May 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
You have been warned: today’s real wedding is all about the emotion. Talented bridal designer and seamstress Suzi lost her beloved mum to cancer a few months before her planned September wedding. The world shifted on its axis; everything was cancelled.
The following year, with the help of husband-to-be Sam and a close alliance of family and friends, Suzi found a way to plan a vintage wedding that was both a fun and poignant celebration of their love, with plenty of fitting tributes to her mum.
The end result, we think you’ll agree, is a wonderfully joyous, vintage-inspired big day with lots of laidback homespun vibes. Get ready for the goosebumps: this is wedding inspo at its glorious best.
With images by Luke Whiteley and Dean Hammonds.
suzi says: Sam proposed in December 2014 under our first Christmas tree in our own home, with his grandmother’s beautiful sapphire and diamond ring which he‘d concealed in a bauble! A few weeks later, having been such a presence throughout Sam’s life, she passed away. I feel so honoured to have been given her beautiful engagement ring and so happy that she knew he‘d asked me to marry him.
We got married on 30th August 2016. It was actually second time lucky! We had originally booked and planned our wedding for September 21st 2015 – however, due to my mum passing away in May of that year, we decided to postpone it. My sister was really eager to get married (following two previous attempts!) so we put our wedding on the back burner and helped concentrate on giving Jo the brilliant day that she truly deserved despite our mum not being able to be with us all. We chose 30th August as it was the Tuesday after the bank holiday so it allowed our guests to have an extra-long bank holiday weekend.
We had our wedding ceremony in our local Methodist church in Matlock, Derbyshire. Our close friend Rachel did the address which was so personal and lovely and was definitely one of my favourite parts of the day. We asked some close friends to do readings – Polly read one of my mum’s favourite bible readings and Rosie read ‘He’s Not Perfect’ by Bob Marley.
We chose one of our favourite local pubs, The White Hart, to host our reception. They have a beautiful glass orangery and outside terrace and field. This worked perfectly as it was the most beautiful day! They were really flexible with all our requests, and as I was doing so much myself, I was happy to put my trust in our wedding coordinator, Emily, who accommodated all our requirements brilliantly.
While trying to plan the wedding, I lost one of the most important people in my life. My wonderful mum was diagnosed with a rare form of bowel cancer four years ago. We were adamant she was going to fight it and stood by her as she battled numerous operations, countless stints in hospital, different drugs and chemotherapy, trying to keep smiling and praying that it would soon all be a distant nightmare. However, it wasn’t to be, and in the winter of 2014 we were told that they were going to stop chemotherapy. We planned our wedding for the following September (2015) but sadly mum died in the May of that year. I was 26 and couldn’t believe that she was gone, that she wouldn’t be around for the rest of my life or to watch me marry Sam. It took me a while to get back to thinking about our wedding as I couldn’t imagine a day where Mum wouldn’t be there – it just didn’t feel right. Who was I going to call to discuss dresses and fabrics and all the little details that seem so important at the time? However, after a little time, we felt ready to start thinking about it; we decided to make it a day of fun and laidback celebration, including all of our amazing friends and family who had supported us on our difficult journey.
We didn’t really have any specific ‘theme’ as such; instead, we went for a summery, fresh and contemporary feel. We just wanted to stay true to ourselves and let the day represent us. Mine and Sam’s favourite colour is blue, so we had a loose blue colour theme for the day incorporating lots of white, touches of pink, grey and highlights of silver, too.
After finding the gorgeous fabric for my bridesmaids’ dresses – a blue floral with touches of pink, purples and grey – it became the main inspiration for our colours. I wanted to keep most things white and fresh so the bridesmaid fabric would make a real impact.
April 11th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This morning on the blog we’re featuring an exquisitely pretty vintage-style real wedding. Bride Sarah opted for a gloriously unbound meadow-style bouquet, Matt chose a dashing brown tweed suit and they both plumped for a hearty Yorkshire-inspired feast for their wedding breakfast.
Their mint green colour scheme, we’re sure you’ll agree, feels fresh as well as pretty, and complements Sarah’s vintage tastes perfectly.
So, if it’s some homespun vintage pretty that you’re after, you’re in the right place!
With photography by Jenny Mills.
sarah says: We got engaged on 28th November 2015, after six-and-a-half-years together. Every November we go on a city break, and this year it was to New York. We were getting ready to go to Central Park and to watch the Thanksgiving parade when I noticed Tim getting fidgety! I thought he was getting annoyed at me for taking so long, but it was actually because he’d put the ring on the dressing table for me to find – and I hadn’t noticed it! When I eventually went to get my coat on he followed me and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I dropped my bag and fell over! It was perfect. He wanted to do it in the park originally but had been too nervous waiting!
We were married on Friday 2nd September 2016. We’d always said that once we got engaged we’d get married quite quickly. I’d always had April or September in mind – April was too soon so we went for the first Friday of September so (we hoped!) it would still be warm from summer but starting to get a bit more autumnal.
We got married at Whirlowbrook Hall in Sheffield. We did a lot of online research into places that we thought would fit our budget and ideas for the day. Ideally, I wanted a country house with lots of trees and greenery that was fairly close to Sheffield – we have lots of friends and family who had to travel.
I fell in love with Whirlowbrook as soon as I saw the pictures of it online, I emailed the wedding coordinator, Lucy, for more information and she was incredibly helpful and informative, which filled me with confidence. I had made my mind up before we even went to see it, but driving up the long drive towards the hall made me more determined that this was the venue for us. There were rabbits and ducks on the lawn and it felt so secluded and private. We both loved it and only viewed one other venue before returning to confirm our booking there.
Theme-wise, we wanted something a little bit rustic with a touch of Yorkshire. I’d seen so many lovely weddings on Pinterest and wanted to take little bits from all of them and make them our own. I also love Brides Up North and it was a huge source of inspiration whilst planning our wedding; I’ve stopped following all the other wedding blogs on Facebook and Instagram since getting married, but I’ve kept Brides Up North because I love seeing all the beautiful weddings – they’re always so pretty!
We made a lot of the table decorations, the order of service and table plans ourselves; I wanted it all to feel laidback but beautiful. We had bunting, lace, burlap and pastel colours as a general theme throughout and our flowers were styled on meadow flowers so that they looked perfectly undone. We’re not a flashy couple and I wanted it to feel a bit like a vintage party rather than a big fancy affair. We had lawn games and a Yorkshire-style menu.
The main colour was mint, and we used it for our bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s ties. Mint also ran through our decorations in the flowers, cake and table decorations. Our flower girl had some mint ribbon in her bouquet and my shoes had mint ribbon in them instead of cream. We chose it because it felt vintage and classic and it’s one of our favourite colours – three of the rooms in our house have mint walls!
April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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February 24th, 2017 | Julia Braime
We’re so excited to introduce another event in our so-far so-fabulous spring 2017 calendar! *Does dance*
The finest North West wedding industry talent will be descending upon The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, for our Mini POP-UP Wedding Festival Bridal Show at this unique & authentic vintage venue THIS SUNDAY 26th February 2017, 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY!
This brilliant, exclusive use venue is as fun as it is special, with it’s high ceilings, sparkling drapes, ornate fireplaces and perfectly sprung dance floor. Dancing shoes at the ready! If you are looking for a bespoke and private wedding venue with a little added pizazz, it’s your lucky day.
We’ve added the very best floral designers, bridal boutiques, stationers, vintage cars , venue stylists, photographers, cakes, diamonds (and more!) that the area has to offer – plus a festival styling twist and lots of live music – to make sure that every detail of your big day is covered with individual style.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like a bit of a party…
bride to be?
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is register.
While stocks last only.
fancy exhibiting with us?
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2016. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this year.
Click here to view the full schedule.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Email Julia at email@example.com for details.
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September 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
We all know that while you can plan a wedding down to the finest detail there are some elements of the day that are entirely out of your control, most notably the weather.
Today’s real wedding couple are a shining example of how to not let the unpredictable British weather dampen your big day celebrations.
Despite the downpours outdoors, the bride, groom and their guests got on with enjoying themselves inside the beautiful Newton Hall, rather getting hung up on the fact that the sun hadn’t made an appearance.
The wedding was beautifully styled, as were the wedding party, and we’re super impressed with the stunning portrait images captured by their photographer considering that he was confined to just the indoors. Excellent work Ally!
With images by Ally M Photography.
holly says: We got engaged at Claridge’s in London in November 2014. Ben had planned to propose in Dubai a few months after this date, however we had cancelled the trip as I found out I was expecting our daughter Mia! Ben can luckily rely on me to order a dessert whenever we go out. He had the staff write ‘Holly, will you marry me?’ on the plate. At first I was annoyed that precious dessert space was taken up with writing, then I realised what it said. I forgave him and said yes!
We got married on the 17th June 2016. As all couples who decide to marry in Britain do, we played Russian Roulette with the weather and just hoped we would win with a June wedding (we lost…badly!).
We got married at Newton Hall, Northumberland. It had everything we could possibly have wanted. It’s surrounded in beautiful British countryside and it also sits near the stunning coastline they have there. We were searching for “different and quirky wedding venues” and Newton Hall popped up. The pictures were stunning so we booked a visit. I didn’t dare believe it would be the one given it was the first we’d viewed, but I immediately fell in love with it as we pulled up the driveway. I love how they’ve kept the traditional feel of the house whilst also adding so much fun to it. Every room is just gorgeous. We’re also one of the last of our friends to get married so it was nice to find somewhere we could have our wedding where we hadn’t been before. It just meant it felt more special to us.
Ben gave me full reign over the theming of the wedding (this made us both very happy) and I always go for girly/pretty! I wanted it to be vintage and beautiful so it could blend with our fabulous venue.
With two little girls, our whole life is already in pink so I just naturally went for subtle and dusky shades if pinks and purples for the colour scheme.
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August 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime
There can be no finer start to your week than this stunning North West wedding. Taking place at The Out Barn near Clitheroe, Rebecca and Scott’s big day had an elegant vintage theme with little nods to the rustic setting in the form of cute homemade décor.
There are so many beautiful elements to this wedding but we can’t stop looking at bride and groom’s attire, with both looking like they’ve stepped right out of the pages of a fashion magazine.
With images by Hip to Heart Photography.
rebecca says: We got engaged at our little flat in Leeds in May 2015, after a really tough week at work. Scott had spoken to me during the day at work to say that because I’d had a stressful week that he would be cooking me a three course meal to cheer me up as I was totally fed up! When I arrived home, there were photos from the five years we had been together hung on string all over the kitchen and living room which made me cry! After the dinner he then got down on one knee, up until that point I had no idea at all, then I didn’t say yes for about five minutes because I was crying so much! When I called my mum and dad to tell them they said they’d been avoiding speaking to me all week as Scott had been over earlier in the week to ask my dad.
We set the date for 2nd July 2016. After getting engaged we were in no great hurry and so looked online at a couple of venues to get ideas. Before Christmas we went to an open day at The Out Barn in Clough Bottom. My parents live in Chorley so we decided to go for the week and visit the venue with my mum. We went to the wedding fayre, had a look around and were about to leave, when my mum said she wanted to ask about dates. They were booked until September 2016 except for one date in July, so we went for it and had a very busy 14 weeks ahead of us!
Upon visiting we just fell in love with The Out Barn and its surroundings. We loved the character of the building too and the views are amazing!
Our theme for the wedding was rustic/vintage. We made all the decorations ourselves and we wanted everything to be a bit mismatched, as it suited how we are as a couple. We didn’t have a specific colour scheme to start with, it was only after we had chosen the pastel coloured material for the bunting that a specific palette emerged.
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