June 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
When planning their wedding, today’s couple say they very much wanted the occasion to revolve around the most important things in their lives – family, friends and love.
Taking just one look at the images below, it’s clear to see that they achieved their aim perfectly, making the day both loving and personable.
We adore Emma’s classic Ian Stuart gown and her maids’ pretty sparkling dresses, all of which tie beautifully with the elegant décor and dreamy hotel setting.
Regardless of what the weather is doing outside today, this wonderful winter wedding is guaranteed to make you feel all warm inside.
emma says: Andy proposed to me at home. It was the 20th October 2012 and I was getting ready to go out on one of our ‘date nights’. As I walked into a candle-lit living room with champagne filled glasses out on the table, my heart started racing. Andy got down on knee and then went on to tell me why he wanted to marry me before popping the question. As you can imagine, I was a blubbering wreck by the end, and of course I blurted out ‘yes’!
We booked our wedding for Saturday 31st January as we both wanted a romantic winter wedding and we thought it was the perfect time of year to hold it. Funnily enough, it was only afterwards that we realised it was exactly four years to the day that we actually met. It was obviously fate and we were meant to book that date.
We held our wedding at the stunning Merewood Country House Hotel in the Lake District. We both love the lakes and have spent a lot of time there so it seemed only natural – being one of the most romantic places in England, we knew it was the place for us to get married. We chose the Merewood as we really wanted our family and friends to feel like they were coming to somewhere homely, rather than a hotel, which was helped with us having exclusivity of the venue. As soon as you walk in it has such a cosy and warm feel to it with the open fires greeting you in the reception. It’s grand but still intimate at the same time.
I asked my two best friends and my sister to be bridesmaids and my beautiful little niece and they were all just amazing. I also asked four of my closest friends to walk down the aisle in front of me as sadly my beloved Dad passed away from cancer in September 2012. It was lovely to have all my closest girlfriends there with me right before I walked down as they have all been a great support to me over the years and it was definitely the right choice as I felt secure in the fact that if I did have a wobble, they were there. Luckily I walked in and saw everyone’s beaming faces and then I caught my future husband’s eye and he just gave me a reassuring look that he wasn’t far away – I just took a deep breath and I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked towards him.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but there were parts of the day that hinted at our styles and influences. For example my late Granddad, my Dad’s father, was a film buff and the manager of a cinema when it was all on film. I just loved to watch all of the old movies with him so Andy and I did our wedding invites like an old Hollywood cinema ticket (which our guests tore off and then sent back as an rsvp).
There is something so romantic about a winter wedding, so for my colour scheme I wanted to keep it very simple, classic and beautiful with elegance to it. I just adore whites, creams, greys and soft colours together, and it was fabulous that all the bridal party coordinated their outfits around that palette too. I wanted it to look magical, with a touch of glamour and sparkle!
The dress I chose was an Ian Stuart couture gown from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, Yorkshire. I knew I had found the one, as it not only exuded glamour with an edge to it, but it was also timeless and feminine. I found inspiration from Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress that she wore when she married JFK in 1953. I just adored the neckline and I found something similar with my gown which gave it that Hollywood Glamour feel to it and I just fell in love instantly.
Andy wore a slim fit dark blue three-piece suit that he bought from Slaters in Leeds with a white shirt and a white tie and he also wore Kurt Geiger tanned brogues. He had tried on Paul Smith, Hugo Boss and viewed many other suits, but Slater’s had a huge variety and the fits were perfect – not to mention the price!
For my beautiful bridesmaids I chose dresses from a website called Virgos Lounge. I loved that they were a bit different and very glamorous and with it being winter the soft light grey and the iridescent leaf shaped embellishment on the dresses looked stunning.
The best man, usher and the father of the groom all wore suits also bought from Slaters in Leeds. We went for something slightly different from Andy’s suit, so we picked out a very similar one for the men but in a dark grey with light blue/grey spotted white ties, which really complemented all the girls’ dresses. The boys also all wore Kurt Geiger tanned brogues.
When it came to the wedding photos we sought advice from our wedding co-ordinator and chose a local award-winning photographer known very well by the venue. Steven Taylor was superb from our first meeting to the end of our wedding day. He listened to our thoughts and did the most amazing job on the day with his son Josh and after receiving the proofs back recently, we understand why they are award-winning – they captured the whole day perfectly. We also had Silver Sixpence Films to capture the day on video for us.
On the day I carried a beautiful, opulent massed posy bouquet of ivory roses, lisianthus and gypsophila bound with ivory satin ribbon. They were provided by Kevin from Brackens of Bowness.
With us deciding on a romantic ivory and cream wedding, we opted to have tall vases for the reception centrepieces, filled with acorns with tall willow branches and hanging glass tea-light holders. On the other tables we had round shallow glass bowls filled with acorns and twisted ivory willow with a cluster of candles in the centre. Down the staircase we had willow and foliage wound down the banister with fairy lights intertwined. Kevin from Brackens of Bowness again supplied these stunning arrangements. He was amazing and listened to everything that I wanted to achieve. With Kevin’s talent and creativity he helped make the venue look like the fairy-tale wedding I had always dreamed of.
We didn’t do favours at the wedding breakfast. Instead we had personalised chocolate bars created for our family and friends who were staying at the hotel and placed them in their rooms for their arrival.
We opted for a four-course wedding breakfast. It took us a little while to decide on the menu as all of the food is so delicious and it is also locally sourced. In the evening, we had mini fish and chips served in traditional newspaper cones. It was all absolutely delicious!
We both enjoy music, so it featured heavily throughout the day. The thinking was to have very much beautiful and relaxing music, building as the day went on so we had a string quartet to entertain people before and after the ceremony. Andy recorded a live DJ mix for the wedding breakfast containing music from our favourite films interlaced with famous quotes from cinema.
To get the evening started, Andy had also prepared some warm up before a fantastic rock band called Blue Star Tattoo from West Yorkshire performed on the night with classics by AC/DC, ZZ Top and The Who, through to more current hits by The Killers, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys. We chose this band as a nod to my Dad Geoff (and Andy’s Dad John) who both love rock and roll.
In the library we displayed family photos of our nearest and dearest to give a homely feel and also in remembrance to special people who could not be there with us that weekend. With candles lit and love quotes added around the fireplaces, it added to the romantic and relaxing ambience of the venue.
We used Purple Swan for the hire of our chair covers, which were white with crystal vintage brooches on ivory lace sashes and bows. The company were fabulous and made everything so easy and stress free by dressing the room the night before and they were so professional. I bought the lanterns and candles from the shop The Range in Leeds to add a touch of romance down the aisle as well.
We would most definitely recommend our venue to others. Everything about it is fabulous, from the views to the food, and the first class service. The venue has so much character, it still has many of the original features, which include magnificent fireplaces and gorgeous stained glass windows. We felt at home as soon as we walked in. No matter how many times you visit, when it’s time to go home, you just don’t want to leave.
My favourite part of the day was sitting down to eat the amazing food at the wedding breakfast next to my new husband and looking around at all of our favourite people in the world, all sat together and there just for us was simply the best feeling in the whole world.
We are planning to go on honeymoon to Santorini this summer to catch some sun and some amazing scenery, and as Andy is obsessed with sunsets (apparently they have some of the best in the world), we couldn’t think of anywhere more romantic to go.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is to make sure you enjoy the lead up to your wedding day, enjoy being engaged. The day itself goes so fast, I know it sounds cliché but it does so take time out with your new groom/bride for a few moments during the day and evening as you are both in demand and so busy. It’s lovely to have a few moments now and again to both look around and think – ‘This is our wedding day, how amazing is this?’
ava rose hamilton, blue star tatoo, brackens of bowness, brides up north featured supplier, ian stuart, kurt geiger, lake district wedding, merewood country house hotel, purple swan hire, real wedding, Silver Sixpence Films, slaters, steven taylor photography, virgos lounge, wedding video, wedding videographer
April 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today on the wedding blog we’re heading to one of my favourite parts of the country to relive Mikki and Mark’s wonderful big day.
This stylish couple hired an entire venue in the Lake District for their intimate celebration that brimmed with elegance, class and romance.
I especially love that Mikki and Mark chose to have one big banqueting table for their wedding meal to make it more like a relaxed family affair than a formal occasion.
Oh, and can we all just take a minute to admire those fabulous flowers. Just lovely.
mikki says: We got engaged on 2nd October 2013 when we were on holiday in Menorca (which is our special place to relax). After a beautiful day lying on the beach having a picnic we went for a meal in a seafood restaurant at the top of a hill. We had the whole place to ourselves and Mark proposed in between courses. I couldn’t believe it, I was so overwhelmed. Obviously I said yes straight away.
We chose the 6th December for our wedding. I absolutely love winter and I thought it would be such a magical time for a wedding. I loved the thought of lots of candles and romantic lighting and what better time of year for that!
We got married at Broadoaks Country House in Windermere, Lake District. We love the lakes so much and it’s always a place we like to go. When we went to view the venue we knew straight away it was the one. It was perfect for the intimate wedding we were after. We hired the whole place which meant the whole wedding party could stay over.
We wanted the day to feel warm and welcoming. We didn’t have a theme as such but I wanted it to be romantic. The style was very romantic and our flowers were ivory and blush roses with gypsophila free flowing around the table surrounded by lots of candles. As we wanted an intimate setting we decided to have a banquet table so everyone was sat together.
Our colour scheme was navy, grey and blush. We picked it because it was quite a wintery combination and the blush just added a girly and warm touch.
My dress was from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton and the designer was Justin Alexander. It was a lovely lace mermaid gown that has a bateau neckline. It came with a detachable train with matching appliques which Helen from 7th Heaven turned into a veil for me.
Mark wore a navy three piece lounge which was from Marks & Spencer and the groomsmen wore navy suits too to tie in with him.
On the morning of the wedding I got ready at the Macdonald hotel in Windermere along with my bridesmaids. When it was time to go to the wedding venue my father-in-law drove me and my dad in his car. It was a nice touch to begin the day. My sister-in-law’s husband drove the bridesmaids.
Our photographers are very good friends of ours, Evie and Jamie Wroe from Chapter Photography. It was the obvious choice for us, their work is amazing and they make you feel so relaxed and comfortable.
My flowers were a mix of ivory and blush roses with gypsophila running through by Red Floral Architecture – again, an obvious choice for us as I love their work so much.
Red Floral Architecture also did out the whole wedding venue with flowers and decorations. We had a banquet table which was full of roses and gypsophila and lots of floating candles. It was such a stunning table, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Some of our friends call us M&M (Mark & Mikki) so we thought it would be funny to actually get personalised M&M chocolates for our favours. We also has a mini Laurent Perrier Champagne for everyone.
Caroline of Caroline’s Cake Company did our cake. We couldn’t decide which flavour to have as they all tasted so good. In the end we had three flavours: ginger, lemon and chocolate. We had lots of cupcakes and a traditional top tier.
As a little extra we had a sweet table go alongside the wedding cupcakes and instead of a guest book we had a signing frame. Next to these we had pictures of our parents from the day they got married.
In the evening we hired a DJ for our entertainment. We also wanted to add a little something different to the evening so we went with a cartoonist called Robin Grenville-Evans to draw all of our guests. This went down really well as everyone had something to remember the wedding by.
We would absolutely recommend our venue to anyone who wants a magical romantic feel to their wedding. It’s great for small wedding parties like ours as you can hire the whole place. It’s like having your own private house. I also would recommend all of our suppliers as they were all so, so helpful. My hair piece was custom made from Ann McKavney Eleventh Heaven, Love Gets Sweeter did our videography, Flossy and Leigh did our hair and makeup andSteve Lewis was our DJ.
The day was so perfect I don’t think I could actually pick one part that was my favourite. Obviously marrying my best friend was a pretty special part!
We haven’t had our main honeymoon yet, we are going to Dubai and the Maldives in May. We had a minimoon the day after the wedding. We went to Loch Lomond in Scotland for three nights. It was just a complete chill out, we went to the spa and ate lots of lovely food. It was a great time just to sit back and relax after all the planning. It is a special place to us as it’s the first place Mark ever took me when we were dating, so we thought it perfect to be the first place we go as a newly married couple.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be something that a lot of people told me to do – take a minute to look around at everything on the day and take it all in. It’s surprising what you don’t see because you’re on such a high! This really was a great tip. Also take time out, just five minutes or so with your husband, again to take it all in. The day really does go so fast, I didn’t want it to end!
January 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This morning I might be spending my train ride North sleeping off a light hangover, after last night’s The Wedding Industry Awards at Cafe De Paris in London. As a member of the judging panel and one of the #officialbloggers for last night’s star spangled ceremony, you would hope that I managed to stay away from the Jaegerbombs, wouldn’t you?
However, I’m not one for tempting fate, so it’s lucky that I scheduled this lovely little interview for you this morning, isn’t it? Make the most of this not being a blank space, and give a warm welcome to Brides Up North Sponsor Bruce of Love Two Film Videography.
He’s got the credentials to make sure that your big day is captured just the way it should be, he’s offering the first 5 brides who quote Brides Up North when booking a whopping 10% off his services, and rumour has it he’s a pretty good dad dancer too… not that you need many more of those at weddings!
Let’s meet the man himself, as I run for that train home… I’m never drinking again.
How did you get into wedding videography?
bruce says: For as long as I can remember filmmaking has been part of my life, as a child my Dad would wield his trusty 8mm film camera and cast my brother, sister, cousins and myself as the various heroes and villains of his holiday masterpiece. Later on we installed a darkroom in my old bedroom and I would spend hours working out how to best develop black and white film whilst crashing around in the gloom. At school in the early days of home video my friends and I would spend hours making skateboard videos with questionable production values but we had loads of fun.
As a graduate I got my first jobs as a junior video editor and loved the dynamic of seeing hours of rushes shaped into a coherent product. My break came when I applied for a runners job with Hot Animation, producers of Pingu and Bob the Builder. Here I became a series editor and really learnt the craft of editing. At this time many of my friends and family were getting married and I often got asked to film their weddings. What this experience taught me was how not to approach wedding videography, don’t ask a friend unless it’s their job, you’re paying them and they are not a guest.
As my career progressed I got more interested in filming and my editing experience taught me loads and has helped inform my camera work. I have invested time and money in the latest video and sound kit and love experimenting and seeing what is creatively possible. For me the expensive technology is secondary, telling a story well and capturing a moment is my primary motivation it does of course make all the difference if image and sound quality is the best it can be.
In the last few years I have been aware of a shift in the wedding videography business that is for the better in my opinion. Well crafted wedding films are far more, cinematic, inventive and inspiring in style borrowing from indi film and music videos rather than news gathering.
Why should a couple have a wedding video?
A friend said to me just the other day, “ I wish we had asked you to film our wedding” it was a nice compliment but more than that it expressed her regret for not getting a record of the day.
I have produced many videos for a range of clients but the best feedback I have ever had was when I was able to show the bride her edited highlight video, she burst into tears of joy and hugged me! A video is more than moving pictures and a record of the day, it is a creative endeavour that when executed well expresses something about the Bride and Groom and captures a precious part of their life. Have a wedding video, you can share it online, watch it again and again, show your family, your future children, cherish and relive all the effort, all the detail all the fun and the special moments you may have missed on the day.
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding videographer?
Weddings are special no doubt about it, I like to tell epic stories and a wedding gives me that opportunity, real people in an often fantastic venue, expressing their deepest emotions for one another it would be impossible to script. Each wedding is of course unique but I enjoy the tweaks and quirks each couple bring, one week I can be filming in a castle the next a tipi tent, it is an awesome responsibility and privilege to be asked to film a wedding.
How do you get couples to relax on the day?
I could just say my winning smile and I would be half joking, I believe if I try and maintain a relaxed professional attitude it will translate to my clients. I have seen more than a few tense Brides whilst shooting a Bridal Prep sequence and I just try and chat asking about them their day whilst I work.
Which celebrity wedding would you most like to capture and why?
Without realising it I ended up covering a wedding that had several production crew, including the Producer and Anchor of ITV news in attendance, it was my first professional wedding shoot and I am glad I didn’t know before hand, it was pressured, but I got what I needed and the couple were very happy. I have always wanted to film a destination wedding and as a keen cyclist and traveller I would have loved to film the wedding of Michelle Cound and Chris Froome, who married late last year in South Africa, having met on the Tour de France and living in Monaco, Nice!
Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?
Although I am there to do a job I am always captivated by the heart and soul couples and families exhibit on their wedding day, it could be a young page boy struggling with his poem and the Bride and Groom stop to help him, priceless, or when the Groom is so moved during his speech all 6ft 10 of professional basketball player breaks down and sobs with joy, sometimes it’s when I look out a an informal gathering of friends and family enjoying a summers day and the joy they collectively feel no doubt helped by the complementary cider or ice cream and the infectious happiness of the Bride. Finally there are those quiet moments during the vows when even the baby has stopped crying and two people in love say, I do.
What sets you apart from other wedding videographers?
I hope it is me. I believe I have the skills but more importantly the vision, empathy and discretion to capture your day without being intrusive or demanding.
What can a couple who book you expect on the day?
It depends what package they have booked but they can expect me to be there on time and ready to capture their day. I either work alone or with a small well trained team of trusted videographers. I make it a policy to speak in person to the Minister of a Church or Wedding planner at a venue and I always email or message the photographer to see how we can best serve each other.
This year we would also love to trial filming short, informal, interview style pieces with the Bride and Groom, the video equivalent of an engagement shoot, depending on location of course.
Are you prepared to travel? Is there an additional cost for this?
Yes we are, last year we got all the way to the big smoke, filming at the Thames Rowing Club, London, ooh get us! This year we would love the Big Apple. Yes we would charge for travel and accommodation. And if you’re happy to feed us at some point on your wedding day, even better.
What is included in your “package”? Can you give us an idea on price?
We are launching two new packages for every budget this year and we are always happy to tweak packages to suit. The Classic will cover the Service and Reception (6hrs coverage), £895, with one camera. The Blockbuster, £1295, is 9hrs of coverage from Bride Prep to Speeches with two cameras. The Epic, £1895, is Bride prep to first dance. With each package we will use a number of gadgets to aid creativity and coverage and with the epic we can include camera sliders, rigs and cranes if the venue allows.
For each package we will provide a deluxe DVD with menu and printed disc and sleeve.For the Blockbuster and Epic you get files for upload to social media if you choose and additional DVD’s more of which can be ordered.
Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?
I would be happy to do a discount on all my packages of up to 10% for Brides Up North readers for the first 5 bookings through the site. Quote Brides Up North when booking.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?
Please check my site at www.lovetwofilm.co.uk.
December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
There’s an extra feature everyday at lunchtime this week, as we celebrate our readers’ moments in the limelight, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films
Today, Tom and Leanne take the stage with their pretty celebration.
tom says: I proposed in the Daintree forest in Australia. We had just done a 3 hour trek to find a secluded little creek. When I proposed I was sitting next to Leanne but I was quickly told “You’re not down on one knee” so I had to propose again on one knee, then she said “yes”
The colour theme was pastels, the bridesmaids wore pastel pink, the style was vintage, romantic and whimsical.
By far the best part of the day for both of us was actually getting married in the church.
Featured images are film stills.
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s been a real treat to drop in an extra little feature every day at noon this week as we celebrate our readers’ real life love stories, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.
Popcorn at the ready, let’s hear from Gemma and Niall.
gemma says: Niall proposed in our living room between visiting my parents the weekend before Christmas and heading to Niall’s mum and dads for Christmas day. It was lovely that it was just the two of us at home.
I wore a Lusan Mandongus gown from Teokath Wimbledon: all the dresses I tried on were beautiful so it was a tough decision! In the end I went with a designer I felt fitted my body shape the best and the dress that I felt was the most flattering. I absolutely love, love, love my wedding dress and feel much more emotionally attached to it than I ever imagined I would.
With a marquee in Niall’s mums and dad’s garden we had a blank canvas. We were quite relaxed about style and theme (just going with stuff we liked) but ‘classic fresh marquee wedding’ probably sums it up quite well.
We both really enjoyed the ceremony and have memories of smiling and laughing a lot. It’s the first time we both saw each other on the day and so was amazing. It is quite a surreal experience and over very quickly, you forget there are 100 people there watching you. My cousin commented after the event that the ceremony was the most fun one he had ever been to!
Featured images are video stills.
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