Every English wedding should have character, and plenty of it. It doesn’t matter where that character comes from: from yourselves, from the venue you loved at first sight, from the wedding dress you adore or from the speeches or band. Your wedding should fit your personalities. It should be an occasion you will both remember fondly in years to come.
Cat and Tom’s wedding shows you don’t need to make your own bunting to have a beautiful and personal wedding day which is filled with character. Their Yorkshire wedding is elegant and classically simple, with beauty to be found in Cat’s dress and wedding style (they really are a gorgeous-looking couple!), and in the magnificent wedding venue.
Cat and Tom were married at Yorkshire’s Castle Howard, in The Temple of the Four Winds. It’s stunning. This is how memories are made – and with gorgeous wedding photography by Mark Tierney along with Cat’s wedding report, I’m sure you’ll enjoy taking inspiration from their English wedding blog!
A classic English wedding: Castle Howard, Yorkshire
The bride and groom:
Cat Allen and Tom Openshaw (now both Openshaw)
Who proposed, and how?
Tom proposed on Christmas Day in the Lake District, we were on holiday with my family in a hotel in a little village that got snowed in and we were taking an evening walk. We were sitting in a church yard overlooking the village below when he popped the question.
Wedding venue: Castle Howard, The Temple of the Four Winds
Wedding photographer: Sheffield wedding photographer Mark Tierney
How would you describe your wedding style? Classically simple
Which wedding readings did you choose?
What did you wear?
I had two dresses as I could not bustle my main wedding dress.
1st dress – one shoulder, fit and flare dress with a long train, I also wore a veil.
2nd dress – short, sweetheart neckline, netted dress.
My dad walking me down the aisle (he had a brain tumour 2 years ago, the surgery left him with balance difficulties, which means walking is a difficult task – when we first got engaged I didn’t think that he would be able to)
Emily’s reading, it was a surprise for us – a beautiful reading!
A contemporary English wedding reception:
What were your highlights? We had already said all of the speeches at the wedding ceremony venue so when we got to the evening venue (after a 40 minute ride back in a 1929 classic car!!) we could just chill out with our friends – we were introduced into the dining area, but then just milled around speaking to friends and family that could not make it to the wedding (day – 40 people, evening – 150 people )
The Ceilidh was lots of fun – getting everyone on the dance floor was very easy!!
Having all of our friends together was our biggest highlight – there are some people who we have not seen in years (we both went travelling for 3 years and met people there, Tom was in the air force for 8 years, I went to university, we have both had a few jobs since coming back to the UK, – we have met so many friends in our lifetimes, but they are spread all over the country/world that it gets hard to meet up with them – our wedding was a great excuse!!)
Wedding venue styling and details:
The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in York, we left the building as it was due to its amazing wooden beams and all the history within, we wanted to leave it untouched so the guests could look around.
For the tables we had cream table cloths, with a few candle lanterns and small silver hearts dotted around – simple! (The guests could take these if they wanted as we did not have specific favours) For the meal we had a hog roast!!!
Wedding day advice:
Once the day has arrived, just let go and let everything happen – your wedding party can sort anything out behind the scenes for you if necessary.
When planning the wedding, keep it simple and take your time making decisions
Recommended English wedding suppliers:
We had a local band called ‘Blackbeard’s Tea Party’ which I found playing on a street corner in York – they are a young group but amazing, they are passionate about their music which is the most you can want from a folk band! They play in all the local festivals etc. and are very dedicated. http://www.blackbeardsteaparty.com/ and on facebook https://www.facebook.com/blackbeardsteaparty (Very folky, love them! Claire)
Our food for the venue was supplied by Poppy Caterers; they were one of 5 that we could choose from as the venue had very specific needs due to the nature of the building. They were very professional and the food/service was exceptional. http://www.poppymarquees.co.uk/
My wedding dress came from an amazing shop in Penrith – KoKoa Brides. They are a family business and were very very helpful, friendly, accommodating and such a wonderful environment to pick your dress in. They have 3 floors of dresses for your specific price range and are very honest which is refreshing!! The alterations/tailoring were very well priced too. http://www.kokoabride.co.uk
Mark Tierney is a great wedding photographer – we did not want too many posed photographs and wanted to capture the day with true emotions – Mark is perfect for this and there are so many amazing photos it’s been really hard to limit ourselves in choosing for our album. We had a free engagement photo shoot so that we could get to know each other before the big day which was fantastic as we knew what to expect on the day. He has a great eye for artistic shots and we are so very grateful for him recording our special day! http://www.tierneyphotography.co.uk/
There is more from Cat and Tom’s wedding on Mark Tierney’s wedding photography blog (I couldn’t fit all the images here, but recommend you go and see more!) www.tierneyphotography.co.uk/blog/castle-howard-merchant-adventurers-hall-wedding-photography-temple-four-win/
I loved this image as a parting shot: The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company provided fabulous transport for Cat and Tom’s wedding guests www.yorkshireheritagebus.co.uk