A gorgeous Yorkshire Afternoon Tea inspired Wedding at Fishlake Mill

Today I am thrilled to share this gorgeous Yorkshire Afternoon Tea inspired Wedding at Fishlake Mill.

Images were captured by Laura at Hip to Heart Photography.


Hip to Heart Photography are outside of York and shoot fun, creative and chilled out documentary style wedding photography across York, Leeds, Hull, Harrogate, the rest of Yorkshire and the UK.

Lauras informal style is best matched with laid back couples who don’t want to be posed or directed, but just want to celebrate how crazy in love they are with family, friends, drinks & dancefloor bangers.

She gets serious thrills from colourful weddings, unique venues & themes, couples who aren’t afraid to do something daft or different, and anyone who is cool with the fact that if someone pulls a face, the wind might not change but she’ll probably take a picture of it.


She says of the couple and their day…


“I got an enquiry email from Claire through my website, she said she’d found me on Google.”

“We had a quick Facetime chat and I met up with Claire for a coffee soon afterwards! They both seemed really chilled and friendly, I knew they were my sort of couple straight away!”

“When we met up, Claire told me about the theme, the venue, the peacock, the magician, how the baby was to be the best man… needless to say I was pretty psyched about this wedding!”

“On the day it was just an absolute pleasure to shoot and a good laugh as I’d expected!”

“I remember walking into the marquee and being genuinely blown away by how much thought and detail had gone into the room.”

“There was nothing they hadn’t thought of. From the minute I arrived I got on really well with Claire & Paul’s family and friends and was made to feel like one of the guests which is so important with my style of photography.”

“I’m lucky in that I haven’t shot a wedding yet where the bride and groom haven’t treated me like a friend and made me feel incredibly welcome.”

“It makes such a difference to the images you produce, when you can keep your distance but also feel super comfortable mingling and hanging out with everyone.”

“It means both you and the wedding party are totally at ease with each other, which always shines through in the images.”


I hand over to beautiful Bride Claire…


How did you meet?

“Paul and I met over the Internet in the June of 2013.”

“We started chatting with one another one Sunday evening, with in an hour I had his phone number and the following Saturday we had our first date, and as they say the rest is history!”

“I knew he was the one for me when he took me to Costco on our third date!”

Tell us about the engagement… 

“We got engaged on Christmas Day 2015. ”

“We were sat on the lounge floor next to the Christmas tree opening all of our presents together, the last one being a watch that Paul had bought for me.”

“As I was admiring it Paul said “ I’ve got you something to go with that… close your eyes”

“When I opened them he was down on one knee asking me to be his wife!”

“Obviously there was a lot of shaking involved and maybe a few tears too, but we were both super happy and excited to share our news!”

Tell us about Wedding Planning journey….

“So as soon as the ring went on my finger we started planning!”

“Pinterest boards were made, scrap books were bought and I’ve no idea how many magazines and online websites we looked at.”

“Paul is very relaxed about everything in general, so I had free reign to do pretty much whatever I wanted, and I knew that I wanted to do most of it myself as I think I’m pretty creative!”

“The first thing we did was look at venues. We knew that neither of us wanted anything traditional or too formal and stuffy.”

“We only looked at two places in the end, one being a woodland near Leeds the other being Fishlake Mill at Doncaster, which we both fell in love with immediately!”

“It was everything we wanted, so quirky and unusual, with lots of creative possibilities. We booked it there and then!”

“The mill provided accommodation for my bridesmaids and I the night before the wedding which included the use of the hot tub, which was just what we needed after a stressful day dressing the venue. And accommodation in the mill was provided for our wedding night too.”

“The windmill itself offered us so many possibilities for decoration, we pretty much were allowed to just get on with it and left to our own devices, which suited me perfectly.”

“At the back of the mill is a very scenic little pond backing onto rolling fields for as far as the eye can see, at the side of the pond is a quaint wooden pagoda which is where the outdoor ceremony takes place.”

“Hay bales are used as seating for guest and creates a beautiful aisle for the bride to walk down. Should it have rained the wedding would have taken place in the mill and video streamed into the marquee.”

“Which brings me on to the Marquee… it was a huge blank canvas that I had free reign to do with as I pleased, there were a few rules but Graham (the owner of the venue) is very relaxed!”

“Instead of having a company come in and dress it for us my bridesmaids, Paul and I spent the day before the wedding unfolding various sized paper pompoms purchased off eBay (I bought double the amount I needed) and hung them ourselves from the canopy, that alone altered the appearance of the marquee and when the fairy lights were switched on… WOW!”

“Then came the task of asking my two best friends to be my bridesmaids. I did this by buying two ring boxes and placing push pop ring sweets inside them with a little note saying “now it’s my turn to pop the question, will you be my bridesmaid” such a cute idea and they both loved it!”

“I had in mind a colour for their dresses and the style of them. Believe it or not finding deep purple dresses in the middle of spring when I were planning the wedding was quite tricky, which is why I chose to purchase their dresses online.”

“I ended up using a company called JJ’s House who had very mixed reviews and left me feeling quite shaky! Word of advice, when ordering from overseas, in this case China expect small sizings!”

“One of the dresses did have to be returned for being two sizes smaller than stated, but the company were very helpful and happy to send an exchange.”

“However when this arrived it was a shade lighter than the original dress so all dresses had to be returned and reordered so that the dresses could be made from the same batch of material.”

“Anyway after months of faffing it was all sorted and the dress fitted perfectly and were made to a very high standard, so all’s well that ends well.”

Choosing a photographer seemed like a very daunting task, there are so many different styles to choose from, all we knew was that we didn’t want to spend the day having somebody we didn’t know shouting at us to stand in a certain way, strike a certain pose and generally order us about!”

“However it was pretty straight forward after we spoke with Laura from Hip to Heart Photography. We found Laura by chance, her google ad appeared at the top of my search and I thought I’d take a look and that was that.”

“I screen shot her pictures, sent them to Paul and said “can I book her?” the next I knew we were having Facetime chat one evening and I was drinking coffee with Laura the following week!”

“We knew just from talking to her and looking at her website that she would be perfect! She was sooooo chilled out on the day, I was the one ordering her around (sorry).”

“I have never been to a wedding were the photographer has simply faded into the background and not been in your face at every possible opportunity.”

“She was the ninja photographer, popping up when you least expected her but keeping her distance, getting candid shots and capturing moments that Paul and I would never have seen! We are so pleased with the photos she has provided us with, they are truly brilliant, a real reflection of our day!”

“Paul and I ventured out many a Sunday to different local wedding fairs, such as Pontefract Racecourse, Magna, Doncaster Racecourse and York Racecourse, which is where we met Oliver Parker our amazing magician!”

“He did a couple of tricks that totally baffled us, we knew we had to get him booked! We also had our wedding rings designed and made by a Loulou Jewellery who we met at both Magna and Doncaster wedding fairs.”

“Paul’s wedding ring is a ring with meaning, Lindsay (Loulou jewellery) uses a technique where she can cut a line into your wedding band that represents something specific to you.”

“For us we used the line created on a map In between our two houses from when we first started dating, such an unusual and lovely idea with meaning.”

“We also met our florist Mel from Passion Flowers at one of these events, however Paul had used her several times before when buying my Valentines and Birthday flowers and they had always been beautiful.”

“She was the only florist that we had ever considered using from the start! We also came across Ruby’s Adorables at the Doncaster wedding fair, who I purchased my gorgeous wedding jewellery from.”

“So after becoming engaged in the December of 2015 I fell pregnant in February 2016, which meant dress shopping had to be put on hold until the following year!”

“My two bridesmaids, myself, my mum and Paul’s mum all went to Elite Bridal’s at Castleford in March, I went in knowing exactly what I wanted lots of lace and sparkles, my arms covered, an illusion neckline and for it to be fitted…”

“I came away with an absolutely stunning A line Ball gown, sweetheart neckline, no sleeves, limited lace and understated sparkles – typically the last dress I tried on and picked out by one of my bridesmaids!”

“I’d let Paul take charge of his suit, which was purchased four weeks before the wedding! I nearly had a nervous breakdown thinking he had left it too late, but all was good when we visited Slaters Menswear in Leeds city centre.”

“They were extremely helpful and alterations were made there and then. We bought everything we needed in one place, suit, shirt, tie, shoes, belt and pocket square!”

“In and out in under 45 mins, if only dress shopping was so easy! I might add that we didn’t have any grooms men or users to buy/hire suits for as Paul chose to only have Isaac, our 10 month old son as his little best man.”

“I knew that when we first started planning the wedding the most important thing I wanted to happen was for people to come away thinking “I really enjoyed that” So to achieve this I knew there had to be games… lots of games!”

“So I set about making a giant Tin Can Alley using tape and old baby milk cans, I borrowed bean bags from the local school to knock them down with. I borrowed giant Jenga from where I work and bought giant drafts, inflatable bowling and giant dominos from eBay and Amazon all of these were able to be used in the grounds surrounding the mill.”

“For inside the marquee I set up tables with traditional board games on them, such as drafts, ludo, snakes and ladders.”

“There were playing cards, Dominos, and giant pick up sticks, baskets ball ping pong head sets and miniature table tennis! And I placed beer pong on one of my friends’ seats as I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist getting the party started!”

“From the start I had said that I did not want a Photo booth, that I wanted my guest to be able to do their own thing, so we came up with the idea of a selfie station.”

“I filled an old suitcase with various funny wigs, hats, Hawaiian skirts, silly glasses and blow up toys and instruments etc all bought online or in cheap high street shops!”

“I even made the photo booth signs myself using stickers and black paint on cheap plaques that I’d found. It didn’t break the bank and was a real success the children and the big kids loved it and provided loads of photo opportunities!”

“Also to keep the kids and even bigger kids entertained we decided to have a sweetie chest! Which was going to be a sweetie wheelbarrow at one point but I changed my mind – brides prerogative!”

“Sweet carts are all the rage, I get that, but I didn’t want it to be the typical cart with jars and scoops you see every week. Which is where our coffee table comes into play!”

“We had been using a chest in our lounge as a coffee table and I was sat looking at it one day when I thought… “I know what to do, fill it with sweets!” So the sweetie chest was born.”

“I bought so many bags of sweets from cheap high street shops and placed them into the chest. At first I threw them all in willy nilly – I hated it! So I  pain stakingly pulled them out one by one and separated them so when they were eventually placed back into the chest they all had their own place!”

“Because the chest was to remain open all day I chose to use sweets that were individually wrapped and used opened sweets such as chocolate etc into the bottom draws of the chest as they could be covered up.”

“This idea was a massive hit will all my guest – I had a handful of sweets left over at the end of the day and that chest was full to bursting!”

“I originally wanted to use sparklers somewhere in the day, I thought they would be a fun thing to do and look great in photos! But then realised that there were going to be quite a few children, hyper from all the sweets, running about – therefore probably not a great idea to combine the two!

“Instead I used glow sticks, which were brilliant!” I put them in old jam jars next to the photobooth with a sign I created saying “let love glow” The kids loved them!”

“We had children running round with Rapunzel like hair made from glow sticks, adults making crowns and waving them around in the air like they just didn’t care on the dance floor!”

“Only piece of advice I’d give is make sure you have reserves for your evening guests. There were over 400 glow sticks when the day started, by 7:30 they’d gone!”

“Something else that I did for the children was to create little Goodie bags to help keep them entertained. The older children’s bags contained a disposable camera with a picture hunt to complete, there with finger lights, a wooden puzzle and face mats also included.”

“The younger children had the picture hunt to complete, a windup toy and a trick yoyo. The youngest guest aged two was given playdough, a colouring activity book and a toy car.”

“All went down well and were really appreciated. In fact many people commented saying how much thought I had put in to keeping the children happy.”

“The adult favours were one of my favourite parts of planning the wedding. Paul and I both like real Ale, so when we found that Thwaits brewery made a pale ale called Wainwright it had to feature in the wedding somewhere!”

“I’d considered making an ale cake – bottles stacked in a circular pattern and tired on top of one another, looking like a wedding cake. But then I decided to use them on the tables as part of our favours.”

“I used gold stickers to write Mr & Mrs on the bottles and tied a little purple bow around the neck of the bottle.”

“For mine and Pauls I wrote bride and groom on them and my two girls had bridesmaid wrote on theirs.”

“I bought bottle openers in the shape of keys for each of the tables to use – the guests must have really liked these as I had 12 at the start of play, now I have none!”

“As part of the favours i also gave each adult guest a scratch card inside a card that I had made saying “Claire and Paul, lucky in love” nobody won big but they all enjoyed playing.”

“When it came to choosing a company to make the cake I found that you had to take a leap of faith and just pick one!”

“At one [point I contemplated making me own, so glad I didn’t as I have no idea where I would have found the time! There were quite a few cake makers at wedding fairs that I either liked the look of their cakes but found the taste lacking or vice versa.”

“And the type of cake that I wanted was a topsy turvy teapot cake and some bakers were explaining how they would have to use crispies to make the top teapot layer, which I really didn’t want.”

“Therefore I trawled the internet and whilst doing so found that quite a few of my good old Facebook friends had used a company called Cake Bakes in Castleford. I checked out their reviews, were pleased with what I saw and headed down to the shop.”

“They were really helpful and said that unlike the other bakers they would be willing to make the teapot from sponge… hurrah!”

“The cake on the day was visually stunning and tasted delicious, all the guests were very impressed by what they saw and what they got to eat.”

“Originally we were not going to use a make-up artist, I thought that it was something that we would be able to do ourselves… how wrong was I.”

“I eventually chose to use a lady called Rebecca Asquith, based in Barnsley, who a Facebook friend had used for her wedding the year before and looked beautiful!”

“Rebecca was brilliant she made us all look gorgeous, I highly recommend having a trial run so you can get your makeup exactly how you want it.”

“Don’t tell anyone but I didn’t wash my face the day after my trial because my makeup had not budged! Shhhhhh!”

“Both my hair and nails were done by two of my friends and bridesmaids relatives. Jess Wells known as The Nail Engineer spent time with me discussing colours, different techniques and created many different pops for me to choose from.”

“And Rachel Grieves did mine and my bridal parties hair styling on the day of the wedding. I had also had a trial run with Rachel to ensure the styling was perfect on the day.”

“Rach became my honorary 3rd bridesmaid, she went above and beyond her calling, it’s a good job she was there or else I would have been walking down the aisle in my posh PJ’s! None of us knew how to lace up a corseted wedding dress – Rach to the rescue!”

Theme/colour pallete of the big day...

“I would call our wedding classicly shabby chic with a purple/dusky pink colour scheme.”

“I knew straight away that I wanted afternoon tea instead of the traditional wedding breakfast. After all when you’ve deprived yourself of cake for 10 months to ensure your dress fits, you deserve to stuff your face with all things delicious on your wedding day right?!”

“So once we had decided upon the food, I began to look at ways we could carry on the afternoon/high tea theme into our decorations. Which is where the use of teapots as centre pieces came in to play.”

“I loved the idea so had a look online to see what had already been done and there was an image of a silver teapot with flowers in it and that was it, I had to have it. I spoke with my florist and she loved the idea!”

“So I spent the whole of the summer trawling through ebay gathering as many silver teapots and tea services that I could get my hands on… they became my shiny babies!”

“We had to come up with a way to create depth and height to the arrangements, I decided that old vintage books would look really effective so again I searched ebay to get a good deal.”

“Adding the photo frames (which I purchased off the High Street), over the arrangements which were placed on top of silver serving trays added depth to the centre pieces, making them really stand out and pop!”

“What I thought was a nice touch was using Pauls Grandmas old brass teapot on the top table. I had given all of the tables a specific name related to our theme and some were quite tongue in cheek eg. The Fruit Cakes, The Bakewell Tarts, The fondant Fancies etc, which my mum referred to in her speech.”

“In keeping with our theme we used a company called Something Lovely based in Wakefield to provide us with beautiful wooden LOVE Lights.”

“They were made from natural wood and gave a gorgeous warm glow to the dance floor.”

“I also purchased a vintage type writer, which I had hoped our guests would have used however not one person played with it… how did they resist?!”

Best Bit of the Day…

So I just asked Paul what he thought was the best bit of our wedding day and he replied “the ceremony!” which it was… that’s where we became husband and wife and showed each other and all of our guest how much love we have for one another!”

“However the best most entertaining part of the day had to be both the amazing magician Oliver Parker and the impromptu game of beer pong!”

“I would highly recommend a magician for any type of wedding, event or celebration. We timed it so that Oliver arrived when there would be a lull in proceedings, so after we had eaten and before the evening guest arrived.”

“Oliver was with us for one and a half hours and I wish we could have had him for longer! He was amazing brilliant, he worked his way round all the tables and made sure that every single guest got to see him perform! So yes magicians are a must have!”

What advice would you give to other couples getting married?.

“Paul says “remain calm” even the girl behind the bar commented upon how relaxed he was “I’ve never seen a groom so laid back”

“It’s true he’s so laid back he’s almost horizontal. Myself on the other hand, well… I was so stressed out on the day before the wedding, I know I had a few Bridezilla moments, but it was just because I wanted it all to be perfect.”

“My bit of advice would be that those little jobs you think wont take you too long, are the ones that will take the longest. I never want to unfold a paper pompom ever again!”

“Budget – set one and stick to it, and don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment by just agreeing to things, especially at wedding fairs!”

“Make sure you have a good look around, compare everything not just the price too, don’t just settle for things, it’s your day do it your way!”

“DIY – there are so many things that you can do yourself over a period of time. I wrote my own invites by hand and place names too, I decorated glass jars, painted my own pallet to show the order of the day, made cards for the scratch card favours, created a sweet chest, memory table, selfie station and I made and bought so many games to keep people entertained.”

“If you are the type of person that enjoys being creative then just have a go, you have nothing to lose especially if you do it all far enough in advance so that you can change it if you’re not keen on the finished product!”

“But most of all enjoy it! Look at your guests when you’re walking down the aisle, take a mental note of those who are blubbing like a baby!”

“Go round each table and have a chat with them so you know that you’ve seen everyone who has made the effort to be part of your special day.”

“Take a minute to sit down and look around cos this moment isn’t going to happen again!”

“And once the music starts get on that dance floor and bust some moves, your guest know where you are if they want to join you!”

Thank you so much to Laura for sharing this glorious Afternoon Tea inspired Wedding.

Such glorious colours and attention to detail in the styling, and so much effort to ensure everyone had lots of fun in this time of celebration.


Wedding Suppliers

Venue: (Mr Graham Ather) – Fishlake Mill – Doncaster

Photographer: Laura Bradley – Hip to Heart Photography

Wedding Dress: Elite Bridal Outlet – Castleford

Bridesmaids Dresses: JJ’s House

Grooms suit: Ted Baker from Slaters Menswear – Leeds

Baby’s suit: Oliver’s – Meadowhall – Sheffield

Florist: Passion Flowers and Event styling – Pontefract

LOVE Light letters: Something Lovely – Wakefield

Hair: Rachel Grieves – Wakefield

Make up: Rebecca Asquith – Barnsley

Nails: Jess Wells – The Nail Engineer – Barnsley

Magician: Oliver Parker – Leeds

Wedding rings: LouLou Jewellery – Mansfield

Bridal Jewellery: Ruby’s Adorables – Rotherham

Cake: Cake Bakes – Castleford


To Contact Hip to Heart Photography

Website: https://www.hiptoheartphotography.com/

Email: laura@hiptoheartphotography.com


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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