November 8th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Kirsty, says that the perfect wedding dress took her by surprise by being everything she supposedly didn’t want. The dress in question – a romantic, swishy Justin Alexander creation – was a truly stunning choice from what we can see!
Kirsty also said she wanted her day to be defined by the words “classy” and “romantic”. Well, mission accomplished, just take a look at the stunning photographs!
Ready for some serious pretty? Let’s dive right in…
With images by Leighton Bainbridge Photography.
kirsty says: Ryan and I got engaged on 1st August 2014 while on holiday in Mexico. Ryan had organised a private, romantic meal on the pier, looking over the ocean where we could watch the sun set. We had a gorgeous meal with champagne. Once we’d finished our meal, Ryan got down on one knee and the waiter presented my ring on a silver plate. It was perfect and the waiter caught it all on camera so I will always be able to look back at that moment. I had no idea, which made it even more special.
We got married on 6th August 2016. We always wanted to get married in the summer and this date worked well around my work. I’m a teacher and wanted to have a few weeks off before the wedding as well as being able to go on our honeymoon before the new term started. Plus, we hoped that in August we’d have sunny weather – which we did!
We were married at our local church in Houghton-le-Spring and then went onto Seaham Hall in County Durham. I’d always wanted to have my wedding there. The hotel is so beautiful I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. Plus, we loved the fact that we could have an exclusive wedding with the whole venue and facilities to ourselves. We booked all 20 of the hotel rooms, which meant our close family and friends could stay over. The hotel boasts a sports room with a pool table, which was ideal for the men, plus there was a quiet lounge for the ‘oldies’.
I’d always wanted a big wedding and Ryan just went along with it! The two words I wanted to define the day were “classy” and “romantic”. When we got engaged the rustic, vintage theme was very popular and I loved the idea of lots of little details. However, I still wanted the overall feel to be contemporary as Seaham Hall is quite modern.
Making a decision on the colour scheme wasn’t difficult. I’m a girly girl and knew I wanted pink. We decided on a very soft blush; we knew it would suit both bridesmaids as well as the groomsmen. The bridesmaids’ dresses were from Mia Sposa in Newcastle; I chose a full-length lace gown in blush pink. They chose their own shoes so that they were comfortable on the day.
The choice of my own dress took me by surprise. It was everything I supposedly didn’t want. I chose a Justin Alexander dress also from Mia Sposa in Newcastle (the girls there are fab!) It had a full skirt, long train and lace straps, creating a ‘v’ shape at the front and back. The lace detail went all the way down the fitted bodice and past my hips where it faded out and then also all around the hem of the skirt. I loved the buttons at the back as they too went all the way down the skirt. When I spun it swished around me; I really felt like a princess! I also wore a veil, which was the full length of my dress and decorated with small crystals.
Mel Hedley did the bridal party’s makeup for the wedding. She was fantastic! Francesca Hair Design in Pelton, then did the bridal party’s hair. We had such a laugh getting ready and they all went beyond the call of duty!
We hired Ryan’s suit from Just Perfect in Shotton Colliery. He wore a French navy suit with a tweed waistcoat. He had a blush pink tie and tan shoes. The combined effect was gorgeous. The groomsmen wore the same as the groom however their waistcoat was the same French navy as the suit, also from Just Perfect.
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December 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding couple love nothing more than escaping to the beach with their daughter for some quality family time. It was little surprise then that when a wedding venue by the sea was suggested, they booked it straight away.
Taking inspiration from the season, Philip and Amanda’s wedding day featured elegant autumnal touches including some rather unusual white pumpkins that are apparently only available for a few days of the year. Shame, they would suit our office perfectly!
With images by Danny Birrell Photography.
amanda says: We got engaged on 7th December 2013, during a weekend away to York where we met at university (we now live in Whitley Bay). We went for a nice lunch and a few glasses of wine, and got all wrapped up to go for a walk around York. We were in the York Minster Gardens when Phil got down on one knee and popped the question, just as the minster bells began to chime. Everyone around us cheered and it was all very romantic. After seven years together of course I said yes.
We were married on Sunday 18th October 2015. We knew we wanted an autumnal wedding, in October, as that was the month we met nine years previously.
We went for a look around As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle, and had a chat with them about their venue. They mentioned a sister venue, Newton Hall in Northumberland, were having an open day soon after, so we went there for a look around, fell in love and reserved the date that day! Newton Hall had a formal, yet relaxed atmosphere that we just loved! All of the little eccentricities just added to the character of the venue, and when we walked into the garden suite, we just knew it was perfect. It was an added bonus it has its very own beach close by!
November 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This morning’s real wedding couple decided to make to plan a wedding that was pretty and personal rather than shaping it around one set theme.
The result is a very natural and romantic big day that’s brimming with beautiful elements; from the fairy tale style venue to the gorgeous blooms and delicate decor, this one has it all!
With images by Brides Up North favourite, Paul Liddement Wedding Stories.
wendy says: We got engaged on the banks of Loch Lomond in February 2013. I’m from Helensburgh, near Loch Lomond and I love boats so Dave arranged for us to go on a boat tour for my birthday. After a beautiful, if slightly chilly, trip around the loch and a whisky to calm the nerves, Dave got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
Our wedding date was Saturday 6th June 2015. As we were getting married outside we wanted to choose date where we might have slightly less chance of getting rain.
We got married and had our reception at The Treehouse in Alnwick Gardens. We looked at a number of venues in and around my hometown and felt they were far too formal. I then started looking online for unusual wedding venues and came across the Treehouse. As soon as we walked up its walkway we knew we had found the right place; it’s so naturally beautiful, the perfect size and adorned with fairy lights!
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September 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
If you were too busy playing out this Bank Holiday to catch up on all things Brides Up North, make sure you click here to catch up on yesterday’s news… the new season and Unveiled Magazine, Issue #04 has landed! No rest for us wicked ones though, we’re getting busy with the pretty right away today… today’s bride and groom don’t like things too over the top and so decided to keep their big day simple and elegant, with both modern and traditional touches.
Following a church ceremony Jessica, Chris and their guests carried on the proceedings at the stunning Lartington Hall, which (having visited ourselves) we can say is a splendid choice of venue.
We love how chic this wedding is. With pretty pastel blooms, classic wedding transport and a dreamy satin wedding gown (in which Jessica looks gorgeous) it might be simple, but it sure is stylish!
With images by Joe Stenson.
jessica says: Chris attempted to propose on two different occasions. The first time was a surprise trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights but unfortunately there was an issue with the ring he had chosen so he didn’t have one and choose not to propose (but we did get to see the lights!).
The second was a surprise weekend to Paris but it was the week in 2014 when we had terrible storms and we got stuck in Dover for nine hours as the port was closed so we ended up missing the restaurant booking and arrived at 1am! Again he chose not to propose.
Third time lucky was an impromptu picnic in the New Forrest (we live in Surrey although I’m from County Durham) with our little dog Frank. Chris was acting very strangely, pacing up and down and eventually got down on one knee and popped the question. It couldn’t have been more perfect – beautiful scenery, wellies on and dog by our side!
We set the date for 25th April 2015. We originally wanted a winter wedding but as Chris proposed in March, I was worried there wasn’t enough time to organise a wedding for that winter. I love spring so this was our next option.
We got married at St. Romald’s Church, Romaldkirk, Teesdale, but we had our wedding weekend, including the reception at Lartington Hall.
My family have connections to the area and St. Romald’s is a beautiful church. We also fell in love with Lartington Hall and the two are only a few miles apart so it worked really well when transporting our guests. We chose Lartington Hall because it was exactly what we had dreamed of for a reception venue. It has all the English countryside charm of a stately home, but is stylish and elegant with a modern twist but doesn’t lose its fabulous history and appeal. John and the team at Lartington Hall are also just fantastic and put us at ease that we had chosen the right venue on our first meeting.
Simple elegance was our theme. We aren’t a fussy couple, we don’t really like lots of bling or making a big statement so we wanted the day to reflect our personalities. It was all about having a traditional, English country wedding with everyone we love around us having a relaxed day and loads of fun.
I’d always wanted my bridesmaids to wear navy dresses, however when we decided on a spring wedding we were worried they might look a little wintery. Rather than change the colour of their dresses, we decided to lighten the colour palette by having beautiful spring flowers in shades of light pinks, purples and blues. The stationary, cake and groomsmen’s accessories all followed the lighter spring colour theme.
I wanted a simple, classic and elegant dress. After trying on loads, I finally found my one at Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique in Beaconsfield. My dress was Anna by Augusta Jones. It is a structured ball gown with a sweetheart neckline, waist defining sash, and a full skirt, made in cream coloured Satin de Chine. I chose an organza overlay skirt also by Augusta Jones which I wore for the church service with a satin edge cathedral veil. For the evening I changed my sash and wore an Austrian crystal sash called Virginia from Ivory & Co. to give me a different look. My shoes were by Emmy London and were customised with mother of pearl T-bar.
Chris and all of the groomsmen wore traditional navy tails from Moss Bros. Chris wore an ivory waistcoat and cravat, while the groomsmen wore silver waistcoats and Creswell pink cravats. Our nephews (aged seven and ten) had top hats to match their suits.
On the wedding day Sally Ward from La Belle Vous, did hair and makeup for me and my three bridesmaids. She did a fantastic job and was lovely to have around on what could have been a very stressful morning! Everyone looked gorgeous but most importantly felt really good after she had worked her magic.
We hired traditional cars from Brooklands Wedding Cars in Durham, to transport all of the wedding party. My mum and I travelled in a 1930s Beauford convertible in navy and cream. The bridesmaids travelled in a 1920s Regent Landaulette in navy and cream, and the groom and family travelled in a cream Daimler State Limousine.
As we met in Nottingham and moved to the south and with Chris’ family being from Hampshire, the vast majority of our guests had to travel to our wedding. Because of this we wanted to put on a coach transfer from the hotels they were staying to the wedding and back again. We organised this through Enterprise Travel, based in Darlington.
When it came to booking a photographer, we contacted Joe Stenson who was based in Leeds and he travelled to meet us for an initial chat. We instantly knew we had picked the right photographer. He is hugely talented with a very laidback approach and was an absolute pleasure to have as part of our big day. We can’t stop looking at our photos – they are just fantastic and really capture what a happy, fun day it was. We would highly recommend Joe, and his colleague George, who also photographed our day.
Kirsty and Katy from Darling & Green, created all of our flower arrangements for church and venue and our bouquets and button holes, Hydrangea were our main theme for the flowers and these were arranged along with a selection of ranunculus, tulips, astrantia, allium sphaerocephalon and hellebores, following our spring colour palette of light dusky pink, soft shades of pink and purple with touches of very light blue and soft foliage.
Darling & Green arranged all of the venue flowers as well in the same theme as above. We had hurricane vases with candles and flowers and tall goblet vases with flowers on alternate tables. We also had mantelpiece arrangements of flowers and candles in the main ball room as well as vintage bottles containing hydrangea heads dotted around the different rooms of Lartington Hall. At the church we had the archway into the church decorated with willow and our chosen flowers, pew ends of hydrangeas and pedestal arrangements containing flowers and candles.
Jill Ellis who owns Hope You Can Make It, in Middlesbrough, designed all of our stationary in shades of the pinks and purples of the hydrangeas so the theme was continued through to the table plan, table names, menus and place settings.
We created a table plan using an antique picture frame, antique keys and old luggage tags. Guests were invited to ‘find the key to their seat’ from the keys hung on the table plan and on each individuals key was the name of their table. We also purchased a drop top guest book where guests could write messages on wooden hearts and post them in the top of an oak frame to create a keepsake of the day.
On our recent trip to Paris we fell in love with traditional Parisian macaroons and so decided to give these as favours to our guests. Chris Burnett at Burnetts 4 Cakes, created traditional macaroons in blush pink and each guest had two macaroons presented in a gift bag at their place setting.
Chris also created our cake. We wanted a simple, elegant, statement cake with oversized tiers and squared edges. Chris took our ideas and created a stunning cake. Each tier was a different flavour: fruit, carrot, chocolate orange and red velvet. The tiers were very plain with ivory icing, except for the bottom tier which was covered in intricate blush pink iced frills. My only regret was I didn’t get any! But we have saved the fruit tier so there is still hope!
Following canapés served during the drinks reception, we had a wedding breakfast of Smoked Salmon to start, Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings for mains and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. In the evening we had hog roast sandwiches served on the dance floor in large baskets – not to interrupt proceedings!
To provide entertainment during the church service we booked Dr Robin Harrison, who is a fantastically talented organ player, and his choir The Bobby Dazzlers. They performed while we were signing the register and were very popular among the guests. We then hired Purple Supper Band for the entertainment back at Lartington Hall and they played jazz piano during our drinks reception, followed by two very lively sets by the band and the DJ finished the night off. The dance floor was full from start to finish!
To make the wedding all the more special, we invited our immediate wedding party to stay with us for the weekend at Lartington Hall, which has 12 beautiful bedrooms. We had a lovely rehearsal dinner on the Friday prior to the wedding and the Saturday preparations were very relaxed as everyone was in the same place.
We would absolutely recommend Lartintgon Hall to all. It is a truly stunning venue, but also the team are so friendly and accommodating – nothing is too much trouble. They make the weekend an extremely relaxing one so the wedding couple can concentrate on enjoying their special day. We could not have asked for more from them.
The wedding service was obviously very special to us, but I think our favourite part of the day was walking into the ball room at Lartington Hall to greet our guests for dinner and seeing everyone together for us – we also got a huge cheer which was fantastic!
Neither I nor Chris had been to Asia or the Far East so we wanted to visit this part of the world for our honeymoon. We chose Vietnam with a one-night stopover in Singapore on the way home. We were away for three weeks and had a fabulous time visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Halong Bay with a ten day stay on a private cove at the fabulous Six Senses Resort Nimh Van Bay. The best things we did were a Vietnamese cookery course, conducted in a tropical garden and a private dining experience in a cave for my birthday. Singapore was a fabulous end to the trip as it was a total contrast to the cities of Vietnam with its modern infrastructure, sky scraper buildings and super clean streets.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – lists, lists and more lists! I make lists in my sleep so this was the way I organised myself during the planning stages. On the day itself, I would say make sure everything is done by the day before so you can really relax and enjoy every little second of the day – it is over so fast. Also, take a step back and observe just for a few seconds at different stages of the day. It is such a blur when it’s all over you will be pleased you took mental pictures of everything that is going on around you.
I can honestly say it was the best day of our lives!
July 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple tied the knot in an iconic part of Newcastle, down by the Millennium Bridge.
Mixing old with new Katy-Rose and Chris chose a modern setting for their Quayside wedding in the form of the Malmaison hotel and then mixed in subtle vintage touches through their transport and attire choices.
Though a small and intimate wedding it looks like a good party followed the ceremony with a blues band providing the evening entertainment.
With images by Barry Forshaw Photography.
katy-rose says: We got engaged in Barcelona in 2007. Chris was so emotional he couldn’t actually ask me to marry him so he just pushed the ring on my finger – thankfully it would have been a ‘yes’!
We chose to get married on 15th May 2015 as May is our favourite month of the year and we also liked how the date looked written down – 15.05.15.
We got married at Gateshead Registry office and then had the reception/evening do at Malmaison on the Quayside. We knew we wanted a very small wedding (18 during the day, 50 altogether on the night) so we thought Malmaison would be the perfect venue – and it was!
The wedding was loosely inspired by the 1920s. My dress had a vintage look about it as did the car we hired and the band we chose had a vintage feel too. During our meal we played music from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Etta James and Frank Sinatra to set the scene.
Other than the bouquet, button holes and my make-up there wasn’t really a colour scheme, we kept things quite relaxed in that respect.
I wore a gorgeous 1920s style beaded dress from YAP Bridal, based in Newcastle. It is a beautiful and simple dress with a sweet heart neckline, intricate beading and elegant train. YAP Bridal were fantastic from beginning to end, they really made me feel special! To complete my look Cheryl Watson from Washington styled my hair on the day which I was delighted with!
Chris wore a lovely slate grey suit from Debenhams with a purple and silver tie.
On the day I travelled in a vintage style 1920s Regents car which was provided by Brooklands Wedding Cars, based in Durham. The car was stunning and the driver was so lovely, he really eased my nerves!
Barry of Barry Forshaw Photography was our photographer and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy! He has a lovely nature and put us at ease straight away. The photographs are beautiful and they capture my family and friends’ personalities really well! We couldn’t recommend him enough!
I carried a beautiful bouquet which consisted of roses, lavender and ivy. Helen from Flower Fever provided the bouquet and button holes and we would highly recommend her to others!
In terms of décor, we kept the table really simplistic, so instead of flowers we used black slate and pillar candles to decorate.
As favours we gave our guests cute cupcakes. When it came to the main wedding cake – I made my own! It was a fruit cake soaked in a lot of brandy! I decorated it with the flowers my Nanna had made for our engagement cake.
To keep our guests entertained we hired a fantastic blues band called Monkey Junk who played on the wedding night. We love blues music and especially love the sound of slide guitar!
We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to other brides and grooms. Malmaison is a modern venue with great style and atmosphere. They made sure I didn’t have to worry about anything on the day and took care of every last detail. It was also very relaxed and they use their initiative if things are going ahead/behind schedule. Excellent venue!
My favourite part of the day was the wedding breakfast, seeing all of my family and friends together, celebrating with a lovely meal.
After the wedding we jetted off to New York for six days. We had been before in 2010 and knew immediately that it would be the perfect place for our honeymoon. Greenwich Village is our favourite place to hang out.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be simply to take in and enjoy every moment because it does go very fast!
April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s stunning couple had Northumberland’s first same sex marriage, and the stylish ladies certainly made sure it would be an event to remember.
Michelle and Nikki chose a gorgeous seaside location for their romantic celebration, complete with pretty floral decorations and vintage touches.
Nikki looked gorgeous in her lace Essense of Australia gown while Michelle rocked a sophisticated Marc Jacobs fitted suit during their summer ceremony.
Following the “I dos” there were cocktails, delicious food and a host of live entertainment, what more could you want from a wedding?
With images by Erika Tanith Photography.
nikki says: We went travelling around Australia together and got engaged just after midnight on 1st January 2010 on Sydney Harbour. We were enjoying celebrating the New Year out on a boat in the lightshow next to the Opera House when I asked Michelle to marry me.
We were married on 14th July 2014. We picked the date as it is in-between both our birthdays and we really wanted summer wedding.
We chose to marry at Newton Hall. As soon as we visited we knew we wouldn’t find anywhere else that compared. The hall and grounds were exclusive to us all day and night. The location was perfect with a beach nearby and we often visit Northumberland for day trips.
We didn’t have a particular theme as such but we quite liked the vintage look with a quirky twist to match the venue. We chose a pastel teal colour scheme as it would go nice with the venue, the season and complement the men’s’ light grey suits.
I chose a dress from Essense of Australia, it was a very light ivory dress with a lace dress over the top – I picked it to match the vintage theme. The dress was light and comfortable. When shopping for my dress I couldn’t believe how heavy most of the gowns were and being a summer wedding was relieved when I found my dress which was much lighter. Michelle wore a fitted black suit and blouse from Marc Jacobs.
Our hair and makeup artist was a very talented lady called Maxine Ayre. She did a wonderful job of the hair and makeup for everyone in the bridal party. It is very rare that you find someone who can do both hair pinups and makeup to such a high standard. Would highly recommend – couldn’t have wished for a nicer person and who made us feel so relaxed on the morning too knowing we were in good hands.
Erika Tanith was our photographer, we would certainly recommend her. The quality and creativity of her photos were stunning and she felt like part of the family on the day.
I carried memory lane and avalanche roses in my bouquet which was made by talented florists at Floral Quarter. Throughout the planning of the wedding we purchased various quirky items we thought the floral decorations would look good, from miniature teapots to jam jars and wooden boxes. Floral Quarter provided the flowers and arrangements within these and really pulled everything together beyond our expectations. Would highly recommend them.
As favours we gave ‘little bags of happiness’ which we made and put together ourselves.
The cake was three tiers, each with a different flavour, simply decorated with some falling roses. It was provided by Lilly Jack Cakes.
We attended a few wedding open days at Newton Hall where they give out free cocktails and showcased the evening food options. We were also treated to a complimentary menu taster session at the As You Like It restaurant to help us choose or favourite food and drink for the big day.
To entertain our guests while we were getting photographs taken down at the nearby beach we hired Magic Paul, a very talented magician. We also hired two sets of musical entertainment from AMV Music. Annabelle Pattinson played acoustic guitar and sang before and after the ceremony. For the evening entertainment we had a seven-piece band called Livewire. We did a lot of research on the entertainment as Michelle comes from a musical family (her mum was a singer in the North East) so it was going to be a big part of our day. Once we discovered them we knew immediately they were for us. Livewire were fantastic – they learnt our first dance song, let us choose their playlist and even allowed Michelle and her mum to sing a couple of songs!
To add some special touches we hired ‘Love’ lights from Coco Luminaire to set the room off. Instead of a traditional guest book we had a fingerprint tree for our family and friends to stamp their finger prints. We now have this framed in our living room as a daily reminder or our special day. We also had photographs of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day and a candle to remember those that couldn’t be with us. We set up a large vintage picture frame hung by ropes from a tree which our guests loved getting their photos taken at.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue o other couples. We were made to feel so special and the staff went above and beyond to make everything flow without us even noticing. They were amazing!
We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – we loved all of it! Truly, from the moment Michelle arrived through to the ceremony, the photos, meal, toast and then the evening – it was just fantastic! After the ceremony it was great to go to the beach just the two of us with Erika and spend quality time together taking everything in.
The day after our wedding we went on honeymoon to Punta Cana in the Dominican for two weeks. It was beautiful, just like you imagine the Caribbean to be – the staff treated us to champagne, wine and cakes for our occasion. It was very special – we also visited Saona Island where the bounty advert was filmed, total paradise!
Our top tip to other Brides Up North is to enjoy every minute and don’t worry what may go wrong – it really won’t matter on the day! We just couldn’t believe how quickly the day went by after over a year of planning. Savour every moment!
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