April 9th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Rustic, homemade details ruled for Craig and Sarah’s big day, with mismatched flowers, neutrals, fairy lights and paper lanterns. Sarah is justifiably proud of the fact that almost everything for their wedding was made by them, from the beer bath to the bouquets. They even foraged for the ivy they used to dress their tables – now that’s dedication!
The result? A gloriously sun-soaked, boho affair which will have you lusting after a fairy-tale woodland ceremony.
The ultimate take-home detail from this visual feast of gorgeousness, though? The flower crowns. Oh Lordy, those flower crowns. They’re giving us palpitations. We strongly suggest you take a comfy seat for this one – it may well cause weakness of the knees!
With photography by Emily Hannah Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged in Palma city by the cathedral after a few too many mojitos! Craig got down on one knee when only the two of us were around.
Our wedding day was the 8th July 2017. We decided on an outdoor wedding, so we chose summer and prayed for a dry day!
Our venue was Camp Katur, Kirklington, North Yorkshire. We chose the venue as it was so different to a typical hotel or stately home and had such a relaxed vibe. The ceremony area was in the forest and felt perfect while the reception was in the rustic barn. We also loved the fact that our guests could stay over in different glamping pods!
We went for a festival/bohemian-style wedding with a relaxed feel and a neutral colour scheme. We wanted to make as many things as we could for the wedding so that it was as ‘us’ as possible. With help from a good friend, we created a bar made from pallets along with a beer bath. In the end, we created almost everything for the day ourselves.
I bought my dress from Happily Ever After in Darlington. Amanda, the shop owner, couldn’t have been more helpful or lovely. Unlike most people, I knew what style I was after: simple, with lots of chiffon.
Craig wore a brown suit and jacket with a white cotton shirt, black chinos and tan brogues. The jacket, shoes and waistcoat were from Rocha John Rocha and the chinos were good old M&S. The shirt was Jasper Conran.
April 6th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Who says you have to play by the rules on your wedding day? Well, today’s couple are breaking with convention – and they’re doing it by the bucket-load! Favours, bridesmaids, best men, a wedding breakfast, top table…all nowhere to be seen. But Fi and Kev’s day is all the more special for it.
And, something we’re sure will turn a few heads – hubby Kev helped his bride-to-be shop for her wedding dress, and they even woke up together on the morning of their nuptials. Could this couple be any more unique, daring to be different and putting a big personal stamp on their big day?
Tying the knot in the stunning Lake District, the couple’s intimate wedding had so many wonderful touches – from their guests jingling a line of bells in unison following the ceremony, to their fabulous cheese cake and veggie spread, and the most eye-wateringly beautiful picture of the couple looking up at the twinkly night sky. We’re in love with this unconventional but truly inspiring wedding, and we think you’re going to be head over heels about it, too!
With images by Jo Greenfield Photography.
fi says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2016. We have a couple of traditions, one being that we love to send each other cards or write little notes to each other and leave them in random places; the other is that we like to return to a particular park bench, where we first held hands, on the 25th of each month. On Christmas Day 2016 I was excited to give Kev a card, telling him how wonderful 2016 had been and how much love and happiness he had brought to my world. He had also written a card for me which had an extra little note inside saying ‘will you marry me?’. Kev had planned to give me his card at the park bench but because I was so excited to give him mine on Christmas morning, he gave me his while we were standing in the kitchen at home. That’s where he proposed, with his little note, standing in the very spot where he had asked me to move in with him. Perhaps not as romantic as being in the park sitting on our bench, but simple and just perfect.
We got married on 30th September 2017. We didn’t want a long engagement – why wait?! Neither of us particularly had any attachment to the Midlands, where we live, but we both love the Lake District so decided to tie the knot there. We hoped the September date might offer us better weather conditions and colours in the mountains at that time of the year.
We got married and held our reception at the Haweswater Hotel in the Lake District. Kev and I are both uncomplicated people and the thought of having a massive wedding just didn’t appeal – we do not like being centre of attention so keeping our wedding small and intimate was really important.
We found the Haweswater Hotel purely by chance. We had gone to visit a different location and had been recommended by the owner of this other venue that we could stay at the Haweswater Hotel on the night of our wedding. So, we thought we’d take a look. We parked up outside and were mesmerised by the location and how beautifully isolated it was. The reception staff offered to show us round and we left that afternoon knowing we wanted to get married there.
We didn’t have a theme. We just wanted a simple and uncomplicated day. No unnecessary extras, no over-the-top flamboyance, just simple, relaxed and informal, a gathering of our friends and family.
We knew what colours we liked and a scheme evolved from that. I knew I wanted to wear ivory and Kev knew he wanted a deep blue herringbone tweed suit. Kev had been on holiday to India just as we met and whilst he was there he met the Dalai Lama who had given him a knotted red string bracelet. We decided to use this red band as inspiration for a vibrant accent colour, with pops of deep red in our flowers and Kev’s button hole and tie. So, in the end, we had a mix of ivory, dark blue, pops of deep red, dusky pinks and creams.
Right from the first day we met, Kev and I have always shared everything, and I couldn’t comprehend dress shopping without him. We wanted all our wedding decisions to be made together, so Kev was involved in the dress process with me.
I’d hoped it would be really exciting to walk into wedding dress shops and pick up lots of beautiful dresses to try on; this was never the case. I did some internet browsing to find a shop that stocked some dresses I did like, and Kev came with me for my appointment. However, I was even more demoralised when everything I tried on was a size 8. Being a size 12/14 I never thought I was that big, but this experience soon made me feel self-conscious about my size, something that had never really worried me before.
All this really got me down and I thought I’d never find ‘the’ dress, but the one thing I was able to take from the experience was what did and didn’t suit me. I decided to have my dress made so that I could incorporate all the ideas that I had really liked from the dresses I had tried on. In the end a family friend made my dress. Kev and I designed it together and were involved in the whole process.
April 4th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s bride and groom, Erin and Matt got engaged in Kenya, but decided to tie the knot back in the UK, in the stunning Lake District, won over by the location’s rugged, rural landscape – perfect for such an outdoorsy couple, if we do say so ourselves!
They chose the adorable Knipe Hall for their reception – a period farmhouse which offered the versatility they very much craved, enabling them to really put a personal stamp on things – encompassing everything from the catering and décor to the entertainment.
Bamboo hearts, paper lanterns, a handmade cake stand, love themed books hidden in the crevasses of the barn wall, and a specially composed piece of music…we think you’ll be smitten with some of the couple’s creative ideas. As for the food, afternoon tea followed by a fish and chip van in the evening sounds like the perfect combination to us! We only wish we could have been there, too…
With images by Mr Sleeve.
erin says: We got engaged while living and working in Kenya, teaching in an international school, after we first met 18 months before at Heathrow, on the way out to Kenya to work in the same school. We were on holiday in Ethiopia during the Easter holidays in 2016 and were walking in the Simien Mountains when Matt proposed, sat on the edge of a very high cliff. We had no mobile or internet signal for a few days, so it was lovely knowing that it was only us who knew about the engagement for a while.
Our wedding took place on 12th August 2017. As teachers, we wanted a date in the holidays and were also hoping for some nice weather.
Our ceremony was held in The Parish Church of St. Peter’s, Martindale. As Matt is from Kent and I am from the Yorkshire Dales, we didn’t have a place in the UK that held shared memories for us both. We both love the wild and rugged fells of the Lake District and fell in love with this little church on a hill. The views of Lake Ullswater were amazing.
We chose Knipe Hall, Bampton Grange, for our reception as it has such a rustic and authentic location. We could choose whatever caterers, decor and style of wedding we wanted, but still have all the basics catered for, like clearing up, linens, cutlery etc. It was such a good compromise as we could be involved in all the exciting bits and leave the other parts to someone else. The flexibility and rurality of the location and the friendliness of the Knipe Hall team, as well as being great value for money, were real selling points to us.
It was also lovely to have our wedding in two places that have differing rural English landscapes; the steep volcanic mountains and beautiful lakes of the Lake District, as well as the more rolling and farming/estate land of the Lowther Estate.
Our theme was outdoor adventure and rustic vintage, with a creative twist. The outdoor adventure part was because we both love the outdoors and adventure. The vintage part came from the idea of an afternoon tea for our wedding breakfast, both for practical reasons and because everybody loves cake, right?! The rustic part was important because, when we looked at other ‘grander’ venues with wedding packages, we just felt it wasn’t really ‘us’. We wanted a venue that reflected our personalities and that we could put our stamp on, and this was certainly it, sheep and all! As for the creative part – this was based on the many parts of the wedding that were ‘created’ in some way by family and friends.
We didn’t have too much of a colour theme, but the bridesmaids were all in mint green. The green was echoed through the men’s ties and bunting too, but not much else.
April 3rd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Chocolate hangover and intense back to work dread anyone? We hear you.
We know what you need: chilled festival vibes, rustic homespun details and bride on a zipwire! We’re picking up the blog after the Bank Holiday with a real wedding which ticks all the inspiration boxes.
Adele and Michele were married last summer at Northside Farm, Northumberland, home to a beautiful converted barn and some stunning rural views. The couple paid homage to Michele’s Italian heritage with live ‘pop-up’ accordion music sessions and a sumptuous menu featuring Parma ham, mozzarella and Prosecco (obvs). Food wasn’t the only priority, though – fun was also top of the agenda with an appearance from a magician, a table plan featuring cringeworthy snaps of guests and a photobooth guestbook.
Our favourite features, however, have to be Adele’s floaty boho-meets-Grecian-style lace dress, literally last-minute bouquet and showstopper of a flower crown, which result in a laidback earthy look with bags of originality. We likey – and we suspect you might, too!
With images by DPR Photography.
adele says: We got engaged on 13th May 2015, which was also our little boy’s first birthday. I was changing Enzo and discovered he was wearing a babygro saying “Daddy has something to ask you downstairs”. Even then I didn’t guess what was about to happen! When we came down, Michele was on one knee holding my ring with candles and rose petals on the floor. I had to walk back out the door and back in again, so he could actually ask the question because he was crying so much!
Our wedding date was Saturday 15th July 2017. We knew we wanted to get married on a Saturday in the summer, so we went ahead and booked the wedding – and found out afterwards that I was pregnant and my due date was 15th July 2016! Our little girl Alba arrived five days early but in the run-up we thought we might end up preparing for a wedding and a first birthday!
We got married at Northside Farm, Northumberland. We visited the barn when it was only a lot of bricks and a shell. We sat down with Ralph and Olivia and looked over their vision and instantly fell in love with the place. I always wanted a barn wedding and this place was a hidden gem. Ralph and Olivia tested it out themselves by getting married there first.
We had exclusive use of the venue and the wigwams for the whole weekend. Michele and his groomsmen stayed in the wigwams on the Friday and had a takeaway and drinks. We then had a barbecue on the Sunday after the wedding, which was so chilled. We absolutely loved the fact that we turned our celebrations into a weekend party rather than just one day.
Michele’s family are Italian so we wanted to add our own little Italian touches; not in-your-face-Italian but more of a subtle nod to his ancestry. We also wanted everyone to feel relaxed and enjoy themselves. Our guests were able to camp on site so we ended up with tents, campervans and teepees everywhere – exactly the vibe we wanted!
We didn’t have a colour scheme but we kept everything very rustic, using wildflowers and a lot of personal handmade touches throughout the venue. The venue décor was already very much to my taste so not a lot needed doing.
Dress-wise, I tried on a few different styles, but I just couldn’t find ‘the one’. However, I eventually came across Bex and her amazing shop Bexbrides, and I’m so glad I did. I knew I’d find my dress as soon as I walked in! I ended up going with Bex’s own design, which was an amazing white lace dress and we worked together on adding my own touches including a very long train. I was over the moon with the finished dress knowing it was completely bespoke and unique to me.
On the wedding day, a local makeup artist called Carla Donnan MUA did mine and my bridesmaids’ makeup; she arrived bright and early and fitted in effortlessly.
Tiffany V Hair did the bridesmaids’ hair and my older sister/bridesmaid created my wavy do. I didn’t want anything out of the ordinary and wanted my headpiece to take the attention instead.
March 30th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
The prosecco is chilling in the fridge, the cupboards are stacked high with hot cross buns and we can literally hear the bells of the Lindt bunny ringing aloud – Easter is here, and so it’s a weekend of socialising and indulgence for us. But just before we down tools for the Bank Holiday, we’re opening an obligatory bag of Mini Eggs and poring over this afternoon’s stunning real wedding.
Here at Brides Up North we’re a sucker for stunning church shots, and Helen and Will’s big day really pulls out all the stops – the stained-glass windows, columns and nave are soaked in history and grandeur, plus there’s the heart-warming story of the Canon who couldn’t have been more welcoming. Their reception followed at Whitley Hall, and wandering peacocks, live music and a gin fizz or two made for the perfect evening celebration.
Helen’s vision exudes elegance – all-white florals, a seriously classy duchess satin and lace gown – but there were also plenty of personal touches; from her grandmother’s wedding ring which she wore on the ankle strap of her shoe, to her love for Newcastle United (haway the lads!) being reflected in the black and white colour scheme.
With images by Stu Ganderton Photography.
helen says: We got engaged around midnight under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Will had surprised me with the trip for Christmas, and we went at the end of March 2015. He had carried the ring with him all day, looking for a perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – the weather was terrible and he kept setting off security alarms due to the hidden ring! He had to send me on in front of him when we were going into galleries! That evening, he took me for champagne at the Moulin Rouge. It was a fabulous evening. As we walked back to our hotel, I felt a tug on my arm. When I turned around, he was down on one knee. I was completely overwhelmed, and I think I cried for days! When we got back to the hotel, they wouldn’t serve us champagne as they were just closing the bar – miserable lot! However, they did have a vending machine that dispensed champagne, so we were able to toast our engagement.
Our wedding was 5th August 2017. We wanted a summer wedding so that we could enjoy a honeymoon – I’m an assistant head at a secondary school, so I can only go away during holidays.
Our ceremony was at Sheffield Cathedral and our reception at Whitley Hall, Sheffield. The Cathedral was Will’s idea. A church ceremony was very important to me, but as Will has previously been married and divorced, some churches refused to marry us. After a rather rude vicar declined our request to be married at his church, Will took it upon himself to find a way. We attended the Sunday service at the Cathedral and met with Canon Chris. When we explained our situation, he couldn’t have been more welcoming or understanding. We became members of the congregation from May 2015, and we remain so today. The Cathedral community immediately welcomed us, especially Canon Keith, who married us. He spent hours getting to know us and he performed the most beautiful ceremony. To be married in the heart of the city was so special to us, as it was where we first met and bought our first home together.
We visited several reception venues before we went to Whitley Hall. None of them quite met our expectations, whereas Whitley exceeded them. We wanted somewhere elegant, classy and with character. The staff were so accommodating and helpful, and they were able to give us the date wanted. We were guaranteed access to the beautiful walled gardens and the main banqueting suite. We also felt that the rooms were reasonably priced for our guests.
My nana picked my wedding dress, but she sadly passed away four months before our wedding. She was a huge part of my life and she was a big miss on the day. She insisted on paying for the bells to ring at the Cathedral, so she was definitely part of our ceremony. I wore her wedding ring on the ankle strap of my left shoe, so that she was with me every step of the way.
Styling-wise, we wanted our wedding to be simple, striking and elegant. The tables had tall vases with white oriental lilies and greenery, tea lights and a few crystals. Our colour scheme was black and white. It’s a striking and clean-cut combination – and I’m also a Newcastle fan!
I chose a beautiful gown from Nora Eve in Chesterfield. It was the third shop we had been to and nothing had quite met what I had in mind. I wanted something very plain with regards to detail, but with a dramatic silhouette. When I came out of the changing room wearing it my mam, nana and sister (my maid of honour) were all in agreement that it was ‘the one’. I hadn’t wanted lace, but I loved the delicate bodice of the dress with the duchess satin skirt. My nana had the final word, and that was that! I also picked a full cathedral veil to suit the venue. My hair was styled by Amanda from Face2Face – she was very reasonable and accommodating.
Will had a bespoke three-piece suit made via Moss Bros. He wore a white shirt with a cutaway collar, white cravat and pocket square.
March 29th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Stacy and Andy’s stunning day represents the best of two very different wedding worlds, with wild, windy Wuthering Heights-style portraits at the top of Pendle Hill placed alongside the laidback industrial cool of Holmes Mill in Clitheroe.
From the moment this decisive pair stepped foot in the venue they just knew it was for them – falling instantly in love with its exposed stone walls, cool lighting and chic industrial features. If ‘urban luxe’ is your wedding styling preference too, then be sure to come along to our Luxury Wedding Fair at Holmes Mill on Sunday 8th April, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY, to see this gorgeous venue for yourself while meeting a host of the area’s top wedding suppliers.
But for now, back to Stacy and Andy – their theme evolved organically, with lots of dark red, evergreens, candlelight and Stacy’s Edwardian-style dress setting an effortlessly elegant tone for a spectacular winter feast. The Northern Soul and Hacienda-influenced playlist and pie, pea and chips supper gets a big thumbs up from us and, quite frankly, pushes Stacy and Andy into poll position as our current festive wedspo favourites.
There’s so much to crush on in these images, from the vintage cocktail glasses to the unfettered emotion in those triumphant fist-pumping shots taken outside the church. So, without further ado, it’s time to indulge in some beauty!
With images by S6 Photography.
stacy says: Andy’s proposal was a complete surprise. We were spending Christmas 2016 separately with our families (mine in Lancashire, Andy’s in Berkshire) as we both live and work in London so don’t get much time with them throughout the year. On Christmas morning, Andy made the four-hour drive up to surprise me at my parents’. I answered the door, and my mum and dad – who knew he was coming – were so excited that they appeared at the door too, along with my brother. When I opened it to find him on the doorstep on one knee, he proposed to all of us! We had such an amazing Christmas Day – my mum had already set the table for five (I hadn’t even noticed), and we all ate Christmas dinner together, then drank champagne and danced into the small hours.
Our wedding was 30th December 2017. The date wasn’t significant, we just didn’t want to be engaged for a long time, and I always liked the idea of a winter wedding over a summer wedding because of all the aesthetics, with cosy candlelight and dark colours and foliage.
The ceremony was at St Peter & St Joseph RC church in Rossendale, Lancashire. The church is special to me because my parents were married there in 1984, and my grandparents in 1946. My grandparents Nellie and Jack attended mass there until their deaths, and we reserved their usual bench with a sign and two red roses, so it felt like they were there. Throughout the ceremony I felt that if I’d turned around I would have seen them, which was a lovely feeling.
Our reception was at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. My dad Stuart found the venue, and as soon as we walked in (it was the first venue we saw), we knew it was the one. We’re quite decisive! We loved how it felt almost like a private members’ club, with potted palms and nooks and crannies with comfy sofas. I love all things Victorian and Edwardian, and loved the way they’d made all the old mill equipment the focus of each room. Upstairs the function room was perfect, with exposed walls, Edison bulbs and a glass wall overlooking the brewery. I think we made our minds up before we’d even talked prices.
There wasn’t a theme but I suppose we wanted everything to be seasonal, with natural lighting, dark colours and foliage. There ended up being a lot of dark red – my flowers, my shoes, Andy’s tie – which wasn’t planned but came together well.
My dress was from Savannah Miller’s collection at Debenhams. I knew I wanted long sleeves and a high neck; when I was looking at dresses I was drawn over and over again to Edwardian-style dresses with narrow shapes and beautiful detailing. It made it easy to shop for one because at every showroom or boutique I visited (about four in total), they only had one or two long-sleeved dresses. When I tried the Savannah Miller dress on it was just perfect – and it helped that it was about a third of the price of everything else I’d tried!
I shopped around for bridal shoes but found most of them weren’t my style. I eventually chose a pair of Bordeaux velvet court shoes from the V&A collection at Ravel, which was a beautiful contrast to the ivory dress. My earrings were from Latelita London, and I bought an ivory fur cape from Helen Moore to wear outside. My veil was from Kimberley Anne Bridal Boutique in Clitheroe.
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