July 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to Monday, Brides Up North! I’m here to make it all the prettier with this cute and stylish celebration sent to me by real bride Hayley, her new husband Matt and their photographer, Cassandra Lane.
Crafty designer Hayley worked hard to add unique decorative touches to their 1920s inspired Village Hall wedding day, with fabulous results.
Hayley says: We got engaged a little after midnight New Year 2012-2013 in our own home in Nantwich. We had had a nice quiet new year in together and Matt shocked me by saying he had a late Christmas, early birthday present for me. He disappeared upstairs and came back with a box, got down on one knee and proposed! He had bought a cheap costume jewellery ring as he couldn’t choose a real one for me. We picked my real ring together on my 30th birthday (one to remember!) on 3rd January in York where we were visiting for my birthday. It was the best birthday ever!
We got married on April 5th 2014 as it was just a few days over three years since we moved into our first place together. We also didn’t want a very long engagement and actually fifteen months was the perfect time to enjoy being engaged and get organised.
We got married in the local church in town (Nantwich, Cheshire) which is beautiful, and our reception was at a local nearby village hall (Wrenbury Village Hall). We weren’t keen on the very formal, grand hotel reception family wedding affairs we had been to in the last few years and wanted somewhere we could decorate ourselves, do our own thing.
Our theme was handmade, vintage 1920’s art deco style, and lavender. The main colours were lavender purple and vintage gold. The colours just came with the theme really but I love purple and the gold fitted the vintage theme.
We hired a cream Morris Minor (Matt is obsessed!) from Mirabelle Classic Cars.
My bridesmaids travelled in a vintage Rover from the 1930s which belongs to a friend of Matts. He drove it for us as our wedding present.
My dress was Sincerity Bridal 3730. I did a bit of research online before going to any boutiques and fell in love almost instantly! When I tried it on at Brides of Liverpool in Liverpool (my home city) I knew it was the one. No other dress I tried on subsequently lived up to it so the deposit was paid!
I love the dress because it’s quite vintage looking with a modern twist. Very classic looking. It made me feel really elegant. I knew I wanted lace, and the neckline was perfect because I didn’t want bare shoulders. The train was gorgeous and the dress also fitted in perfect with my idea for a 1920s style headband.
I chose gold glittery heels from Kurt Geiger. My flapper style headband was handmade by mum using a 1930s vintage brooch which was a gift from Matt.
My younger sister Charlotte was my matron of honour. She wore a knee length handmade silk dress made by my mum in a lavender colour. My two flower girls (our nieces Phoebe and Eve) wore handmade pale gold silk dresses made by myself and mum. They carried handmade Suffolk puff pomanders.
Matt wore a Prince Edward suit in dark brown from Formally Yours online. He had a pale gold waistcoat and cravat. My dad, his dad and his two brothers (best men) all wore the same. The style of his suit really complemented the vintage style of my dress.
Matt and all the men also wore buttonholes which I made to complement my bouquet.
I made my own bouquet using cream silk, artificial flowers, and vintage brooches (which I sourced on eBay and charity shops/car boot sales). My sisters bouquet was very similar with one key brooch in the centre. I’m a designer, and therefore very creative so was obsessed with doing a lot for my wedding myself. I also wanted to keep my bouquet so a keepsake bouquet was perfect.
Cassandra Lane was our photographer, she was amazing. She made us feel comfortable every time we met (our initial meeting and engagement shoot). On the day she was chilled out, friendly and very well organised. We all squeezed into my tiny terraced house! I fell in love with Cass’s vintage relaxed style from her blog and website when searching for a wedding photographer. I just knew she was what we were after. I’d definitely recommend Cass!
July 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A whole lot of heart and soul went into the planning of Aimee and Graham’s wedding day, with the bride to be firmly at the head of operations. Known for her girly ways and pretty styling efforts, this Brides Up North reader certainly wasn’t going to disappoint on the biggest day of her life.
The result? A personal and pretty celebration with lots of delectable DIY details. If you like really pretty things, you’re going to be very inspired. Pinterest fingers at the ready.
With images by Weddings By Luke
Aimee says: We got engaged in London at Christmas time. We were at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which I had been so excited to visit as I absolutely love all things Christmassy! We were at the ice rink which looked so pretty all lit up with fairy lights at night when Graham pulled out the most perfect ring and proposed to me! Afterwards we headed straight to Harvey Nichols champagne bar for a glass of celebratory bubbles.
Our wedding was on 26th April 2014. There was no real special reason behind the particular date other than when we visited Beeston Manor for the first time we absolutely fell in love with it and they were fast running out of Saturday availability! We always wanted a spring wedding so the last Saturday they had left until later in the year was perfect for us. We got in pencilled in there and then.
We got married at All Saints Church on Hesketh Bank. It meant such a lot to us both to get married there as we both grew up visiting that church, all our family weddings and christenings happen there so I really couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else. Ever since I was a little girl imagining my wedding, I always dreamt of it being there. It was so lovely that Reverend Bill knew us and our family to make the service personal and really special. To top it off, it’s a gorgeous little church too!
The theme for our wedding was a vintage style English country garden look with a slight rustic twist, but I am a girly girl so it was kept very pretty with lots of lace everywhere. We chose this style as it is very “me” and really reflected my personality and of the style of our home. Graham always says that it is my job to make everything pretty so he was more than happy to go along with it and helped out with picking everything.
Our wedding colours were ivory, blush pink and mint. We chose these as we felt ivory and pink colours always make for a pretty and classic wedding, I am a bit obsessed with mint at the moment so adding that in just added some extra interest.
I wore an A-line tulle skirted dress from Blue by Enzoani which I bought from Emma Hartley Bridal in Colne. It featured lace appliqués and beading detail on the skirt and the bodice was a ruche waist with lace overlaid with beaded flowers. I tried on 67 dresses trying to find “the one” but I loved this dress as it was so pretty and romantic, with so much beautiful detail, I felt like a princess when I tried it on.
I knew I wanted a full skirted dress but also wanted a covered top so we had it customised with a tulle top with lace appliqués which matched the skirt to create an illusion neckline and V shape back.
In my hair I wore the Autumn headband from Liberty in Love with tulle and silk flowers and beads. I had a two tier waterfall veil with tiny diamantes to catch the light, again from Emma Hartley Bridal.
Our bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Coast with petal detail on the bust, they were perfect for the romantic and floral look we were going for and looked beautiful on the girls. We were very fortunate about the fit of the dresses as mid way through planning after we had bought the dresses, two of my bridesmaids found out they were pregnant and luckily the dresses were a perfect shape for a growing baby bump, they looked lovely on the day! We had two flower girls who wore dresses very similar to the bridesmaids but in white and had little cardigans featuring the same petal detail to tie everything together.
The groomsmen wore matching suits to Graham and our page boy had a mini version with a tailcoat, waistcoat and bow tie and which we paired with Converse which looked adorable
Michelle Sisson did my makeup and my bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, she did a fantastic job and we all felt amazing after she had worked her magic, she was so lovely to have around on the wedding morning and made sure we look perfect before we left for church. My friend Emma Shaw Hair did my bridal hair and was again fantastic at achieving a gorgeous do which was exactly as I wanted.
Graham wore a grey three piece slim fit suit, with a blush pink tie and hankie. It is not really his style to wear a full tail coat suit so this was perfect, it created a relaxed but smart look which really suited him and I think he looked really handsome. We hired the suits from Winstanleys at Oswaldtwistle.
My mum and I travelled to church in a vintage Bentley in cream and the bridesmaids followed in a matching Daimler then n the way to the reception me and Graham were in the Bentley and the flower girls had a turn in the “posh car” which they loved! We hired the cars from a local company called Classic Wedding Cars and Jimmy the driver had us laughing the whole journey which helped with nerves!
I carried an amazing white and pink bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas which are my absolute favourite flowers. They were so gorgeous and fluffy; I didn’t want to put them down all day! They were hand tied with matching ribbon and lace, I pinned my best friend’s Grandma’s heart shape brooch onto them as my something old and borrowed. Our flowers were all from Libbi at Flowers by Strawberry Fields and she did such an amazing job, they were better than I ever imagined. As soon as I met Libbi it was clear we had very similar taste and we knew we could completely trust her to make everything super beautiful.
June 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 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.
I loved every moment of putting together Vicky & Paul’s Real Wedding feature back in February this year. You see, the bride and I go way back, as I used to go out with her lovely brother Neil at University. Although it didn’t work out for us (and Neil is now happily married himself to a gorgeous lady!) I’m glad to say that we still keep in touch, and that it did work out ever so well for Neil’s little sister Vicky and one of our Uni mates, Paul.
Knowing Vicky, I knew her wedding celebration was going to be big, colourful and offbeat… and couldn’t wait to see her submission. I was exactly right: Vicky and Paul’s wedding was a fabulous day full of feeling, personality, beauty and fun.
Bravo Mrs Hough!
With images by Andy Gaines.
Vicky says: Paul and I first met when I went to visit my brother Neil at University in 2003. We got together four years later in early 2007 after meeting up again and Paul plucked up the courage to ask my brother if he could go out with me!
Paul and I aren’t a very traditional couple and I suppose it follows that our engagement wasn’t either. One evening out of the blue and in the run up to our five year anniversary, Paul asked me to go online and pick out what my ideal engagement ring would look like. The task itself was easy as like many other girlfriends, I’d been looking at rings for months but this was the first time he’d ever uttered the ‘E’ word and I was beside myself with excitement. The fact, however, that it was a vintage ring not available to buy immediately online was something Paul was not prepared for. His solution was to take me to London to spend a day trying on diamond rings… it was tough, but I accepted the challenge! By a stroke of luck the exact ring I’d seen online was still there and after purchasing I was one happy bunny. However we still weren’t actually engaged yet so back it went into the box.
About a week later, we were getting ready to go out and I was running spectacularly late. Running downstairs with fluffy hair and makeup half on, I noticed that our song was playing, and as I turned the corner into the lounge, Paul was there on one knee. Paul has never been one for grand romantic gestures, and you know what, getting engaged in our little house, listening to our song, with just the two of us, was perfect
Our wedding day was the day of the deluge – 6th September 2013. After decorating the hall in temperatures pushing 30 degrees on the Thursday, my heart sunk when I woke to a total downpour and grey skies on our wedding day. However, once the day got into full flow, the rain added a comedy element (watching people running under the cover of umbrellas), a dramatic element (fabulously moody skies in our photos) and ultimately created a fantastic cosy, party atmosphere for the meal and evening dancing. Plus as my friend texted me ‘Better that 2 beautiful people get married in the rain, than 2 mingers get married in the sun’ – brilliant!
We chose to say “I do” at a beautifully refurbished old barn at East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire.
I’m a country lass, growing up in the wilds of Norfolk and I desperately wanted to get married in somewhere I felt had that element of the countryside. Now finding a barn in Norfolk would have pretty easy but our hearts were set on getting wed in the county we had met and begun our lives together. Despite its proximity to the Dales, there are few barns to choose from in reach of Leeds, so we weren’t sure what we’d find at East Riddlesden Hall. Our first trip there was a gloriously sunny day and the place combined a sense of rural beauty and aged grandeur. Emma, who is the wedding planner was so helpful and relaxed, taking on board all our ideas and answering our questions. It is pretty fair to say that we were smitten as soon as we entered the barn. Even undecorated, the place looks stunning; with exposed beams, flagstone floors and whitewashed walls dotted with tiny windows. As a keen crafty-type, the thought of such a beautiful blank canvas to work on was a dream come true. The venue is also run by the National Trust and the thought that we were investing in the future of such a beautiful place was the icing on the cake.
It must be said that the staff at ERH are brilliant and they have put so much work into making this a fantastic wedding venue. Particular thanks go to Emma and Sam who were on hand to chauffeur people and perform emergency cake decorating duties. The in-house bar run by ERH served a great selection of drinks, including locally brewed beers, much to my husband’s delight. Having such dedicated staff all working tirelessly, made a huge difference to the day.
I began by actively rebelling against having a theme as I am, by nature, unable to decide on any one thing (except for a husband of course). Our wedding motto was ‘good music, good food and good times’. I knew I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy (I always think that allowing things to be a little rough round the edges means you can be a bit more flexible!). Plus as we decided to get married in a beautiful old barn, anything too polished would have looked out of place. We just wanted ourselves and our guests to feel relaxed, included and have an awesome time.
As time went on and my Pinterest account bulged with pictures that had caught my eye, I realised that bright colours and handmade details kept appearing in my selections. I decided that whilst I wouldn’t outlaw any particular colours, I would focus on blues, purples, white and add touches of gold (if only to force me in making decisions on decorations). I have always been obsessed by peacock feathers so they played a big role in tying decorations together too.
The glamorous and very lovely Anna Stephenson was a joy to have doing my hair and makeup. We spent the entire trial run chatting and laughing and the final look was exactly as I wanted. Anna and Lucy turned up early and were so flexible with how we wanted to organise the morning, it put me at ease and I absolutely loved the whole getting ready part of the day. Despite a lot of dancing and a bit of limboing, both hair and makeup stayed put the entire day.
The dress! Such a big decision! And one I made in a single day! I spent hours, nay days, looking at dresses – shapes, lengths, decorations, straps – the choice is bewildering and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. Facing this uncertainty, I decided to leave my first wedding dress shop until my mum could accompany me. Now one of my mum’s best qualities is that she wears her heart on her sleeve. After 14 dresses, none of them were meeting with much excitement. That is until I tried on an ivory crinkle chiffon, one strap, corset dress with sweetheart neckline at Confetti and Lace in Stanningley. After looking in the mirror and deciding I really quite liked this one, I looked up at Mum who had tears rolling down her face. Either I looked bloody awful and she was in despair, or it was ‘the one’. Luckily after a few moments I established it was the latter and I bought it on the spot. The women at Confetti and Lace were fantastic and helped me alter the dress by removing all crystal detailing and the strap, so the individualist in me is quite proud to say my dress is a one off.
With such a clean cut dress, the detailing in my outfit came from a fascinator I made with blue, purple and white flowers decorated with pearls. My shoes were bright blue vintage style sling backs from Rocket Dog. For my jewellery, I decided to wear a gold chain with my grandmothers’ wedding rings hung on it, so I could feel like they were part of the day. As a wedding gift, Mum also gave me a gold heart locket that had belonged to my grandmother who had worn it almost every day. I felt a strange mix of sadness and pride, and the fact the Mum was giving it to me was very, very, special indeed.
Paul wore a gorgeous bright blue fitted 3-piece suit from Reiss with brown brogues from Hudson. I may be biased but I thought he looked pretty damn handsome.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and glamorous so opted for navy blue 1940s style dresses from Phase Eight. I then bought them some amazing chunky necklaces from Ashley at TheEnchantedOwl on Etsy, sent all the way from Georgia, USA. The bright purple looped in the colours from the decorations and the girls all looked beautiful!
The groomsmen all wore grey 3-piece suits hired from Slaters. They were accessorised with purple ties, Hawaiian-print pocket squares and my homemade peacock feather buttonholes tied with navy blue ribbon.
I carried a beautiful mix of flowers by the ever so lovely Lynne of Stems Design. Deep pink Celoxia, bright blue Nigella, light pink astilbe, Blue Veronica, Scabious, Blue Wax, Cornflower, various grasses, tiny succulents and of course, peacock feathers. Lynne was a joy to work with, so enthusiastic and full of ideas – the final result was stunning.
I was originally planning on going down in a taxi with my bridesmaids but my Dad took an uncharacteristic step in intervening. He said that he would arrange my transport but refused to reveal what it would be. I had nightmarish visions of going side-saddle on a horse or riding pillion on a quadbike. As it turns out, my Dad and Brother, Neil (who was also our best man) had spent the previous night decorating Neil’s car with white ribbons, stashing a bottle of champagne in the back seat and recording an eclectic pre-wedding message and playlist. Little did I imagine that the last song I would hear before I entered the world of marriage would be Gangnam Style!
It was a very special time to have with Dad, who drove us. He was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and I am fiercely proud of how he dealt with it with humour and love, having a precious few minutes talking and laughing with just the two of us was very important to me.
Wedding readings were really hard to decide on – we wanted to strike a balance between celebratory, real and emotional but absolutely not smush. After much searching we opted for the lyrics from Noah and the Whale’s ‘Give a Little Love’ and an extract from ‘The Game’. There were many chins a quiver by the end – it really was a memorable moment.
Special thanks must go to Geoff, our fantastic registrar from Keighley Council. He completely put us at ease, conducted the ceremony with heart and humour.
Paul and I are super foodies, not in the foams and micro-herb type of way but in the yummy, fill-you-up type of way. With this in mind, the food at our wedding was pretty important and the fine fayre served up by the people at GFS Catering was exceptionally good. Goat’s cheese tarts for starters, Lamb shanks and mash for mains and chocolate profiteroles for pudding were all delicious crowd-pleasers. An evening buffet of sausage baps and halloumi pittas served to mop up some of the great selection of drinks also served up by GFS with the help of the brilliant Martinez Wines in Ilkley. Special thanks to Alex from GFS who was such a great help on the day, finding alternatives to unknown food allergies and making sure each course flowed into the next seamlessly.
Cake wasn’t high on our priorities so we used up some vouchers and opted for three layers of M&S loveliness. I then decorated with homemade flower crown and mini glitter bunting. All in all a pretty little cake which cost us less than £10! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend loads on the cake, because by the time it came to try it, it had all gone!
Andy Gaines, our photographer, was the very first wedding-related enquiry I made, even before we had a date or a venue. His photographs are stunning. They have this gritty yet ethereal quality that I find fascinating. Plus Andy himself is a blooming lovely chap – so welcoming, unobtrusive and damn talented. Andy worked like a ninja-trooper on our wedding day, capturing shots whilst keeping out of the way and staying from morning ‘til way past everyone’s bedtimes in order to capture our day. Everyone has commented on how awesome the pictures are, with even my normally-bored-silly-by-photos Dad confessing and I quote, ‘Fantastic photos – absolutely brill. Can’t wait to see the rest!’. Andy’s gone from strength to strength in the two years we’ve known him and it’s not hard to see why.
We employed the fantastic talents of Rachel from Simply Vintage to help us decorate the huge space. Rachel strung a plethora of fairy lights, colourful pom poms with peacock feathers and white lace bunting across the beams. I then decided to make a lot of the decorations myself, including props for the tables, peacock name places and adding little splashes of our personalities across the barn, including photographs of my grandparents on their wedding days. I think however, the biggest and most complex decoration was our sequin LOVE sign. This beast was lovingly crafted out of gold sprayed MDF letters and sequins individually nailed on. It took a hell of a lot of work but looked pretty darn good strung up on the barn beams and glistening in the fairy lights.
Without a doubt the speeches was my favourite part of the day. 2013 was a tough year having had both my Dad and Paul’s Mum diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months of each other. Dad’s speech was emotional – not only because of what we were going through at the time but because it reaffirmed just how much I owe to my fantastic family. He laughed about my unrivalled ability to be untidy, spoke about the time I drew a picture of him stark naked much to the disapproval of my nursery teachers (but to the hilarity of my parents!) and how he was so proud of me despite having no idea what my job title actually means.
Paul’s speech talked of how he did the unthinkable and asked out his best friend’s sister, how darn well it had all worked out and even how despite his hatred of clichés, he thought we were made for each other!
Then it was the turn of my older brother Neil to give the best man’s speech. I wondered if he might take this opportunity for the ultimate teasing of his little sister but I needn’t have worried as he mostly concentrated on his best friend and long-time drinking partner, my husband! Superbly written and with touches of comic brilliance, it was the ultimate tribute to Paul and I being both deeply personal and evoking fantastic memories. I will always be thankful to him for the effort he put into the speech. Oh and not to forget our wedding present – a canvas featuring our Back to Future drinking game– rather nattily named by myself as ‘Flux Incapacitated’ – I thank you!
Music is big in our house, so we always knew it would feature a lot in the wedding. We employed the gorgeous sounds of the Northern String Quartet for the ceremony, playing a mixture of old and new for the waiting guests. I walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ which was just gorgeous. During the signing were the sublime ‘One Day like this’, God only knows’, and ‘All you need is Love’. Then I entered the world as Mrs Hough to sounds of ‘Hoppipolla’ which was such an uplifting way to end the ceremony.
For the evening, we had the brilliant City Lights who blew our socks off with a great mix of modern tunes and some classic floor fillers, kicking off the set with a stonking rendition of ‘Got my mind set on you’ by George Harrison.
The evening celebrations were added to by some unorthodox entertainment in the form of glow sticks. What was an off the cuff purchase reminiscent of my raving days, became the biggest success of the day. Never did I think I’d witness friends of my parents fighting over who would get the glow bunny ears! The glow stick limbo was a total stroke of genius and made for some memorable photos!
We decided to delay our honeymoon both because we had no money left and the weather in Thailand is much better at this time of the year. So in but a few weeks time, we’ll be heading off to Thai cities and shorelines.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to decide where you want to focus your efforts and your money – for us it was the look and feel of the venue, excellent food and awesome music. Wedding preparation is hard so don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do too much. I absolutely adored being engaged and putting my heart and soul into planning our wedding day and I’m so glad we had the time to enjoy it all.
Congratulations Vicky & Paul!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014
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March 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s over to Cheshire today as we join Brides Up North reader Katie and her new husband Thomas to celebrate their Real Wedding day in lovely, laid back style. Katie and Thomas chose a relaxed, fresh and homespun feel with touches of mint, pink and coral for their simple and pretty celebration.
Not just a crafty bride, textile designer Katie is also the designer behind the beautiful bridal accessories and jewellery range at Eliza Vale (named after her great-grandmother). If you like her style, check out her brand new look book here or visit her website. You are welcome!
Images by Julie Cummins Photography.
Katie says: Thomas asked me to marry him in May 2012 on the lake in Central Park, New York where we had met 10 years previously.
We were married on 31st May 2013 at Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire. We just loved the laid back vibe of the place, the stunning setting and the ease and professionalism of the owner and caterers that we met at the first viewing. We looked around several further venues but had already fallen for Sandhole. Also it meant we could have the ceremony and reception in one place, as well as having 19 rooms and lots of hotels close by.
We wanted a relaxed country wedding with a handmade feel. I planned on making lots of the decorations and not wasting money on things you really wouldn’t notice on the day. The venue needed very little doing to it and it was the beauty of the oak barn and lake setting that gave us the atmosphere we wanted.
We opted for a colour scheme of mint green, pale pink and coral.
I chose an Edwardian style warm cream silk gown with beautiful embroidered lace polka dot silk tulle overlay and silk sash belt from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company. I had seen it in London with my mum and sister but luckily found it in a sample sale half price in Ireland so I was delighted. It was the perfect size and totally undamaged so I really felt it was meant to be!
I had seen my Rachel Simpson shoes on a few blogs and was lucky enough to also pick these up in a sample sale in Ireland.
I wore very simple jewellery as the dress itself was quite detailed. I bought very small pearl studs and my mum lent me a stunning Edwardian necklace that was left to her by her grandmother. I made a simple veil and attached a little of the same lace used in my dress to the top which I embellished.
I made an embellished lace headband for the evening.
We designed individual dresses for each bridesmaid, bought mint green silk crepe and chiffon and I dyed some beaded lace to match for the cap sleeves.
I made hairpieces for the three bridesmaids based on what they liked and matched in with the style of their dresses. They wore their own nude shoes.
I made the flower girl dresses from some cotton broiderie anglaise that I dyed a slightly peachy tone. I bought silk organza and satin to make corsage headbands that matched in with my dress.
The groomsmen wore their own suits. We bought new white shirts and mint green ties and handkerchiefs to match in with the bridesmaids. We also got Tom and the best man Paul vintage gold cufflinks from the 1940’s. I got Tom a tie pin that I had engraved and gave to him the night before the wedding.
I made a headpiece for my mum using some of the lace from my own dress and little netting. She wanted something unfussy but still wanted to look like mother of the bride.
As the whole day was in one place we thought it a waste to get fancy cars. My Dad drove me on my own and played me Bob Dylan’s Forever Young on the way which relaxed me (a bit!)
I printed some family pictures onto fabric and put in embroidery hoops, along with a few embroideries just for a bit of decoration.
A friend of mine, David from Darktown Jubilee played guitar and his friend played the piano as we signed register and walked back up aisle and also whilst reception drinks were served.
February 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This wedding differs from a lot of the submissions we usually receive here at Brides Up North – because this time its the groom in the driving seat. In fact, he loved the whole process so much that he’s considering a career in the wedding industry. Watch this space.
Rob writes: Out of the two of us, I have loads of artistic flare, and Michelle really isn’t fussed on anything creative! When it came to organizing the wedding, Michelle really hadn’t a clue where to start, and so basically left it up to me. Not to say she wasn’t interested – we made a deal – she would concentrate on the dress and I would sort the venue! We did all main bits together but the actual decorating of the venue was all down to me. She was banned until the big day!
I loved every minute of the build up. I knew what I wanted and made most of the stuff myself. In fact I enjoyed it that much I am hoping to start up in the industry this year.
I think the man’s a natural. So, let’s hear all about his vision… over to you Rob.
Images by Helen Hates Peas Photography.
Rob says: I asked Michelle to marry me at home on Christmas day in 2010 next to the Christmas tree. I hid the ring box at the back of the tree. After we had finished getting ready to go to her parents’ house, I said I had forgotten one last gift. When she opened her eyes I was on one knee!
We were married on 18th August 2013 at Trafford Hall, Mickle Traford, Chester. We wanted somewhere pretty and not overbearing that none of our friends or family had been to before. Somewhere all our guests could stay, somewhere we could have free reign over suppliers and not be dictated to by the venue’s preferred suppliers, and above all, somewhere reasonably priced. We loved the old Georgian house and that the venue is run by a charity who promotes eco values. The guests’ rooms were outdoor stables with wild flower turf roofs which were a brilliant talking point as guests arrived and went into their little hideaways. They try and source most of their food locally and try and grow all the veg onsite.
Our theme was country floral. I have had a passion for flowers since a young boy and eventually studied garden design at Uni. I had an idea of the way I wanted the venue to look, and it involved lots of flowers and greenery. The venue and location were perfect for a country fayre style wedding, which I think is what we achieved.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme, just lots of floral prints. It could have gone horribly wrong, but it worked superbly!
Michelle wore a crystal and sash White One Bridal sweetheart ball gown from the 2012 collection which she bought from Boda Bridal in Chester. Hannah (bridesmaid) made Michelle’s veil as a personal gift. Her shoes were diamanté flip flops from Oasis.
I wanted to stand out from the best men and ushers, so chose a two piece 0suit from Zara in French Navy. I had a bespoke lilac tweed waistcoat made for me by Crichton of Chester. They also made my shirt and sewed in a contrasting floral pattern to the cuffs and collar for when I took my tie off at night. I wore a silk floral hydrangea tie that I bought from G Room in Hoole, Chester.
We both have a favourite jeweller in Chester called Chique based in St Michael’s Precinct. Michelle’s engagement ring is from there as our wedding rings. As a surprise, I met with Adam, the owner, and selected a pair of pearl earrings for Michelle to wear on the day. I asked Hannah to give them to her on the wedding morning. Little did I know that Michelle had also gone in and spoke to Adam and selected a pair of pearl cufflinks as a surprise for me! Without even knowing we had matching earrings and cufflinks!
Michelle carried a mixture of garden flowers including dahlias, anthirrinun, scabious, everlasting sweet peas, daiseys, astrantia, cornflower, amongst others. I didn’t want to be an understated groom, so my button hole was equally as flamboyant. I had the same flowers as Michelle, but with the addition of a sprig of thalictrum – a delicate purple flower.
Michelle walked down the isle to Etta James ‘At last’ and we both walked out to Jackie Wilson ‘I get the Sweetest Feeling’.
December 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
Laura and Mark’s Real Wedding, with images by Paul Santos Photography is utterly adorable. Almost entirely handcrafted and painstakingly personal, this beautiful celebration in Newcastle is something really special. The whole lot may have taken Laura months to make, but her efforts and the end result was entirely worth it. Brides Up North, be very, very inspired!
Laura says: We got engaged in Cardiff, after going to see an opera at the (Mark’s then current place of work) Wales Millennium Centre. We were going away on our first holiday in ten years the next day. He asked just as we were going to bed. I think I asked the poor man if he was ‘taking the mick’.
We got married on 11 August 2013 at As You Like It, Jesmond. I would whole-heartedly recommend them. They were so supportive of our needs and… wow….the gravy on the roast dinner… crazy-good.
The venue was welcoming from the outset and was quirky and informal in a good way. We wanted something a bit different looks-wise, and the staff were so lovely which just sealed the deal for us.
Our theme was really just ‘stuff we liked’ but the vague themes were animals (we put pictures of dogs in the tops of the envelopes) and named our tables after cats. Our cake toppers were two cats decoupaged with the words to our first dance. We also had a few buttons here and there too. The theme for the tables were ‘charity shop chic’, a sort of visual amuse bouche.
Our colour scheme was a palette of blues. The bridesmaids were navy and ice blue and the bouquets a mixture of blue, silver and gold.
My dress was highly beaded and decorated in lace. It had a medium-length train and had a keyhole back. II sewed my veil from a very rough cheap version I got online and added detail to its three metre long length. I made the jewellery (and the bridesmaids, too) from beads (mainly Swarovski crystal) purchased from the Crystals and Ice bead shop in Cardiff.
My bridesmaids and I were pampered on the day by LA Makeovers based at Langley Moor but who came to us on the day. They worked wonders and were willing to work with brides like me who don’t really ever wear much make up and who aren’t good with being faffed with. We looked amazing and they were lovely.
I had three bridesmaids, as well as three bridesmen. I have grown up with these men and I wanted them to be a part of our day. They escorted the three bridesmaids. The men wore suits from Slaters in grey with blue neck wear (Mark wore cream). My sister had a wrap around dark navy/ midnight blue bridesmaid dress from BHS and my other bridesmaids had ice blue halter dresses from eBay. I matched the colour of Kate’s dress by giving them a sash. The pageboy (our nephew) wore a teeny suit (taken in by my mum) from John Lewis in navy.
I loved it all but If I had to pick a favourite part of the day it would be the ceremony. I was worried I would bawl through it (we’ve been together nearly 12 years and also my dad had been very ill and we were not sure if he would even been there). We decided we wanted singing in our ceremony (like you would in a church) and chose ‘Bring me Sunshine’ and ‘When I’m 64’. These went down really well – even if Mark’s Best Man and one of my Bridesmen had to carry some of the songs (thanks, guys!). I wanted both my parents to walk me down the aisle, which was good as I was at the point of nearly fainting at that point (some of the guest photos of me are hilarious). I loved looking at Mark saying my vows, loved singing and loved our readings (‘The Places We will Go’ by Dr Zeuss and ‘I like this way that this is going’ by The Eels). I loved walking back down with my husband and having our guest chuck all that handmade confetti at us.
We were (and are) eternally grateful for our photographer Paul Santos Photography. His friendliness and amazing photographs will stay with us forever.
Special touches were the things which took the time. I was determined to be on-budget (and I was!) which meant saving money by DIY-ing. Despite it being my first year of teaching, we decided to make most ourselves.
I wanted everyone to have a mini buttonhole for the day, so I made those to be the same as my bouquets. I also wanted (well, truth be told I get bored, see cool stuff on the internet and decide to make it) confetti as AYLI allow it inside the venue. I made (with the help from one of my friends who was over for a conference) mini confetti cones with vintage sheet music from a charity shop in Rochester and then used a 2.5cm heart-shaped stamp cutter to stamp out hearts from a vintage Alice in Wonderland book (again a charity shop in Rochester). I topped these up with lavender that my sister chose for her wedding but didn’t end up using. I loved the link between our weddings.
The thing which went down the best was the hand-stamped vintage silver-plated name place cutlery which I roped my mum and dad into helping with (OK! doing) on their holiday to Kent. Mark designed and made personalised Wrestling dolls for each bridesman and usher. Oh, and he also designed the favour boxes which were caricatures of us.
I’m not good with real flowers and didn’t like the cost of fresh ones so decided years ago (waaaaay before I was engaged) that I would make ones from buttons. It was my ‘old, new etc.’ and I got friends and family to donate, bought a few button collections off the internet and used ones I had. I’d just finished my PGCE and did not yet have my NQT job so had 8 weeks of unemployment ahead of me. I used this time to make my flowers by stacking buttons on wire and wiring the stems together. I made smaller ones for my bridesmaids and matching button holes for the men. I complimented the button stems with handmade paper roses (mainly because the bouquets would be too heavy with only buttons). My nephew, the pageboy, carried a boy-wand which was a felt and button long-stemmed flower which matched the rest of the buttony things.
We had a lovely tiny vintage post box for our cards on the day from The Finishing Touch Company. They delivered it and picked it up with absolutely no fuss for us.
We have rather diverse taste in music and didn’t want our evening to be at the wrath of a DJ who would play current chart music which would not make us want to dance. Mark made the play list on his Mac (we had previously, years again before we were engaged, made a play list of our favourite songs). We spent ages making sure they would all run nicely together, using how-to’s on the internet. We also (for larks, and because of the Wrestling dolls we gave for pressies) decided to have our eating play-list be wrestling intros. We made a pact to buy a drink to the first two people who noticed this. I suppose, then, wrestling was also a mini theme.
Marks favourite part of the day was the very last song at the end, because we didn’t have to worry about anyone else at that point (2am on a Monday morning) and we danced freely with a few other people. The dancing, and the music and the evening party was a favourite part of both of our days.
For our honeymoon we went to Brussels on the Eurostar from London. We are not particularly laze on the beach people and so went to loads of museums, art galleries and places of interest. There are some amazing museums there and our hotel was really central.
If you’d have asked me a week before the wedding I would have said ‘DON’T, whatever you do, do any DIY’. At that point, I was sick. I had been crafting for nigh-on 14 months (and had spent over 100 hours on Mark’s wedding present of a crochet scrabble board in addition to all the other wedding crafts). A month on, however, I would not be quite so negative about the craftery. This is what made our wedding in my eyes. I dread to think how much time I spent making stuff, but so many people were so amazingly complimentary that it was worth it in the end. I made all the jewellery, we made all our gifts, I glitterified the bridesmaids shoes, I made two veils, we designed and made all the envelopes, invites (which were fortune tellers/ cootie catchers), the favour boxes…the list is endless. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is to simply go with your hearts. Try not to be swayed with what is fashionable (I didn’t want to be fashionable but ended up making lots of ‘in’ choices, but went with them as I wanted them). AND, most importantly, trust in yourself. I saved thousands on pounds by making things and just KNOW you can too.
Congratulations Laura & Mark!
This is not a sponsored post
December 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Did you catch our discussion post on wedding favours yesterday afternoon? After this afternoon’s feature, I think a few more of you might be “in favour”…
If you came along to one of the blog’s fabulous Brides Up North Wedding Exhibitions this year, you will have found some very gorgeous little branded treats in your VIP goody bag, courtesy of our Featured Supplier Wedding In A Teacup. We do hope that you liked them! (If you missed our Brides Up North Wedding Exhibition season in 2013 – how could you?! – or simply fancy doing it all over again, click here for details of our calendar in 2014… and to get your hands on one of those goody bags).
Wedding In A Teacup is based down South, but ships their pretty packages (and they are pretty, let me tell you) all over the UK, so whether you live in Leeds or East Lothian, they have it covered. You’ll be dying to get into their online store and see their treasures for yourselves (especially with an exclusive 10% discount for Brides Up North readers when you enter the code UPNORTH10 at checkout!), so let’s meet the lady behind it all…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Wedding In A Teacup got started?
Hi, my name is Hester; I live in Brighton and run Wedding in a Teacup from an office near the Pavilion. A little over two years ago I was in my spare bedroom, surrounded by boxes of wedding goodies, staring at the computer screen and biting my nails over whether my tiny company was ready to ‘go live’ yet…
Nine months before that, I’d been working in the fashion industry; I felt I had a good grounding in what was needed to run a small company; I dreamt of going it alone. But what could I do that hadn’t been done to death? Then the man in my life suddenly proposed, and when I got over the shock, I set about planning our nuptials! We’d agreed to get married that same summer so I had to move fast. I got addicted to wedding blogs showcasing real–life brides who’d created their big day with originality and flair, but when I searched myself for the products to re-create some of these ideas I was met with not much more than the usual plastic, white, diamantes and organza…
That’s when the lucky penny dropped! Surely there were other brides-to-be like me, slogging round vast on-line warehouses, desperate to find the kinds of quirky, stylish, original goodies I was hunting for. I took the risk, and started Wedding in a Teacup. So far it’s paid off wonderfully. The only downside is that my husband will insist on taking the credit for the original idea…
Tell us about Wedding In a Teacup, your mantra and what you are all about?
One of my main aims was to create a great place to visit online – one that will inspire and excite brides to be. We take lots of care with our blogs, blurb and photos – we want to give inspiring, helpful, honest service that way. I would never stock something I didn’t like, just because I thought it might sell. And I’m a lot of a perfectionist. For example, I’ve searched for ‘wedding party’ mugs for ages and I’ve only just found the ones that are ‘right’!
I put a lot of emphasis on ethics and sustainability, buying recycled and made in the UK when I can. We also love the idea that our goodies aren’t throwaway; it’s great to keep using the tea-light holders that glittered at your wedding feast, or to transform a noticeboard into a seating plan board, and then take it home afterwards, steeped in memories of your special day.
What sort of products are available to buy in your online shop?
We reckon we stock just about everything apart from the cake, the ring, and the dress! We have a vibrant Stationery section, with unusual and original invitations. Favours are big for us – we think the divine is in the detail, and that those little finishing touches are all-important. Brides love the personalised touch, and many of our favours carry the couples’ names and dates. We’re thrilled that we’ve made the final for the Wedding Ideas Awards 2014 in the category of Best Special Touches!
Our Gifts section is eclectic; some hand made for us, or specifically for the customer, some bought in; and we search out unusual and fabulous decorations everywhere we can.
But maybe what sets us most apart is our strong “Get Creative’ section, where the creative, handy bride can find everything she needs to fashion her day, her way – and get support from us in how to do it.
Tell us a little about your favourite products…
Favours? I’m going to choose the personalised badges here, because they really punch above their weight! As place settings, then ice breakers, and then lovely take home favours, they’re original and fun. Whenever we make a batch of badges, we goo over “nanna’ and “emily and bump’ and giggle over the ruder ones – you can really picture how a wedding is going to be, from the list of names you get sent.
Stationery? I’ll shamelessly flag up our two new invitations here. I’m delighted to add a fourth member to our unique charm invitations – this one with a lucky horseshoe charm. And in complete contrast, our stylish blackboard invitation, complete with lover’s arrow.
Décor? We’re currently gunning for paper – it’s light, bright, economical and ethical too! From candle bags that spell out the couple’s names to bold tassel garlands, from cute little owls to retro chains and bunting, we’re covered in paper …..
Gifts? We’re very happy that our jewellery section keeps growing. We search out lovely sterling silver necklaces and then design a classy and exclusive card to present them on; for the bridesmaids, the flower girl, or just that someone special, all presented in a lovely brown kraft gift box.
Get Creative? It was a big thrill when we realised how versatile the old-fashioned doily was, and found the perfect NY supplier of some very stylish ones in white and metallic! Plus we’re keen on ribbon and are currently adding four fab new designs– seascape, magic keys, music notes and real bees – to this section.
What is your bestselling product?
It is hard to pin down one bestseller as things seem to go in waves! All of our personalised favours (seed packets, stickers, jam jars and badges) do very well, and our lovebirds stationery design is a firm favourite.
We love your “Inspire Me” section – tell us how that works?
Thank you! Themes began to emerge with the products we were choosing and creating – seaside, love birds, travel and so on – so we grouped these together under suitable headings. Not at all ‘matchy’, just a place where brides can browse and get ideas for how a light-hearted, themed effect might be created and see all of these products presented together. It’s also where we showcase our growing classy hen do collection!
Tell us a little about your blog and what Brides can find there?
We really love doing the blog, and wish we had time to do it more often! It’s really what our site is all about – collating ideas and inspirational images that suggest ways to use and present our products. One of my favourites are the mood boards – it must be my fashion background! I always create a mood board before designing a new invitation – it inspires me and spurs me on. Increasingly, brides are kindly sending us photos of their day which is such a thrill, and I love blogging these too. We also give recipes and creative DIY ideas, we’ve written about the history of the horseshoe in weddings, and we’ve shared our passion for bees! Basically, we hope our blogs give ideas, share information, and are fun to read!
What stationery and décor trends have been popular in 2013 and what trends do you see emerging in 2014 and beyond?
I’m not a huge believer in following trends on your wedding day – it’s your day so it should reflect you as a couple, not what is trendy at the time! Having said that, there are always new things that come through and take off simply because they are gorgeous and a great idea. I think tassel garlands will overtake bunting in 2014, and that the handmade vibe will still be going strong; because the personal touch will never go out of fashion!
Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?
Yes! We can offer 10% off for your readers – simply enter the code UPNORTH10 at checkout.
What can Brides Up North expect when they use your site and service?
They can expect to be inspired and delighted, to browse with ease and pleasure, and then to order with confidence. Any questions they have, they can expect a fast and helpful response. Then they can expect a beautifully wrapped parcel of goodies to land on their doorstep!
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?
November 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today’s stunning Real Wedding proves that a celebration jam packed with handmade touches and DIY details needn’t look amateur. Kirsty and Tom managed to pull of a gorgeously elegant big day whilst still retaining that personal touch. Be inspired, as we join them for their elegant wedding day in the Lake District.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
Kirsty says: Tom and I got engaged on 28th October 2011 in New York City and were married on 13th April 2013 at Our Lady of the Wayside, Grasmere with an evening reception at Merewood Country House, Windermere.
We loved our venue from the moment we walked in. We always wanted a country house, with lots of character, where family and friends could stay for the weekend. The Merewood was perfect. Our wedding had a vintage theme inspired by the character of the the property, and a colour scheme of dusky lilac and ivory.
The bridesmaids wore long dusky lilac dresses with a pearl detail necklace and our groomsmen wore traditional black suits accessorised with a grey tweed tie and pocket square.
We genuinely enjoyed every second of our wedding day. If I had to pick one moment it would be walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time surrounded by all our family and friends.
Our photographer was the amazing Lissa Alexandra who captured every moment perfectly.
I carried a large bouquet of cream roses tied with lace and the bridesmaids had smaller versions. Tom, the best man and ushers wore a single cream rose to keep it simplistic. At the venue, we had vintage birdcages filled with a lilac, cream and sage flower arrangement.
All our flowers were by Julie Sharrock.
We travelled in a white Rolls Royce Wraith to fit with the vintage theme.
We had a string trio playing in the church and then our evening wedding singer was Phil Fryer of Just To Be Frank who is a Frank Sinatra tribute followed by DJ Ken Harper.
Tom and I love to be creative and really enjoyed making all the personalised touches for our wedding.
We had framed photographs of both of our parents on their wedding day, with a thank you poem on display in the hotel reception. We also had two frames with a personalised ‘He’ and ‘she’ description for each other and a vintage typewriter for people to write us well wishes and words of advice for the guest book.
We bought a polaroid camera and made a vintage pin board for people to capture their own moments which we now have hung up in our hallway.
We handmade tea cup candles for every table (which was a lovely touch when they were lit in the evening) and hand painted table frame numbers and made all the stationery ourselves including our menu and order of service.
We handmade chocolate moustache and lips with a personalised tag for the wedding favours which our nephews handed round to everyone following the wedding breakfast. This created lots of laughs.
Our wedding cake was a three tier classic Victoria sponge cake decorated with real cream rose flowers.This was made at Patisserie Viennoise of Otley, West Yorkshire.
After the wedding we jetted off to Rome on honeymoon.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding personal to the both of you, and enjoy every second of it.
Congratulations Kirsty & Tom!
This is not a sponsored post
November 13th, 2013 | Julia Braime
If you’re going to theme a wedding, you may as well do it properly. Or at least that was today’s newlyweds’ motto (that and “Be Prepared” of course) when planning their entirely Scout and Guide themed wedding.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this fun and fabulous day with you. Campfires at the ready, it’s Claire & Andrew’s big day…
Images by Alex Knight Photography
Claire says: We got engaged on 12th August 2012 at Whitby Abbey. I had just been on a JEKA adventure with my Guide & Ranger groups to Adelboden in Switzerland via Disneyland Paris on the way back. I was very tired and hadn’t showered in 2 days! I had managed to change my pants and brush my teeth though – small things to make a long coach journey bearable!
Andrew had been clearing out the Scout stores and I had to suffer a variety of vintage gas lamps in the kitchen. Upon collecting me he declared that he found a Scout campsite willing to have said lamps; "It’s a bit of a drive but you can tell me about your trip in the car." I was too exhausted to argue.
It turned out the "bit of a drive" was Scarborough; a likely story. I had an inkling that Andrew might propose but didn’t think he would be so cruel. Meanwhile I kept looking at the road signs wistfully that said Whitby – my favourite place in the entire world. I had a nap; woke up to tell Andrew off for nearly ploughing into the back of a tractor; fell asleep again and eventually woke up in a car park.
"This doesn’t look like a Scout campsite."
"Do you not know where you are?"
"Look out of the window to your right."
"*Sees Whitby Abbey* oh… OH!"
I guess what the game is; immediately feel sick, think I’m about to ramble and ruin everything and promptly clam up. Andrew and I go for an ice cream and a walk around the Abbey.
Andrew gets on one knee and pops the question. I squeak and nod. Andrew then gets extra Brownie points by reading a love letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn (one of my idols). He was going to memorise it but it was too hard! .
We wanted something historical and a little bit different to a modern hotel. We were never going to get married in church so we needed to widen the search. We loved Temple Newsham in Leeds but it was very booked up and the amount of chasing we had to do with marquee people started to get a bit silly.
As we had a lot of guests travelling we looked to York. I always enjoyed day trips there with my Mum and there is history around every corner; plus it has an abundance of hotels for every budget and a major train station!
The Great Hall in Barley Hall is decorated with white roses – perfect for a Yorkshire girl and it still has the medieval fireplace in the centre. Andrew wanted a small ceremony (promptly forgetting how large his family is!) due to stage fright – speeches he can do but being “on stage” for something so important and intimate brought us both out in the heebie jeebies! The exhibition when we got married was “Horrible Histories” – I’ve got a full set of the books; cue one very excited bride. I’m proud to say even the costume for “Stupid Death” was on show plus a skeleton and a stuffed rat. What can I say? I love my history!
A Google search for “large venue hire York” revealed the De Grey Rooms. Lindsey was possibly the most excited, lovely and welcoming person I’ve ever spoken to on the phone. Once I revealed the theme she was ecstatic – her Mum was a Brown Owl and got on board with the theme straight away!
We walked from each venue in York. The heavens opened in the morning and I was willing the forecast to be right and that it would pass by the time we needed to leave. Thankfully, the rain stopped by lunch time and we were ready to rock n roll!
Our theme was Scouts & Guides – we both volunteer for the movements and it’s how we met. We were both volunteering on the Physical Zone at Wings 2009 in Berkshire. We didn’t really have a colour scheme as such but sapphire blue and purple did make an appearance – my favourite colours.
My bouquet was white & antique roses with blue thistles by The Floral Studio – blending Yorkshire and Scotland. Twisted Willow Floristry did our table garland and herb pots.
I had a few requirements for my wedding dress: I wanted some sort of sleeve (narrows the search right down); to be corseted and to have covered buttons rather than the criss cross of corseting shown on the back.
I was willing to try on pretty much anything at the start of the search but quickly realised that sleeves or straps were high on my wish list. I’m short at 5ft2 and I’ve got a good bosom so I didn’t want anything to highlight my top heaviness!
The Bridal Boutique in Guiseley was where I ended up finding my dress: Angelina by Diane Harbridge. There were so many dresses in the range (and now the new range) that I loved. I loved the way it pulled me right in on the top half but my legs weren’t constrained.
The back of the dress was really detailed – that’s what most people see in the ceremony. I could hear so many comments as we walked through York complimenting the dress – I felt fantastic!
We asked the groomsmen and ushers to wear their best suits and I got them a tie and our Scottish best man wore his full Bonnie Prince Charlie kilt get up.
Bridesmaids were trickier – two of them weren’t in the country during the planning. I sent an email with links to dresses that I had found online and by a stroke of luck all three liked the same dress. Monsoon had come to the rescue. We got a sapphire blue dress called Meadow and my Mum made ivory sashes to jazz them up a bit.
During the ceremony Andrew’s Dad’s quartet played various pieces from the TV show the Tudors. I’m a big fan of Jonathan Rhys Meyers and I got permission from Trevor Morris who wrote the music for the show to use it in our ceremony.
My favourite part of the day was probably walking through York. On the way I got stopped and had photos taken with tourists. We had photos taken with bridesmaids, best men and groomsmen taken at the doors of York Minster and we could see a crowd of about 200 people stopping and watching. I couldn’t resist some photo bombing of photos on the walk back to the hall (bad bride!)
Overall, the seeing all the hard work come together was fantastic.
We went to town on the theme. All tables at the reception were named after real Scout & Guide patrols and each guest got a specially made wedding badge – quickly popped into pockets and bags by the many Scouters and Guiders at the wedding!
Mum made a necker for each guest to wear and also bunting from donated Scout & Guide neckers. Our table centres were old Scout & Guide books and we displayed the gas lamps used in the proposal on the fireplaces.
Andrew made a considerable amount of wine for the reception – this went down a lot better than expected! We made our own pub quiz and then we had a good old boogie to some cheesy classics.
My bridesmaid’s Mum made our cake. This was very fitting as she made my naming cake and some of my birthday cakes growing up. We had three layers: fruit, chocolate and Victoria sponge. Yummy! The wedding cake had Scout & Guide emblems around the top layer and on the very top was a tent made from icing with two pairs of feet sticking out and our personalised woggles.
Andrew’s an engineer and loves trains so for our honeymoon we went from Leeds to London and then to Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin all by train! We flew back to London to see Les Miserables and then one final train back to Leeds. When we got back Andrew asked for a beach holiday next time!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is this: When you enter Wedding World; be prepared to leave common sense at the door. You can be in a classic no win situation as no matter what you say you are immediately accused of being a Bridezilla.
Weddings have a weird habit of turning people a bit strange – and I’m not including the bride here! You will hear so many different daft comments and questions. Just remember: “There’s nowt as queer as folk!” & “Keep Calm and Carry on!”
Congratulations Claire & Andrew!
This is not a sponsored post
November 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime
On with the pretty as we steam ahead into Tuesday. This morning we join Brides Up North reader Charlie and her new husband Sam for their homespun celebration under canvas. From their meaningful ceremony to their Bond style get-a-away (read on) everything about this wedding is fun and fabulous. I love.
With images by WH Photography.
Charlie says: Sam asked me to marry him on Primrose Hill in London last July, and we were married on 24th August 2013.
We were married in my home church in Swanland, and our reception was in tipis at a boat club in Brough. From the off we were keen to have a marquee wedding as we liked the idea of being able to personalise it. We loved the tipis as soon as we saw them, so from there it was a case of finding somewhere to put them! My family does a lot of sailing at Welton Waters and it wasn’t an obvious choice but it turned out to be a brilliant one.
I knew I wanted a lace dress before I started searching, After doing a bit of shopping we took a chance trip to the Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton where we ended up buying my dress by Benjamin Roberts for half its original price! I then hunted around for some matching lace, and asked a friend to add it to the bottom of the dress, as well as adding some buttons to the back and altering the neckline.
I also really wanted a lace trim veil, but they cost a lot of money! So I bought some veiling tulle and over 10m of lace trim and my mum very patiently sewed it all on. My top tip if you do it this way is to wash the veil a few times with fabric softener as it makes the veil much softer, like some of the more expensive veils.
My shoes were gold glittery peep toes from Dorothy Perkins!
I had an idea in my head of what I wanted my bridesmaids to wear, so I found a pattern, bought some fabric and found a dressmaker to make them. I had seven bridesmaids, and between them they wore four different shades of blue. I made them each a little belt in a nude colour to match their shoes, by sewing some motifs that I found on Etsy to some satin ribbon.
The groomsmen wore grey suits from Greenwoods, with a waistcoat and ruche in two different shades of blue to match the bridesmaids.
My bouquet had a mix of white and peach roses, cornflowers and rosemary, and my bridesmaids carried a mix of gypsophila and cornflowers.
The best part of the day was definitely the service. We both love God and believe that our vows were made with him at the centre so this was the most important part of the day for us. It was so overwhelming to see so many friends and family, and it was really nice to have tea and cake after the service for everyone who came to the wedding.
We travelled from the church to our venue in a copper coloured VW campervan from Big Day Buses who were great.
Our photographer Will (W H Photography) was brilliant, we hardly noticed him taking photos and yet he caught so many important moments.
We didn’t really have a theme but we wanted to keep things rustic and a bit different. In hindsight, the theme could probably be ‘homemade’, as just about everything had a homemade touch, from the orders of service and seating plan, to the floral garlands (achieved through my mum’s creation of ‘oasis’ sausages’) and bunting.
One of the best things about our wedding was how brilliant all our different suppliers were,
Totally Tipi were so friendly throughout the whole process, and were always willing to meet our requests. And the tipis were just fantastic on the day.
Our food was done by Feast Yorkshire and everyone has said how amazing it was. Siobhan who runs Feast Yorkshire studied art before going into catering, and so her food doesn’t just taste amazing – it looks amazing too.
Luisianna’s Bars provided us with our drinks – Ben and the team were so friendly and provided a brilliant service on the day.
For our table names we decided to use names of all the streets where we’ve lived. We have always lived in different places, so we thought it would be nice if people could learn a bit about both of us – so we wrote a little bit about each place on the back of each of the street signs.
I’ve never liked standard wedding cake, so we went for cute white chocolate cake from M&S which we decorated with fruit.
A good friend of mine is the lead singer of a brilliant York-based band called Bluephunk. We knew they could get everyone dancing!
One of the coolest parts of our day was our exit.. on a speed boat. We tried to keep it a secret so it was a good surprise for our guests.
Sam organised the honeymoon as a surprise, and I didn’t find out until I got to the airport. He took me to the north coast of Italy for a week, and then to Sicily for a few days.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that if you are doing a homemade wedding, try and get as much as you can done by the day before the day before so you can take in everything that is happening.
It is true that the day goes too fast, but remember that the end of the day is the beginning of your marriage.
Congratulations Charlie & Sam!
This is not a sponsored post