February 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s glamorous bride describes her agonising decision as to whether to go ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Kim Kardashian’ on the wedding dress front. In the end, her elegant gown was more grown-up princess than KK but every bit a showstopper.
This gorgeous duo really knows how to organise a party: their big day features a ten-piece band, a photo booth and gallons of Champagne. Plus, the photographs of Katherine with her seven gorgeous bridesmaids? Real #SquadGoals material.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.
katherine says: I had already picked my ring out at ROX jewellers in Leeds, with Oliver when we got engaged as we’d regularly talked about getting married. I had a very specific style in mind and we both agreed it would be better to pick a ring I loved instead of one I only liked! It was an amazing experience we both enjoyed and will cherish forever. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles as the glass doors behind us were locked by the security guard. We were the only customers in the store – absolute bliss!
Given that I knew the ring was coming (although I didn’t know when and where!) I told Oliver if he wanted to surprise me he’d have to catch me off guard. He did just that: he asked me to pop downstairs to help him carry something inside the house and as I reached the bottom step he was on one knee – with my ring! Of course, I said yes.
We both wanted to be married fairly quickly and were lucky enough to be financially able to do so. We were engaged August 2015 and were married September 2016. Oliver’s parents were married on the 28th September and my parents were married on the 29th September, so we decided to follow the trend with 30thSeptember. To get married on a Friday was significantly cheaper at most venues than a weekend and that encouraged us to go for a week day.
We visited dozens of venues, but fell in love with Monk Fryston Hall in Yorkshire, immediately. We wanted to find a venue that wasn’t too big (more than one wedding per day at some places), not too small (we both have big families) and that could provide overnight accommodation overnight. We both wanted a church wedding but were willing to organise and pay for the transportation of the guests from the church to the venue. However, this wasn’t necessary as there was a beautiful church, St. Wilfrid’s, just over the road. This sealed the deal for us and we organised a meeting with the wedding co-ordinator.
There was no real theme to the wedding other than the colour scheme, which was lilac – only because I had seven bridesmaids to cater for and found a lilac dress that everyone was happy with at the bargain price of £49 each in the January sales!
Everything was very simple. I wore a white gown with no bling, our cake was white with flowers, we used simple tea lights and hydrangea buds for decoration. It was such a beautiful venue it didn’t need much styling!
Style-wise, I batted between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Kim Kardashian’ for months! Did I fulfil my lifelong dream of wearing a wearing a poofy ball gown or did I go fashion forward and wear a skin tight fishtail gown? I went to several dress shops until I found Precious Bridal in Garforth – no pushy sales pitch, just a general introduction and then I was let loose in a shop full of gowns. Every bride’s dream! As my mum flicked through a catalogue she pointed out a dress she thought was lovely. I immediately recognised it – I actually had it saved on Pinterest. Donna suddenly revealed that she had it in stock! I had to try it on. Donna names each of her dresses so she can remember them easily, and so out of curiosity I asked what this dress was called. She replied ‘Katherine.’ I hadn’t even seen the dress and I knew it was the one. It was the perfect combination of elegance and a little bit of Cinderella.
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February 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we’re stepping back in time with Rachel and Harry as they tie the knot at the medieval Skipton Castle in Yorkshire.
After 10 years together – Rachel awoke from her slumber one day to find an engagement ring on her finger; the definition of a dream come true if ever we saw one!
Their wedding was just as dreamy, with wildflowers, pretty pastels, a classic Bentley and a gorgeous three-tiered cake, not to mention a subtle nod to all things art deco. Read on for all the exquisite details…
With images by Bethany Clarke
rachel says: We had been together for 10 years before we got engaged and always joked that there was no point in Harry proposing as he knew I would say yes, so we may as well skip the engagement and just get married. In the early hours of 31st August 2015 Harry popped the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring on my finger while I was asleep! Obviously, it was a wonderful surprise to wake up to, and Harry had spent hours nervously waiting for me to be in a deep enough sleep to put the ring on.
We got married on 23rd July 2016. We knew that we wanted a summer wedding and the venue we wanted only had a few weekends left and this date worked the best for us.
We tied the knot at Skipton Castle. We are both really interested in history and love visiting heritage sites and museums. We had visited Skipton Castle together a few times and always had a lot of fun there so it was really exciting to find out that they actually hold weddings there too! Of course, I wanted the whole fairytale princess in a castle vibe too! We had visited a few other venues but Skipton Castle just felt so special to us, everyone that works there is so lovely and genuinely wanted us to have the best day; they really put us at ease and made our wedding super special.
We wanted to have a really casual and fun wedding. It was quite small and intimate, we didn’t have a seating plan or anything like that, we just wanted everyone to mingle and have a great time.
I wouldn’t say we had a particular theme but due to our own personal styles there was a bit of a vintage feel to the day – my dress was 1920s inspired, we had a classic Bentley and wild flowers everywhere. It’s hard not to get swept up when you’re getting married in a medieval castle!
We didn’t have a colour scheme; everything was quite neutral. We had a range of different colours in our flowers and these were the only real colours on the day, at the castle and later at our reception venue too. We matched the car and the cake to the bridesmaid’s pale grey dress as it was important to us that everything looked quite minimal.
I wore a Maggie Sottero dress from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. Looking through bridal magazines and blogs I fell in love with Maggie Sottero’s designs and I discovered that Abigail’s Bridal Boutique is one of the few shops in Leeds that stock this brand. I tried on a handful of dresses but as soon as I put on ‘Ettia’ I knew that was the dress for me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of in a wedding dress and the lovely ladies at Abigail’s had to coax me out of it in the end as I didn’t want to take it off. I paired it with a cathedral length, Swarovski trimmed veil and an art deco headpiece – I felt like a princess.
We hired a classic S-type Bentley from Classic and Vintage Travel in Harrogate. The car was incredible and the driver was so wonderfully friendly and surprised us with a bottle of Champagne after the ceremony. He drove us out to a lovely area of greenery in Skipton and we drank some Champagne and enjoyed a few minutes to ourselves before driving to the reception. It was such a special moment and we were so grateful to the driver for suggesting it.
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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.
May 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Happy Fri-yay to one and all! To get your weekend off to a truly stunning start, we’re sharing the beautifully elegant wedding day of Yorkshire girl Diana and her beau Andy.
After falling in love with the grandeur and charm of Broughton Hall in North Yorkshire, today’s bride and groom planned their relaxed and timeless wedding in just five-and-a-half months (impressive, right?).
Leaving the venue to do the talking, Diana concentrated on selecting simple floral decorations with memorable scents, including romantic rosemary and lavender. And to make herself stand out – a bespoke lace gown and Chanel shoes. Girl, we salute you!
With images by Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
diana says: We got engaged on 31st October 2014. Andy surprised me with a trip to Tuscany, Italy for a long weekend. We drove south to Grosetto, an area we had been to and loved before. Andy planned to go to our favourite beach for a picnic lunch before checking into our hotel.
It was quiet, with a few Italians sunbathing in their speedos! Andy got tomato juice over his hands so walked the few paces to the sea to wash his hands. Looking up, I found him flailing his arms around holding a now wet iPhone looking for something. I went to him and was told to help him look for something, something he had just dropped out of his top pocket. I immediately started sifting through sand in the shallows, asking him what exactly I was looking for. “A ring, he said. A special ring!” We looked for a long time not saying much, until I realised it was fruitless and we were both in soaking wet clothes. We went back to our patch of beach and I guess I was in shock as I had my hands over my eyes. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, not knowing if that was a proposal or not. Until I turned to find Andy down on one knee asking me to be his wife, holding a box with a diamond in it. I didn’t hesitate with my answer. It was magical. Thinking he had made the whole previous couple of hours up and wondering how I never knew he was such a good actor. It turned out he had bought a proposal ring by one of my favourite designers, Poppy Dandiya, which he had dropped in the sea, which we continued to look for and never found. But thankfully he didn’t lose the diamond and we designed my ring together back in London after spending the most wonderful few days in Tuscany.
We set the date for 13th August 2015. We wanted to get married straight away and once we had decided on our venue, it was the only date left that year, so we went with it!
Our wedding ceremony was at All Saints Church Broughton with Elslack, which was followed by a wedding breakfast at Broughton Hall, Skipton, North Yorkshire. The evening reception was then held at Utopia on The Broughton Hall Estate.
It was the first venue we looked at and we fell in love with it. At first it wasn’t possible as there were no dates available. We returned to look at venues in Italy, but as a Yorkshire girl I really wanted to get married at Broughton Hall. Luckily a date came available and we were very happy it did. It was our perfect venue. We were able to be on the estate for five days and the owners and staff made it feel like it was our home for the week.
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December 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Deciding which season to marry in can be a tricky choice, with each offering something different to brides and grooms.
Of late I’ve found myself drawn to the spring celebrations as I love the fresh colours and delicate blooms associated with this time of year.
Today’s couple are also fans of springtime and did a spectacular job of giving a simple yet stunning nod to the season through their elegant choices of attire, décor and flowers. In particular we love the bridesmaids’ gorgeous full skirt and top combos – who wouldn’t want to wear that to a wedding?
With images by Bethany Clarke.
sally says: Dave proposed to me in private, at home and it was a complete surprise. We celebrated later that night with friends and champagne!
We married on 14th March 2015. We both decided we would like a spring wedding. Broughton Hall was our first and only venue that we went to look round, as we both instantly knew it was right for us. I grew up in Skipton and my parents still live there so I’m familiar with the area and love the scenery. Broughton Hall is so private and is in a really stunning setting.
We didn’t really have a theme for the wedding. We decided that the setting and the buildings of Broughton Hall didn’t need much ‘dressing’ and so we kept everything very simple.
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