Charlotte Balbier

reel love. 2 little ducks wedding videography

October 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

2 Little Ducks

This afternoon I am proud to introduce one super talented couple (and the cutest newlyweds like, ever), Becki and James of 2 little ducksWedding Videography.  They’re here to show off some of their short films, tell you why you should book a videographer for their big day (full disclosure: I didn’t think we needed a wedding video but now fully regret not having someone to capture our day on film), why it should be them and to offer Brides Up North readers a sneaky little discount while they’re at it!

Just quotes BridesUpNorth10 when you book to receive a 10% discount on all of their packages.

How did you get into wedding videography? 

In 2006 James bought a HD video-camera in Japan to shoot a little ninja film and when he returned he used it to film his sister’s wedding. Many films done as favours followed with lots of comments about how good the films were. This new love affair with filming resulted in James returning to University to complete his degree in Media, Technology and Production. It was at this time that we met, sharing a passion for film and photography we soon became a strong team and I quickly became James’ camera assistant and booking agent! 2 Little Ducks Wedding Videography was the result.

Why should a couple have a wedding video

Lots of reasons! Firstly, the day will go by so quickly, and you can’t possibly be everywhere at once. You are going to miss parts of your day unless a videographer is there to capture it. Secondly, a photographer will capture most of the sights but none of the sounds of your day. A wedding video allows you to replay your vows, the speeches, the cheers as you enter the room and the laughter of you, your friends and your family. Also a wedding video is a time capsule, you can pass it on to your children and grandchildren and show them all the family members who they sadly may not have been able to meet.

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding videographer?

Everyone is at their best on a wedding day. Everyone looks fabulous, has come together in a celebration of love, togetherness and hope for the future and this makes them happy smiley people (the food, drink and dancing helps with that too!). The best thing about being a wedding videographer is capturing the little moments which the bride and groom have missed and knowing that you will put that in the video and they will love it! It is a privilege to be part of the most special day of people’s lives.

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

Mostly that is about the preparation time beforehand, lots of people are nervous around cameras so meeting us beforehand reassures them that they are not going to have the camera up close in their face, that we are discreet and relaxed whilst being completely professional. They are relaxed about us on the day as they know that we will do a great job! In our experience though all the nerves come before the big day. Once the wedding day begins most couples just go with it and enjoy it, many couples tell us that they barely noticed us there as they are just concentrating on enjoying their day, guests, however, do have to be encouraged not to “duck” underneath the camera as this looks worse on film than if they just walked in front!

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

Last year we filmed a lovely couple Terry and Maureen, they had been together for over 30 years but had never got around to tying the knot, sadly Maureen had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and this was the impetus for them to finally have their special day. We were filming their first dance, Terry with his arms tight around Maureen and captured their eldest son, looking on and wiping a tear from his eye. Even thinking about it now makes me emotional. Our experience with Terry and Maureen has led us to our support of a fantastic charity “Gift of a Wedding” which asks for donations from wedding suppliers to ensure that other couples who don’t have long together are able to have a perfect day.

What sets you apart from other wedding videographers?

2 Little Ducks are about capturing your day not about getting you to perform, we have seen loads of wedding videos which we know as professionals must have taken ages to set up, cutting into the couple’s enjoyment of the day. We tell couples we will film whatever you want us to film but try and just relax and enjoy your day without feeling you have to create something “different”, in years to come this will look dated.

The other thing that sets us apart is we actually have video cameras! Many videographers actually use DSLR cameras with a record button, the quality is nowhere near the video cameras we have and reliability can often be an issue leading to important parts of your wedding being missed. We promise every couple a highlight reel of their day within 2-3 weeks whilst we continue to edit the full video. This gives you reassurance that we did capture your wedding and also allows you to replay the day for yourselves, your friends and family and for others who could not be there on the day.

We have an aerial camera which can capture footage from high in the air, this is great for outdoor weddings or those at stately homes / country houses where you want to capture full scale and grandeur of the location. We recently used this to film a firework display, the results are stunning, though we were a little scared that the camera be blown out of the sky!

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

They can expect that we will be there early, ready to go, that we will be smart, professional and polite, we will work well with other suppliers and often meet or talk to for example the photographer beforehand to ensure a smooth running day. We will capture everything you want capturing but won’t get in your way.

Tell us about some your most recent collaborations and styled shoots with other industry professionals?

We recently collaborated with Minihaha Garande of Brachetto Weddings on a styled shoot in Skipton. This was our first experience of a styled shoot and it was great fun as well as an opportunity to meet some fabulous local wedding suppliers, Medici Macarons, Photography by Kathryn, Minnie Bee’s Floral Design and Cakes for Show. We have also just completed a promotional video for Peak Tipis who have a great team of people behind an amazing product. Those Tipi’s are huge, awe-inspiring and magical inside!

What projects do you have coming up ?

We have such exciting weddings booked for this season, I am looking forward to a Yurt wedding at Bolton Abbey, a Bollywood dancing vs Ceilidh dance off in North Yorkshire, a big band at Victoria Hall and lots of fun and garden games at Sutton Park. Everyone has such different and fun ideas for their wedding!

You are newly-weds yourselves – tell us about your own big day?

We got married in August last year at St Stephens Church in Skipton and had our reception at The Priests House in Barden Tower. We wanted our wedding to be intimate and only had 40 close friends and family members there with a few more on the evening, it was a very relaxed and fun day, I laughed so much my face hurt! We asked two friends of ours who are both trained camera operators to help in capturing the day though of course James could not stop himself setting up shots and doing some of the filming once we were at the reception. He edited a beautiful highlight reel for us which I can’t stop showing people!

What is included in your package? 

We have three main “packages” though we are happy to work with couples to create something bespoke. Our Silver package is for couples who just want to have the ceremony capturing so we would cover the arrival of bride and groom, ceremony and register signing then leaving the ceremony, this package costs £400 and offers couples the opportunity to have a record of the day without breaking the bank! Our Gold package is priced at £600 and will cover everything from the silver package plus the arrival at reception (if in a different location) and the wedding breakfast, though not close ups of people eating! Also the speeches and the cutting of the cake. Some couples feel that they after this point they just want to let their hair down, get a few drinks and don’t necessarily want what happens afterwards recording on film so we can leave before it gets messy! Our Platinum package basically ensures that we are there all day and for as long you want us into the night. It will cover everything from the 2 previous packages but also the first dance evening reception and entertainment and we include bridal prep filming in this if the bride wants it. Our cameras are excellent at filming in low light and will easily be able to record at night including any evening entertainment such as fireworks.

All our packages include the 3 minute highlight film. There are also a range of extras such a photo slideshow on the DVD using photos supplied by the bride and groom or our screen-grabs from the day. We can make a very funky graphic novel using screenshots too, a funky alternative to your traditional framed wedding photo.

We are also happy to film proposals, engagement parties, hen and stag parties and a lovely idea we think is to record “secret” video messages from the bride to groom and vice versa that can be watched on the morning of the wedding as the couple get ready. James wrote me a lovely letter which I fortunately read before my makeup went on and it was so lovely just to hear from him at that point. We wished we had thought to do little films ourselves!

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

We are happy to offer Brides Up North readers a discount of 10% on all of our packages. Just quotes BridesUpNorth10 when you book!

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

We have a fab website which James designed himself which has more info on including FAQ’s, examples of our work and a contact form, or you can email us at, call on 07817 664605, tweet @2DucksWeddings or visit our Facebook page.

Anything else we should know?

We are a very friendly bunch and never put people under pressure to book. We are passionate believers that every couple should have their wedding filmed as we know so many people who have regretted not doing it but if you get in touch we are happy to just give you the information you ask for and leave it up to you!

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pastels & peonies. mori Lee for an oh so pretty wedding at wynyard hall – caitlin & matthew

September 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (73)

We love pink, we adore peonies and we’ve always got room for cake – these are just a few reasons why we fell head over heels for this morning’s real wedding (as we’re sure you will too) when it landed in our inbox.

Bride Caitlin wanted an elegant shabby chic feel to her big day and so teamed cute homemade decorative items with her favourite pastel tones of lemon and dusky pink.

The result is just beautiful and it’s not just the setting that looks stunning, for the wedding party themselves are pushing the bar high in the style stakes. We love the maids’ girly full-length dresses, the guys’ smart suits and of course Caitlin’s gorgeous Mori Lee lace dress, complete with a pretty bespoke belt.

With images by the fabulous Helen Russell Photography.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (1)

caitlin says: We got engaged at home, in our cosy little bungalow! Matthew decided to wine and dine me with a Chinese box from the supermarket (good job I love things like that!) and surrounded by candles he got down on one knee and popped the question! Matthew is not the type to make a scene in front of people in a posh restaurant, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

We set the date for Friday 10th July 2015. We were hoping it would be a perfect sunny day and luckily enough, it was!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (5)

Wynyard Hall was our chosen venue. I just loved the stately home, picturesque feel it had. The terrace out of the back had amazing views of the lake and it just felt perfect. The first time I visited I was with my mam and she loved it just as much as I did (good job Matthew liked it too!)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (4)

The theme I had in mind was a vintage, rustic, shabby chic theme. I love all things like this and we decided to make/source as many of the decorations we could ourselves. We recycled glass jars for months on end and decorated everyone differently! I made all of the save the dates, invitations, order of services and loved every minute! Not only did this keep costs down, but it also made things feel extra special.

Our colour scheme was pale lemon and dusty pink. I loved these pastel colours as I thought they were summery but classy!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (7)

I was lucky enough to find my amazing Mori Lee dress in a lovely little family run boutique called Dobinsons of Darlington. It was a beautiful mermaid style with lace detail throughout. Initially the dress had straps and I thought it didn’t suit me, however with a few changes to make it a sweetheart neckline, it was perfect! A friend of mine made my wedding belt and I wore Kurt Geiger sandals to complete my look.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (15)

Matthew wore a Paul Costello charcoal grey suit with faint checks from Slaters in Newcastle. He wanted a three piece suit with a waistcoat and wore a dusty pink tie, pocket watch and tan Ted Baker shoes!

All six of our bridesmaids wore gorgeous, floaty, one-shouldered, pale lemon dresses from Coast and the groomsmen wore charcoal suits, also from Slaters in Newcastle, with pale lemon ties and hessian flower shaped button holes.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

Helen Russell was our photographer. Helen was absolutely amazing, she was the best photographer we could have asked for and made everyone feel so comfortable on the day. We loved the natural photographs Helen takes and we would 100 per cent recommend her to anyone. We had our pre wedding shoot the month before which made us so relaxed and excited for the day and are over the moon with all of our photographs!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

When it came to the flowers, I carried dusty pink peonies with pale lemon roses and the bridesmaids and flower girl carried the same in smaller bouquets.

We wanted to keep with the peony theme in the décor and so used the same flowers in jugs placed on pieces of wood for the centrepieces along with rustic jars and candles. We also had single peonies and carnations in jars along the aisle and on the fireplaces at Wynyard. My family helped so much with sourcing the jars and centrepieces and made the day extra special.

For the reception we also hired chiavari chairs from The Finishing Touch Company, which made the rooms look perfect!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (28)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (69)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (72)

As favours we gave small jam jars filled with pink alcohol for the adults and filled with sweeties for the children. Also a chocolate truffle heart for an extra treat!

Our guests were also treated to an amazing cake table, made by Bernadette from Dreamworld Cakes in Newcastle. Our wedding cake had four tiers, two being Belgian chocolate and the other two being white chocolate and raspberry, it was then decorated with rustic theme in mind with peonies and raffia. We also had Baileys chocolate and Victoria sponge mini cakes, lemon and passion fruit cupcakes, cake pops and strawberry and pistachio macaroons!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (40)

For the entertainment we decided to hire wedding pianists, Daniel Ackerley and Martin Dack, who played throughout the ceremony and right through the wedding breakfast. We also had Paul Lytton who was a fantastic magician and The Ultimate Wedding DJ for the disco. As an extra special touch we also hired large ‘C & M’ letters from Coco Luminaire and a vintage photo booth from Snaparazzi.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (42)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (45)

I would recommend all of ours suppliers and also our venue to other couples. Our wedding coordinator Emily made the day go as smooth as possible and I felt confident everything would go to plan! Wynyard made our rooms look amazing and all the staff were friendly and helpful. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

It’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the wedding as the whole day was amazing, but I think it would be walking in to the conservatory being announced as Mr & Mrs Summerbell ready to cut the cake and have our first dance!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (77)

For our honeymoon we went to El Dorado Casitas Royale in Riveria Maya, Mexico! This place was heaven and we were so lucky so spend our honeymoon in such luxury! The restaurants were all a la carte and on the beach front, it was so relaxing and we would definitely revisit on our anniversary – one day! We are now expecting our first baby. After unexpectedly finding out on our honeymoon, we are so shocked but so excited and can’t wait for the future!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (78)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to stress too much about all the tiny details leading up to the wedding, and for the groom I’d say try and help take some of this stress away from the bride! I was so worried about the room looking how I imagined however the staff at the venue were so good they made it look better than I ever could have. Brides and grooms should also try to take in as much of the day as possible as it goes so fast, enjoy every minute.

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a diary date for #pearlsgirls

September 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Georgina Harrison Photography

Brides Up North fave Diana of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (plus some of her ever so lovely friends) are hijacking these pretty pages this lunchtime with a very special invitation.

diana says: We would like to thrilled to invite you to an afternoon of pure elegance & style, hosted by the fabulous boutique venue, The Pheasant in Harome, North Yorkshire on Sunday 11th October 2015 from 1pm to 4pm.

Exclusive Event Invitation

We will shower you with fizz and canapés on arrival, where you will then have the chance to chat to some of the best local wedding suppliers there are. There will be lots more treats throughout the afternoon and a few surprises too!!

Hayley Baxter Photography
At 2pm there will be an exclusive preview of new collection gowns that have arrived in to the boutique from Charlotte Balbier, Enzoani and Sassi Holford Bridal Design plus some of their gorgeous current collections. There’ll be lots of sparkle, shoes, feathers and lingerie too from our accessory designers – Rachel Simpson Shoes, Charlotte Mills Bridal, Flo & Percy, Chez Bec, Sasso Bride, Pompadour Couture Lingerie and Amanda Wyatt. It is going to be amazingly beautiful!

Samantha Ward Photography

You can keep up to date on all of our fabulous ‘wedding friends’ that will joining us on the day via our Facebook event page. Tickets are FREE so to book your place, just call the boutique on 01751 798080, email or click here to go through to our contact form on on our website.We just need to know numbers for all the treats we have planned for you.

Get the girls together and enjoy an afternoon of wedding inspiration…

See you there! #pearlsgirls

Images by Georgina Harrison, Hayley Baxter and Samantha Ward.

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the italian lakes. a colourful wedding in windermere – julia & alex

September 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (37)

A little later than planned (we’ve been in recovery from another very busy weekend of wonderful wedding inspiration!), but worth waiting for, we bring you the super gorgeous wedding of Brides Up North reader Julia and her brand new husband Alex.  Inspired by the colours and tones of their one time Italian home, this beautiful, colourful wedding is an absolute feast for the senses.

Prepare for a Pinterest frenzy.

With beautiful images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (8)

julia says: We were living in Italy at the time we got engaged. Disguising a trip home as ‘lads university reunion’ Alex assembled the ‘Ring Squad’ – made up of his parents, brother and very lovely cousin to help choose a ring for me. The jewellers were Michael Levin of Nottingham who specialise in antique pieces, which I’d long before fallen for on a shopping trip to the city.

Living in Milan at the time, Alex had planned a trip down to Rome for my birthday – unbeknownst to me he was ducking into the toilet on the train trying to call my dad at every opportunity to ask him for permission to marry me! On our second night in Rome, Alex asked me to come out onto our balcony that was picked intentionally with its towering view of the Eternal City, as we were getting ready to go out. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and pulled out the most beautifully sparkly ring I have ever seen. We both burst into tears. I said ‘yes’ of course and celebrated by heading out for a really romantic dinner. We were in such a bubble, it was incredible. We delayed telling our friends and family until the next day (we let our parents know), so that we could truly live in the moment that we’d created.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (6)

We knew we wanted to get married in the summer, and I was under strict instructions from Alex to avoid the football season due to our football mad families. We set our hearts on 6th June 2015 – which is actually D-Day! One week after the conclusion of the Premiership season!

We’ve had many romantic weeks and even a few New Year’s Eves in Windermere up in the Lake District over our 6 year relationship. It’s also somewhere we used to go as kids with our families before we met – weirdly enough! We both decided on the Lakes pretty early in the planning – we’re both from the North (me from Liverpool and Alex from Bradford) so we wanted somewhere meaningful but a middle ground. We saw a few venues in the area before we came across the Merewood Country House Hotel. It had the stunning views of Windermere we wanted, plus it was such a historic mansion (once the home of the Earl of Lonsdale) with beautiful interiors. Once we met Lorna (the fierce Scottish manager!) we knew it was meant to be. She went out of her way to make things happen for us and it was like coming home every time we came to visit the venue. Once we tasted the food that was it, we signed on the dotted line.

I am Catholic and it was really important to me to get married in a church. We tied the knot at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Coniston perched above the lake. It was a very Cumbrian looking slate church with gorgeous stained glass windows. Father Bob was really good at making the service enjoyable for people who weren’t religious; we had so many moving comments from guests about the ceremony and it was really inclusive.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Our wedding day was inspired by a weekend we had in Cinque Terre when we were still living in Italy. It was a year to the day until we got married and we walked between the stunning Italian towns on the coast. They’re five fishing towns in Liguria made up of warm copper colours, with yellow and pinks, with lots of luscious plants and the sea close by. It was a very romantic weekend and I was really inspired by the tones. My flowers by Jane Thompson at Flower Design, reflected these colours and included many Italian foliage. Our wines and some of the menu also had a subtle Italian theme. I even propped my mood board for Jane in the hallway of the Merewood on the day.

Our colour scheme was coral and greens – I wanted to remind us of the stunning Mediterranean colours and vibrancy of Cinque Terre – even though we were celebrating with guests in the English Lakes, it really worked with the beauty of another special place for Alex and I.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

For my wedding gown, I knew I wanted something fitted, but elegant. I tried on a few ballgowns and they really didn’t suit my curvy figure, so I narrowed my search down to sweetheart neckline with a trumpet style fit and flare gown. I went to about 5 shops with my mum and bridesmaids and left empty handed, sadly. A few weeks later, on a whim my mum and I went to Society Brides  in Liverpool city centre and they had just received Sophia Tolli’s dreamy lace Brienne and they persuaded me to try it on. It was meant to be, it was the one for me.

My veil was a two-tiered veil from Richard Designs. I wanted the drama of a chapel length veil for our church wedding but also the blusher over my face, which I could flick back and wear all day. My headpiece was from Glitzy Secrets and the flowers worked really well with the lace of my dress. My shoes and earrings were from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. The shoes were so comfortable; I danced in them all night long.

My signature scent was the spicy and oriental Calincantus by the ancient apothecary Santa Maria Novella in Florence. I wear it on special occasions now, Alex loves it too. I also wore a vintage pearl bracelet from the gorgeous antique jewellers in Nottingham which is where all our rings are from.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (22)

Alex is into his style so he knew early on that he wanted a tailored three-piece suit in navy blue. I found Michelsberg Tailors in Leeds’ Victoria Arcade on a wedding blog, and the process began. He even had a shirt tailored with his initials ‘AB’ on the cuffs. Why should the brides have all the fun?!

I bought him some solid silver cufflinks in the shape of white roses (the symbol of Yorkshire for my Yorkshire groom) from an amazing lady on Etsy called Sarah-Jane Egan based in Caerphilly. He wore black Loake’s dress shoes and a pistachio green tie from Reiss.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

My three bridesmaids wore coral convertible dresses which were actually from New Look. They all wore them differently to suit their figures and they were all floor length versions. I loved how they looked with their bouquets and they swished around the dance floor in them all night. Their shoes were strappy light gold sandals from Dune and I bought them rose gold tear-drop earrings to wear on the day.

The groomsmen wore navy blue two-piece suits from Charles Trywhitt in Leeds with silk green ties with leaves on them.

Our two flower girls – one was my niece, Catherine and the other was Alex’s cousin’s little girl, Sophie – wore pretty ivory dresses and shoes from John Lewis. I made their headbands with flowers from H&M and a very interesting few hours with a glue gun in my parents’ kitchen.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

The day was wonderful because the start was so chilled. In the morning myself, my mum and my three bridesmaids donned our floral robes and sipped prosecco. Lorna set up a table in the bridal suite for me and the bridesmaids to have breakfast which was lovely. It was great to start the day so relaxed and looked after. We had so much fun with utterly adorable Katie Tweedale our hairdresser for the day, and the fabulous Bridget Foster on make-up who were loving our 1990s playlist and our Liverpudlian humour!

But our (joint!) real favourite part of the day was turning around to our guests in the church as we were about to walk down the aisle to see their faces when our brother in law Richard began to play us out to ‘Match of the Day’ on his piano! No one expected it and both families are huge football fans so we got a great reaction – even some high 5s as we made our way out of the church! That was such a proud and fun moment for both of us – we literally floated out of the church.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

Our guests had come from far and wide – even as far as the USA and Italy so we wanted everyone to relax. We hired a Routemaster bus from Classic Buses to collect everyone at the Merewood and take the guests to and from the church. I sourced a vintage ticket clipper for my bus geek of an Uncle Brian who was able to clip pretend tickets for everyone getting on the bus with the help of his granddaughter. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more!

I travelled to the church with my parents and my 4-year-old niece in a 1937 Rolls Royce which was fabulous and owned by the lovely Tony Henderson at Lakeland Wedding Cars. I felt no nerves travelling to the church and the scenery was really gorgeous. Alex and I then travelled back in the car to the Merewood and sipped a few glasses of bubbles in the back. We got a lot of waves and cheers from the mountain climbers and walkers en route.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

Our photographer was James Tracey. He’d shot a wedding of a friend a few years back in Manchester’s Victoria Baths and I loved his style. He captured all the emotions of a wedding day and we booked him very early on in the process. Our pre-shoot in April was really fun with James, even though it was blowing a gale in Manchester, he still made us laugh and we loved the photos. On our wedding day, James brought along the lovely Daniel Lloyd Photography who assisted on the day. The two of them were really good at getting in there and getting on with things and letting us get back to our guests. We really appreciated that. I’d recommend both of them, we love the vibrancy and realness of our photographs.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (67)

My flowers were my favourite things about the day (after marrying the love of my life, of course!) We chose Jane Thompson at Flower Design early on – she’s based in Blackpool and made time for us on our flying visits back from Italy. Jane totally got what we wanted from our wedding day. In our pre-meet a few weeks before the meeting she made prototypes of my bouquet and the table settings. It was a wrench to give my prototype bouquet back!

My bouquet included coral & bowl of cream peonies, viburnum opulus, fresh lily of the valley, apricot hyacinths, olive foliage, juliet & patience roses from David Austin, white hydrangeas, sperengerii, eucalyptus, umbrella fern, sweet peas and lovely fragrant rosemary. The peonies changed throughout the day and opened up, I really loved how they looked and the scent was to die for.

All the groomsmen’s’ boutonnieres were totally different. Alex commented that his white peony looked like a scoop of gelato (ice-cream)!

In the church we had posies to match the flowers in the bouquets, tied in little jars at the pew-ends. These were then transported to the Merewood and dotted around the reception.

The Merewood’s dining tables were decorated with the gorgeous crystal cake plinths topped with relaxed designs featuring a stunning combination of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, gloriosa rothschild and sweet peas and foliage with Italian Olive foliage, with real peaches and apricots scattered about. Jane used the same flowers on the top table in a range of different glass vases and vessels, they were so pretty in the afternoon sunlght. We chose low flower displays so our guests could enjoy the Lakeland countryside from the Merewood’s huge windows.

We took lots of our flowers to our minimoon hotel which was close by and scattered them around our suite. They lasted until the end of the minimoon!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

We used the very patient Kerry from Project Pretty in Chester for our Save the Dates and invitations, the green backgrounds and coral flowers hinted at our colour scheme. Kerry also made the menus for each table which we stood up on old Prosecco corks we collected in Italy. Kerry was really easy to work with, even after our many amends on countless proofs!

I also designed the order of services for the church and my mum got these printed out in Liverpool. I collected family wedding photographs from both sets of parents of their own weddings and the weddings of their parents and they took pride of place in the hall way of the Merewood next to Alex’s Roman head which he has had since he was about 15! I also covered the J & A with special paper and glue to sit alongside these bits in the hallway of the Merewood to make it more personal.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (56)

The gold calligraphy table numbers were handmade in Texas by Tina at Better Off Wed. I loved how they looked against the flowers. We also hired gold Cheltenham chairs from Lancashire Event Hire, they tied in with the gold tones throughout the day.

I made the table plan from scratch and printed the table cards myself. I found the frame in a charity shop and painted it and bought the lace to string the tables onto it from a craft shop. The table plan sat on a really ornate gold easel from Megan at Typical Type. I loved how it turned out! We also hired a huge light up heart from Megan at Typical Type, this was really fun later on on the dancefloor and we got some great group shots after hours with it!

I also made the confetti out of coloured tissue paper and the confetti cones out of doilies which everyone used outside the church. We went bright on colour because you never know how the weather will be in the Lakes. I was really happy with the colours!

My bridesmaid Kate made the card sign which we hung on a vintage wicker picnic basket and bunting out of gorgeously pretty floral material, it looked so lovely on the day. I also bought tasseling for the sweet table and pom poms from Decopoms on Etsy which were dotted around the bar area.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

Instead of favours we had a sweet table which my bridesmaid Claire organised the sweets for. She has a massive sweet tooth! We hired the jars and containers from local wedding stylist Amy Brunton at Sure to Surprise You and Amy styled the dresser with lace and pearls. I bought some peachy tasseling from Etsy to go along the sweet table.

Alex is a Yorkshire boy and one of our first dates was in Betty’s York on August 1st 2009. We decided early on that the cake would be from Betty’s, choosing between them was the hard part. In the end we went for three-tiered cake with two layers of their famous fondant fancies and the top layer was iced Swiss Sacher chocolate and apricot cake. It came with the most stunning solid silver cake stand and knife which were nearly 100 years old.

Lorna saved us two cakes and we ate these the next day in our suite with some champagne at the Gilpin and wallowed in the love.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We chose The Twentysomethings after researching and finding them online. They’re a covers band with great vocals and a trumpeter and saxophonist so they played all sorts from Prince to Daft Punk and Shaka Khan. It was really easy to work with Daniel and the band to get the set list right. Everyone danced all night, it was wonderful to see everyone letting their hair down and partying with us.

Music played a big part in our day. We had a close family friend, Richard, who is a super talented pianist play the music in the church. I entered to a really special song for both of us, the Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build A Home’, and we left the church on a high with ‘Match of the Day’. It was amazing to have him play for us during these special moments.

Our first dance was to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ – they’re one of our favourite bands and we learned a fun 2 minute routine with Emma-Joy at All Steps who visited our house to teach us. Our guests loved it and it really set the tone for the night – the second song was ‘You Can Call Me Al’ for Alex! Everyone went crazy for that!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

I would whole-heartedly recommend the Merewood, it’s intimate enough to feel like home but grand enough to really make the day special. Lorna and her team quite frankly know their weddings so if something really won’t work they’ll tell you and suggest an alternative. That’s really helpful during wedding planning. They looked after every single guest and worked so hard to make everything run smoothly. Planning a wedding from aboard can be tough, but Lorna and the team at the Merewood were great over email and kept us updated on things.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (71)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We spent 3 romantic days at the Gilpin Lodge near Windermere in a garden suite with our private hot-tube, next to a very interested family of llamas. It was lovely to be surrounded by Jane’s flowers and to read our cards and open our gifts. We enjoyed lots of great food and some lovely spa treatments, as well as a cruise on Windermere.

Our proper honeymoon or maximoon is in October this year and we are going to India for three weeks. We’ll visit India’s spiritual centre in Rishikesh (the home of yoga), the have a few days in Delhi, then head to Agra and the Taj Mahal, then we’ll go on safari in Ranthambore and hopefully see some tigers, followed by a few nights in Jaipur (the Pink City) and Udaipur to the stunning lake. We both love India food and adventure.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (87)

Make time for each other throughout the day were you take in everything that is going on around you. It goes in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to have a few parts of the day alone to appreciate what you have achieved and what it means now for both of you. The amazingness has just begun, really.

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win your wedding photography with jemma king!

September 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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Sometimes, the best things in life are the things that you didn’t plan for. We love surprises here at Brides Up North (the freebie kind of surprises, rather than the server troubles kind of surprises, of course), so that’s why we’ve collaborated with one of our shiny new Brides Up North Sponsors to run a really rather fabulous competition here on the wedding blog, on this otherwise pretty dull Thursday.

Creative wedding photographer, Jemma King is offering one lucky bride the chance to win your wedding photography for the day! Completely free. Now how about that for a bargain?

A professional photographer since 2011, Jemma says that she loves the fact that each wedding is unique, and to be there to document the story of each couple’s big day unfold is just priceless.  Now, she’s looking to work with one very special, lucky couple to give some love back your way!

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jemma says: Wedding photography is such a huge responsibility, but it’s a responsibility I absolutely love to have. For me, it is the biggest honour to photograph someone’s wedding day, and I am so lucky that I get to call this my job.

Your wedding day is so special, but once the guests have gone home and the cake is eaten, all you have left are the photographs. Years down the line when you look back at those photographs I want you to relive your day over and over again. I want you to feel what you felt in that moment – whether it was excitement, nervousness or just pure happiness.

I am offering one lucky couple the chance to win their wedding photography worth over £1000 completely free!

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up for grabs

– A 1-2 hour pre-wedding engagement shoot in/around the  Yorkshire area;
– A full day of wedding photography (preparations to first dance);
– All final edited high resolution images from both the wedding and engagement shoot with printing and sharing rights.

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in it to win it

You can enter if you’re getting married in 2015 or 2016, and to be in with a chance of winning simply visit Jemma’s site to enter, armed with the following information (simples!):

– Your and your partner’s name;
– a photograph of the two of you together;
– your wedding date;
– your wedding venue(s);
– a little about the type of day you’re planning (plus links to your Pinterest boards if you have them);
– and what makes your wedding plans unique.

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the small print

– The winners will receive an engagement shoot and a full day of wedding photography from Jemma King Photography, with a disk of 300+ high resolution, fully edited wedding images, and  25+ high resolution, fully edited engagement images.
– The closing date for entries is 31st October 2015, winners will be notified by email within 2 weeks after this date.
– The winning wedding must take place before 31st December 2016.
– The wedding can take place anywhere in the world. Reasonable transportation (and accommodation if required) costs from Hull must be covered by the winners.
– Only 1 entry per couple.
– Winners must be willing to be featured on Brides Up North.
– Jemma King reserves the right to use the wedding and engagement images for promotional purposes.
– No purchase necessary.
– No cash alternative will be offered and the judge’s decision is final.

Jemma King Photography (15)

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