Ella and Sam’s wedding

IMG_1008Ella and Sam have not only tied the knot but now have embarked on a whole new life style in Copenhagen!
The couple randomly met on a night out and were introduced by a friend Ella actually met through internet dating!
Ella plucked up the courage to talk to Sam – after a few bevies – and kissed him and the rest as they say is history!
They bought a house in February 2014 and got engaged the following December and celebrated their nuptials just 10 months later.
Here’s what Ella had to say about their big day…
It’s such a cliché but it really was the best day of our lives to date. I am not one of these girls that had always pictured her special day, but it really was more than I ever could have imagined. We had the best time surrounded by everyone that we love.
The Venue
We looked at what seemed like hundreds of venues all over Yorkshire.
There were lots of things to consider including cost, amount of local accommodation, style, amount of effort required.
We wanted it to be a lovely yet relaxed place, where things like table settings etc. were already taken care of. We didn’t want a DIY wedding as we simply didn’t have the time for it. We actually loved another venue (The Woodlands in Leeds), but it wasn’t available on any of the dates around when we wanted to get married and so we decided on Fountains Abbey followed by the Met Hotel in the centre of Leeds.IMG_3013
The Met was great in terms of location, price, how it looked, accommodation etc. but it doesn’t have any outside space which was important for me for the photos.
However, because it was so reasonably priced for the reception we decided we had some extra budget to have the ceremony at a different location.
We decided on Fountains Abbey for this because it is a place with special meaning for us; about a year in to our relationship we hit a bit of a stumble and Sam took me to Fountains Abbey for the day – it was gorgeous and sunny, we walked all over and talked and talked – then we lay on the grass and everything suddenly seemed fOK again.

 The Preparation
I am a control freak and very organised in general so I found it easier to do everything myself and just instruct others (mainly Sam) from time to time when I needed them to do something. For example, Sam’s sister kindly decorated our wedding post box for us and made some little signs, but I had bought the post box, decided the colour scheme and style, so just asked her to pitch in her creative flare.
We didn’t use a wedding planner. I used Pinterest and Instagram for wedding inspiration but the rest was down to Sam and I.
We handmade lots of things; our own custom wedding invitations; we brewed a home-brew beer, designed custom beer bottle labels (Sam is a graphic designer) and handwrote brown card luggage tag labels as name cards which we placed on the bottles also. We made our table plan and used one of our engagement photos in a signing frame rather than a guestbook.
I really enjoyed it on the whole, but of course it was a little bit stressful at times. I found that things naturally pieced themselves together though. Once the venue was decided it was then easy to plan the type of decor, the schedule for the day etc. The thing I found hardest to decide on was all the music but luckily Sam is great with that stuff so we worked well as a team.
The Dress
I LOVED this bit the most out of all the planning. I did it in one day, took all of my bridesmaids with me and went to three shops. We started in an expensive boutique in Leeds where I found one that I absolutely loved (a Pronovias). However, I had appointments at another two shops so decided not to buy in the first one. I tried on about 20 different dresses and felt like a princess in all of them to be honest – there were only a couple that I really didn’t like. I probably could have worn most of them and been completely happy so I don’t believe there is a ‘one’ wedding dress.
It was just a  really lovely day out too. I wish I could do this every weekend! I ended up buying a La Sposa dress but an ex-display one from the Abbey Wedding Warehouse in Kirkstall. The brand is owned by Pronovias and the dress was almost identical to the first one I’d absolutely fallen in love with in the expensive boutique. I got it for half the price of the Pronovias dress then had it altered by a lovely seamstress (Wendy at Stitches in Stanningley) who added sequin and bead detailing, which was the only thing differentiating it from the Pronovias dress. She also altered it so that it fit like a glove and so that the belt detail was stitched on.
 The bridal Look
I did my make-up myself. I had several make-up trials at Charlotte Tilbury, Mac and Bobbi Brown – but they never got the balance right. I wanted sophisticated elegance, but it was always either way too much or way too little. I wanted to look special and made up but still look like myself. I did spend about £300 on new products for the day in the months leading up to it, and I trialled it all on a number of occasions so that on the day I knew exactly what I was doing.
For my hair I knew I wanted an up do. I had one trial, she hit the nail on the head and we went with that.
On the day…
We got married on the 3rd October 2015 in Fountains Hall at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal at midday infront of 76 family and friends. We then had a drinks and canape reception in the walled garden there while we had out photos done around the Abbey before heading back to the Met Hotel in Leeds for the receptions starting from 3pm.
We had the best time surrounded by everyone that we love.
Fountains Abbey was just magical, so beautiful and with such history it made it really unique. It ran smoothly from start to finish and I just never wanted it to end. Contrary to popular rumour too; it didn’t fly by in the blink of an eye, and we did manage to enjoy it without worrying about anything. I put that down to my excellent organisation though!
The Cake
My mum made the bottom tier of our wedding cake (each tier was a different type of cake) and then got a designer baker from Leicestershire to decorate the cake according to my requests.IMG_1131
Words of Wisdom
Don’t let the peer pressure get to you. During the organisation there is so much stuff on social media and so many other people getting married that you sometimes feel you have to have  a certain thing, or spend a certain amount, or do things a certain way. Just do what you want, what will make you happy, and don’t listen to anyone else. Now with the wedding behind us, and knowing how perfect it was, I am actually really proud of the small savings we made on things. For example – the bridesmaid dresses came from Debenhams and cost £80 each, so I feel really smug when other people tell me they spent £250 on each bridesmaid dress, because mine all looked stunning and we didn’t break the bank.
Stockists
The Photographer: PhotographybyKathryn
The dress: Abbey Wedding Warehouse and tailoring by Stitches Leeds
The Bridal Shoes: Irregular Choice
Suits: Slaters
Hair: Creative Hair By Kimberley