Brides Up North

bonnie & bright. a colourful wedding at St Andrews – clair & nick

October 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (30)

Stunning scenery, rainbow blooms, tartan trews and spinning a reel… Clair and Nick show how an elegant wedding needn’t be a stuffy affair. Combining traditional charm with modern and personal touches, the couple’s colourful celebration is a bonnie day indeed.

Images by AnnaJoy Photography.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (3)

Clair says: Nick and I met while studying at St Andrews in 2008. Our first little holiday together as a couple was to a lovely little guesthouse outside of Ballachulish in the Scottish Highlands. We had a lovely few days together as a fairly new couple. One of the things we both enjoy most is documenting our little adventures – we found an amazing, almost deserted road in Glen Nevis and realised it could be a lot of fun to take a series of stills of the both of us in the road, sort of like the flip books you get where when you look at the images quickly they tell a little story. As our new year celebrations finished in the early hours of 1st Jan 2013 Nick told me he was taking me back to that same guesthouse as a surprise gift! We went back to the same spot on the deserted road to make a new “flip book” of photos of us 4 years later and then Nick got down on one knee. It was beautifully romantic and entirely unique! Those pictures now have even more meaning!

We were married on 12th July 2014. We picked that date because both of us had extremely tight schedules at the time. I was in between graduating for a second time and starting work and had four weeks that I could totally devote to the last minute frantic preparations.

We got married at St Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews. It’s the chapel associated with the University we both studied at and it just felt right to go back there. I wanted a very traditional service but in a place that was familiar, so the Chapel was perfect! Our reception was across the lawn at Upper and Lower College Hall, a beautiful building from the early 17th century. The grassy lawn in between the Chapel and the Hall was the perfect spot for drinks after the service and for the littlies to tear around. We were on a very tight budget funding the wedding ourselves – the Chapel and College offered the opportunity to put our own stamp on our wedding whilst fitting within a well-rehearsed framework for a very agreeable price.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (9)

We decided that our wedding would have a ‘hint’ of vintage but that in order to really work with the venue it also had to be elegant. We decided that additions such as vintage china and pastel handkerchiefs would work with the room whilst I had to forgo the likes of bunting, as it just wouldn’t have worked. We also wanted lots of homemade elements – we are crafty people but also wanted the really personal feel that this adds. It also saves lots of pennies if you can make things yourselves!

We wanted it to be bright. And beyond that I didn’t want to complicate matters by having a colour scheme. As many of the fine details were done by ourselves, it was much easier to have a loose colour scheme for resourcing what we wanted at the price we wanted it for. I wanted my bridesmaids to have dresses they had picked and could wear again and shoes they liked rather than enforcing my choices on them – they all agreed that they would wear navy and between them all picked the same dress! But their shoes were all different. They all had a bright pink shawl and a posy of brightly coloured flowers – many of the same flowers that were elsewhere in the venue. Very loosely we tried to stick to oranges, yellows, pinks and purples but all sorts of other colours crept in too!

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (12)

The dress I thought I wanted and the one I picked were worlds apart. I have very much a pear shape, and realised that the dresses I thought I liked only accentuated my wide hips and left me feeling frumpy. I ditched my original ideas and in Pretty Woman in Edinburgh riffled through dresses they had hanging. I knew I wanted lace somewhere, and I had realised that something that fit snuggly at the waist but then skimmed out over my hips was going to be most flattering. With new thinking, the first dress I tried on was strapless – something I knew I just didn’t want on its own, but had been told I could add a lace jacket to. It had a sweetheart neckline, fit tightly at the waist and then had layers of tuille and a lot of taffeta to give a very full skirt and chapel length train. The instant I put the jacket on over the top I knew the look was exactly what I wanted. Both were made by Justin Alexander. The girls I was with at the time said it was the first time I had smiled as looked at in the mirror. That was it. I decided there and then that the dress and jacket were the ones I wanted.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (5)

Nick wore a pair of McNaughton Muted Tartan Trews I had bought him as a Christmas gift. His father was Scottish and this was his family tartan (McKendrick). His bow tie was in the same tartan to match. The Prince Charlie jacket his Mum had bought him a Christmas later, so that he had a complete outfit. His lovely shoes were Loake – his favourite brand of shoes, and compensation for all the pennies spent on my dress. The dress shirt came from TM Lewin and his copper cufflinks I had bought on Etsy as an engagement gift – they had the co-ordinates on them of the exact spot in Glen Nevis at which he had proposed.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (17)

The bridesmaids’ dresses were made by LightInTheBox – a company based in China which make beautiful quality gowns to order. I sent them the girls’ exact measurements and the dresses arrived and needed only the smallest of tweaks. The groomsmen wore a mix of their own Highland wear or suits. We were flexible with what the boys wanted to wear – it fit with the relaxed colour scheme. Each of them had a set of pirate Lego cufflinks – Nick’s stag had been on a boat in the Norfolk Broads that the boys had customised into a pirate ship.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (19)

We hired a beautiful Rolls Royce Silver Shadow from Prestige Cars of Fife – a company owned by Tom McKean. The car worked with our loosely vintage theme and was a definite luxury. Tom was the perfect driver, putting our nerves at ease and then drove us around St Andrews for some of our photos after the service.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (22)

Our photographer was Anna Hamill of AnnaJoy Photography. She was perfect. We knew at our engagement shoot we had found a real treasure. She was wonderfully discrete but also somehow captured every single moment beautifully. She didn’t mind being punted into taxi’s across town to be a part of everything and in the midst of relative madness, she was calm. There are lots of little touches Anna brings that others don’t – beautiful little business cards with pictures of you on, USB sticks sent with edible goodies, emails that are more friendly than blunt business, and the rights to do with your photos as you wish. And Nick and I would recommend her in a heartbeat for all of this.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (25)

My bridesmaids and I carried bouquets of flowers constructed by my beautiful and incredibly talented Mama. We ordered them wholesale from Triangle Nursery who delivered them to where the bridal party had gathered for a few days prior to the wedding. Mum then assembled them into beautiful creations and somehow knew what flowers would work where. She was magical.

Our flowers for the venue came from the same wholesalers. In keeping with as much being made by the people we love most, we got a bunch of my girlfriends, my sister, Nicks Mum and Great Aunt together and led by my Mama they each made one of the decorations. Each one had the same flowers and greenery in, but was assembled however they wanted. And they all looked fantastic. We had peonies, dozens and dozens of roses, freesias, gerbera, chrysanthemums, gypsophila, thistles and more!

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (33)

We had a wedding tree as an alternative to a guest book – it’s now framed and hanging on our wall as a memory of all of those that joined us. We also asked every guest to bring their favourite recipe so we could create a ‘wedding cookbook’.

Perhaps the most personal thing for us was that our family and closest friends joined us for five days in total – a few days before preparing, and a couple of days after the wedding. Having our favourite people around us for a little bit more time was so important to us both.

 

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (35)

We used Gordon’s Cater Hire for our vintage crockery and chairs – I wanted lime-washed chairs as I am not a fan of chair covers or sashes. They were excellent and provided an excellent service.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (29)

As favours, we gave ladies vintage handkerchiefs for “happy tears” and men brightly coloured silk pocket squares. Everyone also had a personalised name tag made from salt dough – something else people could take home and hang somewhere if they wanted.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (38)

We chose traditional Scottish options for our food. We sent guests a selection of three options for main course and dessert and asked them to get back to us – we wanted our guests to eat food they wanted to eat! St Andrews University created delicious dishes and many of our guests complimented the quality of the food. We sourced our favourite wines from the supermarket – we just waited until they were on offer and bulk bought. We had to pay corkage but felt for the same cost as the cheapest wines on the wine list we had wines we loved and that we thought other people would enjoy.

My favourite cake of all time is the fruit cake that my Mum makes for Christmas and this was the only cake I ever considered for our wedding. She also made a madeira cake for those people that don’t like fruit cake. She decorated them beautifully with hearts and pearls and lace and ribbon. Oh they were gorgeous. And to please Nick, who, if he could only eat one food for the rest of his life it would be cheese, we had a stack-of-cheeses cake. We served the cheeses and cakes as our evening buffet and they went down a treat!

One of our cheeses came from Cote Hill, a farm in Lincolnshire where Nick’s family is from – it was delicious!

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (49)

We are largely a Scottish family and many of our friends are Scottish. We had been to a friend’s wedding and were amazed at how a ceilidh got everyone up and dancing – so we emailed a dozen bands and eventually settled on one we liked the look of – Ceilidh Sound. We also had a close friend who did a fantastic job of MC during the speeches – he had everyone in stitches.

a colourful wedding in St Andrews (c) Anna Joy Photography (48)

The whole day was perfect. The moments we had as just the two of us were just as precious as those we shared with our friends and family. Our mothers gave us kisses right before we said our vows, our ‘last kisses’, and dancing with my Dad was one of those moments every little girl wants. The whole day was completely wonderful and we are off to Barbados in just 8 days! We are so excited!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan plan plan. It’s never too early. We had all of our big things booked well in advance, including our band, Anna, the venues, the accommodation, my dress, our rings. It meant closer to the time we had plenty of time to focus on the fine details. Also, an Excel spreadsheet is a girl’s best friend.

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Yorkshire Fling! Tartan & Lace For A Real Wedding At Bolton Castle

April 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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Today’s stunning wedding -  at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue Bolton Castle – looks oh so Wintery, but actually took place at the end of March over the Easter weekend.  Remember that cold snap?  Luckily Gemma and Asa were well prepared in their gorgeous castle setting for their Yorkshire meets Scotland celebration with some roaring log fires and a helpful piper ready to lend the bride his cape!

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With images by Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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Gemma says:  We got engaged on the 10th of December 2011.  It was a Saturday morning and we decided to go for a walk – nothing out of the ordinary there!  We walked up to Mill Gill which is a beautiful waterfall just outside Askrigg and five minutes from our house. While we were standing there Asa said that he had been thinking about things recently so I quickly asked him what he had been thinking about… he then said there was something he needed to ask me so I quickly turned and said “Ask me what, what’s the matter?” His response was “Well if you will shut up for a minute and let me talk I will ask you!”… at that point he got down on one knee and asked! What a total and fantastic surprise (the answer was yes – once I stopped crying)! We carried on up the hill and were the only two in the world who knew! By the time we got home it was lunchtime and we had cheese on toast with champagne – brilliant!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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We were married on 30th March 2013 at Bolton Castle, Leyburn. Its beautiful Medieval Castle where Mary Queen of Scots ‘stayed’ for six months!  The venue is somewhere out of the ordinary without being too ostentatious.  We pretty much had free rein to set up and decorate as we wanted, there were no hidden charges for bedrooms and the atmosphere was just fantastic!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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We had a joint theme of Scotland and Yorkshire. Everything had to be rustic to show off the castle perfectly.  We chose a colour scheme of white and burgundy with Blackwatch Tartan making an appearance!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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I had a beautiful white halter neck wedding dress from the online suppliers JJ’s House. The dress was perfect  Asa wore black tails with grey pin stripe trousers with white cravat from the online supplier Formally Yours. 

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A special mention has to go to Hair by Becci. Becci did our hair and I don’t think she could have done anything better – it was just perfect for the dress, me and the setting!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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I had a simple bouquet of white roses for Yorkshire, thistles for Scotland and Tulips to tie in the burgundy and also for Spring!  My bridesmaid Melissa had the same but slightly smaller.  The buttonholes were thistles and white heather – for luck! We used Hutton Flowers of Northallerton who were fantastic. 

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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We had a piper for the day who welcomed the guests, piped me down the aisle and piped us into the breakfast for our first official engagement – an amazing experience!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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The day was spent giggling with my closest family and friends. We got married which was the main aim of the day and we introduced a lot of people to our beautiful village as well as Scottish dancing. If I had to pick one favourite moment then it was a moment during our first dance when I had a sneaky peak around me and everyone was smiling and looking so happy – it was just the most humbling feeling ever.

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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Our fantastic photographers Richard and Caroline Wynn-Davies went above and beyond at every opportunity, this really comes through looking at how relaxed and happy we are in each of the photos – they truly are amazing people!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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There were special touches springing up all over the place all weekend! Our favours were homemade heart shaped shortbread (which I baked a couple of days before) and Yorkshire tea bags.  We had Blackwatch tartan table runners over the tables which really brought warmth to the rustic castle.

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We both work for the Scouts and so named each of the tables after a Scout Activity Badge – caused lots of giggles!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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I baked and iced our wedding cake as when I looked around at prices I realised I could save an amazing amount of money – I’m a true Scot!  We had one tier of Madeira and two of angus fruit cake (the fruit is soaked overnight in tea). 

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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We had a Ceilidh band made up of three local guys from Northallerton – they were amazing and taught us all the dances, everyone took part! The more commercial bands were an absolute fortune and very specific on how long they would play for. Nimmo Clark and the band played all night!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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We made the celebrations last the whole weekend! The Friday evening before we invited everyone to join us in the village pub for a drink so people met each other then and on the Sunday we put a big tent up in the back garden and invited everyone and locals from the village for the afternoon/evening to carry on celebrating. 

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The week after the wedding a lot of family and friends had stayed so we got to spend time with people we don’t often see. We both work away a lot so once everyone had gone home we took an extra week off and… we stayed at home – it was perfect! The weather was rubbish so apart from short walks with the dog we just spent time together!

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(c) Richard Wynn-Davies

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Gemma & Asa Bolton Abbey BUN-67

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is to keep it small and simple, don’t blow your budget, keep it personal – it is a very very special day so make sure that throughout the day there are things which show why you are perfect for each other.

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Congratulations Gemma & Asa!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Get in touchHere’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013

Richard Wynn-Davies is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier but this is not a sponsored post

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

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It’s Just A Little Blush: A Real Wedding In The North West – Eleanor & Patrick

January 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Sometimes my favourite Real Weddings aren’t the ones with all the fiddly details, they’re the ones with all the fabulous personalities.

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Eleanor and Patrick’s perfectly personal celebration, with images by documentary photographer Haydn Rydings Photography, proves my point exactly.  Enjoy!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Eleanor says:  Patrick asked me to marry him in December 2011 on the spot where we met for our first date in Newcastle upon Tyne.  We were married on 3rd November 2012 at Davenport House, Worfield, Shropshire.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We knew we wanted to get married near Bridgnorth in Shropshire as coincidentally both my mum and Patrick’s dad grew up there. So the main reason for choosing the venue was the location; Eleanor’s family have lived on a farm just outside Worfield for three generations and my mum remembers being taken for tea there with the Dowager Viscountess by her mother and grandmother when she was small. In recent years lots of family parties have been held there so we knew the food and service would be excellent. & of course it is such a beautiful house!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Loosely our theme was ‘heritage’. I work in the heritage industry and we thought it was quite an appropriate theme since we are bringing two families’ heritage together.  Our colours were pink, black and white, chosen by Patrick’s sister. Pink is my favourite colour and black and white are Patrick’s football team, Newcastle United’s colours.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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I bought my dress on Etsy from a seller in Boston, USA. After trawling Etsy for a pink vintage dress appropriate for getting married in I couldn’t believe it when such a beautiful dress was exactly my measurements. I’m 5ft11 so it is incredible that not only did it fit but it was also long enough. A few people on the day said they were a bit surprised by my pink dress, but the majority said I couldn’t have been married in any other colour. My friend who lives in New York brought it over as her carry on when she came home in the summer.

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I was also determined to wear the crystal necklace I bought with money my uncle gave me for my 21st birthday and to use a little pink suede Mulberry bag my godmother who was doing a reading had given me a few years ago. So my necklace and shoes were my old, my dress was my something new. I really needed a petticoat to go under the dress so I was delighted when Patrick’s mum said she had her mother’s wedding dress petticoat, so with a few alterations, she managed to make it fit me, so that was my something borrowed. Then I painted my nails a pale blue.

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Then to top it off, my great aunt remember she had a cream shawl with pink embroidered flowers that was my great, great grandmothers, so that kept the chill off in the evening.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick really wanted to wear a kilt as his mum is Scottish but he wasn’t sure about which tartan. Then his mum discovered that he could hire a Northumberland tartan kilt so he matched that with an Argyll jacket (he wanted something a bit more modern looking) from The Highland Store in central London and a black bow tie with white spots from Woods of Shropshire. He finished the look off with new Paul Smith shoes.

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So we both managed quite successfully to pull together outfits that represented our heritage!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick’s best man was his best friend from school, Edwin.  My male of honour was my friend Adrian from university. The ushers were a mix of cousins from both sides. We let them wear their own suits/kilts and just provided black ties with white spots from Woods of Shropshire, and for those not in kilts we provided bright pink socks from Sock Shop.

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The bridesmaids wore white dresses with black spots with silver shoes and different coloured cardigans. The eldest bridesmaid’s dress was from Debenhams, the middle bridesmaid’s dress was handmade by her grandmother and the youngest bridesmaid’s dress was from TK Maxx.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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It was a November wedding at 4pm so we didn’t bother with any grand entrances as it was getting dusky, so I arrived at the side entrance to the venue in my dad’s car. This meant I could make my grand entrance down the main staircase.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our mums and friends put together the two bouquets carried by me and my eldest bridesmaid and the buttonholes. The buttonholes were made up of dried wheat referencing our Shropshire heritage and dried thistles referencing Patrick’s Scottish heritage, all bought from Shropshire Petals. I carried a bouquet of supermarket white roses, ivy from my uncle’s garden on the farm and dried wheat. My eldest bridesmaid carried a bouquet of supermarket roses and gyp. My little bridesmaids carried signs saying "Here She Comes" and "Make Way".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We wanted a wedding that referenced our heritage and was distinctly us. We gave a lot of thought to the ceremony music and agreed we wanted some live music. I walked in to an instrumental version of Elvis’ "Love Me Tender" played by a group of friends on ukuleles (our second date was to a ukulele group meeting & we knew we wanted a ukulele band at the wedding so contacted all our friends who could play guitar or ukulele, most of them hadn’t met before the big day and had only communicated over email and youtube). Whilst signing the register, a school friend of mine & the best man’s wife performed an acoustic version of The Crystals "Then He Kissed Me". We walked out to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have ethical wedding rings, Patrick’s ring was made from fairtraded and fair mined gold by Cred and my ring was made from recycled platinum by American jeweller Ravens Refuge.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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My favourite part of the day was walking out of the ceremony as a married couple and seeing all our friends and family looking so happy for us.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We opted for a hog roast for our wedding breakfast so Davenport House contracted a hog roast man to provide the meat.  We also brought in a barrel of Northumbrian Brewery High House Farm’s real ale Nel’s Best (I’m known to friends and family as Nell).

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The majority of suppliers were found online, with floristry supplies from Amazon, wedding favour supplies from www.notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy and www.papermash.co.uk.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We used family wedding photographs for our wedding table names. Patrick’s sister made spotty frames for the photos with the names of the couple underneath. The couples included our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. For the table plan Patrick’s sister photoshopped mine & Patrick’s faces onto a wedding photo of Kate & Wills, with the names around it.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have a feminist wedding so the speeches were given by the best man, male of honour and the bride and groom gave a joint speech.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our third date was to a pub quiz so we decided to hold a pub quiz before & after the meal as an ice breaker, with us as the quiz masters. The questions were general knowledge but the pictures round was of celebrity couples on their wedding day. It worked really well and got people talking. We gave put pub snacks on the tables too and gave out prizes to the winners.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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During the ceilidh we put out a dressing up box and a camera on a tripod to create our own photo booth which resulted in some hysterical photos!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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As thank you gifts, we brewed sloe gin and damson vodka, made green tomato chutney and I embroidered handkerchiefs with a message for close family members. For favours we bought pink and white striped bags which we stamped which we stamped with a ‘Thanks for coming’ stamp in black ink, filled them with sweets and closed with black and white spotty tape.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We booked The Ship Band, a ceilidh band for the evening which was very successful! The combination of Scottish family members and Eleanor’s friends who attended Edinburgh University with her meant plenty of people were quick to get on the dance floor. When the band finished they just plugged in our ipod whilst they packed up.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We had a mini-moon at The Harbour Master Hotel, Aberaeron. We are going on our honeymoon to the West coast of America in April, starting in Vancouver with a trip to see Patrick’s step-grandmother who couldn’t come over for the wedding, and finishing in LA.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Everybody keeps telling us how much they loved our wedding because we broke from tradition and planned a wedding that was about us and our friends and families coming together. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t worry too much about what other people might think, have the wedding you really want to have, and don’t worry about including things that are fun or silly.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Congratulations Eleanor & Patrick!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Haydn Rydings Photography

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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The Good Life! A Real Wedding – Debs & Andy

November 14th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Bestside Photography

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Friend of the wedding blog, Nikki of I Do Designer Weddings and today’s bride, Debs, sent in Debs and Andy’s perfectly pretty Real Wedding photographs for me to share on the blog this afternoon. 

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To suit the country wedding vibe that their day has got going on, I just love how Debs has kept her colour scheme fresh and natural, teaming cornflower blue with zesty green leaves.  There must be something good in the water at Andy’s Dad’s house, where the wedding took place, because it’s all so darn beautiful! Add one stunning bride, three adorable bridesmaids and the cutest little pageboy you ever did see and this Real Wedding is straight from celluloid. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Bestside Photography

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Over to Debs:  We got engaged in June 2010 at the Bracken Fox near Scarcroft, and married just over a year later on 9th July 2011.  We wed legally at the registry office with two good friends as witnesses a few days before and later said I do in front of friends and family in a blessing ceremony in Andy’s parents’ rather special back garden, with a country garden theme.  We chose blues and purples as our colour scheme as purple is Andy’s favourite colour and blue is mine. 

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Bestside Photography     Bestside Photography

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I designed my dress, using a simple bridesmaid dress as inspiration, with the help of the wonderful Cathryn of Catwalk Classics. She made it up for me, in silk, for under £500! My three little bridesmaids wore a Tigerlily Butterfly dress from Debenhams

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Bestside Photography

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I know very little about flowers so gave my florist (Flowers By Kate Mell) free rein – I just said I wanted something along the lines of a country meadow and free and ‘thrown together’ – she did a brilliant job and I think there were thistles and white roses in amongst the bouquet.

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Bestside Photography

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We wanted a relaxed, fun day for our guests so tried to keep the day fairly informal, with a bouncy castle for the kids and ‘big kids’. We also made use of a Wedding Planner (I Do Designer Weddings) who took care of all the boring details and meant we and all our guests could relax and just enjoy ourselves.

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To add personal touches, we designed our own wedding rings that used ethically sourced gold (at Harriet Kelsall Jewellers) and we designed and handmade all our own stationery. 

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In addition, because we had a blessing we were also able to completely design our ceremony (with help from the minister) and used a commitment vow adapted from the Quaker tradition (in Quaker Faith and Practice 22.47).

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Bestside Photography

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Click through to see more details from Andy and Deb’s big day and to hear more. 

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Happy Feet! A Real Wedding, Anna and Paul

October 6th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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My, my, I’m spoiling you today.  Here is one fabulous Real Wedding submission from Mr Nathan Combes of, you guessed it, Nathan Combes Photography.  Did you know that Nathan has recently been accepted into the Wedding Photojournalists Association?  That’s a pretty prestigious accolade and no mean feat.  Go Northern Talent!  So they think his work is amazing, I think his work is amazing and today’s couple, Paul and Anna, think his work is amazing.

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Let’s see if you agree as we talk to this cool chick all about her big day. 

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{Side note: OMG I HEART her shoes!  Want.}

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Nathan Combes Photography

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Anna says:  Paul proposed at the Louvre in Paris, and we got married on 28th April 2011 at Bedern Hall in York.  We chose the venue because is was quite intimate but could also fit all the friends and family we wanted to invite. We also like to feel of the building compared to say, a hotel.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Nathan Combes Photography

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The only theme was in the colours which were pink (the choice of 7 year old Ella, Paul’s daughter) silver and black.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Nathan Combes Photography

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I chose a halter neck dress by Benjamin Roberts from Elizabeth of York and teamed it with some pink dancing shoes from Hobbs

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Nathan Combes Photography

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My flower girl’s pink dress with rose details was a bit of a bargain from Tesco!  We went more upmarket with the older girls! Two bridesmaid wore hot pink dresses from Ted Baker in a 50′s prom style cut with a black sash and my other bridesmaid wore a black dress from TK Maxx again in a 50′s prom style cut with a hot pink sash – and more importantly a pair of Iron Fist shoes which were black and silver with a pink heel.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Nathan Combes Photography

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I carried a bouquet of pink and ivory roses with black sparkly pins from Fulford Flowers, who also did the buttonholes, and arrived in style in a white Limo with hot pink ribbons with my  four bridesmaids, mum and dad.

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.Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Nathan Combes Photography

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Click through for more…

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