Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

when in rome. a sumptuous wedding at swinton park – victoria & matthew

November 23rd, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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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.

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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!

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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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hearts & flowers: essense of australia for a fancy wedding at the grand hotel – lerina & joelif

July 12th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (24)

This morning we’re heading to the North East to relive the stunning wedding day of Lerina and Joelif.

Having fallen head over heels for The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, Brides Up North reader Lerina set about organising a fun and fancy wedding in just six months! Certainly no mean feat but she pulled it off perfectly with a big day full of smiles, tears and laughter, as well as lots of pretty hearts and flowers. Who run the world? Girls!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Paul Liddement Photography.

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (20)

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (40)

lerina says: We got engaged the day after my birthday last year. Joelif decided that we should have a wonder into Tynemouth, where we live, for some food. We went down to Riley’s Fish Shack which is on King Edwards’s beach. It was a lovely bright, crisp afternoon. We had a hot chocolate and fresh grilled lobster salad whilst we sat overlooking the beach. When we finished, we walked back up the stairs from the beach when Joelif suddenly stopped and got down on one knee and produced a red ring box. He opened it and there was the biggest diamond ring inside. My jaw almost hit the round. He asked if I would marry him and I instantly said yes. He put the ring on my finger then was quick to tell me it wasn’t a real diamond, he’d decided that we could go ring shopping together as he knows I’m fussy with jewellery. After that we went to one of our favourite bars and sat outside in the sun drinking champagne to celebrate. I then called my family to tell them the exciting news! Just over a month later we had our engagement party at a local bar/bistro called The Sandpiper. It was a fantastic night.

Our wedding date was 7th May 2016, exactly 15-and-a-half years to the exact date that we first got together.

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (26)

We got married at The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, which is just a five-minute drive from our house. The Grand was the last venue we looked at as we had been guests at a number of our friends’ wedding there and didn’t think it would feel special if we held our own wedding there. However on the day that we attended an open event there we instantly felt excited about it. The venue had been refurbished since we had last been. It was so much brighter and fresher and had new furniture in the bar area. The ceremony room looked stunning, so classy and exactly what we wanted. When we went up the grand stairs to the main room where the wedding breakfast takes place, it over looks Tynemouth Longsands beach and it just took our breath away. Instantly we knew that we had found our venue. We thought we would enquire about availability or late summer 2016, however the latest summer date was 7th May so we immediately went for it and paid the deposit. This gave us just six months to plan everything.

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (18)

We wanted the style of the wedding to reflect the venue, which is grand, classy and romantic, but at the same time, we wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed to match our personalities as a couple.

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entertain you. a silver and plum wedding at rise hall – samantha & martin

December 8th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An Entertaining Wedding at Rise Hall (c) Mike & Emma Bowering (27)

For some entertainment at a wedding is somewhat of an afterthought, going on what’s left over in the budget. However this was certainly not the case for today’s real wedding couple who made song & dance a key part of their big day proceedings.

Bride Samantha (who runs a dance school) and groom Martin, treated their guests to a whole host of wonderful entertainment to make their wedding all the more memorable – from singers and dance routines to a live band and fireworks.

Not neglecting other areas of the planning, Samantha and Martin complemented Rise Hall perfectly with a gorgeous autumnal colour palette of silver and plum for their décor and finishing touches!

With images by Mike & Emma Bowering.

An Entertaining Wedding at Rise Hall (c) Mike & Emma Bowering (15)

samantha says: We met originally on the Plenty of Fish website in 2011. In March 2014 we got engaged on the understanding that Martin could purchase a £2,000 bike that very same day…and he did!

Our wedding date was 17th October 2015. We chose the date because I so desperately wanted to get married at Rise Hall and that date was one of the only autumn dates left in 2015. We fell in love with Sarah Beeney’s home Rise Hall, a few years ago when we took our candy cart to a Brides Up North exhibition there. Since that point I dreamt about getting married there.

An Entertaining Wedding at Rise Hall (c) Mike & Emma Bowering (29)

Our theme for the wedding from a styling perspective was autumnal. We also had a dance/entertainment theme throughout due to me owning a dance school with my best friend and maid of honour, Stephanie.

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italian elegance. a classic ivory & navy destination wedding in siena, italy – ashton & mark

November 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Dreamy Destination Wedding in Italy (c) Black Mill Photography (47)

This afternoon we’re leaving the UK behind to relive Ashton and Mark’s dreamy wedding in Siena, Italy.

Brimming with romance, we can see why this bride and groom chose to leave their Yorkshire roots behind in favour of sunnier climes with stunning backdrops galore! Following their traditional church ceremony, Ashton and Mark then enjoyed a stunning outdoor reception complete with Italian food and drink. Sounds favoloso to us!

Ciao for now.

With images by Black Mill Photography.

A Dreamy Destination Wedding in Italy (c) Black Mill Photography (32)

ashton says: Mark popped the question on the 9th July 2013, while we were on a brilliant holiday Croatia. Mark had initially planned to ask me to marry him on a walk up a ‘hill’ with a lovely view as a back drop. The ‘hill’ was actually a mountain, and I got a little bit grumpy so he decided it wasn’t the right time or place! That evening, after a lovely dinner, he got down on one knee in a secluded area of the old town in Split and I obviously said yes, whilst tears of happiness were streaming down my face. The ring was amazing, an art deco halo style, which Mark had got custom made for me in Hattton Garden, London. I was so excited to tell all my family and friends I rang up a £120 phone bill! Oops!

Our wedding date was the 31st July 2015, there was no real relevance of the date other than it was between both our birthdays and a date that Mark was likely to remember! The last day of July!

A Dreamy Destination Wedding in Italy (c) Black Mill Photography (52)

We are from Bradford in West Yorkshire but got married in Siena, Italy. We married in a Roman Catholic church, Certosa Di Pontignano, and then had our reception back at Villa Catignano where family and friends stayed for the wedding week. We both love travelling and always wanted to marry abroad. Italy was perfect; great food, wine, scenery and affordable so that friends and family could join us on our special day.

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roses & lace. essense of australia for a rustic wedding at keythorpe manor – jo & nick

October 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (39)

This afternoon on the blog we have a delicious scoop of wedding day inspiration for you in the form of Jo and Nick’s rustic themed big day at Keythorpe Manor.

After saying their vows in a quaint barn setting, the newlyweds and their guests moved onto an onsite marquee for the reception where they danced the night. (Nick perhaps putting in a little too much effort on the dancefloor resulting in a rather embarrassing trouser incident!)

Highlights for us (apart from Nick’s comedy moment) include the gorgeous pink colour palette, a rather delicious looking wedding cake and Jo’s stunning dress, personalised to perfection!

With images by Emily & Katy Wedding Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (16)

jo says: Nick proposed in Prague during a long weekend away. I had suspected that it may happen but couldn’t find the ring anywhere in the house so my suspicions were squashed!

Nick spent the day looking for a place to propose but I kept ruining it by needing the toilet, or a drink, or some food! Eventually, we went back to the amazing hotel we were staying in, I ran a bath and enjoyed champagne with strawberries. When I got out there was a fruit platter on the bed with the ring in the middle. I burst out crying and Nick got down on one knee.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (1)

We set the date for Friday 21st August. Nick really wanted a summer wedding. Even a year in advance, securing a date was difficult as our chosen venue already had most weekends booked up. A Friday seemed workable as we sent out invites as soon as possible so few people had booked their summer holidays. It was also in the school holidays so our friends who were teachers could attend.

We got married at Keythorpe Manor, Leicester. We were keen to have a marquee setting for the reception and as many of our friends lived outside the area, we also wanted to have the ceremony and reception in one place to reduce travel on the day.

We viewed a few venues which had marquees on site but some were rather tired and worn. The beauty of Keythorpe was that it had a permanent marquee with proper windows and doors which was well maintained. They also had a barn for the ceremony, which despite being recently built, had an authentic feel to it.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (21)

We were pretty relaxed about a wedding theme. With the rolling countryside around the venue, we wanted it to feel quite rustic with a countryside feel. This is what drove the colours and style of the flowers and we used a lot of brown string and wooden pegs for hanging decorations.

Pink and metallics made up the colour scheme. We had visited Keythorpe Manor on the day of a wedding so we could see how it looked setup. The venue used a lot of neutrals and pale peach. I wanted it to have more colour than that and so added pink to our scheme which I thought fitted in with the countryside styling.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (31)

I wore a full length, lace, Essense of Australia dress with lace straps and an open heart back. The lace was ivory with a coffee coloured underlay. I wore it with a coffee coloured belt with crystals on the front and added a crystal and pearl back necklace myself.

I have always liked lace and saw myself wearing it on my wedding day. After trying on many different styles I found this dress on my first shopping trip, though I decided not to buy it immediately. I found it again at the Birmingham Wedding Show being sold by Georgina Scott Bridal. They were offering a 20% discount if deposit was paid on the day. This time we went for it and my mum kindly paid the deposit there and then!

During one of the fittings one of my friends suggested trying to get something to go across the back of my dress. I searched Etsy for many back necklaces and came across one made by a supplier called La Luna Couture, which I ordered. It had broaches on each end which meant I could simply clip it to the back of my dress. I was so pleased when I received it, it was absolutely gorgeous. It made such a difference to the dress and I received so many compliments on how beautiful it was. Everyone thought it was part of the dress!

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (33)

Nick wore a blue suit from Reiss with waistcoat, white shirt with a cutaway collar and pink tie from TM Lewin, pink socks from Thomas Pink, Mulberry cufflinks, gold personalised tie clip from Not On The High Street, Daniel Wellington watch and black buckle shoes from Russell and Bromley.

The bridesmaids wore fawn skater dresses from Marks & Spencer with adjustable straps. Each of them wore a different style strap to suit them. Their gold strappy sandals were from Dorothy Perkins.

The groomsmen had blue suits from M&S with the same pink tie as Nick and their own black shoes.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (36)

My uncle/godfather drove me and my dad in his BMW with cream, leather interior to the wedding venue. It meant a lot to me having them both there and my uncle had even prepared a playlist for the car journey. My aunt also arranged flowers for the back of the car. Nick meanwhile borrowed his grandad’s convertible Jaguar XK8 to drive to the venue.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (38)

Emily and Katy Wedding Photography were our photographers on the day. We also had an engagement shoot with them at the venue before the wedding. I will actively recommend them to everyone! We really enjoyed the experience of having our photos taken by them. We were really pleased with the outcome of the engagement shoot and even more pleased with our wedding shots. Their turnaround time and communication is also fantastic, which you don’t find with all wedding suppliers. We never once felt uncomfortable.

My bouquet was made up of memory lane and pink roses, gypsophila and pink hydrangea. It was absolutely beautiful. Caroline Billson provided all of the flowers on the day. She was amazing from start to finish and one of the easiest suppliers I was lucky enough to deal with. She made sure that the barn for the ceremony was complete by adding some of her own lanterns on the day of the wedding.

The bridesmaids had gypsophila posies to fit in with my bouquet. All the flowers were so full and gorgeous. In the barn for the ceremony there were twig hearts decorated with gypsophila and eucalyptus. Caroline also provided lanterns at the entrance to create an arch at the beginning of the aisle surrounded by roses and hydrangeas.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (41)

For the table decorations we had metallic vases filled with pink hydrangeas and gypsophila dotted throughout. The vases sat on mirrored plates with heart chalkboard table numbers resting on top.

We decorated the marquee drapes with several paper pompoms and bunting which was bought from Amazon. The tables were also decorated with glass candle holders and taillights and pink and gold table confetti.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (44)

We weren’t sure if we were going to give any favours at first but then I spotted some cheap mini bottles of Jagermeister whilst skiing in Austria. We had to stuff our ski kit with enough bottles for the entire wedding to get them home! It was definitely worth it though and they were consumed following the speeches. For the non-drinkers, we placed Loveheart sweets on the tables instead.

Our wedding cake was a naked Victoria sponge cake decorated with fruits, which was baked by my aunt. She has made every birthday cake I have ever had and I was so pleased when she accepted my request to bake our wedding cake. It tasted fantastic, I never expected anything less from her. All the guests loved it.

We were always keen to show some personality in the food we chose for our wedding breakfast. As we are big pie fans and I’m from Melton Mowbray, pie was an obvious choice from the start. We did the classic three course sit down meal and guests had three choices of pie to pick from: steak and ale, chicken, ham and leek or fish pie. In the evening, we had a cake of cheese, pork pie and a selection of chutneys, crackers and accompaniments.

Emerson & West in Market Harborough were our caterers. They were really great. It is a family run business and Michael made sure we had thought of everything. They were really flexible and on the day everyone said how great the staff were.

During the evening reception we also had a sweet table, that we did ourselves, with treats such as Lovehearts, Haribo hearts, pink shrimps and cola bottles, which kept everyone going later in the night.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (51)

To provide entertainment, we had The Wigornia String Quartet to play during the ceremony and the drinks reception. We also had lawn games such as boules and croquet.

For the evening reception we had a DJ called Matt from Dancefloor DJs & Events to make sure that everyone was up and dancing to burn off all that pie and sweets. Nick was very particular about the music and band any cheese! The music was so good that there was even a girl/boy dance off during Justin Timberlake’s Senorita.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (54)

Looking back my favourite part of the day was the ceremony, it was fantastic. It meant so much and reminded us that the day was all about us, the promises we were making to one another and our lives together. It is easy to forget what the day is about during the planning and worrying about all the other details. We were lucky with our registrars too, they were fantastic and captivated the guests throughout the ceremony.

Nick’s favourite part of the wedding was the dancing at the reception. All of our family and friends were on the dance floor at some point during the night and Nick even split his trousers!

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (57)

For our honeymoon we toured around a few destinations. First stop was Hong Kong where we explored the peak, huge Buddha and enjoyed a luxury meal and the views at Aqua restaurant. We had plenty of cocktails courtesy of wedding gifts funded through Prezola. We then flew to Bali, stayed in Ubud for a few days then travelled around Lombok and Nusa Lembongan, which are islands nearby.

We had a gift list on Prezola where we listed out the activities we planned to do on our honeymoon which guests could contribute money to. This was great for us as we got to do so many activities and guests really felt that they had involvement in our honeymoon. Overall, we did canyoning (abseiling down waterfalls and jumping in to water from rocks), surfing lessons, private snorkelling trip, bicycle hire, romantic candlelit dinner in our pool villa, Indonesian cooking class and plenty of cocktails and champagne! We had the most amazing time.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (60)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would definitely be to consider a wedding planner, especially if you are restricted on time or don’t have access to your venue the day before. We decided it would be an unnecessary cost, however on reflection it would have been worth it, you underestimate how much time it takes to coordinate suppliers, particularly when working full time.

Even if your venue already has one, don’t expect them to be completely on top of things. There are so many weddings they handle they will not always remember the details which you have provided. However an independent planner will and would take care of the setting up and ensure that the day runs smoothly for you.

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love blossoms. a pretty garden wedding at headlam hall – faye & mike

July 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (38)

Today’s wedding is centred around the bride’s family’s gardening and floristry background meaning there are lots of pretty blooms and botanical touches peppered throughout.

To follow their church ceremony, Faye and Mike chose Headlam Hall as their reception venue which boasts its own fabulous gardens, further adding to the theme.

In memory of Faye’s dad Keith, who sadly passed away the year before the wedding, there were lots of touching tributes, including special speeches and favours.

All in all a personal and blooming beautiful day!

With images by Tim Stewart Photography.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (3)

faye says: We got engaged on 24th December 2011. Mike told me that they were going out for the day because it was Christmas Eve but didn’t tell me where. Upon arrival at Whitworth Hall Hotel, in Spennymoor, Mike suggested that we feed the deer and then took me to a quiet place in the gardens where he got down on one knee and asked me for my hand in marriage.

We set the date for 9th August 2014. We chose the date because we are both teachers and we wanted a summer wedding so we could enjoy a longer honeymoon.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (13)

Our chosen venue was Headlam Hall Hotel, near Gainford. We chose the hotel because of its picturesque gardens, wonderful staff and phenomenal facilities. It also came highly recommended at wedding fayres.

The theme was growing and based around my family’s gardening background; our garden centre and floristry business. Our wedding quote was ‘let love blossom’. With this in mind we chose a green colour scheme.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (16)

I had my mum to give me away at the ceremony as my dad Keith, had sadly passed away the year before the wedding. The service was very personal and included a hymn dedicated to my dad.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (42)

I wore a fine laced fishtail dress which was trimmed with pearls and diamantes. My full length veil was then held in place by a matching side headdress of pearls and diamantes. The designer of the dress was Essense of Australia and I bought from Dobinsons of Darlington. Mrs Dobinson was extremely helpful throughout and offered good advice. I chose the dress due to the detail on the one shoulder strap, which I loved.

Mike wore a charcoal grey suit with a silver waist coat hired from Affleck and Moffat, Darlington. He also wore a slim green handmade cravat by Dobinsons of Darlington, which was made using the same material as the bridesmaid dresses. The groomsmen wore identical outfits to Mike, again hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (31)

The pageboys had stylish green bow ties, grey shorts, grey braces, white shirts and cool white Converse high tops. Our youngest page boy was a baby and he wore a silk, white rompa suit with a green bow tie and white Converse high tops to match the elder two boys.

My bridesmaids had short silk, blue grass green dresses and carried green anthuriums, while our flower girl wore a full length ivory tulle dress with a green silk sash and a bow on the skirt. All dresses and accessories were purchased from Dobinsons of Darlington.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (37)

We travelled to the venue in a coffee and cream Brenchley car, hired from GW Holmes & Son, based in Bishop Auckland.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (48)

We chose Tim Stewart, from Northallerton, as our wedding photographer. We would highly recommend Tim due to the extremely personalised service that he offers. Prior to the wedding we had various meetings and discussed key photos we would like and whereabouts. To our benefit, Tim was also married at Headlam so knew the venue extremely well.

We also hired a videographer, Paul Robinson of PER Productions, who produced a wonderful wedding DVD capturing our precious moments.

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