Brides Up North

It’s Just A Little Blush: A Real Wedding In The North West – Eleanor & Patrick

January 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Sometimes my favourite Real Weddings aren’t the ones with all the fiddly details, they’re the ones with all the fabulous personalities.

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Eleanor and Patrick’s perfectly personal celebration, with images by documentary photographer Haydn Rydings Photography, proves my point exactly.  Enjoy!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Eleanor says:  Patrick asked me to marry him in December 2011 on the spot where we met for our first date in Newcastle upon Tyne.  We were married on 3rd November 2012 at Davenport House, Worfield, Shropshire.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We knew we wanted to get married near Bridgnorth in Shropshire as coincidentally both my mum and Patrick’s dad grew up there. So the main reason for choosing the venue was the location; Eleanor’s family have lived on a farm just outside Worfield for three generations and my mum remembers being taken for tea there with the Dowager Viscountess by her mother and grandmother when she was small. In recent years lots of family parties have been held there so we knew the food and service would be excellent. & of course it is such a beautiful house!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Loosely our theme was ‘heritage’. I work in the heritage industry and we thought it was quite an appropriate theme since we are bringing two families’ heritage together.  Our colours were pink, black and white, chosen by Patrick’s sister. Pink is my favourite colour and black and white are Patrick’s football team, Newcastle United’s colours.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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I bought my dress on Etsy from a seller in Boston, USA. After trawling Etsy for a pink vintage dress appropriate for getting married in I couldn’t believe it when such a beautiful dress was exactly my measurements. I’m 5ft11 so it is incredible that not only did it fit but it was also long enough. A few people on the day said they were a bit surprised by my pink dress, but the majority said I couldn’t have been married in any other colour. My friend who lives in New York brought it over as her carry on when she came home in the summer.

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I was also determined to wear the crystal necklace I bought with money my uncle gave me for my 21st birthday and to use a little pink suede Mulberry bag my godmother who was doing a reading had given me a few years ago. So my necklace and shoes were my old, my dress was my something new. I really needed a petticoat to go under the dress so I was delighted when Patrick’s mum said she had her mother’s wedding dress petticoat, so with a few alterations, she managed to make it fit me, so that was my something borrowed. Then I painted my nails a pale blue.

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Then to top it off, my great aunt remember she had a cream shawl with pink embroidered flowers that was my great, great grandmothers, so that kept the chill off in the evening.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick really wanted to wear a kilt as his mum is Scottish but he wasn’t sure about which tartan. Then his mum discovered that he could hire a Northumberland tartan kilt so he matched that with an Argyll jacket (he wanted something a bit more modern looking) from The Highland Store in central London and a black bow tie with white spots from Woods of Shropshire. He finished the look off with new Paul Smith shoes.

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So we both managed quite successfully to pull together outfits that represented our heritage!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick’s best man was his best friend from school, Edwin.  My male of honour was my friend Adrian from university. The ushers were a mix of cousins from both sides. We let them wear their own suits/kilts and just provided black ties with white spots from Woods of Shropshire, and for those not in kilts we provided bright pink socks from Sock Shop.

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The bridesmaids wore white dresses with black spots with silver shoes and different coloured cardigans. The eldest bridesmaid’s dress was from Debenhams, the middle bridesmaid’s dress was handmade by her grandmother and the youngest bridesmaid’s dress was from TK Maxx.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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It was a November wedding at 4pm so we didn’t bother with any grand entrances as it was getting dusky, so I arrived at the side entrance to the venue in my dad’s car. This meant I could make my grand entrance down the main staircase.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our mums and friends put together the two bouquets carried by me and my eldest bridesmaid and the buttonholes. The buttonholes were made up of dried wheat referencing our Shropshire heritage and dried thistles referencing Patrick’s Scottish heritage, all bought from Shropshire Petals. I carried a bouquet of supermarket white roses, ivy from my uncle’s garden on the farm and dried wheat. My eldest bridesmaid carried a bouquet of supermarket roses and gyp. My little bridesmaids carried signs saying "Here She Comes" and "Make Way".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We wanted a wedding that referenced our heritage and was distinctly us. We gave a lot of thought to the ceremony music and agreed we wanted some live music. I walked in to an instrumental version of Elvis’ "Love Me Tender" played by a group of friends on ukuleles (our second date was to a ukulele group meeting & we knew we wanted a ukulele band at the wedding so contacted all our friends who could play guitar or ukulele, most of them hadn’t met before the big day and had only communicated over email and youtube). Whilst signing the register, a school friend of mine & the best man’s wife performed an acoustic version of The Crystals "Then He Kissed Me". We walked out to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have ethical wedding rings, Patrick’s ring was made from fairtraded and fair mined gold by Cred and my ring was made from recycled platinum by American jeweller Ravens Refuge.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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My favourite part of the day was walking out of the ceremony as a married couple and seeing all our friends and family looking so happy for us.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We opted for a hog roast for our wedding breakfast so Davenport House contracted a hog roast man to provide the meat.  We also brought in a barrel of Northumbrian Brewery High House Farm’s real ale Nel’s Best (I’m known to friends and family as Nell).

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The majority of suppliers were found online, with floristry supplies from Amazon, wedding favour supplies from www.notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy and www.papermash.co.uk.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We used family wedding photographs for our wedding table names. Patrick’s sister made spotty frames for the photos with the names of the couple underneath. The couples included our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. For the table plan Patrick’s sister photoshopped mine & Patrick’s faces onto a wedding photo of Kate & Wills, with the names around it.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have a feminist wedding so the speeches were given by the best man, male of honour and the bride and groom gave a joint speech.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our third date was to a pub quiz so we decided to hold a pub quiz before & after the meal as an ice breaker, with us as the quiz masters. The questions were general knowledge but the pictures round was of celebrity couples on their wedding day. It worked really well and got people talking. We gave put pub snacks on the tables too and gave out prizes to the winners.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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During the ceilidh we put out a dressing up box and a camera on a tripod to create our own photo booth which resulted in some hysterical photos!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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As thank you gifts, we brewed sloe gin and damson vodka, made green tomato chutney and I embroidered handkerchiefs with a message for close family members. For favours we bought pink and white striped bags which we stamped which we stamped with a ‘Thanks for coming’ stamp in black ink, filled them with sweets and closed with black and white spotty tape.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We booked The Ship Band, a ceilidh band for the evening which was very successful! The combination of Scottish family members and Eleanor’s friends who attended Edinburgh University with her meant plenty of people were quick to get on the dance floor. When the band finished they just plugged in our ipod whilst they packed up.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We had a mini-moon at The Harbour Master Hotel, Aberaeron. We are going on our honeymoon to the West coast of America in April, starting in Vancouver with a trip to see Patrick’s step-grandmother who couldn’t come over for the wedding, and finishing in LA.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Everybody keeps telling us how much they loved our wedding because we broke from tradition and planned a wedding that was about us and our friends and families coming together. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t worry too much about what other people might think, have the wedding you really want to have, and don’t worry about including things that are fun or silly.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Congratulations Eleanor & Patrick!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Haydn Rydings 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