December 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Today’s newlyweds Pete and Jenn not only share the names of one of my all-time favourite onscreen couples (Cold Feet fans will know what I’m talking about) but they also share my love for a vibrant wedding palette and wonderful wild blooms.
I absolutely adore Jenn’s wedding attire and styling, from her cute tea length dress and skyscraper something blue shoes, to her fabulous bouquet and gorgeous hair do. And the lads sure scrub up well too! Beautiful, just beautiful!
So forget the gales blowing outdoors and let yourself drift away into this incredibly classy, colourful celebration of love.
With images by Photography34
pete says: We got engaged at home in February 2011. It was just a normal day at home but that’s what was important to us.
We set the date for August 2, 2014. It was a special date to us as it was the eighth anniversary of when we first met.
Bardney Hall in Barton on Humber, North Lincolnshire, was our chosen wedding venue. We picked it as it gave us a blank canvas to do with what we wanted and the setting was well suited to our theme. The home owner and staff were all very caring too, which made us very comfortable.
Our colour scheme was blue and orange – Jenn’s choice of vibrant colours, which she then built the theme of the day around. Jenn also made all the decorations, with a little help from me and the wedding party.
Jenn designed the bridesmaids’ dresses that were then specially made for the big day by Bonita of Chanterlands in Hull.
Jenn’s dress was from Elite Bridal in Hull. It was a simple backless tea length dress with a boat neck and diamante brooch on the waist in ivory satin. She knew she wanted a shorter dress as she’s only wee and she also wanted to wear statement shoes as her something blue.
I wore a blue suit from Slaters Menswear in Hull, along with a white shirt, burnt orange accessories and tan shoes and belt. The groomsmen wore the same.
Holyhocks in Hull put together our wedding flowers which were a selection of vibrant blue and orange flowers, including Scottish thistle to honour Jenn’s family and home.
Our photographer was Tony Wilson of Photography34. We would highly recommend him. He provides a really excellent service and his stunning pictures speak for themselves.
Extra decorations on the day included bunting handmade by Jenn and her mum. Jenn also made our table decorations, wedding stationery and table plan, incorporating the bunting theme. I made hanging orange and blue decorations and we had more flowers provided by the venue.
For favours we gave our guests vinyl records with a message on a label from me and Jenn. These also doubled up as place settings on the tables.
For our wedding day meal we had barbecue food served straight from the grill in the gardens with wine and deserts. It was provided by 2chefs Catering of Beverley, East Yorkshire, who provided a really amazing service. We would highly recommend them!
We chose this style of food as we love to host at home by having friends over for barbecues. We also had cocktails served as welcome drinks and kept them coming throughout the day.
We designed the cake following theme of wedding. It was a blue, white and orange, three-tier creation made by Kalou’s Cups and Cakes in Barton on Humber.
To entertain our guests we had vintage garden games, which were enjoyed by both the children and adults. Later in the evening we had a disco in the marquee.
For us the whole day was amazing – we couldn’t possibly pick a favourite part.
We followed up our wedding with a honeymoon in Dalyan, Turkey. We stayed at Villa Saadet which was kindly offered to us as a wedding gift from the best man and his family who own the villa. It’s a really beautiful place and we highly recommend it to anyone wanting to visit Turkey. It was a very relaxing week – one which we will remember forever!
Our top tip to other Brides (and grooms) Up North would be to prepare everything in advance and always have a back-up plan! We got caught out 24 hours before the wedding as a supplier went bust. We wouldn’t want anyone else to go through that. Fortunately we have some contacts that helped us out – life savers!
November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Packing a zesty punch to end the week on a vibrant high, we welcome Miriam and Richard to the blog with their opulent, colourful and champagne fuelled Algerian inspired wedding.
Get ready to pop the fizz… this looks like my kind of celebration.
With images by Matt Horan.
Miriam says: Richard proposed when we went away for the weekend to the lakes, it was actually my brother in law’s 30th Birthday which Rick kyboshed. We walked up to the room and the bed was laid out with flowers, it took me a while to comprehend what they said and the first thing that came out my mouth was “ I think we are in the wrong room!” anyway, on closer inspection the rose petals said “Will you marry me?” and I turned round and Rick was on one knee. It was a surreal moment but I of course said yes and the champagne got opened.
We were married on Thursday 17th July 2014 at Colshaw Hall in Pever. We just fell in love with this place. It is a stately home and was just beautiful. The owner is also very down to earth which made us want to go with them even more.
It is just the most beautiful venue, gorgeous gardens and you felt you were a million miles away even though you weren’t.
My dress was a Heritage gown, by Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier. I got it from Love Bridal Boutique and I just fell in love with it. Rick wore a tailored suit that he had especially made for him and my fabulous bridesmaids all wore dresses from Debenhams.
We had a Algerian theme as my dad is Algerian and also a fizz theme as I love Champagne, so all the tables were named after Champagnes. The colours were all middle eastern and the food followed this theme.
Our flowers were from Red Floral Architecture and were very blingy with diamante in them! We also had lanterns and candles.
Matt Horan was our photographer and we’d certainly recommend him! He was very natural and really caught the moment.
We had a videographer, Tom from Silk Wedding Films who was great, you didn’t even know he was there.
We used a wedding planner called Janice who really supported and helped us through the whole process.
We carried the Algerian theme into our wedding breakfast so served a mezze to start which included taboluh, merguez sasuage, humous, feta with harissa, flat breads, we then had lamb and couscous with roasted veg and a trio of desserts.
My dad picked all the wine which included red, white, fizz and champagne.
We gave Algerian sweets as favours and instead of a wedding cake we had lots of mini pavlovas, they were lovely!
The whole day was just amazing but it just went very quickly. We are both foodies so I would have to say the food part was lovely, even though Rick was too nervous to eat as he knew he was going to do his speech!
We went to France, Italy and Spain for our honeymoon.
In France we stayed in a Michelin starred chateaux for 4 nights, we then got the train to Italy for 4 nights where we visited Lake Maggorie and finally relaxed in a villa in the Andalusian mountains for a week.
It was great that we visited a few different places.
I am sure all brides say this but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to ENJOY every second as it flies by!
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October 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Stunning scenery, rainbow blooms, tartan trews and spinning a reel… Clair and Nick show how an elegant wedding needn’t be a stuffy affair. Combining traditional charm with modern and personal touches, the couple’s colourful celebration is a bonnie day indeed.
Images by AnnaJoy Photography.
Clair says: Nick and I met while studying at St Andrews in 2008. Our first little holiday together as a couple was to a lovely little guesthouse outside of Ballachulish in the Scottish Highlands. We had a lovely few days together as a fairly new couple. One of the things we both enjoy most is documenting our little adventures – we found an amazing, almost deserted road in Glen Nevis and realised it could be a lot of fun to take a series of stills of the both of us in the road, sort of like the flip books you get where when you look at the images quickly they tell a little story. As our new year celebrations finished in the early hours of 1st Jan 2013 Nick told me he was taking me back to that same guesthouse as a surprise gift! We went back to the same spot on the deserted road to make a new “flip book” of photos of us 4 years later and then Nick got down on one knee. It was beautifully romantic and entirely unique! Those pictures now have even more meaning!
We were married on 12th July 2014. We picked that date because both of us had extremely tight schedules at the time. I was in between graduating for a second time and starting work and had four weeks that I could totally devote to the last minute frantic preparations.
We got married at St Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews. It’s the chapel associated with the University we both studied at and it just felt right to go back there. I wanted a very traditional service but in a place that was familiar, so the Chapel was perfect! Our reception was across the lawn at Upper and Lower College Hall, a beautiful building from the early 17th century. The grassy lawn in between the Chapel and the Hall was the perfect spot for drinks after the service and for the littlies to tear around. We were on a very tight budget funding the wedding ourselves – the Chapel and College offered the opportunity to put our own stamp on our wedding whilst fitting within a well-rehearsed framework for a very agreeable price.
We decided that our wedding would have a ‘hint’ of vintage but that in order to really work with the venue it also had to be elegant. We decided that additions such as vintage china and pastel handkerchiefs would work with the room whilst I had to forgo the likes of bunting, as it just wouldn’t have worked. We also wanted lots of homemade elements – we are crafty people but also wanted the really personal feel that this adds. It also saves lots of pennies if you can make things yourselves!
We wanted it to be bright. And beyond that I didn’t want to complicate matters by having a colour scheme. As many of the fine details were done by ourselves, it was much easier to have a loose colour scheme for resourcing what we wanted at the price we wanted it for. I wanted my bridesmaids to have dresses they had picked and could wear again and shoes they liked rather than enforcing my choices on them – they all agreed that they would wear navy and between them all picked the same dress! But their shoes were all different. They all had a bright pink shawl and a posy of brightly coloured flowers – many of the same flowers that were elsewhere in the venue. Very loosely we tried to stick to oranges, yellows, pinks and purples but all sorts of other colours crept in too!
The dress I thought I wanted and the one I picked were worlds apart. I have very much a pear shape, and realised that the dresses I thought I liked only accentuated my wide hips and left me feeling frumpy. I ditched my original ideas and in Pretty Woman in Edinburgh riffled through dresses they had hanging. I knew I wanted lace somewhere, and I had realised that something that fit snuggly at the waist but then skimmed out over my hips was going to be most flattering. With new thinking, the first dress I tried on was strapless – something I knew I just didn’t want on its own, but had been told I could add a lace jacket to. It had a sweetheart neckline, fit tightly at the waist and then had layers of tuille and a lot of taffeta to give a very full skirt and chapel length train. The instant I put the jacket on over the top I knew the look was exactly what I wanted. Both were made by Justin Alexander. The girls I was with at the time said it was the first time I had smiled as looked at in the mirror. That was it. I decided there and then that the dress and jacket were the ones I wanted.
Nick wore a pair of McNaughton Muted Tartan Trews I had bought him as a Christmas gift. His father was Scottish and this was his family tartan (McKendrick). His bow tie was in the same tartan to match. The Prince Charlie jacket his Mum had bought him a Christmas later, so that he had a complete outfit. His lovely shoes were Loake – his favourite brand of shoes, and compensation for all the pennies spent on my dress. The dress shirt came from TM Lewin and his copper cufflinks I had bought on Etsy as an engagement gift – they had the co-ordinates on them of the exact spot in Glen Nevis at which he had proposed.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were made by LightInTheBox – a company based in China which make beautiful quality gowns to order. I sent them the girls’ exact measurements and the dresses arrived and needed only the smallest of tweaks. The groomsmen wore a mix of their own Highland wear or suits. We were flexible with what the boys wanted to wear – it fit with the relaxed colour scheme. Each of them had a set of pirate Lego cufflinks – Nick’s stag had been on a boat in the Norfolk Broads that the boys had customised into a pirate ship.
We hired a beautiful Rolls Royce Silver Shadow from Prestige Cars of Fife – a company owned by Tom McKean. The car worked with our loosely vintage theme and was a definite luxury. Tom was the perfect driver, putting our nerves at ease and then drove us around St Andrews for some of our photos after the service.
Our photographer was Anna Hamill of AnnaJoy Photography. She was perfect. We knew at our engagement shoot we had found a real treasure. She was wonderfully discrete but also somehow captured every single moment beautifully. She didn’t mind being punted into taxi’s across town to be a part of everything and in the midst of relative madness, she was calm. There are lots of little touches Anna brings that others don’t – beautiful little business cards with pictures of you on, USB sticks sent with edible goodies, emails that are more friendly than blunt business, and the rights to do with your photos as you wish. And Nick and I would recommend her in a heartbeat for all of this.
My bridesmaids and I carried bouquets of flowers constructed by my beautiful and incredibly talented Mama. We ordered them wholesale from Triangle Nursery who delivered them to where the bridal party had gathered for a few days prior to the wedding. Mum then assembled them into beautiful creations and somehow knew what flowers would work where. She was magical.
Our flowers for the venue came from the same wholesalers. In keeping with as much being made by the people we love most, we got a bunch of my girlfriends, my sister, Nicks Mum and Great Aunt together and led by my Mama they each made one of the decorations. Each one had the same flowers and greenery in, but was assembled however they wanted. And they all looked fantastic. We had peonies, dozens and dozens of roses, freesias, gerbera, chrysanthemums, gypsophila, thistles and more!
We had a wedding tree as an alternative to a guest book – it’s now framed and hanging on our wall as a memory of all of those that joined us. We also asked every guest to bring their favourite recipe so we could create a ‘wedding cookbook’.
Perhaps the most personal thing for us was that our family and closest friends joined us for five days in total – a few days before preparing, and a couple of days after the wedding. Having our favourite people around us for a little bit more time was so important to us both.
We used Gordon’s Cater Hire for our vintage crockery and chairs – I wanted lime-washed chairs as I am not a fan of chair covers or sashes. They were excellent and provided an excellent service.
As favours, we gave ladies vintage handkerchiefs for “happy tears” and men brightly coloured silk pocket squares. Everyone also had a personalised name tag made from salt dough – something else people could take home and hang somewhere if they wanted.
We chose traditional Scottish options for our food. We sent guests a selection of three options for main course and dessert and asked them to get back to us – we wanted our guests to eat food they wanted to eat! St Andrews University created delicious dishes and many of our guests complimented the quality of the food. We sourced our favourite wines from the supermarket – we just waited until they were on offer and bulk bought. We had to pay corkage but felt for the same cost as the cheapest wines on the wine list we had wines we loved and that we thought other people would enjoy.
My favourite cake of all time is the fruit cake that my Mum makes for Christmas and this was the only cake I ever considered for our wedding. She also made a madeira cake for those people that don’t like fruit cake. She decorated them beautifully with hearts and pearls and lace and ribbon. Oh they were gorgeous. And to please Nick, who, if he could only eat one food for the rest of his life it would be cheese, we had a stack-of-cheeses cake. We served the cheeses and cakes as our evening buffet and they went down a treat!
One of our cheeses came from Cote Hill, a farm in Lincolnshire where Nick’s family is from – it was delicious!
We are largely a Scottish family and many of our friends are Scottish. We had been to a friend’s wedding and were amazed at how a ceilidh got everyone up and dancing – so we emailed a dozen bands and eventually settled on one we liked the look of – Ceilidh Sound. We also had a close friend who did a fantastic job of MC during the speeches – he had everyone in stitches.
The whole day was perfect. The moments we had as just the two of us were just as precious as those we shared with our friends and family. Our mothers gave us kisses right before we said our vows, our ‘last kisses’, and dancing with my Dad was one of those moments every little girl wants. The whole day was completely wonderful and we are off to Barbados in just 8 days! We are so excited!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan plan plan. It’s never too early. We had all of our big things booked well in advance, including our band, Anna, the venues, the accommodation, my dress, our rings. It meant closer to the time we had plenty of time to focus on the fine details. Also, an Excel spreadsheet is a girl’s best friend.
October 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding is something special. A little bit wild, a teeny bit untamed, but altogether natural and entirely beautiful.
I’m completely in love with Kate and Mike’s happy go lucky approach to planning their gorgeous big day and the oh so pretty result.
With images by Chris Parkinson Photography.
Kate says: We got engaged on a bench at Kew Gardens on October 18th. We were living in London at the time and it was raining on the day, so I was pretty sceptical about a picnic at Kew – especially as Newcastle United were on TV. But Mike convinced me the rain didn’t matter so we headed out with a rucksack. Mid afternoon we picked a bench for our picnic and Mike knelt down in the wet grass with a beautiful ring – 2 rings intertwined with 22 diamonds, I have a bit of an obsession with even numbers! I’m sure he never doubted that I’d say yes.
We got married on 8th August 2014 at St Philip and St James Church in Witton-le-wear. I have lived there since I was a little girl, so it was really important to me that we were married at that church. The morning we got married the village green was lined with people waving and wishing us well!
Because we got married in the village church the ceremony was filled with special touches, a poem my mum wrote and a reading from Mike’s father, and my next door neighbour rang the church bells. Olive and John opened the Dun Cow, our local pub, for all our friends to gather before the service.
The reception was at Lumley Castle in Chester-le-Street. We booked the venue without ever having seen it, as we were living in London at the time. We sent our Mums along to check it out and trusted their judgement completely. It was great seeing the castle for the first time knowing that was where we would be having our reception, as we got to experience it through the eyes of our guests.
We never planned on having a theme and were just picking stuff we liked. Then at the church the vicar gave a sermon and commented upon the proposal at Kew Gardens, the wild flowers, hand dried confetti and floral illustrations on the order of service, and at that point we realised that maybe there had been a theme without us realising. The whole day had a bit of a pagan feel to it, from the flowers and dress to the centrepieces and castle.
There was a lot of green and pink in our colour scheme with the combinations of wild and botanical flowers, but that happened by accident.
Mu dress was from Happily Ever After in Darlington. It was the third one I tried on. I just felt really comfortable in it and I wanted something that didn’t cover my tattoo. I’ve always loved flowers and wear them in my hair all summer, so the floral detail at the waist band was what attracted me to the dress.
My bouquet was from Eliza Blooms in Darlington. She was just fantastic and really understood the natural, unstructured look I wanted. Daisies and pink peonies were the main flowers, with lots of greenery.
Mike wore a traditional suit from Moss Bros, with a sage green pocket scarf and cravat. He looked hot!
The bridesmaid’s also wore dresses from Happily Ever After. The girls loved the mesh detail at the neckline and the flared layers. The groomsmen also wore suits from Moss Bros, but they ditched the cravat and waistcoat for the evening!
We travelled in a vintage Rolls Royce, which was hired from Elite Cars in Etherley. The driver was actually my dad’s mechanic and he was great! He had a constant stream of polos and jokes to keep up relaxed.
We arranged a vintage bus to take our guests from the church to Lumley castle, which we booked by making a donation to the North East Bus Preservation Trust. It was a beautiful bus and we bought a crate of mini prosecco for our guests to drink on the journey!
Chris Parkinson was our photographer. He lives in the village and was recommended by a friend. I love his photographs, they are really different and very artistic. I am quite creative so it was great to meet someone who I knew would do something original. The photographs are so lovely and so unique, it really feels like he captured the essence of the day.
My mum and I picked the flowers for the church the morning before in a wild meadow near our village. It’s a memory I will never forget: of me and my mum amongst a field of wild flowers, grasses and hundreds of butterflies. My mum’s friends brought flowers from their gardens to decorate the church. The pew ends were made of poppies, corn flowers and ferns and then the arrangements consisted of daisies, cow parsley and dried grasses.
Mike and I made the woodland centerpieces ourselves. We went to the beach with Mike’s father and his wife to collect driftwood, then arranged these amongst ferns, succulents, birds nests, orchids and moss. We wanted the centrepieces to look like they had just been lifted from the forest floor.
My mum and dad made all of the confetti. It was lovingly hand dried petal by petal. It was stunning when everyone threw the confetti – 20 seconds that had taken 9 months of preparation!
We didn’t have favours – we bought everyone an extra glass of wine!
The cake was from Marks & Spencer – a beautiful surprise from my mum!
We would definitely recommend Lumley Castle. It was so well organised and that’s exactly what we wanted planning a wedding from London. Our wedding coordinators were lovely and really understood what elements of the day were important to us.
We loved the ceremony, it was just so special to have it in the village church. We both thought we’d be such a mess and wouldn’t be able to stop crying, but we just smiled and laughed our way through.
The first dance was also pretty special. We chose ‘She Bangs The Drums’ by the Stone Roses. About a minute into the song we realised we couldn’t get away with swaying along to the music so all our friends joined in. After seeing the Stone Roses live with our friends a couple of years ago it felt extra special to relive the moment.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to smile and don’t get hung up on the small stuff, it really doesn’t matter. Spend as much time together as possible on the day and if it doesn’t go as according to plan laugh if off!
October 7th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
The weather might not have been so kind to today’s real wedding couple but that didn’t dampen a single person’s spirits at this incredibly pure and pretty celebration.
I love that although Howie and Mary have clearly put careful thought into planning their big day the results seem 100 per cent effortless.
Everything fits together perfectly. From the earthy and informal venues, to the naturally beautiful blooms and the rustic homemade cakes – slice of the lemon and lavender for me please!
So let’s head down to the woods today for Howie and Mary’s wonderful wedding.
With images by Kate Cooper Photography.
Mary says: We got engaged in June 2012, in my home village of Kempley in Gloucestershire. It was the Jubilee weekend and we had gone down to visit my family. Howie suggested going for a walk together on Saturday morning. We went out over the fields across the back of the house. Howie was unusually quiet and eventually, in a carefully chosen field with the least amount of cow pats, he stopped me, got down on one knee and proposed. It was lovely as it was in a place I knew and loved so well and we could go straight home and tell my mum and sister who went berserk!
We set the date for 7th June 2014. We actually chose this date so that it would not clash with any of the World Cup football that was on that summer. Neither of us are particularly into football but didn’t want anyone to be sneakily watching a penalty shoot out at the wedding.
The Woodland Discovery Centre in Ecclesall Woods in Sheffield was our chosen wedding venue. I grew up with woods just up the road and love walking and being in the woods. It had a very natural and informal feel to it which is what we wanted, the staff were lovely and the woods are an incredibly beautiful backdrop for a special gathering. It just felt right. We had our reception in the lambing barn at Whirlow Hall Farm, just up the road. Again it was a place we felt very comfortable in. We also had total freedom to decorate and use the space however we wanted to. Lots of room for children to run about and a farm tour was even available for those that wanted to do it.
We didn’t have a special theme as such instead we just chose things that we liked and luckily had lots of friends and family who wanted to help out. I suppose you could call it a DIY wedding as we had to come up with everything from scratch.
Similarly we didn’t have a specific colour theme but we knew that we wanted it to be colourful. I wanted my bridesmaids all in different colours, but pastel shades. The bunting and doily decorations in the barn went along with this. For the flowers we used pastel shades again and things like ferns to make it ‘woodlandy’.
My dress was Beatriz by J Crew. I wanted something quite simple but pretty. I loved the lace and the T-shirt neckline. My seamstress and I also came up with a way of hitching the outer dress up using four buttons at the back, front and sides. This made it easier to dance in and gave it a whole new look. My shoes were just pretty, cream ballet shoes from Accessorize. I ordered a woollen crocheted shawl from Etsy and got my golden flower earrings from a jewellers in Sheffield called Green and Benz.
Howie wore a blue suit from TK Maxx. It was lovely and fitted a treat. It took a half hour shopping trip, unbelievable! My bridesmaids wore different coloured long floaty dresses that were ordered from an online shop on Etsy. The groomsmen meanwhile wore blue suits from various places and matching ties.
Kate Cooper did our photographs. We were really happy with the results and she was great to work with. Lots of the guests commented on how nice she was during the day.
My bouquet contained lots of different flowers and foliage including lavender, ferns, senecio, grasses and wheat. The bridesmaids had flowers in their hair and the groom and ushers wore buttonholes. These really suited the venue and were all provided by Campbell’s Flowers. Tracey there was absolutely lovely to work with and very flexible in terms of what we wanted. Campbell’s Flowers also provided our top table arrangement and small bunches of baby’s breath, dotted around the venue. In addition, we placed lavender plants from Yorkshire Lavender on each table, which we invited guests to take home at the end of the evening.
We had three tiered cakes – carrot, ginger and plain sponge – baked by Howie’s uncle Chris Beaney of Beaney’s Bakery. Our friend Noemie of Noemie’s Kitchen also made lemon sponge decorated with lavender. Both of these were amazing! We invited friends and family to contribute to a cake table, so we had about 15 other wonderful cakes – there certainly wasn’t a shortage!
The food was provided by Whirlow Hall Farm, most of which was produced on-site. We had canapés after the ceremony, a big barbecue at the reception and a Ploughman’s platter in the evening. We hunted for good deals on wine. The red ended up being from Morrison’s and the white was bought in France. We also found some good Prosecco in Aldi – shop around!
We had a Ceilidh band called Rodger the Badger for our entertainment. They were great for getting all the guests dancing after the meal, followed by our own disco into the night.
The barn was big enough to have a kids section cordoned off by hay bales. It was a great space for them to run wild! We provided colouring books, balloons and games. This seemed to work really well for both parents and kids.
We would most certainly recommend our venue to other couples. The barn was simple but loads of fun and the food provided was great. It’s also a charity that does great work for the community, so we felt it was money well spent! We would also recommend our friend Catherine Iles for stationary. She produced some fantastic order of the days and a table plan for us! They were decorated with magical woodland scenes. We loved them!
Dancing and drinking into the night was definitely one of the best parts of the day as that’s what we like to do. Also being with all our friends and family – it’s incredible to have almost everyone you know and love together for the day.
For our honeymoon we went to Iceland. We spent 12 days driving around this amazing country. We enjoyed fantastic landscapes, people and food, incredible scenery, mountains, whale watching, walking, volcanoes, glaciers and lots of hot springs to bob around in. It’s a very romantic and peaceful place, which we would highly recommend.
Our top tip for other brides and grooms-to-be would be to focus on the important things to you as a couple. For us it was food, drink, music and dancing. Also, don’t forget friends and family are often happy to help you out!
accessorize, catherine iles, colourful wedding, green and benz, j crew, kate cooper photography, noemies bakery, real wedding, roger the badger, sheffield wedding, the woodland discovery centre, tk maxx. campbells flowers, uk wedding blog, whirlow hall farm, wildflower wedding, yorkshire lavender. beaneys bakery
July 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Wednesday afternoons always warrant a trip to the chocolate machine, don’t they? Save your calories – here’s a double dose of sweetness instead. Real childhood sweethearts and newlyweds Charlotte and Danny are here to share their love story, along with some bright and beautiful images from friend of the wedding blog Sarah of Folega Photography.
Charlotte says: Danny planned a surprise proposal in Hathersage atop of Mam Tor, the exact place he asked me to be his girlfriend on a school trip 10 years ago when we were just 12 and 13 years old!
Danny says: It was a surprise for Charlotte, but everyone else – her mum, sister, my mum and dad, my brothers and a few of my best friends were in on it.
We tied the knot at 3.30pm on Sunday 28th June 2014 at Ringwood Hall Hotel in Chesterfield.
The first time we properly met was our first day of secondary school as we were in the same class. With us being only 12 years old at the time, our first date was probably at McDonalds!
I don’t think we realised then how long we would be together, it was the norm really to swap and change your boyfriend or girlfriend each week in the school yard!
Personally I love the fact that because we grew up together, supported each other, shared sad and happy times together and experienced all our “first times” with each other – he is my best friend, we are completely open and natural with each other, nothing has to be forced with us, we genuinely enjoy spending as much time together as we can and I cannot wait to marry him.
June 24th, 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.
Back in February when I blogged an interview with our wonderful Featured Supplier and ex copper, James Tracey Photography, I led the piece with an image of a beaming bride at a colourful altar and over on Facebook lots of you fell in love with her. Later that week I featured Laura and Nathan’s fabulously cool and quirky swimming pool wedding (yes, I’ve never seen one of those before either!) in all it’s glory.
This still has to be one of my favourites to date.
With images by James Tracey Photography.
Laura says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Saint-Cirq Lapopie (in the South of France). We were on our holiday with our six month old baby boy and Nathan got a sudden urge to ask me to marry him. It was a beautiful spot by the river. It wasn’t planned so he found a twig and tied it in a knot around my wedding finger.
We have been together for 18 years (we met at school when we were 16!) and finally tied the knot on 27th May 2013 at Victoria Baths, Manchester.
Victoria Baths is part of the restoration project. It was opened in 1906 as a swimming baths and Turkish baths. The restoration of the building begin in 1995. It is a beautiful old building with ornate stain glass windows. One day they hope to restore the swimming pools themselves and open it up again to the public.
We actually got married in the old male swimming pool in the deep end!
We wanted to get married somewhere that was a little different and allowed us to do what we wanted. Victoria Baths allows you to hire out the entire building and you are able to bring your own caterers, music and decorations in.
We wanted the day to be very relaxed with a feel of a street party. No formalities so everyone could relax and have fun! We chose a colour scheme of pale pink and green.
The bridesmaids wore pink dresses and the groom, best man and ushers wore pink ties. The tiles of the swimming baths are green so we hung pink and green paper pom poms from the ceiling along with bunting.
I wanted something every simple for my wedding dress. I visited Jane Bourvis in London after a friend recommended her. Jane owns a small shop in Notting Hill and as soon as you walk in you are greeted with antique lace hanging from the ceiling. Jane told me she had just restored some lace the night before. She dressed me in a pale cream slip and placed the lace petticoat over the top. It was stunning and a one off. I bought it within half an hour of walking into the shop. I just felt special. There was a story behind it too as an elderly lady in Scotland had found her mothers veil in the loft and that was what Jane used to create the dress – old Scottish lace.
The bridesmaids each wore a lace dress which I bought from a beach side shop in Cape Town. I just saw them and knew they would match the dress and that each of the bridesmaids would like the style.
Nathan wore a tailored suit from A Suit That Fits. The best man and ushers wore their own suits with a pink tie.
My friend has a beautiful old beetle called Gracie. He came to the hotel to pick me up (complete with a flat cap) and drove me to the baths.
It was a family affair! My cousin is a register so he married us and my other cousin works at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) so he arrange for four different bands to play: a string quartet to walk down the aisle to, an acoustic guitar whist we drank fizz, a two piece acoustic band and a 9 piece disco band. Amazing!
I carried a simple vintage style bouquet made by Manchester Flower Company.
I especially enjoyed the vows and turning around to see everybody we loved.
After the ceremony we arranged for a tour guide to show people around the building as it’s so historic with lots of amazing stories behind it.
10 of my closest friends and family made cakes for the deserts. There were some amazing cakes ranging from carrot cake, lemon drizzle and early great tea muffins. Everyone just helped themselves.
We had 45 children at the wedding so we had to provide entertainment. We hired two nanny’s to look after the babies and provided lots of toys. We hired a bouncy castle to go in the female pool and we created a cinema with a big screen and lots of popcorn and bean bags so the kids to watch a film. It was nice as the adults could have a rest and enjoy the fizz.
At the end of the day we planned a big surprise for everyone. We didn’t know how well it would go down. We hired 150 headsets and held a silent disco in the main hall. At first everyone didn’t quite know what to make of it. By the end of the night everyone was dancing their hearts out. We had three different channels with different types of music. There was some crazy dancing going on.
We went to the Lake District for a few days after the wedding and found cosy pubs to relax in. Bliss!
I kept sneaking away for a few minutes every now and again – either with Nathan or own my own to just catch my breath and smile. So my top tip for other Brides Up North would be that it’s nice to stop for a few minutes and reflect on things throughout the day itself.
Congratulations Laura & Nathan!
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June 23rd, 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 loved every moment of putting together Vicky & Paul’s Real Wedding feature back in February this year. You see, the bride and I go way back, as I used to go out with her lovely brother Neil at University. Although it didn’t work out for us (and Neil is now happily married himself to a gorgeous lady!) I’m glad to say that we still keep in touch, and that it did work out ever so well for Neil’s little sister Vicky and one of our Uni mates, Paul.
Knowing Vicky, I knew her wedding celebration was going to be big, colourful and offbeat… and couldn’t wait to see her submission. I was exactly right: Vicky and Paul’s wedding was a fabulous day full of feeling, personality, beauty and fun.
Bravo Mrs Hough!
With images by Andy Gaines.
Vicky says: Paul and I first met when I went to visit my brother Neil at University in 2003. We got together four years later in early 2007 after meeting up again and Paul plucked up the courage to ask my brother if he could go out with me!
Paul and I aren’t a very traditional couple and I suppose it follows that our engagement wasn’t either. One evening out of the blue and in the run up to our five year anniversary, Paul asked me to go online and pick out what my ideal engagement ring would look like. The task itself was easy as like many other girlfriends, I’d been looking at rings for months but this was the first time he’d ever uttered the ‘E’ word and I was beside myself with excitement. The fact, however, that it was a vintage ring not available to buy immediately online was something Paul was not prepared for. His solution was to take me to London to spend a day trying on diamond rings… it was tough, but I accepted the challenge! By a stroke of luck the exact ring I’d seen online was still there and after purchasing I was one happy bunny. However we still weren’t actually engaged yet so back it went into the box.
About a week later, we were getting ready to go out and I was running spectacularly late. Running downstairs with fluffy hair and makeup half on, I noticed that our song was playing, and as I turned the corner into the lounge, Paul was there on one knee. Paul has never been one for grand romantic gestures, and you know what, getting engaged in our little house, listening to our song, with just the two of us, was perfect
Our wedding day was the day of the deluge – 6th September 2013. After decorating the hall in temperatures pushing 30 degrees on the Thursday, my heart sunk when I woke to a total downpour and grey skies on our wedding day. However, once the day got into full flow, the rain added a comedy element (watching people running under the cover of umbrellas), a dramatic element (fabulously moody skies in our photos) and ultimately created a fantastic cosy, party atmosphere for the meal and evening dancing. Plus as my friend texted me ‘Better that 2 beautiful people get married in the rain, than 2 mingers get married in the sun’ – brilliant!
We chose to say “I do” at a beautifully refurbished old barn at East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire.
I’m a country lass, growing up in the wilds of Norfolk and I desperately wanted to get married in somewhere I felt had that element of the countryside. Now finding a barn in Norfolk would have pretty easy but our hearts were set on getting wed in the county we had met and begun our lives together. Despite its proximity to the Dales, there are few barns to choose from in reach of Leeds, so we weren’t sure what we’d find at East Riddlesden Hall. Our first trip there was a gloriously sunny day and the place combined a sense of rural beauty and aged grandeur. Emma, who is the wedding planner was so helpful and relaxed, taking on board all our ideas and answering our questions. It is pretty fair to say that we were smitten as soon as we entered the barn. Even undecorated, the place looks stunning; with exposed beams, flagstone floors and whitewashed walls dotted with tiny windows. As a keen crafty-type, the thought of such a beautiful blank canvas to work on was a dream come true. The venue is also run by the National Trust and the thought that we were investing in the future of such a beautiful place was the icing on the cake.
It must be said that the staff at ERH are brilliant and they have put so much work into making this a fantastic wedding venue. Particular thanks go to Emma and Sam who were on hand to chauffeur people and perform emergency cake decorating duties. The in-house bar run by ERH served a great selection of drinks, including locally brewed beers, much to my husband’s delight. Having such dedicated staff all working tirelessly, made a huge difference to the day.
I began by actively rebelling against having a theme as I am, by nature, unable to decide on any one thing (except for a husband of course). Our wedding motto was ‘good music, good food and good times’. I knew I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy (I always think that allowing things to be a little rough round the edges means you can be a bit more flexible!). Plus as we decided to get married in a beautiful old barn, anything too polished would have looked out of place. We just wanted ourselves and our guests to feel relaxed, included and have an awesome time.
As time went on and my Pinterest account bulged with pictures that had caught my eye, I realised that bright colours and handmade details kept appearing in my selections. I decided that whilst I wouldn’t outlaw any particular colours, I would focus on blues, purples, white and add touches of gold (if only to force me in making decisions on decorations). I have always been obsessed by peacock feathers so they played a big role in tying decorations together too.
The glamorous and very lovely Anna Stephenson was a joy to have doing my hair and makeup. We spent the entire trial run chatting and laughing and the final look was exactly as I wanted. Anna and Lucy turned up early and were so flexible with how we wanted to organise the morning, it put me at ease and I absolutely loved the whole getting ready part of the day. Despite a lot of dancing and a bit of limboing, both hair and makeup stayed put the entire day.
The dress! Such a big decision! And one I made in a single day! I spent hours, nay days, looking at dresses – shapes, lengths, decorations, straps – the choice is bewildering and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. Facing this uncertainty, I decided to leave my first wedding dress shop until my mum could accompany me. Now one of my mum’s best qualities is that she wears her heart on her sleeve. After 14 dresses, none of them were meeting with much excitement. That is until I tried on an ivory crinkle chiffon, one strap, corset dress with sweetheart neckline at Confetti and Lace in Stanningley. After looking in the mirror and deciding I really quite liked this one, I looked up at Mum who had tears rolling down her face. Either I looked bloody awful and she was in despair, or it was ‘the one’. Luckily after a few moments I established it was the latter and I bought it on the spot. The women at Confetti and Lace were fantastic and helped me alter the dress by removing all crystal detailing and the strap, so the individualist in me is quite proud to say my dress is a one off.
With such a clean cut dress, the detailing in my outfit came from a fascinator I made with blue, purple and white flowers decorated with pearls. My shoes were bright blue vintage style sling backs from Rocket Dog. For my jewellery, I decided to wear a gold chain with my grandmothers’ wedding rings hung on it, so I could feel like they were part of the day. As a wedding gift, Mum also gave me a gold heart locket that had belonged to my grandmother who had worn it almost every day. I felt a strange mix of sadness and pride, and the fact the Mum was giving it to me was very, very, special indeed.
Paul wore a gorgeous bright blue fitted 3-piece suit from Reiss with brown brogues from Hudson. I may be biased but I thought he looked pretty damn handsome.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and glamorous so opted for navy blue 1940s style dresses from Phase Eight. I then bought them some amazing chunky necklaces from Ashley at TheEnchantedOwl on Etsy, sent all the way from Georgia, USA. The bright purple looped in the colours from the decorations and the girls all looked beautiful!
The groomsmen all wore grey 3-piece suits hired from Slaters. They were accessorised with purple ties, Hawaiian-print pocket squares and my homemade peacock feather buttonholes tied with navy blue ribbon.
I carried a beautiful mix of flowers by the ever so lovely Lynne of Stems Design. Deep pink Celoxia, bright blue Nigella, light pink astilbe, Blue Veronica, Scabious, Blue Wax, Cornflower, various grasses, tiny succulents and of course, peacock feathers. Lynne was a joy to work with, so enthusiastic and full of ideas – the final result was stunning.
I was originally planning on going down in a taxi with my bridesmaids but my Dad took an uncharacteristic step in intervening. He said that he would arrange my transport but refused to reveal what it would be. I had nightmarish visions of going side-saddle on a horse or riding pillion on a quadbike. As it turns out, my Dad and Brother, Neil (who was also our best man) had spent the previous night decorating Neil’s car with white ribbons, stashing a bottle of champagne in the back seat and recording an eclectic pre-wedding message and playlist. Little did I imagine that the last song I would hear before I entered the world of marriage would be Gangnam Style!
It was a very special time to have with Dad, who drove us. He was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and I am fiercely proud of how he dealt with it with humour and love, having a precious few minutes talking and laughing with just the two of us was very important to me.
Wedding readings were really hard to decide on – we wanted to strike a balance between celebratory, real and emotional but absolutely not smush. After much searching we opted for the lyrics from Noah and the Whale’s ‘Give a Little Love’ and an extract from ‘The Game’. There were many chins a quiver by the end – it really was a memorable moment.
Special thanks must go to Geoff, our fantastic registrar from Keighley Council. He completely put us at ease, conducted the ceremony with heart and humour.
Paul and I are super foodies, not in the foams and micro-herb type of way but in the yummy, fill-you-up type of way. With this in mind, the food at our wedding was pretty important and the fine fayre served up by the people at GFS Catering was exceptionally good. Goat’s cheese tarts for starters, Lamb shanks and mash for mains and chocolate profiteroles for pudding were all delicious crowd-pleasers. An evening buffet of sausage baps and halloumi pittas served to mop up some of the great selection of drinks also served up by GFS with the help of the brilliant Martinez Wines in Ilkley. Special thanks to Alex from GFS who was such a great help on the day, finding alternatives to unknown food allergies and making sure each course flowed into the next seamlessly.
Cake wasn’t high on our priorities so we used up some vouchers and opted for three layers of M&S loveliness. I then decorated with homemade flower crown and mini glitter bunting. All in all a pretty little cake which cost us less than £10! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend loads on the cake, because by the time it came to try it, it had all gone!
Andy Gaines, our photographer, was the very first wedding-related enquiry I made, even before we had a date or a venue. His photographs are stunning. They have this gritty yet ethereal quality that I find fascinating. Plus Andy himself is a blooming lovely chap – so welcoming, unobtrusive and damn talented. Andy worked like a ninja-trooper on our wedding day, capturing shots whilst keeping out of the way and staying from morning ‘til way past everyone’s bedtimes in order to capture our day. Everyone has commented on how awesome the pictures are, with even my normally-bored-silly-by-photos Dad confessing and I quote, ‘Fantastic photos – absolutely brill. Can’t wait to see the rest!’. Andy’s gone from strength to strength in the two years we’ve known him and it’s not hard to see why.
We employed the fantastic talents of Rachel from Simply Vintage to help us decorate the huge space. Rachel strung a plethora of fairy lights, colourful pom poms with peacock feathers and white lace bunting across the beams. I then decided to make a lot of the decorations myself, including props for the tables, peacock name places and adding little splashes of our personalities across the barn, including photographs of my grandparents on their wedding days. I think however, the biggest and most complex decoration was our sequin LOVE sign. This beast was lovingly crafted out of gold sprayed MDF letters and sequins individually nailed on. It took a hell of a lot of work but looked pretty darn good strung up on the barn beams and glistening in the fairy lights.
Without a doubt the speeches was my favourite part of the day. 2013 was a tough year having had both my Dad and Paul’s Mum diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months of each other. Dad’s speech was emotional – not only because of what we were going through at the time but because it reaffirmed just how much I owe to my fantastic family. He laughed about my unrivalled ability to be untidy, spoke about the time I drew a picture of him stark naked much to the disapproval of my nursery teachers (but to the hilarity of my parents!) and how he was so proud of me despite having no idea what my job title actually means.
Paul’s speech talked of how he did the unthinkable and asked out his best friend’s sister, how darn well it had all worked out and even how despite his hatred of clichés, he thought we were made for each other!
Then it was the turn of my older brother Neil to give the best man’s speech. I wondered if he might take this opportunity for the ultimate teasing of his little sister but I needn’t have worried as he mostly concentrated on his best friend and long-time drinking partner, my husband! Superbly written and with touches of comic brilliance, it was the ultimate tribute to Paul and I being both deeply personal and evoking fantastic memories. I will always be thankful to him for the effort he put into the speech. Oh and not to forget our wedding present – a canvas featuring our Back to Future drinking game– rather nattily named by myself as ‘Flux Incapacitated’ – I thank you!
Music is big in our house, so we always knew it would feature a lot in the wedding. We employed the gorgeous sounds of the Northern String Quartet for the ceremony, playing a mixture of old and new for the waiting guests. I walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ which was just gorgeous. During the signing were the sublime ‘One Day like this’, God only knows’, and ‘All you need is Love’. Then I entered the world as Mrs Hough to sounds of ‘Hoppipolla’ which was such an uplifting way to end the ceremony.
For the evening, we had the brilliant City Lights who blew our socks off with a great mix of modern tunes and some classic floor fillers, kicking off the set with a stonking rendition of ‘Got my mind set on you’ by George Harrison.
The evening celebrations were added to by some unorthodox entertainment in the form of glow sticks. What was an off the cuff purchase reminiscent of my raving days, became the biggest success of the day. Never did I think I’d witness friends of my parents fighting over who would get the glow bunny ears! The glow stick limbo was a total stroke of genius and made for some memorable photos!
We decided to delay our honeymoon both because we had no money left and the weather in Thailand is much better at this time of the year. So in but a few weeks time, we’ll be heading off to Thai cities and shorelines.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to decide where you want to focus your efforts and your money – for us it was the look and feel of the venue, excellent food and awesome music. Wedding preparation is hard so don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do too much. I absolutely adored being engaged and putting my heart and soul into planning our wedding day and I’m so glad we had the time to enjoy it all.
Congratulations Vicky & Paul!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014
This is not a sponsored post
March 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I love every wedding that I feature on these pages, and all for different reasons. Some are full of homespun, personal details and others breathtakingly beautiful. Most have a dash of both.
But then there are the weddings that have all that and more – the weddings where the personalities just leap off the page and I think – Hey, now there’s a wedding I’d have liked to have been invited to!
Lindsay and Ian’s big day is one of those. Yes, it’s cute, colourful and full of loveliness, but it also looks like it was a hell of a good laugh. And those wedding days, dear readers, are hard to beat…
With images by Marie-Claire at Fluke Photography.
Lindsay says: Ian asked me to marry him in July 2011 overlooking Lake Windermere. It was a beautiful warm sunny day – my birthday was in a couple of days and I was two weeks away from my due date – so really quite pregnant!
We were married on 5th October 2013 – almost 4 years to the day since we met – at Cock O Barton, Barton, Cheshire.
We chose our venue because it was a bit quirky and it didn’t need much decorating as it had real character. It was much cheaper for exclusive use than other places and the food was fabulous!
We chose to have a colourful wedding with vibrant autumnal florals. I carried a posy of orange calla lilies, protea and hypericum berries by Flowers by Gaynor.
We travelled in a fabulous teal blue Rolls Royce.
We used Fluke Photography for OUR fabulous pictures – we didn’t want too many posed pictures so we loved our documentary style album.
We both are into our music so we had original 7 inch records for our table names – all 10 records were special to us. The name places were paper flowers made from sheet music.
I walked down the aisle to “Your Silent Face” by New Order and we walked out to “Just Like Fred Astaire” by James. We danced our first dance to Elbow “One Day Like This”.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite part as the whole day was fabulous but saying our vows in front of our friends and family was very emotional. The speeches were also great and the party was fantastic!
We didn’t want a standard white iced wedding cake so we chose a three tiered chocolate covered sponge cake. It was made by the Ian’s parents who are Master Bakers!
For our entertainment we had a local band do some swing music followed by some indie and hip hop classics. Ian’s close friends provided DJ services late into the night. The dance floor was pretty much full all night until 3am! A close friend who is a musician also wrote and performed a song about us which was lovely.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Paris by Eurostar for four nights. It was very romantic and we had a great time. We didn’t want to go too far as we have a two year old son.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that it’s the people that make the day – not the expensive things. Savour every moment.
Congratulations Lindsay & Ian!
This is not a sponsored post
February 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
On Monday I featured an ethereal and romantic styled shoot showing off the gorgeous designs of Claire Pettibone at The Alnwick Garden (want to see? Click here to catch up). Now it seems that the team involved are so skilled that they had time to turn the day on it’s head and produce a second shoot – something completely different – to show off Brides Up North Featured Supplier Emma Bunting’s skills (she makes beautiful bunting, like her name suggests)!
Bright, bold, a little whimsical and a lot of colourful. I talk about talent all the time here at Brides Up North, but it just goes to show that whatever your style, these wedding professionals have it covered.
Let’s infuse this Friday morning with rainbows!
Emma says: I was given permission to use The Alnwick Garden whilst it was closed to the public to shoot Emma Bunting’s new Rainbow range. I wanted a fun and slightly offbeat look for a relaxed bride and groom – I think we achieved that with the look of our models and the quirky style.
I hope you like our colourful creations and pick up some bright and beautiful ideas for your own big day.
Emma Bunting and her team will be exhibiting at The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Alnwick Garden on Sunday 18th May 2014. A beautiful, excusive event in an extraordinary setting. Closing our spring season for 2014, it’s set to be a magical day. Be inspired! Click here to register for FREE ENTRY and your VIP Bride To Be Goody Bag.
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