December 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Though we didn’t need anymore reason to get the mulled wine heating on the hob and the Baileys chilling in the fridge, Friday has arrived signaling the ok for a little indulgence. As such we’re treating your eyes to this true beauty of a real wedding, which took place in the beautiful city of York.
Lisa and Steve chose the stunning Grays Court, for their big day celebrations – a stunning, historic building which dates back to the 11th century. As luck would have it, the sun shone brightly on their wedding day and they unexpectedly ended up saying their vows in the venue’s garden, surrounded by candelabras, plinths, candles and flowers – a dreamy outdoors ceremony if ever we saw one! What we love most about the venue though, is that it looks like a secret hideaway – you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the midst of a serene countryside setting as opposed to the heart of a city.
From the inspired grey colour scheme and Lindt chocolate favours, to the string quartet and elegant red velvet cake – there are lots of wonderful details to pore over. Our highlight though has to be the photos captured after dark, with fairy lights and dark shadows at play for some truly romantic shots!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged on my birthday, 10th April 2016. I love history and one of my favourite places is Hever Castle in Kent; Anne Boleyn’s childhood home. Steve surprised me with a trip to Hever. We stayed at the castle and while in the gardens, he proposed on one knee with a ring! He arranged for champagne on ice in our room for our return. It was perfect.
Our wedding date was 14th October, and we chose Grays Court in York as our venue. We love York and go whenever we can. I love Grays Court because it dates back to the 11th century, it’s beautiful with the gardens backing onto York wall and boasts views of the Minster. We’ve stayed there a few times and I knew that’s where I wanted to get married.
Our colour scheme was grey which matched the venue, as well as being my favourite colour. I didn’t have a theme in mind but realised along the way I’d chosen grey for quite a lot of things!
I chose an Ian Stuart gown. I loved his style straight away and found a bridal shop which stocked his gowns. The dress is called Angelica. It originally had a high neck and was sleeveless with a low back, but Ian Stuart made the dress strapless at my request.
Steve wore a light grey suit from Spencer’s in Liverpool. Meanwhile, our bridesmaids wore Dessy and the colour choice was stormy.
I didn’t need transport on the wedding day as I stayed at the venue the night before. Steve stayed at The Grand and walked through York with his friends to Grays.
November 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime
Can we get a Fri-yay! Just sneaking in before wine o’clock is this truly stunning real wedding, which took place in one of our favourite northern cities, and at a fabulous venue that we’ve had the pleasure of visiting for ourselves.
Kirsty and Dan instantly fell for the gorge interiors and beautiful features of The Principal York, – as did our Features Ed Rachel (read her experience of the hotel here), so we totally get their draw to its charm and opulence.
Planning a wedding that would wow, they built on the hotel’s beautiful rooms with luxurious décor and blooms in deep, dusky pink and elegant silver.
Kirsty’s intricately detailed dress just blows us away and we love that she had a second makeup artist to transform her pure bridal beauty to a glam night time look, ready to party at the evening reception. Now that’s an idea worth noting!
With images by Daz Mack.
kirsty says: We got engaged on the 22nd April 2015, in our bedroom. We had just had our beautiful baby girl Honey, who was a week old and planned to celebrate my birthday in York with a nice meal and a bit of shopping during the day. I was getting ready upstairs and Dan came up looking a bit pasty, he said he had been wanting to wait until we got into York however he couldn’t wait because he felt sick and he just dropped on to one knee and asked if I would marry him, I said yes…of course! We then celebrated my birthday and engagement!
We set the date for 1st September 2017, as this was the only Friday available at our dream venue The Principal, in York, which was needed for our best man who is a teacher.
We fell in love with the venue’s staircase and black and white tiled hallway when we first saw it. It took our breath away and we knew this is where we wanted to celebrate our big day.
We went for an elegant/romantic theme. I wanted everybody to walk in and think wow!
We had a dusky pink and silver colour scheme. We chose the silver due to men being in grey tails and wanted it to tie in with what they were wearing. When I saw the swatch colour for the bridesmaid dresses I fell in love straight away and then started to look at flower arrangements and just knew the two colours would go together perfectly.
I went dress shopping with my mum. She had sourced a wedding dress shop in Northallerton which she said had good reviews. I always knew I wanted something quite fitted and the style of a fishtail dress. I tried a few on and didn’t feel special and then I saw the dress and tried it on. I felt like a princess. It was very detailed with lace and sparkle and had a feature back, which I adored. It was very different to everything I had seen and just knew it was for me.
I had two bridal makeup artists. Catherine Elizabeth, who is based in York, came in the morning to do my hair and makeup and also my bridesmaids’ and my mum’s. Catherine Elizabeth was recommended by The Principal and was amazing for giving me the fresh-faced bridal look I wanted. In the evening I had Amy Halliday, who gave me a glam night time look.
Dan wore a grey three-piece suit which had a tails jacket, all from Moss Bros. The groomsmen wore the same.
My two bridesmaids were in Dessy bridesmaid gowns, which we bought from Joys Bella Bridesmaids in York.
November 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
We’re beginning the week by heading to one of our favourite cities, Liverpool, for a stylish, contemporary wedding brimming with urban elegance.
Anna and Phil said “I do” in June of this year at the exquisite Hope Street Hotel – a chic, dog-friendly venue. And yes, the latter means that there’s a very special four-legged guest to look out for in the photos…
Plumping for a ‘Liverpool Love’ theme, the couple decided to keep things pared back in the venue itself – allowing the hotel’s stunning city location to take centre stage, with breathtaking views from their private terrace. And of course, no Liverpudlian themed wedding would be complete without an appearance from a Superlambanana!
With images by Lisa Howard Photography.
anna says: We got engaged on my birthday, 8th April, in 2016. Phil was insistent that we went out for lunch to The Punchbowl pub, which is where we went on our first date. I was feeling pretty delicate after going out with my friends the night before, but Phil was desperate to go there. We sat on the same seats as on our first date and Phil passed me a birthday present which turned out to be an engagement ring, I was so shocked I couldn’t believe it!
We tied the knot on 8th June 2017. We wanted to get married in June and decided to get married on a Thursday as the venue we wanted did mid-week package offers.
We had our ceremony and reception at the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool. We both live in Sheffield but are originally from Liverpool so decided that it would be nice to get married there. We looked at loads of venues online and then went to a wedding fair at the Hope Street Hotel. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with it. The views from the Fifth were amazing and the staff were lovely, so we booked it straight away. After we had booked the venue, we saw online that it was a dog friendly hotel so decided to ask if we could have our little dog Martha at the wedding and they loved the idea.
We decided on a Liverpool Love theme, since we were coming back to Liverpool and it fitted our venue perfectly.
We went for nude pink, navy and silver colour scheme. We knew we wanted navy and silver but the nude pink was decided once the bridesmaids had picked a dress that they all liked.
I didn’t really have any idea what sort of dress I wanted, apart from that I didn’t want strapless. I got my dress from Natalie Ann Brides in Huyton, Liverpool. The staff were all so helpful and made me feel relaxed as soon as we walked in. I didn’t pick my dress – it was actually the lady in the shop who suggested I try it on and I fell in love with it straight away. I paired the dress with Rachel Simpson shoes.
One of my bridesmaids, Estelle Greenhalgh is a makeup artist so she did my hair and makeup along with the other bridesmaids’ and my mum’s, and it looked amazing!
October 9th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Kicking off your week in style, we’re showcasing a stunning wedding in the heart of Liverpool – proof, if any was needed, that an urban backdrop can provide the most beautiful of settings for your special day.
Our couple, Lindsey and Andrew, tied the knot earlier this summer. Hosting their celebrations at the truly mesmerising Oh Me Oh My venue, dubbed a ‘secret space’ in the city – the newlyweds opted for a rustic vintage theme. We’re talking a VW campervan, pretty foliage and floral arrangements, miniature chalkboards and pegs, and the most divine naked wedding cake.
We just love the combination of an impressive rooftop garden, sparklers and an enviable view over the city – perfect for couples seeking something a little bit alternative.
With images by Bobtale Photography.
lindsey says: We got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2014, in London, on the River Thames, as Big Ben struck midnight and the fireworks went off.
We tied the knot on 15th July 2017, at St George’s Hall Liverpool as we wanted a civil ceremony. We then hosted our celebrations at Oh Me Oh My in Liverpool – I absolutely fell in love with this venue the first time I saw it. I love its vintage quirkiness and city centre location.
The wedding had a rustic vintage theme which went perfectly with the venue. I wasn’t too hung up on colour schemes – I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses and we took it from there.
I knew I wanted a lace wedding dress but still tried on lots of different styles. I got my dress from Jules Bridal in Wigan, and knew from the minute I put it on that it was the one.
Andrew wore a grey three-piece suit from Greenwoods Menswear in Wigan. The groomsmen also wore grey three-piece suits from Greenwoods.
September 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
It goes without saying that choosing your dream wedding venue is one of the first – and most important – decisions you’ll make when it comes to tying the knot.
And even before you hone in on different venues and draw up a wish list, the most basic of questions will need consideration: should you marry in the country or the city?
Both locations offer couples something unique; complementing your grander plans and priorities for the day – whether it’s unrivalled photo opportunities, ease of getting from the ceremony to the party after, or quite simply fitting with your overall theme.
For some brides, you may already have the perfect backdrop mapped out in your head, but for others who are undecided, we’re taking a closer look at the merits of both locations and the special qualities they could bring to your wedding celebrations. Which will you choose?
When you think of a country wedding, chances are you’ll think of a magnificent manor house, or even a castle with impressive sprawling grounds.
Country weddings are typically traditional, grand and offer exclusivity. And for the most regal of settings, they tend to come with a heftier price tag, too.
If you’re after something classic, steeped in heritage and in complete contrast to your day-to-day lives, then this style of wedding offers a true fairytale moment and is perfect for couples after a touch of elegance and decadence.
The backdrop will require minimal effort on your part, with the venue decked out in the most pristine and classy of decors – think chandeliers, illustrious artwork, spellbinding staircases and balconies, and majestic furnishings. The surrounding estate (the stuff from period novels, no doubt) will offer the finest of photo opportunities too. What’s not to love?
Of course, there are other types of country weddings which have become increasingly on-trend in recent years. We’re talking about the country barn or tipi.
The barn is another serene, stylish backdrop but it’s much more informal. You’re likely to have more freedom on how you decorate this space (candles, blossom trees and festoon lighting are just a few ideas we’ve seen recently) and you’ll probably be able to bring in your own catering – ice cream parlours, burger vans and street food pop-ups abound!
For something unconventional with an ethereal twist – the tipi is the venue du jour for the boho bride and groom. This is the ideal setting for outdoorsy types who want to break away from the traditional wedding day formula and do it their way, with bundles of rustic charm. We’ve seen everything from outdoors game tournaments to bake offs, and of course, mesmerising photos set within atmospheric woodlands and meadows.
The down-side? The country wedding takes place in a rural, secluded spot and your guests may have to travel far to get to and from the venue. Local accommodation may be limited as well, so guests will need to be super-organised and book early.
Whatever your style or theme though – the country wedding comes in many captivating guises. And irrespective of the venue you choose, all you can really hope for on the day is some good British weather to top it all off!
The city wedding is brimming with cosmopolitan, contemporary vibes. It’s for the bride and groom who are forward thinking, pragmatic and modern in their outlook, looking to make a statement.
The hustle and bustle of the city might prove too much for some couples, but for the bride and groom who opt for an urban backdrop – the thrive on this hectic yet lavish location. And they don’t shy away from attention either. There’s also the added convenience it offers both them and their guests in terms of transport and accommodation on the day itself.
A city wedding can bring glamour and glitz by the bucket load with chic hotels and city landmarks – everything from maritime museums and art galleries to former warehouses, rooftop bars, breweries and zoos – providing your celebrations with an unconventional edge.
There might be limitations on how you can access and decorate these venues and some spaces may also need to remain open to the public, so it’s worth clarifying these points when you go for a show around.
A city location can present unusual and iconic photo opportunities too. Suddenly the everyday becomes a stunning prop in your photo…crossing a busy road, standing in a doorway scribbled in graffiti or even the quirky architecture of the pub on the corner or a distant towering office block.
And if you’re choosing a city wedding, then chances are, the city in question holds special memories for you and your hubby-to-be, so why not go all-out and pay homage to this in your décor and theme for the day? From your table names and centre pieces to your welcome drink and favours – think of original ideas that will personalise the venue and help put your stamp on the day.
Country and city weddings offer such a contrast to your celebrations, and within each location, there’s another myriad of choices to be made when selecting a specific venue. But like most things associated with your wedding planning, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a gut feeling what’s right for you and your fiancé. The key is to make whatever venue you choose your own, and make it the flawless backdrop for showcasing your personalities and sharing your special memories together with your loved ones. Country or city? You decide!
July 25th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When Rebecca and James’ Christmas wedding dropped into our inbox we simply couldn’t believe our luck. In Rebecca we saw a kindred spirit: a girl hell-bent on gorgeousness, glamour, sequins and a festive berry lip. Plus, she tells a blummin’ good story, not just spilling all the pretty details (obvs) but also gets across a real sense of the laughter and love they shared with their guests on the day. All the goosebumps.
Our highlight? Well, that Ritva Westenius gown is a beauty – a slinky statement of a dress with a simple, timeless silhouette – and the gallery setting is something very special indeed – but if the Brides Up North team could direct you to just one detail it would be that makeup. An education in how to do bridal glamour right there. You’re very welcome.
With images by Shane Webber.
rebecca says: We got engaged in 2015 while on holiday in Singapore (this makes us sound very extravagant – it was a treat!) We were sitting drinking cocktails at the long bar in Raffles (as you do), munching away on the complimentary monkey nuts (as you do), when I looked down to see that one had a ring around it. Cue floods of tears from me for the next hour – the poor barmaid didn’t know what was going on. It was a complete surprise (although there may have been some, ahem, gentle encouragement from me in the months proceeding) and the happiest moment of my life (pre-wedding!)
Initially we looked at a September wedding, but struggled to match up availability of our venue and the registrar. I also had a niggling idea about a winter wedding that wouldn’t budge…after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and wails of “But I thought we’d agreed September!” I think it was actually James who first said “well, what about Christmas?” And that was that. We had a hankering to do something just a little bit different and we both love the festive season, so it felt perfect.
We had both the ceremony and reception at the Manchester Art Gallery. We really wanted to get married in the city centre as it’s local to us, and we both love the paintings there. We looked at a couple of other venues but when we went to look round the Gallery, James (not normally the world’s most effusive about these kind of things) turned to me and said: “I actually feel a bit excited!” I could’ve hugged the woman showing us around! It’s a beautiful building inside and out and such a privilege to marry there.
We loved the idea of an elegant, glamorous theme with a touch of Gatsby. With the ceremony being later in the day at 4pm and the time of year, this theme worked really well. We considered a black-tie dress code for guests but James wasn’t sure. In the end our invites said: “It’s Christmas, it’s evening, so feel free to throw the glitter around and GO ALL-OUT GLAM’”. Sums it up, really!
So the colours? Hints of gold, sequins and dark jewel shades for the best men. And the ‘feel’? Glamorous, warm, festive. We wanted our guests to feel special and essentially have a fantastic pre-Christmas party!
I chose a simple but elegant dress by Ritva Westenius from Isaac Charles in Poynton. It was a sample on its own in the store and when I tried it on I loved how I felt in it. Because of our theme I really wanted something that felt glamorous and luxurious (…and a bit sexy, as I said to my slightly bemused mum) The store and staff at Isaac Charles were lovely and I’d definitely recommend them to any brides-to-be.
James, the best men and both our dads wore elegant white dress shirts, black trousers and velvet dinner jackets from Reiss. The boys wore black and James’ was a dark blue just to stand out a little. They all had contrasting silk scarves, pocket squares and bow ties. I absolutely loved it; they all looked so handsome. James was really keen for something a bit different but also a ‘non-traditional’ suit (that could be worn again for special occasions) and I think he nailed it.
The bridesmaids wore floor-length gold sequinned gowns from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. I had such a strong idea of what I wanted them in that we ended up getting their dresses before mine. Thankfully, they liked them! They both looked so beautiful. Amina at Stockport Wedding Services did a great job with alterations for us all.
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