June 3rd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, 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 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
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.
“Pick a seat, not a side; we’re all family when the knot is tied,” declared a sign at the marriage ceremony of today’s real wedding couple, Kathryn and Michael. It’s perhaps all the more poignant given the couple hail from opposite sides of the pond, with Michael coming from New York.
As a nod to their different heritages, the couple incorporated some special touches into their day, such as a sweetie table laden with British and American sweets for the guests, and traditional British lawn games set up outside, along with beer pong and corn hole. Not to mention the odd socks worn by the groom and groomsmen – one sporting a Union Jack and the other an American flag, of course!
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
kathryn says: We got engaged in October 2015. Michael is American and was living in New York at the time and I was over visiting on holiday. One evening after we had finished eating, Michael told me he had to show me something before we got back on the subway home. We then started walking up Fifth Avenue and Michael kept refusing to tell me what it was, even though I kept pestering him as I was tired and wanted to go home! We eventually got to Central Park, where Michael took me to the side of the lake with the New York skyline in the background and got down on one knee and popped the question! There was just the two of us in a serene Central Park and it was perfect.
We got married on 3rd September 2016. We wanted to get married fairly quickly so Michael could move to the UK, as we had been living apart in separate countries for so long. Michael’s sister and cousins were also getting married over the summer, so we wanted to space the weddings out so everyone had their moment to shine.
We had our ceremony at St John’s Methodist Church in Whitley Bay. This was my family and childhood church and also where my parents got married. We are good friends with Carla, the minister at the church, so it felt really special to be married by someone so close to our family.
We had our reception at Healey Barn – it’s such a beautiful and relaxed place. There’s nothing not to love! We would definitely recommend the venue – everything about the day was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, and that was down to the slick operation that they run at Healey Barn. The barn is beautiful, the countryside surrounding the barn is breath-taking, and our guests couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the food was!
The theme for the wedding was rustic. The barn itself was so beautiful that it didn’t need a lot of decorations, so I wanted everything to be homemade and to complement the rustic barn setting.
Our colour scheme was sage green and dusky pink. I always wanted quite a soft, romantic colour palette that complemented the natural colours of the countryside. We also used a lot of burlap and lace to complement the rustic barn theme.
April 17th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re considering a marquee style wedding, then we think today’s blog post might just sway you into having one! Donna and Dave’s fabulous day is the stuff of dreams – or in the bride’s case, the stuff of movies – as she managed to live out her very own ‘driving into the sunset in a classic car’ moment!
Bunting, paper lanterns, milk urns, hay and gorgeous wild florals came together for the most exquisite of country backdrops, dominated by an ever so pretty pastel pink palette. The couple even enjoyed exclusive use of their venue, Smallshaw Farm, together with its on-site cottages and spa facilities.
Other touches we just love include their homemade gins, a photobooth in place of the traditional guest book, and lovely hand decorated jars for their table centrepieces. The prettiness needs to be seen to be believed though – so scroll down for all the wonderful highlights.
With images by Stu Ganderton Photography.
donna says: We got engaged the weekend of the Tour de France finishing in Sheffield, and at the time we were moving into our first home together. Having originally planned to pop the question the night before but having gotten carried away moving and unpacking, Dave popped the question the following morning. He made me breakfast in bed and then got down on one knee and I said yes!
We got married on the 8th July 2017, as it would follow a nice pattern with dates. We moved in to our house on 5th July and got engaged the next day, on 6th July (2014), this would leave 7th July 2017 as our last day before becoming Mr & Mrs on 8th July 2017.
Our wedding reception was held at Smallshaw Farm Cottages and Spa. We really wanted a venue that was exclusive, with only our family and friends there, plus we wanted something local that would capture the natural beauty the region has to offer. Smallshaw offered us this opportunity, with the whole site and all the cottages included, exclusively for us. The location is exquisite, set in the Peak District with amazing views all around. One of the key aspects for us was being able to have our close family with us for the whole weekend, allowing us to enjoy the barbecue hut and Jacuzzi on the Sunday.
We had our ceremony at St Nicholas Church, in High Bradfield. Neither of us are particularly religious, but Dave went to church regularly when he was younger so wanted a church wedding. We chose St Nicholas initially because it was close to our venue, but when we visited it, we were taken aback by the stunning view across the valley and the lovely people in the church. The rector was very welcoming and even allowed the rector from Dave’s home church to come and give the talk, which involved him drinking the local beer – much to everyone’s amusement!
We didn’t originally have a set theme, so we decided to go with styles we liked. We wanted something that was elegant and not over the top and glitzy. We didn’t have a set colour scheme either, although in the end pink did seem to become quite prominent throughout.
My dress was from New York Bride in Sheffield. It was a champagne coloured sweetheart trumpet style dress with a lace overlay and beaded detail on the bodice. The pictures do it more justice than I can in words!
February 13th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
It’s not every day that we see a llama making an appearance in a wedding photo. But that’s exactly what we have in store for you today on the blog, as we head to the wonderfully unique Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire – an alternative wedding venue with that all-important wow factor. Bride and groom, Cassie and Sam could really put their stamp on the space when they tied the knot there last summer – decorating it with gorgeous floral displays, homemade jam jars and even milk churns.
Music played a big part in the couple’s day too – and not just in the way that you’d first expect. Along with a guitarist and live band, Cassie and Sam incorporated records and song lyrics within their centrepieces and menus – a nostalgic throwback to their early dating days in Manchester.
Other stand-out ideas likely to get you hovering over your Pin button include a wedding cheese cake, limoncellos for favours (a lovely link to their honeymoon destination in Italy) and an all-out indulgent cake cart, complete with caterpillar cake!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
cassie says: We got engaged on 20th November 2015 at home. We were about to go to New York and Las Vegas for Sam’s 30th birthday and I had a feeling he was going to propose then. Turns out, he surprised me – and himself – and did an impromptu proposal at home. The fire was roaring and there was prosecco and cheese on toast – and then it started to snow. It was perfect. We kept it a secret from friends and family for three whole weeks while we were away.
We got married on 26th August 2017. We didn’t want to put too much pressure on a specific date and wanted to get a great venue. We had said the August bank holiday weekend would be perfect. The wedding venue we went for was up and coming and luckily had availability that weekend, so we reserved the date, and two weeks later it was all booked!
We got married at The Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth. We had both the ceremony and reception here. We chose this venue as it was so very different to the traditional wedding venues we had been to before. It definitely had the wow factor and potential to be flexible in what we wanted. It was quite a new in terms of a wedding venue and they had big plans for additional features, which we loved.
We had a music theme as we both love music and met while going out to indie clubs in Manchester. Our centrepieces were records, featuring one of our favourite song titles. Each table also had a section of our favourite lyrics from each song displayed with the menu.
We had a bright colourful summer colour scheme and the bridesmaids and groomsmen matched each other. The colours were powder blue, mint green, lemon, coral and lilac. We went these shades as they were summery and were a great burst of colour.
I chose an Allure dress, which was all-lace and mermaid style. It was the first dress I tried on at a wedding fair but I thought I best try some more on first. My mum was the one who spotted it and told me to try it on. Mums know best! My mother-in-law found it in a shop in Ramsbottom called The White Gallery. It turned out the dress was being discontinued and we got it half price, which was a bonus!
February 5th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
The life of a creative wedding industry type is a busy one and photographer Camilla from Camilla Lucinda Photography wasn’t alone in feeling exhausted at the end of a hectic and successful summer season. However, instead of hanging up her camera and kicking back for a well-deserved break, she rallied together a group of like-minded North West and East-based industry experts for some sublime creative play at her family’s farm in Carlisle. And boy, are we glad she did.
This rustic, nature-inspired autumn wedding shoot is full of charming homespun details with crates, chalkboards and pops of autumnal colour all making an appearance. It also features the bridal trend we can’t get enough of: yup, a sumptuous berry lip. Half prim and proper, half full-on fashion-y, we’re huge fans of this bold, seasonal look.
If you’re planning on getting hitched in autumn, this one definitely is for you. Making the most of the season’s gorgeous light, Camilla showcases the kind of sun-soaked photographs you can aspire to if you’ve set the date for September or October.
With images by Camilla Lucinda Photography. Model Sian Ashton.
camilla says: After a busy summer season for all suppliers involved in the wedding industry, I approached a couple I knew regarding doing something a bit more fun and creative. When shooting weddings (or creating bouquets, headwear, cakes etc), you tend to be creating something to a fairly strict brief – with the shoot, though, we wanted to establish an overall theme and then let each supplier run with their own ideas. It was a shoot where we could all afford to think a little bit more ‘outside the box’. Personally, I wanted to do something that refreshed my creativity, and allowed me to play with natural light. After all, you can only really test your ideas on a shoot like this rather than on someone’s big day.
The title we all worked off was ‘A Rustic, Sun-Drenched Autumnal Wedding’. I created a big mood board for all the suppliers and let them use that as their starting point for inspiration. Colour-wise, we all looked towards plants and trees in autumn and the colours they naturally produce: darker green hues, maroons, rich reds, as well as burnt oranges. The sunshine really worked with the scheme, drenching the photographs and props in beautiful golden sunlight.
Colt Close Farm is our family farm; my grandparents – both 91! – currently live there. Since starting my wedding photography career and shooting lots of different barn-styled weddings, it’s been on my mind how amazing our family farm could be for a wedding or styled shoot. Therefore, it was totally my first choice location-wise. It allowed us to have full run of the property and surrounding land too, which was a huge bonus.
We wanted the styling to be in keeping with the look of the farm, so a mix of elegant vintage and a natural rustic vibe. The farmhouse itself is a beautiful sandstone brick building, so with the table set-up we went down the vintage/elegant route with a floral table runner, vintage table settings and candle holders from my gran’s personal collection. Calligraphy-wise, Jessica from Handwritten Decor created wooden and chalkboard signs, following the current trend in the industry and fitting nicely with the rustic farmyard setting. The flowers were supplied by Roseberry Floral and were stunning. We mixed and matched lots of details in different settings, for example the floral table runner was used on the table set up, over the bride’s forearms behind the cake, at the bottom of the Pimp Your Prosecco station, and around the Love At First Bite setup – it’s creative (and cost-effective!) to reuse elements for different parts of a day.
September 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
It goes without saying that choosing your dream wedding venue is one of the first – and most important – decisions you’ll make when it comes to tying the knot.
And even before you hone in on different venues and draw up a wish list, the most basic of questions will need consideration: should you marry in the country or the city?
Both locations offer couples something unique; complementing your grander plans and priorities for the day – whether it’s unrivalled photo opportunities, ease of getting from the ceremony to the party after, or quite simply fitting with your overall theme.
For some brides, you may already have the perfect backdrop mapped out in your head, but for others who are undecided, we’re taking a closer look at the merits of both locations and the special qualities they could bring to your wedding celebrations. Which will you choose?
When you think of a country wedding, chances are you’ll think of a magnificent manor house, or even a castle with impressive sprawling grounds.
Country weddings are typically traditional, grand and offer exclusivity. And for the most regal of settings, they tend to come with a heftier price tag, too.
If you’re after something classic, steeped in heritage and in complete contrast to your day-to-day lives, then this style of wedding offers a true fairytale moment and is perfect for couples after a touch of elegance and decadence.
The backdrop will require minimal effort on your part, with the venue decked out in the most pristine and classy of decors – think chandeliers, illustrious artwork, spellbinding staircases and balconies, and majestic furnishings. The surrounding estate (the stuff from period novels, no doubt) will offer the finest of photo opportunities too. What’s not to love?
Of course, there are other types of country weddings which have become increasingly on-trend in recent years. We’re talking about the country barn or tipi.
The barn is another serene, stylish backdrop but it’s much more informal. You’re likely to have more freedom on how you decorate this space (candles, blossom trees and festoon lighting are just a few ideas we’ve seen recently) and you’ll probably be able to bring in your own catering – ice cream parlours, burger vans and street food pop-ups abound!
For something unconventional with an ethereal twist – the tipi is the venue du jour for the boho bride and groom. This is the ideal setting for outdoorsy types who want to break away from the traditional wedding day formula and do it their way, with bundles of rustic charm. We’ve seen everything from outdoors game tournaments to bake offs, and of course, mesmerising photos set within atmospheric woodlands and meadows.
The down-side? The country wedding takes place in a rural, secluded spot and your guests may have to travel far to get to and from the venue. Local accommodation may be limited as well, so guests will need to be super-organised and book early.
Whatever your style or theme though – the country wedding comes in many captivating guises. And irrespective of the venue you choose, all you can really hope for on the day is some good British weather to top it all off!
The city wedding is brimming with cosmopolitan, contemporary vibes. It’s for the bride and groom who are forward thinking, pragmatic and modern in their outlook, looking to make a statement.
The hustle and bustle of the city might prove too much for some couples, but for the bride and groom who opt for an urban backdrop – the thrive on this hectic yet lavish location. And they don’t shy away from attention either. There’s also the added convenience it offers both them and their guests in terms of transport and accommodation on the day itself.
A city wedding can bring glamour and glitz by the bucket load with chic hotels and city landmarks – everything from maritime museums and art galleries to former warehouses, rooftop bars, breweries and zoos – providing your celebrations with an unconventional edge.
There might be limitations on how you can access and decorate these venues and some spaces may also need to remain open to the public, so it’s worth clarifying these points when you go for a show around.
A city location can present unusual and iconic photo opportunities too. Suddenly the everyday becomes a stunning prop in your photo…crossing a busy road, standing in a doorway scribbled in graffiti or even the quirky architecture of the pub on the corner or a distant towering office block.
And if you’re choosing a city wedding, then chances are, the city in question holds special memories for you and your hubby-to-be, so why not go all-out and pay homage to this in your décor and theme for the day? From your table names and centre pieces to your welcome drink and favours – think of original ideas that will personalise the venue and help put your stamp on the day.
Country and city weddings offer such a contrast to your celebrations, and within each location, there’s another myriad of choices to be made when selecting a specific venue. But like most things associated with your wedding planning, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a gut feeling what’s right for you and your fiancé. The key is to make whatever venue you choose your own, and make it the flawless backdrop for showcasing your personalities and sharing your special memories together with your loved ones. Country or city? You decide!
May 19th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When Sara and Paul stumbled across Rudby Hall in North Yorkshire, they knew they’d found the perfect venue to host the intimate country house wedding of their dreams. It offered them a sophisticated, luxurious and exclusive setting as well as a warm, homely feel – they even allowed the couple’s Westie dog Bonnie in on the celebrations!
All the elegant details of their timeless day have been captured beautifully: think handsome buildings, fine gardens, soft pink hues and romantic florals. Get ready, guys: this one’s a beauty.
With images by Victoria Edwards Photography.
sara says: We got engaged in November 2015. Paul had planned our engagement at Thornton Steward reservoir as it’s one of our favourite places to walk our Westie dog, Bonnie. He even got up early to hide a photo album of memories and champagne. Unfortunately though, it started pouring down when we got there and I insisted on going home! Paul later had to go to the ‘pub’ to retrieve the hidden surprises and instead proposed on a spa weekend later in the month.
Our wedding day was 1st October 2016 . I’d always dreamt of a summer wedding but, after looking round beautiful country houses, such as Rudby Hall, we thought it seemed such a waste not to make use of the full house! There’s also something romantic about candlelight on a dull day.
Our ceremony was held at All Saints Church, Hutton Rudby and the reception was held up the road at the beautiful Rudby Hall.
We really struggled to find a venue that accommodated under 60 day guests on a Saturday; most had a minimum of 70 which we simply didn’t have. Another bonus of Rudby Hall was that we had exclusive use from Friday to Sunday, so the celebrations felt really intimate; it was like home for a weekend!
Theme-wise, I’d describe our wedding as classical romantic/old English – including the rain! The theme revolved around my love of all things pretty and floral and the colour dusky pink.
In the run up to the wedding, I thought buying my dress would be a nightmare but I actually bought the first one I tried on! I later realised scrolling through Pinterest that I’d pinned the same dress six months before our engagement, so it was meant to be. I wore a simple Mori Lee fishtail gown paired with a delicate crystal ribbon belt that matched my shoes perfectly.
Laura Mac did my makeup on the day of the wedding, which was flattering and natural. My bridesmaids and mum loved their makeup too. In the morning before the ceremony I felt so nervous, but Laura’s friendly and warm personality put me at ease. She was lovely to have around and I would thoroughly recommend her.
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