You know when the Autumnal sunshine is all lovely and low and casts that perfect warm light? that. The portraits of Emma and James at sunset are stunning. I love how the couple didn't have a theme as such but kept their styling cohesive with a classic typrwriter font throughout their paper goods and a palette of soft pastel hues. I should also mention Emma's undone bun, one of my all time favourite bridal hair styles, easy breezy and so very elegant. Aren't we having a beautiful first week back in 2016.....I can feel a lot of pinning action occurring.

The Dress

Emma The Bride: From day one I had always envisioned myself in a dress with a lace detailed back. I did not want heavy, traditional lace but something more current. A sheer, romantic lace with a simple, yet elegant feel to it. James has always liked my hair off my face so this was the perfect opportunity to ensure that the detail in the back of the dress was extra special. The search for the perfect dress began, accompanied by my Mum, Sharon, trying on a number of dresses all shapes and sizes. It turns out that the very first dress that I took a screen shot of on my phone, shortly after we announced our engagement, was THE dress. It was just perfect, simple yet elegant with a beautiful, intricate sheer lace detailed illusion back and chiffon skirt, designed by Annais Bridal from Limelight Occasions, Lepton in Huddersfield. The perfect dress ‘Cecelia’. I feel the dress complimented the style of the venue and the rest of the day perfectly, as though it was made for this exact occasion!

The Accessories

I knew that I wanted some head jewellery to finish off my hair that was swept back into an effortless ‘quiff’. Initially I contemplated a flower halo (as there is a hidden festival fairy within myself) but to ensure continuation of style/elements of the day matched I opted for a handmade head piece by a local boutique Flutter by Weddings, which consisted of Swarovski and pearl beads. Pearls have always been one of my favorite precious stones, they are both timeless and classy and perfect for any bride. This fitted across my forehead, complimenting the pearl and crystal styled stud earrings which were a gift from my Mum, especially for the day. The pearls of the headband also matched my ‘something borrowed’ from whom was soon to be my Mother-in-law Julie, a pearl Vivienne Westwood bracelet and finished the whole look beautifully. Then to finish off my outfit there was my ‘Something blue’, the shoes! James wore navy so it was rude not to purchase the classic navy suede pointed court shoes by Jimmy Choo and of course for good luck, a six pence in my shoe.

Grooms Fashion

James The Groom: I always knew I wanted to wear a three piece suit for my wedding. I didn’t want to wear a morning suit or anything else too traditional. I had a vision of exactly what I wanted to look like from the onset, which made things easier. I did a bit of research beforehand but I knew to get exactly what I wanted to look like, I had to get a Tailor to guide me. I chose James Michelsberg in Leeds, as he was traditional yet current and the online and personal reviews were excellent. As well as James, his protege Charlie was heavily involved. After a few really positive meetings, I went for a navy blue three piece with a horseshoe waistcoat. Paired with a sky blue shirt from Charles Thrwhitt and knitted tie from Next. I am a huge fan of shoes and in particular, Grenson. I opted for their Triple Welt Brogue in Brown to get me to the alter. I didn’t want everyone feeling uncomfortable and not themselves wearing a hired suit so I asked them to wear a dark blue suit and it worked out well. My Dad, Chris, also used the same tailor as me which was nice as he wanted to look the part for his proudest day (I think!). They all looked perfect. I got the Groomsmen and Fathers a matching shirt and tie from Charles Thyrwhitt to bring them as close to me as possible. All the boys wore matching yellow socks to compliment the navy. As gifts, we gave them all a box which included their socks and a field notes notebook.

The Venue

Emma The Bride: This was arguably the most important thing and we knew exactly what we wanted. We live in Leeds and James is born and bred here in Yorkshire. Its such a nice part of the world if you look hard enough. James grew up in Yorkshire and we met at when we both were at Huddersfield University, so it has a special place in both our hearts. We were looking for a country venue but not a traditional barn etc. James’ Mum had been watching Restoration Nightmare with Sarah Beeny, all about Rise Hall and its development into a family home/wedding venue. All the other venues didn’t feel quite right until we set foot in Rise Hall. The place was magnificent, even though it wasn’t entirely finished when we first saw it. It had been restored beautifully and romantically whilst offering all the amenities a wedding venue should offer. It suited our brief perfectly we could hardly contain our excitement as we were walking round! Set in magnificent grounds, Rise Hall looks imposing but somehow very personal. A credit to the restoration and the fact that the family still use it as a home for a few month a year.

The Décor

We didn’t want to pigeon hole our wedding theme too much and it was loosely themed around ‘English Country Garden’ as a set theme. We wanted to create a relaxed but personal day that reflected our personalities. We didn’t really have a set colour scheme (accept the bridal party and groomsmen complimenting each other). The venue itself was such an amazing backdrop. We hired out various props from giant lettering to milk churns to vintage sofas! We chose Add Vintage from Leeds and Emily was extremely helpful and stocked a lot of what we needed to create the perfect occasion for our guests. We also used The Prop Factory to create almost a vintage fete atmosphere with traditional crazy golf and lemonade stand to keep our guests entertained. We wanted our guests to feel like they had arrived to celebrate our special day in ‘our home’ (We wish!) and were keen to add props etc to help set the scene and tell a story from the moment they entered the house. This began with a bike leaning against the wall at the front door with loose, fresh flowers hanging out of the basket, trunk/suitcases on entering as our guests ‘checked in’. We used art gallery to try and put our own unique stamp our own style with the large light up letters spelling ‘ART’, along with a mannequin, decorated by the amazing florists Helen and Stephie.

A Personal Stamp

James The Groom: We really wanted to put our own ideas into the wedding so we came up with some great ideas for the small things that add up to the grand scheme. For each table number, we used OSB Chipboard & made clipboards to create the table numbers. We then just propped them up on the table, relaxed and easy to read! My wonderfully creative Mum, Julie, had the great idea of using her typewriter to create name places for all our guests. The Vintage Adler typewriter was then used as a prop during the day and used for the guests to write their thoughts and thanks in the evening. There was then an stamp we had made up : ‘emma.james.together.’ We used this to stamp the bags that pizza was served on so when everyone was tucking into their slice of Neapolitan pizza, they were reminded of why they were here! Jo Malone scent my wedding was a thoughtful surprise from one of the Emma’s Bridesmaids Danni. Emma chose both the peony suede blush and tuberose angelica which created her bridal scent. She smelt delightful! This was then complimented by my mum placing the same candles around Rise Hall which will forever remind us of our spectacular day whenever we come across them in the future. In fact we have one in our home right now!

The Stationery

I always knew the style I wanted as this area was of great interest to me. I had seen a few printing techniques whilst looking at options and we decided a letter press invite was the way to go. After some research, I found David from Cherry Press. I found his page on Instagram on the off chance but it turned out to be exactly what we wanted. We chose a minimal typewriter font, set on brown craft card. Our tagline or motto for the wedding was ‘Emma.James.Together’ and we used the logo throughout the suite to add continuity and familiarity. We wrapped grey and white bakers twine from Etsy around the suite to keep them together. The result was just what we wanted, simple and minimalistic but still stylish and unique. Emma also wrote out all the thank you cards individually on the typewriter afterwards, she must have the patience of a saint!


Emma The Bride: Just WOW...the hard work of the florists Helen and Stephie was just incredible. James went to school with Stephi and over the years James has continued to buy his flowers from ‘The Flower Shop’ in Lindley in Huddersfield, for all occasions, as they are always so beautiful! We won’t pretend to be very green fingered but we do know what we like and dislike. Our brief was in fitting with the loose theme ‘English Country Garden’ and really wanted to feel like the flowers had been picked out from the garden and the house decorated accordingly for our big celebration. This meant that we wanted a lot of greens/loose/wild type flowers with a small amount of whites/pale pinks. The brief was followed to the nth degree and the outcome was unbelievably beautiful.

The Wedding Party Fashion

The girls all wore a blush pink A line midi dresses from ASOS with a small lace detail around the back which complimented my dress perfectly. These were finished with Marks and Spencer pale grey pointed court shoes with a block heel, fitting with a vintage/country manor setting. Gifts included a Jenny Packham grey pearl bracelet and a handbag sized peony suede blush Jo Malone perfume that part matched my own scent. The flower girls wore a sunflower pleated ivory dress also by Marks & Spencer and next pale pink ballet pumps and finished off with ragdoll bride and pearl bracelet gift. We cannot forget the mums! They looked fabulous. Mother of the Bride who does not like much fuss when it comes to dresses/hats, looked classy in a navy blue dress with piped edge from Marks & Spencer and cropped jacket with a small but definitely there, as I insisted, fascinator and Mother of the Groom as stylish as ever, a bespoke outfit made by Adam Shaw in Lindley, with the perfect matching bow head piece. Two very happy and proud Mums.

The Beauty

Victoria Farr MUA and hairstylist was recommended by Helen at Rise Hall. Despite the early start, it was a pleasure to have Victoria play such a big part in making myself and the bridal party look beautiful for the big day ahead. She also did the girls hair in a beautiful, low elegant bun. I always knew I wanted my hair up and off my face, in a loose, effortless quiff. Elegant but not too polished, again fitting with the relaxed theme of the day. My normal make up is natural so I needed to ensure that I still looked like me on my wedding day. Victoria ensured my make up was kept natural but a bit extra in all of the right places to ensure I looked, in James words ‘Angelic’ which was always the plan!

The Ceremony

My Dad walked me up the aisle, after he had wiped away tears from the big reveal in the dressing room. He’s the emotional one of the family for sure. Although we wanted a traditional service, we aren’t religious but the registrar from Beverley assured us this was common and put us at ease. To walk down the aisle we chose Alt-J’s ‘Arrival in Nara’, a wonderfully serene song that we love! We also had one of James favourite songs by Einauldi to walk out to. We exchanged short vows which were personal to us.

The Entertainment

James The Groom: We both enjoy music but I had a vision in my head of the exact thing I wanted to hear and happen on my wedding day. I always wanted a female vocalist to sing at some point during the day. I really wanted a female to sing over dinner. I had always watched the films, set in the 20’s/30’s when a female always sang at dinners, accompanied by a 4/5 brass ensemble. That’s what inspired me to book Funky Town from Alive Network. They were unbelievably talented musicians and really nice people too, which was great as they played a few requests and their sets throughout the day were amazing. They also sang as a full band in the evening, keeping the songs classic with a few modern songs for the girls!

The Food

Emma The Bride: We were overwhelmed by the amount of catering options in the wedding world. We knew what we wanted to eat and wanted to include some of our favourite foods. James has a love for Artisan pizza (Who doesn’t?!) so we decided to invite Mark from Sela Bar in Leeds down to cater for the evening, dishing out his amazing wood fired pizza by the quarters. It went down a treat and everyone commented how wonderful they were. Mark was a pleasure to deal with from start to finish so that made things run smoothly. Our main food, served for dinner was from Dine. They are based here in Leeds, in the grounds of Roundhay Park. They were fantastic from start to finish. Really accommodating to various requests which was really helpful. We had a choice of Seabass or Lincolnshire Sausage and Mash for the main. The started was an ode to our Yorkshire heritage and was a sharing board of piccalilli, gherkins, ham hock, Scotch Eggs, Yorkshire Cheese and warm artisan bread. Dessert was a trio of desserts ranging from traditional English desserts such as trifle, scones and chocolate brownie. Even the vegan couldn’t resist them!

The Cake

So I would be lying if I said I did not like cake, I mean who doesn’t?? James doesn’t! Despite part of the day dedicating time to cutting the cake, we were not overly fussed with having a big cake but we did agree to a home made classic cake from a local business in Leeds. We chose a carrot cake from Leeds coffee house, Mrs Athas, which was styled beautifully behind our table. The plan was to cut the cake when the trio of deserts were served. Before we knew it, it was the following day and when we realised the cake remained uncut! We laughed about it for a while and thought as tradition suggests we should perhaps cut the cake so up we stood, the groom behind the bride, holding the knife in harmony and into the cake we cut! The classic picture, which was actually a great shot was taken by family friends.

The Photography

What can we say about the photography, amazing! We wanted to take our time whilst selecting this part of our wedding as they will stay with us for the rest of our lives and memories are made by great photos. After doing some much needed research, we both know very little about photography, we were struggling to wade through the mountains of photographers available, seems like everyone is a photo guru these days. This made me determined to find the right person and style. We wanted them to be timeless and artistic so we decided to opt for a fine art style of photography. Softer colours, softer angles and hopefully completely timeless. We came across Ashlee Taylor and as soon as we did, we were hooked. Ashlee was amazing from first contact and the whole process was a joy. We had an engagement shoot in Bristol as a warm up, James is quite shy so photos of him aren’t on the top of the list but they came out amazing. The photos on the day itself were amazing, fantastic, glorious etc! There aren’t that many superlatives for Ashlee and her style of photos! We wanted contemporary and relaxed photos with very few traditional group shots, again we wanted people to feel as relaxed as possible. The outcome was just what we wanted and definitely made memories that we will cherish forever. #fineartphotography!
Charlotte O'Shea

Written by Charlotte O'Shea

Dress Designer: Annais Bridal - Cecelia | Bridal Boutique: Limelight Occasions | Jewellery: Vivienne Westwood | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Grooms Suit: Michelsberg Tailoring | Shirt: Charles Tyrwhitt | Tie: Next | Grooms Shoes: Grenson | Headpiece: Flutterby Weddings | Venue: Rise Hall | Decor: Add Vintage | Stationery: Cherry Press | Florist: The Flower Shop | Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS | Bridesmaid Shoes: Marks and Spencer | Hair & Makeup Artist: Victoria Farr | Band: Funky Town - Alive Network | Pizza: Sela Bar | Caterers: Dine | Decor Hire: The Prop Factory
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