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!
April 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple, Sadie and Lee, know how to throw a good party. Celebrating their wedding on New Year’s Eve in the exquisite surroundings of a country house hotel in the Yorkshire Dales – the couple’s vintage themed nuptials are the epitome of modern day elegance combined with retro charm.
With splashes of vibrant florals, gorgeous lace and some rather dapper woolen suits – there’s lots of beautiful wedding inspo to indulge in. Sadie tells us more…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography
sadie says: We got engaged on 14th March 2015. We were at home about to head out for a meal, when Lee appeared with pink champagne. He proposed before we left the house, as he knew I wouldn’t want a scene in public.
We chose to get married on Saturday 31st December 2016. We knew we wanted a wintery Christmas wedding and New Year fell on a Saturday, so it just seemed like the perfect fit – we wanted a good party!
We decided on the setting of Falcon Manor as soon as we visited the venue. The building really stands out. When we went for a look around, it had just re-opened after a full refurbishment. It was so lovely; we didn’t look anywhere else.
We both wanted a vintage theme, with wool suits, lace and 50’s length dresses. This seemed to fit perfectly with the style and interior of the venue too.
We had a mixture of colours and textures that all fitted with our theme. The men wore darker colours and the girls wore vintage florals. When it came to table colours, we kept it simple with white and then lace for the sashes. We added splashes of colour using jars and flowers on the tables.
I struggled to find a dress I liked, partly due to being only 5ft tall with a petite frame. So I took a risk and ordered a dress from a website called Lily and Louie. It was made to my measurements – a 1950s inspired tea length dress with a petticoat. I added a lace slip over the top for the ceremony.
The groom and groomsmen’s suits were from the heritage range at Next. They were perfect because they came in a range of sizes, lengths and fit to accommodate the whole groom’s party. Lee chose navy wool fleck suit trousers and a waistcoat, and the jacket was in the same material but in a camel colour with a wool bow tie. His shoes were tan brown, purchased from Goodwin Smith. The groomsmen all wore the same suits but with a tie.
I am a hairdresser so my business partner and I chose to do the bridesmaids’ hair and we booked a makeup artist called Annabel Bailey.
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April 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This wonderful Bonfire Night wedding (our second of the week, what are the chances?!) gives us all the fuzzy feels – think hearty food, toffee apples, sparklers and a striking orange colour scheme.
Brave bride Bekki got hands-on with her rustic theme, creating delicate paper roses and assembling glass jars, logs slices, candles and greenery, with a little help from friends and family.
With so much gorgeousness it seems wrong to highlight one feature – but please, do me a favour and check out that plait. So. Many. Hair. Goals. You can thank us later.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves.
bekki says: It was difficult for Thomas to organise a proposal without me getting suspicious as we’d recently had our first son, Robbie, and I didn’t ever want to leave him. So instead of organising something big, I came downstairs from putting Robbie to bed to find the room lit with candles and a big bunch of flowers. Thomas pulled me into his arms and asked me if I would marry him. The best part is, before he popped the question the only thought that ran through my head was, “Whatever this is, it better be worth him lighting my display candles!”
We were married on Saturday 5th November 2016. We only ever considered an autumn or winter wedding and we thought it would be nice to have it as close to the anniversary of us becoming a couple as we could. It just happened that the closest weekend our venue could manage was Bonfire Night. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year; we love fireworks and the atmosphere so it pretty much made up our mind!
We had both our ceremony and reception at Santo’s Higham Farm, Derbyshire. It was the first ever hotel we’d stayed at together. We found the room online at the last minute for my 18th and as soon as we got there we both said it would make an amazing wedding venue. And so we returned some years later for a consultation and they couldn’t do enough for us.
We wanted a rustic, autumnal feel to our wedding to match the season and so we combined natural wood, logs and ivy with hints of sparkle and glitter to tie in with Bonfire Night and the fireworks. I got crafty and aimed to make as much as I could myself, with the help of friends and family. Thank goodness for Pinterest!
Orange and grey were our chosen colours. Think autumn leaves. They tied in perfectly with the date. We also knew very few couples choose orange as a wedding colour scheme and we liked how uncommon it was.
When I first went dress shopping I was adamant I wasn’t going to have a sweetheart neckline or a big dress but otherwise I had no real idea what I wanted. After trying on close to 50 dresses in various shops I visited a fourth shop – a spur of the moment trip to The Bridal Suite. I tried on every dress I liked but none of them were ‘the dress’ so the consultant picked one instead. I instantly screwed my nose up at it but agreed to try it on. I came out of the changing room to see my maid of honour crying! They added the veil and I knew it was the one – sweetheart neckline and all! Finally!
The ladies who helped pamper me for my wedding day were incredible, too. I had my nails done at DLR Beauty and Nails at the 3D Clinic in Pinxton and Paige White worked her magic on my makeup.
Laura from Shillitto’s Hair put up with the worst as she had to deal with me changing my mind on how I wanted mine and the bridesmaids’ hair the day before the wedding without the opportunity for another trial. Despite this, she did an amazing job on us all and we received compliments all round.
We wanted to incorporate tweed into Tom’s wedding outfit so teamed a tweed waistcoat with a sharkskin blue suit from Moss, finished off with light tan brogues and an orange tie.
Our bridesmaids wore Little Mistress grey maxi dresses with an embellished top while the groomsmen wore the same suit as Tom but with the matching waistcoat rather than tweed.
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March 28th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When mathematicians Aaron and Katie decided to get hitched, their love of all things numeric found their way into their planning; from the Venn diagrams on their Save the Dates, to infinity symbols on their stationery.
And what a day it was, with nods to Katie’s Scottish heritage in the gorgeous blooms, Jimmy Choo heels and a menu that’s guaranteed to make you drool rather inelegantly over your keyboard. We’re sorry (not sorry).
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography
katie says: Aaron and I got engaged in May 2014. Aaron and I had planned a long weekend away in Northumberland as a treat, and we spent one day in a beautiful fishing village called Craster. We were walking around a totally deserted castle, taking in the beautiful views when he dropped to one knee and said “I have something else I want to ask you”. In all honesty, it was a complete shock. He spent a good minute getting a wet knee, assuring me he was serious, he‘d asked my dad, and that he was taking me to buy a ring the following weekend. Of course, I said yes!
We got married on 10th September 2016 at Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Rise Hall was suggested to us by a friend, and it got pushed down the list due to the distance from Leeds. However, the minute (and I mean the actual minute) we walked into Rise Hall and were greeted by Helen (the lady of the house) we just knew it was everything we wanted.
We were able to have exactly the type of wedding we wanted at Rise Hall – you have the venue from Friday until Sunday. We had our family and wedding party join us for an informal meal on the Friday night, which was wonderful.
Our blessing took place at All Saints Church, about half-a-mile down the lane from the Hall and was overseen by Rev Andy Simpson, the vespa-driving, guitar-playing vicar. We had countless compliments about Andy; he really and truly made our blessing one of the best parts of the day.
We didn’t have a theme for our wedding – instead, we had lots of things that mean a lot to us. The flowers in the bouquets, the boys’ buttonholes and the ladies’ corsages had thistles in them and they were tied together with tartan ribbon to reflect the fact that I was born and grew up in Scotland. Aaron has supported Middlesbrough Football Club since he was tiny, so our table names were a selection of his favourite Middlesbrough players. We also both studied Maths at university, so our save the dates were Venn-diagrams, and our invites and other stationery were embossed with an infinity symbol.
I chose a Jenny Packham gown called Lilya, which I bought from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. As soon as we got engaged, so many people said “Oh, I can just see you in a Jenny Packham gown!” However, I refused to try them on as they were way out of my price range. I tried on quite a few gowns, and there were definitely a few that I could have happily got married in. As luck would have it, though, Ava Rose were having a sample sale on their Jenny Packham dresses, so I went along (first in the queue with two of my friends). Lilya was the first one I tried on and I loved it so much. However, I definitely didn’t have that ‘this is the one’ moment that everyone talks about – I spent a good hour taking it off and on again while deciding. Eventually I bought it, and also went for a long cream veil. My shoes were Jimmy Choo Langs, in steel grey glitter. My dress had a slit up the front, so I knew they’d also be on show!
On the morning of the wedding, Aaron sent a beautiful bottle of champagne to my room, along with a Tiffany infinity bracelet he’d bought as a wedding present.
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March 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for wedding photography that’s beautifully emotive and bubbling with energy, then you’re going to be as excited as us about this afternoon’s post, as we’re introducing the fabulous Stella Photography as a brand-new Brides Up North Sponsor.
Brimming with enthusiasm, the duo behind the cameras are Zuzi and Seb, who strike the perfect balance between creating relaxed and fun vibes to capture a couple at their very best on their big day.
Based in the North West, but always eager to travel, the Stella team pride themselves on delivering images that rock! So, if you like what you see, be sure to read on for more details on this talented twosome.
Tell us a little about the Stella Photography team?
stella photography say: Our story started more than eight years ago when we (Zuzi and Seb) finished our fine art photography degrees full of passion and ideas. Seb went on to do a masters in photography at LCC in London whilst the business was gradually growing. We are the super creative, energetic social butterflies, buzzing with charisma and fun. Seb’s wife of ten years, Clare, keeps the business running from behind the scenes and keeps our feet firmly on the ground! Zuzi is like family and is godmother to Seb and Clare’s three children. Seb also has a career as a photographic artist with regular solo shows internationally and various publications. He gives talks and workshops in Universities all over the EU. We have more photographers living the dream with us now as the business has developed so much and they bring their new creative ideas and personalities.
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
We are all hopeless romantics. Quite simply, getting married, one love for life, the unity and strength of family and sharing the same name, drew us naturally to wedding photography and finding our niche of vibrant and fun loving brides and grooms. Keeping it real for us.
And what is it about your job that you love?
We just love working with all our couples and their families and being a part of the most special day of their lives. The hanging out with them all over again when their siblings or friends tie the knot. Then seeing all the new baby arrivals! We also love the creative opportunities to explore each unique couple’s loving vibes and chemistry on film and constantly push ourselves to try new, fresh and creative ideas.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
We are really relaxed with bit of quirkiness and fun. We love to blend in, making our couples feel as supported and comfortable as possible and keeping their guests entertained!
What is the feedback like from your clients?
We have the best clients ever and the feedback we get is genuinely heart-warming. They love that we are there for them in every capacity on their day, to make it run as smoothly as possible in a fun and relaxed way. They are overcome by their images, which totally rock!
How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?
We understand that some couples are camera shy but, to be honest, after meeting with our couples at the fayres or for a coffee, they book us as they feel at ease with our natural, fun approach and relaxed vibe. They know that we are all about them on the day and trust that we will get the most beautiful images for them. Spending more time together at a pre-wedding shoot can be invaluable to camera shy couples as they love their pictures so much they become even more excited about their big day.
Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out?
Every wedding we shoot is super special to us as each one is so unique, we love the variety of rural and urban locations as they all present different challenges and ways of working creatively.
Where would be your dream location to shoot?
A desert wedding like Arizona, Vegas… bring it on please… oh the light!
March 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding couple might have got engaged amidst the bright lights of NYC, but chose a very different theme for their summer wedding: an English country garden x Downton Abbey inspired celebration. In fact, bride Natasha admits that her guiding mantra during planning was WWLMD? (What Would Lady Mary Do?)
Looking at these gorgeous blooms, floral confetti and the Gothic-style setting of their stunning Yorkshire venue, it’s a mantra that served them well. On with the pretty!
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Laura Calderwood.
natasha says: Matt proposed on Christmas Day in Central Park in New York. We’d spent Christmas morning exploring Times Square and decided to go for a walk. We were watching the skaters on the ice rink when he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said (or, should I say, screamed) “Yes”!
Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. We originally tried booking the ever-popular Bank Holiday weekend but this date was taken, so we went for the 6th. It probably sounds strange but I had a strange feeling then that we’d have really good weather that day. Luckily, I was right! The sun shone all day and it rained like crazy on the August bank holiday. It was a blessing in disguise that date was taken!
We got married at Carlton Towers in Yorkshire. I had actually provisionally booked another venue and decided on a whim to go visit Carlton Towers because my uncle recommended it. I completely fell in love with the Gothic-style turrets and opulent Venetian Drawing Room and knew it was the place for us. I’m so glad I took a chance on it!
The theme was ‘Downton Abbey’. I wanted something romantic and classic with a feel of English country garden to it. If I ever had to make a decision during the planning process, I’d ask myself, ‘Would Lady Mary like this?’ If the answer was yes, then I’d go with it!
We chose a blush palette with petal pinks and ivory as the main colours. We wanted something fresh and pretty that had a summer wedding feel.
I wore a Justin Alexander mermaid-style gown in ‘Sand and Silver’ from the Harrogate Wedding Lounge. It was actually the second dress I tried on and as soon as I stood in front of the mirror I knew it was the one. The mermaid-style complemented my curvy figure (and, most importantly, nipped me in all of the right places) and the detailing made it stand out from the others. I also absolutely loved the colour. It was much warmer than a traditional ivory, which complemented my slightly olive skin tone.
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