October 22nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Monday just got a whole lot brighter thanks to the beautiful DIY wedding of Maddy and Mike. Choosing to marry in the bride’s hometown of Hebden Bridge, they selected the charming Wainsgate Chapel and Hall for their celebrations – a location close to bride Maddy’s heart for so many reasons. The venue was something of a blank canvas, which the couple completely transformed with a blaze of colour, flowers and festoon lighting. Truly magical.
The newlyweds surprised and treated their guests to so many special touches throughout the day, we hardly know where to begin. We’re talking two bands (and an unexpected performance Love Actually-style following the ceremony), afternoon tea instead of a traditional wedding breakfast, Mr Whippy ice cream and even a glitter bar!
Other highlights we just have to mention include the homemade jam as favours, the fabulous cake baked by the mother-of-the-bride and the appearance of the happy couple’s dog Kassy, who acted as ring bearer. There’s so much more to tell though, so let’s pass the blog over to Maddy to spill all the details!
With images by Mark Hillyer Photography.
maddy says: We met on Tinder and quickly fell in love after meeting in person. I moved in with Mike after six months and we were already talking about marriage. Soon after, I accidently found a list of proposal ideas on his phone, (I wasn’t snooping, promise!) so we went ring shopping together in Ilkley – one of our favourite towns and also where we had our third date. Mike took me back the next week to collect the ring and suggested we go for a walk up the Cow and Calf first. Right on top of the boulders overlooking the valley he pointed out a rock carving which said “Marry me?” and I turned to see him on one knee with the ring in his hand. He’d been up earlier in the week with his hammer and chisel and to collect the ring. It’s lovely that the carving will last for years to come.
We got married on 23rd June 2018 (though we had a small legal ceremony at Leeds Town Hall the week before with just our immediate family). I always knew I wanted a summer wedding, and with my job (I’m a junior doctor) dates in June and July were easier to plan for, as in August you rotate to a new placement. It was also important to have a date that wouldn’t clash with my brother’s exams and when we’d have plenty of time at the venue for setting up.
I always wanted to get married in my hometown of Hebden Bridge. I lived there my whole childhood and it would have felt wrong to go anywhere else. Wainsgate Chapel and Sunday school hall is a short distance from my mum’s house and holds some special memories for me and my family – my primary school Harvest and Christingle services were held there, and my dad’s ashes are buried in the graveyard – so in a way he was there, too.
The building is very old and in need of some TLC in places, but it adds to its charm. There are also lots of beautiful features – from the woodwork and marble in the chapel to the stained-glass window and high ceiling in the Sunday school hall. It also allowed us a lot of flexibility with the Chapel, hall and outside space all being a blank canvas.
Wainsgate is completely different to other wedding venues. If you can see past some of its shabbiness to see the beauty, and don’t mind a lot of hard work, it’s a wonderful place to get married.
We didn’t have a theme. I knew having one would have made me feel a little restricted when planning. I knew I wanted it bright and colourful, with flowers and lights, a real party vibe where people could relax and really enjoy themselves. Our priorities when planning were the photographer, flowers, food and music.
We had all of the colour! I don’t have a favourite colour, so this was pretty easily decided!
I was a little greedy when it came to my big day attire, and ended up with two wedding dresses. I managed it by buying both in sales – so I spent less than the average cost of one dress on two! My first dress was by Nicola Anne Bridal. I found it in a boutique closing down sale. I took my friend just expecting to try a few things on for ideas. The fabric of this gown was what first stood out, a beautiful damask silk, striking a perfect balance between simple satin and detailed lace. The shape of the dress also flattered me, with the vintage style bateau neckline and nipped in waist. The low back added a hint of glamour.
My second dress was also found in a boutique closing down sale. I knew I wanted a shorter dress for the dancing and this hit the spot. The dotted tulle and lace applique of this Loulou Bridal dress was fun and the way it spun was perfect for twirling around the dancefloor!
I wore the first dress with a simple fingertip veil I bought at the same shop.
My shoes were from a boutique I found while travelling in Australia – as soon as I saw them I knew I had to find space in my suitcase!
I wore new jewellery from my mother-in-law, old jewellery from my great grandmother and a borrowed blue garter from a friend who got married the year before. My bridesmaid Emily bought me a silver sixpence which stayed in my shoe all day. I also carried a Harry Potter charm on my bouquet – a reference to my favourite book and my incredible Harry Potter themed hen do!
July 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Today’s DIY wedding on the edge of the stunning Peak District is a step-by-step lesson in how to plan and execute that sought-after tipi-style wedding with gusto.
With no overall theme or colour scheme in sight – the couple, Linsey and Tom, show us what it really means to personalise all those finer details. We’re talking flowers, decorations, tables runner, the wedding cake and even the confetti cones, with family and friends all contributing in their own special way. And we just adore the picture-perfect results (and think you will, too…).
Serving up pie and mash, pizzas, Aperol spritz and gins galore, with a Caribbean steel band, toasted marshmallows, sparklers and a silent disco to boot, this wedding was more akin to one big outdoors party. Surely, the best kind of wedding celebration there can be?
With images by Alex Abbott Photography.
linsey says: Tom’s mum and step-dad have a place in Nice, so we tend to go out once a year to relax and get some sunshine! In 2015 we were there for a week, and a couple of days in we had planned to go to Monaco for the day. We ended up getting off the bus a couple of stops early and it turned out that Tom had hired a boat for the day as a surprise (he had secretly done a course to get a powerboat license earlier in the year). We went out on the boat and about 20 minutes later we stopped – we were way out in the bay in front of Nice and Tom was pointing out that we could see the place where we stay, and when I turned around he was on one knee!
We chose the 9th September for our wedding. We wanted a couple of years between getting engaged and married so that we could enjoy being engaged and so that wedding preparations could be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
We got married at St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Hathersage. We love the Peak District – both of us grew up nearby so have spent a lot of time there. We knew from day one we wanted to get married there. Most of our friends and family are close by too which was definitely a big factor.
We began the venue hunt for our reception by looking for barns in the Peak District and places where we could put some sort of marquee. In the meantime, my mum had come across a venue called Woodthorpe Hall – a private 17th century country house set in 2.5 acres of gardens on the edge of the Peak District. Mum had kindly booked us a viewing as she knew it was somewhere we might love. Within minutes of being there we knew it was where we wanted to hold our reception. They only do seven or eight weddings a year and we were the last wedding of 2017 for them!
The gardens at Woodthorpe provided the perfect location for us to put a marquee / tipi and would allow us to spend a lot of the day outdoors. I want to say it was also the perfect blank canvas for us to really make the day our own, but that plays down how stunning the gardens and setting of this venue are! One of the most appealing things for us (apart from the setting) was that we weren’t restricted and could put glamping tents and motorhomes in one of the fields next door, so our guests could stay over if they wanted to.
We initially fancied a sperry tent but after visiting a tipi open day we fell in love with the idea of having a tipi wedding! The indoor fire pits, wooden tables, and general rustic feel really appealed to us – as did the fact that they could withstand whatever the British weather might throw our way!
We didn’t really have a theme, we wanted the day to be relaxed, enjoyable, not too formal, and to reflect our personalities. Our main aim from the beginning was for our family and friends to be able to let their hair down and have a really good time – we knew that if they were having fun, we would be able to properly relax and enjoy it with them!
We didn’t have a colour scheme, although I am superstitious and so didn’t want any red and white together (which Tom was more than happy to go with due to footballing reasons!).
April 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple shows us what you can do when you have real vision and plenty of original ideas for your big day; celebrating with family and friends in a barn in the beautiful Peak District which – at the time of their first visit – wasn’t yet fully renovated and didn’t even have a door or solid walls!
Needless to say, when their wedding day came around last October, it was brimming with rustic charm, brought to life by all kinds of pretty – including fairy lights, hanging ivy and paper lanterns. This was paired with homemade jam for their favours, a gourmet barbecue, live music, a sparkler send-off and so many other special touches, beautifully captured on camera.
Our bride even added a splash of glitter to the proceedings, in keeping with the vintage glam theme for the day and opted for a neutral palette complemented by sumptuous white and gold. Proof that a barn wedding can be anything but ordinary! We’ll pass the blog onto bride, Hannah, now though to talk us through her special day with hubby, Ben – prepare to swoon!
With images by George Krousti of U and Eye Photography
hannah says: We got engaged in Canary Wharf in London. We were away with some friends and family for a few days in London. One evening (about 11pm) me and Ben went for a walk along the river, and then round the corner I saw some people stood with a guitar and singing (thought it was a little odd late at night) but as we got closer I could hear the song Green Eyes by Coldplay, which has been ‘our song’ since we met in school. I recognised the voices singing as Ben’s sister and one of our friends. Then I realised what was going on! Some of the lyrics had been changed so we stood and listened to them until the end when Ben turned around, got on one knee and asked me to marry him, obviously I said yes! Some friends had arranged a small party, so we headed there and celebrated together.
We got married on Friday 27th October 2017. Twenty-seven has always been a special number for us – my birthday is 27th April, Ben’s is 27th August, we got engaged on 27th July and whilst I was living in Australia (we did two years long distance) Ben sent me a gift when he officially asked me to be his girlfriend and it arrived on my doorstep on 27th May. I’ve always wanted an autumn wedding as I love the colours and cosy vibes.
We had our ceremony at Christian Life Church in Chesterfield (now called IKON church) and had our reception at Peak District Holiday Barn. We are both hugely involved in church and lead the youth ministry there. Ben grew up going to CLC and I have been going since I was 15 and it has become a home to us so there was no doubt that was where we wanted to get married.
We went for a vintage glam style wedding and loved the idea of a barn reception with some glitter! We stumbled across the venue as we couldn’t find anything that quite fitted our idea, so we went off on a tangent looking for somewhere to put up a marquee.
When I called Mark, who owns the barn, I asked if he had a field we could use, his response was ‘we do have a barn out the back instead if you want to look at that’ – we went to look and we were blown away (at an empty barn with no door or solid walls). Mark was amazing and said it was in the process of being refurbished and painted – it was our dream venue right in front of us. It was a year-and-a-half before our wedding and we visited it throughout that time, always confident in Mark, we can’t thank him enough for making our dream a reality!
We went for a colour palette of neutral wood tones, with white and a hint of gold glitter. We’re not a fan of garish colours, so wanted something neutral yet warm and cosy. The vintage style fitted with the autumn season too and I based the gold glitter on my choice of bridesmaid dress as it was something different and gave it that extra pop of fun.
April 6th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Who says you have to play by the rules on your wedding day? Well, today’s couple are breaking with convention – and they’re doing it by the bucket-load! Favours, bridesmaids, best men, a wedding breakfast, top table…all nowhere to be seen. But Fi and Kev’s day is all the more special for it.
And, something we’re sure will turn a few heads – hubby Kev helped his bride-to-be shop for her wedding dress, and they even woke up together on the morning of their nuptials. Could this couple be any more unique, daring to be different and putting a big personal stamp on their big day?
Tying the knot in the stunning Lake District, the couple’s intimate wedding had so many wonderful touches – from their guests jingling a line of bells in unison following the ceremony, to their fabulous cheese cake and veggie spread, and the most eye-wateringly beautiful picture of the couple looking up at the twinkly night sky. We’re in love with this unconventional but truly inspiring wedding, and we think you’re going to be head over heels about it, too!
With images by Jo Greenfield Photography.
fi says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2016. We have a couple of traditions, one being that we love to send each other cards or write little notes to each other and leave them in random places; the other is that we like to return to a particular park bench, where we first held hands, on the 25th of each month. On Christmas Day 2016 I was excited to give Kev a card, telling him how wonderful 2016 had been and how much love and happiness he had brought to my world. He had also written a card for me which had an extra little note inside saying ‘will you marry me?’. Kev had planned to give me his card at the park bench but because I was so excited to give him mine on Christmas morning, he gave me his while we were standing in the kitchen at home. That’s where he proposed, with his little note, standing in the very spot where he had asked me to move in with him. Perhaps not as romantic as being in the park sitting on our bench, but simple and just perfect.
We got married on 30th September 2017. We didn’t want a long engagement – why wait?! Neither of us particularly had any attachment to the Midlands, where we live, but we both love the Lake District so decided to tie the knot there. We hoped the September date might offer us better weather conditions and colours in the mountains at that time of the year.
We got married and held our reception at the Haweswater Hotel in the Lake District. Kev and I are both uncomplicated people and the thought of having a massive wedding just didn’t appeal – we do not like being centre of attention so keeping our wedding small and intimate was really important.
We found the Haweswater Hotel purely by chance. We had gone to visit a different location and had been recommended by the owner of this other venue that we could stay at the Haweswater Hotel on the night of our wedding. So, we thought we’d take a look. We parked up outside and were mesmerised by the location and how beautifully isolated it was. The reception staff offered to show us round and we left that afternoon knowing we wanted to get married there.
We didn’t have a theme. We just wanted a simple and uncomplicated day. No unnecessary extras, no over-the-top flamboyance, just simple, relaxed and informal, a gathering of our friends and family.
We knew what colours we liked and a scheme evolved from that. I knew I wanted to wear ivory and Kev knew he wanted a deep blue herringbone tweed suit. Kev had been on holiday to India just as we met and whilst he was there he met the Dalai Lama who had given him a knotted red string bracelet. We decided to use this red band as inspiration for a vibrant accent colour, with pops of deep red in our flowers and Kev’s button hole and tie. So, in the end, we had a mix of ivory, dark blue, pops of deep red, dusky pinks and creams.
Right from the first day we met, Kev and I have always shared everything, and I couldn’t comprehend dress shopping without him. We wanted all our wedding decisions to be made together, so Kev was involved in the dress process with me.
I’d hoped it would be really exciting to walk into wedding dress shops and pick up lots of beautiful dresses to try on; this was never the case. I did some internet browsing to find a shop that stocked some dresses I did like, and Kev came with me for my appointment. However, I was even more demoralised when everything I tried on was a size 8. Being a size 12/14 I never thought I was that big, but this experience soon made me feel self-conscious about my size, something that had never really worried me before.
All this really got me down and I thought I’d never find ‘the’ dress, but the one thing I was able to take from the experience was what did and didn’t suit me. I decided to have my dress made so that I could incorporate all the ideas that I had really liked from the dresses I had tried on. In the end a family friend made my dress. Kev and I designed it together and were involved in the whole process.
August 3rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
While for some brides there is nothing better than a ‘ready-made’ venue that requires minimal décor and details, others want to go all out on the creative touches for their big day.
Tatum, the star of today’s real wedding, falls into the latter category, for she craved a blank space to transform into the perfect setting for her and beau Steve’s rustic celebrations. And transform she did, filling a beautiful barn in West Yorkshire with tree slices, hessian and lace covered jars, decorative wooden pallets and beautiful blooms galore!
In line with her dream of a relaxed, rural big day, Tatum switched a traditional sit-down wedding breakfast in place of a fish and chip supper and treated guests to outdoor games, live entertainment, a quirky photo booth and beautifully presented sweet cart.
So, ladies, if you’re dotty for details, prepare to be inspired…
With images by Matt Thompson Photography
tatum says: We got engaged on 27th December 2014, at Burton in Lonsdale. We had planned a child-free weekend away in a cottage. Steve made the whole place look lovely with candles everywhere making a path to the sofa where a little parcel was waiting – it was a lovely photo album of our happy memories the final photo was my ring! I said yes!
Our wedding was on 23rd September 2016, at Oakwell Hall, West Yorkshire, which is a museum and barn. We wanted to get married somewhere we could do everything ourselves without being dictated to about food etc. I love organising so Oakwell’s barn was ideal. It was the one and only venue we looked at and I knew it was perfect straight away.
We had a rustic themed wedding. Everyone has their perfect wedding in their head and it’s always been what I had in mind.
We chose a grey colour scheme as this seemed to go nicely with the flowers, and my bridesmaids were all happy with the colour choice too.
I am very fussy when it comes to choosing clothes so I spent ages trying on wedding dresses and just didn’t like anything I liked. I was starting to feel really disheartened. My last boutique booking was at Mia Sposa in Huddersfield – we were warmly welcomed by the staff and was told to have a look around and pick out some dressed I’d like to try. I went straight to ‘the dress’ I was told that dress was only there for the weekend for a designer event – I fell in love as soon as I put it on. My dress was ivory sweetheart-neck, lace topped design with a tulle skirt.
Steve wore a navy blue suit with a checked tweed waistcoat and tie from Antich & Sons, in Huddersfield. The groomsmen wore the same suits as Steve but with navy waistcoats and a tweed tie.
My bridesmaids wore grey dresses from an online shop that were altered to perfection at Mia Sposa.
On the day of the wedding my dad and I travelled to the venue in a black baby Bentley.
June 24th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Sometimes, we just want to have it all. And for today’s couple, their venue choice – Sledmere House in East Yorkshire – more than delivered when it came to fulfilling their wedding day wishlist.
Tying the knot last September in the stately home’s regal setting, the couple then shifted their celebrations in to the more rustic backdrop of the venue’s on-site barn, which Josie and Bruce describe as their own personal ‘DIY project’.
And with so many special touches – the ice cream tricycle, stairway to heaven and petal drop are just a few of our personal favourites – we think you’re going to feel inspired by the abundance of original ideas from their big day. Josie shares all the gorgeous details…
With images from Photogenick
josie says: We got engaged on 26 September 2016. Bruce said there was no specific relevance to this date, however we had booked a trip to Paris near Christmas, so he had got a lock engraved with the date to mark the occasion. Bruce planned to propose at Sails café, Skidby windmill, a location that meant a lot to me. However, I scuppered Bruce’s plans by inviting my mum and granddad to lunch. Bruce chickened out. However, knowing it had to be that day because of the engraved lock, Bruce had to think on his feet and suggested a walk…eventually popping the question! He presented me with the most beautiful ring and, of course, the engraved lock. We celebrated in Paris in December and placed the lock on the love lock bridge.
We got married on 17 September 2016. We didn’t want to wait too long to get married. There was no relevance to this date but we hoped for good weather and, based on previous years, September had been lovely and this gave us just under a year to plan and organize everything for our special day.
We got married at Sledmere House – a Georgian and Edwardian House in East Yorkshire. We were looking for a venue that had everything! We had a big guest list, which we initially found restricting when considering other venues. Plus, we wanted to make the day unique and personal to us but keep some aspects of it traditional.
We quickly learnt that choosing the venue was going to be one of the biggest and hardest decisions. When we came across Sledmere House and the barn located on site – we were blown away, as it enabled us to have everything we wanted; two completely contrasting venues in one day.
We also chose the option of the bridal party having the beautiful ‘red’ room to get ready in with the hairdresser (Hannah Cormack) and make-up artist (Ali Gomerson) attending while the group enjoyed a celebration breakfast.
The house was beautiful, sophisticated and elegant and the most formal parts of our day took place here. We got married in the library and had a petal drop on the grand staircase. We felt like royalty.
The barn was the complete opposite; you could not get anymore rustic! Initially it had no doors, no toilets and there was a tractor inside. It was a huge DIY project but it had so much potential and we had so many creative ideas.
There was no specific theme but the contrasting venues provided two opposing styles, the house was grand whereas the barn was very quirky and rustic. The barn featured a lot of handmade décor and props too. We had indoor and outdoor hay bale sofas and the yard was decorated with bunting. We intended to make this part of the day informal as we wanted everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. We even provided blankets, umbrellas (thankfully, not needed) and flip flops for our guests to ensure they were kept comfortable! The House did not require any dressing – it was perfect as it was.
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