Brides Up North

you are gold. supplier showcase: Calligraphy For Weddings

November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Calligraphy menu close up gold lettering

We’re going for gold as I welcome back Brides Up North Sponsor Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings. She’s making our pages even prettier this afternoon as she launches her stunning new gold calligraphy service.

You saw it here first… get ready to glisten.

Calligraphy outdoors tablescape wide angle

claire says: Gold calligraphy glistening in the sunshine on handwritten menus, place cards, tags and table cards – a wonderful counterpoint to a messy, richly coloured natural setting. I wanted to show brides how to work with a natural theme and bring together sophisticated details and a messy, rustic background. I went back to nature and this intimate shoot took place on the shores of England’s deepest lake on a sunny autumn morning.

Back to nature pink gold calligraphy

Calligraphy table number card

The tablescape is all about rich, natural colours: a palette of burgundy and pink tones with mossy greens and glowing gold. The lettering sparkles in the sunshine: metallic gold calligraphy inks are super luxurious and oh so wonderful to see – rub your finger across the letters and you can feel the raised gold swirls under your fingertips.

Calligraphy menu outdoor wedding

Calligraphy tree stump shoot

A rich and colourful place setting was created using mixed textures and materials: moss and branches in their natural setting were complemented by ombre brocades, vintage china plates and rich pink gilded glassware. All of the styling elements were locally sourced from independent businesses – from forks to flowers! Counterbalancing the natural backdrop and messy tangles of brocade was the elegant calligraphy: loops and swirls of gorgeous gold on luxury burgundy paper stock.

Calligraphy thank you tag uk

I really wanted to create a look which can be remade by DIY brides: vintage china and glassware is everywhere; and mixing natural textures of wood and moss with just a few bought flowers can add magic to every wedding table. It’s what tablescapes are all about – combining elements in a creative way to make unique and charming place settings for your guests. Replace my lakeshore ‘table’ with the real tables at your venue and you’ll have an enchanting reception style your guests will love!

Calligraphy lake district shoot

Calligraphy by Claire Gould, at

Gold menu calligraphy from £7
Place name calligraphy £1.40
Table number cards from £4
Thank you tags £1.20

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chic to chic. a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House – karin & rob

November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (33)

Karin and Rob’s beautiful wedding day is chic, stylish and filled with the sort of opulent details that we love here at wedding blog HQ.  Lace, crystals, blousy blooms and one stunning setting make this a celebration fit for the pages of Vogue magazine.  Lucky for you, we snapped it up first.

Let’s raise the bar a little.

It’s getting haute in here

With images by fabulous Brides Up North Sponsor, Fyzal Photography.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (8)

karin says: Unbeknown to me, when the idea of a ski holiday with friends popped up, Rob pushed for the 3 valleys, France and in particular, Meribel for one reason only….it was his ideal setting for a proposal!

When we first got together (November 2008 and after 7 months of Rob trying,) it left us just a month before Rob flew to France for a 5 month ski season. I joined Rob for a weeks holiday in the January and we both knew then our relationship was to last. Meribel was also where Rob told me that he loved me.

January 2012 was eagerly anticipated by Rob, eventually settling for his SLR camera case to hide the ring through airport security. He got it through and I was none the wiser as to what would happen a few days later. Rob planned to pop the question on a particular piste in the next valley, Courcheval. But due to an avalanche, it wasn’t until the last ski day that it was cleared to ski to.

It was called “Les Piste Indiens” where a purpose built Indian village appeared around a corner. We stopped and Rob knelt next to a plastic fox for a rare photo opportunity. It turned out to be very rare as photos later proved, Rob had the ring out trying to propose while I was trying to take his photo.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (9)

We tied the knot on 14 June 2014. I (not superstitious at all!) didn’t want to be married in 2013!

We met whilst both working at Jesmond Dene House and when the decision was to be made as to where we were to be married, it had so much history to it and along with our own history there, the decision was simple.

Our wedding was always going to be straight ahead. I still work there as private dining manager and so have a strong relationship with wedding coordinators Abi and Christina, C & B manager Lukasz and everyone else to be involved on the day. Knowing everyone made us feel secure that the day was to perfect.

We chose a romantic shabby chic theme. Apple crates, coffee bean sacks, old leather suitcases, plenty of candles and wicker hearts all suited the Jesmond Dene setting. Since I oversee weddings day in, day out, I knew what would make our day different to others.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (18)

Everything was based around pastel lilac and ivory themes. It worked so well with the grandeur of the dark oak of the hotel’s Great Hall. We also tied in the green of Jesmond Dene into all floral arrangements.

I stayed in the hotel the night before with my mother and the bridesmaids, setting up the decorations until 2am while best man and Rob had a beer and a cheeky Chinese takeaway in the room of the best man!

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (15)

When choosing my dress, I spent hours online looking for local bridal shops and looked at each designer stocked in each shop until I found my dress. When I came across Ronald Joyce ‘Babetta’, I knew no matter what else I saw, I’d be back for the Babetta.

I spent only a short amount of time in Wild Brides at Heart, Durham after a Ronald Joyce designer weekend and I was out in no time after placing the deposit looking forward to my first fitting. The detail in the lace, the open back, and its long train was exactly what I was looking for and nothing else would match it.

I chose not to wear a veil, instead a headpiece, slightly different to the norm. Flown from Canada, it was jewelled, but not over the top. Sarah Walsh was my makeup artist and hair stylist. Highly recommended!

My look was complete after Rob had a few gifts sent up to me with breakfast on the morning of the wedding. I had pointed out a beautiful Swarovski tennis bracelet a few months before and luckily he took the hint! It matched so well with the Swarovski pearl earrings he had also bought me.

I carried lilac and ivory roses with hydrangea. Helen from Bels Flowers provided all floral arrangements. Hats off to Helen, who did a fantastic job and came as a late replacement for florist after we had been let down by another months before the wedding!

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (21)

Rob and the groomsmen wore grey tails from Most Suitable with an ivory cravat and waistcoat. Rob also splashed out on a pair of Kurt Geiger shoes (very unlike him)!

My bridesmaids wore “Debut” Grecian lilac dresses from Debenhams and my maid of honour wore an ivory and lilac floral print dress from BHS. I bought all the girls a brooch to wear as a gift to personalise the dresses.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (26)

I would highly recommend Fyzal Photography to anyone!

Both Fyzal and his wife Dawn went above and beyond to capture our day how we wanted it with the eye and finesse you would not get from any other photographer! He took us for an “e:shoot” on the beach where we got to know how it all worked. It also helped Rob relax as he’s not big on having his photo taken.

On the day itself, everything was done with military precision after we agreed an itinerary days before. They both made us feel at ease for the entire day knowing we were constantly having photos taken without even realising they were there.

Even months after the day, Fyzal stays in contact and helps to decide the final images for our album.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (36)

Our cake was a chocolate croque-em-bouche produced by our friend, Kristian Branch, head pastry chef at the hotel.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (38)

We had Jessica Avison, a local acoustic singer/guitarist play during our reception and then The Paul James Band – known for years through Jesmond Dene house performances, started the evening entertainment. We hired a DJ through One Voice Productions for our “after party” and a Snaparazzi photo booth for use as guest book.  Ross, Snaparazzi’s director is a friend via the hotel.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (39)

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (43)

We’re biased but we’d definitely recommend Jesmond Dene House, even if we weren’t!  Every member of staff gets involved and consumed in every event that they work at. The hotel as a whole puts 100% into each event to put the hotel on the map in the region and to make a name for itself.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (49)

My favourite moment of the day was our first dance, choreographed with help of Caroline of Bela Dance School. I wanted a proper first dance, no swaying as most couples do.  We had over 20 lessons to perfect the Viennese Waltz to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”.

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (52)

We pre-wedding honeymooned in January to Australia due to work commitments after the wedding. We flew via Hong kong where we spent a few hours walking the streets then onto Melbourne.  After a few nights in Melbourne we drove the Great Ocean Road and on to Adelaide via the Grampians (narrowly missing the bush fires) to fly across to Sydney, going into the blue mountains as well as the obligatory Harbour Bridge climb!  We then flew to Noosa to spend 10 days with best man and bridesmaid who lived there. Surfing, chilling out and getting stung across the face by a jellyfish! Ouch!

a stylish wedding at Jesmond Dene House (c) Fyzal Photography (55)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to spend money on the photographer, namely Fyzal, as most of the day is a blur. Only one person can capture it all for you to remember forever, so choose wisely!

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softly stunning. Vera Wang for a romantic wedding at Eshott Hall – natalie & warren

November 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (116)

Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides.  Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing.  I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…

With images by Helen Russell Photography.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (6)

natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!

We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.

After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (3)

We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (9)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (22)

I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband

Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (30)

Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (36)

My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.

The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (40)

My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (46)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (52)

Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (62)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (60)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (69)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (79)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (83)

As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (101)

The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (90)

We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (106)

During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.

Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (107)

We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (127)

For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (112)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.

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let’s get fizzy! A colourful champagne poppin’ wedding at Colshaw Hall – miriam & richard

November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (21)

Packing a zesty punch to end the week on a vibrant high, we welcome Miriam and Richard to the blog with their opulent, colourful and champagne fuelled Algerian inspired wedding.

Get ready to pop the fizz… this looks like my kind of celebration.

With images by Matt Horan.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (2)

Miriam says: Richard proposed when we went away for the weekend to the lakes, it was actually my brother in law’s 30th Birthday which Rick kyboshed. We walked up to the room and the bed was laid out with flowers, it took me a while to comprehend what they said and the first thing that came out my mouth was “ I think we are in the wrong room!” anyway, on closer inspection the rose petals said “Will you marry me?” and I turned round  and Rick was on one knee. It was a surreal moment but I of course said yes and the champagne got opened.

We were married on Thursday 17th July 2014 at Colshaw Hall in Pever. We just fell in love with this place. It is a stately home and was just beautiful. The owner is also very down to earth which made us want to go with them even more.

It is just the most beautiful venue, gorgeous gardens and you felt you were a million miles away even though you weren’t.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (1)

My dress was a Heritage gown, by Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier. I got it from Love Bridal Boutique and I just fell in love with it. Rick wore a tailored suit that he had especially made for him and my fabulous bridesmaids all wore dresses from Debenhams.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (14)

We had a Algerian theme as my dad is Algerian and also a fizz theme as I love Champagne, so all the tables were named after Champagnes. The colours were all middle eastern and the food followed this theme.

Our flowers were from Red Floral Architecture and were very blingy with diamante in them! We also had lanterns and candles.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (17)

Matt Horan was our photographer and we’d certainly recommend him! He was very natural and really caught the moment.

We had a videographer, Tom from Silk Wedding Films who was great, you didn’t even know he was there.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (20)

We used a wedding planner called Janice who really supported and helped us through the whole process.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (30)

We carried the Algerian theme into our wedding breakfast so served a mezze to start which included taboluh, merguez sasuage, humous, feta with harissa, flat breads, we then had lamb and couscous with roasted veg and a trio of desserts.

My dad picked all the wine which included red, white, fizz and champagne.

We gave Algerian sweets as favours and instead of a wedding cake we had lots of mini pavlovas, they were lovely!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (35)

We had a jazz band in the day called Gypsies of Bohemia and a band called The Rush in the evening – we all had a good dance!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (38)

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (41)

The whole  day was just amazing but it just went very quickly. We are both foodies so I would have to say the food part was lovely, even though Rick was too nervous to eat as he knew he was going to do his speech!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (45)

We went to France, Italy and Spain for our honeymoon.

In France we stayed in a Michelin starred chateaux for 4 nights, we then got the train to Italy for 4 nights where we visited Lake Maggorie and finally relaxed in a villa in the Andalusian mountains for a week.

It was great that we visited a few different places.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (49)

I am sure all brides say this but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to ENJOY every second as it flies by!

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a certain magic. supplier showcase: Fairclough Photography

November 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Fairclough Photography (40)

Today I’m really proud to make your acquaintance with one of our lovely Brides Up North sponsors, Fairclough Photography.  Katie and James, the awesome husband and wife team behind these amazing images: fabulous photographers and all round lovely souls.

Get them booked for your big day, and your wedding pictures could look as good as this little lot.

Katie and James are also offering a free 20” x 14” museum quality canvas print if you quote ‘Brides Up North Is The Best Wedding Blog!’ when making your booking.  Can’t argue with that!

All images by Fairclough Photography.

Fairclough Photography (10)

How did you get into wedding photography? 

We are both self-taught photographers; Katie’s passion for photography developed through a side project on her graphic design degree course, and after developing her street photography in New York as a student, discovered that people and emotional storytelling were her passion and inspiration to voice through photography. James fell in love with the photography of National Geographic, and after a lot of wet, muddy outings and ruined 35mm film, started applying some of his theatre experience and techno-geekery to the creative lighting we are constantly developing to use with our couples.

Fairclough Photography (15)

Why wedding photography specifically? 

Since getting married ourselves in March 2013, we have both been obsessed with weddings! We are fascinated by the whole process, from planning up until the ‘i do’ (and the shenanigans that come after that of course!) and the amazing people you get to meet. We just didn’t want it to end. So to combine both of our passions for photography with another love of ours is the dream.

Fairclough Photography (39)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

There are so many things! If we had to choose one though, it would be sharing our Bride and Groom’s special day, it always feels like such a privilege to be chosen to share in such an momentous occasion. It always brings back lovely memories from our day too!

Fairclough Photography (37)

Fairclough Photography (36)
How do you get couples to relax on the day?

Having been recently married ourselves, we know how the nerves and emotions feel on the morning of the wedding – we don’t go in shooting away straight away, we just become part of the day right from the beginning, which let’s us all be comfortable and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken? 

Definitely come and have a pre wedding/engagement shoot – it’s very important to get to know your photographers, and once you’re used to the camera being around, when it comes to the wedding day you’ll be a natural, and it won’t be such a shock to have a photographer around.

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures? 

Any good make up artist will be able to work with you to create the look you want on your day – it can also influence the types of pictures you want to make on your day too – for example, if you create a film noir look with high contrasts, that’s really going to shine through in the pictures.

Fairclough Photography (35)
Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures? 

Using too much fake tan can sometimes create an awkward contrast between skin and the white of the wedding dress – also under tungsten lighting in reception venues, it tends to naturally bring out the orange tone, which isn’t desirable for a natural look.

Fairclough Photography (44)
Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter’s! We’re both huge lovers of their work and just imagine the type of wedding they’d have with both of their styles and imaginations fused together!

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

One of the most memorable was a really intimate, small outdoor wedding in cambridge, perfectly elegant, with the bride and groom walking down the aisle together. We love an elaborate wedding, but when it’s simply driven by the emotion of a tight group of close family and friends, there seems to be a certain magic we can’t get enough of.

Fairclough Photography (41)
Are you married? Tell us about your day.

YES! We said ‘I do’ in Ashton Memorial on 19th March 2013, a beautiful but freezing cold afternoon at the top of Lancaster. We chose the folly as we wanted a grand yet intimate building for our small party of 45, and after a beautiful and emotion-charged ceremony and portraits around Williamson Park, we retired to The Grand Hotel in our home town of St Anne’s for the reception. With a purple, black and white colour scheme, Katie pulled off a stunningly elegant look, with flowers by Flower Design throughout. We had a superb string quartet and a 5 piece jazz band for the evening entertainment, and then headed out to the seafront to let off Chinese lanterns to round off the evening.

Fairclough Photography (46)
Any funny stories to share? 

We were recently doing an engagement shoot with a lovely Bride and Groom to be in a little village called Downham in Clitheroe. James was stood in the river photographing (as you do) and Katie is at the side. A ‘lady’ pulls up in her car just beside Katie, gets out and very indiscreetly lets one off! James instantly (and very loudly) blames Katie! How very rude?! Luckilly the couple heard none of this, obliviously schmoozing on the bridge over the river.

Fairclough Photography (33)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

As a husband and wife team, we can be in two places at once on a wedding day, capturing twice the emotion and little moments which make the day special. Katie follows the bridal party from first prep all the way to the ceremony, while James hangs around with the groom and checks out the venue. We can then get two angles on the ceremony, and create more complex and elaborate lighting setups between us to really add some sparkle.

Fairclough Photography (26)

What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

We like to be as unobtrusive as possible on the big day and the fact that we’re a husband and wife team helps us to achieve this; neither of us has a set thing to photograph, we just lurk like photographic ninjas, capturing the fun and emotion in a spontaneous fashion. In the morning, Katie is hanging out with the Bridal party capturing the goings-on, whilst James checks out the venue and photographs the groomsmen’s antics. We then come together to shoot the ceremony. Whilst James is at the front with the Groom nervously waiting, Katie is capturing the emotional last moments before the Bride walks down the aisle. After the happy couple are declared Mr & Mrs, we love to take them away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding party for a portrait session that gives them time to reflect on ‘wow, we are married!’ Even though we’re there, our couples always seem oblivious to that fact and they tell us how magical those moments of alone time are – we always find we make the most natural beautiful pictures this way too. The rest of the day is usually party time, where we continue stalking the guests, photographing the laughter and fun up until the first dance as husband and wife.

Fairclough Photography (30)
What is included in your “package”?

Our most popular package is the Full Day Package and included in that is the following:

*A face-to-face chat about your wedding day and what we could do for you and then two consultations leading up to your wedding so we all know what we’re doing!

*Two photographers (Mr & Mrs Fairclough!) to capture each and every special moment of your big day (up to 12 hours coverage);

*Pre-wedding portrait shoot in a location of your choice – a fun way to build up to the big day and get to know us;

*Professional editing of your images;

*A private password protected gallery for you to view, share and download your images after the wedding;

*Large print quality images on a USB stick presented to you in a stunning presentation box (see the image below

*A CD with a slideshow of the best images from your big day.

Fairclough Photography (5)

Can you give us an idea on price? 

Our Full Day Package is £1,350

Fairclough Photography (43)
Any special favours for Brides Up North readers?

Of course! If you quote ‘Brides Up North Is The Best Wedding Blog!’ we would give a free 20” x 14” museum quality canvas print.

Fairclough Photography (50)
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?

Our work can be seen on our website is and you can get in touch by calling on 07921 386761 or emailing us at

Fairclough Photography (48)

 Anything else we should know?

We also offer a package that includes an amazing quality 10” x 10” photo album; these are gorgeous hand-made, leather or hessian bound, chunky, lay flat coffee table style books priced at £1,700. There’s nothing quite like a printed photo album, we think it’s such a shame to just get your USB stick, watch the slideshow and then it gets shoved in a draw and hardly thought about!

Fairclough Photography (24)

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as long as stars are above you. a wedding in the north west – carla & sarah

November 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (31)

I’m putting my feet up (or running around after my 19 month old) today after closing our Brides Up North season of luxury wedding exhibitions with a busy and very, very beautiful event in Altrincham yesterday.  Massive thanks to everyone who supported us during this – our very best yet – season, whether as some of our talented suppliers or fabulous visiting brides and grooms.  I’m so proud of each and every event that we’ve hosted this autumn, and hope that we brought the pages of this wedding blog alive for you.

The pretty doesn’t stop there though… we’ve updated our Wedding Fairs page with all the details of our 2015 events and would love to see you all there. Go see.  Let’s do it all over again.!

First things first though, I’m having a day off, and leaving you in the hands of Brides Up North Sponsor James Jebson Photography, and his gorgeous girls, Carla and Sarah, who designed their vintage inspired wedding day their own way.  Be inspired!

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (12)

Carla says: We got engaged in June 2013 in Lytham, the place of our first date, and were married on 31st August 2014 at The Villa, Wrea Green.

We opted for a dusky pink, ivory and grey colour scheme. We chose a vintage travel theme with an English country garden look for the flowers. We sourced vintage black and white postcard for places we had traveled together and used them as our centrepieces, writing the postcards out to our guests, explaining why that place is special to us.

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (14)

We both wore dresses. We did not discuss what style we were going to wear, we just agreed on ivory as the colour. Sarah wore a vintage lace style dress with buttoned back from Lottie’s Bridal Boutique. I wore a simpler  dress with straps  and a v neckline, with buttoned back and pearl detail, from The Dressing Room, Winmarleigh.

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (10)

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (15)

We both carried bouquets by Flower Design, which were the same yet opposites of each other. One had more pinks and the other had more ivory colours. They included English roses, hydrangea, gypsophila, carnations (these were the flowers that my Dad used to buy my Mum), foliage and rosemary as this is a flower associated with lost loved ones.

I also had a locket attached to my bouquet, which Sarah had bought me, with a picture of my Dad inside. It was so nice to have that with me as my Mum walked me down the aisle. These little touches made it feel as though he was close to us throughout the day.

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (17)

The moment we walked in to the ceremony we both felt was so special. We each made our own entrance to the same song, ‘How Long Will I Love You’, by Ellie Goulding. We both agreed it was extremely emotional and hard to keep the tears back!  We also wrote our own vows, which made the entire ceremony even more special and personal. The whole day was incredible, the first dance, the speeches, seeing all our guests… too many amazing moments to mention!

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (21)

We hired ‘Barney’ a VW camper van through Little Limos. We wanted all our bridal party to travel to the venue on the day, so we had 4 trips, the ushers and page boys traveling first. After the ceremony they gave us a personalised bottle of champagne with our names and date of our wedding to enjoy on our first anniversary, which was a lovely touch.

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (22)

We opted for a four tier cake, each tier a different flavoured sponge. We designed each tier differently, including indented hearts, vintage lace and edible lace. We also had iced hearts made and dusted with the pink to match our colour scheme. We kept the top tier for ourselves for the following day!

We did a lot of things homemade, including our favours which were leather luggage tags with a personalised travel quote inside.

We included a memory table and decided to have an extra button hole placed here in memory of my Dad.

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (25)

We chose to use James Jebson Photography. James is such a genuine and charismatic guy who will capture all the moments you don’t get to see in the day.  He worked tirelessly from the moment he arrived to last thing at night. He is extremely talented and captured our day perfectly. The quality of his photos was incredible and he has made memories we will look back on for years to come.

James met up with us on a number of occasions before the big day which helped us all get to know one another. He helped us a lot with our timings and used his expertise to help us plan out our day. By the wedding day, it felt like James had become a friend not just a service and it certainly made us feel relaxed which I feel contributed towards our wonderful images. On the day he was always there if we needed him, whether it be photography related or anything else to do with our day. He played such a huge role and we can’t thank him enough!

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (48)

We selected our DJ as having a full dance floor was so important to us! Our DJ allowed us to specifically request the genre of music we thought our guests would enjoy the most.

We also thought a photo booth (we used The Mighty Boof!) would be lots of fun for our guests and it brought everyone together as the evening went on. The photo book we received the following day was fantastic, with everyone’s photos and messages! We have recieved so many compliments since the wedding on how much our friends and family enjoyed the booth! A great little extra to your evening.

We also decided to have a sparkler send off towards the end of the night as we thought this would be an amazing photo opportunity. We provided sparklers for all our guests and our photographer orchestrated and captured the moment perfectly.

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (50)

For our honeymoon we spent 3 weeks in America and Mexico, visiting Florida, Cancun and Las Vegas.

a romantic wedding in the north west (c) James Jebson Photography (56)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to start planning early. Take the time to make homemade things. Not only will it save you money but the sense of satisfaction is definitely worth the hard work!

Don’t have any regrets… you only do this day once so do everything the way you want to. We went slightly over budget but were so pleased with the results in the day it was certainyg worth spending that little bit extra.

Finally, it is YOUR day. People will try to influence you but make sure you stay true to yourselves and what YOU and your partner want.

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in good hands. a unique & romantic wedding in Lancashire – saoirse & william

October 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (32)

Earlier this week I introduced you to lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Rachel Joyce Photography, and couldn’t resist sharing a few sneak peek pics from Saoirse and William’s cute and quirky nuptials.

Today I’m back with the beautiful rose gold and ribbons celebration in all it’s gorgeous glory.

Brides Up North, if you’re wondering how you can work both pretty and original styling elements into your big day, here’s an absolute masterclass.

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (10)

Saoirse says: Though we had discussed getting married, we had not made it public or official. So the proposal either occurred on Chinese New Year when I demanded of William: ‘Are you going to propose yet? I can’t spend every day waking up thinking is this the day I get engaged?’ or two days later, when we got engaged ‘officially’ in a coffee shop in London. The decision to look for a ring was mutual but after trying on a few and then almost deciding on one, we went to a coffee shop to decide. Then William said “Do you like that ring? Shall we buy it? Will you marry me?” I cried and we went to buy the ring.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (11)

We were married on 14th September 2014. Our ceremony was in the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington. We didn’t want to get married in a church, or in an ‘all-in-one’ venue so we researched venues with wedding licences. The room was small, but it fitted our guest number perfectly.

Also, we were looking for somewhere where our money might do some good – Haworth Art Gallery is open to the public and I remember going when I was younger. Barley Village Hall was also a childhood destination of mine and is run and maintained by volunteers.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (13)

If there was a theme, it was ‘colour’. Everything was bright and that was intentional. It’s the north in September. We had no control over the weather but we wanted the day to be bright in any way it could.

In addition, a few of the motifs were ‘words & music’ due to my love of poetry and William’s of music. It was very DIY but it wasn’t intentionally meant to look that way, just that the day had our mark on it.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (14)

My wedding dress was from Vintage Lane Boutique in Bolton. I wanted a 50s/60s style dress with sleeves and luckily this was the first dress I tried on. I was only looking for ‘style’ but having tried it on and her friend, who is not a squealer, squealing, she was torn. One cream tea later, I went back to buy it.

It was perfect; a simple 1960s dress. Lace, long-sleeved but with a chiffon train.

My now mother-in-law made me a beautiful lace knit shawl in pale blue and my pink flat pointy shoes were from Russell & Bromley.

My hat was yellow, my flowers had multi-coloured ribbons and there were balloons! I chose a hat as a love them and it would be the only chance I really had to get one designed for me. The sister of a good friend is a miliner and I went and tried on a variety of styles. The one I chose was ‘the wild card’. Mary Franck – the miliner – then helped me changed the colour and shape. I love my hat and Mary was fabulous.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (15)

William wore a bespoke suit from Cad & The Dandy on Savile Row. His shoes were from Office and shirt and tie from Hawes & Curtis.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (17)

Our bridesmaids and groomsmen wore what they liked. We didn’t want matching outfits for anyone. Three ‘non-bridesmaids’ wore Miss Piggy rose wrist corsages, as did the mother-in-laws, whilst the men wore Miss Piggy buttonholes.

My bouquet was simply amnesia roses with rosemary from Garlands Florist in Oswaldtwistle. Rachel at Garlands listened carefully to my design and produced exactly what I had in my head, choosing a lovely mixture of colour and texture for the various lengthed ribbons.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (19)

I arrived at the Gallery in a Morris Minor Traveller named Buttercup from Regent Classics. We both travelled from the venue to the reception in the same car.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (22)

We used Rachel from Rachel Joyce Photography. As you can see her photos are incredible. Everyone we have shown them to have remarked on how good they look. We heartily recommend her to anyone and everyone in the Lancashire area. And she is the only person who can make William smile in a posed shot!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (24)

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (23)

For the reception, we had a variety of balloons from Party Glitz in Padiham. Other than that, we did all the decorations ourselves, from flowers in teacups, to bunting in the hall, and streamers, doileys, coloured table cloths and flowers from supermarkets. The flowers were in glass vases we had been collecting all year. The teacups were my grandmother’s wedding set.

In fitting with the ‘Words & Music’ theme, we gave everyone a pencil with the words ‘In Good Hands’ on them (this was the title of our first reading at the service) and a 7” record, supplied by William’s father who buys and sells records.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (26)

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (28)

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (29)

We had a three tiered cake, each with a different filling; one red velvet, one lemon and one Victoria sponge. It was made by a friend of William’s mother’s.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (33)

The food was supplied by Cabin Catering in Barley. Paula was brilliant in doing everything we asked for and providing a tasting session for us a few months before.

William’s mother and father kindly supplied the wine which they bought in France. The white was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the Champagne was Paul Goerg and the red has all been drunk so we can’t remember what that was!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (36)

We had an additional poetry blessing before the meal, with five more poems. Also, as we allowed our friends to brng their children, we gave them each crayons, colouring books and the older ones got finger puppets of the bride and groom, kindly knitted by William’s mother.

One set was stolen by a friend of the bride as she loved them so much!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (41)

We would definitely recommend Barley Village Hall. The couple who run it (John and Audrey) not only gave us free run of the place all of the day before and until lunchtime the day after, they also helped us set up.

In the evening, we hired a PA system and then Djed ourselves. It ended up that one friend did most of the music from his iPod.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (43)

William: My favourite part of the day was when Saoirse and I were first at the front of the wedding room in Haworth. We were holding hands and smiling to each other. It was wonderful to think that the decision we had made to be with each other was about to be made in front of all our family and friends.

Saoirse: My best bit was walking down the aisle. I had already met Will and said hello to most people so I was relaxed and thoroughly excited. I was so full of joy that I was to marry Will and these glorious people I loved were in one place that I got the biggest fit of giggles! I couldn’t keep my joy in!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (48)

For our honeymoon we stayed in a cottage in Staithes in North Yorkshire. We spent the time pottering about in the village, walking on the beach and taking drives to Whitby and Scarborough. We are planning a grander honeymoon to Texas next year when we have a bit more money.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to put your own stamp on the day. As much as you think all wedding have to be the same or it is easier to let someone do the majority of the organising, putting the effort in will make your day even more special. We had a lot of people say how inventive our day was, but all we did was take control of the arrangements and not do anything that we didn’t want to do. It caused quite a bit of stress (and a few tears) but knowing now how the day turned out, we would go through it all again.

Think how you want your wedding to feel and work on that. We made a list of what we wanted it to feel like (fun, easy, small) and a list of everything we didn’t want and stuck to it.

Whilst hard at times, our day was so special. I won’t ever stop smiling when I think about it. It was truly, truly glorious.

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the designer series: KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer

October 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (28)

A collaborative styled shoot at Carlton Towers brought together a fantastic group of Sheffield based wedding suppliers to showcase the 2015 whiting collection from Brides Up North Sponsor Kelly of KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer.

The Whiting Collection is made up of seven bridal gowns which reflect the label’s signature style and showcase various shapes, fabrics and looks that brides can choose from.

I’m just a little bit absolutely head over heels.

With images by RJH Wedding Photography.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (59)

Kelly says: The concept of the shoot was to emulate heritage and inspire brides to embrace the past whilst incorporating modern themes and traditional values.  We chose Carlton Towers a grand and traditional wedding venue which we juxtaposed with an ethereal whimsical feel.

The shoot day was fantastic, the team of suppliers involved helped create such amazing results. We were shooting for 12 hours! We were able to use the entire venue for shooting which gave us some fantastic shots in the wedding reception rooms, hallways, snugs, outside and in the bridal suite.

This styled shoot showcased my 2015 Whiting Collection and brand new accessories range which will soon be able to purchase on our website. The collection is named after my late grandmother, who taught me to sew and inspired me to become a designer. The names of the gowns are Grace, Pamela, Ivy, Marlene, Elizabeth, Ruby and Annie.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (54)

Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown.  A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.

Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown.  Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.

Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (33)

Marlene is a tea length bridal gown with an ivory silk taffeta circle skirt with layers of net and tulle to create a classic silhouette. The bodice is made from laser cut silk organza with an illusion neckline finished with bound silk taffeta and a floral laser cut finish on the waistband. Delicate rouleau loops and covered silk button create a beautiful fastening down the back showcasing the unusual fabric and floral detail.

Pamela is an ivory floor length lace gown with three quarter length lace sleeves. It has a deep V neckline at the front and back of the gown with scallop lace edge detailing on the neckline, sleeves and hem. The gown is fastened with pearl buttons down the back. We have styled Pamela with a cathedral length KMR veil with a thin lace edging.

Ruby is an ivory duchess satin gown with a low V neck back, large pleated skirt and applique shoulder detailing creating a modern silhouette. Ruby has been styled with one of our bridal belts and headpieces from our new accessories collection.

Elizabeth is an ivory duchess satin, tulle and embroidered lace strapless wedding gown. It is styled with one of our brand new bridal sashes and a beautiful floral crown from Campbell’s flowers with a KMR drop veil.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (32)

Showcasing this shoot on Brides Up North has come at an exciting time for KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer. We have just announced that the brand new bridal boutique The Bridal Emporium, in Leeds, will be our first stockist of our Whiting collection and accessories range.  Our 2015 accessories range will also be available to purchase on our website very soon.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (56)

Rob and Alice at RJH Wedding PhotographyWorking with other exceptionally talented suppliers on styled or editorial shoots like this gives each of us the opportunity to bring something new and exciting to the mix. Collaborating helps us all to enhance one another’s individual skills and therefore realise something greater as a result.

KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer’s new 2015 Whiting Collection inspired us to produce imagery that complimented the style, elegance and luxury of her collection and Carlton Towers was the perfect setting.

As photographers, RJH Wedding Photography subscribe to a more traditional style where we use a delicate balance of light, texture, colour and form combined with an understanding of the setting and subject to best evoke a desired mood or style. The combination of the fantastically dressed and styled models, in such an impressive setting, really helped to represent the luxury and elegance that we, as photographers, try to capture in every wedding we cover.

We aimed to create a visual tone, in keeping with the period, grandeur and elegance of the setting which equally complimented the grace and beauty of each dress. This concept was kept in mind through the work on the day to post production and we have been proud to help launch KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer’s new collection.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (53)

Tracey at Campbell’s Flowers: I designed several bouquets for the shoot, all in my very relaxed, soft, natural, ‘just picked’ style in different shapes to suit the different silhouettes of Kelly’s gowns. Bouquets featured a meadowy cascading, almost sheaf-style in lovely bright locally grown, summery blooms using wheat, lavender, daisies, nigella, ammi, lysmachia and sweetly scented herbs such as clary sage, mint and oregano. I also created a slightly smaller more posy-styled bouquet using similar flowers but with the addition of an alternative variety of daisy and lots of pretty white thistles.

Here at Campbell’s, we’ve found that many of our brides are looking for an unstructured, slightly asymmetric bouquet using seasonal blooms. This I created in muted tones of soft pale pinks, lilacs, lavenders, all of which are very much on trend at the moment.  Flowers and foliage were highly textured and included ‘Memory Lane’ roses, peonies, hydrangea, spray roses and campanula teamed with lots of soft trailing ferns, gorgeous silvery senecio and jasmine vines. To complete the look I designed a really full bridal crown using more of the roses and pretty green eustoma, along with wheat and white thistles.

For my final bouquet, I put together stylish, classic ‘balls’ of the babiest shell pink hydrangea to work alongside a slightly more elegant, formal gown, along with a ‘pom-pom’ buttonhole to match, for our groom. Kelly had also dropped off a really stunning silver candelabra which had belonged to her grandmother, which seemed to cry out for balls of hydrangea, softened with wispy asparagus fern!

Lastly, in keeping with the grand, historic surroundings, I designed a really soft, flowing design into an urn I’d brought along with me filling it full of lush, opulent, open peonies, hydrangea, roses and lots of gorgeous foliage kindly donated by the lovely gardeners at the Carlton Towers estate.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (58)

Lydia from Sweet Additions: For the cake we created a soft ombré effect using delicate sugar ruffles wrapped around each tier. We chose a subtle dusky pink shade which we gradually faded to white. The gentle ruffle layers created an almost peeling effect which gave the cake a beautiful antique look.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (13)

Makeup artist Sarah Gray: With the shoot showcasing all of Kelly’s new collection there were plenty of different styles of dresses from quite classical to vintage to more of a fishtail design so I wanted to show a variation off different bridal looks which could work well with Kelly’s designs. The four looks were designed to appeal to every type of bride whether they would want something very natural to full on glamour.

Tina Howarth from Beau Hair: I created a range of 2015 Inspired Bridal Hair designs to compliment both the stunning bridal gowns and the romantic whimsical nature of Carlton Towers. Three themes were selected and adapted to compliment and to show how the gowns were adaptable to all brides and to show off the various headpieces and veils in the range and how to wear them in various hair designs.

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white aisle. a relaxed wedding in Ibiza – vicky & matt

October 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (57)

I’m trying to embrace the season – hollowing pumpkins, fur lined boots, fireworks parties and thoughts drifting to Christmas lists… and then a wedding like this drops into my inbox.

Vicky and Matthew, what are you trying to do to me? Let’s soak up some sun, as we join this lucky Manchester based couple for their stunning destination wedding on the white isle.

No hard feelings. Not many, at least.

Images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Vicky says: Matt proposed to me on a random Wednesday evening in August 2013. Matt took me by surprise and decided he would take me out for tea and an overnight stay in Manchester, this immediately roused suspicions but I continued pretending I had no idea. After dining at Australasia, Matt took a me back to the Great John Street Hotel – At this point I believed the proposal was not going to happen, but on arriving back to the room I found rose petals scattered on the bed and a bottle of champagne and strawberries awaiting me arrival. Needless to say tears of joy flowed and more alcohol was consumed.

We were married on Wednesday 27th August 2014 at Elixir Shore Club in Cala Codolar, Ibiza. After doing a 3 day long recce of our favourite Island (somewhere we frequent regularly) we settled on our final appointment ‘Elixir’. Not only were we blown away by the views (tears flowed again) but Vickki who was both the owner and in charge of running the venue, was the most welcoming, friendly person we had encountered so far.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

We  wanted our wedding to be relaxed and informal to suit the Ibizan vibe. After losing my father in 2013, I decided I would prefer a very informal affair where friends and family could come together and celebrate the event without it being a stifling ‘traditional English’ wedding.

We opted for bright colours so they would stand out against the Ibiza beach backdrop.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

I decided to wear something light and comfortable, particularly with the time of year and the obvious heat expected in Ibiza. As it happened, our wedding day apparently reached temperatures of 43 degrees.

I purchased my dress from Bride by Swarbricks in Middleton. The dress is named the Pronovias ‘Pelicano’. The lady who looked after me also holidays in Ibiza every year so we had a lot to talk about during the fitting stages.

Matthew wore a powder blue cotton suit from Next, ideal for warm temperatures. The best man and ushers wore the same suit in a different colour.

My bridesmaids wore turquoise dresses from Coast and the flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

James Tracey was our photographer as recommended by friends. We were blown away by his images of our friend’s wedding, particularly the contemporary edginess and just knew we had to book him.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

All flowers were silk and created by Nicola Knight in York. All our guests brought a bunch of flowers with them, along with copper sprayed Kilner jars for the flowers to sit in on the tables. We gave away the flowers at the end for guests to keep as a memory.

All the decoration on the day was completed by family and friends, Molly, Phil and Amanda Newton, Rosie and some serious ribbon tying from Steven Grainger.


a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Our favours were created by Echo Designs and consisted of handmade hanging hearts with printed maps of Ibiza on them.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (43)

We opted for a very laid back cake, a favourite of ours, a Victoria Sponge made by my sister in law Molly  in a villa microwave oven – it took a few attempts but tasted delicious!

We chose the luxury wedding BBQ as arranged by Elixir and we can honestly say it’s the best food we have ever tasted and many of our guests agreed. The BBQ was served as a buffet style again taking on a more relaxed feel to the day.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (60)

My mum pre-recorded her own performance of ‘All of Me’ by John Legend which was played as we walked back up the aisle. We prepared all other music ourselves and had a DJ, Steve later in the evening who was recommended by Elixir.

We used Kids in Ibiza to look after children who cared for the children perfectly. One of the guests was stunned to see her daughter being pushed around in her push chair by the babysitter so she was able to eat her evening meal. A close friend Heidi Heywood, prepared children’s party bags for the kids which they loved!

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (65)

Una, who manages the weddings at Elixir, paid perfect attention to every single detail and everything ran so smoothly we couldn’t have asked for anyone better. We would 100% recommend our venue to anyone looking to enjoy a wedding on the White Isle.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (67)

We have just returned from a two week honeymoon, which consisted of one week touring Sri Lanka and one week in the Maldives on the island of Kuramathi. We had a cultured week in Sri Lanka then a week where we truly relaxed in the Maldives where we had the opportunity to snorkel with tropical fish and sharks.

a bright & relaxed wedding in Ibiza (c) James Tracey Photography (72)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff (or big stuff) and enjoy every minute.

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happy days. supplier showcase: Rachel Joyce Photography

October 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Rachel Joyce Photography (5)

New around here?  Take some time to visit and explore our brand new directory.  It should be the very first stop for any bride planning her wedding in the better half of the country.

I love introducing my readers to the suppliers and Brides Up North Sponsors who make this pretty place tick, and today I’m proud to welcome Rachel Joyce Photography to the pages of the wedding blog.  I’ve a stunning wedding by Rachel coming up in our schedule later this week – so watch this space – but in the meantime, let’s meet the lady behind the lens.

Rachel Joyce Photography (4)

How did you get into wedding photography?

Rachel says: I had absolutely no intention of becoming a wedding photographer – zero! When I started my business I wholeheartedly planned to concentrate on newborn and family photography with the odd christening here and there. Within a month of going pro I was I was asked to cover two weddings, one which had been organised on a very short timescale and one where the couple had been let down by their photographer at the last minute. I absolutely loved every minute of it and more importantly the couples loved their images. From that point on I decided to focus all of my efforts on wedding photography and I’m so glad I did. I’ve met some wonderful couples, visited some amazing venue and developed my photography further than I ever imagined I could.

Rachel Joyce Photography (28)

What is your favourite part of being a wedding photographer?

There’s so much to choose from. I genuinely love chatting weddings. Things like flower choices and table settings excite me more than they perhaps should! I also love being a part of the hustle and bustle and excitement on the day. Being around people when they are at their happiest is probably the best working environment you could ever ask for. Then I get to come home and relive it all whilst I edit their beautiful images.

Rachel Joyce Photography (3)

How do you get people to relax on the day?

I personally am not a great fan of having my own picture taken so I fully understand that for most people it isn’t their favourite thing. My approach to any wedding is to keep the formal shots to a minimum so the couple can spend the most amount of time possible with their friends and family. I find that couples who book our full day package which includes bridal and groom preparation are the most relaxed by the time it comes to their formal pictures. They are used to having us around by that point and have almost forgotten we are there to take pictures. I also try to crack a joke and then quickly capture the natural laughs, rather than the posed smiles. They generally turn out the best images.

Rachel Joyce Photography (31)

What sort of makeup should a bride wear?

Being the proud owner of a tube of tinted moisturiser and mascara I’m certainly no expect in the makeup department. I do think that it’s important for people to look like themselves. If you don’t normally wear heavy makeup, your wedding day might not be the time to start. Booking a reputable make up artist and having a couple of trials before the big day will ensure that you are happy with the final outcome.

Anything to avoid that might look bad in wedding pictures?

First thing first – think about your venue. It might have the most beautiful outdoor space you’ve ever seen but what if the weather is terrible? Where are we going to do that must have group shot of all your family? If you have decided to have full day coverage it’s also worth thinking about where you are getting ready. If it’s in the hotel then check if you can have a larger room, if you are getting ready at home it’s worth having a bit of a tidy up the day before and putting some clutter away if you’d rather not have it in the pictures. That said I’m not adverse to moving the odd pair of knickers off the floor if they are in my shot!

Rachel Joyce Photography (2)

Any really memorable weddings you have worked on that you’d like to share?

I recently covered the wedding of one of my oldest friends, Saiorse. There’s a group of us from school that have remained friends and although everyone is now scattered across different parts of the country, we still keep in touch with a group email and meet up a few times of year. It was extra special to be able to play a role in her day although it does make it harder to take pictures with tears in your eyes! The wedding was an absolute cracker and reflected their personalities perfectly.

Are you married?

YES! Im super lucky to be married to my first love, Tim. We met when I was just 16, bought a house together at 19 and got married at 21. Nine years later we have two beautiful children, Tom and Hattie. At the time we got married I was slightly obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (who are we kidding – I still am) so I went for simple elegance. We had a black and white theme with the bridemaids in lovely elegant long black dresses and the men in black morning suits. The sun shone, the day went perfectly and we had so much fun.

Rachel Joyce Photography (1)

What sets you apart from other photographers?

I’m know for being pretty unflappable. I come from a background in event management and customer services which are both really useful when it comes to being involved in the wedding industry. If something’s going wrong and I can help I will! I’ve been known to ring florists to chase deliveries, sew up broken zips on bridesmaid dresses and step into the role of wedding coordinator temporarily to help get a day back on track. There’s very little that can go wrong on the day that will actually ruin it unless you let it. Lots of my customers comment on how relaxed I made them feel or how I helped the day run a little more smoothly.

Rachel Joyce Photography (19)

What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

I work predominantly in a documentary style so for the most of the day I will be in the background capturing all the important moments of your day without intruding upon it at all. Before the wedding we will have discussed in detail the formal shots you require. We will get through the group shots as quickly and painlessly as possible so you and your guests can go back to enjoying the day. I will normally whisk the bride and groom away for about 20 minutes to get some lovely images of just the two of you.

Can you give us an idea on price?

I offer three basic packages depending on how much coverage is wanted. Our most popular package is The Complete Collection. This includes two photographers covering from bride and groom prep in the morning right through until the first dance at the evening reception. This package is £950

If you quote brides up north when you get in touch I will include a complimentary engagement shoot with any booking.

Rachel Joyce Photography (21)

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?

Get in touch any time via the website or Facebook page or email

I’d be delighted to come and meet with you and chat all things wedding.

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