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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

a pop up wedding festival: you’re invited to the alnwick garden

April 10th, 2018 | Julia Braime

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North East readers, we have one sensational date for your diaries, SUNDAY 22rd April 2018, from 11am till 2pm, we’ll be bringing the most lovely Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Show your way. In the diary once a year only, this one is all sorts of lovely.  Don’t miss it.

We’ll be filling the gorgeous Pavilion at The Alnwick Garden with 30 of the region’s most wonderful wedding exhibitors, plus, this time, popping up a tipi tent too, courtesy of our friends at Tipi Chic.  Even if you’ve already got your venue in the bag, the setting and the suppliers are so bloomin’ amazing (literally) that you’ll leave feeling super inspired to create your own dream day.

Its free to enter the event – and the Garden for the day, BONUS! – for registered brides (or grooms, we’re not fussy!) plus one guest.  So grab that wedding planning folder, and we’ll see you there!

Images by Melissa Beattie Photography for UNVEILED Magazine

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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.

Ceremonies take place in a light and contemporary space overlooking one of the world’s most exciting gardens. With its glass walls and high ceiling, you can enjoy the panoramic views and beautiful colours of The Garden in bloom.

The Pavilion Room can hold civil marriages and civil partnerships for up to 150 guests, with celebratory drinks served on terraces with captivating views. Up to 500 guests can join the party, with dinner overlooking the Grand Cascade followed by dancing under the stars and above thousands of twinkling lights on The Pavilion’s terrace.

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, 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.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

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fancy exhibiting with us?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2018. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Shows across three regions.

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. Consequently, we expect demand for 2018 to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

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exhibitor enquiry

Your Name (required)

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What sort of wedding business are you enquiring on behalf of? e.g. Bridal Boutique/ Photographer etc

Please list the events that you are interested in - or tell us which region you work in North East/ North West/ Yorkshire for a general enquiry - discounts are available for block bookings

Alternatively, please email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk ASAP for exhibitor booking and pricing information listing the events or area that you are interested in.

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let love grow. a boho beach wedding at the alnwick garden – frankie & chris

September 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (24)

The days might officially be getting shorter, but look on the bright side Brides Up North, that just means lots of beautiful summer celebrations to recap on these pretty pages.

This morning we’re starting the week off in beautiful Northumberland, and paying a visit to the Alnwick Treehouse and Alnwick Garden (where Brides Up North is very proud to be hosting our gorgeous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition on Sunday 5th October 2014, are you coming?).

Frankie and Chris’s colourful, natural, boho inspired wedding is bright and beautiful with authentic personal styling.  Let the love grow indeed…

With images by Wildhearts and Wishes Photography, with second shooter Jacqui Grigg.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (1)
a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (19)

Frankie says: We got engaged on 3 February 2013. The short and romantic version is that, one Sunday night, we went for a walk and Chris proposed along the banks of Thames in the old Naval College in Greenwich, underneath a 19th century lamp post. The longer, more accurate and less romantic story is that Chris proposed one Sunday night whilst wearing sweat pants in the house in the middle of an argument… a quick change into some nicer clothes and a short walk to our favourite location and we made it official against a more romantic setting!

We got married on Saturday 21st June 2014 at St Paul’s RC Catholic Church, Alnwick. The drinks reception and wedding breakfast was then in Alnwick Treehouse, before moving across to Alnwick Gardens for the evening do.

In terms of deciding location we knew we wanted somewhere meaningful to us so we started looking in three locations.  1) Greenwich in London where we have been living for 2 ½ years and where we got engaged, 2). Newcastle where we started living together for the first time, 3). Northumberland where we had both grown up and met.

We only looked round a few venues in London to know that something was missing, and that something was the North East.  When we looked round venues in Newcastle and Northumberland we knew straight away that that was where we should say our vows.

Having limited our choices to the North East, we were then still indecisive so greedily ended up choosing three venues instead of one!  Having both been brought up Roman Catholic, we were always going to get married in a RC Church.  We chose St Paul’s not only because of its location and its beautiful atheistic, but because we really gelled with the priest.  He was so supportive and down to earth; he sealed the deal for us!

We specifically chose Alnwick Gardens and Treehouse, as not only were they wonderfully characterful and beautiful venues in their own right, but because they also afforded us with the freedom and scope to reflect some of ourselves in the day.  Additionally, personalities played a part in helping us make our final venue choices, as the venue managers who showed us round both venues Arthur (at the Gardens) and David and Wendy (at the Treehouse) were both so friendly, accommodating and quirky that we knew they would understand the feel we were trying to create for the day.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (11)

We tried to ensure it was a feminist wedding – my Mum and Dad walked me down the aisle, but neither of them ‘gave me away’; my sister did a speech so that it was not an all male line up; and we changed some of the wording in the wedding ceremony to make it more ‘inclusive’.

Our themes/styles were quite broad; we wanted them to reflect our personalities and shared loves. In terms of style, we wanted to create a relaxed, free spirited (hence the no ties!) and environmentally conscious vibe (hence the tree planting, seed packet favour and recycled white-gold wedding ring).

Theme wise, it was primarily (a) music, to reflect our shared love of music; and (b) floral country garden to reflect our love of rural Northumberland and my love of big floral prints.  So as long as it was bright, colourful and fun, it was in!

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (22)

My dress was ‘Harper’ Rue De Seine.  I fell in love with it because it fitted the feel of both venues as well as my personal tastes; it combined both the bohemian, ethereal feel of the Treehouse with its flowing, loose fitting shape, whilst also encompassing the elegance and beauty of the Gardens through the beautifully detailed 1920’s style embellishments on the capped sleeves and midriff.

Both my mum and the lovely ladies in Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledon Village must take a lot of credit for helping me choose my dress and I will be forever grateful to them for doing so. My shoes I bought online from Etsy.  They were embellished in an art deco design that matched the style of the dress.

The groom and groomsmen all wore grey, slim fit, limited edition suits from Marks and Spencer with white shirts.  Both Chris and I met whilst working in Marker and Spencer 8 years ago so it seemed fitting that they should be part of day in some way, as without M&S our romance never would have happened!  In keeping with Chris’ laid-back style and personality, the collars were all open necked.

The bridesmaids wore green and blue floral mix and match 1950’s swing style dresses. The dresses were bespoke; designed and made by a local seamstress in my hometown, Morpeth (The Sewing Box).  The material was Liberty of London, Lawn Denise Eva that I found in a fabric shop in London ClothHouse.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (26)

We hired a 28 seater 1940’s gray and white former RAF bus from a local bus enthusiast in Northumberland.   The owner of the bus does not run a business; he just does it for pleasure so we were really lucky to find him.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (31)

Our photographer was Paula Smart from Wildhearts and Wishes Photography.

We would absolutely recommend Paula.  Her photos are beautifully natural, understated and artistic.  We loved her laid-back, genuine style both in her photos and as a personality.  She was so thorough, accommodating and on the day, fitted in entirely with us so that photos were built around the day rather than dictated the day.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (32)

Our florist was Christine from Lavenders Blue in Morpeth.  I have been going to Christine’s shop since I was 3 years old (she even taught my mum floristry) so it was nice to have that personal and local link in the day.

My bouquet was a loose posy of wildflowers, including: blue delphiniums, pink freesia, gypsophlia, blue thistle, pink stock, clematis vine, ivory freesia and green bells, tied with ivory satin ribbon. In my hair I had a garland of flowers made with the vine of green bells with pink stock, pink freesia bud, blue delphinium and gypsophlia.

The bridesmaids had simple bouquets of gysophila to offset the patterns on their dresses.

Christine arranged our flowers for the church and for both venues. In the church we had 2 pedestals containing blue delphinium, hydrangea, lilac stock, green trailing amaranthus, viburnum opulus, thistle and astrantia. On the end of the pews, we had 16 jam jars – which we had hand decorated with craft and manuscript paper and flowers.  These jam jars were then used on the tables at the treehouse.

In the Gardens we used an eclectic selection of containers (vases, tea cups, jugs etc) that belonged to ourselves or members of our families, including family heirlooms such as a jug that was a wedding present to my granny.  These included the same selection of flowers as the jam jars. We also had vintage style buckets and watering cans filled with pink and blue hydrangeas dotted around all the venue which we provided ourselves.

Decorations wise, we had a mix of multicoloured pom poms, floral print lanterns and distressed white wooden lanterns with nightlights.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (34)

In the treehouse, our wedding favours were also our table settings.  We had mini-jam jars filled with raspberry and plum jam that had been made by my Granny.  Each jar had a hand stamped label attached to it with a guests name on one side and ‘Thank you from Frankie and Chris: Spread The Love’ on the other side’.

At the evening do we had seed packets for wedding favours. We planted a tree in the gardens, and had a washing line of string marking out the area, with seed packets on it.  The speed packets were hand stamped with ‘Frankie and Chris: Grow the Love’.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (41)

We chose an ‘All You Need is Love’ Beatles themed cake as part of our music theme, as well as because we loved its vibrant, psychedelic feel.  It was made by A Symphony in Sugar, a fantastic local couple based in Cramlington.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (51)

Chris is a musician so various combinations of his old band and a band that was born out of that provided the music on the day. And of course, Chris was playing too!  The tunes were a combination acoustic soul in the first set and punk rock-fused crowd pleasers in the second set – it went down a treat! Dominic Murphy pulled it all together.  He has fifteen years experience as a musician working all over the North East in original, covers and function bands. It was great to have our friends involved in the day like this – it produced a very personal connection.

The music theme started as early as in the church, so we walked in and out to two of our favourite songs: ‘Sweet Disposition’ by the Temper Trap on the way in and ‘You Make my Dreams Come True’ by Hall & Oats on the way out.  This really made the service come to life and be very personal to us.  Plus it really got the party started early when we walked out to Hall & Oats with the congregation waving wedding wands with bells on!

In the Treehouse, we had a little room called the Roost, which we renamed ‘the sound track to our story.’  In this room we had all the key songs that had formed part of our story growing up and then together as a couple.  As this music was playing there was also a slide show of photos of both of us over the years chronicling our stories to the present day, which my mum had put together.

The handmade seating plan was also part of the music theme, with every table being named after one of out favourite songs.  The table names were displayed on vinyl CDs that were hung from an old 1930’s suitcase that belonged to my Great Grandpa.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (58)

We used etsy quite a bit, particularly for thank you presents for the wedding party and wedding stationary.  If you have an idea, however quirky, etsy will have it.  There are some amazingly individual suppliers.

Wendy from Just Perfect in Cramlington was particularly helpful.  She stocks a range of products from lots of local suppliers as well as hires accessories.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (38)

To tempt people out into the garden to begin with we planted a tree.  As die hard romantics (and a historian) we loved the concept that however fleeting the day was; there would always be a part of our wedding in Alnwick Garden and that future generations of our family can visit our tree long after we are gone.  We also felt that we were so lucky to be celebrating such a wonderful day with our friends and family that by planting a tree we were in some way putting something back into the environment.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (52)

My favourite moment was after the ceremony, Chris and I went to the beach for a few photographs.  The beach was quite secluded and despite being a public place and us being quite conspicuously dressed it felt like it was just the two of us.  It was a lovely personal time, in what was a brilliant but busy day, with a beautiful setting.

Also, I would have to say Chris’s fabulous speech was a highlight.  As was seeing him coming alive by being reunited with his old band mates and seeing how much he enjoyed performing with them and how much people enjoyed his performance.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (53)

For our honeymoon we went to Montenegro.  We wanted something that offered a bit of everything (history, culture, café culture, beaches and outdoor activities) and had been meaning to go Eastern Europe for a while. Montenegro offers so much variety within a fairly small area. Two days in Kotor with its café culture and beautiful, 15th century preserved surroundings, two days in Petrovac on the coast for some beach time and a week in rural and unspoiled Virpazar on an adventure holiday through Undiscovered Montenegro – hiking, kayaking, wine tasting and bike rides.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (42)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t be afraid to deviate from what is considered tradition and the standard wedding format.  Make sure the day reflects you; don’t conform to something that doesn’t mean anything to you on the one day that is solely about you both. You get out what you put in!

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (21)

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THIS SUNDAY! It’s Our Brand New Wedding Event At The Alnwick Garden!

August 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Alnwick Garden Luxury Wedding Exhibition September 2013

 

As I revealed last month on these pretty pages, I am absolutely thrilled to add the latest and most exciting date to our schedule of luxury bridal events this Autumn, the Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Alnwick Garden on Sunday 1st September 2013. And it’s THIS Sunday! .

This is a super special event, as not only is it kicking off our Autumn season in style, but it’s also in one of the prettiest settings I know – the extraordinary contemporary gardens, atriums and vintage marquee at The Alnwick Garden.

 

Sean Elliott Photography

 

And if it’s good enough for the RoyalsPrinces William and Harry played ushers at a high society wedding at this very venue just last month!  – its good enough for me!

 

We have 50+ luxury and vintage wedding exhibitors at this gorgeous event including, amongst others: Gray Events, Emma Bunting, Bit-a-Sweet, Ellingham Hall, Alnwick Wedding Cars, Plumb and Rabbitts,

Sean Elliott Photography, Phil Smith Photography, The Master Cakesmith, Dirk Van Der Werff, David Lawson Studios, Jamie Penfold Photography, Ramside Estates, Village Photography, 42 Bridge Street Weddings: Kathryn S Trueman Bridal & Occasions, Adamski Photography & Photo Booth, K Beautique Wedding Make Up and Nails, The Timeless Table , YAP Bridal Boutique, The Wedding Guide, Belle Bridal Magazine, Glen Roughhead Swing Singer, Lottie McPhee’s Cupcakes, House Of Fraser, Molton Brown, Greenwoods Menswear , Notjusttravel Northeast, Woodhill Hall, Simply Bows & Chair Covers, Snaparazzi Photo Booths, AJ Bridalwear, Rings By Design, Ink Wedding Stationery, AM DJ Services, Val Boyers, Great British Bash, The Event Dresser, Graphic Embers Stationery, Lydia Jane Bridal, Vintage Bride Boutique, Debenhams Metro Centre, VW Deluxe Weddings, Absolute Media, Colin Cook Wedding DJ, Wild With Love, Most Suitable and Chris Cross Magician

 

They can’t wait to meet you and help you to plan your extraordinary wedding day!

 

Sean Elliott Photography

 

VIP Bride To Be Registration – entitling you and a guest to entry to the glorious gardens for the whole day, completely FREE (so why not make a day of it?) plus a VIP welcome pack filled with treats, glossy mags and exhibitor discounts – is open!  What are you waiting for?

 

To register for free entry for the bride plus one guest (usual admission prices and concessions for the Garden apply to additional guests) and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Welcome Pack sponsored by House Of Fraser and Molton Brown fill in your details below, marking “ALNWICK GARDEN in the subject line and quoting “VIP”.   Only the bride need register for larger groups.

 

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

 

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!

 

Sean Elliott Photography

 

Can’t make this event? (boo!)  Click here for the full list of Brides Up North events this season. 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Sean Elliott Photography

This is a Brides Up North Event

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Roses & Thistles: Maggie Sottero For A Real Wedding At The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland – Samantha & Kenny

August 6th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Sean Elliott Photography

I’m such a tease aren’t I?!  After pressing publish on Monday morning’s blog post, I knew that it would be cruel not to share the rest of the gorgeous shots from Sam and Kenny’s beautiful Real Wedding at The Alnwick Garden on the blog.  After all, it’s one of the prettiest days I’ve seen.  Could these two be any more photogenic?

So, the purpose of yesterday’s post was to alert you to a very special event coming up very, very soon – opening our autumn season, in fact – The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Alnwick Garden on Sunday 1st September 2013.  To get the full lowdown and register for completely free VIP Bride To Be entry and your goody bag, click here

Once you’ve been there, done that, some back to share the rest of Sam and Kenny’s big day.  With images by the ever talented Sean Elliott Photography (who’ll be joining us on September 1st too), this is one to remember. 

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sam says:  We got engaged in Dubai, in September 2009. Kenny wrote ‘Marry me?’ in rose petals on the bed whilst I was at the pool sunbathing… quite the romantic!

Sean Elliott Photography

We tied the knot in June at The Alnwick Garden in the Pavilion Room.  We felt that the Garden was somewhere different, with stunning grounds for the perfect photos.  It’s also a memorable venue for people who hadn’t been before – the grand cascade as the main viewpoint throughout the ceremony, the rose garden, bamboo maze, the tree house and all of the water features gave guests that little something extra, over and above a wedding in a hotel or stately home.

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

We didn’t have a theme, we just wanted to keep it simple and relaxed – a bit like us!  We chose a colour scheme of black and white with pinks and whites in the bouquets and button holes adding a splash of colour.

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

I wore the Maggie Sottero “Reece” dress from Blush Bridal Boutique in Uppermill, Saddleworth and Kenny wore a kilt, in Morrison Clan tartan… sticking to family tradition.  He had it hand-made at Nicholson Kiltmakers in Edinburgh.

Sean Elliott Photography

The groomsmen wore kilts in Blackwatch tartan (hired from Slaters), sticking to the groom’s Scottish roots and the bridesmaids wore simple black floor length dresses from Monsoon.

Sean Elliott Photography

The bridesmaids and I had peony rose bouquets with a mix of pinks and some white roses and Kenny had a  pink peony buttonhole (to match my bouquet) with Scottish thistles.

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Getting ready with my mum and the bridesmaids was great fun, very relaxed and involved quite a lot of champagne!

Sean Elliott Photography

Guests were taken to the venue by Dreadnought Coaches in the 1952 Leyland Titan.   The guests and groomsmen travelled in more style than the bridal party!  When boarding the bus, the groom, best man and ushers gave everyone a glass of fizz to get the celebrations started. I think it’s fair to say the journey for the guests was a real social event!

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Arco String Quartet played some beautiful music for our guests’ arrival, my entrance, signing the register and at end of the ceremony – including Elbow – One Day Like This – and The Beatles – All You Need Is Love.

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Kenny’s father made all of the ladies’ favours by hand – strawberry and champagne preserve, with little poem on the labels: “A spoonful of sugar and two sweet kisses, now Kenny and Sam are Mr and Mrs”.

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

The best man’s speech was  brilliant, one of the best I’ve ever seen. He used a video to really take the mick out of Kenny and had everyone in fits of laughter. ‘Mr Lover Man, Shabba’ was the song of choice for the video… very entertaining!  It was also great to have all of our nearest and dearest in one room together as it doesn’t happen all that often!

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

A friend of ours, DJ James Cummings provided the evening entertainment.  We had a small part of the night dedicated to a ceilidh too, which went down really well and Sean Elliott got some great action shots!

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

After the wedding we did a road trip through California – Vegas, San Francisco, Route 1 with various stop offs including Santa Barbara and Carmel, finishing off in LA, going to the Standard Hotel for their famous rooftop party on the last night of our honeymoon… the perfect end!

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

Sean Elliott Photography

My top tips for other Brides Up North would be: don’t get stressed, don’t have massively high expectations that you may find impossible to meet, make sure your wedding reflects you as a couple, no-one else (i.e. don’t try to imitate anyone else, or do something just because you think your guests will like it – if you don’t), and just relax and enjoy every single moment, from planning, right through to sending out your thank you cards!

Sean Elliott Photography

 

Congratulations Sam & Kenny!

Get the date in your diaries – I might have mentioned it a few times (too many?) but our opening event of the season – The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Alnwick Garden is on Sunday 1st September 2013 from 11am till 4pm.  Pre register now for free entry and your VIP Bride To Be Goody Bag!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Sean Elliott Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Fabulous Photographer! Jamie Penfold Photography PLUS A Free Cherish The Dress Shoot For Wedding Blog Readers!

June 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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With a double daily blog schedule, I often get asked if I get writers block.  My answer?  Hardly ever.  I absolutely love talking about weddings.  But sometimes, a submission or set of images will leave me speechless.  The work of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography will do that to you.

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Let’s meet this talented (and thoroughly nice) North East wedding photographer.  

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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For as long as I can remember I’ve had a camera.  My dad was always a keen photographer and always tried to copy him but he wouldn’t let me anywhere near his camera. I think I got my first camera when I was five.  Nothing special but it went everywhere with me.  From that point my interest grew and throughout university I was always out and about with my camera capturing the scenes around me.  I had never thought about wedding photography until my wedding in 2000.  The photography was a disaster.  That disappointment was gut wrenching.  My friends started asking me to capture their weddings and knowing what that disappointment felt like pushed me.  My first wedding was just over 10 years ago.  Up until 2010 I was doing my photography alongside my full time job (business advisor) but I was made redundant as part of the government cut backs and that’s when I took the plunge to do it full-time.  Since then I’ve gained my Licentiate qualification with the British Institute of Professional Photography and going through the process with the Master Photographers Association.  It’s been a lot of hard work to get to where I am but it’s worth all the blood sweat and tears.  I’m now capturing weddings across the UK and Europe. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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As I mentioned before it all started on July 22nd 2000.  Joanne and I got married in Amble, Northumberland but planned it all from Southampton where we lived at the time.  We went with the only photographer we knew and didn’t do our research.  It was something we regret to this day.  Our photographer didn’t make any effort to connect with us and was a nightmare on the day.  The images were flat, dull and didn’t reflect us or our day.  When my friends saw the pictures and how disappointed we were their reactions were all the same…  there is no way you would do that to anyone and you could do a million times better.  I did a couple of weddings (reluctantly at first as I was really unsure) but loved it.  I can’t rewind and reshoot my wedding.  This is my way of putting right what went wrong with mine.  I’m spurred on by that disappointment and seeing my couples reactions is just mind-blowing. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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I love the variety of weddings, the different personalities, the colours… its such a buzz!  My job is definitely not boring!  I get to share those really special moments and capture them forever. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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It depends on the couple on the actually day itself.  But with all of them it’s a case of getting to know them from the point of booking.  Getting to know their personalities, their likes and dislikes, and then looking at their ideas for their wedding.  Building that rapport and getting to know each other is as important part of the process as the images.  The pre wedding shoot is part of that process too. People seem to get scared of the camera.  I’D rather people are nervous at the pre wedding shoot than on the wedding day.  By the time we get to the big day it’s like having a friend arriving to shoot the day.  I have such a blast shooting weddings….it’s a great day and should be fun and I try to get that across to my couples.  Enjoy it!  I’Ve been told my enthusiasm is infectious which I think helps.

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

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I think over the past 10 years most of my brides have initially said they hate having their picture taken.  As I always say to my couples "ignore the fact that I am there which won’t be difficult as you’re going to get completely swept up in the emotion and fun of the day".  The simple rule of thumb I have is don’t panic.  There’s no need!  If you don’t feel comfortable "posing" we won’t do "posing".  I’Ll capture you enjoying your day, the emotions and the "gone in a second" moments.  One of the brides I worked with last year, Helena, was terrified at the thought of having her photo taken.  For the pre wedding shoot we picked a quiet beach and spent some time chatting, talking through the process, finding out what she disliked about having her photo taken.  I then began taking pictures, encouraging her, talking to her about everything and anything and most importantly showing her the pictures on the camera.  On her wedding day she was so relaxed with the camera.  She was recently a bridesmaid at her friends wedding which I shot (another bride who hated the idea of having her picture taken) and was so at ease with getting her photo taken yet again.

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

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I have to agree with the make up artists I work closely with who always recommend staying true to yourself. So no smoky eyes if you normally just wear mascara. You want the make up to bring out your best features. And remember, sometimes less is more!

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?

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My golden rule is "if it bends, bend it".  I prefer not having straight arms in the pictures where possible as it makes people look really tense at times.  And the phantom hand around the waist!  It’s simple little things like this that I look for before capturing a shot.  Takes seconds to put right but makes such a difference. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

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Joey Essex and Sam Faiers.  I’m a Geordie with Essex roots…what can I say!  I love TOWIE as cheesy as it is!  You just know that the wedding will be way over the top packed with a good mixture of drama and fun! 

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

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Many, but Zara and Jonny’s sticks in my mind.  I can safely say that I have never cried as much at a wedding as theirs.  Jonny’s dad had passed away so there was a lot of emphasis on his memory throughout the ceremony.  The readings just tugged at the heart strings, not just about his dad but the pure electric love these two had (have) for each other.  I was hiding behind my camera looking around and not a person had a dry eye.  The registrars were in tears.  I was breaking my heart! 

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It was also brilliantly stylish.  Zara was wearing the most stunning dress from House of Mooshki!  It was a 1950s style dress and she had the most amazing pink sparkly shoes complete with ice creams on them.  Heart   shaped sunglasses, horse drawn carriage, VW Camper Van for the adult bridesmaids, a 1950s style police car for the page boys and flower girls.  It was a perfect day in the sun at Washington Old Hall followed by an English Tea Party! 

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I’ve also shot a couple of weddings under the canvas of a Papakata teepee.  Those weddings were a bit special.  The canvas creates a weird orange glow inside.  Add to that fairy lights, a glitter ball, fire pit, animal skin rugs (oh and marshmallows cooked on the fire) and you have a magical atmosphere!

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Are you married? Tell us about your day.

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I’ve been married for thirteen years to Joanne.  We’ve known each other since we were at school and started going out in 1993 when we just sixteen.  We got married at St Cuthbert’s Church in Amble and had our reception at the Masonic Hall in Amble.  We were living in Southampton at the time and planned the whole thing from down there… with Joanne in the final parts of her teaching degree. 

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It was a frantic couple of weeks leading up to the wedding as we had sold our house down there and were in the process of buying our current house in North Shields, whilst Jo was also applying for her first teaching job and thankfully was successful in securing employment a couple of days before the wedding.  It was an overcast muggy July day.  Really uncomfortable! 

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We did the whole thing on a smallish budget and pretty much did it all ourselves.  Catering, decorating etc. On the day of the wedding my parents, my best man Matt, my ushers and myself had to tidy the Masonic as there was a football presentation evening the night before and then we had to set everything. 

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We both grew up in Amble and pretty much knew everyone there.  I walked through the town to the church and kept getting stopped by people.  The ceremony seemed to go in a flash.  I remember having a really bad nervous twitch in my leg which I couldn’t control!  Oh and I couldn’t say "till death us do part"!  Got completely tongue tied.  When we left the church there were loads of people outside waiting.  As Joanne’s nan said "it’s like the royal wedding".

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We then spent an hour and a half being photographed in groups by our photographer (less said about that the better).  After that it was pretty relaxed with the reception at the Masonic.  The only thing left for me to do was to announce after the speeches that there were no desserts until later that night as the mother in law had forgotten to defrost them! 

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We both said we would do it all completely differently if we were to do it again.  Our biggest advice to anyone is to not let people push you into things you don’t want to do on your wedding day. It’s your day! 

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Any funny stories to share?

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From my wedding?  The frozen puddings! 

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From the weddings I’ve shot? 

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Last summer I was shooting the wedding of Louise and Graeme at Alnwick Garden.   A baking hot humid day charged with stacks of nervous tension.  When Louise arrived the nerves were jangling.  She walked down the aisle to meet Graeme.  The registrar began talking and then started the vows.  "Do you Graeme take Sarah….."

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"WHO THE HELL IS SARAH?!" blurted Louise at the top of her voice looking at Graeme.  Graeme stood open mouthed before the registrar apologised saying "Oops!  I mean Louise!  Sarah’s my colleague!".  The whole place fell about.  It did the trick though.  All the nervous tension evaporated.  It did lead to a lot of giggles throughout the ceremony.  It also was a great picture to get, capturing the "Who the hell…" moment!

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Another one sticks in my mind because it’s quite poignant at the moment and I know the bride, Gayle, won’t mind me telling this. When Gayle married Iain in 2011, she arrived at the church with her dad, Owen.  As they waited in the entrance hall of the church Owen’s trousers fell down.  We were falling about laughing, led by Owen!  The folks at the front of the church didn’t have a clue what was going on but the folks in the pews at the back got the full show as the ushers frantically tried to help him get his trousers back up and fastened!  I’d known Owen for years and this was typical Owen.  He didn’t take himself too seriously and poked fun at himself.  Owen passed away a couple of weeks back and Gayle and I were having a good chuckle talking about this story when she told me about her Dad’s passing. 

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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Some would say it’s the Converse boots I wear!  I like to think it’s the depth and colour of my images I create which sets me apart.  I don’t have a particular style.  I am versatile so can provide across a range of styles. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

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They’ll get a mixture of energy, passion and discretion.  I’m not the type of photographer who is in your face all the time.  When people say "oh half the time we didn’t realise you were there" I know I’ve done my job and that they’ve all been at ease with me.  I have a relaxed approach on the day.  I still get nervous before every wedding but it’s like a swan: graceful on the surface, feet paddling away underneath.  I like to be a calming influence on my couples.  Above all, I have fun and I make sure my couples have fun too! 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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What is included in your "package"?

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· A modern, professional approach to wedding photography

· Venue visits and planning meetings

· A pre-wedding photo shoot at a location of their choice

· Coverage on the day from bridal prep through to the evening celebrations

· Secure online gallery

· High resolution images on disc in a stunning presentation box

· Framed print

· And me of course!

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However, if people are after something a little different to the above then I will sit down with the couple and design a bespoke package for them.  Albums are something I look at after the big day.  I prefer to give people control of what they have.  Plus, how do you know how many pictures you’ll fall in love with before you see them?  I’d rather people come to me and say "Can we have 58 images in an album" than me to say "You get 40 images in an album". 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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£1200.  Albums start from £250.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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I’d like to offer a complimentary Cherish the Dress Shoot for Brides Up North readers.  Please quote Brides Up North when booking. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?

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Well, there’s my website at www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk.  This has a sample of my work as well as my blog about each of my weddings and pre wedding photoshoots.  To arrange a consultation simple drop me a line using the contact form on the website, email me at info@jamiepenfold.com or call 0191 270 8385.

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Anything else that we should know?

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Be ready to have a lot of fun!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jamie Penfold Photography

Jamie Penfold Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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