February 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today we are welcoming Abbie and Darren back to the blog to share their big day with us, having previously shared their sweet engagement shoot on our pretty pages.
This wedding is a lesson in luxe styling – there’s a pair of Valentino Rockstuds softened by some perfect floral detailing, romantic calligraphy and plenty of gold and blush accents.
Quite frankly, Abbie and Darren’s big day at Leeds’ stunning venue Oulton Hall, gives us goosebumps.
Today’s mantra? Go gorgeous, or go home.
With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.
abbie says: We got engaged in Santorini in June 2014; it was just perfect. Darren presented me with a gorgeous princess cut diamond ring, which was exactly what I wanted. Our engagement shoot was featured on Brides Up North last year.
Our wedding date was Saturday 30th July 2016. We chose this date because we wanted a summer weekend wedding, plus it means we get to celebrate our anniversary in summer – who wouldn’t want that? I’d always wanted a string quartet at our wedding and had pictured them playing outside while our guests enjoyed the summer weather and drinks. Amazingly, it was a beautiful summer day and the dream became the reality!
We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. I’ve always loved this venue as it has the modern décor I adore while still having the charm of an older building. We also loved the courtyard which turned out to be perfect for the drinks reception.
The style of our wedding was elegant and romantic, with lots of floral patterning, blush and gold tones and lots of white. I love these colours and Darren let me run away with my ideas for the colour scheme!
I choose a Pronovias gown called Duende from Bridal Rogue Gallery in Harrogate. After trying on probably around 20 dresses, I just knew this was the one. I hadn’t wanted tulle to start off with – in fact, I had my heart set on a lace fishtail gown. However, after lots and lots of trying on, I still couldn’t find one to fit the bill. My dress was the perfect mix of tulle and lace and I customised it to make it perfectly ‘me’ – it originally had feathers! I also wore a pair of Valentino nude rockstud heels – man, I love those shoes! I also wore a pair of diamond earrings that were gifted to me by Darren the morning of the wedding.
Our bridesmaids wore fitted fishtail blush dresses from Coast. I wanted my bridal party to feel gorgeous and they got lots and lots of compliments on the day.
The makeup artists for the bridal party was Frankie of Makeup by Frankie. I would recommend her wholeheartedly to any bride. My sister was so nervous about having her makeup done but Frankie put her completely at ease and my sister was delighted with the result. We also used a brilliant hairdresser, Bridget of Hair One located in Ossett. Again, I’d recommend Bridget to any bride-to-be.
Our groomsmen and both fathers wore navy suits from Slaters with navy ties – we wanted them to match but make sure that Darren stood out. It all ended up looking perfect.
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January 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding bride, Niamh, says that her only theme for her and Pete’s city centre wedding in Liverpool was “things we like”.
All we can say here at Bride Up North is that it’s a theme that really works. Led by instinct, Niamh opted for a hint of 1920s decadence with her beaded bridesmaid dresses and a timeless clean-cut Pronovias gown with statement red lips.
Liverpool is a significant place for this gorgeous couple, and their photographs make it clear why – see how many stunning views, famous landmarks and cheeky references to this fabulous city you can spot.
With images by Starwinkle Photography.
niamh says: We got engaged in July 2013 in London. I‘d just turned 27 and Pete and I returned to London (where we used to live) for a night out with friends to celebrate. The following morning we set off for a day out in the glorious sunshine. We put together an amazing picnic and headed up to Primrose Hill, just the two of us. True to form, I fell asleep in the sunshine on the hill, and when I awoke we had to hotfoot it to Piccadilly for dinner – Pete had booked a table at Sketch, a fave restaurant, as a birthday treat.
En route, he suggested we take a detour to Green Park; another old haunt from our London days. It was a really warm evening and the park was beginning to empty out – there were just a few people left catching the last rays. We walked together under the trees; it was really beautiful, no one else around, and the light dappled through the trees. The next bit is all a blur…
Pete is one of the sweetest boys you will ever meet, not one for big ostentatious gestures. He’s incredibly thoughtful and charmingly clumsy and cries at X Factor. As he walked along he began to tell me how much he loved me – he dropped down onto two knees, asked me to marry him, fumbled with his backpack and then produced the most beautiful antique sapphire and diamond ring.
It was so surreal, I couldn’t believe what was happening. All I remember was dropping to the floor with him, both of us on two knees and saying “are you you really doing this?”, and both of us teary-eyed kneeling in the grass. Then Pete said, “you haven’t said yes or no,” and I shouted “yes!”
It was perfect. I had absolutely no idea and the element of surprise was the best thing. It was so simple, no big fancy holiday, just a summer day out with my favourite person.
We were married on Saturday 25th April 2015. We ‘d always talked about having a spring wedding. We decided to get married in Liverpool where we met at Uni in 2006, as it’s a city that means a lot to both of us and our families. So that was it – we went back to where it all began.
We both lived on Catharine Street at Uni in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter. Although we wanted a fun, different, quirky personalised wedding, it was also important to us to have all of our family and friends there and to say our vows in church. There’s a small church on Catharine St, St Phillip Neri. We explained to the priest that we loved Liverpool and it was where we’d met and he agreed to marry us!
My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer two months after we got engaged so in the months leading up to the wedding there were ups and downs. Thankfully, she was there on the day and was in great spirits. For so many reasons, our wedding was just the most incredible celebration of life, love and happiness. She made it her goal to be there and she was, she was well and it was brilliant. Some of mine and many others’ lasting memories of her will be her having the time of her life at our wedding.
We chose Oh Me Oh My as the venue for the reception. From the moment we stepped foot inside we fell in love with it. The stunning high ceilings, natural light, quirky vintage furniture, fairy-lit balcony, incredible roof garden and beautiful views of Liverpool’s iconic Liver Building: it was just perfect. Cafe by day and events/exhibition venue by evening/weekend. Then we met Katie, who was so warm and friendly and her enthusiasm and passion for the venue was palpable. She listened to our ideas and suggested amazing ones of her own and made us feel as if anything was possible.
Our only theme was ‘things we like’. We both really like old things and bright colours, so there was a bit of that! We decorated the venue with brightly coloured pom poms and tassle garlands. I made a polaroid timeline with pictures of me and Pete which were punctuated by coloured paper doilies.
We hired a candyfloss and popcorn stand as the canapes with reception drinks. We also had pick and mix and personalised football accumulators bets as the favours.
We didn’t really have an ‘official’ colour scheme, either. The bridesmaids wore silvery grey, the boys wore navy and then venue was filled with bright coloured and gold paper decorations fairy and candle light. The reception venue was a big blank space, with high ceilings and beautiful natural light and carefully picked quirky pieces. We decided to embrace this and add more of our own.
We filled a glass cabinet with our parents and grandparents’ wedding photos. We decorated the balcony as a ‘games area’, including Subbuteo, a game called ‘Pucket’ and DIY photo booth. I made bunting out of Trivial pursuit cards to mark out the games area as Pete is a massive trivia/useless information fan!
December 13th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding couple were married at The Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa in Cheshire, surrounded by family and friends.
Emma and George’s big day was all about the pretty, with a sunny yellow colour scheme, a gorgeous bouquet of roses and daisies and some beautiful woodland detailing.
And a golf-buggy excursion around the hotel grounds really paid off – those romantic cornfield and glorious summer sky shots are, we think you’ll agree, to die for.
With images by James Andrew Photography.
emma says: George proposed while we were on holiday last year in the Dominican Republic. He took me out on a sailing boat one afternoon and as we were relaxing on the open sea, he started to talk about how much he loved me. I was stunned when he then produced a ring which he’d hidden on a piece of string tied around his neck! It was amazing to have that moment, just the two of us out at sea. And I said yes without hesitation, of course!
We chose the date of 25th June 2016 to get married. We’d been together for ten years and so I didn’t want to have to wait very long to get hitched. We chose June for the possibility of nice weather and wanted to get married on a Saturday so that all our loved ones could make it.
Our venue was the MacDonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa in Tarporley, Cheshire. We’d looked at five venues in Cheshire and wrote down allof the pros and cons as we went. This was really useful in making our final decision.
We didn’t want to spend an absolute fortune on the wedding and when we saw the package that the Portal were offering, it ticked all of the boxes – plus they had some of the extras we were looking for with other venues. The fact that it was a hotel was also perfect for us as some of our guests were travelling from different parts of the country. It was close enough to home for those who wanted a taxi at the end of the night, plus it had a great mix of indoor and outdoor space in case the weather was less than glorious. Some of the other venues we had shortlisted had amazing outdoor space, but the alternative indoor wedding space needed updating. We couldn’t risk booking a venue like that as rain could have thrown everything off!
The theme developed as we began planning. Yellow has always been my favourite colour, and so I chose it for the bridesmaids’ dresses. The yellow colour scheme followed into the flowers and, using Pinterest, I found I had a love for wooden elements as table decorations etc. This led to the use of brown card for table place cards and favours. We really had no idea what it would all look like together but it really turned out well!
Finding my dress was thanks to the wonderful Tracy Hollinshead at Cherish Bridal in Northwich, Cheshire. Tracy was just amazing from start to finish. After describing my likes and dislikes and some input from my bridesmaids, she produced ‘the one’! The dress was a classic style, with a boat neck and delicate detailing from the waist up.
George and the groomsmen wore grey tailcoat suits with silver patterned waistcoats and lemon cravats to tie in with the theme. The suits were from John at Top That Suit Hire, Hartford, Cheshire.
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December 6th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Prepare for take-off as we’re leaving the north of the UK behind today and jetting off to Lake Como in Italy to relive the utterly gorgeous big day of Cheshire-couple, Emma and Glen.
Everything about this wedding says style, class and romance; from the insanely beautiful location to the wedding party’s stunning attire and the lavish speed-boat transport.
It’s all be captured perfectly by Ally M Photography, and we have to say that Emma and Glen work the camera like pure pros!
With images by Ally M Photography
emma says: We got engaged during a surprise trip to Venice in October 2015, and the proposal was as romantic as it gets. Glen got down on one knee on a gondola boat in Venice through the inner canals of the city with a photographer, videographer and finished with a pre-arranged candlelight dinner and my favourite white roses.
We specifically selected the 26th July 2016, to get married as it’s an extra special day for the family. It was my mum’s birthday and we wanted to include her in the day as much as we could. Unfortunately, she passed away five years ago, but we know she was there in spirit on the day.
After the proposal, we fell in love with Italy and so chose a venue on the beautiful Lake Como to hold the wedding at. Our venue, Relais Villa Vittoria, was an Italian villa on the edge of the lake overlooking the mountains. We hired the whole villa and had close friends and family stay there with us for four days. The weather was so beautiful on the day!
We wanted a modern, contemporary wedding. We kept the wedding classy with a James Bond twist – Glen arrived by speed boat but would have chosen to sky dive if he could have! At 11pm a yacht picked the wedding party up and we partied on the lake until the early hours.
Our colour scheme was made up of natural whites, light blues and silvers. I love white roses and as Glen included them in his proposal to me, they have an extra special meaning and so had to be included in the wedding.
For my wedding dress, I wanted something that resembled a glamourous evening gown but that wasn’t too heavy with it being so hot. I still wanted something that was magical though so I made sure it had a long train. I chose an off white, Pronovias 2017 collection dress.
Glen meanwhile, had his suit made by a company called Signature Bespoke, whose suits are handmade in Italy.
My lovely bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast.
Ally M Photography was our chosen photographer for the wedding. Ally and his fiancée Lucy, were just brilliant and captured the perfect moments!
December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s chic city real wedding simply exudes elegance. There’s a stunning Maggie Sottero dress, a gorgeous autumnal colour palette and an organic, woodland theme.
There was also plenty of personality to this stylish wedding too, with nods to the groom’s love of owls, Cockney rhyming slang table names and a real ale special brew called ‘Old Legover’!
With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography
rachel says: Robin’s proposal centred around an owl theme. He has a particular passion for owls – since he was a child he collected all things owl. It has turned into a running joke that owls are literally taking over our house, so it was no surprise that they featured quite heavily in Robin’s proposal. Robin went to great lengths to set out an owl-themed treasure hunt, which went on for a few weeks (!) and, led by a number of clues, I found Robin under the ‘Owl of Justice’ – a carved owl that can be found at the back of the Civic Hall in Leeds, where Robin proposed and we later got married.
Our wedding date was the 9th September 2016. We both love autumn and wanted a natural earthy wedding. The weather also always seems to be lovely in Leeds in September, so we were lucky to secure the date when we did.
We got married in the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Hall in Leeds city centre. We chose the venue for obvious reasons (hello gold owls!) but we were both so stunned at how beautiful the hall is once you get inside. We even decided to have a drinks reception after the ceremony to make the most of our time there. We really wanted to have our reception somewhere close to where we got married and settled on the Devonshire Hall in Headingley, to have our party; an amazingly grand hall of residence, which forms part of the University of Leeds. We loved the blank canvas of the dining hall and the design of the building is so lovely with the cloisters and outside space. We both got a great feel from the place when we visited so it was an easy decision.
In terms of theme, we’re big lovers of the great outdoors and our vision was for a woodland/autumnal/natural style of wedding. If we’d been brave enough (and my mum had allowed us!) we’d have had our reception in the woods, so this was a good compromise.
Our colour scheme was navy and gold and, fitting with the autumnal theme, the groomsmen wore navy suits with a variety of dark gold and burnt orange accessories. My sister is a personal stylist so she helped choose the bridesmaid dresses, and navy is a gorgeous universal colour that looks great on everyone. I’m also a big fan of a bit of sparkle so gold shoes were a must!
If I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to the wedding dress shopping – I had no idea what I wanted and felt a bit nervous about it all. When I walked into the first bridal shop (the wonderful Bridal Boutique in Baildon) I knew that the first dress that I saw would be the one I’d wear. I tried on all sorts of different styles anyway – and was surprised by how much I loved the huge princess dresses! But I settled for the first dress: Vidonia by Maggie Sottero. Such gorgeous detailing and I felt so comfortable in it, I knew it had to be the one. I cancelled my next booking!
The bridesmaids wore A-line navy dresses from Coast and they each chose their own gold shoes. As a thank you for being my best women, I got them all engraved bangles made by the fab Libby Jubb Jewellery. They had a little birdy charm on them which matched the turtle doves I wore in my hair. Hannah De Ath and Annabel Bailey also did a fantastic job with hair and make-up and made my mum, bridesmaids and me feel like a million dollars.
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November 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today we’re bringing you Rosie and Chris’ country house wedding in Prestbury (at one of our sensational Brides Up North event venues, Hilltop Country House, no less!). And boy, is it packed full of pretty with a bouquet to die for and gorgeous mismatched bridesmaid dresses.
As Rosie quite rightly says, sometimes less is more, and this classy couple avoided fussy details in favour of timeless simplicity. The result, we think you’ll agree, is simply stunning.
If you love rustic romanticism, this one’s for you!
Photographs by Matthew Horan Photography.
rosie says: Chris proposed to me on my 31st birthday in a beautiful part of mid Wales. He’d booked a surprise stay in a lovely guesthouse and popped the question on a walk in the hills.
Our wedding date was 8th April 2016. We chose this date as we both love the springtime, plus we wanted to avoid the disappointment of rain if we had a summer wedding. We knew we’d inevitably get some April showers so it lowered the pressure!
We got married at the beautiful Hilltop Country House in Prestbury very close to where we live. We’d fallen in love with the area and moved out to ‘the sticks’ together a few years ago. We felt the venue was perfect for a sunny or rainy day, so it ticked our boxes!
Our wedding had a rustic, romantic feel to it. We were both quite nervous about the big day and thought this would be a nice, relaxed theme – and that would perhaps help us to relax! After scouring Pinterest for ‘research purposes’, I thought it would make a really versatile theme, and one which would work well for our venue.
My bridesmaids wore different coloured dresses from Coast; one was a sage green colour and the other was dusky pink, both with lace detailing. They complemented each other beautifully and provided the colour palette for the flowers. In fact, they bought the whole thing together beautifully, but avoided everything being too ‘matchy’.
For my dress, I surprised myself and went for a more traditional gown in lace. I just loved it straight away. It had little cap sleeves and a sweetheart neckline.
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