Brides Up North

tweed & country. a dramatic bridal shoot in Cheshire

November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (2)

Designed and shot by husband and wife team Kristin & Mark (collectively Mr & Mrs W), I’ve a styled bridal treat lined up for you today!  With rich colours, dramatically dark styling and texture galore, this is a decadent close to an autumnal Thursday afternoon.  

Wrap up warm…

With styling and images by Mr & Mrs W.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (11)

Kristin says: Our inspiration for the shoot was in essence ‘Tweed and Country’. With tweed being seen more and more in wedding fashion, I wanted to incorporate it with the Bride as well as the Bridegroom and nothing encompasses tweed and country than a Cheshire farm shoot, in both senses of the word.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (14)

I wanted to start with outdoor pursuits and end with a debauched party and feast with a dark undertone, using antlers, feathers and the odd skull here and there.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (4)

The team we used for the shoot are local to the area.  We worked together before and I knew that each supplier would provide exactly what I envisaged, which sometimes even I can’t do!

To realise my concept, the venue was always going to be Owen House as its so rustic, quirky and rural and there is nowhere quite like it in the North West.

For menswear it was no contest with the tweed experts at Whitfield and Ward being close at hand, and the beautiful wedding dresses came from The Wedding Boutique Cheshire. Fiona actually hand designs and makes her own styles so was able to make all the little extras I needed.

The outstanding hair and make up was by Nicholas Austen, the flowers were by Living Colour Floral Design and our props came from The Authentic Hire Company and Pretty Little Trio.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (9)

The shoot was such good fun.  Everyone got so involved and really understood the brief. We hope that you like the results! Going forward I have another couple of shoots in mind and I might even go a bit darker next time, but in the meantime I am looking forward to creating some enchanted woodlands and a sequin extravaganza in a Tipi for some real life brides.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (7)

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (10)

All the suppliers, props and styling are all available in and around the Knutsford area.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

in the pink. a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall – jennie & jon

November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (27)

We’re starting the day off brightly as we commence the downhill to the weekend, with Jennie and Jon’s fabulous fuchsia wedding day in glorious Yorkshire.

Following the cutest proposal ever (read on!), beautiful bride Jennie combined traditional romance with bold brights and fun extras for a memorable and show stopping celebration.

And here at Brides Up North, we love her choice of accent colour… funny, that.

With images by John Hope Photography.

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (16)

Jennie says: We got married on 27 March 2013, I was full of cold and feeling disgusting, Jon planned date night, a romantic candlelit meal in our home, with Emeli Sande playing in the background, to “cheer me up”. Jon took me upstairs where there were two wrapped up presents on the bed, I opened the first one and it was a cuddly elephant, the second was a box of fireworks, then Jon switched off the light and written on the ceiling in glow in the dark stars were the words “Marry me?”. He had remembered years earlier that I had said if he was to propose I’d want it to be like the end of the film Annie – complete with elephants and fireworks! Jon said it was pretty difficult to get real elephants to come to our back garden in suburban Leeds in March.

We celebrated by letting off the fireworks whilst we sipped cocktails and excitedly rang round family and friends to share the news!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (4)

We were married on 31 May 2014, we were working around my studies for my Postgrad degree and the school holidays for Jon’s daughter, Alicia, our beautiful bridesmaid. This was the first feasible date that we could do it, it seemed so far away when we set it but it really creeps up on you!

We got married in a Catholic Church as this is Jon’s family’s faith, St Edward’s King and Confessor in a small village called Clifton. I knew I wanted a church that was picturesque and this one certainly delivered, I felt like we were in a movie.

Wood Hall was the reception venue, picked for the stunning views and amount of open space for the children to run around outside and for the drunken guests to stagger around!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (19)

I picked fuchsia pink as it’s one of my favourite colours; I knew I wanted a bold colour rather than a more traditional pastel. I particularly liked the contrast between the white and the pink which shows really well on the photos.

My Dad was in charge of the car, he picked a navy Bentley to travel in style. It was totally his choice, he paid, despite admitting it was the most expensive taxi ride of his life!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (20)

I tried on hundreds of dresses, which I would thoroughly recommend; it’s a great day out! I bought a strapless gown with sweetheart neckline and full skirt. It is an ivory lace dress called Greta from The Bridal Lounge of York.

I had tried on mainly slim fitting style dresses as that is what I thought I wanted, but the full skirt on this one was so much fun to swish round in that I came skipping out of the changing room, decision made!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (23)

We hired a suit for Jon, from our local Moss Bros. Jon wanted one that fitted well and was nicely tailored and I managed to persuade him that tweed was a bad idea. We hired the same suits for the Best man and Ushers, with the only difference being that Jon had a pink pocket handkerchief and they had a silver one.

I had one adult bridesmaid, my sister, she had recently had baby number two, so we took a bit of a gamble and ordered a dress online that we hoped would be too big and then had it fitted nearer the day to take some of the pressure off her. She looked amazing!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (24)

My favourite part of the day was definitely walking down the aisle! I was so nervous beforehand, I’d been worrying about the walk for months, concerned I would be too emotional to enjoy it, but the second I got to the church and I saw all the guests, I felt fine and I really enjoyed the walk down and took everything in.

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (30)

John Hope was our photographer, we picked him after our first meeting as we both felt very comfortable with him, we thought this was important as he would be a large part of our day. We did a pre-wedding shoot which was incredibly useful for us to get used to each other and for me and Jon to relax in front of the camera (turns out Jon’s lifetime of posing came in handy!)

I would thoroughly recommend John as a photographer, he arrived at the crack of dawn and left late in the evening, he didn’t stop all day and we are incredibly grateful for the beautiful shots he took  (we don’t look that good in real life!) My overwhelming memory of him on the day was helping me to take the tags off the flower girls dresses with his teeth as we realised we had no scissors in the room and they needed to leave for the church – above and beyond!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (31)

I had cerise gerberas and they were provided by a wonderful florist called Angie Walker. I asked for them to be simple and bold, which is exactly what she delivered, the bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet.

We stuck with the same flowers for all my arrangements, knowing very little about flowers and how to arrange them we were very happy to let the florist guide us. We asked for smaller arrangements on the tables as we wanted them to add to the beauty of the room and not detract from the guests on the tables trying to talk across them.

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (37)

The favours were chocolates that tied in with the table names. We chose not to have place names but to use old/embarrassing photos of the guests in their places. This was a lot of work to take on before the wedding but definitely worth it for the reactions and the laughs it brought!

My Dad made the wedding cake, he baked a traditional fruit cake pretty soon after we got engaged and kept topping it up with alcohol to keep moist until the big day. Or at least that was the excuse he used to keep buying brandy!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (42)

We hired a singer called Jade, who learnt especially for the Wedding Angry Anderson’s ‘Suddenly’. There were plenty of Kylie and Jason references throughout the day, if only Jon looked a little more like a Donovan…

We hired a magician/pick pocket called Magic Matt who was brilliant and had the guests in stitches; we wanted some light relief whilst the room was turned around for the evening do. This was mainly for our Dad’s but everyone got in on it. He even managed to control the friends table who started the drinking games from 4pm. Not sure doubling up as a babysitter came as part of the package but he was delighted to help out!

Then we hired a chocolate fountain and a photo booth through The Amazing Company, we didn’t get to try the chocolate fountain but we have been assured it was very good and the photo booth book was one of my favourite things. We know it’s a standard “wedding” thing to do but it’s really funny to see people deteriorate over the course of the evening do and have it all in recorded forever!

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (43)

We made a family tree, full of photos of Grandparents, parents, through to us and the generation below. We wanted to physically show the two families coming together to make our marriage and also include Grandparents who were no longer with us.

Jon’s daughter who was six had written messages and drawn pictures for the guests to thank them for their attendance; these were included by the guest book and enabled her to feel part of the day, so much so, Alicia told everyone it was her wedding too.

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (47)

We had a DVD of the day made, I would definitely recommend it. It was so exciting to receive and you live back bits of the day that you forgot or missed as it passes so quickly – plus you can see what your friends get up to after a few drinks!  We used Picture House Wedding Films who did a great job.

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (49)

Our wedding planner has since won an award for her role at Wood Hall. They took all the stress and planning of the day out of our hands and put up with our weird and wonderful requests!

The venue is just stunning as are the rooms; the staff were really friendly and went over and above to help us.

a bright & beautiful wedding at Wood Hall (c) John Hope Photography (55)

We had an amazing honeymoon, we flew to LA and hired a mustang convertible and drove up the coast to San Francisco, where we stayed for a few days before driving down to Vegas, through Yosemite Park, Death Valley etc, stayed there for a few days before heading back to LA and Orange County to see how the rich and famous live. It’s something we could get used to; we just need Jon to start working a little harder so we can afford the lifestyle!

We knew very early on that we would marry in a Catholic Church as that was important to Jon’s family; the hard part is that I was never baptised! This meant that we had to seek permission from the Bishop and this was a long time coming, so my top tip for other Brides Up North is to bear this in mind if you are in a similar situation, it took some chasing and gave us and the parents some hairy moments.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

the insider: Hodsock Priory

November 12th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Hodsock Priory

When Brides Up North got a stylish new look we promised some fab new content to match. One of the new features we will be bringing to our pretty pages is the insider, a series focused on the all important venue hunt, where we will go through the doors and over the thresholds of some of the finest wedding venues in the North.

Within these posts, brides on the lookout for a stunning location to tie the knot can discover what hidden gems lay nearby whilst finding out, from those who know it best, exactly what the venue has to offer wedding couples and what sets it apart from all the rest.

Today we are starting with the gorgeous Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire. Having grown-up just a stone throw away from this venue, I know firsthand just how truly magical it is.

Set with 800 acres of wonderful countryside, the historic country house is famous for its Snowdrop Garden but Hodsock holds a lot of beauty within as well. So at this point I will hand over to Helen Leach, who looks after the marketing of Hodsock Priory, to reveal more about that beauty I speak off.

Image by Andy Hook Photography (2)

Image by Andy Hook Photography

Where is Hodsock Priory located?

Helen says: On the border of South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, two miles from the A1 at Blyth, near Worksop.

Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?

Lived in by the same family since 1765, as you walk through the archway of our Tudor gatehouse, you enter a truly peaceful place and will see why so many couples immediately fall in love with Hodsock. We’re a family-run wedding venue, following the tradition of the great family weddings held here over the centuries. The garden, which was landscaped in 1820s, is lovingly tended to daily and surrounds the Priory, which has an impressive 36 chimneys.

What facilities does it have and do you cater for weddings?

Yes – we actually only offer weddings and each one has exclusive use of the house and gardens. There is a bridal suite and two guest rooms in the main house, ten bed and breakfast rooms, a 120-capacity dining room with a dance floor, bar, library and floodlit gardens.

 Is Hodsock Priory licensed for civil ceremonies?

It most certainly is.

Image by Andrew Fletcher (2)

Image by Andrew Fletcher

What makes Hodsock Priory a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

Couples love the history, peace and privacy of Hodsock Priory. Also that fact that it’s family-run and we specialise in weddings – it’s all we do!

What sort of bride would be a Hodsock Priory Bride?

A Hodsock bride enjoys affordable luxury, has an eye for detail and wouldn’t say no to a glass of champagne on the floodlit Italian terrace.

Image by Barnaby Aldrick (3)

Image by Barnaby Aldrick

How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing? Do you work with trusted suppliers?

We have fine-tuned our trusted suppliers to the ones who offer the same personal service as us and know how to pull off a show-stopping wedding without breaking the bank. Our weddings manager, Lynda Pepper, is always showered with thank you cards from newlyweds and their families after the care and attention she gives each Hodsock couple and puts into the smooth running of their wedding. She’s there for our couples from their first viewing to the day after their – see what they say about her here.

Can guests stay over at your venue?  If not, can you recommend accommodation nearby?

Both – we have 13 amazing rooms on site, plus five good local hotels we recommend. Inside Hodsock Priory the sumptuous bridal suite and two guest rooms (the Blue Room and the Green Room) are located at the top of the grand staircase. Further bridal party accommodation can be found in the Courtyard B&B, a former dairy, which has ten apartment-style rooms with ensuite bathrooms, kitchenette and living areas.

Image by Andrew Fletcher (3)

Image by Andrew Fletcher

Any really memorable weddings at the venue?

Check out Hodsock Wow Weddings .

Just the other day a couple named Sami and Chris tied the knot here. It was one of the most truly magical and romantic weddings we’ve ever had the pleasure of hosting – you could really feel the love.

We also had a lovely couple called Will and Sarah’s whose Narnia-themed 1940′s wedding was so memorable. It was a brilliantly playful theme and they were deeply creative using everything, from decorative lampposts and fur-filled wardrobes, to ration books as their order of service. The autumn colours in the gardens complemented the theme and the house was transformed, we felt like we had gone back in time.

 Any funny stories to share?

Playing the Jaws theme tune as a bride’s entrance music.

Image by Barnaby Aldrick (2)

Image by Barnaby Aldrick

Tell us about your catering services?  What makes them special? 

We have three of the best local caterers lined up to provide the best service and food for our couples. What grub you choose for your wedding is one of the most important decisions – we arrange a personal meeting with the caterer, florist, cake maker and DJ for each couple. We have a carefully selected wine list we have put together with our caterers so you know you’re in good hands. Our bar is open throughout each wedding as part of our service – it’s a beautiful room and our staff are friendly and relaxed with everyone they meet.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price or any special packages available?

Our all-inclusive Grand Wedding Package for £15,500 includes exclusive venue hire, a drinks reception, three course wedding breakfast with wine and toasts for 60 guests (£60 per head thereafter to max 120), your flowers, wedding cake, seating plan, place names, DJ with mood lighting and a night’s stay in our bridal suite.

Where can we get more information/ contact the venue?


Telephone: 01909 591 204


Plus Facebook, Twitter and Our Wedding Blog

Do you have any bridal/ special events or open days coming up shortly that my readers should know about?

We have an open day on Sunday 28th December, 2014. During the event couples can see the venue set up for a wedding day with tables laid, music playing, flowers in place and candles lit. They can also meet George, the owner, and have a private tour or a chat by the fire over a glass of fizz.

Is there anything else that Brides Up North should know?

We have the luxury of not being a hotel and being able to walk in the opposite direction of the crowd. At Hodsock we only do weddings and because it’s also where we live, we think it’s really important that everyone who comes to Hodsock has an excellent time. We see it as a great privilege to be at the heart of a landmark occasion in a couple’s lives and if it’s important to your family, it’s important to our family. We’ll look after you and give you a day to remember.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

english rose. a classic wedding at Crathorne Hall – tracey & steven

November 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Today’s couple, Tracey and Steven, know it pays to keep things classic.  Their celebration at the soon to reopen fire ravaged Crathorne Hall (click here for the full story) with traditional detailing, fabulous florals and one killer frock, is a masterclass in elegance.

With images by Phil Smith Photography.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Tracey says: Steven proposed on our two week road trip holiday through Europe, travelling through Germany, Austria, Italy and France in May 2012.

Whilst in Austria we spent some time camping and trekking in the Alps. On the day of our engagement we trekked up one of the most beautiful mountains in Austria. On the way back down the mountain, surrounded by the most stunning Alpine scenery, Steven paused to tie his laces and asked me to take some photos. Whilst I was taking some photos of the amazing scenery, Steven sounding startled asked me to look at the lump that had appeared in his walking socks. He then revealed a personalised wooden ring box and proceeded to ask me to marry him. Of course I was overwhelmed and completely shocked, of course I said yes!

Unbelievably Steven had driven from Sheffield to Alpendorf two months earlier, a 35 hour, 2000 miles round trip, just to find the perfect location to propose! Once he had found the perfect setting, he dug a parcel into the mountain, behind a tree, containing the Champagne, flutes and a little note in German, asking if found, for the parcel to not be removed!

As you can imagine, I was astonished at the time, trouble and effort Steven had gone to, to make our engagement so special. I couldn’t believe someone could have done this for me. The final surprise came from Steve’s back pack, when he revealed a brochure of a 5* spa hotel in Alpendorf for that night! This made a refreshing and romantic change to the Camping.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

We were married on 11th July 2014 at Crathorne Hall Hotel. Crathorne Hall Hotel was the venue of one of our 1st Weekends away and after view dozens of other venues it was clear that we had been comparing them all to Crathorne Hall. Its such a beautiful building in superb surroundings. The staff had also always been to friendly and professional.

With such an amazing venue, we wanted to best complement Crathorne Hall and so went with an English Country Rose theme. The flowers were really important in accomplishing this. We chose a colour scheme of dusky pinks, green foliage and champagnes.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

My dress was a Maggie Sottero gown, Ivanka Marie. I chose this dress because I wanted a statement dress. The dress has a sweetheart neck line, fitted corset, huge fluffy layered tulle and a very long train with Swarovski detail. When I first saw the dress on a mannequin I didn’t like but when I tried it on I knew it was the dress for me.

Steven wore a grey three piece suit from House of Fraser in Birmingham.

My adult bridesmaids wore dusky pink maxi dresses from House Of Fraser in Meadowhall and the flowergirls wore ivory embellished dresses from Debenhams in Sheffield.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Phil Smith was our photographer. Choosing the right photographer was one of our most important decisions, when planning our wedding. We had decided that we would sacrifice having a professional videographer to ensure we could have the perfect photographer and the best quality photo album we could. Phil certainly was the perfect photographer.

From the first time we met Phil at a wedding fair at Crathorne Hall, we knew he was the man for us. Phil was such an easy person to talk to and nothing seemed too much trouble, but more importantly it was Phil’s portfolio of work that really caught our eye. Phil’s ability to really capture the mood in his shots stood out from the competition. This was really important to us, as we didn’t just want traditional shots.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

I carried a bouquet of pink peonies, mixed English garden herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, finished with large oyster pearls and pink blush German lace. All flowers were supplied and designed by Michelle Meehan owner of The Grange Wedding Flowers from Sheffield. The help and guidance Michelle  provided was second to none, she really is a superb florist, that’s willing to go the extra mile.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

During the ceremony and also outside for reception drinks we had Arco String Quartet playing personally selected tracks, including my entrance music ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri from the Twilight Saga.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

During the reception drinks we also had Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting, this went down very well with all the guests, especially as we had keep this a secret. The Class Laser Clay Team were ultra-professional and extremely friendly, I would certainly recommend them.

We also had a selection of garden games, such as lawn darts, croquet and French boules.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

As we had a lovely summer’s day, we had Strawberry Daiquiris and bottles of Peroni for welcome drinks served with a selection of lovely canapés.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

For favours, we had lemon drizzle butter cream cupcakes, iced in the colour scheme of the flowers with a Alice In Wonderland style eat me flag. These were placed inside vintage tea cups and saucers on the table. We used Kiss Me Cake Bakery, based near Holmfirth. They allowed us to keep our own vintage tea cup and saucer as a memento.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

I choose an Alice In Wonderland inspired three tier cake, two tiers were toffee and the middle tier lemon. The cake was made by Angel Cakes in Rotherham. The cake design was even better than I had imagined. We tried many cake samples at wedding fairs and Angel Cakes was by far the best, extremely moist and lovely flavours.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Our DJ in the evening was the Ultimate Wedding DJ based in the North East and we had a photo booth from Limelight Hire in Northallerton.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

It’s so difficult to pick a perfect part to our wedding. The ceremony was amazing and the speeches were great fun but the quiet times when we went off with our photographer for some couple shots were a nice way to break up the day and help it all sink in.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

We left for our honeymoon the morning after the wedding. We had breakfast with our guests and set off to the Airport at 11am. We flew to Nairobi, Kenya and then on to the Masai Mara for 3 nights safari at the Kicheche Bush Camp.

The Camp was amazing, with zebra and wildebeest coming right up to our tent at night. We literally saw everything whilst on safari, including lion, cheetah and leopard. An evening watching two lionesses and seven cubs play only 20 metres away, whilst the sun went down was a real highlight.

From Kenya we flew to the Seychelles and stayed at the Constance Ephelia Resort on Mahe Island. Rather than just spending our time on the beach, we managed to explore the Island, with some trekking and even managed to try the local delicacy of Fruit Bat Curry!

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to visit and research venues, it is so important to get the perfect venue for you. Similarly ensure you find the right photographer for you, your photographs along with your memories are the items that will last the longest. It’s so important to be happy with them.

For our First Anniversary we plan to visit the spot of our engagement in Austria. I wonder if Steven will be planting anything in the Mountain this time!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

a wedding alphabet. f is for flowers

November 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Source, photo Sarah Waggon, flowers butterfly petals

Image via, photo by Sarah Waggon

I’ve talked about my obsession with wedding flowers quite a few times on the blog before. To me beautiful blooms are central to reflecting a chosen colour scheme or theme and can even help set the mood of the big day itself.

Just like most other elements of a wedding these days, suppliers and couples are getting much more innovative with the ways in which they incorporate flowers into weddings. Beyond bouquets and button holes, flowers are being used to decorate venues, though arrangements and displays are less formal and more adventurous than what’s gone before, encouraging couples to be thoughtful and free in their choices.

Source, photo Ellie Gillard, flowers Battersea Flower Station

Image via, photo by Ellie Gillard

We’ve seen pretty petals scattered up the aisle, arrangements in lace adorned jam jars and simple clear bottles as well as hand-tied bundles effortlessly hung upon pew ends and pretty flower heads placed within small glass balls and suspended from the ceiling.

Rather than just one or two arrangements, it seems a ‘the more the merrier’ approach has been adopted by many brides and grooms with blooms flourishing in all areas of the celebration, including decorative floral cakes and hair crowns.


Image via

However far you choose to take floral additions on your big day, here are some top tips to help you during the picking process:

do your research

It’s helpful to have in your mind the type of flowers you want before choosing/visiting a florist. Think about your venue and styling as flowers really help to set the scene or mood. Do you want rustic, vintage, sophisticated, modern, minimalist or romantic? Also are there any blooms you want to incorporate for sentimental reasons or to fit in with the season in which you marry? From there you can figure out the types of flowers you would like and can collect images from magazines, or build up a mood board of images online, which will give your florist inspiration and direction to create something specific to you.

find a florist

Different florists may do a particular style of flowers better than another (e.g. use beautiful English flowers to create ‘just-picked’ style arrangements) so ask around for word of mouth recommendations, check out real wedding blog posts online and/or ask your chosen venue for suggested suppliers. Once you’ve drawn-up a short list of possible florists arrange a meeting with them to discuss prices/budget, look through portfolios and to see how they connect with your ideas or if you are struggling for ideas yourself, ask them for suggestions.


Image via

build up a relationship

Once you have chosen your florist meeting with them regularly not only builds up trust but it also gives your chosen supplier the chance to get to know you as individuals – your likes, dislikes and  styles preferences. It also gives you the opportunity to update your florist on other areas of the big day – the venue, dress, theme, style of the ceremony – to help them create designs that are unique to you and your wedding whilst still ringing true to the original brief.

Source, photo Milque Photography, flowers Karen Tran Florals and Events

Image via, photo by Milque Photography

prepare to be flexible

At one point a couple’s wedding flower choices were dictated by which season they were tying the knot in and what flowers were available at that time. However, many florists now buy in blooms from overseas, expanding couple’s options and giving them the opportunity to source more unusual types to push design boundaries. However there may still be times at when you need to be flexible either due to availability of the blooms, colour restrictions or due to your budget – be prepared to comprise and listen to a florist’s alternatives.

don’t forget the small things

The appearance of flowers can change through the budding process so you might want to discuss this with your florist to ensure they order in your choices at the right time ahead of the wedding. Upon request some florists will give couples samples to take away so they can see how they develop over time. They can then pick at which stage through the blooming process they would like the flowers to appear on their wedding day. So while some might like tight bud roses that are just beginning to open, others might prefer them mostly open or even big and blousy.

Source, photo  Campbell Photography, flowers The Wild Bunch

Image via, photo by Campbell Photography

Other image sources as credited in our gallery

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

relaxed romantics. a simple & stunning tipi wedding in Yorkshire – gemma & jim

November 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (34)

This morning we join Gemma and Jim for their simple yet stunning wedding in the Yorkshire countryside.  Our homecoming couple kept things plain yet interesting with delicate, handmade touches and a pretty pale colour palette for their celebration under canvas at the heart of village life.

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (13)

Gemma says: When Jim proposed it was totally unexpected! He had insisted on taking me out for a slap up evening meal as a Christmas treat. We live in London and it had snowed all day, I was wet, cold and just wanted to make sure we could get home! The odds were against him – my mood wasn’t the warmest, and little did I know, he had called my Mum to ask her permission – to be promptly told to call back later as she was ‘in the middle of dishing up tea’! Poor fella! He took me to the Oxo Tower Restaurant on the Southbank – at which point I insisted this was far too lavish and I would prefer to have a Chinese take away and save the money! He pressed on..! During the meal he started to look a little ‘off colour’ which I later realised was because he desperately needed the toilet but couldn’t risk standing up and me seeing a square bulge in the pocket of his skinny jeans! He proposed with the most romantic words of love for me and with a standing ovation from the other dinners when I said ‘yes’ (in floods!).

We married in a small village called Hackness, North Yorkshire on 6th September 2014 – close to where our families live. Hackness has a beautiful church and  wonderful countryside surroundings. It was quite tricky choosing the location as, living in London, there was a bit of a North, South divide! As luck would have it, we found a wedding blog showing a great wedding in the same village, with a Tipi reception at the village hall. We had been to our friends Tipi wedding and loved the idea of putting our own personal touches on the day. Plus we are outdoorsy people and go camping all year round – so this really suited us. It all started to fall into place!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (17)

We wanted to make everything ourselves to give our day a real personal touch – and save money of course! Romantic, rustic and simple was the theme! We didn’t want to over decorate the tipis as we thought they looked wonderful with simple sparkly lights. We tied in parts of our London life – our table plan was based on the tube map and we used Oxo Cubes (engaged in the Oxo Tower) to hold each name plate. My Mum made meters and meters of hessian table runners with a lace centre, and we had lots of glass jars and sundae dishes with candles in them, with sand from Scarborough Beach to hold them in place.

The initial colour scheme was duck egg, but the actual colour of duck egg blue is a very serious debate within our family and friends now! So we’ll just say ‘light bluey’!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (21)

My dress was from London Designer Bridal Room just off Oxford Street. I am very simple in what I wear day to day so I knew a large dress wasn’t for me…(I did have fun trying one or two on though!). I went for a simple, slinky dress which made me feel very elegant, womanly and, most of all, me!

Jim showed me quite a few pictures of David Gandy in suits…so I knew he wanted something quite fitted and trendy! We went to some amazing tailors but in the end the slim-fit style we found (as luck and budget would have it) in Red Herring at Debenhams was the one. It had a matching scoop neck waistcoat which looked perfect with his skinny French Connection tie. His shoes were from Linea at House of Fraser and shirt was a white slim fit dress shirt from TM Lewin.

The Bridesmaids and I had to do a lot of virtual shopping as they both live miles away. I came across the dresses on one of my many web searches and they both loved it! The dresses had a subtle sequin hem which tied in perfectly with my dress – from Kalico at John Lewis. The Bestman and Usher wore the same suit and tie as Jim. They were a little concerned with the ‘slim fit’ description but they both looked amazing!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (23)

For our centre pieces we ordered 100 stems of loose gypsophila from our florist, to put into the vases we had decorated for the table centres. My Mother-in-Law has done a bit of floristry so she made sure each stem was cut nice and level. We also had (my favourite) white hydrangea heads in jam jars.

Our florist at Blooms of Scarborough was so clever, I wanted a simple gypsophila bouquet but she suggested tying in a hydrangea centre to match our centre pieces. I was so pleased with the final result which was all tied together with hessian.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (25)

Our photographer was the wonderful Hayley Baxter. I have fallen in love a bit with Hayley… she is just a little genius and the nicest person to boot! We could not believe the wonderful intimate shots she managed – most of the time we had no idea she was there! Our edited pictures arrived very quickly – but we got a little sneak peek the day after via Facebook – which was such a lovely touch!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (30)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (32)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (38)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (1)

We made all the favours ourselves. I made pretty dangly earrings for all the ladies and Jim made a ‘mix tape’ of all sorts of music (some meaningful, some just fun!) for the gents. We spent many a Sunday afternoon cutting and sticking and creating. I think I loved this part a bit more than Jim… but he is a dab hand with the heart shaped hole punch now!

On each table setting we added a question card from the Logo board game, which we thought would be a nice ice breaker.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (4)

Having a tipi wedding limits your food choices to a degree but we managed to work it – I think! Well… no one went hungry! Malton Relish made all our gorgeous canapes and the vegetarian options of ‘Wild Mushroom Loaf’ and ‘Italian Vegetable Frittata’ they delivered them on the day so we didn’t have to worry about chilling them. Stepney Hill Farm provided the main meal of a Hog Roast with stuffing and apple sauce. Jim’s step father is a dab hand in the kitchen so he lovingly prepared some amazing salad accompaniments. We had lots of cheese and biscuits, wedding cake and my friend made delicious chocolate brownies for dessert. Late evening we had Pickering Fish and Chips arrive with their mobile van – which went down an absolute treat! We ran a free bar so shopped for the alcohol during various promotions in the supermarkets. Aldi was an absolute winner for spirits!  We also had a hand pull real ale from Scarborough Brewery which people went crazy for!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (9)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

Jim’s Mum is a wonderful baker and so she kindly baked our cake – traditional fruit on the bottom tier and lemon sponge with lemon curd and butter cream on the top tier. Her super clever friend did all the icing. We have the figurines set now and sitting on our book case – a wonderful keepsake!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (35)

We were so pleased with The Big Party Band, a 5 piece band based in Keighley. We had seen them perform at a rare public gig and knew they were good! The music was a mix of modern and dance floor classics. The real wow factor comes when the band get on the dance floor with their wireless guitars – so much fun! We paid extra to hire their kit all day to allow us to have music during the day and a PA system for the speeches. We gave them two options for our first dance and they surprised us on the day having learnt them both – so gave us a first and last dance!

We put a confetti balloon in the centre of the dance floor which was popped during our first dance – the actually popping caused lots of laughs as it just wouldn’t go!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (46)

We had these huge LOVE letters which I scrounged from Debenhams on Oxford Street –  it was one of their valentines displays that they were throwing away. We underestimated how large they were which made for a bit of hilarity when trying to get them home on the tube!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (55)

Boutipi were our Tipi suppliers and they are just the best!! They are a family run business which really shows, nothing is too much trouble and they really care about giving you the best day possible! They even gave us a crash course in the Waltz the day before!

Crystal Penguin Events did our on the day coordination along with two waitresses my mum knows. I would recommend to anyone having a Tipi wedding to have someone there on the day to worry about timings etc. Steph made everything run like clock work, she also brought along some of her family to help run the bar and wash up!

Abbey Sound and Light hired our generator, we had no idea what size we would need but they worked this all out for us and plugged it all in – a real weight off our mind.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (60)

Our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives. It’s impossible to say what our one favourite moment was – but saying our vows to each other was wonderful, we were finally becoming man and wife! I messed up my lines and cried all the way through…but people said they loved that it was sincere and not polished. The three days prior to our wedding was wonderful, everyone turning up to help decorate and lift and shift… just made your heart melt. We felt so lucky to have such hard working family and friends!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (66)

We had a couple of days away after our wedding in Bruges – which was wonderful! Such a pretty and romantic place, perfect for relaxing and mooching about! We are planning our honeymoon for later next year.

I have so many tips for other Brides Up North! These types of blogs are so handy for reading about the experience of others. Having now been there, done that, I would have explored the second hand dress market a bit more, it is such a huge part of your budget and after all, most second hand dresses have only been worn once!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

TWIA 2015 have landed!

November 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime


The Wedding Industry Awards


Brides Up North has been really proud to support The Wedding Industry Awards since their inception, and this year I have been honoured to take my place on the esteemed Judging Panel for the fourth year running.

The Wedding Industry Awards recognise and reward excellence in our stunning UK wedding industry, and as you know, I’m all about shining a light on brilliance – on a local, regional and national level.

I’ve already spent hours this month pouring over all the entries in my designated category (this year I’m working on the “Special Touch” award) and am really excited to see the regional results – of every category! – announced this week, before the glitzy main event in January 2015.

Julia Head Shot High Res

This year, I’ve also another job to add to my list, as I join the TWIA Official Blog Partners (I’m representing the North East and the North West) to bring you all the news and gossip from our regional front line. This year’s awards are going to be bigger and better than ever and I can’t wait to share the excitement with you.


Tonight, I’m slipping on some glittering ‘Choos to join the very best of the North East wedding industry, as we hear who has taken home the gongs at the regional awards event at our beautiful (Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition) venue, Middleton Lodge. Then tomorrow, its over to Sandhole Oak Barn, as we learn who is crowned the best in their fields in the North West.

To check out the regional shortlists in all their glory, click here.  Now there’s a talented bunch!

These swanky soirees will be a fantastic opportunity to rub shoulders with others at the top of their game and raise a cheeky glass to the best industry there is to work in.The regional winners of each of The Wedding Industry Awards categories will be announced live on stage by TWIA founder Damian Bailey, following which the winners will be given photo opportunities and interviews with local and national press (that’s me)!

With some industry colleagues covering the other regions, expect our Facebook and Twitter feeds to be awash with all the news, as it happens. Make sure you are following live for all the action, and to see which industry talents you should be booking up for your big day.

Only a few hours left to get glam and until all is revealed!

Watch this space.

To find out more about the TWIA and how they work, click here.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

friday fabulous!

November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Bubble by Kurt Geiger

“I used to be snow white, but I drifted” Mae West

Velvety, red, winter wedding shoe perfection. Right there.

Bubble, in red, £99 by KG Kurt Geiger

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

let’s get fizzy! A colourful champagne poppin’ wedding at Colshaw Hall – miriam & richard

November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (21)

Packing a zesty punch to end the week on a vibrant high, we welcome Miriam and Richard to the blog with their opulent, colourful and champagne fuelled Algerian inspired wedding.

Get ready to pop the fizz… this looks like my kind of celebration.

With images by Matt Horan.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (2)

Miriam says: Richard proposed when we went away for the weekend to the lakes, it was actually my brother in law’s 30th Birthday which Rick kyboshed. We walked up to the room and the bed was laid out with flowers, it took me a while to comprehend what they said and the first thing that came out my mouth was “ I think we are in the wrong room!” anyway, on closer inspection the rose petals said “Will you marry me?” and I turned round  and Rick was on one knee. It was a surreal moment but I of course said yes and the champagne got opened.

We were married on Thursday 17th July 2014 at Colshaw Hall in Pever. We just fell in love with this place. It is a stately home and was just beautiful. The owner is also very down to earth which made us want to go with them even more.

It is just the most beautiful venue, gorgeous gardens and you felt you were a million miles away even though you weren’t.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (1)

My dress was a Heritage gown, by Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier. I got it from Love Bridal Boutique and I just fell in love with it. Rick wore a tailored suit that he had especially made for him and my fabulous bridesmaids all wore dresses from Debenhams.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (14)

We had a Algerian theme as my dad is Algerian and also a fizz theme as I love Champagne, so all the tables were named after Champagnes. The colours were all middle eastern and the food followed this theme.

Our flowers were from Red Floral Architecture and were very blingy with diamante in them! We also had lanterns and candles.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (17)

Matt Horan was our photographer and we’d certainly recommend him! He was very natural and really caught the moment.

We had a videographer, Tom from Silk Wedding Films who was great, you didn’t even know he was there.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (20)

We used a wedding planner called Janice who really supported and helped us through the whole process.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (30)

We carried the Algerian theme into our wedding breakfast so served a mezze to start which included taboluh, merguez sasuage, humous, feta with harissa, flat breads, we then had lamb and couscous with roasted veg and a trio of desserts.

My dad picked all the wine which included red, white, fizz and champagne.

We gave Algerian sweets as favours and instead of a wedding cake we had lots of mini pavlovas, they were lovely!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (35)

We had a jazz band in the day called Gypsies of Bohemia and a band called The Rush in the evening – we all had a good dance!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (38)

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (41)

The whole  day was just amazing but it just went very quickly. We are both foodies so I would have to say the food part was lovely, even though Rick was too nervous to eat as he knew he was going to do his speech!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (45)

We went to France, Italy and Spain for our honeymoon.

In France we stayed in a Michelin starred chateaux for 4 nights, we then got the train to Italy for 4 nights where we visited Lake Maggorie and finally relaxed in a villa in the Andalusian mountains for a week.

It was great that we visited a few different places.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (49)

I am sure all brides say this but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to ENJOY every second as it flies by!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

the generation game. family friendly wedding day fun

November 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Source, Photo by Justin and Keary Weddings

Image via, by Justin and Keary Weddings

Across in our brilliant and busy Brides Up North Facebook group (are you a member yet? click here to join) a regular discussion thread concerns unique ideas for keeping little relatives (never mind the bigger guests!) entertained.

As much as it’s an enjoyable occasion a wedding can be a long day with little lulls here and there that need filling to avoid guest becoming bored and or restless. While a few disposable cameras and a recommended DJ once sufficed as adequate entertainment, many couples are now looking for more imaginative ideas to make their big day not only fun for their guests, but unique and memorable too.

This is easy during the summer, but in the winter months it can prove more of a challenge. So, to cut boredom off at the pass we’ve asked Brides Up North Sponsor Rich at Alive Network Entertainment Agency for some top tips for family-friendly wedding entertainment ideas that everyone can enjoy together, whatever the weather.

Over to the experts…

car park carnival

Set the mood right from the moment your guests arrive at your venue by creating a mini carnival in the car park. Let costumed ice-themed characters guide guests to the door, where Frozen-styled characters stand in the middle of illuminated ‘living’ tables to serve child-friendly cocktails in sugar-frosted glasses.

It Must Be Magic

it must be magic

If you enjoy TV street magicians like Troy and Dynamo, imagine the thrill of them performing at your wedding drinks reception, stunning guests with seemingly impossible tricks and illusions right before their very eyes. Look also at iPad magicians, who combine digital tablets and old school magic into a visually stunning and logic-defying show. What’s more, magicians are like Piped Pipers for kids; if you lose the little ones, they’ll have disappeared to watch that trick just one more time!

lookalike mc

Spice up the speeches with a celebrity lookalike who can also act as your master (or mistress) of ceremonies. Image the best man introduced by Marilyn Monroe, your Dad applauded by Prince Charles, or your bridesmaids and pageboys given their thank-you gifts by David Beckham – now that’ll really leave them speechless! For even better value, look for professional lookalikes who offer more than one character, such as John Clees or Prince Charles, or hire two to work together as a double act, such as Basil Fawlty and Manuel.

Lookalike MC

Silence is Golden

silence is golden

Let’s face it, wedding days should be filled with chatter, music and laughter, but sometimes a little peace and quiet goes a long way! Hear nothing but laughter when your professional mime artists entertain, combining the skill of classical mime with the much-loved antics of Mr Bean type characters, for a wonderful post-meal show everyone can enjoy  – and understand.

comedy musical acts

Unless your pre-teen relatives are buddy classical musicians, chances are a traditional string quartet is not going to hold their interest long. So, keep those little eyes glued to the antics of a comedy string quartet, that turns classical music into classic comedy at the twitch of a bow. Look for other comic style groups as well, such as Ukulele bands, Oompah bands, or strolling mariachi bands as seen in those savoury snack commercials.

Comedy Musical Acts

shadow art and sand art

We’ve all done it, held our hands in front of a torch to project the image of a cute bunny, but that’s about our limit. Professional shadow artists take it to a whole new level, creating an animated show of animals, scenes and even celebrities from just their hands and light source. Or hire a sand artist to create swirling pictures and scenes from just a trayful of sand in seconds. If requested in advance, some artists offer a chance to ‘have a go’, something the younger generation will particularly enjoy.

take your partners

Ditch the disco and get everyone up and dancing with a ceilidh band, regardless of age, agility or the complete absence of any dancing talent whatsoever. You caller teaches the steps, everyone does the dance, and then it’s on to the next, swapping dancing partners as you go, for guaranteed smiles all round.

I told you that these guys were the experts! For more winter wedding entertainment ideas, call the team at Alive Network on 0845 108 5500 or visit their website; they’ll be happy to help with free advice and even more suggestions!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone