May 26th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
From the moment we set eyes on today’s real wedding we instantly fell head over heels.
As if bride Clare’s beautiful blush dress wasn’t enough to makes us go weak at the knees, we also found ourselves majorly swooning over the stately venue, stunning styling and beautiful blooms. What we’re trying to say is that we love everything about it – and we’re pretty sure you will too!
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
clare says: We got engaged while in Split, Croatia. We were in the Old Town in a square on the last evening of our holidays and Tom asked me if I would do him the honour of being his wife. Not massively original, but perfectly low-key!
Our wedding took place on 13th February 2016. We wanted a winter wedding and as I’m a teacher we wanted it to be next to a holiday. We also thought that February is generally a bit of a ‘not much happens’ time of the year, so we thought it might be nice for our guests to have our wedding then. Despite the timing, it was nothing to do with Valentine’s Day!
We chose Chatsworth Stables near Bakewell, Derbyshire, as our wedding venue. I’m from Sheffield and have been going to Chatsworth since I was born with family and on school trips etc. Now my parents have moved even closer to Baslow, we visit most times we’re up to see them, and so it seemed like an obvious choice.
There was a bit of an antler and heather theme to the wedding. This came from an idea of my sister’s as there are deer on the Chatsworth Estate, and also, it felt like a good wintery, countryside theme. My mum collected and dried lots of heather from the moors above their house during the summer so we could use it for the wedding. We didn’t want too strong of a theme because we didn’t want to draw away from the beauty of the venue, but it was featured on all of the wedding stationary (designed by my brother-in-law) and Zara, from Chatsworth, did the most beautiful table centres incorporating them too.
We had a colour scheme of navy, pinks and white. With it being a winter wedding we avoided pastels. Also, Tom wanted to wear a tweed three-piece suit, which was a lovely dark blue shade so we picked it from there really.
My wedding dress was a big one – completely not what I’d thought I’d go for – from Surrey Brides in Weybridge, where we live. I’m pretty pale (and it was going to be in February!) so out of all of the shades of white/ivory, the blush seemed to work best with my skin tone. It was totally un-beaded, but the bodice was made up of folds of blush satin and with the big skirt – I just fell in love with it!
April 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
The stunning styled shoot that we’re sharing with you today offers inspiration for all with urban, vintage, rock ‘n’ roll and contemporary influences playing a part,.
Shot at a cool, new venue to the wedding scene, The West Mill in Derby, the talented suppliers behind this striking shoot picked styling and decorative elements that would contrast beautifully with the converted cotton mill’s raw and stripped back interiors.
The result is a highly stylish and fresh set of images which provide fabulous ideas for everything from table settings and décor to beauty and attire. To explain more about the creative thought behind the shoot, we’ll hand over the blog to florist Nadia, who planned all the magic along with her business partner Penny and photographer Ben from HBA Photography.
With images by HBA Photography. Models Hannah Bartter-Clamp, Sophie Brentnall and Martyna Morkuniene.
nadia says: Several members of the team on this shoot had worked together previously, and created some really beautiful images in the past that were soft, romantic and very feminine. This time however, they were really keen to style a shoot loosely based on the prohibition era of the 1920’s, adding in a modern, slightly darker twist. Sultry brides and rock and roll grooms was what we were looking for!
The West Mill venue has so many quirky, intrinsically unique features that they were keen to highlight the style of the venue as well as playing with a more edgy, masculine vibe. Most shoots are very much geared towards the bride so they wanted to create something that grooms could connect with too.
When it came to the styling, the team wanted to work with the raw, urban nature of The West Mill, with its exposed brick work, rusted ceilings and slate floors, so used accessories such as copper lanterns and handmade cement table numbers to really tie in with this.
March 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
We are firm believers that photography is one of the most important elements of a wedding – the images are your lasting memories of the day after all. As such, we’re thrilled to have so many skillful photographers as part of our handy online directory.
Today we’re delighted to be adding to the Brides Up North family by welcoming another very talented wedding photographer sponsor to the blog, Sally Eaves Photography.
Sally is all about capturing the raw emotions and precious moments of a wedding day, which she believes is what makes every celebration truly unique.
As a big fan of Brides Up North (thanks Sally!) the lovely lady is offering our readers a fabulous £150 off her wedding photography package. Just quote ‘North16’ when booking.
So it’s time to let Sally do the talking…
How did you get into wedding photography?
sally says: I always had a camera hanging from my neck from being around 11-years-old. Photography was always an interest and I’m so lucky to be able to say it developed into a passion and now my career. I worked for three years for a local photographer and then flew the nest to develop my own business.
Why wedding photography specifically?
I absolutely love capturing weddings. I adore seeing two people come together and celebrate their love along with their friends and family. Every bride and groom are unique and that’s what is so exciting about being a wedding photographer – no two weddings are ever the same. This enables me to provide my couples with a beautiful, natural and timeless set of images that they can treasure for a lifetime.
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?
I adore those little moments when people don’t think anyone is watching. An intimate kiss, a cheeky wink or a full belly laugh. Raw emotion is what makes my job such a pleasure. I also love that I get the honour of presenting my couples with beautiful memories to look back on in 70 years when they’re sat in their rocking chairs reminiscing on their wedding day.
December 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today we’re giving you a second helping of gorgeous real wedding inspiration in the form of Gemma and Richard’s big day at Upper House.
Taking inspiration from an expert in prettiness, Cath Kidston, Gemma got busy sourcing lots of sweet, vintage buys online to help set the scene before roping in groom Richard to assist with some handmade décor.
The result is a wedding day that’s beautiful, colourful & fun, just as the bride desired!
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
gemma says: We got engaged on 22nd Dec 2013, whilst on a ski holiday in France. After a spectacular gondola ride across to the glacier in La Plagne, Rich suggested we ski away from the crowds to take some photos. We stopped and Rich took off his skis. After rummaging in his coat, he handed me a half bottle of champagne. He continued to rummage. Next appeared two small plastic pots, which transformed into champagne flutes. He got down on one knee and said “Gemma, will you marry me?” and I replied “I absolutely will!” Cue a random Frenchman that took our photo!
We set the date for 18th July 2015. We wanted a summer wedding and we needed to save up – so summer 2015 was an easy choice.
Our wedding took place at Upper House in Hayfield, Derbyshire. We knew from the start that we wanted a venue that was in the Peak District. Rich and I relocated from St. Albans a couple of years ago to live in the Peaks, so we really wanted to show our southern friends why we had moved north!
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November 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime
You might want to grab your woolly hat and rain coat for this afternoon’s post, as we’re heading outdoors to the Peak District for Caylie and James’s engagement shoot.
Braving the brisk Derbyshire weather, their photographer Steven Haddock, captured some fabulously emotive and moody looking shots against a somewhat stormy backdrop.
With images by Steven Haddock.
caylie says: Our engagement was an utter surprise. James always said I would never see it coming – and he was right! All the usual suspects; trips abroad, romantic strolls, picturesque viewpoints all came and went. Seven years later we took a break to London, to escape parental roles for a few days and loose ourselves in lazy brunches and late night gin bars! The Saturday afternoon James was determined to get me to Hyde Park, Boris bikes were planned, Pret sarnies packed, and then the heavens opened. It didn’t a stop raining all afternoon. After a thorough soaking I finally threw a strop and demanded to go back to the hotel. The ring had been in his pocket all day, I stepped out of the shower, soap in my eyes, half-dressed to find him on one knee. It wasn’t a Hyde Park picnic, but I never saw it coming.
October 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We often get asked as bloggers in the industry if we attend many weddings and the answer is that unfortunately live reporting on the proceedings doesn’t fall into our remits. However, if we were to become professional wedding crashers today’s celebrations would have certainly been high up on our list of events to attend.
Taking inspiration from bride’s roots, Myroslava and Callum planned a crazy ukrainian wedding with a huge focus on food, drink and family. To make the day all the more memorable, Myroslava also decided to make the wedding as ‘homemade’ as possible, pulling in her friends and relatives to help achieve her vision.
Cue vodka, delicious Ukrainian cuisine, live music, dancing, more vodka, more dancing and – you guessed it – even more vodka!
With images by Shot by Amy.
myroslava says: We got engaged on 20th September 2014 at the Greyhound pub in Coventry. On New Year’s Eve 2014 Callum told me this was the year he would propose so I was on tenterhooks for most of it! We’d been for a cosy lunch in one of our favourite pubs, just the two of us, when he got down on one knee and popped the question. It took me completely by surprise and it was us down to a tee!
We got married on 19th September 2015, almost a year to the day we got engaged. We’re both autumn people but we wanted it to be nice enough to get married outside so September was the perfect time.
We got married at Tarasivka (affectionately known as the Field of Dreams) which is a piece of land owned by the Ukrainian Youth Association of GB in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside. I’ve been going every year for summer camp since I was tiny – I practically grew up in that field with all my friends and Callum has been coming to work at the summer camps with me the past few years. There’s a lot of history there, it’s a beautiful location and we love that it is half way between our hometowns of Coventry and Manchester. We had a Ukrainian Catholic ceremony in the outdoor chapel at Tarasivka.
Our theme was a crazy Ukrainian wedding in the beautiful English countryside! Signposts and alcohol played a big part (our centrepieces were signposts to our favourite pubs and vodka is a massive part of every Ukrainian party) but a handmade, homemade and rustic feel was also central to our day.
We had a rose gold colour palette of pinks, creams and metallics, which was inspired by my beautiful rose gold and pink topaz engagement ring which Callum had custom made for me. The bridesmaids wore pink and gold, and the groomsmen wore grey and sky blue for Coventry City. Everything was finished off with metallic touches.
My dress was custom made by Erica Stacey Bridalwear – I like to be unique so I knew I couldn’t have something off the rail! The dress was a pale shell pink topped with white lace. It was fitted to mid-thigh when it flowed out into a long train, and sat off the shoulder with delicate lace wing sleeves. The dress was finished off with beaded embellishments and Swarovski crystal buttons down the back for a bit of sparkle. I wore it with bejewelled shoes, a custom made flower crown from Gypsy Rose Vintage and a blush tulle veil dotted with crystals.
Callum wore a light grey suit handmade for him in Coventry. It was slim fitting with a scooped waistcoat under the jacket. He wore it with a Liberty print tie and pocket square in shades of blue.
Our bridesmaids wore pink and gold dresses by Chi Chi London, which everyone loved. The pink of their bodices matched the material of my dress, and they finished the outfit with some fresh gypsophila in their hair for a little country feel.
The groomsmen wore grey suits from The Suit Lounge in Coventry and sky blue ties to complement Callum’s Liberty print tie.
Our photographer was the super talented Amy of Shot by Amy, based in Manchester. I’ve known her since her street photography days and I am so proud to have her, not only as our wedding photographer, but as our friend. She adapted to the crazy Ukrainian wedding style like a duck to water and listened to exactly what we wanted from the day. She has such an eye for those special candid moments which are so easy to miss – we are beyond in love with the photographs she took.
I love flowers so finding the perfect florist was really important to me. We used the fabulous Ivy Florist based in Leeds. Sofia there just understood exactly what I wanted. I had a bouquet of roses, dahlias and lots of beautiful greenery as well as wheat and poppy heads for a Ukrainian touch and forget-me-nots, which remind me of my Baba (my grandma). My bridesmaids had smaller versions, and the groomsmen had roses, greenery and wheat sheaves.
Our decorations were all completely homemade and probably my favourite part of our wedding aesthetics. For months our family and friends collected glass jars and spirit bottles – we had over 200 on the day, spray painted, hand illustrated, polka-dotted, wrapped in lace and tied with twine, all completely unique and made by me and my friends. They were filled with hydrangeas, roses, snapdragons, gypsophila and daisies, from the local flower market.
The centrepieces were wooden signs made by Callum and painted by my maid of honour with the names of all our favourite pubs that have played a part in our relationship – they were set in bell jars with moss, petals, gravel and fairy lights, like a little garden. My mum sewed the gold sequin table runners, and along with my best friend’s mum she cut, sewed and dyed more than 500 meters of homemade bunting from Baba’s net curtains which we hung in the trees. The table plan was made with my granddad’s old suitcase and the confetti was made with hydrangea petals from my Baba’s garden. I hand wrote everyone’s names on paper doilies instead of place cards, and made activity packs for the children. I also created hand-illustrated signs for the menu and welcome drinks, which we displayed in antique-looking frames sprayed gold.
I’m an illustrator by day so I wanted to put my own special stamp on our wedding and so I hand-drew the design for our stationery myself, hand-illustrated everyone’s favours and wrote our favourite romantic quotes on glass jars as part of the décor. My favourite bit was probably designing our wedding guide. There are loads of traditions involved in a Ukrainian wedding so I hand-drew a ‘survival guide’ to get our guests through the day. I was inspired by the style of the Daily Prophet newspaper from Harry Potter and I put a lot of love into the detail – it was so nice to see people really getting into it!
Our wedding stationery was really important to me and as an illustrator I wanted my drawings to look as good as possible so we used Precious Design, who are a family run business that create bespoke wedding stationery, to produce our paper goods and we loved the results. They really listened when I explained my crazy ideas and they kept us in the loop for every part of the process. Everyone loved our stationery and it really set the tone for our big day.
Our favours were shot glasses which I hand-illustrated with every guest’s name, our initials and our wedding date. A key part of a Ukrainian ceremony is Perepiy – the receiving line when every single guest has a shot with the bride and groom – so it was nice that the guests had something practical! For the kids we painted wooden egg cups with their names.
Our cake was made by the talented Laura from Yolk – she is based in Hackney but it was well worth the journey for that baking! The bottom layer was Victoria sponge, the middle layer was lemon and lavender with homemade lemon curd and the top was chocolate. It was all iced with pale yellow vanilla buttercream and finished with wreaths of beautiful fresh flowers inspired by the Ukrainian floral headdress, complete with rainbow ribbons. We wanted everyone to really enjoy the cake so we had it for breakfast with our guests and a case of champagne the next morning!
As mentioned, there is a lot of drinking involved in a Ukrainian wedding so the key is to keep eating! For our wedding breakfast our guests enjoyed a hog roast and paella from a giant pan, something I’ve loved since I lived in Valencia, followed by all kinds of cakes and sweets. Polish sausage called ‘kobasa’, Ukrainian rye bread and gherkins were laid out for guests to pick on throughout the day to keep everyone going. In the evening, we served curry which is one of our favourites and had been homemade by our friends’ parents the day before. We also served traditional Ukrainian dumplings known as ‘varenyky’ which are filled with cheese and potato and served with hot onions and butter – these were all handmade months before by ladies from the Manchester Ukrainian community and frozen for the big day. They made more than 1,500 and it was a perfect chance for everyone to try a bit of Ukrainian cuisine.
We love brass bands so we were over the moon when we found Twisted Tubes, a modern brass band who play pop covers, to provide the entertainment at our wedding. They went down an absolute storm but my highlight of their set (and one of my highlights of the entire wedding) was when the musicians came onto the dancefloor with their instruments and played Spice Up Your Life around us – it was one of those once in a lifetime moments! We were also treated to a cabaret by my Ukrainian dance group, Podilya. I got to perform my own dance with some of my bridesmaids and a guest appearance by my new husband, and then all my dancer friends performed Hopak, which is the most famous Ukrainian dance. The atmosphere in the hall was electric and after they danced they got all our wedding guests up to try some moves for themselves.
We loved having our wedding at Tarasivka – the brilliant thing about it, is that it’s a blank canvas! The hall is a big space so we used a company to have it draped like a marquee which made it a lot more intimate, even though there were more than 300 people in there. It was amazing to get married in the great outdoors and I loved being able to put my own unique stamp on the venue.
People are right when they say a wedding is a magical day! There were so many amazing moments – seeing Callum for the first time, the amazing speeches by our best men, bridesmaids and our parents, dancing with all our friends to trumpets playing the Spice Girls – but one of my absolute favourites happened as soon as our ceremony ended. We turned around to walk back down the aisle and I my Baba was sat there; she’s in a care home at the moment and we didn’t think she’d be able to make the journey but my family surprised me by bringing her along! Everyone got quite emotional, especially me. We had all our favourite people there and her being a part of it was the cherry on the cake.
Autumn is a busy time for us and we wanted to enjoy every little bit of our first Christmas together so we decided to delay our honeymoon until January! We’re off to Goa for two weeks and we can’t wait for sandy beaches, beautiful seafood and fourteen days of pure chill out time together.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to live in the moment! I was really calm in the run up to the wedding but a few things stressed me out on the morning of the big day. Having a minute to myself with my new husband flipped a switch inside me that said we only get one day in our lives like this and after that I loved every minute. The little things that go wrong – and they will – will be the funny parts of your story in years to come.
Also, for our wedding we tried to use and support small businesses and I would encourage other couples to do the same. We communicated in person with all our vendors and they went above and beyond to turn our visions into a reality. Almost everything was transported from other parts of the UK but it was well worth it to say we knew exactly who made our cake, exactly who arranged our flowers, exactly who handmade our outfits – all in all it complemented our homemade wedding and made everything that bit more personal.
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