May 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The perfect piece to get you to the church on time.
May 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
I absolutely adore my job, but I’ll admit it: after this short bank holiday week, I’m ready for another weekend. Pronto.
We’re working hard behind the scenes on lots of new projects (all of which I know our readers will just love and some of which I hope to share with you very, very shortly) – and are about to press publish on my first issue as Editor of the luxury wedding magazine for the North, Unveiled (eek!) – but whilst it’s all super exciting at the moment, it also means long working hours at the computer, too much screen time, not nearly enough downtime and lots and lots and lots [...] of travel.
As I unpack and repack my suitcase for the third time this week, I don’t know if any of you are – like me – feeling in need of a little pick me up as we plough on into Friday afternoon, but I thought it might be the perfect opportunity for a cuppa, a Kit Kat and a bit of dress porn.
Girls, it’s time for some eye candy of the most serious sort – hot off the catwalk at Barcelona Bridal Week (yep, we clocked up those air miles too!), I give you Pronovias‘ once upon a time 2016 Collection.
Time to play spot the supermodel…
Visit our Gallery to see more…
May 28th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Because every now and then we need a little pampering – isn’t that right girls? So today we introduce a new feature to the blog which is designed to encourage you busy brides-to-be to take some much needed time out from those hectic wedding planning schedules and just chill!
Through our blissed out bride posts we’ll be visiting beautiful havens of relaxation throughout the north of the country (you can thank us later) that are ideal locations for a little pre-wedding pampering, a heavenly hen do or even a minimoon to recharge the batteries when the big day has been and gone.
And so we begin with a trip to the wonderful Titanic Spa. All in the name of research for you tense brides (we know, we’re too kind) Julia and I visited this tranquil venue tucked away in a scheduled part of Huddersfield, Yorkshire, and came away literally walking on air.
As the name suggests this is a spa of impressive size which has great power when it comes to the art of de-stressing and has become particularly well known for its extensive ‘heat and ice experience’ which we’ll tell you all about a little later on.
Perfect for some quality time with the girls, your hubby-to-be or your busy mum, Titanic offers a fab range of packages, from full spa days – including ‘indulge’, ‘relax’, ‘detox’ and ‘celebrate’ options – to twilight sessions and even overnight stays. We’ll let you determine the amount of relaxation required depending on how your bridezilla barometer is reading.
Upon arrival at the spa, which is set within a stunning textile mill, we were given a warm welcome followed by a tour of those impressive facilities: gym, pool, sauna, steam room, relaxation lounge, treatment areas and the heat and ice experience. Phew!
Thanks to such generous facilities guests could easily spend a day here without the need for a treatment but for the full Titanic experience, we say it’s a must (especially after all that planning) and so we started our day of indulgence with a full body massage for me and luxurious facial for Julia.
Titanic’s treatment rooms act like a cocoon, wrapping you up in warm relaxation, which feels like a treat in itself! Though once the therapist (thanks Beth) began to work her magic hands on my back, shoulders and neck I was taken to a whole other level of relaxation. The pressure was perfect ensuring pleasure rather than pain though I still felt the benefit on muscles tired out from the gym, making this a fabulous treat for ladies that have been working hard to achieve their dream bride body.
Julia’s been travelling a lot recently and working long hours at the computer screen between planes, trains and automobiles, so a bespoke facial was the perfect way to restore some much needed balance to her stressed out complexion. Although she assures me that she managed to resist falling asleep on the job, Julia emerged glowing after her hour in the hands of her therapist – looking rested and ready to take on the world once more!
There are so many other tantalising treatments, using products by Decléor, Elemis Carita and Neom Organics, to choose from. These include exfoliation, cleansing and detox treatments, great for banishing dry, lifeless skin cells and producing flawless, radiant skin ready for your big day. Alternatively you might want to sooth away pre-wedding headaches with an Indian head massage, restore your body’s harmony levels with a reiki session or indulge in beauty treatments with your hens, such as a mani and pedi.
Next, a gossip poolside before lunch. There’s so much to be said for loosing yourself in mindless chitchat whilst dipping your feet in a pool or chilling out in a Jacuzzi as we were quickly reminded and noted many groups of ladies (and the odd man) doing the exact same.
By afternoon Hudderfield felt like Hawaii (well almost) and so we requested lunch on the outdoor terrace. What we love about Titanic is that they don’t go all Gillian McKeith during your visit by feeding you just greens and denying you a little treat. The menu choices are healthy but tasty and wine, prosecco and champagne can be ordered alongside (hurrah!).
Refuelled we headed back indoors to that much-talked about heat and ice experience. Here guests can go between a number of hot and cold rooms, each with differing benefits to the body. The overall effect is rather refreshing as you peak and dip in temperature. We particularly enjoyed the crystal steam room, designed for ‘deep relaxation’, and the herbal infusion room, which is said to ‘invigorate the spirit’. However we were a little nervous when it came to the colder rooms and chickened out of the plunge pool and bucket shower altogether. If you’re currently walking around in a wedding planning haze we’re sure these would instantly bring you back to reality.
That left us with just one area to visit – the relaxation lounge, a soft lit room with huge beanbags and tranquil music. This is what every stressed out bride needs – pure relaxation a million miles away from seating plans or taster menus. Julia might have fallen asleep on the job again, but to be honest… I wasn’t in any state to check!
To round things off we each had a mini mani so that we could take a little piece of pretty away from Titanic Spa with us in the form of pastel polished nails. Gorge!
So girls it’s time to become a blissed out bride by adding a Titanic trip to your ‘wedding to do’ list.
For full details of Titanic Spa’s facilities, accommodation and packages, visit their website.
May 28th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s wedding is clearly full of emotion as we see laughter, smiles, tears and even the thumbs up from the happy couple and their guests.
Kate and Vince chose The Bridge Inn, Wetherby, as the setting for their big day, adding pretty mint green décor and lots of fabulous flowers along the way to match the hotel’s gorgeous interior. The pastel palette, regal venue and characterful bride and groom makes for both a cool & classic big day – which in our book is a winning combination!
Images by Ed Godden Photography.
kate says: Our engagement was a complete shock. I’d returned home after dropping Vince off at the train station as we were in a long distance relationship between Hull and London. All of a sudden my best friends and my brother appeared wearing different shirts one saying ‘will’, another saying ‘you’, and one saying ‘marry’. Then Vince entered with a T-shirt saying ‘ME’ on it. I didn’t expect it at all!
We set the date for 15th February 2015 to tie the wedding in with valentine’s weekend.
Our chosen venue was The Bridge Inn at Wetherby, which is between Leeds and York. We went to look around the venue and instantly fell in love with it. I especially loved the room where the wedding breakfast took place as it had so much delicate detail and huge mirrors.
I’m really into Pinterest and over the last few years I’d been constantly been looking up different wedding styles and so I knew I wanted something with rustic charm and a handmade feel with some traditional touches too. I chose mint green for the colour scheme as it’s one of my favourite colours and I don’t think it’s an obvious wedding colour that everyone uses.
My wedding dress was from a local wedding dress shop called Elite. The dress was an A-line shape with lace capped sleeves, lace-up corset back and delicate detailing, including a small waist belt. I tried on so many different dresses all over the country and it took me ages to find something. I tried this dress on and instantly fell in love with it – it was very delicate without anything too over powering.
To complete my attire I had Vivienne Westwood heels which had a huge red heart on the front and I also wore a veil.
Vince wore a suit from Moss Bros which was grey with mint green detailing. The groomsmen wore the same suit as Vince but wore a different buttonhole.
My bridesmaids wore mint green, floor length dresses with bow detail at the waist. We got these from a local shop called Samantha’s which stock bridesmaids dresses, prom attire and wedding gowns.
I arrived at the venue in a Rolls Royce with red interior which we hired from Silver Lane Wedding Cars.
Our photographer was Ed Godden of Ed Godden Photography. He is amazing! The images came out just how we wanted, not a million group shots and some really natural photos of the day and our guests.
Sarah at The Floral Lounge based in Hull supplied our flowers. I had a hand-tied bouquet with pale pink ocean spray roses, white double freesia with roses and succulents throughout. The arrangement was a rounded shape but with some dropped flowers to give a more natural look. It was finished with a lace trim to match in with my dress. The Floral Lounge also did all the flowers for the wedding reception and all of the finishing decorations. We had lots of jars and bottles filled with all different delicate flowers.
For our favours we had shortbread iced biscuits made by Nice Icing which had our initials on, all in the wedding colour theme.
Our cake was made by a local cake shop called Cupcake Carousel. We had a cupcake tier with a cutting cake at the top. Again, we had the cupcakes all in the mint colour theme with some pretty vintage detailing added to finish them off.
For the wedding breakfast we had a roast dinner with different meats that guests could choose from. We thought the menu was traditional and generally it was something that most guests would enjoy.
To keep guests entertained we had a DJ in the evening. Everyone was up enjoying themselves partying well into the early hours.
We included a few extra special touches on the day including our mirror seating plan, which I loved, and we had a pick ‘n’ mix stand which went down really well with our guests, especially with the kids.
We would definitely recommend tour wedding venue to other couples. It was such a pretty venue with some new and old features merged into one. The staff were all lovely and friendly too.
I think my favourite part of the wedding was the evening when we could relax after all the stress of making sure everything was going to turn out right.
We went to Las Vegas for our honeymoon which was amazing! We are both huge Michael Jackson fans and saw the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson show, which was in the Mandalay Bay hotel where we stayed.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – don’t worry! I think we spent most of the pre-wedding worrying about other people and if everything would go how we wanted it to. I think that’s the biggest thing I regret, worrying about everything and everyone else. So I’d say don’t worry, everything will turn out fine and you will have an amazing day regardless of who turns up and who doesn’t! It’s about the two of you!
May 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Last month on the blog we introduced you to real life bride & celebrity columnist Jane Witherspoon, who is sharing her planning journey exclusively on Brides Up North in the run up to her October wedding.
If you recall Jane has a pretty cool but extremely busy job as a showbiz TV reporter and presenter for the likes of Good Morning Britain. And while that does mean rubbing shoulders with the celebs, it also means a hectic schedule full of early starts and late finishes, making finding time to plan a wedding all the more challenging.
In this month’s post Jane brings us up to speed with her glitzy TV work (which includes chatting with a certain Mr Clooney – jealous, much!) and she also spills the beans on the gorgeous venue for her big day. Over to you Jane…
jane says: As I sit down to write this month’s blog the panic sets in. I keep telling myself we’ve got loads of time to organise our wedding but it’s now just over four months away – 17 weeks to be exact (I’ve just read the last line out to Alex and his reply was ‘Oh thanks for that, you’ve got me worried now’)! I’ve discovered as time goes by that Alex has been approaching the organising of our day very cleverly. Let’s put it this way – he’s a great project manager! Then again I can be a bit of a control freak so it works.
May has been a crazy month workwise. It started with a charity ball with the cast of Downton Abbey followed by the General Election. No matter how much I do it, waking at 3am is never easy. It was a buzz hanging outside Conservative HQ waiting to grab the first shots of the Prime Minister to arrive from his count in Whitney.
And then there was George! Clooney that is! I’ve been lucky enough to interview him a few times over the years and he’s always a dream interviewee – so charming and professional. When reporting from the red carpet of the premiere of his new film Tomorrrowland in Leicester Square I seized the opportunity to ask him a bit of advice for that first year of marriage. His reply: “I would say, your husband is always right…just a thought.” That’s apart from when he’s wrong of course George!
It’s quite full on trying to organise a big event around our work schedules but we’re getting there. I think that’s mainly due to the fact that we decided on a venue very early on. Alex is from a very small family which is just as well as mine is huge. Speak to any bride and groom and I’m sure they’ll tell you the most stressful thing about organising a wedding is deciding who to invite. It’s the most awful thing having to whittle down a list of friends and family. In fact, it’s quite brutal. Everyone tells you to just invite who you want and people will understand. That’s all well and good but they’ve never met my Mum. She had her own list from the off!
Luckily the venue pretty much dictates how many people can be accommodated so that does help in deciding numbers. When choosing where to get married there were only two choices for us, Wigan (where Alex is from) or the North East (my roots).
Just after the New Year we decided to visit two potential venues in Northumberland: Short Flat Tower in Belsay and Brinkburn Priory near Rothbury. We went to Brinkburn first. We never made it to Belsay. From the moment we pulled up to Brinkburn we were sold on it. It is the perfect place. Emma, Jan and the team there are so welcoming and totally got us and what we wanted from the day from that very first meeting.
The priory was a 12th Century Medieval monastery built on a bend on the River Coquet. It’s beautiful. The priory church is like a mini cathedral and the converted stables mean there’s lovely spacious accommodation on site for family. We’ve decided on welcome drinks on arrival and then our 120 guests will take their seats in the Priory before dinner, drinks and dancing in the tipis which will be erected on site. I love that we don’t have to move location throughout the day and that it’s all confined to this beautiful English Heritage site.
The food on the day is being organised by Wilkins Fine Dining. Their menus are incredible and we’re actually off to the North East next weekend for a tasting session. This is surely one of the fun points in organising a wedding! Wilkins source and use local produce for their meals which I’m thrilled about. It’s great to support local businesses.
There’s one question that I keep getting asked about the wedding and that is ‘What’s your theme?’ I didn’t realise how important this is to some people. I still don’t have a theme as such but I know it will be a classic, fun day and night. There’ll be lots of laughs, candles and fairy lights to enhance the already magical setting.
I’d love to know: have you picked a theme for your big day, and if so, what?
Follow Jane on Twitter @Janeyspoon
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