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Rustic + Romantic Yorkshire Summer Wedding

If what you’re after is a winning combo of rustic romance, look no further than the English countryside as your backdrop. It’s a destination where dresses are welcomed to sweep across fields of grass, where dainty white petals and twinkling lights set the mood and darling scrabble cakes replace extravagant dessert tables. And it also happens to be where you’ll find Sarah-Jane Ethan in action, stealing every moment in time. It’s all tucked away beautifully, here in The Vault.


From The Bride…We met at University in Manchester and got engaged nearly seven years later in gorgeous Sri Lanka, the places we visited were then our table names on the day. We wanted the whole day to to have an outdoor rustic English Country feel to it, but we did almost everything ourselves so there was a lot of Pinterest stalking going on!

I set off dress hunting with boho, floaty ideas in my head, but it turns out I’m definitely not tall or willowy enough to pull that off! I actually bought a gorgeous Jenny Packham dress in the sample sale and ended up selling it on as it just wasn’t me, but I know it was everything someone else wanted for their special day. I went for champagne coloured a Maggie Sottero in the end, which was just so classic I knew Id love it forever and I felt amazing in it all day.

I wore simple square diamond earrings from my Dad and my Mum’s sapphire ring as something blue. My something borrowed came with my friend Zoe’s veil which has actually become something of a team veil – I’m the third one to wear it! Shoes were a bit of nightmare to find as I wanted something that I’d be able to wear again. I went for cream peep toe LK Bennett heels, but really needn’t have worried as I was tearing up the dance floor in my decade old Haviana’s by 8pm!

The venue was so important to us, Sam’s only requirement was “Somewhere we can party…” but my criteria were a little longer! I didn’t want anything too traditional and wanted something we could really make personal to us – plus we wanted the ceremony to be outdoors. We found The Yorkshire Wedding Barn on a fluke whilst it was still being built, the setting was everything you could wish for, rolling English countryside, a beautiful stone barn and stunning cottages for the wedding party to stay in.

The owners Mandy and Neville were what really sold us it though, I didn’t feel on a wedding carousel, I felt like I was part of something they had built with love, sweat and tears and it just felt so genuine. We had the place for three whole days and had brunches, games, cricket and sessions in the White Swan pub just round the corner who also ran the bar for us all night. We could also have whatever catering we wanted which meant canapes galore and an easy choice for main of fillet steak and chips by our fabulous caterer Ray Wade.

We an outdoor wedding in a field plus a large barn means we had a bit of a job on our hands for the decorations! My mum was just amazing and not only helped with absolutely everything, she also hand made every single origami birds for our origami curtain and individually hung them from the beams. Tables and every available space was filled with candles, burlap and gypsophila absolutely everywhere!

We did the flowers ourselves and I absolutely adore gypsophila so it was always going to be a big part of the day, we then discovered even as total amateurs – you cannot destroy it! So it then went in every orifice we could find, tables, the roof, bushes, birdcages, buttonholes, bridesmaid bouquets you name it, we put some in there! We bought old picture frames and turned them into blackboards for the table names and wrapped up anything we could in twine to give it that rustic feel.

I walked down the aisle in the sunshine to “Cavalier” by James Vincent McMorrow which will stay with us both forever. We asked Sam’s Mum and my Brother to do readings during the ceremony for us that they wrote themselves giving advice to the Bride or Groom from the other side of the family “Living with a Sinclair/ Williams”. They were just so personal and had the guests blubbing in their chairs, it was honestly one of the best decisions we made.

My advice to any couple still planning their big day is:

1) Having all your friends and family in one place to celebrate is just amazing, there’s no need to stress about anything as that’s the only reason you’re all there.

2) Throw tradition to the wind if it feels right for you.

3) Invest in a great photographer! There’s so much you can’t see or get to on the day and it goes by so fast that you need someone talented and dedicated to capture the best day of your life, so Sarah-Jane was our perfect choice, it honestly is worth every single penny.

Photography: Sarah-Jane Ethan Photography | Photography: Reem Acra | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cake: Caroline Cakes | Catering: Ray Wade | Hair And Makeup: Annabelle | Hair And Makeup: Mother Of The Bride & Friends | Band: Hot Biscuit | Venue: The Yorkshire Wedding Barn

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Whimsical English Country Spring Wedding

I’m downright jealous of the lucky guests at this English countryside wedding; they were transported to a magical world created by White Wedding Company when they attended this enchanting celebration captured by Helen Russell. Get those Pinterest boards ready m’dears, we got a whole lot of goodies right this way!

From Sue White of White Wedding Company… Working with Rachael and Marcus was a wedding planner’s dream – they had chosen one of the most beautiful private stately homes in North Yorkshire for their wedding reception and had planned a multitude of personal and very special touches to their day and evening – it was just up to me to bring everything together and make their day perfect.

Their day started with a military church ceremony – Marcus is in the RAF and they had a military guard of honour leaving church with guests throwing homemade confetti and a surprise from Rachael’s father of a lovingly restored Aston Martin DB5 to drive themselves to the reception! On route they went to visit Rachael’s beloved horse Desmond for photos throughout the day and evening with Helen Russell.

Arriving at Duncombe Park guests were greeted with Pimms or champagne (in vintage glasses) and canapés on the terrace to the sounds of a string quartet from Event Music Company. Croquet on the lawn was played and the stunning grounds were used for photos and guests mingling. When it was time for the wedding breakfast the saloon was decorated by Kirstie and Katy from Darling and Green with creams, white and golds using classic, seasonal English flowers of peonies, David Austin roses, white lilac, hydrangea, delphinium and herbs with a mix of foliage. Table favours for ladies were lavender hearts with M&R sewn on, the men had a miniature bottle of Sloe Gin from a local distillery and the children received a book “my day as a bridesmaid” with personalised colouring pencils.

After a fabulous meal and very entertaining speeches guests were taken on a surprise walk to a secret garden for the evening party!

Rachael and Marcus summed up their day as “truly magical with so many great moments.”

From the Bride… At the secret garden party in the evening the guests followed me along a tea light lit path through the woods into a sunken garden. Here they were greeted with an outdoor sitting room with a chandelier hanging in the tree above vintage sofas, coffee table on a rug and vintage accessories.

The tree had photo frames attached with our families wedding photos in. The surrounding trees and water features were lit with up lighters, pea lights and hanging jars with tea lights. Mark from AV Matrix supplied the lighting, it was magnificent and really finished off the magical atmosphere.

The guests then went on past the fountains through to the derelict garden room to be met with a cocktail in a tea cup, a mason jar or a milk bottle. In here was decorated with tea lights, ivy and fairy lights and lamp shades hanging from the ceiling, flowers in glass bottles and jam jars, vintage chairs and tables and old suitcases with stag and hen photos in them. This led into the marquee where we had the cocktail bar with the fire place and tea cups, hat stands, chests of draws, standing lamps, sofas and chaise longue and vintage trinkets to give a parlour atmosphere we had dreamed up in our planning.

We wanted the wedding to have soft vintage tones. My grandma used to always sing a song ‘when father painted the parlour’ which use to conjure up images of back in the day. I’ve always liked anything vintage with a story, old suitcases, teacups and pretty prints. Marcus’ uniform also leant to this perfectly.

On a visit to London we went to a bar call ‘Little Nans’ which was like stepping back in time and inspired our evening event. I drew up a scrappy drawing of a vintage Parlour and we set out to make it happen. We scoured antiques fairs and charity shops for nick-nacks and found a company in the Cotswolds to supply the furniture but it was too far for them to come. Luckily the flower ladies (Darling and Green) recommended Karen and Natalie who were just starting out with vintage wedding styling. The furniture and finishing touches and styling for the secret garden were supplied by Sweet Pea Events. They did a great job, the garden was transformed.

The only big thing left to finish it off was to find a bar. We searched for months for a suitable bar but everything was too modern, expensive or uninspiring and didn’t fit in with the old furniture so Marcus decided we were to build a bar ourselves. The week before the wedding we bought a Victorian fireplace in Horncastle, Lincolnshire; this was to be the focal point of the marque.

Between Marcus, his dad and my dad they built exactly what was in our heads. Thursday afternoon was spent wallpapering it and hanging picture. It couldn’t have been any better; it was perfect; just what we had envisaged.

During the warm. balmy evening (not always so in Yorkshire) guests danced to the 5 piece vintage band Victoriana, dressed up in the photo booth, ate from the Hog Roast and generally had a great time until 2am drinking cocktails and chilling out on the vintage furniture. Luckily Rachael had provided flip flops for the girls to dance in and pashminas when it grew chilly.

Photography: Helen Russell Photography | Event Planning: White Wedding Company (Yorkshire) | Floral Design: Darling And Green | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Stationery: Ruby Shoes | Ceremony Venue: St. Nicholas Church | Reception Venue: Duncombe Park | Catering: Yorkshire Party Company | Bridal Boutique: The Harrogate Wedding Lounge | Bridesmaids And Flower Girl Dresses: Kate Fearnley | Decor And Props: Sweet Pea Events | Evening Band: Victoriana | Evening Reception Marquee: GCG Marquees | Lighting And AV: AV Matrix | Photo Booth: Booth Revolution | Reception Music: The Event Music Company

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Charming English Countryside Wedding in Yorkshire

Since becoming a devoted Downton Abbey fan, English countryside weddings captivate me more than ever. It’s something about the pomp and circumstance, not to mention the timeless charm, and this summertime affair is no exception. Sandra Rose styled the florals, M And J Photography snapped the photos, and the results? Well, let’s just say it’d give Lady Mary Crawley’s wedding a run for its money.


From The Bride…When Ross and I first got engaged, the big question was “Where was the wedding going to be?” With us living in the US, but being from two different countries it was anyone’s guess where we would get married. I am originally from the northeast of England and moved over to the US over 5 years ago and Ross is Ohio born and bred, so it made picking the perfect location for our wedding a little tricky.

Without any intention yet to marry in the UK, we stumbled upon Middleton Lodge online before we had really even thought about wedding planning. We were blown away by the images of the venue and thought the place looked amazing. After a quick phone call to my parents back home, they were on their way to check it out. We knew Middleton Lodge was the perfect place to say our “I do’s” so we made the decision to book the venue without even seeing it for ourselves. It was a decision we do not regret. The venue itself is breathtaking, with its quintessential British charm that has been meticulously maintained by its owners and staff. It is beautiful!

From the start, planning the wedding was easy. From finding my dress here in Ohio, to picking out the flowers and giant illuminated letters to all the other little details. We had a clear vision that we wanted the wedding to feel laid back yet elegant and romantic. It is crazy to think that we did it all from the other side of the world…but walking into the marquee for our reception and seeing all the little details come together to create a beautiful setting for our big day was amazing. I wish I could have paused that moment.

The day was fabulous. The great British weather held out and we had glorious sunshine all day, our guests from the US loved experiencing some real English countryside (and other parts of Europe for those who decided to make the most of their trip and turn it into a vacation). We heard nothing but great things from all of our guests, everyone had so much fun and everything was just perfect and created such a memorable day for everyone – but especially us.

Middleton Lodge was the ideal setting to be married in grand style but with an intimate atmosphere.

Photography: M & J Photography | Florist: Sandra Rose | Wedding Cake: Dreamworld Cakes | Stationery: Emma Gay Of Yellow Door Creative | Reception Venue: Middleton Lodge | Shoes: Tribut Ives Saint Laurent | Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Middleton Lodge | Hair: Claire At Contemporary Yarm | Groom's Suit: Bonobos | Belt, Hair Piece & Veil: Sara Gabriel | Bridal Gown: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaid's Totebags: Oh No Rachio | Bridesmaids Bathrobe's: Victoria's Secret | Cuff Links: Tiffany & Co. | Favours - Traditional British Candy In Kraft Bags: Etsy | Flower Girl Banner: BHLDN | Flower Girl Outfit: Marks And Spencer | Gifts To Bridal Party - Bracelets: BHLDN | Guest Book: Oh No Rachio | His & Hers Signs: BHLDN | J&R Lights: Coco Luminaire | Mr & Mrs Cutlery: BHLDN | Table Decor - Sourced By Florist: BHLDN

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here