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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June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The name of the venue chosen by today’s real wedding couple set the tone for their entire approach to their big day.
Falling in love with the relaxed and eclectic feel of As You Like It in Jesmond, Emma and Rob planned a DIY wedding their way, with attire, décor and entertainment to reflect their individual taste and style.
We must give a big shout out to petit bride Emma who totally rocks her bespoke House of Mooshki gown and glittering heels. Groom Rob also deserves style credit for his pale blue three-piece and on-trend dicky bow.
With images by Daz Mack Photography
emma says: Rob proposed in Albert Park, Middlesbrough, in July 2013. We had won a romantic photoshoot in a charity raffle, and Rob and our photographer Daz had secretly planned the proposal, so everything was captured on camera. It was a complete shock and there were a fair few happy tears!
We set the date for 21st October 2016. It was also my grandad’s birthday that day, who was unable to attend, so we all raised a glass to him.
We had both the ceremony and reception at As You Like It, in Jesmond. We were very open minded when it came to searching for a venue, we had no idea what to expect, but when we walked into AYLI we fell in love. The place was so eclectic, interesting and quirky, but beautiful and versatile too. We were also impressed by the amazing cocktail menu, lovely food, and helpful staff.
We didn’t really have a theme as such, but as a lot of things were DIY we were able to make sure it felt very personal and warm. Many guests had travelled a long way to be there, and we wanted them to feel welcome, relaxed and basically just able to have a really good time.
The wedding featured a lot of blue and gold tones, including in the bridal party’s clothing and accessories. Our colour scheme wasn’t very strict otherwise, as the venue itself is so full of decoration, anything suits!
My wedding dress was by House of Mooshki – a bespoke version of the Claire dress. I was willing to try on anything when it came to dress shopping, I never had that ‘dream’ image in my head. But at 5ft nothing, I found it hard at first to find something that I felt good in. (The best man actually made a joke in his speech about finding somewhere that does kids sizes). The service and quality of a bespoke dress from House of Mooshki was well worth the money. As soon as I found out about them I knew that’s where I’d find my dress.
Rob wore a light dusty blue three-piece suit from Topman, with a navy blue bowtie and pocket square. He had tried on several wedding outfits in other places, but the colour and fit of the Topman one was exactly what he was looking for, so kept going back to it!
The bridesmaids all wore midnight blue infinity dresses from The Dainty Yard on Etsy, and styled them individually.
The groomsmen wore navy blue Moss Bros suits, with accessories matching the groom’s.
December 14th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we escape to Cheshire, to the captivating 17th century Hyde Bank Farm for Ali and Dave’s glorious summer wedding.
We’ve seen all kinds of unique and curious wedding themes on Brides Up North, but this is the first time we’ve encountered Lego – and we love it!
From cute Lego-inspired cake toppers and snazzy cufflinks and socks to Christmas baubles (yes, you read that one right!) – this is a wedding brimming with originality.
With images by Steven Rooney.
ali says: We got engaged in Mykonos in Greece. Dave had secretly purchased the ring and asked my dad beforehand. He was almost caught out by airport security staff who decided to go through his bag twice! Unable to wait any longer, he proposed on the first night, at the hotel, under the air conditioning, boiling hot as we had got lost on the way back from dinner!
Our wedding took place on 25th June 2016. We chose this date as there were only three dates left for 2016 at our reception venue, Hyde Bank Farm, and as I am a massive Christmas lover, it was fairly significant being six months to/from Christmas.
We got married at Norbury Church in Hazel Grove. I have connections with Norbury having grown up going there, and my dad is a clergyman there too (although he didn’t do the service!). We both wanted a church wedding so it fitted the bill perfectly.
We had a Lego theme. Our cake toppers were Lego figures and the groom, best man, groomsmen and father of the bride/groom all had different coloured Lego cufflinks with matching socks. We chose this theme as we’re both big kids at heart.
As for the colour scheme, we picked mint with a hint of blush. We thought this combination was quite summery and mint is one of those colours that suits everyone. The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their mint dresses.
I eventually went with an Enzoani strapless mermaid wedding dress after trying on quite a number of different dresses. I saw the dress online, spent a while tracking it down, tried it on – and that was it – job done! It was very flattering and easy to get around in. The dress ticked all the boxes and also gave me the option of wearing a lace topper so I had two looks on the day. It was from the Wedding Boutique in Knutsford, which has since rebranded to Felicity Cooper bridal. Shoes wise, I got a pair of Rachel Simpson Matilda shoes online – only two inches high, and so lovely and comfortable.
My grandma kindly offered me her veil to wear for the ceremony which was a really special touch. She and my grandad got married in 1948 so it was very old! Unfortunately though it didn’t match my dress, so instead of wearing it, we draped it over the table that we signed the register on at the wedding to have it on show. I’m not sure how many people were aware of it but it was very special to us that it was there.
For hair and makeup, I booked Rebecca Anderton for my four bridesmaids and myself. She was so lovely and everything turned out great.
Dave wore a navy suit from Moss Bros with a mint coloured cravat, and paired the outfit with a pair of brown shoes from Next. The groomsmen also wore the same navy suit and mint coloured cravat from Moss Bros. They wore navy waistcoats whereas Dave donned an ivory waistcoat.
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