An English country real wedding that had all the traditional touches – and a Robin Hood-style twist…


Who: Abbi and Ian

Where: All Saints Church, and Rudding Park, Harrogate

When: August 2009

Photographer: Melissa Bennett

The proposal

Childhood sweethearts Abbi and Ian first met as teenagers, and have been together for over 10 years. “Ian proposed to me at Martha’s Vineyard in America,” says Abbi. “Even though we’d been together for ages, he still took me by complete surprise!”

The bride’s real wedding outfit

“I went to Elizabeth of York, an amazing shop which stocks lots of beautiful dresses by different designers,” she says. She looked radiant in her Maggie Sottero dress, teamed with cream satin peep-toe shoes and her Grandmother’s pearls.

“I fell in love with my wedding dress as soon as i tried it on. It just looked and felt perfect in every way…”

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The groom’s outfit

The groom looked every inch the glamorous groom in his classic black suit from Great Clothes.

The bridesmaids

The three bridesmaids were sparkling beauties in their Champagne coloured dresses from Debenhams – a perfect colour choice for any English country style wedding.


The ceremony

The romantic bride set her heart on a traditional English country garden real wedding, and the couple’s ceremony at All Saints Church got the day off to the perfect start. During the ceremony, a string quartet and classical singer performed Amazing Grace and Ave Maria. “They also played Can’t Take My Eyes off You as we left the church,” says the bride.

The transport

Bride Abbi, was bowled over by her Mum’s surprise real wedding present: a beautiful traditional horse and carriage, to chauffeur her in style on her big day – a great addition to an English country garden theme.


The reception

Harrogate’s Rudding Park was the backdrop for the couple’s spectacular evening celebrations.


The decor

The real wedding theme was brought to life with dusky pink roses, ribbons, pearls and hearts. “Our table centres were cream candle lanterns wrapped in ivy, positioned on mirror plates and surrounded by roses and peonies,” explains Abbi.

The cake

The spectacular four-tiered wedding cake was made by one of the bridesmaids Lucy, a part-time cake maker.


The entertainment

The happy pair gave their traditional English wedding theme an added twist by hiring an archery range.

The honeymoon

The couple enjoyed two breaks away: four nights in France, followed by an African adventure a few months later.