Jenna Allen, 25, married Keifer Hutton, 27, at Carlton Towers in Carlton, Yorkshire, on 6th October 2018. She says:
We drove up the long driveway to Carlton Towers one evening in April 2017 and I was blown away by the sheer beauty of the building and it’s grounds. We parked, only one of two cars on site, and ventured up the grand staircase. Keifer knocked on the towering wooden door to no answer, so he pushed it open and spoke an echoey, ‘Hello?’. I felt like Belle walking into the Beast’s magnificent castle, half expecting to meet Lumière and Cogsworth in the next moment! That was it; I knew I had to marry there.
On the morning of the wedding I received a beautiful gift from my husband-to-be: a stunning bouquet of Avalanche roses. It was a very meaningful gesture because my late grandfather loved white roses. What made it even more special was the 24ct gold-dipped rose hidden among them. The accompanying message read, ‘I will love you until the last rose dies’ – a magical nod to my favourite fairytale, Beauty and the Beast.
The venue has abundant ivy growing on its west wing, which turns a striking red in autumn. This fit perfectly with our wedding theme as we knew we wanted an autumn wedding filled with rich, warm colours. We included vibrant shades of yellow and orange, lots of jewel-toned greens and rich burgundies elsewhere, from my bridesmaids' lace dresses to the artificial trees that decorated our ceremony and reception.
Marie from Millie's Floral Boutique did the most incredible job making all of the flower arrangements exactly as I'd hoped for. I'd asked her to create something that would look like it had come from a fantasy-world forest. She used a beautiful array of foliage and roses in deep reds (with a single white rose in my bouquet for my late grandfather). Marie was also responsible for our show-stopping faux trees, which she 'planted' in vases of moss and decorated with glass baubles that were filled with little flower heads. Laura from Ambience Venue Styling added to the magic by dotting miniature pumpkins throughout the venue, bathing the indoor staircase in candlelight and scattering collected pine cones and autumn leaves everywhere. It was a fairytale.
Keifer and I met as teenagers when he was the drummer and I sang in a band called Stone Ugly. It was amazing to surprise our guests when we all came together again to perform at the reception – for the first time in over six years! Rocking our own wedding gig was such a highlight of the day. After playing four songs, my band (Refried Radio) and I played pop, funk and rock covers for an hour. Next up was a few hours of dancing to music played by our DJ, David from Spectra Entertainments. Our friend Joe Shepherd then finished the evening with an impromptu singalong and then his own classical piano set in the bar. A magical end to the best day of our lives. Everything was so personal – exactly what we wanted for our wedding.
Photographs by Hamish Irvine