Real Weddings

Suzanne Neville for a Modern Classical Wedding at Grantley Hall – Phillippa & Benjamin

Sarah Symonds

It’s peony season again, people! This is not a drill! Today’s wedding, set in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside, is a happy celebration of all things that make the British summertime so very great…

The luxurious Grantley Hall in the Yorkshire Dales would add heaps of elegance to any special occasion, and the gorgeous wedding of Phillippa and Ben is certainly testament to that. In fact, today’s couple loved their choice of venues so much that they even named their adorable little sausage pup Grantley! If that’s not a sign of adoration then we don’t know what is! And we don’t blame them one iota. 

From the air of rich heritage to the picture perfect formal gardens, classic Grantley has it all. Throw in the modern twists of a stunningly simple Suzanne Neville gown, an Enzoani cape instead of a veil and more than a touch of sparkle in the jazzy gold bridesmaid attire, and our couple have brought things bang up to date. We reckon you’re going to love it.

With photography by Jane Beadnell Photography


We got engaged on Holiday in Australia, at the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. Ben proposed on the 16th of November 2019 after we’d been together for four years. He was going to do it on the beach where you could see the 12 Apostles, however the steps down to the beach were closed so his Plan B came into force. He proposed on the lookout view and it was a special moment just the two of us.


We got married on Friday the 17th of June 2022 (which was postponed for a year after COVID). We chose this date as we’d always wanted a summer wedding and I wanted to have peonies, which are my favourite flower.

We got married at Winksley Church which is close to Grantley Hall, where the reception took place. We always wanted to get married in a church and fell in love with Grantley Hall when we first viewed it back in 2020. It was the first venue we went to see and nothing else we saw afterwards lived up to it. We loved the balance of having a classic stately home with a modern take on it. The church was previously used by the owners of the Grantley Hall estate. The two venues really aligned with how we wanted our special day. 


We wanted our wedding to be classic with a modern twist. We wanted something timeless and our venue was the perfect balance of traditional and modern.

Our colour scheme was white and gold. I always knew I wanted to keep things very simple with white flowers throughout. The touch of glamour and sparkle with the gold came as a result of finding the perfect bridesmaid dresses, and we then integrated the gold throughout our wedding in the stationery and table settings. 


I wore a slim-fit dress by Suzanne Neville. I always knew I wanted something very classic and simplistic, and loved the timeless style of this dress and how it fit. I had it made with an extra long train and loved the way the fabric moved. 

I’ve never wanted a veil and instead had a lace embellished tulle cape by Enzoani, with a cathedral length train. I wore this for the ceremony to add some extra drama!   

I got my dress from the Harrogate Wedding Lounge and the whole experience was amazing. 


Ben wore a morning suit from Yorkshire Menswear. He wore a different tie and waistcoat combination to the groomsmen to stand out. The rest of the groomsmen also wore morning suits which were hired from Yorkshire Menswear.


My bridesmaids wore gold sequin gowns from Joys Bella Bridesmaids. They all looked beautiful and I loved that the dresses were different to a typical bridesmaid style and really added some glamour.


Our hair was done by the lovely Samantha Ashley and makeup was Glam by Elizabeth Daisy.


We travelled in an Imperial Viscount convertible, which was hired from Cupid Carriages. The weather on the day was great and meant we could put the roof down.


Jane Beadnell was our photographer who was fantastic. She really understood our style and we enjoyed her company throughout the day. She made us feel at ease and captured some fantastic shots.


21 Degrees Videography filmed our day. I would absolutely recommend getting a videographer to remember the moments that feel like they go by in a blur! It’s a lovely summary of the whole day to look back on.


My bridal bouquet included white peonies provided by Serendipity Floral Design. We also had white displays created by Deluxe Blooms, using a mix of peonies, hydrangeas and roses. We installed a hanging wisteria loop from the ceiling of our reception which was a real statement.

Styling by Ambience provided a lovely mix of candlelight and tableware to complement our theme and Love Lights the Way provided a neon sign with our surname, which was used as a polaroid backdrop throughout the night and we then got to keep for our new home. Stationery was done by Cartalia.


We didn’t give out favours, instead we donated money to charities MacMillan and Cancer Research UK, which are both close to our hearts


Where the Ribbon Ends made our cake. This was a four tier cake; white chocolate and raspberry, salted caramel, lemon and poppyseed and chocolate and caramel. The design was made to tie our wedding theme in with lace detail from my dress, our stationary monogram and white wedding flowers.


We served a cheese souffle starter, chicken main and chocolate and caramel delice for dessert. We chose food that we both enjoy but that also felt appropriate for a summer’s day. 

We created special his and hers cocktails which were provided during our wedding reception and designed to reflect our favourite drinks. 


We had a DJ for the evening as we wanted to create a fun party atmosphere and we think this was a good decision as the dancefloor was full all night!

Special touches

Unfortunately, as Ben’s mum passed away in December 2021 she wasn’t able to make our wedding day, but we managed to do a special blessing in November 2021 at both the church and Grantley Hall, which both venues catered for amazingly. It allowed Ben and I the opportunity to include Jane in our wedding journey. Then, on our actual wedding day, Jane was honoured throughout the day and she was with us in spirit.

We also had our little dachshund puppy with us throughout the day, who is named Grantley after the venue. The venue were brilliant in accommodating him and he stole the show in our photos!

Thanks to

We really enjoyed working with Jane as our photographer. We were nervous it would be awkward but we felt at ease with her there. 

The venue is stunning too, so special mention to them. Grantley makes for the perfect day and is beautiful for photos. The events team were so helpful in bringing it all together. 

Best bit

It’s hard to pinpoint one thing as we had a great day. We really enjoyed finding moments to catch up with each other during the day, as it can go by so quickly. 


We had a mini-moon and a honeymoon. Straight after our wedding we went to the Amalfi Coast, spending time in Capri, Positano and Sorrento. This was a fantastic break after the wedding rush, with great weather and food. Then, for our honeymoon, we went to the Maldives for two weeks in December 2022. This coincided nicely with Ben turning 30.


My advice would be to try not to get carried away with the small details and thinking you need to be perfect. Instagram and Pinterest can lead you astray. Step back and consider if the value things bring are worth the cost, based on what you want from your day. 

Also try to make sure you have moments together as bride and groom during the day to spend together.

I used UNVEILED magazine for inspiration too – mainly the dress features to consider styling and then looking at the Real Weddings featured. I also went to wedding fairs at Rudding Park and Grantley Hall, so I’d recommend that too.

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