January 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime
Jancis and Casey’s choice of wedding venue was all about the memories – a special place that they could share with their friends and family on their special day and for years to come.
It’s one of our favourite venues here at Brides Up North HQ too and you can join us for our beautiful wedding exhibition here in April, but for now, let’s celebrate Jancis and Casey’s ‘catch of the day’.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
jancis says: Just after we met Casey promised that he would one day take me to Rome. Three years later we still hadn’t made it so while we were planning what to do for our anniversary I decided to have a look at flights. I never thought they would be reasonably priced but it worked out less than we could have spent on petrol if we had stayed in the UK. I floated the idea to Casey and with one thought of pizza and Peroni he was sold! We booked the tickets and off we went to a destination I had only dreamed of!
After three days seeing the amazing sights and eating fabulous food it was our third anniversary. We spent the day doing all the things we had wanted to do. We went to Castel Sant’angelo in the morning which had the most spectacular views of the Vatican City. Then walked down to watch the Pope hold his service and went up to St Peters Basillica. Casey had thought about proposing at the top but after the 320 steps and around 100 other people squeezed up there he decided against it.
After spending most of the day on our feet we decided to go back to the hotel room for a rest and to get ready for a lovely meal to celebrate our anniversary. We got all dressed up in our best clothes and Casey asked me to open a bottle of prosecco. We toasted three years together and Casey sat me down on the edge of the bed and started talking about how thankful he was and how much he had enjoyed the past three years. Before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. I didn’t need to think about it the words just spilled out: “Of course I will!”
We were married on 25th May 2014. We chose this date as it was a bank holiday Sunday and we were asking our guests to travel from far and wide across the UK and the world to celebrate with us. We knew this would mean most of them wouldn’t need to take too much time off work, if any at all, or like us, they would be able to make the celebration into a week long holiday.
We were married at The Alnwick Garden, It is one of our favourite places to visit. Casey first took me there on a spur of the moment weekend away. I has been having a really hard time at work and got home one Friday night to him looking up b&b’s in Northumberland, a place I’d never been. He whisked me away to Warkworth, a village we have both now fallen in love with, for the weekend and decided to make the trip the gardens for the day. We both love that it is a charity, run by donations from other people who love to visit and enjoy the flowers and of course the fountain.
We wanted a venue where we felt like we were contributing to the local community and somewhere in the future we will be able to take our children and relive our special day.
We had been to a wedding in America the year before where the bride and groom had their first look before the ceremony. The photos were very personal and it meant that they got to spend their cocktail hour with their guests. Casey and I decided to do the same. Around 3 miles from our venue is a beach where we have spent a lot of time. We decided to head down there before the ceremony and have a first look moment. We took our wedding party to the beach and one of the bridesmaids cleared the area for us. A group of people started forming so it wasn’t the most intimate moment however it felt special and we will always have the memories of that moment.
The style we went for came from the venue we chose. The Garden is full of bright colours and earthy tones so we chose green, white and brown for our wedding colours inspired by the plants, the water and the hessian sacks the compost came in. Then when I found my dress I knew we had to include lace in the wedding and it added that much needed feminine touch to our plans.
We brought the garden inside with our centre pieces which we made ourselves, in fact almost all of the decorations were made by us. The table squares were hand cut and the lace added by Casey, the centre piece boxes were made by Casey, painted by me and planted together (the flowers from each box are now planted in gardens around the UK!), the bunting was homemade, the signs were homemade and even the favours too!
Less than a month after we were engaged I spotted a dress in Debenhams and decided to try it on just for fun. As soon as I put it on I felt beautiful and graceful (something I’m usually not!) and with the manageable price tag I bought it there and then. When I returned home I excitedly called my mum, unfortunately she was fairly disappointed she hadn’t been there so insisted she take me shopping with my bridesmaids so I could have the wedding dress shopping experience every mother dreams of having with her daughter. I agreed but told her I wouldn’t find one I liked as much.
On the day it felt like I tried on every dress in the shop so the lady who was helping me asked for three words to describe what I was looking for, “elegant, fishtail and lacy” I replied. The lady wouldn’t let me look in the mirror as she dressed me so when I walked out of the dressing room I hadn’t seen what I looked like. All of my bridesmaids were speechless and my mum burst into tears. A pretty good reaction when you don’t know what you’re wearing!
Unfortunately the dress was strapless and I didn’t like that feature so for the next half hour the shop assistants brought me lace, ribbon and readymade straps to try on with it. None felt right so I came away with just the dress and a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that even though it was the one, it wasn’t. It took me another 12 months to find the right material to make straps but I loved them when I did.
I carried a gypsophila and hydrangea bouquet tied with brown string and green ribbon which matched my bridesmaids’ dresses. They were supplied by Simply Flowers of Alnwick.
My bridesmaids wore a long, strapless green chiffon dress which was bought over the internet from a specialist bridesmaid dress designer.
I knew the most important part of the wedding, apart from getting married of course, for me was the photographer. I am an amateur photographer myself and have photographed a few friends weddings so I knew that I wanted the best of the best to photograph my wedding. I first saw Lissa’s work at a wedding fair in Leeds and fell in love immediately and knew I had to have this person as my photographer. When Lissa came back to the stand she was so lovely and helpful we booked her there and then. Other than getting married in the first place it was the best decision we made!
She was fabulous in the run up to, on the day and afterwards. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. My guests really enjoyed her company, she made everyone feel at ease and she captured moments that most people didn’t even notice happened. We couldn’t have asked for a better service!
We spent the afternoon before the wedding with a select few of our guests dressing the venue so it was exactly how we wanted it to be. All the effort was worth it, we love how it turned out and the small touches are what our family and friends still talk about!
My brother has set up his own upcycling business and made our ceremony décor, the bulbs with flowers in where his own creation and beautiful they looked too!
We gave out mini shot bottles filled with flavoured vodka. Casey and I met while working at Revolution Bar in Lancaster. Casey was the assistant manager there and I was working on the bar so it felt appropriate to incorporate that into our wedding somehow. We bought the vodka from the actual vodka factory where Revolution make the different flavours of vodka that they sell in their bars and decanted it into smaller bottles. It went down a storm with most of the guests although some found the flavours a little strong for them!
We chose a four layer cake: chocolate, lemon and raspberry, red velvet and fruit cake. All of which are our favourite flavours – we couldn’t choose between them. Our cake was made as a gift by Casey’s cousin Leanne. She is a professional cake maker and brought it all the way from Reading for us! She decorated it in a new style she hadn’t tried before for us so but I think you’ll agree she did an excellent job!
We had been to a wedding a few years ago where they had a live band, after having a brilliant time we decided this was the way forward for us. We spent hours on the internet listening to previews of different bands and finally found a band that made us want to dance.
The Shakedown Band North East made our wedding incredibly special. They kept the dance floor full for the whole evening and we have had numerous people come to us asking for their contact details. We would highly recommend them for a great night of dancing!
Our bridesmaids and a few friends decided to surprise us with a flashmob! They recorded a video and sent it to various family members and friends. On the night they sat us down and on came the three bridesmaids singing the first lines to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” gradually other people joined in and eventually the whole dance floor was filled with our nearest and dearest singing to us.
It was brilliant and the first moment I actually took stock of what the whole day meant to us. All we had wanted was to have the people we loved around us as we made a commitment to each other. Only when we saw how much effort they had gone through for us did we truly realise what they all meant to us.
The venue was stunning- in the day time you felt like you were part of the garden and in the evening with the venue and fountain lit up it felt like being transported into a fairy tale.
We enjoyed all the parts of the garden from the ornamental garden with its huge cast iron gates to the meadow of purple flowers and the castle turrets which make up the garden walls. Each area adds a different feature to the photographs we had taken and allowed our guests to take some time away from the festivities to explore.
My favourite part of the day was hammering the nails into our “Love letter Box”. A box filled with a bottle of wine we bought the day we were engaged and a love letter from each of us. We plan to only open the box if we get to the point of no return or on our 35th wedding anniversary.
Casey says his favourite part of the day was seeing me for the first time on the beach. He said it was a relief that I’d turned up and the first moment he felt calm all day.
We went to Disney World in Florida for the first week of our honeymoon. We like to have fun so decided to “do Disney” one last time. The second week we spent at my aunt’s house in Clearwater, Florida relaxing – if you can call it that! We hired a car, played golf, went sightseeing up and down the coast, and ate out far too many times. The third week we went to the Kennedy Space Centre and Universal Studios.
We had a lot of fun but felt like we needed another holiday afterwards!
Our top tip for other Brides Up North is to take ten minutes together during the evening reception to have a walk through the garden and have a drink together. One of our friends found me and told me to go and find Casey to do this – it was a brilliant tip and I would recommend this to anyone who is getting married. You are pulled in so many directions all day on your wedding day that spending a small amount of time with your husband to reflect on the day is invaluable.
December 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Just how adorable is today’s beautiful bride? Jennifer and Andrew’s pretty wedding in the Lakes is full of wide smiles, cute touches and some rather chic styling.
With images by Jenny Winstone Photography.
jennifer says: Andrew proposed to me on a Tuesday evening, 19th March 2013. I’d just got home after a post-work gym session and the house was covered in candles. Andrew had music playing, my favourite meal on the table and wine… then he got down on one knee. It was all incredibly romantic and a complete surprise.
We chose 30th August 2014 for the wedding day. We wanted a summer wedding.
We got married in our home town of Barrow-in-Furness. The ceremony took place in Andrew’s family church St Marys at 3.30pm. We wanted a late wedding to give the day a more relaxed feel. Rather than a traditional sit down meal we opted for a party vibe for the wedding reception that took place at The Crofters.
Our wedding had a rustic vintage style. I spent hours looking on Pinterest for wedding ideas and I loved all the vintage decorations. After a wedding planning meeting with my mum she was off collecting all sorts of trinkets and vintage items.
The colours we used were ivory, lace, champagne and blush. I fell in love with the bridesmaid dresses and worked from there in regards to colour scheme.
I wore a simple but elegant Charlie Brear gown from The White Closet, Didsbury. This was the first dress I tried on and I loved it, but I thought I had to try on a million other dresses just to make sure it was ‘the one’. I should have trusted my instinct because I went back for the first dress I tried on and I’m so glad I did. My shoes were by Freya Rose – Mio.
Andrew wore a suit from Mister Mister, Barrow in Furness.
The bridesmaids and two flower girls wore dresses which were concessions via the BHS website.
I picked a hand tie bouquet with a very loose garden feel to it, made up of blush colours, roses, alstromeria, veronica peonies and gysophila to tie in with my bridesmaid dresses. The design was tied with vintage lace from Posh Flowers, Barrow in Furness.
For our photography we chose the talented Jenny Winstone, I would highly recommend her. She captured the moments beautifully. Jenny made me feel relaxed throughout the day, all my bridesmaids and family loved her too. Jenny built such a good rapport straight away.
My mum and sister helped massively with decoration for the wedding reception. We used a mixture of professionally arranged flowers, flowers from a friend’s garden and some foraged wild flowers and greenery – we really wanted to give a rustic vintage feel. My sister made the bridesmaids bouquets using gyposphilia. My mum covered the walls with old family wedding photographs. Many friends and family members were roped in to help with paper pom-poms and bunting. We wanted to do as much ourselves as possible.
We had a wedding cake made by Andrew’s sister and we had professional decorative cupcakes, in keeping with the vintage theme on the tables supplied by Christene Dacre.
We had vintage sweets for the guests to take home. Guests were also given ice cream tokens for the ice cream cart we had hired.
My friend Amy sang our first song, while her husband Jay played the guitar.
My husband is in a band so we hired a small marquee in the garden and his band played. It was great to see all of our family and friends dancing together, having fun. It was a last minute addition to the wedding, and stressful finding a marquee, but it was totally worth it in the end.
My dad also got on stage with the bridesmaids to sing us a special song, which was hilarious!
For me the favourite part of the day was the morning, the build up and excitement. I was surrounded by all of my best friends and I was so excited to walk down the aisle and see Andrew. It was the happiest day of my life.
For our honeymoon we spent 4 weeks in America. We flew in to San Francisco, hired a car to drive to Los Angeles, carried on to Las Vegas and ended the honeymoon by flying to New York. It was amazing. We really took full advantage of our newlywed status and got spoilt rotten. The whole trip was like a dream.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t fret about anything, none of it matters on the day.
October 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Earlier this week I introduced you to lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Rachel Joyce Photography, and couldn’t resist sharing a few sneak peek pics from Saoirse and William’s cute and quirky nuptials.
Today I’m back with the beautiful rose gold and ribbons celebration in all it’s gorgeous glory.
Brides Up North, if you’re wondering how you can work both pretty and original styling elements into your big day, here’s an absolute masterclass.
With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.
Saoirse says: Though we had discussed getting married, we had not made it public or official. So the proposal either occurred on Chinese New Year when I demanded of William: ‘Are you going to propose yet? I can’t spend every day waking up thinking is this the day I get engaged?’ or two days later, when we got engaged ‘officially’ in a coffee shop in London. The decision to look for a ring was mutual but after trying on a few and then almost deciding on one, we went to a coffee shop to decide. Then William said “Do you like that ring? Shall we buy it? Will you marry me?” I cried and we went to buy the ring.
We were married on 14th September 2014. Our ceremony was in the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington. We didn’t want to get married in a church, or in an ‘all-in-one’ venue so we researched venues with wedding licences. The room was small, but it fitted our guest number perfectly.
Also, we were looking for somewhere where our money might do some good – Haworth Art Gallery is open to the public and I remember going when I was younger. Barley Village Hall was also a childhood destination of mine and is run and maintained by volunteers.
If there was a theme, it was ‘colour’. Everything was bright and that was intentional. It’s the north in September. We had no control over the weather but we wanted the day to be bright in any way it could.
In addition, a few of the motifs were ‘words & music’ due to my love of poetry and William’s of music. It was very DIY but it wasn’t intentionally meant to look that way, just that the day had our mark on it.
My wedding dress was from Vintage Lane Boutique in Bolton. I wanted a 50s/60s style dress with sleeves and luckily this was the first dress I tried on. I was only looking for ‘style’ but having tried it on and her friend, who is not a squealer, squealing, she was torn. One cream tea later, I went back to buy it.
It was perfect; a simple 1960s dress. Lace, long-sleeved but with a chiffon train.
My now mother-in-law made me a beautiful lace knit shawl in pale blue and my pink flat pointy shoes were from Russell & Bromley.
My hat was yellow, my flowers had multi-coloured ribbons and there were balloons! I chose a hat as a love them and it would be the only chance I really had to get one designed for me. The sister of a good friend is a miliner and I went and tried on a variety of styles. The one I chose was ‘the wild card’. Mary Franck – the miliner – then helped me changed the colour and shape. I love my hat and Mary was fabulous.
Our bridesmaids and groomsmen wore what they liked. We didn’t want matching outfits for anyone. Three ‘non-bridesmaids’ wore Miss Piggy rose wrist corsages, as did the mother-in-laws, whilst the men wore Miss Piggy buttonholes.
My bouquet was simply amnesia roses with rosemary from Garlands Florist in Oswaldtwistle. Rachel at Garlands listened carefully to my design and produced exactly what I had in my head, choosing a lovely mixture of colour and texture for the various lengthed ribbons.
I arrived at the Gallery in a Morris Minor Traveller named Buttercup from Regent Classics. We both travelled from the venue to the reception in the same car.
We used Rachel from Rachel Joyce Photography. As you can see her photos are incredible. Everyone we have shown them to have remarked on how good they look. We heartily recommend her to anyone and everyone in the Lancashire area. And she is the only person who can make William smile in a posed shot!
For the reception, we had a variety of balloons from Party Glitz in Padiham. Other than that, we did all the decorations ourselves, from flowers in teacups, to bunting in the hall, and streamers, doileys, coloured table cloths and flowers from supermarkets. The flowers were in glass vases we had been collecting all year. The teacups were my grandmother’s wedding set.
In fitting with the ‘Words & Music’ theme, we gave everyone a pencil with the words ‘In Good Hands’ on them (this was the title of our first reading at the service) and a 7” record, supplied by William’s father who buys and sells records.
We had a three tiered cake, each with a different filling; one red velvet, one lemon and one Victoria sponge. It was made by a friend of William’s mother’s.
The food was supplied by Cabin Catering in Barley. Paula was brilliant in doing everything we asked for and providing a tasting session for us a few months before.
William’s mother and father kindly supplied the wine which they bought in France. The white was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the Champagne was Paul Goerg and the red has all been drunk so we can’t remember what that was!
We had an additional poetry blessing before the meal, with five more poems. Also, as we allowed our friends to brng their children, we gave them each crayons, colouring books and the older ones got finger puppets of the bride and groom, kindly knitted by William’s mother.
One set was stolen by a friend of the bride as she loved them so much!
We would definitely recommend Barley Village Hall. The couple who run it (John and Audrey) not only gave us free run of the place all of the day before and until lunchtime the day after, they also helped us set up.
In the evening, we hired a PA system and then Djed ourselves. It ended up that one friend did most of the music from his iPod.
William: My favourite part of the day was when Saoirse and I were first at the front of the wedding room in Haworth. We were holding hands and smiling to each other. It was wonderful to think that the decision we had made to be with each other was about to be made in front of all our family and friends.
Saoirse: My best bit was walking down the aisle. I had already met Will and said hello to most people so I was relaxed and thoroughly excited. I was so full of joy that I was to marry Will and these glorious people I loved were in one place that I got the biggest fit of giggles! I couldn’t keep my joy in!
For our honeymoon we stayed in a cottage in Staithes in North Yorkshire. We spent the time pottering about in the village, walking on the beach and taking drives to Whitby and Scarborough. We are planning a grander honeymoon to Texas next year when we have a bit more money.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to put your own stamp on the day. As much as you think all wedding have to be the same or it is easier to let someone do the majority of the organising, putting the effort in will make your day even more special. We had a lot of people say how inventive our day was, but all we did was take control of the arrangements and not do anything that we didn’t want to do. It caused quite a bit of stress (and a few tears) but knowing now how the day turned out, we would go through it all again.
Think how you want your wedding to feel and work on that. We made a list of what we wanted it to feel like (fun, easy, small) and a list of everything we didn’t want and stuck to it.
Whilst hard at times, our day was so special. I won’t ever stop smiling when I think about it. It was truly, truly glorious.
September 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m looking forward to joining my friend and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple to host a question and answer session at her Editorial Wedding Workshop this afternoon.
Nerves? Nah, I’m saving those for this.
Whilst I’m off on official duties, I thought I’d leave this especially sweetLeeds based DIY vintage travel themed wedding in my pace for you to enjoy. Jess and Sam styled their big day their way, to beautiful and individual effect. Super cool.
With images by Mark Dolby Photography.
Jess says: Sam proposed after an amazing evening out in Leeds. The story starts with an unfortunate incident of a pair of my tights getting stuck to chewing gum on a seat in a bar – they compensated us by gifting us a bottle of wine and we decided to make a night of it! We went for a few drinks and then some amazing tapas. When we left the restaurant Sam realised he had left his scarf in one of the earlier bars so on the way back we had to cross the Millennium Bridge in Leeds. He got out some photos of us at various places we’d been to since we got together and some pegs out of his pocket and suggested we count the bars on the bridge and peg photos to them. Once we ran out of photos we hit a bar with a padlock on it. The padlock had our initials on it and the lyrics from a Weezer song – “I think I’d be good for you, and you’d be good for me” when I turned to look at Sam he was down on one knee with a ring asking if I’d marry him.
We got married on 16th August 2014 at the iconic Town Hall and had our reception at the beautiful Leeds Club on Albion Place. We chose the Leeds Club because it’s a gorgeous building with amazing features. The Leeds Club also blew us away with their organisational skills. We wanted somewhere with an old soul but could throw a great party and I think we cracked it with the Leeds Club.
Our wedding had a travel theme to it. We chose travel as a theme as it is one of our shared passions in life. In the first 2 months of getting together we flew from Leeds to California to see Weezer play and that set the tone for the rest of our relationship.
All the flowers were made from old maps, this included table flowers, bouquet and buttonholes. The centrepieces were placed on squares made of material with maps on them. All the tables were named after cities we had visited and our table plan was on a map. Our invitations and programmes were designed like airline paper.
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme but because of our travel theme, the maps and the blue and red airline paper did play a part in dictating colours. I decided to use maps for the flowers because they would add pattern and colour to the bloom without being uniform or too prescribed.
My wedding dress was Sia by Coast. I tried on probably around 50 dresses and couldn’t find one that had the right balance of being bridal but practical. Then I found Coast! I was in love with the Sia dress but they didn’t have any more in my size across the country. The personal shopper called every store across England but it wasn’t in stock. But luckily someone was selling one on eBay in my size. With a few alterations to the length, it was perfect!
My shoes were from Irregular Choice. They are my favourite shoe brand and loved seeing them peep out from under my dress as we walked through town!
Sam’s suit was a favourite he has from Marks and Spencer. He bought the matching waistcoat and then chose a snappy shirt from Next. His shirt was a beautiful geometric pattern in red and white with a red tie. Sam had a tan belt and same colour shoes from Berwick’s.
Sam is really keen on ethical purchasing so he gave a lot of his choices a lot of thought and this included his underwear. In the end Sam chose items from ‘Pants To Poverty’. These became quite a talking point at the reception when I mentioned them in my speech!
As explained, I carried a bouquet that I had made from maps. I got designs from various craft blogs online and over a few nights perfected my flower crafting. My bouquet had about 50 flowers in it made from maps. I bought a shoebox of maps from eBay and used about 90% of the contents. The rest of the maps can be useful for our next adventure!
We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen but I did make buttonholes for all the family so they could have them in their hair (for the ladies) or in their suits (for the gents). Sam’s Dad also chose the same shirt and tie combo as Sam. That was a lovely touch.
I travelled from our home in Leeds to the Town Hall with my brother, sister and brother’s girlfriend in Mercedes town car that we booked. It was an E Class and very plush. Then between the Town Hall and the Leeds Club we walked between the venues. We had a few girl ushers (or Gushers, as I nicknamed them) to help guide guests as to the venue.
This was a lot of fun because another wedding had booked a Rolls Royce that was sat outside the Town Hall when we left and everyone expected us to get in. As we walked off everyone was very confused! Eventually as people started to cotton on that it wasn’t our car they then convinced us to go back for photos! So to the couple that paid for that car- if you see any photos of us by the side of your Rolls on your wedding day- I am so sorry!
It was great that we did walk though as luckily on that day Fosters were doing a promotion and giving out cans of beer right between our two venues! All our guests got a freebie on the walk between. People kept thanking us for arranging it!
Our photographer was Mark Dolby and he was incredible. He was so much a part of the day he was like a guest- but he was also doing all the work! He arrived hours before we had booked him so that he could be prepared and stayed much later than we agreed because we over ran! He made us feel so comfortable and happy. He captured loads of amazing natural and reportage style shots, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a few classic group shots but we were sold on his style of ‘in the moment’ photos and they were absolutely amazing. Thank you so much Mark!
He also had around 85 photos ready for us to look through by the meal time so that they could be on a slide show in the bar at the Leeds Club- the guests loved it and kept complementing us on what lovely photos. Plus they felt famous being on the big screen in a gorgeous bar!
I made a centrepiece for each of the tables, which included a table name on a luggage tag that was displayed in an empty bottle of beer. Sam is a beer connoisseur so he chose each beer bottle carefully! There were a lot of samples for that decoration!
Around each table name there were three bottles with my map flowers placed inside and candles. All of this was also placed on a square of map material. We also had maps cut into hearts sprinkled onto each table as table confetti. Each guest had their place name on a luggage tag that I had sewn with some map material.
For our cards and guest book table there were more flowers made of maps and a suitcase for cards. The suitcase came from my friend’s house when they moved in and must be over 50 years old. I also made the cards bunting sign from old maps.
Sam’s Mum gave me some decorations from his Grandmother’s wedding in 1947. They also were used in Sam’s parent’s wedding so I framed them so that they could have a special place in our wedding.
I made most the decorations myself but the Leeds Club put all of them out. They were so helpful! We delivered all the bits on Friday morning with set up instructions and they put them out perfectly!
We are in love with this bakery called That Old Chestnut in Leeds. It is a vegan bakery and they basically work in cake magic. The first time we tried their cake at a fair in Leeds we knew we would have them! The question was what flavour cake! In the end we couldn’t decide so we had 6!
Triple Chocolate, Stem Ginger, Lemon Drizzle, Carrot, Coffee and Walnut and Chocolate Torte.
We were a bit nervous we had gone overboard on the cake so we provided cake-away boxes in case anyone wanted to take some home and by the end of the night there was nothing but some crumbs (which I ate while we were saying “bye” to our last guests!).
We didn’t do favours but we did have a lot of cake and let people take any of the table flowers home with them. There wasn’t any table flowers by the end of the party and lots of guests had worked them into their hair. It was fantastic! That was exactly what we hoped!
We chose a hot fork buffet by the Leeds Club because we like the informal style of choosing from a buffet on the day but knew that a hot meal would be needed! The food was delicious; when we came for a menu tasting we were so excited!! We provided wines through Sam’s Mum and Dad. They introduced us to this brilliant Pinot Noir from Aldi and a Spanish White wine that Sam’s mum loves.
Our DJs were incredible. I know them from my work and they really did us a massive favour by DJing. The speeches over ran so they couldn’t get into the room to set up the equipment until an hour late, but they still started the party on time.
I first met one of the DJs when I hired him for a job in the bar I worked in when he was 18 and a few months old- he is now working on his PhD in Southampton and came back to Leeds just to DJ for us!
Sam and I went out for some last minute portraits before our first dance and when we came back the dance floor was packed- we had to clear a space for the first which was Diana Ross’ “Upside Down”.
After our first dance everyone was back on the floor and didn’t stop until the end. Even then there were chants for “one more tune!” A big thanks to Aarran Shaw and Sam Ryder for accommodating us!
We added lots of special touches to our day, but two stand out in particular.
I did a speech at our wedding. I think it is becoming more common for Bride’s to speak at their wedding and I can see why. It is so great to add your different perspective on the day and what you had thought in the run up. It was also great because I could mention some of the important people who couldn’t be there for various reasons – like our Grandmothers who I know would have loved to see the day.
We chose two readings at the Town Hall, which really helped personalise the ceremony. Our friends Lauren and Susy read an extract from Dr Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and our friend Dave did an acoustic cover of the Magnetic Fields “The Book of Love” – he put lots of energy in to the final chorus and took it up an octave. The crowd went wild!
The people at the Town Hall were absolutely incredible. The lady who prepared and signed the register with us – Nancy, was retiring after our wedding and it felt so special to be her last couple. As she explained the register to us as we signed our names she had a lump in her throat saying the words. It was an incredible moment.
We would strongly recommend the Leeds Club. It is a beautiful, historic location but also incredibly well placed. Very easy for guests to find but also easy for them to find their hotels! The team at the Leeds Club will also bend over backwards for you. They did so much to help us prepare for our big day- a big thank you especially to Karen Hiscoe, Ellie and Laura.
My favourite part of the day was when Sam and I met before we went to the Town Hall in the Leeds Central Library. It was a bit of a risk as they had previously told us we’d need permission for photos there. I was starting to get nervous when I arrived at the Library and fell up the stairs as I walked in (much hilarity ensued for my siblings!). But when Sam and I saw each other, all the nerves disappeared and we were just so happy.
We took some photos and walked across to the Town Hall. It felt so calm and natural to walk in together with all our friends and family there. The emotions came back as we walked down the aisle though. Truly amazing.
For our honeymoon, we went to one of our most favourite places in the world- Barcelona. Viva Espana! We hired a flat in Barceloneta with a view of the sea and spent the week drinking cava, relaxing on the beach and seeing art! Perfecto! Randomly two of our close friends were also in Barcelona at the time so we had them over for dinner at the flat one night and it was great to get their view on the wedding! Our photographer- Mark, had also been to Barcelona the week before so he gave us some great tips on some art to see.
We loved our wedding so much and had an absolute ball! I have probably a hundred top tips for other Brides Up North. Seeing your partner before you walk down the aisle is so special. Just go with the flow on the day. When we planned the day I was nervous about fitting all the bits in- they didn’t fit in, and it didn’t matter! We were late but that was ok!
Make sure you get plenty of water – it’s amazing how dehydrated you can feel from the nerves.
September 8th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I think I may have mentioned recently that I’m totally obsessed with wedding flowers. Well, Sam and Lisa’s fab big day features the most amazing blooms that I just can’t stop swooning over.
They formed a key part of the chosen theme, which put simply was all things pretty – including a gorgeous coral colour theme, antique lace and elegant glassware.
The crafty couple rolled up their sleeves to add lots of lovely special touches to their big day – and roped in their talented family and friends to help along the way.
This stunning wedding is quite literally bursting at the seams with inspiration so grab your planning scrapbook and prepare to take notes ladies.
With images by Kate Cooper Photography.
Lisa says: We got engaged on Friday November 4th 2011. I had absolutely no idea that Sam was even thinking of proposing. We’d been together for ten happy years having met at university. We’d lived together for a few years with various friends and finally after nine years of being together, we could afford to live on our own in our own home – something we’d wanted to do for so long. I’d just started my first job as a teacher and we were beginning to do up our house. Life as a ‘proper’ grown-up couple in our home was feeling great but I had no idea we were about to get engaged. The next thing I know, Sam was proposing! He proposed at home under a star lit lounge (he’d put fairy lights up round the room) and got down on one knee. It was simple, personal, private and lovely.
Our big day was on Thursday 1st August 2014. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holiday. We also love summer weather so we chose an August wedding date. We had our wedding on a Thursday as it was cheaper to get married during the week at our venue.
We chose Stancliffe Hall in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, as our wedding venue. We’d looked endlessly for venues – both around the Sheffield area where we live and also down in Sussex where Sam is from. Nothing felt right and we were about to give up when we stumbled across Stancliffe Hall on a different Google search. As soon as we drove down the sweeping driveway lined with rhododendrons we knew we were somewhere special. The butterflies we had in our stomachs as we arrived continued as we looked at round the house. We were stunned at how beautifully the stately home had been renovated from a boarding school into a fabulous home and wedding venue. There is an amazing feel to the place – mixing complete luxury and boutique styling throughout the house, with traditional features too. There are so many beautiful touches around the house and there are lots of different rooms, balconies and nooks and crannies to explore. It’s surrounded by stunning scenery and is completely private. It also had its own beautiful wooden chapel that sits just outside the main house which meant we could get married on site too.
I had never been a girl who had dreamt up or imagined my wedding day so I didn’t really know where to start but I bought a couple of magazines and off I went! I knew I wanted a pretty, natural, floral theme and I was ridiculously excited at choosing the flowers. I started by thinking about the sort of blooms I wanted and one of my favourite flowers is the coral crush peony. My first and easiest decision was the colour scheme. Coral – a pretty, summery colour and one of my favourites! Grey – because Sam wanted to wear grey and it goes really nicely with coral. And yellow – because it complimented the rest! Next came the dress which was a lace gown which then became incorporated into the theme. My grandma gave me her cameo brooch as my something borrowed, and this then became something we incorporated into the theme. So the overall theme was a mix of – pretty, coral, lacey, cameo, homemade and vintage.
For my wedding dress I chose the Rita gown by San Patrick which was not an easy find – a bit of a mission in fact. I had looked at so many dresses online, in magazines, on wedding blogs and in shops. I wanted something pretty and feminine but with an edge to it. I stumbled across a dress online by San Patrick called Risco which made my heart skip a beat every time I looked at it. But it was so difficult to track it down and find somewhere that stocked it. I persisted and eventually I found a bridal shop called Xquisite Bridal in Leighton Buzzard that stocked it. Sabrina, the owner, had one left in stock and I think it had been discontinued – hoorah, I’d found my dress! I made an appointment to try on Risco in the boutique for the next month. By the time I had arrived, it had been sold to another bride! I was devastated. All that effort to find it and a three-hour trip to get there and it had been sold! Really kindly Sabrina let me try on the dress, but after all that excitement and anticipation, it didn’t even suite me! I had a backup dress to try on though – Rita. She was beautiful and my mum and sister both agreed that it was much better on me than Risco. Never someone to rush into a decision, I didn’t have the ‘it’s the one’ moment so I went away to think about it. In the meantime, I tried on some other dresses and confused myself even more. I was torn between Rita and a Benjamin Roberts gown. However, eventually after going back to Xquisite Bridal, I decided that Rita was the one for me. Not only was it a beautiful dress but she shared my late auntie’s name. I decided to have straps added and the skirt taken in at the knees to give it slightly more fishtailed look. I also bought a beautiful sash belt from Pearl and Co. who are based in the Manchester area who also made my garter using my grandma’s lace. I have to say, I did doubt my choice (I’m so bad at making decisions and sticking to them) but on my wedding day I absolutely loved every minute of wearing her!
Sam wore a bespoke tailored suit from King and Allen in Wilmslow. Sam got to choose the material – a lovely lightweight material which wouldn’t be too hot for our summer wedding. He decided on a classic fit so that he can continue to wear it through the years. We also had our names and wedding date embroidered into the jacket which added a really nice touch. His shoes were brown Barker brogues. As a little extra, I bought Sam some Edwardian cameo cufflinks that I found on Etsy to fit with our theme.
I’m so lucky to have such a talented mum who made the bridesmaid dresses and without really even following a pattern. I’d found a dress that I loved, but it didn’t come in coral. In fact, finding anything in coral was almost impossible at the time. So in the end I stumbled across some coral lace on a market stall and I nearly ripped the woman’s arm off for it. My mum is such a perfectionist and worked her magic using just a picture of the dress I liked for reference. After six months of work on them (she’s a retired teacher with time on her hands) they were perfect. The groomsmen all wore light grey suits, similar to Sam’s. The dads wore their own choice of grey suits.
Our photographer was the lovely and talented Kate Cooper. Sam works with her husband which is how we found Kate, and she was just the loveliest person to have around on the day. I couldn’t recommend her enough because she has such a good eye for detail. She really knows how to capture the ‘feel’ of an event and she’s so calm and sweet – she even helped me to get ready and she is so inconspicuous on the day. She just seemed to glide around without being imposing in any way and she made us feel completely at ease.
Flowers formed the main theme of our day so we really went to town on them. All the flowers were put together by Tracey Campbell of Campbell’s Flowers incorporating the colours we had picked along with the feel we were trying to create – vintage-inspired, natural and romantic.
My hand-tied bouquet was a posy-style design that was quite open and loose with lots of textural interest but still feminine and pretty. Flowers included were coral David Austin roses, succulents, craspedia, burnt orange leucospermum, brunia, rosemary, peach hypericum, eucalyptus cinerea and a little gypsophila. I also asked Tracey to include a tiny piece of holly from my dog’s grave which I gave to her.
The bridesmaids had vintage-inspired double wrist corsages which were put together on an ivory organza ribbon using two David Austin roses, a sprig of gypsophila and a cameo brooch. Meanwhile the button holes were based on a David Austin rose design using elements from my bouquet. They were constructed on their natural stem and bound and finished with a tie of lace. Coral ribbon was also added to Sam’s button hole.
For the chapel we had collections of random clear glass bottles at different heights and apothecary jars along the edge of the ceremony table which featured a random selection of our chosen blooms. To continue the vintage theme throughout the floral designs Tracey used cream enameled candlesticks topped with beautiful gypsophila topiary balls and finished with floating glass baubles filled with David Austin Juliet roses. Pretty glass baubles, again filled with delicate peach roses, were also hung from the walkway between the house and ceremony room.
When it came to dressing the room for the wedding breakfast, some of the flowers from the ceremony room were transferred and a few new arrangements in tiny cut glass heirloom vases were added. We had bought an antique French chest of drawers which we wanted to use at the venue because it is so beautiful. We used it outside the chapel to place the order of service and confetti cones on. We then transferred the drawers into the house for guests to place cards and gifts in. We had one drawer filled with flowers designed by Tracey to look as if they were tumbling out.
Other decorations we had included photo frames with old family wedding photos in, candles in storm lanterns, olive trees, hanging pearl hearts, homemade lace lanterns, a large free-standing metal heart that I decorated with lace as the table plan, a homemade wish tree with luggage tags for people to write on and hang from the tree and finally we had a floral ‘L’ and ‘S’ made by my mum. She bought cardboard letters for our initials, hollowed them out and painted them green and then filled the inside of them with oasis and flowers. It looked so pretty.
We had homemade jam and liquors as our favours. Glassware was another theme of the wedding which we used to present the flowers in and also for a sweetie table in the evening, so we carried the glassware theme through into the favours using pretty bottles and jars for the jams and liqueurs. The idea was to have translucent pastel colours from the preserves and liqueurs – peaches, yellows and greens to make the tables look lovely. Sam’s parents made the liqueurs for us – Limoncello, Pompelmocello (pink grapefruit Limoncello), and Rhubarbcello (rhubarb). I made the jams and curds: lemon curd, lime curd, pink grapefruit curd, gooseberry jelly and rhubarb jelly (the fruit coming from my grandma’s garden). I made salt dough hearts that I stamped in the same way as I stamped the stationary to give them a texture and colour. We tied them to the bottles and jars and my sister made lovely labels to go on them. We had some lace from the bridesmaid dresses left over so we used this to top the jars. My sister alos made beautiful cake pops for the children.
After getting a few ‘real’ quotes from some amazing cake makers, we decided that we didn’t want to take that amount of money out of the wedding fund, so we had to push the cake down the priority list.
We decided to go with a lady called Val Brown who makes cakes as a hobby and is really good at it. We designed the cake ourselves – taking elements of different cakes that we’d seen and liked. We drew a plan for Val to follow. She did a great job but when mum and her partner Norman picked up the cake it was absolutely enormous! Transporting the Eiffel Tower sized cake on the most humid day of the year, along the windiest road wasn’t exactly favourable. Disaster struck when we arrived at the wedding venue and opened the box. The whole thing was collapsing in front of our eyes. In the end we had to dismantle the cake and we were left with three separate tiers. Chocolate, lemon drizzle and fruit cake. But it wasn’t pretty and we wouldn’t have a cake to cut. To cut the rest of a very long story short, Val remade the top two tiers overnight using polystyrene. We salvaged enough of the pearl beading and icing details to remake the cake. Nobody knew it had happened by the time she had finished, and we were able to serve the cake that we’d saved from toppling off the cake.
We were really lucky with our food. Stancliffe Hall don’t have their own caterers but they had three outside caterers that we could choose from which meant we could be creative with the menu. We had a company called Coghlans do our catering and they were absolutely fantastic. Andrew (the boss) met with us and discussed our favourite foods and what we envisaged for our wedding food and then came up with a bespoke menu. First we had canapés which were an Italian Anti-Pasti theme. For starter we had ravioli of king prawn and scallop topped with a lobster cannelloni and a light caviar butter sauce. Main was fillet of pork wellington with apricots and sage, served with fondant potato and calvados jus lie. And dessert was iced raspberry parfait and raspberry shortbread rounds topped with gold leaf and chocolate disks.
Coghlans were also responsible for the drinks, which again, we were able to be creative with. We did a wine tasting before the wedding where we matched wine with the food. We had Mr and Mrs cocktails. My choice was the Aperol Spritz – the perfect colour and my favourite drink from a trip to Italy with my best friend a few years before. Sam’s was an old fashioned but made with Jacquin’s whiskey which has fruit in the bottle and gives it a peachy colour. We served these as our reception drinks and also in the evening too.
We had a rustic evening buffet with a whole serrano leg of ham that Sam’s parents had bought back from Spain. We served it with breads, olives, cheese, biscuits, pasties and my grandma’s fruit cake, served with the cheese.
We have lots of talented people in our family that do all kinds of things so the wedding ended up being a real family affair. Everyone, including myself and Sam, had a hand in creating things for the wedding to add lots of special touches.
Not only did my mum make the bridesmaid dresses and our beautiful L and S, but she also made our beautiful ring cushion out of little bits of lace that belonged to my grandma and great grandma (some of the lace was over 100 years old). My dad is a classical musician and he composed a song for uscalled The Presence of Love which was such a special thing to have. He had some members of his London choir travel to Derbyshire to sing it on the day as I walked down the aisle.
Sam’s mum spent a long time searching charity shops for glasswarethat we could use for the sweetie table. My uncle made my jewellery, except for my bracelet which was a gift from Sam’s parents. He designed my earrings and necklace to go with the bracelet. He also made my engagement and wedding ring. Lots of people made homemade sweets for the sweetie table including me, my mum and sister and Sam’s parents. We also made our own stationery, handmade confetti and doily cones, embroidered coral place napkins and we hand-dyed coral socks for the groomsmen.
We had a wedding blessing after the civil part of the ceremony as it felt like we were missing something by not having a vicar marry us. In between the ceremony and blessing we had a 15-minute mini concert where my dad’s choir sang some songs and he also played a couple of piano pieces. Our dads both did speeches on the day while our mums put their feelings down in words and presented us with letters.
For both of us the ceremony was our favourite part of the wedding. It is such an amazing experience to say our vows to each other and to have my dad’s choir sing his song for us. To be in such a beautiful place and to be married in front of our closest friends and family was just so special. It was really overwhelming and a bit like an out of body experience, but totally amazing.
Sri Lanka was our honeymoon destination. We spent three weeks there in total. We spent the first week at an incredible resort where we sunbathed on an amazing beech, had spa treatments and did morning yoga. After that we travelled around to lots of other destinations and packed loads in including doing safari, visiting tea plantations and Buddhist temples, rock climbing and eating lots of food.
Our advice to other wedding couples would be to do things that are important to you. If you like crafting, do crafting. If you like food – do foodie things. Some people thought I was mad doing as much ‘making’ as I did but it was one opportunity in my life where I could go to town doing things that I love. Organisation is key and giving yourself plenty of time to get everything done is so important. We had planned everything to be done and dusted with a week to spare so that we could relax in the run up to the wedding. Of course we were running round like headless chickens in the week before and if I could go back I would try to get more done beforehand so that we could have had a day or two to ourselves. I also wish I’d had a few minutes before going into the chapel to soak in what was about to happen. I wanted time with my mum and dad before they gave me away and time with my bridesmaids but my makeup artist messed up the timings so I was the last one to have my makeup done. My advice therefore is to make sure you know exactly what time you’ll have your hair and makeup done so you can plan in some ‘reflection’ time and just be in the moment and soak up the experience before you walk down the aisle.
My sister was a huge support throughout planning the wedding and on the day itself. She was like my personal assistant and did so much for us. If a bride can enrol the support of someone like a sister or a best friend to help with all things wedding, it makes the whole experience even better.
August 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Jen and Jonny’s fun and fresh, 50′s themed, DIY wedding at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue, the KP Club, is just what the doctor ordered to get us through Tuesday morning. And hey, don’t forget it’s a bank holiday weekend coming up… win,win or what?!
Be bright, be beautiful.
With images by SDS Photography.
Jennifer says: We got engaged on New Years Eve 2010, in Disneyland, Paris! Jonny proposed in one of the few quiet spots in Disney (in the Swiss Family Robinson tree house!) where we had a great view of Cinderella Castle, all lit up.
We were married on 21st June 2014. We chose this date because it was the first day of British summertime, and also the longest day of the year.
We got married in the village church where Jonny grew up (St Catherine’s Church, Barmby Moor, York), which was only a few miles from where I grew up. We both live in the South now, so it was lovely to travel home for a few days to see our friends and family. The vicar who Jonny grew up with had long since retired, but agreed to come back and perform the ceremony for us.
The reception venue was the KP Club, a few miles from the church. It is in the town where we went to secondary school (Pocklington) – which is where we they first met! It has beautiful views over the Yorkshire wolds.
We would definitely recommend the KP Club. At first we were unsure whether we could make the place unique, but we certainly did! It is a (beautiful) blank canvas for you to do whatever you want with, but would also look amazing without decorations! It was very spacious (we had the whole top floor, with two rooms and a bar area) but still felt very intimate. There were huge windows with views over the golf course, and the Yorkshire wolds. The staff were very helpful and pleasant and everything ran so smoothly. There are even lodges on the site where guests could stay over without worrying about travel. We both stayed in a honeymoon suite which had a hot tub!
We orginally planned on a 1950s theme – primarily because we both love Frankie & Bennys! My wedding dress was based on a 1950s, Grace Kelly style and the bridesmaid dresses were also very 50s. We had music playing by ‘The Baseballs’ who are a modern band but their style is very much in that era.
We opted for a colour palette of sea green and pinks. We wanted a colour that wasn’t too girly and was less common in weddings, so we went for the turquiose colour. Pale and hot pinks went with it really well, and after finding the bridesmaid dresses to match, it was perfect!
I am a graphic designer and lovs crafty things, so handmade a lot of the wedding. I made a seating plan out of wooden pegs, which I put each guest’s name on and allowed them to take theirs home at the end of the night.
We are also grateful to have such talented friends and family who helped us out and made sure the wedding was personal. It was also important to us to make them all feel involved in the wedding and had a part to play.
My dress was from Wedding Warehouse, a shop in Leeds which sells ex-wedding fayre dresses. They were a year ahead in terms of style, so my dress will be available to buy in 2015. I tried on a few first that I thought were what I was after (long lace sleeves, high neck) but I felt I looked too old in them all! I went back into the room and there was one hanging up, out of its bag. It was nothing like what I was looking for (very big and princess-like!) but my best friend told me to try it on, so I did. I went home to think it over, and decided I had to back and get it! It was all lace, with little lace cap sleeves and a keyhole back (very beautiful, which is why I decided to have my hair swept to the side to show it off!). It puffed out from just below the waist, with beautiful delicate lace all over the skirt. My full length veil was borrowed from my sister from her wedding, which went perfectly with my dress.
My bridesmaids wore 1950s style rockabilly dresses with a lovely turquoise and pink floral pattern – bought from Amazon from a seller called bluemagik. The bridesmaids were different shapes and sizes but the style looked great on them all. They each wore their own shoes which were different colours – we just wanted them to feel comfortable! One of the bridesmaids Kath, who is also one of my sisters, handmade little pink paper roses – some of which the bridesmaids had in their hair. I also gave each of them a handbag bought from Ebay, personalised with each of their initials on.
The bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets were put together by my bridesmaids. They just had bunches of baby’s breath (gypsophila) tied together with ribbon, and I had baby’s breath with flowers from a family friend’s garden (including pink roses and peonies).
Our photographers were Sarah-Jane & Simon, from SDS Photography. We would hugely recommend them, because they were just perfect. They have the skills to make amazing photos, but also the creativity to try new things and make sure your wedding is truly unique. Their attention to detail is exceptional, and their incredible efficiency meant that the formal group photos were over so quickly (a relief for everybody!) They completely understand that everybody is different. We didn’t want any awkward poses or generic wedding photos, but we didn’t even have to tell them – they just seemed to know what was ‘us’. We wanted a ‘pretty, informal’ style and they nailed it. They captured expressions we didn’t know we’d made and hugs we didn’t know we’d given.
In the church, I put other flowers from the garden in painted bean cans, and in paper cones (made from wallpaper samples) on the end of the pews. A lovely old lady in the village started a flower arrangement for us, which my bridesmaid and I went to finish the day before the wedding, using flowers bought from the market and from friends’ gardens.
After the church ceremony we decided to have afternoon tea. It was lovely because it meant people could have nibbles and refreshments, so they weren’t too hungry waiting for the meal at 5pm! It also meant that people could stay and chat, including the vicar and organist, who don’t usually get to see guests. Family members made all the cakes, including my mum, Jonny’s mum and Jonny’s grandma. We had vintage tea cups and saucers laid out, and big drinks dispensers filled with pink lemonade.
Oringially we wanted a cake of different cheeses, but didn’t want the guests who like traditional wedding cake to be left out – so we had both! My mum made the fruit cakes, and Jonny’s mum made sponge cakes and decorated the whole cake. She handmade peonies made from icing using our wedding colours, and cascaded them down the cake. My best friend Claire made two little birds out of clay to go on the top – it was perfect! We then had a cake of cheeses brought out in the evening (we both love cheese!).
For our favours, we gave out jars of goodies! They were filled with homemade strawberry jam, rhubarb jam, apple chutney and gooseberry chutney which me and my mum made. I made labels for each one and tied fabric around the top. Each guest was given a sticker with their name on, which they were to stick to a jar of their choice.
As a secret wedding present, I bought Jonny a pair of personalised Converse All Stars, which I gave to him on the day. I also got a pair for myself (of course) which matched the wedding colour scheme! We each had their new surname on (Ledger) and we put them on in the evening so we could dance the night away! (very comfy).
We didn’t really want to do a first dance – we love dancing, but not slow dancing (with everybody watching!). However, we both love music, so decided to write a song and perform it to the guests. It was called “When we’re old”, and had funny lyrics about what we’ll still be doing when we’ve been married for many years. As a further surprise, the band we hired for the evening (Move it like Friday) suggested providing backing music for us – which we accepted! They came in with drums and bass in the chorus – it was great!
We used Abbey Sound & Light, based in Selby, to hire our dancefloor and stage for the band. We would highly recommend them – mainly because we booked them very last minute, and they managed to sort us out with something! They’re very reasonably priced and were efficient delivering and collecting the items. The black and white checked dancefloor looked great!
Another thing which made the day very special was the arrival of our first niece, Olivia. My sister gave birth the day before the wedding, but still managed to make it to the ceremony with the baby! We had photographs taken with her, which will be lovely to look back on.
For our honeymoon, we went to Disneyworld, Florida! We both love theme parks (particularly Disney ones!) and having got engaged at Disneyland Paris, we felt it was appropriate We went for two weeks and alternated between the four main parks and waterparks. We were on a dining plan so got loads to eat – too much! Many burgers and chicken nuggets, but it was delicious. We each got a novelty hat – I got white Minnie Mouse ears with a veil attached, and Jonny got a Goofy hat with Micky ears (many people commented on how I had married Goofy!). We went on all our favourite rides, and I even got to meet my favourite character, Baloo!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning stage – don’t do too much at once, and don’t leave things to do on the day before or on the day! (like I did – eek!). Do ask friends and family for help – they love to feel involved.
And most of all, enjoy the day. Guests will have a good time no matter what, so just focus on the two of you making memories.
July 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to Monday, Brides Up North! I’m here to make it all the prettier with this cute and stylish celebration sent to me by real bride Hayley, her new husband Matt and their photographer, Cassandra Lane.
Crafty designer Hayley worked hard to add unique decorative touches to their 1920s inspired Village Hall wedding day, with fabulous results.
Hayley says: We got engaged a little after midnight New Year 2012-2013 in our own home in Nantwich. We had had a nice quiet new year in together and Matt shocked me by saying he had a late Christmas, early birthday present for me. He disappeared upstairs and came back with a box, got down on one knee and proposed! He had bought a cheap costume jewellery ring as he couldn’t choose a real one for me. We picked my real ring together on my 30th birthday (one to remember!) on 3rd January in York where we were visiting for my birthday. It was the best birthday ever!
We got married on April 5th 2014 as it was just a few days over three years since we moved into our first place together. We also didn’t want a very long engagement and actually fifteen months was the perfect time to enjoy being engaged and get organised.
We got married in the local church in town (Nantwich, Cheshire) which is beautiful, and our reception was at a local nearby village hall (Wrenbury Village Hall). We weren’t keen on the very formal, grand hotel reception family wedding affairs we had been to in the last few years and wanted somewhere we could decorate ourselves, do our own thing.
Our theme was handmade, vintage 1920’s art deco style, and lavender. The main colours were lavender purple and vintage gold. The colours just came with the theme really but I love purple and the gold fitted the vintage theme.
We hired a cream Morris Minor (Matt is obsessed!) from Mirabelle Classic Cars.
My bridesmaids travelled in a vintage Rover from the 1930s which belongs to a friend of Matts. He drove it for us as our wedding present.
My dress was Sincerity Bridal 3730. I did a bit of research online before going to any boutiques and fell in love almost instantly! When I tried it on at Brides of Liverpool in Liverpool (my home city) I knew it was the one. No other dress I tried on subsequently lived up to it so the deposit was paid!
I love the dress because it’s quite vintage looking with a modern twist. Very classic looking. It made me feel really elegant. I knew I wanted lace, and the neckline was perfect because I didn’t want bare shoulders. The train was gorgeous and the dress also fitted in perfect with my idea for a 1920s style headband.
I chose gold glittery heels from Kurt Geiger. My flapper style headband was handmade by mum using a 1930s vintage brooch which was a gift from Matt.
My younger sister Charlotte was my matron of honour. She wore a knee length handmade silk dress made by my mum in a lavender colour. My two flower girls (our nieces Phoebe and Eve) wore handmade pale gold silk dresses made by myself and mum. They carried handmade Suffolk puff pomanders.
Matt wore a Prince Edward suit in dark brown from Formally Yours online. He had a pale gold waistcoat and cravat. My dad, his dad and his two brothers (best men) all wore the same. The style of his suit really complemented the vintage style of my dress.
Matt and all the men also wore buttonholes which I made to complement my bouquet.
I made my own bouquet using cream silk, artificial flowers, and vintage brooches (which I sourced on eBay and charity shops/car boot sales). My sisters bouquet was very similar with one key brooch in the centre. I’m a designer, and therefore very creative so was obsessed with doing a lot for my wedding myself. I also wanted to keep my bouquet so a keepsake bouquet was perfect.
Cassandra Lane was our photographer, she was amazing. She made us feel comfortable every time we met (our initial meeting and engagement shoot). On the day she was chilled out, friendly and very well organised. We all squeezed into my tiny terraced house! I fell in love with Cass’s vintage relaxed style from her blog and website when searching for a wedding photographer. I just knew she was what we were after. I’d definitely recommend Cass!
July 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A whole lot of heart and soul went into the planning of Aimee and Graham’s wedding day, with the bride to be firmly at the head of operations. Known for her girly ways and pretty styling efforts, this Brides Up North reader certainly wasn’t going to disappoint on the biggest day of her life.
The result? A personal and pretty celebration with lots of delectable DIY details. If you like really pretty things, you’re going to be very inspired. Pinterest fingers at the ready.
With images by Weddings By Luke
Aimee says: We got engaged in London at Christmas time. We were at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which I had been so excited to visit as I absolutely love all things Christmassy! We were at the ice rink which looked so pretty all lit up with fairy lights at night when Graham pulled out the most perfect ring and proposed to me! Afterwards we headed straight to Harvey Nichols champagne bar for a glass of celebratory bubbles.
Our wedding was on 26th April 2014. There was no real special reason behind the particular date other than when we visited Beeston Manor for the first time we absolutely fell in love with it and they were fast running out of Saturday availability! We always wanted a spring wedding so the last Saturday they had left until later in the year was perfect for us. We got in pencilled in there and then.
We got married at All Saints Church on Hesketh Bank. It meant such a lot to us both to get married there as we both grew up visiting that church, all our family weddings and christenings happen there so I really couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else. Ever since I was a little girl imagining my wedding, I always dreamt of it being there. It was so lovely that Reverend Bill knew us and our family to make the service personal and really special. To top it off, it’s a gorgeous little church too!
The theme for our wedding was a vintage style English country garden look with a slight rustic twist, but I am a girly girl so it was kept very pretty with lots of lace everywhere. We chose this style as it is very “me” and really reflected my personality and of the style of our home. Graham always says that it is my job to make everything pretty so he was more than happy to go along with it and helped out with picking everything.
Our wedding colours were ivory, blush pink and mint. We chose these as we felt ivory and pink colours always make for a pretty and classic wedding, I am a bit obsessed with mint at the moment so adding that in just added some extra interest.
I wore an A-line tulle skirted dress from Blue by Enzoani which I bought from Emma Hartley Bridal in Colne. It featured lace appliqués and beading detail on the skirt and the bodice was a ruche waist with lace overlaid with beaded flowers. I tried on 67 dresses trying to find “the one” but I loved this dress as it was so pretty and romantic, with so much beautiful detail, I felt like a princess when I tried it on.
I knew I wanted a full skirted dress but also wanted a covered top so we had it customised with a tulle top with lace appliqués which matched the skirt to create an illusion neckline and V shape back.
In my hair I wore the Autumn headband from Liberty in Love with tulle and silk flowers and beads. I had a two tier waterfall veil with tiny diamantes to catch the light, again from Emma Hartley Bridal.
Our bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Coast with petal detail on the bust, they were perfect for the romantic and floral look we were going for and looked beautiful on the girls. We were very fortunate about the fit of the dresses as mid way through planning after we had bought the dresses, two of my bridesmaids found out they were pregnant and luckily the dresses were a perfect shape for a growing baby bump, they looked lovely on the day! We had two flower girls who wore dresses very similar to the bridesmaids but in white and had little cardigans featuring the same petal detail to tie everything together.
The groomsmen wore matching suits to Graham and our page boy had a mini version with a tailcoat, waistcoat and bow tie and which we paired with Converse which looked adorable
Michelle Sisson did my makeup and my bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, she did a fantastic job and we all felt amazing after she had worked her magic, she was so lovely to have around on the wedding morning and made sure we look perfect before we left for church. My friend Emma Shaw Hair did my bridal hair and was again fantastic at achieving a gorgeous do which was exactly as I wanted.
Graham wore a grey three piece slim fit suit, with a blush pink tie and hankie. It is not really his style to wear a full tail coat suit so this was perfect, it created a relaxed but smart look which really suited him and I think he looked really handsome. We hired the suits from Winstanleys at Oswaldtwistle.
My mum and I travelled to church in a vintage Bentley in cream and the bridesmaids followed in a matching Daimler then n the way to the reception me and Graham were in the Bentley and the flower girls had a turn in the “posh car” which they loved! We hired the cars from a local company called Classic Wedding Cars and Jimmy the driver had us laughing the whole journey which helped with nerves!
I carried an amazing white and pink bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas which are my absolute favourite flowers. They were so gorgeous and fluffy; I didn’t want to put them down all day! They were hand tied with matching ribbon and lace, I pinned my best friend’s Grandma’s heart shape brooch onto them as my something old and borrowed. Our flowers were all from Libbi at Flowers by Strawberry Fields and she did such an amazing job, they were better than I ever imagined. As soon as I met Libbi it was clear we had very similar taste and we knew we could completely trust her to make everything super beautiful.
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February 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This wedding differs from a lot of the submissions we usually receive here at Brides Up North – because this time its the groom in the driving seat. In fact, he loved the whole process so much that he’s considering a career in the wedding industry. Watch this space.
Rob writes: Out of the two of us, I have loads of artistic flare, and Michelle really isn’t fussed on anything creative! When it came to organizing the wedding, Michelle really hadn’t a clue where to start, and so basically left it up to me. Not to say she wasn’t interested – we made a deal – she would concentrate on the dress and I would sort the venue! We did all main bits together but the actual decorating of the venue was all down to me. She was banned until the big day!
I loved every minute of the build up. I knew what I wanted and made most of the stuff myself. In fact I enjoyed it that much I am hoping to start up in the industry this year.
I think the man’s a natural. So, let’s hear all about his vision… over to you Rob.
Images by Helen Hates Peas Photography.
Rob says: I asked Michelle to marry me at home on Christmas day in 2010 next to the Christmas tree. I hid the ring box at the back of the tree. After we had finished getting ready to go to her parents’ house, I said I had forgotten one last gift. When she opened her eyes I was on one knee!
We were married on 18th August 2013 at Trafford Hall, Mickle Traford, Chester. We wanted somewhere pretty and not overbearing that none of our friends or family had been to before. Somewhere all our guests could stay, somewhere we could have free reign over suppliers and not be dictated to by the venue’s preferred suppliers, and above all, somewhere reasonably priced. We loved the old Georgian house and that the venue is run by a charity who promotes eco values. The guests’ rooms were outdoor stables with wild flower turf roofs which were a brilliant talking point as guests arrived and went into their little hideaways. They try and source most of their food locally and try and grow all the veg onsite.
Our theme was country floral. I have had a passion for flowers since a young boy and eventually studied garden design at Uni. I had an idea of the way I wanted the venue to look, and it involved lots of flowers and greenery. The venue and location were perfect for a country fayre style wedding, which I think is what we achieved.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme, just lots of floral prints. It could have gone horribly wrong, but it worked superbly!
Michelle wore a crystal and sash White One Bridal sweetheart ball gown from the 2012 collection which she bought from Boda Bridal in Chester. Hannah (bridesmaid) made Michelle’s veil as a personal gift. Her shoes were diamanté flip flops from Oasis.
I wanted to stand out from the best men and ushers, so chose a two piece 0suit from Zara in French Navy. I had a bespoke lilac tweed waistcoat made for me by Crichton of Chester. They also made my shirt and sewed in a contrasting floral pattern to the cuffs and collar for when I took my tie off at night. I wore a silk floral hydrangea tie that I bought from G Room in Hoole, Chester.
We both have a favourite jeweller in Chester called Chique based in St Michael’s Precinct. Michelle’s engagement ring is from there as our wedding rings. As a surprise, I met with Adam, the owner, and selected a pair of pearl earrings for Michelle to wear on the day. I asked Hannah to give them to her on the wedding morning. Little did I know that Michelle had also gone in and spoke to Adam and selected a pair of pearl cufflinks as a surprise for me! Without even knowing we had matching earrings and cufflinks!
Michelle carried a mixture of garden flowers including dahlias, anthirrinun, scabious, everlasting sweet peas, daiseys, astrantia, cornflower, amongst others. I didn’t want to be an understated groom, so my button hole was equally as flamboyant. I had the same flowers as Michelle, but with the addition of a sprig of thalictrum – a delicate purple flower.
Michelle walked down the isle to Etta James ‘At last’ and we both walked out to Jackie Wilson ‘I get the Sweetest Feeling’.
November 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today’s stunning Real Wedding proves that a celebration jam packed with handmade touches and DIY details needn’t look amateur. Kirsty and Tom managed to pull of a gorgeously elegant big day whilst still retaining that personal touch. Be inspired, as we join them for their elegant wedding day in the Lake District.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
Kirsty says: Tom and I got engaged on 28th October 2011 in New York City and were married on 13th April 2013 at Our Lady of the Wayside, Grasmere with an evening reception at Merewood Country House, Windermere.
We loved our venue from the moment we walked in. We always wanted a country house, with lots of character, where family and friends could stay for the weekend. The Merewood was perfect. Our wedding had a vintage theme inspired by the character of the the property, and a colour scheme of dusky lilac and ivory.
The bridesmaids wore long dusky lilac dresses with a pearl detail necklace and our groomsmen wore traditional black suits accessorised with a grey tweed tie and pocket square.
We genuinely enjoyed every second of our wedding day. If I had to pick one moment it would be walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time surrounded by all our family and friends.
Our photographer was the amazing Lissa Alexandra who captured every moment perfectly.
I carried a large bouquet of cream roses tied with lace and the bridesmaids had smaller versions. Tom, the best man and ushers wore a single cream rose to keep it simplistic. At the venue, we had vintage birdcages filled with a lilac, cream and sage flower arrangement.
All our flowers were by Julie Sharrock.
We travelled in a white Rolls Royce Wraith to fit with the vintage theme.
We had a string trio playing in the church and then our evening wedding singer was Phil Fryer of Just To Be Frank who is a Frank Sinatra tribute followed by DJ Ken Harper.
Tom and I love to be creative and really enjoyed making all the personalised touches for our wedding.
We had framed photographs of both of our parents on their wedding day, with a thank you poem on display in the hotel reception. We also had two frames with a personalised ‘He’ and ‘she’ description for each other and a vintage typewriter for people to write us well wishes and words of advice for the guest book.
We bought a polaroid camera and made a vintage pin board for people to capture their own moments which we now have hung up in our hallway.
We handmade tea cup candles for every table (which was a lovely touch when they were lit in the evening) and hand painted table frame numbers and made all the stationery ourselves including our menu and order of service.
We handmade chocolate moustache and lips with a personalised tag for the wedding favours which our nephews handed round to everyone following the wedding breakfast. This created lots of laughs.
Our wedding cake was a three tier classic Victoria sponge cake decorated with real cream rose flowers.This was made at Patisserie Viennoise of Otley, West Yorkshire.
After the wedding we jetted off to Rome on honeymoon.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding personal to the both of you, and enjoy every second of it.
Congratulations Kirsty & Tom!
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