October 22nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Monday just got a whole lot brighter thanks to the beautiful DIY wedding of Maddy and Mike. Choosing to marry in the bride’s hometown of Hebden Bridge, they selected the charming Wainsgate Chapel and Hall for their celebrations – a location close to bride Maddy’s heart for so many reasons. The venue was something of a blank canvas, which the couple completely transformed with a blaze of colour, flowers and festoon lighting. Truly magical.
The newlyweds surprised and treated their guests to so many special touches throughout the day, we hardly know where to begin. We’re talking two bands (and an unexpected performance Love Actually-style following the ceremony), afternoon tea instead of a traditional wedding breakfast, Mr Whippy ice cream and even a glitter bar!
Other highlights we just have to mention include the homemade jam as favours, the fabulous cake baked by the mother-of-the-bride and the appearance of the happy couple’s dog Kassy, who acted as ring bearer. There’s so much more to tell though, so let’s pass the blog over to Maddy to spill all the details!
With images by Mark Hillyer Photography.
maddy says: We met on Tinder and quickly fell in love after meeting in person. I moved in with Mike after six months and we were already talking about marriage. Soon after, I accidently found a list of proposal ideas on his phone, (I wasn’t snooping, promise!) so we went ring shopping together in Ilkley – one of our favourite towns and also where we had our third date. Mike took me back the next week to collect the ring and suggested we go for a walk up the Cow and Calf first. Right on top of the boulders overlooking the valley he pointed out a rock carving which said “Marry me?” and I turned to see him on one knee with the ring in his hand. He’d been up earlier in the week with his hammer and chisel and to collect the ring. It’s lovely that the carving will last for years to come.
We got married on 23rd June 2018 (though we had a small legal ceremony at Leeds Town Hall the week before with just our immediate family). I always knew I wanted a summer wedding, and with my job (I’m a junior doctor) dates in June and July were easier to plan for, as in August you rotate to a new placement. It was also important to have a date that wouldn’t clash with my brother’s exams and when we’d have plenty of time at the venue for setting up.
I always wanted to get married in my hometown of Hebden Bridge. I lived there my whole childhood and it would have felt wrong to go anywhere else. Wainsgate Chapel and Sunday school hall is a short distance from my mum’s house and holds some special memories for me and my family – my primary school Harvest and Christingle services were held there, and my dad’s ashes are buried in the graveyard – so in a way he was there, too.
The building is very old and in need of some TLC in places, but it adds to its charm. There are also lots of beautiful features – from the woodwork and marble in the chapel to the stained-glass window and high ceiling in the Sunday school hall. It also allowed us a lot of flexibility with the Chapel, hall and outside space all being a blank canvas.
Wainsgate is completely different to other wedding venues. If you can see past some of its shabbiness to see the beauty, and don’t mind a lot of hard work, it’s a wonderful place to get married.
We didn’t have a theme. I knew having one would have made me feel a little restricted when planning. I knew I wanted it bright and colourful, with flowers and lights, a real party vibe where people could relax and really enjoy themselves. Our priorities when planning were the photographer, flowers, food and music.
We had all of the colour! I don’t have a favourite colour, so this was pretty easily decided!
I was a little greedy when it came to my big day attire, and ended up with two wedding dresses. I managed it by buying both in sales – so I spent less than the average cost of one dress on two! My first dress was by Nicola Anne Bridal. I found it in a boutique closing down sale. I took my friend just expecting to try a few things on for ideas. The fabric of this gown was what first stood out, a beautiful damask silk, striking a perfect balance between simple satin and detailed lace. The shape of the dress also flattered me, with the vintage style bateau neckline and nipped in waist. The low back added a hint of glamour.
My second dress was also found in a boutique closing down sale. I knew I wanted a shorter dress for the dancing and this hit the spot. The dotted tulle and lace applique of this Loulou Bridal dress was fun and the way it spun was perfect for twirling around the dancefloor!
I wore the first dress with a simple fingertip veil I bought at the same shop.
My shoes were from a boutique I found while travelling in Australia – as soon as I saw them I knew I had to find space in my suitcase!
I wore new jewellery from my mother-in-law, old jewellery from my great grandmother and a borrowed blue garter from a friend who got married the year before. My bridesmaid Emily bought me a silver sixpence which stayed in my shoe all day. I also carried a Harry Potter charm on my bouquet – a reference to my favourite book and my incredible Harry Potter themed hen do!
September 14th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Wow, wow, TRIPLE wow – we are finishing the week off in spectacular style with a wedding that puts a huge smile on our faces, not only because it’s flippin’ gorgeous but also because the beautiful bride is a good industry friend of ours – the lovely Brooke, Weddings and Event Manager, at stunning venue Denton Hall, Ilkley, where we will be returning to on Sunday 4th November to host our Luxury Wedding Show with Brooke and the team.
Working in the world of weddings, Brooke was super clued-up when it came to picking the right setting and suppliers for her and beau Simon’s big day, which was a sensational rustic affair centred around a punchy pink colour palette and the most fabulous florals. From the perfect pastel blooms on Brookes a-maz-ing patterned gown (with pockets!!) to the incredible flower arrangements, arch and bouquet – we adore it all.
And the highlights don’t stop there – for this wedding was both pretty and personal, with Brooke and Simon adding some special touches in the form of DIY décor and sentimental polaroid pics – plus extra effort was put into the elements that mattered to them most with fine feasting and incredible entertainment playing a big part in the celebrations.
And just when you think it can’t get anymore perfect, they go and ask guests for donations to a local dogs’ home instead of gifts. Out and out sweethearts!
So, in true Brooke spirit (excuse the pun) pour yourself an extra-large ‘Friday feeling’ gin and tonic while feasting your eyes on this beauty…
With images by Avenue White Photography.
brooke says: We got engaged in July 2016, while we were visiting friends at one of our favourite places – Guernsey. After a stroll on the beach, Simon gave me a hug and said he had been to see my parents earlier that week, I asked why, he then said because I want to know if you will marry me. And with this pulled out a beautiful wooden box which contained a diamond from Iain Henderson Designs. After saying yes and crying for about ten minutes, Simon explained that we could both then go together to see Iain and have the diamond created into a ring which we would design.
After returning home we started the process of getting our ring designed, the next big thing to think about was where and when. We didn’t really have a set date in mind, as the wanted to find the right venue first, but May always held a special place in our hearts as we met on the May bank holiday weekend many moons ago.
The venue was important to us and working in the wedding industry I know we are so spoiled up North for having some stunning venues right on our doorstep. We decided on East Riddlesden Hall. We often walked our dog around the river walk they have and always thought the barn looked beautiful set for weddings. It encapsulated everything we wanted – local enough for friends and family, a blank canvas, flexibility with food and drink, and a beautiful backdrop for photos.
We didn’t have a special theme or colour in mind for our day, we just wanted colour – and lots of it. We did end up going for colours that were a similar palette to those of my dress – lots of pastel colours with pink, purple, green and blue. Also, plenty of glittery bits because it’s not a party without something shiny.
I first saw my dress whilst perusing Instagram – it was actually a Brides Up North post! I knew I had to find this dress and try it on. The designer was Charlotte Balbier so I did some internet research and The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in Pickering came up as a Charlotte Balbier stockist. I gave the lovely Diana a call and she arranged a time for me and mum to go to the boutique and see the dress. The design is called Untamed Love and features a beautiful coloured silk overlay with huge train. Once I had tried it on I knew the dress was meant for me, this was cemented even more when I realised it had pockets!
Simon had always said from the word go that he wanted to buy his suit rather than hire to ensure that it fit really well. To reflect the relaxed feel of the venue, he decided on a waistcoat and trousers combo. On a visit to Skipton one day we walked past Jenson Samuel on the high street and they had some lovely stuff in the window. Simon went in and spoke to the guys in the store who were amazing.
We bought all the groomsmen’s suits from Jenson Samuel in Skipton too, they were all Mark Darcey trousers and waistcoats. We also bought the shirts from Jenson Samuel. We wanted to buy rather than hire so the guys all had a thank you from the day, plus they could get them altered to fit perfectly.
August 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The colour-scheme of today’s Scottish wedding between Caroline and Nathan is inspired by Peru, after Nathan popped the question on the Inca Trail – and what glorious, bright and vivacious hues it provides, in pinks, oranges, reds and blues with an overarching theme of navy and gold.
As far as arrivals go, we love the 12-piece pipe band that led the couple down the long drive to their castle venue. What a spectacular, regal sight to see – and hear – as a guest. No wonder it gave a lot of them goose bumps! The wow factor continued throughout the day, with a ceilidh band to get the crowds moving and a superb firework display to round off the night in style, providing some gorgeous photo opps. Caroline and Nathan definitely upped the ante when it came to laying on the entertainment.
And we have to give them kudos for their attire too, with Nathan pulling off a subtle tartan jacket for the daytime and switching to tartan suit trousers at the evening party. Meanwhile, Caroline was a vision of beauty in a princess-style dress perfect for a castle wedding, complete cute bow detailing and a sparkly beaded belt.
With images by Ian MacMichael.
caroline says: We got engaged on the Inca Trail in Peru, on 23rd April 2017. Nathan carried the ring in his pocket the entire time; I had absolutely no idea! After a slow start with me falling in a puddle and torrential rain all morning, he got down on one knee. It was at the last Inca site on day three before we got to Machu Picchu at a place called Intipata – a beautiful spot where you can look out over the entire valley. It completely took our breath away and was the perfect location.
We got married on 2nd June 2018. As soon as we saw pictures of Carlowrie Castle in Edinburgh and went to see it in person, we fell in love and knew it was exactly what we were looking for. We had our actual ceremony at Mayfield Salisbury Church. The church has very close connections to our family, so we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else.
Carlowrie Castle was exactly what we were looking for. It has an incredible driveway, beautiful gardens and, even though it’s a castle, it’s completely modern inside. Due to our numbers (140) we thought it best to have a marquee, so we could take advantage of using the gorgeous orangery for our drinks reception and for our photobooth, sweet station, etc.
We would absolutely recommend the venue to other brides and grooms. We had multiple meetings with Jen, Ailsa and the team at Carlowrie. They were excellent with calling, emailing and catching up on a regular basis. On the day, Jen and the team absolutely smashed it. Everything was taken care of; we didn’t have to ask for anything and they needed no prompting to keep the evening going strong. They went above and beyond, to the point where one of the waitresses brought us canapés while we were having our photos taken! Absolute dream. It’s in a beautiful setting, convenient for both Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh City Centre. This venue has it all!
In terms of a theme, having gotten engaged in Peru we wanted to feature bright and bold colours in the wedding. This was mainly done through the bouquets, flowers at the church and evening reception but our main wedding colours were actually determined by the bridesmaid dresses. We found lovely beaded navy blue dresses and thought that a gold colour would complement them beautifully, so we brought those colours through in any way we could – the table plan (frames within a large frame that we made ourselves!), the wedding stationary, the cake, etc.
My dress was by Morilee and I bought it at Gwenne in Broxburn. I tried on one of every style in the store as I wanted to make sure I didn’t prefer something else to my favourite and so that I had the full bridal experience! My dress was full-on princess style with a beaded belt, under-netting, embellishment and detachable straps that I took off for the evening part of the wedding (and applied a red lippie!). I just loved it!
Nathan wore a subtle tartan suit jacket (blue/green) with black trousers, a white shirt and a black bow-tie, all from Hugo Boss. He kept his outfit a secret, which was such an amazing surprise, and he completely took my breath away. He looked so gorgeous: the perfect combination of England and Scotland. He also had a change for the evening, where he switched it up into a dark shirt and the subtle tartan trousers from the original suit, again from Hugo Boss. He looked incredible. I can’t believe he had an outfit change and I didn’t!
August 8th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The gorgeously vivid flowers that feature in today’s real wedding between Sophie and Rob add some real pizzazz to this lovely summer celebration; in pinks and oranges, purples and yellows, they pop spectacularly against the neutral marquee and white paper lanterns and balloons. Achieving a ‘grown-up boho’ vibe for their big day, Sophie and Rob opted for some lovely homemade details, such as the chalkboard running order of the day and table plan.
Sophie went with a lesser known designer for her delicate boho-inspired dress; the Inbal Raviv creation is stunning with its lace and bead embellishments and unusual tassel straps. Completing her ensemble with a headdress of vibrant flowers and a simple pair of earrings, Sophie’s look is elegant and oh-so chic with a playful twist.
Sophie and Rob had all the right connections to make their wedding extra special. Working in PR meant Sophie had access to plenty of fantastic suppliers and being the son of the Bishop of Warrington meant Rob could secure a pretty high-profile figure to conduct the ceremony – not many people can say they’ve been married by their own father!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
sophie says: We got engaged during a weekend away that Rob booked “as he had some points on his credit card” to spend, which saw us staying in a hotel in Richmond for the weekend – one of my favourite places in London. I should have thought it was all too good to be true (we were in a huge suite) but was, of course, completely oblivious. After we’d had lunch and been to the spa, he caught me off guard in the room with the ring and I was completely shocked. We then headed for a meal by the river and a few too many drinks to celebrate! The next day he’d planned a surprise Sunday lunch with friends, too: safe to say I had a very sore head on Monday at work.
We got married on 12th August 2017 and had our reception at the amazing Priory Cottages in Wetherby, which I cannot rate highly enough. We looked at loads of places online (we live in London but wanted to get married in the north as Rob is from Sheffield and I’m a Leeds girl) and wanted somewhere we could celebrate for the weekend and that felt informal and fun. The cottages meant we could have the whole wedding party stay the night before and the night of, and it had a beautiful marquee and gardens, of which we could have free reign. Serena at The Priory was amazing and answered so many of our questions, putting us at ease and making everything super easy – we would 100% recommend it. The Priory is a stunning setting (so many people said so) and the people who manage it (shout out to the lovely Serena and Phoebe) are so helpful and down to earth and honestly made the experience so hassle free and easy. I asked so many questions and they always had an answer and can suggest great suppliers to work with, as well as tips for the big day.
We had our ceremony in a gorgeous village church up the road from The Priory, called Wighill Church. Rob’s dad is part of the church (at the time, the Bishop of Warrington) and so he married us, which was one of the most amazing parts of the day. He got everyone laughing and really matched the service to our personalities and became a bit of a celebrity at the reception afterwards.
For transport, we splashed out and hired a little red sports car – an AC Cobra for anyone who knows anything about cars – from Classic Car Hire North, which actually became one of our favourite bits about the day – it looked so good in pictures! My dad drove him and I to the church and then Rob and I drove back with the top down (the hair wasn’t loving it, but it was worth it) down all the pretty country roads.
There was no theme as such but we’re both quite non-traditional in our style and wanted something laid back to match the countryside setting. If forced to say so, I would describe it as ‘grown-up boho’, which probably started with my dress and came through in everything else. We just tried to pick things that felt like our personality. We had such a great backdrop to begin with, with The Priory, which really brought everything together.
In terms of a colour scheme, I scoured Pinterest and became obsessed with big, bright bouquets and flowers, which is the opposite to my usual style as I’m often dressed head to toe in black or one simple colour, but I loved the pictures and so decided that, to make it more ‘us’, we’d create a really simple white blank canvas, with white lanterns and balloons, and then have bright flowers popping throughout.
August 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s couple, Laura and David, are self-confessed globetrotters, and we just love the fact that they injected this sense of adventure into their special day at Crosby Hall Educational Trust in Little Crosby, back in May.
Paying homage to all the wonderful memories they’ve created together so far, hopping from country to country, their colourful wedding day featured some rather lovely nostalgic touches, including miniature globes and Polaroid pictures aplenty. It comes as no surprise to us to hear that, post-wedding, the newlyweds will also be embarking on a very unique honeymoon experience (more deets on this later).
Swapping the traditional wedding breakfast for an indulgent afternoon tea followed by a hog roast, our couple definitely put their own stamp on the day’s proceedings. A pork pie wedding cake and vintage ice cream camper van are just two of the other scrumptious foodie highlights from their big day. A deliciously different line-up, if we do say so ourselves!
With photos by Hayley Blackledge Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in January 2016. We had gone out for dinner and David arranged for my sister to decorate the living room while we were out. I came home to a candlelit living room with photographs of us in various places around the world attached to balloons saying, “Will you marry me?”.
Our wedding took place on 27th May 2017. We originally wanted a summer date but the venue didn’t have any of our preferred dates available. We then considered Easter, but decided on May in the end. I’m a teacher so I wanted to make sure I had some school holidays after the wedding. We liked the fact it was a Bank Holiday weekend too, as we had lots of people travelling to the wedding and it allowed them to make the most of their time with us.
We had the ceremony and reception at Crosby Hall Educational Trust (CHET) in Little Crosby. The ceremony took place in the old barn. We loved the venue as soon as we saw the space. It ticked all the boxes for us – it was relaxed, pretty, private and allowed us to put our own stamp on things.
We didn’t have a theme as such but we incorporated lots of travel elements, due to the fact we have spent most of our relationship traveling the world! We used globes as decorations and we named our tables after some of our favourite places. We also decorated the walls of the corridors in the venue with photos of us in various locations.
We wanted the wedding to be bright and colourful, with a touch of sparkle. We used lots of bright colours in the decorations and flowers, with touches of metallic gold and glitter.
I got my dress from Wed2be in Liverpool. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress and originally, I went along just to get a feel for the style I wanted. I tried on lots of different gowns, but this dress just felt like ‘me’. I’m not a particularly girly girl and didn’t want anything too traditional. I felt the dress suited my personality perfectly and I felt really comfortable in it.
My shoes were from Irregular Choice. I’d had my eye on them for a while. My mum tried to persuade me to get something else but I’m glad I didn’t listen to her! I really want to wear them again!
July 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Fitness vloggers Lainey and her beau Lex are no strangers to the limelight, but Lainey confesses in today’s real wedding that the couple had considered eloping. All we can say is praise the wedding gods they didn’t, as instead we have this super-quirky and colourful big day full of rustic-themed inspiration to obsess over.
With almost half a million Instagram followers between them, not to mention their epic YouTube following, it’s no surprise that the couple turned to the social media platform for big day inspiration. More used to donning gym gear than formalwear, Lainey admits that the idea of dress shopping was “a bit of a nightmare” – however, Instagram saved the day and led her to the one: a simple and slinky lace number which accentuated her gym-honed curves.
So, over to Lainey to tell us more about a celebration featuring donkeys, llamas and vintage tractors, plus some great advice on how to DIY your socks off.
With images by Rustic Lovebirds Photography.
lainey says: We got engaged in New York. I surprised Lex with a trip to NYC for his birthday in November 2016. I‘d planned a number of surprises on the trip: nice restaurants, tickets for The Lion King on Broadway and, of course, tickets to go up the Empire State Building – and we decided it would be fun to dress like complete tourists to head up the famous tower. I had no idea he planned to surprise me, getting down on one knee at the top of the Empire State. I was in complete shock!
We booked our wedding as soon as we returned to the UK. I‘d waited three years for him to propose and didn’t want to wait to get married! I knew I wanted an intimate but quirky wedding and started researching barns in the area that could host our day. We visited The Wellbeing Farm, in Lancashire, and fell in love; Celia and all the staff were so helpful and enthusiastic about all the crazv ideas we had.
I wanted a May wedding – I love it when all of the springtime flowers are in bloom – and so we chose 6th May.
Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Wellbeing Farm. Lex’s Mum, Jane Griffin, is a wedding celebrant and she married us on the day.
We went for a rustic wedding theme. I wanted to have a lot of white lace with bright colours to contrast. My favourite colours are orange, red and yellow and, although they’re quite autumnal colours, I think they worked well on the day.
I’ve never been a girl who dreamed of a big white wedding and, honestly, if I’d had my choice we probably would have eloped. Shopping for a wedding dress, therefore, felt like a bit of a nightmare! However, Instagram was a great source of inspiration and I came across Australian wedding dress company Grace Loves Lace. They had simple yet elegant designs – I feel like wedding dresses are moving towards simpler, more elegant lines in general. You correspond via email and get help with choosing a style you like, then you send in your exact measurements and voila – six weeks before the wedding my dress arrived and it fit like a glove! I chose to design my own shoes as I couldn’t find ones to match and I used online shoe company Shoes Of Prey. The first pair arrived and I didn’t like them – plus they didn’t fit properly – but I simply returned them, requested adjustments and they came back perfect.
Our wedding rings were designed and made by Two Become One Jewellery.
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