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golden guidance: top tips from real brides up north

June 29th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Paul-Liddement-Wedding-Stories-Photographer-5

Paul Liddement Wedding Stories

As we find ourselves at this sensationally sunny mid-point of the year it’s time to reflect on the on the words of wisdom shared by the fabulous brides who have featured on the blog so far this year.

There is certainly nobody better to advise you on how to handle the run up, as well as the big day itself, than those who have been there, done that, said the ‘I dos’ and worn the Jimmy Choos. As such, we’ve picked out top 20 pearls of wisdom that we consider golden to assist you on your planning journey; from recruiting the right suppliers and avoiding a dress shopping crisis, to working as a dynamic duo and really making the day your own!

So readers, prepare to take note as these fully-fledged brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…”

Click on the links to see each wedding in full. 

Louise & Michael

Made for each other. An elegant wedding at Bowcliffe Hall in West Yorkshire – Louise & Michael

Louise says: Firstly, enjoy every minute of the planning as well as the big day. Don’t over think things. Set your budget but when you see something you really like, go for it. I think you can spend so much time scrutinising everything and it can take over your life. Secondly, don’t leave yourself too much to do in the last week before the wedding. The build-up was such good fun and we loved spending that time with our family and friends before the big day. We also used Brides Up North in the lead up to our wedding to help with the planning – I followed the Instagram account (and still do!) We also read the wedding blogs on the site as it is a great way to get ideas – and who doesn’t love to hear about other people’s wedding stories?! We used the online supplier directory as a sense check too.

Sarah & Phil

Roses & romance. A beautifully classic wedding at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel, Manchester – Sarah & Phil

Sarah says: Don’t stress about the little things; as long as there is good food, drink, dancing and good company you will have the best day regardless.

Rachael & Tom

Lilac & lace: A romantic summer wedding at Saltmarshe Hall – Rachael & Tom

Rachael says: Enjoy the process of organising the wedding as much as you can. It is such a busy and, at times, stressful experience worrying about making the right decisions and trying to keep everyone happy, but it is also a really special time and one that doesn’t last forever, so make the most of it. Ultimately, it’s your day and, as long as you do what makes you both happy, you can’t go wrong.

Jemma & David

Pretty blooms & antique gold. A wonderfully stylish wedding at Middleton Lodge – Jemma & David

Jemma says: Take your time and don’t get stressed! Start planning early and do bite sized tasks bit by bit so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Michael & Jessica

And…kiss! Rebecca Ingram for a romantic, rustic wedding at Combermere Abbey – Michael & Jessica

Jessica says: I would strongly recommend getting a venue decorator/stylist. It’s easy to think that it’s easier to do it yourself but it was so reassuring to know that we could enjoy the day before without worrying about centrepieces. Oh, and get married early – it gives you loads of time to chat to everyone!

Jen & Leigh

A winter’s love. A chic wedding at The Mansion, Leeds – Jen & Leigh

Jen says: Follow your gut and do what feels right for the two of you. Make sure you push to have an occasion that is personal and keep it fun. Everyone says it, but the day itself goes so fast, take some time to be together and sit back for a minute to look around. The ceremony is the best bit, so don’t forget about it in the planning madness!

Nic & Kelly

I do in Choo: Catherine Deane for a garden-party wedding in the North West – Nic & Kelly

Nic says: Do everything together. People often say that planning a wedding is stressful. It’s as stressful as you choose it to be! Make all the decisions together, split the workload and be decisive.

Kathryn & Michael

A starry union: Allure Bridals for a pretty rural wedding at Healey Barn – Kathryn & Michael

Kathryn says: Don’t let the rain ruin your day! It rained all day on our wedding day, but it didn’t matter in the slightest. I’m so happy we decided to embrace the rain and head into the woods for some photographs, as these ended up being some of my favourite photos of the day. The rain makes everything look so fresh and the colours look so beautiful in our photos.

Emily & Tim

Where the heart is. A decadent wedding at Denton Hall, Yorkshire – Emily & Tim

Emily says: Get a wedding planner as they are well worth the money. They keep you on track and have great recommendations; they know what suppliers you can trust and also help to keep everything on track on the day of the wedding itself. I am an extremely organised person so thought I could do it on my own, but my husband convinced me we needed a planner and I am so thankful he did!

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love letters. caroline castigliano for a pretty & personal wedding at wharfedale grange – jess & ian

June 28th, 2018 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at Wharfdale Grange (c) Ash Martin (47)

The sun continues to shine, and the gorgeous real weddings just keep coming. This time it’s the turn of wonderful Brides Up North reader, Jess, to share her big day on our pages, and we have to say the beauty of this one goes much deeper than the styling and props.

For Jess and her beau Ian, we’re keen to make their celebrations a truly personal affair, making their guests feel right at home while also providing a clear reflection of their relationship.

Picking new Yorkshire venue Wharfedale Grange as the location, a stunning Caroline Castigliano dress and an abundance of blooms, Jess made sure the key elements were set to stun and then added special touches to the day, including a jazz hour with personalised cocktails, a Yorkshire themed wedding breakfast menu and the most thoughtful favours we’ve ever come across. Showcasing her rhyming and literacy skills, Jess penned an individual six-line poem about each and every guest (120 to be precise!!). These little ditties were so well received that Jess has since set up a lovely little business of her own so she can offer her talents to other couples looking to put a personal stamp on their proceedings, and we think she may well be inundated for such services!

Now, let’s indulge in the pretty

With photography by Ash Martin Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Wharfdale Grange (c) Ash Martin (52)

jess says: We got engaged whilst skiing in Morzine, France. It’s our favourite place for a holiday in both summer and winter, as we love to be in the mountain air and active. We had the perfect blue sky day on the slopes, drinking mulled wine in the sunshine and then Ian got down on one knee in on the balcony of our chalet on the Monday evening. I had a feeling something was amiss when he randomly took the bin out, it was only half full! But he used that decoy to nip out to order some champagne at the restaurant he had secretly booked. We celebrated with a slap-up meal at our favourite restaurant, all the waiters were looking at us and smiling. I couldn’t even taste the food I was so excited, it was the biggest surprise ever. I always joke that I’ll never hate a Monday ever again!

A Pretty Wedding at Wharfdale Grange (c) Ash Martin (19)

Our wedding was on Saturday 5th May 2018, we chose it because it was a bank holiday weekend and we knew people would be extra relaxed. We wanted a spring wedding at the start of the season when our guests would be ready and raring to go. The 5th of the 5th is also an easy anniversary to remember (said Ian)!

We risked the weather not being the best, but it turned out to be 23 degrees, full sun and probably the first day of the summer! It was scorching.

A Pretty Wedding at Wharfdale Grange (c) Ash Martin (27)

Although we have lived and worked in London for a couple of years, Yorkshire will always be our home and we knew it was the only place we would get married. And so, our ceremony took place at St Giles Church in Bramhope, where I was both christened and confirmed. I lost my brother at a young age and it was also where we held his funeral, so lots of family memories there. Ian knew it was a special place for me.

The reception I wanted somewhere close-by to Bramhope but also something a little different and not somewhere our guests would have visited before. We had heard about Wharfedale Grange being built to be ready for spring 2018, so it seemed perfect. We were the first couple to enquire and Claire the owner, set up a meeting with us where we viewed the paper plans for the building. It sounded wonderful, a romantic yet glamorous large barn! So, we took the risk on the build and didn’t even look elsewhere. It was booked.

A Pretty Wedding at Wharfdale Grange (c) Ash Martin (65)

Theme-wise, I wanted something romantic and glamourous to match the reception venue. I would say our main theme was ‘personalisation’! I wanted each and every guest to feel welcome and special at our wedding, I was adamant it wouldn’t be generic and would completely reflect me and Ian.

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industrial cool: halfpenny london for a stylish wedding at holmes mill – jane & nathan

June 26th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

An Industrial Chic Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) Stuart Hornby (54)

Get ready for an achingly cool real wedding as we welcome fabulous newlyweds Jane and Nathan to the blog. The super fashionable industrial interior of Holmes Mill in Clitheroe provided the swoon-worthy backdrop to their big day; with its bare plaster walls, metal columns and cinema-style fold-away seating, perfectly styled with simple, blowsy blooms of hydrangea and sweeping curves of festoon lights. There’s even a chic Louis Ghost chair to perch on while signing the register.

Jane is effortlessly beautiful in a Halfpenny London dress, a classic vintage-inspired gown with fine corded lace and delicate cap sleeves. The open back and dropped waist add a modern feel that is totally at home with the industrial vibes. She finishes her outfit with a stunning pair of towering Jimmy Choo sandals in delicate grey. The guys are equally cool in black tie, which looks great against the shimmering blue of the bridesmaid dresses.

Family is important, and so the couple’s adorable twins quite rightly take centre stage, and fabulous details from those closest them, such as the hand-drawn table names by Jane’s father, add wonderful personal elements to the celebrations too.

Diary Date: Love Nathan and Jane’s choice of venue? Then be sure to join us for our Urban Luxe Wedding Show at the stunning Holmes Mill on Sunday 23rd September, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY.

With images by Stuart Hornby Photography.

An Industrial Chic Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) Stuart Hornby (51)

jane says: We got engaged in Palma in June 2016, after almost six years together. I’d given Nathan quite the hard time about proposing, so I don’t think he had much choice!

We got married on Saturday 26th May 2018. We wanted a bank holiday weekend so we could have a ‘wedding weekend’, extending the festivities to the Sunday.

An Industrial Chic Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) Stuart Hornby (30)

We had our ceremony and reception at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. I found the venue by chance on Instagram and loved the pictures, so took Nathan along to have a look. We both fell in love with the place, which was very quirky and different to anything we’d visited already. We wanted somewhere our friends wouldn’t have been to before and, as this was a new venue, it ticked that box. We would absolutely recommend the venue – all the staff were amazing and the day went without any issues.

Our colour scheme was mainly blue and white, which was purely to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, which I’d already fallen in love with.

An Industrial Chic Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) Stuart Hornby (52)

For my dress, I chose a Halfpenny London design, which was bought from The White Closet in Didsbury. I was actually 12 weeks’ pregnant with twins at the time, so I wanted something that wasn’t too fitted so as to not put too much pressure on me after the birth. The dress was called Violet, which was extra special as this was my grandmother’s name.

An Industrial Chic Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) Stuart Hornby (57)

Nathan chose a black-tie theme for the men, as he wanted something a bit different to the traditional blue suit. He bought his suit from Reiss.

My bridesmaids wore Ghost dresses in blue, which I loved as they could each wear one that was a slightly different design. I actually found these dresses before my own!

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modern botanics: grey & copper for an elegant wedding at middleton lodge – rachel & chris

June 25th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

Modern Botanics Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Lloyd Clarke Photography (63)

The swoon-worthy wedding of Rachel and Chris brings both style and elegance together in a beautiful ‘modern botanicals’ theme. Lush eucalyptus and succulents are lit with tasteful copper lanterns on the tables and spill from the bride’s luxurious, scent-filled bouquet.

Choosing a scheme of grey and copper, Rachel cleverly weaves her delicate, modern colour scheme throughout the whole day, with no detail left to chance; from the copper writing on the confetti cones and order of service at the church, to the Mr and Mrs cake topper and charming marble place names, on which the guests’ names were painstakingly written in copper calligraphy by Rachel and her mum. Grey is a sophisticated choice for the bridesmaids’ dresses, and tones beautifully with the elegant surroundings and pale colourway of the venue.

The bride is stunning in a Blue by Enzoani gown, which brings old Hollywood glam together with modern elegance in a halterneck dress of lace and tulle, with a daring keyhole back. Hiring a classic car to travel from the church to the reception only added to the glamour, while also giving Rachel and Chris some time together to celebrate exchanging their vows. Tell us more, Rachel…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd-Clarke Photography.

Modern Botanics Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Lloyd Clarke Photography (10)

rachel says: Chris proposed in a gorgeous restaurant called Kat and Theo in New York, in August 2016. As I went to pick up my drink, Chris slid the ring box on to the table – lots of crying and “Oh my Gods” happened before I realised I hadn’t actually said yes! We then celebrated with cocktails in the square of the Rockefeller Centre.

Modern Botanics Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Lloyd Clarke Photography (16)

We got married on 7th April 2018. I wanted all of my family from Canada to be able to join us and Easter is the best time for them to fly here. Plus, I’m a teacher so it meant we could have a week beforehand to prepare and a week after to relax. Spring is also our favourite time of the year.

The ceremony was at St Michael and All Angels Church in Middleton Tyas, and the reception was at nearby Middleton Lodge. My parents live close by and we had been to the Coach House at Middleton Lodge several times before and absolutely loved it. The fact that they have a cellar bar that opens until 2am was also a big selling point! The church is really cute, up a country road and surrounded by fields.

Modern Botanics Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Lloyd Clarke Photography (77)

I would absolutely recommend the venue to other engaged couples. My bridesmaids, mum and I stayed at the farmhouse on the estate the night before the wedding, which was perfect. The farmhouse itself is absolutely gorgeous and we enjoyed a meal together for my final night as a ‘miss’. On the morning of the wedding, we were then all together in the living room while we had our hair and makeup done.

Middleton Lodge itself was amazing. Our wedding co-ordinator (Chloe) was so attentive and reassuring – I am quite a control freak, which I think she soon realised so she kept me up to date with everything that was going on and made sure it all looked how I had imagined. She was brilliant and made sure the day ran perfectly. I also loved having lots of people stay at the lodge with us and then we all enjoyed a delicious breakfast the next day.

Modern Botanics Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Lloyd Clarke Photography (31)

For the theme, we wanted quite a modern, botanical style and not so much a ‘traditional’ wedding style. I wanted lots of succulents, eucalyptus, etc. to be the main style of flower. We went for a grey and copper colour scheme, with lots of greenery in the flowers.

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falling for you. a blue grey & silver wedding in east yorkshire – abigail & ashley

June 22nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Silver & Blue Grey Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Silver Sixpence Film & Photo (31)

Ending the week on a high, we’re welcoming Abigail and Ashley to the blog to share the details of their super well-organised big day. Taking place on Easter Monday earlier this year, they exchanged vows at the bride’s quaint village church before celebrating with family and friends at The Millhouse Restaurant in Skidby, East Yorkshire.

Breaking with convention, the bride fell in love with a skirt while out wedding dress shopping…and decided to team this with a blue bridesmaid gown underneath, creating the illusion of a top. But crucially, doubling up as a party dress for later in the evening!

And this wasn’t the only thing that the couple did a little differently. Their colour scheme was in fact the theme for their big day, as they asked all their guests to dress in blue grey and silver. That would certainly help whittle down the eternal wedding guest dilemma of, what do I wear to the wedding?!

Well, it’s time to find out, as we hand the blog over to Abigail to talk us through all the fabulous highlights and explain why, despite the torrential rain, they were both simply “made up” when it came to their photography from their special day.

If you too love the look of Abigail & Ashley’s stunning wedding images taken by our fabulous Sponsor Ed of Silver Sixpence Film and Video, then you’ll want to make note of this exclusive Brides Up North reader offer: To celebrate the launch of the photography side of Silver Sixpence Film and Photo, Ed is offering a full day’s wedding photography for just £695 for weddings in 2018*. This includes all images delivered on USB or download and via digital viewing gallery. Bookings must be made before September 2018, so if you’re still on the hunt for a photographer, be sure to enquire promptly to take advantage of this fantastic offer.

Now, over to Abigail…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Film and Photo.

A Silver & Blue Grey Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Silver Sixpence Film & Photo (43)

abigail says: We got engaged on Sunday 27th November 2016 at 4am in the morning as we set off for a couple of nights in London. It nearly killed me as I couldn’t phone anyone till at least 7am because it was so early!

Our wedding date was 2nd April 2018, Easter Monday. Ashley is a teacher and we wanted the wedding to be during the school holidays and Easter Monday was all that was available at our chosen venue.

A Silver & Blue Grey Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Silver Sixpence Film & Photo (18)

Our ceremony took place at midday at Leven Holy Trinity Church. Leven is the village I grew up in and the church was where my mum and dad got married, and where my sisters and I were christened. From there, we spent the afternoon and evening at The Millhouse Restaurant. We chose this venue as it was simplistic and bright, and the food is incredible – we knew we would be well looked after there.

A Silver & Blue Grey Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Silver Sixpence Film & Photo (32)

Our theme was blue grey and silver and we asked all 102-day guests and our 175 evening guests to come dressed in those colours. The reason? I have been a bridesmaid nine times and couldn’t possibly choose between all my beautiful friends and sisters, so we decided to make the whole wedding party feel involved. I also had a blue and white dress rather than the traditional white.

A Silver & Blue Grey Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Silver Sixpence Film & Photo (29)

Dress shopping was hell for me as I knew I wanted something a little different but wasn’t sure what! I ended up going to 14 dress shops, and my mum and me had a mix of good and bad experiences. I’ve always been known as a bargain hunter and totally refused to spend over £800 for my whole outfit, so obviously that was proving to be difficult.

Finally, we found Wed2b in Hull, and right there on the mannequin was this incredible skirt, I knew right then I had to have it! It was just a case of finding the right top half. Mum had the idea of me wearing a short dress underneath so on the night I would be freed up for dancing the night away. My blue dress is a bridesmaid dress from Samantha’s Boutique on Chanterlands Avenue, Hull, and I literally wore the skirt over the top with my beautiful belt which was £12 from eBay. My outfit – including alterations and shoes – came in at under £500.

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pretty in pink: roses & gyp for a sophisticated wedding at sandburn hall – ell & richard

June 21st, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Sophisticated Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography By Charli (31)

For our second dose of gorgeousness today is Ell and Richard’s visual feast of a wedding, centred around a romantic dusty pink colour palette. The couple carried the sophisticated scheme through the whole day; from the elegant strapless bridesmaid dresses to the translucent ribbon detail adorning the backs of the chairs.

As Ell and Richard exchanged their vows in front of the most beautiful countryside backdrop and underneath a blanket of fairy lights strung from the beams, a pair of blossom-style trees frame the scene perfectly and echo the rural vista beyond, mirroring a pair of majestic trees in the landscape. The indoor trees took on a whole new level of impact in the evening after the sun had set, as the hundreds of fairy lights sparkled romantically for the first dance.

There are some fun details too; from the cheese cake to celebrate their passion for fromage, to the jars of mini eggs that nod to the Easter weekend.

We also adore the subtle beading on Ell’s stunning gown, which we think complements the delicate feel of the entire day perfectly!

With images by Photography by Charli.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography By Charli (33)

ell says: Richard proposed on the evening of my last day of work before Christmas 2016. He got down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree in our living room. My favourite time of year is Christmas and my favourite place to be is at home, in front of the fire with Richard and our black lab, Jet. So it was the perfect proposal!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography By Charli (11)

We got married on 30th March 2018 (Good Friday). We got a great deal with the venue for a March wedding and so we decided to go for the latest date available. It helped that we went to view the venue on a miserable January day and still fell in love with it, so we knew no matter what the weather was like the venue was great!

We had both our ceremony and reception at Sandburn Hall in York. We loved the rustic beams and amazing views from the Grand Hall. We would 100% recommend the venue to other couples. Hayley, our wedding planner, was a superstar! She made us feel so relaxed on what I had thought would be a very stressful day.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography By Charli (24)

Our colour scheme was dusty pink. I really loved the colour and didn’t want a scheme that made it too difficult to tie it in with the bridesmaids’ outfits and table centrepieces. We wanted our decor to be delicate and pretty.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography By Charli (36)

For my dress, I went for an A-line design. I’m pretty tall and this was the most flattering shape/style.

I purchased the dress from Finery Bridal in Sherburn.

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