Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

confetti creativity: shropshire petals

February 20th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Shropshire Petals - Wand Images

The confetti shot is often one of the standout images from a wedding and is a tradition that never seems to falter. Unfortunately though, this bright and beautiful moment only lasts a few seconds, with the confetti then blown away by the breeze as the wedding party move onto the next step of the proceedings.

Keen to see couples make much more of confetti for their big day, we’ve invited our lovely Sponsor and expert in the field, Shropshire Petals, along to the blog to share their inspiring ideas on what other elements of the celebrations that confetti can play a super-pretty part in.

Renowned for their ‘Pick & Mix’ confetti selector, Shropshire Petals enable couples to create their own unique natural petal confetti mixes for their big day. Brides Up North readers that would like to do so can save 10% on confetti orders over £50* by entering BRIDESNORTH10 at the checkout.

So here we go, Shropshire Petals’ top five ways to make a fabulous feature out of your confetti:

confetti bar

Shropshire Petals - Wand Images

Having a confetti bar is a great way to show off your style, creativity and evoke a bit of fun for your guests. Select several different petals and colours of natural petal confetti to suit your wedding theme and place individual colours or mixes into containers such as jars, pots and vases. Arrange them on a table, bench or a place at your venue that is close to where you will be having your confetti moment together with some confetti cones or pouches for your guests to fill. Add some props and extra décor to complement your styling and let your guests have fun selecting confetti for your special moment.

hanging cones

Shropshire Petals - Wand Images

Guests love to interact with your wedding day, so giving them something to do is a great way to get them involved. Displaying your confetti in hanging confetti cones will encourage guests to help themselves. Peg cones filled with your chosen confetti onto lines of string. You could have a line either side of a path where guests will stand for your confetti moment, which will make for a stunning photograph and easy for guests to see where they need to stand. You could also hang cones off individual chairs at your ceremony or in a pail at the end of your pews for guests to take as they leave.

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rhythm of love: maggie sottero for a wedding at the mansion, leeds – charlotte & amarvir

February 19th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (33)

When choosing a venue for the big day there is much more to think about than the room where your ceremony will take place; what about standout areas for your wedding photography, first-class catering and exclusivity to ensure you have the whole place to yourselves during your celebrations? Today’s featured wedding took place at a stunning venue that offers all that (and more!) – The Mansion, in Leeds.

We’re giving you the fabulous opportunity to view this spectacular venue for yourselves when we host our Luxury Wedding Fair at The Mansion on Sunday 25th February, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. You can find out more and pre-register for the event here.

As so many couples do, today’s brides and groom, Charlotte and Amarvir, fell in love with The Mansion’s idyllic position, nestled within the beautiful Roundhay Park – and its faultless service and elegant style ticked all other boxes!

Picking a theme that would complement both the setting and season, Charlotte chose a pretty pink and cream colour scheme with opulent pops of gold.

We adore her diamanté-embellishment Maggie Sottero gown, which twinkled perfectly on the dancefloor as she and Amarvir enjoyed their first dance, which they had specially choreographed and took professional lessons for, no less!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (1)

charlotte says: We got engaged on holiday in Mauritius in August 2016. Amarvir’s proposal was very romantic. He had planned a special dinner at a beautiful restaurant – champagne, rose petals on the table, etc. After our romantic dinner, we went for a walk along the beach and sat on a jetty, dipping our feet into the Indian Ocean under the moon and stars and that is when Amarvir asked me to marry him! It was the most perfect evening.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (20)

We got married on 19th August 2017, as we wanted a summer wedding on a Saturday. We chose The Mansion in Roundhay Park, Leeds, as our venue due to the beautiful park surroundings and because we would have exclusive use of the venue on our big day, which was important to us.

We chose a summer theme – lots of pink, gold, rose gold and cream to create a lovely summery floral atmosphere, which fitted the time of year and location of the venue in the park.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (54)

For my wedding dress, I wore a full-length Maggie Sottero gown with diamanté-embellishment on the top half from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique in Leeds. I love sparkles, so it was the perfect gown for me.

Amarvir hired his morning suit from Moss Bros. He wore a black tail coat with grey striped suit trousers, a light pink cravat and a dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and held a grey top hat for our photos. For the evening reception, Amarvir changed into a white tux jacket, black tux trousers, black bow tie and his black and white dancing shoes!

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (58)

My bridesmaids wore a full-length, light pink dress with lace detail on the top half, which I bought online from Stacees and which complemented my wedding dress and the overall theme.

The groomsmen wore morning suits like Amarvir, also hired from Moss Bros, and they had gold cravats.

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look who’s talking: introducing emma taylor presents

February 16th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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The topic we’re focusing on in today’s post is something that can cause many a person’s blood to run cold – the wedding speeches. As while seen as a highlight of the day for guests, for the members of the bridal party who actually have to deliver them it’s an honour that often comes with a side-helping of fear!

Watching my fiancée painfully deliberate over how to approach a best man speech recently made the thankful that, as a female, such a duty wouldn’t be bestowed on me. Or so I thought! In May my brother Dan is getting married *lets off party popper* and I’m his best woman, oh wait, that involves a speech! Furthermore, having now had a ring put on my finger, I’m rather drawn to the growing trend for brides to have their say from the top table too. And so, it appears I could well be in the bright speech spotlight not once, but twice, in the next 18 months.

As such I will be paying particularly close attention to our uber-skilful, new Sponsor that we’re introducing on the blog today, public speaking coach Emma Taylor of Emma Taylor Presents.

With a successful background in scriptwriting and acting, Emma set up her business to deliver training courses and coach individuals in public speaking and presentation skills, which she has now extended to include professional guidance and advice on the construction and delivery of wedding speeches. What a fabulous idea we hear you cry, and we couldn’t agree more!

With one-to-one coaching and group workshop options for everyone from the best man, groom and father-of-the-bride, to any females that want to take to the mic too – brides, matrons, mums – Emma can help turn a fearful task into a truly wonderful experience.

And she’s taking over the blog this morning to tell us just how she does it – pens and notebooks at the ready!

READER OFFER – Emma is offering Brides Up North readers a 10% discount on group workshop attendance in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool during March, April and May 2018. Full details below.  

Best Man's Raising Glass

You’ve been providing public speaking training for MPs, senior managers and even members of the clergy for over a decade, so how did you come to add wedding speech coaching to your portfolio of services?

emma says: It was after attending a wedding last year. At it, the best man spoke for too long and repeated some of the groom’s material, the father-of-the-bride was barely audible and never once looked at the guests, and when the bride was asked to say a few words, all she could manage was a clichéd, “thank you all for coming”. The speakers clearly needed help, but they’d not had anyone to turn to, and that’s when I thought, ‘I could be that person’.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how Emma Taylor Presents came to fruition?

While I was studying for my MA in Scriptwriting, I worked part-time as a PA. As part of the job, I attended lots of meetings and witnessed lots of poor presentations. One day, in the car on the way back to the office, I happened to casually remark that if these presenters understood a little about dramatic structure and were given a few acting skills, then their presentations would be greatly improved. The following morning, my boss strode into the office and announced, “I had dinner with the Chair of Salford Royal last night. He’s a dreadful public speaker. I’ve found you your first client!” My initial reaction was horror. But then I decided to put my money where my mouth was and deliver the coaching. Anyway, post coaching, everyone noticed the transformation and my business grew by word of mouth mainly.

Can you tell us a little about the various wedding speech training packages you offer?

I offer three different training options: One-to-one coaching, a bridal speech party and open group workshops.

The one-to-one option is ideal for wedding speakers who are time-poor, very inexperienced or very scared about giving their speech. The service generally comprises two meetings. The first meeting is to sketch out the speech and agree its content. The second meeting is to rehearse the speech. In between sessions, I will pen the speech which the client is encouraged to tweak so that he or she finds it natural to say.

The bridal speech party brings together the wedding’s key speakers: best man, groom, bride, father- or mother-of-the-bride and, sometimes, the maid of honour too. It’s always a lively, jolly and productive affair. Over a glass of fizz, participants get to suggest ideas, share anecdotes and structure and/or rehearse their speeches. The party also presents a wonderful bonding opportunity. It usually lasts four hours.

I offer two types of group workshops: Simply the Best and Welcomes, Wishes and Cheers! Simply the Best is designed for best men, best women and maids and matrons of honour while Welcomes, Wishes and Cheers! prepares fathers and mothers-of-the-bride, grooms and brides for the public speaking task that awaits them. The workshops are three hours long and will run in venues in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds during the spring.

BP - kitchen group

How would you say wedding speeches have changed over the years and what makes a good speech in today’s modern world?

I don’t think the remit of wedding speeches has changed but I think guests’ expectations have. So, if a couple is throwing a large, no-expenses-spared day, then guests expect the speeches to top the wonderful wedding breakfast, and if they don’t, there’s a sense of flatness and disappointment.

Of course, more women speak at weddings today. It’s quite common now for a mum to deliver the ‘father-of-the-bride’ speech and more and more brides are choosing to take to the mic – Meghan Markle reportedly being one of them at. Matrons and maids of honour are also leaping to their feet and all of this is to be encouraged. Guests love it when the girls get involved. However, because the bride’s and maid of honour’s speeches aren’t traditional ones sometimes they lack a sense of purpose and can meander. My coaching addresses this and gives brides and maids of honour a sound but simple steer.

Even if a bride hasn’t intended to give a speech, she’s regularly called upon to say a few words, so I’d always advise her to have a short speech prepared. Remember, the best seemingly ‘off the cuff’ speeches have usually been given an awful lot of thought!

What would you say is the most common mistake made when constructing and delivering a speech?

In constructing, worrying so much about it being funny that the speaker gets his or her jokes off the internet. Audiences can sniff this a mile of, and they don’t like it. What they want to hear are truthful stories and familiar, funny observations that really capture the personality of the bride or groom.

In terms of delivery, a lot can go wrong, but I think my biggest bugbear is when speakers just read out their speeches with their heads down. The audience wants to see the speaker; guests want to feel that the speaker is looking them in the eye. Interaction is everything!

What would be your top tip to help people overcome their public speaking nerves?

Remind yourself of all the preparation you’ve done. An exam isn’t worrying if you’ve revised, and a speech will go well if you’ve prepared. Remember those hours you put in.

Bride Speaking

What is the feedback like from those that you have helped with a wedding speech?

It’s been excellent. And of course, what’s important to my clients is the feedback from guests at the weddings they’ve spoken at – which has also been really good. I think clients like my firm but fun approach. Once we start working on their speech, they go from dreading it to feeling excited about it; a sentiment they didn’t believe was possible!

Clients benefit because I’m not just a professional scriptwriter, but I also trained as an actor, so I’m able to help them in the prep and delivery of their speech. They trust my feedback and they respect my perfectionism. I want their speech to sparkle as much as they do.

Can you give us an idea of the price of the packages available?

The complete one to one package is £550. The bridal speech party is £475. Attending a group workshop is £75 per participant. I’m pleased to offer Brides Up North readers a 10% discount on group workshop attendance during March, April and May 2018. Subject to terms and conditions.

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weddings with feel good factor: totem tipi

February 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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With ever expanding location options for couples to tie the knot, we love to see brides and grooms taking their celebrations outdoors to make the most of the North’s stunning areas of natural beauty; from sweet coastline settings, to historic woodlands and beautiful open areas of rolling countryside.

Though enjoying some fully open-air elements, most brides and grooms still require a structure to provide shelter (and warmth!) for certain parts of the celebrations, such as the feasting and dancing. For us there’s nothing more stunning than a tipi tent to fulfil this need, and we just so happen to be talking to an expert in the field on the blog today, our wonderful Yorkshire-based Sponsor Totem Tipi.

Super-striking from the outside and wonderfully atmospheric within, Totem’s gorgeous and adaptable tipis provide a blank canvas for couples to make their own and can cater for any size wedding, during any season of the year.

Furthermore, those that choose Totem for their big day will have the added feel good factor that all proceeds for hire of their structures feedback into a local youth arts project, which helps at risk and vulnerable children and young people build confidence and self-esteem, whilst instilling positive attitudes.

The Totem team are here now to tell us more…

DIARY DATE: Totem Tipis will be showcasing their fabulous structures at Brides Up North’s epic festival style wedding fairs; WEDSTOCK’18 at Stockeld Park, Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Sunday 6th May, and WEDSTIVAL’18 at Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire, on Sunday 20th May 2018, both open 11am to 3pm, FREE ENTRY.

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What type of structures do you offer?

[jennaopne]totem tipi say: Our event tipis are Stratus 72 tipis, also known as a Kata tipi or Giant Hat. The stratus 72 is based on a traditional Scandinavian design. Due to their unique interlocking features, the kata tipis make stunning intimate venues for a small wedding party, or can be joined together to create bigger structures to cater for the largest of wedding parties.

Can they be hired for weddings all-year-round?

The structures are built to withstand harsh weathers. With strong sustainable timbers and waterproof fabrics, we can cater for all events in all seasons. So, whether you want to create a summer celebration with the sides up, or you fancy a winter wonderland with an open fire pit, indoor heaters and warm blankets, then the tents can accommodate all ideas, seasons and tastes!

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What kind of numbers can the tipis hold and how are they laid out?

The tipis can be set out however you like! Whether you want a dance floor and bar area or want the whole space for seating. It’s really up to you. We can work together to design a plan that best suits you and your guests. As a basic guide we recommend the following maximum numbers per tent:

1 x Stratus tipi   – can seat up to 64 guests

2 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 120 guests

3 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 160 guests

4 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 200 guests

What would you say are the main plus points of an outdoor tipi wedding?

There are so many advantages to having an outdoor wedding, there are masses of choices of stunning locations, you can bring the outside in on a lovely summer’s day, and the events are always different. But I think the greatest is the freedom that you get to plan and design your wedding to be exactly how you want it to be. You literally get a blank canvas to stamp your personalities onto!

How can you help couples to enhance the tipis with furniture/decorations/expansions?

At Totem we allocate a member of staff to look after your wedding from start to finish. Your Totem contact will come out and view your location, talk you though the best options for your event and discuss all of our added extras, from chill-out furniture to extra lighting and additional tents!

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dream venue: denton hall

February 14th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Richard Perry (1)

Happy Valentine’s Day! We feel a surge of ‘just engaged’ selfies and shiny ring shots filling up our social feeds throughout the day as guys (and some gals!) seize this most romantic day of the year to get down on bended knee.

If you’re freshly engaged yourself (*waves whilst flashing my own bling*) we highly advise getting ahead of the St Valentine’s crowd and getting the all-important venue hunt underway – trust us, when we say the best ones sure do book up fast!

For those of you looking for a picturesque big day setting in Yorkshire, you’ve joined as at a perfect time, as today on the blog we’re catching up with the lovely team at our stunning Sponsor venue and Luxury Wedding Show partner Denton Hall. If you’ve not had this fabulous venue on your must-visit radar before, that’s because it’s something of a hidden gem, nestled in the Yorkshire Dales just outside of the historic spa town of Ilkley – and its team are at the ready to tell you all about its wonderful wedding offering…

Images: Barnaby Aldrick, Joel Skingle, Richard Perry & Wynn Davies Photography, with thanks.

Joel Skingle (2)

Can you tell us a little about the history of Denton Hall and describe the look and feel of the venue?

denton hall say: The Hall was designed by famous architect John Carr and built in 1778. Today the beautiful building provides a venue that is brimming with timeless elegance and situated in a luxurious rural setting. Being nestled in 2,500 acres with stunning views across to the Ilkley moor, we really are spoilt with some of the best views in Yorkshire. The building has been beautifully restored to mirror its original style and retain its unique character. From the stunning spiral stair case to crystal chandeliers, there are so many areas just perfect for photographs and for friends and family to relax in.

Tell us about the ceremony and reception areas at Denton Hall…

With three stunning rooms within the hall licensed for civil ceremonies and the local church just a stone’s throw away in the village of Denton, getting married here could not be easier. Typically, we use the front terrace of the Hall, which has sweeping views across to the Ilkley moor for your drinks reception – as well as our newly refurbished reception area and bar, before moving through into the elegant dining room. After dinner, its back to the bar and reception area to dance the night away until the small hours with our late licence. We can host up to 100 guests for the day reception and then 160 for the evening.

Wynn Davies Photography (4)

What makes Denton Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

We like to think that what we offer here at Denton is truly a magical experience, we like to get to know our couples and with the exclusive use for the whole weekend, you really do become part of the Denton family. You are our only guests and we get to look after you and your loved ones from the moment you all arrive on Friday until you all depart on Sunday.

Each and every wedding is as individual and different as the couple; so with this in mind we don’t have set packages which couples adhere to. Instead each and every couple sit down with us and we create a bespoke day tailored exactly as they want it – from the reception drinks all the way through the day to evening food.

What sort of bride would be a Denton Hall bride?

Any bride can be a Denton bride, whatever their vision. With the bespoke tailored packages we can caterer for all wants and desires.

Richard Perry (3)

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

We like to try and make the planning process as easy as possible for our couples by offering our guidance and expertise on; from suppliers and styling, to traditions and seasonal food/drink. We are always on hand to answer questions and queries – whether that’s on the phone, over email, face to face, or even text.

On the big day one of the team is here from the moment the first guest arrives on Friday afternoon until check out on Sunday. Ourselves and the catering managers from Box Tree Events always ensure that the bridal party are aware of who we are and that they can come to us with anything they need, plus we are on hand for you both all day too.

Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue?

Our couples can make a full weekend out of the exclusive use of the hall, we have 24 guest bedrooms plus our luxury bridal suite and lodge suites. We don’t book our rooms out to anyone other than the wedding party and get the bride and groom to allocate the bedrooms – that way you can make sure that those who definitely need a room have one.

Wynn Davies Photography (2)

Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special? 

One thing we are immensely proud of here at Denton is our catering. We have worked exclusively with the amazing and fabulous team at Box Tree Events for the past seven years, who will delight and excite couples with their wonderful wedding menus and choices.

What is the feedback like from couples about Denton Hall?

One of the bets parts of the wedding weekend for us is seeing just how happy our couples are. The joy just beams out of their faces. We often get feedback which thanks us for being part of the whole journey, from the first show around until check out on the Sunday morning. Working with Box Tree Events also ensures the food is just sensational. There are always comments from our couples and their friends and family on just how delicious the entire wedding breakfast was.

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in this embrace. a country wedding at the wellbeing farm in lancashire – cassie & sam

February 13th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Slice Of Pie (56)

It’s not every day that we see a llama making an appearance in a wedding photo. But that’s exactly what we have in store for you today on the blog, as we head to the wonderfully unique Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire – an alternative wedding venue with that all-important wow factor. Bride and groom, Cassie and Sam could really put their stamp on the space when they tied the knot there last summer – decorating it with gorgeous floral displays, homemade jam jars and even milk churns.

Music played a big part in the couple’s day too – and not just in the way that you’d first expect. Along with a guitarist and live band, Cassie and Sam incorporated records and song lyrics within their centrepieces and menus – a nostalgic throwback to their early dating days in Manchester.

Other stand-out ideas likely to get you hovering over your Pin button include a wedding cheese cake, limoncellos for favours (a lovely link to their honeymoon destination in Italy) and an all-out indulgent cake cart, complete with caterpillar cake!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Slice Of Pie (28)

cassie says: We got engaged on 20th November 2015 at home. We were about to go to New York and Las Vegas for Sam’s 30th birthday and I had a feeling he was going to propose then. Turns out, he surprised me – and himself – and did an impromptu proposal at home. The fire was roaring and there was prosecco and cheese on toast – and then it started to snow. It was perfect. We kept it a secret from friends and family for three whole weeks while we were away.

We got married on 26th August 2017. We didn’t want to put too much pressure on a specific date and wanted to get a great venue. We had said the August bank holiday weekend would be perfect. The wedding venue we went for was up and coming and luckily had availability that weekend, so we reserved the date, and two weeks later it was all booked!

A Rustic Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Slice Of Pie (21)

We got married at The Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth. We had both the ceremony and reception here. We chose this venue as it was so very different to the traditional wedding venues we had been to before. It definitely had the wow factor and potential to be flexible in what we wanted. It was quite a new in terms of a wedding venue and they had big plans for additional features, which we loved.

A Rustic Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Slice Of Pie (2)

We had a music theme as we both love music and met while going out to indie clubs in Manchester. Our centrepieces were records, featuring one of our favourite song titles. Each table also had a section of our favourite lyrics from each song displayed with the menu.

We had a bright colourful summer colour scheme and the bridesmaids and groomsmen matched each other. The colours were powder blue, mint green, lemon, coral and lilac. We went these shades as they were summery and were a great burst of colour.

A Rustic Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Slice Of Pie (42)

I chose an Allure dress, which was all-lace and mermaid style. It was the first dress I tried on at a wedding fair but I thought I best try some more on first. My mum was the one who spotted it and told me to try it on. Mums know best! My mother-in-law found it in a shop in Ramsbottom called The White Gallery. It turned out the dress was being discontinued and we got it half price, which was a bonus!

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