April 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ we’re always super keen to learn more about the fabulous wedding venues available in this half of the country, so that we can spread the word to you, our lovely readers.
While some we follow with interest online, others we’re fortunate to visit in person, allowing us to view and experience their wonderful facilities and hospitality first hand. Our most recent travels saw us heading west, to the impressive Carden Park Hotel, where we were invited for a glorious one-night getaway.
Nested in 1,000 acres of Cheshire countryside, the sizable estate boasts an award-winning hotel, AA Rosette restaurant, championship golf courses, adventure activities and spa. Its spacious function suites and grounds mean it’s also a popular wedding venue, offering a varied choice of settings and packages for a couple’s special day.
Upon arriving for our stay, we were given a tour of the facilities and celebration spaces by the hotel’s friendly wedding planner, Maddie, where the full scope of Carden Park’s offering came to light. Not only can this hotel cater for the big day itself, but it’s an ideal retreat for pre-wedding pampering, a girly or action-packed hen do and a relaxing minimoon.
In terms of accommodation, the hotel offers a wide choice of options; from twin, double and family rooms, up to its spacious luxury suites, with special upgrade extras including a fully stocked complimentary minibar, chocolates, sparkling wine and ESPA toiletries.
Wedding wise, Carden can cater for all sizes and offers the choice of its elegant and contemporary Carden Suite, rustic-style Shooting Suite and open-air Wedding Pavilion, through its ‘Eternity’ and ‘Fairytale’ packages.
Elsewhere in the hotel there is much more to be explored. We began our break with an afternoon tea in the comfortable lounge area before taking the energy levels up a notch with some of the fun outdoor activities available on site. From laser clay shooting, archery and mountain biking to an aerial zip-wiring course, Carden is a playground for all ages.
We were treated to an off-roading 4×4 experience with JEEP enthusiast and instructor Terry, who navigated us through the surrounding woodland, giving us a tour of the expansive estate whilst sliding around the challenging course. Next up, with the help of instructor Ryan, we tried our hand (and feet) at segwaying, which is a little trickier than it looks, but heaps of fun.
Back at the hotel it was time to wind things down again, and so after a quick shower and change, we settled in the bar with a bottle of sauvignon, ahead of our three-course meal in Redmond’s Restaurant. Changing its menu regularly to suit the season and fresh produce available, we were spoiled for choice when it came to making our starter, main and dessert selections but went with the staff recommendations (they certainly know their stuff!) A salmon-starter, chicken-main and panna-cotta-dessert later, it was evident that the standard of food was equal to the level of service – first class!
We retired for the evening feeling immensely satisfied and settled into our king-size beds for a peaceful night’s sleep.
March 31st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
While we Brides Up North girls are big fans of timeless stately home settings, we can’t help falling head over heels for the stripped-back industrial style venues that are coming through strong on the current wedding scene.
Today’s celebration takes place at one such venue, a former cotton spinning mill that has been transformed into a stylish wedding venue, complete with exposed brick, wooden floors and pendant lighting. We love!
Bride and groom Kate and Matt, enhanced the venue further by paying homage to the area’s textile industry roots within their décor and colour scheme choices.
There’s lots of pretty to pore over, from Kate’s stunning beaded dress and Hollywood-worthy makeup, to the beautiful bouquets and suspended floral arrangement!
kate says: We got engaged in Alghero, Sardinia, in August 2015 and set the date for a year later, on Monday 15th August 2016.
We chose to marry on this date as we really wanted our wedding at The West Mill in Derby and, due to its popularity, there were limited dates left and we didn’t want to miss out. Luckily, we both work in a school so a Monday wedding in the summer holidays was not a problem for us.
The venue was right up our street with its industrial chic design and its exclusive use for our big day. The setting is beautiful right on the river Derwrnt and only ten minutes from Derby.
We went with a simple, cotton mill theme for the wedding in honour of the building and because we are both from Rochdale and Oldham, renowned for their part in the textile industry during the industrial revolution.
The colour scheme was made up of rustic tones, with white, cream and peach flowers and navy for the groomsmen’s suits.
I chose to wear a vintage beaded dress by Maggie Sottero from Brides and Gowns, located in Derby city centre. I chose it for its simplicity and style, I wanted to maintain a classic look in keeping with the venue.
Matt wore a navy Venttuno suit with a cream waistcoat and champagne cravat from Moss Bros. The groomsmen wore the same as Matt but with champagne ties instead of cravats.
On the day of the wedding myself, my mum and my bridesmaids travelled to the venue by limousine.
March 28th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When mathematicians Aaron and Katie decided to get hitched, their love of all things numeric found their way into their planning; from the Venn diagrams on their Save the Dates, to infinity symbols on their stationery.
And what a day it was, with nods to Katie’s Scottish heritage in the gorgeous blooms, Jimmy Choo heels and a menu that’s guaranteed to make you drool rather inelegantly over your keyboard. We’re sorry (not sorry).
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography
katie says: Aaron and I got engaged in May 2014. Aaron and I had planned a long weekend away in Northumberland as a treat, and we spent one day in a beautiful fishing village called Craster. We were walking around a totally deserted castle, taking in the beautiful views when he dropped to one knee and said “I have something else I want to ask you”. In all honesty, it was a complete shock. He spent a good minute getting a wet knee, assuring me he was serious, he‘d asked my dad, and that he was taking me to buy a ring the following weekend. Of course, I said yes!
We got married on 10th September 2016 at Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Rise Hall was suggested to us by a friend, and it got pushed down the list due to the distance from Leeds. However, the minute (and I mean the actual minute) we walked into Rise Hall and were greeted by Helen (the lady of the house) we just knew it was everything we wanted.
We were able to have exactly the type of wedding we wanted at Rise Hall – you have the venue from Friday until Sunday. We had our family and wedding party join us for an informal meal on the Friday night, which was wonderful.
Our blessing took place at All Saints Church, about half-a-mile down the lane from the Hall and was overseen by Rev Andy Simpson, the vespa-driving, guitar-playing vicar. We had countless compliments about Andy; he really and truly made our blessing one of the best parts of the day.
We didn’t have a theme for our wedding – instead, we had lots of things that mean a lot to us. The flowers in the bouquets, the boys’ buttonholes and the ladies’ corsages had thistles in them and they were tied together with tartan ribbon to reflect the fact that I was born and grew up in Scotland. Aaron has supported Middlesbrough Football Club since he was tiny, so our table names were a selection of his favourite Middlesbrough players. We also both studied Maths at university, so our save the dates were Venn-diagrams, and our invites and other stationery were embossed with an infinity symbol.
I chose a Jenny Packham gown called Lilya, which I bought from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. As soon as we got engaged, so many people said “Oh, I can just see you in a Jenny Packham gown!” However, I refused to try them on as they were way out of my price range. I tried on quite a few gowns, and there were definitely a few that I could have happily got married in. As luck would have it, though, Ava Rose were having a sample sale on their Jenny Packham dresses, so I went along (first in the queue with two of my friends). Lilya was the first one I tried on and I loved it so much. However, I definitely didn’t have that ‘this is the one’ moment that everyone talks about – I spent a good hour taking it off and on again while deciding. Eventually I bought it, and also went for a long cream veil. My shoes were Jimmy Choo Langs, in steel grey glitter. My dress had a slit up the front, so I knew they’d also be on show!
On the morning of the wedding, Aaron sent a beautiful bottle of champagne to my room, along with a Tiffany infinity bracelet he’d bought as a wedding present.
asos, ava rose hamilton, bethany clarke wedding photography, brides up north sponsor, cheaney, cherry williams, debenhams, form jewellery kerb edge, georgia thursting, hollie hart creatuve, Jenny Packham, jimmy choo, jo malone, real wedding, rise hall, rise hall wedding, rise hall wedding photography, sarah plews, saunts, tiffany, tm lewin, trailfinders, uk wedding blog, wedding photographer, wedding photography
March 27th, 2017 | Julia Braime
After the clock change at the weekend, we’ve officially sprung into spring, meaning lighter nights, warmer weather and the approach to peak wedding season are all on the way!
To mark the arrival of the new season, we’re bringing a glorious helping of inspiration to those of you planning springtime weddings, 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 helpful pointers on planning a wedding in the season of new beginnings…
Matt says: With Yorkshire offering some of the finest countryside in Britain, make the most of the warmer, longer days by choosing a spectacular setting for your big day. Dine boasts an impressive portfolio of stunning venues to suit every taste – whether you favour a magnificent deer park, picturesque walled gardens, or breath-taking views over historical ruins.
While beautiful indoor locations can be appealing for a spring wedding owing to the chance of April Showers, marquees can provide a fantastic compromise. Although popular for the quintessentially British summer wedding, with the right planning, flooring and heating, a reception under canvas can be a perfect venue whatever the time of year. You can even choose a marquee with sides that can be removed or with windows to enable you to make the most of the weather and the view.
Many of Dine’s stunning venues provide fantastic lakeside settings with outstanding outlooks across Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Gothic-style Carlton Towers and Ripley Castle’s Lakeside settings provide panoramic views – across an island which is home to majestic swans and a glorious, rolling deer park respectively. Alternatively, Bolton Abbey nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, provides a secluded and private setting with exclusive access to the River Wharfe and views of the Augustinian Priory. Belvoir Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland offers a magnificent setting for a marquee wedding while Dalton Hall’s walled garden is quintessentially English and perfect for a more formal spring theme.
Marquees make a spectacular backdrop to wedding celebrations, and offer the ultimate in flexibility, even allowing you the ultimate luxury of getting married at home. Such a wedding can create a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, while the individual location enables couples to buck the trend of a traditional spring wedding and create their own traditions in their unique family setting.
With marquees able to accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose, a huge garden is not necessary. Marquees are also available in an array of sizes and styles, from tipis and vintage army tents, to sailcloth and traditional, enabling you to match a style to your spring wedding theme.
No matter the season, it’s always a fantastic idea for your wedding breakfast to reflect the seasonality of your day, in terms of both the dishes and presentation. With 18 years’ experience as a hospitality and catering specialist, Dine can provide innovation and skill when creating food for your spring wedding. Experienced and imaginative event managers and chefs, combined with seasonal ingredients always promise to deliver your perfect spring menu.
Edible flowers available in spring on both savoury and sweet courses are an innovative and impressive use of unique ingredients to make your dishes look gorgeous. Nasturtiums, French Marigolds and Cornflowers all make colourful additions to your dishes and provide a seasonal touch. Yet if you’d prefer greenery to the bright colours of seasonal flowers, adding fresh herbs to dishes, especially desserts for a unique touch is another great way to add spring colour to your food. Chocolate and rosemary are a match made in heaven so why not add dark chocolate and rosemary tart with a fennel ice-cream and orange sherbet to your wedding breakfast for bright colours and fresh flavours.
Incorporating seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, sugar snap peas, baby carrots and new potatoes provides fresh flavours and crunchy textures. Dine can provide innovative starters, main courses and desserts which combine spectacular presentation and fantastic flavours.
From asparagus velouté with a soft poached quail’s egg and crème fraîche, to fillet of halibut marinated in lemon confit and thyme with vegetables Provençale, gazpacho dressing and buttered anya new potatoes, Dine can create dishes which will remind your guests of spring no matter your venue or the weather.
Menu tasting well ahead of your big day is vital to ensure seasonality and the combination of your chosen ingredients are a perfect match. This also allows you to discuss the menu with your Dine event manager and any adjustments you would like to make.
Wherever you choose to get married, a spring wedding should reflect on the rejuvenation and expectation of the season with soft hues and delicate textures. Pastel pink, lavender and green can be incorporated through dresses, suits, bouquets and food to bring the season inside.
Building a Pinterest ‘mood board’ will help you focus on the spring styles you like, and look carefully at brochures and social media to see what has been done previously at your wedding venue. Working with your venue, whether it be a marquee which provides a blank canvas for you to dress. or somewhere pre-prepared, is important to see how your theme can be incorporated and what might not be as easy to achieve.
According to the Pantone Colour Institute, the colour of 2017 is ‘greenery’ and this certainly reflects the seasonality of spring with images of new growth and new life.
With simple greenery bouquets also becoming increasingly popular, this can be a great backdrop to other colour choices for decorations and favours. The contrast between bright vivid green and delicate pastel colours will create a fresh and vibrant palette, evoking sensations of spring even if the weather isn’t as glorious as you would like, or you are having an indoor wedding.
March 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for wedding photography that’s beautifully emotive and bubbling with energy, then you’re going to be as excited as us about this afternoon’s post, as we’re introducing the fabulous Stella Photography as a brand-new Brides Up North Sponsor.
Brimming with enthusiasm, the duo behind the cameras are Zuzi and Seb, who strike the perfect balance between creating relaxed and fun vibes to capture a couple at their very best on their big day.
Based in the North West, but always eager to travel, the Stella team pride themselves on delivering images that rock! So, if you like what you see, be sure to read on for more details on this talented twosome.
Tell us a little about the Stella Photography team?
stella photography say: Our story started more than eight years ago when we (Zuzi and Seb) finished our fine art photography degrees full of passion and ideas. Seb went on to do a masters in photography at LCC in London whilst the business was gradually growing. We are the super creative, energetic social butterflies, buzzing with charisma and fun. Seb’s wife of ten years, Clare, keeps the business running from behind the scenes and keeps our feet firmly on the ground! Zuzi is like family and is godmother to Seb and Clare’s three children. Seb also has a career as a photographic artist with regular solo shows internationally and various publications. He gives talks and workshops in Universities all over the EU. We have more photographers living the dream with us now as the business has developed so much and they bring their new creative ideas and personalities.
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
We are all hopeless romantics. Quite simply, getting married, one love for life, the unity and strength of family and sharing the same name, drew us naturally to wedding photography and finding our niche of vibrant and fun loving brides and grooms. Keeping it real for us.
And what is it about your job that you love?
We just love working with all our couples and their families and being a part of the most special day of their lives. The hanging out with them all over again when their siblings or friends tie the knot. Then seeing all the new baby arrivals! We also love the creative opportunities to explore each unique couple’s loving vibes and chemistry on film and constantly push ourselves to try new, fresh and creative ideas.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
We are really relaxed with bit of quirkiness and fun. We love to blend in, making our couples feel as supported and comfortable as possible and keeping their guests entertained!
What is the feedback like from your clients?
We have the best clients ever and the feedback we get is genuinely heart-warming. They love that we are there for them in every capacity on their day, to make it run as smoothly as possible in a fun and relaxed way. They are overcome by their images, which totally rock!
How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?
We understand that some couples are camera shy but, to be honest, after meeting with our couples at the fayres or for a coffee, they book us as they feel at ease with our natural, fun approach and relaxed vibe. They know that we are all about them on the day and trust that we will get the most beautiful images for them. Spending more time together at a pre-wedding shoot can be invaluable to camera shy couples as they love their pictures so much they become even more excited about their big day.
Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out?
Every wedding we shoot is super special to us as each one is so unique, we love the variety of rural and urban locations as they all present different challenges and ways of working creatively.
Where would be your dream location to shoot?
A desert wedding like Arizona, Vegas… bring it on please… oh the light!
March 22nd, 2017 | Julia Braime
We’ve got a rare weekend off next Sunday as we put our feet up and celebrate Mother’s Day (note to the husband and littles: I expect to be waited on!) but we’re already looking ahead to one Super Sunday of Brides Up North events to make up for it on Sunday 2nd April 2017! For the Yorkshire ladies amongst us, we have one very special date for the diary: a Brides Up North Luxury Bridal Show at Denton Hall, Ilkley, 11am till 3pm, FREE entry.
As your very own exclusive-use country house for the weekend, the team at Denton Hall pride themselves on meeting your needs with a personal touch. Denton Hall blends its rich history with a bespoke, flexible modern-day service – including a Michelin-starred fine dining experience courtesy of award winning Box Tree Events – to ensure that your special day is as successful, enjoyable and memorable as possible.
A week on Sunday, we’ve enlisted the help of 30+ luxury wedding exhibitors who plan to fill it’s stately rooms with wedding inspiration to help make your day even more perfect.
The Hall is set in the heart of 2,500 acres of colourful, secluded, landscaped grounds and the exquisite interior of the Hall itself complements these beautiful surroundings. Featuring two magnificent reception rooms full of stately grandeur, with smaller, more intimate areas including an oak-panelled library and a charming period dining room you are truly Lord and Lady of the Manor at Denton.
Watch out for the Hall’s many charming features including a spiral staircase, hand-crafted genuine vintage Mouseman oak furniture, Adam style fireplaces and ceilings and crystal chandeliers. There are also 24 newly-refurbished bedrooms and two luxury suites – including an elegant bridal suite.
Come and see it all for yourselves…
bride to be?
To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags, including the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine), simply follow the link below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the Luxury Bridal Show. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.
wedding industry professional?
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2017. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions.
Click here to view the full schedule.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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