July 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
While we’re clearly huge advocates of couples marrying in the north of the UK, we know that some of our lovely bride readers crave sunnier climes for their big day – and as we look out Brides Up North HQ’s windows while writing this on a grey and drizzly July afternoon – we don’t blame ‘em!
But if you’re going overseas and taking your destination wedding squad with you, which hot spot is going to tick those boxes? While we wouldn’t turn down the option of a ceremony on a postcard-perfect white sandy beach in the Caribbean, we think trying the knot a little closer to home has its benefits in that it should require less time and money to travel there. This hopefully means you could afford to get in a few pre-wedding trips prior to the big day to meet with venues, planners and suppliers, and would hopefully ensure most of those on your guest list could afford to make the journey too.
A favourite holiday hot-spot for us sunshine-loving Brides Up North girls is the Algarve (in fact our Editor has just come back!), and given our many visits to this stunning area of Portugal, we can safely say that it would make an incredible destination for an overseas wedding too. Not only do we love its beautiful golden beaches, idyllic white-washed buildings, friendly locals and fabulous food, but until autumn it’s pretty much sunshine central and is less than a three-hour flight away.
So, in case all this talk of a wedding complete with sea, sun and sand has your piqued your interest, we’re handing over the blog to the expert team at The Real Algarve who know a thing or two about celebrations in the southernmost region of Portugal.
As a privately-owned family business, The Real Algarve was established in 1995 by experienced travel specialists Lynne and Simon Bunting, and the company is now also headed up by their two daughters Katie and Vicky. The team specialise in providing luxury villas and apartments to rent in the Algarve, and also have a wedding planner based in the region, meaning they’ve got the inside track on planning dream weddings in the Algarve – and they’re kindly sharing details with us here today…
The Real Algarve team say: Thinking of tying the knot in the Algarve? Famous for its long sandy beaches, delicious food and welcoming locals, why wouldn’t you want to get wed there? The Algarve is less than three hours away, and has beautiful weather almost guaranteed until mid-October. For those tempted, we’ve put together the ins and outs of planning a wedding in the Algarve, with insider knowledge from a local wedding planner from The Real Algarve.
Getting married in Portugal isn’t complicated but there are a couple of important things you need to know before you start booking your flights and accommodation.
Just like in the UK, civil ceremonies and Catholic church weddings are recognised by law and are legally binding. As with any wedding, there is some paperwork that needs to be arranged in advance so allow plenty of time to get your documents in order. Your documents will need to be originals, Apostille stamped (a stamp which authenticates the document) and translated into Portuguese by an agency verified by the Portuguese Consulate.
For a civil ceremony, you’ll need long-form birth certificates and certificates of no impediment, as well as your passports. Catholic church weddings are a bit more complicated, as you’ll need to provide some permission letters from your parish priest and bishop – for the full list of what’s required, contact the Portuguese Embassy.
Even if you’re very familiar with the area and have visited many times before, arranging a wedding in a different country can be a challenge, which is why it’s a good idea to consider hiring someone with some local knowledge to help out. They’ll be on hand to take care of the arrangements before you and your party arrive, leaving you able to enjoy the experience without the stress.
This is where you’ll need to tap into your wedding planner’s knowledge of local suppliers. They will be able to advise you on florists, caterers, makeup artists, hair stylists, and photographers in the local area and give you honest recommendations.
June 19th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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.
Prepare for take-off as we’re leaving the north of the UK behind today and jetting off to Lake Como in Italy to relive the utterly gorgeous big day of Cheshire-couple, Emma and Glen.
Everything about this wedding says style, class and romance; from the insanely beautiful location to the wedding party’s stunning attire and the lavish speed-boat transport.
It’s all be captured perfectly by Ally M Photography, and we have to say that Emma and Glen work the camera like pure pros!
With images by Ally M Photography
emma says: We got engaged during a surprise trip to Venice in October 2015, and the proposal was as romantic as it gets. Glen got down on one knee on a gondola boat in Venice through the inner canals of the city with a photographer, videographer and finished with a pre-arranged candlelight dinner and my favourite white roses.
We specifically selected the 26th July 2016, to get married as it’s an extra special day for the family. It was my mum’s birthday and we wanted to include her in the day as much as we could. Unfortunately, she passed away five years ago, but we know she was there in spirit on the day.
After the proposal, we fell in love with Italy and so chose a venue on the beautiful Lake Como to hold the wedding at. Our venue, Relais Villa Vittoria, was an Italian villa on the edge of the lake overlooking the mountains. We hired the whole villa and had close friends and family stay there with us for four days. The weather was so beautiful on the day!
We wanted a modern, contemporary wedding. We kept the wedding classy with a James Bond twist – Glen arrived by speed boat but would have chosen to sky dive if he could have! At 11pm a yacht picked the wedding party up and we partied on the lake until the early hours.
Our colour scheme was made up of natural whites, light blues and silvers. I love white roses and as Glen included them in his proposal to me, they have an extra special meaning and so had to be included in the wedding.
For my wedding dress, I wanted something that resembled a glamourous evening gown but that wasn’t too heavy with it being so hot. I still wanted something that was magical though so I made sure it had a long train. I chose an off white, Pronovias 2017 collection dress.
Glen meanwhile, had his suit made by a company called Signature Bespoke, whose suits are handmade in Italy.
My lovely bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast.
Ally M Photography was our chosen photographer for the wedding. Ally and his fiancée Lucy, were just brilliant and captured the perfect moments!
May 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
We’re predictable creatures here at Brides Up North. Usually when we’re sent a wedding featuring a Maggie Sottero creation, we can’t tear our eyes away from the bride. However, today’s groom almost – almost! – steals the limelight from his stunning lady in a tropical blue jacket and chino shorts combo.
Jack and Zalie were married on the Costa del Sol and their jaw-dropping pictures really have us aching for a summer holiday. They settled on a tropical blue theme and the azure sea, aqua skies and blue detailing really packs a photographic punch.
Add in some original photo styling – swings, brides in goal, grooms air punching – and you’ve got one of the most inspirational beach weddings we’ve seen in a long while.
Images by Peace Photography.
zalie says: We got engaged at Jack’s family home in Spain on Christmas Day in 2014. It wasn’t a surprise for me; we‘d arranged and planned most of our wedding before anyone knew and surprised our families on Christmas Day when we told them.
Our wedding was organised for 29th May 2016. We chose the date as it was a bank holiday, falling in half term so that family and friends were likely to be able to attend. Also, being in May meant that the weather wasn’t too hot or too cold.
We married in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol in Spain, and we had the ceremony and reception on the beachfront. We chose a destination wedding as my husband grew up in Spain and the place holds a lot of great memories for the two of us. Because we were getting married abroad, we used wedding planner Melissa Palmer of Bespoke Weddings Spain. I’d highly recommend her – she made life so simple from the day we met her until the day of the wedding.
Our wedding theme was connected to gin; we had a gin-inspired table plan titled ‘Grab a seat and let’s be-gin.’ Each table was named after a different type of gin, and we placed a bottle in the centre of the table along with fruit and berries. Guests could then help themselves to the many different types flowing on different tables.
For colour, we went with a bright, tropical blue. It suited a beach theme!
Jack wore a tropical blue suit jacket, cream chino shorts, a white shirt and white leather Converse.Our groomsmen wore the same as Jack.
February 2nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
If there’s one thing we love as much as weddings here at Brides Up North, it’s a holiday – and so what could be better than combining the two with an overseas wedding?
And it seems we’re not the only ones thinking along these lines, as were informed by the experts that Portugal is fast becoming a destination wedding hotspot, with couples favouring the beautiful country for it’s warm temperatures, short flight times and incredible scenery.
Better still, Portugal has a fitting location for all styles of weddings; from relaxed celebrations on the beaches of the Algarve, to vibrant city nuptials in the likes of Lisbon and Porto. Intrigued? Us too! Thankfully we know of an event where you can find out more about planning the perfect Portuguese wedding and meet an experienced team of people who can take care of every little detail for you.
Taking place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Manchester on 11th and 12th February, happy couples from around the UK looking to marry in Portugal’s Algarve, Lisbon, Cascais and Sintra areas, are invited to experience first-hand the renowned Portuguese hospitality, warmth and exceptional service in one-to-one appointments with the very finest Portuguese wedding planners.
With Algarve Wedding Planners & The Vows, brides and grooms-to-be can discover all of these amazing locations and much more, with a complete and tailor-made service to make each dream wedding become reality.
Those that attend the showcase can pick up elite tips and advice from Paula Grade and Karina Sousa, two of the Algarve’s very best and professional wedding planners, and be inspired by a selection of handpicked and exceptionally talented Portuguese suppliers, including designers, florists, gastronomes, photographers and five-star venues.
paula says: Why get married in Portugal? From Lisbon down through to the sunny Algarve, you will find a great destination for your dream wedding in the sun. Portugal has a range a stunning settings to suit all tastes, from breath-taking beaches and traditional countryside villages to unique palaces for a true fairytale day. The beautiful country is best known for its long sandy shores, good quality food at excellent prices and lovely welcoming people.
So, if you’ve been thinking of tying the knot abroad, why not chose sunny and accessible Portugal?
The bridal showcase event is free to attend, though booking is required. To book your appointment and be with a chance of winning a fantastic full board weekend trip away, send your full name and wedding date to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +351 96 56 23 091.
January 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
As it’s pretty much the weekend we thought we’d take a little trip, heading all the way South to relive Stephanie and Stephen’s big day.
Keen to evoke nostalgic holiday memories whilst saying their “I dos”, the couple picked to travel south from their Lancashire home in search of a venue with sun, sea and champagne!
The Watergate Bay Hotel provided the perfect backdrop for their effortlessly gorgeous wedding in Cornwall, which featured a timeless muted colour scheme with just the right amount of golden sparkle.
So, grab your bucket and spade guys, as we’re off to the beach!
With images by Gemma McAuley Photography
stephanie says: We got engaged when I was nine-months pregnant on New Year’s Eve 2014/15 at midnight in Keswick town centre under the stars and fireworks surrounded by a large crowd of other people celebrating their New Year’s Eve. I was totally surprised and not expecting it at all, so I was in shock when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him with a beautiful engagement ring! Obviously, I said yes and we had the best New Year’s Eve ever!
Our wedding date was 27th June 2016, which we chose in the hope of a nice sunny day so that we could have pictures taken on the beautiful beach.
Though we live in Lancashire, we got married at The Watergate Bay Hotel, in Cornwall. We chose this venue as it is very special for our family. I used to spend every summer at this hotel when I was little with my parents, sister and grandparents, so we have a lot of special memories there. It was even more exciting as we all hadn’t been there for more than ten years! In this time the hotel had a total renovation and so was more amazing than I remembered.
Myself, Stephen, both our parents and our son Charlie, went down to visit the venue a year before the wedding for a long weekend. The weather was amazing and the hotel was more than we could have imagined. So, we booked the date there and then as it was my idea of a dream wedding venue. Floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the beach in the ceremony room sealed the deal!
As the venue is so modern and the views are so perfect, I didn’t want to take away from it, and so we went for a natural colour scheme of champagne and ivory, with a splash of glitter for a bit of sparkle.
We didn’t have a wedding style as such, though in the evening we did a casino theme for a bit of fun as it’s one of our favourite fun hobbies. We hired casino tables to get our guest having fun and we also hired an amazing hand magician as Stephen is obsessed with magic and as a child always wanted to be a magician. He was amazing and really entertaining!
When it came to choosing my dress for the wedding, I went for a full lace gown with spaghetti straps and low back. It was more relaxed and beachy due to the venue choice but I still wanted to feel like a bride so it was perfect and I chose a cathedral veil to add a bit of drama. I bought my dress, veil, shoes and headband from Sugared Almonds in Earby, who were so helpful.
July 22nd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
All this hot weather has got us in the mood for a little tropical wedding inspiration – so grab your sunnies, pour a Pina Colada and lay back in your hammock as we head for the tropics…
Pineapples, flamingos and botanics have all been making a statement on the home interior front for some time and now they’re beginning to creep into the world of weddings too.
From loud and in-your-face playful décor to romantic muted tones, there are numerous different ways to incorporate the tropical trend into your day, whether you’re jetting off for a wedding by the sea or staying closer to home.
Here are the top tropic looks that have currently got us hot under the collar…
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Laura Hotz| image source, photography by Amber Gress| image source| image source| image source, photography by Maddison Short Photography| image source, photography by Couple Cups| image source.
For those who take a “go hard or go home” approach to life, this full on Club Tropicana styling is definitely for you.
Think bright colours, bold patterns and playful props and you can’t go too far wrong.
As huge fans of the colour pink, us Brides Up North gals love the idea of a flamingo theme that can be carried right through the wedding styling; from the invites and stationery, to the wedding cake and décor. While we might just draw the line at introducing inflatable flamingos to the day, we encourage couples taking this route to go all out.
Pineapples and bright fruits, like lemons and limes, can be incorporated into table settings and centre pieces doubling up as name place holders and even vases. There’s also the option to include zesty fruits into food and drink choices too – perhaps a Havana rum cocktail for the drinks reception and a citrus cupcakes or cheesecake for dessert? Brightly patterned crockery and glassware to serve, also helps to set the scene.
When it comes to the bride’s attire we advise steering clear of fruit basket hats and grass skirts and instead keeping it clean and classy with just a slight pop of colour as a nod to the theme. Think vibrant footwear and flower crowns, or perhaps if feeling bold, a bridal separates set or dress that features a burst of colour. Bridesmaids meanwhile can afford to be more fearless, going for a strong solid hue such as turquoise, tangerine or hot pink, or even opting for a punchy patterned dress.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Alana Jones Mann| images source, photography by O’Malley Photographers| image source, photography by Jessi Rae| image source, photography by Maui Maka Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Our Labour of Love| image source, photography by Krista Mason Photography| image source| image source, photography by Brian Tropiano.
If the above pushes you a little too far out of your comfort zone, then the tropical trend can be stripped back for a softer and dreamier look.
Pale pastel pinks and greens work particularly well for this theme, as do hints of baby blue, lemon and peach.
A lot of the same typical tropical props can still be used, but it’s about creating a more elegant feel with delicate textures and tones. So mix up sharp-skinned pineapples with gentle blooms, trailing plants and romantic candles. Adding tiny touches of light gold can also help give the look a more classical edge.
Once again, brides might prefer to stick to a traditional ivory or white gown not to compete with the décor, though a pretty blush pink or powder blue dress is an option. Bridesmaids can be muted and matching or all mixed up in differing tones or girly floral prints – just be sure that the pattern remains bold as not to look too ditsy.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Bethany Michaela| image source, photography by Calvin Elizabeth| image source, photography by Cathy Durig Photography| image source| image source, photography by Lindsay Madden Photography| image source, photography by Cathy During Photography| image source, image by Calvin Elizabeth| image source, photography by Fondly Forever| image source, photography by Jose Villa Photography| image source, photography by Paula Player Photography.
Finally for those wanting to stick to just one colour for their big day, we highly endorse the botanical tropical trend.
Loud leafy patterns are something we’ve seen for a while now in both homeware and fashion so it’s little surprise that brides and linking the look for their weddings too.
Simple yet strong, the trend is all about large textured greenery that can be used in centrepieces, bouquets, tablescapes, signage and chair décor. It’s up to the couple how bold they go. Keeping leaves more sparse against white with elements of wood and hints of metallics, particularly rich gold, can look absolutely stunning but there’s nothing to stop brides and grooms going for much fuller foliage and striking hanging botanics either.
Bold leafy print patterns in stationery, cakes and attire work well for those wanting to add a graphic and more modern twist to the theme.
For bridesmaids patterns, single hues or varying shades of green are all options and the groom and groomsmen have the opportunity to don green as well. While the earthy colour is not typically a hue that you would see a bride wearing, there are lots of fancy green footwear designs out there so think about going more green-toed than green-fingered!
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