When you think of a festival wedding, you may automatically fast forward to summer, outdoor...
Some weddings take years to plan, I think I took just under a couple of years to plan mine. However Grace and Mark, today’s gorgeous couple, took just 3 months to plan their’s, proving that you don’t need as much time as you think to plan the perfect day. Once they decided that they didn’t want a long engagement they set to work getting their wedding for 35 of their dearest friends and family ready. They had help from friends and family with things like the stationery and decoration and added some gorgeous colour with the beautifully bright blooms. Carn Patrick was there to capture the day and the results are these, light, bright, gorgeous photos.
Grace and Mark were married on 29th September 2018 at The Fig House at Middleton Lodge in North Yorshire. ‘We only looked at two places, it was an easy decision because of the stunning walled garden and it wasn’t too big for a small wedding, we loved the relaxed feel of the restored orangery. Also – they had last minute availability and we didn’t want to have a long engagement or spend ages looking at venues. We had 35 guests and it took just 3 months to plan! We are very laid back people and didn’t really do too much planning it was more about the people with us that was important!’
How they met
We met in a Mayrhofen, a ski resort in Austria when we were both living out there doing ski seasons. We moved in together after 2 dates, 6 years ago!
Mark took me to Lake Garda as a surprise for my birthday, we did a summer season there 5 years ago and hadn’t been back since so it was really special. He made me climb to the top of a very big mountain at the side of the lake, and at the top there is a little chapel where he got down on one knee with a ring he designed himself. It was a complete surprise and very romantic!
How did you allocate your budget?
We were very lucky as Grace’s parents very kindly paid for the wedding. We knew we wanted to have something small and more personal and this would allow us to spend more on the food and wine as we are passionate about food and wine! This is one of the reasons we chose the venue as we knew the food would be great, as it was more expensive than other venues, and all of our guests said it was the best food they had ever eaten at a wedding!
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We splurged on our photographer as we had originally budgeted for £500 and spent more than twice this after realising that descent photos would cost more! Because it was last minute we didn’t really have time to look at lots of photographers so once we had found Carn we sealed the deal!
We saved on stationery as this was a gift from my sister in law, the wedding dress was relatively inexpensive, and my mam made the cake! My brother drove me to the wedding in my Dad’s Jaguar so this was a special moment for us all and also saved on paying for a car!
How did you choose your photographer?
The photographer was recommended through one of Grace friends from school. We did a video chat and realised there and then that Carn was a very like minded to us and knew that his personality would work well with all guests.
Funny story! I bought a dress in a naïve panic the day we booked the venue after trying only two on in an outlet and deciding I didn’t want a ‘real’ wedding dress. One month before the wedding I realised I had made a big mistake and bought a ‘real’ wedding dress from Wed2b in Middlesbrough. The girls in there were amazing and made me try loads on until I found the right thing – I ended up going for something totally different to what I had in mind and loved it! I wore it with a belt and cathedral length vail and my mam bought my shoes from Debenhams for the original dress which worked perfectly!
The suit and bridesmaids
We bought Mark’s suit from the outlet at Bicester Village and he had a double-breasted waistcoat tailor made. I asked the bridesmaids to wear whatever they liked and didn’t see their dresses until the wedding day, it was a coincidence they went for the same colour. Liv, who lives in Italy bought her dress from a bridal shop in Verona and it looked amazing on her and Amy bought hers from Asos and it suited her perfectly.
Theme or colour scheme
Just really simple rustic and low key. We collected unusual gin bottles to put flowers in and had lots of nods to our time in Austria such as cow bells, framed pictures of the mountains and a ‘shot ski’. Our guest book was a globe that we asked everyone to sign, another nod to our love to travel.
My flowers were amazing! Again, really last minute I went with my mam to see the lovely Diane at Dianna Kaye in Yarm and told her I wanted bright colours with mixed sizes and textures. All my favourites were in there and the colours were beautiful and so autumnal. We had flowers on the chair ends, bouquets, button holes and in our hair (bride and bridesmaid) as well as in the gin bottles which were dotted around the venue.
We asked Grace’s Dad to come up with some ideas and left him to it! He painted plant pots with rosemary in and distressed them and added gold leaf. They looked amazing! He also made a sign which looked really cool! The gin bottles dotted around the venue looked great and we had loads of candles everywhere too.
The most amazing canapes were served with Moscow mules and Brambles in the garden. For dinner we had Tiger prawns with samphire to start, followed by duck breast and then pistachio parfait. We had street food for the evening food which was lamb koftas, empanadas and burritos. We also had a four tier ‘cheese’ cake which we bought the day before from a cheese deli in Darlington.
Grace’s mam Janice made a gorgeous three tier semi-naked cake. Gin and lavender, carrot cake and lemon drizzle cake. It was a hit with all of our guests!
We hired a DJ for the evening, but most of the evening was spent outside huddled around the fire pits!
Who supplied the stationery?
Grace’s sister in law Amy is a graphic designer, we gave her total control as didn’t really have a vision or a theme!
Grace’s brother Will played the guitar for her walking down the aisle to Adele ‘Make you feel my love’.
The rosemary pots from Grace’s Dad, the framed sign outside. We are friends with a hotel owner in the Dolomites who have a huge wine cellar, they gave us hundreds of corks from really special bottles of wine and we used them to create the place cards for the table. Our favours were little jars of sloe gin. We also had a cigar bar that went down pretty well around the fire pits after dinner!
Grace’s brother Will rang a huge cow bell when we had our first kiss – it was such a cool moment!
Mark: My highlight was when Grace walked into the room. She looked stunning and lit up the room, I was so proud to be marrying her.
Grace: The first dance was my favourite part of the day, as well as seeing all the people we love around one table! We wrote our own vows, and Marks were so beautiful, even my brother cried! The whole thing is a blur, but the ceremony and first dance will always stay in my mind!
Advice for other couples
Don’t stress! We couldn’t wait to be married and didn’t care about the details so much but it all turned out perfect for us, don’t do what everyone else does because you think you have to!
Mark wrote a poem about me and read it during his speech! It was very lovely and very funny!
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