October 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you’re thinking of flats, for the love of the fashion gods pick these ones.
Be a brogued bride with Dalston by Irregular Choice, £110.
October 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A literary choice for a truly original wedding day clutch.
September 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I don’t know about you, but I feel in the mood for a celebration!
We’re about half way through our Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season and it really does feel like I get to throw a fabulous party (sometimes two!) every Sunday. I adore my job, and love sharing all that inspiration with my readers in real life. Add to that an exciting new industry venture and a host of awards ceremonies – we’ve been nominated for a couple of big blogging gongs this season – to sparkle at this month, and you’ve got one very excited wedding blogger, ready to let her hair down.
I absolutely think a wedding should be a celebration. A religious or civil union yes, but also a party to say thank you for love, family and friendship. And if there’s glitter and streamers thrown in, all the better.
This afternoon’s bride and groom, Abi and Rob, agree. Their Mexican themed fiesta wedding is full of bright colours, and you can almost hear the party pounding off these pages.
Pass me the tequila. I’m in.
With images by Joanne Ingle Photography.
Abi says: We got engaged in February 2014 on a weekend away in a forest cabin. Rob asked me in the hot tub under the stars. We got married on 23rd August as we didn’t want to wait very long to get married, at Utopia, Broughton Hall. We both loved the venue as soon as we saw it. It’s light, natural and surrounded by beautiful gardens and views over the surrounding hills.
We had a Mexican theme for our wedding as our relationship became serious whilst we were on a bike trip cycling from San Francisco to Mexico City.
The colour scheme was bright and bold to reflect the Mexican theme, we wanted it to be happy and unlike most other weddings.
I chose a very simple, elegant wedding dress that I had made by a wonderful seamstress Julia Worsnop. I wanted to accessorise with bright shoes and flowers in my hair. I also wanted to dance the night away so needed a dress I was comfortable in.
Rob had a bespoke suit made at Tailor Made London.
We ordered the flowers wholesale online, my mum made the bouquet and arranged the table flowers and a friend made the buttonholes.
The flowers were all very bright with lots of gerberas and carnations. We ordered lots of paper fans from Pipii. My mum, Rob, a couple of friends and I hand made 500 pompoms that mum strung together instead of bunting. They looked so cheerful and pretty festooned around the venue.
My dad made a wonderful wedding cake. It was a fruit cake, with homemade almond paste.
Everyone had a fake moustache at their table setting and we had inflatable guitars for the dance floor.
Joanne Ingle Photography was our photographer, I would highly recommend her, she was fantastic.
They were all fantastic and really made the day something special and different.
We would recommend Utopia to another couple in a heartbeat. It’s the kind of venue that would be great with very little decoration and in any weather. Our celebrant, Barbara stringer was also really wonderful and supportive.
We are really looking forward to our honeymoon and are off to New Zealand and Fiji in a couple of months!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get all of the organising and stress out of the way early to make sure you enjoy the day. Realise that there are lots of things that are out of your control, your guests arrive happy and ready to enjoy themselves no matter what.
September 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s get the week of to a really fabulous start with this old Hollywood inspired – and super cool – cinema wedding in Manchester, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Melanie.
Popcorn at the ready. Roll film.
With images by Miki Photography.
Melanie says: We got engaged in Wembley Stadium. We had spent the day at Wembley waiting to see my favourite artist Bruce Springsteen. When he played an acoustic version of Thunder Road to finish the set, Chris got down on one knee in the middle of the crowd and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!
We were married on 7th June 2014. With a World Cup year and Glastonbury tickets booked we were limited to which dates we could pick, we would hate to miss an important football match! The 7th June was sports and festival free! Our engagement was just under one year which was the timeframe we wanted.
We chose Cornerhouse Cinema on Oxford Road in Manchester. We wanted somewhere that we had been before and had a connection with. We’re not church people and we felt that the town hall was a right of passage for Mancunians – which neither of us are! So when we realised the Cornerhouse was licensed to do weddings, it was an easy decision to make. We go there regularly and it’s somewhere we enjoy spending time.
The cinema venue seemed to naturally lend itself to influence the theme for the day which was 1920s Hollywood glamour.
Tying in with the theme, we tried to keep the colours classic with deep navy, burgundy and rosewater (bridesmaid dresses) the main colours. The groom and the best men were in navy and our flowers were a mix of nude, rosewater and burgundy.
Anyone who knows me will not that I’m not the girliest girl or someone who would be naturally drawn to a floor-length dress. I always thought I was too short to wear one. Originally I was looking for a tea-length dress. So I tried on many beautiful dresses but nothing seemed to click. Then the lady at The White Closet suggested ‘Eden’, immediately I said it wouldn’t suit me but she encouraged me to try it ‘even just to rule it out’, when I put it on I couldn’t believe how it looked and I knew straight away that this was the dress for such a special occasion.
Chris wore a tailor made suit which was made in Italy but measured and designed at Doherty Evans & Stott in Manchester. It wasn’t cheap but their service was perfect, not too stuffy but very informative in terms of etiquettes. Chris learned some valuable life lessons!
I carried an orchid bouquet, provided by a great little florist in the Northern Quarter called Frog Flowers.
I was chauffeured to the venue in a classic Jaguar. It was beautiful, really classy and fitted with our theme really nicely. It was provided by Platinum Wedding Cars who were great, particularly the driver who held the brolly at the photo shoot with aplomb!
Mick from Miki Photography was our photographer on the day and I would 100% recommend him to anyone. He was upbeat, organised and a total pro on the day, as well as being a great guy and easy to get along with.
Mick made us feel comfortable and relaxed and played a big part in bringing a relaxed atmosphere to the wedding.
We packaged up traditional cinema sweets to give out to the guests: popcorn for some and pick and mix for others.
We had a beer brewed for the occasion – a light, citrus IPA (my favourite) from local Manchester brewery Blackjack Beers.
We had a four-course menu of asparagus with pancetta, sea bass, steak and then chocolate brownie. The first two courses were paired with a white Gavi and the latter were paired with a red Nero D’avola. During the meal tasting we tried several wines and we felt like these were the best options to suit all tastes.
We wanted a four course menu to extend the length of the meal to really appreciate and enjoy it. We followed the meal with a special selection of Whisky, Port and Sherry chosen by my father.
We had a red velvet two-tiered cake with coconut buttercream icing piped in a floral pattern. The cake was made by Bakeorama (Charlotte) who provides the cakes for Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter.
My favourite part of the day was the drinks reception we had at the Cornerhouse immediately after the ceremony, and it was just a great chance to go and soak up everyone’s excitement and share that feeling with all our close friends and family.
We used props and uplighters from i Catching based in Hyde. The props were really cool, and they were really helpful and easy to deal with so would definitely recommend them as well.
In the evening, we had a photo booth with fancy-dress accessories which provided good fun for everyone.
We also had a local band, The Coolers, play two fantastic sets. Our good friend Roger Hughes works in the music industry organising session bands and wedding bands so we left the music in his more than capable hands, he even played keyboard on the night!
We were getting a lot of help from my Dad and Step-mum in organising the wedding, and since they were living abroad at the time they decided to get some help with a wedding planner, Andrea from Fabulous Day. At first we weren’t sure we needed it, but by the end of the day we knew the day wouldn’t have been the same without her. Absolutely everything was taken care of and we were all able to relax and totally enjoy the day. 100% recommend her services to anyone.
We went to Croatia two days after the wedding. We spent the first four nights in a private villa on Vis Island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. It was lovely and peaceful where we could just relax in the aftermath of the wedding. We then had three nights in Split, just as the World Cup started, so we were able to catch some games on the big screens!
Everybody advised us to soak up every moment of the day and try to take it all in because it goes by in a flash. This was brilliant advice and I think we both tried to do it and really enjoy every minute of the day. There were some nerves at times, but we didn’t let it get the better of us and we just had enjoyed the day.
September 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m feeling good Brides Up North! It’s nearly the weekend, it’s almost our event season (SO excited!) and today’s real wedding is all kinds of epic! Not only did bride Katy totally rock her 50s frock and bespoke headwear, but she and her bridesmaids also hitched a ride on the Metro to the ceremony, then finished things off with one massive street party.
I’m following Katy and Andrew’s lead… it’ll be fish and chips for tea tonight!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.
Katy says: Andrew proposed last summer when we were on holiday in New York.
Everyone had been nagging Andrew to propose for months and before we went he gave me ‘the New York talk’ several times – saying very seriously for me not to expect him to propose in New York and that he didn’t want me to ruin the holiday by being all miserable the whole time we were there because he hadn’t proposed.
After the flight to New York I was tired and a bit tetchy and we almost had a row at the airport but something at the back of my mind thinking ‘just be nice, we’re on holiday’. I was glad I was as when we got to our hotel room I spotted an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses and a note in front. I went to investigate (in case it was a freebie) and on the note it read ‘Katy will you marry me’ – I turned round and Andrew was down on one knee.
I’m normally pretty chatty but I was so gobsmacked I wept for about 5 minutes – Andrew actually had to prompt me to say ‘yes’. I’d arranged the holiday and wouldn’t have even thought Andrew would have known where we were staying so was totally blown away that he’d organised such a wonderful surprise.
We were married on 19th June 2014. The ceremony was in the Council Chamber at Newcastle Civic Centre and the reception was in the back lane of the terrace my parents live on!
The reception was first – my parents still live in the house I grew up in. It’s a very social street and ever since a big party to celebrate the millennium they’ve held regular street dos and ‘back lane BBQs’ every summer. It was important to both of us that the whole wedding be as personal as possible, including the venue – so a back lane party was an obvious choice. All the neighbours were fab – when my folks approached them about using the lane not only did they say yes but everyone offered to help, and let us use their back gardens too.
For the ceremony we aren’t religious but still wanted a venue that meant something to us (and was big enough to host over 150 guests). My grandfather was an alderman and Councillor and sat in the (then very new) Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.
As a Geordie away from home I wanted Newcastle to be a big part of the wedding. Other than that it was just all about making it as personal as possible. Dresses, hair and make-up were 50s style.
We chose a teal colour scheme (inspired by the top of the Civic Centre and the Tyne Bridge!)
My shoes were from BHS and I customised them with peacock tail feathers, pearls and buttons.
I took my dress to be altered at a local dress maker as it needed taking in a bit. They totally let me down and after a series of mishaps (not doing the alterations when they said they would, not turning up at the shop when I was due to collect) I finally got my dress back only to discover, with just 10 days to go before the wedding, they’d taken it in way more than they were supposed to. I could just get into it but it was too tight to sit down/eat/breath!
Fortunately Honeypie had one readymade sample of a dress in a different design in my size which they posted straight out. The only downside being that it had a peach skirt which really wouldn’t have gone with all my peacock accessories.
I could get away with outfit number one for the ceremony and then would wear dress number two for the reception. I decided that if I was having to change dress I would brazen it out and go for a full outfit change. I sent Adrienne a photo of the new dress and my wedding hair and asked her to bring any head pieces she thought would go into her shop on the Saturday. When I got there, she said she hadn’t had anything the thought would be just right so had made me a new one from scratch. I loved my silver evening headpiece – she really pulled out all the stops and helped turn a crisis into a positive.
The bridesmaids had dresses with the inverse colour scheme to mine from Honeypie. I made peacock hair clips for them to tie in with my headpiece.
All the boys wore their own suits but had a variety of teal neckwear from Tom Sawyer.
I made button bouquets for me and the grownup bridesmaids (the younger two had button horseshoes). I did buy some buttons but friends, family and colleagues from work all dug out granny’s button boxes and I also wired in fabric flowers from my parents’ wedding cake, various trinkets and grand parents’ and great grandparents’ engagement rings. It was my old, new, borrowed and blue all in one. With my change of outfit for the evening I swapped the bouquet for a Kate Spade Mr&Mrs number plate clutch!
I got the metro to the ceremony – then we’d hired a vintage Routemaster to take the bridal party and groomsmen for photos and back to the reception.
My mum was really dubious about going on the metro but I was adamant about it. I’m so glad we did as it was so much fun and we got some fab photos. The looks on people’s faces as they pulled into Benton metro station and saw us on the platform were an absolute picture.
It was really important to make the wedding as personal as possible, using people we knew wherever possible. This meant there were quite a lot of special touches! But I think it’s important to remember not to let the special touches stress you out.
My godfather is an artist and so I asked him to do a painting for us to use on all of the stationery. It was turquoise to tie in with the colour theme and had a seahorse (to echo the top of the Civic Centre) and peacock (as I’d already decided peacock feathers were going to be part of my outfit).
I sewed 300m of bunting (assisted by mother in law, Andrew and best friend Lucy) and my mum made hundreds of tissue pompoms and fans. They had a pompom fluffing party the week before the wedding with all the neighbours.
We had fish and chips for dinner and so to tie in with the theme I made a newspaper with stories about us and used half pages of it as place mats. There were crosswords and word searches on the back which proved a good ice breaker at the tables.
As we were in the back lane and gardens I’d got some mini gnomes to use for table numbers. I had a feeling these would not make it unscathed through the wedding – by the end of the night we were all swigging port out of them!
It worked out as cheap to buy antique cutlery as it was to hire it so we spent months scouring antique and flea markets for sets. We’ve got some lovely ones to keep and will give the rest to the charity shop.
We’re the Meades and so my mum had some mini bottles of Lindesfarne Mead made up for with our names on the label on the back as a surprise.
As the back lane wasn’t a typical venue we did the table plan on a blown up plan of the street so people knew where everything else was as well as their table. We always play drinking games during the speeches at other people’s wedding so we also did a big sweepstake on the table plan.
The specialist touch of all was all of the neighbours. We hadn’t managed to set everything up on the Friday night so all the neighbours came out at 8am on the Saturday morning to help set out all the tables and chairs. It was a real team effort.
One of the neighbours is in a band and the street always head out en masse to support them when they play gigs locally so they were the obvious choice for music. They played in their garage and we had the dancing out in the lane. They were fab.
We had wedding cheese from The Cheese Board in Harrogate. Complete with knitted mice in miniature versions of our outfits that one of my colleagues made. I hand stitched some mini bunting too.
Our chip supper was by Clems Fish and Chips.
The whole day was amazing – better than I could have ever imagined.
But bar far the best bit – and certainly the most emotional for me was the ceremony itself. Closely followed by just about every other part of the day. Even the pouring rain we had coming out of the ceremony was fun.
For our honeymoon we did a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco via Death Valley, Yosemite and the Pacific Highway.
My top tip for Brides Up North is that the most important bit of the wedding is where the two of you stand at the front and do your ‘I do’s. All the rest is window dressing.
July 7th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I’m all for making a wedding your own and that’s exactly what Keli and Pete did when they tied the knot (and their hands) at Windy Harbour Farm Hotel in the beautiful Peak District. The couple not only made their reception individual, but the ceremony itself too by having a secular service that reflected their journey to marriage as well as a handfasting with an elemental blessing.
The stunning outdoor setting gave way to carefree fun with the newlyweds and their guests enjoying garden games, afternoon tea and personalised beverages before burning up the dance floor in the evening.
One particular individual element that I adore about this wedding is that Pete had two best women! Breaking down yet another traditional wedding barrier, I think it’s fabulous that Pete asked those closest to him to fulfil the honourable role, regardless of their gender.
Keli said: We got engaged in the summer of 2011, the same summer we’d left our lives in London and gone travelling around England in a tent for three months. Pete and I had finally made it home, to my parents, where we would start to look for a new house and start building our new life up north.
We decided to take advantage of the last sunny day in September and go for a final walk in Castleton that included Mam Tor. Unfortunately our map reading skills were a little exhausted from the travelling all summer and we couldn’t seem to find the main path leading to the summit. So – fearful of never getting there – we turned off the beaten path and started up the side. Turns out we picked one of the steepest slopes to climb; we were exhausted and almost gave up halfway but Pete was persistent. When we got up there is was rather windy and rather crowded with people – which was not part of Pete’s plan – so we moved over the crest of the hill to sit out of the wind looking out over the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. After some lazy minutes Pete asked me to close my eyes, gave me a kiss and then produced the ring. I think my first response was “Are you sure?” And then lots of crying and laughing followed, and of course my answer, Yes!
Windy Harbour Farm Hotel was the first venue we visited and only because it was just up the road from our new home in Glossop, Derbyshire. However as soon as we walked in both of us were struck by how friendly and how right it felt. The size was perfect for the 50 to 80 guests we planned to invite and the garden area was beautifully kept, which was essential as we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony with our mixture of pagan and secular traditions. Our country fair theme would need to include things like hay bales and garden games so we were lucky to find owners who were not only happy for us to do all this, but also happy to source things like the hay bales for us.
We both wanted a ceremony that was unique and individual to us, more so than a church or civil ceremony can be. Added to that, I’m a Pagan and was determined to get married outside, surrounded by the natural world. We found Kate Gee, a Humanist celebrant who was happy to incorporate elements of Pagan ritual into a secular service that reflected our lives and the journey that had led us to the moment of marriage. We still exchanged rings and used vows similar to those in the Common Book of Prayer. We also had a handfasting with an elemental blessing, undertaken by one of our maids of honour. Everyone commented on how poignant and moving the ceremony was and we couldn’t have been happier with the way we were able to seal our marriage.
As soon as we picked the date in May we knew we’d have a May Day themed wedding. We both love the May Day holiday and spent many years travelling to Hastings and various other places to celebrate it. So we knew we wanted lots of ribbons, greenery, games and folk music; as you would find at a May Day festival. We didn’t have a particular colour theme but we did end up using dark ivy green as the main contrasting colour. We also used a simple bright blue, yellow and red combination to accent it all – these mostly popped up as ribbons.
I wore ‘Fadella’ by Cymbeline which I found at The White Room in Sheffield. It was nothing like the dress I’d imagined myself wearing to be wed but it was the one dress that made me feel like a bride. Being light and not too bulky it made perfect sense for the venue and the outdoors, informal nature of the whole day. In the end the lace matched Pete’s country suit perfectly and the small train meant it was great to dance in.
Pete wanted something that was quite ‘countryside’ and immediately thought of a tweed jacket which he ended up getting from Next. He wore it with a grey waistcoat and brown trousers from Debenhams. His tie was also from Next. The two fathers wore the same jacket and tie as Pete but created their own combos so they didn’t all look the same.
Although untraditional Pete had best women – Zoe and Lyvia, two of our closest friends from university. The two of them and Pete were a very close trio throughout our time there and they both coached him through a lot of good times, bad times and rather mad times. They wore navy blue dresses from Next with matching taupe shoes.
I knew from the start that I didn’t want lots of bridesmaids as choosing from all my friends and family would mean all the female guests would have ended up in the wedding party. Instead I asked two of my closest friends to be maids of honour on the agreement they would be available to help out with all the wedding planning and stop me from succumbing to the dreaded Bridezilla too often in the run up to the wedding. Their dresses proved very difficult to find, especially as they both live quite far away and work a lot and we had to take into account the two best men, who were also wearing dresses. In the end we found two light summer dresses in Dorothy Perkins and they were the perfect complement to my lace dress and the best womens’ navy blue dresses.
Having good photos was vital to our day and we were keen to find a photographer who would fit in with the whole event and not feel like an outsider. We wanted mostly informal shots and pictures that took in the beautiful landscapes around us. Jon Rouston provided all that and more, giving us relaxed shots of our guests enjoying themselves as well as glimpses of the day we never would have seen otherwise. He also created some gorgeous portraits of us using a variety of local landscapes.
June 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 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.
Back in February when I blogged an interview with our wonderful Featured Supplier and ex copper, James Tracey Photography, I led the piece with an image of a beaming bride at a colourful altar and over on Facebook lots of you fell in love with her. Later that week I featured Laura and Nathan’s fabulously cool and quirky swimming pool wedding (yes, I’ve never seen one of those before either!) in all it’s glory.
This still has to be one of my favourites to date.
With images by James Tracey Photography.
Laura says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Saint-Cirq Lapopie (in the South of France). We were on our holiday with our six month old baby boy and Nathan got a sudden urge to ask me to marry him. It was a beautiful spot by the river. It wasn’t planned so he found a twig and tied it in a knot around my wedding finger.
We have been together for 18 years (we met at school when we were 16!) and finally tied the knot on 27th May 2013 at Victoria Baths, Manchester.
Victoria Baths is part of the restoration project. It was opened in 1906 as a swimming baths and Turkish baths. The restoration of the building begin in 1995. It is a beautiful old building with ornate stain glass windows. One day they hope to restore the swimming pools themselves and open it up again to the public.
We actually got married in the old male swimming pool in the deep end!
We wanted to get married somewhere that was a little different and allowed us to do what we wanted. Victoria Baths allows you to hire out the entire building and you are able to bring your own caterers, music and decorations in.
We wanted the day to be very relaxed with a feel of a street party. No formalities so everyone could relax and have fun! We chose a colour scheme of pale pink and green.
The bridesmaids wore pink dresses and the groom, best man and ushers wore pink ties. The tiles of the swimming baths are green so we hung pink and green paper pom poms from the ceiling along with bunting.
I wanted something every simple for my wedding dress. I visited Jane Bourvis in London after a friend recommended her. Jane owns a small shop in Notting Hill and as soon as you walk in you are greeted with antique lace hanging from the ceiling. Jane told me she had just restored some lace the night before. She dressed me in a pale cream slip and placed the lace petticoat over the top. It was stunning and a one off. I bought it within half an hour of walking into the shop. I just felt special. There was a story behind it too as an elderly lady in Scotland had found her mothers veil in the loft and that was what Jane used to create the dress – old Scottish lace.
The bridesmaids each wore a lace dress which I bought from a beach side shop in Cape Town. I just saw them and knew they would match the dress and that each of the bridesmaids would like the style.
Nathan wore a tailored suit from A Suit That Fits. The best man and ushers wore their own suits with a pink tie.
My friend has a beautiful old beetle called Gracie. He came to the hotel to pick me up (complete with a flat cap) and drove me to the baths.
It was a family affair! My cousin is a register so he married us and my other cousin works at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) so he arrange for four different bands to play: a string quartet to walk down the aisle to, an acoustic guitar whist we drank fizz, a two piece acoustic band and a 9 piece disco band. Amazing!
I carried a simple vintage style bouquet made by Manchester Flower Company.
I especially enjoyed the vows and turning around to see everybody we loved.
After the ceremony we arranged for a tour guide to show people around the building as it’s so historic with lots of amazing stories behind it.
10 of my closest friends and family made cakes for the deserts. There were some amazing cakes ranging from carrot cake, lemon drizzle and early great tea muffins. Everyone just helped themselves.
We had 45 children at the wedding so we had to provide entertainment. We hired two nanny’s to look after the babies and provided lots of toys. We hired a bouncy castle to go in the female pool and we created a cinema with a big screen and lots of popcorn and bean bags so the kids to watch a film. It was nice as the adults could have a rest and enjoy the fizz.
At the end of the day we planned a big surprise for everyone. We didn’t know how well it would go down. We hired 150 headsets and held a silent disco in the main hall. At first everyone didn’t quite know what to make of it. By the end of the night everyone was dancing their hearts out. We had three different channels with different types of music. There was some crazy dancing going on.
We went to the Lake District for a few days after the wedding and found cosy pubs to relax in. Bliss!
I kept sneaking away for a few minutes every now and again – either with Nathan or own my own to just catch my breath and smile. So my top tip for other Brides Up North would be that it’s nice to stop for a few minutes and reflect on things throughout the day itself.
Congratulations Laura & Nathan!
June 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Lisa says: We got engaged in April 2011 at Alpsee Lake, Bavaria, Germany by the Neuschwanstein Castle. It is the castle that Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle is based on.
We had a Medieval themed wedding. All the wedding guests were invited to wear Medieval attire to suit the theme of the wedding.
Our wedding date was Saturday 20th July 2013. We got married at Escrick Park, Escrick, near York, using Papakata tents. We wanted an outdoor wedding and Escrick Park has a huge estate that we were able to book out for the full weekend for a really good price. We had plenty of land all to ourselves where children could run off and play safely while the adults could party. We were completely secluded, which we thought was important to immerse ourselves in the magic of the Middle Ages. Regardless of the theme, we thought it was nice to have the place to ourselves and we didn’t need to worry about noise or curfews
I wore a bespoke, handmade medieval style wedding dress designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me with the design, choosing fabric and the details of the dress to help create exactly the dress I wanted. I really valued her knowledge and advice on which fabrics would suit the theme, wouldn’t crease and would hang beautifully. Her attention to details helped tie it all together, I was very happy with it.
Sylvia from White Gables Patchwork and Quilting helped made a fabulous embroidered trim for my dress
My bridesmaids wore medieval style dresses, also designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me find the exact shade we wanted for the bridesmaids; all four dresses were perfect and created the medieval faerie feel we were looking for. The groomsmen all wore various medieval outfits, each one looking different.
I carried daises, white roses, other yellow and green flowers and lots of ivy. Fiona from Firenza Floral Design is used to working with Papakata and dressed the teepees beautifully. She made a crown of flowers for both of our heads (Mark’s was more of a bush really, which is just what he asked for). My bouquet and top table flowers were lovely.
We had a honeymoon teepee at the bottom end of the field, which I managed to sneak in to get changed. My bridesmaids, my parents and I were escorted from there by Paul from Trouvere, playing bagpipes. I didn’t want to make an extravagant entrance, I walked barefoot from the tent, it did feel quite dramatic on the day though, but lovely.
It was so exciting to emerge from the honeymoon teepee to the sound of bagpipes and drums and see a sea of colourful costumes and happy, excited faces. The whole ceremony was beautiful and very personal, we helped write the vows and made precisely the eternal promises that we wanted to.
Trouvere did us a beautiful hand fastening ceremony, medieval music and storytelling.
We designed and forged our own wedding rings under the guidance of a talented bespoke jeweller at Silver & Moor.
March 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon it’s wetsuits at the ready and off to East Yorkshire to join Claire and Dave for their celebration at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue The Deep in Hull. Styling their big day, Claire kept things simple – and saved herself some pennies too – by letting their unusual and extraordinary wedding venue do the talking.
Images by Chris Bailey Photography.
Claire says: Dave’s parents live in Portsmouth and we often travel down there with our sons for holidays by the sea, ice creams and all! It was a beautiful summer’s day and we’d spent it on the sea front amongst the two penny falls, eating candy floss and winning teddy bears for the boys. On the pier we stood admiring the view and out Dave pulled a pretty necklace with the words “Marry me” engraved on it. I was beginning to think he’d never ask! I began planning straight away, in case he changed his mind! We both had pretty unconventional ideas when it came to weddings and we knew from the start that we wanted something a little bit different.
We were married on 27th October 2013 at The Deep in Hull. We looked around at various wedding venues and as beautiful as they were, it wasn’t quite what we wanted. Then we came across The Deep. We fell in love with the venue instantly, the atmosphere was so serene and we wanted to create a real "wedding experience" that our guests would always remember. The huge tanks blew us away and the "ice tunnel" that was to become my aisle, was especially stunning. We had definitely found the unique venue we were looking for. They were so welcoming and their attention to detail made me sure the day would go perfectly.
The staff at The Deep did an amazing job of putting everything together and so many guests commented on how much they enjoyed it.
I really like natural colours and so I chose dark champagne, browns and coffee colours for the day. As we were getting married later on in the day and having a candlelit reception I thought this colour would complement our autumn wedding perfectly.
On the morning of the wedding I had all the people I love around me. My bridesmaids were with me and my mum was in the hotel room next door! As the wedding wasn’t until 5pm, we spent all day getting ready, giggling, drinking champagne and doing hair and makeup. It was such a special time having them around me, I think that was the reason I was fairly calm and relaxed (that and the champagne!)
I wore an A-line light ivory Maggie Sottero dress with a little crystal detail from The Bridal Barn in Stafford. I wanted something really simple and got overwhelmed by the amount of dresses I tried on with a lot of detail. My dress was perfect for me as it reflected my every day style. I wore a lovely tear drop silver necklace by Leslie Davis from a little boutique in Stoke on Trent.
My bridesmaids wore champagne and mocha coloured dresses, bought from Debenhams and found on eBay. As a hairdresser I had specific ideas on how I wanted my bridesmaids to look, they both had matching chignons and pretty hair slides. They looked absolutely beautiful!
I have a bit of a hoarder when it comes to make up! So my bridesmaids had a great time rooting through my collection and using all of my lotions and potions! We all did our own makeup and I think by doing this, we all felt comfortable with how we looked. I’m not sure I would’ve felt the same with someone else making the choice for me.
I made my own bouquet as I like to think of myself as fairly creative and saved a heap of money doing the flowers myself. I was so pleased with the results and it was something the bridesmaids could keep after the wedding.
Our photos were taken by Chris Bailey Photography of Cottingham. We were lucky enough to get some shots outside The Deep after the ceremony, just as the sun was setting. It was a bit on the chilly side, but our photographer was so great at getting the shots done, that we were back in the warm in no time. The guests went up to the observatory and we were able to get some great shots in front of the huge tanks.
My special moment of the day was singing to my new husband instead of a first dance. Everyone was so surprised! I sang “The Story” by Brandon Carlisle and the words are especially emotional, I cracked a little half way through, but all the guests gave me the biggest cheer of encouragement that I was able to carry on! I’ll be in trouble for saying it, but even the men were in tears, although I’m sure they’ll all deny it!
We didn’t have a wedding cake, but made up for it by stacking chocolate donuts and cupcakes on a stand and to be honest, I don’t think anyone even noticed the missing cake! We danced the night away until the early hours and all of our guests were in the party mood.
The day after the wedding, we took the boys away for the night to the Alton Towers resort, where we stayed in a Peter Rabbit themed room which was like a rabbit burrow! We are planning a honeymoon to coincide with my 30th birthday and our one year wedding anniversary to Disneyland Florida. We love spending time together as a family and couldn’t image a honeymoon without them.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would to be savvy! Don’t fooled into buying the most expensive of everything. We stuck to a tight budget and saved money by customising and creating. By doing this, we got our dream wedding for under £5000. Remember to cherish each moment, and don’t stress! It goes by so quickly that before you know it it’s over and you’ll wonder what all the nerves and worrying was about!
Congratulations Claire & Dave!
March 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you haven’t already come across Lisa and Alex’s cool story and accompanying blog, you are in for a treat this afternoon.
Get lost in their blog at 2 People 1 Life to find out more (they tell it better than I do!) but in brief, their tale goes a little like this. Off on their travels, Lisa and Alex – the indecisive duo that they are – decided to have a wedding ceremony in every country they visit in search of the perfect place to tie the knot. They are touring the globe in their 27 year old camper van ‘Peggy’ exchanging vows in the most unusual and unique wedding locations that they can find and embracing the culture and customs of each stop on their journey. At the end of the trip they will pick their favourite place and go back to officially tie the knot, inviting everyone they have met along the way.
So, just a little bit cool then.
When I met Lisa and Alex at our #weddinghourlive Halloween Party back in October, we clicked right away and whilst Alex helped me stuff almost 200 party bags for our guests, Lisa and I talked weddings. Turns out its a mutual favourite subject. What d’you know?
Today I’m thrilled to share my favourite (so far!) of their days with you, as we tag along with this Mancunian duo the the Emerald Isle…
With images by Poppies & Me.
Lisa says: We got engaged in 2011 at a local restaurant with all of our family there. It was our leaving party as we were setting off on a trip around the World!
The Irish wedding was our 41st wedding (!) and was on April 9th 2013.
We got married at Doonberg Lodge – a amazing venue with its own private beach and incredible golf course. The restaurant serves all locally sourced food and it is stunning!
We followed traditional Irish themes from braiding my hair to a handfasting ceremony, the magic hanky, belles, even down to wearing a blue dress and exchanging Claddagh rings. For an explanation of all these themes click here.
We were driven to the ceremony on the beach in the photographers jeep…it was a bumpy ride and we had a great laugh driving across the sand!
I originally had a dress custom made in the US but it got returned to sender at the last minute and Lindsay from House of Hannah managed to find me a replacement from H&M of all places, it was meant to be!
The floral focus was on my crown which was made entirely of olive branches. I had a bouquet of olive too for the pictures, I loved its simplicity.
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony. I cried the entire time. Our Celebrant Dara Molloy’s words were so true, so deeply meaningful and incredibly touching. Saying I Do to Alex for the 41st time was like it was the very first time all over again!
We focused on the pale blue of the dress and just had very neutral earthy shades throughout. My flowers were wild flowers but mainly olive branches to keep it all paired down. Our stationery by Farrell and Chase was clean, simple and stylish and presented with olive branches and rosemary too.
We were invited to a small house on the grounds of the Lodge were a group of local singers sang and played guitar, smoked us fish on the open fire and had us all up and dancing Irish style!
Our cake was no ordinary cake. It was a masterpiece! Samantha from Cloudberry Bakery created something that looked amazing with flowers handmade in icing and coloured to match my dress and one tier completely covered in gold leaf. And when we cut it…oh my! Guinness and Chocolate cake is sent from heaven above!
All of the traditions made our day incredibly special and the cake just blew our minds it was so beautiful I didn’t want to eat it… until I did and then I wanted it all!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that the team of people you work with to help you create your wedding day are so incredibly important and can make or break your day. If you get on well with your team, nothing can go wrong and they can become very special guests on the actual day.
Our Irish wedding team included: Photography; Poppies and Me | Planning; Fly Away Bride | Styling; House of Hannah | Videography; Show and Tell | Venue; The Lodge at Doonbeg | Celebrant; Dara Molloy | Flowers; Wild | Stationery; Farrell and Chase | Hair; Upstyle Junkie | Make Up; Kerry Make-Up Artist | Cakes; Cloudberry Bakery | Menswear; Salingers and Miss Daisy Blue | Blue Wedding Dress; H&M
Congratulations Lisa & Alex!
This is not a sponsored post