Brides Up North

midday movie. real romance. tom & leanne

December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Tom and Leanne from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

There’s an extra feature everyday at lunchtime this week, as we celebrate our readers’ moments in the limelight, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films

Today, Tom and Leanne take the stage with their pretty celebration.


tom says: I proposed in the Daintree forest in Australia. We had just done a 3 hour trek to find a secluded little creek. When I proposed I was sitting next to Leanne but I was quickly told “You’re not down on one knee”  so I had to propose again on one knee, then she said “yes”


The colour theme was pastels, the bridesmaids wore pastel pink, the style was vintage, romantic and whimsical.


By far the best part of the day for both of us was actually getting married in the church.

Featured images are film stills.

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merry & bright. an engagement at north pier – sally & stephen

December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (25)

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.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (27)

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.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (21)

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (20)

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…

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (23)

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.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (10)

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!)

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (5)

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.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (7)

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.

North Pier Pre Wedding Shoot (c) James Jebson Photography (1)

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!

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midday movie. it’s a classic. gemma & niall

December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Niall and Gemma from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

It’s been a real treat to drop in an extra little feature every day at noon this week as we celebrate our readers’ real life love stories, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.

Popcorn at the ready, let’s hear from Gemma and Niall.


gemma says: Niall proposed in our living room between visiting my parents the weekend before Christmas and heading to Niall’s mum and dads for Christmas day. It was lovely that it was just the two of us at home.


I wore a Lusan Mandongus gown from Teokath Wimbledon: all the dresses I tried on were beautiful so it was a tough decision! In the end I went with a designer I felt fitted my body shape the best and the dress that I felt was the most flattering. I absolutely love, love, love my wedding dress and feel much more emotionally attached to it than I ever imagined I would.


With a marquee in Niall’s mums and dad’s garden we had a blank canvas. We were quite relaxed about style and theme (just going with stuff we liked) but ‘classic fresh marquee wedding’ probably sums it up quite well.

We both really enjoyed the ceremony and have memories of smiling and laughing a lot. It’s the first time we both saw each other on the day and so was amazing. It is quite a surreal experience and over very quickly, you forget there are 100 people there watching you. My cousin commented after the event that the ceremony was the most fun one he had ever been to!


Featured images are video stills.

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indian summer. a pretty fusion wedding in East Yorkshire – hannah & arul

December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-26

This morning we join Hannah and Arul for a wedding celebration that was a true celebration of their different cultures.  This couple mixed morris dancers and high tea alongside goat curries and Indian dress, without batting an eyelid. And you know what?

It just fits.

The result? A fresh and fabulous day, with meaningful touches, an heirloom wedding dress and a whole lot of love.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-1

hannah says: We got engaged on my birthday (28th February 2013). We were on holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors and we went to The Lion Inn pub in the middle of nowhere (my granddad’s ashes are spread there) it’s a pub loved by all the family and we went every Christmas.

We went on a walk along the moors and we walked for miles (turned out Arul was looking for the perfect spot where all the classical elements: earth, wind, water and fire were present).

We sat down for a tea break Arul said he had another present for me. Out came the ring! It was perfect: we were alone with beautiful views and it was the best walk back to the pub where we had lunch by the roaring fire next to the piano.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-5

We were married on 26th August 2014 at Bilton Church. We chose this as at midnight it would have been my Granddad’s birthday (27th August). Therefore he would still be part of the day. The wedding was in the village where I grew up and the church that my grandparents were married at, and the reception was at The Haven Arms, Hedon.

Our wedding saw the joining of two different cultures – English and Srilankan. The wedding was celebrated in both cultures over Day and Night. We did vintage high tea for the day celebration. I chose to wear my grandma’s dress and we collected tea cups, side plates and tea pots all year, the venue provided the bunting and Morris Dancers entertained the guests.

The night theme was Indian with lots of coloured lighting, Indian food, Indian music and the guest in Indian clothes (sarees for women and kurta’s for men). This reflected Arul’s country of birth Sri Lanka with his mum and brother travelling from Sri Lanka for the wedding.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-2

I wore my grandma’s wedding dress. She offered to buy my wedding dress and I asked to look at hers.It was important to me to make my grandma a big part of the wedding as she has been a huge part of my life.

I got my two adult bridesmaids sage green dresses from House of Fraser and my flower girl’s dress was made especially for her.

Arul wore dark grey tails with a sage green cravat to match the bridesmaids.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-3

I carried sweet peas which all the family grew, these where the flowers my granddad grew on his allotment so it was important to include them. I also had roses (Aruls mum’s favourite) and peonies. The flowers and arrangements were by Evergreen Garden Centre in Bilton.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-10

My friend Francesca picked Arul up in her Audi and I had a vintage car by Alternative Wedding Cars.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-17

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-18

We had the flowers clustered on the pew ends and wrapped in lace to match my dress and had love heart shaped bird cages hanging outside the church.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-20

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-27

The Haven Arms were so accommodating. We went to two tasting sessions and the chef sourced special ingredients for the evening curries based on Arul’s feedback. They also sourced all the bunting, chair covers, lighting and led lighting to match our theme. The owners even dresses up in Indian clothes on the night!

This place is brilliant for people wanting a themed wedding as they are so adaptive.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-45

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-41

My auntie Di made our fruit cake. She makes all our family cakes and gave us this as our wedding gift. My bridesmaid Sarah made all the cupcakes and we bought a cake stand from Ebay to display them both.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-44

During the day we were entertained by the Makara Morris Dancers. They were fantastic and invited us to practice with them prior to the wedding and let us choose all their dances on the day. They kept the guests busy while we were having pictures and filled a gap between food and speeches (getting everyone to join in) which everyone said was brilliant.

As a special touch for later in the evening, my friends and I spent a year learning an Indian dance in order to surprise Arul and the guests.

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-52

We went on a Log House Holidays honeymoon in the Cotswolds. We were in a log cabin on a lake with our own hot tub and rowing boat!

Hannah and Arul - English Indian Fusion Wedding - Sarah Beth Photography-54

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding a reflection of who you are, it’s a lot of hard work but totally worth it.

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midday movie. life’s rosy: jenna & oliver

December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Oliver and Jenna from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

Every day at noon this week we are sharing a little love story, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.  We hope these films bring a bit of sparkle to your lunch break.

Today, it’s Jenna and Oliver’s turn to take to the screen.  Enjoy!


oliver says: I proposed quite elaborately! Every year we go to Cornwall and stay in our family caravan in Rock, but last year I covertly booked dinner and a room at a local hotel and snuck up there on the day we arrived (under the pretence of going up to the golf club!) to set up the room with a treasure trail of gifts that linked to key dates and places we’d been. At the end of the evening Jenna was very surprised to learn that we were staying in the hotel, and the final gift in the trail was a ring in a box on the window seat which overlooked the Camel Estuary. I had to use one of Jenna’s rings as she is quite particular when it comes to jewellery so I’d (perhaps presumptuously!) booked an appointment at a jewellers the next day so we could pick or design her ring. It only took her about 5 hours to choose..!


jenna says:We wanted soft, muted tones to fit the relaxed feel of the day - soft blushes, apricots and creams – but I’m a bit obsessed with all things that glitter – so we added a bit of sparkle in the way of gold candelabra and candlesticks and rose gold sequin table runners!

Our  favourite parts of the day include walking out of the church as Mr & Mrs Hincks and greeting all our friends and family in what turned into an impromptu receiving line; being lifted up in a chair by some of the guests during the last song of the evening and one of our ushers smashing a glass as he announced the speeches! Whoops!

Featured images are film stills.


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this is ace. a fun filled marquee wedding at Mill Granary Cottages – frances & olly

December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (26)

Frances and Olly’s relaxed marquee wedding is filled with fun, fab florals (some ten feet tall, watch out for the giant daffs) and fuelled by a free bar.  Always a nice idea.

It’s the first wedding ever to be held at Mill Granary Cottages, and I have a feeling that the bar has been set pretty high…

Get ready to party!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Camera A Photography.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (19)

frances says: We got engaged in October 2013 – a week before my birthday.  We got engaged on the Friday morning. Olly had liaised with a colleague of mine and put a “fake meeting” in my diary so I thought I had a full day at work.  I also thought we were going to Sheffield to visit friends on Friday night.  I got up at 6am and Olly said I wasn’t going to work that day.  I told him he was wrong because I had a meeting.  He asked me to marry him in our flat in the morning before he whisked me off to Paris to celebrate.

We got married in a beautiful church, St Osmund’s in Gainford on 7th June 2014.

The reception venue was Mill Granary Cottages – we hired the cottages and put a marquee on the meadow next to them.  It was the first wedding they had ever done and it looked amazing.  Kate and Richard (who own Mill Granary) were fantastic.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (14)

We wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed and for everyone to have a good time, and I’m not sure I managed a colour scheme!

I travelled in a white VW beetle to the wedding. My bridesmaids were in a VW van. I used Lovedub Cars.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (20)

I chose a dress from Sabina Motasem, a designer based in London.  I wanted something elegant and not too over the top.  She has some beautiful dresses in her collection.

My hair and makeup were done by Hobbs and Holmes and they were so good on the morning of the wedding.

The bridesmaid dresses were from Monsoon – silver coloured, knee length and really pretty.  The ushers wore their own suits and Olly bought them their ties and pocket squares.

Olly wore a Reiss suit.  He looked fit.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (28)

I carried white peonies.  My mum bought them from the flower market and my friend Ruth made the bouquets with the help of Olly’s sister.  The bridesmaids had white peonies and pink roses.  Ruth did those as well.  Befriend a florist it’s a huge money saver!

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (33)

Our photographers were Jane and Anne from Camera A in Darlington.  They were brilliant.  Jane was completely organised and made sure she extracted a full briefing from us before the day to get the shots we wanted.  They were both really flexible on the day and the photos are gorgeous.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (37)

The decorations outside the marquee and around the marquee were provided for by Ruthie from Cloud Nine Decor.  She is an amazing talent and provided giant flowers, a bluebell archway, and loads of bunting.

The table decorations were provided by my Mum.  She collected little crystal vases from charity shops and they were filled with wild flowers from fields and woodland that she collected.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (11)

Olly made the cake – it was a family recipe –  Guinness cake.  It was delicious.

We chose not to give out favours – there was a free bar!

We ordered our wine from Majestic.  We had a French Malbec and a South African white.  The food was provided by The Game Cart.  Really delicious food and their front of house staff were superb, making sure our guests were really looked after.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (50)

We had three of our friends do DJ shifts on the night.  They were brilliant and just banged out the hits.  The dance floor was permanently full.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (2)

We’d absolutely recommend Marston Moor Marquees and Mill Granary Cottages.  If you want a marquee wedding but need somewhere to host it, this is the place.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (52)

We’re off on our honeymoon over Christmas – destination TBC…

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a free bar if you can – it’s well worth it!

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midday movie. magic & sparkle: tom & andrea

December 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Tom and Andrea from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

I don’t know about you lovely lot, but as Christmas approaches I always think it’s a good excuse to up the snuggle factor, with lots of evenings spent by the fire, wrapped in blankets, watching some movies.

This week we’ll be sharing some special movies of our own, with five beautiful wedding reels (one each lunchtime) from Brides Up North Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films. These guys make beautiful, cinematic wedding films, and to have them shoot your own wedding is definitely worth adding to your Christmas list.

We’ll be adding even more video content to the blog as part of our editorial plans for next year, so as a prelude to that we hope you enjoy this little treat, take a few moments away from the madness of the season and get lost in each couple’s love story…

Tissues at the ready, first up, we join Andrea and Tom for their oh-so-pretty wedding at Priory Cottages, North Yorkshire.


andrea says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2012, we had had our second child that year so I was busy wrapping presents and just wanted to get into bed. As I opened the stairs door I was greeted with rose petals all over the stairs and candles on every step leading up to a huge bubble bath. Tom brought me a magazine with a ring box in to read whilst in the bath and got down on one knee.  It was very romantic!


We wanted a relaxed feel with a touch of sparkle, lots of complimenting colours and some elegant touches for our wedding. We had a few colours for our scheme: peaches, pinks, corals and creams with a hint of gold glitter. The colours worked so well together and its something that we’d not seen before. We had lots of fun with DIY projects to get everything looking fab!


Our favourite part of the day was standing at the altar saying our vows, that for us is when we felt so calm yet its very real. Saying and hearing those words meant so much and marriage for us is a challenge that we will face together every day and we want to be the best we can be, supporting each other and savouring every moment. We are thoroughly looking forward to enjoying many years together.

Featured images are film stills.

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what a wonderful world. a travel themed wedding at Hodsock Priory – sami & chris

December 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (36)

Well, what can I say, from the memorable wedding proposal to the stately venue and swoon-worthy wedding attire (especially the Jimmy Choos) – this couple have style.

Chris popped the question to Sami when they were travelling together so it seemed only natural to them to incorporate their love for globetrotting into their big day celebrations – and my word they did it well.

With Sami’s creative eye and Chris’s exceptional carpenter skills, they created a host of gorgeous personal props that were a whole classy world away from what Handy Andy used to create with a piece of plywood.

So pack a suitcase guys, as it’s time to join Sami and Chris on the journey of their splendid wedding day.

With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (8)

sami says: We got engaged in Hoi An, Vietnam, on June 23, 2013 during our travels. We’d been travelling for nine months before Chris went down on one knee during a romantic cycle ride into the countryside, with rice fields galore. We stepped off our bicycles then walked between rice paddies to reach a distressed bamboo bridge to take photographs. The next thing I knew, Chris popped the question with a “will you marry me?” which he had created with wooden letters he bought from a market stall in Bangkok six weeks earlier and attached them onto a world map paper. Chris had created the proposal, using snatched moments when I was in the shower each evening!  It was an unexpected moment even though I was hoping that Chris would propose one day during our travels!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (10)

Sunday September 14, 2014 was the date we decided to tie the knot. We chose this date as we liked the fact that September is usually warm and pleasant and with the hope of an Indian summer, still retaining the colours of the flowers and leaves from the lingering end of the season, that end of summer feeling we love so much, when the sun appears lower in the sky, giving everything a soft warm glow and it doesn’t go dark until around 8pm. The date also includes our personal significant numbers, so it all worked out perfectly, as if it was written in the stars for us!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (13)

We chose Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire as our venue as it has the perfect magical, fairytale and country feel and is in a tranquil setting. It looks like a castle with its Tudor gatehouse as a welcoming entrance, grounds with woodland offering romantic walks, a quirky summerhouse and an Italian terrace, creating endless opportunities for amazing photographs. The interior of Hodsock Priory was just as perfect!  What also attracted us to Hodsock Priory is its exclusivity, so we wouldn’t have to worry about sharing our wedding with another wedding party.

The moment we stepped into Hodsock Priory we immediately fell in love with it and knew nothing else could compete with this stunning and special place!  Also we live near Hampton Court in London, so there are some connections – Henry VIII once visited Hodsock Priory and to us, it’s like a mini version of Hampton Court. The venue is also local to where my parents live, about 20 minutes away, yet we had never heard of it before we got engaged!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (16)

It was a no-brainer to pick a travel related theme as we had travelled around the world and visited 20 countries together in our four-year relationship. So we had a vintage travel theme with a natural, rustic boho chic style.

Our colour scheme was grey, ivory and natural kraft, which was used in our wedding stationery, along with splashes of blue, green and pink colours in the flowers. We chose this scheme because grey is one of our favourite colours and the other colours were thrown in the mix to complement it and bring the whole scheme to life with the natural look we were after. Chris made lots of wooden props, which also blended in well with the colour theme.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (19)

The day Chris and I returned from our travels in July 2013, we received our first wedding magazine as a part of our engagement gift. Already having an idea of the look I wanted in my mind, I flicked through the magazine and there it was – I spotted ‘the one’. It was Holly by Charlotte Balbier. I sourced local stockists and found Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield, who was fantastic. I looked at dresses in other bridal shops first to make sure, but once I slipped into the Holly dress, I just knew, tears welled up in my eyes and my mum welled up too!

I wanted a simple, flowing, ethereal and dreamy dress that I could wear again after my wedding (the hem can easily be shortened). I also wanted to wear the dress rather than it wearing me, plus I wanted some details to add interest, such as embellishments around the waist and detailed bodice – that dress ticked every box! I had a halter neck strap added to it to make it a little more unique from the usual strapless dress.

When it came to accessories, I fell in love with my Jimmy Choos and I had a matching handbag to go with it. I wanted shoes to complement my dress and they did with the lattice effect just like my dress bodice. They felt so special! My floral clay circlet meanwhile was bespoke, created by the lovely Sofia of Lilain London, whose work I spotted at The Brides Show in Battersea.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (2)

Chris wore a country look grey suit. It was purchased from Reiss along with a white shirt and tan brogues. The silver/grey tie was from Aquascutum and a silver/grey silk pocket square was from John Lewis.

The bridesmaids’ grey/silver dresses were purchased from Coast and the groomsmen’s light grey suits were from River Island. The pale blue ties were from John Lewis.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (3)

For our décor, we had the same flowers as my bouquet, with lots of gypsophila!  We collected lots of glass jars with the help of both sets of parents for the tables. Me and my mum decorated these jars with ribbon, jute string, raffia and wicker hearts then Kay at Hodsock added the flowers. I also collected large glass coffee jars from work, filled with pebbles collected from a beach near Chris’s family’s regular seaside place; they were perfect for the table names! We had each table named after some of our favourite countries and instead of just writing them out, I made a country outline template then Chris cut it out on plywood using a jigsaw. We originally planned to have the guests guess what each country was but realised it was too difficult, so made a label with country name for each one. For each table, we also sourced candle lanterns and photo frames. We love candle lanterns as they evoke warm memories of our travels we felt they gave an enchantingly calm atmosphere.

We used props to give our day more of a personal touch. Chris made some large ‘LOVE’ letters, a wooden wedding post box and also wooden hanging hearts for the aisle, which we alternated with, bunches of gypsophila. He also made a rustic wooden signpost, which depicted some of the places we had visited. It was placed on the lawn giving photo opportunities for guests.

We added family wedding photographs of our parents and dear departed grandparents and had decorations to tie in with vintage travel theme, such as world map board used for table plan, a map photo frame with our engagement photo and C & S letters covered with world map. We also had two wooden step ladders – the large one made a lovely decoration at the entrance, with flowers scattered all over it, topped with a bicycle to represent us (we got engaged whilst out cycling) and a handwritten painted ‘welcome’ sign. We even borrowed a vintage globe from Hodsock Priory for our ceremony table.

Together with my creative eye and perfectionist way, and Chris’s skilled hands, we were able to make the decorations and props we wanted. Since we got married, we have decided to set up our own website as we are looking to go into the wedding props market.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (21)

We went for natural and wild looking flowers. I carried a bouquet filled with gypsophila, ivory and dusky pink roses, pink veronica, eryngiums, eucalyptus, small daisies, all tied together with jute string.  The flowers were part of the Hodsock Priory package. Chris and the men in the bridal party wore eryngium buttonholes and the ladies wore ivory roses.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (29)

We wanted to arrive at Hodsock Priory in style while continuing our travel theme, so we hired Harry, a beautifully restored VW campervan from Vintage VolksWeddings. It was reminiscent of our road trips in Australia and New Zealand. The campervan transported me and my bridesmaids to Hodsock Priory first, where we had our final preparations. Then the groom and groomsmen were collected from a hotel, along with the groom’s parents to be taken to the venue. It was an awesome start to the day and a great photo opportunity!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (27)

Jo and Simon at Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers on the day.  We discovered them by Googling and admired their blog with photographs of a couple whose wedding also took place at Hodsock Priory. We loved their natural and candid style and felt the photographs oozed freshness and colours, and lots of close up shots of details, which were also so important to us. We also hired two videographers to film our wedding as we feel it is a memory in motion that we can keep and cherish over the years.

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a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (35)

For our favours we presented the ladies with stainless steel heart spoons and for the men we gave antique key bottle openers.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (44)

After many months of changing our minds on how we wanted our cake and cupcakes to look, we eventually settled on a lattice effect for half of the cupcakes and small ivory roses for the rest of the cupcakes. The lattice effect tied in with my dress bodice and the ivory roses with our flowers. I loved the simple dot design also, so had that for the main three-tier cake finished with cascading ivory roses. I didn’t want to decide between a three-tier cake and cupcakes, so I managed to persuade Chris to have both! Yvonne, another supplier of the Hodsock Priory package, baked the scrumptious three-tier fruitcake and sponge cupcakes made in two separate flavours – Victoria sponge with jam and lemon.

As Chris is a carpenter, he made the wooden cake stand to present the cupcakes in a creative and unique way and the top stand was personalised with engraving. We also had a wooden base for the three-tier cake. We decided to use fairylights for the lighting effect as it reminds us of travelling in faraway places, especially restaurants by the beach!  The cake topper was a bespoke design, created to look like us!  It was by Cheryl at Artlocke Designs.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (53)

The wines were included in the Hodock Priory package and we chose Gail Dandy as our caterer as we felt her variety of food covered everyone’s tastes. When we went food sampling and were impressed by the numbers of dishes on offer and how delicious her food was!

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As we wanted everyone to join in on the dance floor, we decided to have a ceilidh band. We hired Knitters Jig, who provided an entertaining performance. It was brilliant fun. It didn’t matter if guests made mistakes, it only added to the atmosphere and everyone had a really good laugh!

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We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to others – it is such a beautiful and fairytale like venue with stunning grounds. The woodland and the lake give the place a magical, enchanted feel! George and the staff were so helpful and friendly and so well organised. We were made to feel very welcome to share their beautiful home.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) (62)

It’s really difficult to pinpoint our favourite part of the day as we loved every moment. It was the best day of our lives but if we had to choose, the greatest part would be seeing each other at the aisle!

Shoot Lifestyle

For our honeymoon we went to Hawaii for three weeks island hopping, visiting three different islands, which was a fantastic and amazing experience. We hired a Jeep for a week to explore one of the islands and we swam along with turtles and stingrays in the sea!  It was an amazing honeymoon with a variety of things to do but at the same time offered a lot of relaxation time, which we so desperately needed. We didn’t want to come home!

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Our advice to other brides and grooms-to-be is to enjoy the planning and make sure you leave plenty of time if you want to DIY everything and do rope in family or friends to help – make use of their skills. For example, whilst we had our own ideas for wedding stationery, Chris’s brother-in-law helped us by honing our ideas into reality with his creative graphic design skills for travel themed invitations, order of service, table plan and place cards. Although the day flies by so quickly, make sure you have time for each other but also circulate with your guests between meals like we did, it makes them feel appreciated.

If you want a creative first wedding dance, it’s worth investing in a few dance lessons to build up your confidence and learn your moves, like we did. We wrote our own promises for the ceremony as we wanted our wedding to be more personal, meaningful and unique. If you wish to do the same, make sure you leave plenty of time to think and write them.

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that’s amore! an Italian themed wedding at Kirkstall Abbey – faye & rob

November 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (107)

It’s Frrrrrrrrrrrrrriday! Let’s celebrate with this sweet Yorkshire/ Italian celebration in Leeds, sent to me by newlyweds Faye and Rob and Brides Up North Sponsor Jane of JB Creatives.

Limoncellos on ice for a moment though, as I’ve to tell you about Jane’s shiny new website, which has just landed over at  Go see!  To celebrate, she’s offering a free engagement shoot to all those couples who book their full day wedding photography before the end of the year.  Quote love stories to get involved.


But for now, it’s all about today’s pretty wedding.

With images by JB Creatives.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (81)

faye says: Rob asked me to marry him on a private boat off the coast of Paxos, Greece in August 2013, and we were married on 5th April 2014 at St Stephen’s Church, Kirkstall. Our reception was at Kirkstall Abbey then The Gatehouse.

We had one of our first dates there and have both always loved it. We never even considered another venue!

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (72)

We opted for a Yorkshire meets Italy theme (having previously lived in Milan together), using lemon and turquoise as base colours for the scheme.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (86)

I wore Maggie Sottero “Cassidy” dress from Angel Brides, Horsforth and my bridesmaids were in turquoise Jenny Packham. I carried a simple lemon rose bouquet with stems from Rose & Bud Flowers, Horsforth.

Rob wore a royal blue morning suit, a white shirt and a Jeff Banks navy and turquoise flowered tie.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (87)

My hair was by Simon Warner Hair, Headingley and I used a make up artist from Harvey Nichols using Laura Mercier products.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (89)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (93)

We put together a sweet table from Haribo (as I am from Pontefract) and our favours were Italian-themed Limoncello and Disaronno mini bottles. Rob also made cartoon place-settings for every guest.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (101)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (102)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (105)

We were entertained by the Otley Ukulele Orchestra, followed by a DJ in the evening.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (108)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (109)

We chose an iced chocolate cake with caricatures made by a family friend, Lucy.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (110)

My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle to Rob, and Rob’s was performing our personalised first dance, which I choreographed.  The crowd reaction was amazing!

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (111)

For our honeymoon we visited Bangkok and Koh Samui, Thailand and then Singapore.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (54)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to chill out – It’s all very doable and you don’t need years to do it! We organised it in 9 months.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (61)

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you are gold. supplier showcase: Calligraphy For Weddings

November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Calligraphy menu close up gold lettering

We’re going for gold as I welcome back Brides Up North Sponsor Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings. She’s making our pages even prettier this afternoon as she launches her stunning new gold calligraphy service.

You saw it here first… get ready to glisten.

Calligraphy outdoors tablescape wide angle

claire says: Gold calligraphy glistening in the sunshine on handwritten menus, place cards, tags and table cards – a wonderful counterpoint to a messy, richly coloured natural setting. I wanted to show brides how to work with a natural theme and bring together sophisticated details and a messy, rustic background. I went back to nature and this intimate shoot took place on the shores of England’s deepest lake on a sunny autumn morning.

Back to nature pink gold calligraphy

Calligraphy table number card

The tablescape is all about rich, natural colours: a palette of burgundy and pink tones with mossy greens and glowing gold. The lettering sparkles in the sunshine: metallic gold calligraphy inks are super luxurious and oh so wonderful to see – rub your finger across the letters and you can feel the raised gold swirls under your fingertips.

Calligraphy menu outdoor wedding

Calligraphy tree stump shoot

A rich and colourful place setting was created using mixed textures and materials: moss and branches in their natural setting were complemented by ombre brocades, vintage china plates and rich pink gilded glassware. All of the styling elements were locally sourced from independent businesses – from forks to flowers! Counterbalancing the natural backdrop and messy tangles of brocade was the elegant calligraphy: loops and swirls of gorgeous gold on luxury burgundy paper stock.

Calligraphy thank you tag uk

I really wanted to create a look which can be remade by DIY brides: vintage china and glassware is everywhere; and mixing natural textures of wood and moss with just a few bought flowers can add magic to every wedding table. It’s what tablescapes are all about – combining elements in a creative way to make unique and charming place settings for your guests. Replace my lakeshore ‘table’ with the real tables at your venue and you’ll have an enchanting reception style your guests will love!

Calligraphy lake district shoot

Calligraphy by Claire Gould, at

Gold menu calligraphy from £7
Place name calligraphy £1.40
Table number cards from £4
Thank you tags £1.20

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