Charlotte Balbier

dream venue: hornington manor

June 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime


Brides Up North dream venue Hornington Manor can be found in the village of Bolton Percy, situated in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside near to the historic city of York. Their motto is your day your way so a Hornington Manor bride would be one that has her own idea of how her special day should be (sound like anyone you know?!). The flexibility of the venue, combined with the exclusive use of the Manor, allows a Hornington Manor bride to put her own personal touch to every detail of her special day.

We like the sound of that. Let’s find out more.


Tell Brides Up North about Hornington Manor, what is its history?

Built in 1770, Hornington Manor is a Grade II listed farmhouse, which has been beautifully restored to an extremely high quality to provide luxury self-catering accommodation. The Manor is situated in 300 acres of countryside and formal gardens, and is home to a working farm. This farm has its own flock of sheep, and grows its own crops, which are used to produce natural fillings for the luxurious Harrison Spinks mattresses.

What facilities does it have? 

Hornington Manor is a converted farmhouse, offering a total of 16 bedrooms across four separate areas of the property: The Manor House, The West Wing, The Servants’ Quarters and The Lodge. There is secure on-site parking, flat screen TVs in all the bedrooms, and Wi-Fi throughout. Hornington Manor is an extremely flexible venue, whether you are a seeking out a quiet weekend away in the countryside, or the perfect backdrop for a unique wedding celebration.


Does Hornington Manor cater for weddings? 

The beauty of a Hornington Manor wedding is that we are able to offer something for everyone. Hornington Barn is the latest addition to the venue. This rustic wedding barn is full of charming features such as original oak doors that open out onto the Manor Courtyard, and exposed beams. It boasts a huge amount of space, seating up to 150 guests and has a mezzanine level overlooking the entire barn, which could be a soft-seating ‘chill out’ area to give your feet a break from the dancefloor, or could be the perfect place to host your entertainment for your special day.

Alternatively, the Manor Lawn is a popular setting for a marquee, yurt or tipi, with spectacular views across the rolling Yorkshire countryside. A lawn wedding can easily accommodate large parties of up to 150 guests.

For smaller occasions, the Hornington Gallery could be the perfect choice, seating between 70-80 guests. This converted eco barn has wonderful floor-to-ceiling views across the Yorkshire fields.

Is Hornington Manor licensed for civil ceremonies?

Hornington Manor is in the process of gaining a license for civil ceremonies, and hopes to be officially licensed by the start of the summer 2015.

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What makes Hornington Manor a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

Hornington Manor is a truly magical wedding venue, and the exclusivity that comes with a Hornington Manor wedding really sets us apart from others. We are delighted to offer exclusive use of the whole of the Manor and gardens to the bride and groom for a three day long weekend of wedding celebrations with their family and friends.

The Manor is also an extremely flexible venue, which allows for bespoke and unique celebrations to be created, providing each couple with their perfect wedding.

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How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing? 

Each bride and groom has their own dedicated wedding coordinator, who will be with them every step of the way to offer guidance and support throughout the whole process. We work with a number of trusted, local suppliers, but we also give couples the flexibility to source their own suppliers if they wish.

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Can guests stay over at the venue?  

When choosing a Hornington Manor wedding, the wedding party has exclusive access to the whole of the Manor where up to 38 family and friends are able to have a long weekend of wedding celebrations within The Manor House, The West Wing, The Servants’ Quarters and The Lodge. If additional accommodation is required, we are able to recommend a number of nearby hotels.

Tell us about your catering services. 

We work with a number of highly recommended and trusted caterers, who provide a bespoke service, liaising closely with our couples to make sure the menus are just how they want for their special day.


Where can we get more information or contact the venue?

For more information, please see the Hornington Manor website. You can also contact us directly on 01132 055204, or by email at

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Any really memorable weddings at the venue? 

The first ever tipi wedding we held on the Manor Lawn, was a pretty spectacular and memorable occasion. The whole landscape was completely transformed with the Manor as a backdrop and three large peaks on the front lawn.

The day began extremely dreary and raining, but luckily by the afternoon, the sun started to poke its way through. This created a wonderful mist that rolled in across the fields, which is what the bride and groom had their photos against, with spectacular results!

To be honest, the people that we meet really help make all the weddings so special. We have had the pleasure in working with so many lovely couples and their families, who often become friends, keeping in touch via email and Facebook, and often tweeting nice memories of their special day at Hornington Manor.


Any funny stories to share?

One of our most recent weddings were a couple from Los Angeles – Emma is an actress and Mark is a film producer. They had a beautiful wedding party on the Manor Lawn, and as the guests were enjoying drinks on the patio and watching the sheep grazing in the nearby field over the Ha-Ha wall, some of the American guests started becoming concerned that one sheep was going into labour (it was lambing season at the time)!  The farmer chased across to the sheep in question, and found it was a false alarm and it was actually our spoilt pet sheep Harrison, who had been hand-reared three years ago. He thinks himself as quite the celebrity, and is always nearby whenever he thinks he can muscle in on a photo so must have been trying to draw attention to himself in the field. The guests absolutely adored him, and ended up having lots of photos with him, and feeding the new born lambs in all their wedding finery.

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a little bit of what we like. a personal wedding with vintage touches at crab manor – gemma & darren

June 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

Having found their perfect wedding venue in Crab Manor, North Yorkshire, today’s couple decided against a set theme and instead added bits and pieces that they liked to the manor’s unusual décor or an individual big day.

Individuality continued throughout the wedding in the bride’s vintage-esque attire, the groom’s tweed getup and the beautiful floral bridesmaid dresses.

There are many elements of this big day that we absolutely love, though one in particular has to be Gemma’s wild bouquet – just stunning!

We think you will all agree, this one is a real beauty!

With images by Brides Up North featured supplier, Helen Russell Photography.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (3)

gemma says: We got engaged on 2nd December 2013. Darren took me for lunch at Browns in Newcastle. After our starters Darren started to fidget in his pocket then he pulled the ring out and proposed, I said yes immediately. I can remember thinking though I wished he had waited until after our meal as I couldn’t eat anything else as I was so excited to get back home and tell everyone!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (7)

We set the date for 13th February 2015. We decided on that date as the 13th February is the anniversary of when we officially started dating.

Our chosen venue was Crab Manor in Thirsk, we fell in love with how cool and quirky the place was and also the uniqueness of the venue. We always knew a big stately house/hotel wasn’t for us and wanted somewhere everyone would feel comfortable on the big day.

We didn’t wanted to have a theme as such but I have a love for vintage clothing/items so that did play a part in the day, but ultimately we chose to buy whatever we liked. Similarly, we chose not to have a colour scheme as we didn’t want to be limited in what we could buy, we wanted free rein and hoped everything would come together in the end.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (10)

My dress was from Amore Brides in Sunderland. I always knew what kind of dress I didn’t want more than what I did want. I met June the owner and pulled out three dresses to try on, as soon as I put the first dress on I knew it was the one. It was the most beautiful lace backless Maggie Sottero dress and it was just me. I felt 100% comfortable so I bought it there and then. I still look at it now and I’m still in love with it.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (12)

Darren bought his suit from Leaf in Newcastle. He wanted a tweed suit and fell in love with the first one he saw. His tweed tie was bought online from a shop in Scotland to go with his Dolce and Gabbana shirt. His Jeffrey West shoes were a gift from me for his birthday the year before. Unfortunately Darren’s gran passed away before our wedding. With some of the money he was left he bought a gold pocket watch, so in a sense his gran could be with us on our special day.

The best men and my dad wore navy suits from Debenhams with tweed ties also from the same shop as Darren’s. All the guys had matching monster socks from Burton.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

Our bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS. They were for me the perfect dresses and I really liked them straight away. Isabelle my flower girl (niece) wore a beautiful dress from Monsoon with some glitter pumps from John Lewis.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (19)

Helen Russell was our photographer on the day. Helen has photographed a few friends’ weddings and I totally love her style and how she captures the perfect moments. I’m not a great fan of posed photos and I knew Helen’s images were mostly natural shots and this was ideal for us.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (16)

My flowers were a bit of a gamble as I didn’t really know what I was getting until the morning of the big day. My maid of honour, who flew back from Australia for the wedding, is good friends with Kirsty who co owns Darling and Green, we met up once last summer and I saw some of her work and knew she was the one who I wanted to do my flowers. I was quite laid back about what I wanted and Kirsty totally got my style and I knew she would deliver on the day.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

We had a selection of different shaped and sized glass bottles filled with wild flowers for our table decorations from Darling and Green, along with glass bottles I filled with pearls, which we used for our table numbers. I bought a flowery storage box and some mini ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting and made a box for our cards. The venue is full of bits and bobs so we didn’t need a lot of decorations.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (29)

Our wedding favours were retro mix ups in personalized brown paper bags, we put in all of our favourite sweets from our childhood. The children got goody bags full with activities such as colouring in books, puzzles, pens and also disposable cameras, which went down a treat.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (34)

We weren’t really fussed on having a wedding cake so we decided on cupcakes made by Lynn, a family friend. They were a huge success and tasted amazing!

We choose a menu that would please everyone; leek and potato soup, beef and vegetables then sticky toffee pudding followed by coffee and the famous Crab Manor chocolate truffles.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (40)

For entertainment, we hired a juke box from Crab Manor. As we only had a small wedding of 30 people we didn’t need anything else. Everyone loved dancing away to their favourite tunes. For decoration we also hired a love heart from Coco Luminaire with our names and date of the big day on.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (42)

If you are after something different to your normal wedding then choose Crab Manor as the venue is without doubt one of the best places we have stayed in. It offers something different and the staff are amazing, especially John, one of the wedding co-ordinators. The venue is cool and quirky and just has an amazing overall feel. We highly recommend!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

My favourite part of the day was the ceremony; being with everyone who we love and care for and being able to share our special day with them.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (64)

For our honeymoon we went to Jamaica. We literally went to chill after a busy few months arranging the wedding. The surprises kept on coming though as on our second week we found out I was expecting our first child, due in October!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (62)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – try to relax and enjoy the experience, as it’s very easy to turn into a bridezilla!

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in the navy. ian stuart for a glamorous wedding at allerton castle – kathryn & kelechi

June 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (45)

Here at Brides Up North we just love a glam wedding and today’s has it all – a striking gown, opulent colour scheme and men in uniform!

Kathryn and Kelechi chose the grand Allerton Castle as the setting for their dream wedding, which was then styled in keeping with the historic venue’s décor and to suit the couple’s personal taste.

Posh transport, sparkling stationery and lavish centrepieces all help to create a wedding day as alluring as the bride and groom’s attire. Glam to a tee.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Laura Calderwood Photography.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (1)

kathryn says: We got engaged in Sydney, Australia, my hometown at the time. After meeting three years prior, Kelechi came over on a two-week holiday from the US Navy. Palm Beach is a favourite spot of mine so on day one of the trip we decided to go there and climb to the lighthouse, little did we know it wasn’t a pleasant stroll up but a hike! At the top and covered in sweat, I looked around and said “just think, this may be the last time we come here” – then turned back to Kelechi who said “we better make sure we remember it then” – he was down on one knee!

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (4)

Our wedding date was 18th April 2015. We chose this date mainly due to Kelechi’s work schedule. Spring in the UK is a beautiful time, so that helped too!

We got married at Allerton Castle, which we chose due to the grandness of the building, its Great Hall and the beautiful countryside location. As a lot of our guests were coming from overseas, we needed the wow factor!

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (2)

We didn’t really have a theme but kept everything very glamorous. We used a lot of candles, fairy lights and crystals. I picked this style due to the castle’s decor and so that it would be in keeping with what Kelechi and I like.

Black and Gold was the colour scheme. We choose this combination to match with Kelechi’s military uniform – dinner dress blues. Although the tux is actually black!

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (16)

I chose a dress that was the complete opposite of what I thought I’d choose! The dress was called Amalfi by Ian Stuart, which I bought from Limelight Occasions in Huddersfield. I was drawn to the dress due to its uniqueness. It was two colours and had beautiful detailing. It was like nothing I’d seen anyone wear before. As soon as I put the dress on, I knew I had to have it!

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (20)

Kelechi wore his military US Dinner Dress Blues uniform and the groomsmen who weren’t in uniform also wore black tuxedos.

My bridesmaids wore black maxi dresses with gold detailing around the top half of the dress, from Quiz. They were very flattering on all shapes and the girls looked fabulous whilst feeling comfortable at the same time. My ‘Mate of Honour’ wore a black tuxedo, hired from Greenwoods. He also invested in some gold shoes which looked amazing!

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (26)

As I was getting ready at the castle, I decided to drive my little white Fiat 500 there in the morning with some of my bridesmaids. I decorated the car and we had a great laugh on the way! I organised an Aston Martin as a surprise wedding present for Kelechi. The car picked him up in York and took him and his best man to the castle. We then organised a vintage double decker bus to bring our guests to the venue from York.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (28)

Laura Calderwood was our photographer. She’s an absolute gem and was very patient with some of our more demanding guests. Nothing was too much trouble and the pictures taken speak for themselves and how great Laura’s work really is.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (32)

Joanna at Twisted Willow provided all our flowers, centrepieces and dressed the Great Hall for our ceremony – it looked magical.

My flowers were a mixed white bouquet with crystal detailing. For the wedding reception we had tall candelabras on each table surrounded by candles and draped in crystals. I had a vase on our sweetheart table for my flowers to be shown off in.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (35)

Another great supplier was Katie from Tigerlily Creations. Katie made all our stationery for our day from the invitations to the wishing well. Everyone commented on the quality and luxury feel she gave to our day.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (42)

Our wedding cake was wheels of cheese and therefore our favours were jars of chutneys with the words ‘Spread the Love’ on. We also gave little red double decker bus key rings to all our guests as a lot of them were visiting from abroad.

We had a dessert included in our menu, which is why we chose a cake made of cheese. It was something different for a lot of people and we loved it! Matt at The Cheese & Chutney Co couldn’t have been nicer either.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (49)

I wanted a fun cake topper so searched online and found Feats of Clay. Sarah is amazing and made both myself and Kelechi out of clay. A great talking point for guests and a great souvenir for us to keep.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (56)

We used the Dine for the food, who are provided through the Castle. They were fabulous!

We had champagne and canapés of mini Yorkshire puddings, chicken skewers and goats cheese tarts, during the drinks reception. For the wedding breakfast we had fishcakes to start, followed by a sirloin of beef, rounded off with a glorious sticky toffee pudding. Everyone commented on the quality of the food. We organised cheeseburger and chips for the evening reception – it made our guests’ night!

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (54)

Entertainment wise, we had a string quartet playing for the guests’ arrival and during the drinks reception. It made for an elegant start to our day. For the evening entertainment we used Alive Network and booked the band Munch. Kelechi and I love live music so a band was a must. They played a whole host of music and catered for all ages.

During the band’s break we surprised our guests with a five-minute firework display. At first I was reluctant to do this but Kelechi pushed for it – I’m now so glad we did, it was magical and the guests loved it.

A Glam Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (59)

My favourite part of the day was the build-up and then finally seeing Kelechi as I stood at the top of the stairs before walking down the aisle. They are two moments that will stay with me forever. The dancing during the evening was pretty great too!  Kelechi literally burnt the stitching off the bottom of his shoes!

For our honeymoon we went to a Sandals resort in St Lucia. It was fantastic, they couldn’t do enough for us and helped make the week very romantic and assisted Kelechi is organising lots of little surprises along the way. One thing to note though – everyone there is on their honeymoon so bear that in mind.

My top tip for other Brides Up North is a tip that everyone gave me – make sure you take a step back, look around and enjoy the day so you can remember it. I made a conscious effort to do this and I’m glad I did. Kelechi and I also chose to have a sweetheart top table to make sure we got some time to just sit down with each other and take it all in – a great decision.

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i dos in italy. stewart parvin for an elegant destination wedding in tuoro – naiobh & graham

June 17th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (27)

And so for the second time today we’re leaving the north behind and jetting off overseas for another beautiful destination wedding.  We’ll squeeze some sunshine in somehow!

Having visited Italy in 2010 for a friend’s wedding, Graham and Naiobh decided there was no other option but to return to the romantic country for their own big day.

The couple combined traditional touches from their home back in Scotland with Italian influences to create a day that reflected them as a couple whilst also remaining in keeping with their dreamy setting.

So once again slap on the factor 20 as we fly to sunnier climes!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Valentina Weddings.

Wedding of Graham & Naiobh at Villa Baroncino, Tuscany, Italy from Riff Raff Photography on Vimeo.

naiobh says: We got engaged on 29th June 2012 in Siena, Italy. It was the second evening of our holiday. We had just arrived at the beautiful Aia Matttonata and headed out for dinner in Siena. When we arrived back at the relais there was a candlelit table at the bottom of the garden with views across the Tuscan countryside to Siena. We sat at the table and Mario, the owner, opened the bottle of champagne and left us to chat. Then Graham proposed and obviously, I said yes!

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (1)

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (6)

Our chosen wedding date was 23rd July 2014. We wanted a July wedding and decided to go with the day in the middle of the week as we were getting married abroad. We thought this would allow guests to arrive and have a few days of relaxation before and after the wedding.

Villa Baroncino, in Tuoro was our wedding venue. We had been to a wedding at the sister property in 2010 and knew from that moment that Italy would be where we’d get married and that we would be using the services of Marco Bernasconi as we’d never been to such an amazing wedding before. Getting engaged in Italy meant it felt right to get married in Italy too.

For our wedding theme we simply wanted a day of elegance.

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (7)

My wedding dress was by Stewart Parvin which I got from Rachel Scott Couture in Edinburgh. I tried it on three times in two different shops along with other dresses but kept coming back to it as I never had the ‘this is the dress’ moment. My bridesmaids wore raspberry full length backless dresses.

Graham wore a traditional kilt in Lomond Mist exclusive tartan from Macgregor Macduff which had a raspberry check to match the colour of the bridesmaids. The groomsmen also wore the same tartan with a grey cravat and black sporran while Graham had an ivory sporran and cravat. The button holes were a calla lily and thistle in homage to Scotland.

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Mark Raffan of Valentina Weddings was out amazing photographer. He is very personable and made us feel totally at ease. He listened to what we wanted and was great fun to work with. We would definitely recommend him and as a result my brother-in-law is using him for his upcoming wedding.

Mark arranged to visit us in Scotland prior to our wedding to do a pre-wedding shoot, discuss photography styles and get to know us, which we really liked. He listened and made suggestions and our wedding album is better than we could have imagined.

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Ryan of Riff Raff Photography did the videography for us which was just fantastic! Both my brother-in-law and Graham’s best man are using him at their upcoming weddings – if that isn’t flattery we don’t know what is!

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (16)

I had a bouquet of white hydrangeas by Mood Flowers in Glasgow. The owner, Nick, flew out especially for our wedding as he had worked with my husband. He provided all the floral decoration. Our centre pieces were in tall vases and were white hydrangeas, white orchids and sunken white Cala lilies. Our table plan was made up of white orchids, rosemary and olive branches from the villa garden. We used empty wine bottles to mount the table names (provided by Luciano’s restaurant in Passignano) all the table names were named after Italian cities.

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (18)

Our wedding stationery was provided by Inviting Wedding Invitations. Judie was fantastic and the stationery ticked all the boxes; professional, tasteful and elegant.

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (23)

For favours we gave Mirano glass bottle openers to the men as a nod to Italy. The ladies meanwhile were given Arran aromatics creams and balms as Graham’s mother is from Arran and we still go over as often as we can with the dog.

Our cake was from Pots and Pans and was tiramisu flavour with buttercream on the outside. We wanted to stick with the Italian theme and Graham loves Tiramisu. The cake was garnished with hydrangeas.

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (28)

Our food was provided by Luciano. We had tried his food at the aforementioned 2010 wedding and loved it and went back for a tasting in May before the wedding to confirm our choices.

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (35)

We sourced our own red wine when we were in Montalcino from the Piombaia vineyard and Mario from Aia Matttonata sourced our white wine and prosecco from his favourite supplier.

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To entertain our guests we hired DJ Alex as we love to dance and we gave him our playlist of our favoutrite songs. We also had a quintet provided by Marco and the sheet music was written by one of my colleagues.

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (41)

As a special touch our brothers coordinated our guest book at the wedding. They ensured every guest/couple were photographed at the start of the day and the Polaroid was stuck into our guest book ready for all the guests and bridal party to pass around the tables during the meal and write a comment. We don’t quite know how our brothers managed it, they did a great job!

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We would 110 per cent recommend using Marco and his assistant manager, Ina, who were the venue manager and the suppliers we used. They ran a seamless operation and our day would have not been as memorable as it was had it not been for Marco, Ina and his team.

Walking down the aisle with my dad whilst Eden Roc was being played by the quintet at the bottom of the garden was my favourite part of the day. For Graham it was standing at the bottom of the aisle trying to take everything in.

A Sunshine Wedding In Italy (c) Valentina Weddings (43)

For our honeymoon we went to Singapore and Bali. We started at the Pan Pacific hotel in Singapore for four nights and toured around and ate. Went to restaurant André, as we are foodies, which was amazing! We started every evening in the Pacific Club with 360 degree views of Singapore and free flowing champagne (we were celebrating after all). We then went onto Banyan Tree in Bali for ten days where we chilled in our private ocean view villa, toured and ate at the Ju-ma-na restaurant every evening where Michelin star chef Christophe Schmidt from restaurant Diane, Paris cooked every evening.

My top tip to other Brides Up North wanting to wed in Italy would simply be to let Marco guide you. He is a pro and will give you both the most amazing and memorable day of your life.

To help our guests get to know each other we had a barbecue two nights before wedding. This went down a storm and we would recommend other couples marrying abroad do the same. Our best man is doing this at his upcoming wedding, which is also in Italy this year – we can’t wait to return!

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spanish delight. blue skies & sunshine for a romantic destination wedding – rhonda & antony

June 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

If you’re currently craving a sunny holiday abroad today’s real wedding is going to make you want it all the more.

Antony and Rhonda left their Liverpool roots behind to wed in a gorgeous villa destination wedding in Cala de Mijas, Spain, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

The pristine white villa against the flawless blue skies provided the perfect setting for the couple’s romantically themed wedding, with touches of white, silver and pale pink.

Spending a week abroad meant everyone was fully relaxed and ready to party (with great tans) when the big day arrived which made for a chilled out yet highly enjoyable wedding.

So pack your sunnies, flip-flops and swimwear as we jet off to southern Spain.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

rhonda says: We were visting Puerto Banus for a weekend and while we were there Tony decided that we should go for a long walk then a nice meal. While we were walking along the harbour Tony noticed a lovely lighthouse that was on the other side of the harbour and suggested we go there. It was a really hot day and I was moaning all the way but once we got there it was lovely just sitting looking out to sea and there were a few people resting and enjoying the same view as us. Tony then said let’s ask that lady if she will take our picture so he went over and gave her our phone and then sat down next to me. Suddenly he went down on one knee asking me to marry him but all I could hear was the lady saying ‘Oh my God he’s proposing to her’, which made me laugh and poor Tony was still waiting for my answer – of course I said yes.

The people that were there all came over and congratulated us and we went over to the lady who took our picture whose name was Wendy to say thanks. As we started talking I noticed she was a Liverpool girl like me who had lived in Spain for years. She said if you get married here my good friend is a minster, then she told me her name and to my surprise I’d already emailed her before I went away for information on wedding venues abroad (how weird was that?) so after a good chat to Wendy we left, me with a big smile on my face and uncontrollable tears of joy. We went to the nearest bar to celebrate!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

We met on the 23rd June 2007 and so wanted had originally wanted to marry on this date but most of our friends could not make that timing so we picked 14th June 2014 instead.

Our wedding took place in Cala de Mijas, Spain. We picked this location because we got engaged in the area and we chose Wendy’s best friend Lizzy as our minister. We looked at local wedding planners FiestaSol Weddings who were fantastic and found us a great venue in Mijas called the Hacienda San Jose and everything just fell into place and felt so right.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

We didn’t have a theme really but with having our wedding at the Hacienda San Jose, which is such a beautiful place, we knew we wanted the day to have a really romantic feel to it. In terms of colours we had white, silver and pale pink with diamante touches – I wanted a little bit of bling for my romantic day.

When shopping for me dress I decided on an ivory laced mermaid dress which I found in Brides World, Liverpool. I felt the dress had a little bit of a Spanish look to it.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

The men’s suits where from Slaters in Liverpool. Tony wore a midnight blue three piece suit made to measure with white shirt and ivory tie to match my dress.

We had eight bridesmaids who wore pale pink long chiffon dresses with diamante straps and waist bands, which I bought off the internet. Our nine groomsmen meanwhile wore midnight blue three piece suits with white shirts and pink ties to match the bridesmaids, they looked really smart!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

Jamie Penfold flew over from Newcastle to shoot our wedding. He was organised and well-rehearsed at what we wanted. He blended into the background and captured things so naturally and perfectly. We would absolutely recommend him to others – he’s fantastic!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

For my bouquet I had pink and white roses with little bit of gypsy grass, which were lovely. They were supplied by VG Florists Marbella.

My wedding planner Tara chapman from FiestaSol helped us with the decorations for our wedding villa and VG Florists did our beautiful centre pieces for the tables which were tall glass champagne vases turned upside down with pink and white large gypsy grass sprays with crystal tea lights hanging off them – they looked so colourful and pretty.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

As favours we gave all the ladies white fans, which were a God send as it was so hot that day. For the men we did a whisky and cigar bar which surprisingly the ladies liked too!

Our cake, made by the fantastic Fiona from Sweet Things, Gibraltar, was three tiers with a different flavour for each: chocolate vanilla, strawberry and fruit. The cake was ivory with a lace pattern on it and pink flowers on top. It tasted as good as it looked!

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For our wedding meal we had lots of lovely canapés to start which included serrano ham on crostini with tomato and a minty pesto, skewers of garlic prawns and crab and coriander tartlets. We then had a buffet menu of more delicious food including pepper sirloin steaks, swordfish steaks marinated with garlic and parsley and skewers of tiger prawns. Desserts were mini lemon tarts with fresh raspberries, raspberry sorbet with berries and chocolate love cake.

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To entertain our guests had a great DJ called Ian Preston, who really got the crowd going. I picked him out after seeing him on the internet and the good feedback from my wedding planner Tara. We also had a Spanish guitarist playing through our cocktail hour, a sweet table for the kids and a chill out area with big white cushions, lantern fairy lights, tree raps and chandeliers.

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We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others – it is an amazing place! A private estate that is warm and welcoming and has all the amenities you could ask for. This wasn’t just our wedding venue, it was our home for the week!

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As a bride I would have to say my favourite part of the day was seeing Tony as we didn’t get married until 5pm so I had a long wait and wanted him to see me in my dress. Likewise Tony’s favourite part was seeing me.

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For our honeymoon we decided to go back to Mijas where we got married. When we were there for our wedding we didn’t have much time to explore as guests were arriving each day and it was a very busy week so our honeymoon was just us two chilling out.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be try not to get too stressed, enjoy your day, take it all in as well as going around all your guests on the day and spend time with your new husband/wife – the day goes so quick!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

Going abroad was perfect for us. We had a lovely week in the sun with our family and friends, great wedding pictures, great food and great memories!

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