I had no idea that James had been planning to propose there for months. We were on a trip to New York having the most amazing time sightseeing and following my daily itinerary.
We were walking around Central Park Lake, taking in all the sights, when we stopped to look over at the lake at the Bethesda Fountain. There was such a buzz in the air with people enjoying the sun and people boating on the lake when James told me to take a picture on my camera. When I finished, I looked at him to see he was on one knee and was holding out a ring. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. It was the most amazing proposal and was completely worth the ten-year wait! We are childhood sweethearts and began dating when we we 15.
“I went shopping around a year before the big day, because I was cautious I didn’t want to pick anything too early and then worry about my choice. Like many brides, I had a full Pinterest board of inspiration and had some idea of the style I wanted.
I actually tried on my gown on my very first dress appointment, and I think I always knew it was the one because I cried when I saw my Mum and myself at the bottom of the runway. It’s a very hard feeling to describe, but I couldn’t believe how pretty the dress looked and that I could actually get married in such a beautiful gown. I was advised by my consultant not to rush into anything as it was my first bridal appointment, so I went to three other boutiques, but found I was always comparing the other dresses to “the one”.
I ended up going back around a month later and tried on the dress again. I think I knew deep down my dress was always the one, it’s just very surreal saying “Yes” and being done with it!“
“We had an idea that we wanted period charm and features, something which could provide a beautiful backdrop to our big day. On the day of our viewing appointment we had both already decided it was the perfect venue just driving up the driveway, which is set in the most beautiful grounds with roaming sheep and has the most amazing view of the property.
The property itself was absolutely breath-taking. From marble floors to silk wallpapers and the most beautiful ornate statues and chandeliers, there was nothing we didn’t like. We also loved the fact we could get married in The Old Chapel, which still features the original stained-glass windows and period features, and then have our wedding and evening receptions in the Dining Room and Ballroom.
The venue also allowed accommodation for a number of our guests, which again featured the most beautifully decorated rooms. We are both so happy we chose Lartington Hall, the venue worked perfectly for what we wanted – I couldn’t fault a single thing. I would recommend Lartington Hall for those wanting a classic, timeless venue, with a variety of rooms and spaces to interact. The team were brilliant during the planning stage, and we couldn’t have asked for more on the day itself.“
“I discovered Stan Seaton through my hairdresser who shared her wedding album with me following her wedding day. I was overwhelmed by how classic and timeless the photos were, plus how beautifully shot and put together the album was. I then earmarked Stan as my ideal wedding photographer – bearing in mind this was 4 years prior to our wedding day!
I wanted our pictures to really represent our day, with no filters or effects – something which wouldn’t go out of style and still look amazing in 50 years time.
At the time of booking, I actually didn’t know how much it would cost, but even the groom knew there wasn’t really a back-up photographer, so we would be booking regardless and make any cost-savings elsewhere.
Your wedding pictures are the only thing you have after the day itself, and I really think this is where the next big investment should be made. These are the images you will cherish forever.”
Details & Styling
“We really wanted to utilize the stunning backdrop of Lartington Hall, it already has the most beautiful styling, we didn’t really need to do a lot. I took inspiration from the grey Italian marble floor when producing our wedding stationary but other than that, my only criteria was for everything we added, such as the flowers, to be timeless and classic.”
“Bels Flowers provided us with the most beautiful tall, centre pieces. I wanted rich green tones with neutral flowering, something which wouldn’t date our photographs and match the style of the groomsmen’s tuxes. After our first meeting with Helen, she understood exactly what we wanted, and over-delivered completely. I started crying when I saw my bouquet it was that beautiful!”
“The Pretty Sugar Cake Company provided the most beautiful wedding cake with flower roses which were based on my wedding bouquet – my florist advised the main flowers and Nicola replicated them perfectly. Our guests thought the sugar roses were real – they were that realistic. I’ve managed to keep all the sugar decorations and I hope I will have them for a very long time to come.”
“Try to go with the flow on the day itself, which can be a lot harder for those organised brides, but all the planning and hard work has already been done so really enjoy the day. Everybody says it, but it will be over before you know it.”
Walking down the aisle: Beyonce – Halo
Signing the register: Michael Giacchino – Married Life
Leaving ceremony: American Authors – Best Day of My Life
First Dance: Samm Henshaw – Only Wanna Be With You
Second Dance (with guests): John Legend – A Good Night
Rachel & James'
PHOTOGRAPHY: Stan Seaton Photography
VENUE: Lartington Hall
FLORIST: Bels Flowers
CAKE: The Pretty Sugar Cake Company
BRIDAL DRESS: Essense of Australia from Limelight Occasions, Huddersfield
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: ASOS
GENT’S FORMALWEAR: Hugo Boss
MAKEUP: Marta Make-up
HAIR: Dianne Jefferies from Elysian
ENTERTAINMENT: Kendal String Quartet
Stan Seaton Photography
VOWED REAL WEDDING FEATURES