February 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
We love a good love story here at Brides Up North and today’s couple, Amy and Mostafa, prove that a long-distance relationship can indeed lead to that happily ever after moment down the aisle.
After five years together doing the long-distance thing, Amy had finally joined Mostafa over in Dubai. But when it came to tying the knot, Amy yearned to return to her native North East for their special day. And we’re glad they did! The couple got married last autumn at As You Like It, a quirky urban venue in Newcastle.
Trying to plan the wedding while overseas was a tricky process for the couple (cue lots of conversations with their suppliers via Skype!) but like any good story, it all came together seamlessly in the end.
A literary theme snuck in, as well as a nod to Mostafa’s Egyptian heritage. There are lots of other beautiful and personal touches to look out for too (just wait until you see those flowers!) but we’ll let Amy talk us through all the finer details…
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
amy says: Mostafa proposed during the sunset one evening while we were in Abu Dhabi. I was hurrying to get a good view of the presidential palace to take some pictures, and when I turned around he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring in his hand. It was a total surprise!
We got married on 8th September 2017. Mostafa is from Egypt and we both live together in Dubai, so we have friends and family all over the world. September seemed like a perfect month for as many of our guests as possible to attend and we hoped the summer would hang on enough for us to get a nice day for them – which it did!
Living abroad, it was really important for me to come back to the North East to get married. We got married at As You Like It in Jesmond. I chose the venue without Mostafa as he was in Dubai and I was in UK at the time. I called, begging him to let me book it after going to a wedding fair with my mum and absolutely falling in love with it. Thankfully he trusted me and when he saw it a year later, he loved it just as much as I did.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but I’m a bit of a book nerd so we had a literary theme with the table names and centerpieces, which went down really well with the guests. Since Mostafa is Egyptian, we decided to play some Arabic music during the ceremony and chose one of our favourite romantic ballads by Amr Diab.
Our colour scheme was a gorgeous blue as it has always been my favourite colour and seemed to match so well with the venue. I also wanted to honour my granddad who had the most bright blue eyes, so the colour scheme was special in that way too. I kept a small picture of him tied around my flowers to feel like he was with me on such a big day.
My dress was by Art Couture bridal and I bought it at Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. I had pointed it out to my mum as we entered the shop, but she said she didn’t like it, so I tried on other dresses without any success. Tired and hungry, we were about to leave but I decided to try on the first dress I’d seen, to satisfy my curiosity. As soon as I put it on – I knew it was the one, and my mum agreed!
Mostafa wore a grey suit and waistcoat from Debenhams, and the groomsmen wore the same. The ties were handmade using one of the bridesmaid dresses by Ohh Sew Beautiful and Make N Mend as I wanted the colour to match perfectly.
June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The name of the venue chosen by today’s real wedding couple set the tone for their entire approach to their big day.
Falling in love with the relaxed and eclectic feel of As You Like It in Jesmond, Emma and Rob planned a DIY wedding their way, with attire, décor and entertainment to reflect their individual taste and style.
We must give a big shout out to petit bride Emma who totally rocks her bespoke House of Mooshki gown and glittering heels. Groom Rob also deserves style credit for his pale blue three-piece and on-trend dicky bow.
With images by Daz Mack Photography
emma says: Rob proposed in Albert Park, Middlesbrough, in July 2013. We had won a romantic photoshoot in a charity raffle, and Rob and our photographer Daz had secretly planned the proposal, so everything was captured on camera. It was a complete shock and there were a fair few happy tears!
We set the date for 21st October 2016. It was also my grandad’s birthday that day, who was unable to attend, so we all raised a glass to him.
We had both the ceremony and reception at As You Like It, in Jesmond. We were very open minded when it came to searching for a venue, we had no idea what to expect, but when we walked into AYLI we fell in love. The place was so eclectic, interesting and quirky, but beautiful and versatile too. We were also impressed by the amazing cocktail menu, lovely food, and helpful staff.
We didn’t really have a theme as such, but as a lot of things were DIY we were able to make sure it felt very personal and warm. Many guests had travelled a long way to be there, and we wanted them to feel welcome, relaxed and basically just able to have a really good time.
The wedding featured a lot of blue and gold tones, including in the bridal party’s clothing and accessories. Our colour scheme wasn’t very strict otherwise, as the venue itself is so full of decoration, anything suits!
My wedding dress was by House of Mooshki – a bespoke version of the Claire dress. I was willing to try on anything when it came to dress shopping, I never had that ‘dream’ image in my head. But at 5ft nothing, I found it hard at first to find something that I felt good in. (The best man actually made a joke in his speech about finding somewhere that does kids sizes). The service and quality of a bespoke dress from House of Mooshki was well worth the money. As soon as I found out about them I knew that’s where I’d find my dress.
Rob wore a light dusty blue three-piece suit from Topman, with a navy blue bowtie and pocket square. He had tried on several wedding outfits in other places, but the colour and fit of the Topman one was exactly what he was looking for, so kept going back to it!
The bridesmaids all wore midnight blue infinity dresses from The Dainty Yard on Etsy, and styled them individually.
The groomsmen wore navy blue Moss Bros suits, with accessories matching the groom’s.
February 16th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If a bucket load of quirkiness is your thing, then you’re going to love this afternoon’s third installment of gorgeous – one beauty of a real wedding, set in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Jess and Stephen tied the knot at As You Like It in Jesmond last year, transforming the intimate city venue into a hullabaloo of rainbow-bright colours, gorgeous flowers, fairy lights, flamingoes and even Prosecco gummy bears!
We don’t want to spoil it for you though, so scroll down for all the oh-so-pretty pictures and wonderful details…
With images by Bennett Media
jess says: We got engaged in Italy. We were at Marina Grande in Sorrento, which is a local fishing harbour where Sophia Loren starred in Italian cinema. The local fishermen bring in their catch of the day and take it straight to the restaurants to dish up on your plate. Stephen drank lots and lots of Chianti and proposed, down on one knee, on the beach by the harbour. It was a complete surprise…
“Jess my darling on this Italian night
I hope that you will think it’s right,
To take this ring a gift for life
To honour me and be my wife”
I jumped up and down in the sand screaming yes then it was off for Champagne and gelato.
We got married on 12th August 2016. Summer is our favourite time of year as everyone is in good spirits because it’s the best chance of sunshine and, luckily for us, the sun had his hat on that day!
We only ever looked at one venue – As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle. It’s cool, quirky and has fairy lights – what more could anyone want? It suited us and our vibe, and we are both big cocktail fans (well, one of us more than the other!).
There was no religious element to our wedding, just tears of laughter, joy and happiness. It really was the best day of our lives.
The style was vintage meets quirky, weird, wacky and wonderful. My mum and me collected all sorts of quirky weird wonderfulness ranging from pink flamingoes to gold parrots. We had a full vintage tea set, old records, black and white postcards, hibiscus flowers for the Prosecco, along with Prosecco gummy bears. There were cocktails, magicians and a whole tropical rainforest – it was the best vintage mish mash ever!
My colour scheme was every colour under the rainbow! (Seriously, it was!)
The bridesmaids were in pastels, meanwhile the groom was in burgundy red tweed, and the ushers and best man wore dogtooth tweed and burgundy braces with vintage badges.
My flowers were breathtaking – boho gypsy style with lots of peonies. Some of the flowers were even imported especially; they were so unusual.
My hair was like Rapunzel and plaited with flowers and gold feathers. I wanted to look like Downton Abbey meets boho bride, so I went with a dress from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. It was ivory lace over cafe latte silk encrusted with old-fashioned antique jewels. It was divine! Stella York made it and I got Alexander McQueen shoes to match, and finished off the look with a Swarovski veil.
Stephen wore a burgundy tweed skinny fit suit from Next along with a shirt and cravat from Woven in Durham paired with brown brogues. The groomsmen wore summer tweed from Woven in Durham and the bridesmaids wore pastel 1950’s style dresses with petticoats from ASOS.
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August 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
There are wedding venues with the wow-factor and then there’s the likes of Le Petit Chateau, a brand new venue to the North East, which pushes the jaw-dropping bar even higher.
When we first learned that the award-winning Apartment Group were working on a new wedding venture following the success of their other venues, including the gorgeous Newton Hall, we were told to expect something luxurious and different – and that’s exactly what they’ve delivered.
Situated within beautiful countryside in Otterburn, Northumberland, Le Petit Chateau started life in the form of a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in its previous incarnation as The Percy Arms Hotel, but it has now been transformed into a first class wedding venue, complete with spectacular function rooms, boutique bedrooms and perfectly manicured Mediterranean Gardens.
As we heard more about the venue during its development stages the excitement grew, we were intrigued by its South of France influences and talk of a breath-taking ceremony room, and then as images of the venue started to emerge, we became desperate to see for ourselves if Le Petit Chateau lived up to the hype.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as the wonderful Apartment Group team invited us for an overnight stay at Le Petit Chateau, not long after opening its doors. As Julia had not long welcomed her beautiful second daughter Lili, I took one for the team (it’s a hard life) and snapped up the invitation, taking my mum along with me for a girly weekend away (much to my boyfriend’s disappointment).
On the weekend that we visited the venue was hosting no less than three weddings, one on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which proves its instant popularity. As an exclusive use venue Le Petit Chateau only ever hold one wedding per day and the building has been cleverly designed so that brides, grooms and guests don’t clash with previous wedding parties, or members of the public.
Upon arrival we enjoyed a drink in the William de Percy, Coaching Inn and Creperie, which sits on the site of the old Percy Arms. Its warm atmosphere and chic rustic décor give us a slight taste of what’s to come. It’s not long before we are shown to our room and the real opulence and extravagance of Le Petit Chateau is revealed. Passing through reception we climb to our first floor twin room, which causes us to gasp as we enter. Looking like a bedroom that one would expect to find in a luxurious French manor, the décor and furnishings were nothing short of stunning. Known for their incredible attention to detail the Apartment Group have thought of everything to make guests’ stay both a unique and unforgettable, with each of the 29 bedrooms individually designed for to create that certain je ne sais quois.
After the incredible detail, the next thing to hit you about Le Petit Chateau is the hospitality. All the staff are friendly and attentive, creating a warm and enjoyable atmosphere which encourages people to instantly relax and have fun. During our visit we were incredibly well looked after by the General Manager Dale, while the wonderful Master of Ceremonies Tim took time out to give us a tour of the function side and the venue and head of housekeeping was proud to show off the rooms that she and her team lovingly look after. Beyond that, all the bar, waiter and events staff also go about their work in a happy and enthusiastic manner, which all in all says to me that couples marrying at the venue would be incredibly well looked after!
April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s stunning couple had Northumberland’s first same sex marriage, and the stylish ladies certainly made sure it would be an event to remember.
Michelle and Nikki chose a gorgeous seaside location for their romantic celebration, complete with pretty floral decorations and vintage touches.
Nikki looked gorgeous in her lace Essense of Australia gown while Michelle rocked a sophisticated Marc Jacobs fitted suit during their summer ceremony.
Following the “I dos” there were cocktails, delicious food and a host of live entertainment, what more could you want from a wedding?
With images by Erika Tanith Photography.
nikki says: We went travelling around Australia together and got engaged just after midnight on 1st January 2010 on Sydney Harbour. We were enjoying celebrating the New Year out on a boat in the lightshow next to the Opera House when I asked Michelle to marry me.
We were married on 14th July 2014. We picked the date as it is in-between both our birthdays and we really wanted summer wedding.
We chose to marry at Newton Hall. As soon as we visited we knew we wouldn’t find anywhere else that compared. The hall and grounds were exclusive to us all day and night. The location was perfect with a beach nearby and we often visit Northumberland for day trips.
We didn’t have a particular theme as such but we quite liked the vintage look with a quirky twist to match the venue. We chose a pastel teal colour scheme as it would go nice with the venue, the season and complement the men’s’ light grey suits.
I chose a dress from Essense of Australia, it was a very light ivory dress with a lace dress over the top – I picked it to match the vintage theme. The dress was light and comfortable. When shopping for my dress I couldn’t believe how heavy most of the gowns were and being a summer wedding was relieved when I found my dress which was much lighter. Michelle wore a fitted black suit and blouse from Marc Jacobs.
Our hair and makeup artist was a very talented lady called Maxine Ayre. She did a wonderful job of the hair and makeup for everyone in the bridal party. It is very rare that you find someone who can do both hair pinups and makeup to such a high standard. Would highly recommend – couldn’t have wished for a nicer person and who made us feel so relaxed on the morning too knowing we were in good hands.
Erika Tanith was our photographer, we would certainly recommend her. The quality and creativity of her photos were stunning and she felt like part of the family on the day.
I carried memory lane and avalanche roses in my bouquet which was made by talented florists at Floral Quarter. Throughout the planning of the wedding we purchased various quirky items we thought the floral decorations would look good, from miniature teapots to jam jars and wooden boxes. Floral Quarter provided the flowers and arrangements within these and really pulled everything together beyond our expectations. Would highly recommend them.
As favours we gave ‘little bags of happiness’ which we made and put together ourselves.
The cake was three tiers, each with a different flavour, simply decorated with some falling roses. It was provided by Lilly Jack Cakes.
We attended a few wedding open days at Newton Hall where they give out free cocktails and showcased the evening food options. We were also treated to a complimentary menu taster session at the As You Like It restaurant to help us choose or favourite food and drink for the big day.
To entertain our guests while we were getting photographs taken down at the nearby beach we hired Magic Paul, a very talented magician. We also hired two sets of musical entertainment from AMV Music. Annabelle Pattinson played acoustic guitar and sang before and after the ceremony. For the evening entertainment we had a seven-piece band called Livewire. We did a lot of research on the entertainment as Michelle comes from a musical family (her mum was a singer in the North East) so it was going to be a big part of our day. Once we discovered them we knew immediately they were for us. Livewire were fantastic – they learnt our first dance song, let us choose their playlist and even allowed Michelle and her mum to sing a couple of songs!
To add some special touches we hired ‘Love’ lights from Coco Luminaire to set the room off. Instead of a traditional guest book we had a fingerprint tree for our family and friends to stamp their finger prints. We now have this framed in our living room as a daily reminder or our special day. We also had photographs of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day and a candle to remember those that couldn’t be with us. We set up a large vintage picture frame hung by ropes from a tree which our guests loved getting their photos taken at.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue o other couples. We were made to feel so special and the staff went above and beyond to make everything flow without us even noticing. They were amazing!
We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – we loved all of it! Truly, from the moment Michelle arrived through to the ceremony, the photos, meal, toast and then the evening – it was just fantastic! After the ceremony it was great to go to the beach just the two of us with Erika and spend quality time together taking everything in.
The day after our wedding we went on honeymoon to Punta Cana in the Dominican for two weeks. It was beautiful, just like you imagine the Caribbean to be – the staff treated us to champagne, wine and cakes for our occasion. It was very special – we also visited Saona Island where the bounty advert was filmed, total paradise!
Our top tip to other Brides Up North is to enjoy every minute and don’t worry what may go wrong – it really won’t matter on the day! We just couldn’t believe how quickly the day went by after over a year of planning. Savour every moment!
December 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
Laura and Mark’s Real Wedding, with images by Paul Santos Photography is utterly adorable. Almost entirely handcrafted and painstakingly personal, this beautiful celebration in Newcastle is something really special. The whole lot may have taken Laura months to make, but her efforts and the end result was entirely worth it. Brides Up North, be very, very inspired!
Laura says: We got engaged in Cardiff, after going to see an opera at the (Mark’s then current place of work) Wales Millennium Centre. We were going away on our first holiday in ten years the next day. He asked just as we were going to bed. I think I asked the poor man if he was ‘taking the mick’.
We got married on 11 August 2013 at As You Like It, Jesmond. I would whole-heartedly recommend them. They were so supportive of our needs and… wow….the gravy on the roast dinner… crazy-good.
The venue was welcoming from the outset and was quirky and informal in a good way. We wanted something a bit different looks-wise, and the staff were so lovely which just sealed the deal for us.
Our theme was really just ‘stuff we liked’ but the vague themes were animals (we put pictures of dogs in the tops of the envelopes) and named our tables after cats. Our cake toppers were two cats decoupaged with the words to our first dance. We also had a few buttons here and there too. The theme for the tables were ‘charity shop chic’, a sort of visual amuse bouche.
Our colour scheme was a palette of blues. The bridesmaids were navy and ice blue and the bouquets a mixture of blue, silver and gold.
My dress was highly beaded and decorated in lace. It had a medium-length train and had a keyhole back. II sewed my veil from a very rough cheap version I got online and added detail to its three metre long length. I made the jewellery (and the bridesmaids, too) from beads (mainly Swarovski crystal) purchased from the Crystals and Ice bead shop in Cardiff.
My bridesmaids and I were pampered on the day by LA Makeovers based at Langley Moor but who came to us on the day. They worked wonders and were willing to work with brides like me who don’t really ever wear much make up and who aren’t good with being faffed with. We looked amazing and they were lovely.
I had three bridesmaids, as well as three bridesmen. I have grown up with these men and I wanted them to be a part of our day. They escorted the three bridesmaids. The men wore suits from Slaters in grey with blue neck wear (Mark wore cream). My sister had a wrap around dark navy/ midnight blue bridesmaid dress from BHS and my other bridesmaids had ice blue halter dresses from eBay. I matched the colour of Kate’s dress by giving them a sash. The pageboy (our nephew) wore a teeny suit (taken in by my mum) from John Lewis in navy.
I loved it all but If I had to pick a favourite part of the day it would be the ceremony. I was worried I would bawl through it (we’ve been together nearly 12 years and also my dad had been very ill and we were not sure if he would even been there). We decided we wanted singing in our ceremony (like you would in a church) and chose ‘Bring me Sunshine’ and ‘When I’m 64’. These went down really well – even if Mark’s Best Man and one of my Bridesmen had to carry some of the songs (thanks, guys!). I wanted both my parents to walk me down the aisle, which was good as I was at the point of nearly fainting at that point (some of the guest photos of me are hilarious). I loved looking at Mark saying my vows, loved singing and loved our readings (‘The Places We will Go’ by Dr Zeuss and ‘I like this way that this is going’ by The Eels). I loved walking back down with my husband and having our guest chuck all that handmade confetti at us.
We were (and are) eternally grateful for our photographer Paul Santos Photography. His friendliness and amazing photographs will stay with us forever.
Special touches were the things which took the time. I was determined to be on-budget (and I was!) which meant saving money by DIY-ing. Despite it being my first year of teaching, we decided to make most ourselves.
I wanted everyone to have a mini buttonhole for the day, so I made those to be the same as my bouquets. I also wanted (well, truth be told I get bored, see cool stuff on the internet and decide to make it) confetti as AYLI allow it inside the venue. I made (with the help from one of my friends who was over for a conference) mini confetti cones with vintage sheet music from a charity shop in Rochester and then used a 2.5cm heart-shaped stamp cutter to stamp out hearts from a vintage Alice in Wonderland book (again a charity shop in Rochester). I topped these up with lavender that my sister chose for her wedding but didn’t end up using. I loved the link between our weddings.
The thing which went down the best was the hand-stamped vintage silver-plated name place cutlery which I roped my mum and dad into helping with (OK! doing) on their holiday to Kent. Mark designed and made personalised Wrestling dolls for each bridesman and usher. Oh, and he also designed the favour boxes which were caricatures of us.
I’m not good with real flowers and didn’t like the cost of fresh ones so decided years ago (waaaaay before I was engaged) that I would make ones from buttons. It was my ‘old, new etc.’ and I got friends and family to donate, bought a few button collections off the internet and used ones I had. I’d just finished my PGCE and did not yet have my NQT job so had 8 weeks of unemployment ahead of me. I used this time to make my flowers by stacking buttons on wire and wiring the stems together. I made smaller ones for my bridesmaids and matching button holes for the men. I complimented the button stems with handmade paper roses (mainly because the bouquets would be too heavy with only buttons). My nephew, the pageboy, carried a boy-wand which was a felt and button long-stemmed flower which matched the rest of the buttony things.
We had a lovely tiny vintage post box for our cards on the day from The Finishing Touch Company. They delivered it and picked it up with absolutely no fuss for us.
We have rather diverse taste in music and didn’t want our evening to be at the wrath of a DJ who would play current chart music which would not make us want to dance. Mark made the play list on his Mac (we had previously, years again before we were engaged, made a play list of our favourite songs). We spent ages making sure they would all run nicely together, using how-to’s on the internet. We also (for larks, and because of the Wrestling dolls we gave for pressies) decided to have our eating play-list be wrestling intros. We made a pact to buy a drink to the first two people who noticed this. I suppose, then, wrestling was also a mini theme.
Marks favourite part of the day was the very last song at the end, because we didn’t have to worry about anyone else at that point (2am on a Monday morning) and we danced freely with a few other people. The dancing, and the music and the evening party was a favourite part of both of our days.
For our honeymoon we went to Brussels on the Eurostar from London. We are not particularly laze on the beach people and so went to loads of museums, art galleries and places of interest. There are some amazing museums there and our hotel was really central.
If you’d have asked me a week before the wedding I would have said ‘DON’T, whatever you do, do any DIY’. At that point, I was sick. I had been crafting for nigh-on 14 months (and had spent over 100 hours on Mark’s wedding present of a crochet scrabble board in addition to all the other wedding crafts). A month on, however, I would not be quite so negative about the craftery. This is what made our wedding in my eyes. I dread to think how much time I spent making stuff, but so many people were so amazingly complimentary that it was worth it in the end. I made all the jewellery, we made all our gifts, I glitterified the bridesmaids shoes, I made two veils, we designed and made all the envelopes, invites (which were fortune tellers/ cootie catchers), the favour boxes…the list is endless. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is to simply go with your hearts. Try not to be swayed with what is fashionable (I didn’t want to be fashionable but ended up making lots of ‘in’ choices, but went with them as I wanted them). AND, most importantly, trust in yourself. I saved thousands on pounds by making things and just KNOW you can too.
Congratulations Laura & Mark!
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