July 15th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This morning on the blog we’re thrilled to introduce you to dream venue Chatsworth House, which is located in the heart of the Peak District.
The perfect setting for a wedding (as well as a period drama) the stately house has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549. Keen not to keep its beauty all to themselves, the family opened the venue up to the public and has since become known as one of the UK’s favourite country houses.
Brides and grooms have been able to say their ‘I dos’ at Chatsworth for the past six years in the stable courtyard area, though only recently has the Painted Hall in the main house been licensed for civil ceremonies, which we are most excited about!
Outside the house is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and parkland while on the inside it’s brimming with character, history and unique treasures, making for truly stunning backdrop to couples’ big days. Oh and if the house looks familiar that might be because a number of scenes for the Pride and Prejudice movie starring Kiera Knightly were filmed here. Impressive!
So let’s hear more about weddings at this stunning house and have a nosey at that fabulous Painted Hall.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?
Chatsworth House is steeped in history, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire it has been handed down 16 generations of the Cavendish family. It is a family home, a working farm and a living landscape that is stunning inside and out.
How does Chatsworth House cater for weddings?
We host small intimate weddings and large lavish ones too! Numbers vary from just four to 150! With three licensed spaces to hold civil ceremonies and civil partnerships, a beautiful church very close by, small private dining rooms and the majestic carriage house restaurant there really is something for everyone. Chatsworth weddings are planned and created by our warm and welcoming team, our catering is created by our award-winning chefs fresh on the day of the wedding and the event is delivered by expert operators. We have an amazing team!
The Painted Hall at Chatsworth has recently become licensed for civil ceremonies, why did you want to open up the venue to brides and grooms?
Although we have been licensed to hold weddings in the stables courtyard area for six years, we were not able to offer couples anything in the house. Every time I visited the Painted Hall I could imagine a bride and groom on the Great Stairs delivering their vows, it really is something very special.
What makes Chatsworth House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
The house is known as the Palace of the Peaks and it certainly lives up to this title! The gardens, and surrounding parkland, make the most amazing backdrops for photographs but if I’m honest, I think it’s the team that sets the venue apart from others. The dedication and commitment to every single wedding, large or small, from every member of the team is simply astonishing.
What sort of bride would be a Chatsworth House bride?
Anyone that has a passion for history and heritage. Lots of our brides have loved Chatsworth since they were small children and have dreamed of getting married here. We’re thrilled that we can make such wishes come true.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
We work closely with the brides on all aspects of the wedding day and can offer our help and advice from the experience we have gathered over the years. We do work with trusted suppliers but we do not enforce them on to our couples and we are always on the lookout for new and exciting wedding partners.
Can guests stay over at your venue?
We have lots of good quality hotels within five to ten minutes of Chatsworth and we also have wonderful holiday cottages spread across the estate which can accommodate guests.
Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special?
Our catering is delivered by our award winning in house team of expert chefs and bakers who are always happy to discuss menu requirements with our couples. We can offer help and advice when picking wines to complement the chosen wedding breakfast. Laurent Perrier is our pouring champagne adding a touch of class to our welcoming receptions and toasts.
Can you give Bride Up North an idea on price?
Weddings start from £800 up to around £15,000 in the stables courtyard areas. Weddings in Chatsworth House start at around £50,000 depending on numbers and requirements, as do our marquee weddings.
We often add special packages to our website incorporating some of our other events. The concert-wedding package is always very popular. If we have any late availability dates we can sometimes offer all-inclusive packages enabling couples to pick up an amazing value for money wedding.
Do you have any open days coming up that our readers might be interested in?
We will be hosting an open day on Saturday 8th August in the stables courtyard area. Chatsworth House is such a special venue that makes wonderful memories, we would love couples to come and experience it for themselves.
To find out more about Chatsworth House and its facilities contact 01246 565366 and speak to Kay or Laine. Alternatively visit the Chatsworth House website.
July 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Rather than deciding on one set theme and colour palette, today’s real wedding couple put together a mishmash of colours, passions and likes to create a big day that was both stylish & personal.
We love the bright colours mixed in with glittery gold touches, including Mike and Sarah’s fabulous looking cake! We are also fans of Sarah’s idea to switch her bridesmaids’ bouquets for balloons in a nod to her and Mike’s favourite film Up, because you don’t always have to abide by the wedding ‘rules’.
All in all a fun and elegant big day, just as the bride and groom wanted!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.
sarah says: Mike proposed while we were on holiday in Las Vegas in September 2013. He’d asked for my parents’ blessing before the trip. On the 12th September we drove out from Las Vegas to see the Hoover Dam and onto the Grand Canyon. We arrived at the south rim of the canyon and began to walk along the track. At sunset we sat down and took in the sight. Whilst sat Mike asked me if I was enjoying the trip, I said “yes it’s perfect”. To which he asked me if anything could make it more perfect and my response was “no”. I then turned round to see Mike sat with a small box with a love heart sweet ring saying ‘Marry Me’ written on it. My heart melted and I said yes! Mike let me choose my own engagement ring once we were home – he knows me so well!
We were married at Peak Edge Hotel near Chesterfield. The thing that clinched it with Peak Edge was that the venue had the rustic feel in part of the venue in the Red Lion bar and bistro (a former 17th century coaching inn) yet it also had a modern element as the hotel was built in 2011. It was just perfect and ticked all our boxes for us to have a civil service and for me to be able to get ready at the venue. Plus the ‘Perfection Package’ included so many elements we wouldn’t then need to arrange ourselves but it still gave us the chance to customise areas to our taste e.g. chair sashes, place cards, seating chart etc. The venue was spacious with our civil ceremony taking place in the Orangery with beautiful glass skylight and chandeliers. The orangery and adjoining Harewood suite were then transformed for wedding breakfast and we also had the Ashover suite for the disco in the evening. We also needed somewhere that could accommodate my bridal party of 17. Carly was our dedicated planner at the venue, and worked with us to ensure she shared our vision for the day and that every detail was perfect.
Our theme was understated rustic with modern pops of colour and fun! We didn’t want one colour to cover everything and it all to be very ‘matchy matchy’. Instead we created a classic elegant style using more neutral tones with bright elements and added a bit of bling with gold glitter. One of our favourite films is Up and so we knew we wanted to incorporate balloons into our day too. We both love the vintage rustic style weddings but felt that we wanted our own twist on this and so we incorporated rustic elements where we wanted but with bursts of bling and colour.
When it came to the dress I was pretty open to everything as I had no preconceived idea of what I thought it would look like, although I thought I didn’t want strapless nor satin. I went to several bridal shops and found I started to pick out the same designer – Mori Lee by Madelaine Gardner. I eventually bought my dress from Blushes Bridal on London Road in Sheffield. I tried on a Mori Lee dress I had tried on several months previously and I knew it had to be that one. It was just perfect – tulle skirt with subtle lace detail round the hem, a touch of sparkle on the waistband with a brooch detail and a fitted bodice top with delicate lace detail over laying and button up back with a long train.
Helen, Zoe and the rest of the staff at Blushes were just amazing – they managed to get my dress in slightly earlier so I could go and try it on a few times. Alterations weren’t a problem either as I was a perfect fit in my dress, it was as if it had been made for me. I borrowed a veil from my friend and finished my outfit with the most amazing pair of Louboutins which my husband bought me from Harrods.
Mike’s outfit was top to toe Hugo Boss. He went to the Hugo Boss store in Nottingham where assistant manager Lee Honey helped him pick and tailored his amazing three piece suit to him. The service in-store was sensational.
Lee of Lee Brown Photography was our photographer. Lee had done wedding photos for two of my work colleagues and I had met Lee at their weddings. I loved his style of natural photos and that it felt as if he very much blended into the day rather than having all posed photos. Michael also loved his work and his amazing all-inclusive package was the right deal for us. We had a wonderful pre-wedding shoot with Lee in the gardens at Chatsworth in January and these pictures were displayed at the wedding as a signing board and postcards. Lee arrived at the venue early in the morning to take some photos of us all getting ready and the boys arriving and stayed into late into the evening. The pictures really do show what an amazing day we had.
We also had our wedding filmed by Mike at Satin Pictures to give us lasting memories of the day. Mike often works with our photographer Lee and we loved his work. The video was a late addition to our wedding and we were very lucky to secure Mike. We have an amazing highlights film for our day which captured the fun and are excited to see our full video very soon!
Our flowers were provided by JJ’s Flowers in Chesterfield. Jess at JJ’s is an amazing florist! Flowers weren’t to be a main element of our day and I didn’t want us to spend a lot of our budget on them. I knew as soon as we met Jess I wanted her to do our flowers as she totally got where I was coming from and despite it being a relatively small order in comparison to other weddings she does, she was still very committed to getting it just right for me. I couldn’t have been happier with the results!
Liz at Mad Philomena provided our wedding invites and was amazing. When coming up with the design we met Liz at a pub one evening to discuss how she could help us create some invites that reflected us as a couple. We worked together on several iterations of the invite to make it perfect. From our meeting Liz wrote a beautiful piece in the centre of the invite about us as a couple; how we met, where the proposal happened and what we love about one another. We also hired some of Liz’s giant gold letters for display throughout the wedding day and a ribbon backdrop customised to our colours.
The balloons for bridesmaids and decorations came from Dottie & Love. I came across Jayne at Dottie & Love through a recommendation. Originally we were just having balloons for decoration in the Ashover suite for our evening reception and two of the large white balloons with ribbon tails for decoration and use in the photos. However I worked with Jayne and decided I also wanted the bridesmaids to have balloons rather than flowers to walk in with. This worked really well and looked beautiful on the photos, plus was a much more friendly choice to the budget. Jayne was fabulous and we would highly recommend her.
I made or bought the rest of the decorations including tissues for tears of love, joy, laughter and happily ever after, ring box and signs.
As favours we gave all our guests a wooden egg cup printed with our fingerprints from our ring fingers, our names plus and date of the wedding. There was a Cadburys Creme Egg in each one as it was Easter.
Our wedding cake was from Atherley’s Bakery in Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire. My friend and bridesmaid Jo runs this family business with her husband James and they make the most amazing cakes! We had a three tier cake with lemon, red velvet and chocolate sponges with a rustic buttercream coating and gold dusting detail. We then had vanilla sponge cupcakes for my ‘pimp your cupcake’ stand during the evening reception where guests could add their choice of icing and a variety of toppings to a cake.
James Clark provided the entertainment at our drinks reception. We had seen James play many times before as he regularly hosts an acoustic night at our friend’s pub in Mansfield. His laid back style and music options were perfect. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our guests about James since.
Further entertainment was provided by a photo booth in the evening. When I met Kay who runs the Nottingham franchise for Photobooth.co.uk at a local wedding fayre, I knew we had to have it at our venue. The booth has the capability to take single photos or four onto one photo and the backgrounds can be changed. The booth also allowed guests to do some karaoke and merged the videos at the end of the day.
We would recommend our wedding venue to others without a shadow of a doubt. Nothing was too much trouble for the venue. The staff are so accommodating and cannot do enough to help. Several friends are now considering the venue for their weddings and we are attending a friend’s wedding at the same venue in August.
Looking back I would say the ceremony was my favourite part of the day. We had readings and an impromptu sing song. It was just perfect!
For our honeymoon we went to Australia for just over three weeks. We flew into Melbourne and spent five nights there fitting in lots of attractions before moving onto Ayres Rock where we watched the sunrise, completed the base walk all the way round Uluru, went to the ‘Sound of Silence’ dinner, and had a go at boomerang and spear throwing. Next we went to Cairns for a week where we snorkled at the Great Barrier Reef. We finished up in Sydney where we completed the Bridge Climb, visited Taronga Zoo, Manly and Bondi beaches, and had a tour of the opera house.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to shop around! I managed to save lots of money by not getting drawn into hiring or buying the first things I saw.
June 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
So today’s wedding is pretty special as the bride is my lovely cousin Hannah. Tying the knot to Vince in April, Hannah is the first out of the grandchildren on my mum’s side of the family to get hitched. And my goodness has she set the bar (worryingly) high for those of us that will (hopefully) follow in her wedded footsteps!
Sensibly Hannah and Vin decided on three key areas to invest the majority of their budget in, picking the things that mattered to them most; venue, catering and honeymoon. This paid off fantastically well as the setting for their big day totally blew guests away (really, this place is stunning).
The pretty spring yellow colour scheme, Hannah’s dreamy Pronovias gown, incredible food and wonderful entertainment completed their classic and elegant big day without the need for anything remotely gimmicky. It was also clear to see how much these two university sweethearts mean to each other with a fair few tears shed by both the bride and groom during the ceremony and speeches.
A massive thank you to Hannah and Vin for creating such a memorable big day which has left me literally quaking in my boots at the thought of organising a wedding myself that will match such a standard!
With images by Ben Pollard.
hannah says: We got engaged on the 11th August 2013 at the Millennium Gardens on the Nottingham University campus. We’d been for a lovely walk around the campus as we’d both attended the university only a few years prior. Vin got down on bended knee and asked me to be his wife. I was so happy I just cried and said yes! We went for a champagne picnic in nearby Wollaton Park to celebrate!
Our wedding took place on 25th April 2015. We wanted a spring wedding so that all the lovely spring flowers would be out and the lambs would have just been born.
We got married at St Edmunds Church, Holme Pierrepont, followed by a reception at Holme Pierrepont Hall, near Nottingham. We chose our venue after having seen a few but knew instantly that we wanted to get married here. It’s a private estate and we were struck by the privacy, peace and quiet. The estate is surrounded by farmland, not to mention beautifully manicured gardens and grounds. It is simply stunning!
We had a yellow colour scheme, which we chose it as it’s a great spring colour. It was also a nod to my mum and dad who had yellow for their wedding day.
My wedding dress was by Pronovias Benicarlo – it’s colloquially known as ‘Swan Lake’ due to the feather detail around the sweetheart neckline coupled with the wave like layered organza skirt. It’s finished off with a vintage crystal belt above the dropped waist. I didn’t have to try any others on as it’s flirty, romantic and classic all at the same time. It’s the most stunning dress I’ve ever seen!
The groomsmen all wore the three piece Lingfield morning suit in mid-grey from Moss Bros with lemon cravats. We got bright yellow socks for the groomsmen too!
Our bridesmaids wore a beautiful dress called Maya from Coast, again in lemon. It was floor length with one strap made up of flower corsages.
To transport us on the day we hired two stretched limousines for the bridal party from Premier Limousines, they were decorated with ivory bows and ribbons.
Ben Pollard was our photographer. He shoots in a documentary style, meaning that every element of the wedding gets captured and tells a story of the day.
I carried a hand tied bouquet of yellow Dutch tulips and the bridesmaids had the same in ivory. The groomsmen had a single yellow tulip buttonhole all provided by The Flower Room in Nottingham. They were perfect!
We also had two pedestal arrangements in yellow and white in the church which we then displayed either side of the top table during the wedding breakfast, again provided by The Flower Room, Nottingham.
As favours we gave a ‘wedding day’ Yankee candle wrapped in ivory voile to all adult guests and a selection of sweets presented in the same way for the younger guests.
We bought our wedding cake from Marks & Spencer; three tiers of sponge and one tier of fruit cake. We assembled it ourselves separating the tiers with ivory foam roses. It looked fantastic and tasted just as good!
Fiona Herbert Catering provided our food on the day. Starter was a fish cake and caperberry mayonnaise, followed by a choice of chicken or lamb with seasonal vegetables and then raspberry crème brûlée for dessert. This was accompanied by a choice of either Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.
To entertain our guests we had acoustic guitarist Joel Evans during the day who then did an amazing DJ set during the evening. Joel was fabulous, he got so many compliments, and we wouldn’t hesitate having Joel at our next event. We were lucky enough to find Joel on the internet and the testimonials on his website speak for themselves. We then saw Joel play at a local restaurant and knew we’d made the right decision!
Little extras we added included a sweetie bar for the kids (and big kids) which was a big hit. We also had a slideshow of photographs of us both from when we were little to current day, which was great for when guests wanted a break from all the dancing! Also on the wedding breakfast tables we had photo props which were Mexican themed as we wanted to incorporate our honeymoon destination into our day.
The Brackenbury family, the owners of Holme Pierrepont Hall, have got the most amazing home and we were so lucky to have if for the day. The family are lovely, very accommodating and I would highly recommend hiring their amazing home and grounds.
We just totally fell in love with the privacy. A lot of venues are open to the public and we just wanted to share our special day with those who we love most in an intimate hideaway, which is exactly what we got. The grounds are immaculate with a courtyard and extensive gardens. The flowers are amazing, the whole place is alive with colour and lambs grazing in surrounding fields. It was just idyllic and a great place for the children to run around playing hide and seek!
It’s so hard to choose just one favourite part of the day! I think seeing each other in church was just amazing. Vin turned around and that moment was very emotional, it just felt like we were the only ones in the room. We also got a short time with each other in the garden listening to the guitar before dinner. That was a very precious moment to take in everything and be with each other privately. It’s very important to do that as you don’t get much time to yourselves!
For our honeymoon we went to El Dorado Casita Suites, Riviera Maya, Mexico. It’s the most beautiful resort we’ve ever visited, incredibly relaxing but with the advantage of having one of the modern wonders of the world and liveliness of Cancun on your doorstep. It was simply the best two weeks ever!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – prioritise where you want to spend your money, we chose venue, caterers and honeymoon. You can go mad with loads of little things which can easily spiral, costing a lot of money.
We’d just like to say a special thanks to all involved at St. Edmunds church, the Brackenbury family, Fiona Herbert catering, Joel Evans, Ben Pollard, The Flower Room. And of course our wonderful friends and family for giving us the most happy, memorable day of our lives, we love you!
June 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
We just adore this small but perfectly formed wedding carefully put together by today’s bride and groom.
Rather than caving in to ‘the norm’, Hannah and Callum did things their own way, and on their own budget, to create the intimate wedding day that they desired with their very nearest and dearest.
The styling and setting are gorgeous and we love that the bride and groom went down their own independent routes when it came to their wedding attire; Callum in his traditional Scottish dress and Hannah in her short Tory Burch dress, complete with a fabulous Eugenia Kim hair bow! The girl’s got style!
With images by Firsthand Photography.
hannah says: We had been talking about getting married for a while, then one evening in October 2014 we said “let’s do it!”
We didn’t want a long engagement so we chose September 2015 to get married. We had a budget to stick to, so picking Tuesday 9th rather than a weekend allowed us to save on costs without compromising on our venue.
I wanted to get married at Langar Hall in Nottingham as I knew that it would be perfect for our intimate and informal wedding. Callum had never been before so we went for lunch one Saturday and at 5pm we had to tear ourselves away. That sealed it. We planned to marry there with 12 guests, and have a larger reception party elsewhere for family and friends the following Saturday. We married at 3pm in the Indian Room, with dinner in the Garden Room at 5pm and most of our guests stayed overnight.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but we wanted to incorporate certain visual elements – an eclectic mix of traditional and modern, such as neon script on our invites and our pop art cake topper, which seemed suited to Langar Hall. It was also important to reference our shared Scottish heritage.
We didn’t want a matchy-matchy colour scheme, but Callum’s tartan gave us a starting point and a palette emerged. Somehow everything coordinated with the strong, sherbet-y colours of my bouquet, offset by creams and greens.
I knew that a traditional dress wasn’t for me. My mum and I took a trip to London and I found my dress in Tory Burch at Selfridges. The short length was modern but the textural fabric made it special – I felt like a bride. A few weeks later I bought shoes and a clutch but the ultimate finishing touch was my hair bow from Eugenia Kim at Fenwick Bond Street.
I did my own make-up, but had a lesson with the girls at Bobbi Brown in John Lewis in Nottingham, who gave great advice. My regular hairdresser, Anna Jones at Solos Nottingham did my hair as she always gets it right.
There was never any doubt that Callum would wear traditional Scottish dress, including a custom-made kilt in McNab tartan (a gift from his brother) – plus Paul Smith brogues. Callum was supported by his brother Aly as best man, and father who both wore Scottish dress.
I was supported by my friend Mhairi who wore a Whistles dress in blue.
Jack from Firsthand Photography took our photos. A friend had noticed that whenever she saw nice wedding pictures on Facebook, Jack was responsible. Her reportage style and informal groups were just what we wanted – and she’s Scottish! She captured our day perfectly.
For my wedding flowers I worked with Vaas who created my mixed bouquet of heritage roses, dahlias, eryngium, berries and mint.
My mum made our cake and we added a topper from Miss Cake at Not on the High Street. It was a traditional fruitcake with marzipan and icing and there were a lot of prototypes and taste tests which, went down well in the office! The cake stand was by Jansen & Co.
Luckily as there were just 14 of us, we were able to choose from the menu at Langar Hall so everyone could have the food that they wanted. 4
Our parents prepared a couple of surprises for us on the day. We were given a photobook titled, ‘Callum & Hannah – The Early Years’, featuring corresponding photos from our childhood. We also received a letter from the McNab chief, welcoming me to the clan, and I was given a silver brooch featuring the crest by my new in-laws.
The Nottingham-based jeweller Loree Bologna designed and made all of our rings. It was fantastic to find someone locally who understood exactly what we wanted.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Langar Hall – a beautiful place, with fantastic food in a great setting. Everything is done properly, but with ease and a lack of stuffiness. Avishek guided us through the planning and tailored the day to our individual needs.
My favourite moment of the day was walking out of the Indian room, looking at Callum and saying “we did it!” There was a glass of champagne waiting for us and we stood and greeted all of our guests.
For our honeymoon we took a mini tour of Scotland – first stop Killin, home of the McNab clan. Then we spent two nights in Stonefield castle in Argyll, where my grandparents come from, before finishing off in Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to invest in a good photographer. It was important for us to stick to our budget, so we had a strong set of priorities. Although it can seem expensive, the right photographer is worth every penny. The images of our day will give us, our family and friends a great deal of pleasure for years to come.
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March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding is one classy do. Laura and Giles chose a traditional church wedding followed by a reception and the stately Hassop Hall.
Their big day is brimming with elegance, from the bride’s wedding attire to the beautiful blooms and transportation in the form of a horse-drawn carriage.
Though clearly a sophisticated couple, they didn’t take all elements too seriously as their wedding album features a rather unusual image. Their photographer Kate Cooper explains: “Giles and Laura requested a shot that I’ve seen online where a dinosaur is superimposed on a photo of a screaming bridal party – I joked that I could superimpose whatever I liked, cue the giant hamster artwork from the Beastie Boys Intergalactic single.”
Images by Kate Cooper Photography.
laura says: We were on a walk in the countryside near one of our favourite pubs when Giles suddenly asked me to marry him on the first warm day of spring 2013. Although I’d hoped he would propose sooner or later, it was a complete surprise and I was very touched that he’d secretly asked my father for my hand in marriage the day before.
We both really love the month of September, so thought it would be a good time to get married – we set the date for 20th September 2014.
We had our ceremony at St Giles Church in Great Longstone, Derbyshire, and the reception was held at Hassop Hall which is about 1.5 miles away. Although we live in London, we decided to get married in the Peak District which is where Giles grew up and where a lot of his family live. It was important to us to get married in a church. St Giles is the parish church in the village in which Giles’ mother lives. It is a beautiful medieval church and we also liked its name! Once we’d chosen the church, we started looking at reception venues. We were absolutely thrilled to have our reception at Hassop Hall which we cannot praise highly enough.
We didn’t have a theme as such, it was just a complete jumble of stuff that we liked. For the reception stationery we had a loose travel theme (a seating plan map, luggage tag name cards etc) but this theme wasn’t reflected in our save the dates or wedding invitations. We didn’t have a colour scheme as such either, although I was quite keen on the idea of having muted dusky shades in the girls’ dresses and the flowers because I thought they’d look nice together.
I wore a Maggie Sottero lace and tulle dress called Bronwyn which was customised by a local seamstress who removed the top of the keyhole back to make a low v back and altered the sleeves. I bought it from Allison Jayne in Clifton, Bristol, which is where one of my sisters lives. To be honest, in the run up to our wedding, the dress felt like a real compromise. I chose it because it was comfortable, in budget and I liked the warm ivory colour. In my heart I would have liked a Jenny Packham dress but we needed a new boiler so I was determined to be good! However, on our actual wedding day I loved my dress, especially when it was combined with all my lovely accessories.
I wore Rachel Simpson shoes, a veil that was custom made to match the dress by Ali Rouse at Unique Dress and pearl drop earrings that were a gift from Giles. In the evening, I wore art deco style earrings, headband and a matching belt. I also wore a faux fur stole which was borrowed from a friend.
One of my sisters lives in Sheffield so she was able to winkle out some fabulous contacts for us. She recommended Jenn Edwards and her team who did hair and makeup for me, the bridesmaids and my mother on the day of the wedding. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Jenn and her team. They were very funny, incredibly talented and we all felt like more beautiful versions of ourselves.
The bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in dusky shades – blue, green and grey – cream cardigans and nude shoes. I wanted them to have a romantic country feel, but wear colours that they liked and styles that they might feasibly wear again. The mismatched dresses were much more difficult to find than I had envisaged. After many hours of trawling the internet and a thorough search of the high street we bought the dresses from Ariella (available at House of Fraser), Debenhams and Monsoon. The cardigans were from Boden and the girls wore their own shoes. The groomsmen wore their own suits and ties to tone in with the girls’ dresses.
My mother-in-law hired a horse drawn carriage for the travel to and from the church. I was initially a bit apprehensive as I was worried it might be a bit Big Fat Gypsy Wedding but it was a really thoughtful touch and one of my favourite parts of the day. It was wonderful travelling in the carriage with my father from the cottage that we had hired in Little Longstone to St Giles Church and hearing the wedding bells ring across the fields.
Kate Cooper was our photographer. She was recommended by one of my sisters who met her through friends. I would 100 per cent recommend Kate – she’s very good at catching little intimate moments and managed to take some lovely photos of two people who don’t really like having their photo taken. We felt very relaxed and laughed a lot when Kate was taking our photos and I think that shows in the end results.
My vintage style bouquet was made by Swallows & Damsons, based in Sheffield. It was made up of dusky pink roses, pepita spray roses, ivory waxflower, steel berries, astilbe, dusky pink astrantia and purple veronica and eucalyptus. I loved it so much but was still happy to throw my bouquet at the end of the evening!
We had lots of flowers from Swallows & Damsons at our reception too – similar to the flowers in my bouquet. The urns and small vases were at the church to begin with, as pedestals and pew ends, and were then transported to Hassop Hall for the reception. Before the wedding day I also spent hours writing names on luggage tags in straggling calligraphy then tying these on to rolled napkins with ribbons and lavender sprigs for the tables.
Instead of giving out favours we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Commission.
My lovely sisters and mother made our wedding cake. Extra special thanks go to my sister Miranda who made hundreds of sugar flowers to match our wedding flowers which cascaded down the side of the cake. I’m not a huge fan of fruit cake, so we had a chocolate tier, an orange and almond tier and a coffee tier. It was delicious!
For our wedding meal we had a smoked chicken and bacon salad with a honey and orange dressing, followed by onion soup, then roast pork with all the trimmings and to finish, individual summer puddings. We went to Hassop Hall for Sunday lunch with our parents so we could taste different menu options. It was a difficult choice as they were all delicious but these were our favourite dishes.
Giles’ school friend Emlyn, was kind enough to arrange a pair of jazz musicians for us as a wedding present to provide entertainment. They played during the drinks reception. We also had a disco provided by Spirits High after dinner.
I can’t praise Hassop Hall enough. We live in London so weren’t able to visit the venue very often but Helen thought of every last detail and ensured that the day ran absolutely seamlessly. The service was excellent and the wedding breakfast was one of the best mass catered meals that I have ever eaten.
My favourite part of the wedding would be the horse and carriage ride with my new husband from the church to Hassop Hall, it was really lovely to be able to have ten minutes to take everything in together. I also enjoyed the impromptu midnight feast that Hassop Hall rustled up for a hungry bride at the end of the night.
For our honeymoon we went to Scotland for ten days, breaking our journey in the Lake District. We were blessed with good weather so enjoyed lots of wonderful walks together in the stunning scenery as well as some fabulous food. Our favourite places that we stayed were The Gilpin and Monarchyle Mhor.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to outsource where possible – the less you have to do in the days before the wedding, the better, as there will always be last minute issues. Spend some time working out the logistics of the wedding day and the days either side. We had a plan of who was doing what when and how things (flowers that were re-used, luggage etc) were moving from one venue to the other. We circulated this plan to the bridesmaids and groomsmen and think it really helped the day to go without a hitch.
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