Lucy & Ben’s Classic, Clean & Contemporary Wedding at The Mowbray in Sheffield

Bride with long blonde wavy hair, Essense of Australia wedding dress and veil, carrying a pastel bouquet and arm in arm with her groom as they leave the church. Luis Calow Photography.

Lucy and Ben tied the knot on 29th July 2023, at The Mowbray in Sheffield.

The couple, both detail orientated people, wanted a clean and classic aesthetic on their wedding day. The bride’s dress perfectly reflected these wishes – she wore a minimalist strappy gown by Essense of Australia, with a simple pearl necklace and a ring made by her own father, a former jeweller.

This vibrant and joy-filled wedding was captured beautifully, as always by photographer Luis Calow – enjoy!

Close up face shots during golden hour portrait of bride and groom hugging one another closely. The bride has long blonde loose wavy hair and wears a pearl necklace and strappy wedding dress. The groom wears a pale beige suit with a pink buttonhold on his lapel. Luis Calow Photography.

Venue & Location

We had a bit of a horror turned fairytale when finding our venue to be honest. Ben proposed in November 2021 and we knew we’d start looking to book our venue for summer 2023 right away. We knew we wanted to stay local due to how important our hometown is to us and I (Lucy) have a very old Nanan that I was really keen to have with us at the wedding.

We found the nicest Georgian boutique hotel in our hometown (which I can’t name, you’ll see why soon) which felt perfect. We secured the whole hotel at Easter 2022 for the wedding in July 2023 and were excited to start finding all our other suppliers and organising the save the dates. 

Fast forward to February 2023, our deposit was paid, all the ‘big’ things were booked and we received the worst news: the venue had gone into administration and was closed immediately. Ben found out when his aunty had tried to book her hotel room for the big day and was told she couldn’t book for July. We weren’t even officially notified, it was all just gone over night. Ben broke the news to me when I’d just got in from an evening run, and I don’t know if it was exercise endorphins or a cosmic premonition everything would be fine, but I didn’t freak out.

We knew we would be getting married on July 29th 2023 no matter what due to our choice to do it separately from the reception in Rotherham Registry office, so that gave us heart and that was the priority anyway. I kept saying to everyone, ‘I become Mrs Foster on that day no matter what,’ which truly was all I cared about. But on saying that, my mum and I did become extremely active on Google trying to find somewhere that could manage our date with just 5 months notice. Things felt hopeless. 

Enter The Mowbray

The Mowbray wedding venue, Sheffield, Luis Calow Photography.

I’d seen The Mowbray on Instagram and loved the look of it – it’s in Kelham Island – an area we know and love in Sheffield – and it was a bit of a pie in the sky dream venue I didn’t believe we could have. But as we had lost pretty much everything and didn’t have much else to lose, I just emailed them asking if they happened, by some absolute miracle, to have the 29th free. They did. I’ve never reacted to an email so viscerally in my life.

The Mowbray had had a cancellation on our preferred date and it was their last Saturday availability that year. Talk about luck, manitfest-destiny, karma, fortune and everything in between. The events planner (also called Lucy – amazing woman) booked us in for a viewing that Saturday with Georgie (another amazing member of staff who also ended up doing all out wedding stationary).

So we went along with my mum, Ben’s dad and crossed fingers. It was love at first sight. In fact, I immediately just started crying with what I realised afterwards was relief and pure adoration. My mum turned to Ben and I and in her cute, matter of fact, Yorkshire mum way said, ‘This is much more you two anyhow.’ She was right. 

Bridal Beauty & Accessories

Hair was Amie Morton. Amie owns The Mill where I’ve been having my hair cut and coloured since 2016 – I love it there. Amie is amazing and really understood my vision for my hair. On the run up to my wedding I had 2 trials, but Amie was clear I could have had as many as I wanted.

They were both private, personal and bespoke. Amie listened really carefully to my vision for my hair and was really attentive the entire time. 

Amie is such a warm, relaxed and kind person, she really fit into the bubbly, happy atmosphere of my wedding morning perfectly. She was on time (a 7am start) and did a gorgeous job on all my bridesmaids. The fact she styled their hair without trials or ever meeting them was so professional. It allowed us all to really relax.

Bride with long loose wavy blond hair getting her wedding veil applied. Luis Calow Photography.

My wedding hair was pure perfection. Somehow it was even better than the trials and I was over the moon. It looked like me, but the best version of my hair. It stayed perfect all day, it didn’t budge but didn’t feel stiff either.  The next morning my hair still looked great, which was a miracle considering the shenanigans of the reception.

Make up was Stacey Fletcher Bridal from Renovo Salon in Kiveton. 

I wore a veil for my mum in all honesty, that was her vision and the only thing she seemed to want and didn’t defer to my choice about. When I tried one on her face absolutely lit up and I decided then to wear one. I got the veil from Emily Bridal and I opted for a plan, free hanging, sheer waist length veil with no edging or embellishment. Actually, wearing it for the ceremony felt right, it was really nice to have a little formal covering of my shoulders. I also enjoyed how refreshed my outfit felt in the evening when I took it off. We’re pro-veil in this house which I never thought I’d say. 

Close up face shot of a bride with long loose wavy blonde hair and a veil. elegant nose stud just visible. Luis Calow Photography.

My wonderful little sister and best friend, Hannah, has followed in my dad’s footsteps and is also a goldsmith. She made my earrings and necklace for the big day, I wore pave hoops and diamond huggies and studs in my ears and a diamond solitaire pendant – all perfect. All the bridesmaids earrings were also Robinrose Jewellery

My perfume was Rose 31 by Le Labo – fresh and summery on the top notes for Clifton Park, deep and sandalwood musk on the base for The Mowbray, settled down to a sweet woody mix on my skin and just reminds me of that day now. Also roses were in my bouquet so there was a nod to that too.  

Bride wearing an Essense of Australia wedding dress. She poses outside and holds a bouquet of pink and white roses. Luis Calow Photography.

The Dress

Essense of Australia

My dress was Sienna by Essense of Australia and it was only ever going to be Emily Bridal

Emily Bridal is simply incredible. They have it all: the ultimate range; the most incredible staff; the most bespoke approach to each bride; the funniest social media; the most chic shop. They were incredible at every point. Megan was my SA and she helped me find The One, in fact, it was only the 4th dress I tried. 

They ask you to complete a look book before your first appointment which is a really effective way to communicate your tastes to the team. I love that they put me in a dress I had said I wouldn’t like ‘just to make sure’ because your mind can totally change over the course of the fitting. 

Bride with long wavy hair turning to smile at the camera as she sits to have heir make up applied. Luis Calow Photography.

The fitting room was so gorgeous and spacious and my guests had almost as much fun as I did with the prosecco in full flow. It might be a cliché but I was honestly not prepared for how good the experience was. I’m really tall and curvy so buying clothes hasn’t always been the easiest thing but I need not have spent 1 minute worrying, it was a flawless process from start to finish. 

Emily Bridal think of every detail and leave nothing out which means they take a lot of the mental load from brides, which in my opinion is invaluable. 

Black and white photograph of bride standing in a row with her bridesmaids before the ceremony. Luis Calow Photography.

I love how ‘me’ my dress felt. I love well-fitting, minimal clothes in my day to day, but like to have something unusual or unexpected too. I think my wedding dress fit that perfectly. It was luxurious Mikado satin which was so heavy and hung in such a stunning way on the a-line skirt but hugged perfectly on the bodice. The scoop neck, deep back and waist of the dress were so comfortable but also so timeless and in keeping with shapes I would choose in my everyday wardrobe.

There were Mikado covered pearly buttons all the way down the back that caught the light and the spaghetti straps felt so fresh and contemporary. I love the triangular sheer panels under the arms of the bodice and the thigh split – they were the gorgeous unexpected details I wanted but also so beneficial for temperature control in our summer wedding. I felt incredible.

Bridesmaids in dark bottle green dresses. Luis Calow Photography.

I let my angels choose their own dresses and they all looked incredible. 

Happy smiling bride and her bridesmaids in dark bottle green dresses. Everyone is carrying bouquets of pastel pink and white flowers. Luis Calow Photography.
Joyous bride in an simple strappy wedding dress and pastel bouquet, exiting her wedding ceremony with her groom wearing a pale beige suit. Luis Calow Photography.

The Ceremony

Unfortunately our florist has since shut – but it was the Bespoke Flower Shop in Dinnington. I opted for flowers that were a celebration of colour, pastel pinks and lilac with lots of dark green to match the bridesmaids dresses and my mum and mother-in-law’s dresses too (lilac blue and pale pink).

I had David Austen roses for texture and scent which were a huge highlight.  I loved my flowers so much that I’m preserving them in resin with SO Resin.

Bride clutching her veil in a gentle breeze as she also holds a pastel colour bouquet. Luis Calow Photography.

As a present to me, Ben (who loves music and has a vast range of tastes) organised all the music. He chose the ceremony songs, the first dance and made the dancing playlist. It was amazing – I walked down the aisle to an instrumental of Iris by The Googoo Dolls which means the world to us.

My dad is a retired working goldsmith. Him and mum owned their shop in Dinnington for 40 years where dad made repairs, commissions and sales that entire time. Ben went to him when he decided to propose and my dad made the third most important ring of his life, the first being my mum’s engagement ring and the second being my sister’s!

Bridesmaid in a bottle green dress wiping away a tear during the wedding ceremony as she looks on at the bride who is just blurred out of vision. Luis Calow Photography.

My engagement ring is designed by my parents and Ben: a toi et moi style of two stones tube set together, in my case a diamond and a tear drop pink morganite, on a square shank in 18ct rose gold.

We also had rose gold wedding bands, mine is a graduated knife edge in 18ct rose and Ben’s is a court shape 4mm band. Dad engraved the wedding date on the inside of the shanks too which we love. 

Black and white photography of a happy bride and groom exiting their wedding ceremony. The bride is looking back towards the groom who is smiling. Luis Calow Photography.

I feel extremely lucky to have wedding rings my dad made – it’s such an amazing legacy and what a gift to see my ring and not only be reminded of the vows I made to my soulmate but also proof of my father’s love and care. 

Find Your Wedding Readings
Black and white photography of a bride laughing as she adjusts her veil - behind her, her father raises his hand to scatter confetti around her. A bridesmaids close by blows a kiss in to the bride's face. Luis Calow Photography.


Our photographer was the incredible Luis Calow. How do I not write an essay just on Luis? He made our wedding into ART. On our first zoom call I said that to him, I said that I’d seen his work on Instagram  and saw that he was an artist and I wanted that for our wedding. 

We heard about him through word of mouth actually, my wonderful hairdresser Catherine a The Mill hair studio in Kelham said he had shot the wedding of The Mill’s owner Amie and those photos were just incredible. 

Bride with long blonde wavy hair, Essense of Australia wedding dress and veil, carrying a pastel bouquet and arm in arm with her groom as they leave the church. Luis Calow Photography.

I emailed him and his reply was full of warmth and personality which I really liked. Lu works hard to put everyone at ease by being the most down to earth photographer absolutely brimming with enthusiasm and devoid of awkwardness which he fuses with this other side to him which is always alert looking for the chance to capture ‘the shot’ and ‘the art’ and ‘the life’ of the wedding.

And he stays that way for the entire ten hours he’s with you. 

Emotive photography of a bride holding the shoulders of her Grandma who is looking into the bride's eyes and smiling with joy. Luis Calow Photography.

Lu’s style is real, there aren’t any filters in any sense of the word. It’s unpretentious and celebrates joy. He has an amazing eye for ‘the moments’ that might have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for his hard work.  

Thanks to Lu, we have 1000 photos that express the narrative of our wedding day so entirely, so completely that those have become the visual to our memories and our feelings from that day. How special. He was one of the best choices we made for our wedding.

How They Met

Ben and I met in Chemistry class in year 10! We were childhood sweethearts and we reconnected in 2018. Ben proposed in 2021 on my birthday weekend in November. He’d booked a ‘birthday surprise’ and just told me to be ready to leave the house at 10am.

I remember he came upstairs when I was getting ready and asked, ‘Are you happy with your outfit?’ which felt quite out of character but I still didn’t clock his intention. Love him for checking! We drove through Rotherham and I really thought he was taking me to Parkgate for breakfast (I’d have been happy!) but then we carried on past and I knew we were heading to Wentworth Woodhouse. 

I love Wentworth very much because Ben does a lot of design work for them and I find the building and the history with the pits so fascinating and important for our area. When we pulled into the car park I saw my parents’ car and my sister’s car. They’re surprised me by meeting us there.  Ben had booked us a guided tour of the house and I thought that was my surprise, little did I know.

When we got into the Marble Saloon, a stunning central ballroom overlooking the gardens decorated entirely in golden marble, my brother-in-law suggested a family picture in the middle of the space. We all stood there, me oblivious to the nervous energy radiating off Ben and my parents, and smiled for the camera.

Then my parents moved away and I saw Ben reach for his pocket. I was in disbelief and time slowed. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. That room, the light streaming in, my parents and sister, that house, it was perfect and I absolutely sobbed. 

Beautiful photography from behind a bride as she walks down a street and her dress dances beautifully behind her. Luis Calow Photography.

The rest of the tour had moved on but when we joined them they congratulated us and I realised Ben had planned everything with the wonderful Wentworth staff and I was so overcome.

We had high tea to celebrate afterwards which was amazing. As we left it started snowing and had blanketed the park which was the icing on the cake. 

Inside The Mowbray wedding venue , a former industrial space converted into a contemporary wedding and events space. Trestle tables are lined with red chairs, there are tall taper candles on the table and stone vases with single stem flowers. The vibe is industrial meets modern minimalist. Luis Calow Photography.

We’re both very detail orientated people who appreciate aesthetics and our vision was clean and classic – we wanted timeless.

Bride and groom holding hands and raising them in the air triumphantly as they enter their wedding reception.  Luis Calow Photography.

The Reception

Place was very important to us, and knowing we were bridging two important Robinson-Foster worlds, Rotherham and Sheffield, we took inspiration from the juxtaposition of the landscapes.

Modern contemporary table plan with rounded top, sits on a wooden easel. Luis Calow Photography.

Rotherham Clifton Park Registry office is a stunning sandstone Grade II listed Georgian building in beautiful gardens. Whereas, The Mowbray is an amazing industrial building in redbrick and anthracite with these incredible green velvet floor to ceiling curtains.

Creative wedding drinks with lemon, pearl, mint and blackberries.  Luis Calow Photography.

Those two rich colour palettes, sand and green, red and grey, really excited us. The morning suits we chose were neutral warm beige linen to compliment Clifton Park and enhance The Mowbray. The bridesmaids wore forest green in keeping with both places. 

This sounds funny but we were too excited and emotional to taste what we were eating. The Mowbray food is incredible beyond belief and I think I remember eating one tomato? If I could do it again I’d take some deep breaths before the food and maybe insist some was plated up for when I wasn’t so high on life? 

We met Georgie Marnie at the Mowbray as she showed us around and I took her card. Her style is exactly what we love – quality and chic –  her hand written calligraphy for place names is literally perfection. We had our menus and place cards together sealed with sealing wax and a stamp displaying our initials.

Georgie made over 60 wax seals perfectly. The table plan is still on display in our dining room, we love it that much. Georgie is brilliant and a pleasure to deal with. 

Wedding stationery and menu with a wax seal.  Luis Calow Photography.

My mum made it our cake – what an angel! She’s made celebration cakes as a hobby/side hustle for years after taking sugarcraft at night school when my sister and I were young.

Photography taken from behind the bride and groom as they are seated at their wedding reception.  Luis Calow Photography.

We lovingly call her the cake witch because she’s so good it must be magic. She made us an amazing three tier raspberry and white chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream and it was incredible. The middle tier we tied loosely with a bow of vintage silk and the butter cream was textured with vertical lines. It was just gorgeous. 

Modern 3 tier wedding cake - the central tier has a large ribbon tied around it.  Luis Calow Photography.

The most precious part of the day was the speeches. We opted for four speeches, Hannah – maid of honour and sister, Andrew – father of the bride, Lee – best man and brother to Ben and Ben – groom. Each speech was heartfelt, honest, rich and emotional.

Bride and her bridesmaids sobbing during the speeches.  Luis Calow Photography.

Everyone took the time to craft an extremely loving and detailed speech about Ben and I that really was an honour to hear but also celebrated love. Ben’s speech was just outstanding, those were moments to cherish. I was an emotional wreck at this point and had to cover my face with my hankie so I could ugly cry.

Afterwards the staff found me to tell me that they loved the speeches which I thought was indicative of how special they were. 

Black and white photograph of the bride from behind as she sits at her wedding reception. You can see the buttons down the back of her minimalist, strappy wedding dress by Essense of Australia.  Luis Calow Photography.

Evening & Dancing

Ben chose this song as a surprise to me. He chose ‘Everything I do, I do For You’, by Bryan Adams, which Ben feels applies to us perfectly. Another reason this song is important to us is because it was my parents’ first dance. My dad plays guitar and serenades mum with it at every chance, so it’s an important song in our lives.

Our first dance quickly turned into a family dance where we all cried. 

Bride and groom taking a slow and romantic first dance. Green curtains in the backdrop.  Luis Calow Photography.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

Make your choices, big and small, based on what you truly feel you want and is right for you and your spouse. You will look back on this day forever and its important that you can feel it was all exactly how you wanted it in that moment, at that time. Tastes and trends do change, but choices made by your heart won’t ever age.

Your wedding day is a snapshot of you as a couple, share touches that speak to who you are as people and as a couple. Everyone at the wedding will love these details because they love you.

Our wedding was a small 50 person event with a private ceremony of just 12 before the reception, but we have many family and friends so we had some rules for the guest list that I would recommend for anyone when choosing who to invite: Ask yourself, have you seen the person socially in the last 12 months? Is their number in your phone? Would you have them over to your house for dinner? Do they know both bride and groom? If the answer to one or more of these is no, think about why they’re actually on the guest list. It sounds brutal but the guests are so important to the atmosphere of the reception, choose wisely and for the right reasons.

Consider the guests’ enjoyment and comfort, you want them to have the best time. Feed them well, ply them with drinks, make sure they can dance and keep them entertained. Make it the wedding everyone is talking about for ages afterwards.

Be in the moment as much as you can. It’s definitely worth practicing this in the run up. Pay attention to each moment because it will fly and you want to be able to have noticed and enjoyed all your hard work.

Oh, and Pinterest was my BFF!

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Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.