Happiness all round this morning with Jemma and Kenny and their super gorgeous wedding held on the 30th July 2016 in Whitby, North Yorkshire. They held their outdoorsy celebration in a beautiful back garden complete with idyllic views, just perfect for an outdoor humanist ceremony and rustic tipi reception. They were blessed with glorious sunshine, which made for divine portraits and outdoor drinks and games.
They added so many personal and lovingly crafted touches, from the stencilled crates, to epic wild style blooms and home made shortbread favours for guests. It all looked so wonderful in the tipi, which was then lit with fairy lights in the evening. Jemma chose to wear Judith by Justin Alexander and the lace number looked incredible on her, she teamed her gown with a classic veil for a timeless look. Kenny’s blue suit was from Burtons, and he accessorised it with a floral tie and tan shoes, so dapper.
Many thanks goes to Alex Abbott for sending over these delightful photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | 21st February 2015 – Dunkeld, Perthshire. Kenny and I had our first trip away together to Dunkeld in 2012 and had returned to the same place every year! We felt that it was a really special place for us both, where we could get away from the stresses of work and spend some real quality time together in the Scottish countryside. Dunkeld is a place like no other… it allows you to leave all your cares at home and be transported to a place of calm and serenity. On our particular trip in February 2015, Kenny proposed to me after a stroll along the river Tay. If I’m completely honest, I don’t remember much about it! I remember the sun shining down (despite it being February in Scotland!!) and Kenny telling me how happy I made him and how much he loved me. I couldn’t even open the ring box because I was shaking so much but inside was the most beautiful engagement ring, I couldn’t have picked a better one myself. We spent the remainder of the day drinking champagne and having dinner in the only bistro in the small town!
THE VISION | It was really important for us to make our wedding day have a really relaxed feel and for our guests to feel relaxed too. We wanted our day to feel like a real party, more than a traditional wedding. We planned our wedding to be very ‘outdoorsy’ and rustic to complement the beautiful setting we had chosen.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We started planning our wedding 18 months before the day so the planning process was pretty straightforward and relatively seamless! Right from the beginning Kenny and I both shared the same vision, which meant that decision-making was that little bit easier.
BUDGET | We planned a budget around £15-20,000 and were just about able to stick to this!
THE VENUE | My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to let us host our ceremony and reception in their back garden, which overlooks the North Yorkshire Moors. They live in a quaint little village called Aislaby, just outside of Whitby, North Yorkshire and was a perfect venue for our wedding and fit perfectly with our theme and vision. The views from the end of the garden are breathtaking and we felt so honoured to be able to share these with our guests.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Justin Alexander ‘Judith’ dress, which I had altered to make it a sweetheart neckline. I also chose a medium length veil to go with my dress, which had small crystals and pearls on the ribbon edging.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was lucky enough to have plenty of help in searching for my perfect dress; I planned a full girly day of dress shopping with my mum and 3 sisters (also my bridesmaids) in York, North Yorkshire and it was in the second shop we visited that I found ‘the one’. I had tried on around 6 dresses, which were all gorgeous but there was just something about each one that I wasn’t sure about! The shop assistant was amazing; she listened to everything I had to say about each dress and then told me she had one in mind that she thought I might like. It turned out that this was my dress and as soon as I tried it on, I fell in love! It was different from anything I had previously tried on and was just so pretty. It was perfect!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Kenny wore a blue 3 piece suit from Burtons, with a paisley style tie and pocket square. His groomsmen (including our nephews) were asked to wear a blue suit also and we provided the matching ties and pocket squares.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose to have a Humanist ceremony on our wedding day, which I would recommend on all couples who wish to make their ceremony personal and full of love! Our Humanist celebrant Christine Berrisford, wrote the most perfect script for us, which included details of our love story so far and what we both hoped for during our married life. Kenny and I chose to write our own vows, which I didn’t expect I would find so hard to write and then say on the day! It was an extremely emotional process, which choked us both up during the ceremony! We had a couple of light-hearted readings during the ceremony and my cousin sang a beautiful song for us both, rather than having traditional hymns. Music featured throughout our wedding day; I walked down the aisle to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t help falling in love,” which was played by a string quartet (an amazing group of music students) who stayed to play during our drinks reception also. Following this we had a soul singing father/daughter duo for the rest of the day who through a real party for us!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had the most beautiful bridesmaids and flower girls by my side from start to finish. I chose to have my three sisters (Vicky, Kelly and Rachel), my sister-in-law (Kari) and my two closest friends (Emily and Rachel) as my bridesmaids, who were accompanied by three gorgeous flower girls (Matilda, Harriet and Isla). Considering I had 6 bridesmaids, it wasn’t too difficult to find a dress that would suit everyone; they made the job easy for me! They wore floor length dusky pink dresses with pearl detailing whilst the flower girls wore ivory dresses, again with pearl detailing.
THE FLOWERS | I found choosing the flowers for our wedding one of the most difficult tasks but luckily we chose a fantastic local florist who was able to take my vision and put together the most amazing selection of flowers, arrangements and bouquets. I wanted the flowers to have a relaxed feel, meaning I didn’t want really traditional and structured arrangements. In my head I wanted our flowers to look as though we’d just walked through the countryside and picked them along the way! I chose to incorporate thistles into our arrangements and the gents buttonholes given that my other half is Scottish and in contrast to this we had local Yorkshire heather. My amazing bridesmaids took on the task of arranging the centrepieces for our reception tables and I couldn’t have done a better job myself; they knew exactly the look I was going for!
THE CAKE | For many years, my family have used the same bakers in Whitby to supply any of our celebration cakes so it was a natural choice to ask them to make our wedding cake. Kenny and I are both huge fans of sponge cake, so that’s exactly what we had! We decided on a 3 tier, ‘naked’ style sponge cake; Victoria, chocolate and lemon sponges, pure delicious!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | When we were searching for a wedding photographer we met with a couple of different photographers but they all seemed very similar to one another and nothing really blew us away. That was until we came across Alex Abbott, who was recommended to us by another wedding photographer and I am so thankful that he was! Right from when we met Alex, we knew he was the right photographer for us; his passion for photography was unbelievable and right from meeting him, throughout the planning process, to our wedding day, we felt so at ease with him. He took his time to get to know what we wanted from the photography and even visited our venue a couple of months before the wedding to get a real feel and vision for our day. He fit right in on our big day and almost felt like one of our guests. We had so many great comments about Alex from our wedding guests and I would recommend him to anyone planning a wedding. Our photos have genuinely blown us away and Alex was able to capture each and every emotion of the day. Definitely one of our best decisions we made during our wedding planning. Thank you so much Alex!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The tipis we chose for our wedding really speak for themselves, so we didn’t really need to add much to them in the way of decorations. We strung up bunting that my friends mum had made for her wedding day and was kind enough to let us use. This went great with all the twinkly fairy lights and giant glitter ball! We added glass tealights to the tables along with the floral centrepieces. Our wedding favours were handmade by myself and these were homemade shortbread stamped with our names and wedding date. I packaged these up in individual bags and these were added to our reception tables also.
I tried where possible to craft many details of our wedding. This involved making all of our wedding stationery including the invites, order of ceremony, place names and the table plan, which I used a set of rustic ladders to display. I decorated (what felt like hundreds of) jars with lace and ribbon to display flowers and candles and these were dotted around the venue. My dad surprised me by making beautiful flower arrangements from crates and stencilling our wedding date on them. It was a really lovely touch and it was only when I was walking down the (long) garden aisle that I noticed them. They are something that we can keep for many years to come.
We set up a drinks station for our guests to use throughout the day. This was made up of beer barrows, buckets full of wine and prosecco and huge jars filled with Pimms. We made seating areas out of straw bales and crates for guests to enjoy their drinks at. When the sun went down and it got a little cooler, there were cosy blankets for guests to snug up with by the fire pits outside.
THE HONEYMOON | We chose not to go on our honeymoon straight after the wedding and it is something we have got to look forward to in the new year. We fly to Singapore where we will spend a few days exploring the city before cruising around Malaysia for a week and ending with a beach holiday in Thailand, we can’t wait! Straight after our wedding we had a ‘mini-moon’ in Scotland, the same place where Kenny proposed to me. It was a great way to let everything sink in and reflect together on the most amazing and truly memorable day of our lives.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are a few memorable moments that I have taken from our wedding day. I will never forget the moment that I turned the corner with my dad and saw my groom waiting for me. The sun came out just at that moment and the whole place was filled with emotion of all the right kind. We wrote our own vows to each other and although it was a struggle to get the words out through the tears, I was so touched by the kind and loving words spoken by Kenny.
We had a fantastic musical duo who sang for us and provided amazing entertainment from the wedding breakfast right throughout the evening. They got our wedding guests involved in the singing and provided a great party atmosphere! It was so lovely having all the people we love in one place really letting their hair down and enjoying the party, just what we had hoped for.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t stress over the little things! Leading up to the wedding I was obsessed with making sure that everything was going to be perfect for our wedding guests but on the wedding day I didn’t even think about that! Everything just fell into place and if it hadn’t have done I wouldn’t even have known because I was just enjoying the moment and having the best day ever!!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Alex Abbott
Flowers | Tim Mason, Flowerpot
Dress | Wedding Belles & Beaus
Bridal alterations | Once Upon a Dress
Grooms attire | Burtons
Hair | Felice Beck, A&M Hair
Make up | Katie Barker, Beautique
Singers | Reece & Seona Smith
Caterers | Advent Catering
Tipis | Boutipi
Humanist Celebrant | Christine Berrisford
Cake | Bothams
Just so lovely.
Jemma and Kenny, thank you both so much for sharing your stunning story with us xo Lou