April 25th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We are nearing the end of an absolutely fantastic season of Brides Up North events (*waves* to all our visitors, suppliers and new readers!) but we’ve one last sensational #supersunday of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions for you to enjoy before bidding you adieu till the autumn.
If you haven’t made it to one of our pretty events this season – or if you have and would like to do it all again (each of our events is completely bespoke and entirely different from the rest) then you need to put this last-chance-date in your diaries. Because these shows are special…
We’ll be quick stepping it to both Northumberland (The Alnwick Garden) and North Yorkshire (Allerton Castle) this Sunday 26th April 2015, to bring more Brides Up North readers than ever before one huge dose of wedding inspiration at two of the most beautiful venues around, all in one go!
First up, we’re off to play at princesses at the gorgeous Allerton Castle:
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition
Allerton Castle, Allerton Park, Harrogate, North Yorkshire,HG5 0SE
Sunday 26th April 2015
11am till 3pm
Come and see this spectacular venue dressed to the nines: meet the Dine wedding planners and their award winning catering teams, have a good look around, be amazed by our towering floral displays, sample our artisan cake creations, pose in our photo booths, hear some of the best live music in the County, play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories and tick off all those last essential details.
One of my very favourite events in our entire calendar, the Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Allerton Castle really is that – pure luxury. Even if you’ve already booked your wedding venue, come along to meet and seek inspiration from the region’s very finest wedding industry suppliers. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!
And for readers even further Up North, you’ll want to grab your groom and head to the The Alnwick Garden:
the alnwick garden
Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition
The Alnwick Garden, Denwick Lane, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1YU
Sunday 26th April 2015
11am till 3pm
FREE ENTRY for Registered Bride +1 Guest
Usual prices and concessions apply for additional guests.
Let me tell you, you are in for a real treat! The selection of exhibitors we have with us this Sunday 26th April really is stellar – from bridal gowns to cakes, event hire, accessories, love lights, music, entertainment… we’ve got it all, and these are the best in the area. No need to look anywhere else, seriously.
This is a super special event, as not only is it packed to those bunting laced rafters with wedding inspiration, but it’s also in one of the prettiest settings I know – the extraordinary contemporary gardens and atriums of The Alnwick Garden.
Come and see it for yourselves, and get all your wedding planning sorted at the same time!
We’re giving away up to 200 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.
While stocks last.
April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s stunning couple had Northumberland’s first same sex marriage, and the stylish ladies certainly made sure it would be an event to remember.
Michelle and Nikki chose a gorgeous seaside location for their romantic celebration, complete with pretty floral decorations and vintage touches.
Nikki looked gorgeous in her lace Essense of Australia gown while Michelle rocked a sophisticated Marc Jacobs fitted suit during their summer ceremony.
Following the “I dos” there were cocktails, delicious food and a host of live entertainment, what more could you want from a wedding?
With images by Erika Tanith Photography.
nikki says: We went travelling around Australia together and got engaged just after midnight on 1st January 2010 on Sydney Harbour. We were enjoying celebrating the New Year out on a boat in the lightshow next to the Opera House when I asked Michelle to marry me.
We were married on 14th July 2014. We picked the date as it is in-between both our birthdays and we really wanted summer wedding.
We chose to marry at Newton Hall. As soon as we visited we knew we wouldn’t find anywhere else that compared. The hall and grounds were exclusive to us all day and night. The location was perfect with a beach nearby and we often visit Northumberland for day trips.
We didn’t have a particular theme as such but we quite liked the vintage look with a quirky twist to match the venue. We chose a pastel teal colour scheme as it would go nice with the venue, the season and complement the men’s’ light grey suits.
I chose a dress from Essense of Australia, it was a very light ivory dress with a lace dress over the top – I picked it to match the vintage theme. The dress was light and comfortable. When shopping for my dress I couldn’t believe how heavy most of the gowns were and being a summer wedding was relieved when I found my dress which was much lighter. Michelle wore a fitted black suit and blouse from Marc Jacobs.
Our hair and makeup artist was a very talented lady called Maxine Ayre. She did a wonderful job of the hair and makeup for everyone in the bridal party. It is very rare that you find someone who can do both hair pinups and makeup to such a high standard. Would highly recommend – couldn’t have wished for a nicer person and who made us feel so relaxed on the morning too knowing we were in good hands.
Erika Tanith was our photographer, we would certainly recommend her. The quality and creativity of her photos were stunning and she felt like part of the family on the day.
I carried memory lane and avalanche roses in my bouquet which was made by talented florists at Floral Quarter. Throughout the planning of the wedding we purchased various quirky items we thought the floral decorations would look good, from miniature teapots to jam jars and wooden boxes. Floral Quarter provided the flowers and arrangements within these and really pulled everything together beyond our expectations. Would highly recommend them.
As favours we gave ‘little bags of happiness’ which we made and put together ourselves.
The cake was three tiers, each with a different flavour, simply decorated with some falling roses. It was provided by Lilly Jack Cakes.
We attended a few wedding open days at Newton Hall where they give out free cocktails and showcased the evening food options. We were also treated to a complimentary menu taster session at the As You Like It restaurant to help us choose or favourite food and drink for the big day.
To entertain our guests while we were getting photographs taken down at the nearby beach we hired Magic Paul, a very talented magician. We also hired two sets of musical entertainment from AMV Music. Annabelle Pattinson played acoustic guitar and sang before and after the ceremony. For the evening entertainment we had a seven-piece band called Livewire. We did a lot of research on the entertainment as Michelle comes from a musical family (her mum was a singer in the North East) so it was going to be a big part of our day. Once we discovered them we knew immediately they were for us. Livewire were fantastic – they learnt our first dance song, let us choose their playlist and even allowed Michelle and her mum to sing a couple of songs!
To add some special touches we hired ‘Love’ lights from Coco Luminaire to set the room off. Instead of a traditional guest book we had a fingerprint tree for our family and friends to stamp their finger prints. We now have this framed in our living room as a daily reminder or our special day. We also had photographs of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day and a candle to remember those that couldn’t be with us. We set up a large vintage picture frame hung by ropes from a tree which our guests loved getting their photos taken at.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue o other couples. We were made to feel so special and the staff went above and beyond to make everything flow without us even noticing. They were amazing!
We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – we loved all of it! Truly, from the moment Michelle arrived through to the ceremony, the photos, meal, toast and then the evening – it was just fantastic! After the ceremony it was great to go to the beach just the two of us with Erika and spend quality time together taking everything in.
The day after our wedding we went on honeymoon to Punta Cana in the Dominican for two weeks. It was beautiful, just like you imagine the Caribbean to be – the staff treated us to champagne, wine and cakes for our occasion. It was very special – we also visited Saona Island where the bounty advert was filmed, total paradise!
Our top tip to other Brides Up North is to enjoy every minute and don’t worry what may go wrong – it really won’t matter on the day! We just couldn’t believe how quickly the day went by after over a year of planning. Savour every moment!
April 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The vintage theme has been popular with wedding couples of late and so we’re used to seeing wonderful weddings featuring this styling landing in the Brides Up North inbox. However, there was something about today’s couple’s wedding that made it stand out that bit more than others – it was pretty (oh so pretty) but it was also personal.
Rather than hiring all the décor from one company to achieve the desired kitsch look, bride Katie rolled up her sleeves (and also called upon those closest to her) to help create beautiful handmade detailing that made the day feel all the more special.
Two stars of the show were Katie and Phil’s mums who sound like they could give Kirstie Allsopp a run for her money when it comes to crafting skills.
Enjoy the pretty…
With images by Katie Byram Photography.
katie says: It was our three year anniversary and also the day we had our offer accepted to buy our first home in London when Phil proposed to me. We were at home having a celebratory meal. I was half way through my chocolate pudding when Philip said he had a surprise for me. When he got down on one knee I couldn’t stop laughing! But eventually managed to say “yes”. I didn’t suspect a thing so was definitely very surprised!
We set the date for 9th August 2014. No particular reason, but we chose August as we thought that it would be the least likely time of year to rain in the North East. It actually did still rain on the day, but definitely didn’t ruin anything.
We got married at St Mary’s Church in Morpeth. I went to this church when I was growing up so it meant a lot to me to get married there.
We chose Eshott Hall as our reception venue. We loved Eshott from the moment we walked in the door on our visit there. We knew from the start that we wanted a venue that could offer us exclusivity. The thing we loved about Eshott was that although it is a beautiful building in itself, it also offered us the opportunity to be really creative and to decorate it as we wanted. We would highly recommend the venue to other wedding couples, we absolutely loved it!
We had a vintage theme, but wanted to be able to add a personal touch. Both of our mums are very creative and helped to make lots of decorations for the venue. My mum sewed the beautiful floral and lace bunting, cushions with our initials on and lace chair sashes. Philip’s mum meanwhile was very busy making all of our vintage style stationery, including the invitations, place tags, table plan, table names, confetti cones and guestbook.
We chose pretty pastel colours and flowery patterns for the main reception room to accompany our theme.
After trying on about 50 dresses in all different styles, I knew what kind of dress I definitely didn’t want but still didn’t have a clear idea of what I did want! I visited YAP in Newcastle and instantly fell in love with the first dress I tried on. I loved the simplicity of the skirt and the lace detail. Once the decision had been made, Jo at YAP popped open a bottle of fizz so that I could celebrate with my mum, mother-in-law and auntie – a really special moment. I added a sash with a vintage flower which was made by Anne at Diva Designs and wore Rachel Simpson shoes in a design called Katie.
My bridesmaids were four of my best friends from school and they wore pale pink Button Belle dresses from YAP with floral sashes and shoe clips made by Anne at Diva Designs.
For transport we chose a silver Bentley hired from Sunderland Wedding Cars. The bridesmaids travelled in a mint green campervan from AllCool Classic VW Camper Hire. We also hired a vintage bus from Weardale Company for our guests to travel on from the church to the reception venue.
Katie Byram was our wedding photographer. She was amazing and photographed the day perfectly. She has a very natural style, capturing candid moments, which was exactly what we wanted. We would highly recommend her.
Lavenders Blue in Morpeth provided my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets too. We were keen for the flowers to look quite wild and natural, which Lavenders Blue achieved beautifully. I also had sprigs of feverfew (daisies) pushed into the plait in my hair.
Lavenders Blue provided flowers for the table decorations and we hired candelabras and vintage china teacups and saucers from Lavenders Blue too. We hired birdcages from The Finishing Touch Company and our vintage side plates were hired from Flawless Weddings & Events in Morpeth.
We added pink and mint green pom poms to the trees outside of the venue, made by Flawless Weddings & Events. They looked amazing and really magical. Flawless also provided jars and scoops for our sweetie table.
We went to auctions and charity shops in the local area to collect the beautiful lace and embroidered table clothes we used. My bridesmaids and I also spent an afternoon decorating small glass candle holders and jam jars with offcuts of material, old jewellery, buttons and hessian. I love that they added a really personal touch to the tables. On the day we used vintage photo frames as holders for our table names, which I love and will use to display our wedding photographs around our home.
For favours we gave out British Heart Foundation pin badges.
Dreamworld Cakes made our pretty cupcake cake in pastel colours while all the other food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall.
Colin Cook was a fantastic DJ on our wedding day, keeping all our guests entertained. We chose a mixture of our favourite tunes – mainly 90s pop! It was really important to us that the children we invited to our wedding were a special part of the day. To keep them entertained during the speeches we put together colouring books, soft toys and bubbles into canvas backpacks with their names on.
For some extra entertainment we hired a photo booth from Smiley Booth. I would definitely recommend this company. One strip of photographs was stuck into our guestbook so that our guests could write messages next to them and the guests could take the second strip home as a memento of the day. They’re hilarious and we love looking back over them to remind us of the day.
My favourite part of the day was walking into the church and seeing Philip’s face. Philip’s cousin is a professional musician and played Canon in D on the viola as I walked down the aisle. It was a beautiful moment, although I did cry most of way down!
For our honeymoon we went to Santorini and stayed at Absolute Bliss in Imerovigli, a small boutique hotel with a beautiful view over the sea and cliffs. It is a lovely island and we would definitely recommend it.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be that making some of the venue decorations and wedding stationery yourself is a great way to add a personal touch to the day and to save a bit of money. Collect some pieces of pretty material, pop open the fizz and get creative!
April 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
On Tuesday, I told you all about our fairy-tale event at Nostell Priory in just over a week – click here for all the details – and today I’m proud to tell you about our second event also happening next Sunday 12th April 2015 (double the inspiration! #supersunday) at the absolutely stunning, private stately home, exclusive use wedding venue that is Middleton Lodge, near Richmond.
We are proud to be working once again with award winning venue Middleton Lodge (only the best for our readers!) to bring you a big and beautiful wedding show with a large, handpicked selection of the region’s best bridal exhibitors at this exclusive venue. The house, gardens and grand marquee will be open for exploration and inspiration! With every detail covered from gowns to garters, this should be a day for every soon-to-be-weds diary.
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition
Middleton Lodge, Kneeton Lane, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 6NJ
Sunday 12th April 2015
1pm till 4pm
FREE ENTRY for pre-registered brides & their guests, £2pp on the day
bride to be?
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors . As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last.
If you are interested in hosting your special day at Middleton Lodge, we have a limited number of VIP appointments to view the whole house, Coach House Boutique Hotel and facilities with Middleton Lodge’s wedding team. If you would like to reserve a time slot, please select YES in the box below. We will allocate a mutually convenient time for your exclusive appointment.
Why not make a special day of it? The Coach House Restaurant is open for Sunday Lunch, advance bookings only. Please call 01325 377 977 to make your booking directly.
All images from our last gorgeous event at Middleton Lodge, courtesy of Hayley Baxter Photography.
March 24th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a cute engagement story and today’s real wedding starts with a great one. Having been together just short of nine years brave bride Cheryl decided to turn the tables and asked partner John for his hand in marriage during a romantic weekend away to celebrate their anniversary. Huge kudos to Cheryl for ditching tradition – oh, and for also quickly pointing out to John that he owed her a ring to make it official.
To make their big day a real family affair Cheryl and John made their two beautiful daughters, Millie and Ellie, a big part of the day and it looks like the girls carried out their duties perfectly. Well done girls!
So let’s hear that engagement story…
With images by Brides Up North featured supplier Diamond Photography.
cheryl says: John and I have been together for almost nine years and we have two beautiful daughters, Millie and Ellie. We had talked about marriage over a number of years but something else always seemed to arise, in regards to work schedules and having two young daughters. Our anniversary was fast approaching and we always make the effort to go for an overnight stay somewhere so I made the decision that this was it – I was going to ask him to marry me! I’d always been adamant I would wait until he proposed but I guess the time just felt right. So, after looking at different hotels and listening to other people’s experiences I decided to book Yorebridge House boutique hotel in the Yorkshire Dales. On 1st November 2012 we set off for our overnight stay, I told John that we wouldn’t bother with gifts this time as we had paid that little bit extra for the hotel stay.
After a glass of wine (for courage) I handed John a gift-wrapped box, which he cautiously opened but seemed pleased when a box of Thorntons chocolates were presented to him. However, he had to do a double-take when he realised what the chocolates spelled out the words ‘will u marry me?’ I was relieved when he smiled and answered ‘Yes!’ Next I presented him with a smaller box containing a jelly Haribo ring and a note stating, ‘you owe me.’ I felt comforted and very excited afterwards as we both began to contact our family and friends to share the news.
I had hoped to book an earlier date, preferably before the football season started but those dates had already been taken, so we agreed finally agreed on our date, Saturday 30th August 2014.
We got married at Rushpool Hall, Saltburn, described as ‘a fairy tale castle set in picturesque surroundings’. We liked that our ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception would be all in the one venue. We chose the blue room with beautiful décor, which overlooks Saltburn Valley with additional sea views. This had been one of the hotels that John and I had previously stayed at and once we began to look at wedding venues we revisited the site and instantly knew this would be where we would say our wedding vows.
Our wedding colour scheme was ivory and pink. The pink element stems from both of our daughters’ love of the colour.
After visiting six different wedding dress retailers, I went back to Exclusively Yours at Wingate, County Durham. I chose a selection of three/four dresses but I kept returning to a particular dress, which I had previously tried on. I soon realised I’d found the one. The dress was Romantica Zeta, a straight A-line dress with crystals on the bodice, which featured a zip fastening on the back with crystal buttons. The dress was ivory in colour.
John wore a suit with a waistcoat and jacket and an ivory cravat from Moss Brothers at Dalton Park.
Our two daughters Millie and Ellie both wore ivory bridesmaid dresses from Next which had an ivory band round the middle and fastened in a bow at the back. Bryan the best man wore the same suit as John from Moss Brothers.
Andrew and Mandy of Diamond Photography were our photographers. I’d arranged to meet with Andrew who showed me different wedding packages and photographs that himself and Mandy offered. Andrew was very easy-going and added no pressure. Across a period of time before I got married I often messaged Andrew who always answered any questions and worries I may have had. On our wedding day they captured amazing moments, I’m not a person who particularly likes to be in the limelight, but Andrew made me feel very comfortable and settled my nerves at begin photographed. Andrew and Mandy were lovely. They had captured particular photos we had requested and more. They were so friendly and created a very professional and well-produced package, without being intrusive. I would definitely recommend future brides to meet Andrew and Mandy – I cannot thank them enough.
My two daughters and I had small hand held bouquets, which consisted of my favourite flowers tulips and roses. My friend Tracy arranged our flowers for us along with the corsages and buttonholes. Our daughters carried a sign each, one saying ‘Here comes Mammy’ and the other saying ‘Last chance to run Daddy’.
Our top table had an ivory ‘Mr & Mrs’ sign, with a small tea light candles in diamond cut glass holders and a bowl with other floating candles. The guest table centre pieces were ivory jewelled candle holders with diamonds scattered across the table. On the fireplaces we also had bowls with floating candles. In the evening we had a wedding wish tree, along with paper lanterns and large pink and ivory balloons.
The favours were lucky sixpences, which were personalised to each guest in a small wallet with ‘John & Cheryl’ written on, alongside our wedding date.
Our cake was pink and ivory with four tiers – the top tier was carrot cake, the second sponge cake and the two bottom tiers were fruit cake. It was delicious! It was made by Michelle who owns Michelle’s Cakes shop, situated in a wedding store called A Bit of a Do in Hartlepool. I often messaged Michelle with different pictures of cakes and constantly asked questions but nothing was ever too much trouble.
For entertainment we had a disco which was provided by Rushpool Hall and the resident DJ, who was very good played all requests – we opted for a lot of 80s music. Our photographer provided a freestanding photo booth, which at the time was part of a special promotion. There were lots of props and guests were provided with a copy of their photo moment! I have to add that Andrew and Mandy were very patient as by this time everyone at the wedding party had, had quite a bit to drink – and shall we say, in very good spirits! We also had a caricaturist during the day to entertain our guests.
Other great suppliers we used included Elaine Butler, who designed our wedding invites along with our guest place cards, table plan, sweet jar labels, and table numbers. Made At Home made our lovely sign, which I placed next to our cake which said ‘& they lived happily ever after’, along with beautiful handmade wishing dandelions for our daughters. Heart Shaped Home made lovely framed verses which we gave to our parents as gifts and also the signs that Millie and Ellie carried. Angela Leonard from Unique Styles in Hartlepool did my hair and Deborah Campbell did my make-up. Deborah and I have been friends since we were young and she offered to do my make-up as she knew I would be panicking about it. When she mentioned eye lashes I was panic stricken, however I was gently persuaded and loved them!
We would certainly recommend our venue to others. Rushpool Hall is a perfect romantic setting, with beautiful grounds and an open staircase along with log fires. The team at Rushpool Hall were fantastic and very friendly, nothing was too much trouble and I must not fail to mention to Kerri who assisted us in the run up to the wedding and on our actual day, thank you.
Our favourite part of the day had to be spending it with our family and friends, most of all our two beautiful daughters Millie and Ellie. I also think remembering those people that couldn’t be there to share our special day, in particular my Granddad Tommy, and John’s Granddad Bobby, was a special moment.
For our honeymoon we went to the Grand Sirenis, Mayan Beach Hotel in Mexico, Riviera Maya. We were lucky enough that our family looked after our daughters for a week while we went away. We had an amazing week, with sunny skies and plenty of strawberry daiquiris. We spent days floating round the lazy river but our most enjoyable moment was swimming with dolphins, something that I had always wanted to do!
My top tips to other Brides Up North is – enjoy every moment and try to make a little time to take it all in! Don’t let the day pass you by and try not to be too nervous.
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