February 8th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
I have a confession to make, readers: today’s real wedding has brought on a girl crush. Bride Chloe mixed Maggie Sottero with Topshop and threw in a leather jacket for good measure. She’s like Kate Moss, but Northern (i.e. an even better version of Kate Moss).
Also, we need more thumbs-up photographs in wedding albums. And brides swigging from beer bottles. And haystacks. Just putting it out there.
Actually, forget the girl crush – I have a full-on wedding crush. Do you think Chloe and Tom would notice if I conned them into being friends with me and invented a time machine so I could actually be at this wedding?
I challenge you to look at these stunning photographs and not feel the same way.
With images by Erin Photography.
chloe says: We got engaged on 4th September 2014, at Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland. It was the day after my birthday and Tom suggested that we take a day trip to Craster and Dunstanburgh. He completely surprised me by proposing while we were standing on the cliffs behind the castle; the only people around were a couple of fishermen! He’d managed to sneak a picnic into the car and after he’d proposed we enjoyed some food and drinks while sitting on the harbour in Craster.
We were married on 28th July 2016. We wanted a summer wedding to make the most of our venue (though the weather didn’t quite turn out as planned on the day!) Originally, we’d planned an August wedding to fit in with school holidays as I’m a teacher. We needed to move it forward slightly in the end to also fit in with Tom’s work schedule. This meant we had a week or so afterwards to enjoy a short honeymoon, too.
Our venue was High House Farm Brewery, Matfen, Northumberland. We wanted a laid-back venue where people could completely relax and enjoy the day – the open barn and the surrounding countryside was the perfect fit. We also wanted somewhere that we could add a personal touch with decorations etc. – our venue was great for this. They were very flexible with food and did their best to cater for every request. There was no hire charge for the venue providing that we used their caterers, so it saved us a bit of money that we were able to spend elsewhere.
We didn’t have a wedding theme and were very laid-back with decoration, table dressing and what we/our guests wore on the day. We wanted a laid-back atmosphere, and our guests commented that they really liked this about the day.
I chose a Maggie Sottero gown called Patience from Y.A.P. Bridal Boutique in Newcastle. The dress wasn’t too over-the-top, but was still really special. I also wore a full-length plain tulle veil from Y.A.P, which blended in with the train of my dress. I wore gold peep-toe sandals from Topshop during the ceremony, and changed into some cream lacy Toms for dancing later on. My leather jacket kept me warm when the temperature dropped!
My earrings were worn by my mam when she was married, and were my something ‘old’, ‘borrowed’ and ‘blue’. My something ‘new’ was a wedding present from Tom; a beautiful gold locket
December 19th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
You may recall earlier this year that we grouped together the top twenty best top tips from our real brides featured on the blog between January and June, to pass on their words of wisdom to those of you currently planning your own big day celebrations.
And having clocked up another six months of fabulous real weddings (where does the time go?!), we’re back once again to pass on the nuggets of advice from our knowledgeable brides, who shared their weddings on the blog during the second part of 2016.
There really are some amazing little gems in here that will help you to realise that everyone has their ups and downs on the wedding planning journey, but that ultimately all that matters is that you are marrying your true love and best friend. We’ll raise a festive glass of Bailey’s to that!
So, prepare to take note as our clued-up brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…
laura says: “Enjoy the planning of your wedding with your partner as much as the day itself. Mike and I loved making decisions about things together and it drew us closer and closer as the wedding day crept up on us. All of our causal discussions, ideas, phone calls, emails and meetings in the year before the wedding personalised and tailored our day so it was just as we wanted it. With that in mind, wedding planning can also be very stressful. We were lucky because we had top quality suppliers who had done it all before. So our other top tip would be to use suppliers with good reputations who are ideally used to working with each other”
courtney says: “Don’t feel you need to stick to the traditional plan for your day. We got ready together which I really liked, we had our photos before the ceremony so that we didn’t miss out on time with our friends and family (and it meant our hair and makeup were fresh for the photos). We decided not to use cars, have flowers, there was no cake, we didn’t do favours and we didn’t do a first dance. Just make your day all about the two of you. Also, when styling a large venue it’s worth having a few focal points of interest to add impact rather than lots of little things dispersed. Oh, and it’s totally normal to hate the politics and stress that creep into planning a wedding!”
jenny says: “Make lists, involve others and accept help, as however long you think you will need to plan a wedding you will no doubt end up feeling that you need longer. We spent many a day roping family into ‘crafternoons’ to help set up seating plans, make ribbon wands and confetti cones etc.”
zoe says: “Do as much as you can yourself for the wedding. We personalised everything that we could. There was a lot to do, but we were so proud when it all came together. We also really enjoyed doing it all together in the run up to our big day.”
beccy says: “Firstly, whilst you obviously want to create a memorable day that everyone enjoys, I think it’s incredibly important to remember just what your wedding day is about – it’s about you two – the bride and groom! And the most important thing is that you two have the day of your dreams which you’ll never forget, so don’t spend too much time worrying about everyone else – you can’t always please everyone! Secondly, plan well and choose your suppliers and your venue carefully. If you get that right, your day will run clockwork leaving you to enjoy your special day without having to worry about a thing.”
jody says: “Don’t worry about the weather. I was worried thinking the rain might spoil our day. In the end, it made it. It rained nearly all day, however, Liam and I think it made our day more interesting. We had fun running around the city under an umbrella with our photographer trying to get some fun photos in the downpours. Nothing will faze you on the day so just go with it.”
faith says: “Get an amazing photographer, the photos will bring the day back to you and really help you remember it forever!”
tracey says: “Do what you want – it’s your wedding. Spend money on the things that are important to you. For us, it was the photographers, providing good food and drink for our guests and the entertainment (ice cream van and the band). Think about what you want your guests to leave your wedding saying/thinking. I have been a guest at many weddings where guests had been totally forgotten and where style over substance was more important. We always kept in mind that our guests were travelling at least an hour to our venue and we wanted to make that journey worthwhile. We wanted them to leave with really happy memories of the day, so it was really important we provided enough entertainment, they were looked after well and that they weren’t hanging about for too long.”
emma says: “Delegate! People love getting involved and its worth making the most of the skills your family and friends have – it makes your job so much easier and makes the day so much more personal – I wish I’d realised it earlier!”
melissa says: “Ask your previously married friends if they have any leftover wedding props they don’t need any longer. It’s amazing what you can get and a great way to save on budget, whilst re-using something another couple loved. I’d also say really consider what you want from your wedding – if you want photos in the countryside make sure there’s plenty of places nearby you can go, if you dream of candlelight at your venue – make sure they allow it, as we found out last minute they didn’t!”
kate says: “Plan, plan, plan. Just try and be as organised as possible. We did a lot of the planning early on so when it got nearer to the wedding, we found we weren’t stressed as there wasn’t much more to do. This meant that we were able to relax right up to the big day!”
beth says: “Don’t worry or fuss over the small details. We are so glad we didn’t. Keep your focus on what you are really there to do: to marry the person you have the privilege to love and be loved by in return. The confetti blows away and the cake is gobbled up, but seeing your best friend the next day and knowing you are continuing on a whole new adventure together is an extraordinary feeling. And what’s better, it’s more than a feeling because it’s a commitment. Take time to remember and enjoy.”
alexandra says: “A year is the perfect amount of time to organise a wedding; it was long enough to plan without the stress but not too long to drag it out. Other couples might not agree! We loved planning it and whenever we completed a wedding ‘job’ off the list, we had a drink to celebrate! Also, we had no interference in planning our wedding and it worked perfectly – it’s your day, no-one else’s, so just do it yourselves!”
stacey says: “We set up an account on Wedpics for all our friends and family to share their photos from the day. We would definitely recommend getting something like Wedpics to other brides and grooms because it was so good to see everyone’s photos of the day and to see moments that we might have missed.”
gemma says: “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do everything the way you (both) want to do it. Don’t conform to what other people think or what tradition says you should do, and definitely don’t stress about any of it.”
kath says: “You don’t have to overcomplicate things. We had the perfect day but we didn’t go over the top with everything. We tried to use people that we knew or local suppliers. Also, it’s ok to be yourselves – Tim and I knew that we didn’t want to conform to what a wedding ‘should’ look like. As we had an afternoon tea, we actually ended the reception at 7pm because we wanted to have a special meal together in the evening together as just us!”
ashlea says: “Involve the groom. I don’t think our day would have been as special and successful if it wasn’t for Dave. He had to do a lot of the meetings on his own and organise things that I wasn’t able to. We worked as a team and a lot of people were surprised to find out when he was enjoying it. I think it was a great bonding experience and he felt just as proud as I did when everything came together in the end.”
sarah says: “Don’t rule out a videographer to capture your special day. It is something we originally discounted but then booked Silver Sixpence a little later on and we are so pleased we did. The day passes so quickly and it was lovely to get back from honeymoon and relive the day all over again, plus see things we had missed. Our video is something we can cherish and watch year after year.”
holly says: “Believe that whatever happens your day will be the best of your lives. I think it’s easy to get swamped with all the little details and do nothing but worry about how it’s all going to go. If I could go back to myself now I would tell myself to get a grip! Not everything went perfectly, the weather for one, but in our eyes it was still the perfect day. We married each other in front of our most loved friends and family and we had the best party to celebrate. It really is all that matters.”
emma says: “Don’t stress! I had a near breakdown on the Friday as there seemed so much to do, but rely on your suppliers – they do this as a profession and so they know what they are doing! Funnily enough on Saturday morning as it was out of my hands completely, I was really relaxed and the photographer said it was the most relaxed wedding prep he’d ever seen!”
November 18th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
After a romantic proposal in Venice, today’s real wedding couple Sara and Ross, decided on a Venetian-inspired theme and a navy and peach palette for their elegant wedding at Pentrehobyn Hall.
This party-loving pair wanted their big day to go with a bang and so had entertainment and food at the top of their agenda. And check out Sara’s jaw-dropping fishtail Mori Lee gown – real #dresscrush material, people!
With images by Will Hey Photography.
sara says: We got engaged January 2015 in Venice. Ross had actually planned on proposing in one of the restaurants while we were out but was suffering from sciatica at the time – he kept getting up and walking around the table! In the taxi on the way back to the hotel I made a joke about him being in trouble because my friends thought he was going to propose and he responded by saying he wouldn’t ask me to marry him just because my friends thought it would happen. I thought at this point I was going home single! When we got to the hotel he suggested dessert (even though we’d already indulged in the restaurant) and the most beautiful ring was brought out on plate. He got down on one knee, and I cried…a lot!
We got married on 13th August. There was no special reason behind the date – it was more a case of us falling in love with our chosen venue – Pentrehobyn Hall – and picking a date that was available. There were very few Saturdays left!
We picked a Venetian theme. We thought it would be romantic, and appropriate considering we got engaged in Venice.
Navy and peach were our main colours. Ross had his heart set on a navy or blue/grey suit with peach accessories. I’d originally wanted black bridesmaid dresses but I’m so glad that we opted for the navy/peach theme. It was so much more summery and looked great on the pictures.
My dress was a fishtail lace Mori Lee dress. Originally I’d had my heart set on a gown I’d seen online, but when I went to try it on it really didn’t suit me. My friend picked my dress out for me and I can reveal that it really is true what people say: you know when you’ve found ‘the dress’! Our very talented friend Zara made my garter and I had my great grandmother’s blue brooch tied to my bouquet as my something borrowed and blue.
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August 3rd, 2016 | Julia Braime
Having often dreamt about weddings since being young, us girls can easily get carried away when it comes to planning our big day but it’s important that we respect our partner’s wishes too. Today’s bride goes as far as to say that without the groom’s input their wedding would not have been as special or as successful, as the two of them worked together to make planning their dream day from abroad possible.
Looking at the images below it’s fair to say that team work certainly made the dream work, as Ashlea and David enjoyed a beautifully elegant big day at the stunning Newton Hall complete with a pretty colour palette and sparkling pops of gold.
With images by Danny Birrell Photography.
ashlea says: We got engaged in Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada, on 18th February 2014. Dave was visiting Canada for a year while I was finishing university and we decided to take a trip during my winter break. One of our favourite pastimes in the winter is skating and in Ottawa the canal freezes over to create more than three miles of rink. After spending the day touring around, and me suffering with the flu of the century, Dave convinced me to brave the -20C whether once more to go skating at dusk and watch the sun set. Once we were thoroughly frozen we decided to head back to the start but Dave stopped half way back, and began to tell me how much he loved me and where he saw our lives going. Before I knew it he was down on one knee on skates.
We set the date for 22nd June 2016, as we both felt it would be the best time of year for a wedding – not too hot and not too cold! It was also the perfect timing between Dave finishing his degree and his graduation.
We got married at Newton Hall in Northumberland. I started researching places shortly after we got engaged and being in another country meant everything was through Google. I instantly fell in love with the pictures and the whole idea behind Newton Hall. I think it just fit our quirky personalities and was something completely different to both of us. We had it booked from in May 2015 and Dave went to the open house by himself and called me in Canada at 6am telling me it was absolutely perfect! It wasn’t until three months before the wedding that I got to see the venue for myself – and I was just blown away by everything!
I’m an artist by trade and when we began planning our wedding I was really inspired by the vintage English look, but I think as time went on it began to evolve into something a little more personal, mixing in vintage with whimsical and a little bit of floral. I also took into consideration the look of the hall itself and picked things that would complement it.
Our colour scheme was dusty blue, gold, pastel pale pink, and ivory. I started with the colour of my dress which was ivory over light gold, and my bridesmaids dresses, which were dusty blue and then used a third colour, the pink, that I knew would complement them both. From there I used the colours in the little details like the bunting, flowers, and the cake.
May 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks here at Brides Up North HQ (ok, it’s been a crazy six years, but who’s counting…) as we have brought you our two most exciting events to date, our epic festival wedding fairs: WEDSTOCK’16 at Stockeld Park, Yorkshire last weekend and WEDSTIVAL’16 this coming weekend at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire.
If you’re a North West bride to be, Capesthorne Hall is where you need to be THIS SUNDAY 22nd May, open 11am till 4pm, and free entry, as we transform the grand building and it’s grounds into a wedding wonderland with our huge sailcloth tent, tipi village, bell tents, vintage PIMMS tent, street food vendors, live bands, cars and campers, ceremony showcase, 60+ luxury wedding suppliers and so much more.
Capesthorne Hall, Congleton Road, Siddington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9JY
Sunday 22nd May 2016, 11am till 4pm
FREE entry for registered brides plus a FREE VIP media pack whilst stocks last.
Please register for free entry to WEDSTIVAL’16 for you and your party.
We’re giving away up to 300 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 fill in the form below. While stocks last.
If the weather is looking a little dubious on the day (but hey, it’s May, let’s look on the bright side!) there’s nothing to worry about either – all of our structures are perfectly weatherproof, warm and welcoming, so a little drizzle ain’t going to spoil our party. The beautiful rooms at Capesthorne Hall are all open for viewing too (you can book the Hall itself, one of the stunning marquee sites or even both for your big day), and if you’ve already got your venue sorted, we’ve so many amazing exhibitors and styling ideas on show on Sunday that you’ll leave with every last detail covered.
Pop in in the diary, why don’t you!? It’s FREE ENTRY (we love to spoil our readers) and such a fabulous day out for you, your other half, your bridal party… and even the future in-laws! Grab a cocktail, stay for lunch courtesy of our street food vendors, and get your wedding planning all wrapped up at the same time. Result.
To whet your appetite, or if you came, partied and wedding planned at our WEDSTOCK’16 event last week, here are some official photographs to remind you that Brides Up North do wedding fairs differently… and to celebrate what a great day we all had.
Images by our official event photographer Peace Wedding Photography. Continue reading to view our entire gallery!
May 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Stockeld Park, Harrogate Road, Wetherby, LS22 4AN
Sunday 8th May 2016, 11am till 4pm
FREE entry for registered brides plus a FREE VIP media pack whilst stocks last.
Ladies and gents, it’s time. It’s #WEDSTOCK16! And we can’t wait to see you there!
Brides Up North in association with Shades, Tipi Chic, Curious Tent Hire, Stockeld Park and Yorkshire’s finest wedding industry suppliers are proud to host the UK’s first dedicated large scale festival wedding exhibition in 2016. With free entry for you and your bridal party and open 11am till 4pm, on Sunday 8th May 2016 Stockeld Park will be transformed into a wedding wonderland!
There’ll be a huge sail cloth tent, tipi hats, an arched wedding tent, a vintage MASH tent, bell tents, an Indian cupola tent, chill out areas, a Pimm’s tent, street food vendors (so stay for lunch!), lakeside cafe, picnic area, cars and campers, live music, bridal fashion, a bloom bar, and 60 luxury wedding suppliers covering absolutely all the details to make all your festival wedding planning ideas a reality.
All under cover in our warm and weatherproof outdoor wedding structures, come rain or shine, we’ve got your inspiration sorted. Bring your bridesmaids, designate a driver, wear flowers in your hair and make a day of it… this is set to be an event to remember, and it won’t cost you or your wedding party a penny
Use the hashtag #WEDSTOCK16 to follow the event build up across all our social media feeds.
bride to be?
Please register for free entry to WEDSTOCK16 for you and your party.
We’re also giving away up to 300 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 fill in the form below. While stocks last.
Images by Darren Mack.
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