Brides Up North

A (Leafy) Couture Celebration, A Real Wedding – Sarah & Neil

September 4th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Mixing things up a little bit this weekend (just cos I can) with a beautiful Real Wedding to kick start the Sunday wedding blog schedule.  Keeping things fresh – that’s the way to do it!  But if you are a traditionalist, don’t despair – your jam packed Super Sunday instalment will be coming up a little bit later on.  For now, put your feet up and enjoy a little bit of real life romance alongside your Sunday brunch.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Fabulous real life wedding industry friend Sarah from Leafy Couture asked me last week if I might like to feature her Real Wedding on the bridal blog.  Duh!  Of course… after all, if it’s good enough for Wedding Magazine (it was!), it’s good enough for this little !

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Being an amazing florist, I was most excited to see Sarah’s own wedding day choices.  Her rich palette of reds, pinks and blackberry tones did not disappoint.  All in all, a stunning Yorkshire occasion!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Over to Sarah:  After 14 years of friendship, nearly five years of courtship, a breath taking proposal under a tree in Kew Gardens after a picnic on 29 May 2009 we got engaged and we were married on 23 October 2010 at The Old Deanery, Ripon, North Yorkshire. 

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It was a long process but eventually we found The Old Deanery, Ripon. It was like one big house that we took over with two van loads of flowers, candles, candelabra and decorations. It had such a historic feel with a striking oversized staircase at the entrance, beautiful fireplaces, wooden floors, stunning gardens and real fires. The staff were amazing and very accommodating. We had exclusive use, which meant I was able to wander around in my stripy Cath Kidston pjs until 1pm on the day of the wedding!

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I just wanted a glamorous feel but with a hint of vintage.We chose warm pinks and reds in flowers to go with the metallic tones of the rest of the décor. I wanted it to feel luxurious and opulent.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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For my dress, I wanted something different, I wanted to be set apart from the brides I work with but once you put on that big white dress something takes over!

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I started to trawl the net for vintage dresses, inspired by one of my nana’s beautiful dresses (I would have worn it in a heartbeat but at 4ft 8 my Nana was slightly smaller than my 5ft 7 frame!). My mum found a huge Oxfam bridal store in Bradford that stocked wedding dresses, so we went for a look round, after making jokes that we would never find anything as we were first hit by long sleeved lace and diamante eighties creations we found three dresses, I tried them on and fell in love! THE dress it turned out was a Pronovias gown in ivory silk, I fell immediately in love and picked out a veil to match. It felt so good, to know that I hadn’t blown my budget (I was marrying an accountant so he would be proud) and that we were helping charity on our special day. It turned out that the dry cleaning was more than the dress itself and I felt special knowing my “something old” was purchased, we celebrated with afternoon tea and sat stunned that the weekends we had put aside to trawl wedding boutiques were now free!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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My bridesmaids, all four of them stunning, independent women were the next to get kitted out. I wasn’t sure about putting them in the same dresses and as they lived in four separate cities it seemed sensible to go for different dresses with the same theme. We got them from Karen Millen, Coast and LK Bennett, all in metallic tones and tied together with vintage bespoke jewels and fur shawls from Next.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Shoes were purchased from Untold, I also got some fab wellies from Joules with a bow on the back, they were great and I wore them to wander the streets of Ripon on the day.

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My amazing headpiece and cuff were made for me by the fantastic Jane at HF Couture, she used vintage broaches and gifts from my mother and bridesmaid to create my stunning piece. It was so lovely to have something designed just for me and I can pass it on to my children. The cuff was created out of vintage beads and crystals, so sparkly and lovely.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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My diamond earrings were a gift from Neil on the morning of the wedding, he had sneaked them round to my mothers house the day before the wedding, only to walk in to the living room where my dress was hung, my brother had forgotten to warn him, luckily he assures me he didn’t see it!

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Our hair and make up were lovingly done by my friends Claire (who got married last year and we did her flowers so it was great to have her be a part of our day too) and my multi-talented co-florist Diane who is also a hairdresser!

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Neil’s stunning suit was from Paul Smith and his shoes were from Church’s (I think we spent more time on his outfit and planning it than all of the girls altogether!) Bless the man who loves a good shoe-tree!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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The place settings were a hand written parcel tag on to which I wrote a personal message. It was a lovely surprise for people as they read their own private message and I could tell them how they were special to us.

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All our wedding stationery was by my friend Jane at JB Creatives.  She also did the beautiful labels for the sweetie jars. 

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I got the hotel to sneak in monogrammed biscuits on to the pillows of those who were staying as a little midnight treat, they were supplied by Kate from Kakes and Kookies.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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The flowers were the hardest part for me but with the help of my trusted bridesmaid and florist Gemma we designed the most amazing flowers, they were lovingly created by myself and the team in the lead up to the wedding. The bouquets were mainly roses, cymbidium orchids, ranunculus and viburnum berries with ivy and galax leaves. The bouquets were all slightly different to replicate the difference in the dresses. My bouquet was finished with a diamante bow shaped broach and the girls a diamante brooch.

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The ceremony room was dressed with gold chairs floor standing candelabra, silver candlesticks and a huge silver urn of flowers.

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The tables were either decorated with a trio of silver containers or a candelabra with a wreath ring, due to the size of the venue we had one room of round tables and the other had long tables that suited out friends perfectly.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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The jazz band were my father in laws The Dixie Land Jazz Quartet it was so wonderful to hear them playing while I was upstairs getting ready, knowing that everyone was arriving downstairs.

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We also had a fab local lady Celia DJ for the evening.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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My Grandma lovingly baked the cake and The Deli on Duck Hill in Ripon supplied the cheesecake and the pork pies were from Appleton’s of Ripon.

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The sweetie bar was a real hit with everyone, I got the sweetie bags and scoops from Ebay and saw many people filling them up for the journey home as well as competitions to see who could fit as many flying saucers in to their mouths!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Morgan Photography

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We went to the stunning Velassaru in the Maldives. Pure bliss!

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My top tips for other Brides Up North would be: make sure you save all the addresses when sending save the dates as I forgot and needed them again for the invites and thank yous!

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Stick to your guns, think about what you both want and be true to that, we wanted to have an intimate feel, like a big house party with amazing food where we could just roll up to bed and that’s what we got!

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Photography by Morgan Photography

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  – Images © 2011 Morgan Photography

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime