Real Life Weddings - Rebecca Cooke and Stuart Inman, Haworth Parish Church
Rebecca Cooke married Stuart Inman at Haworth Parish Church with a few extra guests than she bargained for making her feel like a celebrity. Photography by Karen Walton
Stu and I met over Christmas and New Year, 2004 when I was 18 and he was 19. After enjoying our younger years together during which I trained to become a paediatric nurse and Stu worked as an account manager at a label and branding design company, we decided to travel around Europe for a month in May 2008 before settling down and buying our first house.
The second day of the trip was my birthday and we happened to be in Paris. After enjoying a lovely day and meal out in the evening we went up the Eiffel Tower, the perfect romantic setting for a proposal, or it would have been if I didn’t suffer from altitude sickness! Stu proposed in the Parc Du Champ De Mars which was intimate, romantic and perfect.
A church wedding was very important to us. We had bought our house in Haworth where the Parish Church is a beautiful old building and was just where we pictured getting married. It also happened to be where I was christened and so the decision was made.
Chevin Country Park Hotel and Spa was the first reception venue that we looked around, but it had the relaxed atmosphere that we wanted while having beautiful surroundings for photos with stunning rooms.
I was very particular about how I imagined my dress. I didn’t want a standard wedding dress and I knew that I wouldn’t suit a full bodied skirt. I found my dress in Accrington at The Bridal Lounge, a shop that sells sample dresses that have either been worn on the catwalk or displayed in shop windows at a fraction of the price. It stood out immediately in the shop and was the first one I wanted to try on. After two more hours of trying different dresses and comparing them all to the first I knew it was the one for me. I loved the vintage style of the lace and the sparkling gems and the buttons all the way down the train looked stunning, it was the ‘special’ dress that I had dreamed of. It was called ‘Sweetheart’ which was apt as that’s what my mum has always called me.
I had two bridesmaids, my close friend Amanda and cousin Sarah. The best man was Stu’s school friend Daniel and his ushers were school friends Daniel and Nathan, as well as his rugby team mates Robert, Oliver and Andrew. They and both fathers and my brother Andrew all wore Prince Edward style suits to match Stu.
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We chose a theme of simple, classic, vintage elegance. This was reflected in the flowers which were a meadow style hand-tied bouquet consisting of pistachio roses, ivory anenomies and white raniculus, with the bridesmaids carrying smaller versions to complement mine. The bridesmaids wore Audrey Hepburn inspired pistachio dupioni silk knee length dresses, the pistachio colour was also used for Stu and his groomsmen’s neck ties, which went perfectly with the grey Prince Edward suits.
I really wanted our wedding to have a personal touch and so I handmade the invites, order of service cards and table name cards myself. I also sourced the table centres, candle holders, silk rose petals and green gems that decorated the tables and added a scattering of green butterflies, as well as spending a day and half in the run up to the wedding baking and icing lemon biscuits for the favours with a lot of help from my mum and bridesmaid, Amanda. Amanda also made our beautiful wedding cake which was chocolate, vanilla and lemon sponge covered in lovely daisies and butterflies and iced in pistachio coloured icing.
I was driven to the church by Ollie as part of his usher duties and we used the family car, a lovely BMW convertible which my mother-in-law dressed up with ivory ribbons and bows.
I found Karen the photographer through an advert in a magazine and as soon as we met her we liked her relaxed personality and fun, relaxed photos and knew that we had found the photographer for us. We had a pre-wedding shoot at Chevin Lodge a couple of weeks before the wedding which was lovely to do and prepared us for being photographed on the day. Looking back at the photos from getting ready in the morning until dancing in the evening helps us to re-live the day. The photos look beautiful and couldn’t have turned out any better.
I have so many lovely memories of the day but a few stand out. Driving up the cobbled Haworth main street on the way to the church was such a surreal moment. It was a lovely sunny day and the tourists were out in full, Stu remembers that just as he had arrived at the church a coach load of Japanese tourists arrived and outside the church was lined with people all with their cameras, waiting for me to arrive; the only time in my life I am going to feel like a celebrity! I was fashionably late, only by ten minutes but Stu said it was the longest ten minutes of his life!
Walking down the aisle and seeing all of our friends and family with Stu waiting at the alter was amazing. I had the biggest smile on my face, Stu turned around when I was half way down the aisle and said he thought I didn’t scrub up too badly! I had practiced walking slowly down the aisle to take in the moment and make the music last but in the end I practically ran down it, I couldn’t wait to see Stu!
It was such a magical day and we felt totally on top of the world and knowing how many friends and family had come to share our day with us was really special.
Mrs Rebecca Inman
Photography: Karen Walton, Brighouse, 01484 719251, www.karenwalton.co.uk
Venue: Chevin Country Park Hotel and Spa, Otley, 01943 467818, www.crerarhotels.com
The print version of this article appeared in Spring/Summer issue of Pure Weddings
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