May 30th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
We may be called ‘Brides’ Up North but it’s fair to say this blog has its fair share of inspiration for the grooms as well – particularly when it comes to romantic proposals! Naomi’s description of Jonathan’s is vivid and the way he takes the pen and writes his proposal on the back of Naomi’s hand has an air of spontaneity that is super lovely. Add champagne in the rain for cinematic value (not to mention a trip to iconic Tiffany) and that’s one memorable way to kick-start married life together.
Naomi and Jonathan chose a cool, rustic location for their wedding celebrations and dressed it up with glorious flower arrangements and atmospheric candlelight.
We’re also going all starry-eyed over Naomi’s beautiful long-sleeved Suzanne Neville dress and that stunning bouquet. Then, just when we thought we couldn’t fall any deeper in love with this big day, the couple go along and cradle a couple of cute golden puppies for some super sweet images *heart literally melts*!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
naomi says: Jonathan and I got engaged in the beautiful gardens of Versailles, Paris on 25th September 2016. Jonathan had organised for us to stay at Hotel Regina, which is the most gorgeous hotel. The morning after our first night, I was told by Jonathan that I had an hour to get ready before a taxi was due to collect us. When I asked where we were going, Jonathan told me it was a surprise and not to ask any more questions. The taxi took us to the Palace of Versailles – my favourite place!
It was a lovely sunny morning as we strolled around the grounds before finding ourselves in one of the more intimate gardens; it was a small, round garden with a stunning water fountain in the centre. There was nobody around, so Jonathan suggested we take a seat and relax for a moment. As we sat, I decided to take my map and pen out to mark which gardens we had covered. At this point, Jonathan took the pen from me and started to write on the back of my hand, covering it up as he did so; when he had finished, I turned my hand to see what he had written. As I read the words “Will you marry me?”, Jonathan got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the honour of marrying him. I think the words I used were “Oh my God! Yes!” As he stood up to kiss me, the heavens opened. I have never seen rain like it! I was crying with happiness but laughing at the rain and how soaked we were getting. It was a surreal moment.
As we reached shelter from the rain, Jonathan pulled out of his rucksack a bottle of champagne and some croissants. “Where is the ring?!” I asked. Jonathan explained he wanted the ring to be exactly what I wanted and that our next stop was Tiffany. We finished our croissants and jumped back into a taxi and headed to the Champs-Elysées. There I chose my perfect ring after having the most incredible experience at Tiffany. From there, we went for an early dinner before heading to the very cool Hotel Costes to celebrate with lots of cocktails!
We got married on 29th September 2017. We really wanted to get married as close to a year from the date that we got engaged but decided to go with that date as it was at the weekend, which we thought would work better all round.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Owen House Barn in Mobberley, Cheshire. We completely fell in love with the venue from the moment we drove up the drive. We knew immediately it was the one, so we didn’t feel the need to look at any other wedding venues. It’s located down a lovely country lane in Mobberley and is situated on a real working farm. The barn is full of quirky rustic charm, yet it has a relaxed feel about it. It is stunning.
For ideas and inspiration, I went on the Brides Up North website so many times and have read so many of the real weddings, which were all so beautiful. For our wedding, we didn’t have a specific theme; however, we did try and keep everything quite simple, a little romantic and within keeping of the style of the barn.
The colour scheme for our wedding was determined by my choice of flowers, which was something I chose quite early on. The colours were a dusky pink/lilac colour, a grey/green colour and brown from the Kraft paper and twine, which doesn’t sound great but it all looked beautiful and tied together perfectly.
For my dress, I wore a Fiorella bridal gown and veil by British designer Suzanne Neville with Swarovski-covered Gina (Cinderella) shoes. The dress was so elegant yet striking in a beautiful and timeless way. It featured a gorgeous corseted bodice and full organza skirt, Queen Anne neckline and long lace sleeves, and a covered lace back with exquisite button back detail. Owen House Barn has an amazing ‘Beauty Shed’ for the bridal party to get ready in; it was so much fun getting ready there on the day of the wedding!
Jonathan wore a Polo Ralph Lauren navy blazer with gold button detail and navy polka-dot silk satin tie, paired with a white shirt and pocket square and black trousers. On his feet he wore classic Saint Laurent monk strap shoes in tan suede to add a little edge.
The bridesmaids wore dusky lilac/pink full-length dresses from ASOS and the groomsmen were told that pretty much anything goes so they could co-ordinate amongst themselves. I was quite worried as this was all Jonathan’s idea, but it actually worked out really well.
For our photography, we used the creative and super-talented Kate McCarthy. She is just the most wonderful and warm person, who makes you feel so comfortable and at ease having your photo taken. On the day, Kate was there nice and early and stayed late, so she was able to capture every moment of our wedding day. Kate was so helpful during the day and had this lovely calming effect on the bridal party and groomsmen. She gave us lots of gentle guidance whilst listening to exactly what we wanted, in order to create the most beautiful photographs. We are so unbelievably happy with our wedding photographs, which we didn’t have to wait long for at all. We cannot recommend Kate McCarthy enough; she is just perfect!
My beautiful handtied bouquet, which was all about the amnesia roses, was made by Sian Wild at The Flower Lounge. It also included astilbe, astrantia, mint, thistle, wax flower and different types of eucalyptus finished with twine. Sian and her team created various flower arrangements and displays for our wedding, which were all stunning. They used the same flowers from my bouquet but in a looser and unstructured way. They also used differently shaped and sized vases, lots of scattered petals, floating candles and tea lights, as well as lanterns, which added a very romantic feel. Sian is super lovely and has so much passion and talent. We would highly recommend her and her team.
For our favours, we gave our guests a small scented candle wrapped and hand-tied with twine, with a small Kraft paper tag on which we wrote “Thank you!” and our wedding date – very simple.
Our cake was a three-tiered, semi-naked creation decorated with the same flowers from the arrangements. The three tiers were made up of a vanilla bean sponge with vanilla frosting and passionfruit curd, a Belgian chocolate sponge with vanilla frosting and raspberry jam, and a carrot cake sponge with cream frosting. It was insanely good! This was made by the creative and very lovely Laura at Yolk.
Our food was supplied through Barretts Event Caterers, who were fantastic and helped with the smooth running of the day. We had canapés and drinks outside just after the ceremony and then three courses for the wedding breakfast, which were goat’s cheese and tomato fondue tart, 24-hour slow-cooked British beef and gooey chocolate brownie with white chocolate ice cream.
To drink, we had prosecco and bottled beers with the canapés. On the tables during the wedding breakfast we had a La Voleur de Vin Blanc and Sierra Grande Pinot Noir for the wine and Le Dolci Colline prosecco for the toasts.
Entertainment-wise, we chose to have a band play in the evening called The Provs, whom we found on Bandtube. They did two live sets between three DJ sets and played some epic tunes to ensure everyone was up on the dance floor having a great time. The Provs were really cool and created such great energy in the room. Definitely worth checking out!
In the evening, we decided to have pizza for our guests and used The Woodland Rover to supply them. Dan from The Woodland Rover has created a wood-fired pizza oven in his Land Rover Defender – pretty amazing, right?! They tasted amazing too.
Following our wedding, we would 100% recommend Owen House Barn to other couples – it’s just great! It’s such a versatile wedding venue, stripped back its a complete blank canvas which allows you to style it entirely to your own taste and theme but still gives that cool, quirky charm.
Looking back, it’s so hard to just choose one favourite part of the day. I think my very favourite part has to be when I reached the top of the aisle and I got to see the happiness and emotion on my husband’s face. It was an incredible moment that I will always remember.
For our honeymoon, we had a minimoon for a few days straight after the wedding and went to The Swan at Newby Bridge, which was perfect to just chill and reflect on everything after our big day. We’ll be going on a honeymoon in the summer.
My top tip for Brides Up North is not to get stressed out with the planning. Everything comes together so perfectly on the day; it’s magical, so just enjoy every single moment of the day as it goes way too quickly!
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Aislinn has a background in journalism, having filled all manner of publishing roles from editor to copywriter to feature writer. She is a former wedding photographer who ran her own business with her husband Michael. Together, they have travelled as far as Australia to photograph a client’s wedding (and spent all their earnings on a campervan trip up the Aussie coast!). Aislinn left wedding photography behind to take on the biggest commitment of her life as mummy to her young son Tom. She has been a bride, bridesmaid and even best woman (she has the speech to prove it!), which is almost all angles covered!
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