Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

destination fairytale. bespoke sarah willard for a chateau wedding in pays de la loire – helena & owen

March 16th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (42)

Soooooo over the ‘Beast from the East’, we’re leaving our weather woes behind this Friday afternoon and escaping to a 19th-century chateau in beautiful western France for today’s hugely Pin-worthy real wedding!

Vintage enthusiasts Dick and Angel set about restoring Chateau de la Motte Husson to its former glory and more than three years ago, and today’s bride Helena reports that she fell in love with it immediately. Looking at this veritable wonderland of circus memorabilia, fake taxidermy and eclectic additions (think unicorn heads and butterfly-adorned walls and you’re getting there…), it’s immediately obvious why.

For their magical wedding, Northern couple Helena and Owen chose to decorate the venue with meadow grasses and wildflowers and chose sparkly mismatched gowns for the bridesmaids in delicate shades of oyster grey, gold and pistachio. They ‘ate French’ (beef, baguettes, cured meats, local pork pie and wine) and added a touch of whimsy with hand-embroidered napkins as favours.

In short, the overall effect was sublime and, looking at these pictures, we can’t help but wish we’d had an invitation.

With images by Marie Marry Me.

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (30)

helena says: We got engaged while on holiday with two of our closest friends in September 2016. We’d hired a car for the day and were exploring the volcanic Nature Park when we stumbled across a hidden beach. Owen asked me to walk over the rock pools so that we could get a photo together – our friend Ben volunteered to take it. As we stumbled across the rocks, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Naturally, I said yes!

Our wedding date was 28th May 2017. We chose it as it was a bank holiday weekend and we knew we wanted to have a weekend full of celebrations!

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (14)

We got married at Chateau de la Motte Husson in the Pays de la Loire, France. We went to visit the venue in November with our parents and fell in love with it straight away. Dick and Angel, the owners, are the most amazingly accommodating couple and we knew straight away that we would have the most perfect celebration here.

There wasn’t a strict colour scheme. In fact, it took longer to find my bridesmaids dresses than my own! I chose a grey/green for the bridesmaids as it was a colour that all four girls felt comfortable in and suited their different complexions.

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (33)

I had a bespoke, couture gown made for me by Sarah Willard. Sarah is a ridiculously talented designer and dressmaker based in Staffordshire. When I went to view her gowns with my mum and bridesmaids, she was so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. She spent almost three hours asking questions and listening to us describe the wedding and two weeks later she sent the most beautiful sketches and swatches in the post. It was a very easy decision to choose Sarah’s dress.

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (39)

Owen wore a blue Hugo Boss suit, a white shirt and a red tie gifted to him by my dad. He bought two suits and chose to wear this one on the day as it was slightly less heavy than the other. It was around 27 degrees, so pretty warm for a suit!

My bridesmaids’ dresses were a mixture of Jenny Packham and Adrianna Papell.

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blossoming romance. suzanne neville for a fine art inspired wedding at rudding park – maria & simon

March 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (62)

Quite simply, today’s wedding is all kinds of pretty. From the bride’s beautiful bespoke gown to the dreamiest of floral arrangements, complete with plush hydrangeas and peonies – there’s lots of wonderful ideas and special touches from Maria and Simon’s celebrations to pin away to your heart’s content.

But, before we can even gush about these details, we have to talk about the fact that Maria underwent spinal surgery in the lead up to the wedding. We think you’ll agree, this adds extra significance to their nuptials, and we’re delighted to hear that Maria had a speedy recovery that didn’t hinder plans for their big day.

And what a big day it was! Exchanging vows against the grandiose backdrop of Leeds Cathedral, Maria and Simon then went on to host their celebrations at luxury Harrogate hotel, Rudding Park, set in 300 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. Maria’s Italian and Greek heritage influenced their overall theme for the day, too, with pretty olive branches, a lemon tree and even Greek dancing all bringing Mediterranean feels to the proceedings. Read on as Maria tells all…

With images by Paul Read Weddings.

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (64)

maria says: We got engaged in August 2015, in Rome, at the beautiful Giardini degli Aranci (garden of oranges) with its stunning view of the city. We went just before sunset, and it was such a romantic setting. I really didn’t expect the proposal and after being there for a while, I asked when we could go for a Prosecco! It was then that Simon said it would be nice to take a seat on one of the benches further back from the wall.

Long story short, he said there was a reason he had brought me to the most beautiful secret spot in Rome, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Once I had stopped crying and said yes, we could hear applause from around the park – such a surreal moment but one we will never forget and that place will remain special for both of us forever.

My mum is Italian so I think Simon always knew he wanted to propose in Italy and it was a trip of a lifetime. We ate at a Michelin star restaurant afterwards but spent most of the evening on our phones telling our family and friends about the amazing news!

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (42)

We tied the knot on Saturday 24th June 2017.We chose this date as it was 11 years to the day since we first started going out.

We got married at Leeds Cathedral, where I used to sing in the choir. I have also known the priest (now a Monsignor) since I was a child, so it was perfect that he conducted the service for us.

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (49)

We then held the reception at Rudding Park in Harrogate, voted number one hotel in the UK by Trip Advisor for three years in a row. We knew immediately we wanted our wedding to be attended by all our friends and family, and had considered Amalfi (where my family heritage is from) but given difficulties with older family members being able to get there, we decided that there would be nowhere better than Yorkshire, especially given that I’m a Leeds girl and he’s a Wetherby boy.

We’ve both known Rudding Park for years and it was the perfect balance between city and country. The service at Rudding Park is exceptional and the new spa was going to open the year of our wedding – we just knew we were in safe hands. Plus, I have a pretty huge family and it is one of the few venues in Yorkshire that caters for more than120 people. It’s everything we wanted.

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (55)

I had spinal surgery for scoliosis in November 2016 – it was a huge procedure but I bounced back within three months – just in time for my wonderful wedding dress to be measured and created. I had often been really paranoid about my waist and I am so lucky to have had this corrected before I walked down the aisle. It seemed a long journey back to health and I had three months off work, but that just left more time for wedmin to take my mind off things!

We didn’t have a theme in the beginning, but once I started my Pinterest obsession, I realised I kept pinning things that were tagged as “fine art”. I tried to bring in a bit of a Mediterranean theme, along with pastel colours to keep things understated and elegant. For example, the olive branches on the cake and the lemon tree in the middle of the main hall, the soft candles, soft blues and pale pinks, and the menu was very much inspired by my Italian and Greek heritage. There was so much food! There was also Greek dancing and a bit of Italian Vin Santo which added much more alcohol to proceedings!

With regards to the pastel colour scheme, I wanted pale pinks and blues with Mediterranean greenery as I thought they would stand the test of time when looking back at the photographs. I also love hydrangeas and peonies which helped guide the colour scheme, and indeed the month of June for the wedding, when peonies are available and in bloom.

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laidback love. sassi holford for a picturesque village hall wedding in the north west – amy & simon

March 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Village Hall Wedding in the North West (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (52)

There are village halls, and there are village halls. Today’s real wedding couple Amy and Simon picked a cracker in picturesque Slaidburn, with its high ceilings and blank canvas ready to be transformed by the theme and colour scheme of their choice – which they did with gusto, hand-making some fabulous floral wreaths to hang from the ceiling and rather professional signs to help the day run smoothly.

We also love the couple’s idea of having a 16-piece band as entertainment (imagine the impact of all those instruments in a village hall!) – and the VW campervan that invites each guest to ‘pimp’ their drinks with fruit and flavoured cordials.

Amy looks fabulous in her lacy Sassi Holford gown, rocking the 2018 trend for sleeves. And we’ve fallen just a little bit in love with the canine guest in attendance – that face!

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

A Village Hall Wedding in the North West (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (27)

amy says: We got engaged on 24th April. We’d decided to walk to the top of Longridge Fell. Simon had packed a picnic and unknown to me something else very special. When we reached the top, we stood near the white trigpoint and looked at the view over the beautiful Ribble Valley. No one else was around and Simon started to unpack the picnic and pulled out a small wooden box. He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t believe it; I had no idea. I couldn’t stop smiling. I said “Yes!” It was quite emotional and so gleeful. We celebrated together with our picnic before heading back.

We wanted a memorable date for our wedding, so we picked 17th June 2017. I had always wanted a June wedding because they say that, when you marry in June, you’re a bride all your life.

A Village Hall Wedding in the North West (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (56)

We got married at Slaidburn Village Hall, Clitheroe. We wanted a relaxed and informal wedding and had been looking at venues for a while but when we visited Slaidburn we knew it was perfect for us. Slaidburn is such a picturesque village; is has an old-world charm and we had a great feeling about it. The village hall next to the village green and River Hodder was just the perfect setting for our wedding. We’d definitely recommend the venue if you’re looking for something simple and laid back from which you can personally create the setting and tone for your wedding. There are no package deals here, so some hard work and organisation from you will ensure the wedding you always wanted. The hall is a beautiful combination of simple clean lines, modern and some rustic old-world charm.

A Village Hall Wedding in the North West (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (46)

The style of our wedding was a woodland garden feel with natural tones. We decorated the hall ourselves and wanted a very natural theme, with lots of greenery and elements of wood, brown string and hessian. There was also a bit of vintage glamour, with the addition of gold, blush and burgundy to the colour scheme. We loved the idea of being married underneath trees and had two birch trees at the altar.

The general wedding colours we chose were green and white with splashes of gold. I wanted us both to stand out and so my flowers and Simon’s buttonhole and tie had a slightly different colour theme, including blush and burgundy.

A Village Hall Wedding in the North West (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (68)

My dress was the Eleanor by designer Sassi Holford, from Kimberley Ann Bridal, in Clitheroe. I wanted something simple and floaty with sleeves and a V-neck, as I thought this would flatter me the most. When I put it on, I knew it was the dress for me; it was everything I wanted.

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fairytales & feathers. essense of australia for a lavish winter wedding at carlton towers – chloe & lee

March 12th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Winter Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Valentina Weddings (30)

Opulence is the hallmark of this stunning real wedding, which took place in the magnificent Gothic surroundings of Carlton Towers in North Yorkshire. Chloe and Lee were craving drama and decadence, and – with their Gatsby theme, gold and silver accents, pearls, candelabras, feathers and troupe of dancing girls – we think they just about pulled it off.

Chloe confesses to dreaming of a winter wedding since she was a little girl, and the Christmas season gave her plenty of opportunities to create the fairytale day she’d always wanted. Her bridesmaids wore floor-length gold sequin dresses, she treated herself to a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos and her own gown was an absolute showstopper. We’re unashamedly in love with its epic train and lace detailing, and her feathered cape and scarlet lips are the perfect partners for a celebration of such ultra-glam proportions.

Get ready for some fireworks, literal and metaphorical!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Valentina Weddings.

A Winter Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Valentina Weddings (6)

chloe says: We got engaged on 12th October 2015, at Daytona Beach in Florida. We were on holiday in Orlando and had decided to take a road trip over to the coast for the night. We’d booked into the Hilton and when we arrived at our room I thought we’d been upgraded – little did I know that Lee had told the hotel of his plans to propose! We had the penthouse suite with a wraparound balcony overlooking the ocean all the way to the city. As we were checking everywhere out, I ran out onto the balcony to find Lee down on one knee. I couldn’t believe it was true and neither of us remember exactly what was said, other than Lee’s “Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes, and the rest is history!

A Winter Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Valentina Weddings (38)

We got married on 15th December 2017. I’d wanted a winter wedding since I was a little girl and this particular date just happened to fall well. We chose Carlton Towers for our full day of celebrations from the night before, to the ceremony and the day and evening receptions. We only looked at a couple of venues and fell in love with Carlton Towers’ Gothic and opulent charm. As well as offering us exclusive use, we knew it was a place people wouldn’t ordinarily go to and probably wouldn’t ever go again, making it that extra bit special.

Our wedding had a loose Great Gatsby theme. We incorporated lots of gold sequins, white feathers and our stationery was in a 1920s style, too. Our colour palette was blush pink, silver and gold – they’re my favourite colours and we felt that they went with the opulent and elegant theme we wanted to convey.

A Winter Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Valentina Weddings (35)

My wedding dress was Aurora from Essense of Australia. I tried on lots of different styles of wedding dresses; I wanted to make the most of the experience, plus you never know what you’ll love until you’re wearing it. I fell in love with my dress; it showed off my figure in such a beautiful way, as well as having a stunningly long train which I was desperate for. I bought my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, who were amazing and made my whole experience a dream.

For accessories I picked out a couple of pieces from the bridal shop, as well as Jimmy Choo sparkly shoes and a Swarovski necklace and bracelet.

A Winter Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Valentina Weddings (37)

Lee wore a slate blue tail suit from Joshua Adams in Cleckheaton. He and his best man wore a grey fleece waistcoat, while the other groomsmen wore a blue dogtooth print waistcoat. They all finished off their outfits with matching tan shoes and blush pink cravats and handkerchiefs. Lee also gave the men a hare pin to wear on their jackets and matching socks with their role, e.g. best man, usher etc. Lee also accessorised with a new Hugo Boss watch in a deep blue colour from a limited-edition range.

Our four adult bridesmaids wore gold sequin Sorella Vita dresses from Limelight Occasions in Lepton. We picked two different styles to suit everyone’s figures and style. Our junior bridesmaid and flower girl wore matching blush pink dresses from Monsoon. They also wore white fluffy capes and sparkly rose gold shoes. I bought all of the girls their jewellery as gifts.

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peachy keen. jesus peiro for a timeless lake district wedding – victoria & christopher

March 8th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (49)

Victoria was just one of the legions of brides-to-be who walked into a bridal boutique claiming she knew what she wanted only to find herself disappointed. Thankfully, she was persuaded to try this classic Jesus Peiro number with ultra-elegant high neck and heavy silk, satisfyingly-swishy princess skirt and the rest, as they say, is history.

Her wedding to the lovely Christopher (full marks for that surprise Italian balcony proposal, Chris!) has sophistication in spades – we particularly love the dreamy peach and sage colour-scheme, just perfect for a summer bash, and the way these gorgeous images glow with a champagne-y light.

And we have a Brides Up North first! Have you ever seen a GoPro camera on a bottle of whisky? No? Us neither! We bow down to your ingenuity, guys – and we would love to see the footage…

With images by Shane Webber Photography.

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (35)

victoria says: Chris took me away in October 2016 as a surprise 30th birthday present. – I had no idea where I was going until we were checking in at Gatwick!  We went to Cinque Terre in Italy and on the second day we were making breakfast to enjoy on our balcony. When I walked outside, Chris was waiting for me on one knee. It was the day of our 5th anniversary.

Our wedding date was set for 5th August 2017. I’m a teacher, so I really wanted it to be during the summer holidays – I knew I’d be so much more relaxed and it meant we could go on a three-week honeymoon straight afterwards. Chris also wanted a day where it was more likely to be sunny!

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (31)

Our venue was The Grange Hotel, Grange Over Sands, for both the ceremony and reception. We wanted to have the wedding in the Lake District as it’s somewhere we love and visit often. We spent a whole day visiting venues and fell in love with The Grange Hotel straight away; it was just what we wanted and luckily the perfect date was free!

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (39)

The idea of a theme only came up once we started designing our seating plan, table names and favours. We were already considering using holiday photos and destinations as our table names as they were responsible for some of our best memories in our five years together. When looking for favours and seating plan ideas, I came across some DIY suitcases on Amazon that we could use for both, so a travelling theme became a small part of our wedding!

Palette-wise, sage was the primary colour, with peach as a secondary. We just love those subtle, natural, summery colours.

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (51)

I wore a Jesús Peiró dress purchased from Marrime Bridal Wear. I was really struggling to get ‘that’ feeling in any of the dresses I’d been picking out on visits to other bridal shops. However, I instantly loved the thick silk material used in the Jesús Peiró selection, so decided to try some with a fuller skirt for fun (one of the many styles I was certain I didn’t want!) Once it was on I knew I couldn’t go back; I was so excited. I’d found my dress! I used Belles and Bows on the Isle of Man for my alterations.  Rachel was so patient and went out of her way to make the dress fit perfectly; I’d recommend them to anyone looking for dress alterations.

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summer blush: pink & gold for a romantic wedding at beamish hall – chloe & simon

March 7th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (45)

With the snowy weather finally clearing we can set our sights on the warmer seasons to come, and an abundance of gorgeous spring & summer weddings.

The utterly gorgeous August wedding that we’re sharing on the blog today is certainly whetting or appetite, with blue skies, a stunning strappy gown and delicate detailing.

Real bride Chloe, is a loyal Brides Up North reader *waves* and we’re thrilled that our daily inspiration helped to shape her and Simon’s big day. Keen on all things “glamorous and girly”, Chloe picked a soft, pretty colour scheme of gold and blush pink for their romantic celebrations at the very grand Beamish Hall.

With beautiful, high-impact flower centrepieces to echo the tall ceilings of the hall, festoon lighting swagging from the ceiling, fairy lights climbing the pillars between the tables and a curtain of twinkling lights behind the top table – not to mention an elegant string quartet – Chloe and Simon went all out with sophisticated glamour and achieved the look to a tee.

With images by Beneath The Pines.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (41)

chloe says: Simon and I got engaged on 4th October 2015, in Central Park, New York. He took me by complete surprise a couple of days into our trip when he popped the question by the boating lake.

We got married on Saturday 26th August 2017. We chose this date as we wanted a summer wedding. I had envisioned everyone enjoying the beautiful grounds of Beamish Hall in the sunshine and that is what we got. We married at Beamish Hall, County Durham, with the ceremony held in the Shafto Hall, and the reception in the Winter Gardens. I immediately fell in love with the Winter Gardens the first time we went to have a look around the venue – it was just everything we wanted and more. I would recommend Beamish Hall to anyone who is looking for a luxurious wedding. The staff are amazing, the service was second to none all day and everything went perfectly.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (47)

For our theme, we chose to go for a modern, romantic-styled wedding. I love anything glamorous and girly. I chose blush pink and gold for our colour scheme, as it went with our theme and I think the colours look so beautiful together. While I was planning our wedding I read (and still do!) the Brides Up North real weddings, as I love reading about how other people style their weddings and what elements they have added in their day to make it unique.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (11)

When it came to my dress, I first saw it on an Instagram image of a wedding dress store and I told my mum that was the dress I wanted. Designed by Anna Sorrano, it was only the second dress I tried on and, as soon as I looked in the mirror, I knew it was the dress I wanted to walk down the aisle in – fishtail in style with a low back and lace strap detailing. I bought it from Wed2b in Gateshead. My shoes were Ted Baker.

Simon wanted to wear a navy suit and wanted all of his groomsmen to wear the same, as well as my father and his. We bought each suit from Next. Simon wore a gold tie and the rest wore blush pink.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (37)

I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dresses and also for each one to feel as though they suited it. That’s why we went for multi-way dresses, so they could wear it in whichever style they wanted to and they still all matched. We bought the bridesmaid dresses in Debenhams. Two of them wore a champagne gold dress and one a blush pink dress. Our flower girl wore a dress by John Rocha, which was blush pink on the bottom and gold on the top.

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