollywood glamour look with my hair in waves which I loved on the day.
Our very talented photographer was Hayley Baxter, she did an amazing job blending in and getting gorgeous shots of all our family and friends. She also took us off for a little mini shoot before the reception; Hayley is local to the area and found a gorgeous little spot next to a waterfall to get some shots of the two of us. She made us feel at ease as we were not too keen on posing and I think the shots look really natural.
We are lucky enough to have a good friend who also happens to be a broadcaster, she very kindly offered to record the day then let us all loose with the GoPro on the evening with hilarious results, it was then edited to music from our day. We will treasure the video forever and are so grateful it’s such an awesome way to capture the day.
The Details & Décor
Being an ex-events planner I knew I could have gone really over the top with the décor! We decided to keep things fairly simple and budget friendly, I don’t like anything too over-engineered. I’m a big fan of lots of candlelight, fairy lights and relaxed flowers and that suited the venue perfectly.
It was a complete DIY job and wasn’t stressful at all as everything was collected up over the year of planning. The copper candleholders which went on every table were lovingly made by my Dad and we designed them together which was a fun part of the process. I made a little kids den for all the children with tipi tents and a giant colouring mat plus some rugs from home, they enjoyed playing together and it meant the parents got to eat dinner! All the stationery was produced by James from templates found online and I made the name tags and table numbers.
Guests had a three course dinner, the head chef at The Arches is super talented and the food was stunning. We had some street food style bites in the evening and of course donuts and cake! James picked his favourite Northern Monk draft and I had a special ‘Yorkshire Lass’ cocktail.
I’m lucky to have a very clever Auntie who has baked all the occasion cakes in our family so we couldn’t have anyone else! We absolutely loved the cake which I only saw properly on the day; it was perfect for the theme. It was blue ombre with flecks of gold and it tasted amazing! We were lucky to involve so many family members in our day.
The bouquets and buttonholes were by LoveBlossomFlowers, I asked for lots of greenery and some Anemones which I love. All the other flowers I did myself, I ordered from Triangle Wholesale and had been collecting bud vases for months. I didn’t want anything too ‘arranged’ and it worked out really well. The two Mums helped with the church flowers which were mainly gypsophila in small milk bottles and my bridesmaid and I arranged the venue vases the day before. My favourite addition was some dried bleached Ruscus which I used on my table plan and centrepieces; it’s nice to have some dried flowers you can use at home to remember your day. Top tip – Don’t underestimate how long it takes to prep and cut flowers!
James had 3 groomsmen and one best man. We chose classic Navy suits and as the guys are spread across different locations we used Moss Bros hire which made life a lot easier! The patterned ties were from Saville Row Company.
My bridesmaids looked absolutely gorgeous in floor length Navy silk dresses from Ghost which went really well with my dress. It’s the only thing they tried on and we were instantly sold. I gave them hairpins from Anthropologie and a necklace each.
We also had two adorable flower girls, they wore dresses from John Rocha and I made the little hoop flower wreaths.
We had a Barcelona ‘Minimoon’ straight after the wedding and spent a few days eating and drinking our way round the coolest city. Then when we could afford it we went to Sri Lanka for a two week Honeymoon which was absolutely incredible.
The dramatic glass smash when our friend and compere introduced us for dinner and had everyone in stitches. The classic conga line at the end of the night and sneaking outside to look through the window at all our family and friends having a great time and feeling really proud of ourselves! We also loved having all the little ones at the wedding they really made it special.
Advice For Other Couples
Go with your gut! We certainly did and didn’t regret any of it. You could pour over different options for days but it can really takeover, if we liked something we went with it! We also pretty much stuck to our budget and had a rule that we wouldn’t start married life with any debt.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Hayley Baxter Photography
Such a stylish Autumn affair, I really love an industrial wedding.
James and Emma thank you so much for sharing your really wonderful wedding story today xo Lou