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Military wedding in Yorkshire!

Lisa & Mark, Craiglands Hotel, Ilkely, Yorkshire

Mark and Lisa – The Proposal

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Photography: Duncan Armstrong-Payne

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Mark Grimshaw, a mechanic with the Armed Forces Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, had been waiting for the right moment to propose to nutritionist Lisa Gatenby all day on a trip to Barcelona.

“I could see the ring box in his pocket, but it had got so late I thought he wasn’t going to do it!” says Lisa. “But he found a quiet spot by the magical fountains and got down on one knee – I said ‘yes’ straight away. He was so nervous, he’d been waiting for the right moment so that it was perfect!”

Mark and Lisa – The Ceremony

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The couple married in Ilkley in the Yorkshire dales, where Lisa’s parents live. “We love the church there,” says Lisa. “The church is beautifully traditional, with stained glass windows, and didn’t need much decoration. The vicar made everyone feel relaxed, even though I was feeling nervous until I saw Mark at the end of the aisle,” she added. Mark and Lisa exchanged vows in the All Saints Church, which was simply decorated with ivory bows as pew ends.

Mark and Lisa – Post-Ceremony

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“We wanted a traditional and grand wedding,” says Lisa. “Mark wore his formal army uniform – Number Ones – navy trousers and jacket with silver buttons, white gloves and his hat and belt.”

The couple kept the classic colour theme to a neutral palette of creams and greens and included military touches like the horse and carriage hired from Parkhouse Carriages and navy blue bridesmaids dresses.

Mark and Lisa – Wedding Dress

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“As it was a grand occasion, I just had to wear a big white dress.” says Lisa. She chose a regal ivory gown from Alfred Sung, with a corseted back, train and diamanté detail, bought from Sugared Almonds in Ilkley.

Mark and Lisa – Bride

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“I wore a tiara and sparkly veil (also from Sugared Almonds) and my necklace, bracelet and earrings were from Goldsmiths. I looked all over for the perfect necklace – a simple row of diamantés – and it took me ages, but it was perfect,” she says. “My Dad bought me the necklace and gave it to me on the morning of the wedding, while Mark bought me the bracelet.”

Mark and Lisa – Bride and bridesmaids

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Lisa’s bridesmaids, her sister and oldest friend, wore navy prom dresses from bridal shop Confetti & Lace in Pudsey, Leeds. The flowergirls wore sweet ivory dresses from BHS, which the bridal shop customised with navy sashes and bows.

Mark and Lisa – Table Flowers (display)

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The couple held their reception at the Craiglands Hotel, which they chose for its high ceilings and picture perfect gardens. “Our florist, Greenhouse Florists, decorated the room with beautiful green, cream and ivory flowers. My Dad (of Wharfedale Wrought Iron) made the tall flower stands for each table himself” says Lisa. The couple chose roses, lilies and trailing ivy for Lisa’s bouquet and to give a traditional look to the reception room, and added herbs like rosemary and bay leaf as a nod to Lisa’s job as a nutritionist. “We even named each table after a herb,” added Lisa.

Mark and Lisa – The Venue (layout)

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Place settings were home made heart-shaped cookies with guests’ names piped in navy and ivory on them. Lisa and Mark gave the men lottery ticket favours and the ladies received little packets of strawberry seeds with the message; “Sow these seeds in your garden as a reminder of our wedding day.”

Mark and Lisa – Wedding Cake

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“The wedding breakfast was very important to me as I work with food, so we chose simple food that everyone would love,” says Lisa.

“The chefs at Craiglands served goats cheese and spinach tart to start, followed by roast beef with Yorkshire puddings, and a delicious lemon torte for dessert, which was fantastic! Mark and I made the cake ourselves – a traditional fruit cake – and a friend decorated it,” added Lisa.

Mark and Lisa – First Dance

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After The Speeches

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“My Dad’s speech was really heart-warming and made everyone cry,” says Lisa. The party kicked off with live jazz band Blue Phunk. “We had a great party, and it looked fab when the ticker-table balloon exploded over the dancefloor,” added Lisa.