Brides Up North

Make Me A Mix Tape? A Real Wedding In The North East: Sam & Grant

November 26th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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North East Wedding by Helen Russell Photography

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We are in the North East today with Brides Up North readers Sam and Grant who we first met when I featured their engagement story a few months back.  With images by the lovely Helen Russell Photography, a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, these two big kids kept the quirk factor high and styled their wedding just the way they wanted it.  Watch out for some retro gliders, a fabulous Lego wedding cake and lots of beautiful buttons.

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Wedding in the North East by Helen Russell Photography

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Sam says: Grant proposed in October 2008 on a surprise romantic weekend trip to Paris. (Please see the full story at our real engagement shoot) and we married on Saturday 25th August 2012 at Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield.

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Hardwick Hall Wedding by Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography   Helen Russell Photography

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We wanted to host both the ceremony & reception at the same venue to reduce travelling for our guests.

The reception was held at the Paddock Marquee on the grounds of the hotel, perfect for our August Bank Holiday weekend date.

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography   Helen Russell Photography

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HelenRussellPhotography-HardwickHall-7  Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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We are both big kids at heart and wanted our special day to be fun, unique and a wedding to remember.

We didn’t start with a theme in mind – it naturally evolved into a retro theme after finding Lego Cake Toppers on eBay.

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Selecting a colour scheme was an easy choice, as we both share the same favourite colour, Teal.

However, we soon realised after selecting the colour, how many different shades of Green/Blue there are and coordinating a consistent colour scheme became more of a challenge than we first thought.

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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I wore an ivory “Donatella” Ronald Joyce dress from Butterflies Bridal in Thornaby. It was a stunning dress with a sweetheart neckline and amazing beading detail. I knew straight away it was the one.

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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After much researching, I eventually found a really nice polka dot bridesmaid dress in John Lewis that was very different and fitted in with our retro theme.  The bridesmaids also wore coral peep-toe shoes, which matched the colour of the dress zip.  Before the wedding, my maid of honour found out she was pregnant, so we bought her a replacement coral maxi dress because her bump was growing so much.

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The flower girl wore a simple ivory dress from Primark at a bargain £8 with matching coral shoes.

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Grant opted for a grey coat tail suit as he wanted something different. He wore an ivory waistcoat, whilst the rest of the groomsmen wore grey. All the gents wore teal cravats, which matched with the colour of the bridesmaid dresses.

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As part of our thank you gifts, we gave each bridesmaid a pair of coral plimsolls to help dance the night away and the best man & usher got colourful retro Casio watches.

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Helen Russell Photography   Helen Russell Photography

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As an alternative to the traditional floral bouquet, I wanted something unique, that could be kept and treasured forever. We found a company online called Beau Buttons, who offered the perfect solution – the Button Bouquet.They incorporated all of our ideas and retro details to create a truly personal and bespoke bouquet set.

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My bouquet contained:

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· A range of teal & blue vintage buttons;

· Love Hearts sweet buttons to tie in with the wedding cake, ladies favours and the sweetie buffet;

· A Lego brick to match Grant’s cuff links & Buttonhole;

· The letters “S & G” on individual diamante buttons;

· The handle was wrapped in material from the spare Bridesmaid dress;

· Leaf-shaped felt collar.

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The large order also included 6 x smaller Bridesmaid bouquets, 10 x Buttonholes, 3 x Corsages and a button clip for the Flower Girl.

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Beau Buttons really went the extra mile for us and even produced bunting from the Bridesmaid dress fabric as an extra product which they don’t usually offer.  We had several Skype video calls to chat through feedback and were kept continuously up-to-date with progress. It was exactly what I wanted and could not have been happier with the final product.

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It was the ultimate top secret creative mission – none of the guests or wedding party knew about it until the morning of the wedding. Helen caught the moment on camera when I surprised the Bridesmaids with their own individual bouquets. It was amazing and highly recommended to any bride.

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To complement the button bouquets, we also had a selection of real Peach Gerberas from Butterflies Florist in Middlesbrough, who made the top table arrangement, throwing and thank you bouquets.

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Helen Russell Photography

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My favourite part of the day was the ceremony itself. I was so excited on the morning, getting ready with my Bridesmaids. I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle and as soon as the music started, it was so emotional. I loved every minute of it.

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Helen Russell Photography

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For our photography, Helen Russell was brilliant and made us feel so relaxed and comfortable. She captured so many amazing moments that we will treasure forever.

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Lauren Close covered the evening reception photography and got some great party & dressing up booth shots.

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Helen Russell Photography

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We created our very own sweetie buffet, complete with retro sweets, a range of glass jars, pic’n’mix scoops & bags.  To make it more personal, we designed our own “how sweet it is to be loved by you” sign and also found a table cloth that matched with the Bridesmaid dresses.  We topped it all off with a fun Wedding Mr & Mrs Potato Head set.

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Helen Russell Photography   Helen Russell Photography

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We also created a dressing up booth next to the dance floor, which included a range of fancy dress items, props, chalkboards and a large silver frame.  Both the sweetie buffet & dressing up area were very popular with our guests and helped make the day extra special.

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Helen Russell Photography

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We hired a Vintage Post Box to keep all the wedding cards & gifts together, which worked really well.

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Helen Russell Photography   Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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Our favourite Childhood TV programmes became our table names: 

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He-Man, Transformers, Thundercats, Banana Man, Inspector Gadget, My Little Pony, Raggy Dolls and Button Moon!

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The invitations were also retro and included an RSVP postcard in the shape of a mixtape cassette. We asked our guests to request 3 songs to get them up on the dance floor, which the DJ compiled into a playlist at the reception.

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We found our biggest bargain at a local car boot sale, 100 old cassette tapes for £5. We used the original covers and relabelled the tapes with wedding stationary to create table place names. The hardest part was matching the original cassette tape music with individual guests.

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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For our retro transport, we hired a VW Beetle ‘74 Convertible & ‘65 VW Camper Van & from Love Dub Cars in Darlington.

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I travelled with my Dad in the Beetle, after the rest of the wedding party arrived in the Camper Van.  We loved the retro cars and got some great photos after the ceremony.

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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We chose a Lego & Love Hearts themed cake made up of individual fun cupcakes for each of our guests.

We also had a special single tier sponge cake, which the minifig Grant & Sam Lego Cake Toppers were displayed on. This was completed with a Lego Wedding Arch that came all the way from America.

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Helen Russell Photography

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We had a Giant Jenga and a disposable camera photo challenge to keep the kids entertained and a framed pinboard with prints from our pre-wedding photoshoot. 

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Helen Russell Photography

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The best man surprised me with a set of masks for each table, including mine & Grant’s faces, along with George Michael and Pat Butcher for randomness.

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After the wedding, we had the most amazing honeymoon in Cuba – initially soaking up the culture in Havana, before heading to the beach resort of Varadero for total relaxation.

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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Helen Russell Photography

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My tip for other Brides Up North would be to try to do as many of the items yourself, not only will it keep you in budget, but will be very rewarding and make your day extra special and personal.

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Helen Russell Photography

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HEARTCongratulations Sam & Grant! HEART

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding featured on the blog.

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  – Images © 2012 Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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