July 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Today’s DIY wedding on the edge of the stunning Peak District is a step-by-step lesson in how to plan and execute that sought-after tipi-style wedding with gusto.
With no overall theme or colour scheme in sight – the couple, Linsey and Tom, show us what it really means to personalise all those finer details. We’re talking flowers, decorations, tables runner, the wedding cake and even the confetti cones, with family and friends all contributing in their own special way. And we just adore the picture-perfect results (and think you will, too…).
Serving up pie and mash, pizzas, Aperol spritz and gins galore, with a Caribbean steel band, toasted marshmallows, sparklers and a silent disco to boot, this wedding was more akin to one big outdoors party. Surely, the best kind of wedding celebration there can be?
With images by Alex Abbott Photography.
linsey says: Tom’s mum and step-dad have a place in Nice, so we tend to go out once a year to relax and get some sunshine! In 2015 we were there for a week, and a couple of days in we had planned to go to Monaco for the day. We ended up getting off the bus a couple of stops early and it turned out that Tom had hired a boat for the day as a surprise (he had secretly done a course to get a powerboat license earlier in the year). We went out on the boat and about 20 minutes later we stopped – we were way out in the bay in front of Nice and Tom was pointing out that we could see the place where we stay, and when I turned around he was on one knee!
We chose the 9th September for our wedding. We wanted a couple of years between getting engaged and married so that we could enjoy being engaged and so that wedding preparations could be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
We got married at St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Hathersage. We love the Peak District – both of us grew up nearby so have spent a lot of time there. We knew from day one we wanted to get married there. Most of our friends and family are close by too which was definitely a big factor.
We began the venue hunt for our reception by looking for barns in the Peak District and places where we could put some sort of marquee. In the meantime, my mum had come across a venue called Woodthorpe Hall – a private 17th century country house set in 2.5 acres of gardens on the edge of the Peak District. Mum had kindly booked us a viewing as she knew it was somewhere we might love. Within minutes of being there we knew it was where we wanted to hold our reception. They only do seven or eight weddings a year and we were the last wedding of 2017 for them!
The gardens at Woodthorpe provided the perfect location for us to put a marquee / tipi and would allow us to spend a lot of the day outdoors. I want to say it was also the perfect blank canvas for us to really make the day our own, but that plays down how stunning the gardens and setting of this venue are! One of the most appealing things for us (apart from the setting) was that we weren’t restricted and could put glamping tents and motorhomes in one of the fields next door, so our guests could stay over if they wanted to.
We initially fancied a sperry tent but after visiting a tipi open day we fell in love with the idea of having a tipi wedding! The indoor fire pits, wooden tables, and general rustic feel really appealed to us – as did the fact that they could withstand whatever the British weather might throw our way!
We didn’t really have a theme, we wanted the day to be relaxed, enjoyable, not too formal, and to reflect our personalities. Our main aim from the beginning was for our family and friends to be able to let their hair down and have a really good time – we knew that if they were having fun, we would be able to properly relax and enjoy it with them!
We didn’t have a colour scheme, although I am superstitious and so didn’t want any red and white together (which Tom was more than happy to go with due to footballing reasons!).
April 17th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re considering a marquee style wedding, then we think today’s blog post might just sway you into having one! Donna and Dave’s fabulous day is the stuff of dreams – or in the bride’s case, the stuff of movies – as she managed to live out her very own ‘driving into the sunset in a classic car’ moment!
Bunting, paper lanterns, milk urns, hay and gorgeous wild florals came together for the most exquisite of country backdrops, dominated by an ever so pretty pastel pink palette. The couple even enjoyed exclusive use of their venue, Smallshaw Farm, together with its on-site cottages and spa facilities.
Other touches we just love include their homemade gins, a photobooth in place of the traditional guest book, and lovely hand decorated jars for their table centrepieces. The prettiness needs to be seen to be believed though – so scroll down for all the wonderful highlights.
With images by Stu Ganderton Photography.
donna says: We got engaged the weekend of the Tour de France finishing in Sheffield, and at the time we were moving into our first home together. Having originally planned to pop the question the night before but having gotten carried away moving and unpacking, Dave popped the question the following morning. He made me breakfast in bed and then got down on one knee and I said yes!
We got married on the 8th July 2017, as it would follow a nice pattern with dates. We moved in to our house on 5th July and got engaged the next day, on 6th July (2014), this would leave 7th July 2017 as our last day before becoming Mr & Mrs on 8th July 2017.
Our wedding reception was held at Smallshaw Farm Cottages and Spa. We really wanted a venue that was exclusive, with only our family and friends there, plus we wanted something local that would capture the natural beauty the region has to offer. Smallshaw offered us this opportunity, with the whole site and all the cottages included, exclusively for us. The location is exquisite, set in the Peak District with amazing views all around. One of the key aspects for us was being able to have our close family with us for the whole weekend, allowing us to enjoy the barbecue hut and Jacuzzi on the Sunday.
We had our ceremony at St Nicholas Church, in High Bradfield. Neither of us are particularly religious, but Dave went to church regularly when he was younger so wanted a church wedding. We chose St Nicholas initially because it was close to our venue, but when we visited it, we were taken aback by the stunning view across the valley and the lovely people in the church. The rector was very welcoming and even allowed the rector from Dave’s home church to come and give the talk, which involved him drinking the local beer – much to everyone’s amusement!
We didn’t originally have a set theme, so we decided to go with styles we liked. We wanted something that was elegant and not over the top and glitzy. We didn’t have a set colour scheme either, although in the end pink did seem to become quite prominent throughout.
My dress was from New York Bride in Sheffield. It was a champagne coloured sweetheart trumpet style dress with a lace overlay and beaded detail on the bodice. The pictures do it more justice than I can in words!
April 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple shows us what you can do when you have real vision and plenty of original ideas for your big day; celebrating with family and friends in a barn in the beautiful Peak District which – at the time of their first visit – wasn’t yet fully renovated and didn’t even have a door or solid walls!
Needless to say, when their wedding day came around last October, it was brimming with rustic charm, brought to life by all kinds of pretty – including fairy lights, hanging ivy and paper lanterns. This was paired with homemade jam for their favours, a gourmet barbecue, live music, a sparkler send-off and so many other special touches, beautifully captured on camera.
Our bride even added a splash of glitter to the proceedings, in keeping with the vintage glam theme for the day and opted for a neutral palette complemented by sumptuous white and gold. Proof that a barn wedding can be anything but ordinary! We’ll pass the blog onto bride, Hannah, now though to talk us through her special day with hubby, Ben – prepare to swoon!
With images by George Krousti of U and Eye Photography
hannah says: We got engaged in Canary Wharf in London. We were away with some friends and family for a few days in London. One evening (about 11pm) me and Ben went for a walk along the river, and then round the corner I saw some people stood with a guitar and singing (thought it was a little odd late at night) but as we got closer I could hear the song Green Eyes by Coldplay, which has been ‘our song’ since we met in school. I recognised the voices singing as Ben’s sister and one of our friends. Then I realised what was going on! Some of the lyrics had been changed so we stood and listened to them until the end when Ben turned around, got on one knee and asked me to marry him, obviously I said yes! Some friends had arranged a small party, so we headed there and celebrated together.
We got married on Friday 27th October 2017. Twenty-seven has always been a special number for us – my birthday is 27th April, Ben’s is 27th August, we got engaged on 27th July and whilst I was living in Australia (we did two years long distance) Ben sent me a gift when he officially asked me to be his girlfriend and it arrived on my doorstep on 27th May. I’ve always wanted an autumn wedding as I love the colours and cosy vibes.
We had our ceremony at Christian Life Church in Chesterfield (now called IKON church) and had our reception at Peak District Holiday Barn. We are both hugely involved in church and lead the youth ministry there. Ben grew up going to CLC and I have been going since I was 15 and it has become a home to us so there was no doubt that was where we wanted to get married.
We went for a vintage glam style wedding and loved the idea of a barn reception with some glitter! We stumbled across the venue as we couldn’t find anything that quite fitted our idea, so we went off on a tangent looking for somewhere to put up a marquee.
When I called Mark, who owns the barn, I asked if he had a field we could use, his response was ‘we do have a barn out the back instead if you want to look at that’ – we went to look and we were blown away (at an empty barn with no door or solid walls). Mark was amazing and said it was in the process of being refurbished and painted – it was our dream venue right in front of us. It was a year-and-a-half before our wedding and we visited it throughout that time, always confident in Mark, we can’t thank him enough for making our dream a reality!
We went for a colour palette of neutral wood tones, with white and a hint of gold glitter. We’re not a fan of garish colours, so wanted something neutral yet warm and cosy. The vintage style fitted with the autumn season too and I based the gold glitter on my choice of bridesmaid dress as it was something different and gave it that extra pop of fun.
January 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple know a thing or two about picture perfect settings. After a romantic proposal on the terrace of a medieval castle in Italy, Sophie and Michael then decided to host their special day in the Peak District National Park, at the exquisite Upper House in Hayfield, overlooking Kinder Reservoir.
The couple tied the knot last summer, extending their wedding celebrations across the bank holiday weekend. Opting for a classic colour scheme of blush pink and ivory, they adorned the venue with the most beautiful of floral arrangements and foliage. Festoon lighting and glowing candles, meanwhile, added a mesmerising ambience to the space.
Not only did their wedding look the part, it was also a lot of fun! Their guests were certainly in for a treat during the weekend, with a prosecco van, pizzas and ice cream, as well as garden games, a silent disco and a live band to keep everybody entertained. Everything, we think, you could possibly want for you and your guests on your big day!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
sophie says: Michael proposed while on a surprise trip to Italy on the 9th October 2015. We visited a small village called Castelfalfi in Tuscany, and Michael got down on one knee on the terrace of the medieval castle that stands in the centre of the village. We then had dinner overlooking the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany. He even managed to get the moment videoed. It was the most magical day!
We got married on Saturday 26th August 2017. We chose the bank holiday weekend as we wanted to extend our wedding celebrations. We invited all of our guests back to our venue on the Sunday to continue the party. The day consisted of lots of garden games for the children (and adults!) gorgeous pizzas supplied by The Woodland Rover, delicious ice cream by Ice Cream Dub and fantastic entertainment by Alexander Stewart. Our guests also enjoyed a silent disco.
We tied the knot at St Thomas’ Church in Mellor, and held our wedding reception at Upper House, Hayfield. Upper House stands alone on the magnificent Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park and has to be seen to be believed. We knew instantly it was the venue for us. From the incredible views, to the courtyard, the Great Hall, the beautiful bedrooms to even having its own mini pub – Upper House is simply stunning. I couldn’t have imagined having our wedding anywhere else.
As we got engaged in Italy but chose to get married in the UK we wanted to bring a little Italian style to our wedding. This consisted of olive trees dotted around the venue, the black tie dress code, festoon lighting over the courtyard, a prosecco van and a string quartet.
I wanted a romantic and sophisticated look, so we went for a blush pink and ivory colour scheme paired with lots of candles and foliage, which I felt suited the venue and the Italian theme.
I wore a beautiful dress by Pronovias from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. I had my dress customised to include shoulder straps, buttons down the back and a sparkling belt. I also wore a Pronovias veil. My dress was one of the first I ever tried on and I absolutely fell in love with it and I knew instantly it was the one. I loved all of the ruffles and the long train, it was everything I’d ever dreamed off. I also wore Jimmy Choo shoes. I didn’t want to go for traditional satin wedding shoes, so I chose some that sparkled instead!
On the morning of our wedding myself, my bridesmaids and my mum all wore matching robes from Plum Pretty Sugar and had our makeup and hair styled by the very talented and gorgeous Samantha Green of DonebySG. She put my whole wedding party at ease and ensured we all had a fun and relaxed wedding morning.
June 29th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
This wonderful Bonfire Night wedding gives us all the fuzzy feels – think hearty food, toffee apples, sparklers and a striking orange colour scheme.
Brave bride Bekki got hands-on with her rustic theme, creating delicate paper roses and assembling glass jars, logs slices, candles and greenery, with a little help from friends and family.
With so much gorgeousness it seems wrong to highlight one feature – but please, do me a favour and check out that plait. So. Many. Hair. Goals. You can thank us later.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves.
bekki says: It was difficult for Thomas to organise a proposal without me getting suspicious as we’d recently had our first son, Robbie, and I didn’t ever want to leave him. So instead of organising something big, I came downstairs from putting Robbie to bed to find the room lit with candles and a big bunch of flowers. Thomas pulled me into his arms and asked me if I would marry him. The best part is, before he popped the question the only thought that ran through my head was, “Whatever this is, it better be worth him lighting my display candles!”
We were married on Saturday 5th November 2016. We only ever considered an autumn or winter wedding and we thought it would be nice to have it as close to the anniversary of us becoming a couple as we could. It just happened that the closest weekend our venue could manage was Bonfire Night. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year; we love fireworks and the atmosphere so it pretty much made up our mind!
We had both our ceremony and reception at Santo’s Higham Farm, Derbyshire. It was the first ever hotel we’d stayed at together. We found the room online at the last minute for my 18th and as soon as we got there we both said it would make an amazing wedding venue. And so we returned some years later for a consultation and they couldn’t do enough for us.
We wanted a rustic, autumnal feel to our wedding to match the season and so we combined natural wood, logs and ivy with hints of sparkle and glitter to tie in with Bonfire Night and the fireworks. I got crafty and aimed to make as much as I could myself, with the help of friends and family. Thank goodness for Pinterest!
Orange and grey were our chosen colours. Think autumn leaves. They tied in perfectly with the date. We also knew very few couples choose orange as a wedding colour scheme and we liked how uncommon it was.
When I first went dress shopping I was adamant I wasn’t going to have a sweetheart neckline or a big dress but otherwise I had no real idea what I wanted. After trying on close to 50 dresses in various shops I visited a fourth shop – a spur of the moment trip to The Bridal Suite. I tried on every dress I liked but none of them were ‘the dress’ so the consultant picked one instead. I instantly screwed my nose up at it but agreed to try it on. I came out of the changing room to see my maid of honour crying! They added the veil and I knew it was the one – sweetheart neckline and all! Finally!
The ladies who helped pamper me for my wedding day were incredible, too. I had my nails done at DLR Beauty and Nails at the 3D Clinic in Pinxton and Paige White worked her magic on my makeup.
Laura from Shillitto’s Hair put up with the worst as she had to deal with me changing my mind on how I wanted mine and the bridesmaids’ hair the day before the wedding without the opportunity for another trial. Despite this, she did an amazing job on us all and we received compliments all round.
We wanted to incorporate tweed into Tom’s wedding outfit so teamed a tweed waistcoat with a sharkskin blue suit from Moss, finished off with light tan brogues and an orange tie.
Our bridesmaids wore Little Mistress grey maxi dresses with an embellished top while the groomsmen wore the same suit as Tom but with the matching waistcoat rather than tweed.
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May 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The month of May is one of our very favourites here at Brides Up North HQ, not only as it tends to signal the start of warmer weather, but it’s also when our incredible festival wedding fairs take place across the north of the country. These super cool events are like no other as we create outdoor wedding wonderlands with huge sailcloth tents, tipis and yurts filled with wildly creative wedding suppliers, plus street food vendors, pop-up bars, live bands and so much more. The tour starts this Sunday 7th May with our glorious WEDSTOCK’17 at Stockeld Park, Yorkshire, and from there we will be heading to Ormesby Hall in Middlesbrough on Sunday 14th May, and Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire on Sunday 21st May, to give all you brides-to-be a piece of the fabulous festival action.
Another reason we favour May is for its bank holidays (who doesn’t love a bonus day off?!) and so with such a busy time on the horizon, we were sure to make the first long weekend of the month a relaxing one by heading off for an overnight spa break at the stunning Hoar Cross Hall.
Such getaways not only enable us to signpost you in the direction of the very best retreats for pre/post wedding pampering and luxurious hen do locations, but it also gives us chance to discuss exciting ideas for the blog, and boy do we have amazing plans in the pipeline! But more about that to follow soon, for now let us fill you in on our heavenly stay at this Grade II stately home where total relaxation comes as standard!
Situated in breath-takingly beautiful Staffordshire countryside, the chilled-out vibes start on your approach to the Hall and only deepen once over its threshold. Its impressive entrance and bar lounge area combine period style and modern luxury perfectly and make for a very warm welcome. Arriving early evening and keen to start the pampering from the off, we began with a glass of bubbles in the bar before heading to our room to freshen up before dinner.
Each of Hoar Cross Hall’s 96 bedrooms are individually designed in keeping with the stately surrounds and offer comfort and class, which resulted in a very restful night’s sleep for the two of us in our adjoining rooms.
Dinner was served in the Hall’s grand restaurant with calming views over the perfectly manicured gardens. Having selected a bottle of rose (well, it is getting on for summer!) we scanned over the varied choice of dishes and made our selection. We enjoyed starters of salmon two ways and chicken liver parfait before going onto mains of roast chicken and spinach and ricotta cannelloni. Something light to finish we thought, and so opted for the fruit platter and ice cream. The food at Hoar Cross is presented beautifully and tastes as good as it looks, while staff are attentive in making sure everything is to your liking.
With relaxation top of the agenda, we decided on an early night and early start to make the most of the Hall’s fabulous spa facilities.
Following an ample breakfast of granola followed by poached eggs, we took the elevator down to the lower ground where the hugely spacious spa is concealed, much like a well kept secret. And what a gem it is, with numerous tranquil pools and soothing water therapies to explore and experience.
Fellow spa visitors included groups of ladies as well as couples, making a Hoar Cross Hall getaway a perfect option for an indulgent hen do with the girls, some pre-wedding pampering with family or friends, plus a relaxing minimoon retreat to recharge the batteries ahead of jetting off on the main honeymoon.
There are various day and overnight packages to choose from, with meals included, and the option of treatments for head-to-toe relaxation.
The spa boasts two beautiful pools; a saltwater vitality pool, complete with jet massage pools, two luxury whirlpools and a starlit cave, plus a hydrotherapy pool with gentle currents and body massage jets.
There are also a number of heat, ice and massage experiences to detox and revitalise the body by stimulating different senses. These include sensory showers and aqua massage therapies as well as an aspen wood sauna, aroma room and ice temple.
And as if that’s not enough, there are lots of beautifully snug spaces to relax both poolside and within designated relaxation lounges, whether you choose to curl up with a good book or get a little extra shut-eye.
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