Tags: Yorkshire

A Perfect Combination - Phil and Kelly Baldacchino-Steward

25 Jul 2011

A Perfect Combination - Phil and Kelly Baldacchino-Steward

Phil and Kelly Baldacchino-Steward’s wedding was an eclectic mix of cultures that reflected their life together

Phil and I met in 2005 when I was working part-time in Epernay Champagne bar in Leeds. Phil was friends with the owner and was a regular in the bar and I used to call him ‘my blue-eyed boy’. We both finally plucked up the courage to talk to each other at a Christmas party. We had our first date at Cuban Heels, a night filled with non-stop conversation and lots of laughter.

I surprised Phil with a trip to Venice for our third-year anniversary; Phil returned the surprise by getting down on one knee while we were on a gondola! It was like something out of a film and I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day.

The theme of the wedding was a fusion of cultures and personal touches in the beautiful and historic setting of Fountains Abbey. It was an eclectic mix of English, Irish and Indian cultures, which was reflected in the ceremonies, decorations, music, dancing and atmosphere.

The wedding planning was a combined effort – whilst I was more involved in the creative aspects of the day, Phil contacted and liaised with all the suppliers and helped make all the ideas come to life. We felt that it was a true reflection of our personalities and tastes. Our wedding not only celebrated our love, marriage and life together, but also our fantastic family and friends.

To help people get to know each other before the big day, we had a joint stag and hen weekend, with BBQs, a big chilli dinner, silly games, and even a dance tent. It was an amazing weekend and was a great talking point at the wedding. We also had separate hen and stag nights one week before the wedding.

On the morning of the wedding I woke up at 6am feeling a little anxious but very excited. I styled my sisters’ hair, which gave me some precious moments with them before the day began. The bridesmaids were like gold dust on the day; they did lots of running around and made numerous trips to the restaurant to drop off all the flowers, cake, decorations and favours. Once everyone was dressed and all hair and make-up was complete, we sipped Champagne on the lawn and had some pictures taken.

I wore an ivory fishtail silk and tulle dress, adorned with lace detailing, Swarovski crystals and pearl beading. Phil wore an ivory cravat and waistcoat to match my dress. The flowers were arranged by my mum, which included an all-white bouquet for me, corsages for the bridesmaids, orchid and lily lapel flowers for the groom and groomsmen, and flower pins for a few guests and unique table decorations.

Our photographer, Charles Haines, captured every aspect and detail of the day beautifully. He was very professional and organised, and our pre-wedding shoot at Bolton Abbey helped us to relax. A completely tailored photo book helps us re-live the memories from the day every time we look at it.

The wedding ceremony commenced with a civil service in Fountains Hall Great Chamber. I walked down the aisle with my father to meet a very happy and handsome groom. We picked our own vows and songs, and asked a few people to choose a reading or poem. The ceremony was emotional and entertaining, especially when I got my words muddled up during the vows and had to repeat it correctly for legal purposes!

The Blessing was a lovely service, beautifully performed in the Cellarium by a family friend, Father Martin Hardy from St Patrick’s Church, Leicester. Father Martin provided good advice and guidance in the lead-up to the day, too. The pre-reception was held outside the Cellarium and around the ruins, where group photographs were taken. The guests then walked from the ruins through the glorious grounds to the Fountains Abbey restaurant, where the reception was held. We entered the room to roaring applause, which was a very overwhelming and happy experience.

The speeches were great – hilarious and emotional – and the evening was filled with lots of dancing. Phil and I performed a rehearsed first dance, and a friend performed a fantastic Bollywood dance, which I joined half-way through. Guests danced the night away to Irish music and Ceilidh routines by our band, The Quiet Man.

We had a ‘mini-moon’ in Greece after the wedding followed by a six-week honeymoon a few months later – we travelled around Australia in a campervan with stopovers in Singapore and Dubai. It was the holiday of a lifetime!

The Details:

Venue & catering: Fountains Abbey | fountainsabbey.org.uk

Photography: Charles Haines Photography | 01423 546781, charleshainesphotography.co.uk

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