Helen & David’s Summer Spectacular at Bowcliffe
We were told about Bowcliffe after a friend of ours (and soon to be bridesmaid) knew of someone having a wedding here. After looking at the website we made the call to arrange a visit as we were keen to come ‘home’ to Yorkshire to be married.
Dave and I both work in the same industry so it was perhaps only a matter of time before we ended up meeting. Our first introduction was at an annual conference, we exchanged cards and it went from there.
We soon moved in together and after a few years he plucked up the courage to pop the question on a Christmas trip to New York. We were enjoying the sights through the day and went to see Grand Central station, stood back-to-back in the whispering gallery trying out the acoustics Dave said those four little words…will you marry me! Of course, I said yes but to my amusement he couldn’t hear a word due to being a little deaf (which I previously thought was selective hearing) and a lot of background noise! We turned and met; he was as white as a sheet but the smile on my face soon brought his colour back.
By the new year we had the (first) wedding date booked, courtesy of covid we had a longer than planned engagement and by wedding date three we’d cracked it! Our vision for the day was always to make it elegant, personal, and centre around the places that matter to us the most. Bowcliffe provided the perfect
backdrop and created much of the magic for us, each room so different yet elegantly finished with attention to detail that is second to none.
I was keen to find a dress as timeless as possible, simple (yet modern) and elegant. The dress was made from Mikado fabric which had a beautiful sheen and weight which worked well with the fishtail, the princess-cut seams provided a clean-cut silhouette and the buttons cascaded from the low back down to the hem. The only addition was a simple belt which I actually found on Amazon (you can take the girl out of Yorkshire…)
We first met at an industry conference, and subsequently arranged to meet to talk ‘shop’ (I was a bag of nerves) – but we soon hit it off and I started to relax.
I’d been planning the proposal for a while and drove over Helen’s parents to ask for their blessing around Bonfire night in 2019. After an emotional chat (happy tears) I had the green light. Having bought the ring and decided that New York (somewhere) was the place to propose, I had to try and act nonchalant – with a propensity for ‘misplacing’ things this was a doubly nerve-wracking time! Having packed the engagement ring safely into my toiletry bag (seemed like a good idea at the time) we were off to the airport, I can honestly say I’ve never been so pleased to see luggage arrive on the carousel.
I think Helen probably had an inkling that something was afoot, I was unusually good at zipping up pockets and the rucksack as we walked around the sights. As we went to look around Grand Central, I knew it was the right place. Having asked Helen the question I nervously waited what felt an eternity as I didn’t hear any response. We turned to meet each other and as I realised it was a ‘yes’, suddenly I was the happiest (and most relieved) man in the world!
We both were in agreement that the wedding day needed to happen in Yorkshire and be shared with our family and friends. Simple.
I wore a silver-grey suit with royal blue cravat and matching pocket square. The waistcoat was grey tweed with a blue thread running through it, shoes and belt were dark tan. The finishing touch was the Yorkshire rose boutonniere.
Having chatted transport over with Becky (our wedding planner – now friend) she suggested we speak to Colin, of CPW Chauffer’s. We are so glad we did! He and his wife Janet were superb, nothing was too much trouble, and he was so relaxed and chatty he even made the wedding album! We booked his Range Rover to arrive and leave in style (and comfort). Both sets of parents also enjoyed the short journey from their hotel in Wetherby to the venue with Colin.
Initially we had looked for venues with accommodation as our friends and family are spread all over the country and so were a little unsure as to whether Bowcliffe would work. Within ten seconds of walking through the front door we knew it didn’t matter, Bowcliffe was our wedding venue. Every room just got better and better, with so many different elements and aspects we couldn’t have wished for anything more, we simply fell in love with everything.
The attention to detail and the feeling Bowcliffe gave us (and still does) are not easily put into words.
From the Art Deco feel of the Drivers Club and its memorabilia, the modern tribute to aviation in the Blackburn Wing, small chapel in the manicured grounds, sweeping staircase in the entrance and elegance of the Ballroom, Bowcliffe has it all and we were fortunate enough to use all of it for our special day.
Bowcliffe provided us with the space of a country house while making us feel completely at home.
The décor of Bowcliffe is such that it needs very little adding. That said we did want to personalise the day. As we both enjoy travelling we decided to use this as a theme along with the Wing to enhance the tables with destinations, and provide guests with boarding passes for their ‘visit’.
We also took the quirky lead from existing signage and items around the grounds as inspiration for our own additions. Working in construction we couldn’t resist adding some road signs to help our guests navigate around and also sending them off with highway inspired favours.
We had one bridesmaid, and she wore a beautiful dark blue maxi dress with a modern ombre skirt, pleated throughout, which we finished with a DIY waistband in silver which tied at the back.
We had four groomsmen and they all wore silver grey suits to match the groom. Our page boy (aged three) wore dark blue trousers and grey waist coat to match the groom.
Just before the ceremony, nerves started to take hold, and emotions ran high as soon as I saw my dad walk in to meet me with my nephew. Little did I know that Dave was wearing the carpet out on the other side of the wall as he paced up and down waiting for us to arrive.
Dad and I walked down the aisle to André Rieu – Ballade pour Adeline, it takes me back to something we listened to when I was a child so holds a lot of special memories.
The ceremony itself feels a bit of a blur for both of us, in part due to a mixture of nerves and excitement but also as we probably picked the shortest vows for fear of getting tongue tied!
Our most memorable moments had to be our first kiss as husband and wife, not least because Dave was then wearing my lipstick and walking out to the Top Gun Anthem as we headed over to the Wing.
THE FOOD & DRINK
Following on from our New York engagement it was only fitting to have doughnuts instead of canapes. We had these in the Wing straight after the ceremony.
The wedding breakfast took place in the Ballroom and centered around some of our favourite meals starting with baked camembert followed by a traditional roast and topped off with a chocolate orange fondant.
Helen loves a good cup of tea, more specifically Yorkshire tea so the favours had to be tea and biscuits. With support of friends and family we made this happen and also sent our guests away with asphalt coasters as a lasting reminder of our wedding.
Tell us about the cake…
We made a point of cutting our wedding cake in the Wing so that everyone could enjoy a slice while relaxing in the Drivers Club with a drink after the wedding breakfast. Our cake was three tier, comprising layers of cherry Bakewell, chocolate orange and lemon.
We also had a celebration cheese and pork pie wedding cake in the evening to follow our hog roast.
Our evening entertainment (DJ) was arranged by Bowcliffe and was considered by the guests (and us) to be one of the best they’d heard.
Peter Cetera’s glory of love saw us take to the dance floor to start proceedings and the dance floor remained full for the rest of evening – the Wing was very much alive!
We finished the evening singing on mass to Sound of Silence by Disturbed followed by New York New York before being taken off to The Principal, York where we (well Helen) enjoyed the view of the Minster over a cup of tea and a KitKat!
THE TEAM AT BOWCLIFFE HALL
Every single member of the Bowcliffe team has been amazing, from start to finish we’ve enjoyed every moment. We couldn’t have asked for a better or more supportive wedding planner – Becky has shared our excitement every step of the way. Her and Oliver curated our day perfectly and nothing was ever too much trouble, the same can be said for Janet who’s calm words, caring nature and good sense of humour have made us feel more at home with every visit.
The end of our wedding day came all too quickly but as we stepped into our wedding car we smiled because we knew that leaving Bowcliffe was not a goodbye but more of a see you soon.
Dickon Clark: https://www.dickonclark.co.uk/
Wedding dress: WED2B, Adora by Anna Sorano
Bride: Dune Wedding Collection: ‘Diamoindd’ by day, ‘Captivated’ by night
Groom: Ted Baker
Bridesmaid dresses: Phase Eight
Groomsmen outfits: Slaters
HAIR & BEAUTY
Park View Salon: https://www.parkviewsalon.com/
Kate Mell, Boston Spa: https://katemell.co.uk/
4Heavens Cake (Sponge): https://www.facebook.com/4heavenscakesrosy/
Celebration Sheeses: https://celebrationcheeses.com/
Elite Sound: https://elitesound.co.uk/
CPW Chauffer Services: https://www.cpwchauffeurs.co.uk/
Bowcliffe and The Whole Hog UK: http://www.thewholehoguk.co.uk
Anita Ashby: https://www.anita-ashby.com/index.php
Thank you so much to Helen & David for sharing the intimate details of your beautiful day with us, we loved having you.
Bowcliffe Hall is unlike a traditional country house wedding venue. If you decide to say ‘I do’ here, the entire Estate is at your disposal, and our events team will do everything in their power to ensure every detail of your day is perfect. To enquire simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01937 541111.