May 13, 2016
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We’re going back a few months in time to our first wedding of the year with the wonderful Elena and Matthew. These guys got married at Beverley Minster, following in the footsteps of Matthew’s parents who also married there many years ago. Their wedding reception was at Rowley Manor which always has the most amazing winter wonderland feel with mulled wine, roaring fires and hot drinks on arrival for the wedding party.

When we first spoke to Elena and Matthew, we recognised a little of ourselves in their interests and their wedding plans – a love of Tolkien, Shakespeare, board games, the aurora borealis and all things fantastical. We absolutely loved their wedding plans because of the way they incorporated their favourite things.
When we arrived at Rowley Manor everything was quiet, peaceful and calm while Elena had her hair and makeup done by Bows. Elena is Russian and there was a lot of chatter with her family and friends we didn’t understand, but we did get a brief lesson in Russian etiquette and that saying “hello” is very difficult!
Meanwhile, Matthew got ready at his parents’ house, carefully tracking the weather. This resulted in the accidental discovery that Leeds apparently has an anti-rain defence forcefield – where everywhere in Yorkshire expected rainfall, Leeds did not!
Elena is one of our calmer brides, seemingly unphased by what was unfolding, and listening to her mother telling her how proud she was of Elena and how brave she would be for walking down the aisle by herself – it was rather sweet.
At Beverley Minster, the walk down the aisle is a very long walk but Elena aced it and Matthew couldn’t have looked happier to greet his bride. It was pretty amazing to hear the Waltz of the Flowers played on the organ during their ceremony too.
When we got to Rowley Manor it was warm, cosy and inviting; a stark comparison to the fresh breezes that everyone had encountered outside the Minster for the group shots. Whilst Elena and Matthew were having a bit of time to themselves in the wedding car, everyone was warming up by the fire, drinking mulled wine while preparations were made for the Bread and Salt ceremony.
As you can see Rowley Manor really is a picture perfect Yorkshire wedding venue, especially for winter weddings!
A Bread and Salt ceremony is a Russian tradition where the bread represents hospitality and salt represents prosperity. The offering of bread and salt is traditionally presented to the bride and groom by their parents before the newlyweds enter the reception hall. The bride and groom must feed each other and both take a bite of the bread to symbolise their care for each other and that they’ll never be without life’s necessities – cute, isn’t it?
These guys had Smaug the dragon for a wedding cake. And they cut the cake/ slayed the dragon with that sword. There was a moment we were a little nervous for Elena when Matthew started showing us some of his moves with the sword.

Some of the reactions to the speeches were the funniest we’ve seen in a while – the best man (Matthew’s brother) made an amazing speech that had everyone in stitches.

Then there were fireworks, with thank to the Fireworkers, who put on an amazing display – this was a true surprise for the wedding guests. Obviously, we were in on the secret and helped keep the fireworks a surprise which is always great fun and for a moment the guests think you’re the worst photographer in the world… all worth it in the end though.


The evening’s entertainment was a fantastic Ceilidh dance with Hessle Ceilidh band, and Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, here in the above picture, are members of the Tolkien society stuck on a particular question if you weren’t sure what was going on!
Fantastic wedding – thank you, Elena and Matthew

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