February 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
As soon as I saw the stunning images of Lydia and Jamie’s wedding day I knew it was one we just had to share with our readers. The creative couple tied the knot in The Lantern Theatre, a unique wedding venue in Sheffield that I had no idea existed, despite it being in the city in which I live.
This wedding is packed full of inspiration from Lydia’s fabulous bespoke vintage dress to the home-grown flowers, cool favours and gorgeous décor.
So take a seat, as Brides Up North is now showing Lydia and Jamie’s big day.
Images by Weddings by Smith.
lydia says: We got engaged at La Rosa Campsite in Whitby which is a campsite full of beautifully decorated themed caravans. Our caravan was a Catholic kitch theme and somehow we picked a weekend that was quiet which meant we had the whole place to ourselves. Jamie hadn’t planned to ask the big question, but suddenly over lunch one afternoon the timing just felt right. We searched for a ring the following weekend in Nottingham, the city where we first met and I chose a blue antique ring.
We set the date for 17th August 2013. We chose that date because of the weather mainly, and it was around one year after we got engaged.
We had our ceremony at The Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge, Sheffield. It is a small theatre that seats around 84 people with a miniature balcony. It is Sheffield’s oldest surviving theatre, 120 years old, and a Grade II listed building. We loved that it was small and intimate, laid back, yet a bit grand and opulent, and a bit of a hidden secret. It was also extra special because it was a minute’s walk from our house. It reminded me of the film Moulin Rouge, which is by Baz Luhrmann, a film director whose visual style I love. Our party venue was Hagglers Corner, a cafe bar and venue space all set around a lovely courtyard, on the edge of Sheffield city centre.
The theme was kind of inspired by where we got engaged, our venue and all the things we love. It was a little bit of everything, vintage, romantic, Hollywood, rustic and kitsch. We wanted soft and romantic hues of blues, pinks, reds and golds. We chose the overarching colour scheme based on what we both wanted to wear.
I chose a beautiful lady called Joanne Flemming from Brighton to make my dress and took a little mini break there to get fitted. I wanted a vintage wedding dress with a blue underlay and bow. My shoes where Vivienne Westwood Melissa heart shoes and I wore a birdcage veil.
Jamie wore a blue checked suit and red bow tie from Ted Baker.
My grown up bridesmaids wore Karen Millen silk blue dresses, and my flower girl wore a pink dress from Monsoon. We asked the groomsmen to all wear an eclectic mixture of blue tones, and we gave them a red bow tie and I made button holes to tie it all together.
We hired a red vintage bus from a local bus museum to take guests from the ceremony to the party venue. The ceremony was so close my dad took me in his car (which my nan would like to point out she made a special bow for).
Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith did our wedding photography. He was absolutely amazing, we had seen him shoot a wedding before, and I knew that we could not get married without him shooting ours. We gave him some mood boards and he got exactly what we wanted straight away. He also made us feel very comfortable and kept staged photos to a minimum.
I bravely decided to do my own flowers, a mixture of flowers that I planted and grew in my garden, foliage stolen from roadsides in the Peak District and flowers bought the day before from the flower market. I spent the two days before the wedding in my garden cutting flowers, arranging about 100 vases, making bouquets for me and all the bridesmaids and all the button holes for the men. We decorated both venues ourselves (with help from friends and family) the day before with pompoms, bunting, ornaments, homemade table cloths and candles. I carried a bouquet that was made from blue hydrangeas, pink peonies (the Chinese flower of love) and gypsophila.
For our favours we had popcorn boxes which contained fortune cookies, blowing bubbles, a fan and 3D glasses. The fans had quotes from our reading on one side, and timings on the other. Our reading was ‘advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’ which is on the end of the Baz Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet original soundtrack.
Our cakes were by Victoria Made.We had a naked cake with sugar flowers and a cake made from layers of cheese covered in fruits. Our cake topper was made by the wonderful people at Lollipop Workshop which we will treasure forever.
After the ceremony we had ice cream and Pimms. At the party venue we had a healthy vegetarian BBQ by Organic Fusion.
To entertain our guests we hired a magician called Steve Faulkner for the theatre, plus a lady who made balloon animals for the kids. We had an ice cream VW van from Ice-Cream Dub and later at night a DJ. We also had lots of board games and toys and fancy dress bits for the kids.
As a special touch we had a wishing tree at the ceremony. We had guests pass around our rings in a box of ribbons and tags, and write a little wish for us to tie to the tree. I also designed our wedding invites myself via my creative studio, Studio Binky.
Our venue didn’t have wedding license at the time, so we chose a humanist ceremony by Kate Gee.
It was everything we wanted, really personal and full of love. Kate really got to know us over a couple of meetings and wrote a great ceremony, with us writing our own set of vows. I would highly recommend her.We did the legal part a week before in secret at the town hall.
The Lantern Theatre and Hagglers Corner where both really accommodating, they allowed us to decorate the day before and really helped on the day, whilst at the same time leaving us free to enjoy the venue hassle free. I would definitely recommend them both to other couples.
I’d say my favourite part of the day was sitting down on the stage next to Jamie before we said our vows. Time seemed to stand still, I was worried I might be nervous being on a stage, but surprisingly I felt really relaxed. Everyone in the crowd was someone I really cared about and it felt so special, more than just marrying Jamie, it felt like a big life moment and I’d never felt so loved or happy and at ease.
We had a night in our favourite hotel La Rosa in Whitby straight after the wedding (a gift from a friend), we stayed in a swan themed room which was very romantic and went to a folk gig in the basement that night. This was followed by an unfortunate honeymoon from hell camping trip to York which had to be abandoned. We planned to go somewhere tropical a few months later, but it unfortunately didn’t happen which is why I would advise all brides to book a proper honeymoon, you will need it.
In addition, my top tips to other Brides Up North would be to make mood boards, they come in really handy when showing a supplier the look and feel you want. Also, let people help you (especially if planning a DIY wedding). I should have done this more.
Jamie and I are now planning for the next chapter in our life – we are having a baby in June, eek!
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February 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
A little ‘me time’ becomes all the more essential when co-habiting and continues throughout marriage. For us ladies our bathrooms are the perfect place to escape to for some low-key pampering when the Sky Sports becomes just a little too much.
Whether it’s to slap on a little fake tan, apply a face mask or totally indulge in a tub full of bubbles with a glass of wine to hand, bathrooms are the haven of the home. For me that makes anything that will make your bathroom all the more blissful an ideal item for the wedding gift list.
From luxurious Egyptian cotton towels and top-notch toiletries to opulent accessories, there are plenty of options to choose from.
When setting up home together it could be that you made do with the odd towels you and your partner had between you, so a stylish bundle of fluffy bath sheets and hand towels is a perfect pressie – along with a matching bath mat.
Scented candles can be decorative as well as sensual for when you choose to invite your hubby to share a romantic bubble bath with you. Oh and of course you’ll need some posh hotel-style his and hers robes for when you emerge.
Though not quite as exciting attractive storage boxes and wicker clothes baskets are great for keeping the bathroom neat and tidy, so you can unwind without explosions of toiletries or dirty clothes playing on your mind.
Decorative items such as mirrors, vases, art work and soap dispensers can also help set the scene and can add the perfect finishing touches to an area of the home that you’ve been longing to complete to a Vogue Living standard.
For feminine style bathrooms I particularly like Next’s lilac and green floral designs in towels, bathmats and shower curtains (see gallery), as well as Debenham’s Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson range, which includes cerise pink towels and jewel-tone glass vases.
Meanwhile for something more unisex friendly there are plenty of crisp blue and white offerings, perfect for those who like to bring a by-the-beach feel to their bathroom, plus grey and white designs for those in search of clean elegance.
December 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) 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 for 2014.
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.
And after all that turkey, fish & chips for supper is sounding good..!
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.
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
What I love most about my job as editor of these pretty pages is the variety of stunning and special celebrations that I get to witness, albeit through a set of wonderfully curated images or a snappy wedding film. I’ll be honest: sometimes I cry (in a good way).
One such submission that really touched me was the beautiful wedding blessing of ex-pats Heather and Mike, who returned to the UK following their Dubai wedding to celebrate with those they’d left back on English soil. Their [pared down ‘second’ wedding day is stripped back to all that really matters on a wedding day – two people in love, their nearest and dearest (plus a killer gown, some great heels and a stunning backdrop always help).
I think it’s utterly beautiful.
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
heather says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Dubai where we live. I’d gone back to the UK to visit family and Mike used his time to go ring shopping. Mike proposed to me with a cup of tea (and a stunning ring) as I woke up the morning after a late arrival back into Dubai.
We actually got married on 6 April 2014 in Dubai but we wanted to have a Wedding Blessing and a celebration with our friends and family in the UK who could not make it. The blessing took place on 12 July 2014. As we are both teachers the dates for both events were rather un-romantically dictated by term time (and the hope of decent weather).
The Blessing service took place at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, near Penrith. We chose this venue as it is a short walk from the family home where I grew up and where my family still live. It was a ultimately an easy decision as it is a beautiful church, in a beautiful setting next to the Eden River and with a stunning view of the Pennines.
After organising one wedding in Dubai, we were very lucky for our family to take charge of events in the UK. An evening party was held after the service on the ‘Raven’ Steamer on Ullswater Lake which was the brainchild of my Godmother Paula. Along with the jazz band that played throughout the evening.
We wanted the celebration to be laid back and relaxed. The overall aim was for us all to have a good time and catch up.
I wore the same dress as I did for the wedding in Dubai much to the envy of many friends as I had the opportunity to wear it for a second time. The dress was handmade and embroidered by Lily Duds Tailoring, Dubai. The beauty of having the dress handmade was that I was able to get the dress just as I wanted and combine a variety of different designs I liked.
My Jimmy Choo heels brought an extra sparkle to my outfit and were even comfy enough to wear for the walk to and from the church.
I carried three hand tied peonies. Aunty Gillian and family friend, Yvonne Marples, arranged the flowers on the day. They wonderfully captured our relaxed theme through the flowers by creating a wild, country garden feel.
Melissa Beattie was the photographer. She was also the photographer for our wedding in Dubai. We loved her photographs from this so much that we bullied her into taking the shots for the Wedding Blessing.
Her work is intimate, natural and she has a wonderful ability to make us look fabulous! We ultimately considered her one of our guests due to her warm and friendly manner.
She took a great deal of time and effort to ensure we got exactly what we wanted and edited and designed our wedding album beautifully
Hair and make-up was by Bridget Foster, Carlisle. Bridget is an excellent make up artist, who has a subtle touch and eye for detail, as well as having a wonderful personality.
We actually only just made it to our own Wedding Blessing! Our passports were caught up in the fiasco with the UK Passport agency and were with the passport agency for 10 weeks and only arrived in Dubai 5 days before we were due to fly. A thank you to Rory Stewart, MP, and his office for all their help in chasing this matter!
A 1969 Red Double Decker Bus was hired from Stagecoach to take the guests and us to and from Glenridding Pier, to board the steamer.
Our favourite part of the day was simply being with family and friends, some of whom we had not seen in many years.
The steamer on the lake is a beautiful experience and loved by all of our guests. The scenery makes for a simply stunning backdrop – especially for us who spend most of our time looking at sand!
Due to the limitations for catering on the steamer itself, we went for canapés and mini meals from Bakerwood Marquees and Events who far exceeded our expectations. The food was fresh, delicious, plentiful and was provided to our guest by a very attentive team of waiters.
We created personalised brown Mr and Mrs sweetie bags, which contained personalised rock and Love Hearts sweets.
The Dixie Kings Jazz Band was chosen for the evening to suit setting of cruising down Ullswater lake. They provided fabulous entertainment, loved by the old and the young, and we all danced the night away.
We honeymooned in Zanzibar, which provided an ideal balance between relaxation and adventure.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the day! It is about you both not everybody else.
October 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
gorgeously gothic to celebrate the season.
As far from ghoulish as you can get.
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