September 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’re kicking off the week with a truly cool and individual big day that had a relaxed rustic and boho vibe.
Taking place at an exclusive location in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby, today’s couple Ceri and Liam, tied the knot in the ruins of a castle before moving onto a marquee at Liam’s parents’ house for a chilled reception, complete with views over the whimsical woodland and coastline beyond.
We’re totally crushing on Ceri’s gorgeous lace dress by Brides Up North Sponsor, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, not to mention those uber-cool bell, bead and pearl anklets.
Keeping the style bar up high, we also adore the bridesmaids’ pastel dresses and flower crowns, as well as the men’s brace and bow tie combos! This party are on point!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
ceri says: Liam had originally planned to propose during a surprise trip to Edinburgh but didn’t find the right time so ended up asking me once we got home to Durham. He popped the question on a bridge over the river during the Lumiere light festival.
We set the date for 24th June 2017, as it was close to the solstice so we’d have lots of daylight.
We got married at the Old Castle in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby. These are some old ruins deep in the woods, we wrote to Lord Normanby who owns the land and who Liam’s dad has worked for, for 40 years to ask his permission for us to hold our ceremony there. Our guests had to walk through the woods to reach it though some were taken via Land Rover. For the reception, we had a marquee in a field overlooking the woods and sea at Liam’s parents’ house, which is a gatehouse to the woods in a village called Dunsley.
As our ceremony at Mulgrave Woods wasn’t the legal one (we went to the register office another day) we asked Liam’s close friend Tristan to conduct the ceremony. He did such a fantastic job and it made it even more personal and relaxed.
Our rings were mad by my friend Geri of Smuggler’s Treasure. It meant a lot to us that they were made locally and by a friend, they are a hammered texture with an engraved heart inside. Geri also made me some anklets, which had brass beads, bells and fresh water pearls on as I had bare feet on the day.
The theme of the wedding was very relaxed we didn’t have a colour scheme but we incorporated the woods into the styling with real trees in the marquee, log cuttings and lots of wild flowers. I’m a photographer so we had lots of vintage cameras around too.
There was lots of green throughout the wedding due to the amounts of foliage – we made living chandeliers using old bike wheels, greenery and fairy lights and hung them in the marquee.
August 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
The weekend may have come to an end but we’re going to do our very best to distract you from those Monday blues with this all-natural affair, courtesy of outdoors-loving couple Christina and Nick. There’s British-grown blooms, undone hair and a strawberry flower crown against the beautiful backdrop of East Riddlesden Hall and Barn. They describe their theme as ‘Fairy Potting Shed’ and they’ve got it bang on – the everyday beauty of an English country garden with just a touch of magic dust.
This pair are true romantics, and made every decision for their big day together – Christina even called Nick to check out her Cabotine dress and he shed a few tears along with her mum when she stepped out of the dressing room. And after hearing about his dreamy proposal – a night-time drive, a teal moonlit sky, a cup of tea and a glass of Champagne – we’ve gotta hand it to him: this guy gets romance.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Lloyd-Clarke Photography.
christina says: Nick finally asked the special question on Friday 22nd May 2015. We’d been together for 11 years but we hadn’t been in a position where we could afford a wedding! He had the perfect ring, and the perfect girl (his words!), but finding the perfect location to get on one knee proved more difficult. In the end, he waited for a clear night, when the twilight turned the sky a stunning shade of teal and asked me if I fancied a drive. He then drove us to the top of a tall hill near our place to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge. Under the moon and stars we stood in a field and he dropped to one knee and asked the question. I said yes and we hugged in the moonlight, before hurrying home to warm up with a cup of tea and a glass of bubbly. It wasn’t grand, it wasn’t extravagant but it was very ‘us’, and every time the sky turns the same colour on a clear evening, it reminds us both of that special moment!
We were married on Sunday, May 14th 2017. We’d had our hearts set on a spring wedding for a long time: we’re both nature lovers and we had noticed that May in Yorkshire had been sunny and fairly warm for the past few years. Ultimately, we chose a Sunday because we were trying to stick to a budget and, as luck would have it, our venue had a lower rate for Sunday weddings.
We had a civil ceremony and our reception at the barn at East Riddlesden Hall. There’s something magical about the place; the very first time we visited East Ridds with some friends a few years ago we glanced inside the barn and something clicked with both of us. We looked at quite a few wedding venues after Nick proposed, but found ourselves comparing them to the barn each time – and the barn always won! The wedding barn is such a beautiful building; the perfect complement to the country springtime wedding we envisaged. The National Trust wedding team were always friendly and helpful and answered all of our (many) questions when we were trying to make the decision.
Our theme was loosely based around springtime flowers, country meadows, and wildlife/nature. We decided to call it the ‘Fairy Potting Shed’ theme! Ultimately, we wanted our wedding to make the most of and celebrate spring. It’s such an exciting and invigorating time of year; nature is coming alive, bees are buzzing around and the natural colour palette in woodlands and meadows becomes diverse and beautiful. We both liked the idea of celebrating nature and all things which grow.
We didn’t really have a set colour scheme; we were so pleased with the natural rustic beauty of the venue that we didn’t feel the need to overdress it. We were very pleased that our seasonal floral displays complemented the venue so beautifully.
I found wedding dress shopping very difficult – I thought that what I wanted didn’t exist. Most of the dress shops I visited reinforced my fears or were way beyond my budget. But with a stroke of luck, I eventually found my wedding dress at the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium in Halifax.
I was originally looking for an A-line wedding dress with a very flowy skirt to complement my hourglass figure. I wanted it to be as simple and timeless as possible, without any beadwork or embellishment. I found this to be a lot more difficult than I’d anticipated!
I happened upon the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium by accident. At the time, me and my mum were searching for a ‘mother of the bride’ outfit. While my mum was trying on outfits I took a wander into the wedding dress section. I had a look at the one-off dresses and discovered a stunning and unique dress by Cabotine. I was a bit lost at this stage – having seen so many dresses I felt quite dazed, but there was something about this dress that just seemed right. It might shock some of your readers (I know our families were a bit stunned!), but I called Nick to come along to see what he thought. I don’t regret this decision at all; we ended up having a lovely moment. Nick saw me in the dress, and shed a few tears, as did my mum…and I knew that this was the dress for me! Leanne who owns the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium was wonderful from start to finish. She gave me the space to make the decision, and expelled all of my anxieties and fears with her expert knowledge and a dose of humanity and humour which I felt was missing from many of my other dress shopping experiences. She arranged alterations by an independent seamstress, and on the day the dress was a perfect fit.
June 8th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
What makes a great wedding photographer? Someone who can capture emotion whilst being discreet, someone with creativity and flare or someone who can think on their feet and calmly adapt to any situation? Preferably we’d like all three, and we thankfully we know a lady who can deliver just that.
Introducing new Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography. Having hacked the intense pressure of being a photojournalist for some of pretty impressive news titles, Yorkshire-based Bethany now uses her skills and experience to capture couples’ weddings in a relaxed and emotive documentary style.
Reading situations and anticipating reactions is Bethany’s forte, and so she’s always in the right place at the right time to photograph emotions that pass in a moment, so they can be kept and treasured forever.
We’ll now hand over to the lady herself to explain more about her individual style and approach…
Tell us a little about your background?
bethany says: I am a United Nations award-winning photojournalist and have worked for some of the world’s most prestigious editorial clients. Getty Images, The Times and The Daily Telegraph have trusted me to cover a huge variety of work, from breaking news events to state occasions. I have produced iconic pictures from sensitive features, documented post conflict stories and captured striking images of celebrities, top politicians and royalty.
During my career I have worked in almost every kind of light, weather, environment and emotional situation you can imagine – all to the minute-critical print deadline of the front page. After having lived in London and worked internationally as a successful photojournalist I am now based in North Yorkshire and use my experience to document your wedding day.
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
Alongside my photojournalism, I have always photographed weddings due to demand from people who knew my work and liked my photojournalist style. I love being invited into people’s special day and having the creative freedom to capture elegant and timeless images that tell a couple’s story. During a wedding there are so many wonderful interactions, reactions, people and details to capture – events and emotions that pass in a moment, but can be kept and treasured forever.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
I have an unobtrusive approach and blend into your day to be able to capture subtle interactions and tender moments that will transport you back to the day for years to come. Many people these days claim to shoot in a “documentary” or “photojournalist” style, and if you want that style, ensure you book someone who has the genuine experience necessary to produce beautiful imagery whatever the situation.
What do your clients they love about your approach, service and images?
My clients often comment that my friendly approach made them feel very relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera and that they didn’t notice me taking photographs. People also appreciate that I capture many special moments and details that come from being discreet and watching people – reading situations and anticipating emotions and reactions.
April 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Not every bride’s dream dress is found hanging on the rails of a bridal boutique as this morning’s bride Katie goes to show.
Having envisaged the type of gown that she would love to walk the aisle in, Katie found a talented dress maker to bring her wedding wishes to life. The result is a stunning fishtail lace dress with beautiful capped sleeves, which we love.
The big day took place at Denton Hall – a stunning venue in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, which we will soon be visiting for ourselves to stage our spring Luxury Wedding Exhibition. So if you want to see this fabulous hall for yourself, be sure to join us between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 17th April 2016.
With images by Bethany Clarke Photography.
katie says: James and I met at whilst I was at university in Newcastle. We subsequently moved to my home town of Leeds and after spending two years renovating our home, we were very excited to be spending our first Christmas there together.
As Christmas is my most favourite time of the year, James set about to make that Christmas the most special of all. On Christmas Eve James cooked a fabulous meal. We resided to our living room, which James had filled with candles, and he proposed by the Christmas tree. He arranged for us to spend a night at the Savoy in London, and for us to choose an engagement ring together. It was magical.
The number 13 is lucky for us, so we set the date 13th June. We hoped for beautiful summer weather to enjoy the fabulous views from our venue. Our friends laugh as the weather forecast was driving rain until the morning of our wedding. We were so lucky to have the most beautiful hazy summer’s day.
James found our wedding reception venue. He’s a keen cyclist and often cycled past Denton Hall and so he arranged for us to go to see it. We fell in love with it the moment we walked through the door! The grand hall is nestled within the beautiful Ilkley countryside with the most stunning views, which we made the most of during our drinks reception.
For the ceremony, we both wanted a small traditional church wedding and we were lucky enough to marry at the picture perfect St Helen’s church in Denton, Ilkley. Denton Hall is about 200 metres from the church, so after the ceremony we walked, with our guests, across to the hall.
December 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Not long until Santa comes to town now! But before he delivers presents from your nearest and dearest, we’re bringing you two delightful real weddings as our gift to you.
To kick things off this morning we’re heading to a farm in Sheffield for the stunning wedding of Charlotte and Adam.
We absolutely love the creativity that has been used by this couple to transform a bare shell of a barn into a romantic & unique wedding venue, complete botanical charm. Truly inspiring!
With images by Bethany Clarke Photography.
charlotte says: We got engaged in Verona, Italy, the home of Romeo and Juliet, about a year before the wedding. Adam proposed on the balcony before sunset, then we drank a hell of a lot of prosecco to celebrate!
Our wedding was on 1st August 2015. We planned it hoping for a sunny day. We got a bit of a mixed bag, but the sun came out for our photos.
We got married at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield, near the peak district and were the first people to have our ceremony there as well as our reception. We chose the venue, as once we had rented the barn we were pretty much free to do whatever we wanted and we really wanted that kind of freedom.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but I really wanted to have as much greenery as possible. We were very lucky to have the help of a family friend who is an avid gardener and who helped us to create the leafy decoration, as well as, mine and my bridesmaids’ bouquets. This was great as it meant we didn’t have to fork out for florist flowers.
The colour scheme ended up being white and green. We covered as much as possible in leafy greenery and the bridesmaid dresses had a green, tropical print. I think it turned out quite pretty.
May 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We just love a vintage wedding here at Brides Up North HQ and today we see that bride Georgina executed the look to perfection when she tied the knot to beau Jonny at Northorpe Hall and Barn.
Everything comes together perfectly from Georgina’s stunning lace Pronovias dress to maids dusky pink dresses and that gorgeous vintage car.
Brides wanting to follow in Georgina’s well-styled footsteps should grab a pen and paper (or have those Pinterest boards at the ready) before reading on.
With images by Bethany Clarke Photography.
georgina says: We got engaged in Thailand in 2012. We went travelling together after university and it was only four days into the trip when Jonny proposed. We had gone to an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai which was an amazing day as I absolutely love elephants! He proposed on a platform that went out into the open fields where the elephants were roaming free. Jonny warned me not scream and I was thinking…of course I won’t scream but then he dropped down onto one knee and asked me to marry him! Then I understood why I might have screamed!
We chose to marry on 13th September 2014. We mainly chose this date because it allowed us to have the venue the day before so that we could decorate the barn and I really wanted to be able to be involved with the preparation and decorating as I’d been collecting lots of little things to personalise the place.
Our venue was Northorpe Hall and Barn in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. I had always dreamed of a rustic, English country wedding with hay bales and the lot! The barn was absolutely perfect in size and it allowed me to decorate it just how I wanted. You weren’t forced into ‘wedding packages’ there so you could choose a reception that suited your budget and plan for the day.
I wanted a vintage/rustic theme. I used hay bales, lots of lace and hessian and pretty vintage coloured flowers to achieve the look. I made a lot of the decorations myself (with a lot of help from friends and family). I had collected milk churns, made bunting and table runners from hessian and lace. I then had lots of lavender heart wreaths dotted around the place.
Family is really important to me and my husband so I also framed photographs of our family on their wedding days and had them on display on our gifts table. It was a really lovely touch and nice to see our family history out on display for all our guests to see.
The colour scheme was dusky pink and cream which we used in the flowers. I loved the hydrangea and ivy garlands that we had dotted around the Barn. The colours were perfect!
I chose a Pronovias lace dress with long lace sleeves. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. I wanted something really elegant with a hint of a vintage feel. I don’t really like my arms and shoulders too much so the slash neck with the long sleeves was absolutely perfect for me. As soon as I tried it on (a good 18 months before my wedding) I knew it was the one and never looked back. I got it from a bridal shop in Bradford, called The Wedding Mill.
Jonny wore a slim fit tuxedo for Suits Direct with a black bow tie and braces. The groomsmen also wore black tuxedos with black bow ties. These were also from Suits Direct.
Our bridesmaids wore dusky pink, long and floaty dresses with a lace back, which were from Warehouse.
We had a vintage wedding car to drive the bridesmaids, then me and my dad to the church. This was hired through the shop that I bought my wedding dress from. We then also provided a vintage wedding bus to transport our guests from the church to the reception venue, which was hired from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.
Bethany Clarke was our photographer and she was absolutely fantastic – I would highly recommend her! She was so friendly and managed our guests really well. I was quite shy in front of the camera and she made me feel really at ease. The photographs we received were beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. We will treasure them forever!
We also had a videographer provided by Bethany who was brilliant. We have watched our wedding video over and over again and it’s great to watch with friends and family.
My husband’s Aunty Sheila, from The Flower Room, is a wedding florist so she did our flowers. We had mainly roses, peonies with hints of lavender, then lots of lovely green foliage and cream and white flowers. We also had hydrangeas for decorating the milk churns.
The flower arrangements and bouquets she did blew me away. They were perfect. I burst into tears when I saw my bouquet, especially because it had been personalised with a locket that had a photograph of my Grandma and Grandad in it. Everybody commented on how beautiful the flowers were.
For favours I wrapped up lavender soaps in a vintage wrapping paper, tying it up with string and decorating it with a cream rose for the ladies. For the men I did a mini jars of sweeties with a cloth top.
I chose a five tier warm ivory cake with ivory lace detail and flowers cascading down the top two tiers. I did the cake myself as I have a cake decorating business, Teacup Cakery. It was a challenge and quite stressful towards the end but I’m really glad I managed to finish and I was really happy with the end result. Me and all my family are all really into baking so I also did a cake table full of all different cakes for people to choose what flavour they’d like the best. This went down really well with our guests! I had collected lots of lovely vintage cake stands for this and it looks amazing once all the cakes were set out!
Other food on the day included canapés on arrival and then a three course sit down dinner with a choice of white or red wine for our guests. The meal was absolutely amazing! All of our guests commented on the quality and many said it was the best food they had ever had at a wedding.
To keep our guests entertained, we had a photo booth in the evening that’s a VW campervan that has been converted into a photo booth. I think it was one of the best things we chose for our wedding day. Our guests absolutely loved it and we also got a guest book of all the images which is hilarious and has already brought us lots of laughter and I’m sure it will for years to come. It was from a company called Picabo Photography.
We also had hula hoops, space hoppers and giant Jenga to entertain our guests during the drinks reception. It was a really nice day so this worked out perfectly!
As a little extra at the reception I’d made some cards for the table that asked guests to draw the person sat next to them, and then offer us some advice for a successful marriage. I think this was a great way for our guests to get to know the people sat on their table a bit better.
We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue. It’s reasonably priced in comparison to other venues and it’s just something a bit different. You can personalise it as much as you like!
The first dance was my favourite part of the day. I just felt so in love and so unbelievably happy! Everting had been perfect all day and it just felt like the most amazing moment. I will remember that it forever. Plus, my husband finally cried after holding it back all day so I know he was feeling the same I was!
We went to Thailand and Malaysia on our honeymoon. We really wanted to go back to Thailand because it was where we got engaged. We travelled to three different parts of Thailand, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Phi Phi was definitely our favourite spot of the whole honeymoon. The hotel was idyllic and it was just like paradise. We are already trying to plan for when we might be able to go back!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be just do what you want to do and stick to your vision. Enjoy every minute of it, no matter how stressful the planning gets! Your day will fly by so just make sure you take it all in. Also, don’t worry about the seating plan, it can be a right headache! But at the end of the day people will get on with each other no matter what and everybody is there to share your special day so just do what is right for you and don’t worry about other people too much.
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