March 29th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding has a sprinkling of Disney magic – surely, the stuff that happily ever afters are made of?
Our couple, Ellen and Jason, tied the knot at the beautiful Eslington Villa in Gateshead. Complete with camper vans, Micky and Minnie balloons and candles – this is a wedding that’ll be sure to put a big smile on your face – and get you reminiscing about your favourite Disney princess.
With images by GS Studio.
ellen says: Jason proposed on Christmas Day 2014 in my Auntie Kim’s living room. My parents, brother, auntie, uncle, cousins and grandparents all gather at my auntie’s every year to celebrate Christmas together. After lunch we started to open our presents, everyone had finished unwrapping gifts, just chatting amongst ourselves, until Jason said, “Ellen has one last present.” I was sitting on the sofa next to my Mam. He handed me a large grey box tied with a white ribbon, I opened the box to find it full of fake snow, another square box and a ceramic heart which read “loved you yesterday, love you still, always have, always will”. I opened the square box to discover a glass bauble, I held the glass bauble up to see a little piece of paper inside – it read ‘Ellen will you marry me?’ When I looked up Jason was on one knee holding out a ring! Of course, I said yes after much blubbering.
We got married on Friday 30th December. We chose this date as Christmas is our favourite time of year! We knew lots of our friends and family would already be off work, too.
We got married at St John’s Church, Sherriff Hill. I have been a member of the congregation since I was christened many years ago. Ever since I was a young girl this has always been the place where I dreamed I would get married. We were married by the previous Vicar of St Johns, Reverend David Tully, who is now Rector at St Mary & St Cuthbert’s Chester Le Street. David has known me since I was six-years-old, playing table tennis on our yearly Church weekend to Blaithwaite. It was only fitting that he conducted our ceremony, I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it.
We held our reception at Eslington Villa, in Team Valley, Gateshead. The building is beautiful and the surroundings are breath taking! You wouldn’t believe you are in the middle of a residential area! My father has always liked to give business to the local shops, restaurants and cafes, so it was his idea to consider Eslington as a possible venue. We knew the food was fabulous and the service was impeccable, so why pick anywhere else?
Our theme was Disney Hollywood chic. I am a huge Disney fan; the films are constantly playing in our house. We holiday at least once a year to Orlando to visit the Disney castle and all the characters. Originally, there was no Disney at all in the wedding as I thought Jason wouldn’t like the idea, but after a month or so of planning he suggested we call the tables different Disney films, and that was it – I had the go ahead for the Disney theme! After all, it was our day and we deserved to be our very own Prince and Princess!
The Hollywood chic was Jason’s idea, he knew how much I love sparkles and glitter so he thought, why not add a touch of Hollywood glam? It would allow us to make a lot of the decorations and put our own spin on the theme.
Our colour scheme was white and silver with a touch of pink. White and silver worked perfectly with the glitter and sparkles, and pink is my favourite colour so I was happy we were able to subtly incorporate it too.
I wore a White Rose ivory lace fishtail dress with long buttoned sleeves, extended train, and glitter under layer, teamed with a cathedral lace edged veil, diamond headband and BHS ivory Mary Jane style shoes with pearl detailing. I purchased my gown and accessories from Brides and Beauty on Old Durham Road in Gateshead.
I always knew I wanted a fishtail dress but after visiting numerous bridal shops they all tried to push me away from the idea. One Thursday afternoon, my Mam suggested we try the bridal shop close to my Nanna’s house. As soon as we went into the shop Ali and the team were ever so welcoming, asking exactly what I wanted and, of course, they let me try on a fishtail. When I tried the first dress on – me and my Mam just looked at each other – we knew it was the one. The original dress I tried on had short cap sleeves, no glitter and a short train. I explained to Ali I wanted a princess look, so she showed me a variety of ideas and samples. After another hour we had created my perfect dress, which I was going to wear to marry my Prince Charming!
My bridal makeup and hair were both done by Savannah Miller, who is based in Sunderland. I have never felt so beautiful in all my life, my hair and makeup were just perfect, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
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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!
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