Charlotte Balbier

dream venue. cookridge hall & golf club

May 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Cookridge Hall 2

Here at Brides Up North, we love a hidden gem!  Today, we can’t wait to introduce you to our Sponsor venue, Cookridge Hall, who offer a little oasis of calm, handily located just outside of Leeds.

Set in peaceful, idyllic grounds, Cookridge Hall are an independent venue who take great pride and care in helping their brides and grooms to organise their special day.  We love the team and setting at Cookridge, and we know that you will too.

cookridge hall say: Cookridge Hall is a beautiful historic hall that boasts plenty of character, set in the picturesque grounds of Cookridge Hall Golf Club.

Cookridge Hall 3

We are an independent, friendly club in a beautiful setting. Our wedding planner will ensure that every detail of your day runs to plan with their personal service.

Our grounds provide a lovely setting for our guests without the price tag that so often comes with a stately home – we provide great quality food and great value.

Cookridge Hall 1

Our function room, The Conservatory, accommodates 80 people for a traditional wedding breakfast and 120 for an evening reception. The Conservatory offers direct access out on to the patio and grounds making the perfect setting for your photos and for your guests to relax in the tranquil gardens.

Guests will drive up the long winding tree lined drive before arriving in front of the Hall to enjoy a drinks reception in the private walled garden – weather permitting of course.

There is a bar located within The Conservatory and the room can be turned around for your evening function to accommodate a dance floor, with room for a DJ and a band if required. We also have a separate seating area just off the main room so that your guests can enjoy some quiet time if they want to. You and your guests can dance the night away until 1am!

There is an on site spa, crèche and gym – you will receive a complimentary month’s pass for two people to the gym when booking your wedding at Cookridge Hall.

Cookridge 7

Our two dedicated Wedding Planners liaise with you from your initial visit to Cookridge Hall and will be on hand on the day to ensure everything runs smoothly.

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snow in love. ronald joyce for a radiant winter wedding at the maynard – rachel & gareth

May 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (48)

We may be supposed to be heading into high summer right now (although as I’m writing this there is hail beating on the window outside) but here at Brides Up North HQ just the very sight of a winter wedding makes us dream of mulled wine and mince pies, getting us excited about the chillier months to come.

If you’re in the middle of planning your Christmas wedding, Rachel and Gareth’s seasonal celebration has it all – stunning wreaths complete with red berries and mistletoe, warm comforting food and a classic red colour scheme.

So forget about the (lack of) sunshine – an easy ask for us northerners – wrap up warm and let’s head to the stunning Peak District to relive this gorgeous couple’s big day.

With images by Richmond Pictures.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (13)

rachel says: We got engaged in London. We had given a voucher for a meal for two in the Apex Hotel at Tower Bridge as a Christmas present. We booked the meal for 8th February 2014 and decided to make a night of it by booking a room there too. Gareth proposed in the hotel room as we were getting ready to go down to dinner. It was a bit of a shock but I couldn’t have been happier!

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (22)

We got married on 13th December 2014. We both really wanted a winter wedding, there’s something romantic about that time of the year and the run up to Christmas. The crisp, frosty days and (hopefully) blue skies outside while we cosy up inside, perfect!

We got married at Fulwood Old Chapel in Sheffield. We picked this as we wanted to get married somewhere close to where I was brought up. The chapel is small and intimate so it was perfect for our numbers and we felt it would be nice to have our family and friends fill the whole place and really feel like a part of the ceremony.

Our reception was held at The Maynard in Grindleford, Derbyshire. We went to a wedding fair there and knew straight away it was the perfect venue for us. There are stunning views from the rooms looking out across the Peak District.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (38)

As it was coming up to Christmas we played a little on that and had a snowflake theme. We had snowflake Christmas tree decorations as wedding favours, the cake was decorated with snowflakes and our stationery and table confetti was snowflake themed too.

We picked red and silver for our colours. Again because of the time of the year. The bridesmaids had red dresses which looked stunning and vibrant in the winter light.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (41)

I chose a dress by Ronald Joyce from Brides by Losners in Stamford Hill, London. I picked this one because my mum and my bridesmaid cried when I put it on – so I was pretty sure this was the dress for me! It was the complete opposite of what I’d imagined for myself as it was quite fitted, but I loved it from the first time I tried it on.

On the wedding day my makeup was done by Lisa Kirby in Sheffield and my hair was styled by Kirstine Allott of Kutz in Dore, Sheffield, both of whom I would recommend.

Gareth hired a navy blue three piece lounge suit with red tie from Young’s suit hire. The groomsmen wore the same. The bridesmaids wore gowns from twobirds in claret.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (42)

I travelled from my parents’ house with my dad in a vintage Jaguar while my bridesmaids travelled to the chapel in another vintage jaguar. These were provided by a family friend.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (46)

Karina and Tom Lax of Richmond Pictures were our photographers. We would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. They were so professional but also fun and friendly and made us feel totally at ease throughout the whole day. Karina and Tom really did their homework before our big day and found an amazing place for us to have some pictures taken after the ceremony; it was like something out of Wuthering Heights! We are absolutely over the moon with our photos, a perfect reminder of our special day for us to look back on.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (47)

Our flowers were provided by Vikki Baxter at Jo Price Flowers in Sheffield. I had a bouquet of red roses, mistletoe, red berries and Christmas tree twigs.

Vikki also provided the flowers for the chapel and reception. We had a heart shaped wreath above the door at the Chapel and arrangements around the inside with the same flowers and foliage as the bridal bouquet and also cinnamon sticks, orange slices and nuts to make it really Christmassy. We also had Christmas wreath style table centre pieces around hurricane lamps, lots of tea lights and a twinkle curtain as a back drop behind the top table, which were provided by Weddings by Dragonfly.

My mum, my bridesmaid and I made snowflake Christmas tree decorations as wedding favours using snowflake wire form beads and ribbon. These also doubled as place names as we threaded name tags on the ribbon with our guests’ names on one side and our names and the date on the reverse.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (55)

We chose a three tiered cake iced in white and decorated with snowflakes. Each layer was different flavour – vanilla sponge, chocolate sponge and a fruit cake. The fruit cake was made by my mum and the rest by a family friend.

For our wedding menu we picked winter warming food – chicken with bubble and squeak and a sticky toffee pudding dessert. We had champagne for our toasts so we could celebrate in style!

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (60)

We really wanted our guests to have a great time and leave thinking ‘wow’ so we hired a magician for the drinks reception and a photo booth for the evening reception, provided by Rhythm of Your Choice.  My parents also booked some singing waiters who performed during the meal. This was a complete to surprise to the both of us and also to all our guests. One of the waitresses dropped a whole tray of cutlery which got everyone’s attention, and then started singing ‘Let it go’ from Frozen as she got up from the floor! It was such a shock but soon everyone was joining in, dancing and waving napkins in the air!  We had a band in the evening called Banzai and a DJ provided by Rhythm of Your Choice.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (66)

We would recommend both the chapel and The Maynard to other couples. Janet and Peter at the chapel were so friendly and helpful from the minute we booked our ceremony with them.  It’s perfect for smaller weddings. I would recommend The Maynard for its setting. There are so many beautiful places for photos and stunning views from the venue. The food, drink and service on the day were all excellent.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (68)

The ceremony itself was our favourite part of the day. Having all our family and friends in one place at the same time who were all there to support us and celebrate with us was so touching.

A classic Christmas wedding at The Maynard (c) Richmond Pictures (75)

We went to Kuramathi Island Resort in the Maldives for our two week honeymoon. We had a month between our wedding and honeymoon so we could enjoy Christmas at home with our families. The resort was fantastic and just what we wanted. White sandy beaches, beautiful blue seas, excellent food and drink, and stunning sea life on the house reef where we went snorkelling every day.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – try to relax and enjoy the day! Look around and see all your friends and family who are there for you.

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breezy boho. a fun filled papakata wedding in north yorkshire – fiona & james

May 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (32)

Today’s wedding couple booked their big day for the middle of summer with the hope of blue skies and sunshine. Fortunately the unpredictable British weather was kind and delivered just that for their teepee reception held at the local cricket ground.

Highlights for us include Fiona’s stunning lace dress and her choice of boho-style, short white dresses for her maids complete with girly gyp headpieces. Ladies you look gorgeous!

In cricket terms we’re ‘bowled’ over by this fab Yorkshire wedding!

With images by Valentina Weddings.

Fiona and James (Papakata) from Bouncing Ball Films on Vimeo.

fiona says: We got engaged in October 2012. It was on a rainy day (as it always is) at the top of Cat Bells in the Lake District. We decided to get married on 9th August 2014. Bang in the middle of summer, hoping for some sunshine!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (15)

Our ceremony was at our local church, St Radegunds Church in Scruton, North Yorkshire, which we can see from our living room window. We love where we live so it was nice to keep everything local and for our guests to enjoy our fab village. We decided to hire a Papakata teepee for our reception which was pitched at our village cricket ground where my dad has played cricket for years. They were so accommodating and we were able to use the loos in the pavilion which saved us many pennies!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (8)

There wasn’t really a set style for the wedding. I seem to acquire lots of random bits and bobs, so these kind of became the props for the day – an old vintage singer, a bargain wooden wardrobe my friend bought from a hospice sale and lovely retro marmalade pots.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (17)

I tried on every kind of style of wedding dress you can imagine and had good old laugh in the process! I found that I really liked lace and something quite fitted. I changed the back of the dress, to have more of a full keyhole style back as it was a high neck and added some onto the length to the train. It felt really vintage and quite a lot dressier than I pictured myself in, but I absolutely loved it. I got it from Charlotte at the Bridal Lounge in Northallerton – I can’t recommend this place enough!

To accompany my dress, I chose nude Hasbeens for my shoes and wore a gyp floral headpiece made by my lovely florist, Lucy. My hair was done by Becca Hunton and Jackie at Lady J’s did my makeup.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (18)

James hired his and his boys’ suits from Most Suitable in Newcastle. They were grey with a mushroomy coloured cravat and a grey waistcoat. We also had some handmade cufflinks made through Most Suitable as pressies for all of the boys and a pair of matching ‘Happy Socks’.

The girls had short white dresses from ASOS with aubergine clogs from Lotti’s in Stockholm. It was a really simplistic but boho style and they also wore a floral gyp headpiece to match mine.

Our little page boy Archie wore summer tweed trousers, a white linen shirt and braces, all from H&M, with some Saltwater sandals in blue. Meanwhile our little flower girl Harlowe wore a white cotton summer dress from Zara, yellow Saltwater sandals and a floral head piece to match the other girls.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (20)

We used my bridesmaid’s Dad’s camper, Bertie to transport us on the wedding day. He drove me and my Dad to church, and then me and James to the tepee after the service. A big thank you to Les for Bertie the camper! Our friends also surprised us with a hand drawn ‘just married’ sign and beer cans tied to Bertie!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (25)

Our photographer was Mark of Valentina Weddings. Mark was recommended to us by friends and we just clicked instantly! He’s so lovely, totally approachable and super creative. Mark listens to everything you say you’d like, styles of shots and compositions you love but equally suggests ideas that he has. We had a Pinterest board going for us both to pin photography ideas to and it’s the biggest photography board you’ll ever see!

Our wedding album, Mark and I designed together, which was great fun. The quality of the album is so high, definitely worth the money! Every one of our guests spoke of how professional and friendly Mark was, and one of our closest friends has already booked him for her wedding off the back of ours!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (26)

Mark also recommended to us a wedding videographer – Dom at Bouncing Ball Films and Ryan at Riff Raff Photography. At first we weren’t so keen, but in hindsight we are so glad we did. The finished video has been put together and footage edited so cleverly to create a short snap shot of our day. The choice of music was totally in their hands and perfectly suits our day. We have a huge smile every time we watch it!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (27)

The bouquets and headpieces I chose were all gyp bound by natural garden twine, as were the boys’ buttons holes. We kept the church flowers really simplistic, just small tin buckets full of gyp. Churches have so much heritage and beauty that I think you should just leave them be.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (31)

In the teepee we had beautiful multi coloured dahlias on the tables in the retro marmalade pots and a wooden crate filled with sunflowers. Again really simplistic but super vibrant creating a contrast from the neutral tones of the bouquets and church flowers. Our florist Lucy Hope was great and she helped with props that we needed too.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (29)

I designed our own wedding stationery, a small booklet invitation with foil blocking detail of the teepee illustration and hand rendered typography. I also drew all of the signage for the day and designed the thank you postcards through my business, Plewsy.

The table numbers were created by hanging old cricket score board numbers from the beams of the teepee, it was nice to have a link back to the cricket club whilst it also left us with more room on the tables for wine!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (35)

I totally forgot about the cake until two weeks before the wedding. Luckily our local farm shop, Springhouse Farm Shop, came to the rescue and created a beautiful naked sponge cake. They delivered it to the teepee on the morning of the wedding. The caterers layered it with strawberries and cream and we had a cake!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (36)

We wanted a relaxed feel to the day and so decided on tapas for the food. Our caterers, Paul and Chris of Indulge in Harrogate, were recommended by a work colleague and again when I met Paul I knew I trusted him to be the caterer for our big day! I had some ideas, but Paul suggested most of the dishes. Canapés were served with prosecco to our guests when they arrived at the teepee. We had crazy amounts of tapas including spicy chicken wings, tabbouleh, vegetable lasagne, chicken paella and chorizo. We served the wedding cake for pudding with berries and cream.

Paul and his team also ran the evening barbecue, serving grilled halloumi, salmon, chicken, homemade kebab skewers, coleslaw and a humongous salad! To drink we went for Rioja and Pinot Grigio for wine on the tables and behind the bar, along with barrels of Black Sheep and Carling (we ran out and had to raid the village pub for more!)

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (42)

We booked Goldsands, a local band who we had seen play live a couple of times before, to entertain our guests. They are acoustic and were perfect for our venue. Everyone has said how great they were and they have been booked a fair few times by our guests since.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (45)

We filled my friend’s retro wardrobe that she lent us full of disposable cameras, tambourines, sombreros, maracas, glitter and other bits and bobs! We also managed to exchange some bales of straw for a few free pints with a local farmer for seating outside the teepee! Oh, and borrowed a retro sofa from the cricket pavilion which was perfect!

As a special touch James and a few of our friends surprised me with a fireworks display, along with a life sized cut out of Guy Martin (long story)!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (40)

We would highly recommend Papakata to other wedding couples – Rhian and the team were fab. All the organisation went so smoothly and the teepees are so bloomin’ gorgeous! My favourite part of the day has to be seeing so many of our friends and family together in one place, shaking tambourines and feather bowers on the dance floor!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (47)

We flew to Ibiza for a week a couple of days after the wedding day. We stayed near the hippy village, it was really chilled out, super-hot with lots of beer and sunshine. Perfecto! In the October we used our honeymoon pot (set up through Spear Travels) to visit Thailand for a couple of weeks. We spent a couple of days in Bangkok, then flew south to Krabi / Ao Nang for a little while, then spent the rest of our time on Koh Phi Phi. It is such a lovely relaxed country, with beautiful coast lines and a great culture. We rode elephants, went on long boat trips to four small islands and drank a lot of mojitos!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – don’t stress! The best advice I can give is to go with suppliers that you get on with and click with! I did this with every supplier and each and every one worked their socks off to create our day. If you trust the people you book, this will take the stress away from you! Also people don’t notice if there’s a flower out of place or a mark on a napkin. It might matter to you, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge deal. Just relax and enjoy your big day!

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a vintage vision. pronovias for a pretty barn wedding in yorkshire – georgina & jonny

May 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (35)

We just love a vintage wedding here at Brides Up North HQ and today we see that bride Georgina executed the look to perfection when she tied the knot to beau Jonny at Northorpe Hall and Barn.

Everything comes together perfectly from Georgina’s stunning lace Pronovias dress to maids dusky pink dresses and that gorgeous vintage car.

Brides wanting to follow in Georgina’s well-styled footsteps should grab a pen and paper (or have those Pinterest boards at the ready) before reading on.

With images by Bethany Clarke Photography.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (8)

georgina says: We got engaged in Thailand in 2012. We went travelling together after university and it was only four days into the trip when Jonny proposed. We had gone to an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai which was an amazing day as I absolutely love elephants! He proposed on a platform that went out into the open fields where the elephants were roaming free. Jonny warned me not scream and I was thinking…of course I won’t scream but then he dropped down onto one knee and asked me to marry him! Then I understood why I might have screamed!

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (4)

We chose to marry on 13th September 2014. We mainly chose this date because it allowed us to have the venue the day before so that we could decorate the barn and I really wanted to be able to be involved with the preparation and decorating as I’d been collecting lots of little things to personalise the place.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (5)

Our venue was Northorpe Hall and Barn in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. I had always dreamed of a rustic, English country wedding with hay bales and the lot! The barn was absolutely perfect in size and it allowed me to decorate it just how I wanted. You weren’t forced into ‘wedding packages’ there so you could choose a reception that suited your budget and plan for the day.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (15)

I wanted a vintage/rustic theme. I used hay bales, lots of lace and hessian and pretty vintage coloured flowers to achieve the look. I made a lot of the decorations myself (with a lot of help from friends and family). I had collected milk churns, made bunting and table runners from hessian and lace. I then had lots of lavender heart wreaths dotted around the place.

Family is really important to me and my husband so I also framed photographs of our family on their wedding days and had them on display on our gifts table. It was a really lovely touch and nice to see our family history out on display for all our guests to see.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (12)

The colour scheme was dusky pink and cream which we used in the flowers. I loved the hydrangea and ivy garlands that we had dotted around the Barn. The colours were perfect!

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (13)

I chose a Pronovias lace dress with long lace sleeves. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. I wanted something really elegant with a hint of a vintage feel. I don’t really like my arms and shoulders too much so the slash neck with the long sleeves was absolutely perfect for me. As soon as I tried it on (a good 18 months before my wedding) I knew it was the one and never looked back. I got it from a bridal shop in Bradford, called The Wedding Mill.

Jonny wore a slim fit tuxedo for Suits Direct with a black bow tie and braces. The groomsmen also wore black tuxedos with black bow ties. These were also from Suits Direct.

Our bridesmaids wore dusky pink, long and floaty dresses with a lace back, which were from Warehouse.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (21)

We had a vintage wedding car to drive the bridesmaids, then me and my dad to the church. This was hired through the shop that I bought my wedding dress from. We then also provided a vintage wedding bus to transport our guests from the church to the reception venue, which was hired from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (23)

Bethany Clarke was our photographer and she was absolutely fantastic – I would highly recommend her! She was so friendly and managed our guests really well. I was quite shy in front of the camera and she made me feel really at ease. The photographs we received were beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. We will treasure them forever!

We also had a videographer provided by Bethany who was brilliant. We have watched our wedding video over and over again and it’s great to watch with friends and family.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (28)

My husband’s Aunty Sheila, from The Flower Room, is a wedding florist so she did our flowers. We had mainly roses, peonies with hints of lavender, then lots of lovely green foliage and cream and white flowers. We also had hydrangeas for decorating the milk churns.

The flower arrangements and bouquets she did blew me away. They were perfect. I burst into tears when I saw my bouquet, especially because it had been personalised with a locket that had a photograph of my Grandma and Grandad in it. Everybody commented on how beautiful the flowers were.

For favours I wrapped up lavender soaps in a vintage wrapping paper, tying it up with string and decorating it with a cream rose for the ladies. For the men I did a mini jars of sweeties with a cloth top.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (32)

I chose a five tier warm ivory cake with ivory lace detail and flowers cascading down the top two tiers. I did the cake myself as I have a cake decorating business, Teacup Cakery. It was a challenge and quite stressful towards the end but I’m really glad I managed to finish and I was really happy with the end result. Me and all my family are all really into baking so I also did a cake table full of all different cakes for people to choose what flavour they’d like the best. This went down really well with our guests! I had collected lots of lovely vintage cake stands for this and it looks amazing once all the cakes were set out!

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (31)

Other food on the day included canapés on arrival and then a three course sit down dinner with a choice of white or red wine for our guests. The meal was absolutely amazing! All of our guests commented on the quality and many said it was the best food they had ever had at a wedding.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (33)

To keep our guests entertained, we had a photo booth in the evening that’s a VW campervan that has been converted into a photo booth. I think it was one of the best things we chose for our wedding day. Our guests absolutely loved it and we also got a guest book of all the images which is hilarious and has already brought us lots of laughter and I’m sure it will for years to come. It was from a company called Picabo Photography.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (44)

We also had hula hoops, space hoppers and giant Jenga to entertain our guests during the drinks reception. It was a really nice day so this worked out perfectly!

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (46)

As a little extra at the reception I’d made some cards for the table that asked guests to draw the person sat next to them, and then offer us some advice for a successful marriage. I think this was a great way for our guests to get to know the people sat on their table a bit better.

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (51)

We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue. It’s reasonably priced in comparison to other venues and it’s just something a bit different. You can personalise it as much as you like!

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (43)

The first dance was my favourite part of the day. I just felt so in love and so unbelievably happy! Everting had been perfect all day and it just felt like the most amazing moment. I will remember that it forever. Plus, my husband finally cried after holding it back all day so I know he was feeling the same I was!

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (55)

We went to Thailand and Malaysia on our honeymoon. We really wanted to go back to Thailand because it was where we got engaged. We travelled to three different parts of Thailand, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Phi Phi was definitely our favourite spot of the whole honeymoon. The hotel was idyllic and it was just like paradise. We are already trying to plan for when we might be able to go back!

a vintage style wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (58)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be just do what you want to do and stick to your vision. Enjoy every minute of it, no matter how stressful the planning gets! Your day will fly by so just make sure you take it all in. Also, don’t worry about the seating plan, it can be a right headache! But at the end of the day people will get on with each other no matter what and everybody is there to share your special day so just do what is right for you and don’t worry about other people too much.

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pine cones & hessian. a cosy winter wedding at the maynard – melissa & mike

May 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a cosy winter wedding at The Maynard (c) Kate Cooper Photography (23)

I have to agree with today’s real wedding couple in that I can find New Year’s Eve somewhat of an anti-climax. Keen to give their friends and family something to get really excitedabout, Mike and Melissa set their wedding for 31st December.

I love the wintry touches in this wedding, from the hessian table runners to the twinkly fairy lights, rustic pine cone name places and that gorgeous cake – top marks to Melissa’s mum!

It looks like this pair certainly celebrated 2015 in style!

With images by Kate Cooper Photography.

a cosy winter wedding at The Maynard (c) Kate Cooper Photography (4)

melissa says: Michael proposed to me at Ragdale Hall the day before New Year’s Eve 2012. We arrived and I remember Mike acting very strangely. We were then shown into a small lounge area and somebody brought us a bottle of champagne. Michael got down on one knee and popped the question. A great start to a wonderful day at Ragdale Hall!

a cosy winter wedding at The Maynard (c) Kate Cooper Photography (8)

We chose to get married on 31st December 2014.  We chose New Year’s Eve as we felt that this is a time of year which is never as good as the build up to it, so to have a wedding on that day would be a great way to spend it! We didn’t want the pressure of the weather too as summer weddings don’t always turn out to be glorious! At least at NYE we knew that the weather was not going to be great – we just had the snow to worry about!

a cosy winter wedding at The Maynard (c) Kate Cooper Photography (10)

We got married at The Maynard in Grindleford. It was a superb venue. We were able to hold the both the ceremony and reception there so guests would not have to fight with the elements going from A to B. When we met the wedding coordinator for the first time she was friendly, listened to what we wanted and genuinely seemed interested in our day! The whole feel of the hotel was just perfect with the large oak panelled room contrasting with the contemporary decor of the main hotel.

a cosy winter wedding at The Maynard (c) Kate Cooper Photography (11)

We didn’t have a theme as such we just wanted the wedding to be simple and classic with a feeling of wintry charm. I don’t like too much ‘frill’!

I love the classic whites and greens of the ferns at Christmas so used this as a base for our colour scheme and then added a touch of grey/ pink in with the flowers. My older bridesmaid’s dress was navy so Catherine (our florist) brought an element of this in with the flowers.

a cosy winter wedding at The Maynard (c) Kate Cooper Photography (12)

I wanted my dress to be lace so that’s how I started my search. I knew I didn’t want a big dress but apart from that I wasn’t going to restrict myself. Emily at Emily Bridal in Sheffield brought a few to try on and when I put my dress on I knew straight away it was the one. It was Augusta Jones SkylerI – I just loved the way the lace sat on the shoulders and the low back. It was simple and elegant and it didn’t need any fuss to show it off. I had a short veil which had lace around the edge to match the dress. Emily was brilliant. If something didn’t suit me, she was honest and she ensured that I found my dream dress and didn’t settle for second best!

I had a hairdresser and makeup artist on the day who did the families hair and makeup. Julia Jeckell was great! During the trial she spent the time to find out what type of makeup and hair I wanted, I showed her photos of hair and she also asked what I didn’t want! She talked me through what she was doing and gave me choices of different products. This meant that on the day I could just leave it to her. The result was exactly what I wanted. My hair was fabulous and stayed put throughout the day and the makeup was perfect. She also let me have details of powder and lipstick she was using so I could purchase them and touch up on the day, although I didn’t need to!

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Mike wore navy tails from Austin Reed with an ivory waistcoat and navy ruche. The best men wore the same as Mike and the ushers wore a navy suit with a short suit jacket, ivory waistcoat and navy ruche.

Our daughters wore a Monsoon dress with a crochet top and net skirt. My sister (the older bridesmaid) wore a navy vintage inspired dress from the Ossie Clark range at Debenhams.

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Our photographer was Kate Cooper – she was amazing! She spent a lot of time with us before the day ensuring she knew exactly what we wanted. On the day she was absolutely brilliant too.

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Our florist Catherine at Petalis, was fabulous. She chose the flowers for me as I don’t really have any idea when it comes to flowers, especially in the winter. The flowers for the bouquets and buttonholes included pink/grey roses, eucalyptus and foliage. Catherine also provided the decorative floral arrangements which were amazing and she knew the venue so knew exactly what would look good.

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My friend Katie made the bunting which was draped around the venue and we added fairy lights and white baubles around the room and in the entrance to the room. Rebecca (the wedding coordinator at The Maynard) arranged these for us and displayed our table plan and photo booth.

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We had hessian tied around the chairs and table runners to match which were provided by Dragonfly in Chesterfield. They sorted all this the day before the wedding.

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I made all the favours for our guests. We ordered little jars and filled these with white tissue paper and bonbons. I then covered the top of the jar with hessian and twine and added a thank you tag to each.

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My mum made our cake. Each layer was a different type of cake: fruit, ginger (my favourite) and lemon drizzle (Mike’s favourite). She then decorated with royal icing, hessian and winter foliage and berries and instead of using a cake stand we had a log which we had cut especially for it.

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Rhythm of Your Choice provided the evening entertainment. We had a DJ and a disco. We wanted a Photo Booth too but felt it was out of our budget to get an organised one, so we did it ourselves. We bought a Polaroid camera and collected a few fancy dress fashion accessories. Guests got themselves dressed up and took a Polaroid selfie which then was stuck into a book and messages were added next to the photo. It worked brilliantly and not only have we got lovely messages but great picture memories too!

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Having two children we decided to get a babysitter for the evening of the wedding. Dawn from TLC Mobile Childcare was fantastic, she looked after the children in one of the hotel rooms and the children went up when they wereready. She ensured they were safe, well looked after and with one of our children being only six-months-old at the time, she sorted the evening feeds out for her.

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We would definitely recommend The Maynard to other couples. The venue was so perfect for what we wanted but the staff really made it. They were amazing. Nothing was ever too much and every one of them was so friendly and supportive throughout the day.

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It’s hard to choose a favourite part of the wedding as the whole day was fabulous! I did really enjoy the time after the ceremony catching up with everybody and spending time with close family and friends though.

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Mike kept our honeymoon a secret until the day. We couldn’t go for long as we have two young children. We were chauffer driven to London and stayed at the Shangri-La in the Shard for two nights.  It was absolutely amazing and we had a lovely couple of days, chilling out, visiting places and going to see Billy Elliot. It was a fantastic, relaxing time away after such a hectic build up to the wedding and staying in such an amazing place really made it.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute of the day. I cannot believe how fast it went and would love to relive it.

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