Charlotte Balbier

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.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (18)

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!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

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.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (14)

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.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (34)

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!

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (21)

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.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (41)

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.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (44)

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.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (47)

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!

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (36)

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!

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (38)

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.

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (52)

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!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

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.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (6)

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.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (12)

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.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (27)

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!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

beautifully bespoke. a contrasting catholic & hindu wedding at redworth hall hotel – urmila & john

January 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (30)

Urmila and John’s two day celebration was a weekend of contrasting cultures, and a great excuse for two beautiful parties in one!

I can’t decide if I prefer Urmila’s traditional, romantic styling for the Catholic wedding day, or the colourful, bejewelled Hindu celebration that followed a day later. One thing is certain – this was one fabulouswedding!

With images by David West Photography.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (13)

urmila says: John proposed to me in a particularly embarrassing and public way at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh.  He sent each table a note asking them to sing along to ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ by Andy Williams at 9pm, after which he would pop the question.  So at 9pm, led by one of the waiters (who pretended it was just part of a Christmas tradition), there was an impromptu sing song, just before he got down on one knee and proposed in front of a restaurant full of people. My shock (he had thrown me off the scent two weeks earlier by telling me he could not afford a ring, having actually had it made a couple of months beforehand!) was captured on camera by another customer in the restaurant and posted on Youtube. John won the ‘Most Romantic Groom’ competition for Brides magazine for his efforts.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (12)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (18)

We had always wanted to celebrate both our cultures so decided on a two day wedding celebration over the summer bank holiday weekend (24th and 25th August 2013). The venue needed to be big enough, available over that weekend, have rooms for people to stay, and allow for external Indian caterers. Redworth Hall Hotel in Newton Aycliffe fit the bill perfectly, and was beautiful to boot.

We had a lot of unusual demands; having an Indian ceremony caused complications and chaos, but Vicky Dewdney and her team there were absolutely amazing. I would thoroughly recommend them as both a hotel and a wedding venue.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (21)

The 24th was our Catholic ceremony, where the theme was classical music, champagne and opulence.  We stuck to neutral colours such as pale pinks, ivory and gold, with the odd splash of dark red in order so it was not too ‘girly’. We chose classical music as we are are both keen musicians, and met through John’s father being my music teacher at school.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (25)

My dress was bought from the ever inspiring Wendy at Bridal Wish in Corbridge. Named ‘Balira’ by Pronovias, it was strapless and lace, customised with extra lace and crystals through the bodice.  I had tried several gowns on but was particularly assured and impressed by Wendy’s customer service and brutal honesty! This was teamed with some very contrasting blue leopard print Christian Louboutins and a cathedral length single tier veil with crystal detailing by Joyce Jackson. The bridesmaids wore dusky pink Twobirds dresses (with my sister wearing a bespoke necklace by Emma Hedley jewellery bought online and the guys wore contrasting navy blue morning suits hired from Waltons Formal Menswear Hire in Newcastle.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (26)

We got married at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Wycliffe (John’s family’s church for a number of years). Each pew was dressed in a dusky pink chiffon material, with candles, lamps and petals by the side of each, while our aisle consisted of a white runner.  The altar was dressed in the same pink chiffon with white roses around the base. The church and venue decorations on both days were designed entirely by Zoe Pierson and her team at Kelly’s Event Boutique. Her imagination and commitment are second to none and She and her team put everything together, listening to our thoughts and bringing them to life, down to the most intricate details.  We could not have picked anyone better for the job.

Our ceremony was both emotional and fun. We had personalised poems and a lot of emphasis on music. John arranged the diverse music for Arco String Quartet, a small band including guitars and drums and Cantoris choir led by Stephen Pettitt.  We even high fived when the priest said we were now husband and wife!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (31)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (33)

Our stationery was bespoke and based on the Moet and Chandon label.  Everything, from the order of service to the menu plan was created by the extremely talented and committed Stef Chambers at Squarepeg Design.  She even put together the comical ‘Hoy Wuh’ confetti packets.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (36)

Our wedding breakfast was held in the truly magnificent Great Hall at Redworth Hall Hotel. It was decorated in different kinds of chiffon, numerous candles, flowers and mercury tea lights.  The mixture of high and low centrepieces and carried on our musical theme thanks to Kelly’s Event Boutique.  The table names were our favourite classical composers written on manuscript, but bearing the Moet and Chandon crown, and we even had real miniature violins and tiny pianos as some of the centrepieces!

Each guest had an individual fact about them tucked into their table napkins (which bore bespoke luggage tags with their names in the champagne theme), to encourage mingling between everybody.  It took a lot of arranging beforehand, but really got people talking!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (41)

Our best man’s speech featured a room change and was delivered by Jamie Miller and the very creative James Craggs of Roundhouse Productions. It featured a slideshow, a hilarious ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ style audience Q and A, and even had personal messages from Eamon Holmes, Edith Bowman and Alan Shearer (to name but a few!)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (53)

Our beautiful cake was a four tier creation by Mrs Robinson’s Cakes  based in Manchester and we partied into the night with Andy Nesbitt from AM DJ Services as our DJ.  Our first dance was choreographed by Neil at Newcastle Dance Centre.

My sister made a guestbook with individual envelopes for people to write messages. We also had a beautiful personalised knife with which to cut the cake, bearing our initials in English and Bengali and made by one of our wedding guest, Henk of Henk’s Woodwork.

As favours guests were given a ‘Recovery Bag’. In each bag was a mixture of painkillers, hangover food and a personalised NHS ‘prescription’, made by SquarePeg design (as I am a Doctor) with humorous instructions on how to combat Saturday’s excesses, and then prepare for more of the same!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (56)

Our second day was our entirely different Hindu wedding.  The theme was based around fuchsias, purples, blues and fun, loosely termed ‘Bollywood Bling’.

We started the day with the ‘Gaye Holud’ ceremony where the bride and groom are covered with turmeric to make their skin ‘glow’.  Traditionally the bridal party wear yellow saris to this function, and the bride is officially ‘given’ to her new husband’s family.  This proved to be extremely emotional for my mum and I. Thereafter the girls went to get dressed into our saris whilst the boys had a football match in the grounds.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (61)

The bridal party wore saris purchased from Kolkata.  Mine was a particular Banarasi silk popular in West Bengal, and eschewing the traditional red colour was violet and adorned with real gold jewellery. The bridesmaids wore contrasting turquoise saris.  The groom’s side wore purple Indian outifts, while the guests loved the opportunity to dress up in something different.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (66)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (74)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (69)

Our ceremony began with a grand and noisy entrance by the groom’s family along, to the beat of the Indian Dhol performed by Apnabeat Entertainment.  John however was quickly stopped however by the bridesmaids who demanded a bribe to let him into the venue.

The Hindu wedding itself was conducted under a ‘Mandap’ with plenty of colour, laughter and involvement of the audience by the priest.  We provided beautiful, bespoke orders of service, which explained the ceremony, produced by Angela McGurk at Graphic Embers. She created all the Hindu stationery, based on purple, blue and pink Paisley design, but with a twist.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (91)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (76)

The wedding breakfast decor was a mixture of purples, gold and pink.  Each guest’s name tag was written in both English and Bengali. We had tanks of flower petals for the top table and the centrepieces were mixtures of floating flowers and tall vase arrangements. Our seating plan consisted of individual place cards on top of a table with an adorned bronze Ganesh.

Our Indian meal was provided by Saibal Maitra at Vujon restaurant in Newcastle which we would thoroughly recommend.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (94)

We also wanted to give the guests some Bollywood bling, so we gave them ‘Bindis’ and bangles.  They were so much fun that even the boys got involved!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (113)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (121)

As we had already done a first dance the previous day we instead decided to do a first ‘tune’.  We therefore did a comical piano duet which consisted of plenty of hand swapping and running around.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (127)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (128)

The evening party kicked off with a wrestling match between the men from both sides (a bit unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyed) egged on by our Dhol players, before we went onto a Bhangra workshop (again provided by Apnabeat entertainment).  We then danced the night away with a DJ and the band Funk Conspiracy (who were particularly good sports as we were running very late and their drum kit almost got destroyed by two people wrestling!).

All in all, it was a two day wedding full of contrasts, surprises, colour, tears, laughter, love and a hell of a lot of fun!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (131)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (126)

Our photographs were captured by David West of David West Photography along with Kristin Moat who were simply astounding in their commitment and enthusiasm. Their pictures are just beautiful and their professionalism and hard work were just amazing.

Our video was captured by hdmoments.com and can be found here.  I had not met the team until our wedding day and was highly impressed with their work in capturing all those special moments.  If your budget can stretch to a videographer, I would definitely recommend one!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (129)

Our honeymoon was to Bali where we literally lay and baked for ten days; after that weekend, we certainly needed it!

We were so delighted with how our wedding went.  There were lots of small things that went wrong, but the reality is that none of them spoiled our days, and things that would have bothered me at the time I cannot even recall now. My top tip for other Brides Up North is if you have plenty of food and drink, good suppliers and most importantly awesome family and friends, then everything else will just fall into place.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

a bridesmaid rainbow

January 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Fuschia twobird dress I recently shared a post on the rise of black bridesmaid dresses, favoured for their sophisticated looks, versatility and availability, but the dark hue is not for everyone. At the other end of the colour spectrum many brides-to-be choose the dress their maids in vibrant shades with dresses that pop at the side of their pure ivory attire.

Particularly well suited to weddings in the warmer spring and summer season, as well as destination weddings, bright bridesmaid dresses can really make a wedding party stand out from the crowd. Duck Egg twobird dress Initially brides-to-be need to decide if they will be picking their maids’ dresses to set the colour theme or to fall in with it.

Ladies’ skin tones and hair colours should also be taken into account to avoid any embarrassing clashes that could result in a mardy maid or two. A growing trend for mismatched bridesmaid dresses means one shade need not suit all. Brides can pick a style of dress for her girls and then allow them to pick a suitable colour within a particular palette to achieve a selection of hues that complement each other. twobirds For brides choosing to go down the rainbow route After Six’s 6556 dress is an ideal option. The simple floor-length, floaty gown will flatter most figures and is available in a delicious variety of shades, such as Apple Slice, Clementine, Spa and Sunflower. Even better, if a bride doesn’t want her maids in solid hues, the dress is offered in three ombre designs. There’s Tropical in exotic greens and blues, Citrus in zesty orange and pink or Vintage, featuring soft purples and yellows.

Alternatively, a bride might like to mix-up both the colours and styles of her maids’ dresses. The answer here has to be twobirds. One dress that can be tied in 15 different ways to create varying looks. And the colour range is just as varied, with options spanning from Butter Yellow and dazzling Duck Egg to fierce Fuchsia.

Meanwhile those on the hunt for sassy short-length dresses in bold hues should consider one of Alfred Sung’s mini masterpieces.  The likes of Sung’s structured D634 or D697 designs are available in opulent jewel tones, including in Daisy, Mandarin and Mediterranean.

For a burst of colour in a longer length, Jim Hjelm has several punchy designs with stunning back detailing worthy of a double take.

Main images by twobirds bridesmaid.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone