Brides Up North

Winter Elegance, A Real Wedding – Chloe & Kieren

October 20th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Whoot!  You go away for three days and it’s chaos when you return!  Right now my life is all deadlines, deadlines, deadlines, but you know what?  I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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It’s easy to let everyday stresses - especially when you are planning a wedding – get on top of you, but this week, just try to take a moment to just sit back and smell the roses.  It’ll do you the world of good.

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Even if you’re not due a proper break, promise me you’ll just spend an hour or so at the back end of this busy week curled up with a good book, cuddling your other half,  wandering aimlessly round the shops like you did as a teenager, playing with your cat, flipping through a glossy mag or watching reruns of Downton Abbey.  Whatever floats your boat.  Basically, call a time out on real life, wedding planning, the school run, family politics, work stresses or whatever it is that’s getting you down.  And breathe.

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I had a lovely (and much needed) break this week with my hubby in the Lake District (we stayed here – and snuggled up with DVDs in bed while the wind and rain lashed outside) to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  I think it’s the first time that I have been able to take a breath and reflect on just how far this little wedding blog has come in the past year and how much my own life has changed.  I am so very happy, and have YOU to thank for your support.  I hadn’t realised that I had needed a rest so badly, but now my batteries are recharged and I am raring to go!  Good job, as I have come back to an inbox positively swelling with amazing wedding inspiration that I can’t wait to share with you.

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Talking of deadlines, the Brides Up North Bulletin (a monthly newsletter with all the gossip, giveaways and gorgeousness delivered straight to your inbox) is just about ready for me to press send. If you haven’t subscribed yet, use the black box at top right to do so.  You can also follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook (nearly 4000 others have) for all the news as it happens. 

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As I get to it, check out what is making me happy right now, and send your own happy list to julia@bridesupnorth.co.ukSPREAD IT!

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This afternoon, it’s back to the Real Wedding fabulousness with a submission from one of my sponsors (and, I am happy to say, new friends), Chloe from White Room Bridal Sheffield.  Chloe’s fabulously stylish winter wedding is full of the glamour and grace that I have come to expect from this lovely lady and as I write this, wrapped up in an old woolly jumper and fluffy slippers, I can’t help but feel a teen tiny twinge of seasonal excitement!  If you are planning a winter wedding, enjoy every moment.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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Meanwhile, over to Chloe:  We got engaged on 21st March 2008 at The Walnut Club, Sheffield and married on 22nd December 2009 at Great Fosters, Egham, Surrey. 

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We originally were going to get married in Bermuda, on the beach where my father and step-mother live, but then the recession hit and close family and friends were losing their jobs.  Money was so tight that we didn’t want to put pressure upon anyone so we made the decision to have a winter wedding, a 1950’s themed registry office in London followed by a blessing the day after at another venue.  We went to see Great Fosters after seeing it online and hoped to get the Sunday for our blessing. However, when we got there, the Sunday was taken and they only had a Tuesday left.  We walked around, I fell in love so we scrapped all of the above and booked the whole wedding to be there, on Tuesday 22nd December 2009.

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With it being so close to Christmas, we decided to have an ‘anti Christmas’ colour scheme, so decided on winter elegance rather than Santa’s grotto! The venue would have beautiful trees and decor but we wanted to add glamour to this rather than chintz so went for loads of candles, black vases, real fires and ivory roses. Really simple but really effective.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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We chose black and champagne as our colour theme, sort of James Bond meets Hollywood glamour as I love Marilyn Monroe and Kieren wanted a sharp black suit! We had ivory flower arrangements with elements of black and some sparkle thrown in too.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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After trying on what felt like hundreds of gowns, I had a top three which to this day I could have married in. I however, finally made the decision that the Jenny Packham gown I tried on at a designer weekend in Sheffield was the one for me. I chose ‘Lida’ which was a beaded gown with straps and a delicate tulle skirt. I paired this with a fake faux shrug and a birdcage veil which I made myself. For the evening, I had a Flo & Percy “Clarice” headband and cuff to take the look from day to night. My love for Jenny Packham was one of the reasons why I wanted to become a stockist of her gowns at White Room Bridal Sheffield and love having her gowns on my racks, such a fan!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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The bridesmaids wore black satin gowns with a champagne edge from Coast and the best men wore black suits with an ivory tie. We also had two ‘best women’, Kieren’s sisters who wore bespoke ivory gowns with a black sash to mirror the best men!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck   Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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We used a small and independent florist in Surrey, Nicola Eve who made me a beautiful bouquet and made all of our wedding party corsages, wrist corsages for the bridesmaids and decorated the tables too.  I had Anemone, Ivory Avalanche Roses with black stems and diamante.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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The gorgeousness goes on…

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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We really wanted to make the day ‘ours’ so added lots of little touches to make it so. The lighting was really important so the whole venue was covered with candles to make the place feel so warm and comforting. We wrote our own vows so that it wasn’t just a generic ceremony and had our favourite music to walk down the aisle and sign the register.

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For the favours we had mini Green & Black chocolates and Christmas crackers to decorate the table.

We lit the real fires and rather than an evening buffet, we had a cake of cheese as we are massive ‘foodies’ and wanted to indulge the guests with Christmas cake and winter fruits!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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We used Gary Roebuck for our wedding photography as Kieren really wasn’t comfortable with having posed pictures and Gary’s style is really gothic and not staged, so we liked the thought of being a little out there with the images.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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We had a string quartet for the reception and the dinner which played Christmas music and some classic swing music to create the Hollywood vibe. For the evening we had a casino to create the James Bond feel, roulette and poker were a huge hit for the men and “The Bears” who played pop/rock music from 8pm till midnight were our band. At midnight when they played Sex on Fire, everyone was up dancing and it was an amazing atmosphere!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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It would be hard to choose a favourite part of the day! I loved the morning getting ready with the girls and doing the hair and make-up and chatting, giving them their presents and reminiscing about old times. I think my most nerve wracking was the wait to walk down the aisle but then after that, I just floated! I loved my Dad’s speech as he spoke about all our loved ones and my first dance too, but I think the favourite part was just knowing that all the planning had paid off and created the moment where I was now Mrs Curry!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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After the wedding, we honeymooned in a log cabin in North Yorkshire for a week after Christmas as we had planned to go to Mexico in April. Both were magical.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Gary Roebuck

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I think my overall tip for every bride is that you just need to relax and enjoy all that you have created. Things go wrong, but no-one will notice or remember and it actually makes the day more stunning than if everything went to plan! My grandparents got lost so just as I was about to walk down the aisle, my nan ran past me to take her seat!  The quartet turned up late and the speakers blew because The Bears played the music too loud but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. 

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Newlyweds – contact me to share your Real Wedding memories on the wedding blog

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  – Images © 2011

White Room Bridal Sheffield is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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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