Charlotte Balbier

breaking news: a brand new secret garden wedding space at middleton lodge

June 15th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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Well, Brides Up North – hold the 3pm latte! – have we got some breaking news for you this Thursday afternoon! One of our very favourite spots to say I do, and host of our Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Show, Middleton Lodge Estate is set to launch a brand new wedding venue for Spring 2018!

Yes, you read that right!  Another super space within this already gorgeous setting. You can now celebrate your wedding day in your very own secret garden.

Kitchen Garden and Orangery with sketch

Designed by critically acclaimed landscape designer, Tom Stuart Smith, The Kitchen Garden is a private two-acre garden filled with wildlife, home grown produce and seasonal blooms. Nestled in the walled garden is the recently restored Orangery. Drawing influence from the award-winning Coach House, expect a stylish and unique wedding venue, idyllic for an English summer wedding.

The Orangery’s main room can host up 50 guests for the Ceremony and 100 guests for the Reception, with natural light streaming through the large Georgian windows and doors onto the guests. For those looking for a smaller wedding, The Old Forge Barn, located behind the Farmhouse, is perfect for a larger ceremony with space for up to 100 guests.

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Overlooking the Kitchen Garden, after the ceremony the wedding party can step outside onto the terrace and celebrate with a glass of champagne surrounded by perfect lawns, wild meadows and herbaceous borders.

Guests will also have exclusive use of the Boiler House Bar and the Potting Shed bedrooms. As well as the picture perfect Farmhouse, set in its own tranquil meadow, which is all yours for the night.

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The Wedding Breakfast will be served in The Orangery, overlooking the Kitchen Garden. Expect a relaxed feast of seasonal produce sourced straight from the estate, the surrounding woodland and handpicked local suppliers.

After the meal, wedding guests can party into the night at The Old Forge Barn, just a short two-minute walk from The Kitchen Garden through the estate grounds. With its late night bar, it’s all yours for the evening. Just try not to wake the sheep next door! Additional bedrooms are available across the estate for wedding guests.

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Available to book for exclusive hire weddings from Spring 2018. Book an appointment now with the award-winning Wedding Team for an exclusive sneak preview of this beautiful new venue to the Middleton Lodge Estate.

Photographs by GASP Photo Co.

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walking on sunshine: top tips for a summer wedding with events specialists dine

June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Shutter Go Click Photography

Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.

And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.

Today’s words of wisdom come courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine. Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.

For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…

Marquee

Natasha Cadman Photography

venue & suppliers

Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.

Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.

A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth.  If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.

A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.

Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.

Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.

Canapés can be a fantastic way to incorporate small elements of food into your wedding breakfast

food

While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.

The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.

The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.

Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.

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snap happy. introducing take a pic

June 9th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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As technology and trends move on, some wedding traditions are going the same way as sugared almonds and falling by the wayside. Disposable table cameras are one such tradition that appear to be on the way out.

The idea in principal – encouraging guests to capture the day through their eyes resulting in a different set of images to the professional photographer’s – is a good one. However, the cost and process of collecting and printing the films can be rather expensive and timely. And so today we’re excited to introduce a modern and stress-free way to enable your guests play photographers but without the laborious developing on the other side.

Our Sponsor, Take a Pic, specialises in hiring a range of digital cameras for the wedding day, which can be used by the groom and bridal parties during the prep and by guests during the main event – resulting in high quality images and video from all angles from the day, meaning the newlyweds don’t miss a thing. Furthermore, with the recent introduction of action cameras, Take a Pic, can even offer the latest technology to capture the all-important adventure honeymoon too.

We’ll now hand you over to the family team behind the business to get a close-up on their digital offering…

Take A Pic (2)

When and why was Take a Pic first set up?

take a pic say: The business was established in 2015 following a wedding of one of our directors. After looking into buying disposable cameras for the wedding tables we realised how out dated the cameras really are, and so we purchased ten compact digital cameras to use instead. After the wedding we decided other couples might like to follow suit, so we began to hire the cameras out to others for their weddings at a similar cost to the disposables. From there Take a Pic quickly grew into offering a range of different camera equipment to hire for other occasions.

What does the business offer to wedding couples?

We offer wedding couples the option to capture their special day from a different angle, allowing their guests to take pictures and videos throughout their day, which they can look back on in years to come. We have different camera packages to suit any wedding day from simple compacts for the tables or better quality cameras for the groom/bridal party. We have packages with HD video camcorders, instant print cameras for guest books and message boards and action cameras for capturing that adventure honeymoon. All packages can be booked online for your selected dates and durations, with free delivery to your address and free return at the Post Office for convenience.

We know that most of us nowadays have smartphones with cameras, which are perfectly capable of taking quality images and video footage in HD, however we have found that couples would rather have their wedding day photos and videos all in one place, be the first to view them afterwards, get the surprise of the amount of images and also get to realise parts of their wedding they didn’t see. Not only do guests not like to use their phones too much at the wedding, couples generally don’t want to see them shared on social media or have random photos sent from everybody who took some. Hiring digital cameras encourages your guests to start snapping away at the things they wouldn’t normally.

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Why would you encourage couples to hire digital cameras for their big day in addition to a professional photographer?

We would always recommend hiring a set of digital cameras in addition to that all important photographer. We do not provide a photography service, just the means to allow you and your guests to become photographers yourselves. Having digital cameras around at your wedding allows you to capture the more natural moments and perhaps the more embarrassing moments too. Remember your photographer may only be with you for a small part of the day, and they may focus their attention on the bride and groom, whilst the digital cameras can capture anything through the entire day.

You photographer may only be able to spend time with one of the wedding parties before the ceremony, so we have created a package aimed at having camera with both parties to be able to capture the night before or getting ready in the morning. You may start using the equipment as soon as you received it.

What are the benefits of digital cameras over disposable cameras for a wedding?

Disposable cameras are the traditional option for capturing the other parts of your wedding that your photographer may not get or be around for. As technology has advanced over the last 20 years disposable cameras have stayed relatively the same, in fact processing the film has become more of a skill, thus become more expensive. Digital cameras provide a simple alternative to disposable cameras with the main benefit of having the ability to take better quality images and a lot more of them; depending on the size of memory cards supplied you could take thousands more images on a single camera than the largest film. Once the cost of film processing is factored into the price we find that hiring digital cameras is more cost effective.

There is a clear difference in what you get from digital cameras to what you can’t get with disposable, not only sheer number of images but better quality images and the ability to capture videos and share these digitally across social media channels, save them on cloud storage and have them playing as a slideshow on your TV. Plus you can always get them printed, or ever print them at home, to put in your wedding album as you wish.

If you require something different there is a range of camera hire packages available to suit your fancy.

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shop like a celeb: wedding gift list tips & inspiration

June 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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We all love presents, right?! But we also understand that planning a wedding gift list can get a little overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Should you request luxurious homeware items, modern appliances, unforgettable experiences – or a combination of all three?

To help you narrow down the choices, our wonderful Sponsor, The Wedding Shop, is taking over the blog this afternoon. As a fee-free, multi-retailer gift list provider, these guys are experts when it comes to helping brides and grooms select their precious presents.

Couples can choose to build their wish list online, or alternatively within one of The Wedding Shop’s beautiful showrooms, including their recently launched Edinburgh store, as well as stores in London and Dublin.

To help get the present planning underway the team are sharing their gift list dos and don’ts followed by a speculative edit of what could be found on the hottest celebrity couples’ wedding wish lists this year to inspire your choices…

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do

Plan ahead and notify guests:

  • Guests will want to buy you something to mark your special day, so a gift list helps guide them in the right direction and takes the stress and worry out of buying that ‘perfect gift.’
  • We recommend setting up your list before your wedding invitations go out so that you can include list notification cards with your invite
  • Some guests will be very quick off the mark to look for your list once they receive their invitations so it’s best to have it all completed

Give guests plenty of choice:

  • Create a list that is slightly bigger than you would expect to receive. Guests like to be inspired and have a large choice of gifts to choose from.
  • Vary the price points; it’s important to include a good range of price points to allow for every guest’s budget.
  • If there is a really special item that’s a little bit more expensive, why not ask your guests to contribute to it?
  • Don’t forget some guests will be more traditional in what they want to buy you make sure you have options for all types of guests.

Get the groom involved:

  • The groom should also be just as involved in creating a gift list
  • We are seeing that men are starting to taking a much more active interest in ensuring the list reflects their personal preferences as much as the bride’s!
  • Especially with gadgets and technology products that are generally more interesting to guys

Enjoy the experience

Most importantly have fun! These are gifts that you will enjoy and treasure during your married life together, so it should be a fun and exciting process that you should enjoy doing together.

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don’t

Forget to think to the future:

  • Take time before compiling your list to decide exactly what you need, what you would really love, and what would be useful to have in the future
  • Always be mindful that your needs will most likely grow throughout your married life (e.g. A dinner service for four people may be sufficient at the moment but may not in years to come when entertaining extended family and friends)

Forget to make it personal:

  • A gift list is a really good opportunity to choose items that will enhance and suit your lifestyle
  • If you have certain hobbies that you both love, make sure you add items that will help you continue to enjoy your hobbies
  • Guests will enjoy buying you gifts that they know are more fun and personal to you

Worry about asking for monetary contributions:

  • If you already think you have all the ‘stuff’ you could possibly fit into your house, then don’t be afraid to ask for cash contributions – it is now become more popular and you shouldn’t be worried to offend guests
  • This could be for home improvements, honeymoon contributions, or landscaping the garden
  • Don’t just have cash only on your list – remember to give guests plenty of choice!

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celebrity gift lists

From Hollywood starlets and pop princesses, to the cream of British society, The Wedding Shop predicts what would be on some top celebrity couples’ gift lists, to inspire you to shop A-List style…

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The Hollywood couple: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Jason Statham

Believed to be planning to marry this summer, the LA-based British model and her action-hero fiancé are reported to enjoy fast cars, long walks with their beloved Daschunds and cocktails by the pool:

  • Vogue The Covers by Hamish Bowles, £35 – After gracing her first Vogue cover aged 21, Rosie may enjoy looking back at her shared history alongside fellow modelling greats.
  • Jonathan Adler Bar Cart, £1,450 – A sleek and glamorous drinks trolley, ideal for wheeling out the Martinis pool-side.
  • Samsonite Liote-Cube DLX Aluminum Suitcase, £429 – Sturdy with stylish metallic and leather finishes, this lightweight deluxe suitcase should serve the globe-trotting couple well.
  • Erik Magnussen Metallic Vacuum Jug, £129 – Perfect for keeping cocktails cool in LA or preserving Hot Toddies at Rosie’s Devonshire home.
  • Drive Italy’s Amalfi Coast for two by Maserati Granturismo by Truly Experiences, £3,375 – With a penchant for gleaming supercars the couple might enjoy navigating one of Europe’s most fashionable coastlines.
  • Dachshund Dog Ornament by The House, £43 – A fitting tribute to Rosie’s pet pooches, Peggy and Dolly.

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written in the stars. a stylish wedding at newton hall – anna & ryan

June 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (31)

To finish off your week in style, we’re sharing the big day of Anna and Ryan, which provides a fabulous example of how to carry off a beautiful wedding without the hefty price tag. Cue a few trips to Hobbycraft, some thrifty online shopping purchases and gorgeous floral displays courtesy of a local college and you’ll start to get an idea of just how savvy our couple was with their planning!

Newlyweds Anna and Ryan tied the knot at the gorgeous Newton Hall – a dreamy, contemporary venue set in Northumberland. As you’ll see, this was a picture-perfect backdrop that was beautifully transformed by the bride and groom.

We just love how much time and effort they poured into their special day. From their handmade photo booth and alternative cheese cake, to their caricaturist and special hangover kits – there’s lots of quirky ideas to inspire you on the blog today.

With images by Dru Dodd.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (14)

anna says: We got engaged on the beach, under the stars whilst eating lobster and drinking Moet in the Dominican Republic on New Year’s Eve. Ryan had always said marriage was a long way off so I was really surprised. Romantically, Ryan said he was nipping off to the toilet, but in fact was getting the ring from the room to propose, whilst I was sitting with my meal getting cold waiting for him to get back, keeping it real! He proposed at midnight UK time which was really special as I was able to call family and friends with the exciting news.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (21)

We got married on 19th March 2017. We chose this date as we really wanted to get married at Newton Hall but had a budget to stick to. For any brides completely ruling out venues based on cost, this is a great way to meet your budget. We got married on a Sunday in March and it was sunny and dry! I found out afterwards that both my parents and my grandparents got married on the 19th of the month, too, which was a special touch.

When we both first stepped into Newton Hall, we knew it was where we wanted to get married. One of our first dates was to Mr Lynch in Jesmond, which is a sister venue to Newton Hall. Ryan had also taken me on a date to Low Newton for a picnic, which is where the venue is situated.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (35)

We didn’t have a particular colour scheme or theme for our wedding. I wanted to bring in shades of copper, apricot, blue and blush. We’re a laidback, fun couple so we wanted to incorporate that into our day whilst also maintain the traditional wedding that I had always dreamt of.

I dressed the venue myself (with the help of my bridesmaids), and bought and made all of the decorations myself. We incorporated some fun ideas on the day, such as hangover kit wedding favours and baby pictures as table numbers. We had a craft night with all of my friends in the run up to the wedding, which was great fun.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (69)

When it came to my attire for the day, I knew that I wanted a fit and flare lace dress with a long veil that covered my face and ended up buying my gown from Wed2Be in Gateshead.

From the moment my mam and I stepped into Wed2Be, the service was fantastic. I tried on a dress and knew straightaway that it was the one. The fit and cut was just perfect. I also purchased my veil from Wed2Be as it was exactly what I had been looking for. My total outfit came to just £669. A special mention also goes to Kayleen the dressmaker for all of my subsequent alterations.

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all that glitters. rose gold for a glamorous winter wedding at mere court hotel – maxine & alex

June 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

Err, bride Maxine from today’s real wedding, can we be your friend please? Check out these photographs from her wedding to the lovely Alex and try to deny that this wedding belle was seriously good to her #bridesquad girls: not only are they wearing the most beautiful floral dressing gowns in their preparation pics, but she chose floor-length, rose gold sequinned gowns for them for the ceremony. I mean, I’d be literally skipping down the aisle!

Maxine herself wows effortlessly in her slinky lace number, which moved smoothly from the hotel ceremony to the couple’s gorgeous outdoor photoshoot and from day to night. And what a night it was from the look of things – love lights, laughter and leapfrogs. What all good weddings are made of!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (44)

maxine says: Alex proposed to me in Cairns. He had been in Australia with work for six months and I had gone to visit him. He popped the question just after we‘d been scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It was perfect!

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (50)

We got married on 18th February 2017. We wanted to get married fairly quickly; a long engagement wasn’t for us. We knew we couldn’t rely on the weather and liked the idea of a winter wedding.

We got married at Mere Court Hotel, Cheshire, and had both the ceremony and reception there. I viewed it while Alex was in Australia. I knew as soon as I looked at I that it was what we both wanted.  It had a country house feel with lots of rooms for our guests to stay in, an intimate ceremony room with a lot of character and an amazing conservatory for the reception.

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (82)

For our theme, we went with a winter glamour/Gatsby-type feel. I knew I didn’t want red and knew I wanted the bridesmaids in rose gold sequin maxi dresses and so the ideas just stemmed from there. I love how rose gold, bronze and ivory work together – the bridesmaids looked amazing in their dresses!

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (107)

I bought my dress at a bridal shop owned by my friend Holly, Dream Dress Bridal. I‘d tried a few dresses on at wedding fairs for Holly and had an idea of the style I liked. I loved the one I eventually chose, particularly its detailed back. I knew I didn’t want a veil but a tiara; it went perfectly with the dress.

Alex wore a blue Signature suit from Next with a waistcoat and taupe tie. The colour looked amazing on Alex and thankfully went with the theme! The groomsmen also wore blue suits from Next.

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