Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Country House! Jonathan James Couture For A Real Wedding At Nostell Priory – Hannah & Andy

November 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Created By Karl Photography

Today we join Brides Up North reader Hannah and her new husband Andy as they celebrate their English country wedding at one of my very favourite West Yorkshire wedding venues: Nostell Priory.

When styling her big day, Hannah kept things on the right side of girly by choosing garden green as a base colour.  The muted tone set off her pretty detailing to great effect and brought the outdoors in.

Now pass me a Pimms pronto, would you?!

With images by Created By Karl Photography.

Created By Karl Photography

Hannah says:  We went on a romantic weekend away in York in August 2010… Andy’s proposal was somewhat ‘underprepared’ (he didn’t have a ring!). He was initially going to propose in a restaurant on the Saturday evening and chickened out… so he decided to ask me on the Sunday morning! After a few days we found my dream engagement ring at Green and Benz in Sheffield and then Andy proposed again outside Sheffield City Hall!

Created By Karl Photography

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We were married on 25th May 2013 at St Michael & Our Lady Church, with the reception at Nostell Priory.  Nostell Priory – run by Dine – is a stunning venue and location, after visiting once we knew it was the perfect venue for us… even though it was covered in scaffolding as it was going through a huge renovation when we booked back  in 2010!

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Our theme was a pretty, English garden classic wedding with a relaxed and fun atmosphere.  We chose a colour scheme of blush pink and olive green, with the men in grey.

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

I chose a Jonathan James Couture fishtail gown from the wonderful ladies at Choola in Sheffield, my veil was Amanda Wyatt and then a flower headpiece from Ivory & Co. My shoes were Lou Lou Low from Harriet Wilde

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

My bridesmaids wore olive green twobirds gowns from Emily Bridal in Sheffield.  Our flowergirl dresses were designed and made by Sarah at Marla Design and Andy’s groomsmen’s outfits were from Sensational Formal Hire in Barnsley. Andy’s suit was from Reiss.

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Our lovely flowers were from Emily at BlossEm, we opted for peonies, dill, rosemary, hydrangea, sweet avalanche roses and sweet peas.

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

My favourite moment has to be either saying our vows in Church, or celebrating the day with our close family and friends.

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

My Mum and I travelled in a Beauford convertible and my maids accompanied us in an Imperial. Andy and his best men travelled in a Chrysler 300C from Cartwright’s Cars and the guests by vintage bus from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

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Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Our Magician Mark Waddington was a real highlight – and so were the band (The Barsteward Sons of Val Doonican – who feature the groom on guitar)!  Other lovely, personal touches were our Sweetie Buffet, the handmade signs, the wedding favours (wooden personalised hearts), the lottery tickets (for the draw on our wedding night), and the handmade wedding stationery courtesy of the Andy’s Mum!Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Steph Shaw sang and played for our guests during the drinks reception, and Andy’s band got the party started in the evening! We also had a fabulous photo booth courtesy of Created by Karl Photography (Stancliffe Studios).

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

We went for a three-tier cake made up of fruit, chocolate and sponge cake from a close friend of ours, Libby at Cakes By Libby

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

After the wedding we went on honeymoon to Kruger National Park in South Africa then on to Mauritius.

Created By Karl Photography

Created By Karl Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that you only get one shot at it (hopefully!) so enjoy it, make sure it’s special for you both, that it is everything you both want and don’t get stressed… It’ll all work out fine!

p.s. don’t forget to spend time with your groom/ bride on the day!

Created By Karl Photography

Congratulations Hannah & Andy!

Fancy seeing your Real Wedding or engagement story on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Created By Karl Photography

Nostell Priory is a Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition Venue, but this is not a sponsored post

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

Posted in BUN Wedding Exhibition, Featured Supplier, Wedding Catering, Wedding Venues, Yorkshire Wedding, Yorkshire Wedding Fair | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Real Wedding Recap Summer 2013: Peony Pink! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Michelle & Jon

June 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for the second half of what’s set to be the biggest and best year year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty. 

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Usual service will recommence on 1st July 2013,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far in 2013, plenty of eye candy, new features that we won’t be able to wait to share, some special supplier showcases and a couple of surprises too! 

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Yorkshire Wedding by Damian Hall Photography

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As soon as this beautiful Real Wedding landed in my inbox, courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Damian Hall Photography, I got to blogging!  First shared back on Valentine’s Day this year, I couldn’t wait to spread the love with the prettiest pink peonies, the finest of details and the widest of smiles which really make this elegant and romantic country house wedding one to write home about.  

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Just blissful. 

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Peony Wedding by Damian Hall Photography

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Yorebridge House Wedding by Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Michelle says:  We got engaged in July 2010 at the beautiful Great John Street Hotel in Manchester and we were married on Saturday 19th May 2012 at St Oswalds Church in Askrigg, Yorkshire Dales and had our reception at Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, Yorkshire Dales. 

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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As soon as we arrived at Yorebridge House we fell in love with the boutique hotel. The setting is picture perfect with its beautiful and stylish décor, intimate surroundings and amazing food we knew it was perfect. The best thing was having the entire hotel to ourselves from the moment we arrived on the Friday evening till we checked out on the Sunday morning.

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We chose an elegant and romantic country wedding theme, with a colour scheme of ivory and pale pink. 

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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I chose ‘Susanna’ by Lyn Ashworth from Choola in Eccleshall, Sheffield. My dress was simply beautiful with a strapless lace bodice and a full silk and organza skirt. In the evening I added a sash to my dress that matched my bridesmaid dresses to make it look a little different.  My gorgeous headdress was by HF Couture.

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Damian Hall Photography

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My bridesmaids wore full length Dessy dresses in persian plum from White Lace & Promises in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire. My flower girl wore an ivory dress from John Lewis. 

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We travelled in a silver Bentley Continental Flying Spur from Beaus & Belles.  Our favourite part of the day was getting in the wedding car straight after the ceremony and going for some photographs in the most amazing locations, whilst sipping Veuve Clicquot!

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Damian Hall Photography

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My flowers – by Mat at Red Floral Architecture – determined the time of year we got married as my favourite flowers are Peonies. I carried a bouquet full of ivory peonies with crystal and pearl detail and my bridesmaids carried bouquets of pale pink peonies with matching pearl detail. My table decorations were masses of pale pink peonies set on tall candelabras with ivory pearls hanging from the candelabras.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We had a signature board with a picture from our pre wedding shoot (arranged through our photographer) for guests to write messages on instead of using a guest book. We had a wedding wish tree where guests hung their well wishes and advice for us to read. Our sweet shop proved very popular and looked really pretty after collecting different vintage jars from our travels.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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All our wedding stationery was by Cards By Sophie

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We chose an ivory four tiered traditional cake by Diva Cakes with ruffles on every other tier. We had four different fillings; chocolate fudge, vanilla & jam sponge, cappuccino and lemon.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We chose Samantha Murphy to sing at our reception. She sang everything from Adele and Eva Cassidy to Oasis and The Killers and got everybody on the dance floor.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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After the wedding we enjoyed a fabulous honeymoon – we went to Barbados for our first week and St Lucia for our second week.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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My top tip for other would be that feeling relaxed and comfortable with your photographer is paramount as they play such an important role on your wedding day with the planning and organisation needed. Our photographer Damian Hall Photography and his Wife Charlotte were amazing, they really made our day extra special and made us enjoy every minute of our wedding day. Their work really does speak for itself; we have the most amazing Queensbury Album that we will enjoy looking at for years to come.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Congratulations Michelle & Jon!

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Fancy seeing your Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North – Images © 2013 Damian Hall Photography

Damian Hall Photography 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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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Featured Supplier, Real Weddings, Wedding Photography, Yorkshire Wedding | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Peony Pink! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Michelle & Jon

February 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Yorkshire Wedding by Damian Hall Photography

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As soon as this beautiful Real Wedding landed in my inbox, courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Damian Hall Photography, I got to blogging!  I couldn’t wait to share the prettiest pink peonies, the finest of details and the widest of smiles which really make this elegant and romantic country house wedding one to write home about.

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Just blissful.  And the perfect way to round off Valentine’s Day here on the wedding blog.  Stay lovely!

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Peony Wedding by Damian Hall Photography

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Yorebridge House Wedding by Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Michelle says:  We got engaged in July 2010 at the beautiful Great John Street Hotel in Manchester and we were married on Saturday 19th May 2012 at St Oswalds Church in Askrigg, Yorkshire Dales and had our reception at Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, Yorkshire Dales.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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As soon as we arrived at Yorebridge House we fell in love with the boutique hotel. The setting is picture perfect with its beautiful and stylish décor, intimate surroundings and amazing food we knew it was perfect. The best thing was having the entire hotel to ourselves from the moment we arrived on the Friday evening till we checked out on the Sunday morning.

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We chose an elegant and romantic country wedding theme, with a colour scheme of ivory and pale pink.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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I chose ‘Susanna’ by Lyn Ashworth from Choola in Eccleshall, Sheffield. My dress was simply beautiful with a strapless lace bodice and a full silk and organza skirt. In the evening I added a sash to my dress that matched my bridesmaid dresses to make it look a little different.  My gorgeous headdress was by HF Couture.

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Damian Hall Photography

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My bridesmaids wore full length Dessy dresses in persian plum from White Lace & Promises in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire. My flower girl wore an ivory dress from John Lewis.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We travelled in a silver Bentley Continental Flying Spur from Beaus & Belles.  Our favourite part of the day was getting in the wedding car straight after the ceremony and going for some photographs in the most amazing locations, whilst sipping Veuve Clicquot!

.

.

Damian Hall Photography

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My flowers – by Mat at Red Floral Architecture – determined the time of year we got married as my favourite flowers are Peonies. I carried a bouquet full of ivory peonies with crystal and pearl detail and my bridesmaids carried bouquets of pale pink peonies with matching pearl detail. My table decorations were masses of pale pink peonies set on tall candelabras with ivory pearls hanging from the candelabras.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We had a signature board with a picture from our pre wedding shoot (arranged through our photographer) for guests to write messages on instead of using a guest book. We had a wedding wish tree where guests hung their well wishes and advice for us to read. Our sweet shop proved very popular and looked really pretty after collecting different vintage jars from our travels.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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All our wedding stationery was by Cards By Sophie

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We chose an ivory four tiered traditional cake by Diva Cakes with ruffles on every other tier. We had four different fillings; chocolate fudge, vanilla & jam sponge, cappuccino and lemon.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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We chose Samantha Murphy to sing at our reception. She sang everything from Adele and Eva Cassidy to Oasis and The Killers and got everybody on the dance floor.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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After the wedding we enjoyed a fabulous honeymoon – we went to Barbados for our first week and St Lucia for our second week.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography

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My top tip for other would be that feeling relaxed and comfortable with your photographer is paramount as they play such an important role on your wedding day with the planning and organisation needed. Our photographer Damian Hall Photography and his Wife Charlotte were amazing, they really made our day extra special and made us enjoy every minute of our wedding day. Their work really does speak for itself; we have the most amazing Queensbury Album that we will enjoy looking at for years to come.

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Damian Hall Photography

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Damian Hall Photography will be exhibiting along with the rest of Yorkshire’s finest at the first Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition of the year, at Allerton Castle.  Come along and say hello – the event is FREE ENTRY and is open to the public from 12pm – 4pm. 

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Click here for more information about the event and to reserve your VIP bride to be goody bag, packed with treats, exclusive discounts and magazines.

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Brides Up North – Images © 2013 Damian Hall Photography

Damian Hall Photography 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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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Featured Supplier, Real Weddings, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Photography, Yorkshire Wedding | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Marquee In The Meadow: A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Francesca & Ivan

November 19th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wedding in Yorkshire by Andy Hook Photography

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After a weekend off celebrating two years in business (lets wait till The Brides Up North Christmas Party for that!) indulging in a bit of shopping with the girls, catching up on emails and invoicing and a really rather good pub lunch at our soon to be local, I’m diving back into the Real Wedding pretty headfirst.

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Monday is off to a fabulous start with this beautiful big day in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, sent to me by real bride and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Francesca of the gorgeous bridal boutique Choola in Sheffield and talented Andy Hook Photography

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I always love to see how industry colleagues style their own celebrations, and Francesca and Ivan’s perfectly pastel country meadow wedding certainly doesn’t disappoint on ooh factor (not least because of their cute ring bearers – watch out for them).  Let’s hear from the lady herself. 

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Yorkshire Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Choola Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Pastel Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Francesca says:  We got engaged (unofficially) at The British Bridal Exhibition in March 2011! I guess there couldn’t be a more perfect place with us owning a bridal boutique!   Ivan took me completely by surprise but as he wanted my parent’s permission first we had to keep it secret until a few days later when he had been to see my parents. He then officially proposed in May with a beautiful ring made especially from my black pearl given to me for my 18th birthday set with two stunning diamonds!

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Andy Hook Photography

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We tied the knot on 16th June 2012 at St James Church, Norton, Sheffield followed by a “Marquee in the Meadow” reception behind my in-laws’ home in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

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The church holds many memories for me so there was no where else we could have married! It is a beautiful church and having attended since being a little girl, I knew I would feel totally at ease walking down aisle there.

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We wanted to have a marquee reception as we didn’t want anything too formal and wanted a setting completely unique to us where no one had been before. It meant we could put our own stamp on it and there wouldn’t be any restrictions.  Our family is very relaxed and often quite spontaneous so having the marquee gave us the freedom to just let the day evolve, without any time restrictions or rules!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We wanted the wedding to have that thrown together kind of look. I love anything classic but quirky so that’s what we went for: relaxed country glamour.   We chose several colours to work with:  lemon, pale pink, mint green, lavender and powder blue. This was reflected in the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers.

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Andy Hook Photography

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I was very spoiled and had a beautiful couture gown made for me by the very talented Sharon Bowen Haute Couture. I have always loved Sharon’s collections and knew that she would be the only person to make my dress. Having previously designed for Dior and Chloe I knew I was in safe hands!

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Sharon and I designed the dress together and it was perfect. It was made from duchesse satin, tulle, beaded lace and hand stitched silk flowers. The jacket was made from matching hand beaded lace.

I wanted a dress that was very “me”. It had to be quirky but still classic enough to stand the test of time.

I have to admit that I did feel a bit of pressure to wear something spectacular! As the owner of a bridal boutique, I was constantly being asked what I was going to wear so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations!

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My something old was my sister’s veil. We re-made it to create a “frouf” as we affectionately called it! This created volume before the train of the veil.  My something new was my dress and my fabulous Aruna Seth shoes!  My something borrowed was my best friends gorgeous Chanel earrings and my something blue was a ribbon stitched into my gown.  As well as my veil, I also wore a diamante seahorse hairclip in my hair. I absolutely love seahorses and knew I would have to involve them somewhere!

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I carried the most stunning bouquet made mostly from peonies – my favourite flower – along with roses, lavender, rosemary and a whole host of other beautiful flowers by Petalis, Sheffield. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The bridesmaids dresses were by Alvina Valenta and Jim Hjelm.  I wanted each of the girls to wear a different dress in a different colour and it was one of the easiest shopping trips ever! They all loved their gowns and I think it took less than an hour for all five of them to try on, decide and order.  They then all wore fabulous heels by Paradox London all dyed to match their dresses individually. I gave them each a silver bracelet to wear on the day as well as a candle in the scent used for the wedding to remind them of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The groomsmen all wore morning suits from Dapper Suits in charcoal and black with double breasted waistcoats. They wore soft dove grey and ivory and each chose their own tie. It was great to see a mixture of spots, stripes and colour.  Ivan and the best man Alisdaire wore sand coloured linen double breasted waistcoats. They all looked very handsome!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Ivan arrived at the church in a vintage Austin Healey that belongs to his father. His dad spent months restoring the car so we could use it for the wedding! Ivan’s mum tied coloured ribbons to the handles and made a “Just Married” sign complete with shining tin cans. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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During the service, Ivan surprised me by having our dogs as ring bearers! He pretended to have forgotten the rings and then whistled and our Jack Russell came scampering down the ails with the ring tied to a bow! A second whistle and our Springer spaniel came running down the aisle with the other ring! Fabulous!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Saying my vows and marrying my best friend was so overwhelming I could have burst with happiness. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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When we came out of the church, the ushers made a shotgun arch and as Ivan and I walked through, they all fired confetti from their shotguns!  Ivan runs a shoot and we were keen for our day to really reflect us and what is special to us, so having our dogs involved in our ceremony and shotguns firing confetti was just perfect for us. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the rain had stopped, the best man surprised us by having access to some private land behind Hassop Hall. This meant we could get some spectacular photos overlooking the valley sitting on the back of the Austin Healy. Just magical! Ivan and I then sped off in the car around Bakewell with the “just married” sign flapping in the wind and tin cans rattling along the road! It was a wonderful moment that will never leave me. 

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Once we arrived at the marquee (now back in the Mercedes to save the Austin Healey from being wrecked!) we were greeted by a red tractor to tow us onto the field! The heavy rain has made the lane and field impassable so cue tractor and toe rope and bride and groom arrived safely at the marquee much to the amusement and delight of our guests. I don’t think many brides arrive being dragged by a tractor but yet again it just added to the fun of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We only used little decoration in the marquee (Ascot Marquees) as we wanted the gorgeous flowers to really stand out. Some bunting, lanterns, candles and some hanging hearts and birds completed the look. We also had a Bride and Groom Scarecrow to greet our guests in the entrance to the marquee that Ivan had spent hours making the night before the wedding in the pouring rain. They were fantastic though and added to the country feel of the day. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a gorgeous cake made for us by Anna of HunkyDory Cakes in Sheffield. We gave her a rough brief but then left her to her own devices and the result was amazing. We were very laid back about all aspects of our wedding and I loved walking into the marquee and having the cake and flowers as a surprise. The cake was four tiers made of fruit, chocolate, lemon and mocha. Delicious!

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The rest of the catering was done by Big On Taste near Derby.

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a jazz band (The Bungalow Band) to play for the guests on arrival at the marquee. They were so good that the guests were dancing straight away! We sadly only caught the end of them as we were away having our photographs taken (and having a drink in the pub).  We then had a live band for the evening called Twice Around and Mick, the drummer and family friend also DJ’d for us.  The dance floor was packed all night!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the wedding we had a couple of days in the Lake District staying at Candlewyck Barn arranged for us by the best man. We could only take a couple of days off though as we had so many brides marrying this summer that we had to get back to the shop! We are planning to take our “honeymoon proper” this Christmas though. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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I have two tips for other Brides Up North, one practical and the other profound!

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The first, is if you can, have a wedding planner. Lisa Hilliard was fantastic and as it was a marquee reception, having someone there to oversee all the logistics was very reassuring. She was fantastic on the day and really enabled everyone to relax and enjoy the day. 

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The second tip is don’t over-think things and don’t worry!  All that matters is that you get to marry your soul mate! It’s very easy to get wrapped up in small details or worrying about what may or may not be. Ultimately it’s the marriage that matters with the day simply being the start of a fantastic journey so don’t sweat the small things.  With my husband and I having had our fair share of tragedy, we have learnt that life is short and very precious. Put things into perspective and make the most of what really matters.  The day comes and goes so quickly that my advice is to enjoy every minute of the planning and the day, whilst it may be a cliché it really is the best day of your life, so relax, don’t stress, and enjoy!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Congratulations Francesca & Ivan!

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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 © 2012 Andy Hook Photography

Choola 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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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Derbyshire Wedding, Featured Supplier, Wedding Dresses, Yorkshire Wedding | Filed Under | 5 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

As Audrey Would Say: ‘I Believe Happy Girls Are The Prettiest Girls’: Supplier Showcase: Choola, Sheffield

February 22nd, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.  Audrey Hepburn
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Today we meet an Audrey fan who lives by her idol’s motto – the fabulous Francesca from the even more fabulous (if it’s possible!) Choola bridal boutique, Sheffield.  Form an orderly queue girls. 

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With images by Jess Petrie

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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When did Choola open and what is your background?
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Choola proudly opened its doors in July 2008 and is run by myself and my partner Ivan. I’m thrilled to say since opening, we have become one of the leading boutiques in Sheffield and the Northern region with brides travelling from all over the UK and now even abroad to visit us! We have worked very hard to establish ourselves and we are thrilled to have been recognised enough that we were selected to appear on Wedding TV, be the supplier to National and local Radio competitions and regularly featuring in the leading bridal magazines.

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Bridal had always been my passion, having religiously bought the wedding magazines each month for years and losing myself in a world of style, fashion, flowers and cakes! After being a bridesmaid 6 times, I had known for many years that I wanted to open my own boutique but it was only when driving down Ecclesall Road one day and spotting the empty shop that the ‘Eureka’ moment hit me! It was now or never!

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That was back in January 2008 and within weeks I had gone part time in my job, signed the lease and all focus was now on turning the once bathroom and shower showroom into a gleaming bridal boutique!

Ivan and I did all the work ourselves with a huge amount of help from our family and before we knew it the appointments were flooding in and we were in full swing. 

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Having graduated in 2004 with a degree in Law and working within the field of policy and procedure, suddenly running my own business was a huge shock to the system! However, Ivan and I were used to throwing ourselves in at the deep end and having previously worked as a Rent Arrears Officer for the Council, I was certainly not afraid of a challenge.  My fiancé and business partner was no stranger to the complexities of business with a degree in Business Studies and having run a successful property development company. With his business expertise, my legal background and passion for all things wedding, we knew we had the perfect mix for a fabulous new venture. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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We were really keen to have a mix of designers both well established and up and coming and over the years this has developed significantly. We aren’t afraid to change which designers we stock as quality and service is everything to us and we have successfully managed to carve ourselves a niche for showcasing dresses with "that little bit of something different". The dresses aren’t so far off centre as to limit our clients but yet edgy enough to set the Bride apart from the crowd.

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We have stocked Lyn Ashworth from first opening and these are our classic British made gowns. With an exceptional cut and quality of silk and lace, these our firm favourites with our brides seeking the quintessential English wedding style.

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For girls who love beautiful fabrics with more emphasis on cut than embellishment, we stock the French design house of Lambert Creations. All handmade and made to measure in Brittany, these gowns can seldom be found anywhere else in the UK. 

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For our brides who favour lace and intricate beading we stock the Portuguese designer Maria Karin which again has few UK stockist so brides can be assured of exclusivity.

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The award winning Mark Lesley range provides beautiful dresses with a more traditional element but still with some great contemporary twists.

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We then have then very glamorous designs of Anoushka G, favoured with the celebrities, these dresses are perfect for brides who want to be fashion forward and not feel overly "bridey"! The collection boasts a lot of silk-chiffon which is also perfect for brides having destination weddings.

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Our two newest designers to Choola are Jonathan James Couture and Private Label by G. We were drawn to Jonathan because he isn’t afraid to break the rules when it comes to his collections! He can just as easily create a simple unembellished gown as he can a heavily beaded princess dress and with the ability to bespoke gowns for our clients, he was a definite must!

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Private Label by G has only just been introduced in the UK with its cult following being in the USA and Canada but always wanting to be ahead of the crowd we quickly sought to introduce the label into Choola! The first dress from their fabulous collection was sold within an hour of arriving at the boutique and already are proving a real talking point! The Private Label collection literally has a dress for every bride, from vintage glamour to full on fairy-tale romance. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of accessories do you stock?
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I love my sparkly things! We stock stunning headpieces and veils from Ivory & Co, Studio Bridal and Emmerling. We have an eclectic mix of vintage inspired pieces, art deco styled hairbands, traditional tiaras and some quirky birdcage veils and fascinators.

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As a huge shoe lover we have over 30 pairs of shoes to choose from by celebrity favourite Benjamin Adams. We love their shoes because they are stylish, fashionable and all beautifully handmade. The best thing is that most of them can be dyed after the wedding and worn again so they don’t end up gathering dust in the attic. I have several pairs in several colours that look great with pair of jeans or the infamous LBD. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Where are you located?

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Our beautiful boutique is based in one of my favourite places in Sheffield, Ecclesall Road. This road has always been a favourite with the independent boutiques and the trendy bars.  It has a great cosmopolitan buzz to it and perfect to be able to spend a whole day on, browsing the shops, having lunch and a glass or two of wine! It also has a fabulous park with beautiful views. In my opinion there is nowhere else we could have had our boutique.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Can you give Brides up North an idea on price?

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Our dresses start from around £900 to approximately £2700. A good retailer will always chat with a bride about budget as the last thing we want to do is put you in a dress you fall in love with, only then for you to find out that the price is above what you would like or more importantly able to spend. Don’t be afraid to be honest about what you are able to spend, the more honest you are the more we will be able to help you. For us its not about selling you the most expensive dress in the boutique, its about selling you the perfect dress for both your body shape and personality. The bride after all is our walking advertisement!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do Brides up North need an appointment?
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We will always try and see a bride if somebody pops in and we have the time to do so but we always advise brides to book as there is nothing worse than travelling a long way to see us, only to be turned away as we already have a full diary. Booked appointments are a must on Saturdays and need to booked well in advance. We always suggest a bride to come on a week day if she is able to take time off work as we can generally spend a little longer with her. However, as a busy woman myself, I understand that its not always possible, therefor we offer late appointments on both Mondays and Wednesdays. We only close Sundays so we are very accessible to both busy brides and those who live further afield.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What can Bride Up North expect when they come for an appointment?
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When brides come to visit us we want everyone to leave feeling energised and excited! They will have time to browse the gowns, chat through their thoughts and feeling about what they envisage for their day and then be taken to their private fitting area.

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Looking for your dress is one of the most important and exciting parts of the wedding planning, this is where it all starts! We are genuinely passionate about what we do and I think that shows. We take time getting to know our brides, we listen and support. We offer constructive advice and never pressure brides into a decision. We ask brides to pick out their own dresses to try on but then we will make our own suggestions and often a bride is surprised to fall in love with the dress she never dreamed of. 

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We only see two brides at a time but they are both on separate floors so each bride has her own consultant and more importantly her own privacy. Great refreshments are also a must and we always have plenty of drinks and freshly baked cupcakes to nibble on! For us, providing a woman’s dress for her wedding is a real honour and privilege so we always strive to provide the best level of service and advice. We all still regularly attend training events with designers and all staff have completed national qualifications in customer service and business.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What is your current favourite gown and why?
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My favourite dress changes regularly depending on my mood or who has just tried it on. I’m a real fan of quirky dresses that have intricate pattern cutting or unique fabrics.  At the moment though, I’m really in love with Elenore by Anoushka G. Its a silk dress with cowl neck and back and an amazing waterfall train! I also love Gwendoline by Lyn Ashworth as its very Audrey Hepburn and as you will be able to tell from the amount of Audrey Hepburn pictures in the boutique she is my style icon! Elegant yet quirky, chic yet individual!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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The vintage and lace styles have been popular for several years now but I think we are seeing a move away from the vintage trend with a number of our brides opting for either the more classic style or braving a more contemporary look. Organza has become very popular as you can create a number of looks with this versatile fabric. What I love though is that a style of dress can look so very different on each bride, this is what makes the job so interesting. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How does Choola provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I think this is a really tough question to answer as the one thing I’m not so good at is saying how good we are! I think we would all like to believe we are the best at what we do and it can become easy to criticise other boutiques in the process. The fact is though, that Sheffield and the surrounding area has some fabulous boutiques and when we started the business we wanted to become a part of that, to really put Sheffield on the map. We are pleased to say we have forged some great friendships with other bridal boutique owners which is not only beneficial for us and them but also for the brides.

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We take great pride in our attention to detail in both our service and how the boutique looks and feels.  We are very humbled to have a shop filled to the brim with thank you cards and photos from past brides and with a huge amount of our business coming from recommendations, I guess that tells us we really are getting it right! Many brides have now become firm friends and come back with friends and family either to help someone else shop for a dress or simply just to pop in and have a chat. 

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We are very honoured and proud to have been nominated for 2 awards within 12 months of opening, getting to the finals of Wedding Boutique of the Year UK and the top 50 Hottest boutiques in the UK! This was especially exciting as we were categorised alongside the very best of the best such as Bruce Oldfield and Suzanne Neville! It was a lovely surprise as a lot of awards you have to put yourself forward for but this was completely out of the blue!

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We have a genuine enthusiasm for our business and I’m a bit of a wedding-a-holic! I go home and watch Wedding TV and read the bridal magazines, I just cant get enough of it! Our brides tell us we have a lovely warm atmosphere here at Choola and I think it’s because our business is family run so our dedication and passion radiates through all of us! We also have fun! My heart swells when I hear the shrieks of laughter and the champagne corks popping, its a feeling like no other. 

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Our ethos here is to treat brides how we would want to be treated, simple I know but its strategy that works! We are honest with our brides and try to give them as much information as possible to enable them to make an informed decision about their gown. Our boutique is chic and stylish with great lighting and lots of space and privacy, There are always fresh flowers and our boutique smells divine thanks to our fab candles.  We have soft cosy cream sofas and carpets and stunning mirrored furniture. The changing areas are luxurious and large enough to really move in the dresses. We offer a full styling service as well as being able to provide contacts for other bridal industry experts. We know our gowns and industry inside and out and most importantly, know how to dress a woman to show off her figure and personality to its full advantage. All in all we believe our dress shopping experience is exactly what it should be, fun, relaxed, special and a memory to be treasured.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do you stock bridesmaid’s dresses?

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We have two great collections by Mark Lesley and our newest designer Kenneth Winston. The dresses are a wonderful mix of traditional, contemporary, quirky and style led. A lot of the dresses are perfect to be worn again after the wedding. We have a great array of colours and many of the dresses my friends and I order to wear at days at the races and awards events as they are that gorgeous. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Who would be a Choola bride?

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Anyone can be a Choola bride! We literally have a dress to suit every figure and personality and love that fact that over the years we have dressed brides from the ages of 20 to 60 and every size and shape that’s in between! We have brides who aren’t particularly "girly" and don’t want to look "bridal" right through to brides who have dreamt of being the princess from a little girl. I love the quirky mix of brides we have and how individual and different they all are.

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Are you married?

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In case anyone didn’t know, Ivan and I got engaged last year and are marrying in early summer! I’m so excited that I tell everyone! I’m extremely fortunate to be able to have a couture gown made for me by one the most talented designers (I’m keeping it secret for now!) The whole process of sitting down and sketching out the dress has been a fabulous experience and watching the dress develop step by step is truly amazing. I’m so excited to see the finished gown and I think there will be lots of tears when I have my final fitting! I can tell you though that I am having the most stunning pair of Aruna Seth shoes and they aren’t ivory. I’m a bit of a Carrie Bradshaw and have more shoes than I care to admit (or want Ivan to know about) and these are just to die for!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How can Brides up North get in touch with you and find out more?

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Brides can visit our website www.choola.co.uk, our facebook page, Choola Bridal Boutique and our Twitter page for more information about us. We will soon have a blog where I can talk wedding till my hearts content! Or if you just want a chat the good old fashioned way you can call us on 0114 2671303.

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Anything else Brides up North should know?

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Yes, we will soon be having our very first celebrity bride tie the knot! My lips are sealed but when the time comes keep your eyes peeled and there may even be an appearance in OK magazine… watch this space!

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  – Images © 2012 Jess Petrie

Choola is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Posted in Bride, Featured Supplier, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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