January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we are in my home town of Durham as we meet loved up newly-weds Dan and Donna and share their wild and wintery engagement shoot.
wrap up warm…
With images by Chris Parkinson.
dan says: The engagement took us both by surprise really, we were sharing a bottle of champagne in Durham, and all of a sudden I just asked Donna ‘Will you marry me?’. It was as much a surprise to me as her, I didn’t have a ring or anything. It was just the right moment, the perfect time. Magic.
We were actually classmates in primary school. But we went on to different secondary schools, and didn’t meet again until we were both 25, through Donna’s brother. I asked Donna out for a drink and we’ve been together ever since.
We just went to the local pub for our first date. It was love at first sight for me, but not sure about Donna! We just seemed to become best friends instantly.
Just being around Donna makes me happy, she makes me laugh a lot, in particular her dancing around the house.
I know this sounds soppy, but Donna never really annoys me, I annoy myself more.
Our biggest wish for married life is just to keep on being us.
Obviously the best bit about Brides Up North that its local, and helps you find exactly what you need. We just find the whole website really easy to use and got some great ideas. We were married at South Causey Inn on 22nd December 2014 and we’ll definitely be back to share our wedding photos on the blog.
December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join newly weds Sally and Stephen for their crazy, colourful (and all kinds of lovely) pre-wedding shoot on the North Pier, Blackpool. Time for a few candyfloss kisses…
May your days be merry & bright!
Images by James Jebson Photography.
sally says: A few weeks before Christmas, I told Stephen I didn’t think we’d made enough effort with our Christmas decorations. Arriving home late from a late shift, on a very wet and cold evening, I opened the front door to find our hall stairs had been covered in fake snow and glitter. My first thought was that Stephen had taken my ‘pimping the decorations’ briefing a bit too far, until I noticed an arrow of glitter directing me into the living room. All of the walls had been covered in fairly lights; there was more snow across the floor; the hearth was filled with flowers and there was a very large mound of glitter where the television should have been. There was also a champagne bucket with an iced bottle of Pepsi and a platter of cheese.
It is at this point I should probably explain that when we had first started dating we listed our five favourite things – mine were glitter, fairy lights, cheese, kittens and dancing (Pepsi would inch in at number 6). Over by the mound of glitter were two small kittens (not real ones!) with a sign pointing at the glitter and saying ‘shake me’. As I did, the glitter stuck to a piece of card and revealed the words ‘Sally Henfield will you marry me?’ Then Stephen popped out of the downstairs toilet (where he’d been hiding for 40 minutes because I was late home) and got down on one knew with a beautiful 1920s-style sapphire and diamond ring! I said YES, and then we did a little dance to Newton Faulkner – the song he first told me he loved me to. So, all five favourite things boxed off in one proposal.
The first time we met is a topic of hot debate. We both went to Newcastle University and some of our friend groups overlap, but we never actually met each other while we were there.
Stephen remembers meeting me in a box at a Newcastle United game in 2002, but I do not remember meeting him until he (via our mutual friend Chris) offered me and a mate a place to stay when we went to a wedding in 2006– in return for us getting the boys invited to the evening do. Stephen won’t mind me saying that he held a torch from then on, but we did not get together until the summer of 2012. Chris invited me to an Olympic party while I was on a secondment to London and Stephen was dressed as Fidel Castro. Then the next night we were abandoned by our friends on a night out and shared a can of Pepsi in Trafalgar Square…
After swapping number by Nelson’s Column, Stephen came to visit me in Preston, where I was living at the time. We had a fantastic weekend – we went to a beer festival, for walks in the park, drank Pepsi, visited museums. But after 52 hours Stephen had still not kissed me! It was only just as he was about to get his train that he finally made his move (with a very strong verbal hint from me!) He says he wanted me to know that he was in it for the real deal and hadn’t just come to Preston to get a quick smooch– a very gentlemanly approach.
Our engagement shoot was part of our photography package. We already knew our photographer James Jebson and it was a really good way to see how he worked ahead of the actual wedding. We picked Blackpool because we had been on one of early dates there and had danced down the North Pier in the moonlight when it was empty of tourists.
The engagement shoot was great fun, if a little chilly. We even got to go on a carousel! I had just bought my frilly underskirt from a vintage shop the day before and we had several old ladies come up to us to say how pretty it looked as Stephen twirled me round.
We love the photos – they are so fun and colourful (even if the weather was dreary!)
We technically got married at Lewisham registry office, but that was just the legal necessities!
We held our wedding over a long weekend so we could spend as much time as possible with friends and family. Our wedding ceremony was held at the Asylum, a disused chapel in Peckham, and one of our best friends Chris (who is responsible for bringing us together) acted as the ‘vicar’. It was so lovely to have someone who could give such a personal account of our relationship delivering the ceremony.
We then held our reception at Brunswick House in Vauxhall – this is a Georgian town house that is now used as an architectural salvage shop during the day and a great place for partying in the evening.
The following day we gathered for a picnic in St James Park and then we all boarded the Tamesis Dock boat for more dancing.
On the Sunday, Stephen and I took some time out to celebrate as just the two of us and went to the Chiltern Firehouse for brunch before catching up with family and then jetting off on honeymoon.
I love that Stephen will always get up on the dancefloor (and look good doing it); that he shares a passion for cheese and Pepsi; that he loves adventures, big or small; he looks fab in woolly jumpers; he loves creating ‘memories’; he remembers the little details of things that you have said so can buy amazing presents; he is funny and has a different laugh for when I am doing silly things; because he has the best eyebrows in the world EVER; he makes a mean fishfinger sandwich (potato waffles is the key ingredient)…the list goes on and on.
Stephen gave the most heartfelt groom speech I have ever heard (and of course I would say that – but he had most of our guests crying with his lovely words) and if I can paraphrase it for him here he said he loves me because I live up to the ideal of the Sally Henfield he has had since we first met.
Our biggest wish for married life is that there are even more adventures to come and that there is always time to dance with each other!
July 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
County Durham based photographer Chris Parkinson got in touch with his first ever blog submission, to share the engagement shoot of his best mates Shane and Jessie. Well, he might be a newbie to these pages, but Chris is certainly no novice behind the lens, as this cool and quirky set of images shows.
Chris says: I was chosen as best man at Shane & Jessie’s wedding so thought it would be fitting as a gift to them if we did a pre-wedding shoot in the run up to the wedding around the local area where we live. We have some spectacular woodland so why not go for a mooch in the trees & fields?
Let’s check out what they came home from the woods with, and hear Shane and Jessie’s love story.
Shane says: I asked Jessie to marry me on Christmas Day – We had Jessie’s family to visit for Christmas, and after Christmas dinner I sent them on a treasure hunt around the village leaving clues at each place. The final clue led to me down on one knee.
We were married on Saturday 7th June in Piercebridge, Darlington.
We met on the mountains of Flaine (France) by chance whilst we were both working as Ski Reps. Jessie was from Shropshire & I lived 200 miles away in Durham.
Our first date was spent skiing together on the mountains, nobody knew we were together so there was lots of sneaky kisses on the ski lifts. The date finished in a nice little French restaurant & a few too many drinks.
I knew that she was the one for me when we came back to the UK, we lived 200 miles apart and I realised life wasn’t the same without Jessie so I upped sticks and moved to Wolverhampton. I love her ability to always make me laugh, some people probably think she’s a bit mad but that’s why I love her.
We’re hoping for a life time of happiness, fun and laughter.
We actually wanted an engagement shoot with Chris because we’d seen some of his previous work and liked his alternative style.
The engagement shoot was lots of fun.
Before the shoot we collected Chris and his partner Sara (who are both great friends of ours) in our vintage VW Beetle (which was also Jessie’s car at the wedding) Unfortunately the Beetle broke down half way through the shoot in the middle of Hamsterley Forrest with none of us having any phone reception, although we did manage to get it up and running after a little while.
Chris asked us to position ourselves in some very obscure places but after seeing all the pictures he created it was well worth all the climbing on trees, rumbling in forests and rapeseed fields.
We framed a lot of the engagement shoots and displayed them on the wedding day. Chris also provided us with a book with all the pictures as a gift.
We love Brides Up North as we have a bit of a passions for DIY weddings, Jessie spent lots of time on our wedding day doing arts & crafts. She loves to take inspiration from other people’s crafty work too
Congratulations Shane & Jessie!
This is not a sponsored post
July 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Wednesday afternoons always warrant a trip to the chocolate machine, don’t they? Save your calories – here’s a double dose of sweetness instead. Real childhood sweethearts and newlyweds Charlotte and Danny are here to share their love story, along with some bright and beautiful images from friend of the wedding blog Sarah of Folega Photography.
Charlotte says: Danny planned a surprise proposal in Hathersage atop of Mam Tor, the exact place he asked me to be his girlfriend on a school trip 10 years ago when we were just 12 and 13 years old!
Danny says: It was a surprise for Charlotte, but everyone else – her mum, sister, my mum and dad, my brothers and a few of my best friends were in on it.
We tied the knot at 3.30pm on Sunday 28th June 2014 at Ringwood Hall Hotel in Chesterfield.
The first time we properly met was our first day of secondary school as we were in the same class. With us being only 12 years old at the time, our first date was probably at McDonalds!
I don’t think we realised then how long we would be together, it was the norm really to swap and change your boyfriend or girlfriend each week in the school yard!
Personally I love the fact that because we grew up together, supported each other, shared sad and happy times together and experienced all our “first times” with each other – he is my best friend, we are completely open and natural with each other, nothing has to be forced with us, we genuinely enjoy spending as much time together as we can and I cannot wait to marry him.
May 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
There’s a dreadfully cheesy bit in the movie Titanic that the teenage me used to (absurdly) absolutely love. You know, that cringey scene where Rose (Ms. Winslet) slips off her crinoline and whispers to Jack (Mr. Di Caprio) to “Paint Me Like Your French Girls…”
Well, I’m pleased to say that the paint job that fun loving couple Amy & Jack had in mind to celebrate their engagement is nothing at all like that. Thank God.
Although (paint brushes aside) I’d still be partial to a bit of Leo.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography.
Side note – a Google Images search of “Paint Me Like Your French Girls” brings up some very amusing and not entirely work place appropriate results.
Amy says: We got engaged in September 2012 on the first day of our holiday to Las Vegas. We’d gone for a brunch at the Belagio and had a suspiciously amazing table right in front of the fountains. The fountains move in a display every 10 minutes to music and James proposed in the first ‘display’ after we’d sat down. After I’d said yes and the rush had died down, I realised he’d proposed to a Celine Dion song (nooo!) but he said ‘Sorry I couldn’t wait’.
We’re getting married at the end of this month! The wedding is at St Michael & Our Lady Church in Wragby and then we’re having a marquee reception at James’ parents’ house.
We met when we were were both working at Oulton Hall Hotel in Rothwell. It was Christmas and I had to dismantle a parquet dance floor single handed. James was passing so he came and helped me and we just got chatting.
Our first date was a night out on Greek Street in Leeds. I was slightly alarmed that he’d worn a full suit (!), but by the end of the date we realised we really liked spending time together.
I knew he was the one when I went off to university and missed him loads. We just love having fun together (like on the shoot)! Our biggest wish for married life is many happy years ahead.
We decided to have an engagement shoot to get us used to having photos taken. Most people haven’t had a photo taken since school and I didn’t want us to look really awkward on the day. We chose the paints because we wanted to do something a bit fun and different.
The shoot was brilliant! Throwing the paints was so much fun and the colours looked amazing.
I like the Real Wedding articles on Brides Up North. They’re great for other couples wanting a bit of inspiration and we’ll be back to share our own shortly…
Congratulations Amy & James!
May 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I absolutely adore the first feature of the day today – forget an engagement shoot – proposal shoots are where it’s at in May 2014! Even better, Brides Up North played a role in the action too…
Who knew that boys read these pretty pages too!? *Hello boys!*
Photographer and Brides Up North Featured Supplier James Tracey Photography told me: Brides Up North played a pretty important part in Tom & Nicola’s proposal story!
I was contacted by Tom Baker from Manchester, who was planning on proposing to his girlfriend in Liverpool on Good Friday. They met at Uni in Liverpoool and when they moved to Manchester they left a love lock at Albert Docks. Every year they go back for a weekend and walk to their lock. Tom was looking for a photographer to capture the proposal and was told to look on Bride Up North, where he found me.
We planned the shoot in a covert meeting and I took Mrs T to Liverpool to be my stooge so Nicola wouldn’t think it was odd there was a chap with a huge camera. We managed to shoot the proposal and then a few staged shots afterwards before Tom and Nicola headed off to celebrate.
Both their families loved the proposal photo (as I got it over to them within a few hours), as most parents and family never get to see the actual moment.
Nicola says: Tom asked me to marry him on Good Friday at Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront (by the Liver Building). I was a total surprise! We went to Uni in Liverpool and on our first anniversary put a padlock at Pier Head with our names on it. Every year on our anniversary we go back, so walking to the padlock was the norm at that time of year. We had been together 5 years the following day but even then I didn’t suspect anything despite requesting years ago for it to be on a Friday. Tom went above and beyond though, arranging for me to have my nails done the day before under the premise of winning a competition (the nail salon were in on it) and most thoughtfully arranged for James to be there to capture the moment with these beautiful photos.
Tom says: We always travel back to Liverpool every year to celebrate our anniversary so this was my ruse of getting Nic there without suspicion. We have travelled the world together after finishing our post-grads and couldn’t think of anywhere else in the world I would rather have proposed to her. Liverpool is so important to both of us. Nic’s Dad was born and grew up there before they moved to Shropshire and she still has family there. It was also where we met and has played such a big part in our lives. I just wanted it to be perfect. Nic sent me picture about 6 months before I proposed. She was being cheeky I think with a list of must do’s should I propose. Little did she know I had everything planned already and covered every base. When we left Liverpool we put a lock on the docs so planned to re-visit the lock to make sure it was there.
Nicola says: We’ll get married in August 2016 at a location to be decided. I am from Shropshire and Tom is from Leigh in Wigan so we are trying to work out the logistics!
Tom says: We want a long engagement to enjoy this time and take our time to plan the wedding. I think our friend’s have big ideas for what we are going to do. Nic is really creative and I know she has everything planned and it will be amazing.
Nicola says: We met when we were both studying Law in Liverpool. On the first night we met I was dressed as a sheep and Tom stole my ears, shortly before telling me that he played rugby for England (a lie!). That was in September 2007 but we remained friends for a while until getting together in 2009.
Nicola says: The first time we spent together was probably in lectures but that’s not much of a first date. Officially, we went to a restaurant at the Albert Docks so I guess that makes the location that Tom proposed even more special. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was love from the start, but I think that we both knew that we were going to be special in each others lives.
Tom says: As a poor student I was able to spoil her like I wanted to but hopefully I am making up for it now.
Tom says: We were friends for a while before we officially got together but the more time we spent together I just couldn’t see myself without being with her. She grew from my friend to my fiancée so easily. I love looking back at the time we spent at University and seeing our relationship materialise. I think all our friends at Uni could see it happening as well.
Nicola says: I love the way he puts up with the mess I make when I bake, I love that he holds my hand when we are out, I love that my friends and family love him nearly as much as I do and I love that he looks out for me and loves me as much as he does.
Tom says: My god she is messy! But I suppose that is one of the reasons why I love her, and I get cake… She has a way of winning me round as well, you would have thought I would have realised she is good at persuading people being a barrister. I am the same as Nic – I love spending time with her, people often say they are glad for a few days away from the other half but I just want to spend more time with her. I also love how she has such an amazing relationship with my family. They almost love her too much and she knows it. I love the relationship she has with my brother as well. They get on so well and that is really important for me as he is my best friend.
Tom says: I hope she still find me funny in 40 years time. I like to think of myself as a bit of a comedian and I just hope I continue to make her laugh. Unfortunately I think she has grown tired of some of my cheesy jokes already.
Nicola says: I could not have been happier when Tom pointed out James the photographer to me after I had said yes(I had no idea he was there beforehand).
T m says: When we were travelling together we visited Sydney in Australia. We saw a couple in the park and the guy had arranged for a busker to play their song. We saw the guy proposing and took a photograph of it happening. We later went over to them and got their email to send them the picture. I knew from then that I wanted someone to capture our moment. Photography is so important to us, we have a wall in our flat that is covered with photographs for all our memories. We love when people give us gifts at Christmas with a picture to be added to the wall. So we have a big space on the wall for our proposal pictures which is just perfect.
Tom says: The whole process with James was amazing. I met him once before the shoot to finalise plans and he was great. From the start he was so enthusiastic about it and that is one of the reasons I asked him to help. It felt like we had a friend, an extremely talented friend, taking the photographs for us. It just made everything so easy for me and all I has to think about was not fluffing my lines.
Nicola says: James was brilliant with us, he gave us some time to let it sink in before he took us along the docks to take some more photographs. We are planning on having a little engagement party so we will use the photos for the invitations.
Tom says: We’d love to come back and share our wedding photographs with Brides Up North – we hope James will be available for the wedding as well. Wouldn’t be right not to have him there I think!
Congratulations Nicola & Tom… come back to tell us all about your wedding!
May 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime
To ease you back into the working week, we’re touring the town I grew up in this morning to help lovebugs Claire and Scott celebrate their engagement, with a little help from Darren Mack Photography.
They’ve been together for fifteen years and these two can’t wait to finally make it official. Let’s hear their love story.
Claire says: We got engaged on Valentine’s Day 2012, on a muddy hillside in Upper Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. It was a bit of a surprise to both of us, we’d been together for 15 years but it never felt like the right time. But on that day it did!
We’re getting married in August 2014 at Crook Hall, Durham City, hopefully outside in the garden. It’s a tiny ceremony with five guests and a big party afterwards!
We met at University at St.John’s College in York in 1996. We both did degrees in Geography. We were, and still are, a couple of Indie kids!
The college Summer Ball 1996 was our first date and we’ve been together ever since. Yeah it was true love! It was a great summer; it feels like we went out every night and had a party. We knew “that was it” when we both got temp jobs working nightshift in a factory making plastic packaging and loved it! We really fell in love during that amazing summer.
I love his big, kind heart. He’s one in a million. Our biggest wish for married life is that it doesn’t change us or what we already have, and that we live happily ever after…
We decided to record our engagement on camera to learn to relax a little, we live in our own little world and not many people get invited in! I think it’s definitely made us less worried about the main shoot on our wedding day. Daz made us feel relaxed and we almost forgot that we were being photographed.
We’ll be looking in on Brides Up North in the run up to our big day!
Congratulations Claire & Scott!
This is not a sponsored post
April 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Usually, when I approve a submission for these pages, I ask for the majority of the images to be in colour. I want my readers to be able to immerse themselves in my Real Weddings, and I think colour is such a huge part of that.
However, when Matthew of Lucius Fox Photography and Brides Up North reader and bride to be Stacey sent in their images celebrating Stacey & Ben’s engagement, my usual rule book went out the window. This cool, casual and fabulously striking set of images could only ever work in monochrome. Have I gone all arty on you or what?!
Let’s say hello (and congratulations!) to Stacey & Ben.
Stacey says: I have been a regular reader of the website since the minute we booked the wedding, so it’s a pleasure to be here. I like reading other peoples wedding stories to get inspiration for our own day.
Ben proposed on Christmas Eve 2009. We had been out for a romantic meal to start the festivities as our first Christmas together and as we left the restaurant and started walking down the parade in the rain under the Christmas lights Ben dropped down to one knee and popped the question.
We are getting married on Friday 18th April 2014 which is also Good Friday.
Our wedding is going to be extra special as we are having a Double Wedding with our best friends Charlene and Dan. We all had been looking at different venues to hold the capacity of our guests and came across somewhere special which we all fell in love with so decided to join forces! The building and décor was stunning and exactly fitted in with our theme. We wanted somewhere we were able to spend the whole day without our families having to travel but something big enough with different areas for the space.
We met at work when Ben started working for the same company in 2008. We generally started seeing each other as friends from work who had just come out of relationships so nothing was too serious to start with. On our first date we went to the cinema to watch Slumdog Millionaire and as time went on we gradually become a lot closer the more time we spent together.
It took a good six months of dating until we decided we would see how things would go, as we didn’t want to ruin the friendship we had formed during the time we knew each other. Once we decided to give a relationship a go it took no longer than two weeks before Ben had moved his belongings into my flat and I haven’t been able to get rid of him since…
I love how caring Ben is and how we still act like we did when we first got together.
Our biggest wish for married life is happiness. Simple.
We came across Lucius Fox Photography and loved Matt’s work so we wanted to have an engagement shoot to have more photos of just the two of us. We had already been shot by Matt in a family visit to Coventry’s War Memorial park with our two boys, and fell in love with all of the photos he had produced for us.
We were both so nervous about our shoot but we met with Matt beforehand for a coffee and instantly we knew we were in good hands, he made us feel so relaxed and for two people that generally don’t like being photographed he made us feel really at ease. We’re planning on putting our photos into an album to keep to show our children when they’re older.
We’ll definitely be back to share our Real Wedding with Brides Up North.
Congratulations Stacey & Ben!
This is not a sponsored post
March 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its been a while since we’ve had an engagement feature here on these pretty pages, so Brides Up North reader Laura, fiancé Daniel and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Ally Byrom Photography are here to set that right. And when you’re planning to tie the knot somewhere so splendid as Castle Howard, where better to head for some shots to capture the moment?
Let’s hear their love story.
Laura says: We were on holiday in Barbados having a relaxing day on the Sandy Lane beach when Daniel proposed. He bought the most beautiful ring from our friends who own Aurum Gold in London, I couldn’t have chosen a better one myself. I was so dazed by it all and I needed to sit down, but I forgot that I was paddling ankle deep in water and still wearing my dress! So I didn’t look like the most glamorous fiancée trudging back down the beach with a sopping wet dress!
We are getting married at Castle Howard in June 2014. We arranged to have an engagement shoot at the venue as we thought it would be a good way of getting to know our photographer Ally and a great way of finding our favourite locations for the photographs on the wedding day.
The engagement shoot was brilliant fun. We didn’t know what to expect and thought we might even be uncomfortable but Ally did a great job at making it really relaxed and enjoyable. We now can’t wait for the wedding day shoot! We will have a few of a favourite photos framed and hang them in our lounge, I suspect parents will also want them too!
Daniel and I met at university 8 years ago, and I think we both knew it was something special straight away. On our first date we went to a little restaurant in Oxford for Valentine’s day.
I knew Daniel was the one when we were watching sunrise over Oxford one morning before hehad to set off for a Hockey competition.
We have so much fun together, we are very chilled out. We both love being active and love that we can have lots of little adventures together.
I love Brides Up North because it’s great for inspiration and ideas. It also reminds me of all the little things I still need to organise! We’ll be back to share our Real Wedding photographs soon.
Congratulations Laura & Daniel!
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February 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I always get excited to receive our engagement submissions for the blog because – and call me a nosy parker – I love reading every couple’s individual love story. Without exception, every one I receive is full of happiness and hope for the future.
Martyna and Daniel’s engagement announcement is no exception, so I hope you’ll join me in wishing them congratulations, luck and love. I’ll look forward to sharing their Real Wedding here on Brides Up North not too long from now.
With images by Clare Robinson Photography.
Martyna says: Daniel asked me to marry him on my birthday – Christmas morning. The best birthday and Christmas present ever!
About 6 years ago we met at work and from then everything started! On our first date we went out to Pizza Express, our favourite restaurant in Manchester. I remember what we ordered and where we sat on that day.
From the beginning I knew this was it! I saw Dan going out and spending time with his younger brothers and from that time I was sure about him.
I love about Dan that he cares and respects me. Each time I need him, he is there. I love spending time with him, even when we don’t talk; it feels good when he is next to me.
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