Well, this is a bit lovely. A monochromatic classic theme, clean and simple with Gypsophila bouquets, white table linen and Black Tie for the Groom, with a ‘wow’ backdrop of Askham Hall.
I must be honest, I am a tad biased towards Black Tie as the dress of choice for a Groom and his men, it’s what we had for our wedding. Mrs Bowtie is without a doubt the go-to for bows and these big chunky ones add a fabulous modern twist to the look.
I am so lucky to put together Real Weddings for the weekend as I work over on The List. I am especially lucky when the weddings are filled with RMW The List Members! This wedding features members in the form of the venue, Askham Hall in Cumbria. The Bridesmaid dresses by Victoria Lou Bridal. Entertainment by Alive Network and decor by Wilde & Romantic. Epic right?
Chloe the Bride: We were so glad we found Askham Hall, it didn’t compare to anything else we had considered for our special day. The grounds are amazing, and the staff really look after you. The run-up to the day I was sending emails to Lauren who was so efficient in getting back to me and reassuring me. With Askham we feel we were not forced into a package or something that someone else had already had, we picked everything ourselves.
Dress: I bought my dress from WED2BE and then had it completely changed by a local seamstress from the Lancaster area. I knew I wanted something plain and nothing too fussy so proved difficult when trying on dresses that were heavy, embellished and laced.
Shoes: this was a big decision and was definitely helped by my sister law- Kirsty! I wanted the Valentino rockstuds forever and could not justify them but now we were getting married they became essential! I went for the nude so I can wear them after the wedding.
Accessories: I went with a flower crown which was done by my florist, Green Wheat. Laura was so good and just knew exactly what I meant when I described how I wanted the crown. It was perfect and I even wore it the day after the wedding! I have now dried it out and hope to keep it for a very long time!!I am not really a jewellery wearer, so I was unsure what to wear on the day, James got me some diamond studs which were so perfect for me so I wore them and counted them as my something new!
I had three bridesmaids, my two sisters and my very best friend. The task of dressing them was a little difficult at first however, we settled on dresses from Victoria Lou Bridal. These were the multiway dresses so the girls could wear them how they wanted and what suited them best. We went for the colour fossil, which was green’y, grey and went perfectly with the natural, rustic colour scheme we had gone for.
I got the girls a delicate silver bangle so on the day they could wear these with their dresses. The girls picked their own shoes due to the height differences. They all wore flowers in their hairs in a different way, Libby had them weaved, Nicole had a small bunch and Indy had a half flower crown which worked really well.
As well as my Bridesmaids I had two little flower girls, Ivy and Daisy! Their dresses were handmade by James cousins wife Emma. We loved them and it felt extra special having them handmade, the girls too wore flower crowns.
Hair & Makeup
I am very lucky that one of my best friends is my hairdresser and the only person I trust with my hair! We spent the weeks before trailing and ensuring it was right and even getting a blow dry the day before to ensure it was perfect for the day. Koula made sure all of the bridal parties hair looked great before getting ready herself to make the wedding! I will never be able to thank her enough. Makeup was done by Harley Bradbury, Harley has done both of my sister in laws wedding makeup and I was always impressed. Harley really gets what you want, is relaxed and easy going which added to my relaxed wedding morning.
James was fussier than me when it came to choosing his outfit and his suit was bits and pieces from everywhere. His jacket was from Hackett, which he travelled to Edinburgh for and was worth every penny, he is trying to create events in which he can wear it again!! The rest of his outfit was from Reiss and the braces from Next. His bow ties, which he and his best man and ushers wore were from Mrs Bow Tie and were large black velvet and went so well with the outfit.
James is one of five boys and so he asked all of his brothers to be groomsmen, we had Joseph as master of ceremony also which added an extra personal touch. All the boys wore their own suits, shoes and shirts which worked well but we gifted them their bow ties which were the same as James.
Flowers were by Greenwheat, This is run by Laura who is an amazing florist. We chose to have Gypsophila bouquets, with added Lavender for the Bride. The boys including both our dads had button holes to match and James had some Lavender in. The Mums had bracelets which matched the flowers and looked so lovely. We then had flowers and foliage around the tables and venue in quite a minimal way.
The weeks prior to the wedding I would stalk the weather as we really wanted to get married outside. We woke up on the day of the wedding to the sun shining, which meant we could have our ceremony outside in the gardens of Askham. I walked down the aisle to, ‘Here comes the Sun’ by the Beatles but this was sung acoustically by our singer.
Our Ceremony went really fast, we had two readings, one by one of my oldest friends, Melissa and another by James cousin, Thomas. It was so relaxed but very emotional- the girls set everyone off, then followed by my dad who set me off after holding it together so well all morning. I am sure all of our guests will remember that I and James did not know when to kiss which meant we went into fits of laughter but now feel this only brought our personality’s more into the day!
Our main worry was that our guests would be hungry. We kicked off our wedding the night before with a BBQ at Askham with close family and friends which started the weekend of constant food!! After the ceremony we had canapés of Bruschetta topped with roasted vegetables and Halloumi, Mini cheddar and ale rarebit, Crisp bubble and squeak croquette, served with a Molten smoked cheddar and chive dip, fish goujons, Oak smoked salmon served on blinis, crème Fraiche and caviar, Mini quiche Lorraine, Honey mustard chipolatas and slow cooked lamb shoulder wrap with raita which went down a treat. We wanted to add something extra to the drinks ceremony so we added some lakes ice cream in mini pots, these went down really well.
We then missed the starter and got straight to the mains, we went for the Askham rare breed pork sausages, mashed potato and onion gravy, we thought it was a strong, British meal choice which everyone loves. We had vegetable lasagne for the vegetarians. We finished off with a choice of Brownies or Meringue with summer berries. We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake as we are not massive on cake so, we picked a cake made of cheese to suit us better! This was from Dewlays Cheese in Garstang, we served this in the evening and although we had blocks to take home went down really well with our guests. Our evening food was pizza and wedges which were brought around our guests so no one could miss the evening food! This was a perfect choice!!!
We had Ottis West, who we booked from Alive Network. This added to the relaxed vibe as he provided us with an acoustic set for the ceremony, a set for the drinks ceremony which was held outside and then our first dance into the first set for the evening. The contact between myself and Ottis was fab prior to the wedding and he even learnt extra songs for us which made sure our day was the way we wanted it.
DIY, Venue Decor and Stationery
As many brides and grooms-to-be do we spent ages trying to find the perfect invites, we found them at Little Green – we went for a chalkboard effect as we knew there would be various chalkboards around the venue on the day. We spent hours peeling labels off jars and bottles for the centre pieces and many a time drinking gin to get the bottles to decorate around the venue. I personally stamped every guest’s name on to a luggage tag, which as I am not creative was a real struggle. We found Wilde & Romantic a little too late in the day as you can hire everything from them. We hired a tin bath for the beers, a typewriter for round the guest book area and the fancy dress box of props to create our own photo booth with selfie sticks.
The homemade photo booth was made complete with a sign made by my friend Jessica which had Mr and Mrs Birchall, this was made on driftwood and went with the theme fantastically.
We then had our order of the day, seating plan and many of the signs which were dotted around the venue made by my maid of Honour Indy. She spent hours slaving over them, I was so thankful as not only did they look amazing they saved us hundreds of pounds. SVL Hire lit the barn which the canapes of lights.
For our evening, we had a limbo stick which got everyone going, some guests even split their dresses!
DIY, Venue Decor and Stationery
Jessica Reeve. I saw some of Jess’s work floating around social media and the shots were from a wedding she had done at Askham. It took me two mins of flicking through her website and social media pages to realise that her style suited us perfectly. We met Jess for a coffee and knew we would get on, she made us feel relaxed about the pictures, something we at the time were not comfortable with. We had a pre-wedding shoot which was shot in the pouring rain- unlucky for us!!! The pictures came out fab and we loved them even though we were soaked!
Amy works on The List as Rock My Wedding Supplier Development Co-ordinator and she also writes and produces ‘real wedding’ content. Amy lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, three children and two chickens.