A Spring Browsholme Hall Wedding bursting with flowers

REBECCA + TOM STEAD – 24th MaySt Stephen’s Church Skipton and The Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall

Today marks Rebecca + Tom’s very first wedding anniversary so…as I have over forty weddings to blog (yes FORTY) I thought they’d be the perfect couple to start wit ha-spring-browsholme-hall-wedding-bursting-with-flowers. I loved everything about their day, the grounds of the venue really are stunning and seeing the Tithe Barn all lit up and decorated was beautiful. It’s always a pleasure on a wedding day to hook up with Emily from La Bella Boutique and Becca from Beauty with Becca so together with Becky and her girls we had a fabulous morning and that atmosphere continued throughout the day. I sincerely hope they’re having a wonderful time celebrating their anniversary in lockdown. I have visions of them both huddled on the sofa together with a Gin in hand whilst flicking through the pages of their wedding album. Congratulations you two! I hope you enjoy your blogpost. This is their day in their words.

What made you decide to get married where you did? St Stephen’s Church had been my family church growing up and Tom went to the Primary School attached to the church. Where we said our “I do’s”, along with our first dance song, were the easiest decisions of the whole wedding! For the reception venue, Tom was the one that found it online and asked me to book an appointment. We knew we wanted somewhere rural, that had character and a relaxed feel. When we arrived at Browsholme and saw the barn, the beams, the lights, the courtyard, the views; we were just in love! It suited us both to a T and we came away knowing that’s where we wanted to celebrate our wedding! 

How many guests? We both have big families so we had 100 guests during the day which was mainly family and our closest friends. In the evening we were able to invite all our friends and had a big celebration with 170 guests in total.

How long did you take you take to plan the wedding? It took us about 15 months to plan the wedding with a few breaks in between whilst we also re-designed the interior of our home after a house flood that happened 3 months into wedding planning!

How would you describe your wedding day in 2 sentences? Easily the best day of our lives so far filled with so much love, laughter, and gin!  the most special and wonderful memory to treasure for the rest of our lives.

How did you meet? And how long have you been together? We met when we where 15 and 16 years old walking home from school. Our family homes where within a 2 minute walk of each other so we started walking home from school together every day, sitting on a bench on Skipton Bailey to extend the walk as long as we could! Which coincidently was the place we shared our first kiss a year or so later! Sixth form and University took us different paths and whilst we always stayed in touch it took Tom along time to get me to agree to a ‘first date’. After along time coming, we have now been together for 6 years.

Tell us about the proposal It was a Friday Date night in February. Tom had suggested going for a drink at one of our favourite bars, The Two Sisters, before a lovely meal at The Fleece in Addingham. He suggested parking at his Mum’s house so we could get a taxi and leave the car in Skipton. Tracing the steps of our walk to and from school Tom popped the question on Skipton Bailey by ‘the bench’ that had naturally become our little spot.

Where did you splurge and where/how did you save? The whole wedding felt like a massive splurge! Our biggest splurges where the flowers, the dress, the drinks, the music and Tom’s shoes! We saved a lot on the stationary as I did it all myself. We tried to save on my shoes too, I wasn’t that bothered about getting anything fancy with them being covered up all day, comfort was my main priority. After ordering 12 pairs I finally found a pair that fit and they happened to be my favorites too – winner! Another way we saved were with our decorations. Instead of hiring bits like the sweet jars, a card box, signage frames and candle holders we bought ones we liked that we could use in our home after! The card box is now my jewellery box and was also lent to one of our best friends at their wedding, the candle holders come out when we are hosting friends and family, the frames hold the postcards of the places we visited on our honeymoon and the sweet jars store all our dry food! The centre pieces and name card holders where a lot of fun to source; we used gin bottles and wine corks… a perfect excuse to have a drink! Unsurprisingly a lot of our friends and family where VERY willing to help us collect these too!

How/Why did you choose your photographer? Our photographer was another easy decision. I had followed Georgie’s Facebook account and Instagram after seeing so many gorgeous photos she had taken for family shoots and at friend’s weddings. I absolutely loved her style especially the emotions and the gorgeous colour tones she captured in her photos. We booked a meeting with Georgie and knew straight away she was the Photographer for us. Within 5 minutes the three of us where laughing and chatting and got on really well. Both Tom and I left the meeting loving Georgie’s energy and feeling like we had known her for years! Having never had our photos taken before we were a bit nervous about photos on the day but we knew Georgie would put us at ease, make us laugh and most importantly we would have fun whilst being photographed, which we absolutely did!

Who was your dress by? And your accessories and shoes? My dress originally was ‘Allure Bridals’ which I found at the amazing Orchid Designs. I fell in love with the lace pattern and lace trim on bottom of the dress but the shoulder cut, bodice and net overskirt really was not me! I knew I wanted capped sleeves and the net overskirt gone so the lace detail was the main focus of the dress. Liz at Orchid Designs laughed as I came out the changing room with the net overskirt wrapped around my waste like rubber ring but completely understood my vision straight away and completely transformed the dress into a completely bespoke piece that was exactly what I had envisaged! She thought about every detail from the beading, to how the lace would sit on the sleeves and then even made me a bespoke veil to match the lace details in the dress. It was absolutely perfect! Accessories; I wore the jewellery given to me by my Grandma which had been a present to her from my Grandad, that was really special to me. Tom had bought me a gorgeous pearl bracelet which I received on the morning of the wedding which complimented my Grandmas jewellery perfectly! My shoes where Rachel Simpson a designer I found online.

And the suit? And bridesmaids? The suit was a Marc Darcy suit from Bridgewater Menswear and the bridesmaids dresses where ‘Dessy’ also from Orchid Designs. I had no idea on colour or style for the bridesmaids dresses so I let them lead the way. All the bridesmaids picked out dresses they liked at a few different shops and they all tried them until we found a dress that they all liked and suited them all. This also helped us to pick the colour tone that best suited their complexions too! My bridesmaids all looked absolutely amazing on the day, the dress suited them all perfectly, they really where a vision of beauty!

Did you have a theme or colour scheme you were working towards? We never really ‘picked’ a theme or colour scheme as such. The colour scheme just naturally came together by chance through my paintings, our flower and button whole choices and the bridesmaid dresses. In terms of a theme we again never picked or tried to create a specific style we just picked the things we liked and it all just came together how we wanted it too.

What sort of flowers did you have? My goodness the flowers where just AMAZING! They where up there with one of my faveourite and most special details of the whole day. We chose The Hedgerow as our florist where my close friend worked. I knew the arrangements and bouquets where going to be amazing as all their flowers are glorious but they were above and beyond what I ever imagined. I was so emotional when I found out my friend Ruth had actually made my bouquet, the effort and attention to detail that had gone into it – it was an absolute work of art, such a talent! The weekend before the wedding I had gone up to The Hedgerow to drop off the gin bottles for the tables and we had got talking about flowers and I described this interesting flower I’d never seen before. Wendy had clearly noticed I had fallen in love with ‘Protea’s’ (as I later learnt they where called) and surprised me by adding these to the pedestal arrangements, which I noticed as soon as I’d walked down the aisle and also to the top table arrangement. It was such a lovely and memorable surprise and they got so much guest attention! Our arrangements of white peonies, white veronica, blue nigella, blue forget me not, white anemone, white antirrhinum, white ranunculus, white roses, blue hydrangea and eucalyptus foliage where absolutely stunning and I can’t thank The Hedgerow enough for the most beautiful flowers that made our day, the church and the venue just STUNNING!

What sort of decoration did you have? Our main decoration was the flowers, we teamed them up with our love for a drink, gold accessories and candles. 

What did you eat? Twelve catered the food and it was absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Canapes where  tomato, mozzarella and basil skewers, seasame coated tuna, hoisin duck and mango in a crisp cornet and chicken parfait. Starter was hot smoked salmon and watercress mouse with a Lancashire cheese rarebit as the vegetarian option. for main we did three choices 40 hour cooked beef with dauphinoise potatoes, asparagus and broccoli which was served with Toms Faveourite peppercorn sauce or red wine jus oe Sea bream fillet served with parsnip puree, asparagus, steamed spinach and pea velouté or  wild mushroom risotto as the vegetarian option.

Browsholme Hall fired up their outdoor pizza oven for the evening guests which was served alongside a porkpie and cheese cake teamed from Drake and Macefield and The Courtyard Dairy! Tom hates cheese, I love cheese, I hate porkpie, he loves porkpie – our first marital compromise!

And the wedding cake? The wedding cake was STUNNING! Decorated with flowers from The Hedgerow, edible gold and a hint of blue buttercream (a last minute decision which Kelly at sugar wishes was more than happy to accommodate!) The cake was 4 tiers all with different YUMMY flavours we chose white chocolate and raspberry, chocolate orange, lemon drizzle and the biggest tier being our faveourite; salted caramel and sticky toffee. I made sure I had a piece of each on the day and seconds to take back to our lodge!

What did you have as entertainment? For entertainment we had a singer called Hannah Rose who sang at the drinks reception and then we had a Band ‘The Cave’ who played at the evening reception. Both Hannah Rose and The Cave where just amazing. Hannah’s voice is just so beautiful and she created such a nice ambience whilst everyone enjoyed a class of champagne, a bottle of Peroni and the canapés outside in the sunshine. The Band where just amazing.. straight from the first dance they had everyone on their feet the fun party we had dreamed of! We had SO many messages after the wedding asking for the bands details for their own events and commenting on how good they where! 

Who supplied the stationery?Me! Coming from a design background and being an Art and Photography teacher, the stationary was something that really excited me and I wanted to do every aspect of it. I absolutely loved painting and drawing different designs and experimenting with different colour palettes, which in the end helped us choose our final color palate for the day. Nearly all the stationary was printed at ‘Enid Taylor’s Print Shop’ in Harrogate and I found a fantastic sticker printers on Etsy called ‘Blooms Print’ who printed the labels I had designed for the wedding favors!

Did you have any personal touches? Or things that you did yourself? Alongside all the stationary I wanted my bridesmaids to all have played a part in creating the final touches of the day. Instead of ordering ready-made confetti pouches I ordered tracing paper envelopes, stickers and dried Delphinium petals from Etsy and put them together with my sister, the maid of honor. Two of my other bridesmaids and I spent a day sweet shopping for the sweet table and filling and labeling the miniature gin and whiskey bottles for our wedding favors.  My other bridesmaid lives in London so when her and her partner came to visit for bridesmaid duties we got sidetracked catching up so we justcollected the Gin bottles and wine corks instead of the wedding prep jobs… OOPS!

What were your special moments or highlights of the day? THE WHOLE DAY! the church ceremony itself was unbelievably special, saying our vows to each other was one of the biggest highlights, knowing we’d actually done it we where finally Mr and Mrs!  We loved having the time just the two of us after the ceremony too whilst Georgie took our stunning couple shots. That time really was precious and allowed us to take in being married before we got to have the best celebration ever with our friends and family. As always one Tom’s personal highlights was enjoying his first pint of Timothy Taylor’s with the lads! for me it was dancing the night away with everyone! I don’t think I missed one moment on the dance floor whilst the band where playing!

What advice would you give any other couples about planning your big day, or any tips for the day itself? When planning your big day everyone has so many different ideas on the right and wrong things to do at a wedding, but it really is your day so plan the perfect day that you and your guests will enjoy the most. Tom and I where given two tips for our wedding which we where so grateful for. The first was to make sure on the day when busy spending time with friends and family to plan pockets of time for just us, these moments really where so special! The second was to stand back from the day at different points and just watch for a minute or two to take everything in. The day really does go so fast so treasure every moment!

What was your biggest surprise of the day? The whole day was just FULL of surprises it is hard to choose just one! For me one my favorite surprises was the drive to church. Dad had said from the off he had wanted to drive me to church in his car, never in my life did I imagine driving up the driveway to church with the roof down and ‘the wheels on the bus’ blaring out! Dad had ripped a CD for the journey of all our family favourites dating back to our childhood which was just brilliant! For Tom one of his favorite surprises, aside from the obvious bridal look, was seeing the Barn all set up and decorated ready for our reception, he’d helped choose all the little bits that made it what it was but he couldn’t imagine the final image. It really took our breathe away, it was stunning! For both of us our biggest surprise of all was how special and incredible it would feel to have all our friends and family all in one place, happy and enjoying themselves. It was one of the most brilliantly overwhelming feelings of the day that neither of us had experienced before! Bronte Camper Hire

If you’re planning your big day and are searching for your photographer – please do get in touch and I can send you my snazzy brochure. You can read all about me HERE and get more pricing info HERE

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