February 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
For today’s real wedding, we’re escaping to the serene and picture-perfect backdrop of the National Wildflower Centre for Hannah and Leon’s special day.
After seven years together, the couple said ‘I do’ at Runcorn Town Hall before celebrating with family and friends in the unconventional Wildflower Centre, set in the 35 acre Victorian Court Hey Park, for a wedding with a boho twist.
There are so many wonderful and heartfelt touches to this wedding – from the couple’s ‘posh’ picnic and specially crafted cocktails, to their handmade decorations and blessings in the pretty surroundings of a meadow.
With images by Hayley Blackledge Photography
hannah says: We got engaged on our first real Christmas living together. We had opened all our gifts and Leon said he had forgotten one, so he went to get it while I opened my last gift. I turned around and there he was on one knee. He did the traditional full name and full question – it was perfect. My last gift was a Westlife album of all “our songs” from when we first started going out as kids. On the back, he had written me a full proposal that I could keep forever.
We were married on 30th July 2016, exactly one week after our seven-year anniversary. Leon is a teacher so we wanted the wedding to take place while he was off school, which meant this date was perfect.
We had two separate venues for our wedding day. The first was Runcorn Town Hall for the ceremony, and the reception was hosted at the National Wildflower Centre in Liverpool. The first time we visited, we walked through the wildflowers, explored the park and sat by the pond with my parents and sister, and we fell in love with the place. I noticed a tiny poster offering venue hire for events and we never looked back once we were given the price. Our parents were married in Runcorn Town Hall so it held a lot of sentimental value for us. Plus, it’s very beautiful.
We didn’t aim to have a theme, but ended up with a laid-back posh picnic – quite a mix! We wanted to create a beautiful space and that meant the right decorations rather than one set theme or colour.
The colour theme grew over time and became much more relaxed the closer we got to the big day. We started with navy (Leon’s suit), white (my dress) and peach (bridesmaid dresses). Over time we added gold, greens, wood tones, pinks and other pastel colours in the same shade. It looked great!
When it came to my outfit, I didn’t want to look like the “classic bride” and wanted something a touch more vintage and boho. There was one store on Bold Street in Liverpool, Cherry Blossom Boutique, which I tried to call into at least three times. Every time I called over, I’d mistimed it. I managed to make it along one afternoon though and found my dress. I tried two dresses on and then there it was: my Gino Cerruti. The full-length gown had an illusion neckline, a waist synching band and low back, and was covered in hoops of clear beads. I paired my dress with chunky heeled T-bar New Look shoes and a handmade veil from my nan. I then swapped my heels for white flats for most of the day.
Leon wore a navy three-piece suit, with a waistcoat of a different texture from Next. He teamed this with a white shirt with handmade Marvel Spiderman cufflinks and socks, and a pink tie from Burton, with a pink pocket square. To complete his ensemble, he wore brown brogues from Tesco and a squirrel silver tiepin.
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November 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple took the ‘my way’ approach to their wedding by picking a theme and colour scheme that reflected their passions and interests.
Without a hint of pink to be seen, James and Fiona opted for a cool Britannia style wedding with a red, white and blue colour scheme and attire inspired by fashions of the 50’s and 60’s.
Bride Fiona, pulls off the look perfectly in a sweet tea-length dress, faux fur shrug and vintage birdcage veil, while her bridesmaids remain on form in striking red Vivian of Holloway dresses. We must also give a mention to the cute flower girls who look super-angelic in their twirly dresses!
With images by Eye of the Tyne Photography
fiona says: We got engaged on holiday in Northumberland. James grandparents were from there and after they passed away his mum bought a caravan so we would go a couple of times a year. One of our favourite places to go was Druridge Bay, which is a very pretty with lots of sand dunes, so on Easter weekend last year James and I decided on a little trip there, although the weather forecast was a bit ominous James insisted we go and made me walk up the biggest sand dune, even though I was wearing slippery boots and at one point I wanted to turn back but he pulled me up to the top. We then took some pictures and as I turned around he was on one knee.
Our wedding was on the 19th June 2016. We thought about June or September and our venue had a Sunday free in June which would be easier for my family to travel up from London the day before. When we booked it we didn’t actually realise it was Father’s Day until we sent out our invitations, but maybe this day had chosen us, as both myself and James’ father were not present at the wedding, James due his father passing away when he was a child and mine due to ill health, so it was a fitting tribute!
We got married at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Their barn is a beautiful Grade II listed building. Our original idea was that we wanted to get married in the Yorkshire dales where we camp every year and looked into hiring a yurt, but the logistics were too complicated and as I had family and friends coming from London we decided on somewhere a bit closer to home. The barn was ideal as we could decorate it ourselves, and the backdrop was stunning for photographs.
We had a 50’s/ 60’s cool Britannia theme for the wedding. Both myself and James love 60’s music and I also love the fashion of the 50’s and 60’s so it was pretty much a given we would have some element in our wedding. We decided on a cover of Love is All Around, for the wedding march and played the Beatles and the Kinks during the register signing. My dress and bridesmaids were 50’s inspired and James’ shirt and suit was 60’s inspired.
Our wedding colour scheme was red, white and blue, so a bit different to the usual pinks. We wanted colours that reflect our own tastes and we also wanted vibrant colours that would stand out.
As soon as I started planning the wedding I knew I wanted a tea length dress. I have always liked vintage styles and had a couple of 50’s style dresses so knew that it suits my body shape and height. I did search several local bridal shops and looked at specific designers who did tea length dresses and ended up going to four or five different shops but each dress I tried I found either I didn’t like part of the dress or the material wasn’t right. Eventually I found a lovely shop called Wedding Belles of Otley. They had already selected a few dresses for me to try on, including one that and been designed as a bridesmaid dress but I was assured that lots of brides had chosen it as their wedding dress, although the colour was pink they also did it in ivory. As soon as I tried it on it was exactly what I wanted; lace bodice and satin skirt with buttons down the back, perfect!
I also like to accessorize and found the perfect accompaniment with a feather shrug and vintage style shoes from BHS. I didn’t think a long veil would suit the style of my dress so bought a plain birdcage veil and a lovely feathered clip from Debenhams, which matched very well with my shrug.
For my bridal hair and makeup, I used Le Keux Vintage Styling, who were great!
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June 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Today’s real wedding is totally getting us in the mood for summer. We love Beth and Dan’s gorgeous choice of venue for their barn wedding and stunning coastal setting, with them enjoying much of their celebrations outdoors!
Highlights for us include the pretty pastel colour scheme, the informal style wedding breakfast and, of course, Beth’s stunning fitted dress and gorgeous accessories. We would have quite liked to have attended this one ourselves!
With images by Photography34.
beth says: We got engaged on 24th December 2012. This was a special day for us as that’s the date when we got together. We had a nice little trip to Chester booked as a treat. Dan says he had put that much thought into my engagement ring that he didn’t think about how nerve racking the proposal would be. He’d had the ring made by a local jeweller, he choose the design and wanted it to have a twist. He asked for my birth stone to be entwined in it, so nobody knows that I have a secret amethyst stone underneath the diamond. When the light shines through you can see the amethyst. He waited all day for the right moment to present itself though I was totally oblivious. We drove back home from Chester, booked a table for our Christmas Eve date night tradition and then Dan proposed under the stars.
We did the legal parts of the marriage on 24th August 2015, then held our wedding ceremony and reception two days later on 26th August – the anniversary of our first date.
We got married at The Barn in Burniston, near Scarborough, on the coastal road. We choose this venue as it was just everything we were looking for in one. The Barn is beautiful on its own and the team there allowed us to have what we wanted, which made our day complete.
We didn’t pick a theme, we loved how rustic the barn was. We chose a colour scheme of pastel colours and incorporated them throughout, but kept the overall look very soft and natural.
June 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Dreaming of a blissful summer holiday, complete with sunshine, culture and cocktails? Us too! Well today we’re getting a little closer to the heat of some overseas sun as we relive the gorgeous wedding day of Ala and Anisa.
Picking Antalya in Turkey, as the ideal destination for their big day, Ala and Anisa did the majority of the wedding planning and decision making from their home in Sheffield.
Deciding to keep things simple, yet beautiful, Ala and Anisa didn’t go all out on details and décor, instead letting the setting speak for itself and capturing its beauty with a pre-ceremony shoot around the streets of Antalya, resulting in some fabulous photography. In particular we love the image of Anisa sitting on the colourful steps – talk about pretty!
With images by Amy & Omid Photography.
anisa says: We decided we wanted to get married not long after we got to know each other. After meeting we continued our friendship over a distance for more than a year. As we are both so close to our families we spent a few months getting to know each other’s families first, then once we received the blessing from our parents, Ala proposed and we were married three months later! The proposal wasn’t a surprise but the ring certainly was!
The date of the wedding was 28th December 2015. As we were having an overseas wedding we thought it would be better to plan it for in the winter holidays. The timing of the wedding was perfect – it wasn’t too hot or too cold. Actually the weather was like a British summer and everyone really appreciated the vitamin D!
We got married in Antalya, Turkey. We chose to get married in Turkey as we wanted both sets of families and friends to be able to get to the wedding easily. It is also a beautiful country and Antalya, in particular, has stunning coastline. Ala has spent many holidays in Turkey with amazing memories so we knew we would have a great time there. Most of our friends and family came a few days earlier and stayed a few days after the wedding so combined the wedding with a mini-holiday for themselves. Turkey is also cheap enough to have a really good time without worrying about expenses!
The hotel we got married in, Akra Barut, was really stunning and accommodated all our needs. This was really important as we mostly organised the wedding from our home in Sheffield!
We had a Baha’i wedding. Baha’i weddings have no set formula and are so flexible that they can accommodate any cultural preferences while holding a sacred religious element too. The only stipulation is for husband and wife to recite “We will all verily, abide by the Will of God” in the presence of two witnesses. Then the marriage certificate in signed and the marriage is official!
December 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s wedding is pretty – and we mean, oh so pretty!
From bride Sarah’s stunning lace detailed Pronovias gown and the sweet pastel bridesmaid dresses, to the vintage wedding transport and fabulous country garden style blooms, we adore it all!
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy.
anthony says: We got engaged on the 13th July 2013. I decided to surprise Sarah with a city break to Paris as part of her birthday gifts. I had planned to propose to Sarah for a while but she had no clue.
The week after Sarah’s birthday we flew to Paris and we stayed in a quaint hotel in the Opera District. We spent the weekend just spending quality time with one another and enjoying the moment. On the day of the proposal, we had been admiring the landmarks and scenery that Paris had to offer.
Later in the evening, following a romantic meal, Sarah and I enjoyed Paris by Night and headed for a walk in the Eiffel Tower Gardens, I found a bench in a quiet location of the gardens, got down on one knee and asked Sarah to marry me.
sarah says: Our wedding date was on the 28th June 2015. I always wanted to be a June bride, for they say when you marry in June, you will always be a bride. We also hoped that June would give us a warm sunny day, which, luckily it did.
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September 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Whether the sun is shining outside your window today or not, this real wedding is guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Lucy and Ryan decided on a relaxed family inspired wedding at the gorgeous Hirst Priory adding simple shabby chic and rustic touches along the way. To inject just a touch of colour into the theme, Lucy carefully selected hues to reflect her flower choices, resulting in pretty yellow and blue hints in styling and attire.
It’s clearly all executed to perfection as there are so many beautiful elements to this wedding. In particular we love the maids’ cute dresses, the happy sunflowers and Lucy’s gorgeous gown.
With images by Kevin Ladden Photography.
lucy says: We got engaged on 21st December 2013 and set the wedding date for 3rd July 2015 as we knew we wanted a summer wedding.
Our chosen venue was Hirst Priory in Crowle, Scunthorpe. We searched everywhere for a perfect venue, somewhere me and my husband both could picture ourselves getting married with all our family and friends around us. We fell in love with Hirst Priory as soon as we saw the venue. It is a beautiful building with its quirks and great atmosphere – it was totally different to anything we had seen.
We went with a rustic, family inspired relaxed wedding. We love shabby chic but didn’t want to overdo it so where possible we kept the theme as natural and homemade as we could.
We didn’t have a strict colour scheme as we didn’t want everything to match. We liked the vintage shabby chic feel to things so we picked the yellow from my sunflowers and blue from Ryan’s suit and flowed those colour between neutral shades.
I wore a ball gown style wedding dress which was sand in colour with beautiful bow waist detail and ivory pearls. I fell in love with my dress the moment I saw it – the colour and style was something I’d never seen before. I really surprised myself and our guests with my choice of dress, which I purchased from Bridal Oasis in Goole.
Ryan wore a bright blue three piece suit from Burtons with a handmade yellow bow tie and pocket square from Hattie’s Attic. The groomsmen’s suits were also from Burtons.
My bridesmaids wore a Chi Chi London maxi dresses in a pale hue.
As I stayed at the venue the night before the wedding I didn’t require any transport, but Ryan arrived in a fire engine from the local village, which he first joined the service in.
We asked Ryan’s stepdad Kevin Ladden, if he would take our wedding photographs as we knew that knowing our photographer would make us feel more at ease in front of the camera. We have seen other weddings he has shot and we liked the relaxed not overly posed style, which suited us best.
He also took us for a pre-wedding shoot which went great and made the wedding photography so much more relaxed. I know we are biased but the photos speak for themselves. We’re sure anybody would be happy to have him as their wedding photographer.
My bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were made up of sunflowers, daisies and gypsophila, created by a local florist in our home town.
Blush Venue Décor decorated Hirst Priory beautifully for us, better than we could have imagined and they were so helpful.
Jam jars adorned with lace and twine, which were provided by Angels Boutique in Epworth, were used for decoration with fairy lights and a selection of gypsophila placed inside them. Lots of candles and ivory from the grounds were also used.
Our centre pieces were made using wedding pictures of our closet family members and the wedding year was used as our table numbers, starting from 1928!
As our favours we served Pimms inside mason jars and let the guests take the glasses home with them – they loved this idea!
Our wedding cake was a three tiered naked cake decorated with flowers and fruit to fit in with the rustic feel of the day.
For our wedding breakfast, we had afternoon tea complete with vintage china and a selection of sandwiches, mini beef and horseradish Yorkshire puddings, hot and cold quiches and pastries. This was followed by mini deserts. The vintage afternoon tea looked so beautiful and was different to what is normally served up at weddings. In the evening we had a ‘Yorkshire Table’ which consisted of a large selection of cheeses, pickles, fresh meats and savouries.
To keep our guests entertained, we had a local folk band preform during the evening called Ramble Gamble. We felt we wanted a band that expressed us as a couple and the general feel of the wedding. We also had a range of garden games in the priory grounds, which went down really well with our guests, particularly the giant Jenga!
We would certainly recommend our wedding venue to others. It’s a beautiful place, with stunning grounds and venue owners are always there to help.
Highlights of the wedding day for us, were the ceremony, the band and the afternoon tea.
We went to Lake Garda on honeymoon last month. It’s a place we’ve both always wanted to visit.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to spend as much time with your partner as possible because the day goes far too quickly.
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