April 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Should you let them anywhere near the wedding planning? Today on the blog, that’s what we’re talking about.
We’d love to hear your side of the argument.
rachel says: get him involved
As more couples ditch traditional weddings in favour of personal affairs, I think it’s hugely important that input comes from both sides to ensure the big day is a reflection of both the bride and groom. It’s all about striking a balance.
Most females (myself included) have dreamt about their wedding day from being a little girl and while we want the groom to get involved and show an interest/support we also don’t want them taking over the show.
That can be the trouble, nag a guy to do something and he goes from ‘whatever’ to ‘I can do it better’. In the first instance I think it’s best to sit down and discuss the main factors – location, budget and numbers – together. Then when it gets to the more creative side of things – colour theme, styling, décor, food and entertainment – write down your ideas separately (so he has to put some thought into it) and then come back together to discuss what you’ve come up with. A little bit of compromise might well be required at this point.
Don’t sweat it if he doesn’t want to be involved in all elements, such as bouquets, button holes and sashes, but I say definitely try to get him fired up and to take the reins when it comes to areas he’s passionate about, such as food, entertainment, transport and the honeymoon.
Just remember the main reason you’re getting married – love – and try to make it fun, attending events such as wedding fairs and tastings together. I’ve read numerous real weddings where the bride and groom have created some great memories during days out planning their big day and the joint-efforts really shine through.
julia says: keep him out of it
Why is this even up for debate? Girls, haven’t you seen Don’t Tell The Bride?!
Sure, they all laugh and say how well the hapless husband has done at the end of every episode, but by that point they’re blinded by relief (that their wedding wasn’t the skydive episode), impending Sky Living stardom or alcohol (well, wouldn’t you get smashed in that scenario?!). Ladies, do not be fooled by “happily ever after” episode formatting: take control.
Other than making sure your wedding day is one to remember for the right reasons, I think that this is only fair. Has your other half dreamed of his big day since he was a little boy? Did he dash straight out to the newsagents and clear the bridal title shelf right after you made it official? Does he even know that wedding blogs exist? Girls, this is your time in the sun. If I were you I’d grab that wedding folder, and enjoy every blissful minute of independent planning. Hey, he got to plan the proposal (didn’t he…?)!
Yes, this is his wedding day too. Of course it is. And I know I’m generalising (and yes, being pretty sexist, but hey, it’s for the good of the piece), but what does he know about pastel Pinterest boards, bridesmaids’ frocks and sugar craft?
If you must, get him involved in some of the less pretty bits, like shopping for formal wear, making a wedding playlist or even let him loose on “the honeymoon project”. Be warned though, men can get some funny ideas when left to their own devices.
Make it extremely clear just how far any decision making autonomy can go, or you’ll end up with a rugby anthem for every hymn, some dubious waistcoat options and bottled beer for reception drinks.
I know. I’ve lived it.
My advice to you? Schedule a few Don’t Tell The Bride viewing sessions with your groom to be, watch him take in the worry, sweat, tears (and usually ill-advised tattoos) involved, then click off before the finale, telling him not to worry, you’ll take care of everything, hey, even the budget.
Control established, grateful brownie points won, budget extended, wedding saved. And if that isn’t a win, win scenario, I don’t know what is.
what you said
Gillian: “My other half is planning what the boys wear and also planning the drinks menu.”
Leah: “We are both planning our wedding together, he has been involved in every part (excluding the dress). It takes a lot of the stress away to plan it together.”
Gemma: “My other half is taking some coaxing. As he put it he’s only an ornament on the day. I wasn’t best pleased and since then he’s picked up his game! He’s responsible for sorting out music and taking the fellas to get their suits, also he doesn’t know it yet but because he’s a perfectionist he’ll be making the majority of the invites.”
Angie: “Mine wants to be involved so much that I keep telling him it’s about me too, I’m the bride.”
November 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I don’t think I can resist it any longer. So let’s bring on some christmas cheer! Grab yourself a (first?) mince pie of the season, make mine a gingerbread latte and let’s get this festive season started with a little help from a lady who loves herself a little seasonal styling.
Rebecca and Callum’s big day was festive and fabulous, designed to leave their Antipodean relatives in no doubt that us Brits know how to celebrate.
With sleigh bells on top!
Images by Chapter Photography.
rebecca says: Callum and I met in Australia in 2009 and I moved over to live in Melbourne for 18 months. My parents came to visit in April 2011 and Callum asked my dad’s permission when out at a beer factory together. Dad kept it quiet from everyone and we all thought we were just going to Melbourne Zoo so that they could feed some Kangaroos. Turns out I was going to meet the Giant Tortoise! My favourite animal. Dad had Mum filming and there was a photographer present. Callum got down on one knee in front of a massive crowd and presented me with the cutest little box. We had professional photos with the tortoise and went off to celebrate with everyone. Mum was crying!
We got married on 30th November 2013. We chose this date because we wanted to tie it in with Callum turning 30 and so that all his Australian family could celebrate with us and make a big weekend of celebrations!
We got married at my church in my home village of Thelwall and the Reverend was fantastic! He had asked me if I wanted serious, religious or funny and I said ‘Just be yourself’. He was amazing – everyone was laughing along with him.
We went on to Crewe Hall which was just stunning. We chose this venue as it was the only one that made my Dad smile when he walked inside. Plus the original Crewe Hall was built before Australia was founded! Australians love a bit of history and it was important for me to show them a spectacular venue.
The staff at Crewe Hall are passionate about what they do and giving you the best day. The drive way is full of trees and when you see Crewe Hall for the first time it takes your breath away. Inside the wood carvings and the stair case made it the closest thing to being at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
We chose to have a Christmas theme because most of our Australian guests were returning home around the 15th December. So we wanted them to experience a real English Christmas time. We had a few complaints in the run up to the wedding about the cold and there being nothing to see so I wanted to prove them wrong that actually it’s the best time of year to visit.
I wanted a fish tail dress and couldn’t find one anywhere that I liked. I wanted something unusual as I’m a size 14/16. If you can’t on your wedding day when can you? When I was shopping with my Auntie in Melbourne we saw a little dress covered in feathers, she wanted me to try it on and it was about $5,000. So when I got home I decided I wanted white Christmas feathers to trail behind me as I walked. So my mum Janet got going and we made it together. It had 14 rows of feathers at just under 21 metres and a lace jacket.
Phoebe, my make up artist at Flossy & Leigh was so amazing and didn’t let anybody stress and I love her to bits!
Callum wore the Scottish National Tartan and looked amazing! He hired it from Groom in Warrington and it came with the shoes and accessories. Jennie his mum, was so desperate for him to wear it. We told her he was wearing the traditional morning suit and she was so disappointed. She didn’t know until the groomsmen parted at the door to reveal Callum in full Scots regalia. It was caught on our wedding video the moment and it was brilliant she screamed and cried and hugged. A memory that will last a lifetime.
My bridesmaids wore a dark green so we decided to go with red as the contrasting colour. My teacher always told me ‘red & green should never be seen, except at Christmas time’. So I followed his advice.
Callum is a bit of a geek so I gave him his own Robin cloak and t-shirt to go under his shirt. Obviously I am Batman and he’s my Robin!
We hired a vintage red bus from Warrington Borough Transport which took the guests staying at Crewe Hall the night before and all the bridal party back to Thelwall.
My dad Anthony, hired a beautiful cream Rolls Royce. The Rolls reminded me of the Beatles and I knew Callum’s dad David would love it! Again it was all really about impressing the Australians with our Englishness!
We had an amazing photographer called Evie who works with her husband at Chapter Photography. Not only was she brilliant at family wrangling (as Callum’s dad calls it) she had become a really good friend and we keep in contact still. She had come from Ireland and nearly didn’t make it getting stuck out at sea for 12 hours before docking! I had no idea as she didn’t want to worry me. So even with no sleep she was amazing!
All my flowers were silk as I didn’t want any real ones. My flowers were put together at Bents Garden Centre. My bridesmaids’ bouquets and boutonnieres all came from KateSaidYes who sells the most amazing silk real touch flowers on her Etsy store. I couldn’t recommend her enough.
The wedding reception was decorated by Precious Things and it looked stunning. We provided our own hearts which we had collected from little shops and boutiques. They used holly & Ivy to tie them all together and placed it on top of the tartan swags. Crewe Hall also had their own trees up and decorated the main entrance which was lovely.
We had a little presents for all our guests with their names on a tag. This was a favour as well as a place setting.
We had a fruit and Madeira cake that was baked and decorated by myself and my Mum. Each tier was covered in cut out snowflakes and reindeers and in-between we added pearls. The top tier had Kangaroos and Koalas and we wrote the words ‘Callum & Becca’ on one tier and ‘You are the Robin to my Batman’ on the other. We topped the cake with two little robins we bought at Bents Garden Centre.
For our entertainment we decided to use the in house DJ and she was brilliant! She kept everyone up dancing all night! Earlier on we had arrived to a bagpiper who played Flower of Scotland and Waltzing Matilda when Callum got off the bus. Everyone thought he was fantastic.
On leaving the church we dedicated a song to Callum. He had no idea what it was until it started playing. It was the original theme tune to Neighbours! Everyone in the church started laughing and singing along. Some of the Australians didn’t know what it was!
Reel Weddings provided us with the most magical wedding video. I said it was my own personal Love Actually. Everyone who has seen it has cried and laughed and the music choices were perfect. They edited the day together perfectly that we had our own little movie. We will forever have those memories on DVD and I would hire Reel Weddings again and again. Aaron is so funny and I loved spending time with him and our photographer who made the time fly.
We decided not to go on honeymoon but spend time with the Australians instead. In February we are going to Vegas for our real honeymoon and we are going to see Britney Spears!
Everything was perfect for us and the Australians loved all the little touches that were for them. My family and friends partied the night away and by 10pm I had my slippers on under my dress!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that if you want to see all the bits that went by whilst you were being photographed or hitching you dress up to go to the toilet – a videographer is a fantastic thing to have. I love being able to watch all my family and friends enjoying themselves. It was the best present we got and it was from Callum’s parents.
November 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join newlyweds Kerry and Anthony for their oh-so-pretty wedding in the North West. A gorgeous gown, beautiful blooms and a softly romantic colour palette proved the perfect recipe for a stunning celebration.
With images by Julie Lomax Photography.
Kerry says: We got engaged in Barcelona. Anthony took me away for the week after my birthday, he made a scrap book with pictures and quotes in it of our time together over the previous 5 years. It included our first Christmas and our first holiday together along with other special occasions. On the back page it read ‘Will you marry me?’ and he was down on one knee when I looked up.
The women in my family all share our wedding anniversary in August. Keeping up with family tradition we chose 9th August 2014. We were married at St Peters Church RC, Middleton. This is a family church, my dad and my granddad made built the entrance to this church and the original altar.
The wedding had a rustic country garden feel, with a vintage twist. We are both very down to earth people and wanted people to feel comfortable and enjoy the day. We feel like this came across on the day, a lot of people commented on the feeling of romance in the theme and style.
We chose a colour scheme of vintage mauve, in keeping with the country feel.
My wedding dress was a Jenny Packham gown, called Ruby (also my birth stone)! I only tried three wedding dresses on and knew straight away that ‘she’ was the one. It was in keeping with the style and feel of the wedding and I felt a million dollars wearing it.
I bought her from the girls at The White Closet in Didsbury.
Anthony wore a morning suit, in deep navy, with an ivory cravat from Groom in Manchester.
The girls wore twobirds Bridesmaid dresses, They loved them! Everyone commented on how gorgeous they looked. The girls wore their dresses differently, to reflect their different personalities and styles. The colour I wanted had not been released in the UK so had to be shipped to the shop from America.
Our photographer was Julie Lomax, We met her at a wedding fair in Manchester. She was very approachable and very professional, however after spending time with her felt like she was a long-time friend. She knew exactly how we wanted our wedding photographing and it really felt like she was one of our guests on our wedding day. We were totally at ease working with her.
Rebecca Reville was our videographer. We cant wait to see her master piece from our wedding day, another amazingly talented person who made our day so special. She worked amazingly well with Julie our photographer!
We had birdcages with tea lights hanging from the inner side of the cage. This sat on a bed of flowers (in keeping with flowers in my bouquet) and in the centre was a layer of moss, sitting on a tree trunk plinth.
Scattered on the table were numerous tea light holder in different sizes and styles. These really added to the country garden effect and added that extra romance in the evening once it had gone dark.
Our flowers were by the amazing Victoria from Lancashire Floristry. Her hard work and commitment in the run up to our wedding day was outstanding. I loved my flowers!
Everyone received a scratch card and a miniature spirit bottle, these were in a personalised favour box with our names and the date of the wedding. These were printed by Cotton Letterpress. We individualised the favour boxes by giving each person their favourite spirit.
Our cake was four tiers made by the wonderful Rachel Hanna, owner of Marie Antoinette Cakes.
Sheila O’Sullivan our wedding singer sang in the Church, adding to the romance with her perfect voice. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church! Our wedding guests still comment on her talent.
We hired a casino and a magician to keep everyone entertained whilst we had our pictures.
Our band for the evening cancelled on us on the week before the wedding, after being booked for 14months. After everyone chipping in to help find a replacement, Champagne Skies came to the rescue. They were amazing and totally pulled it out of the bag for us.
My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle. It was day I dreamt about for so long. I couldn’t wait to see Anthony and his reaction when he saw me, but I also knew that once I got to the end of the aisle and met him, I’d soon be his wife. After 9 years together, it was a moment I was so looking forward to.
For our honeymoon we went to Mexico, Rivera Maya. It was total luxury and relaxation. We had both worked so hard in the 12 months before the wedding and it was just what we needed. We spent two weeks bonding and being together. Plus Anthony surprised me to swimming with Dolphins during our second week out there, number one on my bucket list! Daily massages on the beach, tea on the beach in the evenings and plenty of drunken nights on tequila.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that although at times the planning can be very stressful, remember the main reason why you are doing it. It really will be the best day of your lives if you relax and take it all in. Make sure you make time for each other on the day too! It goes so quickly and before you know it, it’s the last dance, but make sure to enjoy the day together, we stayed by each other’s side throughout the day.
If I had the chance to do it all again tomorrow… I would!
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March 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I love every wedding that I feature on these pages, and all for different reasons. Some are full of homespun, personal details and others breathtakingly beautiful. Most have a dash of both.
But then there are the weddings that have all that and more – the weddings where the personalities just leap off the page and I think – Hey, now there’s a wedding I’d have liked to have been invited to!
Lindsay and Ian’s big day is one of those. Yes, it’s cute, colourful and full of loveliness, but it also looks like it was a hell of a good laugh. And those wedding days, dear readers, are hard to beat…
With images by Marie-Claire at Fluke Photography.
Lindsay says: Ian asked me to marry him in July 2011 overlooking Lake Windermere. It was a beautiful warm sunny day – my birthday was in a couple of days and I was two weeks away from my due date – so really quite pregnant!
We were married on 5th October 2013 – almost 4 years to the day since we met – at Cock O Barton, Barton, Cheshire.
We chose our venue because it was a bit quirky and it didn’t need much decorating as it had real character. It was much cheaper for exclusive use than other places and the food was fabulous!
We chose to have a colourful wedding with vibrant autumnal florals. I carried a posy of orange calla lilies, protea and hypericum berries by Flowers by Gaynor.
We travelled in a fabulous teal blue Rolls Royce.
We used Fluke Photography for OUR fabulous pictures – we didn’t want too many posed pictures so we loved our documentary style album.
We both are into our music so we had original 7 inch records for our table names – all 10 records were special to us. The name places were paper flowers made from sheet music.
I walked down the aisle to “Your Silent Face” by New Order and we walked out to “Just Like Fred Astaire” by James. We danced our first dance to Elbow “One Day Like This”.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite part as the whole day was fabulous but saying our vows in front of our friends and family was very emotional. The speeches were also great and the party was fantastic!
We didn’t want a standard white iced wedding cake so we chose a three tiered chocolate covered sponge cake. It was made by the Ian’s parents who are Master Bakers!
For our entertainment we had a local band do some swing music followed by some indie and hip hop classics. Ian’s close friends provided DJ services late into the night. The dance floor was pretty much full all night until 3am! A close friend who is a musician also wrote and performed a song about us which was lovely.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Paris by Eurostar for four nights. It was very romantic and we had a great time. We didn’t want to go too far as we have a two year old son.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that it’s the people that make the day – not the expensive things. Savour every moment.
Congratulations Lindsay & Ian!
This is not a sponsored post
February 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This wedding differs from a lot of the submissions we usually receive here at Brides Up North – because this time its the groom in the driving seat. In fact, he loved the whole process so much that he’s considering a career in the wedding industry. Watch this space.
Rob writes: Out of the two of us, I have loads of artistic flare, and Michelle really isn’t fussed on anything creative! When it came to organizing the wedding, Michelle really hadn’t a clue where to start, and so basically left it up to me. Not to say she wasn’t interested – we made a deal – she would concentrate on the dress and I would sort the venue! We did all main bits together but the actual decorating of the venue was all down to me. She was banned until the big day!
I loved every minute of the build up. I knew what I wanted and made most of the stuff myself. In fact I enjoyed it that much I am hoping to start up in the industry this year.
I think the man’s a natural. So, let’s hear all about his vision… over to you Rob.
Images by Helen Hates Peas Photography.
Rob says: I asked Michelle to marry me at home on Christmas day in 2010 next to the Christmas tree. I hid the ring box at the back of the tree. After we had finished getting ready to go to her parents’ house, I said I had forgotten one last gift. When she opened her eyes I was on one knee!
We were married on 18th August 2013 at Trafford Hall, Mickle Traford, Chester. We wanted somewhere pretty and not overbearing that none of our friends or family had been to before. Somewhere all our guests could stay, somewhere we could have free reign over suppliers and not be dictated to by the venue’s preferred suppliers, and above all, somewhere reasonably priced. We loved the old Georgian house and that the venue is run by a charity who promotes eco values. The guests’ rooms were outdoor stables with wild flower turf roofs which were a brilliant talking point as guests arrived and went into their little hideaways. They try and source most of their food locally and try and grow all the veg onsite.
Our theme was country floral. I have had a passion for flowers since a young boy and eventually studied garden design at Uni. I had an idea of the way I wanted the venue to look, and it involved lots of flowers and greenery. The venue and location were perfect for a country fayre style wedding, which I think is what we achieved.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme, just lots of floral prints. It could have gone horribly wrong, but it worked superbly!
Michelle wore a crystal and sash White One Bridal sweetheart ball gown from the 2012 collection which she bought from Boda Bridal in Chester. Hannah (bridesmaid) made Michelle’s veil as a personal gift. Her shoes were diamanté flip flops from Oasis.
I wanted to stand out from the best men and ushers, so chose a two piece 0suit from Zara in French Navy. I had a bespoke lilac tweed waistcoat made for me by Crichton of Chester. They also made my shirt and sewed in a contrasting floral pattern to the cuffs and collar for when I took my tie off at night. I wore a silk floral hydrangea tie that I bought from G Room in Hoole, Chester.
We both have a favourite jeweller in Chester called Chique based in St Michael’s Precinct. Michelle’s engagement ring is from there as our wedding rings. As a surprise, I met with Adam, the owner, and selected a pair of pearl earrings for Michelle to wear on the day. I asked Hannah to give them to her on the wedding morning. Little did I know that Michelle had also gone in and spoke to Adam and selected a pair of pearl cufflinks as a surprise for me! Without even knowing we had matching earrings and cufflinks!
Michelle carried a mixture of garden flowers including dahlias, anthirrinun, scabious, everlasting sweet peas, daiseys, astrantia, cornflower, amongst others. I didn’t want to be an understated groom, so my button hole was equally as flamboyant. I had the same flowers as Michelle, but with the addition of a sprig of thalictrum – a delicate purple flower.
Michelle walked down the isle to Etta James ‘At last’ and we both walked out to Jackie Wilson ‘I get the Sweetest Feeling’.
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