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Catarina Kordas for a Summer Wedding at Grantley Hall – Dorota & Paul

Rachel Hirst

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One glance at Dorota and Paul’s wedding will have you craving the warmth of summer – but for now, you’re going to have to make do with soaking it up via their gorgeous wedding photos.

This stylish pair of newlyweds held their dream wedding day at the freshly restored Grantley Hall in Ripon, which was in the midst of renovations when they first set eyes on it. Fast-forward to June 2019 and the couple were there for their nuptials, swapping their vows in a beautiful (and emotional!) outdoor ceremony. The grounds of Grantley Hall truly came into their own – just scroll ahead to Dorota and Paul’s sun-soaked couple portraits overlooking the river if you want the proof!

Keep reading for all the details of their breathtaking wedding; from Dorota’s exquisite dress to the incredible cake. It’s a privilege to share this intimate and romantic celebration with you.

With images by Lloyd Clarke Photography


Dorota says

: Paul proposed at Holmfirth Vineyard, three years ago in 2016.  I remember Paul wanting to sit outside which I found odd as it was windy, but he just wanted to propose privately. It took me by surprise, I had absolutely no idea.


We set the date for 28th June 2019. I really wanted to have an outdoor wedding ceremony and enjoy the sunshine. We love a sunny celebration.

For our venue we chose Grantley Hall in Ripon, back in 2018 when it was still under renovation. All we had access to were the plans and they looked amazing! It was a risk but an exciting risk and seeing it develop into something unique was special. Grantley Hall also offered us a touch of amazing; beautiful scenery, a slice of luxury and elegance.


I knew the dress for me had to be traditional and made with cotton lace (I have no idea where this thought came from). The first shop I popped into had ‘the one’ and the Catarina Kordas dress was instantly purchased.

Joana, at Joana Bridal Boutique, did a fantastic job in making alterations to my wedding dress. There was no sign of an alteration which shows how skillful she is.

I love a good headpiece and I knew Chrissie (at Hat Therapy) was a lady who could design something special. I absolutely adored what she created instantly. The headpiece was made from the same material as my wedding dress and the very fine wiring gave it structure and movement.  For me it’s a piece of art which has been framed and is a forever memory.

For the evening I changed my dress and headpiece, opting for a comfortable and glamourous look to match the surroundings of Grantley Hall’s Valeria’s champagne and cocktail bar.

Shoes wise I went for comfort, Jimmy Choo Emily 85 sandals, which I could wear again, silver for the day and a light matt gold for the night.


Paul likes a fitted suit and finding the right fit proved to be difficult.  He decided on a custom made mid-blue suit from Moss Bros who offer a tailoring service where you select the style, fabric (there is a good range) and lining. There is also the option to have wording embroidered on the suit. The cost is reasonable which is a bonus.


Claire Hartley and Jade Walker (who are part of the same team) were in charge of my hair and makeup. Claire gave me 14 hours of flawless makeup and Jade tamed my unruly hair.


We wanted our photos to be natural, showing the emotion, excitement, laughs, blunders and surprises of the day and Bethany Clarke captured these moments. I also felt comfortable with Bethany and on the day barely noticed any photographs being taken which was a definite plus point. We went with our initial instinct and have a great library of good time memories.


Our colour scheme was dusky pink. I love the colour and it works well with so many other colours, such as greys, blues and greens.

In terms of flowers, my bouquet was a mix of Peonies, Roses and Ornithogalum – the roses added a splash of colour.

The reception flowers were the same as my bouquet flowers, with Hydrangeas and Eucalyptus added in. Hydrangeas come in so many colours, they look fab and are great for bulking up. The Eucalyptus works well if you’re wanting to add in subtle greenery. I opted for traditional rose bowls for the reception flowers which worked well in the Signature Room which has an opulent feel.


We chose a traditional tiered cake made with chocolate and lemon sponge, covered with white icing. We were fortunate, Pennie who I work with makes ‘exceedingly good’ cakes.


We had a tasting session at Grantley Hall and chose smoked duck for starters, morel cream chicken with a truffle potato terrine for the main course and a delightful vanilla and pistachio cheesecake with rhubarb sorbet for dessert. We chose the dishes and wine we enjoyed the most. The best part were the desserts, they were taste sensations!


For the ceremony we had Cupid’s Bow play, a cellist duo. Margit was really helpful with the music selection and fantastic on the day.

In the evening we had the band Boogie Street. Mel sang our first dance song, she has an amazing voice and the band were definitely ‘five star’ entertainment. Having live music is a great experience, it gives you that feel-good feeling.

Special Touches

I decided some months before the wedding to do a reading at the ceremony. Reading my words to Paul, although difficult at times (as I became emotional) was quite a special moment for us both.

I thought a wedding gift for Paul just before the ceremony would be a nice surprise – a picture with an engraving which symbolised our day.

We had dance lessons ahead of the wedding. Nicola Andrews who taught me and Paul our first dance was great. If we struggled with some steps she’d change the routine to make it easier and videoed us, so we could practice the steps at home. Nicola was really encouraging, which definitely motivated us, we were really glad to have found her.

Thanks To

We would absolutely recommend our choice of venue. There’s definitely ‘Something about Grantley Hall’ it has the majestic rooms, a mixture of classic and modern, delightful dining, moreish cocktails and a beautiful feel. The staff and settings are fabulous too. It’s a real Yorkshire gem and an unforgettable experience.

We loved the small touches on the day, such as the engraved cake knife and my chocolate orange mousse at the Wedding Breakfast… my favourite sweet fix.

Grantley Hall is now our happy treasured place.

Best Bits

We really enjoyed the band – when do you ever get the chance to dance to all your favourite songs?

Having Paul’s dad walk me down the aisle and being there was special. We also loved the outdoor wedding ceremony, sitting with everyone in the courtyard afterwards was lovely, we were so lucky!


We delayed our honeymoon due to family staying from overseas and we couldn’t decide on the type of experience we wanted. Waiting was definitely the right decision and Singapore is our 2020 choice.


I decided to stay at Grantley Hall with my family the night before which made it relaxing. The morning was calm and peaceful which meant I could take in the day.

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