Hey everyone! I have the loveliest English wedding to share with you today – classically beautiful but with wonderful modern touches you’ll adore, I promise! Gemma and Niall had a church wedding followed by a garden reception at Niall’s parents’ Yorkshire home.
There are so many wonderful details: the flowers are a highlight, and are by the fabulous Susie at Hart Company. Gemma is stunning in a Lusan Mandongus gown, and Niall looks amazing in a Saville Row bespoke suit.
Their photographers – James and Lianne – were incredible on the day and get a glowing review from the bride and groom. Do check them out if you’re planning a Yorkshire wedding:
So now – wedding time 🙂 you will LOVE this! Watch out for the almost-tumbling cake(!) and the gorgeous portrait shots – a part of the day which was really special for lovely Gemma and Niall. Enjoy.
Our English wedding report: Niall + Gemma
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
We were really pleased. They fitted in at the wedding perfectly and blended in with our guests really well. We felt so relaxed with James and Lianne from the minute we met them (over Skype initially) and that helped enormously. During the shoots we had a real laugh and it was an enjoyable part of the wedding, rather than a feeling of being away from the day to take some photos. The photos were fantastic also which obviously helps!
A marquee in Niall’s Mum and Dad’s garden in Bishop Monkton, North Yorkshire.
02 August 2014
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
All our friends and family with us, enjoying themselves in a place that was special to us.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
James could not have timed it better, we picked up our photos on the iPad sitting in the reception of the W Hotel San Francisco, just before we set off to the airport to fly home from our honeymoon. It brought back all the amazing memories and completely cheered us up.
Your wedding style and theme:
We were quite relaxed about style and theme (just going with stuff we liked) but ‘Classic fresh marquee wedding’ probably sums it up quite well.
Any happy tears on the day?
Niall made a really good speech and spoke about his brother and family. That had a number of the guests in tears 😉
How did the two of you meet?
We met through an online dating site. Gemma was nearly an hour late to get to the pub so we very nearly did not meet at all. Niall, thinking he had been stood up, was moments away from heading home. He is very glad he stayed
Niall joined the website for a month along with his two housemates and all of us have gone on to marry the girls they met on the site that month.
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
We got engaged at Christmas 2012 but with Gemma completing her masters in digital marketing, we only really started planning the wedding around August 2013 (a year or so before the big day)
Best bit of budget advice?
Set a realistic one, but don’t be a slave to it. If something is slightly over your budget but you want it, then get it. You will treasure the memories more than a few more pennies left over.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
We bought a save the date stamp from notonthehighstreet and had the rest of the wedding stationery designed to match. We also wrote a personal message on the back of the menu which was part of the place setting.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
All the dresses I tried on were beautiful so it was a tough decision! In the end I went with a designer I felt fitted my body shape the best and the dress that I felt was the most flattering. I absolutely love, love, love my wedding dress and feel much more emotionally attached to it than I ever imagined I would. I’m trying to devise a plan to allow me to wear it again (still as Mrs Walker of course!)
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Lusan Mandongus from Teokath Wimbledon.
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
Not many as I’m not much of an accessories person, plus I wanted the dress to do the talking, but I did add a Swarovski crystal belt (also Lusan Mandongus) on the dress to give it some sparkle and to define my waistline. I also had a veil which I wore during the ceremony, and a lovely pearl droplet hair accessory from etsy. (Oh, and a garter of course!)
The groom wore:
Niall took the opportunity to get a suit and shirt handmade on Saville Row. We went to all the fittings together and really enjoyed the experience of choosing the material, lining etc. Although quite a lot of money, it means Niall has an amazing suit to keep rather than spending money on a hire suit. Niall’s groomsmen and both our Dads bought suits in the same colour and we bought matching ties from Thomas Pink for everyone to wear. The tie was a pattern called Harrogate flower (we all staying in Harrogate the weekend of the wedding) so it suited perfectly!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
They wore ‘Lori’ knee length dresses from Coast in grey. They were ready to kill me when I changed the colour of the dress two weeks before the wedding! I’m so glad I did though as they all looked so beautiful and the dresses were perfect!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
This was probably one of the hardest decisions I had to make! I hired professionals in the end as my worst nightmare would be it all going wrong on the day and then being too much of a nervous wreck to fix it! I’m really set in my ways as to how I like my hair and makeup so this was probably the only thing I went a bit bridezilla about! I loved my makeup on the day and felt really pretty when it was all finished.
Our wedding flowers were done by Susie at Hart Company. http://hartcompany.co.uk/. Susie and Miles are a husband and wife team and the neighbour of one of Niall’s oldest friends from school (John and Hannah). Niall had met Susie and Miles a few times at various BBQs and parties and Gemma had loved the flowers Susie did for John and Hannah’s wedding a year or so earlier and so was really keen to use Susie. We had a really great experience, totally trusted Susie to come up with the ideas and left her to it. The results were amazing.
What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?
Smiling and laughing a lot and just how much we both enjoyed it. It is quite a surreal experience and over very quickly, you forget there are 100 people all watching you. Gemma’s cousin commented after the event that the ceremony was the most fun one he had ever been to!
We had one religious and one non-religious. We wanted the non-religious reading to really mean a lot to us and we went for a poem called “This day I married my best friend”, author unknown, read beautifully by Niall’s Mum.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We had a marquee in Niall’s parents’ garden so had a blank canvas. Gemma had seen a picture of a marquee with paper lanterns and tea lights hanging from the roof, so we researched these, ordered online and hung them ourselves the day before. They looked amazing, especially in the evening when the lights were down and provided a great distinction between the dance floor and the dining areas. We also put a huge amount of faith in our florist Susie who did not let us down and married the flowers with the lanterns perfectly by using different height arrangements. Niall’s mum and dad also put a huge amount of work into the garden for months leading up to the big day and so it looked absolutely amazing. We had flowers everywhere and positioned newly painted furniture all over for guests to enjoy the whole space not just the marquee. Our sweet shop which Gemma made using old fashioned jars, scoops and sweet bags also went down really well with everyone.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Gemma went wedding dress shopping with Niall’s sister in law Jess and a throwaway comment made whilst looking at a wedding magazine meant Jess ended up with the job of making the cake. She did an amazing job of it and the cake looked amazing (a tiered sponge cake). We had to cut it before dinner as it was about to fall over, but that all added to the fun.
We had a classical guitarist during the ceremony and drinks reception and then a band in the evening playing all our favourite songs.
On the day tips and advice:
Don’t worry about everyone else having fun and just enjoy yourself. The day goes by in a blur so just try and take it all in!
Think about what you are going to do for the whole day, not just the wedding. Niall went for breakfast on his own at a restaurant around the corner from the hotel, before his groomsmen arrived and really enjoyed it as a time to just enjoy and take in everything that had and was about to happen.
What’s the best thing about being married?
It’s just a feeling that is hard to describe; ‘officially’ being part of the same family makes you feel an even closer unit. The best thing about being newlyweds is referring to each other as “husband” and “wife”!
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
- Marquee; our marquee guys were absolutely amazing. It was really important to Niall that his parents house was respected and Nigel of Classic made sure not a blade of grass was damaged. Also, nothing was too much trouble all week and they helped out in every way: http://www.classicmarqueesyork.co.uk/
- Caterer: food was fabulous, with a number of guests commenting that it was the best food they had ever had at a wedding: http://www.yorkshireparty.co.uk/
- Florist: see above http://hartcompany.co.uk/
- Photographer: See above http://jamesandlianne.com/
- Videographer: Penny and Ed were lovely and worked brilliantly with James and Lianne: https://vimeo.com/103077108
- Entertainment: Warble Entertainment – these guys have loads of wedding bands on their books to choose from and its super easy to look through, listen to short demos, read reviews, look at the song list etc