Esther & Josh called on talented family and friends to help them create the most gorgeous, rustic wedding day. Overseen by Esther's fashion designer eye, the final result is just lovely. The wedding was truly a celebration of British summer time in the country but then with guests surrounded by the natural beauty of the Yorkshire dales, this was an easy theme to create ;) Mike & Tom have captured some stunning portraits of the couple, literally like something from an editorial piece in a glossy magazine, I'm pretty sure if I was Esther I'd just sashay around my house in that dress looking at my wedding photographs all day long. I'll not keep you waiting any longer, let's dive in and enjoy the Yorkshire countryside and this stylish pair's big day...

Our Wedding

Esther the Bride: From living in London the last few years, we decided that we wanted to capture our country heritage and throw a traditional Yorkshire Dales wedding. We chose a barn conversion in the hills in the local village of Richmond, overlooking the beautiful views of the dales. We are not the kind of people to throw a traditional wedding and wanted a British summer time theme capturing all the best bits from living in the country. Including Pimms, Yorkshire beer, afternoon tea, BBQ’s and British flowers to fill the venue. Everything was handmade from the love letters, to the bouquets. The tables were made up of crystal glass, vintage lanterns, distressed candlesticks and blush tea lights. All a mixture of items collected from local markets and vintage shops to continue the boho theme. I made the patterned napkins with material I purchased in a London fabric store on Berwick Street, as well as all of the floral tablecloths. The knifes and forks were tied with blush material that we made ourselves with a sprig of lavender adding an extra affect. The bunting was a family effort and I even had time to make the men’s pocket hankies a few days before the wedding. Wild flowers, slate signs, a prayer tree, Polaroid photo booth, vintage books and vintage bottles full of flowers hanging from the ceiling, all added to the rustic theme and looked stunning. Our colour scheme was blush, with gypsophila, blush roses, lavender and peonies as our main flowers. Thistles, garlands of green, daisy’s collected from the wood were all used to fill the gaps in urns and buckets. We didn’t have a florist; my mum and other family members coordinated the flower arranging. We had such talented people surrounding us that day.

The Stationery

Me and my cousin made all the invitations, purchasing the textured paper from a local paper shop in London. We designed the floral patterns on photo-shop, ripped all the edges continuing with the rustic theme. We then wrapped all the invitations in blush tissue paper, using vintage rope to tie each invitation. Our place names were made with the same ripped paper, each dipped in pink food colouring. Our order of service and table numbers were made in the same format following the theme and coordinated all our wedding stationery.

The Venue

We got married at the local church (St Mary’s) in the village before driving up to the venue for the reception. The venue was called Natural Retreats and we hired out the whole site, including the barn conversion for the wedding and woodland lodges where the guests stayed. We organised a pre wedding party in the main lodge the day before, allowing everyone to get to know each other. The stunning views over looking the Yorkshire Dales is something we will never forget. One of the best things for us about the whole wedding was how everyone pulled together. We are so unbelievably lucky to have the most amazing and creative people amongst our families and friends and we really couldn’t have done it without them.

The Wedding Party

The bridesmaid’s dresses were purchased from Coast. All of the dresses were in the same pale blush tones running through the whole wedding. For the finishing touch, each bridesmaid had five blush roses in their hair. The men’s slim fitting navy suits, shirts and ties were all from TM Lewin. Each blush & navy paisley tie perfectly matched with the bridesmaids.

The Bride

My wedding dress was the hardest purchase! Being a fashion buyer and designing dresses for my career, it made it more than difficult to select one I liked. I wanted a slim dress with no trims, something like Liz Martinez Bridal (who was definitely out of my budget!) I wanted no sparkle or fuss I just wanted simplicity. After hunting for several months, I found my dress at Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsdon. They didn’t quite have what I wanted so I had the dress custom made, mixing a few styles for my original bespoke wedding dress design. My lace bralet was fully boned, with an amazing fishtail long slim train skirt. Finished off with bright silver shoes from Steve Madden, a vine headpiece from Etsy and a necklace that went down my back from Etsy. My makeup and hair were done by Mac makeup artist Ami Cass. Check out her Instagram she is incredible!

The Rings

We designed our own rings, which were made by the very talented Karlin Anderson. I wanted a wedding ring to fit over my marquise engagement ring making a floral shape. My engagement ring was designed by Josh and made in Hatton Garden. It includes marquise diamond with a beautiful patterned band, inspirited by vintage engagement rings.

The Ceremony

Planning the church service was one of our favourite parts. As we are both Christian we wanted to incorporate our faith into the service but in a modern way. I walked in to “How Long Will I Love You” by Jon Boden. Followed by our first song “Love on the line” (Hillsong Church) then second “Amazing Grace” (Chris Tomlin). We are fortunate to have very talented musician friends, who performed these songs. They played an acoustic set, which fitted with the mood of the wedding. Two friends selected Bible verses to read which added a personal touch to the service. During the signing of the register the band performed “Oceans” by Hillsong Church. This being a powerful song had an effect on many guests, who commented on how moved they were by the service as a whole.

The Car

One of my favourite surprises was when Josh arranged for us to be picked up in a Landover Defender, which is my all time favourite car. We got whisked away for a drive around the dales to spend some time together before all the madness began.

The Entertainment

Upon arrival at the reception the talented string band “Event Music Company” greeted guests. They added the perfect setting for the champagne drinks reception and afternoon tea. Also by this point the Polaroid photo-booth was up and running and people were gathered outside relaxing on the hay bales or enjoying a spot of croquet. After the meal and speeches, we kicked off the dancing with our first dance “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. We hired DJ Mark Hepworth for the evening who was brilliant and followed to our strict brief of no cheese! As the night went on we had family dance offs, bets and competitions, our guests certainly were not shy. The dancing went on way past the cut off and even ended with guests singing “We will rock you” whilst stamping out the tune using their feet.

The Food

We kept our British country theme through a traditional BBQ. Burgers, lemon chicken skewer, king prawns and steak were all complimented with watermelon and feta salads and sweet potato fries. We used “Friends for Dinner” catering company who did a fantastic job, with guests saying it was the best wedding food that they had ever had. The tasty BBQ was finished off with a cheese board and a selection of deserts made by friends and family. Impressively we managed to fill two tables of delicious cakes. A very talented friend made the wedding cake and was decorated by my Aunty the morning of the wedding. The cake was a Victoria Sponge cake on three layers. It not only looked impressive, it also tasted incredible! We could not have thanked them enough.

The Photographers

We used Mike and Tom as our wedding photographers. They were excellent and it was such a pleasure to share our special day with them. As there were two of them they caught every moment. We choose them based on our location and website pictures. They were ideal for the capturing the scenery and setting in and around the venue, which you can see from our images.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Bride: Ava Rose Hamilton | Bridesmaids: Coast | Suits: TM Lewin | Catering: Friends 4 Dinner | Music: The Event Music | Hair & Make Up: Ami Cass | Venue: Natural Retreats | Rings: Karlin Anderson

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