Devils for details at The Normans

No so long ago, we announced that summer was ‘threatening to make a comeback’. Since then we’ve had record temperatures and record rainfall.

Ah, merry England…

At least the weather behaved itself back in May for Katie and Rob’s beautiful wedding, which we’re revisiting for today’s blog… And, to clarify - the lovely couple were by no means devils, but their eye for detail when creating their Big Day was quite commendable…

All the sparkle at Katie and Rob's wedding day

On arrival, guests were greeted by blue skies and some well-placed signage guiding them into The Normans Courtyard…

This way to The Normans wedding venue

… where yet more well-placed signage artfully conveyed the order of the day. We love the use of this old farm pallet. Informative and eye-catching. Bravo.

The order of the day printed on a suitably rustic pallet.jpg
Resident feline Toilet Cat greets guests in The Normans Courtyard.jpg
Guests enjoy a pre-ceremony drink in The Normans Courtyard.jpg

While guests mingled for pre-ceremony drinks (see above for obligatory shot of resident feline Toilet Cat strutting her stuff), bride-to-be Katie was readying herself in The Normans Cottage. Here she is being doted on by the lovely Emily and Stephanie of Luxe Hair & Makeup.

Katie getting ready for her big day in The Normans Cottage

The result, as you can imagine, was quite stunning. Here’s Katie, dressed in a ‘Romance’ gown by Marylise & Rembo Styling.

“I am a Yorkshire girl at heart so always knew I would start my search for a dress ‘Up North’,” explains Katie. “I ended up finding ‘the one’ in The Bridal Collection, Harrogate. The gown I chose has a gorgeous long floaty skirt and a scalloped lace sleeveless bodice that fit me like a glove. I also fell for a long delicate veil that I absolutely loved wearing and ended up keeping on even as I was dancing the night away!”

Katie - wedding ready at The Normans
The beautiful bride

Katie’s bridesmaids, meanwhile, were dressed in mid-blue Taurus by Veromia from NABBD (Not Another Boring Bridesmaid Dress!) in London. “The boutique has hundreds of different styles of dresses in every possible colour, which was perfect for us as we were struggling to find the right colours for our May wedding when we started looking around Christmas time,” says Katie. “The dresses looked stunning on all of my girls and worked perfectly with the colours in their spring bouquets.”

Katie gets her bridesmaids' seal of approval

Aforementioned bouquets were the handiwork of our friend Kate Mell; here they are, modelled by Katie and her fab five bridesmaids.

Girls together

Meanwhile, groom Rob loitered in The Normans Courtyard, showing off his tailored three-piece number from M&S. His classic look was finished off with the white rose of Yorkshire as a buttonhole. Quite right too.

Groom Rob - wedding ready.jpg
The final touches for Rob's wedding look.jpg
White rose buttonholes, courtesy of Kate Mell Flowers.jpg
Rob takes a moment's quiet time in The Normans Cow Stalls.jpg

Once Rob was buttonholed up and had assumed the position (at the end of the aisle), The Normans Team shepherded Katie and her bridesmaids to the Ceremony Barn…

The beautiful Katie en route to The Normans Ceremony Barn.jpg

Here, the father of the bride took over, and proudly walked his daughter down the aisle. And the rest, as they say, is history…

Katie and he proud Dad make their entry into The Normans Ceremony Barn.jpg
Rob and Katie united at the end of the aisle in The Normans Ceremony Barn.jpg
Rob and Katie. Man and wife.jpg

As is the tradition in these parts, the newly married couple were enthusiastically pelted with confetti as they walked back down the aisle…

Confetti swirls in the breeze outside The Normans Ceremony Barn.jpg

… happily, their travails were rewarded by Hog & Apple, who lay in wait with some delectable canapes. On today’s menu: Korean fillet of beef in a lettuce wrap and Thai spring rolls, to name but a few.

Creative canapes courtesy of Hog & Apple.jpg
Mouth-watering morsels by Hog & Apple.jpg

The Normans Courtyard is the ideal place to scoff and quaff - and a rather nice setting for the obligatory group shot. Everyone say: “Coagulation of the milk protein casein!” (Or “cheese!”, if that’s easier.)

The obligatory group shot in The Normans Courtyard.jpg

The drinks reception also affords couples the perfect opportunity to escape for quiet time and photos. We just love how photographers visiting The Normans are getting more and more creative with the backdrops they find around the farm. Hats off to Kate Gray, who was back at The Normans shooting these truly amazing portraits.

Roller-shutter romancing - Part 1.jpg
Roller-shutter romancing - Part 4.jpg
Roller-shutter romancing - Part 2.jpg
Roller-shutter romancing - Part 3.jpg

There was even the opportunity for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to get in on the action…

The whole gang.jpg

No corner of the farm was left unexplored - from the modern spaces…

Katie and Rob take cover in a wonderfully lit barn.jpg
Katie and Rob do farmyard fabulous.jpg

… to some of the farm’s oldest, most scenic spots.

Another stunning snap in yet another one of The Normans' hidden corners.jpg

On the subject of photography, we have to make special mention of the couple’s DIY ‘photo booths’, imaginatively created by hanging ornate picture frames from the trusses in the Cow Stalls. This unique little area was made all the more special with bushy hops lining the mangers (Kate Mell’s handiwork, yet again) and personalised Polaroid-style bunting.

Homemade photo booth in The Normans Cow Stalls.jpg
The Cow Stalls mangers decked with hops and embellished with personalised Polaroid-style bunting.jpg
Picture-perfect homemade photobooths in The Normans Cow Stalls.jpg

Guests were in for a treat when the Grain Shed doors were opened for the wedding breakfast…

Guests are called in for the wedding breakfast.jpg

… they were greeted by a stunning table plan, again, embellished with yet more hops; a table-full of wedding favours-cum-goodie bags…

Every last detail had been covered - even the table plan was stunning.jpg
Goodie-bags for guests .jpg

… and little personal touches at every turn - from the guest book to the, erm, gnomes!

Personalised touches at every turn.jpg

“Kate Mell created two stunning floral displays of hydrangeas and stocks for the end of the aisle, which filled the ceremony barn with a gorgeous scent,” reminisces Katie.

These displays were then moved by The Normans team into the Grain Shed, so Katie and Rob (and their guests!) could make the most out of them.

“We kept with the floral theme throughout,” continues Katie, “by decorating the long dining tables with rustic jam jars packed with white- and blush-coloured blooms.“

The Grain Shed dining area in all its glory.jpg
Stunning floral display of hydrangeas and stocks .jpg

Hog & Apple duly served some beautiful-looking, great tasting food. Behold the below dishes: an antipasti sharing platter (the goat’s cheese stack) served on a raised board; Parmesan, rocket and green bean salad; chorizo mac and cheese; and an Eton Mess dessert.

“We were keen to bring everyone together and chose the long rustic dining tables and sharing dishes to do this – antipasti boards to start, followed by the most amazing pulled pork, Southern fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese for main. Hog and Apple were fantastic, both during the planning and on the day and so many of our guests have said how much they enjoyed our wedding breakfast,” says Katie.

Sublime starters courtesy of Hog & Apple.jpg
Sharing bowls for mains.jpg
Comfort food at its best from Hog & Apple.jpg

Since the food and the decor were good enough to sing and dance about, it’s fitting that we fast-forward to the first dance, where Katie and Rob kicked off the evening by taking to the floor for the first time as a married couple.

Hearty hugs to the wonderful couple from all here at The Normans!

Katie and Rob grace the dance floor for the first time as a married couple.jpg
We couldn’t have wished for a more perfect Yorkshire wedding and that is in no small part down to the fabulous venue that is The Normans. With its thousands of twinkling fairy lights, beautiful courtyard and stunning location, The Normans had everything we were looking for in a wedding venue!
— Marvellous May bride Katie
Katie and Rob, gone with the wind at The Normans.jpg











Love in full bloom at The Normans

June may have been a washout, but summer’s threatening to make a comeback this month. To celebrate, we hark back to the happy day when a lady called Emily married a man called James, right here at The Normans.

Emily and James’s wedding epitomised summer chic and style, and featured a distinct floral theme throughout…

James & Emily (and squad) at The Normans. Photo by

But before we get to the bride and groom, the music and the food, and all the other important details that are of interest to soon-to-be-wed couples, we begin this blog (like all good blogs) with a cat. Not just any cat, mind, but The Normans’ feline-in-chief: Toilet Cat (long story behind the name). Here she is, enjoying the sun in The Normans Courtyard, basking in the sunshine, waiting for an unsuspecting guest to drop a canape.

'Toilet Cat' - The Normans' resident feline - relaxes in the sun in The Courtyard. Photo by

Speaking of guests: here they are, mingling and making merry in The Normans Courtyard (Toilet Cat out of shot). The welcome sign is one of the many nice personal touches that punctuated James and Emily’s big day.


And so, to Emily’s partners in crime: the bridesmaids. Here they are, below, approaching the venue, wedding ready. Emily let her girls pick their own dresses, and the result is fantastic: a mixture of styles from Issa at House of Fraser, Asos, Oasis (the high-street retailer, not the band), and Shona Joy. We love the deep blues, rich reds and dark greens.

Bridesmaids... assemble! The girls get ready for Emily's big day at The Normans. Photo by

But all eyes were on the lady in white. Here’s Emily loitering with intent outside The Normans Ceremony Barn. Her simple, sleek and oh-so-stunning dress was designed Emma Beaumont, who's studio is based in Cheshire. “I knew I wanted something minimalist but with some ‘bridally’ touches,” explains Emily. “And also something I could dance in and eat lots of chips! Emma and her whole team are so lovely and so talented.”

Beautiful bride Emily - all smiles before the ceremony. Photo by

And here’s a closer look at Emily’s bouquet - a celebration of summer colour by Claire Lewis. As for the rest of the fantastic florals… “Most of the potted plants were raided from my dad's garden - he put in so much hard work growing them, he's such a hero!” says Emily. “The cut flowers were provided by Sally Pickering from Flowers from the Farm, so everything was from just down the road with zero air miles! Everything was arranged by Claire Lewis at who also provided all the props.”

A pocket full of posies (read as: a fantastic bouquet by Claire Lewis). Photo by

We adore this shot of Emily and her girls - the colours, the composition… credit to photographer Jules Barron for capturing it- and everything else on the day. What a star!

Hashtag squad. Wedding ready. Bosh. Photo by

“But what of the groom?!” we hear you cry. Don’t worry - here he is, hiding in the Cow Stalls contemplating love and life (and thinking of all the future social engagements he could wear his amazing jacket to. Note the floral pattern. We love it. Bravo to Manchester tailor Richard Smith.)

Groom James waiting in the wings before doin' the 'I do'. Photo by

Luckily, we were able to extract James from the Cow Stalls and deposit him at the end of the aisle, before Emily and her Dad, made their entrance into the Ceremony Barn…

Here comes the bride... Emily and her Dad start their journey down the aisle. Photo by

And below is a photo that gets us every time: happiness personified!

(PS That jacket!)

The looks says it all. Emily meets James at the end of the aisle, Photo by

It doesn’t matter how many ceremonies we host here at The Normans, we can never quite get over how beautiful the Barn looks when it’s full of guests, the bride and groom, and lots of love.

The scene is set for Emily and James's exchange of vows. Photo by

Vows were exchanged, and James and Emily returned down the aisle as man and wife. Behold the joyous throwing of confetti - once again captured on camera by Jules Barron, perched on the Ceremony Barn’s mezzanine level.

And there it is! Confetti is thrown with gay abandon as James and Emily walk back down the aisle as man and wife. Photo by

And… more confetti!

More confetti! Photo by

Once the petal pelting had finished, James and Emily arrived in The Courtyard amid much fanfare - said fanfare provided by the scallywags of New York Brass Band.

New York Brass Band serenade bride and groom in The Normans Courtyard. Photo by

NYBB have since performed at Glastonbury. We haven’t heard from them since, but assume/hope they’re alive and still taking bookings.

New York Brass Band doing what they do at The Normans. Photo by

Hog & Apple were on hand to provide sustenance - food being a very important part of Emily’s day…

“We picked food that would keep things casual,” says Emily. “I really loved Hog & Apple’s sharing boards. We were both big fans of the taco canapes - and it’s a running joke that we only ever eat kebabs, so obviously had to have shawarmas for the evening food, which were a big hit!”

Tasty canapes, courtesy of Hog & Apple
Tacos, anyone?

The weather turned, and while bruised, brooding skies weren’t enough to dampen spirits (the rain held off, happily), they did encourage guests to move inside…

Brooding skies didn't deter guests from merrymaking in The Normans Courtyard. Photo by

… where long rustic banqueting tables awaited, lined with pot plants (straight out of Emily’s Dad’s garden!), shining glassware and contemporary tableware.

Long rustic banqueting tables were laid for the wedding breakfast. Photo by

Wedding favours? Sorted. Old-school Panini football stickers, of course.

“I was very sceptical at first,” explains Emily, “but James's vintage football sticker collection is infamous amongst friends, and people seemed to really enjoy them!”

Classic Panini football stickers for wedding favours. Standard. Photo by

For all the pomp and ceremony of weddings, we love the quiet moments - here are James and Emily, away from the madding crowd, enjoying a minute together before being welcomed in for the wedding breakfast…

A quiet moment before being welcomed into The Normans Grain Shed for the wedding breakfast. Photo by

… and here’s a shot of the lovely couple, shining brighter than the cascading fairy lights behind them…

The sparkling couple. Photo by

… relaxing in The Cow Stalls…

A quiet moment in the Cow Stalls. Photo by

… strolling down a country lane (as you do)…

Roaming the roads outside of The Normans. Photo by

… and having a heart to heart in a massive shed.

Emily & James in a massive Grain Shed. Photo by

But James and Emily weren’t ones to stay away from the fray, and were soon back in action by way of a full-blooded first dance…

James and Emily take to the floor for their first dance. Photo by

… a first dance that set the tone for quite a party…

The dance floor heats up at The Normans. Photo by
We knew the Normans was the place for us the moment we walked in. Everything from the beautiful ceremony barn to the secret little seating areas is perfect. Not only is the venue beautiful but the team are fantastic - everything leading up to the wedding was handled so smoothly and really put us ease, and Oliver was amazing on the day helping with anything and everything!
— The effervescent Emily
Bride Emily basks in the evening sun. Photo by










Cosmopolitan cool at The Normans

London-based couple Jaimie and Jez knew exactly how to bring the best out of The Normans. Their vision riffed on the venue’s rustic features, and took advantage of its more contemporary elements.

The result?

A wedding that not only looked great, but was imbued with enough heartfelt personal touches to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Jaimie's veil captured in all its glory.jpg

With so many amazing photos from the day (thank you, Laura Calderwood!), it was difficult to know where to begin this blog. But, after a prolonged bout of choice anxiety, we plumped with this shot of bride Jaimie stepping out of a classic 1954 Bentley R-Type E (aka The Yorkshire Wedding Car), dazzling all and sundry in her Maggie Sottero dress and sheer Justin Alexander jacket from Abigail's Bridal Boutique, Leeds.

Just. Wow.

Here comes the bride - Jaimie arrives at the church.jpg

“I fell in love with the champagne dress, which was actually a slip dress from underneath of a completely different dress!” explains Jaimie. “I tried a few jackets, but was instantly drawn towards the mandarin collar. I liked having a combination that felt unique - and to be able to take the jacket off on the night and have a second look without having to buy a second dress!”

Jaimie embellished her jaw-dropping look with something blue(ish) - a pair of Alexandre Birman shoes.

Bravo, Jaimie. Bravo.

Delightful details - we loved the intricate lace back of Jaimie's wedding dress.jpg
Something blue. Jaimie's amazing shoes.jpg

Jaimie’s bridesmaids were dressed in Maids to Measure dresses - shout out to Claire at The White Yard. The lovely trio’s look was finished off with bouquets by Kate Mell.

Jaimie with her beautiful bridesmaids.jpg
Bountiful bouquets by Kate Mell.jpg

Groom Jez, no slouch in the style department himself, kept up appearances with a tailor-made suit from Rhodes Wood of Harrogate, who he couldn’t recommend more. His supporting cast of groomsmen were decked out in suits from Slaters Menswear.

The usual suspects - Jez with his groomsmen.jpg

As is true of his bride, Jez has an eye for detail, and sartorially minded gentlemen will doubtless appreciate this watch-cuff link combo.

The cuff links belong to the groom’s father, while the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetual timepiece is a family heirloom once belonging to Jez’s grandfather and now his uncle. “When I told him I was wearing it for the wedding, he laughed,” says Jez. “He joked: ‘You’ve had your eyes on it for sometime!’”

We don’t blame him.

Watch this ... full marks for Jez's accessorising.jpg

And, below, a closer look at some of the floral embellishments of the day: the individually designed buttonholes and the flower girl’s gorgeous ‘wand’ and floral crown, all the handiwork of Kate Mell.

Buttonholes for Jaimie and Jez's wedding.jpg
Flower girl's accessories by Kate Mell.jpg

The weather, happily, received the memo re. Jaimie & Jez’s picture-perfect day, meaning that guests could take full advantage of the sunshine in The Normans Courtyard.

Guests congregate in The Normans Courtyard.jpg

Once all their guests had congregated in The Courtyard, Jaimie and Jez rolled into The Normans. We love how the regal Bentley falls in line with the couple’s colour scheme. No accident, that.

Arriving in style - Jaimie and Jez roll into The Normans in a Rolls.jpg

And here are the couple, making their entrance into The Normans Courtyard, accompanied by a soundtrack of raucous applause…

Introducing the bride and groom.jpg

… and the sweet warbling of the fantastic Wandering Hands.

Music for the drinks reception was provided by the excellent Wandering Hands.jpg

Guests’ thirst was quenched at the ‘spruce your juice' station, and appetites were sated with some truly original (and oh-so-tasty) canapes.

Fresh fruits for guests to 'pimp' their drink.jpg

“Our guests are still talking about the chicken katsu baozi buns and the ‘Big Mac’ sauce spring rolls,”  says Jaimie of the Hog & Apple’s culinary creations.

Korean-style steamed buns by Hog & Apple.jpg

Meanwhile, we couldn’t help but admire the bride’s commitment to the cause: the card box, a miniature Ikea greenhouse, was painted gold by her own fair hand.

What a reception - drinks on ice ready for guests' arrival at The Normans.jpg

And, since Jaimie and Jez married in a church, rather than onsite, The Normans Ceremony Barn made for the perfect backdrop for the obligatory group photo.

In the absence of a ceremony here at The Normans, the barn made for a great place for a group photo..jpg

We love this shot of The Normans Grain Shed, lined with our rustic banqueting tables - the gantries adorned with olive leaves and dangling tealights. In fact, the gantries bear special significance to this wedding, since they were conceived soon after chatting through ideas when Jez and Jaimie visited the venue last year.

“We remember showing images on our Pinterest board as a bit of a pipe dream but the reality was even better!” says Jaimie.

The Grain Shed dining area ready to receive guests.jpg

We’re also big fans of Jaimie and Jez’s table plan - a simple yet striking guide for guests to find their seat…

A delicate yet effective table plan for guests to find their places.jpg

… and then, the little touches… such as the place settings…

Simple yet effective place setting for bride....jpg
... and groom.jpg

… which were quickly filled by sumptuous sharing platters for that informal feel.

Guests tuck in.jpg

As guests made merry, Jez and Jaimie escaped to the hidden corners of The Normans for a moment’s peace (not to mention some fantastic photo opportunities).

Jaimie and Jez under the spotlight.jpg
A quiet moment in the Cow Stalls.jpg

And so, to the first dance. (Note Jaimie’s subtle outfit change - a perfect look to kick start the evening’s revelries.)

First dance.jpg

Admittedly, the some of the dancing that followed wasn’t quite up to the standard of Jaimie and Jez’s graceful display - but it was nonetheless fun to watch…

Drinkin and dancin.jpg

Too fun for some, it would seem…

Power nap.jpg
The Normans is a really special place... The service and communication is second to none - nothing was too much trouble. And all our guests raved about how unique the venue was - we just cannot speak highly enough of this place!
— Our shining bride, Jaimie
Stunning bride Jaimie (and Jez).jpg