October 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
“Life’s too short” is a phrase and thought responsible for bringing on, or speeding up, many a plan, whether it be booking that holiday of a lifetime, taking the plunge on a new business venture or simply agreeing to a spontaneous night out. For today’s featured couple however, it was that very thought that led to them getting hitched, after Kevin was taken seriously ill in hospital.
Fighting back strong, Kevin spent the next 18 months recovering while Amanda got the big day plans underway and together they achieved their goal of becoming Mr and Mrs, surrounded by family and friends at a stylish venue in the North West.
Working to a budget, creative Amanda kept costs down by doing her own wedding flowers and centrepieces, which looked gorgeous in shades of pink with pretty pearl detailing. We also love Amanda’s Bardot neckline dress, which has the perfect balance of fashion and fairytale.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Robbie Venn Photography.
amanda says: We began planning our wedding after Kevin suffered three cardiac arrests in November 2015 – he was given 5% chance of survival. We realised life is too short so decided to get married. It was more a case of me actually saying: “I think after this I’ll marry you”, and it snowballed from there.
We set the date for 20th May 2017. We didn’t want to wait too long but it also gave Kevin enough time in his recovery.
Our chosen venue was On The 7th, The Landings at Media City, Salford. After looking at several venues we realised we didn’t want the usual white covered chairs style of venue. On The 7th is a modern venue, with stylish décor – we didn’t need to do anything to decorate it. The staff were also amazing, from the wedding coordinator to the master of ceremonies.
I didn’t have a colour in mind for the wedding initially but then I saw a bridesmaid dress style I liked, which was navy, so settled on a navy and pink colour scheme.
I wore a ball gown style dress with a sweetheart bodice, which was from Wed2Be, Bolton. I didn’t know what style would suit me at all, so went with Kevin’s mum try different styles on. Being a larger-chested girl, I had in my mind totally ruled out anything without straps. I tried several dresses on and the last one was the one I ended up choosing – the one with no straps! It felt amazing, I couldn’t believe how it made me feel, and how it didn’t make me look busty, surprisingly.
Kevin wore a navy blue suit from Next with a matching waistcoat and pink tie, pink button hole, and black shoes. The groomsmen’s suits were all from Next too.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Chi Chi London, which were also navy blue, 50’s sort of style. I didn’t want to go for a usual bridesmaid dress. Luckily the dresses suited all bridesmaids. The flowergirl’s dress was from Monsoon.
The bridal party arrived at the venue in a white campervan, from Posh Pampa Campa. I didn’t take in to account how old campervans were at the time of booking! It cut out at each set of traffic lights on the way to the venue, which made the journey all the more memorable. Kevin’s twin brother booked a limousine from bookerlimo.com, which was a surprise to Kevin.
October 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime
There is no finer way to begin your week than poring over this utterly divine real wedding that takes place at one of our very favourite Northern venues, the stunning Lartington Hall.
Bride and groom, Stephanie and Lee, equally fell for this utterly beautiful setting for their big day with wow-worthy interiors, gorgeous gardens and impressive entertaining spaces as standard.
Keen to complement rather than complicate, the couple decided to let the venue speak for itself and add simple décor using an elegant colour scheme of golds, creams and blush, with whimsical flowers and greenery to complete their classic vision.
Our heart is totally stolen by Stephanie’s pretty Pronovias gown, complete with cathedral-length veil and pointy Emmy shoes. Actual #stylinggoals!
stephanie says: We got engaged in New York on Christmas Eve 2015. I had no idea Lee was going to propose. We had always talked about getting married but always thought it would be in a few more years (even though we had already been together for eight years). We were just walking through Central Park on the morning of Christmas Eve and Lee asked me if I would like to marry him. There was no one else around and he had a little box hidden in his pocket with a note inside. He knows how particular I am so wanted to take me with him so we could choose a ring together. We then went to Tavern On The Green for lunch.
Our wedding date was May 13th 2017. At first, I was a bit dubious about choosing the 13th however we decided to ignore superstition and make 13 a lucky number for us. Plus, it meant all of our favourite suppliers were also available on that day as no one else wanted it!
We got married at Whitburn Parish Church and then went on to the beautiful Lartington Hall, Teesdale, for our reception.
From such a young age I always wanted to get married in my parish church so there was no doubt that the wedding ceremony was going to be there. As for the reception, we wanted a venue where none of our friends and family had been before. And me being me, wanted attention to detail and somewhere that had the wow factor.
We had heard of Lartington Hall but always thought it was a little bit too far (considering we were getting married in Whitburn) but after months of searching for the perfect place we decided to go and view it. We fell in love straight away!
We just wanted our wedding to be traditional, timeless and elegant and to reflect the beauty of Whitburn church and Lartington Hall. When choosing everything we pretty much did a full circle. We started off with very traditional ideas, moved to more rustic themes and then once the venue had been decided, we moved back to elegant and classic. I also wanted the flowers to be very whimsical and full of creams and greens.
For our stationery we chose Megan at Rosewood Co. We had seen Megan’s designs at a wedding fair so made an appointment so she could personalise something for us. Again, we went for very simple and elegant with a pearl ivory pocket fold wedding invitation tied with an ivory ribbon and name tag. The evening invitations had a hand drawn image of Lartington Hall on and the order of service had a hand drawn image of Whitburn Parish Church on. Our name place cards also had an image of Lartington Hall on and were finished with some dried flowers and ivory ribbon. Megan was extremely helpful and was in contact all of the time making sure it was exactly what we wanted. We again had some lovely comments from our guests about the stationery. It all turned out to be just what we wanted.
We went for very neutral colour scheme overall of golds, creams and blush. Again, we wanted the colours to be elegant and classic but also have a summery feel. I also thought about the colours that would suit my bridesmaids.
My wedding gown was a Pronovias design from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. Every time I looked at wedding dresses I searched ‘plain wedding dresses’ so knew I was going to go for something very simple and traditional. I also loved the Pronovias designs. My chosen dress was the first one I tried on. I did try a few other different styles on but knew that the first one was ‘the one’. I also feel that because it had a full skirt, it suited the grandeur of a church wedding.
With the dress being very simple, I decided to have a crystal and pearl vine hair piece in my hair and a single tier, chapel-length veil which was edged with lace, also from Mia Sposa.
I also wanted to treat myself to a special pair of shoes and knew that I always wanted pointy shoes rather than sandals or a peep toe. I saw a pair of Emmy shoes at a wedding fair and fell in love with them straight away.
For jewellery, I wore a pair of single pearl earrings that belonged to my nanna (something old) and a pearl bracelet to match.
It wasn’t too difficult for Lee to choose a suit either. He knew that he wanted to wear something a bit different as he ‘could wear a navy suit anytime,’ so he went for a tux. We hired his tux from Moss Bros. We also felt like this reflected the vintage/1920s feel of Lartington Hall. Many people said you don’t really wear tuxedos for church weddings but again we wanted to be a bit different so just went ahead with it. His shoes were from Kurt Geiger. The groomsmen wore the same as Lee.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were peach and were from Watters, which we bought from Laura Lea Boutique in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle. The girl there was so friendly and helpful and knew exactly what styles suited different body shapes.
The bridesmaids also wore matching heart shaped, crystal earrings and necklace from Swarovski – which we bought them as a gift.
Marie Scroggins at ND Makeup did our hair and makeup. Marie was so helpful and such a lovely girl to share the morning of the wedding with. I have known Marie a while and always knew I wanted her to do my wedding hair and makeup. She offered advice both at the trial and on the day but also listened to mine and the bridesmaid’s requests and ideas.
October 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime
As bloggers, we’re the first to rave about how useful the internet is in sourcing wedding suppliers and gaining glorious big day ideas. However, we also value the importance of meeting suppliers face to face, hence our epic season of Brides Up North wedding fairs held at some of the finest venues across the North (if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our upcoming events here.)
While we’ll be taking a one-weekend break from the wedding fair scene on Sunday 29th October, we have details of a massively swoon-worthy event staged by our fabulous Sponsor, LOVE Bridal Boutique, at gorgeous Cheshire wedding venue, Styal Lodge – well we wouldn’t leave your diaries with a gap in now, would we?!
Now in its fourth year, The Wedding Edit is a strictly girls-only event, that unveils LOVE’s latest dress collections providing heaps of heavenly styling inspiration. Furthermore, a hand-picked selection of North West suppliers will be in attendance to showcase their talents, and we hear there are some tasty culinary treats in store too!
Here to give us the full low-down on the event, including details on how to get your hands on tickets (which are free!), is owner of LOVE Bridal Boutique, our mate, Emma Draper…
Images by Jonny Draper Photography.
When is the event taking place and what will it include?
emma says: The Wedding Edit will take place from 12 noon until around 3pm on Sunday 29th October. The main event will be the catwalk show where we are proudly showcasing the latest collections from Sarah Seven, Sassi Holford, Enzoani, and our new collection from Savannah Miller will make its debut.
Brides and their guests will be welcomed with drinks and throughout the course of the event will have the opportunity to chat about all things wedding with some of the very best wedding suppliers in the North West, who will be there to offer their advice, guidance and inspiration.
What suppliers will be involved in the day?
We, LOVE Bridal Boutique will be hosting the event at Styal Lodge and will be joined by Jonny Draper Photography; The Flower Lounge and The Soiree Stylists, who will dressing the event; The Switch Entertainment, featuring Ellie Sax, Laserboy Wonder and Sash Sings; Flossy and Leigh, who will be styling our models and will be on hand to talk bridal hair and makeup; Pink Pepper, who will be providing stunning edible treats – and we will have a little surprise for our guests too! Other suppliers include Cakes by Yolk, Whitfield and Ward, Adam Wing Films, Lucy Wright Events, The Word is Love, Hipswing and Eleventh Heaven by Ann McAvney, plus shoes from Harriet Wilde and Charlotte Mills will feature on the catwalk.
What can brides-to-be planning their wedding get out of the event?
Strictly a girls-only event, brides-to-be and their guest will have the opportunity to see all of the brand-new collections that have only just arrived in store.
They will be able to take inspiration on how dresses can be styled, looking at accessories, hair and makeup as well as get a real sense of how the dresses move and fit, off the hanger.
My team and I will be on hand to chat about the dresses and the process/timescales involved in buying a wedding dress as well as the opportunity to book an exclusive appointment.
Will there be any special treats in store?
Cocktails on tap, goody bags for our brides, treats to sample, heaps of inspiration and plenty of selfie opportunities – a definite Instagrammable event!
What are you looking forward to most about the event?
Seeing the look on our guests faces when we unveil our new collections! Now in its fourth year, we still can’t get enough of the vibe and eager anticipation as everyone takes their seats for the catwalk show.
How do brides register for the event?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space on our guest list. Limited number of places available so be quick!
October 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
If today’s real bride would have got things her way, she and beau Chris would have eloped to marry but we’re sure glad that Sharon was swayed by a larger-scale celebration in the Lake District – as we get to share all the pretty details of their big day with you today!
Surrounded by their family and friends, Sharon and Chris combined a pretty pastel colour scheme with a fun theme that gave nods to both of their passions (films and cats, need we say more!)
We love the relaxed vibes as guests have fun in the sun, entertained by garden games and live music. Other standouts for us include the super-cool choice of wedding transport and Sharon’s beautiful Nottingham lace dress and flower-crown combo for boho bride perfection!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke.
sharon says: We got engaged on our fifth anniversary, on August bank holiday weekend in Dolgellau, Snowdonia.
We had spent the day wandering around Portmeirion, which is a little fantasy village perched on a cliff, filled dreamy Italianate architecture and with lovely views over the bay. It’s a beautiful but surreal place, which is why it was chosen as the setting for the 1960s TV show The Prisoner. Later that night we went out for dinner and Chris insisted on driving. He is a keen photographer and so he decided we would drive out somewhere after dinner so he could take photos of the stars.
I had been trying to talk him out of it all night as it was actually very cloudy and there was not a star in the sky, but he was insistent. We drove out for about half an hour, trying to get the best vantage point at the top of the hill, and eventually Chris pulled over into a layby and got his tripod out. I was in the car, playing on my phone and wondering how long he was going to be as I really needed to pee, when he came back to the car and asked me to take a look at his photos. I looked at the screen on his camera and he had taken a beautiful photo… of the clouds. “Aw hon… it’s a bit cloudy, isn’t it?” I said. “Yeah,” he sighed, disheartened. Then suddenly he pulled out a box. “Anyway, I have a present for you… I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind marrying me?”
It turned out he had been hoping to get a shot of the stars on the night we got engaged. I think I had previously said that my worst nightmare would be to get engaged in a public place with loads of people around. He’d decided to find the most isolated and private place he could find; under the moon, with just the stars over us and no one else around.
In the box was a ring with an amethyst stone (my birthstone). He had been trying for about two years to figure out my ring size, but as I don’t normally wear rings he’d failed at every turn. He had tried getting friends to ask if I knew my ring size (I don’t) and had tried measuring my finger with a piece of string as I slept – all with no luck. Rather than guess, he decided to let me pick out the kind of ring wanted and get his friend, a jewellery designer in Birmingham, to make it just for me.
We got married on 17th June, 2017. I really wanted to get married in the summer as I desperately wanted some sunshine on the day and we didn’t want to wait until 2018. Unfortunately, this left us with less than ten months to plan a wedding in the Lake District in peak season, so the date was very much down to whether we could get the venue and the registrar. We also renovated and moved into our house this year, so it was a busy time for us.
I spent about two months trying to convince Chris to elope to Iceland or Vegas. I hate being the centre of attention and the stress and expense of a big wedding felt like a terrible way to start married life. Somehow Chris talked me round – he said we deserved to have a day with all our friends and family making fuss of us.
Having been convinced to go the whole hog, we agreed to get married to in the Lake District, where I grew up. We got married at Belmount Hall, between Ambleside and Hawkshead. The building is part of Beatrix Potter’s estate, but the main reason we chose it was for the incredible setting with views of Esthwaite Water and Gummers How in the distance. As soon as we stepped out of the car we were blown away by the surroundings. Belmount was the blank canvas we were looking for; small enough that we could have the whole site to ourselves but with vast and beautiful grounds in which to enjoy the sunshine (I was adamant that there would be sunshine).
Once we had the venue, we knew it was going to be a ‘Pinterest wedding’; rustic and a bit bohemian with lots of little touches that would make people say, “That is so Chris and Sharon”. We’re both big film fans and cat lovers (Chris is a film and TV lecturer and I’m a bit of a crazy cat lady), so our tables were named after feline film puns. The Big Meowski, The Great Catsby, Furris Bueller’s Day Off, etc. An extremely talented young artist called Amy Lewis took our silly ideas and transformed them into some adorable cartoons for each table and I designed the table plan myself.
I don’t like matchy matchy colour schemes so I went for a pastel rainbow of dusty pink, light blue, dove grey and soft peach.
As a big girl with big boobs, wedding dress shopping was a nightmare experience and I hated every minute. I had been dreaming of a 1920s-style beaded dress, in the style of Jenny Packham or Eliza Jane Howell, but whenever I managed to track one down the samples were all size 10 or 12.
I had almost given up hope when I walked past Kula Tsurdiu’s studio in Nottingham. Kula is a Greek designer, but her base is in the historic lace market of Nottingham, where she sources a lot of her materials. I made an appointment with Kula’s manager Laura Summerson and she was one of the few people to really listen to what I wanted. She didn’t try to force me into a stiff, ruffled, strapless A-line monstrosity, like almost every other store I tried. The dress I eventually settled on was all-over Nottingham lace with a natural waist, long sleeves with tiny sparkly sequins sewn into the fabric. Knowing that the dress would be made to my exact measurements was a relief and Laura managed to make the whole process as stress-free as it could be.
October 5th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
This morning on the blog, we’re heading to the enchanting Colshaw Hall in Cheshire for Dawn and Jayson’s special day, which took place in August of this year.
Following a surprise engagement, the couple fell in love with this exquisite venue – and we can see why. Adorning the backdrop with a pretty palette of purple, lime green and pink, together with beautiful candles and petals – Colshaw Hall was every bit the romantic backdrop that the couple hoped it would be.
From a special reading from their daughter to a balloon release and a rather unique speech from the bridesmaids – they had every detail covered, and then some. We should also mention that we have a serious dose of cake envy – just look at their elegant four-tiered masterpiece.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.
dawn says: We got engaged in October 2015, in The Restaurant Bar and Grill in Liverpool. It was a complete surprise to me. Generally, I can sense when there is something going on, but this was a random night out, planned at the last minute – or so I thought. Strangely enough, we were looking at an auction site on the train there and this really ugly ring with a marquise diamond popped up and I said that it wasn’t very nice, little did I know that Jayson had a marquise diamond in his pocket! Afterwards Jayson said I really didn’t make it easy for him. We had a lovely meal and Jayson said, “you know I love you” and I said, “yes of course”, then he responded with “here goes” and got on two knees (not one) and pulled out my nana’s ring box. He then asked me to marry him. I was so overwhelmed and surprised. I loved the simplicity of his proposal, and said yes immediately. Jayson had been to the jewellery quarter in Birmingham and picked the diamond and the setting, designing the ring himself, I was completely blown away.
Our wedding date – 6th August 2017 – chose us, once we had found the venue. We knew that we would prefer August as we wanted to make sure that our children could be part of our special day. Colshaw Hall didn’t have any Saturdays available so we decided on a Sunday instead.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Colshaw Hall, as the venue has its own chapel called The Stables. We had looked at so many other venues, and even considered going abroad, however we kept coming back to Colshaw Hall, so we made an appointment to view it. We were shown around by the owner, David Irlam, and his passion and attention to detail sold it to us. Colshaw Hall is absolutely beautiful and completely unique to anything else we had seen. A venue that is exclusively yours for the day; you actually feel like it’s your home.
We discussed themes for quite some time, and originally we were going to have a Mediterranean theme, but as time passed, we decided to just go with vibrant colours and places in the world we would like to see over our life time together.
My favourite colour is purple, however we didn’t want to have typical wedding flowers so we opted for a colour scheme made up of purple, pink, lime greens and white.
Pinterest was an amazing help to build a picture of the wedding we wanted before I visited Qube Events and Productions in Bury. Qube provided our venue dressing and flowers, and surpassed all of my expectations.
I knew almost straight away what type of dress I wanted: Spanish looking, fitted, lace with detail and a full bottom with a dramatic train.
I visited a number of bridal shops and found nothing unique at all. So I did more research and found Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne. The boutiques that they have looked beautiful and they had a number of designers that I had never seen before so decided to book an appointment. I was welcomed by Kay and she instinctively knew what I wanted and pulled out a number of dresses. As soon as I saw the Enzoani dress I knew it was everything I wanted, and when I tried it on, I knew it was the one.
September 25th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
While the warmer months of the year remain the most popular time to marry, winter weddings are certainly on the rise with some couples preferring to embrace the cooler temperatures rather than rely upon the unpredictable British weather to come good.
Today’s couple tied the knot during the first week of January, giving them and their guests a fabulous celebration to look forward to beyond Christmas and New Year.
Rebecca and Alex’s big day is the epitome of elegance with a stately home setting, chic colour palette, classic blooms and gorgeous attire. We particularly love Rebecca’s Augusta Jones dress, complete with a dreamy ballgown skirt – just perfect for twirling around the dancefloor!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Mark Newton Photography.
rebecca says: We got engaged at home in April 2015, and set the date for Saturday 7th January, 2017. As Alex works abroad and has limited time at home we were forced to have a winter wedding, but we embraced this.
We had both the ceremony and reception at The Mansion in Roundhay Park, Leeds, which is owned and operated by Dine. We needed somewhere which had enough indoor space to easily accommodate all of guests for the whole day, as we knew with a January wedding time spent outside would be limited.
The general feel of The Mansion is luxurious, grand and special. This is carried over into the food and drinks that they serve, which also played a big part in our venue choice. The team’s attention to detail is exceptional.
We chose dusky lilac, silvers and navy blue as our colour scheme. We wanted the wedding to be traditional in style, and quite wintery.
I chose a gown by Augusta Jones, which I found at The Swanky Bride, Kirkburton, Huddersfield. I tried on approximately 20 dresses, but was struggling to find anything that I thought suited me without looking overly fussy, as I am quite petite, so decided to try a simpler style. My chosen dress was a plain satin strapless ballgown with a sweetheart neckline. It had a sheer overlay skirt which added a bit of interest without being fussy. I added the lace top later as I wanted to be slightly more covered up for the ceremony.
Catherine Elizabeth of York, did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup. Her team made the morning of the wedding so relaxing and the makeup looked natural. We were ready on time with no stress or worries.
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