Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

best of both worlds. madison james for a glamorous country wedding at aldby park – lindsey and andy

February 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (31)

Happy Valentine’s Day Brides up North! Did you catch our weekend wish list?

It’s time to get all romantic on these pretty pages as today’s seriously sophisticated couple pulled out all the stops for their wedding in glorious Yorkshire. After the groom’s idyllic proposal in Champagne, Lindsey wore Madison James, Andy wore his RAF Number Ones, and beautiful blooms, jaw-dropping home bakes and fizz (Champagne, obviously) were the order of the day.

This outdoor-loving pair created a striking fusion of styles – Lindsey’s deep-cut beaded dress and the colour scheme’s copper accents feel very city chic, but their stunning sailcloth Sperry marquee and those hayfield tandem photographs are pure countryside class.

The best of both worlds – and simply gorgeous to boot.

With images by Chris Milner and video by Brides Up North Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films.

Andy and Lindsey from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

lindsey says: We got engaged in the Champagne region of France in August 2015. Andy booked us first class Eurostar tickets for a weekend in Paris and Champagne. On the day we got engaged, he had hired a tandem bike (we both like cycling and had cycled from London to Paris earlier in the year together). We cycled from vineyard to vineyard and sampled lots of champagne. It rained a little in the morning so we got wet on the bike but at the last Champagne House the clouds parted and the sun came out beautifully. At around 3pm we got back on the tandem for the last time to cycle back. We’d only been cycling for about ten minutes down a beautiful quiet country lane when we got to a hill. Having had a good few glasses of bubbly in us, Andy asked if we could ‘take five’ at the top and enjoy the view down the valley. And that’s where he took off his helmet (and I thankfully did the same!) and he dropped down on one knee and popped the question!

We spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne (obviously!) and got planning what our dream wedding could look like….

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (28)

We got married on 30th July 2016. We wanted a day in the summer so that (weather permitting) we could celebrate in the sun in my beautiful home county of Yorkshire. I grew up on a farm and we both love the countryside so we wanted to be able to celebrate in with the trees and flowers in full bloom and Yorkshire looking glorious.

We got married at St Helen and the Holy Cross Church in Sheriff Hutton, followed by a Sperry (white marquee by Papakata) reception at Aldby Park in Buttercrambe. We fell in love with the venue and it ticked every box for us – a combination of a stunning stately home surrounded by acres and acres of open fields and countryside as far as the eye can see. A very country style look with the glamour of an incredibly handsome period property. The owners allowed us to have our marquee on their beautiful garden at the rear of the house so that we also had a view down the steep bank to the River Derwent. Perfect! The owners also allowed us to have a camping area so as many of our friends as we wanted were able to camp at the venue for free which was really helpful. We hired a handful of deck chairs and shepherds’ crooks (from Add Vintage) to create a summer’s evening chillout area on the lawn.

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (42)

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (45)

The Sperry tent is stunningly elegant. It is made out of sailcloth and has incredible roof contours. We both loved how striking it is and different to any normal marquee we’d seen. Also, Andy has sailed extensively (his parents have a boat on the South coast still) so having a tent made out of sail cloth seemed very apt.

We had a bit of a bike theme (referencing back to the big fat engagement) so we made a bicycle wheel chandelier, sprayed it bronze and suspended it above the dancefloor. We also had a tandem on the day and cycled through the fields at dusk (I just about mastered the art of hitching up a wedding dress!)

Our colours were pale blue and copper. We wanted some blue in the theme as Andy’s RAF uniform is blue. So we went with a pale shade throughout with some copper touches to complement and also to bring some sparkle to the colour theme.

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (20)

I wore a fitted beaded gown from Madison James. It had straps and a deep cut-out back. I actually found it at a wedding fair in Manchester. Andy agreed to attend one fair and accidentally (honestly!) I picked one of the biggest in the UK. Typically, I found the dress on a mannequin while we were walking round so I waited until we were well past it before asking Andy if he wouldn’t mind finding a quiet spot in a café at the other side of the show and having a coffee on his own while I checked something out! About 45 minutes later I returned to poor Andy, knowing that I had probably found the dress, but hadn’t felt brave enough to hand over the credit card without having had a second opinion.

The same show returned in the October so I went back with my mum and one of my bridesmaids (Natalie, who had flown over from Amsterdam where she lives) so I could try the dress again. I safely assumed that mum and Natalie’s tears were a good sign so half-an-hour later (after they’d wrestled the dress off me!) we were sitting drinking more champagne celebrating that I’d found my dream dress.

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (34)

Andy is an Officer in the RAF so he wore his Number Ones to get married in. He changed into a navy suit (matching the bestman and ushers) just after our drinks reception and before sitting down for dinner. Andy’s wedding ring was made out of an engine turbine from a Concorde airplane. His dad was a flight engineer on Concorde and flew for British Airways for 20 years until retirement. We trawled the country trying to find a working jewellers who could work with a titanium piece of engine and eventually found one in Birmingham. They etched a drawing of Concorde into the inside of the ring alongside our initials and our wedding date.

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peonies & balloons – a country wedding at owen house wedding barn – jess & chris

January 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Country Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (33)

We think that you’re going to fall head over heels for today’s real wedding, set within the captivating Owen House barn in Cheshire.

Jess and Chris celebrated at this beautiful converted venue last summer surrounded by picture-perfect tractors, fields and bales of hay, all adding a hint of country wedding chic to their special day.

From pies and rag bunting to jam jars and pots of honey for the guests, there are plenty of original ideas here on how to host the perfect barn wedding with oodles of style and charm.

With images by Jo Bradbury.

A Pretty Country Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (30)

jess says: Chris popped the question while we were in the Lake District, which is where we spent our very first holiday together as a couple. Chris bought Champagne, strawberries and proposed on one knee in our cottage. We went out to dinner and spent the rest of our engagement holiday exploring Windermere on boats, which we love.

We wanted a summer wedding so tied the knot on 23rd August 2015. We got married at Owen House Wedding Barn in Cheshire. We chose this venue because we wanted a barn wedding set in the countryside and also one that would fit in our large families and all our friends.

A Pretty Country Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (3)

We thought that the relaxed country-barn-hippy style reflected us as a couple.

Our wedding colour scheme wasn’t fixed, which is how we wanted it – we had country flowers and peonies so there was a mixture of floral colours and lots of pastels, including blush pink, sage greens and light blues.

A Pretty Country Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (31)

I chose a lace wedding dress from a tiny wedding boutique in Worcester. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it! The gown was ivory, with soft lace all over and exactly what I wanted!

Chris wore a navy suit and white shirt from House of Fraser with a sage green tie.

Our groomsmen wore their own navy suits and the same sage green ties, which gave the wedding the mismatched look we wanted. We had eight bridesmaids and had considered putting them all in the same colour but thought this would look rather military, so we had four in sage green and four in nude pink.

A Pretty Country Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (44)

We travelled in a vintage car, hired from Moss Farm near Mobberley Cheshire, which is also where I got ready.

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diary date: the black swan wedding open day

October 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


If you’re currently on the hunt for a wedding venue that offers a beautiful rustic setting, stunning reception rooms, first class service and to-die-for food, then we might just be able to help. For our wonderful Sponsor, The Black Swan hotel is inviting brides and grooms-to-be to see its fabulous wedding offering for themselves during a special open day between 12 noon and 4pm on Sunday 6th November.

Located in the idyllic North Yorkshire market town of Helmsley, The Black Swan is renowned for being among the North’s finest weddings venues and has twice been voted ‘Best Venue in the North East’  in the prestigious Wedding Industry Awards.


During the open day event, couples will be able to see two of the cosy boutique hotel’s unique reception rooms, ‘The Garden Room’ and ‘The Gallery’, each with their own character, individually styled for a wedding reception for up to 50 and 90 guests. It will also provide the perfect opportunity for brides and grooms meet the venue’s preferred suppliers and the friendly in-house team, including wedding coordinator, Nicola Bolden, who can help bring their big day dreams to life.


The Black Swan houses four welcoming reception rooms in total: ‘The Crosland Room’, ideal for small, wedding sophisticated parties; the hotel’s restaurant ‘The Gallery’, the largest reception room; the cosy and intimate ‘Tudor Lounge’, and the lovely ‘Garden Room’, with its access onto the hotel’s stunning English walled gardens.

Meanwhile for those who wish to marry outdoors, there’s the hotel’s locally hand-crafted oak gazebo, which is licensed for al fresco ceremonies and makes the perfect setting for an English country garden wedding.


To help couples save time and money when planning their big day, The Black Swan offers an all-inclusive wedding package. Available on select dates during 2017, up to 50 guests can enjoy food and drink, accommodation and many other extras for just £5,600. There’s also a generous 20% discount* off the hotel’s standard wedding package in January, February and March 2017, making the charming venue an even better proposal!


Preferred suppliers supporting the open day include Emma Dodsworth Photography, Brides of York and the Bridal Lounge Northallerton, Libby Butler Jewellers, Busy Liz’s Floral Design, Kate Pymm Hair and Makeup, Fabulously Finished Events, Celebrate Country Cake Design, Yorkshire Chauffeur Company, and live entertainment, courtesy of magician Mark Waddington, with live music by pianist, David Robertshaw, and vocalist/guitarist, Val Hill.

The event will also include opportunities for canapés and wine sampling from the hotel’s wedding packages. Entry is complimentary and so is car parking at the hotel.

Images by Annemarie King Photography/ supplied by The Black Swan.

*Terms and conditions apply (see website for full details)

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real wedding recap: antlers & heather for a countryside wedding at chatsworth – clare & tom

June 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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 July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some 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.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (55)

From the moment we set eyes on today’s real wedding we instantly fell head over heels.

As if bride Clare’s beautiful blush dress wasn’t enough to makes us go weak at the knees, we also found ourselves majorly swooning over the stately venue, stunning styling and beautiful blooms. What we’re trying to say is that we love everything about it – and we’re pretty sure you will too!

With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (16)

clare says: We got engaged while in Split, Croatia. We were in the Old Town in a square on the last evening of our holidays and Tom asked me if I would do him the honour of being his wife. Not massively original, but perfectly low-key!

Our wedding took place on 13th February 2016. We wanted a winter wedding and as I’m a teacher we wanted it to be next to a holiday. We also thought that February is generally a bit of a ‘not much happens’ time of the year, so we thought it might be nice for our guests to have our wedding then. Despite the timing, it was nothing to do with Valentine’s Day!

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (48)

We chose Chatsworth Stables near Bakewell, Derbyshire, as our wedding venue. I’m from Sheffield and have been going to Chatsworth since I was born with family and on school trips etc. Now my parents have moved even closer to Baslow, we visit most times we’re up to see them, and so it seemed like an obvious choice.

There was a bit of an antler and heather theme to the wedding. This came from an idea of my sister’s as there are deer on the Chatsworth Estate, and also, it felt like a good wintery, countryside theme. My mum collected and dried lots of heather from the moors above their house during the summer so we could use it for the wedding. We didn’t want too strong of a theme because we didn’t want to draw away from the beauty of the venue, but it was featured on all of the wedding stationary (designed by my brother-in-law) and Zara, from Chatsworth, did the most beautiful table centres incorporating them too.

We had a colour scheme of navy, pinks and white. With it being a winter wedding we avoided pastels. Also, Tom wanted to wear a tweed three-piece suit, which was a lovely dark blue shade so we picked it from there really.

A Country Wedding at Chatsworth (c) Shoot Lifestyle Photography (44)

My wedding dress was a big one – completely not what I’d thought I’d go for – from Surrey Brides in Weybridge, where we live. I’m pretty pale (and it was going to be in February!) so out of all of the shades of white/ivory, the blush seemed to work best with my skin tone. It was totally un-beaded, but the bodice was made up of folds of blush satin and with the big skirt – I just fell in love with it!

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pale & pretty. enzoani for a relaxed wedding at smallshaw farm cottages – elizabeth & rory

November 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Relaxed Country Wedding (c) Sarah Brabbin Photography (50)

To get your week off to a pretty start, we’re sharing with you Elizabeth and Rory’s elegant wedding day that took place in Yorkshire.

Deciding to stick with tradition for their ceremony, Elizabeth and Rory picked the church connected to their son’s school in which to say their ‘I dos’. Once wed the bride, groom and their guests then all enjoyed a marquee reception in a rural location which boasted beautiful countryside views.

With images by Sarah Brabbin Photography.

A Relaxed Country Wedding (c) Sarah Brabbin Photography (32)

elizabeth says: We got engaged in October 2014. We’d been over visiting Rory’s friend in Cheshire for the weekend and we went out to Peckforton Castle. We were in the great hall when Rory said ‘look at that over there’ and pointed at some coats of arms on the wall. When I turned back around he was on one knee! Our little boy who was five at the time got down on one knee with him too, totally unrehearsed and unprompted. Rory proposed with his mum’s engagement ring. Sadly she’d lost a two year battle with cancer a month earlier so it was pretty emotional.

A Relaxed Country Wedding (c) Sarah Brabbin Photography (23)

We were married on 26th September 2015, at Hoylandswaine Church and then had our reception in a marquee supplied by Black Cherry Events, at Smallshaw Farm Cottages in Millhouse Green, near Sheffield. I always wanted to get married in a church and we chose Hoylandswaine as it’s the church connected to our son’s school. It meant a lot as it’s where we go for his harvest festival, carol concert etc. It’s not our parish church but I went to services regularly to ensure we were eligible.

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all the fun of the farm. sanyukta shrestha for a chic country wedding at homestead farm – emma & tom

October 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (37)

Though I love living in the city I would have to say that similar to bride Emma, I’m a bit of a country girl at heart. I therefore love the chic country styling with elegant 1950s vintage touches that she and groom Tom picked for their big day.

The Cadillac car, old-fashioned bicycles  and thoughtful décor help to set the scene as does Emma’s stunning Audrey Hepburn style dress, which she found in the fabulous One Fine Day bridal boutique that we know well ourselves.

For anyone planning a rustic or vintage style wedding, it’s time to grab a pen and paper and take note!

With images by Ollie Gyte Photography.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (7)

emma says: We got engaged in August 2014 in London. Tom took me for a lovely meal in Soho. Afterwards we took a stroll along the Thames and Tom proposed opposite the London Eye.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (5)

Our wedding date was 10th July, 2015. We chose this time of year simply because we wanted a summer wedding.

We got married at St Stephen’s Church in the village where we both grew up. We then had our reception at Homestead Farm, Ormskirk, and Lancashire. Tom and I are both very country people and the layout of the venue went really nicely with our chosen theme.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (10)

The styling of the wedding was centred on a vintage 1950s theme as we both like that era and also like the rustic look.

In terms of colours, we chose pastel nude pink for the bridesmaids’ dresses and light blue for the groomsmen as they were nice bright summer colours.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (12)

My dress was from a beautiful shop called One Fine Day, which is in Tarleton. Lindsay, who owns the shop helped me choose my dress and with her expertise we found the perfect dress to suit my figure. The designer of my dress was Sanyukta Shrestha. It was an organic silk long design, with an Audrey Hepburn look.

Tom wore a light blue three piece suit from Moss Brothers outlet store in Fleetwood, along with matching tan belt and brogues. The groomsmen wore the same suits as Tom.

My bridesmaids wore pastel nude pink dresses from ASOS, which were 50s style to go with our theme.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (19)

To transport us to the venue on the wedding day, we hired a 1950s Cadillac from Birkdale Classics in Southport.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (41)

Our photographer was called Ollie Gyte. We chose him as he’s a great guy and an exceptional photographer, which showed in the work he showed us prior to us booking him. He took care of all the photography aspects and delivered great photographs of our big day.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (34)

For my wedding flowers I had pink and ivory roses with a mixture of wild green flowers. My lovely friend Paula Popple provided the lovely bouquets of flowers.

When it came to décor Tom and I (with the help of a few friends) made a lot of the items ourselves such as comical wooden signs but we hired a company called Add A Little Sparkle, to decorate the tables, chairs and parts of the main room and the reception.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (44)

As favours we gave our guests a pack of locally produced ‘spud’ flavoured crisps, which we got from Fiddler’s Farm in Rufford.

We chose an ombre style wedding cake with three tiers of pastel pink icing. The two outer tiers were sponge and the middle tier was lemon sponge. Nikki from Lemon Tree Bakery made the cake for us, and it was delicious!

To match our theme we decided on an afternoon tea (served with Pimms) for our wedding meal, which was provided by a company called Yours Truly. In the evening we had a hog roast which was supplied by Homestead Farm.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (42)

For entertainment we had a young vocalist and guitarist who performed in the barn on arrival. He had a great raw talent and a lovely voice. At the reception we had a band called The Fable who were from London. They were a Mumford & Sons style band, which is why we chose them as we love their music.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (32)

After our wedding day we would strongly recommend Homestead Farm to other brides and grooms, as not only is the venue in a brilliant setting in our eyes but all of our guests agreed too. Margaret the owner is a great person who could not do enough for us.

Our favourite part of the day was being sat down having our afternoon tea whilst watching our closet family and friends enjoying themselves.

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (45)

For our honeymoon we first travelled to New York to see our friends get married. We stayed in NYC for three days and then flew out to Florida and stayed in a villa for just over two weeks. We visited the Disney parks with our little boy Jack who (as well as us), loved every minute!

A Country Wedding at Homestead Farm (c) Ollie Gyte Photography (43)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try not to stress about the day itself and the days running up to the wedding as it all comes together in the end. Also, when all the hustle and bustle is going on during your day take a step back with your partner and take everything in as it all goes very quickly!

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