January 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple know a thing or two about picture perfect settings. After a romantic proposal on the terrace of a medieval castle in Italy, Sophie and Michael then decided to host their special day in the Peak District National Park, at the exquisite Upper House in Hayfield, overlooking Kinder Reservoir.
The couple tied the knot last summer, extending their wedding celebrations across the bank holiday weekend. Opting for a classic colour scheme of blush pink and ivory, they adorned the venue with the most beautiful of floral arrangements and foliage. Festoon lighting and glowing candles, meanwhile, added a mesmerising ambience to the space.
Not only did their wedding look the part, it was also a lot of fun! Their guests were certainly in for a treat during the weekend, with a prosecco van, pizzas and ice cream, as well as garden games, a silent disco and a live band to keep everybody entertained. Everything, we think, you could possibly want for you and your guests on your big day!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
sophie says: Michael proposed while on a surprise trip to Italy on the 9th October 2015. We visited a small village called Castelfalfi in Tuscany, and Michael got down on one knee on the terrace of the medieval castle that stands in the centre of the village. We then had dinner overlooking the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany. He even managed to get the moment videoed. It was the most magical day!
We got married on Saturday 26th August 2017. We chose the bank holiday weekend as we wanted to extend our wedding celebrations. We invited all of our guests back to our venue on the Sunday to continue the party. The day consisted of lots of garden games for the children (and adults!) gorgeous pizzas supplied by The Woodland Rover, delicious ice cream by Ice Cream Dub and fantastic entertainment by Alexander Stewart. Our guests also enjoyed a silent disco.
We tied the knot at St Thomas’ Church in Mellor, and held our wedding reception at Upper House, Hayfield. Upper House stands alone on the magnificent Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park and has to be seen to be believed. We knew instantly it was the venue for us. From the incredible views, to the courtyard, the Great Hall, the beautiful bedrooms to even having its own mini pub – Upper House is simply stunning. I couldn’t have imagined having our wedding anywhere else.
As we got engaged in Italy but chose to get married in the UK we wanted to bring a little Italian style to our wedding. This consisted of olive trees dotted around the venue, the black tie dress code, festoon lighting over the courtyard, a prosecco van and a string quartet.
I wanted a romantic and sophisticated look, so we went for a blush pink and ivory colour scheme paired with lots of candles and foliage, which I felt suited the venue and the Italian theme.
I wore a beautiful dress by Pronovias from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. I had my dress customised to include shoulder straps, buttons down the back and a sparkling belt. I also wore a Pronovias veil. My dress was one of the first I ever tried on and I absolutely fell in love with it and I knew instantly it was the one. I loved all of the ruffles and the long train, it was everything I’d ever dreamed off. I also wore Jimmy Choo shoes. I didn’t want to go for traditional satin wedding shoes, so I chose some that sparkled instead!
On the morning of our wedding myself, my bridesmaids and my mum all wore matching robes from Plum Pretty Sugar and had our makeup and hair styled by the very talented and gorgeous Samantha Green of DonebySG. She put my whole wedding party at ease and ensured we all had a fun and relaxed wedding morning.
Michael wore a black dinner suit from The Kooples. We wanted to go for a classic and sophisticated look and invited all our guests to wear black tie.
My bridesmaids wore floor-length sequined dresses from Coast, which were one of the first items I bought for our wedding as I knew they would complement our theme and that my bridesmaids would look stunning in them.
Our groomsmen wore black shawl collar dinner suits from John Lewis.
We travelled on the day in vintage wedding cars hired from Cupid Carriages. I wanted the tradition of a wedding car but with a modern twist, so we chose matching champagne coloured cars to complement our colour scheme. The cars were beautiful and one of the best parts of the day was traveling to Upper House newly married with the roof down.
Our photographer was James Tracey who was amazing. I think his pictures speak for themselves as he captured our day beautifully. He was calm, down to earth and instantly put us both at ease in front of the camera. We also love the surprise slideshow that we received with our photos!
We also decided to have our wedding videoed by James Wray Weddings, and it was one of the best decisions we made. So much happens on your wedding day, so it’s lovely to be able to watch it back and see things you may have missed.
My bouquet was a mix of blush pink and ivory roses mixed with lots of foliage. It looked beautiful and smelt incredible too. All of our flowers were provided by The Flower Lounge who are based in Didsbury. Sian is so talented and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Sian and her team absolutely blew me away with their stunning work.
Our centrepieces and top table decor was all created and styled by The Flower Lounge and followed the same theme as my bouquet. We focused on a romantic look with plenty of blousy roses with other flowers to add variation and texture. The white O’Hara roses have the most beautiful scent and complement the blush pink of the quicksand roses perfectly. We used olive and eucalyptus to give a softened look to the foliage in the design. Sian also decorated the front steps to Upper House and carried this theme through to the courtyard where the festoon lighting and candles looked magical after sunset.
My dad created our table plan for us, along with the other signs we had around Upper House and The Flower Lounge added the beautiful flowers as finishing touches.
We chose a three-tier semi naked cake from And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon who are based in Didsbury. We went for a mix of flavours including white chocolate, raspberry and lemon sponge.
Our caterers were Vanilla in All Seasons who produce the most incredible food. All of our guests commented on how outstanding the food and service was. We enjoyed canapés, Prosecco and Peroni on the front terrace of Upper House overlooking Kinder Reservoir before moving into the marquee for our wedding breakfast. We had a trio of starters, a shin of beef and root vegetable pie for main, and finished with a trio of desserts including sticky toffee pudding, chocolate mousse and raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake. The food tasted out of this world!
Our evening entertainment was Groovy Revolution who were absolutely incredible! They certainly made everyone’s night and I couldn’t recommend them enough. They had everyone dancing the whole night and were the perfect end to a fantastic day. As for the lighting and dance floor, these were supplied by Hipswing.
During the wedding breakfast we had Ahpae Taps Prosecco Van brought into the courtyard to surprise guests when they left the marquee (which was supplied by A & M Marquees). We also asked our videographer to record our guests leaving us video messages, it’s so funny to be able to watch these back and see everyone having such a good time.
It was fantastic to be able to spread our wedding over the weekend and to have all our close family and friends stay with us. We didn’t want the restrictions of a hotel and wanted the flexibility Upper House gave us. Plus, it’s an incredibly beautiful place!
We loved every single part of our day and it’s too difficult to pick a favourite part. From the wedding preparations in the morning to our first dance, the whole day was the best it could have been!
We stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres in Mexico for our honeymoon. It’s one of our favourite places to visit and it was great to be back for such a special occasion. We enjoyed two weeks of blissful relaxation reminiscing about our perfect day.
Everyone tells you in the lead up to your wedding that it’s the best day of your life and it really is! Therefore, my top tip for other Brides Up North would be, ensure you take the time to take it all in and most of all, enjoy every moment of it, even if things don’t go to plan. Neither of us stopped smiling the whole day as all of our hard work and planning had paid off and it was finally time to enjoy it all surrounded by the people we love.
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Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...
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