Brides Up North

green & pleasant. amanda wyatt for a vibrant countryside wedding in lancashire – joanne & brendan

September 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Hey, hey its only bloomin’ Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a breather.

Lets get out in the fresh air and join Joanne and Brendan for their fresh and vibrant countryside wedding.

Just what the doctor ordered.

With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, James Tracey Photography.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (4)

Joanne says: We got engaged at The Abode Hotel, Chester on the 17th February 2012.

Brendan left for work early one morning as normal.  I got up an hour later, walked to the bathroom and found an envelope taped to the door!  In the envelope was a letter from Brendan explaining how I wasn’t going to work that day as he had booked it off for me (with the help of my friend at work). I was told to pack a bag for a night away and would be picked up at 11am.  Brendan had even included the weather forecast for the mystery location so I could plan as well as a menu for a restaurant we were going to that night! Brendan picked me up as planned (he’d had to hang around in Tesco for four hours!) and we set off…I still didn’t know where we were going.  Eventually it became clear we were heading for Chester.

We went for an amazing lunch at Piccolino’s, complete with Prosecco!  We then made our way to The Abode Hotel by the racecourse, checking into an amazing luxury bedroom! I started unpacking my bag and could hear Brendan rustling through his and I thought “What is he doing?!” Next thing I hear is Brendan say, “Joanne”.  I turned around and he was on one knee!  “You know I don’t have a way with words…will you marry me?”

Brendan has since told me that he got a bit worried because it took a while for me to say yes between the tears!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

We got married at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Chorley, Lancashire on Friday 20th June 2014. The church has always been special to me as my Grandma used to take me there when I young and her funeral was held there as well as our Niece’s Christening.  The inside of the Church is absolutely gorgeous and Father Stanley is really down to earth and approachable.

We had our reception at Marsh Farm Hall in Great Eccleston.  We went for this venue due to Brendan wanting to organise all of the catering at the wedding himself! Brendan has worked in the catering industry all of his life and has run so many weddings, so his had to be the best he’s ever done. Marsh Farm Hall allowed him to plan the whole food service from scratch!

We went for a vintage/shabby chic look to fit in with the style of our reception venue.  The hall itself is a gorgeous bare-stone wall room, with a beautiful bar area. There is so much land surrounding the property, which made it an easy choice to go for natural colours. I made all of the wedding stationery myself with the help of my Sister, using Kraft card, cream lace and hessian string. I can change my mind with colours quite a lot so I didn’t want to go with a colour in case I went off it! We also thought a neutral theme would suit the venue.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

My dress was Amanda Wyatt “Felicia”. I had no idea what style I wanted and went with a completely open mind.  It worked though as it was the one and only shop I went to! The Felicia was the last dress I spotted on the way to the changing room and the first I tried on… none of the others compared to it (luckily my sister is very honest and would just laugh when a dress didn’t suit me)! I loved everything about it – the fit, the lace overlay and just enough sparkle!

I carried a simple ball of gypsophila (Baby’s Breath) bouquet, from Flowers in Thyme based at Heskin Hall in Chorley.

Brendan got his suit from Slaters in Preston.  He went for a grey suit with tails, with a cream waistcoat.  To keep it a bit more modern, he opted for a tie instead of cravat.  He looked so handsome.

Our bridesmaids (both of Brendan’s sisters, with my sister as maid of honour) wore dresses from Monsoon.  They were a cornflower blue. Our flower girl, Eva (our Niece) wore a gorgeous little dress with sewn on flowers with diamantes from Debenhams.

Both of our Dad’s and Brendan’s groomsmen, including our Nephew, Lennon who was pageboy, wore the same suit as Brendan’s but with grey waistcoats. All of their ties and pocket handkerchiefs were specially made to match the bridesmaid colours (it turned out to be a nightmare to try and match the colour).

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

James Tracey did our photographs.  I found James on the internet about a year before the wedding and his photos stood out.

We could not praise or recommend him enough!  For a couple who aren’t really comfortable in front of the camera, we chose James for his natural style of photographs, getting the shots without people realising it. He made us feel so relaxed on the day and even managed to get Eva to pose!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

We used gypsophila wreaths inside the birdcages (from Dunelm) on the tables.  We also had small vases of gypsophila along the top table. I bought the vases from Home Bargains (they definitely were bargains at 50p a vase!) and Flowers in Thyme dressed them for us.

The tables and chairs were dressed by Create and Cherish – Incorporating Cherish Wedding Services from Chorley.  As I didn’t want to have a colour in the theme, I wanted to keep things neutral.  Kirsten was so helpful in working out which fabrics would work.  The room looked amazing!  We had lace on the chairs with brooches on each one.

We became a bit stuck about what to get as favours, knowing we wouldn’t really find anything that would suit men and women, so instead we went for something that would look good on the tables and were a bit different! We went to Birkacre Garden Centre in Chorley and ordered a mixture of 60 herb plants.  Our Mums then re-potted them into some terracotta pots we bought online. The Groomsmen then had the job to wrap them with cellophane the night before… speedily so they could watch the England match!

Five of our Grandparents are no longer with us, but we wanted them to a part of the day.  We got some photos of them all and put them together with a message “We know you’d be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away”.  This was proudly displayed at the entrance door.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (31)

The food is where Brendan came into his own!  I knew this was where I had to take a step back and completely trust his ideas. We both love our food so Brendan took a lot of time over choosing the perfect menu including Chicken Liver Parfait, Fillet of Beef (accompanied by a Herb Rosti, Glazed Parmentier Potatoes, Chantenay Carrots and Baby Asparagus with a Red Wine Jus) and Lemon Possett, washed down with a selection of cheeses, coffee and chocolates.

With the help from my Dad and his friend Ahmed, Brendan made mini “wine crates” for the starter to be served in.  He ordered personalised stencils with “Quirke Dootson Est. 2004 Blackpool” (we met in 2004 in Blackpool).  They were amazing!  They also doubled up as another favour for guests to take away.

The meal absolutely blew everyone away!  Paul (the chef) did us so proud and we could not have had a more perfect meal!

Our guests had red and white wine on the tables.  The white was Quirky Bird Chenin Blanc Semillon Muscat – I spotted it in Tesco and loved the fact I was about to become a “Quirky Bird” (surname Quirke!) so had to have it!  It turned out to be quite a nice wine too! Our red was the only wine I have managed to get Brendan to drink with me…Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva.

For the toast we had Blanc de Bleu sparkling wine.  My dad and I are huge Manchester City fans, so this was my only way I was allowed to get blue into the wedding!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (30)

We bought a few outdoor games, including Twister for the kids (and bigger kids!) to play with to make the most of the nice weather!

We chose a DJ Brendan has worked with quite a lot, so knew how good he was, Paul Atkinson from Ice Entertainment. He was brilliant, even mingled with guests on the dance floor!  He got a great mix of music which meant the dance floor was full most of the night!

We also had a photo booth in the evening, from Boothtube.  Being a City fan… I sneaked Joe Hart and Yaya Toure masks into the accessories box!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

We would definitely recommend Marsh Farm Hall – for any event!

Emma and her family were so helpful, letting Brendan get on with the set up and helping out when needed.  We even had comments from family and friends about how nice Emma was and how she couldn’t do enough for everyone on the day.

They even got us a couple of presents – a newspaper from the day we got married and a bottle of wine with a personalised label.

We just need an excuse for another party there!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Our parents were an amazing help running up to the wedding… without them and all of their help the day would not have been as amazing as it was!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (48)

For our honeymoon, we had two weeks in Cala Llonga, Ibiza at the Fiesta Hotel Cala Llonga.

Brendan and I went on our first holiday together in Ibiza ten years earlier and fell in love with it!  On that holiday, we went on a boat trip round to Cala Llonga one day – after booking the honeymoon we found a picture of Brendan in the sea, with our honeymoon hotel in the background.

As a treat for Brendan, I booked us tickets to watch Lily Allen at Ibiza Rocks.  My sister and her partner then gave us some money as our wedding present, with strict instructions to get Tiny Tempah tickets too (my treat!)!  We had such a great time on the VIP balcony!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to take in every minute!  It’s scary how quickly it can all become a blur! Make sure your Groom doesn’t throw out his speech… I would love to be able to read Brendan’s again, and make sure you get plenty of photos (even selfies!) with all your loved ones.

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: The Farmer Wants A Wife! A Real Wedding In Cumbria – Lisa & Gavin

December 27th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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This afternoon, I bring you the beautiful Real Wedding of Brides Up North reader Lisa and her new husband Gavin.  Lisa and Gavin’s Cumbrian countryside celebration was full of all my favourite things – cool cars, beautiful blooms, individuality, steak pies (served at the table), paper pom poms, pink roses, huge smiles and buckets of confetti.  Just one thing was missing – my invitation!

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Enjoy!  With images by Joe Mather.

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Lisa says:  We got engaged on the last night of our holiday in Cyprus last October, it was typical laid back Gavin style, we were just chilling in our hotel room, I thought he was joking! We celebrated with a glass of shandy… all we had in the room was a can of lager and some lemonade!

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We were married on Saturday 25th August 2012 at St Johns Church, Levens, near Kendal, Cumbria, with reception a mile up the road at Heaves Farm, Levens – my parent’s farm where I grew up.

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Since I was little me and my Dad joked about having my wedding reception in the big stone barn at the top of the farmyard, so when we got engaged it was the obvious choice, we wanted something different, unique and personal for our wedding, and the barn was all those things. It was a lot of work but it looked magical and everyone absolutely loved it. Unfortunately it did have baby calves in it until three weeks before the day which was a bit of a worry…

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We stuck to a vintage rose, village fete type theme, with old fashioned cut glass cake stands filled with flowers for the centre pieces, lots of bunting and vintage inspired stationary designed by my brother with a dusky pink and pale green colour scheme. 

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I wore a Lou Lou Bridal tea length dress from Kokoa Bride in Penrith. I’d always wanted a short wedding dress and it made perfect sense with our wedding being on a farm, no worries about my dress getting dirty! It was so easy and fun to wear, I absolutely loved wearing it and loved that it was so unusual. I wanted to totally surprise people.

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My hair was by Shelley Knowles and make up by Beauty Simply

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My three adult bridesmaids wore dusky pink tea length dresses from Very.com and the two little flower girls wore beautifully embroidered ivory dresses from M&S and flower garlands, they chose the dresses themselves because they were the most twirly! The boys all wore grey suits, silver polka dotted waistcoats and green ties/cravats from Marrime in Kendal.

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Gavin’s sister Joanne and his Mum’s friend Sue took charge of the flowers, the main flowers were vintage looking roses and the rest I left up to them, they were beautiful. Each bouquet was tied with a piece of lace from my Nan’s wedding dress.

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Gavin is the most laid back last minute person ever, so to get him involved we agreed he’d be in charge of sorting the transport… I was honestly expecting a tractor and trailer when a beautiful vintage VW camper arrived for the bridesmaids and a VW white soft top beetle for me and my Dad. I was over the moon and they were perfect, the boy did good.

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Gavin’s sister and brother in law have a shop in Kendal called Armstrong Ward Lifestore, its beautiful so we asked them to help with decorations, they came up with the giant pink and green tissue paper pom poms we suspended with fishing wire from the ceiling, all 120 of them!

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We used local caterer Liz Clarke for the food, when discussing potential mains we both immediately suggested Liz’s famous auction mart steak pie, it is a massive hit in the auction! It went down a storm and just suited our day perfectly. We also served rose veal burgers from our farm (Heaves Farm Veal) for the evening meal which were delicious.

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Our photographer, Joe Mather was a friend of mine from school, it was nice to have him there taking pictures instead of a complete stranger and we are absolutely delighted with our photos, he captured the feeling of our wedding day perfectly.

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We surprised one person on each table with a parcel, the tag said ‘here’s a little gift for you, please DO NOT OPEN until we ask you to’. After the starters were cleared we asked those people to stand and open it, each parcel had an individual novelty apron in especially chosen for them, and asked them to serve the steak pie we’d chosen for lunch! It was very funny seeing people’s reactions, the whole room just erupted in laughter, it really set the atmosphere for the rest of the day.

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We had both a DJ and a live band, 24-7 who had been recommended to us by a friend, we loved them, they were perfect for our relaxed, party atmosphere, the dance floor was full all night.

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For evening dessert we surprised everyone by arranging a local ice cream van to arrive with its music blaring, my Dad told the story in his speech of how when I was a little girl I always heard the ice cream van go passed down to the village and it never stopped for us up at the farm, my Dad always promised one day he’d get it to come… it was brilliant, and such a great, no fuss novelty dessert.

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I had a few favourite bits! loved walking in to the church, kissing my new husband, walking out of the church as man and wife, seeing everyone open their aprons at dinner, the speeches, dancing all night and the ice cream van!

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I also loved the run up to the day, the barn was a hive of activity for about three weeks before the wedding, it was so much fun and so many people were involved; from ironing the borrowed bunting to fluffing or tying up pom poms, putting up the tent, painting signs and even the aunties and grandmas helping with the constant supply of tea and cake!

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After the wedding we travelled around New Zealand for three weeks in a camper van, it was amazing! We swam with dolphins, climbed a glacier, went white water rafting and even milked some cows (Gavin’s a farmer…!)

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to be as organised as you possibly can well before the day, use your family and friends wherever possible  -they really do want to be involved, and finally accept that something will go wrong…it’s how you deal with it that matters! Enjoy every second of it and relax!

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HEARTCongratulations Lisa & Gavin! HEART

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding featured on these pages?  I’d love to hear from you – get in touch!

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  – Images © 2012 Joe Mather

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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Because Your Love Calms My Brambles! A Real DIY Wedding In Derbyshire – Emma & Tim

July 8th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Are you having a lovely Sunday Brides Up North (despite the relentless Summer rain)? 

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I’ll be pretending it’s a proper English Summer later with strawberries and cream as I cheer on Andrew Murray in the Wimbledon final.  Come on Andy!

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Whether Murray brings it home or not, my spirits are so very lifted by today’s beautiful DIY real wedding, sent to me by Jonathan Stead Photography and today’s beautiful vintage loving bride Emma.  This sunny day of homemade loveliness is such a joy, I hope it brings some sparkle to your Sunday too.  

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Emma says:  Tim asked me to marry him in July 2011, at Porthmeor Cove, Cornwall (on a cliff edge at sunset).  We got married on 26th May 2012 at a lovely church at Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire & our reception was in a marque at my parents’ farm.

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We love the Peak District & thought the church was perfect – stunning & intimate. I’m very family orientated and thought having the marque at my parents’ farm would give the wedding a relaxed feel – somewhere that people could really let their hair down!

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I love vintage and collect 50’s, 60’s and 70’s pieces. I wanted this to be reflected in our wedding but also wanted it to feel rustic & farm-like at the same time! We had a lot of flower power (arranged by myself and my mother in law) – tons of daisies, sunflowers, hydrangea, cornflowers arranged with wispy foliage, popped into jam jars, beer bottles or wrapped in raffia.

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It was a real family effort – I made the bunting (made from vintage fabric & old shirts) & mural (‘Because Your Love Calms My Brambles’) my mum made the table cloths, my mother in law helped me make the poms poms (or ‘bloody poms poms’ as we ended up calling them!) & the canapés for the drinks reception, my grandma made her special tiffin and my father in law made sign posts (t’car park, t’wedding, t’toilet).

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The colour themes were cream, blue, purple with splashes of yellow.

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My dress was upcycled from my Mother in Law’s dress from 1968. I loved the crochet lace but the fabric on the bottom of the dress was too badly stained to use. She let me cut up the dress and make a whole new design – I designed it and my Auntie made it (what she does for a living). I truly loved wearing it – I loved the ‘hood’ drape on the back. She also made me a hair piece/bird cage veil to match. Shoes wise, I wore light purple suede low heeled slippers from ASOS

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The bridesmaid dresses were purple, knee length, floaty dresses from Monsoon and nude coloured heels.

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I had a mixed bouquet of daisies, white roses, purple veronica, blue delphinium & lavender and the bridesmaids had pomanders of daisies.  The buttonholes were lavender, white roses & daisies.  These were done by my lovely friend Jill, at Plantology Floral Creations in Sheffield

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I travelled in a 1970’s Rolls Royce from Fairytale Wedding Cars – I loved the blue roof. The driver was fabulous!

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My very favourite part of the day was seeing Tim’s face as I walked down the aisle… a little tear in his eye! Oooh… and the drum and bass after midnight!

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Almost everything was handmade by me or a family member – from the invitations, to the marquee flowers, the bunting & signage. It was hard work but made it so special! I also borrowed a polaroid camera from a friend and bought some black and white film – I made a washing line so that people could peg up ‘snaps of [their] beautiful selves’. In addition to these, there were LOTS of children at the wedding (I come from a huge family) so I raided Poundland for games, things to make & fancy dress items – they went down a treat!

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Our marquee was from High Peak Marquees – fantastic company – they were enthusiastic, friendly and very hardworking. They were the only company could find who would build scaffolding to even out the field, and dealt with the problem with a smile!

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Food wise, we hired PJ Taste caterers – again, amazing energy and enthusiasm – genuinely felt like they wanted to be there and the food was delicious. We choose to have a hot buffet – a triple spit roast (locally sourced & organic) with lots of home made breads and yummy salads. For dessert there was a choice of chocolate torte or summer fruit pudding…mmm.

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My friend Abby is very creative & kindly made the cake as our wedding present – I sent her a few ideas for cakes but let her surprise me on the day! I was very pleased with the results… a lovely 3 three tier fruit cake decorated with handcrafted daisies.

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We had a local young folk band for the drinks reception (Captives of the Carousel), followed by a DJ (Plastic Disco, Sheffield) in the evening (playing mixture of motown, pop, indie and drum & bass!). 

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Berlin. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’!

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Congratulations Emma & Tim!

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Have you just said “I do!”? Get in touch to share your big day on the wedding blog!

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  – Images © 2012 Jonathan Stead Photography

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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Real Wedding Recap 2011: Bonfire Night Bride! A Real Castle Wedding In Yorkshire – Laura & Tom

December 30th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Blogger Laura’s big day certainly went with a bang!  This Bonfire Night Bride’s Real Wedding, showcased here only this month, makes it into my pick of favourites from 2011.  Merry Christmas Laura & Tom!

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You might know her from Twitter as @MrsLouPops, but I first met today’s Real Bride when she won a stunning Flo & Percy headdress on this very wedding blog back in April!  Laura did some blogging of her own in the run up to her Real Wedding this November, which you can check out here.  I have followed Laura’s wedding planning progress on her blog and Twitter and my goodness, she absolutely nailed it.  I am thrilled to be sharing her big day with you this afternoon on Brides Up North. 

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Laura says:  We got engaged in August 2009 at Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire. Tom knew that as ex-seaman Whitby is one of my dad’s favourite places. We’d always go for family days out when I was little so it was a special place to get engaged.  We were married on 5th November 2011 – so I was a Bonfire Night Bride!

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We chose the stunning Danby Castle, North Yorkshire as our venue {A Brides Up North Featured Supplier no less}.  We always knew we wanted something ‘different’ from a wedding venue and Danby Castle was just that. My mum found it on the internet and we made an appointment the next day to go and have a look. Carolyn, the proprietor who showed us around (who later became my wedding fairy godmother!) seemed lovely and the venue blew us away. The building was beautiful, the scenery was absolutely stunning and there were cows, sheep, chickens, cats, dogs, and even a resident Shetland pony! Being animal lovers, the thought of having some extra little wedding guests on our day made us smile! It was the first place we looked at as a potential wedding venue and we were sold within a few minutes of looking round, we just knew it was for us. We didn’t bother looking any further!

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The colour scheme was the first thing we decided, before we even chose a venue! I always knew I wanted plum and gold accents in our wedding as plum is my favourite, perfectly rich colour for a winter wedding and the gold set it off just beautifully.  We never set out to have a strict wedding theme, the only thing we wanted to stick to was colour scheme and to make it as DIY as possible, this way it felt very personal as everything was thought up and organised by my mum and I. It soon came to light that the main theme running through the day was ‘us’ by having all things ‘Laura & Tom.’

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Being a plus size bride who, at 5ft 1 is also vertically challenged, I knew that I needed to be careful when choosing a dress. I originally chose a beautiful Justin Alexander number but then I saw a competition on another wedding blog to win a dream wedding dress made to your design. This was the first time that I’d heard of House of Mooshki, a County Durham based dressmaker. After looking through their website and loving what they do I entered the competition describing my dream wedding dress. Unfortunately I didn’t win but I did get an email from the lovely Vikki at Mooshki to say that I was one of the runners up as they loved the sound of my design and that they’d still love to make it with a discount. The thought of having a dress made specially for me, that nobody else would have was so appealing and the Justin Alexander dress, as lovely as it was, went out the window! I booked an appointment to go up and see Vikki to talk dresses. She was fab, friendly and gorgeous and within 5 minutes it felt like we’d been friends for years. We came up with a dress design that would match my Flo & Percy headpiece perfectly – a stunning ivory lace and tulle full A-line skirt with fitted beaded bodice, sleeves and button up back within a couple of hours whilst my dad, who’d driven us up there, stayed downstairs with Vikki’s Westie and Sky Sports – the right way to keep a man happy! My dress is actually back with the Mooshki ladies being cleaned as I type. It was so muddy (which shows in my photos!) but I didn’t care – it was the sign of such a fabulous day!

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My bridesmaid Amy wore the 2749 dress from Dessy in their ‘African Violet’ colour – a gorgeous rich plum duchess satin floor length dress. The best man and ushers had ties also from Dessy in the same colour and fabric as Amy’s dress.

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I found Amy some lovely gold peep toe shoes in the sale at Office which were perfect! She had a beautiful gold and diamante headband from Olivier Laudus, a taupe coloured marabou wrap to wear over her shoulders when we were outside and I bought her a gorgeous fine gold necklace with a tiny bow from Etsy to wear on the day.

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For our flowers we used Serendipity in Brough, East Yorkshire that I spotted at a local wedding fayre. I had a ‘just picked’ style bouquet with gorgeous plum coloured ranunculus, dyed eucalyptus leaves, berries and gold ting ting to set off the purple. My bridesmaid had a smaller cream version of my bouquet so it stood out next to her plum dress.

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Our invites and other stationery (that our guests loved!) were made by the fab Knots and Kisses.

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Our London/Yorkshire based photographer, Nick White, was amazing! He was fun, informal and had a great vision of our venue’s potential photography wise. When we visited Danby Castle a few months before the wedding he was like a kid in a sweet shop! He stayed in our cottage the night before our wedding so he was there with the family as soon as we got up on the wedding morning. It was so nice having him around – he became part of the family for the weekend!

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My mum, bridesmaid and I had our make up done by Kate Pymm. I went for a ‘more is more’ look including big lashes as I love wearing make up!

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Our wedding car was a fun cream and silver 1965 split screen VW camper van. It was great to have something a bit different and my dad loved it! I’m so glad we got a camper van too as it was difficult enough getting into that with my big dress on so can’t imagine getting into a smaller car! Straight after the ceremony Tom and I went for a ride in the camper van on our own to have some photos taken away from the venue. The Yorkshire Moors has some absolutely amazing scenery and we wanted to make the most of it!

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With our wedding having Tom and I as the main focus of the day we tried to incorporate as many special touches as possible that reflected us as individuals and as a couple from the beginning of the day right through to the end. We played the themes from our favourite films – Home Alone, Forrest Gump, Muppets Christmas Carol, Back to the Future, The Goonies, Star Wars, Shakespeare in Love and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to name just a few, whilst our guests we waiting before the ceremony and during the signing of the register. That was fun for our guests too Tom said he heard a few people guessing what films the music was from.

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My entrance song was a live version of ‘Lover of the Light’ by Mumford and Sons, our favourite band and the lyrics were very fitting with the day.

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My mum surprised us the day before the wedding with three huge photo collages that she had made for us – one with photos of myself, one with photos of Tom and with photos of both of us. We had those put up on display in the bar and marquee for all of our guests to see.

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My dad organised for a Wurlitzer juke box to be put in the bar for our guests to play around with whilst Tom and I were having photos taken. This way our guests could pick their own music and have a bit of fun with it too whilst they enjoyed their canapés!

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For our favours we had Laura & Tom “Wonky” bars which contained one golden ticket per table. Each golden ticket winner was given a bottle of champagne. The plan was to give everybody a favour however, the day before the wedding we discovered that the bars had been eaten by mice at the castle over night!! I did see the funny side of this though and fortunately the greedy little blighters had left enough out of the 55 bars to give the ladies a favour each, the men had to go without but Tom’s best man explained the mishap during the speech. I think our guests thought that he was joking though!

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We had a lemon sponge cake as our main wedding cake and a chocolate sponge cutting cake. Our main cake was an ivory four tiered cake with a lots of cascading sugar flowers down the front. We spotted the cake in our cakemaker’s portfolio and we loved it straight away, it was a coincidence that the cake was called ‘Laura’s Cascade!’ The top three tiers of the cake were fake and so we have these to keep.

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I had lots of things hidden in my dress…Tom and I love Russian Dolls and so my brother bought me the Russian Doll Pandora charm as a present for the wedding day which I had sewn into the front of my bodice. On the wedding morning dad gave me an old sixpence that my mum wore in her dress on their big day, I put it into a little voile bag and pinned it into the hem. It belonged to my dad’s uncle who was killed in the war so it was nice to have something so old and sentimental that could be my ‘something old.’ I also had a little blue ribbon sewn into the back of my dress as a ‘something blue.’

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We also had a basket with purple sequinned flip flops as dancing shoes for our lady guests, a sweetie buffet where we also displayed photos of our parents on their wedding days and a funky dressing up photo corner.

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Along with the jukebox which was used during the day, we had a DJ who played songs that Tom and I had chosen and Blues Brothers band for the evening celebrations. The Blues Brothers is another one of our favourite films and we just love the music. We kept the band a secret from our guests so they were a surprise when they came walking through our marquee in their suits, hats and sunglasses! They went down very well!

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We always knew we wanted to go to New York for our honeymoon. We have both been before and we just love everything about it – the atmosphere and hustle and bustle of the city. We decided that instead of flying there we would sail as it would be once in a lifetime and so magical to watch the city come to life on the horizon. Five days after the wedding we sailed from Southampton to Brooklyn on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 which was out of this world! The crossing took a week and we well and truly spoilt ourselves in every way – we never stopped eating, treat ourselves to massages at the spa, took afternoon naps, read out on deck and even saw dolphins playing by the side of the boat! Then we spent five days staying at the Soho Grand in Downtown Manhattan then we finished off our honeymoon with a quick two night stay at the Nine Zero hotel in Boston.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t strive for perfection, just enjoy everything about the day. I never ever thought I would say that as during my planning I wanted every last little detail to be perfect and I thought people were crazy when they said if things go wrong you won’t care but it really is true. There were things that didn’t go to plan on our day (our favours were only one of a few mishaps!) but when it came to it, these things really didn’t matter at all. If you’re hew husband, family and people you love are there that really is all that matters. 

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Congratulations Laura & Tom!

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You can find out for about Laura in the Bride 2 Be Profile that she completed for Brides Up North, by clicking here!

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  – Images © 2011 Nick White Images

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Sing A Rainbow, A Real Wedding – Fran & James

July 22nd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lissa Alexandra Photography

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I dropped everything when I got this email from up and coming photographer Lissa Alexandra Photography and just, like, stared for a while.  Because this Real Wedding at Danby Castle (a Brides Up North Featured Supplier none the less!) is absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to share it on the wedding blog today.  With styling from the lovely Kim at The Fine and Funky Events Company,  I don’t even need to introduce it, or say why I love it.  You will see.  And then I’ll say “I told you so”.

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Over to Miss Lissa: Fran and James got married on Saturday 9th July at Danby Castle. The theme was fun and vintage. It was very much a DIY wedding.  For the photographs, Fran and I discussed what props we could use in the photos in our first meeting and she organised these and we also used items out of the dressing up box provided by Danby Castle.

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This couple certainly didn’t want a traditional affair!  They are both very keen cyclists so their bike had to appear in many of the photos as it was very special to them.

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They had provided plenty of games scattered around the venue for the guests to play with but the best feature was a photo booth. Positioned on a tripod, the camera was facing a patterned backdrop and guests were encouraged to use the props and the dressing up box and take silly photos of each other. It was hilarious watching Granny and Gramps a bit tiddly, putting on Elton John glasses and mad hats.

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It was also good fun when the ice cream van arrived, we kicked the ice cream man out of the van and got Fran and James to serve their guests their delights.

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The day was absolutely fabulous but we were slightly unlucky with the weather – just as the ceremony finished the heavens opened and the bride and groom were held hostage by the weather whilst most of the guests braved it to the marquee (also which started to flood at one point!).

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The true silver lining to this rain cloud was the delightful surprise that followed. I’d gone outside to check the state of the rain and couldn’t believe my luck. The rain had cleared and left over was a stunning rainbow positioned right in the middle of the valley as if a artist had painted it. I went running into the ceremony room where Fran was taking refuge calling her name and grabbed the both of them for the perfect photo opportunity. I’m so proud of that photo and I know they absolutely love it. If I was guaranteed a shot like that after every rain cloud then bring those babies on!

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The bride says:  I cannot thank Lissa enough. We were keen to not have just the typical
wedding photographs and more wanted great artistic photos, that just happened to include us on our wedding day. And my word did we get that! I had never dared to imagine that our wedding photographs would be as beautiful as they are- they are breath taking. We are absolutely  overjoyed with them. And Lissa is fantastic. In pre-wedding meets I showed her the style of photos I liked, thinking we may get one or two that we liked, but Lissa blew them all out of the water- producing shot after shot- far better than those that I showed her. I just can’t believe these are OUR wedding photos- everyone is blown away with them. And not only are we happy (understatement of the century!) with the photos, but we can’t fault the way Lissa worked. Some photographers muscle their way in front of the guests- but not Lissa- she so subtle that we and our guest didn’t even notice her snapping away. Thank you a million times Lissa- I will be firmly recommending you to everyone I know (and even those I don’t!).

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You just did Fran!

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Sigh!  “I told you so”. 

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Brides and photographers – Contact Brides Up North to share your Real Wedding memories!

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Contact Danby Castle and The Fine and Funky Events Company to see how they can make your day extra special.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Lissa Alexandra Photography

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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A Wedding With Welly: A Real Wedding – Becky & Duncan

July 18th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North fabulous photographer Matt Tordoff of Greyeye Photography whizzed over this speedily organised Real Wedding to feature on the wedding blog today.  It may have been thrown together with haste, but these beautiful images of this wonderful wedding will ensure that Becky and Duncan can relive the memories of their very special day forever.  I hope that you enjoy these images as much as I have!

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Over to Matt: Believe it or not this whole wedding was pulled together in just three months including the wedding dress, the bridesmaids dresses, the marquee, catering, entertainment including Russian singing waiters, kids entertainers and a three piece 40’s style female vocal group.

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The ceremony was at St Mary’s Church in Mirfield which was funnily enough the church I was married in almost exactly 10 years previously, and the reception was hosted in a marquee at Weddings and Wellies in Norristhorpe.

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Claire and Duncan who run Weddings and Wellies provide such a wonderful bespoke service its always a special event and I always look forward to the weddings there. Always helps that Greyeye Photography are the recommended photographers for them as well!

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The reason why the wedding had been rushed through was unfortunately due to Becky’s mum being severely ill and without going into the details Becky dearly wanted to share her special day with her mum so they leapt into action and pulled together an amazing wedding which for all purposes could have been 2 years in the planning.  It’s amazing what the dedicated professional people in the wedding industry can pull together in what seemed a miraculously short period of time.

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And despite the reason for rushing the wedding forward, you couldn’t have wished for a greater celebration. Everyone was there to party and boy did it show.

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Brides and photographers – get in touch to share your Real Wedding memories with Brides Up North!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Greyeye Photography

Greyeye Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Best In Show: 3 Girls & A Wedding

July 9th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Three Girls and A Wedding

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This weekend’s blog posts are proving to be very Yorkshire focused.  Apologies to my readers in the other parts of the North.  I haven’t forgotten you!  I think it must be all the excitement about the Brides Up North Yorkshire Tweet Up influencing my blogging decisions (I am SOOOOO EXCITED!).  Or maybe it’s just that when the sun is shining and the grass is green, there is no nicer place to be than Yorkshire…

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Any hoo, there are a few more Yorkshire-centric specials to come this weekend, so bear with me!  Not least this lovely instalment from the ladies behind 3 Girls & A Wedding who are previewing their unique wedding fair concept at The Great Yorkshire Show this week.

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The girls say: We want to tell you some of the fabulous things we have on offer for our brides at our preview stand at the Great Yorkshire Show!  We have decided to showcase two very different looks at the show,  the first being our Retro Brights theme (think Sophia Lauren inspired Mediterranean vintage) with lots of cute retro touches. The second look is cocktail hour (a concept big in the US and making its way over here as dusk weddings become more popular). This look is very clean, crystal, white sparkle and cocktails.

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The whole point of our show is to create a relaxed and informal way in which couples can interact with the suppliers and provide them with the space and inspiration they need to create their own big day! We are  previewing some brand new ideas and we would love to hear brides’ thoughts.

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First up is our inspiration station! Our stand has been put together with the assistance of some amazing suppliers in the industry. We have asked each of them to send us a few images of their work to be displayed on our inspiration station.  Brides and grooms will be encouraged to take some time to sit and chat, enjoy a drink and let their imagination run away with them as they create their own mood board with the images. When they have a look they love we simply give the details of all the suppliers whose work appears on their mood board and they can walk away with their dream team.

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Our Genius Cafe is the next new concept we will be showcasing. This is really exciting to us as nobody exhibits this way at the moment. This will be an area for couples to come and sit and chat with the experts! Workshops will be on offer with industry professionals from gown designers to cake makers, wedding bloggers to wedding planners. The couple will be able to book to attend the workshops that they wish and get practical advise and useful tips. There will also be Q&A sessions where the experts will answer your wedding day dilemmas and get you back on the right track, as well as interactive roaming catwalk shows where there is chance to discuss all elements of the gowns on display with the models, retailers or even the designers themselves. Obviously this is a big operation so we are previewing this an a smaller scale at the show. We have Genius Cafe sessions at 11am and 3pm on all three days of the Great Yorkshire Show with drinks and canapés and cake. We will be giving brides the opportunity to discuss wedding issues and ask advice from any/all of the Three Girls (remember we cover dresses, flowers and photography!) as well more information on the full scale show.

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The first 50 brides to the stand each day will receive a beautiful branded A5 folder full of all our trusted suppliers information! Perfectly handbag sized and full of contacts, a really big help on your wedding planning journey!

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The Great Yorkshire Show is held in Harrogate on 12th – 14th July 2011 and is attended by over 160,000 people! This year we have a royal visit too with Prince Charles and Camilla attending the show on Wednesday 13th July :-) More information can be found and tickets can be booked at www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk and tickets can also be purchased on the day.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Cat Hepple Photography

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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Mr & Mrs Hince: Kate Moss’ Wedding to Jamie is a Stylish Rockin’ Countryside Affair

July 4th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Kate Moss and Jamie Hince Wedding

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Unless you have been living on the moon (would that count as ‘Up North?!) it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that super super Kate Moss and Jamie Hince were married this weekend in an an English wedding does rock and roll star studded affair.  Huge congratulations to the happy couple. 

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This wedding blogger thinks that Kate looks stunning in her vintage style dress cathedral veil, designed by John Galliano.  The sheer skirt of the dress was cut on the bias and adorned with sequins, gold leaf embroidery and rhinestones.  Kate also sported Manolo Blahnik heels.

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She had obviously gotten her beauty sleep.

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Kate’s daughter Lila Grace was her chief bridesmaid, and her maid of honour was her former casting agent Jess Hallett.  Jess wore a gown by Stella McCartney.

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The couple were married at St Peters Church in Little Farringdon, before heading home to Kate’s Cotswolds mansion to let a three day party begin! It will still be going on now…! The legendary Snoop Dogg is said to be amongst those performing to the celebrity crowd. 

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Fancy a wedding dress like Kate’s?  One of my all time favourite wedding dresses, Jenny Packham’s gown, Papillon, is similar – and was on this wedding blogger’s shortlist for my own wedding in October 2011.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Jenny Packham Papillon   Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Jenny Packham Papillon

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It’s all go here on the Brides Up North wedding blog today (as ever!) – check back later today for the premiere of The Brides Up North Wedding Belles Photo Shoot – The Movie!

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What did you think of Kate Moss’ wedding dress and wedding style?  Let me know!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 as credited and via The Daily Mail

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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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