August 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If a chic barn wedding is your kinda thing, then you’re going to be all a flutter with excitement over today’s real wedding, set in one of our favourite corners of the UK – the Lake District.
Three Hills Barn was the unique blank canvas Emma and Josh were craving for their special day earlier this summer, offering up a dose of laid-back, outdoorsy feels, which was the most perfect of backdrops to bring their dream wedding to life. We’re talking deckchairs, hay bales and a saxophone player, not forgetting a pop-up gin bar in the oh-so-pretty marquee. And that’s before we even mention the fabulous country views and surroundings.
The couple also hosted a ‘Wedding Bake Off’ – an ingenious idea that involved all the guests and supplied everybody with plenty of sweet treats on the day. It wasn’t all forward planning though…the couple enjoyed a few surprises too, but we’ll let Emma tell all, in her own words!
With images by Camilla Lucinda Photography.
emma says: We got engaged while on a weekend away in Edinburgh at the top of Arthur’s Seat, a small hill just outside the city centre. When we got to the top, we were completely alone and could see the castle and all the way out to sea. It was a complete surprise and very romantic.
We got married on 23rd June 2018 as we really wanted a summer wedding.
Our wedding venue was the lovely Three Hills Barn in the Lake District. The venue is in the North Lakes, near to Keswick, which has always been a favourite place of ours.
I heard about the venue through a friend at work. I was describing the venue that we wanted, something that would be relaxed, and a blank canvas for us to make our own. Three Hills was the only venue we looked at, it was just everything we were looking for. It was important to us that our wedding would be unique and that we could put our own stamp on the venue.
Mark and Jenny who own the barn (which is on a working farm) were fantastic; such lovely, laidback people, which is exactly what we needed when planning our wedding. Nothing was too much to ask, and they accommodated everything that we wanted for the day.
As we live in Manchester, it was quite a distance for our friends and family to travel, but that made the weekend all the more special as our guests were great and treated it like a holiday, enjoying the rest of the weekend in the Lakes.
We wanted a very relaxed and informal atmosphere. We didn’t have a theme as such, but one thing that ran throughout the day was gin. We had a gin bar in the marquee and used gin bottles as vases for our flowers. We’d asked friends and family to collect bottles for us, and we ended up with hundreds to choose from – not sure what that says about our friends!
Early on I saw one picture of a bouquet on Pinterest which became a bit of a basis for everything else, so the colour scheme kind of came from that. The colours were dark and blush pink, but we were keen to have lots of colour during the day.
My dress was by Stella York and purchased from Ava Rose Hamilton in Lancashire. I would definitely recommend paying them a visit, as they have such a beautiful boutique. I had no idea what style of dress I wanted and was looking forward to trying on lots of different styles. But this was only the fifth dress that I tried on. I just couldn’t leave the shop without having it!
I wore a watch that was my great grandma’s and a Swarovski crystal bracelet of my mum’s, both of which my mum wore on her wedding day to my dad.
August 6th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
In true stretch-out-the-celebrations style, today’s featured couple made a full weekend of their nuptials, with a pre-wedding meal on the Friday evening for their families and the bridal party, the big event on the Saturday and a party for all their guests on the Sunday, which included a chilly dip in Lake Windermere. That’s one way to shake off the fuzzy head the morning after the night before!
Having chosen a spectacular setting, Tom and Zoe didn’t need to go overboard with their decorations but an elegant blush pink and navy colour scheme, using an abundance of real and faux flowers to dress the rooms and slate on the tables as a nod to the local area. We love their idea for favours too – s’mores to toast on the outdoor fire pit, both sociable and delicious!
The bride, who delivered her own speech, wore a beautiful, strapless sweetheart gown with a mermaid skirt in tulle and lace and a beaded waist, offering a gorgeous silhouette for plenty of romantic lakeside photos. Ultimately, it’s the huge smile on both their faces that really make the photographs sing – as Zoe sagely advises; if you remember your wedding is all about you as a couple, it will show through in your day!
With images by Amy Jordison Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged on 12th February 2017. Tom had taken me to Berlin to celebrate my birthday; we had a great few days away, drinking lots of German beer and touring the city. When we came back, we went up to our flat and outside the door Tom said he had one more surprise for me. I thought it was going to be something for my birthday like some flowers or a little present, so when he made me put on a blindfold, I thought he was just playing up the surprise. We went into the flat and he left me waiting in the hallway for a couple of minutes before finally telling me I could come into the lounge. I walked in and the room was full of balloons and on the balloon strings were little pictures of us. I initially thought they were for my birthday until I saw a ring in the box on the table, along with a collage of all the anniversary and birthday cards we had given each other over the years. Tom got down on one knee and it was the biggest surprise of my life. Tom has always been disappointed as I am really good at guessing what my presents are, but I had no idea about this one – which was amazing! (How did the balloons get there? His mum and dad had come round earlier that day and done the whole thing: got my favourite flowers and put prosecco and strawberries in the fridge!)
We got married on 23rd June 2018. I wanted a winter wedding originally, but Tom was set on a summer wedding; when I realised a June wedding would mean peonies, I was more than happy to go along with what he wanted!
We got married at Silverholme Manor in the Lake District and had our reception in a marquee in the grounds. When you see the pictures of Silverholme, there’s no question that you’d want to get married there. The views are insane, the house is huge, and it meant all our family could stay in one place for the whole weekend. The day after we saw it, Tom said to me we should get married there and I was so happy!
I would recommend Silverholme to other couples as it is breathtakingly beautiful. It allows your nearest and dearest to be close by and you can really make a weekend of it. We stayed from Thursday to Monday and it felt like the most amazing holiday with both of our families and best friends. We didn’t leave the grounds for the entire weekend! Alex, the events coordinator, is so attentive; she is on hand if you need anything. It’s just such a fantastic place to be. We are hoping to be able to go back with all our family for our fifth (or maybe tenth) wedding anniversary.
We wanted to try and use a lot of local suppliers and we used slate for our centrepieces as it reminds me of the Lake District. I wanted a lot of flowers but a really relaxed vibe. Everyone commented on how relaxed the wedding was, which was great.
The colour scheme was blush pink and navy. I had always wanted navy bridesmaid dresses, but my sister beat me to it (she got married the year before) so I decided blush pink would be nice with the navy suits as it was light and summery.
May 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
“When Laura and Ryan come your way, throw in the air and shout hooray!” the confetti bags sweetly proclaimed at Laura and Ryan’s Cumbrian wedding that we are sharing with you on the blog today.
Their special celebrations were choc-full of personal touches; from personalised dress hangers sporting each bridesmaid’s name and the wedding date, to the thoughtful gift from the groom to his bride in the form of a book entitled ‘Our Love Story (So Far)’. In return, Laura gifted Ryan a Daniel Wellington watch to remind him to arrive on time to the ceremony! Guests also had a part to play, filling in ‘My Advice for the Bride and Groom’ cards, stored safely in a jar for the couple to open up and read on their first anniversary.
Against a backdrop of rolling Cumbrian hills, Laura and Ryan’s big day was a real lakeside love story.
With images by Joe Mather Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on 24th March 2016. We had just been handed the keys to our first house together (which was very exciting). We were eagerly looking around, taking photos for friends and family and, when I turned around, Ryan was on one knee with a ring. It was a complete surprise. Ryan had to prompt me to give him an answer, I was so shocked! It was very emotional. The surprises kept on coming, as that evening Ryan booked a table at a restaurant and surprised me by inviting my best friends along to celebrate with us.
We got married on 19th May 2017. I always wanted a May wedding; it’s one of my favourite months, probably due to the fact we both have our birthdays in May. Over the last few years it has been lovely weather in May, so we were hoping this would be true for 2017. We were very lucky and the weather stayed fine throughout the day.
We had our ceremony at St Mark’s Church, a beautiful little church in the village of Natland, Cumbria. Ryan was christened there and it has close connections with the family. Our reception was held at The Daffodil Hotel, Grasmere. It had recently undergone a revamp and we love the contemporary style it has. Being from the Lake District, we wanted to make sure we made the most of this beautiful place; the stunning landscape and views The Daffodil Hotel definitely made choosing a venue easier. We would absolutely recommend the venue to future brides and grooms. Katie, our wedding coordinator, was lovely and very helpful in assisting us to make our day exactly how we wanted. Not to mention the amazing location of the hotel right on the lake; the scenery is just amazing.
We wanted a classy and elegant look to our wedding, so we opted for a ‘black tie’ style theme. I wanted to keep the colours subtle and classic, mainly black, white and ivory with elements of grey and silver.
For my dress, although I had a set style in mind, I went to several bridal shops and tried on gowns of all shapes and styles but nothing stood out. As my mum and sister had anticipated, it was becoming a bit of a nightmare. We then went to Julia Tasker Bridal Couture in Bowness, where I tried on my dress; although I was still reluctant to commit, I knew this was the dress that was most ‘me’ and that I envisaged myself getting married in. It was an ivory strapless fishtail gown by British designer Sassi Holford, with a bespoke belt created by Julia Tasker. I loved the simple but elegant look it gave with the sweetheart neckline and buttoned detail down the back. I wanted something timeless, so in years to come it still had that classy feel without looking dated.
My hair was done by a close friend, Beth Nelson, who created a gorgeous up do, exactly how I imagined. My makeup was by the fabulous Aimee Chorley, with a little help from Tash Julian-Warwick, who helped with the bridesmaids’ makeup.
April 6th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Who says you have to play by the rules on your wedding day? Well, today’s couple are breaking with convention – and they’re doing it by the bucket-load! Favours, bridesmaids, best men, a wedding breakfast, top table…all nowhere to be seen. But Fi and Kev’s day is all the more special for it.
And, something we’re sure will turn a few heads – hubby Kev helped his bride-to-be shop for her wedding dress, and they even woke up together on the morning of their nuptials. Could this couple be any more unique, daring to be different and putting a big personal stamp on their big day?
Tying the knot in the stunning Lake District, the couple’s intimate wedding had so many wonderful touches – from their guests jingling a line of bells in unison following the ceremony, to their fabulous cheese cake and veggie spread, and the most eye-wateringly beautiful picture of the couple looking up at the twinkly night sky. We’re in love with this unconventional but truly inspiring wedding, and we think you’re going to be head over heels about it, too!
With images by Jo Greenfield Photography.
fi says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2016. We have a couple of traditions, one being that we love to send each other cards or write little notes to each other and leave them in random places; the other is that we like to return to a particular park bench, where we first held hands, on the 25th of each month. On Christmas Day 2016 I was excited to give Kev a card, telling him how wonderful 2016 had been and how much love and happiness he had brought to my world. He had also written a card for me which had an extra little note inside saying ‘will you marry me?’. Kev had planned to give me his card at the park bench but because I was so excited to give him mine on Christmas morning, he gave me his while we were standing in the kitchen at home. That’s where he proposed, with his little note, standing in the very spot where he had asked me to move in with him. Perhaps not as romantic as being in the park sitting on our bench, but simple and just perfect.
We got married on 30th September 2017. We didn’t want a long engagement – why wait?! Neither of us particularly had any attachment to the Midlands, where we live, but we both love the Lake District so decided to tie the knot there. We hoped the September date might offer us better weather conditions and colours in the mountains at that time of the year.
We got married and held our reception at the Haweswater Hotel in the Lake District. Kev and I are both uncomplicated people and the thought of having a massive wedding just didn’t appeal – we do not like being centre of attention so keeping our wedding small and intimate was really important.
We found the Haweswater Hotel purely by chance. We had gone to visit a different location and had been recommended by the owner of this other venue that we could stay at the Haweswater Hotel on the night of our wedding. So, we thought we’d take a look. We parked up outside and were mesmerised by the location and how beautifully isolated it was. The reception staff offered to show us round and we left that afternoon knowing we wanted to get married there.
We didn’t have a theme. We just wanted a simple and uncomplicated day. No unnecessary extras, no over-the-top flamboyance, just simple, relaxed and informal, a gathering of our friends and family.
We knew what colours we liked and a scheme evolved from that. I knew I wanted to wear ivory and Kev knew he wanted a deep blue herringbone tweed suit. Kev had been on holiday to India just as we met and whilst he was there he met the Dalai Lama who had given him a knotted red string bracelet. We decided to use this red band as inspiration for a vibrant accent colour, with pops of deep red in our flowers and Kev’s button hole and tie. So, in the end, we had a mix of ivory, dark blue, pops of deep red, dusky pinks and creams.
Right from the first day we met, Kev and I have always shared everything, and I couldn’t comprehend dress shopping without him. We wanted all our wedding decisions to be made together, so Kev was involved in the dress process with me.
I’d hoped it would be really exciting to walk into wedding dress shops and pick up lots of beautiful dresses to try on; this was never the case. I did some internet browsing to find a shop that stocked some dresses I did like, and Kev came with me for my appointment. However, I was even more demoralised when everything I tried on was a size 8. Being a size 12/14 I never thought I was that big, but this experience soon made me feel self-conscious about my size, something that had never really worried me before.
All this really got me down and I thought I’d never find ‘the’ dress, but the one thing I was able to take from the experience was what did and didn’t suit me. I decided to have my dress made so that I could incorporate all the ideas that I had really liked from the dresses I had tried on. In the end a family friend made my dress. Kev and I designed it together and were involved in the whole process.
March 8th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Victoria was just one of the legions of brides-to-be who walked into a bridal boutique claiming she knew what she wanted only to find herself disappointed. Thankfully, she was persuaded to try this classic Jesus Peiro number with ultra-elegant high neck and heavy silk, satisfyingly-swishy princess skirt and the rest, as they say, is history.
Her wedding to the lovely Christopher (full marks for that surprise Italian balcony proposal, Chris!) has sophistication in spades – we particularly love the dreamy peach and sage colour-scheme, just perfect for a summer bash, and the way these gorgeous images glow with a champagne-y light.
And we have a Brides Up North first! Have you ever seen a GoPro camera on a bottle of whisky? No? Us neither! We bow down to your ingenuity, guys – and we would love to see the footage…
With images by Shane Webber Photography.
victoria says: Chris took me away in October 2016 as a surprise 30th birthday present. – I had no idea where I was going until we were checking in at Gatwick! We went to Cinque Terre in Italy and on the second day we were making breakfast to enjoy on our balcony. When I walked outside, Chris was waiting for me on one knee. It was the day of our 5th anniversary.
Our wedding date was set for 5th August 2017. I’m a teacher, so I really wanted it to be during the summer holidays – I knew I’d be so much more relaxed and it meant we could go on a three-week honeymoon straight afterwards. Chris also wanted a day where it was more likely to be sunny!
Our venue was The Grange Hotel, Grange Over Sands, for both the ceremony and reception. We wanted to have the wedding in the Lake District as it’s somewhere we love and visit often. We spent a whole day visiting venues and fell in love with The Grange Hotel straight away; it was just what we wanted and luckily the perfect date was free!
The idea of a theme only came up once we started designing our seating plan, table names and favours. We were already considering using holiday photos and destinations as our table names as they were responsible for some of our best memories in our five years together. When looking for favours and seating plan ideas, I came across some DIY suitcases on Amazon that we could use for both, so a travelling theme became a small part of our wedding!
Palette-wise, sage was the primary colour, with peach as a secondary. We just love those subtle, natural, summery colours.
I wore a Jesús Peiró dress purchased from Marrime Bridal Wear. I was really struggling to get ‘that’ feeling in any of the dresses I’d been picking out on visits to other bridal shops. However, I instantly loved the thick silk material used in the Jesús Peiró selection, so decided to try some with a fuller skirt for fun (one of the many styles I was certain I didn’t want!) Once it was on I knew I couldn’t go back; I was so excited. I’d found my dress! I used Belles and Bows on the Isle of Man for my alterations. Rachel was so patient and went out of her way to make the dress fit perfectly; I’d recommend them to anyone looking for dress alterations.
November 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on Brides Up North, we’re in tipi heaven, as we escape to the wild and wonderful backdrop of High Barn, near Penrith, for a beautiful outdoors wedding weekend. Yes, that’s right – our couple, Emma and Chris, turned their nuptials back in September into a fabulous three-day affair, complete with quiz, fish and chip van, games and Sunday brunch!
There are so many talking points; we don’t know where to start! There’s everything from camper vans and specially made Egyptian jam favours, to a rather tasty selection of pies and pizza, not to mention plenty of bunting, fairy lights and – something a little bit different – dried flowers. And then there’s the picture-perfect rainbow, beautifully captured by their photographer.
Here, we invite Emma to reminisce about all the wonderful details…
With images by Johnny Dent Photography.
emma says: We got engaged on the top of Pendle Hill on New Year’s Eve 2016. I think it’s a really special place but on this particular day the wind was so strong I was worried we’d be swept off the top! I kept asking if we should turn back, but Chris was determined to get to the top. Once we had eventually made it, we had to hunker down on the side of the hill, as the wind would have knocked us off our feet! We were with our little dog, Barney and he did not like it. He was whimpering and wouldn’t stay still, so Chris quickly pulled out a bottle of champagne and asked me if I’d ‘wash some pots with him!’. I said “yes” and we finally cracked the champagne open once we were off the top!
We decided on the 9th September 2017 for the wedding. I love autumn and we figured that for the past few years the summer has been a bit of a washout, and it has seemed to improve in September. We were right! We had a wedding weekend, starting with drinks and a quiz on the Friday and ending with brunch on the Sunday.
We got married at St Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, and then had the reception a mile away at High Barn, Edenhall Estate, near Penrith. We had looked round a few places but once we saw High Barn there was no question; it was exactly what we wanted. High Barn is surrounded by the Lakes, the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales, in the middle of a field, next to a wood and nothing else. We knew we wanted to do everything ourselves and we were able to do that, a real DIY wedding.
For the main event, we hired two giant tipis from Special Event Tipis. They were fabulous! There is such a special atmosphere inside those amazing structures, and we had lots of fairy lights, bunting, lots and lots of candles and a fire pit to make it even more special. They were a bit of an extravagance, but I’m so glad we got them. They really make an event very special.
As we made a weekend of it, accommodation was a must. There are some cottages on the estate and there is a hotel in the nearby village, but for people who were staying on site, we arranged the Belle Hotel to come up. This is a mobile hotel room, guests book online and when they arrive, there is a beautiful belle tent waiting for them, futons, rugs and bunting too! They look really cool too and people couldn’t stop taking photos of them.
We didn’t have a set wedding theme in mind initially, but as we started to plan, things came together. I suppose you could call it rustic. Our stationery was brown card with twine, we had table decorations of gin bottles full of flowers and candles everywhere; we had teacups, bunting and dried flowers. We didn’t think about it too much and in the end everything seemed to go together just fine.
There wasn’t really a colour scheme either. The boys wore blue jackets, the bridesmaids wore a mink colour and the flowers were a mixture. We just went with what we liked. It worked!
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