A Topshop Wedding Dress, Dried Flower Bouquet & Street Food, for a Sustainable & Environmentally Friendly Wedding

Topshop bride rainy day wedding

Today I’m taking you to wonderful West Yorkshire, for an early summer wedding, where our couple put sustainability and the environment at the heart of their day.

This wedding was held at a beautifully restored, self-sufficient mill venue, where the couple re-used, recycled and hand made as much as they could.

Photography by Silver & Light

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Meet our lovely couple, university lecturer Nicky, and Alex, who is a civil servant. They celebrated their marriage on the 15 June 2019 at Gibson Mill at Hardcastle Crags in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. This historic, early nineteenth century cotton mill is surrounded by woodland, and is now looked after by the National Trust, who have restored the building and made it totally self-sufficient and sustainable.

For her dress, Nicky opted for a pre-loved design by Topshop Bride, which she found on eBay. It suited her beautifully, with its simple, stylish slip design, keyhole detailing and delicate shoulder straps.

“I liked the shape and simplicity of the dress. My favourite thing was probably the back detail; low cut with ties that hung from the shoulders.”

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Nicky’s ivory satin heels were by Rainbow Club, chosen at Louise Perry Bridal in Saltaire, and Jodie from Hair Bar in Hebden Bridge styled her hair in a soft, elegant chignon.

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Nicky wore a lovely gold pendant necklace and drop earrings by Gill Wing Jewellery, and added a pretty dried flower crown by The Artisan Dried Flower Co., as well as a satin edged, knee length veil from Louise Perry Bridal.

“My perfume was Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, which is my favourite perfume – it was an excuse to treat myself!”

Beautiful bridal make-up, with a subtle pop of coral lipstick came courtesy of Rebecca from The Beauty Bank in Mytholmroyd.

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A gorgeous bridal arrangement of dried summer flowers included scented lavender, daisies, sprigs of wheat, yarrow, larkspur and more, in cheerful shades of purple, blue and yellow.

There were also posies of lavender for the bridesmaids, too, all courtesy of The Artisan Dried Flower Co.

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The lovely flowergirls (Nicky and Alex’s daughter and niece) and page boy wore sweet outfits, which were handmade with Morris & Co. fabric chosen at John Lewis.

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The bridesmaids looked wonderful in an assortment of green dresses of their own choosing, and I love the mixture of shades, from vibrant emerald through to deep forest green and sage. They also wore their own shoes, as well as dried flowers in their hair.

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“We liked the fact that Gibson Mill was a sustainable venue, with a commitment to being environmentally friendly. This was something that we kept in mind when we were planning. We tried to make and re-use things as much as possible.”

“My dress was second hand, and the bunting was from a friend’s wedding. We chose to use dried flowers instead of fresh ones, and the caterers brought biodegradable cutlery.”

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Nicky walked down the aisle to When in Disgrace With Fortune and Men’s Eyes – a beautiful version of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29, by Rufus Wainwright and Florence Welch.

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“We met when we were both living and working in London in 2013. One of my friends was looking for a new flatmate and place to live, and she ended up moving in with Alex. We used to see each other around but it was a while before we got talking to each other.”

“We got engaged in Croatia in 2017 when I was pregnant with our little girl.”

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The couple chose to keep their vows simple and standard, and as they faced each other and spoke them, they also exchanged rings by Cornwall based Justin Duance.

“We really liked his designs, and the fact that he works with recycled metals.”

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“We had a reading from Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri, chosen by my mum as it was a favourite book in the house growing up. Alex’s sister read a poem called For Marriage by John O’Donohue, which she chose for us.”

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There was post-ceremony croquet set up indoors (a great idea for the rainy day!) along with bubbles, glasses of fizz, and delicious puri and other tasty snacks served by Manjit’s Kitchen.

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The mill staircase was sweetly adorned with bunches of dried flowers, and as everyone enjoyed the drinks reception and games, the ceremony room was transformed into a lovely reception space.

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Fairylights and bunting hung from the ceiling, whilst below, rustic wooden trestle tables were set for dinner and dotted with the soft glow of tealights, as well as more pretty dried flowers.

“We made place cards and table numbers ourselves with a bit of help from our arty friends. The table plan was written on an old antique mirror that we bought second hand.”

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Manjit’s Kitchen served more delicious Indian street food from their marvellous bright yellow trailer, enjoyed with joyful speeches, followed by dessert from a table of amazing cakes, which were homemade by family and friends.

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As well as the sweet treats, there was also a towering cheese cake from The Courtyard Dairy, served with lots of crackers, fresh fruit and chutneys.

“Our favourite part of the day was the meal – taking a moment to look out across the trestle tables and see all of our favourite people in one place, really enjoying their food!”

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After their meal, Nicky and Alex enjoyed some time together, taking an evening walk in the magical woodland surrounding Gibson Mill; bursting into glorious, green life close to midsummer, and across the stepping stones of Hardcastle Water.

These lovely, intimate moments were sensitively captured by photographer Craig, from Silver & Light. I just love the look and feel of these beautifully composed images.

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“Craig did a fantastic job. He was very sensitive, and the photos were natural – no cheesy poses or overly staged shots. He has great attention to detail. As well as taking great photos of people, he captured lots of little things – objects, nooks and crannies, and decorations that might have gone unnoticed.”

“We also really like the way he captured the greenness of the venue, and got some fantastic outdoor shots, even thought it had rained heavily.”

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Alex wore a navy blue three-piece suit from Slater Menswear, which he wore with a white shirt and herringbone pattern tie.

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Back at the mill, various friends took it in turns to DJ, and the couple’s first dance was to Love Chanting by Little Dragon.

“We were both nervous about being the centre of attention, and wanted something that would get everyone on their feet!”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Make sure you plan the wedding that you want. Try not to worry about other people’s expectations. It’s your day.”

“Don’t worry if things don’t go 100% according to plan – your guests won’t mind, and the most important thing is that you have fun.”

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Nicky and Alex, thank you very much for sharing your lovely, sweet day with us. There were so many amazing, handmade touches. Many thanks to Craig from Silver & Light for this beautiful collection of images, too.

Did you know we have lots of eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable and zero waste celebrations to enjoy on our pages? Check them out!

Until next time.

With love,


Credits & Thanks

Laura Callan

Laura Callan View all Laura's articles

Laura is a freelance writer and content creator who loves telling stories. She has keen eye for photography and art, and lives with her husband, cats, and huge amounts of books.