August 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
There’s very little introduction required for the real wedding we’re featuring today, as these gorgeous photographs speak for themselves. There’s embellished Enzoani for the dress divas, pink peonies for the flower fans and stunningly intimate sunset kisses for the romance addicts – so that’ll be, err, everyone?? The theme of this particular County Durham wedding was ‘simply elegant’ and the details, from bespoke stationery to limoncello shots, are first-rate.
Oh, and speaking of details, have you thought about a wedding day gift for your beloved yet? We’ve seen it all here at Brides Up North – a vintage tie pin, a bottle of his favourite whiskey, a rare record to add to his collection. But today’s bride Charlotte sets the bar even higher, ladies – her wedding day gift to new husband Jonathan was a full-on dance troupe: her and her #bridesquad performing to Beyonce’s popwhopper Love on Top. No pressure, then…!
Over to Charlotte to tell us more…
With images by Duncan McCall Photography
charlotte says: We’d planned a trip to Edinburgh between Christmas and New Year to see some friends and Jonathan told me afterwards that he’d decided exactly when and where he was going to propose. However, that didn’t go to plan. On Saturday 21st December 2013, he says he woke up and just knew he had to do it. We live in County Durham, and one of our favourite places to visit is the Cathedral. With it being Christmas time, we were greeted by the beautiful sound of a choir singing carols as we walked in that day. He led me outside into the courtyard and sat me down, got down on one knee and popped the question. It really took me by surprise and, of course, I said yes!
Our wedding date was 1st July 2017. We’d always wanted a summer wedding and it just so happened that the first Saturday in July had a memorable date: 1/7/17.
We got married at St Brandon’s Church in Brancepeth, just outside of Durham. The church building was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1998 and the renovations are beautiful. It’s is very modern with individual chairs instead of pews, and features a beautiful stained-glass window and stone from the old building on the wall. We fell in love with St Brandon’s as soon as we stepped inside; plus, we love that every time we step outside our back door, we can see the church in the distance.
We held our wedding reception at Headlam Hall Hotel and Spa. We’d looked at so many different venues, but none of them felt right until we came across Headlam. We loved the beautiful gardens and terrace and could see just how lovely it would be to have our guests there and to enjoy the views. We also loved how the function suite was set aside from the hotel – it created a real sense of exclusivity. Headlam Hall’s function suite had recently been renovated and looked really elegant; we loved it so much, we booked two years in advance.
‘Simply elegant’ was the theme for our wedding, with a colour scheme of navy blue, blush pink, creams and golden colours. We also included peonies, which were incorporated into the bouquets, centrepieces and all stationery.
I chose a fishtail, embroidered Enzoani gown, to which I added a crystal belt, some delicate thin crystal straps and a cathedral-length veil with lace detailing, all purchased at the Blue Bow Bridal Company, based in Durham. The ladies there were truly amazing; as soon as we stepped in we were greeted by two lovely women who handed me a basket of pegs and told me to peg away onto any dresses I liked. I tried on some beautiful gowns, but I didn’t love any of them. At this point, Cheryl the assistant asked me to describe my dream dress and then picked out my beautiful Enzoani gown. I couldn’t wait to try it on and, once I saw myself in it, I definitely had the moment you dream about.
August 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
After getting engaged at a Courteeners gig, today’s featured couple, Katie and Liam were married in Gibside Chapel and moved onto Eslington Villa to get the celebrations underway. Katie loved visiting Gibside as a little girl and instinctively knew it would be the ideal place to say “I do”. We’ve got to say that we wholeheartedly agree: the stately polished wood and colonnaded interior is breath-taking, and perfect for their formal religious ceremony.
But this Real Wedding has so much more going for it than just the pretty setting, believe us. Kate’s Martina Liana gown is just exquisite – an absolute showstopper of lace and embellishment topped off with the ultimate cathedral-length, heavy lace-edged statement veil. If you’re looking for classic Grace Kelly vibes with a V-neck, look no further.
Add in some sequinned table-runners, all-white bouquets and the proudest, smiliest little pageboy we ever did see and what do you get? A whole lotta heart-eyes.
With photography by Danny Birrell Photography.
kate says: Lima and I got engaged on 5th June 2015 at a Courteeners gig – they’re my favourite band! It was at Heaton Park in Manchester.
We got to into the venue, headed straight to the bar and, as we were waiting for everything to start, Liam said, “Can you hold my pint in your right hand?” The next thing I knew he was down on one knee! It was a huge shock: our friends were standing not too far away from us and all I could hear was my sister Charlotte screaming, crying and shouting, “Oh my God!” It was amazing – I couldn’t think of anywhere better for it to have happened. We were also mentioned in the NME magazine after the gig!
We wanted something a little different; I’m personally not keen on big stately home weddings and wanted to create something that was relevant to me and Liam. I used to go to Gibside as a child and we liked how Eslington Villa was just a quirky little restaurant and that we had exclusive use of it.
Our décor theme was ‘a little bit of everything’ – candles in geo votives, succulents and sequinned table runners. I loved how everything wasn’t too streamlined.
I saw my dress at a wedding fair; it was a Martina Liana gown from Mia Sposa bridal at Newcastle. I just fell completely in love as soon as I saw it. I loved the long train, the sleeves, the lace – just everything!
For my shoes I went for a pair of Christian Louboutins – I’d wanted a pair for years! They were nude patent Pigalles.
August 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Creativity lies at the heart of today’s captivating bridal shoot, showcasing what it really means to take a blank canvas of a venue and make it your own on your contemporary wedding day.
Led by wedding planner Faye Darcy of Faye Darcy Events, the shoot takes place at arts and cultural space, the Thought Foundation, located in Gateshead – and as Faye and her team of suppliers beautifully demonstrate – the possibilities are endless!
Gorgeous props (look out for the peacock chair and mirror ball heart), atmospheric pendant lighting, colourful balloons and copper decorations set the scene, offering up a kitsch-come-industrial edge to the styling.
We’ll now hand the blog over to Faye to tell us more about this alluring backdrop and all the fabulous details behind her stunning concept for the shoot. Enjoy!
With images from Gavin Forster Photography.
faye says: The Thought Foundation is fairly new venue – a creative space and a blank canvas with core values of being a community interest space. I was so excited when I first heard that this venue was in the process of being renovated. I just love open spaces that allow me to use my creativity to its greatest potential and which enable couples to choose a style that truly reflects them and their personalities, rather than being restricted by a venue’s décor.
From the first time I entered the venue my face lit up and my mind went into overdrive imagining all of the possibilities. The husband and wife team behind Thought Foundation held their own wedding celebrations in the venue last year and decided they would love couples to be able to share and create happy memories in their space too, the way they did with their loved ones. I was so inspired by their story, values and aspirations for the space that I immediately knew I would love to work alongside the venue.
The main reason for the shoot was to showcase the venue as a wedding space, and not just for workshops and art exhibitions, and to be creative with an alternative wedding style, stepping away from tradition to showcase my own and other local suppliers’ fabulous work.
Being a creative myself, I can walk in to an empty room and get excited, imagining ways in which it can be styled. For some couples searching for their perfect venue, this may not be the case. Often, they can’t see the potential unless it is furnished already or set up for a wedding. I wanted to create something fun and colourful to contrast against the white brick walls and encourage couples to use their imagination rather than sticking to the ‘norms’ of wedding styling.
I gain a lot of my inspiration from current interior trends. I love to travel and pull together elements from different places and cultures too. Having previously worked in the Australian wedding industry, I still draw most of my inspiration from there and the creatives I worked alongside from the beginning of my wedding planner career. I love their laid-back style and their current wedding and interior trends; there’s always something so much fresher and creative than the likes of standard chair covers and sashes, although these still work great for traditional styles.
Trends I was seeing over there two years ago are slowly appearing here in the UK and it’s great to finally see a shift in the industry. Couples are becoming much more creative and going with themes that reflect them and their personalities.
I went for a relaxed bridal style with a gorgeous floor length, blush tulle skirt, coupled with an ivory sequin crop top which suited the style of our model Phoebe beautifully, both of which were high street brands. We have been seeing more and more two-piece bridal sets over the past couple of years; they are so versatile and allow brides to choose something that’s slightly more modern and relaxed rather than a traditional gown.
August 1st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
The wild and rugged North East coastline provides the dramatic backdrop to today’s stunning styled shoot, crafted by the talented Hannah Picken of Hannah Joy Photography.
After stumbling across Blast Beach in Seaham on Instagram, Hannah knew this was the perfect location for her shoot. Putting her very own wedding dress into the spotlight – Hannah opted for an earthy grey and metallic palette that offsets beautifully against the location’s magnificent rock formations, high cliffs and crashing waves. Add in some driftwood, glass bottles and a smoke bomb or two, and you’ve got an atmospheric shoot that really shows off this captivating beach setting with aplomb.
And then there’s the burnished lagoon of red water that seemingly transports the bride into another celestial setting altogether. We’re mesmerised to say the least!
Hannah’s here now to explain how she and her team of local suppliers, pulled the look together…
With images by Hannah Joy Photography
hannah says: The styled shoot took place on Blast Beach in Seaham on the Durham coast. I wanted to create an ethereal styled bridal shoot primarily for my own knowledge and experience and because I just love to be creative. This style suits me best and is where my passion lies with my photography.
The location of the shoot came about when I was browsing Instagram. Seaham Hall had posted an image of this beach and as soon as I saw it – I knew it would be a great location for the shoot and just what I was looking for. I had never been to this beach before, so one evening, my family and I headed over to check it out.
It was exactly what I had imagined! It’s a very unusual place with dramatic rock formations and an iron lake of luminous red coloured water. Upon further reading about the beach, I discovered it was used for the opening scenes of the film Alien 3; this added to the weird and dramatic feel of the location and it was just perfect for my shoot as I wanted something a bit different.
For the styling of the shoot, my model wore my own personal wedding dress and it fit her just perfectly! My dress came from The Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. It was lovely to re-use my dress rather than have it just sitting in a cupboard never to be seen again (even if it was a little strange seeing someone else wearing it!).
The dress is pretty simple by design and I decided to accessorise it with a rustic fur coat and silver accessories, bangles and rings etc to create a boho vibe and match it up with the pretty waistband detailing. The Irregular Choice shoes were my actual wedding shoes, too, and just so pretty – they were screaming to be photographed again!
With the help of The Green Florist, a lovely local supplier just on my doorstep, we created a beautiful bouquet and headpiece. The brief was natural rustic and wild and I think they delivered this perfectly. I chose white and green to keep things simple and elegant whilst also working nicely with the dress and the surrounding landscape.
July 26th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
July 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
If you’re planning a wedding with any kind of wild woodland element – natural flowers, untamed hair or foliage and greenery, for instance – then this stunning styled shoot at Alnwick’s Treehouse Restaurant, part of the Alnwick Garden, will be inspo overload.
Talented photographer Rachael Fraser brought together a group of innovative suppliers to display the very best of the North East, including the beautiful surroundings of her hometown, Alnwick. We adore the use of warm coppery metallics, which sit perfectly against the lush greenery of the gardens and create a super-gorgeous, slightly frenzied Midsummer Madness-feel. Even the cake is on the wild side, with a delicate floral design that’s (almost) too good to eat.
If you want to see more from Rachael, head over to her newly-updated website for more details or get yourself to the Brides Up North Big Bridal Super Show at Ramside Hall on Sunday 24th September, where she’ll be exhibiting along with a whole host of other luxury bridal suppliers.
So, it’s over to Rachael to tell us more about the inspiration behind the shoot and her feelings about the results…
rachael says: My reasons for doing the shoot was that I really wanted to bring together local suppliers in a collaborative way to showcase some of the beautiful work that I’d seen at wedding fairs and on their individual websites. I wanted to create an inspirational shoot that was quite light and natural with blush, grey and cream tones – all super-popular at the moment. And, of course, the vibrant lush greens of the surrounding area!
The Treehouse Restaurant is part of the Duchess of Northumberland’s stunning Alnwick Gardens, in the town where I grew up and where I still live today. It’s a completely unique venue which, with the surrounding woodland, offered a variety of creative opportunities in terms of settings for the shoot. We started on the rope bridges and then made our way down onto the woodland walk where wild garlic and flowers bloom on either side of the path.
The Wedding Dress Company provided the gorgeous dress by Maggie Sottero, which was a beautiful blush dress with a sheer lace overlay. I’d seen the gown on display at Brides Up North’s Luxury Wedding Fair at the Alnwick Gardens and knew it would look perfect in the pictures.
Hair and makeup was styled by Tina Elliot who created a beautiful natural look with some simple foliage in the hair to keep in with the wild, whimsical feel.
The Finishing Touch Company provided a stunning bouquet with white and cream flowers and trailing grey ribbons. For the table settings, they also created a stunning display with a floral garland on the table and copper details which worked perfectly alongside Amanda Michelle’s copper and pastel scripted stationery and table plan.
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