Brides Up North

glorious. a cool and colourful real wedding in lancaster – stephanie & mark

October 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (34)

I’m all about the flowers in today’s stunning real wedding, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor James Jebson Photography and newlyweds Mark and Stephanie.

What a way to start the weekend with all things bright and beautiful, a very beautiful bride, a dapper groom, some super cool styling and an abundance of pretty blooms.

Be inspired… and it’s over to the groom to talk you through it!

With images by James Jebson Photography.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (10)

Mark says: We were married in Lancaster on 24th August 2014.

We chose our venues because we felt they complimented each other in their own special way and we are both fond of old grand buildings. We loved the grandeur of The Ashton Memorial overlooking The Lake District with its striking appearance. The boldness of the dome on the horizon for us sold it as it would be something we will always see and think about.

Thurnham Hall was picked as the reception because of its history and the intimate feel it had, alongside this was the huge fact that it looked like a castle and so went well with The Ashton Memorial.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (8)

Our theme was based around a show/play where each part of the day on the program was put together like a set of acts with a synopsis for each part. The programs were designed like you would receive at a show on arrival. The tables were set with each one being a scene from a London market and using the guests on the table we wrote a funny introduction to each scene including them in it. Our invites were designed and printed like an invite to a play based around the old Empire posters where it was heavily typographic with an old ‘admit one’ ticket in each tube for the guests.

The colours were a mixed bunch taking the lead from the bridesmaids dresses and ties and pocket squares to pick out the flower colours. There were bright pastel colours used in the flowers and more subtle tones used in the bridal party’s outfits.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (7)

Stephanie’s dress was a princess style dress from Enchanted Brides, Lostock Hall. The gown had a pale pink lace bodice and ivory at the bottom with a band around the waist.

My outfit was bought from Ben Sherman and it was a pale blue suit with a white shirt. The vintage waistcoat and brown braces with it were bought from a vintage fashion shop on Brick Lane.

The bridesmaids wore dresses from two places; the younger three dresses came from an online retailer called Vertbaudet, the older two bridesmaids wore dresses from Dorothy Perkins. The groomsmen got suits from Slaters in Preston and the ties came from Ben Sherman for each groomsman. The pocket squares were handmade from fabric bought from Abakhan.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (17)

Stephanie carried a bouquet with various vibrant flowers in it from Flower Design St Annes. There were blooms of different shades with a full poppy head.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (19)

I had a wooden bowtie and two ceramic scrabble pieces on each side of the cuff link with L(left) and R(right). Each groomsman had a personalised scrabble piece for their first initial inside the button holes.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (20)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (23)

Our photographer was James Jebson Photography.

James understands creativity and understands people. Even on the first meeting with James I instantly felt comfortable with him. He has a great personality and he makes you feel in control throughout the day but adds his creative direction to it. He is such a lovely bloke too and has great banter which makes it even nicer. I would actually say he is someone we would like to see more often as I think we formed a bond with him on the day.

When we first saw our images we were absolutely stunned, they were amazing. They brought tears to my eyes when I saw them for the first time.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (27)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (31)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (38)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (39)

Our stationery was by Ditto Press, Dalston.

All table furnishings and props were sourced by us from vintage tins to old books as you will see in the photographs. We had a sack for all the wedding notes, the wedding notes were hand letterpressed postcards that people could write on.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (43)

We chose to use cupcakes from Yummy Cupcakes in Lancaster. 7 tiers were used, the top cake was a fruitcake and the other 6 tiers were various assorted cakes with different flavours.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (41)

We had a pianist to play throughout the evening reception for the guests and a DJ afterwards.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (46)

We went to Windermere for a minimoon. We stayed at a place called The Rum Doodle, a boutique hotel. Our main honeymoon is in New Zealand next year.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (49)

Designing the theme or idea is the trickiest part, so my top tip for Brides Up North would be have a really rough concept from the start, brainstorm ideas together and build a really rough storyboard of what you want in moodboards, Pinterest or drawings, whatever you can. What you will find is that when you start building up the people you are using you will gather ideas and create more ideas with them when meeting them. Its not a bad thing that you have a rough guide. We started the ball rolling with our invitations and this gave us a great design base/concept with look and feel, typography, colours and that reflected in the flowers we wanted and how they were created by our florist.

And drink lots after the wedding watershed.  The wedding watershed is around 9:30pm!

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (55)

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a diary date for the botanical bride: White Memoirs

October 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (21)

This afternoon I’m handing over this little corner of the internets to Brides Up North Sponsor Rachael of The Social Butterfly, to tell you all about a rather lovely little date for your diaries: White Memoirs.

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (19)

Rachael says:White Memoirs will be making its Autumn debut at new venue, Halle St Peters, Ancoats on Sunday 26th October, 11am – 3pm.

Tickets: £3.50 per person available in advance by clicking here

Brides Up North also has ten complimentary pairs of tickets to give away.  The first 10 brides to contact Brides Up North quoting White Memoirs will take the bounty!  

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (15)

Nestled in the heart of Manchester’s industrial quarter, Halle St Peters, a Grade 2 listed deconsecrated church was lovingly rescued, restored and reopened by the Halle orchestra in April 2013. Working alongside amazing event design house, Pocketful of Dreams and Brown Sugar Blooms we will be enhancing the building’s natural beauty and creatively curating a stunning botanical themed backdrop to house thirty of the North’s crème de la crème creatives.

Purveyors of the innovative, imaginative and inspirational, White Memoirs this year will for the very first time showcase a botanical banquet, a communal dining area displaying different table designs perfectly put together by Pocketful of Dreams. Visitors will have the opportunity to make reservations in advance and sample scrumptious sugary delights home-baked by Tea with Tom whilst washing down the crumbs with samples from cocktail mixologist The Drink’s Enthusiast’s ‘garden gin bar’!

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (3)

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (8)

There will be live music and entertainment throughout the day provided by Twisted Tubes, a 10-piece contemporary jazz group putting their own personal spin on all your favourite pop-songs! Dancing shoes are a must!

Independent bridal designer Erica Stacey and vintage-inspired bridal boutique, The Case of the Curious Bride will be showing their stunning collective of wedding gowns during two exclusive catwalk shows and will be offering special discount for orders places on the day.

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (11)

DIY brides can look forward to taking part in a series of complimentary wedding workshops in which there will be opportunities create and take home bridal accessories and gifts.

Newcomers for October include the intricate work of mixed-media artist, Emily Notman who will be launching her unusual bridal accessories range at the event. Up-cycled jewellery brand, Retold Jewellery will also be revealing their first jewel collection crafted from original vintage pieces fused with modern materials.

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (7)

Returning to White Memoirs, we look forward to once again working with bridal headwear and accessories designer Silver Sixpence in her Shoe who will be showcasing a handful of never-seen-before designs at the event. Paper perfect stationery company, To & From will also be returning with their new collection of ‘wedding storybooks’, creating beautiful memoirs of each couples unique story. Once again, the glamorous, Miss Bethany James Davies of The Vintage Beauty Parlour will be creating a pop-up salon and curating hair and make-up demos as well as free trials throughout the day.

White Memoirs (c) Nina Pang (16)

The first 50 brides to register and purchase an advance ticket for White Memoirs will have be given a special goody bag on arrival, complimentary glass of fizz and free copy of our White Memoirs mini magazine.

Those details again – tickets: £3.50 per person available in advance by clicking here

Brides Up North also has ten complimentary pairs of tickets to give away.  The first 10 brides to contact Brides Up North quoting White Memoirs will take the bounty!  


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pretty eclectic. a marquee wedding at Chirk Castle – gemma & david

October 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (34)

I do love autumn.  Crisp skies, moody mists, golden leaves, better telly.

This is a special season and a special week, in fact, for my family as my husband and I celebrate four happy years of marriage together, and our second anniversary with our little daughter in tow.

If you tie the knot yourself this week, let me tell you, it’s a great one for it – and I hope you are as happy in your future lives as we are.

For the rest of you, let’s kick off another week of wedding inspiration with this pretty marquee castle wedding, sent to Brides Up North by our fabulous Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Gemma.

String out the bunting…

With images by SMH Photography.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (8)

Gemma says: We got engaged on a weekend away in Cardiff.  We saw the perfect ring and knew the time was right.

We set the date for 25 July 2014.  We are both teachers and knew we wanted to marry at the start of the summer holidays.  The venue is lovely on a sunny day and we wanted to maximise our chances of plenty of sun.

We were married at Chirk Castle.  It is one of our favourite places to visit.  We have always found it very romantic and loved the idea of being able to have the ceremony in the Hawk House.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (16)

We decided on a pretty eclectic theme.  There were lots of flowers and pastel colours but we wanted it to feel relaxed and have an informal, thrown together feel. We didn’t have just one main colour.  Lots of floral patterns and colours were important to us so that is what we were aiming for.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (21)

I chose a Maggie Sottero gown.  It was a long dress in light gold with beading.  It had straps and was corseted at the back.  I didn’t want a white dress and after searching for a year found one that I thought was perfect.  I used Aristocrats Of Chester.

David wore a grey Cameron Ross morning suit.  The morning suit seemed to go better with the informal style of the day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (32)

We used SMH Photography.  They were great and we would highly recommend the services of Sandra and Steve.  They were very professional and worked really hard all day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (37)

Our flowers were from Fletcher and Foley.  We had a variety of fragrant herb and flowers to link the the garden theme. We had jugs of flowers on the tables that matched the bouquet and buttonholes.

The favours were homemade whiskey marmalade for the men and strawberry jam for the ladies.  David’s parents made them and we bought personalised labels from notonthe

We choose a ‘Naked Cake’ after seeing something similar in a newspaper.  We had three tiers each filled with cream and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit.  Our colleague, Nerys, has made the cakes for lots of the teachers at our school and did a great job on a very hot day!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (40)

Andrea at Fabulous Day was our wedding planner and we couldn’t have done it without her. We want her to come and live with us now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (25)

We used Ice Cream Dub ice cream for desserts, including mojito and strawberry champagne flavours. The van looked great.

In the evening we had a curry station served outside as the weather was so great. Rupert Frazer Worden was our fantastic caterer. At the bar we had Wrexham Lager on tap as David’s grandad worked for the company. It was great to have it there.

We also loved the DIY photo booth provided by our marquee company. The guests had loads of fun playing around.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (43)

We used Lucy of Memento Stationary and were very pleased with the results. We’ve even used Lucy for our thank you cards.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (47)

We loved the setting for our wedding and would have chosen it a thousand times over. The place was already special to us and now it’s a special part of our lives. My family members from South Wales loved it so much they’ve been back to visit.

I was apprehensive about the ceremony as I’m a very emotional person but it was just perfect! Very natural and laid back, just as we wanted it!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (48)

I really wanted to go to the Maldives and it was just perfect. We booked through Kuoni and had 10 days in the Maldives and three days in Dubai. It was the perfect end to the whole experience. A perfect setting and great service at a wonderful resort. We want to go back now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (54)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to hire Andrea, she had so many unique and money saving tips and contacts. Our day would have been completely different without her. Thank you Andrea!

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suit & tie. a stunning classic wedding at Castle Howard – laura & daniel

October 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (17)

Today’s real wedding at the amazing Castle Howard near York is all kinds of beautiful. Elegant and classic, with unexpected touches and an overarching feeling of full on luxury, this is my kind of a wedding day.

Twinkling candles, layers of scent, stunning blooms and a black tie theme. Sensational.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Ally Byrom Photography.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (6)

Laura says: We got engaged in Barbados two years ago. We were on holiday and Daniel suggested we went to the Sandy Lane beach for the day, a beautiful pristine beach attached to the well known hotel. We were walking along the shore when Daniel got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

We got married on 21st June 2014. We knew we wanted an early summer wedding.

We got married at Castle Howard. If you have ever been there you will know how stunning it is. We had also been there the previous year to race in a triathlon. The views during the drinks reception and on arrival at Castle Howard are lovely.

We had black tie dress code but we didn’t have any special theme. I don’t think you really need to add anything else to Castle Howard, otherwise it might detract from the beautiful venue. We had matte silver colour scheme. We went through endless bridesmaid dress colour swatches before we settled on matte silver! We think it looked chic and elegant on my gorgeous bridesmaids.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (11)

I had an Enzoani dress. It had an elegant racer back with some delicate thin lace detail on the neck line and back, fitted to just below my hips and then straight down with a train; and in white of course!

My hairdresser was incredible. Carrie at Urban Hair in Boroughbridge managed to create the exact style I wanted and was so nice and relaxed on the day. I highly recommend her.

My hair accessories were from Flo and Percy, they had a great selection and made each accessory to order. I also got miniature versions of my headpiece for my bridesmaids to wear.

My shoes were from Harriet Wilde, she had a sophisticated, elegant selection of styles. I am quite fussy on shoes but Harriet came to meet me at her London shop to help me choose the right ones.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (12)

Daniel wore a Moss Bros dinner suit with a white waistcoat and white cravat.

The bridesmaids wore JLM Couture dresses in matte silver with each of the five bridesmaids in different style dresses. They each chose their own style from a shortlist I gave to them. All the dresses were floor length and fitted with a black beaded waist belt and beige court shoes.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (14)

Ally Byrom was my photographer. She did an amazing job! We were very relaxed having our couples shots and she captured the moment perfectly without other guests even realising they were being snapped! I would highly recommend Ally!

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (18)

Kymm Queen was our florist, I carried some beautifully scented, white peonies and white roses with freesia and lavender hidden around the base (because I love the smell of lavender but didn’t want the colour on display!).

We had white peonies, white roses, lilac freesias and lavender in the centre of the candelabras. We had dried rose petals scattered on the wedding breakfast tables too.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (21)

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (22)

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (29)

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (34)

Kirsty Guest at Piece of Cake Harrogate made our impressive four tier (Baileys, Limoncello, Fruit and Chocolate and Guinness) cake with intricate lace design (to match my dress) and little bikes around the base (to keep the husband happy). We also had real flowers between two of the layers.

We had Sloe Gin miniature bottles with personalised ‘Laura and Dan’ stamped labels that we made ourselves. We also filled the miniature bottles ourselves, which was a messy job, but we had plenty of volunteers to help us!

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (37)

We supplied our own individual types of beers from the countries we had visited together over the last 8 years and had fun little additions with a pick and mix table and giant chocolate letters that spelt out our names.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (43)

Our singer Tommy Ludgate (contact through was sensational and made our ceremony the highlight of the day with acoustic renditions of modern songs which we chose.  We really can’t recommend her enough.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (46)

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (52)

My favourite part of the day was the ceremony, but we hadn’t expected it to be. We were looking forward to drinks reception so we could relax but it was just so incredibly special, it was easily the most memorable part of the day. The atmosphere in the great hall at Castle Howard was perfect.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (56)

For our honeymoon we visited Lake Como, Tuscany and Sicily.  We took our bikes and explored the lakes and Tuscany on them. We enjoyed some wine tasting and amazing meals.

We took a private helicopter trip over Mount Etna for a close up look into the crater.

a classic wedding at Castle Howard (c) Ally Byrom Photography (53)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t get hung up on minor details, they aren’t that important, as long as you have the main things in place you will have the best day.

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funny face. a pretty wedding at victoria baths – vivienne & dave

October 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Today’s real wedding feature comes a little later than planned.  I’ve been in London attending the Cosmopolitan Wedding Blog Awards alongside fellow leaders in our industry, and travelling back Up North today, East Coast Wifi’s upload speed just ain’t up to scratch for blog business.

This little corner of the internet was proud to be nominated for Best Wedding Blog in last night’s ceremony, and whilst we didn’t take the gong – robbed! – it was great to be recognised for our hard work, and celebrate it in a whirl of Cosmos (what else?), glitter and cupcakes.

A huge thank you to all our readers and supporters who voted for us.

It’s straight back into the pretty here on these pages this evening, as we join reader Vivienne and her new husband Dave for their lovely day at the gorgeously vintage Victoria Baths in Manchester.


With images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (7)

Vivienne says:  I was 8 months pregnant and Dave surprised me with a mini break to Loch Lomond. The proposal came as a total surprise as we had been together for 9 years so had given up dropping hints…. he was very romantic though, we walked to a private beach where he got down on one knee.

We were married on Saturday 12th April 2014. We chose this date because, being a teacher, I needed to fit it in with school holidays. I also love that time of year as it’s when all the fresh flowers start to bloom and sunshine comes out after winter.

We only looked at a few venues, and when we walked into the Victoria Baths, we knew straight away that it was the venue for us. We wanted a venue we could put our own stamp on and make all our own decisions on the details of our day.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (9)

We had a vintage fete theme, mostly because we could make all our own decorations and I felt that the colours would suit an April wedding. We tried to use the colours blue and green in order to complement the colours of our venue. However, we really weren’t too prescriptive as I didn’t want to be dashing round shops colour matching in the run up to our day.

We used my grandma’s old table cloths to decorate tables such as where we signed the register. Looking back at photos, they are even more special because of these personal touches.

We used Hipswing Entertainments to hire our beautiful lanterns over the dance floor. They were fantastic and really special when it got darker for our first dance.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

As little girls, myself and my sister got bridesmaid dresses from a shop in Edinburgh called Pretty Women. Since that day we have said we will get our own wedding dresses from there and every time we visit family in Edinburgh look forward to seeing what’s new in the window.

I absolutely love Audrey Hepburn and felt inspired by the wedding dress she wears in Funny Face. After trying on a range of dresses, I knew it was the one for me as couldn’t resist spinning round and watching the skirt float round!7

Dave wore a navy 3 piece suit from a brand called Tiger of Sweden.

Our bridesmaids wore dresses from BHS and Monsoon.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

Our photographer was James Tracey, we saw his photo’s of another wedding at our venue and loved them. We loved how he incorporated the venue into his photographs and caught every emotion during the day.

I would definitely recommend him, in fact a lot of our wedding guests asked if he was a friend we had used as he is so personable and easy to get on with!

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

As the venue we used was so big, we ordered our flowers directly from a wholesaler. We used Triangle Nursery, I told them the theme of our wedding and they suggested suitable options for us. We then filled paper covered tin cans for the tables and to decorate the venue.

I intended to use the flowers we ordered for my bouquet, however a couple I days before the wedding I walked into Marks and and Spencer and saw the most beautiful bunch of pink tulips. With help from my mum we used these with some gypsophila to create my bouquet.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

We had quite strong ideas about the foods we wanted, so chose Thyme Out Deli, Didsbury to do our catering. They took our ideas and made the most delicious foods for us.

We spent weekends cleaning slate so that we could serve local cheeses and ham as a ploughman’s starter board to share. For main we had steak and Manchester ale pie, Thyme Out even painstakingly cut out our initials to put on the top of every pie. We spent further weekends scouring charity shops and making our own vintage cake stands to serve our desserts of macaroons, lemon tarts and brownies on.

My kind and talented friend Hannah Bayliss made our cake. I told her I wanted it to be sage green and was using vintage lace in the wedding, she created the most perfect cake for us!

Our wedding was the weekend before Easter so we gave Lindt bunnies as favours.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (20)

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (27)

My best friend Joanna Łabiak did my make up on the day. I was so pleased to have her with me during an anxious morning and loved the pretty colours of the make up she used on me. Once my make up was complete, Joanna also dashed to our venue to set up and play”Blowers daughter” by Damien Rice on the piano while I walked down the aisle. This is the song we both remember when we first met and it’s been special to us ever since.

We chose a Sheffield band called The Bootleggers, one of our friends had seen them at a wedding and said they were brilliant and everyone was up on the dance floor. They definitely didn’t disappoint!

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (32)

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

Walking back down the aisle with our daughter Ava was definitely my favourite part of the day.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Our guests kindly contributed to our honeymoon in Las Vegas. When looking for a honeymoon destination, we realised that this would be the last opportunity for a child free holiday so felt Las Vegas was perfect! We had an amazing week, some days spent simply lying by the pool, recuperating from all the wedding chaos!

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t become too fixated on thing such as colour schemes. Go with what you like and it will all come together on the day and be personal to you. Make sure you use family and friends to help out too as this will make the day even more special.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

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written in the stars. supplier showcase: Calligraphy For Weddings

October 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Watercolour calligraphy credit Vickerstaff Photography (12)

This afternoon I’m thrilled to hand these pretty pages over to a very talented lady, lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings (and English Wedding Blog fame).

She’s here to put pen to paper and make your wedding stationery and accessories super beautiful and gorgeously personal.  She’ll even write your love letters for you, how’s that for service?

Claire is kindly offering Brides Up North readers a 10% discount from her Etsy Shop throughout October. Quote code LOVEBUN when you order! 

Let’s meet her…

Images supplied by Calligraphy For Weddings and as credited where relevant in our gallery.

Calligraphy 4 vintage love letter (4)

Introduce yourself and Calligraphy For Weddings?

I’m Claire, I’m thirty-something and I work full time as a calligrapher, specialising in weddings and gifts for anniversaries and special occasions. I have the best job in the world! I live on the edge of the Lake District in a character apartment by the seaside. I have stained glass and original features, but I still write on the walls. I love my life, my surroundings – walking on the beach is my daily ‘commute’ – and the way my boyfriend calls me his ‘Beach Girl’. Calligraphy for Weddings has been going since 2005, and I’ve written for hundreds of brides and grooms, event organisers and brands. I’m known for my work with Kirstie Allsopp and I’m so lucky to have my own little craft business.

What wedding calligraphy services do you offer for brides to be? 

I offer a full calligraphy service for couples who have their own stationery (whether it’s bought or DIY) and I also sell wedding stationery, from invitation suites and collections through to place names, table plans and mirror calligraphy. Everything is online in my Etsy shop.

The most recent additions to my wedding calligraphy shop are kraft and calligraphy quirky wedding invites with matching stationery, which are all personalised for every client. These are designer invites from an independent calligraphy business – professionally designed and printed, with handwritten calligraphy elements. Your guests will adore them, and you can continue the kraft and calligraphy theme right through to your wedding day with reception stationery to match your invites. Prices start from just £2 for invitations.

I also take on bespoke commissions and I write mirror table plans – this has been a massively successful part of my business in 2014 and I love mirror calligraphy, writing on windows and chalkboards! I also write calligraphy backdrops – the more unusual the better. I love writing song lyrics, poems and larger commissions too.

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Tell us about your vintage love letters?

The vintage love letters are an absolute joy to write and make a perfect wedding day gift or – even better – a lovely present and keepsake for your first (paper) wedding anniversary. I use the highest quality writing paper, which is aged and then entirely handwritten in a 19th century script. Every letter is personalised, with the option of adding stamps and wax seals, ribbons and gold twine – they’re a real labour of love and as well as being wonderful gifts they’ve been used on photoshoots around the UK and even in France!

Calligraphy 4 vintage love letter (5)

What if brides want to try calligraphy for themselves?

I love it when brides (and grooms) are keen to try calligraphy, and with modern ‘quirky’ styles being really popular now I’ve launched a range of calligraphy starter kits for absolute beginners. I’ve also written a book which takes beginners through very first steps in modern, quirky calligraphy – from preparing the pen to some really simple exercises with examples – and all aimed at fun styles rather than the traditional formal scripts.

There are two starter kits: the luxe version has more samplers, white ink, gift tags to practice on and is personalised.

Calligraphy 5 modern starter kit (2)

What sets your business apart from your competitors?

Customer service and experience set me apart. I wrap every calligraphy order like a present, so it’s lovely to receive. I answer all of my emails and phone calls personally. I manage my website, write my blog and look after my Facebook page. One of the best things about Calligraphy for Weddings, for me, is getting to know my customers. It’s never a faceless transaction: every customer gets a personal service, every name is written with meticulous attention to detail and the most important thing to me is that my customers are happy with everything I give them – and the same goes for wedding guests! The calligraphy quality has to be exceptional – and I know it is, because I know how many wedding guests take their place cards home!

Who would be a “Calligraphy For Weddings” bride?

Any bride who loves paper, pretty details or special touches should consider adding calligraphy to her special day. DIY brides can add the perfect finishing touch to invites and envelopes with handwritten calligraphy names. Classic weddings can incorporate calligraphy with more formal scripts on envelopes and for reception stationery, and quirky weddings look even more amazing with handwritten signs, mirrors and name tags. Every bride is different, and every wedding has its own style. Calligraphy comes in a rainbow of flavours and there’s one to delight every bride!

Calligraphy 1 kraft wedding collection (3)

Calligraphy 1 kraft wedding collection (1)

Calligraphy 1 kraft wedding collection (4)

Tell us about some of the industry connections you have made and shoots that you have worked on since launching your business?

Through my wedding blog I’ve worked with hundreds of wedding photographers as well as writing calligraphy for many stationery designers and even branding. I designed a logo for Walker & Walker Photographers and have been involved in shoots with the amazing Chris Hanley Photography, lovely Vickerstaff Photography, for Petra Opperman, with Karen Flower Photography, at Aspire Photography Training, and featured on Junebug Weddings, Brides Up North and Love My Dress blogs. There are too many to list – I love being involved in styled shoots as they fire my imagination and inspire new products and designs!

Tell us about some amazing weddings that you have worked on and the lettering and products that you have created?

Most recently I worked on Sophie and Hamish’s Lake District wedding with a 6ft mirror for their table plan – it was incredible, a real challenge and the final product was amazing! I’ve been writing wedding certificates and vows in calligraphy over the summer – all with personalised designs and different every time. I love those. I’ve written thousands of invitations and place name cards as well as quirky wedding signs which I send across the UK, to the US, Australia, across Europe and all over the world. I posted a poem to Dubai this morning… it’s amazing knowing my calligraphy travels so far! Oh, and a highlight of my summer was writing riddles in French for Regis, who was planning the most romantic proposal and asked me to write out riddles on my best Italian card stock which would lead his partner (now fiancee!) to a ring… she said yes!

Calligraphy 4 vintage love letter (2)

What have been your professional highlights to date?

I’ve just come back from teaching calligraphy skills workshops at Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair in London. My work with Kirstie has been a delight for years: we’ve collaborated on several projects since Kirstie styled a vintage military wedding back in 2012, and I’ve featured in two of her books and TV series. (See “Kirstie Allsopp stroked my calligraphy on the telly!“) I’ve also written for Manchester United, and I was hired to write Steve Gerrard’s wedding place name cards too!

Calligraphy 2 modern kraft invites (3)

Calligraphy 2 modern kraft invites (2)

Calligraphy 2 modern kraft invites (5)

What are your favourite wedding looks for 2014?  What trends do you see emerging?

I have a thing for kraft invitations, which have been ever so popular this year. I like anything quirky so long as it’s beautifully designed: creative stationery packs and peculiar shapes and textures can be really exciting. I also love minimal design, so beautiful type and creative lettering with lots of lovely spacing really excite me. As far as general wedding trends go, I’m a fan of big neon letters, weddings in cinemas and theatres, sperry tents and jumbled up mismatched flowers. I think glitter and sequins will continue to be a big part of weddings in 2015, and the homespun look will be popular with UK brides. I’d love to see large scale backdrops feature in real weddings here as they do in the US – and I’d love to write some!

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

I keep my prices as low as I can and offer plenty of options for couples on a budget. Place cards start from £1.10 each, invitations are from just £2 and table plans start from £75. Calligraphy isn’t as expensive as many people think, and it’s all about the time it takes to write everything for you. Wedding readings and poems are priced from 75p per word, which gives you more flexibility in what you order.

A top tip: if you’d like to order your wedding readings or first dance lyrics in calligraphy, and want to save money, select your favourite extract or paragraph!

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

I’ll be delighted to offer Brides Up North readers a 10% discount from my Etsy shop throughout October. Quote code LOVEBUN when you order!

Watercolour calligraphy credit Vickerstaff Photography (1)

Where are you located and will you travel?

I’m on the edge of the Lake District and almost all of my calligraphy orders are mailed to my customers. I am a leading world expert on protective packaging, with shares in tissue paper, bubble wrap, Ecoflow and boxes. Your order will arrive safely, wherever you are! Mirrors and glass are the only things I can’t post. I can travel to venues or we can arrange to meet so I can collect your mirrors… get in touch if you’re interested!

How can Brides Up North see examples of your work or find out more? 

I’m all over the internet, with examples of my calligraphy on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, my website and calligraphy blog, my wedding blog and other wedding blogs… once you find me it’s hard to avoid my calligraphy I’m afraid!

My website | Facebook |Pinterest | Instagram | My Blog | YouTube

Calligraphy 1 kraft wedding collection (7)

Calligraphy 1 kraft wedding collection (6)

Calligraphy 1 kraft wedding collection (1)

Tell us about your blog, English Wedding?

The English Wedding Blog is all about creativity: my dream is to curate an online space for couples to get inspired by real weddings, shoots and the latest in wedding design – with a real focus on English and UK weddings and suppliers. The English Wedding Blog was born in November 2009 to showcase what makes weddings in this country so great. The site is updated daily and is full of inspiration and advice for brides in the UK and for anglophile brides overseas. With a unique perspective from inside the UK wedding industry, English Wedding also focuses on the brightest and best new talents in all aspects of wedding design, with a special focus on real weddings by the UK’s finest wedding photographers.

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mists & mellow fruitfulness… an autumnal styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle

October 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (30)

Despite the driest September since records began, it definitely feels like the season is changing.  Dewy grass, crunching leaves underfoot and clear night skies can only mean that October, and with it autumn (my favourite season of all) has arrived.

I celebrate my fourth wedding anniversary in a fortnight’s time – a very busy fortnight, there’s a lot to get done between now and then – and I’m looking forward to taking some time with my husband to reflect on a very special time of year for the two of us.

For now though, let’s celebrate the fall with this beautiful styled bridal shoot, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsors JB Creatives and Bolton Castle, and their fabulous team of talented industry experts.

There’s definitely something in the air…

With images by JB Creatives.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (24)

The team say: We set out to create some romantic, fairy tale castle wedding images that would compliment the venue and inspire couples that are considering getting married at Bolton Castle. Bolton Castle is a stunning venue. A wedding here would be an authentic Castle experience. It has great big fireplaces, turrets with circular stairs, stone floor, terraces with amazing view of the incredible Dales countryside around. We wanted to create an outside space that used the stunning views of the Dales and showcased the location of this fairy tale wedding venue and captured a set of beautiful images.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (37)

Amy of The Greenhouse Florist created an outside dining area for the bride and groom with the Dales as their backdrop, such a romantic and unique setting. We used a chaise longue in the field for some intermate photographs. We wanted to add props into the scenery that wouldn’t usually be in that situation. The chaise longue really made a beautiful contrast to the endless views of the green fields and dry stone walls and brought opulence and luxury to the historic setting. Simple yet effective.

Amy created beautiful flowers of soft creams, vanillas, pinks and apricots, punctuated with pops of zingy orange and flashes of blue.  She used lots of different textures in amongst luscious greenery.  The warm tones complimented to tones of the castle walls, and were highlighted against the grassy fields. She also made a jasmine and rose circlet, fragrant and beautiful with warm apricot tones complimenting the colours of Libby’s complexion.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (49)

Jane of JB Creatives made beautiful place names and menus for the bride and groom’s intermate dining experience. Her stationery designs are bespoke, beautiful and made to the high quality that will undoubtable exceed your expectations.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (48)

Jane photographed the couple in and around the castle using the gorgeous scenery and all the venues little quirky details to capture a set of beautiful images that tell a gorgeous love story. Jane’s fine art style is very much capturing the story of a wedding day as it unfolds with all the beautiful details and emotions that come with it.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (20)

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (47)

Deborah and Kelly from Love Hair and Beauty Boutique Ripon did Libby’s hair and makeup to enhance that romantic, soft and warm tone we wanted for the shoot. The ladies are highly experienced and specialists in the wedding industry with a reputation for their creative skills and professionalism.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (9)

Kellie from Wedding Belles of Otley supplied the beautiful gowns, veils and accessories for the shoot. The dresses used in the shoot were Aubrey by Nicola Anne and Emily by White Rose.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (1)

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (8)

All the props and furniture featured are available to hire from The Greenhouse Florist.

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green & pleasant. amanda wyatt for a vibrant countryside wedding in lancashire – joanne & brendan

September 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Hey, hey its only bloomin’ Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a breather.

Lets get out in the fresh air and join Joanne and Brendan for their fresh and vibrant countryside wedding.

Just what the doctor ordered.

With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, James Tracey Photography.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (4)

Joanne says: We got engaged at The Abode Hotel, Chester on the 17th February 2012.

Brendan left for work early one morning as normal.  I got up an hour later, walked to the bathroom and found an envelope taped to the door!  In the envelope was a letter from Brendan explaining how I wasn’t going to work that day as he had booked it off for me (with the help of my friend at work). I was told to pack a bag for a night away and would be picked up at 11am.  Brendan had even included the weather forecast for the mystery location so I could plan as well as a menu for a restaurant we were going to that night! Brendan picked me up as planned (he’d had to hang around in Tesco for four hours!) and we set off…I still didn’t know where we were going.  Eventually it became clear we were heading for Chester.

We went for an amazing lunch at Piccolino’s, complete with Prosecco!  We then made our way to The Abode Hotel by the racecourse, checking into an amazing luxury bedroom! I started unpacking my bag and could hear Brendan rustling through his and I thought “What is he doing?!” Next thing I hear is Brendan say, “Joanne”.  I turned around and he was on one knee!  “You know I don’t have a way with words…will you marry me?”

Brendan has since told me that he got a bit worried because it took a while for me to say yes between the tears!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

We got married at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Chorley, Lancashire on Friday 20th June 2014. The church has always been special to me as my Grandma used to take me there when I young and her funeral was held there as well as our Niece’s Christening.  The inside of the Church is absolutely gorgeous and Father Stanley is really down to earth and approachable.

We had our reception at Marsh Farm Hall in Great Eccleston.  We went for this venue due to Brendan wanting to organise all of the catering at the wedding himself! Brendan has worked in the catering industry all of his life and has run so many weddings, so his had to be the best he’s ever done. Marsh Farm Hall allowed him to plan the whole food service from scratch!

We went for a vintage/shabby chic look to fit in with the style of our reception venue.  The hall itself is a gorgeous bare-stone wall room, with a beautiful bar area. There is so much land surrounding the property, which made it an easy choice to go for natural colours. I made all of the wedding stationery myself with the help of my Sister, using Kraft card, cream lace and hessian string. I can change my mind with colours quite a lot so I didn’t want to go with a colour in case I went off it! We also thought a neutral theme would suit the venue.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

My dress was Amanda Wyatt “Felicia”. I had no idea what style I wanted and went with a completely open mind.  It worked though as it was the one and only shop I went to! The Felicia was the last dress I spotted on the way to the changing room and the first I tried on… none of the others compared to it (luckily my sister is very honest and would just laugh when a dress didn’t suit me)! I loved everything about it – the fit, the lace overlay and just enough sparkle!

I carried a simple ball of gypsophila (Baby’s Breath) bouquet, from Flowers in Thyme based at Heskin Hall in Chorley.

Brendan got his suit from Slaters in Preston.  He went for a grey suit with tails, with a cream waistcoat.  To keep it a bit more modern, he opted for a tie instead of cravat.  He looked so handsome.

Our bridesmaids (both of Brendan’s sisters, with my sister as maid of honour) wore dresses from Monsoon.  They were a cornflower blue. Our flower girl, Eva (our Niece) wore a gorgeous little dress with sewn on flowers with diamantes from Debenhams.

Both of our Dad’s and Brendan’s groomsmen, including our Nephew, Lennon who was pageboy, wore the same suit as Brendan’s but with grey waistcoats. All of their ties and pocket handkerchiefs were specially made to match the bridesmaid colours (it turned out to be a nightmare to try and match the colour).

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

James Tracey did our photographs.  I found James on the internet about a year before the wedding and his photos stood out.

We could not praise or recommend him enough!  For a couple who aren’t really comfortable in front of the camera, we chose James for his natural style of photographs, getting the shots without people realising it. He made us feel so relaxed on the day and even managed to get Eva to pose!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

We used gypsophila wreaths inside the birdcages (from Dunelm) on the tables.  We also had small vases of gypsophila along the top table. I bought the vases from Home Bargains (they definitely were bargains at 50p a vase!) and Flowers in Thyme dressed them for us.

The tables and chairs were dressed by Create and Cherish – Incorporating Cherish Wedding Services from Chorley.  As I didn’t want to have a colour in the theme, I wanted to keep things neutral.  Kirsten was so helpful in working out which fabrics would work.  The room looked amazing!  We had lace on the chairs with brooches on each one.

We became a bit stuck about what to get as favours, knowing we wouldn’t really find anything that would suit men and women, so instead we went for something that would look good on the tables and were a bit different! We went to Birkacre Garden Centre in Chorley and ordered a mixture of 60 herb plants.  Our Mums then re-potted them into some terracotta pots we bought online. The Groomsmen then had the job to wrap them with cellophane the night before… speedily so they could watch the England match!

Five of our Grandparents are no longer with us, but we wanted them to a part of the day.  We got some photos of them all and put them together with a message “We know you’d be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away”.  This was proudly displayed at the entrance door.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (31)

The food is where Brendan came into his own!  I knew this was where I had to take a step back and completely trust his ideas. We both love our food so Brendan took a lot of time over choosing the perfect menu including Chicken Liver Parfait, Fillet of Beef (accompanied by a Herb Rosti, Glazed Parmentier Potatoes, Chantenay Carrots and Baby Asparagus with a Red Wine Jus) and Lemon Possett, washed down with a selection of cheeses, coffee and chocolates.

With the help from my Dad and his friend Ahmed, Brendan made mini “wine crates” for the starter to be served in.  He ordered personalised stencils with “Quirke Dootson Est. 2004 Blackpool” (we met in 2004 in Blackpool).  They were amazing!  They also doubled up as another favour for guests to take away.

The meal absolutely blew everyone away!  Paul (the chef) did us so proud and we could not have had a more perfect meal!

Our guests had red and white wine on the tables.  The white was Quirky Bird Chenin Blanc Semillon Muscat – I spotted it in Tesco and loved the fact I was about to become a “Quirky Bird” (surname Quirke!) so had to have it!  It turned out to be quite a nice wine too! Our red was the only wine I have managed to get Brendan to drink with me…Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva.

For the toast we had Blanc de Bleu sparkling wine.  My dad and I are huge Manchester City fans, so this was my only way I was allowed to get blue into the wedding!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (30)

We bought a few outdoor games, including Twister for the kids (and bigger kids!) to play with to make the most of the nice weather!

We chose a DJ Brendan has worked with quite a lot, so knew how good he was, Paul Atkinson from Ice Entertainment. He was brilliant, even mingled with guests on the dance floor!  He got a great mix of music which meant the dance floor was full most of the night!

We also had a photo booth in the evening, from Boothtube.  Being a City fan… I sneaked Joe Hart and Yaya Toure masks into the accessories box!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

We would definitely recommend Marsh Farm Hall – for any event!

Emma and her family were so helpful, letting Brendan get on with the set up and helping out when needed.  We even had comments from family and friends about how nice Emma was and how she couldn’t do enough for everyone on the day.

They even got us a couple of presents – a newspaper from the day we got married and a bottle of wine with a personalised label.

We just need an excuse for another party there!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Our parents were an amazing help running up to the wedding… without them and all of their help the day would not have been as amazing as it was!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (48)

For our honeymoon, we had two weeks in Cala Llonga, Ibiza at the Fiesta Hotel Cala Llonga.

Brendan and I went on our first holiday together in Ibiza ten years earlier and fell in love with it!  On that holiday, we went on a boat trip round to Cala Llonga one day – after booking the honeymoon we found a picture of Brendan in the sea, with our honeymoon hotel in the background.

As a treat for Brendan, I booked us tickets to watch Lily Allen at Ibiza Rocks.  My sister and her partner then gave us some money as our wedding present, with strict instructions to get Tiny Tempah tickets too (my treat!)!  We had such a great time on the VIP balcony!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to take in every minute!  It’s scary how quickly it can all become a blur! Make sure your Groom doesn’t throw out his speech… I would love to be able to read Brendan’s again, and make sure you get plenty of photos (even selfies!) with all your loved ones.

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vibrant love. supplier showcase: Sarah Beth Photography

September 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Sarah Beth Photography (4)

This morning I’m thrilled to formally introduce one very talented lady to the pages of the wedding blog, the lovely Sarah Aylward of Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.

Sarah’s work is right up my street – light, natural and full of emotion and radiance.  I know you’re going to love her style too.  Let’s say hello.

Sarah Beth Photography (33)

How did you get into wedding photography? 

I’ve always been interested in photography since I was little. I was always the one friend or family member in charge of the camera (I think everyone knows one of these people!). My home made family videos and large photo collages which adorned the walls of my bedroom were something to be marvelled. So it only seemed natural for my 21st birthday to asked for a DSLR camera and after graduating from university I decided I wanted to take things a little more seriously so invested a lot of my time learning and studying about photography.

Why wedding photography specifically? 

Finding your feet with photography can take you in all sorts of different directions, I started professionally shooting as a nightclub photographer and then ventured into music photography including photographing for local music venues. I still enjoy photographing bands, I love music so it enables me to combine my two passions and I get to meet some interesting characters! However, after photographing my first wedding I soon realised that I was hooked, I love the energy and emotions that come with a wedding day and It really is a privilege to feel like your photography is meaningful enough to last for generations.

Sarah Beth Photography (1)

Sarah Beth Photography (3)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

My favourite part is getting to know my couples and seeing how they plan their wedding day. I have been very fortunate to photograph some absolutely beautiful weddings, from completely wacky to small and intimate, I love how every wedding day is different. Every wedding I have photographed I always feel like I’ve walked away with a new set of friends, often keeping in touch with many of my past brides and grooms. Its a great feeling being able to feel like not just a photographer for the day but also a guest too.

Sarah Beth Photography (38)

Sarah Beth Photography (39)

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

With all my couples I get to know on a more personal level first before I stick my camera in their faces! With my wedding photography package I offer a complimentary and totally optional pre-wedding photo shoot so my couples can start to feel more relaxed in front of the camera before their big day. It is a great opportunity to get to know each other and also have some lovely photographs which can be used to decorate your reception area or used for thank you cards or favours.

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

I assure you I am exactly the same when it comes to having my photo taken so I total empathise with brides, or even grooms who feel nervous at the thought of having their photo taken. Over the years I have found it better to be photographed naturally and when I am not expecting it, so when photographing a couple I like to take on this approach also. My advice would be to enjoy your day, do not stress about having your photo taken as on your wedding day you will feel completely different. Enjoy your day and enjoy each other, there is nothing more beautiful or natural than a bride and groom in love.

Sarah Beth Photography (37)

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

Make up should be as flawless and natural looking to compliment the brides features. I would always advise booking in with a make up artist before your wedding day so they can guide you through the process and find a look you love.

Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures? 

I am not particularly fond of poses which look forced or uncomfortable. I find it important that the couples I shoot are as comfortable as possible and would never put them in a pose or situation in which they feel otherwise.

Sarah Beth Photography (24)

Sarah Beth Photography (22)

Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why? 

If Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gorden-Levitt were actually a real couple, it would totally be their wedding. How amazing would that be?

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured? 

In 2013 I had the privilege of photographing a wedding in the Amalfi Coast, Italy. I fell in love with Italy after visiting Venice a few years before, so was extremely excited to be photographing a beautiful wedding there. Every where you turn in the Amalfi Coast there are photo opportunities, with soft sandy coloured houses and a backdrop of blue skies. This day was particularly moving and emotional as Emily’s mum unfortunately couldn’t be there due to illness. I was able to surprise Emily and Sam with a short video of the day to show her mum so she could re-live the day without feeling missed out.

See the full wedding here on Brides Up North.

Sarah Beth Photography (13)

Are you married? 

Not yet, hopefully one day! I would love to plan a fun destination wedding to Las Vegas.

Any funny stories to share? 

Sometimes I get too involved in taking the photo and once stepped back and ended up sitting on a candle! Its safe to safe the dress I was wearing was ruined…

Sarah Beth Photography (14)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

My style of photography is very natural and genuine, I love shooting reportage and capturing those little candid moments which you may never have seen on your wedding day. I won’t ask you to pose endlessly for the camera while forcing you to smile, I’m all about real emotion and showing how ace you both are together.

Sarah Beth Photography (18)

Sarah Beth Photography (17)

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

On a wedding day I usually begin at the brides house photographing all the little details. The morning preparations are possibly one of my favourite parts of the day, there is so much nervous energy and excitement which is great to capture. From there I usually visit the boys (we can’t leave them out can we!) this is usually at the venue where I can also prepare for the brides entrance. Although I love to photograph the day as it happens I also believe in the importance of capturing more formal photos of the bride and groom with their families. I like to keep this part of the day fun and quick so they can get back to enjoying their day.

This is based on a wedding day with just myself however I do offer the option of a second photographer.

However I’m not just the wedding photographer on the day, I also have some very helpful skills I’ve acquired in the past two years such as dress carrier, buttonhole pinner, bouquet holder…. The wedding day can be quite stressful as well as fun and after experiencing a few weddings in my time I am happy to lend a hand wherever needed.

Sarah Beth Photography (21)

What is included in your “package”? 

I offer a full day package, with coverage from morning preparations to your sit down meal with the option to add extra coverage for your evening reception. I also include an optional Fun Photo Booth for your evening coverage to get your wedding guests joining in the fun by getting dressed up and doing some silly poses.

In my package I also include a complimentary pre-wedding photo shoot with 20 high resolution images, this is a great way for couples to get used to being in front of the camera and to see how I work. I usually organise this for 4-5 weeks before the wedding day and team it up with a pre-wedding consultation to catch up with my couples and talk about their day.

All the images that my couples receive I make into a lovely little slideshow which is set to music, it is a great way to view your images of the day but definitely keep the tissues handy!

My package includes all digital high resolution copies of your images with royalty free licence (so you have full access to printing and sharing your images) I deliver these on a beautiful hand made wooden USB stick with presentation box which looks lovely around the home.

Can you give us an idea on price? 

My wedding photography package currently in 2014 stands at £800.

However I would advise strongly to all couples looking for a wedding photographer try not be swayed on price, I understand every couple has a budget but when looking for your photographer keep in mind these are lasting memories of your day.

Sarah Beth Photography (7)

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

My website can be found at:

You can find me tweeting over at @photosarahbeth, on Facebook or pinning my dream Vegas wedding.

Sarah Beth Photography (10)

Anything else we should know?

I am currently based in Yorkshire, UK but specialise in weddings all over the UK and abroad. If you are planning to get married abroad, please get in touch for a bespoke quote.

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silver screen. jenny packham for a 1920s inspired cinema wedding in Manchester – melanie & chris

September 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (25)

Let’s get the week of to a really fabulous start with this old Hollywood inspired – and super cool – cinema wedding in Manchester, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Melanie.

Popcorn at the ready.  Roll film.

With images by Miki Photography.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (4)

Melanie says: We got engaged in Wembley Stadium. We had spent the day at Wembley waiting to see my favourite artist Bruce Springsteen. When he played an acoustic version of Thunder Road to finish the set, Chris got down on one knee in the middle of the crowd and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!

We were married on 7th June 2014. With a World Cup year and Glastonbury tickets booked we were limited to which dates we could pick, we would hate to miss an important football match! The 7th June was sports and festival free! Our engagement was just under one year which was the timeframe we wanted.

We chose Cornerhouse Cinema on Oxford Road in Manchester. We wanted somewhere that we had been before and had a connection with. We’re not church people and we felt that the town hall was a right of passage for Mancunians – which neither of us are! So when we realised the Cornerhouse was licensed to do weddings, it was an easy decision to make. We go there regularly and it’s somewhere we enjoy spending time.

The cinema venue seemed to naturally lend itself to influence the theme for the day which was 1920s Hollywood glamour.

Tying in with the theme, we tried to keep the colours classic with deep navy, burgundy and rosewater (bridesmaid dresses) the main colours. The groom and the best men were in navy and our flowers were a mix of nude, rosewater and burgundy.

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My dress was ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham which I bought from The White Closet in Didsbury.

Anyone who knows me will not that I’m not the girliest girl or someone who would be naturally drawn to a floor-length dress. I always thought I was too short to wear one. Originally I was looking for a tea-length dress. So I tried on many beautiful dresses but nothing seemed to click. Then the lady at The White Closet suggested ‘Eden’, immediately I said it wouldn’t suit me but she encouraged me to try it ‘even just to rule it out’, when I put it on I couldn’t believe how it looked and I knew straight away that this was the dress for such a special occasion.

Chris wore a tailor made suit which was made in Italy but measured and designed at Doherty Evans & Stott in Manchester. It wasn’t cheap but their service was perfect, not too stuffy but very informative in terms of etiquettes. Chris learned some valuable life lessons!

The bridesmaids wore floor length twobirds dresses in Rosewater, ordered through The White Closet and the groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Austin Reed.

I carried an orchid bouquet, provided by a great little florist in the Northern Quarter called Frog Flowers.

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I was chauffeured to the venue in a classic Jaguar. It was beautiful, really classy and fitted with our theme really nicely. It was provided by Platinum Wedding Cars who were great, particularly the driver who held the brolly at the photo shoot with aplomb!

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Mick from Miki Photography was our photographer on the day and I would 100% recommend him to anyone. He was upbeat, organised and a total pro on the day, as well as being a great guy and easy to get along with.

Mick made us feel comfortable and relaxed and played a big part in bringing a relaxed atmosphere to the wedding.

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We packaged up traditional cinema sweets to give out to the guests: popcorn for some and pick and mix for others.

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We had a beer brewed for the occasion – a light, citrus IPA (my favourite) from local Manchester brewery Blackjack Beers.

We had a four-course menu of asparagus with pancetta, sea bass, steak and then chocolate brownie. The first two courses were paired with a white Gavi and the latter were paired with a red Nero D’avola. During the meal tasting we tried several wines and we felt like these were the best options to suit all tastes.

We wanted a four course menu to extend the length of the meal to really appreciate and enjoy it. We followed the meal with a special selection of Whisky, Port and Sherry chosen by my father.

We had a red velvet two-tiered cake with coconut buttercream icing piped in a floral pattern. The cake was made by Bakeorama (Charlotte) who provides the cakes for Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter.

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My favourite part of the day was the drinks reception we had at the Cornerhouse immediately after the ceremony, and it was just a great chance to go and soak up everyone’s excitement and share that feeling with all our close friends and family.

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We used props and uplighters from i Catching based in Hyde. The props were really cool, and they were really helpful and easy to deal with so would definitely recommend them as well.

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In the evening, we had a photo booth with fancy-dress accessories which provided good fun for everyone.

We also had a local band, The Coolers, play two fantastic sets. Our good friend Roger Hughes works in the music industry organising session bands and wedding bands so we left the music in his more than capable hands, he even played keyboard on the night!

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We were getting a lot of help from my Dad and Step-mum in organising the wedding, and since they were living abroad at the time they decided to get some help with a wedding planner, Andrea from Fabulous Day. At first we weren’t sure we needed it, but by the end of the day we knew the day wouldn’t have been the same without her. Absolutely everything was taken care of and we were all able to relax and totally enjoy the day. 100% recommend her services to anyone.

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We went to Croatia two days after the wedding. We spent the first four nights in a private villa on Vis Island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. It was lovely and peaceful where we could just relax in the aftermath of the wedding. We then had three nights in Split, just as the World Cup started, so we were able to catch some games on the big screens!

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Everybody advised us to soak up every moment of the day and try to take it all in because it goes by in a flash. This was brilliant advice and I think we both tried to do it and really enjoy every minute of the day. There were some nerves at times, but we didn’t let it get the better of us and we just had enjoyed the day.

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