November 13th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
If you happen to recognise today’s beautiful bride and groom that’s because this isn’t the first time they’ve appeared on Brides Up North.
A few months ago we shared their beautiful pre-wedding shoot at Bolton Abbey, which also featured their cute dogs, Beren and Roxi.
Today we’re welcoming Kala and Andy back to the blog (along with their handsome hounds) to share their handmade wedding day with us too. Oh how we love a good follow-up!
With images by Ellie Grace Photography.
kala says: We got engaged on 25th December 2006 at my grandparents. Andy and I had been looking at rings a few months before, but then he surprised me by proposing on Christmas Day and had a bottle of fizz ready for us.
We set the date for 20th August 2015. Our wedding ceremony was Halifax Minster as it’s a beautiful building with history behind it. We’d also been attending the minster and so had got to know people there – it’s a lovely community. After the ceremony we went onto the Ring O’Bells pub next to the minster before going to Holdsworth House for our reception.
Our theme was very outdoors. Andy and I are very outdoorsy people, we have lots of hobbies and wanted our interests and personalities to reflect in our wedding. We went with a wood theme and Andy made all the table decorations, so it was very personal too.
November 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This morning’s real wedding couple decided to make to plan a wedding that was pretty and personal rather than shaping it around one set theme.
The result is a very natural and romantic big day that’s brimming with beautiful elements; from the fairy tale style venue to the gorgeous blooms and delicate decor, this one has it all!
With images by Brides Up North favourite, Paul Liddement Wedding Stories.
wendy says: We got engaged on the banks of Loch Lomond in February 2013. I’m from Helensburgh, near Loch Lomond and I love boats so Dave arranged for us to go on a boat tour for my birthday. After a beautiful, if slightly chilly, trip around the loch and a whisky to calm the nerves, Dave got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
Our wedding date was Saturday 6th June 2015. As we were getting married outside we wanted to choose date where we might have slightly less chance of getting rain.
We got married and had our reception at The Treehouse in Alnwick Gardens. We looked at a number of venues in and around my hometown and felt they were far too formal. I then started looking online for unusual wedding venues and came across the Treehouse. As soon as we walked up its walkway we knew we had found the right place; it’s so naturally beautiful, the perfect size and adorned with fairy lights!
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November 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This morning on the blog we’re travelling to the beautiful Lakes to relive Emily and Neil’s big day.`
Following a proposal at the top of Coniston Old Man, Emily and Neil felt it fitting to hold their wedding in the Lake District too, and so decided on a relaxed & homemade affair in a venue at the base of the mountain where they got engaged.
So grab your walking boots and trekking poles, as we join the happy couple in Cumbria.
With images from Darren Athersmith.
emily says: We got engaged in January 2014, it was a surprise engagement at the top of Coniston Old Man, Neil had asked my dad the day before, he planned to be at the top for sunrise however the top was covered in a snow blizzard so it was an icy proposal but we soon dropped down out of the blizzard to a lovely January sunrise.
Our wedding was on the 25th July 2015; we chose the date as Neil is a school teacher so we wanted to tie it into his school holidays.
We got married at Coniston Coppermines Mountain Cottages – we chose the venue as we live locally and both love the Lake District. We are at our happiest when up in the hills and knew we didn’t want a traditional church/hotel wedding. We also felt it so fitting that there was a wedding venue at the base of the mountain we go engaged at the top of. We loved the flexibility that the Coppermines offered us, the venue being ours for the whole weekend. We wanted guests to have a mini holiday as well as celebrating our marriage, plus we wanted family and friends travelling from around the country to see the surroundings we love. We had a marquee put up on the side of the cottages by Evans Marquee Hire, the front elevation of the marquee was all windows to make the most of the beautiful views down the valley towards Coniston Water.
We wanted a small intimate ceremony of just our immediate family, then as we were away having some photos taken our guests arrived for afternoon tea, it was great to get back to find everyone had joined us. More friends and family then joined us in the evening for the party.
We didn’t want a themed wedding and wanted the feel of the wedding to be relaxed and to suit the mountainous surroundings so all materials were natural and rustic. It was important to us that as much of the wedding as possible was home made. We didn’t want the wedding to be just about one day; it was a real family effort over the 18 months of our engagement. We did call on friends for help too – my good friend and owner of Dotty Flamingo laser cut the lace design on our wedding stationery and I then put together the cards for invitations and place names.
I didn’t want a colour scheme as such either and so had limited colour palette of white and natural tones. I wanted to use varying materials rather than have a ‘colour theme’ I loved the contrast of using the hessian and lace together teamed with simple flowers and lots of timber.
My fair colouring and red hair means white just washes me out so I found a nude coloured wedding dress online that had the warmth I needed and my mum was able to customise it for me. I chose a tea length dress as I didn’t want to spend the day worrying about my dress trailing on the ground as I knew we would be having photos taken in the mountainous surroundings.
The only splash of colour I had was my bright orange hunter wellies – thankfully the weather was glorious so the wellies weren’t critical. My shoes were from Dune, they were the same nude tone as my dress and had coloured stones on the T-bar. I got the same shoes in flats and heels if I needed to change for the dancing later in the night. I liked the fact that the shoes weren’t traditionally bridal so I could wear them after the wedding.
I made my hair piece myself, I bought a selection of wires and beads from Bojangle Beads in Loughborough and twisted the beads and wire around a thin gold Alice band. My jewellery was all borrowed from my mum, I wore pearl stud earrings, bracelet and pendant. My mum always used to wear the pendant when I was a child, it brings back lovely childhood memories every time I see it so I wanted to wear it on the day.
Neil wore a grey-brown slim fit tweed wool suit from Next.
Our two nieces (18-months-old and 4-years-old) were flower girls and wore sundresses from Marks and Spencer, in a soft mint green with flowery lace overlay and shoes from Next.
Our photographer was locally based Darren Athersmith. As soon as we met Darren we knew he was the photographer for us, not only did we want him to capture our wedding day, it was important to capture the mountain landscape we were in and he has a love of Lakeland landscape photography as well as portraits. We didn’t want any formal posed line up photos, we just wanted him to disappear into the day and capture us, our family and friends enjoying themselves again keeping that relaxed feel to the day. His whole approach is relaxed and puts you immediately at ease.
I wanted all white flowers and grew our own sweet peas that I had in my bouquet, they are my favourite flowers, and I love the scent.
We also grew other flowers to be dotted around the venue; we then topped up the flowers with green foliage from the garden and bought some white stocks, freesia (again for their scent) and sprays of gypsophila.
We made an arbour from silver birch branches that we added to with greenery from the garden, it was great as a natural frame for some of the photos. As an extra special touch, we used my grandad’s old watering can and steel bucket to arrange some flowers in, it was a small touch that meant a lot to me.
We made silver birch candle holders and jam jars covered in hessian and lace as small flower vases for the table centre pieces. Our table names were all mountains we have summited.
As mentioned the wedding was a real family effort and everyone pitched in to help. Mum and I set about making all the bunting that adorned the ceiling of the marquee, it took months and months to make, but was well worth it. The most special flags have lace that my mum took from her own wedding dress for us to use.
My dad made planters from old pallets that we put branches into with fairy lights on, they were a great backdrop during the day behind Neil and I during the afternoon tea and looked lovely when lit up in the evening.
Being outdoorsy we wanted favours that would remind guests of the day longer than just a mouthful of sugared almond so we made seed packets for each guest to take away to (hopefully) plant, grow and enjoy.
Neil’s mum made the three tiers of fruit wedding cake for us and I decorated it myself with lots of advice from friend and local cake maker Bird Bakes from Ulverston. I made the wooden dolly peg cake topper people myself and my 4-year-old niece painted some pegs as ‘the congregation’ that we stuck into the large timber homemade cake stand.
Our catering was by local company Premier Outside Catering of Baycliff, they served champagne and canapés (the canapés were made by Neil’s brother-in-law who is a chef) to family after the ceremony. We then had and afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, pastries and cakes. Later in the evening we had pie and peas.
We didn’t have a bar and asked people to bring their own drinks for the day/evening whilst we provided Pimms on arrival then wine and Prosecco for the afternoon tea and speeches.
To provide entertainment, put together playlists for the ceremony and afternoon tea and hired a speaker/PA system from local company SAP Pro Audio in Kendal. It was so much fun putting together songs we both liked in the months leading up to the wedding and we still listen to the playlists now.
It was really important for us to have live music at the evening part of the wedding as we wanted everyone up and dancing – we even provided a hamper full of flip flops so there was no excuse for sore feet! Local band Ulpha590 played into the night as we danced away.
We loved having our wedding at the Coppermines and thankfully the sun shone all day; we felt the whole place reflected us as a couple perfectly. It was great that we had use of the venue all weekend; we had a barbeque on the Sunday and guests had use of the four hot tubs which overlooked the surrounding hillside.
I couldn’t really say I have a favourite part of the day; all of it, including the run up was great fun. I think because we wanted everything to feel relaxed we didn’t feel under pressure at all.
We went to the Isle of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides for our honeymoon. We used my parent’s campervan to tour for two weeks with our dog. We had an amazing time, the weather was kind to us so we got to explore the many beaches that really are incredible, the sand was so white and sea so clear blue plus it was lovely and quiet.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to get sucked into what you think is expected of you as a bride or groom; it’s your day so do whatever feels right for you. Also take some time, just the two of you, stand back and take in all that’s going on around you as the day will fly by.
October 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
No matter what the weather outside, Joy and Mike’s pretty yellow wedding is guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Keeping things local, Joy and Mike chose to tie the knot in their local church followed by a quaint village hall wedding reception complete with reams of bunting!
Overall the décor and styling choices make for a bright and beautiful big day!
With images by Jemma King Photography.
joy says: We got engaged 26th August 2013 near Bridlington in front of our six-month-old son. We had a day out together that was almost identical to our first date then just before home time Mike popped the question!
We got married 26th April 2014. We wanted to get married ASAP but also wanted a spring wedding. Thinking back I was probably nuts as it was my son’s first birthday and my 30th birthday all in that month! It was a very busy few weeks!
We got married at Skirlaugh church, East Ridings, which is in the village we have lived in for the last five years. We even used the village hall for our reception – so it was a proper local affair!
As we were doing everything ourselves at the venue, we kept the theme pretty rustic with a sense of village hall charm. We had a tea urn in the small room, bunting and pompoms all around but then somethings I wanted to keep pretty traditional, like candelabras – so the theme was quite loose really.
I love the colour yellow so much and had seen yellow and grey wedding before and had admired it. I knew we would use it at our wedding. I had a themed Pinterest board for about two years before we were even engaged!
I bought my dress from Elite in Hull. It was the only thing we didn’t scrimp on! It wasn’t one I wanted to try on but my bridesmaid made me and we both fell in love with it and cried! It came home with me the very same day!
I feel so bad saying this but Mike’s suit was a wool suit from H&M – my dress cost 20 times more than it! The groomsman wore same suit as Mike.
The church and hall were just round the corner from each other so for transport we borrowed our friend’s vintage MG called ‘Gatsby’ for our wedding car and Mike drove it out of the village for our photos in the countryside.
Jemma King (who is a superstar) was our photographer! We had met a few times before as our young boys are born within days of each other. Jemma is so professional but also just so easy to get on with and on a day as important as your wedding day it really made a difference that we were comfortable with her. I would recommend Jemma to anyone, her photos are beautiful snapshots of moments rather than stuffy staged shots.
My bouquet was from Daisy Chain, based in Skirlaugh. I was quite specific in the flowers I wanted and the colours and the florist there did exactly what I wanted.
I did the other flowers myself. As it was April I bought about 30 bunches of daffodils from Tesco! The only issue was timing it just right as they took a few days to open so I practised for a few weeks before making sure I went and bought then on the right day so they would be fully open for the Saturday of the wedding. The bridesmaids carried daffodils too, which I tied with lovely ribbon and pearl topped pins. I also made around 80 Pompoms for the venue and borrowed 100 meters of bunting from a friend. Lots of the decor was begged and borrowed or made!
My amazing friend and bridesmaid Bridie, made our wedding cake for us! Superstar! We had three different tiers: vanilla, chocolate and lemon.
For our wedding breakfast we had a hog roast and then a hot buffet on the evening. We didn’t want a formal sit down dinner. To drink – prosecco of course, my favourite!
We didn’t have a budget for entertainment so instead we had a Spotify playlist collaborated by our guests in the months leading up to the wedding. My friend lent us all the sound equipment. We also had a photo booth, which proved a great hit!
The village hall was fantastic and so we would definitely recommend it to other couples! A huge blank canvas of space but you have to be prepared to work hard to put it together.
My favourite part of the wedding was getting to spend the day with all my favourite people in the world – it was just amazing!
As we have a young son we just went for a few days to the Lake District on honeymoon following the wedding. We got upgraded to an amazing suite and it was bliss!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try and enjoy the day itself! All the planning and work that goes into it, and then it goes in a blink of an eye!
October 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
It might be Monday morning but today we’re sharing with you Jennifer and Robert’s stunning Yorkshire wedding, brimming with so much prettiness, that it’s bound to turn any frown upside-down.
Talented bride Jennifer, assisted by her uber helpful mum, crafted all the gorgeous decorations and the beautiful flower arrangements themselves to create a homemade wedding that is elegant through and through. Huge kudos ladies!
With images by Sarah Beth Photography.
jennifer says: We got engaged on Christmas Day in 2008. We were at home opening our presents and Rob handed me a little present and when I opened it there was my ring and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised and so happy. It was extra special as we were expecting our baby in the January.
Our wedding date was Friday 24 July 2015. We chose this date as we wanted a summer wedding and we had to fit in with the school holidays as Rob is a teacher and our daughter Isabelle is at school. Also we wanted to go on our honeymoon soon after the wedding so this date worked perfectly.
We had our whole wedding at Saltmarshe Hall, near Howden, Yorkshire. Rob goes road biking and he found the hall when he was biking in the area. We went to see the hall soon after and we knew it was just what we were looking for. We chose the venue as the hall itself is beautiful inside and out and the surrounding gardens are lovely and very picturesque.
We did not have a theme as such, I just wanted a homemade feel to everything and something that was simple but classic which made it possible for me and my mum to do all the decorations ourselves for the whole wedding.
The colours I decided on were pinks, greens, nudes and ivories because I wanted to go for natural pastel colours which were summery and went with our homemade theme.
I chose a ball gown style dress by Jasmine which had a heavy laced bodice and a tulle skirt. I had a drop veil with lace around the edges which went perfect with my dress bodice. I got my dress and my veil from The Wedding Collection in Beverley. I always wanted a simple and elegant dress and when I saw my dress in the shop I knew it was ‘the one’.
Vicci my bridesmaid did my make-up and Zoe of Toni & Guy did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair, which all looked beautiful on the day.
Rob wore a dark blue three piece suit from Slaters with a tailored white shirt with a pink and blue striped tie which fitted in with the colour scheme. He also wore brown shoes from Slaters which went well with his suit.
I had four bridesmaids, our daughter Isabelle who was ‘chief’ and three older bridesmaids: Lizzie, Vicci and Jane. Isabelle wore an ivory dress with a ruffled top and tulle skirt. The older bridesmaids wore beautiful nude dresses from Little Mistress at House of Fraser. All of the dresses had high necklines which were similar to mine. I bought each of the girls a pearl bracelet to wear on the day as a thank you grift and they went perfectly with their dresses.
Rob’s best man, Chris, wore a matching dark blue suit and the rest of the groomsmen wore blue suits and brown shoes with matching ties.
Sarah Beth Photography was our photographer. She had already done our pre-wedding pictures which were brilliant so we knew our wedding photos would be the same. Sarah is a very talented photographer who takes natural/relaxed photos which was just what we wanted. We would highly recommend Sarah as she is very friendly, easy to work with and put us at ease.
For mine and Isabelle’s flowers my mum made us a hand tied bouquet of avalanche roses and gypsophila with hessian and ribbon around the stems. For the other bridesmaids she made hand tied bouquets of gypsophila, which also had hessian and ribbon around the stems. My mum ordered the flowers from a local wholesaler and put them together on the morning of the wedding. She practiced the bouquets numerous times before the wedding so she knew exactly what she was doing.
We wanted to use natural petal confetti which we ordered online from Shropshire Petals. We filled cones with petals and put them in a pretty basket for Isabelle to hand out to all the ladies to throw.
For Rob and all the groomsmen I made buttonholes using gypsophila and entwined small pink beads to match the colours we used.
As with everything for the wedding I wanted as much homemade as I could so I went for simple ideas and seasonal flowers and plants which I knew, with help from my mum, we could do ourselves. All the flowers we used were sourced from wholesalers, various garden centres and all the greenery was from my mum’s friend’s garden.
For all the tables we used various sized glass vases, which we personalised by wrapping jute around and tied pretty ribbon bows which we then filled with avalanche and heavenly pink roses and gypsophila. We also put mirrored plates under the lit hurricane vases for the centre pieces and had lots of glass tea light holders around the tables.
To decorate the hall we used potted hydrangeas and geraniums which when put in large unusual metal hanging baskets, wicker baskets and urns, creating large impressive arrangements in keeping with the hall.
The mantel arrangement on the entrance fire place was bunches of different greenery, hydrangeas and roses which we put together to look like a garland and, with the glass hurricane lanterns on either side, made it quite a feature.
My mum made some wicker hearts well before the wedding and to some of them we wired dried hydrangeas and tied jute and ribbon bows on for the staircase. The rest we tied on fresh gypsophila for the chair ends at the ceremony.
As well has making our own arrangements I also made the napkin holders, which I wrapped pieces of hessian and pink ribbon around and tied a luggage tag with the guest’s name on. I made the table plan using a board with jute string attached at both sides and I hung cut-out squares of hessian (name list printed and stuck on) with pegs.
Finally, I decorated a sweet table for everyone to tuck into on the evening. I used a long trestle table and put all the sweets in jars. I put small pink potted flowers on the table and I made the ‘sweets’ banner by cutting out squares of hessian and then using a stencil and white paint to put the letters onto each piece of hessian.
For favours, I filled kraft brown pillow boxes from Hobbycraft with Ferrero Rocher and tied raffia around finished off with a small pink artificial rose. These went down well after the wedding breakfast.
We decided not to go for a traditional wedding cake and instead had a vintage style stand with a Victoria sponge cake on the top tier and cupcakes on the bottom tiers. The cupcakes were vanilla, chocolate and lemon. I wanted it to be simple but pretty so the cake was plainly iced, with ribbon around the bottom and a simple rose on the top. The cupcakes were iced with little flowers/sprinkles on the top. All this was done by Cupcake Carousel who we would definitely recommend as it all tasted delicious.
We used Bon Appetit, located in Broughton, as our caterers who supplied a carvery for our wedding breakfast as we wanted something we enjoyed and loved having at home with our families. We followed this with a trio of desserts, which was lovely so we could all have a little of each. For the evening reception we had a fish and chip van (which was a big hit) and had the cupcakes as the dessert.
For the entertainment on the evening we had a DJ, Andy and Jamie of Ace Disco Party Sounds, as we wanted a room where people could go and have a dance which everyone enjoyed. We used Ace Disco because we have already used them on a previous occasion and they were excellent and again at the wedding they did a brilliant job and the dancefloor was packed all night.
We would highly recommend Saltmarshe Hall to other couples as it is a beautiful place and the grounds, which overlook the River Ouse, are amazing. Kate, who owns the hall, and Katie her wedding coordinator, could not have been more accommodating. We met with Kate and Katie at the hall a number of times before so we could let them know how we wanted our day and they ran through everything with us. On the day they made sure the whole thing ran very smoothly and it went to plan perfectly. We hired the hall for the day and we were able to decorate it just how we wanted. There is also accommodation in the hall and cottages in the grounds for any guests which are wanting to stay over.
The ceremony and the approach to the ceremony were my favourite parts of the day as it was so nice to walk down the stairs and through the hall and see all of our hard work put into place and then to walk down the aisle with my dad, daughter and bridesmaids seeing Rob at the end and all of our close family and friends there to celebrate our special day with us.
On the Sunday after the wedding, we jetted off to Alcudia in Majorca. It was lovely and relaxing and a perfect way to finish off our wedding celebrations. We took our daughter with us so it was also a lovely family holiday.
It was great doing a lot of the wedding ourselves and made it all the more special on the day, but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be make sure you give yourselves plenty of time to find what you need and to practice beforehand to make sure you get it how you want it. It is worth every minute when you see the finished results!
September 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding has lots of lovely inspiration for crafty brides-to-be that are planning to hand make a lot of elements for their big day.
Having decided on a relaxed and pretty rose pink theme, bride Shona worked her magic on everything from the flowers and stationery, to the décor, and the results are nothing short of stunning.
So we’ll leave you to take note..
With images by Sue Pell and video by Top Table Films.
shona says: We got engaged at home in our front room on 10th December 2013, having already argued about the fact we were putting the tree up two days early. Little did I know Lee had more to think about than just putting up the decorations.
One of Lee’s family traditions is to close your eyes and make a wish when the lights of the tree are turned on. I was sat patiently with our Labrador Boulmer, waiting for the big light turn on when Lee told me to keep my eyes closed for a second longer. When I was allowed to open them he was down on one knee with a huge plastic flashing ring in front of me. Lee knows how picky I am so thankfully let me chose my own ring, which I had designed by a good friend of mine at a local jeweller. And in case you are wondering the wish I made (and had made every day up until that point) was that Lee would ask me to marry him!
We got married on 30th March 2015 at the amazing Newton Hall in Northumberland. I had already been to two of their open days with both of our mothers for a look around and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Years before we got engaged Lee had told me that we could only get married if I found a venue that could allow us to have a relaxed wedding, next to the beach or countryside and involving our dog – I actually think I couldn’t have found a better venue. I love the quirky styling and the fact that we could make the day exactly what we wanted.
By the power of Pinterest I had about a million themes/styles in my head to begin with and I did find it difficult to stop pinning and start planning! I knew the day needed to be informal to suit our personalities and I wanted to create many of the decorations myself. So I suppose you can say we had a relaxed homemade theme with lots of pretty details. I decorated lots of jam jars and glass bottles, painted some old books and folded some of them to create beautiful centrepieces. Lee cut me lots of wood slices which were perfect for adding some rustic detailing. We had lots of fairly lights and tea light candles to soften the look.
As the wedding was in March I wanted to look at some lovely pastel spring colours. I ordered some fabric swatches online of colours I liked and literally bought everything and anything that matched them so I could see it in a bigger form. I sat with my bridesmaids and went through greens, blues, corals, pinks until we found a light rose colour we all loved. It is such a romantic colour and suited the time of year perfectly.
As with most brides I had an idea of the type of dress I wanted and then went for the exact opposite! I only tried on about six or seven dresses and ended up finding mine by pure chance when visiting L’Amour Bridal Boutique in South Shields. The staff were really nice and helpful and helped narrow down my search very quickly. My mum began flicking through a Mori Lee catalogue and spotted ‘the one’ – Mori Lee Blu style 5108. By chance the store had it in stock, it was stunning and very figure hugging! We narrowed it down to a final two but when I came away all I could think about was the Mori Lee. In the end I didn’t actually buy it from L’Amour as my uncle picked the dress up in America for me – however the girls in the store were fantastic and I would definitely recommend them.
I had wanted Lee and the boys to wear grey as I thought it would match the rose colour theme well but he argued for navy and I’m very pleased he did too! Lee wore a tailored suit from Marks & Spencer and the boys were in a very similar one from Matalan. All in all I’d say they looked very smart, and it went perfectly with the rose of the bridesmaids.
The girls dresses I actually just picked up from the high street, I went on my own in my lunch hour and spotted them out the corner of my eye. They were exactly what I wanted and suited all the girls really well. I was worried the short length would mean they were a bit chilly so I matched it with a gorgeous grey cashmere pashmina and told them to brave the cold if they could!
Lee and I, along with six of our close friends, spent the night before the wedding at Newton Hall. We went for the last supper at The Joiners Arms and then had some drinks and treats back in our room. It made it so much easier being at the hall on the day! Waking up the morning of the wedding next to Lee was so exciting and much more special than being apart I think.
Lee got dressed at the cottage his family had hired down the road and made his grand entrance to Newton Hall on his beloved Mountain Bike with Boulmer trotting along by his side.
Our photographer was a very dear friend of mine Sue Pell. I actually work with Sue and she had long since retired from wedding photography when I met her. However before we met she photographed my cousin’s wedding six years ago which I was unable to attend. In my place I sent a life sized cardboard cut-out of myself and Sue could not believe it when we worked out the connection. She thought it was a sign and agreed to do our wedding photography as a gift to us! She is amazing, and we had a great connection on the day. I would recommend her to everyone although I’m not sure they would be able to persuade her back out of retirement now!
I knew from the start I wanted a lovely romantic bouquet which wasn’t too formed or structured. I love a challenge so I decided to do my own flowers! I ordered a mixture of Avalanche, Memory Lane and Amnesia roses as the colours matched the theme perfectly, then to add some texture and scent we included Freesia, Gypsophila and some gorgeous Silver Brunia. My auntie has been involved in the flowers for all of our family weddings over the years and was amazing at helping me tie them all up and get them looking just perfect. Because we had ordered the flowers from a wholesaler we had so many left over that the glass jam jars and bottles I had ready for decoration were filled with the same flowers as my bouquet.
I was concerned that favours wouldn’t work well as we didn’t have a table plan, however I did want the guests to have a little memento of the day. I packed up some wildflower seeds and let our guests take a pack from a basked we placed on the bar.
To save some money we decided to make our cake stand a little more special and buy our favourite Costco cakes! This way we got a little bit of variety and weren’t concerned if they didn’t get eaten. Lee cut some wooden discs as cake stands and we decorated the table with fairy lights and wicker hearts.
To continue with our relaxed wedding day theme we invited guests to meet us on the beach on the morning of the wedding. We had a lovely walk with all the dogs and our family and friends and then retreated to The Joiners Arms for a good old pub lunch. As our ceremony was later in the day we simply had a hot food buffet later in the evening once or night time guests had arrived. We decided on a Thai curry with sticky rice and some really good side dishes.
I was set on my chosen entertainment from the start. We booked the band Hip Operation as I had seen them several times before and they never fail to put on a performance. The mixture of music they perform was fantastic and they had everyone up dancing. They really get involved with the guests and even came out to join us on the dance floor a few times.
Five weeks before we got married we attended Lee’s sister’s wedding where she had booked a surprise caricaturist. He was so fantastic that Lee and I decided there and then that we wanted him too. Mike Giblin is such a fantastic artist and really mixed well with our guests.
As per Lee’s wedding day stipulations our Labrador Boulmer had to be by our sides all day and he really did make the day fantastic. Also, I think that so much of the wedding being handmade, from the stationery to the décor, really added to the day and made it so much more personal. It was a labour of love for me and I poured my heart and soul in to everything.
During my decoration research I spent a lot of time watching people’s wedding videos from Newton Hall but one really stuck with me. It was by Top Table Films and I realised we should have a video done. I called Jon and explained our unconventional dog walk and pub lunch and he was really enthusiastic. The final five minute preview video absolutely took my breath away. I love having it to look back on and it is by far the one thing I will recommend to every bride. We also got a full length DVD featuring all the speeches and the full ceremony, which I adore.
We would definitely recommend Newton Hall as it lets you be as unique or as traditional as you want. The styling of the venue means to really don’t have to add a lot to it to make it look special and the team that work there all wonderful. Jane was the manager on duty for the day and her organisation skills were fantastic. We had also specially requested John Parker to be our Master of Ceremony as he spent a lot of time talking to us at an open day and really put my mind at ease about doing things different.
Other than the ceremony I have to say my favourite part was getting ready with the girls. I don’t have any siblings and my best friends are like sisters to me. There was such a buzz in the bridal suite while we were getting ready and I didn’t want it to end. Lee’s speech was also a very special moment. It was really good, he made sure everyone was mentioned and thanked but also told some very special stories about the two of us. It was so sweet and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
To avoid the school holidays we waited a few weeks after the wedding for the main honeymoon and so as a surprise for Lee I booked us a minimoon at Singdean B&B in Keilder. We later went on an all-inclusive honeymoon in Playa Del Carman in Mexico. It was two weeks of pure relaxation and indulgence.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to never settle for something you don’t want. There is always a way around it and if it doesn’t tick the right box for you then don’t do it. Also do not stress over the guest list! Talk to your partner and if you both aren’t completely happy then change it. When it comes down to it the only people that have to be there are you two!
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