Charlotte Balbier

natural beauty: a styled bridal shoot in west cumbria

July 14th, 2017 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (32)

The weekend is almost here, but before you slope off for a post-work pinot, we’re bringing you this sweet styled shoot.

Fine art wedding photographer Allison Leigh, who is based in Toronto, approached a local venue stylist to get the ball rolling, and together, they masterminded this lovely collection of images.

Delicate and understated, with pastel bouquets and a whimsical ruffle or two – there’s lots of beautiful flourishes to look out for – think a rose gold palette, vintage glassware and rustic centre pieces, and that’s before we even mention the venue’s exquisite gardens. Prepare to be inspired as Allison explains how the pretty came together…

With images by Allison Leigh. Models Saoirse Brown and Pippa Bell.

allison says: I reached out to Jane Donaldson from I Do Cumbria Wedding Hire, who specialises in creating bespoke venue styling, and asked if she would be open to collaborating on a shoot. She replied immediately, saying that it would be ‘magical’. We then planned every detail and sourced other talented vendors we could work with.

The inspiration for Jane came in part from looking at my photography work. Jane loved my bright, airy and natural photos, and decided to go for a feminine and romantic theme with delicate natural touches.

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (8)

With regards to the location for the shoot, I was keen to find a hotel that I felt was under-utilised as a wedding venue. Broughton Craggs Hotel is West Cumbria’s hidden gem and was the perfect backdrop for our theme. It is located in a beautiful setting within exquisite gardens. The house is tastefully decorated too, in keeping with the period, but with modern touches.

Jane wanted the feel of the shoot to be feminine, simple, romantic and pretty. She designed individual table centrepieces with a minimalist style, using gold, rose gold, whites, pearls and beautiful vintage glassware. Jane shared her beautiful vision with the other vendors and they created their pieces with that in mind.

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (14)

Suzi Smith from Enchanted Florist Cumbria did the same with her florals – ensuring the colours complemented the shoot and even matched the button hole perfectly to calligrapher Jill Liley’s colours. She created a beautiful bouquet and button hole that tied together beautifully.

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real wedding recap summer 2017: a beautiful barn wedding in the lake districct – esther & jake

June 27th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Lake District Wedding (c) Ian Brookes (27)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

When it comes to wedding themes, today’s is certainly different and this we like very much. Newlyweds Esther and Jake peppered their special day with subtle – and not so subtle – nods to their unusual theme: War of the Roses.

We’re talking dainty rose cupcakes, red and white paper bouquets, Lancashire and Yorkshire flags and games galore for the guests (tug of war anyone?).

Throw in the mesmerising backdrop of Park House Barn in Milnthorpe, an alternative wedding breakfast and an oh-so-pretty sparkler send-off for the couple, and you’ve got the makings for a truly memorable, fun-filled day. Read on and let the battle commence…

With images by Ian Brookes Photography

Lake District Wedding (c) Ian Brookes (39)

esther says: We got engaged on 10th October 2015, at the top of Helvellyn, the highest of the Eastern Fells in the Lake District. Jake booked us a weekend away at the Kings Head on Thirlmere for our one-year anniversary. We walked up Helvellyn on the Saturday afternoon, but Jake took us the wrong way so the walk took six hours instead of four! I threw many tantrums on the way up to the top – Jake kept coaxing me on, saying that he had a gift for me. When I opened the box, it was an 18-carat white gold ring with a princess cut diamond. Needless to say, I skipped down the bottom merrily, where we were greeted with a bottle of champagne in our lovely room.

Lake District Wedding (c) Ian Brookes (18)

Our wedding date was 22nd October 2016. This was the closest date to our anniversary that was available in the church we both wanted, Wythburn Church on Lake Thirlmere.

The church is located at the bottom of Helvellyn and near to the Kings Head, where we got engaged, so it has sentimental value to us. The church has no electricity or heating, so the service had to be conducted by candlelight. Members of our family and friends played flute, violin, accordion and guitar to accompany the service.

The reception was then held 45 minutes away at Park House Barn in Milnthorpe. This is a functioning cow shed and hay barn, which is transformed into a beautiful venue for certain months of the year. When we first saw it, it had a tractor inside so we had to use our imagination! It was large enough to accommodate our guests and fit with the desired look that we wanted. Plus, it was a DIY barn so we could make it whatever we wanted it to be.

Lake District Wedding (c) Ian Brookes (30)

We stayed on the wedding night at Heversham Hall, a listed building, situated near to the barn. It really added to the experience, and Lesley was an amazing host.

Lake District Wedding (c) Ian Brookes (21)

Our theme was War of the Roses as I am from Lancashire and Jake is from Yorkshire, and we often joke about the rivalry. When looking at our venue, we realised that it would make an amazing theme for the wedding – we even hosted our own battle on the day!

To complement the theme, our colour scheme was red and white to reflect the respective roses of both regions.

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bijou bride. a styled bridal shoot at kirklinton hall

June 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Chic Elopement Shoot at Kirklinton Hall (c) Tiree Dawson (28)

Unbridled romance laced with Parisian charm lies at the heart of today’s beautiful styled shoot at the enchanting Kirklinton Hall. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the venue is nestled somewhere in the picturesque French countryside but it is, in fact, much closer to home, near Carlisle (yes, we gasped when we first read this, too).

The 17th century ruin provides the most splendid of backdrops – the kind we’ve often daydreamed about while poring over our favourite period novel. We’re talking 14 acres of leafy grounds and a meandering river nearby, not to mention spiralling turrets and a gypsy caravan for something altogether fantastical.

This serene shoot is about intimacy and those finer details, wrapped up in all things tres chic – from the gorgeous vintage style stationery and dainty crockery, to the most elegant of wedding dresses and frivolous florals. Quite simply: j’adore.

Megan Hawkins from lighting and backdrop specialist Typical Type, who headed up the shoot, tells us more…

With photography from Tiree Dawson.

A Chic Elopement Shoot at Kirklinton Hall (c) Tiree Dawson (26)

megan says: The idea for this shoot was to demonstrate how a small, intimate wedding could be styled. The theme came to me after I looked around the venue. There was something about the plants climbing up the soft ochre walls and the gentle sun pouring in which spoke of long summer days in France.

Photographer Tiree Dawson and I have done a number of shoots together and we always like to look for somewhere a little different. We searched for a long time, and when Kirklinton Hall, near Carlisle, presented itself – with its tumbled down walls and less than formal gardens – we just knew it was perfect. It is a very romantic place, with a gypsy caravan, turrets and a river running around its perimeter. It’s the kind of place you could go to as a couple and lose yourselves. It is a new venue, too, so we knew that we were bringing something fresh to the table. We then crafted the French elopement scene around it.

A Chic Elopement Shoot at Kirklinton Hall (c) Tiree Dawson (34)

Our models, Lau and Grant are naturally gorgeous, so we didn’t want to do too much to them. The idea was never to make them overtly ‘French’, but to hint at it. So a gentle chignon with soft finger waves, created by Gareth from Aqua The Salon, and emphasis on Lau’s stunning English-Rose look from MUA Aimee Chroley was all that was required.

A Chic Elopement Shoot at Kirklinton Hall (c) Tiree Dawson (22)

The dresses were made for the shoot by the talented team at Legend Bridal. For the Parisian theme, we selected the Elana gown. This dress does it all, with its full back illusion panel which shows the back and shoulders whilst remaining softly demure, but enticing. The high low hem allows a glimpse of those incredible shoes while owning a glorious train, which fans out like a peacock when walking. Made from soft glittering tulle, this dress is deliciously light and easy to wear while having all the Parisian glamour from the sumptuous lace and stunning row of tiny satin covered buttons down the back.

A Chic Elopement Shoot at Kirklinton Hall (c) Tiree Dawson (14)

For the décor, we brought Janet from Wilde and Romantic on board. It was only her second ever shoot, and she came armed with a wonderful array of props, adding a little ‘joie de vivre’ to the shoot. We added to this with our new crystal chandelier, and the talented Lau not only modelled, but created the stationery and painted backdrop, as part of her venture Neat Creative. The colour palette for this scene was soft – think lilacs, lavenders, olives, and pale pinks – all picked out by the talented Kevin from Brackens of Bowness. In addition, the breads and croissants that featured in the photo shoot were supplied by More Bakery.

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soulmates. a laidback lake district wedding at the mortal man – louise & pete

May 30th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Personal Wedding in the Lake District (c) Weddings Vintage (32)

You’re in for a treat – today’s real wedding is a corker. Louise and Pete broke with convention by having a poignant humanist ceremony, giving them the opportunity to find traditions that made sense and meaning for them. So they wrote their own vows, made wishes for a happy future together and their rings were passed around and warmed in their family and friends’ hands.

Louise and Pete’s big day wasn’t actually big in numbers – nineteen guests, pub grub and then back to a cosy cottage for cake and cocktails – but the detailing is just perfect. Their customised denim jackets are fiercely cool and their record invites, inspired by their love of all things American country, blues and jazz, earn them muso points galore.

There’s something just a bit special about this one – in a world of Pinterest clones, these photographs feel honest and authentic. I mean, at the end of the night they donned Bride and Groom T-shirts, played beer pong and ate Tunnocks tea cakes. Zero contrivance, yet massive impact – we love it!

With photography by Weddings Vintage.

A Personal Wedding in the Lake District (c) Weddings Vintage (38)

louise says: We got engaged in October 2015 while doing a road trip in Southern USA taking in all our favourite music stops – Smoky Mountains, Dollywood, Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. We were in the Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge in Nashville one night having a few beers and listening to live music when Pete popped the question.

Our wedding day was 17th March 2017 – St. Patrick’s Day (unintentionally!) We’d decided we wanted to turn our wedding into a bit of a getaway/trip for everyone and make it as relaxed as possible with the aim of generating plenty of memories. So we were trying to tie in finding a wedding venue with booking a cottage for us all to stay in and these dates seemed to work before everything got too pricey at Easter time!

A Personal Wedding in the Lake District (c) Weddings Vintage (34)

We chose to get married in the Lakes as Pete is from the South Lakes, Ulverston. It’s a beautiful part of the world we visit regularly from our home in Manchester.

We wanted a very informal ceremony and reception so decided to find a pub with a function room; we’d always really liked the idea of having some pub grub in a relaxed setting. When we came across The Mortal Man in Troutbeck, we instantly knew it was perfect. They have a garden room with fantastic views over a valley, rave reviews for their food plus lovely traditional touches such as log fires and their own homebrewed ciders. The Mortal Man were happy for us to have our ceremony in the garden room as well. We’d decided on a humanist wedding which can be made very personal and unique. The Mortal Man isn’t licensed for weddings so we’d already taken care of the legal part on the Monday before the wedding at Manchester Registry Office before we set off to our cottage – The Terrace in Windermere. It was such an amazing house for a party/gathering – really well equipped and the décor was amazing.

A Personal Wedding in the Lake District (c) Weddings Vintage (21)

Debra of Inspirational Ceremonies who conducted our humanist ceremony gave us lots of options and guidance on writing our vows and selecting readings. We really loved the idea of warming the rings, where during the start of the ceremony your rings are passed around the guests so they can place their hands over them and make good wishes for your marriage. As we only had 19 guests this worked really well – I’m sure it could take a long time if you had quite a lot more guests.

Although there was no strict theme, we were keen to incorporate our joint love of music throughout the wedding and tie in little hints relating to our American music road trip when we got engaged. Our playlists and the songs we started and ended the ceremony were all by musicians from the South of America covering Country, Soul, Blues and Jazz.

A Personal Wedding in the Lake District (c) Weddings Vintage (39)
We customised denim jackets with patches and pin badges, mostly relating to music and our American road trip and wore double denim on the Monday for our legal vows in Manchester. The jackets appeared again at the ceremony on the Friday where we wore them over our dress and suit to keep the rain off!

Our wedding invites also followed the American music theme. We went to Weddings Vintage with inspiration from Hatch Show Print, an old print house we visited in Nashville famous for its iconic printed gig posters. Hayley at Weddings Vintage translated our idea perfectly and the finished invite was a 7” inch vinyl cover, each with a record inside that Pete and I had picked up from a local charity shop. We liked the idea that our guests wouldn’t know what songs were on the records until they played them.

I suppose, more than anything, we tried to approach everything with a very DIY theme. We decorated the cottage ourselves with fairy lights and daffodils everywhere, and tried to add cheap and cheerful touches where we could. All cakes were made by friends, plus our friend and guest Lynn did my hair on the day.

We didn’t have a colour scheme – apart from the bouquet which tied in with buttonholes and the flowers on tables. These were dusky pink, lavender, white and natural greens.

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romance & roses. a pink & black theme for a glamorous lake district wedding – robyn & matt

May 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (33)

Today’s gorgeous bride Robyn admits she likes things on the formal side, and so she and groom Matt opted for tails, cravats, roses and full-on strapless princess-fit bridal glamour.

But this couple were true to themselves and made fun a big part of their big day, too – there was a game of Mr & Mrs, magic, a singing waiter and much more.

Formality and fun, glamour and games – what more could you ask for on a Wednesday morning?

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Sally Eaves.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (19)

robyn says: We got engaged just the two of us at our home in the Lake District – oh, and the dog and the fairy lights from the Christmas tree in the background! It was very low-key and just what I wanted.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (37)

We were married on September 29th 2016 – the day before my 30th birthday. We had our ceremony and celebration under one roof at the Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge. It’s right at the base of Lake Windermere so really beautiful and picturesque but also not too big. It felt intimate as well as very grand, if that makes sense.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (6)

For the theme, we didn’t go for anything too prescriptive. I’m quite laidback and I didn’t want anything too fussy with centrepieces and decorations. The venue is beautiful enough without needing to add anything else.

Colour-wise, we went for black and pale pink. I like things to be a little more formal and I love black and white, but the touch of pink made it feel more romantic rather than a corporate do.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (49)

I wore a strapless buttermilk/ivory satin princess-fit gown with some beading around the waist from a wedding shop in Cheshire that has now unfortunately closed. I chose to have a small backward bolero, too. This meant I could have the illusion of a neckline with a keyhole back during the day but it transformed into a strapless gown for a second look in the evening.

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autumn glory. allure bridals & cosy vibes for a lake district wedding – caroline & scott

March 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (46)

This evening’s inspiration comes from the lovely Caroline and Scott, who cosied up at Linthwaite House Hotel for their autumnal Lake District wedding. Opulent shades of plum and pink, a homely and characterful venue, cheese, cheese and more cheese – this wedding just makes me want to crack open the Merlot and be done with today.

So, if time and place allows, we advise you to do exactly that whilst soaking up this beautiful big day…

Photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (23)

caroline says: We got engaged on the 12th January in 2015. We’d been together for almost ten years at that point, and many of our friends and family were starting to wonder if we’d ever get engaged. Scott proposed while we were on a ski trip with friends – we were sitting at a picnic bench at the top of French Alps. It was a beautiful sunny morning and just a perfectly romantic moment. After I’d said yes, some of our friends got off the ski lift and took some pictures, then we all skied down the mountain for lunch and champagne. It was just a brilliant day!

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (17)

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (42)

We got married on the 20th October 2016. We chose the date as we wanted an autumn wedding and, as we were getting married in the Lake District, we knew the autumnal colours would look wonderful. Additionally, we hoped that the weather would still be mild with a little bit of light in the evening before the clocks changed. However, we didn’t worry about having it all our own way weather-wise, as if it did rain it would also create a cosy atmosphere for our guests at our venue.

We chose to get married at Linthwaite House Hotel at Bowness-on-Windermere. We always knew that we wanted to get married in the Lake District as it’s such a special place to us. We looked at three other hotels before visiting Linthwaite but as soon as we arrived there I just knew that it would be perfect. It ticked all of our boxes: beautiful views, extremely friendly staff, warm, homely interiors, beautiful rooms for our guests to stay and just amazing food. We really wanted a laid back and relaxed day that wasn’t stuffy; a place where our guests could truly relax once they arrived and, as we had exclusive use of the entire hotel, this is exactly what we got and a whole lot more. I really couldn’t recommend Linthwaite highly enough to any couple looking for a place to get married in the Lake District.

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (41)

The time of year and the beautiful surroundings of the hotel also influenced our colour scheme. As it was October, we wanted rich autumnal colours and chose lovely shades of plum. It seemed to be a popular choice with my bridesmaids, too!

I wore a dress from Allure Bridals and accessorised it with a belt and bolero. I bought the dress from Adele Louise Bridal, which is a bridal boutique in Wolverhampton. This is quite far from where I live but my sister-in-law is a friend of the owner. I was pretty clueless as to what I was looking for so I went with her and my niece to try on a few dresses. I had an idea that I wanted something quite simple and this dress just seemed perfect. The beautiful lace design fitted in somehow with the timeless Lake District surroundings as well.

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (45)

Scott wore a blue suit from Next and a bow tie that he bought online from San Francisco. Scott’s best men and also the fathers of the bride and groom also wore the same blue suit as Scott. The plum ties were from the same retailer in San Francisco.

I bought the bridesmaid dress online from a company called JJ’s House. I left getting the bridesmaid dresses quite close to the wedding as one of my bridesmaids was pregnant and I was a bit wary of buying them online, but they were great. They tailored the dresses and had such a big selection that I was able to get four different dresses for each of my different bridesmaids but in the exact same colour and they arrived really quickly.

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