February 7th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Once a big day has been and gone, images and film are the ways in which we relive those important memories, and so we believe it’s super important for couples to document as much of their wedding as possible.
That said, it’s also key that brides and grooms aren’t distracted from their day, meaning they’ll need to rely on others to capture the action for them. While professionals can of course take care of this, getting guests to play photographers too allows for even more fabulous candid snaps to be taken, and can easily be arranged thanks to a fabulous service provided by our Sponsor Take a Pic.
Moving on from the days where disposable cameras were dished out to guests, Take a Pic specialises in hiring a range of digital cameras for the wedding day, which can be used by the groom and bridal parties during the prep and by guests during the main event – resulting in high quality images and video from all angles from the whole day.
There are various camera packages to choose from; from simple compacts for the tables or better quality cameras for the groom/bridal party. There are also packages with HD video camcorders, instant print cameras and even action cameras.
Better still, the process is simple and stress-free: Simply visit Take a Pic’s website and select your package, hire duration and your delivery date; then capture the action before returning the cameras in pre-paid returns packaging at your local post office. The data will then be transferred onto a USB stick and sent to your address, so you have all your guest images in one place.
Keen to find out more? Us too! As such, we’ve invited the Take a Pic team to the blog with their suggestions of the best packages and products for capturing different parts of the celebrations. And if you like what they have to offer, Brides Up North readers can get £10 off all orders using the discount code BRIDES10PO (online bookings only).
Take a Pic say: We offer a specially designed ‘His and Hers’ camera hire package ideal for capturing your entire wedding day, including all the preparation from both sides of the family. This package includes two bridge cameras, for the bride and groom, capable of taking 20MP images as well as 720p HD video with optical and digital zoom. Those who hire this package tend to give the job of photographer to the chief bridesmaid and best man alike. This package also allows you to select a number of compact cameras for your guests at the reception too.
If capturing the vows and speeches is important to you, and something which your photographer may not record on video, we recommend one of our HD video packages. Although most of our cameras have the capability of recording video, the compact handycams in these packages are much more up to the job, with 1080p HD video quality recorded straight onto a memory card. This package also allows you to select a number of compact cameras for your guests at the reception too.
The best and most popular package we offer is our standard camera hire, consisting of a select number of compact digital cameras. These are most commonly placed on your wedding tables to allow your guests to capture photos and videos during the wedding reception and into the evening.
We have an instant camera available for those who want to fill their guestbooks with a photo alongside their messages to the bride and groom. We also offer a mounted video camera with tripod and remote as an alternative to a costly photo booth, designed for capturing your personal messages to the bride and groom. These can then be put into a film, with all your guests and their special messages.
February 2nd, 2018 | Julia Braime
While planning a wedding is super exciting, it’s also classed as one of life’s most stressful events and so it’s good to have support to hand to ensure you’re organised and not overwhelmed by the task ahead.
If you’re already feeling a buried in the wedmin, or know exactly what you want but aren’t sure how to make it a reality, then the Sponsor we’re introducing on the blog today is going to be very useful to you. So, join us as we welcome professional wedding planners Andrea Swift (Northern Ambassador and Supreme Member of UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) and Debbie Rainford (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) of Fabulous Together.
Dubbed as “Fairy Godmothers” and “Secret Weapons” these are the ladies in the know, who can help bring your wedding dreams to fruition. Whether you require a full or partial planning service Andrea and Debbie will be there to bounce ideas off, provide professional advice and banish any pre-wedding worries.
So, let’s hear more from the dynamic duo on how their approach, services and style.
Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how was Fabulous Together was formed?
andrea & debbie say: After working together on several large-scale luxury weddings we had a ‘lightbulb’ moment – we realised that we not only shared the same ethos, the same professional values and the same sense of fun, but ultimately, the same vision. By combining our experience and expertise, we decided we could offer the region the ultimate luxury wedding planning service: Fabulous Together Weddings.
Why would you advise couples to hire a wedding planner?
Planning a wedding can be really stressful and we know how time consuming it can be too. A big part of our role is to match our clients with people we think will best suit their style, vision and personality, then deliver the wedding day they had always dreamed of and we keep ourselves up-to-date with all the latest trends, ensuring each individual wedding has its own unique ‘wow’ factor.
Can you outline the services that you offer to brides and grooms?
Our Full Planning Service includes a detailed consultation and bespoke proposal after which clients are assigned a senior planner who will remain by their side throughout the whole process.
Our Partial Planning package would be better suited to those clients who have already undertaken some of the planning themselves. Fabulous Together Weddings will review all bookings and plans to-date, manage the booked suppliers and stay with the couple right to the end of the wedding day, ensuring everything flows smoothly.
Proving that distance really doesn’t need to be a barrier when creating your dream wedding, our Fabulous Together Weddings’ unique Destination UK service is perfect for couples who live overseas but want to marry in the UK.
What would you say to couples who think hiring a wedding planner means they will lose control of their wedding day?
Absolutely not! The relationship we have with our couples is always collaborative. We are here to help and bring their ideas to life. Think of us as super organised fairy godmothers – we’ll offer professional advice when it’s needed, banish worries and ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
What area of planning would you say that couples find the most stressful and how can you help?
It is always hard keeping everyone happy and it can be a delicate balancing act, especially where parents are concerned. As we have so much experience in dealing with these sometimes tricky situations, we can provide an independent view that often puts things into perspective. That and the weather! We always ensure we have a good Plan B so we are prepared for whatever the British climate throws at us!
What is it that you love about the world of weddings and what is the favourite part of your job?
Sometimes it’s the simplest thing, that moment in the ceremony where the couple are officially married – the kiss, the love, the intimacy of it all – we feel privileged to be a part of it. But we also love hearing the guests chanting for one more song on the dance floor after a stunning band set or catching them talking in the toilets about it being the best wedding they have ever been to! At the end of it all we can slip quietly away knowing we have helped our couple have the very best day imaginable!
Are you noticing any trends in weddings at the moment and, if so, what are they?
A key element now though is that couples want the wedding to last as long as possible. We are seeing more and more ‘wedding weekends’ often at lavish venues, but increasingly at home or in the grounds of a close family member’s property, providing a more personalised option.
Do you have any particular memorable moments from weddings you’ve organised?
Lots and lots of memorable moments, yes, but some real stand out ones include the groom and his eight best men singing as they walked down the aisle, it was a definite ‘hairs standing up on the back of your neck’ moment. Of course, it did help that they were all professional singers! Then there was the wedding where we were waiting (outside in the rain), to get a call from Heathrow airport to see if the cloud base was high enough for our couple’s air acrobatic display to take place – it meant that Heathrow would have to alternate take off and landings to allow for the seven-minute display – when they finally said yes, we literally had two minutes to get the guests outside and in position. It was stressful but completely amazing when it happened as if on cue.
January 31st, 2018 | Julia Braime
‘Trends’ and ‘themes’ are terms often battered around in the world of wedding planning, but unlike some may think, these aren’t rigid concepts that your big day should adhere to, but instead fabulous inspiration that you can dip in and out of to create a celebration that’s just right for you.
These trends are influenced by so many elements – interiors, fashion, nature, culture – and we love to see new styles of venue, décor, attire and palettes being adapted and embraced by couples and planners.
As such, one of our highlights of the year has to be contributing to, and receiving the results of the International Trend Report, put together by the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning, who work with the world’s top wedding professionals to compile this exciting and hugely informative document.
The academy has just published its fourth annual International Trend Report full of expert predictions (including our own tips!) for 2018 weddings, and so to celebrate, we’ve invited Kylie Carlson, CEO of the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning, to the blog to share some of her very favourite trends from the report.
Images by Passionate Photography supplied by AWEP.
In 2018, the design world will be heavily influenced by the Japanese concept known as wabi sabi. It is the philosophy that there is art in imperfection. If you have ever admired something aging in an antique shop, or a building that was simultaneously falling apart yet growing in beauty with every inch of peeling paint, you understand wabi sabi.
The wedding world will embrace wabi sabi by choosing unique venues that have character and history. You might pair the disrepair of an empty warehouse with fine linens and handcrafted containers, thereby creating a beautiful, alluring contrast.
A current floral trend that will continue to dominate in 2018 is the desire to bring the outdoors in. Using elements from the outdoors, like abundant greens with white floral accents in bouquets and centerpieces, satisfies the desire to reconnect with nature despite our technology-filled, busy lives.
Organic and locally-sourced, sustainable materials and ingredients will also be in demand as couples assign greater significance to well-being and environmental responsibility. The same motivation will make botanical flavored cocktails all the rage in bar service.
Entertainment will go high tech, with slo-mo (slow motion) photo booths and drone photography becoming increasingly popular. In contrast, nostalgic music lists with hits from when couples grew up will experience higher demand.
The Report is full of insight from the personalities who drive the trends each year, and of course, I have my favorites among them all! The first is Jewel-Toned Velvet, a cross between over-the-top Vegas style and elegant old-world texture. The second is Cutting Edge Curves on specialty furnishings like overstuffed lounges. And the last is the Nouveau Art Deco movement with bright, bold geometric prints.
Check out the whole report to find out more about these predictions, along with the rest of the up and coming ideas for the year ahead.
Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.
January 18th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
As we touched on briefly in yesterday’s post, the festive season was a peak time for couples to put on a ring on it with a strong stream of just-engaged selfies filling up our social media feeds through late December and early January.
Firstly, if that was you – congratulations! Secondly, if you’ve wound up on these pink pages thinking ‘what next?’, you’re in the right place! For we’re here to hold your hand and guide you through the first steps on your wedding planning journey. So, open up the first page of that wedding planning journal, and let’s begin…
Chances are, questions about the date will start flooding in seconds after you’ve uploaded your first ‘Does this ring make me look engaged?’ photo. Cast your mind forward – are there any big family birthdays, anniversaries or events coming up that you don’t want to clash with – or alternatively, you’d like to honour? How long do you think you’ll need to plan – and save? Trying to predict the British weather is a bit like trying to guess what Britney was going to do next in 2007, but the season or month you choose may have significant impact on the finer details such as colour theme, flowers and dress style, so it’s worth bearing it in mind. Try to come up with a broad range (ish) of dates that would suit, and then it’s onto the venue.
It might be tradition for the bride to be married in her hometown, but who says it has to be your tradition? Often couples have moved away from their respective homes, or might have a special relationship with another place – a university town, the city where they met or first lived together – and can’t imagine getting hitched anywhere else. Sometimes logistics have to rule – couples often consider venues that are close to or between their respective families or a venue that can cater to particular requirements – offering total exclusivity if that’s a deal-breaker, is licensed for weddings if you’re not having a religious ceremony elsewhere, has disabled access or can manage a rowdy rabble of nephews and nieces.
But before you get too weighed down by shoulds and musts, close your eyes and imagine the day you’ve dreamed of. What do you see? A remote countryside retreat, a candle-lit manor house, an edgy urban rooftop bar? What feels most ‘you’ as a couple? There. That’s your starting point. Get online and get searching in your chosen area. Even better, get yourself to a wedding fair (‘tis the season!) at one or two of your potential venues, get your wedding party on board and get scouting. And speaking of the wedding party…
Our advice with this one is to start big. Ignore budgets and venue capacities – you’ll be forced to do some trimming shortly. Who would you have if you could have everyone you wanted, from your long-lost best friend from reception class to that lovely bloke from IT at your last job?
You‘ll also need to consider how much financial help you’re going to accept from parents and in-laws-to-be. If they’ve offered, you’ll need to be sensitive – mum and dad may want (and be entitled?) to ask a few friends, but it’s best to have that conversation and set some boundaries before you start cashing cheques.
Then – and this sounds harsh – start culling. We suggest you get yourself some golden rules – have you actually met cousin Phil’s new girlfriend? No? Then it’s not a ‘plus one’. Have you spoken to Lucy from uni – actually talked to her – in the last two years? Then ask yourself whether you need her there on your big day. It works the other way, too, though – you might not have seen aunty Margie and uncle Derek in the best part of a decade, but is the inevitably nuclear family fallout from not inviting them really worth it?
Get it down to a ballpark figure, and be conservative – 60? 100? 120? Now you need to ask venues about their capacity.
This really goes hand in hand with the above, but it’s time to talk budget – sadly, wedding planning involves a fair bit of spreadsheet tedium as well as the occasional sprinkling of glamour. Based on potential guest numbers and average venue charges per head (choose a venue that’s currently middle-of-the-range on your list), do your figures. How much have you already got saved/can you get saved by your earliest possible wedding date? How much are family able and willing to contribute, if anything? Stack this against your guest list and bear in mind other big ‘wants’ – is it achievable? If not, you need to trim your list further or reorder your priorities – where can you make some cuts?
Warning: time, patience and compromise required. Think of it as good practice for your marriage!
The final biggy on your list has to be a photographer – good ones are booked up literally years in advance and if you’re having a weekend wedding and you want to get wed in 2019, chances are they’ve only got a handful of dates left. Here once again, the internet is your friend. Make trawling through some wedding blogs and Instagram your priority (this post from Brides Up North being the perfect place to start your search, obvs) and make notes on the kind of style and shots that make your head spin and your heart sing. Don’t listen to friends and relatives who say, ‘Oo, such-and-such was great at x’s wedding’ – ‘great’ photography is so subjective, this really has to be a decision for you and your other half alone. Scour their portfolios, get in touch and – eventually – go with your gut.
December 20th, 2017 | Julia Braime
It’s time for us to slow things down here at Brides Up North HQ and wish all of our readers, clients and friends a very merry christmas!
We’ll be back in the New Year with our double daily dose of wedding inspiration, lots of brand new and old favourite (and more epic than ever) bridal shows, new projects and schemes (always thinking!) and some brand new web spaces to share (all the eeks and whoops and whathaveyous)!
As always, whilst we’re off necking the prosecco and scoffing the mince pies – and hopefully finding some of the goodies from this morning’s post under our trees (can we hint enough people?!) – we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule as we recap our 10 real wedding picks of 2017. Pop back in everyday from 27th December to see which weddings gave us that extra “ooh!” and to see if your big day is featured again.
Meanwhile, we’re finishing our year of blogging ‘proper’ with what’s always one of our very favourite posts as we look to our featured brides from the latter part of 2017 to pass on their gems of wedding planning advice to those of you soon to be saying your “I dos”.
These gals have only recently experienced the emotional rollercoaster of organising a wedding, and so we think they’re best placed to share a few words of wisdom that could help make your big day all the more amazing. From tips on where to spend the budget and how to allocate duties to others, to some pretty awesome ideas on how to make the proceedings personal to you and your partner – our #Bride(sUpNorth)Squad has it covered!
So, notebooks at the ready as our wise brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…
love, julia, rachel and the team x
Donna says: If you are doing a DIY wedding, planning all the minute details in advance (although laborious) is really useful to ensure you can completely relax on the big day. There is an impossible amount to remember, things will be forgotten in the rush of the day before – and day of the wedding itself – so where possible assign specific tasks to people in advance and give specific instructions. Have checklists but, above all, if things don’t go exactly to plan on the big day – don’t sweat the small stuff.
Abigail says: Think about yourselves! Take a step back and worry a little less about pleasing everybody else, think about what makes you laugh, what you love about each other and how you want to celebrate that. Focus on making memories together, with your friends and with your families. Let go of your dress, let it get dirty, dance until your hair gets loose, cry until your make up smudges and don’t be afraid to take a little time out in the day for the two of you. One of the best things we did was organise a family get together after our church rehearsal, the night before the wedding – that way we were able to get our ‘hellos’ and introductions out of the way before the big day – it really helped us relax on the day itself.
Jane says: Suppliers get booked up very early, so make sure you have done your research and booked them in ASAP. You don’t want to lose them to another couple! Also, have a list of the photos you want on the day to make sure they are taken, get a good night’s sleep the night before the wedding and – most importantly – have fun!
Rebecca says: Keep a wedding spreadsheet to stay on top of your budget, guest RSVPs and then to keep a record of gifts to help you out with the thank you cards afterwards. Though, be prepared for the wedding spreadsheet to become your nemesis in the final weeks before the big day. Also accept it’s probably quite normal to argue about lots of things during the planning! Finally, an “oh my God I’ve made the wrong dress decision/will look terrible/have not spent nearly enough time in the gym” moment (or three) just before the wedding is normal (or it certainly was for me!). But trust me, you will look the best you ever have, and you’ll not give a hoot on the day itself!
Laura says: Be realistic about how much things cost. At first, we looked into doing things a bit more cheaply but, to be honest, it really wasn’t worth it for us. Try not to argue about the guest list and, most importantly, try to take a step back from everyone during the day. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, it’ll allow you to enjoy each other’s company and look on at the amazing day you’ve both managed to create.
Clare says: If you want to do something, go for it! People will tell you not to worry about the details, that no one will notice them – but if it’s important to you, that’s all that matters.
Fern says: Accept that there may be problems but if you surround yourself with trustworthy people they will help in any way possible. Also, definitely ask suppliers about who they would recommend as it takes the stress out of the searching. Finally, I’d recommend taking out wedding insurance. We got ours from Debenhams and also got a gift voucher from them. We didn’t need to use the insurance, but it gave us peace of mind.
Kerry says: Get a good photographer, and allocate a decent budget for photos because it’s the thing you have afterwards as a reminder of the day.
Christina says: Do the planning together. Nick and I made every decision together, because wanted the wedding to reflect ‘us’ as much as possible. We even broke a few traditions here and there: Nick helped me to pick my dress, and I helped with his suit. As a result, though, there were no nasty surprises ahead of us and we both felt so proud at the end of the night.
Zorina says: Have a mid-morning wedding. The day goes so quickly that having an afternoon wedding simply isn’t long enough. I’d also say get a videographer – it’s one of our big regrets that we didn’t. Also, ensure your photographer will be there from getting ready to the disco.
Melanie says: Enjoy every second of the run up, as much as the day itself. We loved the menu sampling, meeting the florist, picking songs for the string quartet and outfit appointments, and didn’t feel stressed at any point as we just wanted to enjoy everything.
Dawn says: At the wedding breakfast, we didn’t have a top table. We just had a table for my husband and I, which was so special as we got to have our first dinner together without trying to talk to everyone on the top table. Try as you might, you cannot please everyone so the best thing to do is please yourself, it’s your day and it goes fast, so have everything that you want – even if it’s not conventional.
Fiona says: Listen to your suppliers. You chose to work with them for a reason, and they really know their stuff. Secondly, tell your story. Your wedding is about you and your partner bringing together all of your loved ones. A lot of people will have a lot of opinions and suggestions – but make sure the day speaks to both of your characters, as that’s what people are there to witness and celebrate.
Natalie says: In the run up to the wedding, I read lots of the real weddings on Brides Up North, which really inspired our style for the day. I also attended the wedding fairs – it was great to see suppliers and their products in the flesh!
Rosie says: Don’t let other people influence your decisions. When I said that I wanted the ‘Ritz in the Woodland’ theme, people said I was crazy. I ended up having the perfect day because I stuck to what I wanted.
Emma says: Share the day and get everyone involved. We had people collecting jars and gin bottles for months, everyone helped us get the venue ready and we really made it a family affair. It makes it really special and everyone takes ownership of the day. Then, when it’s a success, everyone feels delighted! Also, if at all possible, make a weekend of it. It creates a sense of community and allows everyone to relax. Plus, it’s so much fun and it all doesn’t fly by like everyone always says!
Aimee says: Make sure you get a good best man and bridesmaids. Our best man was fantastic for us on the day, organising everything behind the scenes and really going above and beyond. It ensured we could concentrate on really enjoying ourselves and not worrying about all the things we’d booked going to plan. We made it our mission to have a good time and because we did, everyone else followed suit. Also, make sure you are first for the food in the evening. Too many brides and grooms miss out on this because they are working the room and hosting too much.
Rebecca says: Do it all your way. There are no rules when planning a wedding, so don’t do something just because it’s what normally happens. If you don’t want speeches, don’t have them. If you want ice cream, burgers, cake and pizza (in that order), go for it! The most important thing is that you both have fun.
Alana says: You don’t have to break the bank to get the look you want – where you can, source your own ideas and search to get things within a budget. We spent a lot of our budget on the venue, as we fell in love with the beautiful setting. We created our theme around what we love, and decided that we wanted a chilled-out, relaxed fun atmosphere. We sourced as much as possible ourselves, and searched for the right style of clothes and decorations, which kept costs down but also linked up with our style.
Jess says: Our top tip to pass onto other couples came from our celebrant – ask the venue to arrange a little room for you to disappear into after the ceremony. Take five to ten minutes with your new wife/husband just to enjoy each other’s company and take it all in. The day flies by so make sure you stop to be in the present and appreciate it.
December 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Martin Hambleton Photography
If you’re anything like us, you flit from one favourite wedding season to another as the various months of the year each have something different to offer.
Whether it be the possibility of a relaxed outdoor wedding in the height of summer taking your fancy, or the image of a cosy and atmospheric winter wedding that has you hooked, an epic choice of venues and hugely creative wedding suppliers means a show-stopping wedding is achievable all year round.
As such, deciding when to set the big day date for can be a little tricky, and so we’ve invited our lovely guest writer, Izzy Hicks of our media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to share the pros and cons of the options, so you’ll know which of the seasons is best for you to say “I do”…
Lee Dann Photography
Winter, and in particular the holiday season, is a wonderful time of year for a wedding, as it’s already a time of getting together with family and friends to celebrate. It’s easy to create a cosy winter wedding theme, as around Christmas and New Year your venues are already likely to be decked out with fairy lights and extra decorations.
Depending on which month you opt for, winter can also be one of the cheapest times of the year to tie the knot. November, January and February are great months for bargain-hunters.
The weather is often a big drawback for brides considering a winter wedding. At best it’s likely to be dry yet cold – more likely, it’s going to be drizzly or raining. Although snow may look beautiful in photographs, it can seriously interfere with your wedding travel plans, so be prepared for this possibility.
You’ll lose the light quickly in winter, as the days are at their shortest, which can wreak havoc with your wedding photography. Choose a photographer who’s experienced in shooting in low-light conditions, and consider having your ceremony earlier rather than later in the day to avoid taking group photos in the dark.
If you want the potential good weather and beautiful settings of summer, but haven’t got the budget for peak season, then spring could be your next best option. And if you’re lucky with the weather you’ll still be able to get all those gorgeous outdoor shots.
Spring is all about new life, which means that you’ll have some of the best blooming flowers and fresh local produce to choose from for your big day. You’ll have your pick of ranunculi, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips for your bouquet, and everyone will be ready for a light and fresh wedding menu after the heavy excesses of winter.
Once again, it comes down to the weather. Spring is one of the most unpredictable seasons when it comes to the weather, so you’ll need to be prepared for all eventualities and keep your eye on the forecast. At worst, you may end up dealing with flooding due to the Spring rains, so make sure you’re protected against this.
With budding flowers comes pollen! If you or your fiancé suffer from sever hayfever or allergies, then you may want to reconsider marrying in a season when the pollen count is at its highest.
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.