So, where so I start with this blog post! You might have noticed I haven’t posted for a long time, unfortunately things got a little bit hectic in the final run up to the wedding and then we have been enjoying our first two months of married life.
I will start off by saying we couldn’t have had the most perfect wedding day ever without the help of our parents, they were just fantastic throughout the whole process.
The day before
I had taken the day before the wedding off (didn’t really need much more than that as everything was already deposited at the venue/with the stylist the weekend before) and was booked in for gel nails and semi-permanent lashes with the same lovely girl who was doing our hair for us the next day. Her name is Lyndsey Jade Irish and you can find her on Instagram as LJHairAndNails.
Matt had the job of dropping our puppy Alfie off at the dog boarder’s house. We had him boarded overnight for the Friday and the Saturday so that we didn’t have to worry about him being at home alone or having to care for him whilst getting ready on the morning of the wedding. Plus we and most of our close family were staying over for the night so no one would be able to go and feed him, let him out etc.
Then finally, Matt’s secret wedding present that I had been planning for months without him knowing would be revealed! I had hired him a vintage Jaguar E-Type (in the photo above) from Classic Car Hire North for 48 hours so that he could drive himself and his dad to the wedding and then drive us back home the next day before having to take it back. I left a note with the postcode of the hire depot with his dad and then sent him round his parents’ house at about 3.30pm. He still didn’t know what was going on until he pulled up to the garage and saw the classic cars! He really loved it and was over the moon that he could now arrive at our wedding venue in style. It made for some great photos too and the guests were totally wowed so it added that extra special touch to the day!
I then settled in at home with my four bridesmaids and we watched Bride Wars and ate McDonalds! I also had half a bottle of wine to send me to sleep otherwise I knew I would be up all night… I actually managed to sleep pretty well, I think I woke up at about 2am and then went back to sleep till about 6am when I decided to go and set breakfast stuff up and had an hour of calm to myself before I woke the girls up.
The morning of…
So on the morning of the wedding, everything was pretty much systems go from the time I woke the girls up. Lyndsey arrived at 9am to start doing our hair and then I waited until 11am for my make-up artist to arrive. Her name is Laura Mac and I would 100% recommend her, she was amazing!
In what seemed like no time at all, my parents had arrived and were getting ready, then it was time for me to put my dress on. We ended up running a little tight on time as we didn’t manage to get any bridesmaid photos before we left the house but there was time for that at the venue.
I had booked a VW Campervan from LuvDub Campers to transport myself, my dad and all four bridesmaids to the venue and it arrived perfectly on time at 1pm. I had a minor panic attack in the VW as the driver had never been to the Danby Castle (our venue) before and we ended up taking an extremely longwinded route, only just arriving for 2pm!! Then of course there are all the formalities to go through before the ceremony so it actually started late at around 2.15pm. Whoops! Oh well, it is the bride’s prerogative to be fashionably late!
I don’t have any other words to describe our wedding day than completely perfect. The team at Danby Castle, Carolyn and Phil in particular were priceless in ensuring the day ran smoothly and that everything was done at the right time. I can’t recommend them enough, as if the stunning venue doesn’t already sell itself!
I have previously written a post about Danby Castle so for all the details just head over to the Wedding Planning section and “Finding the venue”.
The ceremony itself was very special, the lovely registrar Pam from North Yorkshire registry office was a fabulous calming influence and she read the script so nicely. We decided to have two readings, one by each of our mums. Matt’s mum went first before we made our vows and then my mum read hers before we exchanged rings. It was so lovely and personal to us, I feel it really enhanced our ceremony. The readings we chose were “Love Me When I’m Old” by Bee Rawlingson and “The Art of Marriage” by Wilfred A. Peterson.
Now onto the details…
We chose to hire a wedding stylist who took care of all our décor and floral arrangements at the venue. We dealt with Karen at Sweet Pea Events and she was marvellous every step of the way. With the venue being so unique, we weren’t looking for traditional centrepieces and floral designs on the tables so we felt this was a better option than asking our florist to dress the venue.
I am massively into shabby chic and vintage décor so I knew that this would always feature in our wedding, but I found that as this is becoming more popular, it was very expensive and time consuming to find and buy pieces that could be used on our tables. By hiring a stylist to come and decorate our venue for us, I didn’t have to spend all that time finding or making DIY bits and then either just throw them away or try to sell them afterwards. We told Karen our colour scheme and after a few meetings we felt confident to leave her to it, and what an amazing job she did!
Here are just a few details; crates and vases on tables, vintage books, suitcases and crates displayed in the marquee with our parents’ wedding photos and some of our engagement shoot photos, candles, flowers. Outside we had shepherds hooks lining the path with little jars of flowers hanging from then and also had jars of flowers tied to the pew ends in the ceremony room. The flowers were a gorgeous mixture of roses, hydrangea and other spring time wild flowers.
I couldn’t have been happier with the way everything turned out! There was so much attention to detail and our guests have repeatedly commented about different things they liked and they thought it made the day really unique to us.
Our wedding breakfast and evening food were both catered for by Danby’s in house kitchen team, who are utterly amazing at what they do. We chose to have a vintage tea party for our wedding breakfast and then a pizza buffet on the evening from their very own wood-fired pizza oven. Everything tasted outstanding and both meals were “unlimited” so they just kept on refilling the sandwiches and cake stands to ensure none of our guests were left hungry.
Our choices for the vintage tea party were; egg and cress rolls, bacon, brie and cranberry sandwiches, Mediterranean veg and pesto sandwiches and English ham and wholegrain mustard sandwiches. Then we had savoury bites of; chicken liver pate on sourdough croutes, smoked salmon blinis, filo goats cheese and red onion tartlets and garlic mushroom crostini. Finally for dessert we had; chocolate brownies, lemon tarts, millionaire’s shortcake and of course, scones with jam and cream.
We decided to have two cakes, one wedding cake and one cheese cake. The wedding cake was made by Sonia at Cupcake Delight by Sonia (she lives very local to Danby and is a main part of their kitchen team) and was made up of three tiers. The bottom tier was red velvet, the middle was vanilla and the top was carrot cake. I had a piece of every single one and they were amazing!
The cheese cake we had delivered from West Country Cheese Co on the Thursday before the wedding and Matt dropped it off at Danby on the morning before the wedding. Unfortunately cheese can only be left out for 4 hours at a wedding venue due to food hygiene rules so we could only bring it out on the evening but our guests still loved it! The cake was made up of wensleydale and cranberry, cheddar, stilton and camembert. We served it alongside our pizza buffet on the evening with lots of crackers and chutneys. It was a fabulous idea for guest who don’t have a big sweet tooth to nibble on throughout the night.
The cake toppers were both purchased from Etsy. Unfortunately the lady who made the personalised wooden topper for our wedding cake almost didn’t send the topper in time even though I had bought it months in advance, I had to resort to putting a claim through PayPal before she finally sent it, so I’m afraid I can’t recommend her. However the cute knitted mouse topper was bought from a shop called Junemakes and she was fabulous with communication and sending the topper out very quickly. Can you tell I like bunting a lot?!
Dresses and Suits
My dress was actually purchased second hand from Preloved.com after I had spotted it whilst browsing Pinterest (before we were even engaged, whoops). I tried it on in a local bridal shop first to make sure it really was The One and then I contacted a lovely lady in Peterborough to ask if she would courier her dress to me. It must have been fate because the dress fit perfectly without needing any alterations at all, the length was perfect with my 4.5 inch heels on!
It was a Justin Alexander dress in style 8596, I just loved all the lace detail and the satin waistband made it very unique, I still haven’t seen many other styles like it. I unfortunately don’t know the brand of my veil but I purchased it from the bridal shop where I tried on my dress, the lady who owns the shop insisted I tried on a veil with it even though I wasn’t sure I wanted one and they just looked perfect together, so I was sold!
The bridesmaid dresses were from Coast, we bought them in March 2014 so unfortunately they sold out after that season and don’t sell them any more. I was so in love with the colour, I knew my girls had to have them even though they were quite pricey at £180 each. I also bought them each a lace hair comb from eBay which were made specifically for me but only cost £5 each.
Matt’s suit was from a small shop in Stokesley called Soul which mainly sells designer brand men’s clothing and suits. He knew from the beginning he wanted a tweed style suit, although we weren’t set on the colour. He saw this suit in a brown/grey colour and loved it so he bought that and we also got our dads’ suits from there which were the same jacket and waistcoat but in navy blue and a paid of navy chinos. They looked awesome and was just the right amount of formal/casual to suit our wedding day.
Matt also got his tie and pocket square from Mrs Bow Tie which is in a Liberty floral print and stood out just right from his suit. I managed to find our dads’ ties and pocket squares on eBay for about £7 per set and they were almost exactly the same colour as my bridesmaids’ dresses.
We decided to hire a band for our evening reception rather than have a DJ as we were really excited about the idea of a band playing our first dance song for us. After scouring the internet for a cover band with the right mixture of older and more modern songs and a nice acoustic style, we finally found Undercovered. They were available for hire as a full band or just as a trio, which was perfect for our small wedding. Clark the frontman was spot on with his communication and was there for any queries we had in the run up to the wedding. We decided to have Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 as our first dance song as they are a band we have both always loved. We let Clark know our choice within a few months of the wedding and they played it perfectly for us on the night.
Danby Castle isn’t a hotel venue so doesn’t have any accommodation of its own for guests to stay overnight, however it does have a rather convenient field next door for happy campers… In the spirit of fun and quirkiness, we decided to hire bell tents and “glamp” the night of the wedding so we didn’t need to go straight home. We hired our tents from Glampit.com and most of our close family and bridesmaids stayed over. The tents had airbeds in them with proper quilts and pillows, plus little electric lamps and cute rugs on the floor etc.
It was a really fun experience (even in a wedding dress) to have our own little campsite for the night and we were able to stay up a few more hours after everyone else went home. The next morning we had sausage and bacon sandwiches and coffee done on the camping stove before packing our bags and heading home!
Last but not least…
I’ve got to give credit were credit is due, our photographer Natalie Pluck and videographer Anth from Jolly Good Wedding Films were outstanding at capturing all those little moments during our wedding day and it never felt like a chore having our photos taken or spending some time away from our guest for our couples photos. I would love to dedicate a whole blog to their photos and video, but here are a few of our favourite photos and stills.
If you’ve read through all of that and still aren’t bored, here is the link to our amazing wedding video by Jolly Good Wedding Films: https://vimeo.com/175127964