I’ve known Fiona through the English Wedding Blog for years. She’s an absolute gem of the wedding world – a super talented photographer and one of those genuinely lovely people whose emails can brighten up an entire week. So when Fiona sent me images of her and David’s very own wedding, I instantly knew I had to share it with all of you – and oh my, it’s just so beautiful!
“I loved our wedding, perhaps most of all because we had such a beautiful ceremony. I had a lovely friend who is a priest perform the ceremony, and we got married in a gorgeous private Catholic chapel owned by the Tempest family for ten centuries. While I was saying my vows I looked up at my husband (who is very tall) and noticed the ceiling, which was covered with blue and gold stars. It felt almost as if we were saying our vows under heaven! We also had a blessing for my son, Leo.”
Images are by Holly from Belle and Beau Photography, who is based in Yorkshire and travels throughout the UK and further afield to shoot weddings in her inimitable fine art style. Discover more from Belle and Beau Photography here:
“It was wonderful to have that backdrop of such an amazing family to start off our own family. The house is stuffed with extraordinary antiques and has a very magnanimous attitude which I loved.
We had a theme of Jeeves and Wooster for our day, which brought a sense of fun and a twenties twist to proceedings. All the guests stayed on the estate, and we had them picked up in fabulous 1920s Bentleys from the station, just like a 1920s house party.
We invited 2 actors to play Jeeves and Gussie Fink Nottle (from the books by PG Wodehouse) and they went around being inappropriate and generally causing trouble in an entertaining way. Indeed they were so convincing that when I first saw them outside the church I wondered who on earth they were and whether the best man should have them evicted! Having a small party of close friends and family staying with us for the weekend was just wonderful.
The colours of the wedding were gold, flame, green, white and deep purple – very Autumnal to tie in with the season; we got married on 1st October 2016. My dress was an amazing translucent white lace, with a headdress of rose gold bees and dragon flies. Water lilies and dragonflies featured quite heavily – as did swans. Because of the season I went for flowers and fruits in deep Autumn colours. When David and I first went on a date there were swans doing a complicated dance with their necks, but every time David turned around they hid in the water and he just saw their bottoms, so that is why you may notice swans tails on the cake!
Because my father was ill (he sadly died on Valentine’s Day), we were in a rush to get married, so the wedding was arranged in just 3 months. It was very special to have my father walk me down the aisle, even though at the time I did not think he was as ill as I later realised he was. The wedding was arranged in a bit of a blur, pulling everything together very quickly with the help of my long suffering and wonderful planner, Michelle Kelly.
We had an incredible day, but my top tip would be to plan your wedding in a year! It was stressful and sometimes I had to take what was left rather than what I really wanted. One dress designer wanted to charge me a late fee that ran into several thousand pounds! Also I was in such a rush that I didn’t have time to consider what I really wanted. By the time I got to the big day I came down with the mother of all flu’s because of all the stress. In the end though it didn’t matter because what mattered was to get married, even if it was through a veil of tears! Special mention goes to my photographer, Holly Rattray, for making me look really quite healthy!
Our jazz band were absolutely amazing. They played a trio during cocktails, then a kind of New Orleans jazz style procession after dinner out to ‘Utopia’ which is Broughton Hall’s party place, then a big band during the evening. We also had some amazing harp music during the ceremony, sourced for us by Melisma Music. Sarah-Jane Morris and I have worked on 4 events now, and she found me the harpist as a wedding present which was so kind of her. She finds the most incredible musicians, including a violinist who reduced me to tears during my father’s funeral playing ‘Lark Ascending’. I also poached my make up artist from a wedding that I had shot (Bianca and Stephane, featured on the English Wedding Blog!), the amazing Jane Tyler.
Michelle Kelly made some very cool table settings and menu plans. The dining room has very strong colours already, so she created a fantastical, sumptuous table design with lots of gold and fruits, and Broughton Hall created an incredibly delicious menu, which we drank with barolo and champagne.
After dinner a New Orleans style jazz procession led guests to Utopia, the stunning modern venue that Broughton Hall offers for wedding parties. The metal and glass building is set in an amazing landscaped garden, and Michelle filled it with balloons. We had a cocktail bar in the side room, and David and I had our first dance here. We danced until about 3 am, before tiptoeing back to our state rooms, overlooking the formal gardens.
Recommended wedding suppliers:
Pocketful of Dreams
Belle and Beau Photography
De Winton Paper Co
Swallows & Damsons
Cherry Venue Dressers
Ad Hoc Actors
Sophie Rocks Harpist
Harrogate Choral Society
The Mini Big Band
First Choice Event Hire