MARY & MATTHEW | A TRADITIONAL, AMPLEFORTH ABBEY WEDDING WITH KENYAN TWEAKS
Before they hooked up, Mary and Matthew had a lot of mutual friends through the Rugby club and they hadn't even realised. So after swiping right on Tinder, Mary sneaked out of her family home where she hopped in the car with Mathew and after a 14 hour first date, I guess you could say they must have got on pretty well. They’ve now been together for 6 years, therefore celebrating with their family and friends was one of the most important things to both of them and after all of the lockdowns their wedding was to be the first time everyone has been together in over two years, in many cases they hadn’t even seen people since before lockdown one.
Both Mary and Matthew would describe themselves as being quiet traditional people, they wanted the marriage to take place in a church. Because Mary studied at Ampleforth College during her teenaged years, Ampleforth Abbey became a building close to her heart, so it was an easy decision to make when it came to choosing where they would say their vows. The pair had a full traditional service, including Mass, which let everyone enjoy the grandeur and simplicity of the interior in the Abbey a little longer.
As the day went on I soon realised that they'd both put a lot of thought into the little details and finishing touches: The order of services had be thoughtful made by Mary herself, she’d use recycled elephant-poo paper for the cover, then Mary had lovingly cut out hearts from paper inlaid with flower seeds, which they’ve asked their guests to plant to remember their day by. She finished them with a feather from a guinea fowl, with this being a popular bird in Kenya (you'll realise why this is significant later on).
After the service, everyone headed back to the family Farm in Sproxton, where Matthew and Mary had impressively decorated two incredible yurts. The first yurt you entered, AKA “Tusker’s Bar,” named after a Kenyan Beer and also Mary’s parents Labrador, was cleverly decorated with a Kenyan twist. They’d hung mini Massai Tribal necklaces above the bar and used tribal Massai cloths as table coverings.
As you entered the second yurt, the theme very cleverly changed from the Kenyan inspiration to a Yorkshire Countryside one; nevertheless, they’d still managed to subtly add hints of the Kenyan background to it, by naming the tables after all the different places that Mary had travelled during her early childhood, when they had lived out there.
For their favours Matthew had picked sloes from the hedgerows in Sproxton and had made sloe gin with them, everyone had a mini bottle to enjoy during the reception. Adding homemade favours like this is a lovely idea, not only do they actually get consumed, they are brilliant for mixing in with your bubbles during the speeches. 😉 Sloe gin is well know for being made in Yorkshire, with us having numerous distilleries within the county, so a great idea to add to Yorkshire Countryside theme.
The lace pattern on their cake was cleverly inspired by the lace on Mary's dress, they shared the pattern with Rhian from the Walled Garden's in Helmsley. She did a wonderful job of the decor and Kymm from Queen of Flowers added the floral finishing touches, which totally set the Yorkshire Countryside brief off.
The couple chose two main cocktails to be served to their guests and The Harrogate Bartender ltd did a great job of delivering them: Mara Star martini (named after their dog) and a Ukraine Mule. The Ukraine Mule was in honour of their family friends over there, they felt it was important to remember everyone from Ukraine as many were supposed to be celebrating with them at their wedding; sadly, they were unable to due to the current situation.
Outside they had thoughtfully filled wellies with flowers, to represent the Yorkshire part of their lives and the agricultural past, which both of their families’ have in the background. It would seem that there was nothing they did throughout the decor, without meaning to them in someway or another.
Because they both love a good party, getting the DJ and entertainment right was really important to them. Come on, the Rugby lads are renowned for their heavy drinking, wild partying and love of a good time aren't they! The couple choose Jonny Ross music to help them get their guests on the dance floor at their wedding and from the minute the music started, everyone was up and dancing. The added addition of a Sax player really helped with this too, although Mary did joke it could also have been them cocktails that got everyone boogying.
Tips and Advice from Mary and Matthew...
Firstly, don't try and plan wedding during a pandemic 🤦🏻♀️😂 On a more serious note though, they said to make sure you do exactly want is important to you as a couple and try not to worry about pleasing other people. Also, in terms of suppliers, they said that word of mouth speaks for a lot and if you can ask others for recommendations it worth doing.
A shout out to suppliers here: Hair: The Cutting Shed | MUA: Indrira at The Shepherd's Purse for the Bridesmaids and Lucy Swan from At Home Beauty | Flowers: Queen of Flowers | Dress: Victoria Robson Bridal | Jewellery: Roseanna Wood | Cake: Rhian at Celebrate Country Cake Designs | Catering: Poppy Catering | Bar: The Harrogate Bartender LTD | Seating and table plan: Ellen Wilson | Decorations: Emily Slingsby | Wedding Rings: Bradley's York | DJ & Sax player: Jonny Ross Music | Videographer: Wheel and Spoke | Photography: Anoif Photography