Brides Up North

fiesta, fiesta! a mexican themed wedding at Utopia – abi & rob

September 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (44)

I don’t know about you, but I feel in the mood for a celebration!

We’re about half way through our Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season and it really does feel like I get to throw a fabulous party (sometimes two!) every Sunday.  I adore my job, and love sharing all that inspiration with my readers in real life. Add to that an exciting new industry venture and a host of awards ceremonies – we’ve been nominated for a couple of big blogging gongs this season – to sparkle at this month, and you’ve got one very excited wedding blogger, ready to let her hair down.

I absolutely think a wedding should be a celebration.  A religious or civil union yes, but also a party to say thank you for love, family and friendship.  And if there’s glitter and streamers thrown in, all the better.

This afternoon’s bride and groom, Abi and Rob, agree. Their Mexican themed fiesta wedding is full of bright colours, and you can almost hear the party pounding off these pages.

Pass me the tequila.  I’m in.

With images by Joanne Ingle Photography.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (10)

Abi says: We got engaged in February 2014 on a weekend away in a forest cabin. Rob asked me in the hot tub under the stars. We got married on 23rd August as we didn’t want to wait very long to get married, at Utopia, Broughton Hall. We both loved the venue as soon as we saw it. It’s light, natural and surrounded by beautiful gardens and views over the surrounding hills.

We had a Mexican theme for our wedding as our relationship became serious whilst we were on a bike trip cycling from San Francisco to Mexico City.

The colour scheme was bright and bold to reflect the Mexican theme, we wanted it to be happy and unlike most other weddings.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (12)

I chose a very simple, elegant wedding dress that I had made by a wonderful seamstress Julia Worsnop. I wanted to accessorise with bright shoes and flowers in my hair. I also wanted to dance the night away so needed a dress I was comfortable in.

Rob had a bespoke suit made at Tailor Made London.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (14)

We ordered the flowers wholesale online, my mum made the bouquet and arranged the table flowers and a friend made the buttonholes.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (6)

The flowers were all very bright with lots of gerberas and carnations. We ordered lots of paper fans from Pipii. My mum, Rob, a couple of friends and I hand made 500 pompoms that mum strung together instead of bunting. They looked so cheerful and pretty festooned around the venue.

My dad made a wonderful wedding cake. It was a fruit cake, with homemade almond paste.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (7)

Everyone had a fake moustache at their table setting and we had inflatable guitars for the dance floor.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (21)

Joanne Ingle Photography was our photographer, I would highly recommend her, she was fantastic.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (27)

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (36)

We had a mariachi band from Mariachi Loco for the drinks reception, a photo booth from Picabo Photography and a band called Alvin and the Hip Monks who we booked through Act Sharp.

They were all fantastic and really made the day something special and different.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (38)

We would recommend Utopia to another couple in a heartbeat. It’s the kind of venue that would be great with very little decoration and in any weather. Our celebrant, Barbara stringer was also really wonderful and supportive.

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (41)

We are really looking forward to our honeymoon and are off to New Zealand and Fiji in a couple of months!

a mexican themed wedding at Utopia (c) Joanne Ingle Photography (50)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get all of the organising and stress out of the way early to make sure you enjoy the day. Realise that there are lots of things that are out of your control, your guests arrive happy and ready to enjoy themselves no matter what.

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vibrant love. supplier showcase: Sarah Beth Photography

September 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Sarah Beth Photography (4)

This morning I’m thrilled to formally introduce one very talented lady to the pages of the wedding blog, the lovely Sarah Aylward of Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.

Sarah’s work is right up my street – light, natural and full of emotion and radiance.  I know you’re going to love her style too.  Let’s say hello.

Sarah Beth Photography (33)

How did you get into wedding photography? 

I’ve always been interested in photography since I was little. I was always the one friend or family member in charge of the camera (I think everyone knows one of these people!). My home made family videos and large photo collages which adorned the walls of my bedroom were something to be marvelled. So it only seemed natural for my 21st birthday to asked for a DSLR camera and after graduating from university I decided I wanted to take things a little more seriously so invested a lot of my time learning and studying about photography.

Why wedding photography specifically? 

Finding your feet with photography can take you in all sorts of different directions, I started professionally shooting as a nightclub photographer and then ventured into music photography including photographing for local music venues. I still enjoy photographing bands, I love music so it enables me to combine my two passions and I get to meet some interesting characters! However, after photographing my first wedding I soon realised that I was hooked, I love the energy and emotions that come with a wedding day and It really is a privilege to feel like your photography is meaningful enough to last for generations.

Sarah Beth Photography (1)

Sarah Beth Photography (3)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

My favourite part is getting to know my couples and seeing how they plan their wedding day. I have been very fortunate to photograph some absolutely beautiful weddings, from completely wacky to small and intimate, I love how every wedding day is different. Every wedding I have photographed I always feel like I’ve walked away with a new set of friends, often keeping in touch with many of my past brides and grooms. Its a great feeling being able to feel like not just a photographer for the day but also a guest too.

Sarah Beth Photography (38)

Sarah Beth Photography (39)

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

With all my couples I get to know on a more personal level first before I stick my camera in their faces! With my wedding photography package I offer a complimentary and totally optional pre-wedding photo shoot so my couples can start to feel more relaxed in front of the camera before their big day. It is a great opportunity to get to know each other and also have some lovely photographs which can be used to decorate your reception area or used for thank you cards or favours.

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

I assure you I am exactly the same when it comes to having my photo taken so I total empathise with brides, or even grooms who feel nervous at the thought of having their photo taken. Over the years I have found it better to be photographed naturally and when I am not expecting it, so when photographing a couple I like to take on this approach also. My advice would be to enjoy your day, do not stress about having your photo taken as on your wedding day you will feel completely different. Enjoy your day and enjoy each other, there is nothing more beautiful or natural than a bride and groom in love.

Sarah Beth Photography (37)

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures? 

Make up should be as flawless and natural looking to compliment the brides features. I would always advise booking in with a make up artist before your wedding day so they can guide you through the process and find a look you love.

Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures? 

I am not particularly fond of poses which look forced or uncomfortable. I find it important that the couples I shoot are as comfortable as possible and would never put them in a pose or situation in which they feel otherwise.

Sarah Beth Photography (24)

Sarah Beth Photography (22)

Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why? 

If Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gorden-Levitt were actually a real couple, it would totally be their wedding. How amazing would that be?

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured? 

In 2013 I had the privilege of photographing a wedding in the Amalfi Coast, Italy. I fell in love with Italy after visiting Venice a few years before, so was extremely excited to be photographing a beautiful wedding there. Every where you turn in the Amalfi Coast there are photo opportunities, with soft sandy coloured houses and a backdrop of blue skies. This day was particularly moving and emotional as Emily’s mum unfortunately couldn’t be there due to illness. I was able to surprise Emily and Sam with a short video of the day to show her mum so she could re-live the day without feeling missed out.

See the full wedding here on Brides Up North.

Sarah Beth Photography (13)

Are you married? 

Not yet, hopefully one day! I would love to plan a fun destination wedding to Las Vegas.

Any funny stories to share? 

Sometimes I get too involved in taking the photo and once stepped back and ended up sitting on a candle! Its safe to safe the dress I was wearing was ruined…

Sarah Beth Photography (14)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

My style of photography is very natural and genuine, I love shooting reportage and capturing those little candid moments which you may never have seen on your wedding day. I won’t ask you to pose endlessly for the camera while forcing you to smile, I’m all about real emotion and showing how ace you both are together.

Sarah Beth Photography (18)

Sarah Beth Photography (17)

What can a couple who book you expect on the day? 

On a wedding day I usually begin at the brides house photographing all the little details. The morning preparations are possibly one of my favourite parts of the day, there is so much nervous energy and excitement which is great to capture. From there I usually visit the boys (we can’t leave them out can we!) this is usually at the venue where I can also prepare for the brides entrance. Although I love to photograph the day as it happens I also believe in the importance of capturing more formal photos of the bride and groom with their families. I like to keep this part of the day fun and quick so they can get back to enjoying their day.

This is based on a wedding day with just myself however I do offer the option of a second photographer.

However I’m not just the wedding photographer on the day, I also have some very helpful skills I’ve acquired in the past two years such as dress carrier, buttonhole pinner, bouquet holder…. The wedding day can be quite stressful as well as fun and after experiencing a few weddings in my time I am happy to lend a hand wherever needed.

Sarah Beth Photography (21)

What is included in your “package”? 

I offer a full day package, with coverage from morning preparations to your sit down meal with the option to add extra coverage for your evening reception. I also include an optional Fun Photo Booth for your evening coverage to get your wedding guests joining in the fun by getting dressed up and doing some silly poses.

In my package I also include a complimentary pre-wedding photo shoot with 20 high resolution images, this is a great way for couples to get used to being in front of the camera and to see how I work. I usually organise this for 4-5 weeks before the wedding day and team it up with a pre-wedding consultation to catch up with my couples and talk about their day.

All the images that my couples receive I make into a lovely little slideshow which is set to music, it is a great way to view your images of the day but definitely keep the tissues handy!

My package includes all digital high resolution copies of your images with royalty free licence (so you have full access to printing and sharing your images) I deliver these on a beautiful hand made wooden USB stick with presentation box which looks lovely around the home.

Can you give us an idea on price? 

My wedding photography package currently in 2014 stands at £800.

However I would advise strongly to all couples looking for a wedding photographer try not be swayed on price, I understand every couple has a budget but when looking for your photographer keep in mind these are lasting memories of your day.

Sarah Beth Photography (7)

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

My website can be found at: www.sarahbethphoto.co.uk

You can find me tweeting over at @photosarahbeth, on Facebook or pinning my dream Vegas wedding.

Sarah Beth Photography (10)

Anything else we should know?

I am currently based in Yorkshire, UK but specialise in weddings all over the UK and abroad. If you are planning to get married abroad, please get in touch for a bespoke quote.

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you’d be good for me. a vintage travel inspired wedding at the leeds club – jess & sam

September 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (21)

I’m looking forward to joining my friend and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple to host a question and answer session at her Editorial Wedding Workshop this afternoon.

Nerves? Nah, I’m saving those for this.

Whilst I’m off on official duties, I thought I’d leave this especially sweetLeeds based DIY vintage travel themed wedding in my pace for you to enjoy. Jess and Sam styled their big day their way, to beautiful and individual effect. Super cool.

With images by Mark Dolby Photography.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (6)

Jess says: Sam proposed after an amazing evening out in Leeds. The story starts with an unfortunate incident of a pair of my tights getting stuck to chewing gum on a seat in a bar – they compensated us by gifting us a bottle of wine and we decided to make a night of it! We went for a few drinks and then some amazing tapas. When we left the restaurant Sam realised he had left his scarf in one of the earlier bars so on the way back we had to cross the Millennium Bridge in Leeds. He got out some photos of us at various places we’d been to since we got together and some pegs out of his pocket and suggested we count the bars on the bridge and peg photos to them. Once we ran out of photos we hit a bar with a padlock on it. The padlock had our initials on it and the lyrics from a Weezer song – “I think I’d be good for you, and you’d be good for me” when I turned to look at Sam he was down on one knee with a ring asking if I’d marry him.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (10)

We got married on 16th August 2014 at the iconic Town Hall and had our reception at the beautiful Leeds Club on Albion Place. We chose the Leeds Club because it’s a gorgeous building with amazing features. The Leeds Club also blew us away with their organisational skills. We wanted somewhere with an old soul but could throw a great party and I think we cracked it with the Leeds Club.

Our wedding had a travel theme to it. We chose travel as a theme as it is one of our shared passions in life. In the first 2 months of getting together we flew from Leeds to California to see Weezer play and that set the tone for the rest of our relationship.

All the flowers were made from old maps, this included table flowers, bouquet and buttonholes. The centrepieces were placed on squares made of material with maps on them. All the tables were named after cities we had visited and our table plan was on a map. Our invitations and programmes were designed like airline paper.

We didn’t have a particular colour scheme but because of our travel theme, the maps and the blue and red airline paper did play a part in dictating colours. I decided to use maps for the flowers because they would add pattern and colour to the bloom without being uniform or too prescribed.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (20)

My wedding dress was Sia by Coast. I tried on probably around 50 dresses and couldn’t find one that had the right balance of being bridal but practical. Then I found Coast! I was in love with the Sia dress but they didn’t have any more in my size across the country. The personal shopper called every store across England but it wasn’t in stock. But luckily someone was selling one on eBay in my size. With a few alterations to the length, it was perfect!

My shoes were from Irregular Choice. They are my favourite shoe brand and loved seeing them peep out from under my dress as we walked through town!

Sam’s suit was a favourite he has from Marks and Spencer. He bought the matching waistcoat and then chose a snappy shirt from Next. His shirt was a beautiful geometric pattern in red and white with a red tie.  Sam had a tan belt and same colour shoes from Berwick’s.

Sam is really keen on ethical purchasing so he gave a lot of his choices a lot of thought and this included his underwear. In the end Sam chose items from ‘Pants To Poverty’. These became quite a talking point at the reception when I mentioned them in my speech!

As explained, I carried a bouquet that I had made from maps. I got designs from various craft blogs online and over a few nights perfected my flower crafting. My bouquet had about 50 flowers in it made from maps. I bought a shoebox of maps from eBay and used about 90% of the contents. The rest of the maps can be useful for our next adventure!

We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen but I did make buttonholes for all the family so they could have them in their hair (for the ladies) or in their suits (for the gents). Sam’s Dad also chose the same shirt and tie combo as Sam. That was a lovely touch.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (23)

I travelled from our home in Leeds to the Town Hall with my brother, sister and brother’s girlfriend in Mercedes town car that we booked. It was an E Class and very plush. Then between the Town Hall and the Leeds Club we walked between the venues. We had a few girl ushers (or Gushers, as I nicknamed them) to help guide guests as to the venue.

This was a lot of fun because another wedding had booked a Rolls Royce that was sat outside the Town Hall when we left and everyone expected us to get in. As we walked off everyone was very confused! Eventually as people started to cotton on that it wasn’t our car they then convinced us to go back for photos! So to the couple that paid for that car- if you see any photos of us by the side of your Rolls on your wedding day- I am so sorry!

It was great that we did walk though as luckily on that day Fosters were doing a promotion and giving out cans of beer right between our two venues! All our guests got a freebie on the walk between. People kept thanking us for arranging it!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (26)

Our photographer was Mark Dolby and he was incredible. He was so much a part of the day he was like a guest- but he was also doing all the work! He arrived hours before we had booked him so that he could be prepared and stayed much later than we agreed because we over ran! He made us feel so comfortable and happy. He captured loads of amazing natural and reportage style shots, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a few classic group shots but we were sold on his style of ‘in the moment’ photos and they were absolutely amazing. Thank you so much Mark!

He also had around 85 photos ready for us to look through by the meal time so that they could be on a slide show in the bar at the Leeds Club- the guests loved it and kept complementing us on what lovely photos. Plus they felt famous being on the big screen in a gorgeous bar!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (27)

I made a centrepiece for each of the tables, which included a table name on a luggage tag that was displayed in an empty bottle of beer. Sam is a beer connoisseur so he chose each beer bottle carefully! There were a lot of samples for that decoration!

Around each table name there were three bottles with my map flowers placed inside and candles. All of this was also placed on a square of map material. We also had maps cut into hearts sprinkled onto each table as table confetti. Each guest had their place name on a luggage tag that I had sewn with some map material.

For our cards and guest book table there were more flowers made of maps and a suitcase for cards. The suitcase came from my friend’s house when they moved in and must be over 50 years old. I also made the cards bunting sign from old maps.

Sam’s Mum gave me some decorations from his Grandmother’s wedding in 1947. They also were used in Sam’s parent’s wedding so I framed them so that they could have a special place in our wedding.

I made most the decorations myself but the Leeds Club put all of them out. They were so helpful! We delivered all the bits on Friday morning with set up instructions and they put them out perfectly!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (33)

We are in love with this bakery called That Old Chestnut in Leeds. It is a vegan bakery and they basically work in cake magic. The first time we tried their cake at a fair in Leeds we knew we would have them! The question was what flavour cake! In the end we couldn’t decide so we had 6!

Triple Chocolate, Stem Ginger, Lemon Drizzle, Carrot, Coffee and Walnut and Chocolate Torte.

We were a bit nervous we had gone overboard on the cake so we provided cake-away boxes in case anyone wanted to take some home and by the end of the night there was nothing but some crumbs (which I ate while we were saying “bye” to our last guests!).

We didn’t do favours but we did have a lot of cake and let people take any of the table flowers home with them. There wasn’t any table flowers by the end of the party and lots of guests had worked them into their hair. It was fantastic! That was exactly what we hoped!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (32)

We chose a hot fork buffet by the Leeds Club because we like the informal style of choosing from a buffet on the day but knew that a hot meal would be needed! The food was delicious; when we came for a menu tasting we were so excited!! We provided wines through Sam’s Mum and Dad. They introduced us to this brilliant Pinot Noir from Aldi and a Spanish White wine that Sam’s mum loves.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (34)

Our DJs were incredible. I know them from my work and they really did us a massive favour by DJing. The speeches over ran so they couldn’t get into the room to set up the equipment until an hour late, but they still started the party on time.

I first met one of the DJs when I hired him for a job in the bar I worked in when he was 18 and a few months old- he is now working on his PhD in Southampton and came back to Leeds just to DJ for us!

Sam and I went out for some last minute portraits before our first dance and when we came back the dance floor was packed- we had to clear a space for the first which was Diana Ross’ “Upside Down”.

After our first dance everyone was back on the floor and didn’t stop until the end. Even then there were chants for “one more tune!” A big thanks to Aarran Shaw and Sam Ryder for accommodating us!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (35)

We added lots of special touches to our day, but two stand out in particular.

I did a speech at our wedding. I think it is becoming more common for Bride’s to speak at their wedding and I can see why. It is so great to add your different perspective on the day and what you had thought in the run up. It was also great because I could mention some of the important people who couldn’t be there for various reasons – like our Grandmothers who I know would have loved to see the day.

We chose two readings at the Town Hall, which really helped personalise the ceremony. Our friends Lauren and Susy read an extract from Dr Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and our friend Dave did an acoustic cover of the Magnetic Fields “The Book of Love” – he put lots of energy in to the final chorus and took it up an octave. The crowd went wild!

The people at the Town Hall were absolutely incredible. The lady who prepared and signed the register with us – Nancy, was retiring after our wedding and it felt so special to be her last couple. As she explained the register to us as we signed our names she had a lump in her throat saying the words. It was an incredible moment.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (40)

We would strongly recommend the Leeds Club. It is a beautiful, historic location but also incredibly well placed. Very easy for guests to find but also easy for them to find their hotels! The team at the Leeds Club will also bend over backwards for you. They did so much to help us prepare for our big day- a big thank you especially to Karen Hiscoe, Ellie and Laura.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (51)

My favourite part of the day was when Sam and I met before we went to the Town Hall in the Leeds Central Library. It was a bit of a risk as they had previously told us we’d need permission for photos there. I was starting to get nervous when I arrived at the Library and fell up the stairs as I walked in (much hilarity ensued for my siblings!). But when Sam and I saw each other, all the nerves disappeared and we were just so happy.

We took some photos and walked across to the Town Hall. It felt so calm and natural to walk in together with all our friends and family there. The emotions came back as we walked down the aisle though. Truly amazing.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (59)

For our honeymoon, we went to one of our most favourite places in the world- Barcelona. Viva Espana! We hired a flat in Barceloneta with a view of the sea and spent the week drinking cava, relaxing on the beach and seeing art! Perfecto! Randomly two of our close friends were also in Barcelona at the time so we had them over for dinner at the flat one night and it was great to get their view on the wedding! Our photographer- Mark, had also been to Barcelona the week before so he gave us some great tips on some art to see.

We loved our wedding so much and had an absolute ball! I have probably a hundred top tips for other Brides Up North. Seeing your partner before you walk down the aisle is so special. Just go with the flow on the day. When we planned the day I was nervous about fitting all the bits in- they didn’t fit in, and it didn’t matter! We were late but that was ok!

Make sure you get plenty of water – it’s amazing how dehydrated you can feel from the nerves.

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shore thing. justin alexander for a simple yet stylish seaside wedding – nicola & eamonn

September 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (34)

There’s something about being by the seaside that causes a welcome state of relaxation.

Nicola and Eamonn chose the pretty seaside town of Scarborough for their laid-back big day which they were proud to show-off to their guests via an open-top bus ride and fabulous sea-front reception venue.

What I love about this wedding is that the bride and groom didn’t get swept up in wedding planning mania, but instead really thought about what they wanted and then executed it to perfection.

This fab real wedding oozes style and sophistication and is topped-off with a good glug of fun.

With photos by Photography34.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (18)

Nicola says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012 after being together for 11 years.  Eamonn surprised me by dropping to one knee in front of our two little girls. It was very romantic as he had written a poem which incorporated all of the favourite places we have travelled to together.

We got married on Saturday 27th July 2013. We chose the 27th as it was Eamonn’s mother Helen’s birthday – she sadly passed in 2010.

Our wedding ceremony was at St Peters RC Church in Scarborough, our girls were baptised here so it was a natural choice. It’s a very beautiful building.  I chose for my brother to walk me down the aisle. We celebrated afterwards at the Ambassador Hotel and Spa, which we chose because it’s such a lovely boutique hotel with fab views of Scarborough. The venue was perfect for our requirements. We would have no hesitation in recommending it to future brides and grooms. Kieran there listened to our every request and suggestion and together we made it all work to create our perfect day.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (20)

The one thing Eamonn and I discussed at length though at the start of the planning process was how we wanted the day to play out.  We wanted everyone who shared the day with us to be there from the beginning until the end – it did limit us to the number of guests for the day (120) but everyone agreed that the day had a great flow to it.  From the moment we were married we all travelled together to the reception (the long way around the Marine Drive at Scarborough so we could take in the stunning views on the open-top bus) and while everyone had their Meze starters outside the venue we snuck away with our photographer Tony for a quick photo shoot.  We’ve all been to weddings where there is a pause in the day for photos and then another while the evening guests arrive and we didn’t want that. We chose to have the wedding a little later in the afternoon at 3pm which did put us on a tighter timescale than most weddings but we wanted the day to be one continual celebration with a natural flow and relaxed feel.  As a result of the thought and planning that we put into the scheduling of the day it all played out really well and all of the guests thought that it had happened by chance.

There was no particular colour theme from the start – it all kind of just pulled itself together. Once we found the taupe bridesmaid dresses it cemented the spectrum of colours we used, from the invitation to the cake and the flowers.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (25)

I was quite nervous about shopping for my wedding dress. I was completely out of my comfort zone but with the help of my trusty bridesmaids and the ladies at The Wedding Room in Scarborough we picked out about seven dresses in all sorts of cuts and styles to work out what I might like.  The first dress I tried was beautiful – big, full and very princess like (I thought this might be the type I would go for) but when I stepped out in it and looked in the mirror I was overwhelmed with the size of it! I cried and wanted to turn and run. But the ladies at the Wedding Rooms had obviously seen this before and whipped me straight back into the changing rooms to get out of it and encouraged me to try on something not so huge. Gypsy bride it wasn’t, but it just didn’t feel right for me.  I tried a couple more on and they were all beautiful but I couldn’t pick between them. Then I tried on the fourth dress – it was a very detailed fishtail dress with lace, sequins, pearls and bugle beads by Justin Alexander. The moment it went over my head and I looked in the mirror I knew it was the one. I just loved the way I felt in it and when I walked out to show my bridesmaids I cried again – this time with happiness – their faces confirmed what I was feeling.  It was so disappointing to put on my own clothes after wearing such a fabulous dress.

Eamonn wore a tailored suit from Mullen and Mullen in York. He chose a dark navy blue colour suit with a waistcoat. The suit jacket had a taupe colour lining to complement the bridesmaid dresses and he got our initials and the wedding date 27.07.13 stitched into the lining which was a lovely touch.  I always thought Eamonn wore a suit well but have to say seeing him in a tailored suit made him look particularly dashing!

The bridesmaids wore a Jenny Packham No.1 taupe lace bodice maxi dress from Debenhams while the groomsmen wore dark grey lounge suits from Jaeger to complement Eamonn’s suit.

My flowers came from the very talented Kirsty Berridge from Minnie Bee’s Floral Design. I didn’t have a clue about flowers but I used my wedding board on Pinterest to show Kirsty what type of flowers and colours I liked. She was fabulous and brought lots of pictures of previous bouquets she had done to show me. She came up with my fabulous hand-tied bouquet of gypsophila, soft vintage pink hydrangea, dahlias, peonies and English grown roses in soft pinks, peaches and cream.  We had two fabulous pedestal arrangements in the church and the tables at the reception venue again featured the same flowers, although we went for a much brighter tone of colours and displayed them in jam jars all supplied by Minnie Bee’s.

The bridesmaids all carried hand-tied bouquets of gypsophila and the flower girls carried small pomander balls of gypsophila and the groomsmen had button holes made of the same. Kirsty also supplied gypsophila on bits of wire to add to the bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ hair.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (31)

I had five bridesmaids and two flower girls (my daughters Stella and Grace), plus my mum and my brother to get from the hotel to the church so Ozzy the camper van from Scarborough Kombi Van Hire was the perfect solution. We had a lot of guests from out of town and abroad who we wanted to see the beauty of Scarborough while they were here, plus parking can be quite tricky around the church, so hiring an open top bus from Shoreline Suncruisers to take us all to the reception made perfect sense – and it was great fun!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (32)

Our photographer was our good friend Tony Wilson from Photography34 who has documented a number of our special days over the last couple of years, our daughters’ baptism being one of the first.  Tony does such a great job of translating the feel of the day into pictures.  We will be forever grateful for the precious moments that Tony has captured for us – we will always have them to look back on. He was also a guest at our wedding so he can definitely multitask.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (39)

The cake was provided by Gemma Flood at Cotton House Cakes. It was a four-tier chocolate fudge cake topped with Italian meringue butter cream. The colour graduated from light to dark – another spot on Pinterest.

For our wedding meal we decided that we didn’t want something that was going to be too gastro, even though Eamonn is a bit of a foodie. We went for a bit of a Greek theme with the food as we enjoy holidaying there and love the food. We chose to have a Greek meze as an informal starter which was served on arrival. We had these instead a formal starter as we didn’t want to be sat inside for a lengthy three-course meal. The Ambassador did a great job of serving these in a way that were easy to eat with fingers and stood up while relaxing outside.  We decided to have the speeches before the main meal once everyone was seated indoors – this just seemed like a natural break to fit in the best man’s and groom’s speeches.  We continued with the Greek theme for the main meal opting for a choice of beef stifado or vegetable moussaka.  We kept the wedding cake as a dessert and then had a selection of cheeses that were brought to each of the tables so everyone could nibble throughout the evening.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (38)

We wanted a relaxed theme so didn’t go heavy on the entertainment. We did want some music for when we arrived at The Ambassador in the open-top bus and while we had the drinks reception and starters.  We had discussed various live acts but Eamonn saw a young jazz band busking in town and booked them for the wedding! The Jelly Jolly Jazz Band fronted by a young musician called Laurence Marshall were just great, they played some really uplifting jazz which set everyone off on the right tone for the day.  For the evening we opted for Spectrum Discos, who were great!  We had a few particulars we wanted playing but were pretty relaxed with the play list. Our first dance was a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel classic You’re All I Need to Get By, which was just perfect!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (44)

To keep our young guests entertained, I ordered some small cardboard suitcases and filled them with colouring books and quiet toys. I also asked The Ambassador to add a small pack-up so the children could tuck in as soon as we sat down. They could then run around the dance floor after the speeches had taken place while the adults enjoyed their stifado!

We chose to have circular tables for everyone, so no top table – just to avoid any issues with who might feel they should be sat on it!  We had paper pom poms, added by Alex Anderson from Homebird House, hanging from the ceiling above our table just to make it a focal point. They were also hung above the table for wedding cards which we decorated ourselves with an old suitcase, a beach towel, ball, bucket and spade.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (49)

Eamonn and I had told all of our guests that we didn’t expect any gifts as many people were already travelling great distances to attend the wedding but any gifts of money we did receive would be used on what we were calling a ‘familymoon’.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (51)

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (59)

We couldn’t choose a favourite part of our wedding – we loved the whole day! We really thought about what we wanted and what was important for us and we made it happen. All of our guests really got that the day was a reflection of us and enjoyed it as much as we did!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (64)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to get sucked into everything that’s on offer. We had a very traditional church wedding but personally picked everything that went around that, including flipping around the proceedings of the day and for us that really worked.  Everyone is different but it’s so easy to get pulled into ‘the perfect Pinterest wedding’ which can be daunting and crazy expensive.  We decided that we wanted a simple wedding which was about Eamonn and I standing up in front of our loved ones and saying ‘this is us forever’ followed by great food and drink and a kick ass party!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (69)

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going green. an english australian wedding in east yorkshire – jude & brad

September 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (50)

It’s a small, small World.

In today’s wedding feature, our bride Jude marries a man from the other side of the globe next to the green in the village where she grew up.  There’s something kinda special about that, isn’t there?

Now who has the Disney theme to “It’s A Small World” on loop in their head? Yes me too, so sorry about that.

Enjoy!

With images by Walker & Walker Photography.

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (6)

Jude says: We decided that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and share our happiness with our friends and family. We began planning our wedding in 2013.

We were married on Saturday 7th of June 2014 at 4pm. The ceremony was in Brandesburton Methodist Church. We had wedding photos taken on Brandesburton village green, with the the 12 century stone cross and my family home in the background. The reception was held at The Bell Hotel in nearby Driffield.

I wanted to get married in Brandesburton Methodist Church because I was christened there. It is a 1930′s Art Deco chapel.  The Bell Hotel is an 18th century coaching inn and former corn exchange in Driffield, a few miles from Brandesburton. Brad is Australian; there are few buildings in Australia that particularly old, so he loves historic English places.  The Bell, with its beautifully restored oak panelled bars and antiques in every corner, ticked that box.  It was very good value for money, which was also a consideration.

My dress had a huge satin bow in around the middle which stretched along the length of my train. The pale green colour of the bow was echoed in the bridesmaids dresses, men’s cravats and ribbons on the decorations. The shade was also picked up in the flower arrangements, which featured eucalyptus leaves to remind Brad of the trees back home in Australia.

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (21)

My dress was bright white: a strapless satin bodice with a tulle skirt.  It was entirely plain apart from the long green bow. It was from TKMaxx Online.  Brad wore a black tailcoat, grey striped trousers and a silver waistcoat with a pale green cravat.  They were hired from an online outfitters, Formally Yours.  He topped of the outfit with a traditional top hat.

My Maid of Honour, Helen, wore a pale green dress from BHS with matching bolero.  Our little bridesmaid, Madeleine, wore a flower girl dress from an online outlet.  The Best Man, Warren, wore  a tailcoat that matched Brad’s.

I carried a bouquet of eucalyptus, gypsophila and white roses by Judith Tait Flowers.

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (22)

During the service, a choir of four friends sang Bernstein’s ‘Make Our Garden Grow’ from the musical Candide, and ‘A Clare Benediction’ by John Rutter.  They were accompanied by professional musical director Mark Warman.  It was an ethereal sound, giving the ceremony a heavenly feel.

When we came out of the church we saw that some people from the village had come to wish us well, which was very touching.  It meant a lot to me that so many of those who had watched me grow up came to watch me get married.  This was my favourite part of the day.

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (31)

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (45)

Our cake was made by my Auntie Averil.  It was three tiers of rich fruit cake with traditional royal icing, finished with ribbon to match the colour scheme and fresh flowers.

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (55) - Copy

The stationery we used was all brown manila; it was easy to match and inexpensive. We used brown luggage tags for the ‘save the dates,’ place names and the seating plan.

For wedding favours, we had M&Ms printed with our names and a little photograph of us.  We put them in little heart-shaped boxes.

I lived in Scotland for five years and whilst there I fell in love with ceilidh dancing.  Hessle Ceilidh Band had an excellent caller to guide the English and Australian wedding guests through the dances.  It encouraged people who didn’t know each other to mix together and the live music added to the party atmosphere.

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (63) - Copy

We had a mini-moon at Redworth Hall Hotel in County Durham.  We travelled to Australia to celebrate our marriage with Brad’s family in August, before going on to explore Borneo for two weeks.

a tkmaxx wedding dress for a wedding in east yorkshire (c) Walker & Walker Photography  (70)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to practice mindfulness on your wedding day.  It’s a way of focussing your attention on individual moments derived from Buddhism.  Your wedding day is a packed 24 hours and passes so quickly – it’s easy for it to fly past in a blur. Every now and again, take a screen shot of your emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring at that moment. For example, I took a mental picture of exactly how I felt as I was stood in my parents’ front room in my wedding dress, about to leave for the church. It’s a memory I’ll treasure forever.

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isn’t she lovely? enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge – sophie & jeff

August 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (34)

Ahh! Time for your Friday morning cuppa, bacon sarnie and wedding watching.

Friday mornings go so well with catching up on your favourite blogs, don’t they? It’s been a very pretty week here at Brides Up North HQ… take some time to browse… but we’re so excited to bid adieu to August and start our Brides Up North luxury wedding exhibition season with gusto this September and beyond.

One very lovely stop on our journey will be at the drop dead gorgeous Middleton Lodge in Richmond on 12th October 2014. Already gorgeous, this fine, exclusive use wedding venue has just added a brand new boutique hotel and restaurant to it’s offering.  It’s most definitely one with the wow factor, a date for your diaries, and just happens to be the beautiful backdrop to Sophie and Jeff’s wedding day, which we are happy to share with you this morning.

With images by Keith Moss.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (6)

Sophie says: We got engaged after returning from an amazing holiday in Egypt. I think my exact words were, “Just set the date!”

We got married on 3rd May 2014 at St Michael and All Angels church in Middleton Tyas, followed by Middleton Lodge. We found Middleton Lodge after I had provisionally booked another venue while Jeff was working away, and when he went to look around he didn’t like it (groomzila, I know)! I had removed Middleton Lodge from our search as felt it was a little bit too far for our guests to travel but once we went to look round, we fell in love with it. We found the church afterwards with the help of Anna, their wedding coordinator. The church was so pretty, it was perfect.

I picked a striped fabric for my bridesmaid dresses so styling wise, went down this route with pink striped bunting, orders of service and name settings. Our orders of service, name settings and table plan were all designed and created by my friend Christina. It all looked lovely, she did a brilliant job.

Colour wise, I prefer natural colours and trawled Pinterest for months looking for ideas for my bouquet! I went to my florist with a bunch of ideas and they came up with the gorgeous combination of muted pinks, greys and creams.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (25)

I chose an Enzoani dress from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. I actually spotted it whilst out on Bridesmaid duties with my friend who was also getting married. I saw it on the hanger and knew instantly that was the one. I went back a couple of weeks later and tried it on and bought it the same day.

My shoes were Nicholas Kirkwood. I had spotted them in Las Vegas in the September but decided to wait and look once I got home. After trawling the internet and shops I still couldn’t get these shoes out of my head but I had called the Nicholas Kirkwood store and had found out the price –  I thought they were too expensive so continued looking for another pair. I came home one day from work to find them waiting for me! Jeff had ordered them for me as a surprise. I absolutely love them and will definitely wear them again.

My flowers were anemone, verbena and tulips which were created by Darling and Green. I also had a vintage badge attached to the lace on my bouquet as my something old, my mum gave this to me as she had worn the same one on her wedding day

Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Bakers Tailoring. We visited the store in Middlesbrough every Saturday for a month until he finally made a decision on which fabric he liked! Paul at Bakers sourced hundreds of fabric samples for us to choose from. The service was excellent and Jeff chose everything from the buttons,  to how many pockets he wanted and even had a J&S stitched into the blue polka dot lining. He is already planning the suit that he is going to order next!

The bridesmaids wore custom made candy stripe Kate Fearnley dresses and the groomsmen wore dark grey suits from Bakers Tailoring.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (22)

Our photographer was Keith Moss, who I met through a friend when we were working on a fashion project. He also lives in the same village as my parents, and was the photographer at a friends wedding, so I knew that I loved his style of photography. As we are both a little bit scared of the camera, we wanted the majority of our wedding shots to be natural. Also as we got married at 2pm, the last thing we wanted was to spend our wedding day posing for photos! We wanted to be there, and experience our day.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (18)

Darling and Green dressed our wedding reception. This included  a hanging flower ball and floral swag in the speeches hall at Middleton Lodge, cups which spelt out LOVE with flowers in them, petals and floating candles in the font, plus various scattered bottles and jars with flowers in. They also provided the flowers for our wedding cake.

I had also collected a selection of tea lights, plants, candles and lanterns which I used to decorate the venue. As we had the whole place exclusively to ourselves I wanted to decorate every single corner.

We also had Giant LOVE light up letters from Coco Luminaire which provided a fab focal point and wow factor on the dance floor and a Booth Revolution photobooth. To finish our day, we had a karaoke machine in the famous Middleton Lodge cellar bar!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (24)

Having good quality food at our wedding was very important to us and after eating at Middleton Lodge before the wedding, we knew that we would not be disappointed!

My cake was kindly made by my very clever Aunty Andria! We had four tiers of fruit, lemon, red velvet and Victoria sponge.

For our favours we chose personalised biscuits and macaroons for adults and disposable cameras, colouring books and toys for the kids.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (56)

We had Jamie Graham playing acoustic guitar during the day, followed by The Fallen band at our evening reception. We are really into our live music and we wanted a band which was going to get everyone up and dancing!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (58)

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (68)

My favourite part of the day was the speeches. We decided to do the speeches (father of the bride and groom) during the drinks reception. I am so glad we did this, as we wanted to day to feel laid back and not formal at all. We did the speeches on the staircase in the main hall and it was a lovely atmosphere and really got the reception off to a great start.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (71)

For our honeymoon we went to Sugar Ridge in Antigua. It was absolutely beautiful, I felt like I had jumped into a postcard once we saw the gin clear sea and white sandy beaches. The people were so friendly too and the food was fantastic.  Plus, we were often the only people on the beach! It was amazing.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (52)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get your wedding filmed! I wasn’t going to bother but a friend showed me hers and I was hooked! As she said – ‘You can snuggle up on a rainy day with some chocolate and re watch your wedding over and over again’

Our wedding was filmed by Adam Mendum.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (66)

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flower power. maggie sottero for a dreamy rural barn wedding in Yorkshire – amy & andy

August 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (18)

Wow – just wow! This wedding knocked my socks off the moment I received the images of Amy and Andy’s big day set in good old Yorkshire.

The beautiful colour palette of coral, yellow, creams and gold sets the prettiness level sky high and Amy makes one of the most stunning brides I’ve ever seen in her customised Maggie Sottero dress and ethereal twisted-twig flower crown.

There are lots of cute personal touches in this wedding that made for a memorable, stylish and super enjoyable day.

So let’s go back to the start – the proposal. Be warned ladies, it’s a tear jerker (excellent work Andy)!

With photography by Kate Cooper.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (6)

Amy says: Andy proposed on February 16th 2013. He had taken me out for an Italian and when we got home he asked me to stay in the car for a minute and, although confused, I did as I was told. After about five minutes, and almost freezing to death, he came out to get me. When I walked into the house he’d covered the living room in candles and our favourite song, A Real Human by College and Electric Youth, was playing. It was beautiful. As I walked further into the house he’d lit candles up the stairs and alongside the candles were little notes tied to a long ribbon. As I went up the stairs the notes went through all of the best moments we’d had so far including moving in together, our first holiday and bringing home our miniature schnauzer, Enzo.

The ribbon went up the stairs and into the bedroom where it stopped on the bed. The card on the bed told me to turn around and he was down on one knee behind me. We both cried, I said yes and then cried some more down the phone to anyone who’d answer my calls! I loved my proposal and he’d put so much thought into everything. It was such a perfect evening and it made it more special that it was just us two at home.

We set the date for Saturday May 31st 2014. Our plan was to get married later on in the year but my grandparents fell ill and so the most important thing was that they shared our day with us. Unfortunately, two of my grandparents passed away during our engagement but we know they were looking down on us and we tried to make them proud.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (12)

We chose the Whiston Manorial Barn in Rotherham as our wedding venue. We had always loved the idea of having a barn wedding but found it difficult to find exactly what we wanted. When we finally looked around the Manorial Barn we instantly knew it was where we’d marry. It is such a breath-taking place and it was exactly what we’d spent so long looking for. We would definitely recommend this venue to other couples. The women who co-ordinate the weddings at the barn, Claire and Karen, were so helpful and were always at the other end of an email or phone call whenever we needed advice or help.

We didn’t necessarily have a theme for our wedding, but just wanted it to be a fun atmosphere full of colour. We were very unsure about the colour scheme at first but as it was a summer wedding we decided to go for something bright. My favourite colours are coral and yellow and so we wanted to incorporate these and we tied them with creams and gold. We wanted the flowers to be the main focus of the decorations as they added so much colour so we kept everything else quite neutral and it seemed to work well.

We hired a cream Daimler V4 1/2 to transport the bridal party to the venue. As the company were based only 15 minutes away we decided to have just one car to do two trips so my bridesmaids and mum went first and then it came back to collect me and my dad. I remember the wait feeling like forever when really it was only half-an-hour. The service we used was called American Pie Limos, based in Wales, South Yorkshire. We would highly recommend them as they were perfectly on time and free Champagne is always a winner!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (15)

I’m quite into textiles and sewing and so my initial plan was to make my own wedding dress. I had help from my grandma as she used to be a seamstress and we bought a few Vogue patterns to use and modify. Unfortunately around August last year my granddad was diagnosed with cancer and so everything was put on hold. As it was such a stressful time for the family, I decided to visit a bridal shop called Blushes in Sheffield. The shop assistant Zoe, took down my details and potential styles I liked. After describing my ideal dress she pulled one out and it was perfect – well almost. The dress was Dalton by Maggie Sottero but I had it altered quite a lot to fit the design that me and my grandma were initially going to make ourselves. It was supposed to have a zip right up the back which was made into a ‘V’ back and we shortened the sleeves. We also added netting underneath to make it kick out more.

Andy wore a three-piece Hugo Boss suit in steel grey which fitted him perfectly! He had a white shirt with ivory wool tie. He’d also bought a pair of dark brown brogues. He looked so dapper!

We didn’t really have set rules on what our bridesmaids/groomsmen would wear. This was mainly because we wanted them to be able to wear their outfits again and so it was important that they really liked them. The adult bridesmaids, Katherine, Laura and Beth, wore art-deco style taupe gowns embellished with steel beads by Adrianna Papell from House of Fraser. The dresses were gorgeous and the girls looked absolutely stunning! Our nieces and flower girls, Lily and Josie, wore dresses from Monsoon and looked so adorable.

The groomsmen all wore different suits and whatever they felt comfortable in. We just wanted everyone to feel relaxed – and they really brushed up well!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (22)

When it came to our wedding flowers, I carried a bouquet made up of Garden Roses, Peonies, Scabia seed heads, Eucalyptus, Freesia, Craspedia, Panicum Fountain Grasses, Larkspur and Nigella. As mentioned, we wanted the flowers to be the focus of our wedding and they were the main decoration for the barn. The coral, orange and yellow colours tied together beautifully and the florist did such a great job at putting them all together. I also wore a flower crown with just a few flowers on one front side of the band. This was made from twisted stems/twigs and I loved it!

My bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet but the colours were a bit more subtle. Lily had an even smaller bouquet and Josie had a single peony wrapped in ribbon. It was all put together by the very talented Kath who owns Of The Wild in Broomhill, Sheffield. She got everything absolutely spot-on and I actually cried when I saw our flowers because they were so stunning and were exactly what we had asked for. Kath is very highly recommended if you’re after something a little different and more detailed than your average bouquet.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (26)

Our photographer on the day was the amazing Kate Cooper. We arranged an engagement shoot with her beforehand just because Andy and I aren’t the most graceful people in front of a camera. She made us feel so comfortable and laughed along with us when it was a little awkward –  it was fun overall and we soon loosened up. We did get some lovely photos and it definitely set us up for the main event.

We had always liked the idea of our photos being natural and we wanted someone to capture people in naturally happy settings and record the general mood of the day. We did have a few staged photos of family  but the rest we left completely to Kate. We put a great amount of trust in her (sorry Kate) but we knew she’d do an amazing job. We are going to recommend her to anyone in need of a photographer because she is honestly one of the nicest people we have ever met and worked with. We are so thankful that she was there, not only to capture our day, but to help us celebrate. Knowing that Kate was around meant that we could enjoy our day so much more without the worry that the atmosphere wouldn’t be captured and that things would get missed. Kate covered absolutely everything from table settings, venue details, to our terrible first dance and we were speechless when we received our photos. They were simply incredible.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (43)

Our floral decorations added an amazing boost of colour to our tables and brought a summery feel to the venue. To add to the decor, I made a trip to Ikea where I bought polka dot lace fabric and made table runners. We had yellow and orange candles scattered around and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made some lovely bunting for us to tie from the beams. Andy is very artistic and he did a great job of designing all of our table names, seating plan and stationery himself. We had our chair covers done by a lady named Paula from Cover in Style and she also put up some fairy lights for us which looked gorgeous at night when the main lights were dimmed.

Andy’s mum, Margaret, is the best at baking so there was never any question about who would make our wedding cake. We had a few designs in mind but wanted to keep it quite simple. We finally decided on a deep two-tier cake with little icing beads at the bases and a large pink peony on top. One tier was Victoria sponge and the other chocolate and we decorated the cake board with gold glitter to tie it all together. It was so delicious! Margaret also made us our wedding favours which were little heart shaped shortbread biscuits topped with white icing and gold glitter sprinkles – yum!

Our wedding menu consisted of pate for starters, ‘Chicken Manorial Barn’ for main, which was chicken in puff pastry served with vegetables, and then Andy’s favourite for dessert – treacle sponge. The food was provided by the staff at the Manorial Barn and it was well presented and gorgeous! For the reception we also hired Emily’s Ice Cream Bike who provided our guests with yummy ice cream in all sorts of flavours. If anyone hires them they’d be a fool not to choose Jaffa Cake ice cream, it was so good!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (33)

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (37)

We wanted to keep things simple at the reception and just enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment so we simply had a DJ provided by the barn as our entertainment. He was great and we were able to put together our own playlist before the night. We incorporated this into our wedding invites and asked guests to suggest a song to dance to. The responses were somewhat interesting but it just made it that bit more personal for the guests and everyone really enjoyed it. We had dance-offs, dirty dancing lifts (ending with collapsed tables and red wine on white shirts) and general sassiness, especially from the boys!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (42)

There were several special touches on the day which helped to make it all the more personal and memorable. We both wrote our own vows for the ceremony as we found the standard vows very basic and not very personal. We decided not to show each other until we read them in front of each other on the day which made it that much more exciting! They were both very different but it is something we will both remember and we kept the books we wrote them in so we can look back at them from time to time.

My nan also lent me her wedding pearls for the ceremony which I thought was very touching. The pearls had been worn by my nan, my mum and my auntie on their wedding days so it was an honour to be able to wear them. I had decided to put the necklace on just before leaving my parents house but as I put it on one of the strings snapped and it was then a mad rush to fix it. Luckily my matron of honour, Katherine, whipped out a sewing kit and gave it to me all brand new when I arrived at the barn. My other nan had always kept a bottle cork with a penny stuck through the middle of it. I was told this was supposed to be good luck but with my bouquet I was unable to carry it, so it got stuck in my bra – classy!

Andy’s dancing also added a certain special touch to the day. It’s not possible to describe this – it has to be seen to be believed, trust me!

I have so many favourite moments but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the ceremony. I loved that we were able to say our own vows and that it was so personal to us. It was made more perfect that all of our family and friends were together in one space and the moment we became husband and wife was the happiest I’ve ever felt in my whole life. Secondary to that would have to be the moment Andy threw himself at his best man, James, when Time of Our Lives (Dirty Dancing) came on. They both flew backwards, into a table and ended up covered in red wine. Andy got up the next morning and said “where did all of this wine come from?” He was mortified when I told him!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (49)

Andy surprised me with a trip to America for our honeymoon. We flew to Washington and once on the plane Andy told me what we would be doing. I cried when he started telling me that we would be transferring from Washington to San Francisco then renting an RV to drive around California and back up the coast. Andy arranged everything perfectly and I’m so grateful to him!

Our advice to other couples would be don’t dwell too much on the materialistic things. Sometimes things don’t work out how you imagine them to and it’s not the end of the world. Of course there are bound to be problems along the way, but for us it all came down to family. All we wanted was to be surrounded by the ones we love the most and to make sure that everyone had as much of a good time as we did. Planning our wedding has taught us to think about the bigger picture and to try not to get carried away with things that really don’t matter that much in hindsight. Our parents and families helped us every step of the way during our wedding planning and we are still completely overwhelmed with how amazing these people are. We will never forget their generosity and kindness.

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vintage allstars. a pretty wedding at The KP Club – jennifer & jonathan

August 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (30)

Jen and Jonny’s fun and fresh, 50′s themed, DIY wedding at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue, the KP Club,  is just what the doctor ordered to get us through Tuesday morning. And hey, don’t forget it’s a bank holiday weekend coming up… win,win or what?!

Be bright, be beautiful.

With images by SDS Photography.

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (27)

Jennifer says: We got engaged on New Years Eve 2010, in Disneyland, Paris! Jonny proposed in one of the few quiet spots in Disney (in the Swiss Family Robinson tree house!) where we had a great view of Cinderella Castle, all lit up.

We were married on 21st June 2014. We chose this date because it was the first day of British summertime, and also the longest day of the year.

We got married in the village church where Jonny grew up (St Catherine’s Church, Barmby Moor, York), which was only a few miles from where I grew up. We both live in the South now, so it was lovely to travel home for a few days to see our friends and family. The vicar who Jonny grew up with had long since retired, but agreed to come back and perform the ceremony for us.

The reception venue was the KP Club, a few miles from the church. It is in the town where we went to secondary school (Pocklington) – which is where we they first met! It has beautiful views over the Yorkshire wolds.

We would definitely recommend the KP Club. At first we were unsure whether we could make the place unique, but we certainly did! It is a (beautiful) blank canvas for you to do whatever you want with, but would also look amazing without decorations! It was very spacious (we had the whole top floor, with two rooms and a bar area) but still felt very intimate. There were huge windows with views over the golf course, and the Yorkshire wolds. The staff were very helpful and pleasant and everything ran so smoothly. There are even lodges on the site where guests could stay over without worrying about travel. We both stayed in a honeymoon suite which had a hot tub!

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We orginally planned on a 1950s theme – primarily because we both love Frankie & Bennys! My wedding dress was based on a 1950s, Grace Kelly style and the bridesmaid dresses were also very 50s. We had music playing by ‘The Baseballs’ who are a modern band but their style is very much in that era.

We opted for a colour palette of sea green and pinks. We wanted a colour that wasn’t too girly and was less common in weddings, so we went for the turquiose colour. Pale and hot pinks went with it really well, and after finding the bridesmaid dresses to match, it was perfect!

I am a graphic designer and lovs crafty things, so handmade a lot of the wedding. I made a seating plan out of wooden pegs, which I put each guest’s name on and allowed them to take theirs home at the end of the night.

We are also grateful to have such talented friends and family who helped us out and made sure the wedding was personal. It was also important to us to make them all feel involved in the wedding and had a part to play.

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My dress was from Wedding Warehouse, a shop in Leeds which sells ex-wedding fayre dresses. They were a year ahead in terms of style, so my dress will be available to buy in 2015. I tried on a few first that I thought were what I was after (long lace sleeves, high neck) but I felt I looked too old in them all! I went back into the room and there was one hanging up, out of its bag. It was nothing like what I was looking for (very big and princess-like!) but my best friend told me to try it on, so I did. I went home to think it over, and decided I had to back and get it! It was all lace, with little lace cap sleeves and a keyhole back (very beautiful, which is why I decided to have my hair swept to the side to show it off!). It puffed out from just below the waist, with beautiful delicate lace all over the skirt. My full length veil was borrowed from my sister from her wedding, which went perfectly with my dress.

Jonny wore a brown herringbone jacket from House of Fraser, with similar (but not matching) trousers, a white shirt, waistcoat and sea green tie. He also wore brown leather brogues from Next.

My bridesmaids wore 1950s style rockabilly dresses with a lovely turquoise and pink floral pattern – bought from Amazon from a seller called bluemagik. The bridesmaids were different shapes and sizes but the style looked great on them all. They each wore their own shoes which were different colours – we just wanted them to feel comfortable! One of the bridesmaids Kath, who is also one of my sisters, handmade little pink paper roses – some of which the bridesmaids had in their hair. I also gave each of them a handbag bought from Ebay, personalised with each of their initials on.

The bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets were put together by my bridesmaids. They just had bunches of baby’s breath (gypsophila) tied together with ribbon, and I had baby’s breath with flowers from a family friend’s garden (including pink roses and peonies).

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Our photographers were Sarah-Jane & Simon, from SDS Photography. We would hugely recommend them, because they were just perfect. They have the skills to make amazing photos, but also the creativity to try new things and make sure your wedding is truly unique. Their attention to detail is exceptional, and their incredible efficiency meant that the formal group photos were over so quickly (a relief for everybody!) They completely understand that everybody is different. We didn’t want any awkward poses or generic wedding photos, but we didn’t even have to tell them – they just seemed to know what was ‘us’.  We wanted a ‘pretty, informal’ style and they nailed it. They captured expressions we didn’t know we’d made and hugs we didn’t know we’d given.

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In the church, I put other flowers from the garden in painted bean cans, and in paper cones (made from wallpaper samples) on the end of the pews. A lovely old lady in the village started a flower arrangement for us, which my bridesmaid and I went to finish the day before the wedding, using flowers bought from the market and from friends’ gardens.

After the church ceremony we decided to have afternoon tea. It was lovely because it meant people could have nibbles and refreshments, so they weren’t too hungry waiting for the meal at 5pm! It also meant that people could stay and chat, including the vicar and organist, who don’t usually get to see guests. Family members made all the cakes, including my mum, Jonny’s mum and Jonny’s grandma. We had vintage tea cups and saucers laid out, and big drinks dispensers filled with pink lemonade.

Oringially we wanted a cake of different cheeses, but didn’t want the guests who like traditional wedding cake to be left out – so we had both! My mum made the fruit cakes, and Jonny’s mum made sponge cakes and decorated the whole cake. She handmade peonies made from icing using our wedding colours, and cascaded them down the cake. My best friend Claire made two little birds out of clay to go on the top – it was perfect! We then had a cake of cheeses brought out in the evening (we both love cheese!).

For our favours, we gave out jars of goodies! They were filled with homemade strawberry jam, rhubarb jam, apple chutney and gooseberry chutney which me and my mum made. I made labels for each one and tied fabric around the top. Each guest was given a sticker with their name on, which they were to stick to a jar of their choice.

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As a secret wedding present, I bought Jonny a pair of personalised Converse All Stars, which I gave to him on the day. I also got a pair for myself (of course) which matched the wedding colour scheme! We each had their new surname on (Ledger) and we put them on in the evening so we could dance the night away! (very comfy).

We didn’t really want to do a first dance – we love dancing, but not slow dancing (with everybody watching!). However, we both love music, so decided to write a song and perform it to the guests. It was called “When we’re old”, and had funny lyrics about what we’ll still be doing when we’ve been married for many years. As a further surprise, the band we hired for the evening (Move it like Friday) suggested providing backing music for us – which we accepted! They came in with drums and bass in the chorus – it was great!

We used Abbey Sound & Light, based in Selby, to hire our dancefloor and stage for the band. We would highly recommend them – mainly because we booked them very last minute, and they managed to sort us out with something! They’re very reasonably priced and were efficient delivering and collecting the items. The black and white checked dancefloor looked great!

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Another thing which made the day very special was the arrival of our first niece, Olivia. My sister gave birth the day before the wedding, but still managed to make it to the ceremony with the baby! We had photographs taken with her, which will be lovely to look back on.

For our honeymoon, we went to Disneyworld, Florida! We both love theme parks (particularly Disney ones!) and having got engaged at Disneyland Paris, we felt it was appropriate :) We went for two weeks and alternated between the four main parks and waterparks. We were on a dining plan so got loads to eat – too much! Many burgers and chicken nuggets, but it was delicious. We each got a novelty hat – I got white Minnie Mouse ears with a veil attached, and Jonny got a Goofy hat with Micky ears (many people commented on how I had married Goofy!). We went on all our favourite rides, and I even got to meet my favourite character, Baloo!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning stage – don’t do too much at once, and don’t leave things to do on the day before or on the day! (like I did – eek!). Do ask friends and family for help – they love to feel involved.

And most of all, enjoy the day. Guests will have a good time no matter what, so just focus on the two of you making memories.

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all things bright and beautiful for a city centre wedding – katy & tony

August 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (39)

The spate of sunshine we’ve been having recently may have been interrupted with a few bleak breaks this week but this bright and beautiful wedding is guaranteed to inject a big boost of colour and happiness into your day.

Creative couple Tony and Katy tied the knot in the super city of Sheffield, starting off with their ceremony in the stunning Town Hall before moving onto the nearby Workstation for a fabulous afternoon tea and evening celebrations.

To really make the day their own they included lots of vibrant decorations, quirky homemade touches and beautiful blooms, all of which was captured perfectly by their talented photographer.

With images by Photography34

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Katy says: We got engaged on New Year’s Day 2013. We had been to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party and Tony had taken the ring, but he couldn’t find the right moment when we were both alone.  The following morning we both woke up early and Tony asked me what I was doing for the rest of my life as he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and then produced my beautiful ring! I cried a little and then called the world.

We set the date for Saturday May 24th 2014. We wanted to get married over a Bank Holiday as we had lots of guests who would be travelling a distance so we were keen to make sure they had plenty of time to party and recover.

I think we must have viewed almost every venue in Yorkshire, but we couldn’t find anything which would allow us to create the different look and feel we were hoping for within our budget. We are both from Sheffield and love to city so when we found the Workstation which is part of the Showroom Cinema and met Mark the sales manager, it ticked all the boxes. He was so accommodating and because the venue is an exhibition centre he allowed us to dress it exactly how we wanted. We originally wanted to get married at the same place as our reception but this was not possible at the Workstation so we started to look for somewhere close by. We had walked past Sheffield Town Hall hundreds of times but had never been inside. Once we did we were blown away by how beautiful the building was, especially the fabulous staircase.

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Very early on in our wedding planning I discovered Pinterest, and began pinning ideas to a mood board. We knew the venue was going to need a lot of dressing so we decided to hire someone to help with this. Jennie from Hansley Beard came highly recommended by our venue and she did a fabulous job of keeping me calm, my ideas focused and she planned the design to the finest detail, we could not have done it without her.

We knew we wanted to do things differently and we wanted the whole feel of the day to be bright, colourful, fun and homemade. We both like colour – our house is full of it. We originally found some bright material which we liked at The Range store, we used this as the basis for our colour scheme, they had paper, buttons etc all in the same collection which was great. Bright coloured ribbons and buttons then became the main theme throughout the wedding. We didn’t want a traditional wedding so decided that lots of bright colours would really help create a different atmosphere. We are so happy that we went with these colours in the end as our wedding day turned out to be raining and gloomy but the colours helped keep everyone bright and cheery!

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I always knew that I wanted a fitted lace dress and I fell in love with Pippa, a Sassi Holford dress which was well over my budget.  I searched the internet and to my complete amazement I found Silk Bridal in Litchfield selling a sample of this dress in my size. I would highly recommend this bridal shop – they made my wedding dress experience so memorable. Helen, the seamstress, could not do enough to help with my alterations and every time we visited the shop I was made to feel just as special as the last. My friend Serena, very kindly lent me her beautiful Jenny Packham headband for my something borrowed. I’m actually selling my dress it is currently listed on eBay and preloved. Although I will be very sad to see this dress go, it would give me great pleasure for another bride to have a chance to wear a fabulous Sassi Holford dress.

Tony wore a bright blue tailored three-piece suit from Moss Bros in Meadowhall, homemade emerald green tie and shoes from Ted Baker.

I knew that I didn’t want traditional bridesmaid dresses or anything too formal; I wanted something that they would wear again so they wore emerald green maxi dresses from Mango which were accessorised with belts from H&M.  The best man wore a bright blue suit from Moss Bros and our page boy, my nephew, wore a little navy suit from Next, a homemade emerald green bow tie and some white Converse boots which he loved!

Tony’s mum’s friend made all the bouquets and button holes. I picked the flowers for these, along with the flowers for the venue, from the Parkway Flower Market in Sheffield. I had a hand-tied bouquet with bright flowers including Gerberas,Ranunculus, Gentian and Craspedia. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar, just a bit smaller. All the bouquets had ribbons hanging from the stems.

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We both share a love for VWs, especially retro split screen camper vans and we knew that we couldn’t arrive any other way. We hired the stunning ‘Johnny’ from Something old Something New. As our venues were close together we were able to use the same van for the whole wedding party.

We were let down by a friend who was originally planning on doing our photography, very close to the wedding day. Tony at Photography34 was recommended to us and to our delight he was available on our date. Choosing Tony was the best decision we made, after getting married of course! He had a very relaxed, natural style and went above and beyond. He made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day. Our guests noted how hard he worked on the day. Most importantly he captured all the detail, fun and laughter of the day.

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When we started planning we decided that we wanted things to be as personal as possible and make as much ourselves as we could. Having ‘Brown Owl’ as my mother-in-law-to-be made this a lot easier. Jennie from Hansley Beard helped us to create our desired look with lots of help from our bridesmaids, best man and friends. We had homemade bunting, pom poms, table numbers, seating plan, card box, paper covered jars as centre pieces. We also used fairy lights to decorate the mezzanine. We had bright coloured ribbons hanging from the back of all the chairs and a ribbon drop which cascaded from the mezzanine to the dance floor. I went to the Parkway Flower Market with Jennie, other than Gerberas which are my favourite flowers I wasn’t that particular, it was mainly the colours I was looking for. We incorporated all the flowers from the bouquets as well as Golden Glory, lime green and yellow bloom Chrysanthemums. Jennie then arranged all the flowers for the venue and centre pieces, and made these look great, she truly was amazing!

Tony’s mum and I made homemade rhubarb jam for our favours. The rhubarb was home grown in Tony’s dad’s allotment.

I love baking so the wedding cake was very important. We had a four-tiered cake covered with bright coloured hearts. The actual cake was striped coloured Victoria sponge with butter cream and made by Gemma at Iced Gems. We had two wooden birds with matching hearts as cake toppers which we got from Etsy.

We didn’t want to have a formal three-course wedding meal so we decided to have afternoon tea with prosecco for our wedding breakfast.  In the evening we had pie and peas with plenty of Henderson’s relish!

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The entertainment was really important to us, we wanted a big party with all our friends and family, and I love to dance. For our ceremony we had a friend, Rebecca Guy sing and play her guitar. As a wedding present my parents got Paul Pashley, Sheffield’s answer to Michael Bublé, to sing at our evening reception. Not only does he have an amazing voice, he was a little bit of eye candy for the ladies. We then had a DJ who played us into the early hours.

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We did include quite a few special touches in our big day. Tony’s mum made a very cute ring cushion for Reuben, our page boy, in the same material as the bunting and sewed buttons all over it, he was very proud of his special job.

We hired some beautiful vintage crockery from Jameson’s Tearoom for the afternoon tea, and one of the highlights was their teacup glasses which we served the prosecco in.

We chose big illuminated ‘LOVE’ letters from Typical Type as a backdrop to our dance floor, and our homemade photo booth and they were the talk of all our guests. Once we had decided on the letters it helped us decide on our first dance – L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole sang by Paul Pashley.

We both share a love of sweets, so a sweet table was a must. We brought in our theme by laying the table with ribbons, we used the same paper we had used for the centre pieces for the sweet labels and homemade pin wheels, and then had bright coloured paper fans as the backdrop to the table.

I found a finger print poster tree from Etsy which was a wonderful alternative to a guest book. Our guests added their fingerprints as ‘leaves’ to the tree and wrote their names. We now have this framed and it acts as a daily reminder of our special day and the guests we shared it with.

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My favourite part of the wedding day came at the end of our first dance. Jennie, who had helped us to design our wedding day, had arranged with our guests to drop all the off cuts from the ribbons from the mezzanine above the dance floor. This was a total surprise and the only thing throughout the day which we had not planned for. This was an amazing moment which Tony, our photographer, captured perfectly and we have used one of these images for our thank you cards.

We went on honeymoon two days after or wedding; we spent two days is Dubai and eight in the Maldives. Dubai was very hot and we packed in a lot within the two days; tours of the city and a dessert safari. Then the Maldives, which was absolute paradise, was the total opposite to Dubai, quiet and relaxing, which was exactly what we needed after the wedding.

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My advice to other Brides Up North would be to do what makes you happy and have the day that you want, not what others expect of you. That is so important. You want to look back on your day and know that you had it exactly how you wanted it. It doesn’t matter if this doesn’t follow traditions or you think people won’t like your ideas, as long as you do, that’s all that matters. Tony’s advice would be at some point during the wedding breakfast, to go around each table and speak with your guests and thank them for coming, as it’s a very busy day and you don’t get chance to spend very much time with anyone. Our collective advice is to make sure you both take time together to have a few moments to take everything in as the day will go past so fast.

It rained for the most of our day, but like Louis Armstrong sang, we didn’t care what the weather man said, when the weatherman said it was raining as you didn’t hear us or anyone else complaining!

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simple treasures. a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall

August 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (41)

Sometimes, elegance speaks for itself.

This simple yet glamourous bridal shoot at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue, Denton Hall, was put together by makeup artist Charlotte Hubbard of Leeds and photographer James Mieskowski of Sugarbird Photography, Halifax.

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Charlotte says: James and I have collaborated on various fashion photography shoots in the past and wanted to showcase Yorkshire’s beautiful countryside and the skills of our local wedding industry creatives (see the Little White Book for details) in this styled piece with ballerina Steph Elstob.

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I wanted to create a natural soft bridal look for our model to compliment the pale floral colours. I used pink and soft beiges with natural effect false lashes by Eyelure to highlight her beautiful eyes. For touch ups and shadows I always rely on YSL’s ‘Touche Èclat to even the skin tone and bring light to the face.

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (21)

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (47)

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (52)

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