September 18th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Gotcha! The lead image on today’s post may well have caused you to double take, but Andy and I haven’t got hitched just yet! The photo was actually taken at our best friends’ wedding a few weeks ago where I was a maid of honour and Andy one of the groomsmen.
Attending four fabulous weddings this year has certainly made for very helpful research for our own big day, reaffirming the most important elements to us, where we should allocate more of the budget, where we might be able to make a saving and how to weave special touches among the proceedings.
And now, with no other weddings in the diary between now and summer 2019 we are officially next in line to become Mr & Mrs – and I feel that with less than eight months to go, we are making surprisingly good progress.
I have, however, found myself somewhat torn when writing these diary posts as I’m excited to give you updates and share my experience, but like any other bride-to-be, I don’t want to give away too many details about the big day before it’s happened, especially for those that will be attending.
Following the wedding I’ll certainly be divulging all aspects and details of the amazing suppliers we have onboard, but in the meantime, there are some elements that I think are safe to reveal…
Since my last diary post the day invites have been sent out causing Andy to get weirdly cocker-spaniel-style excited for the post arriving each day. Every time a few more RSVPs drop through the letter box he quickly retrieves them and moves the responding guests’ names into the ‘attending’ column on one of our many planning spreadsheets. I have to say though, I adore this level of enthusiasm and organisation (if only he could take transfer such skills keeping ‘his side’ of our bedroom in order!).
Clean and elegant, we went with a personal ‘R&A’ design in a gold leaf garland for the invite with accompanying details card and RSVP sealed within a brown Kraft envelope, which should tie in nicely with other styling elements that we have planned for the wedding.
Another box ticked is Andy and his groomsmen’s suits, which he found while shopping with his best men in Manchester. It’s really important to me that Andy loves what he wears on the day as much as I love my dress and I must say, though he’s still to accessorise his outfit, he looks absolutely gorgeous in his chosen suit and picturing him in it at our chosen venue The West Mill, gives me butterflies! Finding his attire also helps to pull together the wedding colour palette a little more, though the hue of his tie is an ongoing debate!
We’ve ticked all entertainment boxes now too, with bookings for different parts of the day that we hope will reflect our musical tastes while setting the desired atmosphere and, in turn, creating memories that will last beyond the wedding.
I’ve also recruited my #glamsquad to beautify me and my four bridesmaids – it was certainly an area where I was spoilt for choice as through both Brides Up North and UNVEILED magazine we work with some true talents of the hair and makeup industry. The two pros I’ve enlisted the skills of are Lake-District-based hair stylist Gareth Lambert of Aqua The Salon, and North East makeup artist Anna Cordelia Mason. I’ve had the pleasure of working with this dynamite duo on several occasions and I’ve found their approach and styles to be right up my street, plus they both have such lovely personalities that I know they will bring a really fun yet chilled vibe to the wedding morning.
What else? Well after letting you all know that I unexpectedly found my dream dress in record time in the summer I thought I’d move onto my accessories, starting with my shoes – and I’m thrilled to say I’ll be a Charlotte Mills bride when it comes to my big day footwear. I was keen to go to a designer that specialises in bridal shoes, rather than buy off the high street, as I know the experts in this area provide both style and comfort in their designs. As a girl that lives in trainers (all hail the Stan Smiths!) I couldn’t bare the thought of hobbling around in pain on my wedding day, though I knew I’d want a heel for added height and an elegant posture. Thanks to Charlotte I had the most amazing experience picking the perfect pair from her utterly gorgeous collection and would highly recommend others to follow in my footsteps by visiting her cute boutique in Saddleworth near Oldham or visiting one of her amazing stockists for personal on- to-one service and advice. For those coming to our Luxury Wedding Shows this season, you’re in for an extra special treat as our goody bags will include a Charlotte Mills discount voucher meaning you can bag yourself a pair of her totally dreamy heels and make a saving in the process!
Next on my wedding to-do list is the bridesmaid dresses, an element of the planning I’m really stoked for as I’m looking to fabulous designer Rosanna Garden of Motee Maids to assist me in dressing my leading ladies. Having first met Rosanna at The White Gallery in London when she’d not long launched her amazing bridesmaid collection, I instantly fell in love with her clever customisable creations that give options on dress style, colour and delicate hand embellishment detailing, enabling individual personalities and style preferences to shine through. Furthermore, Motee Maids was named ‘Best Bridesmaid Collection of the Year’ at the 2018 Bridal Buyer Awards, just last week further cementing Rosanna’s position as a leading designer in the industry. The only problem with picking such a talent is that I will, without doubt, be enviable of my maids’ attire.
Over the coming months we have a few more suppliers to source and meetings to arrange, including with the florist, caterer and our amazing photographer Jon of S6 Photography. And so, I guess what is safe to say is that the wedding clique is coming together, and momentum is building for the big day, though I’m eager to not wish away the run-up as it’s all part of the wedding experience and a time that I aim to absorb and enjoy!
Catch up on Rachel’s other diary entries here.
September 18th, 2018 | Julia Braime
On Sunday 30th September 2018, 11am till 2pm, FREE ENTRY we’ll be hosting The Wedding Event, a stylish wedding show in association with our glossy print product, UNVEILED, The Luxury Wedding Magazine and the sensational, newly refurbished Northumberland wedding venue, Matfen Hall.
An immersive experience, we’re transforming the rooms and suites at Matfen Hall into a bridal playground, inviting a huge selection of the area’s finest wedding suppliers and encouraging brides and grooms to discover the magic of this beautiful place.
Matfen Hall is an historic, traditional venue that brims with luxury and style. Built in 1832, the Hall boasts many original features and offers all couples exclusivity of the entire East Wing on their wedding day, so they receive the undivided attention from the dedicated team.
Now even more breath-taking, the entire ground floor of Matfen’s East Wing has been entirely refurbished, including The Great Hall and entrance area, The Terrace Room and Sir Edward’s Bar. The stunning rooms now offer beautifully modern spaces for wedding celebrations, though retain their original features and historic charm.
Discuss all things weddings with the dedicated Matfen Hall wedding planners and, even if you’ve already got your venue sorted, try, taste, test and talk to our handpicked on-site luxury suppliers.
There’ll be up to 40 talented wedding creatives in attendance, with every single detail covered – from bridal fashion, to live music and love lights, via cakes, floral displays, photo booths and much, much more!
Yes, you did read that right – it’s completely FREE for you and your whole bridal party to attend – we’d suggest bringing a bridesmaid or two to help with that goody bag!
To pre-register for a FREE VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags including our stunning UNVEILED Magazine) and FREE, SPEEDY ENTRY, fill in your details below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the Wedding Show. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
VIP Bride-To-Be Media Packs available while stocks last only.
Your data will not be shared with third parties without permission.
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North & UNVEILED family in 2018 and beyond. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Shows across three regions.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space. Consequently, we expect demand to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
Matfen Hall is unique in that it is still owned by the same family that built it, the Blackett family, giving the building an individual and homely feel. Opened as a hotel in 1999, the Hall has been modernised over the years but has retained many original features that provide extra character and interest.
Earning itself a place in the hearts of many, Matfen Hall has developed a glowing reputation making it a top choice among those looking to marry in the North East. Praised for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, its stunning interiors and exteriors, but most of all its personal approach, the privately-owned hotel, has a family orientated philosophy and enjoys welcoming back its wedding couples beyond the big day for anniversaries, baby showers and birthdays.
Matfen’s wedding team are passionate about every couple’s big day and take great care in ensuring that all details go without a hitch. During the planning they will work closely with brides and grooms to get to know their special story and help them work through every step up to the wedding. The on the day team, led by head master of ceremony, are also meticulous with their attention to detail for seamless celebrations.
The hotel houses 53 comfortable bedrooms for guests to rest and relax. The stunning bridal suite complete with four poster bed and glorious views of the grounds and gardens, is inclusive with all wedding packages. Furthermore, couples receive a preferential rate on a number of the Hall’s bedrooms, which they can also make the most of for the night prior to the wedding.
All guests receive full use of the Hall’s Aqua Vitae Spa facilities as part of their stay, which includes a 16-metre swimming pool, aromatherapy room, sauna, steam and monsoon shower. Discounted golf rates on the 27-hole championship course are also available so guests can experience all elements of the estate.
September 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There are some lovely special touches present at today’s real wedding between Alun and Sophie, which takes place by the sea for an extra air of romance. We love the personalised order of service with its bridal party roll call and amusing message to the guests as they await the bride’s entrance. Then there’s the sign that states “Uncle Alun – here comes your bride”, proudly held by the groom’s nephew to signal her arrival. Not to mention the personalised poems written for the guests and left at their place settings.
In sight of the glorious coastal view, the couple arranged lawn games to keep guests entertained and hay bales with blankets around a fire pit upon which family and friends could toast marshmallows and enjoy the sea breeze. Which leads us nicely on to cocktails – all personalised of course to add to the unintentional theme noticed by Alun and Sophie’s guests as very “them”!
The tipi wedding setting looks spectacular against the cerulean Welsh sky – we can totally see why Alun and Sophie wanted an outdoor wedding in such a spectacular location!
With images by Jess Yarwood.
sophie says: Alun wanted to make sure I didn’t suspect the proposal – not an easy task as all I had spoken about for the last three years was getting engaged! As I’m a teacher, he decided to surprise me after school; keeping me in school was tricky but, with help from my workmates, Alun managed to sneak in and be in my classroom as I walked back from the staff room. I was surprised to see him there! He handed me a letter and, as I read the beautiful words, I had tears in my eyes. Alun went down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” Of course, my answer was yes!
We got married on 5th August 2017. We needed to choose the school holiday and, as we wanted an outdoor wedding, we felt August would be perfect.
We had the ceremony in a beautiful church in Llangwnadl and the reception was in a field overlooking the coast. I fell in love with the church when I first visited Alun’s sister’s house in the same village. As we both love the sea, the field was the best choice and the tipi made it extra special. Having a tipi meant we could personalise everything.
The order of the day was fun! We wanted everyone to be relaxed and enjoy themselves. I’m not sure there was a theme as such but lots of our friends commented afterwards that the wedding was very “us”.
For our colour scheme we chose burgundy and baby pink. I liked the contrast of colours and wanted summery and country flowers.
When it came to the dress, I visited lots of shops and tried on several dresses but couldn’t quite find the right one! I wanted a simple gown due to the venue. I finally found one in a little village down south when visiting my best friend for the weekend. It was in a pre-loved wedding shop and, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. After a little altering by a wonderful seamstress in Chester, the dress was perfect.
September 14th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Wow, wow, TRIPLE wow – we are finishing the week off in spectacular style with a wedding that puts a huge smile on our faces, not only because it’s flippin’ gorgeous but also because the beautiful bride is a good industry friend of ours – the lovely Brooke, Weddings and Event Manager, at stunning venue Denton Hall, Ilkley, where we will be returning to on Sunday 4th November to host our Luxury Wedding Show with Brooke and the team.
Working in the world of weddings, Brooke was super clued-up when it came to picking the right setting and suppliers for her and beau Simon’s big day, which was a sensational rustic affair centred around a punchy pink colour palette and the most fabulous florals. From the perfect pastel blooms on Brookes a-maz-ing patterned gown (with pockets!!) to the incredible flower arrangements, arch and bouquet – we adore it all.
And the highlights don’t stop there – for this wedding was both pretty and personal, with Brooke and Simon adding some special touches in the form of DIY décor and sentimental polaroid pics – plus extra effort was put into the elements that mattered to them most with fine feasting and incredible entertainment playing a big part in the celebrations.
And just when you think it can’t get anymore perfect, they go and ask guests for donations to a local dogs’ home instead of gifts. Out and out sweethearts!
So, in true Brooke spirit (excuse the pun) pour yourself an extra-large ‘Friday feeling’ gin and tonic while feasting your eyes on this beauty…
With images by Avenue White Photography.
brooke says: We got engaged in July 2016, while we were visiting friends at one of our favourite places – Guernsey. After a stroll on the beach, Simon gave me a hug and said he had been to see my parents earlier that week, I asked why, he then said because I want to know if you will marry me. And with this pulled out a beautiful wooden box which contained a diamond from Iain Henderson Designs. After saying yes and crying for about ten minutes, Simon explained that we could both then go together to see Iain and have the diamond created into a ring which we would design.
After returning home we started the process of getting our ring designed, the next big thing to think about was where and when. We didn’t really have a set date in mind, as the wanted to find the right venue first, but May always held a special place in our hearts as we met on the May bank holiday weekend many moons ago.
The venue was important to us and working in the wedding industry I know we are so spoiled up North for having some stunning venues right on our doorstep. We decided on East Riddlesden Hall. We often walked our dog around the river walk they have and always thought the barn looked beautiful set for weddings. It encapsulated everything we wanted – local enough for friends and family, a blank canvas, flexibility with food and drink, and a beautiful backdrop for photos.
We didn’t have a special theme or colour in mind for our day, we just wanted colour – and lots of it. We did end up going for colours that were a similar palette to those of my dress – lots of pastel colours with pink, purple, green and blue. Also, plenty of glittery bits because it’s not a party without something shiny.
I first saw my dress whilst perusing Instagram – it was actually a Brides Up North post! I knew I had to find this dress and try it on. The designer was Charlotte Balbier so I did some internet research and The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in Pickering came up as a Charlotte Balbier stockist. I gave the lovely Diana a call and she arranged a time for me and mum to go to the boutique and see the dress. The design is called Untamed Love and features a beautiful coloured silk overlay with huge train. Once I had tried it on I knew the dress was meant for me, this was cemented even more when I realised it had pockets!
Simon had always said from the word go that he wanted to buy his suit rather than hire to ensure that it fit really well. To reflect the relaxed feel of the venue, he decided on a waistcoat and trousers combo. On a visit to Skipton one day we walked past Jenson Samuel on the high street and they had some lovely stuff in the window. Simon went in and spoke to the guys in the store who were amazing.
We bought all the groomsmen’s suits from Jenson Samuel in Skipton too, they were all Mark Darcey trousers and waistcoats. We also bought the shirts from Jenson Samuel. We wanted to buy rather than hire so the guys all had a thank you from the day, plus they could get them altered to fit perfectly.
September 14th, 2018 | Julia Braime
We are so excited here at Brides Up North HQ to be returning this September to what we think might just be the coolest wedding of the moment.
We’re back for autumn 2018 and presenting the most lovely, hand-picked selection of talented wedding suppliers in the North West. We’ll be filling this place with fabulous and showing off the awesome party space at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe, on Sunday 23rd September 2018, 11am till 2pm, FREE ENTRY!
Ready yourself for a style overload.
A working brewery with immense artisan food hall, pump room, boutique hotel and (most importantly!) a stunning urban-luxe party room which makes the perfect blank canvas for a wedding celebration, Holmes Mill puts Clitheroe firmly on the map. If you’re a super cool couple who love their food, drink and are looking for something stylish for your special day – look. no. further.
We fell in love the first time we visited, and it wasn’t the beer talking. Following a really sensational Brides Up North wedding show last spring, we’re ready to do it all over again!
How awesome is this place? Click here to view Holmes Mill’s gorgeous ‘Dream Wedding’ brochure online.
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and little treats from Brides Up North, as well as the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP media pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last.
Please click here to view our schedule for 2018.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. We expect demand to be very high.
Discounts are available for block bookings.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Places are limited and subject to availability.
September 13th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
When piecing together your big day it’s often the case that you will want one element to complement another; from the dress, hair and makeup, to the venue, styling and flowers. Entertainment is another factor often chosen to complement the wedding setting and theme – so those wanting timeless and traditional will look to string quartets and classical pianists, while those taking their celebrations outdoors for a festival style affair will be on the hunt for rocking bands that can really get the party started.
Keen to help you line up which live acts will fit in perfectly with your plans and vision, we’ve asked our amazing Sponsor, live music agency Entertainment Nation, to advise on the best types of musicians to suit varying styles of weddings.
Hooking up brides and grooms with top acts from across the country day in day out, it’s fair to say these guys know their stuff and help to make the booking process as easy as possible with a user-friendly website and friendly staff on-hand to answer any questions or queries.
So, without further delay, we’ll hand you over to Steven Robertson, Content Manager of Entertainment Nation, to share his expert opinion on which musicians to book for which settings…
We’re so lucky in the UK to have an abundance of gorgeous historic venues in which to celebrate a wedding. If you’re getting married amidst the grandeur of a majestic castle, the evocative strains of a string quartet reverberating around those ancient stone walls provide a suitably stately accompaniment to the bridal entrance.
For your evening party, how about flipping your guests’ expectations of traditional entertainment and opting for an act that’s as current as they come? Fresh from the Ibiza club-scene, DJ Live acts combine all the best bits of hiring a wedding DJ and live musicians. DJ Live acts mix pumping dance tunes spun by a pro DJ with live saxophonists to pick out those catchy melodies, percussionists to intensify the beat and live vocalists to bring it all together. We’ve seen wedding guests go wild to these acts, so if you’re in the mood for a medieval mash-up, a DJ live act can’t be beaten.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Gracella Strings
Evening: DJ Union Collective
For ultra-slick cosmopolitan hotel venues, you’ll want to supplement the cool, contemporary surroundings with cutting-edge wedding entertainment. We’re again suggesting a string quartet to supply your ceremony and daytime wedding music, but this time a string quartet with a difference. The addition of a beatboxer brings a brand-new dynamic to this traditional form. This modern twist on the string quartet will deliver string arrangements of the freshest chart tunes with added percussive punch.
And for the evening? Reach for show-stopping, globe-trotting, dance-along extravagance with a premier international show band. Taking their lead from the unrivalled musicality, dazzling choreography and sumptuous stage production of the spectacular world tours of superstars like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, international show bands supply a live wedding music experience that’ll be right at home in the most opulent of city centre hotels.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: String Box
Evening: Jam Hot
The UK festival scene has never been more vibrant. The traditional titans like Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Download, Creamfields and the rest have been joined by an explosion in smaller festivals that offer a more curated experience. If you’re a dedicated festival-goer, why not create your very own festival line-up at your outdoor tipi wedding?
Kick things off with a chilled solo set from a singer-songwriter style singer-guitarist, before upping the ante with a roaming set from a folk-pop band. Roaming sets always go down a treat with guests, allowing them to feel part of the show as they sing and dance along to an up-close performance from wandering musicians.
As the (hopefully) sizzling sun sets and the torches are lit, get ready to let loose to all the biggest indie and rock anthems by monster bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Kings of Leon from a mainstage-headliner covers band.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony: Sean the Guitarist
Evening: Indie Kings
Converted barns are prevailingly popular choice of wedding venue and it’s little wonder: what could be more romantic than celebrating your special day under timber beams, surrounded by rustic stonework, dust motes dancing in fanned rays of light piercing the barn’s atmospheric shade?
Pairing perfectly with a rustic barn wedding is a Mumford and Sons-style modern folk band. Versatile and upbeat, a modern folk act can supply entertainment for every aspect of your barn wedding: laid-back acoustic duo music for your ceremony, an afternoon roaming set and a fully amplified evening set of uproarious modern folk and folky spins on classic songs from throughout the decades.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony, daytime and evening: Wandering Wings
Banish all your preconceptions about cheesy wedding bands – the wedding entertainment scene is thriving right now and attracting the best young musicians around. This influx of top young musicians has led to a diversification of the styles of act on offer, so if you’re getting wed in an urban warehouse, you can hire on-trend wedding entertainment to match your slick, modern venue.
Narrowing down our wedding music selections for an urban warehouse wedding has been tough. So tough in fact, we’ve gone for two evening acts.
Starting with the infectious soul, hip hop and RnB of an urban-themed acoustic duo to perform during the early evening, things start to heat up with a mic-dropping showcase of beatboxing skills from a beatbox crew. To take you into the early hours, the booming sound of a modern brass band collective, whose New Orleans-style reworkings of rock, of songs will have the dance floor bouncing.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Soul Junkies Duo
If you’ve got a fairy tale wedding planned at a quintessential country hall, a wedding pianist is a sublime daytime entertainment choice, especially if there’s already a grand piano present at the venue. Creating a refined and romantic ambience, a pianist is also versatile enough to tailor their sets to suit your taste and themes. The soothing sounds of classical music partner beautifully with the clinking of champagne glasses, while mellow modern ballads form a subtle backdrop to the conversations of your guests. For your evening reception, retain the air of sophistication with a smooth performance from a premier jazz band to get heads nodding in appreciation.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Piers
Evening: Jazz Empire
The spacious luxury and the glowing purity of sunlight filtered through translucent white canopy makes a marquee wedding a tranquil delight. Complement the peaceful setting with the timeless melodies of classical guitarist. As well as impressively performed music from the great composers, a classical guitarist can perform intricately picked arrangements of popular modern songs for unobtrusive background music that lends your day an elegant ambience.
By day, a marquee may be a peaceful haven in which to share congratulations and reminisce with friends and family; by night, it is transformed into a space for ebullient celebrations and some seriously questionable dance moves. A high-end Motown band, resplendent in sharp suits and graceful gowns, will deliver classic songs by the likes of to compel you and your guests to flock to the dance floor.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: John Pizzati
Evening: Motown Inferno
National Trust members know well the joys of spending a weekend rummaging around carefully restored period properties. There’s something revivifying about being surrounded by such splendour, especially as many of these properties are home to exquisite grounds that sing with the sounds of nature. It’s easy to forget that a grand manor house was once a home, a living building that housed lavish banquets and magnificent balls – why not reinvigorate these storied halls with a decadent performance from a high-end, luxury soul, funk, Motown and pop wedding band?
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Elegant Strings
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.