Hannah and Nigel’s Relaxed DIY Lancashire Wedding by Jules Fortune

I’m not sure how it’s happened but it’s Friday already! The weeks are going by faster and faster, I can’t belive it’s the weekend tomorrow! scary! So today I have a bright and sunny English wedding for you that took pace in Lancashire! It’s so nice to see some sunshine in an english wedding at the moment, especially as all our weekends seem to be cursed with horrid rain! It’s the wedding of Hannah and Nigel who were married on 26th May at Browsholme Hall, Clitheroe in Lancashire. The had 40 guests in the ceremony, with a further 50 for the evening.

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This lovely wedding was sent into me by Jules at Jules Fortune Photography. I nearly held a wedding at this venue myself last year but the bride decided on another smaller venue a few miles away. It certainly is a gorgeous spot especially with all that lovely sunshine beaming in! I love all the details that Hannah has put together which makes the day so much more personal to them.
They describe their day as ‘We thought our wedding was relaxed and enjoyable, and reflected just how much we care about each other. We had beautiful weather, friends and family and the best day of our lives.’

Lancashire Wedding

Lancashire Wedding

The Planning
It took just over a year and a half to plan. We wanted to take our time to allow us to DIY and add personal touches

How they met
We met in our very first class at university. We had to pair up and immediately chose each other. Since then we have been almost inseparable.
We have been together for almost 8 years.

The proposal
For our second anniversary we went to Tromso in Norway to watch the Northern Lights. Nigel had planned to propose either under the lights or on a dog sled ride. Unfortunately the lights never appeared and it was the first week it didn’t snow! On the last evening we went for a walk around the lake. It was a clear winter night and the stars were out so we sat on a fallen tree to admire the view. It was then Nigel asked me to marry him.

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The Venue
We wanted a smaller wedding ceremony, with only close family and friends. The venue was licensed to use the drawing room in the family house for the ceremony, and then the converted barn could be used for the wedding breakfast and evening do. The grounds were beautiful, with its’ own boating lake and fields and, importantly for the British weather, the internal areas were also beautiful.

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We had looked around at a few in our area. However we most liked Jules’ style of photography and the pictures. When we met her, her personality really put us at ease. She was very enthusiastic about her work and had some great ideas. We really liked the various editing techniques she used, and the types of album available. Importantly, we came away from the first meeting wanting her to be the photographer.

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The Dress
My dress was Tabitha by Charlotte Balbier, in antique gold. I had previously bought another dress but, 6 weeks before the day, I realised it wasn’t what I wanted. My sister and I dashed off to Te Amo in Whalley where the lovely Fran produced Tabitha. When I tried it on I knew it was just the dress I had been looking for.
I wore a birdcage veil by Linzi Jay, pearl earrings from my nana, a small pearl bracelet, and a small necklace Nigel had given me when we were first dating. My shoes were my ‘something blue’ by Joules. On the day I felt lovely.

The suit and bridesmaids
Nigel wanted to buy a suit he could wear again. He likes to be stylish and so treated himself to a light grey 3-piece Hugo Boss suit. The groomsmen also wore light grey 3-pieces, one from Topman and the other from Matalan. The pocket squares were John Lewis. The groomsmen’s ties were from M&S. Nigel chose a paisley tie from Reiss in order to differentiate from his best men.
I wanted to get my bridesmaids dresses they could wear again and eventually found these in Reis. They were simple and fitted them perfectly.

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We used external caterers, With a Twist, at our venue which allowed us to create our own menu. Our starters were pork belly or cheese soufflé. Mains were fish and chips or tortellini (although almost everyone had fish and chips!). Dessert was ice cream cones with various pots of sherbet, sprinkles or popping candy for guests to add on. For the evening guests we had a hog roast.

We had a DJ for the evening. We also learnt a few moves for our first dance to Ray LaMontagne ‘ You are the best thing’.

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I knew what flowers I wanted and so Nigel was happy to leave those decisions to me. We had a small budget and so I wanted to keep things simple. My bouquet was Avalance roses with eucalyptus, rosemary and gypsophila. Bridesmaids had posies made purely of gyp and tied with lace.
The registrars table and reception tables had 3 jam jars sat on a doily. Each jar had either roses, gyp or cow parsley.

The venue was lovely and so we didn’t really decorate. We just had a few jam jars with candles in them lining the path for the evening guests and a few paper hearts strung as bunting over the door.

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Personal touches
We tried to either personalise or DIY most aspects of the day. It was important to us that our guests felt like we had considered them all.
• Our invites were handmade by us
• We collected various sizes and shapes of jars to hold the flowers and candles. The ones holding the flowers had twine or lace wrapped around them to fit the theme.
• We both love Morcambe and Wise and so chose ‘Bring me sunshine’ as our song for exiting the ceremony room.
• Nigel is originally from Whitstable, Kent – famous for oysters. We collected oyster shells, bleached them and wrote each guests name on them to use as placecards.
• For the children’s placenames we bought small toy dinosaurs or animals and hung their names around their necks. We also had novelty straws with moustaches on them for their drinks. Both of these doubled to keep them entertained.
• We filled a toy box with dressing up outfits, books, and colouring books from the pound shop for the children to play with during the meal.
• Nigel’s dad made our cake stands from slices of wood.
• We didn’t want a conventional cake and so we had 3! My mum made individual fruit cakes, we bought Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and we bought a small cake for cutting from Sainsburys.
• I made the cake banner.
• Nigel made a frame for guests to hang ‘wedding wishes’ on.
• I made bunting from paper hearts for over the door to the barn.
• We made our own photo booth stand using a Polaroid printer and props from eBay.

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Special moments
Nigel says his highlight was seeing me walk down the aisle as it brought home to him that we were about to be married. We both loved the ceremony, especially the readings by Nigel’s sister and my grandpa, and because we couldn’t stop smiling at each other.
My loved being driven to the ceremony by my dad. He had borrowed his friends soft top car and insisted on driving with the top down and honking at everyone we passed. Between laughing at him and holding my hair together it was the perfect antidote for nerves.

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Planning Advice
We wanted to have as little stress as possible, and so made a plan of what needed doing and deadlines for each job. It made it easier to still retain some ‘normal’ life. Everyone also wanted to help us with jobs – I would definitely recommend you take their help!!
We found it was important to recognise when you should bend a little to accommodate family wishes, and when you should stick to your guns for something you feel is important to you both.
On the day, just sit back and enjoy everything. If something goes wrong it is likely someone else will take care of it without you knowing. And if you do notice, does it really matter? Chances are you will be too happy to care.

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Biggest surprise
Our BBQ caught fire – not just the meat but the BBQ itself. Luckily the caterers acted quickly and it simply provided additional entertainment for the guests!

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For more information on Jules’s work go to: 
[email protected]
07786 355408

Jules is a female photographer based in Lancashire. My photographic passions are Weddings, Lifestyle Portraiture, Bump Photography and Vintage Boudoir Photography. I love pretty details, emotion, capturing the moment and timeless classic style. I have been a freelance photographer for over 15 years, shooting boudoir and weddings for 6 years.

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    It was an amazing day and was very proud of my childhood freind for all she and everyone else accomplished. I wish them all to have the best life in the world and I love you both lots. Looking forward to Hannah helping plan my wedding. Amazing pics of the day and memories to last

    Jules Fortune

    Thanks for all the lovely comments about Hannah and Nigel’s Wedding. It really was a Special Wedding for me too, as they were such a great couple, open to ideas and very chilled out, which i think really shows. It also shows that a DIY wedding can be more than beautiful with a little creativity:)


    What a lovely wedding!! Really refreshing to see something so thoughtful and personal. Brill photos too, really complement the venue and wedding style :)


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