Rosie & Chris’s sunny woodland wedding in Cumbria, with Lauren McGuiness Photography
Why hello there you beautiful thing you! I am so excited to share today’s gloriously romantic wedding with you! Our gorgeous couple Rosie and Chris had chose to say their ‘I dos’ in a sunny woodland setting with an amazing atmosphere, at the beautiful Blaithwaite House in Cumbria. Their styling and theme was relaxed with outdoor themes including greenery, upcycled wood and the most magical personal touches. Blaithwaite is a beautiful estate set in 250 acres of Cumbrian countryside. Rosie and Chris were married in front of ‘Mary Jane’s Summer House’, a beautiful building from the Victorian era situated on a little island surrounded by water. They told me it’s an absolutely breathtaking setting for a wedding, and I couldn’t agree more – I just know you’ll love this!
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Lauren is a childhood friend, we’ve grown up through nursery, school and sixth form and 10 years ago travelled to America together. Lauren is a wonderful photographer, we choose her because she captures beautiful candid moments and has a relaxed approach.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We loved having Lauren with us on the day. Lauren was very professional, relaxed and proactive. Lauren went above acting as our photographer; whether it was hand delivering a card to my dad for me before the ceremony, playing Spice Girls at my request to calm my emotional mum helping me into my dress or helping talk round an upset child before the wedding breakfast so that the speeches wouldn’t be delayed, she was amazing.
Before our big day Lauren took the time to understand what aspects of the day were the most important to us, and if there was anything she should know. We decided to set her a challenge. We requested that Lauren take one photo of us and withhold all copies of it for a year until our first anniversary. Our first anniversary will be paper and we’re very excited to open our print of the one photo we haven’t seen yet. We’re unaware of anyone else doing this and are very much looking forward to our anniversary!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We first got a glimpse of our photos whilst on our minimoon in the Lake District. Lauren had done a same day edit and posted about 30 photos with a lovely message on social media. When we later viewed the rest of our photos in the online album Lauren had put together for us we were over the moon and made an evening of looking through them.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Some suppliers like our photographer and our band we’re chosen because they are friends and we love the work they do. We didn’t attend wedding fayres to find suppliers, we ended up using a number of small local businesses that were recommendations from our friends, family and our venue.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
AirTable is a great app that I used to plan our wedding and our honeymoon. It helped us keep track of what we were spending. I’d highly recommend it. These days couples are opting to hire venue stylists or are at least allowing more money for venue decoration; with the exception of the lighting we did all the decoration ourselves which kept costs down.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
I’m glad we hired the whole venue privately from the night before. It meant that our families could come together sooner and we could make a weekend of it. Also our band, Last Anthem were incredible. They had to travel a fair way but they were well worth it. Booking Last Anthem is booking a guaranteed good time!!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Chris’ uncle is a graphic designer so he designed our stationery as a wedding present. It was so thoughtful and completely bespoke.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes!! My dress was Cassiopeia by Jenny Packham. I loved the lace which was made up of wildflowers and leaves. My dress was the first one I saw in the window and the second one I tried on.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I bought my dress from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, we had an incredible experience and I would highly recommend them.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I really wanted to wear the hair piece my mum and my grandma wore but it was very fragile. Instead we used a local company Rebecca Williams – Wedding Designer who created a bespoke hair vine for me and hair slides for my bridesmaids.
My shoes were from Lace and Favour, I was really lucky to find them, as they had wildflower lace detailing that complimented perfectly with my dress.
I also wore my mums diamond earrings and my mixed metal Rolex.
And what did the groom wear?
Chris wore a tailored fit ‘sharkskin grey’ suit from Moss Bros with their Terelle Olive Diamond waistcoat and a sage green cravat, as well as his Grandad’s cuff links and leather belt. He also wore Signature Italian Leather Monk Shoes in black from Next.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My sisters were my bridesmaids and they wore beautiful open back dresses from True Bride. The dress is available from the Luna range and is called ‘Roxie’, in Melon shade. As a thank you gift I bought them jewellery from Swarovski, called Lady Necklace and Earring Set, which they both wore on the day.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My makeup was by Emma Askew. From the point of booking to first meeting at my makeup trial and then my wedding day, Emma was amazing. She is professional, easy to contact and great to work through styles and ideas with. My hair was done by Charlotte from Hair Bonito. I would highly recommend Charlotte for bridal and occasion hair, she was an absolute pleasure. With Charlotte and Emma there helping us get ready we had the perfect morning.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
My flowers were arranged by Anne from Bay Tree Florists in Carlisle. I was very relaxed about what I wanted and let Anne take the reigns. I wanted mostly foliage with only a few complementary colours in my bouquet to tie together the colours in Chris’ outfit and the girls dresses. My bouquet featured two types of eucalyptus, peonies, sweet avalanche roses, veronica and more.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Our venue was beautiful. The outdoor area did not need any decoration, the setting was picturesque and we had beautiful weather so everything was looking it’s best. That being said we did make our own wedding arch, from wood we re-purposed from our garden. We didn’t need any decoration at the bottom of our aisle so we placed the arch at the top, that way everybody got to walk through, interact and get photos with it. Our reception was held in a sandstone barn and the only additional decorations we added were uplighting next to the walls which created beautiful, light, colour and shadows on the sandstone and fairy lights hung from the rafters.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We did all of the decoration ourselves. I used a pyrography pen to write everyone’s names on their place setting, a tree slice we’d cut from old trees in our garden. We used personal items such as the first Valentine’s Day card I gave Chris and the set list from the first gig we ever went to as decorations on the tables. We used our huge ornate living room mirror for the seating plan. We even used the wood from our first ever dining room table to make our Order of the Day sign. We spent a lot of time putting everything together ourselves but we think it was worth it because it meant we were able to enjoy our wedding over many months rather than just on the day.
We also made our guest book, we wanted something we hadn’t seen done before so we made a small book made of pages in 60 different colours. Each page asked for a song recommendation and included a suggestion such as ‘Essential Road Trip Song’ or ‘Song that reminds us of university’. We’ve put everyone’s suggestions into a VERY eclectic playlist and have displayed the pages in a huge frame that from a distance looks like an artists colour chart.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
Chris’ Auntie Dawn has been making family wedding cakes for years. She created our stunning 3 tier, rustic cake with pure white ganache icing with a rough ruffled/combed effect, finished with fresh flowers that matched my bouquet.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
I first met Last Anthem when I was working as a Wedding Coordinator/Duty Manager at a venue in North Yorkshire. I only have the highest praise for them, they are fantastic. Booking Last Anthem is booking yourself a guaranteed good time. We actually changed our provisional date with our venue so that we could book them. They are that good.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
General life advice. Time flies, get a calendar. We like to look back at the calendar to see how much we’ve done in the year. Write down everything you have planned, but also go back and retrospectively write down all the spontaneous events you had, it’s not always about the big moments, it’s the little moments that add up.
What’s the best thing about being married?
We both bring different qualities and strengths to our relationship, we’re literally stronger together.