Real Weddings

Casablanca Bridal for a Rustic Summer Wedding at Home – Penny & James

Sarah Symonds

Keen to keep an eye on the budget for your big day but not sure where to start making savings? Today’s bride and groom opted for a traditional church ceremony followed by a storybook-esque party in Grandma’s garden!

Taking some of the more expensive elements, tossing them out of the window and doing it their own way meant our lovely couple were able to invite more of their friends and family on the day, and then even make it a two day affair! A little crafting and cooking here, a little roping-friends-in there and you’ve got yourself a unique wedding that money just can’t buy!

That doesn’t mean corners have been cut either; bride Penny looks gorgeous in her (take two!) dreamy, detailed Casablanca gown and the whole day is sheer summer wedding perfection, topped off with those stunning, romantic golden hour couple shots on the beach! We just know you’re going to love this one as much as we do…

With photography by Amy Jordison Photography


We got engaged in Spain, at James’ Grandma’s house out there. We went over for a long weekend and were sitting on the balcony when I made some joke about how we weren’t even officially together as he had never asked me to be his girlfriend. He replied with ‘how about going one better than that’ and got down on one knee. I was in total shock and hadn’t been expecting it at all!


Our wedding date was the 3rd of June 2022, which was the third date after having two COVID cancellations. We didn’t actually have a specific date in mind, we ust wanted it to be on a bank holiday so we and our guests could all make a weekend of it! We then had a bride vs groom cricket game the day after to continue the celebrations. 

We got married at St Laurence’s Church in Scarborough and had the reception in James’ Grandma’s back garden. We chose the church because James had been christened there and then we wanted to have a cheaper option venue so that we could invite more people, which was important to us. 


Yellow and blue were the main colours for the day, and then other than this we just went quite rustic, with a lot of greenery and eucalyptus. The colour choice was because yellow is my favourite colour, but we couldn’t find any bridesmaid dresses we liked in the exact shade of yellow we liked! Instead, we decided to go for yellow roses and thought that blue would go well with them as an alternative for the dresses!


I actually had a last minute change of heart with my dress following going to my final fitting! I suddenly no longer liked the dress that I’d bought two years earlier for the original date! So, three weeks before the wedding, I spotted a different dress I liked online but it was only for sale in eight stores in the UK, so called all of them to see if it was anywhere in stock to try on. Only two places had it but I managed to go try it on, found that it fit and I bought it off the peg there and then! The designer was Casablanca and I bought it from a lovely shop in Warminster called Jacqueline’s Bridal Boutique


James wore cream chinos, a blue tweed jacket and grey waistcoat from Moss Bros. He also wore a grey tie. The groomsmen wore the same as James but had a navy blue waistcoat instead of grey and blue ties to match the bridesmaids dresses. 


My bridesmaids wore light blue dresses from TFNC and the flower girls had little white dresses from Monsoon, each with a blue band to match the bridesmaid dresses. 


Hair was done by Sophie Coates from Pauls on Bar Street. Sophie is a family friend and did a lot of our guests’ hair too, in the week leading up to the wedding day! 

Makeup was Jess Pacey and Ellie Ryder. We had two MUAs as I had nine bridesmaids!


As wedding number two was supposed to be at a different church (due to St Laurence’s not being free on the second date) we hired an old wedding car to get us there and back, and we then kept this for the third date as we had already paid the deposit. It was a really short journey in the end though, and could easily have been done on foot! 


Our photographer was Amy Jordison and she was amazing. We fell in love with her by looking at previous albums of weddings she had photographed and just really liked her style. We liked that many of the shots were more natural than staged and she made us feel really comfortable on the day. We would definitely recommend her!


We hadn’t originally planned to have a videographer and didn’t have one booked for the first date, mainly due to cost, but having an extra two years to save meant we could afford it and we are both so glad we did! We would definitely recommend having one if you’re undecided. We had Alex from Studio Lester, who works closely with Amy, and it was great to have them both there together and they made us feel very comfortable and relaxed. The videos are amazing too! 


The bridesmaids and I had bouquets that were mainly yellow roses and lots of greenery and gypsophila. James and the groomsmen all had a yellow rose as a buttonhole and the rest of the flowers for centrepieces were in the same style but in jars. We also used the bridesmaid bouquets as centrepieces for nine of the tables. We didn’t have any floral arrangements in the church as the church had done a display for the queen’s jubilee and so we were able to take advantage of that!

All the flowers were done by James’ mum, his auntie, cousin and cousin’s mum. 

The only other big supplier I haven’t yet mentioned is TipiChic who provided the tipis for the garden where we had the reception. The loveliest bunch of people came and put the tipis up and they couldn’t do enough to help in the run up, in terms of extras they offer. There were no hidden costs and they allowed us to use accessories such as outside tables, fire pits, a dance floor and signs, without charging lots of extra fees – something that we had found not to be the same with other companies.


We gave out sticks of rock as party favours, being by the seaside and all! 


The cake was lemon and elderflower and again, James’ wonderful mum made this. She was very busy the week before! 


For food, we made the Spanish-style grazing board for starters (with the help of lots of family!) and the dessert ourselves and then hired in a paella company for the main. Dessert was James’ Grandma’s yoghurt dessert served with fresh fruit. 

For the wine, James and I went over to France for a wine tasting afternoon and then brought enough back for the big day.


James’ cousin (who was also his best man!) and his band played for us on the evening of the wedding, and prior to this we just created our own playlist and had this going throughout the day and when the band finished. 

We also had fireworks in the evening once it had gone dark. 

Special touches

The main special part was how much both our families put into helping prep everything, to make sure it was perfect, both in the lead up and then on the day itself. We literally couldn’t have done it without them and the time they all put in was so kind. 

James’ sisters also created a bit of a memory tree with lights and photos of some of our loved ones who are no longer with us, and we felt this was a lovely touch.

Thanks to

Almost all of our suppliers were amazing, especially given that we were on our third date and they all did their best to accommodate us, despite it being a stressful situation in uncertain times for everyone. 

Special second mentions to Amy Jordison and Alex Lester, Sophie Coates, Jess Pacey and Ellie Ryder, and TipiChic!

Best bit

The whole day from start to finish! The most amazing bit about it was literally having all the people there that you care about in one place, some even came from as far as Australia! My family are from Manchester and James’ family are from Surrey and Scarborough, and so it was great to get them all in one place together. It was great to also have the cricket match the next day so it didn’t feel like it was all over immediately afterwards. 


We went to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and, although it’s a cliché, it really was a holiday of a lifetime. James is more into adventuring and I like pure relaxation so this was the best of both worlds for us. As it was out of season for both places, everywhere was a lot quieter and it was cheaper, but still sunny and warm which was perfect as we had always wanted to go straight on honeymoon and not wait a few months!


My top tip would be to make sure you prioritise what is most important to you. Our main priority was having as many people as we could there and so we chose to do more things ourselves so that we could afford this. We couldn’t have afforded as many guests had we had it in a bigger venue. Also, if you enjoy crafting, you can save money there too and do a lot of the stationary yourself!

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