Charlotte Balbier

love birds. augusta jones for a shabby chic wedding in the lakes – christina & ross

August 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (53)

Today’s story starts off with a proposal by the bride! That’s right, brave Christina seized a leap year as the perfect opportunity to pop the question to her partner Ross after five happy years together.

Upon receiving a ‘yes’, Christina quickly got to work planning her dream day in The Lake District which featured two of her favourite things; birds and shabby chic wedding styling.

The result is an, oh so pretty big day, complete with elegant colour theme, stunning lace dress and a cute barn owl ring bearer. This one certainly sweeps us off our feet!

With images by Paul Swift Photography.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (4)

christina says: Ross is in the RAF and he had been posted near Cambridge in 2010, I’d decided to continue living with my parents in the north. After being together for more than five years in 2012 and having a long distance relationship, I decided it was time for us to get married. I found a venue that was perfect for us and in leap year tradition, I proposed to Ross.

Our wedding date was 13th July 2013. We always wanted a summer wedding and I had always dreamed of being married in the sunshine, outdoors and surrounded by nature.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (10)

We were married at the Broadoaks Country Hotel and initially booked the venue because of its location in Windermere, bridging the gaps between my husband’s family in Cumbria and my own family coming from Yorkshire and Lancashire. As the wedding planning began we realised there were many other qualities to the hotel which made us feel like it was made for us. The hotel itself is in a quiet area above Windermere, surrounded by trees and a babbling brook, which enabled our Labradors to be part of our wedding day too (they were a big part of the day and even wore their own doggy tuxedos).

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (26)

Our ceremony took place in the pergola on the helipad surrounded by nature in 30 degree heat, everything I wanted. We paid for our guests to stay from Friday to Sunday. Friday night was Mexican night followed by drinks and dancing. Saturday morning was a full Cumbrian breakfast followed by clay pigeon shooting and cream tea and cakes for the bridal party.

I was 15 minutes late to my own wedding and got a telling off by the registrar but as I explained to her, trying to get a tiered dress and corset on in 30 degree heat is a very sticky job. It took ten minutes in an ice cold shower and then all three of my bridesmaids to help pull up and arrange my under skirts!

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (27)

We had a shabby chic, bird theme, complete with lots of bird cages, salt and pepper bird favours, china tea sets and a sweetie table. I have always loved birds and rather than having my wedding look like I was an avid ‘twitcher’, the shabby chic look made it elegant and was definitely more me.

To complement the theme, our colour scheme was baby pinks, cream, turquoise and peach – pastel summer colours.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (28)

I wore Jessie by Augusta Jones with the Mantilla veil. An all lace, sweetheart neckline, slim dress. The pictures of the dress on the website do not do it justice. It wasn’t until I put it on that I knew this was the dress I wanted to wear for me and for my husband. I found a waist belt on Etsy decorated with crystals and pearls that I added to the dress. I had never felt more beautiful than I did on my wedding day and when I saw the look on my husband’s face as I walked down aisle, I knew it was the perfect choice.

Harriet Dickens of JGs, Northallerton, did my hair and makeup on the wedding day and then at the last minute managed to do almost everyone else’s makeup and hair too! She was amazing and made sure I’d started my beauty prep the week before sending me reminders of what I need to do when and how hot it was going to be so I would remember I was wearing a strapless dress and didn’t want any strap marks!

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (30)

Ross wore the Help for Heroes kilt from Cameron Ross and so did the groomsmen. Being in the RAF, he chose this tartan so that a percentage of the hire price would go to the Help for Heroes charity.

All our bridesmaid and flower girl dresses were pink and were purchased from lightinthebox.com.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (36)

Paul Swift was our photographer on the wedding day. To those currently planning a wedding I would say if you’re going to pay for a professional photographer don’t skimp on the research. Look at what they have done before and remember that just because you’ve met them it doesn’t mean that you’re obliged to choose them. Go with your instinct and any photographer that cannot cater for your needs or that tries to pressurise you to choose them for your big day probably isn’t right for you.

Paul was the best and even catered for the doggies and just proves that if you’re passionate about what you do for your work it will always show in the end result. My photos are amazing and truly show the fun and excitement of the day. Everyone loves them and I have photographs that will forever be a reminder of my amazing day.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (39)

My flower bouquets and arrangements were all done by Valerie Ann’s Florist in Windermere. I wanted flowers and herbs that were highly scented so that I would have those scents as a memory of the day. I chose rosemary, lavender, dianthus, peonies, roses and carnations, wrapped in a ribbon with my late nana’s St. Christopher medallion attached (my something borrowed/blue). My bridesmaids had three large peonies and my three flowers girls had mini rose spheres.

I used birdcages, old tea sets, cake stands, loads of candles, hanging hearts, bunting, wreaths and cream rococo frames as décor.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (44)

For my sweetie table I had my favourite jelly belly beans with recipe cards. I had raided old charity shops for glass Bon Bon dishes, bowls and vases. I had my own pink striped paper sweetie bags with mini scoops and filled every container with as many different sweets as I could find.

As favours we gave out mini porcelain salt and pepper birds and chocolate hearts. For our gluten free guests we had macaroons.

I chose a white chocolate cake from Robineaus in Darlington. It was a three tiered cake with white chocolate roses. The top was a traditional fruit cake, the middle was lemon sponge (my favourite) and the bottom was dark chocolate cake.

 

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (51)

The evening entertainment was a disco, put on by friends of ours.

As a special touch to our big day (and in keeping with the bird theme), we had an owl ring bearer called Olly the Barn Owl. It was an amazing experience and everyone got to hold him and have pictures.

Our guests also enjoyed clay pigeon shooting, croquet and golf on the lawn and paddling in the little brook in the grounds.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (54)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others, it’s a magical, beautiful place perfect if you want a quiet family/friend orientated wedding. You book out the whole hotel so that you have every room and you don’t have anyone disturbing your celebrations for the whole weekend. The bridal suite is divine and the hotel is spacious enough so that if you want a break from it all there are plenty of hidden places you can regroup in. Every room has a different decoration theme, decorated to the highest standard with four poster beds and full amenities. During your planning stages the staff are there on hand and offer discounted rates if you are living further afield and need to stay over whilst arranging other services.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (21)

My favourite part of the wedding day has to be walking down the aisle with my dad and then as he handed me over to my husband he could barely whisper and then suddenly got his act together and stated to my husband ‘she’s yours now’.

We haven’t been on our honeymoon just yet but we have some exotic plans for when we do.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (59)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy it! Everyone told me it would be over in a flash- they were right! Enjoy every minute don’t worry about anyone else. The whole day is just for you two, don’t ponder whether everyone is enjoying themselves, they are there to watch you, laugh and cry your way through the day so cherish every minute and do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it! Also, become a delegation queen, you don’t have to do everything as people will be more than happy to do some things for you.

A Shabby Chic Wedding in the Lakes (c) Paul Swift Photography (60)

I’m forever grateful to all my guests as everyone did a little something either in preparation for or on the big day! I love my husband so much for giving me everything that I wanted.

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pretty eclectic. a marquee wedding at Chirk Castle – gemma & david

October 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (34)

I do love autumn.  Crisp skies, moody mists, golden leaves, better telly.

This is a special season and a special week, in fact, for my family as my husband and I celebrate four happy years of marriage together, and our second anniversary with our little daughter in tow.

If you tie the knot yourself this week, let me tell you, it’s a great one for it – and I hope you are as happy in your future lives as we are.

For the rest of you, let’s kick off another week of wedding inspiration with this pretty marquee castle wedding, sent to Brides Up North by our fabulous Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Gemma.

String out the bunting…

With images by SMH Photography.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (8)

Gemma says: We got engaged on a weekend away in Cardiff.  We saw the perfect ring and knew the time was right.

We set the date for 25 July 2014.  We are both teachers and knew we wanted to marry at the start of the summer holidays.  The venue is lovely on a sunny day and we wanted to maximise our chances of plenty of sun.

We were married at Chirk Castle.  It is one of our favourite places to visit.  We have always found it very romantic and loved the idea of being able to have the ceremony in the Hawk House.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (16)

We decided on a pretty eclectic theme.  There were lots of flowers and pastel colours but we wanted it to feel relaxed and have an informal, thrown together feel. We didn’t have just one main colour.  Lots of floral patterns and colours were important to us so that is what we were aiming for.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (21)

I chose a Maggie Sottero gown.  It was a long dress in light gold with beading.  It had straps and was corseted at the back.  I didn’t want a white dress and after searching for a year found one that I thought was perfect.  I used Aristocrats Of Chester.

David wore a grey Cameron Ross morning suit.  The morning suit seemed to go better with the informal style of the day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (32)

We used SMH Photography.  They were great and we would highly recommend the services of Sandra and Steve.  They were very professional and worked really hard all day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (37)

Our flowers were from Fletcher and Foley.  We had a variety of fragrant herb and flowers to link the the garden theme. We had jugs of flowers on the tables that matched the bouquet and buttonholes.

The favours were homemade whiskey marmalade for the men and strawberry jam for the ladies.  David’s parents made them and we bought personalised labels from notonthe highstreet.com.

We choose a ‘Naked Cake’ after seeing something similar in a newspaper.  We had three tiers each filled with cream and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit.  Our colleague, Nerys, has made the cakes for lots of the teachers at our school and did a great job on a very hot day!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (40)

Andrea at Fabulous Day was our wedding planner and we couldn’t have done it without her. We want her to come and live with us now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (25)

We used Ice Cream Dub ice cream for desserts, including mojito and strawberry champagne flavours. The van looked great.

In the evening we had a curry station served outside as the weather was so great. Rupert Frazer Worden was our fantastic caterer. At the bar we had Wrexham Lager on tap as David’s grandad worked for the company. It was great to have it there.

We also loved the DIY photo booth provided by our marquee company. The guests had loads of fun playing around.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (43)

We used Lucy of Memento Stationary and were very pleased with the results. We’ve even used Lucy for our thank you cards.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (47)

We loved the setting for our wedding and would have chosen it a thousand times over. The place was already special to us and now it’s a special part of our lives. My family members from South Wales loved it so much they’ve been back to visit.

I was apprehensive about the ceremony as I’m a very emotional person but it was just perfect! Very natural and laid back, just as we wanted it!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (48)

I really wanted to go to the Maldives and it was just perfect. We booked through Kuoni and had 10 days in the Maldives and three days in Dubai. It was the perfect end to the whole experience. A perfect setting and great service at a wonderful resort. We want to go back now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (54)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to hire Andrea, she had so many unique and money saving tips and contacts. Our day would have been completely different without her. Thank you Andrea!

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Just Dreamy! Supplier Showcase: Dreamcatcher Bridal

May 1st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Today I am proud to introduce you to Dreamcatcher Bridal, one of our fabulous Featured Suppliers and definitely worth a visit for all our North West readers on the hunt for their dream dress.  These ladies know their gowns, and goodness, what gowns they stock!  Let’s meet them…

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Dreamcatcher opened its doors in July 2000, a family business run by mother and daughter team, Gill and Georgina. Having had some bad experiences ourselves during bridal gown shopping and realising that it would be necessary to travel long distances to find designer dresses, we set upon our venture to bring couture designer collections to the Preston area. Gill with a passion for beautiful fabrics and a background in the technical side of dress design and construction and Georgina with the business brains, artist flair and youthful enthusiasm, we knew we’d make the perfect partnership. 

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We have bridal gowns to suit all budgets with bargain sample sale gowns under £500 to new gowns from £650 to £3500.

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Following months of research and planning, the designers at the top of our wish list were Sassi Holford and Suzanne Neville. Both designers of exquisite, classic gowns with amazing cut, structure and style, yet each bringing an individual twist. Sassi the pure genius with lace and Suzanne with the ability to create smooth sculptured bodices that somehow make all brides instantly drop a dress size.

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At our very first Harrogate Bridal Buyer Exhibition, some 13 years ago, we were fortunate enough to be introduced to Benjamin Roberts and knew instantly that the label was just what we were looking for. With beautiful embroidery and stunning beadwork at amazing prices but still with the quality and structure we weren’t prepared to compromise on.

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Over the years we have added new designers to our range including Enzoani and Essense of Australia. Enzoani offers a modern European style using soft satins, chic layers, signature high quality and rich detail using the finest Swarovski crystals. Essense gowns feature luxurious fabrics and just the right amount of head-turning sparkle. With the added option of a lace up or zip/button up back this diverse collection is a popular choice with both our staff and brides to be.

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We are also extremely proud to stock beautiful designs from Anoushka G, perfect for destination weddings, Veromia, for the traditional fairytale wedding and Sonsie by Veromia, a stunning range specially created for the curvier figure. The newest addition to our extensive collection is Anny Lin, offering a definite WOW for the more daring bride. The usual fabrics and delicate, yet stunning beadwork make Anny’s designs stand out amongst the crowd.

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Our range is so diverse with so so many amazing designs. If absolutely pressed our favourite at the moment is Faye by Sassi Holford. It’s a simple waisted style in rose damask with a plain duchesse satin sash with buttons and large bow detail down the back. The fabric is so unusual, simply subtle and stunning!  Currently lace gowns are particularly popular, with brides looking for a more covered demure look.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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Loving all things that sparkle, we have a fantastic range of accessories, hand selected to complement each bridal gown. With designs from Halo & Co, Polly Edwards, Ellie K, Richard Designs and Bijoux Bec, all offering coordinating headpieces and jewellery handcrafted using Swarovski stones. A large selection of veils from Joyce Jackson and The Couture Veil, designed by Sassi Holford using gorgeous soft vintage tulles with a wide variety of lace edges which perfectly match Sassi’s superb bridal designs. There really is something for everyone!

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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We have an excellent selection of bridesmaid’s gowns with collections from JLM Europe, Watters & Watters and Veromia. With traditional bridesmaid’s styles to cutting edge designs all available in a variety of fabrics and colour options. We also have a beautiful collection of silk flower girl styles from Nicki Macfarlane.

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Not wanting to leave out the Men, we offer an extensive range of high quality hire wear from Peter Posh and Highland wear from Cameron Ross, catering for both traditional and contemporary weddings. When everything’s available under one roof it’s much easier to co-ordinate styles and colours to ensure the perfect match.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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It’s official! We stock some of the best in the business. The recent Bridal Buyer Awards proved to be very successful for some of our designers, not just Bridal designers, but Bridesmaids and accessories too. Massive congratulations to Sassi Holford, for winning British Bridal Designer of the Year 2013, Benjamin Roberts for winning Best Bridal Manufacturer 2013, Sonsie by Veromia for winning Best Plus Size Collection 2013, JLM for winning Best Bridesmaids Collection 2013 and Ellie K for scooping the award for Best Headdress Designer 2013. This we think proves we have fantastic taste and stock the best in the business!

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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We’re located in Kirkham approximately half-way between Preston and Blackpool. Very easy access from Junction 3 of the M55, 300 yards from Kirkham & Wesham railway station, with free parking right outside.

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Appointments are not essential but advisable especially on a Saturday and Thursday evening to avoid disappointment. Private appointments are also available upon request.  Brides can expect a very warm welcome from a friendly, experienced and knowledgeable team, dedicated to finding the dress of your dreams.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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As most of our business now comes from personal recommendation we must be doing something right! We pride ourselves on the calm and relaxed atmosphere in our boutique with customer service being of paramount importance to us. We believe that all our brides should feel like the only bride in the world. We also have an excellent reputation for fit. Our in-house personal fitting and alteration service is second to none.

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Brides can get in touch via our website, email info@dreamcatcherbridal.co.uk or telephone 01772515090.  We’re also on facebook and twitter @BridalInfo so like our facebook page and follow us on twitter for up to date news, special offers and events.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as supplied by Dreamcatcher Bridal

Dreamcatcher Bridal is a Brides Uo North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Daintily Does It! A Real Wedding In North Yorkshire – Alice & Jonathan

December 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Wedding in North Yorkshire by John Hesford

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I told you that the pretty wasn’t going to let up in the run up to Christmas!  This afternoon’s beautiful Real Wedding sent to me by Brides Up North reader Alice is totally one for the girly girls (who, moi?) and includes all my favourite things: layer upon layer of crisp white tulle, a duo of dainty flower girls, plenty of pink peonies, a tower of gilt edged cake and lots and lots of dancing.

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Perfect. 

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With images by John Hesford

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Alice says:  We got engaged in October 2011 at the Fox and Hounds pub in Hurworth sitting on the river bank. We followed it up with a lovely curry at Akbar’s in Middlesbrough. Jonathan’s original plan was a romantic picnic somewhere but it was too cold!

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We were married on 22nd June 2012 at Sadberge Parish Church (St Andrews) and the reception was at Crathorne Hall, Yarm.  Our theme was traditional with a pretty vintage twist.

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John Hesford

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We chose Crathorne Hall because we loved the building and the surroundings.  Due to the reception room being a deep red, we struggled initially to find a colour palette that would suit.  We ended up having everything cream, light gold and very pale pink.

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John Hesford

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John Hesford   John Hesford.

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I had been working in a bridal shop (Grace The Weddings Company) when we got engaged so I didn’t want to have a dress that I’d seen many other brides in. So I decided to go for a very simple, yet rather big, princess style dress with not a single bead or diamante on it. It had a taffeta top with a tulle skirt made up of many, many layers. I’m not a very glitzy girl so I had a short ivory, ribbon edged veil and had a tiara made by the fantastic Sue Webster, Darlington. It consisted of pearls, vintage lace a few sparkles. Sue also made me a pearl bracelet and some pearl earrings. My shoes were ivory silk with a bow on the front.

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John Hesford

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We got the bridesmaid dresses and the men’s outfits from the bridal shop I worked at – Grace The Weddings Company, Darlington. The colour of the bridesmaid’s dresses was ‘palomino’ – a deep cream. The dresses were chiffon with one shoulder and came from the supplier Dessy.

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My little bridesmaids wore mini versions of my dress with a satin top with straps and a full tulle skirt. The dresses had a satin belt around the middle which fastened with a tulle flower at the back.

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The men’s suits were supplied by Cameron Ross.  All the suits were dark grey Italian silk – Jon wore a 3 piece suit and the groomsmen wore a 2 piece. Harry, our page boy – also Jonathan’s son, wore trousers and a waistcoat. All the men wore black paisley skinny ties and we made some pale pink pocket squares out of a shirt (was so hard to find the right colour fabric)!

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I carried a bouquet of white avalanche roses, cream roses and pale pink peonies by Claire Metcalfe

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We used Lovedubcars – all the bridesmaids and mum went in a VW camper van and my dad and I travelled in an old VW Beetle. Due to the adverse weather conditions, Rachael from Lovedubcars swapped the Beetle for a camper van during the church service to take us to the reception. They made the journey so memorable for us by providing a bottle of champagne to drink on the way.

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All of our invitations, table settings, table plan, candle holders and order of services were handmade by us. We also put together favours which were in ivory metal buckets – the men received a mini aftershave, a Volkswagen camper van key ring (to remind them of the wedding cars), and a love heart shaped chocolate. The ladies also received an ivory metal bucket with a heart shaped tea light, a pink love heart chocolate and a small packet of love heart sweets. Everybody was given a small glass tube of bubbles with a heart shaped lid.

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One of my closest friends has her own cake business – Cakes By Melia – so I gave her the colour scheme and wedding theme and let her come up with a design. It was perfect! It had cascading roses and a vintage birdcage as the top tier. Everyone was wowed by the cake!

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Entertainment was easy to organise – my brother is a professional drummer and he sorted out a fantastic band for us. It was headed up by Caterina Rea who did an excellent job. It turned into an open mic night by the end with different members of the family getting up and singing. Very good fun!

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There were so many great parts to the day! I think the evening party was the highlight – it was great to be surrounded by all of our friends, family and the fantastic music.

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Southern Corfu and stayed in a beautiful hotel called Restia Suites – It was amazing!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take in every detail on the day – make the most of every second. It goes by so fast! We really appreciate John Hesford, our photographer, for capturing so many of these memorable moments and intricate details on the day that we would not otherwise had seen.

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John Hesford

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Congratulations Alice & Jonathan!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 John Hesford 

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Ice, Ice, Baby: An Antarctic Real Wedding In The North East – Lucy & Michael

September 3rd, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wynyard Hall Wedding by Holden Jones Photography

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I went to school with today’s real bride, albeit that Lucy is a couple of years younger than me (ahem!), so it was a pleasure when she contacted me telling me how much she enjoyed the website when planning her wedding and would I consider featuring her wedding photographs?  Er… would I ever!

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Lucy and Michael’s wedding at the gorgeous Wynyard Hall – with images by Holden Jones Photography – is a study in how to pull off a quirky theme with elegance.  It’s also oozing with good old North East charm, and was a joy to put together for you this morning.

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Enjoy. 

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Holden Jones Photography

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Lucy says:  Mike proposed on July 7th 2010 in Altea, Spain. We went out for a lovely meal, there was a fantastic atmosphere in the town as Spain had just won their place in the World Cup final. When we got back to the villa, Mike walked me to the balcony, which had been decorated with lanterns and flickering candles. There was chilled champagne and chocolates waiting for me – the whole thing was completely unexpected!

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Holden Jones Photography

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We were married on Saturday 19th May 2012 at Wynyard Hall

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My parents live at Wynyard, making Wynyard Hall the perfect location. No other venue was even considered! Mike knew that Wynyard Hall was the only place for us so when he proposed in Spain he not only presented me with a fabulous ring (from Green & Benz in Manchester), he also gave me an invitation to our wedding! He had asked for my Dad’s blessing and together they secured a date at Wynyard. Victoria Kelley, one of the wedding coordinators at the hall, was fantastic and I would have been lost without her!

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UK Wedding Blog

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We chose Antarctica as our theme! Our table plan showed the route we took on our recent Polar Circle Quest. We named our 18 tables after the wildlife we saw and the various landing sites we visited in Antarctica. We used our own photographs on each of the tables. It really was the trip of a lifetime!

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Our colour scheme was sapphire. A month after we got engaged, I went to Dublin with my sister and spotted a pair of sapphire Manolo Blahnik heels… that was the colour scheme decided!

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Holden Jones Photography

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Holden Jones Photography   Holden Jones Photography

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North East Wedding by Holden Jones Photography

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I wore a Blue by Enzoani gown called Calistoga and I bought it from Dreamcatcher Bridal in Kirkham where Mike’s sister bought her wedding dress back in 2006. It’s an A-line gown with a ‘fan’ neckline and large details below the bust, on the hip and on the lower back. The ladies at Dreamcatcher were fantastic and knew exactly what would work. When they picked my dress out, I didn’t think it looked particularly special on the hanger but I decided to give it a go because it was clear that they really knew what they were talking about. As soon as I put the dress on I felt fantastic and when I walked out of the changing area it was great to see that everyone liked it as much as I did.

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My four bridesmaids wore floor-length, sapphire, satin Dessy dresses and they looked gorgeous. Two of them went for strapless and the other two went for a scoop neck. It took a little while to sort out as they are all different in height, shape and hair colour… but we got there! As for the men, they wore silk grey suits by Cameron Ross. They all looked fantastic in their tailcoats. I bought their cravats from Dessy so they matched the bridesmaids’ dresses perfectly. All of the outfits were from Grace the Weddings Co in Darlington.

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North East Wedding by Holden Jones Photography

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My dad and I travelled to Wynyard Hall by horse and carriage. The two Black Friesians, William and Harry, are the most handsome horses I have ever seen and it was a pleasure getting to know their owners, Glenda and Robert of Greencroft Classic Carriages.

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I carried a bouquet consisting of roses and calla lilies. It was perfect for me, as I wanted something small, simple and easy to carry! Adam Prest did a spectacular job with all of the flowers from the buttonholes (which had a magnetic fastening!) to the eye-catching centrepieces. Adam is so friendly and creative and he has a real passion for what he does.

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The ceremony itself was hugely important to us and we wanted to make it really special and personal. My uncle is a retired Catholic priest and Mike and I knew from the start that we wanted him to be as involved as possible in our ceremony. Although he was unable to actually marry us, he was able to do a reading and say a few words, which made the service incredibly special.

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Without a doubt, my favourite part of the day was the London Community Gospel Choir singing O Happy Day and the vicar getting the whole congregation swaying and clapping! This was an emotional point in the day and made the ceremony so unique and personal to us. The choir sang six songs in total, all of which we chose. Their voices were unbelievable.

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Rob Jones and Brian Holden of Holden Jones Photography were our photographers. We couldn’t have picked better photographers. They were so professional and they were friendly, putting us both at ease. A pre-wedding shoot was included in our package, which meant we were able to get to know them beforehand and talk through everything in detail. Having two photographers meant that we could have photographs of both of us in the morning, which was really important to me. We are so happy with our photographs – Rob and Brian really captured the moment… without me even realising that they were in the room half the time!

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After a delicious cake-tasting session at Robineau Patisserie, we chose a 5-tier chocolate rose and sugar flower wedding cake. We chose different fillings ranging from lemon sponge to hazelnut praline. Jane Robineau was fantastic throughout the whole process. We loved our cake so much that it has its own 2-page spread in our wedding album!

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In the evening, we had a photobooth provided by Picture Blast, casino tables, a big screen showing the Champions League, the Aaron Bayley Band and fireworks through 21st Century Fireworks.  We had fantastic entertainment and a great crowd. The two really came together and created an incredible atmosphere, our guests really threw themselves into the day and embraced everything that was going on. This was so important to us because we always wanted our wedding to be about having fun and spending time with all of our friends and family. 

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We didn’t have a honeymoon.  I went back in to work on the Monday because I’m a (dedicated!) primary school teacher and it was term-time.

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However, we did manage to visit my sister in Cologne a couple of weeks after the wedding and I may have already booked our first anniversary trip to make up for it!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be this: It sounds like a cliché, but the day is ultimately about you and your husband-to-be/wife-to-be celebrating your relationship, so it is bound to be a big day for the two of you. It’s also a big day for your friends and family, so there can be a lot of (sometimes conflicting) ideas and opinions thrown into the melting pot. It can be difficult to consider everyone’s view and ultimately you just have to go with whatever the two of you feel is right. Again, it is a cliché, but it was genuinely the best day of our lives… so we must have managed to get everything right in the end!

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Congratulations Lucy & Michael!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding featured on the wedding blog. 

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  – Images © 2012 Holden Jones Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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