Kate and David’s perfect English summer wedding at Hassop Hall, with John Mottershaw Photography

Kate and David’s wedding is beautiful, perfect… the dream summer wedding at a venue I know is a pretty special place (my cousin was married here!) – and they have the loveliest images to remember it by, from John Mottershaw Photography and with my friend Carol Elizabeth Photography as his second shooter on the day. “We ended up having 2-4-1 on the wedding day as John brought in Carol as an extra pair of hands, so we were very lucky! They both fitted in so well with the guests and you barely noticed they were there snapping away.”

“We were both so pleased when we came across Charlotte’s boutiqueShe was completely different to other boutiques. We sat down while we filled in a questionnaire like what was my budget and what sort of designers I liked etc. and then I just started trying on dresses that she would pick out for me. She would then use the feedback I had on certain dresses to then pick out the next dress. Until finally I found the one! I knew it was perfect from the moment I tried it on.”

Kate and David used the internet for inspiration, and shopped from independent businesses online… “Pinterest for lots and lots of ideas. Etsy and not on the high street for all the little extras like guest books and wedding favours.”

Images are by John Mottershaw Photography, whose website and social media links are all here for you to enjoy!

The English Wedding Blog Interview: David & Kate

Wedding photographer’s website: and

How did you choose your photographer?

When initially trying to find a photographer I first looked at photographers who had worked at our chosen venue. That’s when I came across John. I loved his style of photography; he is able to capture the spirit and emotion of the day without the use of staged/formal photographs. He has a stunning portfolio of pictures and I knew straight away that that was the sort of photographer I was looking for.

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

Yes we were very very pleased! We met up with John before the wedding day to do our engagement photo shoot. David was a bit skeptical as he hates having his photo taken but it was an excellent opportunity to get to know John and help up us feel relaxed in front of the camera on the day. 

We ended up having 2-4-1 on the wedding day as John brought in Carol as an extra pair of hands, so we were very lucky! They both fitted in so well with the guests and you barely noticed they were there snapping away. I still wanted some formal photographs on the day to ensure family groups were caught on film and have some “couply” photos. This was so efficiently run and hardly took anytime at all, so we were then able to re-join our guests and carry on enjoying the day. We were both adamant we didn’t want a day that was only about having photographs taken like so many wedding attended previously. With John and Carol we were able to get the perfect balance.

Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?

It was like re-living the day all over again from a different prospective. The day goes in such a blur and John and Carol were able to capture all the special moments which might have otherwise have gone unnoticed.

John gave us all our photos in 6×4 prints before choosing our album photos. This was such an excellent idea as it made the difficult task of choosing between all the fabulous photos easier. It helped us to be systematic which would have been more difficult to do on-line. 

We were thrilled to bits with our completed album. All the photos were edited perfectly and it was it was all bound and presented very professionally. We know we will enjoy looking through all the photographs now and for many years to come.

Wedding venue:

Hassop Hall, Derbyshire

Wedding month:


Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

Relaxed, natural, English country wedding.

Your wedding style or theme:

I love flowers! I am a secret flower fairy by heart and was obsessed with flower fairies when growing up. So even though I never had a strict set style/theme all I knew was I wanted to feel like a flower fairy on my wedding day!

Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)

Pinterest for lots and lots of ideas. Etsy and not on the high street for all the little extras like guest books and wedding favours.

What’s your top tip for saving money?

Make the most of family talents and if your creative yourself have a go at making what you can because you save yourself a fortune and can make things just how you want them.

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

Looking after your guests with good food and drink! I was a strong believer that your guests travel along way to attend your wedding and I was adamant I wanted all the guests I invited to be there for the whole day and for them to be fed and watered well. 

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?

I made all my own wedding stationery, except for my save the date cards as once the date was booked I wanted it in everyone’s diaries as soon as possible.

I was addicted to Pinterest in the months of planning my wedding and used this for inspiration for my wedding stationary.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes! But it was a very stressful experience! Every girl dreams of the day she gets to buy her wedding dress; I just didn’t realize it would be so difficult! I knew what I didn’t want but found it hard putting into words what I did want. Me and my sister went round hundreds of boutiques and I tried on lots and lots of dresses. Some of them were very nice and but none of them had that definite “yes” feeling and I was adamant I didn’t want to just “settle” on a dress that was just nice. SO we were both so pleased when we came across Charlotte’s boutique.

She was completely different to other boutiques. We sat down while we filled in a questionnaire like what was my budget and what sort of designers I liked etc. and then I just started trying on dresses that she would pick out for me. She would then use the feedback I had on certain dresses to then pick out the next dress. Until finally I found the one! I knew it was perfect from the moment I tried it on.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

 Bridal boutique: Charlotte Thompson Bridal Boutique

Wedding dress designer: Lusan Mandongus

Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!

My mum has her own business making floral hair pieces and accessories made from leather so I made good use of her talent! I wanted a reef of flowers in my hair which was perfect being make from leather as it didn’t wilt and I will be able to keep for many years to come. This went perfectly with my plain simple veil. My style is often “the simpler the better” so as my dress was already quite detailed with the lace and with the flowers in my hair I didn’t think I needed much jewelry or other accessories. So I wore my grandmas peal earrings and my mum’s beautiful sapphire and diamond bracelet. 

My shoes were from Debenhams and were plain satin to match the detail on my dress.

And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?


The Groom and groomsman wore classical navy blue suits. We brought all the suits due to some handy discount at a high street shop and as the suits will be able to be worn for many occasions again it was money worth spent.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?


I brought my bridesmaid dresses from Charlotte. I wanted a nice soft natural color that worked well with soft pastel colors… so I chose grey. JLM couture was the designer of their dresses I wanted soft floaty floor length gowns. They all looked beautiful in them. My flower girl wore a pretty white dress from monsoon.

My mum made all the bridesmaids and flower girls hair pieces as well as the button holes.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

I wanted to relax and enjoy the morning getting ready with my mum and bridesmaids so I hired in the professionals that came out to hassop.

The girls were excellent as there was so many of us to get ready it worked really well having Lauren do the make-up and Louise do the hair. It meant it wasn’t too rushed getting everyone ready in time.

I wanted to look as natural as possible and they were able to achieve just what I wanted and my hair and make-up stayed perfectly all day.


Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)


For my flowers I wanted soft, pastel flowers that looked like wild flowers plucked from the meadow/hedgerow. I spent a long time looking for a florist that would be able to capture that look, as I wanted nothing too structured or formulaic. This is just what I found with Marianne and her mum who specialized in English flowers only using flowers either from her own garden or local suppliers. They were perfect and the arrangements fitted in perfectly with the theme of the day. 

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Anyone who has ever been to a wedding at hassop hall can tell you that the venue is stunning in its own right. The ballroom is magnificent with tall ceilings, chandeliers, oil painting and large mirrors. The only decorations needed were the flowers to keep with my theme. I had tall arrangements in glass vases to ensure that the table center pieces weren’t lost with the height of the room. Flowers were also put over the fire places and going up the stairs with other floral arrangements dotted around the venue.


Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?

I made all the wedding stationary, confetti cones, cards basket, table plans and name cards. It saved us a fortune but was a very time consuming job. I don’t think I realized making 100 of everything would take such a long time! Despite this I did really enjoy making them, I used to do a lot of art pre-uni and while I now have a very busy demanding job; it’s nice to do something totally different.

The other handmade elements of the wedding were the “table entertainment”. We split up our guests for dinner so I put things on the table to get people talking. I made a crossword asking questions about mine and David’s relationship, “I spy” photo-card and a wedding mad-libs. All inspiration came from Pinterest which was full of ideas!

The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?

David’s Auntie made our wedding cake and wow what an amazing job she did! I asked for a 3 tier circular fruit cake with a garland of flowers to go around it. His auntie does sugar craft and all the flowers were made from sugar, lots of guest thought they were real flowers until they got up close! An amazing talent so we were very lucky. And it tasted amazing!


Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

We both met and studied in Scotland so for our evening entertainment we thought we would do something our English friends and family would find very different. We had a celidh!! It was great fun and the dance floor was never empty. Ceilidh’s are a great way to get everyone up dancing because it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the steps! David’s brother’s guitar teacher is in a ceilidh band so we were lucky he was able to get a group together for the evening.


On the day tips and advice:


Enjoy it! You can plan plan plan as much as you like before the day but on the day it is important to just sit back relax and savour every moment. It is a truly amazing day so treasure every moment because believe me it will be over in a flash.

What’s the best thing about being married?

 To know that you will always have each other no matter what life throws at you.

Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms: – photography    – wedding venue   –    my Mum’s business    – bridal boutique     – florist   – hair and make-up    –  cars

As an English Wedding Blog sponsor, Carol Elizabeth Photography has a dedicated page right here on the blog: Oxfordshire wedding photographer Carol Elizabeth


Carol Elizabeth Photography provides informal wedding photography in Oxfordshire


Contact & Bookings: Carol Elizabeth Photography

Google Plus:

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.



  • Jennifer Sinclair
    3 years ago

    What a beautiful wedding; lovely to see some sunshine

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