July 22nd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
All this hot weather has got us in the mood for a little tropical wedding inspiration – so grab your sunnies, pour a Pina Colada and lay back in your hammock as we head for the tropics…
Pineapples, flamingos and botanics have all been making a statement on the home interior front for some time and now they’re beginning to creep into the world of weddings too.
From loud and in-your-face playful décor to romantic muted tones, there are numerous different ways to incorporate the tropical trend into your day, whether you’re jetting off for a wedding by the sea or staying closer to home.
Here are the top tropic looks that have currently got us hot under the collar…
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Laura Hotz| image source, photography by Amber Gress| image source| image source| image source, photography by Maddison Short Photography| image source, photography by Couple Cups| image source.
For those who take a “go hard or go home” approach to life, this full on Club Tropicana styling is definitely for you.
Think bright colours, bold patterns and playful props and you can’t go too far wrong.
As huge fans of the colour pink, us Brides Up North gals love the idea of a flamingo theme that can be carried right through the wedding styling; from the invites and stationery, to the wedding cake and décor. While we might just draw the line at introducing inflatable flamingos to the day, we encourage couples taking this route to go all out.
Pineapples and bright fruits, like lemons and limes, can be incorporated into table settings and centre pieces doubling up as name place holders and even vases. There’s also the option to include zesty fruits into food and drink choices too – perhaps a Havana rum cocktail for the drinks reception and a citrus cupcakes or cheesecake for dessert? Brightly patterned crockery and glassware to serve, also helps to set the scene.
When it comes to the bride’s attire we advise steering clear of fruit basket hats and grass skirts and instead keeping it clean and classy with just a slight pop of colour as a nod to the theme. Think vibrant footwear and flower crowns, or perhaps if feeling bold, a bridal separates set or dress that features a burst of colour. Bridesmaids meanwhile can afford to be more fearless, going for a strong solid hue such as turquoise, tangerine or hot pink, or even opting for a punchy patterned dress.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Alana Jones Mann| images source, photography by O’Malley Photographers| image source, photography by Jessi Rae| image source, photography by Maui Maka Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Our Labour of Love| image source, photography by Krista Mason Photography| image source| image source, photography by Brian Tropiano.
If the above pushes you a little too far out of your comfort zone, then the tropical trend can be stripped back for a softer and dreamier look.
Pale pastel pinks and greens work particularly well for this theme, as do hints of baby blue, lemon and peach.
A lot of the same typical tropical props can still be used, but it’s about creating a more elegant feel with delicate textures and tones. So mix up sharp-skinned pineapples with gentle blooms, trailing plants and romantic candles. Adding tiny touches of light gold can also help give the look a more classical edge.
Once again, brides might prefer to stick to a traditional ivory or white gown not to compete with the décor, though a pretty blush pink or powder blue dress is an option. Bridesmaids can be muted and matching or all mixed up in differing tones or girly floral prints – just be sure that the pattern remains bold as not to look too ditsy.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Bethany Michaela| image source, photography by Calvin Elizabeth| image source, photography by Cathy Durig Photography| image source| image source, photography by Lindsay Madden Photography| image source, photography by Cathy During Photography| image source, image by Calvin Elizabeth| image source, photography by Fondly Forever| image source, photography by Jose Villa Photography| image source, photography by Paula Player Photography.
Finally for those wanting to stick to just one colour for their big day, we highly endorse the botanical tropical trend.
Loud leafy patterns are something we’ve seen for a while now in both homeware and fashion so it’s little surprise that brides and linking the look for their weddings too.
Simple yet strong, the trend is all about large textured greenery that can be used in centrepieces, bouquets, tablescapes, signage and chair décor. It’s up to the couple how bold they go. Keeping leaves more sparse against white with elements of wood and hints of metallics, particularly rich gold, can look absolutely stunning but there’s nothing to stop brides and grooms going for much fuller foliage and striking hanging botanics either.
Bold leafy print patterns in stationery, cakes and attire work well for those wanting to add a graphic and more modern twist to the theme.
For bridesmaids patterns, single hues or varying shades of green are all options and the groom and groomsmen have the opportunity to don green as well. While the earthy colour is not typically a hue that you would see a bride wearing, there are lots of fancy green footwear designs out there so think about going more green-toed than green-fingered!
January 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Though the temperatures outdoors are dropping, we have something guaranteed to warm up your day – the Moroccan themed wedding of Jen and Marc. Taking inspiration from her travels in North Africa, bride Jen chose vibrant colours and authentic décor, such as ornate metal lanterns, to style their big day.
We love the warm rich tones that feature and also have a huge soft spot for Jen’s Maggie Sottero gown and gorgeous bouquet!
Though Jen says she felt the pressure when planning her big day, we think she did a sterling job!
With images by Kyle Hassall Photography.
jen says: Marc proposed when we were on holiday in Barbados. It was completely unexpected!
We got married on 15th August because Marc’s dad offered us the use of his beautiful garden for a marquee wedding and so it had to be a summer date to accommodate UK weather! I didn’t want to spend too long planning the wedding and felt I could turn it around within eight months.
Our ceremony was at Chester Town Hall. We chose it because it was close to Marc’s dad’s house where our reception would be reception.
The wedding had a very loose North Africa/Morocco theme. I really wanted to incorporate such influences into our traditional English country wedding as I lived in the Middle East and North Africa for a time and still travel there. The colour scheme was slightly out of control as I’m a big fan of bright colours! I wanted all the flowers and décor to be warm and bright. So orange appeared to be the dominant colour but it was more of an evolution than a conscious choice.
January 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding couple chose two historic venues brimming with character and charm for their big day celebrations, which took place in the North West of the country.
Following a ceremony in the church where the groom’s parents had married 34 years previous, the happy couple and their guests moved onto The Old Grammar School in Middleton, for the reception to get underway.
We love the simplicity & elegance of this wedding which also features pops of colour and personality to make it stand out from the crowd.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
nadine said: We got engaged on my 30th birthday in November 2014. The engagement was a modern joint decision. Having known each other since our university years and lived together as a couple for five years we had spoken about marriage a number of times. As we were both approaching the 30-year-old milestone we decided it was the right time. Rob proposed in front of the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona. We celebrated in the nearest bar with a jug of Sangria!
Neither of us wanted a long engagement. Spring would have been too soon, summer too popular, so we settled for autumn and set the date for 24th October 2015.
We wanted a venue that would be exclusive to us and our party. We also knew we wanted a venue that resembled a barn and that would require very minimal decoration. We looked at a number of options and finally settled for a church wedding at St. John the Divine in Brooklands, Sale, where Rob’s parents had married 34 years before. The reception was held at The Old Grammar School in Middleton, which is a historic venue with all the character and charm that I was after. I fell in love with the place when I first saw it online and it was even more impressive when we first visited!
January 6th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This morning’s real wedding is all about colour with pops of vibrant hues peppered throughout the celebrations.
We adore bride Clare’s gorgeous Ronald Joyce lace dress, complete with veil and elegant faux fur cape. Other highlights include the stunning setting, the maids’ pretty Jenny Packham gowns and a rather sweet page boy – what a cutie!
With images by Jess Petrie.
clare says:We were in Ambleside, in the Lake District, when we got engaged. We had gone out for the day on a boat across Windemere with our little boy Harry. Dan was acting very strange to the point where I thought he had gone off me! I got increasingly more anxious and wasn’t too impressed when he asked me to walk the long way home. Mid way through, there is the most amazing view over the mountains where we pass daily to go for breakfast. It was here where he practically stumbled onto one knee (with Harry on his back) and asked me. Needless to say, my mood changed very quickly!
We set the date for 27th March 2015. It was originally going to be 7th November 2014 – I had always dreamed of a winter wedding – however, we had a little surprise in a baby girl, Mollie. She was born on the 4th November and so we thought it would be a bit tight to go through with the wedding then. Spring is always a fabulous time of year and we then imagined daffodils and a brighter sky (which we got) at our chosen venue and the decision was made for a March wedding.
We had a church ceremony and then went onto Bolton Abbey, in Skipton, for the reception. We had thought about getting married near where we live in Oxford, but after having a walk around the grounds when visiting Dan’s parents in Menston we both fell in love with the place.
November 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Our second helping of real wedding inspiration today comes in the form of Gill and Craig’s colourful summer wedding that took place at West Tower in Aughton.
Cue outdoor ‘I dos’, bright bridesmaid dresses and origami bouquets!
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
craig says: We got engaged on 12th May 2014, at our favourite restaurant in Costa Teguise Lanzarote. Some of my family were on holiday there as well as two of our friends. I arranged for the rest of the gang to follow down to the restaurant half-an-hour later than Gill and I got there. I got down on one knee in the terrace area, then the rest of our group arrived at the restaurant where we had a celebratory meal. It was the most nerve wracking day of my life!
jill says: Our wedding day was on 4th September 2015. We knew we wanted a Friday wedding in September so when we contacted the venue and the 4th was available, we jumped at it.
We got married at West Tower in Aughton, Lancashire, which is the village I grew up in. West Tower was the second venue that we viewed and we both knew as soon as we saw it that our search was over due to its stunning grounds and intimate feel.
We didn’t have a theme but decided we wanted the wedding to be light and summery and so chose to incorporate pastel colours, which worked well with the venue. After a lot of Pinterest research we settled on mint green and coral.
November 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom built their wedding around the things most important to them: close friends and family, the bride’s home town of Beverley – and food!
This resulted in an intimate wedding party of just 19 guests who were treated to little tour around Beverley before settling at the town’s Whites Restaurant for an impressive nine course meal (that’s right, nine courses!)
We love the relaxed vibe to Laura and Ranj’s big day as well as their pretty green colour scheme which all started with Laura’s vision for her wedding shoes.
With images by Jemma King Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in London, January 2015. We went from engagement to wedding in under seven months! We were just so ready to be married and didn’t want to spend too long in the planning stages.
We went to London for my birthday and saw Philip Pullman’s Grimm Fairy Tales at the Oxo Tower. I love theatre and it was an amazing night. As we walked along the Thames, to find somewhere to eat after the theatre, Ranj said, “Doesn’t St Pauls look amazing. Let’s sit and look at it for a bit”. I refused to sit down because I was hungry and cold and apparently totally spoilt Ranj’s first attempt at proposing to me. Whoops! He’d carried the ring around all night!
The next morning we were all cuddled up in the hotel room and Ranj pulled the ring out from under his pillow and proposed there instead. Although I felt bad when I realised that I’d spoilt his first attempt I preferred the hotel room proposal. It set the tone for how we eventually designed our wedding; intimate, personal, just us.
We got married on Tuesday 11th August 2015. We wanted to marry in the summer so that we could go on a mega honeymoon. I’m a self-employed drama teacher, so get time off during school holidays.
Although we’re both currently living and moving around the southeast, while Ranj finishes his training as an orthopaedics and trauma registrar, I’m a Beverley girl at heart. I was born and bred there, my family live there, as well as the majority of my friends. It was really important to me that we got married in my hometown.
We only had 19 guests at our wedding, so chose venues that would suit the intimate, personal style we were going for. We had the ceremony at Beverley registry office and worked really hard with the registrar to make the service really personal. We wrote our own vows and had some brilliant readings.
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