Well if you’re having a dreary Friday afternoon this gorgeous country wedding at Woodhill Hall is guaranteed to brighten it up. Not only is it full of adorable family portraits and the best dressed kiddies ever, but it’s also full of colour, love & happiness.
The bright pink (and green) colour scheme is a tribute to Nick’s Mum who sadly passed away to breast Cancer and we can’t think of a better way to pay respect to her on the day. Michelle has the most adorable tale to tell when she went dress shopping for her gorgeous lace & tulle Pronovias Domingo gown that if you’re anything like me will leave you all glassy eyed and with a lump in your throat.
A champagne popping and eye popping-ly beautiful and fun day just oozing love and fun.
Michelle The Bride: I fell in love with Pronovias Domingo as soon as I saw it in a bridal magazine. I travelled down to Silk Brides in Lichfield to try it on and whilst I also tried on a few other different styles I new instantly it was “the one”. Silk Brides was also the perfect place to purchase my dream dress. Me and my Mum were made to feel comfortable and welcome the second we walked in the door. We had the their undivided attention for our full fitting? Jo, Helen and the team were amazing.
Nick’s beautiful mum Annette sadly lost her battle with breast cancer a few weeks before we became engaged. The morning we were leaving to travel to Lichfield we both shed a few tears wishing she’d been able to be with us. She’d always loved looking out for Eddie Stobbard lorries and had even had one named after her around a year previously. Despite us travelling up and down the country visiting relatives we’d never spotted it yet on our way to try on “the dress” we spotted it! Cue a lot of sobbing and mascara eyes. Our little sign she was with us.
My shoes were Jimmy Choo Lang. I’d always dreamed of saying I do in Choo. My gorgeous nieces (2 of my flowergirls) bought me the most beautiful garter from the Wedding Garter Company. It’s certainly destined to become a family heirloom.
Nick chose a bespoke suit from Moss Bros. Meadow Hall in Sheffield was the closest branch to us that offered this. He wears a suit to work every day so wanted something unique and special. He knew he wanted a bright fabric and they didn’t disappoint with their options. He really enjoyed choosing linings, buttons and even the colour of the thread used to put it all together. Unfortunately they didn’t offer the bespoke service for little people as Nick wanted our son Max to have exactly the same. We did manage to purchase them both a beautiful Liberty print tie and eventually found a near match to the suit in Next for Max. He chose his shoes from Ted Baker because he liked the blue laces!
Woodhill Hall in Otterburn, Northumberland was the only venue we looked at. We wanted somewhere with exclusive use as there were a lot of children coming to our wedding and we wanted them, and the rest of our guests to be able to move around freely. Woodhill offered this and so much more it was just perfect. After driving through beautiful countryside to reach it,As soon as we pulled up the drive, before we’d even been in Nick and I just looked at each other and said “this is it”. Because it isn’t a hotel you hire the whole place then tailor it uniquely to your day. Through every aspect of planning we were helped by the owner of this exquisite place Corrinne and her wonderful team. It had enough rooms for the bridal party and close family then other guests stayed in various B&Bs in the lovely little village. It was the perfect venue with gardens,courtyard and wedding wood for the relaxed feel we hoped the day would have. The children ran around the gardens and grounds safely all day. At the end of the wedding breakfast I looked out from the orangery and there were 5 or 6 of them hanging upside down from the trees in their finery like a scene from the Sound of Music. Perfect.
Decor/ Colour Scheme
There were a few raised eyebrows when we were first telling people our colour scheme but everyone agreed it looked amazing when they saw them. We both love bright bold colours so it was never going to be a muted palate. Pink and lime green are two of my favourite colours. Luckily Nick trusts my judgement so he gave me a free reign when choosing the colour scheme. Pink was our first choice. We chose breast cancer pink as a little nod to his Mum Annette then loved how that shade of green complemented it.
The very talented and beautiful Natalie and Karen from Sweetpea Events provided our prop hire and styling. They made our cards sign and tassels to hang on the beautiful vintage suitcase that was a gift from my Grandmother. They provided the welcome boards, vintage stepladder table plan and the vinyl lettering on the boards and place cards was beautiful and original. We loved the box of sunglasses as did our guests.They really do love weddings
I absolutely LOVED my flowers. From first meeting with Lisa from The Wild Bunch I knew they’d be perfect. My brief to her was bold,bright and billowing. I love hydrangea and wanted them to be a big feature in the bouquets and table decorations. I told her I would like my bouquet to be quite rustic, like I’d just scooped up some flowers and that’s exactly what I got. We decided together on jam jars for the table decorations. I didn’t want anything to big as the wedding breakfast was the orangery where we held the ceremony and we had loads of pink and green paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. I got the idea for the tall vases billowing with blooms from a picture I saw on Pinterest. When ours got delivered on the morning I was blown away. We wanted a rustic look for the button holes so chose nigella seed heads. Both Nick and Max had slightly more elaborate ones than the Groomsmen.
I chose 2 styles and 2 colours from Alfred Angelo for the Bridesmaids then let them chose which one they wanted much to the surprise of the team in First Glance. I wanted my maids to feel happy and comfortable with both the style and colour. Luckily their choices all worked out evenly! The flowergirl dresses were from Eden Bridal. I asked them to change the sashes to pink so they tied in with the other maids and kindly they did. If you don’t ask you don’t get.
We hired the groomsmen suits from Youngs suit hire. Because Nicks family are spread around the country Youngs turned out to be a good choice as they have branches everywhere so the guys went into their closest branch to be fitted.
Our baby Henry was 8 months old at the time so we chose a beautiful outfit from the Spanish baby wear designer Mirander. His Peter Pan collared blouse with blue embroidered polka dots buttoned into the baby blue polka dotted shorts.
We held our ceremony in the orangery. My emotional Dad walked me down the aisle as Jessica sang All of Me by John Legend. Our ceremony was lighthearted and personal to us. We both chose our own vows with me promising to be Nicks partner in mischief. We’d been together for 8 years and have our two beautiful boys so it was a tribute to the family we’ve already become. My friend Julie read A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton. We chose this as whilst it’s lighthearted and funny it was a reflection of us. We’re sure all eyes were on our son Max and his best buddy my flowergirl Stella-Mae. They were like a mini bride and groom kissing each other and stroking each other’s faces. Talk about upstaging the bride.
The fabulous acoustic guitarist Jessica Avison sang as our guests were arriving, in (All of Me – John Legend) and out (Hey Ho – The Lumineers) of the ceremony then in the tipis for the reception drinks( pimms cocktails and bottled beers). We met Jessica at a Woodhill open day and were blown away by her voice. Max absolutely adores her and helped choose our song choices.
Cool Blu entertainment supplied our evening disco whilst my friend and local DJ legend Mark Senior compiled a playlist of our favourite club classics from back in the 90s. We all love a good boogie.
Monica aka the Icing Fairy is a friend of ours and has made all our Occasion cakes for the last few years; Max’s christening, both boys birthdays, christmas etc. I had 3 different pictures torn from magazines and requested that some of the petals were like hydrangea petals. It was exactly what I wanted. We chose a tier of chocolate cake, a tier of lemon cake and a tier of fruit cake with her special ingredient pineapple. Trust me it’s delicious. She also made a smaller vegan cake for my bridesmaid Elisa.
After the ceremony we headed out to the garden and tipis for drinks and canapés. We chose spicy glazed sausages, feta cheese and roasted pepper tartlets and crostinis with tomato, mozzarella and basil.
We changed our wedding breakfast to a BBQ a few weeks before the wedding. We had planned a formal 3 course meal but we had a beautiful summer and were worried about guests being uncomfortable and stifled sat in the orangery for a few hours. We made the right choice as it was the best barbecued food any of us had ever had. All day long people came up to us and complemented the food especially the sausages.
As a nod to my great love of ice cream we had Di Meos supplied our ice cream cart. The sundae station was a hit with the children and “big kids” alike. Their ice cream is handmade to a traditional Italian family recipe and we chose vanilla,strawberry, mint chocolate chip and lemon meringue flavours after a very difficult tasting session.
So it didn’t detract from the dancing we had Bacon and sausage butties to refuel our guests later in the evening.
We loved every aspect of our day but without doubt one of our wisest decisions was our photographer Helen Russell. She captured the very essence of our day and we love every single image. We have the most beautiful collection wedding photographs we and many of our guests have ever seen. This made choosing our album most difficult. We could have filled it with the images of our children alone.
Don’t scrimp on your photographer. Helen guided everyone so much we almost made her an honorary maid. We get transported back to our special day as soon as we look at our images.
Have a baby! We had a baby in between setting the date and the actual day. Not everyone’s cup of tea but it meant we didn’t have the time to waste worrying about the small stuff! Special thanks must also go to the fab team of instructors at Skinnypigs who kicked my butt to get me back into my wedding dress after the birth of Henry whilst I still enjoyed my daily quota of cake and ice cream. Life’s too short to starve yourself!
One of our favourite parts of the day was sneaking off with Helen to plant our tree in Woodhills wedding wood. Swapping Choos for Hunters we crossed the field to plant an everlasting symbol of our love. Needless to say Nick did all the hard work.
Photography by Helen Russell Photography
- Dress Designer Pronovias – Domingo
- Bridal Boutique Silk Brides
- Bridal Shoes Jimmy Choo Lang
- Garter Wedding Garter Company
- Grooms Suit Moss Bros
- Tie Liberty
- Grooms Shoes Ted Baker
- Bridesmaid Dresses Alfred Angelo
- Bridesmaid Boutique First Glance
- Groomsmen Suits Youngs Hire
- Page Boy Next
- Baby Outfit Miranda
- Venue Woodhill Hall
- Florist The Wild Bunch
- Prop Hire Sweetpea Events
- Cake Icing Fairy
- Entertainment Jess Avison singer/acoustic guitar
- Ice Cream Di Meos
- Stationery Not On The High Street
- Make-up La Belle Vous
- Hair Savannah Salonspa