Charlotte Balbier

walking on sunshine: top tips for a summer wedding with events specialists dine

June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Shutter Go Click Photography

Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.

And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.

Today’s words of wisdom come courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine. Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.

For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…

Marquee

Natasha Cadman Photography

venue & suppliers

Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.

Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.

A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth.  If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.

A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.

Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.

Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.

Canapés can be a fantastic way to incorporate small elements of food into your wedding breakfast

food

While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.

The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.

The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.

Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.

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our love story: lauren & dan

June 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Our Love Story - Lauren & Dan (c) Nik Bryant (12)

There are smiles, laughter and sunshine aplenty in today’s laid-back engagement shoot; the epitome of newly-engaged-couple-goals, if we do say so ourselves!

Lauren and Dan decided home is where the heart is, and opted for a pre-wedding shoot in the place where they’ve forged so many wonderful memories together – the market town of Ramsbottom in Bury.

Having met on dating app Tinder, the couple felt completely at ease with one another from day one and we think this more than shows in their adorable outdoorsy photo shoot. We can’t wait to see the photos from their big day later this year!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Nik Bryant Photography

Our Love Story - Lauren & Dan (c) Nik Bryant (8)

lauren says: In October last year, we had been talking about buying a house. Dan had been snappy with me so I was beginning to think he was having second thoughts. It turned out he just didn’t like keeping a secret from me, and so one day, he asked me to close my eyes and then asked me to marry him. I opened my eyes and there he was with a gorgeous ring that he’d chosen completely by himself. The best surprise ever – I had no idea!

Our Love Story - Lauren & Dan (c) Nik Bryant (25)

We are getting married on 22nd December of this year in Ramsbottom at St Paul’s Church with a reception at the nearby Civic Hall. We knew straight away we wanted to have the wedding where we lived – it’s such a lovely town and holds so many memories for us.

Our Love Story - Lauren & Dan (c) Nik Bryant (15)

We met on Tinder – we still laugh when we tell people. We’d both only been on the site for a few days when we started talking to each other and ended up messaging every day for two weeks before we met.

For our first date, we went to the Peveril of the Peak just off Oxford Road in Manchester to play darts (his idea!). I thrashed Dan, obviously!

Our Love Story - Lauren & Dan (c) Nik Bryant (19)

As for ‘true love’, we both definitely felt it was different between us, even before we had met face to face, and we felt very relaxed with each other once the nerves had subsided!

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shop like a celeb: wedding gift list tips & inspiration

June 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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We all love presents, right?! But we also understand that planning a wedding gift list can get a little overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Should you request luxurious homeware items, modern appliances, unforgettable experiences – or a combination of all three?

To help you narrow down the choices, our wonderful Sponsor, The Wedding Shop, is taking over the blog this afternoon. As a fee-free, multi-retailer gift list provider, these guys are experts when it comes to helping brides and grooms select their precious presents.

Couples can choose to build their wish list online, or alternatively within one of The Wedding Shop’s beautiful showrooms, including their recently launched Edinburgh store, as well as stores in London and Dublin.

To help get the present planning underway the team are sharing their gift list dos and don’ts followed by a speculative edit of what could be found on the hottest celebrity couples’ wedding wish lists this year to inspire your choices…

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do

Plan ahead and notify guests:

  • Guests will want to buy you something to mark your special day, so a gift list helps guide them in the right direction and takes the stress and worry out of buying that ‘perfect gift.’
  • We recommend setting up your list before your wedding invitations go out so that you can include list notification cards with your invite
  • Some guests will be very quick off the mark to look for your list once they receive their invitations so it’s best to have it all completed

Give guests plenty of choice:

  • Create a list that is slightly bigger than you would expect to receive. Guests like to be inspired and have a large choice of gifts to choose from.
  • Vary the price points; it’s important to include a good range of price points to allow for every guest’s budget.
  • If there is a really special item that’s a little bit more expensive, why not ask your guests to contribute to it?
  • Don’t forget some guests will be more traditional in what they want to buy you make sure you have options for all types of guests.

Get the groom involved:

  • The groom should also be just as involved in creating a gift list
  • We are seeing that men are starting to taking a much more active interest in ensuring the list reflects their personal preferences as much as the bride’s!
  • Especially with gadgets and technology products that are generally more interesting to guys

Enjoy the experience

Most importantly have fun! These are gifts that you will enjoy and treasure during your married life together, so it should be a fun and exciting process that you should enjoy doing together.

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don’t

Forget to think to the future:

  • Take time before compiling your list to decide exactly what you need, what you would really love, and what would be useful to have in the future
  • Always be mindful that your needs will most likely grow throughout your married life (e.g. A dinner service for four people may be sufficient at the moment but may not in years to come when entertaining extended family and friends)

Forget to make it personal:

  • A gift list is a really good opportunity to choose items that will enhance and suit your lifestyle
  • If you have certain hobbies that you both love, make sure you add items that will help you continue to enjoy your hobbies
  • Guests will enjoy buying you gifts that they know are more fun and personal to you

Worry about asking for monetary contributions:

  • If you already think you have all the ‘stuff’ you could possibly fit into your house, then don’t be afraid to ask for cash contributions – it is now become more popular and you shouldn’t be worried to offend guests
  • This could be for home improvements, honeymoon contributions, or landscaping the garden
  • Don’t just have cash only on your list – remember to give guests plenty of choice!

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celebrity gift lists

From Hollywood starlets and pop princesses, to the cream of British society, The Wedding Shop predicts what would be on some top celebrity couples’ gift lists, to inspire you to shop A-List style…

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The Hollywood couple: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Jason Statham

Believed to be planning to marry this summer, the LA-based British model and her action-hero fiancé are reported to enjoy fast cars, long walks with their beloved Daschunds and cocktails by the pool:

  • Vogue The Covers by Hamish Bowles, £35 – After gracing her first Vogue cover aged 21, Rosie may enjoy looking back at her shared history alongside fellow modelling greats.
  • Jonathan Adler Bar Cart, £1,450 – A sleek and glamorous drinks trolley, ideal for wheeling out the Martinis pool-side.
  • Samsonite Liote-Cube DLX Aluminum Suitcase, £429 – Sturdy with stylish metallic and leather finishes, this lightweight deluxe suitcase should serve the globe-trotting couple well.
  • Erik Magnussen Metallic Vacuum Jug, £129 – Perfect for keeping cocktails cool in LA or preserving Hot Toddies at Rosie’s Devonshire home.
  • Drive Italy’s Amalfi Coast for two by Maserati Granturismo by Truly Experiences, £3,375 – With a penchant for gleaming supercars the couple might enjoy navigating one of Europe’s most fashionable coastlines.
  • Dachshund Dog Ornament by The House, £43 – A fitting tribute to Rosie’s pet pooches, Peggy and Dolly.

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first look: ivy & pearl by amanda wyatt

June 5th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Begonia, Ivy PEarl, Aster, Buttercup, Iris, fern & peach JAcket

To clear away those Monday blues we’re bringing you a huge helping of dress candy in the form of the mesmerisingly beautiful new collection from our fabulous Sponsor, Amanda Wyatt.

Aptly named ‘Ivy & Pearl’ the stunning set of designs draw on inspiration from the wild and feature oh-so-pretty fabrics and detailing, with a shape and style to suit every type of bride.

From girlie tea-lengths to flattering figure-hugging numbers and full on princess ball gowns, we’re in wedding dress heaven!

So, let’s hear a little more from the Amanda Wyatt team and take a look at the jaw-droppingly fabulous designs, one by one…

Lotus, Magnolia & Forgot me not

Can you tell us about the different styles and shapes of dresses included in the Ivy & Pearl Collection?

the team say: The new collection appeals to all bride styles and includes everything from short and flirty gowns to the full romantic tulle ball gowns. There are also sleek and simple A-lines and daring low-back slinky designs.

Can you give us an overview of the fabrics used within the collection and the different colour ways? 

Pretty Chantilly laces, rich Mikado’s and satins sit alongside the finest tulles and chiffons. The 2018 colour palette is a soft palette of ivory hues and an alluring selection of champagne golds. Clean, simple and elegantly classic.

Similarly, can you tell us a little about the details featured within the collection? 

Ethereal grace meets modern day bride in the Ivy & Pearl collection as it celebrates the Amanda Wyatt signature style with a twist. Decadent beading adorns the collection alongside sleek silhouettes for the brides who desire an understated and timeless look. There are also captivating designs with intricate back detailing.

Fern 1

What is the size and price range of the dresses within the collection? 

The collection is available in all sizes and prices range from £990 to £1,695.

What type of bride would you say this latest collection will appeal to? 

The new collection will appeal to all brides as it has such a beautiful array of styles that suit all brides style and personality.

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What has the feedback been like from boutiques about the collection?

They love the intricate detailing and wealth of choice in the styles available. The Zinnia gown has proved to be the most popular.

How can our readers find out more about the new collection? 

The collection will be available in boutiques from mid-summer 2017. Those wanting more information can email fashion@amandawyatt.com. Also, to keep up do date on all the latest news, follow Amanda Wyatt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Acacia (3)

Acacia – A high neck and long-sleeved lace detailed gown which flairs out into a beautiful skirt, with a cut hole back.

Aloe 2

Aloe – Embracing the 1950s bridal look with a fun midi-length puff skirt, featuring a sheer lace and sequin over cover.

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written in the stars. a stylish wedding at newton hall – anna & ryan

June 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (31)

To finish off your week in style, we’re sharing the big day of Anna and Ryan, which provides a fabulous example of how to carry off a beautiful wedding without the hefty price tag. Cue a few trips to Hobbycraft, some thrifty online shopping purchases and gorgeous floral displays courtesy of a local college and you’ll start to get an idea of just how savvy our couple was with their planning!

Newlyweds Anna and Ryan tied the knot at the gorgeous Newton Hall – a dreamy, contemporary venue set in Northumberland. As you’ll see, this was a picture-perfect backdrop that was beautifully transformed by the bride and groom.

We just love how much time and effort they poured into their special day. From their handmade photo booth and alternative cheese cake, to their caricaturist and special hangover kits – there’s lots of quirky ideas to inspire you on the blog today.

With images by Dru Dodd.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (14)

anna says: We got engaged on the beach, under the stars whilst eating lobster and drinking Moet in the Dominican Republic on New Year’s Eve. Ryan had always said marriage was a long way off so I was really surprised. Romantically, Ryan said he was nipping off to the toilet, but in fact was getting the ring from the room to propose, whilst I was sitting with my meal getting cold waiting for him to get back, keeping it real! He proposed at midnight UK time which was really special as I was able to call family and friends with the exciting news.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (21)

We got married on 19th March 2017. We chose this date as we really wanted to get married at Newton Hall but had a budget to stick to. For any brides completely ruling out venues based on cost, this is a great way to meet your budget. We got married on a Sunday in March and it was sunny and dry! I found out afterwards that both my parents and my grandparents got married on the 19th of the month, too, which was a special touch.

When we both first stepped into Newton Hall, we knew it was where we wanted to get married. One of our first dates was to Mr Lynch in Jesmond, which is a sister venue to Newton Hall. Ryan had also taken me on a date to Low Newton for a picnic, which is where the venue is situated.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (35)

We didn’t have a particular colour scheme or theme for our wedding. I wanted to bring in shades of copper, apricot, blue and blush. We’re a laidback, fun couple so we wanted to incorporate that into our day whilst also maintain the traditional wedding that I had always dreamt of.

I dressed the venue myself (with the help of my bridesmaids), and bought and made all of the decorations myself. We incorporated some fun ideas on the day, such as hangover kit wedding favours and baby pictures as table numbers. We had a craft night with all of my friends in the run up to the wedding, which was great fun.

A Stylish Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Dru Dodd (69)

When it came to my attire for the day, I knew that I wanted a fit and flare lace dress with a long veil that covered my face and ended up buying my gown from Wed2Be in Gateshead.

From the moment my mam and I stepped into Wed2Be, the service was fantastic. I tried on a dress and knew straightaway that it was the one. The fit and cut was just perfect. I also purchased my veil from Wed2Be as it was exactly what I had been looking for. My total outfit came to just £669. A special mention also goes to Kayleen the dressmaker for all of my subsequent alterations.

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all that glitters. rose gold for a glamorous winter wedding at mere court hotel – maxine & alex

June 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

Err, bride Maxine from today’s real wedding, can we be your friend please? Check out these photographs from her wedding to the lovely Alex and try to deny that this wedding belle was seriously good to her #bridesquad girls: not only are they wearing the most beautiful floral dressing gowns in their preparation pics, but she chose floor-length, rose gold sequinned gowns for them for the ceremony. I mean, I’d be literally skipping down the aisle!

Maxine herself wows effortlessly in her slinky lace number, which moved smoothly from the hotel ceremony to the couple’s gorgeous outdoor photoshoot and from day to night. And what a night it was from the look of things – love lights, laughter and leapfrogs. What all good weddings are made of!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (44)

maxine says: Alex proposed to me in Cairns. He had been in Australia with work for six months and I had gone to visit him. He popped the question just after we‘d been scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It was perfect!

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (50)

We got married on 18th February 2017. We wanted to get married fairly quickly; a long engagement wasn’t for us. We knew we couldn’t rely on the weather and liked the idea of a winter wedding.

We got married at Mere Court Hotel, Cheshire, and had both the ceremony and reception there. I viewed it while Alex was in Australia. I knew as soon as I looked at I that it was what we both wanted.  It had a country house feel with lots of rooms for our guests to stay in, an intimate ceremony room with a lot of character and an amazing conservatory for the reception.

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (82)

For our theme, we went with a winter glamour/Gatsby-type feel. I knew I didn’t want red and knew I wanted the bridesmaids in rose gold sequin maxi dresses and so the ideas just stemmed from there. I love how rose gold, bronze and ivory work together – the bridesmaids looked amazing in their dresses!

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (107)

I bought my dress at a bridal shop owned by my friend Holly, Dream Dress Bridal. I‘d tried a few dresses on at wedding fairs for Holly and had an idea of the style I liked. I loved the one I eventually chose, particularly its detailed back. I knew I didn’t want a veil but a tiara; it went perfectly with the dress.

Alex wore a blue Signature suit from Next with a waistcoat and taupe tie. The colour looked amazing on Alex and thankfully went with the theme! The groomsmen also wore blue suits from Next.

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