September 19th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is something of a showstopper; we hardly know where to begin as there are so many Insta-worthy moments and details to pore over.
Our featured couple Laura and Ash tied the knot at the astoundingly beautiful Peckforton Castle in Cheshire in May. And we love what they done with the venue – think blossom trees, floating candles, a whimsical floral arch and a candlelit aisle lined with ivory petals. The stuff of fairy-tale dreams. And that’s before we even mention their moreish food and drink line-up of a chocolate truffle brownie cake, elderflower cocktails and a hog roast!
Music played an instrumental (ahem) role in the couple’s big day. Not only did the bride and groom surprise their guests with a performance of two of their own songs, but Laura’s uncle performed a violin solo during their ceremony too, and they also had a string quartet later in the day. And, we have to confess, Laura’s wedding gift to her hubby-to-be – a guitar – is one of the most memorable and thoughtful we’ve ever seen!
With images by Sansom Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on our third anniversary of dating – Valentine’s Day 2017. We had a spontaneous date in the Peak District village of Castleton in the Hope Valley, not far from Sheffield. We had just finished dinner in a charming little restaurant called 1530. Over coffee, our first and favourite pastime, Ash inconspicuously reached into his pocket, to offer me a ‘sweet’ he’d picked up earlier that day – but instead he presented the ring, brightly sparkling in the humble glow of the empty room! It was a complete shock to me, I was instantly brought to tears. The sweetest, softest words were spoken as he moved to one knee beside me, where he received my resounding “yes”. The kind waitstaff re-entered the room in delight and took our photo.
Our wedding date was Saturday 19th May 2018. Although we liked the idea of an autumn wedding, spring 2018 was far enough to plan and ensure a large amount of family and friends from abroad would able to attend and sooner than waiting until autumn 2018. Within three weeks of our engagement, we confirmed our date with the registrar and venue. Ten months later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their wedding date as the 19th of May, also! We were delighted to share the day (and the beautiful weather).
We initially thought of getting married in London where I spent my childhood in Chiswick, but due to my elderly grandparents living in Cheshire now, we wanted to find an option closer and easier for them to enjoy. Through a casual Google search, Ash came across the incredible Peckforton Castle in Tarporley, Cheshire. From our first glimpse in pictures, we were blown away by the beauty of the castle and grounds. It included stunning countryside surroundings, historic Grade I listed buildings and the perfect backdrop for our dream come true. We went to an open house conveniently that next week and wanted to look no further.
The venue is licensed for civil ceremonies only, which we chose to follow with a Christian blessing and arranged for my uncle to be our celebrant, rather than a local reverend, as this was more personal and meaningful for us. My uncle is also a first violinist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and performed a violin solo to a song we chose called Vapor by husband and wife duo, Gungor, during a candle memorial to honour those no longer with us. We included readings by family members: excerpts from The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis and 1 Corinthians 13 before an inspiring closing and prayer.
While we didn’t have a set theme, our style was a gilded floral romance. We chose a palette of ivory, blush and nude against lush foliage of eucalyptus and olive leaves.
Blush and gold were our feature colours as they complemented our florals delicately without distracting from the castle décor. These worked well for spring and kept the mood light and romantic.
I chose a dress by MillaNova, which I purchased from Elements of Serenity Boutique, Swindon. I had originally seen the dress on Pinterest but had no details on who the designer was. After two visits to other boutiques and countless evenings scrolling through my dress inspo board, I hunted down the details and found that only one boutique in the country carried this line! I visited EOS as soon as possible with my aunty who lives in Cheshire and my iPad as we facetimed my mum who lives in the States. We knew that this was the one! I had tried on so many chic, fitted dresses that looked and felt lovely but hadn’t spoken to me the way this MillaNova dress did – I wasn’t initially looking for a ball gown, but this made me feel so beautiful and most like myself. It was a wonderful experience without the hype or pressure you see on TV. The boutique didn’t rush me or over-influence, they were excellent from start to finish.
August 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The colour-scheme of today’s Scottish wedding between Caroline and Nathan is inspired by Peru, after Nathan popped the question on the Inca Trail – and what glorious, bright and vivacious hues it provides, in pinks, oranges, reds and blues with an overarching theme of navy and gold.
As far as arrivals go, we love the 12-piece pipe band that led the couple down the long drive to their castle venue. What a spectacular, regal sight to see – and hear – as a guest. No wonder it gave a lot of them goose bumps! The wow factor continued throughout the day, with a ceilidh band to get the crowds moving and a superb firework display to round off the night in style, providing some gorgeous photo opps. Caroline and Nathan definitely upped the ante when it came to laying on the entertainment.
And we have to give them kudos for their attire too, with Nathan pulling off a subtle tartan jacket for the daytime and switching to tartan suit trousers at the evening party. Meanwhile, Caroline was a vision of beauty in a princess-style dress perfect for a castle wedding, complete cute bow detailing and a sparkly beaded belt.
With images by Ian MacMichael.
caroline says: We got engaged on the Inca Trail in Peru, on 23rd April 2017. Nathan carried the ring in his pocket the entire time; I had absolutely no idea! After a slow start with me falling in a puddle and torrential rain all morning, he got down on one knee. It was at the last Inca site on day three before we got to Machu Picchu at a place called Intipata – a beautiful spot where you can look out over the entire valley. It completely took our breath away and was the perfect location.
We got married on 2nd June 2018. As soon as we saw pictures of Carlowrie Castle in Edinburgh and went to see it in person, we fell in love and knew it was exactly what we were looking for. We had our actual ceremony at Mayfield Salisbury Church. The church has very close connections to our family, so we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else.
Carlowrie Castle was exactly what we were looking for. It has an incredible driveway, beautiful gardens and, even though it’s a castle, it’s completely modern inside. Due to our numbers (140) we thought it best to have a marquee, so we could take advantage of using the gorgeous orangery for our drinks reception and for our photobooth, sweet station, etc.
We would absolutely recommend the venue to other brides and grooms. We had multiple meetings with Jen, Ailsa and the team at Carlowrie. They were excellent with calling, emailing and catching up on a regular basis. On the day, Jen and the team absolutely smashed it. Everything was taken care of; we didn’t have to ask for anything and they needed no prompting to keep the evening going strong. They went above and beyond, to the point where one of the waitresses brought us canapés while we were having our photos taken! Absolute dream. It’s in a beautiful setting, convenient for both Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh City Centre. This venue has it all!
In terms of a theme, having gotten engaged in Peru we wanted to feature bright and bold colours in the wedding. This was mainly done through the bouquets, flowers at the church and evening reception but our main wedding colours were actually determined by the bridesmaid dresses. We found lovely beaded navy blue dresses and thought that a gold colour would complement them beautifully, so we brought those colours through in any way we could – the table plan (frames within a large frame that we made ourselves!), the wedding stationary, the cake, etc.
My dress was by Morilee and I bought it at Gwenne in Broxburn. I tried on one of every style in the store as I wanted to make sure I didn’t prefer something else to my favourite and so that I had the full bridal experience! My dress was full-on princess style with a beaded belt, under-netting, embellishment and detachable straps that I took off for the evening part of the wedding (and applied a red lippie!). I just loved it!
Nathan wore a subtle tartan suit jacket (blue/green) with black trousers, a white shirt and a black bow-tie, all from Hugo Boss. He kept his outfit a secret, which was such an amazing surprise, and he completely took my breath away. He looked so gorgeous: the perfect combination of England and Scotland. He also had a change for the evening, where he switched it up into a dark shirt and the subtle tartan trousers from the original suit, again from Hugo Boss. He looked incredible. I can’t believe he had an outfit change and I didn’t!
November 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’ve been out on the road again all in the name of research to share with you our experiences of the North’s finest hotels, getaway retreats and spas, providing inspiration for pre- and post-wedding relaxation, and sometimes also a setting for the big day itself!
Cue our recent visit to Matfen Hall – a stunning stately home set in 300 acres of lush parkland in the Northumbrian countryside. The award-winning Hall houses fabulous function spaces, accommodation and spa and leisure facilities, making it an option for sophisticated hen dos, romantic getaways, such as a minimoon, plus a dream wedding venue too.
All images by Sean Elliott Photography.
Ahead of a super-exciting wedding refurbishment at Matfen, we were invited to view the current celebration spaces and to see what’s in store to take this already gorgeous venue to the next level. And my word, are couples saying ‘I do’ to Matfen in for a treat! Keen not to give away too much at this stage, we will be following up with a Dream Venue post soon that will detail the stylish refurbish plans in more depth.
Furthermore, on Sunday 4th March 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen to reveal the results of the quarter-of-a-million-pound-refurbishment programme first-hand – so be sure to mark the date in your diaries!
But for today’s post, we return to our visit. During our blissful overnight stay, we experienced Matfen’s warm and welcoming hospitality, making use of its leisure facilities, restaurant and accommodation.
We began as any busy business ladies should, with a trip to the spa! Hotel guests can enjoy access to such facilities or there are a number of full and half-day ‘Escape’ packages to choose from, comprising different treatments, food and drink, so ladies (and gents) can pick which best suits their needs and wishes.
There is a 16-metre swimming pool and spa pool, plus thermal suites including an aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, ice cold bucket shower, monsoon shower and ice fountain. We worked our way round, prioritising the warmer options, to relax and revive weary muscles, before indulging in a little chill time around the pool.
Matfen’s treatment choices cover off facial, body and massage therapies for men and women, as well as ‘Finishing Touch’ treatments such as nails, waxing and tinting.
Feeling in need of a radiance boost part-way through our autumn season of wedding fairs, we both opted for the Skin Specific Facial. Having been led to quiet, candle-lit treatment rooms, our knowledgeable therapists took time to enquire about our skin concerns before tailoring our facials to help combat such issues using heavenly Elemis products. We both emerged with hydrated, glowing complexions and super-soft skin (if only we could indulge one of these treatments every week!).
Leaving the spa feeling super-relaxed, it was time to freshen up (and wake-up!) before dinner. We were staying in one of Matfen’s stunning Principal Rooms in the original part of the Hall, that was spacious, comfortable and boasted gorgeous views of the garden.
February 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on Brides Up North, the stunning Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire provides the romantic setting for our styled wedding shoot.
Dating all the way back to 1066, the site is quite literally steeped in history with striking architecture and a captivating gothic interior to match. We’re talking ornate mirrors, candelabras, original fireplaces and spellbinding staircases.
Becki from all You Need is Love Photography paired up with a number of talented suppliers (including Brides Up North Sponsor Blossom and Belle) to create this dreamy yet dramatic bridal look, and we simply adore the bold palette of the bouquet, headpiece and makeup.
Don’t miss our Brides Up North Luxury Bridal Show on Sunday 5th March 2017, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry at this stunning venue! We’re filling the Castle with 30+ of the area’s most brilliant bridal suppliers, live music, bridal fashion, pretty paper, sweet treats, floral designs and all the details. Come and see the place dressed to the nines to inspire your own perfect wedding day! Click here to register now.
With images from All You Need is Love Photography
becki says: We named the shoot ‘Star Of Love’ which is the variety of astrantia that the florist, Claire Slater Flowers used in the red bouquet, which features in most of the photos. Our model, Daisy, was quite the star, too, wearing a white gown from Blossom and Belle, based in York.
In terms of inspiration for the shoot, we focused on all things vintage. We wanted an opportunity to be creative together, especially as our tastes are so similar; plus we all have a soft spot for anything vintage.
We loved working together to create such a timeless and elegant look for the shoot. It’s just great to meet like-minded ladies within the wedding industry that can inspire and encourage the best from each other.
Allerton Castle was the most perfect location; each room is breath taking and the staff there are incredible.
I visited the castle a few years back, and it has always been a dream location for me to photograph. Each element of the shoot fitted together seamlessly and the backdrop of the castle really pulled it all together. It was like stepping into a time machine, as it’s steeped in so much history.
We didn’t have a specific style from the outset, this emerged as we discussed our favourite looks, and before we knew it, the vintage theme took a life of its own.
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November 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Is there a grander setting for a wedding than a castle? We think not having feasted our eyes on the pics from today’s real wedding.
Having secured their dream venue, Tom and Stef let their surroundings do the talking, just adding a few simple touches in elegant vintage décor whilst working around their timeless blue colour scheme.
The floral arrangements are particularly stunning, and we love the maids’ vibrant cobalt dresses too!
With images by Kate Gosney Photography.
stef says: We got engaged in Las Vegas. It was the second day at the end of a night out. Tom got down on one knee and produced the most amazing ring!
We got married on 28th August, which was the Bank Holiday weekend, giving people more time to recover. Chiddingstone Castle was our chosen venue. My dad got married there and I had visited as a child so it felt special to me.
We didn’t have a theme as such, instead just choosing to let the beautiful venue do the talking and making choices that were sensitive to that. Our colour scheme was different tones of blues as it’s my favourite colour and I think it’s timeless too.
May 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
There’s something extremely enchanting about saying ‘I do’ in a castle setting as today’s couple demonstrate.
Every inch the fairy-tale bride, Caroline wore a stunning Maggie Sottero organza ball gown for the big day and carried a romantic bouquet of pink and ivory roses, peonies and ranunculas.
Add to this some incredible floral displays, stunning grounds and a fine feathered ring bearer and you’ve got one very grand affair indeed.
With images by Martin Hambleton.
caroline says: We got engaged back in June 2011 whilst on holiday in Turkey, during a visit to the harbour in Fethiye.
Upon returning we set the date for Sunday, 8th June 2014 at Peckforton Castle, Tarporley, Cheshire. I spotted Peckforton online whilst looking for potential venues and I was instantly drawn. It just looked so beautiful. After arranging a visit that was it, we loved everything about it and we knew our guests would too.
We didn’t have a theme as such, just a bit of everything we like and loved. Our colour scheme was silver, grey, cream and ivory.
My mum chose my dress for me at Brides Gallery near Chorley. The ladies their Alison and Liz were amazing and so helpful. The dress I wore was a Maggie Sottero organza ball gown called Hanaleigh. It was a sweetheart fitted dress, with a ruched bodice, loads layers and hand-sewn flower detail. It was huge and so fairy-tale like. Far from what I originally thought I would go for, seeing as I was looking at a non-detailed, no frills, slim-fitted dress. But I loved it and I knew it was the one.
My bridesmaids wore silver/grey A-line/sweetheart floor-length chiffon dresses with pleated and beaded/sequin detail. I bought these by recommendation from JJ’s House online.
We used Hipswing for the lighting and entertainment. They also supplied our chair covers and sashes as well as the sparkle lit dancefloor. We would highly recommend them. Our DJ Dan was great, he played all our favourite songs and the dance floor was never empty. Tansy and the team were so helpful with helping organise our day and nothing was too much trouble.
We also used Eventures wedding venue decorators. The team did an amazing job for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. Everything looked incredible and the flowers and bouquets were stunning too. I had a hand-tied bouquet of white and ivory roses, pink avalanche roses, peonies and ranunculas, finished with lace and diamante pin detail. We cannot thank them enough.
Our photographer was Martin Hambleton. We met Martin at a wedding fayre, he was so easy to talk to and his work was just incredible and exactly what we were looking for. Knowing I would be nervous on the day, Martin made me feel at ease and half the time I didn’t even know I was being photographed. Martin captured every aspect of the day. Our photographs are beautiful and we cannot thank him enough either!
Chris designed all of our stationary; the invites, order of the day, the seating plan, place names, table numbers and also the favour boxes. We both then did the making and the embellishments. It took a long time but was well worth it.
For some extra décor I bought tall lanterns for the entrance to the Great Hall and vintage birdcages which I decorated with flowers, pearls and diamantes bought from Country Baskets. I also did my own sweets and treats table.
As a special touch we had Mango the owl deliver our rings during the ceremony and a falconry show at the drinks reception, which was enjoyed by all.
My auntie had our cake made for us as a wedding gift by family friends who have done this for many years. They did an amazing job. We had a three tiered cake; one lemon sponge, one Victoria and the other was fruit. It had ivory icing with vintage detailing in lace, pearl flowers and fallen petals.
For the transport on the day we hired two Imperial Landaulette cars from Horgans. I have to say these are by far the best supplier in wedding cars you’ll find. The cars were immaculate and the drivers were lovely. They arrived in plenty of time and even got us to the venue, some 40 miles away 20 minutes early, avoiding all the traffic, road works and chaos that some our guests got stuck in. Definitely number one for reliability. Thankfully all ended well and everyone made it in time.
I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day as I loved everything about it. Following our special day we jetted off on honeymoon to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try and relax during the lead up to the wedding – don’t stress and enjoy every moment. It’s your day after all. Everything will be perfect.
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