John and I met through an introduction by a mutual friend. After a month of talking we finally met for a date and have been inseparable since. We got engaged around 2 years later on the day we were completing on our first house. I unlocked the door, stepped inside to see a picture saying “The Lloyds” and as I turned around John was down on one knee. I wanted our wedding to be elegant and feminine with lots of flowers and a white/blush colour scheme. The most important thing for me was to have a relaxed day with lots of laughter, dancing and for everything to run smoothly which the Bowcliffe team made sure was the case!
In the end I chose a Martina Liana dress which was a fitted mermaid style with lots lace detailing and beading. I also got the most beautiful Sophia Webster heels that everyone complimented me on.
We met through my best friend who had known Isabelle for years. I worked at a Car Dealership at the time and knew I wanted to impress her so asked my boss if I could borrow the best car I available to pick her up in. Obviously, I said it was mine! Around two years later I wanted to make the first day in our first home extra special so planned ahead to propose once we had collected the keys. Safe to say one of us cried, and it wasn’t her! I didn’t really know what to expect from the wedding day but I think I wanted what everyone does; sunshine, to be surrounded by family and friends enjoying themselves and to marry the love of my life.
We were really lucky to know lots of people with beautiful cars. The best man had a Mercedes C63 which the groom and groomsmen used. My bridesmaids and my parents travelled in our Porsche Cayenne & Bentley Continental, with my Step Dad and I following in his Aston Martin.
We were looking in two areas for a venue. Whitby – where we live, or around Bramham where my Mum lives. I found Bowcliffe Hall online and had passed the sign lots. I am SO glad we finally decided to visit the venue after being disappointed with every other one we’d seen. It ticked every single box, and trust me I was fussy.We wanted somewhere that felt grand but unique rather than just another manor house. Somewhere memorable. Bowcliffe Hall certainly delivered on all aspects. Once we visited it was the easiest decision of the whole wedding planning! The Drivers ‘Club was perfect for a more masculine touch, whilst the elegance of the Bowcliffe Room and Ballroom impressed all the ladies. The Blackburn Wing speaks for itself and is definitely what puts the venue into another league. All of the guests kept asking “what’s that in the trees?” throughout the day and absolutely loved getting to spend the night do drinking and dancing away in it.
The great thing with Bowcliffe is that the venue and rooms are stunning without having to do anything much to enhance them. We added white petals, family photos and white ruffle chair covers to the Bowcliffe Room for the ceremony and lots of white flowers, candles and diamantes to the tables for the Wedding Breakfast in the Ballroom. We left the Drivers’ Club & Blackburn Wing pretty much as they were except for a corner with all of the guest book bits, and we moved the flowers from room to room – great money saving tip!
The outside of the Blackburn Wing was also turned pink come night time, with multicoloured strip lights inside, ready for the party. The attention to detail was just amazing and no request was too much.
For me, the flowers were really important to create the look I wanted and they certainly gave the WOW factor. So that they could be easily moved and used throughout the venue I wanted mostly white flowers to match all of the different decor. We had white Open Garden Roses, Hydrangea’s, Ranunculus & Lisianthus, lots of greenery and lots of Gypsophila. Dreamy. In my bouquet my Mum added a spring of Heather as a surprise, in memory of John’s Mum which was really special.
I had five bridesmaids and John had four groomsmen. I opted for pink multiway dresses for my girls. The groomsmen rented dark navy suits to match the groom, with a dark grey waistcoat and pink cravat tie to match the bridesmaids. We also managed to find our son a matching toddler suit!
My Dad walked me down the aisle to “The One” by Kodaline which our live singer played. The words were just perfect for us. We then danced out to Danza Kuduro. We loved every second of it. It absolutely flew by.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
Food was such an important part of the day. We had a menu tasting beforehand which was AMAZING so knew this part was well taken care of. We had canapés at the Drink Reception, the most incredible food at the Wedding Breakfast, a selection of fudge made by the Chef before the evening do and a hog roast/graving table for the night. The cake was four tiers with a different design and flavour for each.
Throughout the day, we had a live singer who was just brilliant. We chose the Blackburn Wing for the evening do and it was incredible. For our first dance my Mum surprised us with two of my brother’s singing L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole – the funny part being neither of them are singers. The rest of the night our DJ kept everyone dancing. We had a photobooth at the entrance to the Blackburn Wing for extra entertainment and my Mum had arranged a surprise firework show for us!
THE TEAM AT BOWCLIFFE HALL
Having Laura from the Bowcliffe events team there to keep me in line was brilliant. Anything I needed help sourcing she organised and nothing seemed an issue. She was such a a calming influence. We were able to pop by to see the venue a few times and on the actual day everyone kept things running so smoothly. We had forgotten to bring the meals for the toddlers and only realised as the main course was being served! It was sorted so quickly by the Bowcliffe team that I think I was the only person who was aware of the mishap (until now!). I can’t thank everyone enough.
We just cannot recommend Bowcliffe Hall enough (with the added bonus of becoming a member of the Drivers’ Club if you get married there). It was just so different to any other venue we had seen. Can’t wait for our vow renewal party in 10 years!
There is little more pleasurable than pottering about in the garden as the weather gets warmer, so here are some simple tips from our Head Gardener Anna on how to keep your gardens looking in great condition throughout July…
- Dead head Roses using sharp secateurs to cut off dead flowers back to the next bud to encourage more flowers
- Remove old flower heads from Hellebores and any failing leaves. This will improve airflow and reduce the chance insect pests harbouring.
- Cut back Bearded Iris’s and any old stems from spring bulbs.
- Prune back Box hedges to tidy them up, (most jobs are a little late this year due to a wet June). Following a trim, feed Box hedges with maxi crop which contains seaweed extract to build resistance to stress and helps strengthen plants against pests, diseases and weather.
- Keep a check on weeds around your flower beds.
- We have noticed a lot of tree seedlings have taken root this year at Bowcliffe, which we have been potting on. This is always worth doing if you spot any little saplings in your own gardens. (Keep them in a space away from rabbits, ideally in a cold frame and make sure they get watered regularly).
- Take a moment to enjoy summer perennials as they burst into a haze of summer colour! We have noticed a lot of Red Admiral Butterflies recently fluttering about the gardens.
Don’t forget to join us on Wednesday 4th September for one of our most well loved events on the Bowcliffe Events calendar; our Late Summer Garden Tour, you can register your interest or book, here. Visit our magnificent, award-winning gardens at the peak of their late summer glory and be shown around by our talented gardens team.
You’ll hear a short history of Bowcliffe Hall and the gardens, learn about our redevelopment and landscaping project and see how we manage and cultivate our freshly grown micro herbs and vegetables for our kitchens, plus finish the day with the ultimate indulgence – Afternoon Tea and Champagne in the elegant Georgian setting of the Bowcliffe Room.
Big or small, make sure you get outside and enjoy you outdoor space!