February 13th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Time for some feel-good spring wedding inspiration to inject some sunshine into this dreary grey February – are you ready? Because we definitely are!
The lovely Sarah and Phil were married last May at the Worsley Park Marriot Hotel, Manchester. After reading about Phil’s uber-romantic proposal speech we expected big things and, by golly, we got them – roses galore, a Rolls Royce fit for a princess and a ruched satin fishtail dress of dreaminess. Romance in spades, readers.
We love the personalised cocktail ideas (Blushing Bride, anyone?) and the personalised CD favours for their guests, plus those images of this gorgeous pair embracing feel like we’re sneaking a peek at a completely intimate moment – in a good way!
Diary Date: If Sarah and Phil’s choice of venue has captured your attention then be sure to join us for our ‘Love Parade’ Valentine’s Wedding Show at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel, this Sunday 18th February, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. This fabulous event will give you the opportunity to view this splendid venue for yourselves while meeting a fine selection of the area’s top wedding suppliers. Pre-register here to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
With images by Cathy Brown Photography
sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas Day morning in 2014. Phil and I were sitting in the front room in our PJs. We‘d opened all of our gifts – or so I thought. Phil asked me to close my eyes as he had another present for me which was a surprise. He went on to say that I’d changed his life and he couldn’t live without me, hence he’d got me another gift. He then told me to open my eyes and there he was with the ring box open! He asked me to marry him and I obviously said yes – and I couldn’t stop crying!
Our wedding was set for 26th May 2017. Phil had always wanted to get married in May; it’s his favourite month because he seems to think the weather is perfect! I could see benefits to getting married in all seasons so I was easily persuaded.
Our venue was Worsley Park Marriott for both the ceremony and the reception. We used Brides Up North to research venues initially and attended a few wedding fairs – when we came to Worsley we knew instantly that we would get married there. We even loved the experience of driving up to the entrance – it just felt right for us. Plus, we live locally, know the area well and felt it would also be great for guests travelling more of a distance.
Our theme for the wedding was music. Both Phil and I absolutely love music and our taste is so similar, yet very eclectic. We named each table after a meaningful song title and we also booked a band called Under the Covers, who were amazing and performed all of our favourite music.
Our colour scheme was coral; it’s my favourite colour because it’s so bright and cheerful and perfect for a spring/summer wedding.
I wore an ivory fishtail dress from Bliss Bridal in Bolton. I saw it in the window and knew straight away it was ‘the one’. I asked to try it on and cried before I’d even looked in the mirror! It was classic but not like any other dress I’d seen before.
December 31st, 2017 | 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.
This utterly divine real wedding takes place at one of our very favourite Northern venues, the stunning Lartington Hall. Bride and groom, Stephanie and Lee, equally fell for this utterly beautiful setting for their big day with wow-worthy interiors, gorgeous gardens and impressive entertaining spaces as standard.
Keen to complement rather than complicate, the couple decided to let the venue speak for itself and add simple décor using an elegant colour scheme of golds, creams and blush, with whimsical flowers and greenery to complete their classic vision.
Our heart is totally stolen by Stephanie’s pretty Pronovias gown, complete with cathedral-length veil and pointy Emmy shoes. Actual #stylinggoals!
stephanie says: We got engaged in New York on Christmas Eve 2015. I had no idea Lee was going to propose. We had always talked about getting married but always thought it would be in a few more years (even though we had already been together for eight years). We were just walking through Central Park on the morning of Christmas Eve and Lee asked me if I would like to marry him. There was no one else around and he had a little box hidden in his pocket with a note inside. He knows how particular I am so wanted to take me with him so we could choose a ring together. We then went to Tavern On The Green for lunch.
Our wedding date was May 13th 2017. At first, I was a bit dubious about choosing the 13th however we decided to ignore superstition and make 13 a lucky number for us. Plus, it meant all of our favourite suppliers were also available on that day as no one else wanted it!
We got married at Whitburn Parish Church and then went on to the beautiful Lartington Hall, Teesdale, for our reception.
From such a young age I always wanted to get married in my parish church so there was no doubt that the wedding ceremony was going to be there. As for the reception, we wanted a venue where none of our friends and family had been before. And me being me, wanted attention to detail and somewhere that had the wow factor.
We had heard of Lartington Hall but always thought it was a little bit too far (considering we were getting married in Whitburn) but after months of searching for the perfect place we decided to go and view it. We fell in love straight away!
We just wanted our wedding to be traditional, timeless and elegant and to reflect the beauty of Whitburn church and Lartington Hall. When choosing everything we pretty much did a full circle. We started off with very traditional ideas, moved to more rustic themes and then once the venue had been decided, we moved back to elegant and classic. I also wanted the flowers to be very whimsical and full of creams and greens.
For our stationery we chose Megan at Rosewood Co. We had seen Megan’s designs at a wedding fair so made an appointment so she could personalise something for us. Again, we went for very simple and elegant with a pearl ivory pocket fold wedding invitation tied with an ivory ribbon and name tag. The evening invitations had a hand drawn image of Lartington Hall on and the order of service had a hand drawn image of Whitburn Parish Church on. Our name place cards also had an image of Lartington Hall on and were finished with some dried flowers and ivory ribbon. Megan was extremely helpful and was in contact all of the time making sure it was exactly what we wanted. We again had some lovely comments from our guests about the stationery. It all turned out to be just what we wanted.
We went for very neutral colour scheme overall of golds, creams and blush. Again, we wanted the colours to be elegant and classic but also have a summery feel. I also thought about the colours that would suit my bridesmaids.
My wedding gown was a Pronovias design from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. Every time I looked at wedding dresses I searched ‘plain wedding dresses’ so knew I was going to go for something very simple and traditional. I also loved the Pronovias designs. My chosen dress was the first one I tried on. I did try a few other different styles on but knew that the first one was ‘the one’. I also feel that because it had a full skirt, it suited the grandeur of a church wedding.
With the dress being very simple, I decided to have a crystal and pearl vine hair piece in my hair and a single tier, chapel-length veil which was edged with lace, also from Mia Sposa.
I also wanted to treat myself to a special pair of shoes and knew that I always wanted pointy shoes rather than sandals or a peep toe. I saw a pair of Emmy shoes at a wedding fair and fell in love with them straight away.
For jewellery, I wore a pair of single pearl earrings that belonged to my nanna (something old) and a pearl bracelet to match.
It wasn’t too difficult for Lee to choose a suit either. He knew that he wanted to wear something a bit different as he ‘could wear a navy suit anytime,’ so he went for a tux. We hired his tux from Moss Bros. We also felt like this reflected the vintage/1920s feel of Lartington Hall. Many people said you don’t really wear tuxedos for church weddings but again we wanted to be a bit different so just went ahead with it. His shoes were from Kurt Geiger. The groomsmen wore the same as Lee.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were peach and were from Watters, which we bought from Laura Lea Boutique in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle. The girl there was so friendly and helpful and knew exactly what styles suited different body shapes.
The bridesmaids also wore matching heart shaped, crystal earrings and necklace from Swarovski – which we bought them as a gift.
Marie Scroggins at ND Makeup did our hair and makeup. Marie was so helpful and such a lovely girl to share the morning of the wedding with. I have known Marie a while and always knew I wanted her to do my wedding hair and makeup. She offered advice both at the trial and on the day but also listened to mine and the bridesmaid’s requests and ideas.
August 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
After getting engaged at a Courteeners gig, today’s featured couple, Katie and Liam were married in Gibside Chapel and moved onto Eslington Villa to get the celebrations underway. Katie loved visiting Gibside as a little girl and instinctively knew it would be the ideal place to say “I do”. We’ve got to say that we wholeheartedly agree: the stately polished wood and colonnaded interior is breath-taking, and perfect for their formal religious ceremony.
But this Real Wedding has so much more going for it than just the pretty setting, believe us. Kate’s Martina Liana gown is just exquisite – an absolute showstopper of lace and embellishment topped off with the ultimate cathedral-length, heavy lace-edged statement veil. If you’re looking for classic Grace Kelly vibes with a V-neck, look no further.
Add in some sequinned table-runners, all-white bouquets and the proudest, smiliest little pageboy we ever did see and what do you get? A whole lotta heart-eyes.
With photography by Danny Birrell Photography.
kate says: Lima and I got engaged on 5th June 2015 at a Courteeners gig – they’re my favourite band! It was at Heaton Park in Manchester.
We got to into the venue, headed straight to the bar and, as we were waiting for everything to start, Liam said, “Can you hold my pint in your right hand?” The next thing I knew he was down on one knee! It was a huge shock: our friends were standing not too far away from us and all I could hear was my sister Charlotte screaming, crying and shouting, “Oh my God!” It was amazing – I couldn’t think of anywhere better for it to have happened. We were also mentioned in the NME magazine after the gig!
We wanted something a little different; I’m personally not keen on big stately home weddings and wanted to create something that was relevant to me and Liam. I used to go to Gibside as a child and we liked how Eslington Villa was just a quirky little restaurant and that we had exclusive use of it.
Our décor theme was ‘a little bit of everything’ – candles in geo votives, succulents and sequinned table runners. I loved how everything wasn’t too streamlined.
I saw my dress at a wedding fair; it was a Martina Liana gown from Mia Sposa bridal at Newcastle. I just fell completely in love as soon as I saw it. I loved the long train, the sleeves, the lace – just everything!
For my shoes I went for a pair of Christian Louboutins – I’d wanted a pair for years! They were nude patent Pigalles.
July 19th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Adwoa and Jonny’s elegant town wedding combined a traditional British feel with Ghanaian touches to reflect the bride’s proud heritage. The result? A completely unique celebration. This couple were married in spring in the beautiful city of York and if you can show me a dreamier combination of location and time of year I will happily eat my fascinator.
Bethany Lloyd-Clarke captured the love with her typical flair and these photographs totally warrant all the gushing. We just adore the honest beauty of her images – the bride joyfully tangled in her veil, the groom’s last-minute hair check courtesy of his best man and especially the look of utter glee on Adwoa’s face in the back of their wedding car. You simply can’t fake that magic!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Lloyd-Clarke.
adwoa says: Jonny proposed before Christmas 2015 in Dean’s Park, just behind York Minster. We’d recently moved to York and Jonny said he wanted to go for a festive walk around town when, much to my surprise, he got down on one knee and popped the question. It was a wonderful surprise and although it was raining at the time, neither of us seemed to notice!
We were lucky enough to go back to the site of the proposal when we had our engagement photoshoot with the talented Bethany Lloyd-Clarke. She captured some beautiful pictures of us – this time in the spring sunshine.
We got married on the 29th April 2017. We both loved the idea of a spring wedding, and chose the Bank Holiday weekend to give our loved ones time to enjoy York after the wedding if they wanted to.
We had our ceremony at our parish church, the beautiful and ancient Holy Trinity on Micklegate, which predates the Domesday Book. For our reception, we really wanted to make the most of the spring wedding, so booked the 14th century Hospitium in Museum Gardens in York. It’s an absolutely gorgeous setting by the river within botanical gardens. We were a little worried that it might rain on the day and our guests wouldn’t get to enjoy the lovely surroundings, but we were very lucky with the weather.
We didn’t have a special theme as such, but we did want to combine my Ghanaian heritage with a traditional British wedding. Our favours were pocket squares made from Ghanaian wax print cloth with motifs symbolising the beauty of marriage. They were handmade by Jonny, who tried out a sewing machine for the first time! We also wore traditional Ghanaian outfits for the evening. Other than that, the colour scheme was classic: champagne and ivory with gold highlights.
July 15th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Providing a beautiful end to a beautiful week of real weddings on the blog, we’re sharing the classic big day of newlyweds Jill and Thomas.
We absolutely love the elegance of this well-planned wedding, from the stunning venue to the bridal party’s gorgeous attire and the oh so pretty artificial blooms. Pure perfection!
With images by Katy Melling Photography.
jill says: We got engaged 6th September 2014, the week after my 30th birthday just and before Thomas left to go back to sea. It was a very private affair – I would have hated it if Thomas proposed to me in public, so it was just the two of us, which suited me fine.
We met back in March 2006 so we knew we wanted to get married in March, and 2016 marked our ten year anniversary so we decided upon 12th March 2016. We were a little apprehensive about what the weather may be like at this time of year but on the day we could not have asked for better – the sun was shining for us. It just goes to show that you never can predict the British weather, no matter what month you decide upon, so to other brides I say just go with when feels right for you and at a time of year that means something to you both.
We decided to get married at Eshott Hall in Northumberland. With Thomas working away I had to do a lot of the narrowing down myself (which I think Thomas was secretly pleased about!) I narrowed it down to two venues, which we viewed together when he was on leave. The second venue was Eshott Hall, and I definitely saved the best until last! When we arrived we just knew straight away that this is where we both wanted to get married. We loved everything about it, from the quaint little ‘reading room’ in the village, which still had that church feeling without the religious element which Thomas wasn’t too keen on, to the beautiful grounds which provided beautiful photo opportunities, and the hall itself which was just stunning. It really felt like an, albeit huge, home from home. We loved the fact that we could hire the entire hall and grounds and know that it was just our wedding party there, which made it such a special weekend. We travelled up on the Friday afternoon and held an evening meal and drinks with the guests staying over the night before. The guests really enjoyed making a weekend of it for the two nights. We stayed an extra night on the Sunday once all of our guests had left which gave us time to take it all in before leaving on the Monday morning. The staff at Eshott hall were all absolutely amazing especially Lindsey and Hannah who all made our wedding not just a day, but a weekend to remember.
We didn’t have too much of a theme but knew we wanted very elegant and classical, nothing that would date too much when looking back in years to come.
The colour scheme was vintage rose and creams, which suited the time of the year we were getting married.
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May 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime
As couples continue to get creative with their big days the options on styling, venue and setting seem almost endless.
So how’s a girl (and guy) to choose? The time of the year will ultimately play a part with couples less keen to take their celebrations outdoors during the colder months. Also, how much effort and spends a couple want to put into the styling will need to be considered – so a lavish five star hotel will generally not need as much décor as say a barn or tipi wedding, though the later allows for far more creativity and freedom.
Then there’s accommodation and catering to think about – would you want to go traditional fine dining or for something a little more alternative, such as a barbecue, afternoon tea or sharing boards?
Keen to offer inspiration for all couples, we here at Brides Up North HQ have recently expanded our luxury wedding exhibition offering to include a number of fabulous outdoor festival themed wedding fairs, in addition to our existing events held in grand and exclusive venues across the north.
With all this in mind, today we’re debating two very different styles of weddings that would tick the boxes for us Brides Up North gals!
rachel says: indoor elegance
I’m continuously super impressed by couples’ ability to think outside the box and do their big day their way with celebrations that are both individual and inventive. That said, I always find myself drawn to the simple and timeless weddings that have more of a traditional vibe.
Maybe I just don’t have the creative vision that others do, or maybe it’s growing up with thoughts of the perfect princess-like wedding in my head?
I’m personally not one for gimmicks, which is why I like the simplicity of a traditional wedding and for such an important occasion I like the safety of the indoors. I’m the type of girl that visits the hairdressers on a clear sky, sunny day and yet always finds myself in a relentless downpour when I leave – for my wedding I just don’t think I could take the risk.
I’d still want to pick a venue with lovely grounds in which elements such as the drinks reception could take place, though the majority of the proceedings would be under cover.
I’m thinking a beautifully decorated period venue with lots of natural light during the day and lit by romantic candlelight at night. I’d love a grand dining room with long tables anchored by stunning floral arrangements down the centre, interspersed with pillar candles and tea lights. And as a foodie, an elegant three-course meal would be right up my street before dancing the night away.
Overall the real beauty of an indoor wedding for me can be the convenience of on-site accommodation, which you don’t usually get when hosting a wedding outdoors. This is not only for the bonus of getting ready at the venue on the morning of the wedding, but also for guests to nip back to and freshen up throughout the day and, of course, for everyone to easily retire (stagger) to at the end of the night. Plus, thankfully it means just a short crawl back to the dining room for breakfast with your nearest and dearest the following day.
julia says: outdoor rustic
I’ve always been an “indoor kinda girl”, generally preferring five star boutique hotels to camping or glamping. So, when it came to my wedding day, I followed suit, and it was indoor luxury all the way.
Although I wouldn’t change anything about my own big day, I’ve recently found my head turned by other types of celebration, and have felt the distinct draw of the great outdoors.
It helps that we’re smack bang in the middle of our series of Brides Up North Festival Wedding Fairs, and that the sun is shining outside as I write this, but as I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many fantastic festival style and outdoor suppliers over the past year in the build up to our huge events that I’ve realised that I might have been too hasty in my judgment.
Firstly, the huge sailcloth and tipi tents available for your outdoor wedding are not akin to the thin, freezing tents that stuck to my face during my Duke Of Edinburgh days (enough to put me off hiking for life!). These are warm and weatherproof structures that are great in all weathers – cool in the summer, warm in the winter – and withstand even the most horrid weather conditions. Fun and fabulous, these tents add a stylish and different edge to your wedding celebration before it even starts.
Secondly, with an outdoor wedding comes loads of extra space for quirky extras like garden games, styling details, Prosecco vans (I’ve just discovered the sheer joy of these!), vintage caravan photo booths and even huge white bouncy castles. What’s not to love?
I may be a little biased at the moment… you might have noticed that we are still on a high from WEDSTOCK’16 last weekend and looking ahead with glee to WEDSTIVAL’16 at Capesthorne Hall next Sunday 22nd May (find out more and register here)… but if you come prepared, to me an outdoor celebration has very little downside, even in a downpour. Embrace the wellies, collect your Prosecco before passing GO! and look forward to some awesome wedding photos afterwards!
what you said on social
Alana says: “I’m currently planning an outdoor wedding and I’m loving making lots of the decoration for the marquee, with the help of friends and family. It means we can have the wedding exactly as we want it and feel the personal, homemade touches will make it all the more memorable.”
Jodie says: “I’m at the beginning of the wedding planning and am totally torn! I’d always thought I would have a church wedding followed by a lovely hotel reception but seeing more outdoor weddings has got me a tipi wedding would be really cool and a little different. Help!”
Emma says: “We are sticking to tradition with an indoor wedding at an historic venue with lots of character. Instead of adding lots of details we will be letting the venue speak for itself and hope to make use of its gorgeous grounds for the drinks reception, though have a Plan B just in case the unpredictable British weather strikes.”
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