June 12th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
For Jonathan and Julia, today’s real wedding couple, the most important element of their wedding day was being together at the ceremony and exchanging those poignant vows – despite all the hours spent agonising over the smallest details! For them, the celebration was a huge – and wonderful – bonus.
However, that doesn’t mean we won’t pour over all those gorgeous details and find inspiration in the rose-gold tinted centrepieces and the festive Christmas styling! A berry red wreath on the front door of the reception venue welcomes guests to a jolly celebration with a New Year vibe and personalised champagne glasses, each one hand-decorated by the couple, add a special touch to the toasts and a unique memento of the occasion.
With a rich and opulent colour scheme of burgundy with peach highlights and soft greenery, the styling complemented the Christmas theme beautifully. In the spirit of true New Year celebrations, guests were treated to a very generous free bar and an energetic band, while they helped themselves to the array of sweets on offer at the sweetie bar and delicious cupcakes baked by the groom’s mother.
Julia – who looked gorgeous in a sparkly, A-line Morilee gown with a faux fur shrug to keep the winter chill off her shoulders – has plenty of sage advice for you soon-to-be-brides. So, sit back and enjoy, as she takes us through her and Jonathan’s big day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
julia says: We got engaged on New Years’ Eve 2015. Jonathan and I always go away for New Year and Jonathan had booked for us to go to Mottram Hall in Chester for two nights. We had a meal with cocktails and watched some fireworks, bringing the New Year in together as we had done for the previous three years of being together. However, this year was to be different: when we got to the room, Jonathan unexpectedly got down on one knee and proposed! Little did I know, he’d been planning the proposal and even had the ring made with me in mind, which he had been carrying around every day since October to ensure I did not find it! It was a complete surprise but perfect in every way.
We got married on 30th December 2017. I love winter and the feel of Christmas; it’s such a wonderful family time, which is important to us. I always knew I wanted something different to a summer wedding, so we aimed to wed between Christmas and New Year.
We decided we wanted a church wedding and have always loved All Hallows Church, which is local to my family home in Bardsey. The church is steeped in history, the original part of the building having been built in 800AD, and it stands proud in the village. Once we booked the church, everything fell into place. We visited Wood Hall Hotel and Spa in Wetherby on the off-chance as we were passing by. The hotel is so beautiful, set high on a hill that overlooks the surrounding villages, and we knew instantly this was our venue.
We would definitely recommend Wood Hall Hotel to those on the venue hunt. The staff were approachable, supportive, attentive and efficient. They made the experience very personal and added special touches, such as a free dining experience to try the menu choices and a teddy that had our names and wedding date stitched on as a lovely keepsake. We found the venue intimate enough for our wedding to feel personal but large enough to cater for guests and food on a large scale. No problem was ever too big and no detail was too small – even those last-minute changes.
We didn’t pick a particular theme or style for our wedding, although Jonathan and I are quite traditional and knew we would like a church wedding. We liked the idea of having a winter wedding and, when we visited Wood Hall in December and saw it decorated for Christmas, we knew instantly we would like that for our wedding! Our colour theme stemmed from there, along with flowers and smaller details such as centrepieces.
Knowing we wanted to get married in winter, especially around Christmas, lent itself to rich, deep, beautiful colours. We decided to have burgundy as the colour theme throughout our wedding, with a few enhancing colours for different aspects. Our bridesmaid dresses were burgundy with navy shawls and it was the main colour of the flowers in the bouquet and posies, which were broken up with peach and lots of greenery. The men’s suits were navy and the ties were burgundy, as well as the flowers used for the centrepieces and favours.
May 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Here at Brides Up North we love to see a wedding that truly expresses the personalities of the bride and groom – just like today’s real wedding between Arron and Nicola.
The bride, clearly a very talented artist, crafted some unbelievable creations to delight the guests on the day. Take the beautiful table plan, for instance, which depicts their venue, Monk Fryston Hall, under a velvety, star-studded sky, complete with the welcoming glow of a Christmas tree at the front door and two cats enjoying the view. And then there’s the card box – exquisite portraits of Nicola and Arron are encircled by a whimsical floral pattern, adding a unique edge to an often mundane object.
Nicola also handmade a huge number of delicate paper flowers – it’s hard to tell they’re not real – and the utterly gorgeous crown she wears to adorn her sparkly dress is beautiful. Of course, she made that herself too.
She did, however, have a little help with some of the details. The bird cake toppers and the flower-embroidered cape she wears over her dress were sourced from some talented independent suppliers – unusual and quite enchanting, they add to the overall personal feel of the day.
With the wedding taking place just three days after Christmas Day, Nicola and Arron were blessed with a seasonal scattering of snow to complete their festive celebrations. Time to hear more from the beautiful bride…
With images by Victoria Baker Weddings.
nicola says: Arron proposed on 28th December 2016. We’d just come home from visiting family for Christmas and had a few little gifts left under our tree to exchange with each other. Arron had put the ring on the Christmas tree and proposed there!
We got married exactly a year after Arron proposed, on 28th December 2017. We absolutely love Christmas time and it’s also my birthday on Christmas Day, so it really is a time of celebration for us. It was just perfect having everyone we love all together at a time that is so magical.
Our venue, Monk Fryston Hall in North Yorkshire, is a gorgeous old building, with lots of character, beautiful grounds and surrounded by nature – and it’s local to many of our guests. The grounds were just what we wanted for our photographs: very natural with plenty of trees, plants and ducks! The building has an intimate feel, with lovely patterned wallpaper, wooden floors and cosy fireplaces – perfect for a winter wedding. We would definitely recommend the venue to other couples.
We knew the venue would be decorated for Christmas, so we wanted to embrace this. We didn’t want to make things overly festive, but chose colours of sage green and berry red for our theme. I am an artist, so I love to make things myself; all the invitations, flowers, table decorations and wedding favours were made by Arron and me. All the wedding invitations, menus, table plan, stickers and thank you cards that I designed were printed by printed.com and the quality is always lovely.
We love wildlife and nature, so incorporated moss and pieces of wood in the glassware lanterns we made. All the candleholders had wreaths around them that I crocheted wool around and then attached artificial flowers to. As most of our wedding was handmade, we didn’t use many external suppliers.
It sounds awful to say so, but my dress wasn’t my priority for the wedding. I didn’t want to spend a lot on it, as I wouldn’t be comfortable and able to enjoy myself in something that cost a fortune. I just happened to look at the Phase Eight sale and saw my dress! It was the first one I tried on and I loved it. A light skirt with a beautifully embellished top, it was very festive and shiny. I adored my Rachel Simpson sage green shoes (so comfy, I walked through woodland for our photos without a problem!). I really didn’t want any fur shawls for the bridal party, even fake ones – fur looks better on the animals it originated from! I found someone on Etsy who hand-embroiders stunning silk piano shawls. They look vintage and are incredible. I love patterns and wanted to have some colour and florals in my outfit, so I had my floral embroidered silk shawl and a flower crown I made from artificial flowers.
May 16th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
A romantic venue that dates back to the late 1800s is the picture-perfect setting for today’s beautiful wedding in the heart of Lancashire. Say hello to Imogen and Neil, who tied the knot at the fabulous West Tower manor house in February.
Opting for a classic, elegant theme, the couple’s big day is brimming with prettiness and sophistication in every imaginable way. The ivory flowers, the blossom trees, the buttercream sponge cake, and that stunning Ronald Joyce gown – we think you’ll be coveting all these exquisite details just as much as we are!
Swapping a traditional guest book for a Polaroid camera, serving shots of Limoncello (yes, please!) and even hosting a competition relating to their first dance with a £50 bar tab up for grabs – there are lots of personal touches to inspire all the brides-to-be among you, and so much more besides. We think it’s time to hand the blog over to Imogen to talk us through all the dreamy highlights from their special day. Enjoy!
With images by Ian MacMichael.
imogen says: We got engaged at home. Neil attached the ring to our new Boston Terrier puppy, Michael. He proposed just before our 11-year anniversary.
We got married on 11th February – there was no particular significance associated with this date, but we decided that we didn’t necessarily want a summer wedding because the weather wouldn’t be guaranteed. We chose February half term because I’m a teacher.
We tied the knot at West Tower in Aughton, Ormskirk. We wanted somewhere close to home and this venue is just a short drive away. We went to a wedding open day and thought the venue was lovely. We only viewed two different venues, but it quickly became clear to us that West Tower was the ideal choice.
We wanted to keep the theme classic and elegant. We didn’t want anything that would date too easily, so we kept it simple. Above all, we just wanted everyone to have a good time and look back in years to come and think ‘that was a fantastic day’.
We chose to keep the colour scheme quite neutral. The groom and groomsmen wore grey and navy suits, and the bridesmaids wore dark green as I saw the dresses and loved the colour. We wanted to have lots of green and ivory in the flowers, and both like thistles so a few of those were included. All of this tied in with the dress and suit choices.
I bought my dress from Always and Forever Bridal Boutique in St Helens. It is a local wedding dress shop and the service was great! I went back for a second time and they had taken the dress out of the window for me to try. I loved it. It felt comfortable and was quite traditional except for the scooped back and beading. The designer was Ronald Joyce and the dress was called Jillian.
May 11th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The atmospheric venue where today’s real wedding between Victoria and Matthew takes place, is set against the resplendent backdrop of 13th century Barden Tower, nestled in the glorious Yorkshire Dales landscape. With open log fires, candlelight and dark oak beamed ceilings, it was the perfect place for Victoria and Matthew to exchange their vows on a cool January day.
Wearing a gorgeous Justin Alexander dress with illusion sleeves and a full skirt, Victoria married Matthew on her late father’s birthday, to create new and wonderful memories of that date. With their young son William in attendance, dressed in an adorable combination of waistcoat, smart trousers and white converse trainers, this family affair was brimming with love and happiness!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged at Bamburgh Castle. We were away on a family holiday for my mum’s birthday and visiting the castle. Matthew proposed in front of all my family (and everyone visiting Bamburgh Castle at that time!) so I quickly said yes to stop everyone looking!
We got married on 5th January 2018. We chose this date as it is my late father’s birthday. We had both always wanted a winter wedding and decided it would be good to make a nice memory on my dad’s birthday. We also managed to spread out Christmas a little longer than usual!
We got married at The Priests House right next to Bolton Abbey. We fell in love with this venue the moment we saw it and knew we had to get married there. The venue has the most beautiful surroundings whatever the weather, which was important to us considering the high chances of getting married on a wet and windy day.
We loved our venue. They took the stress out of a lot of the day and definitely knew what they were doing. They weren’t afraid to let us know if they thought one of our ideas wouldn’t work and also suggested things they thought we would like. They didn’t complain when I started emailing them a lot in the run-up to the wedding and nothing seemed too much bother. All our wedding guests complimented us on our venue and how stunning it was. We couldn’t have chosen anywhere much prettier.
We had a rustic wedding theme to match the wedding venue. For our colour scheme, we chose red and white and complemented this with lots of rustic/wooden decorations. We worked backwards with the colour scheme for the wedding as the bridesmaid’s dress had been chosen before a colour scheme, so we matched our colour scheme to the dress.
I chose an A-line wedding dress by Justin Alexander from the Sweetheart Collection. I got it from The Bridal Affair in Boroughbridge, after a friend had recommended them. It wasn’t the dress I originally thought I would get but as soon as I tried it on I didn’t want to take it off.
My bridesmaid wore the same dress I had worn as a bridesmaid for my sister’s wedding. My niece, who was my only bridesmaid, had asked if she could wear it as she really liked it.
May 10th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Grainne and Justin chose to rip up the rulebook when it came to their big day and, together with just two witnesses and one photographer, enjoyed a ‘home elopement’ with a festive feel.
We love the fact that, after exchanging vows at Manchester’s Town Hall, they strolled the festive Christmas markets, enjoying Glühwein and gathering well wishes from cheery passers-by as they soaked up the warm and twinkling atmosphere. They even picked up a keepsake at one of the stalls to display on their Christmas tree year after year to remind them of the romantic day they became husband and wife.
With cocktails and nibbles – plus a six-course tasting menu at swanky The French – to follow, Grainne and Justin ensured their elopement had all the right ingredients. Tell us more Grainne…
With images by Maddie Farris Photography.
grainne says: We got engaged in Edinburgh in September 2016. We wanted to take in the city views from the top of Arthur’s Seat, but little did I know Justin also had other plans when we reached the top. After finding a quiet spot, he got down on one knee and popped the question. He had come prepared for a ‘yes’ with champagne in his rucksack and, after a toast to celebrate, we made our way down to explore the city and enjoy afternoon tea at the Signet Library. The following day, to escape the hustle and bustle, we headed for the shores of Loch Lomond.
We got married on 14th December 2017 at Manchester Town Hall in the Ante Room, followed by a Glühwein at the Christmas markets, cocktails and nibbles at Mr Cooper’s House & Garden and a six-course tasting menu at The French.
I didn’t want a full-length traditional wedding dress. I wanted to feel comfortable following the service and be able to enjoy the celebrations we had planned. As it was a city centre elopement, I was aiming for more of a subtle bridal look that was practical for the setting, celebrations and the season but which still had a hint of romance. I felt the mid-length skirt combined with the lace offered this and the belt added some sparkle for Christmas. My jacket was a surprise gift from my mum; she wanted to make sure I stayed warm on the day and I think she got it just right.
May 9th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Christmas is such a lovely time for a wedding – the world is wearing its finery, from the streets dripping with twinkly fairy lights to the gigantic smiles on the faces of people in the mood to celebrate. You’re onto a winner for a fun celebration before you even start!
Today’s real wedding couple Rachel and Charles wed among the mistletoe at the impressive Courthouse in Knutsford, Cheshire, with its dramatically high ceilings and fabulous character.
Rachel wore a stunning Maggie Sottero creation with a gold sequined top and frothy skirt – just perfect for a festive celebration and simply beautiful against a backdrop of giant, sparkling Christmas trees. We love the fact that Rachel and Charles’s one-year-old daughter wore a dress that echoed the style of her mother’s – adorable. With entertainment to suit all ages – including a mini Casino and a caricaturist – and little Christmas trees adorning every table, Rachel and Charles went all out to ensure their guests had a fun-filled, festive day.
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged on holiday in Dubai. I asked Charles to get our daughter ready for the pool while I got my sun cream on; when I got out of the bathroom, our baby daughter was in a vest and written on the vest was “Mummy, will you marry daddy?” It was perfect!
Our wedding date was Saturday 23rd December 2017. We really wanted it to be a Saturday as most people are free and with it being Christmas time we thought it would be perfect to get all our family and friends together for a festive celebration too! We created a Christmassy look for the reception with Christmas tree centrepieces and a few dancing Santa hats for the kids.
We got married at the fabulous Courthouse in Knutsford. It’s such a beautiful building with a lot of character. It’s a great size for a wedding and we had the reception and ceremony in the same place for convenience, so we didn’t have to travel to venues as some of our guests had already travelled far to get to us. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue. The team are fantastic and pulled out all the stops for us. The day ran like clockwork due to Kate the coordinator and the Ice Entertainment team. Thanks to them all, we made the most amazing memories.
I wore a dress by Maggie Sottero, which I bought from Bliss Bridal in Bolton. It was my friend who showed me a picture of the dress and I instantly fell in love with it. It was completely different to any dress I had seen before and the gold sequined top was perfect for a Christmas wedding! My bridesmaids wore custom-made dresses from the fabulous Rixo.
Charles and his groomsmen wore suits from Marks & Spencer. Charles had quite a few groomsmen who all live in different places, so Marks was easily accessible to them all to get the suit that fitted them well. They also came in slim fit, tailored and regular fit, so we knew they would look good on all of them.
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