The opening image of beautiful bride Becky and her Dad literally fills my heart with joy. The love and laughter so beautifully captured by The Lou's Photography is so genuine and a truly special moment to treasure. The sentiment and emotion continues through the rest of this outdoor wedding in Yorkshire, as does the gorgeous use of DIY decor and colourful wild blooms, so pinning fingers at the ready! Making the florals pop even more are the bridal parties wedding attire consisting of a delicate lace bridal gown by Claire Pettibone and handmade bridesmaid dresses by one of Becky's best friends. If you're already missing the fun and sun after another glorious weekend, this will definitely prolong the feeling. Enjoy.
Decor/StylingBecky the Bride: When we got engaged it didn’t take us long to decide on a theme. We both wanted something fun and relaxed so quickly a British summer garden party with festival vibes became a clear choice. Booze, food, music, games and lots of colour were the highest on our priority list, and because we were renovating a house at the same time it was important to do everything as DIY but stylish as possible… it was a fine balance! We initially wanted a tipi but the costs were out of range for us; in the end we fell in love with a petal pole marquee that had a festival tent feel and which actually fit our theme much better. It was much more open and spacious, and because the weather was so nice we were able to roll all the sides up and enjoy the beautiful view. Except for the flowers our marquee company put up the rest of the décor, although the tent was so gorgeous itself we felt it didn’t need much else. We had bunting, fairy lights and some really spectacular festoon lighting all around the outside which looked brilliant at night. We hired some deck chairs and lay them all over the hessian matting outside the tent making a perfect chill out area in the sunshine. We had a fire pit at night and blankets to keep people warm, as the temperature did drop later in the evening. There was a little barn at the bottom of the field which worked as the backdrop for our ceremony. Inside I printed out lots of family pics and hung them on washing lines, as well as placing loads of tealights in the gaps in the bricks. It made for a really nice entrance for guests and made for an extra personal touch.
DIYWe are lucky to have some very talented friends and family members that we roped into helping us with all kinds of aspects of the day. Alfie’s sisters kindly designed all the lawn games which got everyone chatting and playing together. They also wrote a poem for us to read out during the ceremony; this was definitely one of my highlights and obviously got the tears going! Alfie’s mum cut and sewed fabric for our hay bales which guests sat on for the ceremony. We made all the signage ourselves with the help of some artist friends, as well as the table plan and the order of the day which we painted onto pallets. We had friends and family as a part of the band, the DJ set, the bridesmaid dresses, the cake, puddings and our stationery/invites. We really couldn’t have done it without them!
VenueWe always knew the Yorkshire Dales was where we wanted to tie the knot. Having lived nearby for 4 years we thought it was such a special backdrop and brought a bit of our personality to the day. We found some farmland to hire online which was part of the Braisty Estate. The field we hired was on a hill with a spectacular 360 view of Yorkshire and overlooking Brimham Rocks. The Estate also had a cottage we could hire for the weekend which was perfect for the Bridal Party and our parents. They were also happy that our friends camped out for the night, something we were keen on to ensure no one was breaking the bank with expensive accommodation. It was a perfect setting for the perfect day, and we felt so lucky because they don’t do weddings there very often as it is a working farm.
PhotographeThe Lou's are a fantastic duo from Ireland who we were absolutely thrilled to have there. We knew instantly that their quirky and imaginative style suited us perfectly and that they would be great fun to work with. Initially we were worried about costs because we were trying to do everything as cost effective as possible, but spending money on good photographers is the best decision anyone will ever make. It’s the only thing that stays with you after the day so it’s really important to get it right. It was actually the first thing we booked as we didn’t want to move forward with anything else until we got that part right.
FoodThis was one thing we wanted to go all out on – we knew if people are fed well they would be generally happy for the whole day! To go with the relaxed British summer’s day theme we knew early on that a BBQ would be perfect. We met Alice at Homegrown Hospitality at a food festival earlier in the year and knew they would fit the bill. The food was fantastic and all locally sourced and free range. They were let down by staff on the day and it was just the two of them, we were absolutely astounding how they pulled off service for 120 people with complete ease and professionalism. On top of this we also had pork pies to serve with our prosecco reception which were from Kendall’s Butchers in Pateley Bridge (award winning!), an ice cream truck from Yummy Yorkshire, and a pop up bar from Vintage Event Bars. In the evening, we had a pizza truck (Duke’s Pizza); another highlight that people continue to talk about! A perfect crowd pleaser especially after a few drinks!
CakeAlfie’s mum is a legendary baker so she took charge of the cake. We had a few tasting sessions which were unnecessary as they were all fantastic! But we decided on a few flavours including lemon and mascarpone, strawberries and cream, and sponge with mint syrup oozing through. It was delicious, but the hot day did mean we had a few melting issues in the marquee! In the end we had to improvise, splitting it in 2 and covering it in flowers – it tasted and looked absolutely fantastic. My bridesmaid also made irresistible chocolate brownies and we also had strawberries and cream from our caterer, and some sweet jars and donuts – so we were absolutely drowning in desserts!
FloristWe had Twisted Willow in Ripon do our bouquets, buttonholes and my headband. I gave Laura a very loose brief of colourful, wild, textured and fun, and she completely nailed it. Ultra professional and friendly service and we couldn’t have been more impressed with the finish. Then we had a separate venue dresser who we met at a caterer’s open day. Andrea from handcraftbyap.co.uk helped us imagine how we could inject colour into every aspect of our day. She grew all the flowers by hand which is unbelievable (and a great sustainable story!). We bought a pergola from a garden shop which she covered in brilliant flowers and worked as an alter. We had green bottles of flowers dotted all over the tables, outside the marquee were ladders covered in flowers, we had dried petals for confetti and covering the tables. The end result was brilliant and she worked so hard on the morning to get it all perfect.
CelebrantLouisa Starr is a fantastic celebrant based in York who designed a super personal ceremony around a travelling/global theme, complete with music, surprise dance routines and a ‘hugging party’ which everyone got involved with! A perfect fun and positive start to the day.
Bride’s GownFrom the Claire Pettibone Romantique collection at James Bridal in Nottingham. We found it on our second shopping trip where we had whittled it down to two options. The thing we really struggled with was not being allowed to take pictures in some of these places; it made it really difficult to remember and take an objective view of what they looked like. But actually James had no problem with us taking pics, and it’s what won it for this dress. Seeing it through a lens I knew how special it was. We bought the veil there too.
Bridesmaid’s DressesMy amazingly talented university friend Lucy Hayes has been designing couture dresses for the past 10 years, so she was obviously my first choice. She has a gorgeous simple & relaxed yet classy style using digitally printed silk, which suited the theme perfectly. The dresses were bright and flattering and a perfect fit, I couldn’t have been more impressed with how they suited the day and it was an extra special touch that it was a friend and they were made specially for us.
JewelleryBecause the dress was high neck with lots of lace detail, I just went for a single silver bangle around my wrist from Oliver Bonas.
ShoesSimple Topshop gladiator sandals – do not underestimate how important comfy shoes are for a very long and hot day! Plus I have been able to wear them since!
VideographerAlfie’s sister took the reins here, we gave her our camcorder and GoPro and she shot away. It was lovely having family do it because she captured some really special moments and it felt so natural having her with us.
Hair/MakeupNatalie Willingham. Boho natural looks which she got bang on! Also a lovely calming influence and made sure everything was calm and positive throughout the morning.
Groom/GroomsmenOur best bargain of the wedding shopping process. We found the suits by Kin in the John Lewis sale after Christmas at under half the original price (a great time to shop!!) for all the boys, and the shirts were from Zara.
Wedding PlannerJust Alfie and myself, we made a great team. I was the ideas generator and planner and he was the implementer!
StationeryWe sent our invites out using a MailChimp email which was a great way to save money and paper! It also lets you track your responses so it was a really efficient way to do it. Our best man is also a Graphic Designer, so he designed the theme for the email and all the stationery. We used it to print out our own menus, place names and table plan which was a great money saver.
EntertainmentAlfie did a great job of collating a huge Spotify playlist for the daytime, something he worked hard on for months! Again, some very talented friends helped us out with the rest of the day; Dan Cole aka. DJ Skyhook pre-mixed us a 2 hour disco and garage set for last few hours of the night. After dinner we also had a Funk n Soul band called the LBJBs who are based in Bristol; the saxophonist we knew as it was our dress designer’s brother! They were unbelievable and had the whole crowd dancing all night. This was another thing we weren’t sure about due to budget but we are so so glad we went for it – everyone talks about how good the band were even now, and a lot different to your average wedding disco! I’ve got to give a mention to our first dance, ‘Never Too Much’ by Luther Vandross – everyone joined in and started the disco off with a bang!
TransportNone required as it was all on site, just a tractor ride to get us down to the conservatory to take pictures; a quirky addition to the day!
Advice/Final ThoughtsIf you are on a tight budget, make sure you both decide on what’s most important to you and be prepared to sacrifice anything that isn’t essential. Just go with the flow on the day, the more relaxed you are the more you will enjoy it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help; we leaned on our friends and family a lot but everyone is so happy to help make your day perfect. I think generally you can do no wrong if there is good food, good music and good vibes; the fun was just palpable and it was everything we wanted it to be.
Dress Designer: Claire Pettibone | Bridal Boutique: James Bridal | Bridesmaids: Lucy Hayes | Hair & Makeup : Natalie Willingham | Groomsmen: Kin at John Lewis | Bridesmaid Dresses: Lucy Hayes | Celebrant: Louisa Starr | Florist: Twisted Willow | Catering: Homegrown Hospitality | Pork Pies: Kendalls Farm Butchers | Ice Cream: Yummy Yorkshire | Pop Up Bar: Vintage Eventbars | Pizza: Dukes Pizza | Marquee: Will's Marquees