November 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Simplistic and personal, without too much fuss. That’s how today’s beautiful bride describes her big day and we couldn’t put it any better ourselves. There’s a lot to be said about keeping things minimal and pared back for an all-together understated and stylish look, especially in a quaint, outdoorsy setting.
Tying the knot back in May at a charming village church in Millington, Philippa and James hired a stunning marquee for their reception celebrations. And luckily for them, a friend of the family allowed them to put it up in their field – a reception venue truly unique to our couple.
There are lots of wonderful details to inspire you today – from the 60-seater school bus and home-baked wedding cake and gins, to some rather fetching floral displays and decorations, all in keeping with the country vibes. We’ll let Philippa share with you all the lovely highlights…
With images by Carly Bevan.
philippa says: We got engaged in New York. I booked a holiday there as a surprise for James’ 30th as it was somewhere he had always wanted to go. We ended up going later in the year, around my birthday in October. James designed a beautiful ring and somehow got it to New York without me knowing! He popped the question after a bike ride around Central Park.
Our wedding was on 27th May 2017. As a teacher, we were limited as to when we could have the wedding. Initially we were thinking the summer holidays would be ideal but it felt like too far away so we picked the bank holiday weekend in May instead, giving everyone an extra day to recover after the wedding!
We got married at St Margaret’s Church in Millington followed by a reception in a beautiful petal pole marquee in a nearby field in the village. The marquee was supplied by Will’s Marquees. The team were amazing and worked so hard to get the marquee up and looking perfect! I would definitely recommend them.
We chose to get married in Millington as this is where my parents live and work, they own the pub in the village, The Gait Inn. The village itself is beautiful and means a lot to us as a couple. My parents approached friends of theirs who live in the village about the possibility of using their field for the reception venue. The field is very close to the church, has a beautiful view and fitted perfectly with our vision for the day. We wanted to be able to walk from the church to the field with our guests without any fuss, wedding cars or our guests needing to take a long trip to another venue.
We wanted our wedding to be simplistic and personal without too much fuss. We didn’t have a theme in mind but our wedding did have a vintage, country feel.
We chose green and white as our main colour scheme. We thought this would fit with the country feel of the wedding – and I love green!
November 30th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
After a hugely busy but absolutely EPIC season of our autumn wedding fairs, we we’re in need of some serious downtime come mid-November. Not only to recover from organising and running more than 20 luxury shows across the north of the country in the latter part of the year, but also to come down from high of them being so well-received and attended by fabulous suppliers and lots of lovely brides-and-grooms-to-be. Big love to all!
And so, an invitation to Cheshire-based spa hotel Mottram Hall, couldn’t have come at a better time; this was one Blissed Out Bride visit we were well and truly going to benefit from.
Nestled amongst peaceful parkland, the stunning hotel is the perfect retreat for those craving a large dose of R&R. And it has something to tempt all – couples, guys and girls – with an 18-hole championship standard golf course, luxurious spa, champagne bar and AA Rosette restaurant all on site. So, you can eat, drink, be merry and sleep (which is exactly what we planned to do).
Arriving at lunchtime, our spa package began with a light lunch accompanied with a glass of fizz, setting the tone for the rest of our stay. Once fed and watered (or prosseco-ed!) we headed straight for the spa – like I say, this was one trip we were more than ready for!
A step, leap and stride in front of many ‘spa hotels’ Mottram Hall’s facilities are award-winning, having been bestowed a 5* Bubble Rating by the Good Spa Guide and named ‘Best Country Retreat Spa’ at the Good Spa Guide’s 2017 Regional Awards.
This comes as no surprise really, when in addition to the usual facilities one would expect to find at such a resort, Mottram also boasts the UK’s first Alfresco ThermoSpace. We were super keen to try out all the facilities for ourselves, even if it did mean venturing outside in our swimwear on a chilly November day!
After a quick dip and laze around the indoor swimming pool and hydropool, we wrapped up in our robes and headed outdoors to the ThermoSpace, which is said to incorporate traditional spa therapies with the great outdoors. And we must say, it’s a winning combination!
Experiencing both the Brechelbath and Stonebath, both designed to relax and raise the body’s temperature, we felt wonderfully calm, cocooned in the warmth while enjoying views of the idyllic gardens through floor-to-ceiling glazing.
Next, the outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Just as it was getting dark this was the perfect place for a good catch-up in the open air surrounded by bubbling water as we reflected on the amazing season of wedding fairs and discussed how to raise the bar even higher for our spring 2018 shows (the line-up for which, you can view here).
To complete our spa time, we indulged in a treatment. With the cooler weather playing havoc with my skin I opted for a personalised facial, while Julia was intrigued by the sound of the ESPA Signature Floatation Treatment.
I was led to a softly-lit treatment room where my lovely therapist explained the procedure, which including running a SkinVision lamp across my face to identify needs not visible to the naked eye so that she could tailor the facial to perfectly suit my requirements. Responding to areas of both oiliness and dehydration, she used balancing products that would address both, leaving me with soft, glowing skin.
Julia’s treatment meanwhile was carried out on a ‘floatation bed’ in one of the Alfresco ThermoSpace rooms. The personalised treatment began with a full body polish, followed by a body wrap and relaxing scalp massage. The water-type bed upped the relaxation and Julia admitted slipping into a light sleep during certain parts of the treatment, and emerged with radiant skin, from top to toe!
November 29th, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you follow us over on our busy Instagram feed, you’ll know that we’ve been in Southern Iceland as guests of the superb Hotel Ranga for the past few days, chasing the sun and spotting the Northern Lights. Full blog service resumes this evening and we’re bringing you a real wedding that’s as pretty as it is personal (and more on our trip later!).
Opting for a traditional church ceremony and a reception at the stunning Delamere Manor in Cheshire, Steph and Darren chose to keep the focus firmly on them as a couple, deciding against a set wedding theme and instead including meaningful personal touches along the way. One of our favourite being the CD favours – who doesn’t love a good compilation?
We’re also totally in love with Steph’s b-e-a-utiful big day look, the picture of elegance in her lace detailed dress, pink Jimmy Choos and gorgeous natural bridal makeup. We also have to give kudos to Darren, who looks super dapper in his navy suit, demonstrating that’s it’s not just the bride who can bring style to a wedding. Darren is doing it for the grooms!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
steph says: We got engaged in Seville. It was part of a trip to Spain for my 30th birthday. The day started extremely gloomy and wet so we decided to head for a long lunch. We had bellies full of paella and enjoyed our favourite white wine; Marques de Riscal. We went back to the hotel to check into our room to discover our cases had been misplaced. Little did I know the ring was inside the case! After a couple of frantic conversations Darren had with reception our luggage came up to the room and Darren hid the ring box in his back pocket. During a walk of the city, we approached “The Fountain of Love” and began posing for pictures, then Darren got down on one knee – I was speechless!
Our wedding was on Saturday 2nd September 2017. We didn’t have a specific date in mind but the more we thought about it, September was a month we both loved.
We got married at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wilmslow, followed by a reception at Delamere Manor, Cuddington. The church is in my hometown and so this was non-negotiable. For the reception, we wanted a venue none of our friends had got married at and somewhere that screamed Darren and Steph. When we viewed Delamere Manor we fell in love and knew it was the place for us.
We didn’t have a set theme for the wedding, we just wanted a day that would reflect us.
Our colour scheme was silver, and pastel colours such as pink, lavender and baby blue.
I wore a Justin Alexander dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. I also had a cathedral-length veil (my mum’s request). Puure was the last shop we went to and the place I got my dress. Angie there was so helpful from start to finish. She put me in something I wouldn’t dream of picking, but after a couple of tweaks it really was the perfect dress for the day. My shoes were Lucy from Jimmy Choo, and something I have worn again since.
Georgina Wild did the bridal party’s hair and Maxine Smith did makeup. Georgina is a good friend, and unbelievable hairdresser. She kept me cool, calm and collected during the morning and was versatile with both short and long hair for me, my sister and mum. Maxine was also a fantastic addition to the morning of the wedding – and a great, natural make-up artist.
November 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Rumours have been rife, and now it’s official – there’s another royal wedding on the horizon, and we at Brides at North HQ are so excited we could quite literally burst into a shower of confetti!
After months of speculation, Clarence House has today confirmed the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged. And who can blame Harry for putting a ring on the finely polished finger of the American actress? Seriously hot bride-to-be alert! But let’s not forget, Harry too has earnt himself serious heart-throb status in recent years, and so we spare a thought for those mourning the news that one of the UK’s most desirable bachelors is now officially off the market!
News of the engagement spread like wild-fire with politicians, religious figures and celebrities from around the world keen to express their congratulations and echo the well wishes of the royal family and Miss Markle’s parents.
It’s reported that the loved-up couple, who met 16-months ago through mutual friends, got engaged in London earlier this month and that they’re set to marry in Spring 2018 – which means we won’t have to wait too long for the big day to arrive. Hurrah!
In the meantime, there’s no doubt speculation will go up a gear as industry professionals (like us!) and royal family fans (again, us!), will forecast, predict and propose just what their celebrations might entail; from the venue and guestlist to Meghan’s hotly-anticipated gown – everything is up for debate and discussion, as of now!
Details of the ring are already circulating, with US Weekly reporting that Harry commissioned the band to be made out of a diamond brooch worn by Princess Diana. And bets are already being taken as to precisely where and when the big day will be, Westminster Abbey in May 2018 hotly favoured.
Following the official announcement, the newly-engaged couple will move in together at Kensington Palace, with Wills and Kate as neighbours, giving Meghan plenty of opportunity to exchange wedding tips and advice with The Duchess of Cambridge following her and Wills’ nuptials in April 2011.
For us, and many other ladies and fashion-fans out there, the element we are most excited about is the dress! It’s been said that Meghan is already on the hunt for a royal-worthy dress that is “classic and simple” but with a hint of Hollywood glamour. There are bets being taken for the design house that will produce such a gown with Alexandra McQueen, who created Kate’s dress in the running. But, whatever she decides we’re expecting it to result in a surge of replica’s just as Kate’s iconic lace-sleeved dress did seven years previously.
We’ve already had a glimpse of what Meghan will look like as a bride, when she donned a gown during her role as Rachel Zane in hit TV series Suits, though allegedly Meghan said the pretty A-line detailed gown wasn’t to her personal taste. With her amazing figure, dark brunette hair and L.A. beauty, there’s many a wedding dress design that we can see her easily rocking, but if we were placing our money anywhere it would be on a simple, yet luxurious plain silk design.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on all the developments and brining you a full post on our dream dress predictions for Meghan soon, so be sure to watch this space for more royal wedding chatter! The excitement is at fever pitch here!
November 27th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Excited to share her wedding with us today is Kate, whose rustic, laid-back, glittery celebration warms the cockles on a chilly winter’s day.
Kate and Chris chose an industrial setting – an old Yorkshire mill – for their reception and dressed it up to the nines with strings of fairy lights, a vast array of vases brimming with flowers and glittery jam jars twinkling with candles.
We love the little touches that punctuate the day with personality, from the ‘totes getting married’ bride’s tote bag and the handmade order of the day, to the wedding bingo cards that spiced up the speeches.
If you’re planning your wedding right now, it’s worth considering how you’ll immortalise the guests on the day and a photo guestbook is a fun way to capture everyone in the moment – check out Kate and Chris’s handmade Polaroid picture frame and comical props for some inspiration.
With images by Photography by Kathryn.
kate says: We got engaged in September 2016 in my favourite place in the world: Filey. We had a lovely weekend away at the end of the summer holidays and, as the sun set on a day of walking along the beach, fish and chips and prosecco, Chris proposed! It was perfect.
We got married on Friday 2nd June 2017. We knew we didn’t want to wait too long and, being a teacher with lots of teacher friends, we went for spring half-term.
We got married at St Anne-in-the-Grove Church in Southowram, our local village church, followed by a reception at The Arches at Dean Clough in Halifax. The first time we visited The Arches we fell in love with it! It is such a different venue, being an old Yorkshire mill, and we knew we could really make the space our own. The Arches has a very laid-back, rustic style, which suited us perfectly.
We would absolutely recommend the venue: Abby and Tabby at Mode for Events who coordinate weddings at The Arches were fantastic. They really helped us to make the day our own, from choosing our menus and drinks – including having my dad’s favourite beer on pump – to styling the venue and recommending suppliers. Nothing was too much trouble.
I love a bit of glitter, so our colour scheme was blush pink with lots of champagne gold glitter and touches of navy.
I wore a True Bride two-piece with a hi-low tulle skirt and a cropped embellished bodice with delicate beads and buttoned detailing. I chose the dress because it was completely different from anything I’d seen before and because it gave me the chance to buy some glittery Jimmy Choos as they’d be on show!
My bridesmaids wore dusky pink dresses from Showcase at Dorothy Perkins. They wore three different styles to suit them best but all in the same colour. Our flower girl wore a pink and gold glittery dress with a matching glittery headband and shoes, all from Monsoon.
November 24th, 2017 | Julia Braime
Behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, things are pretty busy! We’re already working a year ahead to bring you almost 40 sensational (and each unique and different!) bespoke bridal shows for 2018 and work has started in earnest on Issue 09 of our gorgeous bi-annual glossy magazine, UNVEILED, out in March. Add an impending site relaunch (yes (!), watch this space), a brand spanking new digital platform for UNVEILED (launching next week people!) and all the juggle that comes with being a mummy of two littles away from the office, and this editor was seriously in need of some R&R.
So, when the lovely people at Seaham Hall in Country Durham waved an overnight spa stay for two my way, I grabbed the husband, set the out of office and used up some babysitting credits. It was time to test out Seaham’s offering to make sure that you lovely Brides Up North stay blissed out in the run up to your big day and beyond.
Now, this place is incredible and some. Recently awarded the Conde Nast Johansens UK Readers’ Award 2017 (and from the facilities and service you can see why) this coastal gem is full of charm.
Pre-stay, the hotel’s website had boasted that, ‘set within 37 acres of delightful gardens in a stunning cliff top location overlooking the sea and the coast of the Durham Heritage Coastline, Seaham Hall is a beautiful Georgian Mansion ideally located in Durham for a luxurious overnight retreat’. They weren’t wrong.
On the menu for us was a stay in one of Seaham Hall’s beautiful suites, decorated artfully in shades of grey, teal and a zingy yellow – with enough wallpapers, cushions and objets d’art to keep this interiors magpie very happy indeed; a spa day for two (is it a bit cringy to read your own magazine by the pool? Maybe, but I don’t care!) with some delightful treatments thrown in; pre-dinner mojitos delivered to our suite (nice touch!) and a fine dining dinner in Byron’s Restaurant, followed by the best night’s sleep that I’d had in a long, long time.
Byron’s Restaurant has recently been awarded a 1st in the Taste Durham Awards, recognising the hotel’s hard work towards supporting and championing local producers and suppliers. My husband and I shared the Chateaubriand, and can vouch for its flavour, freshness and presentation. And although we didn’t try it ourselves, the dishes served in the venue’s Pan-Asian Restaurant ‘The Ozone’ located within the Serenity Spa looked absolutely delightful.
Now onto that spa. As well as a fully equipped gym (which I didn’t try out – my bad!) the sensational Serenity Spa boasts a 20 metre pool with massage stations; hamman with snail showers and jacuzzi, Asian herbal samarium, salt sauna, Indian steam chamber, hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, plunge pools and my favourite bit – outdoor hot tubs.
The hubby and I spent a glorious few hours trying out the various heat experiences, bubbling in the hot tubs and relaxing poolside, before it was time for our treatments.
The Serenity Spa offers unique and bespoke holistic treatment rituals from Asia that deliver luxurious, indulgent experiences. Their therapists are chosen not only for their ability but their intuition to your individual needs and the treatments tailored specifically to you. Just lovely!
To aid my too-much-screen-time and sugar skin, I chose a Sunari Prescriptive Facial, which promised to reawaken and rejuvenate my skin with a holistic techinque customised for my skin’s specific needs. Naturally active ingredients were custom blended for intensive exfoliation and renewal; and Seaham Hall’s signature MarMassage (pressure point stimulation) completed the experience, for newly radiant skin. I was glowing!
The hubby meanwhile was treated to a Serenity Signature Massage, a full body massage which unlocks tension and induces a sense of relaxation, wellness and inner calm.
I’d wholeheartedly recommend Seaham Hall for a pre-wedding break to bliss out with the girls or reconnect with your hubby to be amid the planning madness. This would also be the ideal spot for a “just because” romantic break (we are all about those here at Brides Up North HQ!) or a really delightful minimoon.
And if you’ve fallen as much in love as we have here at Brides Up North, why not really commit? Seaham Hall also plays host to a number of luxury weddings a year. Offering exclusive use weddings and ceremonies, a wedding at Seaham Hall would truly be an occasion to remember.
For more information visit www.seaham-hall.co.uk
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