September 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This little corner of the internets wouldn’t be here without my fabulous Brides Up North Sponsors (by the way, have you checked out our slick new Directory yet… you could explore for hours, and do all your wedding planning at once!) so today, I’m very pleased to introduce the lovely Jane of Camera A Photography to these pages.
And it’s a Happy Friday indeed!
As a special treat for Brides Up North readers Jane is offering a pre-wedding shoot at her studio or at a venue within 20 miles of her studio if you quote ‘brides up north’ on booking. You can then choose your favourite image and Camera A will produce a guest signage board free of charge. Lovely!
Let’s say hello.
How did you get into photography?
Camera A Photography is a family run business. My mum Ann set up the business when I was born, 32 years ago, working from home. She was college trained and worked for a photographer before going it alone. Twenty two years ago we moved to our present studio: which is situated at 3, Skinnergate, Darlington.
I joined the business 10 years ago to originally help mum expand the business as my background is in marketing and sales. However, I fell in love with photography and the wedding business is now mine (mum works for me)! After joining the business and many courses later I achieved my diploma in photographic practice. You never stop learning with photography. Sarah Atkinson who is college trained also works for me, and has been with Camera A for 8 years. We also have Zoe who has worked for Camera A for 15 years part time, who is again fully trained and insured. We are a well established all female team.
Why wedding photography specifically?
A wedding is one of the most important days in people’s lives, so it is a great privilege to be a part of that day. We also have a studio, where we do lots of family portraits, so the next best thing is when a bride and groom bring their newborn baby for me to photograph.
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?
Being female, as I can really connect with the bride because I understand what she wants from her special day. It enables me to go into the bedroom at home or the hotel to take photographs of the finishing touches. I can be on hand and offer you help, advice & support, like an extra girlfriend! At this point I also take photographs of all the flowers, your jewellery, all the extra details that you have put into the wedding that makes it special to you.
How do you get couples to relax on the day?
By the time the wedding day comes, the bride and groom will have met me a few times so they already feel like they know me. I have discussed with them their requirements regarding family and friend photographs and made a plan of the day together, so everything runs smoothly and all they have to do is enjoy themselves.
Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?
It might sound a bit obvious, but I say to them not to worry, the day goes by so quickly and half the time they will not even realize that they are having their picture taken. They will be naturally beaming which will come across in the photographs. On the day, our priority is the bride. We have over 30 years experience in the wedding business, we know what works and what doesn’t, experience is priceless. We have come across every scenario and can help you keep calm.
What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?
I would always recommend a makeup artist, as a make-up artist will make the most of the brides features. We would also advise not to wear glitter, as this can reflect if flash is used and to use a matt foundation to help with the shine. Always have a trial to make sure you like it, this goes for hair too.
Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?
If you are going to have a spray tan, make sure you have it a good few days before hand!
Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?
I’m going to have to say the obvious, Kate Moss. She has cheek bones to die for and she wouldn’t take a bad picture, I’m sure!
Any really beautiful weddings that you have captured?
I did such a beautiful wedding at Judges in Yarm in May. All of the pink blossom was out on the trees. The bride was stunning, the bridesmaids had these lovely short funky dresses on, the sun was shining and the bride arrived on a carriage pulled by two white horses. If this was not a fairy tale wedding, I’m not sure what is. As a surprise the brides own horse was brought to the wedding, with pink roses plaited into his mane, it was perfect. (I have a horse myself, so I just loved it even more).
Any funny stories to share?
Ann crashed her car on the way to a wedding once, it was her fault. The man she crashed into was not pleased as you can imagine. Her car could no longer be driven but she knew she could not be late for the wedding and had no time to wait for the AA so made the man who she crashed into drive her to the wedding! He was really not happy about this, but did as he was told. Well a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
The fact that we are a larger team sets us apart from others, there’s myself, Ann and Sarah as three main fully trained and insured photographers. With all the goodwill in the world, if you are ill or an emergency happens, there may be a reason why the photographer you have booked cannot attend the wedding. This would not happen with Camera A. As we are a large team we will always have back up.
The quality of our work also stands out; we use Photoshop to edit our images and to make them as perfect as possible. You have gone to so much time and effort to look and feel good, so we carefully enhance and can soften the skin to give you that little extra celebrity help, as all of the magazines do. You can tell us how much or little airbrushing you would like!
What can a couple who book you expect on the day?
Amazing photography, a fantastic time and professional service.
What is included in your “package”?
Camera A Photography offer many different packages, which can also be tailored to suit the requirements of each bride and groom.
We offer coverage from the brides preparations until the wedding breakfast as standard then additional coverage to include speeches and the first dance can be added if desired.
We have packages with one photographer and two photographers.
Every image is edited as standard to make then as perfect as your special day.
All images can then be provided on disk as high resolution files with the copyright to the image and we have a wide range of options which include beautiful albums and Graphistudio Wedding Books. If a Wedding Book package is opted for, you will also receive 20 mini books for family and friends.
Thank you cards are included and in the thank you cards are details of how guests can access your wedding photographs with your own unique password from our website.
Can you give us an idea on price?
We offer a mid week special package, which is one photographer to cover from the bride’s preparations to the wedding breakfast. All images provided on a DVD slideshow to music, an A4 Wedding Book, a disk containing all album images, 20 mini books, all for £995.
For a Saturday and Sunday, the above package is a larger 25x35cm Wedding Book starting at £1395 including 40 thank you cards.
Our Ultimate Collection is more expensive but is the best value for money. Two photographers to cover from the bride’s preparations to the first dance. A DVD slideshow of all images as well as the high resolution files and copyright to all of the images. A 30x40cm Wedding Book with 70 images. 2 parents books which are A4 in size, 20 mini books and 40 thank you cards, all for £1995.
If you would prefer not to have an album we can do all of the images on disk starting at £900 for mid week or £1000 for a Saturday or Sunday.
Any treats for Brides Up North readers?
If you quote ‘brides up north’ I can offer you a pre wedding shoot at the studio or at a venue within 20 miles of the studio. You can then choose your favourite image and we will do you a guest signage board free of charge.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?
We would love to hear more about your wedding and to be given the opportunity to put a package together for you and to show you examples of our work, hopefully at your chosen venue.
Please call us on 01325 381055, email firstname.lastname@example.org or our web address is www.cameraa.co.uk.
Come along and meet the Camera A team at our Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza at Hardwick Hall Hotel on Sunday 28th February 2014, 12pm till 4pm, free entry. Click here to find out more.
September 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Rachel and James’s lovely wedding in the heart of the Northumberland works with the natural landscape around it to create a beautiful day that just fits. A setting that means something, allowed to shine. And a big dash of countryside glam.
It’s a breath of fresh air for a Thursday afternoon.
With images by Jamie Penfold Photography.
Rachel says: James and I met at a mutual friend wedding in Newcastle, but he lived in Bath and I lived in Northumberland. We spent hours on the phone and we quickly arranged a first date weekend in Bath. After collecting me from the early flight down, we went for breakfast at a cafe under Baths beautiful Pultney bridge, and knew at that point that we were both smitten. 8 years later, we both live in Bath and totally unexpectedly, James proposed under this bridge with a surprise audience of friends watching over and with a ring from a jewellers on Pultney bridge! It was an amazing moment.
We got married on June 27th 2014 in my family church in Northumberland, literally just over the hill from my family home. It’s beautiful countryside and a special place for both of us now so there was no question about it. My 94 year old grandfather drove us over the steep hill from church where we stopped for fizz and photos and we had a the reception back in the garden at the farm. It was my dream wedding.
The Northumberland countryside and my family garden already has so much character and natural beauty, I wanted a theme to work with that but I’m artistic at heart, so wanted to do tradition with a rustic/ vintage twist to compliment the old farm and house. The theme just evolved sticking to using props from the farm such as hessian sacks, old doors, an old Singer table, vintage mirrors… I got carried away with rustic vintage but loved the simple and yet effective finish.
The colour scheme was simple muted white and beige of the crisp white cloths and the beige of the hessian, combined with fresh green and white on the groomsmen and flowers. My bridesmaids were dresses in coral and white lace- which worked well with my dress and the soft flowers.
I love my dress! I chose it from Bella B in Berwick where I have shopped for years for other people’s outfits and where they had made bridesmaid dresses to fit me. Their Friday section is fantastic and I chose my dress easily and they made me a bespoke jacket to cover my shoulders and arms. Like a lot of brides, I had a thing about my arms and as a bit of a traditionalist wanted my shoulders covered in church. I had the best of both works to be able to remove the jacket at night. The dress has beautiful lace and diamond detail, a beautiful train and I matched it up with a few sparkles and a veil. The lace trimmed veil was the finishing touch that made me feel fabulously bridal (and hid a few happy tears going into the church!)
Our flowers were done by a friend but professional based in Northumberland, Sandra Dickenson. I wanted simple and light, so I swayed totally to baby’s breath… everything! Except for my bouquet where I included some peonies. Sandra is so talented and went the extra mile to accommodate my weird and wonderful requests.
James wore traditional tails for a traditional wedding. The button holes matched the hessian and baby’s breath of my bouquet and we had the ties made in a green and blue liberty pattern which was a soft but summery finish. He had a massive 10 ushers all dressed the same with a buff waistcoat to work with the hessian. With this amount of ushers it was far cheaper to make ties and to get enough for 10 and in a design to suit. I’d really recommend it.
Our photographer (Jamie Penfold Photography) was fantastic. Before the big day he came down to Bath to shoot us where we got engaged which was a great way to get to know him so that we were relaxed with him and the camera on the day. It also gave him the chance to get to know us as a couple and the type of photography we were hoping for. Not only did we do all this, but we also got some great shots of us in Bath which was an added bonus! We are so pleased with the shots of the big day, he has captured the whole feel of the day perfectly, our emotions, our guests reactions, the scenery and the wedding detail you are proud of. Most of our guests didn’t know we had a photographer- that’s a sign of a good one I think!
Instead of a traditional cake we went for cheese from The Northumberland Cheese Company. They were brilliant to work with: we tasted some amazing cheeses, it was hard to decide what to go for. The cake itself was assembled by the florist and the whole thing was demolished on the night! My theory is that people want savoury more than sweet after a few glasses of fizz and wine… and it appears they certainly did!
In the evening we had a band, Groove All Stars - they were brilliant! Offered a wide range of music playing as a duo for the reception and as a 7 piece in the evening. We pulled together our own dance to Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’. The band learned the music especially for the dance and were very happy about me getting behind the mic to start the song (which was planned I might add!)
They were a lovely bunch of people, very willing to bend over backwards to make you happy. That they definitely did – the dance floor was never empty!
I have two favourite moments from the day… walking into our beautiful little church on my proud dad’s arm and seeing James’s face at the end of the aisle – priceless and a lifelong memory of an amazing emotion.
Then, walking into the reception with my nephew leading us into a tunnel crowd of all our guests cheering. It was at that moment that it dawned on us- they are all here for us, all our most treasured friends and family are all around us and we’ve done it, we’re married and it feels amazing.
We set off tomorrow for Crete – I can’t wait. I’ll let you know on our return if we’d recommend it!
September 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon I’m very proud to welcome the fabulous Mat Hepplestone of Red Floral Architecture to the Brides Up North stage. I’m very privileged to be working with Mat on a special project this week and am ready to be lost in the scent and sensation of his amazing blossom masterpieces. A true architect, this man makes cathedrals and castles from roses and peonies, and we love him here at Brides Up North HQ.
With images by Mick Cookson Photography, or otherwise provided by Red Floral.
Mat says: My interest in the industry started from a very early age when my family moved house and the new next door neighbours had a local florist shop. I was asked to help out over busy periods and at weekends. At the age of fourteen I ran my own dried flower business from the cellar of the house, going doing dried flower parties in the evenings and selling my wares to the school teachers.
Where do you get your inspiration for flower design?
I am very much inspired by fashion. Looking at the season’s catwalk trends leads to the colour choices I produce for the annual season. The American luxury style is what appeals to me and I research the trends across the world to keep the Red Floral style innovative and at the forefront of design.
Describe some of the most recent weddings you have been working on?
Red Floral are lucky enough to house a team of designers who can create an eclectic mix of designs suitable for any venue. Recently we created traditional grandeur at The Monastery in Manchester and a life-size enchanted forest over in Liverpool. The more outrageous the request the more of a buzz we get here at Red.
What advice can you give to a bride when working with a florist?
Be aware that your wedding florist is the person who is solely responsible for creating the desired look for your wedding and stamping the luxury throughout the day. Make sure you select a florist who can communicate your vision, likes and dislikes. Red Floral wants to make your wedding absolutely breath taking so you need to relax and put your trust in your vendors. Brides often book the florist last which is a mistake because you need to get an idea of what everything costs and your budget. It’s good to look at your florist’s portfolio and tons of pictures to help what you’d like your floral design to look like. Also pick a florist with a massive portfolio of weddings as they’re more likely to help you.
Facebook and Pinterest are great tools for gathering together your dreams but please make sure when you go to your florist that the work they show you is actually created by their own fair hands and not just whipped off the internet. Believe me I have seen and heard the horror stories first hand. The common problem at the moment is that many of the ‘floral designers’ out there have little experience within the industry and with the ‘trend’ for messy vintage style arrangements created in jam jars it is very easy for someone to label themselves a florist.
Make sure you know the background of your chosen designer, someone who knows the technical stuff and is savvy enough to know what they are talking about and offer expert advice and alternatives.
What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?
Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.
Any secret tips?
Brides are often scared off by the more expensive flowers like phaleonopsis orchids and peonies. These flowers albeit more expensive are striking in minimal numbers and are guaranteed to scream luxury at any wedding regardless of volume.
And what about some advice on picking colours?
So you have set the colour scheme for your wedding, let’s say for example you have chosen purple and ivory. That is a starting point, but please don’t think that everything has to be the exact colours. There is nothing worse than walking into a venue and it looking like an advert for Silk Cut cigarettes. Speak to your florist about tones and contrasts, introducing paler of darker shades from the same palette will give the wedding flowers impact and interest and stop the whole look becoming predictable, tired and dated. A bride’s bouquet created in strong colours will always become the dominant factor in a photograph, so if you want your dress to shine and be the centre of attention, then work the bouquet so it enhances the colours of the bridal gown.
Can you give us a brief outline of flower seasons?
Certain blooms such as roses and carnations are inexpensive flowers and are available all year around. Other flowers may fluctuate in price depending on the season. Daffodils and tulips are available in the spring-time and are a great way of creating some amazing springtime looks. If you have your heart set on peonies then be looking at May or June for your wedding date. I do have brides who set the date in these months especially to have peonies as the focal flower.
What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?
Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.
Can you tell us about your favourite season?
The summer season is the season that really does it for me in the flower world because I am a huge fan of blousy fragrant blooms. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to get creative with some exquisite English blooms and the sunshine brings out masses of flowers. The vibrancy of dahlias, the aroma of sweet peas and of course the beauty and colour range delphiniums and peonies make for some show stopping designs. With so many flower choices, Red Floral can create lavish wedding displays that are so sought after. Blush pink flowers, lilacs and lavenders with hints of nude and peach are available widely and produce stunning loose ethereal designs…
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?
Visit our website at www.redfloral.co.uk
September 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m feeling good Brides Up North! It’s nearly the weekend, it’s almost our event season (SO excited!) and today’s real wedding is all kinds of epic! Not only did bride Katy totally rock her 50s frock and bespoke headwear, but she and her bridesmaids also hitched a ride on the Metro to the ceremony, then finished things off with one massive street party.
I’m following Katy and Andrew’s lead… it’ll be fish and chips for tea tonight!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.
Katy says: Andrew proposed last summer when we were on holiday in New York.
Everyone had been nagging Andrew to propose for months and before we went he gave me ‘the New York talk’ several times – saying very seriously for me not to expect him to propose in New York and that he didn’t want me to ruin the holiday by being all miserable the whole time we were there because he hadn’t proposed.
After the flight to New York I was tired and a bit tetchy and we almost had a row at the airport but something at the back of my mind thinking ‘just be nice, we’re on holiday’. I was glad I was as when we got to our hotel room I spotted an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses and a note in front. I went to investigate (in case it was a freebie) and on the note it read ‘Katy will you marry me’ – I turned round and Andrew was down on one knee.
I’m normally pretty chatty but I was so gobsmacked I wept for about 5 minutes – Andrew actually had to prompt me to say ‘yes’. I’d arranged the holiday and wouldn’t have even thought Andrew would have known where we were staying so was totally blown away that he’d organised such a wonderful surprise.
We were married on 19th June 2014. The ceremony was in the Council Chamber at Newcastle Civic Centre and the reception was in the back lane of the terrace my parents live on!
The reception was first – my parents still live in the house I grew up in. It’s a very social street and ever since a big party to celebrate the millennium they’ve held regular street dos and ‘back lane BBQs’ every summer. It was important to both of us that the whole wedding be as personal as possible, including the venue – so a back lane party was an obvious choice. All the neighbours were fab – when my folks approached them about using the lane not only did they say yes but everyone offered to help, and let us use their back gardens too.
For the ceremony we aren’t religious but still wanted a venue that meant something to us (and was big enough to host over 150 guests). My grandfather was an alderman and Councillor and sat in the (then very new) Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.
As a Geordie away from home I wanted Newcastle to be a big part of the wedding. Other than that it was just all about making it as personal as possible. Dresses, hair and make-up were 50s style.
We chose a teal colour scheme (inspired by the top of the Civic Centre and the Tyne Bridge!)
My shoes were from BHS and I customised them with peacock tail feathers, pearls and buttons.
I took my dress to be altered at a local dress maker as it needed taking in a bit. They totally let me down and after a series of mishaps (not doing the alterations when they said they would, not turning up at the shop when I was due to collect) I finally got my dress back only to discover, with just 10 days to go before the wedding, they’d taken it in way more than they were supposed to. I could just get into it but it was too tight to sit down/eat/breath!
Fortunately Honeypie had one readymade sample of a dress in a different design in my size which they posted straight out. The only downside being that it had a peach skirt which really wouldn’t have gone with all my peacock accessories.
I could get away with outfit number one for the ceremony and then would wear dress number two for the reception. I decided that if I was having to change dress I would brazen it out and go for a full outfit change. I sent Adrienne a photo of the new dress and my wedding hair and asked her to bring any head pieces she thought would go into her shop on the Saturday. When I got there, she said she hadn’t had anything the thought would be just right so had made me a new one from scratch. I loved my silver evening headpiece – she really pulled out all the stops and helped turn a crisis into a positive.
The bridesmaids had dresses with the inverse colour scheme to mine from Honeypie. I made peacock hair clips for them to tie in with my headpiece.
All the boys wore their own suits but had a variety of teal neckwear from Tom Sawyer.
I made button bouquets for me and the grownup bridesmaids (the younger two had button horseshoes). I did buy some buttons but friends, family and colleagues from work all dug out granny’s button boxes and I also wired in fabric flowers from my parents’ wedding cake, various trinkets and grand parents’ and great grandparents’ engagement rings. It was my old, new, borrowed and blue all in one. With my change of outfit for the evening I swapped the bouquet for a Kate Spade Mr&Mrs number plate clutch!
I got the metro to the ceremony – then we’d hired a vintage Routemaster to take the bridal party and groomsmen for photos and back to the reception.
My mum was really dubious about going on the metro but I was adamant about it. I’m so glad we did as it was so much fun and we got some fab photos. The looks on people’s faces as they pulled into Benton metro station and saw us on the platform were an absolute picture.
It was really important to make the wedding as personal as possible, using people we knew wherever possible. This meant there were quite a lot of special touches! But I think it’s important to remember not to let the special touches stress you out.
My godfather is an artist and so I asked him to do a painting for us to use on all of the stationery. It was turquoise to tie in with the colour theme and had a seahorse (to echo the top of the Civic Centre) and peacock (as I’d already decided peacock feathers were going to be part of my outfit).
I sewed 300m of bunting (assisted by mother in law, Andrew and best friend Lucy) and my mum made hundreds of tissue pompoms and fans. They had a pompom fluffing party the week before the wedding with all the neighbours.
We had fish and chips for dinner and so to tie in with the theme I made a newspaper with stories about us and used half pages of it as place mats. There were crosswords and word searches on the back which proved a good ice breaker at the tables.
As we were in the back lane and gardens I’d got some mini gnomes to use for table numbers. I had a feeling these would not make it unscathed through the wedding – by the end of the night we were all swigging port out of them!
It worked out as cheap to buy antique cutlery as it was to hire it so we spent months scouring antique and flea markets for sets. We’ve got some lovely ones to keep and will give the rest to the charity shop.
We’re the Meades and so my mum had some mini bottles of Lindesfarne Mead made up for with our names on the label on the back as a surprise.
As the back lane wasn’t a typical venue we did the table plan on a blown up plan of the street so people knew where everything else was as well as their table. We always play drinking games during the speeches at other people’s wedding so we also did a big sweepstake on the table plan.
The specialist touch of all was all of the neighbours. We hadn’t managed to set everything up on the Friday night so all the neighbours came out at 8am on the Saturday morning to help set out all the tables and chairs. It was a real team effort.
One of the neighbours is in a band and the street always head out en masse to support them when they play gigs locally so they were the obvious choice for music. They played in their garage and we had the dancing out in the lane. They were fab.
We had wedding cheese from The Cheese Board in Harrogate. Complete with knitted mice in miniature versions of our outfits that one of my colleagues made. I hand stitched some mini bunting too.
Our chip supper was by Clems Fish and Chips.
The whole day was amazing – better than I could have ever imagined.
But bar far the best bit – and certainly the most emotional for me was the ceremony itself. Closely followed by just about every other part of the day. Even the pouring rain we had coming out of the ceremony was fun.
For our honeymoon we did a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco via Death Valley, Yosemite and the Pacific Highway.
My top tip for Brides Up North is that the most important bit of the wedding is where the two of you stand at the front and do your ‘I do’s. All the rest is window dressing.
August 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Ahh! Time for your Friday morning cuppa, bacon sarnie and wedding watching.
Friday mornings go so well with catching up on your favourite blogs, don’t they? It’s been a very pretty week here at Brides Up North HQ… take some time to browse… but we’re so excited to bid adieu to August and start our Brides Up North luxury wedding exhibition season with gusto this September and beyond.
One very lovely stop on our journey will be at the drop dead gorgeous Middleton Lodge in Richmond on 12th October 2014. Already gorgeous, this fine, exclusive use wedding venue has just added a brand new boutique hotel and restaurant to it’s offering. It’s most definitely one with the wow factor, a date for your diaries, and just happens to be the beautiful backdrop to Sophie and Jeff’s wedding day, which we are happy to share with you this morning.
With images by Keith Moss.
Sophie says: We got engaged after returning from an amazing holiday in Egypt. I think my exact words were, “Just set the date!”
We got married on 3rd May 2014 at St Michael and All Angels church in Middleton Tyas, followed by Middleton Lodge. We found Middleton Lodge after I had provisionally booked another venue while Jeff was working away, and when he went to look around he didn’t like it (groomzila, I know)! I had removed Middleton Lodge from our search as felt it was a little bit too far for our guests to travel but once we went to look round, we fell in love with it. We found the church afterwards with the help of Anna, their wedding coordinator. The church was so pretty, it was perfect.
I picked a striped fabric for my bridesmaid dresses so styling wise, went down this route with pink striped bunting, orders of service and name settings. Our orders of service, name settings and table plan were all designed and created by my friend Christina. It all looked lovely, she did a brilliant job.
Colour wise, I prefer natural colours and trawled Pinterest for months looking for ideas for my bouquet! I went to my florist with a bunch of ideas and they came up with the gorgeous combination of muted pinks, greys and creams.
I chose an Enzoani dress from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. I actually spotted it whilst out on Bridesmaid duties with my friend who was also getting married. I saw it on the hanger and knew instantly that was the one. I went back a couple of weeks later and tried it on and bought it the same day.
My shoes were Nicholas Kirkwood. I had spotted them in Las Vegas in the September but decided to wait and look once I got home. After trawling the internet and shops I still couldn’t get these shoes out of my head but I had called the Nicholas Kirkwood store and had found out the price – I thought they were too expensive so continued looking for another pair. I came home one day from work to find them waiting for me! Jeff had ordered them for me as a surprise. I absolutely love them and will definitely wear them again.
My flowers were anemone, verbena and tulips which were created by Darling and Green. I also had a vintage badge attached to the lace on my bouquet as my something old, my mum gave this to me as she had worn the same one on her wedding day
Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Bakers Tailoring. We visited the store in Middlesbrough every Saturday for a month until he finally made a decision on which fabric he liked! Paul at Bakers sourced hundreds of fabric samples for us to choose from. The service was excellent and Jeff chose everything from the buttons, to how many pockets he wanted and even had a J&S stitched into the blue polka dot lining. He is already planning the suit that he is going to order next!
The bridesmaids wore custom made candy stripe Kate Fearnley dresses and the groomsmen wore dark grey suits from Bakers Tailoring.
Our photographer was Keith Moss, who I met through a friend when we were working on a fashion project. He also lives in the same village as my parents, and was the photographer at a friends wedding, so I knew that I loved his style of photography. As we are both a little bit scared of the camera, we wanted the majority of our wedding shots to be natural. Also as we got married at 2pm, the last thing we wanted was to spend our wedding day posing for photos! We wanted to be there, and experience our day.
Darling and Green dressed our wedding reception. This included a hanging flower ball and floral swag in the speeches hall at Middleton Lodge, cups which spelt out LOVE with flowers in them, petals and floating candles in the font, plus various scattered bottles and jars with flowers in. They also provided the flowers for our wedding cake.
I had also collected a selection of tea lights, plants, candles and lanterns which I used to decorate the venue. As we had the whole place exclusively to ourselves I wanted to decorate every single corner.
We also had Giant LOVE light up letters from Coco Luminaire which provided a fab focal point and wow factor on the dance floor and a Booth Revolution photobooth. To finish our day, we had a karaoke machine in the famous Middleton Lodge cellar bar!
Having good quality food at our wedding was very important to us and after eating at Middleton Lodge before the wedding, we knew that we would not be disappointed!
My cake was kindly made by my very clever Aunty Andria! We had four tiers of fruit, lemon, red velvet and Victoria sponge.
For our favours we chose personalised biscuits and macaroons for adults and disposable cameras, colouring books and toys for the kids.
We had Jamie Graham playing acoustic guitar during the day, followed by The Fallen band at our evening reception. We are really into our live music and we wanted a band which was going to get everyone up and dancing!
My favourite part of the day was the speeches. We decided to do the speeches (father of the bride and groom) during the drinks reception. I am so glad we did this, as we wanted to day to feel laid back and not formal at all. We did the speeches on the staircase in the main hall and it was a lovely atmosphere and really got the reception off to a great start.
For our honeymoon we went to Sugar Ridge in Antigua. It was absolutely beautiful, I felt like I had jumped into a postcard once we saw the gin clear sea and white sandy beaches. The people were so friendly too and the food was fantastic. Plus, we were often the only people on the beach! It was amazing.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get your wedding filmed! I wasn’t going to bother but a friend showed me hers and I was hooked! As she said – ‘You can snuggle up on a rainy day with some chocolate and re watch your wedding over and over again’
Our wedding was filmed by Adam Mendum.
August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Sometimes a bank holiday weekend comes around exactly when you need it.
Even when you love your job as much as I do, sometimes you can still have one of those weeks. Computer issues (no good for a blogger let me tell you), having to put the heating back on, wifi troubles (kill me now) building work, boring admin, deadlines, husbands (!) and just too much to do, means I’m frazzled and frustrated.
So I decided to shift the schedule round a little and end the week on a high with this fun and fabulous wedding sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.
Pour me a massive glass of wine. It’s the weekend, Brides Up North!
And yes, I will be having Monday off!
(see you on the other side)
Helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012. The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!
We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014. As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!
Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.
My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye. As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come. I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.
Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.
My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme. My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.
Jonny Draper was our photographer. The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job. I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.
Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.
We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste. We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.
As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags. The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.
On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.
We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!
We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day. There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.
We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September. I can’t wait!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key! We were very organised which saved a lot of stress. Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.
August 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Jen and Jonny’s fun and fresh, 50′s themed, DIY wedding at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue, the KP Club, is just what the doctor ordered to get us through Tuesday morning. And hey, don’t forget it’s a bank holiday weekend coming up… win,win or what?!
Be bright, be beautiful.
With images by SDS Photography.
Jennifer says: We got engaged on New Years Eve 2010, in Disneyland, Paris! Jonny proposed in one of the few quiet spots in Disney (in the Swiss Family Robinson tree house!) where we had a great view of Cinderella Castle, all lit up.
We were married on 21st June 2014. We chose this date because it was the first day of British summertime, and also the longest day of the year.
We got married in the village church where Jonny grew up (St Catherine’s Church, Barmby Moor, York), which was only a few miles from where I grew up. We both live in the South now, so it was lovely to travel home for a few days to see our friends and family. The vicar who Jonny grew up with had long since retired, but agreed to come back and perform the ceremony for us.
The reception venue was the KP Club, a few miles from the church. It is in the town where we went to secondary school (Pocklington) – which is where we they first met! It has beautiful views over the Yorkshire wolds.
We would definitely recommend the KP Club. At first we were unsure whether we could make the place unique, but we certainly did! It is a (beautiful) blank canvas for you to do whatever you want with, but would also look amazing without decorations! It was very spacious (we had the whole top floor, with two rooms and a bar area) but still felt very intimate. There were huge windows with views over the golf course, and the Yorkshire wolds. The staff were very helpful and pleasant and everything ran so smoothly. There are even lodges on the site where guests could stay over without worrying about travel. We both stayed in a honeymoon suite which had a hot tub!
We orginally planned on a 1950s theme – primarily because we both love Frankie & Bennys! My wedding dress was based on a 1950s, Grace Kelly style and the bridesmaid dresses were also very 50s. We had music playing by ‘The Baseballs’ who are a modern band but their style is very much in that era.
We opted for a colour palette of sea green and pinks. We wanted a colour that wasn’t too girly and was less common in weddings, so we went for the turquiose colour. Pale and hot pinks went with it really well, and after finding the bridesmaid dresses to match, it was perfect!
I am a graphic designer and lovs crafty things, so handmade a lot of the wedding. I made a seating plan out of wooden pegs, which I put each guest’s name on and allowed them to take theirs home at the end of the night.
We are also grateful to have such talented friends and family who helped us out and made sure the wedding was personal. It was also important to us to make them all feel involved in the wedding and had a part to play.
My dress was from Wedding Warehouse, a shop in Leeds which sells ex-wedding fayre dresses. They were a year ahead in terms of style, so my dress will be available to buy in 2015. I tried on a few first that I thought were what I was after (long lace sleeves, high neck) but I felt I looked too old in them all! I went back into the room and there was one hanging up, out of its bag. It was nothing like what I was looking for (very big and princess-like!) but my best friend told me to try it on, so I did. I went home to think it over, and decided I had to back and get it! It was all lace, with little lace cap sleeves and a keyhole back (very beautiful, which is why I decided to have my hair swept to the side to show it off!). It puffed out from just below the waist, with beautiful delicate lace all over the skirt. My full length veil was borrowed from my sister from her wedding, which went perfectly with my dress.
My bridesmaids wore 1950s style rockabilly dresses with a lovely turquoise and pink floral pattern – bought from Amazon from a seller called bluemagik. The bridesmaids were different shapes and sizes but the style looked great on them all. They each wore their own shoes which were different colours – we just wanted them to feel comfortable! One of the bridesmaids Kath, who is also one of my sisters, handmade little pink paper roses – some of which the bridesmaids had in their hair. I also gave each of them a handbag bought from Ebay, personalised with each of their initials on.
The bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets were put together by my bridesmaids. They just had bunches of baby’s breath (gypsophila) tied together with ribbon, and I had baby’s breath with flowers from a family friend’s garden (including pink roses and peonies).
Our photographers were Sarah-Jane & Simon, from SDS Photography. We would hugely recommend them, because they were just perfect. They have the skills to make amazing photos, but also the creativity to try new things and make sure your wedding is truly unique. Their attention to detail is exceptional, and their incredible efficiency meant that the formal group photos were over so quickly (a relief for everybody!) They completely understand that everybody is different. We didn’t want any awkward poses or generic wedding photos, but we didn’t even have to tell them – they just seemed to know what was ‘us’. We wanted a ‘pretty, informal’ style and they nailed it. They captured expressions we didn’t know we’d made and hugs we didn’t know we’d given.
In the church, I put other flowers from the garden in painted bean cans, and in paper cones (made from wallpaper samples) on the end of the pews. A lovely old lady in the village started a flower arrangement for us, which my bridesmaid and I went to finish the day before the wedding, using flowers bought from the market and from friends’ gardens.
After the church ceremony we decided to have afternoon tea. It was lovely because it meant people could have nibbles and refreshments, so they weren’t too hungry waiting for the meal at 5pm! It also meant that people could stay and chat, including the vicar and organist, who don’t usually get to see guests. Family members made all the cakes, including my mum, Jonny’s mum and Jonny’s grandma. We had vintage tea cups and saucers laid out, and big drinks dispensers filled with pink lemonade.
Oringially we wanted a cake of different cheeses, but didn’t want the guests who like traditional wedding cake to be left out – so we had both! My mum made the fruit cakes, and Jonny’s mum made sponge cakes and decorated the whole cake. She handmade peonies made from icing using our wedding colours, and cascaded them down the cake. My best friend Claire made two little birds out of clay to go on the top – it was perfect! We then had a cake of cheeses brought out in the evening (we both love cheese!).
For our favours, we gave out jars of goodies! They were filled with homemade strawberry jam, rhubarb jam, apple chutney and gooseberry chutney which me and my mum made. I made labels for each one and tied fabric around the top. Each guest was given a sticker with their name on, which they were to stick to a jar of their choice.
As a secret wedding present, I bought Jonny a pair of personalised Converse All Stars, which I gave to him on the day. I also got a pair for myself (of course) which matched the wedding colour scheme! We each had their new surname on (Ledger) and we put them on in the evening so we could dance the night away! (very comfy).
We didn’t really want to do a first dance – we love dancing, but not slow dancing (with everybody watching!). However, we both love music, so decided to write a song and perform it to the guests. It was called “When we’re old”, and had funny lyrics about what we’ll still be doing when we’ve been married for many years. As a further surprise, the band we hired for the evening (Move it like Friday) suggested providing backing music for us – which we accepted! They came in with drums and bass in the chorus – it was great!
We used Abbey Sound & Light, based in Selby, to hire our dancefloor and stage for the band. We would highly recommend them – mainly because we booked them very last minute, and they managed to sort us out with something! They’re very reasonably priced and were efficient delivering and collecting the items. The black and white checked dancefloor looked great!
Another thing which made the day very special was the arrival of our first niece, Olivia. My sister gave birth the day before the wedding, but still managed to make it to the ceremony with the baby! We had photographs taken with her, which will be lovely to look back on.
For our honeymoon, we went to Disneyworld, Florida! We both love theme parks (particularly Disney ones!) and having got engaged at Disneyland Paris, we felt it was appropriate We went for two weeks and alternated between the four main parks and waterparks. We were on a dining plan so got loads to eat – too much! Many burgers and chicken nuggets, but it was delicious. We each got a novelty hat – I got white Minnie Mouse ears with a veil attached, and Jonny got a Goofy hat with Micky ears (many people commented on how I had married Goofy!). We went on all our favourite rides, and I even got to meet my favourite character, Baloo!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning stage – don’t do too much at once, and don’t leave things to do on the day before or on the day! (like I did – eek!). Do ask friends and family for help – they love to feel involved.
And most of all, enjoy the day. Guests will have a good time no matter what, so just focus on the two of you making memories.
August 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Sometimes, elegance speaks for itself.
This simple yet glamourous bridal shoot at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue, Denton Hall, was put together by makeup artist Charlotte Hubbard of Leeds and photographer James Mieskowski of Sugarbird Photography, Halifax.
Charlotte says: James and I have collaborated on various fashion photography shoots in the past and wanted to showcase Yorkshire’s beautiful countryside and the skills of our local wedding industry creatives (see the Little White Book for details) in this styled piece with ballerina Steph Elstob.
I wanted to create a natural soft bridal look for our model to compliment the pale floral colours. I used pink and soft beiges with natural effect false lashes by Eyelure to highlight her beautiful eyes. For touch ups and shadows I always rely on YSL’s ‘Touche Èclat to even the skin tone and bring light to the face.
July 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its a pretty pop of nostalgia and romance at one of my very favourite venues this afternoon on the blog.
Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah of Leafy Couture got in touch to tell me about an authentic little bridal shoot that took place earlier this summer at Denton Hall in Ilkley. With original 1940s bridal attire and military uniforms, a stunning setting and some carefully classic styling, I couldn’t help but share.
With images by Suzy Mitchell Photography.
Suzy says: Quite some time ago make up artist Annabel Bailey and I discussed collaborating on a styled shoot – our ideas went through different incarnations but in the end, after a trip to Glory Days Vintage in York and chatting to Hayley the owner, we decided upon a late 1940′s bridal shoot.
We certainly had some fun with it, not least because Annabel’s Grandfather had fought in the Second World War and she had access to the collection of his uniforms!
Denton Hall was the perfect choice as a backdrop to our shoot. It is a fabulous example of Georgian architecture, set in 2,500 acres of parkland and landscaped gardens. All of us have come to know Hannah Bairstow at Denton Hall over the years and she so kindly facilitated our use of the Hall, helping everything to run smoothly.
The lace wedding dress, veil and pink dress all came from Glory Days Vintage in York; Annabel and I drove over to York on a hot sunny day in June and had the best time with Hayley choosing props and clothing for the shoot. Her boutique is full of vintage finds and so worth a visit if you are looking for a vintage wedding dress.
Our friend Sarah Richardson of Leafy Couture in Otley produced a delicate bouquet with a flavour of the era and table arrangements to match the style of the shoot.
Our great friends at Iain Henderson Designs, makers of bespoke handmade engagement and wedding rings supplied the wedding rings and Barry Nuttall of Classic Wedding Car Hire in Skipton had just the perfect car.
Beth, owner of By Betty, provided fabulous hats to match the vintage dresses for the tea party which took place inside the Hall (as opposed to on the lawn as planned) due to the inclement weather. The dresses and hats complimented each other so well.
You might have thought that early June would have brought beautiful sunny weather! It was sun all the way in the early morning but by the time shooting began we were soaked! The rain meant that we couldn’t shoot as extensively as we would have wished but the light was fantastic. A special thanks to Nicole and Alex our models and also to my dear friend Andrea Pickering for her invaluable assistance in getting through the shots in a short space of time due to the antics of the weather.
Little Black Book
Images: Suzy Mitchell Photography
Venue: Denton Hall
Gowns: Glory Days Vintage
Hats: By Betty
Wedding Rings: Iain Henderson Designs
Styling & Props: Rose Pink Vintage
Bouquet: Leafy Couture
Stationery & Calligraphy: Claire Gould at The English Wedding Blog
Hair: Hannah D’Ath
Make Up: Annabel Bailey
Leafy Couture & Denton Hall are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, but this is not a sponsored post
July 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
Dan and Sam’s wedding is all about the gorgeous details, their amazing venue (Brides Up North Featured Supplier Middleton Lodge) and lots of big belly laughs. I’ve adored every minute of putting this feature together, and I hope it brightens up your Tuesday.
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
Be very inspired!
Samantha says: Dan asked me to marry him on August 13th 2011 in London at St Paul’s Cathedral in the Whispering Gallery (rumoured to bring you good luck for the rest of your marriage if you are proposed to there)!
We were married on Saturday 29th June 2013 at Middleton Lodge, Richmond, North Yorkshire.
We wanted a venue that was not only stunning, but that we could also have as our home for the weekend to allow exclusivity but also a homely feel for us and our guests. A huge bonus of this amazing venue is that we could marry on the stunning grounds and a summer outdoor wedding was something that particularly I had dreamed of.
We travelled there on the Friday evening, so the whole wedding took place at Middleton Lodge – we didn’t need to travel and could just relax and enjoy the three day celebrations.