June 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
To finish off your week in style, we’re sharing the big day of Anna and Ryan, which provides a fabulous example of how to carry off a beautiful wedding without the hefty price tag. Cue a few trips to Hobbycraft, some thrifty online shopping purchases and gorgeous floral displays courtesy of a local college and you’ll start to get an idea of just how savvy our couple was with their planning!
Newlyweds Anna and Ryan tied the knot at the gorgeous Newton Hall – a dreamy, contemporary venue set in Northumberland. As you’ll see, this was a picture-perfect backdrop that was beautifully transformed by the bride and groom.
We just love how much time and effort they poured into their special day. From their handmade photo booth and alternative cheese cake, to their caricaturist and special hangover kits – there’s lots of quirky ideas to inspire you on the blog today.
With images by Dru Dodd.
anna says: We got engaged on the beach, under the stars whilst eating lobster and drinking Moet in the Dominican Republic on New Year’s Eve. Ryan had always said marriage was a long way off so I was really surprised. Romantically, Ryan said he was nipping off to the toilet, but in fact was getting the ring from the room to propose, whilst I was sitting with my meal getting cold waiting for him to get back, keeping it real! He proposed at midnight UK time which was really special as I was able to call family and friends with the exciting news.
We got married on 19th March 2017. We chose this date as we really wanted to get married at Newton Hall but had a budget to stick to. For any brides completely ruling out venues based on cost, this is a great way to meet your budget. We got married on a Sunday in March and it was sunny and dry! I found out afterwards that both my parents and my grandparents got married on the 19th of the month, too, which was a special touch.
When we both first stepped into Newton Hall, we knew it was where we wanted to get married. One of our first dates was to Mr Lynch in Jesmond, which is a sister venue to Newton Hall. Ryan had also taken me on a date to Low Newton for a picnic, which is where the venue is situated.
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme or theme for our wedding. I wanted to bring in shades of copper, apricot, blue and blush. We’re a laidback, fun couple so we wanted to incorporate that into our day whilst also maintain the traditional wedding that I had always dreamt of.
I dressed the venue myself (with the help of my bridesmaids), and bought and made all of the decorations myself. We incorporated some fun ideas on the day, such as hangover kit wedding favours and baby pictures as table numbers. We had a craft night with all of my friends in the run up to the wedding, which was great fun.
When it came to my attire for the day, I knew that I wanted a fit and flare lace dress with a long veil that covered my face and ended up buying my gown from Wed2Be in Gateshead.
From the moment my mam and I stepped into Wed2Be, the service was fantastic. I tried on a dress and knew straightaway that it was the one. The fit and cut was just perfect. I also purchased my veil from Wed2Be as it was exactly what I had been looking for. My total outfit came to just £669. A special mention also goes to Kayleen the dressmaker for all of my subsequent alterations.
May 24th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’ve been out on the road again discovering some of the north’s finest wedding venues to help inspire and inform you on the wonderful choices of settings that are out there for your big day celebrations.
For our latest research, I travelled to one of my very favourite UK cities, York – and more specifically its beautiful Principal York hotel.
You may well have walked past this stunning venue numerous times not realising the beauty that lays within its grand walls – I know I’m certainly guilty of doing so! For the hotel is ideally located next to York Train Station, putting a big tick in the guest accessibility box, but in turn this means I’ve previously been concentrating too much on navigating my way into the city centre and so have overlooked this gem of a wedding venue that’s laid right before my eyes!
But an overnight stay there just before Easter has put this venue well and truly on the map for me. During our visit, myself and my boyfriend Andy got to experience its wonderful hospitality, accommodation and food and drink as well as viewing its desirable function spaces, which are perfect for an uber chic city wedding.
Catering for up to 250 wedding guests and fully licensed for civil ceremonies, The Principal can host weddings of all sizes and preferences with helpful and experienced staff, amazing food and drink and truly stunning spaces as standard!
And even if you’ve already sorted your wedding venue, I urge you to read on – as this is certainly an ideal retreat for a relaxing and indulgent city break, pre-or post-wedding!
Arriving at the Grade II listed hotel for our stay, the first thing to strike me was the hotel’s perfectly manicured gardens and views out over to the York Minster – though in the bustle of the historic city, a feeling of calm instantly washed over me as we stepped into the lobby.
The interior of the hotel is nothing short of wow-worthy too, with late-Victorian features including beautifully decorative high ceilings, ornate wood panelling and towering pillars, complemented by elegant and modern furnishings, such as opulent mirrors, chandeliers and soft furnishings. Seriously this place is like Pinterest interior heaven!
Following a warm welcome, we were directed to our Deluxe Room with gorgeous views of the gardens. The high-level of interior design continues into the accommodation with the hotel’s 155 bedrooms beautifully refurbished as part of a multi-million pound investment in The Principal, resulting in a classic and comfortable stay. As an added extra we’d been left a little hamper of Yorkshire treats in our room including tea bags, chutney, sweet delights and even a quirky tea towel and bottle of wine!
As we’re in the process of moving house we were keen to enjoying being away from boxes and packing tape, and so headed straight to the bar for a prosecco and pint (bubbles were for me, of course).
The hotel’s Chapter House bar has also benefitted from the investment refurb and has a warm speakeasy vibe about it, decorated in sumptuous deep tones with high tables, leather booths and waiters donning braces and bowties. Next time you’re in York call be sure to call in for one of their signature cocktails.
After watching the world go by and inhaling several drinks (we blame the moving stress) we were shown through to the Refectory Kitchen & Terrace for our evening meal. The dining area has a lovely light and airy feel about it, with exposed brick walls, glass ceiling and botanical details.
We ordered bread, olives and a smooth bottle of Italian red while we browsed the menu and tried to narrow down the delicious-sounding options from ‘Rectory Favourites’ to those ‘From the Grill’ and seasonal dishes too.
I decided on the spiced Yorkshire lamp rump served with sweet and sour relish, capers, potato fondant and a red wine sauce, while Andy went for an 8oz sirloin steak with all the trimmings. Both dishes were presented beautifully, portions were ample without being over-facing and both meats were cooked to perfection. The different tastes and flavours on my plate were A* standard and the triple cooked chips served up with the steak may just have stolen the show!
Though rather full from the richness of the food and wine, we couldn’t resist a dessert to share and so asked the waiter for a recommendation – “the pannacotta is something else” – and he wasn’t wrong! The silky buttermilk pannacotta was accompanied by raspberry jelly and mini doughnuts (yes, doughnuts!) – all together it felt like a high-class take on ice cream and jelly, and who wouldn’t like that?!
Full almost to the brim, we moved into the serene lounge area to finish our wine before retiring for the evening to one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in.
May 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The month of May is one of our very favourites here at Brides Up North HQ, not only as it tends to signal the start of warmer weather, but it’s also when our incredible festival wedding fairs take place across the north of the country. These super cool events are like no other as we create outdoor wedding wonderlands with huge sailcloth tents, tipis and yurts filled with wildly creative wedding suppliers, plus street food vendors, pop-up bars, live bands and so much more. The tour starts this Sunday 7th May with our glorious WEDSTOCK’17 at Stockeld Park, Yorkshire, and from there we will be heading to Ormesby Hall in Middlesbrough on Sunday 14th May, and Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire on Sunday 21st May, to give all you brides-to-be a piece of the fabulous festival action.
Another reason we favour May is for its bank holidays (who doesn’t love a bonus day off?!) and so with such a busy time on the horizon, we were sure to make the first long weekend of the month a relaxing one by heading off for an overnight spa break at the stunning Hoar Cross Hall.
Such getaways not only enable us to signpost you in the direction of the very best retreats for pre/post wedding pampering and luxurious hen do locations, but it also gives us chance to discuss exciting ideas for the blog, and boy do we have amazing plans in the pipeline! But more about that to follow soon, for now let us fill you in on our heavenly stay at this Grade II stately home where total relaxation comes as standard!
Situated in breath-takingly beautiful Staffordshire countryside, the chilled-out vibes start on your approach to the Hall and only deepen once over its threshold. Its impressive entrance and bar lounge area combine period style and modern luxury perfectly and make for a very warm welcome. Arriving early evening and keen to start the pampering from the off, we began with a glass of bubbles in the bar before heading to our room to freshen up before dinner.
Each of Hoar Cross Hall’s 96 bedrooms are individually designed in keeping with the stately surrounds and offer comfort and class, which resulted in a very restful night’s sleep for the two of us in our adjoining rooms.
Dinner was served in the Hall’s grand restaurant with calming views over the perfectly manicured gardens. Having selected a bottle of rose (well, it is getting on for summer!) we scanned over the varied choice of dishes and made our selection. We enjoyed starters of salmon two ways and chicken liver parfait before going onto mains of roast chicken and spinach and ricotta cannelloni. Something light to finish we thought, and so opted for the fruit platter and ice cream. The food at Hoar Cross is presented beautifully and tastes as good as it looks, while staff are attentive in making sure everything is to your liking.
With relaxation top of the agenda, we decided on an early night and early start to make the most of the Hall’s fabulous spa facilities.
Following an ample breakfast of granola followed by poached eggs, we took the elevator down to the lower ground where the hugely spacious spa is concealed, much like a well kept secret. And what a gem it is, with numerous tranquil pools and soothing water therapies to explore and experience.
Fellow spa visitors included groups of ladies as well as couples, making a Hoar Cross Hall getaway a perfect option for an indulgent hen do with the girls, some pre-wedding pampering with family or friends, plus a relaxing minimoon retreat to recharge the batteries ahead of jetting off on the main honeymoon.
There are various day and overnight packages to choose from, with meals included, and the option of treatments for head-to-toe relaxation.
The spa boasts two beautiful pools; a saltwater vitality pool, complete with jet massage pools, two luxury whirlpools and a starlit cave, plus a hydrotherapy pool with gentle currents and body massage jets.
There are also a number of heat, ice and massage experiences to detox and revitalise the body by stimulating different senses. These include sensory showers and aqua massage therapies as well as an aspen wood sauna, aroma room and ice temple.
And as if that’s not enough, there are lots of beautifully snug spaces to relax both poolside and within designated relaxation lounges, whether you choose to curl up with a good book or get a little extra shut-eye.
April 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ we’re always super keen to learn more about the fabulous wedding venues available in this half of the country, so that we can spread the word to you, our lovely readers.
While some we follow with interest online, others we’re fortunate to visit in person, allowing us to view and experience their wonderful facilities and hospitality first hand. Our most recent travels saw us heading west, to the impressive Carden Park Hotel, where we were invited for a glorious one-night getaway.
Nested in 1,000 acres of Cheshire countryside, the sizable estate boasts an award-winning hotel, AA Rosette restaurant, championship golf courses, adventure activities and spa. Its spacious function suites and grounds mean it’s also a popular wedding venue, offering a varied choice of settings and packages for a couple’s special day.
Upon arriving for our stay, we were given a tour of the facilities and celebration spaces by the hotel’s friendly wedding planner, Maddie, where the full scope of Carden Park’s offering came to light. Not only can this hotel cater for the big day itself, but it’s an ideal retreat for pre-wedding pampering, a girly or action-packed hen do and a relaxing minimoon.
In terms of accommodation, the hotel offers a wide choice of options; from twin, double and family rooms, up to its spacious luxury suites, with special upgrade extras including a fully stocked complimentary minibar, chocolates, sparkling wine and ESPA toiletries.
Wedding wise, Carden can cater for all sizes and offers the choice of its elegant and contemporary Carden Suite, rustic-style Shooting Suite and open-air Wedding Pavilion, through its ‘Eternity’ and ‘Fairytale’ packages.
Elsewhere in the hotel there is much more to be explored. We began our break with an afternoon tea in the comfortable lounge area before taking the energy levels up a notch with some of the fun outdoor activities available on site. From laser clay shooting, archery and mountain biking to an aerial zip-wiring course, Carden is a playground for all ages.
We were treated to an off-roading 4×4 experience with JEEP enthusiast and instructor Terry, who navigated us through the surrounding woodland, giving us a tour of the expansive estate whilst sliding around the challenging course. Next up, with the help of instructor Ryan, we tried our hand (and feet) at segwaying, which is a little trickier than it looks, but heaps of fun.
Back at the hotel it was time to wind things down again, and so after a quick shower and change, we settled in the bar with a bottle of sauvignon, ahead of our three-course meal in Redmond’s Restaurant. Changing its menu regularly to suit the season and fresh produce available, we were spoiled for choice when it came to making our starter, main and dessert selections but went with the staff recommendations (they certainly know their stuff!) A salmon-starter, chicken-main and panna-cotta-dessert later, it was evident that the standard of food was equal to the level of service – first class!
We retired for the evening feeling immensely satisfied and settled into our king-size beds for a peaceful night’s sleep.
March 15th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The lovely wedding fairies at Lartington Hall have teamed up with Brides Up North to bring you a Spring Chic Luxury Wedding Fair at the heart-stoppingly beautiful exclusive use venue on Sunday 2nd April 2017, 11am till 3pm, and it’s FREE ENTRY.
Expect stunning styling, perfect interiors, all the details from fine art florals to bridal fashion, cakes, photographers, stationers, live music and more. The whole of the Hall, including it’s beautiful Chapel, bedroom suites and gardens will be open to explore and enjoy. If you haven’t found your venue yet (or even if you have and just fancy some serious wedding inspiration) then we would love to see you there. Register now!
Lartington Hall has quickly become one of the most sought after country house wedding destinations in the North of England. Having been lovingly restored, the Grade II listed building set amongst 78 acres of romantic parkland is now equally stunning on the outside as within; housing an opulent collection of ceremony and reception rooms, luxurious, boutique style accommodation and its very own private chapel.
The quality of the restoration and attention to detail is nothing short of spectacular; from reclaimed venetian marble floors and regency antiques, to Nina Campbell furnishings and state-of-the-art Bose sound systems, the old and new have been blended together seamlessly.
For weddings, the impressive country house, which combines the glamour of The Great Gatsby with the grandeur of Downton Abbey, becomes couples’ very own rural retreat for their special day, with exclusive use of the entire building for just them and their chosen guests. Helping to bring the perfect package together, a wedding specialist, stylist and, of course, a butler, will be on hand to assist brides and grooms with their every wish.
Find out more about the venue at www.lartingtonhall.co.uk.
bride to be?
To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (full of treats and glossy mags including the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine), simply follow the link below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to Lartington Hall. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.
fancy exhibiting with us?
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2017. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this year.
Click here to view the schedule.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
March 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime
Today on the blog we have a styled shoot that focuses on the venue and decor aspects of a wedding – and features not one, but two of our fabulous Brides Up North Sponsors.
Captured by the talented Melissa Beattie Photography at dream wedding venue Brinkburn Northumberland, this shoot aims to show how old can be mixed with new to create a stylish and unforgettable setting for those all-important “I dos” and big day celebrations.
Located on the banks of the river Coquet, Brinkburn provides a relaxed and informal backdrop for couples looking for an unusual historic and quirky venue. Offering use of its stunning White Room, Tipis and the 12th Century Priory Church for the ceremony and reception, alongside its comfortable accommodation in The Stables, Priory Cottage and Bel House, the venue has everything a wedding party could desire all in one place.
Here to show us more of this gorgeous venue whilst talking us through the details of the shoot, is Brinkburn’s wedding coordinator Jan-Marie…
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
jan-marie says: In doing this shoot we wanted to capture, the natural vibe of Brinkburn, taking inspiration from our mantra, “The Hills, The River, The Woods, The Quiet, Ssshhhh”.
The idea was to show the juxtaposition of contemporary design amongst the historic buildings and natural surroundings.
In terms of styling and colour we took our inspiration from the natural palette of Brinkburn. Christine of Lavenders Blue really does know Brinkburn inside and out so her brief was short and sweet. Fabulous greens from the lush and relaxed foliage set against the natural sandstone of the walls and the canvass of the tipi. Almost as if the viewer had stepped into their own decadent secret garden.
Christine foraged for foliage with stronger hues of green, fresh fern, ivy and rhododendron leaf in the woodland at Brinkburn and paired this with eucalyptus, olive leaf, rosemary and bay leaf for the tablespaces. The tipi poles were adorned with a cascading soft ruscus.
The simple brass belted glass vases we used are from a collection at Tutti & Co, along with all of the table accessories from their wedding table styling range.
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