September 4th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Andrew and Kimberley’s wedding was destined to be a relaxed family affair from the very beginning, with the couple determined to pay tribute to loved ones and their two children playing a prominent role throughout the day.
Their grey and lemon colour scheme is light and fresh – perfect for a wedding in the height of summer – and everything from the bride’s bouquet to the table details ties together in perfect cohesive harmony. And those beachfront photographs – err, stunning much?
Their wedding, Kimberley happily reports, was the perfect combination of intimacy and ‘partyyy!’, with vodka Skittle shots, a packed dancefloor and too many joyful memories to choose just one. A+ for positive vibes, guys.
With images by Marcia’s Photography.
kimberley says: Andy and I had booked a last-minute holiday to Turkey; we had recently suffered a miscarriage with our first baby and had recently found out we were pregnant with our son, Dylan, so we decided to have a last holiday together as ‘just us two’. One evening, Andy arranged a meal on the beach right next to the sea – we literally had sand between our toes! Afterwards, we went for a walk in the moonlight when Andy said, “Guess what?” “What?” I replied, and he produced a ring and got down on one knee. Andy has a reputation for saying, “Guess what?” and following it up with some silly remark or taking the micky, so I was completely shocked when he actually asked me.
Our wedding date was 1st July 2017, which we booked two years in advance. The reason was simply so that my sister and family were able to fly over from South Africa to make the wedding.
We were married at St Luke’s Church in Crosby where our children had been baptised. We chose our venue because we loved the idea of watching the sun go down on the lake and how beautiful the location was on the beach front.
We didn’t really have a theme; we just wanted the day to be as relaxed and as natural as possible. However, our chosen colour was lemon, which we picked because we wanted a nice light colour for a summer wedding.
My dress was from ASAP Bride, which is an outlet in the heart of Liverpool. I‘d tried on a few different dresses but none of them made me not want to take it off. As soon as I put mine on though, the idea of taking it off made me want to cry!
Andy wore a light grey suit from Slaters with an ivory cravat and pocket square. I picked it, of course!
August 30th, 2017 | Julia Braime
This morning on the blog, we’re delighted to be catching up with one of our fabulous Sponsor photographers, Yorkshire-based Jenny Maden.
A self-confessed “softie”, Jenny loves capturing every element of a big day; from the thought-out details and styling, to the true emotions and expressions of those involved.
Summing up her style as natural and relaxed, Jenny prides herself on making couples feel totally at ease so they barely even notice her capturing their day.
Here to tell us more about her passion for photography (and romance) is the lady herself…
When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?
jenny says: I’ve been photographing weddings on a full-time basis since 2014. I love photographing people and wedding days are so full of opportunities to capture expression and emotion.
How would you describe your style of photography?
My style is very relaxed. When I’m working with my couples, they are generally chatting and laughing throughout, either with me or with each other. So much so that many couples tell me that they almost forget I’m photographing them. As a result, I achieve images that capture ‘you’.
I also constantly watch the light, the image composition and the angle in which I’m shooting, to ensure that the final images are polished and flattering – as well as natural.
What is it that you love most about your job?
There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer!
I love getting to know my couples before the big day; getting a feel for their personalities, how they like to spend their time, what they have planned for the big day etc. I’ve stayed in contact with many of my couples, long after their weddings, often meeting them again to photograph their growing families.
I just love weddings! The dress, the flowers, the jewellery, the shoes, the table décor, the cake, the food and drink, the venue, bunting, games on the lawn, musicians…you name it. Sometimes couples incorporate quirky and unique touches into their wedding day, which I’ve perhaps not photographed before, which is a real treat for me.
Lastly, and I think perhaps my upmost favourtite thing, about being a wedding photographer, is capturing the emotion of the day; happiness, laughter and love. The feelings between the bride and groom are so evident, but the love between them and their parents, siblings and friends, is so clear to see too. I get to witness this close-hand and document it. Being a hopeless softie with a passion for photographs, this is an absolute pleasure!
In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?
I strongly suggest you review their portfolio of work, to ensure that their style of work is to your taste. I also think it’s useful to meet as it’s really important that you feel at ease with your chosen photographer.
What is the feedback like from your couples?
I’ve had some lovely feedback, which I hugely value. Instead of me paraphrasing, take a peek for yourselves here.
Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?
I genuinely love the whole day. The bridal prep, the ‘first look’, the ceremony itself, the speeches, the first dance, but I also really love those quiet moments when I take the bride and groom off for a few pictures away from the guests. It’s often the only part of the day that they are alone together, and it’s a really special time that I get to capture.
August 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
After getting engaged at a Courteeners gig, today’s featured couple, Katie and Liam were married in Gibside Chapel and moved onto Eslington Villa to get the celebrations underway. Katie loved visiting Gibside as a little girl and instinctively knew it would be the ideal place to say “I do”. We’ve got to say that we wholeheartedly agree: the stately polished wood and colonnaded interior is breath-taking, and perfect for their formal religious ceremony.
But this Real Wedding has so much more going for it than just the pretty setting, believe us. Kate’s Martina Liana gown is just exquisite – an absolute showstopper of lace and embellishment topped off with the ultimate cathedral-length, heavy lace-edged statement veil. If you’re looking for classic Grace Kelly vibes with a V-neck, look no further.
Add in some sequinned table-runners, all-white bouquets and the proudest, smiliest little pageboy we ever did see and what do you get? A whole lotta heart-eyes.
With photography by Danny Birrell Photography.
kate says: Lima and I got engaged on 5th June 2015 at a Courteeners gig – they’re my favourite band! It was at Heaton Park in Manchester.
We got to into the venue, headed straight to the bar and, as we were waiting for everything to start, Liam said, “Can you hold my pint in your right hand?” The next thing I knew he was down on one knee! It was a huge shock: our friends were standing not too far away from us and all I could hear was my sister Charlotte screaming, crying and shouting, “Oh my God!” It was amazing – I couldn’t think of anywhere better for it to have happened. We were also mentioned in the NME magazine after the gig!
We wanted something a little different; I’m personally not keen on big stately home weddings and wanted to create something that was relevant to me and Liam. I used to go to Gibside as a child and we liked how Eslington Villa was just a quirky little restaurant and that we had exclusive use of it.
Our décor theme was ‘a little bit of everything’ – candles in geo votives, succulents and sequinned table runners. I loved how everything wasn’t too streamlined.
I saw my dress at a wedding fair; it was a Martina Liana gown from Mia Sposa bridal at Newcastle. I just fell completely in love as soon as I saw it. I loved the long train, the sleeves, the lace – just everything!
For my shoes I went for a pair of Christian Louboutins – I’d wanted a pair for years! They were nude patent Pigalles.
August 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
For our latest lookbook post, we’re taking lead from gossip mags’ favourite and reigning Brides Up North gym inspiration Pippa Middleton – seriously though, I would swap one of my legs for those biceps. Sigh.
Prior to the wedding of the year, fashion commentators consulted their crystal balls and clamoured to predict the style the Duchess’ little sister would go for – arguably it was all a bit more, well, interesting than the 2011 debate about Kate’s dress decisions because so much (length, sleeves, modest front) is set in stone for a Royal bride. Pippa however, could freestyle it a little – and so she did, surprising the world’s media with her unexpectedly classic Giles Deacon princess gown.
We’ve already fully dissected the new Mrs James Matthews’ bridal style in a Get The Look special, but today we’re zooming in on one of the key details of her stunning frock: namely, the high-neck. We’ve been thinking: what inspiration is out there (other than the £40,000 bespoke designer option, obvs) for a girl who wants a lot of front in her frock?
Main feature images from Julie Vino.
Well, first up is Ersa Atelier, with their to-die-for designs from Bucharest. Sisters Gabriela and Cristina make much artful use of the high-neck in their most recent collections and the results are just – well, see for yourself. Serena with its delicate beaded and detailed sleeved top and plain waisted frothy skirt gives the impression of separates and pulls off the almost impossible feat of being both regal and ‘fashiony’. Pea is at the opposite end of the formality spectrum and is everything its short ‘n’ sweet appellation suggests, with its dropped waist and simple crochet-style fabric. Celie, with its glorious Art Deco-style scallops, speaks of another era, and its high-neck almost looks like a little lace collar – statement and simplicity all at once. If you’re a fan of the high-neck, this collection demands closer inspection.
Jesus Peiro’s current collection also embraces high-necks but takes the look in a slightly different direction. Dresses 7019 and 7002 – the first a halter-neck with a draped sash and large bow at the waist, the second a breathtakingly simple origami-style bodice with subtly slashed neckline and full-on princess skirt – are almost sculptural in design and certainly current rather than classic in feel. Dress 7074 is more conventional – delicate lace overlay and elbow-length sleeves balanced by a mermaid flare – but no less attention-grabbing. The Nanda Devi collection heads for more ethereal territory, so if a Midsummer Night’s Dream-slash-fairytale vibe is your bag, JP’s website is definitely worth a trawl: drifting skirts, pretty lace crop tops and full-length lace sleeves abound. Dreamy bridal design brilliance.
You might be forgiven for thinking that ‘high-necked’ as a descriptor automatically aligns itself with ‘modest’ or even ‘prudish’, and that a high-necked dress is definitely a distant cousin of ‘modern bride’ and even further removed from ‘sexy bride’. Allow us to dispel all misconceptions with Julie Vino’s daring Napoli, Roma and Venice collections. Here we see the modesty of the high neck neutered with plunging backs, daring sheer panels, Swarovski and exposed shoulders – what on earth would Ms Middleton think?
And finally, in more situations than I’d like to admit I find myself asking the question “what would Vera Wang do?” and, in the case of designing a wedding gown for her Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 collections, the answer seems to have frequently been “put a high-neck on it”. Thank you, Vera, for showing us the way with the halter-neck wonderfulness of the Galilea, the all-over lace glamour of the Cecile and the wow-factor of Clemence’s peasant gown perfection. Inspiration overload.
July 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
As regular readers of the wedding blog will know, we’re suckers for beautiful wedding day blooms and love to see florists pushing the design boundaries in order to deliver something that is both impressive and individual.
One such florist who does just this is Brides Up North Sponsor, Samantha Coventry, proud owner of Fantail Designer Florist. Supplying dream bouquets, centrepieces and styling for weddings in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire, Samantha enjoys nothing more than meeting new couples and translating their personalities and ideas into show-stopping arrangements.
This afternoon on the blog, we’re super excited to be catching up with this talented lady at her Sheffield-based shop to her learn more about her designs, service and style…
With images by Stu Ganderton Photography.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how Fantail first came to fruition?
samantha says: Originally hailing from New Zealand, I came to Sheffield to peruse in a career in Interior and Furniture Design. Succeeding in this, and in the meantime having two children, a dog and a cat, I then retrained in floristry and set up Fantail doing freelance wedding floristry from my home studio in 2008. The business outgrew the house and when the local post office moved premises the opportunity arose in the village to open a shop, which I couldn’t allow to pass me by!
How has the business grown since that time?
Since we opened the shop back in November 2016, the business has grown ten-fold. It has given us the opportunity not only to offer more in the everyday bouquet market, including deliveries, but has also allowed us to expand our wedding portfolio. In addition to this we’ve been offering seasonal floral making classes, which have been over-booked to the extent that we had to double the dates! As well as flowers we also supply other, locally made, products, such as Sheffield Honey, Burgon & Ball gardening items, Nathalie Bond organic skincare and cards for all occasions. We’ve also taken the idea of a florist further beyond flowers by offering house plants in designer pots, with our own unique twist.
What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings and what is your favorite part of your job?
I love weddings and take pride in being involved in one of the most important days of a couple’s life. I enjoy everything about creating for a wedding. The initial consultation is great – you get to find out how the couple met, what are their likes and dislikes, their honeymoon ideas and by working together with them I can begin to suggest floral designs that work and create something unique that reflects their personality, the venue and the theme. The best part is when we meet them on the day to deliver the designs and they see the venues transform to the vision we created together.
How would you describe the style of flowers that you create and where do you get your inspiration from?
We are contemporary florists, with classic style and dip into vintage. We use a range of different textures and tones and try to include something different. We like to think that we are thorough and consider all the details, such as wiring succulents so they can be planted after the wedding and incorporating plants dependent on the time of year for the same reason. We take inspiration through the seasons, which sounds pretty obvious, but we always like to encourage seasonal availability. Yves Saint Laurent said: “fashions fade but style is eternal” and I think that’s as true for floristry as anything else.
What process will a couple go through if they pick you to supply their wedding flowers?
We like to invite couples into the shop for a chat. We like to get to know our couples and I think jelling with each other is another key to the success of the relationship. We’ll go through all the nitty gritty things from floral bouquet style, the pins colours on the buttonholes to the length of a trail based on the height of the bride to the height of the candles used on a candelabra. We then come up with a plan going forwards that suits that couple and their budget.
Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers?
Most brides will have an inkling as to what they think they would like or want to achieve in the venue for their wedding day. That might be a colour or a favourite flower or style, including bringing along magazine cuttings to the meeting. We can generally get to a finalised design by the time we’ve finished. Pinterest is a massive influence and is helpful for both brides and grooms as well.
Where do you source the flowers from for your arrangements?
We source flowers from a range of suppliers including UK-grown flower farms, the Dutch auctions and even as far afield as southern Africa.
July 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
From the venue’s name, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an overseas wedding, but in fact the stunning French inspired venue can be found in rural Northumberland.
Cheerleaders Rachelle and Liam fell whole-heartedly in love with its unique styling and charm, planning a big day with French shabby chic touches to complement their surroundings.
So, let’s get straight into the pretty. Ready? Ok!
With images by Sean Elliott Photography
rachelle says: We got engaged in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2013, while we attended the seventh World Cheerleading Championships, in which we both were competing together as part of Team UK.
We set the date for 30th July 2016 – the beginning of the school holidays as Liam is a teacher and we wanted to make sure we had time to fit in a good honeymoon before he went back to work.
Our ceremony took place at St. Peters Church, Harton, South Shields at 12pm as it had sentimental value to Liam. We then held our reception in Le Petit Chateau, Otterburn. We originally booked a different reception venue when we first got engaged but when we discovered the plans for Le Petit Chateau, we fell in love and decided to lose our previous deposits and change to Le Petit Chateau, despite never actually seeing the venue until a month before our wedding. After seeing the venue, it looked a million times better than what we’d expected from the plans and knew we had made the right decision to change our wedding
We didn’t have a theme as such but it was almost aimed towards French shabby chic. We incorporated old books and watering cans into our centrepieces. Our table plan was a mannequin with French inspired shabby chic labels pinned to it containing the table plan to incorporate the French fashion scene. We added a cheerleading bow to this as that was how we met and how we’d got engaged. We picked our favourite looks from Pinterest and the shabby chic appealed to us the most. When we found our new venue, we tailored it more to suit the style and it worked perfectly.
We chose a coral colour scheme, as it was a very summery colour that we thought would brighten the photos. When we first saw the venue, we were excited to see that the same colour was used on the external walls of the Belle Epoque!
I chose my dress – an ivory Mori Lee gown – from The Bridal Factory Outlet, and had a wonderful shopping experience there. My dress was a full A-line dress with a slight sweetheart neckline. The bodice was covered in a heavy lace with pearls and crystals. It had a lovely crystal belt that tied into a lovely flowing tulle bow at the back. The skirt kicked out at the waist into layers of tulle. I picked the dress to show off my waist and as a cheerleader, I wanted sparkle but I didn’t want to go too overboard.
I also picked a shorter knee length dress for the evening, which was a white Sherri Hill dress that had a bodice full of pearls and a full tulle skirt with lace detail at the bottom.
Liam wore a grey three-piece suit from Slaters with a white shirt and black Ted Baker shoes also from Slaters, and a coral and ivory paisley silk tie and pocket square that I’d found on Pinterest and sourced from Amazon. They matched the colour scheme perfectly and were such much nicer than a block colour.
I won my bridesmaids dresses from Brides Dream in Newcastle, from a wedding show in 2014 and picked them from a wide range at their store in summer 2015. I picked a coral floor-length gown with an illusion sweetheart neckline. The top of the dress was a coral mesh with a lovely delicate lace detail on the shoulders. The dress also had an illusion low back, that accented my wedding dress.
I had a man of honour in my bridal party too, my best friend Ben Pardey, who helped my maid of honour, Olga Crehan. They were my two best friends from university and I couldn’t have got married without them both by my side with a main role in the wedding.
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