Charlotte Balbier

happily ever after. romantica for a family wedding at rushpool hall – cheryl & john

March 24th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a cute engagement story and today’s real wedding starts with a great one. Having been together just short of nine years brave bride Cheryl decided to turn the tables and asked partner John for his hand in marriage during a romantic weekend away to celebrate their anniversary. Huge kudos to Cheryl for ditching tradition – oh, and for also quickly pointing out to John that he owed her a ring to make it official.

To make their big day a real family affair Cheryl and John made their two beautiful daughters, Millie and Ellie, a big part of the day and it looks like the girls carried out their duties perfectly. Well done girls!

So let’s hear that engagement story…

With images by Brides Up North featured supplier Diamond Photography.

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cheryl says: John and I have been together for almost nine years and we have two beautiful daughters, Millie and Ellie. We had talked about marriage over a number of years but something else always seemed to arise, in regards to work schedules and having two young daughters. Our anniversary was fast approaching and we always make the effort to go for an overnight stay somewhere so I made the decision that this was it – I was going to ask him to marry me! I’d always been adamant I would wait until he proposed but I guess the time just felt right. So, after looking at different hotels and listening to other people’s experiences I decided to book Yorebridge House boutique hotel in the Yorkshire Dales. On 1st November 2012 we set off for our overnight stay, I told John that we wouldn’t bother with gifts this time as we had paid that little bit extra for the hotel stay.

After a glass of wine (for courage) I handed John a gift-wrapped box, which he cautiously opened but seemed pleased when a box of Thorntons chocolates were presented to him. However, he had to do a double-take when he realised what the chocolates spelled out the words ‘will u marry me?’ I was relieved when he smiled and answered ‘Yes!’ Next I presented him with a smaller box containing a jelly Haribo ring and a note stating, ‘you owe me.’ I felt comforted and very excited afterwards as we both began to contact our family and friends to share the news.

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I had hoped to book an earlier date, preferably before the football season started but those dates had already been taken, so we agreed finally agreed on our date, Saturday 30th August 2014.

We got married at Rushpool Hall, Saltburn, described as ‘a fairy tale castle set in picturesque surroundings’. We liked that our ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception would be all in the one venue. We chose the blue room with beautiful décor, which overlooks Saltburn Valley with additional sea views. This had been one of the hotels that John and I had previously stayed at and once we began to look at wedding venues we revisited the site and instantly knew this would be where we would say our wedding vows.

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Our wedding colour scheme was ivory and pink. The pink element stems from both of our daughters’ love of the colour.

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After visiting six different wedding dress retailers, I went back to Exclusively Yours at Wingate, County Durham. I chose a selection of three/four dresses but I kept returning to a particular dress, which I had previously tried on. I soon realised I’d found the one. The dress was Romantica Zeta, a straight A-line dress with crystals on the bodice, which featured a zip fastening on the back with crystal buttons. The dress was ivory in colour.

John wore a suit with a waistcoat and jacket and an ivory cravat from Moss Brothers at Dalton Park.

Our two daughters Millie and Ellie both wore ivory bridesmaid dresses from Next which had an ivory band round the middle and fastened in a bow at the back. Bryan the best man wore the same suit as John from Moss Brothers.

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Andrew and Mandy of Diamond Photography were our photographers. I’d arranged to meet with Andrew who showed me different wedding packages and photographs that himself and Mandy offered. Andrew was very easy-going and added no pressure. Across a period of time before I got married I often messaged Andrew who always answered any questions and worries I may have had. On our wedding day they captured amazing moments, I’m not a person who particularly likes to be in the limelight, but Andrew made me feel very comfortable and settled my nerves at begin photographed. Andrew and Mandy were lovely. They had captured particular photos we had requested and more. They were so friendly and created a very professional and well-produced package, without being intrusive. I would definitely recommend future brides to meet Andrew and Mandy – I cannot thank them enough.

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My two daughters and I had small hand held bouquets, which consisted of my favourite flowers tulips and roses. My friend Tracy arranged our flowers for us along with the corsages and buttonholes. Our daughters carried a sign each, one saying ‘Here comes Mammy’ and the other saying ‘Last chance to run Daddy’.

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Our top table had an ivory ‘Mr & Mrs’ sign, with a small tea light candles in diamond cut glass holders and a bowl with other floating candles. The guest table centre pieces were ivory jewelled candle holders with diamonds scattered across the table. On the fireplaces we also had bowls with floating candles. In the evening we had a wedding wish tree, along with paper lanterns and large pink and ivory balloons.

The favours were lucky sixpences, which were personalised to each guest in a small wallet with ‘John & Cheryl’ written on, alongside our wedding date.

Our cake was pink and ivory with four tiers – the top tier was carrot cake, the second sponge cake and the two bottom tiers were fruit cake. It was delicious! It was made by Michelle who owns Michelle’s Cakes shop, situated in a wedding store called A Bit of a Do in Hartlepool. I often messaged Michelle with different pictures of cakes and constantly asked questions but nothing was ever too much trouble.

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For entertainment we had a disco which was provided by Rushpool Hall and the resident DJ, who was very good played all requests – we opted for a lot of 80s music. Our photographer provided a freestanding photo booth, which at the time was part of a special promotion. There were lots of props and guests were provided with a copy of their photo moment! I have to add that Andrew and Mandy were very patient as by this time everyone at the wedding party had, had quite a bit to drink – and shall we say, in very good spirits! We also had a caricaturist during the day to entertain our guests.

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Other great suppliers we used included Elaine Butler, who designed our wedding invites along with our guest place cards, table plan, sweet jar labels, and table numbers. Made At Home made our lovely sign, which I placed next to our cake which said ‘& they lived happily ever after’, along with beautiful handmade wishing dandelions for our daughters. Heart Shaped Home made lovely framed verses which we gave to our parents as gifts and also the signs that Millie and Ellie carried. Angela Leonard from Unique Styles in Hartlepool did my hair and Deborah Campbell did my make-up. Deborah and I have been friends since we were young and she offered to do my make-up as she knew I would be panicking about it. When she mentioned eye lashes I was panic stricken, however I was gently persuaded and loved them!

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We would certainly recommend our venue to others. Rushpool Hall is a perfect romantic setting, with beautiful grounds and an open staircase along with log fires. The team at Rushpool Hall were fantastic and very friendly, nothing was too much trouble and I must not fail to mention to Kerri who assisted us in the run up to the wedding and on our actual day, thank you.

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Our favourite part of the day had to be spending it with our family and friends, most of all our two beautiful daughters Millie and Ellie. I also think remembering those people that couldn’t be there to share our special day, in particular my Granddad Tommy, and John’s Granddad Bobby, was a special moment.

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For our honeymoon we went to the Grand Sirenis, Mayan Beach Hotel in Mexico, Riviera Maya. We were lucky enough that our family looked after our daughters for a week while we went away. We had an amazing week, with sunny skies and plenty of strawberry daiquiris. We spent days floating round the lazy river but our most enjoyable moment was swimming with dolphins, something that I had always wanted to do!

My top tips to other Brides Up North is – enjoy every moment and try to make a little time to take it all in! Don’t let the day pass you by and try not to be too nervous.

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Fabulous Photographer: Diamond Photography PLUS Free Signature Mount For Wedding Blog Readers!

November 19th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Diamond Photography

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This wedding blog would never have made it to it’s second birthday (you can read about another exciting year in business here) nor grown so quickly as a recognised and credible brand within the wedding industry without the support of amazing regional suppliers like today’s Featured Supplier, Diamond Photography.

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Let’s meet fabulous North East wedding photographer Andrew, take a look on the other side of the lens and find out what makes him tick – and click!  Plus, watch out for an early Christmas present from Diamond Photography -  a free Signature Mount (a stylish guest book alternative) for every bride who books their wedding photography with him quoting Brides Up North.

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What’s not to like?

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Diamond Photography

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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Totally by chance really. I’ve had many jobs and worked with many prestigious companies. I have many qualifications including a 1st class honours degree. But the one constant throughout it all has been photography. Photography had always been a hobby, something I used to relax and for fun. Then we were asked by some friends to cover their wedding and had an amazing time. They loved the pictures and that gave us the confidence to dip our toes into the industry, we’ve never looked back!

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Diamond Photography

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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A great question! The thing we love most about weddings in the emotion of the day, the tears, the laughter and those heart felt moments. It is such as privilege to be part of a day that is often the most important in a couple lives.

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Diamond Photography

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Diamond Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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Wedding photography gives us the opportunity to work with great people. Whether it’s the bride and groom, venue staff, singers, magicians, the list goes on. The North is blessed with a vibrant wedding industry.
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Diamond Photography

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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A little humour normally does it. I’ve been around people all my working life and have a good sense for when people are a little nervous. I may say or ask them to do something stupid, invariably it ends up in laughter and relaxes the mood.

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Diamond Photography

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Diamond Photography

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Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

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Speak to your photographer in advance and explain how you feel. A good photographer will be able to blend into the background and a lot of the time you won’t even know they are there.

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What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

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Personally I would say it’s all about feeling comfortable. So wear what makes you feel good!

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Diamond Photography

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Diamond Photography

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Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?

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Not really. What may look bad in one picture can make another, it’s all about capturing the moment.
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Diamond Photography

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Diamond Photography

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Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

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Lady Gaga! Simply because I imagine her dress would be a real talking point…

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Diamond Photography

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Diamond Photography

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Are you married? Tell us about your day.

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Yes! Mandy and I were married on the HMS Trincomalee in Hartlepool. I have to be honest and Mandy took control of most things (if not everything). I’m struggling to think of a single thing which I actually decided, of course I was consulted, unfortunately after the decision had been made most of the time. Looking back I wouldn’t change a single thing, except maybe when she stood on my toe during the vows which made me cry!

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Diamond Photography

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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It may sound like an odd thing but I would say customer service. There are many good photographers in the North East but there is more to being professional than taking good pictures. For us it’s not just about the day it’s about the whole package, from the first contact and until you are 110% happy! If you want an extra meeting we will come to you. If you want change your package after booking, not a problem. If you want something extra, it can be arranged. When your images are ready, we will deliver them to you. When your album is ready, we will deliver it to you. Before and after your wedding we are here to help YOU!

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Diamond Photography

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Diamond Photography

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What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

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We are down to earth friendly people. We will be polite, professional and let your day flow.

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What is included in your "package"?

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Our packages are totally configurable and can be customised for every bride and groom.  Currently a full days coverage is £800, with albums, DVDs etc charged separately.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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All Brides Up North readers will receive a FREE 20 x 16 signature mount!  Please quote Brides Up North when booking. 

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Diamond Photography

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

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Email, telephone, Facebook, text message whatever works for you! We offer free home visits and are more than willing to do the travelling.

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  – Images © 2012 Diamond Photography 

Diamond Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is 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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