Brides Up North

Real Wedding Recap Summer 2014: Good Music, Good Food, Good Times! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Vicky & Paul

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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!

Andy Gaines Creative

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

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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!

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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 Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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!

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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!

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

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.

Andy Gaines Creative

Congratulations Vicky & Paul!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014

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Red Hot. Benjamin Roberts & Roses For A Destination Wedding In Cyprus – Annie & Lee

January 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

Brides Up North might know them better as members of the fantastic party band Func On The Rocks (trust me, I’ve partied with them – these guys really do rock, if you are looking for a band, check them out!) but today Annie and Lee are here to share their own wedding celebration on these pages, choosing a romantic red theme for their sunny big day in Cyprus.  Just what the doctor ordered on a cold Wednesday morning!

With images by Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

 Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

 Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

Annie says: Our’s is a real life ‘girl next door’ story. Lee was in a band with my housemate at the time and he moved in next door with another fellow band member. I used to go to a lot of their gigs and for a long time I was so shy around him that I couldn’t even make eye contact because I thought he was so hot! Eventually our eyes met after many fun nights out and the rest is history. Six years on, the bass player and lead singer were actually best man and maid of honour at our wedding.

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

After much pondering we decided to get married in Cyprus as we’ve had many memorable holidays there and have always had a soft spot for it.

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

We wanted somewhere private and intimate, for just us and our nearest and dearest. We fell in love with Vasilias Nikoklis Inn, near Paphos as soon as we saw it and knew it was perfect. It had everything we wanted, true authentic Greek family run business with delicious home cooked food and beautiful surroundings. It’s tucked away from all of the touristy hustle and bustle, at the foot of the Troodos mountains. You can’t beat waking up the morning after your wedding to a view like that.

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

My dress was a Benjamin Roberts design, bought from the lovely ladies at Confetti and Lace in Stanningley, Leeds.

Mandy and Louis Christodoulou

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Sugar Frosted: Mori Lee For A Real Wedding At Oulton Hall –Emma & Jordan

August 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime

Blackmill Photography

This morning things are getting pink and girly here at Brides Up North (oh alright then, more pink and girly) as we join Emma and Jordan for their sugar spun celebration in Leeds.  With a princess dress, candy colours and big blousy blooms, Brides Up North reader Emma’s wedding is straight out of a fairy-tale.

With images by Blackmill Photography

Blackmill Photography

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Owl Always Love You! Berry Red & A Feathered Friend For A Real Winter Wedding At Swinton Park – Rachael & Neil

May 22nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Richard Wynn Davies

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I normally like to get keep the weddings I feature relatively seasonal.  You know, falling leaves in the Autumn, bright skies in Spring time and all that.  But honestly, Rachael and Neil’s gorgeous winter wedding with it’s deep berry reds (and a feathered friend – the wedding blog seems awash with them this week!) was too good to save until the darker nights roll in.  And who knows if we even have seasons anymore anyway!

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If you are looking ahead to a Christmas celebration, get ready to get excited!  With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Richard Wynn Davies and featuring the work of some of my favourite Yorkshire suppliers, let’s get stuck in!

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Rachael says:  Neil asked my to marry him on the August Bank holiday 2011, at Golden Acre Park in North Leeds, and we were married on 27th December 2012 at Swinton Park, Masham, North Yorkshire.  We both fell in love with the venue after it was recommended by a work colleague who’d been to a wedding there before. 

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Richard Wynn Davies

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We had a winter red theme but we also had an owl fly our rings down the aisle so to tie in with this we had the Harry Potter classical music and Harry Potter table names along with chocolate owl wedding favours.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Both Neil and I drove up to the venue to get ready in the morning, we got married at the venue so didn’t need to travel at all during the day which was perfect for our winter wedding!

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I loved getting ready with my mum and bridesmaids, although we ended up a little rushed!

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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I chose a gorgeous dress from Amelia Elliott bridal shop on Horsforth Town Street, Leeds. The ladies running the shop, Vanessa & Caroline, had designed the dress and made the whole experience so enjoyable from start to finish.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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My bridesmaids wore full length chiffon dresses by Impression in claret. We got the dresses from Confetti & Lace in Leeds.  Our groomsmen wore charcoal suits hired from Yorkshire Menswear with ivory and claret cravats.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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David Fields was my hair dresser and did an excellent job! He was a genuinely lovely man and made the entire process of getting ready really enjoyable! He even chipped in and poured the champagne for us.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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I had a bouquet of red roses with frosted berries and dark leaves by Sasha at Rose & Co Flowers, Yorkshire who provided all of our flowers and chairs covers and did an excellent job with the decorations!

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My bridesmaids had ivory & red bouquets with roses and orchids amongst other flowers and frosted berries and the chair covers along the aisle were decorated with frosted pine cones.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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We used the Swinton Park Birds Of Prey Centre to arrange for an owl to fly our wedding rings down the aisle to the best man! This was a lovely touch and lightened the mood at the ceremony.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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We had an amazing chocolate wedding cake from Patisserie Viennoise covered in Belgian milk, white and dark chocolate.  The cake was chocolate from top to bottom!

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Richard Wynn Davies

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We had a Ceilidh for our evening entertainment – Cobblers Wax. They provided great entertainment and got everybody up dancing.  We also had a magician at our drinks reception, Anthony Heaton, who our guests thought was excellent.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Richard Wynn Davies

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The entire day went exactly to plan thanks to the amazing staff at Swinton Park. If we had to choose one special moment we both loved letting off Chinese lanterns outside after the ceilidh.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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After the wedding we went to Dubai for new year followed by a week in Sri Lanka touring the sites and a week relaxing in the Maldives.

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Richard Wynn Davies

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan things well in advance to avoid last minute stress and don’t worry about anything on the day, just enjoy every minute of it!

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Richard Wynn Davies

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Congratulations Rachael & Neil!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages? Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Richard Wynn Davies

Richard Wynn Davies is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Set your Sky Boxes For ITV’s The Wedding Shop! Confetti & Lace Are Hitting The Small Screens!

February 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Now, if you follow me over on Twitter or Facebook, you will know that I love a bit of telly as much as the next person.  My absolute favourite type of telly?  Downton Abbey.  End of.

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Lady Mary and co aside though, reality style documentaries or shows like The Apprentice, Grand Designs or One Born Every Minute take the biscuit for me (although given my own personal circumstances right now – huge bump and just about to pop – I’ve been avoiding that last one diligently).  

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So imagine my excitement when my friend Abbi at Confeffi and Lace – remember our huge £2,000 wedding dress giveaway here on the wedding blog last year?! – told me all about the one hour ITV film documentary that has followed their boutiques (mainly their Pudsey branch here in Yorkshire) their staff, what bridal retailers do and some of their lovely customers over 10 months last year. 

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“Anyone can walk through the door. We never know what we’re getting. In our diary all we’ve got is a name. Three hours later we probably know their life story from start to finish.”  Marg, Wedding Shop Assistant

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The Wedding Shop is on prime time ITV, 9pm on Thursday 28th February (this Thursday!) and is estimated to draw over one million viewers. One million!  Abbi tells us that “We’re already overrun in the shops with appointments so it’s great for us, all our suppliers, associates, Leeds, Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Wedding Industry”.  And that, readers, makes me very happy indeed.

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The Wedding Shop courtesy of ITV

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From the ITV press centre: Every year around 250,000 couples tie the knot in the UK. Confetti and Lace is one of Yorkshire’s busiest wedding shops with up to 100 brides a month coming to choose that all important item, their wedding dress.

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The Wedding Shop provides a funny, heartfelt and unique insight into British lives and attitudes to marriage.  This new 60-minute documentary follows day-to-day life at the shop and the stories of three brides as they approach their big day. In doing so it captures a glimpse into the lives of families at one of the most stressful and happiest times they will ever experience. 

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From tears and tantrums to weather mishaps and family fallouts, shop owner Abbi Lewis has learnt to expect the unexpected and admits to having seen it all. She explains: “Not everything goes to plan. I’ve seen bridesmaids slap each other.”   But along with her two right-hand women Marg and Jane, their shared enthusiasm and love of their jobs is without question and they inevitably become very emotionally attached to their brides. As Marg explains: “Every single day we hear a different story and everything is different. You never, ever get bored of this job because every single girl is unique.” Jane explains: “Probably a good comparison, although not the same, is a midwife, who’s there for the birth of somebody’s child. You’re there for the build-up to somebody’s wedding day so if we can make that little bit of a difference, and make it perfect, then it’s a good job done.”

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We meet bride Tammy, 24, who has asked her nan Betty to help her choose a dress, as her mum isn’t invited to the wedding and they haven’t spoken for five years. Tammy explains “I do think about it a lot but then there’s a part of me that thinks – it’s her loss. There were just that many more bad times than good times, that the bad just overrules it and I just think – I don’t want you there to ruin it.” Tammy’s dad Chris is looking forward to walking her up the aisle, there is just the small matter to resolve over his preferred choice of attire for the occasion. He says “The outrageous option is the leather jacket with the big skull and the Mohican hair…”

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Jo is 36 and has been married to Darren for nine years. She wants to celebrate her ten-year anniversary by renewing her vows in a dress fit for a princess, as her family were absent from the first wedding due to religious differences. Jo is relishing the chance to be a bride all over again and there is no expense spared. She says: “We’ll do it more as a fairytale than as a proper traditional wedding. We’re not quite sure how I should arrive yet, whether it should be a glass carriage, a white horse or a pink helicopter…”

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Natasha is marrying Ches, her childhood sweetheart. Their teenage romance ended, only to be rekindled a decade later. Her daughter Taylor-Leigh is her chief bridesmaid. Taylor-Leigh’s dad died in a car accident before she was born and Natasha has been a single mum ever since. She says: “I’ve always been honest with her about the whole situation…so nobody else can ever say ‘this is what happened’…it’s hard sometimes because she’s never had a male figure in her life.”  But there is complete panic at the wedding shop the night before the wedding when Natasha still hasn’t arrived to collect her dress. Has she had second thoughts about the wedding?

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Will you be watching? 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 ITV

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Nice Day For A White Wedding! A Real Wedding In Harrogate – Melissa & Colin

February 24th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Welcome to Sunday Brides Up North!  Yeah, it’s almost the end of the weekend, I know, but look on the bright side – a new week means plenty more wedding pretty coming your way on these swirly silver pages! 

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Now you all know what I’m up to today… and I hope that lots of you North East brides and grooms will be joining us – Facebook and Twitter have certainly been abuzz with anticipation for days now!  Please click here for more details and to register for your FREE VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag, whilst stocks last… it’s only the massive Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza (yippee)!

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Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza Grand Wedding Exhibition at Hardwick Hall Hotel Spring 2013

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In the meantime, we are keeping the inspiration flowing for those of you who can’t make the event.  Today we visit Harrogate, North Yorkshire to drop in on the celebrations of Melissa and Colin, as they say “I do” in classic English style – think white lace, lily of the valley, a lot of love and a tea party to top it all off.  Bring out the bunting!

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Amy Sunley Photography

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With images by Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Melissa says:  We got engaged at Lake Windermere on September 11th 2011, and married on Saturday 5th May 2012 at St Robert’s Church in Pannal, with the reception at Pavilions of Harrogate.  We wanted a venue that was local for all our friends and family, with lots of outdoor space for the children.

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Amy Sunley Photography

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We styled the wedding as a spring vintage afternoon tea party, with a colour palette of white and spring pastels. 

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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I chose a Pronovias dress from Confetti and Lace in Harrogate, which was classic and strapless with lots and lots of tulle!  Colin and his groomsmen wore indigo three piece suits. 

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Amy Sunley Photography

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I carried a bouquet of white peonies, hydrangeas and lily of the valley, bound with lace and a Wedgewood brooch belonging to my Nana.  Our flowers were by 4 Seasons of Harrogate. 

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony… and the speeches… in fact, we loved it all!

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Sarah Small of Cake! made a gorgeous four tier cake (two layers of fruit and two of vanilla with jam) covered in sugar hydrangea petals in pastel shades.  It tasted amazing. 

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We used Karen Peacock of Raindrops On Roses Vintage China Hire to add some personality to our afternoon tea. 

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Keeping with our tea party theme, we used gave everyone little pots of homemade jam as favours, by Favours Of The North.  We also treated everyone to ice creams, courtesy of The Icicle Tricycle. 

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Before the tea, we laid out garden games on the lawns, which the children (and bigger kids) enjoyed.  In the evening, we were entertained by Swing Thing and also had a dreambooth photo booth, which everyone loved!  

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Amy Sunley Photography

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After the wedding, we honeymooned in Mauritius.  It is such a beautiful place!

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Amy Sunley Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure that you and your groom stay together throughout your day so that you both share the same memories.  Enjoy every second of it!

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Amy Sunley Photography

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Congratulations Melissa & Colin!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pages?  Here’s how. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Amy Sunley Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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UK Wedding Blog Eye Candy Exclusive: Balbier-Wyatt Launch New Heritage Label

September 14th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Monaco

Monaco

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Morning readers!  Happy Friday!

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I’m off to visit the lovely ladies at Confetti & Lace this afternoon to check out their brand new boutique in Leeds, so I thought that it was only fair that you got to do some Friday wedding dress gazing too.  And my does the new Heritage label from mother and daughter design team Balbier-Wyatt deliver some gazing opportunities!

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The dreamy Heritage label encompasses something for every bride for their perfect day from delicate details and billowing skirts to impeccable draping in luxurious fabrics. 

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This sneak peak at the soon to be in stores label has left me properly in love.  You saw them here first!

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Which would you choose?

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

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Aruba

Aruba

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Barbados

Barbados

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The Balbier-Wyatt group has recently merged and as well as the beautiful collection gracing my pages this morning, the company also encompasses three other brands.  Very. exciting. times.

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Brazil

Brazil

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Chelsea   Morocco

Chelsea & Morocco

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Cool Britania

Cool Britannia

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The March Oxford collection by Amanda Wyatt is in boutiques now and is a glamorous celebration of 2012 in a year where the spotlight sparkles firmly on Britain. The collection has something every bride, from dreamy intricate lace to fluttering chiffon skirts perfect for shimmying the night away! You can view the collection online here.

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Greece

Greece

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Hollywood

Hollywood

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Hawaii

Hawaii

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The Romantic Decadence collection from Charlotte Balbier lands in bridal boutiques this month. From a delicious colour palette to luxury beading, no detail has gone unnoticed the results are stunning! Watch this space.

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Italy

Italy

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Knightsbridge

Knightsbridge

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Kensington

Kensington

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Majorca   Neca Island

Majorca & Neca Island

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Martinique

Martinique

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DQ is a vibrant and versatile collection of occasion-wear from the Balbier-Wyatt group. With classic dresses in contemporary colours and designs, modern styles to suit any special event and show stopping gowns as seen on the red carpet, this collection is set to launch at the end of September.  Once again, watch this space!

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Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

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Savoy

Savoy

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About the new Heritage collection Bridal Buyer magazine (my favourite trade mag for all the news and gossip!) says: Design ideas fused together from three generations, give love, knowledge and creativity to this luxury collection making its debut in the bridal world, Heritage is the only label today to have three talented generations of bridal fashion aficionados working side by side to create extra something stunning.

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We approve!

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Scilly

Scilly

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Starlet 

Starlet

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Vegas

Vegas

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Walk In The Park

Walk In The Park

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Watch out for the Heritage label coming soon to a stockist near you. Happy dress hunting ladies!

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  – Images © 2012 Balbier-Wyatt

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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September Sunflowers! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Liz & Andrew

August 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Yorkshire Wedding by JB Creatives

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I thought I’d start Friday off with a cheerful September wedding, packed with smiles, sunflowers and personal touches.  Just perfect!  Many thanks to the fabulous Jane at JB Creatives and today’s reader and real bride Liz for making the countdown to the weekend that little bit more lovely. 

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Liz says:  We got engaged in April 2009 at the gorgeous Swinton Castle where we’d spent our first weekend away together. Andrew had arranged it all so that I thought I was going to a work event there, then when I got there he was there on one knee! 

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JB Creatives

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We were married on September 24th 2011, at St Mary’s Church in the grounds of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal with the reception at the lovely Crown Inn in Roecliffe

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St Mary’s is a very special church as it’s on the estate where I have worked as a wedding co-ordinator for the last four years, and is a redundant church which requires a special licence to be granted in order to marry there. 

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Confetti and Lace wedding dress by JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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We chose a relaxed and a little rustic theme with bunting and lots of cakes, and with purple as the main colour to tie everything together.

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Sunflower bouquet by JB Creatives

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I chose a lovely floaty simple chiffon and beaded dress from Award Winning Confetti & Lace Harrogate. I asked a local dressmaker to make a shoulder strap which was added on the day.

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My bridesmaids wore purple dresses from LK Bennett and the ushers wore grey suits from Yorkshire Menswear in Harrogate. 

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Purple wedding shoes by JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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Wedding bands by JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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Yorkshire church wedding by JB Creatives

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Yorkshire church wedding by JB Creatives

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Yorkshire church wedding by JB Creatives

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Flowergirl by JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of sunflowers, daisies and gerberas by the fabulous Greenhouse Florists in Ripon, and pretty much everything else was done by friends and family. 

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Wedding inspiration by JB Creatives

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Sunflower wedding by JB Creatives

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Sunflower wedding by JB Creatives

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We were lucky enough to travel on the day in a vintage VW campervan.  

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives for UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Wedding in Yorkshire by JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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The Crown Inn Roecliffe by JB Creatives

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We hired a string quartet for the church and a live band for the reception which got everybody up and dancing. 

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JB Creatives

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My sister in law did a fab surprise cake table with homemade cupcakes, scones and cakes which went down very well with us and the guests. I made biscuits for the favours and a friend made some great vintage style bunting for the reception venue.

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives   JB Creatives

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It was amazing having all our friends and family around us to be part of our special day, including our gorgeous daughter Caitlin. 

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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JB Creatives

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After the wedding we honeymooned in romantic Venice and Lake Garda. 

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JB Creatives

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be try not to stress about the little details, if you stay organised, it will all come together in the end!

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JB Creatives

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Congratulations Liz & Andrew!

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Would you like to share your Real Wedding on these swirly silver pages?  Get in touch!

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  – Images © 2012 JB Creatives

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Wedding Dress Wonderland! Supplier Showcase: Award Winning Confetti & Lace

June 11th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This morning I am thrilled to welcome Abbi Lewis from Award Winning Confetti & Lace and Brides of Harrogate to the silver swirly pages of the wedding blog.  I first met Abbi when we shared a table at the Bridal Buyer Awards back in 2011 and was struck by how lovely she was then – it turns out that I am a great judge of character!

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Abbi has been generous enough to sponsor our current headline competition here at Brides Up North: the chance to win not only your wedding dress but your bridesmaid dresses and menswear too, to the value of £2,000!  We do like to spoil you. 

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There is not long left to enter so make sure to click here for the chance to win this fabulous prize.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the original competition post (or register at one of the Brides Up North Spring wedding showcases) and you are in in to win it.  What are you waiting for?  The competition closes at midnight on 26th June 2012. 

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Meanwhile, lets meet Abbi. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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When did Award Winning Confetti & Lace open and what is your background?

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I opened Confetti and Lace nearly seven years ago on October 15th 2005 after working as a bridal shop manager.  I grasped the opportunity to run my own bridal business doing the job I love with both hands! I started up with two part-time ladies (previous work colleagues) and a seamstress and now we have twenty two staff across four branches so I feel very lucky!

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I expanded our bridal shop after a couple of years and then found that our brides were having difficulties sourcing menswear so opened up Yorkshire Menswear in Rodley, Leeds in April 2009 and our second bridal branch, Brides of Harrogate exactly four years to the day I opened Confetti.   Six months later we launched our second menswear branch in Harrogate and have never looked back!

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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We have so many designers and have built up great trust and great relationship over the years that we only stock dresses we know are best in class, value for money, constructed well and where the quality and fit is superb: designers such as Alfred Angelo, Mori Lee, Justin Alexander and Benjamin Roberts.  We are also the premier stockists for Pronovias in the North of England and have one of the largest collections outside of Harrods and their London Flagship Store! I very much enjoy going to Barcelona each year to see their latest collections and bring them back to the UK.

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Impression Bridal are a great label from the US and English designer White Rose is one of my favourites with great boning, design and fabulous fabrics such as sumptuous silks and taffeta’s. Essence is a fabulous Australian designer and offers such a flattering fit.  The list goes on and on and we carry over 200 designs in sizes 6-32 in each bridal store.

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What lines of accessories do you stock?

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We are a major stockist for Rainbow Club where we can dye handbags and shoes to match any outfit. We have hundreds of tiaras, veils and bridal accessories including ring cushions, garters, hairpins etc. and if we don’t do it (very rarely) we know someone who does!

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Where are you located?

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace is situated between Leeds and Bradford near M&S/ASDA at Owlcotes, Pudsey.  We also have one of the largest bridal showrooms in the North of England, Brides of Harrogate, close to Betty’s Tea Rooms with over 6,000 square feet of bridal, bridesmaids, mother of the bride/groom, menswear and accessories.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Bridal gowns range from just £450 upwards and we have payment plans to help brides budget for their whole wedding outfits if need be.  Many are taking advantage of this easy monthly instalment plan with no hidden charges or extra costs.   Some top designers such as Pronovias carry a £1400+ price tag but most of our stock is around £800 – £900 on average. We always carry several sale items which are ready to wear and can be up to 75% off so we truly believe we cater for all tastes and budgets.

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

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We would recommend that brides make an appointment as we want to allocate a dedicated, experienced member of staff to help and a changing room to get changed in.  We have between seven and eight changing rooms in each bridal store so we can usually help even if you’re calling in on the off-chance although appointments take priority of course. 

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What can Brides Up North expect when they come in for an appointment?

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You can expect a warm and friendly welcome, expert, knowledgeable and down-to-earth staff who are there to help you. We like to put you (and your guests) at ease and we serve bubbly/ bucks fizz/ tea and coffee as it can take anywhere between one to two hours to try on different styles. In our Leeds store we open seven days, two evenings a week for our customers’ convenience and in our Harrogate store we have huge private changing rooms for both the bride and their parties. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

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I have so many favourites!  In our Harrogate store I love a gown called Benicarlo by Pronovias and it has a lovely sweetheart neckline which is tastefully covered in feathers! It has a full romantic skirt which is high-waisted so very flattering. In our Stanningley Store my favourite is a dress named after me, Abbi by Phil Collins Bridal and is a beautiful princess line gown in matt duchess satin with a georgette (chiffon) overlay across the bust and scattered crystals all over the gown, concentrating on the neckline. It has a flattering ‘ruched’ waist effect, a detailed train and a lace up corseted bodice. It comes in white or ivory, is flattering in any size and is £900.  With all that detail and work, I think it’s excellent value for money.

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Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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Lace is a particular favourite at the minute and vintage themes have been very popular. We are getting asked for gowns with straps, sleeves or higher necklines and as we are dress-makers can offer this service on most of our dresses.  We also have in store a large range of jackets, boleros, shrugs and stoles to compliment all of our gowns.

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How does Confetti & Lace provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I think a lot of other bridal retailers do a sterling job, especially faced with internet sellers and as mentioned before I think the service and quality of the dresses plus a full and comprehensive alterations service means we can offer much more than taking a big risk on the most important dress of your life!

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We have seen an huge influx the last few years of cheap copies and substandard gowns, often with little or no boning, cheap glued on crystals and no lining!

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Our customers can expect top class service from wedding professionals who are fully insured (we are members of the British Bridal Retailers Association, BBRA and the Retail Bridal Association RBA) who guarantee that you are covered in case of theft, loss or damage.

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We’ve also won most of the major bridal accolades and awards over the years, most recently we we’re runners up in the Best Bridal Retailer 2012 and also UK Menswear Retailer of The Year, plus finalists in the Wedding Industry Awards and Wedding Idea’s Magazine 2012 – these are voted for by customers, peers and industry professionals so we’re very proud!

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Check our Google reviews and ask around, we have many recommendations and see a lot of our past brides and bridesmaids coming in with friends and family who are now getting married. You can’t ask for better than that.

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Do you stock Bridesmaid Dresses?

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We have a huge range of bridesmaids dresses with dedicated bridesmaids’ departments in both stores. We have Dessy, Mori Lee, Alfred Sung, Lela Rose in our Harrogate store and Alfred Angelo and Impression maids at both with the whole Kelsey Rose range in our Stanningley branch. Over 200 styles that come in sizes 0 to 30 plus and in up to 255 colour combinations!

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What about Menswear?

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Yorkshire Menswear.com provide suit hire by Cameron Ross who themselves are recipients of Best Groomsmen Supplier UK Awards 2010, 2011 and 2012. We can cater from age 2 to size 60" chest and even though it’s hire wear the quality is superb with up to a 37" inside leg (most retailers only go to a 33), extra long sleeved shirts and waistcoats can come as standard too.

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Our suit packages are mainly £99 which includes any jacket, trousers (in lots of styles and colours), new shirt, waistcoat (over 60 to choose from), tie, hanky and cufflinks. One in five suits is FREE and we offer a free UK wide measure and collection service for those in the party outside of Yorkshire in any one of over 180 outlets. Our suits normally come in at least a week before the wedding also which is pretty unheard of in suit hire. We do Highland Wear (one of my favourites!), dinner suits, lounge jackets, Prince Edwards and Tailcoats so if you need a suit for a wedding, black tie, cruise, the races, prom or special event, we’re on hand to help…and fast!

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Are you married? What did you wear on your wedding day?

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I got married last year in February to Martin (who can be found in Yorkshire Menswear!) and I wore a dress by Ellis Bridal with straps, crystal detail on the shoulders, dropped waist, delicate crystal bodice modesty panel and buttoned back.  As it wasn’t my first marriage and I’m now in my 40′s and a size 14 I felt comfortable in it and it was appropriate for me.  I teamed it with a silk bolero jacket because of the time of year and I looked and felt my best – I had lots of lovely comments and that was brilliant. Looking back on my photographs I was really pleased with my choice too – after all you have one chance to capture the day and there is no time for regrets!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?

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You can ring Leeds 0113 2360652 (7 days a week) or Brides of Harrogate 01423 500010, visit our website at www.confettiandlaceweddings.co.uk or email us at info@confettiandlaceweddings.co.uk

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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ITV are currently making a documentary film about us and our brides and grooms called The Wedding Shop to be aired in the Autumn/Winter at the prime 9pm timeslot (date to be confirmed) so we’re very excited and we hope you enjoy the programme!

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We’re already slightly famous after appearing on BBC’s Don’t Tell The Bride and we had beaten several other shops in the UK for this programme to go ahead – we like to think of it as an upmarket My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and we are happy to be a Yorkshire business representing the UK wedding industry!
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  – Images © 2012 supplied by Award Winning Confetti & Lace 

Award Winning Confetti & Lace is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Shady Lady! A Real Wedding – Jade & James

November 7th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Greyeye Photography - Andy Garfitt

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A sunny start to Monday on the wedding blog with a gorgeous Real Wedding from another of the Greyeye Photography boys, Andy Garfitt.  Ah how I pine for those long summer’s days!  Don’t remember them?  Me neither!  But it looks like Jade and James picked a good one, as the sun was shining on their big day! 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Greyeye Photography - Andy Garfitt

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Jade tells us more:  James proposed on August bank holiday weekend in 2009 on the beach at Robin Hoods Bay (my favourite place!) and we got married at Sandburn Hall on 2 July 2011.  I found the venue on the internet and we went to their wedding fair (as we had been to several others) but when we were driving down the drive we knew this wasn’t like the others!  We walked into the venue and both fell in love.  This was it! 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Greyeye Photography - Andy Garfitt

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Greyeye Photography - Andy Garfitt.

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I wanted a simple and elegant dress so I went with a Alfred Angelo gown that I bought from Confetti & Lace.  Our colour theme was ivory, gold and taupe so the bridesmaids wore elegant floor length taupe Alfred Angelo dresses from Brides and Maids of Gomersal.  I carried a tear drop bouquet of ivory gerberas, calla lilies and coral lilies.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Greyeye Photography - Andy Garfitt

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Greyeye Photography - Andy Garfitt

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Keep reading…

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continue reading

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