November 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple took the ‘my way’ approach to their wedding by picking a theme and colour scheme that reflected their passions and interests.
Without a hint of pink to be seen, James and Fiona opted for a cool Britannia style wedding with a red, white and blue colour scheme and attire inspired by fashions of the 50’s and 60’s.
Bride Fiona, pulls off the look perfectly in a sweet tea-length dress, faux fur shrug and vintage birdcage veil, while her bridesmaids remain on form in striking red Vivian of Holloway dresses. We must also give a mention to the cute flower girls who look super-angelic in their twirly dresses!
With images by Eye of the Tyne Photography
fiona says: We got engaged on holiday in Northumberland. James grandparents were from there and after they passed away his mum bought a caravan so we would go a couple of times a year. One of our favourite places to go was Druridge Bay, which is a very pretty with lots of sand dunes, so on Easter weekend last year James and I decided on a little trip there, although the weather forecast was a bit ominous James insisted we go and made me walk up the biggest sand dune, even though I was wearing slippery boots and at one point I wanted to turn back but he pulled me up to the top. We then took some pictures and as I turned around he was on one knee.
Our wedding was on the 19th June 2016. We thought about June or September and our venue had a Sunday free in June which would be easier for my family to travel up from London the day before. When we booked it we didn’t actually realise it was Father’s Day until we sent out our invitations, but maybe this day had chosen us, as both myself and James’ father were not present at the wedding, James due his father passing away when he was a child and mine due to ill health, so it was a fitting tribute!
We got married at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Their barn is a beautiful Grade II listed building. Our original idea was that we wanted to get married in the Yorkshire dales where we camp every year and looked into hiring a yurt, but the logistics were too complicated and as I had family and friends coming from London we decided on somewhere a bit closer to home. The barn was ideal as we could decorate it ourselves, and the backdrop was stunning for photographs.
We had a 50’s/ 60’s cool Britannia theme for the wedding. Both myself and James love 60’s music and I also love the fashion of the 50’s and 60’s so it was pretty much a given we would have some element in our wedding. We decided on a cover of Love is All Around, for the wedding march and played the Beatles and the Kinks during the register signing. My dress and bridesmaids were 50’s inspired and James’ shirt and suit was 60’s inspired.
Our wedding colour scheme was red, white and blue, so a bit different to the usual pinks. We wanted colours that reflect our own tastes and we also wanted vibrant colours that would stand out.
As soon as I started planning the wedding I knew I wanted a tea length dress. I have always liked vintage styles and had a couple of 50’s style dresses so knew that it suits my body shape and height. I did search several local bridal shops and looked at specific designers who did tea length dresses and ended up going to four or five different shops but each dress I tried I found either I didn’t like part of the dress or the material wasn’t right. Eventually I found a lovely shop called Wedding Belles of Otley. They had already selected a few dresses for me to try on, including one that and been designed as a bridesmaid dress but I was assured that lots of brides had chosen it as their wedding dress, although the colour was pink they also did it in ivory. As soon as I tried it on it was exactly what I wanted; lace bodice and satin skirt with buttons down the back, perfect!
I also like to accessorize and found the perfect accompaniment with a feather shrug and vintage style shoes from BHS. I didn’t think a long veil would suit the style of my dress so bought a plain birdcage veil and a lovely feathered clip from Debenhams, which matched very well with my shrug.
For my bridal hair and makeup, I used Le Keux Vintage Styling, who were great!
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June 23rd, 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 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.
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.
Today’s real wedding is totally getting us in the mood for summer. We love Beth and Dan’s gorgeous choice of venue for their barn wedding and stunning coastal setting, with them enjoying much of their celebrations outdoors!
Highlights for us include the pretty pastel colour scheme, the informal style wedding breakfast and, of course, Beth’s stunning fitted dress and gorgeous accessories. We would have quite liked to have attended this one ourselves!
With images by Photography34.
beth says: We got engaged on 24th December 2012. This was a special day for us as that’s the date when we got together. We had a nice little trip to Chester booked as a treat. Dan says he had put that much thought into my engagement ring that he didn’t think about how nerve racking the proposal would be. He’d had the ring made by a local jeweller, he choose the design and wanted it to have a twist. He asked for my birth stone to be entwined in it, so nobody knows that I have a secret amethyst stone underneath the diamond. When the light shines through you can see the amethyst. He waited all day for the right moment to present itself though I was totally oblivious. We drove back home from Chester, booked a table for our Christmas Eve date night tradition and then Dan proposed under the stars.
We did the legal parts of the marriage on 24th August 2015, then held our wedding ceremony and reception two days later on 26th August – the anniversary of our first date.
We got married at The Barn in Burniston, near Scarborough, on the coastal road. We choose this venue as it was just everything we were looking for in one. The Barn is beautiful on its own and the team there allowed us to have what we wanted, which made our day complete.
We didn’t pick a theme, we loved how rustic the barn was. We chose a colour scheme of pastel colours and incorporated them throughout, but kept the overall look very soft and natural.
May 5th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today on the blog we’re bringing you further inspiration for the setting of your big day with news of an exciting new wedding venue that will be opening its doors to brides and grooms in North Nottinghamshire next year.
Set to launch in March/April 2017, Hazel Gap Barn will be a new addition to the impressive portfolio of Brides Up North sponsors Cripps Barn Group. Over the years the talented group have transformed derelict barns up and down the country into stunning rural wedding venues with service and food that’is second to none.
Having introduced Cripps Barn Group’s wonderful Healey Barn venue in Northumberland to our readers earlier this year, we are thrilled to be sharing news of the group’s exciting new venture with you today. Always keen to bring you the latest news in weddings first, we’ve put our questions about Hazel Gap Farm direct to the team who will be running it – those on the venue hunt might want to take notes!
Can you give us a brief overview of the Cripps Barn Group and what you offer to wedding couples?
cripps barn say: Since opening Cripps Barn in 1990, Cripps Barn Group have slowly expanded to four venues – developing derelict barns into unique wedding venues. You can take a look at www.crippsbarn.com to browse the different barns.
Each barn is individual, but they share a certain style, and each barn’s team provide a uniquely personal service from booking to the delivery of the day.
Can you tell us a little about the company’s latest venture Hazel Gap Barn?
Cripps Barn Group are now delighted to have found Hazel Gap Barn, an absolute gem of a building on the extraordinary Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire. Hazel Gap Barn is set on its own in lovely countryside, some distance away from the well-visited Welbeck village. The estate have submitted a planning application and they hope to open Hazel Gap Barn for weddings and events from March/April 2017.What is the site currently like and how will it be transformed?
The barn is made up of two traditional red brick farm buildings, the barn itself and the farmhouse, which stand either side of a walled farmyard, destined to become a stunning courtyard with water-features, seating, trees and planters, sheltered from the wind and perfect for post-ceremony drinks. At night, this will become a magical place lit with fairy-lights, flares, fire pits and lanterns, so the evening party can spill outside.
The farmhouse and barn are fronted with two rather unusual and striking towers with wonderful tall arched entrances, providing a dramatic view to greet approaching guests. Between these runs the original farm wall, forming the front of the courtyard, while at the rear a new Oak Room will form the link the barn and farmhouse, containing both a light-filled dining room with spectacular country views across the lawn and into the woods, and a fabulous bar opening into the courtyard.
The barn will be re-roofed with traditionally-crafted oak timbers, and a giant brick fireplace added to make the most perfect ceremony room. After the evening meal, this room will be transformed into the dance floor.
January 12th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Healey Barn is is a wonderful new wedding venue in the Northumbrian countryside, near the small village of Healey, 6 miles south of Corbridge in the Tyne Valley, made up of a collection of traditional stone farm buildings surrounding a stunning sheltered courtyard.
Today, we’re thrilled to be able to give Brides Up North a private tour and add this gorgeousrelaxed & rustic setting to our dream venue list.
healey barn say: Our main building, the Long Barn, has a spectacular oak “raised cruck” roof, three giant candelabra, wall-mounted candle holders, a fairy-lit ceiling and, of course, a barn-sized stone fireplace. This creates an enchanting and romantic atmosphere, perfect for civil ceremonies or for the arrival point after a church wedding – and this later becomes the dance floor!
Joining the Long Barn is the Dining Room, the old cow byre, with another lovely oak roof, a glass wall looking into the Courtyard on one side, and windows to a fantastic Northumbrian view on the other. The Dining Room is spacious and luxurious for smaller numbers, but will accommodate higher numbers. At the end of the Dining Room is a copper-clad bar, which has a licence until 1am.
The Courtyard is sheltered by the buildings and is perfect for post-ceremony drinks on a mild day, and at night looks magical with fairy-lit trees, fire pits and lanterns. There are 3 giant oak planters with seats around them, 6 umbrella-topped trees, and various benches, cosy sun traps and planted troughs and borders. There is also a shelter with garden furniture; providing a covered outside area and a smokers’ refuge.
The northernmost building, the Store Room, contains smart toilets and also the Bride’s Room, where, before civil ceremonies, the Bride can arrive discreetly and see the registrars before making her entrance into the Long Room.
If it is a relaxed feel a couple want, with incredible food and great service, this is the place for them!
What facilities does it have?
Couples have exclusive use of the barn during their wedding. We have a civil ceremony licence – inside and outside and we have a music and bar licence till 1am. We have a separate ceremony room, dining room and bridal room – so the day will flow naturally and with ease. There is no waiting around during the day for rooms to be set up.
Each couple has a dedicated wedding coordinator throughout the planning process and a front of house on the day helping to run everything smoothly. We also have in-house caterers, and there’s an 8-spit rotisserie visible through a glass screen from the Dining Room, and large mobile BBQ which can be moved in and out of sight as appropriate.
We have stunning, landscaped gardens – ideal for the backdrop of those important wedding photos. There are views overlooking the gorgeous Northumberland countryside too!
What sort of numbers are we talking?
The Long Barn used for ceremonies has a licence for 140 people and the Dining Room has a capacity for 140 guests. Additional evening guests are more than welcome too, and the barn can accommodate up to 200 in total in the evening.
July 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime
As soon as we spotted today’s real wedding we knew it would be perfect for the blog, not only because it’s incredibly pretty, but also because it’s brimming with our favourite colour, pink!
Every element of Rachel and Brandon’s well-styled big day blends together seamlessly, from the rustic barn wedding setting with exposed stone and beams, to the cute bunting strung along the walls and the also the stunning floral displays placed upon the tables.
The bride and groom say their main aim was to deliver a day that was fun and joyful – looking at the images we’d say mission well and truly accomplished!
With images by One Little Daisy.
rachel says: We got engaged when we seized a brief moment of alone time on Christmas Day 2013. Brandon had been working away a lot so it was poignant that we were able to savour this moment at home – well, my parents’ home, but at least we were in our home country (where we live anyway, Brandon is American).
After our engagement we chose 23rd April 2015 as our wedding date, which was a Thursday. Family and friends were travelling from all over the world and with those journeys in mind we thought that a Thursday would be easier for people. It also meant we saved a few pennies here and there on the venue and some suppliers. A hidden benefit for us was that suppliers had better availability so there was less pressure to get them booked.
Our venue was The Ashes in Endon, Staffordshire. We chose it for its beautiful Grade II listed barns and stunning scenery. We wanted a stress-free ride and loved the idea of their team of expert planners. Plus we could provide our own wine (wine tasting was definitely one of the preparation highlights)!
We wanted the day to be fun and joyful and so we picked things we really liked to incorporate into our day. We ended up making a lot of things ourselves and involving friends, all of which just evolved as the planning progressed.
For our colour scheme we chose blush and navy as the principal colours almost instinctively.
The dress I chose was the polar opposite of what I started out looking for – it was a wildcard. As soon as I put it on I loved it. It felt so much fun to wear and I couldn’t stop grinning. It was from Knutsford Wedding Gallery.
On the wedding day my flawless makeup was by Gemma at Dollface Makeup Studio in Macclesfield. She was lovely to work with. My gorgeous hair meanwhile was by Vicky at Anthony James, Altrincham.
Brandon wore a blue racing green suit, a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt and a Dessy tie and pocket square to match with the Dessy dress of my maid-of-honour. He had stripy blue and pink socks that matched the rest of the wedding party.
My maid-of-honour wore a blush floor-length dress from Dessy and the groomsmen and fathers of the bride and groom wore navy racing green suits and blush ties and pocket squares from Dessy.
Our ceremony was pretty special and a first for the registry office, which took some organising! We had the co-founder of Sunday Assembly, Sanderson Jones, as our MC. We really wanted a ceremony that was as personalised to us as we could make it. He created such a celebratory atmosphere and had the whole room singing and cheering throughout. He balanced humour and jubilation with thoughtful words on marriage.
I was adamant I wanted signing to be a part of our ceremony and we were honoured to have James Adams, an amazing musician and close family friend, play for us. We had the whole congregation singing, and he played a medley solo whilst we signed the register.
To transport our guests to The Ashes we hired a big red bus from Routemaster for Hire, Wrexham. It was a fabulous sight to watch it slowly make its way up the long winding road at The Ashes.
We loved our photographer Joe, from One Little Daisy in Leek, from the day we met him. So much so we didn’t even meet with anyone else. One unique thing that he offers is a ‘Go-pro video’ of the ceremony and speeches. We’d whole-heartedly recommend him for his professionalism, his friendly nature and his stunning photos.
I was blown away by my bouquet. I have never seen anything like it. The variety and precision was remarkable. Our florist, Nadia of Nadia Di Tullio Flowers, did an immense job of interpreting my array of thoughts and ramblings.
When it came to decorations, we wanted them to be fun and joyful. For our floral decorations we incorporated some blues and purples to complement the pinks, whites and ivories used in the bouquets. We had a stunning six-foot arrangement for the ceremony table, which we moved to the top table. Everything floral was provided by our florist, Nadia of Nadia Di Tullio Flowers.
Our elegant bunting, from Bunting with Love, was excellent quality. The owner was exceptionally helpful and went out of her way to help us. We then supplied the many props ourselves.
My friend Laura kindly made our beautiful cake. She isn’t a professional baker so we were hugely honoured that she went to so much effort in her spare time to create such a masterpiece. The bottom and top layers were fruit and the middle layer was sponge. We served it alongside the evening buffet.
The highlight of our wedding breakfast was the ‘Host a Roast’ sirloin beef. We had pre-selected a carver for each table, each of whom were presented with an apron and a chef’s hat. This aligned with our theme to create a fun day for everyone. It was a great way to get guests talking at the tables and great fun to watch from the top table. The food, which was impeccable, was provided by Jenkinsons, the venue’s resident caterer.
We were very excited to be able to have carte blanche to choose our own wines (with no corkage!). We sought wines that would stand up to being drunk without food, as there can be a lot of time between courses at a wedding. We paired the asparagus and Serano ham starter with a lively Australian Voignier and chose a sumptuous Spanish Garnacha to accompany the roast beef. For the toasts we enjoyed a beautifully refreshing Valdobbiadene Prosecco.
We took a traditional approach to the entertainment and hired a band called the Warning Tones, who were fab and had the dance floor filled the whole night.
There was a few special touches added to the day to make it all the more memorable including a ‘first look’. Brandon and I were keen to share as much of the day together as we could and so shared a few special minutes together before the ceremony.
With the help of others, we also made some lovely homemade items for the wedding. My maid-of-honour made our fun table plan and confetti cones. We wanted to incorporate an element that united our two nationalities. Brandon and I made the place names, champagne cork holders and table names, amongst other bits and pieces and my dad made the blackboards that our page boys carried.
As something a little bit different we had a Poloroid guestbook, which our guests loved! It includes so many fun photos.
We would absolutely recommend our venue to other brides and grooms. It’s picturesque, arranged perfectly and has all the necessary elements, including the ‘Dairy’ where the bride and her maids can get ready.
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony, we had such a blast singing and dancing. Who knew comedy had a place in a wedding, it was so much fun.
Following the wedding, we had a mini-moon in the Peak District. It was heavenly to nip away for a few days without the added hassle of having to prepare for a full honeymoon. We’ll be honeymooning in the USA after spending some time with Brandon’s family.
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to wed on a Thursday! It makes booking suppliers so much simpler. Also, have a first look! It was so special to share those few minutes together just the two of us. It took away any butterflies for the ceremony and I’d say we enjoyed the ceremony more for it.
January 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Lets get this week off to a swinging start, shall we? Vanessa and Andrew chose to go for Gatsby glitz for their speakeasy style wedding at East Riddesden Hall.
The gin might have been flowing, but nobody was feeling melancholy on Vanessa’s big day – add some super styling, fabulous florals and a dress so good it had to be worn twice, and you’ve got one helluva party.
And as we all know, a little party never killed nobody!
With images by James & Lianne.
vanessa says: Andrew asked me to marry him during our annual ski holiday in 2013. We were staying in the French resort of Morzine when Andrew, with massive help from our friend Dan at The H.O.F.N.A.R Experience had arranged a surprise picnic at the top of the mountain overlooking Switzerland to celebrate our two year anniversary.
Afterwards, when Andrew was packing up the picnic in the snow, he was down on his knee and pulled out the engagement ring (which he had designed himself) and asked me to be his wife, to which I said yes. Unbeknownst to me Andrew had already asked my traditional father for my hand in marriage on a ski lift days earlier and him, my sisters and brother were waiting at a mountain bar further down the hill with champagne waiting for our arrival to celebrate!
It was the perfect proposal!
Our wedding was on the 2pm on the 13th September 2014. You know what they say about the 13th being unlucky for some? Well we are the opposite! We met on the 13th through an online dating service, we found our and moved into our dream home in Harrogate on the 13th so there was no other date would have chosen.
We got married at Christ Church on The Stray in Harrogate. It’s a beautiful church set in a great location, nestled in an area of calm just outside the centre of the town.
Our guests were then whisked away on vintage buses to East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley. East Riddlesden Hall has always been a perfect venue in our eyes, as when we initially talked about wedding venues both our answers were that we would love to have our reception in an old barn. We spent days scouring the internet looking for such a venue with little success. We eventually stumbled across East Riddlesden Hall through our photographer’s website instantly knowing that this was the place for us.
Our theme was Great Gatsby glitz meets underground prohibition. We both love gin so we had the tables named after different gins and an old crystal decanter filled with gin on each table with bowls of lemons and an individual bottle of Fever Tree Tonic at each place setting. There was even a cocktail table where you could mix the gin and make a Vansoire or a Bob Roberts cocktail.
The colours were dark grey and mint green as they work really well together in contrast. Andy used it on our invites, table plans and other stationery and designed it all himself.
I had a beautiful Claire Pettibone dress. I couldn’t stomach the full cost of a brand new one, so I bought it second hand from a lady who was selling hers on a preloved site. The only downside was I had to try it on for the first time in a grotty train station toilet – it just made the experience even more memorable!
I carried a bouquet of Sweet Williams, ivory Roses and some very special Patience Roses from Nicolla Florist in Wetherby.
Our attendants wore their own outfits. The two best men wore dark grey suits and the bridesmaids wore mint green and charcoal grey – all different makes and styles.
Our photographers were James & Lianne – we found them online and had a real affinity with their style of photography. We wanted laid back and natural and that’s what they provided – beautiful, natural contemporary photos – we even had some taken with a vintage 1930’s camera which we adore
The reception flowers were amazing – we had a huge mix of flowers from pampas grass and gold sprayed baby’s breath with peacock feathers and willow branches. All our reception flowers were supplied by Emma’s Home & Garden.
Mel Brooksbank at stylemywedding.co.uk designed the whole look of the day – all the props and little touches were all made possible by her – she set up the whole venue and rents out all the props from her collection. It completely took the stress away on the day and made it all look magical.
We wanted our guests to have a good time so we spent a lot of our budget on food and drink. GFS Catering did our food – we had a mix of canapés with Pimms and Saltaire Brewery Ale on the lawn before a main course of BBQ food including ribs, chicken & chorizo skewers and a selection of salads and sides. For pudding we had a trio of mini lemon cheesecake, crème brûlée and chocolate brownie.
Our friend recommended the caretaker’s wife at a local school to make our mountain scene cake – it had a chalet, hot tub, piste, gin, BBQ and our little car – she’s incredibly talented! Andrea Anderson isn’t a pro but she should be.
We are famous in our friendship group for BBQ’s so we made our own BBQ rub and packaged it up in test tubes for our guests to take away as favours.
Andy also had a box of Romeo & Julietta cigars which we handed out after dinner.
We had outdoor games, a coconut shy, croquet and boules.
One of the best bits was the dress-up box and frame – we hired old vintage fur stoles, hats and gloves and everyone dressed up and took pictures with our instant Polaroid camera.
Alex Graham & The Concords play outside Harvey Nicholls every Christmas and one year I stopped and asked them for their card, vowing they would one day play at my wedding, then one day they did. They play proper rock n roll and also some of the new stuff – they had the crowd in the palm of their hand and everyone was up dancing the night away
Emma and the wedding team at East Riddlesden Hall are so helpful and friendly – they try to embrace people’s ideas rather than impose rules and regulations like at some venues. It’s a National Trust site so the grounds are beautiful and well kept. It was also excellent value for money.
We loved driving over from the church to the reception in the Aston Martin, just casually driving through Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales with the music up loud and celebrating being newlyweds in style!
For our honeymoon we went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy and travelled around Positano, Sorrento, Capri and Ischia. Our favourite stop was The Relais Blu Hotel near Sorrento but Capri was stunning – if you haven’t been already you must go. We were lucky enough to see the fireworks festival in Ravello which was an amazing experience.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to pick the three most important elements for the wedding and concentrate your budget around them. Ours were food & drink, the band and the venue. For example, I was looking at chair covers but Andy pointed out that for the same price of the chair covers we could have an extra 30 bottles of champagne. Needless to say we went without chair covers in the end and I didn’t even notice!
Try not to look at too many options as it’s easy to confuse yourself – try or get quotes from a maximum of 3 places. 3 venues, 3 dress shops, 3 caterers… otherwise the planning can be all consuming.
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