Brides Up North

Real Wedding Recap Summer 2014: Good Music, Good Food, Good Times! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Vicky & Paul

June 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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.

Andy Gaines Creative

I loved every moment of putting together Vicky & Paul’s Real Wedding feature back in February this year. You see, the bride and I go way back, as I used to go out with her lovely brother Neil at University.  Although it didn’t work out for us (and Neil is now happily married himself to a gorgeous lady!) I’m glad to say that we still keep in touch, and that it did work out ever so well for Neil’s little sister Vicky and one of our Uni mates, Paul. 

Knowing Vicky, I knew her wedding celebration was going to be big, colourful and offbeat… and couldn’t wait to see her submission.  I was exactly right:  Vicky and Paul’s wedding was a fabulous day full of feeling, personality, beauty and fun.

Bravo Mrs Hough!

With images by Andy Gaines.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Vicky says:  Paul and I first met when I went to visit my brother Neil at University in 2003. We got together four years later in early 2007 after meeting up again and Paul plucked up the courage to ask my brother if he could go out with me!

Andy Gaines Creative

Paul and I aren’t a very traditional couple and I suppose it follows that our engagement wasn’t either. One evening out of the blue and in the run up to our five year anniversary, Paul asked me to go online and pick out what my ideal engagement ring would look like. The task itself was easy as like many other girlfriends, I’d been looking at rings for months but this was the first time he’d ever uttered the ‘E’ word and I was beside myself with excitement. The fact, however, that it was a vintage ring not available to buy immediately online was something Paul was not prepared for. His solution was to take me to London to spend a day trying on diamond rings… it was tough, but I accepted the challenge! By a stroke of luck the exact ring I’d seen online was still there and after purchasing I was one happy bunny. However we still weren’t actually engaged yet so back it went into the box.

About a week later, we were getting ready to go out and I was running spectacularly late. Running downstairs with fluffy hair and makeup half on, I noticed that our song was playing, and as I turned the corner into the lounge, Paul was there on one knee. Paul has never been one for grand romantic gestures, and you know what, getting engaged in our little house, listening to our song, with just the two of us, was perfect

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Our wedding day was the day of the deluge – 6th September 2013. After decorating the hall in temperatures pushing 30 degrees on the Thursday, my heart sunk when I woke to a total downpour and grey skies on our wedding day. However, once the day got into full flow, the rain added a comedy element (watching people running under the cover of umbrellas), a dramatic element (fabulously moody skies in our photos) and ultimately created a fantastic cosy, party atmosphere for the meal and evening dancing. Plus as my friend texted me ‘Better that 2 beautiful people get married in the rain, than 2 mingers get married in the sun’ – brilliant!

Andy Gaines Creative

We chose to say “I do” at a beautifully refurbished old barn at East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire. 

I’m a country lass, growing up in the wilds of Norfolk and I desperately wanted to get married in somewhere I felt had that element of the countryside. Now finding a barn in Norfolk would have pretty easy but our hearts were set on getting wed in the county we had met and begun our lives together. Despite its proximity to the Dales, there are few barns to choose from in reach of Leeds, so we weren’t sure what we’d find at East Riddlesden Hall. Our first trip there was a gloriously sunny day and the place combined a sense of rural beauty and aged grandeur. Emma, who is the wedding planner was so helpful and relaxed, taking on board all our ideas and answering our questions. It is pretty fair to say that we were smitten as soon as we entered the barn. Even undecorated, the place looks stunning; with exposed beams, flagstone floors and whitewashed walls dotted with tiny windows. As a keen crafty-type, the thought of such a beautiful blank canvas to work on was a dream come true. The venue is also run by the National Trust and the thought that we were investing in the future of such a beautiful place was the icing on the cake.

It must be said that the staff at ERH are brilliant and they have put so much work into making this a fantastic wedding venue. Particular thanks go to Emma and Sam who were on hand to chauffeur people and perform emergency cake decorating duties. The in-house bar run by ERH served a great selection of drinks, including locally brewed beers, much to my husband’s delight. Having such dedicated staff all working tirelessly, made a huge difference to the day.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

I began by actively rebelling against having a theme as I am, by nature, unable to decide on any one thing (except for a husband of course). Our wedding motto was ‘good music, good food and good times’. I knew I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy (I always think that allowing things to be a little rough round the edges means you can be a bit more flexible!). Plus as we decided to get married in a beautiful old barn, anything too polished would have looked out of place. We just wanted ourselves and our guests to feel relaxed, included and have an awesome time.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

As time went on and my Pinterest account bulged with pictures that had caught my eye, I realised that bright colours and handmade details kept appearing in my selections. I decided that whilst I wouldn’t outlaw any particular colours, I would focus on blues, purples, white and add touches of gold (if only to force me in making decisions on decorations). I have always been obsessed by peacock feathers so they played a big role in tying decorations together too.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

The glamorous and very lovely Anna Stephenson was a joy to have doing my hair and makeup. We spent the entire trial run chatting and laughing and the final look was exactly as I wanted. Anna and Lucy turned up early and were so flexible with how we wanted to organise the morning, it put me at ease and I absolutely loved the whole getting ready part of the day. Despite a lot of dancing and a bit of limboing, both hair and makeup stayed put the entire day.

Andy Gaines Creative

The dress! Such a big decision! And one I made in a single day! I spent hours, nay days, looking at dresses – shapes, lengths, decorations, straps – the choice is bewildering and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. Facing this uncertainty, I decided to leave my first wedding dress shop until my mum could accompany me. Now one of my mum’s best qualities is that she wears her heart on her sleeve. After 14 dresses, none of them were meeting with much excitement. That is until I tried on an ivory crinkle chiffon, one strap, corset dress with sweetheart neckline at Confetti and Lace in Stanningley. After looking in the mirror and deciding I really quite liked this one, I looked up at Mum who had tears rolling down her face. Either I looked bloody awful and she was in despair, or it was ‘the one’. Luckily after a few moments I established it was the latter and I bought it on the spot. The women at Confetti and Lace were fantastic and helped me alter the dress by removing all crystal detailing and the strap, so the individualist in me is quite proud to say my dress is a one off.

With such a clean cut dress, the detailing in my outfit came from a fascinator I made with blue, purple and white flowers decorated with pearls. My shoes were bright blue vintage style sling backs from Rocket Dog. For my jewellery, I decided to wear a gold chain with my grandmothers’ wedding rings hung on it, so I could feel like they were part of the day. As a wedding gift, Mum also gave me a gold heart locket that had belonged to my grandmother who had worn it almost every day. I felt a strange mix of sadness and pride, and the fact the Mum was giving it to me was very, very, special indeed.

Paul wore a gorgeous bright blue fitted 3-piece suit from Reiss with brown brogues from Hudson. I may be biased but I thought he looked pretty damn handsome.

Andy Gaines Creative

I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and glamorous so opted for navy blue 1940s style dresses from Phase Eight. I then bought them some amazing chunky necklaces from Ashley at TheEnchantedOwl on Etsy, sent all the way from Georgia, USA. The bright purple looped in the colours from the decorations and the girls all looked beautiful!

The groomsmen all wore grey 3-piece suits hired from Slaters. They were accessorised with purple ties, Hawaiian-print pocket squares and my homemade peacock feather buttonholes tied with navy blue ribbon.

Andy Gaines Creative

I carried a beautiful mix of flowers by the ever so lovely Lynne of Stems Design. Deep pink Celoxia, bright blue Nigella, light pink astilbe, Blue Veronica, Scabious, Blue Wax, Cornflower, various grasses, tiny succulents and of course, peacock feathers. Lynne was a joy to work with, so enthusiastic and full of ideas – the final result was stunning.

Andy Gaines Creative

I was originally planning on going down in a taxi with my bridesmaids but my Dad took an uncharacteristic step in intervening. He said that he would arrange my transport but refused to reveal what it would be. I had nightmarish visions of going side-saddle on a horse or riding pillion on a quadbike. As it turns out, my Dad and Brother, Neil (who was also our best man) had spent the previous night decorating Neil’s car with white ribbons, stashing a bottle of champagne in the back seat and recording an eclectic pre-wedding message and playlist. Little did I imagine that the last song I would hear before I entered the world of marriage would be Gangnam Style!

It was a very special time to have with Dad, who drove us. He was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and I am fiercely proud of how he dealt with it with humour and love, having a precious few minutes talking and laughing with just the two of us was very important to me.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Wedding readings were really hard to decide on – we wanted to strike a balance between celebratory, real and emotional but absolutely not smush. After much searching we opted for the lyrics from Noah and the Whale’s ‘Give a Little Love’ and an extract from ‘The Game’. There were many chins a quiver by the end – it really was a memorable moment.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Special thanks must go to Geoff, our fantastic registrar from Keighley Council. He completely put us at ease, conducted the ceremony with heart and humour.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Paul and I are super foodies, not in the foams and micro-herb type of way but in the yummy, fill-you-up type of way. With this in mind, the food at our wedding was pretty important and the fine fayre served up by the people at GFS Catering was exceptionally good. Goat’s cheese tarts for starters, Lamb shanks and mash for mains and chocolate profiteroles for pudding were all delicious crowd-pleasers. An evening buffet of sausage baps and halloumi pittas served to mop up some of the great selection of drinks also served up by GFS with the help of the brilliant Martinez Wines in Ilkley. Special thanks to Alex from GFS who was such a great help on the day, finding alternatives to unknown food allergies and making sure each course flowed into the next seamlessly.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Cake wasn’t high on our priorities so we used up some vouchers and opted for three layers of M&S loveliness. I then decorated with homemade flower crown and mini glitter bunting. All in all a pretty little cake which cost us less than £10! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend loads on the cake, because by the time it came to try it, it had all gone!

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines, our photographer, was the very first wedding-related enquiry I made, even before we had a date or a venue. His photographs are stunning. They have this gritty yet ethereal quality that I find fascinating. Plus Andy himself is a blooming lovely chap – so welcoming, unobtrusive and damn talented. Andy worked like a ninja-trooper on our wedding day, capturing shots whilst keeping out of the way and staying from morning ‘til way past everyone’s bedtimes in order to capture our day. Everyone has commented on how awesome the pictures are, with even my normally-bored-silly-by-photos Dad confessing and I quote, ‘Fantastic photos – absolutely brill.  Can’t wait to see the rest!’. Andy’s gone from strength to strength in the two years we’ve known him and it’s not hard to see why.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

We employed the fantastic talents of Rachel from Simply Vintage to help us decorate the huge space. Rachel strung a plethora of fairy lights, colourful pom poms with peacock feathers and white lace bunting across the beams. I then decided to make a lot of the decorations myself, including props for the tables, peacock name places and adding little splashes of our personalities across the barn, including photographs of my grandparents on their wedding days. I think however, the biggest and most complex decoration was our sequin LOVE sign. This beast was lovingly crafted out of gold sprayed MDF letters and sequins individually nailed on. It took a hell of a lot of work but looked pretty darn good strung up on the barn beams and glistening in the fairy lights.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Without a doubt the speeches was my favourite part of the day.  2013 was a tough year having had both my Dad and Paul’s Mum diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months of each other. Dad’s speech was emotional – not only because of what we were going through at the time but because it reaffirmed just how much I owe to my fantastic family. He laughed about my unrivalled ability to be untidy, spoke about the time I drew a picture of him stark naked much to the disapproval of my nursery teachers (but to the hilarity of my parents!) and how he was so proud of me despite having no idea what my job title actually means.

Paul’s speech talked of how he did the unthinkable and asked out his best friend’s sister, how darn well it had all worked out and even how despite his hatred of clichés, he thought we were made for each other!

Then it was the turn of my older brother Neil to give the best man’s speech. I wondered if he might take this opportunity for the ultimate teasing of his little sister but I needn’t have worried as he mostly concentrated on his best friend and long-time drinking partner, my husband! Superbly written and with touches of comic brilliance, it was the ultimate tribute to Paul and I being both deeply personal and evoking fantastic memories. I will always be thankful to him for the effort he put into the speech. Oh and not to forget our wedding present – a canvas featuring our Back to Future drinking game– rather nattily named by myself as ‘Flux Incapacitated’ – I thank you!

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Music is big in our house, so we always knew it would feature a lot in the wedding. We employed the gorgeous sounds of the Northern String Quartet for the ceremony, playing a mixture of old and new for the waiting guests. I walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ which was just gorgeous. During the signing were the sublime ‘One Day like this’, God only knows’, and ‘All you need is Love’. Then I entered the world as Mrs Hough to sounds of ‘Hoppipolla’ which was such an uplifting way to end the ceremony.

For the evening, we had the brilliant City Lights who blew our socks off with a great mix of modern tunes and some classic floor fillers, kicking off the set with a stonking rendition of ‘Got my mind set on you’ by George Harrison.

The evening celebrations were added to by some unorthodox entertainment in the form of glow sticks. What was an off the cuff purchase reminiscent of my raving days, became the biggest success of the day. Never did I think I’d witness friends of my parents fighting over who would get the glow bunny ears! The glow stick limbo was a total stroke of genius and made for some memorable photos!

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

We decided to delay our honeymoon both because we had no money left and the weather in Thailand is much better at this time of the year. So in but a few weeks time, we’ll be heading off to Thai cities and shorelines.

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to decide where you want to focus your efforts and your money – for us it was the look and feel of the venue, excellent food and awesome music. Wedding preparation is hard so don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do too much. I absolutely adored being engaged and putting my heart and soul into planning our wedding day and I’m so glad we had the time to enjoy it all.

Andy Gaines Creative

Congratulations Vicky & Paul!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014

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Less Cash, More Class. A Real Wedding (On A Budget!) In York- Stef & Rich

June 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

When Brides Up North reader Stef first contacted me asking if I’d like to share her Real Wedding memories, she made it clear that she was extremely proud to have planned her big day whilst sticking to quite a narrow budget (in comparison to the “average” spend), and very much wanted to show other Brides Up North that you can have the day of your dreams without getting yourself into debt. 

It might mean that there aren’t any “getting ready” shots or images of Stef and Rich’s wedding breakfast to share today (they had mates ready with a camera for those bits instead) but it did mean that they start their lives together money-worry free.  An excellent trade off, in my opinion. They don’t seem particularly put out by the lack of all those “details” that we are conditioned to think should make up a good wedding either.

C’mon, I’m a wedding blogger – it goes without saying that I love a huge blowout bash – but I like a refreshing (and savvy) approach too.  Don’t be afraid to work out a budget for your big day and then – here’s the clever part – stick to it.  If there’s money in the pot and you want to, go large (and send me the photos!), but if you’d rather save a few pennies for rainier days, that’s fine too.

Kudos to you Stef, your wedding looks like it was awesome.

With images by Emilia Smith.

 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

Stef says: We got engaged on holiday in Bulgaria. We went on holiday with a group of friends, their children and my step daughter. Rich said he wanted to take me out for a meal on our own.

Next thing I know a horse and carriage pulls up. I knew instantly what he was up to. I was so nervous… but very happy. He asked me on the carriage. We didn’t go for dinner as we decided to go back to the hotel, buy champagne and celebrate with our friends and later we all went for a wonderful meal on the beach.

The ring was perfect! So different and so perfectly me.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

Our wedding date was 29th March 2014. I ran York marathon in October 2013 and after the marathon we walked round York and saw York Registry Office. We went in and had a look. We both instantly knew that was where we wanted our small ceremony to be. We paid the deposit without a second thought.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We picked vintage blues and pinks and went for a tea party style. I love pink and we like to coordinate outfits a lot (yawn!) so we naturally went for pink and blue. 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

I wanted a tea length 50’s style dress. I found it at Deborah Moore Bridal and it was by Pronovias. I was originally going to get a high street dress or a bridesmaid dress as our budget was so small but I went with my best friend to try on dresses and saw “my dress”.  It was in the sale at more than half price but it was a full length gown. We played around with some pins and I decided to buy it and alter it.  I was so delighted with it and it is still hanging over my bed! It fits with my style perfectly… it’s different but still elegant and very “weddingy”. 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My husband got his suit from the internet. It was extremely cheap but we ordered it and had it altered. He wore all blue with a blue dickie bow and his favourite blue suede brogues.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

As we were on a strict budget we asked all our guests to wear what they wanted and informed them of the colour scheme and theme of the wedding. Our friends and family know us well and all followed our wishes.

I had my beautiful step daughter as my flower girl. We got her (unworn) dress from a second hand bridal shop called Bridal Reloved in Beverley.  She wanted a dress similar to mine and we wore matching shoes that we won on an auction site and I bought pink near shoe clips to jazz them up.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My photographer was a friend of a friend. Her name is Emilia smith (freelance). She was brilliant and we had such a wonderful experience with her

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

I wanted silk flowers mainly to keep them forever but also as they cost much much less.  I found a lady who makes bouquets on Etsy and I emailed asking for a custom order. I sent her pictures of our shoes and general theme and ordered two bouquets, a hair clip, and a button hole for my husband.

I made button holes for the guests from wool and pipe cleaners. I was super pleased with how it all turned out. The registry office had flowers of their own and we didn’t feel the need to have any more.

My mum made wooden spoons with bells and ribbons on… this was for the guests to shake and wave when we came out of the ceremony room. They were a fun and quirky idea and the kids loved them.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We opted for a champagne afternoon tea at the Grange Hotel, York.

I was very informal, with no seating plan.  We arranged sofas and comfy chairs so people could sit with who they wished and it was very relaxed.

For our evening shindig we served curry and cake. We had such a wonderful peaceful day – we wanted our night party to be a good knees up and it was!

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

The best part of the day for me was having the photographs in the city with just me and my husband.

We got a lot of attention and it was so much fun. We wanted the photos to be fun and capture our personalities and we wanted them to be natural. The weather was fantastic and it was such a wonderful buzz. We were on cloud nine!

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We went to Tunisia for our honeymoon. Again we were on a budget and we shopped around. We did lots of activities like wine tasting, camel riding and had a spa day. It was a lovely hotel and as it was “out of season” the value for money was unbelievable… ultimately all that mattered to us was a bit of sun and seven days to be together.  Everything else was a bonus.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want and don’t do things because they are expected. We feel that people spend a lot of money on things that are forgotten. We had a budget of £3000 and that had to include the honeymoon. We had a wonderful experience and we are now married and we don’t have any debts to pay. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for favours… we did and it was the best move we made, and also included them in our day.

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Congratulations Stef & Rich!

Fancy sharing your Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Emilia Smith

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Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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It’s Just A Little Blush: A Real Wedding In The North West – Eleanor & Patrick

January 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Sometimes my favourite Real Weddings aren’t the ones with all the fiddly details, they’re the ones with all the fabulous personalities.

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Eleanor and Patrick’s perfectly personal celebration, with images by documentary photographer Haydn Rydings Photography, proves my point exactly.  Enjoy!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Eleanor says:  Patrick asked me to marry him in December 2011 on the spot where we met for our first date in Newcastle upon Tyne.  We were married on 3rd November 2012 at Davenport House, Worfield, Shropshire.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We knew we wanted to get married near Bridgnorth in Shropshire as coincidentally both my mum and Patrick’s dad grew up there. So the main reason for choosing the venue was the location; Eleanor’s family have lived on a farm just outside Worfield for three generations and my mum remembers being taken for tea there with the Dowager Viscountess by her mother and grandmother when she was small. In recent years lots of family parties have been held there so we knew the food and service would be excellent. & of course it is such a beautiful house!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Loosely our theme was ‘heritage’. I work in the heritage industry and we thought it was quite an appropriate theme since we are bringing two families’ heritage together.  Our colours were pink, black and white, chosen by Patrick’s sister. Pink is my favourite colour and black and white are Patrick’s football team, Newcastle United’s colours.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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I bought my dress on Etsy from a seller in Boston, USA. After trawling Etsy for a pink vintage dress appropriate for getting married in I couldn’t believe it when such a beautiful dress was exactly my measurements. I’m 5ft11 so it is incredible that not only did it fit but it was also long enough. A few people on the day said they were a bit surprised by my pink dress, but the majority said I couldn’t have been married in any other colour. My friend who lives in New York brought it over as her carry on when she came home in the summer.

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I was also determined to wear the crystal necklace I bought with money my uncle gave me for my 21st birthday and to use a little pink suede Mulberry bag my godmother who was doing a reading had given me a few years ago. So my necklace and shoes were my old, my dress was my something new. I really needed a petticoat to go under the dress so I was delighted when Patrick’s mum said she had her mother’s wedding dress petticoat, so with a few alterations, she managed to make it fit me, so that was my something borrowed. Then I painted my nails a pale blue.

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Then to top it off, my great aunt remember she had a cream shawl with pink embroidered flowers that was my great, great grandmothers, so that kept the chill off in the evening.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick really wanted to wear a kilt as his mum is Scottish but he wasn’t sure about which tartan. Then his mum discovered that he could hire a Northumberland tartan kilt so he matched that with an Argyll jacket (he wanted something a bit more modern looking) from The Highland Store in central London and a black bow tie with white spots from Woods of Shropshire. He finished the look off with new Paul Smith shoes.

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So we both managed quite successfully to pull together outfits that represented our heritage!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick’s best man was his best friend from school, Edwin.  My male of honour was my friend Adrian from university. The ushers were a mix of cousins from both sides. We let them wear their own suits/kilts and just provided black ties with white spots from Woods of Shropshire, and for those not in kilts we provided bright pink socks from Sock Shop.

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The bridesmaids wore white dresses with black spots with silver shoes and different coloured cardigans. The eldest bridesmaid’s dress was from Debenhams, the middle bridesmaid’s dress was handmade by her grandmother and the youngest bridesmaid’s dress was from TK Maxx.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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It was a November wedding at 4pm so we didn’t bother with any grand entrances as it was getting dusky, so I arrived at the side entrance to the venue in my dad’s car. This meant I could make my grand entrance down the main staircase.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our mums and friends put together the two bouquets carried by me and my eldest bridesmaid and the buttonholes. The buttonholes were made up of dried wheat referencing our Shropshire heritage and dried thistles referencing Patrick’s Scottish heritage, all bought from Shropshire Petals. I carried a bouquet of supermarket white roses, ivy from my uncle’s garden on the farm and dried wheat. My eldest bridesmaid carried a bouquet of supermarket roses and gyp. My little bridesmaids carried signs saying "Here She Comes" and "Make Way".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We wanted a wedding that referenced our heritage and was distinctly us. We gave a lot of thought to the ceremony music and agreed we wanted some live music. I walked in to an instrumental version of Elvis’ "Love Me Tender" played by a group of friends on ukuleles (our second date was to a ukulele group meeting & we knew we wanted a ukulele band at the wedding so contacted all our friends who could play guitar or ukulele, most of them hadn’t met before the big day and had only communicated over email and youtube). Whilst signing the register, a school friend of mine & the best man’s wife performed an acoustic version of The Crystals "Then He Kissed Me". We walked out to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have ethical wedding rings, Patrick’s ring was made from fairtraded and fair mined gold by Cred and my ring was made from recycled platinum by American jeweller Ravens Refuge.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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My favourite part of the day was walking out of the ceremony as a married couple and seeing all our friends and family looking so happy for us.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We opted for a hog roast for our wedding breakfast so Davenport House contracted a hog roast man to provide the meat.  We also brought in a barrel of Northumbrian Brewery High House Farm’s real ale Nel’s Best (I’m known to friends and family as Nell).

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The majority of suppliers were found online, with floristry supplies from Amazon, wedding favour supplies from www.notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy and www.papermash.co.uk.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We used family wedding photographs for our wedding table names. Patrick’s sister made spotty frames for the photos with the names of the couple underneath. The couples included our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. For the table plan Patrick’s sister photoshopped mine & Patrick’s faces onto a wedding photo of Kate & Wills, with the names around it.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have a feminist wedding so the speeches were given by the best man, male of honour and the bride and groom gave a joint speech.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our third date was to a pub quiz so we decided to hold a pub quiz before & after the meal as an ice breaker, with us as the quiz masters. The questions were general knowledge but the pictures round was of celebrity couples on their wedding day. It worked really well and got people talking. We gave put pub snacks on the tables too and gave out prizes to the winners.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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During the ceilidh we put out a dressing up box and a camera on a tripod to create our own photo booth which resulted in some hysterical photos!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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As thank you gifts, we brewed sloe gin and damson vodka, made green tomato chutney and I embroidered handkerchiefs with a message for close family members. For favours we bought pink and white striped bags which we stamped which we stamped with a ‘Thanks for coming’ stamp in black ink, filled them with sweets and closed with black and white spotty tape.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We booked The Ship Band, a ceilidh band for the evening which was very successful! The combination of Scottish family members and Eleanor’s friends who attended Edinburgh University with her meant plenty of people were quick to get on the dance floor. When the band finished they just plugged in our ipod whilst they packed up.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We had a mini-moon at The Harbour Master Hotel, Aberaeron. We are going on our honeymoon to the West coast of America in April, starting in Vancouver with a trip to see Patrick’s step-grandmother who couldn’t come over for the wedding, and finishing in LA.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Everybody keeps telling us how much they loved our wedding because we broke from tradition and planned a wedding that was about us and our friends and families coming together. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t worry too much about what other people might think, have the wedding you really want to have, and don’t worry about including things that are fun or silly.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Congratulations Eleanor & Patrick!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Haydn Rydings Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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