September 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though not set on a strict theme, today’s real wedding couple styled their day perfectly to create a reflection of them and the things that they like.
The pretty affair features playful pastel décor in blooms, bird cages and antique accessories to help set the scene. Add to this a chic VW camper van, a to-die-for Stephanie Allin gown and gorgeous lace mint bridesmaid dresses, and you’ve got one very swoon-worthy wedding indeed.
With images by Elouisa Georgiou Photography.
charlotte says: We got engaged in Paris. Kyle had booked the weekend away as a surprise and told me to pack a small case. He took me first to a hotel in Liverpool airport, and in the room he left two tickets to Paris and Disneyland on the bed for me to notice – I was so shocked! Our first day in Paris consisted of a 38 degree heatwave so we waited until it was dark to venture up the Eiffel Tower. During the lift ride, I could feel his hands shaking but he said it was his fear of heights! As we stood looking over Paris at night, I just remember he got out a ring box and asked me to be his wife still shaking. I will remember that moment forever.
Our wedding date was 9th August 2014. I’m a secondary school teacher and so having the holidays to enjoy our day was important – I really wanted a summer wedding too. Although the day before there was an awful storm and horrendous rainfall, by some miracle the weather was perfect – the marquee we hired from Ascot Marquees had all dried out and we were blessed with sunshine.
We only ever looked at one venue and that was Wood Lane in Sheffield; a grade two listed barn with lots of character and original rustic features as it was built in 1802. We knew we wanted the venue to be all ours and to be on the unique side – so a hotel wasn’t for us. We also loved the fact that Kyle’s mum had helped to dig the pond in the gardens years ago and Kyle went to school right next door.
As soon as I walked into the barn I fell in love with the natural stonework and wood beams and I knew this is where I wanted to marry Kyle. Being a blank canvas, we knew it would be hard work, but we had the freedom to create exactly the day we wanted.
We didn’t have a strict theme as we’re quite eclectic in our tastes: we love old, restored furniture, vintage styling and unique rustic touches and this is what I wanted the styling of our day to represent.
For the colour palette we mainly went for a mix of pastel colours: mint, pale pinks and blues, to fit in with the delicate colourings of the barn and the meadow-like gardens surrounding it.
As a student I worked part-time in River Island (which is actually where Kyle and I met) so fashion and clothes have always been a big part of my life. Having heard great things about The White Room in Sheffield I knew this was the kind of bridal boutique I needed to go to. I fell in love with Loren – a full lace Stephanie Allin dress – and Chloe, the owner, suggested I added lace bolero.
I also wore a vintage crystal headband by Debbie Carlisle. The band was wrapped in satin to match the colour of my hair too. I adore shoes, and so I decided on a pair of white satin peep toe Louboutins. The inside of the shoes are blue for your ‘something blue’, which I loved. My earring were from Swarovski to match a necklace my friends had bought me on my birthday and I also wore a diamond bracelet which Kyle had sneakily bought me and given to my bridesmaids so they could surprise me!
My and the girls’ hair was done by Jade from Identity in Rawmarsh, Rotherham. She knew exactly what I wanted and did an incredible job. I wanted my make-up to be subtle so I felt like me. I’d seen Laura Turner’s work on Facebook and she created a perfect natural vintage look for me.
Kyle didn’t want a traditional wedding suit, so he went for a slim line blue Lambretta suit and brown leather brogue shoes from Slaters. His best man Ryan, and his dad, John also wore the same suit with my uncle and cousin wearing a slightly darker version. They all wore the same ties from Primark – which had to be the biggest find of the wedding! And pocket squares from River Island. I also ordered Kyle, Ryan and John socks with their name and wedding title sewn on from eBay as a bit of fun. Kyle and Ryan also wore a tie pin, both belonging to their grandfather.
I found the bridesmaid dresses in BHS. I knew I wanted something a little different, and I wasn’t searching for a colour it was more about the style of the dress and making sure all the girls were comfortable and happy. We decided on full lace dresses in mint with a tie around the waist and matching mint peep toes satin shoes, again from BHS. The girls had so many compliments.
We wanted to introduce the wedding party to all the guests on arrival, so with a little help from the best man and my bridesmaid, we made a ‘wedding fan’ with introductions to everyone tied with mint ribbon and James, our usher, made sure everyone had one.
Kyle and I knew that the traditional wedding cars didn’t really fit with the vision of our day. We visited a wedding fair in Doncaster and found an amazing VW camper van from All Luvd Up. The VW had enough room from myself and the bridesmaids to arrive together and we could enjoy a bottle of Moet on the journey too! They also decorated the van with ribbons and gorgeous flowers. It was great to have all my bridesmaids around me to keep me calm!
We’d known our wedding photographer for about six years as we met at River Island when we were all students. After leaving University, Elouisa started her own business – Elouisa Georgiou Photography – and I’d followed her work on Facebook. We loved how she captured such natural photos and you felt like you really understood the emotions of each wedding day by the way she portrayed the guests and the bride and groom in the images. I’d been scouring through Pintrest, blogs and magazines to find inspiration and Elouisa just knew exactly what we wanted and that we didn’t want an album of all traditionally staged photos. Looking back at the photos, I can’t even remember noticing her taking them! She was brilliant at capturing all the precious memories but without even being noticeable – we would definitely recommend her.
We found our florist at a small wedding fayre at Wood Lane – Fantail Designer Florist. Sam understood immediately what I wanted and made some beautiful suggestions. In my bouquet I had memory lane roses tied in with gysophila, which my bridesmaids also had, and beautiful pastel accents. Sam wrapped the stems in vintage lace and finished with a silver broach which belonged to Kyle’s grandmother. When she delivered them on the morning of the wedding, I was overwhelmed – they were just perfect.
Sam also created the most stunning centrepieces using rustic birdcages I had bought from The Range. The flowers were sat in a bed of natural moss and they looked incredible. She mounted the birdcages on plates of natural tree trunk, which I bought from a local farm. We also had natural bark planters and ivory around the natural stone window behind where were said our vows.
As well as the flowers, we hired ‘love’ light-up letters for our evening reception. They looked amazing as it went dark.
For our table names I bought a collection of vintage records to represent all our favourite bands that we have seen together in the past eight years, and I made the table plan using half a birdcage from Hobby Craft and backing it on some vintage style paper from Paperchase.
I really wanted to create an English tea party feel to the wedding breakfast, so Kyle and I had been collecting vintage tea cups from charity shops and car boots and with some help from Kyle’s mum and then hiring some more from a lady on Gumtree we managed to make sure everyone had their tea in their own tea cup.
After the ceremony, I didn’t want to go just straight into the photos; I wanted people to relax and enjoy the day. As the gardens were so stunning, we bought a batch of hay bales from Wood Lane and added blankets so our guests could sit and enjoy drinks, mini cartons of popcorn and delicious scones and cakes made by my bridesmaid’s mum.
For the favours Kyle wanted to buy the men scratch cards which was really fun, and I chose shabby chic doves with twine for the women. Kyle’s mum brought back some handmade chocolates from France and put them in little boxes for everyone too. They were delicious!
Our amazing cake was made by Donna-Jane Cakes. She’s so talented. I saw her on Facebook and loved her designs. We had three tiers: chocolate, vanilla and one red velvet and they were all delicious. We’d already had the cake topper for over a year as we bought it in Disneyland Paris on our engagement weekend, so it meant a lot to us. Donna did a brilliant job of surrounded it with pastel flowers and an edible lace trim.
With the nature of our venue we had to hire outside catering and so I was recommended Hazel’s Catering by Wood Lane, and they were fantastic. We loved their presentation of the food; our starter was spicy tomato soup with fresh warm bread and they served it in little casserole pots on a slate. Our main was tarragon chicken and our dessert was their own recipe of a chocolate and fruit tart with raspberries and cream. Everyone commented on how nice it was.
I always knew the entertainment was going to be an important part of our day. We’d been going to gigs and festivals since we were young and we both loved indie bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. I found our band – Hudson – on Function Central’s website. The guitarist had played with Sir Paul McCartney at the Liverpool Empire and my husband and his brother are huge Beatles fans so we knew they’d be perfect. They created such a cool, indie atmosphere like we had our very own gig with everyone dancing.
For our first dance I asked my very good friend Pete to sing Elton John’s Your Song. He’s an incredibly talented singer and sounds just like Elton John! The band played live whilst he sang and I think even they were taken back at how good it was. It was such a special moment.
One of the most special touches to the day, was the wedding arch made by Kyle’s dad. He did such a good job of recreating what we wanted and it meant a lot to us that he’d worked so hard on it as we said our vows stood underneath it.
As a bit of a unique touch, before the wedding I asked the married guests to send me a photo of their wedding day. We bought an old led window from a second hand shop and I painted it green and added ‘Love is all you need’ in scrabble tiles at the top. On each window pane we put one of the photos so our guests could share in the weddings of others. It was quite fun as the guests were trying to work out which wedding photo belonged to who!
I also put together a vintage style sweetie stand using an old desk from eBay, which Kyle’s dad restored, some vintage scales for £4 from a car boot, which Kyle’s mum restored, and old jars from charity shops and car boot sales.
We also had a photo booth from Dave Spink Photography. It was incredible fun. They created us a book or all the images and the guests wrote some sentimental but also hilarious messages in it! The guests could also keep a copy of the photos to take home too.
We would definitely recommend Wood Lane to a couple thinking of moving away from the traditional hotel wedding. Of course it’s hard work, but to have a venue which is a stunning and natural blank canvas where you’re able to create a wedding that represents who you are as a couple is relatively unheard of for many venues. You have the venue from the Friday to Sunday, so it takes so much stress away to have that time to style your wedding as you want it and to know that you’re the only people there is just amazing.
We’ve both always wanted to go to America, so we booked our own little American tour as our honeymoon. We stayed in New York for four days then we flew into Orlando and Kyle’s dream was to drive a Mustang so I hired a white convertible one as a present. He was in his element! We actually stayed in Clearwater in the Sandpearl Hotel overlooking the beach, but we did visit Universal and Kyle’s family in Orlando, who weren’t able to come over, so that special to include them too.
Weddings can easily become about everyone else. My top tip for other Brides Up North is that when you stand at the front of your venue saying your vows, or sit down for your meal or dance the night away, just make sure those moments are as you wanted them to be. Stay true to who you are as a couple as you won’t please everyone, but the day isn’t about everyone, it’s about just you and your partner.
ascot marquees, bhs, christian louboutin, dave spink photography, debbie carlisle, donna jane cakes, elousia georgiou photography, Fantail Designer Florist, function central, gumtree, hazel's catering, hobbycraft, loren, paperchase, primark, real wedding, river island, sheffield wedding, slaters, stephanie allin, swarovski, the range, the white room, uk wedding blog, wood lane
September 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we love pink and we love pretty. It’s no surprise then that we fell head over heels for Sally and Liam’s wedding when it landed in our inbox.
This wedding is pretty through and through, from Sally’s stunning fishtail gown to the maids’ sweet pink dresses and those beautiful blooms.
The men at this wedding are also looking fab in their modern blue suits which complement the pink theme perfectly.
With images by Daniel Murrientes Photography.
sally says: We’d been together for almost ten years when we got engaged. We planned a weekend trip to Barcelona in September 2013 after a friend told us we should go. It had been booked for over a month but it was only a week or so before we were due to depart that Liam decided to propose. Unknown to us there was a street festival in the city and the night after he proposed there was a huge firework display on the beach that just finished off the city break perfectly.
Our wedding date was 17th July 2015. We picked it in the hope we may get a sunny day so we could have an outdoor drinks reception. Luckily when the day came, although a little windy, the sun was shining.
We got married at St John’s Church, Hindley Green. This has been my mum’s local church for more than 20 years. When we got engaged we weren’t sure where to get married but then my mum said that she had always pictured that I would get married in St John’s Church – so we did.
The wedding breakfast and evening reception was then held at Stanley House and Spa, Mellor, Lancashire. They had everything covered and wedding coordinator there, Joy Parker, was a credit to the hotel. We had a sheet with a long list of questions prepared but we didn’t need to ask a single one – she answered everything. The venue is designed mainly for weddings and it shows. After viewing Stanley House our search came to a halt as it we knew it was the one.
We wanted the day to have a simple theme with a vintage/rustic feel and thought along the lines that less is more.
I’ve always loved pink so there was no other colour I was going to have on my wedding day. The bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses and the flowers were shades of pink, peach and creams. The groomsmen wore blue suits which contrasted great with the pink bridesmaid dresses.
When it came to the dress, I picked the 1551 style from Mikaella Bridal, a Canadian designer. I tried on a few dresses in different styles but as soon as I tried on this dress both my mum and I knew it the right one. I didn’t buy it straight away though. Me and mum went back again a few weeks later to try it on again and ensure it was definitely the one.
Liam wore a blue Lambretta suit which we purchased from Slaters in Bolton. His best man, ushers and the father of the groom all wore the same suit, teamed with a navy blue dickie bow.
Initially the bridesmaids had each picked their own style dress from a range with each style to be ordered in the same colour. Unfortunately when they arrived, two of the four bridesmaid dresses were missing. We were told replacements would take three weeks however, they took eight and when they did arrive they were in completely the wrong colour.
All four dresses had to be refunded and with just three weeks to go until the wedding, a last minute bridesmaid dress search began. After trying highstreets shops with no hope my mum and I headed out to bridal warehouses in Bolton, Stockport and Liverpool and eventually found four bridesmaid dresses in the right colour and all the correct sizes in Bolton. The staff at the wedding dress factory outlet in Bolton were amazing and so helpful. They went above and beyond to ensure we got sorted. Not only did the bridesmaids look stunning, but we ended up saving £100 per dress – every cloud!
Our wedding transport was provided by Satin Cars in Wigan. They were so professional and I loved the vintage wedding cars we picked. They transported the groom and ushers to the church prior to collecting myself, father, mum and bridesmaids.
Photographer Daniel Murrientes captured the day for us. We wanted a photographer that would catch the emotions throughout the day. My favourite photograph is the one of me, Liam and my dad at the aisle were I’m wiping away a tear (I was a blubbering wreck). This is photograph will now always take me back to that moment and how I was feeling.
Dan was also just an all-round great guy. Most of the time you didn’t even notice he was there. He seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the day and clearly enjoys his job. We loved having him there and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else!
On the day I carried a bouquet of roses in shades of pale pink, peach and cream. These were provided by Sara at Flowers with Passion. I chose Sara after meeting her at a wedding fair at Event City. We went to her show room not long after and she was so professional and did everything she could to ensure she understood our requirements and preferences. She had a large portfolio and has won lots of awards.
Her showroom was fab – she had a large book of cuttings of all different flowers, styles or colours that she looked through with us first of all in order to ensure she knew exactly what we wanted. She also had a number of flowers, vases etc. within our showroom and put together some mock centre pieces so we could have a taster of what they would look like on the day.
In addition to the centrepieces by Sara, we also had decorations provided by Creative Cover Hire. They provided us with full length white table cloths with ivory lace overlays, lime wash chivarli chairs and ceiling drapes with twinkle lights. Our name cards were luggage tags neatly tied to each chair, which were ordered from Etsy.
Normanddorothy provided our invitations and also the order of service. They are based in Manchester and were really helpful. Everything was perfect and they couldn’t have done anything more for us.
We did DIY favours. We ordered 100 small glass jars from eBay for just £35 and filled them with retro sweets. Some with white jazzies and some with dolly mixtures and covered them with different fabrics purchased from both eBay and Etsy and added twine, plus a thank you tag.
To save on costs our cake was from Marks & Spencer. We added some ‘just married’ bunting to the top tier, which we purchased from Etsy. We then placed the cake on an apple tier next to other cakes, sweets and treats. We had created a sweet table the night prior to the wedding which included popcorn, flying saucers, marshmallows, cakes and cookies.
We found our entertainment via the Function Central’s website. We chose the band Downtown Underground, who were fab! The band was led by Lil Vinny and they provided a mixture of motown funk and soul followed by a DJ set of pop music and indie classics. Our next to last song was my dad’s favourite song I’ve had the Time of My Life, with the final song by Oasis, Don’t Look Back in Anger.
We bought flip-flops for the evening as dancing shoes for guests whose heels might have started to rub to ensure there were no excuses for not being up on the dancefloor. For guests staying overnight we also provided a ‘hangover kit’, which we put in their room. We found these small personalised drawstring bags on eBay and filled them with sugary sweets, chewing gum, a vitamin c powder drink sachet and a sachet of coffee.
Looking back I have several favourite parts of the day: walking down the aisle to see Liam for the first time, the father of the bride and best man speeches (which were so thoughtful and funny) and the evening disco when the rest of our friends joined us and we could finally relax knowing everything had gone to plan and it had been a great day!
We headed straight on honeymoon after the wedding. We spent one night in Dublin, Ireland. We stayed at The Shelbourne Hotel and as it was our honeymoon were upgraded to a suite. Not only that, the taxi driver that we had flagged down at the airport to take us to the hotel, found out our married name was Murphy and agreed to take us back to the airport to catch our next flight the following day at no charge!
From Dublin we flew to San Francisco were we spent three nights – again, as honeymooners we were upgraded and it was a fab city to visit. We went to Alcatraz, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to China Town, Fishermans Wharf, North Beach as well as a bike ride around San Francisco breweries!
After San Francisco it was time to relax and we flew to Mexico, Cancun were we spent ten nights. We were due to stay at the Moon Palace Hotel. However, due to the hotel being overbooked we were upgraded to Hotel Le Blanc a 5 Star hotel where we even had a butler during our stay. The hotel could not have been better. Here we visited the spa, went wine tasting and even swam with dolphins. Other than that we just enjoyed doing absolutely nothing for a few days!
When planning a wedding some things may not go to plan (just like our bridesmaid dresses) but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to let it stress you out. It will eventually become something you will laugh about and there is a solution to nearly any problem! Otherwise, just enjoy it – after all that planning it’s over in a few hours (although it feels like seconds).
creative cover hire, daniel murrientes photography, etsy, flowers with passion, function central, hotel le blanc, lancashire wedding, marks and spencer, mikaella bridal, norma and dorothy, pink wedding, pretty wedding, real wedding, satin cars, slaters, stanley house and spa, the shelbourne hotel, uk wedding blog
June 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its our job (and calling!) here at Brides Up North to hook you up with the wedding industry suppliers who can help to make your wedding rock. If you’re on the hunt for some awesome wedding entertainment this afternoon, you can tick that off your to do list. Brides Up North Featured Supplier music agency Function Central are ready to bring the beat. Count me in…
What is the story behind the business and your background?
Function Central was founded in 2005 by two friends who met playing music at university. We started out with only one band on our books (our own!) and built up our roster of acts from there. Our website now lists hundreds of bands, musicians and DJs covering all music styles, based in all counties, from Plymouth to Aberdeen!
What does Function Central do?
We provide an easy way to hire incredible wedding bands, musicians and DJs online. Our website lists bands in every available genre, from rock to reggae. Each act has a profile page where you can read about them, view their song-list, check out what previous customers had to say, and watch videos of them performing. Bookings are secured with easy-to-understand contracts and the Function Central team are on hand to provide help and support around the clock, right up to your event date.
Where are you based and what areas do you cover?
Function Central is London-based but we provide live music nationwide; in fact, over 50% of our clients book wedding entertainment in the North West, Yorkshire and the North East. Our mission is to offer a varied selection of acts in every corner of the UK and we are constantly working on expanding and refining our artist roster.
Why should a Bride & Groom use Function Central?
Unlike most other band booking agencies, Function Central is run by a team of professional musicians with a passion for supplying the highest quality acts possible. We believe our acts should not only sound fantastic but look great and act professionally at all times too.
How can a Bride & Groom use your website to help find their wedding music?
The Function Central website has been designed to make finding the perfect wedding band as simple as possible. Clients are able to narrow down their selection of acts by genre, location and price, making the search for the ultimate act quick and easy.
Can you help Brides & Grooms to find an act to suit their requirements?
It’s absolutely our job and our pleasure to help clients find the right act for their event! We know our roster inside out and can therefore listen to clients’ requirements and offer suggestions on that basis.
What happens once a Bride & Groom have chosen an act – explain the process?
Once a client has chosen an act the booking process couldn’t be simpler:
1. We issue a contract which details every aspect of the booking, from act requirements to timings and cancellation policy.
2. No postage is necessary to complete the booking – our contracts are all e-signed so simply typing your name and pressing will secure your booking.
3. A deposit amount is payable in order to confirm the booking, and the outstanding balance is then due on the event date.
4. Our support doesn’t stop there! We are on hand to help at any point by phone or email as we understand that clients will have questions regarding repertoire, final timings and set up.
Tell us about the range of acts available to book via Function Central?
We cover a huge range of genres: rock, pop, jazz and soul bands, vintage bands, classical musicians, tribute bands, and more unusual acts, from bluegrass to Bavarian Oompah. We aim to offer anything and everything that falls under the category "musical entertainment" so we’d like to hear from anyone that thinks we’ve missed a trick!
Are your bands and DJ’s recommended by you personally?
The majority of our bands are sourced through personal recommendation, and all acts are subject to a rigorous application and vetting procedure. Only the very best of British bands make it on to our roster; we are meticulous about who we choose to represent.
Who would be your dream clients?
Our acts have performed for the likes of Paul McCartney, David Beckham and Poppy Delevingne…
What would be your top five tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding music?
1. Choosing your music is a little like finding the dream dress – check out a wide range of acts on our website and see what sits most comfortably with you and your fiancé.
2. Don’t cripple yourself financially just because you want the biggest band. Big isn’t best and there are some fantastic solo, duo and trio options available.
3. If you are on a budget and you haven’t yet confirmed your wedding date, consider holding your wedding in low season (October to March) or on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, when many bands charge lower rates.
4. As well as getting the dancing started in the evening, many of Function Central’s wedding bands can provide background music for your ceremony or reception, earlier on in the day. This saves money on hiring two completely separate acts.
5. Similarly, many of our bands offer their own “in-house" DJ service before, between and after their live sets, ensuring you have music non-stop throughout your evening, and saving on the cost of a separate DJ.
Which acts would you recommend where money was no object?
What about for brides on a budget?
The Buskers – a guitar/cajon duo with outstanding vocals and harmonies – the sound of a full band at half the price – or Clemenza String Duo who we recommend for the ceremony or reception if you can’t afford a full quartet.
How does your pricing work?
When you enquire about an act, we will send you a quote within 24 hours, and this will be inclusive of travel and VAT. Guide prices are available on each act’s profile, but bear in mind that fees may vary according to day of week (Fridays and Saturdays are typically more expensive, and time of year (many acts charge more for “peak” season – April to September).
What about insurance?
All acts on our books are required to have Public Liability Insurance and PAT certificates for their equipment.
How can Brides Up North get in touch to discuss their requirements or book an act?
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.