Charlotte Balbier

big hats & high jinks. a papakata wedding in york – hazel & adam

August 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (46)

Hazel and Adam stamped their personalities all over their unique & beautiful wedding under canvas, and that’s just the way we like it here at Brides Up North.

What better way to start the week than a wedding involving lots of pretty touches, vintage finds, brilliant blooms and a first night spent sleeping in a chicken hat… oh, yes.  Read on, read on…

With images by Brides Up North sponsor JB Creatives.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (13)

hazel says: We got engaged in a wine bar in London, the day before we went on holiday. My sister had just come back from a year in Canada, and as hard as Adam tried to get rid of her, we hadn’t seen each other in ages, so in the end he had to tell her to go and wait in the toilets while he proposed!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (17)

We were married on October 4th 2014 – we wanted to get married while Adam’s sister who lives in New Zealand was back in the country. We got married in St. Helen’s church in Escrick, just outside of York. We absolutely loved the church, and it was close to where we held our reception. Helen at Escrick Park was absolutely fantastic, as were Papakata who provided the teepees. They both did such a great job of making our day so special, perfect and unique to us.

Our venue was a field – this meant that we could choose absolutely every detail ourselves and make our day exactly as we wanted. It meant some very long days in the run up, and I never expected my wedding to include a lesson in how to run a generator or heavy lifting of fridges, but it was 100% worth it!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (25)

We didn’t want a strict style or colour scheme – just things that we liked. I guess you could say that we went for a vintage theme, but really we just picked the things that we thought looked nice! We deliberately avoided a strict colour scheme, and just went with pastels where colour was required.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (32)

I chose a lace wedding dress from an outlet in Northallerton. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I knew would inevitably end up covered in grass and mud – which it did!

Adam wore suit trousers, a shirt and waistcoat from Next. He tried on a couple of suits but they looked too formal and we wanted a more relaxed style.

The groomsmen wore the same as Adam, but with different coloured ties, and I only had my sister as a bridesmaid. This made it much easier, and she just picked a dress that she liked!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (38)

We hired VW campervans to sleep in at the teepees, and ended up using one to transport me to the church too. They were from The Campervan Company in Thirsk.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (50)

Jane Beadnell from JB Creatives was our photographer, she was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and she takes brilliant photos. She did an amazing job and captured our day perfectly in a style that really suited the wedding itself. We had so many lovely comments from our guests about how hard she worked and the lovely photos.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (55)

My bouquet was made up predominantly of roses, hydrangea, and freesias. The flowers were provided by another friend – Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture, she also did an amazing job, with our very limited knowledge of flowers and vague descriptions of what we liked!

The flowers for the reception were also provided by Leafy Couture – again lots of roses and freesias – in mini milk bottles on the tables. We also decorated with lots of home made bunting.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (67)

Adam was in charge of the favours – he had a boy’s night in and made them all! Everyone had a big bag of marshmallows to toast on the open fires, and a jar of hot chocolate to take home and help them through the morning after!

We had an afternoon tea, so rather than more cake we had wheels of cheese provided by Love Cheese in York. We are both big cheese fans, and we served it up after the afternoon tea with a glass of port (or 3!) – so it was great to see the guests tucking into it.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (63)

Katie & Maz at The Flax & Twine in York provided our catering – they were amazing, providing solutions to Adam’s crazy ideas and stopping him when they got out of control – he desperately wanted to make and serve crepes to all 130 guests personally!! In the end we settled for afternoon tea, followed by the cheese from our “cake” then later in the evening we had a hogroast provided by The Hog & Apple in York, and finally a waffle station – dreamt up by Adam and spectacularly brought to life by Katie & Maz from their vintage caravan… amazing! We provided all of the drinks, the wine was Cono Sur Bicicleta because Adam works in a bike shop and all of the bottles had a bicycle on them, and then we put on four beers – two from North Wales where my dad’s family is from, and two from the local York Brewery!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (62)

We tried to have lots of special touches – we painstakingly collected all of the crockery for the afternoon tea, and it included a set my granny was given as a wedding present over 60 years ago! We made lots of things too, all of the bunting, the bar, the photo booth, the coconut shy, the table plan was made of ladders covered in things that were important to us both, and the typewriter we used to write the invitations and sewing machine that made all of the bunting made an appearance too!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (70)

In the evening we had a ceilidh provided by the Dark Horse Ceilidh Band from Harrogate – they were great fun, then we hooked up the ipod for the rest of the evening.

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (74)

The whole day was amazing, but the end was our favourite. We waved off our last guests on to a coach at 1am, and then had the teepee all to ourselves to reflect on the day. We were meant to sleep in the campervan, but Adam forgot to bring the duvet and the keys went home with a guest. By this point, it was pretty cold in the teepees, so I slept in my wedding dress, Adam slept in his suit, and then we raided the fancy dress box from our photo booth for extra warmth. I’m pretty sure there are no other brides that can claim to have spent their wedding night in their dress, an army camouflage jacket and a chicken hat!

A Pretty Papakata Wedding in York (c) JB Creatives (80)

Straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Dales in the camper van we had hired – mostly catching up on sleep and recovering from doing so much in the run up to the wedding. We then had 2 weeks in South Africa in January which was absolutely fantastic – the highlight of which was a 2 night stay in a tree house.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t leave too much to the last minute! The night before the wedding I was up late refining the ipod playlist, and Adam arrived at the church with the decorations after the guests did! Ooops!

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lucky day. a hindu wedding at harewood house – sarah & jiten

July 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (59)

Sarah and Jiten’s wedding day was a fusion of beliefs and influences, set in the glorious surrounds of Harewood House in Yorkshire. Their day of two halves was bright, beautiful and full of love. We like their style.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (7)

sarahsays: Jiten booked out the whole of my favourite restaurant only for me to think that it was just a “Quiet” Tuesday night in Leeds! We had a lovely meal and then after exchanging Christmas presents, Jiten presented the engagement ring as the final gift… I said yes!

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (9)

We were married on 19th July 2014. We chose this date as it was the most convenient time in our busy schedules as doctors and also matched in the Hindu calendar as being a “lucky day” to get married.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (14)

We tied the knot at Harewood House, West Yorkshire. We chose to get married here as we needed a venue big enough to cater for approximately 400 guests, and the parkland is so beautiful. Its location, near to our home made the planning of our wedding easier.

We had a civil ceremony in the morning, followed by a Hindu wedding in the afternoon.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (15)

We chose a shabby chic style for the civil ceremony and a full Hindu experience for the afternoon. The themes suited our upbringing, personality and beliefs

The Hindu wedding and civil ceremonies featured lots of red colours, which is in keeping with good wishes and good luck in Hindu beliefs.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (16)

I chose a white dress in the morning civil service followed by a fabulous saree for the Hindu part. I carried a bouquet of wild flowers from Daisy Chain in Roundhay.

Jiten bought a Hindu formal male wedding dress from India. It is called a Kurtha and was custom made for him in India. For the civil ceremony he had tails with a cravat.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (19)

The groomsmen wore Kurthas all bought from India, and suits for the Civil ceremony. My bridesmaids wore custom made dresses followed by Indian dresses bought in Birmingham.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (24)

Our photographer was Mark Newton. He was a legend! Very polite, unobtrusive, well read on Hindu ceremonies and made us feel very, very, very relaxed. We can highly recommend him.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (36)

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (32)

The favours were all hand painted sherry glasses that we made ourselves, and our Star Wars themed cake was made by a friend of ours from Birmingham.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (39)

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (48)

We had a local DJ from Bradford (Soul Asia Roadshow) who kept everyone entertained and played dancing games with all the guests.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (50)

We had a slideshow with embarrassing childhood photos of the two of us and the rest of our family. We also had some special surprise dances from our family members.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (56)

Our favourite part of the day was dancing with all our family and friends at the end of the evening. Mark Newton’s photography really captured how much fun we all had during the day and we cannot thank him enough.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (61)

For our honeymoon, we went to Lake Como for a week and then travelled around northern Italy for the second week. Lots of pizza, ice cream, prosecco, nice people and great scenery.

A Hindu Wedding at Harewood House (c) Mark Newton Photography (62)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get planning early and enjoy the whole process with your other half. Having an online Excel document to allow both of you to make changes and refer to regularly saved our bacon on many an occasion.

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rustic luxe: a styled country wedding shoot at the black swan, helmsley

July 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (26)

If there’s one thing that makes me go weak at the knees, other than gorgeous weddings, it’s a cute dog.

Having grown up with canine companions a firm part of the family, there aren’t many mutts that don’t evoke a genuine ‘ahh’ from me. So when our fabulous Sponsor, The Black Swan hotel, sent over the results of a recent styled shoot at the venue, which featured a fine Irish Red Setter, it was a ‘yes’ from me.

The ‘groom’ isn’t bad either, is he?!

Located in the idyllic North Yorkshire village of Helmsley, the black swan is the perfect venue for a romantic country-inspired wedding (did you catch the beautiful celebration we shared on the wedding blog this morning?). With this in mind the hotel welcomed photographer Annemarie King and a talented bunch northern wedding suppliers, to use the venue as a stunning backdrop for a rustic luxe styled shoot, complete with dapper tweed, natural blooms and detailed dresses.

The setting of the hotel brings all elements to life for an incredibly well-executed shoot that will make you go ‘ooh’ and well as ‘ahh’ (and not just over that dog). So let’s handover to The Black Swan for those all important details…

With images by Annemarie King.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (14)

the black swan says: The well-loved country charm, welcoming atmosphere and quaint English gardens, overlooking the pretty churchyard next door, made The Black Swan the perfect venue for Annemarie King and her team to co-create a rustic-luxe themed photographic campaign.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (10)

Model James with his red-haired beauties, ‘bride’ Zara and Connor, the Irish Red Setter, are on location at the hotel and also at Helmsley Walled Gardens, which brings the theme to life with a touch of nostalgia. The evocative images are intimate, dream-like, and sometimes fun and light-hearted.

The timeless, informal elegance of the photography mirrors the essence of this historic hotel venue – the smartly-tailored handsome groom James, in his Yorkshire tweeds and smartly polished brogues, along with his bride’s sweet, ethereal beauty and swan-like elegance make for a beautiful pairing, and Connor certainly adds a special appeal to the ‘family shots’.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (11)

The various settings demonstrate the hotel’s oak beamed Tudor Lounge, the oldest part of the venue with its original inglenook, and the cosy stone-walled Crosland Lounge, as well as the pretty English walled gardens, in which The Black Swan’s new Oak Gazebo is located, which is now available for outdoor summer wedding ceremonies and celebrations. Helmsley Walled Gardens also plays a part, giving a super botanical backdrop to the shots.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (19)

A creative team led by York photographer Annemarie King, is responsible for the shoot with all those who offered their talents and goods on the day doing a fantastic job. Two of Annemarie’s passions are showcased within the shoot as she’s an award-winning photographer specialising in both country weddings and canine photography.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (8)

The shoot’s retro-inspired gowns, which include the Alan Hannah’s Tara long lace gown, White Rose’s 50s style R920 gown, Angel B’s peppermint bridesmaid dress Am 242, and the flamboyant Cymbeline Adele design, were kindly loaned by The Bridal Lounge in Northallerton, along with selected accessories.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (7)

Carters Country Wear provided the tweed tailored outfit sported by groom, James. Carters specialise in suits and country wear tailored with cloth from Saville Row and Yorkshire tweed mills, with a particular emphasis on country sportswear. They enjoy an international clientele who value their quality and highly personalised service.

Much of the jewellery was generously loaned by Libby Butler Jewellery, located in Helmsley.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (3)

The striking makeup and hairstyling of our bride Zara, is by award-winning hair and make-up artist Kate Pymm, who based in the North East and works throughout the UK on a wide portfolio of projects, including bridal hair and makeup.

The sweet bouquets and simple floral arrangements with home-grown ‘grandma’s cottage garden blooms’ inspired by the rural-luxe theme, were all created by Liz Wood at Busy Liz’s Floral Design, of Kirbymoorside.

A Rustic Luxe Styled Shoot at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Annemarie King (5)

To complete the stellar line-up, Celebrate Country Cake Design, located in Helmsley’s Walled Gardens, supplied the cake, Fabulously Finished, of Ampleforth, supplied the props and the chair covers were loaned by Chair Covers of Yorkshire, located in Easingwold.

For more information about weddings at The Black Swan, contact 01439 770466 and ask to speak to their Wedding Co-ordinator. Alternatively, visit their website

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kiss from a rose. an intimate wedding at the black swan, helmsley – andrea & steve

July 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (30)

Today’s real wedding takes place at the gorgeous The Black Swan hotel, one of our beautiful Brides Up North Sponsor venues, and so when Andrea talks about it being an amazing venue, we know exactly what she means.

To fit in with their roots and the idyllic setting for their big day, Andrea and Steve chose to have a pretty garden themed wedding, complete with a simple white and green colour scheme.

We love the relaxed drinks reception in the hotel’s pretty gardens and the gorgeous shots of the newlyweds in the surrounding countryside, which ties the whole day together beautifully.

Oh, and if you want to see more of The Black Swan, watch out for a stunning styled shoot at the hotel, coming up on the wedding blog this afternoon.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Georgina Brewster Photography.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (1)

andrea says: Steve popped the question on the evening of 29th November 2014. We had tickets to see Passenger at the O2 Academy that night and had gone for a pre-gig drink in a champagne bar in Leeds called Epernay on Great George Street. An unforgettable evening!

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (2)

We got married on 23rd May 2015. After narrowing down our venues it was a case of what availability they had, we couldn’t believe our luck when the bank holiday weekend was still available so we plumped for that.  As we were having the ceremony and reception under the one roof and it wasn’t our hometown, the bank holiday gave our guests a chance to make a weekend of it with us.

Our wedding venue was The Black Swan in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. It is just amazing! The staff, the area, the food, the accommodation and just the general feeling and atmosphere of the place. We can’t thank the staff enough, they were exceptional and looked after us all so well.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (3)

The theme just evolved. As Steve is from Lancashire and I’m from Yorkshire the roses seemed an obvious choice, although my white rose seemed to prevail over the red of Lancashire! Steve designed our logo that was printed on all the stationary and favours. The Black Swan has a great garden area to the rear and the wedding room is called the Garden Room so I suppose all in all it was a garden theme if any.

In keeping with the theme we had a simple colour scheme of white and green.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (6)

My dress was from Alison Jane Bridal in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.  It was a Grecian style gown by Alexia Designs, with crystal detailing. Steve loves my back, so a backless dress was a design I chose.

Steve wore a Hugo Boss suit and white shirt with a green skinny textured tie from T.M.Lewin and tan leather Jeffrey West shoes.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (13)

We chose Georgina Brewster Photography, based in Skipton, North Yorkshire, to capture our day and we love our photos! We’ve had so many comments from our friends about them too. Georgina really captured every element so well, she is so personable and really went that extra mile by whisking us away at sunset to a location she had spotted on her drive over. We would highly recommend Georgina to any couple tying the knot. Amazing!

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (15)

In terms of flowers on the day we had avalanche roses, freshias and vintage roses, which were all from Busy Liz’s Floral Design in Kirbymoorside.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (20)

Our favours were napkins with our guests’ names embroidered on the corner. We also gave raspberry and Chambord jam by Woody’s Preserves in Yorkshire.

Jo’s Cakes in Honley created our gorgeous three tiered iced cake of vanilla and chocolate sponge.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (31)

For entertainment we hired a pianist called Joseph Barton, to perform. The venue’s recommended musician wasn’t available that day and Joe was mentioned to us. We are so glad we chose him.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (38)

To add to the evening reception, we also hired some giant illuminated ‘love’ letters, which we placed in the garden. They were supplied by Fabulously Finished, near York.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (26)

We would most definitely recommend The Black Swan to other brides and grooms-to-be. They provide such great service and hospitality with a relaxed atmosphere. The food is exceptional too!

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (36)

I can’t pin point one particular aspect of the day as my favourite as I loved all of it! It was so magical from start to finish.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (42)

For our honeymoon we travelled to Iceland, a place we were both keen to explore. We share a great love for the outdoors and when time allows we participate in triathlons to test ourselves. We had a wonderful time.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (45)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be simply to relax and enjoy every minute. The day really does go by so fast.

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glory days vintage: a styled vintage wedding shoot in yorkshire.

July 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (27)

This afternoon on the wedding blog it’s all about the pretty with this stunning vintage wedding styled shoot set deep in the heart of Yorkshire. Put together by a small but very talented group of fantastic wedding industry professionals, headed up by creative photographer Luke Bell, we just love this set of inspirational images.  If you’re hoping that your wedding day look might have a hint of the vintage about it, be prepared to be inspired…

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (29)

luke says: Towards the end of February I worked on a really fun location shoot in Leeds that had turned out really well considering I’d stepped in at the last minute to photograph it. So feeling inspired I decided that I wanted to produce a shoot myself and started to work on a number of ideas – but the problem was nothing was really coming together: I couldn’t find the right model, I’d been knocked back from a couple of locations I was keen on using, I was struggling to find a make up artist whose work would fit into the concepts I was thinking of and I was still in need of a designer. So it’s fair to say that I was getting nowhere fast… and then it happened. It’s not often that a model’s look provides the starting point for a photo shoot – but as soon as I saw Harriet‘s profile I knew that I not only had to work with her, but due to her obvious passion for all things vintage I also knew who I would approach to help me.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (25)

I’d always wanted to collaborate with Hayley from Glory Days Vintage Bridal again (since our previous shoot had ended up on the cover of the Yorkshire Post Magazine) and Hayley – being the awesome person that she is – was more than happy to get involved and provided two beautiful vintage wedding dresses and even hand made three headpieces for us to use too. It started to feel like things were coming together – now I just needed a make up artist and a suitable location to use.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (16)

I contacted the very talented Faye Robertson who I’ve worked with many times before to see if she could recommend anyone and luckily it turned out that her work on a TV show had finished just in time so she was available herself – now things were really looking up!

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (15)

As for a suitable location, well sometimes these things are just staring you in the face. Being fortunate enough to live in a gorgeous rural village we actually have a wealth of beautiful backdrops and even a stunning little 12th Century church right here in Sheriff Hutton itself – perfect for photographing vintage bridal gowns.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (19)

Faye and I agreed that the styling for Harriet’s makeup and hair needed to work in harmony with Hayley’s dresses and headpieces and I made sure that the lighting I used was sympathetic to the look while adding a touch of glamour and mood too.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (13)

Once Faye and I met Harriet we instantly clicked and although we all knew that we were up against some pretty cold weather and changeable light the endless cups of tea, giggling fits, outbursts of swearing and general hilarity that took place ensured a fun and relaxed shoot that I feel produced some stunning results.

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (11)

I’d like to thank Faye’s good friend Claire who came along and assisted me with my lighting setup and to my good friend Elaine who stepped in at the last minute to lend me her wedding bouquet. Cheers guys!

A Glory Days Vintage Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Luke Bell  (21)

We’re always on the lookout for brides who’d love to recreate something like this on their wedding day – whether it be the dress, headpiece, makeup, hair or photos please don’t hesitate to get in touch, as we’d all love to help.

And I’m pretty sure that because each of us had so much fun on this styled shoot there’s always the chance we will organise another one very soon – so watch this space!

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