Today's wedding is a beautiful, DIY affair in Yorkshire. Ceri and Chris focused on personal touches and their attention to detail has really paid off. The couple are big movie fans and included so many great nods to the silver screen - including a self service ice-cream stand, an idea I just adore! Couples often ask me whether it's worth including details such as photobooths or lawn games, worrying that they won't get used - but it's abundantly clear from Ceri and Chris' wedding that it's so worth it, their guests are all having an absolute ball!
This lovely, joyful day was photographed by Anna Wood, a brilliant, fun and relaxed wedding photographer based in Leeds, and her second shooter Nicola Mackrill. They've perfectly captured the happy, super personal vibe of this gorgeous wedding - I know you'll love it.
Thank you so much Ceri and Chris for sharing your day with us! xx
HOW THEY MET
We met through friends on a night out in a terrible sticky floored nightclub in Ilkley just over 6 years ago.
We got engaged on the island of Korcula in Croatia in August 2017. It was a total surprise. We'd had a lovely meal and a few drinks when back in the hotel room he got down on one knee and popped the question. I was so shocked I forgot to say yes and instead said a mixture of no you're not doing this right now and f*** off! I then came to my senses and obviously said yes. Him being so obsessed with travel insurance and his bag arriving safely at the airport made way more sense when I saw the gorgeous ring!
THE WEDDING VENUE
Ceremony - The Priests House, Barden
Reception - Bolton Abbey Village Hall
The Priests House as our ceremony venue was the first thing we decided on for the wedding. Having lived in nearby Addingham all my life, I'd seen this gorgeous venue from the road and knew it was the setting I wanted for our wedding. When we were still in Croatia I saw the inside on their website and enquired about dates. When we got back I was working lots of nights and weekends so I couldn't get there to see the venue so sent Chris and both our parents to have a look, they all loved it so I trusted them and went for it! The Village Hall as reception venue was easy too - my mum and dad had their wedding reception there 30 years ago!
I wanted to do as much as we could for decorations ourselves so the village hall was to have a traditional fête vibe with my mum's homemade bunting and fairy lights. We wanted to have a cinema theme too as over our 6 years together we've seen over 50 films together at the cinema - we had film names for our tables, cinema snacks and even our first dance song was from our favourite film. We wanted to create a wedding that we would enjoy first and foremost and that would be personal and fun for our family and friends.
I started looking for a dress in a big wedding dress chain. The assistant wasn't very happy about my family and friends giving their opinion on the dresses and told me what she thought I should do. I left feeling deflated and strange. 2 days later, on a whim, I booked an appointment at The Bridal Gown in Otley and went to look round. When we entered the lady pointed at 2 racks filled with dresses and said these are 200 and these are 300. I thought 200 and 300 what?! It turned out the shop was closing down that day and this was a mega sale. I felt like I tried on all the dresses in the shop but the last one my bridesmaid picked for me stuck. I felt like me. But in a gorgeous dress! I bought the veil and headpiece from that lovely lady too. So sad she was closing down.
Daytime - Linea sparkly gold shoes
Evening - Next pink bejewelled pumps
Jewellery - Pearl drop earrings and necklace from Accessorize, bracelets were presents from my Nanny who has Alzheimer's and couldn't come to the wedding- it's a forget me not
Suit and shoes from Harrogate Suit Hire
Chris: Ceri's engagement ring is from Rox Trinity Leeds, I looked in a few different stores but it was in Rox that I found the style I thought she'd like with the twist diamond setting in platinum. My wedding ring is from Ernest Jones, it is titanium and wasn't very expensive. It's practical and simple and left more money for Ceri to get the wedding ring she wanted!
Ceri: With the twist setting on my engagement ring I was struggling to find a platinum wedding ring that sat right next to it and wasn't too expensive. I eventually visited a shop in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham on the recommendation of a friend and within 10 minutes of being in the shop I had a gorgeous platinum wedding ring with 9 little diamonds in and a dip to fit my engagement ring diamond in. I love wearing them together now.
Elli, my friend for around 8 years - we've been through a lot in our friendship and she introduced me and Chris. She provided us with lots of amazing raw emotion shots to look back on from the wedding that's for sure! And Bryony, my midwife partner in crime. We went through all our training together, experiencing some crazy stuff along the way and she kept me sane with a little moan after work every day up to the wedding. Their dresses were from Dorothy Perkins. For their comfort they wore their own nude shoes on the day. My brother Mark was my honorary 'Gayd of Honour' helping out with all the artwork for the wedding and helping to plan the hen do. He also wore a suit from Harrogate Suit Hire
THE BEST MAN AND GROOMSMEN
Best Man - Tom / Aussie Git (Chris' friend from uni who travelled from Oz to spend the day with us).
Groomsmen - Steve, Adam, Tom and Ben - a selection of unreliable idiots, who spent more time making Sky Sports news transfer deadline day videos than doing any actual ushering!
THE HAIR AND MAKE-UP
Hair by Deborah at Westrow Ilkley.
Deborah does my mother-in-law's hair so she suggested her to me. I went for a trial and she was so lovely and patient with me when after what felt like about 4 hours I still wasn't happy with my hair! She nailed it on the day. My bridesmaid Elli did my makeup - she always looks gorgeous and well put together so I just told her to make me look like her! Natural, I just wanted to feel like me.
Anna Wood Photography with second shooter Nicola Mackrill.
Anna shot our friends' wedding the previous September. We loved her relaxed and beautiful style and when we met her in person her gorgeous personality made us fully at ease and we knew she was the right one to choose.
Debbie at the Priest's House, my dad's friend Chloe Walker and The Plantation Addingham.
This was hard for me! I've never really put much thought into flowers or had any idea what I wanted. I gave them all the same Pinterest photo and they really delivered! Debbie did the flowers for the Priest's House then kindly brought them in vases to the village hall for us to use on the stage, The Plantation took care of all our bouquets, buttonholes and corsages and my dad's friend Chloe made our gorgeous centrepieces using flowers from the Plantation so it would all tie in.
Amazing! They totally made our wedding night - from singing our first dance to letting us relive our youth to Gangsta's Paradise and All The Small Things, they were fantastic. Our guests haven't stopped talking about them since, best wedding band ever!
Made by mum's friend Kelly.
We had 3 cakes. Ever since I tasted Kelly's amazing amaretto fruit cake I knew I wanted that as my wedding cake! Chris doesn't like cake so I decided to have 3 instead of dessert so we could make sure the guests would enjoy it on the day. The others were chocolate ganache and lemon.
We had canapés of beef and horseradish Yorkshire puddings, bruschetta, honey chipolatas and salmon for guests arriving at the village hall. Then our meal was goats' cheese tart followed by chicken supreme. Our dessert was our 3 cakes as well as Yorkshire Sales ice cream, sweets and popcorn.
Another highlight of the wedding. Gorgeous cocktails kept our guests very merry til late. They were super efficient with set up the day before and take down on the evening and were just generally lovely.
We wanted to make sure our guests could be transported to and from the venues safely so laid on Steels Coaches for them. I'd always fancied a camper van for my own entrance and I fell in love with the deep green one at NorthWestVintageVW.
Made by my mum/ Vistaprint.
Pinterest has a lot to answer for! I loved a design using fingerprints and my mum had recently done a calligraphy course. All our save the dates were written by hand by mum and then fingerprint hearts added by me and Chris after. Our invites also used the fingerprint theme but we ordered from Vistaprint to save time.
The night before Chris stayed at The Wheatley Arms in Ben Rhydding where one of his groomsmen is the manager and a lot of our guests stayed too.
On our wedding night we stayed at The Devonshire Fell.
THE WEDDING MORNING
I got ready at my mum and dad's house - we got married at 11am so I knew it would be a busy morning. It was actually really relaxed. We got up about 6 and I had a bath and washed my hair. The hairdresser arrived about 7am and she curled my hair and put it in rollers then did my mum's hair. While my hair was in rollers, I had breakfast and did my bridesmaids' hair. The photographer had arrived by this point. We started my makeup and finished my hair and the flowers arrived. The camper van arrived for us to leave at 10.15. Chris got ready at the Wheatley Arms, got up at 7.30, went for breakfast and showered, got dressed and greeted the guests for the coach which set off at 9.45.
We had a civil ceremony. Neither of us are religious and we felt it was important that the ceremony was personal and that we were able to choose our own vows and readings. For the vows, we found some different versions on the internet and took the best bits out of all of them to create what we wanted to say. My favourite part was saying that we would create a life together far better than either of us could imagine alone.
Chris' brother Andy did a reading which we found on the internet and was credited to Bob Marley (but we were dubious was actually said by him!). My friend Scarlett did a reading from Les Misérables and her dramatic pauses made me shed some tears! I also wrote a reading that my friend Lydia read for me. She did a great job, I wasn't sure if I could own up to it being by me but I'm glad I did. Having my own words to Chris read in such a big room of people made it even more special.
I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of John Legend All of Me, we've always liked the song and it felt like the right choice. We walked back up the aisle to an acoustic version of Michael Bublé Everything - it has always been one of my favourite songs and I always dreamed of finding someone I could sing the lyrics too and mean it. I knew I had to have it in my wedding somewhere.
We had a marquee outside which we decorated with fairy lights. I made a photobooth out of an old photo frame suspended from the ceiling of the marquee wound with fake ivy and flowers. We borrowed some Instamax cameras from our friends and got some old ladders which I wound with string and little pegs to put the photos on. I also created 4 hanging pieces for the marquee using embroidery rings from Hobbycraft and suspending them from the ceiling of the marquee in threes with pictures of me and Chris and favourite song quotes on, all wound with fake ivy and flowers.
We had outside games - Jenga, boules, table tennis and football - and we borrowed outside furniture and my dad made some seating out of pallets. We also had the cinema sign outside for guests arriving. This was moved inside at night.
Inside, my mum had made metres and metres of bunting that we put up and I got some fairy lights from eBay that went up too. We had round tables that we borrowed from the local golf club and our centrepieces were round with lanterns at the centre. Chris' mum had made tablet (a bit like fudge) which were in little bags on the table for the guests along with a personalised wedding pencil and a crossword we had made with questions about me and Chris. The place names were Polaroid pictures of us with each guest and their name in wood. The table names were films we had seen at the cinema. My brother works in animation and design and put these together for us to look like cinema tickets.
Our table plan was made to look like credits on a film and I bought some dressing table lights to put round it. We also used a photo from our engagement shoot outside the hall where their noticeboard would normally be to further personalise the venue. Our fab cinema sign came from Elite Sound - all set up with our message on ready to go.
11am - Ceremony
1pm - Coaches to village hall, canapés and welcome drinks
3pm - Meal
5pm - Speeches
6pm - Evening guests arrive
7.30pm - First dance
11pm - Bride and groom leave
Midnight - Coaches
Pencil with our names and wedding date, crossword, tablet, sweets and polaroid/wooden name
My Dad wrote a song for his speech! He has been a singer for as long as I can remember and if I could have chosen what I wanted him to do it would have been that. I was so proud, emotional and overwhelmed. Chris was worried as to how he was gonna follow it! Tom the best man also gave a speech.
THE FIRST DANCE
Our first dance was to Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede. From the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack which was our top table name and our favourite film we've seen at the cinema together. The wonderful Electric Idols performed it for us.
THOUGHTS ON WEDDING PLANNING
I loved planning the wedding and Chris pretty much let me get on with it. I'm a naturally organised person and I kept a log of everything we were spending and what decisions we had made. It was absolutely everything I had dreamed it would be and the planning meant that on the day I could relax and enjoy what I'd created. Although I say Chris left me to it, he was so supportive throughout the process and I was really mindful to include him so the wedding would be a day we both would enjoy.
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
THE BEST BIT
Ceri: Saying my vows and marrying the man I love.
Chris: Seeing Ceri walk down the aisle towards me.
ANYTHING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY?
Absolutely not, it was perfect. There's nothing we felt we'd needlessly spent money on or that was missing. We just wish we could do it all again!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Do it for you! Fill the day with everything you want, not what you think others would want and you will be truly happy.