Today we have the beautiful wedding of Meg and Pete to share with you. It is enchanting. Never have a seen such smiley, happy photos; shot after shot those smiles don’t fade! Clearly they had a wonderful day. I love their table plan idea too, each one had a rustic wooden sign and is named after a mountain; perfect for this outdoorsy couple. Their gorgeous day was captured by Lana from Love Photography, www.love-photography.co.uk
The vision for the day: We are both countryside loving, outdoorsy people and wanted a wedding that was full of personal touches that felt like a relaxed country garden party.
The Planning Process: Very few wedding magazines, lots of online blogs and frequent reminders that we don’t have to fit to anyone else’s preferences but our own! Planning took 11 months and it was a great opportunity to spend time together as we’d only met 3 months before Pete proposed!
Budget: Pete is an accountant who occasionally requested budget discussions and maintained a very complicated looking spreadsheet. Meg just wanted a wedding that reflected who we are, without going overboard on cost…and tried to ignore the spreadsheet wherever possible! We stumped up more for what we felt was important, and tried to save on everything else.
The Venue: The ceremony was held at Meg’s family church near Skipton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. A beautiful traditional setting. The reception was held at Utopia at Broughton Hall in Skipton, a stunning timber and glass structure set in a walled garden. The transport was a classic Land Rover Defender, a tribute to our love of the countryside.
The Dress and Accessories: It was the first dress I tried on! A very classic ivory lace Justin Alexander mermaid gown.
Grooms Attire: I always said I wanted Pete to have just as special an outfit as me, so I insisted he got a fully tailored suit. He deserves to feel a million dollars too! We picked the blue-grey cloth together, then I didn’t see it until the wedding day. It was a 3 piece custom made suit from Michelsberg Tailoring, with a tailored shirt and an intricate Liberty floral print tie.
The Readings: We found real inspiration in the words of Ruth 1: 16-17 and this was read by Pete’s Mum. Meg’s Mum took us back to our childhood days by reciting the whole of the Owl and the Pussy Cat, it ended up as a sort of bedtime story during the ceremony!
Beautiful Bridesmaids: I had 3 gorgeous bridesmaids who all played a massive part in making the day perfect. Gill, a friend I’ve known since I was 11, was one of our witnesses. Ashley and Helen are close friends from the first school I worked in. Ashley did my make up and Helen did my hair, they know exactly what suits me and getting professionals in was never something I’d wanted.
Music and First Dance: Having Helen, a music teacher, as a bridesmaid made our job really easy when selecting music. She played the violin during the signing of the register, playing Romance from the Gadfly and Gabriel’s Oboe, leaving my Mum in floods of tears! As a wedding present she then gave us our drinks reception entertainment, which was a fabulous jazz singer and pianist. For the big party after the wedding breakfast we had an awesome band put together by an extremely talented musician friend of hers. The dance floor was never empty and they agreed to play our first dance song, ‘Everything’ by Michael Buble, live. Making the most of talented people your friends and family know really pays off. As does finding a wedding dance on You Tube that you can teach yourself in 4 weeks…nailed it!
The Food: We had Pimms and canapés on arrival at the reception and opted to have no starter for the main wedding breakfast. We had roast pork with proper crackling, roast potatoes, vegetables and roasted apples. This was followed by a trio of small desserts made up of chocolate torte, lemon tart and rhubarb crumble.
The flowers: All beautifully created by Meg’s Mum (with the exception of the buttonholes) after doing a fabulous full day course on producing bouquets and wedding arrangements. The bouquets contained anemones, veronica and ranunculus and the church and venue had arrangements of tulips, daffodils (to represent Meg’s Welsh heritage) and white roses (for Yorkshire).
The cake: The cake wasn’t a priority for us and we even considered not having one at all, so we were reluctant to spend a lot of money. Thankfully a family friend of Meg’s makes amazing cakes and so she kindly created one based on our own ideas of what we wanted. We saved a fortune and it looked fabulous. We had chocolate, vanilla and lemon sponge tiers each surrounded by white chocolate cigarellos and topped with fresh fruit.
The Details and Décor: I think even Kirsty Allsop would’ve been proud of our handmade personal touches! The place settings were hand painted giant ceramic Scrabble tiles of guest’s initials with favours of wild flower seeds. Jars wrapped in hessian held tea lights, vintage milk bottles full of loose bunches of flowers decorated the tables and the ceiling was hung with bunting handmade by Meg’s Auntie. Pete spent hours producing traditional carved footpath signs of mountain names for the tables and personalised hand painted bags contained toys and games for the kids. We covered the lawns with garden games, and outdoor heaters, fire pits and baskets of blankets drew people onto the veranda despite the cold. In the toilets we put a pamper basket packed with hand creams, hair spray, lip balm, nail files, hair brush, tissues and even condoms….and yes they were taken! The personal elements were what most people still comment on.
Your Photographer: Lana Davies, introduced to me by a friend and someone I’d known for a few years, ended up as more of a wedding guest than just a photographer. Her down to earth and genuine approach meant the guests and us were relaxed around her and at times she had people in stitches.
The Honeymoon: We had a week long mini-moon in Portugal straight after the wedding and then in the Summer holidays we spent 3 weeks in Kenya. It sounds rather extravagant but the mini-moon was a fairly budget stay in a yurt by a river in the middle of no-where with a compost toilet and outdoor shower. It suited us perfectly!
Memorable Moments: The recessional out of the church was a closely guarded secret; Coldplay’s Viva La Vida played on the church organ. It sounded amazing and only having a short aisle, we made the most of listening to it by dancing around in a loop around the church before finally exiting. We forgot to warn the photographer who says she was terrified when we just started “running at her”!
Meg’s Grandparents share a gravestone next to the path up to the church door. I had an extra bouquet made and as we left the church we laid this on the stone. It was a really moving moment to feel like they were part of the day and celebrate them as we walked past.
Between sets of the band in the evening Pete revealed a big surprise as he mysteriously ushered everyone out onto the veranda as sky started to light up with fireworks! Such a perfect climax to the perfect day!
Advice for other couples: Let your personalities show in every part of the day. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to and such enjoyment came out of creating the tiny little touches that made it ours. oh and have fun, sing, giggle, dance and kiss….it’s your party after all!
Photographer: Love Photography by Lana Davies http://www.love-photography.co.uk
Reception venue: Utopia at Broughton Hall http://www.broughtonhall.co.uk/utopia/
Wedding night: The Tempest Arms http://www.tempestarms.co.uk
Catering: GFS Catering http://www.gfscatering.co.uk
Wine: Martinez Wines http://martinez.co.uk
Groom’s outfit: Michelsberg Tailoring http://www.michelsberg.co.uk
Dress: Brides of Harrogate
Hair piece: Liberty In Love http://www.libertyinlove.co.uk
Bridesmaids dresses: JJs House http://www.jjshouse.com
Transport: Land Rover Experiencehttp://www.yorkshire.landroverexperience.co.uk/Centre/Weddings
Invitations: Cute Maps http://www.cutemaps.co.uk