September 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m looking forward to joining my friend and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple to host a question and answer session at her Editorial Wedding Workshop this afternoon.
Nerves? Nah, I’m saving those for this.
Whilst I’m off on official duties, I thought I’d leave this especially sweetLeeds based DIY vintage travel themed wedding in my pace for you to enjoy. Jess and Sam styled their big day their way, to beautiful and individual effect. Super cool.
With images by Mark Dolby Photography.
Jess says: Sam proposed after an amazing evening out in Leeds. The story starts with an unfortunate incident of a pair of my tights getting stuck to chewing gum on a seat in a bar – they compensated us by gifting us a bottle of wine and we decided to make a night of it! We went for a few drinks and then some amazing tapas. When we left the restaurant Sam realised he had left his scarf in one of the earlier bars so on the way back we had to cross the Millennium Bridge in Leeds. He got out some photos of us at various places we’d been to since we got together and some pegs out of his pocket and suggested we count the bars on the bridge and peg photos to them. Once we ran out of photos we hit a bar with a padlock on it. The padlock had our initials on it and the lyrics from a Weezer song – “I think I’d be good for you, and you’d be good for me” when I turned to look at Sam he was down on one knee with a ring asking if I’d marry him.
We got married on 16th August 2014 at the iconic Town Hall and had our reception at the beautiful Leeds Club on Albion Place. We chose the Leeds Club because it’s a gorgeous building with amazing features. The Leeds Club also blew us away with their organisational skills. We wanted somewhere with an old soul but could throw a great party and I think we cracked it with the Leeds Club.
Our wedding had a travel theme to it. We chose travel as a theme as it is one of our shared passions in life. In the first 2 months of getting together we flew from Leeds to California to see Weezer play and that set the tone for the rest of our relationship.
All the flowers were made from old maps, this included table flowers, bouquet and buttonholes. The centrepieces were placed on squares made of material with maps on them. All the tables were named after cities we had visited and our table plan was on a map. Our invitations and programmes were designed like airline paper.
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme but because of our travel theme, the maps and the blue and red airline paper did play a part in dictating colours. I decided to use maps for the flowers because they would add pattern and colour to the bloom without being uniform or too prescribed.
My wedding dress was Sia by Coast. I tried on probably around 50 dresses and couldn’t find one that had the right balance of being bridal but practical. Then I found Coast! I was in love with the Sia dress but they didn’t have any more in my size across the country. The personal shopper called every store across England but it wasn’t in stock. But luckily someone was selling one on eBay in my size. With a few alterations to the length, it was perfect!
My shoes were from Irregular Choice. They are my favourite shoe brand and loved seeing them peep out from under my dress as we walked through town!
Sam’s suit was a favourite he has from Marks and Spencer. He bought the matching waistcoat and then chose a snappy shirt from Next. His shirt was a beautiful geometric pattern in red and white with a red tie. Sam had a tan belt and same colour shoes from Berwick’s.
Sam is really keen on ethical purchasing so he gave a lot of his choices a lot of thought and this included his underwear. In the end Sam chose items from ‘Pants To Poverty’. These became quite a talking point at the reception when I mentioned them in my speech!
As explained, I carried a bouquet that I had made from maps. I got designs from various craft blogs online and over a few nights perfected my flower crafting. My bouquet had about 50 flowers in it made from maps. I bought a shoebox of maps from eBay and used about 90% of the contents. The rest of the maps can be useful for our next adventure!
We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen but I did make buttonholes for all the family so they could have them in their hair (for the ladies) or in their suits (for the gents). Sam’s Dad also chose the same shirt and tie combo as Sam. That was a lovely touch.
I travelled from our home in Leeds to the Town Hall with my brother, sister and brother’s girlfriend in Mercedes town car that we booked. It was an E Class and very plush. Then between the Town Hall and the Leeds Club we walked between the venues. We had a few girl ushers (or Gushers, as I nicknamed them) to help guide guests as to the venue.
This was a lot of fun because another wedding had booked a Rolls Royce that was sat outside the Town Hall when we left and everyone expected us to get in. As we walked off everyone was very confused! Eventually as people started to cotton on that it wasn’t our car they then convinced us to go back for photos! So to the couple that paid for that car- if you see any photos of us by the side of your Rolls on your wedding day- I am so sorry!
It was great that we did walk though as luckily on that day Fosters were doing a promotion and giving out cans of beer right between our two venues! All our guests got a freebie on the walk between. People kept thanking us for arranging it!
Our photographer was Mark Dolby and he was incredible. He was so much a part of the day he was like a guest- but he was also doing all the work! He arrived hours before we had booked him so that he could be prepared and stayed much later than we agreed because we over ran! He made us feel so comfortable and happy. He captured loads of amazing natural and reportage style shots, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a few classic group shots but we were sold on his style of ‘in the moment’ photos and they were absolutely amazing. Thank you so much Mark!
He also had around 85 photos ready for us to look through by the meal time so that they could be on a slide show in the bar at the Leeds Club- the guests loved it and kept complementing us on what lovely photos. Plus they felt famous being on the big screen in a gorgeous bar!
I made a centrepiece for each of the tables, which included a table name on a luggage tag that was displayed in an empty bottle of beer. Sam is a beer connoisseur so he chose each beer bottle carefully! There were a lot of samples for that decoration!
Around each table name there were three bottles with my map flowers placed inside and candles. All of this was also placed on a square of map material. We also had maps cut into hearts sprinkled onto each table as table confetti. Each guest had their place name on a luggage tag that I had sewn with some map material.
For our cards and guest book table there were more flowers made of maps and a suitcase for cards. The suitcase came from my friend’s house when they moved in and must be over 50 years old. I also made the cards bunting sign from old maps.
Sam’s Mum gave me some decorations from his Grandmother’s wedding in 1947. They also were used in Sam’s parent’s wedding so I framed them so that they could have a special place in our wedding.
I made most the decorations myself but the Leeds Club put all of them out. They were so helpful! We delivered all the bits on Friday morning with set up instructions and they put them out perfectly!
We are in love with this bakery called That Old Chestnut in Leeds. It is a vegan bakery and they basically work in cake magic. The first time we tried their cake at a fair in Leeds we knew we would have them! The question was what flavour cake! In the end we couldn’t decide so we had 6!
Triple Chocolate, Stem Ginger, Lemon Drizzle, Carrot, Coffee and Walnut and Chocolate Torte.
We were a bit nervous we had gone overboard on the cake so we provided cake-away boxes in case anyone wanted to take some home and by the end of the night there was nothing but some crumbs (which I ate while we were saying “bye” to our last guests!).
We didn’t do favours but we did have a lot of cake and let people take any of the table flowers home with them. There wasn’t any table flowers by the end of the party and lots of guests had worked them into their hair. It was fantastic! That was exactly what we hoped!
We chose a hot fork buffet by the Leeds Club because we like the informal style of choosing from a buffet on the day but knew that a hot meal would be needed! The food was delicious; when we came for a menu tasting we were so excited!! We provided wines through Sam’s Mum and Dad. They introduced us to this brilliant Pinot Noir from Aldi and a Spanish White wine that Sam’s mum loves.
Our DJs were incredible. I know them from my work and they really did us a massive favour by DJing. The speeches over ran so they couldn’t get into the room to set up the equipment until an hour late, but they still started the party on time.
I first met one of the DJs when I hired him for a job in the bar I worked in when he was 18 and a few months old- he is now working on his PhD in Southampton and came back to Leeds just to DJ for us!
Sam and I went out for some last minute portraits before our first dance and when we came back the dance floor was packed- we had to clear a space for the first which was Diana Ross’ “Upside Down”.
After our first dance everyone was back on the floor and didn’t stop until the end. Even then there were chants for “one more tune!” A big thanks to Aarran Shaw and Sam Ryder for accommodating us!
We added lots of special touches to our day, but two stand out in particular.
I did a speech at our wedding. I think it is becoming more common for Bride’s to speak at their wedding and I can see why. It is so great to add your different perspective on the day and what you had thought in the run up. It was also great because I could mention some of the important people who couldn’t be there for various reasons – like our Grandmothers who I know would have loved to see the day.
We chose two readings at the Town Hall, which really helped personalise the ceremony. Our friends Lauren and Susy read an extract from Dr Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and our friend Dave did an acoustic cover of the Magnetic Fields “The Book of Love” – he put lots of energy in to the final chorus and took it up an octave. The crowd went wild!
The people at the Town Hall were absolutely incredible. The lady who prepared and signed the register with us – Nancy, was retiring after our wedding and it felt so special to be her last couple. As she explained the register to us as we signed our names she had a lump in her throat saying the words. It was an incredible moment.
We would strongly recommend the Leeds Club. It is a beautiful, historic location but also incredibly well placed. Very easy for guests to find but also easy for them to find their hotels! The team at the Leeds Club will also bend over backwards for you. They did so much to help us prepare for our big day- a big thank you especially to Karen Hiscoe, Ellie and Laura.
My favourite part of the day was when Sam and I met before we went to the Town Hall in the Leeds Central Library. It was a bit of a risk as they had previously told us we’d need permission for photos there. I was starting to get nervous when I arrived at the Library and fell up the stairs as I walked in (much hilarity ensued for my siblings!). But when Sam and I saw each other, all the nerves disappeared and we were just so happy.
We took some photos and walked across to the Town Hall. It felt so calm and natural to walk in together with all our friends and family there. The emotions came back as we walked down the aisle though. Truly amazing.
For our honeymoon, we went to one of our most favourite places in the world- Barcelona. Viva Espana! We hired a flat in Barceloneta with a view of the sea and spent the week drinking cava, relaxing on the beach and seeing art! Perfecto! Randomly two of our close friends were also in Barcelona at the time so we had them over for dinner at the flat one night and it was great to get their view on the wedding! Our photographer- Mark, had also been to Barcelona the week before so he gave us some great tips on some art to see.
We loved our wedding so much and had an absolute ball! I have probably a hundred top tips for other Brides Up North. Seeing your partner before you walk down the aisle is so special. Just go with the flow on the day. When we planned the day I was nervous about fitting all the bits in- they didn’t fit in, and it didn’t matter! We were late but that was ok!
Make sure you get plenty of water – it’s amazing how dehydrated you can feel from the nerves.
September 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This wedding is something else. Not only is the walled summer garden setting super special, it was also hand planted by the bride and groom themselves. And if that’s not a labour of true love, I don’t know what is!
Let the love grow… this one’s bloomin’ beautiful!
Images by Graeme Oxby.
Gemma says: In July 2013 Ady planned a surprise overnight stay to Settle. The Yorkshire Dales is my favourite part of the country. It was a lovely hot sunny day when we set off for a walk in the morning. We stopped for lunch on a hill-side with a beautiful view. Ady produced a rolled up pair of gloves from his backpack, which seemed quite an odd thing to be carrying as it was such a hot day, however he pulled out a ring and proposed, we cut the walk short and went into the town to celebrate.
We said I Do at St Hybalds church, Ashby De La Launde, Lincolnshire. The church was very small making the service more intimate. There are beautiful views from the church over adjacent fields and woodlands.
Our reception was in a marquee inside a Walled Garden, in Ashby De La Launde owned by the father of the groom. Ady grew up at the venue and we both decided a long time ago we would have the reception in the walled garden, and have spent most weekends working on it to get it how we wanted. We reinstated the stone paths, rebuilt the old doors which had collapsed, planted new herbaceous borders and built the pergola in the centre of the garden, as a feature for the guests to gather around.
We wanted to be the first couple to use the garden for a wedding reception but in the future we would love to hire out the walled garden to use as a venue for events and weddings. We loved working together to get the venue right, and would enjoy doing the same for others.
We went for an English country garden style due to the nature of the venue. We mainly used items we found around the garden to decorate the marquee: Victorian terracotta pots, old fruit crates and wooden boxes planted up with plants we had grown from seed.
We felt the garden looked so vibrant and colourful that all other colours should be subtle and soft such as the pale lavender coloured bridesmaid dresses, white table linen and lilac and white flowers in the church and marquee.
I wore a Lusan Mandongus long slim fit, vintage lace ivory gown with cap sleeves and puddle train, from Limelight Occasions in Lepton, Huddersfield. It was so comfortable and lightweight when I first tried it on I thought it would be perfect for a garden reception, also the lace roses and floral motifs on the dress echoed the setting of the English country garden. I wore an Ivory and Co floral head piece with freshwater pearls, antique pieces of jewellery that were family heirlooms and other pieces that I found from antiques centres in Lincoln.
Ady wore a dark grey morning suit, with dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and dark grey cravat from Limelight Occasions.
Our bridesmaids wore pale lavender maxi dresses from Coast.
I chose hand tied country style bouquets made by Flowers by Suzanne based in Lincoln. The bouquets contained: peach David Austin roses, white dahlia, white astilby, scabious seed heads, white veronica, abliflora berries, and lavender.
We hired a 1936 Rover P2. from Ivory Vintage Wedding Car Hire, a family run enterprise based in Lincoln. The owner chauffeured the car personally from the Old Palace Hotel in Lincoln where the bridesmaids, my parents and myself got ready.
We used Graeme Oxby as our photographer. Graeme is a great photographer and would definitely recommend him. He produced amazing shots that made us very happy and emotional when we first saw them.
The flowers for table arrangements and church decorations were home grown in the walled garden. My Mum, Sue, made all the flower arrangements the day before the wedding.
The women each received a small home grown Echeveria, in a little terracotta pot which was painted and decorated by the bride. The men received a bottle of ale which was made by a local brewer (Poachers) and a friend, the couple met at university drew the caricature for the label.
Brosters Farm Shop, in Huddersfield, which is near where we live, made us six different sized tiers of pork pie, all different flavours. We then stacked it up using dowel, and decorated it with ribbon, summer fruits and herbs. We wanted to have a summery harvest festival take on the traditional wedding cake look. Also neither of us like wedding cake! The pie was a huge success and we received so many compliments from guests saying it was so good they went back for seconds and even thirds!
Entertainment wise, it was just the good old DJ, and dance floor. We gave the DJ a long list of songs which meant something to us before he arrived, and he added the rest. It was great to keep hearing songs which brought back memories for us, friends and families. We also had large wooden skittles on the lawn, as an afternoon game which we borrowed from the best man’s father.
For a minimoon we went full circle and went back to the Yorkshire Dales to stay in the same hotel where we got engaged. We went on the same walk and stopped for lunch at the same place as where we got engaged a year back. We are looking forward to our honeymoon in October, we are going to Sorrento in Italy for a week.
The best advice I could give other Brides Up North is share as much of the planning and preparation as possible – it was so much fun and really exciting. You feel extra special as a couple when you can look back on your wedding day and know you did it together.
August 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Weddings are all about the people in them and at them, no matter the budget, theme or styling. Amy and Carl wanted an understated celebration surrounded by their nearest and dearest and with a little help from their families, that was exactly what they got.
Fuss free and fabulous.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Fairclough Photography.
Amy says: We first got together in 2009, then split up for a little while. We both went out to the same village pub for New Years Eve 2011 and got back together. When we went out together back to the same village pub for New Year a year later he proposed. We all went outside to do the countdown and he got down on one knee. While everyone else was holding hands and singing we were getting engaged!
We were married on July 14th 2014. We had our ceremony at Patrington Church, also known as the Queen of Holderness. Its our village parish and we have both grown up around it. I sang in the choir there for a short time as a child, and my primary school is a Church of England school so harvest festivals and nativities were held there through growing up, and now our son goes to the same primary school. Friends and family have their christenings and weddings there often which made it even more special for us.
We had our reception at The Gardener’s Country Inn, we wanted some where family friendly where everyone could relax, have fun and enjoy themselves. Gardeners have a lovely little play area where children can go so with having 11 children at our wedding reception it was perfect.
Over the course of planning the wedding our style choices varied so much, the only thing we knew we wanted for sure was a simple, natural and understated look. I’m not an overly fussy person and don’t like anything too over the top.
We opted for a colour scheme of sage green and lemon, with daises. We used large tins covered with hessian, filled with flowers and finished off with lace for the centerpieces. We picked up a couple of hessian buntings, one saying Mr&Mrs for our archway, and one saying “just married” for the top table.
My friend Kathy and her husband and daughter spent hours making and hand cutting and painting various sizes of sugar daisies to scatter on the tables which just helped tie everything in together and the children loved them. They also hand painted and filled miniature glass jars with sparkly confetti and decorated them with daisies. We had to have bubbles on the tables too of course!
Everything was family orientated, planning the wedding made our two families come together and everyone did anything they could to make our day special.
Usually wedding dress shopping is the first thing on a bride to be to do list, but I left my dress shopping a little bit last minute and it ended up being a bit of a panic. When I first went I was a bit overwhelmed by it all (mostly having to get undressed in front of a stranger). My original idea for a wedding dress was for a bohemian style wedding dress, simple and flowy, but after trying on the style it just wasn’t for me.
I went to Samantha’s in Hull and there was my dress. I fell in love with it instantly and although it was out of my budget I had to have it! It was a princess cut gown with an ivory lace illusion neckline with pearl detail and finished off with a silver crystal and pearl waist band. With the wedding only 12 weeks away it had to be put a fast track for delivery and manic dress fittings the week before the wedding but the ladies in the store were really helpful and did their best for me and I was so happy with my dress.
Carl wore a grey Prince Edward cut suit, hired from Greenwoods with an ivory rouche and brogues. It was the only part of the wedding planning I had no say in, but he chose well and looked very handsome.
The bridesmaids wore sage green floor length Coast dresses.
Carl’s Aunty Toni volunteered to do our flowers for us, she is very artistic and creative and we were really happy with the end result. We wanted simple, country style flowers and we had a silk daisy assortment. My bouquet was slightly different holding some yellow and white roses too.
Our friends came up with the idea for our cake and made it for us. Instead of having a tiered cake they made a large daisy. The centre of the daisy was a fruit cake, and the petals around the daisy were alternating chocolate and lemon sponge. They made us a Mr and Mrs Bumble Bee to sit in the center, the Mr had a little top hat and the Mrs had a little veil and bouquet.
We had a singer join us for the ceremony and the reception, she sang as I walked down the aisle and again as we walked back up the aisle together as husband and wife. She then travelled to the reception venue where she played throughout the rest of the daytime, up until the DJ started at 7pm for the party.
We have planned our honeymoon to Fuerteventura during the school holidays so our 5 year old son can come with us. A holiday wouldn’t be the same without him.
The best advice we can give to other Brides Up North is that no matter what your budget, your photographer is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. Do your research, look at their web page see if you like their style of photography. meet with them and make sure you hire someone you can trust and get along with. If you don’t like your wedding photos you can’t have a re-run.
July 21st, 2014 | Rachel Parry
When I was a journalism student I recall going to Sheffield’s Town Hall to interview Lord Seb Coe and being instantly struck by the opulence and grandeur of the impressive building. Fast forward several years and I was recently back there interviewing a long serving BBC radio presenter which reinforced just how stunning the iconic Sheffield venue really is.
So when I spotted Rob and Dora’s beautiful wedding, photographed by the hugely talented Jon at S6 Photography, I was desperate to share it here on the blog to show others just how special the building is.
Some may think a town hall isn’t necessarily the most glamorous venue – but I’m telling you, it doesn’t get any more regal than this – cue spectacular stain glass windows, fine chandeliers and one heck of a marble staircase.
All this coupled with Rob and Dora’s simple yet striking styling makes for an incredibly swoon-worthy wedding.
Dora says: We got married on April 12th 2014 in Sheffield, which is where we met while attending Sheffield Hallam University. We chose the Town Hall in Sheffield, because of the amazing architecture and grandeur of the building. The amazing staircase in the middle of the main entrance was very appealing too.
We wanted the style of the wedding to be quite relaxed. In terms of colours, we used lots of green flowers against the white of the tables because we liked the country style feel. We also liked the clean white look and didn’t want anything too formal. Opulent Styling from Sheffield provided our chair covers and olive green sashes. Bev and Jean were great and helped make our day a success. We would definitely recommend them to other couples.
My dress was a vintage style gown from Phase Eight. I chose it because I wanted something a bit different, with embellishment, something slim-fitting (not meringue style) that was floor length, a detailed back, but especially I wanted it to be vintage style.
Rob wore a blue Reiss three-piece suit and with a light check while the groomsmen all wore grey three-piece Occasion suits.
My bridesmaids wore floor length grey/purple dresses from Coast.
I carried a bouquet of flowers from Floral Magic, based in Stocksbridge, Sheffield. I had a mixture of white tulips, paper whites, thesspi green bell, freesia, anemones, ranunculus, and a dusky pink rose.
Jon Dennis of S6 Photography was our photographer. I would highly recommend Jon because of the exceptionally high quality photos we have of our day. We knew that this was a once in a lifetime day and we are so glad that we have it documented from such a great photographer. Jon made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day and all of our guests noted how good he was.
Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony itself. We were both nervous about seeing each other but as soon as we got together and hugged each other after walking down the aisle we relaxed. It felt very important that we were sharing our vows with all of the people who are important in our lives.
July 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A whole lot of heart and soul went into the planning of Aimee and Graham’s wedding day, with the bride to be firmly at the head of operations. Known for her girly ways and pretty styling efforts, this Brides Up North reader certainly wasn’t going to disappoint on the biggest day of her life.
The result? A personal and pretty celebration with lots of delectable DIY details. If you like really pretty things, you’re going to be very inspired. Pinterest fingers at the ready.
With images by Weddings By Luke
Aimee says: We got engaged in London at Christmas time. We were at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which I had been so excited to visit as I absolutely love all things Christmassy! We were at the ice rink which looked so pretty all lit up with fairy lights at night when Graham pulled out the most perfect ring and proposed to me! Afterwards we headed straight to Harvey Nichols champagne bar for a glass of celebratory bubbles.
Our wedding was on 26th April 2014. There was no real special reason behind the particular date other than when we visited Beeston Manor for the first time we absolutely fell in love with it and they were fast running out of Saturday availability! We always wanted a spring wedding so the last Saturday they had left until later in the year was perfect for us. We got in pencilled in there and then.
We got married at All Saints Church on Hesketh Bank. It meant such a lot to us both to get married there as we both grew up visiting that church, all our family weddings and christenings happen there so I really couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else. Ever since I was a little girl imagining my wedding, I always dreamt of it being there. It was so lovely that Reverend Bill knew us and our family to make the service personal and really special. To top it off, it’s a gorgeous little church too!
The theme for our wedding was a vintage style English country garden look with a slight rustic twist, but I am a girly girl so it was kept very pretty with lots of lace everywhere. We chose this style as it is very “me” and really reflected my personality and of the style of our home. Graham always says that it is my job to make everything pretty so he was more than happy to go along with it and helped out with picking everything.
Our wedding colours were ivory, blush pink and mint. We chose these as we felt ivory and pink colours always make for a pretty and classic wedding, I am a bit obsessed with mint at the moment so adding that in just added some extra interest.
I wore an A-line tulle skirted dress from Blue by Enzoani which I bought from Emma Hartley Bridal in Colne. It featured lace appliqués and beading detail on the skirt and the bodice was a ruche waist with lace overlaid with beaded flowers. I tried on 67 dresses trying to find “the one” but I loved this dress as it was so pretty and romantic, with so much beautiful detail, I felt like a princess when I tried it on.
I knew I wanted a full skirted dress but also wanted a covered top so we had it customised with a tulle top with lace appliqués which matched the skirt to create an illusion neckline and V shape back.
In my hair I wore the Autumn headband from Liberty in Love with tulle and silk flowers and beads. I had a two tier waterfall veil with tiny diamantes to catch the light, again from Emma Hartley Bridal.
Our bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Coast with petal detail on the bust, they were perfect for the romantic and floral look we were going for and looked beautiful on the girls. We were very fortunate about the fit of the dresses as mid way through planning after we had bought the dresses, two of my bridesmaids found out they were pregnant and luckily the dresses were a perfect shape for a growing baby bump, they looked lovely on the day! We had two flower girls who wore dresses very similar to the bridesmaids but in white and had little cardigans featuring the same petal detail to tie everything together.
The groomsmen wore matching suits to Graham and our page boy had a mini version with a tailcoat, waistcoat and bow tie and which we paired with Converse which looked adorable
Michelle Sisson did my makeup and my bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, she did a fantastic job and we all felt amazing after she had worked her magic, she was so lovely to have around on the wedding morning and made sure we look perfect before we left for church. My friend Emma Shaw Hair did my bridal hair and was again fantastic at achieving a gorgeous do which was exactly as I wanted.
Graham wore a grey three piece slim fit suit, with a blush pink tie and hankie. It is not really his style to wear a full tail coat suit so this was perfect, it created a relaxed but smart look which really suited him and I think he looked really handsome. We hired the suits from Winstanleys at Oswaldtwistle.
My mum and I travelled to church in a vintage Bentley in cream and the bridesmaids followed in a matching Daimler then n the way to the reception me and Graham were in the Bentley and the flower girls had a turn in the “posh car” which they loved! We hired the cars from a local company called Classic Wedding Cars and Jimmy the driver had us laughing the whole journey which helped with nerves!
I carried an amazing white and pink bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas which are my absolute favourite flowers. They were so gorgeous and fluffy; I didn’t want to put them down all day! They were hand tied with matching ribbon and lace, I pinned my best friend’s Grandma’s heart shape brooch onto them as my something old and borrowed. Our flowers were all from Libbi at Flowers by Strawberry Fields and she did such an amazing job, they were better than I ever imagined. As soon as I met Libbi it was clear we had very similar taste and we knew we could completely trust her to make everything super beautiful.
July 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 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.
I adore Keri and Tom’s beautiful wedding day. Every detail, from Keri’s gorgeous dress (that waist!) to their navy and lavender colour scheme, to the fact that their puppy Marvin came along too – in a bowtie no less – is gorgeous. Packed with personal touches, fun surprises and lots and lots of pretty, I hope you love it as much as I do.
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
Keri says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012. The ring was in my Christmas stocking that was hanging on the fireplace.
We were married on 03.03.14 at Mitton Hall in Clitheroe. It was my Nan’s birthday so the date was very special to the family.
We walked in to the entrance lobby and were in awe of how incredible it looked. The whole place and staff were so inviting and after a tour around and chat with Victoria the wedding planner we knew it was the venue for us. We knew it was as soon as we walked in.
I chose a Stewart Parvin Dress called ‘Luck be a Lady’ from Aphrodite in Knutsford. It was a dress that I didn’t even plan on trying on. Terry who owned the shop said I should try it and as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one! I tried it on with a lace bolero and a beautiful band around my waist and it became even more perfect! Tom wore a suit from Gieves & Hawkes and shirt from TM Lewin.
Our wedding had a couple of themes! Our wedding was quite rustic; hand decorated jars with twine, lace and hessian filled with lavender, gypsy grass, potpourri and tea lights decorated the tables resting on hessian runners and chopped circular wood. Lavender was a key part of this theme as it was my Nan’s favourite scent. We also incorporated America into our wedding as we met at a Camp in Pennsylvania,New York in 2010. We even made our America theme rustic with old postcards, a map as our table plan and faded American flags on our American sweet table!
We had a memory table with framed pictures of close family members who couldn’t be with us on our wedding day. Next to the table, on a blackboard we wrote ‘Because someone we love is in heaven, there is a little bit of heaven here today’. We also made a donation box where all the money donated went to Alzheimer’s Research UK. If you wanted to donate you could take a jar from the table home with you.
We honestly can’t decide on a favourite part; we wouldn’t change one thing about our day. Everything that we planned, all our family and friends around us, everyone enjoying themselves made our day truly special to us
Charlene at Love Gets Sweeter made our wedding film. I don’t understand why some people don’t think the video is important! I felt as happy as I did on the wedding day watching our film back.
We chose La Boheme for our wedding cake as we have always enjoyed her cakes and treats. The gluten free cake has always been my favourite. As we both love cakes so much we decided to have a cake table; we had one two tiered cake Victoria sponge cake (one tier was gluten free), surrounded by lavender meringues, salted caramel macaroons, mini Victoria sponge cakes, cookies and cake pops.
We also had little surprises for each other; Tom got a friend to play ‘Hey Ho’ for us as we walked into the reception room, I sang ‘Hey Ho’ for him and the guests later on (with the same friend playing guitar…great minds)! Tom created a rap to the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ about meeting me and my family within his speech. My sister-in-law and brothers kindly made beer bottle labels titled ‘Scruffy Puppy’ that also had a picture of our dog Marvin on it to surprise Tom when I gave him his favourite ‘Honey Blonde’ Beer. I also made up a flash mob dance to a songs my sister in law had edited together. The flash mob was taught to all my hens (including my mum, mother in law and mums best friend!) and we surprised everyone with the dance. To finish the dance we all turned around with masks of Toms face on and danced to his favourite song ‘Bump and Grind’!!
DJ Ben was included in our package at Mitton Hall. Ben was incredible; he had the dance floor full all night.
For our honeymoon, we went on a wildlife tour in Borneo; it was incredible. We went on a private tour and travelled around so we got to see lots of wildlife. We also tried scuba diving, went across canopy walkways, paddled in waterfalls, stayed in the rainforest. At the end of the adventure we stayed in for a few nights in a hotel where we got to relax and chill.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to space everything out and start getting tasks done early. We made a lot of our decorations and we started ticking ‘To Do’s’ of our list months before the big day so there was no stress closer to the wedding. We had finished everything we needed to do three weeks before the day which meant there was no stress and we really got to enjoy the build up.
We also think its important not to be afraid to ask for help; a lot of people will be willing to help as they will want your day to be perfect for you. We cant thank our family and my friend Julie (one of my bridesmaids who came over from Australia) enough. We had evenings together of decorating jars, making the table runners and the table plan, etc. It was so lovely to have them all involved and getting to spend time with family.
Congratulations Keri & Tom!
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June 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Punchy and pretty. If you prefer a clutch to a bouquet, I think we’ve found your gal.
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Coast
This is not a sponsored post
June 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning I’ve done something that when gave up the corporate rat race to be come a full time wedding blogger (you can read my story here) I thought that I would do all the time, but in the reality of deadlines, features schedules, event planning and all the time consuming minutiae of running a busy small business – never do. Ladies, I’ve done a Carrie Bradshaw (albeit in Kurt Geiger rather than Manolo Blahnik) and decamped from Brides Up North HQ to my local coffee hot spot.
Sometimes you have to shake off the four walls of normality and mix things up a little to refuel your creativity. Writers block? What writers block (a homemade raspberry muffin and a vat of coffee later)?!
Inevitably, with change comes challenge, and a challenging Wi-Fi connection means that today’s Real Wedding feature comes to you a little later than planned, but (like the raspberry muffin!) the wait was totally worth it.
Clare and Philip’s wedding is contemporary (whilst still remaining a classic), stylish and cool, and any bride who nips out of her own reception for a quick drink with her girls gets serious kudos from me…
Images by Samuel Docker.
Clare says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2009. It was a complete surprise. Our tradition is to go for a meal on Christmas Eve before going out and that year Phil told me to drive to The Hilton in Sheffield. When we got there he had booked a room, he said he thought it would be different. In the room were candles and my Christmas presents. He then told me to close my eyes and he put a t shirt on me over my dress. I thought it was a band t shirt and my gift was tickets to a gig. He took me to the mirror and he’d drawn a design on the t shirt which read the right way to me and it said “I love you with all my heart will you marry me?” He was then next to me with a gorgeous ring.
I obviously said yes and was thrilled to bits!
We were married on 31st August 2013 at Sheffield City Hall.
Phil actually found the venue, he liked it because of the detail of the building and the grandeur feeling inside. He had also played there a few years before so had a personal meaning to him.
When I was looking at the website for the City Hall I noticed that there was a competition to win the venue for your wedding, so I entered never expecting to win and I did!
I didn’t mention that I’d entered to Phil because I thought it would be a nice surprise if i did win but probably wouldn’t so wasn’t worth getting our hopes up. Well a letter arrived in the post and I had only gone and won the venue of our wedding! We were ecstatic and the Sheffield City Hall were brilliant throughout and really on board with what we wanted to do.
We didn’t need to travel far on the day, my Dad drove me to the City Hall where I spent the morning getting ready with my bridesmaids and Mum. Phil got ready at the Leopold Hotel just a two minute walk from the City Hall so he and his best man walked there!
The theme of our day was soft, elegant and simple and we wanted guests to have a very romantic feel to the day with lots of candlelight. The evening reception theme was a surprise to everyone, only ourselves and parents knew about it: “Wedstock”.
Creams and whites were the main colours to give a soft romantic feel. The spindle back chairs were brushed vintage white and most of the table details were cream and white with pearl detail. The bridesmaids wore navy and the groom and groomsmen wore navy ties with grey suits.
I’m not a fussy dress kind of person so I wanted something elegant and simple. My dress was from Blissful Daze in Sheffield, it was one of the first bridal shops we tried and originally I picked the dress up because of the detail on the shoulders but that was all, but once it was on it felt perfect. It’s by Ellis Bridals. It has jewel embellishment on the hip and shoulders, a cowl back and button detail down the back.
I wore peep toe heels with a jewelled detail. I’m fairly tall for a girl but definitely wanted heels for the big day which was fine when I stood next to Phil but my poor Dad looks a little short!
We searched for some time for jewellery as I wanted understated jewellery but something that went with the detail on the dress. By chance we found the bracelet, earrings and hair piece in Debenhams and they went so well with the dress we immediately stopped looking for anything else.
I also carried with me a sixpence that my Grandad gave to me before the wedding, he said my Nanan had been saving it for my wedding day but sadly she is no longer with us so it was important to have that with me. The freesia flowers were also a symbol of my Nanan as they were one of her favourite flowers.
Philip wore a Ted Baker suit. He was very picky and his suit took longer to pick than my dress!
I carried cream and white roses, veronicas, eustomia, white freesia and gypsophila by Janice Johnson Vintage Floral Design.
Samuel Docker was our photographer – a great photographer and a genuinely nice man!
Phil is a big metal music fan and we both love festivals so we wanted to inject some of our personality and fun to the day. Everyone was in the bar area and when the ballroom was opened for the evening reception, staff handed out lanyards similar to those at a festival complete with map and set list. In the ballroom was a gazebo Photo Booth, a signing tent with artificial grass, vinyls to sign along with guest book, there was a tattoo inspired sweet table made by Phil’s parents, a guitar case displayed for cards and gifts and tents dotted around for people to go in, there was also a chill out area called the rescue room with lanterns where the evening buffet was served.
Unexpectedly to the crowd a band called Our Friends Electric then took to the stage. The band had Phil’s friends in it who have gigged a few times together and he was on lead guitar. They played cover tracks old and new and everyone was dancing and having a good time. By this time sunglasses were everywhere and we threw glow sticks into the crowd so it had a real festival feel. This was really special as Phil’s grandparents had never seen him play live before so was a really nice moment.
I’d been hearing Phil practice for weeks in the spare room and knew most of the songs but it was a lovely surprise when he got down from the stage to dance with me as the band played “My Girl”, me in my dress and Phil in his black flag t shirt!
I always said I wanted my mum to make my wedding cake. As I’ve grown up I’ve really enjoyed baking cupcakes, so me and my Mum made the cake two days before the wedding. It sounds stressful but it was a really nice to take some time out doing something we both enjoy together.
The cake was six tiers of cream topped cupcakes with brushed pearls and glitter on top with a fruit cake top tier made by my mum. We wanted something simple but elegant.
I think the whole evening reception was one big special touch for us, because we and our parents had made everything it felt extra special. We were excited that our family and friends had no idea about it and that the response to it was overwhelming,everyone loved it.
During the day the small touches made all the difference like the music sheet confetti cones we gave out, rose petals on the aisle, having our favourite film scores playing at the wedding breakfast, walking down the aisle to the instrumental ‘Inhale’ by Killswitch Engage: one of Phil’s favourite bands.
Other highlights include confetti cannons going off as we danced with our friends for the second dance and my brother’s poem reading during the ceremony.
The most random but also fun part of the day was when myself and the bridesmaids left the wedding for about 20 minutes in the evening for a cheeky shot. I’d joked to my friend before that it would be funny to leave the wedding and nip up busy Division Street to have a cheeky drink at The Frog & Parrot one of our go to places. Well she made this happen! Very random and very funny as we sat in a booth for a quick one with people gazing with puzzled faces and then ran back to the City Hall without too many people noticing. That’s why I love my friends!
The honeymoon was a complete surprise to me. On the morning of the wedding Phil had delivered a rucksack with a letter explaining the bag contained clues of our honeymoon destination. This included flip flops, sun cream, a Mickey Mouse top, a french baguette plus much more.
During the speeches Phil had four of my bridesmaids stand up and announce where we were going. We went to London, Paris and Disneyland and then onto Ibiza. It was pretty jam packed but the perfect honeymoon for us.
Someone told me to take a few moments to yourself throughout the day at different times just to take in what’s happening. I definitely did this, just a pause here and there and it really helps you absorb it all and gives you an extra smile. But my biggest tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy it, we obviously both felt nervous before the big day but that was mainly because of the evening plans not the actual marriage. On the morning of the day all my tummy flutters disappeared and I just couldn’t stop smiling all day
Congratulations Clare & Philip!
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May 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s a quiet Friday at home for me and my little family today, recharging and recouping from a very hectic two weeks behind us. Here there and everywhere for some inspiring speaking engagements, an amazing Brides Up North wedding exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms and one very, very fabulous Brides Up North styled shoot (results to be shared very soon – follow #getsetsparkle on our Twitter and Facebook feeds for more updates), plus the onset of a pretty nasty cold for me and my little girl, has left us needing some down time.
So whilst we snuggle up with the Calpol, Lemsip and a box set of In The Night Garden (you thought my life was glamorous?!) I’ll leave you with the beautiful Real Wedding of Victoria & Euan courtesy of friend of the wedding blog Andy Hudson Photography.This cute couple didn’t let a drop of rain spoil their chic and beautiful wedding day – they just styled it out!
Victoria says: We got engaged in June 2012 in Tynemouth on the beach, and our wedding was on 28th March 2014 at The Horton Grange Country Hotel.
We chose our venue because it was small and intimate but still had that manor house feeling to it, and opted for a chic navy and white colour scheme.
For the wedding party, we chose formal wear but still tried to keep it casual. Euan and his ushers’ suits where from Blades Menswear in Ponteland and my maid of honour wore a navy blue dress from Coast.
My dress was from Berkertex Brides and I chose heels by Kurt Geiger.
The whole bridal party carried or wore roses, and we set out lots of candles at the venue to add to the romantic feel of the day.
Every part of our day was incredible but our favourite bit was saying our vows and marrying each other.
We chose Dawn at The Master Cakesmith to do our cake and – wow – did she impress us! We had a four tiered cake with different flavours including chocolate, toffee, white chocolate and raspberry.
We had the Purple Supper Band for our evening band and disco and Snaparazzi Photo Booth for the evening to add a bit of fun.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Tenerife.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to totally relax and enjoy the day: it will fly by so make the most of it and have fun. When its all over you have married the love of your life which is the most amazing thing to come out of the day.
Congratulations Victoria & Euan!
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April 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Who said pretty pastels couldn’t come with a huge dose of glamour? Today’s real bride Hayley and new husband Stephen are ripping up the rule book with their soft and stylish Real Wedding at Rockliffe Hall.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Lee Scullion.
Hayley says: We got engaged at the Burj al Arab, Dubai in February 2006. Steven proposed on Christmas day in 2005. We didn’t want a party so we celebrated our engagement with a trip Dubai to pick a ring.
We were married on 22nd September 2013 at Rockliffe Hall, Darlington. I wanted a classy and timeless wedding and Rockliffe offers modern and old mixed together. We had our ceremony in the old arches which offered a nicer feel than just a function room. The colour scheme is quite neutral which enabled us to go for any colour scheme we wanted.
We had lilacs, lavenders, ivories and a beautiful thistle colour in our stationery. Grey suits for the gents, accented with lilac cravats and handkerchiefs to give a subtle bit of colour to blend in with the rest of the wedding. My dress and the bridesmaids were all ivory. I wanted a neutral palette with the flowers taking centre stage.
My dress was from Solutions Bridal Designer House in Orlando Florida. The dress was antique ivory with ivory lace in a mermaid strapless fit. I opted for a very long veil trimmed in the same lace as the dress and a very glamorous belt made by Maria Elena and Manolo Blanik shoes with a beautiful vintage brooch on the front.
The hair was prepped by myself the evening before (I’m am a hairstylist) ready for my friend Carol-Anne Jenkinson who is the owner of Platinum Hair Design in Sunderland. She also did her magic on the bridal party. I had my makeup done by Amanda Bell Elite Makeup Artist.
Our flowers were by Adam Prest who is very unique in his work and knew exactly what I wanted. My bouquet consisted of a vibrant lilac roses, astrania, astilbe,clematis,snowberries and sweetpeas. They smelt beautiful. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of my flowers with a mix for the top table and centre pieces for the tables at the wedding breakfast. We also had similar mixture for the gents’ button holes and ladies’ corsages.
We had six bridesmaids from two years old to sixteen. The younger bridesmaids wore dresses from Monsoon and the two older bridesmaids wore a dress from Coast which was from the bridal range. I think they blended nicely together.
The groomsmen wore hired suits from Gavin Scott Menswear in Washington. The grooms suit was made by Ian Bone a visiting tailor. He came to our home and measured Steven up, we picked the material and and cut of the suit. It was a very professional and friendly service from Ian and we had two more fittings before the finished result.
Our photographer was the amazing Lee Scullion. We had a lot of recommendations from people but as soon as I saw Lee’s work I knew he was the man for the job.
Our videographers were Chris and Janet Hughes for One Digital Image – a great husband and wife team. They made a one minute video summarising the day so we could share with our guests and friends which was really unique in itself and was ready to view the following morning.
Our save the dates and invitations were by Noble Fine Art. They also made our favour boxes, the menu for the tables at the wedding breakfast and the seating plan in a beautiful pearl stock paper with thistle ribbon.
Simply Bows & Chair Covers dressed our tables with a new range of lace chair coverings.
We had handmade chocolates made for the favour boxes from Robineau Patisserie in Darlington and mini bottles of whiskey for the gents.
The cake was from Celebration Cakes in Peterlee, I scaled it down from the original design in the shop. It had six tiers with all different sponges and fruit cake. It had a pearl covering with roses and lace made from sugar paste and tied in with all the little elements from the wedding.
We had Val Boyers singer and guitarist singing during our wedding breakfast and a fantastic local band (Fate) singing live on the evening of the wedding.
Prime Entertainment provided Formula One cars which were very popular and we also hired Snaparazzi and their fabulous photo booth. We got a book of everyone’s photos who had been in the photo booth with a message alongside the photos which is a really nice and different keep sake.
I downloaded an app called Wedpics and invited all our guests to upload all their photos. I thought this to be better than having disposable cameras and it worked well.
Honeymoon wise, we’re are still working on that one, we want something different!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy and take every moment in because it goes over far too fast and don’t drink to much Champagne!
Congratulations Hayley & Stephen!