January 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Ladies, have your pinning fingers at the ready for today’s real wedding is an absolute stunner!
Bride Elizabeth and groom Rob chose the contemporary King Street Townhouse for their city chic wedding that featured all-white blooms, sophisticated décor and just a touch of sparkle through the maids’ gorgeous dresses and a pair of glistening Jimmy Choos. I mean, need we say more?
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
elizabeth says: We got engaged during a holiday to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. We had stopped off in Paris enroute just to add to the romance. We were in a small village called Deshaies, sat relaxing beside the Caribbean Sea watching the sun slowly setting. It was a very romantic moment and the perfect opportunity for the proposal.
Our wedding was on 30th April. We chose this date purposely as Rob’s birthday falls on 22nd April and mine on 29th April – it gives us the perfect reason each year to go on holiday to celebrate our birthdays and anniversary.
We got married at King Street Townhouse in Manchester. We always wanted the chic city wedding and set to work finding the perfect venue – as soon as we walked into KSTH we both knew immediately that this was the place we would be married.
Our day was a city chic style wedding with lots of grey, white and silver – we really wanted something sophisticated and timeless. We kept the colour palette classic, clean and contemporary.
When it came to picking my dress, I was looking for something totally unique and something that would fit the city chic theme. I had already bought a wedding dress but something in the back of my mind said it wasn’t quite right. I continued searching and found a small boutique, as I walked in I saw the dress. I fell in love with it. I had to have it. Unfortunately, it was a designer sample and wasn’t for sale – I tried it on, it was so perfect. So much so that I refused to take it off until the boutique agreed to sell it to me!
On the day of the wedding, my hair and makeup was done by Ariana Rose, who was superb. She arrived just after 7am and stayed with us for almost six hours, a truly talented professional who not only listens but also offers advice where necessary. Outstanding!
My bridesmaids wore grey dresses with silver and white beading that were bought from Lindybop.
July 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Today’s real wedding bride, Niamh, says that her only theme for her and Pete’s city centre wedding in Liverpool was “things we like”.
All we can say here at Bride Up North is that it’s a theme that really works. Led by instinct, Niamh opted for a hint of 1920s decadence with her beaded bridesmaid dresses and a timeless clean-cut Pronovias gown with statement red lips.
Liverpool is a significant place for this gorgeous couple, and their photographs make it clear why – see how many stunning views, famous landmarks and cheeky references to this fabulous city you can spot.
With images by Starwinkle Photography.
niamh says: We got engaged in July 2013 in London. I‘d just turned 27 and Pete and I returned to London (where we used to live) for a night out with friends to celebrate. The following morning we set off for a day out in the glorious sunshine. We put together an amazing picnic and headed up to Primrose Hill, just the two of us. True to form, I fell asleep in the sunshine on the hill, and when I awoke we had to hotfoot it to Piccadilly for dinner – Pete had booked a table at Sketch, a fave restaurant, as a birthday treat.
En route, he suggested we take a detour to Green Park; another old haunt from our London days. It was a really warm evening and the park was beginning to empty out – there were just a few people left catching the last rays. We walked together under the trees; it was really beautiful, no one else around, and the light dappled through the trees. The next bit is all a blur…
Pete is one of the sweetest boys you will ever meet, not one for big ostentatious gestures. He’s incredibly thoughtful and charmingly clumsy and cries at X Factor. As he walked along he began to tell me how much he loved me – he dropped down onto two knees, asked me to marry him, fumbled with his backpack and then produced the most beautiful antique sapphire and diamond ring.
It was so surreal, I couldn’t believe what was happening. All I remember was dropping to the floor with him, both of us on two knees and saying “are you you really doing this?”, and both of us teary-eyed kneeling in the grass. Then Pete said, “you haven’t said yes or no,” and I shouted “yes!”
It was perfect. I had absolutely no idea and the element of surprise was the best thing. It was so simple, no big fancy holiday, just a summer day out with my favourite person.
We were married on Saturday 25th April 2015. We ‘d always talked about having a spring wedding. We decided to get married in Liverpool where we met at Uni in 2006, as it’s a city that means a lot to both of us and our families. So that was it – we went back to where it all began.
We both lived on Catharine Street at Uni in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter. Although we wanted a fun, different, quirky personalised wedding, it was also important to us to have all of our family and friends there and to say our vows in church. There’s a small church on Catharine St, St Phillip Neri. We explained to the priest that we loved Liverpool and it was where we’d met and he agreed to marry us!
My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer two months after we got engaged so in the months leading up to the wedding there were ups and downs. Thankfully, she was there on the day and was in great spirits. For so many reasons, our wedding was just the most incredible celebration of life, love and happiness. She made it her goal to be there and she was, she was well and it was brilliant. Some of mine and many others’ lasting memories of her will be her having the time of her life at our wedding.
We chose Oh Me Oh My as the venue for the reception. From the moment we stepped foot inside we fell in love with it. The stunning high ceilings, natural light, quirky vintage furniture, fairy-lit balcony, incredible roof garden and beautiful views of Liverpool’s iconic Liver Building: it was just perfect. Cafe by day and events/exhibition venue by evening/weekend. Then we met Katie, who was so warm and friendly and her enthusiasm and passion for the venue was palpable. She listened to our ideas and suggested amazing ones of her own and made us feel as if anything was possible.
Our only theme was ‘things we like’. We both really like old things and bright colours, so there was a bit of that! We decorated the venue with brightly coloured pom poms and tassle garlands. I made a polaroid timeline with pictures of me and Pete which were punctuated by coloured paper doilies.
We hired a candyfloss and popcorn stand as the canapes with reception drinks. We also had pick and mix and personalised football accumulators bets as the favours.
We didn’t really have an ‘official’ colour scheme, either. The bridesmaids wore silvery grey, the boys wore navy and then venue was filled with bright coloured and gold paper decorations fairy and candle light. The reception venue was a big blank space, with high ceilings and beautiful natural light and carefully picked quirky pieces. We decided to embrace this and add more of our own.
We filled a glass cabinet with our parents and grandparents’ wedding photos. We decorated the balcony as a ‘games area’, including Subbuteo, a game called ‘Pucket’ and DIY photo booth. I made bunting out of Trivial pursuit cards to mark out the games area as Pete is a massive trivia/useless information fan!
June 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Unbridled romance laced with Parisian charm lies at the heart of today’s beautiful styled shoot at the enchanting Kirklinton Hall. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the venue is nestled somewhere in the picturesque French countryside but it is, in fact, much closer to home, near Carlisle (yes, we gasped when we first read this, too).
The 17th century ruin provides the most splendid of backdrops – the kind we’ve often daydreamed about while poring over our favourite period novel. We’re talking 14 acres of leafy grounds and a meandering river nearby, not to mention spiralling turrets and a gypsy caravan for something altogether fantastical.
This serene shoot is about intimacy and those finer details, wrapped up in all things tres chic – from the gorgeous vintage style stationery and dainty crockery, to the most elegant of wedding dresses and frivolous florals. Quite simply: j’adore.
Megan Hawkins from lighting and backdrop specialist Typical Type, who headed up the shoot, tells us more…
With photography from Tiree Dawson.
megan says: The idea for this shoot was to demonstrate how a small, intimate wedding could be styled. The theme came to me after I looked around the venue. There was something about the plants climbing up the soft ochre walls and the gentle sun pouring in which spoke of long summer days in France.
Photographer Tiree Dawson and I have done a number of shoots together and we always like to look for somewhere a little different. We searched for a long time, and when Kirklinton Hall, near Carlisle, presented itself – with its tumbled down walls and less than formal gardens – we just knew it was perfect. It is a very romantic place, with a gypsy caravan, turrets and a river running around its perimeter. It’s the kind of place you could go to as a couple and lose yourselves. It is a new venue, too, so we knew that we were bringing something fresh to the table. We then crafted the French elopement scene around it.
Our models, Lau and Grant are naturally gorgeous, so we didn’t want to do too much to them. The idea was never to make them overtly ‘French’, but to hint at it. So a gentle chignon with soft finger waves, created by Gareth from Aqua The Salon, and emphasis on Lau’s stunning English-Rose look from MUA Aimee Chroley was all that was required.
The dresses were made for the shoot by the talented team at Legend Bridal. For the Parisian theme, we selected the Elana gown. This dress does it all, with its full back illusion panel which shows the back and shoulders whilst remaining softly demure, but enticing. The high low hem allows a glimpse of those incredible shoes while owning a glorious train, which fans out like a peacock when walking. Made from soft glittering tulle, this dress is deliciously light and easy to wear while having all the Parisian glamour from the sumptuous lace and stunning row of tiny satin covered buttons down the back.
For the décor, we brought Janet from Wilde and Romantic on board. It was only her second ever shoot, and she came armed with a wonderful array of props, adding a little ‘joie de vivre’ to the shoot. We added to this with our new crystal chandelier, and the talented Lau not only modelled, but created the stationery and painted backdrop, as part of her venture Neat Creative. The colour palette for this scene was soft – think lilacs, lavenders, olives, and pale pinks – all picked out by the talented Kevin from Brackens of Bowness. In addition, the breads and croissants that featured in the photo shoot were supplied by More Bakery.
September 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Where do we start with today’s real wedding? We love it all!
From the dreamy Lake District venue to the chic, simple styling and romantic blooms, this wedding is brimming with class. Who would think that an all ivory wedding could pack such a pretty punch?
So to all those bride-to-bes looking for styling inspiration, sit back and take note on how simple can become stand out!
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy.
carly says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2011. We were walking in Sefton Park, a large park in Liverpool at the time. This is the place where my nan and grandad met on the boating lake. David proposed on one knee whilst we were sitting on the park bench.
We set the date for Thursday 23rd July 2015. No significant reason really, other than I’m a teacher and it fitted in nicely with the six week break. A mid-week wedding at first wasn’t what we wanted, but the venue, Askham Hall in Penrith, had no other availability so we went with it.
We always fancied the Lake District for our wedding as David’s mum has a place there and we visit quite often. When I was looking for the venue, I stumbled across Askham Hall; we both travelled up there Christmas of last year and loved it! It was exactly what we were looking for, small enough to be able to have exclusive use; it has a civil ceremony license to hold the ceremony in the barn attached to the venue and the grounds are stunning so it was perfect!
We didn’t have a theme as such, but the styling was simple and clean. I’ve always liked the look of things when they’re not fussy and over the top so that’s what I had in mind really – classy)
In terms of colour, everything was ivory. My dress, bridesmaid dresses, stationary, cake etc. Again, I like the simple, clean look of this.
My dress was bespoke Kirsty Doyle a local Liverpool designer, who I worked with when I was younger. Kirsty was making bridesmaid dresses for a good friend of mine and I approached her one day about making my dress. I took in a number of images and ideas to her studio and it was a step-by-step process until I had my dream dress, which fitted perfectly. My bridesmaid dresses are also designed and made by Kirsty. I knew Kirsty was the best and had heard numerous stories about her, so there was no question.
David, the best man and father of the bride all wore navy suits from Reiss, which were shop bought and then tailored to fit.
Jessica O’Shaughnessy was our photographer and she is amazing! I couldn’t have wished for a better photographer on the day. She is so professional, laid back, friendly and of course creative. The images are stunning; she has a real natural flare I feel and I would certainly recommend her to others. Jessica fitted right in with the wedding party/guests and was really accommodating all day!
My flowers were provided by Heather Feather from Flower Fashion. I carried a bouquet of David Austin roses and peonies and my bridesmaids’ bouquets were roses, peonies and sweet peas. They were divine! All ivory.
All the floral decorations were also done by Heather, and again all ivory. The table decorations were a mixture of tall centre pieces and lower ones. Floating candles were used. Candles were placed in tall vases down the aisle with rose petals too. Huge vases with hydrangeas were placed at the top and bottom of the aisle. Heather did all of this set up, arriving before the ceremony at 10am and staying until the wedding breakfast was set up! Other décor at the reception included drapes and fairy lights across the beams in the ceiling provided by SVL Lighting.
We also used a light up ‘love’ sign provided by a local guy called Matt from Party Pics Photobooths. He was great. He delivered, installed and collected the sign at no extra expense and the sign itself really made the venue in the evening.
Favours were Grasmere gingerbread in the shape of a heart. Two pieces were given to each guest in a white heart shaped box with a simple piece of ribbon across the box with our names and the date on. There were provided by Grasmere Gingerbread.
Our cake was made by a family friend. Four tiers and all Victoria sponge with ivory icing. Fresh David Austin roses were placed on the cake by Heather at the venue for decoration.
In terms of food we had prosecco and canapés after the ceremony. Then for the wedding breakfast we chose, carrot and coriander soup to start, chicken, dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables for main and then shortbread, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for desert.
To create the desired ambiance, we had a string quartet playing for the guests in the barn before I arrived and they remained throughout the ceremony. They played Cannon in D as I was walking down the aisle, Kissing You as we were signing the register and then The Beatles All You Need Is Love as we were walking out together. We then had the Gypsies of Bohemia playing on the lawns of the hall as our guests were having prosecco and canapés. Later in the evening we had a band called The Four Wise Monkeys playing for two hours, then a DJ until 1.30am. David was responsible for sorting out the entertainment. The two groups were recommended by the hall however, and after some of our own research, we decided to go with them – they were great!
Special additions to the day included a reading in the ceremony given by David’s sister. We also decided just before our first dance, to get everyone in the mood to have a good dance, that we would offer everyone a shot of tequila. The staff at the venue were very accommodating and came around with the shot, salt and lime, for each guest. We all got together on the dance floor, had the shot and hopefully then everyone was in the mood for the evening even more so!
We would definitely recommend our venue to other couples. The whole experience was amazing. We were able to have the venue exclusively, so we checked in on the Wednesday, used the spa, outdoor heated pool and had amazing food and drinks in the evening for all guests. Then breakfast the following day was stunning too. Everything that the staff did was perfect. They were always there, without being seen really, so it felt like the whole place was ours for those few days. Just amazing!
It’s hard to say what my favourite part of the day was, but if I had to choose it would probably be just after the ceremony and having prosecco and canapés on the lawns of the venue. The weather was amazing, and it was the perfect time to soak it all up, chat with our guests and listen to The Gypsies of Bohemia playing lovely music. I wish I could re-live that time and time again!
Because David works in Qatar, our honeymoon had to be short so as he could get back to work. We travelled to Paris for two nights and two days, and then flew to Cannes for three nights, three days, then to Monte Carlo for one night. It was brilliant. David organised this without me knowing! So when I was told about this, I was over the moon! It was a magical time!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not over-think anything. Go with your gut instinct on things that you like and see and stick with it. One thing everyone told me was to enjoy it and make sure you take everything in because it goes by so quickly! It’s the best time of your life.
December 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today we are in Newcastle Upon Tyne for a chic city wedding at the beautiful Jesmond Dene House. Real bride Leigh kept her colour scheme simple and striking and upped the glam factor with a bespoke fishtail gown (and check out those heels!). And not forgetting her groom (remember him?!) Leigh also made sure to incorporate lots of things that Jamie liked into the day too.
With images by` Leighton Bainbridge Photography.
Leigh says: We got engaged in July 2009 in Bowness on Windermere – we were there on a week break staying in a log cabin – and were married on 25th September 2013 at Jesmond Dene House.
We chose the date as it was my mother and father in-laws wedding anniversary and sadly they have both passed away. So this is a date that we will always share with them.
The venue was perfect for what we wanted, beautiful surroundings, feeling like you were in the middle of nowhere but very accessible for our guests. It was an ideal size for our numbers and just a gorgeous venue with lovely staff. We fell in love straight away!
We had deep purple and pewter as our colours. I’m quite boring when it comes to colours so we had purple for the bridesmaids then pretty much everything else was pewter!
I chose an ivory satin fish tail gown with structured ruffles starting from above knee. I had it specially made for the wedding.
The bridesmaids had beautiful dresses from House of Fraser in deep purple. Two of my bridesmaids wore floor length and the other four wore calf length. The dresses where perfect as I didn’t want the usual satin strapless bridesmaid dresses.
We hired the groomsmen’s suits from Slaters in Newcastle, they chose the wool/silk tailcoat suit, which was nice and light.
My bouquet was made up of white akipo roses, white avalanche roses (with diamantes in the centres), white freesia, purple freesia and white bouvardia all hand tied with ivory ribbon and fixed with diamantes. Flowers by Margret provided all our flowers including bouquets, button holes and table centres.
The ceremony was really special. I thought that it would be the worse part of the day as I am no good speaking in front of people and thought that nerves would get the better of me. But the closer it came to me walking down the aisle, the nerves disappeared and we laughed and smiled all the way through.
My mum originally hired a camper van to do three trips as a surprise for the groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids. Me and my sister stayed the night before at Jesmond Dene House so didn’t need transport but on the morning of the wedding we ended up nipping over to our Mum and Dad’s house so we got to travel in it too!
Kelly Moor made a fantastic job of our four tier wedding cake. For the base layer we chose fruit/spice cake then red velvet (our favourite), chocolate and the top was vanilla sponge. We kept the cake quite simple with the only pattern on it being strips in a slight metallic icing. We topped the cake with fresh flowers provided by our wedding florist.
We didn’t have a strong theme as such but cars definitely made a few appearances through-out the day. We had track names for our tables and driving simulators in the evening. I wanted it to be as much about the groom, rather than it all focusing on the bride.
We had the excellent Prime Entertainment to do our evening entertainment. They provided us with two driving simulators which went down a storm and a brilliant disco for in the Great Hall.
We went to Mexico for our honeymoon. We stayed further out from Cancun as all we wanted to do was chill rather than have a party holiday. I would recommend Mexico to anyone we had an amazing time. Its a beautiful place and the beaches were amazing! Our hotel and travel agent knew it was our honeymoon and spoilt us rotten!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you and the groom want to do but keep reminding yourself that its only one day, it’s easy to get yourself carried away. Enjoy every second of it as the day really does fly over!
Congratulations Leigh & Jamie!
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