August 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
There’s very little introduction required for the real wedding we’re featuring today, as these gorgeous photographs speak for themselves. There’s embellished Enzoani for the dress divas, pink peonies for the flower fans and stunningly intimate sunset kisses for the romance addicts – so that’ll be, err, everyone?? The theme of this particular County Durham wedding was ‘simply elegant’ and the details, from bespoke stationery to limoncello shots, are first-rate.
Oh, and speaking of details, have you thought about a wedding day gift for your beloved yet? We’ve seen it all here at Brides Up North – a vintage tie pin, a bottle of his favourite whiskey, a rare record to add to his collection. But today’s bride Charlotte sets the bar even higher, ladies – her wedding day gift to new husband Jonathan was a full-on dance troupe: her and her #bridesquad performing to Beyonce’s popwhopper Love on Top. No pressure, then…!
Over to Charlotte to tell us more…
With images by Duncan McCall Photography
charlotte says: We’d planned a trip to Edinburgh between Christmas and New Year to see some friends and Jonathan told me afterwards that he’d decided exactly when and where he was going to propose. However, that didn’t go to plan. On Saturday 21st December 2013, he says he woke up and just knew he had to do it. We live in County Durham, and one of our favourite places to visit is the Cathedral. With it being Christmas time, we were greeted by the beautiful sound of a choir singing carols as we walked in that day. He led me outside into the courtyard and sat me down, got down on one knee and popped the question. It really took me by surprise and, of course, I said yes!
Our wedding date was 1st July 2017. We’d always wanted a summer wedding and it just so happened that the first Saturday in July had a memorable date: 1/7/17.
We got married at St Brandon’s Church in Brancepeth, just outside of Durham. The church building was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1998 and the renovations are beautiful. It’s is very modern with individual chairs instead of pews, and features a beautiful stained-glass window and stone from the old building on the wall. We fell in love with St Brandon’s as soon as we stepped inside; plus, we love that every time we step outside our back door, we can see the church in the distance.
We held our wedding reception at Headlam Hall Hotel and Spa. We’d looked at so many different venues, but none of them felt right until we came across Headlam. We loved the beautiful gardens and terrace and could see just how lovely it would be to have our guests there and to enjoy the views. We also loved how the function suite was set aside from the hotel – it created a real sense of exclusivity. Headlam Hall’s function suite had recently been renovated and looked really elegant; we loved it so much, we booked two years in advance.
‘Simply elegant’ was the theme for our wedding, with a colour scheme of navy blue, blush pink, creams and golden colours. We also included peonies, which were incorporated into the bouquets, centrepieces and all stationery.
I chose a fishtail, embroidered Enzoani gown, to which I added a crystal belt, some delicate thin crystal straps and a cathedral-length veil with lace detailing, all purchased at the Blue Bow Bridal Company, based in Durham. The ladies there were truly amazing; as soon as we stepped in we were greeted by two lovely women who handed me a basket of pegs and told me to peg away onto any dresses I liked. I tried on some beautiful gowns, but I didn’t love any of them. At this point, Cheryl the assistant asked me to describe my dream dress and then picked out my beautiful Enzoani gown. I couldn’t wait to try it on and, once I saw myself in it, I definitely had the moment you dream about.
August 17th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
We’ve got a treat lined up for you today on the blog, as we venture to the pretty Ripley Castle estate in Yorkshire, for a wedding that’s brimming in gorgeous details and even a cleverly subtle nod to the groom’s favourite football club.
Melanie and Carl’s exquisite day boasts a rural, country charm thanks to its location – think stone-built cobbled streets, the quaintest of churches and a picture-perfect lake for those all-important wedding shots. We’re in love.
The bride decided to have her wedding dress custom-made, so sorry ladies you won’t be able to find this beautiful gown anywhere else! A rustic bouquet of peach roses, blue delphinium and green foliage complemented this vintage bridal look perfectly. Other highlights from the day include a string quartet, outdoors games and a sweet cart, but we’ll let Melanie share all the finer details!
With images by Kazooieloki Photography.
P.s Have YOU registered yet to join us at Ripley Castle for our awesome CASTLES&CANVAS Wedding Show on Sunday 10th September? Gather your #bridesquad and pop the not to be missed date in your diary. Click here to register now!
melanie says: We had been together just over two years when Carl surprised me with a trip to New York for my 30th birthday in May 2016. He had booked a gorgeous hotel with a window seat overlooking Central Park and, on our first day, asked me to sit in the window seat to watch a slideshow of photographs of us set to Happy Together by The Turtles. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, but with no ring as he’d booked an appointment at Tiffany & Co for me to choose one!
We got married on Saturday 24th June 2017. Carl is a huge football fan and lifelong Leicester City season ticket holder so we wanted to get married in the break between when one season ended and another started. Carl wanted this so that he didn’t miss the football and me so we didn’t miss any future wedding anniversaries!
We tied the knot at All Saints Church in Ripley, near Harrogate, and our reception was held at the beautiful Ripley Castle just across the road. We knew we wanted somewhere in the countryside as we wanted it to be a pretty place for people who had travelled a long way. From the first time we visited Ripley Castle we fell in love with it. The beautiful stone houses in the small village of Ripley made for an incredibly warm welcome before even reaching the castle. The castle grounds are stunning with a picturesque lake, and the castle is built from the same stone as the rest of the village. Inside, large wooden beams gave a really warm and authentic feel to the venue. Nowhere else we saw after this even came close.
We didn’t have a specific theme for the day as we just wanted to include the things we liked. As we got engaged in New York, we tried to have a nod towards this, with our tables named after iconic landmarks, such as Central Park, and our dessert being a specially requested New York cheesecake. In general, we just wanted things that would feel relaxed and enjoyable for everyone.
Our colour scheme was pale blue with peach. Carl wanted blue due to his love of Leicester City FC, so one day when I was browsing Pinterest, I stumbled across a picture of a large pale blue and peach bouquet and instantly loved it. We liked that it was different to anything we’d seen before and how it gave a soft, romantic feel to the images it had been incorporated in.
I had been to quite a few weddings and seen lots of very similar dresses, so after browsing pictures of wedding dresses I decided I really loved sleeves as I felt they were elegant and different. The reality of finding a dress with sleeves was really quite difficult. I went to three shops, all of which only had one or two and all of which were very slim fitting, which did not suit my shape. I made an appointment with a local designer and dressmaker called Joanna Leigh Couture and it was the best decision I made. I told her all of the things I liked and didn’t like, picked the material and lace from her samples and she drew up a design of my perfect wedding dress. I got to see my dress grow and change at our monthly appointments and ended up with a dress that fitted me perfectly and that I absolutely loved.
August 15th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This celebration feels a bit like a fairytale: a wonderful extended stay at an ancient 14th century farmstead, photographs featuring chandeliers and roof beams, fur throws and flowers galore – and, of course, a picture-perfect princess in a bespoke gown.
Details really mattered for this discerning bride, and what beautiful details they were: a colour palette that echoed the springtime cherry blossom, flowers everywhere, a menu planned to perfection, a fun caravan photobooth and raspberry gin – mmm!
And as well as having a keen eye for elegant decor, Clare is a wise sage on the subject of wedding planning. She advises brides-to-be to make no apologies – “If it’s important to you, that’s all that matters.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
Over to Clare to tell us more…
With photography by Hayley Baxter Photography
clare says: We got engaged during a surprise weekend away for Valentine’s Day in 2016 to Loch Lomond. After the long drive, Nick suggested that we go for a walk and find a pub for some lunch. As we were walking along the edge of the loch, Nick kept stopping to look at the view and trying to get me close to the water’s edge – but I was more concerned about the mud, utterly clueless as to what he was trying to do! Nick got down on one knee – I was so surprised! Of course, I said yes!
We booked our wedding for 29th April 2017 – it was the Bank Holiday weekend, so ideal with the extra day off work for our guests.
We got married at St John the Evangelist Church in Charlesworth, Derbyshire. I grew up in Charlesworth and my mum still lives in the village, so it was a perfect choice.
Our reception was at Upper House in Hayfield, about ten minutes away from Charlesworth. We fell in love with the venue the moment we first went to see it – the views over Kinder are incredible and the building itself is beautiful and full of history. The great thing about Upper House was that we had it for the whole weekend, so arrived on the Friday morning and left on the Monday morning – all our family and wedding party stayed with us for the three nights and it was so special to spend the whole weekend with family and friends in such a stunning location.
We didn’t have a theme as such; as the venue is so beautiful, it didn’t really need it. However, flowers played a large part, from our wedding stationery to the décor in the marquee.
We went for a spring colour palette of blush pinks, sage greens and golds. We chose it because I love cherry blossom and it was in bloom at that time of year.
I had a bespoke wedding dress. I didn’t initially set out thinking that I wanted to have my dress made for me – I was so excited about going to different shops to find ‘the one’. I made an appointment at Mariée Bridal Boutique in Nantwich, without even considering the bespoke service they offer, but then after trying a few things on the conversation started moving towards creating a design just for me. Kate drew up a sketch and I was sold! The whole process of having a dress created is wonderful: you see it evolve at each appointment and can tweak things right up to the last minute. Kate also made my mum’s outfit and my flower girl’s dress, and they both looked beautiful.
August 8th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s featured wedding took place more than a decade after the proposal but it was absolutely worth the wait. Bride Zorina, a florist who works in the wedding industry, had a head-start in her planning, knowing what she wanted – orchids, a saxophonist and a Kim and Kanye-style white hydrangea wall – and what she didn’t – a dress that would drown her petite frame. Luckily, a determined wedding dress boutique assistant had her way and Zorina ended up rocking a Stella York beauty.
Their wedding was an intimate family-orientated celebration and these photographs just scream happiness. The bride and her girls holding hands and leaping into the air is the very definition of joyful, and the silhouetted group shots against a stunning night sky are simply glorious. Tears, laughter and sunflare – what more do you need for an utterly gorgeous set of wedding pictures?
With photography by HBA Photography.
zorina says: We got in engaged in the leap year in 2004. I wanted to ask Mark but he beat me to it! We were at Mark’s house in Leamington Spa. He’d just come home from work and was behaving very oddly. Then he went down on one knee with a red rose and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!
We were married on 26th May 2017. May is normally a warm month and having a Friday wedding with the Bank Holiday Monday to follow appealed to us both.
Our venue was Goosedale in Papplewick, near Nottingham. Being a wedding florist, I’ve seen many venues and none of them was exactly what I/we wanted for whatever reason. But Mark was Googling wedding venues one night and came across Goosedale. It looked perfect. We booked an appointment, went over and I fell in love instantly. Mark didn’t take much persuading, either.
We wanted an intimate wedding with just close friends and family and the venue ticked all the boxes. It’s also absolutely beautiful and the surroundings are so picturesque.
I didn’t want to stick to a theme, I just wanted to do what I wanted and not think “oh I can’t do that, it doesn’t fit the theme…” I knew I wanted a romantic feel using pastel colours but also wanted a glam look too, so incorporated that using rose gold and Phalaenopsis orchids.
Our colours were peach, pink blush, white and rose gold. I’d chosen rose gold as a colour and knew I wanted orchids before we even set a date!
Being a 4ft 11 bride, I struggled to find a dress that had the correct proportions. Out of all the aspects of planning a wedding, the dress was the most worrying for me. I must have tried on more than 30 dresses and nothing wowed me or fit me properly.
RS Bridal in Melton Mowbray, was going to be my last bridal shop before I went to a dressmaker and Siobhan was utterly lovely. I tried a few on and I liked two but wasn’t completely sure. Siobhan then asked me to try a lace dress on with a horrible skin colour mesh top. I said “nope”. She said “what do you have to lose?”. So, unwillingly, I tried it on, walked to the mirror and nearly cried. I loved it. Siobhan said “that’s the one”. I made my mum and best friend cry and just knew it was right.
The dress in question was an Essence gown by Stella York. It had a blush pink/peach underlay and a lace overlay with a skin colour mesh top (so it looked strapless) and beautiful lace applique on the back. It had crystals over the dress, a pearl button-up back and a three-tier scalloped bottom. I also wore a photo locket with pictures of my nana and grandad and Mark’s grandma.
Before the wedding though, my dress needed to be taken in due to me losing a bit of weight, and so I went to The Fitting Room at Aylestone. They’re lovely people to be around and nothing is too much trouble. I would recommend them for any wedding dress alterations – they’re a very talented team.
Melancholy Magpie Couture Bridal Accessories in Southampton, made me a stunning hairpiece and it was personalised to my colours and size.
Alison Jenner,based in Nottingham, did my hair on the morning of the wedding. She has a lovely personality, is super-helpful and so reassuring.
July 12th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Think formalwear, macarons and peonies galore and you’ll get an idea of the timeless class factor of today’s real wedding.
Rachael and Dene were married at stunning historical venue The Monastery in Manchester, and planned a big day that complemented rather than clashed with their spectacular surroundings. Cue a neutral palette, gold accents, dinner jackets and a gown with a fabulous illusion back, all captured in wonderful artistic detail.
Over to Rachael to tell more about a wedding that was 11 years in the making…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography.
rachael says: We got engaged in Barcelona in June 2016. We were at a beautiful beach restaurant relaxing on a lounge bed and drinking cocktails at the time!
We decided to get married on 22nd April 2017. This was purely down to the availability of our chosen venue – and we were committed to a spring wedding because we had to have peonies!
Our venue was The Monastery in Gorton, Manchester. It took our breath away on first viewing and we just fell in love with it. It’s stunning.
We didn’t have a theme as such; we just decided to go for classic colours and elegance. I wanted our wedding to suit the venue, and I also love neutral tones with gold accents. We therefore went with a lot of white, cream and gold for our flowers and décor.
I bought my dress from Proposals Bridalwear. I wanted something elegant but also a little something different, so I opted for an illusion back.
The gents’ suits were hires from John Francis Suit Hire, Harwood. Dene and his groomsmen wore blue dinner jackets. Dene had a paisley bow tie and his groomsmen wore black ties.
My bridesmaid wore a navy blue full-length dress from Monsoon.
For our wedding transport, we hired a Mercedes C Class from yourweddingchauffer.com, which took me from home to the venue.
June 25th, 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 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
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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