wedding

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 www.julesbarron.com

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.

The-Normans-Wedding-Leeds--Emily-James-Jules-Barron-2019-102.JPG

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

“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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

And… more confetti!

More confetti! Photo by www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

… 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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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

The sparkling couple. Photo by www.julesbarron.com

… relaxing in The Cow Stalls…

A quiet moment in the Cow Stalls. Photo by www.julesbarron.com

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

Roaming the roads outside of The Normans. Photo by www.julesbarron.com

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

Emily & James in a massive Grain Shed. Photo by www.julesbarron.com

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 www.julesbarron.com

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

The dance floor heats up at The Normans. Photo by www.julesbarron.com
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 www.julesbarron.com

SUPPLIERS

BRIDE’S DRESS EMMA BEAUMONT

BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES ASOS, OASIS, ISSA AT HOUSE OF FRASER, SHONA JOY

MAKE-UP BRITTANY JAE LAMB

FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS CLAIRE LEWIS

GROOM’S JACKET RICHARD SMITH BESPOKE

CATERING THE HOG & APPLE

MUSIC NEW YORK BRASS BAND

PHOTOGRAPHY JULES BARRON

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

SUPPLIERS

BRIDE’S DRESS MAGGIE SOTTERO

BRIDE’S JACKET JUSTIN ALEXANDER

BRIDAL BOUTIQUE ABIGAIL’S BRIDAL BOUTIQUE

BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES MAIDS TO MEASURE FROM THE WHITE YARD

MAKE-UP JEN EDWARDS & CO

FLOWERS KATE MELL

GROOM’S SUIT RHODES WOOD

CATERING THE HOG & APPLE

RECEPTION MUSIC WANDERING HANDS

EVENING MUSIC PIANO DJ

PHOTOGRAPHY LAURA CALDERWOOD