Simon and Lianne were married at All Saints Church, Settrington followed by a reception at The Orangery on Settrington Estate on Saturday 6th September 2014. Lianne was walked down the aisle by her father in the beautiful traditional church “It was a lovely moment when we left for the church in the rather quirky cycle rickshaw we had as wedding transport (the church was a stones throw from where we stayed and the reception venue). ”
Lianne and Simon have known each other since they were 14. They were ‘childhood sweethearts’ before Simon joined the Air Force and Lianne went off to university. They stayed in touch intermittently and got back together in 2011 . Their first date was at an Italian restaurant in Central London.
Simon proposed on Christmas Day. Lianne said “I was absolutely shocked and surprised. I was suffering with really awful flu at the time and I hardly looked my best, full of snot and feeling sorry for myself. Despite this it was perfect. He asked me after we had opened all our presents and my parents (whose house we were at) had gone to get showers and start the dinner.”
Lianne and Simon decided they didn’t want to have a long engagement as they had known each other for such a long time. “We wanted to plan the day and get it organised as soon as we could, so September was thought to give us just enough time to make the day exactly what we wanted. So many suppliers I spoke to were shocked at such a short time frame and I lost count the number of time I was asked ‘what, September this year?’”
Trying to find the perfect venue was Lianne and Simon’s first job when they started planning. “We looked at a whole menagerie of different venue types from castles and stately homes through to a marquee site in an old ruin, which came close to being ‘the one’ but when stepping out of the car at The Orangery, Settrington the decision was made, we had found our perfect Yorkshire countryside venue.” The Orangery is part of a private estate and was a new venue in 2014. “Sara and Karen who run the wedding business are just lovely people and nothing was too much trouble, whereas some of the more established venues we visited we felt like we were part of a production line. The Orangery made us feel like they really cared about getting our day perfect for us. The bonus with this venue was that we were very lucky to be able to have our ceremony in the adorable church next door.”
The couple didn’t have a theme as such, they just wanted to fill their day with everything they love; so vintage touches featured with little quirks that were just them. Lianne is a graphic designer so colour and style are important to her. “We went with colours that complimented Simon’s blue Royal Air Force uniform which he got married in.”
Lianne’s wedding dress was from a boutique in York. “We went to various bridal shops on the search for ‘the’ dress but the staff at Belle & Beaus were so lovely and really took time with me. I ended up with a fabulous Mori Lee illusion neckline dress with a fabulous detailed back – the funny thing is I dismissed it when first picking out samples to try on. It was the lovely lady in the shop that suggested I tried it. It just shows to trust the experts.”
As Lianne’s dress had a lot of detail with pearls and lace, she didn’t want too much in the way of accessories, but she did wear a simple veil for the ceremony. Her shoes were by Rachel Simpson “I suggest every bride checks out their website. They are the most exquisite shoes that are beautifully detailed and what’s more are so comfy, everything you want on your big day.” Lianne’s sister even wore the high street range, Agnes & Norman, as her Maid of Honour shoes. Lianne wore simple vintage style drop earrings and a beautiful pearl bracelet that Simon gave her on the morning of the wedding.
Simon was married in his RAF uniform. “It made for fabulous pictures and everyone loved the guard of honour the ushers did when we came out of the church.” He was married in his No.1’s and then later changed in No.5’s which is the Air Force equivalent of black tie.
Lianne had her sister as Maid of Honour. She wanted to keep things simple, “with a lots of good friends it made sense to just have my bestest friend with me on the day.” Her dress was a Dessy one shouldered full length gown in royal blue which picked up the royal blue in the Air Force uniform.
Lianne’s make-up was done by Lyndsay from The Beauty Shop in Boroughbridge. Her mum, sister and Lianne had all been going to the shop for years and said that it was nice to have a trusted, familiar face making them look fabulous for the big day ahead. “My make-up was amazing and I felt like a princess all day in the natural but glam look Lyndsay created. My tip for brides to be would be definitely get your makeup done professionally, it is well worth the spend and you can relax knowing you will look flawless all day. I didn’t top up anything but my lip gloss throughout the day.” Their hair was done by a family friend that delivered exactly what Lianne had in her head. “She also incidentally helped me into my wedding dress while my sister and mum had a mini-meltdown about their own outfits (I thought this was the brides job). I had a simple half up do with fresh flowers supplied by the florist who made my bouquet.”
Photography was by Design and Image Works and Sarah Millington who happened to be best mans wife. Lianne said “Flowers were also a big part of the day for me as I love fresh arrangements. We were lucky that a family member created all our floral elements for the day and my bouquet was absolutely beautiful – just what I wanted, slightly vintage looking and not too formal. These were finished off hand tied with some left over material from my dress and I had my great grandmas pearl brooch pinned to it and a small photo frame of my late Nan to carry with me. For pew ends we had simple jam jars tied with twine and filled with the same roses, lizianthus and beautiful soft pink astillbe the same as the bouquets. The reception flowers were all arranged on vintage glass cake stands that family and friends had helped me collect in the run up to the wedding. All these were given to family members to take away at the end of the night.”
“Stationery was produced by yours truly and I have since been inspired to set up my wedding stationery business, LoveLi. As a graphic designer I felt some pressure when it came to designing the invites and on the day stationery as when it’s your own it’s so much harder. I went through umpteen revisions before we settled upon a chevron theme and a colour scheme of blue and blush – something which would be reflected through the whole days styling. Simon got married in his Royal Airforce uniform so I picked out the dusky blue colour and the blush pink just softened the palette and allowed some contrast to be created. Our invites and subsequent stationery also had a monogram on the front that allowed our personalities and interests to feature with an illustrated vintage tea-cup for me and an illustrated bike for Simon (he’s big into his cycling). All my on the day stationery followed the same theme of the initial invites.”
On the morning of the wedding, Lianne got ready in a cottage on the same estate as their reception was held and where she stayed the night before, it was a stones throw away from the church and reception venue. Because of this, Lianne felt a car was just a bit extravagant for such a short journey (as much as she would have loved an old vintage car). So she thought outside the box and ended up booking a cycle rickshaw complete with ‘driver’. “The rickshaw provided some great photos both before with my dad going to the church and after with my new husband, and then some really natural quirky ones with all the family. It was a great alternative transport method and anyone wanting something a little different I cannot recommend Get Cycling CiC enough.”
The cake was one of Lianne’s favourite parts of the day. “From the very beginning I had my heart set on a naked Victoria sponge cake with summer berries and it seemed fitting to serve it as dessert as I always think the cake is a bit forgotten about once the formality of cutting it is over. So we had a 5 tier Victoria sponge made by The Patisserie in Malton, a lovely local patisserie and cafe that delivered everything I wanted and more. Of all the items sourced for our day, this was the one that varied so much in price when I got initial quotes so I would urge couples to shop around for your cake as the prices can vary quite dramatically. Because a naked cake has to be set up so close to the cutting as they can dry out I hadn’t actually seen it before we went in to the reception venue after the ceremony and I was blown away, as were our guests – it was a true showstopper The Patisserie had created. Guests went back for seconds, thirds and even fourths in some cases! The cake is till one of things people mention now when we reminisce about the day.”
At the eleventh hour, Lianne made a styling decision was to hire some giant light up letters in their initials to sit either side of the band. She and “I’m so glad I did. It really set the dance floor area off and created a frame for what were an amazing live band.”
“The styling, decor and vision for our day drew upon our personalities as a couple, as well as my love of vintage and beautiful design. In the church I wanted to do away with the formalities of brides family on one side and grooms on the other so I hand illustrated chalkboard signs to let people know they could sit where they liked. I created everything from quirky signs in the toilets saying “you look oh so pretty now get out there and strut your stuff” to candy bar signs, and not to mention the numerous hand illustrated chalkboard signs I made in the weeks leading up to the wedding. These really set the scene for the day though and I’m glad I went the extra mile to make our day truly unique. The other big ‘prop’ we had was an oversized Polaroid frame that was suspended in the rose colonnade of The Orangery gardens – my superstar dad not only had to help me made the cumbersome thing but also put this and everything else out on the very drizzly morning of the wedding. We got some great pictures of our guests though posing behind the frame and those are the real memory bank pictures I will always treasure. We continued the Polaroid theme with our guest book, borrowing our best mans Polaroid camera and having guests peg pics and messages onto a frame left in the bar area – it now lives on the wall of our dining room and I often stop to read the messages and look at the fun photos of everyone enjoying themselves.”
The couple decided against the traditional wedding favours and instead they donated some money to Herriot Hospice, a local hospice that supported a late family friend, and also Macmillan Cancer. They gave guests packets of seeds and pin badges from the charities as a small token to take away. They also had speech bingo on the reverse of their favour cards which added a fun element to the speeches throughout the meal.
The speeches were split between the courses of the wedding meal to make it a little less formal. Lianne said her memorable moments were “the nostalgia of my dads speech and also the best man trying to get random words from people’s bingo cards into his speech – think he was bribed by at least a handful of people.”
“The 12th Generation Party Band played a mix of old and new and also played some Motown hits which I knew would be a hit with my parents. They even played ‘their’ song September by Earth Wind and Fire and it was such a lovely moment seeing them rush onto the dance floor. Our guests danced the night away from the word go, much to the relief of Simon as he was dreading the first dance. He needn’t of worried though as a couple of lines into our first dance (At Last, Etta James, Beyonce version) my sister and the ushers had prepped everyone to join us on the dance floor, taking the pressure off and creating another lovely standout moment.”
“My top tip for brides to be is people say to you don’t get hung up about little details as on the day nobody apart from you will notice. Don’t listen… I believe the little details were what made our day really special for everyone involved, and these are the things that people still talk about when I see them today. It’s your day, put your mark on it and rope in friends and family to help support you to make your vision a reality.”
Lianne’s advice for grooms…”Take an interest in the planning of the day, you will only do this once. The day has to reflect you both as people and as a couple so offer opinions and support to your bride to be when she needs it – we all know it’s usually the bride that’s that’s the driving force of planning a wedding but don’t be scared to get involved.”
For keeping to a budget…”Keep a spreadsheet of all the suppliers booked, costs, deadline payment dates etc. Keeping it all on one sheet really helps for you to see where all the pennies are going. Start with the elements that are important to you as a couple and build it out from there. And finally shop around – my wedding cake is a prime example of this. I had quotes from £175 through to a massive £900 for a no frills naked cake.”
The couple had a mini-moon in the Lake District straight after the wedding as they were moving house and re-locating to a different area of the country the week after so put they put their honeymoon on hold. They went on their honeymoon in February 2015 to India and the Maldives. “The first part of the trip was to Mumbai and then Kerala on the backwaters. India is my favourite place in the world so I wanted to show my new husband what an assault on the senses it really is. Fortunately he loved it just as much as me. We stayed in the beautiful Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai which was such a treat.” “Our last week was spent in the Maldives which literally is paradise on earth. From the speed boat transfer, traditional fishing, snorkelling and fabulous food this was trip never to forget.”
“Since my big day I have been inspired to set up LoveLi, a wedding stationery, styling and decor business. When planning my own day I found it quite overwhelming at times and I wanted to provide couples with a friendly, down to earth brand to come to for advice and beautifully bespoke wedding goodies – after all you only get to do this once so make it as special as it can be!”
Venue: The Orangery, Settrington
Cake: The Patisserie, Malton
Wedding Transport: Get Cycling CiC
Brides Dress By: Mori Lee
Brides Dress From: Belles & Beaus of York
Brides Shoes: Rachel Simpson Shoes
Maid of Honour Dress: Dessy
Maid of Honour Shoes: Agnes and Norman
Makeup : The Beauty Shop, Boroughbridge
Honeymoon: Taj Hotel