Real Weddings

A Grecian-style Wedding Gown for an Elegant Wedding at Grassfield Hall – Sophie & James

Sarah Symonds

When it’s right, it’s right. Today’s couple went from an engagement in July to a wedding in September and every little bit of it is on point, proving that it doesn’t need to take years to organise a wedding.

With the rolling hills of the idyllic Yorkshire Dales as the backdrop, Sophie and James’ special day was always going to be perfect but this really takes the (three-tier salted caramel and chocolate) cake!

We’re seeing bridal bliss as Sophie glows in her simple but stunning gown, tonal navy and sage bridesmaid dresses with all-white DIY florals and plenty of on-trend foliage, plus eco-friendly potted plants and trees, all coming together to give a natural feel to the styling. (Insert heart-eyed emoji here). And we can’t forget the fact that it all began with a trip to the gorgeous Middleton Lodge. It’s like something straight out of a storybook – literally! Check out that sweet proposal story!

Sophie’s been sharing her thoughts on this dream wedding with us, to give you a little insight and inspo for your own planning.

With photography by Bright Sight Photography


Sophie says: We got engaged at Middleton Lodge on 19th July. James had organised for us to go for dinner after a couple of really busy periods at work. I thought it was a nice surprise but didn’t expect anything else at all!

We settled into the lounge at the Forge restaurant and he ordered a bottle of wine. As we started to get comfortable, James produced a little book he’d made online which talked about all the reasons why he loves me. Although it was very sweet, I still didn’t catch on to what was happening! On the last page of the book there was a little illustration which said “Sophie, will you marry me?” At that point I burst into tears and we celebrated with a glass of Champagne the restaurant had kindly organised.

Following a fabulous tasting menu dinner, we then stayed overnight thanks to James secretly packing us an overnight bag!


The wedding date was Saturday 12th September. Although the date has no significance to us, I’ve always wanted a September wedding. As my parents anniversary is on the 5th of September, we ruled out that date, and the 12th just happened to be the following weekend!

We got married at Grassfield Hall in Pateley Bridge. Both the ceremony and reception were at the venue. We chose it because we didn’t want to have a typical hotel wedding, and the venue gave us the ability to do pretty much anything we wanted – from choosing our own caterers to being able to decorate ourselves.


The venue really lends itself to very natural styling. We chose greens and white for our colours, which went well with the overall look and feel of the rooms. We loved the simplicity of the colours we chose and it allowed us to even have things like mint and rosemary in our table decorations and personal flowers.


I chose a dress from the Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I went for a very Grecian-style dress which was simple and elegant and then added some small embellishments such as a belt and crystals down the skirt.


James’ suit was from Moss Bros at the York Designer Outlet. He wore a three piece tweed suit in navy and grey. The groomsmen wore three piece tweed suits from Moss Bros. Their suits were in grey to complement James’.


My bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS. Two were navy and two in sage.


Fabienne Astley, who is local to Harrogate, did my hair and the bridesmaids’ hair. Georgia Sands did my makeup, the bridesmaids makeup and also the two mum’s.


We stayed over at the venue so we didn’t need to travel on the day, which was great!


Our photographer was Bright Sight Photography from Wales. I would recommend them over and over again! Their professionalism and knowledge was second to none and they were just so fantastic on the day. They captured all the moments we wanted and each photo is filled with so much fun and love.


It was Bright Sight again, as they come as a duo. We’re yet to have the video back yet, but have had a glimpse of the ceremony footage and it looks fabulous!


I carried a bouquet on the day made up of English grown seasonal flowers and greenery. Marianne at Frances and Rose grew all the flowers and then beautifully tied them in a very naturally shaped bouquet.

The flowers for the venue we did ourselves. We bought them from a local florist and spent the Friday afternoon setting everything up. My mum also bought two bay trees for the end of the aisle and two pots of hydrangeas which sat at the top of the aisle.

Décor wise, we bought some vases from a supplier online which were filled with water and topped with a floating candle.

We definitely used the Brides Up North inspiration features when planning our table decorations! These I found the hardest as we wanted something super simple and elegant with not many flowers.


Our favours were supplied by our cake lady. They were super yummy biscuits which were iced with the date of the wedding on. These also acted as our place cards too!


Our cake was made by the lovely Emily at the Flamingo Bakery. It consisted of three flavours; salted caramel, chocolate indulgent and chocolate orange. It was quite possibly the most incredible cake we’ve ever eaten!


For the menu we decided to go with something a little different. As lovers of food, we always knew we wanted a caterer who was totally onboard with our idea. We chose Baba Ganoush in York and together we came up with a fantastic menu.

Our canapes were Wensleydale and leek bon bons, scallop and chorizo skewers, Bloody Mary gazpacho (served in shot glasses) and buffalo mozzarella, balsamic figs and Parma ham skewers.

Then, for the main meal, we served a tapas selection for the starter, lightly cured salmon top loin cut with beurre blanc sauce on a bed of crushed new potatoes and green beans or a duo of beef, featherblade and ox cheek bon bon, pommes anna and heritage carrots. Dessert was a ‘Baba Mess’ pavlova.

The wines we chose were some of our favourites. We went with a French rose, New Zealand white and an Argentinian red for each table. The champagne my mum and dad bought from the champagne region in France.


We chose Glen Roughead who is a loop pedal artist. We fell in love with him at a Brides Up North wedding show at Grantley Hall last year. His music and general personality really fitted with the day. He sang outside during the drinks reception.

Special touches

The majority of the décor and signage was created by me. I hand drew the table plan and designed the welcome sign and order of the day signs which we then had printed. We also did little menus for each guest which were slotted into the napkins.

The robes for the bridesmaids I ordered from Etsy from a shop called Fund My Wedding, which were lovely! My garter was made by my grandma from pieces of my mum’s wedding dress. My earrings and necklace for the day were my Auntie Valarie’s, who sadly passed away from Motor Neurone Disease last year and couldn’t celebrate with us.

Thanks to

Absolutely 100% thanks to our venue. Lisa was incredible from start to finish. With everything happening with Covid, we worked together to come up with safe ways for the wedding to go ahead. The venue was left to us to set up on Friday which was amazing, and we ordered pizzas for everyone in the evening, which the staff then cleared up for us ready for breakfast in the morning.

I rarely saw any of the staff on the day, which I always say is a win, as they’re often running around behind the scenes making sure everything is running perfect for you, which it did.

Honestly, all of the suppliers were amazing! We felt so blessed that we had so many incredible businesses on hand to make our wedding day exactly how we wanted it. Everything happened without a hitch and we had a day we’ll never forget.

Best bit

Between the ceremony and the food it’s hard to choose a favourite part! The ceremony was so personal and filled with love and emotion, and the food was exactly what we wanted, and a true reflection of us as a couple.


We were fortunate enough to get away to Corfu, one of the only islands that didn’t have any restrictions.

We stayed in a self-catering accommodation which meant we could come and go as we pleased. We enjoyed meals out and long days on the beach, as well as some activities such as jet skiing, water skiing and a day on our very own speed boat.

We also explored the spots where one of the James Bond movies was filmed, as James is a huge fan!


If you have to have a small wedding, my advice would be not to fret. They’re so much more personal and intimate than you could ever imagine. We had to forgo our evening do and guests because of Covid, but then had a small gathering at a restaurant the following day (all within the guidelines at the time).

I would also say when it comes to choosing suppliers go with your gut. Don’t be forced to choose someone just because someone else has had them. Your wedding is all about you both!

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