Helen Townsend got married to Jamie Heaviside on July 29th 2017. Helen shares her unsusual story in her own words of their marriage ceremony in Canada and subsequent blessing/ wedding at The Devonshire Fell in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
As we live in Canada the wedding in England was a blessing then we made our wedding legal in Canada on Saturday 5th August the week after. Due to our work commitments it was not possible for us to have a legal wedding ceremony in England as we needed to be in England for quite a long period of time before our wedding. It was important for us to have a ceremony in front of our friends and family in England then some of my family came back to Canada with us and we made our wedding legal at our friends Bob and Christine’s house, at the beautiful Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island.
It was a really sunny day on Vancouver Island and our friends had gone camping. I suggested that we go camping but Jamie said he had planned a walk for us. I thought this was strange as he doesn’t normally make plans! We set of on our hike and Jamie had me climbing a hill. It was a long walk to the top in the middle of the forest therefore I had no idea when we would reach the top. It was a hard climb! Jamie remembers me moaning all the way up and saying to him that there better some reward at the top! Anyway we got to the top and the view was amazing! We sat and took in the view and then Jamie asked me to be with his wife. I think I was kind of hoping that this was why he took me on the walk but I was still surprised and so happy. We still laugh now about my reaction when climbing the hill and at one point I didn’t make it to the top but I am glad I did!
Wedding at The Devonshire Fell
We held our wedding ceremony at The Devonshire Fell in Burnsall in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. I was so worried about the weather all week but on the day we were very lucky and the sun was shining. Burnsall will always have a special place in my heart as my family used to spend a lot of time there when we were younger playing in the river. My mum found the venue and when she walked in she knew it was the right one for us. As we live in Canada my mum was in charge of finding a venue and she did well! The view is amazing at The Devonshire Fell and we were able to have exclusive use the hotel which made our wedding so personal and special. Everyone at the wedding commented on what an amazing location the wedding was in! Jamie didn’t see the venue until the day before the wedding and thankfully he fell in love with the venue just like we did.
We also held our wedding reception at The Devonshire Fell. We had afternoon tea which fitted in well with being in Yorkshire, with a pianist playing throughout. The guests then spent some time enjoying the beautiful grounds and then our wedding band played an acoustic set. There were lawn games to play and luckily we were able to sit outside and enjoy the scenry. It was very relaxed just the way we wanted it. In the evening we then have a live band and sparklers. Susie our wedding designer called them ‘Let love sparkle!’
In memory of my friend Christine Caldwell we donated money to Cancer Research and had pins for bowel cancer as our favours. This meant so much to me and made us feel like Christine was part of our day. Susie made place names with people’s initials using wooden letters and a vintage map of BC on them and people were able to take these letters home. Susie also made a sweet bag for people with the label ‘Jamie and Helen, love is sweet’ on it. People were then able to go and get some vintage sweets from our candy cart.
Wedding Breakfast and Cake
For our meal we chose roast beef and Yorkshire puddings as this is my favourite food and, as we were in the Yorkshire Dales, it all fitted so well! I also needed my Canadian friends to experience eating homemade Yorkshire puddings. My cousin Claire skilfully make our wedding cake and we chose cupcakes. Claire even made a giant cup cake for us to cut, Claire incorporated our wedding theme of the outdoors to the cakes by using green icing.
Jenny Maden was our wedding photographer. When we went to meet Jenny before the wedding I instantly knew that we had chosen the perfect photographer for us. Jenny was so friendly and relaxed, and at the same time asking lots of questions to make sure she knew what we wanted. On the day Jenny arrived at my sister’s house whilst we were getting ready, I hardly knew she was there. Jamie and I had so much fun when we went to have our pictures taken and Jenny made us feel very relaxed. Jenny worked so hard on the day and took so many pictures for us that really tells the story of our day so well. I really liked the way Jenny captured natural shots of people and all the details that you would want to remember from your wedding.
We chose a vintage wedding theme and also wanted to incorporate the outdoors and Canada as that is was of the main reasons why we chose to live in Canada as we love the outdoor lifestyle. I was really undecided by the theme of the wedding until I went to meet Susie from Sweet Spaces. Susie styled our whole wedding for us. When I met Susie she was so enthusiastic and had so many ideas I instantly became inspired. Susie instantly could tell that I liked the vintage theme but also needed to bring Canada into the wedding. Our table plan was a vintage suitcase with a vintage map of Canada inside. Susie then made vintage table postcards and we named the tables after all our favourite places in BC. I went to see Susie that day totally uninspired and left feeling so inspired, and so excited to see all of our ideas come into a plan. We also had a vintage sweet cart which was a big hit.
For my bridesmaids I chose my sister Emma, my best friend Louise who I have known for about 15 years, my close friend Amy and my very special friend Ellen. I also had 3 flower girls: Ella and Millie who are my God daughters, and my niece Erin. My nephew Joseph was our pageboy and he told me he had the most important job as it was his job was to look after me. My friend Amy was pregnant and her baby was due the day after the wedding. Jude chose to come into the world a week early and she was able to be my bridesmaid and Jude could be part of our special day. Amy was so amazing on the day especially as she had a 1 week old baby!
Jamie’s best man was his friend Antony. Jamie has known Antony since he was 5. He also had his close friend Ross, his brother John Paul and my brother Mathew as his ushers. Dave, my brother in law, was our master of ceremonies.
Wedding Dress and Accessories
I bought my wedding dress in Canada and it was an experience transporting it back to England! Everyone always says when you try your dream dress on you will just know and I never believed that until, I tried my dream dress on and I just knew. I always thought I didn’t want a dress without any bling on but I ended up buying a dress with bling. It was great fun buying my dress, designed by Sophia Tolli, and luckily I managed to find my dress when my mum was visiting me from England. I kept the accessorises simple with a necklace, bracelets and veil. I also had some flowers in my hair.
Best Parts of the Wedding
I loved all my wedding day but for me the best part was our ceremony as it was so unique, special and personal to us. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house! As we used a celebrant: Anna Louise from Bespoke Wedding Ceremonies we were able to make our wedding day so personal to us. Anna Louise spent time getting to know me and Jamie and what type of service we wanted. We the both answered some questions and she wrote our vows and ceremony from the questions we answered. For me reading my own personal vows to Jamie in front of my friends and family was the best part of my wedding. As we live in Canada we don’t get to see our friends and family as much as we would like to therefore another best part of our wedding was having all our friends and family in the same room! Me and my bridesmaids travelled to the wedding in a vintage camper and this was also an highlight. We used the company All luvDub VW campervan and I will always remember travelling down the country roads singing songs in the van!
What Made the Wedding Unique
Our own personal ceremony made our wedding so special and unique. Being able to read our own vows to each other and write our own ceremony was so special. My nephew also wrote a poem to read and I will never forget the moment he read the poem. It was so special and a moment I will always treasure. Our wedding also was so personal to me and Jamie and all the little things that Susie from sweet spaces made for our wedding made it so unique and special to Jamie and I for example the sparkles that we were having had a label on them saying ‘Jamie and Helen let love sparkle’ , the confetti cups had our names on them and even the matches! Susie spent so much time making our wedding so personal to me and Jamie. The most touching aspect of the day was when my nephew read his poem!
Vanessa from Vanessa Wellcock flowers did our wedding flowers. As I wanted to incorporate the outdoors into our wedding Vanessa made me a beautiful wild flower bouquet. We kept it simple for the bridesmaids and they had a gyp bouquet incorporating the vintage theme by using brown tweed to fasten them. The ushers and Jamie all had a gyp button hole and my flower girls had a gyp crown as well. The gyp really complimented my brightly coloured bouquet so well. My 3 year old niece Erin had a flower wand to hold which incorporated the wild flowers into it. On the tables Vanessa skilfully made wild flower arrangements to match my bouquet and placed them in vintage jam jars and on wooden slabs. Susie from sweet spaces placed bunting around the room made in a variety of different greens and decorated the summer house with fairy lights. We even had a vintage bicycle in the main entrance to welcome people and a vintage type writer for people to write their messages to us.
Advice to Other Brides-to-be
Enjoy and take in every second as it all goes far too fast!
Find out more about how you could book your wedding at the The Devonshire Fell.
Bridal Dress: The Brides Closet in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island | Wedding Shoes: Coast
Grooms attire: Moss Bros. |Bridesmaids Attire: Vintage dresses from the internet. Flower girl dresses from monsoon | Groomsmen’s Attire: Moss Bros. Suit rental |Flowers and Bouquets: Vanessa Wellcock Flowers |Entertainment: wedding pianst:Emma from white notes music. The white rivers band |Photographer: Jenny Madden photographer |Wedding Cake: Claire Peacock |Wedding Make-up & Hair: Hair: My friend Amanda Glennon and Jenny Hullah from Wills and Parker hair and beauty Harrogate | Charlotte Makeup artist: Jayne Light | Wedding Stationery: Susie from Sweet Spaces | Wedding Transport:All LuvDub VW Campervan | Reception, Ceremony and Catering: Devonshire Fell Hotel | Wedding venue stylist/planner: Susie from Sweet Space |Bluebell Party Tents: Krisztina | Yorkshire bespoke Ceremonies: Anna Louise |Chair covers: Sitting Pretty Chair covers