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.
December 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime
We’re all feeling the cold this week as temperatures plummeted from nippy to flippin’ freezing levels following the weekend’s snowfall. In a bid to warm things back up, we’re brining you details of a truly unique wedding venue in the north west that has tropical vibes all year round!
Introducing Sefton Park Palm House, a breath-takingly beautiful Victorian glass house that’s home to the Liverpool Botanical Collection and that provides a spectacular celebration space like no other!
Surrounded by award-winning parkland, iconic monuments and unusual plants, the stunning building can host weddings of up to 400 standing guests and 220 seated guests within its incredible glazed structure.
Not only can couples marrying here be sure of a quirky and individual setting, but following a partnership with hospitality specialists Dine, brides and grooms saying, “I do” to Sefton will also receive exquisite catering and faultless event management as standard.
Planning more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team are well qualified to make big day dreams at Sefton Park come true, and are here today to tell us what makes this rare venue such a winning choice for a couple’s special day…
Where is Sefton Park Palm House located?
dine say: Sefton Park Palm House is located in the magnificent 235-acre historic Sefton Park, in south Liverpool. The Grade I park is a Green Flag and Green Heritage awarded site with beautiful features and monuments. The park’s bandstand, popular since the Victorian era, is said to be the inspiration for The Beatles’ song Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?
Sefton Park Palm House was designed and built by MacKenzie and Moncur of Edinburgh. Henry Yates Thompson, a Liverpool millionaire, gifted £10,000 to the city to fund the construction. The Palm House was opened in 1896.
During the Liverpool Blitz of May 1941, a bomb fell nearby and shattered the glass. It was reglazed in 1950 at a cost of £6,163. However, after a period of decline it was closed in the 1980s due to safety concerns.
In 1992 a public fundraising campaign raised more than £35,000, which led directly to the repair and reopening of the Palm House in 1993. It was fully restored at a cost of £3.5 million with Heritage Lottery and European funding and fully reopened in September 2001.
How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?
Sefton Park Palm House is an octagonal, Grade II listed, three-tier dome conservatory designed in the tradition of Joseph Paxton’s glass houses. The conservatory currently houses one of the oldest horticultural collections in Britain, originally containing more than 4,000 different plants.
The eight corners of the Palm House are marked by statues by the French sculptor Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud. These statues include explorers Captain Cook, Christopher Columbus, navigators Gerardus Mercator and Henry the Navigator, botanists and explorers Charles Darwin, Carl Linnaeus and John Parkinson and landscape architect Andre le Notre.
The Palm House is a luxurious, historically significant venue that makes any event feel special and unique. The combination of the glass and the horticultural collection means that even on a day where the weather isn’t quite perfect, you’ll feel as though you’re in a tropical oasis.
It’s also worth remembering that booking your wedding at the Palm House will contribute towards its preservation for future generations.
Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for?
Sefton Park Palm House is licensed for civil ceremonies, civil partnerships and renewal of vows. The Palm House can host a maximum of 400 guests when standing, while 220 guests can be seated for dinner.
The Palm House is a Victorian glass house and is one large building so both the ceremony and reception take place in the same beautiful space.
What makes Sefton Park Palm House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
The beautiful setting in the 235-acre Sefton Park, combined with the octagonal, tiered conservatory and the significant collection of plants makes this venue truly unique. It is unlike any grand country house or modern venue, and once inside you and your guests will feel as though you are in a world of your own.
The historic significance of Sefton Park Palm House and the chance to preserve it for future generations when used for events makes this a venue one on its own.
What sort of bride would be a Sefton Park bride?
Sefton Park Palm House offers a beautiful setting for year-round weddings and often appeals to brides looking for something different and completely unique. The venue is, of course, happy to welcome couples from all over the UK looking for that extra special venue with the ‘wow’ factor.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
Our experienced events team will expertly guide you through the planning process to turn your vision into reality. They can advise what will work within the venue and make creative suggestions.
We draw on our expertise of planning more than 200 weddings each year, and combined with the extensive experience of the Sefton Park Palm House events team, we are well qualified to make the planning process as easy as possible and your big day beyond imagination.
Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue or is there accommodation nearby the venue that you could recommend?
Both The Sefton Park Hotel and the Hallmark are located within Sefton Park so you can enjoy a short walk through beautiful parkland to your wedding venue.
Sefton Park Palm House is also a ten-minute drive from Liverpool city centre, which boasts a fabulous selection of hotels on the waterfront and in the town. Such a convenient location means you and your guests will be spoilt for choice.
December 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
With couples now making their own wedding rules not all big day traditions live on, but it seems the confetti shot is one ritual that stands the test of time.
Not only is it fun, but it also marks the beginning of a couple’s married life journey together – and on the day signals to guests that the party is about to get underway.
In order to ace that perfect confetti-throwing moment there are several elements that should be taken into account – predominately; the colour scheme, the setting and the presentation of the confetti. Here to offer their expert advice on the subject is our fabulous Sponsor, natural petal confetti supplier, Shropshire Petals…
shropshire petals say: In today’s world there are many different venues in which you can get married, from elegant stately homes to tipis in a rolling open field; so here we offer different confetti colour and displaying options to suit a variety of big day settings…
(Oh and p.s. Brides Up North readers can get 10% off Shropshire Petals orders over £50, just visit the website, where you can also find further confetti inspiration.)
The venue: When you mention a castle wedding, you imagine grand staircases, huge chandeliers and large banqueting tables. In reality, whether your castle is large, small, grand or pretty simple, how you style it can change how it looks. Castles tend to have a lot of original features and décor, so when it comes to choosing your confetti, opt for simple, soft colours to ensure they don’t clash with those already featuring at your venue.
The confetti: Choose soft pinks and ivory or if you want to include a touch of brightness, adding yellow or orange petals will work wonderfully when you have your confetti moment.
Displaying your confetti: Add your own little fairy-tale touch by choosing Personalised Confetti Cones in the ‘Fairytale’ design to display your confetti.
Tip: If your venue has a lot of colour, make use of it by choosing some confetti to match and scatter it on your tables for the perfect way of tying in your venue décor to your wedding styling.
The venue: Getting married outside is a huge trend that will continue for years to come. Whether you get married in an enchanted woodland or a large open field, choose confetti that will stand out when thrown over you.
The confetti: For locations that are darker such as woodlands, choose a confetti mix that is light to ensure it doesn’t blend into the background when your photographer captures guests throwing it. For more open locations, a darker or brighter confetti mix such as ‘Kaleidoscope’ will look spectacular.
Displaying your confetti: You can never tell what the weather will do on the day, so choose to display your confetti in vessels that are covered, such as our Confetti Pops, so that your confetti is contained in the great outdoors.
Tip: If the weather isn’t as you expected, keep your confetti dry and covered to ensure it doesn’t clump together, or blow away, before your confetti moment.
December 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
With sight of this month’s festivities on the horizon our thoughts have turned to those planning a Christmas or New Year wedding. But more specifically, to couples who desire the party atmosphere and glamour of this most wonderful time of the year, though not the obvious wedding themes that can come with it.
As such we’ve thrown aside the seen-it-all-before-red, blinding-silver and gaudy-gold and brought together a more contemporary, clean-cut and sophisticated selection of fitting themes for this magical period.
So, in preparation for the weekend ahead, drop a little Baileys in your morning coffee and enjoy soaking up this sublime seasonal inspo…
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Marion Heurteboust Photography| image source| image source, photography by Danielle Nowak| image source| image source| image source
The theme: A sophisticated take on the ‘usual’ party-season golden wedding.
The details: While we love a bit of glitter, you can have too much of a good thing in our book and so this look is all about understated glamour. Keep the gold tones light rather than yellow/orange and even lean toward blush/rose tones for an element of girly elegance. Table décor should be more sparse and well-thought out with uniformed rows of mercury and metallic candle holders and simple, dainty floral arrangements on pressed linen. Add just a sprinkling of glitter accents and mix with matt and gloss metallics to continue the class. Greenery features can also help to keep the look grounded, fresh and clean. Sprayed flowers are a step-too-far for this theme so instead look to include beautiful caramel shades in the bouquet and add a little gold by binding with a trailing ribbon.
The dress code: A full-gold dress could have you looking more Disney princess than Meghan Markle princess, so we suggest keeping things refined with an ivory gown, complete with delicate gold detailing in beading, lace or embroidery. The accessories are one area that you can afford to turn up the glittering aspects, though perhaps just blow out on one bold item, such as the shoes, and keep other add-ons simpler. Your leading ladies on the other hand could be in top-to-toe sparkling cocktail style gowns, suiting the time of year perfectly and adding black-tie-esque glamour to the proceedings.
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Mike Cassimatis| image source| image source, photography by Blaine Siesser| image source| image source| image source, photography by Aden Priest| image source| image source
The theme: A traditional white wedding given a modern and luxurious twist.
December 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Olegs Samsonovs Photography
A feature for those of you on the dream dress hunt today, as we welcome our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to the blog to discuss picking the right wedding dress, to suit not only your style but also that of your chosen venue…
carrie says: Be it urban, rustic, boutique, historic or coastal, your venue sets the tone for your special day, and so it helps to make sure that your dress style is in-line with the setting for all over harmony.
As wedding planning goes, what’s the first thing we brides-to-be think of mere moments after saying yes to that certain special someone? “What dress am I going to wear?” (if you’re anything like us, in fact, you’ve had an idea of ‘the one’ even before The (other) One popped the question). But consider: with many spectacular wedding venues now taking bookings of upwards of two years in advance of the big day, increasingly, securing the venue is becoming a couple’s number one on the ‘to do’ list. Many brides assume their choice of dress will set the tone for the entire day. But if the venue has been chosen first, where does that leave the dress?
It might seem obvious. The venue and the bride’s dress ought to be in perfect harmony; one complementing and completing the other, a beautiful simpatico symphony (much like the bride and groom themselves, in fact!). And in many cases, an overall theme will draw together and incorporate both. But occasionally, dresses and venues will clash -having been present at a beach-themed wedding in a tipi with the bride tightly bound in a heavily structured fishnet-effect gown, I can assure you, ‘twas truly a confusing affair.
So, here’s our guide to making sweet, sweet music and harmonising two of your most important big-day elements: your venue and your dress…
Cherry Williams | Lilian West
Rustic weddings are playful, outdoors-y affairs, full of a kaleidoscope of colour and with the emphasis on a celebration of the beauty of nature. The details and decor don’t typically include anything too structured or deliberately ‘matching’ so mirror this more relaxed and carefree attitude in your dress of choice. More bohemian styles with lose, tousled hair work well here, as do soft frills and flowing tulle.
Clockwise from top left: Modeca | Rita Colson | White Rose Bridal | Elbeth Gillis
Love the idea of marrying in iconic style? If you’re joining the glitterati and marrying in a sophisticated city setting, reflect this slick, polished and uber-cool vibe in your dress. Think subtle sparkle, a seriously structured silhouette and even a sharp trouser suit. For an ultra-glam effect in a town setting, opt for monochrome and ask you guests to wear black tie.
Clockwise from top left: Special Day | Peppermint Love Photography | Eliza Jane Howell | The White Garden Collection
The great thing about a boutique hotel venue is that they tend to be unique, curiously quirky and inimitable in their own sense of style. This gives you free license to choose a gown that best reflects the venue’s holistic ‘feel’. Tea-length dresses work well here in the summer time, or, if the venue calls for it, chose a vintage-inspired or even ‘indie’ dress to suit the individual surroundings.
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.