Stunning countryside meadow, surrounded by enough natural beauty to take your breath firmly away – sheep roaming freely in the fields, a serene river gently rushing nearby and enough room for you and your loved ones to celebrate your wedding out in the open air amongst haybales and acres of green rolling fields. Sound dreamy? We’re talking about our Yorkshire Venue, set in the heart of the Dales. This outdoor venue is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and after having secured it’s legal marriage license earlier this year, it is fast becoming a popular venue choice for nature-loving brides all over the UK. It’s such a unique and beautiful outdoor wedding venue, and it’s only available to book through Festival Brides! We are so proud to be promoting it and love the fact that couples can legally become husband and wife onsite – it’s pretty rare for this type of venue to have a legal license, which truly makes this place ‘one of a kind’!
Today we bring you the wedding of Emily and Pete, who found the venue right here on the blog, and tied the knot in the meadow next to the river with haybale seating and a humanist ceremony conducted by their best friend Phoebe. Simplicity and using the outdoors and natural setting as their inspiration was key when it came to the planning of their day…
We didn’t intentionally theme the wedding, it was just a hotch potch of ideas that we liked. But these revolved around local food and drink, Yorkshire and being outdoors
DIY played a big role in the day’s décor, with hand painted signage, garden picked flowers and a collection of jam jars that made the trestle table centrepieces. Captured by the wonderful Mark Dolby Photography, who waded through the river, got all muddy and snuggled up next to the free-roaming sheep to get this beautiful collection of images on film, this wedding is outdoor romance at it’s best.
We are delighted to hand over to pretty bride Emily to tell us more about her Yorkshire Dales wedding to Pete….
Brand New House and Proposal with Sentimental Ring
We’d just moved into our new house, the first house we bought together. We finished the move and in the evening, we got a takeaway and ate like drained zombies in our new kitchen. Pete disappeared for a moment and the next thing I knew he was on one knee with his great grandmother’s ring in front of him. Through a mouthful of chicken bhuna, I said yes!
Beautiful Yorkshire Dales River Meadow Venue
We were married at Kilnsey Park Estate in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s a picturesque trout farm in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside. We had our ceremony and reception in a field next to the River Wharfe. It was absolutely stunning. I Googled ‘outdoor weddings Yorkshire’ and this place came up via Festival Brides. It was really just a field, and everything else was DIY, but we chose it because it was so beautiful.
We had a traditional petal pole marquee for the wedding and everyone stayed in holiday cottages in the village. There was also a bunk barn onsite which was great fun! We both wanted the wedding to be as relaxed and simple as possible, and to avoid some of the formality that some weddings have. So we didn’t have a top table, and most of the decorations were homemade using things we had at home. We also wanted to make the most of the beautiful setting, so much of the day was outside (thanks to the good weather).
Humanist Ceremony with Acoustic Vibes, Hay Bale Seating and Stunning Backdrop
We had a humanist ceremony under a tree with straw bales for seating, conducted by best friend and bridesmaid Phoebe. She did an amazing job, as we knew she would. It was really personal and every word meant something to us. We had a reading from the Velvetine Rabbit and then Phoebe read out some words of marriage wisdom. Pete and I wrote our own vows, which we didn’t hear until the day itself. The music was played by the lovely Laura Kindelan who is a student at Leeds College of Music. On a simple acoustic guitar, she played ‘Songbird’ by Eva Cassidy as I walked down the aisle, and ‘Blackbird’ by the The Beatles as we walked back up the aisle together. A clear nature theme! My dad drove me and the little ones to the field in Pete’s dad’s old Merc. The only decoration we had were some colourful ribbons hanging off the tree branches. The backdrop was so beautiful it didn’t need anything else.
Custom Made Lace Bolero and Block ASOS Heels
My dress was a lacey strapless dress with a small train, with an ‘off the shoulder’ lace bolero over the top which was custom made. Choosing the dress was a funny day spent with my mum and bridesmaids. I wanted to try out an ‘off the peg’ option before spending loads of cash unnecessarily. So we all rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in – and luckily I found my dress from a lovely bridal shop in Northallerton. I don’t even know what designer it is! I chose it because it was simple and elegant without too many frills. I then had the bolero custom made by the fantastic Theresa at Top Stich, a small local tailor down the road from our house in Leeds. She is so talented.
I wore ivory block heels (because the wedding was in a field!) with an ankle strap. They were a bargain £35 from ASOS! Pete wore a blue, wool checked suit from Brooks Taverner with accessories from Reiss. The bridesmaid dresses were nude pink, lace with a dropped hem and low back, from ChiChi London.
Mark Dolby Photography was AMAZING! He was so fun and didn’t intrude on the day at all. He was wading in rivers, lying in sheep muck and all sorts to get us some great photos! We would thoroughly recommend him. He also made a mini film for us!
Homegrown Ivy, Hessian Runners, Milk Churns and Flower Strewn Marquee
We didn’t want a top table, so we had four long rows of trestle tables instead. They were dressed with some grey hessian runners and jars of flowers. We had lines of ivy hanging from rope in the canopy of the marquee, dotted with silk flowers hanging down. The ivy décor was all thanks to some serious mathematical equations from my brainy dad, who worked out exactly how many meters of rope we’d need and how much ivy, as well as what spacing the silk flowers should be! The ivy all came from his garden and Pete’s mum’s garden, and he lugged it all the way up to Yorkshire from Shropshire. We then decorated the porch of the marquee with ivy and silk flowers, and had some buckets and a big milk churn of real flowers at the entrance.
The table plan was an old pallet decorated by my talented art teacher bridesmaid Amy. We wrote the names on luggage tags and decorated with ivy. Table numbers were some pieces of old stone I found in my garden. I wrote the table names on them (Yorkshire peaks) and decorated with pressed flowers from the garden. The place cards were simple brown card decorated with an honesty flower, which my mum had collected from the garden over the years.
Vegan Brownies, Garden Petals and Jam Jar Flowers
We didn’t have a cake. Both of our mums homemade chocolate brownies instead. And we had some vegan/gluten free brownies made by the wonderful Sebby’s Café in Headingley, Leeds. A beautiful florist called Yorkshire Petals and my parents’ garden. Yorkshire Petals is run by a lady called Janice who grows all the flowers on her allotment. We arranged them ourselves in jam jars that we decorated ourselves. We wanted in-season flowers that looked wild and natural, so we didn’t opt for a formal florist. My dad is also a keen gardener.
Having the ceremony conducted by our friend Phoebe was really special and personal to us. Dancing like lunatics on the dancefloor was also a highlight, as were the speeches, especially my dad’s which was delivered like a pro.
We would both advise other couples to spend your money on what matters to you, whatever that may be. The rest will take care of itself. For us, it was food, drink, music and location. And don’t be afraid to ditch tradition if it’s not for you.
We had 18 months to plan the wedding so it wasn’t stressful. We had a budget, and waved goodbye to it pretty early on! We felt that a single day wasn’t long enough to catch up with everyone properly, so we dragged it out into a weekend of celebrations including the pub on Friday night and BBQ on Sunday. Would highly recommend doing this because you just don’t get chance to speak to everyone properly on the day itself.
The Line Up
Photography: Mark Dolby Photography
Venue: Kilnsey Park Estate
Marquee: Yorkshire Yurts
Bride’s Shoes: ASOS
Groom’s Outfit: Brooks Taverner | Reiss
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: ChiChi London
Florist: Yorkshire Petals
Food: The Hog & Apple
Ceremony Music: Laura Kindelan
Hair and Make Up: Kimberley Brooke
Band: Motown Gold