Charlotte Balbier

love train. david tutera for a rustic wedding in the north west – sarah & cj

June 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (25)

We just love it when a couple adds special elements to their wedding day to make it all the more memorable for them and their guests.

Today’s bride and groom decided the transport was a key area of their wedding where they could do things differently, in order to wow their guests. Having planned a marquee wedding on a relative’s farm through which a steam train track ran, Sarah and CJ seized the opportunity for their guests to travel from the church to reception by rail. But this was no mean feat, in order to make their wish come true, they had to build a temporary train platform so that the steam train could stop at the farm, and in order to do that they had to wait for a time of year when the trains didn’t run during the week so that we could work on the track. Top marks for effort guys!

Now let’s board that locomotive…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (38)

sarah says: We got engaged at Fountains Abbey, which is a place I used to go to a lot with my family when I was younger. It was just a normal afternoon on 1st November 2014, we went over for a nice walk, headed up to Anne Boleyn’s lookout, which has an amazing view to the gardens and the abbey, and whilst we stood there admiring the view, CJ asked me to marry him, completely unexpected! He’d worked with Whiting & Wilson jewellers in Rossendale to design the ring himself.

We wanted the wedding to be within a year of getting engaged and so decided to set the date for 10th October 2015.

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (39)

We got married at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Bury, as this is where CJ’s parents were married and he was christened. It’s also in our hometown and right opposite the steam train station, which was how we planned to transport our guests to the reception. We wanted a completely unique way to transport our guests that would be fun and meant something to us too. We live in Irwell Vale, which the steam train passes through and came up with the idea as the train passed through the village one day. My relatives have a farm, which the steam train runs right through to, so we built a temporary train platform on the farm for the train to stop at, and laid down a gravel walkway from the platform to an Indian style marquee we’d hired, which was in one of the fields. The marquee was a grand pavilion from Shades Canvas.

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making dreams into memories: big chief tipis

April 26th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Big Chief Tipis (4)

This afternoon we’re delighted to introduce another of our talented Brides Up North Sponsors to the blog, the wonderful Big Chief Tipis.

There’s not much that the company’s team (aka the ‘Little Chiefs’) don’t know about staging a dream outdoor wedding under the protection and beauty of a fabulous event tipi having organised 50 weddings in their very first year of operation.

Among their clients is gorgeous celeb couple Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, who hired a Big Chief Tipi for their lavish big day back in July 2015! Impressed? Us too! So much so that we’ve called upon Big Chief Tipis to showcase some of their stunning structures at our exciting WEDSTIVAL16 event at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire on 22nd May 2016 – which will be one of the UK’s first dedicated large scale festival wedding exhibitions!

To celebrate becoming a Brides Up North Sponsor, Big Chief Tipis are offering our readers an amazing 5% discount on bookings, just quote “Brides Up North”.

We’ll now hand over the blog to those knowledgeable Little Chiefs to explain what makes a tipi wedding so special…

Big Chief Tipis

Can you give us a little overview of Big Chief Tipis and the services you can offer to our bride-to-be readers?

Here at Big Chief Tipis we specialise in hiring out large event tipis for weddings throughout the UK. The dream alternative to a marquee, our tipis create a breath-taking space for you to celebrate in the great outdoors. All of our tipis can be interlinked together endlessly to create a space big enough for any number of guests. They are perfect for both summer and winter weddings as you can raise the sides when the sun is shining, or you can lower them down and light a fire inside when the weather is…British!

Our aim is to turn your dreams into memories and we have a dedicated team of Little Chiefs on hand around the clock to ensure these memories are the happiest of your life!

We are a young company, with a vibrant team of enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who absolutely love weddings. In our first year of operation, 2015, we organised 50 weddings – one of them being Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright’s wedding, after which we appeared in Hello magazine as they loved us so much!

Why do tipis make a great option for weddings?

When planning a wedding, we ask our brides – what do you desire? Do you want something unique, exclusive, fun, stunning, individual? If the answer is yes to any (or all) of the above, then a tipi wedding could be the answer you’re looking for.

Our tipis act as a popup venue that can be erected practically anywhere, so that you can enjoy your big day with friends and family in the great outdoors. Whether you have a large garden, your grandma’s field, a campsite with amazing views or a local venue with land, our team of Onsite Little Chiefs can work their magic within one to two days, to make your vision a reality.

Our motto at Big Chief Tipis is “making dreams into memories” and with your wedding, we’ll do just that. We know that your special day means the world to you and that you want to have the best time of your life within a space that brings fun, love and atmosphere. A wedding in one of our tipis is like no other party and we can guarantee that your guests will leave with smiles on their faces and their dancing shoes worn out! Even the most sceptical of guests who are expecting to walk into a ‘wigwam’ are blown away when they see our 21st Century version of what was a very traditional space.

Big Chief Tipis (7)

What types of tipis do you offer?

We offer three different sizes of tipis – our Big Hats (10.5m), Midi tipis (8.5m) and Baby tipis (6.5m). They can all be interlinked together to create different spaces. For a wedding, we tend to work off 50 people per tipi, which will leave enough space for a dancefloor. So if you have 80 to 100 guests then two Big Hats is perfect but you may want to add on a Midi tipi to act as the bar and chill out area. In addition, our Baby tipis can be linked to the main formation using a tunnel which creates the perfect chill out space with Moroccan styled furniture or children’s play area complete with multi-coloured bean bags and bunting.

How many guests can your tipis cater for?

The answer is “How long is a piece of string?” You can use one tipi on its own for a more intimate gathering of 50 people, or you can interlink a number of our tipis together to create an incredible space to accommodate a wedding in excess of 400 guests.

Big Chief Tipis (2)

Can the tipis be used for weddings all year round?

Big Chief Tipis is open all year round as our tipis are perfect for both summer and winter weddings alike. We can lift the sides while the sun shines for you to enjoy the weather and views, or we can lower them to protect you from the elements and light a fire pit inside to create a magical and cosy vibe. The bonus of booking with Big Chief Tipis is that our sister company is The Tipi Company, which manufactures the tipis for the tipi hire industry, and as a result we have a few additional extras that set us apart from the rest – such as our weather-proofing kits complete with doors and clear view windows!

Do you offer extras such as toilets and heating to make hiring a tipi a simpler option?

Yes, we can take care of all the ‘boring bits’ for you, including generators, toilets and heaters, and plan the timings of arrival / collection of them all to coordinate with the set up and break down of the tipis and the layout of the site, so that you don’t have to worry about any of it.

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outdoors in. maggie sottero for a marquee wedding in east yorkshire – ellie & dan

April 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Relaxed Marquee Wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Carly Bevan Photography (46)

When we first saw the images of Ellie and Dan’s wedding we were totally bowled over by their choice of venue for the ceremony – the amazing Beverley Minster. Talk about stunning! We love its impressive stained-glass windows and stone pillars.

Following their grand ceremony setting Ellie, Dan and their guests enjoyed a relaxed reception in the Walled Garden at Bishop Burton College and managed to bring the outdoors in, with the use of beautiful botanical décor and arrangements.

With images by Carly Bevan Photography.

A Relaxed Marquee Wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Carly Bevan Photography (12)

ellie says: Dan proposed on my birthday in October 2014 – it was a complete surprise. We’ve been together seven years, but he managed to keep it completely secret!

We set the date for 24th October 2015. Dan is a farmer so is busy working all summer and we wanted to enjoy the planning and the run up as well as the day itself. We got married in Beverley Minster, East Yorkshire, as we lived in Beverley in our first house before moving to the farm, and held our marquee reception in the Walled Garden at Bishop Burton College. We were very lucky to be able to use the Walled Gardens, as my parents live at the college, and it meant a lot to be able to be somewhere that meant such a lot for our special day. Everyone who got involved at the college were fantastic and went above and beyond in making our day such a success, and stress free!

A Relaxed Marquee Wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Carly Bevan Photography (69)

We didn’t really have a theme as such but the overall design of the wedding came from our invitations. We wanted to include all of the things that are important to us both, and all the other aspects of the day just fell into place from there. The marquee was set up in beautiful gardens and we wanted to bring the garden through into the marquee with lots of greenery, but also to keep it relaxed with lots of fairy light and subtle candles. I spent a lot of time getting ideas from Pinterest!

A Relaxed Marquee Wedding in East Yorkshire (c) Carly Bevan Photography (60)

As I always wanted my bridesmaids to wear navy blue and it’s my favourite colour, we went for mainly navy colour scheme with a touch of gold mixed in too.

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coffee & cream. justin alexander for a country garden style wedding at home – rachael & john

March 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Rustic Wedding at Home (c) Crayden Wedding Photography (45)

It might be Monday but we’re getting your week off to a pretty start with this wonderful rustic wedding that is brimming with inspiration for all you creative brides-to-be.

Much of the styling of today’s wedding followed after bride Rachael found her dream dress in the form of a coffee and ivory tea-length design by Justin Alexander. Fitting in perfectly with her desire for a relaxed country garden style wedding, Rachael teamed the neutral yet warm tones with elegant pastel shades and picked complementary décor in hessian and ‘just picked’ blooms to complete the look.

Rustic romance at its best…

With images by Crayden Wedding Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at Home (c) Crayden Wedding Photography (29)

rachael says: John proposed on my 30th birthday in January 2013. It was during a meal with 11 family members – they all knew about it as John had visited my dad a few nights previous to get his permission. The morning of my birthday in typical John style he advised me he’d ordered me a present  online and it had been delayed because of the snow and it would be here in a couple of days, I thought nothing of it and went off to work. After meeting the family at the restaurant and after the family gift giving, John started to shuffle back on his chair and got down on one knee, I thought he’d drop something, then he proceeded to say I’ve got a little gift, I thought he was kidding until I saw the ring and instantly burst into tears of joy and he asked if I would be his wife. I obviously said yes – I felt so lucky and he looked so relieved.

Our wedding date was originally booked for New Year’s Eve 2015 but after feeling a little nervous about the weather we brought the date forward to 19th September 2015. My parents and sister also got married in the month September, which gave the date more meaning.

A Rustic Wedding at Home (c) Crayden Wedding Photography (64)

We had a church ceremony at the village church where my parents and sister got married. My parents live next door to the reverend and directly across from the church. We then went onto a marquee wedding reception at my family’s small holdings, which has a fabulous rustic feel and a large fishing lake.

We wanted a relaxed rustic, county garden feel to the wedding. I initially fell in love with the idea of tipis for the reception but after visiting a Papakata open day we saw the Sperry marquees and quickly realised they would be perfect as they had transparent side walls meaning we could take in the views from outside.

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pastels & petals. a bespoke emma hunt dress for an elegant wedding in north yorkshire – emma & jamie

January 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Pastel Wedding at Home (c) Nicola Denby Photography (37)

Ladies you’re in for an absolute treat today as this morning’s real wedding is brimming with pretty inspiration to take note of.

After tying the knot during a traditional church ceremony, Emma, Jamie and their wedding guests carried on the celebrations in an elegantly styled marquee, pitched in the bride’s parents’ garden.

We adore the pretty pastel colour scheme and in particular the maids’ muted coloured dresses and the a-maz-ing flowers created by Emma’s talented mum.

Top of our swoon-list though has to be the bride’s stunning bespoke gown, made by British designer Emma Hunt.

With images by Nicola Denby Photography.

A Pastel Wedding at Home (c) Nicola Denby Photography (31)

emma says: We got engaged in February 2014 in Dubai. Jamie had planned a surprise holiday during half term and I didn’t know where we were going until the day we were leaving, which also happened to be my birthday! On our first night in Dubai we went out for dinner at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Dubai Fountain. When we got back to the hotel room, Jamie got down on one knee and presented me with a gorgeous vintage style diamond ring and asked me to marry him. I said yes then burst into tears before calling our families to tell them the exciting news! Weeks before our engagement, I’d pointed out the style of ring I liked and Jamie had remembered and had a similar ring made especially for me!

We got married on 11th July 2015. As a teacher, I knew I wanted the wedding to be in the summer holidays so I could have some time before the wedding to do any last minute preparations and so we would have time to go off on our honeymoon afterwards. It worked perfectly and we were really lucky with the British weather!

A Pastel Wedding at Home (c) Nicola Denby Photography (18)

We got married at All Saints’ Church, Ripley in North Yorkshire. Jamie is from Winchester and I grew up near Harrogate and for the last 15 years my parents have lived in their beautiful home near Ripley. It’s a lovely village and the church is stunning. We knew straight away that it would be where we would hold our wedding.

We held the reception at my parents’ home which, as it turns out, lends itself perfectly as a wedding venue! It has super views over Harrogate with plenty of space for a marquee, drinks reception and even a bar in the stable! I had dreamt of having my wedding at home and it was just what we both wanted.

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big hats & high jinks. a papakata wedding in york – hazel & adam

August 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (46)

Hazel and Adam stamped their personalities all over their unique & beautiful wedding under canvas, and that’s just the way we like it here at Brides Up North.

What better way to start the week than a wedding involving lots of pretty touches, vintage finds, brilliant blooms and a first night spent sleeping in a chicken hat… oh, yes.  Read on, read on…

With images by Brides Up North sponsor JB Creatives.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (13)

hazel says: We got engaged in a wine bar in London, the day before we went on holiday. My sister had just come back from a year in Canada, and as hard as Adam tried to get rid of her, we hadn’t seen each other in ages, so in the end he had to tell her to go and wait in the toilets while he proposed!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (17)

We were married on October 4th 2014 – we wanted to get married while Adam’s sister who lives in New Zealand was back in the country. We got married in St. Helen’s church in Escrick, just outside of York. We absolutely loved the church, and it was close to where we held our reception. Helen at Escrick Park was absolutely fantastic, as were Papakata who provided the teepees. They both did such a great job of making our day so special, perfect and unique to us.

Our venue was a field – this meant that we could choose absolutely every detail ourselves and make our day exactly as we wanted. It meant some very long days in the run up, and I never expected my wedding to include a lesson in how to run a generator or heavy lifting of fridges, but it was 100% worth it!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (25)

We didn’t want a strict style or colour scheme – just things that we liked. I guess you could say that we went for a vintage theme, but really we just picked the things that we thought looked nice! We deliberately avoided a strict colour scheme, and just went with pastels where colour was required.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (32)

I chose a lace wedding dress from an outlet in Northallerton. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I knew would inevitably end up covered in grass and mud – which it did!

Adam wore suit trousers, a shirt and waistcoat from Next. He tried on a couple of suits but they looked too formal and we wanted a more relaxed style.

The groomsmen wore the same as Adam, but with different coloured ties, and I only had my sister as a bridesmaid. This made it much easier, and she just picked a dress that she liked!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (38)

We hired VW campervans to sleep in at the teepees, and ended up using one to transport me to the church too. They were from The Campervan Company in Thirsk.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (50)

Jane Beadnell from JB Creatives was our photographer, she was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and she takes brilliant photos. She did an amazing job and captured our day perfectly in a style that really suited the wedding itself. We had so many lovely comments from our guests about how hard she worked and the lovely photos.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (55)

My bouquet was made up predominantly of roses, hydrangea, and freesias. The flowers were provided by another friend – Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture, she also did an amazing job, with our very limited knowledge of flowers and vague descriptions of what we liked!

The flowers for the reception were also provided by Leafy Couture – again lots of roses and freesias – in mini milk bottles on the tables. We also decorated with lots of home made bunting.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (67)

Adam was in charge of the favours – he had a boy’s night in and made them all! Everyone had a big bag of marshmallows to toast on the open fires, and a jar of hot chocolate to take home and help them through the morning after!

We had an afternoon tea, so rather than more cake we had wheels of cheese provided by Love Cheese in York. We are both big cheese fans, and we served it up after the afternoon tea with a glass of port (or 3!) – so it was great to see the guests tucking into it.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (63)

Katie & Maz at The Flax & Twine in York provided our catering – they were amazing, providing solutions to Adam’s crazy ideas and stopping him when they got out of control – he desperately wanted to make and serve crepes to all 130 guests personally!! In the end we settled for afternoon tea, followed by the cheese from our “cake” then later in the evening we had a hogroast provided by The Hog & Apple in York, and finally a waffle station – dreamt up by Adam and spectacularly brought to life by Katie & Maz from their vintage caravan… amazing! We provided all of the drinks, the wine was Cono Sur Bicicleta because Adam works in a bike shop and all of the bottles had a bicycle on them, and then we put on four beers – two from North Wales where my dad’s family is from, and two from the local York Brewery!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (62)

We tried to have lots of special touches – we painstakingly collected all of the crockery for the afternoon tea, and it included a set my granny was given as a wedding present over 60 years ago! We made lots of things too, all of the bunting, the bar, the photo booth, the coconut shy, the table plan was made of ladders covered in things that were important to us both, and the typewriter we used to write the invitations and sewing machine that made all of the bunting made an appearance too!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (70)

In the evening we had a ceilidh provided by the Dark Horse Ceilidh Band from Harrogate – they were great fun, then we hooked up the ipod for the rest of the evening.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (74)

The whole day was amazing, but the end was our favourite. We waved off our last guests on to a coach at 1am, and then had the teepee all to ourselves to reflect on the day. We were meant to sleep in the campervan, but Adam forgot to bring the duvet and the keys went home with a guest. By this point, it was pretty cold in the teepees, so I slept in my wedding dress, Adam slept in his suit, and then we raided the fancy dress box from our photo booth for extra warmth. I’m pretty sure there are no other brides that can claim to have spent their wedding night in their dress, an army camouflage jacket and a chicken hat!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (80)

Straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Dales in the camper van we had hired – mostly catching up on sleep and recovering from doing so much in the run up to the wedding. We then had 2 weeks in South Africa in January which was absolutely fantastic – the highlight of which was a 2 night stay in a tree house.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t leave too much to the last minute! The night before the wedding I was up late refining the ipod playlist, and Adam arrived at the church with the decorations after the guests did! Ooops!

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