Just incase you might not have known, we are massive fan girls of bridal wear designer Claire Pettibone. The word 'adore' doesn't seem to do our love for this US designer justice – her creations are just so divine – the stuff of all elegant and whimsical loving bride's dreams.
I always get an extra layer of excitement and satisfaction when have a Claire Pettibone's wedding to share with you, and so I pretty much smiled all the way through preparing this particular feature. I also loved the toned down elegance of these nuptials, punctuated by the occasional colour burst of orange , red, pink and other autumnal colours.
Hannah, an Accountant, and Ralf, a TV Promotions Director, tied the knot on 11th October, 2013 with a ceremony at Gibson Mill at Hardcastle Crags, Hebdon Bridge, followed by a reception at Hebdon Bridge Town Hall. I'm more than a little smitten with Hannah's Claire Pettibone gown, Willow, which Hannah purchased from The White Closet in Didsbury.
Photography Copyright (c) 2013, Sarah Mason
"Ralf and I met properly for the first time in the pub on Christmas Eve 2005, when both sets of our friends were out. Hebden Bridge is small town so our two groups knew of each other from seeing their faces in the crowds at pubs so often, but we didn't really exchange 'hellos' until that night. Ralf then decided to cancel a boys trip to Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve in the hope of bumping into me again that night in Hebden Bridge, and he did, and we've been together ever since."
"Ralf proposed early January 2013 on the 7th anniversary of our first date, with a video he had edited of our relationship together, and played it to me in our house. So we were engaged for just 10 months.
I love white (our whole house is white!) and no clutter, so white and simple was the starting point – we added in bright pink and bright orange at the Town Hall because we liked the colours and thought it would look effective."
"My dress was the 'Willow' design, by Claire Pettibone's and I purchased it from The White Closet in Didsbury. I loved that the dress featured embroidered flowers in orange shades – I thought it was quite unusual with the beautiful embroidery down the back, and the shape was very flattering too."
"I borrowed my veil from my friend Kate who had a similar Claire Pettibone dress for her wedding."
"Ralf's suit came from King & Allen in Wilmslow, Manchester. They do a bespoke tailoring service – Ralf loved the level of service and now they have his measurements on file he's looking forward to having an excuse to get another made!"
Brides, have you considered dressing your maids all in white? You might want to read this feature if so.
"We chose the Gibson Mill because we're both into vintage style, and the whole scene and aesthetic suited us really well. Plus with both of our families being from the Valley, it made sense to go back to where we first met to get married, as it's more romantic in our minds, rather than dragging everyone over to where we live now in Manchester.
And we chose Hebdon Bridge Town Hall for our reception because it was a big enough space to accommodate both of our big families and is situated in the centre of Hebden Bridge."
"Sarah Mason in Hebden Bridge was our photographer and she did an amazing job. The photos she took of us and our families are the best thing we've taken from the day (other than being married of course!). We're not into 'posey' photographs but she managed to get us to do a few and we're so glad she did.
We'd definitely recommend her in a heartbeat to anyone looking for a photographer, and she also employed someone else on the day so nothing was missed."
"My Dad walked me down the aisle to the sound of an instrumental version of 'All I Ask Of You', from Phantom of the Opera."
"We made the order of the day bags on our home printer ourselves. We didn't have menus, my Mum made the table plan, and we got the place cards from Paperchase."
"The ceremony was actually my favourite part of the whole wedding, because it was the most romantic and important part of our day.
We had Love Laughter and You by Harry Couchon Jnr as our reading, as our relationship is built mostly on laughing at each other so it fitted well. Ralf then tailored the Pam Ayres Poem 'He Never Leaves The Seat Up' to have more meaning to us as a couple."
"There were three best men and they are all best friends and have been since Ralf was about 14, so he couldn't pick out just one really. We don't like things matching so we didn't buy/rent their suits, we just asked them to wear navy and then provided them with the orange trim handkerchief to tie them all together as groomsmen/best men that way. They ripped Ralf apart in the Best Men speech!"
"Our cake was from Marks and Spencer. It sounded delicious (chocolate cake with White Chocolate icing) and was simple so that we could decorate it with orange and pink roses."
"We hired the The Funtime Frankies to entertain our guests in the evening. We both love dancing so we really wanted a band and we were so happy we got them, they were brilliant! They were nominated for wedding band of the year but we were unable to write a testimonial for them as the deadline passed whilst we were away on honeymoon. No idea if they won or not?!"
"We don't really have a 'song' so we chose our first dance to be Michael Buble 'Everything', mainly because the lyrics sum us up quite well."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as everyone has fun. Also it may be quite tempting to not get a professional photographer and save on the money and get a friend to do it, but having seen what a professional did for us, we're so happy we paid the money, as those photos are already priceless to us.
Finally, we got married across two venues, with the ceremony at one place and the reception at the other. Both were perfect and the day was perfect, but having to split across two separate venues with the logistics, admin and then decorate them both in the build-up was quite stressful. In hindsight we wouldn't change anything about our day as we had to get married this way because neither venue did the full day and evening package. However, I would advise anyone getting married who is torn between one venue that does everything or two separate ones, and in their mind it's a 50/50 choice, go with the single venue. But, like they say, go with your gut, not your head!)."
Simple and elegant and beautifully photographed by Sarah Mason – thank you Sarah for sharing your work.
Photographer – Sarah Mason
Venue – Gibson Mill at Hardcastle Crags, Hebdon Bridge + Hebdon Bridge Town Hall
Designer – Claire Pettibone's 'Willow' via The White Closet in Didsbury
Brides Hair Accessories – headband from ASOS
Brides' shoes – Dune
Grooms Suit - King & Alle + shoes from Marks and Spencer
Bridesmaids - Warehouse, John Lewis, Jaeger and House of Fraser + court shoes from New Look
Flowers – Flowers 4 U. Todmorden
Cake – Marks and Spencer
Entertainment – The Funtime Frankies
Additional Styling – Amy Mellis (one of the bridesmaids)
Rings – Beaverbrooks
Catering – Lords Caterers
Hair and make-up Artist – Michelle Sisson
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