Michelle and Stephen’s wedding at Bowcliffe Hall was exactly as a wedding should be. The Bride and Groom looked incredible, the venue was a knockout (!) and every moment was filled with a genuine feeling of happiness and love. The couple utilised every inch of the Estate, including a ceremony in the Bowcliffe Room, a blessing in the Chapel, drinks in the Drivers’ Club and the reception of dreams (with an incredibly cool live band) inside the Blackburn Wing.
Pure wedding magic.
We live locally to Bowcliffe Hall and my (now husband!) Steve is also a member of the Drivers’ Club, so he knew the venue well. When I saw the Hall for the first time I knew instantly that it was going to be the place where we would get married.
Steve and I met at work and have been together for four years. Steve proposed whilst on holiday in the Maldives and we were married exactly a year later. From the start, we were both focused on ensuring that the wedding would be intimate and tailored to the things we love the most.
I went with my mum to select my wedding dress and I was more than delighted with the end result. It was by British Designer Nicola Anne from her vintage collection. I have never felt so amazing in a dress and I absolutely loved the lace detail and the fishtail.
I hadn’t really planned the proposal in advance; I just felt the time was right and that it would be good to have time alone whilst we were on holiday. The biggest challenge was keeping the ring hidden and safe until I actually proposed. I have to admit I was paranoid she’d find it or I’d lose it before I actually asked her! Luckily, I kept it safe and decided to ask her mid-way through our holiday, one morning after breakfast. I’d written the big question in the sand before we went to breakfast and thankfully it was still there when we headed to the beach!
For our wedding, we wanted somewhere different and unforgettable. I’d always thought Bowcliffe might fit the bill but never mentioned it to Michelle. When we first visited together it was fantastic. She loved it and that made the decision so easy – we didn’t even visit anywhere else. It was a perfect choice.
I had always wanted a bespoke tailored suit so I treated myself to one for the special day. I tracked down a tailor I’d met at a dinner a few years earlier as I’d promised him that if I ever was going to have a suit tailored then I’d ask him. He did a fantastic job. I finished off the suit with a pair of Jeffery West Navy Brogues.
As for the day itself; it was an amazing mix of friends & family, sunshine & showers, food & drink, speeches & pictures, gin & tonic and chat & dance! And somewhere in between all that, we fitted in a wedding! We enjoyed and savoured every minute.
Michelle: I arrived with both my mum and dad in a cream Beauford Cabriolet. I shall never forget being in the car with my parents and the laughs we had on the way. It was a special moment of feeling very excited about the day ahead, which we shall all treasure forever.
The grounds are fantastic and really allowed our guests to relax and enjoy themselves. Starting with a drink in the in Drivers’ Club and some sunshine (before the rain) on the beautiful Terrace!
We had a vision for a small intimate family wedding with around 50 guests at the ceremony and wedding breakfast, with an additional 20 joining us for the evening celebrations. The Hall is so unique with the various rooms that we decided to use the entire venue including The Blackburn Wing and after the ceremony, we went to have a wedding blessing alone with only our parents in the tiny Chapel. It was very special for us both. It was a moment of calm and reflection which gave us all time to truly appreciate our wedding and the day.
Choosing Bowcliffe was an easy decision as it is so very unique. It was the only venue we visited and we were so pleased with our choice. We love the grounds and Hall completely, everything is immaculate and the attention to detail, as well as the quirky individual touches throughout the venue, are second to none. All our guests commented on how different and amazing it was. We decided to have our wedding breakfast in The Wing, and as the sun shone down on the beautiful Yorkshire countryside it felt heavenly.
In terms of a theme, it was cream with a touch of pink, very subtle and classic. The Bowcliffe team accommodated our every wish and the rooms looked amazing, utilising the lighting with hints of pink throughout.
We had a mixture of cream and pink roses with a little greenery. Simple but classic.
The song I walked down the aisle to was Canon and Gigue in D Major by Johann Pachelbel.
My dad walked me down the aisle and we were both so very happy. It meant the world to me to have my dad by my side as I walked towards Steve. I felt amazing and could feel the love and happiness filling the room around me as I saw the faces of my family and friends.
We were both so incredibly happy and it went in a blur. There’s a fantastic photo of us signing the register in our own new married world whilst our 2-year-old nephew is laid on his tummy playing with a car in the middle of the aisle in his own world, completely oblivious to everything else going on. Priceless.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
The three-course meal was delicious and enjoyed by all. We were served efficiently and the wine chosen by Michael to complement our meal was fabulous. A delicious Fleurie and classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with a class or two of Tattinger for the toasts, helped it all go down perfectly.
The cake was a traditional, delicious fruitcake from Bettys. However, our God Daughter’s Peppa Pig birthday cake (she was 2 a few days before and we all sang happy birthday to her) also appeared to be just as popular with our guests!
We’d decided we’d have a live band. After hours of reviewing potential bands, we decided on Purple Velvet and were not disappointed. They did a fab job and ensured we had guests up dancing right the way through the evening. Our first dance was to John Legend ‘All of Me’. It was very romantic and perhaps a little slow to dance to but it meant a lot to us and that was the important thing. After that, the tempo certainly picked up with everybody joining in.
It’s so difficult to pick out a favourite moment but I guess the speeches were very special and just the overall feeling of happiness with all our family and friends enjoying the celebration with us.
Michael and his team looked after us amazingly well. From the outset, we were made to feel relaxed about the day as we knew it would be wonderful. Michael took the time to understand what we were individually looking for and we carefully planned out our day together. With the level of care and planning from start to finish, as well as the truly unique Bowcliffe Hall, we achieved a perfect wedding day that not only will Steve and I never forget, neither will our guests!
Our photographer Catherine from Eyecapture Photography was amazing from start to finish. Catherine wanted us to be relaxed throughout the day and capture all our special moments, which she most certainly did. We were delighted with the end results.
PHOTOGRAPHER – Catherine Kerr, Eyecapture Photography
SHOES – Nine West / Jeffery West
RINGS – Berrys
FLORIST – Best Friends Mum, Barbara Leeming.
CAKE – Bettys
BAND/DJ – Purple Velvet
TRANSPORT – The Yorkshire Wedding Car Co