Brides Up North

love blossoms. a white wedding in Derbyshire – rena & yianni

November 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Wedding Photography

Rena and Yianni’s big and beautiful celebration, filled with flowers and candles, oozes old Hollywood charm.  Their unique and beautiful venue and white on white colour scheme sets the scene perfectly for a day of glamour and elegance (and energetic Greek dancing)…

Roll out the red carpet!

With images by Butterworth Photography.

Wedding Photography

rena says: We booked a long weekend away to Belgium and Bruges for my birthday and to enjoy the Christmas markets. I didn’t realise that Yianni was planning to propose while we were away. We went out for a romantic meal on the first night and I found it really odd that he wouldn’t give the waiter his coat and thought it was because he didn’t trust them so I did the same thing! I didn’t realise it’s because he had the ring with him. He then asked me to go for a romantic walk around the palace gardens but I opted for chocolate waffles instead and put his plans for a proposal on the first night to an end!

On the second day we took a day trip to Bruges. Yianni asked me to go for a romantic horse and carriage ride but I again opted for waffles instead and ruined his Plan B. We then climbed 400 steps to the top of the Bell tower and Yianni asked me to pose for a photo with him. I didn’t realise he’d set the camera to video mode and before you know it he was down on one knee and had manage to catch the proposal on camera.

We were married on 27 April 2014. Exactly two years from the date we first met.

Wedding Photography

We wanted to get married in a venue that was unforgettable. The Devonshire Dome reminded us of a piazza and we knew it was the perfect choice for our wedding.

It’s a gorgeous drive up through Derbyshire to Buxton which is such a picturesque place. I knew I wanted an iconic and memorable building for our special day and was keen to avoid using a hotel. There aren’t many places that fit 450 guests for a sit down meal and we were so lucky to find the Dome!

Wedding Photography

I really wanted a garden wedding full of blossom which is why we picked the Spring date. I also wanted a twist of both Hollywood and Grecian glamour. Not an obvious combination, but it all seemed to come together on the day.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

I wanted a classic princess style dress and loved the pearl and diamante detail around the waist and the sweetheart neckline.

Yianni wore a black tuxedo which we bought while shopping in the USA.

My bridesmaids wore nude blush maxi dresses from Lipsy. They all looked stunning. The girls had bouquets of white hydrangeas and I wanted to incorporate that into my bouquet. I wanted a bouquet that was completely rounded so you could see flowers from all angles. I incorporated white roses, stocks, hydrangeas and white berries with stephanotis, provided by Nadia Di Tulio.

Wedding Photography

We had flowers matching my bouquets on the candleabras and the top table which were also provided by Nadia Di Tulio. We hired in blossom trees and a top table blossom arch from Essential Wedding Hire.

Wedding Photography

For favours, we gave out mini whisky bottles for the men and crystal heart tea light holders for the ladies.

Wedding Photography

Cupid Carriages provided a white vintage Rolls Royce for us on the day.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

We had a three course meal along with Greek bread, starters and dips and bacon sarnies for those who stayed to party until the early hours with us.

Delicious Designs in Belper made our wedding cake. We chose a 6 tier wedding cake covered in blossom petals with scattered diamantes. Rather than traditional fillings we had white chocolate chunks with fresh raspberries.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

To round off a fabulous day we had a live five piece Greek band with lots of Greek dancing.

Wedding Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to choose a timeless colour palette. I wanted to keep everything quite neutral to ensure that I wouldn’t look back on my pictures and regret the colour I’d chosen or think the colour looked old fashioned.

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party in the peaks. a rocking marquee wedding near Sheffield – chloe & tom

November 24th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (49)

There are those people that think they know how to throw a party and then there are those people that know how to absolutely nail a party. Today’s real wedding couple falls into the latter, no questions asked.

Self confessed laid-back couple Tom and Chloe wanted a chilled-out celebration but one that would be incredibly good fun – and that’s exactly what they delivered.

Musician Tom and his talented mates kept the marquee rocking late into the night with incredible live music. One performer in particular may well look familiar as a certain Arctic Monkey attended the do.

Ready, set, rock!

With images by PH Weddings.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (15)

chloe says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic but because we’ve been going out for 12 years now, we just both knew what we wanted. It was April 2013 when it happened. We were out down Kelham Island in Sheffield having a few drinks and we just decided there and then to get engaged. We are a very laid back couple and were both not into the whole attention knee thing, so it was perfect for us both, just between us two.

We set the date for September 20th 2014.

We got married at my local church, Sacred Heart Church in Hillsborough. I was christened and baptised there and I used to be an altar girl there when I was little, plus I went to school next door, so me and Tom agreed that would be the best place for us to get married.  We had the reception at Foxholes Farm, Bradfield. We chose that venue because we love the area it’s in and we wanted a marquee in a field – it was the perfect location for it.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (42)

As a very laid back and relaxed couple don’t particularly like the traditional wedding side of things, we wanted a party for everyone to enjoy and celebrate with us – and that’s exactly what it was!

We both like the colour navy so we both decided that would be a good start and would work well with the time of year.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (37)

My dress was from Lulu Mae in Oughtibridge, Sheffield. I knew I wanted straps and my back showing and this dress offered both and had a romantic vintage look to it, I love it!

Tom and his best man both wore navy suits from Reiss, they both looked very dapper. The bridesmaids wore a navy one-strap dress from Debenhams, they both looked gorgeous. I had my niece as my flower girl and she wore a dress from Accessorize in a dusky pink, as she loves anything pink and I had my two nephews as pageboys and they both wore navy trousers with a white granddad shirt with piano printed braces, they looked very grownup and handsome.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (39)

PH Weddings were our photographers. The people behind the business are Helen and her husband Paul, they were fantastic, exactly what we wanted and I would definitely recommend them. They just did exactly what we asked and the photos look great and in a good way we hardly knew they were there because that’s what kind of photos we wanted – a more natural, unposed look and they captured the day perfectly, everyone just looks so happy!

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (38)

I travelled with my bridesmaids and my dad in a VW camper van, which was lent to us by some friends, and my dad drove us to the church, which was funny. The rest of the party went in an old fashioned double-decker bus, which we hired from the Sheffield Transport Museum.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (41)

When it came to flowers I didn’t have a clue. I left it to my friend Catherine, who owns a florist called Petalis, to choose the flowers. I trusted her and she did exactly that and more – the flowers were amazing, they looked beautiful and perfect. She did all the flowers for the venue, including a display outside which looked perfect in the surroundings. The tables looked beautiful also; they had a main centre piece of flowers and then lots of little vases dotted around the tables and on the head table, Catherine had just left a vase for me to put my bouquet in, so that I could enjoy looking at it for the whole day.

I had some wooden confetti hearts made with our name and wedding date on, and some music paper shaped hearts confetti scattered around the tables which matched perfectly with the flowers. My niece and nephews made the table names and table plan, because I thought it was nice for them to get involved with the day and it was a nice homely touch. Our favours were a bag of mixed sweets that I that I had chosen. I think they went down well as most of them were eaten before the meal.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (57)

We had PJ Taste do our catering, they were fantastic, and the food was gorgeous. We had nibbles for when we got back from the church, like mini Yorkshire puddings with beef and then pie and mash for our main meal and then a hog roast for later on. Everyone said the food was fantastic and that the pies were the best they had ever had.

My mum made our wedding cake, she is a great baker so there was no doubt that she would make it! It was a two-tier very chocolaty cake, it was immense! She also made a few other cakes, as did my sister, aunty and mother-in-law, there was no shortage of cake that was for sure!

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (4)

Tom is a musician and most of our friends are so as always when one of us gets married they get together and play. They had chosen what to play, they kept it a secret from me, but they were great. It was so good and such a laugh, they had chosen songs that Tom and I loved and everyone just had a good old dance and sing-along. We also hired a bouncy castle to keep the little ones entertained.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (16)

Our favourite part of the day was seeing everyone enjoying it and looking happy, it was exactly what we wanted, just a great party with all our friends and family there.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (23)

We’ve not had a honeymoon as yet. We had a mini-moon to Castleton in Derbyshire for a few nights the weekend after because we love it there, but we’re hoping to go to America next year.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (29)

Our tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the day and take it all in. Try not to worry about other people enjoying it, you two just enjoy it and relax.

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simple boho – a Monsoon gown for a wedding at Ringwood Hall – laurie & paddy

October 16th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (75)

This real wedding is a little bit special to me because I went to school with the bride and one of my best friends Kate *waves* was one of her lovely bridesmaids.

If I had to describe Laurie it would be a warm and laid back person who likes the pretty things in life and enjoys having a flippin good time – to me this wedding is a perfect reflection of that.

I love how personal her and Paddy made their big day. From the engagement and wedding date tied in with the time they met (at Leeds Festival no less) to the great involvement from their family and friends to make the day a truly special affair.

Also, I have to mention that two of Laurie’s bridesmaids and her photographer were pregnant at the time of the wedding so massive kudos to the lovely ladies for completing their duties with a big smiles as well as big bellies!

Right, over to Laurie for those all important details.

Photos by Gabrielle Bower Photography.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (2)

Laurie says: We got engaged on the 23rd of August 2013, which was a year to the day since we met at Leeds Festival. Paddy proposed at home but he needed to get me out the way while he prepared everything which is where my friend Kate came in. It was very personal, he lit lots of candles all around the house and waited patiently for me to come home from being out with Kate. When I arrived he told me I was his best friend, that he loved me and then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.

We set the date for the 28th of August 2014, because we met on a Thursday two years previously.

Our chosen wedding venue was Ringwood Hall in Chesterfield. We looked at several small venues as we wanted a more intimate wedding than most. I’d been to a few weddings at Ringwood Hall and knew it was a really beautiful venue so decided to go take a look, even just to rule it out. They showed us their two smaller venue rooms, which Paddy and I immediately fell in love with. The staff at Ringwood Hall were absolutely fantastic too!

We didn’t have a theme as such; instead we just choose things that we loved as we wanted a really relaxed wedding. We both love vintage, retro, boho things so I suppose you could say we went down that road. Navy featured throughout the wedding as it’s mine and Paddy’s favourite colour. The bridesmaids wore navy which looked really flattering and classy and Paddy wore a navy tie.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (5)

I chose a very simple floor-length dress in ivory, it had a slight drape at the back and a small train. I always knew I wanted something simple and when I tried the dress on at the Monsoon store in Manchester I just knew that was the one. To complete my look my cousin Georgina Dobson did my make- up, she’s an incredible make-up artist, and my best friend Kelly Pendleton did my hair. I totally left it down to both of them (no pressure) and they were absolutely fantastic.

Paddy picked a grey three-piece suit, white shirt and navy tie all from Next for his big day attire.

My bridesmaids wore navy dresses that I ordered online from China and a good friend of mine, Sarah Coombes, tailored them all to fit perfectly. I was so pleased with the dresses and so were the bridesmaids. Two of them were eight months pregnant at the time of the wedding, my sister Hayley and my friend Kate, so it was really important the dresses were flattering and that the girls felt comfortable in them.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (34)

Our fab photographer was a very good friend of mine, Gabrielle Bower. Paddy and I would recommend Gabrielle to everyone; she is so talented and super professional. We were absolutely amazed with our photos, in fact I cried when I saw them. Like the rest of our wedding we wanted the photos to be relaxed and Gabs just totally got us and what we wanted straight away. She captured every single moment and more.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (38)

My flowers were done by a lovely lady called Liz at Meadow Sweet in Sheffield. They were wild and natural style flowers, all locally grown. We absolutely loved them and so did all our guests. In addition to floral decorations, my very creative and talented sister-in-law Beck at Little Ghost made our stunning table stationary, invites and table plan.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (44)

We choose a three- tier Victoria sponge with strawberries – or as it’s known a ‘naked cake’ for our wedding day. It was absolutely amazing. A lovely lady at Swoon Bakery made it for us. Yum, yum!

We selected a ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’s’ menu from Ringwood Hall for our meal. For starters there was a choice of tomato bruschetta or pate, mains was either beef with Yorkshire puddings or chicken in a tarragon and mushroom sauce and for deserts there was strawberry shortcake or chocolate profiteroles. Ringwood Hall had a great choice of food and we really enjoyed the taster session. It was so difficult to choose but we went with our favourites.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (53)

I would 110 per cent recommend Ringwood Hall to other wedding couples – and not just for the food. The staff were great and the service was fantastic! They took total control of the whole day so everything ran so smoothly. Their packages are worth every single penny.

To get the party started we had a family member DJ for us in the evening. We had a great time dancing the night away!

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (59)

My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle to see my husband-to-be. Other than that we couldn’t possibly pin point another ‘best part’ of the day – it was all truly amazing and more than what we’d ever dreamt of.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (61)

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (60)

For our honeymoon we went to Mexico for two weeks, it was absolutely fantastic. Wish we were then now. We got married on the Thursday, booked it on the Saturday and jetted off the following Saturday. Our honeymoon was all thanks to our generous family and friends who gave us money towards it.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (65)

My top tip to other brides-to-be would be to have what you want and be sure to get your other half involved. Don’t be lured into gimmicks if you’re on a budget, a perfect day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Enjoy planning it! Our wedding was very personal and we had great family and friends with various talents that kindly offered their expertise to help us create our perfect day for which we are very grateful.

a classy wedding in Chesterfield (c) Gabrielle Bower Photography (74)

Since our big day Hayley has given birth to a gorgeous baby boy named Joshua and Kate has also had a cute little boy called Ollie. Our photographer Gabs shot our wedding whilst pregnant so she is also soon to be a mum!

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crafty corals. a san patrick gown for a flower filled wedding in derbyshire – lisa & sam

September 8th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (18)

I think I may have mentioned recently that I’m totally obsessed with wedding flowers. Well, Sam and Lisa’s fab big day features the most amazing blooms that I just can’t stop swooning over.

They formed a key part of the chosen theme, which put simply was all things pretty – including a gorgeous coral colour theme, antique lace and elegant glassware.

The crafty couple rolled up their sleeves to add lots of lovely special touches to their big day – and roped in their talented family and friends to help along the way.

This stunning wedding is quite literally bursting at the seams with inspiration so grab your planning scrapbook and prepare to take notes ladies.

With images by Kate Cooper Photography.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (4)

Lisa says: We got engaged on Friday November 4th 2011. I had absolutely no idea that Sam was even thinking of proposing. We’d been together for ten happy years having met at university. We’d lived together for a few years with various friends and finally after nine years of being together, we could afford to live on our own in our own home – something we’d wanted to do for so long. I’d just started my first job as a teacher and we were beginning to do up our house. Life as a ‘proper’ grown-up couple in our home was feeling great but I had no idea we were about to get engaged. The next thing I know, Sam was proposing! He proposed at home under a star lit lounge (he’d put fairy lights up round the room) and got down on one knee. It was simple, personal, private and lovely.

Our big day was on Thursday 1st August 2014. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holiday. We also love summer weather so we chose an August wedding date. We had our wedding on a Thursday as it was cheaper to get married during the week at our venue.

We chose Stancliffe Hall in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, as our wedding venue. We’d looked endlessly for venues – both around the Sheffield area where we live and also down in Sussex where Sam is from. Nothing felt right and we were about to give up when we stumbled across Stancliffe Hall on a different Google search.  As soon as we drove down the sweeping driveway lined with rhododendrons we knew we were somewhere special. The butterflies we had in our stomachs as we arrived continued as we looked at round the house. We were stunned at how beautifully the stately home had been renovated from a boarding school into a fabulous home and wedding venue. There is an amazing feel to the place – mixing complete luxury and boutique styling throughout the house, with traditional features too. There are so many beautiful touches around the house and there are lots of different rooms, balconies and nooks and crannies to explore. It’s surrounded by stunning scenery and is completely private. It also had its own beautiful wooden chapel that sits just outside the main house which meant we could get married on site too.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (8)

I had never been a girl who had dreamt up or imagined my wedding day so I didn’t really know where to start but I bought a couple of magazines and off I went! I knew I wanted a pretty, natural, floral theme and I was ridiculously excited at choosing the flowers. I started by thinking about the sort of blooms I wanted and one of my favourite flowers is the coral crush peony. My first and easiest decision was the colour scheme. Coral – a pretty, summery colour and one of my favourites! Grey – because Sam wanted to wear grey and it goes really nicely with coral. And yellow – because it complimented the rest! Next came the dress which was a lace gown which then became incorporated into the theme. My grandma gave me her cameo brooch as my something borrowed, and this then became something we incorporated into the theme. So the overall theme was a mix of – pretty, coral, lacey, cameo, homemade and vintage.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (10)

For my wedding dress I chose the Rita gown by San Patrick which was not an easy find – a bit of a mission in fact. I had looked at so many dresses online, in magazines, on wedding blogs and in shops. I wanted something pretty and feminine but with an edge to it. I stumbled across a dress online by San Patrick called Risco which made my heart skip a beat every time I looked at it. But it was so difficult to track it down and find somewhere that stocked it. I persisted and eventually I found a bridal shop called Xquisite Bridal in Leighton Buzzard that stocked it. Sabrina, the owner, had one left in stock and I think it had been discontinued – hoorah, I’d found my dress! I made an appointment to try on Risco in the boutique for the next month. By the time I had arrived, it had been sold to another bride! I was devastated. All that effort to find it and a three-hour trip to get there and it had been sold! Really kindly Sabrina let me try on the dress, but after all that excitement and anticipation, it didn’t even suite me! I had a backup dress to try on though – Rita. She was beautiful and my mum and sister both agreed that it was much better on me than Risco. Never someone to rush into a decision, I didn’t have the ‘it’s the one’ moment so I went away to think about it. In the meantime, I tried on some other dresses and confused myself even more. I was torn between Rita and a Benjamin Roberts gown. However, eventually after going back to Xquisite Bridal, I decided that Rita was the one for me. Not only was it a beautiful dress but she shared my late auntie’s name. I decided to have straps added and the skirt taken in at the knees to give it slightly more fishtailed look. I also bought a beautiful sash belt from Pearl and Co. who are based in the Manchester area who also made my garter using my grandma’s lace. I have to say, I did doubt my choice (I’m so bad at making decisions and sticking to them) but on my wedding day I absolutely loved every minute of wearing her!

Sam wore a bespoke tailored suit from King and Allen in Wilmslow. Sam got to choose the material – a lovely lightweight material which wouldn’t be too hot for our summer wedding. He decided on a classic fit so that he can continue to wear it through the years. We also had our names and wedding date embroidered into the jacket which added a really nice touch. His shoes were brown Barker brogues. As a little extra, I bought Sam some Edwardian cameo cufflinks that I found on Etsy to fit with our theme.

I’m so lucky to have such a talented mum who made the bridesmaid dresses and without really even following a pattern. I’d found a dress that I loved, but it didn’t come in coral. In fact, finding anything in coral was almost impossible at the time. So in the end I stumbled across some coral lace on a market stall and I nearly ripped the woman’s arm off for it. My mum is such a perfectionist and worked her magic using just a picture of the dress I liked for reference. After six months of work on them (she’s a retired teacher with time on her hands) they were perfect. The groomsmen all wore light grey suits, similar to Sam’s. The dads wore their own choice of grey suits.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (11)

Our photographer was the lovely and talented Kate Cooper. Sam works with her husband which is how we found Kate, and she was just the loveliest person to have around on the day. I couldn’t recommend her enough because she has such a good eye for detail. She really knows how to capture the ‘feel’ of an event and she’s so calm and sweet – she even helped me to get ready and she is so inconspicuous on the day. She just seemed to glide around without being imposing in any way and she made us feel completely at ease.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (16)

Flowers formed the main theme of our day so we really went to town on them. All the flowers were put together by Tracey Campbell of Campbell’s Flowers incorporating the colours we had picked along with the feel we were trying to create – vintage-inspired, natural and romantic.

My hand-tied bouquet was a posy-style design that was quite open and loose with lots of textural interest but still feminine and pretty. Flowers included were coral David Austin roses, succulents, craspedia, burnt orange leucospermum, brunia, rosemary, peach hypericum, eucalyptus cinerea and a little gypsophila. I also asked Tracey to include a tiny piece of holly from my dog’s grave which I gave to her.

The bridesmaids had vintage-inspired double wrist corsages which were put together on an ivory organza ribbon using two David Austin roses, a sprig of gypsophila and a cameo brooch. Meanwhile the button holes were based on a David Austin rose design using elements from my bouquet. They were constructed on their natural stem and bound and finished with a tie of lace. Coral ribbon was also added to Sam’s button hole.

For the chapel we had collections of random clear glass bottles at different heights and apothecary jars along the edge of the ceremony table which featured a random selection of our chosen blooms. To continue the vintage theme throughout the floral designs Tracey used cream enameled candlesticks topped with beautiful gypsophila topiary balls and finished with floating glass baubles filled with David Austin Juliet roses. Pretty glass baubles, again filled with delicate peach roses, were also hung from the walkway between the house and ceremony room.

When it came to dressing the room for the wedding breakfast, some of the flowers from the ceremony room were transferred and a few new arrangements in tiny cut glass heirloom vases were added. We had bought an antique French chest of drawers which we wanted to use at the venue because it is so beautiful. We used it outside the chapel to place the order of service and confetti cones on. We then transferred the drawers into the house for guests to place cards and gifts in. We had one drawer filled with flowers designed by Tracey to look as if they were tumbling out.

Other decorations we had included photo frames with old family wedding photos in, candles in storm lanterns, olive trees, hanging pearl hearts, homemade lace lanterns, a large free-standing metal heart that I decorated with lace as the table plan, a homemade wish tree with luggage tags for people to write on and hang from the tree and finally we had a floral ‘L’ and ‘S’ made by my mum. She bought cardboard letters for our initials, hollowed them out and painted them green and then filled the inside of them with oasis and flowers. It looked so pretty.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (25)

We had homemade jam and liquors as our favours. Glassware was another theme of the wedding which we used to present the flowers in and also for a sweetie table in the evening, so we carried the glassware theme through into the favours using pretty bottles and jars for the jams and liqueurs. The idea was to have translucent pastel colours from the preserves and liqueurs – peaches, yellows and greens to make the tables look lovely. Sam’s parents made the liqueurs for us – Limoncello, Pompelmocello (pink grapefruit Limoncello), and Rhubarbcello (rhubarb). I made the jams and curds: lemon curd, lime curd, pink grapefruit curd, gooseberry jelly and rhubarb jelly (the fruit coming from my grandma’s garden). I made salt dough hearts that I stamped in the same way as I stamped the stationary to give them a texture and colour. We tied them to the bottles and jars and my sister made lovely labels to go on them. We had some lace from the bridesmaid dresses left over so we used this to top the jars. My sister alos made beautiful cake pops for the children.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (19)

After getting a few ‘real’ quotes from some amazing cake makers, we decided that we didn’t want to take that amount of money out of the wedding fund, so we had to push the cake down the priority list.

We decided to go with a lady called Val Brown who makes cakes as a hobby and is really good at it. We designed the cake ourselves – taking elements of different cakes that we’d seen and liked. We drew a plan for Val to follow. She did a great job but when mum and her partner Norman picked up the cake it was absolutely enormous! Transporting the Eiffel Tower sized cake on the most humid day of the year, along the windiest road wasn’t exactly favourable. Disaster struck when we arrived at the wedding venue and opened the box. The whole thing was collapsing in front of our eyes. In the end we had to dismantle the cake and we were left with three separate tiers. Chocolate, lemon drizzle and fruit cake. But it wasn’t pretty and we wouldn’t have a cake to cut. To cut the rest of a very long story short, Val remade the top two tiers overnight using polystyrene. We salvaged enough of the pearl beading and icing details to remake the cake. Nobody knew it had happened by the time she had finished, and we were able to serve the cake that we’d saved from toppling off the cake.

We were really lucky with our food. Stancliffe Hall don’t have their own caterers but they had three outside caterers that we could choose from which meant we could be creative with the menu. We had a company called Coghlans do our catering and they were absolutely fantastic. Andrew (the boss) met with us and discussed our favourite foods and what we envisaged for our wedding food and then came up with a bespoke menu. First we had canapés which were an Italian Anti-Pasti theme. For starter we had ravioli of king prawn and scallop topped with a lobster cannelloni and a light caviar butter sauce. Main was fillet of pork wellington with apricots and sage, served with fondant potato and calvados jus lie. And dessert was iced raspberry parfait and raspberry shortbread rounds topped with gold leaf and chocolate disks.

Coghlans were also responsible for the drinks, which again, we were able to be creative with. We did a wine tasting before the wedding where we matched wine with the food. We had Mr and Mrs cocktails. My choice was the Aperol Spritz – the perfect colour and my favourite drink from a trip to Italy with my best friend a few years before. Sam’s was an old fashioned but made with Jacquin’s whiskey which has fruit in the bottle and gives it a peachy colour. We served these as our reception drinks and also in the evening too.

We had a rustic evening buffet with a whole serrano leg of ham that Sam’s parents had bought back from Spain. We served it with breads, olives, cheese, biscuits, pasties and my grandma’s fruit cake, served with the cheese.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (35)

We have lots of talented people in our family that do all kinds of things so the wedding ended up being a real family affair. Everyone, including myself and Sam, had a hand in creating things for the wedding to add lots of special touches.

Not only did my mum make the bridesmaid dresses and our beautiful L and S, but she also made our beautiful ring cushion out of little bits of lace that belonged to my grandma and great grandma (some of the lace was over 100 years old). My dad is a classical musician and he composed a song for uscalled The Presence of Love which was such a special thing to have. He had some members of his London choir travel to Derbyshire to sing it on the day as I walked down the aisle.

Sam’s mum spent a long time searching charity shops for glasswarethat we could use for the sweetie table. My uncle made my jewellery, except for my bracelet which was a gift from Sam’s parents. He designed my earrings and necklace to go with the bracelet. He also made my engagement and wedding ring. Lots of people made homemade sweets for the sweetie table including me, my mum and sister and Sam’s parents. We also made our own stationery, handmade confetti and doily cones, embroidered coral place napkins and we hand-dyed coral socks for the groomsmen.

We had a wedding blessing after the civil part of the ceremony as it felt like we were missing something by not having a vicar marry us. In between the ceremony and blessing we had a 15-minute mini concert where my dad’s choir sang some songs and he also played a couple of piano pieces. Our dads both did speeches on the day while our mums put their feelings down in words and presented us with letters.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (34)

For both of us the ceremony was our favourite part of the wedding. It is such an amazing experience to say our vows to each other and to have my dad’s choir sing his song for us. To be in such a beautiful place and to be married in front of our closest friends and family was just so special. It was really overwhelming and a bit like an out of body experience, but totally amazing.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (43)

Sri Lanka was our honeymoon destination. We spent three weeks there in total. We spent the first week at an incredible resort where we sunbathed on an amazing beech, had spa treatments and did morning yoga. After that we travelled around to lots of other destinations and packed loads in including doing safari, visiting tea plantations and Buddhist temples, rock climbing and eating lots of food.

Our advice to other wedding couples would be to do things that are important to you. If you like crafting, do crafting. If you like food – do foodie things. Some people thought I was mad doing as much ‘making’ as I did but it was one opportunity in my life where I could go to town doing things that I love. Organisation is key and giving yourself plenty of time to get everything done is so important. We had planned everything to be done and dusted with a week to spare so that we could relax in the run up to the wedding. Of course we were running round like headless chickens in the week before and if I could go back I would try to get more done beforehand so that we could have had a day or two to ourselves. I also wish I’d had a few minutes before going into the chapel to soak in what was about to happen. I wanted time with my mum and dad before they gave me away and time with my bridesmaids but my makeup artist messed up the timings so I was the last one to have my makeup done. My advice therefore is to make sure you know exactly what time you’ll have your hair and makeup done so you can plan in some ‘reflection’ time and just be in the moment and soak up the experience before you walk down the aisle.

My sister was a huge support throughout planning the wedding and on the day itself. She was like my personal assistant and did so much for us. If a bride can enrol the support of someone like a sister or a best friend to help with all things wedding, it makes the whole experience even better.

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pale & interesting. a pretty wedding at Hassop Hall – sarah & david

September 5th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Wedding at Hassop Hall

Just like the bride in this wonderful wedding I’m a huge fan of pretty pastel shades and bridesmaids wearing different coloured dresses. So as soon as I saw the sweet image of Sarah, flocked by her pretty maids I knew this wedding would have style.

And that it does. From Sarah’s stunning Sharon Bowen gown, to the impressive Peak District venue and the incredibly beautiful blooms, this wedding oozes inspiration.

So sit back, relax and let’s all take a trip to the countryside to relive Sarah and David’s big day.

With images by Jess Petrie.

a classic wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Jess Petrie Photography (1)

Sarah says: David proposed over a beautiful breakfast at home on my 30th birthday – he knew I would hate a public proposal.

We set the date for September 28th 2013. We wanted a Saturday wedding and September was the perfect month for us because my parents and best friend married in this month too.

We got married at Holy Trinity Church and Ashford in the Water. It’s such a beautiful church and I was a bridesmaid for my auntie and uncle there when I was very young. Church bells on a wedding day are a must too! Our reception was at Hassop Hall near Bakewell in Derbyshire. It was the only choice for us all along and it was perfect! It’s such a beautiful place and holds many family memories.

We wanted a relaxed, pretty, traditional, countryside wedding. We love living close to the countryside and spend a lot of time there so wanted to incorporate it into our day.

Pretty pastels was our colour theme. I always knew I wanted my bridesmaids in different colours and this went perfectly with the theme.

a classic wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Jess Petrie Photography (4)

My dress was from Choola in Sheffield. I wanted something pretty and simple but that was still unusual. The dress I picked was by Sharon Bowen and had the most amazing polka dot effect on the silk organza overlay and gorgeous tiny flower appliqués.

Dave wore a pale grey suit, cream waistcoat and a lilac cravat, all from Debenhams. The groomsmen wore the same.

The bridesmaids wore beautiful floor-length chiffon dresses with iridescent sequin underlays on the bodice. We found them in Mirage Couture near Sheffield and they were absolutely perfect!

Wedding at Hassop Hall

Our photographer was Jess Petrie. Jess was absolutely amazing, I knew as soon as I met her that she was the perfect choice. She’s so friendly and relaxed but still very professional.

Wedding at Hassop Hall

We travelled in a vintage cream Rolls Royce Phantom III, from American Pie Limos in Sheffield.

Wedding at Hassop Hall

Wedding at Hassop Hall

I would most definitely recommend Hassop Hall to other wedding couples – it’s perfect in every way. Other suppliers I’ve not mentioned that I would recommend are Adela Rosa in Sheffield who did a fab job of our stationery and Classy Weddings from Mastin Moor, Chesterfield, who supplied our chair covers and post box. Matt and Kath from there were so lovely and really helpful – they also put us in touch with our fantastic pianist who played for most of the day.

Wedding at Hassop Hall

Myself and the bridesmaids carried a mixture of roses and freesias in creams, pinks and soft lemons. They were provided by White Petals and Lace who were so fantastic with everything we asked of them. For our reception decorations we had roses, freesias and hydrangeas arranged in huge Martini glasses in the centre of the tables. They looked amazing! The arrangement on the top table looked great too.

We gave our guests favours of heart-shaped mints and pink chocolate hearts, hand-tied in pretty tulle.

Wedding at Hassop Hall

Our cake was four-tiers with delicate pearlescent piping from I Love Candy Cakes in Chesterfield. We then had it dressed with fresh flowers. It looked spectacular and tasted so delicious.

For our wedding meal we had quite a traditional menu to follow the theme. We had a choice of peach Bellinis, Kir Royale, and elderflower presse with canapés in the garden on arrival at Hassop Hall. We had a pianist playing in the garden on request which added a lovely touch. We then sat down to smoked chicken and avocado salad followed by vegetable soup. For main we had roast beef and Yorkshire puddings with all the trimmings and dessert was crème brulee with summer berries. We finished with coffee and petit fours.

Wedding at Hassop Hall

We had a local band called Junkyard Dog as our entertainment followed by a DJ. My best friend’s husband is the lead singer of the band and they never disappoint. They were great and even learnt one of our favourite songs to perform at the reception, The Walk of Life by Dire Straits.

I was a little sceptical when Dave hired a toast master (Michael Wall) but we were so grateful for him. He really put us at ease and made sure that everyone knew what was happening.

Wedding at Hassop Hall

For our honeymoon we jetted off to the Sugar Beach resort in Mauritius for ten days. It was beautiful. We swam with wild dolphins and had candle-lit meals on the beach. We then spent four days in Dubai on the way back, which was also a fantastic experience.

Wedding at Hassop Hall

Our top tip for other brides and grooms would be that when looking for people to help with, or provide different aspects of your day, go with your gut! We met so many lovely people through our wedding and have developed genuine friendships. If it feels right, it most probably is!

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cadbury classic. a wedding in the peak district – natalie and joe

August 8th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a classic wedding in the Peak District (c) Dug Wilders (36)

This wedding is pretty special because over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure to get to know this lovely couple first hand. Natalie is the sister of my boyfriend Andy. Although it’s a shame that I hadn’t met Andy some months earlier so I could have possibly been a guest at Natalie and Joe’s wonderful wedding, as soon as I saw their stunning wedding photos I knew this beauty needed to be shared with Brides Up North readers.

From Joe’s romantic proposal and the “I dos” in the spectacular Wentworth Church, through to the breathtaking Peak District wedding shots and the fabulous evening shindig, it’s clear to see this couple not only love each other very much but they also know how to have a flippin great time.

With no further ado, I give you Mr and Mrs Rogers…

a classic wedding in the Peak District (c) Dug Wilders (25)

Natalie says: We got engaged on a snowy March morning. We went for a walk  around Newmillerdam in Wakefield and Joe got down on one knee half way around the lake. As I said yes it started to snow, it was perfect. Afterwards we went for a meal at a 2 star Michellin restaurant in Derbyshire, called Fischers, and Joe had also booked for us to go on a hot air balloon ride the following day.

We got married on Friday 25 October 2013, just seven months after our engagement. We didn’t want to wait too long to get married and as I’m a teacher we looked at the available dates for the reception venue which were in school holidays.

The wedding ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Church in Wentworth. The church is really beautiful and it was important to us to find a church where my Granddad could play the organ on our big day. The reception was held at Losehill House Hotel in Hope Valley. We just loved the place as it is in such an idyllic location. The staff were fantastic, they were friendly and helpful every time we visited. The food was also outstanding. This venue worked well for us, as our families are from different sides of the Peak District and Losehill House hotel was half way. Joe’s family are from Buxton area and mine are from Barnsley.

I would most definitely recommend our venue to other wedding couples. The staff were great and the hotel is lovely. The food is of a very high standard and is now Michelin recommended. The guests who stayed over spoke really highly of the rooms and breakfast. Better yet, a lot of guests said it was the most relaxing wedding they had ever been to. Some guests even enjoyed a dip in the hot tub the morning after the wedding!

a classic wedding in the Peak District (c) Dug Wilders (5)

We travelled in style on the day, I had a silver shadow Rolls Royce and our second car was a second was a Daimer, both of which were hired from Amore Wedding Cars in Rotherham.

Joe and I, most of my family and some of our friends are Christians which is why we wanted a church wedding. The ceremony part of the day was very important to us.

We went for quite a traditional wedding with a few vintage touches added along the way.  Our colour theme was Cadbury purple because it would work well with the flowers we wanted and we also thought it would stand out from the colours of the season.

a classic wedding in the Peak District (c) Dug Wilders (7)

I always wanted a lace dress with buttons down the back – I found a Kenneth Winston design that ticked all the boxes. Francesca from Choola bridal boutique in Sheffield was great at advising what style of dress was best for my figure. I had my dress fittings at Amie B who was in Sharrowvale, Sheffield but is now based on Ecclesall Road. She was really good and also made me a jacket to go with my wedding dress. My bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast and the flower girl wore a Ted Baker dress from Debenhams.

Joe picked a Newbury suit from Moss Brothers in Meadowhall. We were really pleased with the service they provided. The groomsmen also hired suits from Moss Brothers to match Joe’s and our page boy had a suit bought from Debenhams.

a classic wedding in the Peak District (c) Dug Wilders (33)

Flora in Sheffield did our wedding flowers. In my bouquet I mainly had roses, freesia and thistles. We also had rose and thistle pedestal arrangements which were organised by the church, along with bows that were placed down the pews.

In the centre of each table at the reception we had fish bowls with hand tied bouquets placed on mirrored plates. Our favours were miniature Daily Milk chocolates to match our Cadbury Purple colour scheme which were placed in purple boxes with pretty ivory bows.

We had a three-tier fruit cake covered with icing and sugared flowers, plus two extra cakes, which were chocolate and lemon. My talented mum made and decorated all the cakes.

To entertain our guests we hired a ceilidh band called Roger the Badger. We chose this as we felt this kind of entertainment would get lots of people up dancing. Everyone loved it and our friends have since booked the band for their wedding!

a classic wedding in the Peak District (c) Dug Wilders (35)

Our photographer was Dug Wilders. He was highly recommended by my brother Andy. Dug listened to all our requirements and we loved his work that he had done previously. He went above and beyond to ensure everything was perfect before, during and after the big day. The album he produced for us was exceptional.

On our wedding day we were able to stop off at Ladybower reservoir on the way from the church to Losehill House hotel. This gave us the opportunity to get some exceptional pictures and we would like to thank Ladybower Fisheries for the use of their grounds. It made our amazing day even more special that we were able to have some stunning photographs in the beautiful Peak District overlooking Ladybower Reservoir.

a classic wedding in the Peak District (c) Dug Wilders (14)

We had a fabulous honeymoon in the Maldives. It was the perfect location for us – sun, sea and sand – and plenty of time to relax. We loved every minute and are hoping to return there for our first wedding anniversary.

My top tip to other Brides Up North to be would be to ensure that you have everything well planned out and make a timetable of what time you expect everything to happen to ensure your day runs smoothly.

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May Day Merriment. Cymbeline & A Flower Crown For A Handfasting Outdoor Wedding in the Peak District – Keli & Pete

July 7th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

I’m all for making a wedding your own and that’s exactly what Keli and Pete did when they tied the knot (and their hands) at Windy Harbour Farm Hotel in the beautiful Peak District. The couple not only made their reception individual, but the ceremony itself too by having a secular service that reflected their journey to marriage as well as a handfasting with an elemental blessing.

The stunning outdoor setting gave way to carefree fun with the newlyweds and their guests enjoying garden games, afternoon tea and personalised beverages before burning up the dance floor in the evening.

One particular individual element that I adore about this wedding is that Pete had two best women! Breaking down yet another traditional wedding barrier, I think it’s fabulous that Pete asked those closest to him to fulfil the honourable role, regardless of their gender.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Keli said: We got engaged in the summer of 2011, the same summer we’d left our lives in London and gone travelling around England in a tent for three months. Pete and I had finally made it home, to my parents, where we would start to look for a new house and start building our new life up north.

We decided to take advantage of the last sunny day in September and go for a final walk in Castleton that included Mam Tor. Unfortunately our map reading skills were a little exhausted from the travelling all summer and we couldn’t seem to find the main path leading to the summit. So – fearful of never getting there – we turned off the beaten path and started up the side. Turns out we picked one of the steepest slopes to climb; we were exhausted and almost gave up halfway but Pete was persistent. When we got up there is was rather windy and rather crowded with people – which was not part of Pete’s plan – so we moved over the crest of the hill to sit out of the wind looking out over the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. After some lazy minutes Pete asked me to close my eyes, gave me a kiss and then produced the ring. I think my first response was “Are you sure?” And then lots of crying and laughing followed, and of course my answer, Yes!

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Windy Harbour Farm Hotel was the first venue we visited and only because it was just up the road from our new home in Glossop, Derbyshire. However as soon as we walked in both of us were struck by how friendly and how right it felt. The size was perfect for the 50 to 80 guests we planned to invite and the garden area was beautifully kept, which was essential as we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony with our mixture of pagan and secular traditions. Our country fair theme would need to include things like hay bales and garden games so we were lucky to find owners who were not only happy for us to do all this, but also happy to source things like the hay bales for us.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

We both wanted a ceremony that was unique and individual to us, more so than a church or civil ceremony can be. Added to that, I’m a Pagan and was determined to get married outside, surrounded by the natural world. We found Kate Gee, a Humanist celebrant who was happy to incorporate elements of Pagan ritual into a secular service that reflected our lives and the journey that had led us to the moment of marriage. We still exchanged rings and used vows similar to those in the Common Book of Prayer. We also had a handfasting with an elemental blessing, undertaken by one of our maids of honour. Everyone commented on how poignant and moving the ceremony was and we couldn’t have been happier with the way we were able to seal our marriage.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

As soon as we picked the date in May we knew we’d have a May Day themed wedding. We both love the May Day holiday and spent many years travelling to Hastings and various other places to celebrate it. So we knew we wanted lots of ribbons, greenery, games and folk music; as you would find at a May Day festival. We didn’t have a particular colour theme but we did end up using dark ivy green as the main contrasting colour. We also used a simple bright blue, yellow and red combination to accent it all – these mostly popped up as ribbons.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

I wore ‘Fadella’ by Cymbeline which I found at The White Room in Sheffield. It was nothing like the dress I’d imagined myself wearing to be wed but it was the one dress that made me feel like a bride. Being light and not too bulky it made perfect sense for the venue and the outdoors, informal nature of the whole day. In the end the lace matched Pete’s country suit perfectly and the small train meant it was great to dance in.

Pete wanted something that was quite ‘countryside’ and immediately thought of a tweed jacket which he ended up getting from Next. He wore it with a grey waistcoat and brown trousers from Debenhams. His tie was also from Next. The two fathers wore the same jacket and tie as Pete but created their own combos so they didn’t all look the same.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Although untraditional Pete had best women – Zoe and Lyvia, two of our closest friends from university. The two of them and Pete were a very close trio throughout our time there and they both coached him through a lot of good times, bad times and rather mad times. They wore navy blue dresses from Next with matching taupe shoes.

I knew from the start that I didn’t want lots of bridesmaids as choosing from all my friends and family would mean all the female guests would have ended up in the wedding party. Instead I asked two of my closest friends to be maids of honour on the agreement they would be available to help out with all the wedding planning and stop me from succumbing to the dreaded Bridezilla too often in the run up to the wedding. Their dresses proved very difficult to find, especially as they both live quite far away and work a lot and we had to take into account the two best men, who were also wearing dresses. In the end we found two light summer dresses in Dorothy Perkins and they were the perfect complement to my lace dress and the best womens’ navy blue dresses.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Having good photos was vital to our day and we were keen to find a photographer who would fit in with the whole event and not feel like an outsider. We wanted mostly informal shots and pictures that took in the beautiful landscapes around us. Jon Rouston provided all that and more, giving us relaxed shots of our guests enjoying themselves as well as glimpses of the day we never would have seen otherwise. He also created some gorgeous portraits of us using a variety of local landscapes.

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Marquee In The Meadow: A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Francesca & Ivan

November 19th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wedding in Yorkshire by Andy Hook Photography

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After a weekend off celebrating two years in business (lets wait till The Brides Up North Christmas Party for that!) indulging in a bit of shopping with the girls, catching up on emails and invoicing and a really rather good pub lunch at our soon to be local, I’m diving back into the Real Wedding pretty headfirst.

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Monday is off to a fabulous start with this beautiful big day in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, sent to me by real bride and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Francesca of the gorgeous bridal boutique Choola in Sheffield and talented Andy Hook Photography

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I always love to see how industry colleagues style their own celebrations, and Francesca and Ivan’s perfectly pastel country meadow wedding certainly doesn’t disappoint on ooh factor (not least because of their cute ring bearers – watch out for them).  Let’s hear from the lady herself. 

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Yorkshire Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Choola Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Pastel Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Francesca says:  We got engaged (unofficially) at The British Bridal Exhibition in March 2011! I guess there couldn’t be a more perfect place with us owning a bridal boutique!   Ivan took me completely by surprise but as he wanted my parent’s permission first we had to keep it secret until a few days later when he had been to see my parents. He then officially proposed in May with a beautiful ring made especially from my black pearl given to me for my 18th birthday set with two stunning diamonds!

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Andy Hook Photography

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We tied the knot on 16th June 2012 at St James Church, Norton, Sheffield followed by a “Marquee in the Meadow” reception behind my in-laws’ home in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

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The church holds many memories for me so there was no where else we could have married! It is a beautiful church and having attended since being a little girl, I knew I would feel totally at ease walking down aisle there.

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We wanted to have a marquee reception as we didn’t want anything too formal and wanted a setting completely unique to us where no one had been before. It meant we could put our own stamp on it and there wouldn’t be any restrictions.  Our family is very relaxed and often quite spontaneous so having the marquee gave us the freedom to just let the day evolve, without any time restrictions or rules!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We wanted the wedding to have that thrown together kind of look. I love anything classic but quirky so that’s what we went for: relaxed country glamour.   We chose several colours to work with:  lemon, pale pink, mint green, lavender and powder blue. This was reflected in the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers.

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Andy Hook Photography

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I was very spoiled and had a beautiful couture gown made for me by the very talented Sharon Bowen Haute Couture. I have always loved Sharon’s collections and knew that she would be the only person to make my dress. Having previously designed for Dior and Chloe I knew I was in safe hands!

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Sharon and I designed the dress together and it was perfect. It was made from duchesse satin, tulle, beaded lace and hand stitched silk flowers. The jacket was made from matching hand beaded lace.

I wanted a dress that was very “me”. It had to be quirky but still classic enough to stand the test of time.

I have to admit that I did feel a bit of pressure to wear something spectacular! As the owner of a bridal boutique, I was constantly being asked what I was going to wear so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations!

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My something old was my sister’s veil. We re-made it to create a “frouf” as we affectionately called it! This created volume before the train of the veil.  My something new was my dress and my fabulous Aruna Seth shoes!  My something borrowed was my best friends gorgeous Chanel earrings and my something blue was a ribbon stitched into my gown.  As well as my veil, I also wore a diamante seahorse hairclip in my hair. I absolutely love seahorses and knew I would have to involve them somewhere!

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I carried the most stunning bouquet made mostly from peonies – my favourite flower – along with roses, lavender, rosemary and a whole host of other beautiful flowers by Petalis, Sheffield. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The bridesmaids dresses were by Alvina Valenta and Jim Hjelm.  I wanted each of the girls to wear a different dress in a different colour and it was one of the easiest shopping trips ever! They all loved their gowns and I think it took less than an hour for all five of them to try on, decide and order.  They then all wore fabulous heels by Paradox London all dyed to match their dresses individually. I gave them each a silver bracelet to wear on the day as well as a candle in the scent used for the wedding to remind them of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The groomsmen all wore morning suits from Dapper Suits in charcoal and black with double breasted waistcoats. They wore soft dove grey and ivory and each chose their own tie. It was great to see a mixture of spots, stripes and colour.  Ivan and the best man Alisdaire wore sand coloured linen double breasted waistcoats. They all looked very handsome!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Ivan arrived at the church in a vintage Austin Healey that belongs to his father. His dad spent months restoring the car so we could use it for the wedding! Ivan’s mum tied coloured ribbons to the handles and made a “Just Married” sign complete with shining tin cans. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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During the service, Ivan surprised me by having our dogs as ring bearers! He pretended to have forgotten the rings and then whistled and our Jack Russell came scampering down the ails with the ring tied to a bow! A second whistle and our Springer spaniel came running down the aisle with the other ring! Fabulous!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Saying my vows and marrying my best friend was so overwhelming I could have burst with happiness. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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When we came out of the church, the ushers made a shotgun arch and as Ivan and I walked through, they all fired confetti from their shotguns!  Ivan runs a shoot and we were keen for our day to really reflect us and what is special to us, so having our dogs involved in our ceremony and shotguns firing confetti was just perfect for us. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the rain had stopped, the best man surprised us by having access to some private land behind Hassop Hall. This meant we could get some spectacular photos overlooking the valley sitting on the back of the Austin Healy. Just magical! Ivan and I then sped off in the car around Bakewell with the “just married” sign flapping in the wind and tin cans rattling along the road! It was a wonderful moment that will never leave me. 

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Once we arrived at the marquee (now back in the Mercedes to save the Austin Healey from being wrecked!) we were greeted by a red tractor to tow us onto the field! The heavy rain has made the lane and field impassable so cue tractor and toe rope and bride and groom arrived safely at the marquee much to the amusement and delight of our guests. I don’t think many brides arrive being dragged by a tractor but yet again it just added to the fun of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We only used little decoration in the marquee (Ascot Marquees) as we wanted the gorgeous flowers to really stand out. Some bunting, lanterns, candles and some hanging hearts and birds completed the look. We also had a Bride and Groom Scarecrow to greet our guests in the entrance to the marquee that Ivan had spent hours making the night before the wedding in the pouring rain. They were fantastic though and added to the country feel of the day. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a gorgeous cake made for us by Anna of HunkyDory Cakes in Sheffield. We gave her a rough brief but then left her to her own devices and the result was amazing. We were very laid back about all aspects of our wedding and I loved walking into the marquee and having the cake and flowers as a surprise. The cake was four tiers made of fruit, chocolate, lemon and mocha. Delicious!

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The rest of the catering was done by Big On Taste near Derby.

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We had a jazz band (The Bungalow Band) to play for the guests on arrival at the marquee. They were so good that the guests were dancing straight away! We sadly only caught the end of them as we were away having our photographs taken (and having a drink in the pub).  We then had a live band for the evening called Twice Around and Mick, the drummer and family friend also DJ’d for us.  The dance floor was packed all night!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the wedding we had a couple of days in the Lake District staying at Candlewyck Barn arranged for us by the best man. We could only take a couple of days off though as we had so many brides marrying this summer that we had to get back to the shop! We are planning to take our “honeymoon proper” this Christmas though. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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I have two tips for other Brides Up North, one practical and the other profound!

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The first, is if you can, have a wedding planner. Lisa Hilliard was fantastic and as it was a marquee reception, having someone there to oversee all the logistics was very reassuring. She was fantastic on the day and really enabled everyone to relax and enjoy the day. 

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The second tip is don’t over-think things and don’t worry!  All that matters is that you get to marry your soul mate! It’s very easy to get wrapped up in small details or worrying about what may or may not be. Ultimately it’s the marriage that matters with the day simply being the start of a fantastic journey so don’t sweat the small things.  With my husband and I having had our fair share of tragedy, we have learnt that life is short and very precious. Put things into perspective and make the most of what really matters.  The day comes and goes so quickly that my advice is to enjoy every minute of the planning and the day, whilst it may be a cliché it really is the best day of your life, so relax, don’t stress, and enjoy!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Congratulations Francesca & Ivan!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how. 

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  – Images © 2012 Andy Hook Photography

Choola is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Charming Chatsworth: A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Ezgi & Joe

August 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Chatsworth House Wedding by Phil Drinkwater Photography

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So, I thought I’d keep on spoiling you.  And why ever not?

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Hot on the heels of yesterday’s double whammy of Real Wedding lovely is this beautiful celebration at the splendid Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, sent to me my Brides Up North Featured Supplier, the fabulous Phil Drinkwater Photography (this man is a real gem) and stunning real bride Ezgi.

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I die. 

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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UK Wedding Blog

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Berketex Bride by Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Ezgi says:  We got engaged in Padstow, Cornwall in November 2011. Joe had taken me on a walk to show me where he used to go on holiday as a child, and at the top of a cliff he got down on one knee and proposed! We finished the evening with a tasting menu at Jamie’s Fifteen in Watergate Bay.

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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We were married on 17th August 2012 at Chatsworth House, near Bakewell in Derbyshire.

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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We had looked at a few venues, but nothing had jumped out at us. Then someone reminded us of Chatsworth – so we had a look, and absolutely fell in love with it. It wasn’t our first time there; Joe had been to Chatsworth many times as a child, we also went there on one of our early dates. The fact that we had some history there made it all the more special.  We opted for a colour scheme of burgundy and ivory. 

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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I travelled in a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, which kindly stayed until after the ceremony for photos and the guests arrived in a coach which took everyone from the hotel to Chatsworth. This same coach took everyone home again. The return journey was a much more raucous affair with a spontaneous sing-a-long arising from the back seats!

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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I knew I didn’t want a big dress, but wasn’t really sure from looking online what would suit me. After trying a few on, I decided I wanted a strapless dress, and quite liked the sweetheart neckline. The dress I eventually went for was from Berketex Bride: chiffon, sweetheart neckline, with some beaded detail around the waist, fitted until the hips and had a slim outline. Simple yet pretty.

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My hair and make-up was done by my friend’s sister, Nadia. It was so nice to have someone I’ve known for years spend time with us getting ready, not to mentioned the entertainment provided by her three year old daughter!

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography   Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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As I only had one bridesmaid, I thought I’d find something nice in the sales; the plan was to keep the flowers ivory so that I could choose any colour for the bridesmaid dress. In the end, I couldn’t find anything I liked in the sales and bought my sister a burgundy dress from Coast – strapless and chiffon to complement my dress.  The ushers wore grey Lingfield tail coats from Moss Bros.

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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I carried a shower bouquet of ivory orchids and roses, and my sister had a bunch of ivory roses. The groomsmen all had an ivory rose in their buttonhole.  All our flowers were by Katie Peckett in Sheffield.  

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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One of the reasons we chose Chatsworth because of the beautiful grounds and the opportunity to have our wedding photos there.

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The day of our wedding was grey, miserable, and pouring down with rain. The forecast had predicted rain the entire day, without any dry spells or sunshine.

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We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we’d have to have our wedding photos in the sculpture gallery (usually only open in such terrible weather). Then when we came out of the ceremony, despite all the odds, we actually had dry weather! We were allowed to wander around the gardens, being transported in the EZGO buggies, and we were even allowed to have photos in the sculpture gallery too! It was absolutely beautiful, and we were delighted to be able to have photos in Chatsworth.

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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To add some personal touches to the reception, we named the tables after places we’ve been to together. We used the flag of each area and ribbon to decorate the ivory and burgundy table plan, and the table name had a photo of us at each location.

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We also made collages with photos of ourselves as babies/children. The guests loved them and they all got to laugh at some unfortunate choices in haircuts and outfits!

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We had Lovehearts and Haribo hearts in organza bags for the favours.

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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We had a three tier cake with ivory icing made by a friend from work. The largest tier was chocolate, then lemon and the top layer was fruit. It was huge, which meant we got to enjoy it with family and friends for the rest of the weekend. Utterly delicious!

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We used Bliss Wedding DJ for the evening entertainment.

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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As we are both doctors, we are restricted with our annual leave and cannot always get time off together. We have managed a few days in Turkey when we are going to have a second celebration with all my side of the family, but we will save the proper honeymoon until next year!

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning, enjoy the day, and try not to get hung up on the little details, everything will work out perfectly no matter what!

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Congratulations Ezgi & Joe!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on these pages! 

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  – Images © 2012 Phil Drinkwater Photography

Phil Drinkwater Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Because Your Love Calms My Brambles! A Real DIY Wedding In Derbyshire – Emma & Tim

July 8th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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Are you having a lovely Sunday Brides Up North (despite the relentless Summer rain)? 

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I’ll be pretending it’s a proper English Summer later with strawberries and cream as I cheer on Andrew Murray in the Wimbledon final.  Come on Andy!

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Whether Murray brings it home or not, my spirits are so very lifted by today’s beautiful DIY real wedding, sent to me by Jonathan Stead Photography and today’s beautiful vintage loving bride Emma.  This sunny day of homemade loveliness is such a joy, I hope it brings some sparkle to your Sunday too.  

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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Emma says:  Tim asked me to marry him in July 2011, at Porthmeor Cove, Cornwall (on a cliff edge at sunset).  We got married on 26th May 2012 at a lovely church at Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire & our reception was in a marque at my parents’ farm.

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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We love the Peak District & thought the church was perfect – stunning & intimate. I’m very family orientated and thought having the marque at my parents’ farm would give the wedding a relaxed feel – somewhere that people could really let their hair down!

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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I love vintage and collect 50’s, 60’s and 70’s pieces. I wanted this to be reflected in our wedding but also wanted it to feel rustic & farm-like at the same time! We had a lot of flower power (arranged by myself and my mother in law) – tons of daisies, sunflowers, hydrangea, cornflowers arranged with wispy foliage, popped into jam jars, beer bottles or wrapped in raffia.

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It was a real family effort – I made the bunting (made from vintage fabric & old shirts) & mural (‘Because Your Love Calms My Brambles’) my mum made the table cloths, my mother in law helped me make the poms poms (or ‘bloody poms poms’ as we ended up calling them!) & the canapés for the drinks reception, my grandma made her special tiffin and my father in law made sign posts (t’car park, t’wedding, t’toilet).

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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The colour themes were cream, blue, purple with splashes of yellow.

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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My dress was upcycled from my Mother in Law’s dress from 1968. I loved the crochet lace but the fabric on the bottom of the dress was too badly stained to use. She let me cut up the dress and make a whole new design – I designed it and my Auntie made it (what she does for a living). I truly loved wearing it – I loved the ‘hood’ drape on the back. She also made me a hair piece/bird cage veil to match. Shoes wise, I wore light purple suede low heeled slippers from ASOS

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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The bridesmaid dresses were purple, knee length, floaty dresses from Monsoon and nude coloured heels.

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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I had a mixed bouquet of daisies, white roses, purple veronica, blue delphinium & lavender and the bridesmaids had pomanders of daisies.  The buttonholes were lavender, white roses & daisies.  These were done by my lovely friend Jill, at Plantology Floral Creations in Sheffield

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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I travelled in a 1970’s Rolls Royce from Fairytale Wedding Cars – I loved the blue roof. The driver was fabulous!

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography.

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My very favourite part of the day was seeing Tim’s face as I walked down the aisle… a little tear in his eye! Oooh… and the drum and bass after midnight!

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography    A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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Almost everything was handmade by me or a family member – from the invitations, to the marquee flowers, the bunting & signage. It was hard work but made it so special! I also borrowed a polaroid camera from a friend and bought some black and white film – I made a washing line so that people could peg up ‘snaps of [their] beautiful selves’. In addition to these, there were LOTS of children at the wedding (I come from a huge family) so I raided Poundland for games, things to make & fancy dress items – they went down a treat!

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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Our marquee was from High Peak Marquees – fantastic company – they were enthusiastic, friendly and very hardworking. They were the only company could find who would build scaffolding to even out the field, and dealt with the problem with a smile!

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Food wise, we hired PJ Taste caterers – again, amazing energy and enthusiasm – genuinely felt like they wanted to be there and the food was delicious. We choose to have a hot buffet – a triple spit roast (locally sourced & organic) with lots of home made breads and yummy salads. For dessert there was a choice of chocolate torte or summer fruit pudding…mmm.

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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My friend Abby is very creative & kindly made the cake as our wedding present – I sent her a few ideas for cakes but let her surprise me on the day! I was very pleased with the results… a lovely 3 three tier fruit cake decorated with handcrafted daisies.

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography   A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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We had a local young folk band for the drinks reception (Captives of the Carousel), followed by a DJ (Plastic Disco, Sheffield) in the evening (playing mixture of motown, pop, indie and drum & bass!). 

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Berlin. 

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’!

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A Real Wedding in Derbyshire by Jonathan Stead Photography

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Congratulations Emma & Tim!

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Have you just said “I do!”? Get in touch to share your big day on the wedding blog!

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  – Images © 2012 Jonathan Stead Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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