June 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Richard and Francesca’s dreamy engagement atop an Italian castle inspired the rustic Italian theme for their glorious ‘back garden’ wedding in the height of the English summer. And, when you have a back garden like that of Francesca’s parents, there could be no finer place to pitch your yurt, scatter your hay bales and soak up the atmosphere to the chilled-out sound of a five-piece band in the sunshine!
A wedding sign proclaimed “Let us make our own fairy tale today” – and Richard and Francesca duly did. They even enjoyed a sprinkle of fairy godmother magic: Richard’s late grandmother spoke to them across the decades in a letter 30 years old and gifted Francesca a gorgeous diamond ring despite never having known her.
Wearing a stunning Jenny Packham gown, Francesca looked every inch the modern princess. We love the capped sleeve detail and beading that echoes a sunbeam pattern across the bodice – the perfect complement to a sunny June day. Apparently, Richard planned most of the big day by himself and we have to agree with his bride that he did a marvellous job #majorgroompoints
With images by Eyesome Photography.
francesca says: We got engaged in a small town called Calitri in southern Italy in August 2015. We were on holiday with my family and Richard arranged to have a tour of a castle in the town in the evening. What I didn’t know was that he planned the whole evening weeks in advance. He arranged for the castle to stay open after hours and for us to have a private tour. When we reached the top of the castle with views of the vineyards and open countryside, whilst the sun was setting I turned around from looking at the view and there he was, on one knee. As you can imagine I was shocked and taken back. Perfect proposal.
We got married on 3rd June 2017, in a very small local church in Copt Hewick, Ripon. The reception was in my parents’ garden, a short walk from the church. This was the home I grew up in, so I had always dreamt of this for my wedding day.
Our theme was Italian rustic. We chose this style because of where we got engaged and also because we have lots of family holidays across Italy every year and we love the food. We didn’t really have a colour scheme – just very rustic colours.
For my dress, I went to The Bridal Collection in Harrogate and chose a Jenny Packham gown. I tried it on and instantly knew it was the one. My shoes were Aquazzura and my veil was borrowed from a good friend.
Richard, the groomsmen and dads wore navy blue suits with light pink ties, which they hired from a local suit shop in Harrogate.
February 5th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s something effortlessly cool about an informal wedding, and we just love the garden-party vibe of Nic and Kelly’s wedding celebration. They were even lucky enough to get good weather!
Though guests may have enjoyed a relaxed day, no detail was left to chance. Even the date was planned meticulously so Nic and Kelly’s engagement anniversary and wedding anniversary would be exactly half a year apart, meaning they have something to celebrate every six months. Now that’s forward thinking!
They also had some fabulous details and treats, including a very cute table plan sporting photographs of each guest, a delectable ice cream van, a table topped with a colourful selection of cakes and a civilised game of croquet on the lawn. Over to the groom, Nic, to tell us more…
With images by Shane Webber Photography.
nic says: We got engaged on 12th January 2015. Kelly always liked the idea of a London tourist hotspot trip, finishing up on Millennium Bridge with a love lock. When we got to the bridge, I pretended to have lost the padlock we had bought for the occasion. I pulled out a special heart-shaped lock that I had inscribed with the words “forever hold the key to my heart”. The engagement ring was attached, and Kelly had to unlock it with the key for the proposal to be complete. We then went to the Shard for drinks – another surprise bucket-list moment for Kelly, who had no idea what had been planned months before!
We got married on 12th July 2017. We chose that date as we always wanted something to celebrate every six months to the day. The 12th January is our getting together anniversary/getting engaged day and 12th July will be our wedding anniversary.
The ceremony took place at Didsbury House Hotel and the reception was at Eleven Didsbury Park. The venue was ideal for us as it was both ceremony and reception in one but, as the reception was down the road, there was a sense of ‘arriving’ for the evening do! The venue has beautiful grounds – it was the ideal size for our 50 planned guests and we wanted an informal setting that felt more like a garden party than a traditional wedding. We would definitely recommend the venue: the setting is ideal for an intimate wedding, the food was top and the whole team that worked on the wedding could not have been more helpful. It was like having the best house party you have ever been to.
In terms of a theme, we both love sunflowers and so they were everywhere. There was no real reason – we just think they’re pretty. Aside from that, the theme was relaxed to suit our non-traditional atmosphere. For our colour scheme, we chose off-whites with a pop of yellow to work with the sunflowers – nothing too formal.
For my suit, I decided this was my one life occasion where I could go all out! I wore a black wool Givenchy suit, a pair of patent leather Dsquared2 Oxford shoes, a Lanvin black bow tie and a Dolce & Gabbana gold label white dress shirt. I wanted this day to be my red carpet moment!
Kelly wore a blush champagne dress from Catherine Deane. Detailing was vintage lace and it had a small train. Kelly looked beautiful! The dress was effortlessly sophisticated and complemented her skin tone perfectly. Her shoes were from Jimmy Choo. We had always joked that Kelly would say ‘I do’ in Choo!
Two of Kelly’s sisters were bridesmaids and wore grey multiway maxi dresses from Coast. Again, there was no real theme for makeup, nails or shoes – it was important for our guests to all feel relaxed and great on our special day. My brother Toby wore a black suit from The Kooples, matched with a charcoal Dolce & Gabbana tie and shoes.
January 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Ahead of our first Luxury Wedding Fair of the spring season at the stunning Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire this Sunday, we’re sharing the wedding story of Rachel and Omar who chose this fine venue as the setting for their special day.
Exchanging their vows in the Hall’s impressive grounds beneath the lake-side gazebo, Rachel and Omar’s ceremony was 100% picture perfect.
The proceedings gave a tasteful nod to Disney (something we suspect their guests may have seen coming after a proposal by the Alice in Wonderland statue in New York’s Central Park!), and the couple further styled their day with a statement navy and coral colour scheme.
Other special touches to look out for include games on the lawn – something that should be a prerequisite for any garden wedding, we think, and a lovely string quartet to set the laidback ambience.
If you’re on the venue hunt in the North West, be sure to join us at this spectacular venue on Sunday 21st January, for our Brides Up North Bespoke Luxury Wedding Fair, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. We will be joined by top suppliers from the area as well as the venue’s super helpful team. Pre-register to attend here.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
rachel says: We were on a romantic city break to New York in February 2015, when Omar surprised me and proposed by the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park, in the snow.
We tied the knot on 30th July 2016. We chose that date as we wanted an outdoor wedding and summer is our favourite season.
The venue – Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield – was stunning and a great location for our friends and family. It had everything we wanted – outdoor facilities, a stately home and a contemporary feel for the evening reception.
We didn’t have a full theme for the wedding, but we chose certain aspects to show our favourite things and personalities. For example, I walked down the aisle to a Disney arrangement (arranged by my very talented best friend) and our tables were Disney couples instead of numbers. My cousin very kindly painted small canvasses with the couples on.
We decided on a navy and coral colour scheme – we felt it was appropriate for the season, with the six bridesmaids in three different shades of coral and the male members of the bridal party wearing three-piece navy suits.
I chose a lace-up tulle fishtail gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline and pewter lace appliqués, beginning on the body and continuing down the front of the dress and the train. The dress was from The Confetti Box in Eccles. It was just what I wanted; very grand for the venue and something I’d never really seen before.
Omar wore a navy morning tails suit with a grey soft tartan waistcoat, pocket watch and matching tie and pocket square in navy with small white polka dot. This was from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
February 28th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Could there be anything more special than hosting your wedding reception in a friend’s garden? Today’s couple did exactly that – and we simply adore everything about their laid-back and very personal day.
Hayley and Gary exchanged their vows at the most picture-perfect, quaint church, before heading onto a close friend’s house to celebrate inside a beautiful marquee decorated with paper lanterns.
We think this might just be country chic at its very best.
Images by Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography
hayley says: Gary proposed on 23 November 2014 in Grand Central Station, New York.
Firstly, Gary surprised me with the trip to New York. I knew I was travelling overseas, I just didn’t know where that was until we arrived at the airport. I even carried my engagement ring in my hand luggage without realising!
Little did I know until after the proposal that Gary had been having a nightmare with his three chosen locations for where to propose, due to TV film crews, swarms of seagulls, children throwing food, and busy crowds in unexpected areas. We eventually arrived at Grand Central Station in the afternoon where he made an amazing job of asking me to be his wife!
We got married two years later on Saturday 27 August 2016. We always knew we wanted to have the wedding on a bank holiday. In order to plan and save for the day properly we picked this month. We also hoped for sunshine with it being in the summer!
Although we are both originally from Co Durham in the North East, Gary’s work has taken him to the south. We decided to get married in the small local church in Lindsell, Essex. This is where Gary now works and lives. We then had the wedding reception in Gary’s employer and very close friend’s garden at his home.
Gary is a professional carer for individuals with spinal injuries. He works and lives with the man who he cares for. Martin, or Tiny as everyone knows him, is a very special person to both of us. His extended generosity to hold the wedding at his home is precedent for the loving and caring man he is. He is very much like a father figure to us both; so much so that he provided the Father of the Bride/Groom speech on the day – and did a fantastic job!
The main wish for our day was for everyone to be as relaxed as possible and to have fun. We therefore adopted a theme for our day of an informal garden party. Our chosen style was vintage country.
The main colours for the day were mint green, dusky pink and gold. I always imagined these colours would work well together and we both agreed these complimented the vintage country style.
I wore a bridal gown named Elsa from designer Eliza Jane Howell, purchased from Kathryn S Trueman Bridal and Occasions in Morpeth. I initially did not have a preference for a style or shape of dress. I wanted to find something I could move around and eat in – and something unique!
After trying on lots of dresses, I knew I wanted something with a higher neckline and coverage on my arms. This designer has such a 1920s vintage style and this particular dress was lightweight, with a soft sequin covering, small train, ¾ batwing sleeves and high neckline – perfect! I knew it was the one when my mam cried when she saw me wearing it. I felt like a perfect bride!
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June 21st, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some 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.
Wow! is the word that we would use to sum up today’s real wedding on the blog!
We love everything about Natalie & Jamie’s big day, built around a secret-fair-garden-type theme.
Natalie’s stunning dress, bouquet and super cute daisy chain headband make her look wonderfully whimsical and elegant and we could spend an age just looking at her, though there are lots of other gorgeous elements to take note of, including the maids’ cute dresses and incredible centre pieces.
Prepare to swoon…
With images by Stella Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged on a beautiful beach in Portugal. Jamie’s plan was to propose on a jet ski, but as I don’t like the sea, I refused to get on! His backup plan was to propose in one of the caves in the sea…again, I was awkward and refused to take part! Eventually, he gave in and proposed on the beach.
Our wedding was on 23rd May 2015, at The Great Hall at Mains in Lancashire. We chose the venue as its very local to us (literally round the corner from our house). As we were only having a small wedding, it was important that all our guests would be able to make it!
We wanted to choose a theme that suited our style and that wasn’t too serious. We’re not massive fans of traditional weddings so we wanted something a little bit different. In the end we chose a whimsical theme – like a secret fairy garden.
The colour scheme was mainly pale pink and apple green. I didn’t have a scheme in mind until we went shopping for bridesmaids dresses – the dresses we found were perfect for the theme so they determined the colour scheme!
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November 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s couple are based in New Zealand but bride Rosie and her fiance Nick headed home (to her Grandparent’s back garden no less!) to say their “I Dos”. Keeping things super relaxed but seriously pretty, Rosie and Nick had their perfect English wedding (with lots of Kiwi touches) under canvas.
With images by Miki Photography.
rosie says: Nick proposed on my 30th birthday (May 2014)! We were about to head out to meet my friends for drinks, when a tuk-tuk turned up on the driveway (we met taking part in an adventure rally, racing tuk tuks the length of Indonesia) and I just thought it was a cool birthday surprise. We were driven around my home town and out into the countryside, then we pulled up at a church in a tiny village called Alveston – the church that my parents were married at. We went for a walk around and Nick got down on one knee to propose. I don’t think I even looked at the ring (!) I just said yes and we hugged and cried for what seemed like hours. Then we got back in the tuk-tuk, he put on a song that he played to me on guitar when we first met, and we drove back to the bar where my friends and family were waiting for us. It was definitely the best birthday to date!
We got married on 28th August 2015. Nick wanted to get married on a Friday and I wanted to get married on a significant date. We both wanted to have a summer wedding and choose a date close enough to the Rugby World Cup that any Kiwis coming over from NZ could catch the first games.
Our wedding day would have been my dad’s 60th Birthday (he passed away when I was 15) and so it was really special. And it fulfilled all of the criteria above!
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