We’re off to (mostly) sunny Scarborough today for the elegant real wedding of Christie and Ben. If you’re thinking of having your big day in a marquee then this is one you won’t want to miss!
Talk about a dream team! From Pinterest board to wedding reality, bride Christie and her wedding planner Sue of White Wedding & Event Company have worked magic, starting with a completely blank canvas of a marquee in the grounds of the Wrea Head Hotel. Enlisting a professional planner to take on some of the tasks involved and provide a higher level of expertise can be worth every penny. And, looking at the photographs of this celebration, we certainly think it’s been the right decision!
This wedding oozes sophistication and elegance. From the perfectly styled reception to the impressive six tier cake, no stone has been left unturned in this lavish and beautiful event. We’ve got the happy couple, a dress change, the stunning food, a cute little kids’ corner and the typically unpredictable great British weather! But the love between these two is evident, come rain or shine.
With photography by Dominic Wright Photography
The proposal took place during a stay at Swinton Park in May 2018. After a day relaxing in the beautiful surroundings, Ben suggested taking a walk in the picturesque 18th century parkland. Arriving at a romantic lake setting, in one of the follies adjacent, a table had been set with champagne and chocolates. Still having not clocked what was happening, I turned and, to my complete surprise, found Ben on one knee. I immediately said yes, before I’d even had a chance to look at the ring he was holding.
We tied the knot on July 20th 2019. We wanted a summer marquee wedding and had planned to have it at home but it just wasn’t logistically possible. We wanted the local village church in Scalby for our ceremony and found a date that both they and a nearby venue could both do. My parents have lived in the village for many years and our children were christened in that church.
The marquee was then only five minutes away, at the Wrea Head Hotel, and we booked all our close family and bridal party to stay there for the whole weekend. We own family businesses in the village and live there too, so it meant a lot to us. The hotel gave us special permission for the marquee, which they don’t normally allow.
On Sunday we also held a ‘Post Wedding Recovery Brunch’ for family and friends, and all the children who didn’t come to the wedding. It was a beautiful day and our wedding planner, Sue, and her team set up lawn games, a white bouncy castle, a sweet cart and the children were entertained by a magician whilst the grown-ups enjoyed Bloody Marys and brunch in the sunshine.
I personally have always known I wanted a white wedding, so it was easy for me to pick a theme. Pinterest was my muse! I had so many boards, which Sue (our wedding planner) and I constantly shared and updated! We wanted our wedding to be elegant, romantic and personal. Having a marquee gave us a blank canvas to create our exact look and, with Sue’s help, we sourced exactly what we wanted to achieve this, including lighting, table linen and décor etc. We even had the chairs collected from London, as it was the only company who supplied them in the UK! We wanted an elegant and sophisticated glass fronted marquee and luckily had the perfect setting, with views right across the valley – even if it did have to be built on a scaffolded base!
Our palette involved elegant and sophisticated cream and gold with lots of beautiful flowers, sparkling lights and candles. Flowers were a really important part of our look, at church and in the marquee and we had lots of them.
We employed a specialist lighting company, AV Matrix, who worked with my father’s theatre lighting designer, Ben Cracknell, to create an amazing look for the day and the evening party – chandeliers, candles from the florist and lighting for the dancefloor all looked amazing!
I bought my dress from Pronovias in London, a shop I had dreamed of buying my dress from since childhood! It was very traditionally elegant, princess cut, floor length, sleeveless with a lace work back. The dress was made in Mikado fabric. My veil was also from Pronovias.
Ben had made a bespoke morning suit and waistcoat from Favourbrook in London.
Bridesmaid dresses were from Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids near York. I wanted a particular natural colour and just loved these when I found them.
I would absolutely recommend Dominic Wright and Zoe for any occasion, they made us feel comfortable and at ease all day. Ben said Zoe was not only a great photographer but also someone who kept the atmosphere calm in the hours getting ready with the groomsmen and groom. Dom was very discrete whilst taking photos of me and my bridesmaids getting ready. He was also excellent with our two children. We love them both!
Kissing Gate Films filmed our day. As soon as we received our wedding back, I was in tears! Ben captured our wedding so beautifully without us even feeling his presence in the special moments of the ceremony. He captured our children so fantastically, they looked like two angels! I couldn’t recommend them more highly.
Fulford Flowers near York did the florals. My bridal bouquet included white roses, hydrangeas, orchids, and peonies while the bridesmaids bouquets were hand tied white roses and hydrangeas. The groom’s buttonhole was a white orchid and foliage and groomsmen wore white rose and foliage.
At the church we had urns of white hydrangeas, orchids, peonies and roses, pew end arrangements, candles on the window sills and also bay trees in pots outside the church. We hired a white aisle runner from the florist.
At the wedding reception there were white hydrangeas, orchids, roses and lots and lots of candles! Tall vases, glass and gold candelabras and rectangular mirrors filled with a tablescape of flowers and candles. Lanterns with candles at the marquee entrance. We also had a local florist, Minnie Bees, decorate my parent’s house, where we got ready, including the stunning staircase flowers. We hired coloured table linen from 88 Events and glass and gold charger plates and crockery from Whitehouse Event Crockery. We provided flip flops for the ladies and lots of lovely toiletries and Jo Malone perfume for the ladies, and then custom designed table numbers, hat pegs and ‘flip flops for dancing’ signs were from Eye For Detail Craft and all sourced by Sue and co-ordinated with our look and theme.
We also provided our children, CeCe and Rupert, with their own personalised teepees in the marquee, complete with bunting and toys which Sue and her team styled!
We worked with Julia at Noble Fine Art who produces beautiful bespoke letterpress stationery. We had a custom designed gold foil monogram which we used on the invitations, place cards, menus and our table plan. Everything matched the cream and gold theme. Everybody had an individual menu with cream ribbon which included their name as a place setting.
We hired umbrellas from Brolly Bucket, hoping we wouldn’t need them but we did as the heavens opened when I arrived at church!
Jo Malone Peony and Blush candles for the ladies and miniature bottles of Sloe Gin from Yorkshire producer Sloemotion for the men.
Joanna from Designer Icing is local to us, making lots of cakes for our family birthdays and events and our children’s christening cakes. She created us an amazing six tier cake with layers of lemon, pina colada, vanilla and chocolate sponges, covered in ivory and gold sugar icing flowers and with our monogram on one tier.
Yorkshire Party Company designed a bespoke menu for us, as we are both foodies and what we served was really important to us. We served a summer panna cotta, sticky pig cheeks with pulled pork bonbon and a chocolate teardrop desert, plus little bowls of Thai green curry later in the evening and a Yorkshire cheese board.
Music and dancing was important to us too, and we wanted to have different things throughout the day and a fantastic party after dinner! At church, The Vernon Sisters played the harp with accompanying vocals throughout the ceremony to our chosen songs. They then played their jazz set for us during the drinks reception and then Swing throughout dinner.
We created a nightclub area in the marquee after dinner, and The Faithettes (Paloma Faith’s live band) played, who were incredible. Between the band’s sets, DJ Angel Lee played and our guests partied until 1am.
For our first dance, we chose Paloma Faith and Sigala’s song Lullaby, which has beautiful lyrics. We surprised guests by opening a reveal curtain on the dancefloor, starting slow and going into the fast version of the song. We had lessons with choreographers and wonderful friends, Alan and Sharon Harding.
Our suppliers! 10 out of 10 for catering and service of the Yorkshire Party Company and Sue and her team at White Wedding & Event Company. We hired The Wrea Head Hotel for three days and staffed the wedding ourselves. But we’d also give 10 out of 10 for the hotel for providing a beautiful setting and for catering our brunch the following day after the wedding.
We hired a wedding planner right at the beginning of the process, Sue White of White Wedding & Event Company. Sue’s role in our wedding was to help us plan and deliver our perfect dream day and she really did! We worked with Sue for just over a year and I can honestly say I was sad to say goodbye to her after the wedding. Sue made all our ideas seem achievable (like getting 150 brand new chairs driven in our own vans from London on time!)
We worked very closely with Sue and achieved our perfect day together. Having a marquee is definitely a lot more work and Sue spent the week before the wedding being on site and making sure everybody was in the right place at the right time, handling last minute hitches and making sure we had nothing to worry about. Then Sue and her amazing team were with us on the big day, keeping us calm, and everything ran like clockwork.
The favourite part of our day was of course the wedding ceremony and becoming man and wife, but also arriving at the venue and seeing for the first time, the marquee and all the plans coming together. It truly was how I pictured our wedding. Just stunning!
Enjoy every second, from the moment you become engaged. I know how the stress takes over and a part of you wants to just get it all over and done with, but when the day arrives it goes so quickly and the wedding blues are real! Also don’t drink too much until after 10pm when the key parts are over! Oh, and hire a wedding planner!
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