Brides Up North

a perfect year. a real wedding recap with Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride (8)

Here at Brides Up North HQ, we really care about the fabulous industry suppliers who support the growth of our brand and business, both online and off.  I love nothing more than to hear the stories of their own success and development and how they helped our readers to achieve their dream days.  This afternoon I’m proud to welcome Jessica of mother and daughter dress designer duo Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride back to the wedding blog as they recap a great first year in the business.

jessica says: We could not have asked for a more exciting or successful 2014, our first year in business. We have been overwhelmed by the interest in the services we offer and all of the lovely comments and feedback we have had from each and every one of our clients. Both my Mum and I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with such lovely ladies and to have been a part of every one of their special days.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride (16)

zoe’s wedding

Our main wedding of the season, for this Cheshire August celebration we were commissioned to design and create the bride’s gown, bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride.

They were such a fantastic group of people to work with and the bride, Zoe knew exactly what she wanted for her bridal party from our first consultation. Being a stylist she had dreamt up exactly the gowns she wanted us to create for her, starting with her own gown.  It was so exciting to work with someone that fully embraced the opportunity of having a truly bespoke and unique gown tailored to them personally.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride (17)

She had specified all silks for her gown, we knew she wanted a very subtle blush peach colour and a very full tulle skirt. After a lot of sourcing for the perfect fabrics we began work on her gown – firstly, making a toile for her to see the overall shape and style before we began work on her silks for her final gown.

The design evolved throughout the bespoke process and the run up to her wedding, with every one of her weekly fittings was a dream and it was so rewarding to see how delighted she was and how incredible she felt in that dress.

Likewise, her look for her three  bridesmaids was equally well thought out – the girls were to be in a contrasting white, playing with traditional norms but also ensuring their look was elegant and classic. Each bridesmaid wore a white duchess cowl drop back dress with fishtail skirt.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride (5)

The bride’s Mum also knew exactly the silhouette that flattered her shape and with this we went for a 60′s inspired, fitted bodice with full circular skirt – such an elegant and feminine Mother of the Bride dress with a powder blue silk underneath with embroidered lace overlay.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride (13)

Dressing all of these ladies on the day was the icing on the cake for us! Seeing months of hand work and fittings all come together in one morning was fantastic. We keep in touch with Zoe, having made further bespoke evening dresses for her since her wedding and plan to work together throughout 2015- this Bride has certainly caught the bespoke bug!

Images by Flawless Photography.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride (23)

kelly’s wedding

Kelly’s bridesmaids were our first set of Bridesmaids for 2014 – with her wedding in June it was a fantastic one to kick off the wedding season for us.

Kelly first came to us in January with a specific look in mind for her bridesmaids. The brief given to us was ‘suede, rose, vintage colouring’ with a very relaxed feel for her maids. She had 5 adult bridesmaids and was certain she wanted all of the girls to feel totally comfortable in each of their dresses and so we tailored them all individually – altering sleeves, straps, adding boning to some of their bodices, to ensure each girl was totally comfortable and feeling gorgeous and confident in their gowns.

The finishing touches and attention to detail that Kelly gave to her wedding day were so well thought out and can truly be seen in her beautiful photographs. The lace used for the bridesmaids’ dresses was added to each of their bouquets and matched the lace in the chair decorations. It was a pleasure working with Kelly and her bridesmaids and would like to thank her photographer for the beautiful images.

Image above by Phunk D Photography 

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melanie’s wedding

Melanie was our first bride of the season, having come to see us in February to commission her bridal gown.  We knew her main desire as a bride was to look classic and elegant in a gown that reflected her personal style rather than being too typically ‘bridal’. With this in mind, we used a range of silk fabrics from duchess to chiffon to create a contemporary design that was simple in look but executed with a perfect finish.

Mel looked fantastic and it was such an honour to dress her on the morning of her wedding.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride (1)

catherine’s wedding

When Catherine first approached us in 2013, before we had officially launched our bespoke bridal business, it was a real privilege that she had put her faith in us (before seeing any of our work!) to commission her own bridal gown and her sister’s bridesmaid dress.

We spoke about design and fabrics and agreed to meet again in Jan 2014 once we had launched and get the ball rolling.

Catherine was pregnant with her first baby throughout her initial consultations and she had a clear idea what her requirements were for her wedding dress. With this we came up with a design together based on silhouettes that would suit and detailing that Catherine liked: a lace bodice and scalloped edge neckline. At the toile stage for Catherine we perfected the fit of her gown, added boning to her bodice for support and began work on her final fabrics.

Likewise, for her bridesmaid and sister, Elizabeth, we designed a form fitting fishtail silhouette gown with an off the shoulder detailed bodice. The pair looked stunning on the day and it was such a pleasure working with them both.

Image above supplied by Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

clare’s wedding

Our final bridesmaid of the season was Lou, her sister Clare was getting married in a beautiful Woolton wedding in October and the bride had already bought her dress which was a 50,s inspired knee length, full skirt silhouette and so the pair needed to co-ordinate well.

The brief given to us was ‘midnight blue’ and so we used a mix of silky satin and chiffon to create a beautiful feminine dress for Louise to wear. She paired her dress with bespoke underskirt for a dramatic shape, killer heels and a drop dead gorgeous white feather bolero ! Thank you to the sister duo for letting us be a part of their special day.

Image above by Ant Klausen Photography

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mother of the bride

Mother of the Bride Josie wore an all silk sage, lemon and champagne coloured dress with pleated waist detail and matching sage jacket. Josie said she felt a million dollars in this dress and with this design we made a fully boned ‘foundation’ that was secured within the dress which gave her added support and structure.

the year ahead…

2015 is set to be a huge year for us, we have begun to expand our studio as we can’t fit all of our gowns in our existing one and we are already super excited about showing off our beautiful brides and their gowns with you all.

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glamour amour. a classically beautiful wedding at colshaw hall – naomi & tom

January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

Brides Up North reader Naomi’s wedding to her new husband Tom was a super glamorous affair. From her bespoke headpiece to his classic black tie, everything about their big day has that classic twinkle.

Just what we need to pep up the spirits on a dull January Monday morning.  Bring on the sparkle..!

Images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

Naomi says: We had booked a holiday along with my family to travel to Varadero in Cuba in August 2011. On the 4th August 2011 we hired a beautiful boat for a day of deep sea fishing in the Caribbean sea. I remember my family acting very strange and looking back I remember Tom was not being himself. He asked me to sit down and opened this box which somehow he had secretly bought with him and asked me to marry him. Best day ever!

We set our date for Friday 12th December 2014 back in October 2013. Tom and I had always loved the idea of a winter wedding, with the sound of open fires crackling, crisp frosty mornings and the ambience that time of year brings. We also wanted to tie our wedding in with our honeymoon in Thailand, where we are very lucky to have Tom’s relatives living in Chiang Mai.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (7)

We got married at Colshaw Hall, Cheshire. We looked at only a few of venues before we came across Colshaw Hall. When we arrived at the venue and met the team we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect. The team were so helpful and welcoming and above all the venue was absolutely beautiful. Nothing was ever too much for the David, Georgie and the team!

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (3)

As the wedding was planned for the winter we knew the ideas/themes of what we wanted from the beginning. The idea of the winter wonderland worked perfectly not only with the venue but with the time of year we had chosen. We both love candles and this was one thing we wanted lots of!

We went for a crisp white and a dove grey colour scheme for the wedding. Since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of a white wedding and Tom chose the grey which worked out to be the perfect match.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

My dress was a fishtail Alexia Bridal design in ivory from J&J Designs in Newcastle Under-Lyme. I had tried on many types of styles from a range of designers but I was really struggling in finding the perfect dress for me.  It was only by chance we drove past this wonderful bridal shop to find my perfect dress was there! They had a designer weekend so were only stocking this designer.

The makeup and hair was done by Jodie A Smith. I met Jodie back in July for my trial and she knew what I wanted before even I did. I completed trusted her instinct for the day even with last minute idea’s I had thought of. She made me feel like a princess. I need Jodie on speed dial!

I had my hair pieces made by the very talented Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven. Ann was fantastic at helping me design not only my hair pieces by also the bridesmaids.

I carried a handtied bouquet of white avalanche roses with a crystal detail which was provided by Springbank Flowers.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

Tom wore a dinner suit which we hired from L&J Formal Hire. Tom wanted something slightly different and as soon as we saw the evening suits he had made his mind up. He wanted to look different from his groomsmen so he chose to wear braces. The idea worked great with our theme and of course the venue. I think we both felt like we should have been on a red carpet!

The bridesmaids wore a Jordan Fashions dress which was a floor length dove grey dress with an ivory lace bodice. This was ordered directly at The company based in New York were fantastic in both the regular contact and ensuring the dresses arrived in the UK on time. The groomsmen wore the same dinner suit from L & J Formal Hire, the only difference was they didn’t have the braces.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

The best part of the day for us was when we saw each other at the ceremony. Seeing everything come together and knowing we were going to become husband and wife was the best feeling in the world.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (23)

Our photographer was James Tracey. I first spoke to James towards the end of 2013 and after our first skype conversation I knew he was perfect for us. I felt like I already knew him. We finally met James in August 2014 for our Engagement shoot which was also at the venue. He made both myself and Tom feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and the pictures turned out amazing.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (28)

Springbank provided all the decorations and flowers for the day. For the wedding we had 42 guests so we wanted the room to have an intimate feel to it so we chose to have a u-shaped table. The top table had a water trough which was dressed with floating candles, petal heads and to the side’s candles, snow and white branches. The other tables were dressed with mirrored runners which were then dressed with a winter theme.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

For our favours, we provided handmade soaps by Ceri at Oakwood Soaperie. We had both a girl’s soap which was Jasmine and boy’s soap which was tea tree. Ceri beautifully wrapped the soaps in line with our theme. The boys wrapped in a grey paper and the girls in pearlised ivory paper.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Barretts Caterers provided the wonderful food for our wedding. We chose a spicy butternut squash soup for starters and breast of chicken in a brandy and shallot sauce for our mains. For our desserts we decided on something a little different as whenever me and Tom choose a dessert we always choose something different so we can share. We incorporated this into our wedding day. For girls we choose a sticky toffee pudding and for the boys a mixed fruit crumble.

We chose our cake from Marks and Spencer and Springbank dressed the cake and the cake table for us. We decided to go with a four tier cake consisting of fruit, lemon sponge and a jam sponge.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

We decided to use The Word is Love to provide light up N & T Letters for our wedding. They looked amazing and provided us with some fantastic photographs. Ollie and Suzy helped us to decide where they would look best and have the best impact.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Wedding Stationery was provided by Louise at I Do Designs. Louise sent us a sample of her work which we fell in love with, and she was so helpful even up to a couple of days before the wedding in making last minute changes.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

We chose Grant Niblett from Nocturnal Revolution to DJ for our evening. We met Grant before the day to discuss our music tastes and he made sure everything went to plan for us.

Our evening Sweetie Table was provided by Tess at Sweets and Feathers. Tess designed the cart to suit in with our colours and theme and everyone commented on how professional Tess and her team were on the evening. Tom and I will be looking at every opportunity to taste these lovely sweets again.


a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (39)

I would completely recommend Colshaw Hall to any couple who are looking for a unique and beautiful wedding venue. The team are fantastic and when you meet them you feel like a friend and not just a number.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

We spend three weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. Starting off for 5 nights in Krabi in the south and working our way to Chiang Mai in the North. We are very lucky that Tom has much of his family in Thailand so we ensured they got to celebrate the wedding by having a blessing there. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful experience. Some of the activities in Thailand were once in a lifetime experience, and we are grateful to have made those memories as husband and wife.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is when it comes to your special day, take a few moments away from your guests as husband and wife and take in everything that is going on around you. From family and friends having a fantastic time to looking at how all your hard work has paid off. The day goes by far too quickly.

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an autumn affair. a stylish winter wedding at priory cottages – jude & colin

January 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (38)

Priory Cottages near to my adopted home town of Wetherby in North Yorkshire is one of my favourite local venues, and I always get a warm welcome from their team when I pop in to pay a visit.  I’m used to seeing the venue dressed for spring and summer celebrations (not least the fabulous wedding of one of my best girls, Charlotte – you can see her big day here), but it’s lovely to see how special and sparkly this place looks on a late autumn day.

Jude and Colin’s wedding brought all the brightest colours of nature inside for a stylish, cosy and heart warming day, filled with fun. My absolute favourite kind of celebration that there can be.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, and all round lovely lady, Helen Russell Photography.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (5)

jude says: We got engaged on 25th August 2013.  Col had originally planned on doing it on my birthday earlier in the month but the ring wasn’t ready, so plan B was when we were visiting my best friend in Derby. Little did I know but they were all in on it. He proposed in Matlock in a cable car on our way up to the Heights of Abraham. Our friends Manda, Chris and their little boy Vinnie were there too so we got some great pictures of the proposal. I had just found out that I was pregnant so the champagne picnic was enjoyed by everyone else!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (9)

We were married on Friday 7th November 2014. We both love the autumn and the vibrant colours associated with the season are beautiful.  We were hoping for a crisp cold sunny day! We got the rain instead!

We tied the knot at All Saints church in Wighill.  It was small and cosy but beautiful. We attended the church in the year prior to the wedding and all the locals were so friendly. The reception was at The Priory Barn and Cottages, Nr Wetherby. We fell in love with The Priory as soon as we visited it. The barn has been restored and the old architecture of some of the buildings is beautiful. Serena the owner was fabulous from start to finish, we immediately knew that she would be on hand to help, which she was. We wanted a venue that was different, we had been to nine weddings in the past 14 months and didn’t want to marry somewhere our friends had done so.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (13)

We chose an autumnal/rustic style. I’m an outdoorsy girl and love nature and a natural feel to things. The table centre pieces were slices of logs we had gathered with skeleton leaves and Chinese lanterns. We used mini pumpkins were as table numbers.  We had kilner jars with candles standing on upturned logs dotted around the venue and some old driftwood was used. We used a lot of hessian and lace and candlelight.

Our colour palette was purples and oranges – gorgeous vibrant autumnal colours that complement each other

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (19)

My dress was from the Bridal Rogue Gallery in York. It was a Pronovias dress, ‘Leonde’, a tulle mermaid style made from Chantilly and Guipure lace. It had crystal, pearl and gemstone embroidery below the bust.  I fell in love with the dress immediately. I wanted something classic and vintage and loved the lace and open back. I wore it with a borrowed vintage fur and Diane Hassall lace shoes. My mum bought me some beautiful diamond earrings which I hope my daughter Ava may wear one day.

I used Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup. Lisa is fantastic at what she does, I’ve had my hair and makeup done several times by her and it always looks immaculate. She is fun to be around and after a long sleepless night with a teething 10 month old she worked miracles!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

Col wore a navy blue three piece suit from Ted Baker. He bought a pocket watch which finished the suit off beautifully.

My bridesmaids Manda and Sarah wore a rich 50’s style purple dress, with a jewelled cuff and a-line skirt from House of Fraser designed by Eliza J. They wore bright burnt orange heels from Next.

The flowergirls Ava and Olivia wore ivory dresses with purple petals sewn into the hems and our page boy wore a three piece suit from BHS with a pair of white Converse pumps.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (29)

We wanted something different from a traditional wedding car so opted for a 1967 ivory VW campervan called “Summer”. This was hired from The Yorkshire Wedding Car Company.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (34)

Helen Russell was our photographer. We would definitely recommend her. I was introduced to her at a friend’s wedding and immediately warmed to her, she has an amazing ability to make you feel at ease in front of the camera. We loved her vintage style, she has a great passion for her job and you really get the feeling that she wants to give you the best images she can.  She managed to capture the romantic yet fun mood of our day. We had a pre wedding shoot with her and took our daughter Ava and Col’s son Elliott along… she was great with the children.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (35)

Wendy at Paperwhite Flowers provided our flowers. She is such a professional and so passionate about her job.  She knew exactly what I wanted and goes above and beyond.  My bouquet was a wild hand tie with lace and a decorative vintage key.  It had creamy white vendella roses and superbubbles, spray roses and buds, large dolcetto roses, purple and plum foliage, orange rosehip, fountain grass, purple lisianthus, rosemary, astrontia million stars, birch and willow twig and was wrapped in fine green ivy.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (45)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (44)

Paperwhite provided all the flowers, dressed the top table and provided a large pumpkin filled with beautiful flowers and asparagus grass. I wanted a messy looking arrangement rather than something too structured. It was perfect.

They provided two beautiful pew ends with wild flowers for the church which we used at the barn afterwards and  chrome lanterns which we used in the church then back in the courtyard and barn.They also dressed upturned logs with kilner jars and candles wrapped with ivy trails and Chinese lanterns and placed them around the barn.

AV Matrix dressed the barn in fairy lights. This was done before we even got there on the Thursday to get ready.

We had lots of purple and cream paper lanterns to hang from the marquee roof, Col and my bridesmaids Manda and Sarah spent most of the afternoon hanging them!

My mum made 120 hanging love hearts to hang on the backs of all the chairs. Our guests took these home and it’s so lovely to see them hanging in our friends’ homes. She also dressed our chairs in hessian and lace, they looked so pretty.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (56)

We had Cancer Research pin badges as favours as this is a charity close to our hearts. The men had blue ones and the ladies had the Elizabeth Stuart silver leaf pins.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (62)

Taste Cuisine provided the food and we went for a real ‘winter warming’ menu for the wedding breakfast. At the evening reception we had a hog roast served with cheese and homemade pickles and chutneys from my parents.

A very close friend of mine, Ronni made our cake. We had fruit cake (to compliment the cheeses at the evening reception) and chocolate cake.  It was decorated with sugar blackberries, maple and oak leaves and wrapped in a fine hessian.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (64)

We lit a memory candle at the church which we took back to The Priory and had on a table with photos of our grandparents and those that are sadly longer with us.

I had some daisies incorporated into the flowers and my bouquet in memory of my Auntie Daisy who died of leukemia.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (72)

We used Dave Spink Videography, the girls who worked at the wedding were very friendly and professional, I didn’t even know they were around at times, we can’t wait to see the finished DVD.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (76)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (74)

Without the help of my parents the day that we had wouldn’t have been possible.  They have spent so much time making things and helped to get the venue ready and looking as beautiful as it did.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (86)

Howard Wing was our wedding singer- what a legend and absolute gent with an amazing voice and talent to entertain! I came across him on a wedding blog and after speaking with him immediately knew we had to book him. We certainly weren’t disappointed, he had the whole place bouncing before the starters had even finished… I’ve never been at a wedding where people are singing and dancing on the chairs before dinner ends! Brilliant! So many people said ‘best wedding we’ve ever been too!’

We had dance floor rules and flip flops for the ladies, these went down very well…the following morning we found several pairs of shoes left in the marquee!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (89)

It’s hard to choose a favourite part of the day. I was so happy that my dad walked me down the aisle as only a week previously he had suffered a heart attack and we were unsure whether he would be able to make the wedding. I bought my dad a hanky and had it embroidered and gave it to him before we left for the church. It said ‘I may have found my prince but you will always be king, thank you for walking with me today’.

Col’s face when I walked down the aisle was priceless, he looked so emotional.

My favourite part of the reception most definitely has to be when Howard had us all doing the Love Train around the marquee before we had even had dessert, even the waitresses got dragged into it… it was fantastic fun.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (95)

We chose to go to New York for our honeymoon, having a 10 month old going away for two weeks just wasn’t an option, but thanks to grandparents and aunties and uncles we were lucky enough to have 5 nights away.

We have both always wanted to go, so it was the perfect choice. We loved it. We managed to do almost everything we wanted. We would love to go back one day and check out all the lovely restaurants, bars and of course do some shopping!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (101)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is that the day goes so quickly so take some time together, and take a step back (easier said than done) and watch your guests having fun.

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sounds good! 10 northern bands to hire from Alive Network

January 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Swing Jive Rock-n-Roll -Blue Note Mitch

When you’re looking at bands to play at your wedding, it really can pay to think local (or at least, Northern!).

Many professional wedding and function bands are based right here in the North, and they are just as good (if not better) than those based in or near London. By booking a locally-based band through an established national entertainment agency rather than direct, you can be sure of their quality and professionalism.

why book a local wedding band?

With local wedding bands:

- You save money on travel costs
- You don’t need to cover accommodation costs
- Locally-based bands can arrive later, so you won’t pay expensive waiting fees
- You’ll be supporting your local live music scene
- Your booking benefits the local economy

So, what type of Northern wedding band should you choose? We asked the team at the UK’s largest online entertainment agency, Alive Network, to come up with their top ten wedding band types…

Rock and Pop Band-Backbeat

rock and pop function bands

These are the bands that get every guest up and dancing, playing hits from the 1950s to last week’s chart toppers. Sometimes called cover bands, most rock and pop bands consist of four talented lads playing songs by internationally famous artists.

Recommended Yorkshire Based Rock & Pop Band  – BackBeat

Five young, cool, professional musicians playing your favorite party classics and hits guarantee to really get your wedding party started! Prices from £1020.

Tribute Bands-Adele

tribute bands

Love the idea of a famous act playing at your wedding, but your budget won’t quite stretch? Here’s the answer – book a talented tribute band to recreate the sounds, sights and moves of your favourite artists. Often using authentic instruments and replica costumes, these bands bring the thrill and excitement of ‘the next best thing’ to your special day!

Recommended West Yorkshire Based Tribute Act – Ultimate Adele

The UK’s top Adele tribute, recreating the award-winning soulful sound, and with superior sound and lighting equipment plus a sound technician! Prices from £600.

Jazz Bands-Straight No Chaser

jazz bands

Jazz comes in all kinds of styles – Dixieland/traditional, standards, contemporary; you name it, there’s a band that’ll play it! From the infectious Southern sound of Dixieland to the laid back style of lounge, there is a jazz sound to suit every moment of your wedding day.

Recommended Lancashire Based Jazz Duo – Straight No Chaser

A flexible, talented group who can be set up and playing jazz standards and popular songs in as little as 15 minutes. Book the duo version for pre-ceremony music, the trio for your drinks reception, or the quartet for sophisticated wedding meal entertainment. Prices from £381.

Rat Pack and Swing Bands-Indigo Moment

rat pack & swing bands

Cool, sophisticated and always stylish, Rat Pack and Swing bands recreate the timeless sound of The Rat Pack and Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum. Perfect for wedding entertainment with a touch of class and cross-generation appeal.

Recommended Manchester Based Rat Pack & Swing Duo – Indigo Moment

Combining smooth vocals and beautiful guitar accompaniment, this delicious duo perform timeless ballads plus swing and up tempo numbers. Prices from £444.

Big Bands-Russell Shaun Big Band

big bands

Love that Glenn Miller sound and the sound of the 1940s, when bands were BIG and brass was best? Big bands recreate that superb sound and apply it to classic tunes and contemporary hits alike, for a full-on musical performance your guests will adore.

Recommended Lancashire Based Big Band – Russell Shaun Big Band

One of the most sought-after big band signers in the business, Russell is a superb entertainer. Add in his 12-piece big band, and you’re in for a night of world class entertainment at your wedding. Prices from £2520.

swing, jive & rock n roll bands

When you want timeless hits that get everyone up and dancing, these are the bands to book. Playing an irresistible mix of upbeat music from classic swing and jive to rock and roll, these energetic bands provide high quality, high value wedding party entertainment anytime of the year.

Recommended Yorkshire Based Swing, Jive, Rock n Roll Band – Blue Note Mitch

Led by the irrepressible Mitch, this band is just 100% pure entertainment.  These guys can play almost anything, including jazz, swing & jive, rock ’n’ roll rock, indie, pop & soul and even classic ska music. Perfect for the ‘good time’ couple who love to let their hair down! Prices from £1260.

Soul RnB Motown-Funkytown

soul, rnb & motown bands

If you love big vocals, huge harmonies and classic songs, this type of band will take you to soul heaven and back. Ideal for coupes who adore good music, and want a fun yet heartfelt soundtrack to their wedding reception.

Recommended West Yorkshire Based Soul, RnB, Motown Band – Funkytown

This cool, versatile band has two stunning female vocalists, ready to blow your guests away with classic soul and quality pop, from Aretha Franklin to Lily Allen. The band also offer a free iPod disco service in between sets if you book within seven days of receiving your quote – great value! Prices from £1260.

70s Disco Funk -Gold

70′s, disco & funk bands

Shy and retiring these bands ain’t, as they brighten your wedding with cool moves, disco beats and 70s dancefloor fillers!! If you love to strut your stuff, and still own a pair of flares or hot pants, book now and “Blame it on the Boogie”!

Recommended South Yorkshire Based 70’s, Disco, Funk Band – Gold

This band really sets the “Gold” standard in disco bands, featuring musicians who have played with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Corrine Bailey Rae, The Human League, and appeared on tv, radio and recordings. Gold are genuine 24 carat entertainment for any wedding. Prices from £1320.

Ceilidh Bands-Ceilidh and Co

ceilidh bands

Before there were discos, tea dances or even posh balls, there were ceilidhs, community dances where everyone came to dance, drink and have a great time (sound familiar?). So, get back to fun at its most fundamental with ceilidh bands, who will teach traditional dances injust  five minutes, and get everyone, regardless of age, background or ability, up and dancing all night long.

Recommended Manchester Based Ceilidh Band – Ceilidh And Co

Young and energetic, this talented trio combines driving percussion, foot stomping piano and ferocious fiddle, for an evening of dances such as Lucky Sevens, The Cumberland Reel and the Dashing White Sergeant! Prices from £744.

Latin Salsa World Music-Agua Panela

latin, salsa, and world music bands

Bringing the best of the world’s music to your wedding, these bands infuse your day with the heat, excitement and exotic flavours of music from around the globe. Latin bands are particularly popular for weddings, bringing the passion of Latino music to any venue.

Recommended Lancashire Based Latin, Salsa, World Music Duo – Agua Panela

These guys are the real thing, two terrific South American musicians playing Latin, Funky, Salsa, Cuban, merengue and pop arrangements. Compact and compelling, this band is ideal for intimate venues, and great value too as they offer lower prices for midweek bookings. Prices from £420.

why Alive Network?

Booking through an entertainment agency such as Alive Network saves so much time, energy and hassle.

- View any band profile online, anytime.
- Click for your free online quotation and availability check.
- Choose the band you like, and book.
- The team will call you back, to check details.
- Sign the professional contract, pay a deposit, and relax!

The agency will take care of all the details, and even send you an emergency contact number for the day, just in case.

Call Alive Network now on 0845 108 5500 or visit their website

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press play. supplier showcase: love two film videography

January 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Nikki & Aidan from Bruce Marshall on Vimeo.

This morning I might be spending my train ride North sleeping off a light hangover, after last night’s The Wedding Industry Awards at Cafe De Paris in London. As a member of the judging panel and one of the #officialbloggers for last night’s star spangled ceremony, you would hope that I managed to stay away from the Jaegerbombs, wouldn’t you?

However, I’m not one for tempting fate, so it’s lucky that I scheduled this lovely little interview for you this morning, isn’t it? Make the most of this not being a blank space, and give a warm welcome to Brides Up North Sponsor Bruce of Love Two Film Videography.

He’s got the credentials to make sure that your big day is captured just the way it should be, he’s offering the first 5 brides who quote Brides Up North when booking a whopping 10% off his services, and rumour has it he’s a pretty good dad dancer too… not that you need many more of those at weddings!

Let’s meet the man himself, as I run for that train home… I’m never drinking again.

Likely story.

Ben & Jody from Bruce Marshall on Vimeo.

How did you get into wedding videography? 

bruce says: For as long as I can remember filmmaking has been part of my life, as a child my Dad would wield his trusty 8mm film camera and cast my brother, sister, cousins and myself as the various heroes and villains of his holiday masterpiece. Later on we installed a darkroom in my old bedroom  and I would spend hours working out how to best develop black and white film whilst crashing around in the gloom. At school in the early days of home video my friends and I would spend hours making skateboard videos with questionable production values but we had loads of fun.

As a graduate I got my first jobs as a junior video editor and loved the dynamic of seeing hours of rushes shaped into a coherent product. My break came when I applied for a runners job with Hot Animation, producers of Pingu and Bob the Builder. Here I became a series editor and really learnt the craft of editing. At this time many of my friends and family were getting married and I often got asked to film their weddings. What this experience taught me was how not to approach wedding videography, don’t ask a friend unless it’s their job, you’re paying them and they are not a guest.

As my career progressed I got more interested in filming and my editing experience taught me loads and has helped inform my camera work. I have invested time and money in the latest video and sound kit and love experimenting and seeing what is creatively possible. For me the expensive technology is secondary, telling a story well and capturing a moment is my primary motivation it does of course make all the difference if image and sound quality is the best it can be.

In the last few years I have been aware of a shift in the wedding videography business that is for the better in my opinion. Well crafted wedding films are far more, cinematic, inventive and inspiring in style borrowing from indi film and music videos rather than news gathering.

Why should a couple have a wedding video?

A friend said to me just the other day, “ I wish we had asked you to film our wedding” it was a nice compliment but more than that it expressed her regret for not getting a record of the day.

I have produced many videos for a range of clients but the best feedback I have ever had was when I was able to show the bride her edited highlight video, she burst into tears of joy and hugged me! A video is more than moving pictures and a record of the day, it is a creative endeavour that when executed well expresses something about the Bride and Groom and captures a precious part of their life. Have a wedding video, you can share it online, watch it again and again, show your family, your future children, cherish and relive all the effort, all the detail all the fun and the special moments you may have missed on the day.

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding videographer?

Weddings are special no doubt about it, I like to tell epic stories and a wedding gives me that opportunity, real people in an often fantastic venue, expressing their deepest emotions for one another it would be impossible to script. Each wedding is of course unique  but I enjoy the tweaks and quirks each couple bring, one week I can be filming in a castle the next a tipi tent, it is an awesome responsibility and privilege to be asked to film a wedding.

Joel & Katie from Bruce Marshall on Vimeo.

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

I could just say my winning smile and I would be half joking, I believe if I try and maintain a relaxed professional attitude it will translate to my clients. I have seen more than a few tense Brides whilst shooting a Bridal Prep sequence and I just try and chat asking about them their day whilst I work.

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

Without realising it I ended up covering a wedding that had several production crew, including the Producer and Anchor of ITV news in attendance, it was my first professional wedding shoot and I am glad I didn’t know before hand, it was pressured, but I got what I needed and the couple were very happy. I have always wanted to film a destination wedding and as a keen cyclist and traveller I would have loved to film the wedding of Michelle Cound and Chris Froome, who married late last year in South Africa, having met on the Tour de France and living in Monaco, Nice!

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

Although I am there to do a job I am always captivated by the heart and soul couples and families exhibit on their wedding day, it could be a young page boy struggling with his poem and the Bride and Groom stop to help him, priceless, or when the Groom is so moved during his speech all 6ft 10 of professional basketball player breaks down and sobs with joy, sometimes it’s when I look out a an informal gathering of friends and family enjoying a summers day and the joy they collectively feel no doubt helped by the complementary cider or ice cream and the infectious happiness of the Bride. Finally there are those quiet moments during the vows when even the baby has stopped crying and two people in love say, I do.

Pete & Lauren from Bruce Marshall on Vimeo.

What sets you apart from other wedding videographers?

I hope it is me. I believe I have the skills but more importantly the vision, empathy and discretion to capture your day without being intrusive or demanding.

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

It depends what package they have booked but they can expect me to be there on time and ready to capture their day. I either work alone or with a small well trained team of trusted videographers. I make it a policy to speak in person to the Minister of a Church or Wedding planner at a venue and I always email or message the photographer to see how we can best serve each other.

This year we would also love to trial filming short, informal, interview style pieces with the Bride and Groom, the video equivalent of an engagement shoot, depending on location of course.

O’Hara Wedding Reception from Bruce Marshall on Vimeo.

Are you prepared to travel? Is there an additional cost for this?

Yes we are, last year we got all the way to the big smoke, filming at the Thames Rowing Club, London, ooh get us! This year we would love the Big Apple. Yes we would charge for travel and accommodation. And if you’re happy to feed us at some point on your wedding day, even better.

What is included in your “package”? Can you give us an idea on price?

We are launching two new packages for every budget this year and we are always happy to tweak packages to suit. The Classic will cover the Service and Reception (6hrs coverage), £895, with one camera. The Blockbuster, £1295, is 9hrs of coverage from Bride Prep to Speeches with two cameras. The Epic, £1895, is Bride prep to first dance. With each package we will use a number of gadgets to aid creativity and coverage and with the epic we can include camera sliders, rigs and cranes if the venue allows.

For each package we will provide a deluxe DVD with menu and printed disc and sleeve.For the Blockbuster and Epic you get files for upload to social media if you choose and additional DVD’s more of which can be ordered.

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

I would be happy to do a discount on all my packages of up to 10% for Brides Up North readers for the first 5 bookings through the site. Quote Brides Up North when booking. 

Nikki& & Aidan Prep from Bruce Marshall on Vimeo.

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

Please check my site at

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fabulous photographer: georgina brewster photography

January 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Georgina Brewster Photography (2)

This afternoon I’m thrilled to give a warm welcome to Brides Up North Sponsor (and soon to be bride!) Georgina of Georgina Brewster Photography. Georgina’s spent two years in a soon-to-be-wed’s shoes, so knows exactly what you’re all about – and cares about her own wedding almost as much as she does about yours!

Her work speaks for itself.

Let’s say hello!

Georgina Brewster Photography (1)

georgina says: My love of photography started whilst travelling Europe as an 18-year-old, I returned to the UK at the age of 21 and enrolled on a two year HND Photography and Design course with Bradford College,  it was pre-digital then (now I feel old and I’m only 35) and many days were spent developing 35mm in a darkroom and magically developing my own prints, alongside this I worked for a Kodak processing lab and gained work experience with a great photographer, Stephen Garnett, on my local newspaper.

After graduating I applied for a position as a Trainee Photographer with East Lancashire Newspapers and in 2003 was thrilled to be offered the job.  After three years training, I was promoted to a member of the senior staff and ended my career with the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.  The experience I have gained in a press environment has been invaluable, day-to-day situations change rapidly and meeting so many different people in any one day has taught me to be confident, creative and adaptable.  I have been privileged to capture a wide range of subjects, ranging from, Her Majesty the Queen, HRH Prince of Wales and several other members of the Royal family many times, to Prime Ministers, MP’s, pop stars, soap stars, sports stars at major sporting events and the all important local heroes of our communities.

Georgina Brewster Photography (4)

Wedding photography is something I have done regularly across the North of England over the last decade on weekends off from the newspaper.  The time came last year to give the press pass a rest and commit full-time to something that truly made me happy.

Georgina Brewster Photography (6)

My favourite thing about my profession is that I am constantly surrounded by happy people.  Experiencing the love, compassion and emotion between families is such an endearing gift we can often take for granted.  I have been known to wipe away a few tears during the exchange of vows!

Georgina Brewster Photography (16)

As part of my photography package I include an informal pre-wedding shoot, a chance for me to spend some time in the company of the Bride and Groom, have a wander around a place special to them as a couple and achieve some really natural images.  I find this really helps a couple to relax on the day of their wedding.  Meeting and working with new people is what I have done for a very long time and to quote a Bride’s grandfather at her wedding: “You have the knack of making a whole room full of people feel at ease.  You really are quite wonderful”.

Possibly the sweetest thing anybody has ever said to me, other than “Will you marry me?”

Georgina Brewster Photography (19)

I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone that likes the thought of having their photograph taken, unless we’re paid models its unnatural to us all, right?! I do find though, that once a shoot has started, casually chatting and having a giggle throughout puts people at ease.

Georgina Brewster Photography (20)

Bridal make-up is a personal choice and I would always advise not to venture too far away from your normal look.  Take advice from an expert and if your budget allows, book a make-up artist.  The most important thing is to feel comfortable on the day.

Georgina Brewster Photography (21)

I would love to photograph Jennifer Aniston’s wedding! I have loved her from the first episode of Friends, Phoebe’s my favourite but Jennifer’s love life has been highly documented through the papers and to have her heart broken by Brad in such a public way, she deserves her happy ever after.

Georgina Brewster Photography (24)

Every wedding is beautiful in its own way and every day is memorable to me.  There is a very special venue close by to me though that never fails to evoke a timeless romance and intimacy with every wedding I cover there.  An ancient Priest’s House in the stunning Yorkshire Dales called Barden Tower.

Georgina Brewster Photography (32)

I’m not married at this moment but my chap popped the question two years ago and our big day is May 3rd 2015.  This year!  I simply cannot wait.  Every bride I have worked with says it comes around quickly and it absolutely does.  I had a pre Christmas panic, as I am sure most brides do, where the reality dawned on me that we only had four months remaining with still so much to do.  It is a wonderful time planning the day with my fiancé and all very exciting.

It will be a complete role reversal for me to be on the other side of the camera and I’m certain the experience will add another dimension to my work for future weddings.  I am constantly asked who my photographer will be, there has only ever been one choice for me and that is a friend from my newspaper days, purely because I know I will feel completely at ease.  There could be the odd selfie in there too!

Our day will be a ceremony in our local church followed by a reception in a traditional, Victorian, glass-roofed theatre.  A very informal and fun-filled affair.  A min-moon in the Lake District for two nights and then straight back to work for me as I have four other wedding days to share in May.

Georgina Brewster Photography (22)

I do have one funny story that will never be forgotten.  On one of the hottest days of the year, I had asked all the guests to follow me outside for the big group photo.  The hotel co-ordinator ushered me to an upstairs window, a sash window I could lean out of to get the best vantage point, only the window wouldn’t open!  She assured me it had been open the previous day so we persevered, nudging and bumping the window up.  After much effort I could just about poke my lens through the gap and shouted down to the guests below (who were almost on their knees laughing at this point) that I would silently count to three with my fingers.  As I raised my fingers they all chanted “one, two, THREE” and a big cheer was let out.  The shutter was pressed and possibly the best group shot ever was taken.

Georgina Brewster Photography (29)

With so many photographers condensed in any one area, especially wedding photographers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out among my competitors, many I am great friends with.  Its important to me that I keep advancing on my skills through annual training courses with other professionals and attending networking events in my area to meet other suppliers.   I am extremely hard working and have such passion and commitment for what I do, constantly on the look out for new trends emerging, updating my equipment and keeping up to date with new editing software on the market.  I often find that the power of a personal recommendation for a job well done is the best way to keep ahead of the pack.

Georgina Brewster Photography (9)

On the Wedding Day a couple can expect 100% reliability and professionalism from me.  I plan every detail meticulously, meeting with them before hand to discuss every detail of their day.  Together we build a mutual understanding of the photos they hope for and love.  I will be there to capture the pure emotion of the day, whilst being as natural and unobtrusive as possible.

I only offer one package.  Through searching for a photographer for my own wedding (in case mine had to work at an away football game) I became increasingly confused by the different packages, prices structures, time limits and optional add-ons.  I have designed my package to make the process simple.  For more details click here.

My package is currently available for £950.

Georgina Brewster Photography (11)

A great way to keep up to date with my work is to LIKE my facebook page. Links to my blogs are posted on here along with details of wedding fairs I will be attending.  I update my website galleries on a regular basis too so keep a close eye on that.

I am always available to chat over the phone on 07896365977 or throw an email my way with any questions to

Visit my website at

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gatsby glitz. claire pettibone for a roaring wedding at east riddlesden hall- vanessa & andrew

January 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (37)

Lets get this week off to a swinging start, shall we?  Vanessa and Andrew chose to go for Gatsby glitz for their speakeasy style wedding at East Riddesden Hall.

The gin might have been flowing, but nobody was feeling melancholy on Vanessa’s big day – add some super styling, fabulous florals and a dress so good it had to be worn twice, and you’ve got one helluva party.

And as we all know, a little party never killed nobody!

With images by James & Lianne.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (5)

vanessa says: Andrew asked me to marry him during our annual ski holiday in 2013. We were staying in the French resort of Morzine when Andrew, with massive help from our friend Dan at The H.O.F.N.A.R Experience had arranged a surprise picnic at the top of the mountain overlooking Switzerland to celebrate our two year anniversary.

Afterwards, when Andrew was packing up the picnic in the snow, he was down on his knee and pulled out the engagement ring (which he had designed himself) and asked me to be his wife, to which I said yes. Unbeknownst to me Andrew had already asked my traditional father for my hand in marriage on a ski lift days earlier and him, my sisters and brother were waiting at a mountain bar further down the hill with champagne waiting for our arrival to celebrate!

It was the perfect proposal!

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (6)

Our wedding was on the 2pm on the 13th September 2014. You know what they say about the 13th being unlucky for some? Well we are the opposite! We met on the 13th through an online dating service, we found our and moved into our dream home in Harrogate on the 13th so there was no other date would have chosen.

We got married at Christ Church on The Stray in Harrogate. It’s a beautiful church set in a great location, nestled in an area of calm just outside the centre of the town.

Our guests were then whisked away on vintage buses to East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley. East Riddlesden Hall has always been a perfect venue in our eyes, as when we initially talked about wedding venues both our answers were that we would love to have our reception in an old barn. We spent days scouring the internet looking for such a venue with little success. We eventually stumbled across East Riddlesden Hall through our photographer’s website instantly knowing that this was the place for us.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (17)

Our theme was Great Gatsby glitz meets underground prohibition.  We both love gin so we had the tables named after different gins and an old crystal decanter filled with gin on each table with bowls of lemons and an individual bottle of Fever Tree Tonic at each place setting. There was even a cocktail table where you could mix the gin and make a Vansoire or a Bob Roberts cocktail.

The colours were dark grey and mint green as they work really well together in contrast. Andy used it on our invites, table plans and other stationery and designed it all himself.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (29)

I had a beautiful Claire Pettibone dress. I couldn’t stomach the full cost of a brand new one, so I bought it second hand from a lady who was selling hers on a preloved site. The only downside was I had to try it on for the first time in a grotty train station toilet – it just made the experience even more memorable!

I carried a bouquet of Sweet Williams, ivory Roses and some very special Patience Roses from Nicolla Florist in Wetherby.

Andy designed his suit and had it tailor made by Timothy Henderson in Harrogate. On his feet were patent dark brown Oliver Sweeney shoes accompanied with vivid blue Paul Smith socks.

Our attendants wore their own outfits. The two best men wore dark grey suits and the bridesmaids wore mint green and charcoal grey – all different makes and styles.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (25)

Our photographers were James & Lianne – we found them online and had a real affinity with their style of photography. We wanted laid back and natural and that’s what they provided – beautiful, natural contemporary photos – we even had some taken with a vintage 1930’s camera which we adore

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (31)

The reception flowers were amazing – we had a huge mix of flowers from pampas grass and gold sprayed baby’s breath with peacock feathers and willow branches. All our reception flowers were supplied by Emma’s Home & Garden.

Mel Brooksbank at designed the whole look of the day – all the props and little touches were all made possible by her – she set up the whole venue and rents out all the props from her collection. It completely took the stress away on the day and made it all look magical.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (30)

We wanted our guests to have a good time so we spent a lot of our budget on food and drink. GFS Catering did our food – we had a mix of canapés with Pimms and Saltaire Brewery Ale on the lawn before a main course of BBQ food including ribs, chicken & chorizo skewers and a selection of salads and sides. For pudding we had a trio of mini lemon cheesecake, crème brûlée and chocolate brownie.

Our friend recommended the caretaker’s wife at a local school to make our mountain scene cake – it had a chalet, hot tub, piste, gin, BBQ and our little car – she’s incredibly talented! Andrea Anderson isn’t a pro but she should be.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (34)

We are famous in our friendship group for BBQ’s so we made our own BBQ rub and packaged it up in test tubes for our guests to take away as favours.

Andy also had a box of Romeo & Julietta cigars which we handed out after dinner.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (40)

We had outdoor games, a coconut shy, croquet and boules.

One of the best bits was the dress-up box and frame – we hired old vintage fur stoles, hats and gloves and everyone dressed up and took pictures with our instant Polaroid camera.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (44)

Alex Graham & The Concords play outside Harvey Nicholls every Christmas and one year I stopped and asked them for their card, vowing they would one day play at my wedding, then one day they did. They play proper rock n roll and also some of the new stuff – they had the crowd in the palm of their hand and everyone was up dancing the night away

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (45)

Emma and the wedding team at East Riddlesden Hall are so helpful and friendly – they try to embrace people’s ideas rather than impose rules and regulations like at some venues. It’s a National Trust site so the grounds are beautiful and well kept. It was also excellent value for money.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (46)

We loved driving over from the church to the reception in the Aston Martin, just casually driving through Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales with the music up loud and celebrating being newlyweds in style!

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (50)

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (52)

For our honeymoon we went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy and travelled around Positano, Sorrento, Capri and Ischia. Our favourite stop was The Relais Blu Hotel near Sorrento but Capri was stunning – if you haven’t been already you must go. We were lucky enough to see the fireworks festival in Ravello which was an amazing experience.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (60)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to pick the three most important elements for the wedding and concentrate your budget around them. Ours were food & drink, the band and the venue. For example, I was looking at chair covers but Andy pointed out that for the same price of the chair covers we could have an extra 30 bottles of champagne. Needless to say we went without chair covers in the end and I didn’t even notice!

Try not to look at too many options as it’s easy to confuse yourself – try or get quotes from a maximum of 3 places. 3 venues, 3 dress shops, 3 caterers… otherwise the planning can be all consuming.

a great gatsby wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James & Lianne (62)

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pearl’s girls. introducing the little pearl bridal boutique.

January 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (3)

This morning on these pretty pages I’m very proud to introduce a new Brides Up North Sponsor and brand new (so new its doors haven’t even opened!) bridal boutique for North Yorkshire, The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique.

The boutique’s fabulous owner, the lovely Diana, wanted to organise a special photo shoot to show off the wedding dresses that you’ll be able to find at The Little Pearl on launch day and beyond.  I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously excited…

Readers, I give you, pearl’s girls.

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography, Samantha Ward Photography and Georgina Harrison Photography, as individually credited in our gallery.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (9)

diana says: The inspiration behind the launch shoot for The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique was creating our own style of hollywood glamour.  Our vision for the boutique is elegant yet stylish with a warm, relaxed and welcoming feel.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (16)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (2)

We decided on The Talbot Hotel in Malton as a shoot location due its classic British design, period features, but also its modern take on traditional comforts.  The landscaped gardens and historic setting also provided some great backdrops for the photographers to work their magic!  We had the most talented people in Yorkshire involved on the day, all assisted by my good friend Jonny Draper at Jonny Draper Photography, who helped bring all these fantastic people together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (15)

We had the best photographers Yorkshire has to offer, who all brought their different style and edge to the shoot.  Hayley Baxter has such a contemporary style to her shooting, with the most stunning use of light.  Samantha Ward takes a relaxed and romantic approach. She’s passionate about film photography and incorporates shooting film within the wedding day, producing beautiful images, rich in tone and depth. Sam was thrilled to be involved in the Little Pearl Bridal photo shoot and says “Diana has sourced some stunning dresses for her boutique along with incredibly beautiful accessories and what a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph these gowns and details creatively with film.”

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (11)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (10)

Georgina Harrison shoots hybrid with traditional medium format film along side digital. Her style is feminine, using natural light to create luminous , light airy images that have a sense of romance with soft pastel tones. She always loves shooting bridal portraits and making woman feel comfortable so was delighted to be involved in this shoot and despite the damp, grey day she produced some gorgeous soft, light romantic images.

Having these photographers come together for our launch shoot was an honour and they’ve captured such beautiful and complimentary shots between them.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (4)

Our stunning models were styled by the superb and internationally renowned, hair and make up artist, Catherine Elizabeth.  She came along knowing exactly what would work both for the shoot and on the models themselves – a true pleasure.  I even learnt a few techniques myself!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (8)

Sarah of Leafy Couture brought along some stunning floral displays, from bouquets to floral crowns, which helped bring the essence of glamour and elegance together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (3)

The models (Laura, Kirstie, Livvie and Molly) are all friends of mine and even though it was a new experience for them, they were naturals! They all brought something different to the shots and loved playing dress up for the day!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (6)

The shoot itself went so well! Obviously it was my first time organising and running something like this, and everyone involved was so supportive and helpful throughout the day.  I loved finally seeing the dresses on, watching their movement and experimenting with different accessories to complete the look.  They all looked stunning!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (7)

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique is a beautifully elegant boutique, situated in the historic market town of Pickering, North Yorkshire.  We will be opening the doors in February and can’t wait for brides to come and see us.  Searching for your perfect gown is such an emotional experience, and should be a joy from the moment you start seeking out what designers you like to the day you walk down the aisle.

I have had a passion for all things bridal for as long as I can remember.  After working with my husband in the wedding industry and then searching for my own gown, I knew that opening a bridal boutique was my destiny.  I wanted to give brides the experience that I feel you should have when planning such an important purchase!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (1)

At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring ourcustomers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles.  Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches.  Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).

We have lots of exciting plans for the boutique, including exclusive events and helping brides and their families get access to and experience the very best wedding suppliers in Yorkshire.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (14)

The diary is now open! We will be having a launch open day, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to Pearls Girls via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl.  Contact us at to book your Little Pearl experience now.

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eye candy: amanda wyatt’s blue iris collection

January 8th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Adam Cowie - Client Magazine editorial


First week back at work, neeeeeeeearly the weekend… I think we need a little eye candy, don’t you girls? Today, it’s time to twirl.  Let’s take a look at the pretty, classic designs of Brides Up North Sponsor, Amanda Wyatt, and her beautiful blue iris collection.

Shall we play a little dress up?

Adam Cowie - Client Magazine editorial


amanda says: Iris was a Greek goddess and her name means the rainbow. In Greek legends and mythology she was the messenger of the gods, travelling to earth on a rainbow to deliver message of promise and hope.

Adam Cowie - Client Magazine editorial


The Blue Iris collection from Amanda Wyatt comprises 30 enchanting gowns that bring ‘love to life’. Soft chiffons, French and Italian laces, fine tulle and rich satins are adorned with frosted pearly beading and embellished details in a soft colour palette of ivory, buttermilk and a hint of blush.

Adam Cowie - Client Magazine editorial

Blue Iris

Amanda Wyatt Collection


Visit this feature’s gallery to view the full collection, or find out more at Amanda Wyatt’s website.

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real wedding recap 2014. a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

January 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Starting a brand new year on a high by recapping one of our most fun and fabulous weddings from 2014 sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Check out those rocking bridesmaids. Girl power.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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