Real Weddings

An Autumnal Wedding with a rockabilly bride

When Ffion, who works in adult social care and Luke, a Project Consultant in education software decided to tie the knot after ten years together, they were determined to do things their way. So much so that they grew their own pumpkins to decorate the venue with! Ffion wanted a relaxed wedding planning process and for her this meant no setting foot in a wedding dress shop. Luckily she found her perfect dress online, which suited her rockabilly style. Read on for all the glorious details and pictures...

Ffion and Luke chose to get married in a small but beautiful country pub venue in Huddersfield seating 49 guests. The dress code for the boys was jeans and Ffion wore a Collectif Retro Wedding dress which showed off her tattoos through the sheer sleeves. She teamed it with a personalised Mrs. Austin denim jacket for photos and gold shoes from Lulu Hun.

How did you guys meet?

We met on a dating website in 2009. I have two children from a previous relationship who were 5 and 3 at the time. It wasn’t your average relationship… we lived 98 miles apart! We would take it in turns to visit each other on the weekends. Luke would ride over on his motorbike in all weathers just to be with me. And I would take a 3 hour train ride to Bradford to be with him. We did this for 8 years before Luke landed a job in Wrexham. So, in August 2018 Luke packed up his belongings and moved to North Wales to be with me and the kids.

Tell us about your proposal…

On our 10 year anniversary in April this year Luke surprised me with a few days away. I had no idea where I was going but was told to pack a bag! We flew to Luxembourg where Luke proposed under blossom trees next to a derelict gothic church! The ring was perfect, a sliver and Whitby Jet ring with a single diamond.

Tattooed sleeve bride whitby jet ring

What was your budget?

We had originally said £5,000 budget. But with the generosity of family we were able to have a budget of £8,000.

Where did you get married and why did you choose your venue?

We got married at The Woodman Inn, a lovely pub in a little hamlet in West Yorkshire. We wanted somewhere relaxed that reflected our love for the country. Luke is a proud Yorkshire man so getting married in Yorkshire was a must. We had 47 day guests with an extra 12 during the evening.

The Woodman Inn Huddersfield

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?

We chose The Pin-up Bride – Emma is just amazing! Right from the start she was interested in our wedding and what we had planned. We had an engagement shot with her which was a great experience. On our wedding day she was incredible. She was a huge support to me and I felt so relaxed with her. It felt natural to have her part of our day. During the ceremony and reception she managed to capture some beautiful moments. As a bride you don’t see much of the day, you get swept away with trying to see everyone. I’m so glad Emma managed to capture bits of the wedding I didn’t see. Her style is just ‘us’ and I felt like she understood us, our relationship and how best to capture that. I find myself just scrolling through our wedding pictures and every picture brings a smile to my face and sometimes the odd tear. If we were to do it all over again, Emma would be the first person that we contact!

Tell me about your walk down the aisle

My mum walked me down the aisle. She brought me and my brother up alone, she is an extremely strong woman and I’m so proud she walked with me to my new husband. She held my hand so tight and kept me calm and grounded. I’m a huge country music fan so I chose Chris & Morgane Stapleton “You are my sunshine” as my walking down the aisle music. Everyone knows this song, but the way they sing it together just melts my heart. As we walked out new husband and wife, we had Screamin Jay Hawkins “I put a spell on you”.

Did you write your own vows?

Yes, we wrote our own vows.

Ffion – My favourite line from my vows was “I believe in what we are and I will always love you with every beat of my heart in this world and the next.”

Luke – My Favourite line from my vows is “You make me smile and laugh every day that you are in my life and for that I can never thank you enough.”

What did you DIY?

As soon as we got home from Luxembourg I got planning straight away. We both knew we wanted to get married on Halloween. This gave us 6 months to sort everything out. The whole wedding was DIY. I made all our table decorations, we grew our own pumpkins, my mum helped with calligraphy, Luke’s mum made the little bags for the favours.

We woke up with eachother on the morning of the wedding, we had breakfast together and throughout the morning Luke was popping in and out of the room while I was getting ready. There’s a picture of Luke all ready as I’m still getting my hair done and he kisses me on the cheek, he said “see you up there doll”. This felt so natural to us, no way would we want to be kept apart because of traditions.  My mum walked me down the aisle to meet Luke and made a mother of the bride speech. My son Max had the ring box which I purchased from a small shop which sells a selection of all things hippy, wiccan and pagan, with a few other bits chucked in the mix.

As my 2 cats couldn’t celebrate with us, I put in the box whiskers from each cat (they had naturally fallen off).

Tell me about your cake

The cake was made by Luke’s Grandma. The bottom tier was marble cake, second tier was chocolate and top tier was parkin. Lukes mum then decorated the cake. It was just how we wanted it, and it saved us an absolute fortune!!

Tell me about your catering. Was it done in-house or did you bring outside caterers in?

It was done in house, we had:

  • Starters – Butternut Squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Main – Slow cooked shoulder of Yorkshire lamb, potato puree & braised red cabbage, then for the veggies Truffle Gnocchi, butternut squash and extra fine beans.
  • Desert – Braeburn apple tart tatin & gingerbread ice cream

We had mulled wine and cider for our arrival drinks and also for the toasts as we don’t like prosecco.

What was your first dance?

We chose “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” by Harry James and Helen Forrest. The lyrics just spoke to us, we both waited a long time to be together, and this song just said everything we needed it to. We also just love the love story of Captain America and Peggy Carter. We actually had two first dances. Our second dance was “We’re Crazy” by Danko Jones. We are both big rock/metal music fans so it only felt right to have a heavier song to dance to too.

First dance autumnal wedding

How did you get everyone up on the dancefloor?

The DJ came as part of the package, we sent over a spotify playlist with music by the Dead South, Nathanial Radcliff, Florence and the Machine, Rockwell, Fleetwood mac, Alice cooper, Imelda may, the police, Dropkick Murphy’s. We also hired  band called The RIP Roaring Success. They were amazing!!

How did you choose to decorate your venue?

It was very much an autumnal theme.

Lots of alcohol bottles with fairy lights (had lots of fun emptying them!!)  a piece of log cut from our own garden with gold spray-painted L & F, vintage teapots and other vessels with wheat and lavender and a glass terrarium from Ikea for the cards.

We sourced vintage glass bowls from charity shops all over Wrexham for the sweet table, vintage tea cups from charity shops for table decorations which I then used oasis, wheat, lavender and other dried flowers to decorate. All dried flowers were purchased from ebay. I don’t like to throw anything away, and I’m so glad! We had a huge box full of clean empty jars in the garage. Armed with a glue gun, some hessian and a metal leaf embellishment I made over 30 candle holders for the tables. We did grow a few pumpkins in our little kitchen garden but not enough to decorate the venue so we purchased the rest from Morrisons. We also had a few random photo frames with quotes from our fave Halloween couples.

Did you have wedding favours?

We had favours that doubled as place cards. Luke’s mum made the little bags and we added bee friendly flowers seeds. My mum then wrote everyone’s name on the tags. On the back we printed stickers which said “Bee Loved” sprinkle the seeds & watch them grow, Luke & Ffion 31st October 2019.

Any tips for saving money?

We had the ceremony and reception were in the same venue we didn’t need to hire cars. The wedding cake was made by Luke’s Grandma and decorated by his Mum. I made my daughter’s bouquet with flowers from Ikea! My bouquet was £12 from Etsy. 

Halloween wedding autumnal bouquet

Would you do anything differently?

We wouldn’t do anything different. The wedding was perfectly us. We both work full time so finding the time to plan and make everything was stressful. Looking back I think I should have asked for more help in the DIY process but I’m a little bit of a control freak so like things done my way haha!

REAL moments

  • The best mans speech. His speech was incredible and so heartfelt. It was very emotional. He had gone to the effort of printing out a booklet for the guests to go along with his speech which was fantastic
  • When my wonderful hairdresser was getting me ready my friends were popping in to say hi and to give me a hug. It felt so relaxed and I was so happy to see people before the ceremony
  • Even though the numbers of guests were small some of them had travelled a great distance to spend the day with us (Brighton, Wales and Colchester) and seeing them sat amongst the other guest that they had never met before all smiling, having a good time and making new friendships was amazing
  • Before the meal the events team took us both in to a side room before announcing us to our guests. Even though it was only 5 or 10 minutes alone it gave us the chance to speak to each other properly and take a breath (as well as our first selfie in married life). Something we hadn’t had a chance to do since leaving each other before the ceremony

Anything you’d like to add?

We didn’t want bridesmaids, I have two amazing friends and I wanted them to enjoy the day with out stress. My 15 year old daughter Elise was my maid of honour. We had a child-free wedding, having only my son and daughter there. It worked perfectly. I didn’t step foot into a bridal shop, I looked online and bought the dress. It was so painless and exactly how I wanted it to go.


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Photographer: The Pin-up Bride | Venue: The Woodman Inn | Bride’s dress: Collectif Clothing | Bride’s jacket: Primark with patches| Shoes: Lulu hun | Hair accessories: Pin-up Curl | Earrings & bracelets: Marks & Spencer |Other rings: Bloody Mary Metal |Hair & Makeup: The Little Hairmaid | Bridesmaid’s dress: Lindy Bop | Groom’s outfit: Wrangler Jeans, Jacket: Greenwoods, Boots: Firetrap | Groomsman ties: Slaters | Cake: Homemade | Catering: In-house | Entertainment: The RIP Roaring Success|Favours: DIY flower seed bags


Gaia Hudson

Written by gaia_bkir

Founder of Brides Keeping it Real and mum of two little ones, Leon & Ada. Passionate about providing a supportive online community for brides and grooms who want an achievable, uncomplicated wedding planning experience.