This summer celebration was full of special family touches. Bride Rebecca reveals all…
How did Ashley propose?
Ashley proposed in the Lake District on our anniversary. We stayed in the Cranleigh, a gorgeous boutique hotel, and went out for a lovely meal then walked out by the water. I noticed that Ashley was a bit twitchy. As we walked back to our room at the hotel, the curtains were shut on the French doors. I knew we had left them open so I commented that someone had been in our room! When we opened the door, there were rose petals on the bed and champagne and chocolates on the side. I was so excited I didn’t even notice that Ash had got down on one knee behind me with a gorgeous diamond ring. I turned around and he asked me. I said yes straight away through happy tears and we opened the Champagne and watched a film.
What dress did you wear?
My Mum, Grandma and sister all came with me for a trip up to the Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I went to try on a strapless mermaid style with ruffles that I had seen in a wedding magazine and set my heart on, but when I tried it on it was beautiful but not ‘wow’. I ended up trying on about 10 dresses in all and Jess, our consultant, listened to what I liked and disliked and made helpful suggestions as to what to try on next. I tried on a Justin Alexander (style 8610) dress second and knew it was a serious contender. I went back to it at the end and knew it was what I wanted to wear on the day. It made me feel amazing and I didn’t want to take it off!
And the accessories?
I ordered a custom-made hair comb from Etsy to hold my veil, with intricate pearl detailing and a purple stone to match the bridesmaids dresses. I got my veil from The Wedding Room in Bolton and found some pretty diamante-covered ballet pumps from Zara. I was determined to wear flats for the wedding as I’m 5ft 10 and Ashley is just under 6ft, so any heel would have resulted in me being taller than him.
What did Ashley wear?
Ashley wore a grey three-piece suit from Slaters with a plum cravat that matched the bridesmaids dresses. They each had a different coloured pair of socks and Ashley wore his brothers tractor cufflinks.
How did you feel when you saw him up the aisle?
I was really nervous going into the church as I had been told that Ashley was terrified. There were a lot of mixed emotions as Ashley’s twin brother Ben had tragically passed away 8 months prior in an accident at work. In the weeks following Ben’s death we were really unsure as to whether to go ahead with the wedding. Ben had been due to be our best man and we knew the day was going to be very emotional without him. We tried to include him in as many ways as possible and we incorporated him into the service. Seeing Ashley stood at the top of the Church without Ben there was incredibly difficult but became easier when we got to the top and I could check that Ash was ok. Our vicar definitely put us at ease from the off and soon had everyone laughing.
Who were your bridesmaids and what dresses did they wear?
My sister Katie was my maid of honour and I had three other bridesmaids, my two best friends and my cousin. They wore plum, one-shouldered dresses with an empire waist and corset back that were made by a local seamstress.
What was your wedding theme and how did you create it?
We decided on a woodland theme because Ashley is a Tree Surgeon and we are both quite outdoorsy. We had logs as our table centres with gold vases filled with Roses, Hydrangeas and greenery made by my wonderful Grandma. We had trees brought into the marquee that we wrapped in fairy lights and the stationary had a matching tree motif that I had designed. My grandad created mini log place card holders, and our favours were miniature Green and Blacks chocolates, wrapped in a personalised plum ribbon. I spent ages gathering plum chair sashes and tea-light holders with plum candles, to help create the magical woodland feel. Our gorgeous wedding cake was a sparkly ivory sponge covered in green leaves, purple flowers and gold branches, made by the Wedding Cake Company at Bashall Barn.
What was the highlight of your day?
There are too many to pick! Our good friend, Gus Mackenzie bag-piped us into the marquee. The bagpipes come out on every special occasion and were also played at Ben’s funeral so that was really special. We had some hilarious moments – with my garter falling down in the Church! My dad’s speech was amazing and had everyone laughing. We also managed to find the right balance between remembering Ben and keeping the speeches light hearted and happy. I was so proud of Ash when he stood up to make his speech as he’s generally quite a private person and I know it was one of the parts he was least looking forward to. We also stole 5 minutes together outside at the end of the night with all the fires lit, listening to all our guests dancing away to the band inside and having a brilliant time.
What’s your saving tip?
Buy as you go along. I paid for bits and bobs each month so we didn’t have a massive payout at the end. Also, shop around, you don’t need to go to the best shops for everything – my chair sashes were bought as a job lot on ebay brand new for about £30 and we had 150 guests!
Date: 15th August 2015
Wedding venue: The Inn at Whitewell, Lancashire
Photographer: Karen Julia Photography
Becky’s dress: Justin Alexander
Ashley’s attire: Slaters
Bridesmaid dresses: Custom made