June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.
And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.
Today’s words of wisdom come courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine. Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.
For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…
Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.
Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.
A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth. If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.
A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.
Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.
Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.
While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.
The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.
The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.
Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.
March 27th, 2017 | Julia Braime
After the clock change at the weekend, we’ve officially sprung into spring, meaning lighter nights, warmer weather and the approach to peak wedding season are all on the way!
To mark the arrival of the new season, we’re bringing a glorious helping of inspiration to those of you planning springtime weddings, courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine.
Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.
For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his helpful pointers on planning a wedding in the season of new beginnings…
Matt says: With Yorkshire offering some of the finest countryside in Britain, make the most of the warmer, longer days by choosing a spectacular setting for your big day. Dine boasts an impressive portfolio of stunning venues to suit every taste – whether you favour a magnificent deer park, picturesque walled gardens, or breath-taking views over historical ruins.
While beautiful indoor locations can be appealing for a spring wedding owing to the chance of April Showers, marquees can provide a fantastic compromise. Although popular for the quintessentially British summer wedding, with the right planning, flooring and heating, a reception under canvas can be a perfect venue whatever the time of year. You can even choose a marquee with sides that can be removed or with windows to enable you to make the most of the weather and the view.
Many of Dine’s stunning venues provide fantastic lakeside settings with outstanding outlooks across Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Gothic-style Carlton Towers and Ripley Castle’s Lakeside settings provide panoramic views – across an island which is home to majestic swans and a glorious, rolling deer park respectively. Alternatively, Bolton Abbey nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, provides a secluded and private setting with exclusive access to the River Wharfe and views of the Augustinian Priory. Belvoir Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland offers a magnificent setting for a marquee wedding while Dalton Hall’s walled garden is quintessentially English and perfect for a more formal spring theme.
Marquees make a spectacular backdrop to wedding celebrations, and offer the ultimate in flexibility, even allowing you the ultimate luxury of getting married at home. Such a wedding can create a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, while the individual location enables couples to buck the trend of a traditional spring wedding and create their own traditions in their unique family setting.
With marquees able to accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose, a huge garden is not necessary. Marquees are also available in an array of sizes and styles, from tipis and vintage army tents, to sailcloth and traditional, enabling you to match a style to your spring wedding theme.
No matter the season, it’s always a fantastic idea for your wedding breakfast to reflect the seasonality of your day, in terms of both the dishes and presentation. With 18 years’ experience as a hospitality and catering specialist, Dine can provide innovation and skill when creating food for your spring wedding. Experienced and imaginative event managers and chefs, combined with seasonal ingredients always promise to deliver your perfect spring menu.
Edible flowers available in spring on both savoury and sweet courses are an innovative and impressive use of unique ingredients to make your dishes look gorgeous. Nasturtiums, French Marigolds and Cornflowers all make colourful additions to your dishes and provide a seasonal touch. Yet if you’d prefer greenery to the bright colours of seasonal flowers, adding fresh herbs to dishes, especially desserts for a unique touch is another great way to add spring colour to your food. Chocolate and rosemary are a match made in heaven so why not add dark chocolate and rosemary tart with a fennel ice-cream and orange sherbet to your wedding breakfast for bright colours and fresh flavours.
Incorporating seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, sugar snap peas, baby carrots and new potatoes provides fresh flavours and crunchy textures. Dine can provide innovative starters, main courses and desserts which combine spectacular presentation and fantastic flavours.
From asparagus velouté with a soft poached quail’s egg and crème fraîche, to fillet of halibut marinated in lemon confit and thyme with vegetables Provençale, gazpacho dressing and buttered anya new potatoes, Dine can create dishes which will remind your guests of spring no matter your venue or the weather.
Menu tasting well ahead of your big day is vital to ensure seasonality and the combination of your chosen ingredients are a perfect match. This also allows you to discuss the menu with your Dine event manager and any adjustments you would like to make.
Wherever you choose to get married, a spring wedding should reflect on the rejuvenation and expectation of the season with soft hues and delicate textures. Pastel pink, lavender and green can be incorporated through dresses, suits, bouquets and food to bring the season inside.
Building a Pinterest ‘mood board’ will help you focus on the spring styles you like, and look carefully at brochures and social media to see what has been done previously at your wedding venue. Working with your venue, whether it be a marquee which provides a blank canvas for you to dress. or somewhere pre-prepared, is important to see how your theme can be incorporated and what might not be as easy to achieve.
According to the Pantone Colour Institute, the colour of 2017 is ‘greenery’ and this certainly reflects the seasonality of spring with images of new growth and new life.
With simple greenery bouquets also becoming increasingly popular, this can be a great backdrop to other colour choices for decorations and favours. The contrast between bright vivid green and delicate pastel colours will create a fresh and vibrant palette, evoking sensations of spring even if the weather isn’t as glorious as you would like, or you are having an indoor wedding.
February 28th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Following a surge of engagements over Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s, we’ve been welcoming lots of lovely new brides-to-be to our pretty pages. If you’re one of them you may well be looking to steam straight into the wedding planning process, though feel a little overwhelmed with all the different elements to consider.
What areas should you tackle first, where should you invest the majority of your time and effort, and what should you look for in suppliers? Here to assist with some of the questions is our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning catering and events specialist Dine.
Catering for more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team has drawn on its vast experience of hospitality and event management, whilst also taking into account comments from some of its happy newlywed couples, to share its top ‘do and don’t’ tips to planning the perfect wedding.
We will be hosting one of our Luxury Bridal Show with the Dine team at its flagship venue The Mansion at Roundhay Park in Leeds, on Sunday 12th March, 11am till 3pm, free entry where you can gain further pointers and advice while meeting some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers. You can pre-register for the free-entry event here.
Now, on with those tips…
Images supplied by Dine/ Joel Skingle Photography
make sure you do
Give yourself plenty of time to plan and appreciate every part of the process. As the actual day goes by so quickly make sure that the anticipation and build up is also something you will remember with fondness.
Think carefully about the expense and research all aspects to ensure that your budget isn’t overstretched. You may well end up spending more than you originally planned. Wedding planners like ourselves can be a great asset when it comes to budget planning, as we have lots of experience and can advise where savings can be made and where it is worth splashing out.
Book the main aspects of the wedding such as venue, photographer and the registrar first as these often get booked up the quickest. Once these have been sorted it’s much easier to plan the rest of your wedding around them. For example, if your wedding is going to be in a stately home you may decide to theme the day accordingly.
To avoid disappointment, sit down with your photographer prior to the wedding to ensure they are fully aware of what you want to achieve and the photographs you’d like to be taken.
Communicate with each other and family, friends and suppliers. It is important that both the bride and groom with the plans for the day and communication is the best way to make sure this happens.
Remember that you have your partner to rely on. Even if everything feels like it is getting out of hand, the relationship between you and your partner means more than anything and should come before any wedding planning.
Make sure you involve all of your guests on the day as it is important everyone has fun. Think of the different age groups that will be present and plan elements, such as food and entertainment, accordingly.
Enjoy the day! It goes by in a flash so make sure to take it all in and take time out with your partner. Having an events caterer such as Dine means that you can spend more time with each other, as they will be checking everything runs smoothly, leaving you to simply relax and enjoy.
Leave planning to the last minute. Foresight saves you money, hassle and stress and no stress means you enjoy planning the big day far more.
Book suppliers that you don’t trust or whose work you haven’t looked at otherwise there’s a very high chance you’ll be unhappy with the results. Responsible suppliers also mean that on the day you can relax as you know they will be doing a great job.
November 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Last week on the blog we were thrilled to share with you the fabulous wedding day of Michelle Hudson, events manager top catering company and Brides Up North Sponsor, Box Tree Events. Today we’re delighted to welcome her back to the blog to update us on Box Tree Events’ fabulous offering to wedding couples, whilst also giving us details of an exciting new venture.
So guys, if you’re looking to impress your guests with Michelin quality food and services, and indulge in some truly delicious culinary delights, then it’s time to pay attention. Over to you Michelle…
Images provided by Box Tree Events, by Steve Moran/ Bruce Rollinson.
Can you give us a little introduction to Box Tree Events?
michelle says: We have been in the restaurant and catering industry for some 30 years; the Box Tree Restaurant has independently held a Michelin star for 15 of those years. We provided a wedding for one of our clients who felt they had never had the quality of service or food at a wedding before. This motivated us to explore this avenue and we decided that we wanted to bring Michelin quality and excellence of food service to the wedding industry and provide our clients with an exceptionally memorable occasion.
Which wedding venues is Box Tree Events the in-house caterer at?
We provide wedding catering at a variety of stunning venues around Yorkshire, including Denton Hall, Broughton Hall and Harewood House, to name a few! We also cater for smaller intimate celebrations in the beautiful Box Tree Restaurant itself.
Tell us about your outside catering service?
We can cater for larger marquee weddings as well as outside events and parties nation-wide. We have catered from many unusual structures, such as garages, utility rooms and barns, we can adapt to pretty much any surroundings!
What types of dining do you offer?
We offer a wide range of dining options, from canape receptions and formal fine dining meals, to hot and cold buffets, barbeques and afternoon teas.
What sets Box Tree Events apart from other catering companies?
We work very closely alongside the Box Tree Restaurant when training staff, creating menus and planning weddings. This enables us to deliver Michelin quality food and service at each of our weddings.
We are not just caterers we have evolved to offer the whole package, we can assist with all aspects of the day: invites, transport, accommodation, table centres, flowers, venue dressing, name cards, favors, toast master and entertainment.
November 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
As couples become more creative with their big day plans, the wedding menu is one element of the proceedings which is being given somewhat of a shake-up, with options beyond the traditional sit-down meal growing in popularity. So whether you want a menu to reflect the theme or season of your wedding, or you simply want to serve up your very favourite dishes, you’re going to need some experts who can produce food that tastes as good as it looks.
Fortunately, we have news of a new catering service in the North West, that can do just that…
For the first time in its 43-year history, Knutsford’s The Belle Époque, is to offer fine dining outside of its historic walls, providing event catering to external functions and events in the form of “Belle Époque Bespoke”. As one of the North West’s leading culinary beacons and wedding venues, The Belle Époque has attracted discerning diners, sporting stars and celebrity guests for more than four decades, securing its place within the top 5% of UK restaurants. Having just sampled this foodie gem’s delicious cuisine (and plenty of bubbly!) last night at a North West wedding industry dinner, we can certainly see why (we’re still dreaming of the dessert now).
Whether for events at home, in a marquee or in an external venue, and whether for 20 or 500 guests, The Belle Époque fine dining team will be bringing the same attention-to-detail that has helped maintain its place within the Michelin Guide for a staggering 38 consecutive years.
So for all you foodies out there, we’ll hand over the blogging reins to Kelly Angus, wedding and events manager at The Belle Époque, to give us more details about the delicious new venture.
Images by Jonny Draper.
Why has The Belle Époque decided to extend its services to outside catering via Belle Époque Bespoke?
kelly says: After providing award-winning food and dining in-house for more than 40 years, we now feel the time is right to extend our offering to people in their own setting. We have a highly experienced outside catering team who can offer exceptional food, service and planning, so it really is the perfect time for us to expand what we do.
What types of dining will Belle Époque Bespoke offer for weddings?
We can offer formal dining, canapes parties, sharing platers, barbecues, afternoon teas, and in fact, we pride ourselves on offering a totally bespoke service, so if you have a wild and wonderful idea we would love the challenge of creating it to our very high standards for you.
Can you tell us a little about the Belle Époque Bespoke team and their experience?
Our team of fine dining chefs is headed up by Paul Wright. As a former protégée of Simon Radley, Paul trained at the Michelin-starred Chester Grosvenor restaurant. He’s cooked for members of the royal family, along with many of the North West’s most discerning diners. Paul is incredibly excited about The Belle Époque’s expansion into outside catering, and has set his sights on creating one of the finest catering businesses in the North West. Paul and his team have crafted outstanding event and wedding menus for you to choose from.
What would you advise brides and grooms to look for in a catering company for their big day?
Flexibility to create the menu you want, quick response times to your queries and a willingness to take time to understand what you want with a clear plan on each stage of the planning until the day arrives.
What sets Belle Époque Bespoke apart from other wedding catering companies?
At The Belle Époque, we hold our outside catering services to the same high standards as our fine dining restaurant. We’re proud to have been awarded two AA rosettes, placing us amongst the top 5% of restaurants in the UK. Our numerous awards and accolades give you the assurance that your event management is in good hands.
Beyond the food what other services does Belle Époque Bespoke offer?
As a popular wedding venue, we know how to make sure that events run smoothly. Event management is what we do, so we’ll ensure the process is as easy and stress-free for you as possible. We want you to enjoy your big day, not be worrying about the canapes.
Whether you’re planning your wedding, or event managing a team away day, you want to know that you can trust your caterers to deliver outstanding food for each and every guest. We’re a family business and are proud of our reputation for excellent, friendly customer service. Over the last forty years, we’ve built up a solid reputation for fine dining and event management and have been recognised by the Michelin Guide for more than 35 years in a row.
June 4th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
When it comes to your first meal as husband and wife, meat and veg in its simplest form will no longer suffice. And quite rightly so: wedding breakfasts are not school dinners! Brides Up North, it’s time to go gourmet!
Food is a very important part of the wedding day. Done right, it’s a celebrational centrepiece and a real treat for your nearest and dearest. Think flavour, theatre and surprise to excite the senses and taste buds and get your guests talking. Practically speaking, keeping them fed keeps them happy too – whilst hugely enjoyable, weddings can be long affairs so feeding guests a good meal or at regular intervals throughout the day is advisable. This way guests should remain alert through the ceremony, welcome drinks and speeches and still have enough energy to burn up the dance floor in the evening.
For couples who are thinking creatively, shunning the traditional soup – followed by chicken – followed by brandy snap basket and mixing up the menu with some more personal food choices will either evoke warm childhood memories or provide a truly memorable meal for guests. Ask your chosen caterer or venue for their suggestions for an extraordinary wedding breakfast.
So what’s top of the menu for couples currently planning their weddings?
With images kindly supplied by our friends at Dine, award winning outside caterers, wedding specialists, venue and event managers, who will be more than happy to discuss your culinary requirements for your big day. Visit their website to see how they can make your event special.
Brilliant Bowl Food
Canapés just got cool. Try creative concoctions served off iPad trays or yummy combinations of flavours that combine in a portable portion for more informal celebrations.
In true British fashion UK wedding couples are picking dainty finger sandwiches, scrummy scones and a wonderful array of cakes to serve their guests, whether as a stand alone meal or as part of a longer series of dining elements. This is a particular popular option for those having summer ceremonies, outdoor weddings or vintage themed celebrations. It can also add a fun, personal touch as couples can invite guests to bring their own sweet treat recipes to the table in a Great British Bake Off style. Interesting savoury options can be served along with the sandwiches while the sweets that follow can include anything from macaroons and cupcakes to fruit tartlets and mini meringues.
Whether it be bangers and mash or steak and kidney pie, comfort foods and dishes that bring back fond childhood memories are whetting couples’ appetites. This laid-back dining option brings a warm and informal atmosphere to the dining table that will help your guests relax. With the wedding breakfast rule book thrown well and truly out of the window, pretty much anything goes – stew and dumplings, cottage pie, posh fish and chips – although there’ll always be a place for a really good roast in our hearts.
I’m pretty sure that after the Aussies it’s us Brits who love to fire up the barbie. Predominately an option for those tying the knot in spring and summer, a gourmet barbecue wedding breakfast offers so much more than chicken legs and hot dogs. Think locally sourced meat used to create marinated lamb and tiger prawn kebabs or unusual flavoured sausages and burgers such as caramelised onion, chilli, apple or sundried tomato and herbs. You could treat your guests to a succulent cut of steak or perhaps, for a lighter option, some delicious Rainbow trout, or walk on the wild side with Ostrich meat! On the side serve summery and imaginative salad, coleslaw and cous cous dishes.
As it’s cheaper to get married in the morning, those getting hitched before lunch time can literally make their first meal as a married couple breakfast. A growing trend, which started in America, serving your guests breakfast is certainly one way to make your wedding meal memorable. But it’s not a case of laying out some Special K, toast and crumpets – instead think fun options such as pancakes, omelettes and waffles that allow guests to interact by picking their own toppings and fillings. Alternatively, for those wanting a posh brekkie, why not serve up scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or Eggs Benedict, accompanied by a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary.
And to drink?
Champagne will always be in fashion, but locally brewed beers, ales and ciders served straight from the keg are becoming increasingly popular and work particularly well for summer fete or festival style weddings. Cocktails remain popular, of course, but to shake things up a little couples are encouraged serve a signature cocktail created purely for their wedding, or hire a pop-up bar where professional mixologists entertain guests by rattling up drinks on request.
I’ll drink to that!
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