June 12th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
For Jonathan and Julia, today’s real wedding couple, the most important element of their wedding day was being together at the ceremony and exchanging those poignant vows – despite all the hours spent agonising over the smallest details! For them, the celebration was a huge – and wonderful – bonus.
However, that doesn’t mean we won’t pour over all those gorgeous details and find inspiration in the rose-gold tinted centrepieces and the festive Christmas styling! A berry red wreath on the front door of the reception venue welcomes guests to a jolly celebration with a New Year vibe and personalised champagne glasses, each one hand-decorated by the couple, add a special touch to the toasts and a unique memento of the occasion.
With a rich and opulent colour scheme of burgundy with peach highlights and soft greenery, the styling complemented the Christmas theme beautifully. In the spirit of true New Year celebrations, guests were treated to a very generous free bar and an energetic band, while they helped themselves to the array of sweets on offer at the sweetie bar and delicious cupcakes baked by the groom’s mother.
Julia – who looked gorgeous in a sparkly, A-line Morilee gown with a faux fur shrug to keep the winter chill off her shoulders – has plenty of sage advice for you soon-to-be-brides. So, sit back and enjoy, as she takes us through her and Jonathan’s big day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
julia says: We got engaged on New Years’ Eve 2015. Jonathan and I always go away for New Year and Jonathan had booked for us to go to Mottram Hall in Chester for two nights. We had a meal with cocktails and watched some fireworks, bringing the New Year in together as we had done for the previous three years of being together. However, this year was to be different: when we got to the room, Jonathan unexpectedly got down on one knee and proposed! Little did I know, he’d been planning the proposal and even had the ring made with me in mind, which he had been carrying around every day since October to ensure I did not find it! It was a complete surprise but perfect in every way.
We got married on 30th December 2017. I love winter and the feel of Christmas; it’s such a wonderful family time, which is important to us. I always knew I wanted something different to a summer wedding, so we aimed to wed between Christmas and New Year.
We decided we wanted a church wedding and have always loved All Hallows Church, which is local to my family home in Bardsey. The church is steeped in history, the original part of the building having been built in 800AD, and it stands proud in the village. Once we booked the church, everything fell into place. We visited Wood Hall Hotel and Spa in Wetherby on the off-chance as we were passing by. The hotel is so beautiful, set high on a hill that overlooks the surrounding villages, and we knew instantly this was our venue.
We would definitely recommend Wood Hall Hotel to those on the venue hunt. The staff were approachable, supportive, attentive and efficient. They made the experience very personal and added special touches, such as a free dining experience to try the menu choices and a teddy that had our names and wedding date stitched on as a lovely keepsake. We found the venue intimate enough for our wedding to feel personal but large enough to cater for guests and food on a large scale. No problem was ever too big and no detail was too small – even those last-minute changes.
We didn’t pick a particular theme or style for our wedding, although Jonathan and I are quite traditional and knew we would like a church wedding. We liked the idea of having a winter wedding and, when we visited Wood Hall in December and saw it decorated for Christmas, we knew instantly we would like that for our wedding! Our colour theme stemmed from there, along with flowers and smaller details such as centrepieces.
Knowing we wanted to get married in winter, especially around Christmas, lent itself to rich, deep, beautiful colours. We decided to have burgundy as the colour theme throughout our wedding, with a few enhancing colours for different aspects. Our bridesmaid dresses were burgundy with navy shawls and it was the main colour of the flowers in the bouquet and posies, which were broken up with peach and lots of greenery. The men’s suits were navy and the ties were burgundy, as well as the flowers used for the centrepieces and favours.
January 11th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
After a dreamy proposal in the romantic city of Venice, Rachael and Tom had set the bar high for a beautiful and memorable wedding day to follow. Choosing the gorgeous Saltmarshe Hall as their reception venue, a Grade II listed 19th Century house on the banks of the River Ouse in East Yorkshire, with a whopping 17 acres of garden, they certainly ticked the ‘dream setting’ box. If you too love the look of this stunning venue then be sure to mark Sunday 15th April in your diary as we will be staging one of our Luxury Wedding Fairs at the Hall on that day, giving you an opportunity to see all it has to offer first hand!
But back to today’s wedding! We love Rachael and Tom’s idea of choosing sharing platters for the wedding breakfast– what a great way to break the ice and get guests talking. With all that delicious food to work off – and music a passion of the groom’s – Tom handpicked a live band for the evening, ensuring the guests danced their way into the early hours.
Rachael and Tom may have had a tinge of the wedding blues after their honeymoon, but they definitely created some wonderful memories to send those gloomy thoughts packing!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.
rachael says: We got engaged in Venice on 27th August 2015. On our last night, we went for a ride on a Gondola and then to St Mark’s Square. We watched the sun set over Venice from the top of the Campanile and then walked back to our hotel. On the way, we stopped on a footbridge over one of the canals and Tom got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Although we’d been together for seven years, it was still a big surprise and we couldn’t wait to get home and tell our families.
Our wedding was on 28th July 2017. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holidays, so that we could go on our honeymoon straight after the wedding and not have to rush back to work straight away. My sister, Katherine, flew back from San Francisco where she lives and works for the big day too.
We had our wedding ceremony at Laxton Church and our reception at Saltmarshe Hall, near Howden. We looked at a few venues and nothing had blown us away but, on driving up the beautiful driveway to Saltmarshe Hall and seeing the grounds surrounding it, we knew we had found somewhere special. The house is beautiful, with a wonderful staircase and different rooms offering space for guests to relax, drink and dance. We knew we didn’t want a huge wedding and Saltmarshe could accommodate 70 guests in the Morning Room. We also loved the exclusivity that Saltmarshe offered; for our day, it would be ours. Having been recently extended with additional bedrooms, plenty of family could stay for the two nights. The team was fantastic – friendly and professional – and I knew our wedding was in safe hands with them.
Our colour scheme was shades of purple/lilac. I didn’t have a colour scheme in mind initially but when looking for bridesmaids’ dresses and thinking about flowers it all came together. April at BlueBird Wedding Stationery, did a wonderful job with our invitations and order of service, which tied in with the colour scheme too.
My dress was from Jacquelines Bridal of Beverley. I’d been to a couple of shops but hadn’t found anything quite right and was waiting for my ‘this is the one’ moment. I knew I wanted something A-line but nothing too big. My bridesmaids had travelled up for the weekend to help me, along with my sister. As soon as I put my dress on, they all said it was the one and it just felt different to the others. I loved the layers of lace and the detail but had to do a return trip with my mum just to get her approval before I took the plunge. The seamstress at Jacquelines did a great job making sure the dress fitted perfectly and they even arranged for it to be cleaned after the big day.
Victoria Farr and her assistant did my hair and that of my three bridesmaids and mum. She did a practice session a few months before to make sure we knew exactly what I wanted and how it would look. She was so friendly and a great person to have around when we were getting ready and I would definitely recommend her.
December 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s couple, Lauren and Andrew, wanted timeless over trendy for their special day, and so tails, armfuls of roses and a traditional hearty Yorkshire menu were the order of the day.
Light-up letters, live music and a talented DJ ensured their reception went with a bang, as well as an alternative guest book in the form of some fun photobooth action.
Of all the gorgeous details you’ll see below, however, there’s one that really stands out: Lauren’s gown. In our humble opinion, her stunning Ronald Joyce creation steals the show – the lace overlay, sequin detailing and that beaded string back is Choirs-Of-Angels-Singing-Halleluiah levels of stunningness – just take a look for yourselves…
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015, and chose Saturday 2nd September 2017 as our wedding date. We liked the fact that we would get the end of summer/early autumn colours outside but also hoped for a warm, sunny day (which we got!) It was also important to give my sister and husband enough time to fly in from New Zealand for the wedding.
We were married at the Immaculate Conception Church in Sicklinghall. It’s a catholic church which was important to Andrew, but had the attractive setting that I’d always imagined getting married in.
The reception was at The Bridge Hotel & Spa Wetherby. It was the first place we looked round after researching some places that took our fancy. It was an instant hit and nothing we saw afterwards compared to the overall package they were offering. It had a spacious function room and lovely grounds but still had a ‘country inn’ feel to the bar and restaurant, which we loved.
Colour-wise, we went for coral. We felt it matched with the time of year and the coloured roses we wanted for the bouquets.
Andrew wore a silk slate grey suit with tails and a white waistcoat from Bridal Apparel, Leeds. We wanted a more traditional look compared to a normal suit and felt it was important for a once-in-a-lifetime day. He matched it with a coral cravat and handkerchief.
Our bridesmaids wore coral Morilee dresses from Platinum Brides, and the groomsmen wore the same as Andrew but with grey waistcoat.
November 8th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
The moment a father glimpses his baby girl in her wedding dress about to embark on the biggest day of her life is particularly special – perhaps it’s only at this moment that he realises his girl is a baby no longer. For Laura, today’s featured bride, this split-second was one of her most favourite moments of the day. Tears a-plenty. Forget the details and dress, sometimes it’s these freeze-framed flashes in time that produce the strongest memories to remind us what’s really important. Love is all you need, after all.
OK, so of course we’re not really going to forget the dress or details. What do you take us for? We can’t get enough of those special touches that make your weddings all about you, and Laura and Tom certainly didn’t disappoint with their endless metres of handmade hessian bunting – some featuring photographs of friends and family, homebrewed gin to tickle the guests’ taste buds, romantic quotes to inspire the guests during dinner, and a roulette table for those who like to take a gamble – and where else would you be invited to ‘pimp your prosecco’? Don’t mind if I do!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
laura says: The day we got engaged, Tom and I were moving into our new home. I was making Tom do the obligatory selfie outside the sold sign and, next thing I knew, he was down on one knee outside our dream home with the most perfect engagement ring asking me to marry him. Once I said “yes”, there were builders clapping and cheering from the other side of the estate!
Our wedding date was 21st July 2017. We always wanted to get married in the summer in the hope the weather would be good. A friend of a friend raved about their wedding at The Coniston Hotel, in Skipton, and, when we compared it to three other venues, we both loved how “us” The Coniston was; it felt so relaxed and romantic and we loved how the wedding area felt very private from the rest of the hotel. The views over the lake are incredible, so we knew (whatever the weather!) that wedding pictures by the lake would be amazing.
The Coniston was everything we wanted in a venue; everything we asked Sophie and Sharon, the wedding co-ordinators, to do was never too much trouble; they really seemed to understand what type of wedding we wanted. Everything went perfectly on the day and that was largely down to Sophie co-ordinating every aspect. We were never without a drink in our hands and all our guests felt so very well looked after. We couldn’t recommend The Coniston enough.
We didn’t have a specific theme for the day – more of a vintage style. We love the look of lace and hessian together – we’d used these materials for our save the date and wedding invitations – and we included some pastel peach colours to complement the look. We also had an inordinate amount of hessian bunting! Tom’s mum is extremely crafty and wonderful at bringing ideas to life; she made a very impressive 180m of bunting: 120m of it were incorporated into the ceiling drapes in the wedding breakfast room and the rest were dotted around the venue with lovely hand-painted lettering. We also had quite a lot of wood involved, with wooden slices for the table decorations and wooden stands for scented candles throughout the venue.
For my dress, I visited Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, and instantly knew I wanted to get my dress from there; it’s so beautiful inside the shop and all the girls working there are great. I tried on a Justin Alexander dress that I just knew was perfect: Bardot-style with beautiful beading, nipped in at the waist with a very floaty skirt and long train. It sounds really clichêd but I knew when I tried it on it was the dress I wanted to marry Tom in.
March 14th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
After popping the question across the pond in sunny LA, Steve and his bride-to-be Amanda tied the knot at luxury Harrogate-based hotel, Rudding Park, in October 2016.
Wearing the most sublime Vera Wang gown, Amanda was the picture-perfect bride, with her gorgeous bridesmaids by her side in sophisticated grey maxi dresses.
We love it when a couple decide to get hands on and creative, and Amanda and Steve didn’t disappoint; making some of the key decorations and props for their special day, with the mother of the groom baking a stunning cake to match.
Truly elegant and understated – we think you’ll be just as smitten as us when you see all the precious highlights.
With images by Bethany Clarke.
amanda says: We got engaged when we were on holiday in the US. We had gone to New York for a few days, then flew to LA, where we then travelled over to Orange County to stay with some friends for a week. We then went from there to LA for a few days, which is where Steve proposed!
We were at the hotel waiting for our friends to join us and I had just woken up from an afternoon nap, when Steve got down on one knee! We then rang my mum to tell her the good news and she didn’t believe us! (We had been together for over eight years at this point, so I think she thought it was never going to happen!)
Our wedding date was 29th October 2016. We chose this date as – to be honest – we knew it would be cheaper than getting married in the summer and we both love autumn and the colours associated with it. There are also no expectations with the weather!
We got married at Rudding Park, Harrogate. We chose this venue as not only was it stunning with amazing food, but it was also reasonably priced and a good location for family and friends to easily travel to. We would highly recommend Rudding Park, they really helped make our day amazing and everything ran smoothly. The staff were all so lovely.
The colour theme for our big day was ivories and greens.
I wore an ivory strapless trumpet/mermaid gown by Vera Wang. I was really lucky as I managed to find one in my size on Still White, so I got it much cheaper than what it originally cost! I love Vera Wang’s designs and just loved the bottom of the dress – there were so many layers! I bought my shoes from Office and for the night do I changed into a Needle and Thread dress.
My bridesmaids wore grey multi-way maxi dresses. I chose these as all my bridesmaids loved them and felt comfortable as they could wear them slightly differently.
March 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This evening’s inspiration comes from the lovely Caroline and Scott, who cosied up at Linthwaite House Hotel for their autumnal Lake District wedding. Opulent shades of plum and pink, a homely and characterful venue, cheese, cheese and more cheese – this wedding just makes me want to crack open the Merlot and be done with today.
So, if time and place allows, we advise you to do exactly that whilst soaking up this beautiful big day…
Photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.
caroline says: We got engaged on the 12th January in 2015. We’d been together for almost ten years at that point, and many of our friends and family were starting to wonder if we’d ever get engaged. Scott proposed while we were on a ski trip with friends – we were sitting at a picnic bench at the top of French Alps. It was a beautiful sunny morning and just a perfectly romantic moment. After I’d said yes, some of our friends got off the ski lift and took some pictures, then we all skied down the mountain for lunch and champagne. It was just a brilliant day!
We got married on the 20th October 2016. We chose the date as we wanted an autumn wedding and, as we were getting married in the Lake District, we knew the autumnal colours would look wonderful. Additionally, we hoped that the weather would still be mild with a little bit of light in the evening before the clocks changed. However, we didn’t worry about having it all our own way weather-wise, as if it did rain it would also create a cosy atmosphere for our guests at our venue.
We chose to get married at Linthwaite House Hotel at Bowness-on-Windermere. We always knew that we wanted to get married in the Lake District as it’s such a special place to us. We looked at three other hotels before visiting Linthwaite but as soon as we arrived there I just knew that it would be perfect. It ticked all of our boxes: beautiful views, extremely friendly staff, warm, homely interiors, beautiful rooms for our guests to stay and just amazing food. We really wanted a laid back and relaxed day that wasn’t stuffy; a place where our guests could truly relax once they arrived and, as we had exclusive use of the entire hotel, this is exactly what we got and a whole lot more. I really couldn’t recommend Linthwaite highly enough to any couple looking for a place to get married in the Lake District.
The time of year and the beautiful surroundings of the hotel also influenced our colour scheme. As it was October, we wanted rich autumnal colours and chose lovely shades of plum. It seemed to be a popular choice with my bridesmaids, too!
I wore a dress from Allure Bridals and accessorised it with a belt and bolero. I bought the dress from Adele Louise Bridal, which is a bridal boutique in Wolverhampton. This is quite far from where I live but my sister-in-law is a friend of the owner. I was pretty clueless as to what I was looking for so I went with her and my niece to try on a few dresses. I had an idea that I wanted something quite simple and this dress just seemed perfect. The beautiful lace design fitted in somehow with the timeless Lake District surroundings as well.
Scott wore a blue suit from Next and a bow tie that he bought online from San Francisco. Scott’s best men and also the fathers of the bride and groom also wore the same blue suit as Scott. The plum ties were from the same retailer in San Francisco.
I bought the bridesmaid dress online from a company called JJ’s House. I left getting the bridesmaid dresses quite close to the wedding as one of my bridesmaids was pregnant and I was a bit wary of buying them online, but they were great. They tailored the dresses and had such a big selection that I was able to get four different dresses for each of my different bridesmaids but in the exact same colour and they arrived really quickly.
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