Charlotte Balbier

wedstock. a vibrant festival wedding in yorkshire – sophia & sean

April 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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Today’s real wedding takes place in one of my favourite places, Bradfield – a gorgeous little village in Yorkshire that was something of a hidden gem until the Tour de France zipped through it last year.

Clear of cyclists, Sophia and Sean headed to Foxholes Farm to throw a festival themed outdoor wedding inspired by their love of music.

Add some incredible blooms, bright bunting and striking flags to the live entertainment provided by the groom’s band and you’ve got one rocking wedding.

Lets head to the main stage…

With images by Photography34.

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sophia says: We got engaged in October 2012 the Northern Lights while we were in Iceland! Sean really isn’t romantic but this is the most romantic thing he’s ever done!

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We decided to book the wedding for 23rd August 2014 as we wanted it over the bank holiday so people could celebrate and party with us all weekend!

Cressbrook Hall, near Buxton, was our chosen venue for the wedding ceremony. We fell in love with its beauty straight away. It was too small to hold our total wedding though so we opted just to have the ceremony in the orangery overlooking the stunning Peak views. The reception venue was then held at Foxholes Farm in Bradfield, just outside Sheffield (not far from where we live). We loved the views and the flexibility of this venue – it gave us a chance to put our own stamp on it.

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We had a festival wedding – ‘Wedstock’ – Sean plays in a band and we love going to festivals so it seemed to fit us!

We wanted bright, sunny, warm colours to brighten up our marquee and to fit the summer season – so chose red, orange and hot pink. We loved our colour scheme! The colours looked so lovely in the photos.

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I found my dress in Blissful Daze in Sheffield which has since shut down (such a shame as it was a lovely shop). I’m half Peruvian so a Spanish-designed and inspired dress caught my eye and I loved it straight away! When I put it on it felt so ‘me’ and so right! It was by Pronovias.

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Sean and his groomsmen wore grey suits from Moss Bros with white shirts and pink ties.

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The bridesmaids wore watermelon – which is a colour I love (they took some convincing but liked it in the end, Bridesmaidzillas!) Their dresses were from JJsHouse off the internet believe it or not! It was a risk ordering online, but ultimately I was pleased with them – despite being slapped with an import tax I wasn’t expecting – never mind!

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We travelled in an amazing VW campervan called Rita. Grant drove us from Candy Apple Weddings – he only does a few select weddings a year but would highly recommend him!

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Tony from Photography 34 was our chosen photographer. We think Toy is amazing and would recommend him to anyone! His photos are gorgeous. We also had a videographer who was great – Wedding-Cam.

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Our florists were Swallows and Damsons from Sheffield – they were brilliant form start to finish and my bouquet was probably the part of the wedding which most surprised me – I loved my flowers more than I had anticipated and actually feel quite emotional thinking about my bouquet now! They were excellent – again I would highly recommend.

Swallows and Damsons did all the flowers displayed in watering cans and homemade vases alongside hand-decorated candles at the reception. To decorate we also had bunting made my Sean’s amazing mum. And my mum handmade the petal confetti.

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We created a little message in a bottle for each guest for favours. Sean and I wrote a message for each of our family/friends – we just wanted to bring a personal message from us to each of our special guests. They went down a storm and we were told our guests shed a few tears whilst reading them! They doubled up as name-places too.

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My friend Lisa made our wedding cupcakes which were carrot and vanilla. They were delicious and looked beautiful!

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Friends 4 Dinner did our catering. We had scallops and pate followed by salmon and beef, as we wanted something that everyone could enjoy. The food was delicious and the catering was to a very high standard. To drink we had Rioja (Sean’s favourite) and Sauvignon Blancfrom New Zeland (my favourite).

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Sean’s in a band so played the wedding to entertain our guests. They’re called Control Freak and were ace! We also had a magician Ben Z from Sheffield to dazzle us with some tricks. At the ceremony our friend Al sung us down the aisle to Incubus’ If Not Now, When – it’s a very special song and brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye thinking about it!

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We would recommend our wedding venue to other couples who want to make their big day personal.

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I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite part of the day – it was all amazing! Being sung down the aisle to our very special song by our friend or maybe driven around the Peaks with my new husband, sipping champagne in a VW was pretty special! Tony found us some gorgeous spots to be snapped. When I look through the photos, they’re the ones I love the most – the gorgeous views with my new hubby!

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For our honeymoon we went backpacking in Sri Lanka. It was so nice to relax after the busy few weeks of the wedding, plus seeing some amazing sights.

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Sean’s top tip to Brides Up North would be to have a proper think about everything that needs to happen on the day, for example certain tracks being played at certain times, music being set up, equipment being in place, and delegate these tasks to a groomsman.

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My top tip to other Brides Up North is to prioritise capturing your special day in as much details as you can, either in photo or video format (or both if possible) as the minute it’s over you’ll want to relive it again and again and it’s nice to have those memories for the rest of your lives. Every year on our anniversary we’ve pledged to watch our wedding video with chocs and champagne! It’s a nice tradition we hope to create following our special day.

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sing a rainbow. a crafty & colourful wedding celebration in north yorkshire – kristina & andrew

April 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (32)

You might want to slip on a pair of sunnies for this one as today’s wedding features all the colours of the rainbow.

Following a church ceremony, Andrew & Kristina threw a bright & breezy, colourful wedding reception in a field complete with marquee, barbecue, bus bar, games and camping.

The pair made the day their own with special touches and homemade décor including a DIY photo booth and bunting – lots of bunting!

With images by Ruth Mitchell Photography.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (6)

kristina says: We got engaged on the 10th August 2013 in the Alps. We had a two week holiday planned driving around France in our van, starting in Paris and ending in Alpe d’Huez. I had no idea this would be the time Andy would propose, we had been together seven years and just though it would never happen. Part of the trip was planned so when we arrived in the Alps we would go on a little adventure in the mountains so Andy could show me why he loves them so much. We packed our bags and set off on the cable car as far as it would take us then started our walk up. We later pitched our tent and got an early night as Andy informed me an alpine start is early, like 4am early. What a sight when I woke, all I could see were little lights moving across the rocks one after the other it was fab. Our bags were already packed so off we went. When we got to the glacier we had to put on our crampons and rope together so we could start our climb up the mountain. When we started to reach the top the sun was blinding, it was incredible. We carried along the flat of the top and over to some rocks for a rest and to take in the view. Andy asked if I wanted a brew but in all honesty all I wanted to do was get down as I felt a little strange. He then tells me he has a little present for me and gets a box out of his jacket pocket and out of the box comes a lovely little wooden ring and then his words, ‘will you marry me?’. I was in shock then looked up at Andy and said ‘yes’. Shortly followed by ‘can we go down now?’ When we got back to the campsite our friends had all travelled over to France and had a banner with congratulations on it and champagne ready, it was great. I also found out Andy had hand made my ring in our loft out of cherry wood. How sweet.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (3)

We were married on Saturday 9th August 2014. We had wanted to get married on the anniversary of our engagement but that would have been a Sunday so we chose the 9th.

We originally wanted to get married outside but with this not being legal in England we felt it would have been a hassle to get married then have a blessing outside so we chose a church wedding. We are not from Great Ayton and as we had already chosen our reception venue we thought a church close by would be the best option and we stumbled upon St Oswald’s at Newton under Roseberry. The vicar Paul Peverell is an amazing man, very down to earth and understanding. As soon as we met him we knew we had made the right decision. Our wedding reception was at Angrove Park in Great Ayton. We were looking for somewhere with a field for a marquee, camping for our guests and a fire pit, oh and loos. We stumbled upon Angrove Park online. This was the only venue we looked at and booked it straight away. It had everything we wanted, including camping pods and tent space, it was just perfect. The owners Louise and Alan are fantastic people they were there for us every step of the way and helped in so many ways – they were simply amazing.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (7)

We used Fletchers Marquees to provide the marquee who were great. The marquee was perfect and they were very reasonably priced and provided a really helpful service.

At first we didn’t have a theme, we were more interested in getting the colours right and making sure it was chilled out and fun. As the planning went on though I found myself making a lot of things in the shape of bunting, so I guess bunting was our theme.

We both love colour so would have found it hard to decide on one. Our home is colourful and we are both colourful outgoing people so decided to go with colours of the rainbow. We thought this was the best way to make it our own wedding and not a remake of someone else’s.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (8)

I’m not a dress kind of girl so for me this part was not too important. I went to BHS and bought the first dress I tried on and thought, great that will do. Around three months before the wedding I tried the dress on again and decided that actually I did not want to be in just any dress, I wanted to be in a dress I would feel comfortable in all day. So I gathered the troops (my mam, sister and best friend) and off we went in search of a new dress. We went to a place where you can buy off the peg and at good prices called Tonia Ann in Washington. I tried on a few and then I tried on ‘the one’. It was so comfortable and well, just me. I bought it there and then.

Andy wore a black suit from Next. We had looked at hiring suits but Next suits are such good quality at reasonable prices so it was an easy decision for us. His shirt was from Debenhams as this was the only place we could find a double cuff shirt which did not cost the earth. He wore a red bow tie, cufflinks, braces and handkerchief which were from eBay and he wore red Converse. The groomsmen wore the same but in their own colour (to match the rainbow). We also had a little page boy, our nephew Toby. He wore a little black suit and white shirt from Marks & Spencer. He had orange braces bow, tie handkerchief and shoes. Too cute.

The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Debenhams. We went shopping very early on for these as I wanted to make sure they both had dresses they felt comfortable in. We had such a fun day, some of the dresses they tried on were hilarious. They chose a lovely purple dress and we also got their shoes that day – orange sandals from BHS.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (10)

I walked to the church as I was staying at the Kings Head the night before which is at the top of the lane. I really enjoyed walking, it gave me time to soak in what was about to happen. We drove our van from the church to the reception as it fit in perfectly with our day. We have a very nice transporter T4, which Andy had popped some ribbons on.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (11)

Our photographer was Ruth Mitchell. Ruth was recommended to us from a friend and I’d seen her around at work so we arranged a meeting. We hit it off straight away and after seeing her work we paid a deposit to secure the date. Ruth was brilliant and took everything in her stride. Anything we needed Ruth was there. On our wedding day Ruth blended into our wedding like one of the guests while capturing perfect memories. Brilliant. We definitely made the right decision choosing Ruth and if anyone is looking for a professional yet relaxed photographer I would definitely recommend her.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (12)

I had what I thought was the most amazing bouquet. I had priced up a few bouquets and found them to be more than I wanted to pay so we decided to do them ourselves. I contacted Alex Lunn from Blossom and Blooms as he has a stall at Ripon Market and thought I could pick them up on the Thursday before our wedding. I explained that I wanted him to provide me with flowers so I could make them up myself. He was happy with this and very helpful. He emailed me a picture on that Thursday morning showing me some of the flowers he had got in stock just for me. I couldn’t believe it, they were great! I topped the flowers up from him with a few from Morrisons as I was missing blue and orange colours. My sister made my bouquet and tied it with string, it was lovely. It was so nice I asked her to make me another to throw as I did not want to the first one.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (13)

To decorate we had a jam jar of flowers on each of the 15 tables, a big bunch in the bar bus and lots of little jars all over the site. They were all made up by my sister and best friend. I enjoy crafting so decided to make everything myself for the venue including the name cards, table numbers and cake sign. I bought little windmills to add in with the flowers as they were bright and we had bunting everywhere! My mam made this for us and it was amazing. We also made paper pompoms to sit on the stage and had a homemade photo booth with a backdrop of paper birds. My sister and dad spent hours making a thousand of these so we could hang them up. It looked so cool. I also made a table plan with good old cutting and sticking.

Our wedding favours were fridge magnets. We had 15 different magnets printed with the wedding date on each and we slipped them into the name cards. We decided on magnets as every time someone looked at their fridge they would be reminded of our wedding.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (17)

We chose to have our cake made by a friend Alice as she makes amazing cakes. Between us we decided to go for a sponge cake with three tiers covered in white icing and a row of bunting on each tier, it was great. Alice also made us a cake topper which tied in with the theme and colour scheme. My mam loves fruit cake so I had Alice make a special fruit cake just for her.

We choose to have a barbecue for our wedding breakfast provided by a local butcher called Johnson’s of Thirsk, which was amazing. The choice was fantastic and the service second to none. We asked all of our guests to bring a homemade desert with them which worked really well. We also asked Johnsons to come back with an evening buffet.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (19)

For entertainment we chose a band called Facsimile. They rocked. We found this band on the internet completely by chance and what a find. A great bunch of lads who were so easy going and professional. We did not sit down all night!

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Special touches on the day included giving gifts to our mams and dads and I gave the bridesmaids a box of goodies the night before – their favourite perfume, wine and bits and bobs and also gave them a piece of jewellery each on the day. We made a little craft table for the children to keep them occupied and also had a lot of garden games, which everyone had fun playing.

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As something a little different our best man created a wedding video for us rather than doing a speech as he was not too keen on talking to crowds of people. It was fantastic and very touching. It was a slideshow of photos of us both from childhood up until present day, with some well-chosen music.

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We would definitely recommend our venue. Louise and Alan who own Angrove Park are just amazing. We hired the venue from Thursday to Sunday so we could make the most of the weekend. Louise helped with ideas gave us pointers and was genuinely excited about our wedding. Louise and Alan also gave us use of their bus bar for our day, which was amazing.

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We can honestly not pick one single moment from our wedding day as our favourite; we just had the best time ever.

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We wanted our honeymoon to be an adventure so we started in Las Vegas and ended in St Lucia. We stayed at the MGM Grand for two nights then hired a car and drove to the Grand Canyon Lodges. We then drove to the Grand Canyon and onto Monument Valley. Our next stop was Zion National Park. This was our favourite part of the trip, we could have spent much longer there had we had the time. We stayed in the Zion Lodges just out of the main town – this hotel was great! Then on the drive back to Las Vegas to catch a flight to Miami then onto St Lucia we encountered a storm which delayed us by a day as the road we were travelling on was closed. We went to see the Virgin rep who sorted out new flights and the car hire. St Lucia is an amazing place and we would definitely return if we had the chance. The food was great the people were amazing and the temperature was hot.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (35)

Our biggest tip to other Brides Up North is make sure you do what you want to do. No matter how many people tell you it won’t work or that will be silly. Do it, remember it’s your day and you know your guests. Make yourself happy as you only get one wedding day!

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (37)

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summer lovin’. a bright and beautiful papakata wedding – andrea & richard

March 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (27)

There is so much pretty in this opening wedding of the week that it’s difficult to know where to look first.

Richard and Andrea’s aim for their big day was to create an ‘end of summer party’ feel, and boy did they hit the nail on the head.

This laidback outdoor wedding has it all – hugely swoon-worthy décor, beautiful bright blooms, live entertainment and even a double decker bus bar!

I strongly suggest grabbing a large notebook for this one ladies, it’s quite literally bursting with inspiration!

With images by Carly Bevan Photography.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (11)

andrea says: We’d already been together for almost ten years and knew one day we’d get married there was no huge romantic proposal more a decision to buy a ring and set a date which we did in April 2013.

We decided to have an end of summer wedding on 13th September 2014 in the hope we would have a lovely warm September day and to give us about 18 months to plan from setting the date.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (15)

We had our ceremony at our local town hall as neither of us are religious we didn’t want a church wedding and the town hall is a beautiful building which exits onto a large park. We then went on to have our reception in a Sperry Tent from Papakata at White Cottage in Hornsea, which is normally a caravan and camping field but we had exclusive use for the weekend. We knew from the beginning we wanted a laid back, less formal wedding day and we loved the flexibility a marquee would give us. We were originally having teepees then when Papakata introduced the Sperry Tents – we loved the lighter inside and high ceilings and so swapped!

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (16)

We wanted the day and planning to be as laid back as possible so opted for an end of summer party feel with an outdoor fire, double decker chill out bus bar, bouncy castle and a chill out area with candy buffet and photo booth inside.

We went for mixed light summer shades of blue, lemon, a mid pink, lilac and green to add some colour as we had a plain cream backdrop and so most of the colour was introduced through the flowers.

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My dress was from Monsoon. I hadn’t set out particularly to get a high street dress I more stumbled across it whilst browsing bridesmaid dresses and decided it was perfect for the laid back day we were planning. I made my own veil (with lots of help from my now mother-in-law) which seemed like a good idea at the time and I did love the finished item but as all the lace was hand sewn on and very intricate – it must have taken in excess of 30 hours! My shoes were from Irregular Choice.

Richard wore a navy blue three piece suit from Thomas Nash at Debenhams and tan shoes from Rockport.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (20)

After a full day shopping with the adult bridesmaids they chose their dresses from BHS. They’re all quite different shapes but the dress suited them all and we also got the matching shoes. Whilst getting the bridesmaid dresses I spotted some lovely navy suits for the groomsmen too so we ended up buying their suits from BHS. The little bridesmaids wore Debenhams dresses and the little boys’ chinos, shirts and waistcoats also came from Debenhams.

My and the bridesmaids’ hair was done by Kate Hickman Freelance Hairdresser. Kate was fantastic and my hair stayed in place all day and night and having a hairdresser visit us at home took away all the chaos in getting ready.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (28)

We hired a VW camper van from I do VW Weddings although sadly it was Craig’s last wedding with his campervan due to other commitments.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (5)

Our photographer was Carly Bevan. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Carly she was recommended to us and from the minute we met her we knew she was perfect for photographing our day. Carly’s photography style was exactly what we were looking for as we didn’t want too many styled shots and more of a story of the day as it happened. The package Carly provides is perfect – we wanted the full day from getting ready to the first dance, and the engagement shoot we had was more of a bonus as it’s not something we would normally have decided to have. However Carly was absolutely right to include it as it prepares you more for having your photographs taken on the day. Carly is so friendly and made everyone and the children so relaxed we were delighted when we got the photographs back, we absolutely love them.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (3)

I had a bouquet by Bohemia Floral Design in Hornsea it was exactly how I imagined with a mix of beautiful colourful flowers. As my mum died a few years before the wedding I had a picture of her tied into my bouquet so in some small way she could be there on our special day. I also had a flower hair comb as did the adult bridesmaids, the children had flower crowns, which they loved!

Richard’s mum grew the plants for the table centre pieces which were in terracotta pots that we painted cream. We then had some jam jars of flowers dotted around the cake table and chill out area arranged by Bohemia Floral Design and with having such a lovely high ceiling we had decided that we would love flowers to be hanging from the ceiling down the centre of the marquee. Abi from Bohemia didn’t disappoint with six hanging hoops of flowers, which all looked stunning.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (46)

We made mini bottles of Limoncello for the guests’ favours as we felt it went well with the theme of the day and they were easy to make in advance of the last minute chaos.

We had a three tiered cake with a garden theme round the edges with each tier a different flavour. This was made by Jacqui at A Little Slice of Cake Heaven. We then had a cake topper made by Poppy’s Cake Toppers which we have to keep forever.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (50)

We decided to have a hog roast plated with salads and rather than having a starter we decided on mixed mini cakes followed by a huge cheeseboard. The catering was all done by Hot Trotters from Fitling, East Yorkshire. We had Pimms on arrival with bottles of Rioja and Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc on the tables and Prosecco for the toast drink from Majestic Wine Warehouse.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (43)

We booked our evening band Helter Skelter immediately as we’d seen them before and loved their music – they had everyone dancing all evening. We also decided we wanted some live music during the day as we both love live music it was one of the more important details for us. We decided on Rock My Reception and they were brilliant. They played while guests entered the ceremony, the arrival music and departure music and then played at the reception until after the meal even playing Postman Pat for one of our younger guests. Both bands were excellent on the day and the run up.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (49)

As I own a wedding details shop, And All Things Nice, lots of our special touches were items we stock including the activity books for the children, the various hessian buntings, including the cards one was suspended from an old suitcase to make a wedding post box and the Candy Buffet one, which we used on our own dresser to display the sweets on. I also, with the help of my amazing friends and our relatives, made the napkin rings, table runners, flowered hearts for the chair backs, bunting from my grandma’s old doilies and 1,000 paper cranes for the backdrop in the photo booth that we created.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (55)

We used Double Decker Bar for our bar which was a hit with the guests and provided extra chill out seating outside of the marquee. The bouncy castle was from Bouncing Bonanza Bouncy Castle Hire and they also got us our straw bales which we used for outdoor seating. The bouncy castle was well worth the money as the children bounced on it nonstop before the meal.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (59)

We would definitely recommend White Cottage to other wedding couples. The field is perfectly cut and flat so there was no marshy areas and it was huge, plenty of space for camping guests and lots of parking, there was even space for the coach we used to transport guests from the ceremony to pull in and turn around. Sharon who runs the venue was also really helpful on the run up to the day. We would also recommend Papakata, their attention to detail and organisation really were excellent we had full confidence in them right through the planning process. They also had an amazing choice in furnishings for the Sperry Tents.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (67)

Two special parts of the day stand out in my mind. After the ceremony we had some photographs on the way to the reception. That short 20 to 30 minutes that we spent away from everyone was really relaxing. Then afterwards when we walked into the reception and everyone was outside with the band playing away and drinks flowing and the sun shining and we could finally celebrate with all our friends and family exactly how we pictured it was amazing.

We decided that due to the hands on nature of having a marquee wedding we wanted to be somewhere relaxing without a long flight for our honeymoon and so chose a week at the 5* Epic Sana Spa Hotel in Praia da Falésia, Portugal. We had a lovely relaxing time with a honeymoon upgrade to a Deluxe Studio apartment. We booked the honeymoon through Su Dillon at Travel Counsellors which removed all the stress of planning it as Su organised private transfers and all the details so we just turned up and relaxed!

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (62)

My tops tips to other Brides Up North would be try to think at the beginning what parts of the day are most important to you so you can allocate your budget accordingly. We both love live music and that made our day for us, a great photographer too as you spend your full day with them and the photographs last long after the day. Also ask friends or family for help with any items you’re making as early as possible, we had some amazing help but we should have asked a bit earlier!

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love birds. pastels and pops of pink for a magical wedding at Danby Castle – hannah & lawrence

March 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (35)

Notebooks and pens at the ready ladies as this wonderful Whitby wedding has bucket loads of inspiration.

Bride Hannah, who is a designer and illustrator, clearly has an eye for detail and makes top choices, not only in her own individual attire, but also in her flower, theming and décor choices, with some of the pretty made with her own fair hands.

We’re also big fans of Lawrence’s handsome woollen grey suit – swit swoo!

Oh, and this is the first time we’ve witnessed photobombing chickens at a wedding…

With images by Weddings by Smith.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (2)

hannah says: Our engagement was a funny story. We went away for our seven year anniversary on 24th October 2012, to the Lake District where I thought it was going to happen…it didn’t! Slightly disappointed (to put it mildly) we came home and I didn’t give it another thought. Christmas Eve arrived and we exchanged gifts as Lawrence was a chef at the time and was working Christmas Day. We were watching Home Alone (one of my favourites) with a glass of Bucks Fizz. I opened all my gifts and then Lawrence said he had one more for me. He came back with a small white box, got on one knee and ask me to marry him. I burst into tears, and shouted yes!

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (4)

Our wedding date was 29th August 2014. We chose this date as we love the sunshine, and as it was a bank holiday weekend we thought it would be handy for Lawrence’s family to have more time as they were travelling from down south. I’m also a fan of Leeds Festival and normally go at this time every year. For some reason I thought it would be nice to have it then for that reason as well.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (19)

We got married at Danby Castle – the only choice for us. We were quite disheartened at the lack of quirky venues whilst browsing online. Then we found Danby and it looked so different and was everything I was hoping for. I have always loved Whitby and have visited regularly all my life. As Danby Castle is right next door, this was a bonus for me. We went to view the venue and knew straight away it was a yes. It’s surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire Moors and has animals roaming everywhere, including, a cat, dog, chickens, cows and a donkey! The castle ruins were stunning, then we had a sunny spacious marquee filled with bunting for the wedding breakfast with a vintage tea party theme and a barn yard themed bar. It was full of personality, but really suited Lawrence and I.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (9)

I chose a bird theme and general vintage vibes for our wedding. I’m a designer and illustrator and did all my own invites, seating plan and painted my own wedding cake. I love the style of birds and have them all over my home, so wanted the theme to carry on. We had different birds for each table and on the seating plan, each table was a nest, each seat was an egg, with a bird in the centre. The head table were love birds! Lawrence’s grandma made the stunning bird decorations hung everywhere.

I love pastel colours so wanted a lot of them and bright vintage prints too. So the colour scheme was pastel colours with pops of bright pinks. Powder/baby blue became a bit of a theme, with the bridesmaids wearing powder blue dresses and a lot of blue suits appeared.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (12)

I chose a vintage style wedding dress covered in beading from Monsoon bridal. It was the only dress I saw that I had in mind that was a good price. I made the bridesmaids’ and my headpiece with birds, fabric flowers and leaves and weaved them onto a hair grip. I wore mine with a birdcage veil to match the bird and vintage theme. My shoes were from Irregular Choice and basically I saw them, wanted them, got them! I love cats and the heels were cats, makes total sense!

Lawrence wore a woollen grey slim fit suit from Ben Sherman and got Ben Sherman tie, shirt and shoes as well. He had a powder blue slim tie and wore a Frank Zappa (his favourite band) badge.

Our bridesmaids were my sisters and wore powder blue crochet dresses from Monsoon.

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We all travelled up the day before to our hotel on our own cars and everyone got taxis from the hotel to the venue. My dad surprised me with a beautiful vintage car that was hired through Danby Castle. We drove across the moors and had some champagne.

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Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith was our photographer. He was recommended by a friend. I would highly recommend him. His presence was barely noticed, not that I minded when it was as he was such a lovely person!

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I had wild flowers, a mixture of shapes and colours. They were stunning! I had them wrapped in raffia to keep the rustic vintage theme. They were arranged by a florist called Audrey who was recommended by the venue. She put flowers in small glass bottle all over the venue, which looked amazing. Other decorations were provided by Danby Castle and myself and Lawrence’s grandma made the birds and favours and name places.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (31)

As favours we gave toy cars to the boys and small pastel coloured heart soaps for the girls. I designed all the labels.

My cousin’s fiancée made the cake. We chose carrot cake as it’s our favourite. Sarah made and iced the cake, then I painted it with cake paints with birds and roses all over it.

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We had a vintage tea party as our wedding meal as it matched the theme, and was nice and light as it was a summer’s day. I liked the idea of the interaction as everyone was taking from the centre and all enjoying it together. It was constantly replenished until everyone was full as well which was great. All the cakes looked so pretty and all the food was very dainty.

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We had giant outdoor games to play and had a DJ with a playlist chosen by me and Lawrence.

We had a sweetie table, outdoor games, and a chip van pulled up at the evening for the evening food. Everyone loved it! There was also a photo booth section with fancy dress, props and funny frames to pose with.

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We would most definitely recommend the venue. It was such a magical day and the atmosphere was lovely. They went all out to create a wonderful day, but remained calm. So many extra touches made it even more special. The decorations, the buildings, the animals, the view, the food, the staff – everything was top notch! The whole team seemed on my wave length so felt really comfortable with them all. A great day thanks to the venue!

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There were several parts of the day that stood out. I really enjoyed the car ride down the venue with my Dad as I had it all to look forward to. Plus the car and the view was great! The actual ceremony has to be the best part, marrying the man I love and walking into a room seeing all your friends and family looking gorgeous waiting for you was amazing!

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For the honeymoon we went to France and did three nights in Paris and nine in Cannes. France is our cup of tea as we love French food and the culture. In Paris, we went to the Louvre and enjoyed all the art including the Mona Lisa. It was amazing to see! We also went up the Eiffel Tower and to the Arc de Triumph. We had some wonderful meals trying the local delicacies. After our three days we got the train to Cannes which took five hours. In Cannes, we totally relaxed. We did lots of sunbathing, eating and drinking. We got the train the other close cities including Nice and Ville France sur la Mere, Which was my favourite place. It was a wonderful two weeks.

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My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to take a few moments to stop, look round and take it all in, you’ll never forget that moment. Don’t expect complete perfection, people will get drunk, things may go slightly wrong. Yes it’s an amazing day, but it’s still another day. Oh, and spend a lot of time choosing the right underwear – very important!

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urban delight. rich jewel hues for a stylish city centre wedding at the palace hotel, manchester – kate & chris

February 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (50)

I do love a stunning piece of architecture and clearly so too do today’s real wedding couple Kate and Chris, who picked Manchester’s beautiful Palace Hotel in which to tie the knot.

Its regal marble floors, wood panelling and domed ceiling provided a stunning backdrop for the couple’s vows and evening reception. During the day the new Mr and Mrs headed out onto the streets of Manchester with their photographer James Tracey, for some edgy urban shots which contrast beautifully with those taken inside The Palace.

In addition to a great location, highlights of Kate and Chris’s big day include an opulent colour scheme, delicious food and toe-tapping entertainment. Enjoy!

With images by James Tracey Photography.

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kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2013. I had an idea Chris might propose but when I opened all my presents and there was no ring I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. However later in the day Chris surprised me by asking me to marry him and gave me a beautiful ring. As it was Christmas it was great being with family to help celebrate our engagement.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (9)

Our wedding date was 4th October 2014. We knew we wanted a local wedding but we weren’t too bothered about it being in the summer months as you can’t guarantee the British weather. Instead we decided on early October as it was just out of season but we though the weather wouldn’t be too wintery.

We got married at The Palace Hotel in Manchester city centre. We wanted our ceremony and reception all in one venue but wanted to find somewhere with character which is why we both loved The Palace Hotel. As soon as we walked into the hotel and saw the domed ceiling we both knew it was right for us. We also thought that the hotel would be a great backdrop for our photographs in case the weather was really bad and we couldn’t have any outside, but luckily on the day we were able to get a mixture of both.

I’d definitely recommend The Palace Hotel as a wedding venue. It’s a beautiful setting for a wedding and the layout works really well. We liked the fact that the ceremony room was separate to where we had our wedding breakfast and the bar area had plenty of space for all the guests. The wedding organisers were very helpful, and on the day the service and staff were great. We didn’t have to worry about anything which is what you want on your wedding day.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (10)

When looking for wedding inspiration I loved rich, jewel colours, which I thought would be perfect for an autumnal wedding rather than the more pastel shades that you often see in spring and summer.  We decided to go for two colours in the end, a deep purple and a teal colour. The teal bridesmaid dresses were the first things I bought and I thought matching the exact colour of the dresses might be difficult which is why we introduced the purple colour. I loved the fact we had two colours and that everything didn’t have to match.

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I love sparkles and lace so my wedding dress was the perfect combination of both. The dress was by Ellis from the Blossom Collection. I bought it from Timeless Bride in Poynton. Janine, the owner, is lovely and made the whole experience really great. I saw the dress on the shop’s website and when I tried it on I knew it was the one! I loved the keyhole back design and little details such as the staggered button back and the floral gem waistband, which made it different to other dresses I tried on.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (13)

Chris chose his own suit and I didn’t see it until the morning of the wedding! He did a brilliant job. He wore a navy blue morning suit with a dove grey waistcoat and gold tie. He hired the suit from Swarbricks but bought his shirt and tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (15)

My four best friends who were my bridesmaids wore floor-length teal dresses from Coast. I actually got them in the January sales so they were a great bargain. The groomsmen wore the same navy blue morning suits and grey waistcoat as Chris. We also bought the shirts and ties for them but they wore purple ties rather than gold.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (25)

A soon as I booked the wedding I knew I wanted Donna Crompton at The Halo Rooms to do mine and my bridesmaids’ hair. She’s fantastic at up dos and is great for ideas and inspiration. Donna also put me in touch with Louise Elliott, a freelance makeup artist who did my makeup on the day. It was great being pampered on the morning of the wedding and not having to worry about anything.

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I decided I didn’t want to spend a lot on transport to the venue so I travelled in a black cab to the hotel with my brother who gave me away. My bridesmaids followed behind in a separate taxi. Chris stayed at the Palace Hotel the night before the wedding so he had no excuses for being late!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (28)

We used James Tracey Photography for our photos, who we booked after he photographed my brother’s wedding the previous year. We loved James’ style of photography; he’s really friendly but also very professional and talented. He captured our day perfectly and we are so pleased with the lasting memories of our wedding day. We ended up with a great mix of more traditional and contemporary photos, especially the ones he took around Manchester city centre. I’d absolutely recommend James.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (29)

Before the wedding, I had a craft day with my bridesmaids where we created our bouquets. I liked that with artificial flowers I could create exactly what I wanted and not be restricted by what was available in terms of types of flowers and colours. It was also a cheaper alternative to fresh flowers and I’m able to keep my bouquet forever.

The Palace Hotel was great and helped with setting up our room on the day of the wedding. I had in my mind how I wanted the room to look and they recreated it perfectly. I provided mirrors, tea lights and scatter crystals for the guests’ tables and the hotel provided the candelabra. For the top table we had floating candles in glass vases as well as my bridesmaid bouquets. We also used Divine Designs who provided white chair covers with a purple sash to finish the room off.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (34)

Our favours also doubled up as our name places. Each guest had their name printed on a traditional sweetshop paper bag which we filled with a few pick ‘n’ mix sweets. Keeping on the sweet theme, our wedding cake was a gift from Chris’ parents. It was made by Joanne Howson at Imagicakes. It was three tiers – chocolate, lemon and carrot cake in a ‘bling and rose’ design. It looked stunning but it also tasted delicious!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (41)

We both love music and knew we wanted some sort of entertainment for our evening reception. In the end we booked the Live Lounge Duo who are Danny Lee and Gary Kirk. They played a great mix of songs that got everyone up on the dance floor straight away. As part of our package they also provided a DJ, which was great for keeping the party going until late.

We also had a photo booth set up for the evening reception, which was great fun. All the guests enjoyed getting dressed up with the props they provide. The photos are printed instantly which was perfect as the guests all went home with a memento from the wedding. We hired the booth for a couple of hours from Phil Burdge at Digi-booth.net.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (47)

It’s hard to say my favourite part of the day as I really did love every minute of it, it’s such a special feeling. I think we both enjoyed the evening reception when the party got started. It’s so nice to have all your friends and family together celebrating with you and having a good time.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (54)

We went on a two week road trip to Las Vegas and California as we wanted an action packed honeymoon. We spent five nights in Vegas and then flew to San Diego for a couple of nights. From there we drove up the Pacific highway stopping at various places such as LA and Santa Barbara before we reached San Francisco for the last part of our honeymoon. It was amazing!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be decide on the things that matter the most to you both about your day and spend your wedding budget on these things. It’s easy to get carried away and stress over things that won’t even matter to you on the day. Most of all, remember to enjoy it and have fun!

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