June 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Quirky and fun was the order of the day for teacher couple Andy and Sammi’s winter wedding. After an early morning visit to the registry office decked out in Christmas jumpers, this unconventional pair headed to 18th century corn mill, Fishlake Mill, for their stunning outdoor ceremony lit by candles and fairy lights.
Guests enjoyed a hog roast, a shot cake, hot chocolate and mulled wine and the entertainment just kept coming with a live band, a magician, photobooth and a string quartet. Phew – sounds exhausting!
No wonder bride Sammi says it was all a “bit of a blur’”. Here, she tells us more…
With images by Lara Frost Photography.
sammi says: We got engaged in the Lake District. We’ve been visiting the Lake District during October half-term with family every year since we met, and hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.
On this particular visit, we had a week with family and then a week on our own. On one of the days it was particularly sunny, so we went on a long walk around Elterwater. Looking back, the day was filled with many opportunities for a beautiful proposal up on the moors with stunning views. After sitting on a rocky ledge admiring the countryside with the sun setting for an abnormally long amount of time and a very tense Andy… we went home.
Following this, we then went to an incredible Michelin starred restaurant (which was amazing despite feeling slightly out of place with our strong Yorkshire accents – barely understood by the poor waiter – and complete cluelessness about half of the items on the menu which led to a lot of nodding and smiling). Not that we were too concerned though, as a few drinks helped us blend into our swanky surroundings rather quickly – in our eyes. It was a fantastic evening and has left us with lots of memories. Still no ring though…
Finally, on the journey home, I was really cold and asked to borrow Andy’s coat. He refused, because of the ring in his pocket. As we got to the edge of the lake where our lodge was, he got down on one knee and proposed. Although it wasn’t quite what he’d originally planned, it was still perfect.
Our wedding date was 21st December 2016. We chose the date partly because it fitted with the school holidays – we’re both teachers – and partly because we liked the idea of a winter wedding but mostly because we loved the idea of getting married as the sun was setting with lots of fairy lights and candles (and a more flattering light for photos).
We got married at Fishlake Mill in South Yorkshire, as they had a beautiful pagoda and would let us have our ceremony outside in mid-December – no matter what the weather (we were hoping for the best). We did the legal bit at the registry office early that morning with two witnesses, all dressed in Christmas jumpers. We didn’t consider this as our ‘official’ ceremony, although it technically was.
To us, our ‘actual’ ceremony was led by a close family friend, Andrea Bonser, a celebrant who made our ceremony quirky and humorous – perfect, we thought, to reflect us. Also, she too was willing to marry us at 3.45pm, outside, mid-December no matter the weather.
The theme? As I said, we were going for quirky and fun. Hopefully it came across like that, anyway. We aimed for a less formal affair than normal, starting our wedding at 3.45pm and, rather than a sit down meal, we had a hog roast. We changed quite a lot of the traditional elements; instead of a fruit cake, for example, we had a ‘shot’ cake, which seemed to go down well and certainly settled our nerves.
I wore an ivory drop-waist dress from It’s Bliss Bridalwear. I chose it as I thought it was wintery in style and matched our loose theme quite well. For shoes, I wore black sparkly wellies and warm, fluffy socks when outside and some little sparkly heels for inside.
Andy wore a tweed three-piece suit and a bow tie from Moss Bros.
June 1st, 2017 | Julia Braime
Well, its been an absolutely EPIC Spring season of luxury bridal events, all with our unique and fun-loving Brides Up North spin on ’em (our shows really are the best in the business!), but we’re not quite done just yet…
We’ve already told you about our UNVEILED Wedding Wonderland, taking place at Rockliffe Hall this weekend, but for you Yorkshire brides and grooms, we couldn’t end the season without one last festival-style hooray!
We’re extending the WEDFEST’17 ever so naughtily, with one more pop up wedding festival fair, this weekend at Bolton Abbey lakeside, in partnership with events experts Dine, with elegant canvas canopies – an aurora sailcloth marquee and two hat tipi – by our friends at Shades and Tipi Chic. THIS Sunday 4th June 2017, 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY for registered brides (one registration needed per vehicle),
The event has grown a little since we signed off on our artwork above, and we now have nearly 30 of Yorkshire’s finest suppliers in attendance, and every detail covered for your big day, all under our warm and weatherproof structures (so don’t mind if theres a spot of rain on the forecast… the pretty goes on!) in this area of absolutely stunning natural beauty, in the shade of the historic Abbey.
Occupying a superb position alongside the River Wharfe, this wonderful North Yorkshire location offers a fantastic combination of historic natural countryside setting with the most luxurious facilities. The marquee site provides the perfect place to take in the views of the spectacular Wharfe valley and the Abbey ruins, whilst watching the sun set over the river.
Dine have launched a number of exquisite marquee locations, all of them individual and offering you an exclusive setting to host your marquee celebration. If you have set your heart on a marquee wedding, but aren’t sure of the next steps, come along on Sunday to speak to their dedicated experts.
To pre-register for a FREE VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags) and FREE ENTRY, fill in your details below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Show. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
VIP Bride-To-Be Media Packs available while stocks last only.
Your data will not be shared with third parties without permission.
This event is now SOLD OUT but we would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2017 and beyond. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Shows across three regions.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space. Consequently, we expect demand to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
May 31st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
If hump day has hit you twice as hard following the long weekend, join us as we escape to a peaceful part of Yorkshire to indulge in this idyllic styled bridal shoot.
Headed up by photographer Jenny Maden, the shoot features the handiwork of a small collaborative of Yorkshire wedding suppliers who have combined their skills to produce a whimsical set of images with beautiful styling inspo for your big day.
Now, put that spreadsheet to one side and enjoy scanning through the pretty as Jenny explains how it all came together…
With images by Jenny Maden Photography
jenny says: I absolutely love styled shoots as they provide an opportunity to get creative with all things pretty, and with fewer time constraints than an actual wedding day. It also allows me to work with some awesome suppliers across the industry, who love what they do – and do it brilliantly.
For this shoot, I once again teamed up with the lovely Angela of Floral Dance to provide the wonderful blooms and to help on the styling. The gorgeous bridalwear was provided by Amelia’s Bridal, while makeup was taken care of by Carolyn Christina Beauty and hair was styled by Marisa at Bijou, based in Horsforth.
As with our prior styled shoots, we wanted to keep the look both pretty and rustic and incorporate the beauty of the great outdoors as much as possible. As such we chose a scene riverside location in Yorkshire to capture the shoot. It’s a real hidden gem, with such a great variety of backdrops and shooing angles, in a relatively small area. The bridge, the pebbles, the water and the foliage all added to the final collection of images.
May 24th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’ve been out on the road again discovering some of the north’s finest wedding venues to help inspire and inform you on the wonderful choices of settings that are out there for your big day celebrations.
For our latest research, I travelled to one of my very favourite UK cities, York – and more specifically its beautiful Principal York hotel.
You may well have walked past this stunning venue numerous times not realising the beauty that lays within its grand walls – I know I’m certainly guilty of doing so! For the hotel is ideally located next to York Train Station, putting a big tick in the guest accessibility box, but in turn this means I’ve previously been concentrating too much on navigating my way into the city centre and so have overlooked this gem of a wedding venue that’s laid right before my eyes!
But an overnight stay there just before Easter has put this venue well and truly on the map for me. During our visit, myself and my boyfriend Andy got to experience its wonderful hospitality, accommodation and food and drink as well as viewing its desirable function spaces, which are perfect for an uber chic city wedding.
Catering for up to 250 wedding guests and fully licensed for civil ceremonies, The Principal can host weddings of all sizes and preferences with helpful and experienced staff, amazing food and drink and truly stunning spaces as standard!
And even if you’ve already sorted your wedding venue, I urge you to read on – as this is certainly an ideal retreat for a relaxing and indulgent city break, pre-or post-wedding!
Arriving at the Grade II listed hotel for our stay, the first thing to strike me was the hotel’s perfectly manicured gardens and views out over to the York Minster – though in the bustle of the historic city, a feeling of calm instantly washed over me as we stepped into the lobby.
The interior of the hotel is nothing short of wow-worthy too, with late-Victorian features including beautifully decorative high ceilings, ornate wood panelling and towering pillars, complemented by elegant and modern furnishings, such as opulent mirrors, chandeliers and soft furnishings. Seriously this place is like Pinterest interior heaven!
Following a warm welcome, we were directed to our Deluxe Room with gorgeous views of the gardens. The high-level of interior design continues into the accommodation with the hotel’s 155 bedrooms beautifully refurbished as part of a multi-million pound investment in The Principal, resulting in a classic and comfortable stay. As an added extra we’d been left a little hamper of Yorkshire treats in our room including tea bags, chutney, sweet delights and even a quirky tea towel and bottle of wine!
As we’re in the process of moving house we were keen to enjoying being away from boxes and packing tape, and so headed straight to the bar for a prosecco and pint (bubbles were for me, of course).
The hotel’s Chapter House bar has also benefitted from the investment refurb and has a warm speakeasy vibe about it, decorated in sumptuous deep tones with high tables, leather booths and waiters donning braces and bowties. Next time you’re in York call be sure to call in for one of their signature cocktails.
After watching the world go by and inhaling several drinks (we blame the moving stress) we were shown through to the Refectory Kitchen & Terrace for our evening meal. The dining area has a lovely light and airy feel about it, with exposed brick walls, glass ceiling and botanical details.
We ordered bread, olives and a smooth bottle of Italian red while we browsed the menu and tried to narrow down the delicious-sounding options from ‘Rectory Favourites’ to those ‘From the Grill’ and seasonal dishes too.
I decided on the spiced Yorkshire lamp rump served with sweet and sour relish, capers, potato fondant and a red wine sauce, while Andy went for an 8oz sirloin steak with all the trimmings. Both dishes were presented beautifully, portions were ample without being over-facing and both meats were cooked to perfection. The different tastes and flavours on my plate were A* standard and the triple cooked chips served up with the steak may just have stolen the show!
Though rather full from the richness of the food and wine, we couldn’t resist a dessert to share and so asked the waiter for a recommendation – “the pannacotta is something else” – and he wasn’t wrong! The silky buttermilk pannacotta was accompanied by raspberry jelly and mini doughnuts (yes, doughnuts!) – all together it felt like a high-class take on ice cream and jelly, and who wouldn’t like that?!
Full almost to the brim, we moved into the serene lounge area to finish our wine before retiring for the evening to one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in.
May 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Editor’s note: We were saddened to wake up this morning to the horrific news of the Manchester arena attack. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families on this dreadful day. We hope that our readers – no matter where you live – all draw your loved ones close for an extra kiss or hug this evening. Love always x
We’re thrilled to be introducing another Brides Up North Sponsor to the blog, Jeanette Moorhouse of Booootiful Cakes.
As her business name suggests, this talented lady designs and creates show-stopping cakes to suit a whole range of preferences, themes and styles; from intricately iced and fancy floral creations, to metallic and marble masterpieces.
And her skills don’t end there – for these sweet spectacles also taste as good as they look with fabulous flavours all part of the offering!
Baking for Yorkshire-based Jeanette is more than a job, it’s a passion that’s been passed on through her family…
Tell us how your interest in baking first began and why you decided to start your own cake business?
jeanette says: As the daughter of a master baker, I was brought up with a love of cakes and so my father is my main inspiration.
At eighteen I studied decoration and flour confectionery at Thomas Danby College, Leeds, and after a number of years in the industry, I then went on to Slattery’s in Manchester to study the Art of Chocolatiering.
My father and I worked together for eight years until I moved to America to stay with friends and revaluate my career.
So, I’ve been full circle – from master baker’s daughter to watching the cake trade change from fruit cake royal icing to fondant icing, technics altering over 40 years and a few career changes along the way back round to the wedding cake trade that I was born in to.
Where do you get the inspiration from for your cake designs?
Inspiration comes from everywhere: from listening to brides and grooms (really listening), talking to other people in the industry and looking at venues to colour palettes, to the changing seasons of the year and the ever-changing fashions of wedding dresses.
What is it that you love about your job and working in the wedding industry?
I love seeing the pictures of the weddings after they have taken place to see the couple’s visions become a reality. From the venue to the details, I really love all aspects of a wedding day.
If a couple book you to make their wedding cake what is the process?
When a customer enquiries with me, we initially through their likes and dislikes in cake so that when they come for their free consultation I’ve prepared a variety of desirable flavours to taste. Designing comes after we have gone through various size options, as well as shapes, detailing and themes.
Tell us about the different styles of cake that you create and the flavours that you offer?
All our cakes are hand crafted to the highest standards, fully personalised to brides’ and grooms’ exact requirements and as such my service is fully bespoke and each design is individual.
The cakes I design vary from simple, plain styles decorated with ribbon to more intricate and colourful designs featuring iced flowers, ruffles or butterflies. Marble and metallic style cakes are also becoming more popular among my couples.
In terms of flavourings, I offer everything from classic vanilla, fruit and chocolate to more unusual flavours such as mocha, coconut and lime and red velvet. I’m also happy to take requests if there’s something special that a couple has in mind.
Where would you advise couples to get inspiration from for their wedding cake?
I always say to couples not to get bogged down with all the themes out there and to go with what they originally love as a couple. The moment comes down to the bride and groom cutting their cake on their big day and I want them to really love the cake that they choose.
What sets you apart from other wedding cake companies?
Booootiful Cakes prides itself on creating wedding cakes that make the cutting of the cake as special as the day itself. Each cake is crafted from the finest ingredients, all locally from around West Yorkshire, so that the cake not only looks amazing but tastes even better. The wow factor is truly at the heart of Booootiful Cakes and the attention to detail must be seen to be believed.
What is the feedback like from clients? What do they love about our cakes?
It is my belief that what’s on the inside of a cake should be as good as the outside, my couples feel the same way and always comment on the taste being as wonderful as the design.
May 19th, 2017 | Julia Braime
To round off a winning week of blog posts we have this heart-achingly beautiful styled shoot put together by a talented collaborative of suppliers in rural North Yorkshire.
With Brides Up North Sponsor and exceptionally creative stylist Louise Hughes of One Stylish Day, at the helm of the design for the shoot, the end result was only ever going to be a set of stunning images brimming with stylish inspo for your big day.
So ladies, prepare to spend the rest of your Friday afternoon lost in world of natural wedding beauty. Sorry, not sorry!
With images by Nicola Dixon Photography.
nicola says: I organised the shoot as part of my styled shoot workshops for amateur and pro photographers. I chose Camp Katur for the location because I love outdoor wedding venues, and really wanted to add this venue to my portfolio. The outdoor woodland ceremony at Camp Katur is really unique and was a really big pull for me. I knew Lucy MacNicoll, the florist and Louise the stylist, could create something really special in that area. And they did. Watching them at work was awe-inspiring. This styled shoot was probably my most memorable because of the team, that creative energy was present through-out the whole day, all the attendees of the workshop felt it too.
I think the shoot came to life fairly naturally, Louise and I threw around words like kinfolk, organic and wild and Louise put together a moodboard for Lucy and I.
There really was something magical in the air that day, I know I was on a natural high for days. When a group of creatives come together and bring a vision to life for a group of photographers to photograph and marvel at, hearing everyone’s ‘wows’ when they saw the styled areas made all the emails and planning worthwhile. So much so that we have planned a couple more styled shoots for 2017 as it really felt like a dream team.
louise says: Styling wise, I wanted to steer away from the ‘boho’ look, which this style of venue can naturally call for. Instead I wanted to go with a fresh approach to outdoor weddings and focus on slow living with an essence of stillness and calm.
The shoot focused on a deep respect for the surroundings with a vision that the tablescape design did not look out of place in any way, but blended with the backdrop effortlessly.
The intent was to create a design inspired by the Danish Hygge aesthetic, with elements that looked like they had been gathered and swept up from the surrounding forest floor but with pops of soft highlights and rich toned accents. A key focus was on highlighting the beauty of the outdoors, whatever the season.
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