Brides Up North

happy holidays!

December 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Pink Christmas

Image via Studio DIY

Things move pretty quickly here on these pages – with a double dose of wedding loveliness every weekday – so it’s rare that we ever get the time to slow down, reflect and refresh here at Brides Up North HQ.

It’s been a really exciting year for our little team both online and behind the scenes (which I recapped in detail as when we celebrated our fourth birthday last month, click here to catch up), and I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be even bigger and better yet.

I’ve got some really huge news to impart when we return in the New Year – be here! – but before embracing the excitement of the next season, I’ve been looking forward to a bit of downtime and having a very merry christmas of my own.

We’re taking our annual blog Christmas break to recharge our batteries and come back with wedding bells on after the New Year ball drops. As well as taking some time to get seriously creative on a few ongoing Brides Up North passion projects, I’ll be cosying up with my small family, enjoying Christmas through my toddler’s eyes, eating far to many Quality Streets and drinking way too much mulled wine. Pure bliss.

We’re not shutting up shop completely.  We’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.  Pop back in when your soon-to-be-in-laws are driving you up the wall, or everyone else is snoring in front of Downton Abbey.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with that big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for winter 2014.

All that remains is to wish each and every one of our readers, supporters, clients, sponsors and industry friends the most wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  Here’s to your health and happiness (and maybe a few seasonal hangovers too)!

See you on the other side.

Happy Holidays,

julia xxx

 

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tinsel time. julia’s christmas picks

December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Julia's Christmas Picks

There’s absolutely no doubt about it that the big day is drawing near – cue an afternoon spent dashing round the shops like a headless chicken, toddler in tow, as I realised that today was my only possible shopping day till the big man comes down the chimney.

(Sorry about the late feature, and all that, but at least there’ll be presents under the tree!)

My Christmas shopping’s done (albeit hastily), but here’s what would be on my wish list for the 25th, if anyone out there’s paying any attention by this stage…

Or have I lost you all to a reality TV and mulled wine blur?

ruby & ed ballerina slippers, £39

Soft, snuggly and stylish, these ballerina slippers come in the prettiest berry shades, perfect for cosy Christmas evenings in.  Plus they do a tiny pair, just right for my little mini me!

charlotte tilbury Supermodel Body, £45

Her make up line is sensational, so I’m hoping that her Supermodel Body cream will do what it says on the tin.  After skipping the gym in favour of more screen time, let’s hope that Charlotte’s promise of a “slimmer shimmer” comes to fruition.

jimmy choo Rebel cross body bag, £795

I’m dreaming of a Jimmy Christmas, and this little number works for day or night. I’d chose the silver for maximum sparkle.

nails inc nail polish in Porchester Square, £14

My staple colour, and in need of a restock.  This pale grey is endlessly flattering and goes with almost any outfit (including a wedding gown). I pray this stuff is never discontinued.

topshop sequin christmas tree sweater, £46

If you’re going to join the Christmas jumper madness, then why not do it in style?  If you’re gong to join ‘em, you may as well beat ‘em. In sequins.

alex monroe teeny tiny diamond ring, £265

Fragile, different and contains diamonds. I’d love my digits to be adorned with this little number.

kurt geiger london Bond heels in pink, £270

Strong, sexy and in my very favourite colour.  I’d never take them off.

ted bakersequinned pencil skirt, £139

Perfect for a glitzy night on the tiles with the girls, or dressed down for a dinner date with the other half. This skirt has drama and sass, but it’s got plenty of class too.

clarisonic Aria in gold, £155

I dream of the perfect complexion, and apparently this little gadget is going to deliver.  A must for ladies getting aisle ready and apparently for the rest of us too. Sign me up.

labrador puppy, POA

Do I even need to explain?

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midday movie. real romance. tom & leanne

December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Tom and Leanne from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

There’s an extra feature everyday at lunchtime this week, as we celebrate our readers’ moments in the limelight, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films

Today, Tom and Leanne take the stage with their pretty celebration.

TOM_LEANNE_P02

tom says: I proposed in the Daintree forest in Australia. We had just done a 3 hour trek to find a secluded little creek. When I proposed I was sitting next to Leanne but I was quickly told “You’re not down on one knee”  so I had to propose again on one knee, then she said “yes”

TOM_LEANNE_P03

The colour theme was pastels, the bridesmaids wore pastel pink, the style was vintage, romantic and whimsical.

TOM_LEANNE_P05

By far the best part of the day for both of us was actually getting married in the church.

Featured images are film stills.

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merry & bright. an engagement at north pier – sally & stephen

December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (25)

This morning we join newly weds Sally and Stephen for their crazy, colourful (and all kinds of lovely) pre-wedding shoot on the North Pier, Blackpool. Time for a few candyfloss kisses

May your days be merry & bright!

Images by James Jebson Photography.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (27)

sally says: A few weeks before Christmas, I told Stephen I didn’t think we’d made enough effort with our Christmas decorations. Arriving home late from a late shift, on a very wet and cold evening, I opened the front door to find our hall stairs had been covered in fake snow and glitter. My first thought was that Stephen had taken my ‘pimping the decorations’ briefing a bit too far, until I noticed an arrow of glitter directing me into the living room. All of the walls had been covered in fairly lights; there was more snow across the floor; the hearth was filled with flowers and there was a very large mound of glitter where the television should have been. There was also a champagne bucket with an iced bottle of Pepsi and a platter of cheese.

It is at this point I should probably explain that when we had first started dating we listed our five favourite things – mine were glitter, fairy lights, cheese, kittens and dancing (Pepsi would inch in at number 6). Over by the mound of glitter were two small kittens (not real ones!) with a sign pointing at the glitter and saying ‘shake me’. As I did, the glitter stuck to a piece of card and revealed the words ‘Sally Henfield will you marry me?’ Then Stephen popped out of the downstairs toilet (where he’d been hiding for 40 minutes because I was late home) and got down on one knew with a beautiful 1920s-style sapphire and diamond ring! I said YES, and then we did a little dance to Newton Faulkner – the song he first told me he loved me to. So, all five favourite things boxed off in one proposal.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (21)

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (20)

The first time we met is a topic of hot debate. We both went to Newcastle University and some of our friend groups overlap, but we never actually met each other while we were there.

Stephen remembers meeting me in a box at a Newcastle United game in 2002, but I do not remember meeting him until he (via our mutual friend Chris) offered me and a mate a place to stay when we went to a wedding in 2006– in return for us getting the boys invited to the evening do. Stephen won’t mind me saying that he held a torch from then on, but we did not get together until the summer of 2012. Chris invited me to an Olympic party while I was on a secondment to London and Stephen was dressed as Fidel Castro. Then the next night we were abandoned by our friends on a night out and shared a can of Pepsi in Trafalgar Square…

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (23)

After swapping number by Nelson’s Column, Stephen came to visit me in Preston, where I was living at the time. We had a fantastic weekend – we went to a beer festival, for walks in the park, drank Pepsi, visited museums. But after 52 hours Stephen had still not kissed me! It was only just as he was about to get his train that he finally made his move (with a very strong verbal hint from me!) He says he wanted me to know that he was in it for the real deal and hadn’t just come to Preston to get a quick smooch– a very gentlemanly approach.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (10)

Our engagement shoot was part of our photography package. We already knew our photographer James Jebson and it was a really good way to see how he worked ahead of the actual wedding. We picked Blackpool because we had been on one of early dates there and had danced down the North Pier in the moonlight when it was empty of tourists.

The engagement shoot was great fun, if a little chilly. We even got to go on a carousel! I had just bought my frilly underskirt from a vintage shop the day before and we had several old ladies come up to us to say how pretty it looked as Stephen twirled me round.

We love the photos – they are so fun and colourful (even if the weather was dreary!)

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (5)

We technically got married at Lewisham registry office, but that was just the legal necessities!

We held our wedding over a long weekend so we could spend as much time as possible with friends and family. Our wedding ceremony was held at the Asylum, a disused chapel in Peckham, and one of our best friends Chris (who is responsible for bringing us together) acted as the ‘vicar’. It was so lovely to have someone who could give such a personal account of our relationship delivering the ceremony.

We then held our reception at Brunswick House in Vauxhall – this is a Georgian town house that is now used as an architectural salvage shop during the day and a great place for partying in the evening.

The following day we gathered for a picnic in St James Park and then we all boarded the Tamesis Dock boat for more dancing.

On the Sunday, Stephen and I took some time out to celebrate as just the two of us and went to the Chiltern Firehouse for brunch before catching up with family and then jetting off on honeymoon.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (7)

I love that Stephen will always get up on the dancefloor (and look good doing it); that he shares a passion for cheese and Pepsi; that he loves adventures, big or small; he looks fab in woolly jumpers; he loves creating ‘memories’; he remembers the little details of things that you have said so can buy amazing presents; he is funny and has a different laugh for when I am doing silly things; because he has the best eyebrows in the world EVER; he makes a mean fishfinger sandwich (potato waffles is the key ingredient)…the list goes on and on.

Stephen gave the most heartfelt groom speech I have ever heard (and of course I would say that – but he had most of our guests crying with his lovely words) and if I can paraphrase it for him here he said he loves me because I live up to the ideal of the Sally Henfield he has had since we first met.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (1)

Our biggest wish for married life is that there are even more adventures to come and that there is always time to dance with each other!

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full steam ahead! a special wedding blessing in The Lake District – heather & mike

December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (37)

What I love most about my job as editor of these pretty pages is the variety of stunning and special celebrations that I get to witness, albeit through a set of wonderfully curated images or a snappy wedding film.  I’ll be honest: sometimes I cry (in a good way).

One such submission that really touched me was the beautiful wedding blessing of ex-pats Heather and Mike, who returned to the UK following their Dubai wedding to celebrate with those they’d left back on English soil.  Their [pared down ‘second’ wedding day is stripped back to all that really matters on a wedding day – two people in love, their nearest and dearest (plus a killer gown, some great heels and a stunning backdrop always help).

I think it’s utterly beautiful.

With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (8)

heather says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Dubai where we live. I’d gone back to the UK to visit family and Mike used his time to go ring shopping. Mike proposed to me with a cup of tea (and a stunning ring) as I woke up the morning after a late arrival back into Dubai.

We actually got married on 6 April 2014 in Dubai but we wanted to have a Wedding Blessing and a celebration with our friends and family in the UK who could not make it. The blessing took place on 12 July 2014. As we are both teachers the dates for both events were rather un-romantically dictated by term time (and the hope of decent weather).

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (5)

The Blessing service took place at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, near Penrith. We chose this venue as it is a short walk from the family home where I grew up and where my family still live. It was a ultimately an easy decision as it is a beautiful church, in a beautiful setting next to the Eden River and with a stunning view of the Pennines.

After organising one wedding in Dubai, we were very lucky for our family to take charge of events in the UK. An evening party was held after the service on the ‘Raven’ Steamer on Ullswater Lake which was the brainchild of my Godmother Paula. Along with the jazz band that played throughout the evening.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (11)

We wanted the celebration to be laid back and relaxed. The overall aim was for us all to have a good time and catch up.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (13)

I wore the same dress as I did for the wedding in Dubai much to the envy of many friends as I had the opportunity to wear it for a second time. The dress was handmade and embroidered by Lily Duds Tailoring, Dubai. The beauty of having the dress handmade was that I was able to get the dress just as I wanted and combine a variety of different designs I liked.

My Jimmy Choo heels brought an extra sparkle to my outfit and were even comfy enough to wear for the walk to and from the church.

I carried three hand tied peonies. Aunty Gillian and family friend, Yvonne Marples, arranged the flowers on the day. They wonderfully captured our relaxed theme through the flowers by creating a wild, country garden feel.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (12)

Mike wore a 3-piece Prince of Wales check suit, which he had tailored at Ascot and Chapels, Dubai. His bow tie and pocket square were from Alexander Olch, New York, and his red brogues from O’Keefe.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (16)

Melissa Beattie was the photographer. She was also the photographer for our wedding in Dubai. We loved her photographs from this so much that we bullied her into taking the shots for the Wedding Blessing.

Her work is intimate, natural and she has a wonderful ability to make us look fabulous! We ultimately considered her one of our guests due to her warm and friendly manner.

She took a great deal of time and effort to ensure we got exactly what we wanted and edited and designed our wedding album beautifully

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (22)

Hair and make-up was by Bridget Foster, Carlisle. Bridget is an excellent make up artist, who has a subtle touch and eye for detail, as well as having a wonderful personality.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (28)

We actually only just made it to our own Wedding Blessing! Our passports were caught up in the fiasco with the UK Passport agency and were with the passport agency for 10 weeks and only arrived in Dubai 5 days before we were due to fly. A thank you to Rory Stewart, MP, and his office for all their help in chasing this matter!

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (34)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (39)

A 1969 Red Double Decker Bus was hired from Stagecoach to take the guests and us to and from Glenridding Pier, to board the steamer.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (45)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (44)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (49)

Our favourite part of the day was simply being with family and friends, some of whom we had not seen in many years.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (51)

The steamer on the lake is a beautiful experience and loved by all of our guests. The scenery makes for a simply stunning backdrop – especially for us who spend most of our time looking at sand!

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (55)

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (61)

Due to the limitations for catering on the steamer itself, we went for canapés and mini meals from Bakerwood Marquees and Events who far exceeded our expectations. The food was fresh, delicious, plentiful and was provided to our guest by a very attentive team of waiters.

We created personalised brown Mr and Mrs sweetie bags, which contained personalised rock and Love Hearts sweets.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (62)

The Dixie Kings Jazz Band was chosen for the evening to suit setting of cruising down Ullswater lake. They provided fabulous entertainment, loved by the old and the young, and we all danced the night away.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (71)

We honeymooned in Zanzibar, which provided an ideal balance between relaxation and adventure.

a laid back wedding blessing in the Pennines (c) Melissa Beattie  (58)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the day! It is about you both not everybody else.

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midday movie. it’s a classic. gemma & niall

December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Niall and Gemma from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

It’s been a real treat to drop in an extra little feature every day at noon this week as we celebrate our readers’ real life love stories, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.

Popcorn at the ready, let’s hear from Gemma and Niall.

Nial&Gemma2

gemma says: Niall proposed in our living room between visiting my parents the weekend before Christmas and heading to Niall’s mum and dads for Christmas day. It was lovely that it was just the two of us at home.

Niall&Gemma1

I wore a Lusan Mandongus gown from Teokath Wimbledon: all the dresses I tried on were beautiful so it was a tough decision! In the end I went with a designer I felt fitted my body shape the best and the dress that I felt was the most flattering. I absolutely love, love, love my wedding dress and feel much more emotionally attached to it than I ever imagined I would.

Niall&Gemma4

With a marquee in Niall’s mums and dad’s garden we had a blank canvas. We were quite relaxed about style and theme (just going with stuff we liked) but ‘classic fresh marquee wedding’ probably sums it up quite well.

We both really enjoyed the ceremony and have memories of smiling and laughing a lot. It’s the first time we both saw each other on the day and so was amazing. It is quite a surreal experience and over very quickly, you forget there are 100 people there watching you. My cousin commented after the event that the ceremony was the most fun one he had ever been to!

Niall&Gemma3

Featured images are video stills.

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indian summer. a pretty fusion wedding in East Yorkshire – hannah & arul

December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-26

This morning we join Hannah and Arul for a wedding celebration that was a true celebration of their different cultures.  This couple mixed morris dancers and high tea alongside goat curries and Indian dress, without batting an eyelid. And you know what?

It just fits.

The result? A fresh and fabulous day, with meaningful touches, an heirloom wedding dress and a whole lot of love.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-1

hannah says: We got engaged on my birthday (28th February 2013). We were on holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors and we went to The Lion Inn pub in the middle of nowhere (my granddad’s ashes are spread there) it’s a pub loved by all the family and we went every Christmas.

We went on a walk along the moors and we walked for miles (turned out Arul was looking for the perfect spot where all the classical elements: earth, wind, water and fire were present).

We sat down for a tea break Arul said he had another present for me. Out came the ring! It was perfect: we were alone with beautiful views and it was the best walk back to the pub where we had lunch by the roaring fire next to the piano.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-5

We were married on 26th August 2014 at Bilton Church. We chose this as at midnight it would have been my Granddad’s birthday (27th August). Therefore he would still be part of the day. The wedding was in the village where I grew up and the church that my grandparents were married at, and the reception was at The Haven Arms, Hedon.

Our wedding saw the joining of two different cultures – English and Srilankan. The wedding was celebrated in both cultures over Day and Night. We did vintage high tea for the day celebration. I chose to wear my grandma’s dress and we collected tea cups, side plates and tea pots all year, the venue provided the bunting and Morris Dancers entertained the guests.

The night theme was Indian with lots of coloured lighting, Indian food, Indian music and the guest in Indian clothes (sarees for women and kurta’s for men). This reflected Arul’s country of birth Sri Lanka with his mum and brother travelling from Sri Lanka for the wedding.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-2

I wore my grandma’s wedding dress. She offered to buy my wedding dress and I asked to look at hers.It was important to me to make my grandma a big part of the wedding as she has been a huge part of my life.

I got my two adult bridesmaids sage green dresses from House of Fraser and my flower girl’s dress was made especially for her.

Arul wore dark grey tails with a sage green cravat to match the bridesmaids.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-3

I carried sweet peas which all the family grew, these where the flowers my granddad grew on his allotment so it was important to include them. I also had roses (Aruls mum’s favourite) and peonies. The flowers and arrangements were by Evergreen Garden Centre in Bilton.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-10

My friend Francesca picked Arul up in her Audi and I had a vintage car by Alternative Wedding Cars.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-17

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-18

We had the flowers clustered on the pew ends and wrapped in lace to match my dress and had love heart shaped bird cages hanging outside the church.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-20

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-27

The Haven Arms were so accommodating. We went to two tasting sessions and the chef sourced special ingredients for the evening curries based on Arul’s feedback. They also sourced all the bunting, chair covers, lighting and led lighting to match our theme. The owners even dresses up in Indian clothes on the night!

This place is brilliant for people wanting a themed wedding as they are so adaptive.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-45

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-41

My auntie Di made our fruit cake. She makes all our family cakes and gave us this as our wedding gift. My bridesmaid Sarah made all the cupcakes and we bought a cake stand from Ebay to display them both.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-44

During the day we were entertained by the Makara Morris Dancers. They were fantastic and invited us to practice with them prior to the wedding and let us choose all their dances on the day. They kept the guests busy while we were having pictures and filled a gap between food and speeches (getting everyone to join in) which everyone said was brilliant.

As a special touch for later in the evening, my friends and I spent a year learning an Indian dance in order to surprise Arul and the guests.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-52

We went on a Log House Holidays honeymoon in the Cotswolds. We were in a log cabin on a lake with our own hot tub and rowing boat!

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-54

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding a reflection of who you are, it’s a lot of hard work but totally worth it.

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tinsel time. rachel’s christmas picks

December 16th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Rachel's Christmas List

Don’t know about you, but here at Brides Up North HQ, we think we’ve been pretty damn good this year, so we’re emailing St Nick with our Christmas wish-lists.  First up, it’s our lovely Rachel, who’s sticking to form with a stocking full of girly, glittery loveliness.

If you haven’t missed the elf post, you might want to leave this browser window open where your other half can see it…

urban decay Naked eye shadow palette, £37

Shimmery, sultry and sexy, Urban Decay’s Naked palette is loaded with 12 bronze-hued shadows in a stunning range of textures, including matte, satin and sparkle. I’m putting this on my Christmas list as an essential to see me through the party season and beyond. Brides searching for beautiful shadows that won’t budge during their moment in the limelight need look no further!

viktor & rolf Flowerbomb eau de parfum 30ml, £49.50

Every lady wants a new sweet scent for Christmas. My signature that I find it difficult to stray from is Vera Wang Princess, but I do love a quick spritz of Flowerbomb whenever I find myself in the fragrance aisle. I’d highly recommend this to brides-to-be in search of a romantic scent for their big day.

glitzy secrets earrings, £46

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – but I doubt anyone buying for me this year could cover the cost of such an item. These sparklers from Glitzy Secrets are a good budget backup though. Great for dressing up the Little Black Dress over the festive period, this pair would definitely make my wish list. Also – a great choice for brides-to-be looking to add some opulent accessories to their wedding day attire.

michael kors Selma Saffiano leather bag, £302

In the words of Mariah ‘All I want for Christmas is you’. My ultimate dream pressie would have to be a Michael Kors bag. I’m head over heels for the solid structure of Selma, especially in this gorgeous shade of grey.

office shoes, £65

As I pointed out in a previous post, the festive season is a perfect time to pick up a new pair of fierce heels. These bobby dazzlers would most definitely put a smile on my face on Christmas morning. A classic court but with a whole load of in-your-face attitude! Also a stunning choice of fancy footwear for brides wanting to release their inner Cinderella, just try not to lose one!

olivia burton watch, £75

This item has been on my wish list since the beginning of the year when I first spotted Olivia’s dreamy designs on Instagram. There is a stunning range to choose from with varying straps, faces and dials. I was initially drawn to the baby blue and mint designs, but now I’m hoping Father Christmas brings me Olivia’s big dial design in gold, with classic tan strap.

paperchase tea light holders, £6

Men don’t quite understand females’ fascination with Paperchase – to them its bits of card and paper but to us it’s a whole shop of prettiness! I adore these cute tea light holders which have a Christmassy appearance but can be kept out all year round. Also, a fab décor idea for winter weddings, a few of these dotted in the middle of the table with some festive foliage would certainly set the right ambience.

reiss Lolly metallic bandeau dress, £195

Every girl needs a killer dress for the festive season and this sparkling number from Reiss would be my number one choice to find under the Christmas tree. Figure-hugging, flattering and fabulous, oh so sweet Lolly has it all – a perfect New Year’s Eve party dress, if ever I did see one!

marks & spencer Rosie for Autograph luxurious satin pyjamas, £35

A Christmas classic for every girl –PJs. This set by the stunning Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Marks & Sparks offers both comfort and class. Now if only I could request her figure from Santa Claus too.

ted baker Bowlee leather gloves, £75

As temperatures continue to plunge, lovely leather gloves are required to keep ones manicured hands protected from the wintry weather. And they don’t come much prettier than Ted Baker’s Bowlee design in playful blush pink finished with a cute metallic bow.

I seriously hope I made Santa’s nice list this year!

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midday movie. life’s rosy: jenna & oliver

December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Oliver and Jenna from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

Every day at noon this week we are sharing a little love story, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.  We hope these films bring a bit of sparkle to your lunch break.

Today, it’s Jenna and Oliver’s turn to take to the screen.  Enjoy!

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oliver says: I proposed quite elaborately! Every year we go to Cornwall and stay in our family caravan in Rock, but last year I covertly booked dinner and a room at a local hotel and snuck up there on the day we arrived (under the pretence of going up to the golf club!) to set up the room with a treasure trail of gifts that linked to key dates and places we’d been. At the end of the evening Jenna was very surprised to learn that we were staying in the hotel, and the final gift in the trail was a ring in a box on the window seat which overlooked the Camel Estuary. I had to use one of Jenna’s rings as she is quite particular when it comes to jewellery so I’d (perhaps presumptuously!) booked an appointment at a jewellers the next day so we could pick or design her ring. It only took her about 5 hours to choose..!

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jenna says:We wanted soft, muted tones to fit the relaxed feel of the day - soft blushes, apricots and creams – but I’m a bit obsessed with all things that glitter – so we added a bit of sparkle in the way of gold candelabra and candlesticks and rose gold sequin table runners!

Our  favourite parts of the day include walking out of the church as Mr & Mrs Hincks and greeting all our friends and family in what turned into an impromptu receiving line; being lifted up in a chair by some of the guests during the last song of the evening and one of our ushers smashing a glass as he announced the speeches! Whoops!

Featured images are film stills.

 

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this is ace. a fun filled marquee wedding at Mill Granary Cottages – frances & olly

December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (26)

Frances and Olly’s relaxed marquee wedding is filled with fun, fab florals (some ten feet tall, watch out for the giant daffs) and fuelled by a free bar.  Always a nice idea.

It’s the first wedding ever to be held at Mill Granary Cottages, and I have a feeling that the bar has been set pretty high…

Get ready to party!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Camera A Photography.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (19)

frances says: We got engaged in October 2013 – a week before my birthday.  We got engaged on the Friday morning. Olly had liaised with a colleague of mine and put a “fake meeting” in my diary so I thought I had a full day at work.  I also thought we were going to Sheffield to visit friends on Friday night.  I got up at 6am and Olly said I wasn’t going to work that day.  I told him he was wrong because I had a meeting.  He asked me to marry him in our flat in the morning before he whisked me off to Paris to celebrate.

We got married in a beautiful church, St Osmund’s in Gainford on 7th June 2014.

The reception venue was Mill Granary Cottages – we hired the cottages and put a marquee on the meadow next to them.  It was the first wedding they had ever done and it looked amazing.  Kate and Richard (who own Mill Granary) were fantastic.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (14)

We wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed and for everyone to have a good time, and I’m not sure I managed a colour scheme!

I travelled in a white VW beetle to the wedding. My bridesmaids were in a VW van. I used Lovedub Cars.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (20)

I chose a dress from Sabina Motasem, a designer based in London.  I wanted something elegant and not too over the top.  She has some beautiful dresses in her collection.

My hair and makeup were done by Hobbs and Holmes and they were so good on the morning of the wedding.

The bridesmaid dresses were from Monsoon – silver coloured, knee length and really pretty.  The ushers wore their own suits and Olly bought them their ties and pocket squares.

Olly wore a Reiss suit.  He looked fit.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (28)

I carried white peonies.  My mum bought them from the flower market and my friend Ruth made the bouquets with the help of Olly’s sister.  The bridesmaids had white peonies and pink roses.  Ruth did those as well.  Befriend a florist it’s a huge money saver!

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (33)

Our photographers were Jane and Anne from Camera A in Darlington.  They were brilliant.  Jane was completely organised and made sure she extracted a full briefing from us before the day to get the shots we wanted.  They were both really flexible on the day and the photos are gorgeous.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (37)

The decorations outside the marquee and around the marquee were provided for by Ruthie from Cloud Nine Decor.  She is an amazing talent and provided giant flowers, a bluebell archway, and loads of bunting.

The table decorations were provided by my Mum.  She collected little crystal vases from charity shops and they were filled with wild flowers from fields and woodland that she collected.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (11)

Olly made the cake – it was a family recipe –  Guinness cake.  It was delicious.

We chose not to give out favours – there was a free bar!

We ordered our wine from Majestic.  We had a French Malbec and a South African white.  The food was provided by The Game Cart.  Really delicious food and their front of house staff were superb, making sure our guests were really looked after.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (50)

We had three of our friends do DJ shifts on the night.  They were brilliant and just banged out the hits.  The dance floor was permanently full.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (2)

We’d absolutely recommend Marston Moor Marquees and Mill Granary Cottages.  If you want a marquee wedding but need somewhere to host it, this is the place.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (52)

We’re off on our honeymoon over Christmas – destination TBC…

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a free bar if you can – it’s well worth it!

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