Hardwick Hall Grand Wedding Exhibition
Charlotte Balbier

vintage love. a cath kidston inspired wedding in the peak district – gemma & richard

December 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding In The Peak District (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography (137)

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.

A Colourful Wedding In The Peak District (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography (108)

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.

A Colourful Wedding In The Peak District (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography (92)

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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our love story: caylie & james

November 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Steven Haddock (3)

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.

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Steven Haddock (16)

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.

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Steven Haddock (25)

We are getting married next August, during an intimate ceremony in Lincoln, with reception to follow at The Pheasantry Brewery at Markham (with a little help from Totally Tipi).

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handmade hurrah. a bespoke dress for a country wedding in derbyshire – myroslava & callum

October 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (28)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (1)

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!

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (15)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (20)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (22)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (33)

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (26)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (27)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (30)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (32)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (6)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (7)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (38)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (36)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (9)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (41)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (39)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (47)

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.

A Fun & Fabulous Ukranian Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Shot By Amy (45)

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simply splendid. a bespoke gown for a country wedding at calke abbey – jane & lee

October 19th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (69)

Today’s real wedding couple chose their venue because it provided something that little different – and looking at their images, we can see why it ticked boxes.

Rustic and minimalist, with a modern edge, the white wash brick structure with beautiful exposed beams, does a lot of the talking for itself. Its natural charm was further enhanced by Lee and Jane with the use of lots of twinkling fairy lights, which draped elegantly across the ceiling.

Opting to keep things simple, they then just added a few simple decorative touches here and there in white gypsophila and rustic bird cages to complete their dream setting. It certainly gets the thumbs up from us.

Images by James Tracey Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (8)

jane says: We got engaged on 3rd July in the New Forest at a beautiful hotel called The Pig. It a beautiful sunny evening and the night before my 40th birthday, needless to say lots of champagne was consumed!

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

We set the date for Friday 19th June as we’d always wanted an early summer wedding. Dates at our chosen venue, The Ridings School at Calke Abbey, Derby, were quite limited so rather than change the timing of it, we opted for a Friday.

We chose The Ridings School as it was a little different from your run-of-the-mill wedding venue and was something that we could put our own stamp on.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

Overall we just wanted a relaxed wedding day with a country/rustic feel to it. We also wanted to involve as many friends as possible in the planning to make it more personal.

We decided to stick to a very simple colour scheme of green and white to complement the theme.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (26)

I chose to have a fairly traditional dress, which was made Charlotte Thompson Bridal. I picked elements of different dresses which I loved and she made me a bespoke gown which I absolutely loved!

On the wedding day Claire Elizabeth did my makeup. She used an airbrush technique, which meant it stayed on all day. My hair was done brilliantly by a good friend of mine.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (32)

Lee wore a suit from Ted Baker and the groomsmen’s suits were hired from Moss Bros. Our bridesmaids completed the wedding party in pretty dresses from Coast.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

James Tracey was our fabulous photographer. We already knew him through friends and so we had seen his excellent work.  We booked him early on to make sure he was available on our day.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

All the wedding flowers were sourced and arranged by my best friend and chief bridesmaid, Claudia. We had a mixture of simple gypsophila and green roses to fit the colour scheme.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

We loved the giant ‘love’ letters that we had seen about so decided to hire some for the wedding, which looked great in the photos. We also had lots of fairy lights and some decorative bits and pieces on the table.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (58)

As favours we gave our guests personalised paper bags filled with heart-shaped sweets.

We had a beautiful wedding cake which was made by my mum and multi-talented friend, Claudia. Mum made the huge bottom tier and top tier, which were fruit cake, and Claudia made the middle tiers and iced it all. I loved it!

The rest of the food on the wedding day was taken care of by Black Peppermint and was absolutely delicious.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (63)

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (68)

To provide the entertainment we hired The Serious Hat Band. I had heard them before when I went to a party on the Isle of Wight. They were brilliant and kept the dance floor full all night long.

We also made our own photo booth by hiring a large frame so guests could have their photos taking whilst posing in it using a Polaroid camera. They were then asked to stick a photo in our guest book to provide memories of the day.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (74)

We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. It’s a lot different to other venues and the staff there are brilliant. It has a great feel to it!

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

Looking back we couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day as we loved all of it! We didn’t stop smiling!

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (85)

For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and then stopped off at Dubai on the way home to see some friends. It was the perfect combination of destinations and we would recommend them to other couples in search of honeymoon ideas.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (98)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to organise the big things early on and then you can really enjoy the run up to the wedding. Also, take some time out on the wedding day to spend with your new husband.

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sweet on you. a pretty wedding at the ashes – lisa & james

September 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

Today’s real wedding captivated us as soon as it landed in the Brides Up North inbox. Not only because it’s up there with the prettiest weddings we’ve seen, but also because so much thought and love has been poured into all the different elements of the day to ensure it is both personal & pretty!

When submitting her wedding, bride Lisa said some very kind words about our blog, which she used as the main source of guidance and inspiration for planning her own big day. We are blown away with the results and are so pleased that what we post on our pretty pages is of such use to our creative and stylish brides.

Prepare to swoon (a lot)…

With images by Helen Russell Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (11)

lisa says: We got engaged all the way back in July 2013. We used to date in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, and James proposed where we used to frequent on the cliff top ‘Lover’s Walk’ overlooking the town, on one knee with an amazing vintage inspired engagement ring! It was how I’d always imagined us getting engaged, and luckily he’d had the same idea without us ever speaking about it!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

We chose July 31st as our wedding date as we wanted a weekday summer wedding and knew for family with children the summer holidays would be best. We chose to wait two years to give us enough time to save up and have the wedding we wanted without rushing things or compromising on what we wanted, which really took the pressure off! The date is also one day after my grandparents’ wedding anniversary date, so tied that in beautifully.

We came across The Ashes venue whilst searching Derbyshire wedding venues. I’m from Derby, and the place has always been special to us, as well as the Peak District and the North of England generally being stunning anyway! As soon as we walked into the ceremony barn at The Ashes for our first viewing we knew it was where we were meant to be married, and didn’t look anywhere else, it just felt right! We wanted somewhere beautiful but with a laid back and rustic feel at the same time, and The Ashes had all of that and more.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (14)

The theme naturally evolved into an English rose/country theme the more we chose! My dress started that as it’s covered in lace and chiffon roses, and the flowers followed suit. I’m so pale I’ve always been called an English Rose anyway! James works on a farm and as a tree surgeon, so lots of the country elements were inspired by him and his job, such as incorporating lots of wood (he cut all the centrepiece tree logs himself), the wheat in the boutonnieres, and the peonies, which he grows. The venue really helped complement our choice of theme. We’re quite laid back people, so things like just having the rolled up shirts and braces and mismatched bridesmaids dresses just worked for us.

We chose pale pinks and mint greens as the colour scheme to keep things natural but pretty. The venue was a great blank canvas, with lots of natural earthy wooden and stone colours, so pinks and greens stood out as soft and summery without being too over the top and distracting.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (18)

My dress was Justin Alexander style 8711, a lace ball gown with a sweetheart neckline and cathedral length train in ivory, with lace and chiffon laser cut roses. I went into Courtyard Bridal Boutique in Kettering near where we now live to try a different Justin Alexander dress, but that one just wasn’t quite ‘the one’. I chose this to try on too while we were waiting as I loved the quirkiness of the roses, and once I tried it on and came out of the dressing room I was convinced – everyone gasped and there were a few tears! The dress was the perfect combination of fairy tale wedding with a fun quirky twist that suited us well. For the evening I switched to a Chi Chi London lace midi dress from ASOS, as I knew I couldn’t run about and dance all night in my daytime one!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

James wore a pair of grey/brown tweed trousers, with a white shirt rolled up at the sleeves, brown leather braces and brown leather shoes. All the groomsmen were similar but with different braces. This was to keep with the laid back style and just to suit us. James also wanted to show off his amazing half sleeve tattoo, which had elements inspired by our engagement, and we had hoped it was going to be a hot day (we were right!) so opted to have no jackets.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

The bridesmaids were all in pale pink, but all the dresses were completely different. I wanted them all to feel comfortable on the day, and we didn’t want the uniformed look of all girls being the same. This way they all got to pick a dress they felt suited them and their body types. The dresses were from Debenhams, BHS, and ASOS. The flower girl’s dress was from Monsoon, and she looked like an angelic little fairy princess!

Jenn Edwards hair and makeup team were on hand to help me and my bridesmaids complete our looks. Jenn and the team really put us at ease on the morning of the wedding. They were so professional and got to work right away making everyone look fabulous and were a great girly addition to the wedding morning, which should be a fun and girly part of the day. I would highly recommend!

On the morning of the wedding the girls and I got ready on site in the lovely Old Dairy cottage, which meant we didn’t require transport. For James, as a surprise a hired a DeLorean! This wasn’t in keeping with the theme of the day at all, but I wanted to do everything I could to make sure the day was as much about him and his loves as much as it was mine, and he does love that car! It collected him from where he was staying the night before and he was in total shock! It was great fun to have in the pictures too, and a once in a lifetime experience for him.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (25)

Our photographer was Helen Russell Photography. Choosing a photographer was one of the most, if not the most important element for us, as once the day is over the photos are what you have left to treasure. We wanted a photographer that had a slightly more artistic and soft almost vintage style, without being too over processed and cheesy, and after lots of Googling we found Helen! We had an amazing engagement shoot with her, and she was a joy to work with, so professional and creative. On the day she was like a wedding ninja, appearing everywhere at the right place at the right time to get some amazing shots. She captured some really great moments for us, and the images feel soft and romantic.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (31)

The flowers were all provided by Campbell’s Flowers in Sheffield. After finding them online and meeting the owner, Tracy, we knew they were the florist for us. They really care about creating the right flowers for your day, and have a wonderful fresh, handpicked feel to their arrangements. The bouquet was mostly roses, with hydrangeas, dahlias and peonies, and was a great mix of soft pastel colours. They also provided the flowers for my hair, which was perhaps one of my favourite elements of the day! The most beautiful big pale pink rose, with smaller foliage and tea roses – they just finished off my outfit and looked stunning.

The flowers used for decoration were also from Campbell’s. We had an assortment of vases for the centrepieces on the tables and windows to add to the relaxed feel, and Campbell’s filled them with gypsophila, roses and dahlias. It all just looked so fresh picked and colourful. They even filled our teapot and teacups on the top table which suits our love of tea so well! We had rose petals to decorate the aisle, and hydrangea petals for confetti.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (35)

Most of the decorations were handmade, and my good friend Angela really helped craft some of the more amazing decorations, such as our welcome sign, Mr & Mrs light up letters, and our amazing wreath for our ceremony. We had more than 70 meters of bunting in the reception barn, and lots of lovely handmade lace bunting in the ceremony barn too. We wanted little personal handmade touches everywhere to bring our personalities and love of crafts into the day, so we had handmade confetti cones and programme fans too.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (38)

We decided not to do favours on people’s places, as so often they seem to get left behind, so we opted to do napkins with personalised luggage tags and engraved wooden cookies with wheat and lavender for the tables, and had a separate table with homemade jams, honey, teabags and wild flower seeds for people to collect after the meal. That way guests could choose what they wanted to take home and nothing was wasted or left behind.

Our cake was from Pretty Fancy Cakes in Derbyshire. Faye at PFC was brilliant in listening to us describe our day and create a cake around that. It was four tiers of white icing, with the same lace piped on that was on my dress, icing peonies and petals, and our tattoo emblem (we have a matching LJ logo tattoo on both our wrists!). I also, as another surprise for James, had a Lego cake made with little Lego toppers – I know he loves Lego, and again wanted him to have special touches on the day that I knew would represent him and his hobbies.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

The wedding breakfast food was a quite traditional, an English three course meal with ratatouille tart or salmon for starters, and a choice of chicken with a duck farce, beef with a Tio Pepe reduction, or butternut squash and pecorino crumble for mains. The dessert was a selection of three mini desserts so everyone could enjoy a bit of a variety. The food was so well presented at The Ashes – Jenkinsons were the caterers. For the drinks reception we kept it laid back and fun with Pimms with fresh fruit and fruity Old Mout ciders for the summer’s day.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

As entertainment, we chose to have Dan and Jess from Replay Acoustic Duo sing throughout the day. They were a fantastic touch, as they played a great variety of non-cheesy songs from all genres with their own lovely laid back acoustic feel. Jess’ voice was angelic, and it again added to that laid back summer fun vibe.

We also had Polly’s Parlour vintage ice-cream van for an alternative to traditional canapés for the drinks reception post-ceremony. We’re big Volkswagen fans (all our tables were named after VW cars!) and Florence is such as fun and beautiful campervan. All the guests commented on how tasty and refreshing the ice-cream was, and it looked amazing in the photos, so colourful and cute.

We also chose to put on some lawn games on the grassy area and hired some huge light up ‘love’ letters for the dance floor. These were a great focal point for the day and the evening, especially as we opted to have an iPod disco rather than a DJ. Our first dance, which was a waltz (as we ballroom dance anyway) looked lovely against the sparkle of the letters.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (44)

We would definitely recommend The Ashes venue to other couples. First of all the location is stunning, the views are breath-taking and it’s immaculate inside and out! With its stone walls and wooden beams it’s a great blank canvas, no crazy carpets or curtains to try and work around, it’s just yours to play with! The other brilliant thing is that they set everything up and pack everything away for you – I can’t tell you how much of a help that was, you can just sit back and enjoy arriving on the day to everything being decorated, and at the end of the night can leave without a worry!

My favourite part of the day was our first look shoot. We knew it was something we wanted to do for a while, and we were so right to do it. It was probably the only part of the day that we got to experience just for us. No crowds of people watching. We got to keep the moment of seeing each other for the first time for ourselves, and weren’t at either ends of an aisle. We got to hug, kiss and high five and say how we felt before all the madness began! It really helped calm our nerves pre-ceremony, and made us feel like we went into the ceremony already united. We also got some lovely photo and video moments from it. I’d recommend a first look shoot to anyone considering it, as it really is a special moment to share.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (50)

We chose to visit Sri Lanka for our honeymoon. We wanted somewhere that was paradise with beauty and beaches, but also plenty to see and do, as we can’t sit still for long! This worked really well, as we spent some days lazing on the beach and by the pool with a good book and a cocktail, and some days seeing Sri Lanka, riding elephants, visiting tea and spice gardens, seeing the wildlife on boat tours, and taking in the culture. The weather and surroundings were incredible, and the people so friendly. We really got chance to unwind.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (48)

My top tip for other Brides Up North, apart from the first look shoot, would be to really enjoy the planning and the lead up to the wedding. The wedding day is just a few hours and goes so quick, so try to really stop and enjoy the time choosing lovely things with your suppliers, crafting those special details, trying on that dress, and having the family and friends time. There won’t be another time in your life like it, and it’s important to enjoy the wedding as a journey and an experience, not just for the day.

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outdoor elegance. mori Lee for a bright & modern wedding at ringwood hall – natalie & joe

August 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (37)

Today’s bride and groom didn’t let Britain’s unpredictable weather put them off taking their September wedding outdoors.

Natalie and Joe chose to say their ‘I dos’ in the stunning grounds of Ringwood Hall before enjoying their reception in a marquee within the gardens.

Thankfully blue skies appeared on the big day, which was beautifully styled in a chic & simple way using a base palette of white and then pops of vibrant pinks and orange. Just stunning!

Image by One Wedding Photography.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (1)

natalie says: We got engaged on 30th June 2012. We had been travelling together the year previous for six months and then came back and moved into our first home together. Joe proposed in our apartment. I had been out with my best friend for some food and a few drinks and got home about 11.30pm. I opened the door to a hallway full of candles and Train’s Marry Me playing. Joe was waiting in the living room with roses and champagne and the ring! Joe chose our apartment to propose as it was a special place for us.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (9)

Our wedding date was 12th September 2014. September always seems to be a lovely month weather wise and we first got together in September so it naturally seemed the best month for us.

We picked Ringwood Hall in Derbyshire, as our venue and decided on a modern, bright travelling theme. We wanted a relaxed but intimate wedding and therefore had an outdoor ceremony in the gardens of Ringwood Hall followed by a reception in the garden marquee. We felt that the whole day was relaxed and as the majority of the celebrations took place outside, it just had a lovely informal feel about it.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (19)

Our colour scheme was pretty varied. All our table/chair covers were white while our flowers were a mixture of coral, pinks and oranges with green succulents with pink tips. The groom and ushers/father of the brides were in navy suits and the bridesmaids were in pale taupe dresses.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (20)

My dress was a Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner design. I found it difficult finding a dress as I had an image in my head of what I wanted, but even when I found ‘that’ dress it didn’t feel like it was ‘the one’. I wanted something fitted but as I’m not that tall most fishtail dresses made my legs look really small so I loved how the dress I picked kicked out mid-thigh to make me look a little taller. I also loved the neckline and the fact that my niece’s dress, who was my flower girl, actually mirrored my dress.

We got Joe and the groomsmen’s’ suits from Debenhams suit hire. The bridesmaid dresses were by Dessy.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (23)

As we wanted a relaxed and informal wedding we were looking for photographers who could capture this feel on the day. Tom and Mike from One Wedding Photography did just that, they are chilled out but very professional and the photos they produced were excellent. All our guests made comments that a great thing about our wedding was that lots of time wasn’t taken up with photos and this is due to One Wedding being so subtle and capturing relaxed and natural shots. In addition, whenever we needed to ask One Wedding a question, they were always on the other end of the phone/email, nothing was ever too much trouble for them. We were over the moon with our photos when we received them and they brought back all the memories of our special day. One Wedding are two fantastic and very talented guys.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (26)

All our flowers were done by Fantail Designer Florist and Lydia at Sweet Additions in Sheffield, created our wedding cake.

We made the name tags ourselves to look like old fashioned travel tickets with a penny attached to the front and a scratch card favour inside. We also made our table names; these were a photo of us both in a place we visited during our travels and the table name was of the country where the photo was taken. For the kids we made goodie bags filled with sticker books, sweets and bubbles.

Strides provided our ceremony and marquee dressings and did a fantastic job. Both the outside pavilion, where we had our ceremony, and the marquee, where we held our wedding breakfast and celebrations, looked stunning.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (27)

We chose a ladies and gents’ menu for the wedding breakfast and in the evening we had a hog roast with all the trimmings. We also made our own sweetie table and served up part of our cake for guests. As entertainment we had Tropicana DJ, supplied through Ringwood Hall.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (36)

Without a doubt we would recommend Ringwood Hall to others, mainly due to its beautiful grounds and the staff went over and above what we would have expected from them. They made sure that the day ran so smoothly, nothing was an issue.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (45)

Seeing all our friends and family happy and having a great time together on the day was definitely our favourite part of the wedding.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (31)

For our honeymoon we went to Crete straight after the wedding as were really needed a rest and a couple of weeks to relax. We stayed in a beautiful hotel near to Elounda. We have now just returned from Italy which was where we originally wanted to go for our honeymoon but as we wanted to do a bit of travelling we knew it wouldn’t be a complete chilled out holiday which is what we needed straight after the wedding. We spent four nights in Rome then 11 nights travelling up the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento.

A Chic Wedding at Ringwood Hall (c) One Wedding Photography (54)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be try not to get stressed about the planning, the day is a fantastic day regardless. We tried to stay relaxed throughout the whole planning process and didn’t worry too much about little details on the day. We just enjoyed and had the best time.

The only thing we regret is not having a video done of the wedding. At the time we were thinking of budget but in the grand scheme of things we should have just gone for it.

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