June 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 30th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
May 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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January 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we have our umbrellas at the ready, as we meet a couple who show us how to make the most of a rainy wedding day in Cumbria.
Park House Barn provided the rustic backdrop to Charlotte and Anthony’s laid-back boho wedding, complete with a BBQ, woodfired pizza van, ceilidh, games and an actual cheese cake for a wedding cake.
With images by Jessica Grace Photography
charlotte says: We got engaged whilst on a road trip in south west USA. We were camping in the desert in Utah – Anthony had been planning a romantic proposal by the campfire on a starlit night, but on the night he’d planned, a storm hit. He decided to go on ahead and ask anyway, sheltering from the gales and rain in the tent! It was definitely unexpected!
We got married on Saturday 3 September. We both love that time of year – and we thought it was a good bet for some good weather!
We tied the knot at Park House Barn in the south Lakes. We chose this venue because it’s a stunning, rustic building, and we could see that it had so much potential. We loved the idea of just being able to do our own thing – and use thousands of fairy lights! We’re both from the north west and have always felt that the Lakes are a beautiful part of the world.
The general style was relaxed, fun, colourful and a little bit bohemian. An accidental vintage map theme also developed as everything came together! My grandfather used to draw these amazing intricate maps as a hobby, and I’ve just always loved old maps and atlases. As we have grand plans of a belated travelling-honeymoon in 2018, it seemed like a fitting theme.
There wasn’t a strict colour theme. The flowers were simply white wildflowers and gypsophila (with a few blush roses for the bridal bouquet) with lots of greens and herbs. We wanted to let the building and lighting to do a lot of the talking. We had rainbow umbrellas, colourful signs and multi-coloured macarons to add some colour and lots of fun.
My dress was by Anna Campbell, and we got it from Jean Jackson Couture NQ in Manchester – I’d seen it on the internet, and instantly fell in love with it. I’d tried a handful of other dresses on, but this one just felt so comfortable and natural. I think I was always going to end up in lace.
Anthony was keen to keep it simple. He bought about eight high street suits and then picked his favourite!
The bridesmaids were all in Needle and Thread dresses, which they picked themselves. I didn’t really mind what they wore, as long as they were broadly in keeping with the venue/vibe of the wedding, and moreover, that they were all happy. The groomsmen all wore navy blue suits, and ‘granddad’ collars – which was Anthony’s idea.
Our photographer was Jesse, of Jessica Grace Photography, who we heard about from a friend-of-a-friend. She did a brilliant job on the day – making us feel at ease and taking lots of natural photos, which is what we asked for. The weather was certainly challenging from a photographer’s point of view, but Jesse just got on with it.
January 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s gorgeous couple were married at Broadoaks Country House in the heart of the Lake District.
Shabby chic vintage vibes? Check. Moody autumnal skies? Check. Jaw-dropping lakeside photographs? Check. Readers, you’re going to love this.
And flower fans, get those Pinterest-clicking fingers ready – I guarantee that this is the most beautiful bouquet you’ll see this year.
With images by James Tracey Photography
laura says: We got engaged on 29th September 2015. Rich took me to the Lake District, our favourite place, and had set up a proposal at Broadoaks Country House – we’d stayed there before and loved it. Rich had arranged for his brother to be there to secretly photograph the proposal. We had afternoon tea out on the terrace and Rich had bought a mug that said ‘Does this ring make me look engaged?’ The staff brought it out with the afternoon tea and Rich said ‘I think this is for you.’ Suddenly he was down on one knee and proposed with a ring that he’d chosen himself.
We wanted an autumn wedding and so we set the date for the 27th October 2016. We chose Broadoaks where we got engaged for our venue. Rich set up an appointment with the wedding planner there and we knew that was the only place we would want to get married.
We had a small wedding and didn’t want everyone to have to wear matching suits and so on. In fact, the whole day was really laidback. Our theme was vintage/shabby chic because I just love that style.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme. I don’t particularly like reds and oranges but wanted my flowers to reflect autumn; I eventually opted for berry colours and dusky pinks. My sister was my bridesmaid and I told her she could pick her own dress to go with the flowers, so she chose a dress in a mink colour.
I knew from the start what style of wedding dress I wanted and I had an idea in my head. I must have tried on more than 50 dresses, but none of them were right and then I found my dress at Lace and Co Bridal in Horbury, Wakefield. I knew it was the one as soon as I put it on. It was a Charlotte Balbier dress and was called Tabitha. I absolutely loved it. I thought it needed something extra, though, and my mum found a sparkly brooch which I added to the front of the dress to personalise it.
My bridal makeup was done by Lisa from Lime Beauty at Equinox in Bowness, and my hair was by Louise from Equinox. They came to the venue and were absolutely fab! I’d recommend them to anyone, they’re so friendly and put us completely at ease.
Rich decided he didn’t want to hire a suit and so he bought one from Hugo Boss that he could keep. It was a blue two piece and he added a grey waistcoat also from Hugo Boss which went really well.
For our wedding party we just had my sister, Amy, as my bridesmaid and Rich’s best friend Matt as best man. As Rich had bought his own suit, we asked Matt and my dad to wear what they wanted – they didn’t have to match.
My sister’s dress was a mink coloured 50’s style dress, which we ordered online. She also bought a pink petticoat which she wore to make her skirt flare out more.
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