No, these are not the lyrics from a late 1960s Beatles record… This is the wedding of Laura and Max. Sun, canapés and free roaming sheep with wild flowers and a tipi too. This wedding has more ‘free love’ than a Californian hippy in a campervan. In a good way, obviously.
Laura The Bride: We were married at St Agatha’s Church in Easby near Richmond by the lovely Reverend Laura Wilford. The church dates back to the 13th century, has incredible medieval wall paintings and adjoins the very beautiful ruins of Easby Abbey.
We then drove the short distance to Jervaulx Abbey (yes, apparently we have something of an obsession with ruined Abbeys!) for a reception in a PapaKata Tipi overlooking the ruined Abbey…
PapaKata Tipis are quite an expensive option, but in our opinion they were worth every penny. The service we received was exceptional at all times, and they were ready to help us change venues smoothly and seamlessly – one of our few calming constants. We couldn’t have done it without them! AND I got to have a glitterball over the dancefloor. Happy!
Max and I planned the day ourselves. Anyone who knows me knows I wandered in late the day organisational skills were handed out, so this was rather an ambitious undertaking on my part! I know brides usually relish planning their wedding, but I’m not ashamed to say I was petrified! Max made me a delightful little spreadsheet which I was supposed to update with figures as they emerged. I highly recommend having something like this to keep a running total – it really helps to keep the budget on track and spot the unforeseen expenditures as they crop up. And they WILL!
Of all the many parts of the day to spend money on – and yes, there do seem to be an endless number of them – I really think the photographer is not to be scrimped on. Max has no memory. Like a goldfish. Photos are your memories – something to show to loved ones who couldn’t make it on the day, children in the future, and husbands when they can’t remember a significant part of the day!
My Dad has worked in the photographic industry for as long as I can remember, so I grew up surrounded by mountains of slides and photos and negatives. For this and so many other reasons, our choice of photographer was one of the most important decisions we made. We really wanted a photographer who was as in love with film photography as we are too – nothing compares with the light you get in analogue film photographs…
The flowers were my absolute favourite bit of the whole wedding! I wanted bright, English cottage-garden, scented, ‘fluffy’ flowers. Fiona Pickles of Firenza Floral Design in Halifax took my garbled visions, and suffered my moodboards and endless emails, and turned them into flowers that looked exactly as I’d imagined but couldn’t describe and smelled absolutely beautiful. The woman’s a genius!
My dress was ‘Kelly’ by Stephanie Allin, and we added sleeves, changed the neckline of the bodice for a sweetheart neckline and added a sash, which made it the perfect dress for me. It was extremely light and comfortable while still being very fitted and corseted – I LOVED it! My shoes were pale green suede courts from Diane Von Furstenburg
I had 2 lovely bridesmaids – Lucy and Roni. Both are very strong-willed (and I wouldn’t mess with either of them!), so I didn’t want to put them in anything they weren’t 100% happy with. They both looked absolutely beautiful in coral LK Bennett dresses, which hopefully they will be able to wear again.
Our seating plan was on a blackboard and easel, and our table names were all vintage or antique images of British woodland creatures – amused us no end! Our place cards were the ‘leaves’ of apples – we like the idea of people being able to eat their place setting.
We wanted the day to be traditional and quintessentially English, but also relaxed – we didn’t have a particular colour-scheme, and we didn’t want anyone fretting about what to wear or say or do: we just wanted our friends and family around us, enjoying each other’s company (and the free champagne!) for one day.
I cried during our vows. Big girl that I am. I had pockets (POCKETS!) in my wedding dress which I managed to stuff my tissues into though. I loved getting showered with confetti (even if I am still finding bits now), and I loved Max and I setting off from the church – just the two of us – and realising for the first time that we were now husband and wife.
My cousin Jenni and her husband Gavin also gave us some mini Polaroid photos that they had taken outside the church and the reception before they left for the evening – so lovely to have something instant and tangible of the day before it was even over.
I think everybody says ‘relax and enjoy it – it goes too quickly’, but I have to admit that they say it for good reason! The day you both work towards for so long comes and goes in a blur of tears and laughter and cake – make sure you enjoy every second of it.
Oh, and on a more basic level, make sure you take a small bag with make-up and mirror and comb with you – I forgot, put some lipstick on (badly) in the wing mirror of a camper van and then went for my ‘formal’ photos with Max. Error!