“The secret, Alice, is to surround yourself with people that make your heart smile. It’s then, only then, that you’ll find Wonderland.”
Plucked straight from the pretty pages of Belle Bridal AW20, this Real Wedding sums up exactly what we’re all about here at Belle.
Breaking the traditional white wedding mould through exuberant style, happiness, and a boat load of love. Cue the fabulousness…
As Christmas in 2017 fast approached, Haley’s family knew there was going to be an empty seat as the table as their much loved grandfather had sadly passed away just weeks before.
Heading down to her parent’s house for their traditional Christmas Eve feast, Greg took it upon himself to blindfold Haley at the top of the drive. Haley’s heart was racing before Greg removed the blindfold to reveal her family and friends standing outside the house next to huge illuminated letters reading ‘WILL U MARRY ME’.
Greg then went on to show her a photo he had taken of himself and her grandfather before his passing, holding the ring with pure happiness after Greg had asked his permission to marry her.
Not only was Haley overjoyed by the fact she was getting engaged to the man of her dreams, but was overwhelmed with emotion knowing her grandfather had given him his blessing.
GO HARD OR GO (CLOSE TO) HOME
As both the bride and groom have many friends and family from all over the world, their main priority was to find a venue that could host a huge party while retaining a level of refinement.
But, while this may sound a big ask, their venue hunt concluded close to home as they settled for the Hall where Greg used to live – Wynyard Hall – an unmistakeable manor house nestled in 150 acres of historical Tees Valley landscape.
Gaining exclusive use of both the Hall and the sprawling gardens, the pair’s special day certainly lived up to expectations.
After getting married in the on-site Brooks Chapel that Greg was once baptised in, they then went on to hold the wedding breakfast in the Grand Marquee where 260 guests were wined and dined with Wynyard Hall’s delicious food and immaculate five-star table service.
Belle’s Top Five:
- A Venetian themed reception…
- The more is more Alice in Wonderland themed dessert table – wow
- Weddings that bring out family creativity (Haley’s family got so involved in this celebration) We salute you.
- Entertaining their guests was a focal point of their wedding! What a lineup.
- The diversity of Wynyard Hall itself as a venue. Remarkable.
A WYNYARD WONDERLAND
Haley and Greg pulled no punches when it came to creating a day they and their guests would remember forever.
After their wedding breakfast in Wynyard Hall’s Grand Marquee, guests were then escorted through two bespoke key holes (through which their entertainers sang!) to a Mad Hatters themed Alice in Wonderland dessert buffet, a ‘Wonderland’ bar and ‘Flamingo’ bar, as eclectic and extravagant as the book itself. Pastel, velvet sofas were scattered around the grounds allowing guests to sit in the sunlight and enjoy the incredible setting.
The golden September evening sun shone down on the guests as they nattered and sipped in Wynyard’s beautiful grounds, before filing down to the hall in suspense of what would be next. And boy was it exciting.
With everything from opera singers, Venetian stilt walkers and masked performers, the evening’s entertainment was an eclectic mix of themes which showcased the couples zestful characters and kept the party rocking into the night.
Each guest was gifted with their own personalized Venetian mask, which hung on giant velvet boards as they entered the evening reception. An incredible firework display at the end of the night marked the end of this inimitable celebration.
A TALE OF TWO GOWNS
Haley chose two very different gowns for her big day. The first bought on a mother daughter shopping trip to Barcelona was a classically modern Pronovias gown, boasting a bateau neckline, traditional A-Line skirt, paired with an embellished, cathedral length veil.
While her second dress was an exuberant Valentini number with a plunging v-neck, eye-catching tulle skirt and was paired with a bespoke Dolecka headpiece, the perfect choice to glam up her evening soirée.
Greg opted for a beautiful made-to-measure grey houndstooth three-piece with a dashing herringbone navy jacket, courtesy of Haley’s parents store, Jules B.
MUM’S THE WORD
Throughout the planning process, Haley’s mother was a continual source of support.
From drawing up the mood boards at the beginning of the journey to helping Haley find her dream dress, her mum contributed a huge amount to the day and is a testament to the strong family foundations that made this wedding its own.
In fact, much of what guests saw on the day was handmade by Haley and her family, including the flower wall key holes, the velvet masked boards, and even the flower arch entrance to the chapel.
“The climb is tough, but the view is worth it! Trust in yourself and enjoy the day- it only happens once, so savour every second!” – Hayley Hall
For more fabulous wedding inspiration, head to our dedicated Real Weddings page!
Chris Lafferty, Blades World Music, Joey Weidner