Brides Up North

love lights. a relaxed yet glamourous tipi wedding at home – carly & louis

January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (16)

Can we all just pause for a moment please and admire today’s bride’s beautiful wedding style? From her bejewelled headband to her full length veil and beaded gown, this lady looks like she’s straight off the catwalk.

And her boy doesn’t scrub up badly either, does he?

Carly and Louis’s super stylish, yet relaxed tipi celebration was full of fun, blousy blue blooms, twinkling fairy lights and special little touches.  Just lovely.

Be inspired…

With images by GS Studio.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (17)

carly says: We were on a snowboarding holiday in Sauze D’oulx, Italy for New Year’s 2013/2014. Half way down a gorgeous tree lined slope, snow coming down on New Year’s Day, Louis stopped me saying he needed a rest, when we stopped, he flipped over onto both knees (still strapped in) and pulled the little box out his pocket.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (23)

We set the date for 6th September 2014, we chose it hoping it would be a good day for the weather, it was so nerve wracking getting married in a tipi, it could have gone one way or another!

We got married in a tipi supplied by the fantastic Unique Tent Company in my parents’ garden. It had always been a dream of mine ever since they bought the place, they weren’t quite as excited as I was when I came to them with the idea, but they came round in the end and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a real labour of love getting the garden ready.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (30)

We had a very natural, garden theme, it just fit with the fact we got married at home, very relaxed. Charlotte from The Finishing Touch Company and Helen at Bels Flowers really pulled the whole place together, it was an absolute wonderland.

We chose to go with blues and greys for our colour palette, the stone in my engagement ring is a star sapphire and blue-grey in colour so we decided to follow that.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (42)

I chose an Eliza Jane Howell full length gown with long sleeves in a heavily beaded 20’s style, I felt so glamorous the second I put it on, I knew it was the one. I bought it from Kathryn S Trueman in Morpeth and the girls were amazing!

Louis wore a three piece navy suit, tartan tie and some fabulous Grenson shoes from End Clothing, very dapper!

Our groomsmen, all TWELVE of them wore the same as Louis, and the bridesmaids wore the Ghost dye to order Chelsea dress.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (43)

Gemma Smith at GS Studio was our photographer and she was fantastic and followed exactly what we wanted. I can’t recommend her enough, everyone was so at ease, and the pictures are so natural, exactly what we wanted!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (46)

My dad bought a 1953 Ford Popular when I was about 3 years old and after a few fun trips as a child it sadly went into retirement when I was about 8 years old.  Dad knowing how much I adored the old car secretly had it all fixed up, serviced, new wheels the lot as a surprise and we’re so lucky to be able to take our little wedding car for a tootle now whenever the weather permits all be it at a max of 20mph (which made the journey to the church that morning VERY interesting!)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (1)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (12)

Helen at Bels Flowers provided the most beautiful natural bouquets of hydrangeas, nigella, dusty miller and even included some herbs so the bouquets had the most beautiful aroma.

The Finishing Touch Company provided most of the internal decorations with bell jars and watering cans bursting with flowers on the tables, the festoon lighting and the blackboard seating plan were the piece de resistance from Coco Luminaire.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (57)

We gave out Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as favours, they went down a treat!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (58)

My mum’s best friend made the wedding cake, she’s so talented! I wanted an informal cake that really represented us so she made it look like an alpine slope with two little snowboard figurines on the top dressed in our wedding clothes, it was so special and absolutely delicious!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (65)

We chose a band called the Soundcasters from London, we’d heard them on the holiday in the Alps when we got engaged and couldn’t get them out of our heads, they had the whole place jumping every night, exactly what we wanted for our special day.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (71)

100% everyone we used were top notch, we didn’t hit one hitch throughout the day, largely thanks to the co-ordination from our catering team at Sheer Elegance Catering, Anthony and Chris ran the day like clockwork and Jane from Newcastle Falcons supplied the bar.  She managed to come up with every request we had and didn’t run short of a thing on the night.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (70)

Snaparazzi Photobooths supplied us with one of their fabulous booths which went down a treat and Coco Luminaire supplied the large illuminated letters, they even managed to get them outside on the lake, it looked absolutely stunning! Bit-a-Sweet supplied the sweety cart and were kind enough to keep it stocked all night.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (79)

I couldn’t choose a favourite part of the day, I guess the speeches were pretty special though, I have the give my dad, Louis and all 12 best men their dues, we were in stitches!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (84)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (88)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (85)

After the wedding we took a two week snowboarding holiday in the alps, a little energetic for a honeymoon, but it was so much fun, we had a week alone and a week with friends, my stomach still hurts from laughing so much!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (91)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (96)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax, enjoy it and if you know you’re a worrier then give yourself plenty of time, it’s the most amazing day!

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beautifully bespoke. a contrasting catholic & hindu wedding at redworth hall hotel – urmila & john

January 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (30)

Urmila and John’s two day celebration was a weekend of contrasting cultures, and a great excuse for two beautiful parties in one!

I can’t decide if I prefer Urmila’s traditional, romantic styling for the Catholic wedding day, or the colourful, bejewelled Hindu celebration that followed a day later. One thing is certain – this was one fabulouswedding!

With images by David West Photography.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (13)

urmila says: John proposed to me in a particularly embarrassing and public way at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh.  He sent each table a note asking them to sing along to ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ by Andy Williams at 9pm, after which he would pop the question.  So at 9pm, led by one of the waiters (who pretended it was just part of a Christmas tradition), there was an impromptu sing song, just before he got down on one knee and proposed in front of a restaurant full of people. My shock (he had thrown me off the scent two weeks earlier by telling me he could not afford a ring, having actually had it made a couple of months beforehand!) was captured on camera by another customer in the restaurant and posted on Youtube. John won the ‘Most Romantic Groom’ competition for Brides magazine for his efforts.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (12)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (18)

We had always wanted to celebrate both our cultures so decided on a two day wedding celebration over the summer bank holiday weekend (24th and 25th August 2013). The venue needed to be big enough, available over that weekend, have rooms for people to stay, and allow for external Indian caterers. Redworth Hall Hotel in Newton Aycliffe fit the bill perfectly, and was beautiful to boot.

We had a lot of unusual demands; having an Indian ceremony caused complications and chaos, but Vicky Dewdney and her team there were absolutely amazing. I would thoroughly recommend them as both a hotel and a wedding venue.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (21)

The 24th was our Catholic ceremony, where the theme was classical music, champagne and opulence.  We stuck to neutral colours such as pale pinks, ivory and gold, with the odd splash of dark red in order so it was not too ‘girly’. We chose classical music as we are are both keen musicians, and met through John’s father being my music teacher at school.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (25)

My dress was bought from the ever inspiring Wendy at Bridal Wish in Corbridge. Named ‘Balira’ by Pronovias, it was strapless and lace, customised with extra lace and crystals through the bodice.  I had tried several gowns on but was particularly assured and impressed by Wendy’s customer service and brutal honesty! This was teamed with some very contrasting blue leopard print Christian Louboutins and a cathedral length single tier veil with crystal detailing by Joyce Jackson. The bridesmaids wore dusky pink Twobirds dresses (with my sister wearing a bespoke necklace by Emma Hedley jewellery bought online and the guys wore contrasting navy blue morning suits hired from Waltons Formal Menswear Hire in Newcastle.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (26)

We got married at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Wycliffe (John’s family’s church for a number of years). Each pew was dressed in a dusky pink chiffon material, with candles, lamps and petals by the side of each, while our aisle consisted of a white runner.  The altar was dressed in the same pink chiffon with white roses around the base. The church and venue decorations on both days were designed entirely by Zoe Pierson and her team at Kelly’s Event Boutique. Her imagination and commitment are second to none and She and her team put everything together, listening to our thoughts and bringing them to life, down to the most intricate details.  We could not have picked anyone better for the job.

Our ceremony was both emotional and fun. We had personalised poems and a lot of emphasis on music. John arranged the diverse music for Arco String Quartet, a small band including guitars and drums and Cantoris choir led by Stephen Pettitt.  We even high fived when the priest said we were now husband and wife!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (31)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (33)

Our stationery was bespoke and based on the Moet and Chandon label.  Everything, from the order of service to the menu plan was created by the extremely talented and committed Stef Chambers at Squarepeg Design.  She even put together the comical ‘Hoy Wuh’ confetti packets.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (36)

Our wedding breakfast was held in the truly magnificent Great Hall at Redworth Hall Hotel. It was decorated in different kinds of chiffon, numerous candles, flowers and mercury tea lights.  The mixture of high and low centrepieces and carried on our musical theme thanks to Kelly’s Event Boutique.  The table names were our favourite classical composers written on manuscript, but bearing the Moet and Chandon crown, and we even had real miniature violins and tiny pianos as some of the centrepieces!

Each guest had an individual fact about them tucked into their table napkins (which bore bespoke luggage tags with their names in the champagne theme), to encourage mingling between everybody.  It took a lot of arranging beforehand, but really got people talking!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (41)

Our best man’s speech featured a room change and was delivered by Jamie Miller and the very creative James Craggs of Roundhouse Productions. It featured a slideshow, a hilarious ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ style audience Q and A, and even had personal messages from Eamon Holmes, Edith Bowman and Alan Shearer (to name but a few!)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (53)

Our beautiful cake was a four tier creation by Mrs Robinson’s Cakes  based in Manchester and we partied into the night with Andy Nesbitt from AM DJ Services as our DJ.  Our first dance was choreographed by Neil at Newcastle Dance Centre.

My sister made a guestbook with individual envelopes for people to write messages. We also had a beautiful personalised knife with which to cut the cake, bearing our initials in English and Bengali and made by one of our wedding guest, Henk of Henk’s Woodwork.

As favours guests were given a ‘Recovery Bag’. In each bag was a mixture of painkillers, hangover food and a personalised NHS ‘prescription’, made by SquarePeg design (as I am a Doctor) with humorous instructions on how to combat Saturday’s excesses, and then prepare for more of the same!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (56)

Our second day was our entirely different Hindu wedding.  The theme was based around fuchsias, purples, blues and fun, loosely termed ‘Bollywood Bling’.

We started the day with the ‘Gaye Holud’ ceremony where the bride and groom are covered with turmeric to make their skin ‘glow’.  Traditionally the bridal party wear yellow saris to this function, and the bride is officially ‘given’ to her new husband’s family.  This proved to be extremely emotional for my mum and I. Thereafter the girls went to get dressed into our saris whilst the boys had a football match in the grounds.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (61)

The bridal party wore saris purchased from Kolkata.  Mine was a particular Banarasi silk popular in West Bengal, and eschewing the traditional red colour was violet and adorned with real gold jewellery. The bridesmaids wore contrasting turquoise saris.  The groom’s side wore purple Indian outifts, while the guests loved the opportunity to dress up in something different.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (66)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (74)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (69)

Our ceremony began with a grand and noisy entrance by the groom’s family along, to the beat of the Indian Dhol performed by Apnabeat Entertainment.  John however was quickly stopped however by the bridesmaids who demanded a bribe to let him into the venue.

The Hindu wedding itself was conducted under a ‘Mandap’ with plenty of colour, laughter and involvement of the audience by the priest.  We provided beautiful, bespoke orders of service, which explained the ceremony, produced by Angela McGurk at Graphic Embers. She created all the Hindu stationery, based on purple, blue and pink Paisley design, but with a twist.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (91)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (76)

The wedding breakfast decor was a mixture of purples, gold and pink.  Each guest’s name tag was written in both English and Bengali. We had tanks of flower petals for the top table and the centrepieces were mixtures of floating flowers and tall vase arrangements. Our seating plan consisted of individual place cards on top of a table with an adorned bronze Ganesh.

Our Indian meal was provided by Saibal Maitra at Vujon restaurant in Newcastle which we would thoroughly recommend.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (94)

We also wanted to give the guests some Bollywood bling, so we gave them ‘Bindis’ and bangles.  They were so much fun that even the boys got involved!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (113)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (121)

As we had already done a first dance the previous day we instead decided to do a first ‘tune’.  We therefore did a comical piano duet which consisted of plenty of hand swapping and running around.

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (127)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (128)

The evening party kicked off with a wrestling match between the men from both sides (a bit unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyed) egged on by our Dhol players, before we went onto a Bhangra workshop (again provided by Apnabeat entertainment).  We then danced the night away with a DJ and the band Funk Conspiracy (who were particularly good sports as we were running very late and their drum kit almost got destroyed by two people wrestling!).

All in all, it was a two day wedding full of contrasts, surprises, colour, tears, laughter, love and a hell of a lot of fun!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (131)

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (126)

Our photographs were captured by David West of David West Photography along with Kristin Moat who were simply astounding in their commitment and enthusiasm. Their pictures are just beautiful and their professionalism and hard work were just amazing.

Our video was captured by hdmoments.com and can be found here.  I had not met the team until our wedding day and was highly impressed with their work in capturing all those special moments.  If your budget can stretch to a videographer, I would definitely recommend one!

a catholic hindu wedding at Redworth Hall (c) David West Photography (129)

Our honeymoon was to Bali where we literally lay and baked for ten days; after that weekend, we certainly needed it!

We were so delighted with how our wedding went.  There were lots of small things that went wrong, but the reality is that none of them spoiled our days, and things that would have bothered me at the time I cannot even recall now. My top tip for other Brides Up North is if you have plenty of food and drink, good suppliers and most importantly awesome family and friends, then everything else will just fall into place.

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catch of the day. a home made wedding at the alnwick garden – jancis & casey

January 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (46)

Jancis and Casey’s choice of wedding venue was all about the memories – a special place that they could share with their friends and family on their special day and for years to come.

It’s one of our favourite venues here at Brides Up North HQ too and you can join us for our beautiful wedding exhibition here in April, but for now, let’s celebrate Jancis and Casey’s ‘catch of the day’.

With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (34)

jancis says: Just after we met Casey promised that he would one day take me to Rome. Three years later we still hadn’t made it so while we were planning what to do for our anniversary I decided to have a look at flights. I never thought they would be reasonably priced but it worked out less than we could have spent on petrol if we had stayed in the UK. I floated the idea to Casey and with one thought of pizza and Peroni he was sold! We booked the tickets and off we went to a destination I had only dreamed of!

After three days seeing the amazing sights and eating fabulous food it was our third anniversary. We spent the day doing all the things we had wanted to do. We went to Castel Sant’angelo in the morning which had the most spectacular views of the Vatican City. Then walked down to watch the Pope hold his service and went up to St Peters Basillica. Casey had thought about proposing at the top but after the 320 steps and around 100 other people squeezed up there he decided against it.

After spending most of the day on our feet we decided to go back to the hotel room for a rest and to get ready for a lovely meal to celebrate our anniversary. We got all dressed up in our best clothes and Casey asked me to open a bottle of prosecco. We toasted three years together and Casey sat me down on the edge of the bed and started talking about how thankful he was and how much he had enjoyed the past three years. Before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. I didn’t need to think about it the words just spilled out: “Of course I will!”

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (40)

We were married on 25th May 2014. We chose this date as it was a bank holiday Sunday and we were asking our guests to travel from far and wide across the UK and the world to celebrate with us. We knew this would mean most of them wouldn’t need to take too much time off work, if any at all, or like us, they would be able to make the celebration into a week long holiday.

We were married at The Alnwick Garden, It is one of our favourite places to visit. Casey first took me there on a spur of the moment weekend away. I has been having a really hard time at work and got home one Friday night to him looking up b&b’s in Northumberland, a place I’d never been. He whisked me away to Warkworth, a village we have both now fallen in love with, for the weekend and decided to make the trip the gardens for the day. We both love that it is a charity, run by donations from other people who love to visit and enjoy the flowers and of course the fountain.

We wanted a venue where we felt like we were contributing to the local community and somewhere in the future we will be able to take our children and relive our special day.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (42)

We had been to a wedding in America the year before where the bride and groom had their first look before the ceremony. The photos were very personal and it meant that they got to spend their cocktail hour with their guests. Casey and I decided to do the same. Around 3 miles from our venue is a beach where we have spent a lot of time. We decided to head down there before the ceremony and have a first look moment. We took our wedding party to the beach and one of the bridesmaids cleared the area for us. A group of people started forming so it wasn’t the most intimate moment however it felt special and we will always have the memories of that moment.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (43)

The style we went for came from the venue we chose. The Garden is full of bright colours and earthy tones so we chose green, white and brown for our wedding colours inspired by the plants, the water and the hessian sacks the compost came in. Then when I found my dress I knew we had to include lace in the wedding and it added that much needed feminine touch to our plans.

We brought the garden inside with our centre pieces which we made ourselves, in fact almost all of the decorations were made by us. The table squares were hand cut and the lace added by Casey, the centre piece boxes were made by Casey, painted by me and planted together (the flowers from each box are now planted in gardens around the UK!), the bunting was homemade, the signs were homemade and even the favours too!

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (44)

Less than a month after we were engaged I spotted a dress in Debenhams and decided to try it on just for fun. As soon as I put it on I felt beautiful and graceful (something I’m usually not!) and with the manageable price tag I bought it there and then. When I returned home I excitedly called my mum, unfortunately she was fairly disappointed she hadn’t been there so insisted she take me shopping with my bridesmaids so I could have the wedding dress shopping experience every mother dreams of having with her daughter. I agreed but told her I wouldn’t find one I liked as much.

On the day it felt like I tried on every dress in the shop so the lady who was helping me asked for three words to describe what I was looking for, “elegant, fishtail and lacy” I replied. The lady wouldn’t let me look in the mirror as she dressed me so when I walked out of the dressing room I hadn’t seen what I looked like. All of my bridesmaids were speechless and my mum burst into tears. A pretty good reaction when you don’t know what you’re wearing!

Unfortunately the dress was strapless and I didn’t like that feature so for the next half hour the shop assistants brought me lace, ribbon and readymade straps to try on with it. None felt right so I came away with just the dress and a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that even though it was the one, it wasn’t. It took me another 12 months to find the right material to make straps but I loved them when I did.

I carried a gypsophila and hydrangea bouquet tied with brown string and green ribbon which matched my bridesmaids’ dresses. They were supplied by Simply Flowers of Alnwick.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (49)

Casey wore a grey silk suit from Slaters and green ties from Debenhams. It took months to find a green tie that matched the bridesmaid dresses. The groomsmen wore the same suits and ties.

My bridesmaids wore a long, strapless green chiffon dress which was bought over the internet from a specialist bridesmaid dress designer.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (24)

I knew the most important part of the wedding, apart from getting married of course, for me was the photographer. I am an amateur photographer myself and have photographed a few friends weddings so I knew that I wanted the best of the best to photograph my wedding. I first saw Lissa’s work at a wedding fair in Leeds and fell in love immediately and knew I had to have this person as my photographer. When Lissa came back to the stand she was so lovely and helpful we booked her there and then. Other than getting married in the first place it was the best decision we made!

She was fabulous in the run up to, on the day and afterwards. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. My guests really enjoyed her company, she made everyone feel at ease and she captured moments that most people didn’t even notice happened. We couldn’t have asked for a better service!

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (19)

We spent the afternoon before the wedding with a select few of our guests dressing the venue so it was exactly how we wanted it to be. All the effort was worth it, we love how it turned out and the small touches are what our family and friends still talk about!

My brother has set up his own upcycling business and made our ceremony décor, the bulbs with flowers in where his own creation and beautiful they looked too!

We gave out mini shot bottles filled with flavoured vodka. Casey and I met while working at Revolution Bar in Lancaster. Casey was the assistant manager there and I was working on the bar so it felt appropriate to incorporate that into our wedding somehow. We bought the vodka from the actual vodka factory where Revolution make the different flavours of vodka that they sell in their bars and decanted it into smaller bottles. It went down a storm with most of the guests although some found the flavours a little strong for them!

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (4)

We chose a four layer cake: chocolate, lemon and raspberry, red velvet and fruit cake. All of which are our favourite flavours – we couldn’t choose between them. Our cake was made as a gift by Casey’s cousin Leanne. She is a professional cake maker and brought it all the way from Reading for us! She decorated it in a new style she hadn’t tried before for us so but I think you’ll agree she did an excellent job!

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (9)

We had been to a wedding a few years ago where they had a live band, after having a brilliant time we decided this was the way forward for us. We spent hours on the internet listening to previews of different bands and finally found a band that made us want to dance.

The Shakedown Band North East made our wedding incredibly special. They kept the dance floor full for the whole evening and we have had numerous people come to us asking for their contact details. We would highly recommend them for a great night of dancing!

Our bridesmaids and a few friends decided to surprise us with a flashmob! They recorded a video and sent it to various family members and friends. On the night they sat us down and on came the three bridesmaids singing the first lines to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” gradually other people joined in and eventually the whole dance floor was filled with our nearest and dearest singing to us.

It was brilliant and the first moment I actually took stock of what the whole day meant to us. All we had wanted was to have the people we loved around us as we made a commitment to each other. Only when we saw how much effort they had gone through for us did we truly realise what they all meant to us.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (3)

The venue was stunning- in the day time you felt like you were part of the garden and in the evening with the venue and fountain lit up it felt like being transported into a fairy tale.

We enjoyed all the parts of the garden from the ornamental garden with its huge cast iron gates to the meadow of purple flowers and the castle turrets which make up the garden walls. Each area adds a different feature to the photographs we had taken and allowed our guests to take some time away from the festivities to explore.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (11)

My favourite part of the day was hammering the nails into our “Love letter Box”. A box filled with a bottle of wine we bought the day we were engaged and a love letter from each of us. We plan to only open the box if we get to the point of no return or on our 35th wedding anniversary.

Casey says his favourite part of the day was seeing me for the first time on the beach. He said it was a relief that I’d turned up and the first moment he felt calm all day.

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (18)

We went to Disney World in Florida for the first week of our honeymoon. We like to have fun so decided to “do Disney” one last time. The second week we spent at my aunt’s house in Clearwater, Florida relaxing – if you can call it that! We hired a car, played golf, went sightseeing up and down the coast, and ate out far too many times. The third week we went to the Kennedy Space Centre and Universal Studios.

We had a lot of fun but felt like we needed another holiday afterwards!

a vintage themed wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography  (25)

Our top tip for other Brides Up North is to take ten minutes together during the evening reception to have a walk through the garden and have a drink together. One of our friends found me and told me to go and find Casey to do this – it was a brilliant tip and I would recommend this to anyone who is getting married. You are pulled in so many directions all day on your wedding day that spending a small amount of time with your husband to reflect on the day is invaluable.

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call it magic. a winter’s walk for an engagement in durham – dan & donna

January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (3)

This afternoon we are in my home town of Durham as we meet loved up newly-weds Dan and Donna and share their wild and wintery engagement shoot.

wrap up warm

With images by Chris Parkinson.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (2)

dan says: The engagement took us both by surprise really, we were sharing a bottle of champagne in Durham, and all of a sudden I just asked Donna ‘Will you marry me?’. It was as much a surprise to me as her, I didn’t have a ring or anything. It was just the right moment, the perfect time. Magic.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (9)

We were actually classmates in primary school. But we went on to different secondary schools, and didn’t meet again until we were both 25, through Donna’s brother. I asked Donna out for a drink and we’ve been together ever since.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (16)

We just went to the local pub for our first date. It was love at first sight for me, but not sure about Donna! We just seemed to become best friends instantly.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (23)

Just being around Donna makes me happy, she makes me laugh a lot, in particular her dancing around the house.

I know this sounds soppy, but Donna never really annoys me, I annoy myself more.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (24)

Our biggest wish for married life is just to keep on being us.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (26)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (28)

Obviously the best bit about Brides Up North that its local, and helps you find exactly what you need. We just find the whole website really easy to use and got some great ideas.  We were married at South Causey Inn on 22nd December 2014 and we’ll definitely be back to share our wedding photos on the blog.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (31)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (29)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (30)

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fabulous photographer: georgina brewster photography

January 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Georgina Brewster Photography (2)

This afternoon I’m thrilled to give a warm welcome to Brides Up North Sponsor (and soon to be bride!) Georgina of Georgina Brewster Photography. Georgina’s spent two years in a soon-to-be-wed’s shoes, so knows exactly what you’re all about – and cares about her own wedding almost as much as she does about yours!

Her work speaks for itself.

Let’s say hello!

Georgina Brewster Photography (1)

georgina says: My love of photography started whilst travelling Europe as an 18-year-old, I returned to the UK at the age of 21 and enrolled on a two year HND Photography and Design course with Bradford College,  it was pre-digital then (now I feel old and I’m only 35) and many days were spent developing 35mm in a darkroom and magically developing my own prints, alongside this I worked for a Kodak processing lab and gained work experience with a great photographer, Stephen Garnett, on my local newspaper.

After graduating I applied for a position as a Trainee Photographer with East Lancashire Newspapers and in 2003 was thrilled to be offered the job.  After three years training, I was promoted to a member of the senior staff and ended my career with the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.  The experience I have gained in a press environment has been invaluable, day-to-day situations change rapidly and meeting so many different people in any one day has taught me to be confident, creative and adaptable.  I have been privileged to capture a wide range of subjects, ranging from, Her Majesty the Queen, HRH Prince of Wales and several other members of the Royal family many times, to Prime Ministers, MP’s, pop stars, soap stars, sports stars at major sporting events and the all important local heroes of our communities.

Georgina Brewster Photography (4)

Wedding photography is something I have done regularly across the North of England over the last decade on weekends off from the newspaper.  The time came last year to give the press pass a rest and commit full-time to something that truly made me happy.

Georgina Brewster Photography (6)

My favourite thing about my profession is that I am constantly surrounded by happy people.  Experiencing the love, compassion and emotion between families is such an endearing gift we can often take for granted.  I have been known to wipe away a few tears during the exchange of vows!

Georgina Brewster Photography (16)

As part of my photography package I include an informal pre-wedding shoot, a chance for me to spend some time in the company of the Bride and Groom, have a wander around a place special to them as a couple and achieve some really natural images.  I find this really helps a couple to relax on the day of their wedding.  Meeting and working with new people is what I have done for a very long time and to quote a Bride’s grandfather at her wedding: “You have the knack of making a whole room full of people feel at ease.  You really are quite wonderful”.

Possibly the sweetest thing anybody has ever said to me, other than “Will you marry me?”

Georgina Brewster Photography (19)

I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone that likes the thought of having their photograph taken, unless we’re paid models its unnatural to us all, right?! I do find though, that once a shoot has started, casually chatting and having a giggle throughout puts people at ease.

Georgina Brewster Photography (20)

Bridal make-up is a personal choice and I would always advise not to venture too far away from your normal look.  Take advice from an expert and if your budget allows, book a make-up artist.  The most important thing is to feel comfortable on the day.

Georgina Brewster Photography (21)

I would love to photograph Jennifer Aniston’s wedding! I have loved her from the first episode of Friends, Phoebe’s my favourite but Jennifer’s love life has been highly documented through the papers and to have her heart broken by Brad in such a public way, she deserves her happy ever after.

Georgina Brewster Photography (24)

Every wedding is beautiful in its own way and every day is memorable to me.  There is a very special venue close by to me though that never fails to evoke a timeless romance and intimacy with every wedding I cover there.  An ancient Priest’s House in the stunning Yorkshire Dales called Barden Tower.

Georgina Brewster Photography (32)

I’m not married at this moment but my chap popped the question two years ago and our big day is May 3rd 2015.  This year!  I simply cannot wait.  Every bride I have worked with says it comes around quickly and it absolutely does.  I had a pre Christmas panic, as I am sure most brides do, where the reality dawned on me that we only had four months remaining with still so much to do.  It is a wonderful time planning the day with my fiancé and all very exciting.

It will be a complete role reversal for me to be on the other side of the camera and I’m certain the experience will add another dimension to my work for future weddings.  I am constantly asked who my photographer will be, there has only ever been one choice for me and that is a friend from my newspaper days, purely because I know I will feel completely at ease.  There could be the odd selfie in there too!

Our day will be a ceremony in our local church followed by a reception in a traditional, Victorian, glass-roofed theatre.  A very informal and fun-filled affair.  A min-moon in the Lake District for two nights and then straight back to work for me as I have four other wedding days to share in May.

Georgina Brewster Photography (22)

I do have one funny story that will never be forgotten.  On one of the hottest days of the year, I had asked all the guests to follow me outside for the big group photo.  The hotel co-ordinator ushered me to an upstairs window, a sash window I could lean out of to get the best vantage point, only the window wouldn’t open!  She assured me it had been open the previous day so we persevered, nudging and bumping the window up.  After much effort I could just about poke my lens through the gap and shouted down to the guests below (who were almost on their knees laughing at this point) that I would silently count to three with my fingers.  As I raised my fingers they all chanted “one, two, THREE” and a big cheer was let out.  The shutter was pressed and possibly the best group shot ever was taken.

Georgina Brewster Photography (29)

With so many photographers condensed in any one area, especially wedding photographers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out among my competitors, many I am great friends with.  Its important to me that I keep advancing on my skills through annual training courses with other professionals and attending networking events in my area to meet other suppliers.   I am extremely hard working and have such passion and commitment for what I do, constantly on the look out for new trends emerging, updating my equipment and keeping up to date with new editing software on the market.  I often find that the power of a personal recommendation for a job well done is the best way to keep ahead of the pack.

Georgina Brewster Photography (9)

On the Wedding Day a couple can expect 100% reliability and professionalism from me.  I plan every detail meticulously, meeting with them before hand to discuss every detail of their day.  Together we build a mutual understanding of the photos they hope for and love.  I will be there to capture the pure emotion of the day, whilst being as natural and unobtrusive as possible.

I only offer one package.  Through searching for a photographer for my own wedding (in case mine had to work at an away football game) I became increasingly confused by the different packages, prices structures, time limits and optional add-ons.  I have designed my package to make the process simple.  For more details click here.

My package is currently available for £950.

Georgina Brewster Photography (11)

A great way to keep up to date with my work is to LIKE my facebook page. Links to my blogs are posted on here along with details of wedding fairs I will be attending.  I update my website galleries on a regular basis too so keep a close eye on that.

I am always available to chat over the phone on 07896365977 or throw an email my way with any questions to info@georginabrewster.com

Visit my website at www.georginabrewster.com

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real wedding recap winter 2014. softly stunning. a romantic wedding at Eshott Hall – natalie & warren

December 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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 for 2014.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (116)

Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides.  Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing.  I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…

With images by Helen Russell Photography.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (6)

natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!

We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.

After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (3)

We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (9)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (22)

I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband

Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (30)

Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (36)

My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.

The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (40)

My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (46)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (52)

Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (62)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (60)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (69)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (79)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (83)

As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (101)

The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (90)

We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (106)

During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.

Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (107)

We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (127)

For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (112)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.

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real wedding recap winter 2014. mind the gap! a colourful & quirky street party wedding in newcastle – katy & andrew

December 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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 for 2014.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Today’s real wedding is all kinds of epic! Not only did bride Katy totally rock her 50s frock and bespoke headwear, but she and her bridesmaids also hitched a ride on the Metro to the ceremony, then finished things off with one massive street party.

And after all that turkey, fish & chips for supper is sounding good..!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

katy says: Andrew proposed last summer when we were on holiday in New York.

Everyone had been nagging Andrew to propose for months and before we went he gave me ‘the New York talk’ several times – saying very seriously for me not to expect him to propose in New York and that he didn’t want me to ruin the holiday by being all miserable the whole time we were there because he hadn’t proposed.

After the flight to New York I was tired and a bit tetchy and we almost had a row at the airport but something at the back of my mind thinking ‘just be nice, we’re on holiday’. I was glad I was as when we got to our hotel room I spotted an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses and a note in front. I went to investigate (in case it was a freebie) and on the note it read ‘Katy will you marry me’ – I turned round and Andrew was down on one knee.

I’m normally pretty chatty but I was so gobsmacked I wept for about 5 minutes – Andrew actually had to prompt me to say ‘yes’. I’d arranged the holiday and wouldn’t have even thought Andrew would have known where we were staying so was totally blown away that he’d organised such a wonderful surprise.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We were married on 19th June 2014. The ceremony was in the Council Chamber at Newcastle Civic Centre and the reception was in the back lane of the terrace my parents live on!

The reception was first – my parents still live in the house I grew up in. It’s a very social street and ever since a big party to celebrate the millennium they’ve held regular street dos and ‘back lane BBQs’ every summer. It was important to both of us that the whole wedding be as personal as possible, including the venue – so a back lane party was an obvious choice. All the neighbours were fab – when my folks approached them about using the lane not only did they say yes but everyone offered to help, and let us use their back gardens too.

For the ceremony we aren’t religious but still wanted a venue that meant something to us (and was big enough to host over 150 guests). My grandfather was an alderman and Councillor and sat in the (then very new) Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.

As a Geordie away from home I wanted Newcastle to be a big part of the wedding. Other than that it was just all about making it as personal as possible. Dresses, hair and make-up were 50s style.

We chose a teal colour scheme (inspired by the top of the Civic Centre and the Tyne Bridge!)

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I had a 50s style dress from online dress shop,  Honeypie Boutique. And my wonderful local milliner in Reading (where we live) Adrienne Henry made my bespoke peacock headpiece.

My shoes were from BHS and I customised them with peacock tail feathers, pearls and buttons.

I took my dress to be altered at a local dress maker as it needed taking in a bit. They totally let me down and after a series of mishaps (not doing the alterations when they said they would, not turning up at the shop when I was due to collect) I finally got my dress back only to discover, with just 10 days to go before the wedding, they’d taken it in way more than they were supposed to. I could just get into it but it was too tight to sit down/eat/breath!

Fortunately Honeypie had one readymade sample of a dress in a different design in my size which they posted straight out. The only downside being that it had a peach skirt which really wouldn’t have gone with all my peacock accessories.

I could get away with outfit number one for the ceremony and then would wear dress number two for the reception. I decided that if I was having to change dress I would brazen it out and go for a full outfit change. I sent Adrienne a photo of the new dress and my wedding hair and asked her to bring any head pieces she thought would go into her shop on the Saturday. When I got there, she said she hadn’t had anything the thought would be just right so had made me a new one from scratch. I loved my silver evening headpiece – she really pulled out all the stops and helped turn a crisis into a positive.

The bridesmaids had dresses with the inverse colour scheme to mine from Honeypie. I made peacock hair clips for them to tie in with my headpiece.

All the boys wore their own suits but had a variety of teal neckwear from Tom Sawyer.

I made button bouquets for me and the grownup bridesmaids (the younger two had button horseshoes). I did buy some buttons but friends, family and colleagues from work all dug out granny’s button boxes and I also wired in fabric flowers from my parents’ wedding cake, various trinkets and grand parents’ and great grandparents’ engagement rings. It was my old, new, borrowed and blue all in one. With my change of outfit for the evening I swapped the bouquet for a Kate Spade Mr&Mrs number plate clutch!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I got the metro to the ceremony – then we’d hired a vintage Routemaster to take the bridal party and groomsmen for photos and back to the reception.

My mum was really dubious about going on the metro but I was adamant about it. I’m so glad we did as it was so much fun and we got some fab photos. The looks on people’s faces as they pulled into Benton metro station and saw us on the platform were an absolute picture.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

It was really important to make the wedding as personal as possible, using people we knew wherever possible. This meant there were quite a lot of special touches! But I think it’s important to remember not to let the special touches stress you out.

My godfather is an artist and so I asked him to do a painting for us to use on all of the stationery. It was turquoise to tie in with the colour theme and had a seahorse (to echo the top of the Civic Centre) and peacock (as I’d already decided peacock feathers were going to be part of my outfit).

I sewed 300m of bunting (assisted by mother in law, Andrew and best friend Lucy) and my mum made hundreds of tissue pompoms and fans. They had a pompom fluffing party the week before the wedding with all the neighbours.

We had fish and chips for dinner and so to tie in with the theme I made a newspaper with stories about us and used half pages of it as place mats. There were crosswords and word searches on the back which proved a good ice breaker at the tables.

As we were in the back lane and gardens I’d got some mini gnomes to use for table numbers. I had a feeling these would not make it unscathed through the wedding – by the end of the night we were all swigging port out of them!

It worked out as cheap to buy antique cutlery as it was to hire it so we spent months scouring antique and flea markets for sets. We’ve got some lovely ones to keep and will give the rest to the charity shop.

We’re the Meades and so my mum had some mini bottles of Lindesfarne Mead made up for with our names on the label on the back as a surprise.

As the back lane wasn’t a typical venue we did the table plan on a blown up plan of the street so people knew where everything else was as well as their table. We always play drinking games during the speeches at other people’s wedding so we also did a big sweepstake on the table plan.

The specialist touch of all was all of the neighbours. We hadn’t managed to set everything up on the Friday night so all the neighbours came out at 8am on the Saturday morning to help set out all the tables and chairs. It was a real team effort.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

One of the neighbours is in a band and the street always head out en masse to support them when they play gigs locally so they were the obvious choice for music. They played in their garage and we had the dancing out in the lane. They were fab.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We had wedding cheese from The Cheese Board in Harrogate. Complete with knitted mice in miniature versions of our outfits that one of my colleagues made. I hand stitched some mini bunting too.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Our marquee was supplied by Alan Fairbairn, Marquee Hire Ltd, linen by Dandy Events, and bar and glassware by Boutique Bars.

Our chip supper was by Clems Fish and Chips.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

The whole day was amazing – better than I could have ever imagined.

But bar far the best bit – and certainly the most emotional for me was the ceremony itself. Closely followed by just about every other part of the day. Even the pouring rain we had coming out of the ceremony was fun.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

For our honeymoon we did a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco via Death Valley, Yosemite and the Pacific Highway.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

My top tip for Brides Up North is that the most important bit of the wedding is where the two of you stand at the front and do your ‘I do’s. All the rest is window dressing.

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real wedding recap winter 2014: pretty perfect. phillipa lepley for a marquee wedding at home – victoria & paul

December 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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 for 2014.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (16)

It’s not every day that a wedding blogger’s best friend gets married.  So, in theory, Vicky might have been feeling the pressure on her big day.  But there was no need to worry.  There’s a reason why the brand new Mrs Bollands is my best mate: she has great taste. Naturally.

Super pretty, loads of fun and practically perfect in every way, that’s our Vic.  And her and Paul’s wedding day wasn’t far behind.

One for the history books.

With images by Sean Elliott Photography.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (5)

victoria says: Paul surprised me by proposing to me at my parent’s home on Christmas morning 2012. We spent the day celebrating with our families and family friends.

We got married on 21st September 2013. We were really lucky with the weather as it was an absolutely gorgeous day. We said I Do at the chapel at Durham School. It is a lovely chapel situated on the top of a hill with fabulous views of Durham City. I have lovely memories of my time at the school and it was the perfect venue for our wedding ceremony.

The reception was in a marquee in the garden at my parent’s house, which was also special as it is the home I grew up in and we both have lots of happy memories of family times there.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (7)

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (8)

The styling of the day was classic and neutral with lots of white and cream and the occasional hint of blush and twinkling fairy lights.

There were also a few modern twists such as Louis Ghost Chairs at the tables, a white sparkly dance floor and an upside down wine glass chandelier above the bar.

Our table decorations comprised of crystal candelabra’s with a combination of white and pink roses. Each guest’s place name was a heart shaped wine glass charm with their name engraved onto it.

My best friend and one of my bridesmaids Julia (hello!) recommended Dine for the catering and we were amazed by the food that they prepared. The menu included a starter of Filo Tart Fine of Somerset Brie with micro salad & apple chutney and Mini Homemade Loaves. The Main course was Fillet of Aged Yorkshire Beef, Boeuf Bourguignon Pudding, A copper pan of Baby Vegetables, Fondant Potato, Caramelised Button Onions & Red Wine Jus. Dessert was a  Trio of Desserts; Mini Sticky Toffee Pudding, Mini Apple & Blackberry Crumble, Individual Cheesecake. On each plate was a small personalised glass filled with desert wine for each guest to take home. Dine’s Craig Squelch did an excellent job of being Master of Ceremonies on the day.

The cake was a five tiered cake in ivory, with a vintage lace design. We chose a variety of fillings; spice, chocolate and white chocolate. The cake was made by Love Lily Cakes of Sunderland.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (36)

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (26)

I wore a Phillipa Lepley backless princess line gown in slipper satin with sweat pea lace overlay and buttercup lace scallops appliqued at the hem and neckline. I also wore a long silk tulle veil. My heels were gold and by Christian Louboutin.

Paul and his groomsmen wore traditional morning wear with ivory waistcoats and cravats.

The bridesmaids looked beautiful in full length Jim Hjelm gowns in rose pink with ivory lace back and cap sleeves. The dresses were from Accent Original in Newcastle upon Tyne.

I carried a bouquet of white roses, provided by Claire de Lune Florist and Events in Durham. Our bridesmaids carried coordinating bouquets of white and pink roses.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (44)

Entertainment was a really important part of the day for us. We really wanted to create a party atmosphere and for everyone to have a really fun time.

During our wedding ceremony the fabulous Felling Male Voice Choir performed a number of songs including a rendition of The Beatles ‘It Must be Love’. It was great fun as all of our guests joined in singing.

Starting with the drinks reception, we went for a contemporary ‘take’ on the jazz band. An Ibiza-bar-style sax and DJ gave a chill-out feel. During the wedding breakfast, we had a Bublé-style male singer with a few ‘un-plugged’ modern tunes. In between courses he sang some more up-beat songs and I loved that our guests felt relaxed enough to get up and dance in between each course. After the meal we had a Big Band with male and female vocals, guitar and trumpet.

Chris Hilton’s Little Big Band and The Event Music Company provided all of the entertainment and were really excellent.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (14)

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (49)

Our photographer was Sean Elliott of Sean Elliott Photography. We also had a videographer, Scott Coulter of DS Media. We would highly recommend both as the photographs and video are exceptional and we will treasure them forever.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (51)

We used Yorkshire Marquees Ltd for our marquee and we were so impressed with their professionalism and also Teresa Vorster’s vision and styling. The marquee exceeded our expectations and we walked in it felt as if we were walking into a magical fairyland. I would highly recommend Yorkshire Marquees Ltd.

We loved our venue as it was so sentimental to us and we just knew it was the perfect place for us to get married.

It’s hard to choose a favourite part as I absolutely loved every single second of our day.What was important to us was sharing it with all of our friends and family and having everyone there to celebrate with us made the day extra special for us.

Phillipa Lepley for a pretty pink marquee wedding at home (c) Sean Elliott Photography (55)

We went to Australia for our honeymoon. We visited Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. On our way home we spent a few days in Hong Kong.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would just be to enjoy it. I enjoyed absolutely every second of the planning process and would not have changed anything. Our wedding day was so perfect and we will both re-live it for the rest of our lives.

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this is ace. a fun filled marquee wedding at Mill Granary Cottages – frances & olly

December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (26)

Frances and Olly’s relaxed marquee wedding is filled with fun, fab florals (some ten feet tall, watch out for the giant daffs) and fuelled by a free bar.  Always a nice idea.

It’s the first wedding ever to be held at Mill Granary Cottages, and I have a feeling that the bar has been set pretty high…

Get ready to party!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Camera A Photography.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (19)

frances says: We got engaged in October 2013 – a week before my birthday.  We got engaged on the Friday morning. Olly had liaised with a colleague of mine and put a “fake meeting” in my diary so I thought I had a full day at work.  I also thought we were going to Sheffield to visit friends on Friday night.  I got up at 6am and Olly said I wasn’t going to work that day.  I told him he was wrong because I had a meeting.  He asked me to marry him in our flat in the morning before he whisked me off to Paris to celebrate.

We got married in a beautiful church, St Osmund’s in Gainford on 7th June 2014.

The reception venue was Mill Granary Cottages – we hired the cottages and put a marquee on the meadow next to them.  It was the first wedding they had ever done and it looked amazing.  Kate and Richard (who own Mill Granary) were fantastic.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (14)

We wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed and for everyone to have a good time, and I’m not sure I managed a colour scheme!

I travelled in a white VW beetle to the wedding. My bridesmaids were in a VW van. I used Lovedub Cars.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (20)

I chose a dress from Sabina Motasem, a designer based in London.  I wanted something elegant and not too over the top.  She has some beautiful dresses in her collection.

My hair and makeup were done by Hobbs and Holmes and they were so good on the morning of the wedding.

The bridesmaid dresses were from Monsoon – silver coloured, knee length and really pretty.  The ushers wore their own suits and Olly bought them their ties and pocket squares.

Olly wore a Reiss suit.  He looked fit.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (28)

I carried white peonies.  My mum bought them from the flower market and my friend Ruth made the bouquets with the help of Olly’s sister.  The bridesmaids had white peonies and pink roses.  Ruth did those as well.  Befriend a florist it’s a huge money saver!

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (33)

Our photographers were Jane and Anne from Camera A in Darlington.  They were brilliant.  Jane was completely organised and made sure she extracted a full briefing from us before the day to get the shots we wanted.  They were both really flexible on the day and the photos are gorgeous.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (37)

The decorations outside the marquee and around the marquee were provided for by Ruthie from Cloud Nine Decor.  She is an amazing talent and provided giant flowers, a bluebell archway, and loads of bunting.

The table decorations were provided by my Mum.  She collected little crystal vases from charity shops and they were filled with wild flowers from fields and woodland that she collected.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (11)

Olly made the cake – it was a family recipe –  Guinness cake.  It was delicious.

We chose not to give out favours – there was a free bar!

We ordered our wine from Majestic.  We had a French Malbec and a South African white.  The food was provided by The Game Cart.  Really delicious food and their front of house staff were superb, making sure our guests were really looked after.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (50)

We had three of our friends do DJ shifts on the night.  They were brilliant and just banged out the hits.  The dance floor was permanently full.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (2)

We’d absolutely recommend Marston Moor Marquees and Mill Granary Cottages.  If you want a marquee wedding but need somewhere to host it, this is the place.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (52)

We’re off on our honeymoon over Christmas – destination TBC…

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a free bar if you can – it’s well worth it!

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when we collide. a stylish white wedding in Northumberland – tina & andy

December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (36)

Tina & Andy’s big day is just sublime.  From their chic styling, to their outdoor wedding breakfast, personalised brew and simple yet special personal touches, this is a celebration that has real class.

And take a look at their randomly captured proposal video.  It’s moments that this that make life amazing. 

With images by Little Miss Boyco.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (7)

tina says: For our 10 year anniversary, we decided to have a big trip to celebrate – and what better way to do that than going to Vegas and Orlando! Little did I know, Andy was planning his own little surprise. In the months leading up to the holiday, Andy had spoken to my parents about his plans and had also found the perfect engagement ring, with the help of my little sister.

On the second last day of the holiday, we went to Universal Studios in Orlando for the “Cinematic Spectacular” – a light, laser, water and firework display in celebration of 100 years of Universal. At the end of the show, as we walked out with the crowds, we reminisced about our favourite parts of the holiday and how the show was the perfect way to round off the trip. As we chatted, Andy stopped and turned to me and said there was just one more thing that would make the holiday more perfect. And this is where he got down on one knee and proposed! Amongst the blur of tears and strangers clapping and cheering, I accepted!

In a crazy twist, the proposal was actually captured on video by one of the passers-by, which was posted on YouTube a couple of months later, and which Andy randomly stumbled across a few months after that!

If you would like to see the moment for yourself, take a look. It is so strange being able to watch it back but also awesome we have this memory to cherish forever!

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (16)

We chose to get married at High House Farm in Northumberland as it had everything we were looking for in a venue – beautiful countryside surroundings, delicious locally sourced food, a cute little play area for the kids – and of course, the fact it’s a brewery just added to its charm (myself and Andy are both avid beer drinkers)!

We especially loved the outdoor barn and knew it would be the perfect place to have the ceremony, the wedding breakfast and the evening party. We also loved the fact there was no package to adhere to – we were allowed to choose our own food, drink, entertainment, and decorations.

The main thing we wanted was for our wedding to be as personal as possible – we wanted elements of “us” in as much as we could. It was really important that the wedding reflected us as a couple and not just a wedding package. We also wanted to keep it quite soft, rustic and romantic. In keeping with the venue, we decided to adopt a country theme – that is soft colours, floral prints, twine, and lots of candles and fairy lights.

We decided to have olive green as it is one of my favourite colours and we thought it would fit well with the country theme we wanted.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (21)

My dress was a Maggie Sottero from Wedding Essentials in Newcastle. I had an idea of the kind of dress I wanted – something soft, elegant and which was a bit different to the “typical” wedding dress. I spent several months dress-shopping and thought I had finally chosen the dress I wanted which ticked all the boxes however it cost a bit more than I had budgeted. As fate would have it, in the very last shop on my very last day of a “just-in-case-I-see-anything-else” shopping trip, I saw a replica of the dress I had my eye on – in the sale! I tried it on and knew it was the one – long, soft lace, with a low v-back with just a little touch of bling. Lucky for me as a few weeks later, the store closed down!

In keeping with the fact we wanted to have the wedding as relaxed and informal as we could, we decided not to hire or buy suits. Instead, Andy wore a suit he already had and loved – it was a navy three piece suit (jacket, waistcoat and trousers) from Burton and he teamed it with a white shirt from Next, a skinny tie in the same olive green as the bridesmaid dress and some brown brogues also from Burtons. As Andy is a big fan of comic books, he also wore Wolverine socks and handmade Wolverine cufflinks, a present I had bought him for his birthday earlier on in the year.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (26)

My little sister was the only bridesmaid – she wore a long chiffon, one-shouldered dress from Dessy in moss green form Wild Brides in Sunderland.

I saw an advert at work that a colleague made paper flowers and bouquets out of recycled materials – we thought this was really interesting and unique and so contacted her to see what she was able to do for our wedding. We found she could customise the flowers (using different materials, decorations etc) and it would also work out a lot cheaper than real flowers. Coupled with the fact me and Andy both suffer from hayfever and the flowers would be a lasting memory of the day, we jumped at the chance!

Joy from Martha Makes made us two bouquets and nine buttonholes from sheet music we had chosen ourselves. We bought cream paper from Paperchase, printed out one of our favourite songs (Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls) and had them made into flowers with pearls in the centre. We also wanted a leaf adding to the flowers to give it a bit more of a floral design – Joy had never done this before but she was happy to play around with the idea and in the end, she made them out of green gardening magazine pages – they looked amazing! Organic, personal and one of a kind!

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (27)

Wiesia Bojko was our photographer for the day – we feel incredibly lucky we found her and that she was available! From our very first consultation, she came across as a very warm and friendly person – with a passion for her work and a portfolio to prove it. Our impression of her has not changed one bit even after the wedding. She was professional and friendly, and has a very natural way of capturing the special moments and little details. I would (and have!) recommended her to friends and family!

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (33)

We had asked friends and family to save their glass bottles and jars for us since we got engaged, which we decorated with tea lights, twine and green and cream ribbon.

We decided to have real flowers dotted around the venue using the glass bottles and jars we had collected. I had seen online that it was possible to buy the flowers from a wholesaler and make up the displays yourself – and it would be considerably cheaper than ordering from a florist. As we wanted a soft, romantic, country theme, we decided to buy lots of baby’s breath, a few purple thistles and some light pink lilies to decorate the venue. We bought the flowers from a wholesaler in Gateshead (Premier Flowers) and me and my sisters put them into the bottles and jars the day before the wedding.

Me and Andy chose fabric for the bunting from Dainty Supplies in Washington and my sister (who is a dab hand with a sewing machine!) made them for us. We had three different types of bunting – one was made out of hessian which I painted white hearts onto using a stencil and fabric paint, one was hessian which I painted “Love Is Sweet” onto for the sweetie table, and the rest of the bunting was alternate triangles of olive green, floral and hessian. We also decorated the barn with fairy lights and lanterns from eBay.

We went through all of our photo albums and chose some of our favourite photos from our time together which we thought represented us a couple (e.g. festivals, beer and fancy dress!). We printed them off, trimmed them down to look like polaroids and wrote little captions beneath them – we pinned them onto a piece of twine with little wooden pegs and hung them from the walls.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (34)

We decided to give out beer bottles as favours as the venue was a working brewery and we knew a lot of our friends and family would love it! We went for a tasting session at the venue a few months prior and chose the beer we would use. Andy designed the label for the beer – calling it “Tandy’s Tipple” (a name our friends call us), and High House Farm printed the labels and stuck them on the bottle for us. We used the favours to double up as seating cards – I made little origami hearts using some paper I had bought in Paperchase and I learnt how to make them from a YouTube video and wrote our guests names on them and tied them to the bottles with twine.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (42)

We wanted to have cupcakes for the wedding as we felt they are more fun and informal. Andy’s sister and brother-in-law own their own restaurant and we enlisted the help of their dessert chef (Carley from Carley’s Cakes) to make us a selection of pastel-coloured cupcakes in various different flavours (e.g. cherry, chocolate, gingerbread). We also had little bride and groom cupcakes made – the bride had a veil on the top (a cutting from my very own dress!) and had iced flowers and the groom had a little top hat and a bow tie. We had bought little Mr and Mrs cake thrones for them to sit on as well!

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (50)

As Andy is a DJ, we decided to choose all our own music from the ceremony to the meal to the evening. We chose a selection of songs we love, and thought were in keeping with each part of the day, and mixed them together and let them play either through speakers. We had everything from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Westlife, N-Trance to Manowar! In the evening, the best man’s father very kindly lent us his lighting and sound system so we were able to have a proper disco.

Me and my dad danced to The Carpenters “Yesterday Once More” – a song which means a lot to both of us.

Me and Andy’s first dance was to Biffy Clyro’s  “Many of Horror” – which isn’t a typical first dance song but a song which we both love, invokes great memories, and which was a little more alternative.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (54)

We bought a cheap mirror from a high street store, and we wrote the seating plan for the wedding breakfast on it and displayed it during the day. On the night, we took out the mirror and used the frame as a photo prop.We had also made speech boards by ordering speech bubble shapes from eBay, and covering them with blackboard vinyl. We asked our guests to write a message on the board and pose with them in photographs.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (55)

I would recommend High House Farm to other couples who love the countryside, love good food, love good beer and the option to create the wedding they want!

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (59)

It sounds cliché but I loved every single part of the day, from seeing all the guests during the ceremony, to walking up/down the aisle, to laughing/crying during the toasts, to dancing my shoes off on the night (literally – I swapped my cream lace heels for my lovely pink Converse trainers!)

If I had to choose one, I really loved seeing all our friends and family stood around us in a circle at the end of the night, singing Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”. It is a song we both love and to see the people we love singing it back to us was just amazing.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (61)

Two weeks after our wedding, we jetted off on a 4 week honeymoon around South East Asia. It was a trip we had both wanted to do all our lives. We spent 5 days in Tokyo, Japan – eating insane amounts of sushi and ramen and sightseeing, and then we went on a two week cruise which stopped at some incredible ports – we shopped in Osaka and Okinawa, we went to a hot springs resort in Taiwan, we ate fresh seafood and visited the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam and we ate from a hawkers market and watched the skytrees in Singapore. We then spent a week in Hong Kong – visiting family and sightseeing. It was an incredible trip and something we would love to do again!

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (80)

It sounds simple but our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make YOUR wedding what YOU want it to be. We knew from the start we wanted a wedding that reflected us and our relationship – we are so glad we didn’t just choose a wedding package on offer.

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (79)

Another top tip – spreadsheets! Make spreadsheets for everything! They keep you organised and save so much stress!

a white wedding in Northumberland (c) Little Miss Boyco (75)

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