Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

rustic charm meets 1920s chic: a summer wedding at skipton castle – rachel & harry

February 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (44)

Today on the blog, we’re stepping back in time with Rachel and Harry as they tie the knot at the medieval Skipton Castle in Yorkshire.

After 10 years together – Rachel awoke from her slumber one day to find an engagement ring on her finger; the definition of a dream come true if ever we saw one!

Their wedding was just as dreamy, with wildflowers, pretty pastels, a classic Bentley and a gorgeous three-tiered cake, not to mention a subtle nod to all things art deco. Read on for all the exquisite details…

With images by Bethany Clarke

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (9)

rachel says: We had been together for 10 years before we got engaged and always joked that there was no point in Harry proposing as he knew I would say yes, so we may as well skip the engagement and just get married. In the early hours of 31st August 2015 Harry popped the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring on my finger while I was asleep! Obviously, it was a wonderful surprise to wake up to, and Harry had spent hours nervously waiting for me to be in a deep enough sleep to put the ring on.

We got married on 23rd July 2016. We knew that we wanted a summer wedding and the venue we wanted only had a few weekends left and this date worked the best for us.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (20)

We tied the knot at Skipton Castle. We are both really interested in history and love visiting heritage sites and museums. We had visited Skipton Castle together a few times and always had a lot of fun there so it was really exciting to find out that they actually hold weddings there too! Of course, I wanted the whole fairytale princess in a castle vibe too! We had visited a few other venues but Skipton Castle just felt so special to us, everyone that works there is so lovely and genuinely wanted us to have the best day; they really put us at ease and made our wedding super special.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (39)

We wanted to have a really casual and fun wedding. It was quite small and intimate, we didn’t have a seating plan or anything like that, we just wanted everyone to mingle and have a great time.

I wouldn’t say we had a particular theme but due to our own personal styles there was a bit of a vintage feel to the day – my dress was 1920s inspired, we had a classic Bentley and wild flowers everywhere. It’s hard not to get swept up when you’re getting married in a medieval castle!

We didn’t have a colour scheme; everything was quite neutral. We had a range of different colours in our flowers and these were the only real colours on the day, at the castle and later at our reception venue too. We matched the car and the cake to the bridesmaid’s pale grey dress as it was important to us that everything looked quite minimal.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (32)

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. Looking through bridal magazines and blogs I fell in love with Maggie Sottero’s designs and I discovered that Abigail’s Bridal Boutique is one of the few shops in Leeds that stock this brand. I tried on a handful of dresses but as soon as I put on ‘Ettia’ I knew that was the dress for me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of in a wedding dress and the lovely ladies at Abigail’s had to coax me out of it in the end as I didn’t want to take it off. I paired it with a cathedral length, Swarovski trimmed veil and an art deco headpiece – I felt like a princess.

Harry wore a gorgeous suit from The Kooples and my bridesmaid wore a pale grey dress from ASOS.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (28)

We hired a classic S-type Bentley from Classic and Vintage Travel in Harrogate. The car was incredible and the driver was so wonderfully friendly and surprised us with a bottle of Champagne after the ceremony. He drove us out to a lovely area of greenery in Skipton and we drank some Champagne and enjoyed a few minutes to ourselves before driving to the reception. It was such a special moment and we were so grateful to the driver for suggesting it.

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rose gold romance. an ellis dress for a pretty wedding at ness botanic gardens – rachel & josh

January 27th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Romantic Wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens (c) Jo Bradbury (34)

Today’s real wedding is a corker – a rose gold theme, bucket-loads of blooms and a bride who looks as though she’s just walked out of the pages of Vogue Sposa (or Unveiled, for that matter!)

Rachel and Josh said ‘I do’ in the stunning surroundings of Ness Botanic Gardens and the greenery and flowers made the perfect backdrop for their perfect day.

Need an injection of light and love on this cold winter’s day? Look no further.

With images by Jo Bradbury.

A Romantic Wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens (c) Jo Bradbury (25)
rachel says: We got engaged on 4th October 2014. We were away for a weekend in Wales and staying in a log cabin. We went on a long beach walk with our dog and Josh proposed on an island just off the beach. We then went back to our lovely log cabin and drank some prosecco, before Josh cooked our favourite meal (mellanzane a la parmagiana). It was pretty perfect!

We chose the 2nd July 2016, as our wedding date; we wanted a summer date to show off our venue’s lovely flowers and blooms. It was also a few weeks after my final exams and therefore seemed a good date to pick!

A Romantic Wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens (c) Jo Bradbury (9)

We got married in Ness Botanic Gardens. We fell in love with it the moment we saw it – we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and the flowers and setting were just so, so gorgeous. We both love being outdoors and got very excited about how beautiful the photographs would be with all the flowers and greenery!

We wanted a laidback, romantic style wedding. The bridesmaids wore pink with gold shoes and the venue décor was blush pink in places. The groomsmen wore blue or grey suits; we felt this would be a great colour to complement the blush colours.

The colour scheme was rose gold: we had rose gold invites, and the bridesmaids’ dresses and the venue décor tied in with this beautifully. There was a lot of pinning on Pinterest to get my ideas together!

A Romantic Wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens (c) Jo Bradbury (22)

My wedding dress was an Ellis 11330 design from Elegance Bridal on the Wirral – the ladies there were so lovely and helpful from start to finish. I knew I wanted a fitted dress and thought the fishtail/mermaid style would be ideal.  Initially I wanted a dress with lace sleeves, but after trying on a few I felt the sweetheart neckline was more flattering.  I loved the delicate lace and beading on the dress; I just didn’t want to take it off!

A Romantic Wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens (c) Jo Bradbury (18)

Josh wore a Hugo Boss suit and the fit was perfect, so no tailoring needed – phew! We knew we loved the look of a blue suit and he looked fantastic.

The bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from a brand called Laced inLove purchased through ASOS. They were so beautiful and also very reasonable in terms of price. The groomsmen wore their own suits; luckily, they all had suits in a blue or grey hue.

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real wedding recap: pronovias for an elegant wedding at grays court, york – katie & andrew

January 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

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If timeless elegance is your thing, prepare to fall head over heels as we share the beautiful big day of Katie and Andrew on the blog today.

Picking the stunning Grays Court hotel in York, as the impressive backdrop to their wedding, Katie and Andrew married in a romantic outdoor ceremony, complete with a petal and lantern-lined aisle.

Concentrating on the details, the champagne, blush and gold styling and florals are nothing short of sensational, and we adore the wedding party’s gorgeous attire too! Top marks all round!

With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.

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katie says: Andrew proposed in Mijas, Spain, in June 2015 on a family holiday. He had planned to propose during the first few days but my best friend also got engaged at the same time when we were away, which was amazing, but as a result, Andrew said he felt he had to wait a few more days so he could have his turn of getting down on one knee!

Knowing we always wanted to choose the engagement ring together and having been planning for a long time, he proposed with a Pandora engagement charm, getting down on one knee in the botanical gardens in Mijas in the hills overlooking the Spanish coast – it was beautiful! Andrew had asked my mum for my hand in marriage the day before so everyone knew about it except me. I didn’t have a clue!

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We set the date for Saturday 14th May 2016. Our venue had an outside ceremony area within stunning gardens, so it was vital that we had a spring or summer date. This was the only date left in May and it was extra special as I turned 30 in the same week.

Our chosen venue was Grays Court hotel, in York. It is an elegant, luxury, boutique 11th Century house with outstanding features, long gallery and breath-taking gardens. York walls overlook the venue and we found Grays by chance ourselves in 2010 when walking the walls and witnessed a beautiful wedding there in the gardens. York was one of our first city breaks together and we go every year so it is a special place for us. We didn’t entertain anywhere else when choosing the venue.

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We had always wanted black tie tuxedos and elegance as the style of the wedding, and so we planned a classic, romantic, intimate, English wedding with lots of style and detail.

For the colour palette, we had lots of white, champagne, blush and gold tones, with fantastic details. It was the colour scheme we naturally gravitated to and complemented our venue.

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When dress shopping, I chose to visit Eternity Bridal Wear in Cheshire, as it was a local stockist of Pronovias, which was the designer I wanted to try the most. It was the only shop we went to and about five dresses in, we found ‘the one’. I always knew I would end up in a fitted dress with back detailing however this was more embellished with beading and a tulle train and I totally fell in love with it. Karl, Zoe and Ann at Eternity are amazing and Zoe knew which would be the dress for me when she asked my mum and nan to close their eyes as I came out of the dressing room. The store is beautiful too. I wanted something that felt like me, something I felt comfortable and beautiful in with lots of detailing but something I could also dance in.

Accessories-wise, I chose a Joyce Jackson two tier cathedral length veil embellished with Swarovski crystals, it glittered in the sun! My crystal embellished bridal shoes where from Badgley Mischka shipped from America, I wanted something different and sparkly. I also wore a Tiffany & Co bracelet, which was a wedding gift from Andrew.

On the morning of the wedding my bridal party’s hair was styled by Emily Hawkes, who went above and beyond and even helped me get into my shoes and dress.

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real wedding recap: ronald joyce for a romantic wedding at ashton memorial – melissa & craig

January 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

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We love that today’s real wedding has been influenced by two different styles – wild nature and glamour – that when brought together, complement each other perfectly!

Everything about Melissa and Craig’s big day is utterly gorgeous; from the choice of ceremony venue, styling and elegant colour scheme, to the bridal party’s stunning attire.

Though there is a lot of beauty to be admired, standout details for us include Melissa’s handmade headpiece, the blousy bouquets and both the bride and groom’s fancy footwear!

With images by Pixies in the Cellar.

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melissa says: We got engaged during the trip of a lifetime. I’d quit my job, Craig had taken a sabbatical and we travelled around the world together for five months, it was our dream and we decided it was now or never! We trekked the Inca Trail, travelled Australia by bus, walked the Great Wall of China and learnt to scuba dive in Thailand. At every great landmark we visited Craig made me pose with a sign with a single letter on and took a photo. He’s always full of kooky ideas and told me it was for a surprise collage when we got back. So I held aloft a ‘V’ at Machu Picchu, an ‘E’ at the Sydney Opera House, an ‘M’ in Halong Bay and so on!

On the final night of our trip we went all out and booked the Lebua hotel in Bangkok (The Hangover 2 film hotel!) As we got ready for a special meal Craig went out to ask what time the rooftop bar opened, then the bellboy rang the door with a big envelope. Inside were all the photos of me with the letters and a note – they were numbered and I had to re-arrange them, if I understood then I was to go and find him. I re-ordered them and it spelled out “Veux tu m’epouser?” – will you marry me in French! I had lived in Paris for several years and this was also so I wouldn’t have guessed throughout the trip if it were spelt in English! As a typical woman I rushed to finish half my hair and get on my shoes… then there was a knock at the door, Craig on one knee! Too nervous and impatient waiting for me, he proposed right there & I very happily said “Oui!” We had a wonderful night celebrating in the rooftop bar.

We set the wedding date for Saturday 23rd July 2016. We chose this date, as it would mark seven years since our first date.

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Being some of the last people in our friendship group to marry, we were determined to find a different venue, where none of our friends had been married before us. Although we had loved the idea of a destination wedding it just wasn’t practical family wise so we had to find somewhere that wowed us closer to home. As Craig is rather tall we wanted somewhere with grandeur but not really a church – when we visited Ashton Memorial it all fell into place. It immediately appealed to me – it was a beautiful domed building, all light and windows, surrounded by nature and spectacular views. We also loved the fact Lord Ashton had built it as a tribute to his wife.

We then had to find somewhere for our reception. After a lot of searching we found Forrest Hills, a relatively new multi-purpose venue, which had hosted some lovely weddings. Upon visiting we loved the wild natural beauty and secluded location. Also, the option of an open-side marquee next to the lake combined our dream of an open air wedding and the practicality for British weather, just in case.

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Our theme was ‘wild natural glamour’ – a bit of a running joke with our florist. We had two sides to our wedding – one side the cottage like reception venue, the cascading flowers intertwined with driftwood and our marquee with open sides to allow the real ‘outdoor’ feeling we wanted. On the other side we loved the glamorous elements – an ice sculpture, popping a giant gold bottle of champagne instead of cutting the cake, Craig in a tuxedo and a beautiful cream Rolls Royce as transport. We loved the mix of the two to fit our personalities.

We decided early on to have a duck egg blue colour scheme with accents of gold. It felt like it matched the theme of the day – wild natural surroundings and dramatic venues, with some glamour!

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As I own my own occasion wear brand, people kept asking if I was going to design my own wedding dress – but I couldn’t face the visualisation required and the extra stress! Luckily when I came across the Ronald Joyce Erin gown on Pinterest, it was beautifully styled on a bride and I had to try it. I always wanted a fitted fishtail gown with a beautiful back and this dress was just that, the crystal beads draped at the back and the low sheer lace detail ticked all my boxes. The experience at Emma Louise Bridal was friendly and personal, I didn’t feel pressured into anything and they gave honest opinions. My mum and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole dress shopping experience (all 20 or so shops!), it will always be a time I’ll treasure, just the two of us.

Accessories wise I knew I wanted a long dramatic veil – but with the detail on the dress it had to be quite simple. I chose a two-layer chapel length veil in soft ivory tulle, from The Wedding Veil Shop. I loved the way it fell over my shoulders and was sheer enough to see the back detail on the dress.

One of the main accessories for my look was the headpiece – I had lusted over some beautiful freshwater pearl styles but my budget didn’t quite stretch. Not one to be deterred I took two lengths of pearl and crystal flowers I sourced online and intertwined them to make the full dramatic headpiece I desired, able to wrap around the front and back. With my masses of hair I knew it wouldn’t overpower my look.

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real wedding recap: martina liana for a luxurious wedding at lartington hall – stefanie & jason

December 29th, 2016 | Julia Braime

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

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Brace yourself for some incredible beauty and blooms, as today’s real wedding is among the prettiest that we have ever seen!

The elegant wedding of Stefanie and Jason took place at the incredibly stunning, exclusive-use venue that is Lartington Hall, a beautiful country manor in the Teesdale countryside. As you can see from Stefanie and Jason’s wedding, beautifully captured by photographer Helen Russell, this is a first class venue for a first class big day!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Helen Russell Photography.

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stefanie says: We got engaged on 8th May 2015, which was exactly six years to the day since we met. Jason had booked a surprise trip away to New York, and I only found out where we were going once we arrived at the airport. It was such an emotional moment when I found out!

On the second afternoon there Jason had booked me a surprise massage in the hotel spa. When I returned to the room he was nowhere to be seen! He had left me a note saying I had to be ready for 7pm as a driver would be waiting for me at the hotel reception. The driver took me to a mystery location which turned out to be a private rooftop overlooking Manhattan. Jason was there waiting for me with a bouquet of red roses and his hand behind his back! He then got down on one knee! We celebrated with a bottle of champagne on the rooftop, before heading to a lovely little restaurant nestled underneath Brooklyn Bridge with a view of Manhattan, to continue the celebrations. It really was like fairy tale!

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We got married on 8th October 2016. We chose this date as the venue we had fallen in love with – Lartington Hall – was fully booked up for every Saturday until this date!

Lartington Hall is a beautiful country manor in the Teesdale countryside. We got a good feeling as soon as we drove up to the venue, along the long gravel track through a field of curious sheep! We instantly fell in love when we saw how stunning all the rooms were, it certainly had the wow factor we were looking for. We also loved that the venue offered exclusive use of the hall and gardens for the weekend. Knowing it was just our friends and family there certainly gave it a more intimate feel.

We didn’t have a theme as such however we wanted to create a stylish and luxurious feel that tied in with the style of the venue.

The colour scheme was pale grey/blue with lots of whites/creams and a hint of blush. We also incorporated a lot of gold as Lartington Hall has lots of gold detailing throughout the venue. For example we added gold beaded charger plates from The Whole Sch-bang, to complement the gold chairs and the gold mirrors/candelabras in the dining room where we had our wedding breakfast.

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My wedding dress was a Moroccan silk and lace fitted gown by Martina Liana from Ava Rose Hamilton, in Silsden. The top half of the dress was made from guipure lace, with illusion sleeves and an illusion back. There were buttons right the way down the back of the dress from the top to the bottom of the skirt. I visited a few wedding dress shops first but nowhere seemed to have the style of dress I was after. I then spent hours searching the internet trying to find this style of dress, but struggled to find one that had all the aspects I envisioned! When I finally came across this Martina Liana gown, it was the only dress I got shivers over, I knew it was the one before I even tried it on! Ava Rose Hamilton ordered a sample dress into store for me to try and it was everything I imagined. Terri (the seamstress) did an incredible job at making sure the dress fitted perfectly – it fitted like a glove!

On the morning of the wedding, Lisa Cameron did the hair for the bridal party and Heather-Francesca did our makeup. We would highly recommend both, they were brilliant to have around on the morning and a calming presence as I was extremely nervous the whole morning.

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Jason and his groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Marks & Spencer. Jason originally wanted to go for a designer suit, however with five groomsmen it was getting rather pricey! In the end we came across a really good quality suit in M&S. Jason also wore a Thomas Pink shirt, a navy spotted tie and a grey waistcoat. He completed his look with Ted Baker shoes, Mulberry cufflinks and a Mulberry tie clip.

The groomsmen wore grey bowties and pocket squares from Mrs Bowtie and dark brown shoes from ASOS.

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real wedding recap: justin alexander for a colourful wedding in the north west – molly & luke

December 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (5)

It might be cold outside but today’s real wedding is bound to make you feel lovely and summery.

Bride and groom Molly and Luke, decided to let their rustic venue do the majority of the talking when it came to creating the right setting for their big day. They did however inject some fabulous pops of colour into the day in the form of seasonal blooms and vibrant paper pompoms. Simple, yet incredible effective.

There’s lots we love about this wedding, including Molly’s gorgeous pale blush dress, the super cheery décor and stunning naked-style cake.

With images by Stella Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (48)

molly says: We got engaged on 23rd November at home. I turned around to find Luke down on one knee with beautiful ring that he’d designed himself! He totally took me surprise. I had been away with the girls a week before and it turned out that while I was there Luke had been up to visit my parents and ask my dad for permission. This meant so much to me!

We set the date for 4th September, which was perfect for the late summer we had imagined.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (72)

Our chosen venue was The Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall in Clitheroe. We wanted somewhere unique with rustic and relaxed feel to it. The barn was perfect! It was the first venue we visited and we fell in love with it straight away. Rebecca and her team there were wonderful.

We didn’t want to introduce a wedding theme as such because the barn already has its own style. We just wanted to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere and to let the beauty of the barn shine though.  Luke loves superheroes so we did make sure that there were some sneaky super hero references dotted throughout the day, which included Lego superheroes in the buttonholes and superhero table names.

We chose a mixed pallet of colours for the day as we wanted pops of colour everywhere. We drew inspiration from the paper we chose for the invitations – it included muted tones of blush, orange, yellow, green and blue.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (108)

In keeping with the scheme I chose a pale blush pink gown which was Sincerity by Justin Alexander. It was A-line with a sweetheart neckline and I added a beautiful capped sleeve jacket over the top to make it unique to me. I bought it from Lulu Brown’s in Whalley- such a beautiful boutique! Kate and Jennie there were absolutely wonderful! I also wore Betty shoes by Charlotte Mills.

On the day of the wedding Nina Rochford MUA took care of my makeup and Claire from P&J Palmer in Whalley, styled my hair. I’d recommend both these ladies to other brides.

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