I’m waking up in Durham this morning after the most epic day yesterday at our Brides Up North Super Showcase at Ramside Hall Hotel. Over 300 of you lovely brides to be and over 1,200 people in total came to join the fun, and what fun it was! I think it was our best show yet! With over 90 exhibitors, some very different Gatsby inspired bridal catwalks (our break-dancers were very popular), a beautiful venue, goody bags packed with treats from our exhibitors and our sponsors House Of Fraser, lots of swinging live music, games and two very buff butlers in the buff (!) excitement levels were very high.
I must have walked about five miles across the five exhibition spaces throughout the huge venue: saying hello, sorting logistics, wiring in electrics, packing goody bags, chatting to exhibitors, brides, choreographers, models and (ahem) butlers in the buff (what? It’s a perk of the job!)… and I couldn’t wait for room service and a hot bath at 6pm.
Thank you to everyone who supported the event and to our fabulous readers for attending in their droves. As I always say, North East – you rock!
Here on these pretty pages as ever though, it’s on with the show, and straight back into the real wedding inspiration. Today we join Cat and Tim for their beautiful sun dappled Real Wedding in the Yorkshire Dales, with images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography. Just how gorgeous is today’s leading lady?! If you are planning a traditional country wedding under canvas, you’ll love this one!
Cat says: We got engaged over a year and half before our wedding day- on a morning dog walk. Tim sat me down on a bench at the top of the hill to admire the view. Next thing I knew he was on bended knee and there was a bottle of champagne stashed over night behind the wall. We basked in engagement bliss for as long as possible and only dipped into wedding planning 8 months before.
We were married on July 6th 2013. The first beautifully sunny day this summer at St Chads Church, Middlesmoor . Luckily the sun was shinning – as it has been known to be a cold and windy exposed church on the top of the hill in the middle of nowhere! Our reception was at The Sportsman’s Arms, Wath in Nidderdale.
We typically thought of every other possible location to get married, down south in the Cotswolds where I am from or France – in a chateau we both love, and then realised we had the perfect spot on our doorstep! We dine at the Sportsman’s Arms a lot and it’s a field away from where we live so had sentiment to the both of us and of course meant the church was in our parish. It’s a beautiful setting with warm, friendly and impeccable service.
A theme sort of transpired just from choosing colours and things we both love and elements we have in our home. The wedding was simple rustic, with a touch of French. We used wine crates as planters and vintage chateau scroll elements on the order of service and table plan with wood from our garden for table centres and cake stand. The bridesmaids’ dresses where a range of muted colours and there was lots of lavender. The flower arrangements were ‘spilling’ and loose for a ‘just cut from the countryside ‘ look!
I wore a simple,unstructured, draped, superfine Jersey dress from Amanda Wakeley. It was so light and lovely to wear. It was backless and had an interesting Mikado silk hip-belt feature.
My bridesmaids wore dresses from Whistles and the ushers were in Charles Tyrwhitt morning suits and Gieves and Hawks waistcoats.My hair and makeup was done by Jenny Howson at Lips & Lashes Makeup who had her work cut out with 7 bridesmaids and a bride – but her results for a natural look were amazing!
Our florist was local to Ripley and runs ‘Friday Flowers’. We didn’t want contrived arrangements and she was so helpful at offering advice and selections that would be seasonal to July. Everything was originally thought out in the depths of winter!
I carried a natural ‘just-picked’ look bouquet containing Lavender, Astrantia, Milca Sensation Spray Roses, Gypsophila, Rosemary and Cinerea Eucalyptus finished with open stems and hessian ribbon with natural twine. The bridesmaids carried bunches of white Gypsophila and the flower girls had delicate Gypsophila head circlets.
We used our own land rover to get up the windy roads at the top of the hill. We didn’t want any dramas on the day of an old car not quite making it!
We had a fantastic pianist David Robertshaw play throughout Pimms on the lawn reception – modern songs with a classical twist. It created a lovely, peaceful ambiance.
I designed the table illustrations and wedding stationery (www.partridgecreative.co.uk). It was fun to draw bespoke birdie illustrations for the table centres, which stood on wooden stands made with wood from the garden. We planted wine crates with flowers before the big day, assembled lavender church pew ends and we felt the day was personal to us as a couple.
Our photographer was the very talented Sarah Mason. She met with us before the big day and immediately put us at ease. We loved her style of reportage photography and we knew we could enjoy our day and all the special memories would be captured. We were so thrilled to return from honeymoon and have them to view and relive the day over again.
I loved very part of the day! It went so quickly. It was so lovely to have friends and family all in one room and wasn’t half as intimidating as I had thought it would be. It was such a happy, happy day.
After the wedding we jetted off to Bali, Lombok and the Gilli islands. It was utter bliss, relaxing and magical. The Indonesian food was to die for – fresh fish everyday – and perfect beaches for surfing and snorkelling. We didn’t want to return!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t over think the day. Enjoy finding things you like and making decisions together. We made the decisions only once and everything came together very easily as it was a culmination of flowers, colours, food, drinks and settings we loved. Comfortable heels would also be a top tip – as mine weren’t!
Congratulations Cat & Tim!
Sarah Mason Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier