September 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Where to start with today’s beautiful real wedding? There’s a magnificent, grand venue, two dress changes for the bride, some fabulous floral and amazing entertainment!
All bride Kimberley’s childhood dreams can true when she and beau Simon stumbled upon Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire, which provided the perfect fairy tale backdrop to their fine celebrations.
It was also important to Kimberley that her Chinese roots and traditions were incorporated into the wedding, and so the day featured ‘door games’, a tea ceremony and a lion dance! Here to explain exactly what this consisted of is the beautiful bride herself. Take it away Kimberley…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor York Place Studios.
kimberley says: We got engaged on 9th May 2015. My girlfriends took me out for the afternoon to celebrate my birthday which was a few days earlier. One of them feigned sick and we were close to my place so they asked if we could go there to lie down for a bit. As soon as I opened the door I could tell something was up because it was super tidy and there were tea lights everywhere. I walked into the living room and Simon took my hand and sat me down then asked me to watch a video. It turned out to be a video that he had put together of me, telling our story from the beginning up to our engagement. The first night we met, instead of talking to me he took loads of pictures of me. Since then it’s been a running joke that he’s my personal photographer which is why he put the video of me together, basically me doing all kinds of silly things and it was his way of showing how I looked in his eyes. Towards the end of the video, he added in clips from rom-coms with cheesy lines and ending with Forrest Gump where Forrest proposes to Jenny. Then Simon proposed to me and I noticed that the girls had been filming in the background the whole time!
Simon then said he had another surprise and led us out of the flat. We went to a pub and as we walked in I saw our friends and family there, some who travelled down to London from Harrogate and Manchester! Simon told me he’d also organised a surprise engagement party for that evening. We went to the Candlenight Club all dressed up, Great Gatsby style. It was a fantastic day and I had the best time!
Our wedding took place on 25th June 2016, at Allerton Castle, near Harrogate. Since I was a little girl, I’d always gone on about getting married in a castle. When we started looking for venues, we looked at places close to Harrogate so that Simon’s family could attend and found Allerton Castle. I loved the beautiful main hall and ballroom – it was the perfect setting for our wedding. I also loved the grand staircase and chandeliers; it meant that I hardly needed to decorate the venue because it was already so decadent and suited us perfectly, especially as I’m known for being over the top.
There wasn’t really a theme to the day as such, we just wanted to be able to incorporate both our cultures into the wedding.
The day started with the door games, which is a Chinese tradition where the groom and groomsmen come to the bride’s house (in our case a rented holiday property for the weekend) to pick up the bride. The boys are met by the bridesmaids who put them through a series of challenges to see if the groom is worthy of the bride. This tradition is a symbol of the love of the bride’s family and their unwillingness for their daughter to leave. The door games end with the bridesmaids bartering for an “entrance fee” of red envelopes. The amount of money inside the envelopes is also symbolic and will often be a combination of three, eight, nine because in Chinese, three sounds like life, eight sounds like wealth and nine denotes the idea of longevity and being together forever.
Once I’d been ‘picked up’, we travelled to Allerton Castle to get ready. I then got changed in the bridal suite, which is a beautiful room that I wish was my bedroom all the time!
We had the civil ceremony and then the blessing, which incorporated the spiritual element that we wanted as part of our day without having a church wedding. I then got changed again into my Chinese traditional dress, and my husband put on his Chinese gilet and got wrapped up in a nice big red bow!
We got to walk down the staircase again where the front of the hall had been set up with a bench for the tea ceremony. This is where we kneel in front of our elders in order of seniority, one (or a couple) at a time and offer them tea. Traditionally, after each elder takes a sip, they hand the couple lucky red envelopes, which usually contain money or jewellery. For Cantonese weddings, a common gift is a pair of gold bangles called ‘dragon and phoenix bangles’. For the bride; the dragon and the phoenix being regarded as the perfect couple of “Yang” and “Yin” in Feng Shui that represent love, harmony and marital bliss.
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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April 22nd, 2016 | Julia Braime
Now we really are spoiling you.
Finishing the month on a high, these are two of the loveliest events in our spring calendar: make sure to pop in and see us and soak up all the wedding pretty. We’ve got every detail covered from wedding dresses to cakes to your finishing touches, and a handpicked selection of both regions’ very best wedding suppliers at both. And if you’re still venue hunting then, well… look no further.
We’ll see you there!
Allerton Castle, Allerton Park, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG5 0SE
Sunday 24th April 2016
11am till 3pm
Set amongst beautiful landscaped gardens, with dramatic architectural features throughout, this 18th century gothic revival Grade 1 listed castle is a magical setting for your dream wedding day.
We’ve put together a stellar selection of the most brilliant wedding suppliers in North Yorkshire. Come and see this spectacular venue dressed to the nines: be amazed by our towering floral displays, sample our artisan cake creations, pose in our photo booths, hear some of the best live music in the County, play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories and tick off all those last essential details.
One of our very favourite events in our entire calendar, the Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Allerton Castle really is that – pure luxury. Even if you’ve already booked your wedding venue, come along to meet and seek inspiration from the region’s very finest wedding industry suppliers. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!
Who wants to play at princesses?!
the alnwick garden
The Alnwick Garden, Denwick Lane, Alnwick, NE66 1NQ
Sunday 24th April 2016
11am till 3pm
FREE ENTRY for Bride or Groom +1 Guest
Each wedding at The Alnwick Garden is an original.
Whether for an intimate and relaxed event or a more formal and lavish affair, The Alnwick Garden is a truly unique setting for the most wonderful wedding day: a light and contemporary space overlooking one of the world’s most exciting gardens.
We’ll be filling the gorgeous Pavilion with over 35 of the region’s most wonderful wedding exhibitors. Even if you’ve already got your venue in the bag, the setting and the suppliers are so bloomin’ amazing that you’ll leave feeling super inspired to create your own dream day.
The Alnwick Garden team is dedicated to making your day perfect and unique, and they can’t wait to meet you on Sunday!
bride to be?
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs at each event, filled with glossy magazines and little treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP media pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last.
April 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding has a somewhat unusual theme to it, though we just love to see brides and grooms thinking outside the box and injecting a little of their personalities into the day. This is exactly what Nick and Nicola did by picking an underwater wedding theme to reflect their favourite hobbies: angling and scuba diving.
To complete the look, Nick and Nicola chose a beautiful teal colour scheme, which tied in with their chosen theme, as well as the venue’s existing décor, perfectly.
We will be visiting the fabulous Allerton Castle in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, ourselves this Sunday to host one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Exhibitions. The event will give couples the opportunity to see this impressive venue for themselves whilst also meeting some of the area’s top wedding suppliers, several of which were a part of Nicola and Nick’s glorious big day. So if you like what you see be sure to register for the event here, it’s free entry!
With images by Laura Calderwood Photography.
nicola says: We got engaged at Thorpe Perrow Arboretum, which has always been a special place of ours to walk and relax. We wandered to our favourite spot with the lake in front of us and the trees behind, next to the giant acorn sculpture! I thought we had just come out for a nice stroll in the sunshine, but as I turned around Nick got down on one knee and asked “will you marry me?” I couldn’t believe it, of course I said yes! Nick had a mini bottle of champagne in his back pack, which we enjoyed in the sunshine. It was such a peaceful place and very romantic. When we went back home, our parents were waiting for us and had decorated the house in banners and balloons, it was such a lovely surprise and I had no idea it had all been planned!
Our wedding date was Sunday 24th May 2015. We wanted to get married in spring, in the hope for some nice weather on the big day. We chose the Sunday as it was the bank holiday weekend, and it was nice to have the whole family celebrate for a long weekend. It also meant that those who had to travel long distances would not have to take any time off work.
We got married at Allerton Castle, which is a beautiful place. We went to our first wedding fair at the castle and it just took our breath away. As we looked round other venues, we kept comparing them back to Allerton Castle, we just knew straight away it was the place for us. Another practical point was that Allerton Castle were willing to hold smaller weddings on a weekend, requiring 60 guests during the day. Other venues insisted on a minimum of 100, or even 150 guests, for a weekend, which we thought was quite unfair. We had 65 guests during the day and 85 in the evening, it was just the right number for us.
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October 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The next few weeks at Brides Up North HQ are amongst our busiest ever (hey, what changes?) as we gear up to deliver a serious helping of wedding inspiration to brides and grooms right across Yorkshire. The schedule is packed, and the schedule is pretty, as we visit four of the most gorgeous wedding venues in this beautiful county, filling each with an entirely handpicked selection of wedding suppliers for you to choose from.
Whether you are still looking for your venue (and oh my goodness these are stunners) or the few final touches (we’ve got those expertly covered too), these events are a must visit. Each event is completely bespoke and so perfectly put together, so we’d love for you to take your pick and come along to whichever takes your fancy! We’ve also made each event so unique that all four could fit neatly into a bride to be’s diary should the opportunity arise – just make sure you’ve a plan in place for handling a grumpy groom! Top tip: bring him to one, enlist the bridesmaids for the others!
We’re so very excited about what we’ve got planned for our readers – yes, that’s you! -for the next month! Bringing our inspirational pages to life is what we think we do best, and we can’t wait to share the events that we have been so meticulously working on for months behind the scenes. All we’ll say is that if you think these pages are lovely… you ain’t seen nothing yet! Grab the wedding folder, it’s time to tick off some wedmin…
Coming right up:
The Mansion, Roundhay, Leeds, LS8 2HH
Sunday 11th October 2015, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry
One for the fashionistas, this boutique, exclusive use wedding venue in Roundhay park is super chic. Add 35 of the area’s finest wedding industry suppliers and our bridal event equals absolute wedding planning perfection!
We’d love to help you get your glam on!
Denton Hall, Denton Rd, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 0HH
Sunday 18th October 2015, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry
Get ready to be Lords & Ladies of the Manor at this stunning Yorkshire country pile.
We’ve enlisted the help of 30+ luxury wedding exhibitors to help make your day even more perfect.
Wentworth Woodhouse, Wentworth, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S62 7TQ
Sunday 18th October 2014, 12pm till 4pm
£5 per bride (towards restoration fund)– other guests FREE
It’s big and it’s beautiful. With it’s newly granted Civil Licence the marbled halls of stately giant Wentworth Woodhouse can be exclusively yours for a very special day.
We’re excited to be working at this brand new Brides Up North venue for autumn 2015 and will be inviting the region’s very best exhibitors to join us for a day of delight and inspiration.
Allerton Castle, Allerton Mauleverer, Knaresborough, HG5 0SE
Sunday 25th October 2015, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry
This one has the WOW factor! The former residence of the Grand Old Duke of York is a real life fairy tale castle with the luxury of a boutique hotel, and it’s yours exclusively for the whole day.
We’ve filled the Great Hall and Ballroom with our selection (over 40) of the region’s best wedding industry suppliers, waiting to turn your dreams into reality.
bride to be? register now
To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags) at all or any of the events, simply follow the link below and select the venue of your choice. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Exhibition. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.
are you a wedding industry professional?
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2015/16. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions.
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 to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP for exhibitor booking and pricing information listing the events or area that you are interested in.
June 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Here at Brides Up North we just love a glam wedding and today’s has it all – a striking gown, opulent colour scheme and men in uniform!
Kathryn and Kelechi chose the grand Allerton Castle as the setting for their dream wedding, which was then styled in keeping with the historic venue’s décor and to suit the couple’s personal taste.
Posh transport, sparkling stationery and lavish centrepieces all help to create a wedding day as alluring as the bride and groom’s attire. Glam to a tee.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Laura Calderwood Photography.
kathryn says: We got engaged in Sydney, Australia, my hometown at the time. After meeting three years prior, Kelechi came over on a two-week holiday from the US Navy. Palm Beach is a favourite spot of mine so on day one of the trip we decided to go there and climb to the lighthouse, little did we know it wasn’t a pleasant stroll up but a hike! At the top and covered in sweat, I looked around and said “just think, this may be the last time we come here” – then turned back to Kelechi who said “we better make sure we remember it then” – he was down on one knee!
Our wedding date was 18th April 2015. We chose this date mainly due to Kelechi’s work schedule. Spring in the UK is a beautiful time, so that helped too!
We got married at Allerton Castle, which we chose due to the grandness of the building, its Great Hall and the beautiful countryside location. As a lot of our guests were coming from overseas, we needed the wow factor!
We didn’t really have a theme but kept everything very glamorous. We used a lot of candles, fairy lights and crystals. I picked this style due to the castle’s decor and so that it would be in keeping with what Kelechi and I like.
Black and Gold was the colour scheme. We choose this combination to match with Kelechi’s military uniform – dinner dress blues. Although the tux is actually black!
I chose a dress that was the complete opposite of what I thought I’d choose! The dress was called Amalfi by Ian Stuart, which I bought from Limelight Occasions in Huddersfield. I was drawn to the dress due to its uniqueness. It was two colours and had beautiful detailing. It was like nothing I’d seen anyone wear before. As soon as I put the dress on, I knew I had to have it!
Kelechi wore his military US Dinner Dress Blues uniform and the groomsmen who weren’t in uniform also wore black tuxedos.
My bridesmaids wore black maxi dresses with gold detailing around the top half of the dress, from Quiz. They were very flattering on all shapes and the girls looked fabulous whilst feeling comfortable at the same time. My ‘Mate of Honour’ wore a black tuxedo, hired from Greenwoods. He also invested in some gold shoes which looked amazing!
As I was getting ready at the castle, I decided to drive my little white Fiat 500 there in the morning with some of my bridesmaids. I decorated the car and we had a great laugh on the way! I organised an Aston Martin as a surprise wedding present for Kelechi. The car picked him up in York and took him and his best man to the castle. We then organised a vintage double decker bus to bring our guests to the venue from York.
Laura Calderwood was our photographer. She’s an absolute gem and was very patient with some of our more demanding guests. Nothing was too much trouble and the pictures taken speak for themselves and how great Laura’s work really is.
Joanna at Twisted Willow provided all our flowers, centrepieces and dressed the Great Hall for our ceremony – it looked magical.
My flowers were a mixed white bouquet with crystal detailing. For the wedding reception we had tall candelabras on each table surrounded by candles and draped in crystals. I had a vase on our sweetheart table for my flowers to be shown off in.
Another great supplier was Katie from Tigerlily Creations. Katie made all our stationery for our day from the invitations to the wishing well. Everyone commented on the quality and luxury feel she gave to our day.
Our wedding cake was wheels of cheese and therefore our favours were jars of chutneys with the words ‘Spread the Love’ on. We also gave little red double decker bus key rings to all our guests as a lot of them were visiting from abroad.
We had a dessert included in our menu, which is why we chose a cake made of cheese. It was something different for a lot of people and we loved it! Matt at The Cheese & Chutney Co couldn’t have been nicer either.
I wanted a fun cake topper so searched online and found Feats of Clay. Sarah is amazing and made both myself and Kelechi out of clay. A great talking point for guests and a great souvenir for us to keep.
We used the Dine for the food, who are provided through the Castle. They were fabulous!
We had champagne and canapés of mini Yorkshire puddings, chicken skewers and goats cheese tarts, during the drinks reception. For the wedding breakfast we had fishcakes to start, followed by a sirloin of beef, rounded off with a glorious sticky toffee pudding. Everyone commented on the quality of the food. We organised cheeseburger and chips for the evening reception – it made our guests’ night!
Entertainment wise, we had a string quartet playing for the guests’ arrival and during the drinks reception. It made for an elegant start to our day. For the evening entertainment we used Alive Network and booked the band Munch. Kelechi and I love live music so a band was a must. They played a whole host of music and catered for all ages.
During the band’s break we surprised our guests with a five-minute firework display. At first I was reluctant to do this but Kelechi pushed for it – I’m now so glad we did, it was magical and the guests loved it.
My favourite part of the day was the build-up and then finally seeing Kelechi as I stood at the top of the stairs before walking down the aisle. They are two moments that will stay with me forever. The dancing during the evening was pretty great too! Kelechi literally burnt the stitching off the bottom of his shoes!
For our honeymoon we went to a Sandals resort in St Lucia. It was fantastic, they couldn’t do enough for us and helped make the week very romantic and assisted Kelechi is organising lots of little surprises along the way. One thing to note though – everyone there is on their honeymoon so bear that in mind.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is a tip that everyone gave me – make sure you take a step back, look around and enjoy the day so you can remember it. I made a conscious effort to do this and I’m glad I did. Kelechi and I also chose to have a sweetheart top table to make sure we got some time to just sit down with each other and take it all in – a great decision.
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