March 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This evening’s inspiration comes from the lovely Caroline and Scott, who cosied up at Linthwaite House Hotel for their autumnal Lake District wedding. Opulent shades of plum and pink, a homely and characterful venue, cheese, cheese and more cheese – this wedding just makes me want to crack open the Merlot and be done with today.
So, if time and place allows, we advise you to do exactly that whilst soaking up this beautiful big day…
Photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.
caroline says: We got engaged on the 12th January in 2015. We’d been together for almost ten years at that point, and many of our friends and family were starting to wonder if we’d ever get engaged. Scott proposed while we were on a ski trip with friends – we were sitting at a picnic bench at the top of French Alps. It was a beautiful sunny morning and just a perfectly romantic moment. After I’d said yes, some of our friends got off the ski lift and took some pictures, then we all skied down the mountain for lunch and champagne. It was just a brilliant day!
We got married on the 20th October 2016. We chose the date as we wanted an autumn wedding and, as we were getting married in the Lake District, we knew the autumnal colours would look wonderful. Additionally, we hoped that the weather would still be mild with a little bit of light in the evening before the clocks changed. However, we didn’t worry about having it all our own way weather-wise, as if it did rain it would also create a cosy atmosphere for our guests at our venue.
We chose to get married at Linthwaite House Hotel at Bowness-on-Windermere. We always knew that we wanted to get married in the Lake District as it’s such a special place to us. We looked at three other hotels before visiting Linthwaite but as soon as we arrived there I just knew that it would be perfect. It ticked all of our boxes: beautiful views, extremely friendly staff, warm, homely interiors, beautiful rooms for our guests to stay and just amazing food. We really wanted a laid back and relaxed day that wasn’t stuffy; a place where our guests could truly relax once they arrived and, as we had exclusive use of the entire hotel, this is exactly what we got and a whole lot more. I really couldn’t recommend Linthwaite highly enough to any couple looking for a place to get married in the Lake District.
The time of year and the beautiful surroundings of the hotel also influenced our colour scheme. As it was October, we wanted rich autumnal colours and chose lovely shades of plum. It seemed to be a popular choice with my bridesmaids, too!
I wore a dress from Allure Bridals and accessorised it with a belt and bolero. I bought the dress from Adele Louise Bridal, which is a bridal boutique in Wolverhampton. This is quite far from where I live but my sister-in-law is a friend of the owner. I was pretty clueless as to what I was looking for so I went with her and my niece to try on a few dresses. I had an idea that I wanted something quite simple and this dress just seemed perfect. The beautiful lace design fitted in somehow with the timeless Lake District surroundings as well.
Scott wore a blue suit from Next and a bow tie that he bought online from San Francisco. Scott’s best men and also the fathers of the bride and groom also wore the same blue suit as Scott. The plum ties were from the same retailer in San Francisco.
I bought the bridesmaid dress online from a company called JJ’s House. I left getting the bridesmaid dresses quite close to the wedding as one of my bridesmaids was pregnant and I was a bit wary of buying them online, but they were great. They tailored the dresses and had such a big selection that I was able to get four different dresses for each of my different bridesmaids but in the exact same colour and they arrived really quickly.
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February 28th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Following a surge of engagements over Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s, we’ve been welcoming lots of lovely new brides-to-be to our pretty pages. If you’re one of them you may well be looking to steam straight into the wedding planning process, though feel a little overwhelmed with all the different elements to consider.
What areas should you tackle first, where should you invest the majority of your time and effort, and what should you look for in suppliers? Here to assist with some of the questions is our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning catering and events specialist Dine.
Catering for more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team has drawn on its vast experience of hospitality and event management, whilst also taking into account comments from some of its happy newlywed couples, to share its top ‘do and don’t’ tips to planning the perfect wedding.
We will be hosting one of our Luxury Bridal Show with the Dine team at its flagship venue The Mansion at Roundhay Park in Leeds, on Sunday 12th March, 11am till 3pm, free entry where you can gain further pointers and advice while meeting some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers. You can pre-register for the free-entry event here.
Now, on with those tips…
Images supplied by Dine/ Joel Skingle Photography
make sure you do
Give yourself plenty of time to plan and appreciate every part of the process. As the actual day goes by so quickly make sure that the anticipation and build up is also something you will remember with fondness.
Think carefully about the expense and research all aspects to ensure that your budget isn’t overstretched. You may well end up spending more than you originally planned. Wedding planners like ourselves can be a great asset when it comes to budget planning, as we have lots of experience and can advise where savings can be made and where it is worth splashing out.
Book the main aspects of the wedding such as venue, photographer and the registrar first as these often get booked up the quickest. Once these have been sorted it’s much easier to plan the rest of your wedding around them. For example, if your wedding is going to be in a stately home you may decide to theme the day accordingly.
To avoid disappointment, sit down with your photographer prior to the wedding to ensure they are fully aware of what you want to achieve and the photographs you’d like to be taken.
Communicate with each other and family, friends and suppliers. It is important that both the bride and groom with the plans for the day and communication is the best way to make sure this happens.
Remember that you have your partner to rely on. Even if everything feels like it is getting out of hand, the relationship between you and your partner means more than anything and should come before any wedding planning.
Make sure you involve all of your guests on the day as it is important everyone has fun. Think of the different age groups that will be present and plan elements, such as food and entertainment, accordingly.
Enjoy the day! It goes by in a flash so make sure to take it all in and take time out with your partner. Having an events caterer such as Dine means that you can spend more time with each other, as they will be checking everything runs smoothly, leaving you to simply relax and enjoy.
Leave planning to the last minute. Foresight saves you money, hassle and stress and no stress means you enjoy planning the big day far more.
Book suppliers that you don’t trust or whose work you haven’t looked at otherwise there’s a very high chance you’ll be unhappy with the results. Responsible suppliers also mean that on the day you can relax as you know they will be doing a great job.
February 24th, 2017 | Julia Braime
We’re so excited to introduce another event in our so-far so-fabulous spring 2017 calendar! *Does dance*
The finest North West wedding industry talent will be descending upon The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, for our Mini POP-UP Wedding Festival Bridal Show at this unique & authentic vintage venue THIS SUNDAY 26th February 2017, 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY!
This brilliant, exclusive use venue is as fun as it is special, with it’s high ceilings, sparkling drapes, ornate fireplaces and perfectly sprung dance floor. Dancing shoes at the ready! If you are looking for a bespoke and private wedding venue with a little added pizazz, it’s your lucky day.
We’ve added the very best floral designers, bridal boutiques, stationers, vintage cars , venue stylists, photographers, cakes, diamonds (and more!) that the area has to offer – plus a festival styling twist and lots of live music – to make sure that every detail of your big day is covered with individual style.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like a bit of a party…
bride to be?
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is register.
While stocks last only.
fancy exhibiting with us?
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2016. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this year.
Click here to view the full schedule.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Email Julia at email@example.com for details.
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February 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
Photographing weddings throughout the North West and beyond, Sarah describes her style of photography as “honest” capturing the magic of the day as it unfolds to compile a full story of a bride and groom’s big day.
As a special welcome gift to Brides Up North readers, Sarah is offering a fabulous 10% discount and an 8×8 album for all bookings made up until the end of May 2017. If you like what you see, just quote “Northern Soul” when enquiring.
So, let’s waste no time in handing over to the lady herself to tell us more about her passion for, and approach to, photographing weddings.
Can you tell us a little about your background? How long you have been in wedding photography for?
sarah says: I fell in love with photography when I was a bridesmaid for my sister about a decade ago. I only had a basic camera but I took pictures of everything, and from that day I was genuinely hooked. I upgraded my camera shortly after, trained, second shot for other photographers and soaked up everything that I could to do with photography. All different types of photography inspire me.
What was it that attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
As sad as it probably sounds, I suppose the little girl inside me who always wanted to find love. I always think that the outside world stops on your wedding day, you’re in a lovely bubble with your nearest and dearest. Everyone deserves that.
And what is it about your job that you love?
It really is an honour to photograph the start of a marriage. When you listen to the promises to love and support each other through whatever life is going to throw your way, it genuinely gets me every time. It’s the feeling that you’re witnessing such a special part of someone’s life as they’re about to start a new chapter.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
I’d describe my imagery as honest. I love eyes-screwed-up, mouth-open-wide laughter, photo bombs, kids having an inevitable tantrum, confetti being picked out of the bride’s hair, tears, tissues and a bit of dancefloor mayhem. I just believe in everyday beautiful – if that’s even a phrase!
What is the feedback like from your clients? What do they love about your approach, service and images?
I think my couples are always surprised when they get their images – in a good way! I work as more of a quiet observer and I really want people to enjoy their day. So when couples receive their images and see things that they’ve missed or forgotten, it surprises them.
How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?
When I nab couples away for ten to twenty minutes, I tell them to take that time just to be together and have a breather. Your wedding day goes so quickly and it is lovely just to have that peaceful moment – whether for a short walk, sneaky kiss or shared drink – before going back to your guests. Sometimes I play a few daft games, which makes people relax and laugh, but most couples are that focussed on one another that they soon forget about the camera.
Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?
Good question – and that’s quite hard to answer because people’s days stand out for different reasons. I second shot a wedding last year in France, which was so beautiful and rustic. The bride and groom were married outside, after the bridal party had spent their morning making the bouquets. It was a real family affair. During the wedding breakfast there was a regional power cut and took them over an hour to get the main course out. But it just didn’t phase the bride and groom, or any of the guests. Everyone was together and that was all that mattered.
I would personally love the opportunity to shoot a proposal and a surprise wedding, that would be amazing!
If you could shoot a celebrity’s wedding who’s would it be and why?
There’s two that spring to mind. The first would be Helena Bonham Carter because I love how she is unashamedly herself. She doesn’t pretend to be anyone else and is comfortable in her own skin. The second is Miranda Hart. I’ve often been compared to her by my friends and she really makes me laugh so that would be a great day.
And where would be your dream location to shoot?
Absolute dream location for me would be Tuscany. One of my first photography holidays was there and we shot at a small abandoned chapel. It was breath-taking and so tranquil. I could imagine a wedding there with family, lots of food and twinkly lights as the sun goes down.
February 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon, we’re talking entertainment, and in particular, how certain elements of a wedding venue can affect the performance of live acts and musicians.
To ensure the advice is coming directly from those with excellent experience in the field, we’re welcoming our wonderful Sponsor Seventh Second, back to the blog. Set up and run by talented and knowledgeable musicians, those behind Seventh Second know exactly what is required to secure professional, reliable and talented musical acts that will help to make a wedding day truly unique and memorable.
Following their previous guide on how to pick the right wedding band, the agency is taking over the blogging reins once again to advise what elements of a venue need to be considered to ensure you can have your desired choice of wedding entertainment.
Seventh Second say: This is the number one consideration as your wedding venue is going to most likely be your most expensive purchase. Hidden costs can turn your dream wedding venue into a huge expense. I think most of us would agree that a venue means nothing unless it’s filled with beautiful decorations, happy guests, fantastic food, service and entertainment, so consider what else you want at your chosen venue and plan and budget accordingly. You may have to compromise on a few little things so that you can afford the venue, entertainment and extras that you want.
Most of us Brits only really let loose once we’ve had a few beers and we’ve noticed over the years that by the time we get close to bedtime most people have only just plucked up the courage to dance, and so just as we finish the night’s entertainment, the party is getting started! We therefore suggest thinking about what kind of guests you have, what kind of wedding atmosphere you want to create and checking the opening hours whilst selecting your dream venue.
space and layout
Many clients ask us, how much space does the band need? We typically say a minimum of three by four metres for a three- to four-piece act is best and ask any act bigger than that. All our acts know what they need for any situation and band size, so just ask us for more information. Most wedding acts out there should know what they need if they are professional.
There’s also stages, plugs and power requirements. If the venue has a stage and its free, use it. If you have to rent one in, it will make the whole performance area look better.
Plugs and power-wise, a minimum of four standard plug sockets is usually fine but again, check what the venue actually has and then chat to the band. If you are running a generator, check its specifics. Don’t forget that you want a nice big space for dancing so chat to the venue about that too.
Ask venues if they have sound limiters, what decibel limit they are set to, and if acts have to use them. As a guide, any limiter that’s under 100 decibels is going to affect their performance a lot and anything under 90 decibels is only advised for acoustic acts.
filling the dancefloor
Wedding acts perform to their max when they have a packed dancefloor.
If you can help it, don’t serve food when a live band is performing. Try and coordinate with the band so their break coincides with your food service. No one dances with a wad of cake in their hand or a freshly filled stomach.
If the bride and groom are on the dance floor (i.e. you!) then your guests will be. Stay there and get your guests comfortable strutting their stuff and they will stay there too.
Pick great live wedding entertainment! Guests can tell if a band is not really putting their all into a performance. Read our guide on picking a wedding band or talk to us to get all the advice you need.
Not a must, but we often notice that the more freely available alcohol there is, the more dancing there is!
sound system and lights
If a venue has equipment the wedding band either has to use, or can use, it’s worth checking for sound limiters and making sure your wedding band has all the technical details of the sound and lighting system. Built in sound systems are becoming common as venues struggle to deal with noise complaints so if a venue has its own PA and lighting system this is probably for the best and any live act should be encouraged to use them. Regardless, all our acts follow a self-contained philosophy so they always have all the sound and light equipment you’d need for a great wedding.
To find out more abut Seventh Second and their acts and service, visit their website.
February 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s glamorous bride describes her agonising decision as to whether to go ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Kim Kardashian’ on the wedding dress front. In the end, her elegant gown was more grown-up princess than KK but every bit a showstopper.
This gorgeous duo really knows how to organise a party: their big day features a ten-piece band, a photo booth and gallons of Champagne. Plus, the photographs of Katherine with her seven gorgeous bridesmaids? Real #SquadGoals material.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.
katherine says: I had already picked my ring out at ROX jewellers in Leeds, with Oliver when we got engaged as we’d regularly talked about getting married. I had a very specific style in mind and we both agreed it would be better to pick a ring I loved instead of one I only liked! It was an amazing experience we both enjoyed and will cherish forever. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles as the glass doors behind us were locked by the security guard. We were the only customers in the store – absolute bliss!
Given that I knew the ring was coming (although I didn’t know when and where!) I told Oliver if he wanted to surprise me he’d have to catch me off guard. He did just that: he asked me to pop downstairs to help him carry something inside the house and as I reached the bottom step he was on one knee – with my ring! Of course, I said yes.
We both wanted to be married fairly quickly and were lucky enough to be financially able to do so. We were engaged August 2015 and were married September 2016. Oliver’s parents were married on the 28th September and my parents were married on the 29th September, so we decided to follow the trend with 30thSeptember. To get married on a Friday was significantly cheaper at most venues than a weekend and that encouraged us to go for a week day.
We visited dozens of venues, but fell in love with Monk Fryston Hall in Yorkshire, immediately. We wanted to find a venue that wasn’t too big (more than one wedding per day at some places), not too small (we both have big families) and that could provide overnight accommodation overnight. We both wanted a church wedding but were willing to organise and pay for the transportation of the guests from the church to the venue. However, this wasn’t necessary as there was a beautiful church, St. Wilfrid’s, just over the road. This sealed the deal for us and we organised a meeting with the wedding co-ordinator.
There was no real theme to the wedding other than the colour scheme, which was lilac – only because I had seven bridesmaids to cater for and found a lilac dress that everyone was happy with at the bargain price of £49 each in the January sales!
Everything was very simple. I wore a white gown with no bling, our cake was white with flowers, we used simple tea lights and hydrangea buds for decoration. It was such a beautiful venue it didn’t need much styling!
Style-wise, I batted between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Kim Kardashian’ for months! Did I fulfil my lifelong dream of wearing a wearing a poofy ball gown or did I go fashion forward and wear a skin tight fishtail gown? I went to several dress shops until I found Precious Bridal in Garforth – no pushy sales pitch, just a general introduction and then I was let loose in a shop full of gowns. Every bride’s dream! As my mum flicked through a catalogue she pointed out a dress she thought was lovely. I immediately recognised it – I actually had it saved on Pinterest. Donna suddenly revealed that she had it in stock! I had to try it on. Donna names each of her dresses so she can remember them easily, and so out of curiosity I asked what this dress was called. She replied ‘Katherine.’ I hadn’t even seen the dress and I knew it was the one. It was the perfect combination of elegance and a little bit of Cinderella.
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