Hen parties are BIG business these days. No longer is it just about the men...
Today’s wedding is FULL of homemade details as the bride set about creating a completely personal wedding day for her and her husband. Set in the beautify York Maze, this wedding is bursting with smiles and a whole host of wedding pretty. Gemma, the bride, describes her day as ‘Vintage Shabby Chic’ and full of homemade touches. Complete with glamping and a HUGE bouncy castle this wedding is just lovely. Thanks to Chris and Verity from Sansom Photography for the photos.
Gemma and Richard were married on 27th April at York Maze. ‘Richard thought I was mental at first when I tried to explain that we could get married at a maze, which comprised of 3 large barns. But when we went to visit we knew it was perfect. The barns are a blank canvas so you can decorate however you wish. We were struggling to find a venue large enough to hold all our family and friends there was a lot of them, 370 people invited.
As there was no accommodation on site, we looked at hotels in York but we wanted something different so we found Glampit, which is glamping. We opted for the wedding package so the bell tent was set up with a double bed. Other guests camped overnight with us and we had a BBQ breakfast in the morning.’
15th October 2011Perfect surprise!!! After a romantic night at Fountains Abbey lit by floodlight and we went back to our log cabin. Relaxing in the hot tub I said it couldn’t get any more perfect than this. But I was wrong; Richard made his excuses and left the hot tub whilst I chilled out looking at the stars above. When I opened my eyes Richard was on one knee at the side of the hot tub proposing. My response was OMG are you being serious… Then of course said Yes!
The Planning process….
18 months of planning and it was all worth it! The day after the proposal I bought 3 wedding magazines because I could, we were engaged! The magazines and internet were a great source for ideas, but as a result we changed our minds I don’t know how many times.
The hen and Stag do’s were both in Amsterdam on different weekends. We also, had parties in the UK for people who couldn’t make the parties abroad. The stag had a golf day and night out in Leeds and the bride had a night out in Leeds followed by a pamper party at home the next day complete with hot tub and 2 beauty therapists.
Chris and Verity have been amazing! We couldn’t of asked for better images of our wedding. They even won an international award with an image from our wedding. Included in the package was a fantastic Pre wedding/Engagement shoot, which gave us the opportunity to get to know Chris and Verity better as well as getting used to being in front of the cameras.
The dress is from MGNY Madeline Gardner New York. The shoes are the most comfortable shoes I had ever worn, they are like slippers, but I didn’t like the look of them. I had seen in a wedding magazine that you could have your shoes hand painted so a started search online and I came across Le Soulier. Upon contacting Sonia, I knew she understood my ideas and created a prefect design. I am now displaying my perfect wedding shoes in our home as they are too fabulous to keep in a box.
I made my own brooch bouquet, using my grandma’s and great grandma’s jewellery and other jewellery sourced by myself and other family members. I wanted to create my own bouquet so that I could keep it forever and display it at home. I also wore my grandma’s turquoise ring which she gave me on my 18th birthday. I found earrings and necklace which complemented the pearls in my brooch bouquet and crystal elements on my dress.
I couldn’t have walked down the aisle without my girls! They were stars helping out the day before the wedding especially. Maid of honour Nicola was amazing, she organised my Amsterdam hen do, helped with the table plan and place settings. Bridesmaid Jessica created all the bridal parties beautiful hairstyles. Jessica’s sister Florence was our make-up artist on the wedding day and I would highly recommend. Bridesmaid Kaye saved the day in the morning by fixing my bridal jewellery. Bridesmaid Leah made everyone cry at the start of the ceremony leading the way for the bridal party and her perfect throwing of the petals.
The adult’s floor length chiffon Periwinkle bridesmaid dresses were from Dessy, Leah’s ivory bridesmaid dress was from Phoenix.
Fantastic flowers were created by my auntie Sarah. I sent her a few photos of what flowers we liked and she came up with the most beautiful creations. She even added flowers to some of our decorations, for example, the wishing well and garden swing to make them even prettier! She has started up her own florist from home called Sarah Bird @Home.
Cake maker extraordinaire Ivy Barker, Richards grandma with Richard’s help made the wedding cakes, 3 fruit cakes for the beautiful Wilson cake stand which we fell in love with and Richard’s imagination created the unique hanging birdcage sponge cake.
Decoration / DIY Projects
Where to start!
• Personalised handmade invitations
• Personalised handmade confetti cones
• Bunting (made by us and we had never sewn before).
• Handmade name tags
• Handmade fortune tellers
• Handmade photo bunting
• Handmade Mr and Mrs Barker letters
• Handmade signpost of places we had been (to go with our travel theme
• Handmade table plan
• Handmade bunting jam jars
• Crochet tea lights created by auntie Janet
• Handmade hessian cutlery pockets
• Hand wooden logs carved by the groom
• hand carved wooden distressed hearts
• handmade welcome sign
• brooch bouquet
• Mother of the bride wrote personalised poems about different aspects of the wedding process.
• We also had photos of departed loved ones together with a poem which my mum wrote especially so that they would always be a part of the day.
Too many to mention! Seeing each other for the first time at the end of the aisle, Dancing down the aisle as a married couple, Bouncing on the jumping pillow for photos more like fun, Confetti thrown all over us, Dancing the night away, Sleeping in a tipi tent on our wedding night. The day was better than we could have ever imagined.
Advice for other couples
• Have a contingency budget, as things always cost more than you imagine.
• Be careful of time creeping up on you, as you may feel you have lots of time to complete things for the wedding but before you know it it’s the month, week of the wedding. Fortunately we were very organised and stuck to a timetable, which helped a lot. It made the run up to the wedding much more stress-free.
• Create a wedding website – easy way to communicate with guests and keep them updated. We used getting married.com.
• Have an engagement party it’s a great way to celebrate being engaged and inform family and friends about the upcoming wedding plans which can be a long way off.
• Have an engagement shoot with your photographers it gives you an opportunity to get to know the photographers and get used to being in front of the camera.
• Why not have a post wedding party like we did, it’s a good way to show friends and family the wedding and honeymoon photos.