July 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Lindsay and Ian’s big day at the iconic Ripley Castle in Yorkshire was sleek, chic, fun and fabulous… with a really big party at the end of it. Sounds exactly like our kind of wedding.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
Lindsay says: We got engaged at the top of a mountain during a snowboarding trip to Tignes, France on Ian’s 30th Birthday. Ian rode all morning with the ring in his pocket unaware his pocket zip had been open! Luckily it was still there when the time came to propose!
We got married on 22nd February 2014 at Ripley Castle in Harrogate. We wanted a winter wedding to tie in with honeymoon plans to head straight to Thailand after the wedding.
We’d looked at a number of venues prior to seeing Ripley Castle and none of them felt right. As soon as we looked around the Castle it was exactly what we were looking for and booked straight away.
I never wear strapless dresses so I knew my dress would have sleeves of some description. Before I went dress shopping I saw my dress in a magazine and already knew it was the dress I wanted. I searched for shops who stocked Mori Lee and managed to find the dress I wanted and loved it as soon as I tried it on.
I’m not a massive flower fan so I wanted more greenery and a twig effect rather than roses. My bouquet was made by a florist called Elsie Russell in Shipley – they also made my mums bouquet when she got married.
My make up artist, Lauren Sally, was also amazing and we all loved our make up on the trial and on the day of the wedding.
I had two bridesmaids who had floor length evening dresses from House of Fraser by Ariella.
Ian had a custom made three piece tweed suit made on Saville Row by JLSA MONO Design.
We went for a bit of an indie style wedding as we both love music so this was heavily featured in our wedding plans. We also wanted to keep it a little vintage to keep in with the Castle theme. Our colour scheme was navy blue and green.
We handmade our seating plan which concentrated on our music theme of the wedding. Instead of table numbers we had our favourite bands as the table names and put the bands vinyl on each table.
Instead of a guest book we ordered a heart shaped jigsaw for guests to sign the pieces from www.notonthehighstreet.com
The centre pieces were floating candles and candelabras, and we had little navy blue and ivory chocolate love hearts as our favours. The bridal party all got tailored gift as an extra special thanks.
Neither of us are big sweet people so we went for the savoury option and had a five wheels of cheese cake. This was from Cheese and Chutney, Saltaire.
We used James Tracey Photography. I would definitely recommend James to others. He was exactly what we were looking for as we didn’t want structured pictures for hours but more of a documentary style photographer and James is great at this. We’ve had lots of compliments on how good our pictures look. In addition to this as soon as we met him we knew we wouldn’t be a bossy photographer and had a personality which would get along with us and our guests during the day.
We hired a band called ‘The Story’ who we booked through Warble Entertainment. They played a mixture of music but mainly indie. They had everyone up dancing all night, and their rendition of ‘Killing in the Name’ was a particular highlight!
The evening reception was probably the best part of the day. The band were amazing and it was great for the evening reception to turn into a massive party with everyone dancing all night.
We went on our honeymoon two days after the wedding. To start with we flew to Bangkok for three nights, from there we stayed on the island of Koh Pha Ngan for three nights where we stayed in an amazing hotel with our own pool overlooking the sea. From there we stayed in Koh Samui for four nights and then to finish off we went to Singapore for a couple of nights.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a spreadsheet! I had lots of spreadsheets and although everyone laughed at me and I had hours of jokes made about my organisation there wasn’t anything I didn’t know from looking at them!
I asked Ian to answer this question and his top tip to the groom was ‘just say yes’!
July 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Well, well, well. Aren’t things looking pretty around here this morning?
Not to ignore the rather gorgeous elephant in the room, we’re going to talk more about our new look later on (have a good look around, you’ll find some snazzy new interactive features to have a play with) but for now, it’s straight into the wedding watching.
Don’t know about you, but I’ve missed our daily fix of lovely whilst we’ve been redecorating these pages, and I just couldn’t wait. This morning we’re joining Brides Up North reader Sam and her husband Neil for their romantic real wedding in Yorkshire.
Sam says: We got engaged on 15th September 2012.
Neil and I were getting ready to go the St Leger races in Doncaster and before we went Neil suggested that we go to the Lakeside to have some photos taken as we were all dressed up. It was a beautiful sunny day and when we got there Neil got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
We got married on 24th February 2014. It was very important to us to have a church ceremony and for this we chose St Mary’s Catholic Church in Selby. Our reception venue was Carlton Towers. It was the first venue we went to look at and we immediately knew that it was where we wanted to have our reception.
We would highly recommend Carlton Towers as a wedding venue. Nothing was ever too much trouble and the day ran without a hitch.
We tried to choose things that would look timeless and elegant. My dress was lace so I took some inspiration from this when choosing other items.
We used a palette of ivory, grey, pink and deep plum colours. When we met our florist she advised us to choose colours which toned in with the bridesmaids dresses as picking out the plum colour in the flowers could have made everything look quite gothic and we wanted a more classic, vintage style.
We hired a number of items from Beau Ideal Weddings to use at Carlton Towers including chair covers with ivory satin sashes, crystal candelabras for the guest tables and lots of pots of flowers and candles. We also hired a huge ornate silver mirror and easel for our table plan and an old-fashioned postbox which was dressed with gypsophila.
There were so many extra touches we added to make our wedding personal to us. Neil designed all of our wedding stationery and I made the invitations with the help of his mum. I liked the idea of using some old sheet music which my grandfather’s had given me in the wedding somewhere, so a friend made them into confetti cones for me. I made a display of old family wedding photos to display on top of the piano in the reception venue and we named our reception tables after wedding anniversaries. We designed and made our own guest book out of photographs that our photographer had taken on our engagement shoot. We also made the playlist for our wedding breakfast and included lots of our favourite songs. A family friend and wedding guest provided our evening reception food – a hog roast and lots of tasty desserts.
My dress was by Justin Alexander and I bought it from Georgian House Bridal in Doncaster. I knew when I went shopping for a wedding dress I didn’t want a strapless dress and knew that I liked lace.This dress was the first I tried on and the moment I put it on it felt right and I knew it was the dress for me! I wore a vintage style hair comb in my hair and my veil had some lace embellishments to tie in with my dress.
I carried a bouquet of faith, amnesia, memory lane, avalanche and vendela roses, brunia, eucalyptus, pink wax flower and ornithogalum which was designed by Emma-Victoria at Beau Ideal Weddings.
Neil wore a traditional navy morning suit with a pale grey pin-stripe waistcoat and plum coloured cravat to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. This was hired from Georgian House Bridal.
The bridesmaids wore deep plum coloured maxi dresses with grey faux fur shrugs. Both were from Debut at Debenhams.
Our photographer was Phil Shillitoe from Yorkshire Portraits. Phil was superb on the day. He was very discrete and a creative photographer who enjoyed capturing the finer details. We are both really pleased with the photographs and would highly recommend him to other brides and grooms!
I am a music teacher and music is very important to both of us. We had lots of friends who offered to play for us throughout the day. During the ceremony we had a string quartet which included two of my work colleagues. In the drinks reception another work colleague played the piano. In the evening we hired the Danny Maddocks Band who played a mixture of pop, rock and mo-town songs. They had everyone dancing all night long. Our first dance was ‘Got to get you into my life’ by the Beatles and two of our friends and wedding guests got up to play the horn parts which made it extra special.
There were so many special moments but the two that stand out are during the wedding breakfast, Neil and I were chatting to each other at the top table watching our guests eating their food, chatting and laughing, our favourite music was playing and the room was lit by candlelight. It’s such a rare thing to have all of your family and friends together in the same room at the same time and knowing they were there for us was quite overwhelming. Our other favourite moment was stepping out of church together holding hands as man and wife into the glorious sunshine.
July 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Kudos to Brides Up North reader Catherine for taking matters into her own hands and asking for her man’s hand in marriage! One very sweet proposal and a lot of planning later, this small but perfectly formed celebration was the result.
With images by Rebecca Jones Photography.
Catherine says: We got engaged in our living room on Friday the 13th January 2012! And I asked Jonathan to marry me! It was all such a secret! I nearly popped! I initially wanted to propose on his birthday at our favourite local cupcake shop and have the big question iced on the cupcakes,but the shop was closed for the week! Aaaahh! However the shop re-opened and I nervously ordered the cakes for Friday the 13th of all days! I was a nervous wreck all day!
I wanted that night to be just a “normal Friday night” so I sat watching a film waiting for Jonathan to finish work. We chilled out, listened to music and ordered our take away.Later I lit the birthday cupcakes and sang a wobbly and very nervous Happy Birthday! to which I presented the “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” cupcakes!
We have been together 15 years it sure was time!
We fell in love with Carlton Towers in Yorkshire. We visited their wedding fair and booked the day after for the following April! It is absolutely breath-taking venue, the rooms and surroundings are stunning. It was perfect for our small intimate wedding.
A themed wedding didn’t appeal to us and we felt the venue spoke for itself. From day one we only wanted to focus on our happiness and our guests.
I fell in love with my dress in a magazine and just had to find it! I chose and bought my dress 18 months before the wedding from the amazing Kellie at Wedding Belles of Otley in Yorkshire. I cannot thank her enough. My Wedding gown was Sorrento by Alan Hannah, it was perfectly me!
My beautiful bouquet was of David Austin Juliet roses. Emma at Beau Ideal Weddings close to Carlton Towers lovingly prepared all bouquets, buttonholes and table arrangements. I was overwhelmed with her talent and expertise she delivered for our understated wedding. Everyone was thrilled with her work. She made my dreams come true!
We chose the bridesmaids’ dresses to compliment the flowers. The navy and gold looked classy against the subtle but striking peach.
We had our wish of a small wedding but we involved all our special people as much as we could. My sister and niece were bridesmaids and Jonathan’s niece was a flower girl. There was no one else for such an important job as Jonathan’s nephew who handed us the rings! He looked so grown up and proud at his job and brought a tear to our eyes.
We were honoured to have Jonathan’s sister and brother for our witnesses and of course the cherry on the cake… my dad giving me away!
Saying our vows was so special! Looking into each others eyes and making those promises to one another its truly magical moment you will never forget.
July 21st, 2014 | Rachel Parry
When I was a journalism student I recall going to Sheffield’s Town Hall to interview Lord Seb Coe and being instantly struck by the opulence and grandeur of the impressive building. Fast forward several years and I was recently back there interviewing a long serving BBC radio presenter which reinforced just how stunning the iconic Sheffield venue really is.
So when I spotted Rob and Dora’s beautiful wedding, photographed by the hugely talented Jon at S6 Photography, I was desperate to share it here on the blog to show others just how special the building is.
Some may think a town hall isn’t necessarily the most glamorous venue – but I’m telling you, it doesn’t get any more regal than this – cue spectacular stain glass windows, fine chandeliers and one heck of a marble staircase.
All this coupled with Rob and Dora’s simple yet striking styling makes for an incredibly swoon-worthy wedding.
Dora says: We got married on April 12th 2014 in Sheffield, which is where we met while attending Sheffield Hallam University. We chose the Town Hall in Sheffield, because of the amazing architecture and grandeur of the building. The amazing staircase in the middle of the main entrance was very appealing too.
We wanted the style of the wedding to be quite relaxed. In terms of colours, we used lots of green flowers against the white of the tables because we liked the country style feel. We also liked the clean white look and didn’t want anything too formal. Opulent Styling from Sheffield provided our chair covers and olive green sashes. Bev and Jean were great and helped make our day a success. We would definitely recommend them to other couples.
My dress was a vintage style gown from Phase Eight. I chose it because I wanted something a bit different, with embellishment, something slim-fitting (not meringue style) that was floor length, a detailed back, but especially I wanted it to be vintage style.
Rob wore a blue Reiss three-piece suit and with a light check while the groomsmen all wore grey three-piece Occasion suits.
My bridesmaids wore floor length grey/purple dresses from Coast.
I carried a bouquet of flowers from Floral Magic, based in Stocksbridge, Sheffield. I had a mixture of white tulips, paper whites, thesspi green bell, freesia, anemones, ranunculus, and a dusky pink rose.
Jon Dennis of S6 Photography was our photographer. I would highly recommend Jon because of the exceptionally high quality photos we have of our day. We knew that this was a once in a lifetime day and we are so glad that we have it documented from such a great photographer. Jon made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day and all of our guests noted how good he was.
Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony itself. We were both nervous about seeing each other but as soon as we got together and hugged each other after walking down the aisle we relaxed. It felt very important that we were sharing our vows with all of the people who are important in our lives.
July 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its a pretty pop of nostalgia and romance at one of my very favourite venues this afternoon on the blog.
Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah of Leafy Couture got in touch to tell me about an authentic little bridal shoot that took place earlier this summer at Denton Hall in Ilkley. With original 1940s bridal attire and military uniforms, a stunning setting and some carefully classic styling, I couldn’t help but share.
With images by Suzy Mitchell Photography.
Suzy says: Quite some time ago make up artist Annabel Bailey and I discussed collaborating on a styled shoot – our ideas went through different incarnations but in the end, after a trip to Glory Days Vintage in York and chatting to Hayley the owner, we decided upon a late 1940′s bridal shoot.
We certainly had some fun with it, not least because Annabel’s Grandfather had fought in the Second World War and she had access to the collection of his uniforms!
Denton Hall was the perfect choice as a backdrop to our shoot. It is a fabulous example of Georgian architecture, set in 2,500 acres of parkland and landscaped gardens. All of us have come to know Hannah Bairstow at Denton Hall over the years and she so kindly facilitated our use of the Hall, helping everything to run smoothly.
The lace wedding dress, veil and pink dress all came from Glory Days Vintage in York; Annabel and I drove over to York on a hot sunny day in June and had the best time with Hayley choosing props and clothing for the shoot. Her boutique is full of vintage finds and so worth a visit if you are looking for a vintage wedding dress.
Our friend Sarah Richardson of Leafy Couture in Otley produced a delicate bouquet with a flavour of the era and table arrangements to match the style of the shoot.
Our great friends at Iain Henderson Designs, makers of bespoke handmade engagement and wedding rings supplied the wedding rings and Barry Nuttall of Classic Wedding Car Hire in Skipton had just the perfect car.
Beth, owner of By Betty, provided fabulous hats to match the vintage dresses for the tea party which took place inside the Hall (as opposed to on the lawn as planned) due to the inclement weather. The dresses and hats complimented each other so well.
You might have thought that early June would have brought beautiful sunny weather! It was sun all the way in the early morning but by the time shooting began we were soaked! The rain meant that we couldn’t shoot as extensively as we would have wished but the light was fantastic. A special thanks to Nicole and Alex our models and also to my dear friend Andrea Pickering for her invaluable assistance in getting through the shots in a short space of time due to the antics of the weather.
Little Black Book
Images: Suzy Mitchell Photography
Venue: Denton Hall
Gowns: Glory Days Vintage
Hats: By Betty
Wedding Rings: Iain Henderson Designs
Styling & Props: Rose Pink Vintage
Bouquet: Leafy Couture
Stationery & Calligraphy: Claire Gould at The English Wedding Blog
Hair: Hannah D’Ath
Make Up: Annabel Bailey
Leafy Couture & Denton Hall are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, but this is not a sponsored post
June 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
I loved every moment of putting together Vicky & Paul’s Real Wedding feature back in February this year. You see, the bride and I go way back, as I used to go out with her lovely brother Neil at University. Although it didn’t work out for us (and Neil is now happily married himself to a gorgeous lady!) I’m glad to say that we still keep in touch, and that it did work out ever so well for Neil’s little sister Vicky and one of our Uni mates, Paul.
Knowing Vicky, I knew her wedding celebration was going to be big, colourful and offbeat… and couldn’t wait to see her submission. I was exactly right: Vicky and Paul’s wedding was a fabulous day full of feeling, personality, beauty and fun.
Bravo Mrs Hough!
With images by Andy Gaines.
Vicky says: Paul and I first met when I went to visit my brother Neil at University in 2003. We got together four years later in early 2007 after meeting up again and Paul plucked up the courage to ask my brother if he could go out with me!
Paul and I aren’t a very traditional couple and I suppose it follows that our engagement wasn’t either. One evening out of the blue and in the run up to our five year anniversary, Paul asked me to go online and pick out what my ideal engagement ring would look like. The task itself was easy as like many other girlfriends, I’d been looking at rings for months but this was the first time he’d ever uttered the ‘E’ word and I was beside myself with excitement. The fact, however, that it was a vintage ring not available to buy immediately online was something Paul was not prepared for. His solution was to take me to London to spend a day trying on diamond rings… it was tough, but I accepted the challenge! By a stroke of luck the exact ring I’d seen online was still there and after purchasing I was one happy bunny. However we still weren’t actually engaged yet so back it went into the box.
About a week later, we were getting ready to go out and I was running spectacularly late. Running downstairs with fluffy hair and makeup half on, I noticed that our song was playing, and as I turned the corner into the lounge, Paul was there on one knee. Paul has never been one for grand romantic gestures, and you know what, getting engaged in our little house, listening to our song, with just the two of us, was perfect
Our wedding day was the day of the deluge – 6th September 2013. After decorating the hall in temperatures pushing 30 degrees on the Thursday, my heart sunk when I woke to a total downpour and grey skies on our wedding day. However, once the day got into full flow, the rain added a comedy element (watching people running under the cover of umbrellas), a dramatic element (fabulously moody skies in our photos) and ultimately created a fantastic cosy, party atmosphere for the meal and evening dancing. Plus as my friend texted me ‘Better that 2 beautiful people get married in the rain, than 2 mingers get married in the sun’ – brilliant!
We chose to say “I do” at a beautifully refurbished old barn at East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire.
I’m a country lass, growing up in the wilds of Norfolk and I desperately wanted to get married in somewhere I felt had that element of the countryside. Now finding a barn in Norfolk would have pretty easy but our hearts were set on getting wed in the county we had met and begun our lives together. Despite its proximity to the Dales, there are few barns to choose from in reach of Leeds, so we weren’t sure what we’d find at East Riddlesden Hall. Our first trip there was a gloriously sunny day and the place combined a sense of rural beauty and aged grandeur. Emma, who is the wedding planner was so helpful and relaxed, taking on board all our ideas and answering our questions. It is pretty fair to say that we were smitten as soon as we entered the barn. Even undecorated, the place looks stunning; with exposed beams, flagstone floors and whitewashed walls dotted with tiny windows. As a keen crafty-type, the thought of such a beautiful blank canvas to work on was a dream come true. The venue is also run by the National Trust and the thought that we were investing in the future of such a beautiful place was the icing on the cake.
It must be said that the staff at ERH are brilliant and they have put so much work into making this a fantastic wedding venue. Particular thanks go to Emma and Sam who were on hand to chauffeur people and perform emergency cake decorating duties. The in-house bar run by ERH served a great selection of drinks, including locally brewed beers, much to my husband’s delight. Having such dedicated staff all working tirelessly, made a huge difference to the day.
I began by actively rebelling against having a theme as I am, by nature, unable to decide on any one thing (except for a husband of course). Our wedding motto was ‘good music, good food and good times’. I knew I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy (I always think that allowing things to be a little rough round the edges means you can be a bit more flexible!). Plus as we decided to get married in a beautiful old barn, anything too polished would have looked out of place. We just wanted ourselves and our guests to feel relaxed, included and have an awesome time.
As time went on and my Pinterest account bulged with pictures that had caught my eye, I realised that bright colours and handmade details kept appearing in my selections. I decided that whilst I wouldn’t outlaw any particular colours, I would focus on blues, purples, white and add touches of gold (if only to force me in making decisions on decorations). I have always been obsessed by peacock feathers so they played a big role in tying decorations together too.
The glamorous and very lovely Anna Stephenson was a joy to have doing my hair and makeup. We spent the entire trial run chatting and laughing and the final look was exactly as I wanted. Anna and Lucy turned up early and were so flexible with how we wanted to organise the morning, it put me at ease and I absolutely loved the whole getting ready part of the day. Despite a lot of dancing and a bit of limboing, both hair and makeup stayed put the entire day.
The dress! Such a big decision! And one I made in a single day! I spent hours, nay days, looking at dresses – shapes, lengths, decorations, straps – the choice is bewildering and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. Facing this uncertainty, I decided to leave my first wedding dress shop until my mum could accompany me. Now one of my mum’s best qualities is that she wears her heart on her sleeve. After 14 dresses, none of them were meeting with much excitement. That is until I tried on an ivory crinkle chiffon, one strap, corset dress with sweetheart neckline at Confetti and Lace in Stanningley. After looking in the mirror and deciding I really quite liked this one, I looked up at Mum who had tears rolling down her face. Either I looked bloody awful and she was in despair, or it was ‘the one’. Luckily after a few moments I established it was the latter and I bought it on the spot. The women at Confetti and Lace were fantastic and helped me alter the dress by removing all crystal detailing and the strap, so the individualist in me is quite proud to say my dress is a one off.
With such a clean cut dress, the detailing in my outfit came from a fascinator I made with blue, purple and white flowers decorated with pearls. My shoes were bright blue vintage style sling backs from Rocket Dog. For my jewellery, I decided to wear a gold chain with my grandmothers’ wedding rings hung on it, so I could feel like they were part of the day. As a wedding gift, Mum also gave me a gold heart locket that had belonged to my grandmother who had worn it almost every day. I felt a strange mix of sadness and pride, and the fact the Mum was giving it to me was very, very, special indeed.
Paul wore a gorgeous bright blue fitted 3-piece suit from Reiss with brown brogues from Hudson. I may be biased but I thought he looked pretty damn handsome.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and glamorous so opted for navy blue 1940s style dresses from Phase Eight. I then bought them some amazing chunky necklaces from Ashley at TheEnchantedOwl on Etsy, sent all the way from Georgia, USA. The bright purple looped in the colours from the decorations and the girls all looked beautiful!
The groomsmen all wore grey 3-piece suits hired from Slaters. They were accessorised with purple ties, Hawaiian-print pocket squares and my homemade peacock feather buttonholes tied with navy blue ribbon.
I carried a beautiful mix of flowers by the ever so lovely Lynne of Stems Design. Deep pink Celoxia, bright blue Nigella, light pink astilbe, Blue Veronica, Scabious, Blue Wax, Cornflower, various grasses, tiny succulents and of course, peacock feathers. Lynne was a joy to work with, so enthusiastic and full of ideas – the final result was stunning.
I was originally planning on going down in a taxi with my bridesmaids but my Dad took an uncharacteristic step in intervening. He said that he would arrange my transport but refused to reveal what it would be. I had nightmarish visions of going side-saddle on a horse or riding pillion on a quadbike. As it turns out, my Dad and Brother, Neil (who was also our best man) had spent the previous night decorating Neil’s car with white ribbons, stashing a bottle of champagne in the back seat and recording an eclectic pre-wedding message and playlist. Little did I imagine that the last song I would hear before I entered the world of marriage would be Gangnam Style!
It was a very special time to have with Dad, who drove us. He was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and I am fiercely proud of how he dealt with it with humour and love, having a precious few minutes talking and laughing with just the two of us was very important to me.
Wedding readings were really hard to decide on – we wanted to strike a balance between celebratory, real and emotional but absolutely not smush. After much searching we opted for the lyrics from Noah and the Whale’s ‘Give a Little Love’ and an extract from ‘The Game’. There were many chins a quiver by the end – it really was a memorable moment.
Special thanks must go to Geoff, our fantastic registrar from Keighley Council. He completely put us at ease, conducted the ceremony with heart and humour.
Paul and I are super foodies, not in the foams and micro-herb type of way but in the yummy, fill-you-up type of way. With this in mind, the food at our wedding was pretty important and the fine fayre served up by the people at GFS Catering was exceptionally good. Goat’s cheese tarts for starters, Lamb shanks and mash for mains and chocolate profiteroles for pudding were all delicious crowd-pleasers. An evening buffet of sausage baps and halloumi pittas served to mop up some of the great selection of drinks also served up by GFS with the help of the brilliant Martinez Wines in Ilkley. Special thanks to Alex from GFS who was such a great help on the day, finding alternatives to unknown food allergies and making sure each course flowed into the next seamlessly.
Cake wasn’t high on our priorities so we used up some vouchers and opted for three layers of M&S loveliness. I then decorated with homemade flower crown and mini glitter bunting. All in all a pretty little cake which cost us less than £10! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend loads on the cake, because by the time it came to try it, it had all gone!
Andy Gaines, our photographer, was the very first wedding-related enquiry I made, even before we had a date or a venue. His photographs are stunning. They have this gritty yet ethereal quality that I find fascinating. Plus Andy himself is a blooming lovely chap – so welcoming, unobtrusive and damn talented. Andy worked like a ninja-trooper on our wedding day, capturing shots whilst keeping out of the way and staying from morning ‘til way past everyone’s bedtimes in order to capture our day. Everyone has commented on how awesome the pictures are, with even my normally-bored-silly-by-photos Dad confessing and I quote, ‘Fantastic photos – absolutely brill. Can’t wait to see the rest!’. Andy’s gone from strength to strength in the two years we’ve known him and it’s not hard to see why.
We employed the fantastic talents of Rachel from Simply Vintage to help us decorate the huge space. Rachel strung a plethora of fairy lights, colourful pom poms with peacock feathers and white lace bunting across the beams. I then decided to make a lot of the decorations myself, including props for the tables, peacock name places and adding little splashes of our personalities across the barn, including photographs of my grandparents on their wedding days. I think however, the biggest and most complex decoration was our sequin LOVE sign. This beast was lovingly crafted out of gold sprayed MDF letters and sequins individually nailed on. It took a hell of a lot of work but looked pretty darn good strung up on the barn beams and glistening in the fairy lights.
Without a doubt the speeches was my favourite part of the day. 2013 was a tough year having had both my Dad and Paul’s Mum diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months of each other. Dad’s speech was emotional – not only because of what we were going through at the time but because it reaffirmed just how much I owe to my fantastic family. He laughed about my unrivalled ability to be untidy, spoke about the time I drew a picture of him stark naked much to the disapproval of my nursery teachers (but to the hilarity of my parents!) and how he was so proud of me despite having no idea what my job title actually means.
Paul’s speech talked of how he did the unthinkable and asked out his best friend’s sister, how darn well it had all worked out and even how despite his hatred of clichés, he thought we were made for each other!
Then it was the turn of my older brother Neil to give the best man’s speech. I wondered if he might take this opportunity for the ultimate teasing of his little sister but I needn’t have worried as he mostly concentrated on his best friend and long-time drinking partner, my husband! Superbly written and with touches of comic brilliance, it was the ultimate tribute to Paul and I being both deeply personal and evoking fantastic memories. I will always be thankful to him for the effort he put into the speech. Oh and not to forget our wedding present – a canvas featuring our Back to Future drinking game– rather nattily named by myself as ‘Flux Incapacitated’ – I thank you!
Music is big in our house, so we always knew it would feature a lot in the wedding. We employed the gorgeous sounds of the Northern String Quartet for the ceremony, playing a mixture of old and new for the waiting guests. I walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ which was just gorgeous. During the signing were the sublime ‘One Day like this’, God only knows’, and ‘All you need is Love’. Then I entered the world as Mrs Hough to sounds of ‘Hoppipolla’ which was such an uplifting way to end the ceremony.
For the evening, we had the brilliant City Lights who blew our socks off with a great mix of modern tunes and some classic floor fillers, kicking off the set with a stonking rendition of ‘Got my mind set on you’ by George Harrison.
The evening celebrations were added to by some unorthodox entertainment in the form of glow sticks. What was an off the cuff purchase reminiscent of my raving days, became the biggest success of the day. Never did I think I’d witness friends of my parents fighting over who would get the glow bunny ears! The glow stick limbo was a total stroke of genius and made for some memorable photos!
We decided to delay our honeymoon both because we had no money left and the weather in Thailand is much better at this time of the year. So in but a few weeks time, we’ll be heading off to Thai cities and shorelines.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to decide where you want to focus your efforts and your money – for us it was the look and feel of the venue, excellent food and awesome music. Wedding preparation is hard so don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do too much. I absolutely adored being engaged and putting my heart and soul into planning our wedding day and I’m so glad we had the time to enjoy it all.
Congratulations Vicky & Paul!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014
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June 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
When Brides Up North reader Stef first contacted me asking if I’d like to share her Real Wedding memories, she made it clear that she was extremely proud to have planned her big day whilst sticking to quite a narrow budget (in comparison to the “average” spend), and very much wanted to show other Brides Up North that you can have the day of your dreams without getting yourself into debt.
It might mean that there aren’t any “getting ready” shots or images of Stef and Rich’s wedding breakfast to share today (they had mates ready with a camera for those bits instead) but it did mean that they start their lives together money-worry free. An excellent trade off, in my opinion. They don’t seem particularly put out by the lack of all those “details” that we are conditioned to think should make up a good wedding either.
C’mon, I’m a wedding blogger – it goes without saying that I love a huge blowout bash – but I like a refreshing (and savvy) approach too. Don’t be afraid to work out a budget for your big day and then – here’s the clever part – stick to it. If there’s money in the pot and you want to, go large (and send me the photos!), but if you’d rather save a few pennies for rainier days, that’s fine too.
Kudos to you Stef, your wedding looks like it was awesome.
With images by Emilia Smith.
Stef says: We got engaged on holiday in Bulgaria. We went on holiday with a group of friends, their children and my step daughter. Rich said he wanted to take me out for a meal on our own.
Next thing I know a horse and carriage pulls up. I knew instantly what he was up to. I was so nervous… but very happy. He asked me on the carriage. We didn’t go for dinner as we decided to go back to the hotel, buy champagne and celebrate with our friends and later we all went for a wonderful meal on the beach.
The ring was perfect! So different and so perfectly me.
Our wedding date was 29th March 2014. I ran York marathon in October 2013 and after the marathon we walked round York and saw York Registry Office. We went in and had a look. We both instantly knew that was where we wanted our small ceremony to be. We paid the deposit without a second thought.
We picked vintage blues and pinks and went for a tea party style. I love pink and we like to coordinate outfits a lot (yawn!) so we naturally went for pink and blue.
I wanted a tea length 50’s style dress. I found it at Deborah Moore Bridal and it was by Pronovias. I was originally going to get a high street dress or a bridesmaid dress as our budget was so small but I went with my best friend to try on dresses and saw “my dress”. It was in the sale at more than half price but it was a full length gown. We played around with some pins and I decided to buy it and alter it. I was so delighted with it and it is still hanging over my bed! It fits with my style perfectly… it’s different but still elegant and very “weddingy”.
My husband got his suit from the internet. It was extremely cheap but we ordered it and had it altered. He wore all blue with a blue dickie bow and his favourite blue suede brogues.
As we were on a strict budget we asked all our guests to wear what they wanted and informed them of the colour scheme and theme of the wedding. Our friends and family know us well and all followed our wishes.
I had my beautiful step daughter as my flower girl. We got her (unworn) dress from a second hand bridal shop called Bridal Reloved in Beverley. She wanted a dress similar to mine and we wore matching shoes that we won on an auction site and I bought pink near shoe clips to jazz them up.
My photographer was a friend of a friend. Her name is Emilia smith (freelance). She was brilliant and we had such a wonderful experience with her
I wanted silk flowers mainly to keep them forever but also as they cost much much less. I found a lady who makes bouquets on Etsy and I emailed asking for a custom order. I sent her pictures of our shoes and general theme and ordered two bouquets, a hair clip, and a button hole for my husband.
I made button holes for the guests from wool and pipe cleaners. I was super pleased with how it all turned out. The registry office had flowers of their own and we didn’t feel the need to have any more.
My mum made wooden spoons with bells and ribbons on… this was for the guests to shake and wave when we came out of the ceremony room. They were a fun and quirky idea and the kids loved them.
We opted for a champagne afternoon tea at the Grange Hotel, York.
I was very informal, with no seating plan. We arranged sofas and comfy chairs so people could sit with who they wished and it was very relaxed.
For our evening shindig we served curry and cake. We had such a wonderful peaceful day – we wanted our night party to be a good knees up and it was!
The best part of the day for me was having the photographs in the city with just me and my husband.
We got a lot of attention and it was so much fun. We wanted the photos to be fun and capture our personalities and we wanted them to be natural. The weather was fantastic and it was such a wonderful buzz. We were on cloud nine!
We went to Tunisia for our honeymoon. Again we were on a budget and we shopped around. We did lots of activities like wine tasting, camel riding and had a spa day. It was a lovely hotel and as it was “out of season” the value for money was unbelievable… ultimately all that mattered to us was a bit of sun and seven days to be together. Everything else was a bonus.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want and don’t do things because they are expected. We feel that people spend a lot of money on things that are forgotten. We had a budget of £3000 and that had to include the honeymoon. We had a wonderful experience and we are now married and we don’t have any debts to pay. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for favours… we did and it was the best move we made, and also included them in our day.
Congratulations Stef & Rich!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Emilia Smith
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June 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Have I got some eye candy for you lovely lot today! The lady behind this (fabulous) wedding dress is nothing if not versatile. She’s also extremely talented and a rather lovely person at that. I know. I’ve met her, and see these beauties in real life.
Step forward Kelly Redhead of KMR Bespoke Bridal. One to watch and superstar designer of the future, she’s here to present her 2015 Whiting Collection to Brides Up North. You saw it here first girls (oh, except from on the pages of Vogue Italia – yes, that’s exactly how we roll!).
Images by Folega Photography.
Kelly says: A collaborative literature vintage themed shoot at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster brought together a talented group of suppliers. Cusworth Hall was a fantastic venue to hold the shoot with many of the shots taken in the Library, in keeping with the literary theme.
The little details from the various suppliers involved with the shoot worked perfectly with my designs and the fresh approach of the photography by Sarah really did make this shoot romantic and full of love.
The Whiting Collection is my debut 2015 collection of bridal gowns. The collection is named after my late Grandmother who inspired me from a young age to become a designer. Three of the collections gowns were used in this preview shoot at Cusworth Hall; Grace, Ivy and Annie.
Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown. A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.
Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown. Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.
Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.
There are three other gowns in KMR’s 2015 bridal collection. As this was a preview shoot of the collection the final three gowns will be revealed soon.
June 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Lisa says: We got engaged in April 2011 at Alpsee Lake, Bavaria, Germany by the Neuschwanstein Castle. It is the castle that Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle is based on.
We had a Medieval themed wedding. All the wedding guests were invited to wear Medieval attire to suit the theme of the wedding.
Our wedding date was Saturday 20th July 2013. We got married at Escrick Park, Escrick, near York, using Papakata tents. We wanted an outdoor wedding and Escrick Park has a huge estate that we were able to book out for the full weekend for a really good price. We had plenty of land all to ourselves where children could run off and play safely while the adults could party. We were completely secluded, which we thought was important to immerse ourselves in the magic of the Middle Ages. Regardless of the theme, we thought it was nice to have the place to ourselves and we didn’t need to worry about noise or curfews
I wore a bespoke, handmade medieval style wedding dress designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me with the design, choosing fabric and the details of the dress to help create exactly the dress I wanted. I really valued her knowledge and advice on which fabrics would suit the theme, wouldn’t crease and would hang beautifully. Her attention to details helped tie it all together, I was very happy with it.
Sylvia from White Gables Patchwork and Quilting helped made a fabulous embroidered trim for my dress
My bridesmaids wore medieval style dresses, also designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me find the exact shade we wanted for the bridesmaids; all four dresses were perfect and created the medieval faerie feel we were looking for. The groomsmen all wore various medieval outfits, each one looking different.
I carried daises, white roses, other yellow and green flowers and lots of ivy. Fiona from Firenza Floral Design is used to working with Papakata and dressed the teepees beautifully. She made a crown of flowers for both of our heads (Mark’s was more of a bush really, which is just what he asked for). My bouquet and top table flowers were lovely.
We had a honeymoon teepee at the bottom end of the field, which I managed to sneak in to get changed. My bridesmaids, my parents and I were escorted from there by Paul from Trouvere, playing bagpipes. I didn’t want to make an extravagant entrance, I walked barefoot from the tent, it did feel quite dramatic on the day though, but lovely.
It was so exciting to emerge from the honeymoon teepee to the sound of bagpipes and drums and see a sea of colourful costumes and happy, excited faces. The whole ceremony was beautiful and very personal, we helped write the vows and made precisely the eternal promises that we wanted to.
Trouvere did us a beautiful hand fastening ceremony, medieval music and storytelling.
We designed and forged our own wedding rings under the guidance of a talented bespoke jeweller at Silver & Moor.
June 10th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I love couples that think outside the box, so when I saw Will and Stacey’s quirky Save the Date video I just knew the wedding would be equally impressive and individual – and I wasn’t wrong.
A traditional church wedding was followed by a fabulous reception at the picturesque Easby Hall in North Yorkshire.
Both Will and Stacey put a lot of thought into the day to include personal touches in honour of friends and family, both past and present.
The stylish couple paid particular attention to their wedding attire with Stacey having a vintage-style bespoke dress designed and made by the hugely talented Kate Beaumont. Meanwhile, dapper Will shunned a traditional Prince Edward suit or top and tails in place of a brown Hugo Boss suit, complete with tweed waistcoat, pocket watch and purple socks.
With images by Chris Booth and Claire Collinson.
Will says: We got engaged while we were travelling in Latin America – Argentinian Patagonia to be more precise. I obviously didn’t have ring in South America, however I did have one in mind.
Before my Mum died in 2010 she asked me to use my paternal Grandmother’s engagement ring. My middle name is Howel – the name of my paternal grandfather – so my Mum thought it would be nice for another Howel to propose with it. When we returned to the UK in 2012 we got the ring-resized and tidied up, using Werk in York.
Our wedding date was September 21st 2013. We wanted either an autumn or spring wedding and didn’t want to wait until spring 2014. We also had to make sure the date didn’t clash with my siblings’ weddings – my brother David got married in June 2013 and my sister Mary got married August 2013.
We got married in St Agatha’s Church, Easby, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, and had the reception at Easby Hall – a very short walk from the church. We wanted a small wedding of 50 to 60 guests and Easby was the perfect size. We also loved having such a beautiful church right next door. It was also only 15 minutes away from Barnard Castle, where Stacey’s family live and where we both went to school. Easby Hall had never hosted a wedding before – we were the first after they got planning permission, which they only received three months before our wedding. This meant we had to essentially plan the wedding in three months but it also meant the hall was free on the date we wanted it.
Easby also had a sentimental connection as Easby Abbey and St Agatha’s church was one of the last places my Mum visited before she passed away.