Maria & Shaun
Vintage meets rustic at this charming Yorkshire wedding
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Fox & Owl,
Shaun managed to combine happy memories with the buzz of live music when he proposed to Maria. “We were at a warm up gig for a festival in Leicester. The band, Vennart, were playing ‘The Frame’ at the time, which was one of the songs we’d had on loop during our road trip through New Zealand several years earlier. I felt so happy,” smiles Maria.
In pursuit of a wedding dress that suited her regular style, Maria turned to Needle & Thread for help. “I chose a beautiful, floor-length devoré gown with three-quarter-length sleeves.”
“I loved the elegance and simplicity of my dress – it felt very ‘me’.”
The bride accessorised with shoes purchased from Dune and a bespoke hair comb, featuring beautiful silk flowers, which was made by a friend.
“Shaun purchased a navy linen suit from Ted Baker to wear on the big day. He looked absolutely elated when I saw him at the end of the aisle!” A red, geometric patterned shirt and floral tie added a quirky touch of character to his otherwise more traditional groomswear choices.
Maria asked their three nieces to join her as bridesmaids, taking inspiration from her own dress to style her maids.
“They all wore vintage-style lace dresses in a loose fit with sleeves. Ivory ballerina shoes finished their outfits perfectly. I hired a hair stylist to join us on the wedding morning and spent a lot of time working out what style would work best with my look. A hair trial beforehand really helped to make my mind up and I chose an understated up-do.”
The couple married in a civil ceremony in the Brodrick Suite at Leeds Town Hall. “My beautiful mother walked me down the aisle to ‘Fluff’ by Black Sabbath. During the ceremony, my sister read ‘The Life That I Have’ by Leo Marks and Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Day The Saucers Came’.”
“Reciting our vows to one another has to be the best bit of the ceremony, although we did love to see our baby daughter pushed down the aisle on a tricycle that was customised by my sister especially for the wedding.”
“Just after the registrar asked whether anyone knew of any lawful impediments to our marriage, our baby daughter started to babble, making everyone laugh!”
We rode on a vintage bus from our wedding ceremony to the reception venue, which was brilliant fun.” After the journey, guests regrouped at The Brown Cow in Leeds for the wedding reception, which was a delicious affair. “We all tucked into pies, peas and Prosecco to begin with and had both a hot and a cold buffet later in the evening too.”
In a twist on tradition, several of the couple’s leading ladies joined the historically male line-up of wedding speeches.
“My mum made a wonderful speech that was funny, touching and beautifully written. It reduced me to tears,” Maria gushes. “Our friend Caroline also wrote an excellent poem about the story of our lives together. We encouraged her to read it out too.”
Embracing a crafty approach, the couple handmade lace bunting from old curtains to dress the venue with. “We also decorated jars with hessian and lace to lend a rustic feel to the flower arrangements they would contain. Fairy lights and candles by the bucket load were also obligatory for us!” The homespun, rustic decorations perfectly suited their vintage style and leafy location.
Arts and Flowers took care of the bouquets, buttonholes and centrepieces. The hand-tied bouquets offered a rustic, meadow feel with mismatched stem lengths and rustic foliage, which mingled with daisies, roses and nigella. Indigo buddleia blooms added just the right colour accent. The bridesmaids’ posies embraced a similar style in miniature for a charming effect.
“Our friend Leanne made our three-tier cake.”
“The cake looked and tasted amazing, covered in chocolate ganache and decorated with toadstools, moss and quirky animal cake toppers.”
The couple’s entertainment was in part a family affair, with the bride’s brother-in-law taking to the decks for a DJ set. “We also hired Martyn Roper and Serious Sam Barrett to perform two sets of wonderful blues music. Everyone was dancing and having so much fun,” they enthuse.
In another change to convention, Shaun and Maria opted not to have a first dance, focussing on sharing the fun with family and friends instead.
“We felt elated for hours dancing the night away. The whole day was just amazing.”
A charming cabin in Keldy Forest beckoned for the newlyweds after the big day. “We spent four wonderfully relaxing days there after the wedding.”
Their best tip for a big day you’ll love from start to finish? “Stick to having the type of wedding that is true to you both and your personal styles. Our day really was perfect for us because we did.”
CEREMONY Brodrick Suite, Leeds Town Hall
RECEPTION VENUE The Brown Cow, Leeds
DRESS Needle & Thread
GROOM Ted Baker
FLOWERS Arts & Flowers
ENTERTAINMENT Martyn Roper and Serious Sam Barrett