February 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s glamorous bride describes her agonising decision as to whether to go ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Kim Kardashian’ on the wedding dress front. In the end, her elegant gown was more grown-up princess than KK but every bit a showstopper.
This gorgeous duo really knows how to organise a party: their big day features a ten-piece band, a photo booth and gallons of Champagne. Plus, the photographs of Katherine with her seven gorgeous bridesmaids? Real #SquadGoals material.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.
katherine says: I had already picked my ring out at ROX jewellers in Leeds, with Oliver when we got engaged as we’d regularly talked about getting married. I had a very specific style in mind and we both agreed it would be better to pick a ring I loved instead of one I only liked! It was an amazing experience we both enjoyed and will cherish forever. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles as the glass doors behind us were locked by the security guard. We were the only customers in the store – absolute bliss!
Given that I knew the ring was coming (although I didn’t know when and where!) I told Oliver if he wanted to surprise me he’d have to catch me off guard. He did just that: he asked me to pop downstairs to help him carry something inside the house and as I reached the bottom step he was on one knee – with my ring! Of course, I said yes.
We both wanted to be married fairly quickly and were lucky enough to be financially able to do so. We were engaged August 2015 and were married September 2016. Oliver’s parents were married on the 28th September and my parents were married on the 29th September, so we decided to follow the trend with 30thSeptember. To get married on a Friday was significantly cheaper at most venues than a weekend and that encouraged us to go for a week day.
We visited dozens of venues, but fell in love with Monk Fryston Hall in Yorkshire, immediately. We wanted to find a venue that wasn’t too big (more than one wedding per day at some places), not too small (we both have big families) and that could provide overnight accommodation overnight. We both wanted a church wedding but were willing to organise and pay for the transportation of the guests from the church to the venue. However, this wasn’t necessary as there was a beautiful church, St. Wilfrid’s, just over the road. This sealed the deal for us and we organised a meeting with the wedding co-ordinator.
There was no real theme to the wedding other than the colour scheme, which was lilac – only because I had seven bridesmaids to cater for and found a lilac dress that everyone was happy with at the bargain price of £49 each in the January sales!
Everything was very simple. I wore a white gown with no bling, our cake was white with flowers, we used simple tea lights and hydrangea buds for decoration. It was such a beautiful venue it didn’t need much styling!
Style-wise, I batted between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Kim Kardashian’ for months! Did I fulfil my lifelong dream of wearing a wearing a poofy ball gown or did I go fashion forward and wear a skin tight fishtail gown? I went to several dress shops until I found Precious Bridal in Garforth – no pushy sales pitch, just a general introduction and then I was let loose in a shop full of gowns. Every bride’s dream! As my mum flicked through a catalogue she pointed out a dress she thought was lovely. I immediately recognised it – I actually had it saved on Pinterest. Donna suddenly revealed that she had it in stock! I had to try it on. Donna names each of her dresses so she can remember them easily, and so out of curiosity I asked what this dress was called. She replied ‘Katherine.’ I hadn’t even seen the dress and I knew it was the one. It was the perfect combination of elegance and a little bit of Cinderella.
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February 3rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple are one after my own heart making the main focus of the day all about food!
Treating their guests to a six-course tasting menu at their favourite French restaurant, plus maroons as favours and an incredible multi-flavoured wedding cake, there’s no way that anyone went home hungry from this big day.
In addition to the banqueting, there are plenty of other fine elements to feast the eyes on, including Aimee’s elegant Rosa Clara gown, the maids pretty blush multi-ways and is that a sweet table that we spy? Time to indulge…
With images by Mike Plunkett Photography
oli says: I proposed to Aimee at The Savoy Hotel in London. I had gone down the day before to drop the ring off with the hotel and asked them to place it in our suite under a silver cloche with flowers and champagne in the room. Aimee thought they had given us someone else’s room by mistake and was reluctant to lift the cloche and find the ring – after some encouragement she did so and was very surprised!
We chose 29th June as the date for the wedding due to a couple of reasons. The first being that the restaurant we wanted for the wedding meant we could only have exclusive use on selected days. The second reason was that one of the groomsmen was playing for Wales in the European Football Championships so the date was supposed to be well planned for when we thought they may get eliminated – unfortunately they got to the semi-finals and he missed the wedding!
We held or ceremony at Manchester Town Hall as we met at the Christmas Markets in front of the Town Hall, and in fact, in front of the Lords Mayors Parlour where we got married. Once we had a closer look at the venue we fell in love with it even more. We then went onto The French restaurant at The Midland Hotel, for the wedding breakfast as we love fine dining and this is our favourite restaurant in the city. We chose Didsbury House Hotel for the reception.
We also used Eleven Didsbury Hotel for the night before the wedding and Aimee stayed at King Street Townhouse in the city centre the night before. We love the hotels, the interiors and touches in the rooms are fantastic. The fact we could also take some of them over exclusively for us was great.
We didn’t have a theme for the wedding – we just wanted great food and fantastic venues.
The colour scheme was blush pink. We based this decision on what flowers would be in season that we liked at the time of the wedding.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were multiway designs from In One Clothing.
Myself and the groomsmen wore Sandringham morning suits from Debenhams hire department with white shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt. I had a patterned pink Hermes tie, while the groomsmen wore plain pink ties. On the day of the wedding we also had our hair styled by MR.SE who is the owner of a leading men’s hair styling range in the UK.
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January 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
If timeless elegance is your thing, prepare to fall head over heels as we share the beautiful big day of Katie and Andrew on the blog today.
Picking the stunning Grays Court hotel in York, as the impressive backdrop to their wedding, Katie and Andrew married in a romantic outdoor ceremony, complete with a petal and lantern-lined aisle.
Concentrating on the details, the champagne, blush and gold styling and florals are nothing short of sensational, and we adore the wedding party’s gorgeous attire too! Top marks all round!
With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.
katie says: Andrew proposed in Mijas, Spain, in June 2015 on a family holiday. He had planned to propose during the first few days but my best friend also got engaged at the same time when we were away, which was amazing, but as a result, Andrew said he felt he had to wait a few more days so he could have his turn of getting down on one knee!
Knowing we always wanted to choose the engagement ring together and having been planning for a long time, he proposed with a Pandora engagement charm, getting down on one knee in the botanical gardens in Mijas in the hills overlooking the Spanish coast – it was beautiful! Andrew had asked my mum for my hand in marriage the day before so everyone knew about it except me. I didn’t have a clue!
We set the date for Saturday 14th May 2016. Our venue had an outside ceremony area within stunning gardens, so it was vital that we had a spring or summer date. This was the only date left in May and it was extra special as I turned 30 in the same week.
Our chosen venue was Grays Court hotel, in York. It is an elegant, luxury, boutique 11th Century house with outstanding features, long gallery and breath-taking gardens. York walls overlook the venue and we found Grays by chance ourselves in 2010 when walking the walls and witnessed a beautiful wedding there in the gardens. York was one of our first city breaks together and we go every year so it is a special place for us. We didn’t entertain anywhere else when choosing the venue.
We had always wanted black tie tuxedos and elegance as the style of the wedding, and so we planned a classic, romantic, intimate, English wedding with lots of style and detail.
For the colour palette, we had lots of white, champagne, blush and gold tones, with fantastic details. It was the colour scheme we naturally gravitated to and complemented our venue.
When dress shopping, I chose to visit Eternity Bridal Wear in Cheshire, as it was a local stockist of Pronovias, which was the designer I wanted to try the most. It was the only shop we went to and about five dresses in, we found ‘the one’. I always knew I would end up in a fitted dress with back detailing however this was more embellished with beading and a tulle train and I totally fell in love with it. Karl, Zoe and Ann at Eternity are amazing and Zoe knew which would be the dress for me when she asked my mum and nan to close their eyes as I came out of the dressing room. The store is beautiful too. I wanted something that felt like me, something I felt comfortable and beautiful in with lots of detailing but something I could also dance in.
Accessories-wise, I chose a Joyce Jackson two tier cathedral length veil embellished with Swarovski crystals, it glittered in the sun! My crystal embellished bridal shoes where from Badgley Mischka shipped from America, I wanted something different and sparkly. I also wore a Tiffany & Co bracelet, which was a wedding gift from Andrew.
On the morning of the wedding my bridal party’s hair was styled by Emily Hawkes, who went above and beyond and even helped me get into my shoes and dress.
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November 23rd, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
For today’s real wedding, we’re getting swept away by the enchantment of Victoria and Matthew’s beautiful wedding set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
Combining the tradition of a church ceremony with the decadence of a castle, hotel and stately home for their celebrations – this is a wedding with class and sophistication in spades, and we simply adore every little detail from their special day!
With images by Andy Sutcliffe Photography.
victoria says: Matthew proposed during a surprise break away to Rome, leaving me guessing right until check in at the airport as to where we were going. Little did I know that in the luggage that I’d been carting around, on and off trains and through the airport, there was an engagement ring.
The hotel in Rome had a balcony that overlooked the city and the view was incredible. Every day the hotel staff kept leaving bottles of champagne and strawberries in the room and I had no idea why. I just thought it was all part of their hospitality and even said that we should stay in this hotel more often, as I felt like a princess.
We visited many historical sights and enjoyed sightseeing around the city, including a visit to the Vatican. On the final evening, I was so exhausted from walking around that I suggested that we should stay at the hotel for a meal, but Matthew insisted that we should go out. When we arrived back at the hotel, the balcony had been lit up with candles and there was a large parcel wrapped up on the table with a bottle of champagne. I was very surprised and I thought Matthew was too. Matthew insisted I open the parcel. Initially I thought it was a gift from the hotel, because of all the surprises they kept sending to us each night. I carefully tore the paper and inside was a canvas with photographs of Matthew’s niece and nephews holding up signs reading, “Will you marry Uncle Matthew please?” At this point, Matthew got onto one knee and pulled a ring box from his pocket and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!
A few days after we returned home, I received a postcard stamped from Vatican City. Matthew had sent me a postcard when we were in the Vatican City saying that by now he hopes that I am his fiancée and can’t wait to marry me. I didn’t even notice that he had done this and I was with him the whole time. This came as a great surprise. Just as well I said yes!
We got married on 3rd August 2015. The ceremony took place at St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Richmond, North Yorkshire. We chose this church as it was fairly local to our reception venue – Swinton Park in Masham, North Yorkshire. Our local priest, Father Butters was able to conduct the ceremony too, which made it even more special.
We had a Roman Catholic ceremony with two readings. The first was from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, read by the mother of the groom and then then a reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians read by my godmother. We also had bidding prayers that were read by our eight-year-old nephew Louis, and my cousin Michelle.
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November 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
This afternoon on the blog, we join couple Charlotte and Tom as they tie the knot in the captivating surroundings of Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa – an exquisite country house that dates back to the 1800’s.
The epitome of country chic, their big day brings together beautiful blooms, gorgeous ice creams and drinks on the outdoor terrace and dreamy photographs amongst the splendor of the venue’s stunning gardens and fountains.
With images by Mr Sleeve.
charlotte says: We got engaged on 21st July 2012 in Bruges, Belgium. Tom had flown out to Belgium for work and I joined him to make a holiday of it. After some Dutch courage (or just a casual drink from my perspective), Tom suggested a walk around the Lac D’Amour at sunset. After waiting what seemed like an age for a Chinese tourist group to leave the picturesque bridge, Tom got down on one knee and popped the question.
We got married on 28th August 2015. We chose this date to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend and so that friends and family travelling long distances could make the journey more easily and enjoy the weekend more.
We tied the knot at Rookery Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire. When we visited the venue, we immediately fell in love with its light airy rooms, grounds and the overall feel of the place.
We didn’t have a wedding theme, as such. Instead, we decided on summer tones with the groomsmen and bridesmaids wearing light shades of blue. We had brightly coloured flowers, with lots of wildflowers and herbs.
Tom and our groomsmen wore slate blue suits from Next, and the bridesmaids wore a bluey-green coloured dress. We really struggled to decide on a colour; we didn’t want anything too dark or rich as we hoped for a lovely sunny day. We both liked blue tones though, and we thought that these shades would also flatter our entourage!
I wore the Cielo gown by Miquel Suay in ivory. After lots of online window shopping and a couple of visits to wedding boutiques to try on dresses of all shapes, this dress ticked all the boxes with a lace bodice and a soft, romantic feel.
Our photographer was Mr Sleeve (Steve Longbottom). He was fantastic and captured some amazing shots; we loved his style of candid, journalistic photography.
We also had Charlene of Love Gets Sweeter as our videographer. Charlene was great too – she blended into the background and even helped out with an emergency safety pin and we have a lovely video to help remember our special day.
Our flowers were supplied by Heather at Living Colour Flowers in Stockton Heath, Warrington. Heather was fantastic at understanding the overall aesthetic we were after, other florists seemed unable to offer any suggestions when we said we had no specific flowers in mind. The bouquet had bright Vuvuzela roses, purple veronica, blue thistle, yellow craspedia, bay, thyme, rosemary, succulents, and was wrapped in blue leather as a ‘something blue’. The bridesmaids had similar bouquets, and the boys had buttonholes of tiny succulents with a small flower, wrapped in twine.
The flowers for our reception were also provided by Living Colour, with an undone feel, lots of bright colours, with arrangements in little jam jars and scientific glassware (as we both have microbiology PhDs) and on wooden plinths. As for the room décor – Eventures in Manchester provided the chairs and room dressing.continue reading
November 18th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
After a romantic proposal in Venice, today’s real wedding couple Sara and Ross, decided on a Venetian-inspired theme and a navy and peach palette for their elegant wedding at Pentrehobyn Hall.
This party-loving pair wanted their big day to go with a bang and so had entertainment and food at the top of their agenda. And check out Sara’s jaw-dropping fishtail Mori Lee gown – real #dresscrush material, people!
With images by Will Hey Photography.
sara says: We got engaged January 2015 in Venice. Ross had actually planned on proposing in one of the restaurants while we were out but was suffering from sciatica at the time – he kept getting up and walking around the table! In the taxi on the way back to the hotel I made a joke about him being in trouble because my friends thought he was going to propose and he responded by saying he wouldn’t ask me to marry him just because my friends thought it would happen. I thought at this point I was going home single! When we got to the hotel he suggested dessert (even though we’d already indulged in the restaurant) and the most beautiful ring was brought out on plate. He got down on one knee, and I cried…a lot!
We got married on 13th August. There was no special reason behind the date – it was more a case of us falling in love with our chosen venue – Pentrehobyn Hall – and picking a date that was available. There were very few Saturdays left!
We picked a Venetian theme. We thought it would be romantic, and appropriate considering we got engaged in Venice.
Navy and peach were our main colours. Ross had his heart set on a navy or blue/grey suit with peach accessories. I’d originally wanted black bridesmaid dresses but I’m so glad that we opted for the navy/peach theme. It was so much more summery and looked great on the pictures.
My dress was a fishtail lace Mori Lee dress. Originally I’d had my heart set on a gown I’d seen online, but when I went to try it on it really didn’t suit me. My friend picked my dress out for me and I can reveal that it really is true what people say: you know when you’ve found ‘the dress’! Our very talented friend Zara made my garter and I had my great grandmother’s blue brooch tied to my bouquet as my something borrowed and blue.
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