Vintage English and French country chic wedding

Amina got up at 5am to collect her wedding flowers from the wholesaler: little flowers like lavender, rosemary, pink peonies, roses, baby’s breath… made into bouquets by the bridal party on the morning of the wedding. And they’re so very beautiful.

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Ben and Amina married at Middleton Lodge in Yorkshire (which they hired for the weekend). Their special touches are fabulous: from the flowers to the beautiful hand-torn reception stationery.

But what I love most of all is the anticipation running up to the ceremony – Ben’s expectant glance upstairs to see his bride, and the romance in the portrait photos and during the first dance. This one’s an absolute cracker! You will love it. Enjoy the wedding report from Amina and photos by Sansom Photography!

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Ben and Amina’s vintage English & French country chic wedding

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Who proposed, and how?

We were doing a long distance relationship at that time, Ben lived in Leeds and I lived in London so our weekends were precious. On one of our weekends in London just over a year ago Ben proposed at the top of the Oxo Tower.
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The venue:

Middleton Lodge, Richmond, North Yorkshire- a beautiful private country mansion that we hired for the whole weekend. It was only the second place we viewed and fell in love with it instantly. We had close friends and family over for a BBQ the night before the wedding, with more friends arriving on the day. It really felt like a home from home and made a very relaxing and special weekend.

The photographer:

Sansom Photography (Chris Sansom and Verity Woolf). These guys come as a pair which was brilliant because it meant we had so many photos to choose from. We also had an engagement shoot a few weeks before the wedding which was really useful to get us both relaxed in front of the camera.

How would you describe your wedding style?

Vintage English/French country chic
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What did you wear?

Bride: Enzoani Dakota dress in Ivory with Enzoani Diana belt. Shoes from Dune. Jewellery from Swarovski. Hair comb from Debenhams.

Groom: Bespoke suit by James Michelsberg Tailoring in Leeds. Shoes from Jeffery West.
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We chose a civil ceremony as both our families come from different religious backgrounds.

Which readings did you choose?

One of my closest friends from medical school read a beautiful excerpt from Jane Eyre.
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What were your wedding highlights?

It’s so difficult to pick a specific highlight of the day as the whole weekend was so relaxed and seemed to go without a hitch! Even the weather held up for long enough for us to finish our photographs outside.

It was lovely to see both our families, most of who were meeting each other for the first time at our wedding (!) and some who had travelled over from Africa getting along so well, by the end of the weekend it was like they had known each other for years.
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Wedding venue styling and details:

Although there wasn’t a colour scheme for this wedding as such, we loosely based things around lavender. The favours were different coloured French macarons- hand made by Ben’s mother, they were presented in an ivory box tied with lavender organza ribbon.

The bouquets were made on the morning of the wedding by the bridal party. The flowers, which were pink peonies, roses, gypsophila and a small purple flower similar to lavender were purchased from RG Flowers, a flower wholesaler in Bradford.

The table centrepieces were a wedding gift from Ben’s aunt and were from The Willow garden in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. The centrepieces were beautiful wreaths containing amnesia roses, hydrangea and lavender with a central candle in a hurricane vase.We also used lavender and rosemary tucked into the menus at each place setting.

In the run up to the wedding I collected as many photo frames as I could, and placed them around the house during the weekend with photos of Ben and I during our engagement shoot as well as some baby and family photos of us both. It was a little touch to make the place feel even more like our own home for the weekend.

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Memorable wedding day moments:

All of the speeches were extremely entertaining- the father of the bride didn’t leave a dry eye in the marquee after his touching words, Ben’s speech was sharp and very witty, and the best mans speech had just the right balance of humour, embarrassing stories and even more embarrassing photographs!

Wedding day advice:

Savour every moment because the day goes past so quickly! Don’t fret over the small things….. too much. A bit of attention to detail is never a bad thing though.
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Wedding music and entertainment:

Before the ceremony we played music by Ludovico Einaudi, I walked down the aisle to a beautiful romantic piano version of the wedding march by Miranda Wong. A friend played the piano during the signing of the register and through part of the drinks reception.

After another friend’s band had to pull out at the last minute, we luckily found an amazing 5 piece soul band called Out Of The Blues, based in Leeds. In addition to their two sets during the reception, they also did a wonderful mellow jazz set during the wedding breakfast which went down a storm.

Our first dance was “At Last” by Etta James. The reception carried on until late into the night and after the traditional party was over at midnight, we moved into the cellar bar at the venue for a late night session until 2am which was DJ’d by a friend.
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Recommended suppliers:

  • We were lucky enough to have most of the big stuff taken care of by Middleton Lodge as part of their wedding package including food, drinks, wedding coordination, marquee and everything inside it. So I would definitely recommend Middleton lodge as a venue not only for the beauty of the place but for the excellent staff who made us all feel so special that weekend and who made sure that everything went without a hitch.
  • For flowers I would recommend RG Flowers wholesaler in Bradford. I had to get up at 5 in the morning to get my flowers but anybody who can source the elusive peony at the end of August is a genius in my book!
  • The band we used was Out Of The Blues and they are based in Leeds.
  • Gift bouquets for the bride’s mother and groom’s mother and aunt were from Anastasia Flowers in Leeds.
  • Table centrepieces were from The Willow Garden florist in Hebden Bridge.
  • And of course Sansom Photography, based in Leeds. They did an absolutely brilliant job of capturing every aspect of our day so vividly.

More? Read
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Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Dearest Claire,
    What a lovely and exotic wedding à la English and French Country Chic! It is amazing that at this time of the year you scored such lovely peonies. Very unique wedding cake with those peonies. Love the bride’s gown and her hair do. Congrats on this one and a compliment to both families for feeling like they knew each other for so long… That speaks highly of mutual respect and love and serves no doubt as a lasting foundation.
    Best regards,
    Mariette’s Back to Basics

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