May 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s gorgeous bride Robyn admits she likes things on the formal side, and so she and groom Matt opted for tails, cravats, roses and full-on strapless princess-fit bridal glamour.
But this couple were true to themselves and made fun a big part of their big day, too – there was a game of Mr & Mrs, magic, a singing waiter and much more.
Formality and fun, glamour and games – what more could you ask for on a Wednesday morning?
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Sally Eaves.
robyn says: We got engaged just the two of us at our home in the Lake District – oh, and the dog and the fairy lights from the Christmas tree in the background! It was very low-key and just what I wanted.
We were married on September 29th 2016 – the day before my 30th birthday. We had our ceremony and celebration under one roof at the Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge. It’s right at the base of Lake Windermere so really beautiful and picturesque but also not too big. It felt intimate as well as very grand, if that makes sense.
For the theme, we didn’t go for anything too prescriptive. I’m quite laidback and I didn’t want anything too fussy with centrepieces and decorations. The venue is beautiful enough without needing to add anything else.
Colour-wise, we went for black and pale pink. I like things to be a little more formal and I love black and white, but the touch of pink made it feel more romantic rather than a corporate do.
I wore a strapless buttermilk/ivory satin princess-fit gown with some beading around the waist from a wedding shop in Cheshire that has now unfortunately closed. I chose to have a small backward bolero, too. This meant I could have the illusion of a neckline with a keyhole back during the day but it transformed into a strapless gown for a second look in the evening.
April 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is a stunner, with plenty of personal details in the planning. The beautiful bride tried on her dress for the first time in her mum’s bedroom, ordered her bouquet from the florist where she had a Saturday job as a teenager and incorporated lots of wood as a nod to Jay’s work as a carpenter.
Aiming for modern timelessness? Look no further than Rachael’s chiffon beaded Monsoon gown. Love neutrals? This subtle grey and lilac colour scheme is elegant, modern and fresh. Rachael gives us all the pretty details…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves Weddings.
rachael says: We got engaged on 21st June 2012 – I was visiting Jay in London where he was working for the weekend. He’d booked a sunset champagne ride on the London Eye where he planned to pop the question, but somebody else in the pod proposed to his partner and stole Jay’s thunder! He ended up proposing at the Oxo Tower restaurant where we ate later.
We were married on 2nd October 2016. We booked the wedding almost a year to the day beforehand – we sat outside with a glass of wine on an unusually warm day in October 2015, and hoped the weather would repeat itself a year later. It did!
We had our civil ceremony and reception at Peak Edge Hotel at The Red Lion in Derbyshire. I had seen the venue’s lovely website and brochure when we first got engaged, but didn’t go to see it until we got around to planning in 2015. The venue is gorgeous – a country pub meets luxury hotel. It’s modern and fresh, the wedding team and all the staff were lovely and it just felt perfect for us. We were really keen to have the whole day in one place and the venue allowed us to do exactly that.
We didn’t really plan to have a theme, however lots of wood crept into the day. I made our invitations and they featured a woodgrain design and our centrepieces were decorated logs. Jay is a carpenter so that was quite nice, really! We decided to name our tables after superheroes – Jay is a big kid at heart (and my hero!), and I spray-painted little superhero figures to sit on each centrepiece. Jay’s mum, Tina, helped us to turn them into gorgeous features with her creative flair.
The colour-scheme was all a bit grey! Our home is decorated very neutrally and neither of us are fans of bold colours. We chose lavender and lilac as accompanying colours for ties, flowers etc.
I loved my dress! It was a long, chiffon beaded dress and was from the high street – Monsoon, in fact. I went to lots of local boutiques and loved the experience but didn’t find any dresses I really loved. I wanted something that was definitely a wedding dress, but a simple shape, without much of a train. I saw this one online, ordered it and took it round to my mum’s to try on in her bedroom! The shopping experience was a little different (no bucks fizz!), but when I tried it on, I absolutely loved it.
April 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re huge advocates of choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you and your big day. But in order to get perfect results, it’s not just about picking your favourite style of photography, but also someone who has the professional experience, skills and equipment to capture your day without fault. After all, you only get one shot.
As the cost of a wedding can easily stack up, we appreciate the temptation to take up a ‘mates rate’ offer from your relative or friend that has a flashy camera, but an ‘all the gear and no idea’ approach is a sure recipe for disappointment.
In a bid to demonstrate the difference between images taken by a professional versus a have-a-go snapper with a DSLR camera, our Sponsor and award-winning photographer Jonny Draper, teamed up with some of the team at Lancashire wedding venue Ashfield House, and a number of other North West suppliers, to showcase how the results of each vary.
Lighting, focus and composition are just a few of the issues to look out for, but it’s certainly easy to spot the difference between the pro and amateur pics.
Here to explain more about the concept and results of the comparison shoot is Ashfield House co-owner and wedding coordinator, Katie Street.
katie says: With the average UK wedding costing £26,989* it’s no surprise that couples are faced with tough cost-saving decisions when their budgets creep up and up. It’s heartbreaking however, to hear from couples who are disappointed with their photographs after the wedding because they chose the slash their photography budget. That friend with a decent DSLR camera may have the best of intentions but will the results be good enough?
With the help of our friend and award-winning wedding photographer Jonny Draper, we decided to conduct our own side-by-side, like-for-like wedding photography experiment.
Jonny, armed with his high-end equipment and years of experience was pitched against Karen, our assistant general manager, complete with her ‘decent’ DSLR camera, and our makeup artist Kerry Baker was on hand to snap away with her camera phone too.
Your friends and family, or the hobbyist, will have incredible intentions yet, if they haven’t got the equipment or the technical expertise and continued learning, then there really is no comparison. Most of the work in photographing a wedding is before and after, hours of painstaking editing, which our average enthusiast doesn’t have the ability to get right.
Years ago, taking the actual photographs was the easy part. The processing in the dark room and time spent with chemicals could go on for days. Photography was reserved for those elite professionals who had invested in their cameras, lenses, lights and film, plus the need for a dedicated dark room. It was big business! Every high street had a celebrated photography studio and you needed to book weeks in advance to arrange your sitting for family portraits, and months in advance to secure your wedding day photography.
This day and age, you can teach yourself the necessary skills from the comfort of your own laptop, and, if you have the money, invest in the world’s best kit. But – as these images show – that doesn’t replace the skill, expertise and experience of a dedicated wedding photographer.
April 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding took place at Owen House Wedding Barn, a stunning family-run barn venue in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. A relaxed vibe was the number one priority for bride Carly and husband-to-be Wayne’s big day, and Owen House delivered with a low-key, rustic setting and a highly-personalised experience.
Add in some woodland details, lots of hessian and a jaw-dropping undone wildflower bouquet, and what you get is one of the most gorgeous easy-going weddings we’ve ever seen here at Brides Up North HQ.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Stella Photography.
carly says: Wayne proposed on our first Christmas Day in our new home. He started the proposal 12 days earlier with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas. I received a dozen white roses and then another present each day leading up to Christmas. On Christmas morning, Wayne had told me to get ready as we were going to our parents’ early on. In fact, he just wanted us both to be dressed when the camera he’d hidden captured the moment he got down on one knee! I couldn’t believe it; I kept saying “Are you being serious or are you joking?!” Obviously, I said yes!
We were married on the 10th December 2016. This was one of only a few dates that our venue had available and it felt perfect as it was Wayne’s nana’s and stepfather’s birthday and was also very close to the date we first met.
We were married at Owen House Wedding Barn. The ceremony took place in their ceremony room and our wedding reception then took place in the barn next door. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with it! We’d originally planned on getting married abroad but wanted to check out a venue or two in the UK before booking. This was the first and only venue we visited. We knew as soon as we left that first viewing that we wanted to take our family back with us the next day with a view to booking our wedding day. The style of Owen House is rustic and out of the ordinary; it matched our style perfectly.
In fact, we loved our venue so much that we didn’t want to overpower it with any sort of flamboyant decoration. We’re both very relaxed people and we wanted our wedding day to be the same, so we chose a rustic theme in keeping with the venue.
Our colour scheme was mainly based around flowers. We used lots of hessian and wild pink and purple flowers. Our bridesmaid dresses matched the flowers and the groomsmen’s ties also matched. We wanted our colours and theme to be quite simple, so lots of natural woods, hessian and tea lights. We used tree logs as centrepieces for our tables and for our cake stand, again in keeping with the rustic nature of our venue.
After visiting a few wedding boutiques and not having much luck, a friend recommended a bridal shop in an old mill in Mottram where they sell one-off sizes and designs. I was lucky enough to try on only a handful of dresses before I found the one! It was a sweetheart/mermaid-style lace dress. I loved it on account of how it pulled me in at the waist and how I felt taller in it. Originally my mum was going to make my gown, but having tried this one on we decided to just do some ‘tweaks’. My mum made a lace style bolero to go over the top and added buttons down the back, which made it unique.
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April 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Spring might have finally sprung (can you feel it?!) but this morning we’re stepping into the romantic backdrop of Eaves Hall in Lancashire, for today’s sublime winter wedding.
Deciding on a timeless white and silver colour scheme complemented by plenty of twinkling fairy lights and a pared back setting, Sally and Chris’s wedding is the epitome of elegance and class. Add in some rather pretty gypsophila flowers, a hint of glitter and some delicious cupcakes and we think you’ll be swept away by Sally’s recount of their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves Weddings.
sally says: We got engaged in 2015, while in New York for Christmas. On the evening of Christmas Day, Chris took me to the Rockefeller tree and proposed there – it was the best trip of our lives.
We got married a year later, on Christmas Eve. Christmas is a special time for us, with it being the time we got together and also when we got engaged, so we thought, why not? We couldn’t think of anything better than being with all of our friends and family for Christmas.
We got married at Eaves Hall, Lancashire. We instantly fell in love with it when we visited. It is so unique and beautiful, and it makes the perfect Christmas venue.
We chose a winter white and silver theme, complemented by lots of Christmassy fairy lights.
I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Barrowford (now moved to Colne). I instantly fell in love with the gown because of the fabric. I wanted lace and I could have a lace top to go over it. I took this off for the night do, so it looked like two different dresses.
The bridal party stayed at the Eaves Hall lodge the night before the wedding while Chris hired a Range Rover from one of his friends to arrive at the venue in.
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April 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime
At this mid-way point in the week we’re helping to give you a little break from the daily grind by transporting you to a place of calm and beauty for a dreamy bridal shoot.
Styled by the team at Darlington-based boutique Poppy Bridal, and captured by Brides Up North Sponsors and North East photographers, Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography, we are totally hooked by these mesmerising images.
Everything in the frame emits ethereal elegance, with the setting, gowns, hair and makeup all hauntingly beautiful. Huge kudos to model Victoria too for managing to look so incredibly graceful while posing loch-side in some rather chilly temperatures.
We’ll now hand over the blog to Jane, to fill us in on how the shoot was executed on the day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.
jane says: The location of this shoot – St Mary’s Loch in Selkirk – was suggested by Paula Whittaker, owner of Poppy Bridal, who supplied the stunning gowns for our model. She had visited the location a few years earlier and had been struck by its sheer natural beauty.
To get the feel just right for the shoot, we drew our inspiration from the tranquil and untouched surroundings of the Scottish mountains and the dark and mysterious lochs.
We wanted to keep the styling very simple to fit in with the totally raw landscape. Peta Clarke, who is a makeup consultant with Estee Lauder as well as being a Poppy Bridal stylist, did the model’s hair and makeup, ensuring that she got the look and feel that she envisaged to enhance the simple elegance of the Maggie Sottero dresses, which featured in the shoot. Channeling ethereal grace, the captivating gowns featured shimmering embellishments and elegant lightweight fabrics.
As with many shoots we didn’t get entirely what we expected, we scheduled the shoot for late August anticipating some gorgeous early evening golden light. However, the forecast was dark and dreary with suspected showers. The reality was constant rain and no sign of golden sunshine!
Our aim was to have a fun and inspirational day and create a gorgeous set of images to show off the stunning set of bridal gowns. Wellies, umbrellas and warm coats are not entirely what you would expect on an August photoshoot, but we had lots of laughs and our stunning model Victoria was an absolute star, despite getting wet and frozen through she still managed to keep smiling and looked amazing!
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