Elaine & Benjamin
Whimsical flowers adorn this elegant country house wedding venue for an utterly romantic big day
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jessica Reeve Photography,
Elaine and Ben really did get to enjoy a honeymoon period at the beginning of their relationship. “We met on a six-month university exchange in Malaysia. We ate out every day, headed off for minibreaks most weekends and connected straight away. One of the stand out moments has to be the night we spent lying in a giant hammock over the sea, stargazing on Tioman Island,” Elaine smiles.
The proposal happened much closer to home, although in the equally as romantic setting of Middleham Castle. “We took the scenic route to get there, driving with the top down in the sunshine. The whole day was perfect – the privacy, the setting, the chance to celebrate all day drinking Champagne and walking in the castle gardens with our puppy.”
Elaine had a blissful experience when visiting bridal boutique, the Harrogate Wedding Lounge in search of her wedding dress. “They were unbelievably accommodating and friendly, not only to me but to my mother and sister who came too. The range of dresses is incredible, and their laid-back but knowledgeable approach made me certain I was making the right decision.”
The bride chose the ‘Montgomery’ dress by Maggie Sottero – a champagne lace princess dress.
“I wanted a long veil to enhance the lace on my gown’s bodice and I wore flowers in my hair with it. My bridesmaids gifted me a bracelet with the flower of Scotland on it, Ben surprised me with a Swarovski bracelet and my father gave me a stunning blue tanzanite ring.” The bride’s shoes, which were studded heels from Dune, offered a second something blue.
The groom turned to Charles Tyrwhitt for his attire. “Their service was outstanding – perfect for a man who wanted to buy an entire suit in one place. Our friend made cufflinks for Ben, his groomsmen, our fathers and grandfathers, featuring our wedding date and a Yorkshire rose. Ben looked very handsome, but there’s no change there!”
Six bridesmaids attended the bride.
“The one thing I knew was that I wanted yellow, Audrey Hepburn-style dresses.”
“My mum found similar designs that came within budget and looked stunning. The girls all seemed happy with our choice. I gifted them Yorkshire rose bracelets to say thank you for sharing the day with me, too.”
Elaine didn’t only share her wedding morning with her best girls – family friends and hairdressers Heather Jane and Jeanette Barnes also joined them. “They were incredible, keeping our spirits high and creating relaxed hairstyles for us that I couldn’t have been happier with. Lisa Hammond, from Make Up By Lisa, was perfectly calm – exactly what I needed. We got on really well at the trial, so I was comfortable with her on the day.”
The couple tied the knot in the chapel at Rudding Park, Harrogate.
“We were able to have a religious ceremony but with our own personal touches. It actually surprised me that our service was the best bit of the day.”
We chose a Yorkshire theme for our whimsical country house wedding. Many of our guests were visiting the county for the first time, and my husband couldn’t be a prouder Yorkshireman, so it felt right. I couldn’t have done the decorating without my mum, though!”
Handmade signposts pointing to the couple’s favourite places formed the centrepieces. “I’d spotted the idea in Wedding Ideas and called in favours from family to make it happen. I also enjoyed a girly day decorating jam jars and bottles, filling them with flowers from Leeds market. Our florist, Amy Fairburn Flowers, also went above and beyond to make the room look stunning.”
The bride’s bouquet had a fresh from the meadow aesthetic and featured astible, eringium, roses, lavender, eucalyptus, gypsophila, asters and green bell, tied with hessian. The florist styled flowers on the staircase, also weaving in ivy, enhancing their whimsical country house wedding style.
“We asked our favourite local café to make our wedding cake!”
Created by The Sunshine Bakery in Leeds, their naked cake featured lemon, chocolate and vanilla layers. Sloe gin and miniature bottles of whiskey for favours added to the tasty feast, while also offering a nod to their Scottish and Yorkshire heritages.
The fun didn’t stop there, with a camper van photobooth, fireworks display and even clay pigeon shooting all on offer to keep guests entertained, not forgetting their live band, too!
“We shared our first dance to ‘Iris’ by Goo Goo Dolls.”
“We wanted a song that wasn’t too soppy and would get the party started… and it did!”
After the excitement of their wedding these newlyweds were ready to relax. “We went to Lagos in the Algarve. The hotel was right on the beach, Jet2 took care of every detail and we had the most beautiful rooftop bar. Lagos was perfectly suited to our preference for quirky bars and laid-back restaurants and allowed us to relax, kayak, explore the west coast, beach hop and even head into the mountains too!”
VENUE Rudding Park, Harrogate
DRESS Maggie Sottero at Harrogate Wedding Lounge
GROOM Charles Tyrwhitt
ACCESSORIES Swarovski, Dune
INVITATIONS Wedding Tea Towels
FLOWERS Amy Fairburn Flowers
CAKE The Sunshine Bakery, Leeds
ENTERTAINMENT Ferrensby Fireworks, Class Laser Clay, Rogues Gallery Band