A Claire Pettibone dress for an intimate, relaxed, Yorkshire barn wedding.

To finish the working week I have a lovely wedding from one of my favorite Yorkshire venues, The Priory . I wrote about the Priory back in 2010 when I went to visit Serena who runs it, you can read my review HERE . Since then I have been to the Priory on several occasions and I love as much each time I go back. The wedding was sent into me by Brooke from Brooke Parker Photography .

It’s the wedding of  Mike and Helen Cox  who were married on 13th October 2011 at Priory Barn, Syningthwaite, Yorkshire. with 18 adults, 5 children and 1 dog. Mike and Helen describe their day as ‘It was a perfect day that fitted our personalities: we didn’t want a big deal with hundreds of guests. We had an intimate, personal, relaxed day that was emotional for us and our families and close friends.’

Such a gorgeous wedding and I am in LOVE with her dress! the little details are beautiful and the flowers! Just stunning!

How they met
We had gone to the same high school and lived 5 minutes away from each other throughout our childhood but didn’t get together until we were 25 after randomly bumping into each other on a night out.

The proposal
Mike whisked me away to Florence for a long weekend and it truly was the most romantic place I’ve ever been to. On the second afternoon I remember thinking that Mike was knocking a few white wines back quickly but I now realise that was down to pre-proposal nerves!
We were ready to go out for a meal and we walked over the Ponte Vecchio, which is the oldest bridge in Florence and really beautiful at night. Apparently he had plans to go down on one knee in the middle but it was full of people and some kind of band playing so he freaked out and dragged me round the corner to a taxi rank to pop the question!

The wedding planning
We had planned to get married in May 2012 but when Mike heard he’d been successful in a job promotion that was to see us relocate to Los Angeles in November 2011, we rushed it forward to October 2011 giving me 3 months to plan. Eek.
Although, it was stressful at times and there were certain elements that I had to let go, I really wouldn’t do it any other way; no time to procrastinate and of course, friends and family rallied round and everything worked out fine!

The venue
We originally wanted to get married in Italy, I had visions of getting married in a private villa overlooking Tuscany (haven’t we all?!) but when reality set in we asked around for venue recommendations in the North of England.
As soon as we saw the Priory Barn I knew that was the venue for us. The Cistercian Priory Barn dates back to the 12th Century and is truly beautiful. It overlooks the courtyard and the self catering private cottages. It really did feel that we could have been in Italy after all (if you ignored the good old Yorkshire weather!)
I loved that the venue was family run and so relaxed about our event. The venue would be ours for the 2-3 days and we could decorate as we wanted, source our own suppliers to make our day exactly how we wanted it.

The dress
Claire Pettibone, Kristene. The dress, made from a blush charmeuse silk with ivory silk guipure lace was so slinky and glamorous I knew it was the one as soon as my Mum cried!  I fell in love with it but knew we couldn’t afford the price tag. After one disastrous attempt at purchasing a replica dress (word of warning to any bride as daft as me: DON’T BE TEMPTED!)  I found my dream dress on www.preloved.co.uk  at a fraction of the cost and my lovely mum altered it from a 12 to an 8 with a few weeks to go. The ‘replica’ made excellent bunting!
Shoes were by Monsoon
Earrings from www.jannesvintage.co.uk
Vintage clutch- my something borrowed from a very dear friend

The suit and bridesmaids
Three piece suite from Reiss, White Shirt- Hugo Boss, Cufflinks- Mulberry (a present from me on the morning of our day) Brogues- Barker.
Bridesmaid wore dresses from Coast and were a good match to my dress with a vey similar heavy guipure lace in a dusty pink colour.

I suppose the theme was vintage inspired with lots of lace and colour palettes of soft, antiqued pinks, gold and white.  I wanted the ambience to be romantic and got married at a later time in the day so that fairy lights and candles could light the courtyard and marquee.

Canapés following the ceremony with a pink champagne reception, we hired the saucer champagne glasses.
We were able to offer our guests a choice of foods because our party was so intimate.
Starter choice of Ardennes pate with a red onion marmalade and warm rustic loaf, Home made fishcakes with a sweet chilli relish,  Homemade red onion and goats cheese tartlet.
Main choice of Traditional Topside Yorkshire beef with Yorkshire puddings, goose fat potatoes and red wine jus, Rosemary marinated Denby Lamb with dauphinoise potatoes, Moroccan Vegetable tagine with couscous.
Duo of chocolate truffle for desserts
Petit fours

We did our own playlist- god bless I Pods!
Later in the evening the bartenders did a fire flair display that made the reception just that little bit different! We also released eco friendly sky lanterns.

My flowers were anenomies, ranunculus, gypsiphilia and white heather tied with lace and pearl pins. I loved the idea that the white heather was my good luck for the day!
The bridesmaids had smaller posies, the same just without the anenomies.
All the men wore buttonholes of white heather and a ranunculus but Mike had an anenomie as well.

A lot of candles; In the barn where we had the ceremony there were alcoves where we placed jars we’d collected with tealights and lace ribbon tied around in a bow, lanterns, hurricane lamps and fairy lights to create a really subtle glow.

Personal touches

  • We decorated the ceremony and marquee ourselves which was great but a little bit stressful.
  • My favourite personal touches were the white ceramic hearts my Mum made, each with a lace imprint. We tied them around the cutlery with vintage lace ribbon. Similar can be found at www.amberloladesigns.co.uk
  • My something blue was a gift from my grandma, a lace hankerchief that my Mum embroidered ‘Mrs Cox’ in blue.
  • We also had several ‘lucky’ keepsakes from my parents wedding cake, a little silver horse-shoe and dove that we placed on our cake.
  • We gave each guest/couple a book of one of our wedding readings; the lovely other dinosaur by Edward Monkton.

Special moments
Too many to list!

  • That feeling when you say” I do “ and walk out together as husband and wife is pretty special!
  • Hearing our daughter chatter away whilst we were saying our vows
  • Wearing my dream dress and feeling a million dollars!
  • My Dad holding my hand before ‘giving me away’ *gulp*
  • Mikes brother coming back from Spain to be his best man
  • Having all of our families together was emotional and lovely.

Do the day as YOU want it, don’t make decisions to please other people.
If you’re getting married on a small budget like us, keep it small and intimate and don’t get carried away with the minor details. Get married later in the day and use candles instead of flowers to create the mood you want.
Do think properly about the big details…like venue. All our guests thought our venue was the perfect setting.
Get a wicked photographer, it brings it all flooding back when they capture little moments that we’ll treasure forever.
Ask a trustworthy friend or relative to video the day. Our sister in law did an amazing job!
Let your friends help…my best friend helped me so much with ideas, contacts and sourcing suppliers… you don’t have to do everything yourself!

Biggest surprise
That I kept it together more than Mike on the day was shocking, I thought I’d cry all day long but I was just elated more than weepy, where as Mike had a few wobbly moments!
My Dad had threatened to embarrass me during his speech for years but there was mild teasing at best, it was just lovely.
Mike surprised me with a Tiffany gold heart locket after his speech which I wear every day.He’s definitely a keeper!


Supplier Shout Outs

  • Venue: Priory Barn, speak to Serena. You can have your bespoke wedding just the way you want it, the location is idyllic. The cottages are modern and luxurious yet the venue has the history and character to make you feel anywhere else but Yorkshire! www.priorycottages.co.uk
  • Photographer: BROOKE PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY Cant put in to words how thrilled I was/ am at having Brooke photograph our wedding. The photos blew me away, exactly what I wanted and more. She really did capture all of our personalities and they are so arty and different to any other wedding pictures Id seen before. LOVE them. www.brookeparkerphotography.co.uk
  • Bar:  Escapade Bars; Our bar was fantastic! The bar tenders were awesome at recommending cocktails, helping you choose your own bespoke cocktail and then letting you make it! Watching my little sister shake her own cocktail was something I’ll remember forever! They did a fire flair display later in the evening, so entertaining, completely different to the normal reception; everyone LOVED it! Can’t recommend this supplier enough! www.escapadebars.co.uk
  • Caterers: Zoe @ Taste Cuisine was phenomenal , her organisation is second to none. She liaised with the venue and other suppliers for me. The food was delicious and the price is reasonable too.  www.tastecuisine.co.uk or www.loveevents.co.uk
  • Florist: Fiona Hogg. Lovely ladies and flowers were exactly as I imagined they would be. They were half the price of some other florists that I’d sought quotes from. www.fionahoggfloraldesigns.co.uk


For more information on Brooke’s work go to:
[email protected]
Tel no: 07843 314908

I am a female Bolton based photographer, originally from Greenwich, London, but moved up here 8 years ago to live with my (now) husband.  I love wedding photography that captures the real qualities of the day – the tears, the laughter, the glances between the bride and groom when they think nobody is watching……..!  I don’t think a couple’s wedding should be controlled by the photographer posing them in endless un-natural looking shots, but feel that a good photographer should be there to capture the real, genuine moments as they happen.

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    Gemma Throwing Pandas Mooney

    Beautiful dress and lovely intimate day! With my fiance’s family being unbelievably huge the smaller wedding really appeals to me! I was really surprised to recognise some faces as parents at my daughter’s school! Then noticed Brooke’s name too! Small world!! Think Brooke will be first port of call for my big day photos! They are beautiful!


    Would love to talk to the bride or bride’s mum about how this dress was altered… I bought this dress second hand two sizes too big and have been told it can’t be made to fit me! Devastated!


    I too love love love this dress and can you let me know if you would sell it at all??
    I live in Australia and my wedding is set for APril 14.


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