Hello loved ones, I hope your day is going just great so far, and that you're on track to get everything you set out to achieve done and dusted. So, my apologies now for this huge distraction!
This afternoon's wedding is a swish and stately style celebration. Francesca, a Head Buyer married Neil, a Management Consultant on 8th June last year at Castle Howard – one of North Yorkshires most stunning wedding venues.
"The 'Secret Garden' book and 'Kew Gardens' inspired the style of our wedding. We wanted a theme that would also translate perfectly to the historical venue of Castle Howard and utilise the beautiful gardens, grounds and house. I wanted the castle to look enchanted, so we opted to use lots of ivy and moss wrapped around candlebras. Kymm Queen our florist also used peonies, roses, rusted vintage keys and pearl garlands to give a magical and mystical essence of a secret garden."
Photography + Film Production Copyright (c) 2014, York Place Studios
"Neil and I met through a mutual friend at the age of 22 whilst randomly at a golf driving range. That friend was also the best man at our wedding. We then moved to London together for work and set up home. Neil proposed in August 2011 on a warm English summers outing to Kew Gardens. After a treck through the gardens to visit the Palm House and Waterlilly House, he proposed amongst the Magnolia trees during a picnic, where he produced the ring that he had placed in a strawberry. The engament was just under 18 months – a great time to plan and enjoy the preparation.
We chose Castle Howard as our wedding venue as it was where we went on our first official date, and as we both grew up in York it was a place we visited regularly. We wanted somewhere unique, traditional and where the venue would be versatile and flexible to our ideas, and specifically tailor our day to our personalities. Lucky for us, the year we got engaged was also the first year that Castle Howard started doing weddings."
"The whole idea of a secret garden wedding came about when we issued our save the date cards, using vintage keys and luggage tags. After the ceremony, guests were issued with maps and a bottle of Prosecco to help them find the secret rose garden on their arrival."
"On finding the garden, they were greeted with an English tea party with Pimms, elderflower cordial and miniature scones, all served in wooden crates, as canapé alternatives. Here guests also had to find their key and tag of where they would be sitting during the wedding breakfast. It was a chance for guests to discover the beautiful and enchanted feeling gardens."
"The second ,and more traditional aspect of the day, involved leading the guests through a woodland path towards the grand castle and past the Atlas fountain into the champagne reception and wedding breakfast in the Great Hall. This is where the more traditional part of the day begun with a grand piano being played and historic tours of the house being offered.
The final part of the day was the evening reception where we moved all the guests down into the old servant and kitchen quarters for dancing and drinking."
"My dress was a bespoke design by Andrea Bambridge in York. Andrea has over 25 years experience in bridal couture, she prides herself on designing and making the perfect dress in York. Andrea also holds a selection luxurious guest designers that she sources to complement her collection. I tried on over 150+ dresses – couture, short in length, beaded, sequined, you name it I tried it, but nothing came close to the service and quality that Andrea Bambridge was offering. Such a hidden gem.
I decided to get a bespoke dress, and took Andrea six images of different ideas and aspects of dresses that I liked. Andrea sketched out ideas and six appointments later, lots of pinning, Italian tulle and silk, we had the perfect dress."
"I loved so many things about the dress, it was unique and bespoke. The fact that I had a chance to input and work with the designer meant I felt it was truly my dress and fitted me perfectly. I wanted a dress that I could have fun in and that would work throughout the day until the evening. The fine Italian tuule fabric skirt was fun to spin in when dancing but looked traditional and elegant during the day.
The bow was my favourite part, I wanted a statement for when I was walking down the aisle, but for the evening Andrea added in clips and gave me additional tulle to fold the bow under to make it into a statement bow to transform the dress.
"We had a traditional 3 tiered (chocolate orange, lemon and fruit) cake from Cakes Made by Jane. The design was inspired by the dress with a large bow that cascaded down the tiers incorporating in roses that featured in the table decorations."
"Our photographers were York Place Studios – I would highly recommend Dominique and Liam, everything was fantastic and they captured the day perfectly."
"For favours, we provided the gentlemen with bow ties and the ladies with water pearl bracelets – both of these items were pinned to cards that I had designed and made myself."
"Some of the detail on the day included vintage teacups that we had collected over time, wooden crates (made by our best man), a wishing tree (twisted willow painted white) and antique keys and luggage tags (handmade by myself). We also had a photo booth (hand made screens by our best man Nicholas Jackson) which we decorated with Laura Ashley wall paper."
The Pauper Kings entertained the newlyweds and their guests in the evening…
"We loved all our day, but if we had to pick our favourite moment, it would be in the evening when all formalities were over and we could party with our family and friends."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
“Have a wedding day that you both talk about for the rest of your life. There is no need to have an infinite budget to do this. Ensure that your day reflects your individual personalities, for my husband the right band was essential, for me having pearls as women’s favours and vintage keys hanging from candelabra was more important!
There is no need to have a specific theme either, just do as you feel. We rolled a “garden tea party” and a “grand champagne reception and wedding breakfast” into one. Finally, stop looking at wedding magazines and inspiration 4 weeks prior to the day – have no regrets and mentally prepare yourself for life after wedding!”
Huge thanks to Francesca, Neil and their photographers Dominique and Liam of Scarborough based York Place Studios.
Ladies, you can see more related content here if it takes your fancy; castle weddings, pink, summer weddings.
Photography + Film – York Place Studios
Venue + Catering – Castle Howard in Malton, North Yorkshire
Wedding Dress – Andrea Bambridge (York)
Brides Hair Accessories – veil handmade by the bride + Ivory & Co headpiece
Brides Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Bride's accessories – necklace (heirloom) + clutch bag (grandmothers)
Grooms Suit – Duchamp suit + bow tie, Alessi Watch, Vintage cufflinks
Bridesmaids Dresses – Coast + M&S shoes
Flowergirl Dress – Monsoon
Florist – Kymm Queen
Cake – Cakes Made by Jane + Millies
Cars/Transport – Champagne Cars
Entertainment – The Pauper Kings
Rings – Ace of Diamonds, Hatton Garden, London
Stationery – made by the bride
Hair and make-up Artist – Julie Mercer
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