Real Weddings

Essence of Australia for a Pretty Wedding at The Tithe Barn – Bethany & Steven

Sarah Symonds

Today we’re bringing you heaps of rustic barn-style pretty with the wedding of the lovely Bethany and Steven at the Tithe Barn, found nestled into the stunning landscape of the Bolton Abbey estate.

Booking a new venue is always a risk, especially when it isn’t even finished yet! Bethany and Steven fell for the Tithe Barn while it was still a building site! Luckily, our couple were able to keep an eye on proceedings through the venue’s social media accounts and were thrilled with the finished space. We can totally see why! Cripps have done it again and created the most perfect rustic setting for a relaxed wedding. Especially important when the groom wants ‘good times’ to be the theme of the day!

We just love seeing all of your personal touches, from DIY photo holders and homebaked favours, to making your stationery entirely personal to you, with emotional mentions for much missed family members. Read on to be inspired and find out how today’s couple found ways to add their own individuality.

With photography by Bloom Photography


Bethany says: We got engaged on October 7th 2017. We were visiting my family in Lincoln but, little did I know, this weekend was planned specifically for the proposal and my Mum and stepdad were in on this too!. My mum suggested we take their dog, Murphy, for a walk. We walked through the village I was brought up in. We were walking down a small country lane and Steven told me he had read an article online about when you have your eyes closed, your pulse rate increases. I told him that was rubbish and made him hold my phone so I could count my pulse over a minute, with my eyes closed, and prove it was made up! After I’d proved my point, he said “Oh no, I got it wrong. Your heart rate actually increases when your boyfriend drops down to one knee and asks you to marry him…”


Our wedding date was June 1st 2019. We knew we would like a spring or summer wedding, on a Saturday.

We got married at the Tithe Barn in Skipton, North Yorkshire. It is part of the Bolton Abbey estate and has beautiful views! We had our ceremony and reception here as it is just such a stunning place. As I’m from Lincoln, and Steven is from the north, either way our guests would need to travel. So, we decided to research the sort of venues we had in mind, go and visit them and then work out the travel logistics for the guests we would want to invite. I loved the idea of a ‘barn’ type venue and the views around Bolton Abbey are beautiful.

When we went to view the barn, Cripps had only just started to turn it into a purpose-built wedding venue. We went to look around an empty, run down barn and agreed if Cripps did the work they said they were going to, it would be a stunning wedding venue. We loved the look of their other venues and we were really interested in the plans they showed us. Once we booked the venue, we watched eagerly as the work developed! Tithe Barn posted lots of pictures and videos to their Instagram page and watching the weekly update video was the highlight of our week! Luckily, the decision to book at the Tithe Barn paid off.


We didn’t really have a theme, although I had been searching on Instagram, Pinterest and blogs to get inspiration. I loved reading Brides Up North real weddings for inspiration. I loved using social media and hashtags to get inspiration. I don’t know how weddings were ever planned before social media!

With the barn style venue, I knew I wanted our day to be quite rustic and with neutral tones, but we didn’t have a theme as such. I used neutral tones mainly; whites, creams, light pinks and mink. I thought this fit the style of the venue and the season. When I asked Steven what he wanted the theme to be for our wedding, his reply was, “To have a good time, but I’m not sure if that’s a theme!”


It was important for me that I bought my dress from a shop in Lincoln so that my mum and maid of honour, Sophie, could come with me to look at dresses. I had a vague idea of the style I liked but was keen to try different options as I honestly had no idea what would suit me!

I cut out styles from bridal magazines that I liked and tried to get inspiration from wedding blogs. I found a few designers whose dresses I liked but in all honesty, the designer wasn’t the be all and end all, what was important for me was that I could buy the dress from a bridal shop in Lincoln and that I found a dress that I loved!

I went for an A-line style dress with a lace top and a tulle skirt with lovely buttons at the back. It was designed by Essence of Australia and I bought it from a lovely bridal shop in Lincoln called Wellbet Bridal. However, it has now closed as the couple that owned it have retired.


Steven rented his suit from a lovely shop in Bolton called John Francis Formalwear. He didn’t think he would really wear his wedding suit again, so we thought it would work out more cost effective to hire a suit. The staff at John Francis were brilliant and made sure everything was organised for the day including last minute alterations! Would highly recommend them!

The groomsmen wore the same suit as Steven from John Francis. We had two ushers, a best man, Steven’s dad and my stepdad. There were also two page boys, aged two and three. We bought them some navy shorts and a white shirt from Marks and Spencer. We then bought navy braces and a bow tie from a shop on eBay. I bought them some brown boat shoes with white laces from the mini range at River Island, which they wore with white ankle socks. They looked so cute and definitely upstaged the adult groomsmen!


I had four bridesmaids and bought their dresses from high street shops. I got two dresses from ASOS, one from Little Mistress and one from TFNC.

Sophie, my Maid of Honour, had a mink ASOS dress with a lovely tulle skirt and sequins sewed onto the top half of the dress to the waist.

Katherine had only had a baby six weeks before the wedding (and still managed to be a perfect bridesmaid!) so, we picked a mink dress for her which was maternity and breastfeeding friendly! This was the maternity range from ASOS.

My bridesmaid dresses were all different but with a similar mink colour. I know this isn’t traditional and not for everyone, but I felt that all my bridesmaids were different and a dress that would be suitable for one bridesmaid, another might feel uncomfortable in. I wanted them all to feel comfortable on the day so it was really important to me to have their input!


Sarah from Sarah Lawrence Hairdressing was fabulous! So kind and considerate and such a lovely addition to the morning of the wedding. She was fully involved, chatting to everyone and dancing to the playlist! She was also so patient at my trial when I had no clue how I wanted my hair and made me brew after brew while I decided!

My make up was by Casey who owns Faces by Casey. She was so understanding after I had been for a previous trial which didn’t go the way I had hoped. She really listened to what I was after and my trial with her was a success! On the day, she was so professional and managed to do my mum, bridesmaids and me with time to spare at the end for touch ups. Her attention to detail was very much appreciated and I’m now looking for any excuse to use her again in the future! Sarah and Casey are such lovely people and I would really recommend them to other brides.


Chris, one of our photographers, gave Steven and his best man, Dan, a lift to the venue!

The bridesmaid, my mum and I got a blue campervan from Liberty Campers. They provided a brilliant service and stayed around after the ceremony for us to take some pictures. They offered to take me and Steven for a drive after the ceremony but, we wanted to stay and mingle with everyone!



Chris and Anneka of Bloom Photography are a lovely couple! Their style of photography is very natural with only a few staged photos, which was just what we were looking for when choosing a photographer. Chris started with Steven in the morning whereas Anneka came to find the bridal party and photograph us all getting ready.

It was lovely having two photographers and we felt they documented the day just as we would have hoped. They seemed to care so much about the wedding as a whole and not just the photography, despite the fact they are so busy! We would 100% recommend them!


My flowers were beautiful, I was really impressed with our lovely florist, Angela. She owns a florist in Ilkley, not far from the Tithe Barn, called Floral Dance. My bouquet consisted of roses and wax flowers in pale pink and creams, along with green eucalyptus. Angela also did some beautiful buttonholes, bridesmaid bouquets, corsages and table decorations using the same flowers as my bridal bouquet.

My dad passed away in 2011 and we were very close, so this was difficult, as a bride. My dad was mentioned in our Order of Service and also, my Maid of Honour, Sophie, gave me a lovely gift of an old picture of Dad and me in a small frame. This was attached to a ribbon and tied to my flowers.

I decorated the tables using vases I had found in different high street shops. They were different sizes and shapes which gave a lovely finish when Angela decorated them with the flowers. Our table names were taken from cities Steven and I have visited together over the years. I wanted to have a photograph of us in that city on the related table but was struggling to find photo holders that I either liked or were within budget. In the end I used corks to create a stand to hold a photograph, tying three together with twine. I was quite impressed with my DIY skills!

We used Eliza May Prints for our wedding stationary, including the table names, table plan, order of the day and the table plan. She was so helpful and easy to contact, we would highly recommend her for wedding stationary!

Steven came up with a good idea to make some ‘golden tickets’ which we could put under the chairs of randomly chosen guests and then put some money behind the bar for them to spend in the evening. When Steven announced it during his speech, everyone felt under their chairs and under three were our handmade golden tickets!

In the evening, we had fire pits and marshmallows for toasting. I also put a box of blankets together so our guests could sit outside in the evening. There were some beautiful lights and combined with the fire pits, it made a really nice social space.


As our surname is Lamb, we decided to make our own Lamb shaped biscuits! The best man offered to help as he is good with baking! I bought a lamb shaped biscuit cutter and some cellophane bags on Amazon. I also bought some thank you stickers from Etsy to stick on the bag. A couple of nights before the wedding Dan made the biscuit mixture and I helped with the icing. It turned out well and seemed to be a hit with the guests!


I asked my stepdad, Kelvin, to help us out with the cake. He owns a café with my mum and often makes his own cakes. He is quite a perfectionist so I was confident he would make a good wedding cake, despite not having made one before!

I asked him for a semi-naked wedding cake and then my plan was for the florist to decorate it on the day with some finishing touches. I bought the ‘Mr and Mrs Lamb’ cake topper from Etsy. Kelvin did a brilliant job, with a vanilla flavoured sponge to the bottom and top layers, and a lemon sponge to the middle. It was more than I could have hoped for and we were so grateful!

Kelvin and my mum shared a picture of the cake on the café Facebook page, and he has since been approached to make semi-naked cakes for other customers. He’s made a good side business from it!


We went to a taster night at the venue around nine months before the wedding. It was so hard to choose what to have on the menu as it all tasted so good! We eventually decided to go for what we felt the majority would also like as we could only pick one option.

For our starter we had a charcuterie board. Each board was in the middle of the table for guests to help themselves. I think this style of starter is a good way to get guests talking to each other and break the ice. We then had a sirloin main with trimmings, plus the best dauphinoise potatoes! When we talk about our wedding with guests that came, they always mention how good the dauphinoise potatoes were! Dessert was a big Eton Mess in the middle of the table that the guests helped themselves too. Again, it was delicious!

The evening food was pork rolls with apple sauce. Delicious!

We also had canapes after the ceremony. There were so many, they just kept coming and coming! We were really impressed with the volume and quality of food, none of our guests left hungry! This is always commented on when we talk about the wedding with our friends and family.


We had a band called Rolling Keys which we found through Jonny Ross Music. During the day, two of the band members performed acoustically. During the evening, they became a five-piece band. Altogether, they did four sets throughout the day and continued to provide a DJ service until the end of the night! Our guests really enjoyed them and we felt they were brilliant.

They also performed our first dance song, Mirrors by Justin Timberlake. It was a lovely version of the song!

Thanks to

Our wedding venue was beautiful and so ideal for a barn style wedding. The food was incredible and there was plenty of it! There were so many food choices that would cater for all dietary requirements. The staff work so hard leading up to the date to ensure everything is as you hoped. Communication was also very easy, with an online platform used throughout the planning.

Best bit

We both have said that our favourite part of the day was when I walked down the aisle. It was such an anticipated moment for both of us and we were both so happy and emotional!

But the whole day was amazing, it really is the best day of your life!


Our honeymoon was incredible! We spent two weeks traveling through California and finished with five nights in Las Vegas.

We started in San Francisco before driving to Napa Valley and spending some time on a vineyard. We then travelled to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea before a very long drive to Los Angeles. From there we went to San Diego before our last drive, part way along Route 66 to Las Vegas..

It might not sound the most relaxing, but it was a holiday we had talked about doing for a while, and we spent months discussing whether we should do this or spend two weeks relaxing in a lovely beach hut in the Maldives. We would of course like a holiday like this too, but we’re happy to wait until we are older and can’t be bothered with the effort of travelling around!


My top tip would be to enjoy the planning of your wedding and not to get too stressed over the little things. On the day you’ll be too busy having a good time to notice!

In terms of budget, we didn’t want to run ourselves into debt and start our new life as a married couple stressed about money! So we found the best thing for us was to make a list of four things we absolutely did not want to compromise on and four things we would be happy (or at least tolerate) compromising on, to keep within budget. We found this really useful. Obviously if money was no object then some things may have been different, but in reality at the end of your wedding day you will be married, just like everyone else, regardless of how much you spent. It just has to be perfect for you two. Don’t try and please everyone!

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