October 2nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Bright and beautiful are two words that could easily be used to sum up today’s super-lovely real wedding.
Rather than simply picking her favourite colours and flowers to style the day, bride Emma put personal reasons behind her choices, picking yellow and sunflowers in memory of her late-grandad, and blue and forget-me-nots as a nod to her grandma, who wasn’t able to attend the wedding due to being in a nursing home.
These gorgeous blooms and hues added to the happy and joyful vibes of Emma and Simon’s rural style wedding, which also featured delicious food, fun transport and one rocking party.
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
emma says: We had been together 12 years when we got engaged. We were in South Africa for an old friend of Simon’s wedding and decided to take a trip to Zimbabwe. It was at Victoria Falls on a day trip that he got down on one knee. I honestly couldn’t believe it and had the ring on so quickly I forgot to say yes. We celebrated that night by going to a traditional Zimbabwean barbecue.
Our wedding was on the 8th July 2017. We got married at St Helen’s Church in Waddington, and had our reception at Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn in Clitheroe, Lancashire. We had wanted a Yorkshire wedding, which is where we had met and gone to uni, but couldn’t find anything with the rustic feel that we were after. The minute we walked into the barn at Browsholme we fell in love, it was perfect. It was close to where I had grown up and spent time in the Trough of Bowland, my dad had also played cricket in Waddington close to the church.
We wanted a simple and rustic for our theme; lots of wood slices, lace, hessian, nothing too fancy. The venue didn’t need anything fancy as the beautiful stone spoke volumes.
The colour scheme went back to my childhood, we had yellow as a main colour. I lost my grandad when I was 21 and he had been a huge part of my life we always used to grow sunflowers and see how tall we were next to them, we used to pick sweet peas and daisies also. My grandma unfortunately has dementia and is a nursing home so we had forget-me-nots included in the wedding also. These were built around the navy suits for the boys and navy dresses for the bridesmaids. We facetimed my grandma in her nursing home from church and apparently when I said “hi” to her there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
I thought I wanted a vintage lace dress for the day but once I started trying dresses on it was clear that I wanted something a bit simpler. I had lost quite a bit of weight prior to the dress fitting and once I tried the dress on I knew it was the one, I felt like a bride. I got my dress from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, who were fantastic from start to finish.
Simon wore a suit from TM Lewin, he wanted to be different from the groomsmen and have something he could keep. The suit was navy and had a faint lighter blue check through it, he had brown shoes from River Island and tie and pocket square in sunflower gold to tie in with the colour scheme of the flowers.
August 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
On our pretty pages today our guest writer, the lovely Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, is covering off all the elements you need to achieve an elegant big day that the cast of Made in Chelsea would approve of. So, grab your notebook ladies, as there’s lots of ideas, tips and tricks to jot down…
Carrie says: Speaking with our beautiful brides, there remains one essential and recurring theme that unites them all: they want their big day to be elegant. Whatever else the day includes, it must, at its core, be elegant. Now, we love the ‘next big thing’ as much as you do – and we’ll forever remain unashamedly excited by unique and intriguing twists and turns on a classic theme – but it’s still the classic theme that we return to, ever faithful and as lovestruck as ever, time and time again. And as we all know… true love lasts a lifetime.
Words like ‘traditional’, ‘classic’, and ‘elegant’, in the wonderful context of weddings, need celebrating and honouring – and just maybe we have taken this theme for granted. We need to remind ourselves just how beautiful these weddings are, not as staples but as ‘stand-outs’ in their own right. As a theme, the traditional British white wedding deserves its moment in the sun. And so here it is, our fabulous guide to achieving the ultimate traditional and elegant, classic white wedding…
Escape city chaos for country chic and you’re halfway there already. A classic wedding positively cries out for a sensational stately house backdrop. I can promise you the wedding photos won’t disappoint and you’ll never regret it, plus, many wedding venues can accommodate guests and give great deals for the bride and groom on their wedding night too (four-poster bed anyone?!).
Top tip: Make sure you make lots of visits beforehand with your photographer to scout out the best sites for unforgettable shots of you and your new husband, as well as the best places for group shots.
Candid, informal shots can be truly joyful but don’t dismiss more conventional wedding photography out of hand (back in vogue in recent months). Give a little nod to tradition on your big day and consider asking your photographer for long-established shots, the perfect mementos and keepsakes of your big day and guaranteed to make you smile for years to come. We love shots of the dress, the car and a troupe of little ones.
Top tip: Don’t forget to ask your photographer to capture the groom and best man waiting (patiently!) for the bride before she makes her grand entrance – we love the sense of nervous excitement and there are always some crackers of the guests too!
You have two rather wonderful options here. Keep your look quintessentially British and elegant and let the magnificence of your stately backdrop do all the talking for sensational, stunningly simplicity, or view the backdrop as a blank canvas to tailor to your individual taste. Both effects are striking; keeping the dining area predominantly cream and using neutral tones will let the beautiful cornicing and ornaments speak for themselves, and dressing up what’s already there can be a fabulous way to personalise the whole look for a memorable, holistic ‘feel’.
Top tip: The Union Jack instantly brightens up any stately home, and this injection of primary colours keep things fun as well as classy. Make sure you ask the venue in advance whether you can start dressing up their antique, stuffed polar bear!
the finishing touches
From the cake to your bouquet to your veil and tiara, it’s in these final flourishes that the theme ‘classically elegant’ finds full expression. Nothing ties a theme together like these little details. We love a hand-tied bouquet in contrasting white blooms and green foliage, and a traditionally tiered wedding cake always looks big-day ready.
Top tip: Proper lighting is a must for any stately venue. Picture your venue at dusk and ensure the cake, in particular, has effective lighting. Consider using gilded mirrors or a backdrop of fairy lights to ensure your cake gets the attention it deserves. Adopt the mantra: ‘Use more fairy lights’ and you can’t go wrong!
July 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re looking for a dose of Scottish charm on your big day, then look no further than Abigail and Daniel’s wedding at Eaves Hall in the Ribble Valley, which has oodles of inspiration, complete with tartan, Scottish tablet and, of course, some rather dashing kilts.
When it came to entertaining guests, we think it would be fair to say they were truly spoilt, with not only an acoustic guitarist and a pianist, but also a funk band, a magician and their very own wedding host! And perhaps unheard of here on Brides Up North, the couple didn’t confirm their wedding date until they knew for certain that the funk band were free. We only wish we could have been there to dance the night away!
Join us as Abigail pores over all the highlights from their special day, from the exquisite five-tiered cake and emotional first dance with their son in tow, to their stunning group photo on the venue’s balcony.
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
abigail says: Daniel proposed in London on 9th July 2016. London is special to us because it’s where we fell in love. I had bought Daniel tickets to see Stevie Wonder (one of his all-time favourite artists) on the Sunday in Hyde Park but we decided to make a weekend of it. We had no real plans on the Saturday so we decided we would take a trip down memory lane and return to some of our favourite spots. Dan suggested revisiting Buckingham Palace and as we wandered through Green Park, I was greeted by a butler with a lavish picnic and a bottle of pink champagne. With absolutely no clue as to why he had organised such a romantic surprise, I sat and enjoyed the food and fizz until he retrieved one last surprise out of the basket – a diamond ring!
We got married on 29th May 2017. We were so excited to marry each other that when a date became available at our dream venue we snapped it up straight away. We always wanted a spring/summer wedding too, especially for the peonies in May! It was a perfect date for us; it fell on a Bank Holiday and was at the beginning of a two-week half term break for Dan (he is a school teacher). It meant we could take couple of weeks out together to celebrate properly.
We got married at St Helen’s Church in Waddington and then celebrated our wedding reception at the beautiful Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. We always wanted a church ceremony as tradition means a lot to us. St Helen’s Church is located in the heart of a cute little village and we loved its authenticity with an organ, bells and, of course, the lovely (and quite funny) Reverend John.
We chose Eaves Hall for our reception because it was visually stunning both inside and out, which is ideal given the unpredictability of the Lancashire summer weather. The exclusivity is also amazing because you can throw a really good party for all of your guests. It felt like we had our own mini-mansion for the day.
We didn’t follow a theme as such; we just made our wedding really personal to us. I remember our florist describing it as ‘rustic elegance’, which nicely sums it up. In terms of colours and materials, we used kraft, hessian, twine and occasional hints of tartan – this represented the rustic feel of the Scottish twist. Then everything was overlaid with ivory lace, pearls and lavender, which allowed me to incorporate a softer, more elegant style to the day. We also wanted everything to reflect a celebration of our relationship so far, so we named our tables after special dates/events that we had experienced together and the things that we were most proud of.
With Dan being half Scottish he really wanted to revel in the opportunity of wearing a kilt. So that became our starting point for the colour scheme – he chose Spirit of Bannockburn tartan, which was a bold purple with hints of navy blue and green throughout. I thought I would struggle to find a colour scheme to complement the tartan. However, after finding the most gorgeous dusky lilac bridesmaids dresses I finally found a colour scheme we could compromise on! We used dusky lilacs, dusky pinks, and soft ivory and silvery green foliage in all of the flowers and décor, it worked really nicely together.
I found my dream wedding dress from Knutsford Wedding Gallery in Cheshire. I was initially torn between two completely different styles. I have always loved the silhouette of a mermaid style dress and I knew that this would be the style that Dan would love to have seen me in, however I knew my mum would be desperate to see me in a full princess gown. I tried on versions of both styles until the incredible ladies at KWG helped me create something that incorporated both. I opted for an off-white lace and tulle mermaid dress with a sweetheart neckline by La Sposa, Pronovias. This was then teamed with a Rosa Clara tulle train, and a Helen Martin tulle veil, both custom edged with matching lace and delicate beading to create the effect of a fuller, princess style gown with a cathedral length train for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, later removed to reveal the mermaid style silhouette. I also added a Pronovias tulle, pearl and crystal belt to add a little sparkle to the overall look.
Dan and his groomsmen wore full Highland wear, hired from Slaters Menswear in Preston. It consisted of the kilt matched with a white Victorian collar shirt, black bow tie, black Prince Charlie waistcoat and jacket. He wore the full accessories too including gillie brogues, socks, flashes, sporran and ski doo. He looked so handsome; they all did! Although, our gorgeous pageboys Oscar (our son, aged three) and Jenson (best man’s son, aged four) really stole the show in their mini versions!
January 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Image by Mark Newton Wedding Photography
When it comes to top wedding entertainment, we think it’s hard to beat the atmosphere created by live musicians and singers, and so would always say to consider hiring such acts for your big day. That said, there’s a lot more to consider when booking a band than merely how they sound.
As such we’re getting some expert advice on the subject today, courtesy of our wonderful Sponsor Seventh Second.
Set up and run by talented and knowledgeable musicians, those behind Seventh Second know exactly what is required to secure professional, reliable and talented musical acts that will help to make a wedding day truly unique and memorable.
Here to give us the agency’s top tips on picking a wedding band is one of Seventh Second’s managers and musicians, Jon Stephens.
Image by Rachel Joyce Photography
If you are planning a wedding, you should have a rough budget in mind before you start looking at any bands.
Most weddings go way over budget because of hidden costs. With us, the prices you get quoted are 100% exact and always include vat and all the rest. There are no hidden fees or extra payments after the act has performed either and you should check this also rings true for any other band or agency. Make sure you get full, honest quotes, and with organisation and planning you will keep costs down and stay on target with your budget.
Many live acts, including ours, get booked six months or even years in advance, so check a band’s availability as soon as you have your event date booked in.
We don’t recommend paying special/one-off fees to reserve a date with a band as things can often go wrong and it guarantees nothing. Any band or agency that tries to get you to do this should be avoided.
If you have picked a live act that’s free for your event and you are happy with the quote they give, that’s when you can safely put a deposit down to reserve their services. Always make sure there’s a fair, legally binding contract involved.
If you can’t get hold of your chosen live act, any website worth their salt can recommend sensible alternatives. Check their suggestions as some agencies can offer any old act to you in the hope of a quick buck.
Image by Neil Jackson Photographic
The musical style/genre of a band is important but budget can get in the way. You find your perfect act but when you see the final price it smashes you budget to bits. Naturally, the sales person will suggest other bands and a fantastic “one-size-fits-all” act is usually picked. This can be fine but more often than not, you don’t quite get what you wanted.
One solution is to up your budget or more realistically, do some research before you even have your wedding booked and get a good understanding of how much all the different styles/genres of live acts cost.
Shameless plug alert! We’ve dealt with this problem a lot and we solved it by being in the acts we promote. This means we can make truly bespoke bands and advertise acts that are willing to try and cater their music to your needs. Having bespoke bands also means that nine times out of ten, we design bands that fit the exact stylistic sound and look you want but also fits into your budget. We are pretty unique in this aspect compared to other websites so ask us more about it.
band or dj?
Both! However, if you don’t have the budget for both, we’d say live band – plus some live bands can offer a professional DJ service to save you money. Ours do and many of them will offer it for free if you book them.
If you are thinking about booking one or the other be honest with yourself. Will the act you choose really play the songs you love convincingly? If you want a club vibe, book a DJ. If you want live music covering all the hits, book a band.
January 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
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 love that today’s real wedding has been influenced by two different styles – wild nature and glamour – that when brought together, complement each other perfectly!
Everything about Melissa and Craig’s big day is utterly gorgeous; from the choice of ceremony venue, styling and elegant colour scheme, to the bridal party’s stunning attire.
Though there is a lot of beauty to be admired, standout details for us include Melissa’s handmade headpiece, the blousy bouquets and both the bride and groom’s fancy footwear!
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
melissa says: We got engaged during the trip of a lifetime. I’d quit my job, Craig had taken a sabbatical and we travelled around the world together for five months, it was our dream and we decided it was now or never! We trekked the Inca Trail, travelled Australia by bus, walked the Great Wall of China and learnt to scuba dive in Thailand. At every great landmark we visited Craig made me pose with a sign with a single letter on and took a photo. He’s always full of kooky ideas and told me it was for a surprise collage when we got back. So I held aloft a ‘V’ at Machu Picchu, an ‘E’ at the Sydney Opera House, an ‘M’ in Halong Bay and so on!
On the final night of our trip we went all out and booked the Lebua hotel in Bangkok (The Hangover 2 film hotel!) As we got ready for a special meal Craig went out to ask what time the rooftop bar opened, then the bellboy rang the door with a big envelope. Inside were all the photos of me with the letters and a note – they were numbered and I had to re-arrange them, if I understood then I was to go and find him. I re-ordered them and it spelled out “Veux tu m’epouser?” – will you marry me in French! I had lived in Paris for several years and this was also so I wouldn’t have guessed throughout the trip if it were spelt in English! As a typical woman I rushed to finish half my hair and get on my shoes… then there was a knock at the door, Craig on one knee! Too nervous and impatient waiting for me, he proposed right there & I very happily said “Oui!” We had a wonderful night celebrating in the rooftop bar.
We set the wedding date for Saturday 23rd July 2016. We chose this date, as it would mark seven years since our first date.
Being some of the last people in our friendship group to marry, we were determined to find a different venue, where none of our friends had been married before us. Although we had loved the idea of a destination wedding it just wasn’t practical family wise so we had to find somewhere that wowed us closer to home. As Craig is rather tall we wanted somewhere with grandeur but not really a church – when we visited Ashton Memorial it all fell into place. It immediately appealed to me – it was a beautiful domed building, all light and windows, surrounded by nature and spectacular views. We also loved the fact Lord Ashton had built it as a tribute to his wife.
We then had to find somewhere for our reception. After a lot of searching we found Forrest Hills, a relatively new multi-purpose venue, which had hosted some lovely weddings. Upon visiting we loved the wild natural beauty and secluded location. Also, the option of an open-side marquee next to the lake combined our dream of an open air wedding and the practicality for British weather, just in case.
Our theme was ‘wild natural glamour’ – a bit of a running joke with our florist. We had two sides to our wedding – one side the cottage like reception venue, the cascading flowers intertwined with driftwood and our marquee with open sides to allow the real ‘outdoor’ feeling we wanted. On the other side we loved the glamorous elements – an ice sculpture, popping a giant gold bottle of champagne instead of cutting the cake, Craig in a tuxedo and a beautiful cream Rolls Royce as transport. We loved the mix of the two to fit our personalities.
We decided early on to have a duck egg blue colour scheme with accents of gold. It felt like it matched the theme of the day – wild natural surroundings and dramatic venues, with some glamour!
As I own my own occasion wear brand, people kept asking if I was going to design my own wedding dress – but I couldn’t face the visualisation required and the extra stress! Luckily when I came across the Ronald Joyce Erin gown on Pinterest, it was beautifully styled on a bride and I had to try it. I always wanted a fitted fishtail gown with a beautiful back and this dress was just that, the crystal beads draped at the back and the low sheer lace detail ticked all my boxes. The experience at Emma Louise Bridal was friendly and personal, I didn’t feel pressured into anything and they gave honest opinions. My mum and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole dress shopping experience (all 20 or so shops!), it will always be a time I’ll treasure, just the two of us.
Accessories wise I knew I wanted a long dramatic veil – but with the detail on the dress it had to be quite simple. I chose a two-layer chapel length veil in soft ivory tulle, from The Wedding Veil Shop. I loved the way it fell over my shoulders and was sheer enough to see the back detail on the dress.
One of the main accessories for my look was the headpiece – I had lusted over some beautiful freshwater pearl styles but my budget didn’t quite stretch. Not one to be deterred I took two lengths of pearl and crystal flowers I sourced online and intertwined them to make the full dramatic headpiece I desired, able to wrap around the front and back. With my masses of hair I knew it wouldn’t overpower my look.
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January 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s second helping of real wedding inspiration sees two different themes brought together – vintage and bling!
In keeping with the barn setting of their big day, Ashleigh and Shaun chose to incorporate pretty vintage touches and natural blooms into their décor before adding a little sprinkling of bling. After all, what’s a wedding without some added sparkle?
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
ashleigh says: Shaun proposed to me when we got the keys to our first house, in 2011. He did it in the living room of our new home.We set the date for 15th August 2015, as we wanted a summer wedding and it was around the date we first staring seeing each other.
Our chosen venue was Browsholme Hall. We wanted something different and quirky, but with a modern twist – it ticked all the boxes
For our theme we tried to fit in with the style of the barn but also have some bling; we called it ‘vintage bling’. Other elements included bare wooden chairs with bows and brooches on but no covers. Our guest book and table plan were also wooden. We had flock drapes but with fairy lights, and the cake was flock too, but with a bit of bling.
To fit alongside the theme we picked a purple colour scheme. We both like the colour and it went perfectly with the venue too.
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