Charlotte Balbier

summer shutdown & top tips from real brides up north

June 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Rachel Joyce Photography.

Here at Brides Up North HQ our features schedule is fully charged, so that we never knowingly miss an opportunity to bring you beautiful wedding inspiration twice a day, every weekday (and sometimes bonus blog posts at the weekends too).  The only exception to this rule is our bi-annual break, to re-charge, re-assess and re-focus our efforts to keep bringing you the most precious wedding pretty from our corner of the internet.

We’ll be taking our leave for the next fortnight, leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule that will make sure that you still get your daily dose of #weddinggoals, recapping some of our favourite real weddings of the 2017 so far. Check back daily for the most beautiful, unique and inspiring celebrations, and if you’re a Brides Up North bride, to see if your day was one of our top picks!

We’ll be back soon with a shiny new features edit; to announce some exciting finishing touches to our upcoming autumn events schedule; finish off what looks set to be the super glossiest issue of our print baby, Unveiled magazine, to date and oooh… maybe, just maybe, a whole new look for Brides Up North!

Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017, and in the meantime, you can contact us here.

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Fossca Photography.

But we wouldn’t just stick the out-of-office on and leave it at that. At this halfway point through the year (yes, we can barely believe it too), we’re looking to our fabulous featured brides from the first half of 2017 to share what they consider to be the best pieces of advice with those of you soon to be walking down the aisle.

After all, these ladies have been there, done it and got the ring, so can offer words of wisdom on everything from dress shopping, suppliers and venues to emotional advice and tips on how to remain composed (Bridezillarma can strike at any moment!).

So ladies, grab a notebook and pen as these clued-up brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…

love, the team x

Click on the links to see each wedding in full. 

Chloe & Tom

Maggie Sottero for a relaxed countryside wedding at High House Farm Brewery, Northumberland – Chloe & Tom

Chloe says: Think about what you want and try not to get sucked into the ‘wedding must-haves’. Lots of people asked why we weren’t ‘having this’ or ‘doing that’, but we stuck with what we wanted our wedding to be and we were so glad we did! Also, use Pinterest to collect lots of ideas, but don’t feel too disheartened when you can’t use them all.

Niamh & Pete

Oh My Gorgeous! Pronovias for a chic city centre wedding – Niamh & Pete

Niamh says: Remember that making a wedding your own doesn’t have to cost the world. Small touches are often what people remember. Some of the nicest touches we had cost next to nothing.

Sarah & Matt

Botanical Beauty. Jenny Packham for a natural wedding at Trafford Hall – Sarah & Matt

Sarah says: Visit your venue lots and take photos; I found the hardest thing was dressing the venue. Also, buy what you can and do some yourself; it’s very satisfying seeing it all on the big day and knowing you did it.

Katie & David

French fancy. Jewel tones and jam jars for a creative wedding at Le Petit Chateau – Katie & David

Katie says: Firstly, find your bridesmaid dresses early! We planned and delivered our wedding in nine months flat and the fact that I wanted different dresses and colours but couldn’t get them on the high street as I had hoped made it more complicated. Next, stick to your guns/gut. I’m not saying be a birdezilla but be really clear about what you want, this is too special and over too fast to not be the way you want it. Also, make lists of the photos that you want and try to ensure that they are taken, and perhaps have the day videoed. I didn’t think I was bothered about that but then there’s so much you just don’t remember when you look back on it because it is such a blur or emotion and adrenaline. Finally, chill and enjoy it.

Rachel & Josh

Rose gold rapture. An Ellis dress for a pretty wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens – Rachel & Josh

Rachel says: If you want to save some cash and do some DIY décor, have a crafts party with friends – things can be done so much quicker in groups and it’s lovely to involve your mates!

Rowena & Edward

Roses & lace. Pronovias for a relaxed wedding at Soughton Hall – Rowena & Edward

Rowena says: Make sure you find the time in the day to spend a few moments together – it would be very easy to barely talk to each other after your vows! We had a ‘sweetheart table’ instead of a traditional top table, which meant we got to spend some time just the two of us during the wedding breakfast, and could watch and take in all our family and friends enjoying themselves!

Samantha & Mark

Pretty pink perfection. Stella York for a romantic wedding at Newton Hall – Samantha & Mark

Samantha says: Enjoy the planning and preparation leading up to your special day, it all becomes part of your fond memories of your wedding. I am a very organised person and began planning almost immediately after setting a date. I really enjoyed the planning stages of the wedding but my husband knows that I am very indecisive. He suggested that once I had made a decision, I was not to change it, and not to look for an alternative. And that is exactly what I did. I have no regrets.

Charlotte & Tom

Magic in the Air. Diane Legrand and all-white blooms for an elegant fairy-tale wedding at Peckforton Castle – Charlotte & Tom

Charlotte says: Don’t be scared to go a bit crazy and have everything you want. You will (hopefully) only get married once. It will be one of the most important days of your life and you shouldn’t hold back. A little bit of extra saving and making small sacrifices is totally worth it so that you can have no regrets. Also, don’t get too stressed out about anything. Take each stage in your stride and treat each bit of the planning like a mini-experience in itself – oh and, make sure you enjoy the free champagne everywhere you go!

Laura & Matt

Lilac & lace. Mori Lee for a contemporary-vintage fusion wedding at Heaton House Farm – Laura & Matt

Laura says: Be very organised and give yourself plenty of time (in excess of a year if possible) and a flexible budget if you want the day to be everything you ever dreamed of. We also recommend a venue with a wedding-planning service as this made things a lot easier for us!

Jennifer & David

Period romance. Cornflower blues and lilac blooms for a fun-filled day at Pendrell Hall – Jennifer & David

Jennifer says: Plan, plan, plan. Do as much in advance as possible and recruit as many people to help you, especially on the day. We became super-organised (spreadsheets, the whole works!) and this really paid off, especially in the days immediately preceding. The main thing though, is to enjoy it and try not to get too stressed. At the end of the day, the important thing is to get married and have a memorable day. If there are little things that you don’t manage to do, it won’t ruin it!

Katie & Aaron

Love equation. Jenny Packham for a glamorous affair at Rise Hall – Aaron & Katie

Katie says: Don’t feel like you have to please all your guests all the time. Yes, some people won’t like what you choose to eat, yes someone will probably be sitting there thinking “Well, I wouldn’t have done that!” but don’t worry. Have your wedding day how you and your husband/wife it, and that will shine through to your guests on the day.

Robyn & Matt

Romance & roses. A pink and black theme for a glamorous Lake District wedding – Matt & Robyn

Robyn says: Hire a venue dresser – it made the day before and the day after totally stress free. Cultivate a good relationship with your event planners, too – you’ll need them! And finally, pick an amazing photographer that you feel a genuine connection with.

Bekki & Thomas

Autumnal splendour. A magical Bonfire Night wedding at Santo’s Higham Farm – Bekki & Thomas

Bekki says: Try to keep the week before the wedding as free as possible – you don’t want to spend it rushing around doing jobs you’ve forgotten. My mum and my mother-in-law took me for a spa day, two days before to help me relax. Also, plan in one last unmarried date night.

Zoe & Chris

Retro romantics. A glamourous vintage wedding at The Belle Epoque – Zoe & Chris

Zoe says: Look at your partner and not the vicar or registrar when you’re saying your vows. Really listen to the words and what they mean. Also, read Brides Up North for inspiration and get to one of their wedding fairs! I’ve actually exhibited at one of the Brides Up North fairs at the Bowdon Rooms, so I know what a great help the team are to people – as a supplier and a bride! I looked at the website for ideas on flowers and bridesmaid dresses and how rooms/venues were dressed and found it really helpful.

Mitton Hall Wedding Photography Lancashire

January sunlight. Ronald Joyce for a winter wedding at Mitton Hall – Carly & Phil

Carly says: Recommendations can be priceless! Our suppliers played a massive part in making our day so perfect, and over half of them were recommendations.

Sarah & Tim

Mint condition. Vintage-inspired pretty for a stunning wedding at Whirlowbrook Hall – Sarah & Tim

Sarah says: Make sure you eat – properly! I love my food and we had so much amazing food at our wedding, but I was too nervous to have breakfast in the morning, we missed the canapes because we were off having our pictures taken and during the meal I kept getting up to go and speak to everyone so didn’t eat a lot of it! Fail!

Wayne & Carly

Laidback loveliness. A rustic-themed wedding at Owen House – Wayne & Carly

Carly says: Try not to let the wedding take over your life. We had a really busy year of nine weddings before ours, so in a way we didn’t really have time to get stressed. We also managed to plan a lot of the wedding within a few months.

Becky & Paul

Rose gold & marble. Jesus Piero for an elegant wedding at Victoria Warehouse – Becky & Paul

Becky says: Don’t get carried away. It is so easy to and, actually, on the day, although all the little things are lovely, it’s more important the people you love are there and that you have fun. We spent more on the ‘big’ things like the photographer and band, but all the other things we hunted for the best price and we really questioned whether it was really important to the day. I also regularly visited Brides Up North during the planning, in fact I’m still visiting even though our wedding has happened. I love looking at the real weddings and I got loads of ideas from there. It’s so nice to see and read how others have done it and any tips they have. Having a resource for local suppliers is so helpful and saves a lot of time finding companies in the right area.

Sarah & Chris

Love on top. All-white styling for a chic Manchester wedding – Sarah & Chris

Sarah says: Make sure that you do everything that you’ve ever dreamed of to make the day extra special; all the little personal touches really make it. And stop thinking about what other people will think. I nearly changed the whole style of our wedding and had a formal sit-down meal. Now looking back, I’m thrilled I didn’t: the barbecue was ace!

Catherine & Alan

Grey beauty. A romantic wedding at Newton Hall – Catherine & Alan

Catherine says: Choose your suppliers wisely. Take the time to talk to them, ask them questions and get to know them; don’t just choose the cheapest. They need to fit with your personalities as well as your vision for your day. We chose suppliers who provided us with an amazing customer service and who were really lovely people, and I definitely think our day was so chilled because I knew they had everything in hand.

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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