Brides Up North

a midsummer day’s dream. a wedding at home – alex & jenny

August 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (50)

Let’s get stuck into some beautiful.

Jenny and Alex’s pretty country garden wedding is full of blooms, dappled sunshine and pretty touches.  If you’ve spent the long weekend wondering where British summertime has disappeared to, it’s right here on these pages.

With images by Jessica Reeve Photography.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (9)

Jenny says:We got engaged on my birthday last year; Alex was very romantic and I cried a lot when he asked me to marry him! He had spent the previous 6 months trying to ‘throw me off the scent’, so it was a big shock!

Our wedding date was the 21st of June. We wanted a summer wedding and this worked for my little sister who is doing AS levels – and it was midsummer’s day, so we hoped it would give us the best chance of sunshine, as well as being romantic!

We decided to get married in the church I grew up attending. We wanted to have the ceremony somewhere that had a link to us, so as well as being a beautiful church, St Mary of the Angels in Bolton le Sands fitted the bill. For the reception, it was important to us that our reception would be private – we didn’t want a location where non-guests would be wandering around, so we decided to bite the bullet and have a marquee on the lawn at my parents’ house. We are very fortunate that my parents have a lovely house and they worked incredibly hard over our engagement to make sure the gardens were looking beautiful on the day.

Our marquee was provided by Ashfell Marquees, who are based in Cumbria. They did a fantastic job, the marquee looked stunning and they made the assembly look easy!

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (16)

We were undecided on the exact theme or style of the wedding for a while. We knew we wanted it to be fairly classic and understated, but were unsure about the rest. However, as soon as I tried on my dress, I felt as if everything fell into place. The dress has lace roses on, and is quite a classic style. The wedding theme became clear – The theme was roses, with a style of a country house garden party. As soon as I had the dress on I could imagine walking around the marquee, across the lawn, I could imagine how I wanted the bridesmaids to fit, how I wanted it all to feel! It was a slightly surreal moment.

I picked the colour scheme based partly on what would fit with the church. I wanted something fairly traditional and elegant, so we opted for dusky pink, ivory, gold and sage green.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (22)

My dress was from The White Dress Boutique in Leamington Spa, the town where Alex and I live. I had tried on a few dresses but when I tried on Boadicea by Charlotte Balbier all the others went out of the window! It had beautiful rose lace back and a high neck, and an absolutely gorgeous satin skirt and train. It was simple but beautiful, and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one. I was comfortable in it, and I could then imagine the rest of the wedding!

For the ceremony I wore a full length single tier veil – after all, you don’t often get the chance to wear a one! I had a small hair piece from Debenhams. I went for simple shoes – which I needed up taking off for the dancing like most of our guests!

I carried a hand tied bouquet which was a mix of roses, pink astilbe, lisiansthus, scabious and some beautiful variegated foliage. The colours matched the scheme and were cream, dusky pink and sage green. They were provided by Dalton Square Florists, who did a fantastic job. I also put a small sprig of blue flowers in from the garden for my ‘something blue’!

Alex wore a traditional three piece morning suit with grey trousers and a black jacket. He had a grey double breasted waistcoat and a pale blue tie. The suits were hired from Moss Bros and the tie was from House of Fraser.

I wanted maxi dresses for the bridesmaids, and found a beautiful, pale green maxi dress from Phase Eight which matched the colour scheme so perfectly. It was actually the first dress they tried on – it suited them all beautifully and fitted with the whole elegant but relaxed look I wanted. They had jewellery and head pieces from Accessorize.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (30)

For the reception we didn’t have a huge amount of cut flowers – there were plenty growing in the garden so we didn’t need many more! We went for low gold vases as our centrepieces, filled with roses, astilbe and hydrangeas. The florist did an amazing job of working out exactly what we wanted and the end result was beautiful!. We also had a couple of pedestal displays in a similar style. Our lovely church flowers were provided by Sentiment Flowers, who are based in Bolton Le Sands.

We didn’t do favours, and instead decided to donate money to charity. We picked charities that meant something to us.

Our caterer was Karen Rhodes. She does the catering for weddings at a local country house, so we used this as a good idea she would be reliable! And she did a fantastic job, and looked after everything. The wedding went so smoothly on the day and a lot of this was down to her! She also ran the bar and the drinks reception, with a team of excellent staff.

I actually made my own wedding cake – I really enjoy baking and took it as a bit of a challenge! I kept it simple – a light fruit cake on the bottom tier and chocolate fudge for the top two tiers. I then decorated with plain ivory icing, a gold ribbon and fresh roses from my mum’s garden.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (33)

Our photographer was Jessica Reeve, and we could not recommend her highly enough. Her photos are stunning (which was why we got in touch with her in the first place) but she was also lovely to have around on our wedding day as well. She was relaxed and fun and got some fantastic photos. The photos really capture the atmosphere of our day and tell the story perfectly.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (45)

In the evening we had a ceilidh band, called Northern Lights. Our criteria for our entertainment was something that would get everyone on the dance floor. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish dance, and everyone got into the spirit and gave it a go – it was lots of fun!! After they finished we used their sound system and plugged in an ipod for the rest of the evening –the dancing was still going at 2am, so we were pleased!

The other special touches were mainly the result of hard work from friends and family! My sister in law, Helen, created a beautiful board for a Polaroid booth – lending us her camera and all her booth props! Its something she’s going into business with – so watch out for Treacle Town Designs! She also ran a sweet table for us, which was a huge hit! Another friend of mine created a gorgeous bird cage as a guest book. We also hired a caricaturist (Robert Grenville Evans) for before and after the meal – he did some fantastic pictures and kept the guests entertained!

The day before the wedding the close family decorated the garden – we had bunting on the fences and on the wooded footpath up from the church. I also bought led lights and hung them in the trees and on the outdoor tables so they came on as soon as it got dark – the garden looked magical, especially after the heat of the day!

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (53)

I think my favourite part was the ceremony. It felt so special, and perhaps more moving than I expected it to be. It felt very intimate and private – Once we were saying our vows I forgot about the guests, it felt like it was just Alex and I (and the priest). It was lovely as well to see our church so full of friends and family – having everyone together in the same place meant a lot.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (57)

We went to Italy for our honeymoon – we both love the food, the wine, the culture and the weather! We had a relaxing few nights in Sardinia and then went to Verona, which was beautiful and a great base to explore other parts of Italy (such as Venice and Lake Garda). We had a fantastic two weeks which gave us chance to spend some quality time together and go over the whole wedding weekend again and again!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try to enjoy the run up to the wedding as possible. Go with suppliers you can trust – on the day everything went so smoothly and that was down to our professional team who between them must have run hundreds of weddings!

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shortlisted (but still no Manolos!): The Perfect Wedding Awards 2014

August 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

It’s been a phenomenal year for us here at Brides Up North HQ so far.  A brand new look, more fabulous sponsors getting behind us than ever before, a fan-blooming-tastic spring and autumn exhibition schedule, and now, as we say goodbye to summer, a hat-trick of industry award nominations.

I used to think a blogger’s life would go a little like this: sleep late, RSVP to a few party invitations, full hair and make up, coffee with beautiful industry friends, a bit of light writing, meet the husband for cocktails and skip off to bed… how wrong I was.

Running (and writing!) a full editorial schedule, organising and styling shoots, managing twenty wedding exhibitions, sales, admin, marketing, keeping on top of a mountain of emails, taxes, VAT, meetings with sponsors, working on new projects, liaising with the press and PRs, freelance features, social media, venue visits whilst simultaneously nurturing a young family… and remembering to brush your hair in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, It’s fun, fulfilling, exciting and no day is ever the same.  But its not the Carrie Bradshaw life I thought it might be.

I still don’t own any Manolos, for a start.

So it’s with pride and pleasure that I celebrate the fabulous bits.

I’ve already told you about our nominations for “Best Wedding Blog” in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, and “Best City Blog” in The Wedding Blog Awards, and now our friends at Perfect Wedding Magazine have gone and absolutely made my year, by shortlisting us in the “Best Wedding Blog” category in their prestigious industry awards.
PWAwards2014_logo_Nominee_forweb

Despite all the events, networking parties and the constant conversation on social media, blogging can be a pretty secular profession, so this support really does mean a lot.  It tells me that you like what I do, what I’m striving towards (#jointhenorthernrevlution y’all!) and that I should keep on doing it.

Thank you.

If you’ve got a minute on what’s sure to be a busy Tuesday back in the saddle – how was your Bank Holiday weekend? – I’d love it if you could spare a sec or two to vote for Brides Up North.  The line up in our category is pretty stellar, so this Northern Revolution needs some people power.

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in the Perfect Wedding Awards

(If you needed any encouragement, every person that does is entered into a special draw to win an amazing one-night break for themselves and a guest at one of 18 luxurious spa venues in the UK, a delicious three-course evening meal, breakfast, a 60-minute spa treatment for each guest and a cream tea courtesy of Q Hotels.  Nice.)

Voting closes 29th September.

Whilst you’re feeling generous, we’d love your vote in these sequin clad showdowns too:

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014 

(voting closes 29th August!)

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in The Wedding Blog Awards 2014

(voting closes 1 September!)

And I’ll love you forever. 

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the friday feeling! a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Sometimes a bank holiday weekend comes around exactly when you need it.

Even when you love your job as much as I do, sometimes you can still have one of those weeks.  Computer issues (no good for a blogger let me tell you), having to put the heating back on, wifi troubles (kill me now) building work, boring admin, deadlines, husbands (!) and just too much to do, means I’m frazzled and frustrated.

So I decided to shift the schedule round a little and end the week on a high with this fun and fabulous wedding sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Pour me a massive glass of wine.  It’s the weekend, Brides Up North!

And yes, I will be having Monday off!

(see you on the other side)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

Helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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friday fabulous!

August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Karol Glitter Heel by LK Bennett

What the coolest girls will be wearing under their tulle skirts this season.

Karol Glitter Court Heel, £225 by LK Bennett

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lookbook: cold shoulder

August 21st, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Hepburn - Jenny Packham

It’s not unusual for brides to expose their shoulders on their wedding day with bridal boutiques boasting numerous stunning strapless dress designs. But while fashion forward brides might like the idea of flashing a little flesh on their big day, they may well want a gown that pushes the design boundaries that bit further.

Luckily for such brides highly stylish off-the-shoulder wedding dresses crept into a number of 2014 collections and it looks like they’re here to stay as the sophisticated silhouette has been making a strong appearance on 2015 bridal catwalks.

Garbo - Jenny Packham

The lowered neckline offers a romantic and timeless look, beautifully framing shoulders and collar bones. There is a hint of sexiness about such dresses and yet they are still oh so elegant by revealing just the right amount of skin.

Better yet, fashionistas will be pleased to hear that there aren’t just one or two standard off-the-shoulder dress designs, but instead a wonderful array of varying styles, from floaty bohemian and Grecian inspired gowns to structured asymmetrical creations and dresses with dreamy draped sleeves.

Jenny Packham is particularly fond of the lowered neckline and includes a number of super stunning off-the-shoulder gowns in her collection – each with something different to offer. For brides wanting to expose their full shoulders and chest area the Hepburn dress is the perfect option. It keeps the majority of the focus at the top of the floor-length dress whilst adding just a hint of extra detailing to the waistline with a sparking bow. The Monroe dress in an elegant pink/taupe hue exposes a similar area but dares brides to step outside their ivory comfort zone. Meanwhile Billie and Garbo are perfect options for glam brides-to-be looking to add some sparkle to their attire. Both have plunging necklines and glitzy shoulder straps with added detailing in draped capped sleeves which reveal just the tops of the shoulders (often referred to as ‘cold shoulder’ dress designs).

Billie - Jenny Packham

Maggie Sottero has a number of equally attractive designs in her collection. Anna and Maurine both feature pretty cold shoulder flutter sleeves. While one dress is adorned in glistening Swarovski crystals the other is finished with fabulously feminine lace appliqués. The ultra girly June dress in playful blush pink is fit for a Grecian goddess with its floor-length silhouette and draped cold shoulder sleeves. Sottero’s Calypso dress offers a different look with its soft scalloped-edged lowered neckline framing bare shoulders beautifully.

Varying off-the-shoulder designs can also be found in Cymbeline’s current collections. Agadir is a simple slim-line design which would be well suited to brides looking for a subtle design that they can make their own with the addition of striking accessories. Lovers of lace meanwhile will fall head over heels for Habanita which features super thin shoulder straps and a gorgeous lace overlay with elegant elbow-length sleeves. Hossana’s romantic ruffles and relaxed shoulders makes it the perfect choice for bohemian brides while those wanting to make a stronger style statement on the aisle should consider the voluminous Heliante.

When it comes to bridal style statements Ian Stuart instantly springs to mind and his show-stopping off-the-shoulder designs certainly don’t disappoint. Several of Stuart’s designs, such as Evita and Frederique, are reminiscent with regal dresses featured in period dramas. Both feature portrait necklines which leave the colllar bones, shoulders and top of the chest bare. Further flesh-revealing offerings come in the form of Nightingale, Mandalay and Waikiki, each with varying detail including decorative fairytale flowers and delicate beaded lace. And last but by no means least, there is the super cute three-quarter length Sophia lace gown for fifties- style brides brave enough to bare their shoulders whilst also hitching up their hemline a little.

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let’s get it started! the Brides Up North luxury & vintage wedding exhibition at Hilltop Country House!

August 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hilltop leaflet-1

Cheshire, I love you.

I’m so very excited to be launching an extremely beautiful season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions for autumn 2014 in just over three weeks time.  As soon as I feel a nip in the air (and it’s definitely been fresher this week) I start dreaming about cashmere, new boots and getting butterflies in my tummy in anticipation of our inspirational bridal season!

You can see our full schedule of nine dates and venues by clicking here, but starting exactly as we mean to go on – gorgeously – we’ll be at one of our very favourite venues, the sensational Hilltop Country House on Sunday 14th September 2014.  Hooray!

Lee Brown Photography

Hilltop Country House

Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition

Flash Lane, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4ED

Sunday 14th September 2014

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

Lee Brown Photography

If you missed our last beautiful show at this pretty and unique venue (or if you loved it so much that you want to do it all over again!) get this date in your diaries, pronto.

Hilltop’s just a little bit a lot special.  A stunning, exclusive use, family home with seriously gorgeous gardens, a pristine permanent marquee, rooms on site and a civil license, book nothing till you’ve seen it!

Add 30 of the region’s very best wedding supplier stars and we’ve a recipe for another crazy beautiful day.  Are you in?

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

bride to be?

As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors (including.  Just because we love you.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.  While stocks last only.

To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below.  Only the bride need register for larger groups.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

You can also email contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability.  We operate a first come, first served policy.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.

Click here to view the full schedule.

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 with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Email Julia at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk today.

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high street honey: mini maids

August 19th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Jasmine - BHS

Jasmine at BHS

I’m 27 and I’ve never been a bridesmaid. I suppose this means I don’t have to worry about the ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride’ saying, but when I was young (and now too really) I would have given anything to be one.

I remember visiting friends’ houses where their numerous redundant bridesmaid dresses had been demoted to the dressing-up box – which was as close as I got to actually fulfilling the role. I suppose it was similar to a scene from Muriel’s Wedding, but instead of trying on endless wedding gowns, I was diving into ex-bridesmaid dresses at any given opportunity.

Bailey Dress - Monsoon

Bailey at Monsoon

Veroniquea Dress - Monsoon

Veronique at Monsoon

Anyway, while I never got to be a miniature maid there are plenty of lucky tots that do get to don a pretty frock and follow a real bride down the aisle.

If you’re having young bridesmaids on your wedding day there are numerous adorable options to dress them in. Both designers and the high-street offer some truly ahh-worthy options, with Monsoon and BHS coming tops as our High Street Honeys for little fashionistas.

Pom Pom Dress - Monsoon

Pom Pom at Monsoon

Lydia Ballet - BHS

Lydia Ballet at BHSLilly Lace Dress - Monsoon

Lily by Monsoon

If you’re having a mix of different aged bridesmaids it’s worth remembering your adult bridesmaids don’t want to be wearing the same outfit as a knee-high maid, equally teens will want to feel grown-up and gorgeous, rather than wearing the same attire as their younger sibling or cousin. Therefore it’s often best for brides to pick contrasting outfits for their grown-up and toddler bridesmaids. For those who do prefer to match things up, there is always the option of selecting a child’s dress with a coordinating sash in the colour that your adult maids will be wearing.

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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!

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (16)

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.

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (36)

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).

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (35)

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.

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (51)

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.

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (53)

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!

a wedding at the KP Club (c) SDS Photography (61)

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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just married? we’d love to hear from you!

August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

One of my very favourite parts of my job as Editor here at Brides Up North is receiving and reviewing Real Wedding submissions from my newly-wed readers and industry suppliers.  There’s nothing quite like the love and joy that radiates from the images of a couple’s big day and the palatable excitement in the accompanying email.  I’m putting this post together late on Sunday evening, and I’ve just spent the best part of the afternoon approving some very, very special submissions that I’m so looking forward to sharing with you soon.

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

I hope that those of you who visit these pages daily will come back to share your own celebrations and help to inspire the thousands of readers who pop in to see us daily.  It’s so simple to contact us with a submission – and all the details of how to do this are found permanently under the submit tab above – but now and again I like to reach out and remind you that I’d love you to get in touch.

We accept submissions from brides and grooms, photographers, planners and other wedding vendors, and as well as weddings, we also love to see engagement session photographs, couples shoots, trash the dress, cherish the dress and styled session photographs. We accept wedding submissions of all themes, sizes, religions and gay weddings.

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

If you’d like to submit your own Wedding to feature on Brides Up North all you need to do is drop us a line.

step one

Your initial contact email should include:

  • Your name and email address
  • Your Wedding venue and date
  • A brief description of your Wedding including general theme, colour scheme and any other special details
  • 5 to 10 varied images from your Wedding
  • Confirmation that your Wedding has not been submitted to any other blogs/ websites/ magazines (with the exception of the photographer’s own blog)

step two

Should Brides Up North wish to review your submission further we will require:

  • 40 to 50 high quality varied photographs – mostly in colour and without watermarks – of the day from start to finish to include stylish details of your Wedding (your photographer will be able to assist with this). I accept submissions as a ZIP file or via Dropbox only
  • Completion of the Brides Up North Wedding Interview which will be provided by email
  • Details of your photographer and any other key suppliers
  • Online exclusivity for 28 days after date of publish

 

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

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the editorials: Brides Up North in Unveiled Magazine

August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Unveiled 1

I’m really proud to be asked to contribute on a regular basis to some leading bridal titles both on a National and regional level and very happy to be able to share my published press with you on these pretty pages.

Today I’m hoping to put some roses in your cheeks with my spread on outdoor weddings featured in North East glossy, Unveiled Magazine.

Unveiled 2

I wrote: It may be the romantic notion of the wind in your hair and the sun on your backs, long lead times and increasing rates at traditional locations or a desire for something that feels a little more adventurous, but more and more Brides Up North are choosing to host their wedding ceremonies in the open air.

And once you’re out, why not stay out? A big white tent isn’t your only option for your wedding reception.  Whilst nothing tops the glamour of a beautifully lined formal marquee for a traditional celebration, there are plenty more outdoor choices available.  Think about how you want your wedding to look and feel before choosing your awnings.  Consider a pretty yurt, a big top, a Scandinavian style tipi or even a Bedouin style tent for a day with a difference.

If you are thinking about taking things outdoors, here are my top tips for the perfect day whatever the weather.

legally wed

If you want your ceremony to be legally binding, the venue must be a permanent structure with a roof and approved for marriage.  There’s always the option of saying “I do” in a separate civil or religious ceremony but some venues have licensed areas with a roof in the grounds such as a summerhouse or a gazebo so that couples can still tie the knot in the open air.  Do your homework in advance and make sure that your chosen location will result in a valid marriage certificate.

do the maths

If you were hoping that removing the walls would bring the price down, think again!  An outdoor reception is definitely a style, rather than budget, led choice.  You’ll need to allow for the cost of any tent or covering, any venue fees for where you choose to park it and all those easily overlooked additional extras – like electricity, lighting, heating and toilet facilities – that an outdoor celebration needs to function.  Ask your provider exactly what is included in the quote from the outset to avoid any nasty surprises.

come rain or shine

Contrary to popular belief, a wedding reception outdoors can work in all seasons.  The giant tipi design is inspired by the traditional tipis lived in by the Sami people of Lapland – so they’re built to withstand the weather and contain warmth.  Stoke up the fire pit, artfully drape a few fur throws and you and your guests are set to party into the small hours.

the sky’s the limit

Rustic or formal, weddings in the great outdoors are very adaptable.  Choose to let the outside in with natural blooms for a homespun look, or go to town with glossy dance floors and twinkling backdrops.  Whatever your preference, raising the roof widens rather than limits your styling options.

Unveiled 3

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