August 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
As far as group efforts go, today’s real wedding is going to take some serious beating. Amazingly, with the help of their incredible family and friends, Hettie & Tabz, planned and pulled off a wedding for 450 guests! That’s right 4-5-0!
Marrying at Hettie’s home church, everyone packed in to see this super-popular couple tie the knot before moving onto an activity centre and marquees in Burrs County Park, for a fun reception with cool festival wedding vibes.
With everyone keen to offer their services, skills and talents, family and friends helped to take care of everything from the attire, transport, food and cake, right through to the evening entertainment. Now that’s how you call in a favour – or two, or three….
With images by Paul & Nanda
hettie says: We got engaged exactly eight months after we got together. I went on a treasure hunt type adventure with my mum to various places that were special to Tabz and I (including our first date location) where different friends were situated with the next clue. The final clue led us to a church building where many of my friends and family were. They were lined up outside and around the corridors that I followed until I reached the top of the staircase to see Tabz stood at the bottom. As I approached him, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I obviously said yes (why wouldn’t I? He’s wonderful!) and a band consisting of our friends began to play ‘our song’ (For Once In My Life) and we partied the night away with our friends and family. It was brilliant!
We set the date for 27th May 2017. Logic told us that a Bank Holiday before half-term school holidays would be easier for us and others, especially family who live further afield.
Our ceremony was at Life Church Lancashire in Burnley, which is my home church. The building is incredible, I have many great memories there, and I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Also, with more than 450 people attending, it was the only church building big enough anyway!
The reception was at Burrs Country Park, in Bury. We used the Activity Centre and field to create a summer festival as there was plenty of space to do so. The venue was very different to traditional weddings, which meant we did everything ourselves, with much help from great friends and family.
Our theme was ‘Be a blessing’. Those who attended our wedding have been such a blessing to us individually and as a couple that we wanted to bless them as much as we could throughout the day. We also wanted this to reflect our faith and encourage others to bless one another too.
Our base colours were black, white and grey, with pops of yellow, light pink, bright pink, orange and green. We wanted our colours to reflect our personalities and the fun, festival party.
I struggled with the idea of going dress shopping and having a stranger help you decide such an important outfit (whilst you’re practically naked!). A friend suggested that I looked at the wedding dress that one of my bridesmaids, Sue, wore. She looked gorgeous and it seemed like the kind of dress that could suit me. I tried it on and loved it! Sue gave me the dress to do whatever I wanted with (I told you people are such a blessing to us) and it was an honour to wear the wedding dress of such an amazing lady.
August 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s couple, Laura and David, are self-confessed globetrotters, and we just love the fact that they injected this sense of adventure into their special day at Crosby Hall Educational Trust in Little Crosby, back in May.
Paying homage to all the wonderful memories they’ve created together so far, hopping from country to country, their colourful wedding day featured some rather lovely nostalgic touches, including miniature globes and Polaroid pictures aplenty. It comes as no surprise to us to hear that, post-wedding, the newlyweds will also be embarking on a very unique honeymoon experience (more deets on this later).
Swapping the traditional wedding breakfast for an indulgent afternoon tea followed by a hog roast, our couple definitely put their own stamp on the day’s proceedings. A pork pie wedding cake and vintage ice cream camper van are just two of the other scrumptious foodie highlights from their big day. A deliciously different line-up, if we do say so ourselves!
With photos by Hayley Blackledge Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in January 2016. We had gone out for dinner and David arranged for my sister to decorate the living room while we were out. I came home to a candlelit living room with photographs of us in various places around the world attached to balloons saying, “Will you marry me?”.
Our wedding took place on 27th May 2017. We originally wanted a summer date but the venue didn’t have any of our preferred dates available. We then considered Easter, but decided on May in the end. I’m a teacher so I wanted to make sure I had some school holidays after the wedding. We liked the fact it was a Bank Holiday weekend too, as we had lots of people travelling to the wedding and it allowed them to make the most of their time with us.
We had the ceremony and reception at Crosby Hall Educational Trust (CHET) in Little Crosby. The ceremony took place in the old barn. We loved the venue as soon as we saw the space. It ticked all the boxes for us – it was relaxed, pretty, private and allowed us to put our own stamp on things.
We didn’t have a theme as such but we incorporated lots of travel elements, due to the fact we have spent most of our relationship traveling the world! We used globes as decorations and we named our tables after some of our favourite places. We also decorated the walls of the corridors in the venue with photos of us in various locations.
We wanted the wedding to be bright and colourful, with a touch of sparkle. We used lots of bright colours in the decorations and flowers, with touches of metallic gold and glitter.
I got my dress from Wed2be in Liverpool. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress and originally, I went along just to get a feel for the style I wanted. I tried on lots of different gowns, but this dress just felt like ‘me’. I’m not a particularly girly girl and didn’t want anything too traditional. I felt the dress suited my personality perfectly and I felt really comfortable in it.
My shoes were from Irregular Choice. I’d had my eye on them for a while. My mum tried to persuade me to get something else but I’m glad I didn’t listen to her! I really want to wear them again!
July 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Fitness vloggers Lainey and her beau Lex are no strangers to the limelight, but Lainey confesses in today’s real wedding that the couple had considered eloping. All we can say is praise the wedding gods they didn’t, as instead we have this super-quirky and colourful big day full of rustic-themed inspiration to obsess over.
With almost half a million Instagram followers between them, not to mention their epic YouTube following, it’s no surprise that the couple turned to the social media platform for big day inspiration. More used to donning gym gear than formalwear, Lainey admits that the idea of dress shopping was “a bit of a nightmare” – however, Instagram saved the day and led her to the one: a simple and slinky lace number which accentuated her gym-honed curves.
So, over to Lainey to tell us more about a celebration featuring donkeys, llamas and vintage tractors, plus some great advice on how to DIY your socks off.
With images by Rustic Lovebirds Photography.
lainey says: We got engaged in New York. I surprised Lex with a trip to NYC for his birthday in November 2016. I‘d planned a number of surprises on the trip: nice restaurants, tickets for The Lion King on Broadway and, of course, tickets to go up the Empire State Building – and we decided it would be fun to dress like complete tourists to head up the famous tower. I had no idea he planned to surprise me, getting down on one knee at the top of the Empire State. I was in complete shock!
We booked our wedding as soon as we returned to the UK. I‘d waited three years for him to propose and didn’t want to wait to get married! I knew I wanted an intimate but quirky wedding and started researching barns in the area that could host our day. We visited The Wellbeing Farm, in Lancashire, and fell in love; Celia and all the staff were so helpful and enthusiastic about all the crazv ideas we had.
I wanted a May wedding – I love it when all of the springtime flowers are in bloom – and so we chose 6th May.
Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Wellbeing Farm. Lex’s Mum, Jane Griffin, is a wedding celebrant and she married us on the day.
We went for a rustic wedding theme. I wanted to have a lot of white lace with bright colours to contrast. My favourite colours are orange, red and yellow and, although they’re quite autumnal colours, I think they worked well on the day.
I’ve never been a girl who dreamed of a big white wedding and, honestly, if I’d had my choice we probably would have eloped. Shopping for a wedding dress, therefore, felt like a bit of a nightmare! However, Instagram was a great source of inspiration and I came across Australian wedding dress company Grace Loves Lace. They had simple yet elegant designs – I feel like wedding dresses are moving towards simpler, more elegant lines in general. You correspond via email and get help with choosing a style you like, then you send in your exact measurements and voila – six weeks before the wedding my dress arrived and it fit like a glove! I chose to design my own shoes as I couldn’t find ones to match and I used online shoe company Shoes Of Prey. The first pair arrived and I didn’t like them – plus they didn’t fit properly – but I simply returned them, requested adjustments and they came back perfect.
Our wedding rings were designed and made by Two Become One Jewellery.
April 11th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Image by Theresa Furey
We’re getting your Tuesday off to a bright and beautiful start by welcoming our guest writer, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine, back to the blog to give us the all-important deets on the current wedding colour trends…
sophie says: When it comes to choosing a colour scheme for your wedding, the possibilities can seem endless! So where do you start?
Consider what sort of wedding you’re hosting. If it’s informal and laid-back you may not want a rigid scheme at all, but for many of us it’s nice to have something to work from. Think about what colours you love, what will suit your venue and the time of year, and what will be easy enough to put together. Matching very specific shades can be tricky, so bear that in mind and be flexible about mixing and matching shades if necessary.
Need a little inspiration? Check out our five favourite colour schemes for 2017 weddings here:
One of our all-time favourite wedding colours has to be nude. Chic and understated on its own or easily mixed with other shades, nude is a real winner whatever your venue or wedding style. Why not ask your bridesmaids to find their own gowns in shades of nude, for a pretty and eclectic look that shows off their individuality without looking bland.
Bethany Clarke Photography
Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery, so we’re expecting to see gorgeous green tones featuring a lot in weddings for 2017/18. This scheme works beautifully for any season, whether it be pastel shades for spring, bright hues for summer or darker, more rustic palettes for autumn/winter. Foliage is a huge trend right now, and lends itself perfectly to this scheme. Include beautiful leafy green foliage everywhere from your floral displays and bouquets, to your wedding cake and decor. A beautiful way to create a natural wedding look, that’s much more cost effective than using expensive, traditional blooms, such as roses or peonies.
Paul Liddement Photography
Take a modern twist on tradition, by turning your ‘something blue’ into your scheme! We’ve seen plenty of weddings featuring pastel blue shades recently and are completely in love. This is a great alternative shade for a vintage theme and may go down better with your hubby-to-be than girly pink! Team with silver and sparkles for a wintry look or try a darker shade, such as navy, for a formal alternative to black.
A trend that’s been going strong for a while and is showing no sign of slowing down, is metallics. Silver, gold, copper and our favourite, rose gold, are all hot picks, whether you choose to mix and match shades or keep things simple with one metal taking centre stage. Sequins are a wonderful way to incorporate metallics into your day, and are everywhere right now, from bridesmaid dresses to table cloths.
Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography
One scheme you can never go wrong with, is white. Traditional and timeless, white is a great choice if you’re indecisive or can’t agree on a scheme. Details in this colour are easy to come by and will never date in your photographs. Plus, they’re easy to pull together, with no messing about trying to match specific shades. Perfect!
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March 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It is a truth universally acknowledged that only the most gorgeous weddings grace the pages of Brides Up North. What’s with the Jane Austen? Well, there’s something a little bit Regency-era about today’s real wedding. Perhaps it’s the understated elegance of the bride’s Phase Eight Hermione dress (that cape!), or maybe it’s Pendrell Hall’s stunning architecture and sculpted gardens.
Jennifer and her dashing Mr Darcy (aka David) left Pride and Prejudice behind, however, when they also opted for vibrant colours, confetti balloons, pom poms, giant Jenga and an industrial-sized bubble machine (yes, really) to ensure a fun-filled day for young and old alike.
Period venue, classic gown, children’s games and wacky photo booth? Trust us. It really works.
With photography by Juliet Lemon.
jennifer says: We got engaged during a trip away for my birthday in 2013 to Snowdonia, Wales. It was organised by David. We stayed in a beautiful B&B with views of sheep and mountains, and the day after my birthday we climbed Snowdon. The heavy snow and weather meant we could only get as far as Glas Lyn (the lake beneath the summit), where we stopped for a lunch break practically up to our knees in snow. He then surprised me by getting down on one knee with a totally perfect aquamarine and diamond ring. Of course, I said yes!
We got married on 15th May 2015. The date had a nice symmetry to it and meant we had a shot at a sunny wedding. Luckily, we got it!
Our venue was Pendrell Hall, Codsall Wood (near Wolverhampton). It is close to both our parents’ homes and lots of friends and family so we went along to view the venue not long after we got engaged. We fell in love with the grounds, and the beautiful interior (even though it was still being renovated and wasn’t finished!) We knew we could trust the team at Pendrell to finish the works to the high standard of the rest of the venue, so we booked. They also work with Jenkinsons Caterers.
The overall idea for a theme was ‘relaxed’ – we didn’t want anything too formal. We fancied some wild flowers dotted around and some loosely arranged floral arrangements, and then tea lights, fairy lights, confetti balloons and garden games were quickly decided on. We just really wanted people to have fun and get to know each other.
Our colours were mainly ivory and lilac, forget-me-not blue (bridesmaids’ dresses) and pale pink (e.g. pompoms) dotted around – the colours complemented the venue and are our favourites!
I chose a Phase Eight dress called Hermione, from a couple of seasons ago. I fell in love with the Phase Eight range last year when I was looking and the Hermione dress just felt wonderful to wear. It’s quite heavy (all the beading!) but almost slinky too, and I loved the cape (I’m quite conscious of my arms!) It wasn’t too expensive either, and spending less meant I could spend more on shoes and my hair! My hairband was from June Ellen, shoes from Rainbow, my hairdo was by Cute Hair (Wolverhampton), nails by my mother (a nail artist, handily) and I did my own makeup. My mini-birdcage veil was from LilyBella.
alive network, asos, balloons.co.uk, clarks, confetti cones, cute hair salon, gill lumley florists, hinxworth bridal, jenkinsons caterers, juliet lemon, june ellen, kinver jewellers, lilybella, nero string quartet, Not on the High Street, peach blossom, pendrell hall, phase eight, rainbow club, real wedding, shuga budz, sweet oxen, total gardens, uk wedding blog
March 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Mark Newton Photography image source
Ever since I first clapped eyes on Gwen Stefani’s white and pink ombré John Galliano gown in my mum’s dog-eared HELLO! way back in 2002, I’ve been self-confessed sucker for the brave use of bridal colour. Whether it’s a touch of blush pink a’la Stefani, a bold electric blue high heel or crazy pastel unicorn hair (it’s a thing, I promise), I can’t get enough of splashes of the rest of the rainbow gang against all of the ivory. Who decided that white should have all of the fun, anyway?
The current bridal runways have been full of key trends including capes (already featured here on Brides Up North) bare shoulders, plunging necklines, oversized bows and – wait for it – colour.
So what are the options for a girl who wants to go beyond the pale?
images clockwise from top left: Kazooieloki Photography image source | Maryanne Scott Photography image source | Photography34 image source | Photography34 image source | Rachel Joyce image source | Jemma King image source | Fox & Owl image source | Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography image source | Samantha Hook Photography image source | Jemma King Photography image source | Lee Brown Photography image source | Darren Mack Photography image source
Well, first up there’s the dress. I’m not saying that you necessarily have to go down the Dita-von-Teese purple showstopper route; Vivienne Westwood may approve, but your prospective mother-in-law might never get over it. I’m thinking soft hues like Pantone’s Colours of 2016 Rose Quartz and Serenity (a heavenly bluey-grey); less Camila Batmanghelidjh and more Jessica Biel.
Top designers such as Maggie Sottero stock a range of delicately coloured dresses without straying too far from a conventional palette, including pewter, light gold and silver. Sassi Holford peppered her gowns with colourful petals for 2017. Candy Anthony are famed for their coloured 50s frocks, or coloured waistbands and underskirts teamed with traditional white and ivory; a perfect ‘sneak peek’ of colour rather than a rainbow riot. Our lead sponsor Charlotte Balbier also included a riot of floral colour in her beautiful Untamed Love collection.
James Jebson image source
My personal favourites, Anthropologie’s BHLDN, stock an amazing range of bridesmaid and maid of honour dresses in a host of subtle hues which could easily stand in for a bridal gown – not too off-the-wall, but different enough to make a statement. The best? Maybe the rose gold sequinned Alana dress which would look the part at a smart city wedding, or the delightfully boho Inesse gown for a more countryside affair.
There’s also a popular trend for bridesmaids to wear different coloured dresses to create a palette that reflects the chosen colour scheme of the day, such as sugary pastel tones. Check out Maids To Measure, twobirds Bridesmaid or ReWritten.
If you’ve got your heart set on an ivory dream of a dress, then perhaps your man could get in on the colour action instead with an unusual choice of jacket, tie or shirt. Times have moved on since Jamie Oliver donned a powder blue suit and we’re seeing braver and broader colour options for blokes all the time.
Or how about a vibrant headpiece? You could embrace the current feather trend with a hairband or combs, or there’s always the option of including some colour in your veil or via a floral crown headpiece. There are literally hundreds of Etsy retailers ready to handcraft a headpiece to your specifications and Pinterest is brimming with inspiration. It’s an easy way to incorporate the traditional ‘something blue’ or pay a nod to the rest of your colour scheme.
Ruth Mitchell Photography image source
The day of the mid-heel ivory slingback as the only bride-appropriate footwear is well and truly over. Shoes are an area where many are prepared to be a little more daring – subtle coppers, pinks and rose golds all look stunning but, depending on season and style, emerald green, midnight blue or vermillion packs a real punch. There’s little more thrilling than the peep of a coloured toe from under a pale dress and whatever your style – vintage, modern, romantic – there’s plenty of options to suit every budget, from high street to designer.
So let’s hear it for the lovers of colours!
See more of our colourful wedding inspiration.
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