Real Weddings

Lady Bird for a stunning September wedding at Woodlands Hotel – Alice & Stuart

Sarah Symonds

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Autumnal chic coming your way with today’s real wedding featuring the beautiful Alice and her partner in crime, Stuart.

Come with us as we go from an engagement in a storm in Cuba, to an elegant September wedding at the gorgeous Woodlands Hotel in Leeds, a whirlwind trip to Croatia for a minimoon and then honeymoon-ing in the stunning Maldives.

We’ve got a seasonal colour palette of burgundy, blush tones, pinks and cream, paired with equally seasonal roses and peonies courtesy of the bride’s friend, ‘soppy’ keyring favours and a tour of all of the places the happy couple have been drunk! Because, as we all know, the personal touches are the best ones!

And make sure you keep your eyes peeled for a cameo from special guest Reggie the pug too! Wearing a bespoke suit made to match those of the groomsmen, complete with tie and cufflinks, all created by the Mother of the Bride. What a handsome chap!

With photography by Jamie Sia Photography


Alice says

: We got engaged in June 2017 on a beach in Cuba! We were getting ready for our evening meal and Stu suggested we have a walk along the beach and watch the sunset after dinner. Which we decided to do, then we stepped out of the room to torrential rain! Stu insisted we go anyway so we grabbed some umbrellas and walked along the beach. He had a specific spot in mind that he wanted to go to but I had other ideas. As my moaning about walking on the beach in the rain got louder and more constant, he got down on one knee and popped the question! He pulled the ring out of his shorts pocket, not in a box and I was more worried about how he could have lost the ring than anything else!


We got married on the 14th September at Woodlands Hotel in Leeds. I googled places to get married near me, and Woodlands was the first place to come up. We went to view it and I fell in love with it! It was perfect and everything we’d hoped for! I refused to look anywhere else so we had both our ceremony and reception there.


We didn’t have a theme really, we just wanted it classy and a bit more autumnal. We chose burgundy as our main colour, and then as time went on we added pinks and creams. We wanted something suitable for September.


I bought my dress from Confetti & Lace in Pudsey and, to be honest, wedding dress shopping was what I was most nervous about! I’d lost some weight before I started dress shopping but still wanted to lose more. I saw Confetti & Lace at a wedding fair and spoke to them, saying that I was planning to wait to find my dress. They advised me to start looking now, as dresses can be taken in quite a lot. So I took their advice, bit the bullet and went to try some on. I had some idea of what I wanted but was very open to trying on different things. The lovely women at the shop helped me pick dresses I would never usually have picked, as I was adamant I wanted my arms covered. But as soon as I put the dresses on it didn’t matter. I felt like a princess in all the dresses which only made the decision harder!

I eventually chose a strapless lace dress designed by Lady Bird, which came with a detachable lace cover over the top of the dress. I loved it so much I declared that I wouldn’t take it off, but as soon as the party started, it came straight off!


My partner wore a suit from Yorkshire Men’s Wear. It was a navy suit with a grey waistcoat, and his groomsmen wore a navy suit and navy waistcoat with a burgundy tie.

Our pug Reggie stayed at home with Stu the night before and spent the morning getting ready with the boys! My mum made him a suit, with matching tie, cufflinks and buttons! He walked down the aisle with one of my bridesmaids. He was reasonably well behaved, only crying a little bit to get to us during the ceremony! All our guests loved seeing him all dressed up!


The bridesmaids actually wore the second dress we bought them. The first was a multi-way dress, but I saw another dress in the sale and loved it more. There was only one size available so they needed altering, but they turned out amazing! I’m really glad we changed our minds.


Our make up was done by the lovely GLAM by Elizabeth Daisy and our hair was done by her GLAM partner, Terri-Georgina. They were both amazing! The morning was so relaxed and fun thanks to them. We had a laugh which made us feel like it was our friends doing it for us.


Our photographer was the incredible Jamie Sia. We would recommend him to anyone and everyone. He’s so down to earth and relaxed that you just feel like he’s another guest at the wedding. We did a pre-wedding shoot to get used to being in front of the camera which we both found really helpful, so on the big day it was like seeing a friend again. The photos are amazing! They’re exactly what we wanted.


We had Alfie from Clique Visuals do our wedding video and I’m so glad we went with him! Like Jamie, we met Alfie before to get to know him and then on the day he felt like another guest. Alfie is lovely and was like a cheerleader on the day, telling everyone how good they looked and making us all laugh while we were getting ready! The video perfectly captures our wedding. One guest has even said it looks like an advert for weddings! I can’t stop watching the video and notice new things all the time! It’s absolutely everything we’d wished for and more!


My friend Joanne did the flowers for us to carry on the wedding day, as she does floristry on the side of her day job, and she did amazing! There weren’t any specific flowers I wanted, as I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to flowers. I showed Jo my Pinterest board and just let her run with it! She personalised each bouquet with each of the bridesmaid names on, which was a really lovely touch.

The flowers and decorations for the centre pieces were done by Kirsty at River & Rose. We met through the package we had with the venue and she was brilliant. Again, I didn’t know much about flowers so I showed her some photos and she designed it for us. I made faux flower arrangements to go on the chairs on the aisle, and had rose petals going down the aisle. This was all done with the help of the Woodlands.

We named our tables after places we’d been drunk at! We struggled to agree on anything until this and we decided that we should do something different and do bars from all around the world we’d gotten drunk at! We’re not alcoholics, I promise!

We also had a Polaroid camera to go with our guest book, and a chalkboard with a lobster drawn on it. If you’ve watched Friends, you’ll know the quote ‘See, he’s her lobster’ because they mate for life!

We had the Love lights provided by our venue and we had a beauty mirror, instead of a photo booth, which went down a treat with our guests. This was by Photobomb, who were great. They provided a personalised guest book and borders which was brilliant!


We gave out keyrings, which were shaped like a key and were also bottle openers. There was a tag attached to these saying ‘The key to love is happiness and the ability to open a bottle’. My now husband said this was ‘soppy’ but I disagreed. If you can’t be soppy on your wedding day then, when can you?! We wanted to give people something they could keep and use.


Our cake was made by Whiterose Cake Designs. It was so yummy and looked good too! We had four tiers; the bottom had ruffled icing and the other three were nearly naked and decorated with artificial flowers. We chose four different flavours: chocolate, vanilla and raspberry, cherry bakewell and salted caramel! The variety was so nice and the cakes looked insanely good!


We had our catering provided by the venue, which was a choice of two mains; chicken or beef and a vegetarian option. Then in the evening we had a BBQ! The food was amazing. We also had a gin bar for the evening reception.


We had lawn games while we had our photos taken but other than that we didn’t really have any, it’s not something we’d thought about and, looking back, I don’t think we needed it.

Thanks to

We would 100% recommend the Woodlands. The package we chose included everything you could ask for! The wedding planners are all so helpful and no question is ever too stupid to ask! They completely put you at ease during the planning and can’t do enough for you. Their suppliers are second to none and the day ran so smoothly, which was thanks to the toastmaster. They made sure we were happy with everything and treated us so well like we were the only wedding to ever happen there.

Best bit

This is such a hard question! My favourite part of the day was probably when we had our first dance, we asked everyone to join in and I looked around to see all our friends and family all dancing and enjoying it with us! It was amazing to have everyone there together.


We decided to have a minimoon straight after the wedding so we spent a few nights in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Which was lovely! Amazing food, lots of drinks and some beautiful sites. Then we’d booked to go to the Maldives in November. I wanted to have something to look forward to after the wedding so decided to split them up. Unfortunately for us we’d booked our honeymoon with Thomas Cook, so we had the stress of not knowing if we’d have the money back before the honeymoon. We managed to rebook the same hotel and dates we had our hearts set on, so we still got to go in the end.

The Maldives is an unbelievable place, and you really can’t do it justice with pictures. We stayed in an over-water villa, spending our days snorkelling and sunbathing, and our evenings watching the sharks, stingrays and turtles swim under our villa. A perfect end to our perfect wedding!


I think everyone says this but, make sure you take it all in on the day, spend time with your partner, relax, and what will be will be. I would also say enjoy the planning, don’t stress and enjoy being a fiancé! You’ll miss the planning when it’s gone! We used the Brides Up North online directory and read some of the advice from other couples. I love wedding planning!

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