Brides Up North

you are gold. supplier showcase: Calligraphy For Weddings

November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Calligraphy menu close up gold lettering

We’re going for gold as I welcome back Brides Up North Sponsor Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings. She’s making our pages even prettier this afternoon as she launches her stunning new gold calligraphy service.

You saw it here first… get ready to glisten.

Calligraphy outdoors tablescape wide angle

claire says: Gold calligraphy glistening in the sunshine on handwritten menus, place cards, tags and table cards – a wonderful counterpoint to a messy, richly coloured natural setting. I wanted to show brides how to work with a natural theme and bring together sophisticated details and a messy, rustic background. I went back to nature and this intimate shoot took place on the shores of England’s deepest lake on a sunny autumn morning.

Back to nature pink gold calligraphy

Calligraphy table number card

The tablescape is all about rich, natural colours: a palette of burgundy and pink tones with mossy greens and glowing gold. The lettering sparkles in the sunshine: metallic gold calligraphy inks are super luxurious and oh so wonderful to see – rub your finger across the letters and you can feel the raised gold swirls under your fingertips.

Calligraphy menu outdoor wedding

Calligraphy tree stump shoot

A rich and colourful place setting was created using mixed textures and materials: moss and branches in their natural setting were complemented by ombre brocades, vintage china plates and rich pink gilded glassware. All of the styling elements were locally sourced from independent businesses – from forks to flowers! Counterbalancing the natural backdrop and messy tangles of brocade was the elegant calligraphy: loops and swirls of gorgeous gold on luxury burgundy paper stock.

Calligraphy thank you tag uk

I really wanted to create a look which can be remade by DIY brides: vintage china and glassware is everywhere; and mixing natural textures of wood and moss with just a few bought flowers can add magic to every wedding table. It’s what tablescapes are all about – combining elements in a creative way to make unique and charming place settings for your guests. Replace my lakeshore ‘table’ with the real tables at your venue and you’ll have an enchanting reception style your guests will love!

Calligraphy lake district shoot

Calligraphy by Claire Gould, at Calligraphy-for-Weddings.com

Gold menu calligraphy from £7
Place name calligraphy £1.40
Table number cards from £4
Thank you tags £1.20

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chic to chic. a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House – karin & rob

November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (33)

Karin and Rob’s beautiful wedding day is chic, stylish and filled with the sort of opulent details that we love here at wedding blog HQ.  Lace, crystals, blousy blooms and one stunning setting make this a celebration fit for the pages of Vogue magazine.  Lucky for you, we snapped it up first.

Let’s raise the bar a little.

It’s getting haute in here

With images by fabulous Brides Up North Sponsor, Fyzal Photography.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (8)

karin says: Unbeknown to me, when the idea of a ski holiday with friends popped up, Rob pushed for the 3 valleys, France and in particular, Meribel for one reason only….it was his ideal setting for a proposal!

When we first got together (November 2008 and after 7 months of Rob trying,) it left us just a month before Rob flew to France for a 5 month ski season. I joined Rob for a weeks holiday in the January and we both knew then our relationship was to last. Meribel was also where Rob told me that he loved me.

January 2012 was eagerly anticipated by Rob, eventually settling for his SLR camera case to hide the ring through airport security. He got it through and I was none the wiser as to what would happen a few days later. Rob planned to pop the question on a particular piste in the next valley, Courcheval. But due to an avalanche, it wasn’t until the last ski day that it was cleared to ski to.

It was called “Les Piste Indiens” where a purpose built Indian village appeared around a corner. We stopped and Rob knelt next to a plastic fox for a rare photo opportunity. It turned out to be very rare as photos later proved, Rob had the ring out trying to propose while I was trying to take his photo.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (9)

We tied the knot on 14 June 2014. I (not superstitious at all!) didn’t want to be married in 2013!

We met whilst both working at Jesmond Dene House and when the decision was to be made as to where we were to be married, it had so much history to it and along with our own history there, the decision was simple.

Our wedding was always going to be straight ahead. I still work there as private dining manager and so have a strong relationship with wedding coordinators Abi and Christina, C & B manager Lukasz and everyone else to be involved on the day. Knowing everyone made us feel secure that the day was to perfect.

We chose a romantic shabby chic theme. Apple crates, coffee bean sacks, old leather suitcases, plenty of candles and wicker hearts all suited the Jesmond Dene setting. Since I oversee weddings day in, day out, I knew what would make our day different to others.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (18)

Everything was based around pastel lilac and ivory themes. It worked so well with the grandeur of the dark oak of the hotel’s Great Hall. We also tied in the green of Jesmond Dene into all floral arrangements.

I stayed in the hotel the night before with my mother and the bridesmaids, setting up the decorations until 2am while best man and Rob had a beer and a cheeky Chinese takeaway in the room of the best man!

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (15)

When choosing my dress, I spent hours online looking for local bridal shops and looked at each designer stocked in each shop until I found my dress. When I came across Ronald Joyce ‘Babetta’, I knew no matter what else I saw, I’d be back for the Babetta.

I spent only a short amount of time in Wild Brides at Heart, Durham after a Ronald Joyce designer weekend and I was out in no time after placing the deposit looking forward to my first fitting. The detail in the lace, the open back, and its long train was exactly what I was looking for and nothing else would match it.

I chose not to wear a veil, instead a headpiece, slightly different to the norm. Flown from Canada, it was jewelled, but not over the top. Sarah Walsh was my makeup artist and hair stylist. Highly recommended!

My look was complete after Rob had a few gifts sent up to me with breakfast on the morning of the wedding. I had pointed out a beautiful Swarovski tennis bracelet a few months before and luckily he took the hint! It matched so well with the Swarovski pearl earrings he had also bought me.

I carried lilac and ivory roses with hydrangea. Helen from Bels Flowers provided all floral arrangements. Hats off to Helen, who did a fantastic job and came as a late replacement for florist after we had been let down by another months before the wedding!

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (21)

Rob and the groomsmen wore grey tails from Most Suitable with an ivory cravat and waistcoat. Rob also splashed out on a pair of Kurt Geiger shoes (very unlike him)!

My bridesmaids wore “Debut” Grecian lilac dresses from Debenhams and my maid of honour wore an ivory and lilac floral print dress from BHS. I bought all the girls a brooch to wear as a gift to personalise the dresses.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (26)

I would highly recommend Fyzal Photography to anyone!

Both Fyzal and his wife Dawn went above and beyond to capture our day how we wanted it with the eye and finesse you would not get from any other photographer! He took us for an “e:shoot” on the beach where we got to know how it all worked. It also helped Rob relax as he’s not big on having his photo taken.

On the day itself, everything was done with military precision after we agreed an itinerary days before. They both made us feel at ease for the entire day knowing we were constantly having photos taken without even realising they were there.

Even months after the day, Fyzal stays in contact and helps to decide the final images for our album.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (36)

Our cake was a chocolate croque-em-bouche produced by our friend, Kristian Branch, head pastry chef at the hotel.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (38)

We had Jessica Avison, a local acoustic singer/guitarist play during our reception and then The Paul James Band – known for years through Jesmond Dene house performances, started the evening entertainment. We hired a DJ through One Voice Productions for our “after party” and a Snaparazzi photo booth for use as guest book.  Ross, Snaparazzi’s director is a friend via the hotel.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (39)

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (43)

We’re biased but we’d definitely recommend Jesmond Dene House, even if we weren’t!  Every member of staff gets involved and consumed in every event that they work at. The hotel as a whole puts 100% into each event to put the hotel on the map in the region and to make a name for itself.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (49)

My favourite moment of the day was our first dance, choreographed with help of Caroline of Bela Dance School. I wanted a proper first dance, no swaying as most couples do.  We had over 20 lessons to perfect the Viennese Waltz to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (52)

We pre-wedding honeymooned in January to Australia due to work commitments after the wedding. We flew via Hong kong where we spent a few hours walking the streets then onto Melbourne.  After a few nights in Melbourne we drove the Great Ocean Road and on to Adelaide via the Grampians (narrowly missing the bush fires) to fly across to Sydney, going into the blue mountains as well as the obligatory Harbour Bridge climb!  We then flew to Noosa to spend 10 days with best man and bridesmaid who lived there. Surfing, chilling out and getting stung across the face by a jellyfish! Ouch!

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (55)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to spend money on the photographer, namely Fyzal, as most of the day is a blur. Only one person can capture it all for you to remember forever, so choose wisely!

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party in the peaks. a rocking marquee wedding near Sheffield – chloe & tom

November 24th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (49)

There are those people that think they know how to throw a party and then there are those people that know how to absolutely nail a party. Today’s real wedding couple falls into the latter, no questions asked.

Self confessed laid-back couple Tom and Chloe wanted a chilled-out celebration but one that would be incredibly good fun – and that’s exactly what they delivered.

Musician Tom and his talented mates kept the marquee rocking late into the night with incredible live music. One performer in particular may well look familiar as a certain Arctic Monkey attended the do.

Ready, set, rock!

With images by PH Weddings.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (15)

chloe says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic but because we’ve been going out for 12 years now, we just both knew what we wanted. It was April 2013 when it happened. We were out down Kelham Island in Sheffield having a few drinks and we just decided there and then to get engaged. We are a very laid back couple and were both not into the whole attention knee thing, so it was perfect for us both, just between us two.

We set the date for September 20th 2014.

We got married at my local church, Sacred Heart Church in Hillsborough. I was christened and baptised there and I used to be an altar girl there when I was little, plus I went to school next door, so me and Tom agreed that would be the best place for us to get married.  We had the reception at Foxholes Farm, Bradfield. We chose that venue because we love the area it’s in and we wanted a marquee in a field – it was the perfect location for it.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (42)

As a very laid back and relaxed couple don’t particularly like the traditional wedding side of things, we wanted a party for everyone to enjoy and celebrate with us – and that’s exactly what it was!

We both like the colour navy so we both decided that would be a good start and would work well with the time of year.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (37)

My dress was from Lulu Mae in Oughtibridge, Sheffield. I knew I wanted straps and my back showing and this dress offered both and had a romantic vintage look to it, I love it!

Tom and his best man both wore navy suits from Reiss, they both looked very dapper. The bridesmaids wore a navy one-strap dress from Debenhams, they both looked gorgeous. I had my niece as my flower girl and she wore a dress from Accessorize in a dusky pink, as she loves anything pink and I had my two nephews as pageboys and they both wore navy trousers with a white granddad shirt with piano printed braces, they looked very grownup and handsome.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (39)

PH Weddings were our photographers. The people behind the business are Helen and her husband Paul, they were fantastic, exactly what we wanted and I would definitely recommend them. They just did exactly what we asked and the photos look great and in a good way we hardly knew they were there because that’s what kind of photos we wanted – a more natural, unposed look and they captured the day perfectly, everyone just looks so happy!

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (38)

I travelled with my bridesmaids and my dad in a VW camper van, which was lent to us by some friends, and my dad drove us to the church, which was funny. The rest of the party went in an old fashioned double-decker bus, which we hired from the Sheffield Transport Museum.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (41)

When it came to flowers I didn’t have a clue. I left it to my friend Catherine, who owns a florist called Petalis, to choose the flowers. I trusted her and she did exactly that and more – the flowers were amazing, they looked beautiful and perfect. She did all the flowers for the venue, including a display outside which looked perfect in the surroundings. The tables looked beautiful also; they had a main centre piece of flowers and then lots of little vases dotted around the tables and on the head table, Catherine had just left a vase for me to put my bouquet in, so that I could enjoy looking at it for the whole day.

I had some wooden confetti hearts made with our name and wedding date on, and some music paper shaped hearts confetti scattered around the tables which matched perfectly with the flowers. My niece and nephews made the table names and table plan, because I thought it was nice for them to get involved with the day and it was a nice homely touch. Our favours were a bag of mixed sweets that I that I had chosen. I think they went down well as most of them were eaten before the meal.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (57)

We had PJ Taste do our catering, they were fantastic, and the food was gorgeous. We had nibbles for when we got back from the church, like mini Yorkshire puddings with beef and then pie and mash for our main meal and then a hog roast for later on. Everyone said the food was fantastic and that the pies were the best they had ever had.

My mum made our wedding cake, she is a great baker so there was no doubt that she would make it! It was a two-tier very chocolaty cake, it was immense! She also made a few other cakes, as did my sister, aunty and mother-in-law, there was no shortage of cake that was for sure!

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (4)

Tom is a musician and most of our friends are so as always when one of us gets married they get together and play. They had chosen what to play, they kept it a secret from me, but they were great. It was so good and such a laugh, they had chosen songs that Tom and I loved and everyone just had a good old dance and sing-along. We also hired a bouncy castle to keep the little ones entertained.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (16)

Our favourite part of the day was seeing everyone enjoying it and looking happy, it was exactly what we wanted, just a great party with all our friends and family there.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (23)

We’ve not had a honeymoon as yet. We had a mini-moon to Castleton in Derbyshire for a few nights the weekend after because we love it there, but we’re hoping to go to America next year.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (29)

Our tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the day and take it all in. Try not to worry about other people enjoying it, you two just enjoy it and relax.

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softly stunning. Vera Wang for a romantic wedding at Eshott Hall – natalie & warren

November 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (116)

Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides.  Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing.  I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…

With images by Helen Russell Photography.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (6)

natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!

We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.

After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (3)

We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (9)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (22)

I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband

Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (30)

Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (36)

My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.

The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (40)

My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (46)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (52)

Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (62)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (60)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (69)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (79)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (83)

As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (101)

The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (90)

We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (106)

During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.

Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (107)

We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (127)

For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (112)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.

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friday fabulous!

November 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Honey Pink by Harriet Wilde

These boots are made for posing.

Honey Pink by Harriet Wilde, £229.99, available for pre order

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one pretty party! a chic & cheerful wedding at Thornton Manor – jessica & craig

November 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (1)

I’m firmly of the opinion that your wedding day should be the very best party that you’ve ever been to.

It looks like Jessica and Craig took the same view when they said ‘I do’ at the gorgeous Thornton Manor on The Wirral earlier this year. Gorgeous outfits, good food, vibrant flowers and plenty of fun and games left their guests in the mood for a very beautiful all night party.

Alka-Seltzer anyone?

With images by Elbowroom Photography.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (4)

jessica says: We got engaged in Rome, Italy. After a romantic candlelit dinner we caught a taxi to the Trevi Fountain. We found a quiet spot to the side in an alcove and he got to one knee. This was after a day walking around the Vatican.

We were married on 23rd May 2014 at Thornton Manor – the beautiful setting & extensive grounds coupled with the exquisite manor house made it an easy decision.  It’s spectacular venue with so much history.

 

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (21)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (18)

We chose careful colour palettes throughout the day using white and cream for purity and innocence during the Ceremony, and then the Wedding Breakfast & my bouquet were extremely colourful to reflect our personalities!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (10)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (20)

I chose a plain but elegant champagne/oyster dress with a long cathedral veil from Blush Bridal.

Craig wore a purple kilt from MacKenzie Menswear in Glasgow and my bridesmaids were in floor length purple gowns by Mori Lee, also from Blush Bridal.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (13)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (12)

Flower Design created the most beautiful of bouquets, button holes and displays throughout the venue, using orchids and other vibrant flowers. Flower Design worked with my ideas really well and produced the most splendid arrangements.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (31)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (30)

Elbowroom Photography were our photographers. They were fantastic – beautiful pictures, lots of coordination on the day and part of the party!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (15)

Chapman Holmes were our caters and were fantastic! Craig’s favourite food is steak, so decided that we really wanted the menu to reflect what we love to eat. We decided on Goats Cheese with Pesto Credot, Roast Sirloin of Steak with Dauphenois Potatoes and our cake as dessert.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (24)

Our pretty wedding cake was by The Frostery in Uppermill. It was Lemon Drizzle and we served it as our dessert with Raspberry Coulis. We had a cheesecake for the evening so the evening guests could enjoy an alternative wedding cake.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (36)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (38)

We had David Buckingham, a guitarist from the ceremony through to the end of the meal. My father has always played the guitar and when we came across him at a wedding fair he was playing the very piece that my father used to play to me as a child.

Soul Apostle were the band providing lots of fun and great music. Tom was our DJ and listened to our tastes and played us the best music which meant I danced all night!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (35)

We had a photobooth which people stuck into a book and left us their best wishes and messages.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (39)

We hired the lakeside marquee for the evening reception so we could have a big party and part of the marquee is a nightclub so we could create the party atmosphere. My favourite part of the day was dancing all night!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (49)

We took a week’s mini moon in Barbados but plan to go to South America in September for 3.5 weeks.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (50)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take time out on the day to spend together and have a moment of reflection.

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notes from the east coast mainline…

November 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Standing at the station

^another no-makeup selfie for the archives^

I’m hoping that this quick blog feature – fired across the internets courtesy of East Coast Wifi – will make it onto your screens this morning, but as I’ve spent 24 hours without coverage back at Brides Up North HQ due to some BT mast works, and the usual dip-in, dip-out nature of on-train signal, confidence isn’t at an all time high.  Fingers crossed.

Another week, another journey to the smoke, and this time for the esteemed Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards.  We are absolutely thrilled to have been nominated as best wedding blogamong a really glittering line up of top blogs, and can’t wait to celebrate with our industry colleagues this evening.

Tonight’s just a little bit special.

Not only are we up for the Award, but we’re also using the occasion to celebrate a fabulous 4 years in business (my pride in which I talked about yesterday, before the lines were cut!).  My husband – usually on babysitting duty when I’m on official blog business – is my date for the evening, and I’ve been promised Champagne, whether we win or not!

I’ve also got a really very lovely outfit for tonight, and I’ve the privilege of being dressed by two of my wonderful sponsors, the gorgeous Charlotte Balbier and Charlotte Mills, both of who are up for their own accolades this evening.  Both have reworked some of their beautiful bridal designs in sleek and chic jet black, just for me.

*pinches self*

I’m one very lucky girl, I know. I’ll be tweeting lots of piccys later, plus all the gossip from Perfect Wedding’s jazz-era inspired soiree. Make sure to watch our Twitter feed this evening.

I’m signing off for now, and hoping that the Wifi Gods are looking favourably on us…

Wish me luck!

Julia x

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now we are 4.

November 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Four

Can you believe our pretty little corner of the internet turns 4 years old this week?! I hope you’ll join me in a glass of something fizzy as we say happy birthday Brides Up North!

It’s been another amazing year here at wedding blog HQ, and I still have to pinch myself when I think how far we’ve come from the first few tentative posts tapped out in my spare room during the summer of 2010.  We “launched” – and I use those inverted commas very seriously indeed – on the day of the Royal Engagement that November to almost overnight success (ever the opportunist!), and I’ve never looked back.  After leaving my job as a lawyer the following autumn to concentrate on expanding the blog and brand on a full time basis, our first events season swiftly followed in the spring of 2012.  Now three years, six seasons and almost 60 events down, I think I deserve our fourth birthday cupcake!

Cat Hepple Photography

Usually, when people look back from a milestone, they say things like “It’s flown by!” or “It seems like just yesterday that…”.  Well, this is absolutely not the case for me.  I’ve (we’ve, for I’ve a fabulous little team around me now) have packed so much into the last four years that it feels like forty.  It’s been hard work.  Writing, sourcing, editing, styling, planning, selling, promoting, producing, managing, directing… it’s been busy.  But it’s been amazing.

Cat Hepple Photography

I’m so grateful for the way in which this industry and our brides have supported what we’re all about here at Brides Up North.  We love stylish weddings.  In fact, stylish weddings are pretty much all that we’re about here,  but we like them to be local too.  We strive to support and promote the amazing local suppliers right there on our readers’ doorsteps, show off what they can do, and make them available to you for your wedding day.  A wedding day that looks set to be very special indeed.

Every year at this time, I take a while to reflect at how far we’ve come, and every year I’m astounded to see the progress from the last. There are times when I’ve thought that it couldn’t get any better, but it does.  I love my job, my team and my brand, and I love you, my readers, who make what we’re doing possible, and make it count.

Cat Hepple Photography

And before I go all get anymore Gwyneth Paltrow on your asses, I better launch right into our traditional recap of the year that was.  It’s been busy, so as usual, excuse me for any omissions.

I’ve some really exciting news to share with you before our seasonal break over Christmas, so watch these pages for that.  Let me just say, it looks like 2015 is going to be an even more exciting year than this one.

Cat Hepple Photography

But first, that fizz and that cupcake please, Happy Birthday Brides Up North, this is the year that was…

We left you last in October 2013 having won a Wedding Blog Award!  We took home Wedding Magazine’s prize for “Best Big Day Inspiration” and were very proud indeed.  It boded well for our fourth year…

In November 2013 we wrapped up an immense events season with knockout exhibitions at The National Railway Museum and The Bowdon Rooms, before I packed my home (and 8 month old daughter) into a backpack and headed off to support my husband who was working in the Southern Hemisphere for a couple of months.

Winter tan and a spot of judging for The Bridal Buyer Awards, Wedding Industry Awards and The National UK Blog Awards under my belt, we arrived home in February 2014, ready for another events season to kick off. Columns and features appeared in regional glossies Belle Bridal Magazine, Hitched Magazine and Etc Magazine, and we hosted our first grand wedding exhibition of 2014 at Hardwick Hall Hotel.

March 2014 and we were into exhibition season proper… stops at Allerton Castle, Ramside Hall and The Mansion kept our weekends busy, and I was invited to act as Official Blogger for The North West Wedding Show at Event City, Manchester. The inspiration was going viral!

In April 2014 I styled and directed a shoot involving some of the finest wedding industry suppliers in Yorkshire, and put the final wheels in motion for our big and beautiful blog and directory rebrand.  Can anyone actually remember now what the ‘old’ Brides Up North used to look like?  I’m not sure I can! We also enjoyed gorgeous branded events at Nostell Priory and The Bowdon Rooms.

In May 2014 we concluded our spring season with a set of stunning shows at the lovely Hilltop Country House, The Alnwick Garden and Middleton Lodge, enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of the new bridal-wear collections at White Gallery 2014 and welcomed our fabulous Features Writer Rachel to the Brides Up North team to fuel our double daily dose of wedding pretty here online. What would we do without our Rach?

June and July 2014 were spent with our heads down, fine tuning the details for our site rebrand, which we were proud to unveil to much outpouring of love, encouragement and support.  I love our new look, and it seems like you do to – blog hits, social media support and bridal registrations for our wedding events are noticeably much higher than ever.  We also got busy launching our popular Brides Up North Facebook Group (have you joined yet) and started taking Pinterest more seriously, pinning to inspire both our readers and our future work.  Our boards can be seen here.

In August 2014, a brief (and lovely) family holiday was made even better when we celebrated being nominated for not one, not two, but three coverted industry awards – we were nominated for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”), in Wedding Magazine’s Wedding Blog Awards 2014 (“Best City Wedding Blog”) and the Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”). We also won several nods in the Wedding Industry Experts Awards.

September 2014 arrived and it was time for another flurry of print features with columns and features in a host of glossies including Unveiled Magazine, and to head into event season, with Brides Up North branded exhibitions at Ramside Hall, Hilltop Country House and Hardwick Hall.  I reprised my coveted role as Official Blogger for the North West Wedding Fair and I was also proud to host the launch party for our new industry venture, The Circle, with some very special industry colleagues and which remains in earnest development.

October 2014 hit the ground running, our busiest month yet, with events at The Mansion, The Alnwick Garden, Nostell Priory, Allerton Castle and Middleton Lodge, and a quick succession of cocktail fuelled trips to the smoke to attend some seriously swanky awards ceremonies.  We were over the moon to be Highly Commended in the Best City Blog Category at The Wedding Blog Awards.  Snaps to us!

November 2014 has started as 2014 seems to mean to go on, with parties and fireworks! This week we’re off to The Perfect Wedding Awards, and we’ve just concluded our events season with a very twinkly, very lovely show at The Bowdon Rooms. Exhibitor sales and bridal registrations are open for 2015 - with some brand new venues- and Rachel and I are bursting with features ideas for taking our online offering to the next level.  Our brand new media pack lands shortly, so anyone interested should drop me a line.

Cat Hepple Photography

I’ll let you know that ‘big news’ as soon as I’m able, and until then, raise a glass.

here’s to you.

Love you, #jointhenorthernrevolution

Julia x

Images by Cat Hepple Photography

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lookbook: ’bout that base

November 18th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Jenny Packham -  Isabella

Main feature images courtesy of Jenny Packham

Shopping for a wedding dress should be an exciting experience for a bride-to-be, no matter what her style, age or size.

That said I’ve heard upsetting stories from a number of fuller-figured brides when searching for the dress, which have hindered their enjoyment. From tales of being asked to squeeze into small sample dresses and to ‘imagine’ how it might fit, to being told collections don’t go up to their size, or simply feeling that there is nothing out there for them.

I’ll bet Kim Kardashian had no such problems at Givenchy.

Well, even if you’re not quite ready to ‘break the internet‘ with your own booty, I’m pleased to report there are some truly stunning plus-size wedding dress collections out there, with certain gowns going up to a size 32. And better yet, more designers are beginning to branch out into plus-size creations by extending their size range.

Jenny Packham - Josephine

The queen of bridal prettiness Jenny Packham, included flattering gowns for plus-sized brides in her Spring 2015 collection which were showcased by gorgeous fuller-figured models on the catwalk. Her Josephine dress in steely grey features incredibly elegant lace sleeves, a pretty sash and signature intricate detailing, drawing the eye to all the right places. Likewise Packham’s Isabella dress covers up the tops of the arms with a delicate and stylish cape, while sparkling crystal detailing frames the under-bust area of the dress perfectly.

Veromia is another designer that offers stunning plus-size dresses with support and structure so that brides feel both confident and comfortable during their moment in the limelight. Veromia’s Sonsie collection offers designs to suit a wide range of tastes, from the fluid SON91452 with fluttery capped sleeves, to the 1950s tea-length SON91462 and the fuller SON91465 with illusion neckline detail.  Meanwhile for autumn and winter brides who crave more dramatic dress designs, Veromia’s SON91208 in ravishing gold, and S91051 in deep regal red, are bound to tick boxes.

Jenny Packham SP2015

Bonny Bridal’s Unforgettable collection has further stunning offerings in plus sizes. Standout designs include 1207 and 1304, which boast fairytale style ruffle detailing, as well as 1424 and 1206, which feature feminine lace sleeves.

Style and structure can also be found within Cara Mai’s wonderful collection. Again brides-to-be are given a choice of both fitted and fuller gowns. The simple, strapless 29228 is a firm favourite within the collection, but for those brides in search of a little more support, the 29244 with tulle overlay and pretty lace appliqués frames curvaceous ladies’ figures beautifully.

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colour, popped. a pretty wedding at East Riddesden Hall – beth & tom

November 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (48)

Beth and Tom’s wedding is the very best type: relaxed, fun and colourful with lots of pretty details, good food and a packed, twinkling dance floor.

Add a swingingly gorgeous (high street!) frock, the most beautiful of bouquets and a visit from the ice-cream fairies and that’s one mighty fine big day nailed.

Can I get a flake with that?

With images by James and Lianne.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (7)

Beth says: We got engaged on holiday in Cape Cod, America. We’d just arrived at where we were staying and took a little drive to go for a walk on the beach. I think Tom thought that this was a good opportunity to pop the question. It was a fab surprise and made our holiday really special.

We were married on 1st August 2014. We chose this date as I’m a teacher so it fitted nicely with the school holidays. It also happened to be Yorkshire Day which made it extra special.

We got married in the Airedale Barn at East Riddlesden Hall, which is a National Trust Property in Keighley, West Yorkshire. It was the only venue we looked round and knew straight away that it was just what we wanted. The barn is set in lovely grounds with a lake, a walled garden so lots of space for guests and fab photo opportunities.  The inside of the barn and really simple with prettry fairy lights and we knew that we could add our own little touches to make the barn personal to us. Also the team at East Riddlesden Hall are brilliant and were so helpful in helping us to organise the day.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (4)

We didn’t have a particular theme but we had lots of bright colours and quirky touches. We were keen for the wedding not to be formal or traditional so we tried to make the flowers and decorations colourful, fun and relaxed. We didn’t have a set colour scheme but chose lots of faded bright colours for the flowers and decorations, in particular the bridesmaid dresses and men’s ties which were a coral/ pink colour.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (3)

I knew that I wanted a short 50′s style dress as I thought it would suit my shape and I wanted to be able to dance in it.  After reading lots of wedding blogs I knew exactly what I wanted and thought that I would have to have the dress made. Luckily when looking on the Coast website I spotted the dress that I had in mind. I went to try on the dress at the Coast store in London when visiting a friend and loved it. I added a petticoat underneath it to give the skirt a bit more volume. The dress was perfect for me and I really did love wearing it. My auntie had made my jewellery and jewellery for the bridesmaids which went perfectly with mineand their outfits.

My flowers were done by Emma Flora Home and Garden and they were exactly what I wanted. I had met Emma at a wedding fair at East Riddlesden Hall and knew her style would be perfect for what I fancied. Emma is so talented and created amazing bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids. I explained the colours that we were incorporating and I showed Emma lots of pictures that I had collected. I was really excited to see my flowers on the morning of the wedding and they were even better than I expected!

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (11)

My bridesmaids wore coral dresses from Warehouse. I wanted something bright and nothing too ‘bridesmaidy’ so these dresses were perfect and the girls looked gorgeous!

Tom chose a navy suit from Ted Baker and a coral tie from Charles Tyrwhitt which matched the girls’ bridesmaid dresses. He also chose a piece of fabric that matched his suit and tie that my mum made into a pocket square.

The dads, best man Daniel and groomsmen wore their choice of suits and the same tie as Tom’s.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (50)

To keep with the theme of the day we wanted to hire transport that was a little quirky. We found Liberty Campers when searching for camper vans to hire for weddings and loved ‘Dylan’ the campervan. We couldn’t recommend Liberty Campers enough and Tracey was so lovely on the day and made it feel extra special.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (15)

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (17)

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (18)

Our close friend Helen read ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by John Cooper Clarke during the ceremony as it was a poem we studied when we were at school together. She did an amazing job!

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (21)

Our rings were hand made in Yorkshire by Nikki Barret, from NB Jewellery.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (23)

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (31)

We were so glad that we chose the amazing James and Lianne Photography to capture moments from the day. I had seen some of their photo’s on various blogs and loved the relaxed and natural look of their photos. Guests commented on how they both just fitted in with the rest of the guests and didn’t even notice they were there. We are so pleased with the photos and would highly recommend them!

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (33)

To help create a colourful relaxed feel to the barn, My amazing mum had made meters and meters of colourful bunting which looked gorgeous. She also made a fab little banner that we attached to the curtain behind where we sat which used the same fabric as the bunting. We were very keen for the day to be very personal to us. For the table names we had found postcards from the special places we had visited, which was very personal to us. We also had made a photo board showing photos of when we were younger and with friends and family.

Other decorations included flowers in jam jars that I decorated with my mum and sister. Jill, a close family friend did an amazing job and put all the flowers together which were picked from our gardens and some from the flower market in Leeds. These were placed in the middle of the tables on cut up tree slices and some were placed on the window ledges of the barn. She also made the button holes for the lads and mums. We also used tea lights that were dotted around the tables to create a nice glow.

We also had three large silver vases that we filled with flowers from friends and families gardens.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (34)

The ladies were given button heart favours that were made by myself, our mums, sisters and bridesmaid.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (35)

Our caterers were GFS Catering and they were fantastic in both producing amazing food and providing excellent service. For the evening food we also had bacon and sausage sandwiches. We would highly recommend using GFS.

A close family friend Jill, made our fab cake and it was just what we wanted. We loved the bright colours and bunting to match our actual bunting. The mini Beth and Tom were made by my friend Mandy and we loved the little clothes and detailed she added. I made the little models of our cats, Will and Boo.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (36)

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (37)

We had a sweet table, with lots of jars of our favourite sweets, and for dessert guests were treated to an ice cream from the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream van which were really delicious!

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (47)

We chose the brilliant Jonny Ross band who played a fab mix and really got everyone up dancing. Our first dance was ‘You and Me’, by Penny And The Quarters.

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (52)

It is difficult to choose just one part of the day that we enjoyed the most. It was fantastic having all of our family and friends together. We also enjoyed the ceremony much more than we thought and our brilliant registrar Jeff really helped us to relax. Coming down the aisle to a song that was special to us, Micky P Kerr, ‘Where its At’ and the barn doors opening opening as we said our vows was also lovely.  Getting ready at my Mum and Dad’s, travelling in the campervan, the speeches and dancing all night were just fab!

a relaxed wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James and Lianne (60)

For our honeymoon we went to San Fransisco and down the coast to Carmel, Monteray and the Big Sur.

Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the build up to the day, don’t get too bogged down by all the little details, it will all come together. Add touches to make your day personal to you. Also try to relax as much as you can on the day, it really does fly by so try and take a moment to take everything in! Lads, go for a pint before hand to calm the nerves and relax. Tom felt loads better after going to the Busfeild Arms first with the boys. Need to take your mind of things!

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