November 27th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding kicks-off with an incredibly romantic and festive engagement which is perfect as we’re soon to begin the big Christmas countdown with the help of our advent calendars (some things you are never too old for).
Sam and Fiona agreed on a laid back seaside wedding set around a cute afternoon tea during the day and a rocking party in the evening.
I love that Fiona was brave enough to shun tradition and work a blush pink dress on the aisle, which she looked fabulous in. Not to be left out, the guys also projected some colour with their daring but dashing sky blue bow ties.
So grab your bucket and spade as we journey to the maritime town of Scarborough for Sam and Fiona’s big day.
With images by Photography34
fiona says: I was eight months pregnant with our first child when we got engaged. It was our first Christmas in our first ‘family home’. We set about putting the Christmas tree up on a snowy Saturday afternoon, when Sam announced that he had a special bauble to put the tree. He presented me with a gold gift box tied with red ribbon, and I opened it to find a glass bauble inside. I took it out of the box and realised there was a message engraved on it so I looked closer, and in the meantime Sam got down on one knee. The message on the bauble said “You are the love of my life. Will you marry me?” Of course, I said yes, and the glass bauble has pride of place on our Christmas tree every year.
We chose 26th July 2014 for our wedding day – firstly as it wasn’t during the World Cup, but mainly as it was the anniversary of my beloved Nana’s death in 2009. She was my everything, and after a lot of thought we chose this day so as we could turn a sad day in to a happy day for the family.
We married at St Mark’s Church, Scarborough. My parents literally live over the road from the church and it held a lot of happy childhood memories, including me attending dancing lessons in the church hall every Saturday. Both our daughters were christened there also, so it seemed only right that we be married there too.
For the wedding reception, we decided on Betton Farm, East Ayton. Initially attracted by the love of their afternoon tea, I fell in love with the venue’s scenery and the relaxed vibe. We weren’t restricted to just one area, and that was a huge selling point for me. We had the marquee, the main building and the terraces so people could sit in the thick of it or sit where it was a little more quiet and idyllic.
There was no theme in particular, we wanted a relaxed wedding. We know how hard it is with two small children to sit down for a three-course meal, so we took the whole element of that away and provided our guests with a traditional afternoon tea so as to keep the whole event laid back.
The most important thing was that the people we loved the most could share our happiness with us.
When it came to styling, I was inspired by The Great British Bake Off, which featured an array of colours set in a marquee in the country. I wanted pastel colours, which could be mismatched to create a beautiful pallet.
In my head I wanted a simple, lace style wedding dress. After visiting a number of bridal shops, I made an appointment at Wedding Belles of Scarborough. I picked out a few dresses and after a discussion with the owner, Jackie, she asked if I would consider wearing a pink dress. I said yes, purely to keep my options open and mainly not wanting to appear rude. After trying on half a dozen dresses, the pink dress was next. I nearly said no, but once I stepped in to the gown I knew it was the one for me.
It was a one off Phil Collins bridal gown, which I wore off the peg. I loved the tone, the way it shone gold in the sun. I had never seen anything like it in my life, and despite it being everything that I said I didn’t want, it was the one for me – like a fairytale moment. I complemented the dress with an antique gold toned veil and a burnished gold tiara. I wore Paradox of London peep-toe shoes, but I had these dyed the same blush colour to match the dress. On the day I also wore my grandmother’s topaz ring.
I carried a bouquet of cream astilbe and my bridesmaids carried a similar bouquet of pink astilbe. I wanted the flowers to look handpicked and not too structure. I used Forget Me Not Florists in Scarborough, and after listening to the image of what I wanted, they created the most amazing bouquets.
I also found my mint green adult bridesmaids dresses on eBay for a bargain price of £10 each from a boutique seller. They wore pastel pink heeled shoes from New Look and finished the look off with a cream floral garland and a cream corsage, both of which were purchased from Boyes Department Store’s bridal range in Scarborough.
The flower girls (five in total) wore dresses made by my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. The fabrics and pattern were purchases from The Sewing Centre in Scarborough, and were adorned with the same flowers which were added to the bridesmaid dresses. Each dress was a different colour, so we had pale pink, coral, buttercup yellow, country green and a deep pink. Together the little ones looked so colourful.
On the day, I walked to the church from my parents as it was over the road. Stopping traffic was fun! To get from the church to Betton Farm, we hired an open-top bus from Shoreline Suncruisers to take us via Scarborough’s North and South Bay. It was such fun, we were all singing and laughing in the sunshine, with tourists on Scarborough beach cheering and applauding us and cars beeping their horns.
Our stunning wedding photographs were done by Photography34. Tony listened to exactly what I wanted and that was relaxed images. I didn’t want any traditional bride’s family and groom’s family pictures; I just wanted pictures capturing the magic of the day, which he did perfectly. I can see the happiness and emotion in the pictures, and that to me is priceless. I cannot thank Tony enough for the amazing memories he has given us of our day – such a talented photographer.
My favourite part of the day was defiantly the bus ride, as it was light hearted and fun. Spurred on by the glorious sunshine and the emotional high of the wedding, we were singing Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside and it was one of the groomsmen’s birthdays so we sang a rendition of happy birthday. It was quite literally a fun bus!
Decorations on the day included bunting in the marquee, which was provided by Betton Farm, who also arranged some vintage-style bits and pieces that I had collected over time. Forget Me Not dressed the tables using wine bottles and jam jars that I up-cycled at home beforehand using twine and antique lace. These were dotted around the tables with wild looking flowers and tea lights. I also hired birdcages from the florist and had these filled with gypsophila, burlap and wild flowers.
We hired a vintage style bike to use as an alternative to a central flower arrangement and the florist moved this up to the farm for the wedding reception.
I also used Celebrate Balloon Box in Scarborough for several selections of brightly coloured balloons to decorate the tables. They matched the theme perfectly and the colours really stood out in the marquee. Andrea Willis Designs, from Scarborough, was a huge help in making various signs which I used in and around the wedding venue. She also helped to make presents for the bridesmaids.
As we live by the seaside, and as I thought the colours would look amazing, I gave favours of Scarborough rock to my guests purchased from John Bull on the foreshore in Scarborough. I attached a manila luggage tag to each stick of rock which had different messages such as “All You Need Is Love” and “To Have And To Hold”. I tied the seaside theme in by hiring a ‘kiss me quick’ style vintage photo board, which was situated at the entrance of the reception venue. It created fun photo opportunities for everyone and kept the mood light.
My cake was from Bimbles Cake Emporium, Scarborough. I had a three-tier cake, with individual chocolate orange, strawberry sponge and chocolate cream tiers, which was decorated in country green icing. It featured an antique gold ribbon and lace and was topped with the same cream corsage which the bridesmaids wore.
Our afternoon tea was provided by Betton Farm, which is renowned in the local area for its amazing cakes and scones. We toasted the speeches with champagne for all the guests, which was provided as a gift from my father. In the evening, we had a hog roast from Glaves Butchers with all the trimmings.
We wanted a party, a pure and simple party, so we used Spectrum Discos, who was amazing and kept the dance floor full right up until the end of the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better night. He played songs from my playlist and seemed to time the mood right to get the guests up and dancing. Everyone had an amazing time.
Instead of a traditional wedding guest book being passed around all night, I used a battered leather suitcase which had a banner saying “love notes” across it and asked guests to write us a letter on paper and place it in the case. It was amazing to read these messages as they included poems, pictures and words of love. I have made a scrapbook of these and treasure it dearly.
Betton Farm is a beautiful, idyllic and unique setting for a wedding and I’m so happy we chose the venue, especially combined with the weather – it proved to be a spectacular setting. I would recommend the venue to other wedding couples.
We took a mini-moon to Rudding Park Hotel and Spa in Harrogate. We stayed in a Follifoot Suite and the hotel couldn’t have done more for us. We were treated to champagne on arrival and were given the best experience. The hotel is stunning, the food exquisite and the treatments were out of this world. We are planning on taking a honeymoon with our two daughters early in 2015.
My advice to other Brides Up North would simply be to be relaxed. Don’t stress and don’t be afraid to break from tradition. We tailored our day to fit exactly what we wanted and everything was perfect. Enjoy every moment, drink in every emotion, and most of all, have fun as it is the happiest day of your life. When I think if our wedding day, I still grin like a Cheshire cat.
All I wanted was to have fun on my wedding day, and boy, we certainly had that! It was so relaxed and laid back – I couldn’t have dreamt of more.
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November 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re in the North East this afternoon as we join Kate and Andrew for their beautiful and intimate wedding in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Not the keenest couple ever to dash down the aisle, when they finally ‘got around to it’ they definitely did it in style. Just look at the cut of that dress. Audrey Hepburn, eat your heart out.
Images by Duncan McCall Photography.
kate says: Back in 2010, we had a short break away to Bath. On my birthday we took a trip to see Stonehenge. After a secret chat with one of the security staff, Andrew persuaded me to hop over the barriers where we dashed up to the monument and Andrew got down on one knee to propose!
We got married on 21st June 2014. We had been engaged for a long time and had never made any serious wedding plans, knowing we would get around to it one day. Unintentionally we stumbled across the perfect wedding venue and spur of the moment booked it! We always knew we wanted a summer wedding so we thought the longest day of the year would be perfect.
We got married at Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle Upon Tyne. We loved it as soon as we saw it (we didn’t even look at any other venues!). It was local for all of our family and friends, and Andrew is very keen on history so it made sense to get married in a 13th century friary! We always wanted a small, laid-back wedding and what with their reputation for amazing food, we knew it was the venue for us.
We didn’t really choose a particular theme – as Blackfriars Restaurant was such a stunning setting, we tried to match everything to suit the venue. We went for a simple vintage look, with lots of lace, flowers and foliage and chose a nude/taupe colour scheme, with lots of ivory lace and hints of dusky pink.
I wore a full length ivory lace fish tail dress made by White Rose. It was bought from Truly Madly Deeply in Monkseaton. This was accompanied by a handmade Swarovski floral head piece, also purchased from Truly Madly Deeply.
My bridesmaid wore a full length nude/taupe coloured dress with a cinched in waist. This was made by my Auntie who is a seamstress.
Andrew wore a three piece grey morning suit, teamed with a wing collared shirt and nude coloured cravat. This was hired from Slaters Menswear in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
As the ceremony and the reception were all based at the same venue, there was very little travelling for our guests. I arrived in an ivory and black vintage-style Regent Convertible, provided by AB Wedding Cars in Newburn.
All of the flowers were provided by Katherine’s Florists in Newcastle Upon Tyne. My bouquet was hand tied and very rustic, made up of mainly ivory and dusky pink roses with a lot of foliage. My bridesmaid carried a smaller version of the same bouquet.
To decorate the venue, we worked with a lovely lady called Dot from Katherine’s Florists, whose son had previously got married at Blackfriars Restaurant, so she knew the place like the back of her hand! We had three large floral arrangements and used rose petals and trails of ivy to decorate the room. For further decoration to the venue we used a huge amount of church candles and trimmed the chairs with ivory lace.
Our photographer for the day was Duncan McCall Photography. Duncan made us feel so relaxed and he captured every little memory from our big day. Amazing service and we were overwhelmed by the finished album. We have already been recommending Duncan to all of our family and friends.
We had a traditional three tiered fruit cake with ivory icing. It was decorated with ivory and dusky pink roses to match the flowers. This was made by the Andrew’s mum!
Blackfriars Restaurant is known for its fantastic food, so together we created a three course menu for our wedding breakfast. This consisted of a North Sea Fishcake to start, Northumbrian Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and spring veg, and Sticky Toffee Pudding and ice cream for dessert! All of the ingredients were locally sourced. This was accompanied by a choice of wines we had selected, along with Prosecco for toasts.
As we wanted a laid-back reception we treated our guests to a bacon or sausage sandwich later in the evening (both the sausage and the rolls were handmade at Blackfriars Restaurant that day)!
For the evening reception we created our own candy buffet, with all of our favourite sweets! Throughout the day we added lots of special touches to make the day as personal to us as we could – from asking our family and close friends to take part in readings during the ceremony, to providing guests with a small scratch-card quiz on love and marriage before the wedding breakfast (this was an after-thought and went down very well with our guests)!
We provided the entertainment ourselves by creating our own music playlist for guests to join us on the dance floor at the evening reception.
We would like a special mention to Toni & Guy hair salon in Newcastle Upon Tyne, who styled both our hair for the big day. Their service was fantastic and we were both really pleased with the results.
We would also recommend Dressmaking by Kaylean in Newcastle Upon Tyne who provided the alterations for the my dress.
We would definitely recommend Blackfriars Restaurant to another couple. The service was outstanding and they made us feel so special all day. The wedding coordinator, Lee, never stopped all day and made sure every small detail was just perfect.
Our favourite part of the day was later in the evening when we were having our photographs taken up on the balcony at Blackfriars. It was our first proper chance to relax and chat to each other as husband and wife. The weather was perfect and we were looking down into the terrace garden watching all of our family and friends having a great time – it certainly made us smile for the photographs!
We went to Rome for our honeymoon! Ever since we first met we always wanted to visit Rome to enjoy the amazing food, sunshine and soak up the history. It lived up to our expectations and more, and was the perfect romantic city to spend our honeymoon in.
The top tip that Andrew received before the wedding was to just remember to not be nervous, as chances are he had already made a bigger fool of himself in the past in front of everybody who was present at the wedding! We would certainly recommend this to any future bride and groom!
November 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Rena and Yianni’s big and beautiful celebration, filled with flowers and candles, oozes old Hollywood charm. Their unique and beautiful venue and white on white colour scheme sets the scene perfectly for a day of glamour and elegance (and energetic Greek dancing)…
Roll out the red carpet!
With images by Butterworth Photography.
rena says: We booked a long weekend away to Belgium and Bruges for my birthday and to enjoy the Christmas markets. I didn’t realise that Yianni was planning to propose while we were away. We went out for a romantic meal on the first night and I found it really odd that he wouldn’t give the waiter his coat and thought it was because he didn’t trust them so I did the same thing! I didn’t realise it’s because he had the ring with him. He then asked me to go for a romantic walk around the palace gardens but I opted for chocolate waffles instead and put his plans for a proposal on the first night to an end!
On the second day we took a day trip to Bruges. Yianni asked me to go for a romantic horse and carriage ride but I again opted for waffles instead and ruined his Plan B. We then climbed 400 steps to the top of the Bell tower and Yianni asked me to pose for a photo with him. I didn’t realise he’d set the camera to video mode and before you know it he was down on one knee and had manage to catch the proposal on camera.
We were married on 27 April 2014. Exactly two years from the date we first met.
We wanted to get married in a venue that was unforgettable. The Devonshire Dome reminded us of a piazza and we knew it was the perfect choice for our wedding.
It’s a gorgeous drive up through Derbyshire to Buxton which is such a picturesque place. I knew I wanted an iconic and memorable building for our special day and was keen to avoid using a hotel. There aren’t many places that fit 450 guests for a sit down meal and we were so lucky to find the Dome!
I really wanted a garden wedding full of blossom which is why we picked the Spring date. I also wanted a twist of both Hollywood and Grecian glamour. Not an obvious combination, but it all seemed to come together on the day.
I wanted a classic princess style dress and loved the pearl and diamante detail around the waist and the sweetheart neckline.
Yianni wore a black tuxedo which we bought while shopping in the USA.
My bridesmaids wore nude blush maxi dresses from Lipsy. They all looked stunning. The girls had bouquets of white hydrangeas and I wanted to incorporate that into my bouquet. I wanted a bouquet that was completely rounded so you could see flowers from all angles. I incorporated white roses, stocks, hydrangeas and white berries with stephanotis, provided by Nadia Di Tulio.
We had flowers matching my bouquets on the candleabras and the top table which were also provided by Nadia Di Tulio. We hired in blossom trees and a top table blossom arch from Essential Wedding Hire.
For favours, we gave out mini whisky bottles for the men and crystal heart tea light holders for the ladies.
Cupid Carriages provided a white vintage Rolls Royce for us on the day.
We had a three course meal along with Greek bread, starters and dips and bacon sarnies for those who stayed to party until the early hours with us.
Delicious Designs in Belper made our wedding cake. We chose a 6 tier wedding cake covered in blossom petals with scattered diamantes. Rather than traditional fillings we had white chocolate chunks with fresh raspberries.
To round off a fabulous day we had a live five piece Greek band with lots of Greek dancing.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to choose a timeless colour palette. I wanted to keep everything quite neutral to ensure that I wouldn’t look back on my pictures and regret the colour I’d chosen or think the colour looked old fashioned.
November 24th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
There are those people that think they know how to throw a party and then there are those people that know how to absolutely nail a party. Today’s real wedding couple falls into the latter, no questions asked.
Self confessed laid-back couple Tom and Chloe wanted a chilled-out celebration but one that would be incredibly good fun – and that’s exactly what they delivered.
Musician Tom and his talented mates kept the marquee rocking late into the night with incredible live music. One performer in particular may well look familiar as a certain Arctic Monkey attended the do.
Ready, set, rock!
With images by PH Weddings.
chloe says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic but because we’ve been going out for 12 years now, we just both knew what we wanted. It was April 2013 when it happened. We were out down Kelham Island in Sheffield having a few drinks and we just decided there and then to get engaged. We are a very laid back couple and were both not into the whole attention knee thing, so it was perfect for us both, just between us two.
We set the date for September 20th 2014.
We got married at my local church, Sacred Heart Church in Hillsborough. I was christened and baptised there and I used to be an altar girl there when I was little, plus I went to school next door, so me and Tom agreed that would be the best place for us to get married. We had the reception at Foxholes Farm, Bradfield. We chose that venue because we love the area it’s in and we wanted a marquee in a field – it was the perfect location for it.
As a very laid back and relaxed couple don’t particularly like the traditional wedding side of things, we wanted a party for everyone to enjoy and celebrate with us – and that’s exactly what it was!
We both like the colour navy so we both decided that would be a good start and would work well with the time of year.
My dress was from Lulu Mae in Oughtibridge, Sheffield. I knew I wanted straps and my back showing and this dress offered both and had a romantic vintage look to it, I love it!
Tom and his best man both wore navy suits from Reiss, they both looked very dapper. The bridesmaids wore a navy one-strap dress from Debenhams, they both looked gorgeous. I had my niece as my flower girl and she wore a dress from Accessorize in a dusky pink, as she loves anything pink and I had my two nephews as pageboys and they both wore navy trousers with a white granddad shirt with piano printed braces, they looked very grownup and handsome.
PH Weddings were our photographers. The people behind the business are Helen and her husband Paul, they were fantastic, exactly what we wanted and I would definitely recommend them. They just did exactly what we asked and the photos look great and in a good way we hardly knew they were there because that’s what kind of photos we wanted – a more natural, unposed look and they captured the day perfectly, everyone just looks so happy!
I travelled with my bridesmaids and my dad in a VW camper van, which was lent to us by some friends, and my dad drove us to the church, which was funny. The rest of the party went in an old fashioned double-decker bus, which we hired from the Sheffield Transport Museum.
When it came to flowers I didn’t have a clue. I left it to my friend Catherine, who owns a florist called Petalis, to choose the flowers. I trusted her and she did exactly that and more – the flowers were amazing, they looked beautiful and perfect. She did all the flowers for the venue, including a display outside which looked perfect in the surroundings. The tables looked beautiful also; they had a main centre piece of flowers and then lots of little vases dotted around the tables and on the head table, Catherine had just left a vase for me to put my bouquet in, so that I could enjoy looking at it for the whole day.
I had some wooden confetti hearts made with our name and wedding date on, and some music paper shaped hearts confetti scattered around the tables which matched perfectly with the flowers. My niece and nephews made the table names and table plan, because I thought it was nice for them to get involved with the day and it was a nice homely touch. Our favours were a bag of mixed sweets that I that I had chosen. I think they went down well as most of them were eaten before the meal.
We had PJ Taste do our catering, they were fantastic, and the food was gorgeous. We had nibbles for when we got back from the church, like mini Yorkshire puddings with beef and then pie and mash for our main meal and then a hog roast for later on. Everyone said the food was fantastic and that the pies were the best they had ever had.
My mum made our wedding cake, she is a great baker so there was no doubt that she would make it! It was a two-tier very chocolaty cake, it was immense! She also made a few other cakes, as did my sister, aunty and mother-in-law, there was no shortage of cake that was for sure!
Tom is a musician and most of our friends are so as always when one of us gets married they get together and play. They had chosen what to play, they kept it a secret from me, but they were great. It was so good and such a laugh, they had chosen songs that Tom and I loved and everyone just had a good old dance and sing-along. We also hired a bouncy castle to keep the little ones entertained.
Our favourite part of the day was seeing everyone enjoying it and looking happy, it was exactly what we wanted, just a great party with all our friends and family there.
We’ve not had a honeymoon as yet. We had a mini-moon to Castleton in Derbyshire for a few nights the weekend after because we love it there, but we’re hoping to go to America next year.
Our tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the day and take it all in. Try not to worry about other people enjoying it, you two just enjoy it and relax.
November 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides. Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing. I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!
We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.
After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.
I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband
Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.
Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.
My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.
The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.
My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.
The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.
We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.
During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.
Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.
We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.
For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.
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November 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m firmly of the opinion that your wedding day should be the very best party that you’ve ever been to.
It looks like Jessica and Craig took the same view when they said ‘I do’ at the gorgeous Thornton Manor on The Wirral earlier this year. Gorgeous outfits, good food, vibrant flowers and plenty of fun and games left their guests in the mood for a very beautiful all night party.
With images by Elbowroom Photography.
jessica says: We got engaged in Rome, Italy. After a romantic candlelit dinner we caught a taxi to the Trevi Fountain. We found a quiet spot to the side in an alcove and he got to one knee. This was after a day walking around the Vatican.
We were married on 23rd May 2014 at Thornton Manor – the beautiful setting & extensive grounds coupled with the exquisite manor house made it an easy decision. It’s spectacular venue with so much history.
We chose careful colour palettes throughout the day using white and cream for purity and innocence during the Ceremony, and then the Wedding Breakfast & my bouquet were extremely colourful to reflect our personalities!
I chose a plain but elegant champagne/oyster dress with a long cathedral veil from Blush Bridal.
Flower Design created the most beautiful of bouquets, button holes and displays throughout the venue, using orchids and other vibrant flowers. Flower Design worked with my ideas really well and produced the most splendid arrangements.
Elbowroom Photography were our photographers. They were fantastic – beautiful pictures, lots of coordination on the day and part of the party!
Chapman Holmes were our caters and were fantastic! Craig’s favourite food is steak, so decided that we really wanted the menu to reflect what we love to eat. We decided on Goats Cheese with Pesto Credot, Roast Sirloin of Steak with Dauphenois Potatoes and our cake as dessert.
Our pretty wedding cake was by The Frostery in Uppermill. It was Lemon Drizzle and we served it as our dessert with Raspberry Coulis. We had a cheesecake for the evening so the evening guests could enjoy an alternative wedding cake.
We had David Buckingham, a guitarist from the ceremony through to the end of the meal. My father has always played the guitar and when we came across him at a wedding fair he was playing the very piece that my father used to play to me as a child.
Soul Apostle were the band providing lots of fun and great music. Tom was our DJ and listened to our tastes and played us the best music which meant I danced all night!
We had a photobooth which people stuck into a book and left us their best wishes and messages.
We hired the lakeside marquee for the evening reception so we could have a big party and part of the marquee is a nightclub so we could create the party atmosphere. My favourite part of the day was dancing all night!
We took a week’s mini moon in Barbados but plan to go to South America in September for 3.5 weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take time out on the day to spend together and have a moment of reflection.
November 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Beth and Tom’s wedding is the very best type: relaxed, fun and colourful with lots of pretty details, good food and a packed, twinkling dance floor.
Add a swingingly gorgeous (high street!) frock, the most beautiful of bouquets and a visit from the ice-cream fairies and that’s one mighty fine big day nailed.
Can I get a flake with that?
With images by James and Lianne.
Beth says: We got engaged on holiday in Cape Cod, America. We’d just arrived at where we were staying and took a little drive to go for a walk on the beach. I think Tom thought that this was a good opportunity to pop the question. It was a fab surprise and made our holiday really special.
We were married on 1st August 2014. We chose this date as I’m a teacher so it fitted nicely with the school holidays. It also happened to be Yorkshire Day which made it extra special.
We got married in the Airedale Barn at East Riddlesden Hall, which is a National Trust Property in Keighley, West Yorkshire. It was the only venue we looked round and knew straight away that it was just what we wanted. The barn is set in lovely grounds with a lake, a walled garden so lots of space for guests and fab photo opportunities. The inside of the barn and really simple with prettry fairy lights and we knew that we could add our own little touches to make the barn personal to us. Also the team at East Riddlesden Hall are brilliant and were so helpful in helping us to organise the day.
We didn’t have a particular theme but we had lots of bright colours and quirky touches. We were keen for the wedding not to be formal or traditional so we tried to make the flowers and decorations colourful, fun and relaxed. We didn’t have a set colour scheme but chose lots of faded bright colours for the flowers and decorations, in particular the bridesmaid dresses and men’s ties which were a coral/ pink colour.
I knew that I wanted a short 50′s style dress as I thought it would suit my shape and I wanted to be able to dance in it. After reading lots of wedding blogs I knew exactly what I wanted and thought that I would have to have the dress made. Luckily when looking on the Coast website I spotted the dress that I had in mind. I went to try on the dress at the Coast store in London when visiting a friend and loved it. I added a petticoat underneath it to give the skirt a bit more volume. The dress was perfect for me and I really did love wearing it. My auntie had made my jewellery and jewellery for the bridesmaids which went perfectly with mineand their outfits.
My flowers were done by Emma Flora Home and Garden and they were exactly what I wanted. I had met Emma at a wedding fair at East Riddlesden Hall and knew her style would be perfect for what I fancied. Emma is so talented and created amazing bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids. I explained the colours that we were incorporating and I showed Emma lots of pictures that I had collected. I was really excited to see my flowers on the morning of the wedding and they were even better than I expected!
My bridesmaids wore coral dresses from Warehouse. I wanted something bright and nothing too ‘bridesmaidy’ so these dresses were perfect and the girls looked gorgeous!
Tom chose a navy suit from Ted Baker and a coral tie from Charles Tyrwhitt which matched the girls’ bridesmaid dresses. He also chose a piece of fabric that matched his suit and tie that my mum made into a pocket square.
The dads, best man Daniel and groomsmen wore their choice of suits and the same tie as Tom’s.
To keep with the theme of the day we wanted to hire transport that was a little quirky. We found Liberty Campers when searching for camper vans to hire for weddings and loved ‘Dylan’ the campervan. We couldn’t recommend Liberty Campers enough and Tracey was so lovely on the day and made it feel extra special.
Our close friend Helen read ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by John Cooper Clarke during the ceremony as it was a poem we studied when we were at school together. She did an amazing job!
Our rings were hand made in Yorkshire by Nikki Barret, from NB Jewellery.
We were so glad that we chose the amazing James and Lianne Photography to capture moments from the day. I had seen some of their photo’s on various blogs and loved the relaxed and natural look of their photos. Guests commented on how they both just fitted in with the rest of the guests and didn’t even notice they were there. We are so pleased with the photos and would highly recommend them!
To help create a colourful relaxed feel to the barn, My amazing mum had made meters and meters of colourful bunting which looked gorgeous. She also made a fab little banner that we attached to the curtain behind where we sat which used the same fabric as the bunting. We were very keen for the day to be very personal to us. For the table names we had found postcards from the special places we had visited, which was very personal to us. We also had made a photo board showing photos of when we were younger and with friends and family.
Other decorations included flowers in jam jars that I decorated with my mum and sister. Jill, a close family friend did an amazing job and put all the flowers together which were picked from our gardens and some from the flower market in Leeds. These were placed in the middle of the tables on cut up tree slices and some were placed on the window ledges of the barn. She also made the button holes for the lads and mums. We also used tea lights that were dotted around the tables to create a nice glow.
We also had three large silver vases that we filled with flowers from friends and families gardens.
The ladies were given button heart favours that were made by myself, our mums, sisters and bridesmaid.
Our caterers were GFS Catering and they were fantastic in both producing amazing food and providing excellent service. For the evening food we also had bacon and sausage sandwiches. We would highly recommend using GFS.
A close family friend Jill, made our fab cake and it was just what we wanted. We loved the bright colours and bunting to match our actual bunting. The mini Beth and Tom were made by my friend Mandy and we loved the little clothes and detailed she added. I made the little models of our cats, Will and Boo.
We had a sweet table, with lots of jars of our favourite sweets, and for dessert guests were treated to an ice cream from the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream van which were really delicious!
We chose the brilliant Jonny Ross band who played a fab mix and really got everyone up dancing. Our first dance was ‘You and Me’, by Penny And The Quarters.
It is difficult to choose just one part of the day that we enjoyed the most. It was fantastic having all of our family and friends together. We also enjoyed the ceremony much more than we thought and our brilliant registrar Jeff really helped us to relax. Coming down the aisle to a song that was special to us, Micky P Kerr, ‘Where its At’ and the barn doors opening opening as we said our vows was also lovely. Getting ready at my Mum and Dad’s, travelling in the campervan, the speeches and dancing all night were just fab!
For our honeymoon we went to San Fransisco and down the coast to Carmel, Monteray and the Big Sur.
Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the build up to the day, don’t get too bogged down by all the little details, it will all come together. Add touches to make your day personal to you. Also try to relax as much as you can on the day, it really does fly by so try and take a moment to take everything in! Lads, go for a pint before hand to calm the nerves and relax. Tom felt loads better after going to the Busfeild Arms first with the boys. Need to take your mind of things!
November 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Joanna and Amit’s wedding day fuses the traditional with the unusual, the pretty with the quirky and best laid plans with really no plans at all. The result? A unique and happy celebration, bringing together all the things they love the most.
Bring on the origami elephants!
With images by Sarah Mason Photography.
Joanna says: We got engaged on bonfire night, watching the fireworks at our local park (Brockwell Park in South London). I’m not very good at remembering anniversaries so Amit wanted to choose a date I would definitely remember!
The redevelopment of Hebden Bridge Town Hall was a community project, and lots of people I know were involved in it! It meant a lot to me to be able to get married in my home town in this Town Hall.
Todmorden Town Hall is a beautiful Grade 1 listed Victorian hall in the next town along the valley. I had only been there as a kid and hadn’t remembered all of the beautiful period features. It was a great venue for the evening reception and had plenty of space for dancing and a band!
We joked about lots of different themes to begin with as all the magazines told us it was the thing to do. In the end we had a kind of Indian/British theme, combined with lots of other things that we love (like wool and origami elephants) but it wasn’t so much a plan as a collection of things we liked and wanted to do.
We chose a colour scheme of pink, green and white. Soft colours in the daytime and in the evening all a bit brighter.
We broke with tradition and decided to do photos before the ceremony (partly because the ceremony wasn’t till 4pm). It was so nice to spend time together and some time out from the hecticness of the rest of the day. It was raining all day up until we started the photos so we go very lucky with the weather (plus it meant I got to wear my wellies).
I wore a white dress from Angelica Bridal in London. I hadn’t realised how long in advance you need to order your dress (6 months lead in time!) and left it all a bit late. The dress was Justin Alexander. I also had an Indian lenga style dress for the evening from Simla’s in London.
I knitted a lace shawl for the day, I love knitting and it seemed really appropriate for the day. I was a bit nervous it wasn’t going to go or it wouldn’t work, but was really pleased with how it looked .
Amit went to Bangkok on his stag do and had a suit tailor made at Raja’s Fashions there (this apparently saved money and time…). His Indian outfit was also from Simla’s.
My bridemaid wore a dress from Coast with an Indian style shawl from Simla’s too. Amit’s best man wore a suit he already owned.
I don’t really know one flower from another which became apparent in the florists conversations. Amit kept googling flowers to try and sound knowledgeable, so between us we muddled through. But we trusted the florist and on the day what we had was truly beautiful.
Willow Garden in Hebden Bridge did the flowers. We had so many great people who helped us bring the day together. We were also keen to use local suppliers.
Jo’s mum decorated the whole of Hebden Bridge Town Hall. This did mean carrying round trees for the local garden centre and sourcing a lot of chair covers (not to mention stringing up pompoms and bunting) but the end result was really lovely, and it was so nice to give it a personal touch.
Sarah and Suzi from Sarah Mason Photography did the photos. We both felt so comfortable with them and we couldn’t imagine anyone doing a better job. We still love looking back on the photos.
We hired a bus from Keighley Bus Museum. It had to be a London Routemaster and the guys on the day were lovely and gave out special wedding bus tickets.
Lauren at Zouk’s Catering in Bradford sorted out the food (including several tastings and many iterations of the menu). She also looked after organising the cutlery and plates and staff to set up and serve the food on the day. She was amazing!
Neither of us are that big a fan of traditional cake. However at the last minute we did decide to stack a cake stand with baklava (Turkish pastry sweets). It made an awesome tower and it was a big hit.
We had the Rumblefatband doing the music. We were debating whether or not to get a band for a while and I’m really glad we did. They do a mix of funk and soul music that’s just great to dance to. They also let one of the guests go up and join them for an Elvis number.
We also had Dave Nelson playing the piano for the ceremony and one of Jo’s friends playing ukulele, walking in to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and walking out to ‘Umbrella’, unintentionally weather themed.
There were lots of kids at the wedding so we wanted to keep them entertained. Amit’s sister put together party packs for the children; which also made them feel special on the day.
We went to Vietnam and Cambodia for our honeymoon. It was very relaxing after the trials and tribulations leading up to the day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that if you’re organising things yourself you should realise that there are all kinds of things that need to be done (like hiring plates and buying napkins). Don’t underestimate how much organisation this can take (and delegate where you can)!
Spreadsheets are your friend.
And it’s much more fun when it’s the two of you doing it together and makes the whole day much about you as a couple.
November 17th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Today’s wonderful real wedding couple opted for a July wedding in hope of a fabulous sunny day – and lucky for them, that’s exactly what they got. Following an impromptu yet unforgettable wedding proposal, Sean and Jade planned a stylish and elegant wedding day with hints of navy blue and pops of hot pink.
But it’s not just the sunshine and colour scheme that added warmth to Sean and Jade’s big day – just look at their faces in the photographs, neither of them can stop smiling which reflects their true love for one another and their enjoyment of the day.
So ignore the dismal weather that currently lingers outside and take a few moments to lose yourself in this bright & breezy celebration.
With images by PH Weddings.
Jade says: Sean hadn’t fully planned on proposing while on we were on holiday in Thailand when it actually happened. We were in a rooftop bar called the Banana Bar in Koh Phi Phi where we were having some beers and watching the wedding singer film (I think that gave Sean the idea). After the film had finished, we had a couple more drinks and we were looking at the stars through a telescope. We couldn’t believe it when our favourite song came on ‘Us’ by Regina Spektor – it isn’t a very well known song and I’m sure it was fate. We then went for tasty Thai food. Afterwards we decided to go back to the bar because we really liked it. Sean then said he needed to go to the toilet but he was gone quite some time. He had actually gone to the local market to buy a ring so he could propose and he got a bargain £1.50 ring! When he came back he was a little flustered. He had asked the DJ to play another song by Regina Spektor called Samson to which he proposed. I instantly said yes and everyone on the rooftop cheered and we celebrated into the night.
We got married on July 12th 2014 as we had always wanted a summertime wedding and when we went to view our chosen reception venue, Wortley Hall, the 12th was the only Saturday left available in July so we went ahead and booked it in – two years in advance.
We chose to get married at Darfield Church, it was our local church which we felt close to as we regularly went on walks with our dog Billy around the grounds. When we first visited the church we couldn’t believe the beauty inside, it is one of the oldest churches in Yorkshire and has lots of character and original features. We loved it instantly! Wortley Hall in Wortley, near Sheffield, was our reception venue. We loved the vintage style of the building, the gardens were also amazing. There’s a lovely walk with a beautiful lake and woods that just takes your breath away. We quickly fell in love with the building fitted in with our rustic and vintage theme.
We would definitely recommend Wortley Hall as a venue. The staff had no problems with any of our requests. They were brilliant on the day and everything we requested was done to perfection. If you love rustic venues and beautiful gardens Wortley has it all!
My Ian Stuart Peaches dress was from Limelight Occasions in Huddersfield. I had been to another shop previous to going to Limelight and I did have a maybe when I left the first shop. All the dresses I tried on did look nice but I didn’t get ‘the feeling’ until I tried Peaches on. I instantly fell in love with my dress, I loved the big blush flowers but still felt that it was a simple design and I had always loved Ian Stuart dresses. Limelight has a beautiful shop and items – I also got all my jewellery and veil for the day from there.
Sean’s suit was by Paul Costelloe from House of Fraser, his tie was from French Connection and his shirt was from T M Lewin. The groomsmen’s’ suits were from Marks & Spencer’s and their ties were from eBay. My bridesmaid dresses were from Casamiento in Barnsley and the flower girls’ dresses were from Monsoon.
Our colour theme was pink and blue. From the start we loved blue suits for the groom and the groomsmen – Sean really wanted everyone looking vibrant as it was a summer’s day. I suggested we had pink for the bridesmaid as my Ian Stuart dress had blush roses on it and I thought the pink would bring this out more.
We travelled by a Rolls Royce Wraith 1938 Landaulette. First it picked up Sean and his groomsmen and they all say it was a great moment for them all to have that time together on the day. It then picked up my Mum and the bridesmaids and then came back for me and my Dad. It was a soft top and as our day was sunny – I’m so glad we had that now.
PH Weddings took our photographs. They were amazing from start to finish. They take so much pride in their work, which you can tell by their photos. Helen and Paul make you feel at ease and you never once feel uncomfortable. I loved how natural our photos looked and Helen and Paul fully understood exactly what we wanted. We also felt that they gave a personal touch. We are so unbelievably happy with the photos and the service that PH Weddings provided.
On the day I carried a natural, hand-tied vintage style posy in dusky pinks, ivory and greens. It included dusky pink memory lane roses, deep pink astilbe, green/white cabbages, deep pink astrantia, ivory waxflower, ivory thistles, ivory veronica, dark dahlia, quicksand rose and peonies all tied together with a classic ivory ribbon tie. Swallow and Damsons provided all our flowers, including my bouquet – they were the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen, they were a work of art.
For decorations we had flowers on the table: medium size glass hurricane vases with a full and lush natural posy style arrangement in the same colours as my bouquet, including more foliage and trailing flowers. There were also three smaller cut glass vintage vases dotted around the bottom of the larger centre piece with a few flowers and foliage.
We made all the menu cards ourselves by stamping each individual folded card, we glued the menu inside, along with a fun fact about ourselves. The place cards were luggage tags, we stamped everyone’s name using a stamping kit we purchased on eBay. It took some time but we started at least two months beforehand. Our table plan was a mirror frame we purchased from TK Maxx – we knocked the mirror out tied string across and then clipped our printed table plans to let everyone know where they were seated.
Our Covers and Bows in Barnsley did our chair covers and they were lovely. We had lace round the wooden chairs in the dining room and white and pink in the ballroom.
Our favours were baked by Fancie in Sheffield; they were love heart whoopie pies, pink with swirls on the top with cream in the middle. We packed each whoopie pie into a cellophane bag the day before and then tied a name place luggage tag which. They were so tasty! Fancie also made our wedding cake. We had a three-tier design covered in frosting, there was a caramel flavour, raspberry and lemon and cherry and almond. It was beautiful. We made the bunting on the top of the cake ourselves.
The food was beautiful at Wortley. We had sun dried tomato and feta cheese (two of our favourite things) tarts to start, pork for main and apple and crumble for desert. We also had peanuts and popcorn with the arrival drinks and wine on the tables.
For our wedding entertainment we had Michael Mulholland. We found Michael as our two other friends who had recently got married had Michael to provide their music. He was brilliant and the guests really enjoyed his singing while myself and Sean were having photos. As a surprise Sean asked him to play an acoustic version of Kiss The Girl from The Little Mermaid as we entered Wortley. The Little Mermaid was my favourite Disney film as a child.
For the night entertainment we had our really good DJ friend Richard Shirt. Richard took the time to get all our songs together and we could have any that we wanted! A lot of DJs give you a maximum number but Richard allowed us to choose our own – there was a mix of soul, indie, 80s and 90s music to suit us all. At one point towards the end Richard got people crowd surfing! For the night do we had a basket of flip flops that everyone said they were so thankful for on the night. No aching feet!
There were a few special touches throughout our wedding day. Sean surprised me on the morning(I knew he had been up to something) Adam, one of his best men, delivered me a package – it was a crate box that contained a letter, a scrap book and a necklace. The scrapbook is the most precious item I own now and it contained our story so far. Whenever we go away we keep everything, from business cards of hotels, restaurants to tickets for museums and gigs. We’ve also got every card and note we’ve ever given each other and they were all in the scrap book. I wrote Sean a letter and gave him a Nick Cave lyric book and Nick Cave vinyl record.We collect vinyl records and have all our favourite songs on 7 inch singles, so we decided to use the record sleeves as our table names, which looked awesome.
When signing the register after we were wed we had the Edward Scissorhands Ice Dance song played in the church and also our favourite song Regina Spektor’s Us – our favourite music that means something to us.One of the readings in church read out by Sean’s brother was Love Is Strange by Karen O and this features on the Disney film Frankenweenie. We love this Disney film and had to have it because the words are beautiful.
We love having game nights with our friends so we thought of the idea of Jenga pieces being our guestbook. They were great as each guest could write us a message and we can use this game with our friends.
Apart from our marriage service one of the favourite parts of the day was the car journey to Wortley together. After not seeing each other all morning for one of the most important day ofour lives it was such a precious time together to be alone and one we will never forget. Another favourite part of the day was all the love we were surrounded with from our family and friends on our special day.
We set off to the airport on honeymoon the day after our wedding. We went backpacking for three weeks in Vietnam. It’s such a lovely country and all Vietnamese people are so friendly. There is so much history in the country and we enjoyed visiting cultural spots and museums. The food is best we have ever eaten and you can’t beat 50p for a bottle of beer! We had an amazing time together.
Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be – don’t worry about the little details before hand, it’s your day and if you two are enjoying it, nothing else matters!
November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re starting the day off brightly as we commence the downhill to the weekend, with Jennie and Jon’s fabulous fuchsia wedding day in glorious Yorkshire.
Following the cutest proposal ever (read on!), beautiful bride Jennie combined traditional romance with bold brights and fun extras for a memorable and show stopping celebration.
And here at Brides Up North, we love her choice of accent colour… funny, that.
With images by John Hope Photography.
Jennie says: We got married on 27 March 2013, I was full of cold and feeling disgusting, Jon planned date night, a romantic candlelit meal in our home, with Emeli Sande playing in the background, to “cheer me up”. Jon took me upstairs where there were two wrapped up presents on the bed, I opened the first one and it was a cuddly elephant, the second was a box of fireworks, then Jon switched off the light and written on the ceiling in glow in the dark stars were the words “Marry me?”. He had remembered years earlier that I had said if he was to propose I’d want it to be like the end of the film Annie – complete with elephants and fireworks! Jon said it was pretty difficult to get real elephants to come to our back garden in suburban Leeds in March.
We celebrated by letting off the fireworks whilst we sipped cocktails and excitedly rang round family and friends to share the news!
We were married on 31 May 2014, we were working around my studies for my Postgrad degree and the school holidays for Jon’s daughter, Alicia, our beautiful bridesmaid. This was the first feasible date that we could do it, it seemed so far away when we set it but it really creeps up on you!
We got married in a Catholic Church as this is Jon’s family’s faith, St Edward’s King and Confessor in a small village called Clifton. I knew I wanted a church that was picturesque and this one certainly delivered, I felt like we were in a movie.
Wood Hall was the reception venue, picked for the stunning views and amount of open space for the children to run around outside and for the drunken guests to stagger around!
I picked fuchsia pink as it’s one of my favourite colours; I knew I wanted a bold colour rather than a more traditional pastel. I particularly liked the contrast between the white and the pink which shows really well on the photos.
My Dad was in charge of the car, he picked a navy Bentley to travel in style. It was totally his choice, he paid, despite admitting it was the most expensive taxi ride of his life!
I tried on hundreds of dresses, which I would thoroughly recommend; it’s a great day out! I bought a strapless gown with sweetheart neckline and full skirt. It is an ivory lace dress called Greta from The Bridal Lounge of York.
I had tried on mainly slim fitting style dresses as that is what I thought I wanted, but the full skirt on this one was so much fun to swish round in that I came skipping out of the changing room, decision made!
We hired a suit for Jon, from our local Moss Bros. Jon wanted one that fitted well and was nicely tailored and I managed to persuade him that tweed was a bad idea. We hired the same suits for the Best man and Ushers, with the only difference being that Jon had a pink pocket handkerchief and they had a silver one.
I had one adult bridesmaid, my sister, she had recently had baby number two, so we took a bit of a gamble and ordered a dress online that we hoped would be too big and then had it fitted nearer the day to take some of the pressure off her. She looked amazing!
My favourite part of the day was definitely walking down the aisle! I was so nervous beforehand, I’d been worrying about the walk for months, concerned I would be too emotional to enjoy it, but the second I got to the church and I saw all the guests, I felt fine and I really enjoyed the walk down and took everything in.
John Hope was our photographer, we picked him after our first meeting as we both felt very comfortable with him, we thought this was important as he would be a large part of our day. We did a pre-wedding shoot which was incredibly useful for us to get used to each other and for me and Jon to relax in front of the camera (turns out Jon’s lifetime of posing came in handy!)
I would thoroughly recommend John as a photographer, he arrived at the crack of dawn and left late in the evening, he didn’t stop all day and we are incredibly grateful for the beautiful shots he took (we don’t look that good in real life!) My overwhelming memory of him on the day was helping me to take the tags off the flower girls dresses with his teeth as we realised we had no scissors in the room and they needed to leave for the church – above and beyond!
I had cerise gerberas and they were provided by a wonderful florist called Angie Walker. I asked for them to be simple and bold, which is exactly what she delivered, the bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet.
We stuck with the same flowers for all my arrangements, knowing very little about flowers and how to arrange them we were very happy to let the florist guide us. We asked for smaller arrangements on the tables as we wanted them to add to the beauty of the room and not detract from the guests on the tables trying to talk across them.
The favours were chocolates that tied in with the table names. We chose not to have place names but to use old/embarrassing photos of the guests in their places. This was a lot of work to take on before the wedding but definitely worth it for the reactions and the laughs it brought!
My Dad made the wedding cake, he baked a traditional fruit cake pretty soon after we got engaged and kept topping it up with alcohol to keep moist until the big day. Or at least that was the excuse he used to keep buying brandy!
We hired a singer called Jade, who learnt especially for the Wedding Angry Anderson’s ‘Suddenly’. There were plenty of Kylie and Jason references throughout the day, if only Jon looked a little more like a Donovan…
We hired a magician/pick pocket called Magic Matt who was brilliant and had the guests in stitches; we wanted some light relief whilst the room was turned around for the evening do. This was mainly for our Dad’s but everyone got in on it. He even managed to control the friends table who started the drinking games from 4pm. Not sure doubling up as a babysitter came as part of the package but he was delighted to help out!
Then we hired a chocolate fountain and a photo booth through The Amazing Company, we didn’t get to try the chocolate fountain but we have been assured it was very good and the photo booth book was one of my favourite things. We know it’s a standard “wedding” thing to do but it’s really funny to see people deteriorate over the course of the evening do and have it all in recorded forever!
We made a family tree, full of photos of Grandparents, parents, through to us and the generation below. We wanted to physically show the two families coming together to make our marriage and also include Grandparents who were no longer with us.
Jon’s daughter who was six had written messages and drawn pictures for the guests to thank them for their attendance; these were included by the guest book and enabled her to feel part of the day, so much so, Alicia told everyone it was her wedding too.
We had a DVD of the day made, I would definitely recommend it. It was so exciting to receive and you live back bits of the day that you forgot or missed as it passes so quickly – plus you can see what your friends get up to after a few drinks! We used Picture House Wedding Films who did a great job.
Our wedding planner has since won an award for her role at Wood Hall. They took all the stress and planning of the day out of our hands and put up with our weird and wonderful requests!
The venue is just stunning as are the rooms; the staff were really friendly and went over and above to help us.
We had an amazing honeymoon, we flew to LA and hired a mustang convertible and drove up the coast to San Francisco, where we stayed for a few days before driving down to Vegas, through Yosemite Park, Death Valley etc, stayed there for a few days before heading back to LA and Orange County to see how the rich and famous live. It’s something we could get used to; we just need Jon to start working a little harder so we can afford the lifestyle!
We knew very early on that we would marry in a Catholic Church as that was important to Jon’s family; the hard part is that I was never baptised! This meant that we had to seek permission from the Bishop and this was a long time coming, so my top tip for other Brides Up North is to bear this in mind if you are in a similar situation, it took some chasing and gave us and the parents some hairy moments.
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