Brides Up North

Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: And I Swear. Suzanne Neville For A Real Wedding At Combermere Abbey, Cheshire – Ellie & Alexei

December 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks. 

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Another day, another beautiful Real Wedding, but this one’s different as it’s a day to celebrate the marriage of my lovely friends Ellie and Alexei.  Ellie is one in a million and helps me out at our Brides Up North events.  Did you meet my little ray of sunshine at one of our Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions this Autumn?

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend their beautiful wedding day due to a prior invitation, but the privilege of sharing it on these pages is almost as good.  Ok, not really (there’s no pink fizz involved for one thing!) but the pleasure is still all mine.

I’ll hand you over to the brand new Mrs Callender, with images by CG Weddings.

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Ellie says:  We got engaged in February 2012 and were married on 27th July 2013 at St Anne’s Church, Nantwich then onto Combermere Abbey, Whitchurch.

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I wanted the overall look of the day to be elegant and I knew I had to make the most of the venue with its beautiful English country gardens. It was easy to dress the venue as you don’t have to do much to make it look pretty.  We chose a colour scheme of ivory, white and pale pink (sweet avalanche roses to be precise)!

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My dress (‘Paradise’) was from Suzanne Neville’s Diamond (2013) collection, and I accessorised with a pair of sparkling Jimmy Choos.  My make up was by Kate Spreckley and my hair by Rachel Casey from Terence Paul, Hale.

My bridesmaids wore navy/royal blue floor-length bridesmaid dresses from Coast and our groomsmen wore hired grey morning suits from Debenhams.

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I carried a posy of white hydrangeas, gyp, ivory and sweet avalanche roses by Jacklyn at Precious Things, Cheshire. The bridesmaids had similar bouquets, just in white, and they had diamanté sprays in theirs for a bit of sparkle.

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My dad and I travelled to the church into a cream Bentley S1 and the bridesmaids and my mum were in the vintage Austin Limousine. Both were booked through www.yourwhiteweddingscars.co.uk who were brilliant and the drivers were amazing on the day… our driver took Lex and I on the scenic route from the church to the reception venue so we could have a bit more quality, alone time together.

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We used on the day wedding-planners – Caroline and Claire at Pomp & Ceremony Planning, a Brides Up North Featured Supplier. These ladies are wedding angels!

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My mum made our cake – I saw roughly what I wanted and asked her to get the florist to include the flowers in the vases in between. It was traditional with a touch of sparkle round the edges.

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There were also a lot of homemade DIY touches (mostly by my lovely mum) such as the Mr and Mrs dressed champagne glasses and the table plan which was a door with photo frames hanging from it.  I saw something similar on Pinterest and showed it to my mum and she brought it to life… it was just a little different to others I’d seen and we loved it.

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As a surprise we booked the Singing Waiters – Divas Disguised – I was a bit wary at first as I thought it might be a bit cheesy however after briefing them on no ‘cheese’ it went perfectly. It was one of the highlights of our day and definitely most of our guests’. We have had so many of our guests telling us since how much they enjoyed it and that it was something they hadn’t seen before.

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In the evening we had a live band called The Provocateurs who we booked through Hipswing Entertainments. We wanted the first dance to be live. We asked the band to do a speeded up version of the song I always knew I’d have at my wedding- ‘I Swear’ by All4One… the lyrics make me cry even thinking about them!

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Our honeymoon was a surprise booked by Alexei.  We had two nights in Singapore then nine nights in Lombok (next to Bali). Both were great for a July/August honeymoon- the weather was perfect.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be the enjoy the getting ready part of the day as much as you can. It’s very easy to get stressed and anxious about everything on the morning of the wedding however you can’t change it at that point so just enjoy the morning with your bridal party – it’s a very happy time. Oh and, if you can, get a wedding day coordinator/planner, mine (Pomp & Ceremony Planning) were godsends!

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Congratulations Ellie & Alexei!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Get in touch.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 CG Weddings

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Fabricated. Supplier Showcase: Love To Marry

November 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

We’ve met Brides Up North Featured Supplier Hazel of Love To Marry here on these pretty pages before, whilst celebrating her award winning wedding planning business, but today she’s back to tell you all about a really rather lovely addition to her skillset over on her brand new website.  Is there nothing this girl can’t do?

Welcome back Hazel – tell us about your new range of fabric bouquets?  What made you diversify into bridal accessories?

I love planning weddings and being able to be part of the day but even though I am a big part of the couples’ day I offer a service that not all couples require. A wedding planner is classed as a luxury (although for some couples it should be essential!) but all brides want to hold something walking down the aisle and I mentioned before I’m a creative person and so can use that creativity to make something that’s a keepsake for brides, bridesmaids and even the wedding party as I make fabric and faux flower buttonholes, corsages and pomanders. And it turns out that I’m pretty good at it!

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

Tell us a little about how the fabric bouquets are designed and made?

I offer three styles of bouquets. Foam rose and brooch bouquets – made with foam flowers, jewellery and other embellishments, for example, lace, pearl pins, feathers and feather butterflies. These are simple, lightweight and very pretty and can be made of almost any colour or combination of colours. I can also make pomanders in the same style which are great for leaving the brides hands free.

Then there are silk flower bouquets. Silk flowers are very realistic looking these days and these can be made into hand-tied posies and again be adorned with ribbons, lace and jewellery and be made of any variety of flowers and foliage.

Then there are the fabric and brooch bouquets. These are boho or rustic in style. The flowers are hand made using satins, silks and lace and adorned with brooches. They can also be made in any colour combination to suit.

Can you make bespoke designs?

Yes. Some brides give me photos of the look of their wedding with fabrics and colours and I make bouquets to match.

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

Where do you look for inspiration?

A lot of my designs come from someone asking me for something in particular. For example I started making fans and flower girl wands because I was asked if I could make them. I get inspiration from many sources – seeing a fresh flower bouquet and wondering if it can be made using silk flowers, or seeing a bridal gown and designing a bouquet to go with it.

What bridal accessory trends have been popular in 2012 and what trends do you see emerging in 2013 and beyond?

Fresh flowers will always be popular and they smell lovely, but a lot of brides are wanting keepsakes and so button and brooch bouquets are becoming more popular. Vintage is still holding strong and having vintage pieces of jewellery either as it is or made into a bouquet or head dress has been popular. Vintage will still be going strong but some brides like the unusual and hopefully quirky and bright coloured accessories will be popular. The ‘natural’ look is also emerging and the use of recycled items.

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price? Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers? 

Bespoke brides’ bouquets start from £70 and bridesmaids from £25. I offer free postage on orders over £100 and a 10% discount for larger orders. Brides Up North Readers can get complimentary mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom corsages and a free bridesmaid bouquet or pomander if ordering three or more bouquets.  Quote Brides Up North when ordering. 

What can Brides Up North expect when they use your service?

I want my clients to be happy and so I will keep you updated with how your order is coming along and send you photos of items as I make them so they won’t be a surprise when they arrive and you know you’ll be happy with the order when it does arrive.

With my wedding planning you’ll get attention to detail and a calm presence on the day to make sure you have a relaxed and happy day with your family and friends.

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

What is your current favourite design and why?

I love the bridal pomander. It looks beautiful, its light, can be made in any colour and adorned with pearl strings and brooches and is also very practical as it sits over the brides wrist and leaves the hands free for holding a glass of champagne in one hand and new husband in the other.

I’ve also started making extra large pomanders that are perfect for hanging from beams, marquees or even standing in large vases.

Do you make pieces that would be appropriate for Bridesmaids or Flower girls?  What would you recommend?

For flower girls I make pomanders out of cotton flowers that I make myself with buttons in the middle. I use 5 or 6 different fabrics in each pomander to give a girly and vintage feel to the pomanders. They are very light and so perfect for little ones. They come in three sizes and with matching hair slides and make a lovely keepsake. I can do wands and pomanders in foam and silk flowers too.

For bridesmaids I make smaller versions of the brides bouquet and can also do wrist corsages and peacock feather fans.

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

How are your products packaged?  Do they make good gifts?

The fabric pomanders and buttonholes come in acetate boxes so make lovely gifts. If the bouquets are being posted I make sure I wrap them well as you never know how carefully the carrier takes care of the packages. But under the bubble wrap they will be wrapped in tissue paper and can be provided in a gift box if requested

Is this your dream career? 

I think being in the wedding industry is a fabulous career and having a successful business is my goal. 

There isn’t much time to relax in the Walshaw household with two little boys and I find making my bouquets and pomanders relaxing. Other than that I like reading and watching TV or catching up on much missed sleep!

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

What are your “best things” in life?

My family and dancing. My two boys are brilliant! My 7 year old is history and Lego obsessed and talks for England and my youngest is 10 months and is the happiest contented baby in the world. I’m very lucky. I’m also a belly dancer and have recently been performing in a Middle Eastern Folkloric show in Birmingham and Liverpool which will be coming to Leeds and Manchester in November. Just to make my life extra busy!

Tell us about your recent North Of England Wedding Award?

I won The North of England Wedding Award for Customer Service 2012 Yorkshire for Wedding Services. I’m very proud of this achievement and though it was for my wedding planning services my customer service is the same for the bouquet side of my business too. I always aim to make sure my clients and customers are happy with the service and products I provide. So whether it’s full wedding planning, event styling, a bouquet or just a buttonhole – you will always get Excellent customer service.

Bespoke Fabric Bouquets by Love To Marry

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?

For wedding planning and event styling services I can be contacted on enquiries@lovetomarry.co.uk; for bouquets and faux floral arrangements and accessories then please email info@bespokefabricbouquets.co.uk or visit www.bespokefabricbouquets.co.uk where I have a gallery of recent designs.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Love To Marry

Love To Marry is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

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Mixing & Mingling With The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

October 16th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Now and again, I manage to tear myself away from the computer screen and out into the “Real World”.  The benefits are twofold – first, I get some fresh air, and secondly I get to meet some fabulous wedding industry suppliers, scope out the latest trends, catch up on the industry gossip and generally soak up all the fabulousness.

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to join Brides Up North sponsors Andrea of Fabulous Day and The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners for a sparkling evening at the gorgeous – and brand new wedding venue – Colshaw Hall in Cheshire.  North West brides, if you are on a venue hunt – you have to check this one out!

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

I try to get across the Pennines to see my North West colleagues as much as possible (and welcomed the opportunity to do a little on site planning for our luxury and vintage wedding exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms, Cheshire on Sunday 3rd November – have you pre-registered yet?!) so I was there with bells on.  There was bubbly, there was music, there was cake… a recipe for success if ever there was one. 

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Andrea of Fabulous Day says:  On Wednesday 25th September the Northern Contingent of the UKAWP held their annual mix and mingle, but this one was a bit different.  For the first time we were allowed to extend the invitation beyond planners and to our colleagues in the wedding industry as a whole. After thinking it would be a small, intimate affair, our planners heads got the better of us and we ended up planning a full on evening of entertainment for our guests!

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

My colleague Alison of Perfect Ally contacted Colshaw Hall, a stunning Grade 2 listed manor house near Knutsford, which has only recently opened its doors to weddings and events, so it was the perfect opportunity for us and our guests to see this beautiful venue.

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

On the night we were delighted with the response, with over 50 planners and suppliers joining us for the evening.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and did lots of mixing and mingling, we are already being asked when the next one is!  Watch this space.

Colshaw Hall by Caroline White Photography

To find out more about why you should consider using a wedding planner for your own big day click here to read our interview with The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners. 

Little Black Book

Live Piano Experience who played two fabulous sets.

The Best Singing Waiters did a great job of surprising everyone!

John Holt wowed with close up magic.

Jolly Good Vintage Photo Booth brought their old fashioned camera and lots of props!

Making the room look beautiful were stunning floral arrangements from Spring Bank and Ian Lloyd plus some lovely linen from Perfect Weddings

Colshaw’s caterer’s Barrett’s offered to supply welcome drinks, canapés and mini desserts.

Cake maker Beth Mottershead took it upon herself to recreate Colshaw’s horse logo.

Capturing all of the evenings events was Caroline White Photography,  photographer and friend.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Caroline White Photography

Fabulous Day & The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Snap Happy! Brides Up North Wants You To Love Your Wedding Photographs

October 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

Unveiled Autumn Winter 2013

After he’s up off one knee, you’ve bought your first bridal magazine, subscribed to a half dozen wedding blogs and thought about setting a date, what’s next? The dress? A honeymoon somewhere exotic? Or how about 200 hand knitted heart favours that your guests are sure to treasure forever?

Stop right there.

Every wedding will have a budget and whether large or small, it’s up to you to spend it wisely. After a venue, a pretty frock and something good to eat, I’d say that a quality photographer should be right at the top of your shopping list.

This wording comes from a feature I wrote for the Autumn/ Winter issue of Unveiled Magazine, but I thought that you lovely lot might benefit if I was to share it on these pretty pages too.  Please do leave me a comment to let me know if you found it useful, or if you are a professional photographer reader (howdy!) I’d love to know what other advice you might offer our brides. 

With images kindly provided by Jonny Draper Photography

Jonny Draper Photography

As a professional wedding blogger, I receive a lot of real wedding submissions and believe me, there is a big difference between a just-ok photographer and a really good one. A bad photographer? Let’s not even go there.

But why are good wedding photographs so important anyway? Aren’t your memories of the big day enough?

The reality is, wedding photographs are your memories. Crack open your album and your big day will all come flooding back. For better or for worse. If done right, they’re also memories that you can share – with future children, grandchildren, family and friends. You want your images to be as beautiful as the celebration itself.

So, that friend who’s just keen with a camera? Ask him to take some fun shots of the party instead and book the best professional that your budget will allow. You’ll be so glad that you did.

Now that’s clicked, where to start?

Jonny Draper Photography

Start Early

It’s simple: the best get booked, and fast. If there’s a photographer whose work you already know that you love, you want to be securing their services as soon as the date is saved. If you do miss out, then ask them to recommend a trusted industry colleague with a similar style.

Jonny Draper Photography

Narrow Your Options

If you’ve no idea where to begin, wedding blogs like this one and personal recommendations are your best bet. Decide what look you like, then search out the photographers who deliver consistently within that style. Ask online and across social media platforms for reviews and honest commentary.

Jonny Draper Photography

Do Your Homework

Once you think you’ve found your man (or woman), request to see a variety of examples of their work. Rather than a load of great photos from lots of different days, you should be looking for a few excellently captured complete weddings. It’s relatively easy to get one lucky shot, but a whole day’s worth takes real skill. While you are there, check out your options for aftercare and albums and that you like your photographer’s editing style and presentation choices.

Jonny Draper Photography

Budget For The Best

It’s a big ballpark, and very dependant on location, coverage and experience, but a photographer at the top of their game usually costs between £1,000 and £2,500. When discussing prices, check what the total figure covers to avoid any nasty surprises. How long will the photographer be there on the day? Does the price include an album? What about digital images and who will own the copyright to the photographs? What sort of timescales does the photographer work to and how soon after the wedding will you see your proofs?

Jonny Draper Photography

Practice Makes Perfect

I’d recommend an engagement shoot to everyone. Even if you’re already a pro in front of the camera, you can practice your make up, get to know your photographer better and check that you get on. If you’re a little more hesitant in front of a lens, a warm up shoot can really help to relieve pre wedding nerves and instil confidence.

Jonny Draper Photography

Smile For The Birdie

Once the big day arrives, remember to relax. You’ve done your research and paid a fair price. Trust that your photographer will do a good job and let them get on with it. Strike a pose!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jonny Draper Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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Evening Do… Or Evening Don’t?

September 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Jonny Draper Photography

Our regular guest blogger Rachel – editor of Mosaic Brides – is giving me the morning off, as she takes control of these pretty pages to debate the pros and cons of a wedding at sundown.  No more worries about getting to the church on time: if you’re going to be fashionably late, why not make it official?!  Over to Rachel. 

With images by Jonny Draper Photography 

Jonny Draper Photography

Rachel says:  As marriage laws have been relaxed over the years couples have been given much more say over when and where they tie the knot.  One of the most recent changes to marriage laws means ceremonies can now be conducted outside the traditional hours of 8am to 6pm so couples can get married at any time of day or night – depending on the venue, of course.

It seems crazy that it’s taken this long for the rule to be relaxed considering it was initially introduced in 1837 to stop people marrying the wrong partner in the dark before the days of electricity (awkward).

The change is seen as a good thing for those looking to save money on their wedding day as it gives them the option to hold their celebrations in the evening, which means less expenditure on food, drink, entertainment and venue hire.

Jonny Draper Photography

But, as the law was only changed in England and Wales last year (there are no restriction on the hours of weddings in Scotland) the difficulty may be finding a venue that provides the option of an evening wedding, as most would prefer couples to hire the facilities for the majority of the day and evening.

Before deciding on whether or not to say ‘I do’ at dusk it’s worth taking a look at the pros and cons in a little more detail.

Jonny Draper Photography

Pros

Save – As previously mentioned the biggest plus point is considered to be the savings couples can make by holding their celebrations in the evening. So instead of forking out for a champagne and canapés reception plus a main wedding breakfast and evening meal, couples should be able to get away with feeding their guests just the one time. Similarly you will only require entertainment for the evening and the venue hire should be less for the amount of hours you require it for.

Relax – A later ceremony means no rushing around during the day. There will be plenty of time to decorate the venue, take receipt of flowers, cakes etc and make those final checks ahead of the ceremony. This also means more time for the bride and her maids to get ready and make the most of the venue’s facilities (halleluiah).

Personal preference – If you’re not marrying during traditional hours there’s certainly no need to stick to all the formalities. For example after the ceremony you could enjoy a cocktail hour (a trend particularly popular in America) without the fear that your guests will crash and burn before the party really gets started. Also instead of a formal sit down meal you could have street style food or a buffet so guests can mingle and the disco/live entertainment can get underway. If you are a real foodie however, the money you save on only needing to feed your guests once can be pooled on the main meal so you can really go to town and treat your guests to something special.

No lulls – We’ve all been to a wedding where we’ve found ourselves stood around with nothing to do but listen to the sound of our stomachs rumbling. A later wedding means less time to fit things in and so the proceedings should move swiftly from one part of the celebrations to the next without guests becoming bored.

Setting the scene – An evening wedding can make for a more atmospheric and romantic occasion with low lighting and twinkling fairy lights and candles. Creative couples can go all out on a decedent theme to suit the mood such as Great Gatsby with sparkling décor, elegant lighting and glamorous attire.

Grateful guests – A later time of arrival means guests can travel to the venue on the wedding day so those coming from further afield don’t need to book more than one night’s accommodation. An evening wedding, particularly on week days, can also mean that guests don’t have to take a full day off work.

Jonny Draper Photography

Cons

Blink and you’ve missed it – Most couples are put off the idea of an evening wedding simply because they’re told a wedding goes too quickly so they should make the most of it with a full day of celebrations.

Nerves – Many brides, grooms and those that will be making a speech can suffer terrible nerves on the wedding day awaiting their moment in the spotlight. A later wedding means a longer wait and more time for nerves to build.

Venue – As previously mentioned finding a venue for an evening wedding can be tricky as many places will prefer couples to hire the facilities for the day and evening. Also local authorities and religious groups aren’t forced to conduct marriages outside the traditional hours, so finding someone to conduct the legal part could also prove challenging.

Photography – Getting married later in the day, and particularly in the winter, means less natural light for photographs. Those getting married at venues with gorgeous grounds and stunning views will more than likely want to use them as backdrops for wonderful wedding pictures which require daylight. Those who do choose to hold evening celebrations should look for a photographer who has some great night time shots in their portfolio to ensure they still get some standout snaps.

Jonny Draper Photography

One area of the law that remains however is that 15 days advance notice is required for weddings – so they’ll be no drunken Ross and Rachel style wedding ceremonies taking place in England just yet!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jonny Draper Photography

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Operation Wedding! Supplier Showcase: The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

September 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Welcome to Thursday Brides Up North – you are on the serious downhill to the weekend now!  Between then and now, there’s a fair bit going on at Brides Up North HQ.  Last night on Twitter and Facebook we announced plans for a very special wedding industry party (more on that later – but if you can’t wait… here are all the details) and our guest list is already swelling – so much so that our Paypal system couldn’t cope, whoops! – and on Sunday it’s our first beautiful bridal event in Yorkshire: The Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Allerton Castle.  Have you registered for your VIP Goody Bag yet?  Better hurry…

So whilst we manage our chaotic diary, I’ll hand you over to a lady who’d probably be much better at all this than we are – Bernadette at The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners, a Brides Up North Featured Supplier. Planning is this lady’s middle name, and she could probably plan your big day in her sleep.  Lucky for you, she’s a little more professional than that… so lets meet her!

Hi Bernadette, please introduce The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners: how long has the organisation been running and why was it set up?

The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners was founded in 2004 for one purpose: to promote professionalism in wedding planning. The company believes that by investing in training and development and helping to grow the wedding planning industry in a professional manner we can together provide an outstanding and unparalleled service for today’s brides and grooms.

The UKAWP is owned and run by two like-minded wedding planners who are passionate about the industry. Each run a small but successful wedding planning business of their own. Each of the directors has 10 years+ experience running UK-based wedding planning businesses.

They both bring a different approach to weddings, have complementary experiences and operate in different areas, but remain committed to promoting professionalism and good and honest business practice in this field.

They firmly believe that being operational wedding planners and knowing the ‘day-to-day’ of the job enables them to successfully run the Alliance, train new potential planners and nurture and support members.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Tell Brides Up North about the service that UKAWP offer for Brides?

One of the main reasons for the existence of the UKAWP is to act as a reliable reference point for you, the bride. If you are looking for a professional wedding planner, this is the place for you. We are the only membership organisation in the UK dedicated to the ‘wedding planning industry’.

All of our wedding planner members have proven their professionalism and experience before being accepted and the majority continue their learning by attending workshops and seminars. They are dedicated to improving their knowledge to become the best they can possibly be, for you the bride. They all offer a consultation where you can discuss your wedding in detail and how they may be able to help you.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What services does UKAWP offer for its members?

We offer various educational workshops and seminars throughout the year, a mentoring service for planners new to the industry, terms and conditions to use on events and lots of support and networking opportunities.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Why should Brides use a wedding planner?

A wedding planner can save brides considerable time leaving them the fun aspects of wedding planning. Experienced planners have the knowledge of what’s hot and new in the wedding world, as well as saving their clients money with their excellent supplier contacts and wedding hints and tips!

Planners offer meticulous attention to detail and will help reduce the stress that can be associated with brides planning a wedding. It’s important to remember we do not take over, it’s your wedding always. It’s our job to take your vision and implement it.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What wedding planning services are available?

Most planners offer a variety of services so it is worth looking at individual websites, but the majority offer the following:

Full Planning – the planner designs and manages the whole wedding, recommending all suppliers and working closely with the bride to put her vision into place.

Partial Planning – the planner takes the reins somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks prior to the wedding. Most suppliers will be in place but a few may still need securing I would say anything from 6-9 months before?

On the Day Management – the planner works with the bride for just a week or two, seeing through the plans which the bride has put in place.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Why should Brides use a UKAWP member?

Our members have been vetted and reference checked, important in an unregulated industry. Our planners believe in investing in training and their continued learning ensuring they are at the forefront of the industry and offering the best customer experience.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

How can Brides Up North use your website to find a UKAWP member in their area?

Brides can pop along to our directory and simply search for a planner near to them, or near to the area they are marrying in.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What would be your top tips for selecting a good wedding planner?

Go onto the UKAWP directory and conduct a general internet search to see what planners are in your area. Look through the websites carefully for typos and bad grammar. What’s your first impression on the planners style: does it excite you? Contact 2 planners for a free consultation, during this meeting does the planner ask lots of questions about you and the wedding? In short are they interested?

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Can you give Brides an idea of a reasonable price for a planner’s services?

Most planners charge anywhere between 10% – 15% for full planning (excluding items like rings, honeymoon, attire) but with a minimum starting fee of approx.. £2,500.

Many planners offer partial planning starting at about £1,000 or day of services at circa £450.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Explain your code of business practice and what this means for Brides using a UKAWP member?

All our members adhere to our code of business practice which promotes high standards and offers reassurance to couples. One very important clause is that none of our members accept commission, all discounts are passed directly onto the bride.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

How would a wedding planner become a member of UKAWP?

The planner can fill out an application form via our website . Both directors will review the applicant’s website in detail and a decision will be made. Aside from adhering to our Code, we request a copy of the planner’s Public Liability Insurance and written assurance that they use legally binding contracts with their clients, for the safety of all.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What are the benefits of membership?

Members benefit from belonging to a friendly alliance allowing them to build up a core of support when needed for events. We hold various social and educational events throughout the year.

A high proportion of membership fees go directly into bridal marketing ensuring planners have a far wider reach then they could afford independently.  Many of our members tell us they receive most of their enquiries via our site.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Tell us about the various training courses that UKAWP offer?

We offer two core weekend courses, Business Practicalities covers how to launch a successful wedding planning business, and Step by Step takes the planner through how to actually organise a wedding for a client.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

How can Brides or wedding planners get in touch with you/ find out more?

If brides have any questions about wedding planners in general feel free to contact us and we will be pleased to help. Should you wish to hire a planner don’t forget to look at our membership directory for a planner near to you.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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Sound The Bugles! The Venue Hunt Has Commenced…

May 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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And you thought I was going to ease you back in gently after the bank holiday break, eh?  Incorrect.

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This afternoon, we are going hard (or going home) and getting one big thing ticked off that to-do list – your wedding venue.  Dropping by to talk you through it is our regular guest blogger Rachel of Mosaic Brides.  Notepads – and cheque books – at the ready people… 

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DINE LEAFLET

Allerton Castle, North Yorkshire by Chris Chambers Photography

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Rachel says:  Last week I received a picture message of a sparkly diamond on the ring finger of a pretty manicured hand. I knew without even looking at the sender’s name that the perfectly polished hand belonged to my beautician friend Jo. Sure enough her boyfriend James had whisked her away to a romantic hotel in North Yorkshire where he popped the question in a plush roll top bath, complete with bubbles and fizz.

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When meeting up with Jo this week to hear more about the proposal (I’m a sucker for a soppy engagement story) I handed her a useful engagement pressie rather than the expected bottle of champagne. It was a cute wedding planner book from Marks & Spencer titled ‘Lots of Lovely Ideas For A Very Big Day’ with dedicated areas for the guest list, contacts, the budget and checklists as well as pages to record wardrobe, reception and ceremony details. So where to begin?

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For Jo and many others it’s the venue. This is often the biggest expense and one of the most important factors of a wedding as it sets the scene for the big day. Therefore it’s well worth researching all the fantastic venues available (particularly in the North, of course) to ensure you find one that ticks all the boxes.

Hotels remain a top choice, often favoured for their package deals and on site facilities, but changes in the law and the amazing creativity of suppliers have made the previously impossible, possible when it comes to dream wedding venues.

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So what are the options beyond the church in the UK and what should you take into consideration when doing your research?

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Something Old

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We are fortunate to have many stunning historic venues in the UK that are licensed for civil ceremonies. Options include castles, country houses, listed halls and stately homes. Such venues tend to ooze character and charm meaning little décor is required which can make a big saving. Their rooms are often of large proportions providing plenty of space for big guest numbers though those planning more modest celebrations should not be put off as smaller, more intimate rooms are often available.

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Meredith & at Denton Hall in West Yorkshire (see their full celebration by clicking here) image by Gary Micklethwaite

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Perfectly Packaged

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Most hotels or independent venues hold a civil license giving couple’s the straightforward option of having their celebrations all in one place which can eliminate travel costs from the budget altogether. It’s important to ask what’s included in the price such as room hire, the registrar and the wedding breakfast, also ask if there is a minimum guest requirement and how prices vary on different days of the week and throughout the year. To make the plans even more manageable the hotel may well have a list of recommended suppliers that you can use which can save you both time and money. Be sure to enquire about exclusivity – if you want the place to yourselves there can be an additional charge.

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Rise Hall, East Yorkshire by Peter Boyd Photography

Rise Hall, East Yorkshire by Peter Boyd Photography 

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Blank Canvas

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Marquees and tepees continue to rise in popularity with couples won over by the prospect of having a plain backdrop to go to town on for a unique and stylish celebration. While you can’t legally get married in marquee or tipi as it’s not a permanent structure, you can throw a flippin’ good party in one afterwards. The styling possibilities are endless from cute bunting and bundles of hay to natural blooms and twinkly fairy lights. Some also offer the option to create individual areas for dancing, dining and chilling, complete with cosy fur throws and roaring fires. Though a marquee or tepee might seem a cheaper option, additional costs such as the fee to plant it on someone’s land and essentials such as toilets, heating and electricity can see the price creep up.

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John Steel Photography for Totally Tipi & Horti-couture

John Steel Photography for Totally Tipi & Horti-couture

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Let’s Go Outside

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My friend Jo has her heart set on a relaxed outdoor wedding with lots of live music. While some venues do have gazebos, band-stands and the like licensed four outdoor weddings, those craving a more adventurous or quirky backdrop may still be able to secure their dream setting by doing the legal ‘I do’ bit separate. This means simply booking into the registry office prior to the outdoor celebrations for the legal formalities which can take as little as 20 minutes. A celebrant can then conduct a more personal ceremony in front of your guests at your chosen outdoor wedding setting whether it’s on the beach, a woodland location or amongst the ruins of a castle.

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Alnwick Garden

The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

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Dare To Be Different

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Changes in legislation have opened up the doorways to many unusual settings for couples to tie the knot in. Out of the ordinary options include museums, theatres, restaurants, sporting venues, private residences and art galleries.

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Happy hunting!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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On Ilkley Moor: A Custom Made Gown & Beautiful Blooms For A Real Wedding At Denton Hall – Meredith & Leigh

April 23rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Did you catch this morning’s cute and quirky stop motion film from today’s Real Wedding?  Go catch up first by clicking here.  This afternoon we join Meredith and Leigh for the main event and full wedding feature, coordinated by Andrea of Fabulous Day and including a whole host of talented Brides Up North Featured Suppliers.  Enjoy this perfect and personal Yorkshire celebration. 

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With images by Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Meredith says:  We’ve been together over 11 years and we knew we’d eventually get married – we just had to get the timing right! Last January while on holiday in Sri Lanka we went to a jeweller I had wanted to visit. While we were designing a ring for me Leigh asked, ‘Do you have any wedding-like bands that will match it?’ He then looked at me and said, ‘Well, might as well get the engagement ring and the wedding band together!’ So, not an official on- the-knee-will-you-marry-me proposal, but we were both over the moon none the less! We were officially engaged!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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We were married on March 2nd 2013 at Denton Hall, Ilkley, West Yorkshire.  We fell in love with Denton Hall instantly and knew our guests would, too! Aside from its obvious beauty and gorgeous grounds, it was ideal as we could hold the ceremony and reception all onsite – not to mention it provided enough accommodation for all of our family and friends! It was exclusively ours for the weekend and we could relax and entertain our family and friends hassle free. It was perfect.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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We tried to keep in mind ‘elegant, relaxed, and fun’ when planning the wedding weekend. Friday night we had a BBQ catered by Box Tree Events for all the guests as well as a ceilidh band – it set the perfect relaxed atmosphere for everyone to get to know each other as half of our guests were from the UK and the other half flew in from America. By Saturday, everyone was mingling and dancing away like they were old friends!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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For Friday night we went with colourful spring flowers, and for the actual wedding on Saturday in an attempt to pay homage to Denton Hall we chose a Georgian scheme of burgundy, light sage, charcoal, and ivory.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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I had my gown custom-made for me by Bridal Apparel in Rawdon. I live in Singapore and was having trouble finding a dress that I actually liked and would fit me. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted (ivory, v-neck, ruching, no bling) and it was proving fruitless in Singapore. When visiting the UK last April for one of our best men’s wedding his bride suggested Bridal Apparel as that was where she got her gown and it fit her beautifully.

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I went there the next day and I’m so happy I did. Susan and Jodie completely understood what I wanted, and even more importantly understood my shape and what would be most flattering. So, we designed my gown one afternoon and then I flew back to Singapore not to return the UK until December for a brief visit. That meant that they’d have from May to December to make my gown, I’d try it on in December, then I’d be back less than a week before my wedding for final alterations. Because I completely trusted Susan I knew the gown would be great and I wasn’t worried at all. Sure enough, it was everything I had envisioned and was hand delivered to the Bridal Suite at Denton Hall Friday night. I also got my shoes from them: simple satin pleated courts –perfect for the gown, and hired my stunning side tiara from them!

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I also had a reception dress that I changed into after the first dance; I wanted something fun and completely different from my gown! It was a white strapless chiffon short/long dress I found while visiting California in November. I wore 6 inch platforms with crystals with this dress (well, the platforms lasted about 20 minutes then I was rocking out barefoot!).

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Sarah from Leafy Couture is the flower whisperer! I told her I wanted ‘Simple, white, not too big, stems showing.’ She made me exactly that: a beautiful white ranunculus bouquet hand tied with ivory satin and a few accent crystals.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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I didn’t have any bridesmaids, but Leigh had two best men and two ushers. They all wore traditional morning suits that we hired from Bridal Apparel as well. They all looked so dapper and handsome!

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Gimble_Wade_Wedding_102

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Our reading was ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton, which is about dinosaurs. While getting ready in the Bridal Suite I was surprised to find a couple of dinosaurs –how did they mysteriously get there? After the ceremony I learned that my friend that did the reading snuck them in there as a surprise. I love that they made it into the photographs!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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I seriously couldn’t have planned and executed the wedding without Andrea Swift from Fabulous Day wedding planning. I always had complete confidence in her throughout the entire process. I even felt guilty at times as though she was doing all the work and all Leigh and I had to do was show up to a fantastic wedding!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Box Tree Events took care of all the food and everyone was completely blown away not only by the quality and deliciousness of the food, but also it’s presentation as well as the professionalism of their staff. Rena and Simon Gueller and Michelle Hudson are certainly the best at what they do: Box Tree Events and Denton Hall are a match made in heaven.

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Steve and Hannah at Denton Hall were so accommodating and really made us feel at home for the weekend. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Gary Micklethwaite was our photographer. Gary and Heidi were so much fun! We love the way they were able to capture the weekend in such a natural way. We never even knew they were there –they were ninja photographers! We were amazed when we saw how gorgeous the photos turned out.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Cornerstone Cinema looked after the videography of ceremony and speeches and stop motion of Friday night and all of Saturday. Wow, wow, wow! Gary told us about Cornerstone Cinema wanting to do a stop motion piece of a wedding and asked if we would be interested as it would be their first official stop motion piece (though they have done tons of traditional videography). As Gary was describing stop motion we grew more and more excited and exclaimed, ‘Where do we sign?!’ Needless to say, we are beyond ecstatic with the results. It really captures the love, energy, and fun of the day and we feel like we’re reliving it everything we watch it.  Click here to see the finished film.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Because we had a number of guests flying in from overseas, we wanted to put together a welcome bag with local stuff for that was waiting for them in their rooms when they checked in. In a heart covered hessian bag from British Heart Foundation we included handmade chocolates from Patisserie Viennoise, Yorkshire Crisps, English Heritage Hangover Drops, a Yorkshire-English dictionary, bottled water, and umbrellas. We had the most incredible weather that weekend so they never even needed the umbrellas!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Ambience Venue Styling provided the burgundy chair sashes for the ceremony and the runners for the dining room, the adorable wedding post box with our names on it, and the bay trees.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Leafy Couture made my flower dreams come true. Sarah provided the most beautiful flowers and centrepieces. I was sorry that I couldn’t take any home with me on Sunday but our guests that did said they were still looking great a week later!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Patisserie Viennoise in Otley made us the most scrumptious cake ever. It was vanilla sponge with vanilla buttercream and raspberry, and a vanilla buttercream frosting. The cake was so moist and the buttercream was so creamy! Naturally we served it Saturday night, but we also provided slices in takeaway boxes to guests as they checked out on Sunday. We also got out favours from them: handmade chocolate truffles!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Hipswing provided The Sturdy Beggars, the ceilidh band Friday night, John King, the guitarist who played during the ceremony and drinks reception, DJ Craig for dancing the night away, the sparkling LED dance floor, and the lighting. We couldn’t have been more pleased with everything they provided and would use them again in a heartbeat.

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In the evening, we also had a caricaturist – Mick Hollinworth. We had a comfort break after dinner in the bar for about an hour and a half, and Mick was drawing caricatures of our guests the entire time. I don’t think the poor guy stopped for a single minute. He was great!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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Leigh says he doesn’t like to dance so we agreed not to do a first dance. The music had just started and my girlfriends and I were dancing. All of a sudden the DJ said something towards the extent of, ‘…the bride has no idea…’ and the next thing I knew, the floor cleared and Leigh surprised me with our first dance! Yippee!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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I have a few favourite parts of the day!  When I entered the ceremony and saw everyone’s smiling faces then I saw Leigh’s smiling face at the end of the aisle, having the dining room filled with laughter during the speeches, our first dance to ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness, waking up Sunday morning in the Bridal Suite as husband and wife and munching on the wedding cake Andrea had left us as a surprise (we didn’t notice it on Saturday night when we got to the room)!

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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After the wedding we spent a few days up in the Lake District, and then went to Tuscany for a week.

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(c) Gary Micklethwaite Photography

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I have two tips for other Brides Up North. The first is to hire a professional planner that you have complete confidence in, and the second is don’t forget what the whole wedding thing is about. Because of Andrea the entire wedding from planning to Sunday morning was completely stress-free and relaxed.

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I never put pressure on myself expecting the wedding weekend to be perfect without any hiccups. I adopted the mind-set of, ‘If we have family and friends, booze, food, and a registrar to marry us, nothing else matters.’ And, it’s completely true! Ironically, the weekend ended up being perfect. It was the best weekend ever and I married the love of my life. 

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Congratulations Meredith & Leigh!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding featured on these pretty pages?  Don’t be shy! Get in touch – here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Gary Micklethwaite Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Freeze Frame: A Stop Motion Wedding Film For A Pretty Real Wedding At Denton Hall – Meredith & Leigh

April 23rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Meredith & Leigh Stop Motion Wedding from James Pearson on Vimeo.

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I’ll be back later on with all the images and details for this beautiful Real Wedding at Denton Hall, Yorkshire, coordinated by a fantastic group of Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, including Andrea from Fabulous Day, Leafy Couture and Box Tree Events, but first I wanted to share this amazing little stop motion wedding film with you. 

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Meredith, our bride, was a real fan of Brides Up North during the planning process (Hello Meredith!  We love you too!) and writes: I have to tell you how surreal and flattering it is that you are interested in my wedding! I’ve spent much of the past year oogling your website and to think you liked it makes me blush.  Now I believe that every wedding is beautiful, but when a big day is as pretty as Meredith and Leigh’s was, how could we not feature it on these pages?  Blush away Meredith!

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I usually favour images over film – and yes, we didn’t have a wedding video at our own wedding, and yes, I do hugely regret that – but wedding videography has suddenly got so snazzy and slick (see this interview with Brides Up North Featured Supplier Story Of Your Day) and this little film by Cornerstone Cinema is just so quirky and cute, I felt it would be shameful if it were lost in a larger feature. 

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Enjoy this genius little production, and watch out for those purple dragons!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Video © 2013 Cornerstone Cinema

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Stress. Less.

April 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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With a punishing blog schedule, inbox full of enquiries (556 as of 9am this morning, and working on it) and our largest Yorkshire show to date coming up this weekend, those two little words in today’s blog post title couldn’t be more timely.  Whether it’s work or wedding planning that’s getting your knickers in a twist, let’s all take a deep breath and just chill out

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Sure, it’s a very busy week in the Brides Up North office, but we wouldn’t have it any other way, and we absolutely love what we do – raising awareness of regional wedding industry excellence both on and offline, and forging ahead with the Northern revolution! 

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And what if you are stressed out by your wedding planning?  Well, short of calling the whole thing off – and you don’t want to do that, do you? – remember why you are doing it (you know, getting to marry the person you love!) and take our guest blogger Rachel’s tips to heart. 

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With Rachel at the helm, I think the rest of the team can have the afternoon off… or at least make a good dent in that inbox! 

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Kat Timmins Photography for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Rachel says:  I’ve seen a bridezilla in action and it’s not a pretty sight. After months of careful planning, one tiny detail can cause a bride-to-be to lose her composure, bringing on a meltdown of epic proportions. I recall one bride on the morning of her wedding sending her bridesmaids out to buy new shoes just hours before the ceremony because they’d deviated slightly from the brief.

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“I said flats, not kitten heels,” she roared. But just a short time later she and all her bridesmaids were dancing barefoot to Lionel Richie and all seemed forgotten. As I looked at the pile of disregarded shoes I had to question if it had been worth stressing herself out so much and upsetting several friends in the process (not to mention forcing them to spend money on a second pair of shoes).

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There is no doubt that planning a wedding will cause the stress levels to fluctuate with so many decisions to make, a budget to handle and endless guests to try to please – but to avoid the groom doing a runner before the big day even arrives, there are times when hot-headed brides need to take a step back and question what really matters.

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This point is often reinforced by brides’ tips to others at the end of real wedding blog posts, with most comments along the lines of: “Don’t stress about the small details”, “Enjoy the planning”, “Things can go wrong but remember what’s important.”

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Of course you want things to be perfect, but as the ladies who made it down the aisle will vouch, the important part of the day is marrying the person you love surrounded by those who mean the most to you.

So in an attempt to help other brides-to-be avoid a pre-wedding meltdown over a pair of pesky kitten heels I’ve compiled a list of ways to lessen the stress in the run up to the big day…

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Kat Timmins Photography for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Be organised

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From the off-set plan a realistic budget and do your best to stick to it, keeping track of your expenditure as you go. Also draw-up a check list of things you need to do and when you need to do them. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete tasks and tick your accomplishments off along the way. Also, don’t put off the things you’re not looking forward to, instead get them out of the way first so you can enjoy the fun parts in the run up to the wedding.

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Be realistic

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Remember the reason you’re getting married in the first place (apart from the pretty dress) and don’t put pressure on yourself to achieve the impossible. Accept that you can’t please everyone but you can throw a ruddy good celebration that you and your guests will remember for years to come. Also don’t get competitive, your wedding should be a reflection of you and your fiancée and what the two of you want rather than trying to out-do another couple.

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Delegate

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Get your friends and family involved with the planning by giving them jobs. This will lift some of the pressure off your shoulders whilst giving them a chance to make a memorable contribution to your big day. Consider hiring a wedding planner to assist with all or part of the planning to lessen the pressure. For those who don’t hire a planner, liaise closely with the venue wedding co-ordinator so staff know what’s expected of them.

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Trust in your decisions

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If the planning process starts to feel like an overwhelming chore you can easily become negative and start to doubt decisions you’ve already made . As the saying goes ‘keep calm and carry on’. Believe in your original choices as scrapping plans late on will cause added stress.

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Kat Timmins Photography for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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While feeling in control and being organised will go some way to reducing stress it’s also important not to become completely consumed with the planning by taking some time out. Escaping the check-list every so often can make a huge difference leaving brides-to-be feeling refreshed, confident and excited when proceeding with their plans. When researching the best ways for brides to take a breather I came across some rather interesting suggestions including flying a kite, building a sandcastle and rearranging furniture but I’ve gone for options that centre more around friends, love and laughter (oh and a generous measure of Pinot).

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Date night

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Once-a-week spend some quality time with your fiancée when the w-word is strictly off limits. Whether you choose to cook a romantic meal at home, take a trip to the cinema or book a night in a hotel be sure to remind each other why you first fell in love.

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Time with the girls

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While your friends will undoubtedly want to know how the wedding plans are going, don’t talk obsessively about it for hours on end. Instead, give them a quick update then enjoy finding out what’s new with them while indulging in a girly pastime.

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Time for yourself

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Don’t allow the planning to take over your life, still make time for the things you enjoy doing like going to the gym, having a manicure, loosing yourself in a good book or taking a relaxing bubble bath.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Karen McGowran/ Kat Timmins Photography

Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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