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!
This is not a sponsored post
May 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon it’s off to sunny Ilkley for a Yorkshire wedding with Latin sprit! Francine and Harry used their favourite elements from their two cultures to create a unique and beautiful celebration which stayed true to both their roots. One thing’s for sure, those
Brazilians Yorkshire folk know how to party!
With images by Richard Wynn Davies.
Francine says: We got engaged on a trip to Paris just before Christmas 2012. Harry and I took my parents for a trip and Harry asked my dad for permission to marry me. A few moments after that, Harry proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower. We then headed to London to celebrate Christmas with Harry’s family for the first time. It was a special few days!
We had an engagement party in April 2013 in my hometown of São Paulo. All my close family and friends were invited, along with Harry’s parents
We got married in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. The ceremony was held at St. Helen’s Chapel, Denton and the reception was at Denton Hall.
We knew we wanted something very personal to us. We weighed up the pros and cons of having a wedding in Brazil, but because we wanted to be very involved in the preparation of the wedding, we decided it would have to be in Yorkshire, where Harry grew up.
We looked at lots of different wedding venues in Yorkshire. Denton Hall was the most immaculate estate house we visited. Nicely painted walls, good quality furniture, oh, and that staircase! Its grounds are breath-taking! The guest rooms are also beautifully decorated and good value for money. The landscape around Ilkley is so beautiful and the town is so welcoming so we thought that it would also be a very pleasant stay for our guests coming from all over the world.
I always dreamed of a church wedding, so having a little chapel only five minutes away was the icing on the cake. We felt very welcome when we started participating in the church sessions there.
We felt a very positive vibe when we had our first meeting with Hannah from Denton Hall and Michelle from Box Tree Events. We felt confident that they would help us to deliver the most beautiful and intimate wedding. They are exceptional hospitality professionals!
I chose a Pronovias lace, strapless, mermaid silhouette dress covered by a tulle over skirt with Chantilly lace appliqués. For the church I had a lace bolero on and a short veil, all also from Pronovias. I wore champagne coloured shoes from Jimmy Choo.
I had the names of my single friends attached to the inside hem of my dress. The tradition says that if you are single and looking for love, having your name attached to the bride’s dress gives you good luck in love.
I wore my mum’s diamond and platinum earrings, my make up was by Annabel Bailey and hair by No. 1 Hair & Beauty in Ilkley.
My sister wore a long light pink dress she bought in New York and my other two bridesmaids who live in London wore long dresses in mint green from Coast.
Our flowers were by Leafy Couture. I carried a loose bouquet of succulents, David Austin Pale pink roses, sweet avalanche roses, ranunculus, viburnum opulus, muscari, gyp, camomile with lace binding the stems, but keeping it visible.
All my bridesmaids carried a smaller version of my bouquet in different colours. The chief bridesmaid had white flowers to compliment her pink dress and the other two had pinks to complement the green dresses. They were all bound in mint green ribbon.
The original idea was to walk to the church, since the church was only five minutes away, however, because it was a bit windy, my mum convinced me to take a lift with Harry’s big sister and her husband in their car.
My favourite part of the day was the church ceremony, entering the church with my dad and finding the church completely full with our families and close friends.
We wanted to be true to the place we chose to marry, our identities and our history together. So everything was themed around the places that we are from. Having the wedding in Yorkshire played a big part in this.
I also introduced some of my Brazilian traditions into the wedding, such as the little cakes filled with dulce de leche called “bem casados” (well married cakes), which were given as favours to the guests. The tradition says it brings good luck and happiness to the couple in their marriage. To complement this, we also offered a little jar of honey from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, where Harry grew up.
All table names were places in Brazil which we visited together, along with a photo of both of us.
We designed our own invitations with my watercolour on the front cover. Then we used the same design to plan our seating names, order of services and table names. Sending to print online cost us a fraction of the price that it would cost to ask someone else to design it for us.
We chose a three tiered cake with two types of chocolate and one lemon cake by Patisserie Viennoise in Otley.
We had a crèche from Perfectly Practical Parties to entertain our little guests while the parents were having dinner and this was very appreciated by the parents. It was a very successful alternative to having to change wedding venue because of the dining room capacity after we had fallen in love with Denton Hall. At the start of our research for wedding venues we were struggling to find the right place to get married. We didn’t want to have to leave people out of our day, or choose another venue so, we arranged a crèche for four hours. The children were very well looked after and by the end of the meal we had a children’s parade, showcasing their carnival masks they made in the crèche and were reunited with parents.
The band was also our little surprise for the guests – nobody knew we would bring a full drumming carnival Brazilian band until they started playing a bossa nova song for our first dance. After that, no more quiet music! As soon as the drums started, we put our carnival masks on. Carnival masks and garlands, and funky glasses were also distributed to the guests to join the dance floor.
Our band was Multi Bloco by Alive Network.
For our honeymoon we jetted off to Thailand for two weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that if you want to give a personal touch to your day and make things yourself, – go for it, but be realistic! There are things we still wouldn’t compromise such as venue, catering, a good photographer, flowers and a good entertainment.
Congratulations Francine & Harry!
December 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
On this special morning (Merry Christmas everybody!) we’re in North Yorkshire for the colourful celebrations of ventriloquists (yes really!) Alice and Gareth at one of the most stunning venues I know, Allerton Castle.
This cool couple prove that a choosing a traditional venue doesn’t have to translate to a boring wedding. These guys got their beautiful setting and their unique detailing. Kudos.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Laura Calderwood.
Alice says: Gareth asked me to marry him at home in front of our log fire on Christmas Day 2012. We got married on Thursday 22nd August 2013 at Allerton Castle, North Yorkshire.
We spent hours scouring the internet and found a few venues that looked great. We viewed a couple and were not overwhelmed. However, as we drove into the grounds of Allerton Castle, we were immediately taken by the grand driveway leading up to the castle which remained out of sight until the last 100 yards or so. When it finally ‘appeared’ it was a moment we will never forget. Breathtaking. And set in beautiful grounds. Upon entering the castle we were further impressed by the grandness of it all and the staircase was magnificent.
Lyndsey, at Dine, showed us round, talked us through everything, made us feel very at ease and reassured us that she was only ever a phone call away, something which she may have later regretted. We phoned her a lot!
My dress was Kenneth Winston Private Label by G. I loved the detail on the bodice, the ruffles and the train. Gareth’s suit was made by Leeds tailor, James Michelsberg – a bespoke bright purple suit with lilac lining. Our bridesmaids wore handmade chiffon dresses in lilac.
Helen James Flowers supplied a hand tied bouquet incorporating roses, veronica, lisianthus, phlox and freesias and the stems were bound with satin.
Every part of the day was incredibly special. It’s hard to pick one moment but the ceremony was very emotional (in a good way)!
Everyone stayed at the Days Inn, Wetherby, the night before and although some drove to the castle, the majority were picked up by a special wedding bus from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company. Alice’s mum drove her to the castle on the day as her entrance was down the grand staircase so she had to arrive at the castle first. Gareth drove in a few minutes later with his best man.
The whole day was very special but the extra unexpected special touches included our caricaturist, Mike Bryson, who had the ability (and guts) to identify and accentuate everyone’s slight imperfections with great accuracy. The shock and laughter really brought everyone together.
The fireworks by Ferrensby Fireworks were incredible and well worth every penny. Interspersed with a well timed lightning storm (provided free by nature) they just kept coming getting bigger and brighter before culminating in a huge grand finale!
We decided to have a victoria sponge cake which stood proudly over 72 cup cakes (36 purple, 36 white) by Cupcakes By Charley. I made the cake toppers. They actually looked a lot better on the cake than they looked in the kitchen the previous day!
Gareth wrote a song for me and performed it for her as part of his wedding speech. The song is called ‘My pot of gold’ and is available to watch on Youtube.
We work on cruise ships as ventriloquists and are in demand at the moment so have not yet had chance to go on a honeymoon but we are planning on going to Las Vegas for a few days and skiing for a long weekend, just as soon as we get a gap in the diary
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy every moment. It goes so quickly. Have fireworks in the evening but don’t tell anyone (apart from the firework providers of course)!
Laura Calderwood provided a pre-wedding shoot on the castle grounds which we would recommend as it gives you a chance to get to know your photographer and get a feel for their style.
We were going to use a magician but going for the caricaturist instead was a great idea because it brought everyone together and gave people something to take away with them.
Also, using a bus was great because it not only ensured that everyone got to the castle at the same time but it also built up a lot of excitement on route.
Congratualtions Alice & Gareth!
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