December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
What I love most about my job as editor of these pretty pages is the variety of stunning and special celebrations that I get to witness, albeit through a set of wonderfully curated images or a snappy wedding film. I’ll be honest: sometimes I cry (in a good way).
One such submission that really touched me was the beautiful wedding blessing of ex-pats Heather and Mike, who returned to the UK following their Dubai wedding to celebrate with those they’d left back on English soil. Their [pared down ‘second’ wedding day is stripped back to all that really matters on a wedding day – two people in love, their nearest and dearest (plus a killer gown, some great heels and a stunning backdrop always help).
I think it’s utterly beautiful.
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
heather says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Dubai where we live. I’d gone back to the UK to visit family and Mike used his time to go ring shopping. Mike proposed to me with a cup of tea (and a stunning ring) as I woke up the morning after a late arrival back into Dubai.
We actually got married on 6 April 2014 in Dubai but we wanted to have a Wedding Blessing and a celebration with our friends and family in the UK who could not make it. The blessing took place on 12 July 2014. As we are both teachers the dates for both events were rather un-romantically dictated by term time (and the hope of decent weather).
The Blessing service took place at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, near Penrith. We chose this venue as it is a short walk from the family home where I grew up and where my family still live. It was a ultimately an easy decision as it is a beautiful church, in a beautiful setting next to the Eden River and with a stunning view of the Pennines.
After organising one wedding in Dubai, we were very lucky for our family to take charge of events in the UK. An evening party was held after the service on the ‘Raven’ Steamer on Ullswater Lake which was the brainchild of my Godmother Paula. Along with the jazz band that played throughout the evening.
We wanted the celebration to be laid back and relaxed. The overall aim was for us all to have a good time and catch up.
I wore the same dress as I did for the wedding in Dubai much to the envy of many friends as I had the opportunity to wear it for a second time. The dress was handmade and embroidered by Lily Duds Tailoring, Dubai. The beauty of having the dress handmade was that I was able to get the dress just as I wanted and combine a variety of different designs I liked.
My Jimmy Choo heels brought an extra sparkle to my outfit and were even comfy enough to wear for the walk to and from the church.
I carried three hand tied peonies. Aunty Gillian and family friend, Yvonne Marples, arranged the flowers on the day. They wonderfully captured our relaxed theme through the flowers by creating a wild, country garden feel.
Melissa Beattie was the photographer. She was also the photographer for our wedding in Dubai. We loved her photographs from this so much that we bullied her into taking the shots for the Wedding Blessing.
Her work is intimate, natural and she has a wonderful ability to make us look fabulous! We ultimately considered her one of our guests due to her warm and friendly manner.
She took a great deal of time and effort to ensure we got exactly what we wanted and edited and designed our wedding album beautifully
Hair and make-up was by Bridget Foster, Carlisle. Bridget is an excellent make up artist, who has a subtle touch and eye for detail, as well as having a wonderful personality.
We actually only just made it to our own Wedding Blessing! Our passports were caught up in the fiasco with the UK Passport agency and were with the passport agency for 10 weeks and only arrived in Dubai 5 days before we were due to fly. A thank you to Rory Stewart, MP, and his office for all their help in chasing this matter!
A 1969 Red Double Decker Bus was hired from Stagecoach to take the guests and us to and from Glenridding Pier, to board the steamer.
Our favourite part of the day was simply being with family and friends, some of whom we had not seen in many years.
The steamer on the lake is a beautiful experience and loved by all of our guests. The scenery makes for a simply stunning backdrop – especially for us who spend most of our time looking at sand!
Due to the limitations for catering on the steamer itself, we went for canapés and mini meals from Bakerwood Marquees and Events who far exceeded our expectations. The food was fresh, delicious, plentiful and was provided to our guest by a very attentive team of waiters.
We created personalised brown Mr and Mrs sweetie bags, which contained personalised rock and Love Hearts sweets.
The Dixie Kings Jazz Band was chosen for the evening to suit setting of cruising down Ullswater lake. They provided fabulous entertainment, loved by the old and the young, and we all danced the night away.
We honeymooned in Zanzibar, which provided an ideal balance between relaxation and adventure.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the day! It is about you both not everybody else.
December 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Just how adorable is today’s beautiful bride? Jennifer and Andrew’s pretty wedding in the Lakes is full of wide smiles, cute touches and some rather chic styling.
With images by Jenny Winstone Photography.
jennifer says: Andrew proposed to me on a Tuesday evening, 19th March 2013. I’d just got home after a post-work gym session and the house was covered in candles. Andrew had music playing, my favourite meal on the table and wine… then he got down on one knee. It was all incredibly romantic and a complete surprise.
We chose 30th August 2014 for the wedding day. We wanted a summer wedding.
We got married in our home town of Barrow-in-Furness. The ceremony took place in Andrew’s family church St Marys at 3.30pm. We wanted a late wedding to give the day a more relaxed feel. Rather than a traditional sit down meal we opted for a party vibe for the wedding reception that took place at The Crofters.
Our wedding had a rustic vintage style. I spent hours looking on Pinterest for wedding ideas and I loved all the vintage decorations. After a wedding planning meeting with my mum she was off collecting all sorts of trinkets and vintage items.
The colours we used were ivory, lace, champagne and blush. I fell in love with the bridesmaid dresses and worked from there in regards to colour scheme.
I wore a simple but elegant Charlie Brear gown from The White Closet, Didsbury. This was the first dress I tried on and I loved it, but I thought I had to try on a million other dresses just to make sure it was ‘the one’. I should have trusted my instinct because I went back for the first dress I tried on and I’m so glad I did. My shoes were by Freya Rose – Mio.
Andrew wore a suit from Mister Mister, Barrow in Furness.
The bridesmaids and two flower girls wore dresses which were concessions via the BHS website.
I picked a hand tie bouquet with a very loose garden feel to it, made up of blush colours, roses, alstromeria, veronica peonies and gysophila to tie in with my bridesmaid dresses. The design was tied with vintage lace from Posh Flowers, Barrow in Furness.
For our photography we chose the talented Jenny Winstone, I would highly recommend her. She captured the moments beautifully. Jenny made me feel relaxed throughout the day, all my bridesmaids and family loved her too. Jenny built such a good rapport straight away.
My mum and sister helped massively with decoration for the wedding reception. We used a mixture of professionally arranged flowers, flowers from a friend’s garden and some foraged wild flowers and greenery – we really wanted to give a rustic vintage feel. My sister made the bridesmaids bouquets using gyposphilia. My mum covered the walls with old family wedding photographs. Many friends and family members were roped in to help with paper pom-poms and bunting. We wanted to do as much ourselves as possible.
We had a wedding cake made by Andrew’s sister and we had professional decorative cupcakes, in keeping with the vintage theme on the tables supplied by Christene Dacre.
We had vintage sweets for the guests to take home. Guests were also given ice cream tokens for the ice cream cart we had hired.
My friend Amy sang our first song, while her husband Jay played the guitar.
My husband is in a band so we hired a small marquee in the garden and his band played. It was great to see all of our family and friends dancing together, having fun. It was a last minute addition to the wedding, and stressful finding a marquee, but it was totally worth it in the end.
My dad also got on stage with the bridesmaids to sing us a special song, which was hilarious!
For me the favourite part of the day was the morning, the build up and excitement. I was surrounded by all of my best friends and I was so excited to walk down the aisle and see Andrew. It was the happiest day of my life.
For our honeymoon we spent 4 weeks in America. We flew in to San Francisco, hired a car to drive to Los Angeles, carried on to Las Vegas and ended the honeymoon by flying to New York. It was amazing. We really took full advantage of our newlywed status and got spoilt rotten. The whole trip was like a dream.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t fret about anything, none of it matters on the day.
September 15th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
The unique venue for Ben and Amanda’s well-planned wedding is what made their big day really stand out to me. The couple and their guests partied through to the small hours in beautifully decorated tipis pitched next to the picturesque back-drop of Lake Coniston. Stunning, just stunning!
Better yet, they stretched their wedding celebrations across three days (hell yeah!) to take full advantage of the breathtaking location.
The couple’s rustic barn/tea party theme came together perfectly with wonderful décor, individual touches and a mouth-watering menu, which was rounded-off with one heck of a party.
So let’s dive straight into the magic with details of the couple’s engagement.
With images by James Stewart Photograpy.
Amanda says: We got engaged on June 26, 2012. Ben chose this date as it’s his birthday and says it’s the only day of the year that he gets to choose what we do! We were camping in Crantock, Cornwall (which is our favourite holiday location). In the days leading up to the engagement we had walked around the headland looking for a nice birthday picnic spot, little did I know that it would actually be the engagement spot. Ben’s insistence on me choosing the exact spot made sense afterwards! We went surfing in the morning then after a nice hot shower, we headed off with our cream tea inspired picnic, with the obligatory champagne and strawberries!
After setting out our picnic blanket Ben made me close my eyes for a ‘surprise’ and when I opened them, he was knelt down with the ring in his hand. Lots of nice words and champagne followed, and then the second surprise of the day was that he’d booked us into Watergate Bay Hotel for the night, so we could enjoy our engagement night in the a bed rather that a tent!
We set the date for June 28, 2014. We’re both in the RAF and have lots of friends in the RAF too, so we always have to plan very far in advance for everything. We wanted to give everyone at least a year’s notice, so drew-up a plot of availability of my bridesmaid being back from Afghanistan and then the big items we needed to hire: tipi, venue, toilets, transport etc, and just chose the date that would work the best.
When deciding on a venue for the wedding, we were always on the lookout for somewhere we could use exclusively, somewhere that was slightly different from the norm, but ultimately somewhere that we could have a relaxed and intimate wedding, which we could hopefully spread out over more than more day.
We’d seen tipis in a wedding magazine and knew straight away that they provided exactly what we wanted, so we then went on an internet hunt for an amazing location; that’s how we found Bank Ground Farm in the Lake District. It’s a working farm, with cottages, a guesthouse, dog kennels, a tea room, boats for hire and bikes for hire, so it had a lot of what we needed under one roof. We didn’t do the legal bits at Bank Ground but it is where the real celebrations happened. We had a civil ceremony at Belmount Hall first which we chose because of its beautifully rustic interior and its proximity to Bank Ground Farm. The farm offered us the intimacy we wanted, gave us the ability to accommodate a large number of our guests and had a very relaxed feel about it. There are lots of different elements to Bank Ground, from the beautifully manicured lawns at the front of the house, the terrace overlooking Old Man Coniston and the lounge areas and bar inside the guesthouse; we were fortunate to be able to utilise all of them over the course of our three-day celebrations.
We didn’t have a specific theme to begin with, but over the course of the planning, we naturally swayed towards a rustic barn type of style. There were exposed beams in the tipis which we covered in fairy lights, we scattered bales of hay around for seats and displays, we up-cycled bottles and jars for flowers and candles, and brought everything together by using lace and burlap throughout. Relaxation had been the driving factor with choices; we didn’t want anything formal or stuffy, we just wanted people to feel that they could kick off their shoes and swap them for flip-flops or even wellies (weather dependent). The tea party food theme came out of our love for cream tea and the link back to our engagement with the champagne, strawberries, scones and clotted cream.
We wanted to keep the colour theme soft and romantic to tie in with the burlap and lace so all colours used were pale pinks, creams and some light gold.
My wedding dress was couture, and pre-loved. I saw it hiding at the back of a rail and was instantly attracted to its big, floaty skirt. The ripples in the skirt made me think of water and the rough edges of the material was in keeping with the relaxed, vintage effect we were creating. I love my sparkles, so the Swarovski pearls and beads that covered the bodice kept it girly and romantic.
Ben wore a very striking navy tweed three-piece suit from Walker Slater, a bespoke tweed outfitter in Edinburgh, along with a white shirt, pink knitted tie, and tan brogues from Kurt Geiger. The groomsmen all wore different tweed waistcoats, all from Walker Slater, white shirts, pink ties (to match Ben’s) and navy chinos.
The bridesmaids and I have a passion for Irregular Choice shoes, so in keeping with the soft colour scheme, the girls wore beautiful champagne lace dresses, but brought a pop of colour to the outfits with some bright Irregular Choice shoes. We all wore the same style, but in a different colour.
We loved how everyone looked together; it was exactly how we’d imagined, just amazing!
My hairdresser was Vikki Nelson and I have to say she had the patience of a saint! The hair for myself, mum and bridesmaids was the one thing I got my knickers in a twist over, as I really wanted it to be perfect. And despite me changing my ideas slightly, and my handmade hairpiece not quite working out as I’d planned, Vikki remained calm and polite while I had a very minor melt down/moan! All of the hairstyles turned out better than planned, and stayed in place well into the early hours.
My make-up was done by my gorgeous and talented cousin Samantha Hill, who runs her own beauty salon Beau Chic Beauty in Latton, on the edge of the Cotswolds/Cirencester. Everyone commented on how flawless it was, and I didn’t even need to do one single touch-up throughout the whole day – just perfect!
On the big day, we travelled in a classic split screen VW camper. This had been one of our ‘must haves’ from the very beginning as we both love the classic VW’s and dream to actually own one someday! Paul Bradburn of Lake District Vintage Wedding Cars was just amazing. He was extremely friendly and very passionate about his VW – he even supplied us with a nice cold bottle of bubbles for the journey.
My favourite part of the day was stood at the stairs to the civil ceremony room, waiting for my entrance music to start, with my mum doing a little dance to make me laugh and hold back the tears, knowing that in less than a few minutes I’d be saying my vows and my life as I knew it would change forever. Knowing that my best friend was about to become my husband and that our next adventures together would soon begin was a wonderful feeling.
We have the bonus of having James Stewart as Ben’s cousin, so there was never any doubt that we would use him as our photographer. We’ve seen a lot of James’ work over the years, from his sporting shots to capturing many happy family events.
James has a very unobtrusive nature and manages to get the shots that you didn’t even notice. A week after the wedding he sent us a little taster of what was to come in the form of a slideshow set to music; shame he hadn’t prepared me to have the tissues at the ready! I’m not sure how he managed it, but his photos feel like they captured all of the emotions of the day magnificently. Quite a few people have commented on needing the tissues when they watched it. We truly couldn’t recommend him enough; thoroughly professional, amazingly talented and a pleasure to have had him as part of our day.
For our wedding flowers we used The Flower Basket in Coniston village. Anne was extremely helpful and totally understood the concept I was aiming for. We basically told her that we wanted it to be soft and relaxed, using mainly creams and pinks. I’d created a scrapbook of magazines pictures over the year, took it to show her and realised that the running theme in my scrapings were peonies, gypsophila and roses. So we gave her artistic licence to use anything else she thought would look good, and she did an absolutely amazing job and totally transformed the tipis and surrounding chill out areas. I really couldn’t have been happier with the end result and couldn’t recommend her enough. I didn’t carry a bouquet, instead choosing to have a wrist corsage, which had some large pink peonies and white roses.
I made a lot of the decorations myself; pom poms, up-cycled jars and bottles, table plan, and napkin cuffs. I also put Ben and his dad to good use with a chain saw, cutting up tree trunks for table centre, and stands for menus and notices. The final touches of vintage glamour came from suretosurpriseyou.co.uk.
We hired all of the vintage crockery, cake stands and other tableware essentials, but the real eye-catchers were all of the vintage items for decoration. My bridesmaid Amy also lent a hand with the table centre arrangements, using her eye for detail to incorporate my items with hers. She helped to make a unique table centre for each table, and helped create a central focal point out of bales of hay, blankets and vintage items.
For our favours I made individuals wine charms for all the guests, but also made boxes so that they could all add their charms to a box, take them home, and carry on using them for their own future parties.
My bridesmaid Amy is an absolute legend in the baking department, and so there was never any other option than to have her mouth-watering delights as our wedding cake. Sticking with the tea party theme, she made the most magnificent four-tier tea party inspired cake. There were edible teacups, real biscuits, edible bunting and a giant Belgium white chocolate teapot on top. Each layer was a different flavour; chocolate, Victoria sponge, carrot and lemon.
Bank Ground Farm made all of our food, using as many local ingredients as possible, even using produce from their own farm. We had a hog roast on the Friday night with lots of gorgeous breads and salads. We also had a barbecue fit for a king on the Sunday afternoon.
The Saturday wedding food started off with a large selection of canapés on the lawn while enjoying bubbles for the girls, and local ales for the boys. The wedding breakfast was simply ‘high tea’, which included Cumbrian honey roast ham sandwiches, local pink roast beef with horseradish, blue cheese and rocket sandwiches, local cheddar with homemade chutney on onion bread sandwiches, free range egg and watercress sandwiches, Cumberland sausage rolls with smoked bacon and mustard, mini vegetable wellingtons and stilton, bacon and spring onion potato skins. Dessert was homemade scones, homemade jam, local fresh strawberries and lashings of clotted cream. Wines and champagnes were served from the bar stock and we had kegs of Loweswater Gold and Esthwaite ales to keep the guys happy.
Ben is massively into his music, so this was one area that he was in charge of completely. We both believe that live music is the making of any event, so he spent hours trawling the internet, listening to bands, and reading reviews. He finally decided on The Rips, who are a five-piece band from Yorkshire. They play anything from The Beatles or Bryan Adams, to Kings of Leon and Maroon 5, so we knew we’d get a good range to keep all ages entertained. Ben’s research certainly paid off because the dance floor was bouncing all night long!
We would wholeheartedly recommend all of our suppliers to other couples. One thing we really loved about Bank Ground Farm is that it isn’t actually a wedding venue. Jonathon there believes that weddings need and deserve a lot of attention and time, therefore doesn’t allow more than a handful of weddings a year, allowing him to dedicate his time and attention to each one, and help to make it unique. This was a real bonus and Jonathon and his staff were like extensions of the family; unbelievably helpful, happy and eager to help things run smoothly.
Other suppliers we’d have to recommend are Special Event Tipis. Kate and Dave from there were fantastic to work with. They are a married couple, who used tipis for their own wedding, fell in love with them and decided to start their own business. You can really tell they have a passion for their job, as they were extremely enthusiastic, passionate and accommodating with everything. They also use very high quality items, which made my job of decorating much easier, as there was such a great starting point with their tipis and interiors.
A special touch to the wedding was certainly having our eight-month-old English Springer Spaniel, Murphy there to play a part in the weekend celebrations. He’s a huge part of our lives. He even had his own tweed collar and lead to match Ben’s outfit.
We went to Thailand on our honeymoon. We had a few nights in Bangkok where we sampled as many delights as possible; tuk tuk rides, street food, coconut water and street markets. We also had some cultural trips; temples, Bridge over the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass and war memorials. We visited the Tiger Temple, which was a dream come true, especially bathing and feeding the baby tigers and we stayed in a glamping site called Hintock River Camp. After these three whirlwind days, we jumped on another flight to Koh Samui, where we checked into a pool villa at Six Senses Samui. This was ultimate luxury; just what we both needed after six months of wedding crafting and preparations. Over the course of the next week we relaxed (a lot), went sightseeing on boats and kayaks, went elephant riding, relaxed some more and ate a lot!
My top tip to other Brides Up North has to be this (even though we still failed to do it) – try, try, try to take ten minutes aside together in the middle of the evening to step back and watch all of your loved ones having a blast. The evening really does just disappear in a heartbeat, and is over before anyone wants it to be!
bank ground farm, beau chic beauty, belmount hall, hintock river camp, irregular choice, james stewart photography, kurt geiger, lake district vintage wedding cars, lake district wedding, pre loved wedding dress, real wedding, six senses samui, special event tipis, sure to surprise you, the rips, uk wedding blog, vikki nelson, walker slater
July 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Today’s wedding makes me yearn for fresher air, falling leaves and azure autumn skies. Fickle, I know.
Sarah & Adam chose a cosy pub setting and rustic, vintage style details for their snug celebration in the Lakes. Make mine a pint of Blond Witch please!
sarah says: We got engaged in New York – at the top of the Empire State building at night. It was freezing & Adam had to keep waiting for a quiet moment – which you don’t really get in December in New York! It was very special & we went out for an amazing meal that night to celebrate & watched the Christmas lights at Saks department store.
We were married on 16th November 2013 at The Wild Boar in the Lake District. We fell in love with the place the moment we stepped through the door – it has wood beams & open fires & was just the perfect cosy, vintage venue we wanted. It was also really important to us that all of our closest family & friends could stay at the venue & so it was just the best option for us. The grounds meant we had some amazing wedding photos that really captured the time of year in the Lakes.
We used a colour palette of golds, silvers and creams. I got vintage tea cups from charity shops to use on the tables & we used a lot of tea lights & more rustic flowers rather than stylised centre pieces.
We used Mark Newton Weddings for our photographs. Mark was recommended by a friend & we are delighted with the results. I would & have recommended Mark as he was so good on the day & worked so hard – we also had photo booth by Mark which was really good fun & we got some really great photos from this.
Mark also came up on Friday & spent the day taking photos of Adam & the ushers & dads doing clay pigeon shooting – we are really pleased that we did this as we have the whole weekend captured. It was very important for us to have a photographer that made everyone feel comfortable. Everyone loved Mark & he got some great pictures as a result.
Our day was filmed by Tiago & Sandra from All ByVideo who were amazing and worked really hard all day creating a 1.15 wedding film for us that we love.
My dress was from Bridal Apparel in Rawdon Leeds – I chose it because I loved the lace back & it wasn’t too big for the venue & for dancing later.
My mother in law made me a vintage brooch bouquet made up of jewellery from my Grandmas who have passed away.
I had five adult bridesmaids & they had two different dresses – three wore gold/cream dresses from French Connection & we added netting & belts . The other two wore silver from Phase 8. I also had three young bridesmaids from 3- 7 and they all wore silver sparkly dresses from Monsoon.
Adam wore a tweed suit from Next, altered to fit him perfectly. It really suited the time of year.
We used Flower Design based in Blackpool for the venue flowers & they were amazing. We used lots of gypsophila & apples & moss from the fields next to the venue to decorate as we wanted a very natural look.
My brother is a baker & he made a cake & cupcakes with snowflakes on them. We used a wood stand for the cake with some silver pine cones to decorate it.
Food is very important to us & so that was big factor in our choice of venue. The food at the Wild Boar is amazing –we were able to give our guests a three course meal with three choices for each course – ranging from a deli board for starter, Steak for main & White Chocolate Cheesecake for pudding. We bought our own wine from the supermarket to save a bit of cash & then just paid corkage!
For our honeymoon, we went to San Francisco, Hawaii & then Washington. We would go back to San Fran in the summer as it rained a lot when we were there but it was still amazing & we went to Alcatraz & did the Golden Gate Bridge on bikes in the torrential rain. We went to the Big Island in Hawaii & really relaxed – the food & beaches were stunning. To break up the trip back home we went to Washington to see all the sights.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the whole process of planning & make sure you don’t compromise on the important things such as your photographer & videographer as they will help to create the lasting memories of the day for you.
June 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we join Sarah & Paul for their sun-drenched, monochrome, marquee celebration in the Lake District. The happy couple kept proceedings classy and sharp before tearing up the dance floor!
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
Sarah says: We got engaged in August 2013 at The Waterhead Hotel, Coniston. Paul took me away for the weekend as a surprise (as I had spoken about how beautiful the Lake District is). He proposed to me on a small pier over Lake Coniston.
We were married on 17th May 2014. We chose May as it always seems to be nice weather that month! We chose Silverholme Manor or the Graythwaite Estate as they allow you to do whatever you like and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous!
Our theme was music – a passion that Paul & I share! We chose a classy, simple black and white colour scheme.
I chose a fishtail, ivory lace wedding dress from The Wedding Factory Outlet in Bolton. I fell in love with the shape of the gown and it’s open back.
I carried a bouquet of Picasso cala lilies from Deborah’s Florist, and our table decorations were vintage birdcages with floral designs inside them.
Mick Cookson was our photographer. I would definitely recommend him as he takes beautiful, amazing pictures and I didn’t notice him all day. He made feel completely at ease.
For me, seeing Paul’s face as I walked down the aisle was my favourite part. It made me feel complete and full to burst of love.
Our wedding cake was a three tier sponge, decorated with a cascade of roses and lilies from Sugar Ruffles in Barrow-In-Furness.
For our wedding breakfast we used Karen Rhodes Catering. The food was all locally sourced and of very high quality.
James Fletcher Marquee Hire provided our marquee, they were so professional during the lead up to the wedding and when setting up. The black and white dance floor was a must have!
After the wedding they went to St Lucia for a week and stayed at Ansi Chastenet. It was complete paradise! We lounged on the beach all week.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to worry too much about your plans, it will all work out on the day!
Congratulations Sarah and Paul!
This is not a sponsored post
December 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This morning we join photographer Jo Bradbury for a beautiful wedding inspiration shoot in an outdoor setting. If you are planning a vintage wedding, consider adding natural elements alongside your precious pieces to freshen the look and bring the styling up to date.
Jo says: This project was the culmination of a couple of ideas I had and carried out at my parents farm. I wanted the theme to be ‘Old English’ and so included the vintage crockery and old brooches, bone handled cutlery, old lace and vintage books. The farm has a beautiful old apple tree and because it was late Autumn, most of the apples had fallen to the ground and formed a green carpet.
This was a great opportunity to test out some ideas, you see so many beautiful and creative details when photographing weddings and so much inspiration, that its nice to take a more leisurely approach to a shoot without the usual time pressure of a wedding. A huge thank you must go to the lovely couple Tara and Adam who travelled all the way from Warwickshire for the shoot.
The flowers were by the very talented Teresa at Wild Orchid, Buxton who after listening to my ramblings came up with the perfect bouquets and buttonholes.
Little Black Book
Images: Jo Bradbury
Location: Cragg Farm, South Lakes, Cumbria
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaid’s Dress: Monsoon
Flowers: Wild Orchid
This is not a sponsored post
November 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today’s stunning Real Wedding proves that a celebration jam packed with handmade touches and DIY details needn’t look amateur. Kirsty and Tom managed to pull of a gorgeously elegant big day whilst still retaining that personal touch. Be inspired, as we join them for their elegant wedding day in the Lake District.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
Kirsty says: Tom and I got engaged on 28th October 2011 in New York City and were married on 13th April 2013 at Our Lady of the Wayside, Grasmere with an evening reception at Merewood Country House, Windermere.
We loved our venue from the moment we walked in. We always wanted a country house, with lots of character, where family and friends could stay for the weekend. The Merewood was perfect. Our wedding had a vintage theme inspired by the character of the the property, and a colour scheme of dusky lilac and ivory.
The bridesmaids wore long dusky lilac dresses with a pearl detail necklace and our groomsmen wore traditional black suits accessorised with a grey tweed tie and pocket square.
We genuinely enjoyed every second of our wedding day. If I had to pick one moment it would be walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time surrounded by all our family and friends.
Our photographer was the amazing Lissa Alexandra who captured every moment perfectly.
I carried a large bouquet of cream roses tied with lace and the bridesmaids had smaller versions. Tom, the best man and ushers wore a single cream rose to keep it simplistic. At the venue, we had vintage birdcages filled with a lilac, cream and sage flower arrangement.
All our flowers were by Julie Sharrock.
We travelled in a white Rolls Royce Wraith to fit with the vintage theme.
We had a string trio playing in the church and then our evening wedding singer was Phil Fryer of Just To Be Frank who is a Frank Sinatra tribute followed by DJ Ken Harper.
Tom and I love to be creative and really enjoyed making all the personalised touches for our wedding.
We had framed photographs of both of our parents on their wedding day, with a thank you poem on display in the hotel reception. We also had two frames with a personalised ‘He’ and ‘she’ description for each other and a vintage typewriter for people to write us well wishes and words of advice for the guest book.
We bought a polaroid camera and made a vintage pin board for people to capture their own moments which we now have hung up in our hallway.
We handmade tea cup candles for every table (which was a lovely touch when they were lit in the evening) and hand painted table frame numbers and made all the stationery ourselves including our menu and order of service.
We handmade chocolate moustache and lips with a personalised tag for the wedding favours which our nephews handed round to everyone following the wedding breakfast. This created lots of laughs.
Our wedding cake was a three tier classic Victoria sponge cake decorated with real cream rose flowers.This was made at Patisserie Viennoise of Otley, West Yorkshire.
After the wedding we jetted off to Rome on honeymoon.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding personal to the both of you, and enjoy every second of it.
Congratulations Kirsty & Tom!
This is not a sponsored post
bow tie, classic wedding, cumbria wedding, diy wedding, elegant wedding, handmade wedding, lake district wedding, lilac bridesmaids, lilac wedding, lissa alexandra photography, merewodd country house, north west wedding, patisserie viennoise, real wedding, reiss, ronald joyce, uk wedding blog, windermere wedding
September 19th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This morning we’re in Windermere as we join Rebecca and Aidy for their Real Wedding celebration. When budgeting Rebecca was careful to spend money on the things that mattered most to her – which meant a beautiful setting, amazing food and one supremely gorgeous wedding gown…
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
Rebecca says: Aidy proposed in April 2012 at the church we were to be married, Jesus Church in Troutbeck, whilst sitting on the churchyard bench. We were married on 13th July 2013 with the reception at Merewood Country House Hotel, Windermere.
Although we’re not from the Cumbria area we wanted somewhere different so a friend recommended the Lake District, as her sister had got married there. After looking round a recommended hotel that didn’t end up suiting our needs, by chance we found its sister hotel – Merewood Country House. As soon as we walked in I knew this was the place! It felt cosy and intimate, beautifully furnished, and I especially loved the 1940’s feel of the bar! The hotel would be exclusive to us on the day and with the stunning views it was perfect!
If you ever see the church for real it’s obvious why we chose it: located in an idyllic setting, a beautiful valley, and very picturesque, the church was very bright and cosy inside and known as the ‘gem’ of the community!
I wore an Antique Gold Justin Alexander Signature 9690 with a full length cream veil (no tiers) from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I know all brides love their dress but I have to say this is an absolutely stunning piece! The amount of genuine wows I got from my guests: you know the difference between polite compliments and “wow!” This dress is a must see in the flesh!
I carried a bouquet a ivory calla lilies with ivy foliage by Brackens of Bowness in Windermere.
It’s really hard to say what the best bit was, as this is a one-off experience the whole day becomes one of, if not the favourite day of your life! My husband however, said his best part of the day was seeing me walk down the aisle, and for him to say that is unexpected so I must have made a good impression!
I tried to match the cake to my dress… three round tiers in mushroom/beige coloured icing decorated with white lace.
I didn’t want any ‘special touches’ like a lot of brides do, preferring to spend more on the quality of food, drink, outfits and so on…
Aidy’s friend was our wedding singer and then a DJ played afterwards.
After the wedding we jetted off on holiday to St Lucia.
My top tip for Brides Up North would be to have your wedding exactly how you want it despite any pressures from family and friends; they will love everything once they see it all come together!
Another tip would be to make a weekend of it if you can; we arrived on the Thursday and really got to appreciate the build up to the wedding, spending time with friends and family as they arrived over the three days. We were able to witness the hotel preparations, go out for a meal on the Thursday evening, and on the Friday eat on the hotel veranda with most of our guests.
Congratulations Rebecca & Aidy!
Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North? Here’s how.
This is not a sponsored post
September 4th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This morning I am proud to introduce you to Brides Up North Featured Supplier Chris of Bay Photographic, who works right across the regions from North West to Yorkshire. Not only does this man take a nifty picture, but he talks a good talk too. So I think I better leave things to him…
Chris says: When people ask me how I became a wedding photographer I always seem to stumble a bit over the answer. I suppose I ought to rehearse a really cool sounding response like ‘I was drawn to the work of Jerry Ghionis. Do you know Jerry? I was talking to him the other day…’ or ‘I express myself through the interplay of light and taffeta’…
In reality, I became a wedding photographer because the opportunity arose to photograph a wedding with a friend who was (and still is) an established professional (Paul McDowell) and as soon as I took my first few shots of the bride arriving with her bridesmaids and her father, I was absolutely and totally hooked in a way that no other hobby, job or activity has ever done before. Before that day, I had been a semi professional landscape and news photographer for thirty years and I had sold photographs to magazines, newspapers, web designers, advertising agencies but nothing had ever captivated me quite so much as the conundrum of recording a wedding day for a bride and groom.
As a wedding photographer I am privileged to be allowed to attend the most important time in their relationship and I get to make images of people, venues and moments of happiness that give them pleasure for years and decades to come. If that makes me sound like an old romantic then I am guilty as charged. I find weddings intoxicatingly romantic. They can be charming, lavish, extravagant, personal, unpredictable, dignified, windswept, cosy, funny, inspirational, elegant, exciting, surprising or just plain wacky. But they are always romantic, because they are personal to the two people who are getting married.
I have photographed weddings in churches, hotels, registry offices, castles, country houses, marquees and in architectural monuments but no two have ever been even remotely similar. Except that they reflect the couple, their aspirations, their family and friends and their love for each other. And that means that my day at the office is always changing, always fresh and always about recording something which is good and valuable and decent and beautiful.
When I am photographing a wedding, I have one central mission. That is to take photographs that the couple will look at in the future, which will remind them of what they did, how they enjoyed it, how happy their family and friends were for them and (this is the really tricky bit) which will remind them of their feelings on the day. If all I had to do was to remind them of where they were and what they did, I could train my two year-old Cocker Spaniel, Basil, to carry a camera and record the day. I don’t mean to suggest that I have some mystical talent that makes me better than ‘Uncle Bob’ (or Basil) but it could be argued that a good professional wedding photographer can make images that transport a couple back to their wedding day in an instant and which make them smile at each other in the way they did as they said their vows. Uncle Bob tends to just remind them of who was there when they did so. When couples tell me that the photographs I have taken are ‘Amazing’ and ‘Fantastic’, I think it is unlikely that they are talking about their technical merit. It seems much more likely that they are telling me that I have managed to fulfil my mission.
My clients so far have come from every walk of life, and from most parts of the North West of England. They may not have been celebrities in the ‘Hello’ sense of the word, but they have all enjoyed the celebrity moment that a modern wedding provides. Because that moment is so generously, kindly and unreservedly given, with the best wishes of two families as well as the love of a new marital partner, it can be enjoyed by all. By the shy, retiring and uncertain as well as the gregarious, confident and naturally outgoing. For this reason and, I suspect, because I use that fund of goodwill and my own relationship with the couple to bring out the inner confidence and serenity in them, I have yet to photograph a couple who are uncomfortable while I am doing so.
When I am photographing a wedding, I am completely dedicated to the task of producing the best photographs that I am capable of and maximizing the photographic opportunities of the setting and the day itself. I am totally ‘on my game’ from the moment the day starts to the time I have all the images securely backed up and uploaded to my computer that evening. I used to think that my previous career as a teacher (I spent 27 years in special schools for pupils with emotional and behavioural problems) was demanding of my highest levels of concentration. Compared to photographing a wedding, it was like a walk in the park with Basil. The following day, I start editing images in Lightroom and Photoshop and aim to have a small preview gallery (of around 50 images) online by that evening. I try to have the DVD with all the client’s images on it, edited and corrected, by the end of the week. Once they have chosen the images they want in their Photobook, I create the pages in Photoshop and then email them to the client for their approval before sending them to the print studio.
I believe that my prices are quite competitive. My ‘top’ package, which includes photography from the bride’s preparations through the day until the evening and a large and a small copy of the Photobook, currently costs £750. Other packages are described on my website. I rarely discount my prices, but I might quote a slightly lower price for a wedding out of season. In recent years, I have photographed an average of around 30 weddings a year, a level of bookings that gives me the opportunity to focus on my clients and give them the attention that they deserve.
In the early days of my wedding photography career, a prospective client once asked me ‘Why should I book you?” I replied “Because I’m good and I’m available”. I wasn’t trying to be rude, just honest and concise. Unsurprisingly, she didn’t book me. I hope today’s feature will provide you with a rather better answer.
March 8th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Nothing like a bit of fresh air and a lovely love story to round off the week! Amanda and Aaron are getting married this very weekend in the North East (congratulations!), but first, we join them and their wedding photographer, Brides Up North favourite Lee Scullion, at the spot – of immense natural beauty – where Aaron got down on one knee.
Leave those stilettos at home! It’s walking boots at the ready as we are headed to the great (and gorgeous!) outdoors…
Aaron says: We got engaged in April 2012, in the Lake District. Amanda guessed it was going to be that weekend. It was at Aira Force. It’s a waterfall, with a stone bridge over it (we have a tradition of kissing in the middle of every bridge we walk over together). We went to the lakes for the weekend, and we climbed Helvelynn on the Saturday. Amanda thought that I would propose at the top, but I didn’t, so she was a little upset that night. I waited until the Sunday night, just before we were due to come home, and I got down on one knee on the bridge as it was pouring down with rain. And she said yes, of course! We were both very excited and did a bit of jumping around and kissing each other!
We are getting married this weekend in the North East!
Amanda came to the UK to study at the University of Nottingham and we met when some mutual friends and family went out to dinner.
Amanda asked me if I would be her tour guide as she wanted to travel around England. I suggested taking her to the Lake District for a long weekend! It seemed to start out as a sightseeing trip, but I think we both had ulterior motives. By the end of it we knew we wanted to be together.
When Amanda had to go back to America after her visa expired and I couldn’t bear the thought of being without her, I knew she had to move back as soon as possible.
We love how happy we make each other, and our biggest wish for married life is to grow together and be there for each other through thick and thin.
We chose to have an engagement shoot as we wanted to capture and share how we felt in the beautiful setting where I proposed. It was also a great opportunity to get to know our fabulous wedding photographer, Lee Scullion, and get used to being photographed before the big day.
We would like to make a small album and use our favourite photo for a signature frame at our wedding ceremony for all our guests to sign. We are also using two more photographs to give to our mums as thank you presents since our wedding is on Mother’s Day. After seeing the photographs, we have a lot of confidence in our photographer and are extremely excited about having him on our wedding day. It was a great decision to have the engagement shoot! I would recommend it to everyone.
We love Brides Up North as it’s a great jumping off point when looking for suppliers and ideas, and we’ll definitely be back to share the photographs from our big day!
Congratulations Amanda & Aaron!
Subscribe to receive the FREE weekly Brides Up North e-shot, our newletters and notifications of events, giveaways and offers
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.