February 22nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding couple decided to harness the magic of the festive period by getting married a week before Christmas Eve.
There are so many beautiful details here if you’re planning a winter wedding – burgundy lips, faux fur stoles and a classic Christmas-inspired colour scheme of berry, evergreen and hints of gold. Plus, Heskin Hall’s open log fires, elegant chandeliers and Chesterfield sofas make the perfect cosy winter venue.
With photography by Marie Cooper Photography.
anna says: We got engaged a year before our wedding while we were in Edinburgh for a few days away. Tom surprised me with a stay in one of my favourite places, The Witchery, on the Royal Mile. He proposed by the fire in our suite.
We were married on Saturday 17th December 2016. We chose this date because my dream was to have a Christmas wedding and a week before Christmas Eve seemed the perfect date – all of the anticipation in the air!
The ceremony was at my parish church, St. George’s Church in Maghull, as we wanted a traditional Catholic ceremony. Our reception was at Heskin Hall in Chorley, as it’s a lovely Tudor house with log fires, Chesterfields, chandeliers and twinkling lights. We thought it was perfect for a Christmassy setting.
We chose a Christmas theme for our wedding due to the time of year. We wanted it to be super-cosy and for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.
Colour-wise, we chose berry shades, dark greens and gold to reflect traditional Christmas colours.
I chose a long, flowing champagne-coloured dress. I thought that a warmer shade would suit the time of year more. It had a full skirt with a lace bodice, some subtle sparkles and lace sleeves. I chose a long veil to complement the dress.
February 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon, we’re talking entertainment, and in particular, how certain elements of a wedding venue can affect the performance of live acts and musicians.
To ensure the advice is coming directly from those with excellent experience in the field, we’re welcoming our wonderful Sponsor Seventh Second, back to the blog. Set up and run by talented and knowledgeable musicians, those behind Seventh Second know exactly what is required to secure professional, reliable and talented musical acts that will help to make a wedding day truly unique and memorable.
Following their previous guide on how to pick the right wedding band, the agency is taking over the blogging reins once again to advise what elements of a venue need to be considered to ensure you can have your desired choice of wedding entertainment.
Seventh Second say: This is the number one consideration as your wedding venue is going to most likely be your most expensive purchase. Hidden costs can turn your dream wedding venue into a huge expense. I think most of us would agree that a venue means nothing unless it’s filled with beautiful decorations, happy guests, fantastic food, service and entertainment, so consider what else you want at your chosen venue and plan and budget accordingly. You may have to compromise on a few little things so that you can afford the venue, entertainment and extras that you want.
Most of us Brits only really let loose once we’ve had a few beers and we’ve noticed over the years that by the time we get close to bedtime most people have only just plucked up the courage to dance, and so just as we finish the night’s entertainment, the party is getting started! We therefore suggest thinking about what kind of guests you have, what kind of wedding atmosphere you want to create and checking the opening hours whilst selecting your dream venue.
space and layout
Many clients ask us, how much space does the band need? We typically say a minimum of three by four metres for a three- to four-piece act is best and ask any act bigger than that. All our acts know what they need for any situation and band size, so just ask us for more information. Most wedding acts out there should know what they need if they are professional.
There’s also stages, plugs and power requirements. If the venue has a stage and its free, use it. If you have to rent one in, it will make the whole performance area look better.
Plugs and power-wise, a minimum of four standard plug sockets is usually fine but again, check what the venue actually has and then chat to the band. If you are running a generator, check its specifics. Don’t forget that you want a nice big space for dancing so chat to the venue about that too.
Ask venues if they have sound limiters, what decibel limit they are set to, and if acts have to use them. As a guide, any limiter that’s under 100 decibels is going to affect their performance a lot and anything under 90 decibels is only advised for acoustic acts.
filling the dancefloor
Wedding acts perform to their max when they have a packed dancefloor.
If you can help it, don’t serve food when a live band is performing. Try and coordinate with the band so their break coincides with your food service. No one dances with a wad of cake in their hand or a freshly filled stomach.
If the bride and groom are on the dance floor (i.e. you!) then your guests will be. Stay there and get your guests comfortable strutting their stuff and they will stay there too.
Pick great live wedding entertainment! Guests can tell if a band is not really putting their all into a performance. Read our guide on picking a wedding band or talk to us to get all the advice you need.
Not a must, but we often notice that the more freely available alcohol there is, the more dancing there is!
sound system and lights
If a venue has equipment the wedding band either has to use, or can use, it’s worth checking for sound limiters and making sure your wedding band has all the technical details of the sound and lighting system. Built in sound systems are becoming common as venues struggle to deal with noise complaints so if a venue has its own PA and lighting system this is probably for the best and any live act should be encouraged to use them. Regardless, all our acts follow a self-contained philosophy so they always have all the sound and light equipment you’d need for a great wedding.
To find out more abut Seventh Second and their acts and service, visit their website.
February 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s glamorous bride describes her agonising decision as to whether to go ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Kim Kardashian’ on the wedding dress front. In the end, her elegant gown was more grown-up princess than KK but every bit a showstopper.
This gorgeous duo really knows how to organise a party: their big day features a ten-piece band, a photo booth and gallons of Champagne. Plus, the photographs of Katherine with her seven gorgeous bridesmaids? Real #SquadGoals material.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.
katherine says: I had already picked my ring out at ROX jewellers in Leeds, with Oliver when we got engaged as we’d regularly talked about getting married. I had a very specific style in mind and we both agreed it would be better to pick a ring I loved instead of one I only liked! It was an amazing experience we both enjoyed and will cherish forever. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles as the glass doors behind us were locked by the security guard. We were the only customers in the store – absolute bliss!
Given that I knew the ring was coming (although I didn’t know when and where!) I told Oliver if he wanted to surprise me he’d have to catch me off guard. He did just that: he asked me to pop downstairs to help him carry something inside the house and as I reached the bottom step he was on one knee – with my ring! Of course, I said yes.
We both wanted to be married fairly quickly and were lucky enough to be financially able to do so. We were engaged August 2015 and were married September 2016. Oliver’s parents were married on the 28th September and my parents were married on the 29th September, so we decided to follow the trend with 30thSeptember. To get married on a Friday was significantly cheaper at most venues than a weekend and that encouraged us to go for a week day.
We visited dozens of venues, but fell in love with Monk Fryston Hall in Yorkshire, immediately. We wanted to find a venue that wasn’t too big (more than one wedding per day at some places), not too small (we both have big families) and that could provide overnight accommodation overnight. We both wanted a church wedding but were willing to organise and pay for the transportation of the guests from the church to the venue. However, this wasn’t necessary as there was a beautiful church, St. Wilfrid’s, just over the road. This sealed the deal for us and we organised a meeting with the wedding co-ordinator.
There was no real theme to the wedding other than the colour scheme, which was lilac – only because I had seven bridesmaids to cater for and found a lilac dress that everyone was happy with at the bargain price of £49 each in the January sales!
Everything was very simple. I wore a white gown with no bling, our cake was white with flowers, we used simple tea lights and hydrangea buds for decoration. It was such a beautiful venue it didn’t need much styling!
Style-wise, I batted between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Kim Kardashian’ for months! Did I fulfil my lifelong dream of wearing a wearing a poofy ball gown or did I go fashion forward and wear a skin tight fishtail gown? I went to several dress shops until I found Precious Bridal in Garforth – no pushy sales pitch, just a general introduction and then I was let loose in a shop full of gowns. Every bride’s dream! As my mum flicked through a catalogue she pointed out a dress she thought was lovely. I immediately recognised it – I actually had it saved on Pinterest. Donna suddenly revealed that she had it in stock! I had to try it on. Donna names each of her dresses so she can remember them easily, and so out of curiosity I asked what this dress was called. She replied ‘Katherine.’ I hadn’t even seen the dress and I knew it was the one. It was the perfect combination of elegance and a little bit of Cinderella.
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February 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Prepare yourself for some Monday afternoon swooning ladies, as this real wedding at Newton Hall has all the necessary elements to make you go completely weak at the knees.
From the picture-perfect venue, to the dreamy colour palette, and the bride’s show-stopping dress – we are 100% in love!
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
samantha says: We got engaged in November 2010. We had talked about getting engaged in the past and when we found out we were expecting our first child, Mark suggested we make it official and bought me a beautiful engagement ring.
We got married on Friday 4th November 2016 – we had been together for eight years to the date. We both wanted an autumn/winter wedding, something that didn’t rely on the weather being beautiful. However, we were lucky enough to be blessed with some gorgeous winter sunshine.
We got married at Newton Hall in Northumberland. The venue is quirky and beautifully decorated and offers exclusive hire, which was something that was particularly important to us. It has the perfect mix of luxury with an intimate, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It was the first venue that we visited and we fell in love immediately, each room is decorated so elegantly. We did visit one other venue, but nothing compared; we already had made our minds up.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we just chose finishing touches that complemented the style of Newton Hall. We chose a mix of vintage and rustic accessories to add to the already quirky detail within the hall.
We chose a pale pink colour scheme as I wanted a soft colour which added to my vintage theme.
We booked our wedding back in June 2014 and I couldn’t wait to go dress shopping. I managed to hold off until one year before the wedding as I was afraid I would change my mind. I am quite an indecisive person, and couldn’t believe how easy I had been making decisions leading up to our wedding, surely my dress was going to be the most difficult decision yet.
I booked an appointment at The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge, as they were holding a Stella York event and I had become really fond of the designer after scrolling through wedding dresses for a number of months. The ladies in the shop were extremely helpful. I explained that I wanted something with a detailed back which was a fit and flare style. With each dress I tried on, I found less things to dislike. Then they handed me ‘my’ dress, it was a Stella York fit and flare dress in champagne with ivory lace overlay. It had beautiful detail and had the most amazing illusion back; it fastened with beautiful buttons. Surely, I couldn’t buy my dress in the first shop I went to? But I did, and it was perfect!
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February 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on Brides Up North, the stunning Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire provides the romantic setting for our styled wedding shoot.
Dating all the way back to 1066, the site is quite literally steeped in history with striking architecture and a captivating gothic interior to match. We’re talking ornate mirrors, candelabras, original fireplaces and spellbinding staircases.
Becki from all You Need is Love Photography paired up with a number of talented suppliers (including Brides Up North Sponsor Blossom and Belle) to create this dreamy yet dramatic bridal look, and we simply adore the bold palette of the bouquet, headpiece and makeup.
Don’t miss our Brides Up North Luxury Bridal Show on Sunday 5th March 2017, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry at this stunning venue! We’re filling the Castle with 30+ of the area’s most brilliant bridal suppliers, live music, bridal fashion, pretty paper, sweet treats, floral designs and all the details. Come and see the place dressed to the nines to inspire your own perfect wedding day! Click here to register now.
With images from All You Need is Love Photography
becki says: We named the shoot ‘Star Of Love’ which is the variety of astrantia that the florist, Claire Slater Flowers used in the red bouquet, which features in most of the photos. Our model, Daisy, was quite the star, too, wearing a white gown from Blossom and Belle, based in York.
In terms of inspiration for the shoot, we focused on all things vintage. We wanted an opportunity to be creative together, especially as our tastes are so similar; plus we all have a soft spot for anything vintage.
We loved working together to create such a timeless and elegant look for the shoot. It’s just great to meet like-minded ladies within the wedding industry that can inspire and encourage the best from each other.
Allerton Castle was the most perfect location; each room is breath taking and the staff there are incredible.
I visited the castle a few years back, and it has always been a dream location for me to photograph. Each element of the shoot fitted together seamlessly and the backdrop of the castle really pulled it all together. It was like stepping into a time machine, as it’s steeped in so much history.
We didn’t have a specific style from the outset, this emerged as we discussed our favourite looks, and before we knew it, the vintage theme took a life of its own.
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February 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We don’t usually repeat posts here on the blog, but (like we reminded you earlier on today!) we’re hosting A POP-UP Mini Wedding Festival at The Bowdon Rooms next Sunday 26th February from 11am till 3pm, and we’re so excited that we wanted to remind you exactly how fabulous this versatile venue can be!
For any brides out there considering a vintage dress for your big day, today’s real wedding is likely to seal the idea as part of your plans. Just looking at today’s bride Anna in her unique vintage gown makes us go weak at the knees as she radiates such flawless beauty and elegance.
In line with her choice of attire, Anna’s wedding to beau Dan followed a vintage festival route with the ‘I dos’ and party taking place at one-of-a-kind venue, The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire, with homemade décor to match.
Now, on with the pretty…
With images by Eclection Photography.
anna says: We got engaged in 2013 on a beach in Kefalonia. We’d spent the day sailing over to Ithaca on a little boat and then made a picnic to take down to our local beach. I had no idea it was on the cards until Dan suggested getting some fizz, and then I had an inkling!
We got married on 23rd August 2014. We chose the date because it was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted get the most out of our celebrations with a day-after party at my mum’s house.
Our wedding took place at The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire. We chose it because it’s in the area I grew up, close to my mum’s house, old school and teenage drinking haunts! We really wanted a local feel to our wedding and The Bowdon Rooms really provided that. We actually made the decision to book it when we popped into the Brides Up North wedding fair there and saw how lovely the space could look. The fact we could decorate and personalise the space as much as we wanted was a big deciding factor and the team at The Bowdon Rooms really accommodated this – especially when helping us hang hundreds of paper pom poms!
We didn’t really have a theme but we knew we wanted to go colourful, instead of traditional white/cream. We also wanted to have seasonal wild flowers on the tables with a vintage, DIY kind of look so I guess that defined our theme. Our wedding invitation also lent itself to this as we worked with an illustrator called Ryn Frank, who specialises in flora and fauna designs, and designed us a beautiful illustrated wedding wreath for our invites.
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