A Contemporary Humanist Wedding in Yorkshire with an Elegant Black & White Theme

Personal trainers Jane Crotty and Tom Rowlay threw wedding convention out the window and planned a modern day with all their favourite things (including the Tour de France)

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Orangery at Settrington in Malton, North Yorkshire was host to Jane and Tom’s sleek and contemporary black-and-white themed big day. A DIY tandem bike was one of many nods to the famous Tour de France, percussionists serenaded their confetti throw, and guests feasted on Thai street food at this one-of-a-kind wedding on a hot day in May.

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Jane and Tom met nine years ago on a blind date. “Essentially a pub crawl around Leeds city centre,” says Jane. “Tom invited me back to his place for ‘pizza’ and I refused and the rest is history.” Tom proposed on Jane’s birthday two years ago at their favourite dog-walking spot. Like the happy couple, he chose a unique engagement ring, with a yellow-tinted whisky diamond.

They opted for a humanist ceremony to tie the knot, with the story of their love told both through their celebrant and all the personal touches they added to their day.

Photography by Eyesome Photography

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Wedding Dress

Jane wore the Brooklyn dress from Canadian designers & For Love. She accessorised with a geometric choker and hairpins from OnFoundations and simple gold studs. The wedding morning itself was “super chilled, just listening to my playlists and eating toast”.

“I bought my dress from a really cool little wedding dress shop called Ghost Orchid Bride in Hessle.

“The instant I tried it on I knew. My mum pointed out all the sequin dresses in the shop including a black sequin dress which was very tempting. At first I said I couldn’t try it on then I got persuaded by my mum and that was it. The final dress was dress number eight; it was slinky and sparkly and, best of all, backless. We bought it that same day and I didn’t go to any other wedding dress shops, I just knew it was the one.

“I didn’t change into a different dress for the reception, but I did get a white bomber jacket made for the evening from my dress maker Sherry Shirley on Westmoorland Street in Harrogate.

“I wanted big eyes and I wanted to look sleek. So, for my makeup, we did big brown smokey eyes and fake eye lashes, and everything else was pretty neutral.

“For the hair we did rock ‘n’ roll curls (a kind of a messy, just-out-of-bed look) and pinned it half up with the geometric pins. It kind of looked a bit surfer-ish.”

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Wedding Party

Jane got ready with her three bridesmaids, who looked effortlessly elegant in strapless, ankle-length Ralph Lauren dresses. “We tried to choose them together but in the end I found the dresses online and the girls all liked them.”

Groom Tom treated himself to a black Paul Smith suit, chosen with the help of his mum. The groomsmen were in black tie with special midnight blue spotty bow ties.

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Wedding Ceremony

Jane and Tom chose to have a humanist wedding ceremony, led by humanist celebrant Ewan Main. She walked down the aisle with her Dad and three bridesmaids to Intro by The xx.

“Ewan, our humanist, basically researched us for a year and a half before he finalised the ceremony. We wanted to tell the story of Jane and Tom. He got us to tell him our individual stories and then made a heartfelt yet hilarious ceremony out of all the information, starting from our first date (our blind date) all the way through to our future hopes and plans.

“We also had Tom’s godmother Elly do a reading for us which was perfect and nearly made Tom cry.”

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
 
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Wedding Venue

The happy couple chose the stunning and exclusive setting of The Orangery at Settrington on the Settrington Estate for their ceremony and reception. In keeping with the black tie attire, the colour scheme was black and white with bursts of green from foliage. They directed guests to the venue with a black-and-white, pen-drawn sketch of the house and a map of Yorkshire on the back of their invites. The stationery – by Goldfinch Design – all complemented their look of simple, modern, contemporary.

“We went to visit the venue in the spring of 2018 and it was just beautiful. Hundreds of daffodils and wild flowers outside. Inside, it was a lovely tall ceiling building with loads of light and air and very much a blank canvas.

“Indoor plants were used for the wedding décor: orchids, hydrangeas, peace lilies, white lilies. It had lots of green foliage too, so a slightly tropical but uber-fresh theme. I carried a small, round, white bouquet with tiny delicate flowers wrapped with white ribbon. The bridesmaids held a single white orchid wrapped with black ribbon.

“Our florist Kymm Queen helped on the day by creating some displays for indoors and outdoors, but I did the decorating of the interior.

“The two wedding planners, who were included in the venue hire, were invaluable: Karen Storey, who lives on the Settrington Estate, and Sara Cussons. They were so professional and lovely to all of my guests, well worth the money we paid for the venue hire.”

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Wedding Food and Cake

Jane and Tom chose an Asian feast for their wedding breakfast, served buffet-style for their 98 guests. They followed later in the evening with a pizza oven and a three-tier wedding cake made by Jane’s personal training client and friend Rachel Duffy.

“We chose Thai street food. We love Thailand and I always imagined having some sort of Asian-style banquet on my wedding day. The caterers set up three stations of food: a starters station, a more substantial station with big stir fries, beef, sticky rice and noodles, and a dessert station which was help yourself mango sorbet and vanilla ice cream with a huge watermelon cut out with a fruit salad inside. We had four tables so each table went up at a time and the food was then refreshed between every serving.

“The cake was a three-tiered Victoria sponge naked cake. One tier was lemon, one was lime, one was strawberry. It was decorated with fresh orchid flowers and leaves.”

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
 
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Wedding Entertainment

Cycling enthusiasts Jane and Tom incorporated their love of biking into their table names, christening them after four classic cycling climbs in Yorkshire. A DIY tandem bike and a cycling dressing up box entertained guests. Luckily, none of them were expected to pedal their way home at the end of the night! Guests piled into taxis with lilies, orchids, ferns and palms – the house plant décor they were encouraged to take home as wedding favours. Before home time, the guests watched Jane and Tom take their first dance to I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li and danced along to Ibiza house.

“We had two drummers during the drinks reception who were incredible and made a big impression. They gave people something to talk about. They are called InPulse and they play modern dance music but with drums and do tricks. We had an Ibiza DJ booth and live sax player during the evening party.

“We just wanted it to feel like a party and we were happy to play the music that we liked. Any typical wedding music was banned, we hate the cheesy stuff!”

Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding
Jane and Tom's Real Wedding

The Honeymoon

True to form, Jane and Tom are planning a cycling trip for their honeymoon, to the Tour De France 2020 in a campervan.

“We picked it together as we have both always wanted to go to the Alps in summer. We’ve been before but only in the winter to go skiing.”

The Suppliers

Venue: The Orangery at Settrington
Photography: Eyesome Photography
Celebrant: Ewan Main
Wedding Dress: & For Love from Ghost Orchid Bride
Bridal Accessories: OnFoundations; Sherry Shirley Alterations
Groomswear: Paul Smith
Bridesmaid Dresses: Ralph Lauren
Engagement Ring: Tomfoolery
Wedding Rings: Kendall’s Jewellers
Makeup and Hair: Lauren Slee
Florist: Kymm Queen of Queens Flowers
Stationery: Goldfinch Design
Catering: Yorkshire Party Company
Percussionists: InPulse
DJ and Sax: Jonny Ross Music

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Thank you to Jane and Tom for sharing their beautiful wedding day with Hitched!