Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

real wedding recap 2017: a stylish wedding at wylam brewery – chelsea & steven

January 5th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (30)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months. 

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.

The exquisitely unique venue of Wylam Brewery in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park provides the quirky setting for today’s beautiful wedding which, as it happens, is just a stone’s throw from our bride’s childhood home.

Chelsea and Steven tied the knot in May of this year and were after a venue a little bit unconventional – and Wylam Brewery certainly has this quality in spades. Prettifying the space with gorgeous blooms and a blush, navy and rose gold palette, this is a wedding beaming in all things contemporary, stylish and ever so elegant.

So, grab yourself a tipple and join us as Chelsea reminisces about their special day – from her princess ball gown dress to the handmade sweetie favours and magical photos by the lake.

With images by Bethany Whittaker.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (18)

chelsea says: We got engaged on 21st December 2015. Steven had been planning to recreate our first date but I was really hungry and kept moaning about needing to be fed, so I kind of ruined it. Steven had been acting shifty all day and wouldn’t take his coat off whilst we were out. While we were on the Metro home, his mam and dad kept texting him too (which I now know was to tell him to do it anyway regardless of it not going to plan!). We live near the beach and Steven asked if we could go for a walk to the sea front. I said it was too cold but he kept saying please, so I gave in eventually. We walked down to the sea front and he hugged me tight and started saying some really nice things – and then he got down on one knee with a Fenwick’s bag in one hand (from our Christmas shopping) and the ring in the other and asked me to marry him. I remember laughing so much at the Fenwick’s bag but eventually said yes!

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (38)

We tied the knot on 29th April 2017. This date had no particular significance, although Steven had started telling people that was the date (with nothing actually arranged) so we had to go with it in the end!

We got married at Wylam Brewery in Exhibition Park. We picked this venue as I had lived in the bungalow situated in the park (where my parents still live) so it was particularly special to get married so close to their house. We also loved the quirkiness of the venue and had been looking for something non-traditional.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (48)

We didn’t have a specific theme; we just wanted it to be relaxed and fun. We had a navy, blush pink and rose gold colour scheme – I love these colours and think they work really well together.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (5)

I went for a classic ball gown style dress by Ronald Joyce. As soon as I put it on, I fell in love – it was everything I thought I didn’t want but couldn’t help but love. Joanne from House of Bellas Bridal actually picked the dress for me so it wasn’t one of my initial choices. I knew it was the one when my mam cried.

Steven and the grooms all hired their suits from Waltons. They wore tailored three-piece navy blue suits with pink ties and pocket squares.

My bridesmaids wore blush pink, floor length dresses from Monsoon. I loved the jewels around the waistline and they looked so beautiful on all five of my bridesmaids.

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real wedding recap 2017: pronovias for a classic wedding at lartington hall – stephanie & lee

December 31st, 2017 | Julia Braime

LEE SCULLION

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months. 

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.

This utterly divine real wedding takes place at one of our very favourite Northern venues, the stunning Lartington Hall. Bride and groom, Stephanie and Lee, equally fell for this utterly beautiful setting for their big day with wow-worthy interiors, gorgeous gardens and impressive entertaining spaces as standard.

Keen to complement rather than complicate, the couple decided to let the venue speak for itself and add simple décor using an elegant colour scheme of golds, creams and blush, with whimsical flowers and greenery to complete their classic vision.

Our heart is totally stolen by Stephanie’s pretty Pronovias gown, complete with cathedral-length veil and pointy Emmy shoes. Actual #stylinggoals!

With images by Lee Scullion. Video by Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.

Lee and Stephanie from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

stephanie says: We got engaged in New York on Christmas Eve 2015. I had no idea Lee was going to propose. We had always talked about getting married but always thought it would be in a few more years (even though we had already been together for eight years). We were just walking through Central Park on the morning of Christmas Eve and Lee asked me if I would like to marry him. There was no one else around and he had a little box hidden in his pocket with a note inside. He knows how particular I am so wanted to take me with him so we could choose a ring together. We then went to Tavern On The Green for lunch.

LEE SCULLION

Our wedding date was May 13th 2017. At first, I was a bit dubious about choosing the 13th however we decided to ignore superstition and make 13 a lucky number for us. Plus, it meant all of our favourite suppliers were also available on that day as no one else wanted it!

We got married at Whitburn Parish Church and then went on to the beautiful Lartington Hall, Teesdale, for our reception.

From such a young age I always wanted to get married in my parish church so there was no doubt that the wedding ceremony was going to be there. As for the reception, we wanted a venue where none of our friends and family had been before. And me being me, wanted attention to detail and somewhere that had the wow factor.

We had heard of Lartington Hall but always thought it was a little bit too far (considering we were getting married in Whitburn) but after months of searching for the perfect place we decided to go and view it. We fell in love straight away!

We just wanted our wedding to be traditional, timeless and elegant and to reflect the beauty of Whitburn church and Lartington Hall. When choosing everything we pretty much did a full circle. We started off with very traditional ideas, moved to more rustic themes and then once the venue had been decided, we moved back to elegant and classic. I also wanted the flowers to be very whimsical and full of creams and greens.

For our stationery we chose Megan at Rosewood Co. We had seen Megan’s designs at a wedding fair so made an appointment so she could personalise something for us. Again, we went for very simple and elegant with a pearl ivory pocket fold wedding invitation tied with an ivory ribbon and name tag. The evening invitations had a hand drawn image of Lartington Hall on and the order of service had a hand drawn image of Whitburn Parish Church on. Our name place cards also had an image of Lartington Hall on and were finished with some dried flowers and ivory ribbon. Megan was extremely helpful and was in contact all of the time making sure it was exactly what we wanted. We again had some lovely comments from our guests about the stationery. It all turned out to be just what we wanted.

We went for very neutral colour scheme overall of golds, creams and blush. Again, we wanted the colours to be elegant and classic but also have a summery feel. I also thought about the colours that would suit my bridesmaids.

LEE SCULLION

My wedding gown was a Pronovias design from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. Every time I looked at wedding dresses I searched ‘plain wedding dresses’ so knew I was going to go for something very simple and traditional. I also loved the Pronovias designs. My chosen dress was the first one I tried on. I did try a few other different styles on but knew that the first one was ‘the one’. I also feel that because it had a full skirt, it suited the grandeur of a church wedding.

With the dress being very simple, I decided to have a crystal and pearl vine hair piece in my hair and a single tier, chapel-length veil which was edged with lace, also from Mia Sposa.

I also wanted to treat myself to a special pair of shoes and knew that I always wanted pointy shoes rather than sandals or a peep toe. I saw a pair of Emmy shoes at a wedding fair and fell in love with them straight away.

For jewellery, I wore a pair of single pearl earrings that belonged to my nanna (something old) and a pearl bracelet to match.

LEE SCULLION

It wasn’t too difficult for Lee to choose a suit either. He knew that he wanted to wear something a bit different as he ‘could wear a navy suit anytime,’ so he went for a tux. We hired his tux from Moss Bros. We also felt like this reflected the vintage/1920s feel of Lartington Hall. Many people said you don’t really wear tuxedos for church weddings but again we wanted to be a bit different so just went ahead with it. His shoes were from Kurt Geiger. The groomsmen wore the same as Lee.

The bridesmaid’s dresses were peach and were from Watters, which we bought from Laura Lea Boutique in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle. The girl there was so friendly and helpful and knew exactly what styles suited different body shapes.

The bridesmaids also wore matching heart shaped, crystal earrings and necklace from Swarovski – which we bought them as a gift.

LEE SCULLION

Marie Scroggins at ND Makeup did our hair and makeup. Marie was so helpful and such a lovely girl to share the morning of the wedding with. I have known Marie a while and always knew I wanted her to do my wedding hair and makeup. She offered advice both at the trial and on the day but also listened to mine and the bridesmaid’s requests and ideas.

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blissed out bride: seaham hall

November 24th, 2017 | Julia Braime

seaham-hall

Behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, things are pretty busy! We’re already working a year ahead to bring you almost 40 sensational (and each unique and different!) bespoke bridal shows for 2018 and work has started in earnest on Issue 09 of our gorgeous bi-annual glossy magazine, UNVEILED, out in March. Add an impending site relaunch (yes (!), watch this space), a brand spanking new digital platform for UNVEILED (launching next week people!) and all the juggle that comes with being a mummy of two littles away from the office, and this editor was seriously in need of some R&R.

So, when the lovely people at Seaham Hall in Country Durham waved an overnight spa stay for two my way, I grabbed the husband, set the out of office and used up some babysitting credits. It was time to test out Seaham’s offering to make sure that you lovely Brides Up North stay blissed out in the run up to your big day and beyond.

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Now, this place is incredible and some. Recently awarded the Conde Nast Johansens UK Readers’ Award 2017 (and from the facilities and service you can see why) this coastal gem is full of charm.

Pre-stay, the hotel’s website had boasted that, ‘set within 37 acres of delightful gardens in a stunning cliff top location overlooking the sea and the coast of the Durham Heritage Coastline, Seaham Hall is a beautiful Georgian Mansion ideally located in Durham for a luxurious overnight retreat’. They weren’t wrong.

On the menu for us was a stay in one of Seaham Hall’s beautiful suites, decorated artfully in shades of grey, teal and a zingy yellow – with enough wallpapers, cushions and objets d’art to keep this interiors magpie very happy indeed; a spa day for two (is it a bit cringy to read your own magazine by the pool? Maybe, but I don’t care!) with some delightful treatments thrown in; pre-dinner mojitos delivered to our suite (nice touch!) and a fine dining dinner in Byron’s Restaurant, followed by the best night’s sleep that I’d had in a long, long time.

Seaham_Hall_Spa_Elephant

Byron’s Restaurant has recently been awarded a 1st in the Taste Durham Awards, recognising the hotel’s hard work towards supporting and championing local producers and suppliers. My husband and I shared the Chateaubriand, and can vouch for its flavour, freshness and presentation. And although we didn’t try it ourselves, the dishes served in the venue’s Pan-Asian Restaurant ‘The Ozone’ located within the Serenity Spa looked absolutely delightful.

Seaham_Hall_ExecutiveSuite_5

Now onto that spa. As well as a fully equipped gym (which I didn’t try out – my bad!) the sensational Serenity Spa boasts a 20 metre pool with massage stations; hamman with snail showers and jacuzzi, Asian herbal samarium, salt sauna, Indian steam chamber, hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, plunge pools and my favourite bit – outdoor hot tubs.

The hubby and I spent a glorious few hours trying out the various heat experiences, bubbling in the hot tubs and relaxing poolside, before it was time for our treatments.

The Serenity Spa offers unique and bespoke holistic treatment rituals from Asia that deliver luxurious, indulgent experiences. Their therapists are chosen not only for their ability but their intuition to your individual needs and the treatments tailored specifically to you. Just lovely!

To aid my too-much-screen-time and sugar skin, I chose a Sunari Prescriptive Facial, which promised to reawaken and rejuvenate my skin with a holistic techinque customised for my skin’s specific needs. Naturally active ingredients were custom blended for intensive exfoliation and renewal; and Seaham Hall’s signature MarMassage (pressure point stimulation) completed the experience, for newly radiant skin. I was glowing!

The hubby meanwhile was treated to a Serenity Signature Massage, a full body massage which unlocks tension and induces a sense of relaxation, wellness and inner calm.

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I’d wholeheartedly recommend Seaham Hall for a pre-wedding break to bliss out with the girls or reconnect with your hubby to be amid the planning madness. This would also be the ideal spot for a “just because” romantic break (we are all about those here at Brides Up North HQ!) or a really delightful minimoon.

And if you’ve fallen as much in love as we have here at Brides Up North, why not really commit? Seaham Hall also plays host to a number of luxury weddings a year. Offering exclusive use weddings and ceremonies, a wedding at Seaham Hall would truly be an occasion to remember.

For more information visit www.seaham-hall.co.uk

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falling into you. vera wang for a stylish wedding at lartington hall – helen & john

November 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Wedding-Photography

For today’s real wedding, we’re escaping to beautiful Teesdale for Helen and John’s special day back in April, following their year-long engagement.

We could begin by talking about their enchanting venue, Lartington Hall, nestled in 75 acres of parkland, with its exquisite ballroom, chapel and gardens. We could even talk about the couple’s bold teal and purple colour scheme, with peacock feathers thrown into the mix. We might even share details of their scrumptious chocolate Guinness cake and the fact that the wedding also coincided with the groom’s birthday celebrations, making the occasion extra special.

But we just have to throw the spotlight on Helen’s stunning Vera Wang Odette dress – offering you lucky readers a glimpse into what we think is a true fairytale-inspired moment. This oh-so-pretty floor-length ball gown, named after the leading female character in Swan Lake, is utter perfection and a welcome reminder to all brides-to-be out there that it really is worth making a statement with your bridal look. Trust us, your wedding album will thank you later.

With images by Stan Seaton Photography.

Wedding-Photography

helen says: Every year since we started dating we have gone to the Peak District in April for a long weekend, camping usually in fairly frosty weather, and 2016 was no exception. We had stopped on Eyam Moor to admire the view with not another soul in sight. Although beautiful, it was absolutely freezing, and I had already set off again when John called me back as he was ‘looking for his scarf’ in a bag, which concealed a Claddagh ring, which he had made with my birthstone as a proposal ring. He got down on one knee to ask the question and, of course, I said yes!

Wedding-Photography

Our wedding date was a bit controversial. There was availability for the date exactly a year on from our engagement, but as it was John’s birthday the week after, he thought it would be a great idea to combine this with getting married on the same weekend! So, 29th April it was! It turned out perfectly as it meant John’s family and friends from Ireland could join us for a double celebration and a bank holiday Monday in the UK so everyone had some extra time recover.

I’m originally from the North East and it was my mum who had heard about our chosen venue, Lartington Hall, and all the work that owners John and Shona had put in to the restoration and developing such a beautiful venue and grounds. As soon as we walked into the Grand Corridor, we knew it was the venue for us.

Combining two special occasions and being able to celebrate in this private and stunning setting was a dream. We loved the freedom of being able to host different parts of our day across the rooms at Lartington; from the chapel ceremony, ballroom for our wedding breakfast and dancing the night away to rounding the night off (with whoever was left standing!) in the drawing room. We knew we were in safe hands with the team at Lartington, who ensured our wedding day ran seamlessly.

Wedding-Photography

I have to credit my bridesmaid Jo for helping me when it came to our colour scheme! I’ve always loved bold colours, and John and I both like purple so that was our starting point, mixed with the organic natural forms of art nouveau, which I’ve always loved. That led us to peacock feathers so we added a teal to the purple along with silver accents. These ideas were carried through in the flowing lines of the sleepy S-shaped bouquets and the peacock feathers that featured in our stationery.

Wedding-Photography

My mum is a fantastic seamstress and made her own wedding dress, as well as her sister’s wedding dress from scratch, but I didn’t want to put the mother-of-the bride under too much pressure leading up to the big day. And so, I eventually chose a Vera Wang dress called Odette, which was fitting as I have always loved ballet. My mum then hand-stitched embellishments to the front and back of the bodice. It was so much fun to wear!

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blissed out bride: matfen hall

November 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (2)

We’ve been out on the road again all in the name of research to share with you our experiences of the North’s finest hotels, getaway retreats and spas, providing inspiration for pre- and post-wedding relaxation, and sometimes also a setting for the big day itself!

Cue our recent visit to Matfen Hall – a stunning stately home set in 300 acres of lush parkland in the Northumbrian countryside. The award-winning Hall houses fabulous function spaces, accommodation and spa and leisure facilities, making it an option for sophisticated hen dos, romantic getaways, such as a minimoon, plus a dream wedding venue too.

All images by Sean Elliott Photography.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (6)

Ahead of a super-exciting wedding refurbishment at Matfen, we were invited to view the current celebration spaces and to see what’s in store to take this already gorgeous venue to the next level. And my word, are couples saying ‘I do’ to Matfen in for a treat! Keen not to give away too much at this stage, we will be following up with a Dream Venue post soon that will detail the stylish refurbish plans in more depth.

Furthermore, on Sunday 4th March 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen to reveal the results of the quarter-of-a-million-pound-refurbishment programme first-hand – so be sure to mark the date in your diaries!

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (8)

But for today’s post, we return to our visit. During our blissful overnight stay, we experienced Matfen’s warm and welcoming hospitality, making use of its leisure facilities, restaurant and accommodation.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (13)

We began as any busy business ladies should, with a trip to the spa! Hotel guests can enjoy access to such facilities or there are a number of full and half-day ‘Escape’ packages to choose from, comprising different treatments, food and drink, so ladies (and gents) can pick which best suits their needs and wishes.

There is a 16-metre swimming pool and spa pool, plus thermal suites including an aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, ice cold bucket shower, monsoon shower and ice fountain. We worked our way round, prioritising the warmer options, to relax and revive weary muscles, before indulging in a little chill time around the pool.

Matfen’s treatment choices cover off facial, body and massage therapies for men and women, as well as ‘Finishing Touch’ treatments such as nails, waxing and tinting.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (10)

Feeling in need of a radiance boost part-way through our autumn season of wedding fairs, we both opted for the Skin Specific Facial. Having been led to quiet, candle-lit treatment rooms, our knowledgeable therapists took time to enquire about our skin concerns before tailoring our facials to help combat such issues using heavenly Elemis products. We both emerged with hydrated, glowing complexions and super-soft skin (if only we could indulge one of these treatments every week!).

Leaving the spa feeling super-relaxed, it was time to freshen up (and wake-up!) before dinner. We were staying in one of Matfen’s stunning Principal Rooms in the original part of the Hall, that was spacious, comfortable and boasted gorgeous views of the garden.

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valley of love. eliza jane howell for a scenic wedding in northumberland – sophie & mark

October 23rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Wedding in Northumberland (c) Anna Joy Photography (30)

We’re easing you into the week with a pretty dose of real wedding inspiration.

Today’s couple tied the knot in spring of this year in the most picturesque of locations, up in Northumberland – a place that holds a lot of special family connections to the beautiful bride, Sophie.

Refreshingly, there’s no overarching theme or colour scheme for their big day – proof that a wedding really is what you make it, and you don’t need to be overly prescriptive with your ideas. Sometimes, everything just falls into place!

There are so many gorgeous details to swoon over – pretty lighting, wild blooms and the couple’s very own brew of sloe gin! Oh, and their own hashtag for the day, too. One of our highlights has got to be their alternative to traditional confetti – opting instead for wooden wands with bells attached. Want to know more? Then read on for all the country wedding inspo you could need…

With images by Anna Joy Photography.

A Pretty Wedding in Northumberland (c) Anna Joy Photography (21)

sophie says: We got engaged in October 2015, up in the College Valley, which is hidden away in the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland. I have family have connections there – my great grandfather built Hethpool – a house at the end of the valley – and in the 1960s my grandfather (on the other side of the family!) bought an old scouts’ hut with his best friend. The hut has been used for decades as a place to stay after long walks in the hills, a way to escape reality and for amazing parties!

Mike proposed in the hut with a beautiful video he had made of him producing reams and reams of messages written on card to the rhythm of one of my favourite songs.

We got married on 29th April 2017. For practical reasons, we wanted a bit of time to get everything ready. Most of our guests were travelling far, so we wanted to give them the chance to explore Northumberland over a Bank Holiday weekend.

Mike’s first trip to the College Valley was on a beautiful day in April 2014, when the gorse was in full bloom, lambs were running around and it was baking hot (relatively, for Northumberland), so we figured it was as good a date as any! Weather in the Borders is rarely great so we figured we may as well go with a month where weather had been good in the past and the scenery was looking so beautiful.

A Pretty Wedding in Northumberland (c) Anna Joy Photography (34)

We got married at the Cuddystone Hall in the College Valley because…where else? It is the most beautiful place and means so much to us both and my family. The reception took place in both an adjacent marquee and the Hall.

A Pretty Wedding in Northumberland (c) Anna Joy Photography (40)

We didn’t have a theme per se (I can find them a bit cringe!), but we kept the wedding very rustic and relaxed in keeping with the location.

Again, there wasn’t a colour scheme as such, because the valley is so wild and there are so many beautiful shades and colours of countryside all around the Cuddystone. We wanted to mirror that, so flowers and bridesmaid outfits were a mixture of different muted pastel colours.

A Pretty Wedding in Northumberland (c) Anna Joy Photography (26)

I chose an Eliza Jane Howell dress, which was very delicately beaded and sequinned. I wore a flower crown and cathedral veil, too.

Mike wore tweed on top and chinos on bottom, with a jacket and waistcoat tailor-made in London (and generously provided by his brother-in-law). He had a green tie and a McCreath clan tartan pocket square in recognition of my mother’s family, which greatly pleased my granny Midge McCreath!

The groomsmen wore tweed waistcoats of mixed colours (all muted and earthy) with varying shades of beige chinos.

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