January 11th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
After a dreamy proposal in the romantic city of Venice, Rachael and Tom had set the bar high for a beautiful and memorable wedding day to follow. Choosing the gorgeous Saltmarshe Hall as their reception venue, a Grade II listed 19th Century house on the banks of the River Ouse in East Yorkshire, with a whopping 17 acres of garden, they certainly ticked the ‘dream setting’ box. If you too love the look of this stunning venue then be sure to mark Sunday 15th April in your diary as we will be staging one of our Luxury Wedding Fairs at the Hall on that day, giving you an opportunity to see all it has to offer first hand!
But back to today’s wedding! We love Rachael and Tom’s idea of choosing sharing platters for the wedding breakfast– what a great way to break the ice and get guests talking. With all that delicious food to work off – and music a passion of the groom’s – Tom handpicked a live band for the evening, ensuring the guests danced their way into the early hours.
Rachael and Tom may have had a tinge of the wedding blues after their honeymoon, but they definitely created some wonderful memories to send those gloomy thoughts packing!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.
rachael says: We got engaged in Venice on 27th August 2015. On our last night, we went for a ride on a Gondola and then to St Mark’s Square. We watched the sun set over Venice from the top of the Campanile and then walked back to our hotel. On the way, we stopped on a footbridge over one of the canals and Tom got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Although we’d been together for seven years, it was still a big surprise and we couldn’t wait to get home and tell our families.
Our wedding was on 28th July 2017. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holidays, so that we could go on our honeymoon straight after the wedding and not have to rush back to work straight away. My sister, Katherine, flew back from San Francisco where she lives and works for the big day too.
We had our wedding ceremony at Laxton Church and our reception at Saltmarshe Hall, near Howden. We looked at a few venues and nothing had blown us away but, on driving up the beautiful driveway to Saltmarshe Hall and seeing the grounds surrounding it, we knew we had found somewhere special. The house is beautiful, with a wonderful staircase and different rooms offering space for guests to relax, drink and dance. We knew we didn’t want a huge wedding and Saltmarshe could accommodate 70 guests in the Morning Room. We also loved the exclusivity that Saltmarshe offered; for our day, it would be ours. Having been recently extended with additional bedrooms, plenty of family could stay for the two nights. The team was fantastic – friendly and professional – and I knew our wedding was in safe hands with them.
Our colour scheme was shades of purple/lilac. I didn’t have a colour scheme in mind initially but when looking for bridesmaids’ dresses and thinking about flowers it all came together. April at BlueBird Wedding Stationery, did a wonderful job with our invitations and order of service, which tied in with the colour scheme too.
My dress was from Jacquelines Bridal of Beverley. I’d been to a couple of shops but hadn’t found anything quite right and was waiting for my ‘this is the one’ moment. I knew I wanted something A-line but nothing too big. My bridesmaids had travelled up for the weekend to help me, along with my sister. As soon as I put my dress on, they all said it was the one and it just felt different to the others. I loved the layers of lace and the detail but had to do a return trip with my mum just to get her approval before I took the plunge. The seamstress at Jacquelines did a great job making sure the dress fitted perfectly and they even arranged for it to be cleaned after the big day.
Victoria Farr and her assistant did my hair and that of my three bridesmaids and mum. She did a practice session a few months before to make sure we knew exactly what I wanted and how it would look. She was so friendly and a great person to have around when we were getting ready and I would definitely recommend her.
August 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Ten years or so ago, today’s topic wouldn’t have even needed discussing but fast forward into our digital crazed world and it’s a big issue!
Do you let your guests snap away merrily on their iPhones (or even iPads) throughout your big day to capture their own memories of the magic, or alternatively pull the plug on anyone taking photos apart from the professional photographer?
Now that almost everybody (barring perhaps the flower girls, page boys and vicar) will have a digital device on them during the day, the competition for guests to get the all-important walking-down-the-aisle, cutting-of-the-cake and first dance shots can get a little out of hand, and can even interfere with the work of the professional photographer. Not cool.
That said, the thought of actually having to impose an unplugged wedding can seem far more effort than what it’s worth to some couples, who would much prefer to keep their guests happy.
It’s a tricky one!
image by POPography
rachel says: keep plugged in
Thanks to the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram it’s now second nature for us to record our day to day movements in pictures, let alone special occasions such as weddings. When together with family and friends (and looking our very best) of course we’re going to want to capture it all on camera and save securely into our roll ready to upload to social media. This might mean the wedding is soon spammed across people’s newsfeeds, but isn’t the whole point of being a bride that you’re the centre of attention for that one day? Lap up the ‘likes’ I say!
Also, if the wedding is of someone particularly close surely it’s only natural for guests to want their own memories of the day to look back on and to display proudly in albums and frames.
And let’s not forget, guests’ photos can be particularly useful for passing onto family or friends that were unable to make the occasion, giving them an opportunity to see the proceedings of the day without the need to wait for the professional images to be edited.
All too often wedding couples say that the day goes too quickly and that they miss out on moments with their guests, so surely the more people capturing the day the better documented it will be. Brides and grooms can now even set up dedicated sites for their wedding where guests can upload their images to meaning they won’t miss a thing.
Have-a-go photographers have long cropped up at weddings (often an annoying uncle with a new camera) but if everyone respects the professional that’s there to do the job properly, I can see no harm in everyone getting their pic fix.
image by Lawson Photography
julia says: pull the plug
To be honest, wedding or not, I think there’s something to be said for spending a sizeable chunk of any weekend unplugged from your iPhone, iPad or laptop.
I know this might sound strange coming from an individual who runs an online business, but I think it’s really important to take some time away from your screens regularly and practise the art of just smelling the roses…
And on a wedding day – whether it’s a friend’s or your own – I couldn’t recommend turning off the tech (or at the very least setting your phone to airplane mode) all the more.
A wedding day is a once in lifetime occasion at which it’s important to be fully present. If you’re angling for a good Instagram shot or tagging your friends on a quick Facebook update, it means checking out of proceedings, at least momentarily.
Why not ask your guests to leave the camera angles to the professional photographers, put down their phones and fully engage. Guess what, they might even have a better time? And if they feel edgy at the thought of pocketing the smartphones, remind them that by doing things your way, there’ll be more hands to hold Champagne and wedding cake, and more actual – vs. virtual – memories made with their real – vs. virtual – friends.
Now, on that note, why don’t you switch of this iPhone or laptop… and go do something less boring instead?
We’ll still be here when you get back (we do solemly swear).
image by W&E Photographie
what you said on Facebook:
Hannah: “I think I’d find it difficult to ask my friends to leave their smartphones switched off, everyone is so dependent on technology these days.”
Lizzie: “We want as many photos of our big day as possible whether they are from friends or our professional photographer. I say, snap away!”
Lauren: “We’ll be asking our mates to switch off and concentrate on enjoying on whats actually happening on our day.”
image by Studio Castillero
October 4th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Well would you look at that - it’s only bloomin’ Friday! We are all go here at Brides Up North HQ preparing for another absolutely stunning wedding exhibition at The Mansion on Sunday 6th October, and are looking forward to seeing lots of our Leeds based readers there. Do take the time to seek me out and introduce yourself if you plan on popping in! Click here to pre-register for your VIP Goody Bag and speedy entry.
For now though, there’s more Real Wedding inspiration to be had, as we join Hannah and Richard for their beautiful big day in Northumberland. This happy couple may have had lots of rain on their big day, but it didn’t squash their sparkle. Not one bit.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography, be inspired!
Hannah says: We got engaged on Valentine’s day in February 2013 on the beach in Buzios, Brazil after going to the Rio-de-Janeiro Carnival. We decided to take a few days to recover from the craziness of the Carnival and after spending an amazing Valentine’s day we went for a romantic walk on the beach where Ricky proposed. We then went out to celebrate in a cocktail bar with a live band and samba dancers! It was an amazing day.
We got married on 24th August 2013 at Eshott Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland.
There were a lot of reasons that we chose the venue, the main one being that we could rent the Hall exclusively out for the whole weekend which included a dinner party of 32 on the Friday night so we could have all our close family and bridal party together. This worked really well because then everyone got to know each other before the big day. We also chose it because it was stunningly beautiful, the entrance hall has an amazing stained glass window and the ballroom was very elegant, light and airy. There were also a number of locations for holding the civil ceremony and out of all the places we viewed it was the only one that ticked all the boxes – beautiful location, options for the whole weekend, a beautiful place to hold the ceremony and a nice place for the wedding breakfast and evening reception.
We didn’t have a theme. After we looked around Eshott Hall and decided it was the perfect place we found that all the dates for the spring/summer for the following year (when we had originally planned on getting married) where fully booked; however, they did have a cancellation for three months’ time. So we decided to go for it. I chose all my favourite things and hoped for that they all went well together on the day!
I had originally wanted champagne gold to tie in with colourful summery flowers but the only bridesmaid dresses I found were a light dusty pink colour so my colour scheme ended up being dusty pink with a touch of champagne gold with soft but summery flowers adding a nice touch of colour.
I chose the Indiana dress by Victoria Jane from Rosina Brown Bridal. It’s very different to what I thought I’d go for, it has a beautiful cowl front and a gorgeous low dropped back with cross details to hold it all together and gently floats out towards the bottom and has delicate sequins on the main body. One of my favourite parts (apart from the back detail) was that it has a piece of fabric draped from the shoulder that could either be attached to one shoulder floating down to the floor or it could be hooked on to the other shoulder to create a soft cowl at the back or taken off all together which gave it a bit of variety throughout the day.
I carried a bouquet of Roses, Dahlias, Hydrangeas, Crespedia, Llizianthus, and Freesia by Secret Garden in Jesmond. I think there were some small blue ones in there too but I don’t know what they’re called!
The button holes were a mix of all the different types of the flowers and it was lovely to see each unique button hole perfectly matching everything else.
I loved the entire day but I think the part that really sticks out was when we came out of the ceremony and I was just so happy to be married, it felt surreal to have been so busy planning the day and we had finally done it! I woke up the next day and I wanted to do the whole thing over again.
Jamie Penfold Photography was our photographer. His package included a pre-wedding shoot so it was really great to get used to having our photo taken. I’m not great with photos but Jamie is so relaxed and organised (a rare combination) that I hardly noticed having photos taken. Then he was very quick to put the photos online for us and it was so exciting to look back at the day and love every single photo.
We used The Finishing Touch Company for our chair backs and other decorations. I didn’t even see them, they just arrived, set everything up perfectly and then removed them all again the day after – it was brilliant! Our beautiful wedding cake was by Dreamworld Cakes. We were very indulgent and chose different flavours and ended up having one milk chocolate, one lemon and one white chocolate tier. The main detail on the cake was the piping but Bernadette also made some amazing icing flowers. I used Pinterest a lot to gather ideas because I didn’t have a lot of time to organise everything and I ended up sending Bernadette my favourite pictures of cake decorations. I was so happy with the end result.
I hand wrote all the table name places and used stamps to decorate the card and got little trivia packs to put on the tables to help break the ice for any guests that didn’t know many people.
The table numbers were actually polaroid photos of myself and Richard at different places we’d been to and my sister very kindly made the table plan for us.
We decided to link our guest book to a homemade photo booth so we bought a wedding photo booth props pack, set up a camera with a mini printer and placed all of this next to the guest book with instructions hanging next to the ‘frame’ that guests stood behind to take photos. They then dressed up, took a photo, printed it and stuck it in the guest book and signed their names next to it (luckily the photos came with sticky backs) it was also really fun because we got to keep all the digital copies too.
We had Alexander Lomas welcoming guests to the drinks reception with classic swing songs. This worked out really well as it gave a focal point to the drinks reception and we actually had a good bit of dancing going on! I think all the champagne and Pimms helped there!
We used Livewire from AMV Live Music for our evening reception entertainment. I would definitely recommend this band, they had our guests complaining because they couldn’t leave the dance floor because so many good songs kept coming on.
Our best Man DJ’s in his spare time and he very kindly put together a playlist for us for the evening.
We went on a mini-moon to Venice and did all the usual romantic things, we got a private speed boat over from the airport with an amazing thunder storm in the background, we got a gondola ride and were serenaded the whole way around, we went to see a classical music concert that we just happened to be walking past one evening and enjoyed the local prosecco, spritz and bellinis! We are planning on going to Costa Rica in January for our mega-moon but we’re having break from planning this month!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that it’s so difficult, but if you can get everything completely out of the way a week before the wedding date then do it so you can spend the week coming up to the wedding relaxing rather than panicking. Also don’t feel bad if you find yourself focusing on you and your husband/wife on your wedding day – that’s what you’re supposed to do so don’t feel bad if you don’t get to speak to absolutely everyone there.
Congratulations Hannah & Richard!
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