December 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
My readers know how to make their wedding days amazing, as today’s stunning celebration sent to me by real bride Claire and Brides Up North exhibitor Andy Hook Photography shows. Claire and Andrew’s Real Wedding has got it all… cool cars, gorgeous gowns, fabulous flowers, and a spot of welly wanging to top it all off. So… be inspired!
Claire says: We got engaged on Christmas Day at home in Tickhill in 2011. My vintage ring was wrapped in my stocking.
We were married on 8th June 2013 at St Mary’s Church, Tickhill, South Yorkshire with the reception held at Forest Plantation, Hodsock Priory, Nr Blyth.
We fell in love with teepee tents as a venue at a friend’s wedding; it was the first time in 12 years of being together that we felt we had found something that was us! They were so unique and there’s something special about being under canvas, so we quickly got in touch with Papakata.
After securing our tents we searched and searched for a plot of land that we both felt gave us that rustic, outdoor backdrop to site the tents in. After several attempts at viewing some local farmer’s fields we thought we would try Hodsock Priory, a local historic country house. We knew the estate had some magical woodland so we organised to meet up with George Buchannan (Owner) who showed us his beautiful woods that are locally famous for snowdrops and woodland walks. We fell in love with the area but the bombshell was our keenness to have a live band. George explained there would be an issue with noise affecting a wedding which was already booked in at the main house for the same day. He went on to describe a more ‘secluded’ wood that he had up past the estate farm, only used for dog walkers. We drove up together to have a look but with slight disappointment and not much hope for this other wood. It was very wild and I had to pop on my design goggles to visualise what could be, but we both looked at each other with big grins & shook George’s hand & said ‘this is the spot’!
The theme was rustic chic – natural fabrics and recycled materials, coupled with crisp white linen and large white flowers. I chose a palette of neutrals with small accents of champagne/rosewater and pale blue.
We were both very nervous about the ceremony, but we actually took control of our nerves and really enjoyed it.
My dress was a classic dress that Emily Bridal in Sheffield have had stocked for a few years. The designer was Paloma Blanca, made from a pale champagne Dupion silk with ivory lace & beaded detail to the bodice and train edge. It had a mild sweetheart neckline which was balanced with a delicate, thin silk band and bow under the bust line. Silk buttons ran down the entire length of the dress at the back.
I carried a hand- tied bouquet of white lilac, pale peach blousy roses, white peonies, rosemary, buplerum & lambs ear. It was tied with rustic burlap and satin ivory ribbon. We used Connells ‘The Florist’ at Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough.
My dress was champagne and my bridesmaid’s Twobirds dresses were in rosewater which brought out the colour in my dress. Andrew and the groomsmen wore grey/brown suits with a pale blue shirt and tie to match the suit colour from Racing Green.
The groomsmen had a single vintage white rose with lambs ear and a twine bow and the bridesmaids each carried a single large white hydrangea with foliage attached.
I had a love note hand embroidered onto silk and stitched into the inside of Andrew’s suit jacket. It was a really special touch.
It was amazing arriving at the wood and seeing how we had managed to transform the venue into something magical, it was more than we imagined and to see all of our family and friends having such a relaxed and enjoyable time made all the hard work worthwhile.
We were lucky that my Uncle renovated my great granddads Morris Minor (the first car I ever drove) and we used this as our wedding car. It took pride and place at the reception venue and our little son Ollie & his cousin Logan enjoyed hours of fun pretending to take each other for a spin around the woods!
We had a live acoustic singer on arrival to the reception and through the wedding breakfast – James Taplin, and a live five piece band from Manchester – Soul Dedication (LMM Live Music Management).
We wanted a handmade rustic wedding with lots of input from family and friends. If you want a similar wedding with individual touches, our advice would be to go for it! Our friends helped with our favours, making chutneys to go with our cheese buffet and two friends even made us a twig chandelier for over our bar from twigs we had gathered from the wood earlier in the year.
A handmade wedding makes your day that extra bit special and your guests will really appreciate it as it will be different and memorable… we had been to a few weddings that you knew exactly what was coming next, a bit predictable.
A handmade wedding isn’t the easy route, you have to be super organised and you will have to let some original ideas go by the way side as the pressure mounts… I didn’t believe I would have to do this as I am a self-diagnosed control freak, but even I had to let go! Andrew, myself and a small army of family & friends spent all of Thursday and Friday before the wedding setting up the reception. This may sound horrendous to some, but even though it was extremely tiring and hard work, it was just the best experience and just added to the whole wedding experience. It was fantastic to be responsible for organising and pulling together all of our long thought out ideas together in one place and creating our vision in a rustic woodland.
So the best advice is to put a list together of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ so that when that time comes hopefully you will have completed the critical items and will only have to consider losing not so important details.
Start as early as you can and get as many friends and family involved, they will love to help you and it makes your day that extra bit special.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Barcelona at the Grand Central Hotel.
Congratulations Claire & Andrew!
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November 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime
On with the pretty as we steam ahead into Tuesday. This morning we join Brides Up North reader Charlie and her new husband Sam for their homespun celebration under canvas. From their meaningful ceremony to their Bond style get-a-away (read on) everything about this wedding is fun and fabulous. I love.
With images by WH Photography.
Charlie says: Sam asked me to marry him on Primrose Hill in London last July, and we were married on 24th August 2013.
We were married in my home church in Swanland, and our reception was in tipis at a boat club in Brough. From the off we were keen to have a marquee wedding as we liked the idea of being able to personalise it. We loved the tipis as soon as we saw them, so from there it was a case of finding somewhere to put them! My family does a lot of sailing at Welton Waters and it wasn’t an obvious choice but it turned out to be a brilliant one.
I knew I wanted a lace dress before I started searching, After doing a bit of shopping we took a chance trip to the Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton where we ended up buying my dress by Benjamin Roberts for half its original price! I then hunted around for some matching lace, and asked a friend to add it to the bottom of the dress, as well as adding some buttons to the back and altering the neckline.
I also really wanted a lace trim veil, but they cost a lot of money! So I bought some veiling tulle and over 10m of lace trim and my mum very patiently sewed it all on. My top tip if you do it this way is to wash the veil a few times with fabric softener as it makes the veil much softer, like some of the more expensive veils.
My shoes were gold glittery peep toes from Dorothy Perkins!
I had an idea in my head of what I wanted my bridesmaids to wear, so I found a pattern, bought some fabric and found a dressmaker to make them. I had seven bridesmaids, and between them they wore four different shades of blue. I made them each a little belt in a nude colour to match their shoes, by sewing some motifs that I found on Etsy to some satin ribbon.
The groomsmen wore grey suits from Greenwoods, with a waistcoat and ruche in two different shades of blue to match the bridesmaids.
My bouquet had a mix of white and peach roses, cornflowers and rosemary, and my bridesmaids carried a mix of gypsophila and cornflowers.
The best part of the day was definitely the service. We both love God and believe that our vows were made with him at the centre so this was the most important part of the day for us. It was so overwhelming to see so many friends and family, and it was really nice to have tea and cake after the service for everyone who came to the wedding.
We travelled from the church to our venue in a copper coloured VW campervan from Big Day Buses who were great.
Our photographer Will (W H Photography) was brilliant, we hardly noticed him taking photos and yet he caught so many important moments.
We didn’t really have a theme but we wanted to keep things rustic and a bit different. In hindsight, the theme could probably be ‘homemade’, as just about everything had a homemade touch, from the orders of service and seating plan, to the floral garlands (achieved through my mum’s creation of ‘oasis’ sausages’) and bunting.
One of the best things about our wedding was how brilliant all our different suppliers were,
Totally Tipi were so friendly throughout the whole process, and were always willing to meet our requests. And the tipis were just fantastic on the day.
Our food was done by Feast Yorkshire and everyone has said how amazing it was. Siobhan who runs Feast Yorkshire studied art before going into catering, and so her food doesn’t just taste amazing – it looks amazing too.
Luisianna’s Bars provided us with our drinks – Ben and the team were so friendly and provided a brilliant service on the day.
For our table names we decided to use names of all the streets where we’ve lived. We have always lived in different places, so we thought it would be nice if people could learn a bit about both of us – so we wrote a little bit about each place on the back of each of the street signs.
I’ve never liked standard wedding cake, so we went for cute white chocolate cake from M&S which we decorated with fruit.
A good friend of mine is the lead singer of a brilliant York-based band called Bluephunk. We knew they could get everyone dancing!
One of the coolest parts of our day was our exit.. on a speed boat. We tried to keep it a secret so it was a good surprise for our guests.
Sam organised the honeymoon as a surprise, and I didn’t find out until I got to the airport. He took me to the north coast of Italy for a week, and then to Sicily for a few days.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that if you are doing a homemade wedding, try and get as much as you can done by the day before the day before so you can take in everything that is happening.
It is true that the day goes too fast, but remember that the end of the day is the beginning of your marriage.
Congratulations Charlie & Sam!
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