A Magical Early Evening Woodland Wedding At The Alnwick Garden Treehouse

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We’re over halfway through January already – how did that happen? Soon the early spring flowers will be peeking through the grass and I simply cannot wait to see these signs of new life and warmer days to come.

In the meantime though, I’m going to embrace the cold days by wrapping up warm and getting out for lots of crisp walks in the fresh air. Talking of being outdoors, it’s a treat to share this forest wedding with you today. Alice, a photographer, married her fiancé Andy, who is a film-maker, in a magical early evening ceremony at The Alnwick Gardens Treehouse, Northumberland on 3 June 2017.

Using the intense hue of coral peonies as inspiration, the wedding celebrations were replete with cheerful blooms, twinkling fairy lights, a party vibe and simple, pure joy.

Film by Silver & Light + family friend Andy Little

Alice discovered her elegant Catriona Dowse gown with its sparkling detail at York’s Bridal Rogue Gallery. I love its ethereal and relaxed vibe and the delicate embellishments look wonderful in the fairy lights during the night-time forest party.

“I fell in love instantly. I knew I wanted a floaty dress, with some lace and the shape of it felt so beautiful on. It was the second dress I tried and nothing compared so I had to go and try it again. The bead work was outstanding and it had winged shoulders which I felt added to the flowing feel of the dress. I want to wear it every day!”

Photography Craig Goode of Silver & Light

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We’ve been lucky enough to feature some of Alice’s own beautiful photography on Love My Dress before. As a photographer herself, the choice of wedding photographer was clearly going to be an important decision for Alice and Andy, and they asked Craig Goode of Silver & Light. So magical, I love their ethereal feel and Craig’s creative use of light. I think the seaside shots are amongst my absolute favourites; what do you think?

“Craig is a dear friend and we actually asked if he was available before we settled on the date. We never considered anyone else because his photos are always so beautiful and we literally cried with happiness when we received them.”Craig also worked with Andy’s brother James and friend Niall to capture their wonderful wedding video.

“They filmed the whole day on two 8mm vintage cameras and our whole wedding video is made up of this. Andy, being a filmmaker, edited the video himself and we are so happy we chose this method for our video, I love the relaxed feel of the film; sometimes it’s out of focus but I feel that adds to the magic.”

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To complement the gown’s graceful feel, the bride added a short and dainty lace-trimmed veil from Ruth Milliam Bridal Couture and elegant court shoes by a Love My Dress and Little Book for Brides favourite, the wonderful Rachel Simpson.

To check Rachel’s beautiful shoe designs would be comfortable, and shocking her mother along the way, Alice did some gardening in them a few weeks before her wedding day! We of course fell in love with her a little more on learning this. Hehehe!

A simple aquamarine drop necklace and matching earrings from Accessorize, and her nan’s engagement ring, completed her look. Alice did her own pared-back, pretty makeup but asked Michelle Roche to style her long blonde locks in to a relaxed up-do.

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The Alnwick Gardens Treehouse looks like such an enchanting venue – combining aerial walkways and rope bridges with forest-floor party spaces, above-ground decks, cosy treehouses and a dance floor under the dense woodland canopy.

“We fell in love with this venue when we went to a friend’s wedding 3 years previous to getting engaged. We looked at ideas for something around Yorkshire but once we had a price from the treehouse we were sold.”

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The treehouse was adorned with peonies in all tones of coral and pink, bringing a joyful touch of freshness to the deep green forest setting. There were also little plant pots and glass vases hanging from the trees, as well as lots of foliage, to add to the magical feeling and Alice added a zing of brightness with tassels and colourful confetti.

“I absolutely adore flowers so this was, after the dress, the most important detail for me. My friend Emma bought me a voucher for my birthday to do some flower arranging with Joanna Keely at The Flower Studio and it was from there that I knew I wanted her to do my flowers.”

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“I went a year before to make up a sample bouquet and Joanna was so accommodating with all my questions and decisions. She made every effort to make sure the flowers were exactly what I hoped for by even coming up to Alnwick and decorating the treehouse for me. It was perfection because Joanna made it so.”

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On Love My Dress we love it when bridesmaids wear something a little different. Alice’s maids, ten in all, paired sparkly tops, all different designs from a variety of shops including Coast and ebay, with elegant, full mid-length skirts in tones of pink and coral.

“My friend Alice had a handmade skirt from Cambodia that was hot pink and I loved it so she wore that, my friend Emma borrowed a plum skirt from a friend at work and got her top from Etsy. There were ten very different shopping experiences!”

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The bride travelled to the Treehouse in a bright yellow car from The Yellow Taxi before walking down the woodland aisle with her father to Big Man’s ‘Boy & Bear’. As the outdoor ceremony was held in the early evening at 5pm, the couple kept it simple so they could start to party and dance with their guests as soon as possible.

“My favourite part of the day was seeing Andy at the end of the aisle. It felt like all the planning, the waiting and stress fell away at that moment. I was so happy to be in the treehouse with him and all our friends around us that I have never felt anything like it! I was overwhelmed with constant happiness for the rest of the evening then and don’t think I stopped smiling once!”

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“We met at university in York in 2008 and were friends for a year before getting together at a silent disco. We have been dating since March 2009 and Andy proposed on my birthday in February 2016. I was always so sure that I wanted a short engagement, once declaring if Andy ever proposed we would get married within six weeks but Andy was having none of this. As I wanted peonies in my bouquet we set the date for June 2017.”

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“My dad and his girlfriend bought our rings as she manages a jewellery store in Yorkshire. Andy’s is a plain white gold band as he never wears jewellery and was unsure if he would like wearing a ring. Mine is a preloved platinum ring that as soon as it came into the shop Kath sent me a picture of it knowing I would love it.”

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The delicious, fruit-laden cake was baked by Alice’s dad’s girlfriend. Couldn’t you just enjoy a slice right now?

“She makes the best cakes and we knew we wanted all sponge so when Kath said she would [bake it]  we were very happy. We also made sure it got eaten so it went out on the bar and this was a sure-fire way to make sure people ate it.”

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After a feast provided by Alnwick Treehouse, the party got started in the forest, which glittered with hundreds of fairy lights. Yorkshire band Glass Caves played a lively, beautiful set which got the guests dancing on the outdoor dance floor.

“We chose ‘Summer’s Day’ by Chief for our first dance. We actually changed this the day before the wedding and had originally intended to dance to The National’s ‘I Need My Girl’ but after a last-minute practice in the kitchen we realised we needed something a bit more upbeat! It’s a song we have loved for years and it got everyone else dancing too.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“In the planning stages really consider what you both want. I made choices about things that I love like flowers and colour and he loves live music so we knew this had to be a big part of the day too. That way you both can take something from the success of the wedding.”

“Take a few moments on the day to just look. I made sure at certain points I tried to take everything in and make a mental picture in my mind. I specifically remember how the light looked shining through the tree’s just after we had eaten and Andy came over and gave me a kiss on the forehead and that moment I hope to remember forever. Also spend as much time with your groom as possible – dance, laugh and kiss – the time will fly by.”

“Our original budget was £12,000 and I think with everything included like accommodation it came to £14,000.”

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I do hope you’ve been inspired by this gorgeous forest wedding. So many thanks and congratulations to you Alice and Andy on your wedding day, and thanks also to Craig Goode. You can get even more woodland wedding joy with these Love My Dress brides here.

Ele xx

Credits & Thanks

Eleanor Crossland

Eleanor Crossland View all Eleanor's articles

Ele lives in the Lincolnshire countryside, close to the beautiful coast. A qualified Pilates teacher, she loves fitness, yoga, Pilates and has a healthy addiction to baking, writing and travel.

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