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Garden Party. La Sposa For A Real Wedding At Hilltop Country House – Claire & Ben

November 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Lee Brown Photography

The people in the above photograph just happen to have been responsible for some of the worst hangovers in my whole life (the last on Friday morning, thanks to a flying visit and some Beaujolais Nouveau).  They are my great friends Claire and Ben and I’m thrilled to share their Real Wedding at the beautiful Hilltop Country House – one of our fabulous new wedding exhibition venues for 2014 – on the blog this morning and kick starting the week.

With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Lee Brown Photography, Ben and Claire’s wedding – at which I was honoured to be a guest – was oh so pretty, personal and lots of fun (from what I can remember of it)!  I hope the sun shines on their marriage as it did on their wedding day, bright and beautiful.  I know it will. 

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Claire says:  Ben asked me to marry him in November 2011 at the Feversham Arms Spa Hotel in North Yorkshire and we were married on Saturday 8th June 2013 at the beautiful Pott Shrigley Church followed by our reception at Hilltop Country House, Prestbury.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

We wanted a summer themed party and Hilltop had fantastic tiered gardens, a great marquee set-up and excellent hosts who we knew would do a really good job for us on the day.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

We both (shamelessly) like our holidays and we wanted an almost Caribbean theme, so we organised mojitos and a steel band for the drinks reception. Luckily, the sun was shining all day too!  The colour palette was pastels and we had a pale mint green with lace details.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

My dress was from La Sposa and Ben wore a morning suit from the vintage collection at Austin Reed.  The bridesmaids wore mint lace dresses from Marks and Spencer.  The groomsmen wore classic morning suits from Austin Reed vintage with mint ties and a grey waistcoats. 

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

All the flowers were from Zu Zu’s Petals and my bouquet was perfect for the colour theme.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

We had two open top Victorian cars. Ben reminds me that I wouldn’t let him have the roof down though so it didn’t spoil my hair!

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

As well as the steel band during the drinks we had garden games such as croquet, boules and giant Jenga on the lawns.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

We had some great quality food at the wedding breakfast and then cheese, crackers, chutney and port later in the evening.  Our wines and champagne were from Villa St Simon in Bordeaux. 

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Our cake was a tiered design from a shop called Choccywoccydodah. One tier was lemon, the next was chocolate, the top was coffee. The outside of the cake was covered in white chocolate icing with mint stripes to match our colour theme.

Lee Brown Photography

As a surprise to us, we had a TV screen on loop throughout the day in the marquee playing a montage of shots of both of us as babies and toddlers.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

We loved every bit of it but, if we had to choose, my favourite part was the service and Ben’s was either arriving at the venue and seeing how great it looked, or, oddly for him (!) even the first dance.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Claire&Ben0712

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

We had a band called A Few Good Men after dinner and we finished with a DJ. The speeches were also good entertainment too!

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

For our honeymoon we went to the USA – New York, Las Vegas , San Francisco and then we drove down Route One to LA and San Diego. We were away for just under the weeks.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try and get all the last minute “small” details sorted at least a couple of days before the big day – then take some time to relax in those last few days beforehand.

Lee Brown Photography

Congratulations Claire & Ben!

If you’d like to see your own Real Wedding here on Brides Up North, here’s how.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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

Posted in Featured Supplier, Marquees, North West Wedding, Summer Wedding, Wedding Photography, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Marquee In The Meadow: A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Francesca & Ivan

November 19th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wedding in Yorkshire by Andy Hook Photography

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After a weekend off celebrating two years in business (lets wait till The Brides Up North Christmas Party for that!) indulging in a bit of shopping with the girls, catching up on emails and invoicing and a really rather good pub lunch at our soon to be local, I’m diving back into the Real Wedding pretty headfirst.

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Monday is off to a fabulous start with this beautiful big day in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, sent to me by real bride and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Francesca of the gorgeous bridal boutique Choola in Sheffield and talented Andy Hook Photography

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I always love to see how industry colleagues style their own celebrations, and Francesca and Ivan’s perfectly pastel country meadow wedding certainly doesn’t disappoint on ooh factor (not least because of their cute ring bearers – watch out for them).  Let’s hear from the lady herself. 

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Yorkshire Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Choola Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Pastel Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Francesca says:  We got engaged (unofficially) at The British Bridal Exhibition in March 2011! I guess there couldn’t be a more perfect place with us owning a bridal boutique!   Ivan took me completely by surprise but as he wanted my parent’s permission first we had to keep it secret until a few days later when he had been to see my parents. He then officially proposed in May with a beautiful ring made especially from my black pearl given to me for my 18th birthday set with two stunning diamonds!

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Andy Hook Photography

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We tied the knot on 16th June 2012 at St James Church, Norton, Sheffield followed by a “Marquee in the Meadow” reception behind my in-laws’ home in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

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The church holds many memories for me so there was no where else we could have married! It is a beautiful church and having attended since being a little girl, I knew I would feel totally at ease walking down aisle there.

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We wanted to have a marquee reception as we didn’t want anything too formal and wanted a setting completely unique to us where no one had been before. It meant we could put our own stamp on it and there wouldn’t be any restrictions.  Our family is very relaxed and often quite spontaneous so having the marquee gave us the freedom to just let the day evolve, without any time restrictions or rules!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We wanted the wedding to have that thrown together kind of look. I love anything classic but quirky so that’s what we went for: relaxed country glamour.   We chose several colours to work with:  lemon, pale pink, mint green, lavender and powder blue. This was reflected in the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers.

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Andy Hook Photography

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I was very spoiled and had a beautiful couture gown made for me by the very talented Sharon Bowen Haute Couture. I have always loved Sharon’s collections and knew that she would be the only person to make my dress. Having previously designed for Dior and Chloe I knew I was in safe hands!

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Sharon and I designed the dress together and it was perfect. It was made from duchesse satin, tulle, beaded lace and hand stitched silk flowers. The jacket was made from matching hand beaded lace.

I wanted a dress that was very “me”. It had to be quirky but still classic enough to stand the test of time.

I have to admit that I did feel a bit of pressure to wear something spectacular! As the owner of a bridal boutique, I was constantly being asked what I was going to wear so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations!

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My something old was my sister’s veil. We re-made it to create a “frouf” as we affectionately called it! This created volume before the train of the veil.  My something new was my dress and my fabulous Aruna Seth shoes!  My something borrowed was my best friends gorgeous Chanel earrings and my something blue was a ribbon stitched into my gown.  As well as my veil, I also wore a diamante seahorse hairclip in my hair. I absolutely love seahorses and knew I would have to involve them somewhere!

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I carried the most stunning bouquet made mostly from peonies – my favourite flower – along with roses, lavender, rosemary and a whole host of other beautiful flowers by Petalis, Sheffield. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The bridesmaids dresses were by Alvina Valenta and Jim Hjelm.  I wanted each of the girls to wear a different dress in a different colour and it was one of the easiest shopping trips ever! They all loved their gowns and I think it took less than an hour for all five of them to try on, decide and order.  They then all wore fabulous heels by Paradox London all dyed to match their dresses individually. I gave them each a silver bracelet to wear on the day as well as a candle in the scent used for the wedding to remind them of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The groomsmen all wore morning suits from Dapper Suits in charcoal and black with double breasted waistcoats. They wore soft dove grey and ivory and each chose their own tie. It was great to see a mixture of spots, stripes and colour.  Ivan and the best man Alisdaire wore sand coloured linen double breasted waistcoats. They all looked very handsome!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Ivan arrived at the church in a vintage Austin Healey that belongs to his father. His dad spent months restoring the car so we could use it for the wedding! Ivan’s mum tied coloured ribbons to the handles and made a “Just Married” sign complete with shining tin cans. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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During the service, Ivan surprised me by having our dogs as ring bearers! He pretended to have forgotten the rings and then whistled and our Jack Russell came scampering down the ails with the ring tied to a bow! A second whistle and our Springer spaniel came running down the aisle with the other ring! Fabulous!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Saying my vows and marrying my best friend was so overwhelming I could have burst with happiness. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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When we came out of the church, the ushers made a shotgun arch and as Ivan and I walked through, they all fired confetti from their shotguns!  Ivan runs a shoot and we were keen for our day to really reflect us and what is special to us, so having our dogs involved in our ceremony and shotguns firing confetti was just perfect for us. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the rain had stopped, the best man surprised us by having access to some private land behind Hassop Hall. This meant we could get some spectacular photos overlooking the valley sitting on the back of the Austin Healy. Just magical! Ivan and I then sped off in the car around Bakewell with the “just married” sign flapping in the wind and tin cans rattling along the road! It was a wonderful moment that will never leave me. 

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Once we arrived at the marquee (now back in the Mercedes to save the Austin Healey from being wrecked!) we were greeted by a red tractor to tow us onto the field! The heavy rain has made the lane and field impassable so cue tractor and toe rope and bride and groom arrived safely at the marquee much to the amusement and delight of our guests. I don’t think many brides arrive being dragged by a tractor but yet again it just added to the fun of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We only used little decoration in the marquee (Ascot Marquees) as we wanted the gorgeous flowers to really stand out. Some bunting, lanterns, candles and some hanging hearts and birds completed the look. We also had a Bride and Groom Scarecrow to greet our guests in the entrance to the marquee that Ivan had spent hours making the night before the wedding in the pouring rain. They were fantastic though and added to the country feel of the day. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a gorgeous cake made for us by Anna of HunkyDory Cakes in Sheffield. We gave her a rough brief but then left her to her own devices and the result was amazing. We were very laid back about all aspects of our wedding and I loved walking into the marquee and having the cake and flowers as a surprise. The cake was four tiers made of fruit, chocolate, lemon and mocha. Delicious!

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The rest of the catering was done by Big On Taste near Derby.

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a jazz band (The Bungalow Band) to play for the guests on arrival at the marquee. They were so good that the guests were dancing straight away! We sadly only caught the end of them as we were away having our photographs taken (and having a drink in the pub).  We then had a live band for the evening called Twice Around and Mick, the drummer and family friend also DJ’d for us.  The dance floor was packed all night!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the wedding we had a couple of days in the Lake District staying at Candlewyck Barn arranged for us by the best man. We could only take a couple of days off though as we had so many brides marrying this summer that we had to get back to the shop! We are planning to take our “honeymoon proper” this Christmas though. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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I have two tips for other Brides Up North, one practical and the other profound!

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The first, is if you can, have a wedding planner. Lisa Hilliard was fantastic and as it was a marquee reception, having someone there to oversee all the logistics was very reassuring. She was fantastic on the day and really enabled everyone to relax and enjoy the day. 

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The second tip is don’t over-think things and don’t worry!  All that matters is that you get to marry your soul mate! It’s very easy to get wrapped up in small details or worrying about what may or may not be. Ultimately it’s the marriage that matters with the day simply being the start of a fantastic journey so don’t sweat the small things.  With my husband and I having had our fair share of tragedy, we have learnt that life is short and very precious. Put things into perspective and make the most of what really matters.  The day comes and goes so quickly that my advice is to enjoy every minute of the planning and the day, whilst it may be a cliché it really is the best day of your life, so relax, don’t stress, and enjoy!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Congratulations Francesca & Ivan!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how. 

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  – Images © 2012 Andy Hook Photography

Choola is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but 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

Posted in Derbyshire Wedding, Featured Supplier, Wedding Dresses, Yorkshire Wedding | Filed Under | 5 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

The Good Life! A Real Wedding – Debs & Andy

November 14th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Bestside Photography

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Friend of the wedding blog, Nikki of I Do Designer Weddings and today’s bride, Debs, sent in Debs and Andy’s perfectly pretty Real Wedding photographs for me to share on the blog this afternoon. 

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To suit the country wedding vibe that their day has got going on, I just love how Debs has kept her colour scheme fresh and natural, teaming cornflower blue with zesty green leaves.  There must be something good in the water at Andy’s Dad’s house, where the wedding took place, because it’s all so darn beautiful! Add one stunning bride, three adorable bridesmaids and the cutest little pageboy you ever did see and this Real Wedding is straight from celluloid. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Bestside Photography

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Over to Debs:  We got engaged in June 2010 at the Bracken Fox near Scarcroft, and married just over a year later on 9th July 2011.  We wed legally at the registry office with two good friends as witnesses a few days before and later said I do in front of friends and family in a blessing ceremony in Andy’s parents’ rather special back garden, with a country garden theme.  We chose blues and purples as our colour scheme as purple is Andy’s favourite colour and blue is mine. 

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Bestside Photography     Bestside Photography

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I designed my dress, using a simple bridesmaid dress as inspiration, with the help of the wonderful Cathryn of Catwalk Classics. She made it up for me, in silk, for under £500! My three little bridesmaids wore a Tigerlily Butterfly dress from Debenhams

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Bestside Photography

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I know very little about flowers so gave my florist (Flowers By Kate Mell) free rein – I just said I wanted something along the lines of a country meadow and free and ‘thrown together’ – she did a brilliant job and I think there were thistles and white roses in amongst the bouquet.

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Bestside Photography

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We wanted a relaxed, fun day for our guests so tried to keep the day fairly informal, with a bouncy castle for the kids and ‘big kids’. We also made use of a Wedding Planner (I Do Designer Weddings) who took care of all the boring details and meant we and all our guests could relax and just enjoy ourselves.

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To add personal touches, we designed our own wedding rings that used ethically sourced gold (at Harriet Kelsall Jewellers) and we designed and handmade all our own stationery. 

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In addition, because we had a blessing we were also able to completely design our ceremony (with help from the minister) and used a commitment vow adapted from the Quaker tradition (in Quaker Faith and Practice 22.47).

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Bestside Photography

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Click through to see more details from Andy and Deb’s big day and to hear more. 

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Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Real Weddings | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Country Garden, A Real Wedding – Anna and James

January 19th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Matt Foden sent Brides Up North this beautiful country garden Real Wedding.  Whilst this isn’t a wedding ‘up North, I couldn’t help but share it with you, because isn’t Anna just the most bubbly bride?  A touch of summer to brighten up your January morning…

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James Anna and James

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Anna says: James and I met 4 years ago and knew from the beginning we were soul mates. The day James proposed was the happiest of my life and the 18 months of planning for the wedding were so exciting but flew by.

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Anna anad James

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We knew that we wanted a relaxed country feel to our day and Oaks Farm, near Croydon, was the perfect choice of venue. We wanted our day to be a real family affair and with my cousin doing the hair for the bridal party, my Godfather reading a poem in the ceremony and very close family friends doing the flowers and decorations, it was extra special.

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James Anna and James

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Anna and James

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We made sure all the flowers and decorations complimented the venue which really gave it the wow factor when the guests saw it for the first time. Our friends and family loved the small touches and these were all inexpensive as most I made myself, like the seating plan and the menus.  Hobbycraft is fantastic for things like this.

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James           

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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In keeping with the relaxed feel of the day, we chose to have a BBQ for the wedding breakfast with mini fish and chips and bangers and mash for the evening.

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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We wanted to make sure our guests had a fun day so whilst we were having our pictures taken, the guests were entertained by fantastic magician Tom Rose. In the time between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception we had the bouquet toss and the garter toss which were great fun and made wonderful photos.

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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Anna and James

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We had photographer Matt Foden on the day along with his wife Brenda. They were so accommodating and friendly and it felt like having two friends taking the photos. The pictures are beautiful and totally capture James and I and the feel of the day.

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Anna and James

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Our wedding was the most amazing day of our lives and our friends and family still talk about it as the best wedding they’ve ever been to. We are really enjoying being Mr and Mrs and look forward to the adventures to come!

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Anna and James    ..

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Brides, share your Real Wedding memories here.  Contact Brides Up North today.

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This is not a sponsored post

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

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Posted in Real Weddings, Wedding Photography | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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