Lifestyle Magazine

Laughter, Tears, Beautiful Photography and a Red Wedding Dress

By Claire

I hon­estly don’t know where to begin — the sun­light flood­ing through the win­dows of Broadoaks Coun­try House Hotel near Con­is­ton will take your breath away. Emma’s red wed­ding dress from Coast is sim­ply stun­ning (I knew I recog­nised it… it got a men­tion at the end of this blog post from Feb­ru­ary where I claimed this dress as Mine! Revis­it­ing this blog post made me smile).

But more than any­thing else, Paul and Emma’s wed­ding report will stir the romance in every sin­gle one of you. It did for me: a cou­ple so much in love they spent their day hold­ing back happy tears, whose advice for you all is to:

“Do it your way, don’t feel pres­sured to have cer­tain ele­ments because you (or oth­ers) think you should, most of those thing won’t mat­ter on the day, it’s about peo­ple, not things.

Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (2)

Paul and Emma’s inti­mate, beau­ti­ful Cum­bria wedding

Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (3)

Who pro­posed, and how?

I pro­posed to Emma on her birth­day. I knew we wouldn’t be happy with an ‘off the shelf’ ring, and thought it bet­ter for Emma to be involved in the process, so used a pro­posal ring, engraved with the words ‘Marry me?’, and had arranged an appoint­ment that day to see a jew­eller to dis­cuss bespoke designs. So Emma sketched some ideas on the back of an paper bag(!), and that formed the basis of the final design, a white and rose gold ring with a pear shaped dia­mond and blue moon­stone.
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (4)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (5)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (6)

Wed­ding venue: Broadoaks Coun­try House Hotel, Trout­beck, Cumbria.

We were only plan­ning a small wed­ding (27 guests), intended to have the cer­e­mony out­side and only had a lim­ited bud­get. How­ever not many venues offered wed­dings out­side, and most were more focused on larger num­bers. Luck­ily Emma’s sis­ter Sarah (one of our brides­maids) came across Broadoaks, a lovely coun­try house in the Lake Dis­trict, out­door cer­e­monies an option, and the only venue we’d seen that was avail­able for exclu­sive use for a wed­ding of our size, within our bud­get if we booked a date no more than 4 months in advance. On our first visit it felt per­fect for us, we booked and had 16 weeks to plan and arrange… everything!

Wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher: Anurag Sharma, Shut­ter­leaf Pho­tog­ra­phy.

We met Anurag at a wed­ding fair, about a year before we even found a venue, and as soon as we saw his work knew that he was going to be our pho­tog­ra­pher. While many pho­tog­ra­phers offer documentary/reportage style pack­ages, very few have Anurag’s artis­tic eye and cre­ative skill, his work was so much more strik­ing than any­thing else we’d seen. He also offered a ‘pre-wedding’ photo shoot, which we thought was a really good idea to enable us to get used to being pho­tographed, and this proved to be the case.
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (7)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (8)

What did you wear?

Bride: ‘Kelly Maxi’ dress by Coast, black lace shrug from Next, ‘Wind­sor’ red shoes by Irreg­u­lar Choice.

Groom: A slate gray Hugo Boss suit (and watch-a wed­ding day present from Emma), flo­ral red tie by Robert Charles, but­ton­hole hand­crafted by the bride!
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (9)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (10)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (11)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (12)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (13)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (14)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (15)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (16)

How would you describe your wed­ding style?

The red and black color theme came from Emma’s strik­ing wed­ding dress, com­ple­mented by the sim­ple and styl­ish brides­maids’ dresses. Also, it was a very ‘hand­made’ wed­ding, with many ele­ments cre­ated by Emma.

The wed­ding ceremony:

Which read­ings did you choose? “Touched By An Angel” by Maya Angelou, read by Emma’s best friend and brides­maid Ellie, “I Will Be Here” by Steven Cur­tis Chap­man, read by Paul’s sis­ter Julia (also a brides­maid), and we read “I Promise” by Dorothy R. Col­gan (tak­ing alter­nate lines) as addi­tional vows.
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (17)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (18)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (19)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (20)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (21)

Wed­ding day advice:

When look­ing for sup­pli­ers, don’t stick to spe­cific wedding-related retail­ers, you can achieve a more unique effect (and save money) by look­ing else­where and adapt­ing items not nec­es­sar­ily intended for wed­dings. Some of our table dec­o­ra­tions were adapted orna­ments from Next, oth­ers were our own wine glasses with a sim­ple flo­ral arrange­ment inside. Our out­fits were from the high-street.

We found only hav­ing a lim­ited time to plan and arrange the wed­ding focused our minds, we had to make real­is­tic choices as to what we wanted, and what we could achieve. This often resulted in us going for a hand­made or adapted option, which was more per­sonal, it was ‘our’ day.

Do it your way, don’t feel pres­sured to have cer­tain ele­ments because you (or oth­ers) think you should, most of those thing won’t mat­ter on the day, it’s about peo­ple, not things.

We had such a lovely, mem­o­rable day, planned in a frac­tion of the time many peo­ple have, on a much smaller bud­get. It can be done, be cre­ative!
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (22)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (23)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (24)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (25)

What were your wed­ding highlights?

The Lake Dis­trict weather had no regard for our plans for an out­door ser­vice, and the inter­mit­tent rain through the morn­ing meant that by mid­day it was clear that we would be mar­ried inside. How­ever, the Music Room at Broadoaks was a per­fect alter­na­tive, we don’t think we would have found a venue with a bet­ter indoor option, and the ser­vice was exactly what we wanted, inti­mate and emotional.

The wed­ding break­fast was deli­cious (as was the meal we enjoyed on the pre­vi­ous night after we arrived at the hotel). All in all we couldn’t fault the venue, the staff were very accom­mo­dat­ing, the wed­ding coor­di­na­tor Jo made sure every­thing was dec­o­rated and arranged how we’d envis­aged it, and the over­all atmos­phere ensured we had a relaxed and stress-free day.

Wed­ding venue styling and details:

The wed­ding was mainly ‘hand­made’, Emma made all of the sta­tionery (invi­ta­tions, place cards, guest book), most of the dec­o­ra­tive ele­ments (paper pom-poms, paper flow­ers, but­ton flower posies), the favours, and also the beau­ti­ful but­ton bou­quets and buttonholes.

We asked our par­ents for any old but­tons they had (all moth­ers have a tin of old but­tons), many of which were incor­po­rated. These included some that had orig­i­nally come from our grand­moth­ers, mean­ing that 3 gen­er­a­tions were rep­re­sented in the bouquets.

Emma’s mother cre­ated the flo­ral arrange­ments, and a friend made the wed­ding cake, topped with hand­made Bat­man and Won­der Woman peg dolls (our house is home to a roost of bats) from Etsy (Amer­i­can, ‘Not On The High Street’-type web­site). All of this made our day unique and per­sonal, a fam­ily, hand-crafted affair.
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (26)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (27)

Mem­o­rable wed­ding day moments:

Emma: walk­ing down the aisle with my son, Joe (10), hold­ing back tears, the speeches given by Joe and Paul (again, hold­ing back tears) and our first dance… again, hold­ing back tears… gen­er­ally try­ing to hold back tears for most of the day!

Paul: see­ing my beau­ti­ful bride for the first time (hold­ing back tears… there’s a theme devel­op­ing here), Joe’s speech (we had no idea what he was going to say, and it exceeded both of our expec­ta­tions, he was great), get­ting through my own speech with laugh­ter and tears at the appro­pri­ate parts!
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (28)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (29)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (30)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (31)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (32)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (33)

Wed­ding music and entertainment:

We pro­vided all of the music with our iPods. For the cer­e­mony we spent many hours choos­ing string quar­tet ver­sions of songs from an eclec­tic selec­tion of our favorite bands (from Michael Jack­son to Muse) by the Vit­a­min String Quar­tet… they really amused us, and had the desired effect as we watched peo­ple slowly twig what they were hearing.

For the evening we had a dance floor, allow­ing us to play the expected wed­ding disco favourites, after our first dance to Flo­rence + The Machine’s ver­sion of ‘Halo’ (a song that always makes Emma cry), while in the Music Room Paul’s father hosted a wed­ding themed quiz, arous­ing some com­pet­i­tive spirit between the var­i­ous par­tic­i­pat­ing teams.
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (34)
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (35)

Paul and Emma’s rec­om­mended wed­ding suppliers:

We found it hard to find a venue and sup­pli­ers pre­pared to cater to a small wed­ding party. As a result most aspects we cre­ated our­selves, but thanks and rec­om­men­da­tions to the following:

Broadoaks Coun­try House Hotel

A lovely venue with a warm, wel­com­ing, fam­ily atmos­phere. http://www.broadoakscountryhouse.co.uk/

Anurag Sharma, Shut­ter­leaf Photography.

His work speaks for itself, but along­side this he is also a lovely guy, and he worked so hard for us on the day, while never being intru­sive. An absolute star. [I couldn’t agree more! Anurag is fan­tas­tic. Claire] http://www.shutterleaf.co.uk/
Cumbria wedding Shutterleaf Photography (36)

 



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