Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

love on top. enzoani for an elegant & inspiring wedding at headlam hall – charlotte & jonathan

August 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

An Elegant Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Duncan McCall Photography (48)

There’s very little introduction required for the real wedding we’re featuring today, as these gorgeous photographs speak for themselves. There’s embellished Enzoani for the dress divas, pink peonies for the flower fans and stunningly intimate sunset kisses for the romance addicts – so that’ll be, err, everyone?? The theme of this particular County Durham wedding was ‘simply elegant’ and the details, from bespoke stationery to limoncello shots, are first-rate.

Oh, and speaking of details, have you thought about a wedding day gift for your beloved yet? We’ve seen it all here at Brides Up North – a vintage tie pin, a bottle of his favourite whiskey, a rare record to add to his collection. But today’s bride Charlotte sets the bar even higher, ladies – her wedding day gift to new husband Jonathan was a full-on dance troupe: her and her #bridesquad performing to Beyonce’s popwhopper Love on Top. No pressure, then…!

Over to Charlotte to tell us more…

With images by Duncan McCall Photography

An Elegant Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Duncan McCall Photography (28)

charlotte says: We’d planned a trip to Edinburgh between Christmas and New Year to see some friends and Jonathan told me afterwards that he’d decided exactly when and where he was going to propose. However, that didn’t go to plan. On Saturday 21st December 2013, he says he woke up and just knew he had to do it. We live in County Durham, and one of our favourite places to visit is the Cathedral. With it being Christmas time, we were greeted by the beautiful sound of a choir singing carols as we walked in that day. He led me outside into the courtyard and sat me down, got down on one knee and popped the question. It really took me by surprise and, of course, I said yes!

An Elegant Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Duncan McCall Photography (21)

Our wedding date was 1st July 2017. We’d always wanted a summer wedding and it just so happened that the first Saturday in July had a memorable date: 1/7/17.

We got married at St Brandon’s Church in Brancepeth, just outside of Durham. The church building was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1998 and the renovations are beautiful. It’s is very modern with individual chairs instead of pews, and features a beautiful stained-glass window and stone from the old building on the wall. We fell in love with St Brandon’s as soon as we stepped inside; plus, we love that every time we step outside our back door, we can see the church in the distance.

We held our wedding reception at Headlam Hall Hotel and Spa. We’d looked at so many different venues, but none of them felt right until we came across Headlam. We loved the beautiful gardens and terrace and could see just how lovely it would be to have our guests there and to enjoy the views. We also loved how the function suite was set aside from the hotel – it created a real sense of exclusivity. Headlam Hall’s function suite had recently been renovated and looked really elegant; we loved it so much, we booked two years in advance.

An Elegant Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Duncan McCall Photography (72)

‘Simply elegant’ was the theme for our wedding, with a colour scheme of navy blue, blush pink, creams and golden colours. We also included peonies, which were incorporated into the bouquets, centrepieces and all stationery.

An Elegant Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Duncan McCall Photography (77)

I chose a fishtail, embroidered Enzoani gown, to which I added a crystal belt, some delicate thin crystal straps and a cathedral-length veil with lace detailing, all purchased at the Blue Bow Bridal Company, based in Durham. The ladies there were truly amazing; as soon as we stepped in we were greeted by two lovely women who handed me a basket of pegs and told me to peg away onto any dresses I liked. I tried on some beautiful gowns, but I didn’t love any of them. At this point, Cheryl the assistant asked me to describe my dream dress and then picked out my beautiful Enzoani gown. I couldn’t wait to try it on and, once I saw myself in it, I definitely had the moment you dream about.

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blossoming romance – a ‘north east’ garden party wedding in essex – hayley & gary

February 28th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (35)

Could there be anything more special than hosting your wedding reception in a friend’s garden? Today’s couple did exactly that – and we simply adore everything about their laid-back and very personal day.

Hayley and Gary exchanged their vows at the most picture-perfect, quaint church, before heading onto a close friend’s house to celebrate inside a beautiful marquee decorated with paper lanterns.

We think this might just be country chic at its very best.

Images by Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography 

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (42)

hayley says: Gary proposed on 23 November 2014 in Grand Central Station, New York.

Firstly, Gary surprised me with the trip to New York. I knew I was travelling overseas, I just didn’t know where that was until we arrived at the airport. I even carried my engagement ring in my hand luggage without realising!

Little did I know until after the proposal that Gary had been having a nightmare with his three chosen locations for where to propose, due to TV film crews, swarms of seagulls, children throwing food, and busy crowds in unexpected areas. We eventually arrived at Grand Central Station in the afternoon where he made an amazing job of asking me to be his wife!

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (11)

We got married two years later on Saturday 27 August 2016. We always knew we wanted to have the wedding on a bank holiday. In order to plan and save for the day properly we picked this month. We also hoped for sunshine with it being in the summer!

Although we are both originally from Co Durham in the North East, Gary’s work has taken him to the south. We decided to get married in the small local church in Lindsell, Essex. This is where Gary now works and lives. We then had the wedding reception in Gary’s employer and very close friend’s garden at his home.

Gary is a professional carer for individuals with spinal injuries. He works and lives with the man who he cares for. Martin, or Tiny as everyone knows him, is a very special person to both of us. His extended generosity to hold the wedding at his home is precedent for the loving and caring man he is. He is very much like a father figure to us both; so much so that he provided the Father of the Bride/Groom speech on the day – and did a fantastic job!

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (46)

The main wish for our day was for everyone to be as relaxed as possible and to have fun. We therefore adopted a theme for our day of an informal garden party. Our chosen style was vintage country.

The main colours for the day were mint green, dusky pink and gold.  I always imagined these colours would work well together and we both agreed these complimented the vintage country style.

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (65)

I wore a bridal gown named Elsa from designer Eliza Jane Howell, purchased from Kathryn S Trueman Bridal and Occasions in Morpeth. I initially did not have a preference for a style or shape of dress.  I wanted to find something I could move around and eat in – and something unique!

After trying on lots of dresses, I knew I wanted something with a higher neckline and coverage on my arms. This designer has such a 1920s vintage style and this particular dress was lightweight, with a soft sequin covering, small train, ¾ batwing sleeves and high neckline – perfect!  I knew it was the one when my mam cried when she saw me wearing it. I felt like a perfect bride!

My hair was styled by Smith and Co and makeup by House of Skin, both based in Dunmow, Essex.  Both were recommended to me, and were extremely friendly and professional.

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winter romance. suzanne neville for an elegant wedding at middleton lodge – kerry & stuart

January 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (33)

Though Christmas has been and gone it’s still very much winter outdoors and so to start the week in style we’re sharing the seasonal wedding of Stuart and Kerry. Taking place in late December, their big day celebrations include subtle hints to the season and a stunning white, midnight blue and metallic colour scheme.

We adore the atmospheric candle light décor, elegant floral displays and sparkling cake, not to mention Kerry’s gorgeous Suzanne Neville dress – pure perfection!

With images by Andy Gaines.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (8)

kerry says: We got engaged on October 5th 2013, in the mirror garden at the Palace of Versaille, Paris. The lake there had fountains in that played to classical music. Stuart said we have the fountains on one side and a statue of Venus on the other, then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

We set the date for 28th December 2014. We decided we wanted a small, intimate wedding and Christmas time seemed ideal for this.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (27)

Our chosen venue was Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire. It ticked all of our boxes and meant that we could get married on site and get ready in our rooms. It is a beautiful home and has a really cool cellar bar to party in. It also wasn’t too far for relatives and friends to travel. I also love the area having spent a lot of time at my auntie and uncle’s house nearby.

The venue had also recently opened up a restaurant called The Coach House and guest rooms in the grounds. This meant we could have people stay there as well as the house. We chose to have dinner at The Coach House the night before the wedding with our family and friends; they gave us the private dining room and the food was fabulous. It was also a good celebration for my dad’s birthday on the 27th.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (16)

I gave up on a theme for the wedding quite early and decided I wanted it to be elegant, informal but timeless. So I stuck with a colour theme of white, silver and golds for the flowers, cake and decorations. The bridesmaids wore midnight blue, which suited them all and again, I hoped it would look elegant and wouldn’t make us all cringe in 20 years when we look back on photos!

Stuart also requested that all of the males who attended that had medals, wear them. Stuart’s always had an interest in them after learning about the medals his grandfather was awarded in WWII; he also has his own from serving as a police officer. Stuart asked his nephew to wear miniatures of his late grandpa’s medals, which made him really proud as his grandpa was very important to him.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (31)

When it came choosing my dress, I selected a simple, fitted gown from Suzanne Neville called Memoire, which was from the Vintage Rose 2014 collection. It was ivory with pearls scattered across the top front and back. Suzanne fitted a corset for me so that I didn’t have to worry about finding the right underwear! I had seen it in on the website before I went for my appointment. I had a fine silk cathedral veil with tiny pearls embroidered on. Despite trying many on before, I just knew I would find my dress at Suzanne’s showroom. She was lovely, as were all of her staff.

To accompany my dress, I had gold Jimmy Choos and wore pearl earrings from DanniJo.

Cat Johnson, from Harrogate, did my make-up as well as my mama’s and all of the bridesmaids. She did a brilliant job and my godmother’s daughter used her for her wedding last year.

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french fancy. jewel tones & jam jars for a creative wedding at le petit chateau – katie & david

January 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime

A Creative Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Gavin Forster Photography (45)

Today’s real wedding takes place at one of stunning Sponsor venues, Le Petit Chateau in rural Northumberland.

Creative bride Katie, instantly fell head over heels for venue’s unique French charm and set about planning a stylish big day that represented both her and her beau David down to the ground.

Cue gorgeous art nouveaux and art deco styling, botanical designs, jam-jar florals, jewel tones and an abundance of pretty and personal touches – ladies, this one is a beauty!

And if you like the look of the setting of Katie and David’s big day, why not pop along and see the splendid Le Petit Chateau for yourself on Sunday 29th January, when the venue will be hosting a Wedding Open Day. Between 2pm and 5pm, brides and grooms-to-be will be able to explore the venue and its grounds, chat to the wedding team and meet some of the North East’s top wedding suppliers.

With images by Gavin Forster Photography

A Creative Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Gavin Forster Photography (36)

katie says: David and I had been together for 14 years when we got engaged, and just about all our friends were married. Then I was appointed chief bridesmaid for my best friend in September 2015 and unbeknown to me it was decided by the bride et al that I was to catch the bouquet – I did and from that point on a secret plan was hatched between David, my friends and my family to find me a ring.

He proposed on one knee on 7th November, my birthday, during a rainy dog walk in a bleak country park in Northumberland. I was elated, there were lots of tears! He knew I would like an emerald and something a bit different and probably vintage, so had chosen a stunning art deco style white gold, diamond and emerald ring from a jeweller on the Etsy website.

Having been together so long we didn’t want to hang around and with me being a teacher we really needed to find a date during the holidays. We had lots of family travelling from all over and ideally wanted to make a long weekend of it so were really keen to get a Thursday or a Friday. We quickly chose 4th August 2016 as, safely in the summer holidays, there would be a bit of time to plan and I would have a week or so after finishing school. Also, it would be exactly a month before our 15th anniversary on the 4th September so it seemed like a good choice.

A Creative Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Gavin Forster Photography (41)

I was really concerned from the outset that I didn’t want the venue to be too ‘weddingy’. I was worried it would look like we were playing dress-up and we would be swamped in a one-size-fits-all approach. By luck, whilst searching for venues, I stumbled across information about a new French shabby chic themed project from The Apartment Group. When I was little we used to go to France every year, I then introduced David to France and now we both dream of having a house there some day so this seemed a perfect place for us to get married. My best friend Fiona’s wedding had been at As You Like It (also ran by The Apartment Group) and had been beautiful and very professionally managed by their wedding team. So, when I found Le Petit Chateau, despite it not even being fully built I felt really happy that knowing the quality of The Apartment Group’s other venues that they were definitely the right choice. What we ended up with was gorgeous; it was even better of course that being nearly the last of our group to marry that nobody had ever been to the venue before!

A Creative Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Gavin Forster Photography (18)

I used to work in the arts and had a very clear idea of what I wanted to achieve visually for the wedding. There was no theme, but, much like the scrap booking approach I had taken to collecting ideas, we did have several common threads running through.

Art nouveaux and art deco style botanical designs, jewel colours, our home, places we love like France and Italy, and friends and family also featured heavily in all our plans. Everything had to have a reason for being there. More than anything I wanted it to just be really representative of us, so this along with the magic of twinkly lights and lovely vintage style cut glassware all of fed into the wedding ‘collage’.

I love rich colours and when he is not in navy blue David really likes purple tones so this became the basis of ideas for the colour scheme. I knew I didn’t want one colour, that definitely wasn’t ‘us’. So instead we chose a pallet of jewel and berry tones: ruby, magenta, plum, raspberry cut through with emerald and sapphire tones with flashes of gold and silver.

A Creative Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Gavin Forster Photography (33)

Being a lady of giantess stature, I am 6ft 1 ½ inch, I knew I would look insane in anything puffy. I loved the classic beauty of 1930s style gowns and had an idea that that sort of style would suit me. So my best friend (and chief bridesmaid), who knew about the proposal, found a vintage shop to visit as a surprise during my pre-planned birthday trip to York. This turned out to be an amazing find. Hayley, at Glory Days Bridal, was fantastic. I tried on some stunning pieces, many of which were her designs based on 1930s styles and we agreed this was probably the way forward. To be sure, and for the fun of it, I tried on dresses elsewhere but nothing I had seen caught my imagination as much as the dresses in Glory Days. I later drew out one of Hayley’s designs that I had tried, made a couple tweaks and emailed her to see if she would agree to make it. She agreed and so my stunning dress was born.

My primary school best friend, Kristina Foster MUA, was enlisted for my wedding day makeup and was brilliant. Our usher’s wife Helen, of Church Hair, was booked for hair.

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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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snowflakes & lilies. a winter wedding at peckforton castle – lorna & dave

October 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s elegant real wedding was arranged in just six months and perfectly illustrates the beauty of tying the knot in the winter season.

The couple, Lorna and Dave, had been together for more than five years before getting engaged. Briefly contemplating a beach wedding in the Caribbean sunshine, the couple couldn’t resist the allure of staying close to home and celebrating their big day at the magnificent Peckforton Castle.

Dressed in an off-the-shoulder, fluted fishtail gown, Lorna was every bit the fairy-tale princess.

With images from Jonny Draper Photography.

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lorna says: We got engaged on 23rd May 2015, at Tre-Ysgawen Hall, Anglesey, Wales. At this point we had been together for more than five years, so I’d pretty much given up hope, but it turns out he was waiting for me to stop hinting so that it would come as a surprise. Dave had taken me away for the weekend and chosen Wales because of my Welsh roots. We enjoyed spa treatments on the Saturday and even joked in the Jacuzzi that Dave was rubbish at keeping secrets! Later that day, he got down on one knee in a lovely little meadow in the grounds of the hotel. I was so stunned he had to prompt me for a response as his knee was getting wet from the grass!

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We tied the knot on Thursday 17th December 2015. We both wanted a winter wedding and weren’t concerned about the weather. We love Christmas time, so thought we could make the most of the gorgeous festive decorations at our venue, Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. We also first met on 17th January so there was certain symmetry to the date.

We got married in the Great Hall at Peckforton. Dave wanted to either wed on a beach in the Caribbean or in a castle. As I’m red head and not a huge fan of sand – the decision was quickly made! We looked at a number of other locations in and around Cheshire, but Peckforton was by far the most magical and perfect venue.

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We both love to travel so our table names were places we had visited together and our table plan was a map of the world. We also had a vintage suitcase for our cards. For us, this signified that we had already been on many adventures, and that we are now embarking on another big adventure together into married life.

We tried to keep a personal touch throughout the wedding, with my sister designing our wedding invitations and other stationery, and my mum making the most fabulous snowflake wedding cake. Overall, we were going for an understated but elegant look.

Our colour scheme was dark purple. It’s a rich shade that stands out for a winter wedding and it also complemented the decor in the castle – and we both love the colour!

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