December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
There’s an extra feature everyday at lunchtime this week, as we celebrate our readers’ moments in the limelight, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films
Today, Tom and Leanne take the stage with their pretty celebration.
tom says: I proposed in the Daintree forest in Australia. We had just done a 3 hour trek to find a secluded little creek. When I proposed I was sitting next to Leanne but I was quickly told “You’re not down on one knee” so I had to propose again on one knee, then she said “yes”
The colour theme was pastels, the bridesmaids wore pastel pink, the style was vintage, romantic and whimsical.
By far the best part of the day for both of us was actually getting married in the church.
Featured images are film stills.
December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join newly weds Sally and Stephen for their crazy, colourful (and all kinds of lovely) pre-wedding shoot on the North Pier, Blackpool. Time for a few candyfloss kisses…
May your days be merry & bright!
Images by James Jebson Photography.
sally says: A few weeks before Christmas, I told Stephen I didn’t think we’d made enough effort with our Christmas decorations. Arriving home late from a late shift, on a very wet and cold evening, I opened the front door to find our hall stairs had been covered in fake snow and glitter. My first thought was that Stephen had taken my ‘pimping the decorations’ briefing a bit too far, until I noticed an arrow of glitter directing me into the living room. All of the walls had been covered in fairly lights; there was more snow across the floor; the hearth was filled with flowers and there was a very large mound of glitter where the television should have been. There was also a champagne bucket with an iced bottle of Pepsi and a platter of cheese.
It is at this point I should probably explain that when we had first started dating we listed our five favourite things – mine were glitter, fairy lights, cheese, kittens and dancing (Pepsi would inch in at number 6). Over by the mound of glitter were two small kittens (not real ones!) with a sign pointing at the glitter and saying ‘shake me’. As I did, the glitter stuck to a piece of card and revealed the words ‘Sally Henfield will you marry me?’ Then Stephen popped out of the downstairs toilet (where he’d been hiding for 40 minutes because I was late home) and got down on one knew with a beautiful 1920s-style sapphire and diamond ring! I said YES, and then we did a little dance to Newton Faulkner – the song he first told me he loved me to. So, all five favourite things boxed off in one proposal.
The first time we met is a topic of hot debate. We both went to Newcastle University and some of our friend groups overlap, but we never actually met each other while we were there.
Stephen remembers meeting me in a box at a Newcastle United game in 2002, but I do not remember meeting him until he (via our mutual friend Chris) offered me and a mate a place to stay when we went to a wedding in 2006– in return for us getting the boys invited to the evening do. Stephen won’t mind me saying that he held a torch from then on, but we did not get together until the summer of 2012. Chris invited me to an Olympic party while I was on a secondment to London and Stephen was dressed as Fidel Castro. Then the next night we were abandoned by our friends on a night out and shared a can of Pepsi in Trafalgar Square…
After swapping number by Nelson’s Column, Stephen came to visit me in Preston, where I was living at the time. We had a fantastic weekend – we went to a beer festival, for walks in the park, drank Pepsi, visited museums. But after 52 hours Stephen had still not kissed me! It was only just as he was about to get his train that he finally made his move (with a very strong verbal hint from me!) He says he wanted me to know that he was in it for the real deal and hadn’t just come to Preston to get a quick smooch– a very gentlemanly approach.
Our engagement shoot was part of our photography package. We already knew our photographer James Jebson and it was a really good way to see how he worked ahead of the actual wedding. We picked Blackpool because we had been on one of early dates there and had danced down the North Pier in the moonlight when it was empty of tourists.
The engagement shoot was great fun, if a little chilly. We even got to go on a carousel! I had just bought my frilly underskirt from a vintage shop the day before and we had several old ladies come up to us to say how pretty it looked as Stephen twirled me round.
We love the photos – they are so fun and colourful (even if the weather was dreary!)
We technically got married at Lewisham registry office, but that was just the legal necessities!
We held our wedding over a long weekend so we could spend as much time as possible with friends and family. Our wedding ceremony was held at the Asylum, a disused chapel in Peckham, and one of our best friends Chris (who is responsible for bringing us together) acted as the ‘vicar’. It was so lovely to have someone who could give such a personal account of our relationship delivering the ceremony.
We then held our reception at Brunswick House in Vauxhall – this is a Georgian town house that is now used as an architectural salvage shop during the day and a great place for partying in the evening.
The following day we gathered for a picnic in St James Park and then we all boarded the Tamesis Dock boat for more dancing.
On the Sunday, Stephen and I took some time out to celebrate as just the two of us and went to the Chiltern Firehouse for brunch before catching up with family and then jetting off on honeymoon.
I love that Stephen will always get up on the dancefloor (and look good doing it); that he shares a passion for cheese and Pepsi; that he loves adventures, big or small; he looks fab in woolly jumpers; he loves creating ‘memories’; he remembers the little details of things that you have said so can buy amazing presents; he is funny and has a different laugh for when I am doing silly things; because he has the best eyebrows in the world EVER; he makes a mean fishfinger sandwich (potato waffles is the key ingredient)…the list goes on and on.
Stephen gave the most heartfelt groom speech I have ever heard (and of course I would say that – but he had most of our guests crying with his lovely words) and if I can paraphrase it for him here he said he loves me because I live up to the ideal of the Sally Henfield he has had since we first met.
Our biggest wish for married life is that there are even more adventures to come and that there is always time to dance with each other!
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s been a real treat to drop in an extra little feature every day at noon this week as we celebrate our readers’ real life love stories, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.
Popcorn at the ready, let’s hear from Gemma and Niall.
gemma says: Niall proposed in our living room between visiting my parents the weekend before Christmas and heading to Niall’s mum and dads for Christmas day. It was lovely that it was just the two of us at home.
I wore a Lusan Mandongus gown from Teokath Wimbledon: all the dresses I tried on were beautiful so it was a tough decision! In the end I went with a designer I felt fitted my body shape the best and the dress that I felt was the most flattering. I absolutely love, love, love my wedding dress and feel much more emotionally attached to it than I ever imagined I would.
With a marquee in Niall’s mums and dad’s garden we had a blank canvas. We were quite relaxed about style and theme (just going with stuff we liked) but ‘classic fresh marquee wedding’ probably sums it up quite well.
We both really enjoyed the ceremony and have memories of smiling and laughing a lot. It’s the first time we both saw each other on the day and so was amazing. It is quite a surreal experience and over very quickly, you forget there are 100 people there watching you. My cousin commented after the event that the ceremony was the most fun one he had ever been to!
Featured images are video stills.
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Hannah and Arul for a wedding celebration that was a true celebration of their different cultures. This couple mixed morris dancers and high tea alongside goat curries and Indian dress, without batting an eyelid. And you know what?
It just fits.
The result? A fresh and fabulous day, with meaningful touches, an heirloom wedding dress and a whole lot of love.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.
hannah says: We got engaged on my birthday (28th February 2013). We were on holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors and we went to The Lion Inn pub in the middle of nowhere (my granddad’s ashes are spread there) it’s a pub loved by all the family and we went every Christmas.
We went on a walk along the moors and we walked for miles (turned out Arul was looking for the perfect spot where all the classical elements: earth, wind, water and fire were present).
We sat down for a tea break Arul said he had another present for me. Out came the ring! It was perfect: we were alone with beautiful views and it was the best walk back to the pub where we had lunch by the roaring fire next to the piano.
We were married on 26th August 2014 at Bilton Church. We chose this as at midnight it would have been my Granddad’s birthday (27th August). Therefore he would still be part of the day. The wedding was in the village where I grew up and the church that my grandparents were married at, and the reception was at The Haven Arms, Hedon.
Our wedding saw the joining of two different cultures – English and Srilankan. The wedding was celebrated in both cultures over Day and Night. We did vintage high tea for the day celebration. I chose to wear my grandma’s dress and we collected tea cups, side plates and tea pots all year, the venue provided the bunting and Morris Dancers entertained the guests.
The night theme was Indian with lots of coloured lighting, Indian food, Indian music and the guest in Indian clothes (sarees for women and kurta’s for men). This reflected Arul’s country of birth Sri Lanka with his mum and brother travelling from Sri Lanka for the wedding.
I wore my grandma’s wedding dress. She offered to buy my wedding dress and I asked to look at hers.It was important to me to make my grandma a big part of the wedding as she has been a huge part of my life.
I got my two adult bridesmaids sage green dresses from House of Fraser and my flower girl’s dress was made especially for her.
Arul wore dark grey tails with a sage green cravat to match the bridesmaids.
I carried sweet peas which all the family grew, these where the flowers my granddad grew on his allotment so it was important to include them. I also had roses (Aruls mum’s favourite) and peonies. The flowers and arrangements were by Evergreen Garden Centre in Bilton.
My friend Francesca picked Arul up in her Audi and I had a vintage car by Alternative Wedding Cars.
We had the flowers clustered on the pew ends and wrapped in lace to match my dress and had love heart shaped bird cages hanging outside the church.
The Haven Arms were so accommodating. We went to two tasting sessions and the chef sourced special ingredients for the evening curries based on Arul’s feedback. They also sourced all the bunting, chair covers, lighting and led lighting to match our theme. The owners even dresses up in Indian clothes on the night!
This place is brilliant for people wanting a themed wedding as they are so adaptive.
My auntie Di made our fruit cake. She makes all our family cakes and gave us this as our wedding gift. My bridesmaid Sarah made all the cupcakes and we bought a cake stand from Ebay to display them both.
During the day we were entertained by the Makara Morris Dancers. They were fantastic and invited us to practice with them prior to the wedding and let us choose all their dances on the day. They kept the guests busy while we were having pictures and filled a gap between food and speeches (getting everyone to join in) which everyone said was brilliant.
As a special touch for later in the evening, my friends and I spent a year learning an Indian dance in order to surprise Arul and the guests.
We went on a Log House Holidays honeymoon in the Cotswolds. We were in a log cabin on a lake with our own hot tub and rowing boat!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding a reflection of who you are, it’s a lot of hard work but totally worth it.
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December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Every day at noon this week we are sharing a little love story, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films. We hope these films bring a bit of sparkle to your lunch break.
Today, it’s Jenna and Oliver’s turn to take to the screen. Enjoy!
oliver says: I proposed quite elaborately! Every year we go to Cornwall and stay in our family caravan in Rock, but last year I covertly booked dinner and a room at a local hotel and snuck up there on the day we arrived (under the pretence of going up to the golf club!) to set up the room with a treasure trail of gifts that linked to key dates and places we’d been. At the end of the evening Jenna was very surprised to learn that we were staying in the hotel, and the final gift in the trail was a ring in a box on the window seat which overlooked the Camel Estuary. I had to use one of Jenna’s rings as she is quite particular when it comes to jewellery so I’d (perhaps presumptuously!) booked an appointment at a jewellers the next day so we could pick or design her ring. It only took her about 5 hours to choose..!
jenna says:We wanted soft, muted tones to fit the relaxed feel of the day - soft blushes, apricots and creams – but I’m a bit obsessed with all things that glitter – so we added a bit of sparkle in the way of gold candelabra and candlesticks and rose gold sequin table runners!
Our favourite parts of the day include walking out of the church as Mr & Mrs Hincks and greeting all our friends and family in what turned into an impromptu receiving line; being lifted up in a chair by some of the guests during the last song of the evening and one of our ushers smashing a glass as he announced the speeches! Whoops!
Featured images are film stills.
December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Frances and Olly’s relaxed marquee wedding is filled with fun, fab florals (some ten feet tall, watch out for the giant daffs) and fuelled by a free bar. Always a nice idea.
It’s the first wedding ever to be held at Mill Granary Cottages, and I have a feeling that the bar has been set pretty high…
Get ready to party!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Camera A Photography.
frances says: We got engaged in October 2013 – a week before my birthday. We got engaged on the Friday morning. Olly had liaised with a colleague of mine and put a “fake meeting” in my diary so I thought I had a full day at work. I also thought we were going to Sheffield to visit friends on Friday night. I got up at 6am and Olly said I wasn’t going to work that day. I told him he was wrong because I had a meeting. He asked me to marry him in our flat in the morning before he whisked me off to Paris to celebrate.
We got married in a beautiful church, St Osmund’s in Gainford on 7th June 2014.
The reception venue was Mill Granary Cottages – we hired the cottages and put a marquee on the meadow next to them. It was the first wedding they had ever done and it looked amazing. Kate and Richard (who own Mill Granary) were fantastic.
We wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed and for everyone to have a good time, and I’m not sure I managed a colour scheme!
I travelled in a white VW beetle to the wedding. My bridesmaids were in a VW van. I used Lovedub Cars.
I chose a dress from Sabina Motasem, a designer based in London. I wanted something elegant and not too over the top. She has some beautiful dresses in her collection.
My hair and makeup were done by Hobbs and Holmes and they were so good on the morning of the wedding.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Monsoon – silver coloured, knee length and really pretty. The ushers wore their own suits and Olly bought them their ties and pocket squares.
Olly wore a Reiss suit. He looked fit.
I carried white peonies. My mum bought them from the flower market and my friend Ruth made the bouquets with the help of Olly’s sister. The bridesmaids had white peonies and pink roses. Ruth did those as well. Befriend a florist it’s a huge money saver!
Our photographers were Jane and Anne from Camera A in Darlington. They were brilliant. Jane was completely organised and made sure she extracted a full briefing from us before the day to get the shots we wanted. They were both really flexible on the day and the photos are gorgeous.
The decorations outside the marquee and around the marquee were provided for by Ruthie from Cloud Nine Decor. She is an amazing talent and provided giant flowers, a bluebell archway, and loads of bunting.
The table decorations were provided by my Mum. She collected little crystal vases from charity shops and they were filled with wild flowers from fields and woodland that she collected.
Olly made the cake – it was a family recipe – Guinness cake. It was delicious.
We chose not to give out favours – there was a free bar!
We ordered our wine from Majestic. We had a French Malbec and a South African white. The food was provided by The Game Cart. Really delicious food and their front of house staff were superb, making sure our guests were really looked after.
We had three of our friends do DJ shifts on the night. They were brilliant and just banged out the hits. The dance floor was permanently full.
We’d absolutely recommend Marston Moor Marquees and Mill Granary Cottages. If you want a marquee wedding but need somewhere to host it, this is the place.
We’re off on our honeymoon over Christmas – destination TBC…
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a free bar if you can – it’s well worth it!
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December 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Lizzie and Phil’s pastel wedding – featuring the stunning videography of Brides Up North Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films (check out the lovely little movie below) – was as pretty as it was personal, even though the date clashed with the groom’s footy team’s first game of the season.
Lucky for Lizzie (and for Phil) he didn’t mind missing kick off that Saturday.
lizzie says: Phil and I had been together for nearly five years when we took our new puppy Douglas away to a cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay for a little break in October last year. One afternoon Phil suggested walking along the top of the cliffs because of the beautiful view of the beach. It was cold and there were a lot of steps but in the most beautiful spot, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, with his new best pal by his side. It was lovely and a moment I’ll never forget, only problem was getting a signal to call all our friends and family!
We got married on the 16th August 2014. Not a popular choice as it was Hull City’s first game of the season and Phil is a football reporter and all my family are Hull City fans, but it was the only date we could get the church and venue we wanted!
We got married at All Saints’ Church in Brantingham, East Yorkshire and had the reception in a field behind a B&B opposite. We always knew that we wanted a marquee so we just had to pick the location. I used to horse ride in Brantingham so it’s a place I have always loved. It’s a beautiful countryside location with a small and lovely church. Keepers Lodge and Butterfly Meadow, the field we used is on the top of a hill looking over the beautiful scenery and we fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. We even saw some deer running around but unfortunately they didn’t join us on the day!
We went for a vintage tea party theme with lots of handmade bits and bobs. I love bird cages, vintage china and the idea of teapots and cake stands so we based it around that. We wanted it to be relaxed and fun, acoustic guitars, straw bales and picket fences.
We had a mix of pastel colours, my bridesmaids wore the same dress from Brides and Grooms of Lincolnshire in three different colours, one was light pink, one was pale lemon and the other was turquoise. They looked stunning. The boys wore navy suits and pastel blue ties, ditching the suit jackets about 10 minutes into the reception!
My wedding dress was also from Brides and Grooms of Lincolnshire. I just loved it and wish I could wear it again! I knew I wanted a strapless dress that was slim fitting and elegant. I tried on plenty and then I found the one, it was a Justin Alexander ivory dress with lace and a beautiful pattern. A mum’s tears are usually a good sign that it’s the perfect dress and she certainly got a bit emotional. I also found a lovely veil there and the seamstress even used the excess lace from the dress to add a pretty clip for my hair. They were wonderful. My shoes were a gift from my bridesmaid Rachel who was in the process of setting up her own bridal shop in Willerby, Forever Bridal Boutique. Rick Roberts in Beverley did my hair, and my bridesmaid’s hair. It was great to get out of the house in the morning and spend a couple of hours being pampered at the salon., and we were already pleased with our styles.
Phil wore a navy blue suit and waistcoat from Marks and Spencer with a white shirt and white tie. It was a really nice fit and I‘ve never seen him look so handsome. We hired navy suits for his ushers and best men from Slaters in Hull.
A light blue and cream camper van was the first thing we booked, it was from The Alternative Wedding Car Company in East Yorkshire. The bridesmaids and my mum travelled in the camper. My dad and I travelled in a cream Daimler from Superior Motor Cars in Pocklington. The driver was wonderful, he made us feel really important from the moment he pulled on to the drive and couldn’t do enough to make the journey perfect.
Nick Freeman from 246 Photography did our wedding pictures. I knew Nick anyway so I’d already seen a lot of his work and really loved his photographs. He was brilliant on the day, he made us all feel very comfortable and I was delighted with the pictures. I really feel like he captured the best bits of our day, exactly how we want to remember it!
We booked Silver Sixpence Films to do our wedding video after seeing a film of a friend’s wedding. It was lovely to have them there on the day, they were very professional and fitted in perfectly amongst our guests. I wasn’t quite prepared for how beautiful the video would be, so there were a lot of tears when we saw the finished product. They caught some wonderful little moments that we hadn’t even noticed they were filming!
All of my flowers came from Sandhill Garden Centre near Preston, I don’t really know much about flowers so I went in with a picture of a bouquet I liked and hoped for the best. We went through all sorts of ideas and decided on pastel coloured roses and all sorts of other types of flowers that I can’t remember the names of! The bouquets and the flowers in the church and at the reception were stunning, there were roses in colours I didn’t even know existed. The other great thing about them was how affordable they were, it didn’t cost me half as much as I expected!
My favourite decorations were the centre pieces my mum made. She spent hours filling beautiful birdcages with flowers and fairy lights and they looked so elegant and lovely. In fact, a good few people asked if they could take them home! My friends and family were amazing in the run-up to the wedding, the girls helped me make a hundred name cards with pretty bows and coloured card and we spent a whole night decorating an old suitcase and hanging the table plan from pegs inside it. Phil, my brother Matthew and our good friend Pete made a white rural road sign from scratch which pointed to the far flung locations people had travelled from. Phil’s mum ordered pink and white pom poms and lanterns and hung them from the trees and made lace runners for the tables. It was a great team effort and I will always remember setting up the marquee the day before the wedding and getting a bit teary about the number of people who turned up to help us. It was a great day.
We decided bags of penny sweets would make good favours so Phil ordered personalised bags from the internet and we did a big Makro shop to get all the bits we needed. They seemed to go down well, which was nice for Phil and his usher James who had lovingly put them all together and sealed them with heart pegs!
We decided to go for the kind of food we know our friends love and that meant pies! 2Chefs, a Beverley catering company made fantastic pies on the day. We had very tasty bruschettas beforehand and then for a desert we had three tier cake stands layered with all sorts of mini cakes and tarts, served with pots of tea. It was perfect. Apparently the pork and stuffing sandwiches were amazing on the night too, but I was still too full from all the cake! A company called Marquee Bar near York provided the bar and bar staff. Harriet and the team were incredibly efficient, they provided all the drinks we wanted and there was never a long queue which is rare at a wedding. They were also really lovely, and even kept my little flower girl entertained when she got a bit bored during the speeches!
Our cake was made by mum and dad’s neighbour, Lesley. I had seen a picture of a cake I liked so I took it round and was delighted when she said it was possible. I didn’t see it until the day and I remember getting a text from Phil’s mum in the morning saying the cake is stunning and it really was. It also tasted amazing.
Our friend Mike kicked off the entertainment by playing an acoustic set of our favourite songs. He’s an incredible singer and has also been my brother’s best friend since I was little so it meant a lot to have him playing. A local band called the Fork Handles got us all dancing our socks off on the night.
It’s hard to pick a favourite bit of the day, I loved everything from getting ready with the girls to a really special drive to the church with my dad, to seeing Phil for the first time, it was all wonderful. But if I could go back to one moment it would be watching Mike play ‘Chasing Rainbows’ by Shed Seven on the guitar while dancing with my new husband and looking around at all our wonderful guests. I remember just wanting that moment to last forever.
We had a honeymoon we’ll never forget in Barbados. We stayed at Crystal Cove hotel and just felt incredibly lucky for two weeks. We knew we’d be shattered and ready for a break so with the wedding behind us we fully embraced the golden sands, blue sea and rum cocktails.
My biggest bit of advice for other Brides Up North is something a friend said to me: Look around now and again and take it all in. Your wedding is the one day that you get to have all of your favourite people in one room and they’re all there for you two, it’s very humbling.
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November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 by Claire Gould, at Calligraphy-for-Weddings.com
Gold menu calligraphy from £7
Place name calligraphy £1.40
Table number cards from £4
Thank you tags £1.20
November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Our cake was a chocolate croque-em-bouche produced by our friend, Kristian Branch, head pastry chef at the hotel.
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.
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.
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”.
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!
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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November 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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