Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

sunshine & smiles. pronovias for a fun filled wedding at knipe hall, cumbria – alexandra & andrew

November 30th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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We are totally head over heels for this morning’s gorgeous real wedding which features a super-stylish wedding party, pretty pastel colour scheme and lots of outdoor fun and frolics.

Highlights? There are many! Though for us the delicate décor, on-trend attire and super cute four-legged guest are among our very favourite bits!

With images by Daz Mack.

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alexandra says: We got engaged whilst we were staying at some vineyards in Yorkshire with friends for my 30th birthday in June 2014. Unbeknown to me, the day before we went Andrew had “Alex will you marry me?” Tattooed on his chest. We went out for dinner and drinks in Holmfirth then to a Billy Bragg gig. After an amazing evening, we got back to our apartment and much to my utter shock and disbelief Andrew revealed his new chest art to me! I said yes and we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with the rest of the bunch that we were away with!

Our wedding day was exactly two years after the weekend that we got engaged, so 18th June 2016, the day before my 32nd birthday.

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We got married at Knipe Hall in Cumbria, where we are from. We wanted a rustic blank canvas venue and this fit the bill! It’s an old farm that has been converted into luxury holiday cottages and has a barn and old dairy and huge outdoor space to host your wedding. This meant that whole wedding party could stay over making it a full weekend celebration and we could do as we wanted with the venue.

We didn’t really have a specific wedding theme as such, we just wanted it to be relaxed and fun! I guess it had a bit of a rustic country wedding feel to it. Our colour scheme was pastels and metallic. I was just drawn to those colours from day one and I love a bit of gold/sequins/glitter – just a touch though.

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My dress was by Pronovias bought from Olivia James Bridal in Egremont. When I first got engaged I saw a similar Rosa Clara dress in a wedding mag, which I loved – it reminded me of the wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wears in Roman Holiday. This dress was only in one shop in the UK so I travelled all the way down to London to try it on. It was lovely but wasn’t quite right so I walked away. I then decided I wanted a more boho 70s style gown so proceeded to try on around 30 more dresses; some vintage, some high street, designer, bridal couture, you name it but discovered I didn’t really suit a lot of the lace and nothing felt special enough. I was starting to lose faith and decided I just don’t like wedding dresses then I came across this dress online and found out it was in a shop not far from home and like I said, very similar to the first dress I liked. As soon as I tried it on it felt right. Still very much a wedding dress with the full skirt and long train but no added bling or lace; plain but beautiful details like the low scoop back and simple bows at the waist. It was such a relief to find the one!

My hairdresser for the wedding was Sarah Redding from Halo in Carlisle, and she was amazing, working relentlessly to get us all ready in time. A very talented lady. I own my own beauty salon in Carlisle called Rock and Fairy so I did everyone’s beauty treatments a couple of nights before the wedding and did my own makeup on the day using Mac products.

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Andrew wore a fitted black suit and white shirt with little gold buttons, all bought from Zara. He accessorised his outfit with gold braces and bow tie from Etsy and black patent loafers by Grenson.

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I had seven bridesmaids (three of whom were pregnant) and two flower girls. Five of my bridesmaids wore Bardot prom dresses by Chi Chi London and the two more heavily pregnant girls wore pastel green cold shoulder maternity dresses bought from ASOS. They all wore their own gold shoes. The flower girls were in tutu dresses from H&M.

Andrew and I both have sons from previous relationships (Rudy and Alfie) so they were pageboys and ring bearers. They both wore black trousers and white shirts from Zara teamed up with braces and gold bow ties from eBay and gold Vans trainers. The best man and usher wore black suits and shirts from Zara and matching bow ties and braces from Etsy. Finally, our super cute little dog Zelda sported a pink tutu and gold glitter collar and lead, both bought from eBay!

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Our wedding photographer was the amazing Daz Mack. He came highly recommended from another photographer and I always like to go by word of mouth. Her exact words were “He’s on fire at the moment!” It was true. His photo style looked relaxed and natural, just what we were after! On the wedding day he made us all feel totally at ease from the moment he arrived. It just felt like having another friend at the wedding and we didn’t even notice Darren snapping away catching lots of awesome moments. He was lovely, cool and totally professional throughout. Neither Andrew nor I are huge fans of having our photo taken so we were both a bit nervous about this element of the wedding, though we needn’t have been. A lot of the time we didn’t even realise photos were being taken and the posed shots were so natural. We absolutely love every single picture.

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My mother-in-law is a very talented florist and has her own shop in Carlisle called Linda’s Flowers, and so she kindly did all the flowers and they were beautiful. I carried a bouquet with a mix of hydrangeas, roses, gyp, astilbe and eucalyptus tied with jute string and a single strand of gold sequins.

When it came to styling the venue, we made all the decorations ourselves with some help from the bridesmaids. For the table centrepieces, we decorated jars/bottles in various metallics and those were filled with hydrangeas, astilbe, roses and gyp. We also made metres and metres of pastel and gold tassel garlands to hang around beams with fairy lights in the dairy and decorated the barn with gold glitter dipped goose feathers and more fairy lights. Andrew also made a few signs and wall art personalised with favourite song lyrics and names etc.

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As favours we gave sunglasses and handmade mini soaps to the adult guests and the kids got a little box each filled with goodies.

My mum made our three-tier wedding cake with a mix of fruit, chocolate and vanilla sponge decorated with pastel icing and gold leaf. Andrew made the cake topper with a mini customised Barbie and Ken that he gave me as a Christmas present when we first got together!

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We provided free drinks all day with Sauvignon Blanc wine, Rioja wine and prosecco bought from Marks and Spencer, then beers, ciders and various spirits, including my delicious homemade bramble gin, which I made last autumn. The kids had milk bottles filled with strawberry and vanilla milk and mini doughnuts, then various soft drinks.

We didn’t get married until 3pm so we all sat down to eat the main meal around 5.30pm. It was a choice of chilli, shepherd’s pie or mac and cheese served with crusty bread, vegetables, rice and salad. For pudding, we had an amazing cake table filled with lots of different delicious cakes made by some of our baking enthusiast guests and myself.

Later in the evening we had Cumberland sausage babs and boxes of cheese XL crisps (a Cumbrian favourite) and home pickled eggs. There was also a sweetie table which went down very well!

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Andrew and I are big music fans so the entertainment was an important element of the day for us. We made iPod playlists for every part of the day, from getting ready up until the end of the sit down meal, then for the evening we had a DJ and band (Dancing in the Dark Disco and The 49ers Band). We ended the night with an indie disco, which was awesome and took us back to our late teens/early twenties!

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We had lots of children at the wedding, including my little boy Rudy and Andrew’s little one Alfie so we wanted to make it extra special and fun for them. We had a disco dome bouncy castle, which was worth its weight in gold, and Andrew made a rounders set which was very popular. We also had lots of garden games and football and a chill-out tipi with colouring books etc. On the night-time, there was the sweet table and tattoos and bindis. It was lots of fun for kids and adults alike!

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Looking back, it’s hard to pick one part of the day as our favourite because every bit of it was perfect but there was a lovely part of the day just after the wedding breakfast when the sun came out and we were all sat outside on the grass mingling and the kids were running around having the time of their lives. Then Andrew and I got to go off with Darren for a little photo shoot and got a moment to look at the wedding and take it all in just the two of us. I’m glad we got that time because we actually didn’t see all that much of each other the rest of the day.

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For our honeymoon we went away as a family to Majorca, which was lovely. We had a fab time!

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My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – try not to stress too much about the little things. I know it’s easier said than done because I was such a stress head but it will all come together perfectly on the day and you’ll love every minute. Just make sure you appoint a reliable member of your wedding party to take over control on the day – my sister and best friend did this and all I had to worry about on the day was getting ready.

the big picture

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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…

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