Kevin and Phil chose Bowcliffe Hall as the venue for their incredible wedding ceremony in September, 2016.
After a romantic proposal in Paris, the twosome went on to hold a ceremony that maximised every inch of Bowcliffe’s beautiful rooms and grounds. Blessed with beautiful weather, guests enjoyed Pimms on the Drivers’ Club terrace and a delectable wedding breakfast with views out from the soaring Blackburn Wing.
They then revelled in the beautiful Estate gardens, playing giant lawn games and ending the evening with drinking and dancing in the Wing. A day full of emotional tears and laughter, it was surely a near-perfect example of how a wedding day should be. The couple took time out to tell us more about the details of their day…
We heard about Bowcliffe Hall through the Papakata website as we originally considered having a teepee for our wedding. When we visited the venue we were so impressed with their event rooms, especially the amazing Blackburn Wing, that we decided to use them instead of having a teepee.
We met through mutual friends when we both lived in Bristol. We later moved to Harrogate in Yorkshire when Kevin was relocated with his job. Kevin proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Valentine’s weekend. It was very romantic, even if we were surrounded by tourists! Planning the wedding was actually really good fun. We both had a similar idea of what we wanted so there were very few disagreements.
We wanted a venue that was both contemporary and modern, with beautiful outside space. Whilst we visited many beautiful wedding venues in Yorkshire, nothing compared to Bowcliffe Hall, it had everything we wanted plus more. The function rooms in the main Hall were traditional, tasteful and had lovely period features – every room had been restored with incredible attention to detail, perfect for our wedding ceremony.
The art deco Drivers’ Club and terrace were ideal for drinks and the grounds just gorgeous. The real showstopper – no surprise – was The Blackburn Wing for our wedding breakfast and reception, a modern contemporary Wing with stunning views. It was exactly what we were looking for. Our guests absolutely raved about the venue – it was unforgettable.
Bowcliffe Hall, Blackburn Wing and extensive gardens gave a fantastic backdrop to the day, giving us a magnificent setting for the wedding photos, something we were both looking for. This was really important to us as when looking back on our photos in years to come we wanted to be reminded of the beauty of the day. Michael and his team at Bowcliffe really helped us think of everything, ensuring all the tiniest details were considered, which was a massive help and reduced the stress in the organisation.
The rooms at Bowcliffe Hall were so beautiful we didn’t need to add much décor. Our friend Val Jackson arranged some beautiful flower table arrangements which was all we needed. As our wedding was in September we went for bright colours, such as orange calla lilies, pincushion protea and cherry brandy roses.
We decided to not have any bridesmaids but we both had our best friends as the best men. They both gave very funny and emotional speeches which raised tears and laughter in equal amounts. We did not pick their outfits as we wanted their personalities to show through their own choice.
On the day we arrived at the venue early so we could welcome our guests. We had Pimms on the terrace in the glorious sunshine overlooking the magnificent gardens before moving to the Bowcliffe Room for the ceremony. We walked down the aisle to ‘Better’ by Tom Baxter. It’s a beautifully romantic song that means a lot to both of us. We had two readings; ‘The Colour of my Love’ by David Foster and Arthur Janov which was read by Kevin’s sister Jackie and ‘Extract from Plato’s Symposium’ read by our good friend Lucy. They both did a great job and there were quite a few tears shed!
We booked lawn games including giant Jenga and Connect 4 to entertain our guests during the day and fortunately we were blessed with beautiful weather. In the evening we booked a DJ from The Hi-Life who put on a great disco in the Blackburn Wing. Those that didn’t want to dance enjoyed drinking on the lovely balcony that wraps around the Wing and lounging on the sofas.
We had great fun dancing to the music and some of our guests got more than they bargained for when a guest wearing a kilt, following the tradition of no underwear, danced with a bit too much gusto!
The food and drink
We had canapes with champagne following the ceremony, the duck and mango canapes, in particular, were delicious.
For our wedding breakfast we had Little Money Bag’s seafood starter, roast sirloin forestiere for our main course and then a trio of desserts with coffee to end the meal. Our wedding favours were little personalised boxes filled with chocolates. In the evening we had mini fish and chips and mac and cheese.
The service was both personal and professional, extremely attentive but not over the top or intrusive. With advice from Michael, we picked wines to complement the meal choice and they were superb.
Many of our guests commented on the high quality of the food, saying it’s what they’d expect from a good quality restaurant – it’s so nice to hear as wedding food can often fall short.
Our photographers were Jill and Julia from Todd and Moore Photography who did a fantastic job. We met them several times before the wedding day so we got to know them very well and they understood what type of photos we wanted. We took them to the venue before the wedding so they could understand the layout and identify the best locations for eye-catching photos. Apart from a few formal photos, the majority were casual informal photos which beautifully captured the day. We’d highly recommend their service.
Where did you get that?
Outfits – Suits were from Doherty Evans and Stott, an independent specialist in gents clothing in Manchester. Our shirts were from Emmett in London and our ties from Paul Smith.
Shoes – Trickers and Loake
Rings – Christopher Stoner in Harrogate. We chose platinum rings with our names and wedding date engraved inside. The service was excellent.
Florist – Val Jackson from Garden Room Flowers
Cake – We had a three-tier wedding cake from Blossom Tree Cake Company in Harrogate. Each tier was a different flavour – chocolate orange, zesty lemon and red velvet. They’re lovely guys and gave a great service.
Band/DJ – The Hi-Life, a great Yorkshire based DJ company.
Other – All our wedding stationery was done by Noble Fine Art. Their service was fantastic and all our stationery, from invites to place cards, was absolutely beautiful.
Thank you so much to Kevin and Phil for choosing Bowcliffe and sharing the intimate details of their day with us in this blog – we loved having you and all your guests!
If you’re looking for an exclusive wedding venue in Yorkshire and would like a personal show-round the Bowcliffe Hall Estate then please get in touch with our events team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01937 541111.