March 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
It was a case of there’s no place like home for today’s real wedding couple who decided to tie the knot in the grounds of their own house.
Having not moved into their pad all that long ago, Charlotte and Col pulled out all the stops to ensure the setting was just right for their DIY wedding, from painting garden furniture to building a Lobster Shack (that’s right, read on for details).
It’s a wedding full of love and laughter, as well as gorgeous styling – our favourite variety.
So sit back and enjoy the prettiness…
With images by Ed Godden Wedding Photography.
charlotte says: Col completely surprised me when he proposed on 26th May 2013. He booked a mini break to the Lake District at a gourmet hotel with a lovely spa. He proposed in the grounds as we arrived and when I finally stopped crying I managed to say “yes”.
We set the date for 20th June 2014. We did debate over a few dates and the main thing we were trying to plan for was a lovely sunny day which ultimately I realised was impossible! In the end the weather could not have been better and with the side of the marquee open and my back to the sun at the top table I even ended up with sun cream on! Being close to the summer solstice meant the daylight hours went on and on and as it did drop darker, the sunset across the valley was stunning.
We were lucky enough to have space at our Yorkshire home to have a marquee in the garden and whilst we looked at a couple of venues we both kept coming back to our dream idea of having the wedding at our home. We hadn’t been in the house long and knew that there would be a lot of work in getting everything ready for the big day but we were undeterred and once we’d committed we just had to get everything done. Col finished building and roofing the summerhouse which became the Lobster Shack/bar for the big day. Col and his dad spent a few epic months at weekends building the patio that hosted our drinks reception and I painted everything in sight, from garden furniture to gates. My sister and I wheel barrowed topsoil, planted flowerbeds and in the days before the wedding family were on hand helping to get everything just right. My mum sewed metres and metres of bunting and we all helped to wrap it from trees to hooks and fairy lights in between. We knew we wanted a traditional style marquee and struck lucky when we found Will’s Marquees online. Not very glam but we also used Convenience Hire for the posh portable toilets - their service was great.
Col laughed when I first asked him what theme our wedding would be but eventually I completely converted him to what we decided to call ‘country romance’. The venue and the dress definitely dictated the theme. As we live in the countryside with gorgeous views and with the traditional style marquee and bunting, things were on a definite path to country. As soon as I tried my dress on it felt very pretty and romantic and, well it was a wedding so romance had to feature pretty highly!
The colour theme came from the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses really. I just had my sister as a bridesmaid and Col’s twin nieces as flower girls. I had muted tones in mind initially to go with the country palette but after trying various coloured dresses on I was converted to the bright coral Dessy dress which really suited my sister. I then found lovely peach coloured flower girl dresses from Ted Baker and the men wore tangerine coloured ties. It all blended together well on the day!
I wore an Essence dress that I just loved. It was from Limelight Occasions in Lepton, Huddersfield. Wedding dress shopping was fun but there are so many beautiful dresses I can really see how it can be so hard. I loved my dress as soon as I tried it on mostly because of how it made me feel but even then I didn’t want to make the wrong decision so went back a few days later, tried a good few more on and still got down to the same one. It was a fitted style but with a soft sheer lace layer over the top that gave it a lovely train and the empire line felt very feminine and pretty. My shoes were by Rachel Simpson. Wedding jewellery was really tough! My mum and I had a few last minute dashes to the Trafford Centre but finally found a simple crystal necklace that shimmered in the light.
Col wore a three-piece Ted Baker suit. He felt quite strongly that he didn’t want a morning suit, cravat or anything overly formal but wanted to be smart. His light blue suite had a textured weave and he looked gorgeous on the day. The men’s navy three-piece suits were hired from Limelight and again, were a contrast to the groom.
For our wedding transport we hired a white vintage Rolls Royce Silver Shadow from the Yorkshire Wedding Car Company. They provided a fantastic service even driving to various locations on the way back from the church for photos, which included nearly getting stuck down a country lane!
Ed Godden was our photographer. My mum, sister and I went to a wedding fair in London for a fun day out never imagining that I would actually find anyone for the wedding. My sister honed in on Ed at the wedding fair and his photos and style just stood out to us from the others we’d seen. I kept looking at his website and loved the way that his photos seemed to tell the story of each day and just had to book him. Col and I didn’t have a pre-wedding shoot but did go to meet Ed at his studio and just chatted. It really helped to feel relaxed with him around on the day, he has such a nice approach. He was fantastic and we couldn’t have wished for better photos.
I wanted a very soft, natural free flowing look to my bouquet and quite a large one too! I had trailing foliage of jasmine with eucalyptus, white ranunculas, peonies and gypsophila. I absolutely loved my bouquet and on the day was very reluctant to put it down and wanted it in every photo but thankfully Ed persuaded me to put it down for some shots. Roxanne at Lily Blossom in Marsden did a fantastic job and really understood the overall look that I wanted and delivered it perfectly.
We also used Roxanne at Lily Blossom for the décor flowers. We found the boxes for our centre pieces at an antiques fair and loved the rustic feel. I envisaged each box brimming with flowers and foliage, like little gardens and again, Roxanne delivered it perfectly. The boxes were filled with white bacopa, astilbe, ranunculus, gypsophila, viburnum, dahlia and green foliage. We had three vases on the top table one with my bouquet in and the other two with arrangements of similar flowers as the boxes.
Col is a football fanatic and our table names were football club nicknames, we had some silly favours linked to the table names like party hats for the Hatters and little pots with cacti in for the Potters. We tried to tie the table nicknames to guests who were supporters of those teams which ended up with the top table being the Terriers for Huddersfield Town, but at least there were no football kits!
I had seen lots of naked cakes and loved the style but after much deliberation went for a simple three-tier cake with lace design icing and a few fresh flowers as the topper. We used Cakes by Joanne.
We are both real foodies and the caterers was the toughest decision for us. When we met Lee from the Design House in Halifax though we were really impressed by the standard of food and his relaxed approach. Everything went so smoothly on the day and it is absolutely staggering to believe the delicious food that arrived with them using our kitchen and a couple of gazebos in the back yard.
We had five different canapés during the drinks reception. The starter had all different seafood components from crab bon bons to poached salmon. The main was chicken with risotto and a trio of fruity desserts. We had a simple evening buffet with platters of anti pasti, crusty bread and cheeses which went down very well.
My dad held a wine tasting night for us a few months before the wedding which was great fun, swirling and tasting and making very considered notes on each to help us make our final decisions. We had a Pimms reception with white pinot grigio and a red Bordeaux with the meal and prosecco for the toast.
My grandma sings in a local choir, Almondbury Ladies Choir who we chose to sing at the church. Whilst we were signing the register they sang We’ve Only Just Begun by the Carpenters and then Lovely Day by Bill Withers.
In the evening we were entertained by The Granary House Band. We had seen them at my friend’s wedding and thought they were fantastic so booked them very quickly after that. In the end they did around three or four sessions and provided the music in between so everyone kept dancing. As the evening was winding down they were taking requests from our dancing guests which turned into a random but memorable almost acoustic session of anything from Ghost Busters to Bruce Springstein!
Lobsters were an odd ‘special touch’ to our day. They don’t fit into the country-romance theme but we’ve been a bit lobster mad for a few years now and quirky though it was, we had to incorporate them. The stationery had little lobsters in hanging jars, we had a lobster ‘Mr & Mrs May’ stamp made with the wedding date on which we used for place cards and also as a seal on the envelopes when we sent our thank you cards out. Col’s biggest vision for the wedding was a bar in the garden and as he put hours of blood (literally, there was a trip to A&E) sweat and tears into transforming the summer house into the Lobster Shack – our bar for the day.
It’s incredibly hard to choose a favourite part of the day. You spend so long planning and we worked very hard at home getting everything just how we wanted it to be that really the day just made everything so worth it. The whole day was just perfect, the weather, the church service, the food, the speeches and the party into the night. It sounds cheesy but we couldn’t have wished for anything more and loved every bit of it.
We went to Bali and Singapore for our honeymoon. I remember crying in the airport because I was so sad that the wedding was all over but seemed to have forgotten we were going on honeymoon. We stayed in Ubud and Seminyak in Bali in two amazing hotels and really took the chance to relax and enjoy the start of married life. Singapore was a real contrast to Bali and a chance to do plenty of sightseeing in an amazing city.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is simply – don’t lose sight of your vision for your big day.
February 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
As soon as I saw the stunning images of Lydia and Jamie’s wedding day I knew it was one we just had to share with our readers. The creative couple tied the knot in The Lantern Theatre, a unique wedding venue in Sheffield that I had no idea existed, despite it being in the city in which I live.
This wedding is packed full of inspiration from Lydia’s fabulous bespoke vintage dress to the home-grown flowers, cool favours and gorgeous décor.
So take a seat, as Brides Up North is now showing Lydia and Jamie’s big day.
Images by Weddings by Smith.
lydia says: We got engaged at La Rosa Campsite in Whitby which is a campsite full of beautifully decorated themed caravans. Our caravan was a Catholic kitch theme and somehow we picked a weekend that was quiet which meant we had the whole place to ourselves. Jamie hadn’t planned to ask the big question, but suddenly over lunch one afternoon the timing just felt right. We searched for a ring the following weekend in Nottingham, the city where we first met and I chose a blue antique ring.
We set the date for 17th August 2013. We chose that date because of the weather mainly, and it was around one year after we got engaged.
We had our ceremony at The Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge, Sheffield. It is a small theatre that seats around 84 people with a miniature balcony. It is Sheffield’s oldest surviving theatre, 120 years old, and a Grade II listed building. We loved that it was small and intimate, laid back, yet a bit grand and opulent, and a bit of a hidden secret. It was also extra special because it was a minute’s walk from our house. It reminded me of the film Moulin Rouge, which is by Baz Luhrmann, a film director whose visual style I love. Our party venue was Hagglers Corner, a cafe bar and venue space all set around a lovely courtyard, on the edge of Sheffield city centre.
The theme was kind of inspired by where we got engaged, our venue and all the things we love. It was a little bit of everything, vintage, romantic, Hollywood, rustic and kitsch. We wanted soft and romantic hues of blues, pinks, reds and golds. We chose the overarching colour scheme based on what we both wanted to wear.
I chose a beautiful lady called Joanne Flemming from Brighton to make my dress and took a little mini break there to get fitted. I wanted a vintage wedding dress with a blue underlay and bow. My shoes where Vivienne Westwood Melissa heart shoes and I wore a birdcage veil.
Jamie wore a blue checked suit and red bow tie from Ted Baker.
My grown up bridesmaids wore Karen Millen silk blue dresses, and my flower girl wore a pink dress from Monsoon. We asked the groomsmen to all wear an eclectic mixture of blue tones, and we gave them a red bow tie and I made button holes to tie it all together.
We hired a red vintage bus from a local bus museum to take guests from the ceremony to the party venue. The ceremony was so close my dad took me in his car (which my nan would like to point out she made a special bow for).
Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith did our wedding photography. He was absolutely amazing, we had seen him shoot a wedding before, and I knew that we could not get married without him shooting ours. We gave him some mood boards and he got exactly what we wanted straight away. He also made us feel very comfortable and kept staged photos to a minimum.
I bravely decided to do my own flowers, a mixture of flowers that I planted and grew in my garden, foliage stolen from roadsides in the Peak District and flowers bought the day before from the flower market. I spent the two days before the wedding in my garden cutting flowers, arranging about 100 vases, making bouquets for me and all the bridesmaids and all the button holes for the men. We decorated both venues ourselves (with help from friends and family) the day before with pompoms, bunting, ornaments, homemade table cloths and candles. I carried a bouquet that was made from blue hydrangeas, pink peonies (the Chinese flower of love) and gypsophila.
For our favours we had popcorn boxes which contained fortune cookies, blowing bubbles, a fan and 3D glasses. The fans had quotes from our reading on one side, and timings on the other. Our reading was ‘advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’ which is on the end of the Baz Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet original soundtrack.
Our cakes were by Victoria Made.We had a naked cake with sugar flowers and a cake made from layers of cheese covered in fruits. Our cake topper was made by the wonderful people at Lollipop Workshop which we will treasure forever.
After the ceremony we had ice cream and Pimms. At the party venue we had a healthy vegetarian BBQ by Organic Fusion.
To entertain our guests we hired a magician called Steve Faulkner for the theatre, plus a lady who made balloon animals for the kids. We had an ice cream VW van from Ice-Cream Dub and later at night a DJ. We also had lots of board games and toys and fancy dress bits for the kids.
As a special touch we had a wishing tree at the ceremony. We had guests pass around our rings in a box of ribbons and tags, and write a little wish for us to tie to the tree. I also designed our wedding invites myself via my creative studio, Studio Binky.
Our venue didn’t have wedding license at the time, so we chose a humanist ceremony by Kate Gee.
It was everything we wanted, really personal and full of love. Kate really got to know us over a couple of meetings and wrote a great ceremony, with us writing our own set of vows. I would highly recommend her.We did the legal part a week before in secret at the town hall.
The Lantern Theatre and Hagglers Corner where both really accommodating, they allowed us to decorate the day before and really helped on the day, whilst at the same time leaving us free to enjoy the venue hassle free. I would definitely recommend them both to other couples.
I’d say my favourite part of the day was sitting down on the stage next to Jamie before we said our vows. Time seemed to stand still, I was worried I might be nervous being on a stage, but surprisingly I felt really relaxed. Everyone in the crowd was someone I really cared about and it felt so special, more than just marrying Jamie, it felt like a big life moment and I’d never felt so loved or happy and at ease.
We had a night in our favourite hotel La Rosa in Whitby straight after the wedding (a gift from a friend), we stayed in a swan themed room which was very romantic and went to a folk gig in the basement that night. This was followed by an unfortunate honeymoon from hell camping trip to York which had to be abandoned. We planned to go somewhere tropical a few months later, but it unfortunately didn’t happen which is why I would advise all brides to book a proper honeymoon, you will need it.
In addition, my top tips to other Brides Up North would be to make mood boards, they come in really handy when showing a supplier the look and feel you want. Also, let people help you (especially if planning a DIY wedding). I should have done this more.
Jamie and I are now planning for the next chapter in our life – we are having a baby in June, eek!
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February 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
The winter might still be dragging on but get ready as we’re about to inject your Monday with a fabulous dose of sunshine and happiness.
Olivia and Nathan’s rustic wedding sets the style bar sky high with stunning attire and décor to match.
I adore the pale grey and vibrant yellow colour palette which shines through in the mens’ get up, lovely blooms and the bridesmaids’ cute dresses, designed by the bride herself no less!
So let’s head down to the farm to relive this gorgeous couple’s big day.
With images by Maryanne Scott Photography.
olivia says: We got engaged early April 2013. Nath picked me up from work as a surprise on a Friday afternoon and took me to Chester for the weekend. On the Saturday we went for a picnic on a river bank which he had prepared, he remembered everything, the blanket, basket and champagne! After eating lunch he proposed. It was absolutely freezing but very romantic.
We chose to tie the knot on August 9th 2014. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and we were restricted to school holidays, if we wanted a honeymoon, as Nath is a teacher.
We got married at All Saints RC Church in Hassop, where we had a Catholic ceremony with full mass, followed by a reception at Brosterfield Farm in Foolow. Having grown up in Sheffield I was always being brought out to the Peak District at the weekend for walks. It is such a beautiful part of the world and I wanted a beautiful setting for the wedding.
I very much wanted a rustic, DIY wedding and knew I wanted a field and marquee. The marquee allowed us to have enough space for 120 day guests and around 185 in the evening. This is what Brosterfield provided, a long open space for the marquee with beautiful scenery, enough space for us and our immediate families to stay and an excellent service. It was perfect!
The theme was DIY/rustic/handmade, which is very much the theme at home, so it was easy for me to adapt this to the wedding. There wasn’t a colour scheme as such. I decided I wanted grey dresses for the bridesmaids – I wanted something neutral and knew I didn’t want the pale pink ‘pretty’ look. Nath wanted a grey suit so we went for grey for the lads too. Nath saw a yellow tie he really liked, he wanted a bit of colour to stand out and it really suited his colouring. So we decided to use the yellow in my bouquet and his button hole too to make us stand out and tie us together.
My dress was a Blue by Enzoani Dakota fish tailed lace dress. It was the perfect shape for my figure as I have a very small frame at the top but hips and a bum so it showed everything off. As it was a Catholic ceremony I wanted to have my shoulders covered. I had a small top made with ¾ sleeves in the same lace as the dress with matching buttons down the back. I then took this off for the evening reception. I also had a long veil with very small diamantes on it. I bought my dress from Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield. Emily and her staff were superb throughout the process.
I bought a vintage belt before I bought my dress, which I spotted at a vintage fair. I wanted to change my outfit a little for the evening so it was the perfect addition for the reception. I also wore a handmade forehead band in the evening made by Debbie Carlisle. She was incredible and replaced all the diamantes with pearls to match my jewellery and shoes. My shoes were pearl coated five-inch heels which I bought from Etsy from a Yorkshire-based seller called Project Elegance.
Nath wore a three-piece grey suit from Reiss. He bought a white shirt from the Saville Row Company with a white collar bar and had this personalised with McG on the cuffs (our surname is McGuinness). The knitted tie was from Ted Baker and we managed to find a matching pocket hankie in Reiss and socks in Urban Outfitters. I bought Nath a pair of silver cufflinks with a pearl detail which I had designed at the jewellers and had given to him the morning of the wedding. These were engraved with McG on one and the wedding date on the other.
I had the bridesmaids dresses made as I had designed the dresses and there was nothing similar on the high street or online. They were a grey sweetheart neckline with mesh top, a tutu bottom and a big bow on the back. They had pearl buttons down the back. The girls wore Kurt Geiger silver/grey heels and pearly flowered headbands. The younger bridesmaid and flower girl had very similar style dresses but made in ivory. They had fresh flowers in their hair.
The ushers and best men had three-piece suits from Next and the dads had very similar ones from M&S. They had grey ties made by the lady who made the girls’ dresses. They all had a different pocket square made from vintage scarves which I collected from vintage fairs and shops in the grey theme too. We also had two page boys; Charlie wore a mini version of the groomsmen’s suit from Next with a bow tie and braces with converse. George wore shorts with braces from Etsy with a bow tie.
I went to the church in a vintage VW Beetle called Jenny and the bridesmaids in a vintage VW Campervan called Harry. They were hired from Vintage Volksweddings. Nath and I then had the Beetle to the farm and we had lots of lovely photos with it at the end of the drive whilst our guests arrived. Richard from the company was absolutely superb – I would recommend him to anyone.
The photographer was Maryanne Scott and she was brilliant. Maryanne did a trial shoot with us before we booked her – we were both a bit nervous about being in front of the camera but she put us at ease straight away. We also had an engagement shoot before the wedding. On the day we couldn’t have asked any more of her. Maryanne was at my Mom’s house where I was getting ready early on, she took some fab getting ready shots and then set off into the countryside to get photos of all the lads and then the guests arriving. She takes natural, beautiful photographs, capturing the details of the day and special moments without you even knowing she is there. What an amazing photographer and a lovely person, she really was a joy to have photograph our big day!
I knew I didn’t want the standard pretty flowers for our wedding day. We used a lady called Catherine at Petalis in Sheffield. From our first visit Cat understood my vision. We had vintage tins as centre pieces and dotted around the marquee which Cat filled with beautiful flowers with pops of colour as well as using milk churns and watering cans with bright, wacky summer flowers as displays. Cat decorated the church with beautiful, more subtle flowers. She also created stunning button holes and bouquets using natural textures and grey foliage to fit our theme. Cat managed to deliver very high quality flowers to fit the rustic vision and colours, delivering to multiple venues. I was so pleased with them all!
The men were given vintage football programmes as their favours. As a massive Sheffield Wednesday fan and Nathan being a massive Manchester United fan we decided to purchase a programme from the 60s-80s depending on the person’s age for either SWFC or MUFC versus the team that person supported. The women meanwhile were all given vintage brooches which I had collected from charity shops, antique shops and car boot sales before the wedding. The children were all given a personalised colouring pack and crayons which I ordered off eBay. I also made 80 jars of strawberry jam as extra favours with special labels. I’ve had so many people asking me to make more jam since!
We had a three-tier cake made by Lindy Lou Cakes with a Victoria sponge tier, fruit tier and lemon drizzle tier. It was decorated very simply with ivory icing and pearl details all over with an icing bow. I then made the cake toppers to add some more colour. We also had chocolate cupcakes to match.
We hired The Butlers Pantry in Mickleover to do the food and they were absolutely fantastic! First we had prosecco and canapés, including mini Yorkshire puddings with beef, and cheese and sundried tomato tartlets. We then had sharing platters as our starter so there was something for everyone. For main we had Chicken filled with brie and basil wrapped with Serrano ham in a mushroom and tarragon sauce and then Eton Mess for pudding. We had a pizza van for our evening catering by Fabio’s Wood Fired Pizza Oven. They arrived and set up without disturbing us in the slightest and created a variety of amazing pizzas to suit everyone’s tastes!
For entertainment we had a band called ‘up4thedownstroke’ who came up all the way from Birmingham. They were just incredible and everyone commented on how amazing they were – not a typical wedding band but a professional set up with soul, RnB and some more generic songs to please everyone. Our friend Cookie DJ’d between the band’s sets and afterwards. We also provided games both inside and outside the marquee for the few children who were at the wedding and they went down really well too.
The special touches on the day were just all the little things I made, from bunting on each chair to the crocheted doily table runners. I also made signs to go around the venue, did photo displays and a ‘rules of the dance floor’ sign too.
Other suppliers from our wedding that I would recommend include Julie at Stephen Bywater Hair, who did mine, the bridesmaids’ and my Mom’s hair. Posh Frocks and Wellies marquee company were also very good. They provided the marquee, the hardwood flooring, the tables and chairs, linen and the toilets. I’d also highly recommend Brosterfield Farm if you are looking for somewhere to make your wedding your own. It gave us the freedom to use all different suppliers and contacts and make the day perfect for us.
I genuinely enjoyed every single minute of our wedding. I thoroughly enjoyed our vows – it was really important to us both to have a catholic ceremony and it was really special. I also loved our first dance where we had a slide show of photographs of us in the background and followed this with a dance with my Dad. The speeches were also brilliant, though I think it was just really special to have all our friends and family together.
We went to Bali on our honeymoon which was wonderful. We spent the first ten nights in Nusa Dua – a more touristy resort and the last two in the most amazing boutique hotel in the jungle in Ubud.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be make it your day, don’t let anyone put you off any of your ideas. This is your day, the most special day of your life, and it has to be perfect for you both. Incorporate details of both of you into the day and make memories to last a lifetime!
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January 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime
Jancis and Casey’s choice of wedding venue was all about the memories – a special place that they could share with their friends and family on their special day and for years to come.
It’s one of our favourite venues here at Brides Up North HQ too and you can join us for our beautiful wedding exhibition here in April, but for now, let’s celebrate Jancis and Casey’s ‘catch of the day’.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
jancis says: Just after we met Casey promised that he would one day take me to Rome. Three years later we still hadn’t made it so while we were planning what to do for our anniversary I decided to have a look at flights. I never thought they would be reasonably priced but it worked out less than we could have spent on petrol if we had stayed in the UK. I floated the idea to Casey and with one thought of pizza and Peroni he was sold! We booked the tickets and off we went to a destination I had only dreamed of!
After three days seeing the amazing sights and eating fabulous food it was our third anniversary. We spent the day doing all the things we had wanted to do. We went to Castel Sant’angelo in the morning which had the most spectacular views of the Vatican City. Then walked down to watch the Pope hold his service and went up to St Peters Basillica. Casey had thought about proposing at the top but after the 320 steps and around 100 other people squeezed up there he decided against it.
After spending most of the day on our feet we decided to go back to the hotel room for a rest and to get ready for a lovely meal to celebrate our anniversary. We got all dressed up in our best clothes and Casey asked me to open a bottle of prosecco. We toasted three years together and Casey sat me down on the edge of the bed and started talking about how thankful he was and how much he had enjoyed the past three years. Before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. I didn’t need to think about it the words just spilled out: “Of course I will!”
We were married on 25th May 2014. We chose this date as it was a bank holiday Sunday and we were asking our guests to travel from far and wide across the UK and the world to celebrate with us. We knew this would mean most of them wouldn’t need to take too much time off work, if any at all, or like us, they would be able to make the celebration into a week long holiday.
We were married at The Alnwick Garden, It is one of our favourite places to visit. Casey first took me there on a spur of the moment weekend away. I has been having a really hard time at work and got home one Friday night to him looking up b&b’s in Northumberland, a place I’d never been. He whisked me away to Warkworth, a village we have both now fallen in love with, for the weekend and decided to make the trip the gardens for the day. We both love that it is a charity, run by donations from other people who love to visit and enjoy the flowers and of course the fountain.
We wanted a venue where we felt like we were contributing to the local community and somewhere in the future we will be able to take our children and relive our special day.
We had been to a wedding in America the year before where the bride and groom had their first look before the ceremony. The photos were very personal and it meant that they got to spend their cocktail hour with their guests. Casey and I decided to do the same. Around 3 miles from our venue is a beach where we have spent a lot of time. We decided to head down there before the ceremony and have a first look moment. We took our wedding party to the beach and one of the bridesmaids cleared the area for us. A group of people started forming so it wasn’t the most intimate moment however it felt special and we will always have the memories of that moment.
The style we went for came from the venue we chose. The Garden is full of bright colours and earthy tones so we chose green, white and brown for our wedding colours inspired by the plants, the water and the hessian sacks the compost came in. Then when I found my dress I knew we had to include lace in the wedding and it added that much needed feminine touch to our plans.
We brought the garden inside with our centre pieces which we made ourselves, in fact almost all of the decorations were made by us. The table squares were hand cut and the lace added by Casey, the centre piece boxes were made by Casey, painted by me and planted together (the flowers from each box are now planted in gardens around the UK!), the bunting was homemade, the signs were homemade and even the favours too!
Less than a month after we were engaged I spotted a dress in Debenhams and decided to try it on just for fun. As soon as I put it on I felt beautiful and graceful (something I’m usually not!) and with the manageable price tag I bought it there and then. When I returned home I excitedly called my mum, unfortunately she was fairly disappointed she hadn’t been there so insisted she take me shopping with my bridesmaids so I could have the wedding dress shopping experience every mother dreams of having with her daughter. I agreed but told her I wouldn’t find one I liked as much.
On the day it felt like I tried on every dress in the shop so the lady who was helping me asked for three words to describe what I was looking for, “elegant, fishtail and lacy” I replied. The lady wouldn’t let me look in the mirror as she dressed me so when I walked out of the dressing room I hadn’t seen what I looked like. All of my bridesmaids were speechless and my mum burst into tears. A pretty good reaction when you don’t know what you’re wearing!
Unfortunately the dress was strapless and I didn’t like that feature so for the next half hour the shop assistants brought me lace, ribbon and readymade straps to try on with it. None felt right so I came away with just the dress and a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that even though it was the one, it wasn’t. It took me another 12 months to find the right material to make straps but I loved them when I did.
I carried a gypsophila and hydrangea bouquet tied with brown string and green ribbon which matched my bridesmaids’ dresses. They were supplied by Simply Flowers of Alnwick.
My bridesmaids wore a long, strapless green chiffon dress which was bought over the internet from a specialist bridesmaid dress designer.
I knew the most important part of the wedding, apart from getting married of course, for me was the photographer. I am an amateur photographer myself and have photographed a few friends weddings so I knew that I wanted the best of the best to photograph my wedding. I first saw Lissa’s work at a wedding fair in Leeds and fell in love immediately and knew I had to have this person as my photographer. When Lissa came back to the stand she was so lovely and helpful we booked her there and then. Other than getting married in the first place it was the best decision we made!
She was fabulous in the run up to, on the day and afterwards. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. My guests really enjoyed her company, she made everyone feel at ease and she captured moments that most people didn’t even notice happened. We couldn’t have asked for a better service!
We spent the afternoon before the wedding with a select few of our guests dressing the venue so it was exactly how we wanted it to be. All the effort was worth it, we love how it turned out and the small touches are what our family and friends still talk about!
My brother has set up his own upcycling business and made our ceremony décor, the bulbs with flowers in where his own creation and beautiful they looked too!
We gave out mini shot bottles filled with flavoured vodka. Casey and I met while working at Revolution Bar in Lancaster. Casey was the assistant manager there and I was working on the bar so it felt appropriate to incorporate that into our wedding somehow. We bought the vodka from the actual vodka factory where Revolution make the different flavours of vodka that they sell in their bars and decanted it into smaller bottles. It went down a storm with most of the guests although some found the flavours a little strong for them!
We chose a four layer cake: chocolate, lemon and raspberry, red velvet and fruit cake. All of which are our favourite flavours – we couldn’t choose between them. Our cake was made as a gift by Casey’s cousin Leanne. She is a professional cake maker and brought it all the way from Reading for us! She decorated it in a new style she hadn’t tried before for us so but I think you’ll agree she did an excellent job!
We had been to a wedding a few years ago where they had a live band, after having a brilliant time we decided this was the way forward for us. We spent hours on the internet listening to previews of different bands and finally found a band that made us want to dance.
The Shakedown Band North East made our wedding incredibly special. They kept the dance floor full for the whole evening and we have had numerous people come to us asking for their contact details. We would highly recommend them for a great night of dancing!
Our bridesmaids and a few friends decided to surprise us with a flashmob! They recorded a video and sent it to various family members and friends. On the night they sat us down and on came the three bridesmaids singing the first lines to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” gradually other people joined in and eventually the whole dance floor was filled with our nearest and dearest singing to us.
It was brilliant and the first moment I actually took stock of what the whole day meant to us. All we had wanted was to have the people we loved around us as we made a commitment to each other. Only when we saw how much effort they had gone through for us did we truly realise what they all meant to us.
The venue was stunning- in the day time you felt like you were part of the garden and in the evening with the venue and fountain lit up it felt like being transported into a fairy tale.
We enjoyed all the parts of the garden from the ornamental garden with its huge cast iron gates to the meadow of purple flowers and the castle turrets which make up the garden walls. Each area adds a different feature to the photographs we had taken and allowed our guests to take some time away from the festivities to explore.
My favourite part of the day was hammering the nails into our “Love letter Box”. A box filled with a bottle of wine we bought the day we were engaged and a love letter from each of us. We plan to only open the box if we get to the point of no return or on our 35th wedding anniversary.
Casey says his favourite part of the day was seeing me for the first time on the beach. He said it was a relief that I’d turned up and the first moment he felt calm all day.
We went to Disney World in Florida for the first week of our honeymoon. We like to have fun so decided to “do Disney” one last time. The second week we spent at my aunt’s house in Clearwater, Florida relaxing – if you can call it that! We hired a car, played golf, went sightseeing up and down the coast, and ate out far too many times. The third week we went to the Kennedy Space Centre and Universal Studios.
We had a lot of fun but felt like we needed another holiday afterwards!
Our top tip for other Brides Up North is to take ten minutes together during the evening reception to have a walk through the garden and have a drink together. One of our friends found me and told me to go and find Casey to do this – it was a brilliant tip and I would recommend this to anyone who is getting married. You are pulled in so many directions all day on your wedding day that spending a small amount of time with your husband to reflect on the day is invaluable.
December 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Just how adorable is today’s beautiful bride? Jennifer and Andrew’s pretty wedding in the Lakes is full of wide smiles, cute touches and some rather chic styling.
With images by Jenny Winstone Photography.
jennifer says: Andrew proposed to me on a Tuesday evening, 19th March 2013. I’d just got home after a post-work gym session and the house was covered in candles. Andrew had music playing, my favourite meal on the table and wine… then he got down on one knee. It was all incredibly romantic and a complete surprise.
We chose 30th August 2014 for the wedding day. We wanted a summer wedding.
We got married in our home town of Barrow-in-Furness. The ceremony took place in Andrew’s family church St Marys at 3.30pm. We wanted a late wedding to give the day a more relaxed feel. Rather than a traditional sit down meal we opted for a party vibe for the wedding reception that took place at The Crofters.
Our wedding had a rustic vintage style. I spent hours looking on Pinterest for wedding ideas and I loved all the vintage decorations. After a wedding planning meeting with my mum she was off collecting all sorts of trinkets and vintage items.
The colours we used were ivory, lace, champagne and blush. I fell in love with the bridesmaid dresses and worked from there in regards to colour scheme.
I wore a simple but elegant Charlie Brear gown from The White Closet, Didsbury. This was the first dress I tried on and I loved it, but I thought I had to try on a million other dresses just to make sure it was ‘the one’. I should have trusted my instinct because I went back for the first dress I tried on and I’m so glad I did. My shoes were by Freya Rose – Mio.
Andrew wore a suit from Mister Mister, Barrow in Furness.
The bridesmaids and two flower girls wore dresses which were concessions via the BHS website.
I picked a hand tie bouquet with a very loose garden feel to it, made up of blush colours, roses, alstromeria, veronica peonies and gysophila to tie in with my bridesmaid dresses. The design was tied with vintage lace from Posh Flowers, Barrow in Furness.
For our photography we chose the talented Jenny Winstone, I would highly recommend her. She captured the moments beautifully. Jenny made me feel relaxed throughout the day, all my bridesmaids and family loved her too. Jenny built such a good rapport straight away.
My mum and sister helped massively with decoration for the wedding reception. We used a mixture of professionally arranged flowers, flowers from a friend’s garden and some foraged wild flowers and greenery – we really wanted to give a rustic vintage feel. My sister made the bridesmaids bouquets using gyposphilia. My mum covered the walls with old family wedding photographs. Many friends and family members were roped in to help with paper pom-poms and bunting. We wanted to do as much ourselves as possible.
We had a wedding cake made by Andrew’s sister and we had professional decorative cupcakes, in keeping with the vintage theme on the tables supplied by Christene Dacre.
We had vintage sweets for the guests to take home. Guests were also given ice cream tokens for the ice cream cart we had hired.
My friend Amy sang our first song, while her husband Jay played the guitar.
My husband is in a band so we hired a small marquee in the garden and his band played. It was great to see all of our family and friends dancing together, having fun. It was a last minute addition to the wedding, and stressful finding a marquee, but it was totally worth it in the end.
My dad also got on stage with the bridesmaids to sing us a special song, which was hilarious!
For me the favourite part of the day was the morning, the build up and excitement. I was surrounded by all of my best friends and I was so excited to walk down the aisle and see Andrew. It was the happiest day of my life.
For our honeymoon we spent 4 weeks in America. We flew in to San Francisco, hired a car to drive to Los Angeles, carried on to Las Vegas and ended the honeymoon by flying to New York. It was amazing. We really took full advantage of our newlywed status and got spoilt rotten. The whole trip was like a dream.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t fret about anything, none of it matters on the day.
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