Real Weddings

Handmade details for a sorbet-infused wedding at Holdsworth House Hotel – Sarah & Joe

Katie Byrne

Both teachers, there was one thing that was clear from the word ‘go’ for Sarah and Joe’s wedding: they’d need a date that would tie-in with the school holidays.

Happily enough, the couple were able to find their dream venue and book a date that sat within their time-frame. The date? A sunny Saturday in June. The venue? Holdsworth House & Hotel, a luxury Jacobean property in the heart of Halifax that boasts 4* accommodation.and gorgeous gardens.

Bespoke elements filled their airy celebration, with the couple’s mums both getting involved: Sarah’s helped design the floral decorations, whilst Joe’s created their delicious cake.

The thoughtful details didn’t end there: goodie bags kept the kids entertained during the speeches, Lottery ticket favours gave guests a chance to get lucky and sparklers added a glittering touch to the evening.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke of Lloyd-Clarke Photography.


We got engaged on our sixth anniversary, which was August 29th 2018. Joe had bought me a bunch of flowers for our anniversary and placed my engagement ring on the rose. He asked if I’d like to marry him and the rest is history!


Our wedding date was June 1st 2019. We knew we wanted a spring/summer wedding with the hope of decent weather and be outside. We also didn’t want a long engagement so wanted it to be a 2019 celebration – and as we are both teachers, we really needed it to fall in a holiday week. Once we found the venue, it was a case of deciding which date would work.

We got married at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church in Pudsey. This is our local parish. Joe is a practising Catholic and it was really important to both of us to have a church wedding. We go to our church regularly and we built a gorgeous relationship with our priest. We knew he would make the wedding that extra bit personal for us!

Our reception venue was Holdsworth House Hotel in Halifax. We loved it: the grounds are beautiful and we knew it would provide lots of space for the relaxed wedding we wanted. The building is absolutely beautiful and the food came highly recommended, too!

As we had around 80 guests coming, we needed somewhere that could accommodate this number. We were also keen to use the venue itself: lots of the places we looked at could only accommodate our numbers by using a marquee outside but we really wanted to make the best use of the venue itself.

We would definitely recommend our venue. They were fantastic at communicating with us the whole way through and really put our minds at ease. Nothing was too much trouble: they arranged meetings with us throughout the process to check in with us what we had planned. This was really helpful as there were some things we hadn’t even considered!

The venue and its grounds are simply stunning and provided ample space for people to spread out in the evening, particularly if some guests wanted to be away from the music. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it, too! Everything we asked for they accommodated. It was the perfect venue for us.


We didn’t really have a theme as such but incidentally as we both enjoy cycling, this featured quite heavily. We linked it into our table names, our seating chart and we even decorated our bikes!

We chose a glacier/mint colour scheme, which we combined with a peachy pinks. I’d seen a lovely picture of these shades together and couldn’t pick just one! The colours were perfect for the time of year and looked bright and cheerful; plus, Joe’s favourite colour is pink so he had to have a pink tie!


I wore a fit-and-flare wedding dress, which had the most beautiful train. It wasn’t what I expected to like but I found many of the ball gown dresses to be really heavy. This dress was the last one I tried on and it really surprised me. I loved that it wasn’t too fussy: it was quite simple but had some beautiful detailing on it, particularly on the train.

My dress was from Victoria House Bridal & Occasionwear. It was the most amazing experience – I was offered so much guidance and was encouraged to try on lots of different styles to find what I liked. When I wasn’t sure, they were great at suggesting styles that they thought would suit me and together, we found the perfect dress!


Joe wore a grey Ted Baker suit, hired from Moss Bros. He also had a pink tie from Debenhams and tan coloured shoes from – he has size 13 feet so isn’t the easiesst to buy for!

The groomsmen wore suits that matched Joe’s, with mint-coloured ties from Swagger & Swoon.


My bridesmaid looked gorgeous in a long, backless dress – mint-coloured, to match our theme. My flower girls wore ivory dresses with a mint flower band around the waist and petals along the hem of the dress. They were all from Victoria House Bridal & Occasionwear.


We used my parents’ car to get me to the church and we used Joe’s to get us to the venue. We wanted to use our own cars so we trimmed them up and added our decorated bikes to make it extra special.


Our photographer was Beth Clarke of Lloyd-Clarke Photography – she’s absolutely amazing! We’d seen her pictures before from other weddings and loved how she seemed to capture all those extra special moments – not just the orchestrated ones, but the ones which really tell a story of what your day was like: lots of happy, smiling friends and family, all having the best time.

We were thrilled when we found out she was available to do our wedding and the whole way through, she was brilliant at communicating with us. She even did a pre-wedding shoot for us!

The photos from our wedding are amazing. It’s been lovely to share them with our guests and we’ve had so many compliments about them. We could not recommend Beth enough.


My bridal bouquet was made by Janice Whitworth, who was recommended by our priest. She used to run a business doing it and also created all the flowers in our church, too. She did an amazing job; she really listened to us and made some fantastic suggestions.

We used flowers for our centrepieces; these were made by Joe’s mum, Maria. We put flowers in mason jars outside in the courtyard, too; these were just supermarket-bought bouquets that we cut up. My mum, Sue, and I styled and arranged these.

We had sparklers in the evening. It really got everyone together and made for some beautiful photos!


For our favours, we gave everyone scratch cards. I had been to a wedding before where we were given a Lottery ticket and thought it was a brilliant idea, so we wanted to do something similar! Unfortunately, no one seemed to win more than a couple of pounds…

We created special favour bags for the children to keep them entertained throughout the meal; this included little activity magazines and colouring pencils. They seemed to go down well!


We asked Joe’s mum to make our cake. She is a fantastic baker anyway and we thought it would be extra special to have it made by someone we knew. She made us a fruit cake and then a lime and courgette cake for the other tiers.


We had a food-tasting session at the venue before the wedding and picked a few options based on what we liked. The food was all excellent and the portion sizes were great!

Our canapés were bruschetta, asparagus wrapped in Parma ham and duck spring rolls. They were delicious! Our wedding breakfast was fine filo tart of confit tomato, red onion, watercress pesto with shaved pecorino for the starter; roast sirloin, Yorkshire puddings, potatoes, panache of vegetables and gravy for the main; and raspberry and white chocolate bread and butter pudding with white chocolate ice-cream for dessert.

We chose Vina Mariposa blanco (Galicia, Spain) for our white wine and Shiraz (Watervale, Australia) for the red. We actually ended up choosing a slightly more expensive red wine as we didn’t like what was initially included in our package and we wanted to make sure we had good wine!


We used the venue’s DJ but also had a band which had been recommended by the venue – The International Party Doctors.

We had been to a wedding with a band a couple of years before and loved it. It made the evening entertainment that little bit more special and they were great at getting everyone involved.

Best bit

My favourite part of the day was the wedding ceremony. I had been really nervous the night before and the morning of. But once we were in church together my nerves disappeared. It was so special marrying my best friend in front of all of our family and friends.


We haven’t been on honeymoon yet. We have booked to go to South Africa but we wanted to go in their summer, so we will be there over Christmas.

this is a sponsored post

Contact Loved Up North for details of our sponsorship packages and feature opportunities.

Contact us to be featured on Loved Up North