Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

confetti creativity: shropshire petals

February 20th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Shropshire Petals - Wand Images

The confetti shot is often one of the standout images from a wedding and is a tradition that never seems to falter. Unfortunately though, this bright and beautiful moment only lasts a few seconds, with the confetti then blown away by the breeze as the wedding party move onto the next step of the proceedings.

Keen to see couples make much more of confetti for their big day, we’ve invited our lovely Sponsor and expert in the field, Shropshire Petals, along to the blog to share their inspiring ideas on what other elements of the celebrations that confetti can play a super-pretty part in.

Renowned for their ‘Pick & Mix’ confetti selector, Shropshire Petals enable couples to create their own unique natural petal confetti mixes for their big day. Brides Up North readers that would like to do so can save 10% on confetti orders over £50* by entering BRIDESNORTH10 at the checkout.

So here we go, Shropshire Petals’ top five ways to make a fabulous feature out of your confetti:

confetti bar

Shropshire Petals - Wand Images

Having a confetti bar is a great way to show off your style, creativity and evoke a bit of fun for your guests. Select several different petals and colours of natural petal confetti to suit your wedding theme and place individual colours or mixes into containers such as jars, pots and vases. Arrange them on a table, bench or a place at your venue that is close to where you will be having your confetti moment together with some confetti cones or pouches for your guests to fill. Add some props and extra décor to complement your styling and let your guests have fun selecting confetti for your special moment.

hanging cones

Shropshire Petals - Wand Images

Guests love to interact with your wedding day, so giving them something to do is a great way to get them involved. Displaying your confetti in hanging confetti cones will encourage guests to help themselves. Peg cones filled with your chosen confetti onto lines of string. You could have a line either side of a path where guests will stand for your confetti moment, which will make for a stunning photograph and easy for guests to see where they need to stand. You could also hang cones off individual chairs at your ceremony or in a pail at the end of your pews for guests to take as they leave.

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rhythm of love: maggie sottero for a wedding at the mansion, leeds – charlotte & amarvir

February 19th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (33)

When choosing a venue for the big day there is much more to think about than the room where your ceremony will take place; what about standout areas for your wedding photography, first-class catering and exclusivity to ensure you have the whole place to yourselves during your celebrations? Today’s featured wedding took place at a stunning venue that offers all that (and more!) – The Mansion, in Leeds.

We’re giving you the fabulous opportunity to view this spectacular venue for yourselves when we host our Luxury Wedding Fair at The Mansion on Sunday 25th February, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. You can find out more and pre-register for the event here.

As so many couples do, today’s brides and groom, Charlotte and Amarvir, fell in love with The Mansion’s idyllic position, nestled within the beautiful Roundhay Park – and its faultless service and elegant style ticked all other boxes!

Picking a theme that would complement both the setting and season, Charlotte chose a pretty pink and cream colour scheme with opulent pops of gold.

We adore her diamanté-embellishment Maggie Sottero gown, which twinkled perfectly on the dancefloor as she and Amarvir enjoyed their first dance, which they had specially choreographed and took professional lessons for, no less!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (1)

charlotte says: We got engaged on holiday in Mauritius in August 2016. Amarvir’s proposal was very romantic. He had planned a special dinner at a beautiful restaurant – champagne, rose petals on the table, etc. After our romantic dinner, we went for a walk along the beach and sat on a jetty, dipping our feet into the Indian Ocean under the moon and stars and that is when Amarvir asked me to marry him! It was the most perfect evening.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (20)

We got married on 19th August 2017, as we wanted a summer wedding on a Saturday. We chose The Mansion in Roundhay Park, Leeds, as our venue due to the beautiful park surroundings and because we would have exclusive use of the venue on our big day, which was important to us.

We chose a summer theme – lots of pink, gold, rose gold and cream to create a lovely summery floral atmosphere, which fitted the time of year and location of the venue in the park.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (54)

For my wedding dress, I wore a full-length Maggie Sottero gown with diamanté-embellishment on the top half from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique in Leeds. I love sparkles, so it was the perfect gown for me.

Amarvir hired his morning suit from Moss Bros. He wore a black tail coat with grey striped suit trousers, a light pink cravat and a dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and held a grey top hat for our photos. For the evening reception, Amarvir changed into a white tux jacket, black tux trousers, black bow tie and his black and white dancing shoes!

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (58)

My bridesmaids wore a full-length, light pink dress with lace detail on the top half, which I bought online from Stacees and which complemented my wedding dress and the overall theme.

The groomsmen wore morning suits like Amarvir, also hired from Moss Bros, and they had gold cravats.

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a starry union: allure bridals for a pretty wedding at healey barn – kathryn & michael

February 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (51)

“Pick a seat, not a side; we’re all family when the knot is tied,” declared a sign at the marriage ceremony of today’s real wedding couple, Kathryn and Michael. It’s perhaps all the more poignant given the couple hail from opposite sides of the pond, with Michael coming from New York.

As a nod to their different heritages, the couple incorporated some special touches into their day, such as a sweetie table laden with British and American sweets for the guests, and traditional British lawn games set up outside, along with beer pong and corn hole. Not to mention the odd socks worn by the groom and groomsmen – one sporting a Union Jack and the other an American flag, of course!

With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (35)

kathryn says: We got engaged in October 2015. Michael is American and was living in New York at the time and I was over visiting on holiday. One evening after we had finished eating, Michael told me he had to show me something before we got back on the subway home. We then started walking up Fifth Avenue and Michael kept refusing to tell me what it was, even though I kept pestering him as I was tired and wanted to go home! We eventually got to Central Park, where Michael took me to the side of the lake with the New York skyline in the background and got down on one knee and popped the question! There was just the two of us in a serene Central Park and it was perfect.

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (23)

We got married on 3rd September 2016. We wanted to get married fairly quickly so Michael could move to the UK, as we had been living apart in separate countries for so long. Michael’s sister and cousins were also getting married over the summer, so we wanted to space the weddings out so everyone had their moment to shine.

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (48)

We had our ceremony at St John’s Methodist Church in Whitley Bay. This was my family and childhood church and also where my parents got married. We are good friends with Carla, the minister at the church, so it felt really special to be married by someone so close to our family.

We had our reception at Healey Barn – it’s such a beautiful and relaxed place. There’s nothing not to love! We would definitely recommend the venue – everything about the day was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, and that was down to the slick operation that they run at Healey Barn. The barn is beautiful, the countryside surrounding the barn is breath-taking, and our guests couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the food was!

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (55)

The theme for the wedding was rustic. The barn itself was so beautiful that it didn’t need a lot of decorations, so I wanted everything to be homemade and to complement the rustic barn setting.

Our colour scheme was sage green and dusky pink. I always wanted quite a soft, romantic colour palette that complemented the natural colours of the countryside. We also used a lot of burlap and lace to complement the rustic barn theme.

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look who’s talking: introducing emma taylor presents

February 16th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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The topic we’re focusing on in today’s post is something that can cause many a person’s blood to run cold – the wedding speeches. As while seen as a highlight of the day for guests, for the members of the bridal party who actually have to deliver them it’s an honour that often comes with a side-helping of fear!

Watching my fiancée painfully deliberate over how to approach a best man speech recently made the thankful that, as a female, such a duty wouldn’t be bestowed on me. Or so I thought! In May my brother Dan is getting married *lets off party popper* and I’m his best woman, oh wait, that involves a speech! Furthermore, having now had a ring put on my finger, I’m rather drawn to the growing trend for brides to have their say from the top table too. And so, it appears I could well be in the bright speech spotlight not once, but twice, in the next 18 months.

As such I will be paying particularly close attention to our uber-skilful, new Sponsor that we’re introducing on the blog today, public speaking coach Emma Taylor of Emma Taylor Presents.

With a successful background in scriptwriting and acting, Emma set up her business to deliver training courses and coach individuals in public speaking and presentation skills, which she has now extended to include professional guidance and advice on the construction and delivery of wedding speeches. What a fabulous idea we hear you cry, and we couldn’t agree more!

With one-to-one coaching and group workshop options for everyone from the best man, groom and father-of-the-bride, to any females that want to take to the mic too – brides, matrons, mums – Emma can help turn a fearful task into a truly wonderful experience.

And she’s taking over the blog this morning to tell us just how she does it – pens and notebooks at the ready!

READER OFFER – Emma is offering Brides Up North readers a 10% discount on group workshop attendance in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool during March, April and May 2018. Full details below.  

Best Man's Raising Glass

You’ve been providing public speaking training for MPs, senior managers and even members of the clergy for over a decade, so how did you come to add wedding speech coaching to your portfolio of services?

emma says: It was after attending a wedding last year. At it, the best man spoke for too long and repeated some of the groom’s material, the father-of-the-bride was barely audible and never once looked at the guests, and when the bride was asked to say a few words, all she could manage was a clichéd, “thank you all for coming”. The speakers clearly needed help, but they’d not had anyone to turn to, and that’s when I thought, ‘I could be that person’.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how Emma Taylor Presents came to fruition?

While I was studying for my MA in Scriptwriting, I worked part-time as a PA. As part of the job, I attended lots of meetings and witnessed lots of poor presentations. One day, in the car on the way back to the office, I happened to casually remark that if these presenters understood a little about dramatic structure and were given a few acting skills, then their presentations would be greatly improved. The following morning, my boss strode into the office and announced, “I had dinner with the Chair of Salford Royal last night. He’s a dreadful public speaker. I’ve found you your first client!” My initial reaction was horror. But then I decided to put my money where my mouth was and deliver the coaching. Anyway, post coaching, everyone noticed the transformation and my business grew by word of mouth mainly.

Can you tell us a little about the various wedding speech training packages you offer?

I offer three different training options: One-to-one coaching, a bridal speech party and open group workshops.

The one-to-one option is ideal for wedding speakers who are time-poor, very inexperienced or very scared about giving their speech. The service generally comprises two meetings. The first meeting is to sketch out the speech and agree its content. The second meeting is to rehearse the speech. In between sessions, I will pen the speech which the client is encouraged to tweak so that he or she finds it natural to say.

The bridal speech party brings together the wedding’s key speakers: best man, groom, bride, father- or mother-of-the-bride and, sometimes, the maid of honour too. It’s always a lively, jolly and productive affair. Over a glass of fizz, participants get to suggest ideas, share anecdotes and structure and/or rehearse their speeches. The party also presents a wonderful bonding opportunity. It usually lasts four hours.

I offer two types of group workshops: Simply the Best and Welcomes, Wishes and Cheers! Simply the Best is designed for best men, best women and maids and matrons of honour while Welcomes, Wishes and Cheers! prepares fathers and mothers-of-the-bride, grooms and brides for the public speaking task that awaits them. The workshops are three hours long and will run in venues in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds during the spring.

BP - kitchen group

How would you say wedding speeches have changed over the years and what makes a good speech in today’s modern world?

I don’t think the remit of wedding speeches has changed but I think guests’ expectations have. So, if a couple is throwing a large, no-expenses-spared day, then guests expect the speeches to top the wonderful wedding breakfast, and if they don’t, there’s a sense of flatness and disappointment.

Of course, more women speak at weddings today. It’s quite common now for a mum to deliver the ‘father-of-the-bride’ speech and more and more brides are choosing to take to the mic – Meghan Markle reportedly being one of them at. Matrons and maids of honour are also leaping to their feet and all of this is to be encouraged. Guests love it when the girls get involved. However, because the bride’s and maid of honour’s speeches aren’t traditional ones sometimes they lack a sense of purpose and can meander. My coaching addresses this and gives brides and maids of honour a sound but simple steer.

Even if a bride hasn’t intended to give a speech, she’s regularly called upon to say a few words, so I’d always advise her to have a short speech prepared. Remember, the best seemingly ‘off the cuff’ speeches have usually been given an awful lot of thought!

What would you say is the most common mistake made when constructing and delivering a speech?

In constructing, worrying so much about it being funny that the speaker gets his or her jokes off the internet. Audiences can sniff this a mile of, and they don’t like it. What they want to hear are truthful stories and familiar, funny observations that really capture the personality of the bride or groom.

In terms of delivery, a lot can go wrong, but I think my biggest bugbear is when speakers just read out their speeches with their heads down. The audience wants to see the speaker; guests want to feel that the speaker is looking them in the eye. Interaction is everything!

What would be your top tip to help people overcome their public speaking nerves?

Remind yourself of all the preparation you’ve done. An exam isn’t worrying if you’ve revised, and a speech will go well if you’ve prepared. Remember those hours you put in.

Bride Speaking

What is the feedback like from those that you have helped with a wedding speech?

It’s been excellent. And of course, what’s important to my clients is the feedback from guests at the weddings they’ve spoken at – which has also been really good. I think clients like my firm but fun approach. Once we start working on their speech, they go from dreading it to feeling excited about it; a sentiment they didn’t believe was possible!

Clients benefit because I’m not just a professional scriptwriter, but I also trained as an actor, so I’m able to help them in the prep and delivery of their speech. They trust my feedback and they respect my perfectionism. I want their speech to sparkle as much as they do.

Can you give us an idea of the price of the packages available?

The complete one to one package is £550. The bridal speech party is £475. Attending a group workshop is £75 per participant. I’m pleased to offer Brides Up North readers a 10% discount on group workshop attendance during March, April and May 2018. Subject to terms and conditions.

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weddings with feel good factor: totem tipi

February 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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With ever expanding location options for couples to tie the knot, we love to see brides and grooms taking their celebrations outdoors to make the most of the North’s stunning areas of natural beauty; from sweet coastline settings, to historic woodlands and beautiful open areas of rolling countryside.

Though enjoying some fully open-air elements, most brides and grooms still require a structure to provide shelter (and warmth!) for certain parts of the celebrations, such as the feasting and dancing. For us there’s nothing more stunning than a tipi tent to fulfil this need, and we just so happen to be talking to an expert in the field on the blog today, our wonderful Yorkshire-based Sponsor Totem Tipi.

Super-striking from the outside and wonderfully atmospheric within, Totem’s gorgeous and adaptable tipis provide a blank canvas for couples to make their own and can cater for any size wedding, during any season of the year.

Furthermore, those that choose Totem for their big day will have the added feel good factor that all proceeds for hire of their structures feedback into a local youth arts project, which helps at risk and vulnerable children and young people build confidence and self-esteem, whilst instilling positive attitudes.

The Totem team are here now to tell us more…

DIARY DATE: Totem Tipis will be showcasing their fabulous structures at Brides Up North’s epic festival style wedding fairs; WEDSTOCK’18 at Stockeld Park, Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Sunday 6th May, and WEDSTIVAL’18 at Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire, on Sunday 20th May 2018, both open 11am to 3pm, FREE ENTRY.

Totem4-580x386

What type of structures do you offer?

[jennaopne]totem tipi say: Our event tipis are Stratus 72 tipis, also known as a Kata tipi or Giant Hat. The stratus 72 is based on a traditional Scandinavian design. Due to their unique interlocking features, the kata tipis make stunning intimate venues for a small wedding party, or can be joined together to create bigger structures to cater for the largest of wedding parties.

Can they be hired for weddings all-year-round?

The structures are built to withstand harsh weathers. With strong sustainable timbers and waterproof fabrics, we can cater for all events in all seasons. So, whether you want to create a summer celebration with the sides up, or you fancy a winter wonderland with an open fire pit, indoor heaters and warm blankets, then the tents can accommodate all ideas, seasons and tastes!

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What kind of numbers can the tipis hold and how are they laid out?

The tipis can be set out however you like! Whether you want a dance floor and bar area or want the whole space for seating. It’s really up to you. We can work together to design a plan that best suits you and your guests. As a basic guide we recommend the following maximum numbers per tent:

1 x Stratus tipi   – can seat up to 64 guests

2 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 120 guests

3 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 160 guests

4 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 200 guests

What would you say are the main plus points of an outdoor tipi wedding?

There are so many advantages to having an outdoor wedding, there are masses of choices of stunning locations, you can bring the outside in on a lovely summer’s day, and the events are always different. But I think the greatest is the freedom that you get to plan and design your wedding to be exactly how you want it to be. You literally get a blank canvas to stamp your personalities onto!

How can you help couples to enhance the tipis with furniture/decorations/expansions?

At Totem we allocate a member of staff to look after your wedding from start to finish. Your Totem contact will come out and view your location, talk you though the best options for your event and discuss all of our added extras, from chill-out furniture to extra lighting and additional tents!

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roses & romance. a classic wedding at worsley park marriott, manchester – sarah & phil

February 13th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Classic Wedding at Worsley Park Marriott (c) Tomcat Photography (26)

Time for some feel-good spring wedding inspiration to inject some sunshine into this dreary grey February – are you ready? Because we definitely are!

The lovely Sarah and Phil were married last May at the Worsley Park Marriot Hotel, Manchester. After reading about Phil’s uber-romantic proposal speech we expected big things and, by golly, we got them – roses galore, a Rolls Royce fit for a princess and a ruched satin fishtail dress of dreaminess. Romance in spades, readers.

We love the personalised cocktail ideas (Blushing Bride, anyone?) and the personalised CD favours for their guests, plus those images of this gorgeous pair embracing feel like we’re sneaking a peek at a completely intimate moment – in a good way!

Diary Date: If Sarah and Phil’s choice of venue has captured your attention then be sure to join us for our ‘Love Parade’ Valentine’s Wedding Show at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel, this Sunday 18th February, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. This fabulous event will give you the opportunity to view this splendid venue for yourselves while meeting a fine selection of the area’s top wedding suppliers. Pre-register here to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

With images by Tomcat Photography.

A Classic Wedding at Worsley Park Marriott (c) Tomcat Photography (27)

sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas Day morning in 2014. Phil and I were sitting in the front room in our PJs. We‘d opened all of our gifts – or so I thought. Phil asked me to close my eyes as he had another present for me which was a surprise. He went on to say that I’d changed his life and he couldn’t live without me, hence he’d got me another gift. He then told me to open my eyes and there he was with the ring box open! He asked me to marry him and I obviously said yes – and I couldn’t stop crying!

Our wedding was set for 26th May 2017. Phil had always wanted to get married in May; it’s his favourite month because he seems to think the weather is perfect!  I could see benefits to getting married in all seasons so I was easily persuaded.

A Classic Wedding at Worsley Park Marriott (c) Tomcat Photography (12)

Our venue was Worsley Park Marriott for both the ceremony and the reception. We used Brides Up North to research venues initially and attended a few wedding fairs – when we came to Worsley we knew instantly that we would get married there. We even loved the experience of driving up to the entrance – it just felt right for us. Plus, we live locally, know the area well and felt it would also be great for guests travelling more of a distance.

A Classic Wedding at Worsley Park Marriott (c) Tomcat Photography (29)

Our theme for the wedding was music. Both Phil and I absolutely love music and our taste is so similar, yet very eclectic. We named each table after a meaningful song title and we also booked a band called Under the Covers, who were amazing and performed all of our favourite music.

Our colour scheme was coral; it’s my favourite colour because it’s so bright and cheerful and perfect for a spring/summer wedding.

A Classic Wedding at Worsley Park Marriott (c) Tomcat Photography (33)

I wore an ivory fishtail dress from Bliss Bridal in Bolton. I saw it in the window and knew straight away it was ‘the one’. I asked to try it on and cried before I’d even looked in the mirror! It was classic but not like any other dress I’d seen before.

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