• Fiona Bielby

GEMMA & CHRIS | RELAXED, INFORMAL WEDDING AT SKIPWITH HALL GARDENS,

"Perfect, wouldn't change a thing," is how Gemma and Chris describe their day to me afterwards and I couldn't agree more. When they got in touch with me way back in January, Gemma told me of their plans for a relaxed, informal day where they would enjoy the gardens at Skipwith Hall, whilst sipping locally made wine and and enjoying good Yorkshire Food.



On the run up to the wedding, the weather looked absolutely atrocious and I must admit I packed my wax jacket and a brolly, but when I arrived at Hollicars Lodges where Gemma, her mum, sister and a few close friend were preparing for the day, the sun was shining gloriously. Gemma and Chris have character as a couple and you can be sure that shone everywhere you looked on the day of the wedding.



Relaxed and informal wedding photography
Gemma and her bridesmaids looked incredible; I particularly loved Gemma's floral headpiece.
I wanted to be able to keep the flowers as a momento of the day and to gift each of the bridesmaids bouquets to our mothers. They were beautiful and will be bring brightness to our lives. They were especially perfect as I didn't need antihistamines to enjoy our day!

Believe it or not, the flowers are actually made from silk, honestly the amount of guests that went to smell these on the day was unreal because they looked just like the real deal. Gemma wanted to be able to keep the flowers as a memento of their day and to gift each of the bridesmaid's bouquets to their mothers. "They were beautiful and will be bring brightness to our lives. They were especially perfect as I didn't need antihistamines to enjoy our day!" Joked Gemma.


I wanted to be able to keep the flowers as a momento of the day and to gift each of the bridesmaids bouquets to our mothers. They were beautiful and will be bring brightness to our lives. They were especially perfect as I didn't need antihistamines to enjoy our day!


Thinking back to when I first met these two back in June, Chris told me about his proposal to Gemma, it was right at the beginning of lockdown no 1 and he was desperately seeking something to present with the ring, when he asked her. He told me how to shelves were bare, due to everyone panic buying, then he stated, "The only appropriate biscuits left were Jammie Dodgers..." Well of course Chris! So what he did was surround the ring with the Jammie Dogers and then popped the question, it obviously worked. Gemma told me later that Chris has a whimsical sense of humour and a very sweet tooth. 😆 You have to love him.



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THE CAKE

After hearing about the proposal, you need not ask where the theme for the cake came from or the size, this cake was huge! It was rather fabulously made by Chris' sister Lucy, who has a passion for baking and very kindly made it as their wedding present.



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THE FOOTWARE

How, cool, are, these!!! Specially, designer bridal trainers, no I hadn't heard of them either and nor in fact had the bride, but following her acceptance of Chris' sweet proposal he'd been researching in to comfortable wedding shoes for Gemma-he just wanted her to be as comfy as possible on the day of their wedding and in no discomfort at all.



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WE WANT EVERYONE PRESENT

Our Lady's Parish Church, in Acomb was undergoing some work, there was scaffolding down the whole of one side, this didn't phase Gemma and Chris though, they just decorated it with photographs of people who couldn't be with them on the day and also added paintings created by much loved children.


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THE TRANSPORT

These two loved the idea of using local suppliers, so it made absolute sense that when they chose their transport to get the guests from the church to the venue, that they would go with a local company like York Pullmans. The company is known well for it's high quality coach and bus travel in the beautiful city of York. With roots stretching as far back as 1926, the York Pullman Bus Company was originally ran from a premises in the centre of York.



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YEP! They are capes hanging out the back on Chris' shoes.

Chris was extremely pleased with one of his wedding gifts from his wife on the morning of the wedding and couldn't wait to get them on. Apparently, the groom has a bit of a passion for funky, colourful socks, his groomsmen were all wearing brightly coloured ones because of this and because Gemma jokes that Chris is her super hero, she bought him superman socks with capes since she didn't want him outdoing by his groomsmen on the day of their wedding.


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COCKTAIL TIME

They wanted something different for the evening so everyone didn't just have wine, beer and fizz to drink for the day, so they hired Blakefield Events and their horse trailer to provide cocktails for the evening. This went down extremely well with all of their guests, there wasn't a hand anywhere to be seen that wasn't holding a martini glass.


 


NOW LET'S HAVE A LOOK AT THE DAY ITSELF


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Gemma's sister helped the bride to do her makeup on the day.
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The dress was an online purchase from John Lewis.
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Gemma told me how she just kept buying them and trying them, until she found the one she loved. Because of lockdown, she was unable to go to a proper dress shop.
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It turned out that one of the bridesmaids doubled as a hairdresser!
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Gemma's niece joined to the party to get ready.
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These two told me, that they'd spent more time hiking up mountains than they had doing each other's nail varnish.
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Wedding ready!
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Our Lay's Parish, in Acomb
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Chris' sister-in-law, had made the orders or service for them, as a wedding gift. Another talented guest.
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Breaking traditions, Chris was walked down the aisle by his mother, who is very close to his heart.
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The grand arrival of Gemma in the Daimler
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Her very proud Dad, ready to walk his daughter down the aisle.
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But not before Chris.
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The entrance of the bride.
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Gemma's Grandmother was keen to get the confetti throwing started.
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OVER TO THE VENUE AND HOW THEY CHOSE IT.



I know you love walking at Skipwith Common and this is how you chose your venue, what else drew you to it?


"The Gardens at Skipwith Hall are stunning and bright. The venue offered us a blank canvas to create our wedding in our image and show our personality."


I couldn't agree more, the pair of them made their wedding day 100% their own, from the amazing Marquee, to the food they chose to serve along with the way they decorated everything and entertained their guests.


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The venue has quite the wow factor as you enter from the front.
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The get the marquee, all of the guests had to meander through the winding, meadow paths that were alive with buzzing bees and butterflies.
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I loved all of the natural greenery they added to decorate the space.
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Their wine had come from the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard and Brewery, just down the road at Nun Monkton, York.
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The view from the back of the marquee was pretty incredible.
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The Yorkshire Deli catered for the start of the day, these goats cheese and caramelised onion tartlets looked delish!
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They had no formal seating plan, they wanted their guests to sit where they were happy to.
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A DIY bar made it fun for everyone could pull their own pint.
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There were also lots of garden games to keep everyone entertained.
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What were your highlights of the day?


Chris: Having those we love and respect the most together to share with us after so long. It added an extra special moment to a gorgeous day.



Gemma: My brother Philip reading The Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton and the speeches.


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Do you have any tips for planning a day like yours? Obvisously, I guess moving house a few weeks before the day won't be one of them 😂😱

Yes, try not to move house three weeks before the wedding. Remember that everyone there has a shared interest - You. That helped us keep perspective.



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This is so true, everyone is there for you at the end of the day.
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I love capturing couples at different times of the day.
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Credits to other suppliers as they deserve a shout out!

Dress: John Lewis

Shoes: The Perfect Co. (Online)

Flowers: Rebel Roses, Tadcaster

Jewelery: White Dove Bridal

Hair piece: Rebel Roses, Tadcaster (Chris doesn't have enough hair for a hair piece 😂)

Suits: Moss Bros Hire

Ties: Tie Planet

Marquee: Marston Moor Marquee

Decor in the marquee: Gemma and Chris' families particularly Gemma's sister Steph.

Venue: Skipwith Hall & Gardens, Escrick Park Estate

Bus hire: Pullmans The Car: Mark's Wedding Cars

Food: Yorkshire Deli

Cocktails: Blakefield Events

Pizza: Bistro Guy

Cake: Chris' sister Lucy. No business just a passion for baking. This was her wedding present to us.

DJ: DJ Ollie

Wine & Beer. Yorkshire Heart Vineyard & Brewery

Order Of Service: Chris' Sister in Law (another kind wedding present)

Church Service. Our Lady's Parish in Acomb

Church Flowers prepared by the Parish of Our Lady, Acom

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