WWW readers Elizabeth and Patrick had a gorgeous autumn wedding on Friday 7th October 2016 at Thornbridge Hall in Derbyshire. They really wanted a relaxed day and to do things their own way, I think you’ll agree that everything turned out perfectly. I absolutely adore the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the menfolk look ever so smart in their Harris Tweed waistcoats. Elizabeth wore “Istanbul” from the Blue by Enzoani collection and she looks absolutely beautiful, no wonder her Dad shed a tear!
I love how the pair did everything their own way and didn’t let the planning process get on top of them. They wanted a straightforward day with delicious food and plenty of alcohol and there were lots of pretty turning leaf details crafted by the couple. They didn’t let weather worries affect their plans and the result is this gorgeous autumn wedding.
Thanks so much to Mark Tierney for these wonderful images.
THE PROPOSAL | Pat proposed to me on top of Stanage Edge in the Peak District near Sheffield. We both love the outdoors and it’s a place we often go walking. We shared a cheese sandwich and a packet of crisps and then he pulled out a small box and asked me if I would marry him. He couldn’t get down on one knee because we were on a cliff but he managed to jump to a lower ledge and held the ring up to me which was very funny and sweet.
THE VISION | We’re both very relaxed and didn’t want to do anything which we knew was going to be over the top and stressful. I love autumn and so was very set on an autumnal wedding. With that we knew that we would need a venue which could cater for any weather! One thing we both said we wanted was lots of alcohol and good entertainment. In our minds those were the making of a good wedding!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We both have very busy jobs and don’t really have the chance to do wedding planning at work, which made our weekends slightly manic on occasions because we were trying to fit in everything wedding related at the weekends. Again we took a relaxed approach with planning, and did everything in a logical way (or what we thought was logical). We split the jobs down the middle and both organised certain parts of the wedding; we were in this together so we planned it together! Pat wanted me to do the more creative aspects of the wedding such as the invites, table decorations, flowers etc. and he wanted to organise the entertainment, alcohol and photographer which was great- I just let him get on with it. He also created our wedding website which was amazing and meant all our guests could RSVP through that rather than sending responses. This saved us loads of time, money and paper!
THE VENUE | The beautiful Thornbridge Hall in Ashford in the Water, in Derbyshire. We’re both from a small town called Matlock and so wanted our wedding to be back in Derbyshire. We’re very lucky because there are so many beautiful venues in Derbyshire so we had lots of choices.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress is from a boutique in Sheffield called Emily Bridal Wear.
My dress is from the Blue collection by Enzoani and the dress itself is called Istanbul. They were amazing and let me have as many fittings as I wanted or needed. They gave me really good advice on what dress would suit my frame and shape (I’m quite short so some dresses drowned me). My hair piece was also from here and this was called Daisy Chain. My shoes were from ASOS and were really good quality and not expensive. The design is True Decadence.
For my make up I used a friend who is a make up designer and now works for Chanel, Lauren Eaton. For my hair I again used a friend Tiffany Concannon who has her own salon, Esta da Moda in Matlock where our wedding was.
FINDING THE DRESS | I only went to four bridal shops in the end which I think was a good thing. I found it quite overwhelming at times, and because I had no idea what sort of dress I wanted it made it harder. Being short made it a slightly easier choice as I knew that big puffy dresses would look terrible on me so I always went for the more fitted options. They brought the Istanbul dress out, as it had only just been released and I immediately knew I was going to like it. It was quite simple in some respects but I loved the intricate lace detail on the train and the back. One piece of advice I would give to people is that when you have found the dress you want, go for a fitting by yourself or with just one person who you trust to give you an honest opinion. I became slightly unsure about my dress after a fitting, and had a lot of people there with me which made it slightly more stressful. I went back with my best friend and the girls in the shop were amazing and let me have as much time as I wanted walking around in the dress, and seeing it in the mirror at different angles. It took all my reservations away and I knew I’d made the right choice. Having friends and family there is great, but sometimes you just need to make your mind up by yourself. This is obviously a very individual thing and may not be how each bride wants to do things, but a lot of friends I’ve spoken to said the exact same thing to me.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Pat has a very unique taste in clothes so had a very specific idea of what he wanted. He bought his suit from Ted Baker, and his waistcoat was from Harris Tweed. He also got the ushers tweed waistcoats in a slightly different colour to fit with his country gentleman theme.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We didn’t want any readings which were too soppy, or too long so we did a bit of research into more unique poems and readings. Our first reading was a poem by Ben Okri, who is one of Pat’s favourite writers, and our second was a poem called ‘Love is a temporary madness’ by Louis De Bernieres (he wrote Captain Corelli’s Mandolin).
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were all wonderful (obviously I’m biased). At first it was quite difficult choosing a dress that they all liked, as everyone is different shapes and sizes. At the same time they made the process pretty stress free, and once I had found the dress I liked they were all really positive about it. I wanted a more autumnal dress; knowing that it would be autumn and not very warm. I also wanted something stylish, and not your typical bridesmaid dress. I found the dress on ASOS, a design by Chi Chi London. They suited all the bridesmaids and they all looked incredible.
THE FLOWERS | Frances & Rose. My amazing florist was recommended to me by a friend of my mums. Marianne has an amazing eye for detail, and as I didn’t have much experience of flowers or wedding flowers in general she made the experience exciting and easy. One thing I loved was that she uses seasonal flowers and uses local suppliers. My flowers were in fitting with our autumn theme, and we had so many comments at the wedding on how beautiful the flowers were.
THE CAKE | We both prefer more savoury food than sweet, and decided to have a cheese tiered cake instead. We thought this would also be food we could provide for our evening guests. We bought our cheese tier from a company called The courtyard Dairy. They sent us a sample box to try a few different cheeses, which was brilliant. We had a cheese and wine night before the wedding to decide on cheese and wine for the tables (any excuse to be greedy). They were very helpful and the cheese was delivered in perfect wheels ready for putting together.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We were recommended our photographer by a friend of ours. We used the wonderful Mark Tierney.
We knew Mark had a background in landscape photography, and because we love the outdoors we liked the idea of incorporating this into our photographs. Mark also told us that he liked autumn as a time of year because of all the wonderful colours it creates and this fitted in really well with our autumnal theme. We had a pre-wedding shoot, which allowed us to get to know Mark and his style. I would always recommend this to couples, as you get a good idea of how your photographer works.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Thornbridge Hall is such a beautiful venue inside and out, we didn’t feel that we needed too much decoration. Again we wanted to have some autumn colours inside the venue and so we put fairy lights and fake foliage around the room. We also used wooden rounds on all our tables which we bought from a local timber yard. My mum is very crafty and she collected dozens of jam jars from friends and decorated them with leaves and put floating candles in them, which looked lovely on all the tables. I used WWW and other wedding websites, as well as Pinterest for a lot of my ideas. We made our table plan out of some pallet wood that Pat had; which cost £1 from a recycled wood yard. The fake leaves and wooden pegs were all from amazon.
THE HONEYMOON | We’re both keen travellers and wanted a mixture of cultural travelling with some relaxation and beach time. We spent 10 days in Sri Lanka where we travelled around the country and went on safari, tasted lots of amazing food, and visited Buddhist temples. At the end we travelled to the Maldives and spent four days soaking in the sun and snorkelling on the amazing coral reefs.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The getting ready process was very fun for me, as I was at home with my parents and had all my closest friends there with me. Everyone was very relaxed and we had lots of giggles getting ready. Seeing my Dad’s reaction when he first saw me in my dress was very special too. He’s not really a crier and seeing him tearful was a powerful moment for all of us. I remember at one point in the evening being sat down next to my Granddad and just looking out at the dance floor seeing everyone jumping about and laughing and this was such a memorable moment. It makes you realise how much you love all the people in the room, and that all your hard work in planning the wedding is worth it. Our band were amazing and every single person at our wedding was on the dance floor.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It’s always difficult to give advice because all couples are different and everyone will have their own unique ideas for their perfect wedding. We both wanted to make the process as easy and stress free as we could. We had lots of comments about what the weather might be like on the lead up to our wedding because we’d chosen October to get married. One thing we couldn’t ever control was the weather and accepting that made things a lot easier. We could plan for both kinds of weather, and our venue catered for this too. My sister got married in mid august and the weather at her wedding was the same as ours in early October. Don’t be afraid to break with tradition and choose a time of year that isn’t summer.
Some venues are not very flexible with the sorts of ideas you have so it’s always a good idea to go along to viewings with a list of questions. For example, if you’re having a band, make sure there is enough space and there are sockets and facilities for amps and other instruments etc. Most venues should be set up with those sorts of things but you need to ask the questions. We wanted hearty food and plenty of drink at our wedding, so it’s important to check what food and drink the venue provide and whether you have to use their own recommended wines. Thornbridge Hall were so accommodating and let us do everything we wanted; including having pie and peas as our evening meal.
Don’t get hung up on the finer details, as 9 times out of 10 people won’t notice these. At the end of the day it’s your wedding and you should choose what YOU both want. I would highly recommend the use of a wedding website. It saved us so much time in finding out what our guests’ meal choices were and dietary requirements. Guests could RSVP on there and it allowed us to create a full list of attending guests and their meals without having to type it all up ourselves. We didn’t have to waste time and money printing invites with lots of information about accommodation and maps to the venue because it was all on there; plus it was free! Guests could also email us with any queries or questions. We used www.theknot.com to make ours.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Mark Tierney
Venue | Thornbridge Hall
Dress | Emily Bridal Wear
Make Up | Lauren Eaton
Groom’s Attire | Ted Baker & Harris Tweed
Bridesmaids | ASOS
Cake | The Courtyard Dairy
Flowers | Frances & Rose
Website | www.theknot.com
Such a fun, colourful day! Thanks for sharing your special autumn day with us Elizabeth and Patrick. Rachel x