October 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If a woodland wedding setting is the stuff of your dreams, then you’re in for a real treat, as today’s newlyweds, Zara and Mike, tied the knot in June of this year in the beautiful Lake District.
Their photographer, J.P.R Shah Photography, knew how to capture this breathtaking backdrop just perfectly, with gorgeous shots amidst the leafy trees and – one of our personal favourites – onboard a rowing boat. Could this be any more romantic?
What also sets this wedding apart is its intimate size, with only 25 close family and friends – and this includes the bride and groom. Doing things differently – there were no bridesmaids either. Other special touches that we just love include shots of homemade raspberry liquor for all the guests and Swedish massages for all the ladies on the day. Wedded bliss all-round!
With images by J.P.R Shah Photography.
zara says: We got engaged at home. I had recently given birth to our son and after a very difficult pregnancy and labour, Mike said to me that as he couldn’t take me out for a meal (due to our new baby) that he was going to cook me a three-course meal instead, but I had to get dressed up as though we were going out. He even provided alcohol-free champagne. He made a playlist of all my favourite songs and really did wine and dine me. He waited until my favourite song at the time Kodaline The One came on and at that point he got down on one knee and presented me with the ring box and asked me to marry him.
We got married on 1st June 2017. The start of June tends to have lovely weather, which was ideal as we wanted an outdoor wedding. It was also exactly two years from the day we had first visited our wedding venue of choice.
We tied the knot and held the reception at The Gilpin Lake House, just outside Windermere. Mike and I only ever looked at one wedding venue and we instantly fell in love. Not only was the venue one of the most amazing hotels, but the grounds were beautiful, the scenery was amazing and the lake was simply stunning too. This is even before mentioning the swimming pool, two hot tubs and the sauna that we had exclusive use of for our time there! As a special surprise we treated all the female guests to a full body Swedish massage.
Mike and I both have large families, so we decided that we wanted a very small wedding with immediate friends and family; a grand total of 25 people.
We had exclusive use of the lake house, so we arrived on the Wednesday and tied the knot on the Thursday. All our friends and family left on the Friday, but Mike and I stayed the extra night for a minimoon.
We didn’t have a theme, but we wanted everyone to be as relaxed as possible. Our guests were told to bring swimwear as once the wedding was complete, meals eaten and speeches done, we wanted our guests to enjoy themselves, as though they were on an actual holiday themselves.
I chose a lilac and pink colour scheme. These are my favourite colours and I chose the flowers for my bouquet before I did anything else. I wanted roses as they are my birth flower, along with lavender as it has such a stand out smell. Now every time I smell lavender I am reminded of my wedding day.
September 13th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The look of love is certainly present in today’s real wedding, particularly in the stunning shots of bride and groom, Kerry and Richard, wrapped in each other’s arms on the stunning Cumbrian coastline.
After a traditional church ceremony, the loved-up couple and their guests travelled to the Seacote Hotel in St Bees, located right by the beach, where the celebrations continued with live music, dancing and cupcakes.
As an individual touch to their big day, Kerry and Richard asked their guests to rock a headpiece or hat, so look out for some fabulous fascinators, magical millinery and top trilbies!
With images by Joshua Wyborn.
kerry says: We got engaged in September 2016, while in Grasmere, and set the date for 3rd June 2017.
Our ceremony was at St John’s Church, Whitehaven, followed by a reception at Seacote Hotel in St Bees, Cumbria. We chose St John’s as it is our local church. St Bees is a favourite place for us both and it has a fantastic beach right on the door step!
We had a rustic theme for the wedding and chose a pale pink colour scheme. We didn’t set a dress code but we did ask our guests to all wear a headpiece or hat, which added a quirky element.
July 14th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The weekend is almost here, but before you slope off for a post-work pinot, we’re bringing you this sweet styled shoot.
Fine art wedding photographer Allison Leigh, who is based in Toronto, approached a local venue stylist to get the ball rolling, and together, they masterminded this lovely collection of images.
Delicate and understated, with pastel bouquets and a whimsical ruffle or two – there’s lots of beautiful flourishes to look out for – think a rose gold palette, vintage glassware and rustic centre pieces, and that’s before we even mention the venue’s exquisite gardens. Prepare to be inspired as Allison explains how the pretty came together…
allison says: I reached out to Jane Donaldson from I Do Cumbria Wedding Hire, who specialises in creating bespoke venue styling, and asked if she would be open to collaborating on a shoot. She replied immediately, saying that it would be ‘magical’. We then planned every detail and sourced other talented vendors we could work with.
The inspiration for Jane came in part from looking at my photography work. Jane loved my bright, airy and natural photos, and decided to go for a feminine and romantic theme with delicate natural touches.
With regards to the location for the shoot, I was keen to find a hotel that I felt was under-utilised as a wedding venue. Broughton Craggs Hotel is West Cumbria’s hidden gem and was the perfect backdrop for our theme. It is located in a beautiful setting within exquisite gardens. The house is tastefully decorated too, in keeping with the period, but with modern touches.
Jane wanted the feel of the shoot to be feminine, simple, romantic and pretty. She designed individual table centrepieces with a minimalist style, using gold, rose gold, whites, pearls and beautiful vintage glassware. Jane shared her beautiful vision with the other vendors and they created their pieces with that in mind.
Suzi Smith from Enchanted Florist Cumbria did the same with her florals – ensuring the colours complemented the shoot and even matched the button hole perfectly to calligrapher Jill Liley’s colours. She created a beautiful bouquet and button hole that tied together beautifully.
June 27th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
When it comes to wedding themes, today’s is certainly different and this we like very much. Newlyweds Esther and Jake peppered their special day with subtle – and not so subtle – nods to their unusual theme: War of the Roses.
We’re talking dainty rose cupcakes, red and white paper bouquets, Lancashire and Yorkshire flags and games galore for the guests (tug of war anyone?).
Throw in the mesmerising backdrop of Park House Barn in Milnthorpe, an alternative wedding breakfast and an oh-so-pretty sparkler send-off for the couple, and you’ve got the makings for a truly memorable, fun-filled day. Read on and let the battle commence…
With images by Ian Brookes Photography
esther says: We got engaged on 10th October 2015, at the top of Helvellyn, the highest of the Eastern Fells in the Lake District. Jake booked us a weekend away at the Kings Head on Thirlmere for our one-year anniversary. We walked up Helvellyn on the Saturday afternoon, but Jake took us the wrong way so the walk took six hours instead of four! I threw many tantrums on the way up to the top – Jake kept coaxing me on, saying that he had a gift for me. When I opened the box, it was an 18-carat white gold ring with a princess cut diamond. Needless to say, I skipped down the bottom merrily, where we were greeted with a bottle of champagne in our lovely room.
Our wedding date was 22nd October 2016. This was the closest date to our anniversary that was available in the church we both wanted, Wythburn Church on Lake Thirlmere.
The church is located at the bottom of Helvellyn and near to the Kings Head, where we got engaged, so it has sentimental value to us. The church has no electricity or heating, so the service had to be conducted by candlelight. Members of our family and friends played flute, violin, accordion and guitar to accompany the service.
The reception was then held 45 minutes away at Park House Barn in Milnthorpe. This is a functioning cow shed and hay barn, which is transformed into a beautiful venue for certain months of the year. When we first saw it, it had a tractor inside so we had to use our imagination! It was large enough to accommodate our guests and fit with the desired look that we wanted. Plus, it was a DIY barn so we could make it whatever we wanted it to be.
We stayed on the wedding night at Heversham Hall, a listed building, situated near to the barn. It really added to the experience, and Lesley was an amazing host.
Our theme was War of the Roses as I am from Lancashire and Jake is from Yorkshire, and we often joke about the rivalry. When looking at our venue, we realised that it would make an amazing theme for the wedding – we even hosted our own battle on the day!
To complement the theme, our colour scheme was red and white to reflect the respective roses of both regions.
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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.
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