January 24th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
We’re always up for making our readers aware of all the cool and classic venue options available for your big day (just buy us a drink sometime, eh?).
One of our favourites in the North East that offers couples something a little different to the norm is The Biscuit Factory – a gorgeous building dating back to the Victoria era that has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery and events space with a stunning choice of options for those big day celebrations!
If this is ticking boxes for you then you’ll want to keep Saturday 10th March, clear in your diary as The Biscuit Factory will be welcoming couples for its Wedding Open Day when you can see its clean and contemporary spaces for yourself while meeting the venue’s team and enjoying a glass of fizz. There’s also the chance to bag 10% discount on your wedding booking. Full details below!
In the meantime, we’re chatting to the venue’s team on the blog today to find out more about what The Biscuit Factory can offer to brides and grooms for a memorable and wow-worthy wedding…
Images by Sean Elliott Photography.
Where is The Biscuit Factory located?
[jnnaopen]the biscuit factory say: The venue is located in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the city’s ultra-cool and bustling cultural quarter – the Ouseburn Valley. We’re surrounded by lots of creative businesses, eateries, a farm and even a horse riding school. The area is rich in local heritage too, with the underground Victoria Tunnel nearby, once used to transport coal down to the River Tyne.
Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?
True to its name, the venue was indeed a biscuit factory in the Victorian era. Back in 2002, the building was transformed into a contemporary art gallery and is now the largest independent art, craft and design gallery in the UK. In recent years, the business has evolved to include a café, a la carte restaurant and our purpose-built events space, The Biscuit Room.
Which areas of The Biscuit Factory can be used for ceremonies?
Couples can say their vows in our upstairs gallery, which accommodates up to 100 guests, surrounded by beautiful, contemporary artwork. The Biscuit Room, meanwhile, can accommodate up to 150 guests for a ceremony. Alternatively, for something smaller – the Glass House is a more intimate space with an outdoors terrace overlooking the cityscape.
And what areas are available for the reception?
The Biscuit Room accommodates up to 250 guests for a meal and party. This versatile space can be tailored to a couple’s desires, and has played host to a variety of vintage, decadent and stylish themes since it opened in 2014.
How would you describe the look and feel of The Biscuit Factory?
The gallery, with its exposed brickwork, large windows and ceiling beams, provides a stylish and elegant backdrop for a couple’s wedding ceremony with the surrounding artwork offering up pops of colourful, creative flourishes. By contrast, The Biscuit Room is a contemporary, minimalist space that lends itself to practically any theme for the wedding celebrations after – we’ve seen all sorts of props and lighting effects over the past few years and our couples’ visions and ideas never fail to amaze us!
What makes The Biscuit Factory a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?
We’re one of the largest wedding venues in the city and our spaces are unlike anything else here in Newcastle. Combine this with our quirky urban location, personalised service, versatility and exceptional catering – and we think we have the perfect mix for couples seeking something that’s truly special and memorable.
What sort of bride would be a Biscuit Factory bride?
The Biscuit Factory appeals to all types of brides but we find that a bride with plenty of imagination and creative flair can really make the most of our venue, which is often described as a blank canvas. Our location in the Ouseburn is perfect for the alternative bride craving something a little bit unconventional too.
December 20th, 2017 | Julia Braime
We’ve been building up to Christmas since the very beginning of the month and so the excitement here is almost at fever pitch. Santa’s coming!
Being the uber-organised (and slightly smug!) individuals that we are, we’ve pretty much completed our Christmas shopping for our loved ones, and so we’re self-indulging today with a little retail therapy focusing on the gifts we would love to receive on the 25th.
If you’re sensing your other half is planning a Christmas Eve shopping dash, or you’re still looking for gift ideas for your sister or bezzie, then we hope our wish lists can provide you with that little extra sprinkling of festive inspiration.
Merry Christmas everyone!
julia’s wish list
Violet Black Mid Heel Over The Knee Boots, £229, from KG Kurt Geiger – Just call me Meghan Markle, these beauties – the actual pair rocked by the soon to be Mrs Wales on her first public engagement – wouldn’t leave my feet all year (who needs to go the gym anyway when your lower legs look this good)!
Gabrielle by Chanel, from £79, at John Lewis – my new scent for 2017, and possibly my signature scent to see me into 2018 and beyond. A fresh delivery should help with the decision making process…
Butterfly Sunglasses by Chanel, £349, at John Lewis – sticking to a theme, these big and beautiful sunnies would top off the boots, the scent (and the threads mentioned below) with aplomb!
Leather A Line Skirt, £170, from Whistles – A future classic, this leather pelmet would look great dressed up or down. Cost per wear = negligible.
Raspberry Pom Pom Hat, £25, from Mint Velvet – It’s pink. It has a pom pom. Need I elaborate further?
Winter Signature Candle, £20, from The White Company – I’ve been buying these gorgeously scented candles for all my girlfriends this year. I just hope someone returns the favour.
Over The Rainbow Laptop Case by Skinnydip, £25, at Topshop – I seem to be on the road more than ever for work these days – whether scouting locations for UNVEILED or managing our Brides Up North events – and this case would keep my carry-on cheerful!
Kitty Embroidered Velvet Slippers, £325, by Charlotte Olympia at Net-A-Porter – a girl can dream, right? I’d be the cat that got the cream in these highly impractical but hugely loveable kitty slippers.
Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Dulche De Leche, £22, at House Of Fraser – I’m very fussy with lipsticks and this one ticks all the boxes: smooth, classic and named after my fave dessert!
Tiered Lace Dress, was £89, now £60, from Warehouse – Ok, ok, so I *might* have already bought this one (pressies to self totally allowed around here!), but I couldn’t leave it off. In the shade of the season (that’ll be the Markle effect again), super flattering and MUCH more expensive looking than its price tag. It’s one I’ll dress up (already have) and down (natch), and love to pieces. And yes, I bought it at full price. That’ll teach me.
rachel’s wish list
Devonna Mix Faux Fur Coat, £185, from French Connection – The winter chill combined with the party season calls out for an ultra-glam cover-up, and for me, it has to be this super-gorgeous, super-soft number from one of my main go-tos, French Connection.
The Uptown Girl Eye Kit, £74, from Charlotte Tilbury – Christmas and New Year give us the perfect excuse to up the beauty-ante with extra shimmery and seductive eyes. As a blonde, some smoky palettes can be a little too dark, but this one is just right!
Alphabet Wash Bag, £22, from Olive Bonas – Being on the go a lot means I always love a new travel item, whether it be a swish hand-luggage case, cool holdall or extra cute wash/cosmetic bags – just like this one.
B by Ted Baker Light Pink Satin Pyjama Set, £45, from Debenhams – Christmas isn’t complete without new PJs, right?! Which is why I’ll be putting these gorgeous girly ones top of my list.
Feather Pom-Pom Ballet Slippers, £39, from The White Company – Likewise, new slippers are a must at this time of year and these beauties would go oh-so-perfectly with those light pink jammies!
Metallic Star Gloves, now £15, from Topshop – Just when I thought I couldn’t love these glam burgundy gloves anymore, they go in the sale. Ab-sol-ute steal!
Oscar de la Renta Tiered Tassled Beaded Clip Earrings, £395, from Net-A-Porter – Statement earrings have definitely been my weakness of 2017, so if I was to have one splurge item under the tree this Christmas it would have to be a beaded pair from the master of bold ear candy, Oscar de la Renta.
Hoxton Ankle Boots, now £40, from Topshop – The Magpie in me just can’t resist these incredibly shiny ankle boots – amazing dancefloor footwear if ever I saw it, and another pre-Christmas bargain courtesy of Toppers!
Textured Rivington Clutch, £89, from Whistles – My bag collection has been a little neglected of late (must be all those statement earrings I keep buying) and so I’m trying to top it back up again with a new casual and ‘out, out’ addition – I think this gorgeous pewter number would tick the latter box just fine!
Cropped Sequin Sweater, £39.99, from Zara – I’m not a huge fan of Christmas jumpers (sorry!) but this shinier-than-a-disco-ball design covers off both seasonal and stylish, kudos to Zara!
November 7th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
We’re often blown away by the talents of our incredible featured brides; whether it be their ability to style a theme to precision, their skills in the kitchen to create home-baked goods, or their passion for arts and crafts that results in both pretty and personal décor.
The leading lady from today’s featured wedding boasts all such assets, and had such fun styling her big day that she’s since set up a business motivated by her creativity. From an LED sign spelling out her new surname to a jigsaw guestbook and bespoke cake topper, Rebecca went to town with her homemade touches.
We’re also a little bit in love with the idea of designing your own wedding shoes – an assurance that no guest is going to steal your thunder wearing the same pair of designer heels you spent ages deliberating over and a king’s ransom purchasing. Throw this into the mix with a barbecue, ice cream and pizza feast, 500m-worth of bunting made by the bride’s nanna, a band that played all day long, vodka jellies and a cake table that was demolished by the guests in 30 minutes flat, and we reckon you’ve got a wedding to remember!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
rebecca says: Ashley proposed in August 2016, the day before we were due to fly to New York for a holiday. He pretended he had found something in the suitcase that turned out to be the ring!
I was keen not to have a long engagement as we had already been together more than ten years, so we got married on 26th August 2017 at The Out Barn in Bashall Eaves, near Clitheroe. I knew I wanted something in the countryside and we spent a week looking at different venues all over Lancashire, but nothing took our fancy. I was beginning to lose hope of finding somewhere that I liked when my maid of honour sent me a picture of The Out Barn. We had never heard of it before as it is quite a new venue but this one picture sold it to us. The barn has a huge, round main room and the huge windows look out to Pendle Hill.
I decided on a colour scheme of navy, grey and lilac for the flowers and bunting. Initially, I was going to go for bright wedding colours to contrast with the navy but found it hard to get things to coordinate!
My wedding dress was a tea-length design by Ellis with a jacket, belt and veil, all from Amelia’s Brides in Clitheroe. It was exactly like the image I’d always had in my head, so when I saw it I felt like it was fate! It was the first dress I tried on. I went to three dress shops in total and the experience I had at Amelia’s was by far the best. The girls are so lovely and welcoming.
For my shoes, I knew I wanted a chunky heel and closed toe because those are the shoes I am most comfortable in but, unlike with my dress, I couldn’t find what I had in my head, until I found Shoes of Prey! This is an Australian website where you can design your own shoes. I chose the fabric, heel height, shape, etc. and even got my name and wedding date inscribed on the inside. The whole process was a lot of fun and my shoes ended up cheaper than if I had bought them off the shelf – plus nobody has a pair like them! For the reception, I changed into silver sequinned Converse pumps.
Ashley chose to wear a blue suit, also purchased from Amelia’s, with a grey checked waistcoat. His two best men and our dads matched.
I wanted navy bridesmaid dresses from the very beginning. It’s timeless, very flattering and easy to match with other colours, so my bridesmaids wore navy blue dresses with pleated skirts from ASOS. My maid of honour had the same dress with a different neckline, so she stood out a little. Their shoes were from New Look. I felt so guilty about making them wear heels all day that I also got them some white pumps with their names on for the evening.
October 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If a woodland wedding setting is the stuff of your dreams, then you’re in for a real treat, as today’s newlyweds, Zara and Mike, tied the knot in June of this year in the beautiful Lake District.
Their photographer, J.P.R Shah Photography, knew how to capture this breathtaking backdrop just perfectly, with gorgeous shots amidst the leafy trees and – one of our personal favourites – onboard a rowing boat. Could this be any more romantic?
What also sets this wedding apart is its intimate size, with only 25 close family and friends – and this includes the bride and groom. Doing things differently – there were no bridesmaids either. Other special touches that we just love include shots of homemade raspberry liquor for all the guests and Swedish massages for all the ladies on the day. Wedded bliss all-round!
With images by J.P.R Shah Photography.
zara says: We got engaged at home. I had recently given birth to our son and after a very difficult pregnancy and labour, Mike said to me that as he couldn’t take me out for a meal (due to our new baby) that he was going to cook me a three-course meal instead, but I had to get dressed up as though we were going out. He even provided alcohol-free champagne. He made a playlist of all my favourite songs and really did wine and dine me. He waited until my favourite song at the time Kodaline The One came on and at that point he got down on one knee and presented me with the ring box and asked me to marry him.
We got married on 1st June 2017. The start of June tends to have lovely weather, which was ideal as we wanted an outdoor wedding. It was also exactly two years from the day we had first visited our wedding venue of choice.
We tied the knot and held the reception at The Gilpin Lake House, just outside Windermere. Mike and I only ever looked at one wedding venue and we instantly fell in love. Not only was the venue one of the most amazing hotels, but the grounds were beautiful, the scenery was amazing and the lake was simply stunning too. This is even before mentioning the swimming pool, two hot tubs and the sauna that we had exclusive use of for our time there! As a special surprise we treated all the female guests to a full body Swedish massage.
Mike and I both have large families, so we decided that we wanted a very small wedding with immediate friends and family; a grand total of 25 people.
We had exclusive use of the lake house, so we arrived on the Wednesday and tied the knot on the Thursday. All our friends and family left on the Friday, but Mike and I stayed the extra night for a minimoon.
We didn’t have a theme, but we wanted everyone to be as relaxed as possible. Our guests were told to bring swimwear as once the wedding was complete, meals eaten and speeches done, we wanted our guests to enjoy themselves, as though they were on an actual holiday themselves.
I chose a lilac and pink colour scheme. These are my favourite colours and I chose the flowers for my bouquet before I did anything else. I wanted roses as they are my birth flower, along with lavender as it has such a stand out smell. Now every time I smell lavender I am reminded of my wedding day.
October 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Our lovely featured bride Sarah achieved her dream of a marquee wedding at home on her family’s farm complete with beautiful rustic touches and a fairy tale horse-drawn carriage.
Inspired by farming home life and pretty Pinterest pics, Sarah and her team of helpers, decorated the plain marquee with beautiful blooms, bunting, log slices, milk churns and creamery jugs to make her vision a reality.
The entertainment was on form too with a live band, DJ, ice cream van and white bouncy castle no less.
So, join us as we head down to the farm for this fun and fabulous big day…
Images by David Millington Wedding Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas day evening. We had already opened presents but Jonny said I had missed one hidden in the Christmas tree. I think at this point Jonny had run off into the next room, when he reappeared he had tears in his eyes. I think he popped the question, but I may have already said “yes” by that point!
Our wedding date was 17th June 2017. We had our ceremony at the beautiful St Michael’s Church in Cockerham. We chose the church because it’s just five minutes from my family’s farm and a marquee wedding reception was my dream.
I decided to go for a farming theme – living on the farm gave me lots of ideas. I opted for plain flooring, a pallet fronted bar, and made metre after metre of hessian flag bunting whilst I was on maternity leave. I collected creamery jugs, borrowed milk churns from my mother-in-law and the log slice table centres were sourced and cut by my brother. Straw bales for decoration and seats were from another local farmer. We browsed charity shops and collected jars to decorate. I found Pinterest really helpful for ideas.
I was advised not to get too hooked on a particularly colour scheme and so chose to keep everything quite neutral. My bridesmaids’ dresses were not the same colour as the groomsmen’s cravats, we just had pinks, lilacs and creams, which fitted perfectly.
Finding my dress was a bit of a challenge. I’d looked around some local wedding shops but nothing wowed me. We then went to Amelia’s Bridal at Clitheroe, the whole shop and team are amazing. The girls really know how to make you feel individual and special. It’s really relaxed, but the boutique is stunning! I knew as soon as I found my dress it was the one.
Jonny wore a grey suit with an ivory waistcoat, which we hired.
The bridesmaid dresses were sourced online (massive risk I know, but it paid off!). The only thing that was altered was the length, my girls said they fitted well and they all looked beautiful!
Elegant Carriages supplied our wedding transport – a stunning new Landau Carriage pulled by two grey horses, Stella and Rose. It really did feel like a fairy tale, it’s an experience we will never forget.
October 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
If today’s real bride would have got things her way, she and beau Chris would have eloped to marry but we’re sure glad that Sharon was swayed by a larger-scale celebration in the Lake District – as we get to share all the pretty details of their big day with you today!
Surrounded by their family and friends, Sharon and Chris combined a pretty pastel colour scheme with a fun theme that gave nods to both of their passions (films and cats, need we say more!)
We love the relaxed vibes as guests have fun in the sun, entertained by garden games and live music. Other standouts for us include the super-cool choice of wedding transport and Sharon’s beautiful Nottingham lace dress and flower-crown combo for boho bride perfection!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke.
sharon says: We got engaged on our fifth anniversary, on August bank holiday weekend in Dolgellau, Snowdonia.
We had spent the day wandering around Portmeirion, which is a little fantasy village perched on a cliff, filled dreamy Italianate architecture and with lovely views over the bay. It’s a beautiful but surreal place, which is why it was chosen as the setting for the 1960s TV show The Prisoner. Later that night we went out for dinner and Chris insisted on driving. He is a keen photographer and so he decided we would drive out somewhere after dinner so he could take photos of the stars.
I had been trying to talk him out of it all night as it was actually very cloudy and there was not a star in the sky, but he was insistent. We drove out for about half an hour, trying to get the best vantage point at the top of the hill, and eventually Chris pulled over into a layby and got his tripod out. I was in the car, playing on my phone and wondering how long he was going to be as I really needed to pee, when he came back to the car and asked me to take a look at his photos. I looked at the screen on his camera and he had taken a beautiful photo… of the clouds. “Aw hon… it’s a bit cloudy, isn’t it?” I said. “Yeah,” he sighed, disheartened. Then suddenly he pulled out a box. “Anyway, I have a present for you… I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind marrying me?”
It turned out he had been hoping to get a shot of the stars on the night we got engaged. I think I had previously said that my worst nightmare would be to get engaged in a public place with loads of people around. He’d decided to find the most isolated and private place he could find; under the moon, with just the stars over us and no one else around.
In the box was a ring with an amethyst stone (my birthstone). He had been trying for about two years to figure out my ring size, but as I don’t normally wear rings he’d failed at every turn. He had tried getting friends to ask if I knew my ring size (I don’t) and had tried measuring my finger with a piece of string as I slept – all with no luck. Rather than guess, he decided to let me pick out the kind of ring wanted and get his friend, a jewellery designer in Birmingham, to make it just for me.
We got married on 17th June, 2017. I really wanted to get married in the summer as I desperately wanted some sunshine on the day and we didn’t want to wait until 2018. Unfortunately, this left us with less than ten months to plan a wedding in the Lake District in peak season, so the date was very much down to whether we could get the venue and the registrar. We also renovated and moved into our house this year, so it was a busy time for us.
I spent about two months trying to convince Chris to elope to Iceland or Vegas. I hate being the centre of attention and the stress and expense of a big wedding felt like a terrible way to start married life. Somehow Chris talked me round – he said we deserved to have a day with all our friends and family making fuss of us.
Having been convinced to go the whole hog, we agreed to get married to in the Lake District, where I grew up. We got married at Belmount Hall, between Ambleside and Hawkshead. The building is part of Beatrix Potter’s estate, but the main reason we chose it was for the incredible setting with views of Esthwaite Water and Gummers How in the distance. As soon as we stepped out of the car we were blown away by the surroundings. Belmount was the blank canvas we were looking for; small enough that we could have the whole site to ourselves but with vast and beautiful grounds in which to enjoy the sunshine (I was adamant that there would be sunshine).
Once we had the venue, we knew it was going to be a ‘Pinterest wedding’; rustic and a bit bohemian with lots of little touches that would make people say, “That is so Chris and Sharon”. We’re both big film fans and cat lovers (Chris is a film and TV lecturer and I’m a bit of a crazy cat lady), so our tables were named after feline film puns. The Big Meowski, The Great Catsby, Furris Bueller’s Day Off, etc. An extremely talented young artist called Amy Lewis took our silly ideas and transformed them into some adorable cartoons for each table and I designed the table plan myself.
I don’t like matchy matchy colour schemes so I went for a pastel rainbow of dusty pink, light blue, dove grey and soft peach.
As a big girl with big boobs, wedding dress shopping was a nightmare experience and I hated every minute. I had been dreaming of a 1920s-style beaded dress, in the style of Jenny Packham or Eliza Jane Howell, but whenever I managed to track one down the samples were all size 10 or 12.
I had almost given up hope when I walked past Kula Tsurdiu’s studio in Nottingham. Kula is a Greek designer, but her base is in the historic lace market of Nottingham, where she sources a lot of her materials. I made an appointment with Kula’s manager Laura Summerson and she was one of the few people to really listen to what I wanted. She didn’t try to force me into a stiff, ruffled, strapless A-line monstrosity, like almost every other store I tried. The dress I eventually settled on was all-over Nottingham lace with a natural waist, long sleeves with tiny sparkly sequins sewn into the fabric. Knowing that the dress would be made to my exact measurements was a relief and Laura managed to make the whole process as stress-free as it could be.
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