Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

style sheet: winter wedding alternatives

December 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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As we find ourselves in the coldest yet most magical season of the year, we’ve been turning our thoughts to winter weddings.

Some brides and grooms may be put off marrying at this time of year due to the increasingly unpredictable British weather, but with some careful planning and fabulous styling a winter wedding can be a real treat for all the senses, and in turn, more memorable for you and your guests.

Think scented candles for fragrance and ambience, warm comfort food to evoke nostalgic memories and winter tipples to help get the party started and you’re part way there.

If, however, what’s putting you off is the somewhat ‘go-to’ styling of winter nuptials, we’re here to change your mind. For we’ve come up with three alternative winter wedding themes that steer clear of crimson red and sparkling silver schemes, plus there’s not a reindeer or bauble in sight!

Ladies, we give you both comfort and class…

very berry

very-berry

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Alyssa Turner Photography| image source, photography by Peaches & Mint| image source| image source, photography by Jonathan Ong Photography| image source, photography by Mandy Evans Photography| image source, photography by Awake Photography| image source, photography by Jenn Hopkins| image source, photography by  Eyelet Images| image source, photography by Matilda Rose| image source, photography by Dan and Melissa Photography.

Just a small diversion from the traditional red winter wedding colour palette, a winning mixture of purple, pink and burgundy shades can give a wedding an instant hint of opulence.

Such tones also work beautifully with the flowers and fruits of the season making these a great way to project your chosen colour scheme.

Big, bold and blousy bouquets and floral decorations add to the luxurious feel that the rich hues emit and will help to provide striking focal points. For further plushness, metallic accents, particularly in gold, work in perfect harmony with the beautiful berry tones and give a small nod to the festive season without being at all OTT.

Beyond the blooms, mercury glass tealight holders and metallic vessels and vases look fabulous with the palette.

To remain on theme berries can be used in the bouquets and button holes as well as within the food and drink menus and the cake.

When it comes to the bridesmaids, brides can go with just one of the berry tones that suits her maids best, perhaps magenta, indigo or violet, or alternatively can have her leading ladies in a full spectrum of the hues.

grey dusk

grey-dusk

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Svetlana Strizhakova| image source, photography by Kendal Riley of Ostara Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Taylor Lord Photography| image source| image source.

Possibly one colour scheme that works all year round, grey is both a classic and elegant choice of palette.

For winter weddings the hue can be ‘warmed-up’ by introducing different textures and shades providing both interest and depth.

Brides and their maids can easily layer their look with grey cover-ups; whether it be a faux fur jacket, feather shrug or lace overlay. Meanwhile groomsmen can opt for a tweed or woollen suit with coordinating pocket squares, dicky bows or ties in varying fabrics creating a stylish wintery feel.

Texture in tactile fabrics and finishes can be carried through to the décor too, with velvet ribbons attached floral arrangements or holding cutlery and napkins in place. Roaming foliage across tables can also help to break up the grey and works in line with on-trend botanical themes too.

Candles at various heights in pillars, tapers and tea lights will also help to set the wintery scene as will luxurious stationery in enchanting designs.

winter blues

cool-blues

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Charlene Schreuder Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Emily Delamater| image source, photography by Shane and Lauren Photography| image source| image source, photography by E Schmidt Photography| image source| image source, photography by Gideon Photography| image source.

Though often thought of as a ‘cold’ colour, when accompanied with rich metallic accents blue can bring element of warmth and glamour to winter celebrations.

The trick is to use a deep shade of blue and not to get carried away with the glitz and glitter, instead giving the proceedings just a sprinkling of sparkle. This could be achieved through styling and stationery choices, but also through the bride and bridesmaid attire too. So, for example, brides could add a hint of shine to their outfit with metallic heels while maids can glam-up their look with delicate gold jewellery or accessories.

The table settings are perhaps the element that will require the most care in not overdoing it. For a look of understated elegance, keep things simple by adding gold-edged glassware and cutlery to a dark blue tablecloth base. For further interest and texture use rustic touches in foliage and tree slices, and perhaps even the odd pine cone (note the “odd” there).

Meanwhile for those wanting to take the sparkle up a notch, sequin table runners and cloths are an accessible and effective option. Further additions can include metallic candle holders, stationery and plate chargers but just be sure that the overall look is class rather than brash!

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Red Berries In Her Hair. A Real Wedding At Longhirst Hall, Northumberland – Cristina & Kevin

December 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Brides Up North reader Cristina is clearly a lady who likes her own way, and her beautiful Celtic influenced wedding in Northumberland shows that when it comes to your wedding – your way is the right way.  Delicious.  

With images by Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Cristina says:  We didn’t get engaged as such. As I always said I would never got married, Kevin gave up  but one day I realised that I wanted to marry him (when you find the right person), so I started suggesting places where I’d like to do it, but he always thought I was joking. One day I just said ‘Hey, I changed my mind, right?’ so on the 28th of April 2012 we agreed! In June, for my birthday, he gave me a beautiful Celtic engagement ring.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We got married on the 21st of July 2013 at Longhirst Hall near Morpeth.  We chose a Sunday because it was easier for the Spanish party to travel on the Saturday/Friday. I spent the whole year wishing for a sunny day, as I didn’t want to hear my family complaining about English summer. It was warm and perfect!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Kevin asked me if I wanted to get married in Spain and I didn’t. I hate weddings at the registrar office, and that’s the only option if you don’t want a church wedding. I saw a brochure about weddings in Northumberland, and checked some places. We both liked Longhirst and went for a look around. We fell in love with this 19th Century building, and having accommodation was perfect, as we had people travelling, so we booked it!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We started planning this wedding with some Celtic elements in mind (like the rings), but it ended up being a little bit of everything we like.  We chose a burgundy and black colour scheme. 

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

I had a bouquet of burgundy calla lilies and roses and my bridesmaids carried only calla lilies, which were the flower for the buttonholes too. The first time I saw this sort of flower I knew I wanted it for my wedding, but lots of florists overcharge you for it. We went to a wedding fair and we met Greener Interiors; they offer very interesting packages which included this flower, so we were really happy. When I first saw my bouquet, I couldn’t believe how perfect it was!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

As I never thought I would get married, I didn’t have any ideas about what dress I wanted to have for my wedding. I knew I would get it in Spain, as I wanted my mum and my sister to be there with me. I went for a weekend to Madrid and we used one day to visit as many shops as possible. We were in the street, making time for the next appointment, when I guy gave us a flyer from a shop we didn’t know, called Nathaly Novias… my dress was waiting there! I chose a few to try on, but not ‘The One’. However, the girl thought I would like it, and I loved it! Its a romantic dress, mostly lace, with a medieval touch: just perfect for me.

I wore the most beautiful shoes, from Irregular Choice.  I wanted something different, and something I could wear again after the wedding…they make amazing shoes.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My bridesmaids (my sister and a friend) wore black long dresses from a shop in Spain called Vertize.  They are very different girls, so it was hard to get a dress both would be happy with. My friend Cristina wouldn’t wear a light colour dress, and my sister didn’t want a short dress. I thought black was the easiest colour (which sort of decided the colour scheme) and we went together to choose it. It was a very simple but elegant dress.

Kevin, his best man and my dad all wore a Jeff Banks light grey suit bought from Debenhams. Kevin wore a burgundy waistcoat to look more ‘special’.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We tried to personalise as much as we could. We chose to have two readings during the ceremony (done by both Mums), and I have to say that the entrance music was a bit special

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Kevin’s niece works in a hairdresser’s in Ashington (Venue Hair Salon) and her boss is also a friend of the family; so she was invited to the wedding too. They did my and my bridesmaids hair as a wedding present. We didn’t have a hair trial, but they’re awesome and did our hair just the way we wanted. Leah at Make Up By Leah did my make-up on the day and she was fantastic.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We chose Leighton Bainbridge to take our photos. We weren’t going to get a photographer, as part of our family are media people and they offered to do it, but we realised that it wasn’t fair on them, because they couldn’t enjoy the day and we wouldn’t get enough photos because they were there as guests.

We found Leighton on the net, and we decided to book him. We had a first meeting to decide some things, and we had a pre-wedding shoot a month before the wedding. This was a great opportunity to get to know each other and feel comfortable on the wedding day (and we got some amazing pictures). When we saw the photos from the day, they were so perfect. 

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We handmade as many things as possible, not just to save some money, but because I wanted to be involved and I used it as a break from my PhD. All the stationery had to be made in two languages, and it was quite hard to find a supplier that made half in English and half in Spanish. I made the invitations, a program with the whole ceremony translated in Spanish for those who wouldn’t understand a word.

We made the favours – mini bottles of Spanish wine/cava, with some Swiss chocolates – and a heart brooch for the girls. We also made some labels to add to the bottles and my sister made some lovely ‘bride & groom’ pegs to add to the favours.

I made the seating plan and we had every table named after a Northumbrian castle. The centrepieces were white birdcages with some dried flowers (which we dried for months in the house) and my mum made some table runners. We added some mini Spanish/English dictionaries for the wedding breakfast.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

After the meal we had a pub quiz; We thought it would be a great way to get people to know each other and interact a bit, as each table from the meal was a different team. For the night-time, I put together a sweet table, with jars and candles we collected through the year; it looked lovely.

 Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We decided to get a two tiered cake: the bottom tier was vanilla and strawberries and the top one was carrot cake (my favourite). We wanted something different, so we asked Nicola, from ‘A Zombie Stole My Cupcake’ (from Bedlington), to make us a black cake! Then she added some Celtic decorations in burgundy, and it looked lush… it was a big surprise for the guests. For the evening buffet, she made some lovely cupcakes, in two flavours: mint choc chip and cookies and cream. We couldn’t ask anything better than this, she did a great job!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

As there were a few children at the wedding, we decided at the last moment to get a bouncy castle, and not just the kids enjoyed it!

For the night, we had a DJ, but we made our own playlist, as we are a bit ‘fussy’ about music, and we really wanted to dance! We prepared CD’s with the playlist for everyone to take home; we still get messages about how great the compilation is.  Kevin brought his guitar with him, and he played a few songs (my nephew, who is five, is his number one fan, so he was over the moon).

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We went to Crete and Santorini for our honeymoon. We had lots of different destinations in mind, but we have both wanted to go there for years, before we met, and see the Palace at Knossos, and we thought it was the perfect occasion for it. We had a great time.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to follow your heart; I had people trying to change my mind about some decisions I made for the day, but it never worked… remember, it’s your day! And during the day try to enjoy every single second, it really flies by!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

 

Congratulations Cristina & Kevin!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Leighton Bainbridge Photography

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