January 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
As it’s pretty much the weekend we thought we’d take a little trip, heading all the way South to relive Stephanie and Stephen’s big day.
Keen to evoke nostalgic holiday memories whilst saying their “I dos”, the couple picked to travel south from their Lancashire home in search of a venue with sun, sea and champagne!
The Watergate Bay Hotel provided the perfect backdrop for their effortlessly gorgeous wedding in Cornwall, which featured a timeless muted colour scheme with just the right amount of golden sparkle.
So, grab your bucket and spade guys, as we’re off to the beach!
With images by Gemma McAuley Photography
stephanie says: We got engaged when I was nine-months pregnant on New Year’s Eve 2014/15 at midnight in Keswick town centre under the stars and fireworks surrounded by a large crowd of other people celebrating their New Year’s Eve. I was totally surprised and not expecting it at all, so I was in shock when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him with a beautiful engagement ring! Obviously, I said yes and we had the best New Year’s Eve ever!
Our wedding date was 27th June 2016, which we chose in the hope of a nice sunny day so that we could have pictures taken on the beautiful beach.
Though we live in Lancashire, we got married at The Watergate Bay Hotel, in Cornwall. We chose this venue as it is very special for our family. I used to spend every summer at this hotel when I was little with my parents, sister and grandparents, so we have a lot of special memories there. It was even more exciting as we all hadn’t been there for more than ten years! In this time the hotel had a total renovation and so was more amazing than I remembered.
Myself, Stephen, both our parents and our son Charlie, went down to visit the venue a year before the wedding for a long weekend. The weather was amazing and the hotel was more than we could have imagined. So, we booked the date there and then as it was my idea of a dream wedding venue. Floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the beach in the ceremony room sealed the deal!
As the venue is so modern and the views are so perfect, I didn’t want to take away from it, and so we went for a natural colour scheme of champagne and ivory, with a splash of glitter for a bit of sparkle.
We didn’t have a wedding style as such, though in the evening we did a casino theme for a bit of fun as it’s one of our favourite fun hobbies. We hired casino tables to get our guest having fun and we also hired an amazing hand magician as Stephen is obsessed with magic and as a child always wanted to be a magician. He was amazing and really entertaining!
When it came to choosing my dress for the wedding, I went for a full lace gown with spaghetti straps and low back. It was more relaxed and beachy due to the venue choice but I still wanted to feel like a bride so it was perfect and I chose a cathedral veil to add a bit of drama. I bought my dress, veil, shoes and headband from Sugared Almonds in Earby, who were so helpful.
February 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime
The perfect pumps for laid back ladies.
November 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Buckets and spades at the ready guys, as this morning we’re heading to the North East coastline to relive Amanda and Beth’s beach wedding big day!
Picking a fabulous setting for their chilled-out ceremony – a lighthouse, no less – Amanda and Beth pulled together their seaside scheme with ease using the likes of seashells, rope and net for decor.
We loved the ultra-relaxed vibe to their wedding day and adore how their photographer has captured their personalities and love for one another perfectly.
With images by JPRShah Photography.
amanda says: We got engaged on 26th July 2014, in Australia. We were out there for almost 3three months over summer whilst Beth was on placement but managed to travel quite a lot. Beth had already got the ‘okay’ from my mam before we jetted off; mam was so excited and happy for us but kept it secret from me.
Beth and I had always wanted to visit Whitsunday Islands, the beaches there are among the best in the world so we thought it would be absolute bliss to visit. Beth had booked a hotel on Hamilton Island, and it was bliss. One morning we got up to watch sunrise. Beth drove us (in our hired golf-buggy, the only way to get around on the island) up to a view point called ‘One Tree Hill’ (which is also a fav TV show of mine too). She insisted we got out and sat on the grass but it looked too dewy for my liking so I said I’d stay in the golf buggy. To my absolute surprise she got down on one knee (on the gravely ground) and asked me to marry her…over the moon was an under-statement.
September 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
image by Emm & Clau Photography
Here at Brides Up North we’ve noticed that waterside weddings are proving rather popular with our couples; be it a lakeside celebration in Bowness, a seaside wedding in Scarborough or a Tyneside ceremony in Newcastle.
Though the British weather is unpredictable, the various waterside options show that there are many more possibilities beyond the beach, and that getting wed by the water doesn’t have to mean taking the ceremony outdoors.
Some couples opt for venues that have spectacular views of a particular lake or river, while others choose to pitch up a marquee close the water’s edge so they can enjoy the pretty whilst still being protected.
Another idea we’ve seen played out by our brides and grooms, is to incorporate the setting into part of their plans for the day. So for example, they might organise an open-air bus ride down the sea front, book a traditional river boat cruise or take advantage of fab photo opportunities on iconic bridges.
Of course another way to tie in the setting is through the styling a décor of the day, whether couples choose to go all out with an obvious theme or simply opt for a complementary colour palette.
With this in mind, we’re sharing some of our favourite water styling options. So come, sail away with us…
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Anna Munro| image source, photography Catherine Rhodes| image source, photography by Bek Grace Photography| image source| image source, photography by First Mate Photo Co| image source, photography by Christine Sara Photography| image source| image source, photography by Katie Kett Photography| image source| image source, photography by Jose Villa.
We love this theme, not only because of its soft, dreamy and modern appearance, but also because you don’t need to be getting hitched waterside to choose it. Basically it’s all about fluidity and beautifully blended, washed out colours.
Couples can choose to stick with just one hue, or instead pick a mixture of two or more shades. Elegant pastels such as baby pink, powder blue and lilac work particularly well, but so too do more punchy colours, such as magenta and tangerine.
Stationery is particularly helpful in getting the theme across to guests, with save the dates and invitations in pretty washed ink designs. The look can then be continued on the day with correlating name places, table numbers and menus.
Additional décor looks effective in delicate paper pompoms, watercolour patterned crockery and tie-dyed like fabrics in table runners, serviettes and bunting.
Flower choices should tally with the colour palette and mirror the gentleness of the theme, so think big, blousy blooms with lots of light petals as well as flowers peppered with tiny buds.
Picking the cake shouldn’t be too hard either as hand painted designs, particularly those of watercolour effect, are a current trend, giving couples plenty of options.
With so many opportunities to project the theme through the above, it’s not necessary for it to be extended to the wedding party’s attire though there are some truly stunning washed out, coloured designs available for both brides and their maids.
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Green Tea Photography| image source, photography by Laura Murray Photography| image source| image source, photography by Agnes Lopez Photography| image source| image source, photography by Caroline Tran Photography.
A classic, though there is a fine line between tacky and tasteful on this one. The key is to add subtle nautical nods throughout the styling rather than making it look like a seaside town has quite literally exploded all over your big day.
The look should be clean rather than cluttered and the colour theme mainly blue and white. Couples can go for either a deep traditional blue or a lighter, elegant tone. For a softer nautical look, we also like the idea of also adding a pastel shade to the palette, such as peach, diversifying slightly from what’s been seen before.
Décor for this one can be a lot of fun with the opportunity to incorporate shells, sand, anchors, sailing rope, boats and compasses, to help set the scene. Just take care not to overdo it.
Stripes are also associated with the theme and so can be added in fabric choices, cake designs and even attire. Perhaps the groom could wear a striped tie or dicky bow and the bride could slip on some nautical footwear, which might also provide her something blue.
In terms of flowers, most brides opting for this theme tend to stick to fresh white hues bound with stripped ribbon.
deep blue ocean
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Elisa Bricker| image source, photography by Emma Lucy Photography| image source, photography by EmmPhotography| image source| image source, photography by Jacqueline Dallimore| image source, photography by Love Life Studios| image source| image source, photography by Gucio Photography| image source, photography by Peach Blossom Photography| image source, photography by Spencer Photography.
Perfect for those who like to keep things simple, this look is based on bringing different colours of the ocean together.
While a plain blue palette can fall flat, this theme enables couples to add interest with varying shades such as turquoise, sky blue and royal blue as well as adding hints of greens and greys. The result should be fresh, relaxed and classy.
To play on the ocean theme couples can add small influences from the themes above, if they so wish. So water coloured style stationery would work well as would small decorative details, such as shells, driftwood and sailing rope knots.
Patterns in decoration can also help to add further interest and ombre details can easily be added to the theme as the varying shades appear to wash in and out of each other, just like waves.
While blue wedding gowns are growing in popularity, the theme can easily be reflected in other areas of the wedding party’s attire, so the bride can remain in traditional white or ivory. Rather than just picking one tone of blue for the groomsmen’s bow ties and pocket squares or the maids’ dresses, different ocean shades can be mixed and matched for a real aqua appearance.
December 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’ve been at home all week with a poorly little one, and the cabin fever is starting to set in. So what better way to cure the Calpol blues than this bright and beautiful beachy wedding from scuba lovers Esther and Ben?
Whilst we hole up on the sofa and recover, I’ll let you get stuck into this fresh and fabulous celebration, with images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography, and more than a few lovely personal details.
Let’s hit the surf…
esther says: We got engaged in September last year. We were visiting our scuba diving friends in Vietnam, Kerry and Eugene. Ben had arranged for Eugene to take us for a dive one morning, and after about 40 minutes we were coming to the end of the dive. Just before I thought the dive was about to end Eugene disappeared around a large rock as Ben and I followed I looked up to see Kerry, Eugene and a photographer staring at us. As I looked down ‘Marry Me?’ was written in shells in the sand, Ben got down on one knee and pulled out a ring.
We got married on 18th August 2014 at Newton Hall in Northumberland. We chose to have a seaside theme as Ben and myself met as scuba diving instructors in Mexico and love the sea.
We originally looked at the venue because it was near sea. As we drove up the grounds looked stunning, inside the rooms were quirky and had a shabby chic feel, which fit our theme and personalities. As we walked into the ceremony room I could imagine us getting married there. It was the first and last venue we looked at.
I chose a v-neck ivory fit and flare dress with black embellishment from Rosina Brown Bridal Boutique in Stocksfield. I never imagined wearing a dress with black on it but as soon as I put it on I knew it was the right dress. It was so flattering on me and unique that I knew it was perfect. I’m so glad I picked a dress from Rosina’s, she was amazingly helpful and professional and she seemed to know what I would like even before I did.
Ben wore a black suit with an ivory waist coat and cravat from Moss Bros. My mum made all the guys blue pocket squares and shell buttonholes to match the girl’s dresses. The bridesmaids’ dresses we bought online from Etsy.
James Tracey, our photographer, was wonderful. He made us feel at ease, he got on fantastically with all our guests and he wasn’t at all intrusive. In fact, we hardly noticeable on the day. James did exactly what we asked and more, we didn’t want many posed pictures, instead James really captured the emotion and overall feeling of our wedding and our pictures ended up looking stunning. We couldn’t have asked for more.
I carried a bouquet that my mum made from silk flowers and brooches. Most of the brooches were given to us by family members and family friends. On the tables, we had blue and white sweet peas, which my granddad grew in his allotment.
Ben’s mum Jenny made beautiful drift wood signs and collages to decorate the venue. My family made all of our decorations and centrepieces.
My mum made a three-tiered chocolate truffle cake with white chocolate icing, which her and my aunt Sue decorated with edible shells. She even made a starfish bride and groom as toppers!
During our wedding ceremony we had a sand ceremony, which fit our theme and added our own unique twist to the ceremony.
I think the moment where I was standing at the end of the aisle, my bridesmaids had gone down the aisle the music was playing and I looked up for the first time to see Ben at the end. We made eye contact and he smiled at me and his eyes started to water.
We went on a little mini-moon for a few days to the lake district but we haven’t been on a big honeymoon yet. We are saving so we can go to the Galapagos with our friends Kerry and Eugene, which is our dream.
My top tip for other other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every second because the day flies by.
November 27th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding kicks-off with an incredibly romantic and festive engagement which is perfect as we’re soon to begin the big Christmas countdown with the help of our advent calendars (some things you are never too old for).
Sam and Fiona agreed on a laid back seaside wedding set around a cute afternoon tea during the day and a rocking party in the evening.
I love that Fiona was brave enough to shun tradition and work a blush pink dress on the aisle, which she looked fabulous in. Not to be left out, the guys also projected some colour with their daring but dashing sky blue bow ties.
So grab your bucket and spade as we journey to the maritime town of Scarborough for Sam and Fiona’s big day.
With images by Photography34
fiona says: I was eight months pregnant with our first child when we got engaged. It was our first Christmas in our first ‘family home’. We set about putting the Christmas tree up on a snowy Saturday afternoon, when Sam announced that he had a special bauble to put the tree. He presented me with a gold gift box tied with red ribbon, and I opened it to find a glass bauble inside. I took it out of the box and realised there was a message engraved on it so I looked closer, and in the meantime Sam got down on one knee. The message on the bauble said “You are the love of my life. Will you marry me?” Of course, I said yes, and the glass bauble has pride of place on our Christmas tree every year.
We chose 26th July 2014 for our wedding day – firstly as it wasn’t during the World Cup, but mainly as it was the anniversary of my beloved Nana’s death in 2009. She was my everything, and after a lot of thought we chose this day so as we could turn a sad day in to a happy day for the family.
We married at St Mark’s Church, Scarborough. My parents literally live over the road from the church and it held a lot of happy childhood memories, including me attending dancing lessons in the church hall every Saturday. Both our daughters were christened there also, so it seemed only right that we be married there too.
For the wedding reception, we decided on Betton Farm, East Ayton. Initially attracted by the love of their afternoon tea, I fell in love with the venue’s scenery and the relaxed vibe. We weren’t restricted to just one area, and that was a huge selling point for me. We had the marquee, the main building and the terraces so people could sit in the thick of it or sit where it was a little more quiet and idyllic.
There was no theme in particular, we wanted a relaxed wedding. We know how hard it is with two small children to sit down for a three-course meal, so we took the whole element of that away and provided our guests with a traditional afternoon tea so as to keep the whole event laid back.
The most important thing was that the people we loved the most could share our happiness with us.
When it came to styling, I was inspired by The Great British Bake Off, which featured an array of colours set in a marquee in the country. I wanted pastel colours, which could be mismatched to create a beautiful pallet.
In my head I wanted a simple, lace style wedding dress. After visiting a number of bridal shops, I made an appointment at Wedding Belles of Scarborough. I picked out a few dresses and after a discussion with the owner, Jackie, she asked if I would consider wearing a pink dress. I said yes, purely to keep my options open and mainly not wanting to appear rude. After trying on half a dozen dresses, the pink dress was next. I nearly said no, but once I stepped in to the gown I knew it was the one for me.
It was a one off Phil Collins bridal gown, which I wore off the peg. I loved the tone, the way it shone gold in the sun. I had never seen anything like it in my life, and despite it being everything that I said I didn’t want, it was the one for me – like a fairytale moment. I complemented the dress with an antique gold toned veil and a burnished gold tiara. I wore Paradox of London peep-toe shoes, but I had these dyed the same blush colour to match the dress. On the day I also wore my grandmother’s topaz ring.
I carried a bouquet of cream astilbe and my bridesmaids carried a similar bouquet of pink astilbe. I wanted the flowers to look handpicked and not too structure. I used Forget Me Not Florists in Scarborough, and after listening to the image of what I wanted, they created the most amazing bouquets.
I also found my mint green adult bridesmaids dresses on eBay for a bargain price of £10 each from a boutique seller. They wore pastel pink heeled shoes from New Look and finished the look off with a cream floral garland and a cream corsage, both of which were purchased from Boyes Department Store’s bridal range in Scarborough.
The flower girls (five in total) wore dresses made by my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. The fabrics and pattern were purchases from The Sewing Centre in Scarborough, and were adorned with the same flowers which were added to the bridesmaid dresses. Each dress was a different colour, so we had pale pink, coral, buttercup yellow, country green and a deep pink. Together the little ones looked so colourful.
On the day, I walked to the church from my parents as it was over the road. Stopping traffic was fun! To get from the church to Betton Farm, we hired an open-top bus from Shoreline Suncruisers to take us via Scarborough’s North and South Bay. It was such fun, we were all singing and laughing in the sunshine, with tourists on Scarborough beach cheering and applauding us and cars beeping their horns.
Our stunning wedding photographs were done by Photography34. Tony listened to exactly what I wanted and that was relaxed images. I didn’t want any traditional bride’s family and groom’s family pictures; I just wanted pictures capturing the magic of the day, which he did perfectly. I can see the happiness and emotion in the pictures, and that to me is priceless. I cannot thank Tony enough for the amazing memories he has given us of our day – such a talented photographer.
My favourite part of the day was defiantly the bus ride, as it was light hearted and fun. Spurred on by the glorious sunshine and the emotional high of the wedding, we were singing Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside and it was one of the groomsmen’s birthdays so we sang a rendition of happy birthday. It was quite literally a fun bus!
Decorations on the day included bunting in the marquee, which was provided by Betton Farm, who also arranged some vintage-style bits and pieces that I had collected over time. Forget Me Not dressed the tables using wine bottles and jam jars that I up-cycled at home beforehand using twine and antique lace. These were dotted around the tables with wild looking flowers and tea lights. I also hired birdcages from the florist and had these filled with gypsophila, burlap and wild flowers.
We hired a vintage style bike to use as an alternative to a central flower arrangement and the florist moved this up to the farm for the wedding reception.
I also used Celebrate Balloon Box in Scarborough for several selections of brightly coloured balloons to decorate the tables. They matched the theme perfectly and the colours really stood out in the marquee. Andrea Willis Designs, from Scarborough, was a huge help in making various signs which I used in and around the wedding venue. She also helped to make presents for the bridesmaids.
As we live by the seaside, and as I thought the colours would look amazing, I gave favours of Scarborough rock to my guests purchased from John Bull on the foreshore in Scarborough. I attached a manila luggage tag to each stick of rock which had different messages such as “All You Need Is Love” and “To Have And To Hold”. I tied the seaside theme in by hiring a ‘kiss me quick’ style vintage photo board, which was situated at the entrance of the reception venue. It created fun photo opportunities for everyone and kept the mood light.
My cake was from Bimbles Cake Emporium, Scarborough. I had a three-tier cake, with individual chocolate orange, strawberry sponge and chocolate cream tiers, which was decorated in country green icing. It featured an antique gold ribbon and lace and was topped with the same cream corsage which the bridesmaids wore.
Our afternoon tea was provided by Betton Farm, which is renowned in the local area for its amazing cakes and scones. We toasted the speeches with champagne for all the guests, which was provided as a gift from my father. In the evening, we had a hog roast from Glaves Butchers with all the trimmings.
We wanted a party, a pure and simple party, so we used Spectrum Discos, who was amazing and kept the dance floor full right up until the end of the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better night. He played songs from my playlist and seemed to time the mood right to get the guests up and dancing. Everyone had an amazing time.
Instead of a traditional wedding guest book being passed around all night, I used a battered leather suitcase which had a banner saying “love notes” across it and asked guests to write us a letter on paper and place it in the case. It was amazing to read these messages as they included poems, pictures and words of love. I have made a scrapbook of these and treasure it dearly.
Betton Farm is a beautiful, idyllic and unique setting for a wedding and I’m so happy we chose the venue, especially combined with the weather – it proved to be a spectacular setting. I would recommend the venue to other wedding couples.
We took a mini-moon to Rudding Park Hotel and Spa in Harrogate. We stayed in a Follifoot Suite and the hotel couldn’t have done more for us. We were treated to champagne on arrival and were given the best experience. The hotel is stunning, the food exquisite and the treatments were out of this world. We are planning on taking a honeymoon with our two daughters early in 2015.
My advice to other Brides Up North would simply be to be relaxed. Don’t stress and don’t be afraid to break from tradition. We tailored our day to fit exactly what we wanted and everything was perfect. Enjoy every moment, drink in every emotion, and most of all, have fun as it is the happiest day of your life. When I think if our wedding day, I still grin like a Cheshire cat.
All I wanted was to have fun on my wedding day, and boy, we certainly had that! It was so relaxed and laid back – I couldn’t have dreamt of more.
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