Good morning and happy Halloween week – I hope you all had a ghoulishly good pre-Halloween weekend! As the leaves fall and the clocks go back, we are still feeling the summer vibes as we revisit the glorious Kilnsey Park Estate to share Safia and Jonathan’s outdoor meadow wedding with you. Surrounded by over a 1000 acres of privately owned countryside and woodland, Kilnsey Park is fast becoming one of Yorkshire’s most popular outdoor wedding venues and it is exclusive to Festival Brides. This venue offers couples everything that they could ever ask from an outdoor venue – oodles of natural beauty, acres of rolling meadows, gushing crystal clear river picturesque views and alpacas….yes, you read that right, as the brand new ceremony area overlooks the alpaca field! Safia and Jonathan dreamt of a perfect outdoor DIY summer wedding in Yorkshire surrounded by the beauty of the Dales, and that’s exactly what they got….

We really wanted to get married outside with in a backdrop that represented Yorkshire and all of its beauty. Kilnsey Park ticked all the boxes. If you want a DIY outdoor wedding, then use Pinterest to make your plans! I thought that so many of my ideas were unrealistic and that I wasn’t creative enough to pull them off, but that’s just not true – you can do anything, even if you’re on a budget.

Victoria Baker from Victoria Baker Weddings captured this stunning, fun and candid collection of images. You can feel the love and positive vibes flowing from her work, and it’s clear that this couple had the absolute time of their lives on their big day. We love the surprise brass band that played the couple and their entire wedding party from the ceremony area to the river meadow. We love the super stunning reception tent full of DIY décor and rustic styling. And we love the catering choices –  BBQ and Wood Fire Pizzas accompanied by a DIY bar, acoustic vibes and lots of dancing as the sun set over Kilnsey.

We are absolutely thrilled to be promoting this venue and love the fact that couples can legally become husband and wife onsite here. Let’s hand over to sunflower fan and fun-loving bride Safia to tell you all about her wedding to Jonathan….

Engagement ‘Love Actually’ Style

I had just come home from a 9-month trip away to Central and South America. Jonny and I spent this time apart which was the most difficult thing we’ve ever had to endure in our relationship. But we made it through and came out even stronger than before. We were staying in a hotel one night. Jonny had set up our room with sunflowers (my favourite flowers) and laid out some gifts which I wasn’t expecting. Jonny gave me my gifts which were a Casio watch (which is a running joke between us) and a little book with all the things he loves about me. He’d brought the laptop from home and once I had opened my gifts he asked me to watch a video on the laptop. It was a video that Jonny had made which mirrored the doorstep scene in Love Actually (as I always cry at that bit). Jonny had written lovely messages on cards, and the last card said “Will you marry me”, when I turned around Jonny was on one knee holding up a beautiful Vera Wang ring – and I of course said YES!

Secluded Ceremony Area next to the Alpaca Field!

Jonny and I are both from Yorkshire and we were looking for an outdoor venue which showed off the beautiful Yorkshire landscape. We looked at a few venues in the area but as soon as we arrived at Kilnsey Park Estate, we knew we’d found the perfect place to get married. I really wanted to get married outside and Kilnsey now have a ceremony structure just by their Alpaca enclosure which is amazing! We also hired a Shades Canvas Aurora Sailcloth Marquee. It had panoramic sides so that our guests still had the amazing view but it was so warm that we had the sides rolled up!

Civil Ceremony, Written Promises and Sentimental Readings from Friends

We had a civil ceremony outside in beautiful surroundings. Our registrar read some quotes about us from our friends and family in response to the question “describe the best things about their relationship”. Jonny and I wrote promises to each other and we read the same promises just before giving our rings. Included in those promises was the following “I promise to travel the world with you and go on any adventure with you”. Jonny and I love to travel and we love to travel together even more, so that promise was perfect for us. We also had some beautiful readings from Maid of Honour, Bridesmaids and Usher.

The bridesmaids and I did all of the ceremony flowers ourselves (I ordered the flowers from the wholesalers) and we arranged them in terracotta vases/pots which were placed down the aisle.

Surprise Brass Band, Acoustic Tunes and Party Outside

We hired the most amazing brass band called New York Brass Band. They surprised our guests by meeting us on the road (en route from the ceremony area to the marquee) and led a procession of guests through the fields to the marquee reception. They then did two 50 minute sets and had everyone dancing. We also had a brilliant acoustic musician called Matt Baxter Music. Matt is awesome! He is a truly gifted musician with an amazing voice and style. He had everyone up dancing and we had so much feedback from guests saying how much they loved him. He is a really genuinely nice guy as well.

DIY Reception, Hand Sprayed Signs and Self Made Flower Arrangements

The whole wedding was DIY! Jonny built the wedding reception bar (out of old fence wood), he handmade all of the signs by cutting up old palates, sanding, varnishing and spray painting them. I made a table plan using a map that I ordered online, brown “luggage” tags and hand stamps. Each table was named after a place Jonny and I have visited as a couple! We ordered and made everything  ourselves, from the linens to the sugar bowls, we had to think of literally everything before the day to make sure everyone had everything they would need!

I love Sunflowers – these were in my bouquet, the bridesmaids’ bouquets and the buttonholes. Julia’s Florist in Bradford did all of these and they used Sonja sunflowers to compliment the larger sunflowers. I ordered lots of flowers from a wholesaler and our friends and family put together all of the flower arrangements in the marquee, all of the centrepieces, decorative vase flowers and greenery on the bar. A true DIY effort!

Candid Wedding Shots

Our photographer was Victoria Baker Weddings. Victoria was absolutely amazing. The photographs speak for themselves but Victoria was willing to get involved, loved taking candid shots and captured our wedding perfectly. Victoria listened to everything we wanted before the day. She was organised, calm and generally a fabulous person to have around. I would recommend her to everyone!

Beaded, Timeless, and Beautifully Made Gown

I bought my wedding dress from Amelia’s Bridal. I’d wanted a long sleeved dress and I absolutely love lace. The dress was timeless, modest and beautifully made with so much beadwork and attention to detail.

I wore Kurt Geiger shoes – I needed shoes which were practical but fabulous. The Kurt Geiger Miss KG white sandals were a great choice because they were as comfortable as wearing Birkenstocks, but gave me some height and also fit the bridal theme.

Jonny wore a grey summer suit with a waistcoat, salmon coloured tie and white shirt. I had 7 bridesmaids and 2 maids of honour. I didn’t want my bridesmaids to have to wear the same dress, so we chose three shades of pink from colour swatches and the girls had made to measure dresses all in different styles ordered online from Mix Bridal. The dresses were beautifully made and fit perfectly. I couldn’t recommend the website enough!

Homemade Cake and Cheese Tower

We had a cake made by a lovely lady called Val who is a friend of Jonny’s mum. Our cake had a sunflower on top and the three tiers were chocolate, lemon and fruit cake. We also had a tower of cheese from M&S and we just bought crackers and grapes to go with it – both the cake and the cheese went down well.

On a catering note, we had canapes, a BBQ for the main wedding breakfast (which was sharer salads and sides and then platters of meat for each table) and then wood fired pizzas in the evening.

First Dance

Our first dance was to ‘Praise You’ by Hannah Grace – we love the Fat Boy Slim song and heard the cover version and knew it was the right song for our first dance!

Favourite Moment

The ceremony. I loved the setting, the readings and marrying my best friend.

Any Advice?

If you want a DIY outdoor wedding then use Pinterest to make your plans! I thought that so many of my ideas were unrealistic and that I wasn’t creative enough to pull them off but that’s just not true – you can do anything and on a budget as well. Also, hire a wedding co-ordinator for the day! We hired April at Kook Events to be our wedding co-ordinator. Honestly, our day wouldn’t have been the same without her. April also brought an assistant Keagan who helped so much as well. We owe the smooth running of the whole wedding to April – she is so organised, put me and Jonny at ease, she knew our wedding inside out and she took care of everything on the day and in the days leading up to the wedding. Seriously, everyone needs an April at their “DIY” wedding!!

The Line Up

Photographer: Victoria Baker Weddings
Venue: Kilnsey Park Estate
Tent: Shades Canvas
Event Company: Kook Events
Bride’s Dress: Amelia’s Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Bridesmaid Dresses: Mix Bridal
Hair and Make Up: Victoria Farr
Florist: Julia’s Florist
Caterer Big D’s BBQ
Cheese Tower: M&S
Band: New York Brass Band
Acoustic Musician: Matt Baxter Music


Wedding beauty on its way!

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