Happy Friday everyone, I do hope you have had a great week and that you are looking forward to the weekend ahead! It has been a busy week here at Boho HQ but we are looking forward to the bank holiday week ahead, do you have anything fun planned? You can follow my adventures over on Snapchat and also Instagram stories. Now though it’s time for the last real wedding of the week and it is brought to you courtesy of our resident in-house photography experts James and Lianne Photography. It’s a beautifully simple handmade Yorkshire wedding, full of smiles, gorgeous DIY details and a very happy bride and groom. Enjoy!
A beautiful, relaxed and personal day filled with laughter and silliness. Oh, and sunshine!
Joanne and Daniel were married on the 28th of May 2016 at The Sanctuary, Natural Retreats, Richmond, North Yorkshire. ‘I really wanted to get married in Yorkshire near my family, and we wanted somewhere that was relaxed and beautiful – and Natural Retreats ticked all these boxes. We went to see the venue in a thunderstorm and it still looked wonderful. It was a blank canvas, big glassy rooms looking out onto the most magnificent view, and we could put our own stamp on it, which was really important to us. It was also amazing to be able to have a lot of our guests staying on site in the lodges, and meant we could make a whole weekend of it. We had 80 guests and we got engaged exactly a year before we got married, and after an initial flurry of planning – venue, dress, photographers – we didn’t do a lot until it was time to get the invites out!’
How they met
We met at university and have been together for eight years now – it’s not a particularly exciting story!
We were on holiday in the Lake District. We walked up a mountain in a gale, and stopped at a beautiful lake near the top of eat our lunch. Apparently Dan was all set to get the ring out of his bag and propose, but then a stranger sat directly behind us and started tucking in to a sandwich and grinning at us. So we continued the climb, got back to the car and then we were driving back to our cottage when Dan pulled in by the side of the road, made me get out and walk to the water’s edge and proposed. He said he couldn’t handle another day of pretending to be normal and he needed to get it done! It was perfect.
How did you allocate your budget?
We did a lot of the wedding ourselves, but wanted to have good quality food and drink, and I wanted a great dress.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
My dress was a splurge! But we managed to save a lot of money by doing lots of handmade touches, making bunting, doing the table flowers and decorations ourselves, making our own invites, opting for a playlist rather than a DJ, etc.
How did you choose your photographer?
We did a good trawl of the internet and James and Lianne really stood out. Their pictures were full of fun and warmth, bright colours and casual shots, which was exactly what we wanted. I wanted to avoid lots of static, serious portraits, which I knew neither Dan nor I would have been comfortable with. We couldn’t be happier with the result! And they were lovely people to have at the wedding, really friendly and happy – it was as if they were guests!
My dress was a Maria Senvo design from Eve and Ellis bridal shop in Ripponden, Yorkshire. The manufacturer actually made me the wrong dress! So three weeks before the wedding, the brilliant Kim and Sally at Eve and Ellis practically remade it. I would have to say it’s a Maria Senvo/Sally/Kim dress, and was even better than the original. I had a veil from Eve and Ellis, and a headpiece by Isobel Hind Couture. My shoes were Rachel Simpson.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Dan’s suit was from Ted Baker – I managed to persuade him not to wear his Tesco suit…
I really wanted my bridesmaids to be in different dresses, and in dresses they would love and wear again. I chose a basic colour scheme (green, mint, pink, purple, blue) and sent them off to source their own dress! I’m not sure any of them would thank me for the stress that passed on to them, but it worked brilliantly and they looked stunning. The pink dress that my sister, Lucy, wore was from Ghost, Sian’s mum made hers (!), Helen’s mint/watercolour dress was Coast, Lea’s green dress was from Debenhams, and Gemma’s purple dress was Monsoon.
Theme or colour scheme
My colour scheme was quite loose, but I knew I wanted natural shades, nothing tropical or overly bright. So I went with summery leafy colours – greens and purples and blues, with some pinks.
The bouquets and buttonholes were done by Allison at Wild Floral and they were beautiful. My bouquet had nigella, peonies, roses, gypsophilia and waxflower. The bridesmaids were waxflower with some added colour, and I don’t know what the buttonholes were but they were wonderful. I really wanted a loose, wild-flower feel, and Allison captured this perfectly.
We did the table flowers ourselves. My mother-in-law, sister and bridesmaids brought flowers with them to the venue and we assembled them the night before the wedding. It was very laissez-fair and last minute (and fun!), and I loved the wild-flower result.
We had very hand-made decoration with lots of personal touches so our family could get involved. My mum and her friend made miles of bunting, my dad sourced some driftwood for signs from Fleetwood beach, my mother-in-law brought some flowers, my sister decorated the toilets (which I hadn’t even thought about!). We wanted it to feel pretty and natural, without becoming too village fete, and I think it worked really well. The festoon lights we put outside really gave it a street-party feel.
The food was provided by Friends for Dinner. We had canapés after the ceremony, which were delicious. Then for the wedding breakfast we had a starter of thai fishcakes. For mains we had a ‘pork board’, which consisted of different types of pork on a wooden board in the middle of each table, accompanied by caramelised apples, dauphinoise potatoes and summer veg – it went down a storm, and looked really nice too! The pudding was Dan’s favourite – lemon tart.
In the evening we had chicken kebabs and chips – which Friends for Dinner packaged in cardboard boxes so people could take some home.
My mum made the wedding cake – it was a fruit cake cooked in the square, wooden cake ‘boxes’ that my granddad handmade for her own wedding! It was a lovely personal touch, and the cake was delicious. It was beautifully iced by Racey Cakes.
My mother-in-law made a huge platter of brownies (she’s famous for her brownie recipe!) and my bridesmaid Sian made two gorgeous cardamom and blackberry/raspberry cakes. We also had a big wheel of Wensleydale cheese to go with the fruit cake and add a bit more Yorkshire flare.
We had my school music teacher, John Hunter, playing beautiful piano as our guests arrived and then again during the canapés. Then, because Dan and I are in a band together, we decided that instead of a first dance (which would have been disastrous for Dan), we would have a first song (we ended up doing three) to get people dancing. Then we put on a Spotify playlist of all our favourite tunes.
I designed and produced all the stationery myself. I created a hand calligraphied invites printed on Colourplan paper, so I got to do lots of different colours. I did all the place cards by hand, in white ink on grey card, and other written touches around the venue.
We did lots of it ourselves! We did the decorations, some of the flowers, the invites, the table decorations, the lights, the seating plan, the quiz, the entertainment, and the cakes!
My sister did a reading in the ceremony, and my sister-in-law played ‘Arabesque’ by Debussy as we left the ceremony room.
Special Moments or Highlights
It was all perfect. I am really struggling to choose the best moments! My dad’s speech was a surprise, he’d gone off-piste and written a ‘story of my life’ in a huge book that he read out and embarrassed me with (although I got my own back in my own speech)! Dan’s speech was so lovely. Jerome’s best-man speech was the best I’ve ever heard, and Ming’s quiz reading had the room collapsing into laughter. I loved getting ready with my bridesmaids, loved seeing friends and family from London, Spain, France, America and further afield all in one place. At the end of the night, we went back to our lodge and my mum had made us a ‘wedding quilt’ that had the date of the wedding sewn on it. That was a great surprise!
Advice for other couples
I would definitely recommend having a guestbook and a polaroid camera there on the day. Looking back through the book has brought us lots of joy and it will be treasured for ever. I would also say to just do what you like! I had lots of people commenting on how ‘untraditional’ the wedding was, but we didn’t even realise, we just made it a day that we would be comfortable with and be able to enjoy all of – and I think that’s the most important thing.
How much we both enjoyed it! It surpassed all expectations.